16, Conclusion and Motsunabe (Turning Chapter)
(Author’s note: Update ⅗)
“So? Have you thought of something!?”
“Not yet, but….. for now, I’ll do something about the problem in front of me!”
Hi it’s Shuri.
In order for me to do what I can, I escaped from the jail together with Gann-san’s help.
My eyes were hurting from the bright candle light but, I can’t say that kinda thing out loud.
Right now, I am running down the castle’s corridors.
Heading for the food storehouse.
The first thing I thought I had to solve was to resolve the citizen’s dissatisfaction and weakening the influence of both factions.
The reason being, limited to what Gann-san has heard, this castle should have carried in an amount of food which could be described as excessive.
I hear they serve as a reserve for the two factions, the first prince and the second prince. Since it wasn’t a place with gold, silver or jewels, it made me realise that, ‘It really is the warring period right now’.
I think that they’ve done an unthinkable thing, by buying up all the food and monopolising it despite being such a situation.
“By the way, are we, still not, at the storehouse?”
“Ahh, after going down those stairs, there’s a storehouse but….
Do you have enough, stamina?”
Yea, this is my limit.
Even though we’ve finally reached the stairs to the storehouse, my stamina is already at its limits.
I couldn’t say my complaints out loud though.
After going down the stairs, and opening the door shut with a bolt, I was taken aback.
This is ridiculous.
Without any cold air to preserve it at all, in this dusty, filthy bas.e.m.e.nt, food was overflowing, piled on top of each other.
The amount of food is staggering.
Potatoes, white radish, carrots, onions….
Lumps of beef, and whole pigs etc, were placed in here.
It’s just that, there were several items I don’t know.
“This completely red bok choy…. is this called red choy, this?” (TL: cause bok choy is literally white cabbage, aka chinese cabbage, aka white choy, so red bok choy… hue)
“That? That’s a specialty you can get around here.
The sweetness of bok choy comes out when you boil it but, if you boil that, it’s spicy”
S-spicy bok choy?
“What about this deep blue spring onion?”
It’s not green. It’s blue.
It’s not the green written as in green vegetables.
It’s blue. Blue like the sky.
“Ahh, sky onions huh.
Sky onions have a refreshing sourness to them.
Fundamentally it’s has a medicinal taste.”
“This, what about this super strange, bouncy, jiggly object?”
What is it, this pink slime put inside a bottle?
“That? I’s nothing rare.
The entire clan of the Feudal Lord or Royalty or n.o.bles… well it’s alcohol high cla.s.s people drink”
“Yea, you didn’t know? It’s just called Slime Alcohol
Cutting the stump of a Slime Tree, then further fermenting the juice boiled down from that stump, it’s a strong alcohol.
It goes down smooth, has a dry taste and the alcoholic concentration is strong.”
I’ve never heard of something from a Slime Tree….
WTF, to actually meet the peculiar ingredients of this other world in this sort of place…! Until now I had only stocked up on foods that I know, and I haven’t cooked with them before so I didn’t know. Well, maybe Ganglabe-san doesn’t really like it?
“This red bok choy, is it spicy?”
“Ahh, the red choy? It is. However it’s a refreshing spiciness.
It’s not the kind you eat and get disgusted with.”
Spicy…. bok choy.
There’s whole pigs, and cows here.
Also a lot of vegetables….
“Gann-san. All of these ingredients here.
Who do they belong to?”
“All of the food here, in addition to being the emergency supplies of the territory, are what the first prince faction and second prince faction have stocked up.
You see, the shelf over there and the shelf over there, they’re divided separately right?
That’s how it is”
Hmm, there are indeed shelves which have been divided strangely.
In this environment, with this much food.
I worried slightly but, I prepared myself for the worst as I can only say this straightforwardly.
“I’ll tell you straight. These ingredients.
They won’t last any longer than 3 days.”
“What? If you mean the process to prevent rotting, we do sprinkle salt on them just in case”
“It’s the humidity, temperature and dust that’s the problem.
All the ingredients up till now, how have you dealt them? Did just you eat all the supplies which couldn’t be stored anymore then and there?”
I could feel ever since coming to this bas.e.m.e.nt, that the air is humid due being stored together with the soups.
The underground heat circulates, making a slightly warm room.
An environment which hasn’t been cleaned.
It really is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. It wouldn’t be strange for everything to rot at any moment.
It’s true that if you sprinkle salt on it, it’ll preserve it somewhat.
But, there’s a limit to that right.
Such a damp, lukewarm temperature, can only be fit to breed germs….
“Change of plans.
Actually I had only planned to borrow a small amount of food from the first and second princes’ factions but.
I’ll be using all the food from both factions as well as all the emergency supplies which seem to be going bad.”
“Oi oi! What are you planning to do with so many ingredients!
Besides, what are you going to make using so many ingredients!”
Since there’s whole cows and pigs here.”
“Ah, Ahh… Well, they are all here.
Literally, with all of its organs and everything but… what do you plan to do? If you dissect that and dispose of it, there’ll be a considerable amount of meat”
“What are you saying.
I’ll be using the organs as well”
“Yes, the organs, the meat, the tendons as well.
I’ll be using it all”
Spicy red choy, sour sky onions.
If I make use of these, can’t I make that?
A ma.s.sive Motsunabe!
“Everyone, are you prepared?”
Us five commanders of Ganglabe’s Mercenary Corp were standing in front of the castle gates.
Each of us have already come prepared for battle.
Cougar, as well as Teg, Ahrius and Riru.
All of us, have already entered battle mode.
We look at each other, and nod.
We stood in front of the gates.
“Apologies, we were called in by the Second Prince and have arrived at the castle.
This is the letter of verification”
I hand the letter to the gatekeeper.
The gatekeeper looks at that, stiffens up for a moment, and immediately gives out instructions to open the gate.
It’s so easy to understand.
I thought without revealing my feelings.
The gatekeeping points to the side door next to the gate.
We went through that, and then saw.
The scene of several tens of soldiers lying in wait in the courtyard, with swords drawn.
“As expected. We fell for it”
Cougar smiles, revealing his teeth.
At that time, one man approached us.
“Pardon me, Ganglabe-dono”
A man who wore a slightly imposing armour started talking.
“In accordance with Gingus-sama’s order, we shall be stopping you”
“Even if we ask for a reason?”
“There’s nothing much to tell. If I’m forced to say, it’s about the chef”
It’s going just as Cougar expected, huh.
I took a step forward.
At any rate. Information is important.
“What is the meaning of this. I was just called here since there was something to discuss.
There is no reason for us to accept this kind of unjust treatment”
I tried asking, pretending not to know anything.
Behind me, Teg tried to add something too but he was stopped by Ahrius. This guy, doesn’t seem to realise that I’m trying to gather information.
“Let us meet with the Second Prince, Gingus-sama. Where exactly is the prince.”
“I do not plan to speak. Just wait in jail”
“Is my chef there, in that jail?”
“It’s not the same place”
Hmm, it seems that he’s not in the ordinary jail.
“The ordinary jail, huh”
“Obediently come with me”
“I have something to say to Gingus-sama. Let me speak with him”
“Silence. The prince is busy”
“I understand that he is working.
However, it’s important”
“If you understand, then be quiet”
Alright, so Gingus is working.
In other words, it means to pay attention when stopping by where Gingus is working. Teg will be investigating that.
“I cannot agree at this rate.
At least let me meet with my chef”
“This conversation ends here”
“You can talk later. If you want to meet with your chef then be quiet”
….So the information gathering ends here huh.
“…Guys. Exchange information”
I tell the others stealthily with a whisper.
“Gingus is in his office. Shuri is in the special jail as expected.
Arrange to confirm the ordinary jail and office. Remember the places where you could not confirm within the castle.
Operation conditions. 『Do not kill』 any of the castle guards. Show off gaudily, and make them 『Helpless』.
That is all”
At my instructions, the guys behind me responded.
That reply wasn’t the one we usually when we are with Shuri.
It’s the voice when we feel the atmosphere of the battlefield, when we are about to kill.
Level and plain. A voice with no emotions.
We will not forgive the enemy in front of us.
“Ahrius. Show them what you got”
Ahrius walks out in front of us, one step ahead.
“W-what are you doing?”
The man who came here to negotiate looked bewild.
It’s only natural. If suddenly, the arrested targets in front of you takes a stance of resistance.
However, they do not plan to let us go either.
Ahrius takes out two wands from her waist, pointing them to the sky.
“My magic, is slightly different you know?
Release Technique. 『Dominate the Airs.p.a.ce』”
At the same time Ahrius chants those words, a torrent of magic power overflows from within her body, dominating this whole place.
And then, that happened.
The airs.p.a.ce in front of our eyes, distorted slightly, becoming soft and engulfed the courtyard.
That swallows up the soldiers,
“I-I can’t, b-breaaa”
Suddenly, the soldiers were clawing at their mouths and throats, convulsing like they had completely drowned.
Some of them were frantic as they stood, some of them crawled on the ground, opening their mouths wide.
However, gradually the soldiers fainted.
Not knowing what she did but….
“Don’t kill them”
“Yes. I only made them faint”
Ahrius chose a suitable time at her discretion and waves her wand.
Almost all the soldiers had fainted, and the small number of soldiers who held onto their remaining consciousness, had their eyes wide open.
“I-I can breathe?”
However, the complexion of the remaining soldiers is bad. I think they cannot stand up immediately at all, unable to come towards us.
“It’s best to not strain yourselves you know?”
Ahrius said, looking at the soldiers who collapsed.
Those eyes, completely lacking warmth.
It’s different from the ones she normally looks at Shuri with.
Yes, as if she was just looking at trash, a gaze of scorn.
As if to say the people in front of her are inferior to her, eyes of absolute zero.
“I have dominated this entire region’s airs.p.a.ce.
Do you know? If people don’t breathe in air, they can’t keep on living. In that air, there are many kinds varieties of air mixed in with it.
I took only the necessary air, and 『Kept it far away』 from your surroundings.
Right now, I can only manipulate to the extent of this courtyard but, eventually it’s something I want to dominate all the air of the battlefield with”
I can’t understand it but, in the eyes of Ahrius who had understood 『Truth』, it seems that in this world there are many substances acc.u.mulating, drifting around.
Ahrius understood from within that, that when people are normally breathing, 『People need to breathe in air to sustain life』. I think it’s obvious but, to seize all that air, and dominate it.
This is Ahrius, 『Witch of Truth』.
At Ahrius’ words, we stepped towards the castle.
Going through the door which was left open, proceeding forward.
Behind us, someone throws their words at us.
It was the guy who, just now, lined up a message for us.
Turning around, he was still exhausted to the point where he couldn’t even stand up.
That’s obvious. Since his breathing was stopped.
“I-Is that alright? If something, was to happen to your chef”
I smiled evilly.
“Do you really think that you can even do that?”
The man s.p.a.ced out as if he didn’t understand my words.
“Your superiors didn’t tell you.
Our chef, Shuri Azuma is a man who has been given a knife with the emblem of the Newbyst Royal Family carved onto it.
And he has such skill that Princess Tebis personally invited him.
The food he cooked literally made the princess’ tongue moan, and thus charming her.
If you cause harm to such a talent, I think Newbyst will certainly rage.
You people, don’t you know of the Tragedy of Alturia?
Over there, they had invited Shuri and received economic sanction under the effect of insult, you know? Falling into a food crisis, their food hegemony was taken from them.
The question is. Can you people do anything to him?”
The man was surprised, hesitant and then covered his face in humiliation.
There’s no way you can.
There is no way one country can make enemies with, nor lay their hands on Shuri.
Although I’m not very fond of using this information I have.
Grasping and understanding information, to dominate the battlefield.
Standing on the battlefield for a moment, carrying that sword and cutting down my foes.
Good at strategies and battles as well.
That is why I am called Ganglabe, 『Demon of Sword and Strategems』
Calling myself that, is rather embarra.s.sing though.
I step into the castle.
The others follow.
“It’s a time to take down a castle”
Now then, come get the reward of underestimating us.
“Can you hear us, all you palace guards!!
Since you lay your hands on Shuri, we’ll return that a hundred times over!
If you don’t want to die, hurry up and return Shuri!”
We standing at the entrance, guards rushed out bustling.
The numbers, around twenty people huh.
It seems they don’t plan to give in to our threat.
The entrance has stairs in the center; upstairs, there are corridors continuing down left and right, and on the first floor, next to those stair was another corridor. On the floor laid a red rug, inferring that they have an unexpectedly wealthy.
The appearance of guards running out from inside the first and second floor, closely resembled ants running out from their nest.
“Ganglabe. I’ll deal with this here, su”
Teg says from behind me and, takes out a large amount of arrows from the quiver on his back.
Taking out the bow equipped on his waist, then expanding it.
This is a peculiar long bow that Riru had invented previously.
It’s a collapsible strong bow which once expanded can shoot arrows up to several hundred meters.
Opening it with just a shake of a hand, the bowstring using the techniques of magic engineering, stretches out to either end the same time it opens, forming the shape of a bow. The bowstring was said to be made from smashing magic crystals until it became powder, and seems to change the form of the string at the same time as it activates.
The strength of the bowstring was not normal, and at the current level, the only one who can use this bow was just Teg.
A plain blue bow.
That is the bow, Teg adores.
“Do you think a thing like a bow will do anything at this distance! Everyone attack together!!”
At the encouragement from presumably the Guard captain equipped with the elegant armour, twenty guards came swooping down all at once. A flood of people. If we fight them upfront, we, only having five people would probably become pieces of meat in seconds.
However, that’s if the opponents were normal.
“Such idiots, su”
Teg pulls back three arrows at once and shoots.
Three arrows accurately hit the sword holding hand of three guards.
The three guards drop their swords, and fall on the spot.
However, the remaining seventeen people plunge in without a care.
Even seeing that, Teg was calm.
Once again three arrows, pulling back the bow, and shoot.
Accurately hitting three people. Once again the hand that they held their swords with.
Pull back, and shoot.
Pull back, and shoot.
Pull back, and shoot.
As if he was a carefully made doll, the figure of Teg calmly firing arrows without a change in his expressions, held a certain beauty.
Even the trajectory of the flying arrows were beautiful, hitting just once, with no errors.
Teg, without taking even a single step, continued to repeated his actions indifferently.
Suddenly, there were only two people left standing.
They were turning pale looking at the heap of guards who were squirming from the pain of the arrow stuck in their hands.
Like a nightmare.
It would scare anyone if their subordinates were made unfit for combat in a blink of an eye, unable to even come close.
One of the arrows that Teg released was aimed at the b.u.t.tocks of the man next to the Guard Captain.
Unable to even raise a scream, the man fell to the ground.
Only the Guard Captain remained.
Teg calmly nocked in another arrow.
“It’s the last one, su”
“W-wait! Please wait! I’m just following the orders of Gingus-sama!”
“That’s even worse, su”
Hyun, reverberated the sound of the bowstring.
That arrow makes a quiet sound, stab, accurately hitting the Guard Captain’s b.u.t.tocks.
Even the Guard Captain fell to the floor at the merciless attack.
Excellent scouting technique. Presence Erasing Technique.
Above all, with his handling of a bow, the skill of always. .h.i.tting as long as they are within his recognised field of vision, that ability and unshakeable nerve.
『Bow Saint』 Teg. There have even been instances he had to display the reason for why he is actually called Saint.
Storing his bow, Teg looked over here.
“Ganglabe. The path is opened, su”
“Ahh, where is Gingus’ office, I wonder”
“On the third floor, su”
“Down the right corridor on the second floor, su”
“Understood. Shall we go”
We ignore the soldiers crawling on the ground, and go up to the second floor.
Walking down the corridor, we didn’t meet a single maid.
Most likely, I think they shut themselves away in the room over there. Does that mean they sensed the unusualness outside, and took refuge immediately?
Right now it’s fine to ignore them. The goal to the very end is to rescue Shuri.
Before that I must go leave a warning for Gingus.
Making such a showy mess of things, it’s impossible that he isn’t taking action too.
It’s possible that he’ll take out Shuri as a hostage, and place him close by but, it’ll be convenient if it’s like that.
We, so that Shuri won’t be hurt at the very least, even intentionally let slip the information that Shuri has been invited by Newbyst.
It’s troubling if he doesn’t take action.
Sst, a scabbard obstructs my advance.
Cougar draws out the scabbard, sword and all, from his waist, using it to stop me.
And then, in front of me was a brawny man.
Around the same height as me, a muscle idiot holding a battle axe.
A skinhead man wearing extra armour, stood in our way.
“Got it. Something like ‘at’s my kill”
Cougar licked his lips like a snake wriggling around, returning the scabbard to his waist and went out.
Cougar takes his sword from the scabbard.
Despite that being all he did, why does it look so elegant, so beautiful, so divine.
Geez, before I realised, he ended up being so much further ahead of me.
“You, are you the strongest person here?”
“That’s right. Even amongst the troops that Gingus-sama leads, I am the strongest”
“Hou. Then you saying that you confident with your skill right?”
“Of course. Don’t compare with the trash up till now.
Now that this Adora-sama has come out, you shall die here”
“Isn’t it, arresting?”
“You’ve been so rude until now.
I think you can leave behind an arm or two.”
“Bring it on”
Cougar prepares his sword.
It’s the stance for Juugen Style (TL: Soft sword). I’ve seen it before on the battlefield.
With a peculiar stance, both feet at shoulder width, with his heels at half-rise, the left slightly bent behind the other foot, slanting as if aiming at the opponents gaps in the ribs with his sword.
According to the person himself, he can retreat and advance, so it appears to be a stance suitable for piercing through the gaps of armours.
Sliding forth, Cougar takes a step forward.
Their distance between each other was about three meters. Thinking about this normally, the man who calls himself Adora or such with his huge body and battle axe has distanced himself well. The one who has air superiority, is probably Adora.(TL: 制空権)
However, Cougar doesn’t need any of those kind of handicaps.
At least he isn’t shaking or anything.
With his impressive stance, he doesn’t waver.
That is a type of praying stance.
Offering to the G.o.ddess of victory, the figure of an earnest swordsman’s limits.
“I shan’t kill you. However, lose severely for me”
Adora kicks off from the floor and closes in to Cougar.
A quickness unimaginable from his huge body.
Adding to that speed, he brandishes his battle axe above his head, and swung it down as if to smash Cougar.
The muddy stream of steel blue became a waterfall of death, and Cougar steps slightly to the right.
Dodging it by the hair.
The battle axe that crashed into the ground, tore up the rug, smashing the floor, piercing into it.
However, Adora is also a top-cla.s.s warrior.
Using the momentum which would normally give birth to an opening, he shift his weight slightly with his right ankle in order to make himself rotate, turning his entire upper body around.
The battle axe changes it’s course as if rebounding off the ground.
Aiming for Cougar’s flank at a terrifying speed.
However, Cougar is another top-cla.s.s swordsman as well.
Receiving the battle axe, with his sword held vertically.
I think normally the sword would break and Cougar’s body would be cut in two as well.
Cougar is aware of that as well.
It’s exactly because he’s aware that, he is able to seamlessly perform his next actions.
Manipulating the sword which had vertically received the attack, making the battle axe’s trajectory change to the sword’s direction as if sliding right off.
The direction of the sword. From vertical, changes to horizontal above the head.
Meanwhile, the path of the battle axe could not even resist, as if that was the designated path from the beginning.
Due to his perfect footwork, it had only cut through air.
“Soft Sword Style 『Willow Stream』” (TL: 柳流 《りゅうりゅう》)
According to what Cougar says, the world is filled with streams of force.
Those streams of force, to see through those waves and manipulate it, that is 《Willow Stream》.
Actually, I too had experienced that technique but, that was amazing.
That sight was almost as if the sword he swung made Cougar’s body dodge by itself, because the edge of the axe came down without even grazing Cougar’s body.
Dodging, dodging, dodging.
Cougar gradually changes from holding his sword with two hands to one hand, and continues again.
Looking at it, I can only think that it’s hilarious.
Since a large man, with all his power, was being parried by a delicate looking man one head shorter than him.
Before we realised, Cougar had also lowered his hand which was holding the sword.
Adora looks angry.
Yes, at Cougar.
Since he is dodging the axe barehanded.
“No way, that’s amazing, su!”
Teg looks on next to me, eyes sparkling. Ahrius is also surprised.
Riru was expressionless as always. I don’t know what she’s thinking.
“You think so? As long as you practise, anyone can do it eh”
Cougar casually replied to Teg’s comments.
That att.i.tude as well, was getting on Adora’s nerves. He raises the speed at which he swings his axe but, even to that Cougar copes with it perfectly.
It’s easier said than done.
He is only lightly brushing it away, avoiding the orbit of the handle and back of the axe, using that is, his arm and hand. Or floating on and striking at the ground? Supporting it only with a trick like floating in the air. (TL: あるいは地面に流して叩きつけているか、頭上へ流すよう手を添えてるだけ。)
However, the level of what he did is far greater.
I think if he made a mistake with one step, he would say goodbye to his head and torso. Looking as if he was playing on the point of life and death half for fun.
Despite all that he survives, his concentration uninterrupted.
A technique in this left hand. This is the true form of Soft Sword Style’s 《Willow Current》.
The ultimate form of a defensive technique.
The mental state Cougar has reached seems to be far higher up in the skies than I had imagined.
Which is why, he is reliable.
Even now, Cougar doesn’t discontinue his training.
Wholeheartedly continuing to polish his techniques, body and heart.
Overwhelming others with that sword, for the sake of protecting his friends, slaughtering any and all enemies before him.
『Sword King of Hundred Kills』 Cougar, that is the name of the man I rely on.
Gradually Adora’s face showed signs of fatigue.
Not just fatigue. Humiliation and an expression of his heart fracturing.
Looking carefully, it’s become even more impressive, as Cougar is dodging using the palm of his hands.
It’s a finger. He is parrying using two of the fingers on his left hand, his index finger and middle finger.
He risks it all. The axe was swung cutting straight down.
It could be said that it’s the final attack, an attack mustered with all his strength.
Cougar brought his left hand up.
And then, didn’t parry or dodge.
Don! Rang the impacting sound.
It indeed should have been an attack which tears through skin, crumbles bones and severs arms.
However, there was nothing, on Cougar’s face.
No pain, nor anguish.
And, his left hand.
Couldn’t be sliced off at all.
His section of the arm hit the axe, stopping it without even granting one sheet of skin to be sliced.
“Hard Sword Style 『Hikai』 (TL: 否塊 – idk, Cl.u.s.ter Refusal?)
Squeezing and tightening the flesh to its limits for an instant, a technique neither blades nor arrows can pa.s.s through.
Ideally it would be good if I ‘as able to do it with my entire body though. Right now I can still only do it with my arm”
“No, being able to do it is already strange”
Ignoring my reb.u.t.tal, Cougar casually brushes off his arm.
The action should have been nothing special for a big man like Adora but, Adora ends up stumbling and falling down on his back.
On that face was an expression like a child who had their spirits crushed.
Even the attack he had absolute confidence in, to the reality that it didn’t even yield a single injury, Adora has died.
That is, his confidence as a warrior.
I don’t think Adora can fight any longer. Since his heart which been thoroughly crushed, never again recovering to what it used to be.
“So, I’ll be pa.s.sing through here but, is that aigh’t with you?
You understand that even if you continue this it’s useless, right?”
At Cougar’s question, Adora could only nod.
No matter what he did, even if he was to resist here uselessly here, he was no match for this man.
He understood that whether it’s talent or hard work, he could not reach Cougar level.
He can no longer fight, I think.
What a pity.
Even through until he had met Cougar, the man named Adora was a good soldier, his confidence and ability in harmony.
Being helpless in both talent and hard work, as a result of having met a strong person with absolute strength, Adora was crushed.
“So he says Ganglabe.
We go pa.s.s Adora’s side, and walk down the corridor.
Adora did not move at all, not even at that time.
No, I only saw that he was hanging his head down in shame, crying.
Well, it means nothing to us.
Advancing down the corridor, suddenly Riru turned around.
Opposite the corridor, I could see the path we were to go through.
“What’s wrong, Riru?”
“It would be annoying is nuisances got it here”
“Is somebody coming?”
“From what I can hear, there are countless footsteps far away but. They won’t be here for a while, su.
Perhaps, maybe they’re gathering up numbers, su”
“Riru, was that what you heard?”
Riru shakes her head and denied.
“I was just, thinking about after this”
“Aaah… so that’s what you mean”
We’ll be facing Gingus from here on. And with hostility too.
At that time, it’ll be annoying if something like guards or anything come in and interrupt.
“Which is why, it’s time for a wall”
Riru raises her leg and stomped on the corridor with all her strength.
Doing so, from her feet, shines a light of a Magi Spell, going down the corridor.
Around three meters away from us, there’s a protrusion in the corridor, distorting even the ceiling.
The corridor was blocked up right after.
The corridor had become crooked, it had already become so ridiculous that not even a single person could pa.s.s through it.
“With this, no one can go through”
“Oi oi, what do we do when we go back?”
“According to the information, we can get back by taking a long detour from here. Besides if you have Riru, there’s no problem since we can come back here again and fix it”
Said Riru naturally with no hesitation at all.
I quietly whispered into Ahrius’ ear.
“If it’s you, can you do the same thing?”
“I should be able to if I try but, I can’t be as precise as Riru. It might be much more crooked than this and there may even be a gap where people can go through.
Above all else, the magic power consumption is severe”
Most likely, I think those shoes have a device set up in them. And in addition to that, I understand that it’s an item which has gone through many adjustments and repeated research.
Not just that.
Naturally our equipment as well but, Riru’s equipment is outstanding.
Inside the white coat she is wearing, so many Magi Spells were written in it that it’s absurd to even count. Their effects were an array of Durability, Blade Resistance, Pierce Resistance, Fire Resistance, Cold Resistance, Waterproof and Defensive Ability. The clothes and pants had the same abilities, and when it comes to the shoes, they lighten ground operations, can harden, and are attached with devices that I just want to ask, ‘Where did these legendary equipments come from’.
All of these are made according to Riru’s first-cla.s.s good’s development. Of course Teg’s bow as well.
『Genius Inventor』 Riru. An indispensable existence for our party.
Us five. If each of us, with each of our strong points work together, it’s proof that we can even take down a castle.
However, it’s no good if it’s just us.
“Teg. Where’s Gingus’ office?”
“It’s at the end of the corridor ahead, su”
If it’s the five of us then, we can even survive on the battlefield.
However, we are a group which are hopeless at other things. With just that, we cannot function as a mercenary corp.
Further strengthening our bonds, able to protect the circle called a mercenary corp, the one behind the scenes.
A warmth, giving us the joy of having survived.
Being together with comrades, teaching us happiness is natural.
Shuri, as expected you are an indispensable existence to us.
Which is why, from here on we’ll be coming to save you.
Having this determination in my chest, I stood in front of the door at the end of the corridor.
It didn’t take that long to get here. Precisely a swift a.s.sault, don’t you agree.
As if telling myself, I opened into Gingus’ room.
The people inside were, Gingus, and the girl I had heard just by name, Ekress.
I see, indeed crossdressing. If I wasn’t told, I might see her as a gender neutral pretty boy.
Gingus looked surprised. As did Ekress.
“Sup Gingus-sama. Hey, I came as written in your letter”
I don’t think there’s any need to speak politely anymore. I speak casually.
“How did you get…. what happened to the guards!”
“We mowed everyone down and came all the way here.
It was pretty easy ya know? I could even say I pa.s.sed through without stopping.
Even the soldier that you trained, was unexpectedly nothing special”
Of course, that was half true, half lies.
It was indeed an easy win but, that’s only because I was together with these guys.
Naturally, I don’t plan on telling them the truth.
Despite saying the truth, it’s ambiguous as if it could be explained with good luck.
This is also a type of negotiation technique.
Gingus’ expression changed from anger to one of resignation.
“Brother. This is already the end.
I never thought they could actually come all the way here, mowing down all those soldiers”
Now then, won’t you report the truth of the matters to the Feudal Lord.
Also, your tongue better tell him the truth.
I have a general idea of what happened, and we are holding onto information as well.
Don’t think your lies will pa.s.s”
“……Right about now, Father is probably being confined in his private room because of Ore-sama’s private soldiers. (TL: Ore-sama conceited way saying I/me: Gingus)
There’s already nothing to say at this point.
You can kill me or fry me all you like”
Gingus takes out the sword from his waist, and cast it away in front of us.
He’s clumsy but, he’s holding a good sword. The clarity of the blade is beautiful, it’s quite the sharp sword huh.
He casts it away, sending it over here.
….It’s not a trap. Even after I exchange a look with Teg, I can’t sense a trap.
Which means there’s no trap here.
“You’re the son of the Feudal Lord but, you’ll actually confine the Feudal Lord.
You don’t want to live?”
The opponent, a father, despite being a relative, is the governing head of this territory.
To confine such a person, it’s impossible for him to get off scot-free.
Including the earlier scandal, despite knowing the Feudal Lord’s body condition, the deed of handing over a winegla.s.s amounting to poison, considering that, he can not escape from the death penalty.
The possibility he can have a chance at his future is extremely low, it’s a th.o.r.n.y path.
“Why were you such a stickler for the position of the Feudal Lord.
Thinking about it normally, I think you should understand that if your older brother can manage the domestic affairs, and if you can manage the army, it’ll bring great benefits to this territory.
If the both of you each realise you’re both cut out for different things, and support each other, at the very least I don’t think it would’ve come to such a situation.”
I say it like that myself but, I’m thinking that such a thing is almost impossible.
To become a Feudal Lord means you can gain the rights to control the officials, as well as the army.
Because of that, Gingus who has been educated with regulating the army becomes a 『Manage for Hire』.
His pride as well as his pa.s.sion, is no different from anything else 『that can be raised』. (TL: 全て『飼われている』のと変わらない)
Above all however, people want to aim for the top, and can’t throw away the desire for improvement.
All the more, when it comes to being a n.o.ble. They want more wealth, more authority, more large plots of land.
I’m like that. I want to obtain a country. I wholeheartedly fought all the way here for that.
However because someone like me spat out those words, it shouldn’t get through to Gingus.
Fu, in the first place, I’m actually spitting out such remarks.
This is also because I got involved with Shuri.
His kindness has even slightly infected me, huh.
“Actually I think you understand as well, Ganglabe”
Gingus said as he laughed.
A scorn, that wasn’t even directed at me, but at himself.
“In the end, Ore-sama is also a stupid man who drowned in authority.
Aren’t you like that too? You want authority. You want wealth. Which is why you’re leading a mercenary corp, wandering from one battlefield to the next, gaining money at the price of your subordinate’s lives right?”
Twitch, I felt Ahrius’ atmosphere change.
Even though I was irritated first, d.a.m.n it.
If you do it before me, I hafta stay calm.
If I get angry together with my subordinates, it won’t be a conversation.
“That’s how it is. Ore-sama was just a greedy person.
The conversation comes to here. Hurry up and kill me”
What? Gingus’ looked with a dubious expression.
“We have vowed not to kill anyone, until we save Shuri.
I won’t kill you either. I won’t kill your brother next to you either. Nor the Feudal Lord, nor your subordinates.
That is our resolve”
“Ha!! After so long you still want to avoid responsibility to be seen as good people!”
We won’t kill for Shuri’s sake”
“Take it as you will. If we came all the way here making a blood path, we wouldn’t be able to meet eye to eye with that guy.
When that guy comes with us, we won’t leave behind even a single drop of blood on this path.
That’s all there is”
“There’s no way you can do a thing like that, right.
When has Ganglabe’s Mercenary Corp, known across the world, come to say such lukewarm words”
“Ever since we met that guy”
Yes, its because we met that guy, that we could come all the way here.
That guy who would never say in front of everyone that he wants to go home.
That guy who would would only shed tears and spill his feelings of nostalgia when his crying, sick in bed.
Which is why, we, who have restrained him until now, can only do this much.
At the very least, I think I want to protect that much.
“….Ha, if that’s the case I don’t care anymore”
Gingus took out a short sword from his waist.
Since it’s a type of ceremonial sword, I wasn’t on guard but, why here?
“I should be the one to decide how I end”
With a quick action, he stabs at his throat with the ceremonial sword.
Then pulled it out in go.
Fresh blood scatters.
Fluttering, it scattered onto the floor.
Spreading a red stain.
Gingus was surprised.
If he thought that he had cut open his own throat.
It was very close.
Because Ekress had defended it, with her hand.
Absentmindedly, Gingus dropped the ceremonial sword, and asked Ekress.
There was a deep injury in her hand, I think.
Making a large wound, overflowing with blood from her palm to her upper arm.
However, Ekress didn’t even raise a sound, not even at the pain.
Just looking straight at Gingus.
“Kill yourself, doing something as stupid as killing yourself, it’s idiotic!”
“In the first place, this has been mistake ever since Father made me out to be a man, trying to manage somehow.
The dissatisfaction and anxieties piled on and on but, if it had tormented Gingus then.
That is my and Father’s fault.
It’s not Gingus’ responsibility to bear.
If it turns out Gingus receives the death penalty then.
I’ll take the death penalty in your stead.”
“Ha?! There’s no way you can right!”
“I can if I report myself as the offender for this time’s matter to Newbyst, and let the citizens know.
Even regarding Father, I can just say he threatened me.
It’s alright. No matter what happens.
I’ll protect you.”
“I’m your older brother… no”
“Older sister that’s why…. I guess”
At those words, Gingus stiffened up.
Stiffening up, without moving.
“You stupid idiot….”
Gingus says that and tossed the ceremonial sword in front of me.
And then, stands in front of me and said.
“Ganglabe-dono. The impoliteness this time, I beg of you to forgive me.
It’s clear as day that your side will be unable to bury the hatchet. I understand.
As an apology, please convict Ore-sama…. me with that ceremonial sword of mine.
Whether you want to kill me or torment me, I don’t mind whatever you do to me”
I felt so angry that veins came out to my temple.
Does he think that if he suddenly takes up an admirable att.i.tude he’ll be forgiven? This brat.
“I understand. That there’s absolutely no meaning to an apology like this”
“If you understand, then why!”
Behind Gingus, Ekress shouted.
“It’s no good if you die! You still have to live!
If you die, the army will rampage!”
“That’s true. However, I cannot think of another method of resolving this other than this.”
“I didn’t come here to f.u.c.k around!”
I hold back the feelings I want to scream out, squeezing it out slowly.
“I came here, to take back Shuri without killing anybody. I will not stand for letting this mission fail just to kill you at the very last moment”
“Nevertheless, there is nothing else I can do, other than this”
Ekress thrusted herself in between me and Gingus.
Spreading her arms, Ekress stands as if protecting Gingus behind her, staring right at my eyes.
Trying to save her one and only little brother, she looked like an older sister.
“I will give scold and punish Gingus. I’ll also return Shuri-kun. I’ll even hand over reward money as well as items, and land.
If that isn’t enough, I’ll even award you a medal.
Please. Just don’t kill Gingus please.”
“You, you wanted to try run away with Shuri right”
Ekress stiffens up at my words.
“Saying that you didn’t want to be the heir, you wanted to take Shuri and try to run away right”
“That sort of person’s excuse is not trustworthy huh”
“I-indeed, I didn’t want to succeed in something like territory.
I took efforts in order to yield this all of this territory, in it’s entirety, without problems, to Gingus.”
“….It’s true Gingus. I didn’t have any plans to become the heir.
Even the gathered food, was to be split with the citizens at a suitable time.
Since if the entire Feudal Lord’s clan was to monopolise the food, the rebellion from the citizens would be terrifying.
Thus, I had gathered our wealth in order to divide it”
“If it’s like that, the meaning of the things I did….”
“No, whether you were just pretending or was serious, you have to take that kind of att.i.tude. If you don’t, you can’t sustain your faction, inviting the distrusts of subordinates.
There is no need to say it’s meaningless”
“You were seriously thinking about this territory. I was, just being your support”
“Oi, don’t change the subject”
Since they tried to derail the conversation path, I pressure them.
Ekress, I can’t be careless of this guy.
It’s best not to underestimate her ability that had operated the internal affairs until now.
“It seems what I want to say is, ‘Return Shuri’.
We’ve complained about this and that up to here but, that’s all we want.
We don’t want your apologies etc.
But, if you are to apologize, pay that apology with something that has form.
That is, territory, gold or whatever.
After all, we had become criminals, been confined, and had our comrade arrested.
If you are to apologize then do it with something appropriat-”
“There’s no neeeeee~d for that!!”
It was then.
All of a sudden, a clear voice resounds through the room.
Opening the door, that guy, literally came tumbling inside, appearing in front of us.
It was the guy we wanted to meet.
Having been separated for so long, we were thinking about the best way to rescue him.
Without that guy, we are extremely troubled.
An important subordinate, comrade, family.
Shuri Azuma appeared in front of us.
“This is the end of the fight!”
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