Raul’s troops have reached the wasteland.
The sun has fallen when they did, so they decided to camp for the night and prepare themselves for the next day’s battle.
“O-our scouts have returned and confirms that there indeed is a city with great walls. According to their estimates, the walls are more than 5 meters tall. They say it’s quite thick as well.”
“His Gift’s supposed to be [Village Building]; how on earth can that possibly be just a village!?”
After hearing that report, Raul yelled so in frustration.
“…but whatever. With 5,000 soldiers and experience in my side, it’ll fall in no time.”
Raul has taken several cities in the war against the Schneger house.
Luke’s city might have better walls than those cities, but if the soldiers defending it weren’t at least decent, Raul would have an easier time taking his brother’s city.
“They’re just a mishmash of refugees and immigrants. There’s no way they’d have a decent army to defend the city…kukuku, by now they should have heard of the number of my troops. By now they should be shivering in fear!”
To those around Raul, it seemed obvious that the 5,000 soldiers would end up being overkill, but none of them dared to say that out loud.
But then again, overkill was exactly what Raul was going for. He had no intention of forcing a surrender or prolonging the fight; what he wanted was a direct and swift invasion in order to capture Luke.
At that time…
“Heya, Raul. It’s been a while.”
All of a sudden, Raul heard a voice he recognized but shouldn’t be there.
So, for a moment, Raul thought he was hallucinating.
“It’s been a year and a half, hasn’t it? Hmm, unlike me, you seem to have gotten taller…boy, I’m quite envious.”
That voice belonged to Luke, the one who Raul has branded a rebel.
“Luke…!? What are you doing here!?”
Raul was surrounded by all of his 5,000 soldiers.
It should have been impossible for Luke to get this close to him, at least without alerting his soldiers.
Yet, here Luke was, all nonchalant.
In contrast, the retainers near Raul were so dumbfounded, they were unable to move an inch.
“I’m here to talk.”
“Yes. Are you really going to attack my village?”
“…ha, I see. So, in hopes of protecting your village…your city, you’ve come to surrender yourself, is that it?”
Setting aside the question of how Luke got this close for now, Raul grunted and guessed Luke’s goal.
“What do you mean no?”
“I’m here more to say that this’ll be a meaningless fight. You might have heard that I’ve assembled an army to rebel against the Albert house, but there’s just no truth to that.”
“Moreover, I have no desire of becoming the successor to the Albert house. After all, my life here in the village is more than enough for me.”
Sighs of relief came from Raul’s retainers after hearing Luke’s statement.
Deep down, they knew that this fight didn’t have a good enough justification.
However, as though to not allow such thoughts, Raul shouted in anger.
“Silence! I will not be fooled! You’re only saying that to avoid getting crushed! How can there be such an unambitious man in this world!?”
“I’m telling the truth though…”
As though stumped, Luke scratched his head.
For someone who was alone behind enemy lines, he was acting so casual.
“I guess this means a breakdown in negotiations, huh…I didn’t expect much, but still…let’s see, I guess should take my leave now, right?”
The soldiers have become aware of an intruder’s presence.
Raul was talking to the intruder, so they initially were confused on what exactly they should do, but they quickly proceeded to surround the area and be on standby.
Like that, all exit points should have been blocked, but when Luke turned around and ran…
No one could believe it: Luke vanished.
The soldiers hurriedly searched the place, but they couldn’t find a single trace.
“S-search for him! He should still be around here!”
But no matter how much they searched the campground, they were unable to find Luke.