Young and the Hopeless
The two entrances to the city were blockaded by Hifumi’s troops; and while one could enter the city if he consented to an inspection, no one was allowed to leave.
The third corps—the scouts—moved between the guardhouse and the Manor ferrying information and documents; they would mingle with the crowd to gather opinions and rumors.
Having heard this report, Hifumi ordered the troops to continue the blockade and the inspections, and departed into a city with a few soldiers following him. On the way he was joined by Alyssa, who would act as a guide.
Alyssa asked Hifumi while walking right beside him.
And since the people believe it’s a temporary measure while the government is being changed, they shouldn’t mind being unable to leave too much.
While talking he continued onward towards the busy city center while confirming the propaganda posted everywhere. Hifumi ordered city officials to post these to notify the citizens that they were now part of Orsongrande.
The crier would be replaced by another after some time; currently, the speaker was the woman in the reception room who had begged Hifumi to spare her life some time ago. Standing one floor above the rest, she emotionlessly conveyed the information to the public who had gathered before her.
「We’re no longer a City-State?!」
「There wasn’t even a war, and the government suddenly switches sides! What treachery!」
The citizens, oblivious to the actual situation, hurled insults and complaints at the criers; Hifumi, however, ordered that these remarks go unpunished and the people remain unoppressed. There is no problem if all they do is complain; once they realize that there is no actual effect on their daily lives they will quickly accept the change.
Seeing a gallant figure escorted by soldiers in never-before-seen uniforms, the citizens figured him to be the Orsongrande invader; however, as her merely was entering the public facility and was not acting violently, they silently watched him.
「Now… what to do about their remaining forces」
「There are others. That’s why I called for you, Alyssa, to guide me there」
「To the adventurer’s guild」
Arosel’s adventurer’s guild is right outside the marketplace.
Of course, they could not be mobilized as any other military unit in case of a war, but they could be formally requested to help; and, driven by love for their country, many would rise to the task. Of course, there are also plenty loners among them—those who don’t give a damn about what happens to this country or this city.
Hifumi said to the man behind the guild counter and showed him the guild card he had made in Orsongrande.
Seems like the identification was enough for the attendant to realize that the man before him was the one who had brought the city to his knees.
「The country the guild deals with has changed. I’ve come to offer my greetings」
「If the guild wishes to oppose me, that is fine. But」
Their eyes were package on the counter; Hifumi removed the wrapping, revealing its dreadful contents.
The head of the city representative was neatly placed inside.
「If you want to oppose me, but one of us will end up looking like this」
Replacing the attendant who had fainted with foam coming from his mouth, a woman asked Hifumi to wait and hurried inside.
「So those posters hanging all over the place were for real, huh」
「But there was no mention of a war happening!」
Right before they had entered the guild, Hifumi ordered them not to act regardless of what happens; so, they simply didn’t even recognize the presence of the adventurers. If someone needed to be killed, Hifumi would do it himself.
「It’s too cramped?」
During this exchange an old man came from the back.
The old man groaned when he saw the head on the counter.
「I’m Hifumi, the new head of state」
「I am Lesh. The head of this guild」
「Now then, how are you planning to treat this city’s guild・・・apologies, seems we have another customer」
A young voice was heard from outside the guild.
「Lesh-san! What the hell is going on?!」
「We were out hunting monsters and suddenly the city is filled with Orsongrande troops. What’s going on?」
The lad then noticed the head on the counter.
(You’re the only one who’s so fired up, though)
「Who’s this bloody idiot?」
「Oh, and can I take his words as the official stance of the guild?」
「No, all of our staff will serve you, Hifumi-sama. As for the other adventurers, it is their choice. We pray for your leniency・・・」
Lesh closed his eyes at the response, and bowed his head as if praying.
A few adventurers decided to oppose Orsognrande’s rule after hearing Calikoff’s speech. As for Calikoff, after hearing about Hifumi from a nearby comrade, he faced Hifumi.
He shouted with a serious face; Hifumi looked at Lesh incredulously and asked,
Lesh sighed and addressed Calikoff,
Little by little Hifumi grew annoyed.
「Forgiven by whom?」
Calikoff replied to Hifumi’s question.
「Justice isn’t something someone decides!」
At Hifumi’s command about half of the adventurer’s went behind the counter. They were those who were completely unaffected by Calikoff’s fiery speech.
「Maybe they just hate how you force your views on everybody? Or they just hate you?」
「Guh・・・ Very well, I will just have to show my justice with my actions! Now then, that’s a sword on your hip, isn’t it, draw it already・・・」
Her body fell limply on the floor, her head clearly cracked. No one doubted that she was dead.
While he was still muttering the name of his fallen comrade, the other girl just reached for her bow but lost her head in the process.
「Y-you bastard are・・・!!」
The hand that was supposed to be grabbing his sword now ended at the wrist.
Calikoff watched dumbfounded as blood flowed from his wrist, and Hifumi used the opportunity to stab him through the eye.
Hifumi’s eyes darkened and he looked intensely at his blad.
As if to check the quality of his sword, he continued slaughtering every single adventurer around him. Some were groaning without hands, some had their guts spilled onto the floor, some women were cut right in half, and some men now turned into bleeding daruma (limbless).
As for those watching this unfold, many lost consciousness. But every single one of them now felt nothing but fear towards Hifumi.
Even Lesh who has led a long life of pure combat had never seen anyone so specialized at killing people. And one who could do it so naturally.
Hifumi said and turned towards Lesh’s group with a bright smile on his face.
「Umm, how should we pay the adventurer’s from now on?」
Saying that he’ll send help to clean the guild up, they watched Hifumi leave; and not one understood for what purpose Calikoff and the rest had to die.
And thus even when Hifumi-dono’s dominion would stabilize without many civilian casualties, and life returns to normal, there will probably be those who call Calikoff a hero and revolt.
But looking at Calikoff’s face, which stared back with only one eye, Lesh realized that he was not allowed to feel pity.