He said to protect at least a world from the Empire? …Good grief, be it Ares or Mistral, the guys that were born three centuries ago make really outrageous requests as if nothing.
But…you are right. We will defeat the Faris Empire. That is my final objective and that hasn’t changed. We have to win. Even if we throw away our honor.
However…I can’t just let the people of the Iron Blood Alliance become toys for eternity.
“…Oi, Mistral.” (Solje)
“What is it, Solje Strauss?” (Mistral)
“…It may be pretty weird to ask this to you but…” (Solje)
“Then don’t ask.” (Mistral)
“Don’t break my talk. Hey, please tell me, Mistral. How can we defeat Zeruaga Arianrhod?” (Solje)
What answer will this undead knight give to this idiotic question?
…What awaited me was silence. Umu, it is getting chilly here… I am scared of looking at the face of Riel and Loroka. I think they are both making incredibly incredulous expressions. So I don’t look.
Okay, let’s look at Mia’s face. Our eyes met. Her big black eyes are cute today as well. Ah, she gave me a smile. Yeah, Onii-chan has finished charging the little sister meter.
“…You, did you seriously ask me the way to defeat Arianrhod-sama?” (Mistral)
“Yeah, you look like the one who would know the most.” (Solje)
“That’s stupid. Do you really think I would honestly tell you the weak point of Arianrhod-sama?” (Mistral)
“…No, but I have understood something from that just now.” (Solje)
My mouth turns into a grin. Mia is also imitating me and grinning.
Fuhaha! How do you like these fangs! The sibling grin is fearsome, right?
“…So there really is a weak point…” (Solje)
“Ooh, Solje, nicely done!!” (Riel)
“Yes, as expected of Solje-san!” (Loroka)
“Onii-chan, intelligent!” (Mia)
How’s that? This intricate talking skill that uses the brain of an idiot. I have not been working as the captain for nothing. Admire this intelligence of mine.
“I won’t tell you!” (Mistral)
“Figures. Well, she has a weakness. That’s good enough. Oi, Mistral.” (Solje)
“What? I am not in a good mood here.” (Mistral)
Of course you wouldn’t. Adults normally get angry when they are set up. That’s why I will gift you something.
“Unsheath your sword.” (Solje)
“…Hoh, interesting. Are you telling me you are putting an end here?” (Mistral)
“No, let’s have a match of only one hit. As thanks for telling us that Arianrhod can be defeated.” (Solje)
“…Fumu, only one attack, huh. Well, fine. I know your skills.” (Mistral)
“…It is too late for regrets, you know?” (Mistral)
“Do you think I will? There’s no regret in the dictionary of the Strauss when it comes to matches.” (Solje)
“…Figured that would be the case.” (Mistral)
Mistral swung his greatsword making a loud sound from the wind, then took a stance. Yeah, as expected of the man that has continued to polish himself even after becoming an undead for three centuries…there’s no openings at all.
“This is a type of strength contest… We both will only clash with one attack. Is that fine with you?” (Solje)
“And…if I win, I want you to answer me one thing.” (Solje)
“If it is about the weak point of Arianrhod-sama, then—” (Mistral)
“I don’t care about that shit.” (Solje)
“…Your knight’s code that you have been protecting in those 300 years…would you throw it away or not? Just that is fine, tell me.” (Solje)
And then…Mistral and I glare at each other and concentrate.
We concentrate to the point that the flow of time felt slower. We observe each other, analyze each other, everything we can learn.
Snow falls onto the prepared swords; in mine and his as well. Snow touches my fire red hair…and at that time, we begin!!
Kicking the ground, we accelerate. We understand our whole bodies. That’s right, before even attacking, we had already understood it.
This is simply a slash that has our all. No matter how fast it is, no matter how strong it is…it is easy to read.
No technique to it, no hidden intentions to it; a pure contest of strength.
The dragon longsword and the undead’s greatsword ran through the night sky, and clash!!
Metal sings, blades scrape, and sparks scatter.
And then, a standstill arrives.
No, it may be slight, but they are both vibrating. My strength and Mistral’s were desperately trying to prove who is the stronger one.
We both only have one chance.
That’s the agreement here after all. That’s why, at this moment, I place strength again!!
Our strengths rival each other…and thus, the strength of our swords were the ones that decided the conclusion of the match.
Ares’s dragon longsword broke the greatsword of Mistral like last night.
The broken portion of the blade spun in the night sky drawing an arc, and in time, lands into the ground where it is embraced by the snow.
“Hmm…in terms of strength and technique we were evenly matched, but…” (Solje)
“No, being able to prepare stronger equipment is also a strength of the warrior.” (Mistral)
“Yeah, I know. I am the winner. Answer the question from before.” (Solje)
“…I will push through my knight’s code till the end… That’s something I don’t plan on changing.” (Mistral)
“I see. Then that’s fine.” (Solje)
I sheathe my dragon longsword.
“…Take your undead comrades and leave for tonight.” (Solje)
“…You are not taking me down tonight?” (Mistral)
“You still have something to do, right? For the sake of Viola Phaser.” (Solje)
“Am I wrong? You have been living on as an undead for that sake, right?” (Solje)
“That’s why I will let you go. This is as thanks for telling us a variety of things.” (Solje)
“…Umu, then, let’s meet again at Zakuroa.” (Mistral)
“Yeah, at that time…show me your chivalry once again. Whether you are a Zakuroan Knight that still swings his sword for the sake of freedom.” (Solje)
“…No need to tell me, I will. Now then, Banjar Mercenaries, farewell.” (Mistral)
Finishing saying that, he finger whistles.
The Ice Skeletons and Ice Wolves stop in place, and then, when Mistral walks, the wolves surround him as if protecting him, and they slowly walk south.
The Diaros warriors were not sure if to chase them, but the daughter of the chieftain, Loroka-ojousama, ordered them.
“Let them go!! In this time when we are exhausted and a war is at our wake, there’s no need to injure ourselves further against monsters!” (Loroka)
“Good! …Then, please begin treatment for the injured at once.” (Loroka)
The Diaros warriors obeyed the orders of Loroka-sensei and went left and right to help the injured.
“…I think he is an enemy though. Do you think this is okay?” (Riel)
Riel-chan throws me a question.
It is a natural question to ask. Let a monster that has the same combat strength as me go? …Moreover, a guy that attacked us two nights in a row.
“But killing a guy that has lost his sword by attacking him all together is kind of underhanded, and boring.” (Solje)
“Is this really the time to say something like that?” (Riel)
“…Also, that guy…seems to have a trump card.” (Solje)
“Hm? Are you talking about the transformation from yesterday?” (Riel)
“Eh? Aah, I see, I haven’t told you about it yet. Inside his stomach there is—” (Solje)
“The Possession Crystal.” (Loroka)
My adjutant said the rest. That’s right, Loroka had noticed. I saw it with my magic eye, but she has the Crystal Horns.
Since they are both crystals, they might have something between the two that just clicks? …No, this is not a joke or anything. This is the sacred treasure of their tribe, so they must know more than me. Like maybe they are notified whether it is destroyed or not by sound.
That’s right, my magic eye saw that the Possession Crystal had not been destroyed at all inside his stomach. It is still there.
“Fumu…What does that tool do?” (Solje)
“I don’t know the details, but it is an item used for killing Zeruagas. I don’t know if they work for every Zeruaga. But the fact that Arianrhod herself tried to destroy it by sending Mistral means that, at the very least, it should be pretty effective on her…” (Loroka)
…Also, Mistral said that it would even break the spell of that guy. He said it out of nowhere… It must have been a message delivered to me by an awkward person.
The Possession Crystal is effective against Arianrhod.
And, him having it means…
This sounds preeetty interesting.
“…An item like that is in that guy’s hands, you say? …Why did you let him go, then? You are not going to kill him and get it back?” (Riel)
“Even though Arianrhod ordered him to destroy it, he didn’t and is keeping it. In other words, he does have the intention to rebel.” (Solje)
“…Are you planning on having him switch to our side?” (Riel)
“No, it simply seems as if he could become the enemy of our enemy.” (Solje)
“I feel like I have heard that recently.” (Riel)
Is she talking about the time when we instigated the Vaireid insurrection? But if that’s the case, you should know, right? The fact that having an internal breaking between comrades is incredibly effective.
“We don’t know the fighting style of Arianrhod. But he told us a lot. Like how the Possession Crystal might be useful. Loroka, can you recreate it?” (Solje)
“…It is made from scarce materials, so it would take time to make one.” (Loroka)
“Any countermeasures?” (Solje)
“Yes. Even if we can’t make a Possession Crystal, in terms of recreating the spell itself…I think that if we have Riel, who is Forest Elf royalty, it might be possible.” (Loroka)
“Me? …Do a spell that deals with a Zeruaga?” (Riel)
“Yeah, you just have to recreate what the Possession Crystal does as a spell.” (Loroka)
That’s our Loroka.
Imitate the system of a sacred treasure, huh. Even if it is impossible with the mana of the Diaros, if it is the mana of Riel, it might be possible.
The Banjar Mercenaries really are exemplary.
“I see. I simply have to use the spell that the Possession Crystal had in it.” (Riel)
“It is easy to say, but isn’t it difficult to do?” (Solje)
“I am Riel Harveld, you know? Loroka-neesama, please tell me the structure of the spell!! I’ll show you that I can shoot it if you give me around 24 hours, this Aqua Aura!!” (Riel)
Our Maje has gotten serious. Seeing this, I feel like I can leave Loroka and Riel and they will be able to do something about the countermeasures for Arianrhod…
What’s left is…
“We really have to go.” (Solje)
- Chapter 91
——The Diaros scholar of plentiful knowledge holds knowledge of alchemy as well.
Taking the crystal fragments from the sacred treasure pedestal, hitting them, and melting them to analyze it.
Science reveals the recipe of the sacred treasure and describes the concept of the spell.
What’s left is to leave it to her partner in love; aah, Solje Strauss, a sinful man.
——While Riel was drawing a magic circle, she showcased her fearsome female intuition.
The girl asks: Nee-sama, you love Solje?
The woman answered without escaping, with her hand tightly holding hers.
Yes, I love him, just like you.
——Can I become the second wife?
The love of the elf girl is strong, she wouldn’t run away from strife.
I understand, but I won’t give up being his number one.
And in this way, the mercenary women smile boldly and return to work.
——Having many lovers is the very definition of a knight story’s main character.
Solje Strauss, in that sense as well, is a true knight.
Even so, your true essence won’t change.
The one by the side of the dragons is the devilish swordsman Strauss, and you love the battlefield.
——The current you holds no love.
You simply glare at the battlefield where a tragic song is playing.
That’s right, fly with your dragon wings.
You have the duty to know about their journey.
…That’s right, I have to go.
The resolve of Vashiri-jiisama has been told to me by Mistral who calls him his lord. There must be no lie in that resolve.
Vashiri Nova and those 1,000 people will make a contract with Arianrhod, become undead…and will charge against the 35,000 led by Commander Zack Claine of the Imperial Army’s 5th Division.
35 times the difference.
It is absolute madness, but they will actually do it.
…In order to give me victory.
Then I have the duty to witness it.
I look at the sky. I can see the sky even at night with my left eye. It is clear.
No, I can tell from the smell of the wind. A storm is coming. A blizzard. Deadly cold, cruel as if all ice is filled with anger, which would damage the wings of Zephyr.
“…It will be a rash journey. Can I ask you to do it even with that in mind, Zephyr?” (Solje)
I think…it is cruel to ask a young child like you this question. I am sorry for doing something that’s like taking advantage of your innocence.
“…This is my own ego. Even if we do this, the future won’t change. Not only that, it would only make new wounds to your wings… Even with that—” (Solje)
“Doje, do you want to meet the old man?” (Zephyr)
Zephyr looks at me with his golden eyes and asks this. I feel bad, but nod.
“Yeah! They are going to entrust the future to me! They are going to face unbearable pain and suffering in order to give me victory! They will be unsung…worse, they will be spoken ill of as corrupted and dishonorable…!” (Solje)
Prideful knights are throwing away their honor to entrust the future to me.
“…I must meet them… Learn about their pain and shoulder it. If I don’t, I won’t be able to live on with myself!” (Solje)
“…Okay, if Doje wishes for it…I will fly!!” (Zephyr)
Zephyr spreads his big wings in this darkness. His wings were wounded from the war of before. He learned about the pain of the battlefield, and it is on its path to becoming true dragon wings.
This makes me so unbearably proud.
The Strauss are berserkers. Being together with wings that are being dyed by battle is my biggest joy. Just seeing the wings of a dragon makes my heart play a melody, and makes me smile widely.
“…Thanks, my Zephyr!!” (Solje)
“Now, let’s go!!” (Zephyr)
“Wa?! Waaaaaait!!” (Mia)
My little sister’s voice cuts through the cold night wind of Barrow Gawick. She dove with her small body and I caught her with both of my arms.
“Yup, Solje-oniichan’s little sister, Mia! Were you planning on going alone?” (Mia)
“…Yeah, we will be breaking through a blizzard, so it will be deadly cold.” (Solje)
“Fufufu, I will present such an Onii-chan with the warmth of a Cait Sith.” (Mia)
“…Not getting it? I will be going with you, too.” (Mia)
“Oi oi, the cold will be no joke, you know?” (Solje)
“That’s why we can just warm each other up while flying!! Hey, Jean, you are slow!” (Mia)
“S-Sorry for the wait!!” (Jean)
He really can’t get out of this habit.
Jean comes to where we are while holding fur. But what’s that?
“What’s that fur? …I haven’t seen it before. It has white and red mixed in it?” (Solje)
“Negler Deer fur, Solje-san.” (Loroka)
Loroka-sensei comes to where I am.
She takes the fur of that so called Negler Deer from Jean’s hands and puts it on me.
“Ooh, this is really warm.” (Solje)
“Negler Deers are a type of monster that live in a place colder than here. It has white fur with red mixed in it; a cute monster.” (Loroka)
I see, so this was made from that cute monster…
“Umu, it feels nice. With this, I feel like I will be able to endure the blizzard.” (Solje)
“Mia, we also have your share! Come here!! We are covering your whole body. It would be terrible if you got frostbite!” (Loroka)
“Yes! Dress me, Loroka!!” (Mia)
Mia is looking to be pampered by Loroka-sensei.
Loroka makes a motherly smile while dressing her into the Negler Deer’s fur.
Umu! It didn’t take long for a fluffy white and red sweet little sister to be made!
“Onii-chan, transformation complete!” (Mia)
“Yeah! This is warm!” (Solje)
“Yup! There’s no doubt we can get through that blizzard! Ultra easy!!” (Mia)
“…W-Well, don’t be reckless, okay? It is really cold. Also…Riel?” (Solje)
“I made you boxed lunches.” (Riel)
My lovely elf-san seems to have brought a package to me with a red face.
“Here. It comes with a spell that retains warmth. Even if these containers were to be placed inside a glacier, the insides would be able to maintain its temperature for 5 hours.” (Riel)
“When you get serious, you really can do anything. What about the meat?” (Solje)
“Of course, there is. Meat stew. It is fatty Negler Deer meat!” (Riel)
The Negler Deers are being used effectively again.
“Yup yup, nothing wasted on the Negu Negu!” (Mia)
“You know about them, Mia?” (Solje)
“Yeah, I had some just a while ago. I snatched a bite when Riel was making it, and it was delicious.” (Mia)
“What kind of meat is it?” (Solje)
“It is in the middle of chicken meat and beef. But the fat is more like pork?” (Mia)
“…The only thing I can understand from that is that it sounds delicious.” (Solje)
“It is fine as long as you can understand that, right? Here, don’t go dropping it, okay?” (Riel)
“They are boxed lunches packed with your love. Of course I won’t.” (Solje)
“Umu, that’s right. I am your number one after all.” (Riel)
Riel was all smiles as she said this with confidence.
I feel sweat coming out from my body.
“But I am definitely the second one.” (Loroka)
Loroka was all smiles as she said this with confidence…wait, what? Riel and Loroka were smiling as they approached me from both sides.
I know about this, you know? Smiles are used as an attack; that’s what was written in the book Gandalla recommended me to read.
“…What’s the matter?” (Solje)
“Nothing. I just wanted to look at the face of the one I love.” (Riel)
“That’s right, I simply wanted to look at the face of my love.” (Loroka)
“…I see. Well then!!” (Solje)
I hugged both Riel and Loroka with my arms.
“W-Wait, hey, stop that! Mia is watching!” (Riel)
“Y-Yeah, the three of us in front of a child is just…!” (Loroka)
“What are you talking about? I am just hugging you.” (Solje)
What kind of pervert do you think I am? …Loroka-sensei’s one packed quite the punch. The three of us? That’s a nice idea.
We will leave that for the future, and for now, let’s just be a nice family.
“…Riel, Loroka; I am counting on your support.” (Solje)
“Yeah, leave it to me. I will complete the countermeasure spell for Arianrhod with Nee-sama.” (Riel)
“Yes, I will do something about the Unicorn Unit as well. We will be reuniting in two days… Don’t be reckless.” (Loroka)
“I won’t. I will protect Mia and Zephyr.” (Solje)
“That’s fine then. I believe in you. Go listen to the song of the brave warriors that have entrusted the future to you.” (Riel)
“Leave the little details to us.” (Loroka)
“…I am grateful for that… Hey, you two…” (Solje)
“What is it?” (Loroka)
“When this war is over, let’s make children.” (Solje)
Riel and Loroka turn bright red.
But I don’t hear any rejections, and they are not showing it either. Then, it is settled.
“Hahahahaha!! Good! I am burning in a variety of meanings!! Zephyr, sing!!” (Solje)
“H-Hey, don’t make him sing at this timing!” (Riel)
“Y-Yeah! Isn’t that like announcing it?!” (Loroka)
“Now, let’s go!! Mia, Zephyr!!” (Solje)
“Get on!!” (Zephyr)
Zephyr lowers his head and I jump on. Mia goes ‘combine!’ and jumps on.
“Hm? What’s the matter, Jean?” (Solje)
A thin man dressed in Negler Deer fur was standing there.
“U-Uhm, Captain, I am sorry about butting in at this nice mood, but…” (Jean)
…I got you man.
“Come, Jean!! If you are not going to be watching the last moments of your benefactor, who will? Grab onto my back tightly!” (Solje)
And so, Jean sat on the back of a dragon for the first time.
“Ah, the scales are hard. But Zephyr is warm.” (Jean)
“Jean, don’t fall, okay?” (Zephyr)
“O-Okay. It will be fine. I will be holding Captain tightly.” (Jean)
…Well, fine. Remember that I still doubt your sexual inclination, got it?
If you try to touch anywhere weird, or if something hard pokes me, I will be throwing you down into the snowy field, okay?
“Mia will also be sticking to Onii-chan, so it will be okay!!” (Mia)
Ooh, my sweet sister is diving her face onto my chest. Okay, that’s good. If you are about to fall, Onii-chan will be holding you tightly in his arms.
“Okay, our plan is ready perfectly! Zephyr, takeoff!!” (Solje)
Zephyr flaps his wings and rises into the night sky.
My eyebrows were about to be frozen by the cold wind. But the ice fell off after blinking a few times. Thanks to the fur of the Negler Deer, there’s no cold at all.
Mia was praising the flight of Zephyr with her usual laughing.
“It isn’t scary, it isn’t scary. B-Because, even if I fall, I wouldn’t die if it is from this height. I can just hold Captain tightly if it gets dangerous.” (Jean)
“We won’t be flying in such a dangerous way, so don’t be worried. You will be fine.” (Solje)
This was a shitty journey where undead were messing with us all the time, but this journey had big harvests. Our bonds have gotten stronger.
Hear this, the strength of a pack is decided on their bond.
Our strength is getting stronger by the daily!