"They're finally moving."
Clay put down a paper about the size of a palm and formed an odd smile.
He had perhaps wondered, but it was as expected.
'Rinse Southern Mercenary Guild. You've waited well for quite a long time.'
He more or less knew that they were moving while receiving someone's secret orders.
But through the current fief war, the identity of that dark screen had been revealed certainly.
'Count Jonathan Chase. You truly have moved busily, sir.'
The Rinse Southern Mercenary Guild relocating to Mediasis Castle was at the time when Roan was a baron.
Looking from the central politics, it was a time when there wasn't anything so special.
And Count Jonathan Chase had been guarding against Roan since that time.
'Well, even though the mercenary guild he laboriously planted has actually become useless……'
The smile that hung around Clay's mouth became much thicker.
Currently, the Rinse Southern Mercenary Guild was under a meticulous surveillance.
They were checking not only the people that entered and exited the place, but also their private papers as easily as shifting through a drawer inside their own house.
Although it was thanks to the Agens and the druids' abilities, but the ones who played the biggest role was in fact the Tenebra Troop.
Few members of the Tenebra Troop, which was an espionage troop, had been infiltrating the Rinse Southern Mercenary Guild.
And for quite a long time at that too.
They piled up their achievements step by step and finally, three people amongst the agents had climbed up onto the guild executive positions.
'In the case of Lepis, agent name Griffith, he has became a heavyweight entering within the top five even inside the guild.'
He was also receiving the affection of Powell, the current guild master.
'Huhuhu. The mercenary guild has already and essentially been taken over by us.'
Even from Roan and his retainers' position, it was a plan that they had poured their hearts and souls into for quite a long time.
Putting away the letter, Clay thoroughly checked the plan from now on.
At that moment.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Sound of knocking quietly rang.
"Sir, Captain Pichio of the Mediasis Guard has came."
"Tell him to come in."
Clay stood up from his seat as he slightly tilted his head.
Soon, the door opened and Pichio with a slightly stiffen expression appeared.
After meeting the Lancephil Guardian Army at the Landingham Region together with Roan, Pichio had currently returned to Mediasis Castle.
"What's the matter? Captain Pichio."
Clay offered a seat on one side as he asked in a gentle voice.
Pichio, with a stiffly solidified expression, answered.
"While patrolling the castle, I got a bad feeling, sir."
It was a feeling he didn't get before.
It wasn't because he had returned after a long time.
"A bad…… feeling, sir?"
Clay slightly frowned.
Abrupt and disjointed words.
But he had no plan to indifferently listen or to send him away even so.
The one who taught Roan of Pichio's instinct ability was in fact Clay.
'I can't turn my ears away from Captain Pichio's such words, that is.'
He quietly sat and stared at Pichio's eyes.
Pichio quickly answered.
"I looked around the Rinse Southern Mercenary Guild, sir, and the guild master and the executives' actions were suspicious. I don't have any definite evidence or any circumstantial evidence, but it felt like they were scheming something, sir. And that wasn't really a good feeling."
Even while speaking on his own, he thought that it was ridiculous.
But because of the uncomfortable feeling that fully filled his head and chest, he couldn't hold himself back.
Clay let out a quiet exclamation.
He hadn't predicted Pichio's instinct to possibly be transcendental to this degree.
'Is this something possible with a human's ability?'
He soon shook his head.
'Although I have read numerous kinds of books without discrimination, I have never seen a man with this kind of abili…… ah!'
Abruptly, Clay widely opened his eyes and stared at Pichio.
"Captain Pichio. Captain said that you had lost your parents since you were young and lived alone, yes?"
"That's right, sir. My parents had caught an epidemic the year I turned eleven and have passed away."
Pichio slightly flustered at the abrupt question, but soon nodded his head.
In a quiet voice, Clay cautiously asked.
"What kind of people were your parents, sir?"
"Eh? My parents?"
Pichio asked back with a puzzled look.
Clay nodded his head with a serious expression.
Since his face and posture was like that, Pichio couldn't loosely answer.
"They were just ordinary people, sir. Just like other people, they farmed and gathered herbs. Ah! But instead, they knew how to read. I heard that they originally ran a rather large shop in the Istel Kingdom's capital. They probably learned to read at that time."
"Hmm. Was there perhaps other unique characteristics?"
Clay asked once again.
Pichio contemplated for a moment, then soon shook his head.
"There really was no such thing, sir. Why do you ask?"
"Ah…… no. I was wondering what kind of people the parents of a man as brilliant as Captain Pichio was, so I asked."
The light in Pichio's eyes were still full of questions, but he didn't ask again.
Since the important thing right now wasn't that.
Clay too couldn't ask any more and could only close his mouth.
'An abnormally developed instinct. This is definitely……'
Within his head, countless tomes that he had read until now flapped open and passed by.
Amongst them, one story filled his head with a snap.
'The hexers' ability.'
It was the name of those who, through a spiritual ability, a different spell system than mages that is often called sorcery, govern or control man's mind or rule the souls.
Although the druids, who controlled the nature, were also originally a part of hexers, they now separate and differentiate themselves from them.
The reason was that the hexers were receiving an even greater ostracization even before the druids.
Originally, the royalties, nobles, and such ruling classes held a severe repulsion towards the hexers who freely controlled man's mind.
During that time, an event in the Estia Empire where a group of hexers tried to control the royalties' mind and grow their faction was uncovered, and the ruling classes of the entire continent gathered their strengths and exterminated the hexers afterwards.
The small number of hexers who survived concealed their identities and hid away from the world.
'Perhaps, Captain Pichio may be a descendent of the hexers.'
For now, it was purely an assumption.
In fact, there was no case of hexers showing themselves again until now.
'Like how us druids hid our identities and retired deep into forests, the hexers too must be continuing their existence somewhere.'
Clay slightly bit his lower lip.
Although he still did not knew, the hexers were already moving in the dark.
Especially Bradley Webster, one of the Rinse Kingdom's four dukes, was already hiding the hexers as his secret weapon.
'Anyhow, he's a man worth keeping at the side and watching.'
Clay stared at Pichio and formed a faint smile.
"Captain Pichio. That disagreeable and suspicious feeling you felt is……"
For now, there was the need to finish the work concerning the Rinse Southern Mercenary Guild.
For a while, Clay and Pichio shared a deep chat.
'The questions have been untangled to a certain degree.'
Roan sat on a large chair and sank into a deep thought.
It had always been strange.
'Why couldn't someone as outstanding as Walter show himself in the last life?'
There wasn't even a time when he heard that name.
That part had been odd from the moment he first met Walter.
'I thought that perhaps he may had met an early death at a young age, but……'
Looking at the currently turning situation, it was certain that he had died in his father Kali Owell's hand in the last life.
'Right. Since Kali became the Lancephil Fief's owner in the last life.'
Probably, Walter had resisted to the end and ultimately had his head cut off.
Although whether that was by Kali's hand or by an order couldn't be known.
But because it was like that, he probably wasn't able to hear Walter's name in the last life.
The question had been resolved.
'That price is too big.'
Walter's arm being cut off and his mana hole being destroyed.
This was clearly because of Roan's misjudgment.
He had judged that Walter's rage of his father Kali was significant.
He had thought that he would be able to kill Kali or at least capture him if it was that much.
'I too did not knew of Walter very well.'
Certainly, Roan had achieved a great growth while passing through a rank and file spearman to squad commander and adjutant, troop commander and legion commander.
But even so, everything couldn't be perfect.
Until now, Roan had filled the parts he lacked with the retainers around him.
But this event at least was something that had happened under his independent decision and that very price was Walter's serious injury.
'I've made a heavy debt.'
Roan tightly clenched his fist.
Now that it had came to this, he himself must be responsible for Walter.
Although his left arm was cut off and his mana hole was destroyed, it wasn't as if his life would end even so.
'It would be good if he became a strategist or a tactician, and it would be good even if he became an administrative officer. If not that, even a druid or a mage is good too. If it's Walter, if it's Walter's talent, he will definitely achieve it.'
At the very least and unlike the last life, he planned to make Walter's name ring out throughout the entire kingdom, no, the entire continent in this life.
In fact, Roan had announced the works Walter had endured and achieved with Count Lancephil's name right after the event of Pavor Castle residents' stone throwing.
After the announcement, a large number of residents swarmed up to the mansion Walter was being healed in and asked for forgiveness.
Of course, although the residents who had lost their important people because of Kali still equated Kali and Walter and cursed and condemned him, embracing every one was originally an impossibility.
'To say that one will receive everyone's love and support would be a greed.'
A good person to someone could also be a bad person to another.
'Because of that, the generosity to embrace even the people on the other side is needed.'
Because of that, Roan had opened the treasury of the fief lord's castle for the fallen who had been sacrificed in the fief war and for their families while the Tale Legion and the Lancephil Legion were reorganizing.
He did not act sparingly.
To a point that the words the dead had become richer than the living, he unsparingly spread out the wealth.
Thanks to that, the royalty of the fallens' families as well as the even the Tale Legion and the Lancephil Legion's soldiers towards Roan had greatly rose.
They had once again realized that Roan was someone who would absolutely not turn away and forget them even if they died.
"My lord. The preparation for the meeting has finished, sir."
When the various thoughts were becoming deeper, Austin came up and lowered his head.
Together with a short sigh, Roan moved his feet.
It still wasn't the moment to be submerged in sentimentality.
'Depending on how I end the fief war, the position and the plans thereafter will change.'
Roan had no thought of being satisfied with the Lancephil Fief.
Although there wasn't much time left, he planned to charge all the way to the Chase County.
As he entered into the meeting room, the commanders above thousand-man rank were spouting out fierce pressures.
The traces of having exchanged a burning debate right until Roan arrived was clear.
"My lord. We must immediately charge towards the enemy's main army right now!"
"Before that, we must clean up the nearby regions and pressure the bastards to move back on their own."
"Instead, what do you think of using the navy to hit their back, sir?"
As if they had been waiting, all kinds of proposals poured down.
Roan quietly sat and listened to all those proposals.
For a long while, the heated debate continued on.
Ultimately, Austin, who couldn't keep watching, stepped up.
"Everyone, that much is enough. Now, let us hear the lord's opinion."
At those words, the commanders who had been raising their voices closed their mouths with coughs.
Roan quietly stared at them, then formed a faint smile.
"They are each and all excellent proposals."
At those words, many commanders nodded their heads with proud expressions.
Tapping the table with his forefinger, Roan added on.
"For now, I plan to make a frontal attack on the Chase Legion's main army."
As soon as those words finished, Baron Bernard Landingham cautiously opened his mouth.
"But sir, their main army is still maintaining a sound strength. If we were to wage a grand battle, our side's losses too will not be insignificant."
At those words, Roan cheerfully smiled and answered shortly.
"At that place……"
A meaningful expression and voice.
"I have planted a shadow."
"Damn it. Just what is this sight?"
"You said it. I thought I'll be hugging bitches and drinking wine in the Pavor Castle by now…… tch!"
"To think we're still eating some watery soup in the fields."
"This is all because of those stupid Owells Forces idiots."
Unsettling expressions and voices.
The eyes of the Chase Legion's soldiers were fierce.
The soldiers who were gathered at one place and drinking watery soup pointed their fingers at the Owells Forces' soldiers who were sitting on the opposite corner.
"Even those things must be feeling hungry!"
Words purposely made aloud.
"These sons of bitches really!"
One of the Owells Forces' soldiers that had been staying quiet stood up.
A brightly flushed face.
Due to the unbearable rage and disgrace, his entire body sharply trembled.
"Hold it. Hold it."
"Hey, sit down."
The other Owells Forces' soldiers bitterly smiled and pulled their comrade's arm.
The soldiers who jumped up from his seat glared at the Chase Legion's soldiers, then soon let out a short sigh.
In the end, he could only sit down again.
At that moment, the Chase Legion's soldiers sarcastically japed and spat out curses.
"Hmph. Insane bastard. You dare glare your eyeballs? If you had that much of a resolve, you should've fought with your life."
"You said it. Cowardly bitch abandoned his comrades just because he got scared."
"Anyway, those bitches who are all looks on the outside should've all get beat up in the Arslan Valley."
The mood became much colder.
The laughters of the Chase Legion's soldiers crawled the earth like a snake and digged into the ears of Owells Forces' soldiers.
"Sorry. I can't hold back anymore."
The soldier who had jumped up just before once again kicked off the ground.
Clenching his two fists, he ran towards the Chase Legion's soldiers.
"Eh?! This bitch!"
The Chase Legion's soldiers quickly stood up and faced the Owells Forces' soldier that ran towards them.
In no time, the soldiers tangled into one and rolled on the ground.
Soup pots and bowls noisily rolled down.
"Don't insult us!"
"What is he saying! This cowardly bitch!"
"You wanna die?!"
"I'll really turn you into rags today!"
Together with insults, fists and kicks went back and forth.
"You…… you sons of bitches!"
"I can't hold more than this!"
"Oi! Get them!"
Ultimately, the Owells Forces' soldiers who had been watching too attacked with curses.
The two groups' small fight soon spread to a large brawl between the Chase Legion and the Owells Forces.
It was just two days ago since Kali had returned to the Chase Legion's camp together with the defeated soldiers.
Count Jonathan Chase and the Chase Legion's commanders as well as even the common soldiers' feelings of Kali and the Owells Forces' soldiers weren't good.
It was because the ones who had marched while so high up on their horses had suffered a grand defeat and returned.
And because the troops of Chase Legion that had left together was almost annihilated, the feelings couldn't be good.
Although minor fights between the Chase Legion's soldiers and the Owells Forces' soldiers arose afterwards, the commanders pretended to not know such truth or quietly covered it up.
It was because they too were of the same feelings as the common soldiers.
But exactly because of such complacent management, a large fight like now and schism had arose.
Deng! Deng! Deng!
Together with the sound of gong, numerous commanders ran up.
But the soldiers, who had already let go of their reasons, weren't easily separated from each other.
Punching and kicking towards each other, they spat out curses.
"Die! You stupid Owells Forces brats!"
"You arrogant Chase Legion bastards!"
It truly was a pandemonium.
At that moment.
From the place where they were tangled into one spot and fighting, there were soldiers who were subtly retreating back to the camp's outside.
They were the Chase Legion's soldiers who had offered the start of the this fight.
The ones who were inciting the Owells Forces' soldiers while eating the watery soup.
"Eit! Stupid Owells brats!"
Needlessly spitting out insults at the top of their lungs, they stealthily moved back.
Odd smiles were floated up on their faces.
Amongst them, one man murmured in a small voice.
"Regrettable, regrettable. Even though drawing out the Chase Legion and the Owells Forces' discord is all our achievement."
"You're right. To think we can't openly show it off……"
Another soldier too smacked his lips as if regrettable.
At that moment, the soldier who was the highest ranked amongst the group and the chief executive of this plan cheerfully smiled and spoke.
It was a voice soaked in pride.
"Us Tenebra Troop's very fate."
He lightly tapped the soldiers' shoulders, then pointed with his chin.
"Now, let's hurry. We need to get out before we get discovered."
They still had work left to do.
Like that, the shadow that had been planted in the Chase Legion furtively disappeared following the sunlight.
Even after that, big and small fights incessantly arose in the Chase Legion's camp.
The legion's morales dropped as far as it could and their discipline too slackened.
That degree was so serious that it was to a degree where they couldn't properly react to the change outside the camp.
And chancing under such chaos.
Together with a grand sound of horn, Roan and the crimson legion appeared.
Finally, a battle that wasn't a trick against trick, scheme against scheme, but a frontal battle had spread open.
< Tie (2) > End.
T/N: I'm sorry that this chapter was late. For now, Kuhaku and I finally managed to get free and finish this chapter. Additionally, the next release will be a double chapter (ch. 183 & 184) as usual on the following Tuesday. My next exam is on Thursday next week, so I now have a bit of a room to translate the usual amount.
Translator : CSV