Chapter 2 Episode 25
Day 170 after being summoned to another world.
The morning of the second day came since Ryouma built the defense fortification.
“As expected, there was no night attack huh?”
“Yes, it seems like it was impossible for the enemy to reorganize their army in such a short amount of time ”
Laura who accompanied Ryouma answered his question.
“I guess it is to be expected, seeing how much damage they have taken in the previous fight?”
“Most likely, they would need around 2-3 days to prepare. ”
“Then it would be better for us to immediately begin our next preparations before it’s too late.”
Laura’s eyes shined upon hearing Ryouma’s words.
“We are keeping up nicely with our schedule. The time the enemy took to recover from the battle is within my expectation . Also, the next plan will require more time to be effective, and I’m not sure if it will be ready by the time Princess Lupis has to face her decisive battle. ”
“Are Lione and the others ready?”
Ryouma ask the most important question.
“Yes, they have already selected the necessary personnel and finished preparations while we’re at the Royal Castle. ”
“Good, then I would like for all of them to attend the meeting after breakfast. Ugh, by the way, what about breakfast?”
Ryouma stomach begins to rumble.
A human being needs to eat periodically, even if they are in the middle of a battlefield where their lives are at risk.
“We’ve already prepared it. ”
Laura has already prepared Ryouma’s meal beforehand.
From the beginning, there were already a number of cooks in the army. Thus it was not necessary for Laura and her sister to cook for Ryouma
However, they never left Ryouma’s personal care to another person.
It became an unwritten law for them to take care of him even when he was in the Royal Palace.
“If that the case then, I guess I want to eat them immediately while they are still warm. ”
After saying that, Ryouma returned to his tent.
Then came the second day after the battle against Kyle ended.
Then came the second day after the battle against Kyle ended.
“Well, I am ready as always. ”
“I also have no problems. We’ve already prepared in advance and are ready whenever. ”
Inside the tent, there are four people excluding Ryouma, and these people are Lione, Bolts, And the Marfisto’s sisters.
“Since it would be suspicious if you go around with too many people, how about you choose ten people from the「Red Lion」 mercenary group? ”
Toward Ryouma’s words, Lione and Bolts nodded their head.
“And Sara, about the task you were given, how much progress have you made?”
Sara organised her thoughts in her mind before reporting to Ryouma
“Her name is Sakuya, and we still don’t know who she is connected to, but there’s no doubt that she has been in touch with someone ever since we’ve been in Royal castle. ”
“I see.., well, for now, we can let her be for a while. ”
In reality, Ryouma was unsure on how best to deal with Sakuya.
What kind of person is she?
Is she a spy or an assassin?
Which force is she connected to?
There were far too many unknown factors.
Ryouma could easily eliminate her if he chose to but the people she is connected to might just send someone else to attack him.
It would be a lot safer to leave her alone as long as she is under his supervision.
“But still, what is her goal? That is the most important question?”
Lione threw out a question.
That would be natural.
“What are you saying, this is thanks to Lione-san that I am able to use her for something. ”
Lione was able to recruit about 90% of the mercenaries without having to go through the guild. Although some did come from the royal capital, their number didn’t even reach 10% of their overall manpower.
“I see, that’s why you asked Nee-san to hire the mercenaries huh?”
“What do you mean?”
Lione turned her question towards Bolts who seems to understand Ryouma’s intentions..
“It was for monitoring purpose, as it would make it easy to do so since we’re able to reduce the number of unknown people. This helps to find any suspicious people among the mercenaries.”
In other words, if a person enters an army composed of Lione’s acquaintances, then naturally that person would stand out. This in turn would ease the process of finding suspicious members, making it much easier for Ryouma to spot and monitor them until they are compromised.
“I see, you had already assumed that a spy would be slipping into the mercenary unit since the beginning?” Lione spoke in admiration.
“I need to think of every possible scenarios after all. ”
It is a common tactic to use spies to monitor your enemy’s every move. It is normal for any commander to consider and counter this tactic, but due to certain circumstances Ryouma was unable to dispatch one.
That was Ryouma’s personal thoughts on the situation.
“I see. ”
The meeting ended shortly after Lione showed her admiration for Ryouma’s ability as a commander.
“Sara, where are those people going?”
After looking at Sakuya who was handling the dead bodies near the fences, Ryouma directed his line of sight toward the people who were crossing the water filled moat with a raft.
The corpses needed to be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent the spreading of epidemics. Though most of the corpses, especially ones with light armour, had already been swept away naturally by the flood.
Using the Thaves river to obliterate an army was indeed effective, but from a sanitary point of view, it left them with a lot of cleaning up work..
Sara was in charge of stripping the equipment of the remaining corpses and tossing them into the moat to be carried away by the current, along the rest of the bodies.
“Oh, they are merchants from the neighborhood. They’ve just returned from conducting business talk elsewhere. ”
“Merchants, are they?”
“Indeed, hmm? Is there anything suspicious?”
Based on Sara’s reaction, Ryouma decided to not pursue the conversation further.
(What could this possible mean?Merchants? In this battlefield? How’d they even get here; did they cross the moat and hide? No if they did that they would have hidden their return trip too…)
Then he averted his gaze back towards Sakuya who was dealing with another corpse.
Sakuya could not hide her feelings of agitation.
It has been almost a month since the time she entered the mercenary units and so far and she has yet to find out any valuable information.
(Maybe… They are hiding some really important information?!)
It is natural for her to think like that.
In fact, the merchants who had crossed the moat have been entrusted with an important role, but she would only find out about this later on.
Also, It was almost impossible for Sakuya to get the necessary information.
After all, Sara was always watching over her shoulder.
(Why is that person always watching me? Am I compromised?)
Sakuya panicked for a brief moment, but quickly dismissed that thought.
(No, that’s impossible. If they already knew who I was they wouldn’t have allowed me to live for so long.)
Sakuya had already investigated the person named Mikoshiba Ryouma.
Although, she could not understand why such person with an unknown background was allowed to help Princess Lupis, she was made to understand that he was a ruthless person based on the results of his previous plan which was unfolded before her very eyes.
For a brief moment, a blinking light could be seen in the corner of her eye.
*Pika…. Pika, Pika*
There was two consecutive flashes of light, after a while, it blinks for the third time. Her employer has given her the signal to assassinate Mikoshiba Ryouma.
That was the method of communication between the Infiltrator and her employer.
Within the enemy’s army, a spy needs to be extremely cautious when they make contact with their allies.
Of course, sometimes they would meet in person.
However, in certain situations, contacting by letters might sometimes prove to be too difficult.
That is why they have prepared in advance to communicate using the light signal.
The advantage of this method is that the enemy will not know the content of the message.
Besides, most people wouldn’t bother themselves with flashing light that happens just for a brief moment.
Sakuya kept working without changing her expression, but in her mind she was plotting how she should assassinate Mikoshiba Ryouma.
(The best option would be to kill him in close quarters, since I’d only need to graze him with my poison-coated blade.)
Last time, they attempted to assassinate him by sniping from afar using a bow, but Ryouma was able to dodge the arrow.
Failing for the second time in a row is not an option.
Although the possibility of her surviving was low once she attempted it, and she would need to be prepared to die.
(Kill or be killed… )
An assassin should always be prepared to die. However, she was unaware of Sara whose gaze was fixed upon her.
The night of the second day was passing. It was a night where the moon hid behind the clouds and the only source of light were the torches around the camp.
A shadow silently and swiftly ran through clusters of tents.
However, none of the guards notice it, since it was donning black clothes and a black mask to blend into darkness.
(Is this where he is?)
The shadow stopped once it reached a familiar tent. It was the tent of the enemy commander. However, even though the darkness would have made a normal person unable to recognise it, an assassin whose eyes had been trained to see in the dark could identify it effortlessly.
Silently unsheathing the sword hanging on its waist, the shadow took out a small vial containing a thick black liquid. The content was smeared onto the sword delicately and after placing the vial back into its bosoms, a piece of cloth was took out and placed at the base of the blade. By applying the right amount of pressure onto the blade, it ensured that the liquid has coated the edge of the blade.
(This should be enough poison, all that’s left is to take Mikoshiba Ryouma’s life with these hands…)
After the shadow confirmed that the black liquid had been properly applied to the blade, the shadow began to sneak toward the tent entrance.
Ryouma’s tent did not have any security guards to defend it.
No one knows if it’s because he was confident or because he felt it too bothersome. However, it was clear that he never wanted any guards around his tent..
The shadow might have been worried about traps if this was carried out just a few days ago, but now since the shadow understood that the only reason behind the lack of security is due to the fact that Mikoshiba Ryouma deemed it unnecessary, since he felt he hasn’t done much to deserve this kind of special treatment.
The shadow looked inside of the tent from the entrance.
At the place where Ryouma would lay asleep.
The inside of the tent is pitch black; there was no candles illuminating the tent.
A table for holding conferences stood in the middle of the room.
Armors are hung on the sides of the tent, and Ryouma’s personal sword was leaning on the edge of the bed.
On top of the bed, a human body was laying there.
However, at such distance, and within such darkness, it was hard for the shadow to identify the identity of the human.
The shadow crept closer to the bed to confirm whether it was Ryouma or not.
The shadow silently swung its sword.
There was no one in the close proximity.
It was the the best time to kill him.
No assassin would waste a golden opportunity like this.
The sword sliced through the air, towards its target.
The shadow could feel a reaction, and was convinced of its achievement.
However, that belief soon begins to crumble.
A different metallic sound resounded within the tent.
The shadow was stunned. It did not noticed that there was someone right behind.
A punch struck the shadow’s body.
The shadow desperately suppressed its groan that was about to come out.
But that left it defenseless.
The man successfully hammered his fist into the shadow’s right shoulder.
Another precise fist struck the vital point on the shadow’s left shoulder, forcing the shadow to drop its sword due to the shock.
(This is bad!)
The shadow finally understood the situation.
However, the two punches inflicted on its body hindered the shadow’s movement.
(Not good… My body won’t listen to me properly!)
The shadow’s arms were numbed from the attacks.
Gradually, the numbness begins to fade, but there’s no doubt that the shadow is at a disadvantage.
The shadow immediately gave up on fighting back and looked an escape.
(The entrance is behind him… But I would need to get past him., and with the current situation, it would be impossible for me to break through… If that is the case, then…)
It is one of the criteria for being a real assassin, to always choose escape rather than fight one on one.
Fortunately, the tent is made of cloth.
Unlike Wood, it would be easy for the shadow to tear a hole with a hand-held knife to escape with.
The shadow immediately turned around and rushed towards the wall of the tent.
The shadow leapt towards the tent wall. Utilizing the momentum, the shadow tore through the fabric with ease.
“What do you think you are doing, this late in the night.”
Sara shouted just as the shadow had thought it has escaped.
Sara could sense the surprise from the shadow despite the fact that it was wearing a mask.
“Is it that surprising?”
The shadow ignored Sara’s words and immediately looked around for another escape route.
(Where? Where should I run?)
A professional assassin never give up on an escape. However, with Sara being there, the chances of escape was lowered considerably.
“Your effort is futile!”
When Sara raises her hand, fully armed mercenaries revealed themselves from within the dark.
Lead by Lione and Bolts; there were about 20 mercenaries that surrounded it. The situation looked bleak as the shadow understood that escape was impossible with these numbers.
“First, throw down all your weapon!”
The shadow was hesitant for a moment before reaching out its hand to the pocket.
A tense atmosphere surrounded the mercenaries.
“It’s fine. … Put it down slowly!”
Sara immediately calmed the tension among the mercenaries.
(I guess there’s no point struggling, breaking through here is near impossible…)
After it has evaluated her situation, the shadow pulled out a small bottle from its bosom and threw it to the ground.
(Since I was ordered to lay down my weapons, they will probably not kill me right away., This means an opportunity to escape may present itself later… )
While thinking that, the shadow dropped all its weapon according to Sara’s order.
There is still a possibility of getting out alive.
As it assessed its options, the next move could decide its fate.