Yoshiro: Chapter 5. Also quite a difficult chapter, though shorter than the previous 2… i think
Hope I did a good job on this as well.
So here you go!
PS: T.N, Thank you very much for your donation, hope you like this chapter. (Well you did put that message in it after all 😀 )
Arc 1: The Rebellion – The Beginning Chapter 5
“Step aside from that area.”
A strong voice that seems to be showing its presence resounded from Sophia’s room. There are only Sophia and me in the room, and the one who projected her voice was Sophia. While it’s rare for her to use a commanding tone towards me, she have not used that powerful voice of hers since the first meeting.
Sophia glared at me. My stomach reflexively started to hurt. But I can’t withdraw. If I withdraw here, there won’t be anyone in this castle that can stop Sophia. If it turn out that way, Sophia will likely slip out. Dio-sama left me behind to make sure that doesn’t happen. Even with just spirit, I can’t back down.
“I said to step aside. You won’t understand if I don’t use force?”
I opened Sophia’s status. Her combat prowess is over a hundred. As there wasn’t anyone with a combat prowess of over a hundred, I thought it was the max, but it doesn’t seem that way. I also found out that the numbers can fluctuate.
When I first saw it, her combat prowess was within the nineties. I wonder if it could be the problem with other factors like concentration level and determination. Anyway, the charm that was of a hundred and fifty points has dropped to ninety points. I think anyone who knew the normal Sophia would surely not find the current Sophia as charming.
“If it could let you regain your composure, why don’t you do it?”
Since it’s impossible for me to defend to begin with, I have no other way than say that. If Sophia plans to advance with force, even if we concentrate the whole castle’s force, we won’t be able to stop her. Of course, if that happens, that will be a continued appearance of the wounded. And in addition to that, if her composure is lacking to an extent of an unknown level, nothing can be done.
Sophia is putting on a green mantle over her white robe. That is the full dress of the Celsus Maiden, Sophia. And it is also something that she will wear when it reaches the stage that she has to go to a dangerous place. A superior equipment that seems to have defensive magic embedded in it, physical and magical attacks doesn’t seems to have much effect on it.
To wear that is for the sake of going out. For what reason is there to leave. Because the enemy is here, and to defeat the enemy. For what reason is there to defeat the enemy.
That’s because the village, that Sophia has went down to multiple times, has been taken hostage and it was demanded for her to leave the castle alone. The kidnapping force that consists of around three hundred man seems to be the ruffian force referred to as the Hounds that is under the direct control of the king and whose tasking is to seize beauties. It happened this morning, the fifth day Dio-sama left for the front-lines. And it’s afternoon now. The time frame for the reply is till tomorrow morning.
“It’s meaningless, even if you shout or yell. I will not withdraw. Even if you beg for it, I can’t withdraw. I am left behind for the sake of being able to stop you. You do understand it, don’t you? Can you calm down first?”
While I kept my mind on the notification, I looked over the status menu and gazed at Sophia. Her combat prowess is dropping and rising. She is probably wavering. There is still hope if she is wavering.
“Let’s first search for something that we can do? If not, I will go with you. I won’t let you go on your own.”
“But…. I was told to go alone..”
“You will be at a disadvantage if you only take the in-betweens. They won’t complain if there is only one servant accompanying. Since their purpose is to bring back the you, who is under the supervision of the king, they have to take care of you until you reached the capital. If you think of that, it is more convenient if there is a servant, and when it comes to it, he can act as a hostage. I believe they have thought to that extent, you know?”
(TL: Most likely some sort of phrase “間に受けるだけ損さ”)
I talked as long as I can to try to delay more time. Seeing the decreasing combat prowess, I felt relieved. I have been successful in stop her for now. Next would be the breakthrough from this situation.
Since the limit is till tomorrow morning, then that would mean that it doesn’t matter even if it’s tonight. If we are to aim for something, it will be a surprise attack, taking advantage of the night.
As I am thinking of various things, Sophia started swaying unsteadily. I closed in on her to support her by her shoulder in a haste.
“I…. had dragged that village in.”
“It’s not your fault. Besides, it’s alright. There is still things to be done. If not for the hostages, it’s not that difficult for Sophia to disable them, right?”
“Yeah…. Not me, but the magicians of the escorts are all elites. If we can fight fairly, I believe we can disable them without sacrifice.”
“Then, I will think of a plan to release the hostages. But, that will have to rely on Sophia and your escorts though.”
“It’s fine! Yukito, I don’t care what happen to me…. The village… the children…”
“My job is to protect you Sophia. I will protect you and the village.”
Seriously don’t joke about fighting. If it’s because of an unacquainted girl, or not entrusted by Dio-sama, I might have thought about passing this responsibility to someone else. But, the one who propose it was Sophia and Dio-sama has given me full authority. It would have been enough to resolve myself for either reasons, but now both are there.
Though I still have the feelings of disliking fights, my feelings of not handing over Sophia and my gratitude towards Dio-sama is a few times more stronger.
To hand over Sophia or to betray Dio-sama expectations, don’t joke about any of it. I will neither let it happen, nor do it.
“Please give your opinions without reserve. What do you think should be done?”
I gathered all principal personnel in the room before Dio-sama left for the front lines and gathered the personnel that stayed behind.
The acting castle’s representative, Earl Uren’s brother had fallen ill, and is unable to move from the bed. After meeting him just now, I was told that I will be given full authority. I felt like vomiting from the overly high expectations and authority.
I am not the only one who thinks that way, even those who have gathered seems that way. In the first place, they were people who does not hold a very important post. They might even be more bewildered than me.
“….I believe it’s better to abandon the village….”
“That’s true. I have already sent a fast dispatch to Diorood-sama. If they could spare even just a small portion of the soldiers, they shouldn’t be any problem. Even if it ends up in a besiege, we could hold for half a month.”
“It’s mortifying, but it’s the only way…..”
The direction of the choice was immediately sent towards the abandonment of the village. Though it’s a choice I would never make, everyone is nodding, saying that that’s the only way. Actually no, there is one person who doesn’t nod to that choice.
It was a girl with a ponytail of light-brown hair. She seems to be younger than me by two to three years. If it’s Japan, she should be somewhere in the 1st-year of high school. Though my sense has been going out of order due to Sophia, if she is a classmate of mine, she is cute enough that I will unconsciously look at her during lessons. But opposite to her cute appearance, she is wearing the knight’s armor and has a combat prowess of over eighty. Most of all, her speed and some status that I can’t grasped is exactly at ninety. Whether she is fast on foot, or on horse. Though there are subtle things, in any case, she was not joining in the discussions, but was looking at me firmly.
“Is there something?”
“I am the captain of the 2nd Cavalry Platoon, Mikana Hazard. Is it okay for me to make an inquiry?”
“Hazard? Are you a relative of Gordo-san?”
“He’s my grandfather. The platoon that was escorting his Highness who found you unconscious was mine, and we carried you to my grandfather’s house which was close by.”
I see. I finally understand the reason why I woke up at Gordo-san’s house. Tentatively, I am holding onto the authority so she is my subordinate as of now, but I don’t think she needs to be so polite.
“Oh, thank you. I have not given my gratitude.”
“Let’s leave that for later. I believe Kurei-dono is capable of having a wider field of insights. Most likely his Highness has also received advice from that point of view. That’s why, is it possible for you to share your point of view on the advantages and disadvantages on the case where we abandoned the village?”
I have to thank the girl named Mikana. All eyes are now gathered on me. With this, they would listen to what I will say.
“Then, let’s start from the greatest problem. If we abandon the village, Sophia-sama is most likely going to leave the castle. Of course, it’s to accept the demand for the sake of saving the village.”
“What did you say!?”
“What’s going on!?”
“Literally as it means. Though I managed to stop her somehow, since it’s to the extent that she is willing to use force, the moment the decision to abandon the village is made, she will most probably rush out.”
“In that situation…. Sophia-sama will?”
Mikana looked at me with a pair of genuine eyes. Rather than looking over, it seems more accurate to say she is sounding out what I am thinking about. Furthermore, rather than holding back, let’s just say it early to speed up things.
“Captured, i guess. Since the village taken as hostage is one that Sophia-sama has entered multiple times, if the village was made to act as hostages, she is likely unable to do anything. If she fought back, even if she managed to escape alone and most probably capable of really doing it as well, the village will sustain casualties. When that happens, Albion will most likely not keep quiet. Albion, which doesn’t want the name Celsus Maiden to be smeared, will push all responsibility of it, which is true actually, to Veris, I guess. In that case, there will be diplomatic issues, and those nobles at Dio-sama’s side right now have also a high chance of leaving his side.”
“Please tell us in simple terms.”
“How impatient. Well, I believe everyone here would lose their head. As we will be the cause of the aggravation of the relations with Albion, and also if Dio-sama’s group loses, we will, of course, not have our lives as well.”
Seeing the steadily increasing number of pale faces, I was just slightly, really just slightly enjoying myself, but I was stopped by Mikana. It’s fine to say a bit more, you know. Towards those people who say miserable things like abandoning them and stuff.
“Then, Kurei-dono is thinking that we should save the village. Is it fine to take it that way?”
“And that goes for you, right?”
“I became a knight to save the oppressed that are before me. And that has not changed even now.”
“That’s reassuring. Since it’s troublesome, I will leave out the details. Though it’s weird to say that it’s a plan, there are two. In regards to surprising the enemy, they are either to disable the enemy before they attack the village, or take advantage of the night and send an ambush team to disable the enemies in the village, before attacking the main force..”
“The former will no doubt create casualties. To start with, we have no idea whether we can win. While we lose out in terms of numbers, the Hounds are wild-natured, but I heard their skills are genuine.”
“Protecting with small numbers. Since it was arranged for the assistance of Sophia-sama and her escorts, I believe the battle itself should end rather quickly. But it’s certain that we will have some casualties.”
“The latter would be gamble. It’s over if they noticed the ambush team, and the ambush team will also be in danger.”
While saying that, Mikana started pondering, folding her arms in the process. Looking at the status, I know her wisdom is also high, but she is quite the quick thinker. Right now, she displayed her ability to calculate risk in an instant. It’s helpful to have a person like her around. She is also likely able to cope with sudden state of affairs.
“Though we need more time to polish the plan, we do not have the time. Let’s decide whether we will be going with the ambush first. We have only one chance. If we missed that, it’s over then, but if we do not do a thing, we will lose everything. Please cast aside any thoughts of turning your back on this.”
“I agree. As a knight….. I cannot overlook the acts of the Hounds.”
From Mikana’s back came the voices of agreement one by one. To some extent, we have an unanimous decision to have the ambush. Of course, the opponent is most likely anticipating it as well, so we will need a plan for that portion somehow.
There is one thing I thought of but I wonder if I can call it an ingenious plan. Sophia’s assistance would be essential for that.
“Let us be dismissed for now. Please prepare silently for the battle, without letting the enemy notice.”
Since I have something that I have to ask Sophia, I said that to let the group be dismissed from that place.
Likely due to the fact that I am at a higher position, even temporarily, everyone responded “Yes!”. Of course, Mikana as well. At the very least, it seems like there is no one who is expressing their unsatisfied inner thoughts.That’s helpful in its own way. After all, it’s going to end tomorrow. As long as we overcome it this time, that’s fine.
While thinking of that, I moved towards Sophia’s room.
At Night. I was checking the faces of the 200 soldiers in the castle, one by one, or actually, their status.
The reason is simple. I am selecting people for the ambush team. The evaluation standard is based on speed. After asking Mikana, since everyone here seems to be able to horse-ride, I believe simply choosing by speed should be fine. As Mikana is said to be unbeatable in terms of racing or any horse-riding competitions, if I think about it as the composite ability of various types of speed, it becomes quite the evaluation standard. If the numbers for speed is similar, the ones with the higher combat ability will be chosen. Well, as it will be difficult to resist if they receive a surprise attack, I don’t think it will be a problem if the combat ability is slightly low, but since we are dealing with human lives here, we can’t choose halfheartedly.
“What kind of eyes do you have?”
To a certain extent, Mikana came to glare at me, asking me that in a soft voice. Though I don’t remember doing anything bad.
“That’s not it…. Why are you able to select nothing but people who are proficient at horse-riding?”
“I know everything after all. I might also know Mikana’s secret, you know?”
“Wha!? I, I have no secret!”
“You are more proficient in the bow, than sword and spear, right?”
“Eh……? Why do you…….”
Well, if anyone is going to write down bow suggestively, everyone would conclude that you are proficient in the bow. Those who don’t write them can either be on the same level, or just simply not skilled enough which I don’t know.
“It’s also fine if you don’t use the bow for the mission.”
“The standard for the knights in an ambush team is the spear.”
“This is an ambush after all. There’s no need to be so concerned about that. Just that, it’s only if you have the confidence not to misfire at the villagers.”
“….my father was a hunter. I have also went up the mountain to hunt to help my father multiple times. My eyes are good so it’s fine.”
“Then, there’s no problem. Then, is it okay if I leave the command for the ambush team of 50 cavalries to you?”
“You are the commander. As long as you give the command, I will go anywhere.”
“Is it bad if it’s a request?”
“I meant to show your dignity please. Haa… I wonder why did his Highness entrust the command to you…”
“Likely because he can entrust the task to another person. Well, this time I will be risking my life though. Now then, when the signal for the ambush team comes, take care to leave from the back gate. Our side will complete our objectives smoothly so please do complete yours smoothly as well.”
After leaving the selected 50 cavalries to Mikana, I slowly move in the direction of the main gate. The gathered remaining 150 people are double timing towards the main gate. Even if they double timed it, if I do not proceed, the plan won’t start though.(TL: Troll..)
As the castle of Earl Uren’s is actually formed with a small castle village, the main gate is actually rather far. Well, because of that, the people supporting my plan were increased though.
“Captain Larg. Is the preparation done?”
“Of course. When the village was taken hostage, we have already expected a battle. Though I never thought that I will be cooperating with you.”
The big guy on the horse, the escort captain of Sophia, Captain Larg, is striding on the horse, while lining up with me. As I couldn’t get on the horse, I am getting Captain Larg to assist me onto the horse. To some extent, he is also my escort. Though the person himself is rather reluctant.
“I am sorry. It will be over soon.”
“I dislike you. Specially the part where you easily enter the hearts of people.”
“I was just imitating my friend. In the first place, I am not that good at socializing with people.”
“Though it doesn’t seem that way. The fact that Sophia trust you is still something I can’t believe.”
“That’s…. Well, it’s just a coincidence, i think. It’s just that by chance, I found out that Sophia-sama is getting hurt as much as I thought how tough it is to steel oneself.”
“…. that’s the thing. We didn’t realize that. That’s why to not let the same thing happen again, we started to conduct in a way to respect Sophia-sama’s feelings as much as possible.”
“That’s so. She was really happy, being able to take a walk.”
“….But, because of that, it ended up in this situation. To protect that lady, I am troubled right now if we should keep away various things from her as expected. ”
Suddenly the troubled thoughts. I am troubled to how to react, even if you asked me. “I see”, is all I can answer, but Captain Larg is most likely desiring for an answer from someone. Denying it is easy, and affirming to it is even easier. It’s just that everything will just return to how it was.
“If we can’t find the answer, I think that it’s not really a concern and it’s just fine that way. Encountering failure, how to make up for the failure is what life is about. If the compensation failed, then life ahead would be a dark path, but if it’s successful, there will be no problem. And, isn’t finding out what to do when Sophia-sama fails part of the job scope?”
“….fuun. The fact that I thought that it’s true makes me feel shameful. And, I feel even more shameful on running away from my own job. Though it is the job of escort to bring one’s master to the place they desire, to restrict the movement of the master is putting the cart before the horse. I forgot about that.”
“Well then, let’s start work from now on. I will help, you know.”
“Show me your true strength that Sophia-sama believes in, you got it?”
As he said that, Captain Larg grabbed me by my neck, lifted me up violently, and easily placed me on the back of the horse. I, in the form of sitting behind Captain Larg, informed one thing to him who suddenly accelerated.
“Please ride safely, okay!”
“Don’t get thrown off!”
As we were having such an exchange, Captain Larg and I passed through the opened castle gate, making loud noises as we go.