Dai Densetsu no Yūsha no Densetsu:Volume 3 Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Towards North-Northeast[edit]

Die!!

If just saying that one word will cause someone to die, then no matter how many lives one has, it will never be enough.

That’s why, at the instant when,

“...... die!!”

Was shouted at Ryner Lute,

“Hn ah~?”

He groaned while scowling.

With messy black hair, and lazy black eyes,

However, his habitually sluggish, tall, lean, slouched figure, was entirely tensed up.

The reason was because, right now,

“...... oiy oiy spare me that would you ~”

He was attacked by a monster.

And with his lazy eyes, he looked at the monster in front of him.

“............”

Looking at the red haired "muscled brain" who shouted ‘die’ at him.

Currently, the person before Ryner was a man who had fiery red hair, and sharp gleaming eyes.

Ryner knew his name.

Field Marshal Claugh Klom.

The monster sent by Roland Empire’s Hero King, Sion Astal, to destroy Imperial Nelpha.

Claugh Klom.

The death god of the battlefield --- Claugh Klom.

That name was notoriously famous.

A man who once appears on a battlefield, will paint the ground red as the blood falls like rain and cause his enemies to scream in fear.

Everyone is afraid of his name.

Everyone will shake in fear at this name.

That was the name of Claugh Klom, one who can completely change the scenery of a battlefield.

And Ryner, in response to that,

“............”

How idiotic can this be.

He made a comeback at himself with his inner voice.

No matter how strong Claugh is, how can just the appearance of one man turn the tide of a battle? It can’t be as simple as that, he thought.

That’s why he made light of that, thinking that eighty percent of the rumors were exaggerations, and came here as a result.

With Ryner alone, he thought he could render one, two or three Claughs helpless and capture them.

On top of that, Ryner already had a grasp of Claugh’s strength, for he had sparred lightly with him once before.

At that time, Claugh’s movements were really terrific. He was strong and fast. Furthermore, contrary to him being a muscle brain, he was quick-witted and deployed his magic at a high speed.

If you don't consider him as a monster, then who can you call a monster?

That was how strong Ryner, a former member of the covert ops group called The Greatest Magician of Roland, thought of and ascertained Claugh.

But, but still.

“............”

Ryner thought he could win.

I’m probably a little stronger than Claugh Klom, he thought.

That’s why he came here.

In order to capture Claugh, he came to the campsite erected by Roland army who came to invade Imperial Nelpha.

And then he attacked Claugh.

He attacked the Claugh who was standing carelessly on top of the hill a small distance away from the campsite.

And Ryner would easily defeat and capture Claugh Klom with an overwhelming strength......

“............”

That should have been the case however.

Claugh pulled out a knife.

As he did so, with an incredible speed and accuracy, he aimed at the center of Ryner’s chest.

“Woah.”

Ryner groaned. If he tried to dodge, he wouldn’t make it.

Thus he knocked it away with his hand.

But, at that moment, Claugh was already moving. A move for killing Ryner.

Every bit of his movement was very much faster than the moves that they had exchanged previously.

On seeing that.

“............”

Shit, I was tricked, Ryner scowled.

The sparring that happened previously was in preparation for this instant.

A year ago.

Meaninglessly, Claugh had come to spar with Ryner. He came to attack Ryner, whom he disliked.

After having fought for about two, three rounds, and deploying their magic then --- Ryner had thought.

Claugh was indeed strong, but nothing like what the rumors had said, Ryner had thought.

But that was what he was made to think.

With a fed-up face, he glared at Claugh.

“What a swindler.”

On hearing that, Claugh grinned.

“You are the one to blame for being deceived.”

On hearing that, That’s quite right, Ryner thought.

In a battlefield, the one who’s deceived and killed has only himself to blame.

That was the first thing that Ryner had learned when he was undergoing battle training at the Germer Kleisrole Training Institute.

Every battle starts with deception and ends with deception.

"Now, how will you deceive me in order to stay alive?"

That was Germer Kleisrole had said.

"Now, how will you deceive the world in order to stay alive?"

That was what Ryner’s master had said.

While remembering those words,

“...... seems like I’ll be the one deceived and killed, Germer.”

He muttered softly.

Claugh said,

“Die.”

His right hand moved in his direction.

That arm was covered in a pitch-black color.

Pitch-black scribblings and patterns crawled around the surface of his arm.

So what in the world was that? Just by looking, Ryner understood.

A forbidden curse. An abnormally unthinkable sinister forbidden curse was implanted into that arm.

However, that was not a matter that could be considered sane.

This was just knowledge Ryner knew about; in experiments where the forbidden curse was placed into human bodies, ten thousand out of ten thousand people experimented on died --- it was the kind of experiment in which the odds of success were insanely low.

But yet, this fella had it implanted into his arm.

Despite the strength he possessed, in order to seek a new power, he further went on to implant the curse into his arm.

And Ryner understood what in the world the curse might be.

He closed and opened his eyes again.

With vermillion pentacles floating above his black pupils, he saw through the entirety of the curse attached to Claugh’s arm.

On that arm of Claugh.

“............”

Blue-black dragons cursing the world were sealed in it.

The eight cursed dragons that release blue flames.

Looking at that,

“............”

As Ryner was looking at that,

“...... isn’t there something wrong with your head?”

He muttered without thinking.

That was how abnormal the curse sealed in Claugh’s arm was.

On releasing the curse, the dragons will fly from Claugh’s arm all at once.

And then attack the enemy.

Anyone who’s bitten will be engulfed by the curse in an instant, and have his life force seeped away.

However, he won’t die immediately. Despite having his life force seeped away, he won’t die. Without dying, he will become a puppet of the person who has afflicted him with the curse, and live for ten hours.

After ten hours have passed, the curse will run its course and disintegrate his body, killing him.

“............”

On seeing that effect alone, Ryner understood how convenient the curse was. A magic that can kill and make the victim his puppet.

If it’s used on the battlefield, it will be an extraordinary powerful and convenient magic.

However, it’s not practical.

The forbidden curse that’s sealed is not something that can be used.

Why is that so?

The reason is simple.

This magic has too many flaws.

First, the burden on the user is too heavy. During its use, the user’s body will have to go through an excruciating amount of pain. The intensity of pain is so great that it’s impossible for one to retain his consciousness --- no, if it doesn’t go well, it won’t be strange even if he dies from shock.

But yet, why was Claugh, who was about to activate his curse, able to retain his consciousness? This was something Ryner could not understand.

On top of that, on activating the magic, even if all eight dragons can be released, only at most three of them can be controlled.

The remaining five will attack their surroundings indiscriminately.

In other words, if there were comrades around, it can’t be used. No, in that case, there was a chance that the remaining dragons will attack their user.

And if he’s bitten, death will surely come pay a visit.

“............”

No matter how he looked at the Claugh who was about to activate his curse before him, he could only see that it was a foolishly flawed magic.

Such a magic should not have been usable.

“............”

But Claugh released that magic which should not have been usable.

“You're kidding right.”

As Ryner groaned, Claugh’s arm was clad in blue black fire and the eight dragons came forth.

And then three out of those looked around their surroundings. After ascertaining that there was no target, they went after Claugh’s shoulder, waist, and foot, devouring them.

A sure-death curse.

The most terrible curse.

A curse of despair.

And Claugh should have readily died --- from his own curse that was invading him.

“............”

But that red hair muscle brain seemed completely fine and a smile floated on his face. And he ignored two other dragons which further went on to bite at his neck.

Looking at that, Ryner,

“...... are you immune to the curse?”

“............”

But Claugh did not answer. Only a smile of delight floated on his face. Embedded with killing intent, his piercing eyes looked towards here .

And then Claugh said.

“Now, the preparations have been made. Let’s kill each other seriously, shall we? Greatest Magician of Roland-kun.”

In a flash.

Two dragons were released from Claugh’s arm.

“Woah.”

Ryner uttered as he dodged.

One came from his right.

The other came from above.

Their movements were not that fast. It was possible to dodge.

But, on top of that,

“...... what I seek is iridescent destruction......”

On hearing Claugh’s voice,

“Seriously!?”

Ryner shouted as he looked towards Claugh. Claugh was drawing out a magical inscription with his left hand. The magic being deployed was Kuuri.

Firing spears of light, among Roland’s magic, it was one with the most destructive power.

It was of a high difficulty level, and not usable by one without a good mind.

To say it clearly, if a muscle brain, who can already move fast and has great strength, could use such a spell, he will be way too powerful! As he wanted to make a comeback, he turned to the Claugh who was wielding both a powerful magic and a forbidden curse at the same time,

“Isn’t this too unfair!”

Ryner hollered.

But a smile floated on Claugh’s face again,

“Who in the world was the one who said that you have to play fair?”

At that moment, Claugh had completed his Kuuri.

But, on seeing that, Ryner frantically drew his magic inscription in the air,

“What I seek is iridescent destruction...”

He chanted the same magic as Claugh.

And then.

DDnYnD v03 027.jpg

"Kuuri"


Their magic were activated at the same time.

Light started to gather at the center of both their magic inscriptions. And then, for the sake of killing the enemy, the multi-colored beams that were conjured were fired, and clashed with each other.

Instantly.

A strong eye-dazzling light was dispersed into their surroundings, but, in such a dangerous situation, if he were to shut his eyes from the blinding light even for an instant, he would be killed. So he squinted his eyes to ascertain his surroundings, and with all his might, he retreated backwards.

Towards the forest where he was hiding earlier from Claugh, who was on top of the hill.

But,

“I won’t let you escape.”

He heard the voice of Claugh --- the monster called the death god of the battlefield.

While he was pursued by a monster with a power which he never encountered before,

“Ahh noww, this is terriblyyyyyyyyy bothersomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”

Ryner withdrew into the forest.

The forest of the deep night.

Today’s weather was fine, and though the moonlight lit up the surroundings, it did not reach the inside of the forest.

Despite the fact that it should have been advantageous to escaping.

Just a casual glance towards his back yielded a sight of flaming blue-black dragons coming from behind, right after Ryner,

“Shit!?”

He rolled onto the ground and dodged them. Immediately after that, he stood up, kicked the tree to his left, and jumped. He further went on to grab hold of a branch of a tree in front of him, then used it as a foothold, and went further up.

Up.

Up.

And then he turned his head around.

As he turned his head around in order to ascertain where his enemy was on the ground,

“Slow.”

Immediately, just right behind him, Claugh’s left fist came flying towards Ryner,

“How the heck can you be so fast!”

Ryner moaned as he pushed the fist aside.

Following that, he avoided the oncoming dragons and sent a kick towards Claugh’s face, but it was dodged.

At the same time, Ryner grabbed hold of another tree branch near him, and pulled himself towards a different tree, and then jumped.

Of course, Claugh was following right behind him, but Ryner could no longer turn his head around as that would surely get him chomped up by the dragons behind him.

Flying from tree to tree, and while doing that, Ryner drew a glowing magical inscription in the air.

And he completed it.

He chanted.

“WHAT I SEEK IS BURNING FIELDS >>> KURENAI”

Instantly, exploding flames burst out from the Ryner’s magical construct and sprung in the direction behind him, and then coming from behind him,

“WHAT I SEEK IS WATER MIST >>> MISUMI”

He heard the incantation of a magic that would bring forth an exploding jet of water.

As the flames and water clashed, the hissing sound of water turning into steam could be heard, but yet, Ryner did not look back.

But, Ahhhh, dang, he got me, what kind of monster is this! He complained silently.

“............”

Dang, he really got me.

The plan was to quickly defeat Claugh, restrain him, and use him as a hostage for many things.

But yet, what’s this?

What the hell is this?

Ryner gave a quick glance towards the monster that was chasing him from behind.

He looked at the form of Claugh, who was sending his cursed dragons towards him while in pursuit.

“............”

And then he started to believe somewhat. He started to believe somewhat in the rumor of him being able to turn the tide of a battle all by himself as he appears on a battlefield.

This really is a monster.

Using the forbidden curse, with a higher level of physical ability than Ryner, and on top of that, he readily deployed a counter magic to neutralize Ryner’s Kurenai.

That was some kind of an impossible strength.

It was a strength that would make one want to get away in a flash.

“............”

But, he couldn’t run away.

No matter what it took, it was necessary for Ryner to make this fella a hostage.

It was necessary to make this monster whom god may even fear a hostage.

It was for the sake of stopping the most terrible war that was going on in these lands.

Capturing Claugh was absolutely necessary for the sake of stopping this war started by his best friend, the Hero King of the largest country in the southern part of the continent, Roland Empire, Sion Astal.

“............”

Ryner once again gave a quick glance behind him, looking intently at the red haired monster who was closing in . And then.

“...... it seems like it’s completely impossible to restrain him......”

Ryner said with a exasperated voice.

He was way too naive. To have thought of restraining this fella all by himself, he was so naive that he wanted to beat himself up.

If he was seriously wanting to kill him, this could end up in a draw, he thought. But if he were to end up killing him, then it would become meaningless.

It was necessary to keep this red haired monster who was known as Sion’s right hand man, alive, restrain him, and on top of that, threaten him, and make him a hostage.

And once again,

“Ugh ~ super bothersome.”

Ryner groaned as he said.

“So as to speak, I really hate this kind of bothersome stuff.”

He lamented.

“In the first place ~, getting chased by this monster, working hard in order to stop the war, creating world peace, to say this clearly, I'm not the least interested at all, let some other hero-wannabe take on such bothersome stuff......”

At that moment, from behind him, the blue black dragons again come biting,

“Woah, that’s really dangerous, no, someone save me please, I seriously hope this will stop! I really hate working hard like this!”

He yelled, and from behind him, Claugh said.

“Then, get on with it and die.”

“You are right. If I just die, I can relax and struggle no more, isn’t it.”

“I’ll lend you my hand.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah.”

“Then I shall accept your kind offer, will you kill me ~”

Even as he said that, Ryner’s feet kept moving. While jumping from tree to tree, he drew glowing words in the air.

That was a magic which he had previously stolen from the mage knight battalion of the Kingdom of Estabul. Looking back, this was something from a long time ago. It was during the time when he and Sion were still students and fighting the mage knight battalion of the Kingdom of Estabul; a magic he copied when he was in danger of getting killed.

He’s using that magic now.

“I OFFER THE CONTRACTED WORDS, LETTING THE SLUMBERING MALICIOUS SPIRIT DWELL WITHIN”

Instantly.

Ryner’s body appeared to shimmer. At the same time, his speed increased.

The magic he chanted was one that released the limiter in his mind, and allowed his physical abilities to increase dramatically.

And then a smile floated on his face,

“Alright. Preparations done. With this, it’s time to fight a little with the monster......”

In the midst of saying that.

He once again heard the voice of Claugh from behind him.

The voice of Claugh chanting.

But, in response to those words, Ryner,

“............”

His eyes widened and he turned his head around in shock.

As he did that, Claugh’s spell was completed.

The glowing words that appeared from his left hand were the same as those drawn out by Ryner seconds ago.

The same construct.

The same magic.

But that was something impossible.

Because it was Estabul’s magic.

It was a pretty high level magic, which only pretty excellent magic scholars, after studying the basics and architectural constructs of Estabul’s magic, could acquire after three or four years.

A normal soldier couldn’t possibly use it.

No, even if the soldier is a capable one, he shouldn’t be able to use it.

And besides, it was not even two years since Estabul had been absorbed by Roland. Even if both sides were to exchange and share magical knowledge they possess, many years should have been needed before a soldier could use it.

Of course, it was a different story for people like Ryner who could copy magic with their special eyes, but he had never heard that Claugh was an Alpha Stigma bearer.

Then, how was it done?

How did this fella accomplish it?

“You...... how in the world did you manage to learn Estabul’s magic?”

On hearing Ryner’s question, Claugh shrugged his shoulders readily,

“...... hard work?”

“Huhh? It’s not something you can achieve by hard work alone, isn’t it?”

“It might be so for a normal person. But it seems like I’m a genius, you know?”

“Uweh ~, a person who calls himself a genius has to be an ordinary person...”

However, Claugh was undoubtedly a genius.

It was something he had already recognized.

Even when Ryner was active in Roland’s covert ops group, he had never quite seen any monster like that.

On top of that, those geniuses who were not spoiled and actually put in hard work simply didn’t exist.

Ryner,

“This could be bad.”

As he groaned, Claugh laughed ‘haha’. As he laughed, he chanted.

Estabul’s magic.

“I OFFER THE CONTRACTED WORDS, LETTING THE SLUMBERING MALICIOUS SPIRIT DWELL WITHIN”

As he did that, the magic really activated.

The magic which should not have been usable by a Roland soldier was activated.

Claugh’s body started shimmering faintly, and in one breath, his movement speed increased.

He closed the gap.

Those movements of his were even faster than the magically sped-up Ryner.

Ryner was already at a loss.

Ryner was at a loss of what to do with such a monster all by himself.

And Claugh delightfully,

“What’s this. Just running away, isn’t that boring? Or is this all you’ve got? Perhaps, this Estabul magic was your trump card? If that’s the case......”

At that moment, he further went on to increase his speed. He kicked a tree with all his strength, closed in the gap between him and Ryner, side by side with him, he looked at him and said.

“...... can I finally kill you now?”

Ryner looked at Claugh’s face,

“You can’t.”

He replied.

“Alright. Then I shall kill you.”

“Didn’t I say that you can’t!”

“Haha. You’re noisy.”

As he said that, Claugh swung his right arm. Three blue-black flaming dragons were about to attack Ryner.

On seeing that, Ryner,

“Ahh ~”

He said.

Ahh, he said it with a really exasperated voice.

Ahh, I can’t take this anymore.

“...... if I don’t fight seriously, I’ll really get killed......”

He said.

His opponent was fighting seriously with an intent to kill. It’s time for him to get serious and do the same as well.

His original plan to defeat his opponent and restrain him had to be changed.

No, well, he had another plan that could have settled things without fighting, but it seemed like it wouldn’t come through in time.

If, there’s a one in million chance that Claugh is insanely strong --- no, he is in fact strong --- and Ryner could no longer cope with it; there was in fact another plan for such a situation, but,

“...... if I wait for that, I might be killed. Then.”

At that moment, Ryner's eyes changed into a sharp piercing gaze.

Following that, in his head, a battle plan against Claugh started unfolding.

There were three parts to it.

First, sidestep his opponent’s attack.

Second, trick him.

Third, kill him.

“...... shall I get started?”

At that moment, Ryner stepped onto a large branch, and turned and changed the direction he was facing.

In response to that, Claugh also stopped in his tracks on the large branch. And then,

“Orh, at last, you’re getting serious?”

As he said that, he made a guarded face, having realized that Ryner’s aura had changed.

On seeing that, this fella is really a tough nut to crack, Ryner thought as he scowled again.

If he were to let his guard down, it would be possible for Ryner to take advantage of an opening without killing him.

However, there was entirely none at all.

Even though from appearances, he seemed to be enjoying the fight from his broad grin, he was certainly not fooling around.

That’s why, with a sad and tired looking face, Ryner said.

“Geez, I really don’t want to kill you, you know.”

On hearing that, as expected while looking as if he was enjoying himself, Claugh,

“An interesting joke.”

“Isn’t it?”

“Furthermore, you won’t be able to kill me.”

“Perhaps. But, you won’t know till I try.”

“I know.”

“Really, I wonder?”

“Yeah.”

“I see...... well, it’d be a bother, but let’s get on with it.”

“Hurry up and get on with it.”

“Yeah.”

After he nodded, Ryner, for once, drew out all his strength. And he turned off the switch. That was the switch in his head. He released the inhibition in which he would unconsciously take it easy on his opponent. Following that, he gradually lowered his stance. While drawing soft breaths, he gathered power into his body.

And then,

“Here goes.”

At the same time he spoke.

He released all the built-up energy in his body.

In a breath, he lunged at Claugh.

Even though Claugh set two of his dragons on him, he readily dodged. While dodging, he drew out magical inscriptions in mid-air.

A complex construct. As he quickly drew out an elaborate magical construct, Claugh reacted.

The magic that Ryner drew out was the same as before. The flame magic which Claugh had counteracted with Misumi previously, Kurenai.

He chanted that once again.

With a relaxed expression, Claugh began,

“That’s the same one as before.”

He said, and then started chanting Misumi.

But that was a fake.

Rather, the Kurenai Ryner had cast earlier was a fake.

Earlier, Ryner had intentionally activated Kurenai at a slow pace. His real magical construction ability was at a speed so fast that there was no way Claugh would have time to finish chanting a counter-spell.

But, earlier, he had chanted his magic slowly.

In order to make Claugh think that he was superior in his magical construction ability, and induce a mistake from him, he had chanted his magic slowly intentionally.

And Claugh had fallen into his trap.

On seeing Ryner’s Kurenai, Claugh started chanting Misumi at a relaxed pace.

But he was too late.

He was entirely too late.

From here on, in the time before Claugh could finish constructing his Misumi, he would already be done with Kurenai’s inscription, and on top of that, he would be able to thrust his hand into the magical inscription of Misumi that Claugh was drawing, and change the construct.

That’s why,

“It’s the end.”

As he said that, he immediately completed Kurenai, and further went on to thrust his hand into Claugh’s magical inscription of Misumi.

On seeing that, at last, Claugh’s expression changed.

“Damn you.”

As he said that, he gave up on working on his magical construct, and started attacking Ryner instead, but he was too late.

The Kurenai behind Ryner had started activating.

Flames had gathered in the center of the magical inscription, and was aimed in Claugh’s direction,

“Shit.”

Claugh groaned. Following that, he extended a dragon from his right arm, which bit onto a tree some distance away from him, and subsequently, he was reeled towards it.

With that, he somehow managed to evade the flaming missiles, but that was the end.

Ryner had completed changing the Misumi drawn out by Claugh, forcibly changing it to Kuuri.

And aiming it towards Claugh,

“WHAT I SEEK IS IRIDESCENT DESTRUCTION >>>......”

As he was chanting the spell, and just as he was about to fire off Kuuri, his hand stopped moving.

Following that, he slowly.

“............”

He slowly shifted his line of sight, and looked at the dragon shrouded in blue-black flames, which was about to bite into the back of his neck.

Before he knew it, a dragon, with an instant death curse embedded within its fangs, had encircled him from behind and was in position to bite into his neck.

If Claugh were to order it, in a flash, Ryner would be killed.

However, it was the same the other way round.

Kuuri was almost completed. What’s left was the incantation --- just one more line to utter, once the incantation was completed, Claugh would be impaled by Kuuri and die. At this kind of near distance, no matter how his body movements had been sped up, he wouldn’t be able to dodge.

It was one more step for the both of them.

Both of them were in a position to kill each other in just about a tenth of a second.

Ryner turned his eyes to face the Claugh who was hanging from his dragon clinging on to a tree some distance away.

“...... damn. After getting so serious, it’s a tie.”

“............”

But Claugh did not answer.

Ryner shrugged his shoulders,

“So, what’s next? If we end it in a tie like this, it’d be a little fruitless, I think.”

As he was staring at Ryner, Claugh said.

“I don’t think so. You are strong enough to make me think that it’s better to kill you here even if it’s a tie.”

“Ah-rah? Are those words of praise?”

“You can take it that way.”

“Then shall we call it a tie?”

“............”

Claugh glowered at him. And his killing intent further swelled up.

An intent to kill.

An intent to kill by sacrificing himself.

And there was no way the both of them could evade each other’s attacks.

It was the worst.

It was the worst kind of situation.

But still, even so,

“............”

A smile floated on Ryner’s face.

A relaxed smile. It was his usual languid, unmotivated smile.

On seeing that, Claugh raised his eyebrows in puzzlement.

“Why did you smile?”

But Ryner,

“No, I think in the end, it’s my win.”

“Huh? How so? Where did your chance of winning come......”

However.

At that point, Claugh stopped his words. And then Claugh’s sharp expression contorted.

Ryner looked at him and smiled.

“Ah, you’ve noticed?”

“............”

As expected, Claugh did not answer.

But, it didn’t matter anyhow.

Then Ryner turned his gaze to behind Claugh.

He was looking in the direction of the place where the original alternative plan of capturing Claugh, the plan that he was previously waiting for, had activated.

Behind the Claugh who was hanging from a tree.

Below him, a peerless beauty was looking up at them.

With long golden hair, and clear blue eyes. An extraordinary well featured face. Wearing a one-piece [1] with a short skirt portion that was unsuitable for a battlefield. At the waist portion of that one-piece, she wore a long sword which those slender arms of hers do not seem capable of wielding, and as usual, in her right hand was a skewer of dango.

Ryner’s partner, Ferris Eris.

Ferris was looking up at them with an uninterested look.

“What? Didn’t you say Single-handedly, I’ll win effortlessly puppu ~ in a high and mighty manner, and you’re still fighting like an idiot?”

She said.

On hearing that, Ryner smiled wryly,

“I never did say I’ll win effortlessly puppu~.”

“Then it’s poppo -?”

“No, there’s not where the problem is...... this fella is a thousand times stronger than I thought, you know.”

“Isn’t it because you’re weak?”

“No, to fight such an opponent till this point, I would even praise myself for it.”

As he said that, Ryner looked at Claugh.

As always, he had a stern face. No, it was a face of someone desperately thinking about how to break out of this situation.

It was the face of a fellow who refuses to give up no matter how bad the situation was.

Seeing that, Ryner frowned and began,

“But, it’s useless, you see, Claugh? Your loss is set. No matter how strong you are, you won’t be a match for both me and Ferris, besides......”

At that moment, Ryner looked at Ferris again. No, he was looking at the trump card of his plan, which she had been dragging along with her left hand.

“............”

Trump card --- gripped at the nape of the neck and dragged along by Ferris, an unconscious, young, blond man.

This was another plan that Ryner had devised.

In the situation where he were to carry out negotiations with Claugh, in order to make him listen to his demands and on top of that have him accept them, it was necessary to have an advantageous leverage of such an extent.

What could he do to bring about this?

One.

Ryner to beat down Claugh and capture him. But there was a danger to that. If Claugh was stronger than he thought --- well, as a matter of fact, he’s really a thousand times stronger than he thought --- in reverse, Ryner might be killed instead, and on top of that, even if he could capture Claugh, there was also the possibility that he would not submit and say something like Kill me!, and not listen to Ryner’s demands. Furthermore, fighting him with Ferris at the onset was also not an option. If they did that, then it’s possible that Claugh’s comrades would reinforce him and with a large army against them, they would have no chance of winning at all.

That’s why, so as to speak, Ryner had another plan prepared.

Ryner would attack Claugh alone, and draw him away from the camp, and in the meantime ---

“............”

At that moment, Ryner looked down at the man dragged by Ferris,

“Well, is that the guy?”

Ferris nodded.

“The vice officer of that red haired man. The name is Shuss Shirazz. If I’m to become a burden to Field Marshal Klom, I’ll kill myself, as he was saying that, I knocked him out.”

Ferris said.

Ryner began delightedly,

“I see ~. You sure have an excellent subordinate, don’t you, Claugh-chan ~.”

As he said that, he looked at Claugh.

Without saying anything, he glared at Ryner.

But, Ryner appeared indifferent. He only had to move according to his plan.

He grabbed hold of the dragon which was about to bite into his neck.

“Well now, first, dismiss this dragon. Just killing me alone, and in exchange for that, losing the lives of the famous Claugh Klom-sama, and the capable vice officer Shuss Shirazz, that won’t make it too worthwhile right?”

He said.

On hearing that, while Claugh continued glaring at him,

“...... what do you want?”

He said in a low, menacing voice.

However, in response to those words, a smile surfaced on Ryner’s face.

All this while, he had been working hard at getting those words out from his opponent.

And there was only one thing he wished for.

Can you give me some time?

That was it.

Even for him, he was well aware of the current situation in Roland Empire.

The fact that Roland was currently invading Nelpha, and carrying out large scale massacres as a show to kill the other countries’ spirit of putting up a resistance.

After showing the massacre in Nelpha, it would strike a dent into the other countries’ will to resist, and Roland could get them to surrender without fighting.

That was a necessary path to a minimum loss of lives and the fastest way to end the war.

That was what Sion had seemingly considered.

Even though he hated wars, he hated people dying, and he hated causing grief to others, that was the path that Sion had seemingly considered, choosing to shoulder all the burden upon himself.

And Ryner also understood the need for such a war.

Even though he couldn’t accept it, but on this Menoris continent where the flames of war were spreading fiercely, he could understand how that was the only available choice.

That’s why would you give some time to Nelpha?, that’s what Ryner had come to negotiate about.

What’s transpiring in Imperial Nelpha right now could be said to be the worst case scenario for both Nelpha and Roland.

Sion’s plan was probably to invade Nelpha with an overwhelming force and secure a swift surrender.

No, that really did happen.

The benevolent king of Nelpha, Gread Nelphi,

"I shall offer my own head and the confinement of my son, Prince Starnel...... so in exchange, would you stop massacring Nelpha’s people?"

That was the proposal he had intended to put forth to Roland.

However, just before that, the stupid son Prince Starnel, caring only about his own life, went berserk.

First, he killed his own father, Gread Nelphi, and slammed down the declaration of surrender.

On top of that, in order to buy time for his own escape, he sent forth ten thousand soldiers to clash with Roland’s forces, ordering them to repel Roland.

Furthermore, he commanded the remaining sixty eight thousand troops himself and started massacring and looting his own people.

That was a worst case scenario that was already beyond anyone’s expectations.

With this, until Roland had killed the unyielding stupid son, the war had to continue.

Destroying all the cities, killing all the soldiers, completely obliterating Nelpha, and the need to show all this to the entire world.

The reason was because, thanks to the stupid son who valued his life more than the country and people, Nelpha would never surrender.

However, in such a dreadful worst case scenario, it was not without a glimmer of hope.

That would be Toale Nelphi.

The son of that stupid prince Starnel and his commoner mistress, who one year ago, extended his hand to help Ryner and Ferris, who should have been strangers to him and had somewhat drifted to Nelpha while they were searching for relics, a kind, nice kid, that Toale, who of course was much more popular than the stupid prince Starnel among the populace, had stepped out to take command of the abandoned ten thousand troops and stopped them from advancing.

He stopped a pointless clash between Roland and Nelpha’s armies.

And Roland should be happy about that as well.

Since with the appearance of Toale, Roland’s original goal of minimizing the loss of lives and making Nelpha submit was once again possible.

And the wise Toale would definitely,

"I will surrender, so could you let the ten thousand soldiers and people off?"

He would request.

Of course, Roland would refuse. Since if Roland were to let them off, then it would not be able to make a display to the other countries.

That’s why Roland would tell Toale,

"Go take the throne from the current king of Nelpha, from that stupid prince. After that, if you make a surrender to Roland, we will accept it. Of course, in order to make a show to the other countries, Toale Nelphi of royal lineage will be executed......"

And Toale would definitely accept. If he’s able to save everyone with his life, Toale would accept.

However, regarding that demand, it would be a pretty unreasonable one.

The reason was because right now, Toale only had ten thousand soldiers with him.

On the other hand, Starnel was commanding a sixty eight thousand troop army.

Roughly seven times.

No matter one thought about it, not a single chance of winning could be seen.

On top of that, even if Toale were to win, what was going to come after that would be his execution.

And furthermore, Toale would accept that execution with a smiling face.

And there’s no way he could be saved, something at the level that would make one cry out what the hell’s that,

That’s why.

“............”

Could you please wait a while, that’s the bargain Ryner wanted to strike.

With even less sacrifices.

In order to advance in the direction of a scenario with even less people getting hurt, Ryner had come to strike a deal with Claugh.

The time for Ryner to go capture Prince Starnel alone.

And the time for Toale to escape out of the country before the situation whereby the royalty of Nelpha gets killed arose.

In order to accomplish these two things, he needed the time.

Even though Ryner came here to ask for more time, there was no way he could say that he needed more time and expect it to be given to him.

That’s why Ryner said.

“For now, could you leave your troops here and return to Sion’s side?”

On hearing that.

Claugh, while glaring at Ryner,

“...... I see. You’re trying to buy time.”

He said.

With only one sentence from Ryner, Claugh could get roughly what Ryner was thinking about.

Furthermore, Claugh said.

“But, why are you supporting Nelpha? It has nothing to do with.......”

But, Ryner interrupted there,

“Toale is my friend. And, I can’t betray my friends...... well, it’s some ultra naive talk, can you agree to it?”

On hearing those words,

“............”

A slight smile floated on Claugh’s face. But it’s not a mocking smile.

“Are you agreeing to it?”

“............”

But, as expected, Claugh did not reply. And without replying to that question,

“However, what’s in it for me to cooperate with you in saving your friend? Are you going to abduct Starnel and bring him to me?”

“Yeah.”

Ryner nodded, and Claugh laughed.

“Ha. That’s an unnecessary thing. If it’s just that, we could do it as well. Supporting Toale Nelphi, killing Starnel, and executing Toale after that. The only difference our methods lies only in whether Toale is going to die or not. However, in order to make a demonstration to the other countries, we need to kill Toale. Roland is no longer a cowardly country that will let someone of royal lineage and who has commanded an army once live.”

“Is that Sion’s view?”

“That’s right. Sion’s different from you, he wouldn’t sacrifice the lives of others just for the sake of saving one life.”

“............”

That’s right, Ryner thought.

Claugh’s words.

The path that Sion was taking.

There was nothing more right than that.

But even if this was said to be right, it didn’t mean that everyone would follow along with it, Ryner thought.

Even if this was said to be right, it didn’t mean that everyone would achieve happiness, Ryner thought.

At the very least, if Toale were to die.

If he were to die, Ryner would be sad.

No, not just Ryner. Toale is a well-liked person. He is well-liked by the people of this country. To kill the Toale who is well-liked the people of this country was not really a good choice for the Roland that’s subjugating Nelpha from here on, Ryner thought.

Of course, it would be good for an instant. To overwhelm Nelpha with fear, and to overwhelm the neighbouring countries, and to further overwhelm their neighbouring countries, if it were to sweep across everything with its might alone, then that choice might be the correct one, but was there really a need to move forward in such a hurry?

A little.

Wouldn’t it be a good thing to take things a little more slowly, and move forward along a path that could bring a smile to everyone.......

“...... that’s how the naive stupid me thinks though.”

He murmured as he was looking southwards, in the direction where Sion was, the direction of Roland.

And Claugh who could hardly hear him,

“Huh?”

He said, but Ryner appeared indifferent to that.

He turned to face Claugh again,

“Well, I’ve already known right at the start that you are going to reject my offer though.”

“Then, that’s the end of our talk. Let’s get on with the killing.”

“That’s why I was saying, if we do that, it’ll be unfavorable against you......”

But, a smile surfaced on Claugh’s face again,

“I have the confidence to evade your Kuuri. The one’s who’s gonna die is only you.”

He said something scary.

On hearing that, Ryner,

“...... even for me...... erm...... I also have the confidence to probably dodge your dragon barely, you know?”

“Right.”

“No, I’m serious. Anyway, even for you, it’ll be by a hair’s breadth to dodge Kuuri.”

“We’ll know for certain once we try it.”

“No no, that’s why I say, once we try it, we can’t take our actions back anymore. And besides, if we do that, what’s going to happen to Shuss? I’ll dodge the dragon. You’ll dodge Kuuri. But the hostage Shuss......”

But, while smiling, Claugh said.

“For a soft, naive person like you, can you kill a hostage, I wonder?”

On hearing those words.

A wry smile surfaced on Ryner’s face,

“...... ah-rah, you really hit where it hurts. But, to go against such a naive opponent, do you really need to fight so frenziedly? Do you really think such a naive guy will become a threat to you in the future?”

This time round, it was Claugh’s turn to smile wryly.

“...... no, I don’t think so.”

“Isn’t it? Then, why don’t you listen to me till the end? At any rate, the things we say will just be nonsense, unsophisticated stuff that can’t pose a threat to you, so if you’re willing to listen to me with a magnanimous heart, I’ll be really happy, I guess.”

On hearing those words.

Claugh appeared to consider those words for a moment. Seconds later, appearing to have reached a decision, he closed one eye and,

“Disppear, << Cursed Harp >>.”

He issued some kind of command, and the dragon that was poised to bite into Ryner’s neck disappeared.

On top of that, the dragons that were surrounding Claugh also disappeared and he dropped to the ground.

In response to that, Ryner,

“Ferris.”

He called out, but even before he had even done so, Ferris was already moving towards him, dragging Shuss alongside, but.

“Hey hey, leave Shuss here.”

Claugh called out from behind Ferris, stretching out his hand.

In response to that, Ferris,

“You’re hindering me.”

As she said that, she drew the sword at her waist at an unbelievable speed. And that was already at a speed which Ryner could not follow with his eyes.

The sword was drawn at a timing which should have been impossible to evade, but,

“Woah.”

Claugh uttered as he dodged it. And following that, he caught hold of Shuss’s head. And on top of that, he picked up a fallen branch from the ground and attempted to thrust it towards Ferris.

“Hm?”

Ferris turned her body, and sidestepped it. At that instant, Claugh straightened his stance. While hauling Shuss towards him, his right hand started drawing a glowing magical inscription.

And as Ferris was about to slice at that magical inscription with her sword.

At that moment, Ryner,

“That’s enough Ferris. Come back for now.”

He said.

Immediately, Ferris reacted and jumped a step backward. She further went on to kick the ground, then kicked a tree trunk, and landed on the branch next to the branch that Ryner was standing on.

For some reason, she had a dissatisfied look on her face,

“That red head...... he’s much stronger than the last time I fought him.”

“Hn? Even Ferris had a go with him before?”

“Yeah. It was three years ago. It was on Sion’s orders, I recall.”

“I see. So, did you win?”

“We didn’t manage to finish it.”

“Then, can you win now?”

I wonder?, Ferris tilted her head in such a manner in response, after which, a faint smile, which would have been indecipherable by other onlookers, floated on her face,

“But, together with you, he won’t be a match.”

She said.

Ryner nodded and smiled thinly.

DDnYnD v03 065.jpg

And then, he looked down at Claugh.

“Well then, are you ready to listen to what I have to say now? Even with Shuss returned to you, the situation hasn’t changed one bit. You won’t be a match for the both of us. Even if there are moves we can’t use because of our naivety, the situation won’t change. That’s why, there is no good reason for you to easily dismiss what I have to say...... so will you listen to me right till the end?”

“What if I refuse?”

“Then Ferris and I will make lots of holes in you and slowly, I shall say what I want to say right next to your ear.”

On hearing that, Claugh grimaced.

“How annoying.”

He said and Ryner smiled.

“Really? Are we really that annoying?”

“Uwah, these guys are really annoying...... that’s why I’ve told Sion this, don’t mix around with that dubious Alpha Stigma bearer...... well, it seems like I don’t have a choice. So, speak. At any rate, I won’t be listening to your bullshit, but somehow, right now, since you guys have the upper hand, I’ll just stay still and ignore you for a while.”[2]

“Alright, I did it. Well then, please hear me out.”

“Though even if I hear you out, things won’t go the way you want, and nothing will change.”

That was what Claugh said, but a smile floated on Ryner’s lips.

Since things were moving along according to his plans.

Ryner said.

“You know, Claugh. Sion is trying to show the might of Roland to the world right?”

On hearing that, Claugh scowled with an annoyed face,

“I told you I’m ignoring you, and didn’t say that I’ll answer your questions one by one.”

“You’re mean.”

“Whatever, just move on.”

Ryner shrugged his shoulders and continued.

“In other words, this invasion against Nelpha must succeed at all costs.”

“............”

“To achieve that perfectly. In order to make Nelpha and the other countries shake in complete fear of Roland’s might, and kill their spirit to resist Roland, it is necessary for Roland to overwhelm Nelpha.”

“............”

“However, if say, in the midst of it, a rumor about Roland’s army losing somewhere spreads, what will you do?”

At that question, Claugh finally responded. With piercing eyes, he looked at Ryner,

“...... what on earth are you scheming? In this southern part of the continent, there’s no longer any country that has the power to go against Roland......”

But Ryner interrupted.

“Yeah, you’re probably right.”

He said.

And that was the truth.

Nelpha, and Roland’s ally Runa Empire, as well as the Cassla north of them, not one of these countries would probably have a fighting force that would be a match for Roland.

Roland was blessed with an excellent king. A king who would not rest, who would not slack, and on top of that possesses a brilliant mind, a king who would not make a mistake in his decisions.

That’s why he’s called the Hero King.

One who would definitely not stop moving forward, the saviour of the country, the one called Sion Astal.

As long as Sion remained as the king, the current Roland was probably peerless in power in the southern part of this continent.

But still, even so.

“...... even so, if Roland were asked whether it has enough energy to deal with both Nelpha and Runa together, what would be the answer, I wonder.”

“............”

“No, that’s not right. Perhaps it can really stand up to the both of them. The current Roland probably has that kind of power. But having the ability to deal with both countries at the same time and whether it’s necessary to deal with both countries at the same time are two separate matters, isn’t it? If you do that, there will be too many sacrifices. To become the supreme ruler of the south with the least sacrifices and in the fastest amount of time...... in other words, Sion’s plan may fall apart if he had to deal with both Nelpha and Runa at the same time. If possible, I’m sure Sion would like to absorb and integrate the might of Nelpha and Runa into Roland, am I right?”

On hearing all that, Claugh already more or less had an idea of what Ryner was planning, and he glared angrily at him,

“Damn you, are you going to instigate Runa to start a war with Roland?”

He said and in response to that, Ryner smiled. He smiled delightedly.

And then,

“No, I’m going for something more distasteful.”

He said.

Ryner was brewing a really bad-ass plan.

It was bad-ass to Roland.

No, even to Nelpha, to Runa, to everything, it was a bad-ass plan.

Ryner told him of that plan.

“Didn’t you guys lose track of the location of Toale and his ten thousand soldiers?”

On hearing that, Claugh glowered at him and said.

“So, it’s your damn doing?”

“You can say that.”

“What the hell are you trying to accomplish?”

“Well now, what is it indeed?”

“Hurry up and spit it out. Otherwise, I’ll kill you.”

“But the current you can’t kill us.”

On hearing that, Claugh’s red eyes were filled with a scarlet hatred, and Ryner could tell they were redder and deeper, but he appeared unconcerned.

Claugh was already dancing in his palm.

Ryner knew the location of Toale, a piece of information which Roland most wanted to get hold of.

For the matter to progress, Claugh would now have to listen to what Ryner had to say.

With a smile of satisfaction, Ryner continued.

“So, where on earth did the ten thousand soldiers disappear to?”

“............”

“The answer is at a location further east of the place where your scouts had thought where they should have been...... at a dangerous position just touching the borders of Runa, and they are still on the move in fact.”

On hearing those words, Claugh’s expression changed.

However, as expected, Ryner continued indifferently.

“And on top of that, for some reason, the ten thousand army led by Toale is carrying a Roland flag we’ve prepared...... now, what will that be for, I wonder?”

At that point, there was no longer a need to further explain it to Claugh.

Claugh had a dark look of despair and despondency on his face. That was how distasteful Ryner’s plan was.

In other words, this was what Ryner had been shooting for.

Toale would lead his ten thousand soldiers to attack Runa while carrying Roland’s flag.

Of course, Runa would mistakenly think that Roland, which had acquired power and had grown impudent, had broken their alliance and come to attack them.

Runa and Roland would then probably end up being plunged into a war. Even if not so, the fact was, in order to make an example of Nelpha to the world, Roland had carried out some unseemly acts against Nelpha.

Afraid of suffering the same fate as Nelpha, Runa would do its utmost to stand up to Roland.

And it’s probable that Runa would join forces with Nelpha and start to fight back against Roland.

They might even request aid from Cassla to their north.

The tyrant Sion Astal has run amok, lend us your hand in defending against Roland, such a development might unfold.

That would be the most extreme case that Roland needed to prepare itself against, that’s why it’s making an example of Nelpha now.

Imperial Nelpha, Runa Empire, and the Autonomous Holy City of Cassla, and the other counties in the southern part of the continent, in order not to have them gang up together, Roland had to make an example of Nelpha by crushing it.

But all that would come to naught.

All that would come to naught if Ryner and Toale were to attack Runa by masquerading as Roland’s forces.

To top it off.

“...... the army we’re leading, that is ten thousand soldiers masquerading as Roland’s forces, will run away in fear upon meeting Runa...... that’s the act we’re going to put on, you know? What will happen then, I wonder? The guys from Runa, as well as from Cassla, will start thinking, Hey, aren’t the Roland fags surprisingly weak? Is there a need to fear them?, something like that......”

At that moment.

“Enough.”

Claugh said. And he continued looking at Ryner.

“...... I get your shitty plan. So, what is it that you want? In exchange for not carrying out that idiotic plan to spread this war in an idiotic way, what do you want from us?”

Once again, Ryner smiled.

With his plan moving on perfectly, he smiled.

“Hadn’t I said it right at the start? Won’t you give me a little time? Won’t you give me a little time to capture Starnel and hand him over to you, and furthermore, enough time for Toale to get out of the country, that is.”

On hearing those words,

“............”

Claugh was about to say something, but Ryner shook his head.

“Ah, but you don’t have the authority to decide, I already knew that...... for now, just go back to Sion, and tell him my proposal, that’s what I meant, so how does that sound?”

Continuing to look intently at Ryner, Claugh,

“...... so, during this time, you’re going to catch hold of Starnel?”

“Exactly.”

“Can you do it?”

“Well, please wait for me till I get it done.”

Once again, Claugh appeared to consider. He averted his eyes from Ryner and looked behind him at his camp and then,

“...... fine. I will go ask Sion. But as to how Sion will reply.”

But, that was interrupted by Ryner.

“Sion will agree to my plan. Since this is the path to the least number of sacrifices. That’s the kind of guy he is.”

He said.

He had come to understand Sion well after spending the past few years with him.

Sion would definitely jump at the proposal that Ryner had put forth in this current situation.

On the surface, Roland could not save Toale outright. Since this would show a weakness of Roland to the other countries.

However, if a third party --- for example, in this case, Ryner --- a person who had no affiliation with Roland were to save Toale, what would happen?

In that case, it would not show Roland as being soft. That’s why Ryner had the confidence that Sion would jump onto his proposal.

And Claugh should also understand that. Claugh’s expression relaxed slightly.

He turned to face Ryner.

“...... but from now on, you should know that you will be carrying the lives of a pretty large number of people on your shoulders right?”

He said to Ryner.

On hearing that, Ryner,

“............”

He smiled with a slightly weary look and shrugged his shoulders.

Since he had already known this a long time ago.

The lives of the ten thousand soldiers led by Toale.

The lives of the hundreds of thousands of people of Nelpha to be massacred by Roland in its campaign.

The almost seventy thousand lives of the troops led by Starnel.

The tens of thousands of victims on Roland’s side.

Sion could not save them.

Carrying everything upon himself alone, crying and hollering in anguish, and even so, Sion had to continue moving forward and could not save them.

That’s why, those lives exceeding hundreds of thousands rest on Ryner’s plan.

For the first time, the lives of other people rest heavily on Ryner’s shoulders.

In response to that,

“............”

He truly felt like running away.

It was frightening, heavy, and painful enough to make him feel like crying, he thought.

But, he could no longer.

“............”

He could no longer run away from it anymore.

He had always let Sion carry the heavy burdens, and he himself had been running away all this while, so he could no longer run away from it anymore.

He had to fight alongside him.

If the next time he met him, he would still want to call himself a friend, he could no longer afford not to fight; it would be inexcusable.

That’s why Ryner looked down at Claugh and said.

“...... I shall carry them properly, I think. Since I had been letting Sion carry them all this while, I shall carry them properly. That’s why, could you tell Sion about it. The words I’ve said earlier......”

“Huh? The words you’ve said earlier? What words? Regarding giving you more time?”

On hearing that, Ryner grimaced and,

“No...... ermm, that, it’s that, you know. The same reason for saving Toale that I was mentioning about, it’s the same for Sion...... tell him that for me.”

He said.

The same reason behind him saving Toale.

That was,

"I can’t betray my friends."

Those words.

Those stinking words that were embarrassing to the point that one could die if he hears them from the other party himself, but currently, it was necessary.

In order to make this plan succeed.

In order to stop the Sion who was running amok all by himself, shouldering everything upon himself.

That’s why, Claugh scowled.

“Why do I have to say such embarrassing words!”

“Ah, ah, they are really embarrassing huh?”

“Beyond embarrassing, gross!”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

“But, still tell him that for me.”

“Don’t shit me!”

“Ehh, if you don’t do it, this plan won’t succeed, so c’mon, please ~”

On hearing those words, Claugh’s scowl increasingly deepened.

And then, from beside Ryner,

“Yeah. And one more thing, tell Sion to immediately send two thousand cases of dango skewers from Wynitt dango shop......”

“As if I can tell him that!”

Claugh shouted angrily, and then sighed in exasperation.

“Seriously, why is it that I can actually overlook all the annoying things that you guys put me through throughout our entire meeting...... I’m really shocked for a change.”

On hearing those words, Ryner and Ferris,

“Hahhahha.”

“Fuffuffu.”

“Duh, super annoy......”

Once again, Claugh sighed.

Following that, he picked the fallen Shuss up,

“Well, since the proposal you’ve put forth does have some benefits to our side, I’ll properly transmit it to Sion. So, in exchange for that, make sure you succeed, get it?”

Ryner nodded.

“Well, I’ll put my best foot forward --- please tell that to Sion Ahotaare.”

“...... Ahotaare, hm. Well, I’ll tell that to him. So, where do you want me to send you the reply? It’s not like it’s guaranteed that things will go according to your plan yet...... well then again, you did say you will be near the borders of Runa. Then, I’ll send it there.”

Ryner nodded.

“Thanks.”

“Ahh. Well, I’ll get going. You guys should disappear as well. If not, I’ll bring some men here with me later.”

“Ehhh ~, you still have energy to fight?”

As Ryner said that in a weary voice, a smile floated on Claugh’s face.

“Well, I wasn’t being serious earlier.”

“You’re joking again.”

“Well, whether it’s a joke or not, you’ll find out the next time we meet on the battlefield.”

After saying that, with Shuss slung over his shoulder, Claugh left.

After seeing his figure disappearing into the darkness of the forest, Ryner murmured softly,

“...... in the end, wherever I go, he would be an enemy......”

Following that, he turned to face the beauty beside him.

As usual, while munching away on her dango, she was looking in Ryner’s direction as if she was watching somebody else carrying out a conversation.

“Hn. Is it finished?”

“It’s finished.”

“Well well, did it go well?”

“Uh~n. I wonder. I can’t really say for sure until the outcome is clear...... But, it probably went forward in a good direction, I guess.”

As he said that, she nodded, but for some reason, she made a complicated expression,

“But don’t let your guard down, Ryner. At any rate, this plan was concocted by the number one blockhead of the blockhead industry, Ryner Blockhead. In the end, Aahh, as I thought, I’m a blockhead wah ~, that kind of development........................”

But, for some reason, at that moment, she stopped and once again put her dango into her mouth and started munching,

“Aahh, as I thought, dango is delicious.”

“Duh, why did you stop in the middle?”

“I got sick of it in the middle.”

“I couldn’t agree more.”

“Yeah.”

As they were carrying out their meaningless talk, they started moving.

Towards north-northeast.

So as to speak, they had to move real quick. The reason was because, Ryner had yet to meet Toale.

In the conversation with Claugh earlier, it seemed like Ryner had already linked up with Toale, and it was Ryner who had given the order to the ten thousand soldiers to move close to the Runa border, however, the truth was that he had yet to meet Toale.

On top of that, Ryner had not yet told Toale of his plan.

Well, how Toale and his ten thousand soldiers had escaped detection from Claugh and Roland’s army was thanks to a capable comrade of Ryner.

Ryner’s comrade had went on ahead to persuade Toale to move his troops, but the actions to be taken from here on were not something that his comrade could talk Toale into single-handedly.

That’s why they had to hurry, and Ryner descended from the tree branch.

And then,

“...... Kiefer, will she be ok?”

He said, and following that, Ferris who also got down,

“That cutesy girl will probably do fine. She seems to be good with men.”

She said.

And Ryner started,

“Cutesy girl......”

“Huh? What?”

“No, nothing...... erm, ahh, well, nevermind......”

He took in a breath.

Currently, the comrades Ryner had brought along were Ferris, Kiefer, and Iris, and among the three of them, Ferris and Kiefer, well, to say they are not on good terms, or to say they are on good terms, that's kind offff.

“...... I’m not going to think about it anymore......”

Ryner said in a tired voice, and Ferris turned to face him,

“What are you mumbling about?”

“Nothing nothing.”

“Are you hiding something from me!?”

“No, it’s not something that needs to be hidden......”

But, as usual, Ferris, without listening to Ryner,

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! A hentai, while hiding something perverted, is running about naked in the forestttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!”

She started yelling.

Ryner, with a weary face,

“...... I’ve always wonder about that, is it fun?”

On hearing that, she nodded in an exaggerated manner,

“Yup!”

In response to that, Ryner also nodded,

“I see...... if it’s fun, well, I’ll leave it at that.”

As he said that, their pace quickened.

Their destination was the border dividing Nelpha and Runa.

Heading towards Toale, the single man who had taken ten thousand soldiers under him, and to go give Kiefer a hand.



Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. One-piece: A one-piece, in Japanese, refers to a single piece dress.

  2. Claugh’s Deaf Ears: I kind of “un-translated” this sentence back to its original form. Reason is to match the dialogue that follows in page 67. What Claugh is saying here is that, “I’ll hear you out but I’m not listening”, (聞き流してやるぞ) → “I shall let your words fall on my deaf ears”, he’s implying that Ryner can say whatever he wants, but it’s pointless, which was my original translation, but that didn’t fit the next part of the dialogue.


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