Weekly chapters (1/2)
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Chapter 161 – Tranberg Steel Battalion part 3
The Tranberg army was currently preparing to withdraw.
The General of Tranberg, Ward, was at loss for words due to the battle he was experiencing just now.
King Alvarez ordered him to not rout the Arcadia army’s rearguard…. Instead he ordered Ward to just challenge them to a duel then retreat immediately.
Despite feeling weird, the generals still obediently executed the order. None of them would oppose the king. Because for the generals and the soldiers, Alvarez’ command is absolute.
The foremost general of Tranberg was Ward, deemed to be the bravest among all others.
Alvarez gave out a mysterious order for this trusted retainer of his. Which was,
Challenge them to a one on one duel, and retreat immediately after exchanging a few clashes.
And that’s it.
[Their number might be smaller, but still take them seriously. You might even get defeated if you don’t retreat immediately. Even though they are old, those are still the steadfast gatekeepers of Archduke Schwarzer. Never let your guard down.]
Following Alvarez’ mysterious order, Ward led his forces to face the Arcadia army’s rearguard… and shouted up a challenge to duel the army general.
[Under the command of King of Tranberg, I, Ward Dexter has come! Is there any man in Arcadia brave enough to duel me!!]
Nobody would come out to accept this challenge… he thought to himself. But as Alvarez predicted, a lone old general actually came upfront.
[Here I am, a long time retainer of the Archduke Schwarzer, Alberto Werheld. Let’s go!]
Ward was surprised. The enemy reacted just as Alvarez said. And even though the one who came out was an old general, he’s Alberto Werheld, well known in the entire continent as one of the best generals of Archduke Schwarzer.
[There is no shortage of opponents after all. En guard!!]
The man in front of him… When he faced the general who he had been hearing about since young, Ward couldn’t help but feel excited. He only realized by now that his hand is trembling.
Before serving Alvarez, Ward himself was an A rank adventurer. He’s confident that his ability would be sufficient to match this old general.
Letting a low pitched scream, Ward’s magic power enveloped his body, giving off pale glow as a result.
[Hoho, so you can strengthen yourself with magic power. Being careful, aren’t you?]
After saying so, Alberto also did the same whilst drawing out his twin swords.
Ward urged his horse forward, galloping with a terrifying speed as he brandished his spear toward Alberto’s chest. But Alberto easily parried that charge, then counterattacked with a terrifying storm-like slashes.
He’s a twin swords wielder, a rarity in the continent. The magic power overflowing from his body was nothing to be scoffed at despite his advanced age.
(So this is the famous『Schwarzer’s Twin Towers』 ! !)
Everytime they clashed, waves of magic power would scatter, raising dust all over the place.
All eyes were focused on them. No one dared to speak. Everyone watched the duel as if they had been mesmerized.
It had been only a few exchanges. But Ward was made acutely aware that the old general facing him right now was no mere old man.
Ward’s forehead was already oozing with sweats. Meanwhile, Alberto still looked calm.
(I see, he is both superior in terms of magic power and technique… a testament to his experience in the battlefield…)
Ward suppressed his excitement, raising his spear to mount another attack.
Gan Gan Gan Gan
But retreat bells were rang on both sides.
Upon hearing the signal, the two combatants lowered their stances.
[…..I actually want to continue this duel… It’s been a long while since my chest is screaming with excitement like this.]
[And so do I…unfortunately we have to end it here…]
Ward and Alberto laughed at each other. Their action was unlike those who were just putting their life on stakes in a duel.
[Apparently my Lord has doing something to you?]
[Ho? I wasn’t aware about that. But let me ask you this; Is that man named Alvarez is a worthy person to serve?]
[……I believe my Lord is the best there is in the world.]
Hearing Ward’s answer, Ward let out a hearty laugh after a brief moment of amazement.
[Hahaha, it’s good to hear that. It’s『A Hero can surely recognize other Hero』stuff, huh? I guess there is also Young Master’s strong connection with your King during their youth at play here. Makes me want to see him, your Lord I mean.]
Alberto turned his horse around.
[See you again, Tranberg’s brave general.]
That said, Alberto galloped back to his troops. Ward didn’t even have the chance to reply, so he simply watched the old man go.
[Ahhh, that was a good fight for an old bone like you.]
The very first voice that greeted Alberto’s return belonged to a friend who had spent decades working alongside him. When Alberto turned his head to the source, there was Rouen standing with a smile on his face.
[That’s quite bitter for a welcome.]
[What, that was a compliment.]
That said, the two laughed.
Alberto joined Rouen on a chair after getting off from his horse.
[Well, it’s still a pain in the arse. Maybe I should’ve acted more like a proper grandpa next time around?]
[It’s because you’ve been keeping Julius-sama safe for years. If not for that, do you think you’ll be able to move like that at our age?]
[Who knows? Even this old body can still move if empowered with magic. Young Master will laugh at us otherwise.]
Alberto then asked Rouen.
[Well then? Was it a success?]
[They’re retreating. Well, we don’t have to chase them either]
Rouen chuckled when he said so.
[I just don’t understand!!]
Ward was complaining to Alvarez.
[We have the advantage, but why do we have to retreat after just a single bout?]
Alvarez inspected the faces of his generals. All of them looked dissatisfied.
[Your Excellency! We…]
Alvarez raised his voice. In response to that, everyone immediately turned silent. The chaotic scene earlier had disappeared like it was but a mere dream.
Wallace found the situation interesting.
Alvarez’ authority can be compared to that of someone like the『Thunder Emperor』Sephiros already.
Even Ward, who bravely complained earlier… unconsciously stepped back.
[If I said we retreat, then we retreat. There are no other alternatives. Everyone, please make the preparation.]
[Please wait a moment!!]
Ward raised his voice, as if he had resolved himself.
[Did Your Excellency command this retreat… because of a secret agreement with the Schwarzers??]
Alvarez raised his eyebrow to Ward’s question.
[Earlier, when I was facing off against sir Alberto, he mentioned Your Excellency connection with a certain『young master』.]
This was a first for everyone else to hear it. They looked on with interest.
[Your Excellency…who is this『young master』he was talking about??]
[…..my benefactor, and steadfast ally. Also…..]
Alvarez took a breather before continuing.
[Also…..the only man in this world that I would be willing to offer my sword to.]
Alvarez grinned as he said so.
[Of course, if we meet again in the future… there is no knowing whether we’ll be allies or enemies. But… we will definitely meet again in the battlefield. And I’m looking forward to that.]
With that story ended, Alvarez got up from his chair and repeated his instruction.
[Alright, the storytime is over. Prepare for our retreat.]
Alvarez left the council afterward. Wallace followed him from behind.
The generals soon stood back up, returning to their posts.
Only one remained. Ward…..
I couldn’t move for a while there.
『A Hero can surely recognize other Hero』
Alberto’s words were still fresh in his head.
And yet, Alvarez whom he worshipped like a God actually said that.
He simply couldn’t believe it…..