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Chapter 139

Chapter 139 – Poker Face

 

 

The ones, who were ridiculed at the reviewing meeting were Alyssa, Imeraria and Sabnak .

“Alyssa, you should have left the safety zone to confirm the situation . If you had done that, you would likely have noticed that big one appearing as well . Sabnak, it was good of you to rush in after having the spears fired, but leaving behind the infantry in your desire for speed was a mistake . You should have applied frontal pressure over there with everyone . ” (Hifumi)

Those were the general outlines . He explained while drawing lines on the ground and giving examples .
Matters regarding Imeraria were last .

“Move after you have grasped what you can and cannot do yourself . ” (Hifumi)

Being told only that, there was no further advice for her .

◆◇◆◇◆

After the dissolution of the meeting, when Hifumi, who finished his lunch, lied down at a suitable space, Alyssa came while bringing along the soldiers from Fokalore .
Origa looks at the situation silently while having Hifumi rest his head on her lap .

“What’s up?” (Hifumi)

“T-Tonight I plan to enter Horant… please, give me your permission . ” (Alyssa)

Once Alyssa bowed her head, the soldiers, who were lined up behind her, also raised their voices with a 「Please!」 all at once .

“Alyssa, even though you have failed to that extent…” (Origa)

“Well, wait a moment . ” (Hifumi)

Hifumi held back Origa, who tried to warn her with a voice trembling with anger, while raising his left hand which was covered by a glove .
Hifumi, who lifted his own body all of a sudden, looks at Alyssa while sitting .

“What’s your plan?” (Hifumi)

“We will silently infiltrate by passing the border in darkness and burn the enemies’ facilities . On this occasion we will confirm whether there are others of those huge enemies, the total number of enemies and how many weapons they possess . ” (Alyssa)

“Only that?” (Hifumi)

Alyssa nodded at Hifumi’s words without showing any hesitation .

“Even if we fight as is, we won’t know what’s beneficial and what’s no good . First we have to gather intelligence, I believe . ” (Alyssa)

Originally, at the time when the armed forces of Fokalore were founded by Hifumi, Alyssa had been entrusted with an unit for the sake of reconnaissance . She had also received training with that in mind . As result of that, she succeeded in operations such as luring in Balzephon at the royal castle .
While being scolded by Hifumi for around 3 hours, she has pondered how to accomplish her revenge . Hearing the words told to Imeraria, that she ought to do the things she can do, from the side, she put stress on grasping the opponent first . If it was infiltration operations, Fokalore’s feudal army had done those many times at the time of breaking into Vichy .

“So, why set fire then?” (Hifumi)



“Uumm, it’s in order to make sure that they won’t realize that documents and such have disappeared and to decrease the number of the enemies’ weapons a bit . Afterwards I want to confirm the contents ((of those documents)), such as their number of people, by smoking them out with a fire . ” (Alyssa)

Hifumi gently smiles at Alyssa who explained while counting the points on her fingers .

“I see . In that case it’s fine for you to do as you like . However, this time I won’t come to rescue you . ” (Hifumi)

“Alright! I will do it properly!” (Alyssa)

“Be that as it may”, Hifumi, who stood up, surveys the lined-up soldiers .

“You lot had a pale face thinking that it’s unfair to infiltrate or attack during the night at the assault on Arosel, right?” (Hifumi)

Especially the senior soldiers among the men are showing a bitter smile due to Hifumi’s words .

“Lord-sama, please forgive us for those days . ”

“After coming here with director and my friends, I changed my thinking completely . I don’t want to die in vain . Above all… I won’t die until I have avenged my friends no matter what method I have to use!”

“Right?”, once he appeals to his colleagues, all of them simultaneously replied in throaty voices .

“Besides, some time ago even director went through danger . I will never forgive them for that!”

The contents, mentioned by several soldiers, were in the beginning about the revenge for Ma Calme’s unit, but gradually their anger towards revenge for injuring Alyssa is increasing .
They eyes of Origa, who listened behind Hifumi, became completely freezing .

“Well, it’s fine if you have the backbone to actually go for the kill . So, what do you intend to do if that big one appears again? Hitting in revenge and being trampled down by that revenge?” (Hifumi)

“Uh-oh, Lord-sama, we ain’t idiots . We have decided on reliable countermeasures . We intend to go borrowing just a little tool though . ”

What the soldier, who grinned broadly, pointed at was something the soldiers of Orsongrande had built in a corner of the defence encampment .

“I see . ” (Hifumi)

Even Hifumi gave his permission while floating a similar grin .

“The way things are going it’s hopeless!” (Imeraria)

Lifting her face, which had traces of tears remaining, from the cushion she clung to, it was Imeraria, who raised a loud voice, after two hours had passed which were used by her to recover from being scolded by Hifumi .

“Y-Your Majesty, that… blunt way of talking…”

The maid, who was waiting on her at the side, calls out to Imeraria while being startled .

“Ah, s-sorry . Did I surprise you, I wonder?” (Imeraria)

“No, rather than that, let’s fix your make-up . And, lunch has been prepared . ”

Imeraria, who thought now that she mentions it, I have become hungry as noon as has passed as well, recalled the event of her crying and blushed as that probably completely messed up the make-up which had been applied on her properly albeit only thinly .



“Then, please, go ahead . Sorry for showing you my disgraceful side . ” (Imeraria)

Standing up from the the collapsible-style couch, which was placed in the tent, Imeraria left behind the cushion . The one who gave her an answer wasn’t the maid in front of her but a woman who entered while bringing a tray with a meal on it .

“As I was able to see the tear-stained face of Her Majesty, that’s plenty for me . ”

“… Shibyura-san . Why are you here?” (Imeraria)

The one who pours tea from a pot for the bewildered Imeraria after placing the tray on the table in an aloof manner is Shibyura who is the daughter of Prime Minister Adol and Sabnak’s wife . Her appearance of being clad in an apron dress indicates her working in the castle as maid without change .

“I came to deliver a bento to my husband . ” (Shibyura)

“Expressly to a battlefield, you mean?” (Imeraria)

Wiping the traces of her tears with a clean handkerchief she received from the maid, Imeraria sat down with a stunned expression .

“Yes, at the same time it’s for the sake of checking whether my husband is unfaithful . I met him just now, but I’m satisfied after seeing his depressed look after a long time . Did you know? The time when my husband is downhearted after failing is when his face is the cutest . ” (Shibyura) (T/N: She is a S, yep, no doubt)

“You are saying something heartless with a serious look… Besides, Sabnak isn’t the kind of man to be unfaithful . ” (Imeraria)

This being a place called battlefield, Imeraria’s meals were simple as well . This is also something she has instructed to be handled in this way . Even so, compared to the soldiers, her meals were quite decent .
Biting off a mouthful of bread with roasted meat in-between, she chews it slowly and gulps it down .

“So, you came here as you have some kind of business, didn’t you?” (Imeraria)

“Since I heard by chance that Hifumi-sama made Your Majesty cry, I have visited for a chat while wondering whether you are troubled by your unrequited love . ” (Shibyura)

“If you don’t put an end to it, I will assign a second wife to Sabnak-san . ” (Imeraria)

“I brought a handwritten letter . ” (Shibyura)

Being given the letter which appeared from within a pocket of her skirt, Imeraria had a headache .

“That’s not how you treat a handwritten letter, now is it…? In the first place, isn’t this the sort of thing that is delivered by some knight?” (Imeraria)

“Since Vaiya-san was incidentally searching for a knight to deliver this at the time I was cleaning the workplace of my husband, I threa… asked him to have the privilege to keep it in my custody as it will turn into a great excuse . Father prepared the fastest carriage for me . ” (Shibyura)

“A handwritten letter in such way… let’s cut Vaiya-san’s pay . ” (Imeraria)

“Oh my, how pitiable . ” (Shibyura)

While thinking who do you think is the reason for that, Imeraria opened the handwritten letter while eating even though she was aware of that being bad manners .

“… It looks like Nelgal-sama’s sheltering was a success . A petition… it is? This isn’t for me but something that should be handed over to Hifumi-sama and Alyssa-san . ” (Imeraria)

“Oh my, it’s not a love letter then . ” (Shibyura)

“What are you talking about…?” (Imeraria)

Imeraria sighed deeply while drinking black tea .



Imeraria sighed deeply while drinking black tea .

“I guess so . After all Your Majesty’s heart belongs to Earl Tohno . Strange interference is strictly forbidden . ” (Shibyura)

Imeraria’s arms tremble shaking the black tea, which decreased to around half of the cup .

“F-From where did you hear s-such completely u-untrue story…” (Imeraria)

“Oh my, it’s being rumoured among the maids of the royal castle as being plausible . ” (Shibyura)

“It’s a famous story that you left to the front planning to show your good side to Earl Tohno”, Shibyura nonchalantly explains .

“W-Who ((spreads)) such a story…?” (Imeraria)

“Of course that’s me . ” (Shibyura)

“Bufu!”

The maid unintentionally spouted out due to Shibyura who declared that .
Imeraria, who barely placed the cup on top of the table without spilling any black tea with her trembling hands, glared at Shibyura in front of her .

“T-That’s truly unpleasant . At any rate, if you already finished your business here, return to the capital at once . This place is a battlefield . Stories of love affairs and such are unnecessary . ” (Imeraria)

“Your Majesty, there’s no necessity for being in the same arena as the gentleman . Rather, the things the gentleman, you aim for, can’t do will stand out . Being attracted by the opposite gender, who possesses something the gentleman himself doesn’t have, such kind of story is…” (Shibyura)

“Leave!” (Imeraria)

“Well then, I will go back after teasing my husband for a bit longer”, Shibyura calmly said and left the tent .

“… Somehow I got very tired all of a sudden . ” (Imeraria)

After that, at the time when she was pondering about the future steps, a message from Alyssa, which stated that she would do a night attack, arrived and Imeraria showed an even more worn-out expression .

Horant’s side of the border is in quite the chaotic state even as the day comes to an end . Is that the impact of this morning’s defeat? Hifumi carelessly looks down on the situation from atop a roof of a building located on Horant’s side .
Several sentries are coming and going even on top of the roof at the lodging house for the border guard of Horant’s side, but it doesn’t look like they notice Hifumi who is hiding in a shadow created with the practical application of darkness magic in a dark corner .
(I came a bit too fast here . I’m bored . ) (Hifumi)
While eating a sandwich with some grilled meat and vegetables in-between he was made to bring along by Origa, he simply waits for Alyssa’s group to come attacking .

◆◇◆◇◆

The night attack, which was reported by Alyssa, was at first rejected by Sabnak and Imeraria .
There’s also the possibility that a powerful weapon existing on Horant’s side with whom they battled during the morning . Just because it’s a night attack, that doesn’t mean that they will be able to launch a surprise attack successfully .
However, on top of Alyssa having already decided to do so, she didn’t yield while stating that it’s an operation for the sake of investigating that “possibility . ”
In the end Imeraria eventually gave her permission .
The conditions were that the objectives would be purely investigation and disturbance, that they wouldn’t invade deeply into Horant and that they would share all of the information with Imeraria and Sabnak .

“It might be considered to be cowardice, but please ((stick to those conditions)) . In all honesty, we want information as well . Originally we would want to choose a safer method though . ” (Imeraria)

“Seeing that I can’t even provide an alternate plan, I’m not able to oppose yours too strongly either”, Imeraria spilled .

“I will ponder about the things I can do myself . Right now I can’t formulate anything concrete, but it will be plenty with the things we can comprehend from your information, Alyssa-san . Although it’s strange for me, who failed, to say so, but please return safely . ” (Imeraria)

“Seeing that I can’t even provide an alternate plan, I’m not able to oppose yours too strongly either”, Imeraria spilled .

“I will ponder about the things I can do myself . Right now I can’t formulate anything concrete, but it will be plenty with the things we can comprehend from your information, Alyssa-san . Although it’s strange for me, who failed, to say so, but please return safely . ” (Imeraria)

Once Imeraria grasped Alyssa’s hand and shook it firmly, she saw off Alyssa leaving the tent and going away to prepare the soldiers, she will take along, in succession .
Sabnak quietly approached Hifumi who silently watched that situation .

“Hifumi-san, Alyssa is in quite the high spirits somehow, but did something happen?” (Sabnak)

“Despite appearances that person is desperate, I guess . She couldn’t even return aanny of the pain inflicted to her colleagues . ” (Hifumi)

“Rather than that,” Hifumi glared at Sabnak .

“Your wife told Origa something, so what did you whisper into her ears?” (Hifumi)

“Eh? Shibyura did?” (Sabnak)

Sabnak, who sweated heavily with a shocked* face, says that he doesn’t know anything .  (T/N: Author uses a SFX here that can mean various things like despair, disbelief, shocked on an emotional level)

“N-No sooner than her coming to such place all of a sudden, I was thoroughly ridiculed for today’s blunder… Did Origa-san say anything?” (Sabnak)

“Don’t know . She strangely follows me about while saying Oh dear, the food was made by me, Let me mend your dougi or Don’t you have stiff shoulders?” (Hifumi)

“What are those enviable… no, isn’t it fine in that case then?” (Sabnak)

“No, as expected it’s irritating . Leaving that aside, I will borrow a tent since I’m going to sleep in preparation for the night . ” (Hifumi)

Sabnak smiled at Hifumi who headed to the place where the materials are stored while waving his hand lightly .

“Will you accompany Alyssa-san?” (Sabnak)

“No, I’m just going to watch . ” (Hifumi)

Hifumi, who even turned around once again, showed a smile, but it contained a different meaning from Sabnak’s smile .

“She is a fellow I tried to train after picking her up . I want to confirm whether she has turned into a success or a failure . ” (Hifumi)

“Whether the battle from now on becomes enjoyable; I intend to judge that by watching the execution of Alyssa’s operation”, Hifumi goes away .

“Hifumi-san…” (Sabnak)

There’s something Sabnak can imagine vaguely . It’s the expectation that Hifumi likely wants to watch whether the thing, he created himself, is broken flashily .
I wonder what will be broken at that time? Fokalore’s soldiers, this country or this world?
How far has the destruction to spread for Hifumi to be satisfied?
What will Hifumi do after he ended up breaking it?

“Even if I ponder about it, it’s something inevitable, but…” (Sabnak)

Sabnak’s thinking arbitrarily producing only frightening imaginations made himself anxious .


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