Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
The left-wing of the Fourth Imperial Army had finished its deployment facing east, but the morale of the soldiers was extremely low due to the forced march and the battle with the rebels so far. Even so, there was no sound of dissatisfaction, and the troops were lined up in an orderly fashion, undisturbed. If they had been conscripted, they would not have been able to deploy so quickly, and there would have been no end to the number of people who would have deserted out of fear.
On the left flank, where such a tense atmosphere was flowing, the sixth princess was in charge. As dazzling as the sun, her red hair was covered in dust and showing signs of weariness. But that didn’t detract from her charm, and her coquettish appearance, like a warrior maiden, helped to halt the decline in morale.
Liz sighed in annoyance. She’s like a wife who waits for her husband to return from the battlefield――or like a mother who waits for her child to return.
“You don’t have to worry, Onee-san. That Onii-san is strong, isn’t he?”
In front of her, there was a young girl. She had brown skin, but it was hidden by a large robe. In addition, the hood attached to the robe cast a shadow over her face, making it impossible to see her expression. The girl was the leader of the rebel army, the Liberation Army. Therefore, there were many people who held grudges against her, and the Principality of Lichtine would have hated her to the point of wanting to kill her. The Fourth Imperial Army is no exception. That’s why Liz, the sixth princess, is working to protect her from the insolent people.
“That’s right. I’m just worried about him because he’s a reckless person. I hope Hiro… isn’t hurt.”
“There’s nothing to worry about for that little boy.”
Tris responded to Liz’s words.
“I’d say there’s nothing to worry about him either. I’ve been your enemy, so I’ll let you decide if you can trust my word…”
Next to Tris was Ghada. In terms of appearance alone, he is in his early twenties, but the truth is that he is a demon, and he is over a hundred years old.
“But stopping the enemy’s advance by himself is just absurd, no matter how much you think about it.”
Liz couldn’t finish her sentence, as she was worried because the boy who had been the cause of her concern had returned. There was still some distance between them, but the boy’s face showed signs of fatigue.
Liz grabbed her water bag and said.
“Clear the way. Let him through!”
Not long after, Hiro came over to Liz. Liz silently handed him the bag of water, and after thanking her, Hiro sipped the tip of the bag.
When Liz saw Hiro drink it down in one gulp, she exclaimed, “Ah.”
It was her own water bag that Hiro was now holding, and she had sipped on it many times. Perhaps the meaning of this occurred to her, and her face flushed, as did her hair color.
Liz was holding her head in embarrassment as she let out an inaudible scream. Hiro had a dubious expression on the face of the princess, who showed a strange reaction.
However, he immediately noticed the killing intent and looked next to her. Tris was glaring at Hiro with an overtly unhappy expression. Hiro gulped in confusion. He wiped the moisture from the corners of his mouth and looked around as if to pretend something.
“H-huh, is this all we have?”
Liz did not seem to understand the meaning of his words.
“Ah, you need more water! I’ll go get some right now!”
She said her misunderstanding and went to get more water. Hiro hurriedly stopped her.
“No, no, wait! That’s not it. There’s still some left, so it’s enough for me, okay?”
“…I-I knew that. I was just kidding.”
Liz took her hand off the reins and began to stroke Mirue’s head, who was sitting in front of her.
Mirue, who had been quietly letting her head be stroked, must have reached the end of her limit when her neck was bent in a strange direction. After a little while, she raised her voice in protest.
“Onee-san, it hurts!”
“I-I’m sorry! But your head looked so itchy!”
“It’s not itchy at all.”
“That’s not true!”
Liz didn’t listen to her and was still scratching Mirue’s head through her hood. Although Hiro can not see the expression hidden in the hood, he can easily understand what the girl is thinking by the rough handling.
He could not help but notice the shameful state of the sixth princess.
“Ahem! Princess, the little boy is probably asking if this is the only number of soldiers we have.”
Tris cleared his throat and gave Liz a helping hand.
“O-of course. I knew it!”
Liz released Mirue’s head and pointed a finger at Hiro.
“I guess it was just too hot for me!” said Liz.
Hiro smiled bitterly and shook his head.
“N-no, it’s fine. It’s my fault that I didn’t explain it properly.”
“…You guys are really tense, aren’t you?”
Hiro pretended not to have heard Ghada’s scathing words. And then he asked the question again.
“So… this is all we could gather? Where are the reserve soldiers?”
It was only the left-wing that had formed a flanking formation and was preparing for a raid.
Before leaving here, Hiro should have sent a message to General Kylo, asking him to send a reserve unit. However, there was no sign of the reserve unit. Behind the left flank, soldiers took weapons from the prisoners and gathered them in several places. Many of them were sitting down and resting.
“If anybody has any ideas… I don’t mind, but.”
It’s not that they do not have a plan to make it look like they are letting their guard down, but they are so full of themselves that it’s hard to believe they are receiving such instructions.
Liz opened her mouth to Hiro with a doubtful expression on her face.
“Um, you know… he said that since he’s the commander, he can’t take orders from the fourth prince.”
Liz pinched the fingertips of her hands together and made an apologetic face.
“I also sent out a few messages, but I was told that 2,000 cavalrymen would be enough for the weak troops of the Principality of Lichtine. I couldn’t persuade him… I’m sorry.”
“I see. It’s not your fault. You don’t have to worry about it.”
Liz seemed depressed and drooped her head, probably because of how bluntly Hiro said it. Hiro can feel Tris’s anger in the air. He is going to pull out his sword at any moment.
Hiro didn’t dare to confirm whether it was in response to his reply or to General Kylo’s rude response.
“…Liz. For now, let’s go to the main camp. I think it would be better to meet General Kylo face to face. And it’s going to be difficult to get a meeting with the general without you. I’m counting on you.”
Liz was glad that Hiro was counting on her.
“Yeah, leave it to me!”
Liz smiled as if she were a flower. Hiro was relieved and patted his chest.
“I’ll have to show him all the good things about you.”
“No, just a quick introduction would be fine.”
“Are you going to take Mirue with you?”
Ghada’s frustrated voice carried on the wind.
“From what you guys have said, I don’t think General Kylo is a man to be trusted. Isn’t it dangerous to take Mirue to such a place?”
“But if we don’t, you might run away with her.”
Liz glared sideways at Ghada, and her gaze was cold with disgust.
“I’ll never forgive you for taking advantage of a little girl. So I’m taking her with me. I don’t want you to start another war with her.”
Ghada shrugged his shoulders, muttering, “That’s harsh.”
And Hiro was the only one who noticed Mirue’s condition. From Hiro’s perspective, he could see Mirue’s mouth. Her mouth was bent into a crooked shape, looking sad, but she didn’t say anything, as if she felt that Liz was right. She’s a smart girl for her age, Hiro thought.
Hiro decided to go on with the conversation so as not to make the atmosphere any more awkward.
“Tris-san, please instruct the soldiers to take a rest.”
“Are you sure? The Principality of Lichtine may attack us.”
“It’s the other way around. If the rest of the army is resting and only the left-wing is alert, they will know that the chain of command has been disrupted and will attack us.”
“Mm… but if we’re not on alert, won’t they attack us even more?”
“It’s possible. If they are brave enough, they will charge at us, but this time the opponent seems to be a very calm person, so let’s buy some time by making them suspicious at best. Besides, as for the soldiers――let the horses get some rest.”
The fact that he had fought once to keep them in check also helped. If the Grantz’s army doesn’t make a move, they will be cautious. It was a miscalculation on General Kylo’s part to be reluctant to send out the reserve troops, but on the other hand, it was effective in raising the alertness of the opponent. When Tris was convinced, Hiro lightly tapped the swift dragon on the neck.
“Well then, I will be counting on you.”
“Mm. I’ve been entrusted with this task. Go and give General Kylo a good talking to!”
Tris slapped Hiro on the back as hard as he could. He decided to go for the main camp, coughing up the old-fashioned spirit.