Here’s the epilogue sponsored by Patreon, enjoy~
Under the fresh and green sky, a line of people and horses were marching through the hot desert. Their faces were all radiant, their hearts filled with thoughts of their distant homeland.
September 4th, 1023rd year of the Empire’s calendar, the Fourth Imperial Army was on its way home.
Various military flags were displayed in several places. The most conspicuous were probably the banners of the sixth princess and the fourth prince. Underneath those military flags, the royal family of the Great Grantz Empire was present.
“…I hope Cerberus is doing well.”
Said Liz, the red-haired princess who was on horseback.
“I hope he’s not sulking. Should I buy him something?”
The fourth prince, Hiro, is riding alongside her.
“I’ve never been away for more than a month before, so I don’t know how to handle it.”
Liz’s bewilderment was short-lived, and her smile quickly became florid.
“But I think it will be okay. I’ve been trying to keep Cerberus occupied for a while now.”
“…What did you do?”
“I’ve appointed him as the commander of the Fort Berg until I return.”
“…..Eh, Cerberus is the temporary commander?”
“Yeah. He seemed happier than I thought.”
“No, a commander is not just a decoration; it’s a job.”
“I’ve sent a letter to my uncle about it. He will take care of the paperwork.”
“That’s a relief… No, I don’t think that’s a good thing, though.”
He has a lot of sympathy for Kiork, but he loves his niece like his own daughter, so maybe it’s not so hard for him. The problem is Tris, for that matter. It was the role of an aide to stop Liz from running amok. What was he doing? He asked accusingly.
“Cerberus-dono is a fine commander. I’ve never known an animal with as much spirit as he does.”
“…Is that so?”
He is indeed a spirited animal. Hiro thought to himself. But Tris is a little too tolerant of Cerberus, which is a problem.
“Haha, I see you’re having a hard time.”
The second-grade officer Driks joined the conversation, laughing.
“Rest assured. I will be with you from now on. I’m very good at paperwork.”
As Hiro was about to open his mouth, Tris happily pulled his horse closer to Driks.
“That’s reassuring! I’m counting on you!”
A strong slap was delivered to Driks back.
“No, unfortunately, I’m not very good at paperwork. Most of the paperwork was done by His Highness Hiro, and I felt bad about that.”
Not most of it, but all of it. Hiro was tempted to shout, but he bottled up just in time.
“U-um, he has a higher rank than you. Why do you sound so familiar with him…?”
“Do you have a taste for alcohol?”
“What do you mean, more importantly―.”
“What do you think?”
Driks leaned back with a stern look on his face.
“W-well, I’m not a drinker, but…”
“Then, when we get back to Fort Berg, we’ll have a welcome back party and drink it all up.”
Tris’s laughter was carried away by the wind. Liz looked on happily, and Hiro put his hand to his forehead as if he had a headache.
“I need a civil servant…”
A large shadow fell on Hiro, who looked down.
“One-Eyed Dragon, what’s going on with Mirue?”
When he looked up, he saw Ghada.
“There is no problem with that. There is a village on the way back to the city, so I will send an escort to take her there.”
Hiro added, looking at Ghada’s still worried expression.
“Oh, and if you’re afraid of her identity being discovered, don’t worry about that either. I’ll have Liz select someone trustworthy for her, so you can rest assured.”
“Are you sure it will be okay?”
“Of course. From now on, her village ― Suresh Village ― will be part of the Empire’s territory. The number of bandits and monsters will be reduced, and since Fort Berg is close by, we’ll be able to rush there immediately if anything happens.”
When Hiro heard that Mirue was from Suresh Village, he realized the true nature of his strange feeling when he saw her.
Suresh Village was the village that Hiro had saved from bandits before joining the Fourth Imperial Army. Even though he had defeated the bandits, the good man who had provided supplies to the unknown man was Mirue’s father, the village chief, Kukri.
“And yet, you’re even more of a worrier than I thought.”
“If I may say so myself, I’ve put herself in a lot of danger, but I want to make sure that Mirue gets back to her parents safely. I want her to live a peaceful life without anyone knowing who she is.”
Ghada looked behind her. There was a carriage with Mirue in it.
“I thank you for providing her with a carriage.”
This heat is too much for a young girl, and staying on horseback for long periods of time is nothing short of torture.
“You don’t have to worry about it. You owe me one.”
Hiro chuckled. Mirue is the daughter of his benefactor. There was no way he was going to treat her badly.
“So, what should I do now?”
Ghada posed the question. He had nowhere to go.
He was a demon from a southern island nation, the Southern Archipelago. Currently, the southern archipelago seems to be in a state of chronic conflict. It has entered a period of warfare with dozens of lords vying for supremacy. Among them, Ghada seems to have been the ruler of several subdivisions. Still, he was defeated in a battle against a powerful ruler. While he was trying to revive himself, his subordinates betrayed him, and he ended up dying.
He thought he was going to die, but when he woke up, he was drifting to the Principality of Lichtine. There, he saw the current situation of the slaves and set up a new ambition under Mirue’s leadership, but he was defeated here as well, and here he is now.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”
Even though he has lost the knowledge he gained as the lord of the country, and his magic sword, his fighting ability as a warrior is beyond reproach. Since he defeated the Prince of Lichtine, his command of the troops will not be a problem.
“Well, don’t worry, I won’t do anything bad to you.”
“I don’t think so looking at your face…”
Leaving a sullen look on his face, Ghada moved back to the rear carriage.
Hiro, who showed a bitter smile, looks forward. He thought of the great imperial capital in the far distance.
(I’ll be invited soon. I wonder what they’ll make me do next…)
When he thought about it, he felt depressed. If he couldn’t solve the problems that were being thrust upon him, the people who thought less of Hiro would surely blame him for it.
But a part of himself enjoys scheming about how to overcome this.
(I have to be careful not to get too worked up. It’s a bad habit of mine.)
The only thing he can do is to make achievements and move up the ladder. As a soldier, his rank is 3rd class military officer. Although he has the title of the fourth prince, it is still unstable. The road to his ultimate goal is long. He has only just reached the starting point.
(Speaking of which…)
Hiro suddenly remembered and took out a single card from his pocket. It was handed to him by the first Emperor Altius before he returned to Earth. At first, it was white and plain, but now it was blackened about a third.