Side Story – The Diary of Ortissio’s Struggles

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Author: Rina Shito Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Estelion English Source: Oniichanyamete
Editor(s): Silva, Liomad

Ortissio wakes up early, when the morning sun ascends, around the time when the roosters start crowing. At five, he is out of bed.

The first thing he does after washing his morning face is training.

Going to the gravity room C, he performs his daily muscle-strengthening exercises.

The gravity there is thirty times stronger, making this room the third most arduous of the Underground Empire.

If it was his call, he would have gone to the one with the strongest to do some hard training. That, if he had not been chased away from it by his liege Camilla along with a, “A hundred times gravity is impossible for the likes of you.”

‘It cannot be helped, let’s challenge it once again when stronger,’ he thought before entering the gravity room C. As he felt an enormous strain being put on his body, he started his exercise routine, performing push-ups, abs and squats, sweat pouring off his body as if a flood.

Wrapping up his muscle exercises, he proceeded to magic training, devoting himself to expanding his mana capacity by single-mindedly repeating cycles of depletion and contraction.

Manipulating mana while being subject to such a strong gravity is no easy task. Still, as a commandant of the prestigious Evil God Army, he never lets out a moan.

It was only an hour later that he put an end to his training, leaving behind him a puddle of sweat.

Although short, this routine was ever so intense; with each passing day, he acutely felt his skills improving. This kind of result would have been unimaginable back in the Demon King Army’s days. That too was thanks to the revolutionary training program developed by Lady Camilla and Lady Tilea.

“Division commander Ortissio, here is a towel.”
“Aye,” he answered, accepting the piece of cloth from his subordinate and wiping the sweat off his body. If only he had more time, he would have gone straight to take a bath, but his hectic schedule would not allow it.

His clothes back on, he tasked his subordinate with cleaning the gravity room before leaving the place. Work hard, eat hard.

And so at six-thirty comes breakfast.

The food prepared by his subordinates was waiting for his arrival at the dining hall – today’s menu is… Milk, fish, cheese and shrimps.

To wit, a Kalshium Menu made of all sorts of colourful ingredients.

‘For the petty body improvement of the likes of me, how generous Lady Tilea is to prepare such a meal!’ he thought, full of gratitude. ‘Ah, how blessed I am – Not to the other members, but a special meal made only for me! Let’s dig in right away.’

First is some milk, a blessing to his sore throat after training, that he drank in one gulp from the barrel. That done, he dug in the hundred or so small fishes and five kilos of cheese, his chewing reverberating through the dining hall.

The sight of him sending a pint of the carbonated drink “Kohla” down his throat completed this baroque picture.

An essential drink, they say, for any self-respecting martial artist: after some milk, a “Kohla”. As one would expect, his stomach was about to burst. But with that, he shall become stronger! And thus, drank it all in one go.

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At eight o’clock begins the prisoners’ interrogation.

All individuals captured by the Evil God Army end up shackled in the depths of the underground empire. Insolent fools that dared go against the Evil God Army! For that sin, they are thrown out in the room the farthest from Lady Tilea’s quarters.

As he approached the cells, he could hear the sound of a whip being lashed. It seemed that the fools that had yet to surrender to the Evil God Army were in the middle of being interrogated by his subordinates.

“Division commander Ortissio!” saluted his most trusted subordinate, Gil, realizing his arrival.
“Did he finally spit it out?”
“No, he seems to be quite the obstinate one you see…”

The name of the one the troop commander Gil was interrogating was Chaka, a former officer under the Demon King Army’s general Kira.

Their general defeated by Camilla, Kira’s subordinates were massacred by the troops under the command of Nielsen, only leaving a few big names such as Chaka who ended up captured and subjected to torture.

Seeing him not breaking even after a year of incessant ill-treatment, Ortissio had started to want him by all means in his second division.

“Hey Chaka. It’s been a year already, stop being so stubborn will you!”

“ Haah, haah… – Pu!” he spat, his eyes full of hate.

‘Hoo, is that how it is? Well that is exactly the kind of spirit I judged befitting of my second division after all,’ thought Ortissio before calling out to the man in front of him.

“Listen Chaka. Now is the age of the Evil God Army. The Demon King Army is history, you know, how foolish it is to stay loyal to these relics.”
“Guh, nghn… Only death awaits traitors! Sooner or later, the Demon King will bestow revenge for Ser Kira!”
“Hm-pf, there is nothing to fear from the likes of the Demon King, as long as Lady Tilea is gracing us with her presence.”
“Ha! What can a mere wench―”
“What impudeeeence…!”

Upon hearing his liege being bad-mouthed, Ortissio went and took a swing at him without even thinking of it. ‘Damn. If i had killed him accidentally all the troubles up until now would have come to naught,’ bemoaned Ortissio.

‘For these few months, I tried every possible means to take him over. Yet, far from swinging to our side, that guy became stiff all the more. What should I do now?’

‘If he doesn’t surrender and holds onto his grudge, that guy is nothing more than an enemy and thus should be disposed of, right?’ Ortissio wavered as he received a report from one of his spies that just came in. Lending him an ear, he could not help but let out a contented smile.

“Ah what a shame, Chaka!”
“Uggh, uggh…. What did…?”
“He, it seems that we’ve found Kira’s only child”

As Kira’s troops failed in subjugating Camilla, Ortissio knew that the few survivors could never return to the Demon King Army. He thus dispatched some of his subordinates as spies to investigate their whereabouts, though he did not expect much from his second division (which was not the intelligence unit after all).

‘What unexpected luck! I finally found it, your Achilles’ heel!’ he thought before railing: “Chaka, at this rate, if you still refuse to bend, we will have no choice but to eradicate every single survivor you know?”

“Kuh- “
“Chaka, at this rate, we just need to eliminate Kira’s successor, and his will shall fade out from history, like a shadow, you know? Only leaving to posterity the name of a reckless fool.”
“You, you b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲!”
“That’s my final warning. Surrender! And swear loyalty to our lady Tilea. You just have to work for the Evil God Army, and his descendants live.”

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“Is that so? Well that’s extermination for the survivors then. May Kira’s revenge be never exacted, and vani—”
“W-Wait! Al, alright, I’ll submit.”
“For real?”
“Aye. However, you must promise me. That you shan’t take the life of the young lord.”

‘Ha! Did you see that? My efforts of the past few months were definitely worth it! With that the forces of the second division will be greatly strengthened. And for getting an enemy to come over to our side, I will win the favor of Lady Tilea, great!’

And so, at ten o’clock comes the inspection of the food reserves.

Ortissio took himself to food storage of the Underground Empire. There are hoarded the various ingredients that the second division gathered during their expeditions. To keep them fresh and from rotting their group was mobilizing every possible means.

In particular, the apparatus designed by Tilea, the Flidje, was nothing short of amazing. By releasing water magic, it would freeze and thus preserve the ingredients.

“Is everything going well?” he asked his subordinate in charge of the place.
“Yes! Nothing to report.”
“Great. Do not let them rot! Lady Tilea demands fresh ingredients.”
“You may leave it to us. As we are using the slaves at full capacity to maintain the Flidje temperature between two and ten degrees.”

‘Lady Tilea is infatuated with fresh ingredients, just after riches. Above all, her expression of happiness when we acquire rare ingredients is a blessing in itself. It is meaningless if they end up rotting,’ thought Ortissio, relieved by his subordinates’ report.

“Slaves are disposable, treat them as such and keep the system in perfect working order all day long.”
“By your will.”

‘The slaves’ water magic is weak. But if one makes up the number, keeping indefinitely frozen foods constantly stored at 0 °C or below becomes possible. That these worthless scums could prove themselves useful was quite the surprise.’

At eleven-thirty starts the war council of the Evil God Army.

As he was heading to the regular meeting, his steps resounded through the corridor.

“Division commander, we compiled the reports for today’s meeting,” his aide walking by his side said.
“Good work. Today’s council was about the results of the expeditions towards Chilge and the seasonal budget report, right.”
“As you say. I think we achieved everything that could be as of now.”
“Still, we did not attain the predetermined objectives did we?”
“To our deepest regret that is indeed the case but –“

“Damn Chief of Staff! Always giving us damn unreasonable workloads!” roared Ortissio, as the smug face of a handsome elf went through his mind.
“Would the commandants bestow mercy upon us, I hope…”
“Don’t. We’re speaking about him. He’ll probably relentlessly throw snide accusations at me as usual…”
“I shall sympathize with you from the bottom of my heart my lord.” his subordinate commiserate with him, full of pity, knowing too well the storm of cries and oaths that awaited his superior in that room. Ortissio always felt so melancholic at this hour of the day, and his steps towards the council room naturally became heavier.

Still, time does not wait for anyone- biting the bullet, he entered the council room, only to be welcomed by needle-like cold looks from Camilla and General Commander Nielsen.

“You’re late, Ortissio”, ostentatiously disparaged that damn Chief of Staff.

“I beg for your forgiveness,” he offered an excuse. ‘You b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲, whose fault do you think it is. I would not be if your unreasonable instructions did not force us to take some time to compile today’s reports,’ he wanted to say among lots of other vindications, which he kept to himself.

Getting over the humiliation, he reported how the looting expedition ended in not meeting its preposterously high objectives.

“Ahem. The expedition towards Chilge attained most of its predetermined goals. Powerful noble houses were destroyed, only leaving some post-war clean-up to do. However, as anyone could understand at a glance, the plunder quota was, as one may expect… Still my second division―!”

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“Enough!” interrupted Camilla.
“Y-Yes, milady.”
“Ortissio, I shall now mete out punishment to you, who failed to act according to our directions,” Camilla hissed without an ounce of compassion.
“E, err, but! I beg your pardon but, on this matter, would not the point at issue be the unreasonable directives given by the Chief of Staff?!”
“Ortissio, stop looking for excuses. The directives were decided ahead of time- how is it reasonable to complain about it at this point?”

“I cannot agree with you more. Not only he barely procured enough funds, but he also keeps gathering furnishings of poor quality unbefitting of our lady above. To the extent that I began to question his loyalty,” Dryas rubbed it in.

Following Camilla’s comment, the other commanders then started to thunderingly rain invective on Ortissio. That damn Chief of Staff in particular, as if holding a grudge since the Fiend Liquidation Mission, was relentlessly taking the council in a bad direction.

‘God dammit, where does all this flak come from! Cannot they understand! Everyone has in mind the days of the Demon Capital Benz and won’t stop comparing today to back then! But the items that you come across nowadays are way behind in both quality and quantity– What are you saying I should have done!’ Ortissio, on the verge of screaming, kept his grievance to himself with great difficulty

“Ortissio, under normal circumstances such an incompetent person would have already been executed by now… However, as unfortunate as that may be, we lack personnel at the moment. I shall remit your sins, but you shall as punishment gather an additional ten percent of funds.”
“Y, Yes my lord.”

‘And now the fund objective is raised by another ten percent… Even though it was already such a heavy workload… Even loan sharks and profiteers would be more humane you know!’

“And also, Ortissio, your second division’s quarters shall be moved further north, to block C.”
“W-What? May, may I ask why…?” he gulped, realizing that it would mean getting even farther from the headquarters, namely Tilea’s bedroom – and that alone would betray a low standing in his trust.

“You and your troops were originally too close to Lady Tilea, and there is no way I could allow untrustworthy fools to stay by our lady’s side, you see.”
“B-, But, w-, why… There is none that thinks more highly of Lady Tilea than me!”
“Heh, none you say. That is to say more than me too?! How impudent of youuu!” Camilla bellowed.

‘Hey I did it again. With each comment I dare make, it seems that I dig myself into a deeper hole. And that’s only because Lady Camilla, general commander Neilsen and the other commanders lend an ear to that damn Chief of Staff’s opinions. Isn’t someone, anyone, on my side?’

His eyes briefly met with Edim’s.

‘Ohh, now that I think of it, we are comrades who worked together during the Fiend Liquidation Mission. She is only a half breed, but beggars can’t be choosers right?’ he realized, before sending her eye signals, asking for protective fire. However, she averted her head with a click.

‘Da-damn you, you mere half breed…’

A while later, as the council was coming to an end, an even more shocking statement took him aback.

“Finally, I shall announce personnel changes. Chaka, get in.”
“Yes, my lord. My name is Chaka, former commander serving under Kira of the Demon King Army. As of today, I shall join the Evil God Army’s fourth division.”
“Wha-!??” Ortissio raised his voice before realizing it.

‘Wh-why? This guy is an outstanding talent that I was trying to get over since ages! And it is none other than my second division that found his weakness, Kira’s descendant’s whereabouts, after gathering intel for weeks! I cannot accept this. That’s the only thing that I shall not get along with!’

“Sir Chief of Staff. My second division had its eyes on that person for a long time. With all due respect, waltzing away with him seems a bit…”
“Ortissio, since when are you our human resources manager? Putting the right person in the right position falls within the Staff Officer’s competence.”
“S, Still…”
“Back out. The only thing you have to do is to devote yourself to me.”
“K-kuh, un-understood”

‘You b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲a̲a̲r̲d̲s̲! Damn it, damn it all! Too many tears in my eye, f̲u̲c̲k̲, what’s even happening anymore, I can’t see clear no more.’

Leaving the council, Ortissio suddenly started running around aimlessly. He did expect that he would have to go through some logic-defying council, but today’s meeting was horrible. His heart felt like it was falling apart.

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“Oh, Orty! What are you doing here running? It’s time, did you forget?”
“L-Lady Tilea!”

‘That’s right. So many things happened that I blacked out for a moment. Yes, today, my lady made time for a conversation with my unworthy self, today was Cown-Selling Day!’

And like today’s suffering never existed to begin with, Ortissio obediently followed Tilea in high spirits. On their way that damn Chief of Staff called out to them, but stopped in his tracks, flabbergasted, upon hearing that he had a Cown-Selling Session.

‘Ha! Serves you right!’

He who always had a smug look on his face could only see them off with a jealous expression.

1:00 p.m. “Cown-Selling”

Simply speaking, “Cown-Selling” is a system where one’s Lord lends an ear to his subordinates’ worries and offers them solutions and advice.

‘How generous can she be, creating this system only for my unworthy self,’ Ortissio thought when Tilea called out to him.

“Orty, you don’t have to be so nervous. Please sit, relax and let’s talk,” said Tilea while getting some tea ready.
“At your will! It is my humble pleasure.”
“Well, today we’ll begin with a short questionnaire. Answer without holding anything back alright?”
“Yes, milady!”
“First are a few questions. Answer with ‘Applies fully,’ ‘Applies to a point,’ ‘I can’t really say,’ or ‘Does not apply’ okay?”

Seeing how Tilea then took out a pen sheet of paper and sheet, ‘hmm is this some kind of exam? I shall then take myself to the task with all my might,’ thought Ortissio.

“Question 1: Do you wake up suddenly at night?”
“Applies fully!”
“… O, okay… “
‘That is the first question of Lady Tilea’s questionnaire, the answer obviously is affirmative. One does not even have to think about it. It would be arrant nonsense for a self-respecting warrior to sleep like a top. What if bandits attack in the middle of the night? One should be prepared for war at all times. ‘

“Question 2: Do you meditate on your death? Or do you think often about dying? “
“Applies fully!”
“… O, okay… “
‘That is a question from milady! There shall be none to answer by the negative! My life is Lady Tilea’s, and my heart’s desire is to die for her ambitions of world domination!’

Then followed a few other questions about death, sleep, concentration and depression, to which Ortissio believed he answered perfectly.

‘As befitting Lady Tilea’s right hand and loyal aide, hmm!’

“I got it Orty, let’s meet three times a week for counseling from now on, okay?…”
“As your wish, milady! It is my humble pleasure! I feel like I am about to ascend to the heavens!” he exclaimed with joy.

‘Good gracious, I will get to spend more time with milady? As I thought, Lady Tilea must have felt my unswerving loyalty overflowing and was moved by it.’
‘However, what in the heavens did milady mean by Emdiai when she mumbled, “He is in good spirits today huh, what if it is MDI…”?’
‘Well, the frequency of the Cown-Selling Sessions will increase too, it is probably a compliment.’

“And well, Orty you… probably have a lot of stress and things to say right?”
“H-how could I possibly be dissatisfied with anything! … ”
“Orty, you don’t have to act all tough you know~. I won’t tell anyone about it, you can trust me so… tell me what’s wrong!”

‘My lord really has an all seeing eye! Ah, how could I possibly go against this benevolent gaze,’ Ortissio marveled for a moment. He knew all too well that it was a conduct unbecoming of a proper subordinate. Still, he could not repress it any longer. Without even thinking about it, he let out what happened during the council and the pent-up resentment he contained during the day.

“Y-yes you see, it’s all be-because Dryas …”
“Y-yes, Dryas always… Boo hoo, sniff, you, you know!”
“Al-always here stealing the, the credit for my feats, and there that, that youngster too, and that is not all!… Ev-everyone, everyone is…”

“There there. I’ll tell them to stop, so don’t brood over it, okay?”


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