Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 287

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Chapter 287

Aegir POV–

I face Natia, Pipi and Brynhildr inside the s.h.i.+p while the smaller boats get prepared .

「So, let’s hear the reason why you chased after me . 」

「Stowing away on the s.h.i.+p…… what are you all thinking!?」

Celia and I both have a tinge of anger in our voices .

We were saved because of their help, however it isn’t something I’d like to become a habit .

Stowing away is not a big deal, but we’ll be jumping into a war between the Federation and Empire soon .

Even though I was called to be a commander, the battlefield can be unpredictable .

It may become a chaotic melee where allies and enemies are all over the place .

In a war between two giant nations, there’s little I can do on my own .

That’s why I wanted to bring the bare minimum, an amount of people within the range of my protection .

Natia and Pipi are both skilled archers, but they can’t do much if they’re surrounded . Even Brynhildr might also get injured .

「I caused trouble for the chief……」

「Well, I was interested to see what it was like in the Federation…… it should be fine if I’m not getting in the way . 」

「Hmph! I’m just doing as I please . I don’t have any obligations to explain . 」

Pipi meekly lowers her head while Natia mumbles something .

Brynhildr puffs her cheeks and turns away from me, seemingly becoming smaller than she already is .

At that moment, Schwartz neighs after being dried off, in which Natia who understands animals responds with a nod .

「What did he say?」

「”Die, stupid idiot”, he says . 」

「This guy, does he want to become horse meat before we get there!?」

Schwartz snorts and turns his head away with a soft grumbling neigh .

「…… “what a small man for complaining about being chased by women”, he says」

「……」

We can’t turn back after coming this far and I can’t just leave them alone in a situation where pirates can appear at anytime .

A real man would gladly take them along . It’s not because Schwartz said so .

「U-um……」

And then the lid of a barrel slowly lifts up, revealing another familiar face .

The one who apologetically and nervously bows her head is――

「L-Leah!?」

Celia unconsciously shouts out . It goes without saying that she wasn’t aware of Leah’s presence .

「I’m sorry . But I just haven’t had much time together with Master lately…… it’s been lonely…… even Celia-chan hasn’t really……」

She puts her hand on the rim of the barrel and looks up at me with puppy dog eyes .

It was an extremely cute gesture which really stirs my desire to protect her, how troubling .

「Leah as well, huh…… hmmm . 」

Unlike Natia and Pipi, Leah can’t fight at all and is even more clumsy than an average city girl .

She can’t protect herself either .

「U-um master…… it’s fine . Worst case scenario, you can abandon me……」

Schwartz neighs again .

「”If you can’t protect a single defenseless girl, give a few of them to me”, he says . 」

「Shut up, you perverted horse . I don’t need you to tell me that . As if I’m going to abandon Leah . 」

I kick Schwartz’s b.a.l.l.s before wrapping my arms tightly around Leah and kissing her .

The pervert horse runs around the neck wildly while neighing loudly . Don’t break the s.h.i.+p now, you hear?

There’s no other option now . It’s my responsibility for leaving the girl alone in the first place .

I just have to protect everyone . It’s not a matter of if I can do it, I just have to do it .

「……why is Leah the only one who gets a kiss?」

「Marta cannot accept that either . 」

Celia and Marta pout .

I certainly can’t stop here . I know they all love me but their sins need to be punished accordingly .

After separating from Leah’s lips, I declare to the girls .

「Now that you’re all here, I’ll protect you . However, you’ll have to be punished for acting on your own . . 」

I meant to say it with a serious expression, but Celia just sighs .

「If you sound so happy to punish them, you won’t have any persuasiveness……」

Natia seems shaken up, while Pipi and Celia are calm .

「Well, I’m going to stretch it out then . 」

「Pipi too! Pipi is small so she needs to prepare, or else it will turn into a fistula!」

「Fistula? W-what is that!? What are you going to do for punishment!?」

Brynhildr walks over while glaring at me .

「Hmph, I am just a pa.s.senger on this boat . There’s no reason for me to be punished by you . In the first place, the fault lies with you who keeps going out to far away places!」

Despite being mad, she holds out something .

「Even so, well…… I guess I could have let you know . For that, some scolding is deserved . 」

She hands me the whip from that day .

「……are you telling me it’s okay to hit you with this?」

Actually, why did she bring this whip in the first place?

「……I’ll let you think of the answer . 」

Brynhildr silently turns away and looks in the distance .

However her face seems to be flushed and her breathing seems a little strained .

「The small boats have been prepared!」

We’ve finished talking too so I guess it’s time to go to the pirate s.h.i.+p .

Mirumi and the others are probably getting tired of rocking the boat .

Actually, she may be in an unexpectedly good mood and doing it enthusiastically because of her destination .

Now the disarmed pirate leader and executives are lined up before me .

The other small fries are packed in the cabin .

Of course the female pirate I captured is also sat in front of me .

「This woman is apparently the leader’s lover . She probably slept her way to the top . 」

After the s.h.i.+p’s captain makes his statement, the female spits at him .

Her att.i.tude is quite different from when I caught her .

She must have resolved herself after some time pa.s.sed .

「Can you tell me your name?」

「Who’s going to say anything to a seedy guy…… no, to a n.o.ble like you!」

Spit also comes flying at me, but I choose not to avoid it .

If she’s going to send me spit, I’d rather her just kiss me and send it directly into my mouth .

Well, there are some people here who won’t let that fly .

「Woman, you better be prepared . 」

Celia’s expression disappears and she pulls out her sword in a smooth continuous motion .

Sensing true intention behind Celia’s words and actions, the female pirate turns her head and starts mumbling .

It looks like she surprisingly doesn’t have any guts . I grab Celia’s b.r.e.a.s.t.s to subdue her sword .

「Annette…… my name is Annette . 」

I give Annette another once over .

She’s somewhere in her twenties, her height is a little over 160 cm and she has fairly dark skin probably from being out in the sun .

She’s making a scary face right now, but her facial features are nice, so I can see why the boss would want to make her his lover .

Her semi long millet-colored hair is sticking together right now because of sweat, though it’ll likely become fluffy when she washes it .

Judging just from when I touched her during the time I captured her, her b.r.e.a.s.t.s are neither small nor large .

She’s a fine woman . It’s a waste to leave her as the lover of some pirate leader .

I unconsciously reach out to touch her b.o.o.bs again . It was a gentle touch so she doesn’t feel any pain .

「Hey, wha-…… stop that, you perv! h.o.r.n.y n.o.ble!」

「They’re soft and shapely b.r.e.a.s.t.s…… wonderful . 」

As I proceed to expose her chest, I see a b.u.t.terfly tattooed on her right breast .

「I’m not a fan of girls injuring their body like this, but it does look a little erotic . 」

My hand cups her b.o.o.b as if to envelope the b.u.t.terfly tattoo and I gently caress her .

Annette’s face becomes flushed and her nipple starts to get hard .

「Ah, you’re good…… not! Didn’t you hear me telling you stop!?」

The male boss shouts something angrily but I can’t hear him so whatever .

「Ahem! Shall we leave it at that for now?」

The captain and Celia are glaring at me . Arbakin is…… laughing again .

「Err, she had such nice b.o.o.bs I was engrossed with them for a bit there . Anyways, regarding their treatment――」

「We will of course be following customary practice . It will be a little troublesome though . 」

The customary practice the captain is talking about is almost certainly execution .

The treatment of pirates is similar to that of bandits . Ma.s.sacring the entire faction of insurgents is standard .

However that would mean Annette would get executed too . That’s not good .

「About their treatment…… can I ask you to leave them to me?」

「Haah!? T-that’s to be expected I guess……」

「Aegir-sama, again……?」「A woman, you’re going to add another?」

The captain looks at Arbakin, the one with the highest authority .

It’s unthinkable for him to leave the decision for the treatment of the insurgents to the n.o.ble of another nation .

「Unfortunately, I can’t do that . I can’t bend the rules for a n.o.ble of another nation when we’re in Federation territory . 」

I thought as much . Still, if I can somehow……

Arbakin coughs once to add something else, turning his head in a different direction .

「But I’m an amba.s.sador for Goldonia, and my mission right now is to send Lord Hardlett to headquarters . All matters besides that are trivial, besides this s.h.i.+p isn’t even a wars.h.i.+p . 」

So what is he trying to say?

「Neither I nor the crew has seen anything, meaning none of us would mind . 」

It’s decided then . I’ll announce the sentence .

「The woman will be pardoned . The men will get killed . 」

「That simple!?」

Celia immediately retorts .

「The woman will get suitable punishment…… I’ll have her surrender her body, but I won’t do anything to hurt her . Rest a.s.sured . 」

The pirates bellow angrily at me .

「Don’t be stupid! Annette or the other girls won’t fall after a lecherous man like you saves them!」

「T-that’s right! I’m a member of this pirate crew! I won’t do something like abandoning my companions . 」

It looks like there are a few other girls on this pirate s.h.i.+p other than Annette .

「Is that so?」

I see a look of relief wash over Annette’s face briefly after that statement .

She’s probably trying to be considerate of her lover or she joined in on the cursing because she wanted to remain a part of the crew, but I don’t overlook that expression .

Now that I look, the other few girls also have sparkling eyes .

「I won’t force anybody . If you want to protect your chast.i.ty, and share the same fate with your lovers and companions, that’s fine too . 」

The men nod as a matter of course .

「Heh, in other words you just want a woman’s a.s.s!」

「n.o.body’s going to follow a h.o.r.n.y n.o.ble like you!」

The men throw their verbal abuse at me, while Annette remains silent .

Then, Annette’s lover…… that is to say the boss of the pirate crew, yells .

「Annette! That lord pervert is infatuated with you . Give him a reality check, tell him you don’t want his phimosis d.i.c.k even if you have to die!」

That’s rude, mine is peeled back .

Annette stands up without saying anything and walks until she’s in front of me .

I don’t want her to say that . It would be a loss to this world if she ends up rotting away .

「Ahー……」

Annette has trouble saying something, then spins away from me and faces the pirates .

「I’ve been in everyone’s care for a considerable amount of time . Especially Gulin, who made lots of love to me as his woman . 」

So Gulin is the name of that boss? Not that I really care .

「I don’t hate any of you, plus I had a ton of fun . And so……」

The pirates also realized what would follow such an unsettling atmosphere .

Annette claps her hands together in front of her face .

「I’m sorry! I still have things I want to do and I don’t want to die yet…… what I’m trying to say is that I’m moving over to that side!」

I could almost hear the sound of jaws dropping .

「Gulin, everyone…… thanks for everything you’ve done for me up till now . And sorry . I won’t forget about all of you!」

With that said, Annette lines up beside me .

An angry bellow roars out like an explosion .

「Y-you traitor! Wh.o.r.e! ――――――!!」

Annette is not moved by the unbearable abuse .

The other girls stand up one by one and run to my side as well .

「I don’t want to die either! I’ll do anything so please spare me!」

「It’s fine if you use my hole, so please, I beg you!」

「Alright alright, I’ll release you after the punishment . 」

I hug all the girls who gathered around me and leave with them .

「Kill the rest . If there are any girls left over, persuade them no matter what . 」

「R-right……」

「I never thought I would feel pity for pirates……」

My allies finish off the pirates with arrows or swords .

There might be a lot of them, but being unarmed and bound up, they couldn’t put up any form of resistance .

Furthermore, the male underlings are all crammed inside the s.h.i.+p so they shouldn’t know what’s going on .

「There aren’t any girls in the s.h.i.+p, right?」

「No, all the girls were brought outside as you instructed . 」

「Then seal the door and set it on fire . 」

They have surrendered already, however I didn’t make a promise to spare them and I don’t need to show mercy to pirates .

As long as the women are saved, I don’t care what happens to the remaining filth .

「Dammit――!!」

One large man with his hands bound pushes aside an ally of mine and jumps into the icy water of the river .

I don’t think he can swim to the sh.o.r.e, but he probably thinks it’s better than being killed .

「Don’t let him escape! Aim your arrows at him!」

And then something mysterious happened .

The water around the man begins to foam up, then I could hear the sound of splas.h.i.+ng as plenty of fish jump in and out of the water .

Next thing I know, the water was dyed red with blood…… and what looks like the man’s skeleton floating .

My dumbfounded allies give me a sidelong glance, which in response I look to the water and ask a question .

「What happened?」

With a splosh, the kids of the cute Mirumi stick their heads out of the water .

「Gebh . Nothing~」

「Fuui~ it was tasty, that’s all~」

Fumu, some things will always be a mystery .

「Alright, shall we hurry on ahead?」

All the pirates on deck have been taken out now, so I leave behind the pirate s.h.i.+p while ignoring the screams coming from the inside of room slowly being surrounded by flames .

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Two Weeks Later .

The problem is when we get to Pipi the scatterbrain whose armor is very loosely fitting on her body, Leah who has a warm smile on her face, and Brynhildr who is wearing a gorgeous dress while looking slightly upward in a cold, condescending manner .

They clearly look to like lovers taken along under the pretense of being escorts or followers .

I can’t really deny the truth .

「……ahem . In any case, I have an order from the Supreme Commander . We will require escorts as we head to White City . 」

「That is not possible . 」

It was an immediate response from the commander .

Arbakin’s face becomes stern .

「Are you disobeying orders from the Supreme Commander?」

「As soldiers, we follow the orders from our superiors . However this order is an impossible one . 」

The commander shows Arbakin and I the map laid out on a table .

「On the night of the day before yesterday, a squad of the Imperial army landed near Iruisk . They have occupied this hill and set up camp . 」

Placed on the map is a red marker probably indicating the enemy’s position .

「Don’t be stupid, the enemy should have withdrawn to the south coast . You’re saying they landed on the north coast at this point in time?」

Arbakin makes a groaning comment .

「It’s not a full scale attack . Their aim is to probably land several small squads on the north coast to impede the overall actions of our army . Their fleet is controlling the waters . There’s no way for us to stop them from landing . 」

「In other words, right now the path connecting this city and White City is blocked by the enemy?」

When I chime in, the commander seems p.i.s.sed off, yet he doesn’t forget to reply politely .

「That’s right . With that being the present situation, I regret to tell you, it is impossible for us to escort you safely to White City . 」

「The road along the river is unusable so we’d have to make a huge detour to the north…… no, it’ll be dangerous if we encounter a blizzard . 」

Arbakin is mumbling something, but the thing is, we just have to trounce the enemy and everything will be fine .

「How many enemies are we talking about?」

「……」

The commander doesn’t answer and looks to Arbakin .

Then he nods and speaks irritatingly .

「The enemy has approximately 5000 . 」

「And how many forces do we have?」

「…… about the same, approximately 5000 . 」

「If we’re equal in number, we should be able to break past them . 」

When I said that, the other commanders stand up altogether .

「How dare you say whatever you want when you have no clue what the battlefield is like!」

「The enemy is camped on the hill . It’s doubtful we will win even if we attack with the same numbers!」

「So are you just going to let the enemy sit still in front of your eyes forever?」

「The plan is to wait for reinforcements from White City, then annihilate them with a pincer attack!」

「When are they coming?」

The commander becomes quiet . It’s pointless to place any expectations on such uncertain reinforcements .

「By leaving the newly appeared enemy alone, you’re basically telling them you don’t have a sufficient amount of forces, which in turn prompts them to fortify their position with more troops . 」

The other commanding officers become quieter .

They also know the current situation is not favorable .

「Let’s begin our attack . Of course I will be taking part as well . 」

The commanding officers lift their heads in surprise .

Arbakin gets shocked this time .

「I’ll show you that I came to the Federation not just to sleep with girls . 」

I may have gotten excited from sensing the atmosphere of the battlefield .

Fighting has eroded my heart, probably taking a hold of twenty percent of it at this point .

The other eighty percent is for women of course .

I’ll show them the true power of that twenty percent .

「……」

The commander closes his eyes to think for a while, then declares in a loud voice after he opens his eyes .

「Very well . As the commander of the Iruisk Army Corps, I will allow Lord Hardlett to partic.i.p.ate . The attack will be tomorrow morning, in time with the rising of the sun!」

「C-commander!?」「Given to a man who brings women with him!?」

Hooh, I thought he would be more reluctant about it .

「Either way, we don’t know when reinforcements will arrive . We can’t just leave the enemy alone . Which is why now is the perfect chance . 」

I grin and nod, meanwhile the commander doesn’t smile a single bit .

If he doesn’t react, it makes it seem like I’m laughing while reminiscing and that’s embarra.s.sing .

「Relay the order to everyone . Make preparations immediately!」

「…… yessir!」「Understood, sir!」

The rules in the Federation’s army are absolute . Opposition or objections are not allowed after the commander has given out orders .

The commanding officers who complained earlier also ran swiftly to their own squads .

……they clicked their tongues when they pa.s.sed by me though .

「Now then Lord Hardlett, let’s hope you can put your money where your mouth is . Show me what you’re made of . 」

「Sure . I was summoned here to fight after all . 」

Alright, it’s wartime .

Let’s get some armor on Schwartz as well to make him completely ready .

「……why are you biting me?」

My head is being bitten as I get ready for tomorrow .

Schwartz continues to bite me the whole time .

「Like I said, why are you biting!? My hair will fall out! What are you going to do if I become bald like Adolph!?」

I got too excited without realizing and raised my voice .

「Adolph is bald……」「He’s balding?」「So he’s balding . 」「So he’s bald, huh . 」「He’s bald!」

「So he is bald . 」

The girls repeat those words like they’re hearing them for the first time . Well, be careful about mentioning it when you get back home .

Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett . 24 years old . Winter .

Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave . Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area . Mountain Legend . Friend of the Dwarves . Friend of the King of Aless . Dragon Slayer Hero .

Elf Mediator .

Accompanying: Celia (escort, a.s.sistant), Marta (aide), Natia (temporary follower), Leah (temporary follower)

Brynhildr (temporary follower), Pipi (archer), Messerschmitt (worthless dog), Schwartz (horse)

Arbakin (Federation amba.s.sador), Mirumi (Quietly, in the deep ……)

Family:

Nonna (legal wife), Carla (concubine), Mel (concubine), Miti (concubine, expecting), Maria (concubine, expecting), Catherine (concubine, expecting)

Melissa (lover), Kuu (lover), Ruu (lover), Mireille (lover)

Casie (ghost), Rita (head maid), Yoguri (playwright), Alice (fainting in agony magical girl)

Marceline (pregnant lover), Daughters – Stephanie (lover), Bridget (lover), Felicie (lover)

Sebastian (butler), Dorothea (capital mansion supervisor), Claudia (giant meatball), Clara (female attendant)

Felteris (perverted elf)

Non-humans:

Lammy (plant caretaker), Alraune (can move), Pet.i.t Roper (enlarging)

Pet:

Pochi (on a self-improvement journey)

Subordinates:

Irijina (commander), Luna (commander), Ruby, Myla (security officer, searching)

Gido (escort unit), Polte (refugee case worker), Gretel (wife-dog-to-be)

Leopolt (staff officer), Adolph (domestic affairs official), Tristan (domestic affairs a.s.sistant, in hiding)

Claire & Laurie (official merchant), Lilian (actress), Kroll (servant), Alma (servant)

a.s.sets: 13,590 gold (Annette farewell gift -10)

s.e.xual Partners: 445, children who have been born: 55 + 555 fish

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