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Chapter 75 – Embracing Hope in My Heart
Translator: E R O S
Patron: Wolololy, Minmin, Apophis Sepia
That day, Faskurn head knight, Eugene Bargur, is resting in his tent with a dejected feeling.
He is 21 years old. His character is honest and steady, truly a model of strong and sincere knight. He even got engaged just a few days ago. But who knows when he is about to step into a new happy life, a sudden dispatch command comes down.
And even worse, their dispatch target is Ezemeria which his country have a long cooperation history with in regard of mercenaries.
Without any proclamation of war, they attacked the border. At first, he thought that the king must have gone crazy. But he soon knows that he is mistaken.
What really happened was a one sided ma.s.sacre.
The stronghold which protected the border area and is filled with many veteran fallen in no time by the a.s.sault of the unknown black knight unit that have their entire body covered in black colored armor which then occupied by the Faskurn army.
After that, Eugene is ordered to command his unit to start marching toward Tosuminia border.
His actual job is to lead the mysterious black knight unit that never let out a sound and he doesn’t even remember seeing them eating anything.
Adding to that, the other unit that is accompanying him on the way is the unit of the knight from similar generation from him that always one-sidedly tried to compete with him in anything he does, Luther Fedorin.
He is about the same age as him. His appearance is that of a man with delicate features which definitely be popular the girls but his crude conduct which is like looking down on everyone else without any reason makes him stands out. He is treated as the weird one in the knight brigade. And for Luther whose ability as a knight and as a commander is just second rate to manage commanding a unit is all thanks to his parent’s money power do the talk.
For a kingdom based on commerce like Faskurn, such happening are too common. There are many such kind of nouveau riche family there. Even Eugene thinks that as long as they don’t make any troubles, he don’t care if those small figure doing things as they like.
But then again, even if he feels that those mysterious black knights are eerie beings, he is still aware that those things are the lifeline of their echelon.
Their current orders are to watch over those black knights fighting for them and to keep the damage to their own soldier at the bare minimum. But for Eugene, that order is like being left for dead.
What if the black knight unit get defeated?
Are those black knights really our ally?
Can he even put his trust in Luther’s unit?
And then, lastly, there are no back up plan in case they meet dangerous situations. This situation made Eugene unable to relax and exhaust him even worse than when he fight in the front line.
After they finished a round with Ezemeria, Faskurn army return back to their kingdom to resupply and they charge straight to their next war which is in the border of Tosuminia Kingdom. The army marches through a valley that is wide enough for the army to pa.s.s easily then they headed to the targeted Tosuminia fortress located in the plain.
After pa.s.sing through the valley, Eugene is feeling his worst when seeing the army’s next campsite.
This war doesn’t have any value or moral meaning in it.
The higher up just spread the flame of war like making a joke. It is truly a meaningless battle. Some rare holder of common sense in the knight unit like Eugene is also starting to doubt their own kingdom.
And they did it without even knowing that it was what Luther aimed from the beginning.
Eugene only realized that conspiracy at night.
Even when he is currently resting inside his private tent while having his subordinate keep their vigilance, he could still feel the uncomfortable omen that made his whole body spring up reflexively.
“WHAT IS GOING ON!”
With his favorite sword in hand, Eugene dashes out. What awaits him outside is the night sky dyed with the color of crimson.
It’s the crimson coming from the tent on fire and… the crimson that is flowing from the bodies littered in the ground. Those are corpses.
He could hear sounds of weapon clashing, angry roar, and scream of fear in his surrounding.
Even when he is stunned at first from seeing how his encampment turned into a scene from h.e.l.l, Eugene managed to get a grip of himself quickly and started to monitor his surroundings.
He doesn’t know the current situation on his side so raising his voice to try gathering his troop might inversely give negative effects.
If his unit is being surrounded by the enemy, then he should become the first victim of the sudden a.s.sault as he is all alone by himself. There should be some soldier guarding his tent but their whereabouts is unknown that it make him wonder even more.
(…… If they already defeat my guards then, their next move should be aiming for me…… right?)
Did the enemy slacks searching around because of the melee?
Or did they receive reprisal from their ambush and got defeated?
Whatever the case is, there’s no way an enemy would fail in checking the inside of a commanding tent.
Eugene tried to think with composure but he just can’t organize his thought. It was all thanks to his steel like spirit power that he managed to control the urge to scream out loud
“Eugene-sama! Thank G.o.d you are safe!”
“Oh, it’s you guys!”
At that timing, two of his subordinate that he trusted the most run up to him. Their expression shows that they are on the edge.
They must have already intercepted a few times by the enemy as there were blood flowing from the gap of their armor and their breathing are rough.
“Just what happened here!?”
“…… Luther’s unit is ambushing us! It seems like they are poisoning our food ration when we are having dinner……! The one who can move relative freely are only those that a.s.signed to night patrol”
“…… Ridiculous…… We are going to face the enemy soon so why did they attacked us!?”
Even if they don’t personally join the war, they really are going to face one. So why did they burn down their allies camp to the ground in an ambush?
Eugene thought can’t catch up with the situation that he is unable to think of their next action.
In the first place, he don’t know who he should trust in this kind of situation.
Eugene that come to the war without finding a strong enough reason and thrown in without any clear directions definitely can’t make the very best decision.
“Fuh, how unsightly Eugene. You keep yapping about protecting the pride of a knight all the time and look at you now! When you lose that knight pride of yours, aren’t you just a useless bag of meat”
The one appears in front of Eugene after he stopped moving from the confusion caused by his subordinate’s report is the mastermind behind this incident, Luther. Coming with him are a few of those black knights and there are also some of his subordinate standing behind. The difference in battle strength is evident. No, even if there are the same number of the enemy, those black knight could still easily kill Eugene and his subordinates.
But even if he sees his own death, it is not an excuse to let his sword go. No matter what the situation is, those who stand before them now are after all…… enemies.
“Just what are your purpose for burning the campsite of my unit like this……!”
“From the start, your unit isn’t even counted as our force for this war. You have also seen it right? As long as these black knights are with us, no matter how many the enemy is, they are just numbers that aren’t even worth considering”
“…… Then why?”
“Isn’t that obvious? Because you are not needed anymore. Faskurn will evolve into a new existence after the war is over. And that is as the sole kingdom who unify the whole Barzelion continent”
“…… So this war really was…… born from His Majesty greed is that what you are saying”
“Don’t you think the word greed is blasphemous to your own king Mr. knight? Making the kingdom richer, expansion of the territory, increasing the national power. Aren’t those are the natural responsibilities for those who born as a king? Did you just judge His Majesty as being greedy for invading other kingdoms whereas that conduct is just something expected from His Majesty as a royalty?”
“……… Faskurn is already a prosperous kingdom without anything lacking. There are no reason to trample on other kingdom people just to expanse the territory……!”
Eugene aware that his view is only a minority in Faskurn.
With many merchant suddenly raise in power and becoming a n.o.bility who control most of the kingdom’s politic, people like Eugene who thinks that people who stands above others have the responsibilities to lead them properly are dwindling rapidly in number.
At first, Faskurn was a kingdom where everyone can rise up their status without looking at their birth origin as long as they have the power and talent needed.
But now, the ideology just went too far and before one notices, the kingdom becomes a place where those in power only cared about making themselves grow even fatter with richness.
“As I expected. So my worry is proven to be true. Hey, did you all heard what Eugene just said? We will now commence the capture for the rebel knight, Eugene Bargur, who slander His Majesty’s great undertaking. Just kill his subordinate I don’t care”
“Luther you b.a.s.t.a.r.d!”
“And send a courier to the capital. I suspect Eugene to have hold rebellious thought since before the war. Capture everyone close to him under the suspicion of sharing the same rebellious factor. Especially give more attention to Nourish house that has intimate relationship with him. We must sternly interrogate them”
Hearing those words, Eugene is raging with anger.
Nourish house is where his fiancee, Treze Nourish, come from.
Now he knows why the man in front of him doesn’t only feel satisfied with killing him but also slander his name with the status of a rebel. Eugene definitely could not forgive this man no matter what.
His death is unavoidable.
Even if he is not killed tonight, Luther would still bring him back to the capital where the guillotine awaits.
Luther have a wide connection. Almost all n.o.ble family who reign over the kingdom are in cohort with his family. Guessing from this, even if he is captured alive, he would be one-sidedly accused without any chance to vindicate himself. He will then executed with the stigma of a traitor attached forever in his name.
He had met a dead end.
If his fate are sealed, then at least he must bite back Luther for the last time.
But when he is about to resolute himself, one of Eugene subordinate pulled his hand.
While the other subordinate is watching Luther’s side, the one who pulled his hand whispers something into his ear.
“Eugene-sama, I could understand how painful it must be for you. But this is not the place where you should die”
“If you go north from that tent, you will find a horse prepared under the tree shade. Their objective seems to be Eugene-sama from the start so I was able to prepare all of this without them finding out. The place where I hid the horse is also where their man didn’t bother checking so the possibility of being found out should be low”
“…… What are you thinking”
“Retreat. Please retreat to Tosuminia border fortress and tell them the situation. The situation is already to much for only Faskurn to handle. Ezemeria is already about to fall so if Tosuminia also fall then there will be no one who could stop our mad king ambition”
“Then why not go yourself……!”
“No, Faskurn situation should be already well known in the continent. Rather than a random foot soldier, if it was someone with a high position like Eugene-sama then your word would surely be more persuasive. That’s why, the one who should survive is you, my general”
“…… So, you want me to live in shame……!”
“For the sake of your belief, are drinking sewage water and eating raw flesh something embarra.s.sing? If you are battling a war that you can’t lose no matter what, you need to resign yourself to accept the shame in order to win. Isn’t that what you have been teaching us all this time my general?”
“……… I can’t even, retort that”
It is possible for him to escape through the course that his subordinate pointed at.
Luther encirclement is pretty lax. The encirclement is indeed responsive and could checkmate the one surrounded if they are not careful but seems like they still hold fear of getting bitten back in such a dominating state so there are quite a distance between them.
Eugene instantly made his decision. Today from this second, he will become a wretched defeated soldier. He will use his subordinate’s life as sacrifice to prolong his own life. He will live his life is shame ---- for the sake of those left back in his kingdom, he will fight.
“…… I am blessed with loyal subordinates”
“And I am blessed with a great place to die…… May luck be with you”
“Leias, Ordona, I would never forget this two name for the rest of my life”
“It’s an honor…… Are you ready?”
“I am ready anytime”
The knight called Ordona keep his silence while he start marching forward while brandishing his halberd.
His movements look absurd, but he is actually using the advantage of his long weapon to open up a path for Eugene.
Leias also bring his shield to block the movement of an enemy that is far bigger than him. Facing the two knight that charge forward with the resolution to fight till the death made the knights under Luther’s command to falter greatly. Too bad, such kind of mental oppression doesn’t work for the black knights that doesn’t have any emotion.
They can only execute their order in a cold and cruel composure.
With such efficient movement, one of the black knight almost reached Eugene.
But Eugene could predict it easily and with the power that he has been saving, he unleash an attack with his sword that managed to blow the black knight away from him.
He knows that those black knight stamina and power are not something a normal human can compete with thus he choose to delay their movement instead.
After all, Eugene main goal is not to defeat them. His goal is to reach the designed place and escape. In the way he take down many tent to hinder his pursuer feet while also dance in the night to evade many attacks that is aimed to him.
Looking at his escaping figure, Ordona expressionless face start showing a satisfied expression as he fall down from taking enemy attack.
“…… Please be safe”
Leias soon follows after him after using up all his strength.
At the point of their death, their body is filled with wounds. They know that they will end like this but because they believe in Eugene, they managed to give their all to pierce through one point.
They feel honored from being able to give direction to their lords that is about to lose his way.
They who managed to find a ray of hope even when the darkest night blocking the way die with a peaceful expression.
On the other hand, Luther and his knights are greatly agitated from losing track of Eugene.
“Lu-Luther-sama, let’s quickly dispatch unit to chase after him!”
“Forget it, there’s no need for that”
“Either way, we still need Tosuminia to bleed their army more. The black knight unit is more than enough to take their border fortress down. If Tosuminia side hear Eugene‘s story, no matter if they believe him or not, they would definitely try to reinforce their army”
“But won’t that make our invasion harder…...”
“As long as we have the black knight, Tosuminia army is just child’s play. Rather than that, establishing the truth about Eugene escaping into the territory of Tosuminia is far more important. With this fact, that guy will truly become a traitor of the kingdom. Escaping from capture attempt and seeking asylum in enemy territory in the end, there already no way to prove his innocence”
Using Eugene’s statement before was merely a false accusation but if he really escapes to Tosuminia, then he will really become a traitor.
Luther who managed to achieve the majority of his goal is satisfied.
After this, no matter how much Tosuminia reinforce their army in the border, Luther still feel confident to exterminate them all. If he managed to occupy the fortress border, then he will greatly give damage to Tosuminia.
In Luther’s mind, the bigger the loss Tosuminia suffer in the next battle, the easier their next move would be.
(Anyway, with this, I have succeeded in framing Eugene into a traitor. Shall I go back to the capital for a while to see how that woman will react?)
Luther can’t hide his smile from feeling satisfied with the success of his plan.
There are no other sound beside the sound of crackling fire from the surrounding which only add to the eeriness to it.
Author note: Let’s start the serious scene.
Eros note: about Therese’s name, I googled the katakana for her name and she become Telsche which is weird for me as I never heard any western girl named like that so I use Therese as her name which sounds better for a loli… and now, Eugene’s gf katakana name is actually Therese also which well, I just make it like whatever it actually sound in j.a.panese as she is not a main character after all.
Anyway, who cares about that, salute to those two subordinate!