Fairly decent, I guess…
A knight unit appeared in Prime Minister Adol’s room as well, but because they believed him to become an unlikely combat potential, he was postponed as target of the knight unit.
For that reason, at the time the knights broke into Lotomago’s room and concluded gaining total control, it was already after the guard system of the Fokalore soldiers was put in place.
Seeing the about 10 in total Fokalore soldiers, with some among them even holding kusarigama‘s, swords and spears, crowding the room, the knight unit, which consisted of 5 knights, lost their speech when they vigorously charged into the room.
On the other hand, the Fokalore soldiers jumped into complaining severally.
“You will be treated as apprentices in the Fokalore territorial army with such movements.”
“You came entering without even drawing your swords. Are you morons?”
“Rather, too many have been assigned to this small room, right?”
“Are you making fun of Military Director Alyssa?”
“Of course not.”
Due to the Fokalore soldiers chaotically clamouring about, the knights believed to be made fools of and shouted “Shut up!”
“From where did you bastards enter!? The soldiers are in charge of guarding outside the castle, aren’t they!?”
While laying his hand on his sword’s hilt, the leading knight spit out these words. A counterweight sunk into his face.
Watching the swooning knight, who is spewing out his front teeth and bleeding from the nose, his colleagues have become dumbfounded. The Fokalore soldiers look at each other with bitter smiles.
“Is it inopportune for me to interrupt the words of Knight-sama?”
“Isn’t it fine as we were told to kill them anyway?”
“Let’s hurry up with getting rid of them and go to the next place.”
The remaining knights drew their swords due to the speech and conduct of the soldiers, which didn’t try to show a splinter of respect towards the knights and had absolutely no tension.
“You lowlifes are raising your hands against knights as inferior soldiers?”
Those were words intended to daunt them, but without even caring at all, the Fokalore soldiers started to let the weapons, they held, dance.
As result of the anticipatory training the Fokalore soldiers received in buildings like the Lord’s mansion, they are experienced in indoor combat as well. Enclosing the knights as group thrusting without swinging the sword as core of his attacks, a single soldier is dealing with the knights at front while the other soldiers slash away from left, right and the back.
In contrast, the knights originating from the Second Knight Order are basically in charge of fighting outdoors. As they were hitting pillars with their large sword swings, they couldn’t move as they wanted.
In the end, all of the five knights didn’t last more than a few minutes and were sliced apart like Kuai. (T/N: Kuai is a Chinese dish consisting of finely cut strips of raw fish or meat)
“Uh… how to say it, it’s extremely gruesome… Are you fighting like this even in the territory of Fokalore?” (Adol)
Once the battle finished, the hidden prime minister quietly came out. Looking at the knights having been turned into miserable corpses, he feels slightly nauseated.
“Not so often after the war has ended. There’s rarely anyone acting violently in Fokalore.”
“Thanks to that we will grow dull if we don’t go on expeditions”, several of them say.
“So, about the talk from just now, it will be fine, if I guide you to the place of Knight Captain Lotomago, correct?” (Adol)
“Yes, please. With us not being well-accustomed to the interior of the castle…”
“Then let’s hurry.” (Adol)
The Fokalore soldiers follow Adol, who has left the room at a quick pace, one after the other.
“All things considered,”
A single soldier muttered.
“I’m glad I wasn’t in the other group.”
Remembering their colleagues, who were assigned to another unit, all of them agreed.
“Good grief. Something like running in a narrow, dark places is ideal for scary midgets.”
Due to the laughter occurring in the rear, Adol was puzzled whether he should caution the soldier, but decided against it.
(He should also be in the core of the soldiers belonging to the national armed forces though.) (Adol)
If he knew of the proverb ‘One rotten apple spoils the barrel’, even Adol might’ve agreed right away.
A single Fokalore soldier was offered smiles of pity by his colleagues, as he had magnificently scattered his spit.
“Ugh, how filthy.”
“Bad, bad boy.”
“Be quiet. We are almost there.”
They, who merged into a three-man cell, are advancing through the hidden pathways within the castle.
Having received the order from Hifumi to split into groups, they are proceeding in a quick march according to the map, they had driven into their heads for a long time.
The area, they had been assigned to, is a section of the castle’s third floor.
Not wearing any armour and with a sword affixed to their waists being the only metal in order to not make any sounds, no metallic parts are attached to them.
“Do we have the aforementioned ball?”
“I’m holding onto it.”
One of the soldiers held out a small ball in his right hand.
Within the dim pathway its red colour could be clearly seen. Being soft, the ball was crushed between the fingers holding it.
“Whoa, don’t smash it here.”
“Shh! … don’t go beyond this point.”
As the three advanced silently along the path taking care to not make any sounds with their feet, two knights, holding lights, could be seen standing.
With them chatting while facing the other way, they haven’t noticed the Fokalore soldiers.
“… It doesn’t seem like the lot of the Royal Knight Order is around here.”
“Looks like some people were killed, but apparently we have suffered some losses as well.”
“Damn it… is Balzephon’s plan really going to work? If the losses become too large, it will be impossible to seize the castle.”
“The operation has already started. We have no choice but to follow through now.”
The Fokalore soldiers judged the two knights to belong to the rebelling forces by the contents of their conversation. Looking at each other’s faces and nodding, the previously shown ball was tossed at the knights.
With a splashing sound the ball hit the armour, burst open and scattered a red fluid.
A smell similar to rotten eggs spread from the liquid. While being confused by the surprise, the knights spit out with sounds of vomiting.
The thrown ball was a plant’s fruit that gives off a terrible stench once the ripe fruit is crushed. Apparently its taste is delicious, but due to the smell no one intends to eat it. It was famous because it was used by children to play pranks.
“For trashy knights, who turn their blades against the nation, a rotten fruit is only befitting.”
“Only stupid simpletons would fight from the front.”
As they thoroughly provoked them, the teary-eyed knights drew their swords and approached in pursuit.
“You blockheads, there’s no way your swords will hit anything.”
The soldiers from Fokalore matched their breathing and broke into a run.
The knights, who wore armour, are too slow. While skilfully adjusting the distance so that they think they can catch up though they won’t, the soldiers are running to their target location while pulling the enemies along.
“This is difficult.”
“Don’t die if you fall over.”
“It’s also no good to unexpectedly separate them. Where was the target location again?”
“Don’t forget that.”
They are running and running through the gloomy, hidden paths.
Even at other places, there were Fokalore soldiers luring knights in the same way. All of them are heading for the same location.
Towards the largest place in this building. Towards the dance hall.
“What happened to the group that went to get rid of the prime minister? There isn’t any contact from the guys, who were restraining Lotomago, either.” (Balzephon)
Due to Balzephon raising an angry voice, his knight colleagues look at each other’s face and nothing else.
“… They likely also had the tables turned on them? Why are you saying something like you being strong without any basis?” (Imeraria)
Balzephon turned a scornful glare at Imeraria talking calmly.
“There is no way for us, who have continued to fight, to lose to the lot of the incompetent Third Knight Order, who only move around in secret for things like intelligence!” (Balzephon)
“If you believe that, it’s fine if you go checking it with your own eyes. … It will likely be unpleasant to realize who is the strongest person within this castle currently.” (Imeraria)
Imeraria declared that in a nonchalant air.
“… I guess that’s fine. I, who is the leading power of this battle, tell you, I will personally defeat those resisting crushingly!” (Balzephon)
Entrusting the guarding to the knight, who continues to hold his sword at Imeraria’s side, Balzephon draws his sword at his waist and takes the remaining knights along. The maids are sitting in a huddle next to Imeraria.
“Look forward to it. Once everything’s finished, I will have you stand in front of the people as queen in name only.” (Balzephon)
“Just wait for that obediently”, Balzephon left with these words.
Once the door closed, the knight, who remained to keep watch, stared at Imeraria and the three maids, who were sitting lined up side-by-side, again.
“Don’t get any strange ideas. If any problems occur, I plan to cut you down.”
In the instant he told his threat in a low voice, his neck was attacked by a sword sweeping sideways from his back.
Cutting as far as half through the neck, a hard sound rings as the cervical vertebrae is hit.
It was Midas, who stood in the back of the knight, who collapsed while scattering blood.
“I’m very sorry for getting here this late, Imeraria-sama.” (Midas)
Lowering his sword, Midas kneeled in front of Imeraria and apologised.
“Please raise your head, Knight Midas. I’m valuing your work very highly. … Just where the heck did you appear from?” (Imeraria)
“Ha! As a matter of fact, receiving a request from Earl Tohno, I was observing the situation from a hidden passage. Because the number of enemies decreased, I used the opportunity.” (Midas)
It seems like he is feeling ashamed for him not coming out at the time when Imeraria was hit a dozen times. Imeraria, who realized that, laughed unintentionally.
“You endured it well. If you had rushed out at that moment, you would have likely been killed and the chance to rescue me wouldn’t have appeared. Once again, you have my thanks. At any rate, did Hifumi-sama foresee this state of affairs?” (Imeraria)
“It looks like he was aware of several people plotting a rebellion. Because I would probably have been killed if I had declined the invitation, he told me to take the opportunity to conceal myself as guard…” (Midas)
“Do you know what is currently happening?” (Imeraria)
Midas lowered his head and shook it in reply to Imeraria’s question.
“I’m sorry. I left the scene at an early stage.” (Midas)
Imeraria, who thought for a little while, made Midas stand up.
“We will stay in this room as is, Midas-san. If by some chance some knights of the rebelling forces came, they wouldn’t kill us quickly. Leaving that aside, please join up with Sabnak’s group.” (Imeraria)
Imeraria gets up.
“The coronation ceremony will be held. Please prepare for that.” (Imeraria)
“The rebelling forces will be cleaned up by Hifumi-sama before long. It’s not a matter to worry about.” (Imeraria)
Midas had no choice but to abide to what Imeraria clearly declared.
“Good grief, if you at least helped me gallantly, it would raise my evaluation of you a little.” (Imeraria)
Although Midas also heard the words she muttered, he decided to forget them right away. It’s because it extremely unlikely for him to do something crude as sticking his nose into the affair of others.
“You bastards are…”
With only discovering several corpses of knights scattered in the offices and without finding the crucial masters of the rooms, Lotomago and Adol, Balzephon’s irritation only increased.
Before the eyes of Balzephon, who next headed towards Sabnak’s room while making stomping sounds with his feet, stood a small girl.
“The representative of the rebels?” (Alyssa)
Visiting with her head inclined to the side, it is Alyssa.
“You rude lass. If you don’t want to be slain, get out of the way… no.” (Balzephon)
He brandished the sword with its blade blank.
“I will have you atone for the sin of having made fun of a knight.” (Balzephon)
The sword, swung downward with all his strength, only hit the floor causing Balzephon stance to grandly fall apart.
Alyssa had averted its trajectory with the wakizashi she held in a backhand grip.
“That sword is…” (Balzephon)
It’s a sword with only a slight curve having a single edge. Its characteristic, as Balzephon had heard before, was similar to the sword with the name katana, which Hifumi possesses.
“Hifumi-san’s… I wonder if you don’t get it. It’s a verbal message from Earl Tohno.” (Alyssa)
Even though she was assaulted with a sword, Alyssa, who wasn’t perturbed in the least, retrieved a memo from her pocket with a rustling sound and read it out loud.
“The stupid knights are gathering in the dance hall. End.” (Alyssa)
It totally rubbed Balzephon the wrong way that she even went as far as especially taking out a memo just to say only this much.
“Don’t mess with me!” (Balzephon)
Alyssa, who easily avoided again and again the fast-moving, swung sword, jumped around with nimble movement.
“Since olden days my speciality is to evade, you know. That’s because I have officially worked as ojii-chan’s guard.” (Alyssa) (T/N: ojii-chan = grandfather in a very familiar way to call him)
At the moment Balzephon called her to stop, Alyssa immediately jumped out of the window.
“… Fuck!” (Balzephon)
Balzephon wavered while wandering around aimlessly for a while, but he doesn’t see any figures except the corpses of his colleagues up until here. Although there should at least be 40 of his colleagues remaining, he doesn’t meet anybody.
Clicking his tongue, he advances towards the dancing hall located at the centre of the castle with heavy feet at a quick pace.
Soon he arrives in front of a large door leading into the dance hall.
Once he opened it with a violent kick, he saw Hifumi’s figure there, surrounded by ten-odd corpses and furthermore encircled by knights beyond the circle of corpses turning their swords at him.
Due to the loud sound of the door opening, the gazes of everyone present gather on Balzephon.
“Ba-Balzephon! Do something about this man! He has already done in quite a few of us!”
Yelling while dripping in sweat, it was a knight, who had been earlier hit with the fruit and was lured up to the dance hall.
“Oh, at last the ringleader came?” (Hifumi)
The instant Hifumi said that, the door in the back of Balzephon, who entered the room, closed.
“Well then, aren’t there still around 30 of you remaining? Use your head. Brace yourselves and properly look at your surroundings. Recall the things you have practised until now. With this it will be possible for you to finally fight me decently.” (Hifumi)
Due to Hifumi’s laughter, Balzephon grasped his sword strongly and trembled with rage.
Even if he only looked roughly at it, almost all of the remaining knights of the rebelling side have been gathered here. To put it simply, every last of them has been lured here and in the end more than 10 have been killed in a short amount of time.
“Don’t screw with me!” (Balzephon)
Forgetting about himself being led here as well, he shouts.
“You idiots, all of you have been lured here abandoning your own stations! Furthermore, what’s this sorry state with only a single opponent! You should be ashamed!” (Balzephon)
There also were knights, who lowered their sight due to his words, but there are also those feeling antipathy.
“Balzephon! Haven’t you come here as well!?”
“Right! In the first place, it is likely your fault for the operation going badly!”
Due to the knights, who started to quarrel among themselves as if forgetting the situation, Hifumi made an astonished expression.
“Get along with each other. After all we will do our best to kill each other from now on.” (Hifumi)
Holding the katana above his head, Hifumi laughs.
“Well, then let’s start now, okay?” (Hifumi)
Balzephon readied his sword as well.
At any rate, if we kill the man in front of my eyes here, all will turn out well, opening his bloodshot eyes, he started to run.