The Girl Who Bore the Flame Ring

Chapter 46

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Before the departure to the Gembi city of Fresno, Noel was seen off by Barbas and Riglette, though Riglette had been dragged out by Barbas, and subsequently forced into it. Unfortunately, the two were going to be house-sitting.

“So, what kind of souvenir would be good? There’s lots of rare stuff in Gemb, you know. Lots of tasty stuff, too!”

“Haha, I’m fine with anythin’. More than that, I want you to come back safe.”

“As for me, I’m fine with anything that isn’t pointless. Well, considering Madress fell in large part due to my efforts, can I safely expect a suitable reward?”

Riglette looked proud enough to ascend to the heavens. Barbas, on the other hand, bore an astronomically displeased expression.

“Ummm, okay, so dried fish should be about right? It’s good grilled, and it goes great with spirits. Ah, I’m drooling just thinking about it…”

Barbas nodded happily as Noel went to wipe her mouth, “Hehe, that’d be great. Ah, and this is only if you can, but I’ve been into that Gembi wine, so if you could… man… I got absorbed in it…”

He was miming what he’d do with his alcoholic reward

“Got it. I’ll buy the best one. Everyone did their best up till now after all.”

“Hmph, I’m not some cheap woman who could be lured in by food or drink. how foolish…”

Riglette tutted with a sour expression. Even though she said that, Noel had seen for herself how Riglette hadn’t left any food on her plate when they had visited Gemb. Riglette had even bought herself some souvenirs from Willa island. She tried to hide it, but it was still as clear as day. Incidentally, there was quite a difference between the flavours of Gemb and Willa. While Gemb's was gentle, Willa's used many spices. While both were delicious, it seemed that Riglette had been taken in by the Gembi cuisine.

“Oh? Well, I guess Riglette gets nothing, then. Too bad!”

“Well… if you are going to insist, I’ll oblige you by receiving it. It would be a waste to have any leftovers.”

“So I should bring back about a thousand?”

“A-are you an idiot!? As if one person could eat all that!?”

“Ahaha, I never said it’d be all for you, Riglette. I’m going to bring some for the soldiers who fought so hard this time. For a commander, this is the time to splurge. Isn’t that right, Staff Officer Riglette?”

Noel stabbed her finger at Riglette’s nose, whose face turned completely red, before warding the finger off: a reaction as amusing as always. Thanks to her, the three years on the island hadn’t been boring at all, and it would surely continue to be like that.

“Captain… I was worrying over whether or not to say this, but hasn’t your personality gotten ever so slightly worse over the last three years?”

“Hmmm, you think so?”

“No doubt. My nose doesn’t lead me wrong, and I can smell treachery. It’s best if you wash that out real quick.”

“Hmmm, might be like a certain someone. Who could it be, I wonder? I’m a little worried now…”

“Hehe, no need to worry!” Barbas joined in on Noel’s playing dumb, “I’ll find the cause for you while you’re out, Captain!”

Riglette went back to Madress with a sharp tut.

“Well, jokes aside, please be really careful. Everyone will wait for you to return!”

“Have a nice trip, Captain!”

“Go get ’em Miss Fiend!”

“Yup, I’ll be off, then! I’m leaving Coimbra to you!"

Noel waved at those who were seeing her off, leapt onto her horse, and went to Elgar’s side.

The fortress city of Fresno was just a short ways east of the Gembi capital. It was a strong-point designed to serve as a shield for the capital in an emergency, and could survive a protracted siege as it was self sufficient to a degree. The city had been created by Siden who had learned from all the fortresses that had fallen in the previous large war in preparation for their coming day of independence.

Gemb had taken full control of Longstorm province in only a few days. Many of the people there were mostly culturally Gembi. Control was taken with relative ease as the Longstorm army had traitor after traitor, and they had been ordered to retreat to Horn. Siden had finally achieved the goal he had harboured since his inauguration as viceroy: the recapture of Gembi territory. The people of Gemb were elated with the victory, and the sounds of celebration resounded in every city and town, but Fresno alone maintained a sense of tension. Special guards formed a gate without openings, blocking the roads so that not even an insect could enter the Lord of the castle’s manor. Adding to the unusual situation were the endless patrols around the outside of the city. In reality, they had already captured several people who had seemed like imperial spies and they were being tortured thoroughly. On top of that was, naturally, the fact that it was the day when all the leaders who would waiver in their opposition to the empire were gathered. The meeting that would decide the rule of the continent, that historic moment, was about to begin. It would either become a permanent thorn in the side of the empire, or the place where everyone was captured at once. To prevent that, the Gembi officers had worked to instate such a strict guard, and were strengthening it still.

And so, the meeting of princes finally began. A round table was in the meeting room that was clad in a particularly heavy atmosphere. Beside each leader stood a staff officer with doc.u.ments and plans, and each guard had his hand on his sword as he surveyed his surroundings. Every partic.i.p.ant would present in turns: Siden represented Gemb with Haksek as his staff officer; Elgar, Noel, and Irvan represented the unified Coimbra with Cynthia as their guard; Giv and Karmbeeth had also supplied their viceroys and their close aides; and finally was Burns, who represented the Bahar Liberation Front. His highly sun-burnt skin was dark red, and he stood out the most.

This is bad. I’ve gotten sleeping… but if I get tired, I’ll be in trouble. Why do all their stories have to be so long?

Even if it was obvious, it seemed to be the rule of the meeting that every single thing had to be confirmed. Siden advanced the proceedings, and though he was good at getting to the main point, the others were verbose so the meeting became rather prolonged. Noel could see the tension in Elgar was not insignificant by how his back was straight yet stiff in his chair beside her. Irvan seemed to already be used to such settings and occasionally offered an easy to understand explanation to Elgar. They seemed like master and apprentice.

They’d be mad if I went for a little walk, eh?

Noel got gradually more bored, and when she moved to give a large yawn, she received a punch from Cynthia to her back. As a guard, Cynthia had no chair. Noel had completely forgotten that a terrific demon was behind her, and she quickly straightened up and pretended to listen carefully. Thirty seconds was all it took to make her drowsy once more.

The meeting of princes had been convened on a number of matters, and it proceeded at a snail’s pace in the face of pandemonium. Common among them all was animosity and hatred towards the empire. Not a single person in the room wished to drag things out, but they had to obstinately confirm that they would not be placed in a disadvantageous position in the future. Hence their taking much more time than needed. Even Siden wanted to wince, but he didn’t show it on his face.

“Then, would it be acceptable for every province, no, every kingdom to form a unified front in solidarity and link our fates to form a Libelikan Commonwealth in opposition to our sworn enemy, the Horsheido Empire?”

Siden’s question was met with a unified response from the other princes: “No objections!”

Gemb, Coimbra, and other provinces had declared independence and were now independent kingdoms. Commonwealth kingdoms would unconditionally provide mutual defence, creating a duty for all the member states to operate as one to defend whoever was attacked. In short: the establishment of the Commonwealth was a simultaneous declaration of war on Horsheido. Each kingdom would join the Libelikan Commonwealth, but their leadership would remain the same; the difference being a t.i.tle change from viceroy to king. The matter of utmost importance was that the meeting of princes had brought them to a unified opinion. If there was disagreement, it would be worked out by majority vote. What the kingdoms had not done before the unification of Horsheido was to consider operating as one.

Simply changing their t.i.tles didn’t change anything, but there was a chance that a man being referred to as His Majesty would cause a sense of satisfaction. Proof lay in the fact that they hadn’t simply dismissed the notion as mere foolishness. Gemb and Giv had a history of breaking out into wars over truly pointless trivialities, and neither was Coimbra entirely unrelated.

“Well then, we will use a red and white banner for our Commonwealth that represents the sun and the people. This way we can implement it right away without extra work. Are there any objections?”

“That should be fine. Lack of funds is rather common. As long as we can tell friend from foe, it should be fine for the moment.”

“I see no problems either.”

Elgar, nervous, was the last to give his a.s.sent, “N-neither do I.”

The flag adopted by the Commonwealth was simple: vertically split between red and white. White symbolized the people, red symbolized the sun. It proclaimed that the sun did not shine for the emperor’s whims, but on all people equally. While it sounded n.o.ble, the primary motivation had been cost reduction. Each kingdom had been funding their own efforts until recently, and the economy was hurting because of the war, and there was nothing left to devote to design.

“In regards to the continent, we shall send an amba.s.sador to befriend the church of the star to inform us of the details there. According to Mr. Irvan, they aren’t in a position with much leeway either. As we share a common foe, the talks may proceed favourably. It may even be acceptable to repatriate all those forced to come here.”

Having heard Irvan’s report on the continent, everyone had, for the moment, come to the same conclusion that friendship should be pursued. Even if things went well and peace with the empire was obtained, it would be bad if they were tied together. The Libelikan situation was to be clearly explained, and that they should fight together to strike at the violent empire. In the worst case scenario, the continental army would be possessed by revenge and invade the commonwealth. Such a situation had to be avoided at all costs.

“The situation will be favourable in many ways if we can exhaust our foe by having Amil continue his expedition. It may be best for us to harry the imperial navy to gain the trust of the continental leaders. While menacing, the imperial navy is not unstoppable by any means.”

“I see. That’s a very good thought.”

“There may be many more things we could do, but it is our way in Karmbeeth to triumph with the least possible resistance.”

As the various leaders raised their opinions regarding the continent, several voices were raised as some had reached their limits with the slow progression of the meeting, “Pardon me!! I am terribly sorry, but I would appreciate it if we got to the main issue soon! May I be frank in stating that the flag and some other continent don’t matter!?”

“Please be calm, Sir Burns.”

Burns of the Bahar Liberation Front, struck the round table as he responded, “As if I could!?!? Even now, our Liberation Front is being fiercely attacked by the empire! I would like to request of these Commonwealth Kingdoms, military reinforcements! That is why I slipped away from the fighting to come here!”

Unable to bear his feelings of frustration about the leisurely progressing meeting, he even seemed about to burst into violence, but without that fiery fervency, he would have already been pushed into a corner in his fight with the numerically superior Baharan army. He had raised an army in western Bahar and occupied the city of Laldo because Bartheck’s death in battle provided a good opportunity. Most of Bahar had sworn loyalty to Amil, but there were still those who were dissatisfied. It had taken a considerable amount of time to gather all those dissidents and hide their swords and wait for an opportunity. Sometimes they had even abided by Amil’s tricks. The uprising had been able to gain total control in the land surrounding Laldo, but had not been able to take the capital city of Vesta. Enemy reinforcements had been unable to retake Laldo, but he had seen the Liberation Front’s influence and numbers whittled down before his very eyes. If they could not recover from this, they would be annihilated. Burns had wagered his fate on this meeting, making it only natural for him to be so desperate.

“I understand your desire to hurry, Sir Burns. I too hold the ideal of helping our brethren in the Commonwealth; however, I would please have you wait just a while longer for the matter of reinforcements. I would like our Giv to receive priority for Commonwealth a.s.sistance. We have been beyond our limits recently, so would it not be best to reinforce us to prevent the loss of territory?”

“What are you saying!? Will you abandon us!?”

“I am not suggesting that at all. Only that we be prioritised.”

“Giv is good at joking I see! Should not the historic Karmbeeth be the priority! We are the ones facing off against Falid’s Black Sun Cavalry! Do you understand just how much damage that will cause!?”

“That is absurd. Giv is dealing with soldiers under Falid. Don’t think that you are the only one struggling!”

“Who are you talking to, b.a.s.t.a.r.d!? You used to be our va.s.sal! Don’t you know your place!?”

“At the moment, we are brothers in the Commonwealth. The past is the past and the present is the present, is that not so!?”

The kings of Giv and Karmbeeth glared at each other. Before their absorption into the empire, they had been suzerain and va.s.sal. As a result, they had estranged themselves from each other, but their feelings for the empire that had forced them to hard labour and heavy taxes were the same. That was why they had put aside their differences and come to cooperate in Horn; however, neither of them had truly experienced the war. They had been unable to defeat the prepared and well guarded defences of their enemy. The empire even went so far as to a.s.sign one of their elites: Falid, the general of the army, and his black sun cavalry to combat them. After a significant loss on the open field, their armies routed, and now they were the ones being invaded.

The ones who had won victories in their unified uprising against the empire were Gemb and Coimbra. The others had fallen into a state of disarray. The purpose of this meeting of princes in the mind of each king was to sway the leadership and gain support from the others to draw out the conflict.

“Firstly, I’d ask that you all calm down. If we hate even our allies, it will lead to the empire’s victory. Have you forgotten that our current troubles are because our predecessors once lost to the empire of the sun for that very reason!?”

With Siden’s roar, the room fell into silence.

Looking around at the situation, he drew in a new breath, and started again, “I, Siden, wish to fully understand all your difficulties, gentlemen. Before you see this as an opportunity, please remember your duty. Now then, this is something I mentioned much earlier, but I would like to consider someone to lead our unified Commonwealth army.”

“Sir Siden, do you really intend to create such a thing?”

The kings exchanged glances. He had certainly brought it up before, but n.o.body had considered it seriously. In the first place, the foundation of the Commonwealth had only been a dream at that point. Siden had likely been the only one to consider it, given he was the one who had organised the whole uprising; especially since Giv and Karmbeeth had their hands full, and Coimbra and the others like it had to regain control of their own countries.

“Of course. I have been seriously considering it. We are the ones tasked with forming a front line against the empire. We had to gather each kingdom’s elite.”

“Well… that is fine, but as I mentioned before, we do not have the capacity at the moment. The number of men we can send is extremely limited. In the first place, just who would be qualified to be entrusted with those troops?” the king of Giv questioned, “I cannot send a single soldier until that is answered.”

He seemed glad to send some troops of his own if he was helped first, but he would refuse if it was only a matter of sending men to help another kingdom. The same went for Karmbeeth and the Liberation Front. Elgar was the only other king who understood Siden’s line of reasoning, and had knitted his brows.

“That is only natural. I shall now explain everything. First, our Gemb, having not taken much damage, will const.i.tute the main force, and I intend to work to establish a governor general. Furthermore, that governor general will be based out of Laldo and support Mr. Burns’ Liberation Front. I believe it to be highly important for us to establish western Bahar as its own kingdom.”

“W-wait, Sir Siden! Will you abandon your brethren and send troops away from lands we have yet to solidify our influence!? What are you thinking…”

“Listen to everything I have to say first!”

Siden pointed at the indignantly standing king of Giv, and who quietly sat down when he noticed a murderous glint in Siden’s eyes.

“I am well aware of the threat posed by the black sun cavalry. Knowing this, why would I focus strength on Bahar? Located in the centre of the continent, if we can pressure Bahar, the enemy will be forced to turn the black sun cavalry’s focus there. That much is a.s.sured.”

“Might you inform us as to why you are a.s.sured of that? We are the ones currently threatened, so if you have no evidence, we cannot consent.”

“If you think it over calmly, it is a very simple matter. Bahar is the home of the inc.u.mbent emperor Amil. His most dependable imperial troops were primarily drawn from Bahar. Even just looking at a map will reveal that on the off chance that Bahar falls, it will drive a wedge through the empire. It is, therefore, of the utmost strategic importance to the empire. In summary, if we can cut into them there, the pressure will surely ease on Giv and Karmbeeth alike.”

“I see…”

“Certainly… it’s as you said. I apologise for letting the blood rush to my head and not considering it.”

The king of Giv’s meek apology was immediately followed up by one from the king of Karmbeeth, “I too am unused to war, and so was unable to think so far ahead. Sir Siden, gentlemen, I sincerely apologise for raising my voice.”

“We are brothers in arms in our fight against the empire. Do not worry over such things.”

“Thank you for your consideration. Then, Sir Siden, to whom, exactly, do you intend to grant the position of governor general. We must appoint a man of great valour if he is to oppose Falid.”

All present held their breath as they surveyed the room. Whoever was the governor general would seize the initiative, and become the face of the Libelikan Commonwealth. Though he would lack total political control, it mirrored the emperor’s status in the empire. In reality, all of the leaders would jump at the opportunity as was natural of one with ambition, but they kept their mouths shut, and n.o.body moved.

“I’ll ask just in case, but is there one among us like that? Of course, both bravery and valour are necessary. While the governor general will forfeit his vote at the federal a.s.sembly, he will be given a large responsibility.”

Seizing the initiative was worth much more than giving up the right to vote at a meeting decided by majority vote, but the one who did would not only become the face of the Commonwealth, but also its sword and shield. Then, he would immediately have to confront Falid, and be faced with what would certainly be a difficult fight. In the event of defeat, he would not only be forced to take full responsibility, but also lose his life. It was a post in the shadow of ruin, and would be far too harsh on the nerves.

Siden looked over the room to confirm, and spoke, “It appears there is none.”

Everyone had determined that Siden would take the position for himself. There wasn’t really a problem with it, considering that the majority of the soldiers sent would be Gembi. Above all, he had taken Longstorm in a short amount of time, and there were no objections to the political influence that had arranged everything up until that point. The rulers each had an expression of resignation. There was no discussion if victory wasn’t achieved.

“Then, while this is rather forward, I would like to express my opinion. I believe that the most suitable personage is one you all know, a valorous and exceedingly effective military leader who is most feared by Bahar.”

With his words, the room went abuzz with quiet voices asking, “It isn’t Siden?” and, “Is he going to entrust it to someone?”

“J-just who?”

“Present over there is Sir Noel Bosheit, who I believe is likely to be most suitable. Gemb recommends this woman."

“Ha… hahaha, Sir Siden, enough with the jokes…”

“T-that’s right. You can’t just say anything like…”

The kings of Karmbeeth and Giv reflexively began to mock, but quickly shut their mouths when they seriously considered her qualifications.

“While I am sure you are all well aware of why she is suitable for the task, I shall explain. Once appointed to her position as governor general, she will bear the brunt of the might of Bahar. She partic.i.p.ated in the previous Coimbra-Baharan war and has experience fighting the black sun cavalry. Furthermore, she took to her feet and seized Evear in North Coimbra along with Madress in South Coimbra; not to mention her taking the head of Bartheck, viceroy and major general of Bahar. None can object to her bravery or leadership skill, or even popularity with the plebeians. I do not believe that there exists an individual of equal qualification alive today.

Complicated expressions flashed across the faces of all in the room. While she may have been valorous, they could not accept a mere knight and a commoner girl at that, to rise to equal status with themselves, but this was not the appropriate place to mention that.

“While… I understand your reasoning, Sir Siden, she is a woman. Can she really lead a large army?”

“That is irrelevant. Age or s.e.x matters not. Important above all is getting results, and she has splendid achievements.”

“T-that is true, but…”

“Still, I do understand your hesitation. For this reason, let us despatch observers from each kingdom to monitor her.”

“Hm-hmmm… When you put it that way, I have no objections, but…”

“We in the Liberation front have no issues with this whatsoever. Rumors of Sir Noel the Fiend have spread to every corner of Bahar. Our enemies will certainly tremble with fear. She will be very reliable as reinforcement indeed.”

Mr Burns nodded strongly. He knew how fearsome the fiend was, having partic.i.p.ated in the previous war and witnessing for himself how she fought.

“You have been quiet since earlier, but I would appreciate your input, Sir Elgar. Sir Noel is a retainer of Coimbra. If you don’t agree, we can’t force you to.”

Elgar was troubled, having figured out where it was going before Siden’s question had even finished.

“W-well, I…”

His true desires strongly opposed it. If he could have, he wanted to shout his opposition in a loud voice. Why did Coimbra have to hand over its best officer? She was a Coimbran retainer without a doubt. Elgar wanted to have her work with him as a major general to get Coimbra back on its feet. Together, they would bring wealth to the kingdom, which Elgar thought was at least connected to happiness; however, he could see Siden’s point. If his brethren in the Commonwealth fell into ruin, the flames would eventually spread to Coimbra. There was a chance that it would only end in his going to meet his fate surrounded by enemies as his father had: the worst possible scenario.

What should I do? Is it correct to send Noel away now? She might not ever come back…

It wasn’t just for Coimbra’s sake that he wanted to keep her. Elgar was aware that his own feelings were well mixed in with his judgement. He also knew that those feelings were in vain. He already had a fiancee in Illum. Nothing was going to happen. Noel had already served him enough. She had retaken Coimbra for him as per her word. All that remained was their cooperation in the search for happiness: a task accomplishable if they both worked for the Commonwealth. That was it, he forced himself to consent to hold back the emotions boiling within him.

I’m clearly giving Noel special treatment. I know it, but I can’t stop. It’s impossible.

Elgar knew that his appointing Noel to her high status had sent ripples through his retainer base. Perius had been policing the situation and gently hammering the issues down. Nothing had happened so far due to the strict enforcement, but Elgar knew it would continue to occur. If he crossed the line, the scales would tip. If that occurred, he had a premonition that it would cause Noel unhappiness. That was why Elgar forced himself to consent. He had to decide to give up a treasure that should never be sold, a treasure that he absolutely wanted to keep, and entrust her to the Commonwealth. He knew that he would regret it enough to want to die.



He spoke softly to Noel as she drowsily rubbed her eyes.

Aside from some red in her eyes, Noel’s expression was the same as always. Elgar’s own emotions were about to overflow, but he desperately held them in. He was the ruler of Coimbra. He had to cast aside his personal desires. He had to survive and work for the sake of the people.

“If it is you, I believe this task can be brilliantly accomplished, what do you think?”

“But… what’ll happen to the promise I made to serve you, young master?”

“Serving the Commonwealth will serve Coimbra, and thereby me as well. We are people of the Libelikan Commonwealth after all. Even if you are the governor general, it won’t change that.”

“Yeah, but…”

Elgar forcefully cut her off, “You have served Coimbra enough: once under my dead father, twice under me. If you still want to achieve happiness, I think you should take up this grand post.”

She gave a small nod.

“Okay, I get it. Then I'll accept the position of governor general.”

Her casual response had Elgar finding himself smiling. She really didn’t feel any tension. It made him feel like a fool to have been so worked up. She wouldn’t change no matter what status she rose to, and it made him a little bit jealous.

“Please wait, one small moment, Sir Noel. I would like you to promise us before you accept the position. Promise that you will work for the sake of the Libelikan Commonwealth, and for the sake of its people. I would like you to protect the plebeians as though they were your companions.”

“Okay, I understand.”

Noel nodded, but Siden didn’t accept it. He had already seen through her equivocations. She would always keep her promises, but when she didn’t want to, or didn’t care, she would casually spout, “yeah, I understand.” Kai had looked into it, and it seemed to mean that she understood what was being said, but didn’t care to do anything about it. Essentially, her statement meant: I heard you.

Knowing that, Siden asked once more with a bit of a headache, “That is not enough. I would like to request a clearly stated promise. This is a highly important matter, and we cannot afford to equivocate.”

“Sir Siden, is there really a need to go so far?”

“No, this needs to be done. It is an important ritual for her. I would like to drive home the point and prevent any future troubles from cropping up.”

Siden wanted to make very sure of what was going to happen, having experienced many painful memories in his previous interactions with Noel.

Noel made her announcement reluctantly after about three minutes of agonizing over it: “I will, while acting in my position as governor general, work for the sake of the people of the Commonwealth; again, I promise to strive to protect them.”

Noel had given her promise in an extreme monotone whilst holding up one hand. Hearing that, all present began to feel incredibly uneasy, but there was nothing to be done about it. If Siden wanted to regain control of the situation, he would have to cause that feeling to abate.

And so, having taken half of a day, the Fresno meeting of princes came to a close.

A grand proclamation was made on the bulletin boards of the kingdoms of the Commonwealth: “The four kingdoms announce a brave alliance, a union of fates, the establishment of the Libelikan Commonwealth. We, the Commonwealth, declare war on the empire that has ruined the continent in self interest. Furthermore, we announce the establishment of a governor general to lead the front against the empire. Noel Bosheit has a.s.sumed the office of First Governor General of the Commonwealth Army.”

News rapidly reached the provinces of the empire, along with emperor Amil himself. The Libelikan Commonwealth had been formed, and it declared war on the Horsheido Empire, but the most discussed news was the appointment of a girl of common origin, Noel Bosheit, to the position as first governor general of the commonwealth army. Commonwealth citizens hailed with celebration the birth of a hero of common birth, and the citizens of the empire remembered the dread of the fiend which had come back to haunt them.

Noel herself was in a good mood because she got to wear the cloak and armour Siden had prepared for the governor general. The armour was the red of the commonwealth, and her white cloak bore her twin hammer crest. Adorned with countless fripperies, the armour appeared rather dashing. Noel was glad to witness the birth of another treasure. With that energy, she ran atop the ramparts, and accepted the adoration and celebration of the people of Fresno with raised hands.

“I’m the Libelikan Commonwealth’s governor general, eh? Isn’t that super high cla.s.s? So, is it better to be a commander-in-chief or a governor general?”

She didn’t have a fief, but it was still great status. If she failed somehow, it seemed like her position would be stripped with haste, but it would be fine if she worked hard to ensure that didn’t happen. Noel thought positively about it.

“Y-you’re… the First Governor General of the Commonwealth Army… am I dreaming?”

“Want to confirm it, then?”

Noel closed her fist with a smile, and Cynthia quickly rejected it. It probably wasn’t serious, but there was the possibility that it was revenge for all the previous blows she had received.

“Nono, it’s fine. I’m just a little overwhelmed. Mn, I’m fine.”

“I bet everyone’ll be surprised. I can’t wait to go back!”

“Is this… really okay?”

“It’ll probably be fine. Look at the sky, see. What a gorgeous sunset!”

Noel pointed at the view. The bright red sun was lowering behind distant mountains, but Cynthia’s gaze was captured by something else: Noel’s face as she gazed coldly at the setting sun. She had one leg up triumphantly on the rampart, and her hand heroically on her hip, but she seemed a different person than usual. Her full body was bathed in red, her glowing hair billowed like a flame in the wind, and she almost appeared to be a hero from a fairy tale.

Author’s Note:

It’s February 12th, so… Happy Birthday?

Translator's Note:

I had written everything as ‘state’ before I found out they were kingdoms. Kingdoms are still states, and calling them Commonwealth states would be correct, but kingdom is more precise. Or should it be a Federation instead of a Commonwealth? It just doesn’t feel right to put kings under some federal government, even if it is comprised of said kings.

Four more chapters to go. I know there are people who have translated hundreds of chapters and it is no big deal, but I almost can’t believe that I’ve come this far. The end is in sight: two years of debatable work-ethic brought us where we are today.

I’ve decided to trust nearly all the editing to the editor and focus more on the translation of the next chapter instead. Previous chapters had been looked over by me 3-4 times to polish when I had time, and once super hastily when I didn’t, but this one was barely scanned by myself before release. If you didn’t notice anything: thank the editor because it means I’ll probably be able to fit in an extra page or two of translation per week. If you think this chapter was better to read than the others: thank the editor.

Editor's Note:

Another Fortnight, another chapter! This one see's Noel becoming head honcho of our ragtag bunch of misfits… were that actually the case. Instead, the story seems to be steaming, naw, launching full speed ahead towards a giant showdown! Stay tuned for more awesomeness from our red headed heroine!