Shinwa Densetsu No Eiyuu No Isekaitan – Vol 8 Chapter 3 Part 3

It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (117/126), enjoy~

ED: Lonely-matter



Part 3

 

15th June, 1026th year of the imperial calendar.

Steichen Republic ― Garza, Nidavellir territory.

It was not long after dawn.

The normally quiet place is dominated by the noise of a battlefield.

The ground shook violently as 3,500 troops ran through the streets, and drops of morning dew slid off the leaves and were absorbed into the ground. Startled by the sound of roaring horseshoes, birds flew out of the trees, and animals that had been hiding in the shadows of the grass jumped up and scattered in all directions at once.

Hiro sat up, watching the scene from afar. The blanket, still warm from his body heat, slid down his body to the floor.

Rubbing his drowsy eyes, he looked around the carriage and saw Luca wrapped in a blanket and sleeping with her back curled up like a cat. Next to her, Hugin was sleeping with a pained expression on her face, as if she was having a nightmare. The cause of this was probably Luca’s arms entangled around her neck.

“…Why is Hugin here?”

She should have been undercover in the city of Garza. Moreover, if he was not mistaken, before bedtime ― when he changed to the current large carriage ― Hugin was not in sight.

“She joined us before daybreak. She seemed tired, so I let her rest in the carriage. I have received the report. Now what?”

Perhaps hearing Hiro’s mutterings, Ghada peeked into the carriage through the coachman’s window.

“No, I’ll ask Hugin directly after she wakes up. And what about Munin?”

“He is holding the reins next to me. I told him to rest in the carriage, but he can’t sleep in the presence of his natural enemy. Thus, he is doing his best in his tiredness.”

“If I go near Luca-neesan, she’s very likely to beat me up…”

It was Munin who followed Ghada with a voice that contained a lot of fatigue.

“If I am not careful, I will be asleep forever.”

Hiro nodded sincerely. Apparently, Luca was not convinced that Munin was Hugin’s brother. He was not sure if she was joking or serious, but she tried to turn him into a dead man at every turn.

“Well, I don’t think she’ll kill you, though, due to Hugin’s presence.”

As Hiro bit back a sore remark and replied, he heard Munin’s small gasp.

Next to him, Ghada was smiling a little.

“That’s enough tormenting Munin. I’m glad you woke up just in time. The city of Garza is in sight.”

“Phew, finally, the long journey is over… I miss my bed at Baum,” said Munin.

Hiro opened his mouth again as he stretched his upper body with his arms raised above his head.

“Right. When we get to Garza, Munin can rest for a while.”

“Eh, Your Majesty, seriously?”

“I don’t think we’ll be moving for a while. While we wait and see what happens, you can take your time and get your strength back.”

“Alright, alright, incoming, incoming, I will spend some time in the tavern! I found a nice bar. They have delicious mead, and the dancers are cute. The bard’s voice is so bitter that it makes my heart tremble. Though the occasional brawl can be a pain in the ass!”

“Just do it in moderation…”

Munin was usually aloof, but it was rare to see him burst with joy like this. Perhaps he had been up all night too long, and his thought process was disorganized.

“But anyway, how are the soldiers doing?”

“The Raven Army should be fine. We have marched for three days and three nights without sleep.”

During the day and a half from the border to here, Hiro and his group had never built an encampment. They have marched without a single break. This was also due to the elected army that surrounds the “Raven Army.” It seemed that the elected army didn’t want Hiro and the others to get a wink of sleep. It could be called insidious harassment, but in a sense, it was becoming a battle of endurance since they, too, were marching on without a wink of sleep.

“I don’t remember them resenting me that much.”

Hiro tilted his hand around his neck.

“Ah… that guy. That is because of that commander named Torkil. Ever since then, they seem to hate the “humans,” and it is rumored that Torkil was the first to agree to the damming of the Zahle River.”

Hiro snorted in agreement with Munin’s explanation.

“If it was a revenge thing… a revenge for the murder of a family member, I could understand it.”

“Even the “Dwarves” have a lot of self-esteem. If it’s an elected army, that’s even more so. So, once you damage their honor, it can be troublesome. Even if it is a grudge, they will not forget it until they die, even if it is against their own people.”

Even in a bar, when they were like that ― as Munin said, their tongues moved a lot. The words seemed to flow out of them endlessly, and it was almost impossible to keep from listening to them.

Against the backdrop of Munin’s strangely uplifting list, Hiro looked out the window at the city of Garza.

First of all, he was overwhelmed by the high city walls. The walls were so far up in the sky that even if you looked up over your head, you could not see the top without the back of your head touching the ground.

The walls of the great imperial capital are also high, but even compared to them, these were overwhelmingly tall.

“As expected of a city built by Dwarves… it is difficult to attack.”

Invaders would be discouraged from attempting to conquer the city just by looking at these high walls.

The siege towers do not reach the breastworks, and ladders are out of the question.

Even if they tried to attack the walls, they would not be able to smash the thickly piled-up walls as hard as the earth, even if they used stone-throwers, balanced-weight stone-throwers, or giant crossbows. Even if they aimed at the gates with castle-breaking hammers, a huge number of fire arrows would surely fly from the watchtowers built at the top.

“There is also the option of hiring talented “Dwarves” to build new siege weapons or be on the safe side, laying siege and starving the people inside.”

A full-scale attack would be a long-term battle with a large military force. It would not be possible to crush them with a half-hearted effort.

“No, a water invasion would also be effective because of the proximity of the Zahle River.”

If the country had enough money, it could hire people from the surrounding area, borrow slaves from the Principality of Lichtine, and carry out civil engineering work to draw water, and it will soon be an isolated island on land.

“Even so, it would be a waste to destroy it, considering the future governance of the country. It would be better to create an infiltrator and let the city collapse from within so that it can be reused.”

As he devises one scheme after another, Hiro continues to dive alone into the sea of his thoughts.

“The trouble is that we have to assume a long-term battle.”

“Why are you assuming that you are on the offensive?”

Luca, who had been awake for some time, looked at Hiro with a haggard gaze.

“Oh, no, I was looking at the ramparts and felt as if I was being provoked to try to conquer them. Above all, isn’t it a man’s romance to climb over such high ramparts and crush the enemy?”

“Only you would reach such disturbing ramblings.”

Still holding the sleeping Hugin from behind, Luca threw sharp words at Hiro.

No ― Hugin was awake and asked Hiro for help with her thin eyes. She seemed to be unable to swallow the situation of being hugged by Luca and pretended to be asleep due to fear.

As Hiro smiled at her, Ghada again peeked out of the window.

“It seems that only the elected army will lead the way from here on out. We were told to leave the “Raven Army” behind, except for about ten cavalry escorts.”

“We will accept their request. I’ll leave it to Ghada to sort out the guards. The rest of the men will set up camp and stand by.”

“Understood.”

Even if it was only 500, the army of another country might not be willing to let them enter the city. This was in case any problems arose, and since all countries are similar in this respect, there was no discomfort. However, since they had built such a wall, it would have been nice to see them show some tolerance rather than setting a limit of 10 cavalrymen to enter the castle.

“Well, whatever the case, I am glad that we could get inside so easily.”

Hiro laughed eerily deep inside his mask.

Luca saw this and looked out the window with a snort.

The main gate, which was fitted to bore through the overwhelming city walls, revealed a stone city. Most of the buildings were made of piled stones, and the stumpy, massive buildings came into view.

“…I guess I’ll have to retract my previous comment. This looks like an easy place to conquer.”

Hiro, observing the city, muttered something, but Luca did not respond, as if her interest     was not there.

Still, the strange sight seemed to have aroused her curiosity.

“There are a lot of ‘Dwarves’ here.”

“The country used to be mainly populated by “Dwarves.” Even so, most of them must have been half-human.”

However, there are no other races in sight. The town was full of “Dwarves,” and the atmosphere was not lively enough for the home of the Nidavellir faction.

“No wonder there are so many blacksmiths, and it smells greasy.”

“It is said that everything they make is of first-class quality. When a master craftsman reforges a weapon, it is said to be comparable to a spirit weapon. There are even stories that they are as good as spirit weapons.”

Hiro then pointed to the stalls lining the street.

“And you see, when they polish the glass, it shines like a jewel.”

“…..That’s quite a feat, isn’t it?”

The stall’s wares glowed like a kaleidoscope of colors in the sunlight, but they were absorbed by Luca’s stagnant eyes and disappeared into the darkness. It seems that even the technology of the “Dwarves” was unable to make her eyes shine.

“There seem to be a lot of empty houses. And all the stores on the streets seem to be run by the Dwarves.”

“It seems certain that other races are marginalized. The people who set up a store here must be related to the “elected army” or something.”

Several stores had been cruelly destroyed in the streaming landscape. Traces of dried blood could also be seen. Whether it was looting by soldiers or a public uprising due to discrimination, either way, it is clear that a tragic event took place.

“War can create suspicion, but it can also create unity. But in the Steichen Republic, which is a multicultural country, the former aspect seems to have been more pronounced.”

Many of the stalls were selling shiny items, perhaps for tourists. However, no one was buying them, and the stalls were deserted. Also, the variety of goods began to change with each passing street. Weapons, armor, tea utensils, tableware, ornaments, and household goods are widely available.

However, if no one was to buy them, they are no different from stones lying on the roadside.

“There are a lot of wooden buildings around here. And they look gloomy.”

The carriage had left the street and was now driving down a slightly rougher road.

Around them was a series of what appeared to be wooden row houses where the people lived. They were in the process of being torn down.

It seemed to be the center of the town, but as one might expect, the only people outside were “Dwarves.”

“…Perhaps the city is being built with the war in mind. The areas close to the city walls are made of stone so that they will not burn even if shot with fire arrows.”

“I don’t think there is anyone who can hit a fire arrow that can get over that wall…?”

“It’s impossible for humans, but there’s only one race that can do it.”

“Oh… those muddy guys… Surely those Beastman could do it.”

The western side of the Steichen Republic was mainly occupied by the “Beastman.” And the Jotunheim faction, which the Nidavellir faction opposed, belonged to the west side, which was naturally dominated by the “Beastman.” With their amazing physical strength, they could easily shoot arrows to overcome the wall.

“But it is surprising that they have regained power after being persecuted to such an excessive degree. The necklace of the first emperor is only effective against other races.”

“If “other races” are an object of contempt for the Nidavellir camp, being told that you are a descendant of the first emperor is a reason to dislike you but not a reason to support you. In fact, there is a strong possibility that the number of people who are hostile to the emperor will increase.

“It seems there was less backlash due to the intervention of other countries.”

Hugin, who had given up pretending to be asleep, explained.

“Utgarde, who represents the Nidavellir camp, seems to have bribed senators to support him and strengthen the unity of the camp.”

Many people in other countries worship the first emperor of the Great Grantz Empire. If he could attract their interest, it would be easy to get them to aid him. Then, if the money raised could be distributed among the greedy and influential, there would be few who would have second thoughts.

“As you saw in the city earlier, it seems that they have strengthened their ranks by forcibly conscripting other races and rebellious people. Those who resisted were thoroughly oppressed, and those who still refused to obey were executed, along with their families, by the elected army.”

However, executions were carried out in the early days, and today, families were being held hostage and forced to obey. Some of the Nidavellir senators were “Dwarves” who had grown tired of Utgarde because of the inhumane nature of the executions, and many of them supported the Jotunheim faction, but they too were forced to comply because their families had been taken hostage.

“No mercy for one’s own kind is… the worst possible outcome for those obsessed with power.”

It is not the “Dwarves” who have corrupted this country. It is the privileged class of the elected army ― and Utgarde beyond them ― that was the root of all evil.

“There’s nothing more annoying than a dictator with his wits about him… it is truly incomprehensible.”

By using the prestige of the first emperor to attract the attention of the nations and to subdue those who rebelled by force, the Nidavellir faction was able to force its way back to power.

(But the politics of fear does not last long. It always breaks down at some point. What follows repeated purges is the collapse of a culture, the decline of a nation, and its destruction.)

But the Jotunheim faction was still resisting. If they could prevail over the Nidavellir faction, the Steichen Republic would avoid collapse and start over.

“Utgarde also let the Wise Brother into the country easily because he thinks a new financial supporter has appeared. If he invites Wise Brother as a comrade, the neighboring countries will also move to help him. He really is a very disgusting man.”

Hugin’s prediction would not be wrong.

The Nidavellir camp must have invited Hiro with that intention from the beginning.

“Wise brother… You won’t be a part of the Nidavellir camp, will you?”

Hugin’s eyes were filled with anxiety. She probably knew that she didn’t have to ask, but she still asked the question, probably because she knew of Hiro, who was adamant about the first emperor.

As Hiro shifted his gaze, he saw Luca hugging Hugin from behind, exerting silent pressure on him. After giving a wry smile to Luca, who was glaring at him, Hiro opened his mouth with a friendly air.

“You can rest assured. I have no intention of lending a hand to the Nidavellir camp. Even if this Utgarde is a descendant of the first emperor.”

“T-that’s a relief to hear!”

Hugin’s happy smile blossomed, and Luca’s murderous intent fizzled out along with it.

“I would like you to find out the whereabouts of those who are being held hostage. We can’t release them unless we know where they are being held.”

“I understand. I will tell my men to look into it, along with the true identity of the descendants of the first emperor.”

“I’m counting on you.”

When Hiro nodded his head in satisfaction.

“Hah――”

“Good for you, Eagle.”

“Hoee!?”

Hugin tried to reply cheerfully, but for some reason, Luca pushed her down on the floor and began to rub her cheeks. The tension that had been building up until a few minutes ago vanished without a trace.

Hiro’s gaze turned away from the flirtatious girls and upward to the coachman’s window.

A huge palace with the sky in the background jumped into his eyes.

It was a magnificent structure made of large trees and rocks, like sculptures. Around the low white walls surrounding the palace, a large number of soldiers were patrolling, perhaps in preparation for a riot.

The soldiers guarding the iron gates were signaled to open them with a heavy thud.

The carriage of Hiro and the others drove off down the open road without any hesitation.

When the entrance to the palace came into view, a crowd of people had gathered. Everyone was dressed as if they were wealthy.

The place shone with a vulgar light as if to say that the wealth of the world had gathered here.

“Jewelry is also very selective. When they wear them, those jewels become cloudy like stones on the roadside.”

As Hiro was thinking this, Munin, who was sitting next to Ghada, peeked in through the window frame provided.

“Your Majesty, it looks like they are senators from the Nidavellir faction and some influential people from the neighborhood.”

“How spare they look, after being pushed around by the Jotunheim camp until recently!”

“It seems that the more power-hungry “Dwarves” become, the more they like to adorn themselves. It is rumored that they have lost their pride and have forgotten how to fight. There is an underground tavern in the city where the persecuted gather, and it seems that even the “Dwarves” who are not in the “elected army” don’t think well of the Nidavellir camp.”

Then Munin let out a small groan and then hummed a song.

“Nidavellir has lost its pride, adorning itself with jewelry instead of oil, counting gold coins with its hammering right hand and grasping jewelry with its left hand that holds a pair of tinder chopsticks. It is a trick they can perform because they do not know the lives of those who live in the lower classes. How unafraid they were to sing at the top of their lungs!”

Munin wiggled his reddened cheeks in embarrassment, but such gestures were not cute when made by a strong man with a face full of scars. Perhaps feeling the same way as Hiro, Hugin’s face turned pale when she saw her brother’s embarrassed face. Luca even began to emit miasma.

“…It’s appalling that even though people hate it that much, it doesn’t get any better.”

Hiro said it in a roundabout way, including a warning to Munin, but he was humming the words without meaning.

“Even if you call them ‘Dwarves,’ most of them are half-human, half-beastman. The privileged class system, which only collects pure blood, is too old-fashioned. In fact, there seems to be little racial discrimination among the commoners.”

“Well, then, let’s include that in our use, shall we?”

As Hiro was lost in thought, the carriage stopped at an inopportune moment.

As soon as the door was opened, the sun was shining strongly.

When Hiro quietly stepped outside, he was greeted by a group of “Dwarves.”

“Oh, His Majesty the Black Dragon King, our old ally! You have risen to save your friends from peril and have come here to defend the old pact!”

The voice echoes with exaggerated movements as if it were theatrical. Coupled with their flamboyant appearance, it was as if they were performing a vaudeville show.

The representative of the “Dwarves” came forward and kneeled down on one knee with his hand on his stomach.

“It is my first time meeting you. I am Utgarde, Lord of Garza. And I am a descendant of His Majesty Altius, the first emperor of the Great Grantz Empire.”

Hiro showed his disgust by adding a wrinkle to the bridge of his nose, which was hidden by his mask.

 

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