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If you briefly say “the travel of a hundred soldiers”, the conversation ends there, but when it comes to actually carrying out the trip, troublesome preparations and formalities become necessary.
Renya entrusted or rather got rid of everything related to the formalities by shoving them on to Mayria. However, Renya still has to come up with a transportation method so as to get the hundred soldiers to the Miasma Forest.
The Miasma Forest’s entrance is at a two day travel distance with a carriage from the city of Kukrika.
Nevertheless, given that the soldiers would travel by foot anyway, it would end up in a needless waste of time.
“Will you prepare a carriage?” (Shion)
Renya wracks his brain over what’s to be done while in the parlor of his home.
He shakes his head while saying “Certainly not” to Shion who asked after seeing Renya’s state.
Hundred soldiers is a number too high to be carried by carriages alone.
It’s not impossible if we arrange several carriages, but the costs are nothing to sneeze at.
Since the expenses will be shouldered by the principality anyway, even that wouldn’t really matter much from Renya’s point of view, but apart from the costs, seeing as the main objective lies in the training, a round trip of four days is too much of a loss.
“I feel like I could travel that distance by running in one day, if it’s the current me, but…” (Renya)
“That’s not a normal human’s running ability, is it?” (Shion)
Shion admonishes Renya before he could suggest such an outrageous thing as making the soldiers attempt such a feat.
In Shion’s eyes, various aspects of Renya’s abilities have already largely deviated from the category of humans.
Even if he insisted on doing something like that, it was plain obvious that it would be impossible.
The reality is that the soldiers harbored a similar impression about Shion as well, but she hasn’t noticed that.
“How about asking May to lend you the magic ship?” (Shion)
If it’s that, it should likely have the cargo capacity to hold a mere hundred soldiers, Shion assumes.
Moreover, its speed is reasonably high.
Shion believed that to be a good suggestion, but Renya refused it right away.
“Let’s not go there. It seems like those nobles would get naggy about it.” (Renya)
Renya believes that that group, which is trying to find fault with everything he does, will come biting at him as soon as they find even the slightest thing to latch onto.
If Shion requests something like that from Mayria, you will never know what kind of complaints will be filed towards Mayria.
“What will you do in that case then? Aren’t you at a dead end here?” (Shion)
Shion raised both her hands as if giving up, but without sharing her opinion, Renya says,
“Not quite. As long as we don’t get picky about the means, there’s a method.” (Renya)
“I see, let’s go with that then.” (Shion)
Shion promptly judges to not ask about the details of the method Renya mentioned.
“You know you’re okaying it without even listen to details, right?” (Renya)
“Whether I’m okay with it or not, I don’t have an alternate plan, right? Isn’t there no other alternative but to go with your plan, Renya?” (Shion)
Shion boldly threw out her chest and answered Renya’s question, who seemed to be slightly surprised.
Her attitude is splendid, but there’s no substance behind it.
“No matter whether you simply haven’t thought it over or have properly made up your mind… I think that’s a comment which is difficult to appreciate.” (Renya)
“At any rate, let’s go with that. Time is precious, right?” (Shion)
I wonder whether it’s really alright? Renya thinks. But he reaches the conclusion: Since I’ve gotten the authorisation of Her Highness the First Princess, although she resigned as successor, I guess it’ll be alright.
“Got it, let’s go ahead with my plan then. Shion, can I have you prepare the goods together with Frau? I have already told Frau about the necessities. But because it will result in purchasing things and having Mayria’s side shoulder the bills, please go along with Frau and help her.” (Renya)
“Understood. Please leave it to me.” (Shion)
Shion nods strongly and leaves to look for Frau.
After following her back with his eyes until she was out of sight, Renya, who had stayed behind, spoke to himself while inside the room with no one in it,
“They really won’t come, right?” (Renya)
“Yeah, well… the Miasma Forest is certainly a bit close to my home country.” (Emil)
The one who showed up as if oozing out of the wall while answering is Emil.
Renya didn’t understand how she did it, but sometimes Emily suddenly shows up from empty space.
Emil didn’t do that in front of anyone but Renya though.
But, Renya and Frau have realised that she can apparently motionlessly observe or listen in all over the house while being invisible.
Given that it doesn’t seem to have caused any real damage at present except for having one’s privacy infringed, Renya and Frau left her alone since Emil didn’t spy on them.
“Though it seems that Croire will accompany us since the destination is a forest.” (Renya)
“Meaning Frau-chan and Rona will stay behind, eh?” (Emil)
“Frau is… you know that Frau can’t leave the house or my side. Moreover, with her appearance… the soldiers will be soothed and that would be troublesome.” (Renya)
As Frau is a silky, she is bound by the limitation that she has to be either close to the house she’s protecting or to her master Renya.
Putting aside the soldiers’ usual state, Renya can’t predict how the soldiers mental state, who are currently starting to feel bloodthirsty in various ways, would be affected if they saw the petite, cute maid appearance of Frau.
And, since he can’t predict it, there was no way for him to allow them to get in touch with her now.
“So Rona-chan will go around restraining a part of the nobles together with Frau-chan.” (Emil)
“Troubles never run out, do they? Though it’s fine as long as she doesn’t become bald.” (Renya)
“Don’t say that in front of Rona-chan, okay? You will make her cry, you know.” (Emil)
Emil makes a joke about it and laughs, but Renya ends up wondering whether Rona isn’t working too hard in various ways.
Even though she has been appointed as Shion’s babysitter, who by herself causes endless worries even at the best of times, she’s apparently adding workload related to the principality.
There’s absolutely nothing strange if her levels of worry and fatigue spiked and became hazardous, as she also has to argue with nobles as Maryia’s assistant even if it’s only talking.
If she was a man, it might have been necessary to worry about his hair falling out Renya judged seriously.
Though it isn’t something that can be changed by just thinking about it.
“So, what means of travel will you choose, Renya?” (Emil)
“Mmh? Ah, I’m off for a bit to ask our neighbors about it. There’s something I’d like you to prepare during that time, Emil.” (Renya)
Renya beckons Emil to come closer.
Emil approached Renya and brings her ear close to his mouth.
“Eh? Yeah? A… ah, yes. Got it, but… won’t it turn into an uproar?” (Emil)
“You’re saying that at this point in time?” (Renya)
While telling her that she worries too much as a demon, Renya left his home in order to visit the house of his neighbor Az in order to ask for their help in person.
The next day, just as Emil had worried, the city of Kukrika was plunged into a tumult.
The soldiers under Keith’s command, who were keen about beginning their early training on the parade ground, were ordered by Renya, who suddenly appeared, to equip real swords this time, apart from the usual equipment they are wearing, and to leave behind their backpacks. All of them had anxious expressions while wondering Just what the hell are we going to do now?
Even so, the instructor’s orders are absolute for them.
In reality, over the last few days, they had united a bit because of Renya’s training in the last two weeks. At first they lamented over their own bodies after being made to participate in such mad training and they cursed at Renya for forcing them to do it. But they believed in Renya’s promise of granting them power and somehow stuck through the training.
But, at a certain turning point, they noticed, albeit barely, that the training, which had only been painful until then, became easier to complete than the day before and that it furthermore got even easier on the next day in comparison to the previous day.
It’s not like Renya had lowered the training menu.
With that fact, they could only wonder whether their bodies had gotten used to Renya’s training menu or whether the soldiers’ ability were in the process of closing in on the abilities required for the training.
Once they ended up realizing that, the rest fell into place and the soldiers ended up hooked on that fact.
While being defeated by one blow yesterday, they could endure receiving up to three blows today, or even though additional weights had been put into their backpacks, they could move just like yesterday, and similar.
The soldiers, who wished to become strong, became unable to break out of the cycle anymore once they had actually experienced it for themselves.
They understood that they would get more powerful the more they completed the training assigned to them by Renya.
The soldiers harbor a feeling of gratitude towards Renya who pulled them up to levels they had not known possible. After that the training contents have been escalating at parts which Renya was already unaware of.
Them adding weights in their backpacks and coiling additional lead around the handgrip of the hoes was just the beginning. The end result was them betting on who would be able to defend against the most of Emil’s and Renya’s sorcery attacks.
Of course Renya didn’t know about such gambling.
He simply thought, I somehow feel like the hit rate has gone up.
It’s a digression, but humans aren’t creatures who grow by their bodies making such breaking sounds.
But a person’s body, when it gets healed after being destroyed once, has the ability to strengthen itself, thus trying to overcome its condition at the time when it was destroyed.
Originally such healing should take a long time. But, with more or less simple recovery medicine and precious ingredients that normally are unattainable being secretly mixed into their food, they regenerated at an abnormal speed and furthermore in short intervals due to Emil’s medicine which was actually a powerful recovery medicine at a level which couldn’t be obtained in the nearby area.
“Isn’t it fine since it’s no human body remodelling and it only boosts the abilities they possess to begin with?” Those were Emil’s words.
Setting that aside, the soldiers put on their equipment as ordered by Renya, hang their swords with blades, which they didn’t use during the training, at their waists and head towards the plains outside the city at a quick running pace as specified by Renya.
Since it’s still early in the morning and furthermore as their destination were the plains slightly separate from the main road, they are hardly seen by anyone.
Emil has already started the preparations at that place. Twenty huge cages that seem to still have room even if you put in several grown man in there have been lined up in her vicinity. Moreover, two extra cages that were loaded with some kind of materials had been prepared.
Having affixed ropes in their four corners, the cages had a structure that apparently allowed them to be suspended by something, but the soldiers were unable to guess the intention behind suspending such huge cages.
“You did well to come here, gentlemen!”
Renya waits for everyone to assemble and raises his voice.
Next to Renya, who stands in front of the soldiers while talking with a loud voice, stands Croire, who had wrapped her body in a dark green, elven outfit, with a meek expression.
Deciding to shelve their question for the time being in order to avoid missing the instructor’s words, the soldiers listen carefully to Renya.
Their seriousness is to such an extent that their gazes aren’t stolen by Croire even though there’s an elf, who they aren’t able to see often, in front of them and moreover quite the beauty among the elves.
“The other day I received a single request by Her Highness Princess Mayria. Of course it’s a matter independent of your training, gentlemen.” (Renya)
Making a short break between his words, Renya surveys the soldiers.
Even though Renya has stopped talking, there’s no one present who interjects.
“I’m told by Her Highness the Princess to show this month’s training results to the principality’s nobles after the time limit as the one in charge of your gentlemen’s training.” (Renya)
Though it’s merely for an instant, a commotion occurs between the soldiers.
Renya suppressed that commotion with just his look and continued speaking,
“To inform the great nobles of those results, we are told to carry out a sham battle with their soldiers.” (Renya)
A slightly bigger commotion in comparison to the previous one rises.
The principality’s army is a mixture consisting of humans related to nobles that have joined it as duty and citizens that have joined as volunteers.
As such they form a combined organisation, but there’s considerable difference in the quality of the soldiers belonging to the army.
In contrast to that, the private armies of the nobles have many soldiers of high quality, albeit their coordination as an organisation is ambiguous, since the nobles are investing a reasonable amount of money to gather skilled soldiers as they apparently view it as matter of honor.
The hundred soldiers below Soldier Leader Keith, whose training Renya was in charge of, were volunteer soldiers from among the citizens.
Probably owed to that, they feel timid towards the ones called nobles and are anxious whether they will really be able to stand a chance against the strength of their private armies they heard about in rumors.
They expressed that by causing a slightly bigger commotion.
“Don’t lose your cool. I accepted the request of Her Majesty the Princess. And I don’t join a battle I can’t win.” (Renya)
The soldiers’ commotion settles down due to Renya’s confident declaration.
Maybe instructor-dono has some kind of plan, the soldiers thought, but Renya crushed that wishful thinking in an instant.
“I tell you clearly: I don’t have a plan. We will confront them directly from the front.” (Renya)
“Instructor-dono… in that case our chances of winning are…” (Keith)
Keith says to Renya with a timid look as he’s apparently unable to put up with it any longer.
Renya glanced at Keith and laughed scornfully.
“I think that you can win without any trouble as you are now, but your way of thinking is still completely unsuited for battle. For you to suddenly think that it’s extremely unlikely to win is proof of that.” (Renya)
Certainly, it might be as he says, the soldiers think and don’t raise any objections.
After all they believe that there’s a difference in social standing between nobles and commoners, and between volunteer soldiers on the one hand and elites that were assembled without sparing any money on the other hand.
“To fix and restructure your guys’ spirit and on top of that for carrying out your training, we will go on an expedition.” (Renya)
At the same time as Renya announced that, there were signs of the city of Kukrika, which is far away from them, becoming chaotic.
Once the soldiers, who had noticed that, look in the direction of the city while wondering what’s going on, they can see the patrolling soldiers and the sentries at the gate running away somewhere in panic. There are also travellers waiting for their turn to enter the city since early in the morning, but they can be seen rushing into the city as if escaping from the inspection in a hurry.
The body of Keith, who was about to say “what is going on”, trembled due to the chill he feels running up his spine.
It closely resembled the coercion that Renya released all of a sudden during training without any warning, but the current coercion felt somewhat weaker than Renya’s.
Nevertheless, if we hadn’t gotten accustomed to Renya’s coercion, we might have fallen into a state of panic compelling us to run away from this place as well, Keith judges.
Ahead of his look, in the distant sky, Keith discovered several black dots.
“You don’t say! Those are…” (Keith)
That was something he had seen once before.
At that time it was only one dot and after that a dragoon out of stories long lost in the city of Kukrika came back.
What he saw at that time is currently completely the same, but ahead of Keith’s look there were several of them now.
“No way! Dragon!? Moreover, several of them!?” (Keith)
“Don’t kick up a fuss, Soldier Leader. You are too noisy. If we don’t have at least those, we won’t be able to transport hundred people, right?” (Renya)
“… Just now, what did you say?” (Keith)
Somehow feeling that Renya spouted some unbelievable words, Keith reflexively asked once more.
“As I said, to have hundred soldiers board the cages and carry them all at once won’t be possible if we don’t use dragons as transporters, right?” (Renya)
“With dragons? Transport? … Us?” (Keith)
“Who else do you think… You guys, be thankful since I expressly requested mounted dragons through Liaris the Dragoon.” (Renya)
He did ask by going as close as threatening her without restriction, but Renya has no interest in explaining those circumstances.
However, since Dra-kun, whom he addressed with his request, was on the verge of tears, he wonders, have I been slightly too unreasonable?
“Listen well, gentlemen. The goal of this time’s expedition is the Miasma Forest. There we will carry out combat training and prepare for the sham battle. Of course, since the place is what it is, I can’t say that it’s safe. Rather, it’s dangerous. Therefore it’s fine for those, who refuse participation, to stay behind.” (Renya)
The figures of the dragons are gradually closing in.
As if being enthralled by those, Keith and the soldiers don’t even twitch.
Renya feels uneasy whether they have really heard him.
The destination should have been a quite shocking place, but there’s almost no reaction among the soldiers about that.
From the soldiers’ point of view, they felt like they wouldn’t be shocked by anything they might hear next in front of the reality that they will be carried through the air by dragons.
The Miasma Forest is certainly a danger zone, but compared to a dragon, it’s not such a hopeless place either.
“However, as for those participating: I will give you my word that you will obtain power to the degree of not needing to worry about the likes of the nobles’ private armies. Well then, what will you do?” (Renya)
Upon Renya asking that, Keith turned around to his subordinates behind him and yelled,
“You guys, we will go! Something like the experience of us being carried by dragons won’t ever happen again no matter for how long we live!” (Keith)
“Eh? That part? You guys are hooked on that part…?” (Renya)
The soldiers shout cheers and rush towards the cages.
Renya has somehow a feeling of being left behind.
Croire, who had watched the development of the situation next to him, leaked a small sigh.
“Their enthusiasm is, extremely… annoying… or rather, sultry, isn’t it?” (Croire)
Croire had reached the point where she could talk in the common language a bit more fluently.
While gently caressing her head and saying “You held out really well, didn’t you?”, Renya reflects by himself, I wonder, did I make a mistake on setting up my speech?
“Huh? Where’s Shion?” (Renya)
“She charged, into a cage, at the very front.” (Croire)
Upon Croire’s reply, Renya praised her with “You did well to spot her.”
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