Chapter 2/2~! scroll down to read chapter 17 first~!
Our New Year gift to you all ❤ ~!
Chapter 1, Episode 18: Crimson Flower
A dim light began to color the sky to the east, and the surrounding area became slightly visible.
However, there was one area in the wasteland which giving off such overwhelming light that it was unnecessary.
That area was the Lichtein army’s encampment.
Though now, it was tragically destroyed and engulfed in flames. It no longer had any semblance of an encampment.
A large number of soldiers were dead and charred, and an offensive odor permeated the air to the point of of crawling through your nose.
A horse without its rider was wandering about the area, and a black-haired young boy was in the hellish center staring at the remains of a camp.
Then, a horse came running over and came to a stop by Hiro’s side. The straddled young girl jumped down with her crimson hair flying behind her.
Liz jumped towards Hiro looking somewhat flustered and touched his body while examining him.
「Do you have any wounds? Does it hurt anywhere?」
As his cheeks turned red, Hiro strained a smile at the girl who was even touching his face now.
「I’m okay. As you can see, I’m fine.」
He raised both arms and twisted them around to proof that he was fine.
The corners of her eyes softened, and she took in a deep breath as if she were relieved.
「I’m so glad— but why are you rushing off by yourself?!!」
Bam! Her hand comes flying in so quickly that he doesn’t see it.
She grabbed both his cheeks with one hand.
「Wah ah haa oh hois.」*
TL note: This is more jumbled than I’m used to. I THINK he’s saying something like, “Well I had no choice.”
「I have no idea what you’re saying! I demand an apology!」
Through the power transmitted from her slender fingers, she began to shout with a shaky voice.
But to begin with,Hiro is unable to explain anything or properly apologize in his current state.
「In the future, say something if you’re going to charge into the enemy’s encampment. I can fight with you, too.」
Seeing Hiro obediently nod over and over, Liz finally releases her grip.
As she brushes his hurting cheeks, Liz let out a gasp as if she had remembered something.
「That reminds me… so you’re able to wield a sword, Hiro.」
As if to evaluate it, Liz crouches down and looks at 「Excalibur」, which is fastened to Hiro’s belt.
「Wow~ Now that I take a good look at it, it’s a pretty sword. My 「Laevateinn」 is cute too, but this one’s a beauty.」
Liz unsheathed 「Laevateinn」, which was fastened to her waist, and began to compare them as if to appraise them.
Cold sweat begins to form on Hiro’s forehead. He doesn’t know how to explain this to her.
No— there’s no way he could. This lost sword, which has become something so grand, was the sword of the hero from 1,000 years ago. There’s no way he can explain this.
Ahh, screw it— Hiro screams inside his head as he decides to make up a lie.
「After I separated from you, I found it on the side of a road.」
「Eh… this was on the ground?」
「Y-Yeah. It was kind of pretty so I picked it up.」
「Wow~, I can’t believe something like this was on the ground. I wonder if it’s because it was near Baum.」
Anyone who heard that would know it was a lie, but whether it’s because she’s pure or an airhead, she seemed to believe him.
She even began to ponder in all seriousness. 「I feel the powers of a strong spirit… There’s a special something… no, maybe the Spirit King’s influence is strong. So—」
Hiro began to worry about the fact that Liz’s chest was in plain view through the opening in her armor.
Maybe this is what you call out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Because she was swinging her body around to look at 「Excalibur」, no matter how small her breasts may have been, you could see the softness in the way the shape changed.
The arousal from the sweat falling from her fair, white skin made it difficult to keep his composure and restrain himself from expressing his desires.
He felt he couldn’t take anymore, so he removed Liz from his view and looked at the large figure behind her.
「B-Boy… you seem to be enjoying the view.」
In an instant, he felt his enthusiasm die out.
Now all he could see was a bear-like, muscular man on horseback.
In his hand was a shining sword, and his body was shaking. This was possibly because his reason was desperately restraining his intent to kill.
「N-No, that’s not it.」
「What’s not? You’re an insolent man, making the princess get on her knees and gawking at
「I didn’t make her get on her knees!」
「Quiet! You were after the princess’s chastity since the beginning of our journey, weren’t you, you bastard?!」
「We’re getting way off topic here! Please wait a second! Listen to me!」
Then, Liz stood up and turned back to Tris.
「I get that you two get along, so calm down now. More importantly, how is the battle going?」
「Wh-Wh… get along? Princess, that’s not—」
「Give me the report already. We’re behind enemy lines you know.」
「Grr! Th-Thanks to that boy, as you can see, we can almost certainly claim this our victory.」
Hiro first instructed for the retrieval of the horses that were left in the middle of the road.
It was impossible to gather them all, so they only gathered 60 horses, divided them into 3 groups, and attacked from 3 different directions.
The only horses with riders were the few in the lead. Because the other horses had no master, some of them escaped along the way.
If this happened during the daytime, one would be met with laughter and scorn, but that would not happen in the dark of night.
The thunderous ringing of the horses’ hooves in the quiet wasteland wrapped in darkness gave the illusion of a large horde of people.
The enemy soldiers were exhausted from the battle in the daytime. This surprise attack was aimed to hit them while they were unable to think rationally.
There were likely few foot soldiers with the courage to stand up against horseshoes that would smash their skulls.
「Also, there are only a handful of soldiers who escaped friendly fire.」
Hiro had a number of infantrymen dress as enemy troops, and used the confusion to instruct them to sneak into enemy lines and attack.
It would soon show its results. Because their commanders were at the war council and not present, the rank and file soldiers were in a panic.
No one wanted to die. They wanted to survive somehow.
This is why the enemy started to doubt everything out of fear and began to kill each other.
And so, as to keep the officers from restoring any order to the chaos, Hiro raided the main camp.
「I see… nice work. Don’t let your guard down. It’s possible there are enemy soldiers in hiding. After you search the area once over, gather everyone here.」
Tris put his hand to his chest, wrapped himself around his horse’s neck, and raced to the encampment.
After watching him go, Liz turned to Hiro.
「How did it go for you, Hiro?」
Hiro silently pointed to the charred camp.
「Did he die?」
Silence fell between the two for several seconds. Liz made a troubled face and opened her mouth.
「You know, I don’t understand. A part of me is happy that the enemy I held a grudge against is dead, and there’s another part that feels that it’s meaningless. I don’t understand what to do with these emotions…」
「One day… the time will come when you understand.」
‘Just like me,’ Hiro muttered in his heart.
Whether it’s a good thing or not, she’s too pure.
In time, this is going to bring about a cruel end.
If Liz had been there, she probably would have accepted his surrender.
Because of her heavy shackles of being the Sixth Imperial Princess, she likely would have suppressed her own feelings.
That’s what Hiro thought. It’s not that he asked her.
Thinking of things in a way that’s convenient for yourself and making decisions based on that, that may be what people call hubris.
But he doesn’t think it was wrong to raid the main camp by himself.
(I have to pick the seeds of misfortune as quickly as possible.)
While bright rays of light in the eastern sky come pouring down, a loud ringing sound tears through the sad atmosphere.
Hiro opens his eyes wide and looks at the source of the sound— He puts both hands on his face and looks at the young girl.
With her eyes closed and enduring her pain, Liz said,
「Yup! I’m done worrying!」
She said it with a refreshed look on her face.
「Hiro, we’re going to go meet with my uncle!」
The one red flower blooming in the wasteland, more precious and more beautiful than any jewel.
(Maybe there was no need to worry… She really is your descendent.)
A wry smile formed on Hiro’s face.
「But first, some thanks are in order!」
She suddenly jumped towards him which caused him to panic.
「Hiro, thanks to you, I’m able to live on. I will never forget this debt!」
Something soft touched his face. By the time he realized what it was, she had moved away.
「I hope I can count on you again in the future!」
「Haha… Yeah, sure.」
—A smile really does suit you better.