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Chapter 09: Grass is Also Occasionally Delicious
Inside Belta Castle; In front of Sidamo’s Office.
Two newcomers only just appointed were standing stock still wonder what to do. More specifically, they were wondering what to do about the object in front of their eyes.
“……What is this I wonder?”
“No matter what angle you look at it, isn’t it bread?”
“What I’m asking is why is there a piece of bread placed all the way out here. ……I wonder if this is some test for us. We better think this through.”
Muttered a woman wearing a brand new officer uniform as she pushed up her glasses. That was her way of dealing with stressful situations probably.
The other man squatted and gazed at the bread. Nothing special, just a loaf of bread. Nothing more, nothing less.
—-In other words,
“Someone probably just dropped it. You’re thinking too much.”
“All the way over here? Just who the heck would?”
“Anyways, let’s pick it up. It may perhaps be Sir Staff Officer’s. I’ll hold it unnaturally and maybe he’ll notice it.”
“……Do as you please. Just don’t get me involved.”
After showing an incredulous expression, the young woman knocked on the door. A man’s sharp voice replied from inside.
“—-Who is it?”
She took a deep breath and raised her voice.
“Sir- I am Second Lieutenant Katarina Nubes assigned to the Third Army this day! I have come to make my introduction!”
“Similarly, I am Second Lieutenant Vander Hafiz!”
Hearing the short reply, they straightened their backs so as to not be discourteous and entered the room. Inside was a man carrying out his official duties with many creases between his brow.
The two newcomers guessed that this was probably the Chief Staff Officer of the Third Army, Sidamo Arte. In any situation, first impressions were crucial. They straightened their backs even more, clicked their heels, and saluted just as they practiced many times before.
—-When they unintentionally looked down, there were pieces of a broken flower pot around the floor.
“You’ve done well to come to Belta Castle, the front lines of the Yuze Kingdom. From here on, I expect great work from you gentlemen, is what I want to say but.
Sidamo cut off his sentence.
“Before long, it has been decided that we will be assimilated into the Fourth Army. You guys being in the Third Army, unfortunately, will only be for a short while. ……That aside, what’s that in your hand?”
He pointed at the bread Vander was holding. His brow furrowed again, and an eyebrow was twitching and spasming.
“Sir-, this was left in from of the door, so I had thought to pick it up. Is this possibly Staff–”
“Wrong. ……Dispose of it as you see fit. It’s something the Sir Hero dropped. If you’re hungry, I don’t mind if you eat it. After the conversation is over that is.”
Katarina and Vander both exchanged dubious expressions. But Sidamo disregarded that and continued.
“……Returning to the original conversation; as I said earlier, immediately once the Fourth Army arrives, we will merge with them. Most likely, we will be put in charge of support.”
They would work behind the scenes and be unable to accrue spectacular achievements. There was no question that they might even have extremely burdensome tasks shoved onto them. Use the resources of others, not one’s own, obviously.
“And so, what about being stationed with Major Schera’s unit……?”
Katarina timidly asked. The was the greatest chance to work beside a future Hero. She didn’t want to let this opportunity escape. Vander on the other hand, was thinking that nothing could be done about it.
“There’s no problem. As arranged, you will be enlisted as an adjutant. It would probably behoove you to take some food and greet Major Schera afterwards. She’ll then seriously listen to you for certain.
Hearing the word food, a question mark floated above Katarina’s head, but she didn’t dare to venture the question. It seemed like there was some connection to the bread earlier, but this wasn’t the mood to ask it.
“……About Major Schera who will become your superior officer, she’s a somewhat troublesome being. She likes to act arbitrarily on her own authority, she has superficial experience commanding a unit, and she is not well-informed of the art of war. However, she is valiant and is the owner of many kills.”
Sidamo expressed with words not flowery at all. There was no point in lying, so he indifferently only conveyed the truth.
“H, however. She was promoted to Major at the tender age of 18. This is of an unprecedented speed even in our army I believe so…”
When Vander enquired, Sidamo solemnly nodded.
“Indeed. She volunteered during recruitment at 16, and on that occasion, she passed since she had brought heads of the Rebel Army. After a surprise attack blunder in her first battle, in the middle of a rout she annihilated an enemy platoon and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. She slipped amongst deserters from Antigua, infiltrated the enemy’s spy base, and killed a Colonel of the Empire’s Army.”
Katarina involuntarily commended. This was a career exactly befitting a Hero. If she kept it up, a promotion to General was probably not a dream. She would witness that progress from as close as possible.She aspired to be an adjutant for that sake.
“Moreover, at the Alucia Engagement, she lead a cavalry whose commander had died in battle, destroyed the enemy’s food storehouse, and after all that, broke through the enemy’s encirclement and repatriated. She is the owner of such feats. If we had 100 of her, there would be no doubt to our victory.”
“Then, why do you consider there to be a problem?”
“Schera excels in combat certainly. But, she has received no training as a military officer. Her knowledge is meager; she leads based on instinct; all she has superior power. For a single soldier, that’s great, but I have a great deal of insecurities entrusting her with the lives of 3,000 cavalry. At the same time you assist her, I would like you to restrain her recklessness.”
“So what you’re saying is…”
“Think of it like this. She completely falls into an enemy trap; you keep her from being killed no matter what it takes. Don’t let her fall into the same rut as we the Third Army, is what I’m saying.. ——How about it. Do you understand? If you understand then say so.”
Finished with his almost self-demeaning speech, Sidamo urged both of them who had been bombarded with words.
“Und, Understood. I will aid with everything I have.”
“Same. I, Vander, will devote everything!”
Katarina and Vander, despite being barraged with words, saluted and expressed their comprehension. For some reason, they felt like they had some extremely difficult work pushed onto them.
Just a little bit, Sidamo made a relieved expression.
“……Very well. In that case, you may retire. I expect achievements hereon.”
The two adjutants respectfully withdrew and exchanged mutual glances.
Like they were wondering what just happened.
“For the time being, let’s greet Major Schera. We won’t understand anything if we don’t meet her in person. Consideration can be left for later wouldn’t you say?”
“Y, yeah. As you say. We ought to take action instead of being anxious. ……No, we definitely can’t act without thinking this through. Absolutely not. What’s done cannot be undone—-”
Katarina muttered to herself and pushed up her glasses. ‘Again with this?’ thought Vander as he walked forward.
“What are you whispering to yourself for. I’m leaving you being.”
“Hol, Hold it right there!”
“Don’t talk so loudly. People will hear you.”
“It’s because you’re leaving!”
Since she was aware, Katarina did not have parents, and she was a prodigy who through great effort and study struggled this far. She liked learning more than fighting, and if pressed to say, she disliked those humans who acted without thinking.
Her unusual foster parents were also humans who acted before thinking.
After adjusting her slipping glasses, Katarina chased after her colleague in a jog.
Belta Castle, Inside the Stables.
The two started a conversation with the soldier briskly taking care of the battle horses.
Perhaps Katarina was tired of walking; her body was sluggish.
“……Where’s Major Schera?”
“She led the cavalry and set out on her task some time ago. I think she’s taking the opportunity while patrolling the perimeter to go for a raid on the supply trains as usual.”
“B, but, Staff Officer Sidamo told her to put an end to that.”
“Hahaha, you’re telling me. Please tell that directly to Major Schera. Well, if she would stop just by being told to, I think the Staff Officer wouldn’t be having such a hard time.”
The soldier laughed and returned to caring for the horses again. He was also one of Schera’s cavalry unit. Maybe because he had seen his commander’s strength firsthand, his morale was relatively high. Seeing that the soldier had returned to his work, Vander lightly sighed.
“I can’t help but feel like there’s trouble in store for us. Maybe it was a mistake to volunteer.”
“……Oh shut up. Even if you’re thinking it, don’t say it.”
“It’s just my personality to say what I think.:
“Hurry up and fix that.”
“I’ll exert myself, Lord Second Lieutenant Katarina.”
Upon coming to visit Schera’s office, they found it vacant, so they searched around inside Belta Castle. They finally heard a trace of her in the barracks, and hurried to the stables as they were told.
However, they were just one step behind, and only mentioning that she was heading out to patrol the area, Schera had led 100 cavalrymen out of Belta.
—-Schera had completely forgotten about the new adjutant matter it seemed.
Around that time in a different place.
Schera had, as arranged, traveled west of Belta at full speed, and after they crossed Alucia River, they were lying prone on a slightly elevated hill overlooking Antigua Branch Castle. Naturally, they had dismounted, and their horses were hidden in the shade of the trees.
“Let me see… I wonder what became of what was once our home, Antigua. ……What an eyesore of a flag as always. That annoying, shit-green flag. I get more and more irritated looking at it. I think I’m going to get wrinkles on my brow just like Staff Officer Sidamo.”
Schera took at look at the castle through the spyglass stolen from the Empire intelligence operatives while prone.
The Yuze Royal Family’s coat of arms on a green background–it was the Liberation Army’s flag. The Royal Family’s coat of arms on a red background then would be the Kingdom Army’s.
Schera violently teared a handful of weeds that were around her, threw them into her mouth, and masticated like a horse. Bitter. Unpleasant. Pungent. ‘I shouldn’t have eaten this,’ she immediately repented.
With a look so atrocious that one would find it hard to approach her, Schera looked through the spyglass and checked the current state of affairs. The inside of the castle was calm it seemed, but it did not seem the security was loose at all. The town inside of the ramparts was crowded with people like soldiers or merchants, and smiling faces could be seen on the coming and going townspeople. Half a year had passed, and tranquility had been completely restored. Actually, maybe it was prospering even more than those days under the Kingdom. There was the delight of having been liberated from tyrannical rule possibly. Schera, displeased, spit out the grass.
“……Major. No one eats weeds after getting irritated.”
A soldier on alert in the back addressed Schera, feeling amazed.
“I’ve left them with the horses. So I don’t have anything on hand right now. My stomach is in crisis.”
“Please be at ease. Take this. I procured it some time ago.”
He crawled up to beside Schera and with a smile handed over something. In the middle of passing through Alucia Plains, he had harvested some plants from a field. As this was already enemy territory, he unhesitatingly helped himself to just one.
“……What’s this I wonder. It seems more chewy than that grass I ate.”
“It is a plant that is the raw material for sugar. Cut the stalk and hold it in your mouth please. It is sweet and tasty you know.”
As the soldier said, when she cut it and held it in her mouth, juice containing a sugary taste seeped out. Schera gave a whole-faced smile and bit at it.
“It’s sweet and tasty. This is a great achievement for you. I’ll bestow upon you something nice after we get back.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Let’s see, my stomach, enemy castle’s defense is solid–I guess next, shall we go search for food like always? They’ve come from so far, carrying all that all the way out here for us. We have to be grateful.”
She turned the spyglass from the castle to Alucia Plains, starting to search for supply trains laden with goods.
“Even so, we have continued to repeat the raids over and over again, so why have we not been intercepted even once?”
“In a meaningless place like this, maybe they just don’t have the leisure for guards. It seems they’re trying to concentrate their manpower around Belta after all. But shouldn’t something like attaching guards to supply trains be done to the best of their ability? —-Oh, I’ve discovered this evening’s meal. How’s their defence I wonder.”
Schera discovered a column of carriages in the distance. She could see that the guards were lacking. In that case, there would be no problem. The instant she decided to to take action, she felt a strong bloodthirst. She quickly turned the spyglass in that direction.
“Major? What is the matter?”
“……It seems our companions were unexpectedly free. Or I wonder if we’ve overdone it. Here, you take a look too.”
She said, and unexpectedly threw the spyglass to the soldier next to her. He panicked, and after he had gotten a hold of it, he looked towards the direction Schera pointed out.
……Violent dust clouds were being whirled up. It was a cavalry unit hoisting the Liberation Army’s Flag, and moreover, the Flag of the Lion. Their numbers were about 100 maybe. They were coming towards the hill that Schera and group were on. They were advancing quite quickly in addition.
“They are clearly making a course towards us. Major, have we been discovered do you think?”
He enquired while returning the spyglass to Schera. He wasn’t panicking because he had faith that they would get away.
“Those guys probably were also looking at us with this thing too. Earlier, I made eye-contact with someone who looked like the commander.”
Schera slowly stood up, vigorously stretched, and headed to where the soldiers were hiding. Would they inflict a blow, or would they meekly dismiss themselves. Schera thought while holding the stalk in her mouth.
“What will we do?”
“—-Let’s see. Our numbers are about the same, so I’ll just go greet them a bit. You guys stay dismounted and lay in ambush. Make sure to prepare the long-spears. If our guests come, we’ll give them a resolute reception.”
“A single horseman in any circumstances is too dangerous! If you are going to go, we will go with you!”
“If the unit suffers injury, Staff Officer is going to decrease my wages again. It’ll just be a quick greeting, so you don’t have to worry about anything.”
Schera put on her helmet, jumped on her beloved brown horse, and prepared her large scythe. Her hair that could not completely be concealed peeked out of her helmet. ‘Maybe it’s about time I cut it,’ Schera inconsequentially thought while she lightly swung her scythe. The created ominous sounding roars and growls reverberated through the surroundings.
The group members reflexively sucked in their breaths. They were really glad that that scythe would not be swung at them. Schera kicked the horse’s abdomen, and it started racing towards the approaching Flag of the Lion with all its energy.
Displaying the Flag of the Lion, this force had discovered Schera. They were assigned the arduous duty of guarding the supply train because it had been harshly tormented by successive raids. Like starved wolves, the enemy cavalry corps had decisively assaulted them. To have this elite unit put to use as guards proved how loathsome Schera and group were thought to be. The Liberation Army’s kitchen was also not in a comfortable position, and they had no surplus to donate to the enemy army.
“Lieutenant Colonel Fynn. At this distance, they will be able to escape probably.”
The young man called Fynn lightly nodded when a female adjutant with horse running in line addressed him.
At a glance, he was a man of delicate features, but he owned a considerable arm and had killed two enemy Major Generals at the previous engagement. In that surprise fighting way before, the man who annihilated Jira’s division was also this man. He was conferred a lion insignia, and he was the strongest warrior in the Liberation Army.
This young man’s name was Fynn Kattef. He would later be hailed as ‘The Lion General.’
“Even still, that is not a problem would you not say? Our duty is to protect the supply train until the end after all.”
“Good grief. The Death God thing from the rumors is actually an extreme thorn in the side. Even we were called for escort duty.”
“A gigantic monster that wields a large scythe, right? If that is real, I somewhat do not want to meet it. Well, as far as I can tell, it was nothing more than a rumor.”
When Fynn checked with the eyepiece again from atop his horse, the human silhouette from earlier had vanished. If she was a real god of death, she would not be doing things like stealthily creeping around right. A rumor after all was nothing more than a rumor. The fear in one person disseminated, and then was amplified–that was the reality behind the Death God. Just as we was reassuring himself of that—-
“Horseman of unknown affiliation is coming down towards us! ……Armor of the Kingdom’s Army, and holding a great scythe in hand!!”
A soldier retreating from the vanguard said in a loud voice. When Fynn hastily focused his eyes in front, certainly, there was a horseman running down with frightful momentum.
“……Hey, it’s just a single horseman. She planning on surrendering?”
“She’s postured for battle. It does not seem like a surrender.”
He considered a surrender, but as she was holding an uncanny, large scythe in her hands, it did not seem that was her intention. It didn’t appear to be a desertion either.
“A rush with a single horseman? Preposterous! Drag her off her horse and expose the true nature of the pitiful grim reaper!”
The female adjutant harshly yelled, and with an enthusiastic cheer, three horsemen touted their spears and charged.
“Sir-! Leave it to us-!!”
“I’ll make her rust on my spear!!”
“I’ll give her a suitable reward for making light of us!!”
These were zealous, young cavalrymen with faith in their arm and very high morale. The small figured horseman and the horsemen from the Liberation Army crossed weapons. In a second, the head of the first rider was sent flying. A remaining horseman unleashed furious attacks determined to harm his foe. His coordinated attacks were easily handled. He was knocked off his horse by the scythe handle, and Death’s beloved horse crushed his body with all its weight.
The last man deeming that this enemy was beyond him, turn his horse around and ran several steps, whereupon he abruptly lurched and tumbled down. A crude, small sickle used to cut grass protruded from the young man’s brain. Schera thrown it essentially like a boomerang, and had reaped the life of her prey. She had aimed for the small gap between armor and helmet and had successfully hit it.
“I-it’s the grim reaper. The god of death from the rumors.”
“Not only that, she’s just a young girl. Th, that’s a disguise no doubt.”
The brave cavalrymen unintentionally sounded tense. They were men of valor, but they were superstitious. That was the symbol of Death who cruelly harvested souls. At that figure construed as the embodiment of Death, they reflexively felt fear.
“You guys, how can you even call yourselves the cavalry that carries The Flag of the Lion!? What’s there to fear about a single rider!! Know some shame-!!”
A calm voice interrupted the distressed horseman.
“Just a bit, I will be the one to verify this.”
When Fynn muttered that, he drew his bow from his back with smooth moments, and mightily drew the bow and arrow to its limit. The arrow that was fully drawn back by his tremendous strength roared as it flew towards Schera.
As the arrow was many times faster than Schera had predicted, she awkwardly parried it with her scythe barely. With no pause, arrows were rapidly fired. She waved her scythe and warded them off, but just one arrow stabbed into her shoulder armor.
Schera clicked her tongue, pulled out the arrow, and then turned her horse around and started climbing the hill.
“It seems arrows will strike even Death. If that’s the case, even we can probably win. She seems to be human like us.”
“Lieutenant Colonel Fynn, let us chase her immediately! This is the best opportunity to pay back everything up until now! For the sake of our killed comrades as well, please pursuit-!!”
“……No. I have somewhat a bad premonition. We will turn back here. We have accomplished our mission of defending the supply train. I don’t think it’s good to push ourselves further. More importantly, we have to recover their corpses.”
“Also, for a single horseman to have come, I can only think that she was luring us. There are surely troops waiting in ambush. To tragically die in combat, ambushed, I refuse. Come now, don’t frown. Let’s hurry back. Your pretty face will be spoiled.”
Seeing the adjutant biting her lip, he involuntarily made a sarcastic laugh. That moment, he felt a strong bloodthirst, and Fynn’s countenance changed.
“—–!! Milla, dodge-!”
Before his Adjutant, Milla, could respond, Fynn promptly rammed into her horse and pushed it away. Having been unexpectedly crashed into, she was emphatically blown off her horse.
A thrown, small sickle flew by where Milla was just now. It was aimed such that it would have probably torn her neck. What unparalleled accuracy. If she hadn’t been pushed away, there would have been a fountain of blood, no doubt about it.
Looking from far away, Schera resignedly shook her head sideways. Afterwards, the corners of her mouth twisted and she looked down at Fynn and his group. Then, after provoking them by running her thumb across her own neck, she slowly return to atop the hill. The cavalrymen had forgotten about pursuit and were stock still in surprise.
“…………The nickname of Death God is not just for show, I guess.”
Having protected the life of his important adjutant, Fynn annoyingly looked at the retreating figuring while sighing. Probably, that petite figured girl would take the lives of some hundred brethren from now on, or so he feared. That appearance of calmly resting a large scythe on her shoulder was nothing but that of Death itself.
Honestly she is just too much…and the Rebel Army created her
“This young man’s name was Fynn Kattef. He would later be hailed as ‘The Lion General.’”
I really hate this kind of spoiler. It basically told us he will survive in this chapter in advance.. T_T
his name has already been mentioned before as the hero who rose up from the rebels’ ranks
it’s also been made clear that the rebels will win, and the princess will marry the empire’s 2nd prince
we’re pretty much standing from the antagonists pov this time, which makes it much much more amusing