At the Myuuz castle, many cheers were being raised.
Because the spiritualists burned down the castle, they lost the food supplies there. Adding to that, losing two capable generals and being under a situation where calling for reinforcements was difficult, it was very obvious that their morale declined. Because Gortoberuk´s third army had received reinforcements and now was with numbers greater than the double they had had at the start, there was no way for the spiritualists to have survived from the demon side´s attack. The castle once again had the Demon Lord army flag fluttering at its top and within its scorched insides, many spiritualists´ worthless corpses piled up.
The one with the most achievements at this battle was the first lieutenant Riku Barusak. She had recaptured the fort, which had become their base now. And not only that, she also killed two of the enemy generals. But even so, the figure of that red haired girl was nowhere to be found. The reason why she hadn´t participated in this last fight was a very simple one. It was because right now she…
“I´ve said this many times already, didn´t I? I didn´t betray you.”
“I don´t need excuses. Just tell the truth.”
It was because right now she was confined in the interrogation room.
The beginning of all that happened one day ago.
Since she had gone back together with Roppu, during all these days, she had always been training. Without being summoned by Gortoberuk, together with Vrusto and her other subordinates, from morning to evening, they had been training without stopping.
But at that night… An incident had occurred.
At that night which everyone was sleeping, a sentry had spotted suspicious shadows.
There was no way he could have ignored a group sneakily passing through the mountains. Some of the spiritualists, who were carrying some sort of coffin, were able to escape, but even so, they were able to capture most of them. When they noticed they couldn´t fight back anymore, they killed themselves, but the few people that thought losing their life would be too unfortunate blurted out all the information in detail. And so, because of it, Riku was thrown to the interrogation room.
“Just because these guys were spiritualists from the Barusak, this is simply jumping to conclusions.”
Riku was bit by bit becoming unable to hide her irritation. Since last night, the situation didn´t make any progress. As she gave a deep sigh, she glared at the hateful interrogator.
“In first place, whether it is about that night attack or anything else, there would be no way for me to know. It must be another person.”
She didn´t know how many times had it been, but once again, she repeated the explanation to the interrogator. Logically thinking, at most, the fact Riku wasn´t the traitor should have been clear. But like he had always done, once again he shook his head. He also had his reasons to suspect Riku.
“But from the information we´ve gathered from them, they said that they had been guided through the forest by a female demon soldier that had a small stature.”
The interrogator also started to become unable to hide his irritation. The sound of him hitting the table was much louder when compared to the first time he did that.
“There are people other than me if it is to the extent of being a female soldier! And besides, didn´t the people you caught forget the color of her hair. Something like that is impossible. For them to not remember my hair color.”
With her finger, Riku was playing with her hair. She couldn´t imagine there being people that would forget about her red hair, which would stand out even with darkness of the night.
“It seems that the traitor was using a helmet. They simply didn´t see the hair. Now, just confess already!”
“As I said… There is nothing to confess, nor anything else; I´m completely unrelated!”
Riku hit the table with all her strength. Because she didn´t hold herself back on her anger when she hit the tablet, it broke down while raising a loud sound. The object similar to a cup that was on the table fell to the floor and broke into pieces. Because of that, water spilled over Riku´s and the interrogator´s feet, forming a puddle of water, but both didn´t care about that. They were both giving out sparks to each other. If they were allowed to bring weapons in, then maybe they would had already started fighting. It was just how much full of tension the interrogation room was.
“If you don´t intend on telling the truth, then I can still ask your body directly, you know?”
“Torture? Even if you go torture an innocent person, you won´t find the true culprit, didn´t you know?”
“You have quite the self-confidence in your statement there.”
“I didn´t do anything after all. Rather, if I were to find any Barusak, I would be the one torturing them.”
Riku said with a calm expression. In fact, she wanted to torture Toudo before, but because of her lack of ability, she didn´t get the chance to. She needed to get stronger to the point she could go easy on others next time. That´s why she wanted to immediately go back training. Even so, Riku didn´t seem like she was going to try run away from the interrogation room. In fact, all she was thinking was how and in what way she should be cornering her enemies.
The situation was completely not progressing. And right at the time the interrogator started to think about actually torturing her, the door of the interrogation room opened and the figure of a man appeared. As this man who had a magnificent mustache cleared his throat, the tension that could explode at any moment calmed down a bit. The interrogator, who had been coming closer to Riku before, gave one step back and saluted the man.
“Thanks for the hard work, your Excellency, lieutenant general Gortoberuk.”( お疲れ様です)
“Umu, good job doing the interrogation. Sorry, but could you let the two of us talk alone?”(うむ)
The interrogator became overturned by Gortoberuk´s request. There was no way he could allow the general of his own army and a suspect of treason talk together alone. To express his objection, he was about to open his mouth, but Gortoberuk stopped him by giving a sign with his hand.
“If she wanted to cause me harm, she would have shown her true colors at the battle. That´s right… When the noon bell rings, come to my room. Do you understand?
“…Ha, understood.”( はっ)
Glaring intensively at Riku, he left the room.
“…I wanted to ask once, but why did you not throw the name Barusak away?”
Sitting down in the chair, Gortoberuk calmly asked. Looking at Gortoberuk´s eyes, without much anxiety, she answered him.
“If I were to change the surname of Barusak to another one, when another turmoil just like this one happens, people would start being suspicious.”
In the end, if she were to change her surname, people would suspect whether she was just trying to hide her origin. If that was what was going to happen, it is more convenient for her to just call herself Barusak. Hearing Riku´s answer, Gortoberuk nodded.
“Names are very bothersome. Because of your surname and your race, your accomplishments end up overshadowed.”
Gortoberuk indifferently told her that. It made one wonder where his usual himself full of might disappeared to. Perhaps at the time he had lost his dominant hand, he had left that behind together with his arm. As she was thinking about that, Gortoberuk suddenly started talking again.
“By all your achievements, your promotion has been decided. From now on, you can call yourself captain Riku Barusak.”
“Umu, your next duty has been assigned. You will leave the fort and start working as a bodyguard for the Demon Lord´s imouto-sama.”(imouto=younger sister)
“Bodyguard, you say?”
Charlotte, who was the Demon Lord´s little sister should have had her own exclusive bodyguard corps. Something such as disregarding them and needing to have Riku as bodyguard couldn´t be thought as something natural. Seeing Riku being perplexed, Gortoberuk gave a faint smile.
“Charlotte-sama will be secretly going on a trip. But if she were to be always surrounded by stern-faced guards, she wouldn´t be able to enjoy her long awaited trip. That´s why it was requested of you, who are a young girl, to work as her bodyguard. What? I´ve heard that the place you will be going to is very safe. You just need to accompany her from a certain distance and prepare for unprecedented situations. Therefore, unless by some chance any danger approaches Charlotte-sama, it´s fine if you don´t do anything in particular.”
“Then basically… It´s fine if I just stay next to Charlotte-sama at all the times. That´s what you are saying?”
In other words, all of this was in reality nothing more than a vacation.
Being suspected of being a traitor, it would be hard for Riku to keep living in the fort. Until all this commotion cools down, she should go rest somewhere else, or so would be the case. With all that said, Riku saluted Gortoberuk.
“Thank you very much, lieutenant general Gortoberuk.”
“I will be personally looking for the real traitor. …From now on, I will be looking forward to your performance… Immediately start the preparations for the trip.”
After she lowered her head to Gortoberuk, she was about to leave the room.
But from Gortoberuk´s expression, it felt like he still had something to say. She was a bit uncertain if she should ask him what it was about, but since he had told her to go start the preparations for her next task, she decided it was better for her to leave the room once and for all. Lowering her head one more time, she left the interrogation room.
Inside the interrogation room, only Gortoberuk alone remained. He looked at the place his right arm used to be. Regretfully touching the part where it was cut off, he muttered to himself in a small voice nobody would have heard.
“…Perhaps, I will need to pass the seat to the junior generation soon.”
The old general shut his eyes. Under his eyelids, the image of Riku swinging her halberd full of power was being reflected.
- 「もし、ワシに害を及ぼすならば戦場で犯意を翻すだろうよ。そうよな……昼の鐘がなる頃になってもワシが出てこない時は、部屋に入ってこい。それで良いだろう」Too much bundled up of an explanation for english… The real meaning would be: When the afternoon bell rings and even so I don´t come out(come out to outside? From his room? Dunno…), come to my room.