“Uhm… I would like to go to the toilet, but…”
Moving his face close to the iron bars, Rook asked with words of plea.
…It was night time.
After moving away the cloth covering the carriage in an unsuspicious manner, it could be seen the sun was nowhere to be found.
In fact, the sky was covered by a thick and depressing snowfall, and not only the shine of the stars, but even moonlight couldn´t reach the land. No matter how much he was to strain his eyes, only the darkness of the night that seemed to be covering the surroundings like a black veil could be seen outside the cage. The darkness was deeper that he would have imagined, and he couldn´t spot anyone watching over him.
Could it be there was nobody keeping an eye on him?
Pressing his face onto the iron bars for as much as he could, Rook put out his moderately long nose outside the cage…. Right at that moment…
“You can´t. If you want to take a piss, do that at the corner of your cage!”
Together with an angry yell, a punch flew onto him.
Because Rook moved his body back, he ended up fine. If his luck had been bad, there was no mistake his nose would have been broken. Rook was assaulted by a feeling similar to having a blow of cold wind passing by his back. However, there was no way he could falter because of that. Making a smile to his utmost capabilities, Rook mustered courage and talked to the guard.
“N-no… but you know, since the march has taken a stop for once… isn´t it fine if it is for just a little?”
“You can´t. Are you planning on running away?”
“No, no, no! Wait! You see, you wouldn´t want to watch over a cage smelling like piss, right?”
He desperately requested.
With that, the demon guard showed a bit of an expression of thought. Even if there was shifts for watching over Rook, the guard still didn´t want to move along a cage that was smelling bad.
“And besides, because the smell is really bad, wouldn´t it make it easier for the humans to notice you?”
In fact, at the corner of the cage…. at the toilet, there was a smell that made it difficult to get close to.
Even if the guard was at the opposite side of the corner, there would still be times he would do slight movements because of wanting to cover his nose. Even if there was shift change, overwatching the cage was still a penance to the demons.
“…Wait a bit.”
The presence of the guard demon was becoming distant.
It had been only a few minutes. However, it felt as if a really long time had passed until the guard came back. In a loud noise, only the sound of the trembling chains reverberated.
Finally, the guard came back. Because it was dark, it was hard to see his expression.
“Hey, come with me.”
The guard opened the cage and immediately caught Rook.
Rook didn´t put up resistance. Because of the handcuffs, he couldn´t even send punches, and it was also difficult to get grapples. The guard put a brand-new rope around Rook´s neck and took hold of it.
“Doing this is my job.”
Rook walked as he was being dragged by the guard. It has been many days since he left the cage. There were many torches at the distance in the surroundings of the cage. It was shining on various demons. As if the demons didn´t want to meet eyes with Rook, there were only a few that were looking at his direction.
…It seem that the story about demons avoiding humans was true. Riku surely went through a lot because of that… While Rook was thinking about that, they arrived at a bush that was in the middle of the trees.
“Now, do what you need to already.”
The guard hurried Rook.
It seems that because the guard was considerate about Rook being seen by the other demons at the surroundings, he took him to a bush. While feeling guilty about such demon, Rook slightly bent forward. And then…
A single attack using his unrestrained feet. Rook wanted to attack the demon with the smallest possible strength and hit at a weak spot that would break his balance… He kicked the demon at the side of his knee. No matter who, receiving an unexpected surprise attack would give a considerable amount of surprise and lead the person to show an opening. The same could be said about the guard. While letting out a gasp, the guard stumbled, although only slightly. Rook was waiting for that moment.
Aiming for the middle of the guard´s head, Rook threw in a headbut.
Without the guard being able to avoid it, he fell backwards with blank eyes. At the quiet place where the bush was, the sound of his fall resounded.
“What is it!?”
The other demons immediately heard the noise.
Rook quickly drew the sword of the guard and infused demon banning power in it.
In an instant, a dazzling shine that would make one believe it became afternoon filled the surroundings.
Rook´s attribute was light. His plan was to blind the enemies by having the light attribute infused in his sword and have it shine as much as possible. As expected, the eyes of the demons that had become used to marching at night were made useless. Taking off the coat the guard was wearing, Rook ran deep into the forest.
“But even so, I should have bought at most only a few minutes with this much… So I need to save the princess quick!”
Rook cut the rope in his neck and also shattered his handcuffs. Now that he had both his hands free, the rest would be easy. Rook put on the coat he stole and wore in his head the secret weapon he had been hiding in the inner pocket of his clothes.
“Alright. With that, I should somehow…”
“What are you doing there?”
At the next moment, a sharp voice came from behind.
Because of that voice that felt like it pierced his heart, Rook felt like wanting to apologize, but he barely endured. As if killing his own fear, Rook clenched his fists and turned to the direction of the owner of that voice. The one standing there was one of the guards that were assigned to keep watch over him. In a situation like this, normally he would have been captured and brought back to the cage.
However, the instant the guard saw Rook, his complexion changed.
“Ah, you… no, general!?” (TL note: I couldn´t think of a word to translate this ->貴方様<- so I just put general ^^)
The word “troubled” appeared in the demon´s face. It seems that Rook was able to successfully deceive him. Rook mentally breathed out in relief.
“What you are doing there? That is my line.”
Rook spoke with the calm tone of voice he needed to use.
What Rook was wearing was a [red wig]. Rook disguised himself as his elder sister that was a member of the Demon Lord army, Riku.
Originally, their appearances were similar. Even their height wasn´t that much different. If he was to dress up in a coat, people wouldn´t notice the difference in their physique.
Whether fortunate or unfortunate, even the moon was hidden at that night. Maybe it was because the demons kept the torchlight to the minimum so that their march wouldn´t stand out, but it was difficult to distinguish the details. Tonight was a good night to be disguising as Riku.
“I´ve been told to take the princess to another place due to a secret mission. Immediately go bring the princess and a horse.”
While imitating Riku´s tone of voice, he carefully chose his words. Bit by bit his tone of voice became leisure, but perhaps this made up for the nonchalance characteristic of Riku instead. And then, the demon…
“Un-understood, major general. I will immediately bring that woman!”
Saying those words, the demon ran back into the direction of the cage. It was as if his butt had caught fire.
“…Haa. To think that a wig would be of use in a place like this.”
Rook let out a wry smile while he was walking towards the cage.
Originally, Rook planned to use this wig in order to infiltrate into the Demon Lord castle. It was definitely not something he planned on using for escaping, but it seemed it was well used. To use what he could without pettiness was the exact definition of that situation. In the same way it had been done to Rook, the princess and the horse were brought, being dragged by a rope.
“I have brought her, major general.”
“Good work. Immediately go back to searching for Rook. Besides that, since my task related to the princess is secret… the instant you open your mouth about that, I will be cutting your head off, so have that in mind.”
After giving a bow as if he was a spring, he left the place as if he was running away. While having the princess ride on the horse, Rook muttered “Riku-ane… She really has a very scary impression”. The demon from before was a big muscular man. In the demon society, the most essential was strength. By how that man that was big to the point Rook had to raise his face to look at him behaved so obediently only showed how Riku was strong.
Rook once again regretted making enemies with Riku.
“Now then, let´s go!”
Getting onto the horse himself, Rook rode deep into the forest. Sometimes he would turn back and check whether there were any demons pursuing them.
He was heading to the royal capital; to the Barusak residence.
Perhaps it would be good for Rook to go straight to the [valley of twilight] in order to have the spiritualists protecting the place know about the danger incoming. However, this choice would lead to the bad end. The princess, who amounted to a nonexistent fighting power, would be taken as a hostage, and they would be killed without really having the chance to achieve anything.
The correct choice was to head to the Barusak residence. There he would be able to request for Barusak reinforcements, protect the princess, who would only become a burden at battle, and finally, he would also be able to stop the ambitions of Raimon Barusak.
“I can´t bring the princess to the location of the seal anyway with how she is now… So this can´t be the wrong choice.”
It was different from the escaping method of the game, but their escape was successful. After that, there wouldn´t be any problems as long as he acted while reflecting on the story of the game. While riding the horse, Rook was desperately assembling plans for what could happen hereafter.
“I need to ask Raku-ane to take care of the princess…and to request for reinforcements…. But, will Raku-ane really help me?”
A tinge of anxiety appeared in Rook´s mind.
Right now, Rook wasn´t the main character. The chances of Raku lending her strength to him, who had only caused prejudice to the Barusak, were low. However, all he could do was to bet on that small chance.
“Really, I beg you, please be faster!”
Rook strongly kicked the sides of the horse and had its speed increased.
Because the snow was hiding the stars, Rook didn´t know which direction the Barusak residence was at. However, there was still a way to know it. Rook pointed the sword he obtained before to the sky.
“Eei, disperse the snow!!”
Light gathered at the point of the sword and mightly rose up to the sky. Just like the darkness, the snow was pierced through by the pillar of light. The dazzling flood of light drove away the massive clouds. A sky filled with stars showed up.
“Alright, it went well. ….Hmm, the star that is at the north…. is that one, so the Barusak residence should be this way.”
Rook moved the reins and had the horse go in the correct direction.
Because the sky became clear, the moonlight was shining onto the road. It also became easier to see and to spot where the road was going. If the results were to be this much, it would have been better if Rook had used this power a bit earlier. But right when Rook was about to conclude that thought to be correct…
“What are you doing there?”
Suddenly, a voice called for him.
When Rook turned to the voice as if like he threw his face into its direction, he saw military troops he had never seen before standing on the cliff. Rook stopped the horse for the moment and gazed at the troops. It was a squad composed of black armored soldiers.
“That red hair… Why are you here?”
Those soldiers went down the cliff and stood in front of Rook´s way. The instant Rook saw them, shock went through his heart. The one commanding those troops was a young demon with black dragon wings.
“Leivein Adlar!? Why are you!?”
Finally Rook started retreating. However, his retreat path had already been blocked. All the sides had already been blocked by muscular demons.
“I saw a pillar of light.”
Rook was covered in cold sweat.
He didn´t consider that his position might get exposed because of the light. Rook clenched his teeth and regretted his lack of carefulness. However, even if he was to regret that, it would be to no use. He needed to think of a way to get through the demons.
“Now is my turn for the questioning. Why are you here?”
“I… No, I…” (TL note: In the first “I” Rook used ->僕<-, which is a male pronoun for I, and in the second “I”, he used ->私<-, which is a gender neutral pronoun used by most female in general.)
Rook desperately straightened his back.
Fortunately, he was still using the red wig. Besides that, by guessing from Leivein´s behavior, it seemed that he still didn´t notice Rook´s disguise. If he was to keep acting like Riku, perhaps he might somehow be able to get through this situation.
“I received a secret mission. It was to bring this woman.”
Remembering the mood of her voice, the tone, her behavior, Rook desperately tried to pass himself as Riku.
He had been referred to as [major general] before. Leivein, who was a general, had a higher position. However, it was about that Riku that it was being talked about. Even if he was ranked higher, there shouldn´t be any mistake that Riku would respond to him without fear.
“No matter how much general Leivein asks me, I can´t hand her over. Move over already. I am in hurry.”
“Hou… So you are talking back on me.” (TL note: This is so embarrassing -.- Rook will make me want to jump head down from the window)
Leivein´s mouth was twisted.
Leivein continued his words, saying “Despite being the dog I´ve been carefully training”. When he saw how Leivein reacted, Rook noticed his mistake. It seems that he made a mistake somewhere in his decisions. While holding the reins, he started to think how he was supposed to escape from there.
“You are Rook Barusak, right?”
“Tch, as if. I am Riku. Riku Barusak of the Demon Lord army.”
But even so, he continued to perform as Riku with all his heart.
Even if that demon in front of his eyes had found out about his identity, perhaps the other demons didn´t. If he was able to fool them that he was Riku, doubt would be born in his hearts. The demons that would still hold doubts wouldn´t come to attack him.
Wondering whether he really didn´t have any opening to escape from, Rok looked around.
“Are you planning on running away? Your acting is too crude, you know?”
“It´s not crude or anything…”
Rook firmly held onto the reins.
If he was able to jump over the demon soldiers, he would be able to easily escape. If he had the horse he was used to riding, perhaps this would be possible. However, there were many things he still didn´t know about the strengths of the horse he was using. He didn´t know whether this horse that had been specifically chosen for him would have this extend of jumping strength.
If he was to unsuccessfully jump through the soldiers, he would sink into the sea of demons. Let alone Rook, the defenseless princess would definitely die.
Now that Rook decided to protect her, even if he had to risk her death to end up as a lowly one, it was necessary that they avoided this crisis at all costs.
However, it wasn´t even needed to be said. Because the choice of fighting wasn´t there, it was necessary to escape. And so, with his life on the line, he would try to escape and protect her with his body.
Making his resolve, Rook kicked the sides of his horse with all his strength.
“I, am me!!”(TL note: ->私は、私だ――ッ！！<- It literally translates to “I am me!!” ¬¬ I guess it is him saying that he really is Riku…. I have no idea how to translate it to english .-.)
The horse raised an exalted cry and kicked the ground. It jumped in one go with Rook and the princess riding on its back. The horse attempted to jump over the demon soldiers.
However, there was no way things would go that well.
Without the horse being able to get enough height, it gradually started to fall down. What filled Rook´s sight was a sea of demons. Moreover, wielding sharp and pointed weapons, they tried to aim for them.
“As I thought, it´s no good!?”
By measuring it with his sight, he saw the distance was of five meters. (TL note: Distance to get out of the encirclement? It doesn´t specify ¬¬)
A hell of swords and spears was waiting for Rook and the princess.