金金金Several days later, Noel’s party received their first mission. Although it was labeled as such, it was nothing along the lines of scouting or maneuvering. Their orders were to deliver messages, and were simple things that anyone could carry out. Rockbell had fallen to the enemy, and scattered along the Kanan highway —the road connecting the fallen district to the capital city of Madress— several small villages were dotted about. Noel company’s objective was to inform them of the approaching rebel army, and to urge them to remain vigilant. Simply there to warn of potential dangers, they were not to protect them as there were not enough soldiers to be stationed at the many villages in the area.
金金金Grohl’s administration could see that from their base in Rockbell, the rebel army’s sphere of influence was expanding. Ever since the rebellion began it had never stopped in one place for long, and had gathered up the malcontent as it marched south. They surmised that the rebels had ceased their advance with the intent of prolonging the rebellion. Knowing that Bahar had backed the rebels made their motivations obvious. They aimed to lower public opinion of Coimbra by miring the province in civil war, and eventually to investigate Viceroy Grohl for responsibility. If that were to succeed, Amil would secure his position as the next emperor, and effectively bury a future potential political opponent. It was truly a two birds with one stone scenario. Grohl hated yet understood it, and while he was grinding his teeth in his mind, until the meeting with all the soldiers came to an end, he tempered his sporadic condemnations. In the decisive battle, if they could win quickly, they could more or less alleviate the negative stigma which had built up over time. If he was rash and lost by taking an inferior position, it could be fatal.
“So, where is the next one?”
“Please entrust me with showing you the way,” the soldier told Noel as he spread open a map.
“Ahaha, somehow you’ve gotten used to this, eh?”
“We’ve gradually grown accustomed to it. That Mirut guy doesn’t seem like he’s used to it yet though.”
“Shaddup,” Mirut rejected him, displeased.
金金金Unlike the others he was not in the mood for smiling. Their objective was supposedly to prevent the spreading of their enemy’s sphere of influence, but all they could do was extremely simple. “The enemy is approaching, so you should flee rather than keep yourselves in danger,” or “Although Coimbra is unable to send soldiers at this point, joining the rebellion is still punishable by death,” were all they said in accordance with their orders as they wandered from place to place. There had been no positive reactions from the people, and all that Noel company had heard were things such as jeers, and insults. Sometimes they would even have mud slung at them. It was only natural that the villagers would be angry when told there would be no help, but that they should be careful.
“Even still, they’re all super angry, right? That old man earlier frothed at the mouth and collapsed.”
“That is true. It’s because the villages are highly taxed yet aren’t given any protection. The province’s soldiers are supposed to be here for times like these.”
金金金Mirut sighed. Had the soldiers moved properly, he wouldn’t have had to be there. Everyone from Zoim would most likely have been safe, which was a fate he could only pray for at the moment.
Noel, who had no way of knowing his thoughts, offered, “But, aren’t mud fights fun?”
“The only one who had fun was you, Captain. We had just been supplied with our armour too. Ah, the mud is going to stain it. This is really the worst.”
金金金Mirut tutted as he looked at his own appearance. His armour was new, but already the chest piece that protected him had become tragically smeared with mud. Even the clothes he wore under it were mud-stained such that they gave off a gooey aura. Simply wanting to leave or having an injured pride were unacceptable excuses, so he couldn’t even go so far as to raise his desperately controlled voice. As a result of it all, every member of Noel company had become entirely covered in mud. The unparalleled optimism was held by only one girl, Noel, who was the only one to carry on as usual.
金金金It would be reasonable to say that she was hardly filthy at all. Often magnificently dodging the mud balls thrown by the villagers, and following through with a harsh blow when she saw a chance. Of course she didn’t respond with the likes of her spear or hammer, but with mud balls of her own. After about an hour the villagers would grow tired and disperse, and Noel would play happily with the remaining children. Were Cynthia to hear of it, she would most likely be exasperated yet again, wondering what the commander was thinking.
“By the way, how do you avoid it so well? It seems like you didn’t really get hit by them much.”
“I watch carefully, you know. If I do that it is easy.”
“Just avoiding them by watching… normally that can’t be done for so long you know.”
“Is that so? Even though I can do it. Anyone can do it if they practice right?”
金金金Noel made a puzzled face. It wasn’t particularly difficult for her after all. Just dodging mud balls was nothing to her. Whoever it may have been from, and wherever they may have aimed, all could be figured out by observing their hands. With those basics, the mud balls themselves didn’t need to be seen to be dodged. Occasionally an astute one would send a fast ball flying, and those had to be carefully watched.
“With that way of thinking, arrows, or whatever can be dodged, right?”
“True. Hey, maybe… I’m amazing?”
“Sure, yeah, you really are amazing. As expected of Noel, Leader of Ten.”
金金金Mirut, not having any of it, shook off his hands, and continued walking while brushing off the mud, following after Noel. When Noel fought, there were times when her instincts became unusually sharp. During those times, something was there. Knowing that he made sure to watch her closely. He would avoid it by watching, or maybe just learn to cope; he had managed to survive by doing so until that point. It was obvious, yet it was difficult to convey in words. If he watched closely everything would be okay, and that was all he found he could do.
金金金For the following three days, Noel company continued in the same duty. Following their map from village to village, one by one, they continued to survey. Ignoring the curses they had become sick of hearing, dripping with mud, Noel’s party continued to perform their duty. Finally, they turned to head in the direction of the last village they had been ordered to go to. Proceeding east along the Kanan highway, their destination was on the far side of a slightly elevated knoll. Their prospects were good for just by cresting the knoll they could gain an unbroken view. The once great flow of people along the highway had petered out, and now only occasional local’s wagons passed through. There was also the rebellion that had arisen, which caused the number of merchants that could be seen to decrease. On the reverse slope, patches of woods stretched out. Aside from that, there were also wheat fields; furthermore, they were able to confirm that a small settlement was beyond it. They were just a short distance from their destination, and knowing that, Mirut who had the map, let out his voice, wanting to hurry onward.
金金金Noel, from beside him, unexpectedly knocked him down while he was wiping his sweat. As it had been sudden, Mirut had not prepared himself for it and his face made it all the way to the dirt. Thankfully the soil was soft, and he merely hurt his nose.
“That hurt!! You just suddenly!”
“It’s fine so ready your weapons. The enemy approaches.”
“Enemy!? From where!?”
金金金Noel prepared her bident, and as a whistle came from above the trees, somebody landed. It was a man with a red cloth wrapped around his arm who was from the same village as Mirut. It was Fraser.
“Heh, it’s impressive that you reacted to my arrow. I’ll be honest and credit you with that, Noel.”
“Yo Mirut. So the others are with you too. I thought you were some stupid provincial soldiers, so I shot at you. You’re even wearing the Coimbra uniform. Did you betray us, the Red Circle Army?”
“N-no, th-there is a reason…”
“Hey, Fraser. Did you intend to kill Mirut?”
金金金Interrupting Mirut who was trying to explain, Noel asked a question of her own. Mirut too noticed the arrow protruding from the dirt. It was a sharp arrow that was in the place that Mirut had been unmistakably standing. If Noel hadn’t protected him, he would certainly no longer be alive. He finally realised after so much time that Fraser had seriously attempted to kill him.
“Well, it’s obvious to try to kill the enemy. Even more so if he happens to be a traitor,” Fraser explained calmly.
金金金In his hand was the bow from his days as a hunter, and he was nocking another arrow. Behind him, about thirty armed men came into sight. Each of them had a red cloth tied to his arm. Among them was their conspicuously large acquaintance, Kraft.
“That’s true. The enemy has to be killed, eh.”
金金金Noel placed her hands on her hips, and the soldiers wordlessly drew their swords.
“Oi, wait you guys! You too, Fraser! We didn’t really betray you guys. Alright, let’s calm down and listen, okay? The rebellion was started by the Bahar province!”
“Oh, is that true?”
“So, the Red Circle Army’s leader isn’t thinking about the people at all. The rebellion was raised all for their own sake after all!”
“I see, I see. I don’t mind you shouting that, but then, so what?”
金金金Fraser tilted his head with an unpleasant smile. Kraft was making a similar expression. It was unthinkable for him to be the same person who had been so cowardly before. A longsword was resting on his shoulder, and he turned his dangerous gaze to them.
“S-so what? The rebellion is meaningless! If you guys don’t leave soon, you’ll be given the death penalty when you are captured!”
“He he, you don’t understand Mirut. You don’t understand at all. If you had stuck with us, you would have had so much fun.”
金金金Kraft nodded an innumerable number of times to Fraser’s words.
“Yeah, the fun of pillage. Taking anyone’s prize possessions. Trampling on the weak and showing off your power as much as you’d like. It’s seriously fun. It is the true feeling of being alive, felt from the bottom of your heart.”
“You, what are you…”
“Hey, Mirut. How many people do you think I killed in Rockbell? 30. Those who were smarter than me, who seemed like they had more money than me, I shot them with arrows, and stabbed them with spears; I butchered them you know.”
“Did you know? When you slash someone’s head with a sword, loads of blood comes spewing out. After that you help yourself to things like that man’s woman and property. Ha ha, once you’ve done it once, you definitely can’t stop.”
金金金Fraser was looking at Noel with the face of a starved wolf. Drool dripped from his mouth as his surging lust boiled over.
“Stop saying stupid shit, and leave the rebel army! Right now, all of the soldiers in Coimbra are gathering in Madress, so your chances of winning are already gone!”
“Then I should just rage to my heart’s content. I can’t return to that shitty, miserable life anymore. I won’t desperately hunt so that those retards can take it away. There is no way I could do something like living off of a paltry sum in a life of alternate joy and worry. The one who dies is better off.”
“It’s like that, so I’m sorry all of you with Mirut. But, I think so too. That place is truly boring. That kind of life, living like a piece of trash, is something I just won’t go back to, sorry.”
金金金Kraft continued on while smiling. The feeling of his former naivete had completely vanished. He completely didn’t understand their story. Faced with the two who had changed drastically, Mirut could do nothing but become speechless.
“By the way, were you the ones who killed Captain Ned as he led the flying column? Mr. Geb was grieving for him you know.”
“Yup, that’s how it is. I killed him.”
金金金Noel nodded honestly.
“You were killed by a woman, Ned? As a former captain that is surprisingly pitiful. Did you get him in a surprise attack?”
“Nope, we properly fought. Face to face.”
“Well, it doesn’t really matter either way. Mr. Geb was just curious you know.”
“By the way, Noel. I’ll ask just one more time, but do you still not want to come with me? If you come here there will be all kinds of fun experiences to be had.”
“My answer is the same as before, though. Please stop, okay? It doesn’t seem like I’d be happy with you after all. That, and I have loads of companions now.”
金金金Noel expressionlessly, yet thoroughly rejected him. Fraser seemed unexpectedly ashamed, but quickly re-grasped his aura.
“Heh, so it’s like that. Well, that’s fine I guess, taking you along by force next time will make for a good story. I’ll overlook today’s spot for the friendship we once shared. Next time I won’t forgive you so prepare yourself.”
金金金Fraser shouldered his bow while Kraft laughed.
“Later, everyone. If you want to come this way, going all the way to Rockbell would be good. I’ll always welcome you after all.”
“You might accidentally be attacked and killed though.”
金金金Disinterestedly raising his hand, Fraser returned to the armed men. Kraft followed behind him at a lazy pace. Facing their backs, Noel called out.
“Hey. Is there already no way for Fraser and Kraft to be allies? You really won’t return to my side?”
金金金At Noel’s question, Fraser stopped for just an instant. His tone of voice was level, but somewhere in his heart, he was appealing for something. That was how Mirut felt, so maybe Fraser and Kraft did too.
Fraser ruffled the hair on his head as though irritated, and looking back, said, “That’s right, we aren’t companions anymore. From the start we were only people from the same village. From now on we are mutual enemies. I am on the side that pillages, and you are on the side that is pillaged. A winner and a loser, it’s simple right?”
“I see. Then, that’s fine. We’ll meet again I guess.”
金金金Having said that, Noel began to walk disinterestedly. Fraser and the others could no longer be seen, and she promptly began marching toward the village that was their destination.
“Is that alright?”
“It’s fine. Until now, I thought they were allies. I won’t hold back the next time we meet. We’ll be enemies after all.”
金金金Noel gave an indifferent answer to the soldier’s question. Every member of Noel company became vigilant against Fraser and the others of the rebel army, and like that they continued on. What followed was not a fortunate thing. They didn’t know if Fraser had truly overlooked them, or if he had a different objective. Mirut was relieved. Even if he had become suited for murder, Fraser had almost not even appeared like he wanted to kill them. Mirut didn’t think he would raise his sword to an opponent whom he had known since childhood, although Fraser and Kraft had seemed to have had no difficulties overcoming that hurdle.
“H-hey. What exactly were they doing? It’s like they are different people from the ones we knew in the village!”
“They must have changed. He said that he knew the joy of pillage after all. If it is like that, it can’t be helped.”
“I-it can’t be helped? Don’t say that so easily! We are people from the same village!”
“Then explaining until they understand is fine. You’d obviously die so I don’t recommend it though. Mirut, you are one of my companions so if you are killed I’ll be sad.”
金金金Noel’s words had a cold bite. Those eyes held nothing of human nature in them. Mirut prepared his words when he found himself averting his gaze.
From his mouth came a question to which he already knew the answer, “The next time we meet those guys, how will you feel?”
“I don’t think we’ll even meet again, but in the one in a thousand chance we do,” Noel gently stroked her bident, “I’ll obviously kill them. I don’t want to be on the side that is pillaged, so the enemy absolutely has to be killed. I already said it can’t be helped, and we have no obligation to save them.”
“As expected of a military woman. I couldn’t cut them off so easily you know. It would be impossible.”
“I think that’s good, Mirut, as a way of living. It’s very human, having that kind of attachment.
“It doesn’t matter that I’m a coward then.”
“You could also call it being gentle. If everyone thought like you do Mirut, I bet this world would be full of happiness.”
金金金Noel’s face twisted as her mouth curved into a cynical smile. That such a carefree girl could make that expression was such a shock that Mirut’s eyes went round.
“Well, at the end of the day, there are all sorts of people, so it’s however you live is fine.”
“Just living as one pleases, and quickly dying doesn’t seem to me like it holds any meaning.”
“Well, that’s true.”
“Those idiots, don’t they understand that?”
“Who knows, is it really like that? It doesn’t make too much sense to me, though. Well, it doesn’t matter either way if it is about the enemy.”
金金金With a weak laugh, Noel shrugged her shoulders as he watched.
金金金Watching them approach the village were Fraser and the other soldiers of the Red Circle Army. Looking at their receding figures, Kraft tilted his head.
“Hey, isn’t that good, Fraser. We were easily overlooked. First of all, didn’t we come to crush that village?”
“Mr. Geb ordered us not to be too violent in this area. It isn’t like it would have been a big deal with a village that run down. Unfortunately, we’ll have to overlook it this time,” Fraser spat disinterestedly.
金金金Fraser, who had skill with the bow, and Kraft, who had a large build and probably great strength, had become Geb’s eyes. It seemed like the skilled Geb was Ristih’s most trusted retainer, and so his face was useful in a variety of situations. There was even some talk that they could become subordinates after the fighting was over.
金金金I don’t know how serious that person was, but I will just go to the places I can. That way I can feel alive.
金金金If those were Geb’s true feelings, it didn’t matter whether or not Ristih’s objectives for the Red Circle Army were noble. He just lived violently as he pleased. He was venting all of the unpleasant feelings that he had accumulated throughout his life.
金金金Furthermore, humans are the ultimate game, completely different from mere beasts.
金金金Unlike when aiming at animals, his heart pounded when he aimed at humans. He could never taste that unique excitement unless the target was a human. It completely removed the feeling of killing something unaware, and he could gain a sense of accomplishment. It spoke of the proof that they had ascended the staircase to adulthood that Geb had set out for them. Kraft was similar. His speciality had changed from the hoe, to the longsword. He wished for the war to expand, and prolonging it was desirable. Those were Fraser’s true thoughts. It no longer mattered what happened to his mother in Zoim. He didn’t even know if she was alive or dead; what was important was the matter of what he would do in the moment.
“Speaking of which, Noel just now seemed a bit lonely, didn’t she?”
“Is that so? I thought she felt the same as always.”
金金金Fraser thought back, but didn’t recall any particular loneliness. All he knew was that she had no interest in him at all. That was unendurable for Fraser. The whole thing was frustrating, and what made it worse was the fact that Mirut was the one beside her. That was why he had aimed at him with the intent to kill.
“But somehow, she looked lonely, you know? Nah, it must be my imagination.”
“We went out of our way to tell her to follow us, and she rejected us herself. How would it make any sense for her to feel lonely.”
“That’s true. It looks like it was my imagination after all.”
“What I’m curious about is the villagers other than Mirut. Wasn’t something a bit strange?”
金金金While Fraser was speaking to Mirut and Noel, the other youths of the village were staring at them, swords in hand. They were waiting for orders like well disciplined soldiers. What exactly was that, he wondered.
“They didn’t have the nervousness of people intimidated by you Fraser. Maybe because we didn’t have anything like those swords.”
“Pfft, it isn’t like it matters. Next time we meet, I’ll kill the others and Noel will become mine after all. Don’t interfere, Kraft.”
金金金They would beat Noel half to death and capture her, killing the others. The debt of their previous friendship in the village had been repaid when he overlooked them. He didn’t need mercy when dealing with former companions who had suddenly left the Red Circle Army for the Coimbra military; especially Mirut. The plan was to rip him apart and show the pieces to his little sister Cal. Whatever expression she would make would certainly be enjoyable.
“Wow, that’s unfair. Then, what should I do?”
“I don’t know. Anyway, if you touch Noel before me, I’ll kill you.”
“Somehow your face is scary, Fraser.”
“It’s because you don’t know how to hold back.”
金金金Spitting, Fraser signaled with his hand. It was the time that they had to head back. Their mission had been to scout the area. Only Fraser knew of Geb’s true intentions. The knoll overlooking the highway was an important strategic position. It was a place that the Coimbra military didn’t realise the significance of, but to the Red Circle Army it was different.
金金金A good time to take the capital is the harvest festival. We’ll show those shitty nobles that the only difference between people is the place they were born. That’s right Noel. No matter how composed you appear, just one layer down, you are the same as us all.
金金金He tried imagining Noel’s face distorted by fear in the manner of the women from Rockbell; a face dyed in agony and despair. However, it didn’t matter how many times he tried, he couldn’t get a clear image. No matter how much he imagined tormenting her, in the end, he could only picture her showing her teeth in a smile. Unexpectedly, chills ran down his spine.
金金金Looking over his shoulder, the sun’s rays pierced his back, and the sight of the far off Noel reached his eyes. He couldn’t clearly see it, but he got the feeling that her eyes were confirming their presence. They were like the eyes of a beast. She didn’t have a bow, yet he had a premonition that she would shoot them dead.
金金金Those eyes, I feel like I have seen them before. When, and where was it?
“Ah, it was that time.”
金金金It was a story from the time when she had recently come to the village. When she was hunting, her eyes were always like that. Would the arrow hit, or miss; would the target die, or live; that was all that she would be thinking of. This time, those eyes were directed at him. He hated that feeling from the bottom of his heart, though it had been a while since he had gone hunting with her. He became afraid of the time when that arrow would seek him out. It was the first time he felt death so close. The time when he was unreserved with others, and the time when he held special feelings had in an instant faded until nothing was left. He didn’t know when it had started, but Noel had at one point recognised him as an ally.
金金金Suddenly, he understood. He himself had answered her final question with a no. Without mistake he had become enemies with her. At their next meeting, Noel would certainly come with the intent to kill. Unlike Mirut and the others, she held no reservations, or mercy towards humans when they were her targets. Beneath her childlike brightness was lurking a simple-minded cruelty. Fraser had been initially smitten by that dual nature and so there was no mistaking it. His elevated emotions rapidly plummeted, and he was struck by the sensation that he had made an unbelievable mistake.
“What’s wrong, Fraser?”
金金金Fraser noncommittally replied to Kraft, walking quickly away.
金金金I wasn’t wrong. What’s wrong with living the way I want to? I was just a kid at the time. I’m different now, there’s no way I’d be scared by a female opponent.
金金金Fraser spat and kicked at the ground. He attempted to stop his overwhelming imagination, but all of his efforts were in vain as the image of Noel’s gaze would not leave him. The pounding rays that felt as though they could penetrate his back were an unpleasant experience.
金金金Noel company returned to the capital around the same time that the rebel army left Rockbell. A great number of soldiers were moving toward the capital, and reports of invasion had already arrived. The total forces of the rebel army that had taken the name Red Circle Army numbered five thousand strong. Although Grohl had thought that it would be a war of attrition, he quickly ordered their interception. Staying inside the walls, and slowly bleeding the enemy to death was what the cautious faction had lobbied for, but Grohl had shouted them down.
金金金Whoever looked at it, defending a castle against mere rebels would seem pathetic. Furthermore, the castle town’s defences were lackluster and so casualties and destruction were guaranteed. Already, Grohl planned to sally forth, take the field, and exterminate them. Neither his judgement, nor his plan was a fallacious. However, he viewed his opponents as scum, and if he couldn’t quickly achieve victory, he would become impatient, arrogantly believing that he could overwhelm them with numbers and higher quality equipment. Those three follies clouded his vision and threatened to dull his reasoning. As to whether or not they would be fatal was not yet known.
“This is my first time participating in such a large scale military operation. My chest is unexpectedly pounding.”
“Isn’t that the common cold? Hey, do you have a fever?”
“Even though you aren’t wearing your glasses, your words are still poor. Or are you saying that this is your place?”
“No. I heard this from a friend before, but humans are complicated so they can’t be judged by their faces.”
“If there are many good people who have killed great numbers, there must also be many evil people who have saved great numbers. Humans are like the sun, you see, with all kinds of forms. If you don’t observe it multilaterally, you’ll never see its true figure.”
金金金Noel was speaking like a philosopher. It gave off a profound feeling, no, it was something else. Cynthia was shaking her head.
“Sorry, but I don’t understand the meaning at all.”
“It means that with or without glasses, I am the same me. Hey, I just said something good just now, right?”
“I was a fool for seriously listening to your story. Look, just obediently play your trumpet. As calmly as you can.”
金金金Cynthia overbearingly stuffed the trumpet on to Noel’s mouth. Noel, rather than resisting, accepted it, and blew out a meaningless toot.
“This is the military’s might, when we array for battle we will certainly win. We will crush them quickly, and return peace to Coimbra.”
金金金The assembled troops, at the commander’s orders, turned together and began to exit the castle. Coimbra’s military flag, and the scale insignia proudly flew. Cynthia’s troop’s turn was still to come. In that way they were to march from the castle, out of the castle town, and onto the highway where they planned to intercept the rebel army. Grohl ordered them into the crane’s wings formation to maximise the advantage of their superior numbers. The left and right wings would encircle the enemy, and exterminate them. As the rebel’s numbers were inferior they should have no way of countering it. Cynthia was sure of victory, and nodded strongly.
“Amazing, your expression looks confident of victory. See, it’s loosening. You’re seeming terribly negligent.”
金金金Poking Cynthia’s cheek with her finger, her hand was brushed away, and Cynthia hurriedly objected.
“T-there is nothing of that sort here. I am simply bracing myself right now! You are the one who should worry about negligence!”
“Oh really. So what you’re showing me is actually nervousness then. Look, your body is totally trembling.”
“D-don’t say stupid things!”
金金金Cynthia strongly bit her tongue. Her face distorted as she desperately endured the pain. Noel asked if she was truly okay with a wry smile. Patrolling the rear, with stiff faces, Mirut and the others stood straight in a similar manner to Cynthia’s veterans. There was no helping that they were like that before their first battle. Noel was unexpectedly looking up to the sky. The sun’s form was obscured by a cloud. It gave off a poor impression and Noel was slightly disappointed.
“Well, as long as we’re alive, we can do something. If I do that, I wonder how many times I’ll have to fight to finally win,” Noel murmured to herself.
金金金The turning point was the game of black and white that they would play together. They had no way of knowing if they would lose several times in the fighting, but it would be fine as long as they turned the tables in the end. She figured that that was what Geb meant when he had told her to always win if she wanted to find happiness. However difficult the process, getting the last laugh was a good thing. In summary, defeat for Noel was either dying in the middle of a dream, or surrendering; only those two. Submission to the enemy was no good, and so she may have had to die.
“As I said, puff up your chest more, maybe fill in some of the space there. Cynthia, Commander of One Hundred.”
“O-of course. But, the part that protects the lives of the soldiers needs to have some breathing room!”
“I see. Then there’s no helping it. I give up.”
金金金Noel thought of teasing her more, but decided to stop. If she kept it up too long she felt that she would be punched. Feeling somewhat tired, she opened her mouth wide and let out a breath.
“Even though it is just before a battle, you’re yawning. Are you an idiot, or a big-shot, I can’t tell.”
“What would happen if I was a big-shot?”
“Let’s see, how about, as an elegant general you would lead me into combat. How about you are labelled as the General of 100 Victories?”
金金金Cynthia had a wry smile while making fun of her, and Noel nodded obediently.
“Then I should go one step further and become the commander-in-chief. That is slightly higher than a regular general, and would make me greater, right?”
“C-commander-in-Chief Noel. I can only think of that as a poor joke, so don’t say it twice. You’d get too excited.”
“You were the one who said it first, Cynthia. Ah, wasn’t it sir Cynthia?”
金金金After speaking to her without proper honorifics, she rebuked Cynthia with her gaze, but she soon stopped as she felt that she would be hit.
“With that, it is all good. Aside from me, the other officers will care. You’d be punished by beating.”
金金金While she was saying that, it came time for Cynthia’s troop to depart. Taking the reigns from a soldier who had brought a horse, Cynthia mounted it. It seemed that commanders of one hundred were permitted to be on horseback. With a lance in her hand, her whole body was covered in stately armour. With her visor down it became impossible to tell that she was a woman.
“Cynthia company is departing! Everyone follow me!”
金金金In the vanguard, Cynthia carefully spurred her horse onward. Matching her, Noel and the rest followed, the sound of the trumpet and their drums ringing out. The fruits of their labours had ripened, and this time there were no complaints about their performance. The soldiers with spears followed behind Cynthia and marched out. Their steps fell in sync so as not to disturb the formation.
金金金Noel held her bident and commenced the march, leading Mirut and the others. On top of their uniforms, they wore iron breastplates, and helmets. The few plates they had been supplied with were spaced out such that the thought of it obstructing movement never occurred to them. None of it would get in the way during an emergency.
金金金This is my first campaign. I’ll have to properly find out if what I learned there will be of any help.
金金金After remembering the faces of her precious friends, Noel recalled the faces of her teachers. Her beautiful memories became black. Noel regretted sincerely not skewering his head. Those guys were unmistakably the enemy.
“Well then, let’s give it our all. This is our first battle.”
金金金Noel smiled, and the young ones from the village raised their arms as they raised their spirits. Mirut who did nothing aside from refusing to follow along, could only shake his head.
I did it! The re-edit is complete. I didn’t expect to do 99% of the editing, considering I theoretically have an editor, but c’est la vie.
恥恥 Editor’s Note 恥恥
Looks like the editor didn’t help again. Bear in mind, he did do the original edit, just not this second one.