Part 6 of Chapter 1. Last part for this chapter.
I JUST noticed that the ミ(mi) in the title had a snake as the head of the first stroke. Doh, I'm blind.
I'm not going to combine the parts because the Hayashi-sensei divides it like this anyway.
Also note that Hayashi-sensei is fond of making plays on words. I'll try my best to convey them, but don't expect much. They're headaches to translate too.
P.S. Chain Chronicle is too addictive.
It was late at night. As usual, Mahiro was lying on the bed in his bedroom, reading a book.
“Your Highness. I am coming in.”
After knocking, Edelweiss entered the room.
“My name was used today, was it not? Was Your Highness unsatisfied with how Kalro was handling things?”
“All for one fish. One factory. In times of peace, it would be all right, but not at this time. What if the outcome of the whole war is changed because a spy infiltrated today? Please consider the whole situation.”
“Edelweiss, do you know what the “Kaze's Rumor” is? Of course, I mean a specific thing.” [TL Note: Mahiro uses 風の噂 (kaze no uwasa) here. Taken literally it can mean the rumor of the wind, or in short rumor or hearsay. Mahiro states that he does not mean that.]
The maid who seldomly changed her expression narrowed her eyes at this.
“...Where did Your Highness hear of such a thing?”
“There is no way you're not explaining this.”
Edelweis dropped her pretense.
“I am surprised that you discovered them. “Kaze” is the official codename for the most elite in the Empire's Intelligence Division. They could probably sneak into the trapped dressing room easily.”
“I'm confident in my ability to sneak around.”
“But, Your Highness probably shouldn't do something as dangerous as this again. They are known for getting rid of people as quickly as the wind blows.”
Mahiro sniggered at that.
“It will be okay. I'm an unwanted person, anyway.”
“The king did not say those words. Your Highness had only decided that on your own.”
“And that is why I decided to do this myself.”
Edelweiss paused a little.
“Is that so? Then let me ask something.”
“What does Your Highness think of the possibility of the Empire invading within the week?”
“...The “Wind's Rumor”?”
Mahiro closed his book with a thump.
“Not really. Somehow, they'll come.”
“How do you intend to respond?”
“Because I hate violence, I think I will try to open discussions with them.”
“No matter how kind you are, that would be something impossible to do.”
“Then, please excuse me.”
Edelweiss bowed, then exited the room.
“...Even though I understand that, isn't there something else we could do besides resorting to violence? That's just what I think...”
No one heard what Mahiro just said. He was alone in his room. Mahiro turned off the lights, and closed his eyes as he sank into his blankets. Because of the bustle earlier that day, he immediately fell asleep.
Under the cover of night, a slant-topped carriage slipped into the encampment. Around five hundred black-armored knights knelt towards the pure gold imperial crest of the “Lion in the Moonlight” inscribed onto the side of the carriage.
“It's a bother. Raise your heads.”
Declaring with a dignified voice, a beautiful girl descended from the carriage. While she wore a smile, her eyes glinted sharply. She was dressed in a black male military uniform, her chestnut-colored hair sweeping out behind her back.
The encampment had only been laid out today. The one who was entrusted with the task was a silver-haired, fair-looking young man. Instead of armor, he was wearing a long coat identifying him as a general in the Imperial army, and on his back hung a legendary, famous sword, further identifying him as a swordsman.
As his master's gaze swept over him, he rose promptly, obeying her wishes.
“Princess. You came earlier than scheduled.”
He said these stiff words. But the princess, knowing him well, calmly smiled and nodded in acquiescence to his words.
“I was free.”
She came to the battlefield just because she was free. It was a statement quite telling of the character of the princess named Lunas. The princess headed towards the largest tent in the camp, which was still being erected. Two maids followed gracefully three steps behind her.
As Lunas started walking, she asked the young general a question.
“So, Reiner, how does it feel, your first campaign as a general?”
“We haven't yet made contact with the enemy.”
“...You're such a boring guy.”
The young man called Reiner kept his stoic appearance even through the princess's teasing. He had no tension. His seriousness was trademark of the “Seeking Sword”, his alias as one of the three Imperial Swords.
“What is the situation over there?”
“Nothing has changed from the “Wind's Rumor” as of now.”
Obviously, the wind he referred to was not the breeze one could feel in the streets. It was “Kaze” of the Imperial Intelligence Division; they “blew” through the enemy to gather intelligence. Their information was extremely trustworthy, and they were an important asset in any intelligence war.
“As I expected then, they estimated that it would take us half a month to a month to invade them.”
“During noon today, the gates were closed once, but it seems that it was to prevent some criminals from escaping. Right now the north and south gates are wide open as normal again.”
“Hmm. Well, Father, His Imperial Highness, will declare war in two days. Unexpectedly, we have sneaked quite deeply into enemy territory without realizing it, haven't we?”
Lunas said in mockery.
The camp was hidden in a dense grove on the side of a gently inclined mountain. The base had a good view of the target of the invasion: a small, weak country, smaller in size than a city. It stood only a few kilometers away.
A raid force of only five hundred knights had made this infiltration possible. It seemed like a reckless blitzkrieg attack.
“Schlevan, the “Gale”, has left following the king.”
At these words, Lunas suddenly frowned.
“Is that so.”
“What is it?”
“Nothing...I was just a bit disappointed that the famous general won't be here to meet the raid.”
Reiner narrowed his eyes at this. Because of his specialty in swordsmanship rather than in tactics, it was all the more important for him to be aware of the entire battlefield.
“This is war, princess. There is no unfairness here.”
“That's not what I meant. It'll just be boring.”
The Empire was currently expanding its territories, setting out to unify the entire southern area of the continent. She, the third princess, the famous general, known for her valiant courage, was invading other nations for this purpose.
The princess raised her eyebrows at the lavishly decorated seat, which would not have looked out of place in the middle of a ball. However, despite that, her usual fearless smile was gone, replaced by the dark grays of the armor and the shining blades of the soldiers around her.
She felt slightly depressed at her lack of a worthy opponent. It was then that the noises of a commotion from a part of the camp entered the tent.
“The demons close to this area pose no threat to us and wouldn't cause such a commotion. It must be some bandits.”
As soon as this was said, a knight came running to report, his head bowed down.
“Please excuse my interruption. We have caught someone whom we believe is a spy. What should we do with him?”
“Bring him here.”
As Lunas said this, the knight unintentionally raised his head in surprise, and then looked towards Reiner for confirmation.
It was very unusual. The person who was caught was at most a commoner and of humble birth. There was no need for those from the imperial family to concern themselves with such people.
“If there is a need to question him, then let us go instead.”
Lunas was quite serious, and did not look like she was joking around.
Before long, a man bound by ropes was dragged over. As he saw the flag of the army, the unveiled crest of the imperial family, and finally Lunas, he turned as pale as a dead person, losing his former composure.
“Wh...wh...why is the Third Princess of the Empire...! The Imperial Family, in a place like this...!!”
Obviously, he did not receive a reply. Lunas succinctly asked the vital question.
“Where are you from? Mismarca?”
The man desperately started looking for a way to escape. But he couldn't find one. He tried to think of a way to worm his way out of this. But he still couldn't find one. His opponent was the third Imperial Princess, the Sword of Luminosity, who could slay a hundred with one swing of her sword, massacre ten thousand in one battle.
When he finally realized that, he instantly lost all hope.
Lunas watched the man with narrowed eyes in ill humor all this time.
“W...wait! I'm from the Republic! I didn't come here to spy on you guys! I was only passing through! I didn't know you were here!”
Anyone placed in such a situation would panic; it was a normal response. But seeing how he was a spy, he should've prepared himself for situations like this.
“Please have mercy on me! I'll say anything you want me to! I'll defect to the Empire! I can tell you the movements of the Republic's armies, locations of their bases, anything! So please!”
Lunas looked down upon the cowering man, and then spat out a question in irritation.
“How boring. You still haven't resigned yourself to death?”
And that was the last word the man said in this world. Only a second passed between the drawing of the blade and the man's body being split open. Light then flooded forth from the blade in Lunas's hands. And after the light was gone, only ash was left of the man.
The long, single-edged sword had seven gems inserted onto the dull edge. There was a reason it was also called the “Sword of Luminosity”. It was a legacy of the ancient civilization, an artifact, a magical sword with “Seven Stars” crowned on it. Before the light it emitted, not even bloodstains were permitted to remain. [TL Notes: Both Lunas and her sword seems to be called the “Sword of Luminosity”. In addition, 七星, shichisei, meaning seven stars (or can mean the Big Dipper or Ursa Major constellations) was in quotations.]
The knights who saw the spectacle held no sympathy for the man; instead, they were fascinated by the princess's skill.
Lunas sheathed her blade, and then suddenly started laughing.
“Maybe I should've left it to you guys.”
“We probably could have gathered some important information from him.”
“Hmm. Well, it's alright. Aside from that, I'm hungry now. It's late, but let's go eat lunch.”
“With all due respect, Princess, it's not lunch, but dinner.”
Lunas waved her hands in response to the maid's interjection.
“I get it, I get it. Then let's go.”
The two maids who were like her shadows bowed in consent.
“Reiner, allow everyone to drink some wine and to dance. We should increase their morale in preparation for tomorrow.”