Daytime Day 25th, 4th month, the Year 2813, western continent calendar.
Pillars of fire blew up from the center of the town spread out under their eyes.
It was the flame signal that everyone standing on the cliffs surrounding the town had waited for. –
A man who had his face covered with a black mask stepped forward in silent toward Sakuya.
Maybe because she felt his presence getting closer to her, Sakuya turned around her body.
“I know… Has everyone ready yet?”
The black shadow responded to Sakuya’s words by nodding his head, they all wore kimono with its sleeves being tied by Tasuki, and on their belt, small flower vases were being tied.
It was not something that usually would draw attention.
The vase body was a big round and the vase neck was thin, it was ordinary porcelain vase one can find anywhere.
However, two things were different from the ordinary.
And that two things were that instead of flowers, there were rags being packed inside the vase.
And the other one was the number of those vases.
There were 10 vases hung on their belt using string. –
Since there were 20 men here, there were 200 vases with unknown use.
There must be some reason for them bringing those things around but, if others who didn’t understand that saw them like this, they might unintentionally burst into laughter.
However, everyone present here didn’t felt shy looking like that.
On the contrary, their gaze felt cold.
They understood properly what they about to do and why they did it as well.
(At the beginning, I don’t understand why he explained the detail of the mission to us though…)
For those with authority, it would’ve been too much of time-consuming to explain each and every detail every time they about to do something.
Indeed that was what usually happened to Sakuya when she got an order from her clan.
If the elders order her to do something, then she just had to carry it out.
It was unnecessary for her to ask about the reason and why she had to do the job, and it was not like she had the right to ask either.
However, this time was different.
Ryouma clearly explained the mission purpose and necessity to Sakuya and Genou and to the other soldiers via Lione.
It was not like the ninjas felt dissatisfaction toward the current situation either.
(But then, the other’s fighting spirit, it feels different…)
Their way of calmly erasing their presence was still the same.
But from their perspective, with a clear objective in mind, it had enchanted their physiological state of mind, which manage to drive them harder to plunge into the battlefield.
(But well, I guess it was natural for them to feel this way… Since we finally got ourselves our own city, no one wants someone to touch it… Not even this country’s Queen, Queen Lupis…)
Inside Sakuya’s mind, the scene of the conference that was held the other day crossed.
On that day, seven men and women are sitting around a big round table inside a room.
An expression of confusion appeared on the men and women after they heard Ryouma’s explanation.
“This is the reason why I called everyone… I’m very sorry for disturbing everyone’s schedule. Especially Sakuya…”
“Eh? No. It is alright… Besides I’ve already pre-arranged for some people to take over the job for the guard duty…”
While she shook her head, Sakuya responded Ryouma’s words.
Sakuya had been granted the task to exterminated the pirates, and just the other day their scout team had managed to locate the pirates’ hideout.
She had conducted a thorough reconnaissance, examined the number of boats and personnel, the topography of the pirates’ town in detail, afterward she just needs to carry out Ryouma’s order.
By the time she had almost finished her preparation, an order arrived, she was ordered by Ryouma to immediately return.
“So then… Ryouma-sama, what are we going to do? Are we going to recognize the pirates?”
It was then Lione who answered Sakuya’s question.
“Regarding that… Won’t that be a hard thing to do? Although they are obedient right now, if we do something like that, those children might grow some dissatisfaction you know?”
“That would be natural… After all, because of those pirates plundering the villages and towns their parents and siblings ended up getting killed, and they themselves were being sold as slaves. No matter how much they feel grateful after being released from the status of slaves, the grudge inside their hearts won’t easily disappear, we definitely can’t do this…”
Toward Bolts statement, everyone nodded their head. –
All slaves had been released and in exchange, they had become Ryouma’s soldiers.
However, the reason why they had become slaves does not disappear because of it.
Furthermore, because their current situation was good, the bitter past should be more profound inside their mind.
“But still, it is really regrettable that we have to discard the pirates’ war potential. The assumption that we have to exterminate the pirates is because they might not obey us. But since we already have those guys allegiance, how about we use their war potential?”
Toward Genou’s remark, everyone was silent.
No one could deny his words.
Not only those pirates had value as a maritime power.
They could be used for securing control of the sea area, they also had other useful values that can be used.
Regardless of the future prospects, neither agricultural lands nor fishing ground had existed within the current Wortenia peninsula, the only things that can be regarded as a source of revenue were to sell materials obtained from the monsters, because there was no option to sell the demi-humans as slaves after all.
“That might be true but… If that is the case, are we going to ignore the soldiers’ dissatisfaction?”
If they think about the immediate interest, it was not bad to pardon those pirates.
However, when one was to think about the long-term policy, conflict might occurs between the soldiers and the pirates.
Although it won’t happen immediately, it might happen in the future.
Under this kind of unfavorable condition he was in, Ryouma only strength was the quality and high loyalty that his soldiers had.
Although the magic art they had learned was not that high grade, the quality itself was high. Recently they had begun to teach writing and reading to the soldiers
Being released from slavery had made them strongly loyal toward Ryouma.
But after given pardon to the pirates, that loyalty might be ended up getting destroyed. –
This problem was the most important concern for Bolts and Lione who lead those soldiers.
“I have no intention of receiving their allegiance you know?”
A low cold voice echoed inside the room.
“Are you sure?”
Genou watched Ryouma’s complexion fearfully.
Truthfully, Genou had no intention of sticking to his opinion.
It was Ryouma’s job to make the final decision, and because they understood that they supplement Ryouma’s thought by giving him their consideration and opinion.
“Yes, I’m sure… It is impossible for us to accept them, no matter what… After all, they are atrocious criminals…”
This was not because of sentiment or other consideration.
No matter how cheap life can be in this world, it did not mean that this world had no law. –
It was not because whether or not it was appropriate, but it was because a country could not exist without law.
The Wortenia peninsula was formally a territory of the Rozeria Kingdom.
Naturally, under the law of the kingdom of Rozeria, pirates were recognized as criminals.
Furthermore, piracy was punishable by death.
And not just their individual as pirates, the capital punishment also fell to their family members.
Their punishment was heavier compared to ordinary murder because pirates had harmed other people on a daily basis for their own benefits.
Moreover, it would have been hard for a nation to maintain security without showing and convince the people that they uphold the law.
Things such as mercy and pardon were greatly influenced by times, education and living environment.
If this was Japan, such law would have been too severe, but in this world, it was a normal law. If the nation were unskillfully showing mercy, the people might instead condemn the national decision.
Even if the pirates have the intention of turning a new leaf, for the people in this world their existence was worthless and there was no reason for the nation to forgive them.
And the family who had lived using the bloody money the pirates had earned also bear the same sins.
Of course, it was possible for Ryouma to ignore the law by using the autonomy right he had gained from Lupis as a shield, but then such decision would’ve created unnecessary conflict with his people and the neighboring aristocrats.
No matter how much powerful Ryouma was, it was too risky for Ryouma to make such decision with the present situation where he was just an upstart nobleman.
“I have the responsibility to maintain the security the moment this territory become mine. Although we just begin and not yet gone anywhere, it would be hard for me to take responsibility for the past if I accept them.”
It was a land that had been neglected for many years, and because ruling it was difficult no one said anything but, if the current situation was left as it is, all past responsibility will be charged to Ryouma.
Of course, that could also be regarded as natural.
It was regarded as being neglected because no one held responsible for it in the past, but now, since Mikoshiba Ryouma had become the person in charge, Ryouma must hold the responsibility.
“Well, I do mention various reason but, to be frank, I hate them…”
Ryouma said those words and laughed. –
He understood the pirates’ circumstance.
Those people might not want to be pirates in the first place.
They might have been victims.
That was why there was still room for sympathy.
However, they can only claim the right as victim toward the perpetrators who hurt them.
It was never okay to harm unrelated general citizen just because they are victims.
Psychologically, it was impossible to accept the pirates.
“That’s why, I decided to annihilate them. Is there any objection?”
A cold and sharp gaze strikes all the surrounding people sitting around the roundtable.
At that moment, the destiny of the pirates had been decided.
“Sakuya-sama, the order please…”
Sakuya’s mind returned to the current situation after she heard the man voice.
(I need to focus…)
In term of shogi, the situation was already a checkmate.
For the pirates, there was no way left for them to escape.
However, it did not mean Sakuya and the others can relax their guard.
Sakuya nodded her head lightly, then she raised her hand high and swing it down.
“Disperse… We have not much time. Half join with grandfather and quickly secure the target! The rest come with me. Until the next signal, no one shall retreat!”
Sakuya and the other ninjas immediately start running just like arrows being released from the bow.
Since Sakuya had carefully elaborated the plan previously, there was no reason for her to say anything more…
They silently jumped out off the cliffs with rope in their hands tied to the thick trees.
The town without a name that Henry had created have some natural defenses.
The town was surrounded by high cliffs from three sides, and a large sea spread on the north side.
On the cliff’s side, there was only one small stair with a width that can only be used for one person to pass.
Originally it was prepared in case they need to fight against the monsters inside the forest in case they perform a frontal attack.
And there were no other means to perform a frontal attack from the forest other than going down using the stairs.
However, that was the story if the method was a frontal attack.
Although it was impossible for those monsters, for human, there were many ways for them to get down from the cliffs.
One of them was going down by using ropes…
Although there was no equipment such as karabiner like in the modern times, for the people of this world it was easy to slide down the rope.
They easily slide down from the cliffs just using one single rope.
“Bolts-san, I leave that side to you…”
After she murmured that words, Sakuya also jumped off…
“Young master… I have kept you waiting…” <TLN: First time Genou called Ryouma as Young Master.>
After Ryouma took care of Andre, Genou quietly appeared.
All of his attire was black.
There were no arts that can be used to see who was the man behind the ninja’s clothes.
However, from his low voice and the glint of his eyes Ryouma knew that it was Genou.
“Did you found it?”
Genou nodded his head quietly in respond to Ryouma’s question.
“Of course… We already secured the target, right now we’re moving the target toward the harbor.”
Genou’s role was to find the captured demi-human.
He and the others had swam into the bay last night.
People said that a Shinobi always had a comprehensive skill, but it seems they truly capable of doing anything.
It was not impossible for them to swim in the middle of the night.
And after Genou and his subordinates find the prisoner they quietly waited for Ryouma to make his move.
“As expected of you. If that the case then, shall we move to the next stage and quickly heads toward the dock? It seems like Sakuya and the others have started their move…”
Outside the window of the building he was in, Ryouma could see that a fire rising here and there, throwing the town into confusion.
“The stairs on the cliffs has Bolts-dono and the others standing guard… As long we take care of that, there was no other way for the pirates to escape.”
“Good, everything is just as planned.”
A cold smile appeared on Ryouma’s face.
Ryouma himself does not like murder.
However, if it was necessary, even if he did not like it, he will not hesitate to do it.
(Burn this sinful town! Turn everything into ashes….)
This town was being built by weak people stepping on another weak people.
These people were those who survived by doing all of those crimes.
They were corrupted and distorted so much that there was no salvation for them.
This was a town that should never have existed.
The people living in this town were an existence that should have never be let alive.
This mission was for the sake of Ryouma to move forward.
(I will definitely become strong…!)
The hatred inside his heart got heated.
It was his hatred toward this crazy world. –
Ryouma, Genou and the Marfisto sisters walked into the town where black smoke swirled around.
In order to finished everything.