TLN: Hey guys, Reigokai here.
Sorry for the delay. Relatives of mine are preparing to travel overseas and I am helping them out, so this week and the next will be hectic.
Anyways, enjoy the chapter! 😀
——The poet sends a secret letter to the black swordsman.
His Excellency, the General-dono, is calling.
He says that he wants to have a talk with you in private.
Be quick, since this will affect the future of the war.
“General Renault! Gazet Klauri is here!!” (Klauri)
Thanks to obtaining the job of assassin, the man who managed to escape from my bloodlust…has finally appeared before me. You piece of shit that burned my little sister to death.
Aah, I am going crazy.
Do you know just how long I have waited for this moment? Just how much I wanted to meet you?
…Hey, Gazet Klauri, I have never had this much fun walking in these 9 years.
I leave the tent of the general.
Feeling my footsteps, Klauri must have mistaken me for the Faris pig. He lowered a knee and hung his head down. But he must have felt my bloodlust, he suddenly jumped back and unsheathed his katana.
“Who is that?!” (Klauri)
Nice movements, nice stance. That’s right, I have seen it. Twice now. The first time with that Kaien guy. One of the three swordsmen, in the battlefield where Ares became a song, and the guy who cut my left eye. The same stance, similar footwork, and a katana resembling his.
The magic eye of Ares showed me that you used the same slash as his when you cut down my mother.
…No, that’s not it. You left her half-dead, but didn’t finish her off. While my mother was in pain, and Cecil was screaming for help, you pushed them both into the dragon church together with the people of the village, and lit the place up, didn’t you?!
Aah, I feel my blood boiling.
The readiness that you great predecessors taught me, doesn’t seem like it is working right now. A battle has to always be cold like ice and with a composed heart? Don’t ask for the impossible. There’s no way I can do that tonight!!
“…You bastard, why are you smiling?!” (Klauri)
“Must be because I am overflowing with happiness.” (Solje)
“…Who are you?” (Klauri)
“Impossible! It is true that you are red haired, but…he should only have one eye! My compatriot, Kaien, should have cut one of your eyes!” (Klauri)
“Yeah, but it grew back. Receiving the shouts of despair from a dragon, a special one grew back.” (Solje)
Gazet Klauri steps back. Oi oi, why? What is a cruel man like you doing?
“Hey, Klauri, ain’t this a joyous moment? You might be able to kill a Strauss dragon knight, you know? This is your chance to prove that you are above Kaien.” (Solje)
“D-Don’t come any closer!” (Klauri)
“…Hey, don’t joke around. No need to run away. Come on, just think about it… It would put some flavor to your song, right? The red blood flowing from the head of a Strauss.” (Solje)
I am sure my blood right now is as beautiful as fire. Cause you know, it is burning me right now.
“W-What happened to the General?!” (Klauri)
“Don’t say such boorish things. That pig has nothing to do with this right now.” (Solje)
“D-Did you kill him?!” (Klauri)
“…Oi, just think about me. Come at me already. You should understand plenty well that there’s no way I will let you escape, right?” (Solje)
“…?! S-Someone, over here! Bandits! Bandits have coo—-gaaah??!!!!” (Klauri)
I swing my katana with anger guiding my blade, and that slash cut his front tooth and lower jaw. Of course, it must have also cut his noisy tongue.
You are at fault.
Even though you are my target of revenge…don’t go acting like a coward!
Having his chance to speak destroyed, maybe because of the extreme pain he was now in, or because of his sense of loss…he tried to touch his now destroyed lower jaw. But no matter how you push with your fingers, destroyed things won’t go back to how they were.
“Oi oi, Gazet Klauri, there’s no way a skilled man like you wouldn’t have been able to read my sword, right?” (Solje)
“…You won’t be able to talk anymore. Your tongue, your jaw, your teeth; have all been broken! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to call your comrades. The only thing you can do is show your prowess as a swordsman… All your limbs are still there. You can still fight. Now, come.” (Solje)
“You are one of the ‘three swordsmen’, right? An assassin knight, right? One of the treasured poisonous snakes of the Emperor Yuandart. Please show me your bravery… Hey, fight me. Don’t be scared. That won’t do you any good.” (Solje)
Even though I am asking this much, Gazet Klauri continued stepping back.
He is trembling with that scared expression. Are you refusing a battle? He is shaking his head to the sides… Hey, do you think I will allow that?!
“Fight. I know your strength. You are a strong swordsman. You are the same as that Kaien. There’s no need to be scared. Fight… Hm? Are you really scared? Then, how about this?” (Solje)
I threw away my katana right in front of him. I am barehanded and have no armor on.
How’s that? You can fight me now, right…?
“What’s the matter? It is a weaponless enemy. The kind you like the most. Come and get me with your sword. Fight me as one of the legendary three swordsmen… That’s your duty. Can you perform your responsibility as the one who massacred my family?” (Solje)
He probably sniffed a chance for victory. Klauri finally returns to the face of a warrior. He slowly approached me.
I entered his sword range -solely his range. I wait.
Now, hurry up, Klauri.
“Come at me with your best technique. You should know my strength.” (Solje)
The wound in your lower jaw is not something that will stop bleeding. That’s why, show me before you die… The black wind that Kaien unleashed that time.
…And…let me break it.
I want to destroy the legend you guys made.
Make a mess of your swordsmanship that will remain in your songs.
Just killing you won’t do any good. That wouldn’t be enough. A mere defeat? …Don’t think you will die with just that.
…I will destroy your swordsmanship, your everything.
Your pride, your legend, your life; offer them all to me. That’s the proper punishment for burning my family.
“Hey, a barehanded dragon knight is inside your range, you know? What’s the matter? Come at me with your all. Your limbs and your head are okay. You can fight as usual.” (Solje)
“Don’t hesitate, Klauri. An enemy without any equipment. Ain’t that tasty? It would also look good in your records. The last dragon knight, the last survivor of the Demon Lord army. You should also want to have a complete victory in the war of the Barmoa Union against the Garuna Kingdom.” (Solje)
And yet, why are you stepping back?
“…Oi, don’t joke around, Klauri. Don’t tell me you don’t plan on fighting me?” (Solje)
Klauri finally raises his katana.
Nice. Just like that, come—-?!
He had scared eyes all the way till now, but at that moment, it changed.
Those are the eyes of a man that has resolved himself. But it wasn’t from fighting spirit. He spun his raised katana, and held it with a reverse grip.
I feel like the guy that had been glaring at me intently until now had laughed. Because half of his face is destroyed, I couldn’t tell well till this moment.
And then…the katana moves.
Fresh blood spread in front of my vision. I was shocked by that reality.
Gazet Klauri cut his own stomach. Even when staggering, he pushes the katana even deeper. His mouth coughs up a massive amount of blood. His muddied eyes were looking at me. They were laughing!
“You bastard…!” (Solje)
I finally understand. This man wasn’t scared of dying. He was scared of losing. He hated the fact that he could lose and dirty his song.
Because that’s heavier than life.
This genius that had been given the title of sword saint feared having the legend he constructed crumble more than he did death.
That’s why he is trying to kill himself!!
“YOU BASTAAARD! YOU COWARD!!” (Solje)
A voice resounds from the night sky. The voice of Riel.
Riel that was on the back of Zephyr shouted my name as she threw the sheathed sword she had. I caught it with my hand.
“Oi, don’t let him commit suicide!! You must take revenge for your family with your own hands!!” (Riel)
“That’s right, Onii-chan!!” (Mia)
Those words pushed me.
The voice of Cecil calls me inside my memories. She is calling me. Not a scream in the midst of the fire, but…the usual voice she has when she jumps to hug me.
“…My name is Solje Strauss!! Kane Strauss’s fourth son!! Last dragon knight!! And…and I am the brother of Cecil!!” (Solje)
I unsheathe the sword and take a stance.
I know it, Gazet Klauri! The way to destroy your legend!! You may want to die together with your legend, but I won’t let you!!
I grit my teeth, separate my legs, and lower my shoulders.
Gazet Klauri opens his eyes wide. It was fear. Not because he is going to be killed. It is the fear of the three swordsmen legend being dirtied!! I will do what you fear the most!
Just how many times have I seen this in my nightmares.
Have you remembered your swordsmanship?!
The technique Kaien used to take away my eye, the sword that you cut my mother with and made fun of her…I know about this sword. Most likely, even more deeply than even you!!
Gazet Klauri was going crazy from the fear. He took out his katana from his stomach and came at me to interrupt me!!
But, too late!! This technique is a kind of ‘cursed sword’. With such slight magic passing through, with an activation timing that’s so fleeting, no one must have noticed…
I know. The swiftness of this sword dance comes from mixing wind magic to it!!
“Goodbye, legend of the three swordsmen.” (Solje)
With gale enveloping my body, I dance!!
With the technique of incompetent people like you, it must have been a black gale. But this perfected technique here is swaying in red, right?!
The katana of Klauri was taken by my gale and broke!!
Klauri tried to shout, but he can’t. Because of that, you can’t even deny it. You can’t deny that this is not your special technique!!
My blade dances, and my red gale hits the neck of Klauri, and in that instant, it was severed!!
The head of Klauri spins in the night sky, and the blood gushing from his body rode the gale I unleashed, dispersing into the darkness, becoming a red snow storm drawn with blood.
“Listen here, Gazet Klauri… This is not your special technique. It is mine. The name of this red gale is Severing Wind. A mere technique of the many in the Strauss!!” (Solje)
It must be painful, Gazet Klauri. But there’s no need for words.
Because just by looking at your rolling head, I can tell your feelings plenty well.
A face filled with despair. That’s natural for a swordsman. Putting your whole life in it…no, accumulating the training of your predecessors to it, you created a legend build from the blood of many, but that legend was eaten by me.
That’s right, Severing Wind is a technique that will be passed as my technique.
It will stain your songs. Because my Severing Wind is far more polished and perfected than your technique.
“…Hehehe, how’s that, Cecil? Your brother…has finally…finally…! Killed this…this bastard…!! That took you away…!! And dropped him straight into the pits of despair!!” (Solje)
Father, brothers, Ares…
If that scum drops in the afterlife with you, cut him to pieces, skewer him with spears, and slowly burn him in hell!!
…Cecil…Mother…I am sorry.
It took a whole 9 years…
But don’t worry. I have put an end to it.
Rest in peace in the sea of stars…!
——That is the story of an avenger.
Walking while struggling for a long time, and seen many a dream.
His dreams always haunted by the portrait of death.
His beloved little sister and mother, a dream of them being cut and burn.
——His heart had broken many times over, and there were even days when he would wish for death.
Even so, the man didn’t give up.
Even when broken, even when driven to madness, he watched the dream so he would never forget.
Because I am the only one who is left, right?
——When drinking, the beast normally said this to the poet.
Not a talk about the women he likes, but the sad memories of the dead.
The last words he heard from her, the last words he learnt about with his magic eye.
——The curse ends, together with the special technique that was worthy of being sung of.
The haunted days were coming to an end.
In a night of beautiful stars, the voice calling for him will always be gentle from now on.
When he is called Onii-sama in his dreams, what his heart will feel will simply be peace and loneliness.
—My comrade who carries the wind in his blade, Solje Strauss.
Just like how we are tied by a tight bond, our little sisters will be together in the starry sky.
I will deliver you to the stars with my songs, you with your sword, and me with my singing, we will draw it…
Now, laugh, celebrate…as this time alone, it is okay to cry, you know?
- Chapter 29
A sense of fulfillment that makes me want to take a break. Strength left my whole body, and I was standing in the battlefield like a novice.
After crying, shouting, and laughing, my heart was currently empty. I want to rest, to heal this weariness… But I can’t do that.
I am a dragon knight, I am the brother of Cecil, but that’s not all there is. I am also the captain of the Banjar Mercenaries. Since the time Garf picked me up, I have offered my life to being a mercenary.
I still have a job to do. That’s why this is no time to finish.
I return to where Riel is, and returned her sword.
“Sorry for that. Thanks to you, I managed to obtain my revenge in an acceptable manner.” (Solje)
“I see, that’s great to hear.” (Riel)
She smiled gently. Is she being considerate? Thanks.
“…Good job, Captain Solje.” (Riel)
“No, it is still too fast to say that.” (Solje)
“…Yeah, you are right. We are still in the middle of our job.” (Riel)
That’s right. I am the captain here. I have to work for the sake of the job. But right now…I hug Riel and kiss her.
“Hiya…?! Hnn?!” (Riel)
It seems like she was surprised because of the suddenness, but she didn’t struggle or reject it. She is giving me a reward.
Thanks, Riel… That’s why I got cocky and used my tongue. Her shoulders shook and she got slightly scared. Even if you don’t dislike it, it is still scary.
But I love that scaredy part of you. It is proof of your pureness after all. I can feel that you are mine alone.
I hugged her tighter as I kiss her, and I began to calm down. We have to do more work, and it is a pretty big job at that.
Honestly speaking, the chances of success aren’t that high.
It is dangerous enough that we would die if it fails.
That’s why, please give me a bit of yourself…
I can get energy with your warmth. No matter how harsh it is, a man can continue fighting on with that warmth by their side.
A Strauss is a berserker, so they can’t get attached to the future. That’s why, to stay strong, let me have a great past.
I killed my revenge target and enjoying my time together with Riel. There’s no doubt I will be able to brag about this day for eternity… With that…if I were to die, I would at least be able to stay a bit in your heart.
That’s fine. If I can become a part of your song, I don’t mind dying. It is not that I am underselling my life. It just means that’s just how valuable this time is for me.
…After finishing the long kiss, I free Riel.
Riel was blushing and panicking.
“I-I will at least allow you this much, but…at least think a bit about the place and time!” (Riel)
“Ain’t it fine? It is mercenary-like. Killing and romancing in the battlefield is the best, right?” (Solje)
“Saying it as if we are animals…!” (Riel)
“You also used your tongue there.” (Solje)
“I didn’t!! T-That was…that was me trying to push you away!!” (Riel)
“Yes yes, Riel-chan is a nice tsundere.” (Solje)
“Uoooh!! I-I will punish you for harassment!!” (Riel)
The elf beauty is raging. Once this shyness is gone, will the days filled with love begin? Well, I think it will take a bit of time before that happens though.
“…Now then, you two, joking time is over. The preparations are almost done~.” (Sharon)
“Sharon Doche?! Since when?!” (Riel)
“Eh? I was the one who brought Klauri here, so I have been working stealthily here all this time, you know?” (Sharon)
The counterattack of the poet pushes the bow princess. Someone like Sharon was working seriously, and yet, she was showing an unsightly sight, and that must be killing her.
“What humiliation!” (Riel)
“…Now then, Mia.” (Solje)
Mia is also a hard worker. She has been cutting the corpses with her dagger and making it look as if they have died from battle.
“Nice drawing. It’s as if the Union technique that Klauri uses was what cut them.” (Solje)
“Ehehe! Right? With this, the disguising is done!!” (Mia)
“Yeah, good work!” (Solje)
Mia stands up and walks over to where I am.
“…We will be acting separately from now on, huh. Everyone from the group will be dispersed here and there. Gandalla will be at the giants’ place, and Onii-chan and the Poet-san will be acting separately too…” (Mia)
“It’s okay. No matter where I am, I will always be thinking about you, Mia.” (Solje)
“Really? …Then, promise me…” (Mia)
“What? Right now I am feeling good, so you can ask me anything.” (Solje)
“A BIG house!! I want a house where everyone can live in!! With everyone of our group!!” (Mia)
“…A house, huh. It would be a big expenditure, but fine!! We will win this war, and with the reward of her Majesty Claris, we will make a ginormous house!!” (Solje)
“Yaay!! Sweet home <Alabama>!!” (Mia)
We Strauss siblings laughed as we hugged each other.
“…Don’t be rash, okay, Mia?” (Solje)
“Okay. Solje-oniichan as well.” (Mia)
“Yeah, I have a promise to keep after all.” (Solje)
After that, I look up at the sky where Zephyr is.
“…You and I are connected by the eye of Ares. I will be hiding for a while and won’t be able to come out. But when you hear my voice, sing freely!! …It will soon be your first campaign. Show them what ye got.” (Solje)
“Okay, got it, Doje! When I get used to war, I will burn them down!” (Zephyr)
“Okay!! That’s the spirit, my Zephyr!! Well then, Riel and Mia, withdraw!!” (Solje)
“Understood. Next time, it will be in the battlefield.” (Riel)
“Yes, let’s do our best~!!” (Mia)
My two beloved girls grabbed onto the rope Zephyr was hanging there, and just like that, they disappear into the sky. The ones remaining were a bunch of corpses…and Sharon and I.
That’s right, from now on, Sharon and I will be setting up a big scheme.
A real special one! If they get caught in that one…our mere 10,000 should be able to win against a big army of more than 50,000. If it fails? …We might all die.
Well, this was…a bad gamble to begin with, so the risk can’t be helped. But I do think that we have done a good job in setting it up this well.
I am a calm and composed adult, so I am plenty aware that the chances of failure are quite high, you know… But the current me is burning with ambition. Yeah, this is the time to make big strides. Fighting alone isn’t enough anymore.
I must begin winning already.
In these 9 years, I have only been winning small scale battles, but those are just self-satisfaction. Cause you know, no matter how you think about it, there’s no way I would be able to break the Empire with that. I wouldn’t be able to protect my promise with Ares.
…I have my wings back. My new dragon, the young Zephyr. I am back to being a Dragon Knight. I should get my first big victory from the Faris Empire… By succeeding in this plan, I will level up as a monster.
“Now…this is the beginning of the dragon’s curse, General Renault. This is your punishment for forgetting the pride of a knight and degenerating into a pig craving for the material. I will crush your honor, and then…we will have the Ludo Kingdom win this war, Sharon!” (Solje)
“Yes! Let’s win, but carefully. We are going to be aiming for the center of war.” (Sharon)
“Yeah. Don’t expose us, okay? …And don’t die. Make sure to return to the side of Queen Claris. You must not sadden a great person like her. She is someone that can bring major changes to the peace of this world.” (Solje)
“You as well, don’t go dying. Hide properly. If you get found, you will be right at the center of enemy territory…” (Sharon)
“Gotcha. I will do my best not to get caught.” (Solje)
“…Actually, I was watching you while you were doing the speech to the giants, and I noticed something.” (Sharon)
“You can become the Demon Lord.” (Sharon)
“Oi, you making fun of me?” (Solje)
“No. I am talking about a Demon Lord in the good sense. I have never seen a human like you.” (Sharon)
“It only sounds like you are making fun of me right now.” (Solje)
“Having an elf fall madly in love with you, have the giants adore you, calling a cait sith your little sister, having a dwarf you only met once helping you out here and there in your big plan.” (Sharon)
“I wouldn’t say madly in love. Also, I rely all the time in Gandalla. Mia is my ‘little sister’, so it is natural to call her that way. And about the dwarf old man, that’s just his hobby moving his hand. We simply gave him the ingredients he loves.” (Solje)
“Is that really how it is?” (Sharon)
“Yeah, I haven’t done anything that grandiose.” (Solje)
“…Fufufu. It is because you can say that that it works.” (Sharon)
“Are the words of a Poet-san just so nuanced I can’t understand?” (Solje)
“I feel a Demon Lord in you. I think you have grasped in your hands a bigger worldview than Garf Cortez.” (Sharon)
“More than him? No way. I am not as haphazard in my world journeys as he was.” (Solje)
“Well, the direction of Garf-san was a bit different though.” (Sharon)
“Hm? His Excellency seems to be waking up anytime soon.” (Solje)
“I see. Then, let’s set things up.” (Sharon)
“Yeah, let’s have the Imperial army eat our best trap.” (Solje)
General Renault groans.
And he is trying to open his eyes, so I speak my ‘curse’.
“…General, your eyes are already my eyes.” (Solje)
——-The Banjar Mercenaries disappear here and there in the battlefield.
The innocent wings that are rising in excitement at its first campaign has the bow princess and the gale successor.
The earth giant is preparing with his brethren…
The poet and the ruler of the demi-humans, the Demon Lord, hide in the deepest of shadows…
——This is the turning point of history, not simply a war between a small country and the Empire.
Look around us, at our comrades.
A variety of races, gathering under the coming Demon Lord.
——The world is about to change…the mistake of humans trying to be the only rulers.
Just like in the past, a great Demon Lord will destroy it.
He has connected with a dragon and is getting further away from a regular mortal.
Even so, you attract others towards you.
——The demi-humans were waiting for their Demon Lord.
No, even a part of the humans are as well.
I want to shout your name at the time of victory.
Our new Demon Lord…Solje Strauss!!