About one month have passed since the festival at Derufoi.
Comparing it to one month before, the coldness of the winter got harsher by one level. The same applied to the Myuuz castle. The mountains of Myuuz were completely covered in snow. Having her face buried in her muffler, Riku was sitting down on the castle walls. Looking at the sky, it was possible to see many stars shining. Each of them were sharply shining as if they were crystals*1 Riku looked at the night sky for some time.
Riku preferred the sky of the afternoon over the night´s. Every time she looked at the sky filled with stars, she would get solitary and uncomfortable. She preferred the blue sky that had no clouds.
But she didn´t dislike looking at the stars sometimes. Sometimes, she wouldn´t feel like training, but also wouldn´t feel like sleeping. On those days, she would gaze at the stars just like she was right now.
At some point of the time she had been looking at the stars, she suddenly felt a presence behind her. She heard the metallic sound of when a person would move with an armor.
“What´s your business?”
While still looking at the sky, Riku asked.
Demons that would come talk to her were only a few. She thought it could have possibly been Vrusto or Roppu, but it probably wasn´t the case. If it was Vrusto, he would probably conceal the sound of his footsteps in order to give Riku a surprise, and if it was Roppu, the footsteps would be smoother. If it was one of her subordinates, then that person would have had introduced himself a bit sooner. She didn´t know who it was but she didn´t feel hostility. It would be fine even if she didn´t turn her head.
Still in the same position, she waited for the answer.
“You were here- de gozaru! I was looking for you-de gozaru!”
In answer, the person spoke in a voice full of liveliness that broke the mood.
Turning back, she saw that standing there was a girl with a bright smile.
In her outward appearance, she was about Riku´s same age or a bit older. With her appearances put in order and her hair was well arranged*2. Her The most notable part of her appearance was her chest. Comparing to the thin Riku, it was possible to know hers was big even wearing an armor.
…It would be hindering when swinging a sword, Riku thought.
Even so, it was a demon Riku didn´t know about. There is no way she would forget about a demon that had such characteristic way of speaking and appearance. After Riku inquired her that, the girl happily saluted.
“I´ve been transferred to lieutenant commander Barusak´s battalion. I´m the second lieutenant Asty Gortoberuk-de gozaru! I came to give my greetings to lieutenant commander Riku Barusak. Please, take care of me from now on.”
Asty readily bowed her head. At the gaps of her hair, it was possible to see two horns. Riku slightly raised her eyebrows.
“Ah, excuse me. I´m lieutenant general Rudogar Gortoberuk´s grandchild. I´m truly thankful for you to have delivered my birthday present despite being busy.”
“I was simply doing my job.”
Riku said as if there weren´t any problems to that.
Riku intended to end the conversation with that, but Asty didn´t show any signs that she would be leaving soon.
“Then, is there anything else?”
“Anything else, you say?”
Like a little bird, Asty inclined her head, and after a while, she put her hands together with a clap sound.(Tl/N:It´s probably that hand sign people at anime do often when they get the idea of something. A clenched hand above an opened one with the clenched one hitting the opened one from above. Whatever it is, I have no idea how I am supposed to describe that in english D:)
“I know-de gozaru! I still didn´t congratulate lieutenant commandant Barusak for the promotion-de gozaru! I´ve heard about your achievements at Derufoi-de gozaru! The ability you have for fighting fifty soldiers to protect Charlotte-sama and even being able to find and kill the traitor is without doubt a role model of the Demon Lord army-de gozaru.”
While showing an absorbed expression, she was speaking.
Riku was hearing all that with a face of someone that didn´t really have anything to say. None of what she said was wrong. The reasons for her promotion from captain to lieutenant commander was none other than those, but being told she was the role model of the Demon Lord army felt a bit wrong. While sighing, Riku stood up.
“I don´t need any congratulating gifts. Instead, just do your best on your job,”
“Un-understood- de gozaru!!”
Asty´s eyes were sparkly. Although she was under a weather that was so cold one wouldn´t want to do without a coat, it was becoming very hot.
Riku headed inside the castle. Doing that, Asty followed after her and started talking.
“And then, I´ve been hearing from grampa… Uhh, from honored grandfather, I´ve been hearing about lieutenant commander Barusak-de gozaru! I´ve heard that you were a newcomer of great promise and even saved my honored grandfather´s life-de gozaru na? Is there any way I can thank you for that…?”
“…I don´t really need any thanks. Protecting the superior is the subordinate´s duty, isn´t it?”
“Of course-de gozaru! But strong people that actually puts this in practice is uncommon-de gozaru. Ah, that´s right-de gozaru! Come to think about it, that…”
“Don´t trouble lieutenant commander Barusak, Asty.”
Coming from above at the staircase, Gortoberuk´s voice resounded. Riku lowered her head, and so did Asty, falling a bit behind at the timing.
“I´m very much sorry, honored grandfather-de gozaru…”
“…Really… Asty, you still speak this way. You won´t find a husband.”
Gortoberuk gave a tired smile. His attitude full of ambition that he had at the time Riku had just come to the castle wasn´t felt anymore. These days, he had been having a tired face quite often. It was as if a shinigami or something like that ate up his vitality…
“I- I´m not worried about that-de gozaru. It´s my dream to become a soldier that won´t shame the name of Gortoberuk-de gozaru.”
“I see, I see.”
With his remaining left hand, Gortoberuk patted Asty´s head. And then, after giving a good look at Riku, he said.
“Lieutenant commander Barusak, please take care of my grandchild. Initially, I would be assign with my staff officer or my second in command to you, but…”
But the two of them weren´t here anymore. Both of them died at the Myuuz castle battle.
Although he had many subordinates, the reason for the time he would be walking alone increased despite that probably had to do with how he had lost his trusted retainers.
Raising her head, Riku gave a salute.
“Understood, your Excellency lieutenant general Gortoberuk.”
“Umu, now then… Actually, I have something to talk to lieutenant commander concerning your next task.”
From his pocket, Gortoberuk took out a map. Receiving the map, Riku became even more silent. What was written in there was the town of [Karkata] and the route to get there.
“Umu, the city of Karkata is actually a small town we captured from the humans a few hundred years ago, and even now both humans and demons live there. I would like to entrust you this city for some time.”
“Entrust this town to me?”
Riku opened her eyes wide.
Although she was promoted, she was still at the level of a lieutenant commander. It wasn´t too much, and was definitely not enough for entrusting the management of a city.
“The ones governing the town itself will still be my subordinates. What I would like to entrust you is the security of the town.”
Gortoberuk knew what Riku was thinking about. Quietly, he continued his talk.
“Actually, although this is a small town, it is a fortress town. Normally, there is no problems about its defenses. However, it seems that the spiritualist armies will be aiming for this town next.”
“I see. You mean that if it is left like it is now, it will definitely fall, right?”
Gortoberuk nodded at Riku´s question.
“I don´t know why they are aiming for Karkata this time but… I will be relying on you, lieutenant commander Barusak.”
“Yes, then, tomorrow at morning, I will be departing.”
Giving a bow, Riku immediately headed to the lodging house her subordinates are staying at.
She didn´t have interest on the enemy´s intention. She would simply protect Karkata from the spiritualist´s hands as she was ordered to.
It was a fight to improve her strength and was ultimately so that she could be beside Leivein. Therefore, she will annihilate all the enemies.
All she saw right now was the war that is going to happen in front of her eyes.
And Riku Barusak didn´t know.
The fact that the one commanding the invading troops was Rook Barusak.
She didn´t know yet.
- 1つ1つが、凍ったように鋭く輝いている。How come as if they were frozen? I don´t understand ¬¬ I put like crystals because it seemed what made the most sense.
2.I don´t know how to describe that in english ;-;