“We lost capable subordinates. It was a mistake on your judgement.”
Ywaint pressed Volf against a tree. There wasn´t the slightest of the usual warmth there would be in his eyes. It was only overflowing with disappointment of his superior.
“I won´t make excuses. I admit I looked stupid out there. Do as you wish.”
“Then, I won´t hold back.”
Ywain hit Volf´s face with all he had. Volf fell to the ground due to the punch.
“Wai… Stop! Although Volf really is to blame here, didn´t he take the head of their regiment commander? Then, it´s fine not to blame him that much, isn´t it? Right?”
There were no changes in Ywain´s eyes even after Nikka´s words. Only the cold feeling permeated in his eyes.
“You are soft to Volf where you mustn´t. To take the head of the regiment commander is only the expected, but to perfectly pull back that it is what the [Black Wolf] is, isn´t it? He wasn´t able to do that, so he needs to take responsibility. Don´t you think so too? Volf, the [Black Wolf].”
Volf quietly nodded at those words. He wasn´t in a position he could make excuses. He also didn´t feel like doing so. Volf understood more than anyone the how hard the blow of the loss of his pieces was.
“Sorry there. Everything was my fault.”
Ywain once again raised his fist. Nikka went in between Volf and Ywain in order to stop him. As to be expected, there was no way Ywain could just hit Nikka. Making a bitter face, he lowered down his fist.
“Aren´t you guys all moody? But what, we are at the mountains. At the mountains, you know? It´s the perfect place for a picnic.”
Rudolf le Harsburk appeared at Volf´s camp site. Everyone present at the place became stiff. They were met with an impossible situation. Who would think that someone of the Halsburk family like him would come to a place like this on foot. No matter what, it was simply impossible.
“By the way, where is Anatour?”
Lainberka, one of the three warriors and also Rudolf´s attendant asked to the people at the camp site. Everyone kept silent.
“That guy? Did he die?”
Although Rudolf had a comical tone in his voice, his eyes weren´t laughing.
“He didn´t die. However, he was heavily wounded.”
Ywain´s voice was heavy.
“Who asked you that? I am talking to Volf-kun, you see?”
Ywain pulled back without saying anything. Volf and Rudolf; their eyes met.
“Anatour-ossan got his arm cut off by White Mask and is now sleeping. Although he isn´t dead, he won´t be of use for some time. I took the head of their regiment commander. The battle line was pushed back a little. That´s all.”
Volf said as if he was spitting.
Lainberka was angered by his disrespectful attitude. Without giving any regard to that, Rudolf stepped forward.
“With that said, the situation isn´t one I can commend you on. Giving off the [Crying Spear] for some nameless regiment commander doesn´t pay off. Besides, there isn´t any meaning to it if you don´t kill White Mask.”
Rudolf criticized Volf even despite all. However, Volf didn´t object. Actually, Rudolf was satisfied enough with the result of his battle against White Mask. Rudolf was able to understand it by that. He understood that just like himself and White Mask, that person was chosen by god. Indeed, the man in front of his eyes was similarly a chosen one.
“As to be expected, the reason for this mistake was due to having entrusted someone like this. If so, I shall head out and slay the White Mask.”
Lainberka declared. However, Rudolf didn´t give any regard to her. Lainberka felt dejected.
“Is it impossible for someone of your caliber?”
The ones to react to those words were Ywain, who was supposed to have stepped back, Nikka, and also all the members of the Noir Guard. All of them were silently sending killing intent to Rudolf. Lainberka´s glare was to no use.
“It´s not impossible. I was just a bit too greedy today.”
Volf stood up. Then, he stepped forward with vigor. There was a considerable difference in height between Volf and Rudolf, who was confronting him. The aura Volf held made that difference even bigger.
“The White Mask, and this war too. I will properly eat up all of it, so you can just go grope your boobs or something and wait until I´m done.”
The fangs of the black wolf. They were sharpened by his feelings of frustration. He gave off an aura that made even Lainberka open her eyes wide. It was a pressure that felt like it would crush. Feeling that pressure, Rudolf smiled.
“In that case, I will be leaving it to you for the time. I will prepare a suitable substitute for Anatour. Now then, may you have fortunes of war, Black Wolf-kun.”
Volf didn´t know what Rudolf came there to do. However, it was a fact that he was able to sort out whatever he came up to him with. Although Rudolf was quibbling for all faults he could find, it was still their side the ones to have the advantage. They killed the regiment commander of the enemy, and although their own regiment commander got heavily wounded, he didn´t die. The difference between the two was great.
“We will soon clean up this disgrace. If I don´t earn enough for their share, I won´t be making up for those guys.”
The enemy was also considerably pushed back and had its fighting force shaved. To begin with, it wasn´t known whether Arcadia would make up to the next day after having lost their regiment commander. Rather than having lost, they were still in the winning position. Now wasn´t the time to be dispirited.
“Tomorrow we will win again. But this time, perfectly.”
There wasn´t anything as much scary as a wounded wolf. The black wolf was sharpening his fangs.
“Why is it I am not qualified for fighting White Mask?”
In their way back, Rudolf, who had come there in incognito, was being carried by Lainberka on her back. He hated walking the most. Although it wasn´t like he was going all the way back to Frandelen, there was still quite the distance until the headquarters. Because of that, he was receiving a piggyback. It was simple principle. ルドルフの中では―― (Tl note: Not sure what it means there.)
“Hm? It´s because you can´t win. Although you might be able to in a one-on-one battle, it would be difficult in the mountains, right? To be frank, Nehderks is at the lower end in military. We can´t win in a clash between armies. Because of that, we are getting outside help. One of a specialist.”
Lainberka was discontented. She believed she could deal with this amount of fighting force one way or another if it was her the one at command.
“It´s not good if you underestimate them. No matter how strong you are, you die if you get cut by a sword. If you get hit by a lot of arrows, you also die. The three warriors aren´t undefeatable. Rather, there are many things you still need to be careful of.”
Laiberka dropped her shoulders. Because of that, Rudolf was about to slip off her back. And so, he knocked at her head. Lainberka deeply apologized, repeating “I´m sorry, I´m sorry”.
Once she calmed down a bit, Rudolf spoke to her.
“Between White Mask and Black Wolf, who do you think is stronger?”
Answering Rudolf´s question, Lainberka said:
“The Black Wolf, right?”
It was an immediate reply. Rudolf laughed indiscreetly.
“That´s right. It´s because I thought so that I left it to him. I was a bit hesitant… but I guess I thought it would be fine since he is a mercenary? No matter how much capable he is, a simple mercenary can´t change world. They seem to be intending to do that, but…the world isn´t a kind place like that.”
“The stronger one is the Black Wolf, but the one to be scared of is the White Mask. It is because Volf-kun also knows that that he ended up overextending himself. It seems that his [Lion Marquis] didn´t notice that though.”
Lainberka didn´t understand what Rudolf meant. Seeing that, Rudolf let out a “Funyaa” yawn and went to sleep.
Realizing Rudolf had slept, Lainberka started pondering about the conversation they had until now. And then, looking at the sky, she frowned.
“Scary, is it? Is that man [scarier] than me?”
Her murmurs were absorbed by the veil of the night.