Around one hour later.
It developed into a situation where Renya alone was standing among the fallen soldiers on the parade ground.
The collapsed soldiers can be mostly split into three different categories.
First, those who ran out of steam after continuing to run around and chase the escaping Renya.
You can say that those are the soldiers who persisted for the longest time among the three categories.
Another way to put it, they are the soldiers who had the least amount of injuries among the collapsed soldiers, seemingly thanks to their tenacity.
At any rate, that’s because the damage they took is only being unable to move even one finger out of fatigue.
Second, those who were defeated after directly attacking Renya.
Because Renya was unarmed, his means of attack were mostly limited to kicking, hitting, throwing and swinging around.The soldiers, however, got defeated by those methods alone.
Since these soldiers hit and kicked Renya themselves, it would have been wrong if they didn’t suffer painful experiences,, however he released them relatively quickly once they ended up fainting or if it seemed that they understood the feeling of suffering pain.
Third, those who got dragged in by the soldiers who attacked Renya directly.
Among the three categories, it’s probably them who suffered the most tragic experiences.
They were hit by comrades who came flying at them, rammed by comrades that were brandished like weapons and had the bodies of comrades drop upon them at the places they collapsed. If they couldn’t evade that, it was the end at that point, but if they were considered to still be conscious after evading, another comrade was hurled at them.
Apparently due to the indirect attacks, even Renya stepped on the unconscious soldiers, unable to quite grasp their responses or continued to relentlessly involve them until he was definitely sure that he made them faint.
“Isn’t it far too early to become useless, Soldier Leader Keith-sama?” (Renya)
Renya walked up to the side of Keith, who was lying face-down on the ground, and asks him indifferently without even looking down at him.
He tried to wait for a bit after asking, but there’s no reaction from Keith.
Lowering his sight below his feet while wondering whether Keith has fainted, Renya looked directly into the eyes of Keith who’s trying to glare his way from below.
Speaking of categories, Keith enters the group of soldiers that has gone down due to directly attacking Renya.
Renya had absolutely no intention to make a differentiation between him and the other soldiers, but he ends up pondering ‘maybe his skills went slightly haywire due to our exchange before the fight.
“Considering you were hit above your armour, you appear to have been damaged deeply, Soldier Leader Keith-sama. Are you alright, Soldier Leader Keith-sama?” (Renya)
“Is that sarcasm? Hey…!” (Keith)
Renya nods once at Keith who says that as if groaning.
“Do you possess the brain to process sarcasm?” (Renya)
“… You bastard…” (Keith)
“Thanks for your hard… no, it doesn’t look like it has been that hard of a work to call it as such, does it, Renya?” (Shion)
Shion, who came down to the parade ground from the seats for noble visitors once again, calls out to Renya.
Renya simply shrugged his shoulders and didn’t reply to Shion.
“Are you fine, Soldier Leader Keith? Were you able to comprehend Renya’s strength a bit with this?” (Shion)
“Pri… princess… we are…” (Keith)
“Hey, hey, Shion. Why are you speaking as if it’s over?” (Renya)
On the parade ground there already are no soldiers that can move properly.
It’s not like they suffered big injuries, but there’s not a single one among them that can answer “Yes, sure” after being told to carry out further training after this.
The only exceptions are Renya, who caused this situation, and Shion who only watched from the noble seats.
“… You don’t mean to say that only I get a different menu!?” (Shion)
“No, I don’t have the slightest intention to do that, but…” (Renya)
Operating his void storage, Renya retrieves a single foldable chair from within.
While unfolding that chair with a light swing and sitting down on it, Renya began to speak so that the surrounding soldiers could hear him as well.
“What I showed you just now is just a categorization of the soldiers.” (Renya)
“The guys, who seem to have ability and stamina above a certain level, were brought down after attacking me. Those, who have stamina above a certain level, were made to chase me until they collapsed. And finally those who couldn’t even chase or attack me. In other words, the guys, who were brought down by getting dragged in by other soldiers, are the completely useless folks who have neither stamina nor ability.” (Renya)
“Huh? Isn’t there a group that has no stamina but abilities above a certain level?” (Shion)
Once Shion asks that as she considered that to be an odd part, Renya laughs scornfully at her.
“Superficial abilities that aren’t accompanied by stamina and the likes are pointless.” (Renya)
“Who says that?”
“I’m the one saying that. Well then, in case you have been listening, do you remember in which group you belong? You guys stated that there’s nothing I could teach you. Although there’s nothing, I received money from Her Highness Mayria in the shape of a request. Therefore I have decided to imprint it into you forcibly without actually teaching you anything.” (Renya)
“I feel like you have said something somewhat disturbing?” (Shion)
Renya immediately affirmed Shion’s doubt.
“In short, I guess it will be dangerous since it won’t be based on knowledge and experience but by teaching your bodies.” (Renya)
“Me too…?” (Shion)
Have I maybe announced my will to participate at an unwise time? Shion turns pale.
Renya dispassionately asks Shion,
“Do you want that to happen to you?” (Renya)
“No, I’d like to refrain.” (Shion)
“If you have an interest in getting taught, I will humour you accordingly. These guy don’t have such intention and thus it can’t be helped.” (Renya)
Renya put his foot on the back of Keith who has collapsed upside-down below his feet.
Rather than having the objective of causing pain to him, it was apparently his declaration that he definitely won’t let him escape from here on out.
Even without doing that, Keith didn’t even have the strength to crawl left in him anymore.
Renya surveys his surrounding in that posture and activates the <Manipulation> spell towards the soldiers who have fallen at a spot that’s too far away from him.
By pulling the armours worn by the soldiers who have been scattered at a vast range, he gathers them into a closer space.
While carrying out that work, Renya deploys a barrier in order to surround the area by using parallel activation of magic formulae.
This barrier had the property of not allowing physical interaction and magic to pass outside from the inside.
It’s the only way to make sure that no soldier possibly runs away after recovering their stamina while he’s in the middle of his next operation.
In addition to its significance as an anti-escape barrier, it also serves as a wall to hinder leakage of the three magic formulae Renya will use next to the outside.
“No one is able to move anyway. Thus, let’s follow by doing the training that’s possible by simply lying around over there.” (Renya)
It’s a course of events he had decided beforehands, but Shion looks curious when Renya declares so.
“Such training exists?” (Shion)
Shion admired it thinking I suppose that’s quite the easy training then, but once she was able to understand only a little bit of what Renya was planning, she became unable to entertain such impression any longer.
“Guess so. Shion, stand over there and tell me once it seems to be even slightly unreasonable. I will make a hole in the barrier.” (Renya)
While telling Shion, Renya strengthens the barrier by spreading mana in order to make sure that it’s visible for Shion and the soldiers.
As a result, the soldiers realized that they were imprisoned within Renya’s grasp.
“What do… you plan to do?”
Due to the voice of Soldier Leader Keith that comes from below his feet, Renya replied while slightly increasing the power in his foot stepping on Keith’s back.
“I told you that it’s a training that can be carried out even while sleeping, didn’t I?” (Renya)
“There’s… no way such…” (Keith)
The words of Keith who started to speak break off.
It’s not like Renya interrupted him in the middle or anything.
Cries of pain and gasping alongside voices of surprise began to spread among the surrounding soldiers.
Even Keith himself felt a violent oppressiveness and throbbing, and a disturbance of his breathing by something bursting out from within his body.
“This was drilled into me by Emil.” (Renya)
Renya says in a fashion of a monologue while sitting on the chair.
“The thing called sorcery has been precisely organized like a study, but as a matter of fact, among the techniques ranked as big spells, many that haven’t been accurately systemized like a study are included, it seems.” (Renya)
“Oh~… That’s the first time I hear that” (Shion)
No change from her usual expression can be seen.
Keith, who looked up at Shion’s expression from below Renya’s feet, couldn’t believe that reality.
Just what kind of expression do I have? Keith wonders.
He continues to release cold sweat from his entire body. Regardless of whether it’s his face, fingers or below his armour, it streams down.
The clattering of his teeth, not to mention the trembling of his powerless body that doesn’t do what Keith wants it to, sounds completely as if it’s someone else’s.
He doesn’t know whether the temperature he feels right now is hot or cold.
Both his hands at the ends of his feebly flailing arms are tearing at the ground as if enduring something, but Keith isn’t even aware of that.
“What I’m doing right now is scattering around my through my mana and bloodthirst.” (Renya)
“Eh? … You are already at it?” (Shion)
Shion looked around while continuing with “I don’t feel anything though.” But her face stiffens after seeing the fallen soldiers trembling, and in very bad cases writhing and starting to drool.
Renya continued his explanation without minding it.
“Although I said that, it doesn’t mean that I’m seriously scattering it. From my point of view, I’m actually distributing it weakly and subtly.” (Renya)
“Like this!?” (Shion)
The soldier Shion pointed at had already lost his consciousness with his eyes wide open and foam gushing out from his mouth.
The offensively smelling liquid from his nether region has changed the colour of his trousers by wetting them.
In addition, the figures of soldiers that try to get away as far as possible from Renya by crawling on the ground, or those who are screaming while clinging to the barrier’s wall, even though they know that they can’t leave the barrier, can be seen.
“Being under the same influence, it’s at a level where you can stay calm without noticing anything, right?” (Renya)
“Oh? Ah, it’s true. I don’t feel anything, I guess.” (Shion)
In Shion’s perception, her current state was something along the lines of ‘Isn’t Renya slightly difficult to approach as he’s emitting a scary aura?’
Above all, not only is Shion mentally slow, but her body has gotten used to the mana and bloodthirst of Renya as a result of having spent quite a bit of time together with him. She wouldn’t mind such level of coercion.
“Once they reach the point of being able to endure this coercion, they won’t just obtain the power to resist against mind spells but also get a resistance against common spell effects. Moreover, becoming capable of repelling this coercion with their own will and mana is connected to an increase of the mana they possess, I heard.” (Renya)
“That’s amazing! How does that work!?” (Shion)
“Owning a powerful will that opposes the feeling of ‘I will be killed’, they will try to resist through their mana, I was told by Emil, but I don’t quite understand either. It seems that they will be able to manage somehow or other if they strongly pray ‘Like hell I will lose!’ in silence.” (Renya)
“I see! Alright.” (Shion)
Shutting her eyes tightly, Shion starts to single-mindedly pray while murmuring something unspecified.
Isn’t that in vain at the current point in time as she already has a resistance at the level of not feeling anything even without doing something like that? Renya wonders, but he decides to let Shion do whatever she likes.
It would be nice if I could strengthen the coercion a bit for Shion, but if I do that, I can’t definitely say that there won’t be any casualties from death due to shock among the soldiers who haven’t reached Shion’s level.
Won’t it be fine if I go for it slowly as I have a month remaining at this point? Considering that, Renya closes his eyes while deeply leaning back into his chair.
As it wasn’t a bloodthirst with considerable power, he isn’t conscious of it. Given that even his mana was poured in weakly with a very little quantity at a time, there wasn’t even any necessity for him to try maintaining it.
If it’s at that level, he can keep at it even half-unconscious.
The one who raised his voice is Keith who is still being stepped on by Renya.
Thanks to his entire body shivering, he’s apparently unable to form his words into any decent language.
“What’s wrong, Soldier Leader Keith-sama? By the way, it’s slowly becoming annoying to add -sama. For how long do I have to keep doing that, Soldier Leader Keith-sama?” (Renya)
“He-He-Here… t-t-th-this t-t-tr-tra-training… f-f-for how long…” (Keith)
Renya somehow manages to assemble the voice that’s difficult to understand into something comprehensible in his mind.
“How long I intend to continue this training, you want to ask?” (Renya)
Keith nods while his body trembles.
He sustained himself to an extent by talking with Renya, but without that he would likely run away by crawling around or hit the barrier while screaming “Please help!” like the other soldiers.
“Let’s see. How about we stop once Shion gives up?” (Renya)
While looking at Shion who apparently wanted to ask “Why use me as standard?”, Renya says to Keith while treading upon on him,
“You certainly don’t mean to say that the elites of the national army, who have gone through rigorous training, will throw in the towel before Her Highness Shion due to the coercion of an adventurer at the lowest rank that Her Highness Shion can withstand with a calm expression, now do you?” (Renya)
“… That sounds nice.” (Shion)
Renya’s coercion unintentionally ceases due to the words Shion let leak in a mutter.
‘What the hell is she talking about’ Renya looks at Shion.
Due to the little break that involuntarily visited them, the soldiers try to think whether there isn’t some way they can escape from this place at once, or roughly fill their lungs with the dearly desired air as they had started to be short of breath due to it being partially disturbed.
Among those soldiers, Shion said with an expression of being somewhat entranced while putting her hands on her cheeks,
“Having Renya call me with a title of honour, how niceee.” (Shion)
It appears that Renya calling Shion with “Her Highness” had directly pierced her heart.
“What foolish stuff are you saying…? Alright, I will resume~. This time I will make the bloodthirst stronger than before, okay?” (Renya)
Shion was surprised, but the reply returned to her was very reasonable.
“Shion, you don’t feel anything anymore, thus emitting coercion at the same level won’t even serve as training, right?” (Renya)
“What about the soldiers!?” (Shion)
“It’s fine. They won’t die. Probably.” (Renya)
“Probably, you say!?” (Shion)
“Ah, you lot, I don’t know whether you can hear me, but tomorrow we will go with this feeling as well, got it? Though I plan for it to gradually become stronger as the remaining days pass.” (Renya)
Ignoring Shion that tries to protest, Renya addressed the soldiers, who had once again started to groan, while smiling.
“You are free to escape the training. Please do as you like. In that case I will be able to do something even more enjoyable, you know.” (Renya)
“Something enjoyable?” (Shion)
Renya lets his gaze wander towards Shion who asked a question in return.
As it is, her face doesn’t show any indication that she’s sweating unusually.
It’s the usual Shion without her expression stiffening either.
Although Renya is emitting a stronger coercion than before when he stopped temporarily, it doesn’t seem to be enough for Shion at all.
However, there was the concern that there would be some unable to endure it among the soldiers if he continued and raised it any further.
I guess that’s a challenge for the distant future, deciding to ponder about this matter at a later time, Renya says,
“I will be bullied by Mayria if I handed you over with no abilities, no willpower and overinflated egos.” (Renya)
“Renya, your character’s bad!” (Shion)
“There’s also the part that a country’s soldiers being of bad quality is the responsibility of the ones leading that country. In other words, if we assume that the national army’s soldiers are incompetent and have no guts, that will become the responsibility of the archduchess and the next archduchess who are managing them, right?” (Renya)
“That’s… right, maybe?” (Shion)
“Tentatively you are included in that as well, aren’t you? How about it, Your Highness Shion Femme Fatale? Are the soldiers in your country incompetent and gutless?” (Renya)
“There’s no way for that to be true!” (Shion)
Shion declares distinctly with an expression of anger on her face.
The ears of Renya, who feels slightly surprised, caught a sound similar to something small shattering.
“Our principality’s soldiers are only the people who repeatedly train every day, who pledge their allegiance to Her Majesty the Archduchess and who love their country! If you try to look down on that unreasonably, even you, Renya, won’t get away with that unscathed!” (Shion)
“… It was repelled at this level. … This damned impulsive idiot.” (Renya)
Due to his annoyed expression, Shion’s anger dwindles and she reveals a look of “Huh?”
“I don’t have any particular intention to look down on them. If you say so, Your Highness Shion, all hundred men will come to the training starting from tomorrow, I suppose? In that case I will simply accomplish the request from Her Highness Mayria.” (Renya)
“Of course!” (Shion)
Declaring that while throwing out her chest with a jerk, Shion starts to run between the collapsed soldiers.
Ahead of the gaze of Renya, who watches her while wondering what she might intend to do, Shion started to call out to the fallen and groaning soldiers.
“Properly hold onto your spirit! Even I’m okay! If it’s you guys, you should be able to repel this coercion!” (Shion)
“… Unexpectedly she might have have a good way with words if she becomes a general or something similar.” (Renya)
While harbouring the impression won’t she possibly become a young woman that can raise the morale or give speeches reasonably well if a strategist that properly grasps her reins is appointed to her? Renya decided to watch over Shion.
Maybe, as result of that, some of the soldiers will become able to stand the current level of coercion today? While even facing that expectation,
Shion calls out to Renya from slightly away.
Renya raised his voice in order for it to reach her.
“What’s up, Shion?” (Renya)
“Calling me ‘Her Highness’ like just now, can you do that again once we get back home?” (Shion)
I take back what I just said. This might really be a lost case. Renya was at his wit’s end.