Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 2 – Roar In Silence
August 15th, 1026th year of the Imperial Calendar.
At the border of the Felzen region, the keystone of the Great Grantz Empire ― Fort Delisha.
Aura, the deputy commander who was currently acting in Liz’s place until she arrived, was here.
The silver-tinted bangs swayed with a troubled exhale. Her leaden eyes, which contained an earnest gleam, moved busily. These two features gave others a cold impression of her, but if anyone observed her closely, they would be impressed by her well-defined features.
Her bangs are trimmed over her eyebrows, and her large eyes were adorable and made one want to protect her like a small animal. Her petite and slender figure, combined with her delicate appearance, highlighted her loveliness and revealed her charm to the fullest. It was a miracle that she had this body shape even though she was nineteen years old.
In other words, two years have not allowed her to grow.
She still had dreams of growing up, but now that her growth spurt has passed, she had no choice but to give up. However, no one could give such cruel advice to Aura, who was one of the close aides of the sixth princess, known as the next emperor, and who continued to make remarkable progress.
The room she was given in Fort Delisha was a modest one.
It consists of a bed, a desk, a chair, and three chairs for visitors.
There was also a large, gaudy bookshelf set up against the wall. Most of the books were related to the “God of War,” whom she dearly adored.
In such a strange room, there was a visitor ― a woman who was a survivor of the Felzen royal family.
“I received a call from one of my men…”
Haran Skaaha de Felzen.
She was a beautiful woman, about eighteen or nineteen years of age.
Her blue-green hair was silky and shiny, and her hair was tied back in a bun. Her eyes and nose are as delicate as glass work, and her porcelain-white skin was so gorgeous and elegant that it seemed as if it would shatter if touched. Her thin, slender limbs are wrapped in heavy armor, and she exuded a bleak, distorted atmosphere of purity and tranquility. The mixture of the sex appeal she has acquired over the past two years further enhanced the pure charm of a war goddess.
“Aura-dono…? Are you listening?”
Aura’s face remained down, and Skaaha, wondering why there was no response, moved even closer.
Then, noticing the book in Aura’s hand, she put her hands on her hips in amazement.
“You’ve been reading the “Black Book” again. You really never get tired of it, do you…?”
“…I’m in a very good part right now.”
“I see… it’s the battle between the God of War and Hydra, one of the Demon Lords, huh?”
She had heard this many times. The battle against Hydra was one of Aura’s favorite stories.
Skaaha was brainwashed and told about it so many times to the point that she could hardly listen to it anymore and thus had memorized everything about it.
“…Hydra tried to humiliate the “God of War” and failed. The “God of War” was better than him, after all.”
“Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.”
Skaaha decided to wait and pulled out a nearby chair, and sat down.
If she disturbed Aura, who was absorbed in reading, she would be in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
If it were about the “God of War,” her anger would reach its peak and interfere with her work.
Perhaps these feelings have become even stronger over the past two years, but as the months have passed, it has become out of control.
After finishing reading the “Black Book,” Aura nodded her head repeatedly in satisfaction.
The book was carefully closed and placed on the desk with a delicate hand as if handling a broken piece of furniture.
“I have been informed that the number of the Liberation Army has been reduced to five thousand.”
Aura’s appearance has not changed in the past two years, but her brain continued to grow. Although she had no major battles to win at the moment, her name would spread around the world as soon as she had the opportunity to showcase the knowledge and wisdom she had accumulated over the years.
“If you knew, it would be quick… Things are getting very bad.”
The Felzen Liberation Army, which at one time had been determined to liberate Felzen from the Grantz, began to show signs of stability after the Six Kingdoms took over as rulers, and a number of them quit the army for the sake of their wives and children. There was no intention to call them heartless, nor was there any way to force them to stay. They had their own happiness.
There was no way they could go along with the selfishness of the royal family, the former rulers of the country.
“Even if they have a good reason, it will be tough.”
“…Yes. If we leave the Six Kingdoms as is, the Grantz will not be accepted by the people of Felzen.”
The wounds of the war in the Felzen region have not healed. The people are still trying to accept the new rulers and move forward. To expose them to war again would be like a blow to the back of the head.
“Queen Lucia seems to be quite a clever woman. She has put forward a policy of compromise, eliminating any policy that would harm the people.”
Skaaha spread out in front of Aura the documents sent by her subordinates.
“Furthermore, it seems that the capital of Felzen has been moved to a new location to accommodate the new inhabitants. They are offering food and shelter, and also lower tax rates to attract people.”
It was a policy designed to neutralize the liberation army by providing attractive bait.
It also provided a sound reason to make them lay down their swords for their families. And by gaining the support of the people, they intend to eliminate Skaaha as a cause from the Grantz.
Aura took a small piece of paper out of her desk drawer as she looked over the material.
It was a map with details of Felzen.
“Queen Lucia ― It would be foolish to attack from a place where one of the Six Kingdoms, Anguis, is ruling. Then it would be wiser to attack from a place ruled by another country.”
The areas ruled by the Anguis Kingdom are more accepted by the people than others.
It is inevitable that if they attack, they would receive a backlash. So, they must think of another place to start.
“If so, we should start from a place that is still relatively unstable… Even so, it would be difficult to attack because other countries have followed the lead of Anguis and launched the same policy.”
“Maybe. But the proud “long-eared race” is the only one that rules, and the same policies as the “human race” will not work.”
“Nevertheless, the people are still exhausted from the repeated wars… That doesn’t change the fact that all of us are invaders. No matter if it’s the long-eared race or the human race.”
There were many who believed in the Felzen royal family, but they were not willing to give up their finally stable lives again. The preparations for war were being made, but the next step required an opening. But the Grantz had not yet obtained anything definitive.
“Liz will be here next week with the Fourth Imperial Army. We will find a way out before then.”
Forces were gathering one after another from various parts of Grantz.
Some were seeking the good graces of the next emperor, some with ambition in their hearts, and some to obtain huge rewards ― people with various intentions were gathering at Fort Delisha.
Of course, there were those who cannot be trusted. They would have to be sifted out in this battle.
If the people who might become obstacles to Liz in the future were not found and dealt with ― or eliminated ― while they were still able to do so, the foundations of the Great Grantz Empire might be distorted in the future.
“Then, I will have my men investigate the situation in detail.”
Skaaha stood up and was about to turn on her heel when she stumbled.
“…Are you okay?”
She fell with a loud thud from the face, but Skaaha didn’t even twitch.
“I-I want you to forget what you just saw…”
Skaaha immediately got up, and her face turned bright red with shame. Then, turning her face away from Aura, she turned her face upward to the ceiling as if in remorse.
“You’re probably tired. You should get some rest.”
Aura moved out of her chair and around the outside of the desk to get closer to Skaaha.
“Right… I don’t want to slow you down.”
Aura’s expressionless face broke out into a wry smile as Skaaha hid her face with her hands.
“You don’t have to be so shy about falling down.”
“I’ve never shown this kind of appearance in public before, so… I don’t know what kind of face I should make.”
“…..I might be the same, too.”
Aura then took a piece of cloth out of her sleeve and offered it to Skaaha.
“I-I’m fine. E-excuse me!”
The woman’s face was a little reddish, and her eyes glistened.
Aura was about to say something when the door was closed with a bang.
The soldiers on guard were staring at Skaaha as she dashed out into the corridor.
Before they could say a word, Skaaha lightly greeted them with one hand and left the place.
Eventually, as the lights in the corridor dimmed, she leaned against the wall and looked up at the ceiling.
She pressed her head hard against the wall ― no, she slammed the back of her head against the wall over and over again.
It was as if to ward off a nightmare, but still, the look of anxiety never left her face.
“Damn… damn it…”
As she released the words as if to spit them out.
“――I can’t stop!”
The blood flowing from her nose was wiped carelessly with her right hand.
Turning her gaze, she gazed at the back of a hand with sticky blood in her eyes.
No matter how many times she rubbed it, the result was the same: the fresh blood kept pouring out.
The smell of iron rust fills the back of her nose, and the raw, warm sensation that clings to the bridge of her nose wouldn’t go away.
“Haha… all brought on by my weak self?”
A self-mocking blank laugh, a drop of blood drips from the tip of her chin in the spur of the moment.
A dark shadow looms over Skaaha’s face as she looked at the speckles forming in the corridor.
“…..I don’t have much time.”
With her hands on the wall and heavy steps, Skaaha began to walk down the corridor.
She took out a cloth and put it on her nose, then turned over and hid her face so that people around her could not see it.
“Ice Emperor… a little bit more. I just need a little more power.”
She asked her partner, who was not present, about her earnest wish.
There was no reply.
With a tearful look in her eyes, Skaaha continued down the corridor.
She could not stop walking yet; she could not fall down.
She could not retreat from the front line.
Her revenge was not over yet.
As long as she lived, she had no choice but to stay on the battlefield.
“Even if it is the wrong path.”
She still dreamt of her parents and brothers and sisters.
She begged them to save her in a world of blood. She begged them to kill her with tears of blood. She was tortured for what felt like an eternity, and even though she was miserable, she was not allowed to die — the images of her parents and brothers and sisters suffering never left her mind.
“I feel it through the Ice Emperor. I feel that he is near to me.”
Ever since the day she lost her homeland, Skaha’s ears had been filled with the sound of that man’s laughter.
The hateful high laugh kept echoing in the back of her ears.
“…I will surely kill you myself.”
The flames of resentment erupt as a grudge, burning the wood of hatred.
The growing hatred became poison, and like sticky mud, it began to eat away at Skaha’s body.