Madan no Ou to Vanadis:Volume 06 Epilogue
It was Olga's first time speaking, ever since she had settled down, in both mind and body. However, it was also hard for both of them to even open their mouthes because of extreme exhaustion. The two people leaned, side by side, on the only wall that escaped from the destruction, and like that trailingly sat on the floor.
"Before that, apologize."
Tigre put on an indignant face as he looked over at Olga beside him. She snorted and turned her face away. ‘I didn’t do anything bad’. She voiceless advocated.
Tigre blankly looked up at the early morning sky from the hole dug into the ceiling.
---It seems I couldn't control it as usual......
The hole roughly extended right above from the Commander room. The gray dragon clad in black light had devoured the monster, and then faded into the sky.
---Perhaps it's because I overdid it by shooting two arrows successively?
Olga's voice, which was somewhat sulky, pulled Tigre back to reality.
"I wanted to be helpful to you."
Come to think of it, Tigre vaguely remembered that Ludra also said such a thing.
---But, really, she is an honest child......
The time from after seeming to be stubborn until she explained the reason was short. At 14 years old - even remembering himself three years ago, he felt that he was more stubborn. As Tigre managed to feebly lift his hand, he patted Olga's head.
"I'm happy you did that for me. But...... I was worried."
Tigre said so; after about a count of three, Olga whispered the word of apology "Sorry".
After Tigre gently stroked her head, Olga's body leaned on the youth as she felt relieved. Tigre did not reject her, and left as it is. Feeling the warmth conveyed by the girl's body, he leaked a sigh of relief. At last,the feeling, that it was finally over, surged.
"I will tell you later about this power. Also, please let's keep this secret to everyone."
"......Even to Matvey?"
At Olga's question, Tigre nodded. Matvey was a capable man and also very tight-lipped. Even so, no, precisely for this reason, Tigre did not want to tell him.
"I understand. You...... Since it's you, I trust you."
As he expressed his gratitude, Olga, embarrassed, squinted her eyes.
"It's me who should thank you."
"-Heeey, still alive?"
Suddenly, from the distance, came a sound. And also the sound of clattering armor. Looking over there, nearly ten mercenaries with Simon at the vanguard were moving towards them. They were dumbfounded by the horrible sight, and even forgot to be cautious of the surroundings.
As Simon came up in front of Tigre and Olga sitting on the floor, while looking around the uncanny marks of destruction, he asked.
"......What happened here?"
"I don't know, either"
Tigre shook his head. Although Olga stopped her action to think about something for a moment, she nodded as to show that she was of the same opinion.
They didn't know what happened, either. "Let's put it this way" Tigre decided to do so.
'If you were to speak of this, you will have to start with the absurd talk that General Lester was actually a Monster. They might believe it looking at the situation where the ceiling and the walls were destroyed, but if the talk extends to how we defeated it, we will be very troubled.'
"That aside, what about the people below? Is the battle over?"
Tigre changed the topic. Though very explicit, Simon, fascinated by the Commander room which was half blown away, inattentively answered.
"It's over. It could be seen almost from anywhere that the Commander room was blown away by a strange black light. Did you see General Lester?"
"......Just when I thought that I had finally arrived, my eyes became filled with black light, and when I came to, it was already like this. And General Lester was nowhere to be found."
"Is that so? Well, anyway, it's our victory. The soldiers alive all surrendered, and this Fort...... Though one part was literally destroyed, became ours. I count on you for the pay."
While lending his shoulder to Tigre and getting up, Simon seemingly to have finally pulled himself together grinned. Likewise, Olga was carried by another mercenary.
"By the way...... What would you have done if General Lester had shown up?"
Feeling a little uneasy, Tigre asked Simon. Though it would be good if he was smashed to atoms by the black bow, if he luckily managed to escape, it would be frightening. Both Tigre and Olga had already erased all traces of fight.
"If that had happened, of course, we would have surrounded him and taken his head."
While pleasantly laughing, Simon supported Tigre and walked the hallway full of cracks. His men carrying Olga were following suit.
Simon and his men, as they walked around shouting that General Lester was dead, even the guards, who were still showing a will to fight threw away their weapons one after another and surrendered. Their morale melted like pills of ice which bathed in sunlight, and faded away.
The Fort Lux fell. Although accompanied by three thousand soldiers, they lost approximately five hundred, and nearly the double were injured, considering that it was in the siege - and more importantly, having encountered a Monster, this loss was fairly small.
Vaild Ludra had two worries.
One was how to report the fall of the Fort Lux. He could explain up to the middle, but he could not fully understand what happened to the end.
He did not know how to explain the disastrous scene of the Commander room that could not have been the work of a human. It was as if a giant from a fairy tale had rampaged and destroyed the room; how on earth should he report all this to Tallard?
Summarizing what he himself had witnessed, coupled with the issue of the black light which disappeared into the sky through the Commander room, Ludra was at wits' end.
The second worry was about Tigre. This one might be more serious.
The day before leaving Valverde, Tallard gave the plan for the capture of the Fort to Ludra, but at the same time, he said so:
'Test the ability of Tigrevurmud Vorn.'
Tallard was curious about what kind of strategy Tigre would adopt to capture the Fort. If Tigre could not propose anything, he should use Tallard's strategy to capture the Fort.
Sure enough, Tigre proposed an excellent plan.
Camouflaging their number by employing the nearby townspeople, making the soldiers lurk in the northern woods and, before dawn, making a surprise attack from the west where the daylight did not reach, and opening the north gate and letting the army invade the Fort.
These were almost the same measures as those of Tallard's strategy given to Ludra. However, in Tallard's strategy, since Tigre could not lead Asvarre soldiers, he gave the soldiers' command to someone, who they could trust as a Commander, and made a surprise attack from the west side of the walls.
---Tigre-dono... No, Lord Tigrevurmud, at the single point of holding the soldiers, has exceeded His Excellency’s expectation.
He could not help but leak a sigh of admiration. Having tested Tigre's ability in this matter, he honestly praised him.
---While being a person from Brune, he is also a person able to think of the people of a foreign country. So that the employed townspeople don't get injured, he made distributions taking it into account as much as possible.
Ludra thought that the problem was there: Sooner or later, Tigre would learn the falsehood of Tallard's words, and he would probably not forgive Tallard.
As it would become a battle if Tigre could not forgive Tallard, he would probably be a formidable enemy that Tallard had never met.
---If possible, I really hope that such a thing don't occur in the future.
Ludra with his usual smile gave instructions to the soldiers, but on his face, the shadow of worry faintly blurred.
In a room of the Fort Lux, Tigre, Olga and Matvey had gathered.
As Matvey who bowed and apologized, Tigre laughed and forgave him. Although it would be good if he did not cooperate with Olga, shelving himself who was not able to admonish the young Vanadis, Tigre could not blame the scary-looking sailor.
Incidentally, Matvey was monitored by soldiers. He was imprisoned, that was why he safely managed to survive. The curve sword he was wearing when disguised was taken up before he met with Lester.
Matvey was a brave man, but he did not have the recklessness jumping out to the battlefield unarmed, and he saved himself at this point.
While Ludra added, among the soldiers who surrendered, there were those, who chose to enter Tallard army; the people, who refused to follow Tallard, were given food for a few days and released.
The soldiers collected corpses whether it be enemies' or allies', and buried them; they washed away the blood stuck within the Fort with water. This was an epidemic counter-measure as well as a measure to get rid of the ill feeling of those who surrendered. Tigre and the others also helped.
When the day was about to end only by such work, a worrying report was brought to the Fort.
"Prince Elliot leading thirty thousand pirates has landed. It is still unknown whether he will be aiming at this Fort or Valverde, but they are in a distance of about two days from here."
Shiver spread throughout the body. They did not receive report that the port town of Maliayo fell. While avoiding showing anxiety on his face, Ludra asked.
"Did Maliayo fall...?"
The soldier shook his head saying "No".
"The enemy attacked several fishing villages at the coast, and seemed to have landed from there."
"Impossible! There’s no way that such large vessels could anchor in mere fishing villages......"
Saying up to there, Ludra pressed down his mouth with his hand as he thought of something. Tigre, who seemed to have understood in the same way, asked with a look at Matvey's face.
"I'm afraid Prince Elliot prepared a large quantity of boats. They drew closer by large vessels till the good place, picked up pirates on the boat from there and commuted back and forth at high speed."
"Using such method, they won't be able to return the boats to the large vessels......"
"They probably went down with ten boats in the open sea, and nine boats unload pirates. Then the remaining one dragged along the nine empty boats. Pirates should be accustomed to such work."
Olga was thrilled to his brief and clear explanation, and Ludra, with a serious expression, nodded.
Up to now, they had not received yet any contact from Tallard.
However, the thirty thousand enemies were drawing near at a distance of a day or two.
"---Calm down, for the time being, we shall do what we have to do."
The confused trio was accosted in a calm voice by Tigre.
"......Do you have a plan?"
Matvey blurted out with an unprecedented seriousness in his tough look. To which Tigre calmly shook his head, and continued with a smile.
"Not yet. But, I had a similar experience before, and I came through it."
'Therefore, I will somehow manage; I will do it.'
When Tigre finished speaking, Olga, Matvey and Ludra regained their calm. At this time, the three people felt like they had touched the depths of the young man called "Tigrevurmud Vorn". They felt that they could believe the words of this person, a sentence that opened the horizons, and they got the vitality to move forward.
"Then, I must go calm the soldiers for now."
With his usual smile, Ludra left the meeting room. With quick steps, but at a calm pace as to not let people feel uneasy. Olga opened her eyes wide at the remaining two, and said with admiration.
"I feel like I caught a glimpse of a king's ability."
"Don't tease me."
At the earnest words of Olga, Tigre shrugged his shoulders. He thought that she was the kind of person who would never say such things. It was true that he had no plan. From now on, he had to figure it out anyway, before the enemy arrived.
---But, I will prove that I can do it.
Without fighting spirit, and even without trying to look big, Tigre had naturally decided so.
The sun of autumn cast a mild light through the window.
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