|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3238 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1466 words|
I infiltrated Zelvis and successfully regrouped with the other demons and collaborators in the area. We started buying up all the wheat we could, weakening their forces, while creating an opening for soldiers from Leble to sneak in and start a rebellion from the inside. Our plan was essentially perfect, and would be complete soon. Though in the end I did not care whether it succeeded or not, my mission would be done as long as the humans killed each other. There were very few chances for failure, and a great reward. Or at least that was how it sounded on paper…
“What do you mean? Where are Leble’s soldiers and monsters?”
“I really don’t know… They haven’t contacted us at all.”
The elf we commissioned to lead the rebellion clicked his tongue and sat down annoyed. The other elves we recruited quickly stepped back. They were worried he would snap at them now that his mood had gotten so bad. I watched them from a distance with cold eyes.
“Fuzzura, have you been told anything?”
“Only the same as you. I’m also waiting for word from the mainland. There’s nothing we can do other than wait for them.”
“…This is so annoying!”
I pretended to recoil a bit as he shouted, he made no effort to hide his foul mood. I was currently disguised as an elf, so to him I just looked like a fellow conspirator with another country. I could easily discern the level of his skill based on the fact he could not see through such a simple spell. Even if the plan went smoothly, I doubt he would have stayed on the throne for long. Though…I had to scratch my head too. I could not help but to agree with his grievances. Some of our men were supposed to be in Leble, and they had been collaborating with demons in secret for a while, so it was hard to believe their knights would oppose the plan. So I guess this meant some third party was interfering?
…It was worth taking a look.
To put it simply, Lapis’ idea was nuts. She was suggesting we sneak into Leble and destroy their military encampments. That could easily lead to a full-on war. They would use anything as an excuse for military incursions. But Lapis seemed almost unnaturally calm about it.
“We just have to make sure they don’t know who attacked them. We could just wear masks and disguises. Even if they suspect it was us, they won’t have any proof if they don’t capture us. If they ask us anything, we just play dumb. I mean, that’s basically what they always do.”
“You’re right… We’ll just beat them at their own game. That sounds fun.”
Luvias, who usually was our most reasonable member, was on board. Usually she would be the one most opposed to such a plan, so what had happened to her?
“Don’t look so shocked, Diaria. I’m human too. Anyone would be mad after another country toys around with one’s homeland. We lost many people during the last battle, including some I knew personally. I might not be able to call myself a righteous hero after this, but if honor gets in the way of my fight, I’m ready to discard it at any moment.”
Luvias shrugged as she said that and I no longer knew what to say. When she put it like that…she was right. They were threatening my beloved country. Wanting payback was normal. Somehow I had been fighting without ever thinking about such things, I really had been too naive. My body was starting to tremble, they were trying to subject Zelvis to the same suffering Bordaule had gone through. We had to use any means possible to stop that from happening!
“I see. I’ll do it. I’ll do anything, just say the word.”
“It’s nothing complicated for now. We’ll just search for military sites, and destroy them one after another. We don’t have any insider info so we’ll have to search around randomly for a while, but I’m sure we can do it.”
This was Lapis’ plan. We would put my uncle’s request on hold for a while, and instead use Flight Magic to enter Leble. It would be possible to trace our steps if we went straight to a city there, so instead we would land on some mountain, and then search for a big city. We could just follow any road we found, so that would not be too hard. Once we found a city, we would destroy any military facilities in sight. Such an attack would prompt reinforcement troops and investigatory platoons, which we would destroy as well. A handful of soldiers were likely to survive and flee, which we would track from the air to find our next targets. Any sane person would think we were completely out of our minds.
“I knew you weren’t a normal person Lapis, but you’ve really made it clear now.”
“You don’t have to praise me like that.”
“It wasn’t a compliment.”
§ § §
It was easy to act after that. We prepared everything we needed in the city, then flew to Leble. We could fly freely, so country borders meant nothing to us. It was almost funny how easily we crossed the empire’s strict borders which they always boasted about. We took some time to find a nice and big road, which we followed to find a large city.
“I feel like we always stay at inns during times like these, but I guess we’ll have to camp outside for now.”
“It’s been a while since we last camped. At least we can hunt wildlife for food too…this really reminds me of the time when we started as adventurers.”
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Ciel and Karin sounded rather excited. I guess they were still annoyed with Leble’s interference, just like Luvias. There was also that time Karin was beaten up by Leble’s hero Barbaros, so I guess she has a more personal grudge.
“Anyway, we probably should stop using Flight Magic for the time being. If they see us fly to escape, it’ll be harder to claim innocence.”
“What should we do if they chase after us then?”
“Beat the crap out of them. These people are working with demons, don’t spare them any respect.”
Lapis said curtly, but I felt like her face looked a bit forced. Even if the emperor was working with demons, that did not mean lower ranking soldiers were guilty too. The majority of them were probably unrelated to this matter, conscripted against their will. I wonder if she would have said the same back when she was Brave? I probably should ask that before anything happens.
“Are you really sure about this, Lapis? If we crush their army, then they’ll…”
“I know, and I’m ready for that. We’re about to commit murder, there’s no way to talk our way out of that. And we deserve all the criticism in the world. But if killing them saves Zelvis, then I won’t hesitate. Also, this won’t be my first time. I’ve fought to the death with other people back when I was Brave. So please don’t worry about me.”
“…I see. Well, let’s just do it then!”
We all nodded and continued moving. We were wearing long robes that covered us from our heads down, and a veil hid our faces. Any showy weapons would raise suspicion, so all our equipment was black. We painted Karin and Luvias’ swords black, getting rid of their luster. It was similar to the equipment used by assassins.
Ciel had left her large staff behind, instead bringing one that was around half its size. Lapis simply took two daggers fastened to her belt. I also left my bow behind, and brought a random one I picked up on a whim.
We climbed the city walls and quickly got on top of them, gaining a vantage point to look for military camps. There was a watchtower next to a large open area in a corner of the city, with a large pile of bags in the open area. That was likely the wheat they got from Zelvis. It was not surprising for them to use a city near the border to stash supplies.
“Shall we start, Ciel?”
“Let’s do it.”
Ciel raised her staff and created an enormous fireball in the air. She did not hesitate at all when shooting the fireball towards the pile of wheat. There was a loud explosive noise, and a tall column of fire sprouted from it. The noise caused an onrush of soldiers from nearby buildings. Things were kicking into action now. I held my bow ready and aimed deadly arrows.