Took a while because complicated talk about geographic positions gives me headaches x.x and Tomoki also gives me headaches. Double the trouble.
In the border of the world an otherworldler moved, but there were still no ripples occurring in sight.
At that time, Rembrandt, who is known in the world as the Merchant of Tsige, was tackling an opportunity.
The implementation of Stella Fort’s capture plan by Limia and Gritonia.
In the battle that was spread out in two directions, the two heroes from both countries increased their morale. Moreover, because of the blessing of the goddess that had reappeared once more, the hyuman’s position was gaining advantage.
The Goddess’ blessing.
That is what could be called the basis of the big power the hyumans possess in this world.
Before the battle, they report to the Goddess about the beginning of it and the representatives of the troops do a speech. The Goddess confirms both powers and offers divine protection to the one she accepts the most, and the one she doesn’t, receives a curse. More specifically speaking, the one that was approved of will have all of his forces doubled in strength and the one who isn’t will have it halved.
In short, in the case the speech flows into a blessing situation, putting it in numbers, the distance in strength between the two powers will be of four times. If there is a big difference in military force it may be another story, but if it is normal, the difference is despairing.
That’s why, in this world, the winner and loser of a battle between hyumans was normally decided in the speech step. Because the result was already clear, it was normal for the halved side to surrender. For the sake of being approved by the Goddess, the people pursued beauty and have also made clothes and pompous armor that ignored utility just for the speech with the Goddess. The one she approves is the one that she finds the most beautiful. The royalty and nobles research the appearance of the people that have won in the speech, it couldn’t be helped that there were some who went mad because of this. It was directly connected to the power of the country and the family after all.
But that is only the case of fights between hyumans.
In the case it is not between hyumans, the story changes completely. In the speech with the Goddess, she would provide the hyumans with divine protection no questions asked. Even if we count the times in the past where there was a fight the hyumans didn’t receive blessings, there were no times where demi-humans obtained blessings. Not a single time. Against an opponent that was doubled in power with no questions asked, the demon race, originally known as demi-humans, were being overwhelmed because of their numerical inferiority. Being pressed by the necessity, the demon race began to assertively research strategy and tactics and obtained know-how numerous times higher than that of hyumans, yet it still continued with the hyumans having the advantage. Before the Goddess’ disappearance, the demon race was having those kind of fights.
When the Goddess disappeared, obviously, the speeches became pointless. Even if they made the preparations and express their desire for a speech, they didn’t obtain no blessings nor curses.
The 4-times blessing was now not showing effects no matter if the enemy was hyuman or demi-human. The demon race called a big amount of demonic beasts and demi-humans. Increasing their power to the very limit, they marched towards a war against the hyumans. They simply went straightforwardly from the front to crush them, pulverize them with power and numbers. The hyumans that were always been on the crushing side, were now being done in by the demon race. Victory, victory, victory, victory. The momentum didn’t stop. They even destroyed one of the five major powers and the demon race was able to obtain large amounts of lands.
The Stella Fort is in the southern tip of that destroyed major power, Elision.
It’s a solid fortress that has been attacked numerous times by Limia from the south and Gritonia from the east.
If they have the troops ignore this place and go north, in their march they will be obstructed by an inconvenient large river and swamp as well as a mountain range. It is not impossible but there will be interferences by the demon race. In essence, for them to be able to attack the demon race’s domain with a big army, they have to capture the Stella Fort or they won’t be able to advance. That there is a courteous route leading directly to the fortress for both countries is one of the ingenuities of the demon race, and there were some intelligent hyumans in the group that had begun to notice this. Even so, with all the lives used for the battles in this fortress, it took away Limia and Gritonia’s reasoning and recognition of this strategy.
The symbol of the hated demon race. A fortress that they have to capture no matter what. The Stella Fort is that kind of existence.
“The impregnable fortress. The devil’s fortress that has killed uncountable hyumans huh. Well, it is no surprise you would want to capture it as soon as possible. The descent of the heroes and the revival of blessings, because of those, it is no wonder they are now planning another attack in the once hopeless battlefield”
With the evening passing, the curtains of darkness descend and the shadow of the fortress rises. Before the gate you could see the shadows of the vast amount of troops deployed that spread because of the burning bonfires. A number of shadows gather.
“Yeah. There are some scholars that say this is a trap of the demon race. But even so, this place has sipped too much blood. Limia and the empire can’t back down anymore”
Another shadow stands along the shadow that said those words as if complying with it. Those words had a sense of surprise and in a part of it, self-derision as well. The voice that was slightly low came from a slim woman.
“I think that attacking from other places is also an option though. Well, I support this plan as well, there are numerous friends of mine “resting” in this place after all”
The shadow that is on standby a few ways in the back also opens his mouth. A man. He is in favor of bringing down this fortress, but he clearly states that this is an emotional decision of his.
“There are also an uncountable amount of knights that have fallen. This place is an unavoidable point we have to pass in our process to defeat the demon race”
Again, the two shadows, this time it is the shadow that is behind the girl who talked first. The owner of the voice is again a male. Because of the sound of rubbing metal, one could tell that the man is wearing armor.
“4-times blessing and the hero huh. I understand that we are in an advantageous position but… I just can’t brush off this bad feeling”
“What a stupid thing to say. Soon there will a dinner assembly with the empire. Your bad feeling will come true”
From the lined up shadow, an incredulous voice is directed.
“Ahaha. I didn’t feel this way with the spider so it may be needless anxiety. It could be because I just don’t like the empire’s hero called Tomoki”
“Who knows Hibiki, I saw him as a good young man though. He seemed like he was quite young but level-headed. An intrepid youth, is what I thought”
“Ah, I concur with Wudi. For me, he looked like a favorable person. He was a youth that has a strange attraction to him. Even though he looks like that, he can use a variety of magic tools and in the battlefield he can hunt tens to hundreds of demons. As a hero, he is incredible”
“We don’t know Hibiki’s taste after all. If I hadn’t met with Hibiki first, I may have become that boy’s sword. I felt the same majesty of a hero I felt from you”
“I… I am in the same mind as Hibiki. I didn’t like something about him. I feel like that person is different from Onee-chan”
The girl called Hibiki, thinking that she would be disproved by everyone else, one voice of support called out. A shadow that is smaller than the other shadows. A voice that one could tell it is young.
“So the only ally I have is Chiya-chan huh~. There’s no need to worry, I won’t be putting my personal feelings in the battlefield. Then let’s go for dinner and then sleep. We are going to attack at late night right?” (Hibiki)
Late at night, or more like, doing a dinner assembly just a few hours before? How relaxed, is what Hibiki thought. Is it because that is just how much they expect from her and the other hero? Or is it because they are confident in that so called 4-times blessing?
It is also for doing a last confirmation of the strategy, but under the pretext of a dinner. Feeling a bad presentiment combined with the hero of Limia who she still doesn’t know much about, Otonashi Hibiki looks once more at the bonfire.
(I will bring down that place. The demon general is a power type giant with 4 hands. We and the empire troops, no matter which group meets it, the heroes will reunite at where the demon general is and strike this huh. It is predicted that the military force of our combined troops is approximately five times that of the demon race side. Moreover, if we count the halving of their power, it is essentially 20 times? I don’t understand the numbers in battle but 20 times is a number that brings peace of mind. But well~ the fortress’s intensity is not halved, so it is not like we have an advantage in terrain. The 4-times is something that counts as a whole right? Our side is doubled and the other is halved. So then, if the demon race just negates that “halve”, the advantage will only be of double) (Hibiki)
In terms of tactics, the demon race is better. She remembers those words from a meeting. There is no need to even do a final confirmation. Getting the blessing, attacking from two directions and if the top appears, use the heroes to defeat him. A simple thing. For some reason, because of the wishes of the empire, the attack was turned to a night assault.
The demon race knows the hyumans movements by a certain degree, is what Hibiki thinks. In that case, there should be some sort of action that differs from all the situations before, and yet, there is no reaction in sight. Ominous.
In this world there is magic. If so, even without having cannons in the fortress they should be able to suddenly rain attacks resembling those of cannons from their side. More like, I am overthinking things, is what she thought. Taking into account the applications, she can’t even estimate what kind of magic they have.
That kind of uneasiness is probably what was making Hibiki have a bad presentiment.
“Welcome, Limia’s hero-sama”
Approaching the pavilion, the pondering Hibiki was greeted by a cheerful voice.
“Ara, isn’t this princess Lily? Thank you for going to the trouble of meeting me. I am honored to be invited in this occasion” (Hibiki)
The smiling Hibiki stops her thoughts and speaks out her previously arranged words by reflex. For the sake of not being discourteous, her companions and the nobles accompanying them were taught a few things. The girl kept in mind to use polite words.
The other party is the princess of Gritonia, a major power that possesses at least the same scale in influence as Limia Kingdom. No matter if she is a hero, as an individual, this person is not someone you can act impolitely. Hibiki felt nervous.
“I am of the same sentiment. Sorry for having called you out here. We have prepared a little service to you and the people that will be your comrade in arms. This night please recuperate your energies” (Lily)
While being perplexed by the rare event of having a royalty guide her, the hero of Limia follows the girl’s steps.
In the round table that was prepared, there were already a number of people seated.
When they saw Hibiki’s arrival, those people stopped their conversations, stood up and met the princess and the girl being guided by her.
“Hi! It is before the nap but, let’s enjoy the meal without minding about ranks!”
“Now, Hibiki-sama, this way please”
Following the princess, Hibiki is assaulted by a melancholic feeling. It is because of the words that were directed at her. Just how light they were.
Furthermore, the empire is strangely not saying anything about what was said, making her feel sickened. That her own companions didn’t show any sort of displeasure was also eerie.
As expected, Hibiki was guided to the vacant seat directly beside the seat of where the empire hero, Iwahashi Tomoki, is. There were no other places to sit beside this one. To refuse the seat that the princess has guided her to would be an act of impoliteness. Moreover, the ones who said there is no need to mind about ranks, are people that don’t forgive impoliteness.
While sighing in her mind, Hibiki shows the princess a well-made fake smile. And faces Tomoki.
“Thanks for your consideration, Tomoki-kun. It will be a night warfare but, let’s both do our best” (Hibiki)
Common words. Hibiki already knew Tomoki was younger than her even when it is the first time they have met, so she decided to call him with the suffix –kun.
“We are used to night battles so it is okay. We might even be able to cover Limia’s side as well” (Tomoki)
“That is reassuring. We don’t have that much experience in large scaled night battles so I am expecting much from your side” (Hibiki)
“Moreover, this is a mid-boss fight. Let’s end this in one sweep and have the Goddess praise us. Ah, I wonder if she will give us more powers” (Tomoki)
“Now that you mention it, the blessing speech is done by Tomoki-kun right? Will I be able to meet the Goddess again? I haven’t met her since the first time, and there are a lot of things I want to ask her” (Hibiki)
Hibiki felt like the situation she is experiencing is different from the situation the Goddess herself explained, so she wants to meet her again. Even though she has power and divine protection, the only time she has talked with her is in the very beginning.
She felt an uncomfortable feeling at Tomoki’s “mid-boss” words, so Hibiki changed her thoughts to the Goddess and maintains her smile.
“Ah, also, what level are you now Hibiki?” (Tomoki)
Tomoki suddenly asks Hibiki her level. The other members were being guided by the chamberlains, taking their seats and respectively chat and bring the food that is served into their mouths. Hibiki is also taking part in the meal but can’t properly taste the food. She wasn’t in the mood of enjoying the meal.
The only one that looked uncomfortable was Chiya who had the same opinion about having an unpleasant feeling of Tomoki. And a girl from the empire’s side that was about the same age as Chiya, began talking to her and bit by bit she indulges herself or so it seems.
“Me? I am 430 now” (Hibiki)
“I see. I have become 605 now” (Tomoki) <Take in mind, there is no note of who is talking, I do those myself. I seriously thought this was a talk about age between the two lolis>
“Heh~ that’s impressive. And that’s how much you have participated in the battlefield” (Hibiki)
“Yeah. That’s why, Hibiki-san, you may be 3 years older than me but, could you please not call me with –kun? There is no need to go as far as calling me with –sama, -san is fine maybe, when talking to someone that is stronger” (Tomoki)
(Who’s the one that said there’s no need to mind about ranks?!)
Hibiki desperately tries to hold back the tsukkomi she wanted to do. The 100% fake smile on her face was now showing signs of crumbling.
“I-I am sorry. I am still using the customs of the other side to talk. From now on I will be careful” (Hibiki)
“Nah, I don’t mind it though. Also, I am sorry but, I don’t like formal speech” (Tomoki) <Wow Tomoki wtf, did you check your tampon?>
(I am just adding –desu. There’s no way I would expect formal speech from you who is saying “domo” and “ore”! And also, if you don’t mind it, don’t mention it! Isn’t it fine to just let it go then?!) (Hibiki)
“I don’t mind about formal speech anyways, so it’s okay. It is fine to just talk the way you like” (Hibiki)
“Is that so? Iya, that’s a big help. I was insecure of when I would mess up you see. We are going to do a swift attack on a demon general today, so I was thinking about having Hibiki-san and the others accompany us from the beginning, how about it?” (Tomoki)
In a sense, this is a conversation between the representatives of both countries. This is a link for diplomacy, is what Hibiki thinks. Even so, she felt like her head would split from anemia because of his words.
If this were the other side, the other world, such a kouhai taking that kind of attitude would get a proper sermon. Or could it be that the current middle school students are all like this? If that is the case, she is grateful to have been able to come to a different world. There is no better blessing than this.
“… It is a pleasant proposal, but we have to encourage the people of Limia and participate in battle. When the time comes, I will rush okay?” (Hibiki)
While feeling her own expression twitching, Hibiki was somehow able to pass the dinner assembly, also called as the patience test.
Just one person, Chiya, was preoccupied by Hibiki’s state. When the dinner assembly ended and they left the pavilion, they returned to their own camps and the girl worriedly approached Hibiki.
“Hibiki onee-chan, are you okay? Should I serve you tea to calm down?” (Chiya)
“Chiya-chan, geez, just how much of a good girl are you! If that idiot were to have this much courtesy, the story would have been a bit different!” (Hibiki)
The other members didn’t understand why Hibiki was angry and could only tilt their heads.
“Hibiki, could it be that you don’t like the food of the empire?”
“If that was the case, you should have told the other party or it will conversely turn as discourteous Hibiki-dono”
Hearing the words that were way off the mark, as expected, even she had to stop her steps.
“Eh?! Just how serious are you saying that?! How come the conversation didn’t turn into how rude that Tomoki was to me, isn’t that weird you guys?!” (Hibiki)
Chiya also agrees with Hibiki and nods several times.
“W-What is it you are so angry for? Tomoki-dono went through the trouble of holding a comfortable dinner assembly, said that he would provide us support in the fight, moreover, he casually pointed out to Hibiki about using –kun on a higher ranked person. And after that, wasn’t his trustworthy proposition nice?”
Naval, the woman warrior that Hibiki considers as a companion the most in the battlefield, releases words as if counting a short story.
“What were you seeing on that full-throttle rude machine to reach such conclusions?!” (Hibiki)
Hibiki is astonished by her own companion’s words. Even Bredda and Wudi, who normally warn Naval when she says too much, were agreeing with Naval’s words.
(What is this? Are you telling me everyone turns weird when they meet him?) (Hibiki)
Even so, Chiya and I were alright. Just what in the world is going on? Hibiki didn’t think she would have to ponder about how to talk with her companions in order for them to understand. She began thinking there was some sort of reason for it.
“Well, let’s leave that aside for now. I got a bit out of control. Okay, let’s sleep. The fight is close after all. Chiya-chan, let’s sleep together” (Hibiki)
Pursuing this point at present will not get anywhere. When they sleep and wake up, the war will have begun already. She understands that she should not bring unneeded discord.
When Hibiki returns to her bedroom with Chiya, she was deeply moved by how easily she was able to fall asleep.