Rook eyes became wide-open.
Since his childhood, Mary had been looking after him. She was the one that took care of him more than anyone. Her actions of now were also for his sake. That´s why he was a bit anxious.
“A secret plan from Raku-ane? I haven´t heard anything about it.”
He didn´t want his beloved Mary to die because he took actions that didn´t happen in the game.
To begin with, because he lost his battle at the Karkata plains, he couldn´t use his game knowledge for some time. Now, all he could do was only wonder whether he could still use his knowledge for the other events. Unfortunately, in this battle at Karkata… He could only rely on himself to capture the fort. It was like exploring an unknown land.
Of course, Rook believed himself that he wasn´t incompetent. He had the knowledge he learned in his previous world, and since he had been reincarnated, he had been learning about many matters as the next head of his family. But this was actually the first time he was going to make a decision without relying on the knowledge of the game. In this sense, this would be his first campaign.
Thinking about that, rather than having an amateur at war badly meddling with its matters and having their losses aggravated and more soldiers losing their life, it would be better to rely on the plan of a person that was knowledgeable at it. But he couldn´t carelessly accept it and lose Mary. While Rook was endless worrying with these thoughts, Mary took out a letter.
“Yes, yesterday at afternoon, I´ve received this letter.”
While saying that, Mary gave Rook the letter. Rook quickly gave a glance to the letter. On the letter, the plan was written with messy letters that matched how Raku was.
“Hey, right here… It´s written that you shouldn´t let me know about this letter, though?”
Saying that, Rook pointed to the part where it was written:”If you let Rook be aware of the plan, he will become annoying, so act by yourself”. Mary showed a bitter smile that looked apologetic.
“I showed young master this letter because young master didn´t seem to be having any good ideas. Besides, haven´t young master always said that? The “everything is Hou-ren-sou”.”(TL note: this is the abbreviation of Jyouhou-Renraku-Soudan, which means, information, reporting and asking for advice. Apparently, this was some kind of motto of some company. I don´t know if the company still exists, since this motto was created at the 1980´s.)
Mary raised three of her white and slender fingers.
Hou-ren-sou meant information, reporting and asking for advice. This was something his previous world father would always be saying. In his management of his territories, he had always been enforcing these three things. Exchange of information was more important than anything; if anything unexpected happened, it was possible to immediately deal with it. At the beginning, with nobody knowing about the practices of hou-ren-sou, everyone would wonder what was that while bending their neck in confusion, but with ten years passing, anyone became used to it.
Mary, who could be said to be Rook´s trusted retainer, would faithfully follow the Hou-ren-sou.
“Young master, please, rely more on me. Please, ask me advice for all your worries.”
“That´s right… Thank you.”
With his reliable trusted attendant being here, Rook was able to calm down. He was able to relieve a bit of his anxiety.
For some reason, he had been causing many bad events. The heroines, Selestinna, Rebecca and Kurumi were killed, and his soldiers suffered heavy losses because of the pigs. But Rook was still blessed. He was tended by Mary´s gentleness. Once again turning his eyes to the letter, he started to read it.
“Hmm… [To begin with, despite their dirty appearance of beasts, there are many of their races that can disguise themselves and be just like a human. As the result, they can easily walk among the humans inside our territories with no concerns as long as they hide their special traits of their bodies.
In this plan, it will be the reverse, with the objective of causing turmoil from the inside. asdf Once there is one drop of suspicion. Fortunately, you have many times their number; all they can do is wait, passing their time inside that cramped castle filled with fear. Once you drop a single drop of suspicious inside, rest will be easy.]”
Reading the last letter, Rook let a “oh” in admiration.
“In other words, we will infiltrate someone in there?”
While folding the letter, he Looked at Mary. Mary calmly nodded.
“Yes. It´s a fact I don´t want to accept, but among the demons, there are many whose appearance aren´t too different from us humans.”
“I know that. But, by any chance, if they discover the person infiltrating doesn´t have a demonic like trait… No, not really.”
Rook denied his own thoughts.
This time, at the town of Karkata they were attacking, there were a few humans coexisting with the demons. As far as it goes, It´s prohibited that humans and demons work together in the Shiidoru kingdom, and so, the town is considered to be one which there are only demons in the documents. Even the main character of the game didn´t know there were humans living in the town until he won the battle and captured the town.
For instance, even if one didn´t have any demon-like trait, one could simply insist to be one of the humans living in the town.
“But it will be difficult to send the spy to infiltrate inside the fortress.”
Kurumi, which would be very useful for situations like that, wasn´t here anymore.
Not only didn´t he have any spies at the demon side now, but infiltrating the Karkata castle also seemed to be difficult.(TL note: It´s weird, but it´s written like that…) Perhaps it might be possible to go up the walls through a gap in their defenses. But the walls were of stone and properly maintained. Since it was usually possible to use daggers as a footholds by putting them at the gaps between the stones, there wouldn´t be any problems going up the wall. However, even looking at it from the distance, it was possible to see that the stone wall clearly wasn´t one which doing that would be viable.
It would be a different story if there was a Ninja class that could jump over the walls, but unfortunately, there weren´t any classes like that, and so didn´t exist in the reality.
“Don´t worry, young master. I already have something prepared.”
Her response to the present issues was too fast. Since he had lost last battle, only a single day have passed. But even so, Mary had already thought of their next strategy. With Rook being surprised by that, Mary continued with her words with a face filled with confidence.
“I´m deeply sorry, but I thinking of it as a measure, I… Actually, at the time when the demons had retreated, I sent three people… Three spiritualists of the Barusak disguised as demons to infiltrate their base. They were distracted when they ran away, so the demons probably didn´t notice someone slipping in.”
Rook turned his eyes to Karkata´s castle.
It was a firmly built fort surrounded by a plantation of matured grapes. In there, there were already three Barusak spiritualists inside. While Rook had been worrying about his troubles, they were hidden among the enemy´s army.
“Although our soldiers suffered some losses, the difference in numbers is still overwhelming. Probably unless they think of doing something reckless, they won´t come attack us.”
“Yes, I know that. Initially, they were planning on doing a siege after all.”
“That´s why instead, we will have their gates opened.”
Mary whispered next to Rook´s ears.
Rook nodded full of satisfaction at her plan.
“I see… They will light a fire somewhere. And using the turmoil…”
“They will open the gates from the inside, and after that, it will be our victory. I´ve already instructed them to light the fire and open the gates tomorrow at night.”
Saying that, Mary kneeled next to Rook´s feet. From her face, the wry smile from before had faded away, and having the looks just like one of a general… She had a face that was full of seriousness.
“Please, lend me some soldiers. I will definitely capture that hateful fortress.”
Rook closed his eyes.
Using this plan, the chances of winning were high. The demons had won a battle they originally weren´t supposed to win. By this time, they are probably drunk with the beverages of the highest grade, and once the next day comes, there will be soldiers suffering from the hangover. At the night of such day, it wouldn´t be weird if they were to loosen their guard somewhat. They probably wouldn´t expect that the spiritualists who had just suffered a great defeat would launch a night attack right on the next day.
If he uses this plan, he will definitely win.
But Rook was still hesitating.
…If the plan Raku sent to him ended up being a bad one, it was quite possible for him to lose Mary.
It wasn´t because she was one of the heroines; it would be fine saying it was closer to the feeling of love for his family as if she was his sister or mother. Among the people Rook knew, Mary was the person he could trust the most, and therefore, someone he didn´t want to lose.
But there was no more time to be hesitating.
There was nothing else to do other than wishing her luck.
“Mary…Come back alive, ok?”
Opening his eyes, he touched Mary´s cheeks.
They were very warm and soft cheeks. Being touched by Rook at her cheeks, Mary opened her eyes wide in surprise, and then closed them, filled with happiness. It was possible to see her cheeks vaguely becoming blushed.
“Yes, of course… There is no way I can leave young master alone.”
“It´s a promise. You must definitely promise me, Mary!!”
Rook took his hands off Mary´s cheeks.
He didn´t want to lose any other person important to him. If he was to lose her, he would probably go crazy. Taking away the muffler that was wrapped at her neck, Mary put it on Rook.
“Tonight is cold. Please, use this to warm yourself. When I come back, you will need to give me back, ok?”
Rook looked at Mary´s figure going out of his tent.
At the same time Mary´s small back left the tent, the lonely air of the night blew inside.
At the center of the tent, alone, he sighted. There was no way the tent he was in right now was wide. But once Mary left, it abnormally became spacious.
“You must definitely come back, Mary.”
Rook muttered to himself.
Together with the remaining warmth of her cheek at his palm and the muffler he was grasping….