Chapter 153: The Cave Castle’s Wolves (part two)

Well, here it is! The end of Beatrice’s retrieval! An unexpected person has appeared though! Enjoy!

TL: clover

ED: eristol, xtostos


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I wore the lens charged with the Eyes of Overworld spell, and activated the magic.

The structure of the cave castle appeared in my mind.

 

A complex fortress where natural terrain and man-made object intertwined.

A distorted multi-layer structure for which it is difficult to express clearly how many layers there are.

 

If one doesn’t understand the structure, one may get lost.

I looked carefully over the whole thing and noticed anomalies as I committed the structure to my head.

 

This cave castle was almost uninhabited.

 

Other than us, I could only see one person many layers below.

I couldn’t find the knights that were dropped into the holes earlier.

 

It was an unexpected sight.

What in the world is happening?

…Maybe the lens is broken?

 

I looked around our location for confirmation.

Tirnanog and I were clearly visible, but Chloe wasn’t.

 

Why?

 

When I turned my gaze towards Chloe who was before me, the metal on the base of her throat shimmered.

The snowsilver accessory.

So because it was worn directly on the skin, she wasn’t reflected in visual magic!

 

If the inhabitants of the cave castle also wear snowsilver somewhere on their body, the result of the Eyes of Overworld can be explained.

That means, the one person I saw underground is likely to be an outsider who is not their companion: Beatrice.

 

Suspicion arose within me.

 

Perhaps, I could only see silver noise when I used Urd Sight previously due to similar reason?

To test it out, I waved the wand of Urd Sight on the spot.

In the place where Chloe and the huge man were fighting, two silver noises collided.

 

So, Beatrice was taken by someone wearing snowsilver after all.

If so, Jan Carlson had known about this outcome and gave false testimony.

 

Why did he do that?

Why did he have that kind of knowledge?

 

It is safe to assume that Jan Carlson is someone belonging to the Military Order of Útför.

Probably in the same spot as Harold in the original game.

The troubled smiling face of the Harold I am familiar with, and the severe glaring eyes of the Harold in the game’s still, flashed in my mind.

 

That explains the fact that Harold in the game was able to beat Haearn in an instant.

He might have used some snowsilver weapons before Haearn had finished chanting the spell for physical defense, such as the Condensation Shield.

 

“…Erica-san, are you okay? What’s wrong…?”

“Now we know where Beatrice is. Also the true identity of the silver monstro and the accomplice of the kidnappers.”

 

I told Chloe the results of the search and my reasoning about it.

When I got to the point about Jan, Chloe hung her head down a bit sadly.

 

“But that means I don’t have to hold back against the people here anymore.”

“Eh…were you holding back until now?”

“Y-yeah.”

 

It didn’t look that way at all.

Whatever.

Chloe’s seriousness is really reassuring.

 

“So, now that we know where she is, shall we go down and retrieve Beatrice right away?”

“Yeah, I’m ready anytime.”

 

Chloe nodded with a serious expression.

 

I held the wand again.

I used the wand of Digging to pierce the walls and floors at once and retrieve Beatrice from the enemy.

The target point is where Beatrice was seen before.

originals on starrynightnovels.wordpress.com

 

I created a pathway for us to fall at once with the wand of Digging by enhancing its penetration ability and muting its sound.

Penetrate three layers at a stretch.

Since it is dangerous to crowd around in a large room, I set the exit in a kitchen a little distance away just in case.

 

First, Chloe and Tirnanog descended.

Then I used the wand of Feather Fall to descend.

 

At the end of the hole was a dark, deserted kitchen where large hams and onions with protruding knives were scattered about messily.

 

“Erica-san, it looks like people are gathering in the reception hall ahead. Judging from the breathing sounds and footsteps, I think there are more than ten people.”

 

Chloe put her ear on the door and explained the situation.

If we try to fight them upfront, we will be outnumbered.

But, what if I entrust Beatrice’s retrieval to Chloe and Tirnanog, while I focus on making a distraction?

 

“I want to talk to the knights, is that okay?”

“It’s fine. In exchange, I’d like you to retrieve Beatrice if things turn south.”

 

Chloe nodded quietly.

Once we have Beatrice, the rest can be worked out somehow.

 

Then we opened the door and followed the passage from the kitchen to the reception hall.

The burning smell of tallow candles spread in the dim space at the end of the passage.

 

Fourteen men in brown robes were gathered around a big table.

Their gazes turned to our direction simultaneously.

 

On the platform on the other side of the table were two men in pure white knight uniform and a man in a dark brown robe to wait upon them.

From the design of the clothes worn by the knights, I knew for sure that they were the Military Order of Útför.

 

“This is…welcome, Chloe-sama.”

 

The white knight, who seems to be the leader, said in a quiet voice as if it was forced out of his lips.

Beatrice was restrained and lying at his feet.

Although she fainted, it seems she is unharmed.

 

“Why did the proud Military Order of Útför do this kind of thing?”

 

Chloe asked.

 

“Chloe-sama, it is to get you back. Please return to the North with us.”

 

The white knight replied.

Their main purpose was to retrieve Chloe, the former royal princess?

 

Chloe looked around and sighed lightly.

 

“You took that girl to threaten me?”

 

Chloe’s voice rang.

Her voice contained a quiet anger.

 

“No. We would have taken only you if circumstances allowed.”

 

The white knight leader—the mastermind of the incident said so.

He had a bitter expression on his face.

 

“I was forced to take away such an innocent student by mistake. I apologize.”

“Why did you want to take me away?”

 

Chloe asked.

 

“To take you away from that traitor Harlan, we had no choice but to do it while you are in the academy, out of Harlan’s reach. Because—”

 

The mastermind began to speak.

 

Harlan concealed the survival of Chloe, the youngest daughter of the former royal family in the North.

Only some high nobles and the higher-ups of the Military Order of Útför, who had been keeping in touch with them, had been searching for Chloe this whole time.

Chloe was discovered very recently.

A few months ago, a serious incident occurred in Lucanrant.

Because of that, even though they were supposed to carry out things in a more amicable manner, they had to resort to such a brute force approach.

 

“If this situation persists, our northern land will be destroyed because of that Harlan…!”

 

The other white knight shouted with all his heart.

Judging from the story, it seems this incident wasn’t due to Harlan’s instructions, but the independent actions of the knights who were worried about their homeland.

 

“A number of high nobles have already offered their support in opposing Harlan. After that, if you return, Chloe-sama, we will be able to reunite the North again.”

 

The mastermind appealed to Chloe with his eyebrows furrowed.

 

“So you’re saying that the blood of the old royal family is necessary to give justification in driving away the Margrave of Urs from the seat of the northern Deputy Governor-General?”

 

Chloe responded in a voice without intonation.

 

“Indeed. We can’t let that Ignitia’s dog usurper to continue as is. The return of the legitimate successor of Lucanrant’s royal family is the wish of all northern people…Chloe-sama, you surely won’t deny them this, right?”

“It sounds good and all, but in the end, you only want me to be your puppet.”

 

Chloe’s statement caused the wrinkle between the mastermind’s eyebrows to deepen.

 

“No, that was never our intention—”

 

Even if they have no such intent, the nobles who have become their backer will eventually be at the helm.

Because she is a 14-year-old of noble birth with no relatives, that kind of thing will inevitably happen.

 

“One more thing; can I ask about that incident?”

“That’s…only a little is known to us. Even people at the extremity still have morals. Especially now there are outsiders, so I can’t say anything.”

“After taking you to a safe place, there will definitely be an explanation from the mouth of your backers.”

“What if I don’t want to go to the North without hearing the explanation?”

 

When Chloe responded, the mastermind thrust the muzzle of his gun at Beatrice who was lying at his feet.

 

As expected, we can’t negotiate with them.

I will drop the whole floor using Digging while making me and Beatrice float using Levitation.

Hopefully, Chloe or Tirnanog can retrieve Beatrice during the turmoil—

 

But, earlier than I could move, Chloe opened her mouth.

 

“If you return that girl to the academy right now, I will go to the North.”

 

Chloe’s indifferent voice resounded coldly in the hall.

 

“First of all, we will go to the North together. It’s not that we don’t trust you, Chloe-sama, but we also need insurance.”

“After everything is done here, I will definitely send her off to the academy.”

“Then this child will be a bother to you, that’s not good. She doesn’t have to be released right away, right?”

 

Chloe shook her head.

 

“That’s not good. ‘A 14-year-old who had a history of being kidnapped for a certain period’, I’m sure disgraceful rumors like that will hurt her. She is a blood relative of Earl Glaw and an important person in Hafan…I, I don’t want to cut off Beatrice’s prospects.”

 

Chloe threw out words in rapid succession.

 

“It is better than losing her life, is it not? Or would you rather have us return your precious friend as a corpse? There is no need for you to be mindful of the circumstances of a person from Hafan like her, Chloe-sama.”

 

The mastermind responded with a slightly unpleasant expression.

Perhaps this ingrained animosity towards Hafan was created by history of long disputes.

 

Chloe slowly clenched her fists.

Suddenly, the hand of the mastermind which was holding the gun began to tremble.

 

(…What’s going on?)

 

Shortly after thinking that way, the man in a brown robe right behind the mastermind snatched away the gun.

While the attention was turned to him, the man held the gun barrel with both hands and raised it.

 

When the mastermind turned his head over his shoulder stiffly, the gunstock was hammered into the mastermind’s temporal region with a full swing.

The mastermind fell down from the platform with a forward roll.

 

“What are you doing!!”

 

The remaining white knight was surprised, but he drew out his sword and brandished it.

The man in brown robe shrugged and threw away the broken gun.

 

“Are you not thinking soundly? Threatening the Lord and trying to do whatever they want, is a folly unworthy of the wolf’s loyalty.”

“What are you talking about…!”

“If you don’t understand such a simple principle, it seems like everyone needs urgent treatment. I will prescribe a bitter medicine for you.”

 

He said as he took off his hood.

What appeared was a familiar face.

Jack Citrouille.

 

“Do you think a lowly liaison officer like you can beat our regular knights?”

“Yes, surely I’m weaker than everyone else…but perhaps no one can beat me?”

“You bastard…!!”

 

The enraged remaining white knight attacked Citrouille.

Citrouille put his hand on the handle of his sword as it was in the sheath, twisted himself away from the sword aimed at his abdomen, and at the same time brandished his sword.

 

Grating metallic sounds rang.

 

The snowsilver sword in the hands of the white knight broke and fell to the floor.

The white knight with his sword broken had his jaw crushed in that gap and fell over beside the first white knight.

 

Citrouille was holding a strangely-shaped sword that looks similar to a saw or a comb.

 

“A swordbreaker…!?”

“What happened to your snowsilver sword? You bastard, you intended to betray us from the very beginning!”

 

The knights of Útför grew restless and crowded around Citrouille.

 

“No, no, no, you guys are the traitors here.”

 

Despite being pointed at by the enraged swordsmen, Citrouille still smiled.

 

“Shut up! I don’t know if you’re Harlan’s or Ignitia’s dog, but I’ll rectify that right here and now!!”

“Good grief, because the other party is nothing better than beasts, it seems talking is out of the question.”

 

One-third of them began slashing at Citrouille, and one-third kept the circle tight so that he couldn’t escape.

And the remaining one-third were waiting for their chance and readying their guns and wands.

 

Swords flashed like a storm of blades around Citrouille.

Weaving their way through the gap of the sword fight, bullets and magic bullets were grazing his brown skin.

In the whirlwind of the battle that seemed to be overwhelming, Citrouille defended himself and survived.

 

“Well then…I guess it will affect your legs any time now.”

 

As if responding to the murmured words, one person staggered and fell down.

The fall was followed by two people, then three people, and the coordination was thrown into disarray.

Citrouille knocked down the knights whose legs were shaking in a blink of an eye.

 

Several gunshots sound rang.

Citrouille received the bullets by using an unconscious knight as a shield.

 

He cut off the subsequent Magic Missiles that were coming flying in without a sound.

Citrouille’s left hand was holding a long snowsilver sword that had been taken from another knight.

 

“Well done. Next will be your eyes.”

 

Five people that were shooting at him suddenly groaned, covering their eyes with their hands.

He didn’t look like he had attacked them or anything.

And how did he aim at the eyes of distant opponents almost at the same time?

 

The remaining knights also had trouble somewhere on their bodies, and their movements slowed down one after another.

As if he had known all that, Citrouille would knock the consciousness out of each and every knight.

 

“S-sixteen knights of Military Order of Útför are annihilated…by only one low-ranking liaison officer…!?”

“If you talk too much, your tongue will be the next to go haywire.”

 

Saying so, Citrouille then went behind the knight holding a gun.

Bullets dug through the wall as they missed their target, and the gun fell from the knight’s hands, his fingers broken.

 

Citrouille’s arm went around the knight’s neck.

The knight exerted his strength into his hands in trying to shake free from Citrouille’s hand that was pressing down on his carotid artery.

However, at the next moment, those hands convulsed and hung down limply.

Immediately, the last person let go of his consciousness, and fell over.

 

“Sorry for keeping you waiting, young ladies. In a few minutes, the effect of the drug will run out and they will wake up, so shall we get away now?”

“…Drug?”

“I was working on a paralytic drug that blocks nerve transmission in reaction to them using their physical enhancement ability.”

 

With that said, Citrouille carried Beatrice on his shoulder.

 

“If they have the spirit of rebellion, that is, if they use their ability, they won’t be able to move. I was going to give them the antidote if they had obeyed you to the end, Chloe-sama. I was ordered to confirm those guys’ true motive.”

“Citrouille-san…what do you mean by that!”

 

I chased after Citrouille while asking a question.

 

“I will explain it as we escape from here. There should be a hidden passage here…”

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Citrouille led the way, pushing some stones behind the painting at the end of the hallway.

The creaking sound of the gears echoed in the wall, revealing a narrow hidden passage.

 

“It’s a bit steep, but please bear with it!”

 

We rushed to follow after Citrouille.

We traveled on a dark path with a steep and comlex structure, illuminated by star crystal lamps.

 

“I’m a double-agent who was instructed to settle this situation. The most important thing was your will, Chloe-sama.”

 

Citrouille began to explain while looking forward.

 

“If they succeeded in persuading you, I was going to escort you to the North, Chloe-sama. I was supervising in case that they failed in persuading you and still go against your will, so that I could settle things…amicably.”

“…Is that the order of the Margrave of Urs?”

 

Chloe asked.

 

“That’s right. Chloe-sama. I have received instructions so that everything follows your heart’s desire.”

“Margrave of Urs said so…?”

 

A puzzlement could be heard from Chloe’s voice.

 

“Yes, the Lord is a loyal vassal of yours, Chloe-sama.”

“Then, what was the incident those knights were talking about?”

“In one region, corpses of one hundred skilled swordsmen even those of Útför, were discovered.”

“Is that the work of a bloodsucker…?”

“…I see…yes, it could be the work of an ancient bloodsucker.”

 

That is an unsettling story.

Just what kind of monstro did they fight against?

 

Citrouille continued to explain.

Some of the dead swordsmen were indispensable fighters and managers.

It seems that the foundation of the Military Order of Útför was rattled because of this.

 

“But above all, it’s bad that some kind of monstro that couldn’t be killed by the Military Order of Útför was let loose. The anxiety and the loss of mental support have led to the distrust of Lord Harlan, which then resulted in a sharp decline in loyalty.”

 

With that said, Citrouille turned around slowly.

And then he stared at me and Chloe, his eyes narrowed as if dazzled.

 

“Now, we have arrived! If you get out of this road, you can escape from the fortress.”

“Eh…here is…”

 

We, who were brought along by Citrouille, exited from a hole which was opened in the surface of the wall of the mountain.

The slopes were gentle and there was a mountain trail that was a bit rough but could be tread on by people.

 

“The trail leads to the castle town. Now that we have arrived at this place, you will be alright.”

 

Citrouille handed Beatrice over to Chloe.

 

“Beatrice…!”

“The effect of the drug will run out any time soon. After that, she will be back to normal.”

 

Chloe, in her immense relief, held Beatrice tightly and began to cry like a child.

Citrouille looked on with a terribly gentle expression.

 

“Now then…I’m going back. I need to buy you some time and, for good reason, you can say that I’m also a traitor.”

“Citrouille-san, why are you doing this…? Why don’t we just escape together as is?”

 

When I asked him, a troubled expression appeared on Citrouille’s face.

 

“Hahaha, this is also my job. It’s an unfavorable role, isn’t it? If I can do this well and I get the higher-ups’ agreement, I will return to the academy again. Maybe we can continue our conversation from that time…or maybe I won’t even remember anything anymore.”

 

Saying so, Citrouille smiled mischievously.

 

“Well, be safe.”

 

Finally, he disappeared into the hidden passage.

When the exit was closed, the seams of the stone disappeared.

 

Immediately, Chloe, who was crying, suddenly looked up at the sky and pointed at it.

Following her, I also looked up at the dark sky and heard the sound of dragons.

 

“…Erica-san, it looks like they have come to pick us up.”

 

In the sky, there were ten dragons with their wings spread fluttering about.

Those dragons gradually lowered their altitude while turning.

 

Ten dragon knights descended on the northern fortress, and we were safely protected.


As an additional info, it seems the in-game Harold used guns and snowsilver bullets.

Swordbreaker is one of two categories of parrying dagger. The swordbreaker was a dagger that had large, deep serrations along one side of the blade, resembling the barbed teeth of a comb and designed to entrap an opponent’s blade, allowing a variety of follow-up techniques. (source)

But anyway, it looks like this:

swordbreaker


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8 thoughts on “Chapter 153: The Cave Castle’s Wolves (part two)

  1. Well looks like he turned into Zorro lol

    Never trust him… never ever trust that dude… never.

    Harlan… I remember a while back that I had you marked on my hidden good list… but now this is revealed… and earlier things that came and cropped up… I am suss of you now!!! I GOT MY EYE ON YOU!!!

    Like

  2. Also Swordbreakers are more accurately Sword Catchers. They don’t break swords(usually).

    Incidentally i believe either Shadiversity or Skallagrim have a video on YouTube discussing them.

    Like

    1. They’re mostly glorified talk-pieces. Look at my cool knife, basically. They’re a lot of unnecessary work for a very specialized use, when like, a buckler is just plain better 99% of the time.
      The novel series follows the logic of PG-13 badass. Where everybody is badass enough to disarm people without being hurt. Which just feels cheap because it undermines the idea of a badass when every named character is one. In all likelihood, determined and fanatical soldiers are going to wound or kill you before any sedatives kick in. You know, literal guns and all.
      You know, like how Stormtroopers always seem to miss.
      *shrugs*
      Oh well, may as well give Erica a loyal ninja maid at this point.

      Like

  3. Given that Harlan is with Auguste now, we can confirm that he is not Jack.

    My heart aches when I remember Harold is a northern soldier in alternate dimension. Poor Bea too.

    I feel that the sword techniques are very straightforward, making the fight less interesting.

    Because that Claude is a golden wolf now, the metaphorical throne is on Chloe’s hand?

    Like

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