Chapter 04: Bright Red Meat Pies are Delicious
With regards to the history of the Mundo Novo Continent, it would probably be correct to say that most if not all stories produced in future posterity would be about this time period. Starting from battle with the demons that suddenly appeared for Labyrinth City Arte, there was the break up of the Star Church, the formation of the Royal Capital Liberation Army, the Kingdom Civil War, and then this stour heading towards a great war.
Many heroes would appear, heroic epics would be left behind as numerous as the stars, and then they would be handed down for generations.
Of all of the stories, the one most popular with the people of the New Kingdom would be the one about Altura Yuze Unicafe, the young princess spearheading the the Liberation Army.
In place of her deceased father exiled after losing a war of succession, she was a beloved character who rose up for the unhappy, suffering, and oppressed citizens. In the end, she was a woman who struck down the incompetent king, established the New Yuze Kingdom, and reigned as its first generation Queen. In her biography, she was a woman of honest speech and conduct, a woman who charmed the hearts of many people with her behavior, and a woman of much fascination.
The runner up in popularity would probably be the story of the Second Prince of the Empire, Alan, who after the Liberation War became Altura’s husband. It was a love story of the bonds between a man and woman of hostile nations, and despite the many exaggerations mixed in, it spawned many narratives. It was highly valuated from a military perspective, and the fights he participated in are considered excellent exhibitions of leadership. It was written down in Yuze Kingdom history that he did everything he could to negotiate with his home country, the Empire, and he continued to counsel harmoniously from beside the Queen.
In addition to those characters, many others were mentioned: there was the man who left his town and started walking the road of a hero, Fynn, the tactician who led the Liberation Army to victory, Diener, and the Invincible General, Behrouz.
In the shadow of the magnificent glory of the winners, there existed history of the vanquished too.
In the role of the villains, the ones who appeared most often were probably veteran army general Sharov, the Indominable Yalder, and his loyal retainer, Sidamo. High noble David and prime minister Farzām were also recorded.
Of course, the works were heavily distorted when convenient, and they had the thankless role of being utterly crushed by the Liberation Army.
In all those perverted literary works, or rather biographies, was a single character whose portrayal stood out ever more distinct.
—-[Death God, Schera Zade] In the frail army of the Kingdom, she was a female commissioned officer who spilled the most blood of the Royal Capital Liberation Army. She took the family name “Zade” sometime midway, and details of her descent were completely unknown. She was a character so mysterious that even her age was uncertain. This girl’s name first appeared onstage, front-and-center, at the Alucia Engagement. It was the first battle between the large scale armies of the Kingdom and the Royal Capital Liberation Army.
80,000 was the fighting force of the Kingdom, and 40,000 for the Royal Capital Liberation Army.
It was a battle that the Kingdom would win, they had believed. Not one of the Kingdom’s executives had doubted it.
Antigua Branch Castle, Northern Woodlands, Deserted House.
Voleur had been completely repulsed by a girl young enough to be his own daughter. His thrust with his body weight behind it that had been fired to quickly do her in had been lightly brushed aside. This girl’s blow had been of such weight that he had almost accidentally dropped his spear. Voleur had changed his mindset, and he was increasing the severity his attacks.
Thrust. Sweep. Strike.
He attacked with every method of offense he had, but he could not inflict any wounds. Schera nimbly moved and only deflected attacks deemed unavoidable with her large scythe. And then, she would start grinning like a fool.
Like she was waiting for Voleur to exhaust all his stamina.
It had been several minutes, or maybe several tens of minutes. With sweat running down from his cheeks, it was finally time that Voleur’s breathing became haggard.
“Well then, this time I’ll be the one attacking.”
“Make sure to parry. Just like I had done.”
Schera started her attack in the exact way Voleur had before her. The bulky Voleur was unable to evade as he would of liked, and the tempered blade protruding from the handle of the large scythe pierced through his armor. His steel armor that could even deflect arrows was destroyed with ease. It was preposterous to try to somehow parry the crash of the downward swung scythe with his large spear.
Just what was that thing made of.
For now, every single blow had such tremendous weight. Both his hands were numb. His knees were quivering. He was bleeding, and his stamina was starting to run out.
“Kuh-! You bastard, what kind of person are you? You can’t be, just a single common soldier.”
Schera spun her scythe when she bared her teeth and answered.
“If left alive, you will surely become a calamity of the Liberation Army. Right here, I absolutely have to kill you.”
“Do your best ‘kay.”
His waist lowered, Voleur thrusted with every fiber of his being. It was at a speed the onlookers watching in amazement around him could not at all cognize. It was a flawless strike joined with tangible fighting spirit.
It had been a strike magnificent to that degree. Had been that is.
“Oops, too slow it seems. Well then, I’ll have that head of yours.”
The blow with all his might behind it appeared to have gotten through to her.
The extended spear was entangled with her scythe, and the tip was forced into the ground. The instant he leaked out a cry of shock, the curved blade like a snake slithered, and Voleur’s trained neck was easily severed.
“Th, the Colonel was”
The Intelligence Corps members were lost for words. The deserters could do nothing but look at the spectacle in front of their eyes in amazement.
“With this guy’s head, it seems I’ll be able to eat some delicious food again. It was worth coming along with those dogs all the way out here.”
Schera cheerfully smiled while casually gripping the head that had a look of regret. One Intelligence Corps member thought to put an end to that recklessness.
“Can you not get in the way?”
“M-My eye, my eye issssss-!!!”
With no prior movements, a small sickle used for trimming grass concealed on her waist was thrown into the Intelligence Corps member’s face. The tip of the small sickle with a mean cutting edge viciously stabbed into the eye socket of the Intelligence Corps member.
After he writhed in pain and sloppily rolled around,
“Noisy,” and an attack was inflicted on the crown of the pitiful man’s head with the scythe’s handle, and he no longer let out even a single cry.
The remaining Intelligence Corps members were filled with excess terror, and they started trembling. Approaching them in front of their eyes was an existence that was the incarnation of Death. Already, in these guys’ eyes, they saw her not as a girl, but only as the shadow of Death, and there was no way they could win against Death. The only road available for these people who were overwhelmed was to pray.
“Well now, I wonder if I should go treasure hunting. I expressly came all the way out here; bringing back just a head is boring.”
Leaving behind the weaklings standing stock still, Schera entered the dilapidated house with the scythe on her shoulder. After a short time, sounds of a violent struggle came from inside, and after extremely gruesome screams could be heard, the now bloodstained Schera came out in a good mood.
While stuffing her cheeks with a red-dyed meat pie.
“I’ll be borrowing this spyglass since it seems handy. The owner can no longer use it, so he won’t mind.”
It was the magical instrument, the spyglass, that the Intelligence Corps had been using just before. This clearly wasn’t something good to hand over.
“Oh yeah. What should I do I wonder.”
“T-take them with you. We won’t mind. So, so, don’t kill us. Please. Sp-spare us.”
This Intelligence Corps member who would not talk even under torture had fear welling up from the bottom of his heart. The basic fear of having one’s soul reaped drew near before his very eyes. It was dreadful and unbearable.
“In exchange for this meat pie, I will spare you. You’re, quite lucky. You might’ve used up an entire life’s worth of luck. Your life from now on, be careful okay?”
Schera slowly whispered in a soft voice with condescending laughter into the ears of the trembling Intelligence Corps member.
Since her luggage had increased, ‘Isn’t there anything useful I could use?’ thought Schera as she started looking around the vicinity. When she heard a whinny from behind the small house, she discovered a finely built, black horse.
It was Voleur’s favorite horse that he had used to come to this dilapidated house.
At the sudden appearance of a person, the horse intensely neighed and drew back, but when Schera glared at it with narrowed eyes, it stopped stirring about like it had been struck by lightning.
“From now on, I will use you. Let us cordially advance onto the battlefield together.”
When Schera gently brushed him, the horse lowered his head in front of Schera, as if completely submitting himself to her. With a few pats and a soothing “there there,” she nimbly jumped atop and gripped the reins. Her display of easily handling the large horse proved her to be an expert.
“W-wait Schera. What, what should we do?”
The deserted Platoon Leader hurriedly came to ask Schera who was just about to depart. If left behind in this place, they would likely be accused of being responsible for the colonel who had lost his head.
Having said that, they could not just return to Antigua Branch Castle. There was only one punishment handed down to deserters: the death penalty.
“Hell if you stay. Hell if you return. Isn’t it fine just to pick whichever you like? Choosing is the only happiness left you for guys.”
“Should I end it for you? Reward for the trip here.”
When she pointed her scythe at the Platoon Leader, his legs gave out. Maybe his situation was funny; Schera let out a quick laugh. She gently put the half-eaten meat pie into the waistpouch and dusted off her hands. Dried blood was smeared on her hands. Or not just her hands rather, but even her entire body, but Schera didn’t notice that at the moment.
“Well then, goodbye. If fate decides it, see you later.”
With a light wave her hand, she kicked the horse’s abdomen, and they started galloping vigorously. In her hand was Voleur’s head, and on her back was her large scythe.
Antigua Branch Castle, Interrogation Room.
Schera who had spurred on her horse and gaudily repatriated was of course seen by the lookouts, bound, and taken for questioning. All the more because in her hand seemed to be the head of the enemy commander.
“……And so, you accompanied the deserters, took the head of the enemy commander, who just happened to be there, seized his horse, and then repatriated. Is that what you are saying?”
“Exactly. I’ve said it many times before right.”
“What an absurd story. Who would believe it? ……Is what I want to say, but the head of the enemy commander is the real thing. Affiliated with the Empire’s army, spearmanship instructor Voleur, no doubt about it.”
“Well then. Isn’t this good enough? I’m tired and hungry. I wonder, isn’t it about time to release me?”
After stretching out her hands and loudly yawning, Schera reached into her waist pouch and took out her half-eaten meat pie.
The meat pie dyed bright-red was her spoil of war. The smell of iron and a savory smell met and mixed together. She opened her mouth wide and was about to take a bite, but she was hindered, and it was tragically, roughly plundered.
Schera’s complexion instantly changed.
“You are in the middle of a hearing. Eating can wait after—–!?”
“—-Hey. If you don’t want to be beheaded, immediately return my meat pie-! I won’t say it a second time okay? Come, Hurry up-!!”
Schera abruptly reached out her right hand and tightened her vice-like grip around the neck of the military policeman. It was just a small hand, but the military policeman was starting to hear disgusting, creaking sounds. Her facial expression had become ferocious like a that of a starving beast.
“Guh, Wa-, wai-. Return it, j, just, let, go”
The military policeman who had decided he would be killed at this rate, let go and dropped the stolen meat pie in front of Schera’s eyes.
“……Can you not interrupt my meal? Please and thank you.”
Schera’s dangerous appearance immediately took an about face, and she was in a good humor stuffing herself.
The military police officer, though violently coughing *Goho goho*, looked over his shoulder at the door behind him. He sent his gaze which said, ‘please give me a break,’ to the man examining from behind the observation window.
The person observing was the man with the title Third Army Chief Staff Officer. It was Sidamo Arte. With a profound sigh, he opened the door to the interrogation room and entered.
Sidamo had been troubled over the increasing numbers of deserters. He soundly knew that there was a betrayer in the midst of them, but never did he expect that he completely overlooked the gatekeeper. Inconceivable. Due to Schera’s testimony, the secret collusion actions of the gatekeeper were settled, and he was immediately restrained and executed.
He had thought it would be over with that, but then he was surprised by the head the girl in question brought back.
No doubt about it, it was the man who served as the bodyguard for the imperial family at the memorial ceremony formerly held in three countries.
That Sidamo had recollection left of him was because Sidamo had attended and had been in charge of security from the Kingdom’s side.
From appearances, he was a grave, warrior type of person, and even if Sidamo was wrong, he was not an opponent a young girl could take on. Yet, the reality was that Voleur, who ought to have been flourishing on the battlefield, had his head detached from his body.
—-In other words, this girl, Schera, was someone stronger than Voleur.
Stupid, but this was reality. He could only recognize it.
“……You’re Temporary Second Lieutenant Schera? Assault towards military police is a crime of treason. Take care and act accordingly.”
“Sir-. Please forgive my discourtesy.”
“Also, cease talking while eating. That is defamation of a superior officer.”
Schera forcibly inhaled the meat pie, stood up from her seat, and saluted. At that action, Sidamo further knitted his brows together. In the end, was his judgement correct, or was it not correct? He was gradually losing confidence in himself.
“First of all, for the discovery of the turncoats. Well done. The increasing numbers of deserters was giving me a headache.”
“Due to that achievement, the title ‘Temporary’ will be taken from you. Hereafter, you will squarely have the title of Second Lieutenant.”
“Thank you very much!”
“Then, for the execution of enemy commander Voleur. His Excellency Yalder would also be pleased. But because he is busy with work right now preparing for an offensive, he is unable to give you any further reward.”
“Therefore, at my own discretion, for this current military operation as far as you are concerned, I have recommended you for a special duty unit. However, you will be detached from the duty of commanding your current platoon and be put in a detached force. If you distinguish yourself, I can guarantee that you can anticipate further promotions. How about it, do you aspire? Of course, this is not obligatory.”
“Sir-, Second Lieutenant Schera, aspires!”
She immediately replied without a second of hesitation.
“……Very well. Details will be left for later, and instructions will be given then. For now, rest your body. You are dismissed!”
“Sir-! Please excuse me!”
After performing a splendid salute, Schera withdrew, closing the door.
The instant Schera left the inspection room. “Ahh, I’m not used to that way of speaking. So tired.” The leaked out complaint was said in a ridiculously loud voice, and of course, it even reached Sidamo’s ears. “Let’s hurry and eat.” He could also completely hear that.
“I guess my judgement was mistaken. ……You, what do you think?”
“Sir Sidamo, I think your judgement and discernment is correct. That girl is most likely. ……No, no mistake, she is a monster.”
“……Is that so.”
Looking at the military policeman whose life was spared and appeared relieved from the bottom of his heart, Sidamo folded his arms and brooded for awhile.