Madan no Ou to Vanadis:Volume 05 Chapter 3 - MTL
|This text is a machine translation (MTL).
Be warned that the degree of translation error may be higher than usual.
This page was created before the updated (July 19, 2015) MTL guidelines and has not been reviewed.
Chapter 3 - Interlude
The sound of water boiling and the crackling of fire mixed in the air.
Under the moonlight which shined beyond the thin clouds, the figure of many girls could be seen near the river.
There were four lights burning brightly by the riverside, heating pots filled with hot water. The girls used the cloths to wipe their bodies before bathing in the cold water of the river. There were five people: Ellen, Mira, Lim, Regin, and Teita.
Though the night air was still cold at the end of winter, it was blocked by Ellen's Arifal and Mira's Lavias.
Though in order for them to sustain the power for a long time, the five girls had to squeeze together. Ellen and Mira sat on a carpet of sheep skin by the riverside. Lim was right behind them, wiping her body with a wet cloth.
Regin sat with her hand to the fire closest to her. Teita was politely wiping her back. Since their conversation about Tigre in Perucche Castle, the Princess openly trusted and relied on Teita.
They were wrapped in darkness, the distant lights did not reach them. Though only one hundred alsin away, they could still hear the noise from the Unstoppable Silver Flow[Silver Meteor Army] encampment.
The battle with Duke Thenardier had finished, and the day had come to an end.
The Unstoppable Silver Flow[Silver Meteor Army] completed burying their dead and moved along the river to watch the enemy's movements. They decided their camp based on that.
Ellen had gathered only the women to have a bath. Though it was a luxury to have four fires, Tigre persuaded Gerard that it was worthwhile given their current state and the army's victory.
Though Ellen and Mira thought it wasteful to cleanse themselves with hot water today, they obediently accepted Tigre's good will.
The river water was cold at night, so it was impossible to dive in. Ellen buried her face and her argent hair into the water before standing up. Her wet hair clung to her shoulders and her chest, and the water dripped down her skin.
Ellen let out a small breath. It was only at a time like this that she could feel comfortable.
“Eleanora-sama, are you fine?”
Lim was clearly worried about the burn from her shoulder down her back. Ellen laughed as she splashed about vigorously in the river.
“It'd be a lie if I said it didn't hurt, but it will recover after a few days if I put some medicine on it.”
Mira glanced at Ellen from the side with a poor expression. It was because Ellen protected Mira that she was burned.
“Anyway – Lim. Have your breasts gotten bigger again?”
“What are you saying that for, so suddenly!”
Lim was clearly frowning as she hid her chest with her arms. She noticed gazes pouring over her. When she turned around, Regin and Teita looked at her body curiously.
“Certainly... They are quite amazing.”
“She's tall and slender, so she's well balanced, too.”
They looked down at their own bodies. Regin had recently been a traveler, and Teita's body was forged from her usual work to not have any useless flesh. Still, their bodies clearly had effeminate curves.
However, the two still had a delicate appearance. Their bodies paled in comparison to Lim's.
Ellen twisted her waist and looked back, touching Lim's breast in the process. Lim pulled back on reflex. At the same time, Ellen let out a groan of pain and crouched down.
Perhaps she had taken a posture which irritated her burn. Lim looked at Ellen with a face full of worry. Suddenly, the Vanadis with silver-white hair thrust her right hand out quickly and grasped the breast of her trusted, golden-haired aide.
“I can tell by touching it directly. I wonder if Tigre likes a bigger chest.”
“H, How would I know!”
The one to respond with a bullish tone and her tongue tied was Mira. Teita also agreed. Though silent, Ellen could clearly see that Regin was disappointed.
Lim was at a loss for words from Ellen's behavior. She recovered at once, though, and drove her fist quickly into Ellen's head.
“That is enough playing around.”
“Sorry, sorry. Well, I'm fine like this. You were worrying too much. Are you feeling better?”
Ellen waved gently with an unapologetic smile after seeing Lim sulk. Those words were directed toward both her subordinate and the blue-haired Vanadis. Mira turned away and let out a small noise.
When the women finished bathing, they returned to the camp. They headed to the Commander's tent. The smell of alcohol and milk coming from the camp grounds stimulated their appetite.
“Is this the smell of cheese? It seems a little different from the one we have in Zhcted.”
“In Brune, every village makes its own cheese, so there are many different varieties. That is what Massas-sama told me.”
Hearing Ellen murmur to herself, Teita responded. Regin also nodded in confirmation.
“Every village, is it? It might be an exaggeration, but there must be hundreds of different cheeses. They all have their own smell and taste... I've also eaten many kinds.”
They could not carry all their food. They bought meat, fish, cheese, and a variety of produce locally. Of course, they purchased it.
Fish, meat, potatoes, and cabbage were cooked in a pot. Some soldiers were beginning to eat, while others entertained themselves with gambling. Many had noticed Ellen and the others and were admiring their beauty.
They approached the General's tent with four flags, fluttering in the wind. After asking the guard, they learned Tigre was resting inside.
“If it is you, you may enter.”
Though he said so, Ellen had already put one foot inside the tent before hearing the soldier's words. Under the light of the candles, the Vanadis with silver-white hair went wide-eyed.
Tigre was lying down on a blanket covering the ground, snoring.
“Eleanora-sama. How is Lord Tigrevurmud?”
Lim lifted the curtain and entered, followed by Mira, Teita, then Regin. Tigre showed no signs of knowing they were present.
“Um... We could let him sleep for a little.”
“I'd like to, but it seems impossible right now.”
Ellen shook her head toward Teita's conservative remark.
“I don't mean to be blunt, but we have only pushed the enemy back in this battle, we have not crushed them. We can't hold this off.”
Ellen placed her hand on Teita's head as she gave an explanation. Lim and Mira looked as if they had seen something unusual. The Vanadis of the Silver Flash was not one to show such gentleness.
I understand. Teita looked downward, finally convinced.
“Now then, how should we wake this guy up. It can't be a normal method.”
Hearing Ellen's words, Mira, Lim, and Teita understood immediately. Only Regin looked on vacantly.
“We can't shout too loudly because of the soldiers outside. Any ideas?”
Ellen looked back at the four for an idea. Regin asked Teita from the side.
“Teita, what are they planning to do to wake him up?”
“There are a few ways... Like spinning him on the blanket.”
Teita answered in embarrassment. Mira asked a question from the other side.
“Can we block his nose and mouth? He should wake up at once.”
“That... Please do not be so violent.”
“You, didn't you put your sword in his mouth before?”
Ellen teased Lim. Her adjutant's face turned away quickly. Even with all the noise, Tigre's snoring did not stop.
“--- I have an idea. I'll give this a try.”
Having thought of something, Ellen sheathed her sword and entrusted it to Lim. She walked over to Tigre who was sprawled out. She placed her knees and hands on both sides of Tigre and hunched over, covering him.
She looked down at Tigre who was breathing deeply with an innocent face. Her face became fierce, and an abnormal thirst for blood could be seen in her eyes.
In that moment, Tigre's body vigorously jumped up. Though she was watching him, Ellen could not react to his strength and speed.
Tigre had pinned her down in a single moment. His right hand was on her breast and his left hand had reached for the dagger at his waist. It was not just Ellen but the other girls who watched the scene with wide eyes.
Tigre became aware of his surroundings when the blood lust disappeared. With an opponent who was not resisting, he noticed the strange atmosphere in the tent.
Beneath him, Ellen gazed at him with surprise and amusement. There was a soft feeling permeating his right hand. It had a splendid elasticity, and his fingers could move comfortably.
“Come to think of it, you pushed me down and massaged my breast long ago as well, didn't you?”
Hearing her voice which sounded both amused and happy, Tigre quickly retreated from Ellen. He fell over in a panic and finally noticed Lim and the others.
Mira looked down at him with shock, Lim covered her face with her hand as if she regretted some disgrace, and Teita and Regin blinked repeatedly, unable to understand the situation.
“... Copping a feel is a pretty bad way to start.”
As soon as he heard an explanation, Tigre lifted his arm and brought his hand to his head. While playing with his hair, Ellen laughed.
“Well, I'll admit that was pretty bad. You managed to push me down and touch me.”
“You are only suffering the consequences of your actions, Eleanora-sama.”
Lim spoke harshly as she folded the blanket and put it away in the corner of the tent. Teita was preparing a meal for everyone while Regin was helping her.
“What's this, Lim. You're not siding with me?”
“I wonder if you did that on purpose. If it were me, he would have been skewered by Lavias. What would you do if he injured you?”
Mira responded with a cold tone. She frowned while thinking of Ellen's dangerous situation. Being pressed by the two, Ellen looked about awkwardly.
In fact, there were signs of jealousy in both Lim and Mira, though Regin was the only one to notice.
“... Sorry. It won't happen again.”
“I'll remember that. Really, you woke up in a single shot. It was too intense.”
Ellen hung her head with drooped shoulders. Tigre patted her on the shoulder to comfort her. In the meantime, the meals were prepared.
The fragrance of cooked cheese and wine emitted a particularly strong scent, stimulating the appetite. There was also a stew with meat and salted turnips.
There was also deer meat and rye bred wrapped and steamed in grape leaves. Grape leaf-wrapped venison is a time consuming dish usually prepared only for those with distinguished military services. There was also an apple pie with molasses for desert.
“This is quite grand.”
Ellen mildly showed her surprise while Tigre remained calm.
“The nearby villages and towns sent them. They're trying to win our favor, I'm sure.”
Artishem was a large city, and there were hundreds of people who fled to the neighboring towns and villages. Artishem would no longer function as a city after Ganelon set fire to it, so, naturally, they made efforts to save themselves.
“You received this as it is?”
“Though we paid them, it is true we drove the price down.”
Tigre smiled bitterly as he recalled Gerard's negotiations. Along with Rurick, they managed to buy food, fuel, leather, and other supplies such as wood and straw.
Ellen changed the topic and began gnawing on the bread with a serious face.
“So, what will we do next? Will we take this opportunity to completely crush Thenardier?”
Lim, Mira, and Regin looked at Tigre. They had woken him forcibly to learn this.
Tigre shook his head and placed his plate of soup down.
“When dawn comes, we will march to Artishem.”
“To help the residents? Do you think we have the necessary supplies?”
“Though I say we will advance, we will only be closing the distance. Artishem is... right, it should be about two days away.”
Tigre explained to Mira who looked at him in confusion.
“We will go to Artishem to find evidence that Regin is of the Royal Family.”
Tigre looked at the girls sincerely.
“My goal is the safety of Alsace and to find proof of Her Higness being a member of the Royal Family. It is not a necessity to fight Duke Thenardier.”
“True. His Dragons, his last resort, are gone. Duke Thenardier cannot move immediately, and if you can prove Regin is royalty, she can charge him with attempting to kill Her Highness.”
Lim quickly analyzed the situation.
“Your Highness, can you tell us once again about the area beneath Artishem?”
Regin nodded to Tigre's question.
“I was only taught the knowledge. I have not yet visited it myself. It was called [Charles' SangroelSacred Grounds of the Palace], and it was created before the Brune Kingdom was established. It is said King Charles had a revelation there; that is where he decided to become King.”
“Sacred Grounds of the Palace? Seems a fairly exaggerated name for a cave.”
“Charles left word that it was an old temple or palace. It was not just a cave, since there was some level of development.”
Ellen asked with folded arms, and Regin responded while thoroughly searching her memory.
“There are three passages that enter the Sacred Grounds of the Palace. One is in the center of Artishem. Another is in the small temple of Mosha, the Goddess of Mother Earth to the southeast of Artishem. The third is at a cemetery in the east end of the city.”
“The temple of Mosha would be closest to our position.”
Mira spoke as she studied the map. Regin confirmed her answer.
“I have been to the city before. We can walk to the southeast from the eastern gate where a small shrine should be. The townspeople visit it once a month to pray, but other than that, it should be empty.”
Tigre looked at everyone once Regin finished her explanation.
“In addition to the people here, we should bring about ten.”
“You've decided on who to bring?”
“Her Highness and I will go. I would like to bring Batran and Rurick as well and two people they trust. I will let Lord Massas decide the rest.”
As a mediator to the soldiers, he would leave Lim, Massas, and Augre. Gerard was included as well, since he seemed unsuitable to the task. He decided not to take Mira due to her position.
Regarding Rurick, he was worried the old man who had long served him would complain. He was worried about this, but Batran simply laughed as usual.
“Young Lord. When this war ends, you will be going to Zhcted.”
To this old man who had been with him since he was a child, he could not lie. Batran simply smiled after giving Tigre his confirmation.
“Until this war ends, I will follow you, wherever you might go.”
There was a shadow in his smile. It was a melancholy held only by those who had lived a long time.
“I am already this old. I will not make it out of Brune. Even if I wanted to follow you... my body would not last.”
It was a lonely smile. Batran was 50 this year. He had served as a companion to his father, Urz. He was at an age where he could retire and live a normal life. Already he could not follow the actions of those from Zhcted.
--- Until the war ends, is it?
That is why he chose Batran.
However, he had not made this choice purely with his emotions. For his age, Batran had excellent strength and skill with the spear. Though self-taught, he was good enough to teach Urz, as well. It was not for show that he was a servant for such a long time.
Besides, Tigre felt reassured with Batran by his side. He had looked after Tigre as a child, after all.
As he recalled his conversation with Batran, Ellen suddenly spoke up.
“Then I will go as well.”
It was not only Tigre that was surprised, but Lim and Mira as well. While the two looked at her strangely, Ellen smiled.
“This discovery is also related to my future. Isn't it fine for me to accompany you?”
“Please think of your position, Eleanora-sama. You are a Vanadis. There may be heinous traps or fierce beasts lurking within.”
“That's right. If I can't handle that much, I wouldn't be suitable as a Vanadis.”
The two people let out a violent aura which affected Regin more than Ellen. It was undeniable that traps would be set in the Sangroel[Sacred Caverns of the Palace]. Her words were painful for someone of Mira's standing to hear.
Ellen simply caught their gaze with her bright red eyes.
“Lim. Can you prepare five people in our army who could overpower me? If you can, then I will leave it as it is. Ludmira, this will be decisive. Am I suitable to being a Vanadis? Let this give you an answer.”
Lim and Mira could not object for a moment. She was a 16 year old and the strongest fighter in LeitMeritz. She had the Silver Flash, Arifal, above all else. The only one who could possibly fight evenly with Ellen in the army would be Mira.
After silencing the two, Ellen turned to Tigre.
“With that said, you are the General of the army. I leave the decision to you.”
Tigre was at a loss for words being suddenly pressed for a decision. It was true the final decision was Tigre's, but it was still a problem.
All the girls except Ellen watched with bated breath. She was the Silvfrau[Wind Princess of the Silver Flash]. They quietly waited for Tigre's answer.
It was reassuring to have Ellen with him, but, as Lim had said, she was someone from LeitMeritz. He should not expose her to needless danger.
“... Should something happen.”
Tigre put his thoughts together and forced himself to speak.
“You prioritize yourself and Her Highness, Regin, no matter what danger befalls us. If you do so, I will take you.”
“Yeah, got it.”
Ellen answered promptly.
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