Chapter 2 Episode 29
Day 174 after being summoned to the different world: (Decisive Battles 1)
“Ryouma-sama… Are you sure you can trust them?”
“Hmm? You mean Genou and the others?”
Ryouma said while wiping off his sword.
“What do you think? It shines brightly, doesn’t it?”
Ryouma didn’t answer Laura’s question and was looking at the glow of the sword.
“What? You’re that dissatisfied?”
Ryouma had no choice but ask such question while flinching back from the angry Laura.
“Yes… Aren’t they the assassins thathad cometo assassinate Ryouma-sama? What is Ryouma-sama going to do if they betray us?”
“Of course I understand such a thing you know? I intend to let them swim freely at the beginning. Well, our plan did end up going out of order though.”
“Try to say that again! Is it because of that katana? Is it?!”
Laura glared at the katana that was given to Ryouma by Genou.
“Well! That’s not unrelated indeed! Definitely!”
Ryouma admitted without hesitation.
Because he thought it’s no use to deceive her.
“Besides, didn’t they already return within the deadline given by me?”
After Ryouma said that, Laura couldn’t find the words to rebuke him more.
After all, among them, it was only Ryouma who believed that Genou and the other one would come back.
At the time Genou and Sakuya wanted to report to their clan, Ryouma let them do so willingly.
Laura, Sara, Lione, and Bolts had strongly protested, but Ryouma didn’t listen to them.
They were not sure whether Sakuya and Genou were going to serve Ryouma for real, not to mention the possibility of them just running away.
Giving up on the assassination is one thing, but if they haven’t yet given up on the assassination, then it is without a doubt it would be more convenient for them if they are near their target Ryouma.
“Well yes, they’ve already returned, but…”
Even after talking to Ryouma, Laura’s expression kept showing discontent.
Of course, it’s not weird for her to do so.
The Marfisto sisters have acted together with Ryouma for nearly six months, and their journey together makes their loyalty toward Ryouma quite high.
Of course, they are not following Ryouma blindly.
They think and act according to their own will.
They respect Ryouma’s will as long it is not harmful to himself. The sisters would assertively give him advice and also reprimand him when it is necessary,
because they know that Mikoshiba Ryouma is not an invincible hero, despite being a strong and wise man.
(I don’t care even if I end up being hated. I don’t care even if I end up being neglected… It is our duty to point out Ryouma-sama’s blind spots and make him aware of things.)
That is the thought process the girls had imposed on themselves.
And Ryouma understood what the sisters had in mind.
That’s why Ryouma trusts the sisters.
“Well~, I can understand Laura’s concern, and I think it is the correct thing to have such a concern. But right now, the people I genuinely trust are only you girls… You understand this, don’t you?”
Laura nodded her head to Ryouma’s question.
Both Laura and Sara fully understood that their current situation couldn’t be described as satisfying.
“But then… the knights and their position should be the same. Why did you trust them so much? If it’s like this then isn’t it alright to trust the knight as well?”
She was referring to the Knights under his command given by the Princess and the assassins that had come to take his life.
From Laura’s perspective, the Knights provided by the Princess are much more trustworthy.
Sara, currently guiding Genou and Sakuya to their designated tent, also has the same opinion as her..
Although the knights and those two don’t have much of a difference in terms of trustworthiness, at least the knights won’t aim for Ryouma’s life without the Princess command.
However, contrary to Laura’s concern,Ryouma seems to trust Genou and Sakuya more than the knights.
“Well, they might be similar in regards of their trustworthiness, but Laura, you’re wrong about one thing… But, I’ll leave it to you to figure out on your own as homework”
“Yes, you can also discuss it with Sara or Lione and think about it together… As for Bolts, I guess you can’t discuss it with him. He seems to understand the reason why after all.”
Recently, Ryouma had begun to say this sort of thing, the purpose of it being to make Laura and her sister able to think outside of the box and increase their analytical capability.
Because the number of the pieces in Ryouma’s hands are limited, he has to raise the strength of each piece.
Making the girls think about why Ryouma took such an action will make them obtain a better understanding of the situation and other things as well. It will also help them understand the personality of Mikoshiba Ryouma, making them closer to him, and thus killing two birds with one stone.
As for Bolts, since he has more life experience, as one would expect he has rich wisdom.
Ryouma ultimately did not tell the girls his reasons, and letting them figure it out is proof that he’s a good commander.And of course, other than that Ryouma also wants to hear the sister’s opinions.
“Understood… But, it’s really not because they gave you that sword, right?”
Laura once again gazed at the sword in Ryouma’s hand.
“Haa~, why don’t you trust me more? Do you think I’m someone who would trust another person just because they give me some sword?”
Saying that, Ryouma shook his head as if saying “good grief!”
Unfortunately for him, Laura’s pestering did’t end there.
Looking at the spear standing in the corner of the tent and still doubting him, Laura continued on.
“If I’m not mistaken, that spear is also a gift from them, right? Not just the sword.”
The spear had a shape that Laura had never seen before.
Spears commonly used in the western continent mostly have a straight spearhead shaped the same as a sword.
There are also some other types, such as the Halberd, with the spearhead shaped like an axe.
However, she had never seen a cross-shaped spearhead like this one.
And when she looked closely, the handle seemed to be made of iron.
“W-Well, i did also get that cross-shaped spear from them… But that doesn’t mean that I trust them, okay?”
Ryouma’s words sounded like a sore loser making some excuse and Laura had to try hard not to laugh.
The more he explained it, the more it ended up sounding like an excuse.
“Well, fine. If Ryouma-sama has made his decision, then we’re not going to object.”
After saying that, Laura bowed to Ryouma and left the tent.
Laura decided that there was nothing more to say about it.
Even if Ryouma ends up getting deceived, Laura is already ready for the consequences.
Her resolve was to protect Ryouma, even if she has to use her own body as a shield.
“Did I make her angry?”
Ryouma, finding himself eft alone, awkwardly muttered to himself.
He had noticed recently that Laura and Sara are very similar to his cousin, Asuka.
Whenever they give their opinions to Ryouma, they resemble her.
“Well, whatever… Since it’s also true that I was fascinated by the gift…”
Indeed, the katana that Genou had given to him as a gift was better than he had expected.
The blade is thicker, and thus has more force.
The length is also suitable for use on the battlefield.
Although he was happy to have both weapons, he was still going to need Genou to perform maintenance and sharpening after using them in battle.
Ryouma did not have the knowledge of how to perform maintenance and sharpening after battles.
And especially with sharpening, it’s absolutely necessary to leave it to the specialist.
If you were to use the sword in battle, it would get chipped, and if you were to cut a person, the sharpness would fall due to the human blood and fat.
Not to mention too that when you cut a person, blood will also enter the sword’s tang where the blacksmith put their mark, thus also requiring proper maintenance.
If not, the blood will corrode that part.
He’s not looking for high value or a work of art, so he did not care about the beauty of the blade’s crest or the sword’s guard, he just needs a sharp sword.
With that being the case, him being unable to take care of the katana himself disqualifies it as a weapon.
But because Genou is able to fulfill that job, Ryouma honestly feels relieved.
“I wonder if it was worth it to make such terms…”
After listening to Genou’s request, Ryouma placed some conditions on him, one of them being to give the katana to him.
Although he had seen Sakuya’s katana, the katana that was given to him is even better than hers, exceeding his expectations.
“Well! Even if I said that, I definitely didn’t believe them because of this…”
Ryouma felt thankful toGenou for giving him the katana and the spear.
Ryouma’s grandfather had trained Ryouma to make him a warrior capable of wielding both sword and spear.
Although all of his battle knowledge can be applied to swords and spears from this world, it’s even better for him to use the katana and cross-shaped spear which he is more familiar with.
However, Ryouma is not naive enough to trust Genou just because he had given him some good weapons.
(Well, I just have to pray that they won’t do anything unnecessary until the decisive battle against Duke Gerhardt is finished… The problem now is how much has my plan actually worked… It’s been five days since we repulsed Kyle’s army, but there’s still no movement from Duke Gerhardt’s side… Is it because my plan worked perfectly, or is it because he’s doing something… Either way, two more days and the army lead by Princess Lupis will arrive. Will the decisive battle happen sooner than I had anticipated?)
Ryouma does not believe in God.
But for now, he wants to at least pray for victory in the upcoming battles against Duke Gerhardt.
-The sun slowly sinks into the horizon-
“Is the organizing not done yet?!”
Duke Gerhardt’s roaring voice resounded inside his office.
After Kyle’s defeat, Duke Gerhardt had issued a mobilization order to all of the nobles.
In addition to the 30 thousand soldiers initially collected at Irachion, he was also planning to integrate the soldiers from the other nobles.
He gave them the order to organize in two days.
However, the nobles are gathering slower than he had expected.
No, the problems were not limited to the nobles.
“Not yet… We ran into more problems than expected…”
His aide standing at his side give the report, while Duke Gerhardt’s anger rained down on him.
“Fools! What have you been doing all this time! Three days have already passed since I issued the order! Threaten the nobles if necessary and tell them that they have to bring their soldiers to Irachion by tomorrow!”
“That is… The problem is not just coming from the nobility…”
The aide frantically lowered his head.
When you’ve been given an order and are unable to execute it properly, you have to take responsibility for its failure.
If he’s unable to adequately explain why the order failed, he might lose his head.
“What are you talking about?! What’s the problem then?!”
Duke Gerhardt’s aide nervously explained the problem.
And it turned out that the problem was far worse than Duke Gerhardt had expected.
(What the heck is happening! Why don’t the peasants want to go to wars so suddenly?! I even promised them that they can loot as much as they want!)
Having heard the report from his aide, Duke Gerhardt sank deeply in his chair in confusion.
(No, I think I know the cause… It must be that man…)
The name of the man on Duke Gerhardt’s mind was Mikoshiba Ryouma.
He got Ryouma’s name from the report of his aide.
After Kyle had lost 5.000 men in a single battle, 60.000 men were what was left of Duke Gerhardt’s military strength.
This number Duke Gerhardt got after he included the nobles and the peasants he had drafted.
The problem here is that Irachion does not have the production capacity to maintain 60.000 army troops.
Realistically, no city in this nation could permanently accommodate such a large amount of soldiers.
It would be different if it were in a city of a larger country like the Ortomea Empire, but in Rozeria Kingdom it’s impossible.
In other words, Duke Gerhardt can only accommodate those 60.000 troops for a limited time.
And now, even after Duke Gerhardt issued his mobilization order to attack Ryouma, only 2.000 soldiers turned up.
All of his efforts are focused on taking back the ground that Ryouma’s forces gained in order to prevent Princess Lupis’ forces from rushing into his territory.
For the sake of winning against Princess Lupis, it is necessary to crush Ryouma.
However, the mobilization order he had issued ended up having almost no effect, because of the rumor circulated among the peasants.
It was then spread to the surrounding rural areas and the other nobles’ territories around Irachion.
(Kyle, you bastard! How far are you going to drag me down!)
Gerhardt cursed at Kyle in his mind.
Had Kyle been standing in front of him, he would definitely have killed him with his own hands.
That is how much he was outraged by the situation.
Ryouma’s flood plan had eliminated 5.000 of the 7.000 lives in the attacking force.
This fact was then exaggerated and spread throughout Irachion.
“Oi! Did you hear? I heard that Kyle-sama lost!”
“Yeah I heard he lost against an army four times smaller?”
“It seems so! Most of the commanders ended up dead, you know?”
“T-That can’t be…”
“Oi! Did you hear the enemy commander’s name?”
“Indeed! He’s called the cold-blooded demon, Mikoshiba Ryouma!”
“What the heck?! A demon? That sounds so stupid!”
“Fool! That’s not the problem! I heard that he used the Thaves river to drown the soldiers!”
“Is that true? Did he use magic? No, no way, is it even possible to do that?”
“That’s why he’s a demon!”
This wild rumor spread among the populace.
It was a rumor that Ryouma would smile upon hearing., However, for the peasants, it was something terrifying.
After all the demon they are talking about is their enemy.
“Oi… Isn’t this bad?”
“Indeed. I’ve heard that he won’t show any mercy toward his enemies.”
“You know, I heard that he killed prisoners of war with a smile on his face.”
Facts and lies mixed together, creating an image of Ryouma as a demon.
Then, the mobilization order came amidst such rumors.
The only people willing to volunteer after hearing these things were the more daring ones.
As a result, despite having ordered mobilization multiple times, Duke Gerhardt was only able to amass 30.000 strong men.
Duke Gerhardt said resentfully.
The situation had grown worse beyond anything Duke Gerhardt had anticipated.
He had even ordered his adjutant to conscript soldiers from the surrounding villages forcibly, but it was doubtful that he would manage to gather the planned 60.000 men like this.
“If I can get 50.000, it should be alright… No… will I even manage to gather that much?”
If he forcibly conscripts people from the village too much, they might run away.
That is the extent of how many problems Mikoshiba Ryouma’s name and reputation had caused.
In terms of the soldiers’ quality, it would be impossible to win against Princess Lupis with what the Duke has.
Because of this, he aims to win the war using numbers instead.
However, the all-important soldiers won’t gather under him despite his mobilization order.
“It can’t be… Was this the enemy’s plan all along?”
This ominous thought came to Gerhardt’s mind.
Kyle’s loss is a fact.
However, how were the details of the battle spread amongst the citizens? That is what Duke Gerhardt was wondering.
The situation has turned disadvantageous for Duke Gerhardt.
He’s frustrated enough to want to strangle God to death for it.
But, what if it’s true? That all of this is the enemy commander’s plan?
What if his aim was not only blocking 7.000 soldiers but a much bigger army?
What if the purpose of the flood was not just to drown the soldiers?
And finally, what if the one who spread the rumor was Mikoshiba Ryouma himself?
“No… That can’t be… Such a thing is impossible! If something like that were true, then it’s as if he’s a demon with clairvoyance!”
Gerhardt shook off the fear that appeared in his mind.
But the fear of the man named Mikoshiba Ryouma has already settled in his heart.