DK – Chapter 2-3: Aiming for the Valley where the dragons dance II

I was about to leave the store merrily…but Riel suddenly held me from the back and covers my mouth. I was about to instinctively throw her, but I resist it.

Throwing her would be a waste. Because her decently-sized breasts are hitting my back after all! 

…Damn it! With an armor, I can’t feel them!! But this is a good sign. The tsundere beauty is finally showing her loving side.

“…Captain.” (Riel)

It was quite the low voice. I have also caught onto the situation with that. I nodded my head to show her my understanding. 

It is okay. For a second there, I thought something unnecessary, but I have already noticed the armed men outside. There’s around 7 people.

I grab the wrist of Riel and separate her long thin fingers from my mouth. Then, we begin conversation in a low voice so that the people outside don’t notice. 

“…That’s an elf for you. Nice job noticing them before me.” (Solje)

“…Well, I am an elf after all.” (Riel)

“Kukuku, you were concentrating on the outside this whole time, weren’t you? Were you protecting me?” (Solje)

“…!” 

The elf girl reddens her face without saying a word. Umu. A nice reaction as expected. Looks like I might have a chance. 

 A family with both a dragon and the world’s best archer wife, huh. That sounds like a splendid environment. 

“…But, who are they? They don’t give out a strong aura like that of mercenaries or bounty hunters. They are letting out amateurish bloodlust.” (Solje)

“Aren’t they people of the neighboring village who you knocked out in a drunken frenzy?” (Riel)

“Eh?” (Solje)

I don’t remember. No, I do admit that I was drinking at the neighboring village, but…did I do something like that? I have no memory of it. 

“…Good grief. What are you doing getting so drunk you lost your memory?” (Riel)

“Shut up. I was attacked by nostalgia and ended up drowning in alcohol…!” (Solje)

In that case, should I apologize?

But…in front of the girl that could possibly be the mother of my children, that would be uncool. 

Oh well, let’s have a fight with the risk of being discovered by soldiers.

Even if we are attacked by a few soldiers, we can defeat them. If we throw the corpses in the forest, we won’t be discovered for a while. We are also good at hiding in the hills and fields, and deceiving pursuers. We are normally hiding in the remaining 5% of the continent as we live. The proficiency is a requirement. 

Now then, it is time for battle. It might lead to deaths. Whichever it is depends on the other party. 

“T-There they are!! S-Shoot!!” 

They are supposed to be doing a surprise attack here, so raising your voice to give the signal should be a no, you know? While having that opinion, I catch the wood arrow that was flying my way. 

“W-Wa?!” 

“What the hell?!” 

“…Fumu. They really don’t look familiar…” (Solje)

I snap the arrow with a finger, and knit my brows. Nope, not an inkling. 

But Riel pokes her head out from behind me and speaks out. 

“Ah, they really are the bunch from before.” (Riel)

“As in, the ones you say I punched to unconsciousness?” (Solje)

The non-alcoholic Riel is saying it, so it seems I had a night where I was dead drunk. Heavy drinking is fearsome. 

The youngsters speak.

“T-That’s right!! I am Rob from the Busha village!!” 

“Same, Samson!!” 

“Ruiji!!” 

“And I am—”

“Ah, geez. You are so noisy, just stop! There’s no way I would be able to remember the names of seven people at once… I am the kind of guy that didn’t even remember your existence, you know? And so, what is it? What’s your business?” (Solje)

“Isn’t it obvious?!” 

“…Revenge?” (Solje)

“That as well!! But, you are a wanted man, right?!” 

“I wonder.” (Solje)

“Don’t play the fool!! Red haired man with one eye!! A giant longsword at his back! No matter how you slice it, that’s you!!” 

“I am normally mistaken for that guy. You may say one-eyed, but you must be talking about the guy that has the opposite eye gone, right? Even if you beat me up and bring me to the law, the ones who will be caught will be you guys instead, you know?” (Solje)

“Eh?” 

“S-Seriously?” 

“Which was it?! Was it the right or his left eye? Must be the right?” 

These country bumpkins are about to be deceived. Nice, I am doing some bigbrain play—

“Captain, you liar. There’s no way there’s another man like that aside from you.” (Riel)

This elf princess that is even more of a country bumpkin than these country bumpkins has thrown my plan to the garbage. Elves apparently hate lies. 

Hahaha! What a noble and problematic philosophy you guys have!! …You would suck at life!!

“W-We are not going to be deceived!!” 

“T-That’s right!!”

“…You were about to be. As I thought, humans are an inferior race.” (Riel)

“Shut up!!”

“We are gonna beat you up too while at it if you say anymore!” 

Uoh. The situation keeps getting worse because of Riel…

This is a pain, so should I just kill them? And then, sell the armor and arrows these guys somehow got to the dwarf old man. The old man would happily melt those and make new and better iron goods. The resources would be used in a better way. 

…But I was the one who punched them, so I might have blame in this. I don’t remember the details at all though. Were they the ones at fault? Or was it me? 

…If I were to slice these amateurs, would I be the bad guy here? They are amateurs that look like the type who would have their pants dirty from working on the fields. There’s no way they know combat. Even when someone is conscripted and receives 3 months of training, they may become soldiers, but they won’t be warriors yet.

A battle-hardened dragon knight of the Strauss slaughtering countryside guys…would only become bad rumors. Even I keep my honor in mind. 

“…Oi, Riel. Which course would be better? …Bloodstained? Cool?” (Solje)

“Is there a need to ask me?” (Riel)

“I am lost here.” (Solje)

“Pointless killing is not good.” (Riel)

“…I see.” (Solje)

Looks like my elf, who is beautiful on the outside and on the inside, is a tsundere. Well, she has spoken. I am a benevolent man. I am the more mature one here after all!

“Now then, boys.” (Solje)

“We are already 20!” 

“My bad, young men. I believe you have also faintly noticed yourselves, but I am indeed that wanted man.” (Solje)

“S-So you really were! You murderer!!” 

“You demi-human siding traitor!!” 

“Former Demon Lord subordinate!!” 

The young men ridicule me with their dirty mouths. But I don’t get mad. I am a composed man. I am an adult after all.

“…That’s right. It is as you say. And that’s exactly why you should think about it.” (Solje)

“A-About what?!” 

“I am a murderer, a demi-human favourer, and a former Demon Lord army dragon knight, you know? …Do you really want to get involved with someone so dangerous?” (Solje)

“…Eh?” 

“Calm down and think. Despite my looks, I am cruel. I kill people mercilessly. How much was the price on my head according to the wanted poster?” (Solje)

“1,500 ciel…” 

“If you were to divide it between yourselves, it would be 200 ciel per head. When you saw that number, you must have thought ‘that guy must not be that big of deal’. That ‘maybe if we were to attack him by surprise, we could win’?” (Solje)

Looks like I hit the mark. They fall silent. This is the basis of my deduction.

“…That’s right. Unfortunately, the price the Empire placed on my life was only the regular amount. Why? If for example, my head were a high reward of 10,000 ciel…no one would get close to me because it would be dangerous. You wouldn’t want to get involved with someone like that, right? It sounds like a dangerous criminal after all.” (Solje)

“Y-Yeah…” 

“That’s why they reduced the reward.” (Solje)

That’s right. Even the Empire has learned. 

They have learned that a bounty hunter wouldn’t be able to win against a Strauss dragon knight. That’s why they place a low bounty, and use the idiots. 

“You are being played like a fiddle with the bounty you won’t be able to get. The Empire wants you guys to be killed by me. The reason is obvious. Because if you do, they will at least be able to tell where I am.” (Solje)

If I kill someone, it would cause a ruckus after all. When the Empire gets info of that, they would dispatch an army to bring me down.

“B-But it is seven against you, you know?” 

“Right. You men have chosen to stand before me with your lives on the line. I won’t stop you if you are resolved. But, let me show you this before you decide.” (Solje)

I walk to where the guys are, and approach one of the young men. His name is…he did say it, but I don’t remember. But that’s not important. I grab the helmet of this man who is so scared he can’t move. 

“Excuse me.” (Solje)

I take his helmet away while apologizing first. This young man is so cooperative. What a nice guy. He is not a person strong enough to have a song of his own, so I shouldn’t bully him. 

I put that helmet between both of my hands, and after putting a little bit of strength, I crush it.

“Huuuuuh?!” 

“T-The helmet was crushed?!” 

“That’s right. You are misunderstanding here. This may be a helmet for battle, but it is a cheap one. It is made light and thin in order for untrained people like you guys to use it. But my armor is not like this one. It is thick enough to repel arrows. It has to be an arrow with power and technique or it won’t pierce.” (Solje)

This time around, I pull the warped helmet and adjust the dents. Of course, it is still dented by a lot. It won’t return to a good state without being hammered by a craftsman. And so, I returned it to him.

The young man takes the helmet with trembling hands. Oh, what an intellectual. He is trying to do the same thing as me to see if he could do it as well. 

He is experimenting. Yeah, like a scientist! …So, you will understand, right? The fact that it is impossible for a regular person to bend iron armor. 

“I-It doesn’t bend!” 

“That’s right. I have superhuman strength. That’s why, even when wearing heavy armor that isn’t even affected by novice attacks, I can catch up to you guys even if you run away, and cut you down from the back.” (Solje)

“True. You won’t be able to escape from Captain. This man has caught up to an elf running in a forest.” (Riel)

Nice assist, Riel! In the first place, you were the one who added fuel to the fire, so I do appreciate some help.

“…And so, what will you do? Will you pick a fight with a former Demon Lord subordinate? Or do you want to try dropping your weapons and armor and run away at your respective directions, so that you increase your chances of survival?” (Solje)

“Don’t underestimate us!! It is obvious!!” 

“…..Looks like everyone threw away their weapons and armor and ran away.” (Riel)

Riel was looking at the young men running away left and right with narrowed eyes.

“Good decision. It would be pitiful to be tortured to death.” (Riel)

“I have no hobby of torturing to death. If they challenge me to a fight, no matter if strong or weak, I will simply kill them seriously.” (Solje)

“I see. That’s the philosophy of dragon knights?” (Riel)

“…You can say that. But it is great that they are adults who can make proper decisions.” (Solje)

“Yeah, they escaped a pointless death.” (Riel)

“Pointless death, huh…Unlike my family.” (Solje)

“Eh?” 

“If I were faced with the same decision as them, I would have immediately chosen to ‘fight and die’.” (Solje)

“…What an extreme way of living.” (Riel)

“Yeah. It is the death to become a song. But…lately, I have begun thinking that it might have been an abnormal way of life.” (Solje)

Did I grow, or has the ‘Strauss’ element in my soul thinned? 

Hearing my words, the coldness of Riel’s presence increases. 

“Captain…are you denying the way of life of your own lineage?” (Riel)

Her family had been killed by the Empire, so she most likely cannot forgive such denial. The kindness in her beautiful face disappeared, and was shining with clear anger like that of a sharpened knife. 

She loved her brethren. No, she still does. That’s why the pain of her lost family is making her heart go mad. I can tell that to a painful extent. 

“…No, I am not denying my own lineage. I am simply thinking ‘they were crazy people’ -my beloved family.” (Solje)

“Yeah…I find it hard to refute that statement. Fighting with the resolve to die; I feel like it is somewhat strange as a living being.” (Riel)

“Our family doesn’t mind that. We don’t reject that weirdness. Because the Strauss are exactly like that.” (Solje)

“…What a scary family.” (Riel)

“Don’t be. I don’t kill comrades.” (Solje)

“…I know. I have never doubted that. I respect you and your family as great warriors.” (Riel)

“Thanks. But after becoming an adult, and maybe thanks to having travelled the world, I have learned things other than the Strauss way.” (Solje)

“Like what?” (Riel)

“I have begun to acknowledge the worth of others. Those guys from before ran away and will be going back to their families, you know? …That’s not a bad thing.” (Solje)

“…Are you getting attached to cowards like them? Solje Strauss is?” (Riel)

“No, I wonder… I don’t understand well myself, but I do think that it was fine to not have killed them here.” (Solje)

If it were in the time when my Strauss element was strong, I would have probably not forgiven them.

I wouldn’t have gone as far as chasing escaping enemies, but…I think I would have killed at least 3. But I didn’t do any killing today. That’s why I can still smile. If I killed, I wouldn’t be able to.

“Because if I had killed them, there would be leftovers in the food their families made, you know.” (Solje)

“Food?” (Riel)

“Yeah, they will believe their stupid son will be returning, and their parents might end up waiting and waiting. Only his share of the stew is left -completely cold. His mother would be waiting for him to warm it up when he returns. Even though he won’t be coming back… Don’t you think those kind of scenarios are best to keep them at a minimum?” (Solje)

“Geez, you are completely getting emotionally attached.” (Riel)

“Really? …Yeah, that might be the case. Isn’t that fine? They were able to return to their homes.” (Solje)

“Captain, I don’t think getting emotionally attached to your enemies is good. If your killing intent decreases, you might end up not killing the people that should be killed.” (Riel)

“That won’t happen to a Strauss. Dragon knights are cruel. War will be done seriously. That just now was playing around.” (Solje)

Riel falls silent. 

After a brief silence, she speaks.

“…There are times when I don’t know if you are scary or amusing.” (Riel)

“Don’t you mean sexy and cool?” (Solje)

“That statement just now was so light, I don’t like it. Even though Captain is so cool when in the battlefield…” (Riel)

“…Huuuh?! Oi, what did you say just now?!” (Solje)

“…N-Nothing. Let’s go.” (Riel)

T-There really might be a chance. Mother, the blood of a Strauss might mix with that of the bow princess elf… Aaah, I feel like a child with strong mana will be born.

“H-Hey!! We are on a search for the dragon, right?!” (Riel)

The stundere elf is blushing…! Nice, that kind of stuff really hits good, Riel Harvel-kun!!

“D-Don’t space out, don’t grin!! The dragon will run away, you know?!” (Riel)

“…Yeah, you are right. Let’s hurry. If there’s a dragon, we catch it. And then, I will make it mine.” (Solje)

“Are you going to train it? Like a horse?” (Riel)

“They are more dangerous than that, but well, the direction is the same I suppose… I will let you ride it…the back of a flying dragon.” (Solje)

“T-That sounds a bit scary.” (Riel)

“Don’t worry. Dragons are kind to comrades. More than any other living being.” (Solje)

“Is that a challenge to us elves?” (Riel)

“It isn’t. It is simply a personal opinion.” (Solje)

Riel-chan has a sense of superiority regarding elves. Her worldview is small after all, so it can’t be helped. But if she doesn’t hate being together with me, she should be able to understand soon —the philosophy of the Demon Lord army.

Our King seems to not have been popular with the humans, but I know no other man who was respected by elves, dwarves, giants, and fairies. 

Isn’t it okay for others aside from humans to be in this world? 

Elves and humans are not that different from each other.

“…Hmm, this month’s objective for the Banjar Mercenaries has been decided.” (Solje)

“What, Captain?” (Riel)

“Cross the boundary.” (Solje)

“What do you mean?” (Riel)

“To cross over the wall of race; cross the wall of humans and demi-humans. We are going to unite like the Demon Lord army. If we don’t…there’s no way we can defeat the Empire, right?” (Solje)

“…Yeah, that might be the case.” (Riel)

“This is linked to that. I will show you a human who can have a heart to heart with a dragon.” (Solje)

“I am looking forward to it.” (Riel)

…I am an adult. That’s why I resist what I wanted to say. ‘Do you want to make children in order to cross the wall of race?’.

There’s no doubt those are words that would shock anyone. 

Hey, siblings, Solje Strauss is evolving. 

“…Hm? I don’t know why, but I am currently disappointed in you.” (Riel)

“Huh?! That’s just your imagination. I have only said cool things out of my mouth!!” (Solje)

“Then, are you thinking dirty thoughts in your mind?” (Riel)

“Hey! Don’t point your bow at your superiors!” (Solje)

“I want to protect my body.” (Riel)

“I don’t think I am that much of a beast though…” (Solje)

“…Haah, why is it that even though you are 9 years older than me, you are kind of stupid?” (Riel)

“…Shut up. You are just imagining it. I have become slightly more intelligent, you know.” (Solje)

“If your base was low to begin with, even when growing, you are still considered stupid, you know?” (Riel)

“The tongue of elves are way too poisonous.” (Solje)

“We are honest. We simply don’t lie.” (Riel)

“Then, they are a race that can’t read the mood?” (Solje)

I think she has a problem with communication. Because just now she was seriously aiming for my head and shot.

If it wasn’t me, it might not have been possible to avoid. Did you know that an arrow in the head means death? 

“Insulting me means insulting my race, Captain.” (Riel)

“Nice skill. I thought I was gonna die. I am counting on you.” (Solje)

“…Leave it to me. I am the strongest archer in my race after all.” (Riel)

“I see, that’s reassuring.” (Solje)

“Also, that arrow just now, I properly had the arrowhead removed.” (Riel)

“Meaning, you were reading the mood?” (Solje)

The elf girl nods without saying a word.

I see. Communication between different cultures is hard. 

Will I be able to do well as a leader, Captain Garf? …I mean, former captain.

  • Chapter 3

—A lot of things happened in my past. I don’t have the time to speak about all of it, but I will explain a bit about the Banjar Mercenaries. 

I have been in a variety of anti-imperialism organizations. All were small in size, and they were all places that had internal conflicts. The organizations wouldn’t last long and most would be crushed by the Empire, or fall from the inside. 

Unable to go against the growth of the Empire, the bunch increased in size more and more. Today as well, there should be another new invasion going on somewhere around the world, and they will be creating a new settlement. 

In that kind of era, organizations that are practically fated for defeat wouldn’t be able to stay united. That’s why I wandered around the world as I lost the places I was affiliated with. 

But there’s a reason why I continued losing my place.

…It wasn’t only because of the environment, but also because of me. My Strauss temperament might have gotten in the way. I am the type that seeks death. 

Not only that, I demanded my comrades to have that same value of ‘fight and die’. That’s the way of the Strauss, and I didn’t notice that, in a normal household, there’s no such teaching that you should ‘die in the battlefield and become a song’.

I must have stuck out like a sore thumb.

Of course I would. 

Cause I always willingly rushed into the crowd of enemies like a suicidal man. My subordinates had it hard. Most of them were avengers, but it is not as if they had a sense of beauty for dying in action. 

In the first place, they weren’t dragon knights, so they would all soon die with every little thing. 

We kill 500, and our side has 200 dying. 

We face a repeat of that, you know.

Hahaha, they immediately treated me like a death god. Enemies and allies ended up fearing me, and a troublesome image was born…

There was even a time when my comrades exiled me out of fear. 

In my battles at that time, how to say it, their rates weren’t that good. 

Our numbers were overwhelmingly less than theirs after all. If we do battles like that where our ally soldiers die like flies, there’s no way we can win against the Empire.

Not only did I drag many of my comrades to their deaths, I finally noticed something extremely simple…

I have no right to say anything back to that elf girl. 

The philosophy carved into one’s body cannot be changed so easily.

The one who taught me the somewhat calm way of life I have now was the last place I arrived at, the Banjar Mercenaries.

Even within the mercenaries, they are on a league of their own. In other words, they are battle-hardened warriors.

But well, at the time when I participated with them, they were truly in shambles.

The reason for that? 

Me.

Me and 10 other suicidal guys attacked the old Banjar Mercenaries that were working with the Empire at that time. The mercenaries barricaded themselves in an abandoned fortress at the wasteland, and we continued this battle to the death that lasted for 3 days. Thanks to that, both sides had almost all of their forces die.

After 3 days, the old man Garf raised the white flag. 

While dragging his left leg that had a pierced arrow in it and having an alcohol bottle in his hand, he came to my side. He invited me to a drink, and without even thinking about the chance that the alcohol might have poison in it, I began to drink together with the old man.

Of course, there was no poison. It simple meant that Garf was a man with a heart that can even share a drink with an enemy. He is kind of a weirdo.

“We just had to persevere till reinforcements came, but…they didn’t come. The Empire has abandoned us. And you guys as well…or more like only you remain… Looks like we have both been abandoned by our comrades.” (Garf)

“Happens all the time. We are just lizard tails, there’s no worth in going through the trouble of saving us.” (Solje)

“Was it a journey of no return, then? Were you guys all resolved to that?” (Garf)

“Yeah. We had no intention of dying like dogs, but we did know that things would end up like this.” (Solje)

“I see. What a disheartening story.” (Garf)

“…Are you a mercenary? You don’t look like a soldier of the Empire.” (Solje)

“That’s right, I am the captain of the Banjar Mercenaries. Garf Cortez. Nice to meet you.” (Garf)

“I see. I am Solje Strauss. The last dragon knight of Garuna.” (Solje)

“Hooh. No wonder you are so hard to kill. A dragon knight, huh.” (Garf)

“I don’t have wings anymore. I am a mere warrior.” (Solje)

“That so? Can’t call you a mere warrior. You slaughtered my subordinates, you know?! Hahahahahaha!!” (Garf)

“That’s not something you say while laughing.” (Solje)

“But it does put a smile on me! I managed to meet an awesome man like you! I feel like my mercenary luck has been spent up now!!” (Garf)

What a weird old man. After laughing for a while, he asked me.

“If it is the Strauss blood, it wouldn’t get along well with the Empire.” (Garf)

“Obviously. If I had to, I would rather die.” (Solje)

“Even if you had to drag down everyone around you as well?” (Garf)

“…!!” 

For some reason, I couldn’t say anything back at those words. If it were only me, I wouldn’t mind carrying out the Strauss principles. I am fine with that. But it is true that I might be dragging my comrades into it way too much. 

I look at my dead comrades.

They fought well. Even when broken in battle, they showed willpower, and stabbed those formidable foes even if it meant getting stabbed themselves. They are all beaten up and bloodied. I don’t know their race’s way of mourning, but I lined them up, and had them hold their blades with their hands at their abdomen.

This is the Strauss way of mourning. After this, they are supposed to be burned by the fire of a dragon. 

I am proud of them. They were prepared for this kind of faith. But…what about their families? Just how would they look at me? I am the one who dragged them into this battle.

They will definitely resent me. There’s no way their philosophies match with those of the people here. 

…No, there was a gap even within the comrades here who were prepared for death.

The left eye that Ares entrusted to me would at times show me the scream of their hearts.

—I didn’t want to die.

—I don’t want to die.

—We have died.

—But you are alive…it is always like that.

“…It is not as if I wished for it.” (Solje)

After a long silence, I shake my head. I was just saying that as if I were making an excuse. I have never feared death. But after finishing the battle, I end up surviving. I have never thought of wanting to be the only one alive…! 

“Figures. Well, don’t mind it.” (Garf)

“Eh?” 

Garf Cortes was aloof. 

Does he understand my pain? Or does he have no interest in it? …He continued speaking.

“Listen well, these guys all chose this on their own will. They simply paid the price for it. In the first place, dying in the battlefield is your own fault. It is a place for killing each other after all. Everyone is sinful, but pinning responsibility on it would be way too harsh.” (Garf)

“Can it be divided that easily?” (Solje)

“Yeah. Because we are simply killing because of work. That’s why in this time when the contract is revoked, we are not enemies or allies.” (Garf)

“…How free you are, old man.” (Solje)

“Not really. We also have our share of pains. First would be that we will be having chronic levels of lack in members. Cause of you!” (Garf)

“Haha. Sorry about that.” (Solje)

“This is no laughing matter. It will be an impediment in work.” (Garf)

“True. Hahaha.” (Solje)

“As I said, don’t laugh, geez… Hm? Oh, right. Solje Strauss.” (Garf)

“What?” (Solje)

“Want to become my subordinate? I am not going to do work for the Empire anymore. I am not so stupid as to have liars as clients.” (Garf)

“…Are you guys going to come to the anti-imperialist side?” (Solje)

“Yeah, granted that we get coin.” (Garf)

“You won’t be gaining much, you know? We are facing an economic blockade and every place is poor.” (Solje)

“I will have them pay with goods.” (Garf)

“…Goods?” (Solje)

“Yeah, you.” (Garf)

“Huh?” (Solje)

“You are a dragon knight. You can kill anyone, right? …People and monsters alike.” (Garf)

“Well, if I do fight them, I can kill them. Only if my sword reaches though.” (Solje)

“That will be worth a coin. Let’s have a deal.” (Garf)

“As in?” (Solje)

“I cannot bring out a lot of pay for you, but in exchange, I will lend you exemplar mercenaries. Kill a whole lot of imperials together with them. How about it? You must have already been cut off from the organization anyways. You don’t even have a place to go back to, right? …Also, the country you were serving under has already disappeared into a song. You don’t care where it is as long as you can fight the Empire, right?” (Garf)

“…Kinda.” (Solje)

“Okay, it is decided then. From today on, you are our vice-captain.” (Garf)

“Suddenly number 2? …That’s way too big of a promotion.” (Solje)

“I don’t mind. We are the only ones who can move all their limbs properly right now.” (Garf)

“…Hahahahahahahahaha!! Oi oi, seriously? Only you and I are left?!” (Solje)

“That’s right!! We are gathering more again!! Especially mercenaries with a good arm!! Fuhahahahaha!! For now, I’ve caught one!!” (Garf)

Garf Cortes didn’t teach me his secrets in swordsmanship, but he managed to make my inner workings a lot deeper. Thanks to that, I think I managed to grow.

What changed the most was that I was now able to think about maintaining the organization. My comrades have their families. I can’t have them die a pointless death.

What I once thought of as a means for an end, had at some point in time become true comrades. Even if our feelings and philosophies don’t align, we become a single pack that moves for the sake of a goal. That union is firm. 

We do have a rule of killing all traitors, but Garf didn’t betray anyone. 

I slowly received his influence. 

My Strauss instinct of mercilessly killing didn’t stop, but even so, I began to make sure my comrades don’t die. The White Lion’s teachings were being added to my philosophy and actions. 

If you are strong, protect the weak at times’.

A variety of people were drawn in to this place. 

People that were drawn by the words of Garf, the warriors that I kidnapped from the battlefield under the orders of Garf, demi-human refugees, saved slaves…the elf girl that came asking for me one day —a variety of people became a group and turned into comrades. 

Garf was like the Demon Lord. There weren’t many times where he would be admired like His Majesty, though.

Garf Cortes can get along with anyone. He doesn’t care about race.

He only looked at their skill and heart. 

That’s why, even if they didn’t admire Garf, they believed in him. Garf won’t betray us after all. That’s why, as far as I know, they couldn’t betray us. 

That kind of merry Garf had died just recently though.

And so, he left me with the incredibly splendid Banjar Mercenaries. 

My name is Solje Strauss. 

The second Captain-sama of the great Banjar Mercenaries.

—An old swordsman brandishing a white lion crest.

With his aged legs he walked a thousand battlefields.

There would be days he would be called a great leader, and others where he would be called a demon. 

The White Lion killed more than anyone. 

—However, all the songs offered to him were all bright. 

His comrades know, the Lion hates sentimentalities. 

The day he returns to heaven, or the day he falls to hell.

The White Lion will look at the sky and grin, and will lie down without mourning his death. 

—The songs of the Lion passed down are of places where people play and drink. 

The tune of Cortes wasn’t reproached for the blood he caused, it bled from both enemies and allies alike. 

A dancing woman and a drunk man. 

What the strongest swordsman loved was not to be by the side of the heroes in the starry sky, but obviously at the side of alcohol.

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13 thoughts on “DK – Chapter 2-3: Aiming for the Valley where the dragons dance II

  1. Thanks for translating this, It’s rather refreshing, it portrays character development and growth in a mere 3 chapters, color me impressed the author is going places.
    Good taste on deciding what to translate.

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  2. Thanks for the chapter~~~
    I was waiting for the chapter the whole day yesterday. I even went to sleep at 44 a.m. and when i woke up, i found notification of new chapter……😑

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  3. It’s only been three chapters but… the way the author writes is so nice.
    it doesn’t have an amateurish feel to it.
    And it plays out well, uhhmm…. like the flowing imaginative scenes of a very well made B-movie… Lol.

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  4. Thanks for the couple of chapters as alwys, such a shame the former Capitain is dead, I am sure he would have brough mutch more color to this story.

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  5. The more you expand your horizons, the more you make and learn of yourself.

    This is all retrospective, so I’m not sure how much I want to consider it character development, but Solje has definitely changed for the better over the years. Still a battle-maniac, but one that’s willing to look at the bigger picture now.
    I wonder if that’s enough for the other mercenaries to follow him though? Garf’s death might end up pretty destabilizing.

    Reil…I’m not entirely sold. Solje’s “chasing” mindset with her and their various interactions are fun, but she herself still seems a bit…annoying? Classic tsundere stuff, like arrogance and jumping to violence. Though a denseness and naivete to deception is new. We’ll see where things go with her.

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  6. I dropped this novel.
    I know you don’t care but such a letdown.
    It went to a really good novel to a horrible japanese novel writing style.
    The interaction with the villagers, the tsundere elf, the good and naive MC. Everything is puke inducing. More for what it could be than what it really is.
    The first chapter was really too good. It killed the rest for me.
    Have a nice read.

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