On the other side of Münster’s gate facing towards Horant’s side, the sounds of battle are still reverberating.
With nothing but the allies’s voices being audible, you might think they are superior if you only listen to the high-spirited voices, but the enemies, not feeling any fear, don’t raise their voices even if they are chopped up.
If you go by the numbers, the allies are fewer. Sometimes screams, doubtlessly belonging to their own troops, can be heard as well.
“Shit, as it is now…” (Stiffels)
Stiffels, thinking that they should have successfully surrounded them, was grinding his teeth as it took longer than he expected. Was the number of people doing the encirclement lacking? Or did he misread the enemy’s combat prowess?
“It can’t be helped. We will support them!” (Stiffels)
“B-But captain, if they surge into the city, it will become a chaotic battle!” (Knight)
Stiffels glared at the objecting knight.
“Affix a rope to the gate! Make sure to open it so that only one person fits through! Those entangled by the rope and those who got through will be stabbed to death with spears in turns!” (Stiffels)
While getting irritated at the knights, who began to move as they were ordered, Stiffels grasped his spear. The way of the sword is his forte, but the spear is better if you want to simultaneously attack several people from a distance.
Before long the preparations have been completed. A single knight slowly removes the secured bolt.
Stiffels stands at a place a little bit away from the aperture in the front. He is prepared to thrust out the spear at any time.
With only opening the crack a tiny bit, he can hear the leaking mania on the other side of the gate. The thick, pungent stench of blood drifts to him.
“Open it more! Everybody, match your breaths and attack!” (Stiffels)
Obeying the order, they confront the approaching enemies. It’s the figures of Horant’s soldiers beating on the door while being expressionless.
The forcefully thrust spearhead accurately seized the neck of a soldier from Horant.
In the back of the fallen soldier another likewise expressionless soldier stands. Next, his eyes are stabbed by a knight’s spear and the soldier passes away.
Repeating these actions, the enemies, people who aren’t scared or don’t scream, are one-sidedly slaughtered.
Around the time he began to feel his arms getting heavy, Stiffels suddenly noticed that the voices, raised by his allied soldiers, had decreased.
Although the soldiers from Horant should also have been decreased by quite a bit, his arms, wielding the spear, were filled with strength due to the dread that he would become a foolish commander who received a devastating defeat.
In that moment, the rope, which had been damaged repeatedly, was severed in one go.
Being preoccupied with the unbelievable sight for just an instant, the gate opened fully in the next second. Horant’s soldiers literally came flooding in.
How many have been able to hear Stiffel’s order?
Some were sent flying by the gate opening abruptly and some were beaten to death by the soldiers from Horant while being overcome with surprise. In an instant half of the Second Knight Order was swallowed by a wave of enemies.
Without even giving the dying of his subordinates a single glance, Stiffels threw away his spear and ran.
Because the movements of the soldiers from Horant were sluggish, he steadily gained distance. Even so, Stiffels kept running.
However, what awaits him at the place ahead isn’t hope.
“Beirevra died. The First Knight Order is also completely destroyed.” (Magician A)
As the magician from Horant left the watching of the battle between Horant’s and Orsongrande’s armies, he was joined by a companion who acted separately in order to monitor Beirevra.
“I see. This side is well… doing fine. Since they used petty tricks and the number of soldiers whittled, I supported them with magic. Although I was forbidden to interfere, I guess this much will be okay.” (Magician B)
“Because else I won’t be able to return to Horant no matter how much time passes”, the magician from Horant laughed towards his colleague.
However, the magician, who came reporting the circumstances of Beirevra and the First Knight Order, has a pale face.
“… What happened?” (Magician B)
“Ah, the First Knight Order was in fact annihilated by a single person, but…” (Magician A)
“A single person, you say?” (Magician B)
Although the improved magic tool has the demerit of causing the movement to become somewhat slow, to compensate for this, the physical strength has been raised to the extent that it is too much.
But, his colleague, expressing a pale face, doesn’t look as if he is telling a lie.
“I somehow managed to follow the conversation. That person is the Hero of the Slender Sword.” (Magician A)
“Impossible! Isn’t that guy’s territory on the opposite side!?” (Magician B)
“I have no doubt. His features match the information I heard before. Even the information about his combat strength, no, what was reflected in my eyes was above that. He killed the Knight Captain without receiving a single injury.” (Magician A)
Listening to the story, he bites the nails of his fingers while thinking.
“Is there a possibility for the magic tool to malfunction?” (Magician B)
“There isn’t. The rise of the physical strength was obvious. Besides…” (Magician A)
“Besides?” (Magician B)
“Even the prince was killed by the hero’s attendant.” (Magician A)
“… Damn it!” (Magician B)
The plan of penetrating Orsongrande’s center with the prince as puppet fell apart.
“That man should be on the way headed towards the battleground here. I think we should withdraw giving up on the soldiers.” (Magician A)
He shakes his head in denial towards his colleague, who showed signs of completely getting cold feet.
“Only you will return to report. This place hasn’t settled yet.” (Magician B)
“Understood. I will go ahead. See you later.” (Magician A)
“Gotcha, see you later.” (Magician B)
Having seen his colleague off, he once again turns his look towards the battlefield.
Horant’s soldiers are successively entering the city through the completely opened gate.
Even while being slashed by Orsongrande’s soldiers from the rear, they advance without minding it, just like a swarm of insects being drawn to some nectar.
“Let’s attack until the complete destruction of the Second Knight Order. With that the First and the Second Knight Orders will be annihilated, drastically decreasing the war potential of Orsongrande.” (Magician B)
“Let’s not miss the opportunity”, his gaze got considerably severe.
Perhaps it has been something resembling magic that cut the rope? Arriving at a place where the distance to the enemy was quite big, Stiffels reached the point of thinking about the situation calmly at last.
In his vicinity there aren’t more than around 10 order members left. Somehow it closely resembles the situation of Ribezal. He was scared whether he has ended up turning into someone surrounded by failure as well.
“Captain, there is someone in front of us!” (Knight)
Being suddenly called, Stiffels, noticing himself brooding over things before he became aware of it, looked ahead. There was a man, he had seen somewhere, walking towards them.
That man, walking as if swiftly sliding, with his dark pupils and hair and donning strange clothes is wearing a thin sword at the left side of his waist.
“That guy is… !” (Stiffels)
Stiffels’ thinking is straight away dyed in rage.
Earl Hifumi Tohno.
A other-world person called by Princess Imeraria’s summoning magic. Being appointed to the rank of noble with territory while being a criminal who slew the king. He obtained a vast territory as result of his battle with Vichy. A person as if being entirely a character out of a fairy-tale.
However, Stiffels can’t see him as anything but a thorn in his side in the competition over the influence within the royal castle.
“But, there probably isn’t any other way in this situation.” (Stiffels)
Stiffels, deciding that he would request assistance abiding his shame, thoroughly chewed his back teeth and eased up on the speed.
“Earl Tohno, thanks for taking the trouble to come to the opposite side of this country. Given that the number of enemies is far beyond the assumptions, I’d like you to lend us a hand.” (Stiffels)
Thinking that the other side is originally a commoner, Stiffels can’t conceal his arrogant attitude, but he himself isn’t aware of that. Even with these words he has intended to behave modestly bearing the embarrassment.
“Very well.” (Hifumi)
Stiffels seethes in irritation due to Hifumi’s likewise arrogant words, but clenching his fist he restrains himself.
Hifumi drew his katana with a smooth, unhindered motion in front of such Stiffels.
“Your life will be fine as reward.” (Hifumi)
While being told to resist a bit, the first attack was a thrust towards the face.
Due to Stiffels barely dodging the katana’s point, the knights in the vicinity rushed over and thrust themselves between Hifumi and Stiffels with their swords set up.
“Ha ha! Are you a person to be protected because you are a Knight Captain?” (Hifumi)
While ridiculing him with the sound of laughter, he pulls back the thrust katana and furthermore launches another two thrusts.
Stabbing a person to death with each thrust, he creates two corpses.
“What are you doing!?” (Stiffels)
Stiffels, finally having recovered his stance, shouts in a thundering voice and draws his sword, but he isn’t able to daunt Hifumi.
“Since I have done insufficient warming up, I have felt like killing those guys who have properly survived.” (Hifumi)
“… You lunatic.” (Stiffels)
“Okay, if you think like that, fight desperately with that belief, since you won’t understand the words of a lunatic.” (Hifumi)
The knight standing in front of Stiffels literally shields him. Hifumi’s slashing attack, that he received at the chest, cut open the heart including the armor and he died.
Jumping over the knight who falls with a crashing sound, Hifumi’s katana swings down as if chopping bamboo bare-handed.
Stiffels, jumping sideways rolling over, swung his sword horizontally in the act of getting up trying to get some distance, but before he could do that, Hifumi stepped into this bosom.
Hooking the katana’s hilt he pulls down the armor’s neck.
Stiffels, being thrown down awkwardly, rolled to the side while being smeared with dirt.
In the meanwhile another knight came assaulting with his sword. Hifumi grabbed the opponent’s chin with his left hand, applied firm pressure with his thumb and broke the lower part of the front teeth.
The knight, who stopped for a moment due to the pain and shock, had his throat pierced and died.
During that time Stiffels has managed to get up and has fixed his stance.
“You are using the lives of your subordinates to buy yourself time? Use them more efficiently.” (Hifumi)
“You bastard…” (Stiffels)
Hifumi, standing with an air of composure in front of Stiffels and telling him with earnest concern at this opportunity, held the katana in his right hand and loosely lowered it without even taking a stance. He is taking a strange stance by lightly putting out his left hand in front.
Even the knights surrounding him can’t grasp the timing to attack.
Their gazes concentrated on Hifumi’s left hand.
His fingers sway from side to side, not fast in the least, like a water plant drifting underwater. He keeps repeating the unpredictable motion.
When a single knight, unable to bear it, started to strike at him, Hifumi’s left hand hit his face moving like a whip.
The knight, who has fainted in agony, has Hifumi’s fingers penetrate his eyes at the lacrimal-glands and break his nose. (E: a biology lesson from Hifumi!)
Before he can feel the pain, the thrust fingers gouge out the blinded eyes including tears and pain and the knight dies.
“Come on, attack me with your strongest blow. You don’t know, maybe you might even hit me?” (Hifumi)
However, having seen their companion’s death in front of their eyes just now, no one was able to move.
“Ah, I see. This is frightening, isn’t it? Then let’s do it like this, huh?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi skilfully returns his katana to its scabbard with only his right hand without even holding the scabbard itself. Hifumi appeals with both his hands dangling around while unarmed.
It was Stiffels who lost his cool first as he couldn’t bear that provocation.
He put his strength into the diagonally, from the shoulder swung, sword. It was at a speed that surprised the other knights, but for Hifumi it wasn’t anything special.
Stepping in underneath the arms that were about to be swung downward, he hit him with his fist below both elbows.
Stiffels, who dropped the sword with a dull sound, dropped to his knees while his arms dangled at the tip of both shoulders.
Hifumi clutches the Stiffels’ face that is distorted by pain and despair. Twisting and breaking the cervical vertebrae as it is, Stiffels died.
“Ah, I forgot to mention it. My original combat style is bare-handed.” (Hifumi)
With Stiffels’ death, the surviving knights discarded their swords.
“W-We surrender.” (Knight)
Hifumi silently drew his katana against the single knight that stepped forward.
“P-Please wait! We don’t have any intention to oppose you anymore!” (Knight)
“I have told you that this isn’t allowed.” (Hifumi)
Sending the head flying in a flash, Hifumi looked at the remaining knights vexedly.
“Pick up your sword. Prepare yourself while holding a weapon in front of me. I don’t plan to end this until either you or me dies.” (Hifumi)
There are 5 knights of the Second Knight Order remaining.
They picked up their swords despite being pale. Within seconds they were defeated crushingly.
“… What a guy.” (Magician B)
Intruding into the city by blending amongst the soldiers from Horant, the magician observed the battle from a side alley. He was shocked by the brutality of mercilessly killing the knights of one’s own country.
Besides, the fighting strength, that overwhelmed the knights, was certainly at a level where it couldn’t even be helped if his colleague got scared.
“That man is dangerous.” (Magician B)
If I consider the situation of him crashing into Horant’s soldiers, most likely they won’t be able to deal with him at all, I guess. While being chopped up from the front, their numbers will decrease due to Orsongrande’s soldiers pursuing from the back.
If that’s the case, he takes out a dagger from his pocket and begins to cast.
My strong point is in the direction of researching and I’m weak at the implementation, but if I slowly cast with a calm mind, I will be able to release powerful wind blades.
(I will have that man disappear here. If I don’t do this, he will without doubt harm Horant one day.) (Magician B)
Thinking about this, he feels that the casting time is long.
He closed his eyes to focus on the casting. When he finished at last, Hifumi stood in front of him.
“That dagger…” (Hifumi)
“U-Uwa!?” (Magician B)
“You are a magician from Horant. It’s the same sword as that man called Strauss owned.” (Hifumi)
“Tsk! Eat this!” (Magician B)
If it’s at this distance, the released, invisible blades will accurately fly into Hifumi’s face.
“… I’m always prepared for it though.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who let the wind blades go past by shaking his head, continues his talking without even changing his expression.
“Is the timing and direction taught to Horant’s magicians a custom or something? Although it is a rare, convenient technique, you are truly unworthy of it.” (Hifumi)
In an instant Hifumi seized the wrist holding the dagger. Before the first sense of pain occurred itself, the magician fell to his knees.
The bone of Hifumi’s index finger’s root firmly pins down the acupuncture point of the wrist.
“I-It is painful…” (Magician B)
“I have a question.” (Hifumi)
“Eh?” (Magician B)
The magician is slapped in the face without mercy as he lifted his head raising his voice in doubt.
As the hood comes off, a mid-20’s, skinny face is revealed.
“The one asking the questions is me. Tell me as much as you know about that magic tool, which makes those cowards ferocious, and the drug.” (Hifumi)
“… This is…” (Magician B)
Hifumi’s heel treads on the little toe of the magician’s foot with full power.
“… !” (Magician B)
As the pain is to a degree that he can’t even leak a voice, Hifumi asks the same question to the magician, who is shedding tears, without changing his facial expression.
“Th… The magic potion, if you drink some of it mixed with small amounts of water and alcohol, it will show its effect. More or less the physical ability will rise and the sensation of pain will vanish. It has reached the point where they will blindly listen to the words of the one who gave them their orders first. Although the feeling of pain is lost and the physical strength goes up, there is a flaw that makes them brutal…” (Magician B)
“You probably brought the weak point under control. It should be something that was improved even further.” (Hifumi)
Hearing about things that got even more to the core of the matter from Hifumi, the magician makes a sour face as if having eaten a bitter bug.
“We weren’t able to adjust the magic potion… Even the lot, currently invading this city, doesn’t listen to anything but simple instructions even if it is me telling them otherwise. As for the magic tool, we have been successful up to the point of changing the target into the puppet of the registered person by suppressing the target’s reasoning…” (Magician B)
Asking further on, at the time it was used on the soldiers from Arosel, the effect was small, but they were currently able to improve it up to the point of subduing people like dolls. He was told that this was the limit.
Hifumi, listening to the explanation of the magician, came up with something. He looked at the magician and laughed with a sinister smile.
“I got a nice idea. Lastly, tell me, the name of your country’s metropolis’ and the distance to them.” (Hifumi)
“W-Why do you want to know such a thi… gyaaa!” (Magician B)
Kicking the nether region this time, Hifumi relentlessly said 「Spit it out」 to the magician shivering and curling up.
“The closest metropolis is Adolamelk (T/N: >> Adorameruku <<). It takes 3 days on horse from here.” (Magician B)
While enduring the pain, was he filled with rage in reverse? The magician told him while shouting.
“Understood. See ya.” (Hifumi)
The magician, in a state of crouching, looses his head with a single swing of the katana.
“Ah, oops!” (Hifumi)
Hifumi made a bitter face due to the failure while he wiped the katana with a paper.
“I should have confirmed whether the magic tool will make monsters listen as well or not.” (T/N: Uh oh! Very nasty flag set.)
Should I ask the other guy? Hifumi switched over his thinking.
There is still the battlefield left.