White City Outskirts. Olga Federation Army – General Defense Command Headquarters.
In the headquarters of the Federation army where countless tents are lined up, soldiers and wagons are noisily clamoring about.
When I look up, I can see the chalk white walls surrounding White City.
「amazing…… is this really a building…… created by humans? It’s almost like a mountain……」
Natia has her mouth open in shock.
「Pipi was also surprised!」
Pipi is also making a fuss on my shoulders, her excessive flailing causing the worthless dog to fall.
Fortunately, snow has piled up so he doesn’t seem to be injured, and not a single yelp was let out when he hit the ground.
I don’t know if he’s fearless or just really stupid.
「It’s gotten higher again. Wow, I’m impressed how much bigger it has become. It reminds of your d.i.c.k.」
Brynhildr glances at the wall before spitting out a silly comment.
「Master isn’t losing though, right~?」
Leah doesn’t seem particularly interested in White City, although she snaps back at Brynhildr’s words with a remark of her own while rubbing my crotch.
Stop that or it’s going to get big. I’ll be greeting important people from the Federation soon.
If there’s a bulge in my pants, they’ll think I’m a pervert.
「It does seem incredible everytime I look at the walls. But…… it’s pretty beat up.」
The castle walls of White City are grand and beautiful, and its ma.s.sive size hasn’t changed, however there are marks in a few places where it appears the wall was damaged with cannons and several spots seem to be crumbling.
When I last saw it, I felt a sense of invincibility from that solid structure……
「Master’s thing is dark and glossy and has an impactful look to it.」
I lightly hit Leah’s head as she brings it even closer to my crotch.
「Au……hit me more……」
Leah’s cheeks redden.
After that fight a while ago, I let my l.u.s.t take over and f.u.c.ked Leah and the others hard, but I lost my mind with the whip Brynhildr gave me.
That may have resulted in Leah developing some strange fetish.
I’ll slap your a.s.s when I embrace you tonight, so let me go for now.
「Ahem, are you done?」
Arbakin clears his throat. His face has a nervous shade to it.
When talking with the Iruisk army corps, he had the higher standing as the amba.s.sador, whereas that doesn’t seem to be the case with the people we’re about to meet.
「Lord Aegir Hardlett has arrived!」
Arbakin takes the lead as we enter a noticeably larger tent.
「Amba.s.sador Arbakin, good work getting here.」
「Please! I must apologize for falling behind schedule!」
The amba.s.sador bows his head deeply and falls back close to the entrance.
So that’s how much of a higher standing the man in front of us has.
「So you are Lord Hardlett. I have heard about you from a previous announcement. I apologize for the inept.i.tude you experienced along the way. Right now, the fight with the Empire is above all else in importance.」
The man smiles and extends his hand.
He appears to be in his mid-thirties and is a soldier judging by the fancy outfit wrapping his toned body.
His atmosphere and the way he talks reminds me more of a friendly master of a bar rather than that of a dignified Supreme Commander.
His neatly trimmed blond hair and blue eyes in addition to his handsome facial features give off a maturity befitting his age.
If he were to call out to a girl in the city, he would likely get to enjoy a feast with those looks.
「Think nothing of it, an accident or two is part of a journey. So……」
I don’t know this guy’s name.
Seeing Celia put a hand to her head, I know I must have been told of his name before.
「This is His Excellency, the Supreme Commander of Defense, Martin Stessel.」
The man standing behind him deliberately tells me his full name and rank.
That unfriendly man with black hair and bulging muscles appears to be the same age as Martin.
He’s standing in place with an emotionless face.
「I look forward to working with you, Your Excellency Stessel.」
「Same here. Lord Hardlett.」
Erich told me that the Federation looks down on Goldonia so I may get an unpleasant reception, but I don’t feel that from this man at all.
However what I did feel during our handshake, was that Martin’s eyes got narrower for an instant like he was glaring at me.
I didn’t mistake it. Just now he wasn’t looking at me as someone hostile, he was trying to make a decision on what I am.
In any case, this man doesn’t seem to be purely friendly.
「Well then, if it was peaceful I would be welcoming you with a party and providing you with pretty girls and fine wine, but……」
As Stessel begins to talk, he fluently writes something on a sheet of paper.
「Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury as our land is being invaded. I intentionally invited you directly to the headquarters instead of White City also for that reason.」
He hands me the paper after he finishes whatever he was writing.
「I know this is sudden, but I’m going to entrust you with an army corps. Please accept it although it is an incomplete composition due to it being wartime.」
This is a surprise. I’ve been given troops right after my arrival.
「Just as I mentioned in the request to Goldonia, our army is not currently lacking the number of common rank and file, rather it is missing the commanders to lead them.」
Stessel’s lips flicker a smile. I’m sure plenty of women fell for this smile and spread their legs.
「The soldiers in our army are generally proud…… which is completely fine and dandy, but too many of them consider it shameful to flee and ended up being struck down on the spot. I can sometimes bear 5000 or 10 000 soldiers dying more than I can endure a single competent commander dying……」
Stessel closes his eyes and lets out a small sigh.
That gesture probably stole the hearts of many women and made them offer both body and soul to him.
「I’m not here to exchange meaningless pleasantries with you. I just need you to immediately stand on the battlefield as a commander. Do you have any objections?」
Stessel’s eyes narrow once again.
I have no problems being on the battlefield. The problem is whether it’s okay for me to directly take command of the soldiers.
To be honest, I thought he would make me work as a staff officer for some random guy.
「I don’t have any objections at all. Would your commanders and soldiers be fine with me directly being in command though?」
Being from Goldonia, I already experienced some resistance from the army corps in Iruisk.
I would expect to get it even worse from the main army stationed in White City.
「Naturally there will be some who are against it. Your job as commander will also include settling those complaints.」
Stessel grins. He’s being strict despite his amused expression.
So this man is friendly and stern at the same time.
He’s not saying anything unreasonable though.
It’s probably the same thing I tell Leopolt and Adolph.
Maybe I have to re-examine their treatment.
I’ll speak to Leopolt using kinder words and I’ll give a firm ma.s.sage to Adolph’s scalp.
「……Hooh, the army you will be commanding is the 105th division provisional army. They are garrisoned west of the headquarters.」
Stessel looks at me and seemingly smiles briefly.
Don’t tell me he has a thing for me. I’m not into doing guys no matter how handsome he is.
「For now, I will have you as a corps commander directly under me. I know you have standing and rank in your own country, but you’ll follow our command structure as long as you are here. Am I understood?」
Nothing good will come out of bringing up standing or cla.s.s outside of rank within the army.
I should just obey him in this situation.
「Umu, then I’m counting on you.」
I exit the tent after bowing once.
「While I’m at it, might as well check out the 105th division army.」
「Right! I’ll be sure to display Aegir-sama’s dignity so you aren’t made light of!」
Celia seems pumped up, however it’s not going to be anything that formal.
We’ll be fighting together soon so this is just to get to know each other.
「Hmm, still the main army of the Federation sounds like quite the uptight bunch.」
「Yes. The Iruisk army corps separated so far from the headquarters was already pretty strict. ……if we do anything strange, they’ll become antagonistic towards us.」
Celia speaks worriedly. I rub her a.s.s in an attempt to relax her, except my hand gets pinched.
「You can’t do things like that! Save it for nighttime.」
Fine. But I won’t show any mercy tonight. I’m turning you upside down.
「P-please stop doing that! If you pleasure me too much, I won’t be able to stand!」
We chat while making our way to the army and arrive at the district with the label “105th Division Provisional Army Garrison” on it.
「……the main army of the Federation, eh?」
「……something like this?」
Celia and I are left speechless at the sight.
This is far from the well-disciplined Federation army.
Soldiers are laying on the ground with their spears strewn all over the place.
That rowdy bunch over there…… probably gambling.
I see some people training over there. No, they’re probably just having a fist fight.
「Looks like we’ve got our work cut out……」
「C-call the commander!!」
I let out a sigh while Celia shouts in a high-pitched voice.
-Third Person POV-
Martin and the black haired man of large build, Nikolai, return to being friends when they find themselves alone in the headquarters.
「Will it be fine, Martin? The 105th division is made up of second cla.s.s citizens who were forced to enlist in the army. Their morale and leaders.h.i.+p are in a horrible state.」
「It’s fine. Somebody had to rebuild the 105 anyway. It would be a waste to throw away an army we put together as sacrificial p.a.w.ns.」
After completing the decrees, Martin pours wine into a cup and hands it to Nikolai.
「When you’re drunk, I have to stay sober―― do you hate that n.o.ble from Goldonia? I don’t remember his name.」
「How tough, Nikolai―― he is certainly a rude one, but I’m not a man who lives with decorum. To be honest, I’m somewhat fond of him.」
Nikolai swirls the contents in his cup in amus.e.m.e.nt.
「Did you see his face when he was told to take command of the army right away? He seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Without a doubt, he’s a soldier at heart. He’s a man who is more frightening on the battlefield than at a dance in the Imperial Court.」
「If you ask me, he felt more like a warrior or barbarian than a soldier.」
Martin laughs, adding “a warrior being added to an army makes him a soldier”.
「I wanted to test him. Test his ability as a general of course. Think about it, if we hand over a group of elite n.o.bles or knights ……」
「The staff officers will protest furiously. They’ll do whatever they can to chase him out.」
「That’s right. Controlling the backlash from your subordinates is part of a commander’s capacity but interference from the higher-ups is excessive.」
「I see, the 105th division was originally an army made up of a mishmash of second cla.s.s citizens. No matter how much the staff officers or other commanders ridicule, they won’t get in the way.」
As Nikolai comments with final “how cruel”, Martin replies with a smile.
「If he’s truly capable, then he’ll produce results. If that happens, none of the staff officers will say anything when we add him to the important operations. ……if he doesn’t meet expectations, we’ll find a reason to send him back to his own country.」
Nikolai nods solemnly in front of his friend whose eyes become narrow.
Martin isn’t the type to yell angrily or put on airs, he’s a friendly man who encourages his subordinates in a cheerful manner.
However he’s not one to turn a blind eye to mistakes and laugh it off with overflowing kindness.
He possesses the coldheartedness to dismiss those who he determined as incompetent with a smile.
「That guy…… is he a man who can satisfy you?」
「I’m testing him because I don’t know. Probably not though.」
Nikolai slumps his shoulders as he comments “what’s with that”.
「I said it in the beginning. If a useable guy comes, it’ll be profitable.」
Despite what was said, Nikolai could see a sparkle of expectation from his friend’s pretty blue eyes.
Side Story: Runaway Chronicles. Night
「If you happen to see him, please tell the guards or security officers. I’ll leave the portrait over here.」
「Yes, good work.」
The woman heaves a big sigh after the door closes shut.
The reply came from a man in the back of the house whose eyes did not once leave the book in his eyes.
The woman puffs her cheeks.
（I’m about to wet myself here lying to the security officers and this guy is all relaxed!）
「What did you even do in the first place? The guards are one thing, but it’s not normal to be wanted by Mylsama and the security officers.」
When the woman takes away the book from the man, he unwillingly says something concrete and looks at her.
「I didn’t do anything. Rather this is my right―― to be free from doing unreasonable hard labor.」
「What does that mean, I don’t get it.」
Seeing the man look so sad, the woman felt compelled to return the book.
「Aah, I lost my page. Could you make some tea while I try to find it?」
「Alright, alright…… well, I don’t think a frail and cowardly guy like you could do anything like murder or robbery. Surely it’s only petty thievery or peeping, right?」
「I don’t remember disobeying the law though.」
「That’s what all criminals say.」
The woman grumbles more as she pours the tea.
「If the security officers find out about this, I’ll be finished too…… though I hear the feudal lord-sama is kind to women.」
「It won’t turn out like thatー」
When the man stretches and lets out a carefree voice, the woman replies with an angry shout.
「Shuddup! In the first place, my book rental business is supposed to go up with you reading all you want!」
Ever since the man rolled around to the shop, he’s been continually reading and drinking tea, then sleeping in the morning in a constant cycle.
「I paid you ahead of time, didn’t I? It was enough for me to read 100 books.」
「I’m in the red from serving you meals and tea everyday!」
She slams the cup of tea on the table.
Nevertheless, the woman doesn’t show any signs of chasing out the man.
（He has money, plus he says he ran away from the feudal lord-sama’s mansion…… he must have stolen something. Aaーaah, if this gets discovered, me and this shop will be done……）
「The water is a little too hot. Also you can steam it a little more.」
「Be quiet, you freeloader!」
（I don’t even know myself. Why am I…… why is my heart weak against a guy like this?）
The woman is 20 years old, and was a helper at this book lending store after being brought to Rafen by her only blood relative, her father.
However her father pa.s.sed away last year in summer due to a sudden illness and she took over the shop.
Becoming left without a single relative, she felt a profound sadness and wanted healing from a man―― that resulted in her losing a portion of her savings and later being dumped by the man who promised to marry her.
Right when she thought of killing herself, she ended up sheltering a man who rolled into her shop one day.
（After the worse kind of man who only cares about money, I get a man who is wanted…… I guess I’m not a very good judge of character.）
As she talks to herself, the woman – Estelle – finally sees the man smile after finding the page he was on, which makes her smile in return.
「You look like him.」
「Hm? What was that?」
The man doesn’t pay attention after that and concentrates solely on the book.
（He reminds me of father…… father also didn’t seem very manly at all, only immersing himself in books all the time.）
「Hm? I’m at a good part right now.」
（I called him by name for the first time and I don’t get any reaction?）
「It seemed strange to use -kun so you can use my name too.」
「Ah, Esteria…… was it?」
「Oh right, sorry Estelle.」
When the man mutters her name, Estelle’s face turns red.
「U, uu…… I’m going to sleep! Put out the candles yourself!」
After entering her bedroom, Estelle takes off her casual clothes and puts on her s.e.xy but purposeless negligee.
She didn’t want to disappoint the man she sheltered if he were to go crazy and pounce on her, although her efforts did not bear any fruit.
「I even left the door unlocked…… at least show me some of your manliness.」
Estelle’s wish was in vain, as when she woke up the next day, she saw the man in the legless chair sleeping happily with a book in one hand.
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 24 years old. Winter.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. Mountain Legend. Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless. Dragon Slayer Hero.
Accompanying: Celia (escort, a.s.sistant), Marta (aide), Natia (temporary follower), Leah (temporary follower)
Brynhildr (temporary follower), Pipi (archer), Messerschmitt (worthless dog), Schwartz (horse)
Arbakin (Federation amba.s.sador), Mirumi (diving)
Nonna (legal wife), Carla (concubine), Mel (concubine), Miti (concubine, expecting), Maria (concubine, expecting)
Catherine (concubine, expecting, craving), Melissa (lover), Kuu (lover), Ruu (lover), Mireille (lover)
Casie (ghost), Rita (maid), Yoguri (playwright), Alice (ahe)
Marceline (pregnant lover), Daughters – Stephanie (lover), Bridget (lover), Felicie (lover)
Sebastian (butler), Dorothea (capital mansion supervisor), Claudia (giant meatball), Clara (female attendant)
Felteris (perverted elf)
Lammy (plant caretaker), Alraune (plant), Pet.i.t Roper (growing)
Pochi (adventuring lizard)