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The revenge match silently opens its curtains.
The number of soldiers from Fokalore who invaded Horant together with Alyssa is 11. They split up in groups of two with Alyssa and the rest in 3 men cells and are going to carry out infiltration and subversive activities.
They climb the wall on the side of the fortress on Orsongrande’s side using a rope with the help of their colleagues. Alyssa, who discovered the cut end of the ropes, which suspended the corpses of Ma Calme and the others, and the shuriken, which severed those very ropes, sticking in the wall, pulled out five shuriken from the wall after pondering for a bit and put them into her pocket.
“From here on we will act separately.” (Alyssa)
“As you command. Good fortunes of war.”
Upon Alyssa’s signal, the soldiers soundlessly drop ropes from the fortress and climb down.
From the small sounds audible at times, one can approximately realize about them skilfully killing the patrols from Horant’s side.
Once Alyssa confirmed the bottom of the fortress, she jumped down speedily and without delay.
She lands while rolling over nimbly on the ground, where grass was growing, carries the rucksack, she was holding in her hands, on her back and swiftly draws the wakizashi.
Her accompanying soldiers moved in the same way. Each of them held tools for committing arson.
Once Alyssa checked the surroundings, she saw two of Horant’s soldiers, who were apparently dealt with by the soldiers who descended first, having collapsed nearby. Except those, there’s no enemy presence in the vicinity.
Alyssa, who concluded that the soldiers, who went first, were already heading towards their target locations which were set during the day, searches for the building they are in charge of.
They head towards the target building while moving quietly.
They don’t turn on a light. While making sure to not get lost by staying in touch with each other, they walk while relying on just the moonlight.
“…We are here.” (Alyssa)
What was in front of Alyssa’s eyes was a large building appearing to have four stories which had an imposing presence within the darkness of the night.
The seemingly hastily made windows had a slightly simple form, but apart from the door for people coming and going normally, there was a huge gate which had a height of several meters.
Being bothered by the large front gate, that released a strange aura, and the size of this building, she secretly observed from atop the fortress’ rooftop during the day, Alyssa believed that something important… or rather, Horant’s giant soldiers themselves or something related to them was hidden in this place.
If there were still giant soldiers, she wanted to dispose of them with a surprise attack. It would be great if there are some documents which reveal some kind of weak point, Alyssa hopes.
Two soldiers of Horant, who are holding lights which seem to be magic tools, are walking side-by-side on the outer circumference of the building.
“I will get rid of them.” (Alyssa)
Alyssa, who went ahead swiftly without waiting for a reply, closed in from behind the soldiers and stabbed the wakizashi, she held in her right hand, into the nape of the neck of one soldier from behind while blocking the mouth of the other one with her left hand.
Once the soldier dropped the light, he held, while being confused due to suddenly having his mouth blocked, he had his throat cut open while screaming soundlessly as he realizes his colleague collapsing while shedding blood.
Imitating Hifumi, Alyssa wiped her wakizashi with a paper and picked up the fallen magic tool. As she looked around for a little while, she handed the magic tool over to a colleague who came as support.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know how to turn it off.” (Alyssa)
The soldier, who was suddenly given the magic tool, turned around the illuminated tool, but since he didn’t find the place of the switch in the end, he decided to swiftly cover it up.
Once they confirmed that no light was leaking out after covering it with soil, Alyssa’s group breathed a small sigh.
Circling the building and finding a window that looks like it allows entering, she hooks the wakizashi into it and opens it slowly.
The inside was pitch dark, but Alyssa and the other two, who judged that there are no people inside, entered the building one after the other while watching the surroundings.
Alyssa didn’t notice it at all, however Hifumi overlooked their movements up to there from the rooftop of the barracks which were next to that building.
“Well, it might be a valid decision.” (Hifumi)
At the point in time he confirmed Alyssa’s figure, he had killed all of the soldiers of Horant who had come to the barracks’ rooftop.
There’s also a group responsible for the barracks among the infiltration unit from Fokalore, but as they just trespassed from the first floor, they are apparently moving while investigating the interior and are very unlikely to reach the rooftop for much more time to come.
“Well then, shall I try to observe them properly as their guardian?” (Hifumi)
Heading to the edge of the building, he runs fiercely towards the building Alyssa invaded.
The distance to his target is around 10 meters. It’s further away than the world record. The distance for the approach run is short as well.
Stepping down on the rim of the rooftop, he jumps up while cutting through the wind.
The chilly air of the night hits his face.
The hakama made a fluttering sound, got filled with air and served as break.
Outside his assumption, Hifumi, who suddenly lost momentum unable to gain distance, takes out the kusarigama and throws the side with the sickle.
With a dry sound the sickle stabs onto the target rooftop. While grasping the chain, he kills the sound by pressing his feet against the wall part of the third floor.
“Phew… that was a bit unreasonable, huh?” (Hifumi)
Scaling the chain, he heads towards the rooftop.
“The boredom of simply waiting…” (Hifumi)
Hifumi was pondering while folding his arms, but before long he descended to the third floor leisurely while while being unarmed.
Imeraria, who temporarily returned to Münster from the location where they set up the defence encampment, immersed herself in her thoughts while secluding herself in the room prepared by Earl Biron even after she finished dinner.
“A failure is a failure. I will reflect on it, but there won’t be any progress even if I drag it out forever.” (Imeraria)
A pen stained with ink is made to travel across a paper casually
“Defense”, “Night Attack”, “Rescue Failure” and “Giant Enemy.”
Once she sorted it out, they were even able to recover the area around the border, which was lost temporarily, without having large losses except the soldiers, who served as border security, and the instruction unit from Fokalore.
If it proceeds as planned, Alyssa’s group has infiltrated Horant around this time and they have probably started to work on their subversive activities and investigation.
Once she considers it like this, a faint impatience is born within Imeraria.
“Even I, even I…” (Imeraria)
After murmuring that, she recovers her serenity once she takes a deep breath.
“Reflection”, “Horant”, “Nelgal” and “Ceasefire.”
While recalling the long, gloomy sermon, she continues to write down words attentively.
“Possible things” and “Impossible things.”
“I don’t seem to have the ability to depart for battle…” (Imeraria)
She already has no choice but to acknowledge that.
Regarding the defence, it was a success and safe with Sabnak’s leadership. I wasn’t able to find a place where I could play an active role at the battle in the morning.
“Things I’m capable of, things I’m capable of…” (Imeraria)
I haven’t forgotten my duty as queen. It’s wrong if I don’t make sure to not neglect other things by single-mindedly concentrating on just Horant.
However, if I just end up leaving the conclusion with Horant here to Alyssa and Hifumi, it will likely become more and more impossible for Horant and Vichy to escape being influenced by Fokalore’s territory.
“But, when it comes to settling a battle, military force becomes indispensable.” (Imeraria)
At the present there is Orsongrande’s royal army led by Sabnak and the feudal army of Earl Biron who is cooperating with us.
However, if one considers the matter of directly taking an aggressive stance against a whole country, that’s insufficient. Practically spoken in regards to the battle, Horant’s side will be declared the winner if they end up overtaking Fokalore’s territorial soldiers, Imeraria grasped.
“Decisive battle, conclusion, negotiations, ceasefire…” (Imeraria)
“Seeing that there’s no deciding war potential, we are compelled to rely on Hifumi for the sake of a ceasefire, I guess?” While writing down the words she leaked with her voice, she suddenly realized a sense of discomfort.
There’s a X between “Decisive battle” and “Conclusion.”
Imeraria, who gently returned the pen to its holder, stares fixedly at the X mark with her blue eyes.
“Things I can do… if it’s this!” (Imeraria)
As Imeraria stood up with a force about to knock over the chair and once she called out whether there’s anyone around, the door opened quietly.
“You have called, Your Majesty?” (Shibyura)
“… Shibyura-san, you were still here…?” (Imeraria)
Watching Shibyura curtsying while respectfully pinching the skirt of her servant’s attire, Imeraria once again weakly slumped down on the chair.
“Since one of the servants, who joined the campaign, developed a fever, I have offered my help.” (Shibyura)
Imeraria, who considered that she’s probably trustable if you put aside her character even while being half in doubt of the details Shibyura told nonchalantly, smoothly filled out a paper at hand, signed it, applied sealing wax and pressed the ring, she took off, onto the wax.
“Please deliver this to Vaiya-san in the capital. As fast as possible.” (Imeraria)
Shibyura, who received the letter held out by Imeraria, carefully wrapped it with a handkerchief and gently held it at her chest.
“As you wish. I shall deliver it by myself. There’s just now a carriage available. They were able to rest plentifully.” (Shibyura)
“Isn’t it alright if you entrust it to some knight?” (Imeraria)
“No”, Shibyura shakes her head.
“It’s something with content that was able to remove Your Majesty’s distress. This much is no trouble at all.” (Shibyura)
Imeraria had a cramped expression in contrast to Shibyura who was smiling sweetly.
“Why… do you know that I was troubled?” (Imeraria)
“Since a mere hour ago I took a little rest by leaning on the door of this room due to feeling slightly dizzy. Because I accidentally pressed an ear against the door, I ended up listening to Your Majesty’s talk once I heard Your Majesty’s monologue.” (Shibyura)
Due to Shibyura talking without being shy while only averting her gaze to the side, Imeraria didn’t have the spare energy to get angry anymore either.
“It’s already fine, thus I request it of you sincerely.” (Imeraria)
“Please leave it to me while being at ease.” (Shibyura)
Once Shibyura, who bowed in an exaggerated manner, left, Imeraria, who thought about the countermeasure of stretching her shoulders and elbows until some time ago, felt fatigue suddenly descending upon her and went to bed after changing her clothes quickly.
Once they proceed into the city through the entrance of the capital on the carriage which finished the formalities, the street continues as if breaking through towards the royal castle as the most flourishing street.
Watching the street where buildings, with three and four stories, made out of stone are put together in a row and where multicoloured goods are lined up at various stores, Puuse unintentionally raised her voice.
“This place is Orsongrande’s capital city. It hasn’t an especially set name. It seems only this city used to be called Orsongrande originally.” (Paryu)
While the beastmen were intently listening to Paryu, who was sorting the documents inside the carriage, explaining, they looked like they had very deep interest in the things being sold along the road, especially the food.
“So, where are we heading to?”
“First we shall visit the royal castle. There isn’t a rule, which was especially decided by Lord-sama, for places to stay at. There are cases where he stays in the castle and he also stays at down-town inns whimsically…” (Paryu)
“Paryu, I think that he is the most difficult to contact among the nobles”, once laughing feebly, Viine smiled while agreeing as well. Even in the slums it was apparently difficult for her to create an opportunity to see his face readily even if she wanted to meet him as his sleeping hours were scattered and he often wasn’t in his bed.
“However, there will be a ruler if we go to the castle, right? Will we be allowed to enter such place?”
“I wonder. Won’t we at least get a hint where Lord-sama might be? Which reminds me, I also happened to lodge in the royal castle… I did nothing but studying though.” (Paryu)
“The castle, is that?” (Malfas)
What Malfas pointed at ahead was definitely the royal castle Orsongrande was proud of.
The royal castle, where countless spires tower, was visible in the direction of their travel with its impressive presence.
“Yes, that’s it.” (Paryu)
“Haa~… this is amazing. It’s the first I have seen such huge building.” (Malfas)
Gengu shakes his head with an “uh huh” while licking his nose with his tongue.
Before long the carriage finally arrives in front of the royal castle.
A soldier, who boarded a platform wagon as guard, has come following as well. Smoothly conveying the story of Paryu being a civil official of Tohno Earldom, there were some among the knights, who were on duty, who remembered Paryu’s face and saw to it that the formalities went ahead without delay.
“In that case it’s a story from Earl Tohno’s place”, Midas, who was called in, said.
Finishing the Nelgal escort mission, Midas, who spent time with his family during a two-days holiday, was at his wit’s end with a gloomy feeling while thinking this the day after a holiday?
No matter how much they are friends of Hifumi, who is popular amongst the populace, it will likely be complicated to have a normally operating inn in the city take them in, Midas judged.
While complaining in his heart that it would be fine if they place them in a mansion they maintain in the capital, he judges that it won’t be good for them to stand out, accepts them into the royal castle for the moment and decides to consult with the prime minister.
While watching the beastmen who walk while looking around restlessly indoors as they aren’t used to stuff like a ceiling, which had minute carvings added, and a floor which was completely polished, Paryu remembered that she had such emotions as well at the time she was brought along as slave. She can’t remember how it was for Caim, but she believes that it was the same for everyone else.
“Midas-sama, where’s Earl Tohno-sama currently?” (Paryu)
“… Soldiers were dispatched from Fokalore towards Horant, weren’t they? Following them, or rather going ahead, or rather… well, there’s no doubt that he headed towards Horant.” (Midas)
“Horant you say, where is that?” (Gengu)
Due to Gengu addressing him while stretching his neck with a jerk, Midas flinched for an instant, but glossed it over by clearing his throat.
“How to explain it? Let’s see… it’s a different country which is located on the opposite side with approximately the same ((distance)) from Fokalore to here.” (Midas)
“Hahaa~. Hifumi-san has gone on a trip to such distant place.” (Gengu)
“Then, then if we go until there, I will be able to meet master?” (Viine)
With Viine bending herself forward this time, Midas searched for assistance with a look towards Paryu.
“It’s Earl Tohno. It looks like he made friends and “purchased” the girls in a human city located on the other side of the wastelands, apparently he did various things there…” (Paryu)
“Ah, I see…” (Midas)
If I probe further, it will just get long, I guess, thinking that, Midas shakes his head towards Viine.
“Though it might be so, currently it’s dangerous there. Therefore, ((stay)) obediently in the castle…” (Midas)
Midas manoeuvred so that they wouldn’t cause trouble as much as possible, but that ended in vain when a single knight came calling out to them.
“Yoo, isn’t that Paryu-san? It’s been a while!” (Vaiya)
“Vaiya-san, are you doing well?” (Paryu)
“Yes, thanks to you. Thank you very much for letting me learn various things in Fokalore! Your companions are… this is amazing, they are beastmen…? By chance, is this person an elf!? As usual, you can find anything in Fokalore!” (Vaiya)
Due to Vaiya talking happily, his acquaintance, Paryu, gets excited chatting about various things as well. Having talked several times during Vaiya’s stay in Fokalore, he received lectures regarding the population management such as family registers together with his wife Phyrinion.
“So, for you to deliberately show up at the royal castle means that something happened?” (Vaiya)
“These people harbour the wish of wanting to meet with Lord-sama… Earl Tohno-sama.” (Paryu)
“If it’s that, you are just right! We planned to depart in the direction of Horant from this time forward. This time it’s a corps of 1000 soldiers, thus there’s no problem even if it’s increased by several people.” (Vaiya)
Once Vaiya promised that without due consideration, the beastmen looked at each other delightfully. They are approaching Hifumi’s location with large strides.
The one who was flustered by that was Midas.
Once they take some distance after Midas pulls Vaiya’s arm, he lowers his voice so that it’s not audible.
“W-What’s wrong, Midas-san?” (Vaiya)
“Why is there a need for you to go to Horant? Moreover while taking along 1000 soldiers.” (Midas)
“It’s an order by Her Majesty. Come to Münster while bringing along Nelgal-sama after bolstering the numbers urgently, she said.” (Vaiya)
Midas, who opened his eyes widely and was dumbfounded for a while, asks after recovering his mind,
“Wait, wait, Fokalore’s feudal army and Biron’s feudal army are there as well, aren’t they? Why is it necessary to reinforce them?” (Midas)
“I don’t know. That much wasn’t mentioned in Her Majesty’s decree. Besides, since the decree was an important document to the extent of it being personally kept by Captain Sabnak’s wife, even I have no leeway to harbour doubts.” (Vaiya)
Vaiya decided to conceal the matter of the letter from Nelgal being extorted by Shibyura on behalf of his honour.
“Guh guh… got it. That way it might be even easier than me ((going there)). It will be better if they accomplished their objective once they went to meet with Earl Tohno. Vaiya, may I leave it to you?” (Midas)
“Acknowledged. Also, there’s a request from me as well…” (Vaiya)
“I have a bad premonition. Oy…” (Midas)
Once Vaiya shook Midas’ hand after forcibly grasping it, he bowed very deeply.
“Since everyone below vice-captain of the royal guards will be absent with this time’s dispatch, I leave the command inside the castle to you.” (Vaiya)
“Please pardon me from that…” (Midas)
Once the dispute with Horant ends, I will apply for a long vacation and go out to play while taking along the children, Midas firmly vowed.