Karula flew, cutting through the night wind.
Karula was a messenger. Rabbit and panther demon messengers would be making use of their leg strength, but Karula would use her prided black wings, flapping them with full force in order to deliver messages. This evening as well, carrying the papers that had words written by Charlotte, the substitute Demon Lord, she was going straight to Sherr island.
Spreading open her own black wings, Karula pierced through the darkness of the night. She had earnestly continued to fly over the sea for three nights without sleeping. No matter how much of a veteran she was as a messenger, it still took a lot of effort to find landmarks when in the middle of the sea. Deciding the direction to go with the sun at the daytime and with the stars at the nighttime, she would fly.
That´s why, just like today, this night had been very exhausting, with a sky difficult to find the stars, since most of it was filled with snowflakes. However, if she was flying above the enemy encampment, then it would be another story. In this case, it would be the best weather conditions to be flying at. Karula´s black wings would disappear within the darkness of the night.
It was when she had been flying at a high height for some time. Distant in the horizon, she found a single light standing alone in the dark. There were tens of firelights. They were probably the ships that were anchored there. In curiosity, looking at the top of the mast of a ship, she saw the flag of the spiritualist fluttering there. Karula leaned her head to the side in wonder.
“…The numbers have increased.”
According to what she had heard from Charlotte, there were supposed to be about ten ships surrounding the island. Apparently, since they had received the information, the number of enemies had increased.
As to not be found by the spiritualists, Karula increased her height. Skillfully moving her wings, she increased her flying height, getting the impulse with the wind. After doing that, she could get a clear view of the island surrounded by the spiritualists. In that isolated island that had nothing of unusual, there was a temple that despite its modest design, was very big.
“Is it there?”
Eight or nine out of ten, that temple was her destination.
Having confirmed that, she glided towards the plaza that was at the center of the temple. In a way that wouldn´t attract attention, she calmly, but very fast, flew down. Karula ignored the few demon soldiers tasked as lookouts that were pointing at her while talking about something to each other. Landing her feet at the fountain located at the center of the plaza, a feeling of exhaustion suddenly filled her with how it had been a long time since she had put her feet on the ground. Because of the feeling of exhaustion, her legs started feeling like they would crumble down.
However, if she was to be tired out with only this much, she wouldn´t be qualified as a messenger. After trying to cheer herself up, she called for the soldiers that were nearby.
“From the fourth army of the Demon Lord army, affiliated to the messenger corps, I am the first lieutenant Karula Fezah. I came to deliver the orders from the provisional Demon Lord, Charlotte-sama. I would like to ask an audience with the lieutenant commander Riku Barusak urgently.”
The demon soldiers ran with so much vigor that looked as if they had their butts were lighted in fire. And then, shortly after, a girl full of the red color appeared.
In contrast to Karula, she was a girl that would stand out even in the darkness of the night. She had a red hair that looked as if it was burning and was wearing an armor red like blood. Guessing by the halberd she was carrying behind her back, she was probably the one that would be often called [the jumped-up human], lieutenant commander Riku Barusak.
With Karula politely lowering her head, Riku Barusak also lowered her head a little.
“Good work coming late at this night… Then, is it orders from that girl?”
With how, the provisional demon lord, Charlotte, having been called [that girl], Karula knitted her eyebrows puzzled at it. However, before anything, it was necessary to finish her mission first. Karula quietly took out the letter.
“Here it is.”
Riku Barusak brusquely tore open the letter she received from Karula. And then, with eyes that didn´t seem to be expecting much of anything, she started to follow the words that were written at the letter.
“Resuming, that girl… Is sending reinforcements to us?”
“Is there anything you are dissatisfied about?”
“No… Only, it is not written when, how, and on what scale the reinforcements coming are. What am I supposed to do about these lack of details?”
Riku showed Karula the letter. Apparently, it seems she didn´t completely believe on the information about the reinforcements at all.
Seeing the way she had read the letter and how without any hesitations she didn´t address Charlotte with any honorifics, Riku Barusak must hate Charlotte very much. Karula leaned her head to the side puzzled at the difference between what the rumors said about her. Karula had heard about how Riku had protected Charlotte despite all her injuries. Was this rumor only made up lies?
“So what is it now? Are going back to ask them about that?”
“No. I think that putting in consideration the possibility that the letter might fall in the hands of the enemy, the details weren´t written down. If everything goes well, after finishing all the preparations, the reinforcements should come after one week.”
With Karula´s answer, Riku narrowed her eyes. Putting her thin finger at her chin, Riku was thinking about something. And then, while showing a treacherous smile as if she was plotting something, she started speaking like she had just remembered about something.
“Then, you… When are you planning on leaving?”
“What would you be talking about?”
“Is it fine for you not to go to where Charlotte…-sama is to tell her that you´ve delivered the message?”
“No, actually, the one leading the forces is lieutenant general Adlar-sama, so…”
“You should have said that sooner!”
The instant Karula had talked about Adlar, Riku Barusak´s expression in her face changed.
The face that seemed to be plotting something bad completely changed, becoming a serious and honest face. She still seemed to be thinking of something, but she was completely different from how she was a few moments ago. The glint on her eyes now were like a sharp blade. Because of that sudden change, Karula started to step back. However, Riku didn´t let Karula run away.
“In order words, it means that you´ve been tasked with being the bridge of communication between me and captain Leivein, right?”
“But there is no way I can be exchanging letters all the time, right… I can only use her for serious matters… For the time being, go rest for tonight. Second lieutenant Asty, go guide first lieutenant Fezah to an empty room.”
Saying only that, Riku Barusak left the place. With Karula distractedly following that small back with her eyes, the female demon called Asty waved her hand in front of her.
“…What are you doing?”
“Ah, it is because you looked to be daydreaming-de gozaru, thus I did that. Did you get surprised by lieutenant commander´s change in behavior-de gozaru?”
Asty was broadly smiling. With how Karula could only give a wry smile back without being able to say anything, Asty probably ended up misunderstanding something. She spoke in such good spirits that it looked like she would start humming anytime.
“Lieutenant commander is someone that clearly distinguishes between who she likes and hates-de gozaru. Most likely, just now, for if Charlotte-dono was coming, she had a strategy of having both the spiritualists and the reinforcements destroy each other going through her mind. she . Ah, it´s very fortunate it is lieutenant general Adlar; thank goodness.”
“…Is this what you are supposed to be happy about?”
Being asked that by Karula, Asty started to shook her head in panic, calling attention to her as to tell her not to disclose about what she had just said. Of course, it would have been fine if she were to tell Charlotte that. If Charlotte was to hear about this, it would be possible to have Riku receive punishment. However, Karula didn´t intend on reporting her about this.
In this single exchange, Karula had the feeling she had just seen a sliver of Riku Barusak´s rumored [insanity]. If she was to poorly provoke her, if she ended up being killed behind the scenes, it wouldn´t be a coincidence.
“I will only be carrying out what I was tasked to.”
Saying only that, she decided to forget that exchange of a few moments ago.
What was important now was to have herself covered in a warm blanket and sleep. While wishing for a short rest, the black winged messenger walked through the dark temple.
Rook Barusak started to get tired of the sea.
Even if he was to turn around, without any changes in the scenery, there would only be the blue sky and sea endlessly extending to the horizon. At first, he would let out words of admiration.
However, after being there for one week, he obviously would grow tired of the scenery. Lying sprawled at the deck that was wavering in accord to the waves, he let out a small sigh. Even though he wasn´t feeling seasick, he was starting to yearn for the land.
Lying at the deck of the ship, he quietly closed his heavy eyelids. Until there were any movements from the enemy, there wouldn´t be anything to do in particular. He didn´t feel like studying, but even then, he also wouldn´t feel like moving around to spend his energy in something. With the lullaby of the waves hitting the ship getting distant, Rook was nodding off, falling into the world of dreams.
“What´s the matter, Rook?”
The one to wake him up was his biological elder sister, Raku Barusak.
After waking up, the sky that was supposed to be blue had already become black. In the sky, an uncountable amount of stars started to appear.
“What… It is Raku-ane.”
Perhaps because he had been out in the sun for some time, what would have usually been his abnormally white skin had become light-brown. It was somewhat giving off a charming adult-like charm.
“By the way… Until when are we going to keep surrounding Sherr island?”
Rook and his army had captured Fert, and after that, immediately headed to Sherr island.
The one that had said they would be using Sherr island was Raku. In order to reduce some of the fighting force of Fert, she leaked false information. Rook didn´t know what kind of information she leaked. All he knew was that a situation which made the demon side send troops to Sherr at all costs had truly been made.
The soldiers sent to capture the Sherr island weren´t from Perikka, which was located in the same sea, but troops contained with strong sailors brought up on Fert. What´s more, it was unexpectedly easy to get to Sherr island from Fert. By doing that, a small gap on their defenses is made. Aiming for that gap, it became possible to do what they had done; to provoke the soldiers at Fert, and capture it in one go.
All that was left to be done to Rook was only one thing. …It was to recapture Sherr island, which had fallen in the hands of the demons.
“I know that right now, the ones at Sherr island are demons that are considered strong even among the ones of Fert. But you know, we also have fifteen warships. If we were to attack now…”
“Nonsense. It is important to lure out the weakened enemy.”
Raku rejected Rook´s murmurings. She was giving a gaze of scorn that was as if she was looking at some stupid thing. That gaze made Rook´s irritation get worse. Calmly standing up, he glared at Raku.
“Many spiritualists are being made hostages at the temple of Sherr island. Isn´t it for best to go save them as soon as possible?”
“There is no need to get emotional about defeated spiritualists, Rook. The demons aren´t used to naval battles. It is definitely impossible for them to launch an attack to the unexpected and passive enemy that had come right after their victory. Besides, they are limited by anything edible there is at that temple. After one month, it should be exhausted… In other words, the more time it passes, the more in disadvantage the demons are. After they become weakened, once the chance comes, we, who are in a flawless position, are to reap our reward. There is no way we can let the demons have an advantageous fight after carelessly trying to land at their shore.”
Raku shook her head.
Rook knew the theory behind what Raku wanted to say.
Spiritualists that were defeated by demons would be punished because of that. The way Rook was ordered to attack the impregnable city of Fert was the same as telling him to die, throwing into the battle only to wait his death. He was aware of that. However, it wasn´t the same as immediately being killed.
But once those spiritualists had become captives, they had lost their rights of life and death to the demons. It was unknown if the demons, who had killed Rebecca, who was still an child still developing her strength, without hesitations, would follow the formal way of treat the prisoners.
“Hey, calm down. You are getting too worked up.”
“It is Raku-ane that is too calm. …What?”
At that time, looking over Raku´s shoulder, Rook saw something moving.
From the Sherr island, there was a fleet approaching amidst the dim darkness. Their numbers were of four ships. Without straying from their goal, they were going straight to them. Before Rook could shout anything, Raku, who became aware of the fleet, raised her voice.
“The enemy has moved! Immediately have the archer units prepared!! Pour a shower of arrows upon them!!”
It was a voice that looked as if it had cut off the darkness of night. The half-sleeping soldiers woke up and gallantly went to their positions. Getting her own bow, Raku drew it, readying an arrow ready. Rook also ran next to Raku, and just like he had been taught by Selestinna, he held his bow. Aiming for the shadows of the demons standing on the ship at the center of the fleet, everyone waited for Raku´s signal.
“Now! Shoot your arrows!!”
Since the spiritualists had surrounded the Sherr island, today had been the fifteenth day. In the place of the moon, which wasn´t showing up, the whole sky was filled with stars.
Together with the sound of the arrows cutting through the wind, the curtains for the next act, the naval battle of Sherr island, were cut through and taken down.