Translator: Nat Editor: Nefarian
「Count Roland! Where?! Where are you?!」
Raising his voice with his hair disheveled while running around in his mansion, the appearance of the male noble in the south, Margrave Alnode, was not at all dignified.
「Roland-sama has just returned to his own mansion for an emergency…」
One of the followers of a lower noble answered timidly as he watched Alnode’s sudden change in appearance.
「That stupid geezer just won’t die! You only ran away!!」
「Th-that baseless way of speaking! What on earth is it?」
Alnode kicks his desk away forcefully.
「Our army has been beaten by the king’s army, and my son died! The troops have also been mostly killed off or ran off! ….How dare he! How dare he! What was it about the king’s plaything, what was it about being gathered randomly! With this my house will!」
Roland was the one who urged Margrave Alnode to start the rebellion, and yet Roland has already escaped; Margrave Alnode hurled all the abuse he could think of in anger. But no matter how much he says it won’t change the fact that he’s the ringleader, he understood that there is no way to come up with an excuse for the royal family. It is possible to simply run away, but he has the pride of a well-known noble. There is no way that he could live by throwing everything away and living as a peddler or farmer.
The nobles that have gathered in the mansion could not hide their unrest. It is clear that the king’s army is heading here after being able to break the battle. But there is no place in their own territory to run to where they can oppose the king’s army. In the end, there is no other way but to rely on the Margrave, this is a sinking ship….
In the gloomy atmosphere, the gatekeepers come running with strained voices.
「A messenger from the king’s army has arrived!」
Everyone stood up, Alnode suppressed his fury and regained his calmness.
「Call him here.」
「I will tell you the words from the king.」
Alnode doesn’t hide the discouraged expression. When negotiating with nobles of higher status it is normal to send a representative with equal standing. To send a messenger with a message in hand, means that there is no room for negotiations.
「I wish for peace.」
The nobles have relieved expressions, having broken the army, not wishing for further warfare is common knowledge. It is inevitable that more or less territory and interest be forfeited at this point.
「However other than what I’ve said, it would not be done for free. The conditions for peace is to have Margrave Alnode as well as all nobles who joint signed to be executed! All peerage will be lifted; territory will be confiscated! Your son is held in the capital and his safety is guaranteed.」1
「Is there such a stupid thing?!」 「This is no different from the crime of high treason!」
「Fu, fufufu…that’s right…if it’s this…a messenger is good enough…」
Margrave Alnode is not a complete idiot. He understood everything now. The king intended to do this from the beginning. To make an example of the nobles who did not pay the tax and make me into an offering.
「A-Margrave Alnode…this is some kind of mistake. If the king sent a messenger to us it means」
「It’s enough, I’ve had enough.」
Standing up unsteadily, he took a sword from the wall into his hand. Nobody knew what was going to happen and while everyone looked on dumbfounded, Alnode swung his sword down, and cut down the messenger.
「Aah!!」 「What did you do!?」 「Are you going mad!?」
The nobles’ faces turned pale and shouted, if you cut the king’s messenger, nothing you say will go through. It is the same as signing the execution order for all the nobles here and their families.
「What a foolish person, you still don’t understand. The king intended to erase us from the beginning! It was from the time when we said we were unhappy with the temporary tax…Everything else after that was for the sake of getting us agitated and provoking us. After the conclusion was out, there is nothing we can do now…」
「No way! Then we should look for someone to help…」 「Who would be willing to help traitors like us?」
The nobles were clamoring hysterically.
Alnode was strangely quiet.When you are unable to do anything, people cane become unexpectedly calm. And he thought of the one way to escape.
「Calm down, we still have an option. To get someone to help us who suffered a hit from the king’s army that is pushing us back.」
「Is there anyone who would become our ally and help us…」
「There is. In the south, it falls under the oath that we swore to the king of Arkland.」
Everyone was at a loss for words, it was exactly the deed for traitors, it is the worst disgrace.
「Think about it, if we continue like this, then we can only choose death, and our house destroyed. Then even if we must cover ourselves with shame we can extend our lives and our children and grandchildren will have an opportunity to take revenge.」
There is already only one way left. The choice is whether we stop or continue.
Some did it for their children, some did it to live on, all the nobles were determined to continue.
「Is Viscount Bellido here?」
A warrior wrapped in silver armor, age is around 30 years old, appearance is gallantly organized and he’s handsome enough that one word from him can get any woman to open her crotch.
「You have been brought into my family and I will have you fulfill your duty as my child. I’m sorry but I’ll have you see this to the end.」
「Yes, when I took your daughter Catherine as my wife I was willing to accompany her to the depths of hell.」
「I see, I will have you lead my knights. My son has already gone off…if you are able to earn some merits you will become an adopted son of the Alnode family and will succeed it as the heir.」
「Oh, that would be wonderful.」
「Your military feats resound in the kingdom, if it’s Viscount Bellido then brushing aside the king’s army would be a simple task.」
Smiles returned to a few of the nobles’ faces. But their pale complexion still remained.
Central Army Campsite
The central army has Zaal, the base city of Margrave Alnode, in front of them and set up their campsite. The remaining forces of the enemy are few. Their only option is to hole themselves up in the city but even that will not continue for long. It is there that a report came in.
「The messenger was cut down? That’s it?」
I ask Erich if that’s a big deal. Even I would cut him down if I was told something ridiculous from the enemy.
「That means that they pulled the bow against the royal family. There will be no peace negotiations and we will have to fight until the end.」
「You wouldn’t expect this to be something a losing army would do.」
「It might have been done on impulse, perhaps he is trying to rely on Arkland.」
Certainly if they have nothing afterwards they would call for help haphazardly. And the closest in terms of geography would be Arkland.
「But that is an impractical theory on top of the desk. Once night falls we will launch a full attack, show no mercy to those who hole up in the city. If we shoot flaming arrows like a mountain the city would change from a fortress into a kettle in hell.」
Even if we reduce the city to scorched earth it would not change our objective for victory.
「I will have you work tomorrow as well but…there is another secret mission from the Majesty himself.」
Erich and I leave the tent by ourselves and enter the forest. Celia wanted to tag along but I held her back. It seems that nobody but myself can know about it.
In the pitch black darkness, waiting for a little bit, four torches wavering in the shape of the character ‘八’ came closer.
「That’s the signal.」
From the darkness shadows of people appeared. Two of them are apparently escort and brawny men, two are nobles wearing expensive looking clothes.
「Why this is Lord Radhalde, the army commander going out of his way to personally meet us, I’m sorry for the trouble.」
The elder nobles respectfully lowered their heads.
「Count Roland, it is good that everything went well.」
Count Roland is one of the people who sent the written protest with joint signatures, the southern noble aligned with Margrave Alnode and essentially his number 2.
「No well, Margrave Alnode isn’t too proficient with tricks so it went easily…sorry I’m late to introduce. This is my son. Once the matter this time is cleaned up it was my intention for him to inherit…」
I see, from the sending of the written protest to the rebellion, everything done was a race.
「Well let’s hear the course of events.」
Erich urges to cease the useless small talk.
「Yes, the Alnode faction has put soldiers in the city, trying to desperately defend. In addition at this time there is no evidence that the foreign troops are there.」
「Is that so, then it is as planned that their fate will end from tomorrow’s attack.」
「So…after crushing Alnode, have you heard from his Majesty regarding crossing our land? There is a dangerous bridge that has been crossed over multiple times…」
The land of the crushed southern noble being turned into national property; Roland would take the leftovers. The king had said something like that, this elder as well as his Majesty is quite the tactician.
Erich didn’t change his expression at all.
「It is just as you have heard from his Majesty. Then this time’s tactic, the household has not been talked about right?」
The old Count stretched his hands exaggeratedly.
「That is already! In any case if there is a chance that it will leak I will without a doubt kill the Margrave. The only thing I know is about your son, I only knew about your escorts just now.」
「Well that’s good.」
Erich and I signaled with our eyes.
I pull the Dual Crater from my back, and slash the two escorts.The escorts who let their guard down couldn’t do a thing, they crumbled down while still having a shocked expression.
「What are you!?」
The next person who looks like a threat would be the younger one, he may not be reliable but he would have more power than the elder.
「Hiih! Hiiih! Why, damn it!」
The man desperately tries to pull out his sword but he forgot to remove the fastening string so he couldn’t draw his sword. While making sure not to get in his way I use my sword to stab deeply into his chest, the man loses his strength.
「P-punk! Why is it like this-It’s different than what we said!」
Erich draws his sword and approaches Count Roland.
「Traitors will lose their life for their betrayal. It has been something that was said a few hundred years ago.」
Erich thrusts his sword into Count Roland’s eye. The poor elder in that time convulsed, and would never move again for eternity.
「The cowardly Count Roland saw that he was in an unfavorable situation, he went to escape with his son but was killed by bandits at night. It was something like that.」
Erich took the expensive looking things from the Count and his son and threw them deep into the woods. If by any chance the corpses get discovered it is to make it look like it was the work of bandits.
「It’s pretty scary. This is what you call tactics huh.」
「I don’t like this either but without tactics there would be no politics.」
I wipe the blood off my sword with the clothes from the pathetic corpses, and go back without saying anything.
「With you here, I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about military strength in these kinds of missions.」
I’m confident that I won’t lose in a death match between a few people.
「One day I may be murdered someday too huh.」
「His Majesty believes that you are some kind of new wind. There will be no such thing…but if there is a chance of assassination, a squadron is necessary or else it wouldn’t be possible.」
We prepare for tomorrow’s fight and drink alcohol, also enjoying the cool air we left to take a walk outdoors. That was all there was.
Simultaneously with the dawn, the central army began their all-out attack on the city of Zaal.
The city Zaal is the center city in the south, where the Margrave set up his residence but with the opposing violent Arkland close to them, the commerce and business did not develop outstandingly, and its population was only 3000 so it wasn’t that big.
The Margrave’s soldiers fired arrows from the top of the city’s walls, we threw stones to counter attack, but as soon as the archer squad fired their flaming arrows all at once, the town was engulfed in flames. They would not be able to hold on and would quickly leave the walls to retreat, the central army did not sacrifice anything important and was able to invade the city successfully.
「We did not have our turn in this siege warfare. Should we be quiet in the back so as to not get in the way?」
Of course attacks against a wall, in a narrow street with houses extending along the inner city, the cavalry cannot do much. Different from the capital, there is not much space for the cavalry to line up neatly in the main road or the plaza, Agor suggests that we split into smaller squadrons, and each help the neighboring squads by providing back-up.
「Aegir-sama, I have returned.」
Celia who went out to scout has returned.
「There are sporadic resistance in each place, but there are no large squads. They all seem like clean-up fights.」
「…Isn’t it strange? Although they have taken a hit in the last fight this is their headquarters. 1000 or 2000 troops should be here though.」
Agor twists his neck. But I see the answer.
「They’re escaping aren’t they, I don’t know how much of a reserve army the Margrave has but normally he would have at least a few thousand. Due to the defeat of their rebellion, the recruited farmers and mercenaries have definitely run away.」
To get on a sinking ship means that he has no more room to breathe. Agor who was in the Federation’s army may not know, but to the mercenaries and farmers the first thing they care about is their rewards, in a situation where they are sure to lose they will absolutely run away.
「The soldiers who came out from the city walls earlier have no intention of resisting.」
「I see, then inversely if those soldiers who are continuing to resist now are still here…」
「Those who have sworn their absolute allegiance to the Margrave, or those who have no place to run. Those who have resolved to die are tough though.」
Whether my intuition correct or not, the squad that has advanced to the lord’s mansion has reported that they have ran off.
「Agor, we won’t be able to do anything decent anyways. Why don’t we check up on the enemy’s last squad?」
「The captain is a curious fellow isn’t he…I’ll go along with you.」
「What’s wrong you inferior dogs!? Is this the end!?」
The man who was raising his voice in victory was surrounded by heavily armed knights lined up, the corpses of the soldiers of the central army rolled around. The one with a bitter face is Bruno, formerly Knight Bruno Renster is the supreme commander of the infantry.
「Bruno, what happened?」
「When I tried to invade the lord’s mansion he suddenly appeared, this is pretty tough.」
「My name is Cecil Bellido! Those of you want my head as a trophy, come fight me!」
A man who looks like a commander shouted loudly. It seems he has a lot of confidence. The cavalry that have challenged him to a duel earlier have all been instantly cut down.
「Is he strong?」
「Viscount Bellido is number 1 in the kingdom, and is famous man as a knight who competed twice. The troops under his command are most likely Margrave Alnode’s personal knights, he’s the Margrave’s adopted son and son-in-law after all.」
Having a hero lead an elite group of knights and protecting the mansion’s gates, this is problematic.
「Should I shoot an arrow?」
My thoughts coincide with Agor and Bruno. If you think about it normally you would not want to duel and lose your subordinates meaninglessly. Unfortunately, we are above normal soldiers, more than wanting to protect a knight’s honor we want to win comfortably.
Raining arrows from the bow gun squad’s attacks caused the knights and their horses to fall down one by one.
「Cowards! What do you take a knight’s pride to be!?」
Didn’t you say that we were inferior dogs earlier, being so naive as to line up in front of the gate you guys get a failing grade in terms of being a warmonger. There are not many knights who could move satisfactorily but Viscount Bellido has good fortune and has not been hit with an arrow.
「Now that it has come to this, I propose a duel with your hero! Now Step forward!」
Me and Bruno look at each other and laugh spontaneously. A fight that has been settled and asking for a duel, this guy is definitely not fit to be in the army. Bruno looks like he wants to shoot him, he gave orders to the bow gun squad, but Agor stepped forward.
「He is not fit to be in the army but, he wasn’t hesitant to be stabbed by the raining arrows. A fitting warrior should be given a fitting end…」
「Are you going to accept the challenge?」
Agor is strong but looking at that guy simply he looks to be pretty good too. Honestly speaking he is several times stronger than Agor. Losing a skilled adjutant here would not be good. I may also not be fit to be in the army.
「I will go, is it alright Bruno?」
「Hey hey…are you serious?…」
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a duel. I know it’s a foolish idea but I don’t care.
「My name is Aegir Hardlett, I will read you your last rites.」
I got off Schwartz and went forward. Bellido smiled with joy, he may have thought that arrows would come flying at him from the bottom of his heart.
「What a waste for this man to be placed amongst the trash! Now come!」
It wasn’t a charge, both of us got on our horses and a jousting match has started.
His spear was quite an ornament and he had his trophies unnecessarily attached to his extravagant spear, but it had weight and it moved pretty sharply.
Receiving my attack, he was skilled in turning and counter attacking quickly and he the name of number one in the kingdom was not just for show.
But I have no intention of losing. I am done checking his skill, I’ll hit him with full force with my spear.
One hit, two hits, three hits, his posture broke down and the fourth attack finally caused him to fall off his horse.
「Ugh! …It is not settled yet!」
He got up quickly and pointed his spear at me. I also got off Schwartz and drew my spear, I took a posture for thrusting.
We slowly closed the distance, when he entered my range I unleashed a strong thrust. He predicted that his armor would break, and predicts that I would aim at his neck so he protects that area but he’s wrong. I aim at his center, I thrust at the hardest part of the armor protecting his chest. Of course, I could not penetrate it, but with a super heavy-weighted weapon, one strike is enough to blow him away.
He rolled on the ground, he was about to get up but I put my blade through his throat.
Blood sprayed out and indicated the end of the fight.
「Raise your voices!」
Bruno took the lead and took a portion of the large squad that was the support and a portion of my squad also shouted their war cries. The knights that have lost their commander threw their weapons away and surrendered, when we were cheering in victory from the lord’s mansion, the enemies scattered around the city also stopped their resistance and the base of the rebelling nobles, the city of Zaal has fallen completely.
Name : Aegir Hardlett 19 years old Summer
Status : Goldonia Kingdom Knight Central Army 1st division Cavalry Company Commander
Annual Salary 80 gold
Money : 257 gold coins (Silvers and below not counted)
Weapon : Dual Crater (long sword), Large Bardiche (spear)
Equipment : High-grade Steel Plate armor, Black Cloak (Cursed)
Companions : Nonna, Melissa, Maria, Carla
Servants : Miti, Alma, Kroll
Subordinates : Celia (follower), Agor (adjutant), Christoph, Carl, Schwartz (Horse)
Sexual Partners Count : 28
- Nef: I’m not sure about this, I’m thinking he has many sons ↩