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In contrast to Horant’s national border which suddenly turned lively, the turmoil in Swordland was suppressed quickly.
In the castle, that lacked a person to take the leadership with the king gone, the power struggle continued as ever and unreasonable laws were excessively issued just to be revised without any guiding principle behind it all.
After almost all beastmen had left to the city’s part where they lived as community, it has simply turned into a situation of nobles, who held the authority by simply making the common citizens into targets of exploitation and labour force, siphoning off the capital in order to contest over their influence determined on revising their titles.
Understandably it’s not like the common citizens are meekly obeying in such circumstances either.
With discontent spreading rapidly there have even those among the soldiers appeared who have abandoned their post.
As for the soldiers; they cannot tolerate to have their salary, resulting from them working earnestly, being cancelled for incomprehensible reason because they are common citizens themselves as well.
Small troubles and conflicts frequently occurred all over the place between soldiers and citizens, among fellow soldiers, soldiers and knights as well as between citizens and knights.
“So, what happened in the end then?” (Helen)
Helen, who was ordered to stay back at home, visited Reni who is prostrating on top of the desk while being completely exhausted.
Reni suddenly turned her face sideways and slightly opened her sleepy eyes.
“Reaching the people who wanted to come to us, the soldiers, who came attacking, were made to flee with the elves’ magic. The end.” (Reni)
“The end you say, you know…” (Helen)
“I mean, I can’t tell you anything besides that. Gengu-san’s followers are grieving that the beastmen lost out to play an active role at this occasion. We were very busy until just a while ago with receiving the new people.” (Reni)
Including Reni no one noticed it, but a part of the beastmen started to secure their places of residence by secretly expanding the area of the former slums at this occasion.
Moreover, with the area of residence for the other races being the former slums and the urban areas of Swordland being their original address, a reversal of the population is developing.
Since neither the beastmen nor the human side had polled their demographics, no one became aware of it though.
“I want to be a magician, too. It was very cool.” (Reni)
“What’s up, Helen?” (Reni)
“It appeared. Wind magic.” (Helen)
Helen, who casually fumbled around with her wand, faced Reni’s head, which was lying on top of the desk just like a furball, and once she imagined that she wants to cause a gentle breeze, it appeared.
“I don’t know about that.” (Helen)
“However it appeared somehow”, when Helen targeted the wind towards Reni’s face, the hair of Reni, who grumbled a bit, slowly swayed.
“Unfair, unfair! I want to be a magician as well!” (Reni)
“Uwah! Wai-, stop.” (Helen)
Being assaulted by Reni with a jump and Helen tumbling to the floor was at the time when Zanga entered.
“Oh my! You are lively, aren’t you?” (Zanga)
“Ah, Zanga-san!” (Reni)
Reni, who felt a bit relieved by dishevelling Helen’s hair, faced Zanga with a smile.
Her own hair has turned into something tragic, too.
“Well, you know. There’s something to discuss for a bit. It’s not me though.” (Zanga)
When Zanga ushered them in with “Come in”, the elf, Puuse, the one-eared rabbitwoman and the tigerboy, Malfas, entered.
Due to to the combination that has no coherence at all, the rabbit woman began to speak while looking as if it’s something very difficult to speak about once Reni and Helen had arranged their hair.
“Umm… I’d like to have permission to leave the city…”
“Eh? You don’t particularly need our permission or such, but what for? Won’t it be dangerous if you go out to the wastelands?” (Reni)
Due to Reni tilting her head, the one-eared rabbitwoman lowered her sight while having a red face.
Zanga laughs with a “hya hya.”
“It looks like she wants to meet with Hifumi-san. Well, well, I thought that he was a handsome man, but he is a smooth operator after all.” (Zanga)
With Zanga laughing while saying “how youthful”, the rabbitwoman ended up curling herself up more and more.
Reni and Helen are dumbfounded as they look at each other faces.
“I will accompany her as well. There’s something I want to ask him once I meet Hifumi-san. He also…” (Puuse)
Urged on by Puuse, Malfas nodded.
“I will go, too. I want to try meeting with that human. Since I heard that he is strong without being prejudiced towards beastmen from the rabbit-oneechan, I’d like him to train me. After all it’s extremely unlikely for me to be able to use magic.” (Malfas)
Seeing Hifumi’s image as spoken of by the rabbitwoman apparently leaking through the words of Malfas, Helen quietly muttered 「Aren’t you glorifying him too much?」.
“I see. That’s somehow nice. What part of Hifumi-san do you like?” (Reni)
Stating her impressions thoughtlessly, Reni wondered I wonder whether it would be fine to help them although I don’t quite understand the feelings of the rabbitwoman to be honest and with Puuse being scared of Hifumi.
Thanks to the barrage of questions from Reni and Zanga cheering her on, the rabbitwoman answers bit-by-bit.
As the side of the female group is getting excited, Malfas encourages himself to go on a trip and leave his younger sister behind.
“Although I hate humans, I won’t be able to win ever if things stay as they are…” (Malfas)
The flame of his desire for revenge has never vanished.
“The enemy has arrived! As planned, we will head this way and only carry out replenishment in Münster. The whole army numbers more than 500!”
The messenger, who brought back Ma Carme’s suggestion to Count Biron, returned to the national border of Horant, where they were encamped, while spurring on his horse.
“Thanks for your hard work of returning to Münster quickly. You will need to take a detour to not clash with the enemy.” (Ma)
“No, I have the duty to make sure of the war progress by staying behind here!”
“That sounds like a lot of work.” (Ma)
Ma Carme told his subordinates to get ready for battle and turned around to the messenger.
“Dismount from the horse from here on out and walk to the rear.” (Ma)
“Walk, you say?”
“There are some petty tricks set up.” (Ma)
“I don’t want to boast, but it’s according to the teachings from our Lord-sama”, Ma Carme cackled and began to help with the installation of the spear throwers together with his men.
“Those are the spear throwers which played a big part in the war with Vichy, aren’t they? I see those for the first time.”
“A big part, eh? In reality that was just Lord-sama rampaging around though.” (Ma)
“However, will it be alright with just 5 of those?”
Ma Carme simply answered to the messenger who can’t hide his anxiety,
“It won’t be alright. 500 people with 5 spear throwers is impossible.” (Ma)
“These are bait. They will be abandoned once they fired some shots.” (Ma)
Once they were able to finish the preparations, each of them takes a break upon Ma Carme’s order.
“Well then, I wonder what I shall do for lunch?” (Ma)
Plumping down at that place, he munched the bread they bought in a city of Horant and drank water from a flask.
Once the messenger surveys the surroundings, there are only those who take their meals in the same manner and those who are boldly having a nap.
The tension of having a life-waging battle from now on can’t be found at all.
“Everyone is very calm.”
The messenger tied the reins to a suitable rock, sat down as well and took a sip from the flask he carried at his waist.
“It’s Lord-sama’ teachings. I don’t understand it properly, but a battle is something like an extension everyday’s life. He says that he eats and sleeps normally and that it’s natural to kill each other in between those.” (Ma)
“His brain is weird”, Ma Carme laughed, finished eating the bread with butter smeared onto it and lied down.
“However, since he is actually surviving by doing that, we have no other choice but to abide to that. It’s the doctrine of the famous Knight of the Slender Sword-sama after all.” (Ma)
“I see… Count Tohno and Fokalore’s soldiers fought for the sake of the country like that.”
“Ah, that’s wrong.” (Ma)
Scratching his belly, Ma Carme shifted his attention to the sitting messenger while laughing frivolously.
“Lord-sama hates “to fight for someone.” Let me see, what did he say?” (Ma)
Ma Carme looked up to the sky.
A few clouds have appeared, but sunlight to the degree of it being hot properly reaches the surface.
“Ah that’s it. It’s a story about whether a fellow, who dies after risking his life for the sake of people, is happy.” (Ma)
“Is it hard to understand? I’m bad at such explanations. In other words, it’s a story about whether the fellow, whom you protected, will be happy with you dying after you having fought for the sake of someone with your life on the line.” (Ma)
The messenger folded his arms and pondered about Ma Carme words.
“But it’s our job to fight to protect someone. However, certainly, if I consider the possibility of someone dying for my sake…”
“Well, I don’t know the true answer either.” (Ma)
Ma Carme, who turned his face sideways, concluded with self-effacement.
“I thought “Indeed.” If I have to fight anyway, it’s always more sound to fight for my own goals.” (Ma)
“Well then, for what reason are you fighting?”
“I have decided. It’s in order to receive praise from Director Alyssa.” (Ma)
Ma Carme pressed his ear against the ground and closed his eyes.
“They are here.” (Ma)
When Ma Carme shouted so after standing up, the carefree mood became immediately strained.
“The sounds of hooves are approaching. A lot of them.” (Ma)
The messenger gulped down the biggest spit up to date.
“Isn’t it also fine to wait a bit longer?” (Alyssa)
“Well, it doesn’t really matter, right?” (Hifumi)
In a manner of not particularly caring about it while also restraining Alyssa to stay low-key, Hifumi tosses his change of clothes and spare weapon in the darkness storage and goes ahead with his preparations to leave on a journey.
“But don’t you think that Origa-san wants to see you, Hifumi-san?” (Alyssa)
“Please tell her to wait here. I will just head to a short distance away.” (Hifumi)
“… Got it. I will wait here as well.” (Alyssa)
“I see.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who took his breakfast together with Alyssa in his room, suddenly stated 「I will go visit the human-shaped monster」 once he finished eating and Alyssa, who though won’t Origa break rather than feeling sad?’tried to stop him, but to no avail.
“It’s impossible for me to stay still even though it’s clear that there’s prey”, was just as expected of Hifumi.
“I thought about it all night, but that’s the knight, who was at the castle, after all. Though I don’t understand how he ended up becoming like that.” (Alyssa)
Alyssa’s body was still not at normal condition.
She didn’t tell anyone, but she became a bit scared of fighting.
Once she noticed, the time for training has decreased and the time spent together with Hifumi has increased.
She feels a bit relieved if she’s together with him.
“However, it looked like he didn’t know about me. He might just not remember me, but it was like words weren’t getting through to him.” (Alyssa)
Finishing his usual preparations, Hifumi brews the fake-coffee, he secretly brought back from the city of demons and drinks it.
“I see. It’s a fellow at the level of toying around with you, Alyssa. If he were to be sane, it would be a lot more fun, but… it’s better than a stupid war, isn’t it?” (Hifumi)
While cutely cramming salad in her mouth, Alyssa thought about his question.
“Huh? If it’s you, I wondered whether you would choose war, where there are many to kill, Hifumi-san.” (Alyssa)
“Killing a large amount of people is nice, too. But, to my regret, the opponents would be regular soldiers. If beastmen or demons come attacking all at once, I will still be able to enjoy it though.” (Hifumi)
While enjoying the aroma of the fake-coffee, Hifumi shook his head while looking disappointed.
“What’s that drink?” (Alyssa)
“It’s something like coffee.” (Hifumi)
“Please let me take sip…. ueeh.” (Alyssa)
Due to Alyssa grimacing due to the bitter taste just as she tasted it from Hifumi’s cup, Hifumi took out something from his darkness storage as he had apparently recalled something.
“You forgot this.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi tossed the wakizashi, he took out with a smooth motion, to Alyssa.
“Ah, my wakizashi.” (Alyssa)
The wakizashi, which hit the chest area of her thin pajama with a *pon*, was repaired with beautiful workmanship.
It’s the painstaking piece of work of Pruflas who stuck with it until the end while getting irritated by the minute demands of Hifumi.
“If the weapon becomes useless, it will be difficult to kill people. Maintain it by yourself from now on.” (Hifumi)
“Ah… yea!” (Alyssa)
Alyssa, who tightly hugged the wakizashi with both hands, decided to do her training over properly during Hifumi’s absence.
“Well then, I leave things to you during my absence.” (Hifumi)
“Yea. Take care!” (Alyssa)
Realizing that the role of greeting Origa was discreetly forced upon her 15 minutes later, Alyssa became truly troubled whether she should disappear for a while.