Riku´s fight against Toudo was very back and forth.
Both weapons were cutting through the air, clashing against each other. When Riku´s halberd seemed to be about to reach Toudo, his spear would defend the blow. And when Toudo would thrust at her with his spear, she would parry it. Without either the halberd and the spear stopping to move, both kept earnestly exchanging their techniques. Unfortunately, the situation was a bit unfavorable to Riku.
“What´s the matter, traitor? Your breathing seems to be getting rough.”
Toudo blurted out these words to provoke Riku. But Riku couldn´t deny them. There were three reasons for her to be in disadvantage.
First, for the past two days, she hadn´t slept.
After she gained control of the fort, even if she was sleepy, there was no way she could have gone sleep. She took one night to send the present, and by the time she was able to get to the fort, it was already about to become nightfall. During that, she climbed up a mountain, got rid of the spiritualists and without being able to rest for too long, she was already going to battle. With all that, saying that she wasn´t tired would be a lie.
The next one would be that she couldn´t use one of her hands.
With her right hand, she was carrying her spoil of war. Obviously, more than using a halberd with one hand, a blow would have more power when using it with both hands. She wanted to put it down somewhere, but here it was the battlefield. There was nowhere to put it down. Normally, she would throw the head into a sack, but because she was in hurry to depart, she ended up forgetting about bringing it.*1
And at last, it was the horse.
This horse that had been stolen from the spiritualists did hang on really well through the battlefield.*2 Because of that, it was possible that it was actually one of good breed. But even so, the horse had received fatal wounds. He had received the arrows rain the Bistolru spiritualists had shot onto them. Having been hit at the head and at the sides, he was bleeding out from several places. Even if it ended up collapsing at some point, it wouldn´t be strange.
“You will be able to keep barking only for now.”
So she had said, but it being almost like a bluff, Riku was considerably being cornered by him.
The more she were to prolong this battle, more would it be disadvantageous to her. In order to finishing it up already, it would be best for her to throw away her war spoils and use both of her hands. But if she were to do that, it would go against Gortoberuk´s orders. If she were to bring him discontentment, it would lower Leivein´s reputation since he had given his recommendation on her. This was something she definitely needed to avoid.
“I give these same words back to you.”
Toudo came with a spear thrust. While parrying one attack after another, she was desperately forcing her brain to work. Toudo was very calm, after all, in his spear, there weren´t any really out of ordinary power infused on it. An spiritualist that had made his name as much as Toudo, would definitely be very powerful and his techniques would be very well polished. Since he wasn´t showing this much power, it was obvious that he was just playing around with Riku. As she clicked her tongue, she swung her halberd up, but her blow was defended by Toudo.
“Your aim is faltering. Are you getting tired?”
“No, I´m just fine.”
Riku´s halberd just like that gorged itself onto the side of Toudo´s horse. While raising a loud shriek, its organs were spilled out of his body. And with that, it slowly started to lose its speed. The lights of the horse´s eyes were gradually fading away. Until the horse completely stopped breathing and crumbled down, it was only a question of time. After that, all she needed to do was to aim for the moment Toudo would fall down from his horse.
“I see, you were aiming for my mobility from the start.”
Toudo gave a baleful look to Riku. But that was all he could do. Even though the situation of the battle started to incline towards Riku, Toudo was for some reason able to calm down. Perhaps it came from his experience from many wars.
“But you know, this is my most cherished horse. There is no way it will die in a place like this!!”
After he rebuked Riku, light started to come back to the horse´s eyes. Once again putting strength in its legs, it regained its speed. It actually looked like it had become even faster than before. It wasn´t like he got his wounds healed up. Rather, a greater amount of blood was flowing out of his wounds. Being out of her character, Riku ended up opening her eyes wide at the scene.
“Didn´t you know? Really good horses will always answer to its rider´s demands… Even if exchanging its life for it is necessary.”
Even costing its own life, it would respond to its owner´s orders.
With his words, Riku ended up making a gap in her guard. Toudo wasn´t an old general that would let this chance slip by.
“It´s the end, traitor.”
Toudo´s spear hit her horse. While shrieking, the horse reared with its two legs. She started to slip down from her horse. Like that, she felt she started falling down from her horse. Whether it was all good luck, without Toudo being able to deal a deep wound, the horse regained its posture and kept running. But… What would be following after that was unknown.
If she ended up falling from her horse, there would be no way for her to win. Riku clicked her tongue.
“…It can´t be helped.”
Riku made her resolve.
Throwing away the sword she was holding with her left hand, she held the halberd with both hands. Her precious war spoil was still skewered at the sword, but she could go pick it up later. In that place, there was only Toudo and herself. She didn´t need to worry about somebody snatching her prize from her. With that, she was able to calm down.
“Go die, Toudo. Shriek like a pig.”
With both of her hands, Riku swung her halberd. Toudo prepared his spear to defend from the blade that had an increased speed. But this time, the tranquility finally vanished from his face. Because of the very heavy attack, Toudo couldn´t block it well. Receiving the blow, his arm made a very familiar sound. It was enough to make one think that the attacks from before were only a breeze.
“No, that´s not how it is.”
The more Riku swung her halberd, the more heavier would her next attack be. Toudo desperately tried to fight back, but. In contrast to Riku being able to recover her breathing, Toudo´s breathing was starting to falter. And at that moment, Toudo started a demon banning technique.
“Obediently die like a little bug at once.”*3
Time had suddenly become slow to him. The experienced general Toudo had activated his technique at a bad timing.
Her descending halberd, while raising a bizarre sound, fell down onto Toudo´s head. He hadn´t been able to compete with that speed and power. With his spear being snapped into two pieces, his helmetless head split open. Beautifully split from his head to his torso, Toudo Barusak fell down from his horse.
“Even though I was looking forward to corner him just like he had done to me… I guess I lacked the ability.”
Getting down from her horse, Riku took half of Toudo´s head. It was somewhat disgusting, but by bringing it back, she could prove that she had defeated the veteran general. Taking away the head off the sword, in its place, she stuck Toudo´s head instead. Grasping Selestinna´s hair, she calmly went back to her horse. But her horse had already reached its limits.
“I see, this child died.”
That horse had died while still standing. While still bleeding, it stood motionless in that position. At one glance it seemed to be alive, but it wasn´t breathing anymore. While gently brushing the dead horse, she sighed. She couldn´t use Toudo´s horse. Thinking about going back to the fort on foot, she felt a bit depressed, but without being able to think about any way to get her hands on a horse, there was no way out other than walking. And right at the moment she pointed her foot to the direction of the fort…
“I finally found you, first lieutenant Riku Barusak!!”
From the direction of the fort, she saw somebody coming.
It was sergeant major Roppu Nezaarand. With his long rabbit ears fluttering with the wind, he came on his horse.
“What´s the matter, sergeant major Roppu Nezaarand?”
“Because you were too late, lieutenant general Gortoberuk told me to pick you up… Hey, isn´t that Selestinna from the Bistolru and Toudo from the Barusak!? You managed to defeat them?”
Roppu immediately leaned forward by the surprise. Surprised, he alternately looked at both heads.
“That´s right. But, I will end it here. I´m tired, and my horse became useless.”
“Ah, if that´s the case, then please use this horse. Even on foot, I can still keep up the pace well enough.”
Getting down from the horse, he gave his place for Riku to ride on.
Mounting on the horse, she looked back once more to Toudo´s dead body. Once again, she started to think on how he was someone that had the surname of Barusak, but as expected she didn´t feel anything.
“First lieutenant, let´s go back quickly. Sooner or later, spiritualists looking for Toudo will come.”
“…You are right. Let´s go back to the fort.”
Riku rode her horse to the fort.
And the girl dyed in red, with her hair of the same red color fluttering with the wind, she disappeared in the darkness of the night.
With that, the Myuuz castle battle came to an end with both sides having very big losses.
The main cause of the defeat for the demon side was because of their failed night-attack.
And more, with the reinforcements that should have come from the castle being brutally intercepted without even having the chance to fight back, the staff officer was killed. As the result, the Myuuz castle was burnt down and Gortoberuk´s adjutant perished as well. Gortoberuk himself also lost his dominant arm and his longsword, and Gortoberuk´s division of the third army became crumbled.
But there weren´t only bad things. Because first lieutenant Riku Barusak recaptured the fort, the spiritualists were successfully locked up inside the Myuuz castle. The winners from the battle were the spiritualists, but they became isolated. The mountains surrounding Myuuz weren´t a place humans would be able to go through without a guide.
Adding to that, their side lost two exceptional commanders. Furthermore, one was the head of one of the families in the field while the other was a veteran general serving the other family.
If looking only at the fact the spiritualists captured the Myuuz castle, it would be said that it was their win.
But if one were to look at how they lost two exceptional commanders and were locked in the Myuuz castle, it was the demon´s victiory.
After that, when both armies would confront each other… To what conclusion all this would result.
That, nobody knew yet.
1.普段であれば、そこら辺の袋に放り込むのだが、急いで駆け付けたので袋を忘れてきてしまっていた。It says ->そこら辺<-, which means surroundings, etc. But what would this mean in this situation? Would it mean that the sack would be left in the ground somewhere? Or maybe it actually has another meaning to it? I didn´t find anything of the sorts though.
2.退魔師から奪ってきた馬は、良く戦場をかけてくれた。I don´t know which ->かけて<-this one is supposed to be since it doesn´t show which kanji it is. There are many “kakeru”s, and it is difficult to know really what it was supposed to mean. None of those that I found did much sense to the context. The one that has the most probability of being the one used is the one that means to run, meaning like the horse has been running through the battlefield, being that the job he was supposed to be doing, and he had done it really well or so. In this case, in english, it would be better to write like the way I had written here instead of literally putting that he had been running really well… Either way, as far as the context goes, even if it a different “kakeru”, the meaning should be very similar to what I had written.
3「塵虫らしく何も言わずに、さっさと死ね」No idea what ->塵虫<- means.