Imeraria and Sabnak were in the office of Biron at the time a situation report about Horant’s soldiers having already reinforced the border’s vicinity arrived from the soldiers of Biron Earldom, who are observing the circumstances from afar as there are no messages from the soldiers serving as border security against Horant.
After finishing listening to the report, Biron turned around to Imeraria and bowed his head very deeply.
“Your Majesty. As retainer possessing a territory at the border, I fully realize that the losses at this occasion have been brought about by my lack of virtue. The responsibility for having uselessly lost Your Majesty’s soldiers lies with this Biron.” (Biron)
“No, that’s wrong, Earl Biron.” (Imeraria)
Imeraria, who prompted him to lift his face, declared that there’s no kind of mistake from Biron’s side.
“All of it is due to Aspilketa, the group who cooperated with him and Horant. Earl Biron, you obtained the achievement of having captured Aspilketa’s group with your own soldiers and there’s nothing for which you should take responsibility.” (Imeraria)
“… I feel very thankful.” (Biron)
“What we should currently do is to deal with Horant. Earl Biron, please lend us your assistance.” (Imeraria)
“At your will.” (Biron)
For the sake of carrying out further careful investigations of the situation report, the mansion of Earl Biron was assigned as command post, where Imeraria will be temporarily staying, and the royal army was billeted in buildings located in Münster.
And, the very day they opened a war council in regards to coping with Horant, the one who opened his mouth first was Sabnak.
“First there’s something I’m worried about. Horant received severe damage by the previous attack of Earl Tohno. Knowing that man’s power better than anyone, they couldn’t oppose him because of their still few numbers and they should be also aware of the fighting strength of the feudal army that man possesses.” (Sabnak)
“Why did they attack Orsongrande’s guards and the instruction unit from Fokalore, is what you are asking?” (Biron)
Agreeing with Sabnak’s doubts, Earl Biron nodded and said “Certainly.”
“As justification it can be described as “we suffered an attack from Orsongrande?”
“Or it’s also possible to consider the situation as them treating the instruction unit of Fokalore as “invaders.” Since it’s not like it was witnessed by our side, Horant’s side can phrase it either way. It’s likely that they were able to prepare something enabling them to oppose Hifumi-san… Earl Tohno.” (Sabnak)
The ones present at the site of the war council prepared by Biron are Imeraria, Sabnak and Biron. A single maid is on standby in order to provide beverage, but all of the other guards are waiting for orders in another room.
Imeraria tilted her head to the side due to Sabnak who drank a black tea.
“Something that’s capable of opposing him, that means something such as powerful magic or weapons?” (Imeraria)
“Excuse me for leaving the argument unfinished, but if we are speaking of Horant, it’s likely magic. Or it might be that they were able to develop some magic tool.” (Sabnak)
Of course, as they are unable to find effective countermeasures in this state where there’s no definite data, they are just spending their time while exchanging words about this or that.
At the moment Imeraria stated, “Let’s review the current situation since we haven’t made any progress after around one hour passed”, Sabnak raised his hand.
“Did you come up with something?” (Imeraria)
“If we don’t understand the circumstances, let’s go have a look.” (Sabnak)
Imeraria and Biron stare blankly due to Sabnak’s remark.
“Umm… Sabnak-san, go and have a look means?” (Imeraria)
“It means just what I said, Your Majesty. If one lacks information, it’s easiest to go and have a look at the actual site. This is a second-hand opinion from Hifumi-san, but we won’t reach an answer even if we ponder about one thing or another. If you don’t comprehend, then go there. That’s the fastest and most accurate ((solution)).” (Sabnak)
“That’s easy to say.” (Biron)
Biron says while curbing his brows,
“Who will do it? If it’s an individually strong person like Earl Tohno, they are likely capable of going anywhere without fearing anything.” (Biron)
“Of course I will go.” (Sabnak)
“Having proposed it, it’s my duty”, Sabnak stands up.
“As you might know, I’m familiar with investigations as ((former)) member of the Third Knight Order. There are several originating from the Third Knight Order among those we brought along. I have also been taught a bit by Hifumi-san. I will just go to check ((the situation)) with my own eyes from a little distance.” (Sabnak)
Seeing Sabnak smiling while saying “thus it will be alright”, Imeraria stands up.
Wearing clothes that fit perfectly for horse riding, her slender figure, where you can’t experience any unevenness even if she throws out her chest, is the same as usual, but even so Biron was able to feel something like matured self-confidence in some respects.
(She reached the point that she can make such a face, huh?) (Biron)
Biron, who saw Imeraria several times in the royal castle since her birth, remembered her at the time she was still much smaller. She gave the impression of being a child that was spinning her wheels in impatience if she couldn’t earnestly do something for the people in her surroundings.
Now she has become a queen who is responsible for a country and she is taking action no longer for the sake of someone but to accomplish something by changing the country.
However, even Biron was at his wit’s end due to Imeraria statement.
“I will go as well.” (Imeraria)
“It’s important for me myself to personally confirm the situation. Or are you telling me to send the soldiers to their death while not knowing anything?” (Imeraria)
“I-It’s dangerous, Your Majesty!” (Sabnak)
Smoothly wiping away the hair which shifted in front of her face, Imeraria smiles daringly.
“It’s just confirmation from a distance, right? Though I feel sorry for requesting guards, it probably won’t be any problem if we withdraw by horse after checking. Sabnak-san, please select the personnel. We will depart tomorrow morning to check the state of affairs at the national border.” (Imeraria)
Having stated it as an order, Sabnak is unable to object any further.
After ending the war council as is, Sabnak quickly exits the room to prepare.
“Your Majesty Imeraria.” (Biron)
“What is it, Earl Biron?” (Imeraria)
“I’m against Your Majesty heading out for reconnaissance.” (Biron)
Imeraria, who received the objection face to face, stiffens while staring in wonder at Biron’s face and sat down unable to give an answer.
After looking at each other’s face for a little while, Biron turned back to his usual, gentle smile.
“However, if Your Majesty tells me that you want to do so anyway, I will carry out my role as retainer by supporting you in that. Because I will accompany you tomorrow as well, it will be fine for you to observe the enemy’s movement’s until you are satisfied.” (Biron)
Due to Imeraria showing an expression of relief, Biron orders the maid to prepare warm black tea with sugar.
“Your Majesty. It’s about the situation I’ve been told by the messenger I sent out, but how did he do?” (Biron)
“I understand that he has a promise with a person from Fokalore’s instruction unit or such. Once those news reach Fokalore, Hifumi-sama and Alyssa will probably come here.” (Imeraria)
Cooling down her black tea by blowing with a “fuu~”, she enjoys the black tea’s fragrant aroma.
“Before that happens, with my power… or better said, although it’s based on the knowledge that I will receive the assistance of everyone, we have to produce results under my command with my way of doing thing.” (Imeraria)
“I don’t understand. What’s making you hurry that much? If it’s cleaning up after Earl Tohno, someone like me believes that’s fine as well.” (Biron)
“There are two reasons.” (Imeraria)
Putting down the cup, Imeraria put one small baked sweet in her mouth in a graceful manner.
“First, it’s in order to avoid the military gains concentrating on just Hifumi-sama. At the current point in time he is far too quick in his rising of peerage. If he gathers too much of the populace’s popularity, the internal balance of the kingdom will end up thrown into disarray.” (Imeraria)
“I see.” (Biron)
Although he is nodding while saying that, even Biron can imagine at least this much.
“The second reason is a private one.” (Imeraria)
“It’s not possible to tell me?” (Biron)
Slipping a chuckle, Imeraria placed her lips, which had a thin layer of lipstick applied, on the cup and wetted them with the fragrant black tea.
“Probing too much into the secrets of a lady isn’t very well-received, Earl Biron.” (Imeraria)
“My, my, I’m very sorry.” (Biron)
“Let’s see… it’s for the sake of demonstrating him that I can become a fully-fledged enemy for him.” (Imeraria)
“Enemy, it is…?” (Biron)
Biron stood up and saw Imeraria, who exited the room after thanking for the tea, off.
“It might be better to talk about this once…” (Biron)
The are things I should ask Hifumi who is likely coming here sooner or later, Biron stared in the direction of the capital.
“Good grief, is being a popular man a crime?” (Biron)
“I’m bored.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi muttered a few words while sitting on a bed in a room of an inn.
He is in a city which has a distance from Münster, which is at the upper part of Biron Earldom, where one will arrive after one more day, but Hifumi, Origa and Alyssa intended to join up with Fokalore’s feudal army at this place.
Origa and Alyssa have left to talk with the city’s governor to secure a camp-ground for the soldiers.
Originally he wanted to quickly enter Horant by himself, stir up the situation and go around killing people if there’s a chance for that, but as he ended up telling Alyssa that he’s leaving it to her, he wasn’t able to do even that.
“If I properly think it over, books aren’t circulating either. That means that there’s no special amusement. I didn’t realize how enjoyable it is to kill people.” (Hifumi)
Dropping his shoulders while realizing too late that he messed up, Hifumi takes out the katana, while saying “it can’t helped”, and unties the hilt’s string.
Performing maintenance of the katana which he hasn’t done for a while now, he pondered whether they would go eat something once Origa and Alyssa came back.
“For some reason it looks like you calmed down completely.”
“Shinigami, huh? What’s your business?” (Hifumi)
Even when he was addressed all of a sudden, Hifumi works on extracting the rivet on the katana’s hilt without being agitated one bit.
“No, no, as it seems like your plan is going well, I wanted to give you a little greeting.”
“Going well… if you say so, then it has to be. Thanks to that, I have to stay in an inn like this though.” (Hifumi)
“In order to obtain a large fruit, it’s necessary to wait for it to grow.”
“So”, Hifumi hits the lower stopper to release the sword blade with familiar movements.
“Did you come to give me, who has free time, a sermon? You are a guy with a lot spare time then.” (Hifumi)
“Being forced to work, that’s certainly not the case, right?”
Laughing while shaking with his whole body, which had restored completely, the shinigami arranged the collar of his tailcoat by picking it up with his fingers and sat down in a chair on the opposite of Hifumi.
“It appears that the demons plan to extend their hegemony to the wastelands as soon as they complete their preparations. The new demon king apparently hasn’t yet decided whether to fight against the humans. It looks like she is currently pondering what to do about Swordland.”
“Vepar, huh…? It will be troublesome if they are won over by choosing a weird safety. The beastmen lot will likely win. Even against the elves. There’s more or less the possibility that they will be dragged into harmonious political measures like they are enacted around Reni, but that probably depends on them.” (Hifumi)
“But, you know”, while Hifumi wrecks his brain, he carefully examines the katana which had its lower stopper removed. Although it’s natural, the beautiful blade, which has not a single chip, bewitchingly shone by reflecting the light coming through a small window.
“The situation is that the beastmen are groping for a peaceful resolution and the humans are fighting amongst each other. Because everyone despises demi-humans, it’s ironic and funny if you look at it like this.”
Hifumi takes no notice of the shinigami who has a softly warped smile on his skinny face.
“However, if that is the case for you, do you wish for more conflict to occur? For me it would be better if they killed each other as well, except for the humans.”
“Is that so?” (Hifumi)
Smearing a thin layer of oil on the blade, he reattaches the hilt once again.
“In that case there’s a nice method.” (Hifumi)
“Let’s hear it.”
“Go to Vepar’s place, name yourself as god of the demons and it will be fine if you hand down various wisdom to them. It’s probably your forte to use people with such words anyway.” (Hifumi)
“Please phrase it as me using my intellect.”
Hitting the rivet on the katana’s hilt, he carefully affixes the hilt’s string.
“Reputation and such is decided by others. Don’t expect that you can act as you like.” (Hifumi)
“Even though things may appear this way, I’m a god though.”
“That’s probably the same even for gods. Even if you are referred as good god in certain places, you will be treated as cursed god in other places.” (Hifumi)
Lightly swinging the katana with his right hand after he finished the maintenance, he sheathes it in the scabbard once he confirms that it isn’t loose anywhere.
“It doesn’t particularly matter even if Swordland is crushed. It will be great if they fight against the humans by cooperating.” (Hifumi)
Once he tosses the tools into his storage, he stands up and affixes the katana to his waist.
“Anyway, it’s about increasing the guys who earnestly use their heads in battles. Without that, I won’t be able to greedily devour them to my heart’s content at the time of harvesting you talked about. Even if there’s a lot of it, there’s no meaning in it if the taste’s bad.” (Hifumi)
“Oh dear, what a gourmet. Well then, I shall act according to your esteemed suggestion.”
At the same time as the shinigami vanishes, the sound of knocking resounded and Origa came entering while showing a full-faced smile.
“Are you alright, dear?” (Origa)
“Did you finish your task?” (Hifumi)
“Yes, it seems like Alyssa will do the rest. So, umm…” (Origa)
Entangling the fingers of both hands while having difficulties to voice it out and fidgeting while blushing, Origa glances repeatedly at Hifumi’s face.
“I went peeking into the city’s guild, however it looks like there’s a dwelling of a thieves group nearby. So, if you are alright with that, umm, together…” (Origa)
Swallowing down her saliva with a gulp, Origa clenched her fists.
“Will you go together with me to kill the thieves tonight?” (Origa)
“What do you think I am?” (Hifumi)
With these words, Hifumi placed a hand on the doorknob in the blink of an eye.
“I will go to ask about the scale of the thieves group and their exact location. Please guide me to the guild.” (Hifumi)
“Of course”, Origa nodded in great joy.