Editor: Areth Kyntaul
“The Shadow Squad has already mobilised, but the enemy outnumbers them by far. I never thought there would be mercenaries too. It looks like they entered the village one after another. I don’t know when I attracted their attention. Perhaps they detected danger when we tested them. We did end up alerting them after all.”
I ordered the Shadow Squad to mobilise, but I didn’t ask of them the ridiculous task of holding them. The Shadow Squad are experts at infiltration and sabotage, not specialists in face-to-face combat, so I couldn’t ask them to go and fight them head-on. Every member was a well-trained expert. I would feel apologetic towards mom if I lost one so I just ordered them to perform assassinations and to avoid getting involved with the armed-mercenaries if possible.
Freya and I successfully took two horses out from the stables. I saw elf corpses lying in all directions on the ground as well. All of them had greenish faces like they were poisoned. I saw Luna’s brother in the centre. Although they helped a tyrant carry out an evil deed, seeing Luna’s last family member lying here made me feel apologetic, nevertheless.
Freya took out a tiny blade and slit the legs of the remaining horses. It was a very shallow cut, so you virtually can’t see it. So shallow, they didn’t even kick Freya.
Freya then tossed the blade away and said, “We’re alright now. This is a commonly used trick in horse races. You won’t be able to see it, but once the horse starts running, it’ll slow down due to the pain. They won’t be able to follow us now. Onii-sama, we now need to run away as fast as possible!”
“Run away?!” I looked at Freya’s surprised reaction and exclaimed, “Aren’t we going to rescue Luna?! Why do we have to leave now?! I’m going back! I must go back and save Luna!!”
“Don’t be stupid, onii-sama! How can you save Miss Luna?! You don’t have a weapon or a companion as strong as Miss Nier! You’ll just be marching to your own death! Luna will only get sold off, she won’t be killed! But you will definitely be killed!”
“You’re right, you’re right, I know that it’s really dangerous, and I know that everything you said is right.” I mounted the horse. With my back facing Freya, I resolutely continued, “But there are some things you have to fight for even if it means certain death. Mom was right. Death isn’t scary. What’s scarier is never having truly lived before. I made a promise to Luna. I told her to love me. I told her that she would be the only one by my side, so I can’t run away now. I didn’t know Luna in the past when she was kidnapped and abused, but I’m right by her side this time. If I just watch her get taken away from the sidelines, I’ll never be able to forgive myself!”
“Onii-sama! What’s the point of you acting on your emotions?! If it was Miss Nier or Miss Lucia who got kidnapped, I would definitely follow you back there, but it’s Miss Luna who is being kidnapped! She’s just a personal maid! A used elf!! Don’t tarnish yourself for her when you are royalty!”
“Luna is my personal servant, and my only personal servant. I won’t let anyone hurt my personal servant. I’ve already lost someone I treasured before. I won’t lose another.” I turned around to look at Freya and in a serious tone exclaimed, “Freya, run if you’re scared, I won’t blame you. But I am not backing down this time. I’m not leaving until I see that my Luna is safe. I’ll do anything for that!”
Freya mounted her horse and looked at me with a complex look. She then took in a deep breath, clenched her teeth, and said, “In that case, take care, onii-sama! I won’t do something that won’t succeed. I’m not joining you on your journey to your own death. Onii-sama, you’re only so fearless because you haven’t witnessed death!”
“Wrong. I’m fearless because I’ve witnessed death.”
I turned around and heard Freya kick her horse head and leave. The sound of the horse hooves moving quickly went farther and farther away.
I don’t blame Freya. She has already done all she could. I can run into danger on my own, but I don’t ask that anyone else throws their life away for my Luna. Freya was absolutely right.
If I had soldiers go and save Lucia or Nier, the soldiers would do so without complaint because they would be rescuing the princess, which is the most natural thing for them to do. But they would start questioning me if I asked them to go and rescue Luna, who is of lower standing than them, because they would feel that I don’t care about their lives.
Thus, my only option was to rescue her myself. Others don’t care about Luna, but I do. I only have one such servant. I had just embraced her, held her, and she was lying in my arms just a while ago. I was unaware of Luna’s existence last time, so I couldn’t save her back then. But Luna was right before me this time. If I didn’t save her this time, I would never be able to forgive myself.
I reached down to my belt. I didn’t have my gun on me. My only weapons were the potions in my belt. They were given to me by mom. These should be useful tools if I can put them to good use. The problem right now though is that I don’t know how to combine them.
Whatever, I’ll figure it out as I go.
While I was looking heroic, my legs were quaking. My instinct was telling me to run away.
This was an extremely strange scene. Wood was slowly burning away. I could hear the flames crackling. Bodies were lying on the ground without budging. There were the mercenaries running around and about too.
If I get spotted, I’ll be dead meat.
I don’t know how long it’s going to take them to wrap up.
I whistled and then I heard rustling sounds in the forest. The Shadow Squad struck out from all sides. Since I’m without Freya’s wits now, I’m left with just the Shadow Squads’ combat skills. They have to stall them, or we’re going to be in for a tough fight.
The horse for the horse carriage had already been led away. All that did was prevent the mercenaries from pursuing us.
The Shadow Squad charged toward the group of merchants while I kicked my horse and charged over there.
While I’m aware that rushing in without a plan is stupid, I didn’t have any time to think. If Luna gets loaded onto the horse carriage, what am I to do? Though the horse carriage isn’t as fast as me, what am I going to do as one man against a horse carriage loaded with weapons?
Therefore, I can’t hesitate. I’ll do my thinking on my way. I trust that the Shadow Squad won’t let me down. They should be able to hold off the mercenaries even if they’re outnumbered.
“Your Majesty… Your Majesty… Your Majesty… Your Majesty… Your Majesty… Your Majesty… Your Majesty… Your Majesty…”
Nier lay on the ground in a daze. She kept her lifeless eyes open but she couldn’t budge. She opened her mouth a little and water slowly coursed down her cheeks. She didn’t even budge. If she wasn’t repeating “Your Majesty” over and over, she’d basically be the exact same thing as a dead person. Her body would sometimes have spasms and the ground would get wet again…
“Sir… she… her mind’s broken, right? … Did we overdose? … She’ll die if we keep this up, won’t she…?”
The merchant watched Nier who was in front of him. He knocked on the iron rails. Nier didn’t move an inch. She just lay there repeating “His Majesty” over and over like a machine.
“Has the letter been delivered?”
“I don’t know. The messenger hasn’t gotten back to us.”
The merchant deliberated it and then said, “Tomorrow. If His Majesty still hasn’t returned what we want to us by tomorrow, you guys can start feasting. Valkyries are a rare species to come by. I think that you guys will be really happy with her.”