It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (29/65), enjoy~
Looking down at the collapsed Puppchen, Hiro kicked him in the leg and rolled him over onto his back. He then pulled the sword from his waist and sat down on his back.
“Let’s get him to wake up, shall we?”
Hiro spun the hilt of his sword around, held it upside down, and swung it down with great force. The tip of the sword pierced the back of Puppchen’s hand and buried itself deep into the ground.
“Aah? Wh-wha ― Gyaahh!?”
Hiro grabbed Puppchen by the hair and slammed his face into the ground, causing his nose to bleed vigorously.
“Tell me more about the sixth princess. If you lie or anything, it would hurt you more than now.”
“Hyiuuu, hyiuu, stop it.”
“Keep it short; I don’t have much time.”
“I-I did capture the sixth princess, but since she’s the princess of the Grantz Empire, I had to take good care of her.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense. I heard that the Third Prince Blutar asked to see her to confirm her safety, but you refused.”
“T-that’s because the conditions were bad! I was afraid that he would take her back. She was important for me to negotiate with.”
“So, where is she now?”
“She was taken by the Felzen remnants. They’re not human; they’re demons. You never know what they will do to the sixth princess. That’s why I refused to hand her over to them, but I couldn’t resist when they used their strange powers.”
“The woman uses a strange spear. She can freeze things around her and manipulate the weather to make it rain spears.”
“Heh, that’s an unusual woman.”
What exactly is this woman, and how can she even control the weather…? The only thing he remembers from his memory is a single spear.
(…And since she can freeze things, it must be the Ice Emperor.)
He thought it was the Five Demon Emperor’s Sword, the Blue Demon, but it was a double-edged sword, not a spear. If so, it must be one of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword, the Ice Emperor.
It is not surprising that the spirit sword would choose a person from another country since spirits are originally the protectors of humans, although he did not think that they would have left the Grantz Empire.
(The Grantz Empire is only favored by the Spirit King among the humans.)
“Moreover, the woman is a survivor of the Felzen royal family.”
“That’s a troublesome owner indeed.”
In the past, the Ice Emperor has been a bit of an oddity, but it makes sense that he would go out of his way to favor a person from an enemy country… The Ice Emperor is the most eccentric of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword.
“That woman hated the Grantz imperial family. If you think about the safety of the sixth princess, you’d better help her as soon as possible. Unlike me, she will not be kind.”
“How was Liz when you handed her over to the Felzen remnants?”
“I tried to be as hospitable as possible, but it seems that the life of a prisoner of war was painful for the princess, who had lived a life of luxury. She demanded a lot of things and abused me.”
“I see… I understand.”
Hiro nodded and pulled the sword out of Puppchen’s right hand. Puppchen moaned as if in pain, but his expression was somewhat relieved. Hiro saw this with his icy eyes and stabbed the sword into his left hand with renewed vigor.
“Aah ― Hyiaaaaa!?”
“I can tell that you’re lying.”
“W-where’s your proof? I’m not lying!”
“Liz lives a life of luxury? You don’t know what she’s going through, so don’t speak nonsense about her.”
Hiro released a chilling voice and twisted the handle to increase the pain.
“When she was chosen as the Flame Emperor, many people approached her to take advantage of her. But they soon abandoned her, and she was left with only two aides and a wolf.”
Being chosen as one of the wielders of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword has given her a checkered life. If the Flame Emperor had not chosen her, she would have lived a happy life as an imperial princess. She would have never had to train, go to war, or be taken prisoner.
“Do you think that those who work hard in secret do not get rewarded?”
She never ignored her own shortcomings, and even though she suffered many setbacks, she never ran away from her lonely suffering.
Liz was always looking forward. She never complained, never stopped smiling, and never stopped trying.
“Don’t insult her like that.”
Hiro pulled the sword out of Puppchen’s hand again and pointed the tip of the sword at the back of his head.
“What have you done to Liz? If I find you lying, I will have your head smashed in immediately.”
“Hurry up. An army led by your brother is on its way here. We don’t have enough strength left to deal with them. So, if you tell me the truth, I will not take your life. I’ll take you as a prisoner of war and hand you over after I’ve negotiated with Hunthaven-dono.”
“Of course. That’s why I want you to answer honestly.”
In order to reassure him, Hiro smiled and gave Puppchen a gentle pat on the shoulder. Then Puppchen sighed deeply and started to talk about it.
“In order to test the power of the Five Emperors’ blessings, I had to try various things. I didn’t know how far it would react, so I started by throwing small stones and then changing their size. Towards the end, as the power of the blessing weakened, her nails――.”
“But I never laid a finger on her! That’s the truth! I swear it!”
Hiro swung his sword down with powerful force. The tip of the sword stabbed into the ground, cutting Puppchen’s cheek slightly.
“Since you’ve been so honest with me, I’ll take you as my prisoner.”
Hiro stood up and backed away from Puppchen’s back.
“I-I appreciate it. Thank you so much!”
With tears and snot staining his face, Puppchen clung to Hiro’s legs.
“I don’t need your flimsy thanks. I’m going to have to restrain you for now.”
Okay? Puppchen nodded several times vigorously as he asked for consent. Then the soldiers, under Hiro’s orders, began to tie Puppchen up with rope.
Among them was Hugin. She was glaring at Puppchen without hiding her anger.
“It’s disgusting that someone like you is still alive.”
Hugin swore, and Puppchen lifted the edge of his mouth.
“Can you tie me up a little more gently? And treat me; I’m festering.”
Hiro, who had been quietly watching the exchange between the two, told Munin, who was nearby, to get the swift dragon.
“Okay, I’ll go get it right away.”
As Munin disappeared into the crowd of soldiers, Ghada came to replace him.
“Most of the Dral army has fled. We don’t need to pursue them, do we?”
“Yes. Now that we know where Liz is, let’s head for Felzen.”
“And you’re going to let that man live?”
Ghada pointed to Puppchen, who was being treated for his wounds.
“I will. I’m a man of my word.”
Garda had been giving him an observant look, but finally, he looked convinced.
“So we’ll just stick to the plan then?”
“Yes. I want all the wounded to go to General Bakish.”
“Understood. I’ll send instructions to the commanders.”
After watching his back, Hiro approached Puppchen, who was bound by ropes.
“We are going to the Felzen region. I would like you to follow me as my prisoner.”
“What? Then contact my brother at once. I will have him prepare a ransom――.”
Before Puppchen could finish, Hiro motioned with his hand for him to shut up.
“We can’t afford to take too long. It’s going to be a forced march.”
“Hiro-sama, I’ve brought the swift dragon here.”
Munin returned to Hiro’s side.
As soon as the swift dragon next to him spotted Hiro, it rubbed its head against Hiro’s chest.
“Also, Puppchen-dono, unfortunately, your horse is not ready.”
“T-then let’s negotiate further――.”
After seeing the look on Hiro’s face as he stroked the dragon’s neck, Puppchen couldn’t say another word.
“Yes. After we returned from the Felzen region.”
Hiro smiled cheerfully and picked up a piece of rope that had fallen to the ground. The end of the rope connects to Puppchen. He tied the rope to the neck of the dragon.
“Now, run as fast as you can.”
He approached the stiffening Puppchen and lightly tapped him twice on the shoulder.
“If you’re still alive, I’ll release you.”
Puppchen’s face turned blue with despair when he saw Hiro smiling cruelly at him.