Shadow Court Magician Chapter 40: A Farewell Embrace

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 I prevented the shots from the enemy army under Sicily’s second brother, Kerich.


 Kerich’s Private Army, thinking that they had been caught off guard, grew restless and began to retreat.


 They seem to be planning to join up with the other divisions in the rear and try to overpower us once again.


 It was the right thing to do in accordance with the laws of war, but we were glad to have bought some time.



“Once you pull the Viscount’s private army and keep it in the city.”



 The Viscount is surprised to hear the plan.



“You mean you’re going to save us? You mean you’re going to have mercy on us for trying to murder you?” (Wagner)


“Mercy? It’s not that absurd. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Viscount, I’d like to borrow your men and your mansion for the siege.”


“My mansion…” (Wagner)


“Oh, I think they have the capacity for a prolonged siege.”


“… I don’t mind, but I’m resented by the people in the city. No one wants to fight with me now.” (Wagner)


“Well, so crush your skull to the ground and serve the people of the city. Do the original role of the lord.”


“The original role of the lord?” (Wagner)


“The role of the lord will be to protect the people instead of collecting taxes from them. Right now, Kerich is trying to erase you and your people from this city. If you don’t stand up now, what will you do?”


“… I understand. I don’t know if you believe me, but I will work with the people and confront Kerich.” (Wagner)


“Have you finally had a change of heart?”


“… Oh, I’ve lost my fucking mind. I believed that His Highness Kerich would change this country, establish a firm position in the League of Kings, and raise me up, but it seems that I was only delusional. But it seems I was only delusional. I no longer owe him anything.” (Wagner)



 When the Viscount says so, he leads his private army back to his mansion.


 When I go to the tavern in the city, I talk to the leader of the volunteer army, Orgas.


 Actually, all the interactions with the Viscount I mentioned earlier were also played in the square of this city, so the story was easy.


 I never dreamed that the Viscount would change his mind, and I can’t forgive him for all the evil he’s done to the people of this city, but he told me that he would temporarily fight with me to protect this city.



“As expected, he is the leader of the volunteer army. Their decision is quick.”


“I can’t trust my back to him. But when all is said and done, the Viscount will be arrested, won’t he?” (Orgas)


“That’s no doubt. The Viscount was cut off by Kerich. When all was done, he would be taken to the royal capital and hanged.”


“Is that why you are so angry with Kerich?” (Orgas)


“Yes. You can trust me on that and fight with me this time.”



 Affirming, Orgas was convinced. The topic then turned to more pressing matters than the Viscount.



“I’m happy to have the Viscount’s mansion and his armory open to us, but this city is small. We can only gather about three hundred men.”


“That plus a hundred from the Viscount’s private soldiers?” (Sicily)


“If we mobilize the old men and children, we can get another 200.” (Orgas)


“Let’s stop it. Our strategist Leon values quality over quantity.”


“But with about 400 soldiers, we wouldn’t be able to compete with the Kerich Guards. I heard that there are nearly 10,000 soldiers.” (Orgas)


“It seems that he is leading the maximum number of people who can move Kerich.”


“It’s impossible. Defeating 25 times more regular soldiers with just militia.” (Orgas)


“Well, it’s not that difficult.”



 I say it carefree, but Orgas can’t hide his concern.


 But there are two women who have total confidence in me.


 Their names are Sicily and Chloe. They are my master and her maid.


 They say with an expression of complete confidence.



“Leon-sama has overcome many difficulties in his life. I’m sure he’ll succeed in this ordeal as well.” (Sicily)



 Yesterday’s achievements do not guarantee tomorrow’s success, but the miracles we have performed so far seemed to have instilled in them a firm sense of trust.


 He says he will accept any difficult orders.


 The women and children who had been hiding in the basement of the tavern stood up, though they were probably not inspired by the sight of him.



“We can’t go into battle, but instead we’ll do everything, clean, wash, and cook. We’ll support you so that you can do your best.” (Women)


“I will do my best as a messenger!” (Alf)



 It was a boy wearing a pot lid who smile as he replied.


 The people who took care of us when we were trapped underground before.


 She doesn’t blame us for running away but encouraged us.


 “Why?” I asked, and they said.



“To begin with, we knew right away that you were good people. That’s what the article about you in the newspaper says.” (Alf’s Mother)



 The one who smiles is Winifred, who wrote the article.



“I’ve learned a lot in the short time I’ve been talking to you, that you’re people who are trying to make this world a better place.” (Random Village Woman)



 The child, who Sicily shared the food with, nods behind her parent’s skirt.



“These people are working hard to help us. We’ll be punished if we don’t work too. That’s why we’re going to kick the men out of the house and send them to the Viscount’s mansion.” (Random Village Woman)



 The women chuckled.


 They put their words into practice and persuades those who didn’t want to follow the orders from the Village Representative Orgas.


 After all, men can’t resist any woman.


 After reaffirming this, I send the volunteer army to the Viscount’s house.


 But I’m not going there myself.



“Leon-sama, where can I go? To face tens of thousands with four hundred men, Leon-sama’s intelligence and command abilities are essential.” (Sicily)


“That’s an overestimation of my abilities. No matter how well I command, 400 troops cannot defeat 10,000 troops.”


“How can you be so flippant?” (Sicily)


“I’m just thinking about things rationally, that’s why I contribute with my wits, not with my command.”


“What do you mean, Leon-sama?” (Sicily)


“From now on, I will take another action. I will leave the command to you and call for help toward the royal capital.”


“You’re calling the Libra Division, right?” (Sicily)


“That’s right.”


“They are strong, but the But the Libra Division has only just been established and there are only about 1,000 people strong.” (Sicily)


“I’ll call on other generals who might be in agreement with the princess, and move the division commanders who share the princess’s ambitions.”


“Will it go that smoothly?” (Sicily)


“Until you what has to be done.”



 When I say that, I entrust the aftermath to the princess.



“The heart of this operation is to have four hundred soldiers defend against ten thousand soldiers until I return to the Royal Capital and bring in reinforcements.”


“… It’s a serious responsibility.” (Sicily)


“But if it’s you, princess, you can do it. The commanding ability of the princess was very powerful last time. The princess has the charisma that charms people.”


“If there really is such a thing, now would be the time to show it.” (Sicily)



 As soon as the princess said this, she made up her mind.


 It seemed as if she was going to head straight for the viscount’s mansion, but on the way, she spun around and hugged me.



“—Whoa, hey! The Kingdoms Princess shouldn’t be doing this.”


“—Sorry, Leon-sama. But I don’t have enough courage.” (Sicily)




“That’s right. I need to have the courage to fight alone, the courage to fight without Leon-sama.” (Sicily)


“Can you get it if you hug me?”


“… I don’t know, but I have a different concern.” (Sicily)


“What concern?”


“Yes, I don’t know why, there’s a stirring in my heart.” (Sicily)


“A stirring?”


“Yes, yes. I’m afraid to say it, but I have a bad feeling. I feel as if I will never be able to be held in Master Leon’s “arms” again. I feel like I’ll never be able to feel this warmth again.” (Sicily) [T/N: She uses this kanji “ude” which can mean “arm” and/or “skill”.]


“… I see.”



 With a bitter smile. I thought her worry might be true.


 It is not a sane plan to hold off 10,000 soldiers with just 400 soldiers. If it was done normally, they would surely lose. (Of course, there are measures to prevent this from happening.)


 I’m trying to save the princess no matter what the situation, but if I make a mistake, she’ll die in battle.




 If that happened, there was no doubt that Chloe would kill me, but even if that didn’t happen, I was in danger.




 Returning to the Royal Capital was a risk in itself.




 The fact that Kerich was determined to kill us, along with the Viscount, meant that he was also plotting in the Royal Capital.




 All the members of the Libra Division might be under house arrest.


 If I went there, there was a possibility that I would be captured and conspired to death.


 If that happened, not only would I die, but the princess would also be in trouble.


 I wanted to avoid that, but I couldn’t keep worrying about it.


 In any case, I had no choice but to return to the royal capital and call for help.


 I was going to choose the best option among the remaining paths.


 I would save the people of this city and save the princess.




 Maybe I would have to make some sacrifices, but I knew that it would not be for the princess’ smile.





 I became her military strategist in order to see her smile.






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