Chapter 30 “Brendan”
“Shaula got kicked by a horse?”
Blinking her eyes as she was told something unexpected in the classroom of the military school, the fox beast girl with golden ears and tail let out a sigh as if in disgust.
“Mm. ……. In the military stables, there is a big white horse. It’s a famous rampaging horse, it’s so magnificent that Shaula was completely captivated by it. She touched it without warning, and as soon as she got behind it, she was kicked in the head with all it might!”
“Isn’t she dead?”
“A normal person would, but she’s so sturdy. …… She’s got a sore neck, but she keeps watching the horse.”
You’re a fool to go behind a horse.
However, I was a little curious about the horse that even the discerning Shaula had been attracted to.
I asked Roka where they were and headed for the stables, where I found Shaula and Charlotte. Behind them, Elsa was quietly waiting.
“Hmm? It’s big brother Theo. What’s up?”
“I heard that Shaula was kicked to death by a horse, so I came to check on her.”
“Watch your mouth… I can’t die just because a horse kicks me. My neck hurts a little, though.”
At that moment, a horse neighed.
The girls in front of the stables turned their gazes in that direction, and I followed suit, peeking inside.
There were several horses in the hut – probably used by the cavalry – but there was one that caught my attention.
It was a huge white horse that was bellowing and threatening the soldiers in front of me.
The horse, more than a size larger than the others, was old enough to be recognizable at first glance.
However, it still refused to let the soldiers who were trying to quiet it down by neighing vigorously.
“What’s with the white horse?”
“Its name is Brendan. My father rode it during the war. It didn’t get scared in front of the dragon and saved my father.”
“Well, that’s interesting. Is this the horse that the great hero rode? He looks so old now.”
Just as I said this, the horse that had been rampaging suddenly quieted down.
I thought that it had stopped moving, and then it just lay there as if it was going to fall down.
“Are you okay? You seem kind of down.”
“Yeah, it’s been tired lately. It used to go wild just when people were near it, but now it gets quiet so easily. ……”
A mature horse won’t be around much longer, if I’m right.
It white fur had lost its luster, and its huge frame had become emaciated.
I can see that it used to be a very fine horse, but this might be difficult for it to even walk with people on it anymore.
“Brendan did not care for anyone but its master and Lady Nastasha.”
Elsa, who was standing behind me, let out a whisper.
“It never liked anyone but those two, and even if you feed it, it doesn’t want to eat until there’s no one around. If you don’t keep it under control, it will soon start to act up, and it doesn’t want to be taken care of.”
“I see. So you’re a proud bronco. Charlotte is not allowed, isn’t?”
“Yes. I’ve been telling it that it’s going to be turned into horse meat if it keeps raging like that, but it won’t listen to me at all.” (Charlotte)
“It’s outrageous that you would turn such a fine, beautiful horse into meat!”
It’s so nice. This white horse is best, isn’t? With Roka on its back and me hugging her from behind …… haha, it’s bliss.”
The wolf girl, whose head was filled with a field of flowers, said enraptured.
“Even beastkins admire horses?”
“Horses are very important when you live on the grasslands. Roka and I can run faster than horses, but ordinary beastkins are not that fast. Unlike other countries, such as the Empire, we don’t run together on the battlefield.”
“Because beastkins’ weapon is their own body?”
“Yeah. They don’t have swords or spears, so they don’t ride horses for charge attacks. So horses are usually used for milking and carrying cargo. The way we treat them other is different from other countries, but we beastkins and horses are important friends who live together in the grasslands.”
As Shaula said this, she looked at Brendan, who was now just lying there, and her expression clouded somewhat sadly.
At that moment, Charlotte muttered to herself.
“Brendan. I wonder if you will die soon…”
“Miss Charlotte. Such a thing is…”
“It’s okay. I’m used to that kind of thing,” the girl continued, as if she had reached a certain level of insight.
“I wish I could have seen it just once, when Brendan was running with Father.”
Her words were more of resignation than longing, as if she would never see such a scene.
It’s interesting to see that Shaula, who usually doesn’t give a damn about what others other than Roka say, is so cautious and cared.
Elsa remained silent and watched the scene. Even in this situation.
The fact that she keeps her expression blank even with this situation seems to be the same as that of her master, General Duras.
I look at Brendan again.
Its body was indeed emaciated. The light of life seemed to be dwindling.
But with a great hero of honor on his its, it rode through the battlefield with him.
I felt as if I could see the strong desire to run still in the horse’s eyes.
“Miss Charlotte, it’s time for your magic gun instruction. Let’s go.”
“I’m not interested. Why doesn’t Elsa just go alone?”
“It can’t be like that. The magic gun will be an indispensable part of the Elberia Imperial Army in the future. Please observe it for your own sake, Miss Charlotte.”
“No! I’d rather practice sword fighting with big brother Theo than do that.”
“Hey, let’s leave this man alone and study physical arts with me. You may be good at swordsmanship, but you’re not good at physical arts, are you? Slowly, slowly, slowly.
I’ll tell you all about it!”
“I don’t like Shaula because she’s creepy.”
“What the hell is ……?
While Shaula was shocked by the words of rejection, Elsa grabbed Charlotte’s shoulder firmly.
“Don’t be selfish. In the first place, I have been invited to the military today for the purpose of instructing the soldiers of Granden on the magic gun. I told you so in advance.”
“Because it’s boring! Hey, where’s big brother Theo? Let’s fight with swords! This time, I’ll fight with fair and square!”
“I’m sure your definition of fair and square refers to a game where anything goes as long as you can accomplish your goal. I don’t mind, but I don’t want to see Charlotte lying on the ground with a bump on her head.”
“What? I definitely won’t lose….. Eehh!! Elsa!!”
Elsa picked up Charlotte on both sides, and after bowed to us, she quickly left, parrying the complaining of the girl who was making a noise.
Seeing this, Shaula muttered to herself.
“…… That maid is great. I wonder what kind of emotions are hidden behind her expressionless face. I’d love to get to know her.”
I couldn’t help but let out a chuckle when I saw her smiling at her.
When I left the stables and went out into the city, I suddenly felt strange.
This is a feeling that I rarely feel under normal circumstances. Is this – a fluctuation of space?
The human body has dulled these senses, but there is no doubt about the unique phenomenon of this fluctuation space.
At that moment, I heard a voice behind me.
“Lucifer-sama. What’s matter?”
“A fluctuation in space. That’s unusual.”
Rena’s voice echoed in my brain.
After making sure that there were no other people around, I returned to my original tone and continued on.
“It has happened many times in the past that some event causes the space to fluctuate. For example, it can be caused by the tremendous power of a high level magic, or it can be caused by the power of the magic itself, which aims to cut through space at will.”
“Aims to cut through the space? What will happen if we do so?”
“When the fluctuation of space develops into a large scale, it opens a [door] to an unknown area called a dimensional rift, where you do not know where it is connected. There are various purposes for creating it, but In the past, in the kingdom of Chiaro Diruna, the magic powerhouse, there have been a series of cases in which the failed works of magical creatures are thrown into the rift. ”
Magical creatures are also troublesome creatures that can be very dangerous depending on what they are.
The magical creature that eats only elves that I saw during the last Final Droplet incident.
It could not even walk on its own, but its nature was vicious.
In the end, the thing was just a tool that could only produce Final Droplets, and was less dangerous.
However, many of the original magical creatures are so troublesome that human and beastkin’ prophets cannot defeat them without a serious fight.
It is a magical creature that is faithful to orders and has excellent killing power, durability and endurance, but it is said to be difficult to create.
It’s hard to imagine how many failed attempts were made to create the magical creatures that raged on the battlefield.
It may have great fighting ability, but if it doesn’t listen to orders, it’s tantamount to a failure. It would be advisable to get rid of it as soon as possible.
However, it is not a creature that can be killed easily. It is the equivalent of a forbidden art.
They are the kind of monsters that can survive a number of powerful techniques, so simply making them immobile will be extremely difficult for the humans.
For this purpose, a method of disposal using dimensional rifts caused by the fluctuation of space has been prepared.
No matter what kind of power you have, if you corner them in that rift, they will fall into the space beyond and never come back.
This is all the information I could find out.
Come to think of it, I think the library of my palace in Tenebrae has a book with such information in it.
It’s a genuine book from the time when magical creatures were used in warfare, but that magic powerhouse is generally very secretive. I’m sure it didn’t contain much information,…….
At any rate, only the Kingdom of Chiaro Diruna has created such magical creatures.
I’ve thought before about the possibility of a magical creature that is dangerous enough to need to be disposed of roaming in this part of the empire, but it’s still unlikely.
So it would be more realistic to think that this fluctuation in space is an event unrelated to the disposal of magical creatures.
However, fluctuations in space are not a phenomenon that occurs often.
The point of this phenomenon is that it rarely happens naturally, and most of it is “artificial”.
If something else man-made happened again in the middle of the temple attack, it is safe to assume that there is some connection between the two.
Earlier, Claude Duras had argued that someone with the same goal was behind the Final Droplet incident in Mildiana and the attack on the temple this time.
In Mildiana, if the disappearance of the elves had been left unchecked, the sky demons would have destroyed that academic city and caused a great number of deaths.
When that happens, the Empire will be in chaos. If there is another attack on the temple, the chaos will be even more intense. ……
If the temple is attacked, people will only remain confused and anxious. While worrying about harming themselves, people will focus on the immediate attack on the sky demons.
But it couldn’t end there.
Whoever is behind this massive conspiracy is surely thinking of causing an incident as big or bigger than Mildiana in Granden.
If the sky demons continue to run amok, the military will focus on them.
And if they cause another incident in Granden without delay, the chaos will no longer be limited to the humans.
An old crystal that was kept in the temple. It is very likely that it is the key to this case.
The answer should be in that one: …….
As I was deep in thought, Rena whispered to me.
“Lucifer-sama. I have a bad feeling about this.”
“This chilling sensation seems to be the presence of the dense dead.”
“The dead. You’re not talking about harmless floating spirits, are you?”
“Yes. When I visited the Palace of the Dead, where Leviathan-sama resides, I felt something similar to the unfathomably deep jealousy and hatred directed at the living. Moreover, I can’t help but feel that a tremendous amount of negative emotions are heading towards this Granden.”
I may be in a human body now, but inside I’m a majin.
Even though most of my powers are blocked, I’m more sensitive to the sensation of the approaching dead than most people. I seem to have become more insensitive than Rena, though.
However, the fact that I couldn’t feel any sign of them yet meant that the dead were not in the immediate vicinity.
“Anyone who has died in this vicinity is bound to be drawn to Levy’s Palace of the Dead. Rena, are you sure there are many signs of those dead?”
“Yes, I’m sure. Slowly but surely, the presence of many is approaching.”
The Palace of the Dead is the equivalent of a resting place for ghosts.
They should be able to sense it instinctively and be drawn to it, but why wouldn’t a bunch of dead people do that?
…… Are they being controlled by someone?
It is not impossible to manipulate the spirits of the dead to your will if you are an advanced dark power manipulator, but I don’t know what the intentions are.
Why is it necessary to send so many dead spirits to this land of Granden?
If it’s just a dead spirit, the priests of the temple can easily deal with it.
I can see it. It is true that it is not impossible to force your way in if you have the numbers, but it is not efficient.
Or is the attack on the temple itself not the goal ……?
When I looked up at the sky, the sunset was dazzling my eyes.
Now, will something happen by the end of the day? Or is it not the time yet?
Hmm. Not bad.
“After the attack on the temple, there was a fluctuation of space, and now a swarm of dead people. I really don’t understand. It’s a really annoying.”
“…… Lucifer-sama? Your mouth is smiling-”
“The incident in Mildiana was quite an event for me, as I was bored out of my mind. It was not a bad way to pass the time. That’s what makes it so frustrating.”
“Are you unhappy that you were enjoying yourself?”
“That’s the reason. I can’t wait to see what the mastermind behind this incident is going to do next. But I’m too impatient. I want the next spectacle to begin soon. I can’t stop hoping that this march of the dead will be the first of its kind.”
“… I’m troubled by the bad habits of my supreme Lord and my beloved husband.”
“Can’t you handle it?”
“Of course, I will accompany you to the end. My body and my life have been dedicated to you.”
“That is a woman worthy of being my wife. Lena, let us begin to prepare ourselves to enjoy this spectacle together.”
I began to explain to Rena the course of action we were going to take.
The cemetery in the fortress city of Granden was filled with an air of tranquility and serenity.
In front of a gravestone illuminated by the setting sun, General Claude Duras, who was hailed as a great hero in the battle against the Zenan Dragon Kingdom the other day, stands.
The blonde general looked down at the tombstone, which was inscribed with the name Nastasya Duras.
After staring at it in silence for a while, Claude quietly opened his mouth.
“…… I’m sorry, Natasya. I know it’s no excuse, but I’ve been so busy with my military duties lately that I haven’t even been able to show up here.”
The anniversary of Nastasya’s death had just passed.
The day of the Senate meeting in the Imperial City of Agurea coincided with the anniversary of his wife’s death, and it took him some time to visit.
“Since you left, Char has changed. She is trapped in revenge and no words can reach her anymore.”
After learning of his wife’s death, Charlotte did not eat anything for several days and cried all the time.
After that, she just lives as if she were a cripple.
But one day, she took up a sword and began to train hard.
She was always a kid who loved sword fighting.
She used to innocently follow the back of her father, Claude, and continue her training.
She has been a mischievous child ever since he was a little. In addition, she has gained the power of a prophet
Evidence of God’s blessing from birth, unique to those with blue hair.
The power that can be said to be in Charlotte’s hands is tremendous, and even back when she was still an innocent, it was doubtful that anyone could even count on two hands the number of people who could stand up to Charlotte and win in the land of the Granden.
And now, driven by the desire for vengeance, he believes that there is no one else who can fight that girl properly except himself.
When he thought about it, the face of Clarice, her own subordinate, naturally crossed his mind.
She is also excellent. In a normal match, Clarice will wins first, no matter how good Charlotte is the opponent. But she has a clear weakness.
She has mastered the art of conventional fighting.
Swordsmanship, physical arts, and magic.
She is a woman who is true to the basics, and yet she is able to sublimate them. If she had more experience, she could have the power to become a general.
On the other hand, she can only fight in a conventional way. In fact, she’s had many encounters with Charlotte so far, and she’s had a lot of success.
In fact, she had had several hand-to-hand encounters with Charlotte in the past, and had been defeated on several occasions by the young girl’s unexpected attacks.
So, if the opponent in front of her is willing to give her a fair fight, she will not lose, but if she uses a completely unexpected move, she will not be able to react quickly and will stop moving.
In battle, Clarice takes things more seriously than anyone else.
She’s easy to overthink things, to get bogged down, to be caught off guard.
It’s a clear weakness. That is the only clear weakness.
This is more due to her overly serious nature than her lack of experience. It would be impossible to correct her with ordinary effort.
In this land of Granden, she is strong. On the contrary, she fought against the special students of Mildiana without taking a step back. It would be enough to get through elsewhere.
It’s clearly a prominent talent, and that’s what she’s so proud of.
However, this has naturally led to her pride.
Lately, she has been rebelling more and more. He guess she is still not satisfied of the fact that she is only a provisional lieutenant.
However, if Clarice were to meet Charlotte as an enemy on the battlefield, the outcome would be known.
Like many other military personnel, Claruce will be the one who will be silent and exposed.
By that time, a girl named Charlotte had gained tremendous strength by feeding on her desire for revenge.
“…… I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t be there for Char when she was sad or angry.”
Nowadays, Charlotte sometimes looks like something unreachable.
His words and feelings were no longer understood by the girl. Claude closed his eyelids and continued to talk to his now deceased wife.
“On that day, I swore that I would protect you with my whole life. No matter what the enemy, I swore to protect you, to protect Char, and ultimately to protect this Granden. …… And yet…”
The reality that is so far removed from the ideal words he once spun weighs heavily on his shoulders.
He is the strongest knight chosen by the divine sword created by the great goddess Orfelia, whom everyone worships and reveres as a great hero.
A man who should be a sword to protect the country and a shield to protect the people. The man who was enduring the pressure was still less than thirty years old.
As a knight, the man with more power than anyone else naturally puts more strength into his clenched fists.
“I am not a great hero or anything like that. I’m just a human being with the power to fight. The people who should be called heroes are the people who survived the war without power……. It’s not a man like me, who can’t even protect a single person he care about. ……”
When he couldn’t continue to say anything else, he bit his lower lip and turned hus head to the side – suddenly a gust of wind blew.
At that moment, Claude, who had been revealing his unstable emotions like a lost child on the road to nowhere, quickly returned to a blank expression and said.
“… Did you come?”
The wind blows. It was as if it was saying something to him.
“All right. We will now begin preparations for war. We will defend this land at all costs.”
The wind blew like a gentle breeze.
“…… Never mind, it’s a trifle. I no longer have time for sentimentality. I’ll do what I can.”
Claude Duras, the Great Hero, muttered and put his hand on the hilt of his divine sword.
“Great Goddess Orphelia. I was never meant to be chosen, but please give me your power.”
As he turned on his heels from his wife’s gravestone, a fiery glow of determination lit up in his eyes.