40. Chapter 40 – Invitation of the War God
Gerard Berger, Commander of the Ferius Front, was welcoming guests in a room in the basement of the Sarajevo Fortress.
“Well, thank you for coming here.”
The room was dim, and a person facing Gerard emerged from the light source, a magic stone. The person was one of the “Three Heroes”, Ayane Sugimoto, a girl who came from a different world, and had a hostile relationship with the Highserk Empire.
The girl had her hands tied behind her and stared at Gerard. Gerard saw that it was just a bluff. Gerard, who had been involved in the life and death of humans for many years, loved humans. People wouldn’t show the real them until their last moment. Such a moment when humans started to get irritated, Gerard loved it very much. That was why Gerard wanted to tease the girl more, as she tried to curb her fears in her heart. Gerard would have given her bread and sent her back, if only she was a helpless girl, but her ability was rare and too dangerous.
“I like humans. And my homeland treats prisoners of war carefully. Unlike the Four-Countries Alliance, I’m not going to handle prisoners like garbage. I think the death of a person should be meaningful. However, a prisoner of war who does nothing is just a burden and an obstacle. Don’t you think so?”
The girl didn’t open her mouth to Gerard’s question.
“You see, I, am talking to you, Ayane. If you keep silent, it’ll look as if I’m talking to myself. Anyway, Let’s continue.”
Gerard resumed talking without waiting for the girl’s reply. To tell the truth, it didn’t matter if she didn’t want to reply.
“I’m thinking of getting you to treat the injured in our army as labor… So, can you give me a reply? Of course, even though you’re a prisoner, I’m going to reward the labor you do.”
“I must, refuse.”
The girl said with a quivering voice. She was optimistic that someone would come to help. She couldn’t imagine what would happen if she refused. Perhaps having been told by Gerard about his love for humans, she thought that the old man in front of her looked like a gentle old philanthropist.
“What a shame. I just want you to work for people’s life. This is a problem. There is a limit to how many prisoners we can feed, we have to reduce the number of the burden. Like the Four-Countries Alliance.”
Looking away from the girl, Gerard called out of the room.
“Bring him in”
What was dragged was a prisoner of war, a heavily wounded soldier. A great soldier who didn’t lose his rebellious spirit even after being captured by the enemies. Even Gerard was impressed by his attitude.
“He’s a Craist soldier. I heard he was in the treatment tent, but do you know him?”
The girl remained silent, but her face, which was acting expressionless until a moment ago, was distorted. Still, she remained silent. Again, Gerard didn’t care whether she responded or not.
“As you’ve guessed. He’s a target for the reduction. But first of all, “total disposal” in one go is a waste. I’m thinking of going from his finger first, what do you think?”
“You’re just a crazy old man on verge of dying!! Do you think she’ll hesita――”
Momentarily, the Craist soldier screamed. A real brave soldier, he didn’t hesitate to shout like that even in the enemy territory. Gerard thought that he was a good soldier.
“Great. You’re so enthusiastic.”
The longsword at the waist had long lost the opportunity to show its shine on the battlefield, but it still could be used by Gerard to slash one of his targets perfectly.
“a, AAAaaaAAA!!! Bas,tard, you damn Bastard! F*CK!!”
Gerard picked “it” up and gently put it on the desk.
“One for now. Ah, I can’t let you bite your own tongue. Human resources are limited. It would be a waste.”
Gerard smiled at the girl. The soldiers on the side made the Craist soldier bit a gag and secured his hand to the desk.
The man bent his back and fluttered his legs.
“Fuuuugh, UUGH, uuuUUUUUGGHH!”
“Have you ever had all your fingers dropped? Have you had your limbs scraped off? Have you been roasted alive? Had you ever lost your nose? Ears? Teeth? Eyes? Many people misunderstand one thing. Sometimes death can even be salvation. Do you know what it means now?”
It seemed to be a teacher who reminded the students. For the first time, the fear color lit in the eyes of the Craist soldier. On the other hand, Gerard’s intelligent eyes became dark.
“I love my country, the people who live there too. So, I fought day after day for forty years, but the more we won, the more the neighboring countries interrupted us. Like the Four-Countries Alliance.”
A dull sound and a muffled voice echoed in the room three times in a row. When the soldier collected the amputated finger of Craist soldier, hemostasis was applied to the finger.
“15 more. Let’s change the way. Next, I’ll mince the fingers. Together with the bones.”
Picking up the mallet on the shelf, Gerard walked around the room making footsteps sound, and stopped near the girl.
“What a problem. So, let me say this. I’ll do whatever it takes. Yes, if I must, I’ll do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes. Fortunately, there are many prisoners.”
Behind him, the fingers of the Craist soldier were fixed to the desk. Gerard watched over the soldiers who twisted himself, groaned, and began to resist.
“You seem to like it. Well, the preparation is complete.”
Recalling something, Gerard clapped his hand.
“Oh, right. I have a woman who seems close to you alive. I thought she was an assistant, but if she doesn’t want to work, I don’t need her. I must give equal rights to both Men and Women, right? They all have equal rights to live. So, let me ask again. What about your reply? “
The conclusion was made, and the girl, trying hard to suppress her disturbed breathing, squeezed out words from her throat.
“… I will, cooperate.”
“I thought you would say that. I’m glad I haven’t crushed it. Your first job would be to connect the man’s fingers together.”
The girl connected the soldier’s fingers at a speed and skill that exceeded Gerard’s expectations. The girl who finished her treatment hatefully looked up at Gerard.
“You did the job. I’m the type of person who keeps my promise. I’ll give you a workplace and an assistant. And, yeah, that’s right. You’ll need an escort. I’ll arrange everything.”
“All of this, is everything going according to your plan?”
Gerard smiled at the girl who regrettably said so.
“I’m not such a person. I’m just a person who simply does what must be done. I can only do that much.”
TN: In this ch, Ayane’s name is written in a way of how the name of the people in this world, that’s why it’s not Sugimoto Ayane, but Ayane Sugimoto. I guess because in a sense this ch is more to Gerard POV and also perhaps that is how her name is being spread in this word.