— Kingdom’s southern military base, Gallia Fortress
Gallia Fortress had become the Kingdom’s frontline after Kiel Fortress fell. A vast amount of expenditure was invested in expanding the base as fast as possible. Though it boasted the capacity the largest capacity, it wasn’t enough to hold 100,000 men.
— The Commander’s room in Gallia Fortress
Behind the ebony office desk sat sixty-year-old Lieutenant General Pual. He was the General of the 7th Army who led a total of 40,000 soldiers. He leaned into his comfy leather chair and asked for the deputy’s reports.
“Your Excellency, according to the information that arrived this morning, His Majesty has decided to recapture Kiel Fortress. The First Army that previously guarded the capital has also been dispatched.”
“Fumu. If only that decision had been made a year earlier; the situation today would’ve been very different. That strategy doesn’t make much sense while we’re still under siege like this. In the first place, no matter how many elites are in the first army are still low…”
Lt. General Paul sighed, took a cigar from his breast-pocket, and lit it. Nowadays, cigars had become a rare luxury. Even for a high-ranked officer like himself. He was a talented man – if a bit stiff.
“There is no way someone like me can understand His Majesty’s deep thoughts. There is a direct order from His Majesty, addressed to Your Excellency.”
“Direct order…? Tell me.”
“Yessir. Lieutenant General Pual is to defend Gallia Fortress while making preparations to head out. That’s it.”
“Fufu. Now, now. Don’t make such a face. If his place fell, then it’s over for the Kingdom. His Majesty knows that as well. He just wanted to emphasize it.”
Otto’s expression suddenly changed upon hearing Pual’s comment. Otto coughed a few times before he resumed.
“In any case, we’ll only need to defend the fortress. But there’s a change in the situation. Does Your Excellency remember an imperial soldier called Samuel?”
“Samuel? I think I’ve heard that name before… Right, right. I remember now. He was the one who defeated the Firth Army’s Major Lance.”
Lt. General Paul said scornfully. Major General Lance was only twenty-seven years old, but was both a wise and excellent man. However, in the battle of Arsmitt, he’d been skewered by Samuel and died. The Lt. General heard that his corpse had been displayed for three days and nights in front of Kiel Fortress. A few days later, the Fifth Army led by Lieutenant Belmar had been violently decimated.
“It is as your Excellency said. Samuel has been killed.”
“Ho! Is there truly such a fierce man in our army? From which army is he from?”
“Yes, about that…”
Otto’s words stalled there as he hesitated to continue. The Lt. General sighed and asked.
“What’s wrong with you? Have you lost your tongue somewhere? Do I have to check if you still have one?”
“… Pardon me. It’s just that, the slayer was not someone from our army. Its a traveling young girl.”
“… Am I getting old that my hearing is failing me? Sorry, but can you repeat that once more?”
Afterward, Lt. General Paul scratched his ear. Deputy Otto repeated his report without a change in his expression.
“It was a traveling young girl who killed Samuel.”
“I see. So Deputy Otto can also joke around once in a while. I wonder if a storm is coming…”
With that said, Lt. General Pual peeked through the window and found the sky unexpectedly dark outside.
“Sir, unfortunately, it’s not a joke. A girl came with several imperial soldier heads – including Samuel’s.”
— A few days ago.
Deputy Otto worked in his office when a report from the soldier guarding the front gate came. A girl had come with several Imperial soldiers’ heads in tow. The Deputy had quick;y went to see this himself, only to find a girl whose entire body was covered in blood. In her hand, was a large blood-stained hemp bag.
When he checked the contents of the hemp bag, it was full of Imperial soldier heads. So he asked the girl what happened. To which she replied she had encountered the soldiers back on Canary Road. Since some of them had pointed their swords at her, she had simply returned the favor. The story alone was shocking, but even more surprising was the fact discovered soon after.
When all the heads had been inspected, they found Samuel’s head among them.
“So its not a lie, and she really brought his head with her?”
“Yes. I’ve seen that man a couple of times on the battlefield. There’s no mistake, it was Samuel the ‘Violent Skewer’.”
“… That’s a too outlandish story to believe.”
Even if it’d been a boy instead of a girl, the story would’ve still been hard to believe. But then, a man who was called in a hero showed his power since a young age.
Lt. General Paul inhaled the cigar’s smoke before he exhaled it slowly.
“I thought so too. I wouldn’t have believed it without seeing it with my own eyes.”
“Then what purpose did she come to this fortress? Was it for the bounty?”
“That’s not it. She originally wanted to go to the capital to apply to become a volunteer soldier. She mentioned that she happened to find this fortress on her way, so she decided to stop by and send the heads as a souvenir before they rotted away.”
“Haha, that was quite bold of her. Maybe we should be thankful that such a person was crazy enough to apply in times like this… Also, you said earlier she was a young girl – just how old is she?”
“When I asked, she said she was fifteen years old.”
At the unexpected answer, Lt. General Pual nearly dropped his cigar. If she was fifteen years old, then she was no older than his granddaughter. Publicly speaking, she could’ve already been considered as having taken half a step towards adulthood at that age. But to him, she wasn’t past her childhood yet.
The Lt. General glanced to his Deputy to see if he was joking. His subordinate silently shook his head. The answer would remain the same, no matter how many times it’d been asked. It was written on his face.
“Haa… Then, what is this girl doing right now?”
“Maybe in the cafeteria as we speak. By the way, taking into account the volunteer application and the enemy’s heads, we’ve decided to appoint her as a warrant officer.”
This time, the Lt. General really dropped his cigar. He admired Deputy Otto’s foresight, but this man could be too blunt at times. His subordinates serious expression remained the same. Thinking he deserved it, Lt. General Pual opened his mouth to reprimand his deputy.
“Deputy Otto, no matter how short on soldiers my army gets, that isn’t something we should do out of the blue.”
“Is that so?”
“That’s right. It’s great that she killed Samuel. If she was a soldier, I would’ve awarded her the Silver Lion Medal. Unfortunately, she wasn’t. And to welcome such a young girl amongst us is…”
“Sir, pardon me, but we’re not in a position to think about such trivial matters. Whether she’s a young or old woman, if she has the capability to slaughter the imperial soldiers, then she should use it. I cannot deny that this may cause a little mishap, but- well then, I still have a lot of work. Please excuse me.”
Deputy Otto quickly saluted, turned, and vacated the Lt. General’s office. The Lt. General took his cigar that’d rolled on his desk after dropping, and slowly placed it back into his mouth.
(“Indeed, it’s as he said. I have no room to care about trivial things. Therefore, diving a young girl to war is… Somehow, I feel is extremely deplorable.”)
The Lt. General exhaled hard as he sunk deeper into his chair powerlessly.