The victors write the histories. The victors are always right. All of the blemishes are taken on by those who were defeated. This time, it would they, themselves, who would taste this.
Sweet liqueur for the victors, and sour acid for the losers. It may be fortunate that his father could taste this once in a lifetime, in some sense.
To think about it, the 28 years of Mizeru’s life was as his father said it would be. Because he thought it is natural. The words of a hero were the truth. His foolish self should have acted accordingly.
Thinking of death, Mizeru wanted to try to out himself. He thought that it would be better to do as he wished at the very end.
He was not scared of death, but it was somehow unacceptable to be crushed meaninglessly.
According to the information of the scouts,Veloce Gale led the attacking side. The bloodline of the general Yaruda who had taken the name ‘Indomitable’ in the past kingdom. As an opponent, there was nothing lacking.
“Staff officer. Take this scroll to the enemy for me. Ahh, father’s endorsement is not necessary now.”
After the quick writing by the general Yaruda, he handed the scroll to the staff officer.
“However, if his Honor Finn does not agree with this….”
“The commander of this fortress is me! The commander of the lion’s calvary is myself! …. I am not my father’s puppet. Surely, there is no care about letting me through at the very end?”
“A first and last request.”
“…. Affirmative! I will deliver this right away.”
Bowing his head reverently, the staff officer took leave. In the room, only Mizeru remained.
As expected, he was realizing that there was nothing he could do. As expected, the contents of the scroll was confirmed. It did not matter either way how he would fall. There was no chance of it being handed over to his father.
“Alright, I would be happy to ride, but… either way, is this the end?”
Mizeru leaned deeply into the chair and looked at the ceiling, and as if to expel his burdens, he sighed heavily.
At the Star Church Union Army headquarters, Dima, who received the messenger’s report, was visiting. His expression was unusually severe.
It was because the person in front of him had made a less than optimum choice.
He wanted to scrunch up the report, but that would be an unauthorized conduct. It was not a good thing for a staff officer to do.
After a little while, he began to speak with Veloce, who was watching at the front face of the fortress with a stern gaze.
“What is it, Dima?”
“A scroll has arrived from the commander of Cyrus Fortress, General Mizeru. Would you like to examine it?”
‘“An offer of surrender? If it is unconditional then, I do not mind, we can accept. If it is anything other than that then, rebuff it.”
“Ah, it is not that. …it is a request for a duel with your Honour Veloce.”
Veloce took the scroll away from Dima and ran her eyes up and down over the contents to confirm it.
As if to show excitement, her face gradually began to redden.
The letter was as followed.
――The general Mizeru of the new kingdom, in charge of the defense of the Cyrus fortress, had challenged Lord Veloce Geru to a duel.
A fair and square, one on one battle was requested. Betting on the honor of the family name and swearing not to use any sneaky tricks or traps.
In the event of Veloce’s victory, the fortress would be surrendered, but also that, for a moment, all of the soldiers other than himself would be allowed to leave the fortress.
In the event of Veloce being defeated, it was promised that the gates of the fortress would be opened immediately and the soldiers would surrender and disarm.
He was aware that there really was no benefit for the dominant party in this, but he expected a positive reply from the perspective of a soldier.
It was actually a completely unreasonable proposal. So much so that Dima was thinking about destroying it the minute he read it.
The idea knew no higher level of stupidity; that is, with two large armies facing on against each other, the two leaders settle the fight by doing battle with one another.
Furthermore, there were the dominant party, and in circumstances they were expected to have a victory anyway, it was not necessary to entertain this invitation.
…that is, from the perspective of an average person’s thoughts.
They are had known each other for 10 years. It was easy to predict what this woman would say next.
“I want to accept these terms.”
“…I could not hear you properly. Excuse me, can you please repeat that one more time?”
“I said I want to accept the challenge to a duel. Whether I win or lose, the fortress will fall. There is no problem. There’s no need to spill any further blood needlessly.”
Dima rubbed his eyes without thinking and looked up at the sky. He had been thinking this was stupid, but this was just crazy.
There was not any guarantee that the opponent would stick to the promises made.
In the case of Veloce being vanquished, the morale of the enemy would be increased. In the event that the promises were not kept then, there would be added labor and time toppling the fortress.
On the other hand, even if Mizeru were to be vanquished, it would be of no significance if the enemy simply closed the gates to the fortress.
Because the hero, Finn from the liberation war, was in the fortress. That he would simply surrender was unthinkable.
“Please explain to me. There appears to be no guarantee that the enemy shall keep to the expectations. We must ignore this and continue the assault. We have ten times the strength of their troops. And, at any moment, we will be able to attack.”
“Therefore, I must accept this. In order to avoid dishonoring the name of ‘the Indomitable’ we can only do battle now.”
While he was self-confident and assertive, Dima was not able to understand at all. He knew that Veloce held her family name’s honore.
But that was different from this. If he stated his opinion as the Staff Officer, it would only be foolish and foolhardy. But he could understand that if he was an officer, he would possibly feel the same.
In any case, it would be impossible to change her mind. There was no stopping this woman; when she said something once she would do it. Like a bull which has just seen something red, she would charge through no matter where it was.
It was her charm but also her biggest weakness. Because of this, Dima served Veloce.
“… Is there any room for you to reconsider this?”
“None. Specify the date and time here. At noon on the following day, take this to the front of the fortress and convey the message.”
“What is the reply, Dima?”
“Affirmative. Leave everything to me.”
With the sound of her armor rubbing against itself, Veloce left. She was likely going to go prepare for the soon to be held duel.
In the event that the best case proposal was rejected, the Staff Officer need to implement the next best course of action.
Dima shook his head, and with heavy footsteps, he headed for the magician with the ‘bad complexion’.
If it was for Veloce, he would use anything. That was Dima’s fundamental policy.
――The next day.
Katarina, who had received Dima’s report, appeared before Veloce.
When the hood-wearing pink magician shuffled in, she slapped Veloce across the face with a flash of light.
A dry sound reverberated and, for a moment, the usually straight standing Veloce’s knees quivered. She had lost consciousness a bit with the strike.
“Wha-what the hell!?”