Following me are the 200 heavy cavalry, the escort squad and the elites of the cavalry unit. The bow cavalry are powerful but their defenses are inferior, which would probably mean a higher number of casualties if we use them in our forceful breakthrough strategy. They are unsuited to the plan this time around.
The heavy cavalry are typically quite slow, but now they are running at an unthinkable speed, like that of an express messenger. Because there are so few of them, plenty of spare horses were brought along, so a couple feats usually impossible are made possible.
「Don’t lower your speed! If we progress sluggishly and the royal palace falls before we get there, it’ll be a total joke.」
It normally takes us about a week to get there from Rafen, but it is doubtful the royal palace would hold out that long since it isn’t a fortress. We must get there as fast as possible.
「Goldonian soldiers!? What on earth do you think you’re doing?!」
「This is in response to Queen Celestina’s request! Behold the symbol of the King!」
When the galloping heavy cavalry run through the towns, the guards rush out in a panic, but with the messenger who brought the letter from Celestina leading us, the guards became obedient after being shown the letter.
「T-this childish writing is definitely Her Majesty, but what exactly is going on?」
It appears the happenings are only near the capital and information hasn’t reached the feudal lords and towns which are further away.
「There’s no time to explain! ……you’ll understand soon.」
The guards stare blankly as the messenger cuts talks short, since all of the guards will probably turn into enemies when the royal palace falls and the King is replaced. It isn’t impossible to rout them as we pass each town, but it isn’t the smartest idea. In any case, we just need to rush through right now.
We conduct our strict march, covering a distance which would take light cavalry three days and heavy cavalry an additional day on top of that, in two days while switching horses. With a speed as if we were soaring through the air, the capital of the Malt Kingdom, Biado, finally enters our line of sight.
「Smoke can be seen here and there……but it doesn’t look like the flames are burning too brightly.」
「In other words, the royal palace is still holding out?」
I couldn’t answer Myla’s question. There is also a possibility that the lack of flames could mean the palace has already fallen.
「The gates are closed.」
Celia makes a sour face as she comments. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to open the gate after all. The enemy will undoubtedly be able to organize themselves.
「No, it’s fine. Please continue to advance at the same pace!」
But the messenger leading us doesn’t drop his speed.
「Is it not a trap?」
Myla has doubts but if we were to be delayed here, we will not be able to achieve our objective anyways. There’s no other choice but to trust him.
The messenger picks up speed and shouts loudly as he approaches the gates.
「We have come to save our beloved Queen! Open the gates!」
I thought arrows would come flying but there was no response. And then, the gates open silently.
「Charge in just like this!」
We form into two ranks and run through the gates in a hurry. The gatekeepers are all turning their backs.
「They are pretty much the capital’s guards and His Highness Pablo’s subordinates, but they are more or less part of the rebel army. But there isn’t really anyone who likes His Highness more than Her Majesty.」
They can’t disobey their superiors, but they can pretend they didn’t see anything. As we pass through, we raise our spears slightly. I guess that’s obvious, someone liking an arrogant smallfry of a man more than a cute kid has a screw loose in their head.
As we pass through the gates of the city walls, the royal palace quickly comes into our sights. The palace is surrounded on all sides by several thousand soldiers and there are sounds of skirmishes everywhere. We made it, the palace hasn’t fallen yet if it’s still surrounded.
「All units, get into breakthrough formation!」
It will be inside the city so it will ultimately be a narrow vertical formation, but that is convenient for us.
「The enemy appears to have more than 10 times our numbers, roughly speaking. Are we going to proceed with the attack?」
「We don’t have much choice, do we?」
Myla thinks a bit before smiling.
「The enemy is surrounding the entire place so their forces are dispersed, not to mention they will not be expecting us to have passed through the gates so easily, so it will be a complete surprise attack. We can breakthrough.」
Alright, if you say so, then there’s no doubt about it.
「But if we’re in the palace, we’ll be surrounded as well……」
Let’s think about that once we get in. We’ll manage somehow.
We close the distance to the palace and the soldiers surrounding the building realize our presence as expected.
All soldiers let out a war cry at the same time the order was given, thrusting their spears forward and sprinting full speed ahead with their horses. The rebel army has no time to construct a line of spears.
「Goldonia!? Where on earth did they come from?!! We were not informed when they passed the gate!」
「What are these guys!?」
「Uwaaaaa, they’re hereee!!」
The collision with the enemy was accompanied by shouting mixed with the tremendous sounds of metal clashing and bodies crashing into each other. The enemies in front were all skewered by the spears and then sent flying by the horses.
「Advance, advance! Pierce through them all!」
Irijina is rampaging on her horse in the middle of it all, with thrusts like consecutive bolts of lightning defeating the enemy soldiers one after the other. Since there was no wall of spears, the enemy infantry aren’t scary at all no matter how many thousands of men they have. If we don’t lose speed, it will be a one-sided trampling.
I also swing my spear undauntedly. The enemy soldiers knocked away from my attacks get sent flying a great distance, crashing on the top parts of the palace walls. The enemies who were hit with the blade of my spear get sliced apart and their body parts plaster the white walls of the palace, decorating the surface with stains like red flowers before sliding down to the ground.
「Gather together! Set up your shields!」
The enemy soldiers gather in front of us and prop their shields up. I guess they’re trying to hold back our charge somehow without long spears.
「Let’s go, Schwartz.」
Schwartz increases his speed further towards the wall of shields.
「He’s not slowing down?」「He intends to ram into us!」
That’s right, Schwartz sprints at full speed and collides straight into the group of enemies holding up their shields. A normal horse would injure their legs and fall over after an act like that, but this one isn’t your average horse.
Schwartz runs into the them and around five enemy soldiers were knocked away, then I swing down my spear to crush three more enemies at once. Schwartz’s speed was practically unchanged as he tramples over the fallen enemies and continues running ahead.
「Aegir-sama, from where-……sh-! Shall we go?」
Celia inquires as she slashes the throat of a passing enemy in mid-conversation.
「It’s already decided. From the front. 」
If they are surrounding the entire circumference, it would be the same no matter where we attack from. Then, why not just boldly attack from the front.
「Open the gates! Open the gates!!」
Seeing how the enemies disappeared after our frontal charge, the palace’s main gates opens slowly.
「They’re welcoming us. Let’s go.」
We push away the few remaining enemies and rush into the palace. Once they saw all of us pass through, the main gates closes slowly.
「What are you doing?! Follow the enemy and flood inside! We can occupy the palace at once. Follow meee.」
Seeing a chance when the gates opened, one of the captains took several dozen subordinates with him and slipped in behind us. He intends to set up a stick to prop open the gates so he can call his fellow soldiers.
「It won’t be that easy though.」
I hold my spear at my waist, storing up power before an intense horizontal swing, bisecting the supporting stick and the soldier. Irijina then stands in the way, blocking the front of the main gates and holding back the enemy soldiers attempting to rush in. Pipi, Luna, Ruby and Gido release their arrows, accurately sniping soldiers who were trying to fix the gate in place.
In an instant, nothing is left supporting the doors and the main gates finally close shut. The only ones inside are the 200 I brought with me plus the soldiers protecting the palace, along with 10 brave rebel army soldiers.
「T-this is……you know……」
「Guess you just weren’t lucky.」
I turn my back to them and head to the inner parts of the palace to where Celestina should be. Tragic cries and sounds of slaughter resound behind me.
「Lord Hardlett! To think you actually came to support us.」
「I pretty much gave up, thinking you wouldn’t make it in time……but as expected from you.」
The Regent, Lavoy, and the previous King, Diego, jog lightly to greet me. I didn’t come to provide backup so I stay quiet and bow once.
「To be honest, I don’t think we can hold out even two days.」
「Did you hear about the rebellion?」
The information I know about should be restricted to what Celestina wrote in the letter. But I had a rough idea of what was going on from the spy.
「Umu……those stupid sons! Causing chaos just because the two of them are jealous of my cute Celestina! Not to mention, they got Brutus mixed up too……I don’t know why that guy would go along with those idiots.」
That’s not it, the principal offender is definitely Brutus and those two sons are the ones tagging along. If those two idiots were in charge, a large majority of the soldiers would have followed the Queen. Because the culprit is someone the soldiers trust, it was possible for the soldiers to be mobilized and things to get this far..
「Before we knew it, most of the soldiers were part of the rebellion and the only ones we had left were the 500 soldiers here.」
Diego looked slightly disappointed when he saw that I brought only 200 soldiers with me.
「You did well to breakthrough with this amount of soldiers……but it will be hard to change the tides of battle like this……」
「I’m sorry to say.」
When the gloomy atmosphere was about the wrap around us, a lively voice clears it away.
Springy footsteps can be heard as Celestina runs toward me, pouncing into my chest.
「I’m so happy! You came for me! It was scary……I was scared.」
Celestina buries her face into my chest. Diego looks at me with an envious expression. There’s no time for that now.
「If you wanted to hug someone, then what about Lavoy-dono or your father?」
「Grandpa’s back will hurt when I hug him because he’s old. Father is smelly.」
Diego slumps his shoulders and drops to his knees.
「Aegir, I want you to save us. Everyone is violent and scary……」
Sorry, I’m probably the most violent of the bunch.
Hearing that conversation, Diego and Lavoy look at each other and nod. They look as if they have found the resolve to do something.
「Hardlett-dono, it’s no longer possible to suppress the rebellion, but can you breakthrough the encirclement and leave this place?」
Diego is suddenly using keigo.
「I can do it. If not, I wouldn’t have come.」
「……Alright. I will leave Celestina with you. She may lose her status as Queen but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s my cute daughter, and I can’t have her die here!」
「Everybody! Will you devote your life for Her Majesty, Celestina?」
The soldiers around us answer with a resounding shout. This King can’t really do much, but he’s pretty well-liked.
「Hm? Hm? What’s going on? Isn’t everything going to fine now that Aegir is here?」
Diego hugs Celestina tightly.
「Listen, my cute Celestina, you are still just a child. You will have plenty of tough times and fun times ahead of you. Your father and grandpa will no longer be able to look after you.」
「I don’t get it, what are you trying to say, father?」
「If it’s Hardlett-dono, he will be able to protect you. Treat him as your father……no, I can’t give that up. Treat him as your older brother and listen to what he says.」
After patting Celestina’s head, Diego separates her from him and draws his sword.
「Open all the gates, we’ll fight our way out!!」
「Lord Hardlett, I’m counting on you……look after Celestina!」
I came with that intention in the first place.
「It’s going to be a brawl, isn’t it.」
「But that’s the best plan.」
Opening all the gates would mean the enemies will come flooding in all at once. But on the other hand, it means the total number of soldiers would be spread out between each gate. Our objective is just to let Celestina escape, which means we just have to escape from the place with the least number of forces out of all the places the enemy is flowing in from.
「Everyone, get on your horses, it’s going to be harder than when we came in. Those who are injured should remove their armor and ride with another, don’t abandon anyone.」
The palace soldiers finish preparing themselves for their grim fate while Diego has a beaming smile on his face, my soldiers are focusing their energy towards the rough upcoming battle. Celestina is amongst all of that and still doesn’t know what is going on. As she’s letting out cries of bewilderment, I pick her up and let her ride on Schwartz.
「Open the gates—!!」
The main gates and rear gates open, and even the gates for the emergency-only escape route are opened. With Brutus being well-versed in everything military, the option to escape through that emergency exit was lost as soon as he turned traitor.
「Defense looks thin around the rear gates!」
As a result of breaking through the front gates, the enemy forces concentrated around the front, meaning the rear gates have comparatively less people.
「Run through them!!」
We gallop through the palace and run towards the gate, charging at the enemies who are also charging into the palace. Confused that their charge was being answered with a charge, the enemy instantly goes back towards the gate, and just when I thought we could escape, the vanguard took a concentrated volley of bowgun fire and fell over.
「I thought you would come to the place where it was thinner.」
Brutus and Pablo were standing there. They are leading a bowgun unit consisting of several dozen soldiers lined up in a single row. Despite being heavy cavalry, they are unable to completely block an attack from a bowgun at close range. Moreover, it was hard for them to run past them in such a narrow space in the palace.
「I’ll need you to hand over the Queen.」
「I’ll kill that useless piece of trash!!」
Between the calm Brutus and the fussing Pablo, I choose Brutus as the only one who I can talk with.
「I don’t see a reason to listen to what the rebel army tells me to do.」
「If you hand her over, I won’t shoot your soldiers.」
「Fuck! I’ll massacre the lot of you!」
With a calm tone, Brutus tells me how it’s natural for the rebel army to want the life of the girl, so I don’t have a bad impression of him. It is out of the question for Pablo though. But that’s fine.
Celestina wraps her arms around my waist and squeezes tightly. There’s no need to think.
I leave Celestina on top of the horse and dismount from Schwartz.
「There’s no need to negotiate, come at me with your sword.」
I smile as I swing my spear around. Celia and the others are getting ready for battle too. There is no use talking anymore.
「I see……you leave me with no choice.」
「I’ll kill you! Your women will be beaten half to death and treated as playthings!」
I kick off the ground and dash forward, closing the distance between the bowgun squad in an instant.
Right as they were about to fire, I roll on the ground to evade the bolts. At the same time, Gido and the others loose their arrows to eliminate the enemies.
The force and precision of a bowgun is threatening but the speed of firing cannot compare to that of a bow and arrow. In that opening created by the need to reload, I jump at the line of soldiers and swing my spear at them.
「Protect the bowguns!」
Soldiers holding swords and shields come running to protect the defenseless bowgun squad.
「How amusing, try to stop me!！」
With a full-powered swing of my spear, I instantaneously split the soldier’s head in half along with the shield he put up, dropping the body to the ground, then using the momentum to roundhouse kick two enemies away.
I grab the swords thrusted at me and wrench them away with great force, returning a headbutt to each them and caving their faces in.
I stab the enemy soldiers who stopped moving due to confusion and chuck them to the pointed decoration on top of the rear gates, letting them get impaled. They continuously let out ear-piercing cries in agony.
「What the hell is with this guy……he’s practically a monster! Go, everyone go and kill him!」
Pablo kicks the soldiers to spur them on. This guy is just detestable to the bitter end.
The enemy decides to run at me altogether despite being scared. But that actually saves me the time and trouble of having to go closer to them.
Following that fervor-filled cry, I swing my spear around me with all my might, bisecting everyone within a 3 m radius or knocking them back so hard they remain motionless on the ground. Seeing as how there are no more enemies around me, I count the ones on the ground. Roughly 15, which is a fair number.
While I was fighting, Celia and the others appear to have finished off the bowgun soldiers. With that, the biggest threats are eliminated. The enemy soldiers are preparing to flee now, which makes it the perfect time to breakthrough.
Perhaps grasping the situation at hand, Brutus himself steps forward and shouts. The enemy soldiers who were gradually getting more shaken start to regain their composure. He’s quite the capable general.
「I will take this guy out! Please help as well, Your Highness, Pablo.」
「Eh!? Aah, me too? Eh? Alright……」
When I look at my body, I can see I’m covered in the blood of the victims of my spear and there’s even some bits of entrails on my shoulder. It’ll get in my way so I grab it and toss it at Pablo.
「Uwah! Stop itttt!!」
He’s wonderfully used to “real battle”, isn’t he.
With his shout as the signal, I charge in towards Brutus and Pablo, who stand ready with their two-handed swords.
「Brutus! His spear is longer, we’re at a disadvantage with swords!」
「Your Highness, step back a bit. There are many garden trees in the backyard so he can’t swing his spear freely. Thrust at him when you see an opening!」
The backyard near the rear gate certainly has many trees, which makes it seem narrow. It is normally a place where it is unsuited to swing a spear around but……if they’re only that thick, it shouldn’t be a problem.
「That is good!!」
I swing my spear relying on my brute strength, but just as Brutus said, the trees are getting in the way, although the trees break into pieces instead of my spear. A soldier trying to hide in the shadow of the tree is slashed in two along with the tree and crumbles.
「Guh……strength as described in the rumors.」
If I finish off Brutus, the soldiers here would become disorderly. Thinking to end it in one strike, I raise my spear up and slightly diagonally, then bring it down with all my strength. The sword of those who dares to block the full brunt of my strike will get broken and even if they dodge backwards, I can just kill them with a follow-up thrust.
But Brutus meets my spear with his sword and parries it into the ground. Since the momentum is too great, I couldn’t stop halfway.
The spear slams into the ground and kicks up a cloud of dust. Of course, there’s no way he would miss this opening and swings his two-handed sword down toward the top of my head.
I’m off balance so I can’t bring back my spear. There’s no choice but to be a little forceful here.
I push my spear even deeper into the ground and scoop up towards his feet. A normal spear would bend and break but this isn’t your average spear.
The spear swims under the ground and causes his legs to tremble, causing Brutus to lose concentration in his sword strike unknowingly. I deflect the sword which lost its momentum with my arm guard and pull out the spear from the ground, then rest it on my shoulder.
「I was surprised.」
「My words exactly.」
I can see Brutus start dripping cold sweat as he makes the comment. Not only did he let such a perfect chance escape him, the distance between his opponent and himself has widened and there’s no eluding the disadvantage of going against someone wielding a spear. The crucial reinforcement is……
「Go on! Support Brutus!」
「Your Highness as well, now is the time to display your military prowess!」
「Don’t be stupid, you think I can win against that?! I mean, I can win, but not right now!」
I feel sorry for him for having such stupid allies. On that note, my allies are all watching attentively at our one-on-one fight while routing the enemy soldiers and opening the path towards the gate. As soon as I settle this battle, we should be able to escape immediately.
「Let’s end things.」
Brutus’s swordsmanship is the real deal unlike Pablo’s. I’m not going to get in close and fight him.
I grip my spear tightly and thrust at him repeatedly. I thrust as fast as possible and as accurate as possible.
「Guh, uuh, you-!」
Brutus desperately tries to block my attacks, but is unable to block completely since my strikes are quite heavy, causing blood to squirt out from his thigh and the top of his shoulder. Because of the distance, he was unable to return any attacks, only being cornered one-sidedly.
「Do you think this is cowardly?」
「Then, how about this?」
This is the three-strike combo I learned from watching Irijina – a strike each to the crotch, stomach and chest. Brutus manages to parry two strikes but was unable to block the strike to his chest as the tip of the spear propels itself through the chainmail and into his body.
Fresh blood trickles out from the wound and he drops to his knees unwillingly. However, the injury appears shallow and won’t be fatal to him.
Preparing to finish him off, I swing my spear to one side and sweep him horizontally. While Brutus continues to bleed from his chest, he pulls the one-handed sword at his waist and crosses both weapons together to stop my spear.
With an intense metallic sound echoing, both swords shatter, and his left arm snaps as well. Brutus falls over and rolls on the ground as if he was sent flying and crashes into the wall, coughing out blood on impact. He knows that rolling around carelessly on the battlefield means that death will soon come to him.
But his eyes seem to have lost their focus, one of his arms is hanging unusually limp and he has no weapon. There’s no longer a way for him to block an attack from even a child. I chase after him, thinking that he won’t pursue us if I take him out here, but…….
「Diego II has been taken out—!!」
Loud cheers erupt on the other end of the palace.
「-!! Nooooo!! Fatherrrrrrr!!」
Celestina’s cry of extreme sorrow rings out. If Diego has died, then their allies will quickly flood into the palace. If we don’t hurry, the exit will close completely.
I leave the bloody and unstable Brutus alone and proceed to breakthrough the rear gate. Pablo stands in the way with his sword though.
Pablo yields and opens the path immediately. He barely escaped death, I guess.
「Retreat to Rafen! Hurry!」
We pick up speed and race out the rear gates on our horses. The gates of the city wall were opened inadvertently just like before so I’ll gladly pass through.
「Waaaah……Father……Grandpaa……why did things turn out so horribly……」
Celestina sobs continuously while clinging onto me. The gatekeepers, who are more or less part of the rebel army, put down their spears and lower their heads with an apologetic look. There are some soldiers who are wailing with their heads to the ground too.
「Aegir-sama, we suffered insignificant casualties and there are no signs of the enemy pursuing us.」
I nod at Celia’s report.
We get on our spare horses left by the gates when we first came in and pick up speed again. The heavy cavalry are slower than the normal cavalry but when they are running as fast as they can, it is still hard to chase after them.
Moreover, they don’t have the luxury to do so after the melee in the palace. As long as we don’t slow down, we don’t have to worry about any future fights.
We have successfully fulfilled the mission we set out to accomplish and return home carrying the sobbing Celestina. What an indescribable feeling this is.
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 22 years old. Summer.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Count. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. King of the Mountains. Friend of the Dwarves.
Citizens: 142,000. Central City Rafen: 16,000
Troops Commanded: 3500 (excluding bow cavalry)
Assets: 47,400 gold (Fresh Recruit Call-up -600) Loan: 20 000 gold
Weapons: Dual Crater (large sword), Dwarf’s Spear, High-grade Steel One-handed Sword
Family: Nonna (wife), Carla (concubine), Mel (concubine), Kuu (lover), Ruu (lover), Mireille (lover), Leah (Self-declared Sex Slave), Casie (ghost), Miti (lover), Alma, Kroll (non-virgin), Melissa (lover), Maria (lover), Rita (Big Cock Lover), Catherine (lover), Yoguri (Neo Neet), Pipi (follower), Sebastian (butler), Dorothea (lover, in the capital), Celestina (Refugee Queen)←new
Children: Sue, Miu, Ekaterina (daughter), Antonio, Claude, Gilbard (son), Rose (foster daughter)
Subordinates: Celia (adjutant), Irijina (commander), Luna (commander), Ruby (Luna’s follower and lover), Myla (peace officer), Leopolt (staff officer), Adolph (domestic affairs official), Gido (escort), Tristan (follower), Claire & Laurie (Official Merchant), Schwartz (horse), Lilian (actress)
Sexual Partners: 128, children who have been born: 31