Kakei Senki Wo Kakageyo! / Kakei Senki Wo Kakageyo! Chapter 8

 

“No, it’s fine if you don’t humble yourself. I think that this is a good village.” (Herman)

As the village headman, Herman, said this, Axely’s mouth bent into a broad grin. The boy, Marco, produced a faint smile with a once again composed expression. After the dinner was over, small snacks and drinks were lined up on the table at the village headman’s home. 3 people with varied ages were equally illuminated by the orange light.

“I was allowed to examine it briefly, but the wheat fields are nice after all. At that rate the next annual tribute won’t prove any difficulties either. That’s excellent especially as there’s currently nothing but villages crying over the cold weather damage. Is there some secret to it?” (Axely)

“There’s nothing to the degree of a secret… if I were forced to say something, it’s thanks to the insects living in the soil. This place is also close to the northern mountain range, thus it is easy for ashes and black soil to drift in. However, the insects living in the soil won’t even flinch to small quantities of miasma.” (Herman)

The conversation is held between Axely and Herman. Unless Axely doesn’t especially bring up a subject, the black-haired, blue-eyed boy will only listen attentively in silence.

“I see. However, if it’s such kind of soil, I also hear that’s a property you can only achieve by making use of compost. If it’s this village, how are you maintaining this much livestock then? In the recent years many villages haven’t been able to procure feed for their cattle.” (Axely)

“It’s not because our village brought all of its livestock through the winter. Is it the wind’s direction or the soil… ? The obtained pasture is also more or less important. Even now all the villagers are putting up with chewing on bread made of rough wheat.” (Herman)

“You state that it wasn’t easy. It would even be fine to take these words for their face value, but… how should I think about this? Although I’m not telling you to reveal everything, I shall tell you that deception won’t benefit this village.” (Axely)

Axely used strong words, but as the matter of investigating the village was already a preliminary examination for taxation, he could understand their feelings of being afraid of tax increase if they bragged about their success crudely. Especially villages in remote regions have a mettle of 「We didn’t get any help from the king in pioneering this wilderness」. Even while accepting the rule, the tendency to shirk investigations and interventions is strong.

(I don’t know how they do it, but… the person, who brought this something into the village, is this boy, just that I have no doubt about. Let’s see until how far I can get them to tell me about it.) (Axely)

(They put more priority on this than nurturing and selling warhorses… It’s pretty much coherent with their logic and connects to qwamp, I guess?) (Axely)

(This village is… that’s right. The strange feeling in this village, to sum it up, it’s regulation. The regulation completely feels like the military rule imposed widely at the front lines. It isn’t an assembly of people swinging from joy to sorrow every day. There is a leader using a strong system… and, did that person predict the cold weather damage and the crop failures? Without that it’s not possible to explain it adequately.) (Axely)

Not flaunting his presence and not attracting the eyes of others by hiding among the children, weren’t these qualities of a proper leader? In fact, the children’s mysterious games, all of them were proposed by this boy. It’s one day after coming to this village, merely one day… Axely thinks… isn’t this boy called Marco in the centre of all the surprises I observed during this day?

“By the way, would you lend me some nail clippers? My nails have ended up cracking a bit.” (Axely)

The reaction to those words of Axely was divided. Herman was startled. Marco revealed a joyful look on his face. Saying 「I will」, he left his seat. He brought nail clippers and a nail file.

“Those are good items. This kind of nail clippers is fairly expensive even in the territory’s capital. However, it seems to be spread in every household in this village. Dyed textiles as well. This is my opinion, but if you look at the women you will also understand a lot about the standard livelihood of the group. Especially the hands. To make it blatant… in this village there is an income of money that is not included in the regular calculations.” (Axely)

While polishing the nails of his fingers properly, he brought up his own standpoint. Axely looked at Herman and Marco in turns. The face of the middle-aged man has become stiff. That is indicating that his wariness has strengthened. On the other hand, the face of the boy, that has traces of immaturity, floated something like a smile. But, the glint in his eyes is intense.

While he didn’t change his expression or put on a façade at all, Axely put strength into his lower part, that was hidden under the table. Intending to relax, he loosens his middle forehead and cheeks. He doesn’t swallow the saliva that accumulated under his tongue. It’s because he can’t gulp it down without making a sound.

Having renewed his preparedness, the glint in the boy’s eyes, that had seized him, quieted down once he put down the cup. Even though he sensed that he himself was being tested, Axely, far from feeling anger, felt a strange satisfaction. That’s because he discovered something new about the boy beyond what he already knew about him.

“… As jest while drinking alcohol, I want to hear about it, not in my official duty but as private person.” (Axely)

He asks after including an excuse.

“Reaching the rank of general… in other words, that means that I haven’t reached it yet. I wonder, what the heck I’m lacking your eyes?” (Axely)

“Loyalty.” (Marco)

It was an immediate reply to the degree of being daunting. And, he isn’t able to deny it.

“You look like you know about strategy. Certainly the essential abilities aren’t things you list up at length. But all of these abilities function only after you have a leader you must serve. Being your own master and carrying out all kinds of things at you own discretion won’t let you exceed the resulting personal affairs by yourself, no matter how far you go. People call that a hobby.” (Marco)

Axely brought the cup to his mouth and faced the boy, who said all this smoothly and bluntly. Mischief is being reflected in the boy’s gaze.

“You, who wastes his abilities on a hobby, have no backbone. Even if you intend to shoulder the lives of soldiers, you don’t plan to bear the fate of a leader. As you look at everything as somebody else’s problem, you only believe in yourself. And you gloat about it. People call that masturbation.” (Marco)

With a warped smile his mouth is grinning broadly, “How obscene!” Axely felt something terrible travel across his spinal column. Something furious is welling up within his chest. His breath clogged up suddenly. The conclusion has been tossed out there.

“Will you choose the twig? Will you discard your claws… ? Stop being half-assed. Isn’t that a detestable state?” (Marco)

The boy intensified his dubious smile for an instant, but returned to his prim face after he gulped down the sake cup as if nothing happened. Is it the sound of an insect crashing and bursting open with a squish? The small winged insect, done in by the heat, quietly wriggled on the table and then stopped moving.

It is the village girl called Hannah who performed the tasks of leading him to the guest room, preparing the bed and providing the water for the water basin. Axely, who observed her taking care of the boy with reverence, asked only one thing. It’s a question where he didn’t even expect an answer. It’s before retiring. He might have wanted to express his agitation without sobering up.

“The boy called Marco… what kind of person is he?” (Axely)

The girl, who smoothed out the blanket, told him without hesitation in her eyes.

“Bou-chama is “Fate”” (Hannah) (T/N: Bou = Boy, chama = chan + sama … affectionate way of honourable address, I guess) 

Axely laughed. That is the foretold child. Waiting eagerly for something, continuing to search for something and hoping for something, the boy in front of him was the embodiment of this… he was convinced of that. That is certainly fate. My life before today and after today will change, whether I want it or not.

He owns the blood-line of a lower noble in Asuria Kingdom. As he completed the Royal Military Academy with excellent grades, he was sent to the front since the war situation was deteriorating. Fighting in many battles as essential reinforcement on various battlefields because of his high adaptability, he obtained reliable results no matter where he was dispatched. His wish to return to the military academy after the “Sacred Flame Festival” never came true. He was transferred to the Helrevi territorial army due to his stance of liking the duty of rear support.

As wide-versed person, having both wisdom and courage, exhibiting his keen abilities in strategy and internal administration, Marco’s trust in him was deep. Many of his achievements were partly built upon independent, separate missions. In fact, there are theories that he tried scheming his independence, but on the other hand, the words, he told his adjutant, were left behind.

“I’m aware of my own capabilities and I, who dislikes to go beyond myself, have no aptitude for being king. I’m a lazy person even though I work hard. It’s nice if I only have work that’s worth to be done. Pardon me from something like building a history of being in the lead.” (Axely)

We don’t know whether it’s the truth or a lie. However, once you talk about Marco’s exploits, it is impossible to talk about it while hiding the name Axel Anel, whose reputation went to the degree of “workaholic.” The activities, where he left his marks, cover a lot of ground, but many historians, who talk about the relation between him and Marco, indicate his inspection of Kikomaru as 「Official for patrolling the remote regions」 as first step. Even if the significance itself can’t be seen, one should pay attention to the exceedingly important consequence of the following second step.
At the time Axely visited Kikomaru once again after his inspection finished, the name Marco appeared for the first time in historical records. And as first mark that largely changed the fate of Asuria Kingdom and Empire Eberia, it became a day that was talked about for a long, long time.

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