44.1 The Overlord Confronts Intruders
── A certain manor in Governor Kittle’s territory──
[My youngest sister, Silvia, has entered into an alliance with someone in the frontier?]
Within the manor’s parlor, Governor Kittle’s second daughter, Reines, listens to a report from a subordinate while having tea.
[In the frontier? I was under the impression there wasn’t a single reliable person in that place.]
[This is information from a swordsman called Dims, a former subordinate of Silvia-hime-sama. He seems to have been dismissed from Sue-hime-sama’s1service and now wishes to serve Reines-sama.]
A gray-haired elder stands before Reines-hime. He wears garments with a long hem and holds a wooden white cane in his hand.
[Then, Gramps, did that man called Dims say anything else?]
[He said that a powerful king has appeared in the frontier.]
Reines-hime inadvertently spits out the tea she is drinking.
[Has some bandit chief taken to residing in the frontier?! Did those slow-witted ajin perhaps mistakenly take that for a king?]
[I’m afraid that might not be the case.]
[Then, what do you wish to say?]
[We have received a report that the army of the 『Cult of Awakening Contentment』, a black magic society that has been causing a lot of trouble in the territory recently, has been defeated by the ajin. Apparently that report reached the ears of Sue-hime-sama and made her interested in this so-called King of the Frontier.]
Reines-hime nods as she picks up a biscuit. While leisurely stroking her golden hair, the same hair she shares with her other sisters, she rests her chin on her hand.
Her body is clad in a crimson robe. However, it lacks sleeves, and for ease of movement, has a slit along the waist.
The House of 『Governor Kittle』 is distinguished in the country of 『Alicia』 for always producing chancellors, generals, and ministers. Even at present, as the authority of 『Alicia』 wanes and the world turns turbulent, the reputation of House of 『Governor Kittle』 remains unchanged. There are many who desire that name and come to offer their services.
『The Three Sisters of House Kittle』, having been raised by such a father, constantly strive to amass talented personnel for themselves. They are also highly trained in martial arts. After all, they take pride in being the successors of their illustrious father.
As such, Reines can understand if Silvia, the youngest sister, has brought the king of ajin under her command. However, for her to personally go meet him is unexpected.
Does the king of ajin truly have that much value……?
[Dims requests soldiers be provided to him. He said that he desires to dispose of the king of the ajin before he becomes an obstacle to you in the future.]
[He wants to do that to an ally of Silvia? How can he entertain such thoughts?]
Kukuh, Reines Kittle giggles.
[How many soldiers does this Dims desire?]
[He said 20 people.]
[I see. That is about as many as I can move without Silvia noticing. Very well, grant it to him.]
[Are you sure?]
[Just hire soldiers with money. Make sure to keep our involvement secret. Have 2 supervisors tag along with them. However, I will not permit any assassination. Have them abduct his combat assets to hold hostage. I, too, am curious to learn what kind of person the king of the ajin is.]
[This Dims appears to have a personal vendetta against the king of ajin…… will he obey our orders?]
[If he doesn’t obey, then responsibility will fall squarely on him.]
Having said that, Reines Kittle yawns.
[In any case, we cannot waste time on the frontier. My father intends to march to the capital soon. We cannot afford to squander our military might for such a trifling matter as this. Fufufu.].
──A few days later. Late night. Near 『Hazama Village』──
[……Since no one lives in the frontier, it’s easy to sneak up on them if we move around at night.]
Such were the words of the swordsman, Dims. Dressed entirely in black, he runs out from the shade of a tree before immediately lying flat on the ground. He surveys his surroundings, but he sees no signs of people.
Spread out ahead of the swordsman Dims are the fields that surround 『Hazama Village』. His expression sours upon spotting the wooden fence surrounding the field.
[……Looks like no one’s around. Alright, let’s go, everyone.]
Dims waves his hand. With that as their cue, some tens of men emerge from the forest. Every single one of them is dressed in black, just like Dims, and with a dagger in hand. They also have ropes and claws ready for climbing over the village’s walls.
They have a single goal. To sneak into 『Hazama Village』 and, if possible, incapacitate the 『King of the Frontier』. If that proves to be too difficult of a task, they’re to return with as much information as they can get gather. That is all.
[Listen well. Don’t touch that wooden fence. It’s enchanted by some sort of a spell.]
[Yeah. I thought it was just a fence so I slashed at it. Well, nothing will happen so long as you don’t touch it.]
[What is it?]
[What kind of spell did they use on those stone walls?]
One of the men points to the field. Stones have randomly been piled into walls standing here and there over where crops are growing.
[Maybe it’s for keeping out animals?]
[I don’t understand how ajin’s think. But just in case, absolutely don’t touch them. Nothing should happen if you don’t touch them.]
[Affirmative.] [Understood.] [No problem.] [Let’s go.] [Be careful.]
While exchanging words, Dims and his men cross into the field.
Their surroundings are dark. Only starlight guides them. Guards seem to be posted on top of the walls, but the darkness makes it hard to tell.
All that remains is for them to climb the wall on the side with the fewest guards and infiltrate the village. Even if they can’t incapacitate the king, surely they can at least set his village on fire.
[……I’ll grant you your due punishment for disgracing me, king of the ajin.]
Dims grinds his teeth── then laughs.
But still, just how stupid are ajin?
They might be placed to prevent the animals from damaging their crops, but stone walls like those will block their line of sight. With the way they’ve been set up over the fields, they create shadows underneath themselves. Should they choose to use them to proceed, they’ll be able to easily reach the walls.
[They can’t even understand a simple thing like this. Ajin really are just savages. Isn’t that right, everyone?]
[Exactly.] [Agreed.] [Ain’t even worth talking about.] [It’s as you say.] 『Heei2』
In the darkness, his men respond back.
The group is dressed in black. If not for their voices, he won’t have been able to tell how many are with him. Some didn’t respond but he doesn’t let it bother him. At any rate, they need to move on.
[……The night is short. Advance at full speed.]
[Understood.] [Affirmative.] [I’ll do my best.] 『Heeei』 『Hei hei』
Thus, Dims and his men begin their advance.
They’ve already traversed through a third of the fields.
It’s an important mission. They have to proceed with caution.
[……I absolutely can’t fail.]
Silvia-hime has dismissed me. Being picked up by Reines-hime, I couldn’t have received any better fortune. I don’t know if I’ll get another chance. I absolutely must complete my mission.
Dims raises an arm. That’s the signal to assemble. He looks up towards the top of the walls but sees no guards. They most likely moved to the other side of the walls. It is time to start running.
[Let’s go.] 『Heii』 『Heii』 『HEEEI!』 『HEI HEI HEI HEI!』
[You fools. You’re being too loud. Now listen well, we have to be careful here──]
Dims the swordsman turns around.
None of his subordinates are behind him.
Gurun gurun, dossun.
A heavy sound echoes within the darkness. Silhouettes seem to be moving.
They are the stone walls that Dims and his men went past. They are taking energetic steps forward while── spinning, tumbling, and rising over and over again.
[──── Wha? Wha wha wha wha wha?!]
『Hei』 『Heihei』 『HEEI HEI HEI!』 『HEII!』
The 『stone walls』 are raising their battle cries in the darkness. Dims’ subordinates lay limp, collapsed at their feet.
『HEI!』 『HEII!』 『HEI HEI HEI!』
[── Go, go away. Go away. Why the hell are you surrounding me?! STOP, GO AWAY! GO AWAAAAAAAAAY───!!]
『『『『HEI HEI HEI HEI HEI HEI!』』』』
[GYAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!] In the middle of the night, the screams of the swordsman Dims echo through the village.