And here’s another one sponsored by Patreon, enjoy~
“I want you to kill General Kylo and his followers who are leading the vanguard troops in the confusion of the melee. The details are on the paper.”
“…..This is insane.”
“If possible, it would be preferable if the entire vanguard unit was wiped out. In the meantime, I want to make sure they disappear.”
“May I ask why?”
“General Kylo has committed too many crimes. That’s why.”
“…..For burning down neighboring villages.”
“Did you know that?”
General Kylo’s report contained details of the looting of neighboring villages and even the names of the troops he was trying to get rewards from. So, in order to get rid of them quickly, Hiro made up the vanguard troops with the troops that did the looting.
“I’ve been commanding the Liberation Army, you know. Such information is readily available to me.”
“Then it’s easy to talk about. As for me――.”
Hiro smiled, but his eyes were not smiling. Hiro muttered to himself with a chill running down his spine.
“I’ve decided not to allow anyone to hurt innocent people.”
A brief moment of silence falls. A sigh escaped from his mouth as Ghada, eyes downcast, picked up a bottle of liquor.
“I think it’s better to take care of it yourself than to leave it to others.”
“As much as I’d like to, I’m afraid I’d get into trouble if I did it myself.”
General Kylo’s Nickle family is one of the most prestigious families in the southern nobility. If Hiro kills the family’s current head, there is a risk that the southern nobility will become enemies. Hiro doesn’t want to provoke them unnecessarily right now.
“Is it a hindrance if you punish him and let him live, or if you kill him with your own hands? So you’re going to let him die on the battlefield and then――sigh, I see… You’re going to put all the blame on General Kylo, aren’t you?”
“Well… that’s pretty much it.”
What Ghada said was not wrong. But that’s not the whole story.
The first thing to do is to have General Kylo bear all the blame for the war’s failure. By making him dead, the Nickle family’s position in the south will be jeopardized since they lost their leader. Then, Hiro could offer a helping hand to the weakened Nickle family and use them as puppets to gain control of the South.
“Can you cooperate with me on that?”
“…Fine. I’ll make sure their heads are cut off.”
As soon as Ghada said he was ready, he threw the bottle to Hiro.
“The next time, bring me a good bottle.”
Ghada lay down with his arms around the pillow. The conversation must be over now. As Hiro was about to leave the tent, Ghada remembered something and turned around to face him.
“I tried to fall asleep without a second thought, but am I going to be able to do that?”
“You can go on and rejuvenate yourself. Tomorrow you’ll have to work to your heart’s content.”
“I’ll take your word for it.”
Hiro went outside and called out to the soldiers on guard.
“Please don’t go inside until I arrive in the morning.”
Hiro then walked to his tent. On his way, a lightly armored infantryman ran up to him. He saluted Hiro and kneeled down, his breath coming in gasps as he spoke.
“We’ve captured the enemy’s secret intelligence, sir.”
“I understand. Please bring them to my tent.”
As he watched the soldiers leave, Hiro stopped in his tracks and looked up. The stars were shining in the night sky like jewels. The gentle moonlight shining on the ground made him feel warm even though he was under the cold sky.
Hiro let out a white breath and smiled gently.
“This is the one thing that will never change in a thousand years.”
The woman who had once spoken so passionately about the night sky flashed through his mind.
――In the midst of her confusion, a dream is born, and reality is colored.
She was a wise woman. She was like a goddess who was always thinking of her people.
――But the world will be filled with falsehoods, and the human race will live without knowing the truth.
The human race, which she loved so much, is now the most prosperous race in the world. The five major races are the human race, the ear-long race, the dwarf race, the demon race, and the beast race.
In addition, there are the three barbarian races called the Barbarians, and Alethia continues to swell. However, the signs of warfare that she lamented showed no signs of abating.
“There are many foolish kings in the world, and the heavens are not yet settled.”
That’s why, although it is a small light now, when it becomes a bright light, it will be pushed up to the sky, and the “Flame Princess” will be the sun that shines on all people. Hiro reached out his hand to the sky, and before long, the moon that decorated the night sky was covered by thick clouds.
“Until then, I will protect you so that no one will find you.”
The current Hiro didn’t have enough strength to do that. He could not accomplish this with his own military strategy. A thousand years ago, there were the Five Generals of the Black Sky and the Raven Army.
He was surrounded by excellent people. He was able to overcome any difficulties. The giant jaws that ate the heavens were able to swallow up the earth.
“I must have it again.”
Time of heaven, the advantage of earth, harmony of people. Everything is lacking. When she has all of them, she will be even more glorious.
Just as the full moon, shining brilliantly in the night sky when the darkness has cleared, rules the heavens with the stars, so she will rule the earth with the people. Hiro turned his eyes to Liz’s tent.
“Not too far in the future. But… now, there is no need to get caught up in unnecessary ties.”
As Hiro turned himself around, the hem of his black robe slapped the night air and made a loud noise. Returning to his tent, which was shaken by a cold wind, a strong wind roared as if a beast was howling outside.
Feeling the temperature dropping, Hiro grabbed The Black Princess Camelia’s collar and lifted her up, hoping that the cold air would be a bit better. Then a man was brought in. He wore a suit of armor that resembled the Fourth Emperor’s Army’s armor, but it was completely different and an elaborate imitation. If it had been daytime, one would have noticed the oddity, but now that the sun had set, it was impossible to tell the difference.
“You’re an intelligence agent of the Principality of Lichtine, aren’t you?”
The man did not answer Hiro’s question, but the soldier next to him nodded instead. He put his elbows on the chair and rested his chin on his hands. Hiro observed the man carefully. What he read in the man’s demeanor was a death-defying expression――a look of mastery.
“By the looks of it, you are loyal to the Principality of Lichtine, aren’t you?”
Hiro picked up a pouch from the pile on his desk. He held up one of the pouches and showed it to him.
“It contains Grantz gold coins. I don’t think you will have to work for two years with this.”
“…What do you mean?”
“Don’t worry. I’m not trying to bribe you. I just wanted to reward you for your loyalty.”
Hiro threw the pouch, and it hit the man in the chest. The contents scattered to the ground with a loud clang.
“You can take it and return to report. And give my regards to the general over there.”
His smile deepened, and Hiro rose from his chair, approaching the spy and placing a hand on his shoulder.
“That doesn’t mean you should just go… and say yes, so I’ll give you some information as well. You don’t have to go to the trouble of checking out the Fourth Imperial Army’s positions. I’ll tell you what you want to know.”
“…What are you planning?”
“Believe it or not, it’s up to you. You can believe whatever you want.”
Hiro sat down on the spot and kept his voice low.
“We are going to launch a night raid towards you. That is why we have fifteen hundred camel cavalry outside. Also, the Fourth Imperial Army is more fatigued than you thought, so if they attack at night, they won’t be able to fight. That’s why we’re giving them a break to make it look like they’re under heavy guard.”
In front of the dumbfounded spy, Hiro picked up the Grantz gold coins one by one and put them back into the pouch.
“When you report back, don’t say you heard it from me, or you’ll arouse suspicion… Oh, and if you want, you can check out our camp for as long as time allows. That way, you can trust that I’m telling the truth.”
Shoving the pouch into the spy’s pocket, Hiro sat back in his chair.
“Let him go, please.”
The soldier choked out with a surprised expression when I sent the order flying.
“A-are you sure, sir? We should just kill him here…”
“I don’t mind. Just because I don’t have eyes doesn’t mean I’m going to let you touch him. Please escort him out of the camp.”
A soldier with a bowed head mouthed the words “Follow me” and led the spy outside.
Hiro sat deep in his chair and waited for the next spy to be brought in.
“What do you have in mind?”
The one who appeared without a sound was a staff officer who had been neglected by General Kylo――a second-grade military officer named Driks.
Hiro’s eyes were filled with suspicion as he glanced sideways at the figure. It’s not clear to Hiro that Driks’ skill as a bureaucrat is to hide his presence and blend in with the darkness that hovers around the four corners of the tent.
Above all, he is too loyal. He is acting without any doubt about what Hiro has said. The fact that Hiro’s a descendant of the second emperor is almost too much of an excuse.
However, Hiro replied, trying not to let him know that he had such doubts.
“It’s too difficult to bribe that spy, so it would be a shame to kill him.”
“I don’t see any problem in killing him. We still have three men in custody.”
“That would reduce the number. If Marquis Ranquille over there is to believe their reports, the more, the merrier.”
“Fumu… but what will you do if you make them believe you? Marquis Ranquille may see an opportunity and attack.”
“I’ve made preparations for that, and I need them to attack. So, all we need to do is breathe the same words to the rest of the spy. Oh, but――there will be only one sacrifice… well, I guess it’s the same thing since they will all end up the same in the end.”
There was a short pause for thought, and then Driks seemed to be convinced.
“So… you’re trying to sow suspicion on Marquis Ranquille?”
“If there is a discrepancy in the report, a cautious person will feel uncomfortable and try to confirm it.”
Hiro stroked his eye patch and looked at Driks.
“What would you think if all three of them said the same thing and only one of them said something different?”
“…I would suspect that they have been taken in by the enemy.”
“And that’s where this becomes important.”
Hiro turned to the three small pouches on his desk.
“What if you found gold coins in the pocket of the spy?”
“If it were me, I’d chop off their heads. But there are times when you need to hide things. Above all, what would you do if they were clean? They could just throw it away on the way back to the camp.”
“That’s why I made them obsessed with life. Those who are prepared to die will feel secure in the knowledge that they are alive. This can lead to an unbearable attachment to this world. Giving them gold coins would be even more effective. It’s too much money to hide somewhere or throw away, so they’ll probably keep it with them.”
“The same goes for the opposite…”
“Exactly. The result is the same either way. In addition, the Principality of Lichtine is on the brink of extinction. Even if they win against us, there will be nothing but uncertainty in the future. With that in mind, they won’t be throwing away any gold coins.”
He may ask questions, but he will not deny them. He’s getting a lot out of Hiro and putting it into his head. It can be said that he is passionate about his work, but that is hardly the only reason.
Hiro muttered to Driks, who was lying face down in thought, with a disturbed look on his face.
“Second class military officer Driks.”
“What is it?”
”――Can you bring the next person to me?”
There is not enough time or evidence to question him here. Hiro just has to let him swim until the time comes.
“Also, would you please ask someone to bring the swift dragon to me?”
Driks saluted and walked out.
(I have a pretty good idea who’s behind him. There’s no problem in leaving him alone for now.)
Hiro sighed heavily and rested his body on the back of the chair. The morale of the opponents had bottomed out during the daytime battle. There must be deserters by now. Now all he had to do was to push the hesitant enemy soldiers back and reduce their numbers.
The war will be over when General Kylo and his followers are eliminated in tomorrow’s battle.
“Yeah, I’ll have to send word to them, too.”
They should be here by now. This is the plan he had in mind when he came here. It’s finally time for it to see the light of day.
“The end is near.”
Stroking his eye patch, Hiro looked at the entrance to the tent.