Letters Left Behind
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We finally arrived at the Nyukka village at the time when the sun began to set.
When I stood at the entrance of the village with my body, the village I came to for the first time in twelve days was there as it was, as if time had stopped.
In the square in the middle of houses, there was a bonfire made by the guards. Even the unburned black charcoal wood was left as it was when it went out. The only difference from when we sortie was that there were no people, horses, or birds, and wagons were taken away.
“Nobody… is here.” (Carol)
Carol said as if she didn’t feel good.
“I see… nobody, is it?” (Carol)
Carol repeated the same words. She couldn’t find any other words to use.
She was more or less discouraged. Although it was wishful thinking that a group of friendly cavalries was here together with us, she would sleep in a clean bed in Reform tomorrow, no longer be in a dangerous situation of life or death and she could be a person who would wait to go home.
Carol wasn’t really enthusiastic about such a delusion. It was just a matter of degree because when I considered it from my standpoint, I was less upset about the situation.
“…What is it? Can you no longer walk?” (Yuri)
“Look, the house is still there.” (Yuri)
The worst scenarios I was thinking of were that the village was already becoming a base for a group of enemies, all resources were unavailable and it was dangerous to approach the village. Another scenario was there were no enemies, but the village was burned. In other words, it was a scenario of the village being burned after looting.
When comparing the scenarios, the fact that the houses remained was good.
“There’s a fireplace, a bed and a futon. If you work a bit harder, you can take a bath. You can eat a warm meal, take a bath, and sleep soundly in a soft bed. So, it’s not bad at all.” (Yuri)
‘It’s not really bad. It’s really hard to spend the night without putting fire in the cold that freezes to the core of the bone.’
“Aah, yes.” (Carol)
Carol said in a relieved voice, reminding herself of the human life she once enjoyed as a matter of course. She seemed to have relaxed.
“Can you walk?” (Yuri)
“Yeah, definitely.” (Carol)
“For the time being, let’s be wary of ambush. We’re going to go around the other edge of the village and go to the mayor’s house.” (Yuri)
“Got it.” (Carol)
‘In this situation, there is no point in being excessively cautious, but there’s still mental repulsion in that matter. Even if you live alone outside of people’s eyes, it’s the same as being vigilant at minimum. This kind of thing is bad when you don’t do it as a way of doing things on the battlefield. And if I don’t do it, I feel like I’ll be abandoned by good luck.’
Through the border between the village and the forest, I arrived at the mayor’s house while watching the state of each house.
There was no particular change in the mayor’s house. There was no noise and no sign of people.
‘In the case of a large number of pursuers putting traps inside the house, it will be hard to go this way unless you have a lot of skills. However, it looks fine.’
When I turned to the front, there was a front entrance, and in front of it, there was a horse and Galloping Bird clasps. A thick horizontal bar was laid across at the level of my arm, and its two ends were put into the shack.
It was the same as when I went out. I touched the doorknob on the closed front door. It was unlocked and opened easily.
There was a large familiar entrance, and to the right was the meeting place. Although it was more cluttered than when I left, it was probably a strategy meeting when people returned here. There was no need to clean up. Rather, it was natural to remain cluttered.
I relieved my tightened shoulders. In this house, there were many places to work on, but it wasn’t so difficult to do it.
“First off… let’s find a letter. Before moving anything.” (Yuri)
“Letter, is it? It’s not strange if there’s one.” (Carol)
‘Even if they withdraw to Reform now, it’s obvious that they have been back here at least once. They should have had time to leave some kind of message.’
“Well, I’m sure of it. That’s because Myaro is there.” (Yuri)
‘Myaro never neglects this kind of thing, regardless how clumsy she was. No matter how confusing the situation may be, she would make time to leave a letter. There was a great deal of conviction about that.’
“That’s right. Let’s try to find it.” (Yuri)
“Well, if you can’t find it after searching around lightly, you can…” (Carol)
When I said that, I turned around. I looked sideways, and there was something strange on the shoe box.
There was a horn whistle. It was a fine ram horn.
‘It is undeniable that the ram’s horn is cheaper than the archaeologically valuable ivory horn, but the carefully hollowed-out horn is brilliant and beautiful. Although it is also used as a practical product, it basically has a strong local souvenir character.’
‘The drawback is the smell. When you hold the mouthpiece of this thing, it smells like a simmered animal odor stuck in your mouth, which is closer to being what you call ‘unique’.’
‘I have a very unpleasant memory of it, but the inside and outside are carefully scraped, and above all, it looks like an old one. So it hardly smells.’
‘At one time, I got a headache for about a day. There is a ridiculous view of holding it in the mouth when that thing had already smelled when it was opened.’
The horn whistle was about 80 cm long and stood out enough. It was placed on a display stand that could be lifted up with both arms and the stand was on the shoe box.
This wasn’t a problem in itself. It wasn’t a luxury article, so it wouldn’t be strange to put it at the entrance.
However, the question was that this was in the reading room on the second floor that he was using. That was what it meant.
‘For me who knew it, it was completely abnormal to be here.’
‘No matter how rushed they withdraw, there is no point bringing it up here. Even if you bring it to the front door to use it for the command, and then throw it away, you wouldn’t bring the stand.’
When I looked at it closely, I could see the edge of the paper under the horn stand. When I removed the horn, there was something like a memo.
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That was written.
I immediately opened the box, creating *pin* sound, and looked at the back of the top plate. Four letters were pasted with thumbtacks.
‘『―・』is the whistle’s signature when riding on an eagle, and it means below. It’s written like this in the textbook. If you put it under the horn whistle, it is a code that you would normally notice if you’re an eagle rider.’
“Found it.” (Yuri)
“Have you found it already? That was fast.” (Carol)
“It was hidden in a place where I didn’t have a hard time finding it.” (Yuri)
‘Myaro was also there when I put the sheep horn in my mouth before.’
‘Someone else might have missed it, but if I have an impressive memory of the horn, the possibility of overlooking it is minimal. In fact, as Myaro intended, I immediately noticed it.’
“Then, read it first. I’ll prepare the meal.” (Carol)
“Will you be alright on your own?” (Yuri)
“Yes. There are many places in the house that I can hold on.” (Carol)
‘However, it looks to be fine.’
“I’ll make a new cane tomorrow. Please prepare the meal.” (Yuri)
I took the lighter out of my pocket and handed it to Carol.
“You know how to use it. But don’t get burned.” (Yuri)
“I know.” (Carol)
I moved things to the left and right, then I sat in a chair in the meeting room. It was a comfortable chair with a deep backrest, which Liao brought from another house and used it since he liked it.
When I sat down, I felt much more relaxed than a chair with a right-angled backrest on the base of the wooden board.
The four letters were numbered instead of sealed. Of course, none of them had been opened. I tore the envelope labeled with number one by hand and started reading.
In case of emergency, it is necessary to avoid exposing your identity, so I’m writing in this way.
— Situation —
It seemed that ‘he’ reported the defeat in the battle but in fact, we don’t know the detailed damage situation at this time. Currently, I’m writing on the second day since your disappearance.
In the battle, it seems that our army, which took the maneuver warfare, couldn’t defeat the enemy army and withdrew. It seems that the overall damage isn’t so much, but the mobile unit that supported the withdrawal after the collision, seemed to wear out quite a bit. Some of the foot soldiers were confined in the Great Fortress, but I hear their morale is low. In addition, the General households of the Shaalta Kingdom refused to enter the Great Fortress and withdrew toward Reform.
This is a situation that we are currently in.
— Current status of the unit —
- We had an executive discussion from last night and decided to withdraw to Reform.
The reason is we have come to the conclusion that even if the members were used for the rescue, they would surely be wiped out without producing any result. In addition, since there are quite a few soldiers in the unit that can only move on land, if this withdrawal is delayed, it is highly likely that they will be in a fatal predicament, and it is judged that the deterioration of the situation due to waiting couldn’t be overlooked.
- Currently, ‘he’ has the final command.
At present, there’s no conflict of opinion in the upper ranks of the unit, but rather the conflict with his subordinates is intense, and it seems that ‘the person in the same room as you’ may even go to the place. In addition, three people who are respectful for ‘another person’ strongly oppose the withdrawal. As for them, ‘he’ seems to be persuaded.
- The ‘sword’ just came into contact with me.
After explaining all the circumstances, ‘it’ decided to rush to the distress point. It is unknown if there will be another contact, but it seems that the ‘sword’ will carry out ‘its’ own rescue operation.
Using that as a bargaining material, it’s considered to persuade ‘the person in the same room as you’.
- I decided to report your distress to ‘the lady’, ‘her husband’ and ‘his father’.
At present, it is because they are the only ones who are likely to help.
— Final words —
The main unit will leave the village, but if there are no particular obstacles ‘I’ will come here again in three days. Currently, the Great Fortress hasn’t fallen, so it’s judged that there isn’t much danger if ‘I’ come here by using an eagle.
At that time, if you are there, I think I can help you. So please wait here if possible after reading this letter.
If for some reason you need to leave here urgently, leave it as it is and break the horn or throw it outside.
The ‘fire trigger’ is hidden in the ‘underground’. The ‘fire trigger’ is heavy and interferes with the withdrawal, so I will leave it so it can be used.
‘As expected, it seems that the main unit has withdrawn to Reform. It looks like both Liao and Myaro have managed things smoothly.’
‘Even the hidden letter has the names covered probably because the letter may be stolen by the enemy and translated by a Shanti slave.’
‘It’s a bit difficult to translate these letters one by one, considering the time and effort, but it’s certain that it will be troublesome if Carol or my identity is identified. Not to mention Carol, Myaro really makes use of a good alias, so it’s well worth it for me alone to change the meaning.’
‘This was written… on May 29th? The crash was on the 27th, and today is June 8th if I haven’t lost focus.’
‘Well, should I read the second one? There are four letters in total.’
As a result of discussions, the search party will mainly search for roads along the coast. I also feel unlikely that you will come here again.
However, it’s not meaningless to leave a letter because this is the only base where you are likely to stop by.
I will come again three days later.
*Writing meaningless sentences to fill in the blank spaces.*
If you’re busy, you don’t need to read it.
I thought that if you were five days after the distress, you would steal a horse and come to reform.
Maybe by the time I return, you may have already been discovered by the search party. I hope that’s the case. If so, I hope no one will read this letter.
According to ‘him’, you were fine enough to climb a tree, so there’s no doubt that you are safe. However, there may be cases where the work is very difficult due to the condition of ‘the other person’. Since there is no more blank space, that’s it for now.
I wonder where and what you are doing now.
‘This would be the June 1st letter if she really came three days later. The letter was written in one piece of paper.’
‘The next letter would be June 4th. It’s a letter from four days ago.’
I guess you’re still facing some difficulties as we can’t find you.
As for the Great Fortress, the situation is becoming riskier. As a matter of fact, the enemy just surrounded it and didn’t enter the range of the bow, and it seems that the battle has never taken place.
It was yesterday that the enemy melted a large amount of metal locally and a large amount of smoke rose. Yesterday’s reconnaissance revealed that it was a large siege gun.
At the moment, it seemed that they were working to break the cast sand mold, wait for it to cool down, and put it on a support. It seems difficult to destroy it since the place is surrounded by a horse fence and many soldiers are deployed.
Still, ‘he’ and I ask them to provide the information, so that I can provide it to you in the ‘letter’ even if they try to disrupt it. If they refuse, the rescue support may be delayed, so they decided to cooperate.
There were some remaining materials, so I tried to demonstrate it. They were interested and asked about the contents, but I said that I didn’t know the manufacturing method. I was asked to provide it, so I told them 70% about it being ‘smelly water’.
Apparently, I can’t hear the gunshot from here, but it’s not strange that a fierce battle has begun by this time. I pray that it will not fall.
The fall of the Great Fortress means that his village will be in danger.
Honestly, in the current situation where it is unclear whether you will stop by this village, I don’t feel like writing a letter like this, or I feel unsettled, but… If the Great Fortress falls, it may be dangerous to come to this village like this.
Depending on the situation, I would like to come here in the next three days.
‘I see. As expected, I thought that would happen.’
‘When it comes to the device that shoots that stone bullet, it should be a very large catapult or a bombard. If it was a catapult, it wasn’t necessary to bring in a rounded stone, so I thought it would be a cannon.’
‘Perhaps, it was a brass or bronze cast. It’s not realistic to bring a huge cannon that weighs many tones to the site, but it’s not so difficult to bring a divided metal ingot on a carriage.’
‘It’s possible to make a cast iron cannon by melting iron, but unlike bronze, when the melted iron has cooled, it changes to crystalline rather than metal, and it becomes a property that cracks rather than sticks to impact. In order to make a material with a bending ductility, it is necessary to strike and temper it in a hot state, which is an unrealistic task at the size of a cannon.’
‘Well, it doesn’t matter how it was made. The question is whether the cannon was able to break the fortress or now.’
‘There’s no point in thinking about it. After all, there’s one more letter left, so it’s probably written there.’
‘Even so, if she comes three days later, I wouldn’t want to think about it, but this is the letter written yesterday.’
Yesterday, I received a report that the fortress had fallen. I don’t know the details or the whole story, but it’s certain that a cross flag is fluttering on the rocky mountain.
This place is no longer a safe place. ‘He’ stopped me from delivering this letter today.
When thinking calmly, leaving a letter that is unlikely to be read isn’t an act worth risking. It may be true, and I may no longer be calm.
I don’t know if you’re reading this. Therefore, please forgive me for spelling out my feelings that shouldn’t be written on such paper.
Please. Please come back.
I’m anxious every day when you’re not there. When I close my eyes, my heart trembles like a raging sea at night and I can’t sleep.
Where are you right now? The situation is getting worse every moment, and the voice that believes in your survival is getting weaker day by day.
However, I wouldn’t think you were dead, even after a month or two.
When the enemy approaches Reform, I will wear a hood, and infiltrate that side to find you. I don’t want to abandon the unit and take action like this. But I’m going to do it on my own.
When I think about it, I’m glad that I struggled to learn the Telor language.
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