Weekly chapters (1/2).
We are now entering Arc 3: Civil War.
Chapter 39 – Reinforcements
Shingen’s cheek was still swollen and bitter from being kicked though none of his teeth were broken. Fortunately, Elize was leaning on the wall, maintaining a cold gaze at him. Her right hand is ready to draw the dagger strapped on her waist, as if telling that this time she won’t hesitate to kill. While avoiding to see her as much as possible, Shingen decided to review the current situation.
The town of York is completely under Ortashia’s control. By killing the lord of the town, she gained the authority over the town. No one will go against her. Rather, everyone is afraid of provoking her. She’s kind to her allies but doesn’t hesitate in slaughtering her enemies mercilessly. As a result, there was really no need to be overly vigilant so far.
The problem is outside the town. No, one could say that the whole of Ardesil is in a problematic state.
Apparently, Prime Minister Runatitas had already noticed that the town of York had been taken over. Judging from the distance, it will take one to two days on horseback if a soldier wants to report that they saw something peculiar. Even with an unclear report, Runatitas should be able to deduce that it was Ortashia who had taken over town of York. He could send out Ardesil military forces without any trouble.
It’s a piece of cake to guard against assassination. But the current members were no match for an army. A general plus two knights, an alchemist and her escort, adding one woodcutter that wasn’t even a fighter. So Ortashia needed an army of her own. She needed a regular army with strong swords and shields. However, there wasn’t much hope from recruiting young and inexperienced farmers.
In contrast, the Ardesil army consisted of continental heavy infantry corps and cavalry units. Impossible to win. Maybe it seemed irrational or perhaps she didn’t really understand the situation, Ortashia resolutely stood. Rather, she seemed to be waiting for something. A reinforcement. From a trusted friend who was willing to die alongside her.
Three days later, the town alarm rung early in the morning. Noises of footsteps that shook the ground, metal clanging against metal. Everyone didn’t feel scared when those noises came. Rather, they were jubilant.
It was a chilly morning. Ortashia exhaled a white breath as she waited at the west gate.
Finally, the gray-colored army coming from the west road arrived. They lined up in a formation, spreading sideways under the command of their captains. Aligning in front of Ortashia. These guys were very different from York’s soldiers. Among them was a knight in silver armor. A White Wolf knight.
A large man climbed down from his war horse and stepped forward. He stood solidly in front of Ortashia. Following that, the soldiers who had been marching in orderly manner stopped and stood much like how he did. What an amazing show of discipline.
It can’t be said that it’s large army per se. But they were so united and disciplined that they gave off a feeling that their number is twice their actual size.
[Banrondo army General Randall reporting. This vassal thought that Your Highness Princess Ortashia is still alive and thus went out to check the town of York….Seeing that Your Highness is standing here, it’s safe to say that the premonition was correct.] (Randall)
Apparently the information about the attack on the town of York had also reached Randall’s ears. He, like Runatitas, could also probably tell that the culprit behind the attack was Ortashia. Thus why he organized the army and came running.
[Fufufu…I’ve been waiting. You brought quite a lot. I knew that I can put my trust in you.]
[Gahahaha————! I already feel thankful knowing that Your Highness is still alive. It’s been while, Your Highness.] (Randall)
[Indeed, it’s been a while.] (Ortashia)
Ortashia offered a handshake, which Randall quickly accepted. The smile disappeared, replaced by a serious face. He noticed her right eye and asked,
[……Can I assume that Maruto has died in duty?] (Randall)
[Yes. That fellow is dead.]
Randall, whose expression was hardened a while ago softened down after hearing Ortashia’s reply. He had tears welling up in his eyes. He quickly raised his head to the sky and wiped it out. He’s the kind of man that doesn’t want anyone to see him in tears.
After a slight pause, his gaze turned to the boy who stood next to Ortashia.
[…..by the way, Your Highness, who is he?] (Randall)
[My subordinate, Shingen.] (Ortashia)
(――――――Please don’t mention anything about pet here. The air is too serious for a petty joke..)
I lowered my head a little. Randall narrowed his eyes and came closer. To the point that his and Shingen’s face were very close.
[Umu. A look-alike.] (Randall)
Being observed like that made Shingen back off in embarrassment.
[Hahaha….it seems so…] (Shingen)
(――――――how many more times must I encounter this kind of exchanges…?)
Whilst keeping that thought inside his head, Shingen replied with a bitter smile. Randall closed his eyes and corrected his posture, then offered Shingen a handshake. Shingen took it since there was no reason to decline. He noticed how thick Randall’s hand is. It’s also full of rashes. A hand of someone who had fought many battles, he thought.
[I’ll be in your care, boy.] (Randall)
[The pleasure is mine. Greetings, Lord Randall.] (Shingen)
Randall simply nodded in response.