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Chapter 39 – Maniac Decision
When the platoon led by Clarice reached the High Magic Court, everyone was in raptures when they saw the scene. Even though it is the smallest of the many High Court of Magic, it is still a magnificent building.
The former building of the High Magic Court was in tatters, as if it had been skewered by something. If you look, you can see that part of the large outer wall that surrounds the nearby Granden territory is also shattered.
“Huh, Ensign Fourestier ……, what’s this ……?”
Private Ilaria muttered to her at the sight of so much. Clarice wanted to yell back at her that it was also something that she wants to know, but she chose to check her surroundings.
There seemed to be no one in the area anymore. There was no sign of the ghosts or even those who had been burned by them and turned into the living dead.
However, she could feel a slight but strong residue of magic. It was obvious that a powerful magic had been used here. But in this land where many people are not good at magic, who else but herself could have done this?
She already knew that there were no soldiers who could unleash such magic. Still, she’d be lying if she said she didn’t have an idea.
There was a boy with an unfathomable power.
Even among Mildiana’s special students with that amazing power, there was one who was still the most talented.
“Could it have been Theodore who did it, ……?”
“….. Judging from the traces of magic power here, a technique of about the ninth rank was probably used. Keith Lermit should be able to use it if it is a flame technique, but this current situation is ……”
The area around the building was scorched and smoking in some places, while others were iced over and not yet completely melted.
No doubt, it was Theodore’s doing.
Clarice was stunned, but she regained her composure and told the people under her command.
“I don’t see any sign of people, but just in case. Check to see if anyone is buried under the rubble! There may still some ghosts left, so never act alone!”
Everyone in the platoon scattered to search, but there was no sign of any survivors. After checking the vicinity for a while, Clarice said, deciding that there was no longer any point in protecting the place.
“All soldiers, attention! I don’t see anything out of the ordinary here. But…”
Just as Clarice was about to continue, the sound of something creaking from earlier became louder and louder.
Crack, crack, crack….
The sound, as if it were a harbinger of something breaking, could no longer be ignored.
And Clarice, who turned her face to the other side of the collapsed outer wall, saw it.
Land west of Granden territory.
A crack appeared in the sky above the westernmost territory of the Elberia Empire, where the prairie spread out. That was the only way she could describe it.
A crack appeared in a part of the dark night sky, and a small amount of light emanating from it illuminated the ground. The white light, which was different from the moonlight, flickered eerily, creating a scene that could only be described as bizarre.
“What the hell is that? ……”
“Ee, Ensign, it’s cracked, it’s cracked, the sky! Look, look!!”
“I know, I also see it!”
There was no doubt that that something creaking sounded from the cracks in the sky above. They don’t know what caused it, or even why such a phenomenon occurred. Clarice became dumbfounded in front of the unintelligible scene.
But even Clarice, who can quickly learn set procedures and manners and demonstrate her abilities faster than anyone else, actually has a clear weakness.
She’s prepared for every eventuality. This time, the attack on Granden. She has always been able to anticipate various outcomes and make the best of them. She even considered the possibility that that General Claude Duras would fail to guard the temple.
She thought about what might happen after that.
If Claude fails to provide security, the worst that can happen is that his life will end. So she has been repeating over and over in her head what I need to do, even in such cases.
But before her eyes, a scene beyond her imagination was unfolding.
Seeing this, Clarice broke out in a cold sweat and shook her body as she felt her mind go blank.
She is incapable of reacting on the spur of the moment when something completely unexpected happens.
When it comes to what she has been taught and what she been expecting, she can pull out all the stops, but when it comes to the unexpected, she’s slow to react.
She lost several mock battles to Charlotte, who was supposed to be inferior to her. The reason for this is because she couldn’t deal with the girl’s unorthodox behavior. Of course, once she has experienced something, she learns quickly and rarely make the same mistake. But after all, she was still a provisional soldier, just a student at a military school.
Because of her excessive power and excellence, she was given the rank of Ensign as a special exception by the Crown Prince of the Elberian Empire, but her experience is still limited.
But now, she was leading a platoon. As a captain, she can’t afford to make any mistakes.
The weight of this pressure on Clarice made her stiffen involuntarily, and she couldn’t even say a word even though she should have taken action immediately.
Sensing Clarice’s dismay, Private Ilaria whispered, “Ensign….” when she tapped her on the shoulder, she cowered and looked over at her.
She was confused and didn’t know what to do.
Private First Class Ilaria, who saw the intense agitation, said.
“Ensign Fourestier. Your orders, please.”
Clarice looked around with anxious eyes as she received the sincere words of the usually easy-going older woman. Everyone in the platoon was staring at Clarice, the captain. Clarice was even tempted to ask someone for help, but they were just as anxious as she was.
I’ll have to do something about it.
After hesitating and deciding that, Clarice looked at the crack in the sky one more time.
If we leave that thing alone, we’ll be in big trouble.
I’m also curious about what’s going on in the city.
What was the tremendous magical power that I felt just now that seemed to scorch my body?
I wonder if Theodore used it, or if Keith Lermite, who is good at the karma flame technique, used it.
The High Magic Court is located at the edge of Granden. It would take a reasonable amount of time to get back into the city again.
Then we can get to the location of that crack in the sky before anyone else does.
We should be the ones to come and figure out what’s going on.
Clarice was frantically trying to sort out the situation, as if she couldn’t solve the problems in the classroom.
Her breathing was ragged, her heart beating fast, and she was restless, as if hse were a child who thought she would be chastised if she did.
“We, the Fourestier Platoon, will now head out to reconnoiter the phenomenon. Make your preparations as soon as possible. ……!”
Private Ilaria was the first to react to the command, which did not seem to have any supremacy.
“Ensign Fourestier, General Duras reminded us to think only of the defense of the city.”
“I know, I know, ……. Then, even more so, we need to see what that inexplicable phenomenon involves!”
At Clarice’s words, Private First Class Ilaria said with a serious face.
“The General’s orders do not include the implication that we should do such a thing. We don’t have enough men, and we are woefully unprepared. But you still insist on going there?”
“Of course. If it’s just the defense of Granden territory, I believe the forces led by General Duras and Major General Karsati can handle it.”
“That’s not what I’m meaning. The General’s decision was ‘Do not act on your own initiative’. Do you intend to disobey that order, Ensign Fourestier?”
The words of Private First Class Ilaria, who was so different from her usual appearance, cut into Clarice’s unstable heart.
Although Private First Class Ilaria was usually cheerful and upbeat, and seemed to have a bit of a sunny side, she remembered that she was also undoubtedly a soldier. In addition, she was much more calm than she was, even though her rank was supposed to be much higher.
— but Clarice did not change her decision.
“On the battlefield, it is essential to respond flexibly. If all you have to do is comply with what your superiors tell you to do, anyone can do it….”
“I know I’m being rude just now. When it’s done, you can curse me as much as you want and then blow me away. With all due respect, I’d like to point out that you’re not capable of doing what anyone else can do.”
The people in the platoon were buzzing.
Clarice is not only a second lieutenant, but also a prominent family with immense power.
She is also the only daughter of the Duke of Fourestier. The words uttered by Private Ilaria, a commoner and a mere soldier, to such a girl were not only a matter of rudeness or disrespect.
Clarice bit down hard on her back teeth and clenched both fists, shaking them wildly.
–I am not even recognized by my subordinates?
Once again, she was keenly aware of this thought, and she tried her best to hold back the urge to scream out loud and say it in a calm tone.
“Then, Private Ilaria. I’ll leave you in charge of the squad temporarily. You will lead the defense of the city.”
“No, I refuse. I’m just a member of the Fourestier Platoon.”
“What….! If so, what the hell do you want me to do?”
Clarice shouted out and hurriedly held her tongue.
Private First Class Ilaria told her plainly, without any sign of dismay or disdain.
“I believe it is Ensign Frestier’s role to decide.”
“My…… My opinion has not changed. I will immediately go to the site to find out the cause of that unusual situation and prepare for possible future events.”
She made eye contact with the older female soldier.
–There should be no mistake in what you are saying.
Even though she thought so, Clarice’s eyes were shaking with anxiety that was about to crush her.
“Even if it means disobeying General Duras’ orders?”
“That’s what I said…”
The place fell silent.
After a while, it was Private First Class Ilaria who suddenly smiled.
She said with a gentle smile, as if she had some sort of resolve in her.
“Understood, Ma’am. Even though I’m under General Duras’ command, I’m still a member of the Fourestier Platoon.”
Clarice frowned in confusion at the unexpected attitude. Private Ilaria poked the younger girl between the eyes with her finger and laughed.
“Ensign Fouestier always has wrinkles between her eyes. It spoils her pretty face, don’t you think?”
“Eh…. yes I do….”
“Fufu. The Ensign’s expression softens when she eats something sweet. I love the Ensign like that. Oh, of course. I also respect you.”
“What, what are you guys talking about, ……?”
“It’s nothing. I was just letting you know that I consider your intentions to be of the utmost importance. So, let’s get together later and get angry from General Duras! I’m sure he’ll be very scary, and I’m sure I’ll die of shock if I’m alone, but I won’t be scared if Ensign Fourestier is with me – right, guys?
Private Ilaria said as she turned around, and the rest of the platoon chimed in.
“Of course! Because our commanding officer is Ensign Fourestier!”
“Yes, I’ll protect Ensign Fourestier no matter what!”
It was Private Eric who said with some stammering. Private First Class Ilaria said with a smirk.
“Oh, you’re so bold, Private Eric! You’re eager to show off for Ensign Frestier.”
“Oh, I don’t mean that!”
“You were traying to seeking attention!”
“No need to seeking attention, Ensign Fourestier is the daughter of a duke. She doesn’t care about you guys at all.”
The platoon began to make a lot of noise, and Clarice herself seemed to be absent-mindedly watching their actions.
Clarice, who had been watching, was surprised to see Private Ilaria give a sharp salute.
“Ensign Fourestier’s determination has certainly been conveyed! We, the members of the Fourestier Platoon, promise to obey you. We will all be scolded by General Duras together later! One or two of us may be taken to heaven after being angered to the fullest, that’s about it!”
“…… are you sure you want to do this?”
“What are you talking about? If it’s your decision, of course it is. Now, Ensign. Give us your orders again.”
Encouraged by the smiling First Class Ilaria, Clarice swallowed and said.
“We, the Fourestier Platoon, are now going to investigate an anomaly in the westernmost territory of the Empire! Is that clear?”
Everyone in the platoon saluted.
Clarice looked at the scene, nodded emotionally, and then headed outside the city.
At that moment, Private First Class Ilaria intertwined with Clarice as if he was going to hit her.
“Good luck, Ensign! When the case is over, let’s eat a lot of sweets! Of course, we’ll invite Theodore to join us then.”
“Oh, that man has nothing to do with …… that, yes, I would rather eat sweetness …….”
“Good, good! Now, I feel enthusiastic! Let’s go settle it as soon as possible!”
“Hey, don’t press me!’
“I want to eat something sweet with the Ensign as soon as possible. If anything happens to Ensign, I’ll protect her with all my might!”
“It’s my duty as prophet. Come on, tighten up that loose face, Private Ilaria.”
“Wow, you’re already the usual Ensign Fourestier! Let’s keep up the good work!”
Clarice was puzzled by Private Ilaria’s nipping as if a large dog had taken a liking to her, but she relaxed the corners of her mouth a little.
There is no longer any confusion or anxiety in her now. Now she just puts all her energy into grasping the situation in front of her.
Thus, the Fourestier platoon left the city of Granden.
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