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Four days had passed since the day of the crash.
In front of me, the forest was open and a road was running straight across.
The road was an old industrial road, and stones cut out from rocky mountains that were now a fortress were exported through this road.When exporting Verdun stones to Shaalta or anywhere else, horse-drawn carriages were used to carry the stones from and to the sea.
‘However, since the quarrying of the Verdun stones is still in operation for a bit, does that mean this road is still active?’
The road surface was naturally paved with Verdun stones.
I came out to the road and made sure that there was no traffic.There were only leaves on the road surface.
‘Aah, that’s good.’
‘The forest that is cut off in a straight line from the great fortress to the sea by this cobblestone road.That means that once soldiers are placed here, there is no way to escape.’
‘If the net is closed because the three directions other than the sea will be filled with enemies, it will become a desperate situation like a bug get caught by a bug net.’
‘If that happened, I was going to break through during the night, but it would be a gruesome adventure.’
‘And if I pass through here safely, there’s no such road until Reform.It’s the way of life of the villagers who live in the forest, so it’s not a threat because I will just run endlessly. Plus, such a road isn’t good for the inspection using the soldiers.’
‘And, there’s one more thing.It seems that Carol’s identity hasn’t been discovered yet.’
‘The understanding of that side is either there is a Shanti of an unknown identity (who is probably a noble) or perhaps, if the camouflage was discovered, there are two people who are running away. However, it’s not a blonde Shanti woman running away. ‘
‘If they knew a blonde Shanti was running away, they would spare no soldiers on the road and blockade the forest, unless they are fools.’
‘That’s because it’s worth to do so.The act of keeping thousands of soldiers on the road and blocking the forest is a heavy burden on tens of thousands.It’s not worth doing it if it’s a worthless noble.However, if it’s a high-value goal like Carol, the situation is completely different.’
I turned my back on the road.
“How was it…?” (Carol)
When I went deeper, Carol, who had left her back from a tree, asked uneasily.
“It’s fine. It’s seems they aren’t on lookout.” (Yuri)
“So… are we moving?” (Carol)
“Yes. Honestly, I really want to wait till night.” (Yuri)
‘Although the road isn’t constantly monitored, there will be traffic.It’s not a winding road, it’s a straight line. So, they can see us in a distance.’
“That’s because it will be a waste to do nothing for the whole day.” (Yuri)
It was a time when the sun had finally climbed.
‘The possibility of being chased isn’t zero, so it’s still a waste to devote the entire afternoon to a break.’
‘If I were too relaxed because of no pursuit, the fortress will have already fallen by the time we reach Reform. It could be surrounded and we couldn’t enter. Yes, it may become something like that.’
“Alright. Shall we?” (Carol)
Carol stood up using her crutches dexterously.On the contrary, I crouched down and turned my back.
Her chest fell on my back and she immediately put her hand around my neck.I took her feet and stood up in one go.
Since I had been doing this over and over again in the last few days, it went pretty smoothly.Carol held her crutches in front of my chest and I started walking.
After walking for five minutes, I could see the road ahead.
Carol muttered near my ear.
“There’s something that makes a sound.” (Carol)
I shuddered and stopped.
I couldn’t hear it at all, probably because I was walking with my loud breathing.When I stopped breathing and concentrated my ears, in addition to the heart beating due to fatigue, there was certainly an inorganic sound from a distance.
‘Should I turn back?No, even if I turn back, they may be able to see my back if they are on foot.I’m afraid of that.’
I crouched down and slowly lowered Carol behind a hidden tree.By that time, the sound was already loud enough.
It was the sound of horse hoof stepping on the cobblestones.I could hear the characteristic sound of *pakka* *pakka*.
‘The horse hoof isn’t designed to walk on the cobblestones for a long time, so there’s always a horseshoe.’
When iron and cobblestones collided and the thick fibrous hoof made a sound, it became such a sound.There was nothing else that could make such a sound.
“Don’t talk.” (Yuri)
“Don’t make a fool of me.” (Carol)
‘Do you have to say that?’
‘However, it was really good that Carol noticed the sound.It would be a big deal if they could see us on the road.’
‘No.Is it too early to decide that it’s an enemy army to begin with?For some reason, it’s possible that the enemy is taking time to advance from the battlefield, and it may be a friendly army that passes through.
‘Then, the situation will improve all at once.I just have to shout ‘Oii! Come out and help us!’. All the problems that are currently bothering me will be solved swiftly.
‘Should I wait…’
The sound of the hoof approached.From the intermittent strumming sound, I could guess that there were more than one horse.Along with the sound of horses, I could also hear the rattling sound of wheels hitting the rough cobblestones.
The sound became louder and louder, and I became more and more worried, probably because there were so many of them.
“Don’t show your face. It would be burdensome if they could see your hair.” (Yuri)
I spoke in a low voice.
The golden color was too conspicuous in the forest.It might get attention just by looking through the shade of a tree.
“Got it.” (Carol)
“I’ll observe.” (Yuri)
After a while, when the sound came to the nearby road, I put half of my face out of the trunk and looked at the road for a moment.
In sight, there was a procession of carriages and people that came into view.
I immediately withdrew my head.
‘It’s different.It’s enemy.’
‘The design of the clothes is clearly different from the Shanti.It’s Kuran.
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‘Aah, enemy…As I expected, things aren’t so convenient.If it becomes like this, I have no choice but to wait for it to pass.’
‘However, in this situation, are these people in the supply train?’
‘Looking the direction, they are heading from the port toward the great fortress.Then, it’s reasonable to think that the port has already fallen.’
‘Haah…I wonder if I can go home.’
In such a situation, pessimistic thinking deprived the ability to be active.Pessimism discouraged the willingness to move forward, and the brain burned calories just by fighting anxiety.Such meaningless energy consumption made the situation worse.
Therefore, I was consciously trying to keep away from pessimistic thoughts…However, this place was completely ours until just a week ago.The enemy supply train was passing through here meant that…
‘It makes me want to cry.’
‘No…The fortress is a facility for this purpose. Isn’t it pessimistic to think of that…’
‘I should be able to go through it.However if I do so, I will be struck by a pincer attack from the group that comes out of the fortress and the group that comes from the rear.Of course, the supply line will also be cut off, so no one make that foolish action.’
‘So, if they continue the siege by surrounding it with a large army so that people can’t come out of the fortress or perhaps they can bypass the fortress and advance the army first, but they would run out of army to hit the next goal. For example, Reform/’
‘A fortress is a facility that is nuisance.Therefore, the enemy may not go beyond here until the fortress is captured.’
‘However, in reality, can I expect that to happen…?’
When I was worried, there was a sound coming from the road suddenly.
There was a hard sound.
‘I think they are surprised.’
Carol’s body, with whom I was hiding together, trembled loudly at her feet.
I was also quite surprised.
It was scary to put out the face while thinking so.
‘Rather than the time of walking on the road leisurely, there are surely a growing vigilance since there are trouble this time.The meaning of a forest scenery which had nothing would change, the eyes would also change, and the number would increase as well.’
‘What should I do?’
With that in mind, a creaking sound was heard and I felt like the carriage made a stop.
“Ouch, it fell down.” (??)
I was the only one who could understand the voice.It was the Kura language… or rather the Telor language, so Carol shouldn’t be able to understand it.
Soon, there was a light fluttering sound that was heard from the southern side.It didn’t pull anything. It was a horse on which a person was riding.Then…
“Did you drop it!? What are you doing!?” (??)
There was a voice of a man with a rough tone, probably because he was a commander.
‘I’ve only heard the native Telor language spoken by Eisa-Sensei, which is different from Harold’s.’
‘Compared to that of Eisa-Sensei, it was a lot more dialect and had a strange intonation, but it’s not inaudible. Eisa-Sensei’s Telor language is the most proper pronunciation spoken in Vaticanus, but since the Telor language spoken area is so wide, it may be sound like a dialect if they leave the Papal States.’
“Tsk… Quickly reload it!” (??)
‘I wonder what he dropped…Considering the loudness of the sound, it sounded like a heavy object.’
‘It didn’t sound like a lot of apple-like fruit drop nor a wooden box full of heavy objects fell.’
I could hear the voice of someone struggling.
‘What is that? It seems he’s doing his best.’
‘It shouldn’t be the case, but I feel like laughing.’
“Haa… haa… Oi, don’t just stand there. Help me out!” (??)
‘That person is probably not saying it to the man on the horseback, who was commanding him.’
That was the first reply I heard.It sounded dull with the impression of someone who wasn’t focusing on the situation.
“Hey, hold it over there.” (??)
“Guhhhh! Ugh…” (??)
“Haa… haa… this is considerably…” (??)
‘It seems that two people aren’t enough to lift it.Although they are putting effort, they still can’t lift it up huh?’
‘What kind of item (not that I know of) that can’t be lifted by two adults?Is it a full liquor barrel or something?I didn’t hear such a sound, and if it was a barrel that filled with heavy objects, wouldn’t it break if dropped?’
“What the…!? Can’t you lift it up!??” (??)
“Haa… I think you’ll understand if you try it. It just stays still.” (??)
‘That’s somehow difficult.I wonder what they are going to do.I’m waiting for them to move on, but how long should I wait?’
“If you can’t lift with your arms, how did you load it in the port!?” (??)
“That is… well, even a strong man put it on with a lever. So, it’s impossible to lift it with this weak arms.” (??)
“Tsk… Useless.” (??)
‘In that case, that guy should get off the horse and lift it up with three people.’
‘I think that thing is for other people, so they would probably promise not to say anything.Well, it’s a matter of noble pride.’
“Aah, fine! Just leave it!!” (??)
“Eh, is that alright?” (??)
“One is fine. However, if you drop it next time, I will cut your arm! Tie the hood tightly!” (??)
‘After that, they may only take one minute to do it, right?There was a sound of tying a string. Then, when I heard the sound of waving the reins, the horseshoes started to pave the cobblestones again, and the carriage went out.The stagnant supply train also moved again, and began to make a rattling noise.
‘I wonder what that is…’
After the sound was completely gone, I moved out first and checked the way.
The tense hustle and bustle that I mentioned earlier had calmed down as if it was a dream.There was also no one here.
“I’m going to look…” (Yuri)
When I said that in a whisper, Carol nodded.I carefully headed to the road, and first made sure that no one was really there.
There were no animals or people in the vicinity.I looked at the road surface to figure out what they had dropped.Then, there was something that could be understood at a glance without looking at it too much.
It was a stone.It was a big stone with the width of my shoulders.
However, it wasn’t a stone that could be found in the forest here.It was scrapped with a chisel or something, and it almost became a round sphere.
‘Is the material… granite?’
It has a completely different texture from sandstone and limestone, which can be broken by tapping with a hammer or something similar.’
Apparently, at the end of their conversation, they pushed it away and the stone was rolling off the road, and it was on the soil.The stone pavement where the stone dropped was broken, and I was able to see a rough cross section that was different in quality from the weathered surface.
‘So, it’s not going to be easy to lift it up manually.’
‘Even I want to say ‘Don’t be ridiculous’ if I were asked to do it.It’s probably more than 150 kg.’
‘If two or three people lift it up at full strength, it’s not impossible to lift it up, but the problem is its shape.Since it’s spherical, it’s hard to hold it.’
‘If one person slips his hand, somebody will probably get into an accident.The horse riding noble might be unwilling to give up and push it to the side of the road, but that was a correct answer.’
I almost knew what this stone was for.
‘I have no choice but to express my condolences to those who are in the great fortress.’
‘No, is it better to pray that some kind of accident will occur and the plan will not be feasible?Perhaps, it is an experimental plan, so there’s a high possibility that some catastrophe occurs to the accidental discharge.’
‘However, they are very tactful to prepare so much in a week after winning the battle.It must be a detailed and careful plan.Even if they are enemies, I feel like praising them.’
‘Considering the plan of those tactful people, praying for an accident seems to have a little hope.’
‘…Let’s go back. This is something out of my reach.’
When I looked away, I entered the forest where Carol was waiting.
- I only put the map just to point out the current location. It’s not really in the raw chapter.
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