Chapter 3 – Freya’s cavalry army
The bar owner fell into silence after hearing Freya’s answer, and she saw an unconvinced expression on his face. She looked around the street and discovered that the people had the same attitude as the bar’s owner. Her heart tightened and she gripped her sword hilt, wanting to and swing it onto the ground to release the tension in her.
“Freya’s friend had said that Fortress Riedon was going to fall, and everyone here would not believe something like this before tonight. I don’t believe it either, but the truth is right before us. Freya is Bucce’s militia and I think she has a way out of this.” Sue suddenly spoke at this moment.
Everyone paused, and even Freya looked at the girl. Freya cast a grateful glance at her.
“… I actually don’t have the means to avoid Madara.” Freya thought for a while and spoke honestly, but everyone was momentarily stunned from her words. She continued speaking.
“But, I know someone who might have this ability.”
“You mean you are not even sure whether that person can avoid Madara?” Someone asked.
Freya nodded, and immediately saw many of them shrugged. These mercenaries did not put their hope onto a girl like her, even adopting a joking attitude towards her response, as they found her to be considerably charming.
“Wait, please! I know, as a stranger, it must look ridiculous to ask everyone to trust me,” She struck the sword against the ground, and composed herself. Her voice became clearer and louder “I’m just offering you a possibility—
She thought for a while: “It’s like a b-bet, I, I….”
She struggled for a long time, but could not find an appropriate description to use. She started to regret her choice to try and explain in a manner that only mercenaries would be familiar with.
“Like setting our bets down on gambling dice right? If we get it right, we will win big?” One of the gigantic mercenary soldier laughed: “That’s a good explanation, Call me Mano, yeah? So missy, I just need to lay down my bets right?”
He turned back to the others, and a few people laughed kindly.
“Mano, you damned gambler, you’re going to throw your life away one day!”
Freya blushed a little, but she nodded quickly: “Yes, something like that. If you think you can trust in my words, why not take a further look at whether the plan is feasible? I think if you see my friend, you will be able to judge for yourself. At the very least, I trust in him.”
The mercenaries fell into silence once again. They felt that her proposal had merit to it, and Sue had guaranteed Freya as a reliable person. There was also the fact where they were going nowhere with their own debate, and could go their separate ways if things did not turn out well later on.
However, no one wanted to be the first to volunteer, and the atmosphere was growing colder by the minute. Freya was becoming more and more anxious.
“I believe in Freya.”
Sue was the first to walk out, and she looked at her father. Leto scratched his head. If she already made up her mind, he had to do it too. He sighed, and everyone laughed.
“Alright, stop laughing at me already. I’m going as well, so everyone should take a look. I’m sure everyone will acquiesce to my daughter’s choice this one time right?”
“That’s really shameless, Leto.”
“How can you use Miss Sue as your shield?”
“Where has your dignity gone to!”
Everyone started making a din, but they basically agreed with Leto’s words. The bar owner shrugged off the pointed criticism and looked smug. A few moments later, they made a head count on the number of people who did not want to go. The twenty odd people that remained behind was somewhat interested in her proposal, but their pride refused to go along with a young girl like her and act under her orders.
“Well then lass, the ones who are going with you are here. Now tell us what requests you have for us.” Leto folded his arms and asked.
The mercenaries understood there were no free meals in this world. They typically saw this as a transaction, and would decide whether to continue joining her depending on her demands.
Freya did not understand this notion but she responded with a tense voice: “My request is actually very simple. I just want all of us to escape from this place. If you choose to trust and join me, I hope…….. that you will listen to my orders and commands, otherwise our agreement will lose its meaning. I know this is a little offending, but I have to insist on this issue. If you have any problems with it, I will not enforce this.”
“This is certainly the basic thing that we need to do.” The mercenaries murmured, but they might not choose to follow an order that might send them to their deaths. Still, they agreed to do so.
“Is there anything else? What else can you do?”
“I’m not sure as to what extent I can do, but I will definitely fight together with everyone. We are allies in this battle, and I think this issue wouldn’t affect our agreement.” Freya answered after thinking for a while.
“That’s more than enough missy. I’ll recognize you as the leader as long as you can do it!” Mano answered along with a few nods from the crowd. A few people, changed their minds at the last moment, and in the end there were seventeen people left. This was beyond Freya’s expectations as she thought she might not even get even one person.
Before they could proceed with further discussions, the news of Madara entering from the west area had already reached the people here, and the people in the street started to make a commotion. Leto immediately gathered everyone and asked to follow him to take as much as they can from the bar. At this moment they could only try to gather food resource as much as possible before the street became utter chaos.
There was a difference between the mercenaries and the militia, with the former always thinking ahead of the future and nothing else.
“What should we do now, Commander Freya?” Mano asked.
“There’s no need to call me commander, my status is no different from yours.” Freya spoke with a tinge of red in her face. She nearly could not breathe during her entire speech from the tension.
[I feel like I’m dreaming… But I can definitely do this and help Brendel. I can’t continue being a burden. Hmm…]
“Does everyone know how to ride a horse?”
“Then we’re going to steal some horses.” Freya replied.
………………………………………………………………………… (TL: Princess POV)
“Steal horses?” The princess played with a metal soup spoon.
“Fortress Riedon has a horse market where the nobles exchanged war horses, slaves and serfs. This is public knowledge. And the truth is when some of the ministers come here to this region, these nobles are the ones who provide them with this news.” Oberbeck explained.
“These wretched people.” The princess calmly placed her teacup down. “But how did that girl know?”
“This has something to do with her status. During that fateful year, our men placed her at Fortress Riedon when she was three years old, and she most likely had a deep impression there.
“You lot are merciless, you left a small little girl at that tender age all alone in that unfamiliar place?””
“We had no choice. That year, the commotion was too big, and even Everton’s wife did not make it. Besides that, we had a plan to ensure her safety.”
“She knows how to ride?”
“How could a member of the Evertons not know about horse-riding? We arranged an elite knight from the Silver Wing Legion to adopt her. The only thing that we don’t know is why the family moved out of Fortress Riedon to go to such a remote location like Bucce.”
“Did she succeed?” Even though she guess Freya succeeded because of Oberbeck’s tone, she could not help but to confirm it.
“Yes. I did already say that all the nobles’ attentions were taken away by that young man. The market basically had no defense and they easily succeeded in the task. These mercenaries are considerably formidable, able to become soldiers of the kingdom’s frontline army.”
The princess nodded. Aouine’s frontline armies were different from the others. There were a few designated armies such as the Imperial Guards, Silver Wing Legion, as well as Seifer’s 11th cavalry corps. The regular soldiers maintained its strength at the Iron-ranked status, and were a few cuts above the White-mane army.
As for the other regular regiments, their abilities were even lesser, and their battle prowess were no different from the nobles’ private army.
With Oberbeck’s description, the half-elf princess understood the strength of the mercenaries who were with Freya.
“What happened next?”
“The things that happened next is the most interesting portion. After Miss Freya lead the cavalry to rejoin that amazing young man…… It’s a story where they vanquished Madara’s army wherever they went.” Oberbeck was usually stoic, but when he recalled the memory of Brendel led the army charging into Madara’s troops, his eyebrows danced.
“That amazing young man.” The princess said.
Oberbeck coughed twice as he noted his mistake.
But the girl did not mind and she looked at the time. “I still have a little time left, Lord Oberbeck, please continue with the next section of your story.”
“It would be my pleasure.”