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Part 1: Departure for Territoire (Summary) Edit
Tigre and the Leitmeritz Army marched towards to Territore with Lima and Bertrand as his company. During their journey, Lim taught and Tigre about Zhcted, from the king's full name to it's festivities and mythologies. Despite Tigre's claims about his difficulties to learn them all, Lim reminded Tigre about his position as Leitmeritz's captive as well not to embarrass Elen . When Tigre answered one right question, Lim smiled softly and allowed him to take a break.
Tigre coincidentally joined Rurick and chat their about his studies. Even if Tigre wanted Rurick's help for his studies, Rurick could only laments about Lim's seriousness. Later, they were stumble to Titta and Bertran outside the castle. Despite his objection, Titta refused to complied as she couldn't help but to worry about Tigre. With Lim and Elen evaluation about him however, Tigre reluctantly scolds Titta for being a bother for his training and studying, which caused her to cry and apologize much to Tigre's speechless shock. Rurick then claimed that Titta is popular among the Leitmeritz Army, even Lim took fondness upon her. Nevertheless, Tigre was relief that Titta was under care by his new ally. When both Tigre and Rurick talked about Bertrand, who went to play games with other soldiers, they were caught red handed by Lim. Lim however told Tigre that she permits his time off only if Tigre answer all of her questions correctly, especially since he was now as Elen's general. So until the army reach to Territore, Tigre had to suffered his rigors under Lim's strictness.
Hughes Augre, Viscount of TerritoireEdit
Zhcted army has finally reached Belfort, where Tigre deployed Bertrand as his messenger to obtain it's approval for their entry. Bertrand began to tell Tigre about his nostalgic moments about his service under Urz, including their daily visit to Belfort. When Tigre an Bertrand felt nostalgia about Belfort, only Lim was surprisingly intrigued and asked Tigre everything about Belfort, especially the bizarre looking houses. However, she quickly irritated towards Tigre after Bertrand told her about Tigre's joke, further exaggerated that she will increase Tigre's hard work. Tigre went speechless for Lim's sudden changed mood while Bertrand could only see them with his smile, even though he knew well about Tigre's suffering.
As the army finally reached to Augre Mansion, which size was doubled to Vorn Manor, Lim looked at the dovecote with high curiosity. According to Tigre, most Belfort residents loved to keep pigeons as pets, and it would at least 100 of them in one house, which Lim told Tigre that she saw hen houses instead of pigeons. While entering into the mansion, Hughes welcomed Tigre with a warm welcome. Tigre then greeted Hughes in a polite manner and he was concerned about his health. However, Hughes told him that he was fine despite his injuries, much to Tigre's relief. Hughes then talked about their nostalgic moments when he met Tigre, including his sleeping while drooling on a bed, much to Tigre's embarrassment and other peer's amazement.
A Condition from ViscountEdit
Nevertheless, Tigre introduces Lim to Hughes. Hughes turns his attention to Tigre as he as the young Earl to tell the entire story regarding what happened before his arrival to Belfort. After Hugues hears the story from Tigre, he was not delighted about it and even Tigre is telling the truth, Hughes refuses his offer because he claims that even it is for a noble cause, Tigre is powerless to strike against the Duke. you are powerless before Duke Thenardier and he cannot afford to bring his soldiers to war without a chance of victory. Though Bertrand is agitated to hear it, Tigre calm his adjutant down while asking Hughes if he is lending his strength, which Hughes sarcastically tells Tigre that due to his old age and telling Tigre that he can help him to eliminate the nearby bandits within Territore.
“What do you mean?”
Lim narrowed her eyes slightly as she sat next to Tigre, though neither Tigre nor Augre noticed due to how minimal the change was.
Augre turned his gaze to the window and looked at the flowing meadows and Vosyes Mountains in the distance.
“There is a band of thieves in the Vosyes Mountains. Those bastards attack the nearby village, burn the land, kill the people, kidnap the women, and steal their money and livestock. I cannot simply leave it. I want you to lead your army to Vosyes... I want you to get rid of them.”
He spoke bitterly and clenched his hand, unable to suppress his anger.
“Could it be due to your injury?”
“I said it a while ago. It is not a serious injury.”
Augre looked back and smiled after seeing Tigre's anxious face.
“It should heal in a few days, but I cannot return to battle. Though he's making more trouble of it than he should, it is true I cannot leave my bed.”
To test his sincerity, Hugues asked Tigre if he can turned his entire body to Tigre.
“Earl Vorn. I ask this of you. Will you hold off this band of thieves in my place?”
He spoke solemnly and bowed as much as he could.
“I have asked various aristocrats in the vicinity to lend their aid to my son, but it is still unsatisfactory. Even if I find more people, there is no telling what will happen when the villages are attacked. I wish to force them back to suppress the damage they cause, no matter what.”
As Lim asked Hugues about the amount of the army, Hugues claimed that is would be 200 forces, much to Tigre and Lim's shock that their numbers were doubled the Zhcted Army According to Hugues, the band of thieves was originally 40 members, but with
Lim asked from the side with an expression and voice which lacked any intonation.
“Approximately two hundred.”
Tigre was stunned for a moment; it was twice the size of the Zhcted Army he was currently leading.
“Originally, they were a small group from Zhcted with fewer than forty, but pirates from Asvarre and a mercenary named Donalbein joined them, so they quickly gained power. Though we had three hundred men, we were defeated.”
Tigre was impressed by the strength of the unknown leader of thieves. He had two hundred men and the ability to lead them.
Though the Zhcted soldiers with him were amongst the elite, it would be difficult for them to fight an adversary with double their number.
--- This can't be left alone, especially if they are making the Vosyes Mountains their stronghold.
Vosyes Mountains expanded to the north and south and acted as a border between Alsace and LeitMeritz.
If the bandits headed north, they would reach the area between the two territories, jeopardizing the peace there.
Furthermore, they would likely interfere with Tigre's movements along the mountains.
Tigre began to open his mouth, but did not speak before glancing at Lim. With a short confirmation, he turned back to Augre.
“I understand. Leave this to us.”
It is dusk when Tigre and the others left Viscount Augre's household, and Zhcted Army instead prepared their camp rather than going into the town. Rurick asked the reason why he won't be staying in the town, which
The sky to the west was dyed crimson. It looked as if the sun were desperately pushing back the darkness as the curtain of night spread.
In contrast, the eastern sky was dark, and the moon was faintly visible.
When they left the town, the Zhcted Army had completed preparing its camp. They made a simple double fence in the surroundings, which gave it an inconsistent feeling.
“You won't be staying in the town?”
Rurick looked at him curiously. He had thought Tigre would borrow a room in the Viscount's household.
“There are a few reasons, but I thought I'd stay here with everyone.”
At that time, Teita ran up with short steps. She wore her maid uniform with the apron removed. It seems she moved about the Zhcted camp dressed in this manner.
“Tigre-sama, welcome back. Did everything turn out well?”
“We only talked. Aren't you tired, Teita?”
Tigre smiled gently and patted Teita's head.
“You do not need to worry. I was helping prepare the meals until a moment ago.”
“Meals during a march are important, right? Soup can be made quite delicious with just a slight change in the salt...”
Teita stretched her chest out proudly as she heard Rurick's words.
Tigre was happy for Teita. He was uneasy about bringing her, but she held out in her own way. Teita had firmly built her place amongst them.
“Just make sure not to overwork yourself. Batran, please help Teita.”
Teita and Batran left while Tigre entered a tent with Rurick and Lim. After hanging the lantern, the three sat in a circle.
After Rurick heard what happened at the mansion, Tigre placed a piece of paper on the ground. He began to summarize the information on the bandits given to him by Viscount Augre.
“Augre led three hundred soldiers to defeat the thieves and was defeated.”
The Viscount was involved in an unexpectedly difficult battle.
Even though they were superior in number, they were simply field workers who were given armor and weaponry. Their morale was high since they saw the cruel attacks and burned villages, but it was not enough to compensate for their lack of training.
Furthermore, the geographical advantage belonged to the bandits. While attackers would have to invade up the mountains, they could descend with stones and bow and arrow. They had many advantages.
The Viscount blockaded the mountain path in an attempt to confine them in the mountain.
However, there was a miscalculation. When the Viscount's army appeared on foot, the bandits pounced on them in the mountains.
They discarded their geographical advantage and attacked the army in the fields.
The band of thieves and Augre's Army clashed at the base of the mountain.
They used hatchets, swords, axes, and leather armor reinforced with iron and fur to fight.
Augre's Army began to push them back, and, eventually, the bandits abandoned the field and retreated. The Augre Army used their momentum to chase after those who were fleeing.
They left the field and rushed to the mountain path.
By the time they entered the mountain road, the sky had darkened.
Stones were thrown, arrows were shot, and earth and sand were poured over the soldiers like a hailstorm. Logs were dropped as well, crushing many men.
They realized they had fallen into a trap, but it was too late. Their corpses quickly piled up on the mountain path.
Viscount Augre left no choice but order to retreat back to the fields and the and pulled his soldiers away to retreat to the fields.
As the result, the Augre Army lost most of the men in the mountains and it shrank from 300 to 200. To make matter worse, Hugues was injured and Gerard is forced to fled the scene and never to be heard again.
Viscount's defeat concerned Tigre the most. Rurick asked Tigre if he has any plan for the counter measure, which he claimed that he has none. Rurick then suggested an outrageous plan by ,making Tigre has to him to retreat while shooting the bandits in 4 times row, only to angered Tigre as he found it absurd and impossible. Later, Lim then made her response by looking at the paper and she claimed it need more planning. But she would also wished to shorten their time for the plans.
The next morning, Titta and Bertran left Belfort for Alsace while Tigre and Lim march their troops for Vosyes Mountains. Lim tells Tigre to see the papers and much to Tigre's dismay, the documents consisted the calculations for the war expenditures. The unimaginably amount of war expenditures, including medical supplies, food rations and even salaries, caused Tigre frustrated and almost lost his balance; prompted Lim to rescue him from the fall. Tigre was stunned and lamented for the costly expense, which he claimed that he wasn't spent that much even he commanded 100 soldiers. Lim explained that the expense calculation is crucial to the commander and depending their capabilities, the expense can be vary, and she would recommending him to not use Alsace's savings.
Tigre looked at Lim curiously, hearing her not recommend him to take that course of action.
“I saw all the data. Lord Tigrevurmud, was there something you were trying to do? Perhaps pasturing.”
“... It was a big success.”
Tigre sighed deeply. He had learned many things from her in LeitMeritz. Lim was quite adept in such aspects.
“It was my father's idea. He had saved little by little before I succeeded Alsace. Using those savings, he wanted to purchase horses.”
The horse had many uses. Using them, Alsace could become more prosperous.
“It is a good idea. I believe you should continue to work toward that goal.”
Tigre was glad to hear Lim's frank approval, but he had a difficult face as well.
“But I have no other ways of paying.”
Tigre looked over his shoulder toward the Zhcted soldiers following them.
“Yes, which is why we shall consider that from now on.”
Though Lim's face lacked any affability, Tigre felt she was enjoying it in some manner; however, that may have been nothing but an illusion.
Lim took the paper from Tigre and carefully removed the wrinkles from it.
“By the way – this much is necessary, even with one hundred cavalry. The two hundred who continue to steal and plunder take far more than that.”
Tigre finally understood why Lim brought up the war expenditures.
“The bandits will attack a nearby village soon.”
“The time it takes for them to attack and pillage will take a few days.”
“Any more and it will be impossible to afford the costs of recovery.”
With an impatient, but focused, heart, Tigre strongly grasped his bridle.
Early the next morning, with only a half koku march to reach the Vosyes Mountains, Lim stopped the soldiers. Lim split the one hundred cavalry into two, making eighty dismount from their horses.
Twenty soldiers were left to defend the horses while the remaining eighty continued the march. There were only a dozen people riding horses, including Tigre and Lim.
“--- Lord Tigrevurmud.”
Lim moved next to Tigre and called his name.
“This time, you are in charge of the battle. Please focus on how our troops move, how the enemy moves, and the flow of battle. I wish for you to gain the capability to command them as quickly as possible.”
Tigre brooded over her words. It was true he had little experience in war.
Due to their long association with himself and his father Urz, Batran and his men had a strong trust in him.
However, that was not true for the Zhcted soldiers. They were here at Elen and Lim's behest, and it would not be good if he took command over troops who did not particularly have faith in him.
He should learn, even if only a little.
“I understand. I will try.”
When the sun had risen more, at approximately mid-morning, the eighty Zhcted soldiers reached the foot of the Vosyes Mountains.
As if waiting for them, there were shadows stealing from the fields near the mountain path. They had likely been watching since they saw the Zhcted Army. This was most likely since they responded so quickly.
They stood shoulder to shoulder. Some wore leather armor, others were shirtless and held large battle axes. Some had helmets without any other armor. There was no particular order or set weaponry.
The thieves attacked them and gave whoops of joy as they hunted their prey. The Zhcted Army also let loose a roar, despite the ambush.
Tigre remained outside the field of battle so as to keep a wide range of vision.
Though he clutched the heirloom black bow and had an arrow grasped, ready to nock, Tigre simply stared at the battlefield.
The Zhcted soldiers prevented the bandits' onslaught with their shields while others fought back with their shields upright, and pierced through the gap between them with their spears. Soldiers in the rear shot their arrows all at once. Dozens of arrows rained down mercilessly on the thieves.
--- The battlefield is a flat grassland, and the enemy... does not have two hundred people. It looks to be about half that.
As Tigre silently watched the soldiers and thieves collide on the field, something caught his eye.
--- They shouldn't have the money to have that kind of weaponry.
There were ten people who were dressed in solid iron armor and wore helmets and swords.
--- It seems like there are units of ten, so they could be the Commanders, but...
Tigre tilted his head. His thoughts broke off there.
In a certain area, the formation began to crumble. The shields were split by battle axes, and the soldiers were thrown off balance.
Tigre's actions were fast. As he quickly nocked his arrow, he advanced through the wave of soldiers on his horse. With fewer than one hundred Zhcted soldiers and thieves clashing, Tigre was able to aim immediately.
The bowstring trembled as he fired the arrow. It pierced through the throat of the enemy, as if the man had inhaled it, and he collapsed to the ground in the confusion of the fight.
Tigre continuously shot arrows, felling three more bandits. The momentum the bandits had built was lost in an instant.
In contrast, the Zhcted soldiers became more vigorous. The formation that collapsed was reorganized, and the thieves were pushed back.
Next to Tigre, who stroked his chest in relief, Lim gave commands indifferently.
The Zhcted soldiers huddled together with their shields up and placed their swords and spears in the gap. While restraining the bandits' movements, they slowly pulled away. The resulting space created in their retreat was taken up by the thieves as they brandished their weaponry.
The bandits were energetic from having defeated Viscount Augre's army the other day; however, fighting the Zhcted Army which valued defense, they were forced to attack.
Lim ordered the men to retreat even further. The Zhcted Army pulled back one belsta (about one kilometer) before rejoining their formations.
In the confusion, the thieves had spread out thinly.
That is when the change occurred.
Suddenly, cavalry appeared from the south of the meadow, wrapping behind the bandits. They were surprised by the attack and retreated in a panic when they noticed they had pulled too far away from the mountains.
Lim did not miss the change in flow and ordered a counterattack in her typical indifferent tone. The Zhcted soldiers discarded their shields and wielded their spears, fiercely attacking the bandits.
Many retreated, staggering backwards and pushing others aside. Others stood their ground and fought back, only to be cut down from all sides.
Furthermore, the cavalry which had appeared a moment ago had cut their line of retreat to the mountains.
With their path of retreat cut off, the thieves who could not escape or surrender were killed.
The number of bandits killed in the field were approximately sixty. Twenty had surrendered, and the rest fled to the mountains.
On the other hand, two men from the Zhcted Army had been killed. Ten others were injured.
After burying the dead, those who surrendered were handed over to Viscount Augre. The Zhcted Army issued ten horsemen to keep guard as they made their way to Belfort. The soldiers with severe injuries were also sent back.
Those remaining fortified their position.
They built a wide and deep trench and made a sturdy fence made of thick branches following the same fundamental structure of the camp they created near Belfort.
Once their camp was complete, the sun had set, and the soldiers took to their meals.
A large pot was filled with water. Potatoes were chopped, and the water was salted. Turnips and onions were added for sweetness, and the entire pot was stirred.
“It smells good. What is it?”
Rurick asked Tigre, who was busy stirring the pot.
“We call it fish soup. It's eaten everywhere in our country and keeps our body warm.”
“That's right. Because Tigre-san is a person from Brune, he should take care. There might be a big fight over the food.”
A soldier next to Rurick warmed his hands by the fire as he looked up at Tigre.
Rurick quickly responded as Tigre cocked his head.
“The seasonings are different for every home. In some places, garlic is added. In others, alcohol is used.”
“This could cause a dispute, so you might want to add some garlic in it for everyone.”
The soldiers laughed alongside Tigre.
Aside from the fish soup, supper included bread and honey. Despite the deaths of their comrades, the soldiers' morale was high, and many sung merrily.
Tigre separated from Rurick and headed to his tent. Tigre returned to his tent and sat around a pan of soup with Lim. He was anxious at first.
“Before we left for the foot of the mountain, did you have the men get off the horses so the cavalry could make a detour?”
With the horses doubling the number of humans, the cavalry would have a sharp increase in mobility. It made surprise attacks possible, depending on the distance, and with their small number, it would be difficult to see from the mountain.
“There was another aim.”
“... You decreased the number of troops to invite the enemy?”
Hearing Tigre's words, Lim blinked a few times and smiled.
“I knew if we retreated, they would return to the mountains. Still, they still had high morale from their victory the other day.”
Lim had set a trap. By reducing the number of attackers, the enemy would be more likely to fall for it.
She had carefully watched their movements and used their path of retreat against them. Lim explained it as if it were nothing; Tigre leaked a breath of admiration.
--- It's no wonder Elen trusts her so deeply.
“I will say this only once.”
While Tigre was completely impressed with her abilities, Lim was amazed by something else.
“This victory is thanks to you, Lord Tigrevurmud. You used your arrows to immediately destroy the enemy's morale when our troops collapsed. If you had been slower, we may have lost the battle.”
Though it was a small battle, Tigre's skill with the bow and accurate judgment surprised Lim again.
“I'm happy you would say that.”
Though Tigre was obediently pleased, his reaction was somewhat dissatisfying for Lim.
--- He should take pride and boast of his skills a little more.
However, Lim hesitated to say that. Instead, she spoke of something else.
“What do you think the enemy will do in the future?”
Tigre tilted his head hearing her question.
“... That's right. They will withdraw from the mountain for a time and keep watch on us. They may use footpaths to attack nearby villages in the meantime.”
“There are other mountain paths?”
“It might seem a little sudden, but there will be many animal trails which are rarely used. I have lived in the mountains for a long time and can think of several ways to climb them. If they have two hundred men, they are very likely to have discovered many such roads.”
Because he had experience walking through the forests and mountains of his hometown, Tigre's words were persuasive.
“Right. They still have more than one hundred men remaining. They cannot survive only on mountain herbs and wild game. They will attack us first, since we will hinder their ability to plunder the villages.”
Because the soup had finally finished cooking, Tigre placed its contents onto a platter and passed it to Lim before preparing his own.
Lim thanked Tigre and began to eat with a mystified expression.
“That reminds me, Teita said she managed to procure some pigeon meat.”
As he casually replied, something flashed through Tigre's mind. Tigre looked vacantly at the light leaking from the lamp in the tent, deep in thought.
“Are you waiting for it to cool?”
Being called out by Lim, Tigre returned with a start. He panicked and pointed about with his spoon as he told his idea to Lim.
Lim stopped eating and looked at him quizzically as she listened to him speak.
“That is quite a dangerous hand. Besides, who could possibly...”
“I will do it.”
Tigre answered frankly without any sign of eagerness. Lim simply glared at him with a hint of anger in her eyes.
“... I believe I just said it would be dangerous.”
“Which is why I will do it.”
Tigre's dark eyes looked straight into Lim's blue irises.
“This is my fight. If I can't even risk my own life, how could I possibly ask you to help me?”
“Please do not mistake courage and recklessness. You have shown your courage many times, already. Now is not the time for you to risk your life.”
Lim was unwilling to withdraw. She leaned forward, as if to overwhelm Tigre with her entire body.
Unwilling to retreat, Lim scolded and informed Tigre that if anything happened to him, all of Elen's efforts would gone for naught. instead, Tigre made his declaration that until Alsace's peace is reassured, he would not fall, while teased Lim that she too wished to end the war as fast as possible. Tigre's answer has left Lim speechless.
This was an unanticipated fight. Lim had not yet thought of a solution that could end the theft and destruction of the fields, especially with fewer than one hundred cavalry. The battle would be long if they continued as they were, and it was necessary to maintain the strength of the army.
Despite her unease, Lim gave in and followed Tigre's plan Finally, Lim gave up. She consented, so long as Tigre gave priority to his safety and ran away at any sign of danger.
After the Zhcted Army and the bandits made their moves, three days had finally passed.
A Strategy to Crush the RebelsEdit
The Vosyes Mountains to the north lay between Alsace and LeitMeritz. Amongst the steep mountains was a single mountain path. There was not much difference to the south.
There was only a single road which could be called a mountain pass, and it wound around the surrounding hills in a snakelike manner, so few used it.
At the top of the path was a small, dilapidated castle fort.
Though it was something built by either Brune or Zhcted, neither claimed rights to it, so it became inhabited by the bandits who attacked the fields.
Because it was impossible to house two hundred people in it, there were many crude houses made of stone in the surroundings. The leader, Donalbein, and the girls they had kidnapped monopolized the fort, along with a few people who were accepted.
Donalbein had become 33 this year. Beneath his short, black hair was a thick face and rugged eyes. Before arriving here, he had passed through numerous battlefields as a mercenary. He was a soldier who had slayed many Generals.
Such a man was now cornered.
He had lost many men when one hundred soldiers came to avenge their previous loss. Three days had since passed.
The army which fought beneath the Template:Furigana had settled in a base at the foot of the mountain.
--- Like I thought, the food situation here is poor.
There was not much game to hunt in the area. Without the Zhcted Army moving away, Donalbein and his men would starve.
Donalbein had sent scouts out many times and repeatedly provoked them.
However, the enemy did not follow it and remained on standby.
--- If possible, I wanted to wait a few more days.
If possible, he wanted to drag them into the mountains so he could fight in an advantageous situation. As a mercenary, he always fought when he could secure a more certain position.
--- However, we will starve if we don't fight. Right now, we're like rats that have jumped into a cat's mouth. My subordinates are screaming for revenge, too.
He decided to move his men, whose morale was at its peak.
When he received a report that the soldiers in Belfort returned, Tigre stroked his chest in relief on reflex.
--- We made it in time somehow.
Until now, they had not fought with the band of thieves; however, the enemy was slowly reaching its limit. They would attack tonight or tomorrow.
“Did you bring what I asked for?”
“This should be the required amount.”
“I see. Thanks for the hard work.”
Tigre showed his appreciation to the soldier who answered him. The soldier had a smile thick with fatigue. After promising him a reward, he told the man to rest.
He had moved back and forth to Belfort over two days. The soldiers had completely met his expectations.
After checking on the situation, Tigre entered the General's tent to take a nap. After establishing their position, he had worked in shifts with Lim, trying to get as much rest as possible.
As he began to lie down, he kicked something lightly with his toes.
It was a small bag with something light inside. Tigre bent to his knees and picked it up.
It was a bear doll that fit in the palm of his hand. It was something he knew on sight.
“I believe this was something in our dining room back home... But that was something Teita made...”
“Lord Tigrevurmud, are you still awake---”
At that time, Lim entered the tent while speaking. She had removed her armor. Her sword was at her waist, and she wore a blue, short-sleeved shirt and long boots and gloves.
Tigre looked back immediately. Lim, confused by his actions, noticed what was in Tigre's hand immediately.
For the first time, Tigre saw Lim's face full of emotion.
Her eyes were wide open, and her face was flushed red. She ran up and reached for his hand at a speed Tigre was unable to react to.
Tigre tried to avoid her out of surprise, but he fell to the ground from Lim's momentum and hit the back of his head.
While he let out a groan as the pain assaulted his head, Tigre tried to push the weight that had fallen onto his body. Something soft touched the palm of his hands.
He momentarily forgot his pain. The weight on top of him was the weight of a human.
A sweet fragrance mixed faintly with the smell of sweat tickled Tigre's nose. His body then told him he was in close contact with a human body, and he became aware of her waist and thighs on top of him. Though her body was lean, tight, and devoid of excess flesh, it was still mysteriously soft.
Something was pulled away from his grasp and Lim parted from his body with a speed reminiscent of a beast.
Tigre let out all the air collected in his lungs. He felt relief and self-loathing as he recalled his embarrassment for reacting to her body.
“... You saw it.”
Tightly grasping the doll in her right hand, Lim stared at Tigre and breathed roughly. Her face, which rarely showed emotion, was filled with anger and embarrassment.
Tigre understood she was referring to the bear doll in her hands. He took two deep breaths. It seems she did not realize he had touched her breast.
He turned his body around and gazed at Lim.
The two silently watched each other for a while; Tigre eventually recovered from the previous impact and opened his mouth.
“Um... It's fine, isn't it? It's fine that you like bears. I think it's adorable.”
It was not a lie. He simply said what came to his mind first.
Lim said nothing and coldly stared at Tigre with her blue eyes. While wary of the fierce animal before him, Tigre continued to speak.
“Did Teita make that for you?”
“... Yes. Before we left Celesta.”
Their conversation was interrupted at that time.
While looking at the lamp, Tigre was lost in thought. Due to the impact to his head, his drowsiness had been blown away.
Tigre fixed his posture and bowed to Lim.
“I apologize. Though I did not intend to, it did not change the fact that I looked into your belongings."
Lim, unusually, sat in place with a poor expression.
“I cannot simply blame you in such a one sided manner. I should have tightened the string more firmly. You have seen something embarrassing; I am sorry.”
She spoke faster than usual. Though there was a stiffness in her tone and attitude, the atmosphere around her had softened. Tigre smiled in relief.
He did not want her to dislike him, and he wanted to avoid anything awkward before an important battle.
Lim hesitantly looked upward at him.
“About this, please do not tell anyone.”
He did not think it was anything to be embarrassed about. At that time, Tigre thought of something as he saw his bow in the edge of his view.
--- Everyone has something like that.
When he was taken by his father to the King's Capital, he was laughed at for only being able to use the bow. Though it was an amusing story now, he was worried at the time and considered throwing away his bow.
He understood the pain and fear of having what he loved laughed at.
“I understand. I promise not to tell anyone, but---”
His words ended at once as Tigre thought about better words to say. Eventually he continued to speak.
“Regarding what you like, I think you should find someone to talk to about it. You're free to talk to me about it, but I think you can talk to Teita about it, as well. Of course, I don't mind if you talk to anyone else, either.”
Lim's face showed her confusion as she gazed steadily at Tigre. Her calm, blue eyes showed signs of fear.
“Lord Tigrevurmud... Um, do you think it's strange?”
“I think it's surprising.”
Tigre shrugged his shoulders.
“But plenty of people have some unexpected hobbies. For example, Lord Massas was absorbed in divination long ago.”
“It seems he liked telling fortunes with flowers, horoscopes, cards, and burning bread and other such things. My father told me this many times, since he found it funny.”
A faint smile floated to Lim's mouth as she heard him speak. She could not imagine such a thing from the man she met and spoke to in Alsace.
“It seems he told only my father of his hobby. Since Father's death, Lord Massas has spoken of it only once. Though there are memories I'm sure he would like to forget, he would not be the same without them, so it's not such a bad thing.”
Lim looked down and earnestly listened as she gave thought to Tigre's words. When he finished speaking, she quietly stood up.
“Thank you very much.”
With her typical expressionless face regained, she bowed and turned away. After walking a few steps, she turned around.
“A person to talk to... For instance, it would be fine to speak to you, Lord Tigrevurmud?”
Tigre replied to the sudden question with some embarrassment.
“That's fine... but it's not like I know much about stuffed animals, right?”
“But if I talk to you, no one else will know that I like them, right?”
Lim smiled softly as she spoke, which surprised Tigre. As if reading the tension in his mind, Lim continued to speak without changing her expression or tone.
“Also, I will not ask any questions about your touching my body this time.”
She left the tent without saying any more while Tigre stood speechless. After she disappeared, he let out a sigh and looked at his right hand.
--- It was big...
His body began reacting again. Tigre hit his head with his right hand several times to admonish himself. Afterward, he finally went to sleep.
Part 3: An Effective Ambush: Pigeons in the Dark (SummaryEdit
In dusk, Donalbein burned many bonfires near the castle fort, who assumed the enemy troops were in a sitting duck situation. Though the enemy may not easily fall into his trickery, Donalbein would use every trick he has to raise every possibility of survival. In midnight, Donalbein ordered his subordinates to leave the base without touching the fires. He was not sure if it would lead to a fire in the forests. It took a band of thieves a half koku to reach the river, and they assemble the logs for their raft because Donalbein thought the Zhcted Army prepare for their night ambush. Donalbein divided his men into two of 60 men, including himself, and marched upon Zhcted's camp. To their surprise, the camp was empty and the only thing has left were just twigs and rocks.
Little did Donalbein realized too late as he and his men fell into Zhcted Army's trap, where Zhcted archers' shot their arrows towards them. The bandits began to panicked and the band's morale dropped drastically. Donalbein managed to recuperate all of his men and told them to retreat into the mountains path according to the lights. Just as they managed to reach the mountain path, Donalbein and his men met an unexpected surprise: a flocks of pigeons that blocked their sight in the dark, confused further to Donalbein and his men. To make matter worse for the thieves, Zhcted Army were on their tail and finally surrounded them.
It is revealed that three days ago, Tigre made the proposal to Lim for using 300 flocks of Belfort pigeons as it's bizarre yet effective strategy. While procured each pigeons together, he also command at least ten soldiers within the mountain path. The bandit's entering the When the thieves approached, they would release the strings, freeing the pigeons. Though they would fly away in fright immediately due to the sounds of the battlefield, they cried out for good measure.
With only ten soldiers, they were able to force the enemy to stop.
While hundreds of pigeons flying up all at once would quickly spread out, it was a narrow path on a moonless night. Though only for a moment, the pigeons flew away like a storm.
Tigre saw the effect before him.
Seizing the opportunity, Zhcted Army charged forward to the bandits and annihilated them. The decisive plan had cause chaos within the band as they attempted to flee away from the battle, and casualties were mounting one after another. In the midst of the chaos, Donalbein rushed his escape from the battlefield while both hands cover his face. Unknown to him however, Tigre quietly notched the arrow from the darkness and shot his arrows towards him. As the result, Donalbein was sniped and the Leitmeritz soldiers yelled for victory within the darkness.With the death of Donalbein, the bandits immediately surrendered themselves and their weapons and the bandits group were totally decimated. In the same time, the army also rescue the kidnapped women and looted gold from the thieves.
Part 4: The Earl Vorn's First Ally(Summary)Edit
Two days later, Zhcted Army returned to Belfort with surrendered bandits in their hands. Even cheered by Belfort residents, Tigre smiled with a mixture of tension and delight when he waved back to the residents, while Lim hid her face within her helmet and advanced in silence. Tigre asked Lim why she is not waving, Lim responded that while too embarrassing to receive such cheers, and the victory should be Tigre's bigger credit. So, she further him that he should have take pride into it.
When they reached the Augre Mansion, Zhcted Army delivered the bandits to Hughes and send them into the mansion's prison. Then, Hughes invited Tigre and Zhcted Army generals into a dinner to celebrate the victory. Before their toast, Hughes congratulated both Tigre and Lim's success and thanked them for eliminating the threat. While apologized to Tigre and Lim for his previous ignorance, Hughes sarcastically told Tigre that he was lucky to have Zhcted troops's support, much to Lim's irritation as she defended Tigre by telling Hughes that Tigre deserved the victory. Lim's defense seemly amused Hughes as he assumed Tigre was trusted even by Zhcted's troops, prompted Lim's reluctant apology even though she assumed Hughes refused to acknowledge Tigre's credibility. No latter than a moment, Hughes changed his opinion and told Tigre that he will gladly lend his army as his strength to Tigre while also persuade other aristocrats to assist Tigre, much to Tigre's speechless delight. As Tigre purposed his gratitude, Hughes told that he too can't watch Brune citizens suffered under Thenardier and Ganelon's iron fist, so the House of Augre and its army would allied with Tigre.
After dinner, Zhcted Army began to march their return to Alsace which Tigre cheerfully humming for gaining an ally. However, Lim came to Tigre and gave the war expenditures, including the 300 pigeons. While Tigre jokingly talked about the discount, Lim told him that even traps has it's purpose and if the discount is given, Lim would be blamed for her failure on in charge of war expenditures. She also later told Tigre that since Tigre has been slay the bandit leader, she would no longer able to help him in the future. So for this exception, Lim told Tigre that Zhcted would pay the cost, much to Tigre's thankful reaction. Lim then told Tigre that her lecture would be next, much to Tigre's shock but he later complied anyways.
- Interesting, Tigre's subjugation towards Donalbein and thieves was abridged and skipped in manga counterpart while it was completely cut