Second chapter for the week.
Arc 26: What can be done for tomorrow
Chapter 261: The Lunch Box Made by the Beloved Wife, and A Woman on Each Side
「They haven’t come yet」(Luu)
「No, they haven’t」(Touya)
I reply to Luu’s mutter who’s sitting on a rock.
The place we are currently at is referred to as the Isrem plains located to the northwest from the imperial capital Gararia in the central part of the Regulus Empire.
The verdant plains looking just like the Mongolian plains spread all around with the rocky mountains visible from far away. The sky is so clear that there’s not a single cloud.
It’s already the fourth day since we deployed Frame Gears and set up the headquarters in this place. It’s a good thing that the adventurers guild in Regulus has foreseen the appearance of frazes with the perception board, but our ambush has been lengthened since they have a long arrival time frame from the next day up to a week.
Though it’s not that I want them to appear. It’s just that waiting for them like this is… We don’t know when they will appear, so there’s no way for us to return to Brunhild as well.
The girls take turns returning to the castle with the fixed gates installed in headquarters.
As for today, the ones coming here are Luu, Rin, Suu, and Linzie. Yumina and Sakura are house-sitting at the castle while Yae, Elzie, and Hilda should be sleeping inside their own rooms after they’ve finished their turn patrolling the area.
We can’t afford to relax since an advanced-class will also be among those arriving this time. However, to constantly stay tense and alert is also…
「Touya-sama. It’s lunchtime, so how about eating a bento?」(Luu)
「Oh. Sounds good. I guess we should get some」(Touya)
Luu takes out two bentos and two canteens, a big one and a small one, from the bag and places those on the flat surface of the rock. She pours each of us soup from the large canteen and tea from the small one and hands me one of the bentos. Having opened the lid of the lunch box I’ve received, I see a line-up of a delicious-looking rice and various side dishes.
「Hey, it looks delicious. Did Luu make it?」(Touya)
「Yes. Early in the morning. I’ve requested Clair-san to make it for the others though」(Luu)
Luu smiles as if she’s embarrassed. This princess of the Regulus Empire has a talent for cooking and she developed it after coming to Brunhild. That’s because she is being lectured by Clair-san all this time, and is being taught the recipes from my world, trying out to make them in her spare time.
“Thanks for the food.” I place my hands together and start eating the fried prawns from the bento. Delicious. It doesn’t lose to the ones made by Clair-san.
「It’s really delicious. You’ve become really skillful」(Touya)
「Thank you very much. I’m happy to be able to receive such words」(Luu)
The tamagoyaki and karaage are delicious too. Say, I feel like I understand the meaning of “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. The nikujaga is even more supreme.
「It’s really delicious. I think I even want to eat it every day」(Touya)
「I-I think I will do that as much as I can once we get married」(Luu)
Luu starts eating her bento with her face dyed red. I’m grateful. I’m grateful to God in a whole lot of ways. Hm, that reminds me.
「Sakura’s frame is the one being constructed right now, but what fighting style do you want to use, Luu? I suspect it’ll be a style that has a high mobility which makes the best use of a pair of swords, right?」(Touya)
「Let me think of that… That style is good as well, but I want to fight in such a way wherein I’ll be able to adapt to what’s required at the moment depending on the situation. Elzie-san, Hilda-san, and Yae-san are vanguards while Suu-san, Sakura-san, and Rin-san are rearguards. In that case, I believe it’s better for me to act as a commando, same as Linzie-san」(Luu)
「It would be ideal if I can change weapons depending on the situation, or being able to support either from long range or close quarters. Something like that」(Luu)
Fumu. I guess that fighting style will require a transformable frame wherein it can transform from a high mobility mode to a firepower-centric or heavy armor-centric mode, making the said frame a commando unit. The transformation can be done with movement magic, so we’ll likely be able to reduce the loss of time. A transformable type for unconventional warfare, huh? It may be not bad.
「Yep. Then let’s try going in that direction. It’s too bad we only have the dragoon as the high mobility unit for this time though」(Touya)
I gaze at the green-painted dragon knight standing still on the side of the headquarters. Although it’s the same type as the one End has, this one here is still an old modeled frame gear.
Everyone else has their own personal frames, so they’ve given the remaining dragoon to Luu while saying “If it’s Luu, you should be able to make the best use of its mobility”. Well, it’s sort of a loaned vehicle just until Professor completes her own personal machine.
「Thanks for the food」(Touya)
「I hope you liked it」(Luu)
I cover the emptied bento and rewrap it with the cloth. We then take a short rest while sipping on the after meal tea.
「Your Majesty The Sovereign King, Princess, is now a good time?」(Gaspar)
「Ah, welcome, Gaspar-san」(Touya)
As I look at the place where that voice came from, right there is the one-eyed Gaspar-san, the commander of the knight order of Regulus Empire, standing still. The incident this time will be happening within Regulus territory, so quite a number of knights are participating from their side.
「I am relieved to see that your relationship is good. With this, both Regulus and Brunhild will be at peace as well」(Gaspar)
Gaspar-san gives a hearty laugh while saying so.
「Has something happened?」(Touya)
「Well, it’s not like something happened, but… Your Majesty, may I request that the number of companies for our Regulus Empire be increased a little more? 」(Gaspar)
「? Even more than what we have currently? Why?」(Touya)
On this occasion, I’ve granted a larger number of units to Regulus than usual, consisting 27 units of Chevaliers and 3 units of Night Barons, but he’s must be feeling that the current line-up is still insufficient, huh?
「As a matter of fact, Regulus has employed new members to its knight order same as Brunhild, and we want them to get experience on the battlefield as well. However, we can’t afford to let the newcomers be part of the vanguards on a battle where an advanced-class will be appearing as well. So I’m requesting if it’s possible to add one more company composed of those new knights who would then be paired mainly against the lower types while having the more experienced knights lead them」(Gaspar)
I see. It’s true that our side is also deploying a company of new knights in order to make them experience the fight against the frazes this time. I obviously have no intention to pit them against an advanced-class. Their duty can be described as them personally experiencing the atmosphere of battle and the way to fight using frame gears as per our instructions.
「You’re saying they’ve finished training in the frame units, aren’t you?」(Touya)
「Yes, they’ve already finished training with it. That’s because this proposal would’ve been out of the question unless they’re able to make the frame gears move in the simulations at the very least. I think they will be able to adequately deal with the lower types if they don’t allow themselves to be surrounded」(Gaspar)
Well, I can still send them off when they get done in, but… I guess it’ll be fine if we get them to be properly guided.
「I understand. I’ll lend you an additional Black Knight unit and nine more Heavy Knight units. I’ll be requesting the materials fee for their repairs in case they get destroyed 」(Touya)
「Thank you very much」(Gaspar)
I’ve decided to contact Monica from Babylon and ask her to transfer ten units to the ground from the “Hangar”.
Although there will be an advanced-class this time, their numbers don’t seem like it’ll reach up to 10.000. We’ll also be using the new models this time as well. I think the battle won’t become a really fierce one, but I won’t know for sure until I see the battle itself starts.
I ask Luu for one more cup of tea after Gaspar-san leaves.
「So Regulus has also admitted new people, huh?」(Touya)
「Seems like it. The war potential of Regulus has dropped significantly due to the army’s insurrection before, so… 」(Luu)
「That general has gone too far that time 」(Touya)
General Bazur has aimed for the life of His Majesty The Emperor, used the [Imbibe Demon’s bracelet] and the [Bracelet of Defense], summoned devils, and raised a military coup.
After that incident, both he and the officers who sympathized with him were executed, and a considerable number of army officials were punished. The Knight Order and the army were separate entities in Regulus, but it seems that the army is now under the control of the knight order. Well, they’re guilty of dishonoring themselves, so they can’t help but be placed under observation for a short while, I guess.
Thankfully, They’ve also interposed me in their relations with foreign countries, and friendly relations, which were considered unlikely thus far, have been built. Due to that, they don’t seem to need the protection of foreign countries that much. It’s natural in the case of Belfast, but they’re also skillfully associating with Rodomea and Ramisshu. Although they do occasionally turn to me for problems that both countries in question can’t resolve by themselves.
「That incident was a sad event for the empire, but it was a deeply memorable event for me as I was able to meet Touya-sama. It’s imprudent of me though」(Luu)
「Guess so. Certainly, I might’ve never even met Luu if that incident didn’t happen. When I think about it like that, I may even be thankful to that general. Though it was just my indiscretion」(Touya)
We exchange glances between ourselves and smile. I believe from the bottom of my heart that I’m glad that I’ve met this girl.
Luu is unyielding and a hard worker. She’s also stubborn enough that she doesn’t easily change her mind once she has decided on something. However, she’s a gentle girl who can place other people before herself.
As we started gazing at each other without minding anything, one of us began approaching and the other responded. Luu closed her eyes. Before long, I closed mine, and…
「Oooh~. Ain’t both of them bold ~ja…」(Suu)
「Sh~, Suu. Be quiet」(Linzie)
「Such a thing, I am a bit jealous….」(Rin)
We open our eyes and quickly turn our heads towards the small voices we’ve heard from somewhere.
Suu, Linzie, Rin, and Pola are peeking over here while hiding in the shadows of a rock in the back.
「Y-Y-You girls, since when have you been peeking ?!」(Luu)
The red-faced Luu snaps at the single animal(?) and the three people.
「Since the time when we’ve passed by commander Gaspar-san, I guess?」(Suu)
「W-We’re wondering about lunch, so once we came to ask you two and, it is like, the atmosphere was good, so」(Linzie)
「I’ve told them that we shouldn’t be a hindrance, you know? 」(Rin)
The three people reply just like that while Pola, who’s standing at Rin’s feet, simply places her hands on the waist and sticks out her chest, saying “What’s up?”. No, this isn’t the place for you to feel proud of yourself.
Luu crouches down with both of her hands covering her face beet red from embarrassment.
「Uuu…. How embarrassing…」(Luu)
「I don’t think it’s something to be embarrassed about. Touya is our husband ~ja. What’s shameful in improving the relations of a married couple? 」(Suu)
Suu tilts her head as if she doesn’t completely understand the situation.
「I still haven’t reached that high level of relationship…」(Luu)
Luu averts her eyes from the riled-up innocent gaze of Suu. That’s certainly true. Honestly speaking, even I haven’t reached that level yet. Though I’ve broken through it in a certain sense.
「Our darling doesn’t do such things with us that much, so there’s no way for us to get used to it as well. As for me, I’d like him to get physically closer to me even more」(Rin)
「That’s right. I think that Touya-san should flirt with us more」(Linzie)
For a Japanese person from a modest nation even among the countries of my former world, this sort of hurdle in incredibly high though… Flirting in public will earn someone quite a lot of animosity, you know? The people around him will tell or write stuff to him like “Riajuus should explode” or “Go die”, you know?
「That’s right ~ja. I want him to embrace me so-o tight too」(Suu)
「Me too. Walking in the streets while holding hands, I want to do stuff like say “A-ah” in cafes」(Linzie)
「Oh, sounds good. Isn’t it fine if it’s about this much?」(Rin)
That’s why I’ve said before, that hurdle is high for me to do those things in front of everyone. I’ll be told “Aren’t you being lovey-dovey there” or “Go die”, you know?
How many times have I had the same thoughts about guys flirting inside the train carriages, huh? That’s why I know those things. About their wailing. About the screams of their souls and bitter tears that they shed. I don’t think I can agitate them in vain with that, you know.
「Isn’t it fine now that there’s no one in here? If there are many of people here, then I will cling to you a lot right now ~ja!」
Suu rushes over and starts clinging to me from the front. Hey, not having anyone here doesn’t mean that it won’t be embarrassing!
「Ah, m-me to」(Linzie)
「Ara, then I will join」(Rin)
Linzie and Rin tightly cling to me from left and right. Chi~, Ouch~, It hurts! Both of them aren’t big by any means, but there’s a presence which feels soft in itself. As I thought…
Say, why is even Pola clinging to my leg now?!
「S-so sneaky! Me too!」(Luu)
Saying this, Luu starts clinging to me from the back. What’s this?! What kind of situation is this? To be surrounded not by enemies on all four sides but by young girls!
It’s not like I’m not happy, but I feel embarrassed. Just as I’ve feared! Someone! Help me!
『A crack in the sky has been confirmed! There are signs that the frazes will arrive soon! All combatants, prepare for battle』
An alarm goes off, and the headquarters become noisy. Linzie and the others separate swiftly from me and run to their respective frames.
I wonder though, should I feel grateful to the frazes for that or not….? It’s a delicate situation.
You see, it’s not like I don’t want to flirt with them. All 9 of them are my fiancees, and socializing with them in moderation is… something that’s too late to be saying now.
Well. As I thought. Let’s restrain myself from flirting outside. I don’t want to either die or to explode. It might very well happen in this world where I can be fired at with “Explosion”.
I breathe out a sigh and start running to the headquarters.