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The soldiers of Orsongrande, who were guided by Fokalore’s soldiers, ended up scaling the castle’s walls and tasted now the hell of getting down. Since Horant’s soldiers have rushed into the first floor, they are directly invading the second floor.
For the soldiers of Fokalore, who repeatedly practised storming in with a feeling of an athletic event, climbing up to the second floor is a peace of cake.
Climbing while relying on the few protuberances, the soldier, who is the vanguard, sneaks a view from a window.
His eyes met with the ones of a patrolling soldier from Kuzemu’s camp who is on the other side of the window in a corridor on the second floor.
The soldier from Fokalore, who propped up his body with both his hands, is unable to correspond right away and the soldier of Horant turns his back and runs away.
“We were discovered. Storm in immediately since he ran away.”
While saying that, he leaps inside from the window.
Creating a space for his colleagues, the Fokalore soldier, who stood while making sure to cling to the corner of the corridor, swiftly checks the structure.
“Offices are lined up in the corridor, a stairway in the centre… the structure is as we were taught.”
From the stairs in the middle there are doors of rooms, which are used by high-ranking civil officials who possess an own office in the castle, lining up side-by-side in the long, spacious corridor. On the other side of the stairway there are large room for the sake of meetings and such lined up.
“There’s no one here, huh?”
While waiting for his fellow soldiers of Fokalore jumping into the corridor one after the other, he cautiously watched out, but it didn’t seem like anyone would come.
From the vicinity of the stairway, likely from below, the screams of many humans can be heard.
“How does it look?”
“Somehow, going by the smell… it seems to be a tough battle on the first floor. The second floor is… they came!”
Groups of soldiers from Horant are appearing from one of the doors that’s beyond the stairway. Each of them holds something like a bucket in their hands and the way of them coming out leisurely gives it all an eerie feeling.
“What are those?”
As the soldier of Fokalore observes the spectacle in front of him while being bewildered, the soldiers of Horant swing the buckets in their hands and plaster the corridor with a liquid.
The large quantity of liquid, which was distributed in succession, streamed down the corridor while creating a wave in the blink of an eye and flowed up to the feet of the soldiers from Fokalore.
Once each of them took shelter on top of an opened door or a window frame, one of the soldiers of Horant, who watched as the fluid spread out, shouts loudly while looking at a scrap of paper,
“Ah. We are the guards who protect this castle. As our position as guards requires, we have to remove trespassers. For that reason, allow us to hinder you.”
Finishing to read the memo, the soldier of Horant folded it carefully. Stepping without hesitation on the floor, where the liquid has spread out, with a crunching sound with his feet being wrapped in something, he stands still while looking satisfied, but doesn’t do anything beyond that.
Due to the Fokalore soldier who calls out to him reflexively, the soldier of Horant nods while keeping his daunting pose.
“That’s all. It’s fine for you to keep clinging like small insects, but if you bastards have any pride as soldiers, you may come at us.”
“What was that!?”
One of Fokalore’s soldiers is enraged, but got stopped by his friends in the vicinity. Being surrounded by a liquid of unknown identity, they judged that it would be best to not move.
However, they were taught the answer by Horant’s side.
Once a large amount of the fluid streams down to the first floor, panicked voices are audible.
“Wai-, the oil has spread until here!?”
“Ah, I have forgotten about the anti-skid measurements… aah!”
There are sounds of screams alongside someone tumbling down from the vicinity of the stairway.
Once the soldier of Fokalore looked at the soldier of Horant who had read out the declaration previously, the other party turned away their look.
“… E-Even if you knew that it was oil, there’s no way to deal with it.”
Watching the soldier of Horant who pretends to be tough while blushing, the soldiers of Fokalore exchanged glances with each other.
“There’s no other option but to do it. Any source of ignition is banned, even sparks will be dreadful. Blades are prohibited. Let’s give them a beating.”
Descending to the floor with a sound of *splash*, all of them fell over.
The soldier of Fokalore, who were in a fit of anger at the soldiers of Horant who burst into laughter, attack Horant’s soldiers while falling and stumbling. An extremely gruesome fist fight begins.
Even the soldiers of Horant who covered their feet with a dried, thorny weed as unique anti-skid measure of this country, are thrown into the same conditions once the thorns end up crushed underfoot by them moving around.
Among them there were also some who tumbled down to the first floor with its rotten smell drifting about while struggling with one another.
“… There was plenty of oil spread on the stairway leading to the third floor as well. We will stop you lot here.”
A soldier of Fokalore returns a sneer to the soldier of Horant who grins broadly in the middle of showing and pushing.
“Our objective ain’t breaking through.”
While driving a palm heel into his chin, the soldier of Fokalore laughs while falling over due to the oil.
“If we continue to compete like this, the mission is a success, I guess? We will leave the rest to the director.”
“… It’s noisy below, isn’t it?” (Origa)
In one office intended for high-ranking civil officials on the third floor, Origa, who sieved through the documents in Kuzemu’s room, mutters.
Rummaging through documents in the same room, Viine turned around to Origa while making her one ear move with a twitch.
“The uproar on the first and second floor… it looks like there are many screams on the first floor, however it seems there’s plenty of people there. Doesn’t it look like they have invaded from outside?” (Viine)
Origa lowered her sight on the documents with a serious look as Viine expresses her uneasiness with “Then it would be best if we escaped.”
“It’s unnecessary to worry. The ones who are attacking are the soldiers of Horant and Orsongrande. Even if they came attacking us as a joke, they won’t pass through the mob. Rather than that, did you find anything?” (Origa)
The reason for them being here was to learn of Kuzemu’s objective. Making the risky large soldiers move, namely the giant soldiers and the immortal soldiers, should have had an according reason, is what Hifumi thinks and had Origa take over as his own assistant. Viine was dragged into that.
“I still haven’t got used to reading the characters… ah.” (Viine)
Viine put one document, which was placed on a shelf, in front of Origa.
“This, it’s a report from someone, isn’t it? “The magic tool to create immortal soldiers was handed over to a messenger of Pearsan which went independent from Vichy” is written there.” (Origa)
Dropping her line of sight on the document which was presented to her, Origa squinted.
“Pearsan… that’s the city-state which went independent with the intention to get close to Hifumi-sama. Them having a connection with Horant… oh.” (Viine)
Sensing that the air around Origa has become freezing, Viine steps back.
A laughter like a breath leaking out.
“Ufu, ufufufu….” (Origa)
“You did well to find this. With this I will be able to offer a new enemy to Hifumi-sama. And a new battlefield will be born.” (Origa)
“I will confiscate this document”, Origa put it into her pocket after folding it three times and then started to walk towards the hallway with Viine in tow while leaving the unfolded documents as is.
“… Something stinks.” (Viine)
Origa couldn’t sense any more than a faint whiff of it, but Viine’s nose is better than the one of humans. She held down her nose with teary eyes.
“It looks like it has risen up from below.” (Origa)
“Let’s go to the top quickly then. We have to inform Hifumi-sama.” (Viine)
Viine, who still pinches her nose, follows Origa who walks with her head held high while a sound of *clonk *clonk* resounds from the shoe soles of her boots.
She seemed to completely fit the image of a new OL hire accompanying her career woman superior. Viine paid fleeting attention at Origa who walks without any hesitation.
“You have your physical ability as beastman and can also use magic… it seems that you will be able able to fight accordingly, however I’m still uneasy about you following Hifumi-sama beyond this point. Since there has been a plan established, it might be best if you train once we return to Fokalore. … You are.” (Origa)
Starting to say it, she hesitated a bit.
Origa made a short pause and then turned around to Viine behind her.
“Watching Hifumi-sama fight, seeing him giving an ordeal to his allies, are you still able to declare that you like Hifumi-sama?” (Origa)
Due to the sudden question, Viine was confused and her ear stood up tensely.
She didn’t comprehend Origa’s intention, but it didn’t change her answer.
“Of course. The affection, which I experienced at the time of being bestowed the beauty of survival, is the level of master’s charm… no, even if master turns all beastmen into his enemy for example, I won’t disappear from his side.” (Viine)
Hearing Viine’s reply, Origa turned around and started to walk while facing downwards.
“If that’s how it is, you might be able to even endure relentless training. I will teach you the things I was taught by Hifumi-sama.” (Origa)
“T-Thank you very much!” (Viine)
Due to Viine thanking her while being all smiles, Origa says 「However」 without ceasing to walk.
“I should make one correction. Hifumi-sama’s charm lies in the aspect of him laughing while making enemies out of not only the beastmen but also humans, demons and all living creatures including monsters.” (Origa)
When Viine didn’t mutter even a single word as she didn’t know how it would be best to answer, Origa continued with a gentle tone.
“There’s no need to worry. If you serve close to Hifumi-sama, you will understand it before long.” (Origa)
Climbing a stairway, she pushes open the especially massive door of the fourth floor.
There’s the room for the king. Different from the audience hall, where Hifumi fought with the crown prince, located on the first floor, it isn’t that spacious. However, with magnificent furnishings lining up, the throne, which was installed inside, was a work of art that applied a yet different design from the one in the audience hall.
And, currently Hifumi was sitting on it.
“I wonder why the back of the king’s chair is vertical. One won’t calm down on it.” (Hifumi)
Ignoring Gaap, who has a pale face while asking 「I wonder if that’s alright?」 from the side, Origa directly approaches Hifumi, who is trying to search for the most comfortable seating posture, and kneels.
Once Viine tried to imitate her in a hurry, Hifumi made her stop by waving his hand.
“Stop, stop. I don’t want to play being a king or such. If you have some business, talk to me while properly looking at me.” (Hifumi)
“Excuse me.” (Origa)
Slipping out a chuckle, Origa got even closer to Hifumi, took out the previous document from her pocket and explained its contents.
Hearing her talk, Hifumi grabs the katana, which was placed next to him, and stands up all of a sudden.
“The next battlefield is over there, huh? Good grief, that’s terrible.” (Hifumi)
Even while saying so, only a smile is showing on his face.
Affixing the katana to his waist, Hifumi fluently wrote down something on two sheets of parchments which he took out from his storage and asks Origa as well as Viine,
“After returning to Fokalore once, I will go to Vichy from there. What will you two do?” (Hifumi)
Carefree words as if he is inviting them on a walk.
Origa smiles gently.
“Of course we will follow you. We will be able to leave immediately since the food has been prepared to be taken out. We will even make a bento. I will prepare it together with Viine.” (Origa)
“I see. That will be great.” (Hifumi)
With a backward glance towards Gaap who is perplexed due to being forced to take the papers and being told that the rest is left to him, the three left the room while chatting about hot springs and local specialities in the cities along the way.
“Very soon, the exit.” (Nelgal)
Nelgal fills his voice while it’s intermingled with his rough breathing.
Imeraria runs up the stairs in a line.
The hidden escape path changed into stairs once they entered the castle’s grounds and rose towards the castle’s back.
“How many floors will we ascend?” (Alyssa)
While checking the height from a small window with the task of providing skylight, Alyssa asks Nelgal. Only her breathing rate hasn’t increased much.
The soldiers of Horant turned their looks at her as if seeing something they can’t believe, but once their eyes met with the ones of Alyssa, they hurriedly averted theirs. For them, who also saw the battle with the immortal soldiers, Alyssa isn’t a little girl anymore but a target of fright.
“It’s, the fourth floor. The pathway, is connected, to behind the, throne, there.” (Nelgal)
“Hmm. Then it’s close.” (Alyssa)
In contrast, the one who has the least leeway is Imeraria.
Even Sabnak, who practised as knight more or less, breathed heavily while cursing the weight of his armour, but even though his breathing was painful, it was still better than the queen’s.
Vaiya, who has a lot jobs on-site, has even more surplus than Sabnak.
No one tried to call out to Imeraria who made her feet move by sheer will power while having her eyes widely open.
When they arrived at their destination was the time when all soldiers of Horant, who stormed the first floor, had fainted and when more than half the number of the soldiers of Fokalore and Horant, who fought on the second floor, couldn’t move anymore due to fatigue.
By the way, of the soldiers of Orsongrande, who did their best to invade the second floor, only five people joined the battle after climbing the wall. The rest is groaning due to injuries they suffered at the time of dropping down.
“Zeha… ze, zee, ze!” (Imeraia)
Imeraria, who entered the vast room from the narrow pathway, turned her sight towards Nelgal as she eagerly absorbed oxygen while holding her heart which is pounding to an extent she has never experienced.
“Haa, haa… this, place is, our destination.” (Nelgal)
The instant Imeraria sank down to the floor after hearing those words, Alyssa goes in front as if repelling something.
“Who are you?” (Alyssa)
Having a wakizashi pressed at his throat, the one who screamed was Gaap.
After Hifumi left, he stayed dumbfoundedly in the room without doing anything, but due to being surprised by the suddenly appearance of Nelgal, he was caught by Alyssa.
“A-Aren’t you Gaap-san?” (Nelgal)
“Your Majesty…” (Gaap)
“I will listen to your story later. Currently there’s something I should do first.” (Nelgal)
Without paying attention to the frightened Gaap, Nelgal pushed the wall next to the escape route behind the throne.
A part of the wall shifts with a lighter sound of sliding than assumable by its appearance and a small metal door gets exposed.
“Your Highness, Imeraria, we will perform the coronation from now on. Please act as witness.” (Nelgal)
“Pheew~… Yes, of course I don’t mind.” (Imeraria)
“Thank you very much.” (Nelgal)
Once Nelgal pushes his ring against a small cavity which is located on the door, the door opens just a bit with a small sound.
Being opened slowly, there’s a crown with gorgeous jewels embedded, a golden craftsmanship that represented a dagger in the centre and with a large diamond inserted.
“This is this country’s crown.” (Nelgal)
Having passed the crown into Imeraria’s hands. Nelgal kneels in front of her.
“If you can approve of me as king who will govern Horant, bestow that crown upon me. If that’s not the case…” (Nelgal)
“Anything further is not necessary.” (Imeraria)
Imeraria moves the crown with its heavy sense of dignity above the head of Nelgal with her slender arms.
“Become a good king. A splendid king who rises according to the faith of his people.” (Imeraria)
“I swear. It’s all for the sake of supporting their lives by protecting my people.” (Nelgal)
Sitting down on the throne, the soldiers of Horant, who followed him as guards, were at the ready on both his sides.
Imeraria, Sabnak and Vaiya stand while avoiding being in front of Nelgal.
Before Nelgal, who became king, Gaap kneels while having the wakizashi thrust at him by Alyssa.
“Well then, let’s hear your story, Gaap?” (Nelgal)
The two sheets of paper, which were entrusted to Gaap, were respectively addressed to Imeraria and Nelgal.
“Good grief… for my first decree after the enthronement to be cleaning…” (Nelgal)
Finishing to read the paper which explained the details of the traps and told him “Do your best at cleaning up,” Nelgal showed a bitter smile. Nelgal, who heard even from Gaap that it was something like an experiment and at the same time training with the battle in general being gentle, maintained his posture by spurring on his body which suffered from exhaustion.
Sentencing a penitence for Gaap and ordering a stop of all combat to the soldiers within the castle, he calls back the servants who were evacuated. And their work starts from cleaning the castle’s interior of the oil and the rotten smell.
“Well, if I consider that we were able to raise the level of the guards due to being able to practise, it might also be less objectionable. We were also able to punish a treacherous subject. Rather than me…” (Nelgal)
Once he looks to the side of the room, there’s the unconscious Imeraria who is carried by Sabnak.
Imeraria, who looked on the paper that had only written “A prize for doing your best” and “I’m off to Vichy,” collapsed unexpectedly as if her soul had been sucked out.
“Umm, Your Majesty, King Nelgal, I’m terribly sorry, but since there are circumstances I have to attend to…” (Vaiya)
Once being called out by Vaiya apologetically, Nelgal answered with a stiff smile.
“I shall prepare a room inside the castle… no, in a close-by inn. Once Her Majesty Imeraria awakens, I’d like to have the privilege of having a talk with her once, but for now let her please rest comfortably. I will also arrange for a location for your nation’s soldiers to lodge.” (Nelgal)
“That’s a very kind offer. I will definitely inform Queen Imeraria about it.” (Vaiya)
Nelgal, who saw off Sabnak’s group, including Alyssa, leaving the room, exhaled while saying “Soon I will hit my limit.”
“The next is Vichy? That’s far, but even if I won’t get dragged into it, it’s not limited to that. If I don’t make arrangements… at any rate, it’s too vertical as back of a chair, this.” (Nelgal)
Nelgal had no self-awareness while starting to escape reality in his thoughts with if it’s possible to set it down to the back a bit, it will be even more comfortable.