This time i posted the full chapter.
Chapter 55: Fickle Song of a Honeybee
A little while before the special operations squad got in touch with Honeybee —
A guard carriage was driving through a small road in a forest, situated north east of Nossentes.
“Is the Gazzetta army still after us?”
“Yes! They are keeping their distance, probably because they are afraid of our counterattack using divine arts. But they have not given up the chase yet.”
A few days had already passed since the fall of Patrucia Nost. The Nossentes soldiers that had scattered around the country were already uniting under the Divine Parliament and were on their way to Fonclanc. They were currently traveling towards Blue Garden.
On the way they were spotted by a Gazzetta patrol. However Gazzetta was not regarded well in Blue Garden since their incursion during the battle at Paula. The ministers believed that Gazzetta would cease the chase once they crossed the border.
“Enemies ahead! Affiliation… they are Blue Garden’s regular army!”
“They are ordering us to stop!”
“Issue a refugee request. Tell them that we are being pursued by Gazzetta patrol.”
However, when the answer from the Blue Garden army arrived, Nossentes’ hopes to cross through Blue Garden into Fonclanc were replaced by terror.
“…to sum it up, they are saying that they will attack us if we try to enter their country.”
“WHAT?! Is their commander blind or something? Can’t he see the situation we’re in?!”
Gazzetta was a country ruled by artless. Its king was trying to overthrow the current rulers of the world – the divine arts users. The ministers expected that Blue Garden would sympathize and side with fellow divine arts users. Gazzetta currently controlled practically the entire territory of Nossentes. This dramatically changed the political map of Kaltcio.
Although Blue Garden had shown tremendous growth recently, it was still a ways off from a powerful country and was regarded by the other powers as an emerging nation. Travelling through Gazzetta territory was not an option, as even an amateur would have understood the situation the Nossentian refugees (T.N. used refugees, but should refer to this group) was currently in.
The ministers did not try to hide their irritation, but right now they could not afford to order their troops to attack Blue Garden. So they had to find some other way out before they got completely sandwiched between Nossentes and Blue Garden forces.
Nossentes knights immediately tightened their defenses around the carriage. Blue Garden’s troops surrounded them with a semicircle formation. Having finally caught up to their prey, the Gazzetta troops were unable to understand this standoff.
At first, Nossentes and Blue Garden soldiers glared at each other, with the carriage with the ministers in between the armies. However, after a short while the representatives of both armies met and exchanged a few words. The feeling they gave off seemed that all of this was just a prearranged act.
This guess soon proved to be true.
“Impossible… For Blue Garden to be working together with Gazzetta!”
“I can’t believe that…”
“No, how can we know that the Blue Garden army before us is the real one?”
Ministers whispered about attacking both armies and fleeing towards Fonclanc, but finally decided against it because breaking out of the current situation was too difficult. Having arrived at this conclusion they reluctantly accepted shackles from a Blue Garden envoy and surrendered to the Blue Garden commander. They were about to demand treatment, suitable for someone of their standing, but…
“You lot are clearly mistaken.”
Blue Garden’s commander flat out rejected their demand and continued in a commanding tone.
“We have come here to capture fugitives, not leaders of a country. You have no rights to negotiate.”
“What is the meaning of this?!”
“You are just a commander! Know your place!”
“You are mocking the Divine Parliament of Nossentes! The Queen will receive an official complaint regarding this!”
The commander was attacked verbally by all of the ministers. He had to explain them that order to capture the Divine Parliament was issued directly by the Queen. Hearing this, the ministers were visibly shocked. [“Why, why did the Queen of Blue Garden do this to us?!”], probably every minister frantically tried to think of a reason for this in his or her mind.
“What the hell are you thinking?!”
“I am sure that you had made a secret deal with the Gazzetta’s King.”
“You are hereby arrested for sending a covert ops force into our territory. We wish you a pleasant journey to Paula. We will be escorting you all the way.”
The commander mentioned the covert ops squad that had disguised to resemble Fonclanc troops. This was the same squad that had intercepted Gazzetta troops at the beginning of the artless villages’ raids. What shocked the ministers the most was that this was supposed to be top secret information. The ministers did not respond, but their faces became expressionless like they were crafted out of stones.
When she received information about a Nossentian covert ops squad operating within Blue Garden’s territory, Queen Rishause immediately linked them to the Divine Parliament and speculated that these two groups would attempt to join up. Thus, the Queen had placed her troops at the places she had thought likely to be used by the Divine Parliament to cross into Blue Garden’s territory.
She had also passed this report to Reiford, instructing him to bring it to King Esvobus. Rishause had also offered to capture the group that had led Fonclanc’s army around. She expected that such an act would serve to lessen the animosity between their countries.
Besides repairing relationships with Fonclanc to some extent, by doing this Rishause would also be able to keep Gazzetta’s actions restrained. After familiarizing with the information that he had received from King Shinha, Fonclanc’s king immediately ordered his retainers to take appropriate actions.
It was an easy decision for him, because a messenger from King Shinha had arrived before Reifold, moreover, this information confirmed what Volmes had said during his interrogation.
Rishause understood, that both kings acted only to save their reputation. Gazzetta would mobilize their army and restrict the Divine Parliament’s movements, while Fonclanc’s army would turn the captured ministers over should they manage to reach Fonclanc.
With this plan, Shinha had no way to lose.
“Are they aiming for the Darkness God Corps?”
“It seems so, but they have already concealed themselves within Fonclanc’s port town.”
When they had captured the ministers, the commander sent some of the knights ahead of the main group. He wanted to inform Fonclanc as soon as possible and obtain an official request to arrest them.
On Gazzetta’s side, Shinha ordered to inform Fonclanc of this immediately. He wanted to make Esvobus owe him enough so that he could ask him to recognize the renewed White Clan’s empire.
Thus, both countries simultaneously sent their reports to Fonclanc.
When the reports arrived, Fonclanc immediately issued an emergency sortie to support the Darkness God Corps. However, using wind arts in this situation was too risky, so they could not warn Yuusuke’s party about it.
When the reports arrived, King Esvobus felt that the time for King Shinha to make his stand at the frontlines had finally come. From now on he would need to not only keep a close eye on Gazzetta, but he would also need to try to improve his relationship with Blue Garden.
“But will they make it in time to support the Darkness God Corps?”
Esvobus looked towards the Moon Mirror lake from his own private room. Gradually his eyes drifted towards the overwatch tower, where his daughter was probably looking towards the direction of the port town.
Yuusuke had endowed his corps uniform with various buffs. Therefore he always felt comfortable despite the circumstances.
He went to sleep early along with everyone, but he awoke before anyone else. It had become his habit to experiment with his customization power until dawn. He did not change it despite reaching the final stretch of his mission.
Today he was working on the medicine that would have strong healing powers able to improve Rashanasha’s condition. Using the high quality ingredients that he had managed to obtain in Nossentes, Yuusuke was progressing well on creating the “Super healing potion” (named by Yuusuke).
“I’d love to eat something.”
The youth had a quick metabolism so he felt hungry even after staying still for a few hours. When he walked out of his room to get a late night snack, Yuusuke was suddenly overcome by an ominous feeling.
“…today feels quieter than usual.”
Ordinary guests were not allowed near the Darkness God Corps’ quarters. Empty rooms stretched around him, however the leader was unable to hear Fonke’s and Vermeer’s voices, nor the friendly conversation between the ambassador’s group members.
“They might be considerate of the sisters.”
Just when Yuusuke decided on that and was about to go down the corridor towards the kitchen…
Yuusuke stopped in his tracks after hearing a woman’s voice. While he was trying to locate the source of the voice, one of the three doors in the corridor had opened with a creaking sound.
Aisha was wearing her pajamas. She was gripping the door and seemed to be barely able to stand on her feet. The girl’s knees were shaking and she looked like she would fall down at any second. Helping her stand, the captain inquired about her health.
“Hey, what happened? Are you okay?!”
“I… I ha… ve been… poisoned…”
“Hey, hold on… Here, sit down… Drink this!”
Aisha was completely pale, her hands and feet were shaking. Yuusuke led his subordinate to a seat and had her drink the trial Super Healing Potion. Instantly, the girl’s cheeks regained their natural color, and her limbs settled down completely.
“Yes, it was probably also modified with water arts.”
After listening to Aisha’s explanation Yuusuke hurried to his room, took several more vials of the same medicine that he had given to Aisha, and went to confirm the condition of the 4-other members of his party.
Aisha started feeling the effects of the poison while she was still lying in bed and reading a book. She immediately started using her healing arts, yet she was unable to cure the numbness that was threatening to overcome her entire body.
In the end, Aisha was completely paralyzed save for the arms that the girl could still somehow use. She then remembered a recovery ring that was lying on the bedside table.
“I must inform the captain about this!” – after equipping the ring a thought flashed in her head. Thus Aisha put her utmost effort to get out of the room.
“I am leaving the room on that side to you!”
Giving Aisha enough potions to cure everyone on her side, Yuusuke split up to his side of the corridor. After checking all of the rooms, they found out that, including the ambassador, everyone was incapacitated similarly to Aisha.
“This is Isotta’s room, right? Isotta! Are you okay?!”
Yuusuke hesitated to enter a female subordinates’ room alone, but hearing Isotta’s pleading voice he finally decided to enter the room without waiting for Aisha.
Isotta laid collapsed in front of the bed. It looked like she was preparing to go to sleep, but her body gave out before she could make it.
Yuusuke rushed to the collapsed girl. Breathing a sigh of relief when he confirmed that Isotta did not get any serious injuries, Yuusuke placed a bottle near the girl’s lips.
“Drink this. It will make you feel better.”
In the meantime, Yuusuke’s eyes got used to the darkness of the room. He inevitably noticed the light sleeping gown that barely covered the girl’s features. Yuusuke then envisioned himself holding Isotta in his hands like a baby that was being fed the super recovery potion and his face reddened from embarrassment.
When every member of the corps was cured, they gathered in Yuusuke’s room to confirm their present situation. Just around the time that poison started to take its effect, Isotta had received an urgent transmission from Sanc Adiet. She now told the other members of what little she managed to remember of it. (T.N. she did not remember all of it because of the poison)
“The Darkness God Corps are the target this time…” (Yuusuke)
“Certainly, this time the attack was targeted at us.” (Aisha)
“You think it’s because of the numbing poison being used on us?” (Yuusuke)
“Uhm, it’s the first time I had experienced a drug with such an effect and effectiveness, but I think that the poison’s effect was delayed.” (Aisha)
Fonke and Isotta confirmed that there were no traces of a wind art being used to make everyone inhale the drug. Then the gathered members tried to make out the moment of when the poison started to take effect. One by one they spoke on when they started feeling the poison’s effects and what they were doing at the time.
“I didn’t eat anything when I returned to my room.” (Vermeer)
“Me neither. I only drank some alcohol that I bought before.” (Fonke)
“Same with us. We collapsed around the time when we were talking about going out for a drink.” (Ambassador’s party?)
“So, no one ate anything else after dinner…”
The inn’s cook and Razshia were responsible for tonight’s meal.
“Razshia is not here?”
“Yes, I – Rashanasha-san was sleeping in her bed, but…”
Covert ops were able to intercept the urgent transmission from Fonclanc, but they failed to completely block it. Although Nossentes’ squad did not understand the fine details, it was clear that an escort from Sanc Adiet was on its way. In response, the covert ops squad had to hurriedly change their plan.
At first, they planned to attack the harbor guards and prevent them from interfering, but being pressed for time they decided to directly attack the Darkness God Corps.
“Is the medicine still working?”
“Don’t worry, it’s custom made for this occasion.”
“The target will be unable to move until morning [If they did not mess up],” added one of the subordinates, glancing over his back towards the Temptress (Honeybee) and the Child Assassin (Elfiona).
Razshia, who came here to report the completion of her mission, was obviously uncomfortable. She definitely thought of fleeing when the capital fell. Moreover, her feelings for her target were also obvious.
Since she had let her feelings get in her way, the commander of the covert ops wanted to punish her so she would never think of acting like that again. However, when the headquarters were lost to the enemy, there was no adequate facility left that could properly retrain Honeybee.
[“We will properly retrain her after this mission…”]
Just like that, commander of the covert ops decided that Honeybee would serve as a fine example to other troops.
Several lights could still be seen flickering inside the inn when the secret ops had invaded the building from the rear exit.
Their plan was to move to Yuusuke’s party’s lodgings. The intruders knew that their quarters were separated, so they would be able to swiftly and stealthily carry out the assassination. Afterwards they were to create an uproar, waking inn’s staff and guests and make a scene before them and any curious onlookers. The assassins would look like retreating Gazzetta troops to anyone who saw them.
“Up here. You go to the right, the two of you – to the left. Everyone else go to the ambassador’s quarters.”
The lot was approaching the central stairway that led to the second floor where the Fonclanc’s party should have been helplessly awaiting their deaths.
“Wh-what is it?!”
“The floor… ?!”
The vanguard of the group suddenly disappeared in a hole that suddenly opened below him. Suddenly the floor tilted and everyone else who followed behind the first guy, unable to hold their footing, fell after him. This was supposed to be an ordinary inn. When the Nossentes forces checked out the building beforehand, there were no such devices installed in it.
“It… it’s an ambush! We have been had, retreat immediately!”
The captain of the invaders instantly realized that this trap was prepared by the captain of the Darkness God Corps. After all the rumor of him being able to freely control everything around him was indeed true. The captain turned towards the Honeybee, who was following behind him and slashed her without any warning.
“So you’re going to double cross us, eh?”
After tearing through her clothes, the attacker stopped his blade. Unconsciously trying to evade the slash, Razshia fell on her butt. She was so surprised by this that she could only look at her captain in shock.
“Did you forget that traitors are punished by death?”
“…That’s a mistake… why am I… a traitor?”
“Shut up! It’s useless to try to talk your way out of it.”
The assassin raised his black knife and pointed it towards the girl. Razshia was not trained to take lives, so she could only tremble at the assassin captain’s bloodlust.
She frantically tried to back off from the danger, but the captain closed the distance in a single step.
“I suppose, I shall present your body to your beloved Darkness God Corps.”
“Too bad, I prefer living girls over the dead ones.”
A young man’s voice tore through the intense mood, and the assassin’s captain turned towards the voice.
Commander knew the man that was pointing at him. Although their positions had been reversed, he decided to take the chance and ordered the attack.
The instant he tried to move, his legs had hit something like an invisible rope. The assassin commander lost his balance and fell down on all fours. He was frantically searching for the device or traces of a divine art that were used to create the trap, but…
The world once again spun around him. This time he was unable to react to it and he fell down on his back. The next instant his face was approaching the floor. He immediately stretched out his limbs to lessen the shock and somehow managed to land on his knee… or he thought so – the next moment he felt like he was floating in the air. This time he was rapidly approaching the inn’s ceiling. He hit the ceiling with his back and then fell down on the floor once more.
[“What the heck is this? What is happening here?! What the hell did I touch?”]
Razshia was dumbfounded as she was looking at the scene before her. Members of the Darkness God Corps, who stood beside their captain at the top of the stairs, ambassador, and the trapped assassins – everyone had ingrained this terrible sight into their minds.
Whenever the captain thought that he had hit the ground, he was launched again towards the ceiling, and back to the floor, once he hit that.
The trap itself was pretty simple. Yuusuke had replaced the boards, covering the floor and the ceiling, with customized thus creating an Endless Fall Trap (named by Yuusuke). “Bam bam bam,” the sound of the person repeatedly hitting the ceiling and the floor continued to resound in the building.
Although this went on for only a few minutes, for spectators it seemed that a few hours had already passed.
The captain of the Nossentes troop leader soon lost his consciousness from all that endless falling. Feeling that they had had enough, his underlings also gave up their weapons. Just when everyone else finished rounding the surrendered forces up, a new voice echoed in the hall.
“Are you safe, Yuusuke?!”
The carriage from Sanc Adiet finally arrived, rushing through the gate into the town. The arrived soldiers looked really worn out and seemed to be standing on their will alone.
“Hey Hivodir, how are you?”
“… you really look safe…”
Hivodir was leading the Sanc Adiet’s support. He became highly regarded amongst the palace commanders after the earlier incident in this town. The commander saw this support mission as an easy way to make the Darkness God Corps feel indebted to him, and the higher ups easily consented to the fire art’s user volunteering to take command.
In the past, Hivodir would have never done something like that. Even more so he would be displeased if he was ordered to go on a forced march like this.
“Now now, don’t be sulking here on me.”
“I-I’m not sulking!”
Everyone eased at the sight of Yuusuke bickering with the leader of the special support force and the usual atmosphere had returned to the room. The recent events – the Divine Parliament and the following conspiracy of the remnants of Nossentes army – constantly held everyone on edge.
“Are you unhurt?”
Yuusuke squatted before the still sitting Razshia and offered his hand.
“No need to talk now… I will hear you out later, it would be best for you to get some rest right now.”
He was sure that this woman was responsible for poisoning their food. The assassin captain’s words left no doubt that Razshia was one of Nossentes’ spies.
Although there was also a question of how much did Rashanasha know about her sister’s affiliation, Yuusuke decided to leave these questions for when he safely got his party back to Sanc Adiet.
At that time Rashanasha, having fully recovered from the poison, rushed to her sister. Everyone focused their attention to her voice and failed to notice a small shadow that silently slipped into the room. Everyyone, except for Razshia, who was sitting on the floor.
She knew that little girl, who went by the codename [Poison Wasp] that put a thin, straw-like tube to her mouth.
Razshia knew what the wasp’s intention was and jumped at Yuusuke. She covered Yuusuke with her body, but that made Elfiona’s special dart (stinger) hit her instead of the one that had saved her.
Having missed her target and exposed her location in a crowded room, Elfiona was quickly apprehended by the knight.
“Hey, Razshia? What happened to you?”
“Ah… Guh! WAAAAAH!”
“It looks bad. Someone hold her down, we need to take the dart out quickly!”
Shaheed noticed the dart on Razshhia’s chest and called out the orders in an unusually commanding voice. Rashanasha and Aisha, both being healing type water arts users, rushed to the girl and tried to heal her.
“Shia! Shia! Hold on!”
“What kind of dart is this?! What do we do?!”
Somehow they were unable to pull the dart out. On the contrary, the dart was steadily getting deeper into the girl’s body.
“Hahahha, you cannot take this dart out. It has a special stinger on its tip. Once it hits you, there’s nothing that you can do. ” explained the assassin captain in a triumphant voice. Although he had failed to kill the captain of the Darkness God Corps, he had managed to take out the one that betrayed him and got his revenge on Yuusuke. Thus he had shown a sadistic smile on his face.
The poison within the dart caused the muscles around it to spasm thus making the dart dig further into its target’s body. It was made to release a second deadly poison once more than half of the dart had entered the body. The poison itself caused the body to rot, thus making the victim experience hellish pain before their death.
The dart was impossible to pull out, but it was made in a way that if one tried to break it, the dart would immediately spread its poison.
“This is your reward for betraying us. Die in as much pain GAH!”
“Shut the fuck up, you son of a bitch!”
Fonke knocked the smile off the assassins face.
“Disgusting piece of trash,” spat out the guy while shaking his hand.
Aisha and Rashanasha desperately continued using their divine arts, yet the dart, unrelenting, continued to go on its deadly way. The skin around the dart started turning purple. Razshia was already exhausted from the struggle and had stopped moving.
Despair had started to spread around the room when Yuusuke dashed down from the stairs – he had ran to his room to get more of the customized medicine.
“Captain! If it continues like this…”
Grasping the dart with one of his hands, Yuusuke took Razshia’s arm with his remaining hand.
“It’s … too … late …”
“I am not letting you die!”
Knowing that the potion alone will not save Razshia, Yuusuke had also customized the dart and removed the part that caused itto sink into the body, easily pulled it out, and safely wrapped it in a piece of cloth.
A look of confusion sprang on the assassin’s captain’s face, but Yuusuke ignored him and proceeded to feed the medicine to the girl.
“I did not have time to test it, but I believe that it will somehow work.”
After all, the purchased medicine was only the base for the Super Healing Potion. This potion was not only effective when drank, it also seeped into the skin if applied externally and increased the effectiveness of healing arts, used on the area. Moreover, it acted as a healing art itself!
The purple patch of skin quickly regained it’s lustrous, healthy color and Razshia’s pale face had regained its warmth. Although the poison was already gone from her body, the girl was still severely exhausted and had passed out.
“Phew… She will be alright now. Thanks, you two.”
“Thank god… As expected of you, Captain, you performed an impossible feat yet again.”
The two girls were thanking Yuusuke while gently stroking the sleeping girls’ hair.
“Let us all go and get some rest now.”