Editor: Frozen Ink
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 23 – Leonhart’s Apostle [B]
“Argh! Kuh, I’m not done yet…!”
I kept observing and avoided Battle Notes who constantly launched attacks, and sometimes he made her trip, but he kept avoiding earnestly.
I guess an hour has already passed since we began. I reflected that I should have added a time limit to the test.
However, regardless of how she attacked me, none of her hits landed. The difference between her, a battle notes (a female demon who was not exactly specialized in combat) and me, a majin, was like heaven and earth.
She might be more capable in combat when compared to normal battle notes, but the difference was so minuscule to me that I hardly felt any difference. The fact that I’ve never seen how battle notes fought might be a factor, but the greatest reason was that our difference in power was too great.
I called out to her, thinking it would be impossible for her, even if we kept doing it.
“…You still won’t give up?”
“I don’t want to! I’ll keep going at it!”
As she said that, I tripped her once again. But well, it was my fault for not specifying any time limit, so I would accompany her as long as it took.
Three hours later.
The test was still ongoing.
As I watched her, who was already out of breath, I urged her to give up for the n-th time.
“Why don’t we put an end to this?”
“I, I don’t want to…!”
She refused with an unwavering gaze. It seemed she had no intention of giving up. At this rate, I couldn’t proceed with the other tests I planned for her. I should have done this last. But I wanted to avoid going out at night.
…The sun would set soon.
I casually looked at the sky, with a slight feeling of regret.
Five hours later.
The setting sun illuminated the hill we were on, casting long shadows.
The test I had put forward to the Battle Note—was still going on.
As a result of being tripped countless times, her clothes were now dirty and she was sweating all over. Even as she managed to pick herself up and catch her breathe, her attacks no longer possessed the momentum it initially had; it’s gotten to the point that it could easily be avoided, even if her opponent wasn’t me.
Since I didn’t attack her directly, she wasn’t that injured, but she was still fatigued and her body was sore all over.
However, her gaze still contained a strong will.
As I saw that, I spoke to her since I thought it wouldn’t end.
“…You’ve sure lasted for a long time. If you can still move that much, you’re not half bad.”
“…I am, honored… by your praise.”
She was quite something to still be able to reply. Her willpower might be stronger than that of normal people.
Therefore, I gave her a suggestion.
The sun will go down soon, and the visibility will get worse. Looking at your current state, I will not fail you even if you give up at this point—that’s why give up.”
Besides, it was unreasonable to begin with. Over the last several decades, I’ve never been wounded. The only people who’d managed to wound me were fellow majins like Camilla and Galtia. I have never even been so much as scratched by anyone else.
That was why I made an escape route for her. I approved of her willpower. I could already consider her as half-passed by this point, so I didn’t want her to collapse here.
—but she was,
She still stubbornly refused it. A strong will still remain in her eyes.
At this moment, I grew interested in her for the first time.
There was some sort of principle she held within her.
“…Why is that?”
I simply asked her such a question.
“It’s not like you couldn’t become an apostle just because you give up now. Why are you so stubborn despite that?”
“If I did so… then you wouldn’t recognize me…”
She answered my question firmly, despite her burdened speech.
“If I gave up…Leonhart, -sama… won’t recognize me.”
“…Does that matter if you still become an apostle despite that?”
“It matters a lot…!”
She began to talk even as she lacked breath.
“… Because I, wished to be acknowledged… to be recognized by, Leonhart-sama… that’s I asked, to become your apostle.”
—A few years ago.
An angry voice echoed throughout the air of a certain front.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
It was a demon general who’s body was trembling in barely concealed anger. He was yelling at a commander who was apologizing before him.
“Why did you ignore our strategy and act on your own! One wrong move, and we would all be defeated, you hear me?! Are you trying to kill me?!”
“It’s a mistake that can’t be redeemed by a simple apology! Damn it, I was scared out of wits…”
The demon general muttered that. Then as he tried to restrain his anger a little, he glared at the commander.
“I sentence you to house arrest! Do your best to cool off your head!”
“Ye-yes. I’m very sorry about that…”
“Fu-n… there will be no next time.”
After warning her, the demon general left.
The commander who was left alone, was ordered to standby at the encampment while other soldiers sortie to the battle.
—The commander, a gal demon who is affiliated to the Demon Army had absolute confidence with the strategy she thought of.
It was something that was often thought of by their species, battle notes and commanders, who boasted for their tactical judgment.
However, in her case, her thoughts were mostly about offense.
Therefore, she didn’t like passive tactics and withdrawing, and implemented the offensive tactics she thought of instead.
It was clear she had the related talent. Therefore, the strategy itself would work just fine.
However, violation of orders was a heavy crime in the army. If one did that, the organization would not function properly. It wasn’t something forgivable just because she succeeded.
During this operation, her units were supposedly within a dense formation to deter enemy attacks. However, she thought she ought to deal more damage to the enemy, so she commanded her unit to participate in the attack after withdrawing once.
The result itself was quite good. However, her action was definitely not something that could be easily forgiven. The hole created due to her unit leaving the formation was used by a small part of the enemy and they, in turn, struck directly at the main encampment of the Demon Army. This was the reason why the demon general was so mad at her.
She frowned as she sat in the tent.
—It’s not interesting. It’s not fun. It’s boring.
She held resentment within her heart.
She stood out even as commander. Her talent was closer to that of battle notes instead of her fellow commanders. However, perhaps exactly due to the fact she possessed such talent, or maybe due to her innate personality, she spoke her opinion frankly—or to put it in other words, she sounded impudent.
Such an attitude didn’t change even when she talked to fellow commanders, battle notes who were supposedly her greater species, demon captain or demon general who supposedly her superior. She would strongly appeal for her own strategy if she thought her tactic was better.
However, such an attitude was likely to cause annoyance. Even though her ability was appreciated, she was still treated coldly. This fact hurt her pride.
Why must she be treated coldly by those who were inferior to her? Her capabilities and achievements were greater than those around. Yet, why did nobody recognize her?
She understood the reason why. She also knew what she must do to change it. However, that would mean she would change herself to someone who wasn’t her. That wasn’t something she could tolerate.
However, her loneliness didn’t go away. If she chose to stick to herself, then this feeling would accompany her forever.
Therefore, she should give up—but at that time.
“—You, what are you doing there?”
She turned around to a sudden voice who called out from behind—and she was about to scream as she saw who it was. The person who stood there was known by everyone affiliated to the Demon Army.
He was a majin who’d earned one of the seats of Four Elite Majin and the demon army officer. He also served as the commander of this invasion unit.
It seemed that he’d remained at the main encampment. And, by pure coincidence, found a figure of a lone commander and called out to her.
“Why are you hiding alone there…? No, I guess it’s okay.”
“Is it really okay…?”
She thought she would be reprimanded for being away from the war unit, but she was forgiven for some reason. Due to such an unexpected turn of events, she replied to him rather bluntly.
Perhaps that also surprised him, seeing as his eyes widened for a moment. Oops, was I too rude?
“…Well, isn’t it okay? I have no right to judge—“
“…You have such a right, though…”
“…I do have such a right. But I don’t think it’s something I should be nosy about. I’m in a good mood today anyway.”
As he said that, one of the corners of his mouth lifted as he seemed to recall about something.
“…Did something good happening?”
She asked that question with a casual tone. He obligingly answered her question, despite the huge difference in their status.
“Well, a certain unit left the formation during the last battle…”
Her heart skipped a beat. Perhaps he meant the unit under her command.
Did he come to reprimand her about that? Perhaps this majin came to her knowingly to say that? Did he come here to dispose of her—
Such anxiety was immediately overturned by his happy tone.
“The person who led the unit was the commander of enemy forces. Because they came to me, I had my fun, and the tide of war slid to our advantage once their commander was taken care of.”
“Because of that, I could entrust the rest to my subordinates and take a break like this.”
It was an unexpected story.
Her action accidentally led to a better war situation and made this person happy. She was quite fortunate even if it was a coincidence.
She felt she was saved for a little bit. Rather, he was happy about the breach in command and getting to fight the enemy at main encampment; as expected, he loved fighting very much. Although she’d often heard such rumors, she’d thought that a person who served as the Demon Army Officer was supposed to be more straight-laced.
However, he was a majin. He was in a position where nobody would reprimand him despite acting as he liked. Even so, people around him still respected him. To be honest, she was quite envious of that.
“…Does Leonhart-sama have any worries?”
She suddenly asked him. Would a majin have similar worries like she did? If he did, she wished to ask him.
He immediately replied back without a moment’s hesitation.
“Since you asked such a question, do you have any worries?”
Words got stuck on her throat due to his unexpected counterattack. Did she appear to be really disheartened?
“Tell me if you have any… Well, you don’t have to though.”
He then continued his words.
She was quite confused because of his words—until she finally decided to speak of it.
“Err, what should I do to be recognized by people around me…?”
“What, you want to be recognized?”
Of course she did. Being recognized for her leadership abilities was something akin to the living purpose of a commander who acted as part of a group. Even more so if it was involved in something they specialized in. If they were denied of that, there wouldn’t be any point in their existence.
However, whether he was aware of a such thing or not,
“You speak as if nobody recognizes you… Well, at the very least, I recognize you.”
When she heard what he said, she involuntary made a stupid sound. As she stood there with a confused look on her face, he continued to speak.
“Because capable subordinates like you are helping me… You were the one commanding the unit who moved on their own, right?”
“Based on your reaction, I guess that confirms it. Well, I won’t probe too deeply about it, but I sure feel reassured because of you. Well, doing such independent actions can be troublesome though…”
He figured it out as he looked at her reaction. As expected, he received the report. Perhaps the demon general also reported that she was currently under house arrest.
Despite knowing all that, the majin in front of her came to express his gratitude. He wryly chuckled as he saw her expression.
“You seem to be capable anyway, so you won’t make the same mistake, right?”
“Eh! Ah, of course…”
She answered her in a flustered manner. While she could say she wouldn’t repeat the same mistake, she couldn’t say she won’t do a similar mistake.
“I love capable people who want to improve themselves like you. I will recognize such people greatly.”
“Well. If you want some advice, capable people tend to be bullied by people around them. It sounds cruel, but it’s a common thing. It’s hard to be loved by everyone. That’s why—“
He stopped for a bit before uttering the rest.
“—Have someone who is important to you recognize you, even if it is just a single person.”
“I don’t know if you can find such a person easily. You can’t have one if you merely acted by yourself without coordinating with others.”
As she took in his words, he stood up and said.
“Everything will change if you have one such existence. Everything will seem to have value then—well, that’s all I have to do today.”
After saying everything he had to say, he left.
She was the only one left there.
As she stood there on her own, she repeated his words.
“—Have someone who is important to me recognize me.”
When merely spoken, it was nothing but mundane and idealistic words.
However, those words remained inside of her like a fever.
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Also, Tsukii has picked up a new series called “A Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious!” The title really says it all. Early access to more chapters for this story is available on Patreon.