Monday, August 7, 2017

Hero Without Blood or Tear Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Earning A Gifted Person’s Goodwill (2)

Translator: Rockgollem

Editor: Perditor, Deus-Ex Machina

The title Prince-Elector denoted the divine right to vote for the next emperor. Their influence in the Empire was substantial.

The Prince-Electors’ prestige and power were the same as that of a king of a country. This was why they were to be addressed with the honorific “Your Royal Highness” which was only a step down from the Emperor’s.

“Are you the mercenary who seized the enemy colours?”

The Iron Prince-Elector Philip was looking down on me with an interested expression. Despite having only passed the age of 20 not too long ago his eyes were filled with extraordinariness. They held a glint similar to that of a dragon’s eyes.

“Yes, your royal highness. You honour me greatly to call me over personally.”

He smiled slightly when I spoke with the proper etiquette.The face of one intrigued at how a mere mercenary was acting.

“Your name is Vallerstadter Valler, correct?”

“Yes, your royal highness.”

“Your courage is truly astonishing. To charge the enemy line to seize their colours, you are like a ferocious lion.”

“Your praise honours me greatly. I am beside myself with joy.”

“No. One who achieves a feat must be rewarded accordingly. I award all who participated in this display of bravery with 100 florins each. For you, I award 300 florins.”

100 florins was a year’s worth of salary for a pikeman. Since I received three times that amount, it was a large sum.

“I thank you for your graciousness, your royal highness.”

“I have only done what is just.”

“Your royal highness, I would like to make a petition.”

Phillip nodded as if telling me to go ahead.

“Our band has taken heavy injuries from the previous battle. Though the battle is still ongoing, I would like permission for our band to recuperate by Wittenweier.”
(TL: Wittenweier has been merged with several other townships into a town called “Schwanau” in 1971/72 for those who like to search places up to see where our protagonist is going.)

Wittenweier was a city roughly 10 kms away from here. I planned on stepping back for a moment and plan since I knew Walpurgis’ life hinged on the results of today’s battle.

“It is only right since you are injured. Do not worry. I planned to do so since the start. I will assign a few carts you and your comrades can ride on.”

Speaking of which, should I be giving military advice to Phillip since I met him?

I knew how the Battle of Hoffenheim would pan out in every which way. Today’s battle has two obstacles and if Phillip overcomes them, it will be a victory. If not, then it would be a loss.


To be honest, just walking away would be the wisest course of action. Saying something here would only annoy the Iron Prince-Elector Philip and his retinue. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It wasn’t just about Walpurgis, but other mercenaries worried me as well.

“Your royal highness.”

“Is there something more you want?”

“Your awards and graciousness are plentiful enough, how can I wish for more? But may your lowly subject offer his thoughts?”

Normally, I wouldn’t be able to even attempt something like this in front of someone with such stature. It was only possible due to my feat on the battlefield.

I could already see the nobles frowning at me. They probably thought I was someone who didn’t know when to get lost and was overstepping my bounds.

“There is nothing to stop you from doing so. What do you wish to talk about?”

“Your royal highness, in your lowly subject’s opinion, there is something worrying in your highness’ army.”

Phillip’s expression hardened for a moment. He probably keenly felt I was trying to give him an advice. He was probably someone confident in his own perfection.

He looked offended that someone of such low stature would try to advise him with such a worrisome voice.

Damn, I tried to be as polite as possible, but it still ended up like this.

Furthermore, I pointed out there was something wrong in the army he so fervently prepared. Phillip sounded slightly sarcastic as expected.

“Hmm? From which point of view would that be from? The tactical point of view? The political point of view? Or…”

He looked at me and smiled snidely. For a brief moment I caught a glimpse of the contemptible personality hiding behind the mask of a good person.

“A monetary point of view?”

Nearby nobles exploded out in laughter. Everyone was probably thinking I didn’t know my place. Several of them started mocking me openly. I could even catch glimpses of several of them sneering at me.

“You achieved a military feat, and that is all good. However, how dare someone like you try to preach about his highness’ army?”
“Perhaps he has learned some parlour tricks to entertain us with. He must not be satisfied with what he has already and desires something more.”

Rather than feeling insulted, I felt strange. The Iron Prince-Elector was a guardian. Why would he be acting like such a small person? That kind of ignobility was not befitting of a guardian. I felt great disappointment in myself for trying to find a way to build a relationship with him.

Why’s he like this? Is this something which happens only when you play as a regular character?

Suddenly, a theory popped up. If all the guardian characters appeared because I chose a regular character, the demon lords would be at an enormous disadvantage. Even a single guardian could change the flow of the war.

Thus it was logical to have some method of balance adjustment. If all the guardians fought as one with a single goal against the demon lords, the era of peace for humanity would come quickly. There was no way that the AI Aquilla would make it so easy.

At the same time, a scary thought popped into my mind. How would things progress if all the guardian characters were selfish people working only for their own gain?

Things would unfold in a completely different manner from how I experienced the game so far. There was a chance I would need to fight not only the demon lords, but the guardians as well. Worries flooded my mind. However, I decided to think about it at a later date.

For now, warning about the situation took priority. It didn’t seem like the Iron Prince-Elector was going to listen to me. I was in a difficult spot when someone unexpected came to my defense.

“Your royal highness, there is a saying when three people walk down the same path, one of them will be a teacher for you. Why do you ignore the words of one who devotes himself to you?”
(TL: Phrase from Analects of Confucius. Full saying is: When three people walk a path together, there will be a teacher for me. Learn and adopt the good things. Perceive in (them) what is negative, and fix those about myself.)

It was a voice filled with beauty and elegance. It surprised the vulgar and sarcastic nobles as if they just awoke from a dream.


The nobles coughed in their embarrassment. Considering nobles were beings filled with pride, there were grounds to feel annoyed at being reprimanded so openly. However, nobody objected. It was because the one who said it was Walpurgis.

“If my lady says so, I understand.”

Even Philip was careful due to her status.
“You do not need to call me my lady. I am simply here to fulfill my duty as an ordinary lancer.”

“My apologies, Lady Templar Walpurgis.”

“Your royal highness, please hear him out. You only need reward him if his advice is true or punish him according to the law if he speaks false.”

“You are correct. I shall do as you suggest. Ke-hem!”

Philip gave a dry cough and looked at me. I thanked Walpurgis for her help by glancing over at her.

“Mercenary, I apologize for my rudeness.”

“There is no need, your royal highness. If you could hear your lowly subject’s words for even a moment, that is enough.”

“Very well. Speak. What is so worrisome in this field I’ve prepared so meticulously.”

On Philip's words, all his retinue and accompanying cavalry’s attention shifted to me. In that moment, I couldn’t even breathe due to the pressure. I turned slightly to look at the shady looking man standing behind Phillip. He had a hooked nose and looked short tempered.

That man was the cause for Phillip’s potential defeat, Friedrich. He was Phillip’s uncle and today was the day he would backstab his nephew in a grand fashion. He was a traitor who collaborated with the enemy.

He’s been eyeing Phillip’s position for a while. He’s played the role of a nice uncle so far, but he would reveal his true colours today.

His deep brown eyes thoroughly glanced me over like a snake. His eyes looked at me as if thinking “who is this idiot?”.

Should I reveal his betrayal here?

I considered for a while, but eventually I decided otherwise. Who would believe me? Friedrich had a nasty personality but he was one of the richest men in the Empire. There were always people who needed money. Thus, people’s trust in him was piled as high as his stack of gold.

On the other hand, I was a simple commoner. I would be executed for lowering troop morale and insulting a noble of high stature. I couldn’t dare talk about Friedrich.

Instead, I decided to warn him on a tactical point. The two reasons he could lose today was from the betrayal and an ambush. Since I couldn’t talk about the betrayal, I wanted to cover at least the ambush.

“Look over there, your royal highness.”

I pointed at the highland occupied by the enemy’s right flank. They were firing magic and muskets towards our troops from there.

“It’s a tactically important position. If the men could capture that hill, it would be an ideal position to bombard the demon lord’s force. However, the defense for that position is poor.”

One of the cavalry officers scoffed at my words.

“Hmmph! Do you really think nobody here realizes that? You seem to wish to show off your shallow knowledge, but we have already decided to capture that position.”

Laughter exploded out from all around at the cavalry officer’s words. While an overtly arrogant atmosphere was about to bloom again, I swayed my head.

“That’s not it, my lord. That place will turn into the death’s maw. Why do you plan to rush headlong into it?”

He was taken aback when I retorted directly. He probably never expected a commoner to retort to a noble like him in such fashion. His face reddened in a moment. Before he could open his mouth to pour out whatever he was planning to say, Phillip stopped him by raising his hand.

“Ho-oh, and why do you think that?”

Phillip showed interest. However, his gaze was sharp and it was clear he wouldn’t tolerate nonsense for an answer. If I said something along the line of “the reason that hill is suspicious is your lowly subject’s intuition”, my head wouldn’t be attached to my body anymore.

“Your royal highness, your lowly subject believes there’s an ambush beyond that hill.”

“And why do you believe so?”

I decided to present evidence based on recent cases to Phillip. I spent a long time in this world and researched various demon lords in the game. The same went for rank 12 demon lord, Pejamut of blood and death. I carefully investigated all his battles against humans.

“Your royal highness, Pejamust has faced the Imperial army only a few times before. However, he has been victorious at every encounter. That is because he’s quite skilled at ambushes.

“... Continue.”

“10 years ago, Rodrigo the 4th of the Toa Kingdom fought against Pejamut and an ambush decided the victor. It was the same with the Marquis of Anhalt 6 years ago.”

Philip replied to me at that point.

“And it was the same 2 years ago with the Emperor’s appointed representative, Duke Eugen. You are well versed in military history.”

“You praise me too much.”

“Of course, I do praise too much. Kuku. I can understand your concern, however I can overcome even such ambushes.”

He really was an arrogant bastard. It had not been a long time since we’ve met, but his voice was already grating on my ears. However, his confidence to not lose to an ambush didn’t seem like a bluff.

With the Iron Prince-Elector’s abilities, he could encourage his army even when it’s on its back foot to execute a counter attack. However, the power hungry uncle of his would stab him in the back today. The way he was smiling so ignorantly made me feel frustrated on the inside because I knew everything.

He was still a kid despite being a guardian. He probably felt like the world was his oyster since everybody around him was praising him as “The Iron Prince-Elector”. That damned idiot.

My contemplation continued on inside of me, but I decided quickly. It would be best to give up on him. I decided to choose Walpurgis over Phillip.

Phillip only filled me with disappointment but Walpurgis was no different than her usual heroic self. Establishing a relationship with her here would be a great help in the future.

I decided to duck out after reaching this decision. Today, the battlefield will be chaotic. I had a lot to prepare to save Lady Knight Templar Walpurgis.

“Your royal highness, it seems your lowly subject spoke out of turn. I will now go with your permission.”

My eyes met with an old general at the back of the Iron Prince-Elector’s retinue for a moment. He was staring at me intently. I could only be surprised after finding out his identity.

Goodness! He’s! Johann Tserclaes von Tilly!

What was that legendary general doing here?

I realized at that moment. The important relation I needed to build now wasn’t with Phillip. I resolved to get acquainted with von Tilly today no matter what. Thankfully, he looked interested in me.

I could glimpse curiosity from old man von Tilly’s face.

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