The Female Mercenary (Part 2)
It was supposed to be an unremarkable battle.
The battlefield was hazy, and it was drizzling. The army on the other side of the field was half the size of the Eastern Army that Leontaine was a part of.
It was an exaggeration to call it an army.
The feudal lord had scattered some coins, which drew in about 200 mercenaries. The Western Army only had about 100 troops, with a few stragglers.
If it was a battle between mercenaries, the side with the most numbers would win, unless something extraordinary happened. It was simple mathematics that even a child could understand.
The ground was muddy from the rain, with the mud reaching up to one’s ankles.
It had started out as a quarrel between serfs. They were arguing over whether or not one serf’s farmland intruded into the other’s, and when blood was shed, their employers became involved, and then the feudal lords, until even the feudal lord’s supporters also joined in the conflict.
In the first place, neither the commanding nobles nor mercenaries were motivated. They just had to clash half-heartedly and determine a winner, which would then settle the matter. The mercenaries would welcome any battle, as long as they got paid.
People congregated in the places where it would be unlikely to clash with an opponent, in order to avoid unnecessary injuries.
Leontaine herself had also only intended to fight halfheartedly.
On the other side, there was a [Demon].
The [Demon]’s strategy was to launch a surprise attack to defeat them in one fell swoop by using his employer, [Horseface] Ferdinand, who had a weak fighting spirit, as a decoy. The [Demon] and his company detoured around the forest through the shrubbery, and charged in, breaking through the Eastern Army’s weak flank.
As Leontaine started to retell her battle, the customers in the pub gathered around, with mugs in hand. They had been starving for these kinds of stories. A live story like this was unexpectedly well received.
Someone passed around a small plate, without any bad intentions, to gather change for drinks or snacks.
Even though Leontaine was now a mercenary, she was originally a lower class noble’s daughter. During her education, she had grown fond of poetry.
Even though she wasn’t as good as a genuine minstrel, she became fired up once people started becoming interested.
It was a pleasant feeling to see even the dishwasher girl timidly appearing from behind the counter to listen to her story.
Leontaine moistened her mouth with a second glass of ‘Toriaezu Nama’ and continued her story.
The strength of the [Demon], who charged ahead, was overwhelming. The four people in front of him were reduced to two, and from two to one, as a result of his ambush.
The reason was his equipment.
Although it was a melee, the [Demon] was only wearing minimal armour.
Armor would definitely be a hindrance in the current situation, where the ground was marsh-like.
However, people normally wouldn’t dare to throw their armour away.
In a battlefield where a single blow could mean death, the [Demon] certainly stood out from the rest, with his superb handling of the flow of battle.
He had just one goal, the general’s head.
The [Demon] broke through the Eastern Army’s formation, like a black kite aiming for its prey
Helmina muttered while leaking out words of admiration.
She was standing still while carrying a mug, engrossed with the story.
「Yeah. I have stood on the battlefield for quite a while now, but for the first time in my life, I got goosebumps, just by looking at the [Demon].」
「Then, did Leontaine-san fight against that [Demon] too?」
「Yeah, I fought against him too.」
She should have been positioned in a location where the enemy wouldn’t approach, but before she knew it, she had ended up on the front lines.
The [Demon] had accurately predicted where he thought the safest place would be.
Leontaine braced herself and brandished her sword.
She was wearing the armour that she had inherited. The squid crest on her helm represented her noble house clan, which boasted about defending the coastal sea area for many generations.
「Eh, Leontaine’s helmet is decorated with a squid crest?」
「What’s the problem, Helmina? I’m nearly at the good part. That’s correct, the family crest of my house and the crest on my helm is a squid. Is it strange?」
Even though the continent was wide, Leontaine would be the only mercenary who wore a squid crest on her helm. She intended to raise her voice and laugh at the coming joke, but Helmina looked pale.
On the contrary, she ended up turning her face away in front of the customers.
「Hey, hey, what’s wrong? From here on, I will begin the story of the battle between me and the [Demon].」
「By any chance, is the person that Leontaine is pursuing, this [Demon]?」
「You realised it, huh. The moment he realized I was a woman, he went easy on me.」
Leontaine, who did not notice that the veteran war hero [Demon] had pulled his arm away, slashed his left arm.
Even though he was safe because he defended with his gauntlet, there might still be some aftereffects.
「I…wanted to say a few words of thanks to him for that time. That’s why I have been searching for the [Demon] all this time.」
「Leontaine-san, do you know the [Demon]’s name?」
「Sadly, I don’t know that. The entire battlefield was in disarray. However, I would recognise him if I meet him. That’s all I am confident about.」
「What? Why? Why did you suddenly start tearing up?」
The storekeeper who had been silently cooking till now answered Leontaine’s question.
「It’s like this. The [Demon] who appeared in your story is very similar to one of our store’s regulars.」
「I-is that true?」
It was a big step forward. Until now, she had been continuously searching aimlessly before coming here.
Perhaps she could meet the regular of this store if she came tonight.
「Ah, what should I do?! I’m happy, and nervous…but it doesn’t mean I’m not ready to meet him…what should I do, Helmina?!」
「Leontaine-san, please calm down. We’re not sure yet.」
「No, I have a good feeling about this. I would be able to meet him here tonight. I’m sure of this lead. When we meet, I’d like to thank him first. And then, and then…Ah! What should I do?!」
「Please calm down. My husband should be coming soon.」
The world froze at Helmina’s words, and Leontaine fell silent.
「…Husband? What does Helmina’s husband have anything to do with this?」
Leontaine, who wasn’t aware of the circumstances, put some strength into her words, so Helmina put on a resigned expression and answered.
「The [Demon] that Leontaine-san is searching for, might be…my husband.」