Empire Year 851, 22nd May—
It was a day later than expected when the First Imperial Army linked up with them on the nearby Le Lucé hill.
A tent was set up on the flat, green ground to conduct a conference. Even though it was daytime, it was quite dim due to the fog.
From time to time, there would be a strong breeze, causing the grass to dance along with the wind. While the altitude was not too low, standing on the mountaintop would still get your hair messy.
The black-haired youth— Regis Auric brushed aside the hair covering his eyes due to the strong wind and looked to the side.
It was the girl who accompanied him on the stroll. Even though it was dim, her beautiful hair looked as if it was shining, which made her conspicuous. Her crimson hair was lifted up by her white and smooth finger.
Her crimson hair brushed against Regis’ face from time to time due to wind, causing him to feel a little itchy. The girl looked over towards him and they both exchanged a look.
The girl who carried the blood of the Belgarian Royalty was Marie Quatre Argentina de Belgaria. As royalty, she was not normally allowed to walk together with a commoner like Regis regardless of whether he was her strategist or not. If they were alone however, Regis would call her by her nickname Altina, and would also not display a formal attitude towards her. This was because Altina would get angry if Regis displayed such a cold attitude towards her, because it would break Altina’s heart…… Though, any person with a brain would not let her feel sad.
Altina opened her mouth.
“Ah, my hair is brushing against you, sorry.”
“Ah… it’s fine.”
“Is that so? Hey, you seem to be in a daze. Could it be that you’re sick?”
She stretched her white hand towards Regis’ forehead.
Regis immediately retreated two steps back.
“Looking at you made me fall in a daze” was something Regis could not bring himself to say. He broke out in sweat in embarrassment.
“That’s good… ... Troublesome matters keep coming up recently, so don’t push yourself too hard, alright?”
It was just like what Altina said. Regis had gone through the attack by Varden Duchy, travelled for twenty days straight and even fought a losing battle three days ago.
Luckily, the Beilschmidt Border Regiment did not suffer many losses, and both Altina and Regis were relatively unscathed. However, they were fatigued by the long campaign and battles.
“Compared to us, the soldiers are even more tired… …”
While the others were marching, Regis was sitting on a carriage which was also the temporary office; and he did not participate in any battles directly.
Altina drooped her shoulders.
“Unlike you, the soldiers and I went through training, so the one that I’m most worried about is you.”
“Is that so… … I can’t really deny it because you’re right…”
Altina stuck her tongue out.
“Heh heh~ Since you can’t deny it, does that mean I have some talent in strategizing?”
“That would be even better because it would lighten my workload. I’ll have more time to read that way.”
“I’m just joking.”
“How cruel… … It can’t be helped, guess I should just sacrifice my sleep.”
“Wait a moment, Regis?”
“I’m just fooling around too.”
“Then that’s good… … If you don’t rest properly , you will really get sick!”
“That’s because I already cut my sleep time to the bare minimum already.”
Altina was surprised by Regis’ words.
“Ah, the bare minimum rest is still rest, so I won’t collapse that easily? Probably…”
“Waaa, really! Ah, that’s right, let’s sleep together then! In that case, I will be able to know whether you’ve rested properly!”
Altina had an ‘I am a genius’ look.
However, Regis’ face was getting redder.
As soon as Altina realised what she had said, she blushed.
“Ah, no… … I didn’t mean anything weird?!”
“I-I’m considered an adult too! I won’t sleep with a male before marriage!”
“That’s true… …”
In Belgaria, one was considered an adult when they reached the age of fifteen.
Altina had her fifteenth birthday on the battlefield yesterday.
Together with the maid, Clarisse, they had a small party.
Jerome, who was known as the Black Knight gave her a bottle of high-class wine. It was not rare to gift wine for the coming of age.
Altina who drank for the first time, she—
Regis shook his head and cut off his thoughts as the scene was too wonderful for him as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, I believe that girls shouldn’t share a room with a male that easily regardless of their age.”
“I-I know that…”
Altina, whose ears were red replied.
They reached the area near the tent which was situated on top of the hill.
“Even when we are in this kind of situation, you’re fighting against Prince Latreille for the throne, so you can’t be too careless.”
“What do you mean by being careless?”
“Hm… … If I knew that, I wouldn’t be phrasing my words like this… … Anyway, you can leave the negotiations to me.”
“Mhm, I’ll leave it to you.”
The tent was guarded by the First Imperial Army’s cavalry on all sides. Last month, Altina and the others ran into some conflict with them, and inflicted severe casualties on one of the knight corps.
They won’t be making trouble for us now, would they? Regis thought as he was a little nervous, while Altina entered with a dignified look.
Her attitude was as if she could take on anything that was thrown at her.
The knights saluted her uniformly without hesitation, flawless and in a textbook manner.
Altina returned a brief salute while Regis followed behind her.
* * *
The entrance to the tent was covered by a piece of cloth hanging down and a rock was used to hold it in place at the bottom. Pushing it open, Altina entered the tent as Regis followed closely.
Upon entering, there was a herbal scent. There were six knights at each corner of the tent while First Grade Admin Officer Germain was beside his lord. He had a pained look and there were traces of fatigue on his face. On the other hand, Latreille was sitting on a chair, looking at the map laid out on the table with his head bandaged. That was an injury he received several days ago. However, his face was as calm as usual and was white whilst his lips were as red as tomatoes. He showed no trace of fatigue at all.
He shifted his sight from the map to them and spoke.
“It’s great to see you’re fine, Argentina.”
“I’m surprised that you’re still so energetic Latreille, I heard that you were injured.”
“That’s right, I fell for the enemy’s tricks. They threw rocks and logs from the cliff above and had their cavalry charged at us.”
“Charging down cliffs and the like, I know you can do it too.”
“That was when I was a child… … I never expected them to penetrate deep into the heart of an army of thirty thousand. Even though we were moving in a valley.”
“Where did the ambush take place?”
Germain, who was at the side replied to Altina.
He pointed to the map.
“Here. Because it’s a path through the mountains, it is very narrow. The enemy came from both sides and retreated after a brief engagement.”