Think it’s Prince, but can’t find a YouTube video, so…
“The act of educating people is nothing arrogant.”
In the city of Fokalore, seen from the balcony of the Lord’s mansion, various men and women of all ages are going back and forth. For each person it’s one scene in their life; be it that they are laughing or crying; be it that they are spending their time together with someone or are by themselves.
While gazing at it from a distant place, Origa murmured that as if being by herself, however there is a single person listening to her. It’s Caim.
“Everyone is earnestly living the one life they have. Extending our hands to them and talking with them, we end up twisting their fates under the pretext of education. No one knows about the future, but everyone is living without knowing whether theirs is the correct way.” (Origa)
“… Madam seems to be thinking in some ways about education, but did you discover some problem?” (Caim)
Origa turns around with a whirl and smiles sweetly at Caim.
“There’s no mistake in what my husband… Hifumi-sama is doing. The training as well as the education carried out in this city are all things created by Hifumi-sama’s profound ideas. I thought it is our fortune to see the light ahead on the path of life, everyone must choose while hesitating over it.” (Origa)
Entering the room from the balcony, Origa quietly sat down on the office’s chair.
“So, are the preparations in order?” (Origa)
“There are no larger problems. All troubles have been concluded within our estimations and are resolved. It’s advancing as planned up until here.” (Caim)
“That’s excellent.” (Origa)
Origa, who’s looking through the documents, lets the pen fly quickly across the papers, signs them and hands them to Caim.
“Well then, in accordance with the first point of the plan, I will head to the capital a second time. Please prepare the escort since I will depart tomorrow morning.” (Origa)
“Everything is for the sake of granting that gentleman’s desire…” (Origa)
Once she closes her eyes, Hifumi’s face floats up within her mind.
“I believe you are aware of it, but this is also the “homework” which was assigned to us by Hifumi-sama.” (Origa)
“I’m well aware. I’m convinced that I’m adequately comprehending the intentions of Lord-sama as well. Please, be at ease and leave the matters of Fokalore to us civil officials.” (Caim)
It’s words said in a flat tone without him changing his expression, however Origa understood that there was no lie in them.
“Fufu, it won’t do, if I don’t do my best, too.” (Origa)
Standing up, Origa once again shifted her attention to the hustle and bustle outside.
A large number of people walks at a quick pace in the city, dyed by the setting sun. There’s many people heading home, I guess.
“What Hifumi-sama is aiming for is on behalf of the world’s prosperity.” (Origa)
What the knights and soldiers confronted wasn’t the beastmen only anymore.
The exchange with the beastmen of the reborn slums is depriving the commoners of Swordland from their reservations.
Although the vigilante corps, which patrols the slum’s city, has a grim appearance, they aren’t oppressive, like the soldiers patrolling the human’s city, at all. There were many occurrences of minor offences and lost property, they dealt with cordially, too.
Even Helen and Reni, who were set up as representatives of the slums little by little, learn from humans pro-actively. Helen ran around as representative of the shopping area and Reni became a reliable existence for many beastmen and humans as point of contact for the human’s side.
Seen from the viewpoint of the humans, the appearance of Reni, who was very different from the terrifying image of beastmen, gives a sense of security with her gentle character and triggers a desire to protect her. She gathered a feeling of respect as key person, who built up the beastmen’s city by quickly absorbing the human’s knowledge as beastgirl.
Such Reni naturally isn’t able to completely eliminate her evasive nature towards fighting and combat.
“It will result in a battle with the humans!?” (Reni)
Gengu solemnly nodded to Reni, whose eyes darted about in surprise.
Behind him Hifumi is watching the situation without interrupting the conversation while folding his arms.
“We are already preparing to fight for the sake of protecting this city with the volunteers of the vigilante corps ~ssu. To guard this city with Hifumi-san’s guidance.” (Gengu)
“… Aren’t we able to avoid the battle in some way?” (Reni)
“If it turns into a fight with the humans, the people, who became our friends at great pains, will also become mutual enemies”, Reni shed tears.
“I will keep at it, we got up to this point by everyone doing their best and yet…” (Reni)
“Reni-san… it will be alright. Even if it’s only the beastmen, we will somehow get through it ~ssu. It will be difficult for a while, if the people from the human’s city don’t come here, but they other guys have gotten quite skilled ~ssu.” (Gengu)
Due to Gengu lining up words after words in order to calm Reni, Hifumi says in a cold voice from behind,
“It won’t likely be that easy. You guys take the human stupidity far too lightly.” (Hifumi)
“S-Stupidity, you say… aren’t you a human, too, Hifumi-san.”
“Since I’m well aware of the things I’m not knowledgeable about myself, I’m still on the better side. If you compared it to the ugliness of fellows, who are living by clinging to such things as birth right or status in such dictatorship, it will be a lot better to kill people, who possess a fair amount of ability like me.” (Hifumi)
“Also, putting that aside, since I’m going to depart now, it would be better, if you prepared a large amount of rooms for the humans, who don’t want to be mixed up in the following mayhem”, leaving those words, Hifumi heads towards the room’s exit.
“Umm, where are you going, Hifumi-san?” (Reni)
Hifumi looked over his shoulder due to Reni’s question.
“You guys are going to protect this city, right? Rather than such slow-paced battle, I will go enjoy myself over at the human’s city since it will be more fun to break that place apart.” (Hifumi)
“See ya”, Hifumi went away.
And, as if changing place, Helen plunged into the room.
Apparently having come by running at full speed, she sits down on the ground right after having seen Reni’s face and breathes heavily with a *pant pant*
“Helen, what’s wrong?!” (Reni)
“Humans are, a lot of of humans are…” (Helen)
“No way, did they already come attacking!?” (Gengu)
Grabbing the clothes of Gengu, who tries to rush out while saying “I can’t idle around like this”, Helen shook her head.
“I-It’s different.” (Helen)
While tightly clutching his clothes, Helen somehow got her breathing in order and looked at Gengu and Reni in alternation.
“The humans came entering the slums wanting to help out. And in addition to that, there are several tens of them, too!” (Helen)
With the successive affair of beastmen and humans being killed, the residential area of the nobles and rich went on high alert. Soldiers and knights patrolled the whole block, regardless of day and night.
Naturally fear spread amongst the commoners as well, but upon the order of Swordland’s upper echelon, the soldiers were very indifferent towards the commoners.
“Why don’t you patrol our place!? Wasn’t it you soldiers, who came here before although you had no business with us?”
At the entrance to the noble block, a middle-aged man, who’s likely the shopkeeper of some store, is yelling at the soldiers.
“With the current state of emergency, the patrol is different from our usual routine. Listen up and go home.”
“If you are some good for nothing once push comes to shove in addition to your bad habit of always taking away merchandise from my store for free, I will have you pay money properly from the next time onwards.”
“That was simply received as your share of gratitude for protecting your guys’ safety. This and that have no relation with each other.”
Due to the soldier talking while having a blank facial expression, the man clenched his fists and was on the verge of hitting him, but he had his arms restrained and was dragged away by the other shopkeepers, who rushed over.
“Idiot! At this rate you would get killed by the soldier!”
“That soldier, that soldier has snatched bread from my store almost everyday, despite this…”
Once they returned to the place, where their own stores are at, the man finally burst into tears.
This man as well as the other humans were born and always lived in this town as commoners. Although the group of soldiers behaved in an oppressive manner, it’s also true that the harm was small. Because of that, they endured it as long as the soldiers were keeping the public order.
All of them had the same feelings of wanting to weep.
“… Calm down. It’s not like it’s particularly decided that we will be killed.”
“But, ya know, Won’t the criminal then aim as much as possible at the places where the soldiers ain’t patrolling?”
A heavy silence falls upon the men.
It’s not only their problem. There’s their wives and children as well as their cherished stores. Some of them are taking care of their old parents, too. It will be too late once they run into an emergency.
“… Let’s rely on the folks from the slums.”
“The group of carpenters, who has built the beastmen’s stores, you mean? Certainly, they probably have some physical strength, but…”
“No, let’s request guards from the beastmen.”
The subject, proposed in a small voice by a man who’s working as butcher, couldn’t be accepted right away.
“W-What are you thinking? Do you want to act as if calling for the enemy?”
“That’s right. What will the soldiers say, if they see beastmen loitering around in the city…?”
“We are having such a conversation because those soldiers won’t come here though.”
By no means it was in a loud voice, however the butcher’s words were enough to silence the other men.
“It has been many times that the carpenters have come to buy meat requested by the beastmen. It’s not like they were particularly threatened or deceived to do so. How to call it? Ah, yea, it was a feeling of a friend doing a favour.”
“Which reminds me, there were many such clients at my place as well.”
Once the greengrocer agrees with it, the shopkeeper of the store, which is selling small articles of wooden products and ironware, nods as if he had remembered it, too.
“I’ve gotten completely sick of the human soldiers.”
The butcher, who spoke while looking down, lifted his face and seriousness was reflected in his eyes.
“I will talk with my family and go to the slums to talk about moving there temporarily with my family.”
“Please wait! I will go too!”
Following the butcher, who headed out walking with resolution, the greengrocer also raises his voice and runs after him.
The remaining lot of men look at each other’s faces and knit their brows.
“… I will also, go. Rather than going along with useless humans, it will be a much better way to support the beastmen, if they have a good heart.”
The sobbing baker stood up and walked away.
Discussing it among the remaining men for a while and as result of talking it over together with the the farmers, hunters and carpenters, many commoners, except several people who can’t accept the beastmen no matter what, have decided to request the beastmen for the protection of their families and the patrolling of the city by using the carpenters, who are entering and leaving the slums regularly, as liaisons.
“Aren’t you pathetic? You ended up going completely mad, didn’t you?”
It’s the night in the city, devoid of any people taking a stroll and with even the soldiers doing their rounds missing.
Although you might call it a ghost town, it isn’t odd. The residents of the city have diminished after all. With many requesting help from the slums, those, who remained in the city, are holding their breaths and secluding themselves within their homes.
“But well, I think that this way is beastmen-like.” (Hifumi)
In such dark night alley it was Hifumi pointing at Salgu, who was snarling at him.
Without even holding his katana, he extends his right hand straight at the bearman while having his left hand inserted in his bosom in a state of being unarmed.
“Mad, you say…? I’m protecting the spirit of loving freedom, which ought to be the rightful way of beastmen! What would a human like you know about that!?” (Salgu)
“Freedom, eh?” (Hifumi)
In response to Salgu, who raises his voice into enraged yelling, Hifumi laughs in a natural stance.
“Forcing a freedom that was refused, right? The freedom you are talking about is a freedom pushed as inconvenience onto others, isn’t it? If it’s a freedom of having one’s fill of killing by fellows, who just have the power to force their arrogance onto others, the human country’s side has been plastered all over with it.” (Hifumi)
“In the end you are only rampaging around and crying like a little child because your compulsory make-believe freedom hasn’t been accepted”, Hifumi cuts Salgu with his words.
Without being even able to return any words anymore, Salgu lowers is body and rushes over using his four limbs. He bore his fangs towards Hifumi’s abdomen.
Hifumi picked up the hem of his hakama with his fingers, twisted his body like a matador, let him go past and kicked the lower leg of Salgu, who went too far, with all his strength.
Salgu, who fell to the ground with the momentum of running, raises a cloud of dust and stands up while bearing the pain in his foot.
“Hey, you.” (Hifumi)
Once again Hifumi points at Salgu.
“There’s a fellow, who resembles you. It’s the guy, who calls himself the king of this country. He is announcing his past and current fighting strength and his surroundings are obeying him. Same as you he is forcing his arrogant freedom with strength.” (Hifumi)
Even while he is talking, Salgu attacks Hifumi.
The attacks of his fangs, which are making sounds as if made out of metal, and the swings of his sharp claws, which look as if they would even cut through iron, are not even remotely close to hitting Hifumi, who is slowly swaying like a willow.
“The freedom, the king is talking about, is about himself being in a position, which enables him to tyrannize the commoners and beastmen. How is that any different from what you are doing?” (Hifumi)
“It’s completely different!” (Salgu)
The fist, swung downward with all the might apparent in a bearman, strikes the ground without hitting Hifumi.
A sound, as if a huge wooden mallet stroke into something, reverberated.
Hifumi made a light thrust at the acupuncture point for the sense of pain, which is located at the outer elbow of Salgu’s arm, which was directly stabbed towards the ground.
As expected, even Salgu had to hold his arm due to the arm’s soreness similar to turning numb.
“If that’s the case, show the proof. Your objective is to liberalize the beastmen, right? If you believe that you want to release the beastmen of the fetters called the human’s city by defeating the human’s boss, you don’t have the time to be rolling around while being covered in dirt at this place, right?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi’s finger points towards the castle next.
“He is over there; the one who’s obstructing your freedom. He is the main cause of locking the beastmen in the cage called city and forcing them into a human lifestyle to the degree of making them forget the vast world called wastelands. Think, do you really want to fight me here?” (Hifumi)
Salgu glared at Hifumi while rubbing his hurt elbow, but he carefully listened to Hifumi’s words.
“… Why are you trying to have me kill the king?” (Salgu)
Hifumi answered “That’s simple” to Salgu’s inquiry.
“It’s because I think that fighting is the beastmen’s instinct. I just thought I would give a little push.” (Hifumi)
Salgu, who shook his head with a trembling, claps the fur of his arms to get rid of the dust.
“Pushing to kill a human, you say…? For me your way of thinking and behaviour is incomprehensible. But, I will frankly approve about me fighting because of my instinct. And, the opponent, who I ought to fight, is definitely the human boss, the king. I intended to go kill the beastmen, who were tamed by humans, and the humans in the king’s vicinity, but…” (Salgu)
Salgu stared in the direction of the castle.
“If the one called king or whatever is the true ringleader, I will kill the king first. It doesn’t even matter if it’s a lie. It will be fine, if I kill a different human, too. If they see my actions and the number of humans decreasing, the beastmen of this city will likely understand it as well.” (Salgu)
Before realizing, Salgu’s eyes were tinged with a light of calmness. However, the madness, which dwells within his pupils, hasn’t abated even a bit. Hifumi, who saw that, breaks into a smile with a delighted expression.
“If you got it, hurry up and go.” (Hifumi)
Salgu, who was urged on by Hifumi, ran away towards the castle, even forgetting his pain.
Making sure of that with his own eyes, Hifumi retrieved the kusarigama from his storage.
“Well then… let’s go spectate kuma-san’s battle, eh?” (Hifumi)
Going into an alley, Hifumi picked up the vents at the hips of a pair of hakama and dashed with a speed as if tearing through the wind.
Passing even Salgu, who runs on the main street, he finally arrives at the noble block ahead.
Hifumi, who ran through while ignoring the soldiers on patrol, stood at a position, where he can watch the castle.
The vast garden, visible on the other side of the gatekeepers through the open gate, is illuminated by bonfires. Knights and behind them, soldiers, are lining up in rows. He knew they would be heading towards the slums after the speech of the knight, who is standing on a platform while facing them.
Hifumi looks up to the night sky and slowly takes a deep breath. Breathing in the warm air, even though it’s night, he experiences the scent of the dry air.
In the meanwhile the knights and soldiers depart from the castle and advance into the direction of the slums.
Without caring about them, Hifumi only confirms that they likely won’t bump into Salgu going by their direction.
“Now then, in the castle it’s a showdown between the king and the bear. In the slums it’s a showdown between the knights and soldiers and the beastmen lot led by a sheep, huh?” (Hifumi) (T/N: Lol … love the “led by a sheep”)
“And after the conclusion it will be…” imagining that, Hifumi smiles with a broad grin while whirling the upper counterweight around.
“No matter how it turns out, it looks like I will be able to enjoy myself quite a bit.” (Hifumi)
The long night of Swordland for the sake of a single outsider’s pleasure began.