C.40: Worried Sister
“As you all know, an evil ursurper took the king’s life.
Our king was young, but he demonstrated exceptional talent――one day, he would have been renowned and remembered as a wise ruler.
This is also something you are all aware of.”
His voice was amplified by magic, reaching far and wide.
Slightly north of Gurgain, where the estate is located――lies fort Belgash.
Bogan spoke from atop its walls.
Ranks of soldiers lined the wide plains――a large army of almost twenty thousand.
The fort could not contain them, so they all stood outside the walls.
They all held their right hand to their left chest as they looked up at Bogan and the girl standing next to him.
The girl’s long golden hair glittered red in the sun and wavered in the wind blowing through the plains.
Her one-piece dress and cloak, too modest for a princess, displayed her current predicament, chased by the palace.
Kreschenta Farna Viera Alberan.
The Alberan Kingdom’s first princess stood beside Bogan.
“I swear upon my life that I am just a sword.
If the palace is to be split over the succession of the crown, then I have always watched for enemies that might strike during the confusion.
I am a soldier like all of you, I have sworn to myself to be one.
My blade was never meant to be turned on the capital, only on enemies――but seeing as the evil Gildanstein has taken the king’s life and shamelessly claimed the throne, I cannot remain as a mere sword.”
He paused and looked around.
“I am the Kingdom’s sword――the king’s sword.
And the king is standing next to me――the king is none other then the first princess, Kreschenta Farna Viera Alberan.
As the king’s sword, I will choose my rightful wielder.
And I will be her sword――what about you!”
Bogan drew the sword at his waist and pointed it at the sky.
The following cheers shook the ground as the soldiers also drew their swords and raised them to the sky.
Amidst the unending cheers, Bogan raised a hand.
The cheers receded like the tide and silence returned.
Rather than any of the thousand heroes of history, I am prouder to wield my sword beside all of you…..
it has not been long since the war where we defended the Kingdom from the Empire.
Most have not had the time to enjoy the peace that we protected.”
Bogan then bowed his head.
The soldiers stirred.
To soldiers, the general is their highest-ranking superior.
“……but you have drawn your swords for justice and gathered to me, for this I am very grateful.
I make this stand not as a general, but as a single man――as another citizen that loves our country and loves peace.
So as a single man, let me thank you all.
Thank you for leaving your families, your homes and come to stand before me now.”
He raised his head.The soldiers were silent as Bogan spoke to them.
“I swear upon the name of Bogan Argalitte Vezrinea Christand――the name granted to me by the late king, that I will repay this debt.
I vow to the twelve gods that I will bring you victory and glory……if you would believe in my words and follow me――swear upon your swords.”
He raised his sword to the sky again.
“――to the new queen and the gods.”
The cheers were louder than before as he sheathed his sword.He then put his right fist to his left chest――his thumb pointing at his heart.
After saluting, he turned away.
Kreschenta followed him, smiling.
“That was a wonderful speech.
Their excitement was palpable.”“It is a scam.
I am telling them to die for honour.”
They descended the stairs and found Selene and Krische waiting for them.
“Selene, as I said before, the utmost priority is taking the dragon’s maw.
You are in charge of the remaining recruitment and training, as well as guarding the princess.”“Yes, I understand.
The hole that corps commander Velraigh left behind is large.”
Nozan Nerule Wulferinea Velraigh.
The former commander of the corps that was said be the strongest in the powerful Christand army, he was assigned to the east and most of his subordinates in the first corps followed him.
The transfer was already completed during the conferring of decorations, so he cannot be recalled by this point.
Though they achieved a great victory, Nozan has to deal with the aftermath of the occupation of the eastern territories as well as guard against the Empire.He is devoted to Bogan and would definitely join Bogan’s side, but he cannot be counted on for military strength in the current situation.
Some of his subordinates stayed in the north, but they are in no state to be deployed as an army.
“If the center is unified, it is possible to raise an army of sixty thousand.
In order to keep the chaos and damage to a minimum, I want to end things quickly but……they are also aware of this.
There may be problems with the royal prince’s personality, but he is decisive and steady on the battlefield.
His ability is undoubtable.
He will probably try to suppress us at the dragon’s maw.”
“Would pushing straight to the capital be difficult?”
“It might be possible if their confusion drags on longer than expected.
We also have to be wary of the movements of general Hilkintos in the west and general Garhka in south.
As for the Arna Empire……I cannot predict at all.”
Less than a week has passed since Kreschenta’s arrival.
Bogan had conducted an emergency mobilisation, calling in the reserves and reorganising the army.
He is rushing to secure the kingdom’s northern fortress, the “Dragon’s maw”.
No matter how things turn out, the princess’ side has a high chance of being at a numerical disadvantage and must secure this location.
Otherwise, Gildanstein can secure a beachhead to the north and overwhelm them with the population of the central territories.
Once the dragon’s maw is taken, enormous amounts of blood must be spilled to retake it.
“Your highness, what does your highness think about the Empire?”
“I have only visited once two years ago.
Did you see the correspondence?”
“At this stage, I doubt they will be an enemy……they seemed quite smart.
For better and for worse.”
“So there is a high chance they will join the winning side?”
That is likely.
I could pay them a visit……but the Kingdom’s conflict would also cause problems for the Empire, so they are unlikely to act until they are sure which side would win.
This is not absolute though.”
“I guess there is no point worrying about it.”
Bogan muttered, closing his eyes for a moment before speaking again.
“Selene, be careful of the movements of our surroundings.
If you have to act independently, absolutely do not force yourself to protect everything.
If there is movement in the west or north, there will be a limit to what you can protect.”
“Krische, can I ask you to support Selene?”
Bogan nodded and placed a hand on Krische’s and Selene’s heads.
“Both of you are more talented than I am.
Do not try to accomplish the impossible.
At worst, take the princess and Bery and go into hiding.”
“……no thank you otou-sama, don’t say such ominous things.”
“Of course I don’t intend to let that happen.
I am not boasting when I say I have excellent subordinates――I will be off then.
I leave the rest to you, Christand army’s first corps commander.”
“……yes, general Christand.”
They faced each other, put their hands to their chest and saluted.
In the carriage on the way home.Krische was constantly glancing outside, at Selene atop her horse, while Kreschenta watched Krische curiously from the opposite seat.
“Onee-sama, what are you worried about?”
She seems very anxious.”
“Death is part of soldiering after all.”
Krsiche stared at Kreschenta, then nodded.
“Even Krische knows that is their job.
But Krische also kind of understands Selene’s feelings.”
“Bery has said that Krische is a lot stronger mentally than other people.
Krische thinks Kreschenta is also the same and very strong mentally.”
Krische closed her eyes as she reminisced.
“When Kaa-sama, who took care of Krische in the village, was killed, Krische found it a great shame.
Krische liked her a lot.”
“Has Kreschenta also felt that way about something before?”
Kreschenta thought of Nora as Krische smiled at her.
“At those times, other people find it a much much greater shame than we do.
They feel a very strong feeling of disappointment.
Bery said that is the feeling of sadness.
Krische does not know what Selene is feeling, but Krische can imagine the feeling of great disappointment.
Krische can also imagine not wanting to experience that.
So Krische believes Krische can understand.”
Kreschenta stared blankly at Krische.Krische glanced at Selene with a troubled look, then hesitated, her eyes wandering.
“Krische also loves Selene.
That is why Krische does not like seeing Selene anxious and wants to assure her.
But Krische is not good at talking like Bery or Kreschenta, so Krische does not know what to say……”
She lowered her eyes.
Those gem-like eyes.
She looked like a doll, but one made to express sadness.
“……Krische is useless.
Selene always tries to understand Krische and make Krische happy, but Krische……”
Kreschenta crouched in front of Krische and cupped her cheek.She stroked Krische’s white cheek, staring into those amethyst eyes framed by long silver lashes.
“Onee-sama is a very kind and wonderful person.
Please do not make that face……is it my fault?”
“Krische already said that Krische will not be angry about that.”
“……even if onee-sama is not angry, I don’t want onee-sama to hate me.
Especially since we finally got together.”
Krische’s eyes widened a little in surprise, then she smiled and patted Kreschenta’s head.
“Kreschenta decided to do that for Krische’s sake right? Then Krische will not be angry about it.
Krische will not hate Kreschenta because of it.”
Krische recalled the words that had made her happy and said them to Kreschenta.Krische did this because she felt that the feelings Kreschenta has for her, are the same feelings she has for Bery.
“……but Krische still likes it better when Selene and Bery are having fun instead of feeling anxious..
So that is a bit of a shame.”
“Kreschenta said Kreschenta is Krische’s younger sister.
Krische knows that Bery and Selene sees and loves Krische as a younger sister.
So like the two of them, Krische will also love Kreschenta.”
Declaring that, Krische clasped Kreschenta’s cheeks between her hands and kissed her on the lips.Kreschenta froze, her face turning beet-red.
“Ehehe, did Kreschenta know? Kissing is an expression of love.”
Bery had openly kissed Krische in front of Kreschenta.So Krische assumed that means Kreschenta is an exception.
“Wh, who taught you that……?”
Recently, we have been kissing like this to express our love.
Er……does Kreschenta not like doing it, with Krische?”
“E, e, er……”
Kreschenta was raised with a relatively proper education in the palace.Naturally, she knows the meaning behind a kiss and that it is clearly not normal for two young girls to do it.
“Krische, thought that Kreschenta also loved Krische so……if not then Krische will no――”“Th, that’s true! Uuu……what kind of education did Bery give her……”
Why didn’t Bery correct this abnormal habit.
Does she really look at Krische that way?
Kreschenta had started to trust Bery a little, but strengthened her guard again.
However, she could not reject Krische.
No matter the means, Kreschenta is happy that Krische is sincerely trying to accept her and this also appears to be a innocent expression of love for Krische.Of course Kreschenta could not refuse and also feels that it is necessary to go along with this to make up for what Kreshcenta had done.
Krische kissed Kreschenta again.
Krische is a kissing fiend.Kreschenta’s eyes wavered, then glared at Krische.
“O, onee-sama, er……has Argan-sama done anything indecent to you? Like excessively touching your chest or butt.”
“Indecent……? Ah, we wash each other everyday――”
“Ex, explain everything about how you usually wash each other.
Onee-sama might not have realised, but that might have been horribly shameful and unforgivable――”
That evening, Bery was thoroughly lectured by Kreschenta about the distance between her and Krische.
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