Chapter 168 As Always
When Julia, who appeared in front of us, sat next to Reus, the noisy dining hall due to chatting among the soldiers, became quiet for a moment. If it was dinner, someone should bring the meal to her room. However, on top of suddenly appearing here, she sat next to Reus for some reason. The soldiers were whispering, wondering what was happening, and it seemed that gazes in the dining room were probably concentrated here.
Julia’s coming was something expected. Since Marina’s tail was standing up, and she was putting on guard, it had become a situation where no one could speak poorly. In such a tense atmosphere…
“This dish was cooked by Marina and I. If Julia-sama is fine with it, would you like to have some?” (Emilia)
“Of course. I can see it just by looking at it looks delicious, and I’m really looking forward to it.” (Julia)
Only Emilia and Julia had a conversation without a hitch. It was understandable since her personality didn’t know any fear, but why, Emilia, who was supposed to be involved in the future of her younger brother, wasn’t affected at all? As she understood what I had in mind when I looked at her, she quietly whispered to me.
“That kid is Sirius-sama’s disciple. I want him to be a good man who loves his lovers equally, and who can support all of them.” (Emilia)
In other words, it was a necessary experience for Reus. It should be no problem unless he chose to run away. Even though Emilia was acting calmly, there was no change in the tense atmosphere. Marina seemed unable to find the right time to say anything to Julia who continued her dinner. This was where Reus should take the lead, but it seemed he couldn’t make a move. It might be because the lack of experience with women or he felt obliged toward Marina.
In this way, Julia finished her meal and at the same time, she thanked Albert and Keith for fighting to protect the frontline base. Finally, she faced Marina and smiled with her usual refreshing smile.
“It’s been a few days since we met, Marina-dono. I am grateful that you fought together with us.” (Julia)
“Y-yes. More importantly… you are in good health, Julia-sama.” (Marina)
“Hmm… I’m sorry but can you stop being humble? The situation is different now, and I also would like to call you Marina.” (Julia)
Let alone men, Julia had the charm that could attract even women. If it was from Marina’s view, Julia would be like an enemy aiming for her lover. It might be because of jealousy and antagonism, Marina, who had been lost until just now, held Reus’ arm and stared at Julia with serious look.
“Before you say that, there is something I want to hear first. I’ve heard most of the story from Reus, but Julia-sama… do you really want to marry Reus?” (Marina)
“Yes! To me, Reus is my partner of destiny. If we aren’t in this situation now, I would like to hold the ceremony right away.” (Julia)
“No, it’s too early to get married. More importantly, to talk about it in this place is…” (Reus)
“Reus, shut up.” (Marina)
Ooh, she already dominated Reus that fast, huh? I thought it was appropriate to entrust the rein of Reus earlier, but rather than being appropriate, I should entrust it right away.
Marina silenced Reus who asked her to be considerate. Then, she asked questions to get to know the other party even a little.
“Well then, please excuse my rudeness. How did Julia-sama get attracted to Reus?” (Marina)
“How… is it? There are many things, but it is decisive when he said that women’s hair is important.” (Julia)
“But, it has been a few days since you met him, right? Are you going really going for marriage upon knowing Reus? I’m in no position to say this to other people, but it took me quite some time to get to know Reus.” (Marina)
“Aah… please do not misunderstand. I’m not trying to push Julia-sama away from Reus. It’s just that he is… a man who can mislead women.” (Marina)
Unless people didn’t show antagonism, Reus would not leave them alone if they are in trouble. As a result of a combination of natural words and behavior, there were several times in the past where women he helped misunderstood that they were in love with him. In short, Marina asked this only because he understood Reus well. She asked Julia as a woman, not as a princess of a country. Far from getting angry, Julia was unusually tilted her head, and looked at me as if asking for my response.
“I don’t understand about the relationship between a man and a woman, but is it strange to decide your partner of destiny immediately?” (Julia)
“Generally speaking, it may be early. But personally, time is not that important. It’s because different people have different feeling.” (Sirius)
“I see…” (Julia)
For example, Fia had decided that I was her partner of destiny on the day I met her. In the first place, although it is not strange to part when this battle was over, it was strange to say that they were getting married soon. Was this also due to Julia’s unique sensibility? I tried to tell Julia to rethink again after getting to know Reus and Marina more, but it seemed that she seemed to have reached the answer.
“I understand Marina’s consideration, and I really appreciate it. However, I don’t think that the thought that boils down from my chest is called hesitation. I can assure you that I fell in love with Reus from the bottom of my heart.” (Julia)
“You are serious… aren’t you? I understand. If it’s about Reus, I will not lose!” (Marina)
There was also Noir… a girl who also promised to get married in the future. She was Noel’s daughter who was Reus’ first lover. Since Marina also knew that when she become his lover, it would be inconsiderate if she chased Julia away. She was a gentle girl who couldn’t chased other people even if she was earnest or wanting to take care of Reus by herself. Reus must have liked that part of Marina. At the end of the day, if Reus agreed to accept her, there wouldn’t be any competition, but Julia had a fearless smile when she saw Marina declared war on love.
“Hehe, that’s my line too. But… The strength and graciousness of Marina’s heart is truly amazing. I also understand if Reus is charmed because of that.” (Julia)
“There is no such a thing. I have no feeling that I don’t want Reus to have more lovers…” (Marina)
“I think it’s normal that you want to monopolize the person you love, and as for me, I’m like a nuisance who appeared on the way. That’s why Marina, instead of accepting me, treat me equally. I like not only Reus but also Marina.” (Julia)
“Me… too?” (Marina)
Along with Julia’s remarks, I noticed that the atmosphere of the place had clearly changed. When I was wondering if this would create sparks between rivals, Julia took Marina’s hand as if she was proposing, and looked straight at her.
“I am friends with Marina…… No, I want to be a family. Let’s build a happy family with Reus, shall we!?” (Julia)
Instead of as if, it was a complete proposal. In addition to some unique values, she wasn’t familiar with how to deal with the opposite sex. Perhaps if she liked someone instinctively, she would want to be together regardless of gender. This wasn’t something like yuri stuff. However, the side who received the proposal suddenly showed an extreme confusion. Marina was stunned and unable to speak, but Julia’s onslaught hadn’t stopped.
“I have to deepen my bond with Marina. I told you before, let’s get along well by eating the food you cook.” (Julia)
“Aah, I’ll be the first to do that. She hadn’t eaten since some time ago.” (Reus)
As a result, it was good that the relationship between these two girls didn’t become bad. However, it was supposed to be a problem concerning the lover of Reus, but when we noticed, why was it that Marina is the center? Marina, who was caught between Reus and Julia without anyone noticed, was urged to eat the food. She was like being snarled by two large dogs wagging their tails. Marina looked at Albert, asking for help, but he just looked and smiled at them.
“Aah, Aniue!? What’s so funny about this!?” (Marina)
“I couldn’t help it. You worked hard to become a good lover for Reus, but when it comes to marriage, you have always been at loss. But since you declared that you wouldn’t lose to Julia, would that mean that you are ready to marry Reus?” (Albert)
“As you can see, I am relieved that you are able to get along with Julia-sama.” (Albert)
Marina’s face changed rapidly from red to blue. She probably noticed that she had blurted things out naturally. Now, as Reus’ own feelings were being ignored, it might be good to not have to worry too much there. Reus already accepted Julia, so I considered that it was a matter of time. Since the three of them, Marina, Julia and Noir fell in love with Reus from the bottom of their heart, there was no reason for us to say anything. I thought that it would be hard, but I wanted Reus to gain a lot of experience and got used to dealing with women quickly.
“Aah, I got it! I’ll let you feed me, so calm down a little.” (Marina)
“Hmm, next is my turn, right?” (Julia)
“Haa.. it seems Reus has increased the number of woman for him.” (Albert)
I could see she would have gone through mental exhaustion in the future. Since I would also be Marina’s brother-in-law, I had to observe closely, and help them.
Although these three deepened their bonds with each other as they got along and ate the dishes, there were some people who didn’t feel comfortable about it. They were the soldiers who ate at the surroundings. They weren’t only emitting a particular atmosphere, they also began to gather around Reus.
It was an important moment for the three of them, but this was a situation where they didn’t know when they would be attacked by monsters. There would be a limit to relax the mind. I tried to apologize even if I would be scolded, but…
“Julia-sama! Is it true!?” (??)
“We haven’t heard about your marriage!” (??)
“I don’t think that such a helpless man is suitable for Julia-sama!” (??)
The anger of the soldiers was about Julia’s marriage. When they met Julia’s imperial guard, a similar interaction took place. At that time, it wasn’t bad because they didn’t talk about marriage. But the soldiers here have heard from their beloved, Julia herself, that she would marry Reus. Even though they accepted Reus, who had shown unparalleled actions on the front line, it seemed that they couldn’t overlook marriage. If this compared with the previous life, it would be like feeling that the popular idol declared marriage.
While tightening the face under the bloodthirsty air due to anger and jealousy, Reus tried to stand up, but Julia took action faster than him.
“Hmm, I understand that everyone is confused. But, Reus is a man who won against me in mock battles, you know?” (Julia)
“If you have seen Reus fighting side by side with me, you should soon find that it is true. Anyway, let’s see if Reus is a good fit for me after we get over this Flooding.” (Julia)
If they weren’t convinced, it would be best if they admitted it through mock battles. However, they should avoid wasting their energy in this situation. Most of the soldiers withdrew without saying anything, as if they understood what Julia had in mind. It was reasonable to feel strange, but it was probably because Julia told Reus was the winner in a mock battle. However, there were those who refused to understand. They were staring at Reus, but Julia narrowed her eyes and began to emit bloodlust.
“Let me tell you this. I will never allow you to aim for Reus by cowardly means. Those who don’t understand will soon become the rust of my sword.” (Julia)
There was a possibility of Reus being aimed in the midst of battle. So, I was glad that she clearly gave such a warning. The soldiers understood that Julia was serious by the time she emitted bloodlust. While drowning with sweat, they saluted her in unison.
“Hmm… do I have to fight to be recognized by everyone? That’s somehow difficult.” (Reus)
“I don’t know what you are worried about, but I think you should act as always.” (Julia)
“But, I don’t want Julia to be in a bad position because of the way I act.” (Reus)
“In your case, it is enough to show your effort to do everything without worrying about the details. That’s the most attractive part of Reus, and the part of being upright is…” (Marina)
It seemed that she might continue to that sentence with ‘making me fell in love with you’, but that didn’t come out as she became embarrassed. Reus tilted his head because a strange moment was born, but Marina was pointing his finger to Reus to cover up her reddened cheeks.
“Anyhow! Don’t think about anything else. You just have to wing your sword as always. Respond if you understand!” (Marina)
“O-ouh! It’s fine if I work hard, right?” (Reus)
Even though they were reunited for the first time in a year, the exchanges between the two of them hadn’t changed. I couldn’t even imagine what would happen if there were four people, because in the future, not only Julia but also Noir will join. For better or worse, they were people who I couldn’t take their eyes off.
Thus, after the battle over Reus, and the commotion of the soldiers settled peacefully, Reese and Princess Lifell joined us from the treatment room. Albert and Keith went away because they were called by the Beast King, so Reese sat on Keith’s seat. She looked tired from her weary expression. It was normal to feel tired both physically and mentally because she had been treating people who got injured in short time.
“Good work, Reese. Here, have some water and settle down.” (Sirius)
“Sure, thanks. I’m hungry…” (Reese)
“We have reserve portions for Reese, so I’ll bring it right away.” (Emilia)
“Please leave that to me. Everyone, please take care of Reese-sama.” (Senia)
After seeing Senia retreated to pick up the food in the kitchen, I touched her hand to check her condition, but no abnormalities were found. The mana in her body seemed to be less than half, but it wasn’t enough to get sick. The reason why she wasn’t energetic was probably because of mental fatigue. I somehow expected that. When I looked at Princess Lifell, who sat next to Reese, I asked her for an explanation. She explained while stroking her sister’s head.
“There were people who were taken late to the treatment room. Some of them died because the treatment wasn’t done in time.” (Lifell)
“…I was prepared, but it was really intense when people died in front of my eyes.” (Reese)
However, the number of injured people increased even while she was depressed. Therefore, she had to force herself to face the situation and continue to treat people. When she finally settled down, heavy pressure and fatigue would have been struck at once, and her mood would have sunk. It was normal to see people dying in such a battle. I probably should comfort her so that she wouldn’t get too depressed.
“But, it’s shameful if I become depressed when everyone else is trying to hold out. Besides, I came here with that in mind. I’m still fine, so don’t worry.” (Reese)
Even if she let out frustration, the current Reese was strong enough to rearrange her mood quickly. Excessive worry might not be necessary. However, I couldn’t left her alone. So I had all the remaining dishes on the table sent to Reese to make her felt better even a little.
“You feel depressed because you are hungry. We already have enough, so it’s alright to eat all of them.” (Sirius)
“Thank you. But it seemed that the amount is limited, and it may be a bit short.” (Reese)
“No, it’s because Reese-dono has saved many of our soldiers. If it’s a little, no one will complain. So, it’s good to eat without reservation.” (Julia)
“I also made additional dishes with Marina, so there is no problem with the amount.” (Emilia)
“I hope it suits your taste, Reese-san…” (Marina)
“Yup! Well, will you show me your skill?” (Reese)
Reese’s mood had calmed down as she talked to everyone, and she seemed to have regained the energy to the point where she could smile with her usual soft smile. After that, Senia brought servings that easily for twenty soldiers. The surrounding soldiers became agitated when Reese finished everything in a flash, but they were able to finish the meal peacefully.
After finishing dinner, we were able to use one room in the base by Julia’s arrangement. So we gathered in the room, and had a rest. Princess Lifell was also with us, and it became a quite a number of people. However, it was still a large room to the extent that everyone could fall asleep. Perhaps, this room was a room that couldn’t be used unless they were the commanding officer. This was clearly a favorable treatment. I felt like this would invite antipathy from others, but according to Julia, it seemed to be a necessary treatment.
[Everyone is doing so much, and above all, they have attracted too much attention. You won’t be able to come here easily, so you can rest here slowly.] (Julia)
In fact, there were many soldiers try to get to know about Reus, and trying to express their gratitude to Reese. I thought that it was fine to show appreciation, but I really appreciated that we were isolated since we wouldn’t be able to rest slowly if we had to deal with every occasion. In this way, Marina was added into our group. Rather than taking a break, I took Emilia to the top floor of the base where I could see the entire wall.
There were soldiers running around in preparation for battle and looking out for monsters from on top of the wall. After telling them a few words, I whistled. Then, Hokuto came down from the sky in less than a few seconds.
“It’s okay to be fast, but you don’t have to rush, you know? You’ll surprise the people around you.” (Sirius)
“He says that he can’t let Sirius-sama waiting. I also strongly agree.” (Emilia)
“Aah… I’m happy with your devotion, but please do it in moderation. So, how is the situation outside?” (Sirius)
I asked Hokuto to do reconnaissance to check the movement of the escaped monsters. Based on the [Search] that I used extensively, the escaped monsters seemed to be hanging out in the plain a little bit away from the frontline base. Apparently, they hadn’t returned to the Demonic continent. In other words, it wasn’t strange that monsters came to attack at any time. Nothing could be seen now, but if it got brighter, their figures could be seen from a distance away. Even though I could see the position and size of the monsters good enough, I asked Hokuto to scout for the purpose of confirming a certain existence.
“I see. So, you can’t see any particular movement… is it? Then, how about those guys?” (Sirius)
“There was a suspicious monster, but he couldn’t find those people.” (Emilia)
What I wanted to know was whether there were Lambda’s group who seemed to be the mastermind in manipulating the monsters. I asked Hokuto to carefully investigate in order not to agitate the monsters. I didn’t think that they could deceive Hokuto’s nose and intuition, so I supposed that they weren’t near?
“About that suspicious monsters, its sign and presence are different, but he has no doubt that it is similar to Chimera, the synthetic monsters seen before.” (Emilia)
In the past, we faced these monsters at Parade and Arbitray. Since I understood that they were Chimera, synthetic monsters that manipulated the monsters, the chain of command would collapse if I got rid of it. I judged that it was possible to sniper by using [Search] if I wanted to do it now, but that wasn’t necessary yet. The monsters didn’t move erratically because of that suspicious existence. Therefore, if it disappeared, the monsters were likely to attack here immediately. They would send the next Chimera when it was defeated. So, defeating it wasn’t a fundamental solution.
I thought that it wouldn’t be strange to stay close directly in order to confirm the destruction since Lambda was a person who detest this country, but… had I oversee something? I tilted my head when I listened to Hokuto’s report. Then, I noticed Emilia, who stood by me, looked up with a gloomy expression.
“Sirius-sama. What would you do if you see them?” (Emilia)
“Of course, I’m going to beat them. Regardless of the relationship with us, they are people who I can’t let them go free.” (Sirius)
His aim was probably limited to Sando, but I didn’t know whether he was going to attack not only Arbitray, the Beast King country, but also other continents. It wasn’t impossible since they had the power to manipulate the monsters, so they should be stop right here. But, judging from Emilia’s discontent look, I guessed that wasn’t something she would like to hear.
“You have a face that wanting to say something. If you have something to worry about, don’t hesitate to say it.” (Sirius)
“This might be… my selfish imagination, but I am worried about it by all means. I mean, I feel like Sirius-sama will charge alone if you find Lambda in the enemy camp…” (Emilia)
She probably noticed the subtle change within me since Lambda was similar to the last enemy I fought in the previous life. As I received a worrying stare, I stroked Emilia’s head while smiling.
“I’m certainly worries about a lot of things, but I’m not going to do that. I’m not confident enough to charge alone without knowing his schemes, you know?” (Sirius)
I remembered the last mission that killed my life in the previous life. Although the situation was inevitable, I couldn’t manage to survive because I couldn’t completely read the opponent’s strength. Far from that, I couldn’t receive external support at that time. It was a failure that I learned when I die, so I didn’t want to step on the same trap again. Even if Lambda or the enemy commander appeared and aimed for a breakthrough, there wasn’t enough preparation and war potentials just yet. Either way, I had no choice but to wait for one or two more days. Thanks to that, Emilia had softened her expression.
“Anyhow, I will make sure I won’t overlook anything. The problem is if Julia-sama is reluctant to withdraw, but if that happens, you may have to force and carry her away.” (Sirius)
“Let’s leave that to Reus. This is only my opinion, but sometimes I want you to pull even forcibly.” (Emilia)
I couldn’t see the battle ahead since the horde of monsters attacking without end. It was a trial that wasn’t comparable to training, but it would also be a good experience for the disciples. However, if everyone couldn’t survive, any experience was meaningless. My disciples didn’t have a second life like me.
Then, we returned to the room, and took turns taking a nap for a few hours. We were able to rest slowly because there was no particular attack of monsters. When everyone woke up, we confirmed our equipment. By the end of the early breakfast, it was the time when the sun began to rise and slowly lighting up the world.
From the [Search] respond, there was still no movement in the monsters. I couldn’t see far because it was still dim. However, it was possible to understand how unpleasant the smells and the presence of the monsters even if it was a bit. Under the direction of Cayenne, who became the base commander, all units would get to their designated position early. Reese went to the treatment room with Princess Lifell similar as yesterday. Reus entered Julia’s unit together with Marina. The raiding personnel, which included Emilia, Hokuto and I, were waiting near the Beast King for the time being.
“…I understand that it turned out to be bright, but the atmosphere of the whole base had changed a lot.” (Emilia)
“Aah, this is probably the frontline base’s original appearance.” (Sirius)
When I looked at the surroundings, ballistae had been placed here and there on the wall. There were only a few of them until yesterday, but since people working through the night, the number had increased to several dozen. It wasn’t about its strength, but its visual appearance gave the sense of hopefulness.
“I became concerned about this one, but why were these weapons left in the warehouse?” (Emilia)
“Apparently, it seemed to have been removed for inspection. Since the previous Flooding happened recently, it was suggested by Lambda to not put it up and kept it for maintenance.” (Sirius)
“Hmm, these people were beautifully danced on his palm. But, I won’t let him do this anymore.” (Beast King)
In addition to ballistae, there were also tools that could be used to knock down monsters that climbed walls with ropes made of logs. The archers and magic units were deployed to operate efficiently. The strategy was well prepared. Not only Julia, but Cayenne also returned to command again. Hence, the morale was high enough.
As we all kept moderate tension, the time passed quietly. When the sun rose high enough, a horde of monsters finally began to move, and they appeared before us. Just like yesterday, it was a huge army of monsters that filled the land. If the mind was weak, this scene would make people wanted to run away. However, there was a strong defensive wall and strength that couldn’t be defeated.
With the exception of some, most of the soldiers in the frontline base had experienced the Flooding in the past. Therefore, there were no signs of fear at the front of the horde of monsters. But… when the appearance of monsters became clear, all units were slightly shaken.
“…What is that?” (??)
“Aah, it’s obviously different.” (??)
“Look, there are monsters that we have never seen before!” (??)
Unlike yesterday, the monsters on the ground and in the sky were mostly small-sized monsters. So today, the proportion of large-sized monsters had clearly increased. If yesterday, it was 20% of the whole. Then, it would be like 40% today. When I looked closely, there were an increasing number of monsters with long-range weapons such as easy-made bows and arrows. Far from having wooden battering rams, some ogres had a well-rounded cudgel in its hand. In other words, it was changing to the weapon that assumed the person.
“Sirius-sama. What in the world is this…” (Emilia)
At last night’s operation meeting, we discussed the reason why the monsters retreated at night, but at that time there was no answer. But there was one thing I didn’t want to think about. It was only past the first day, so it was determined that it was too early to decide that it was so….
“As you can see… It seems that the other side has also raised the stage.” (Sirius)
Even if the monsters weren’t rushing, they could create a mess if they felt like it, or it might continue to attack slowly and killed us. To put it simply, we were simply played by the enemies… I was convinced that this battle would be long, unless there was some way or event that could turn the tide upside down.
“First off, instead of moving altogether, we’re going to fight separately. Based on the situation, we will provide the support to those who are being pushed.” (Sirius)
I was used to fighting over a long period of time, but the disciples were still inexperienced. While thinking about the disciples who were working hard in their respective position, I muttered so that no one could hear me.
“Emilia, Reese, and Reus. From now on, we will hold this place. And we will cut our way through.” (Sirius)
Extra/Bonus – Noir is…
“Say, Reus. I understand that you aren’t good with women, but do you know what you can do with a child, right?” (Marina)
“I know that much. I’m sure that… you can do it if everyone use each other’s killing move on the bed, right?” (Reus)
“…Yes. I can’t say that you are wrong, but I understand that you are worried in many ways.” (Marina)
Instead of being embarrassed, Marina was shocked. Then, she looked at Julia who was next to her.
“So, Julia-sama is…” (Marina)
“Don’t worry. Don’t you want to say that Reus’ way is wrong?” (Julia)
“That’s not it, but it’s fine if you know it.” (Marina)
“Am I wrong? Then, tell me.” (Reus)
“Hmm. Instead of using a killer technique, you should unleash a secret technique. Children call it a treasure, so a killer technique is not enough.” (Julia)
“I see!” (Reus)
“Aah… Noir-chan. I just want you to be decent.” (Marina)