SmileVolume 2 Chapter 9 part1
TLN: The Fanoss Dukedom has been changed to the Princ.i.p.ality of Fanoss. Previous chapters have been edited to match.
A messenger from the princ.i.p.ality descended onto the luxury liner's deck.
He was a very well-dressed man who introduced himself as Earl Garrett.
He had a blatant arrogant att.i.tude towards us, and he spoke while caressing his own moustache. He was slender, and was a man who had a face oozing with an unpleasant impression.
“Children of baron households and above will be treated as prisoners of war. We have no interest in the children of knight households and below. The same goes for demi-human slaves. Of course, we also don't need the sailors of this airs.h.i.+p.”
While a majority of the people despaired, the students in the advanced cla.s.s were relieved.
Among them, one of the girls stood up for her exclusive servant.
“W, wait! Spare my exclusive servant. He's my favorite.”
Garrett replied to the girl with a condescending att.i.tude.
“Then you can go down with your lover. It's of no concern if we have one or two less hostages.”
The despairing girls closed their mouths and averted their gaze away from their exclusive servants.
Right. People valued their own lives above all else.
I continued being silent. While I was thinking about whether there would be a ruckus once they entered inside to seize everyone──
By the time I was surprised, it was already too late.
Anjie stepped in front of Garrett.
“What is it, young girl?”
Anjie took a confident att.i.tude despite Garrett looking down on her.
“──I am Anjelica Rafua Redgrave. Do you know about my family's name?”
Hearing the name of a duke household, Garret's eyes were wide open, but he then immediately smiled.
“I would have never thought that the daughter of a duke household would be aboard──the kingdom really is stupid. Letting such an important person go on a trip without guards.”
Garrett opened his arms in delight.
“Excellent! Let me show you my respect for your courage in introducing yourself! Now, come here.”
He was going to lead Anjie away.
My foot took one step forward by instinct, but at that moment, I received a strong blow to the back.
I fell down, and was held down by some boys. When I saw the faces of those boys, anger welled up inside me.
“Let go! Is this who you really are?!”
Garrett looked at me in displeasure while I was pinned down.
“How noisy. Who are you?”
Anjie looked at my face, and then closed her eyes.
“He's my friend.”
Anjie did not mention that I was formally a baron and a knight.
“To think that you would have a friend.”
Garrett walked up to me and then trampled down on my head. His smile revealed his malicious intent.
My sight was focused up on Garrett.
“What a rebellious att.i.tude. Now, let's give the kingdom's n.o.bles their first job. Punish this person. C'mon, hurry up.”
Thereupon, the boys were holding me down began exerting violence against me.
I resisted, but was suppressed in response.
“Y, you guys!”
“Are you going to make Anjelica's will go to waste? You should shut up!”
The ones pinning me down were Anjie's followers. As they struck me, cuts opened up throughout my mouth, and the taste of blood intensified.
“Even so, you guys are──”
“This is Milady's decision!”
Upon which, Anjie shouted.
“Stop it already!──Stop.”
Garrett stroked his moustache between his fingers.
“Oh, that's not the att.i.tude to take when asking something. That won't do for a duke daughter.”
Anjie did this for my sake.
“Please stop. I beg of you.”
Garrett's mouth warped into the shape of a crescent, like that of the moon, and smiled while speaking loudly.
“Unfortunately, I don't want to! Well then, you're coming with me. Ah, you people, make sure to beat up that stupid brat thoroughly.”
Garrett then left. All I could was watch as he kidnapped Anjie.
As I was being strongly beaten, my consciousness turned hazy. I reached my hand out, trying to help Anjie, but my arm was trampled on.
Anjie was negotiating with Garrett.
“I alone am enough for a hostage, right? Let the others go.”
Garrett stroked his moustache while dodging the question.
“So you'll offer yourself if it means saving the others. I might just cry. Well, let's take our time to talk about that matter on the princ.i.p.ality's airs.h.i.+p.”
Olivia raised her voice against Anjie being taken away.
The surrounding sub-race people pinned her down.
“Anjie, don't go!”
Olivia was the only one raising a voice.
Anjie turned back and made a firm smile──but her legs were trembling.
“──Livia, thank you.”
After saying that, Anjie was brought to a boat and taken away by the messenger and his cohorts.
I kicked fiercely and rolled on top of the deck.
When I was pinned down by my abdomen, Olivia rushed over and stood up for me.
The boys and the exclusive servants looked down at me. How unsightly, they bore too much resentment.
“Everything could have gone to waste because of you.”
“You piece of trash.”
“Hey, sailors. Toss this guy into a jail cell.”
The sailors surrounded me.
──These d.a.m.n people.
There was an airs.h.i.+p designed to be placed on a huge monster.
Anjie, brought to such a strange airs.h.i.+p, was surrounded by armed knights.
While being cautious, she met with Princess Hertrude.
“It's been a while, Anjelica. We had only been in a relations.h.i.+p where we simply exchanged greetings, but meeting you again like this feels a bit nostalgic.”
Anjie made a fearless smile.
“Do you really plan to go to war with the national power of a princ.i.p.ality? This matter won't end with just a skirmish.”
The Holfault Kingdom and the Princ.i.p.ality of Fanoss. There was a big difference between the two countries.
The Holfault Kingdom had greater strength.
Knowing that, Anjie displayed a sense of leniency. However, she was a bit frantic on the inside.
(Just what kind of goal do these people have? What do they want to do by attacking with a fleet of this degree despite the difference in national power?)
Hertrude smiled towards Anjie.
“Right. There is certainly a disparity in national strength. However, have you not noticed the view outside?”
(So they really plan on using monsters?)
“So you're accompanied by monsters. Are you going to win against the kingdom with that alone?”
“Yeah, we'll win. As for why──”
Hertrude was interrupted by a man of n.o.bility who seemed to wield authority.
“Your Highness, the matter of dealing with the hostages is more important.”
Anjie became tense. The reason why she introduced herself and stepped forward was to let the luxury liner go.
“So you'll set them free with my surrender?”
“What a funny thing to say, Anjelica. Did Garrett ever once claim that we would let those people go?”
Anjie closed her eyes in response to what Hertrude said.
(So they're going to take the baron children and above as hostage, just like they originally planned.)
“Here's what I think. Perhaps you alone are sufficient for taking hostage.”
When Anjie opened her eyes, she looked at Hertrude's face in surprise.
“──Wha! Y, you fool! They're the children of barons and above! Are you thinking about killing them without taking them hostage?!”
The knights turned their swords towards her as she starting making an uproar.
Hertrude spoke indifferently.
“There were only two people who resisted when you were taking away, right? How cruel such spineless people are. They are not worthy of being n.o.bles.”
“W, what are you talking──”
“Anjelica, I will show you everything that is to come. From henceforth, the kingdom shall perish──”
A messenger headed towards the airs.h.i.+p with the academy's students to send a notice.
There was a prison built within the luxury liner.
After being thrown in there, I sat on the floor with my back against the wall, staring up at the ceiling.
Sobbing on the other side of the iron bars was Olivia.
She begged for my release, but it was futile since the students, much less the sailors, strongly opposed it. The students in the academy were being harsher towards me than the princ.i.p.ality itself.
“Don't cry anymore.”
“But, Anjie…we couldn't save Anjie. I can't even get you out of here, Leon. I'm just pathetic.”
What a detestable, timid person she was──or at least, that's what I would have thought had this been my former self. In my former life, I hated these kinds of characters.
Watching crying women had irritated me.
However, wasn't it powerful when a person cried for someone else?
That was the conclusion I came to as of this point.
There was more, though.
“You get tattered like that when opposing the unreasonable. Look, your hair's in a mess, and aren't some of the b.u.t.tons on your uniform missing? You get injured when you do something others don't want you to do.”
Olivia acted violently, trying to help me.
Due to that, she was restrained──and during that interval, she got into a fight with one of the girls. Her opponent was one of Anjie's followers.
Olivia, who was the only one opposing her, became worried when the girl called for her colleagues.
She seemed to have said something about Anjie, and also about stopping what they were doing towards me. Olivia's pleas for them to stop ended up saving me.
She normally wouldn't fight, and yet she did the impossible for our sake──she really helped out.
I wouldn't know what would happen if I otherwise had to ask Luxon for help.
“──I'm frustrated at how I can't do anything.”
“You've worked hard. You don't need to cry anymore.”
Staring at the ceiling, I thought about the future.
What should I do? Bring Olivia along and save Anjie? However, there would be a lot of problems if that happened.
Upon which, I heard the sounds of hurrying footsteps. The footsteps belonged to Chris.
Chris, with a look of grief, came to the jail cell and spoke to me while ignoring Olivia.
“Baltfault──just a while ago, a messenger from the princ.i.p.ality arrived. They said that Anjelica alone was enough for taking hostage, and that we should prepare ourselves. They'll start attacking in an hour, and so it seems that in the end, we'll die as n.o.bles.”
It seemed the princ.i.p.ality didn't need us.
“And so? What am I supposed to do?”
Chris took off his gla.s.ses. He had a face of resolve.
“I want you to lend a hand. It seems that there are six units of armor in this s.h.i.+p. I want you and I to buy some time until the s.h.i.+p escapes.”
I laughed scornfully.
“──Don't wanna do that.”
Chris squinted, but didn't criticize me.
“I beg of you to reconsider. We can't let everyone die here. You can even just guard the airs.h.i.+p. I'll remain behind and buy some time.”
Stayin behind in this location definitely meant death.
Looking at what was outside, Chris must have known that he wouldn't win if it was just him.
Olivia looked at me. Her eyes were asking me if there was anything I could do.
It was scary how pure and beautiful her eyes were. It was as if she could see through everything, and having my shameful self be examined was embarra.s.sing.
“Don't look at me like that. What are you hoping from me? In the first place, do you think I would help the students who abandoned Anjie? You make me laugh. Furthermore, they've beaten me up. I say let everyone sink.”
Chris unexpectedly agreed while I was badmouthing them.
“Yeah, I know. Perhaps powerless people like us should sink and fall not into the ground, but the sea. However, I still want to ask of you. This is the only way we can have a chance. I beg of you, please help us.”
I slowly got up in front of Chris, who was bowing his head.
Chris looked up in sorrow.
“I'm sorry, I've been a nuisance.”
When Chris was about to leave, I stopped him.
One should always hear someone out until the end.
“Idiot. Listen to all of what I have to say. In the first place, there's probably no way to escape given that we're surrounded. Even if you stay behind, you'll be surrounded. It seems you haven't learned a thing since you've last fought me.”
Speaking in terms of a strategy game, we were beginning to be checkmated.
Chris stopped and turned around.
“Then what should we do?! Do you have some kind of plan for a situation like this? If you plan on escaping by yourself, then to h.e.l.l with you. I'm not giving up.”
It was sad how much more of a clumsy idiot he was than me.
“There's no point if you're fighting by yourself. It wouldn't work either if I was there with you. That being the case, our only option is have everyone involved. The fools who abandoned Anjie should take responsibility. Listen, I'm not so good-natured as to help those who do nothing. Want help? I know that. If people want to live, then everyone has to give it everything they've got.”
Chris rejected my opinion.
“That's impossible. Everyone's in despair, and they can't even get up. Besides, in times like these, the only one I can depend on is you, Baltfault. Do you understand?”
Chris was trying to say “The others won't be helpful.”
I strongly agreed, but there was no choice other than putting such incompetent people to work.
I brought my face closer to the iron bars. Chris did the same as well, and our noses nearly touched.
“What we can do is resolve ourselves and break through the front. There's no other way.”
“The front? You must be stupid.”
“Yeah, I'm stupid. However, I think it's better than just waiting for death. So, let's turn the tables and snag a victory. We can grandly break through the encirclement.”
Chris waited for my words while sweat travelled across his cheeks.
“You must protect the s.h.i.+p. Now is the time to make a display of the swordsmans.h.i.+p you're so boastful of.”
Chris seemed to take offensive and objected.
“I don't remember boasting.”
“Your speech and conduct go hand in hand with boasting. Show us the results of your efforts. I think that the skills you've been building up have led to this day. I don't plan on dying. You want to live too, right?”
After I said that, Chris hung his head, pondered──then raised his head back up.
“──Right. I want to see Marie's smile.”
The nerve he had to slip that in at the end.
Were those guys not brainwashed by her?
What was so good about her?
Once Chris opened the jail cell with a key, I got out. I reached my hand towards Olivia, who had been sitting down.
“I'll need your help.”
“O, okay! I'll do my best!”
Olivia, getting up and wiping her tears, stiffened her facial expression. It seemed she was planning to hold out for the sake of rescuing Anjie.
I definitely preferred her over Marie.
Chris should come to his senses.
While thinking as such, Chris placed a hand over his chest and muttered.
“Marie, I will see your smiling face once more. For that, please lend me power.”
In his hand was a charm.
“Is that yours?”
“This? I bought it at the festival. It seems to be called a 'Charm of War's Fortune'. Thinking about it now, perhaps it's a good omen.”
It was a small charm of a s.h.i.+eld and sword.
It was a suitable item for him to have.
“Yep, it matches well with you. You've definitely got the best of luck.”
“I, Is that so? It's a little embarra.s.sing for you to say that.”
Ew, don't get embarra.s.sed and blush. I wouldn't know how to react.
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