Popii Buryuser had a sliver of hope over this battle that had just started.
If the prisoners were to get achievements, perhaps their crimes might be absorbed. Even if the crimes weren´t absorbed, maybe the sentence might get shortened. While holding her weapon, she was praying for luck at war.
“Popii Buryuuser, you´ve been ordered to go to the office.”
That´s why at the time when she was called to the office… She violently fell down.
There was no way her beloved and unreliable Rook would go visit her in his own accord. If that was the case, she would have gone. Even though she had had in her hands a once in a lifetime chance, now it was crumbling, slipping through the gaps of her fingers. If her position was a bit higher, maybe she could go against those orders. However, the one calling her was the head of the temple. Someone of a branch family like her is not someone that would be able to oppose him.
Popii unwillingly followed the orders.
While carrying her weapon, in heavy steps, she went to where Theodour was. Arriving at the office, she saw Theodour looking outside the window. He wasn´t wearing an armor and didn´t have a sword with him. He definitely couldn´t be thought as the head of the temple that should have been now be handling with the battle happening right now. While Popii was doubting her own eyes, Theodour slightly bent his head towards Popii.
“Yes. …Then, would you have any business with me?”
“Umu, it´s a very simple thing. You know, it has something to do with the reconciliation with the demons after we surrender, but…”
Popii was lost for words.
The man in front of her eyes, of anything he could do, he had already given up on the battle from the start. He had already assumed they would be losing and was clumsily raising the white flag to the demons; their enemies. He was completely sullying the pride of the spiritualists. Popii´s body trembled in anger. When she was about to move her hand to her weapon, Theodour raised his hand as if to tell her not reckless.
“Well, well, try to think. The difference in numbers is too great. Even if we were to add the prisoners, they would be only a few tens of people. With only these many spiritualists, there is no way we can defeat them. Besides, from what I saw from the window…. There is also a red haired demon that is worth for a thousand soldiers there. ”
“That´s why… You will surrender? Are we, the spiritualists, going to sell our pride to the demons!?”
Seeing Popii putting intonation on her last words, Theodour smiled.
“That´s why I made a plan.”
Being asked that by Popii, Theodour nodded with a “umu”. Turning away from the window, he walked over to Popii. The sounds of the battle that was spreading outside were being heard from somewhere at the distance.
“Rather than surrendering, we will negotiate for peace. You know, they definitely came here for a reason. In that case, if we were to let them have what they were looking for… We will inevitably be able to settle this peacefully.”
“Well, that would be so… Then, are you planning to send them poisoned food while we negotiate with them? …No, it wouldn´t work.”
While saying that to herself, she decided that this wasn´t the case.
The demons weren´t stupid. She couldn´t imagine they would be so stupid as to eat the food given to them at the enemy territory without any hesitations. If they were stupid like that, the spiritualists would have already annihilated them much long ago. In order to poison a living being that is capable of thought, even if limited, it was certainly necessary to have some schemes.
“Umu. Actually, Potii Buryuuser, in this banquet… I want you to play your instrument to comfort them. A certain comfort that will give us the advantage, you see.”
“…I see. You were talking about that.”
Potii was able to understand. She had finally understood the reason she had been called and was able to accept it. Popii was slowly caressing her weapon… The case of the musical instrument.
“If I´m not mistaken, your attribute was slumber… If you were to play your instrument while infusing your attribute, no matter which demon, they would all fall asleep.”
“But… This is an attribute infusing. It would put humans to sleep too.”
“I don´t care. As long as you don´t fall asleep yourself, there are no problems. Isn´t it fine to just make their heads fall once they are sleeping?”
Theodour and the other spiritualists that would be participating at the banquet would fall asleep together with the demons. However, the one playing the instrument, Popii herself, wouldn´t fall asleep. After all of them would be deeply sleeping, all it was necessary to do was to calmly cut the heads of the demons one by one. In killing their commander then, the demons would have lost their leadership in only these few moments. And then, after that it was easy. All they needed to do was sink the demons that would have had retreated to their ships with their fleet.
“In short, this music. You will make the savage demons fall asleep and cut their heads off, thus decreasing their fighting force.”
“And if we defeat their strongest soldiers, our side would also have our morale increased, right? …I understand.”
“Therefore, you won´t be participating at the banquet as an spiritualist, but as an instrumentalist. Go change your clothes.”
Usually, she wouldn´t want to comply with orders like that. However, only this time it was different.
She would be able to get the heads of those ambitious demons that came to attack this island with her own hands. Having her sentence shortened wasn´t a dream anymore. Perhaps she would receive a permission to stay outside of the island for some days.
“Wait for me, Rook.”
Her beloved one.
He was her important person, who had treated her with equality despite her being nothing more than someone from a branch family. But differently from his appearance, he was a insecure person that felt he would break at any time . She wanted to help him with that; she wanted to help him walk to a good direction even if it was for only a bit. Although it had been only little by little, she was able to see it really happening
In high-spirits, Popii headed to the changing room.
Meanwhile, the battle unfolding in front of the temple was proceeding harshly.
Swinging down their enchanted swords and spears, flames flew and strong winds danced around. However, none of the demons were fearing that. With her petite figure, Riku was at the front breaking through the soldiers, and behind her, Vrusto, Asty and other demons that were specialized in heavy assaults followed after her. Riku didn´t care about the flames that looked they would roast her cheeks, nor the blood that was being scattered around.
“Each and every single one of them… Is this really all they have?”
By simply rotating her halberd at hands, she chopped up the spiritualists as if she was dancing. Eventually, as if the thought that she was too dangerous sprouted on their minds, here and there, spiritualists that were stepping back started to appear.
“Shit… This damnable red hair!”
However, it didn´t mean that all of them became like that.
A spiritualist whose dream was leaving that temple charged at her while holding a sword that was of about the same size of Riku´s stature. His speed was the same of someone that wasn´t using any equipment; no, it was faster. With the depths of his lungs, the spiritualist, who closed in to her in only an instant, shouted.
“This is the end!”
Aiming for Riku, he swung his massive sword. However, that strike ended in a miss. At the place where Riku should have been until a few moments ago, there wasn´t anyone. With a half step, she hopped to the side and went around to the back of the spiritualist.
With a faint smile, she swung down her halberd without hesitations. The halberd, who divided the air it cut through, split the spiritualist into two halves while doing a sharp sound. Easily like that, he was put to his end. The spiritualists who had seen that, as to be expected, had their own thoughts about that. The spiritualist at her surroundings had stopped their movement for an instant. Riku wouldn´t let this slip by.
“Look. You´ve stopped moving.”
Without hesitations, she mowed down the spiritualists who had been petrified in shock with her halberd. In one go, six heads of the spiritualists fell down to the ground. Looking at that, the other spiritualists had certainly come back to their senses. Riku threw a glance to the spiritualists.
“Now, who is next?”
“Hii, don´t falter!!”( ひっ)
From the direction that spiritualist who was tightly holding his spear had shouted, another voice was heard.
“No, stop, stop!!”
From the direction of the temple, the sound of those shouts were coming closer.
A human bearing a white flag came running. Curiously, the white flag was fluttering high on an extravagant spear. The spiritualists who were ready to fight had their mouths wide-open.
“I am the head of the temple, Theodour Bernaal. I declare that the spiritualist temple of Sherr island is surrendering.”
The human that named himself to be the head of the temple excitedly came closer to Riku. His eyes were hiding fear. In the end, it seems he was surrendering because he wanted to keep living. While seeing how the white flag was fluttering, in her heart, Riku was utterly disgusted. Such a shameful human. It was completely impossible to feel any feelings of wanting to struggle from him.
“…Why are you surrendering?”
While readying her halberd, Riku tried to ask him. After she did that, despite how his voice was trembling, he properly looked at Riku and answered.
“Until today, demons had never attacked this place. For demons to come attack this place now, it can only mean that they came here needing something from this island. I thought that if I was to hand it over, there would be no need to have my comrades needlessly killed.”
Riku muttered in a bored manner.
Apparently, if she was to let the spiritualists live, they would give up on the Demon Lord crown. The objective they came here for was to obtain it. However, by her feelings, Riku wouldn´t settle down if she wasn´t to exterminate all the spiritualists. After pondering about that for a bit, Riku turned behind her. Standing there was Vrusto, holding his sword.
“What do you think, second lieutenant Vrusto?”
Riku wanted to know the general opinion of the demons by asking Vrusto.
Was she supposed to annihilate the spiritualists despite them raising the white flag, or should she accept their proposal? Being asked by Riku, Vrusto opened his mouth as if it was a pain in the ass to talk.
“Well… What to say, if we get that crown, we will have completed our task. Besides, I don´t really feel good in killing the enemy after they raised the white flag.”
“Yes… But, all they are doing is begging for their life.”
“Maybe it is so. But you know, rather than killing a bunch of cowards that had surrendered, isn´t it better for us to get some free time?”
With Vrusto saying that, Riku started pondering about it for a bit.
The image of that spiritualists that begged for his life at Derufoi a few days ago surfaced her mind. It was a bad spiritualist that, at the point of his death, was lamenting about how he had a child and how he had a family. It was a shameful spiritualists that would surrender as soon as he noticed he was going to lose. At that time, the spiritualist that had run away was only a single one. That´s why she had killed him without thinking too much. Of course, she could easily kill the spiritualists standing in front of her eyes now. However, killing the tens of spiritualists, or hundreds of spiritualists one by one would take a long time, and during all that, they would be attacking back. And so, her precious soldiers might die.
…It was something she needed to avoid.
Riku reluctantly nodded.
“I understand. If you abide to our conditions, we can avoid killing all of you.”
Theodour´s face was shining. Riku indifferently disclosed of their objective.
“Hand over the Demon Lord crown that is being guarded by you.”
“De-demon Lord crown… You say?”
The shine of Theodour´s face vanished and it started to show a troubled expression. Right at that instant, the halberd was next to his neck. The point of the axe shallowly cut the skin of his throat. Suddenly, blood was flowing out.
“Do you have it? Do you not?”
“I-i don´t know anything about this object you call Demon Lord crown, but there are many treasures that had been handed down through the generations here in this spiritualist temple. Until we find it, it might take time…”
“In this case, immediately go find it.”
“Ye-yes!! Hey, you… Immediately go find it and bring it over!!”
In a high-pitched scream, Theodour ordered the spiritualists. As if their butts were on fire, they rushed to the temple. Confirming they were now bringing the crown, Riku took the halberd away from his neck.
“Errr… Since it will take time until we are able to find it, what should we do? Since outside is cold, how about we go in, and maybe drink some tea inside?”
Theodour was hesitantly asking Riku´s opinion. Right now, because she had been moving her body, she was warm. However, if she was to wait here doing much movement… Indeed, with the breeze of the sea and the chilliness of spring, she might get a cold.
Thinking of it as something of good-will, it would be bad to refuse now. But the one doing that was a spiritualist that had surrendered just a few moments ago. If she was to nonchalantly enter at their base and it happened to be a trap, she would become a laughing stock.
“In that case, can we raise a tent here? Then, together with you, we can prepare some tea and wait for the report to arrive.”
In that case, all she needed to do was to take Theodour as a hostage and prepare an encampment here. There was no way she could trust an enemy that could betray her at any time. For an instant, Theodour showed a troubled face, but then, he immediately accepted it.
“Alright. Only, there are many treasures inside the spiritualist temple… And it will take a very long time. While we enjoy the tea, how about we call for some entertainment?”
“…I don´t mind.”
She didn´t have any interest in this kind of things, but if he was plotting something, she could simply cut all of them down.
Inside the tent that was set up, they were eating sweets that had no danger of being poisoned. With his mouth looking very lively, while nibbling the sweets, he kept talking about many things.
“By the way, you are very strong… Did you come from a prestigious demon family?”
“No, I was picked up by someone.”
“I see… Aah, you are so young, but are so excellent. My son is at the royal capital, but he once again got bad grades… Really, such a shameful thing. Should I adopt someone? What should I do…?”
Despite the glances Vrusto and Roppu gave to Riku, she didn´t say anything. At the meantime, Theodour was now changing the conversation to another topic. She would answer when there was no reason not to, and when she didn´t feel like answering, she didn´t say anything. With that carrying on, after about two hours had passed… Looking at the shadow from the other side of the entrance of the tent, it looked like somebody came.
“Yes, my name Popii. …By the words of Theodour-sama, I´ve come to entertain you with my music.”
“You´ve come. Enter.”
Being called by Theodour, the instrumentalist called Popii showed herself.
All in all, she looked quiet and felt as if there wouldn´t be any signs of her attacking someone now. Riku swept a glance at her clothes, but it didn´t look like she was hiding any weapons. In the end, she seemed to be a real performer. Putting the stringed instrument that looked like it was supposed to be played with a rod, she quietly lowered her head to Riku and the others. And then, in a delicate voice, she said. (TL note: Violin?)
“Now then… I will start playing my composition.”