Two days had now passed since the day I talked to Corps Commander Dyle. And I spent a lot of that time laying in my bed.
Just rolling around and staring at the ceiling.
I did go out once to take a walk, but those around me looked uncomfortable, so I came back.
According to Rig, a note had been sent to everyone, marking me out as a person who attacked others all of the time for no reason.
“As if I would do that!”
I protested. ‘Yes, it’s only half of the time, sir’ Rig agreed.
It just wasn’t right.
Still, even in my past life, I had always been a long-suffering person. And so I stayed here, wasting my time.
“…I really am bored. Damn it.”
It almost made me want to go out and actually start a fight. But just then, a messenger from the Corps Commander arrived.
“I have a report.”
I heard the voice coming from outside of the tent, and jumped out as if I had been waiting for it. The messenger was quite shocked by this.
I thought this was strange, as he knew I was inside. But then I realized it was because of the way I was dressed.
These were my room clothes. Which was really just something around the waist.
So I was almost naked.
Still…I think I was safe in terms of coverage.
“Ah…cough. Let’s hear it then.”
The messenger was in full uniform.
And I was in my underwear.
It must have made a rather surreal picture.
“This evening, your opponents in training will arrive from the main camp. This means your training will start on the day after tomorrow, in the morning. You are to read the details here.”
Ah, so it was about our training after all.
The time and place were written down for me.
It was going to be a group battle between two races of equal numbers.
Only wooden weapons were allowed.
Metal armor was banned as well. So I guess we had to wear leather.
“It doesn’t say who the opponents will be. Who are they? Also, why is it the day after tomorrow? Why not tomorrow?”
“You will be fighting Makaras. There was a request to have it the day after tomorrow, as they want a day for their own training.”
“I see. Thank you. The day after tomorrow then.
“That is all.”
The messenger left.
I had never heard of the Makara before.
There weren’t any in our country, and none of the traveling merchants had talked about them.
“And I don’t remember them from my past either. But I heard nearly all of the names and characteristics of the different races from merchants.”
If you sell things, sell information. And so I had talked thoroughly with every traveling merchant I ever met, and asked them about the other races.
And yet I had still never heard of the Makara.
“Markara, eh? Well, if they’re going to be training tomorrow, I might as well have a look.”
Of course, I’ll do it quietly.
After that, Saifo and Beka came and caught me grinning to myself.
As it was perfect timing, I mocked them casually and told them that our training would start on the day after tomorrow, and so they should tell the others to prepare.
Just as they were leaving, Saifo and Beka said something horrifying.
“Hey, Golan. I hope you’re showing that intentionally.”
“Yeah. The head is sticking out!”
Their eyes were fixed towards my waist.
So it was showing. Damn it.
The next day, I searched for the Makara and found them with ease.
They were strong-looking black mountain goats.
Some had horns like a bull, while others had horns that curled in a circle.
And since they had similar physiques, it would probably be easier to tell them apart by looking at their horns.
And so I followed them quietly and watched them train.
What they did was most strange.
They moved as a group, stopped, held up their weapons, and then moved again.
It seemed like some kind of performance at first. And then I realized it.
“…It’s…a battle simulation.”
An air battle.
The way they moved reminded me of mass games, but this was a group battle.
So they were good at this kind of thing.
Were they doing this air battle without weapons or armor as a part of their mental training?
“The left hand looks like it would hold a shield…a great shield. Are those archers?”
They were fighting closely with spears and great shields.
The great shield wielders protected the archers so they could shoot.
Was someone giving them orders?
What was immediately evident, was how precise their movements were.
They could move perfectly in order to deal with attacks from the side and even ambushes from the back.
“I see. So everyone is in charge of attacking and defense. And they can attack at long, mid and close range as well. They are definitely a formidable enemy.”
It seemed like a group that could quickly evolve to meet the demands of the battlefield. There were no weaknesses.
They could attack and protect freely.
“This is bad.”
I’d have to figure out some way to deal with them, or it would easily turn into a one-sided battle.
And so I left quietly.
○ Corps Commander Dyle
“It looks like they arrived.”
Halm, the Crystal Dragon, had visited Dyle.
“Aye. I was worried that the Ogres would explode, and now I can finally sigh with relief.”
This made it sound like Dyle feared the Ogres. But Dyle was a leader within the military.
And so it was only natural for him to do his best to keep order.
Whether planned or not, when the Ogres—especially Golan, moved, things tended to happen.
“And now their basic training can continue as usual.”
Halm said soberly. Dyle shook his head.
“No, I intend for this to be the end of their training.”
Halm’s eyes widened at these unexpected words.
There were supposed to be five parts to basic training.
And they had all been put in place for proper reasons.
And while a Corps Commander did have the authority to do as he pleased, such a thing was very rare.
“You’re going to abandon their training?”
“No, that’s not it. The fourth training is survival. Where you are put in harsh conditions all alone and must survive and return to the main camp.”
“Yes. Food and water must be acquired on site. And you’re expected to walk over five hundred kilometers, I believe?”
It was very severe.
“Previously, I had the opportunity to hold a hearing with the Ogres.”
“Golan told me that I should hear from as many of them as I could. It seemed like good advice, and so I did. Surprisingly, Ogres in their country make almost all of their own food.”
They lived in undeveloped villages and formed independent societies.
“Yes, smaller countries tend to be like that. And?”
“And they have all experienced some sort of survival training. By their own choice.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, say they get hungry and so they go up to the mountains. There is prey. They follow it, only to move farther away from their house. And they say, ‘oh, well’ and just live there for awhile.”
“You can say that. This survival training is effective on the elite who live in towns. But it won’t mean anything to those who are used to that kind of life.”
“I see. There is no point in making them do it, if they will pass with ease.”
If it’s too easy, they’ll just say, ‘What? That’s it?’
“And so I decided that it would be pointless.”
“But what about the last part of their training? Isn’t that supposed to be the culmination of everything before it?”
“Yes. However, the end is a one on one battle training…a duel, like Gekokujyo.”
“Ah, in order to show them who is still in charge.”
These newcomers who survived all of this harsh training might feel like they’re on a different level now.
However, it was important to show them at the very end, that there was always someone above them.
They would be beaten into a pulp in a place where there was no way to escape.
Halm felt it was exactly the kind of thing that these Ogres needed.
“I can’t find anyone who can do that to Golan. Perhaps I should just compromise, and look for someone who isn’t guaranteed to beat him. However, I’ve been feeling differently about things recently.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, there was that rebellion incident. These Ogres have surprisingly high combat ability. And Golan isn’t the only one who you need to watch out for.”
In other words, it was possible that he could bring out someone from the high-ranking races, and they would still lose.
And Dyle felt that this would be very bad indeed.
The very thought of multiple high-rankers losing in a row…
He wanted to avoid this. But he wasn’t confident that he could.
Halm considered it as well. After traveling with them, his thoughts were ‘Ogres really are ruthless,’ and ‘why were Ogres treated as one of the weaker races?’
Indeed, Halm was not sure how strong an enemy would need to be to win against them for sure.
“And so the next one will be the last part of their training.”
“Aye. That’s why I had the Makaras come here. And while the General agreed to send out these secret soldiers, others were not so pleased about it. But it was only through doing this, that we will be able to save face tomorrow.”
“I see. Well, I will be sure to watch them tomorrow then.”
“I hope you do. I know you won’t be disappointed.”
Such was the conversation between Corps Commander Dyle and Adjutant Halm, before they parted ways.