After Shoma and the others return to Hazama Village...
"...... Is that where the castle is?
The men who had been riding suddenly slowed down.
They carried bloody weapons on their hips and sacks of gold and food on the back of their horses.
The men are a band of thieves who operate on the border between the Kitor territory and the frontier.
Their name is the 'Bloodline Whirlwind Gang'.
They had just raided a nearby village.
They could not stay long because of the resistance. They could barely take money and food.
Since the fall of the Rikaku Order, the villages around here have been resisting the bandits. Even though they were all small villages.
And what did the villagers mean when they said, "If you do something bad, the High King will come! What do they mean by that?
Are they really believing in the return of the legendary Dragon Emperor?
Anyway... I don't care what the common people are thinking.
The head of the bandits looked at the castle in front of the rocky mountain.
It was a small castle.
I've been around here many times, but I've never seen it before.
And there was no sign of people.
Even at this hour, if it was inhabited, there should be lights or smoke.
The sound of talking, horses whinnying, livestock. It is unusual that there is no sound at all.
Go and see one. If there's really no one there, go to .......
Want to make it our base? Heads.
Oh. Some idiot lord wants to give us an empty castle.
The men of the bandit group laughed as they followed him.
On the side of the rocky mountain is a small castle with only a watchtower in the center.
There is no one in the watchtower.
There is only a round figurine. Not even a soldier in sight.
Probably built in a panic by some idiot lord to protect the Rikaku cult. Now that the cult is dead, it's no longer needed. This is close to the town where the subhumans live. Even the noble Kittle family wouldn't want to live in a place like this.
While they were talking, the one who had gone on a reconnaissance mission returned.
The head...! I've been trying to get closer, but there's not a single soldier on the walls!
The bandit's head nodded thoughtfully.
The head of the bandit nodded thoughtfully.
There are now more than fifty of them. It's hard enough to keep them fed.
The bandits are easily defeated by soldiers. As a countermeasure, we are changing our base one after another. But there's a limit to that, too. Living on the move is stressful for you as the head of the band and for your friends.
It's better to have a strong base, isn't it?
The bandit leader chuckled.
If the castle was truly uninhabited, or even sparsely populated, it would not be difficult to take it over.
Climbing over the walls and breaking into the town was a specialty of the bandits.
All of them are armed with clawed ropes.
There are no soldiers guarding the walls. That's good. All of you approach at once, throw the ropes and climb the walls. Once we get over the wall, we're in control.
You can set fire to it, confuse it, and then take the money and run away.
If the castle is really uninhabited, you can just take it ...... and make it your base.
If this is the castle of the Great Patriarch Kittle, there is no way you can announce that the bandits have taken the castle.
If they ask you to surrender the castle, you can negotiate with them and get money from them.
If they attack you with open arms, just run away. If you've taken over the castle of the Kitor Territory, you're sure to get a reputation as a bandit group. Either way, it's not bad.
"Good. We'll take that castle. Everyone, get off your horses! We'll approach on foot, kill our footsteps, and climb over the walls. If anyone's there, we'll take the treasure and leave. That's it!
「「「「 ohhhhh! 」」」」
The bandits scream.
They rob empty castles, or attack carefree, sleepy soldiers in their castles. It's a bloody job.
The bandits dismounted from their horses, weapons and claw ropes in hand.
They approached the castle at a fast pace.
There was no soldier in sight on the castle walls. In fact, there was not even a bonfire burning.
It's hard to believe, but ...... it must really be uninhabited.
murmured the head thief.
This is why you can't stop being a thief. Finding an abandoned castle ...... is such a blessing.
"Okay. If there are a lot of enemy soldiers, run away immediately.
"...... Yes, sir. Head.
...... If there are only a few soldiers, kill them all. If there are people, set their houses on fire. Then they'll be so panicked they won't even know we're in. Then we can just walk out the gates with impunity as the people flee.
If no one's home, we'll just take it. It's the owner's fault for being absent. I'll show them that this Blood Whirlwind is stronger than most soldiers. Let's go!
The bandits are running at once.
They're aiming for the city walls. Throw the claw rope and run up the wall.
The wall is getting closer and closer.
These are the best bandits in the world. If they're serious, they won't make a sound.
The castle is only a few dozen steps away.
There's still no sign of the enemy.
"...... Are you afraid of us, by any chance?
The bandit's head muttered quietly.
The head of the bandit murmured quietly, "This little castle is no better than a village. If they knew we were coming, they'd be scared to open the gates.
As if the head of the bandits had heard his words, the front wall moved.
A narrow gap appeared in the wall, and then...
A sharp log poked out from there.
The bandits stopped in a panic.
I don't know if it was my imagination, but ...... the walls seemed to move.
No, it wasn't my imagination. The walls had indeed moved.
The front wall moved like a piece of marquetry, leaving a small gap. There was a pointed log sticking out of it. It was as if someone was holding a log behind it.
"...... Oh, hey. What is this? Who's there?
I heard a voice.
It was an inorganic voice that didn't seem to belong to anyone.
"How can a man be so foolish as to take this castle in the absence of my king?
The thieves looked up at the sudden voice.
A figurine in the tower was looking at them.
"No... That's not a figurine!
What was looking down on them from the tower was a giant eyeball, glowing in the moonlight.
It looked like an ornament because it had its eyes closed.
Now it is not.
The giant eyeball is literally staring down at the bandits with its eyes wide open.
"I heard that! You're the bandits who attacked the nearby village!
You are the bandits who attacked a nearby village in the name of my lord, Kiryuu Shoma! In the name of my lord, Kirou Shoma, you are the bandits who attacked a nearby village.
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! "Hey! Hey!
"Hee. No, no, no, no, no, no!
"Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! "Hey!
Run, run! Everybody run!
Dada dada dada dada!
The bandits turned their backs to the castle and started running at once.
Zsa zsa zsa zsa zsa zsa!
The castle started running after them.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
"What, what, the castle? The castle!
It's a lie. It's a nightmare. We're dreaming. We're dreaming!
The castle pursues.
The earth shakes, and the stranded horses run in fright.
The night was supposed to be quiet, but it was filled with screaming and shouting...
A few days later...
"I should have told Princess Sylvia to take the sheep to the castle near the rocky mountain.
"I think it would be tough to send the Princess to a place with only Milva and the Soldiers of Will. Brother Shoma.
We were taking a carriage to Milva's castle.
Behind us, 20 sheep are following us. Lysette and Haruka are chasing the sheep.
Princess Sylvia kept her promise. She delivered the sheep herself. Incidentally, the technician will be coming a little later. They're having a tough time too. So be it.
By the way, Princess Sylvia, did you thank your brother?
Oh, that. I don't know what that means either. ......
I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.
I'm sure you're not the only one. I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works for you.
"Yes, yes. A famous bandit group was torn to shreds and fled to a nearby village.
"I got hit. I'm done with banditry. I'm quitting banditry. I'm too scared to walk at night. I wonder what happened to him.
I wonder if it's .......
I have no idea.
I'm not sure if it's a demon or if it's something so horrible that the bandits are crying out for help.
If there is such a thing in the territory, we should be on the lookout for it.
"Speaking of which, brother. What happened to that stake the other day?
That stake that Milva said it would be better to let the sheep get used to a normal fence first?
I carried it away the other day after I awakened it.
Is there something on your mind, Liz?
No, ...... I think I know what that horrible thing the bandits saw was.
............ Yeah, I figured it out, too.
It's because Milva's castle is in sight.
I mean, the castle has somehow been separated into a large enclosure.
There are about 50 horses trapped inside the enclosure. .......
The bandits ride horses, right?
Yes, they do.
If they're not on horses, the cavalry will catch them.
And there's a horse with a saddle.
And there's a horse with a saddle.
That's a lot of jingling. It's got money in it. It's going to be hard to find the owner.
Me, Lisette and Haruka all held our foreheads together.
"Oh! My king and all of you Gokazoku!
At the top of the tower, Milva was looking at us.
"Goran Ale! We have defeated the evildoers who disturbed the peace! This is the harvest. Here is the harvest!
In the meantime, can you tell us what happened?
After that, Lisette and Haruka and I heard the details from Milva.
I felt a little sorry for the bandits.
"I see. You'll be able to make a gap in the wall, put a stake in the side, and charge .......
It would be traumatic for the bandits to have something like that chasing them in the middle of the night. ......
I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one.
I'm not sure what to make of it.
I think I've figured out how to bring down the ...... distant country barrier.
"You don't have to tell me. You don't have to tell me. I've figured it out too.
It is true that you can physically break through the Distant Country barrier with this technique.
If you do, though, you'll have to fight an all-out war with the Ten Sages.
You'll need a boundary that connects the frontier to the Kittle Keep and the far country barrier.
"And we also need permission to pass through the Kittle Territory.
What? Won't we be able to pass through if we raise my brother's flag?
No, not the whole castle.
The only way to bring down the Yuan Guan is...
It's a way to physically break through the far country barrier by hitting it with a castle of "soldiers of will" with stakes.