Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
The area where the headquarters of the Grantz Army was located was heavily guarded.
The “Imperial Black Order,” “Order of the Golden Lion,” and “Order of the Rose” were stationed in the many tents built like a city, and troops were deployed in various locations to cover the blind spots.
The soldiers patrolling the encampment were also well-trained, and bonfires were kept burning, making the encampment as bright as daylight as if it were midday as if to crush every shadow.
Next to the main camp, where the command post was located, there was a tent where Skaaha, including Liz’s entourage, slept.
In it were two female figures―one with red hair and the other with silver hair.
The red-haired woman―the sixth princess, who was the next Emperor of the Great Grantz Empire.
Celia Estrella Elizabeth von Grantz.
It was rumored in the world that she was a jewel clothed in nobility, a beauty blessed by the gods.
Even though she was considered to be the next emperor, she was still the sixth princess and has been the subject of numerous marriage proposals. Even so, there had been fewer than there were at one time.
One time, there was even a shameless merchant who came loaded with a mountain of gold coins, even if it was only for one night. If she had been born a different way, she would have made her mark on history as a “beauty of the inclined state,” or so the rumor went in social circles.
The woman who is the focus of such public attention, her glossy red hair that reached down to her waist, shook as she stepped onto the bunk set up in the tent.
“Aura… How is Skaaha doing?”
Liz called out to the small back figure sitting in the chair.
Turning around was a dainty little girl―her large eyes shining beautifully with a protective look in them.
Her silver hair and lead-colored eyes gave her a cold impression, but this was somewhat weakened by the fact that her bangs were cropped. She had a childlike face, but her small, slender figure made her look shorter than her actual age, which seemed to be a current problem for her.
Trea Luzandi Aura von Bunadhara.
She graduated at the top of her class from the Imperial Training School. She was selected as the youngest member of the staff of the commander of the Third Imperial Army of the Great Grantz Empire but was later demoted after being blamed for a blunder in the battle against the Grand Duchy of Dral.
However, while steadily accumulating achievements, she had now risen to the position of Chief of General Staff of the Grantz Army as a close aide to the sixth princess.
“She still hasn’t woken up.”
Aura shook her head weakly.
Liz looked down at the bunk and saw a bandaged and painfully disfigured Skaaha.
Her swollen face was bloodless, her breathing was labored, her arms were broken, and even though the bandages were newly replaced, they soon bled. The wounds were festering, and the inflammation continued to generate heat, draining her strength. In the past, she would not have become so seriously ill.
However, the current Skaaha has lost the “Ice Emperor,” one of the Five Emperors of the Spirit Sword.
Without the blessings of the spirits, she was no different from an ordinary person.
Her condition was stable at the moment, but it was not a situation in which they could rest easy.
There was no telling when the situation might worsen.
Therefore, Aura, Liz, and the attendants were nursing Skaaha all day long.
In a neighboring tent, a military doctor was always on standby in case her condition changed.
Since the battle with Stobel, Skaaha had been sleeping without waking up even once.
This was the cause of the anxiety that kept increasing day by day.
Without regaining consciousness, Skaaha’s vitality was decreasing with each passing day.
“The military doctor said that… She’s seriously wounded, but the fact that she’s not waking up could be psychological.”
Skaaha’s driving force in life was revenge.
She wished only to kill her adversary, Stobel.
Her wish was granted, but at a heavy price. Skaaha had lost her “partner” of many years. Above all, even the country she loved would not remain.
If the new royal capital of Felzen, Sandinal, was defeated, the plan to recapture Felzen would be complete. From now on, the reconstruction work would be led by the Grantz.
The Felzen dynasty would be restored when the time comes, but Skaaha will not be named there. The throne will be handed over to a distant relative with Felzen blood in their veins―whether or not it really flowed was doubtful.
The Grantz would use that person as a puppet to keep Felzen under their control and monopolize their profits. That was the condition for the Grantz to take back Felzen.
In other words, there was nothing in this world that could hold her will to live.
She had taken her revenge; she had lost the “Ice Emperor,” and even her country was no longer hers.
That was why Skaaha may have fallen into a deep sleep without waking up.
However, that was something that only she herself can understand.
A stranger could come up with any number of reasons. They could imagine, give their own answers, and be convinced.
It’s a trick that only a stranger could pull off―and if she were to hear it, she would surely be appalled.
All Liz and the others could do now was to continue nursing her so that she could wake up at any time.
All they could do was keep calling out to her.
“Aura, get some rest. I’ll be watching over Skaaha today…”
“Yes, I’ll take a little rest.”
Aura nodded obediently and sat down on a nearby simple bed.
No matter how worried they were, taking care of Skaaha to the extent that their health deteriorated could be a real downfall. Above all, the two of them were now in charge of the Grantz Army. The battle against the Six Kingdoms would continue. They must take perfect care of their physical condition.
Both Liz and Aura had been sleeping here ever since Skaaha was brought in.
They had no medical knowledge at all and would probably only be able to speak up if something happened. Although they were sure to be a liability to her, they still felt safe just by being close to her and seeing how she was doing.
“After all, other people are selfish, aren’t they?”
With a self-mocking smile, Liz sat back in her chair.
“Hey… Skaaha, when you wake up, let’s take a good rest because there will surely be no more pain or crying.”
But Liz understood very well that this was impossible. The flow of the times would not allow it.
Even if Skaaha woke up, the world would not give her any rest.
Slowly, slowly, slowly―it will surely be a long time before she will be able to spend her days at leisure.
Still, she felt that if she did not speak of her ideal, Skaaha would not wake up.
“There is a land east of the small country of Baum that the first princess shrine maiden loved. It is said to be a hill whose entire surface is already decorated with beautiful flowers. We can’t go there without the princess shrine maiden’s permission, but when things settle down, we can all go there together.”
Naturally, there was no reply.
When silence returns, only the sound of Skaaha’s labored breathing dominates the tent.
Still, Liz was determined to call out to her every day.
Tomorrow, and the day after, she would continue to talk to Skaaha without getting tired of it.
“Ara… what’s this?”
Looking away, she found a ‘black book’ on Skaaha’s bedside table.
After picking it up, she looked at the cover and looked around the whole thing, and her gaze flowed down to Aura.
“Aura… I thought you just wanted to read it yourself.”
“T-that’s not true. Skaaha loved the story of the God of War too.”
Liz tilted her head with her index finger on her chin. What came to her mind was the image of Skaaha being pressed by Aura with the black book. The Skaaha in her memory was more bewildered than pleased.
While she was wondering whether she should tell Aura or not, a sound with a hint of something noisy echoed from outside the tent. Aura and Liz’s gazes turned to the entrance together.
The one who entered was a brown-skinned woman―a familiar face to both of them.
“Liz-neesan, it’s been a long time.”
“Isn’t that Hugin? How are you?”
Liz and Hugin, although whispering in front of Skaaha, closed the distance between them and rejoiced to see each other again.
Then, with a nervous look on her face, Hugin wandered her gaze and opened her mouth, choosing her words carefully.
“Yes, Wise Brother―I mean His Majesty the Black Dragon King―ordered me to go check on Skaaha-neesan…”
Hugin said and then looked at the bunk behind Liz.
“…She seems to be still sleeping.”
“Yes―but I’m sure she’ll wake up.”
“Of course, she will. Skaaha-neesan is very strong.”
“So what about her?”
Liz pointed to a figure behind Hugin whose entire body was wrapped in armor.
The person was wearing an eerie―rather than eerie―an air of sadness. However, the color that she wore was constantly changing, including her anger.
Liz’s eyes narrowed in alarm at the appearance of this mysterious person.
“Um, she is not such a soldier that I should introduce her to Liz-neesan’s.”
Hugin said, scratching her cheeks with a very troubled look on her face.
Then, for some reason, Liz was hit by a deadly blast from a soldier in armor.
The armor seemed to speak.
It was Hugin, who, for some reason, gave a startled voice. Then she rushed to the armor, looking flustered.
“Luca―I mean, Eagle, no, it’s not. Soldier-san, that name is not good either.”
Liz shrugged her shoulders with a wry smile at Hugin, who glanced at her.
Eagle was the name of one of the generals who led the Urpeth army when the Six Kingdoms invaded Grantz and who was killed by Hiro.
The fact that she wore a men’s armor but spoke that name in a woman’s voice meant that his sister, Luca, was probably the one inside. If that was the case, the distorted atmosphere she wore was understandable.
“I’m glad to see you’re doing well.”
Liz’s unexpected words made the armor stiffen, and after a few moments, it silently nodded its head in a small way.
Aura, who was watching over the three of them, had a dubious look on her face, but she said nothing, perhaps because Liz had acknowledged it, and lay down on her bunk and closed her eyes.
“Hugin and Lu―Soldier-san, you should talk to Skaaha; I’m sure she’ll be glad to see you.”
There is no telling what will wake her up. The depressing atmosphere from earlier vanished when Hugin appeared. Surely it would be better for Skaaha to be cheerful than gloomy.
“Hugin, will you tell Skaaha about the time we didn’t see each other?”
“Yes, leave it to me.”