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Nigoru Hitomi de Nani wo Negau ch 4

4. Chapter 4

Six days after the Goblin subjugation requested by the village, Duwei’s squad arrived at the annexed former Kanoa Kingdom. 

When you saw the villages in the annexed land, you could see the scars left by the war five years ago.

Further to the northwest and you would reach a city adjacent to the Myard territory called, “Sarria”.

Beyond the defense wall of the city, there was a river and moat. And now, Sarria City was used as a fort by Highserk Empire.

Sarria City, connected by tributaries with the other places of the Highserk Empire, was an ideal place to replenish supplies and troops for the battle against Myard. An army unit, at least the size of a battalion, was always stationed in this area.

In the upcoming invasion, the battalions came from all directions. In total, there were 9 battalions, or about 18,000 soldiers, who gathered there for the capture of Myard.

Sarria was the last city of the Kanoa Kingdom to surrender to the Highserk Empire, but even after five years, the walls and stone bridges were still left with traces of destruction by magic and stone.

After passing through the castle gate and entering the city, you could see that the main street was lined with stores and private houses.

Many of the goods sold there were more expensive than in the other cities in the Highserk territory, especially food. When Walm was a farmer, he couldn’t afford such prices.

Many of the citizens who walked the streets were thin, you couldn’t even say they had a normal proportion. The only exception was the army of the Highserk Empire stationed there.

After reaching Fort Sarria, Duwei’s squad, resting on the training ground, were awaited by…

“The whole army hasn’t gathered as planned yet. Rejoice, today is free time.”

“Hufff! Free time is the best”

“Are you going to drink first? Or straight, a woman?”

“Isn’t it okay to have both at the same time?”

Reinus, Tibird, and Danfan. The three idiots disappeared into the back alley right after they heard it. Seeing this, Commander Duwei grumbled while holding his temples in his hand.

“Oi, it’s not over yet. Seriously… well, I guess it’s okay to leave them alone for now?”

Considering the limited time, perhaps they were right to stay true to their own desires.

After all, their empire kept colliding with several neighboring countries, large and small. Even Walm had long forgotten the word “peacetime.”

Since Walm started serving in the military, he was stranded on the battlefield, playing deadly battles for survival and spending his noncombat time on training grounds and exercise.

And now, they had been given free time just like that? For such an army, that sounded like an incredible story. Walm even thought it was a new kind of training.

“F-free time?”

Showing fear of things that normal people would be happy about, Walm asked, startled.

Squad Commander Duwei answered with a stern look, because he had discovered something strange in Walm’s reaction.

“Yeah, do you hate it?”

“N-No, that’s not the case …”

“Of course, right. Well, you can do whatever you want just like them. Alcohol, cigarettes, or women. It’ll be a big and long battle soon. Live without regrets. But, keep strict on the meeting time. Be in the formation at sunrise. If you’re late, you’ll be whipped.”

As soon as Squad Commander Duwei clapped his hand, the rest of the members scattered like birds and disappeared in all directions of the city. Only he, Jose, and Walm remained.

“So, what’re you gonna do Walm?”

“Ah, uh, hmm… what should I do…”

At Jose’s question, Walm didn’t know what to do with the short-lived free time he’d just been given.

After all, Walm grew up in the countryside and never left the village until he was drafted into military service.

In the first place, when he was in the countryside, except for when he was tinkering with soil, he primarily collected wild plants and hunted monsters in the forest. The opportunity to do something freely had long disappeared. 

To be suddenly ordered, “Do whatever you want”, of course, Walm couldn’t help but get confused.

“How can you have no desires.”

“I’m going to have a drink with Commander Duwei. He’s been there once, so he’s the perfect guide for the tavern. And more than that, it’s with an inn. How about coming with us, Walm?”

Since the lifeboat was coming, Walm accepted the offer and followed them without giving it a second thought.

They turned from the main street into a side street. 

From locals to soldiers looking for the store, to beggars, they passed with various kinds of people.

In a corner of the back alley, a woman was standing, saying…

“How about tonight?”

It was a thin teenage girl. You could almost see the bones of her body, which should be roundish, peculiar to a normal woman.

The girl called out randomly to the soldiers passing by.

Then, she came to Walm…

“How about tonight?”

“No, I don’t need it”

The other two didn’t seem to be enthusiastic either.

Rejected by Walm and all the other members, the girl bit her cheeks and turned her face to the ground.

“Buy something with this”

Walm gave her a few bronze coins, knowing that this wasn’t an action that could be called a solution. Nevertheless, the girl smiled a little and thanked Walm.

It was the money that I stole from the corpse. I’m sure the coins will be more pleased to disappear in her stomach than to disappear in the soldier’s liquor and cigarettes.

After that, she disappeared into the back alley without showing a happy expression on her face.

“Feeding them again? Walm, keep it moderate, okay?”

Shouted Jose, who was standing behind Walm, to him. Walm frowned at the vulgar words.

“She was smart, so it’s all good, but if she’d been too happy, you’d have been surrounded by a lot of beggars by now.”

Walm looked around and saw people and children who’d lost their limbs to the war begging for money. And the truth was that he wouldn’t be able to give everyone the same.

“…Yeah, right. I’ll be careful next time.”

Maybe Jose was satisfied with that answer, because he nodded in satisfaction.

“I’m not saying it’s meaningless, just that, if anything, it’s better to give it for something in return. Even I, would be reluctant to do it in this kind of place or in front of other guys.”

As Walm followed Jose’s line of sight, he saw other soldiers disappear into the back alley. And when he focused his ear to listen, he could hear a sweet voice coming from the darkness, from the gaps between the houses. Somehow, he had the feeling that the voices of the three idiots were mixed there.

“That’s not a managed prostitute. The area where the brothels are located, is far from here. Since many soldiers have gathered for this war, amateurs are starting to prostitute themselves because they want some living expenses. And if they get found out, there’ll be disputes.”

The red-light district was a complex structure of concessions. And in any world, many people would take radical measures to protect existing businesses.

Squad Commander Duwei continued deep into the alley, not caring about the people. In the first place, he looked scary, and the only one who was called was Walm.

“But, even though you’ve killed so many on the battlefield, you’re ignorant in a strange place, eh, Walm? You’re not a priest, nor a knight who values ​​chivalry, so it’s a little bit of meaningless action, if you want me to say. No matter how far we go, we’re just soldiers.”

Jose was like Walm, he was drafted. But his background was a little unusual. He was the fourth son of a merchant. There would have been another option for him, such as living as a servant to another merchant, but he said making money on the battlefield was the surest way to have a wagon or a business.

Nevertheless, Jose had adapted to survive on the battlefield and had already changed his way of thinking. Walm, on the other hand, still could not get rid of the mindset from his previous life, nor could he throw it away

As Walm listened to Jose without denying or affirming it, Squad Commander Duwei lonelily muttered.

“Originally, this place, which used to be part of the Kanoa Kingdom, was fertile land. Because of the war, it became like this.”

“I see, so it wasn’t originally like this?”

Jose, who seemed interested in this topic, asked Squad Commander Duwei.

“Five years ago, Kanoa interfered with the Highserk Empire, which kept expanding its borders. We somehow managed to win the war and even captured a village. You see, they used the beans I usually eat as feed for their livestock.”

With these words, Squad Commander Duwei took out a pouch from his bag. The contents were beans, which Walm had eaten many times during the march. Walm had eaten them often because Squad Commander Duwei used them as an ingredient for the hot pot.

“And now, it became like this. The former Kanoa nobleman, Grand Duke Myard, abandoned the Kanoa Kingdom and went to the neighboring country, Ferrius Kingdom. But, the army dispatched from Ferrius and the runaway soldiers took livestock from the other territories of Kanoa Kingdom, mowed the paddy fields in the area, and burned down the fields. The Highserk Empire which lacked troops postponed the invasion until now. “

“Ahh, really. That’s terrible.”

Jose shook his head and seemed tired of it.

Scorched earth tactics would be very effective for troops dependent on enemy territory, even in a world where logistics circulated through magic bags, horses, and animals stronger than in the normal world. And the Highserk Empire had a hard time sustaining itself.

“Grand Duke Myard gave up on his territory once, but although not much, he wanted to provide food support, as he planned to take the territory back. But, the grudge of the former citizens of the Kanoa Kingdom against Grand Duke Myard and the Ferrius Kingdom is heavier than that directed at the Highserk Empire. Well, when you got betrayed by the one you trusted the most, anyone will get angry, right?”

“I was worried when I heard that a battalion consisting of former citizens of the Kanoa Kingdom would also participate in this war, but it seems, it’ll be okay.”

And so, Walm was able to deepen his knowledge of the Kanoa Kingdom.

As they continued to talk about it, they finally arrived at the tavern.

It was a two-story building with a bar on the first floor and an inn on the second. The outside wall was dirty with soot that might have been created during cooking, and the front door was covered with small scratches as if it had been smashed before.

As they pushed the door in, the brass bell signaling that a customer had entered the store sounded softly inside.

Seated at the table near the counter were five Highserk soldiers and in the back of the store, there were men, perhaps regulars, neatly dressed and well-tailored

Walm decided that these people might be the merchants of the city, judging by their appearance.

Together with Commander Duwei and Jose, Walm sat down at the table, away from the two groups.

“Today, it’s my treat. You see, two newcomers have survived their first battle. It’s been a while since Walm.”

Hearing this, Jose whistled happily while Walm smiled complacently.

Squad Commander Duwei raised his hand and averted his eyes, and the host came from the back of the counter.

“Give us three ales and a bottle of wine, also are there any dishes that can be made immediately?”

For a moment the host made a thoughtful gesture, before giving a reply.

“We can serve the soup with hard-baked bread, buffalo, onions, and beans as soon as we heat it, also there’s enough catfish for three people.”

“Give me both for the three people. The catfish should be fried.”

The host nodded and disappeared into the kitchen. Perhaps the other guests had already been served, because the soup and bread, along with the beer, were brought earlier than Walm had expected.

“Following the Liberitoa’s border, may we be victorious against Myard!”

Saying so, Squad Commander Duwei raised the mug. 

Walm didn’t hesitate to hit the mug vigorously. 


After a rumbling sound, they drank the contents in one go.

It was a kind of custom, but for soldiers who lived in war, they just had to toast exaggeratedly when they had a drink.

Walm was taught that soldiers who didn’t do this were considered unreliable.

The host poured more ale into the cup while carefully checking to see if they wanted anything else or not.

Walm cut the bread into bite-sized pieces, soaked them in the soup, and threw them into his mouth. The umami that overflowed from the buffalo meat, the rich taste of onions and beans spread in his mouth.

He stabbed the ingredients sunk into the soup with a fork and brought it to his mouth. The hard buffalo meat was also properly softened. The beans also boiled moderately, and as he chewed lightly, he could feel the texture of meat, onions, and beans balancing each other out.

“I thought I was tired of having a bean soup, but with the ingredients and the skill of the cook, it turned out better than I expected.”

While Walm praised the food, Jose nodded in agreement.

“Well, usually, there were many half-cooked things inside.”

After they finished the soup, fried catfish was on the table. The catfish fillet was cut into three pieces, but since it was a whole fish for each person, Walm reached out, thinking it would be quite satisfying to eat.

Walm brought it into his mouth with a fork. After the texture of the crust, the taste of catfish spread on his tongue. Since it was white meat, the light flavor blended well with the crust, and he felt he could eat as much as he wanted.

“Fried catfish, is the best”

For Walm, who had grown up in a rich food culture in his previous life, eating only baked or boiled food was torture. Especially when he could enjoy it in an environment where he didn’t have to think about late-night attacks or morning runs. As expected, nothing could beat the feeling of being able to eat nice food in a safe space.

“When was the last time we had fish? Was it before the dispatch to the Liberitoa’s border? Well, that was also a river fish, but yeah, catfish is better.”

Squad Commander Duwei, who was in a good mood, immediately finished the ale and reached for the wine bottle.

Duwei, Jose, and Walm drinking Illustration

“Like this, eat and drink”

As prompted, Walm finished the rest of the ale and poured the wine into the empty cup. It had a strong acidity, but was suitable to balance the oil taste in the mouth.

The sun hadn’t yet set, but there was nothing to stop them from drinking liquor. 

Forgetting everything, Walm continued to enjoy the food and drink in front of him.

TN: Here, an image of the character design of Jose and Squad Commander Duwei

Jose (Character Design 1)
Duwei (Character Design 1)

TN: Join my discord channel if you want.

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