Chapter 76. Heroes from Far Away (1)
I explained my plan to draw in the fire demon king Jackerd to Walpurgis. Upon hearing my plan, she was impressed, yet she shook her head wildly.
“You’ve come up with another great idea with your demon king like face.”
I could always talk over anything, but my tongue got tied when she pointed that out.
“Hmm! At any rate, there is nothing to worry about. Walpurgis.”
“Valer, you’re truly excellent in outwitting your opponent. However, one thing worries me.”
Walpurgis was concerned about the city, beyond the other side of the Rhine River, which had been overtaken by the demon queen Amunde.
“What happens if the water demons hatch their eggs there, as they have done in Rhinefelden? Many will not only lose their lives, but I’m also concerned that the enemy’s number will increase dramatically.”
“Ah, that. It will certainly increase big time, but there is a limit to it.”
The reason being was that most of the water demons were boneheaded. So, it requires a leadership in order to take charge and control them. And that leadership always had a limit.
“Then I suppose we could assume that the number of enemies will not increase?”
“Right. On top of that, the city and its citizens are also good resources for her. She would not want to destroy them.”
At the same time, it wasn’t possible to remain passive. The demon queen Amunde’s leadership was known to increase with time. If she was not dealt with early on, she might grow too powerful to do anything against her.
In fact, there was an occasion which ended badly because of the demon queen Amunde. It was because her water demon troops grew to 300,000 in the latter half of the game.
There were only 100,000 troops in all of the empire, so it was natural to have gotten run over by her as her troops outnumbered by a factor of three. It was a horrible ending in which all the humans became the water demons’ food.
“A great calamity will result if we fail to deal with her in a timely manner. She will reach a phase where she could not be attacked. So, the success of this plan will be the watershed moment as to whether we can take back the Southwest of the empire or not.”
I intended to personally go to Trier to make this plan a reality. Fortunately, one of the 11 magically bridged cities of the Walpurgis Sisterhood was Trier, so it wasn’t too difficult to go there.
“This location, divided by the Rhine River, will remain calm for a while. I’ll leave my territory in your charge. Discussing issues with General Tilly should help you oversee everything with ease.”
“Got it. I’ll protect this place with iron walls.”
As long as great people like Walpurgis and Tilly were holding this place, even the demon queen Amunde wouldn’t be able to invade easily. Besides, the friendly troops remained in whole.
“Please assign Pappenheim as the cavalry leader. He is a genius in leading a cavalry.”
I wanted to bring capable Pappenheim with me to Trier, but that wasn’t easy. Trier, who ruled Trier, was a holy feudal lord of the world. So naturally, since Trier was a religious city, it wasn’t a place which an undead could walk into.
So, I decided to take only sergeant Max with me. It was because it cost too much to take many through the teleportation transport.
“My lord, I’ll serve you the best I can.”
“Good. Let’s hurry.”
Only a half a day was needed to get to Trier. This was the oldest city in the empire. Perhaps, that was why old world charm buildings were everywhere. Every place in the city was a ruin.
“My lord, where are we headed?”
I fell in to a thought for a while when Max asked me that. The reason for being here was simple. It was to mediate the feudal lord Trier and the demon king Jackerd who were going to die of explosion, at the negotiation table, as fall arrived.
As both the feudal lord Trier and the demon king Jackerd weren’t much help to me to begin with, I was just going to let them struggle against each other. However, my plan changed because of that crazy demon queen Amunde’s unanticipated aggression.
“We still have some time, so will go see someone, first.”
After having had thought over, I decided to engage a person whom I had my eyes on earlier. I was short of good people as my influence has grown by so much in the recent days.
I have been mobilizing the undead in resolving issues, but after I’ve become the Count of Wittenweier, it became harder to call on the undead from the shadows.
Even in the middle of this critical mission, seeing that an ordinary man A was next to me told how short staffed I was.
“We’re going to Konz.”
Konz was a tidy, pretty city located just below Trier, near Zar and Mosel Rivers. By now, there should be a hero who I want there.
“Who are you going to see?”
“Senor Capitan Giacomo Albino.”
“Senor… Cappi? Who?”
Senor is a formal way to address a man. Senorita is reserved for a woman. And capitain meant leader or captain. Max stuck out his tongue when I explained what those words meant.
“My lord is so highly educated that you know everything. Anyway, then it means he is a captain? What language is that? I’ve never heard it before.”
“It’s the language of the distant Iberian Peninsula. Senor Capitain is said to be from the city of Valencia, in Iberia.”
This world was based in Europe, and if where you’re standing is Germany then Senor Capitain would be from Spain.
“Wow, why did he come here from that far?”
“Well, that I don’t know. I heard that he spends time teaching swordsmanship as a side work, in the village.”
Having already reached the level beyond an ordinary man of sword, Giacomo was a powerful man who was at the cusp of being a great swordsman. It appears that he was just staying in Konz for no reason, but it was heard that the underlings of the demon king wouldn’t dare to get close to Konz as they were aware of his skill.
“Anyway, will such a powerful man follow easily? Such people are weird to start with.”
“True. Such people cannot be bought with money, either. At the same time, they don’t step forward to say that they want to save the world, so even luring them with some great principle won’t work, either.”
“Then what are you going to do?”
“You just watch and see. I don’t do anything without a plan, right?”
Max nodded his head after hearing me.
“You have a suspicious expression?”
“One end of my lord’s lips is raised. As evil smile is filling your façade, I will only know that you have some kind of a plan.”
“Huhu! You. You have read it accurately!”
We arrived at our destination in no time as we shared small talks. The charming, white houses, in the area by the river where it was U-shaped, were beautiful.
“You are not going into the village?”
“Around this time, he should be teaching kids at the park outside the town.”
“You know well? Have you met him before, by any chance?”
Perhaps, he was an old acquaintance, since I met him in the past. I went to the precise location where he was teaching his swordsmanship. Then there, a rather chubby man was teaching swordsmanship to children, there.
“Is he the captain, you’re talking about? I can’t see him as a man of great swordsmanship?”
“Don’t render a judgment from its cover. Sergeant.”
Having a jug like built, due to overwhelming fat on his body, he was demonstrating a level of agility which did not seem possible with such a body type. On top of that, he was light on his feet and flexible.
I, too, was very surprised to see him move like a bird with that body shape. He was 54 years old, now, yet his movements were quick, and looked as if he has never lost any pace.
I called him as I got off the horse, and he looked over in this direction. He dismissed the children.
“I’ve a guest. We’ll stop here, for today. Go and rest!”
After saying goodbye to each child individually, he finally came over to me.
“Who is this gentleman?”
“I’m the Count of Wittenweier. I’ve heard so much about you, Senor Capitain that I’ve decided to pay you a visit.”
“Wow! I’m just an old country man. I’m honored to see you come all the way to find me?”
Like an aristocrat, he didn’t show any sense of being surprised even when I introduced myself as a count.
“I’ve grown very respectful of Senor Capitain. The reason for my visit here is to observe Senor Capitain’s ultimate skill, the Gigantica Ventaclio.”
He looked shocked when he heard me.
“How do you know that skill?”
It was a technique which can only be executed by him, and it could certainly be worthy of being called an absolute skill. Although he was currently living in the country, like this, he had earned a great fame with this skill, in the past.
It was like I brought out that part of his past.
“How would anyone not know that great sword skill? I’ve heard the name of the sword skill in Iberia, very long time ago. The fact that you’ve defeated three great swordsmen at one time by using Gigatinca Ventaclio skill is very well known, even today, right?”
“Huh-huh! Such an exaggerated story is still alive, today.”
He looked to be reminiscing upon hearing my words. It was already 20 years ago when his name became well known in all over Iberia.
“I know that you’ve earned so many accolades from all the passionate gentlemen after you annihilated the three great swordsmen, at that time. Senor Capitain.”
“It was the fame earned by an accident. I’m too old and lost my capability that such great defensive skill is no longer possible.”
Gigantica Ventaclio was an ability which cancelled the opponent’s attacks then immediately following it with a counterattack. Once one reached the ultimate skill level, it was said that there would not be any skills which could not be cancelled or countered against.
Furthermore, as it could cancel magic as well, it could in fact be the ultimate level of swordsmanship.
“Senor Capitain. I know that you have been continually improving that skill, since that day.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Haha. I, too, am a swordsman.”
Taking off my cape, I handed it to Max. And then I took out the Rubleyana from my waist.
“A great swordsman once said. The greed for a swordsmanship by a swordsman sees no end, like always growing green grass.”
“….Yes, but winter arrives by law of nature.”
“However, where would that root go? Please, grab your sword. Senor Capitain. A new season is dawning.”
He was wearing a rapier and a great sword on his waist band. As if he took care of them, even today, it looked well oiled, and there was not a hint of rust on it.
Just from that, I could tell that his passion for swordsmanship was continuing. However, as if something was bothering him greatly, he only massaged the sword on his waist. Then with a change in his eyes, he asked me in a serious tone of voice.
“Do I truly need to draw my sword?”
It was only a simple question, but my heart pounded at that moment. The tips of my hands were already beginning to shiver at the thought of dueling against the ultimate swordsman. However, my mouth was much braver than my hands.
“Well, as we are here, like this, I’d like to answer that with the words engraved on your sword, Senor Capitain.”
His eyes grew big as if he did not expect that kind of response.
“No me saques sin razon / No me enbaines sin honor.”
“No me saques sin razon/No me enbaines sin honor. Do not draw me without reason/Do not withdraw without honor.”
That was, now less remembered by people, the motto of Giacomo Albino. Those engraved words, on the surface of his rapier was once famous in Iberia, in the past.
Many swordsmen that wanted to imitate him used to engrave the same words on their own swords, even. When I pointed that out, he was getting excited. Many feelings must be crossing him, inside.
“I intent to now withdraw this sword without honor. Senor Capitain.”
I said as I pointed the tip of my Rubleyana directly at him. There was a reason for me to be acting in this way.
The prerequisite for engaging was to revive the passion of dead swordsmanship. The easiest way was to defeat him, but that would not even be possible for me, at my level. Instead, it would be possible to penetrate through his ultimate skill Gigantica Ventaclio, by provoking him. I was confident in my own way.
“Senor Capitain. If I cut off a piece of your clothes, I’ll be the victorious one in today’s battle.”
“Isn’t that too one sided, in your favor?”
“However, you have the Gigantica Ventaclio skill?”
I made an invidious remark on purpose.
“Perhaps, my junior swordsmanship, well short of having reached the great swordsmanship, is giving you concerns?”
In the end, Giacomo Albino drew the rapier and the big sword from his waist band.
From the moment of withdrawing the swords, there was not any hesitation in his façade. There was only the swordsman, who reached his ultimate level, standing before me. I was even getting the sense that a behemoth like wall was blocking my passage.
He spoke if to be roaring like a lion.
“Alright. Come! O, young knight! I’ll show you the absolute blocking!”
Gosh, I knew that he was strong, but this much. Just by the energy, alone, he was way over the absolute swordswoman Palke who was a protector.
Emitting bright light, Rubleyana showed its white sword blade. Then Giacomo Albino exclaimed his appreciation.
“That’s a great sword!”
“It’s too early to be impressed!”
Shouting like that, I approached him by using the ghost walk. He raised his eyebrows in surprise when he looked at my ghost walk as I moved like a dimming ghost.
“You are as great as your great sword! Alright! Then, I, too, will do my best!”
With the explosive sounds, the duel between his and my swords commenced.