Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 101

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Chapter 101

–Aegir POV–

The gates of the surrendered Majino fortress open and the once separated path running north to south gets connected . The central army commanded by Erich marches through the gate in long, uninterrupted, snake-like ranks .

「It’s been awhile…… but I guess not enough time has pa.s.sed for me to say that . 」

The troops are lined up, with me standing at the front, to greet the army as they came back .

「This is your achievement . In any case, you did well to successfully make such a large detour and cross the plains like that . 」

After we shook hands, I join up with Erich, leave some soldiers for the monitoring of prisoners and management of the fortress and head towards Roleil . …… I don’t think they’ll all fit in the town though .

「So do you know anything about the remaining forces near the capital?」

「There should be guards or defence forces, but other than that, there shouldn’t be anything else that really stands out?」

To be precise, there may also be the armies of the feudal lords in the area, but their numbers and skill are nothing to worry about . In fact, we didn’t even flinch when we collided with the alliance army consisting of imperial guards and Magrado forces . At this point in time, they’re definitely holed up in their territories and trembling in their boots .

「……Did they put their entire military force in this fortress?」

「The imperial guards branched off, but we obliterated them . The survivors are of no significance and you don’t have to worry about them . 」

「I see, you did well without receiving any backup . 」

「Besides……」

Suddenly, I thought about whether it would be a good idea to talk about Magrado in front of the soldiers, but all my soldiers have seen their flag . It doesn’t make much difference now .

「We did battle with those imperial guards, who have allied themselves with the Magrado army . We were barely able to defeat them and there were a considerable amount of sacrifices, so they were quite the elite group . 」

「Magrado!? They weren’t disguised as Treia but actually showed their flag?」

「Yes, the soldiers have all witnessed this too . 」

「Uuumu……」

Erich pauses his conversation with me and calls for a messenger, then starts reciting the contents for a letter to the capital . I guess this information requires that amount of urgency .

「I expected them to disguise themselves and provide reinforcements from behind, but for them to boldly show their flag clearly shows they oppose Goldonia . This would normally lead to war . 」

Leopolt whispers behind me . He might not be finished yet . I don’t mind when we’re in battle, but I want to rest a bit, and taste some women as well .

「You’ve indulged quite a bit already though…… there is still plenty of your seed in my stomach . 」

Celia rubs her belly as she grumbles . Irijina and Luna also blush . The tower of female bodies composed of Irijina, Luna, Celia and Pipi was wonderful yesterday .

「Sorry, I felt that I had to tell the capital immediately . Well, the soldiers will be resting in Roleil for now, but the advance on the capital afterwards…… you’re also coming, right?」

「I’ll be accompanying you . 」

With the fall of the capital, the war with Treia will likely be over . It would be boring just to sleep and wait in Roleil, and more than anything, being invited to accompany him is a reward in itself . After we march into the capital, the mansions of the n.o.bles and large merchants will be the targets of our plundering after all . It means that we have gained the right to pick the fruits of our labor .

「I’m sure you understand, but in regards to the citizens……」

「The confiscation of a.s.sets will be restricted to those of n.o.ble cla.s.s and the merchants with crests, I understand . 」

「Umu, your army has a very distinct leaders.h.i.+p structure unthinkable in your average private army . I guess I don’t have to worry, huh?」

If you allow farmers and other strangers, who are typically seen in a feudal lord’s army, to march into town, they would usually make a scene by raping and murdering . At the very least, my army has the decency to obey orders, and strict punishment will be given to those who break the rules .

「I won’t say that it’s completely decided, but the enemy has opened the gates for us, didn’t they . After a few days of rest, we’ll head to the capital…… there are people I have to talk to . 」

Erich’s glance s.h.i.+fts somewhere else . That is where the fortress commander, Count Majino, is drooping his shoulders on top of a horse while surrounded by soldiers .

1 week later, Capital Trisnia

「Fireee!!」

Accompanying the shouts of the commanders are several dozen large rocks that were launched in the air, causing many to scream at their landing points . Following that, several large bolts soared through the air .

「Archers, volley fire!」

The sky darkens for a brief moment as a curtain of arrows drapes over the enemy . The archers on top of the city walls are readying their bows but are falling over the walls like rain .

「Most of the enemy archers have been annihilated!」

「Bring out the battering rams . We’ll destroy the gates and perform a frontal a.s.sault . 」

「Aegir-sama?」

I thought that Erich was telling me to go out for a second there with his order . This is all Leopolt’s fault .

The battering rams advance forward slowly . The turtle-like speed makes them the perfect target, but the defence forces of Trisnia no longer has any spare energy to perform any ambush attacks . The first battering ram reaches the gate and begins to break it down, and eventually the second and third rams also arrive, completely shattering the gate shortly after .

「The first and second divisions will march forward . The third division will standby in the area, the fourth division will standby here as reserve troops . 」

「All units charge forward, treat the citizens as you are ordered to!」

A portion of Erich’s troops and my army begin their march . The outcome was decided from the beginning . The defence forces in the capital are roughly 3000 at best, while we are almost at 70 000, excluding the ones we left at the fortress . We possess a bunch of siege weapons as well, so the defense at the capital of Trisnia seemed like toys that couldn’t even take a hit .

「It would have been nice if they just surrendered . 」

I try to chat with Erich . In this situation, I can’t imagine Triea being so brave or hungry for battle that they wouldn’t surrender

「It does seem strange . The messenger hasn’t come either so they couldn’t cooperate well with their defence forces . It looks like they were in chaos before we even started fighting . 」

It’s natural to think their soldiers’ morale is low in this situation, but even so, this is too much so . I am thankful that I don’t have any unnecessary casualties though .

「We can’t figure it out just by talking, so I’m going out too . 」

「Don’t die in a battle where the victor has already been decided . 」

I mount Schwartz, whose wounds have healed, and follow the charging troops accompanied by Celia . Schwartz is somehow not feeling well . It doesn’t seem like it’s due to his injuries, but rather because he’s tired after going crazy with the female horse during his recovery time . It might finally be time to think about castrating him .

We rush into the city and try to soothe the frightened people as we head to the royal castle, but all of a sudden, three Treian soldiers jump out from the alley . Expecting them to fight, I point my spear at them, but they react strangely .

「Please wait! We don’t intend to fight anymore!」

「We surrender . Please don’t kill us……」

「The King’s already escaped so we have no reason to resist . 」

The soldiers drop their spears simultaneously and get on their knees . How boring . But what do they mean when they say the king has run away?

「This is just a rumor but……it seems last night the royal family and upper-cla.s.s n.o.bles went out to the river and got on a s.h.i.+p . 」

「Our superior denied it but ever since then, we haven’t received any orders……there’s no mistake about it . 」

「They abandoned us and ran away to Magrado! We have no intention to die for such a cold-hearted king!」

「Shouldn’t we inform Lord Radhalde about this?」

Celia’s absolutely right .

「Take them to the headquarters . 」

「But if that’s the case, there shouldn’t be any enemies who would put up such a fight……」

If the king has escaped, those loyal retainers who are trying so desperately to protect their country are idiots . If I pay close attention, I can hear sounds of plundering and destruction coming from the interior of the city, but none of the sounds of battle, like shouting and clas.h.i.+ng of metal . There may not be anymore enemies who are resisting .

「How boring . 」

「This is good . It’s more important that Aegir-sama didn’t get injured……」

When I turn around after hearing a ‘kyaa!’, I find one of my soldiers carrying a woman towards the shadow of a building . I thought I forbid them from raping .

「Hey, stop . 」

The soldier looks annoyed, but after seeing my face, his face turns pale .

「What are you doing?」

「T-this is……」

The woman is pulled away from the soldier, who was then told to sit . Celia unsheathes her sword and the soldier starts to tremble uncontrollably .

「I thought I told you not to rape, didn’t I?」

The woman clearly doesn’t seem to like it .

「Y-yes! Uh, this is……my apologies……」

Celia swings her sword .

「Put your head to the ground and beg, with all your might!!」

The soldier prostrates himself and pleads desperately .

「Please forgiv-」

「Not to me, to this woman!!」

「Eh?」

「Eeh?」

「Eeh?」

Celia’s voice overlaps with the soldier’s and the woman’s voice . I don’t think I said anything strange though .

「You wanted to embrace this woman, right? Then beg with all your might!」

The soldier seems confused, but shouts in an excited and hollow voice .

「Pl-please! I want to embrace a beautiful woman like you! I’ll be gentle, so I beg of you to let me do it!」

「Eeeh……a beautiful woman? ……Well, if you’re not going to be rough then…… it’s not my first time either……」

Seems like he’s got permission .

「Alright, off you go . 」

The excited soldier raises his neck up off the ground and instantly picks up the woman, taking her off to the shade to embrace her gently this time . That should be fine .

「…………」

「By the way, why do you have your sword out?」

「……Isn’t it the death penalty if you rape a woman?」

「If you raped someone, then you would be sentenced to death . I don’t mind consensual s.e.x . 」

「…………」

Celia’s sighs and cold stares continued until the royal castle fell .

Night

「As expected, none of the royalty are here . 」

Erich and I are facing each other from across the table and drinking tea . He’s the supreme commander and has lots to do, so he can’t drink alcohol right now .

「Do you have to be a high-cla.s.s soldier if you want to become a commander?」

「Yes, the senior statesman we captured has fallen ill so only the minister is left . 」

「So it really is……Magrado isn’t it?」

「I can’t think it’s anyone else . There’s no meaning for Stura or Yurest to do this, and they’re the ones actually sending troops . 」

「Could they not be going further down the river to the Federation?」

A sneering smile appears on Erich’s face .

「If they were planning on living as ordinary citizens, then that could be possible . Unfortunately, royalty are not that willing to abandon their power so easily . If we consider that they will return to their own land, it can only be Magrado . 」

He laughs, telling me that what he just said should be kept secret from the king .

「But it would be troublesome if that’s the case . We can’t chase after them either . 」

We don’t have a means to get across the river since we don’t have any s.h.i.+ps . Treia is located upstream from the river and although the river is somewhat narrow, it is still several kilometers wide . It isn’t a distance you could just swim across or place a plank over and walk across .

「We can only wait for the decision from the capital regarding that . The King and that Kenneth guy…… I mean, the foreign minister, will think of something . 」

Erich had a clear look of disgust on his face and his tone reverted back to that of his mercenary days . The foreign minister is the King’s confidant, if I remember correctly . I guess there are all sorts of power struggles within the capital as well .

「In the meantime, we’ll control Treia’s territory . We’ll have to get each of the feudal lords to obey us after all . 」

That won’t be a problem either . Once their capital falls, the feudal lords won’t obey the royalty who fled . They’ll come crying in surrender and resignation in a hurry .

「How about inside the city? Unscrupulous looting or killing hasn’t happened, right?」

「Yeah, there are a few who has broken the rules and have been punished, but for the most part, order is being preserved . 」

「I see……well that’s one thing done for now . 」

Erich leans back in his chair . I would like to let him sleep, but I still have one more concern .

「Did you know about the thing with the execution platform?」

「Ah…… I heard it from the ill minister who has fallen asleep . 」

Tens of men and women were hung in the plaza in front of the royal palace . They were probably hung before Treia’s senior statesmen fled but I couldn’t understand the meaning behind purposely executing the prisoners, and from their appearances, they’re clearly high-cla.s.s n.o.bles . It might be something insignificant, but it bothered me so I wanted to investigate .

「It seems like those are the family members of Treia’s prime minister, Marquess Dunois . He invited the army of another nation countless times without the King’s permission and went missing after he lost the battle . Only his family members got sentenced to serve as an example . 」

So Magrado’s army was that ‘other nation’ . It doesn’t make me feel good that we struggled so much against them .

「I guess we should take them down and cremate them . It’s not the most important thing…… and the prime minister is missing too . 」

「It was such a fierce battle, so I might have killed him . 」

「It’s fine, there’s no point fussing over it now . 」

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Erich leaned into his chair a lot more this time . One of his men brings him a blanket . Staying any longer would be pointless .

I let Celia go call the soldiers and in the meantime, release the children and the women, who have gotten in together with the children, from the prison . As soon as I set them free, the adult women rain kisses on me manically, but the children seem clueless as to what to do . They’ve been here since they were very young so it’s natural for them not to know much about the outside world . I was like that in the past too .

「From now on, you will decide what will happen to yourselves . Live however you want . 」

I recommend joining a mercenary group . Perhaps one of them will develop into a stunning beauty .

The last door that the guide opened is a thick one, and the room behind the door contains rows of painful-looking tools .

「The punishment room?」

「Heh, yeah」

In the middle of the room, there is an exhausted young girl…… no, she looks a little more grown up than a young girl . Perhaps she’s around the same age as Celia . I can tell from the seed leaking from her crotch that she was raped violently not too long ago .

「Ah……please don’t be rough……the pain…… I don’t like it……」

The crying girl looks at me suddenly and opens her eyes in surprise .

「Y-you’re…… don’t tell me……」

But as the girl lays eyes on the person behind me acting as my guide, she covers her face and cries loudly .

「Noooooo! I don’t want to be hurt anymoreeee!!」

She won’t be willing to talk anymore, so I pick the girl up and move her elsewhere . Her entire body is covered in wounds and she’s dirty, but her face is quite nice . If she was treated gently, her beauty would s.h.i.+ne that much more; these idiots will never learn .

「Aegir-sama!」

Celia brings the escort unit with her and enters the bas.e.m.e.nt . Even the tough escort squad wrinkled their face at the disastrous scenes around them .

「We’ll take custody of the children and bring back to the headquarters in the meantime . Take the injured and sick people to the doctors . 」

The escort unit destroys the prisons one by one and takes the children with them . However, there are already some who have stopped breathing .

「……take them up and cremate them . 」

I’m not angry because of my own circ.u.mstances . I never felt I was particularly unfortunate to begin with, I’m just disgusted .

「Hey, come over here . 」

「Noooo! I don’t like pain!」

It’s the voice of the girl from earlier, and it seems that she’s resisting the escort unit as well . She’s completely frightened .

Just when I was thinking of what to do about her, she wobbles unsteadily over in my direction and hugs me . Oh, so she’s fine with me?

「…………」

「Well, I don’t mind, come . 」

It can’t be helped so I pick up the girl and head to the surface . She seems to be fine amongst the other kids so I place her on the wagon and send them off to the headquarters . The girl kept staring at me . Did she fall in love at first sight?

Then I descend into the bas.e.m.e.nt once again . I need to clean up some things .

「B-boss……what will happen to me?」

「You haven’t guided me around the whole place yet, right? Let’s start with that . 」

Even though I say guide, I’m already taking the lead as we move around underground . Then I make some light conversation with the man .

「That girl just now gave you quite a lot of trouble, huh?」

「Heeh! Absolutely, that b.i.t.c.h . 」

「She’s pretty afraid of you, so did you rape her a lot?」

I even show him a smile to give off an impression of joking around .

「Heeh……well, I guess so . 」

「Was it good?」

「That girl, her hole was the best! You should definitely try it too, boss……wait, this isn’t even a room . 」

In the corner of the underground prison, there is a heavy-looking steel lid .

「You need two people to lift that lid, and if you’re not careful when you open it……」

I lift the lid . A deep hole was uncovered, and it was so dark I couldn’t see the bottom . The rustling sounds inside are probably rats scavenging for decaying flesh, or perhaps corpses that have become zombies .

「This is……」 「the place where you throw corpses and weakened prisoners, right?」

It’s being used for the same purpose as it was in the past, isn’t it .

I grab the neck of the man, who turned pale when he saw my face, and drag him .

「B-boss! The promise w-gah!!」

「Promise……?」

「You said if I take you around, you wouldn’t kill me!!」

「Sorry, I forgot about it . 」

I throw the man in the hole . He fell quite the distance, but since there are piles of corpses at the bottom, he shouldn’t die . Although his screams don’t seem to end . It’s annoying, so I gently close the lid .

Well, let’s go back now .

The Next Morning

「You went pretty wild, didn’t you . 」

Erich is already mad .

「As a commander……what you did is completely unnecessary – to rampage like that when the hearts of the people are disturbed right after they have been occupied and then to produce casualties is preposterous . 」

He sighs and collects himself before speaking again .

「As a man, it’s a job well done . It’s better for you to be like that . 」

What an unstable guy .

But besides Erich, it seems the capital is pretty unstable too . A few days later, a messenger from the capital gave us orders to head north instead of telling us about the end of the war .

Aegir Hardlett . 21 years old . Autumn . Wartime .

Subordinate Units: 9600

Infantry: 2100, Cavalry: 1300, Archers: 700, Combat Engineers: 200, Bow Cavalry: 5300

Subordinates: Leopolt (Chief of Staff and Deputy General Commander), Celia (Adjutant, Escort Captain), Irijina (Commander), Luna (Bow Cavalry Commander), Pipi (Mascot)

Current Location: Trisnea

Accomplishments: Annihilation of Treia Eastern Defence Forces (surrender), Captured Roleil, Magrado Army defeated, Treia’s Imperial Army destroyed, Fell the Majino Fortress (Joint)

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