Chapter 034 – War
Acting as chaperone for ojousama, we saw Karen and her other friends off.
Then we accompanied ojousama back to her room.
The head maid Mercè-san brewed some scented tea to calm down ojousama’s mood.
Seated beside the bed, ojousama made an anxious face.
[I wonder if father and the others are alright……]
“I’m sure they are fine. No matter who the enemy was, we have master who is an A-ranked mage, right? He won’t lose no matter what.”
I had Mercè-san, who was returning after she finished brewing the scented tea, replace me in accompanying ojousama.
“I need to leave my post for a while, so please take care of ojousama.”
“…… All right. Don’t do anything rash.”
Mercè-san guessed my intentions, and immediately gave her approval.
But ojousama made an anxious face again and grasped the hem of my shirt with her small hand.
[Lute-oniichan, where are you going?]
“Don’t worry, I forgot something in my room, I’m only going to go back and get it.”
[Is…. that so.]
Ojousama also seemed to have guessed and released her tiny fingers, making a gloomy expression.
She bravely put on a bitter smile like she’s trying to endure something.
[Be careful, and godspeed.]
“Yes, I’ll be off. I’ll be back soon.”
I left ojousama’s room and hurriedly made for the great dining hall.
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“No way. We can’t possibly bring Lute along.”
Master and the others proceeded with the preparations in the dining hall.
The remaining food were put in ceramic bowls and became instant field rations.
Weapons and armor were taken out of armories and were checked for damage.
Master had already taken off his coat, and was warming up by doing shadowboxing.
Madam was putting on the equipment brought by the maids in a practiced manner.
In all likelihood, these are the weapons and armor she used in her pirate hunting days.
I ran up to Gigi-san who is directing the battle preparations and reported that I wanted to participate in the war this time.
It’s because of the matter the other day—when the baka-brothers insulted not only ojousama but master and madam, I won’t be satisfied unless I get to hit them at least once.
But Gigi-san refused.
I snapped back at him.
“Why!? I can use magic a little, I can be useful for the war!”
“No. Lute is ojousama’s guardian, right? Do you intend to leave your post for the battlefield. You don’t have battle experience in the first place, right? Bringing a green soldier along is just going to hold us back.”
My arguments were cut off by Gigi-san’s valid reasoning.
Master’s side has only a few participants.
Probably no more than 50 people.
However, every one of them are people with experience from the previous war or former adventurers he got to know a long time ago.
Therefore they were at the level where they can cooperate without any complaints.
If an inexperienced newcomer were to come in, that could become a source for discord.
Furthermore, even the head butler Merry-san sided with Gigi-san.
“That’s right Lute. You’re ojousama’s guard and blood bag. Just leave this war to us. If it’s that kind of rabble we’ll finish them off in the blink of an eye baa~”
Certainly, our side has master.
The other servants’ morale were high, too
Some of the maids participating in the battle were menacing, wearing armor and shields on top of their maid uniforms and carrying weapons.
Even the head chef Malcolm-san seems to be participating with kitchen knives hanging from all over his body.
He was scary in an absurd way, like something out of a horror flick.
However, I was told off.
“C, certainly I don’t have battle experience, but I’m sure I can be helpful…”
“I told you you can’t, give it up. Rather, you should stay by ojousama. Then… protect ojousama with your life. I beg of you.”
Strangely, Gigi-san pleaded me with a stern look and tone of voice.
Questions popped up in my mind for an instant, but he started with the preparations once again.
“Gigi, prepare the anti-silver drug for curing silver poison just in case. We still have some in the stores don’t we baa~?”
Like Dracula in my previous life, silver is poison to the vampire race.
This poison can’t be removed with normal antidote, it’s the natural enemy of vampires.
Silver poison cannot be cured other than by using special medication, the anti-silver drug.
Therefore normally, tableware and accessories made of silver are never ever used.
“Of course. It’s the head of the guards’ duty to prepare enough to deal with it once the need arises. I already ordered to stuff it inside the carriages.”
“As expected from Gigi, you’re quick when it comes to your work baa~”
If I’m here any longer, I’ll be a nuisance….
With a bow, I left the great dining hall.
Like a child who left home with harsh words and came back, I returned to ojousama’s room.
I knocked and entered after receiving a response.
“Excuse me. I apologize for leaving my post.”
Seeing my face, ojousama let out a sigh of relief.
[Welcome back, Lute-oniichan. Did you find the thing you’re looking for?]
Perhaps revenge for making her worry, ojousama gave a strangely malicious retaliation.
I made an ironic smile.
“No, I remembered that I forgot the important thing here and came back in a hurry”
Hearing my reply, ojousama’s face turned red and she shyly hid behind her mini blackboard.
Ojousama’s reaction is really cute, huh.
With Merce-san’s cough, the pink atmosphere went back to normal.
She relaxed her expression a little.
“Well then, let’s wish for master and the others’ victory and safety and wait in the castle.”
We nodded at Merce-san’s words.
I should also stop selfishly insisting to go fight together with them and just wish for their safety.
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Head of the Vampire Clan’s main family, Pylkkänen Vlad.
Working underneath them were 50 B-minus ranked mages belonging to the Vampire clan’s main family.
Besides those, there were over 950 mercenary adventurers hired from the Adventurers’ Guild.
In total there were about 1000 people.
On the other hand, the Count’s family were headed by Count Dan Gate Vlad, and Seras Gate Vlad.
The Head of Guards Gigi, Head Butler Merry, Head Chef Malcolm.
Alongside over 40 other servants.
50 people in total.
The difference in power was by a factor of 20.
But nobody on the Count’s side was pessimistic, no one was feeling grim.
In fact, they did not lose their composure.
The place where they were to face off was a plain about 2 hours away from the town where Lute went to find presents.
The Demon Race don’t interfere with each others’ family matters.
But it’s another matter if they cause trouble for the other families.
Therefore it’s a matter of manners that when some family matter occurs, care is taken so that they don’t cause trouble for the other clans. That’s why an open place with no people was chosen.
“You did well to come and not run away you stupid brother! This time we’ll stop your treasonous acts against the Vampire clan! Prepare to be judged!”
The fat eldest brother Pylkkänen, clad in pointlessly extravagant armor and riding a white horned-horse, raised an angry voice.
The lanky second brother Ravio beside him gave an exaggerated nod at what he said and put on a vulgar expression.
“By ‘treason’ do you mean using the family’s money improperly like last time? Calling my magic schooling funds ‘improper’ is…… Anyway, wasn’t I allowed double the money under the pretext of family assistance in the first place?”
“Sh, shut up! Don’t think your crime is forgiven just by returning the money!”
“It is just as elder brother says!”
“Really, you guys are persistent as usual. Enough already, why can’t you just leave me alone.”
The Count breathed a sigh of amazement.
By doing that, he angered them even further.
“Y-You have always been that way since way back! Even though you’re just a third born, you got a magician’s license and attaining a top-notch rank of A ranked. You’re just the younger brother! Know your place! Get him, punks!”
At the cue of Pylkkänen’s yelling, the soldiers started running.
All the magicians started chanting their spells.
“My older brothers never change.”
The Count raised one hand toward everyone and walked out alone.
As if he’s saying “I’ll do it myself so stand back.”
The lump of muscle over 2.5 meters in height naked above the waist walked out.
The magicians of the main Vampire house simultaneously fired their magic at the Count.
Blades of ice, spears of fire, arrows of water, whips of wind—either because they wanted to test things or because they didn’t want to hurt the soldiers, elementary-level attack magic rained down on the Count.
“Hahahahaha! Humm, you’re better trained that before. I’m impressed!”
Bathed under the rain of magic attacks, the Count steadily walked on.
His body did not even receive a millimeter of scratches.
The soldiers finally reached the Count
One of them swung a large sword at him.
The Count wasn’t even noticing.
The large sword easily broke like a toy as it came into contact with the Count.
He was alright, of course.
“Hahahahahaha! You still have a long way to go! Your steps are too naive! Even my Lute is stronger than this!”
The swordsman was blown off by a flick to his forehead and fell rolling down.
Meanwhile a large axe came swinging down, and a bolt from a bowgun flew to his head. A spear also rushed in, pointed at his stomach.
However, none of them could deal any damage to the Count.
“Well then, it’s about time for me to fight back!”
The Count rolled his right hand tightly into a fist and slowly drew it back.
His titanic muscles swelled up further, his veins popping out.
The mass of adventurers were blown off by the shockwave from the Count’s attack like dry leaves.
Also, the magic barrier that took 10 magicians to create was easily pierced and destroyed by the Count’s mana shockwaves.
If Lute were there he would be reminded of bowling in his previous life and yelled out [Strike!]
“Y, you monster!”
Pylkkänen wholeheartedly swore at his younger brother, pale in the face.
His younger brother Dan Gate Vlad was an A-ranked mage.
He possessed a large amount of mana, so much that it would flow out of his body if he was careless, but he himself isn’t fairly skilled in either attack magic or support magic.
For that reason the Count was looked down upon by people around him at first.
Pearls before swine, they said.
However, the Count paid no heed, forging his body as a weapon in order to leave the Demon Continent, gaining abilities, and continuously practicing magic with enthusiasm.
Thanks to that he gained an original means of attack and defence that does not rely on attack nor support magic.
Using the magic power that flows out of his body for defense, and diverting it to attack. He could even project it a long way away like he did just now.
As a result, the Count earned himself the title of an A-ranked mage.
Neither of his elder brothers Pylkkänen nor Ravio had any talent for magic.
In the beginning they made fun of the Count for having a huge amount of mana but not able to use it, but it turned out that their youngest brother became an A-ranked mage.
The “mage” that they longed for since they were children.
The brother they looked down upon became an A-ranked mage that only a handful of geniuses could become.
Jealousy, defeat, envy, inferiority—embittered by various emotions they came to see the Count as if he were the enemy of the family.
If he were somebody else, they wouldn’t hate him to that extent.
It’s because he was their blood-related brother that they became so madly jealous.
With just one strike, the main family’s men became disheartened.
Swords couldn’t hurt the Count and even magic had no effect.
Without a way to oppose him, it is inevitable that they could not see victory and morale dropped.
But even the Count had doubts on his superiority.
They must have adapted from the previous battle.
The brothers must have started this war with a scheme or way to secure victory.
Maybe a lethal trap directed at him, or maybe some special magic or treasure-class magic device—he just didn’t know what.
The Count carefully observed Pylkkänen’s camp.
That backfired on him.
He was late to realize that something happened in his own camp.
His wife Seras screamed, then spat blood
A silver dagger pierced and stuck on her flank through a gap in her armor.
The one who pierced her was—the head of guards, Gigi.