Editors: Tan & Arekusu.
Chapter 2 Episode 16
(Wavering People 5)
Day 137 after being summoned to another world: (Wavering people 5)
(I see…, if it’s a person like this, then we might be able to get her to come to our side…, but still, isn’t she retired? Something feels wrong…)
That was Ryouma’s impression of Elena, from the moment he had first seen her in the royal capital Pireaus.
The person who Earl Zerev had called 「Rozeria’s White Goddess of War」was actually a woman by the name of Elena Steiner.
She was an old lady who had retired from knighthood around ten years ago.
One could see that she was around 50 to 60 years old.
Her blonde hair would have been beautiful when she was younger, but now it had white mixed in here and there.
She gave off the impression of an obstinate neighborhood auntie. But after witnessing her entrance, one could see that she had kept her body in good shape even after she had retired.
“W-welcome…, p-please come in!”
Meltina’s greeting came out in pieces, probably due to her being too nervous.
And the same could be said of Mikhail, who had insisted on being present on such an occasion.
Ryouma had allowed them to accompany him on the condition that they wouldn’t get in his way.
Yet it seemed they were intent on doing just that, with their faces as red as if they were meeting their secret crush, and even trembling shoulders to boot.
It was like seeing how flustered girls became when they were around their first love.
(Well, since they’re this nervous, I guess they won’t say anything unnecessary, which is good…)
However, when he gave the whole situation a second thought, it was reasonable for them to be as nervous as they were.
After all, the person known as「Rozeria’s White Goddess of War 」- Elena Steiner – was a living hero of legend in their eyes.
A week ago, after Earl Zerev had informed him about her, Ryouma had decided to investigate Elena Steiner.
Surprisingly, he didn’t need to put in much effort to gain information.
Since there wasn’t a single citizen of the Kingdom of Rozeria that hadn’t heard about her.
It had gotten to the point where even the children in town had heard the stories about her.
It reflected on how implicitly the citizens of the Kingdom trusted her.
There were a lot of tales of battles she heroically fought in.
And among those stories, the most legendary one was about The Battle of Notis.
The Notis Prairie is on the borderline between the Kingdom of Zalda and the Ortomean Empire.
Elena Steiner had been dispatched to the Zaldan Kingdom as a part of the Rozerian reinforcements, but instead of just saving the Zaldans, she had also deployed a reverse-invasion strategy against the Ortomean Empire, which had been gathering soldiers as part of their planned invasion of Zalda.
After successfully thwarting their plans, she was declared a National Hero.
“Fufufu…, you don’t have to be that tense. Please drink some tea and calm down.”
“Y-yes! P-please excuse me!”
Although Elena tried to calm her down, Meltina instead became even stiffer.
“Well, it’s best to leave her alone for now, Elena-sama. And also, thank you very much for coming all the way here.”
Elena answered Ryouma with a gentle nod.
“I was very surprised when I received your letter. After all, I haven’t been a knight for almost ten years now”
“I can not thank you enough for listening to our unreasonable request, and I personally feel nothing but gratitude towards you.”
“Well, since it was written in Princess Lupis’ own handwriting, I had no other choice except to come and visit Her Highness.”
Saying so, she elegantly lifted the teacup to her lips.
“Hearing you say so definitely makes me think it was worthwhile for me to ask the Princess to write that letter.”
Upon hearing that, Elena became somewhat suspicious of Ryouma.
The reason for her suspicion was obvious. After all, Ryouma said that he had made the Princess write the letter for him.
“That reminds me, I have yet to ask what your name is.”
Due to his previous statement, Elena seemed to have taken an interest in Ryouma.
“I’m called Mikoshiba Ryouma.”
A surprised expression appeared on Elena’s face.
“Oh my…, you really don’t have the presence of a tactician…”
Certainly, when looking at Ryouma’s body, one could not see anything past his muscles.
He did not look like someone who fought with his head.
“By any chance, have you heard of me?”
“Ara~, isn’t it obvious? After all, even if I have retired from the army, I still love this country. I learn about most things that happen around here, you know? And some people did not forget me as easily even after I retired as Knight ten years ago. Hence, they talk with me about a lot of things.”
Looking at Elena’s face, Ryouma was convinced that she was still in contact with some of her knight friends.
(I see, she doesn’t seem to be involved with the Knight faction yet, and…, that could be a good thing for us.)
Currently, most knights do not hold any loyalty towards the princess and that is because General Hodram, their leader, has the ambition of going against the Royal family in the future.
Originally, the knights were soldiers who would swear their allegiance to the Kingdom and to the royal family, so that they could act as a balancing factor against the nobles and their militias.
Judging from Elena’s statement, perhaps there might be a group of knights that were not satisfied with serving under General Hodram.
And they must be the ones who had become her source of information.
“Is that so? Well then, it’s a great honor for me that 「Rozeria’s White Goddess of War」knows my name.”
Elena’s smile turned wry upon hearing Ryouma’s words.
“My, oh my…, you’ve heard of something as old as that, huh? That title of mine…, I earned it a long time ago.”
“You don’t seem to like it very much, Elena-sama.”
“It’s a relic of the past, after all…, by the way, I’ve yet to hear the reason behind your invitation to meet.”
It seemed as if her nickname was a topic she did not want to talk about and thus she immediately changed the subject.
“Then, let’s get straight to the point. I want you to give Princess Lupis your support.”
Elena’s expression stiffened.
She hadn’t expected him to immediately cut to the chase like he had.
“Oh my…, how straightforward of you…”
She smiled, but afterwards Elena was immediately lost in thought for a while.
“But well, I guess it makes it easier to understand…, and I like it, you know? Your way of doing things, that is…”
Her gaze and tone of voice had somehow changed, as if she was trying to evaluate Ryouma.
“Thank you for your compliment. So, what’s your answer?”
“Oh my? No matter how old I am, I’m still a woman, you know? It is never a good idea to rush a lady.”
“Oh, please forgive my rudeness, milady. Surely, forcing such a hasty invitation upon you is impolite of me. However, we really do not have much time left.”
Ryouma instantly parried Elena’s chiding words.
“Well, unless you let me meet the princess, I can’t give you an answer right away, you know?”
“Oh? You want to meet the princess? To be honest, we don’t have time for something as meaningless as that, you know?”
The outrage in Elena, Meltina, and Mikhail’s voices was strong.
Ryouma directed his cold gaze towards Meltina, who had begun to stand up from her chair in anger.
It was a gaze that anyone who met would understand without a second thought.
It was as if it he saying ‘I’ll murder you if you don’t shut that mouth of yours!’
Meltina immediately sunk back into her chair.
“I’m sorry for that…, she’s really not used to this kind of thing, you see…”
After confirming that Meltina had once again sat down, Ryouma slightly lowered his head toward Elena in apology.
“That really surprised me…, you’ve really got guts, don’t you? Even as a hero of the army, I’ve only seen a few people who had a backbone like yours.”
“Thank you for your kind words. After all, my life is on the line here.”
Hearing Ryouma’s words, Elena asked a question after straightening in her chair.
“So? Why do you think it’s useless for me to meet the princess?”
“Because, if you really wanted to help the princess, you would have come to the castle a long time ago.”
She is someone who has already been in retirement for ten years.
For Elena to come to the Princess’ aid would mean that she would have to return to active duty once more.
Under normal conditions, something like that would be impossible.
Furthermore, for her, things like money or fame were meaningless.
She had once held the position of General, thus she had no problem as far as wealth, and there’s no greater fame and honor than being the hero that saved her own nation.
Even if Ryouma used loyalty toward the royal family as a reason to force her to his side, for Elena, something like that would bear no weight on her decision.
If she could be swayed with things as simple as these, then…, she would already be serving either Princess Lupis or Princess Ladine.
The reason behind why she had not done so was that she was unable to judge which one was the legitimate ruler.
She couldn’t just arbitrarily declare that Princess Ladine, who had Duke Gerhardt’s support, was a fake because Ladine could truly be a child of the previous king.
And because of her loyalty to the royal family, she had been unable to move.
From Elena’s standpoint, she could not grant her support to Princess Lupis, at least not in the current situation.
That is why it was meaningless for the two of them to even meet.
“That’s right…, if you can see things so clearly, then why call me here at all?”
“Because we want your support by whatever means necessary.”
After hearing Ryouma out, Elena had a troubled look on her face.
“My, oh my? Are you implying that you would even use force?”
If neither money nor reason could tempt her, then the only option that was left was to use force.
Contempt flashed across Elena’s face.
“Did I overestimate you? I thought that a capable person had joined Princess Lupis’ side.”
“No, no…, I wouldn’t do so rude of a thing, you know? Using force that is.”
“Then what did you mean?”
Ryouma went on to answer Elena after a small fit of laughter.
“Even if I can’t tempt you with money or honor, you still came here because of the letter you received from the princess. That means that there’s still some room for negotiation, right? Hence, you’re going to request something else. Neither money nor honor and not even loyalty would tempt you. It is something personal.”
Ryouma’s deduction immediately changed the atmosphere in the room.
His words had taken everyone by surprise.
“I see…, indeed, you’re a sharp and capable person.”
Praise came forth from Elena’s mouth.
And by what she had said, one could see that Ryouma’s reasoning was correct.
“Then can you tell me? What is it that I really want…, based on your answer, I will decide whether I will help Princess Lupis or not.”
“Understood…, and, to be honest, I have a hunch as to what your wish is.”
Upon hearing Ryouma out, Meltina and Mikhail gaped in surprise. However, Elena’s expression did not falter at all.
“Of course, that much is obvious…, if you couldn’t do even that much, then you would be a complete disappointment.”
“Although I said I could guess, I have no concrete proof, thus I can’t really put my notions out in the open.”
“Fuu~…, I don’t know if I should call you cautious or an outright coward…”
Elena’s gaze pierced Ryouma.
If she saw any hesitation or fear in Ryouma’s demeanor, she had decided she would never accept him.
Ryouma took in her gaze head on.
In order to prove his own value.
“Well, I guess that when you fight with wisdom, being cautious is necessary, right? Fine. Then, please give me some time to think it over. But foremost, please tell me your theory.”
Elena could clearly see Ryouma’s unwavering resolve in his gaze.
Then she decided to bet on it.
She decided to bet her own life on it…
(This child…, is he the last piece of the puzzle that I’ve been looking for all this time? Finally, the thing that I’ve looked forward to for so long has finally shown up…)
Ten years had passed since she had retired from her knighthood.
However, she herself had had no intention of retiring.
She had been forced to retire.
By that man.
「Rozeria’s White Goddess of War」?
Elena’s lips distorted in disgust.
Indeed, she had once been called so.
That name had spread across the neighboring lands, not to mention within the Kingdom of Rozeria itself.
Everyone had praised her.
However, she had not felt it.
She had not felt the blade that had been aimed at her.
The more fame you gain, the more another person would envy you.
(If this youngster can correctly guess my wish, then…, if he has the wisdom to do so, then, maybe I… maybe I can finally get my one true desire!)
Expectancy and anxiety were evident in Elena’s gaze.
The expectation that she may be able to finally be granted her wish, and yet the anxiety that she might be betrayed.
Ryouma immediately saw through those conflicting emotions within Elena.
A look that implied she was expecting something from him.
And apprehension that he might betray her.
He immediately concentrated on all of the information he had acquired beforehand and the newly-gained knowledge from their current meeting.
(What she wants is revenge against the Knight faction…, but how far does it go? Is it only limited to Hodram himself? Or is it toward the entire faction?)
She had retired ten years ago.
Yet she had retained her influence among the knights, which meant that she’s been waiting for an opportunity to take her revenge, and that’s why she had never gotten out of shape.
If she had retired from the knights by her own will, then she wouldn’t have needed to practice every day.
Also, one shouldn’t forget the look on her face when Ryouma had called her by her famed title -「Rozeria’s White Goddess of War」.
Despite apparently disliking her own nickname, her hatred was not all-encompassing, since she was still interacting with some of the other knights.
(Well, I had already taken all of this account beforehand…)
Of course, he shouldn’t neglect all of the reasons she had had for coming to this meeting.
But then again, in the end, it was solely thanks to the existence of her closely-kept wish that this negotiation was possible at all.
Although her demand could end up costing her dearly.
(Fuu~…, I guess I have no other choice than to give her an answer, do I?)
Ryouma made up his mind.
Although what he had was just an inkling.
No matter how much he thought about it, there was nothing certain about it.
However, he was left with no other choice besides believing in the answer he had arrived at, based on the information he had gained beforehand.
“Your wish is to get revenge, is it not?”
Upon finally hearing Ryouma’s answer, a mix of joy and surprise radiated from Elena’s expression.
“Why would you think so?”
“I felt it the moment I saw you. They told me you had retired. Yet, you’ve never stopped training, not for one day, and you also get a lot of news from the knights. And this is despite the fact that you have been retired for over ten years…, which means your retirement was not something you decided on your own. And immediately after you retired, General Hodram replaced you. And after having met and seen General Hodram up close, I can see that he’s the type of person who thinks highly of himself. Please, pardon me, Elena-san…, but you’re a farmer’s daughter, aren’t you? Since you’re not from a noble family and you weren’t born into knighthood…, based on his personality, it wouldn’t be strange for him to do something underhanded in order to get rid of you.”
“I see…, so you were able to understand me to such an extent…”
Elena’s grudge could be felt in that one simple sentence.
“My…, my greatest wish is for that man, Hodram, I want his head on a pike, for that man is not just my enemy, but also the enemy of both my husband and daughter…”
Listening to Elena’s words, Ryouma realized that he had been right all along.
And thus, the hatred she had kept within her heart would…
<EDN: Every donation will go towards making Ryouma’s harem even greater!>
<TLN: Huh? even greater? not “Make Ryouma’s harem great again!”?, the expectation for her being a new heroine…, a grandma heroine…, can’t wait to see people reaction XD>