The Shape of a Family
… Before the army that constituted the main force of the southern front, two additional armies had appeared.
Jules, the King of Djanpear, removed his helmet, sweeping his hair to the back.
“… Good grief, it’s almost like I’m seeing a dream or something. This is just like a battle of legend.”
To his side, the man serving as his adjutant looked at him with worry.
“Worry not. The ones before us are allies. Yep, let’s pray they’re allies. And don’t you think this is an opportunity? At present we are quite possibly casting our bodies into a battle of… legendary, nay… mythical proportions. It will most likely become an honor to last through eternity.”
Saying that, Jules put his helmet back on. Pulling the sword at his waist, he hoisted it up towards the heavens and cried out.
“Heroic warriors of Djanpear, march onwards without fear!”
As Djanpear began to move, the surrounding countries began pressing forwards as well…
… As the Fifth swung that silver, Galient blade, it took the shape of a serpent to pulverize skeletal soldiers one after the next.
To his side, the Sixth swept them away with his silver halberd. Once the two had finished cleaning up the surroundings, they looked around.
The Fifth let out a light breath. When he turned, the lines of soldiers were in an offensive formation.
“Now then, it looks like the preparations are in order.”
The Sixth pierced his halberd into the ground.
“Right you are. But what shall we do from here? If we’re going to direct an attack on Centralle, it would be best we get all our forces together…”
The Fifth shook his head to the side.
“Your army is built around my sons. There’s no way in hell we’d be able to coordinate our attacks. You be the main shaft, and I’ll go around to support.”
The Sixth crossed his arms.
“That so… but we can’t be having that.”
The Fifth looked at the Sixth, leaning his galient blade against his shoulder.
“We’re in a hurry. If you’ve something to say, can’t it come later…”
There, two armies assembled around the Fifth. The same fighting style, and moving by the same training and regulations, those armies without the slightest difference in their motions gathered around the Fifth.
And a number of mounted knights rode their horses to surround him. Everyone held a weapon, turned in the direction of Centralle.
“… You’re all…”
The Sixth, his force finally arriving, mounted it and wrung out his voice.
“Pops… this is the army you trained. And this is our consensus!”
The knights gathered around lifted the visors of their helmets; lifted them up and looked at the fifth.
“Our mothers are watching. Hurry it up.”
“Well, we were told a few things after you’d died.”
“Though I’d have preferred you dealt with us more decently. I got a lot of thinking in after I had a child of my own.”
Bashful and fed up, yet still they all gathered around the Fifth, awaiting his orders. Once the two armies had gotten together, the Fifth hid his face with his left hand.
“You’re all way too skilled to be my sons. You must take after your mothers.”
Not only the sons, the grandsons took part as well. The army the Fifth built up, linked by the firm bond of blood, amassed and showed its completed form.
“… Good grief, so it’s true what they say. When the parents are no good, the child’s a genius.”
As he said that, a blue light manifested nearby the Fifth. Starting with his horse, the animals the Fifth had doted on.
And five women made their appearance. The surrounding knights corrected their postures, while the Sixth straightened his spine.
“Fredricks, we’ll help out too.”
“Frail as I am, I’ll lend assistance in the Walt House’s time of crisis.”
“At such an amus… important scene, it’s not like I’m going to hide just because I’m a woman.”
“The hammer of retribution falls on Bahnseim who abandoned us in our troubles!”
“Your daughters are ready too. Milleia alone left for elsewhere.”
The Fifth’s legal wife and mistresses. They wore dresses, pinching the hems of their skirts and lifting them to present a tidy greeting.
The Fifth looked a little embarrassed.
He replied. The animals watched him as well. There, around the Sixth, blue light began to appear. He burst into a cold sweat.
“… Oh goddess, me too…?”
As he leaked that complaints, from nowhere in particular, one of his younger brothers said, ‘unfortunately, yes’. The one who appeared from the light was a beautiful woman of blond hair and blue eyes. But the look in her eyes was scary.
From behind her, two women in ill temper came out. Both of them fidgeted with their hair, showing off quite a terrible attitude.
The blond woman looked at the Sixth.
“… So you didn’t want to see us so badly?”
The Sixth forced a smile as he turned to his wives.
“What are you talking about? With your strength, we’ve the force of a hundred men! It’s as if we’ve already won this battle before it began! Right, pops!?”
The Fifth averted his eyes.
“Yeah, something like that.”
And from around, some fed-up gazes rested on the Sixth. Those who shouldered large familial problems, the Fifth and the Sixth. While they shared that trait, the relationship between husband and wife seemed more tranquil on the Fifth’s side.
The Fifth whispered.
“That’s why I told you multiple would be hell. Hah, you think Lyle will be alright?”
The Fifth’s worried eyes turned to the remains of Centralle’s royal palace… to Lyle’s party squaring off against Agrissa.
“Whatever the case, let’s make it flashy. The dead are just overflowing out there. Let’s charge right up close, solidify our defenses there, and start crushing them down as soon as they appear. Easy, right? Much easier than a fleeing band of bandits.”
As the Fifth said that, everyone prepared their weapons, entering a formation for offense.
There, the female camp.
“Then let us clear a path before your charge.”
Saying that, the women who appeared… were the Fifth’s daughters. His granddaughters were among them. The Fifth’s legal wife raised her hand.
“Do your best to support Fredricks. And put on a good show. This is an important battle for the Walt House.”
The Fifth mounted his horse.
Instantly responding to his call, the army of a few ten thousands charged towards the dead. From behind, the female camp’s support was…
“The bastard ran away! At the very least, he could’ve made it clear who the number one was at the end! Burn it all to the ground!”
“Ahahaha, my powers are swelling within!”
“I can only use plain magic here. The type that drags them into the dirt… hah, I really am plain.”
The charging men directed their eyes at the Sixth.
One of his brothers spoke.
“Oy, whose wives are they supposed to be again, bro?”
“It’s always hard to believe.”
“At least make it clear at the end. Don’t run away to the battlefield. Even when you were alive, you were always like that!”
Receiving the criticism of his brothers, the Sixth forcefully laughed and gripped his halberd with both hands. There, the Halberd split in two.
“Come at me, and learn what it really means to be dead! All you bastards out there, this Fiennes Walt will take you on!”
Swinging both his halberds around on horseback, he charged to the front lines. He had the physique and majesty, making him look needlessly reliable.
“Dammit! He ran away again!”
“Chase after him!”
“Teach him just how much trouble he caused us in life!”
Perhaps tormented by the strife the Sixth’s wife’s brought about in their lives, the Sixth’s younger brothers charged out as well.
The Fifth let out a sigh, as he relayed precise orders to his army. The army followed his will, showing movements as if it was all a single living being. When the path was cut off by soldiers of the dead, the rounds of magic fired from the rear in great number would never strike an ally.
So precise was he that his army pressed on as if it knew no fear at the extra-large magic raining down from above.
But the Fifth.
“That one was dangerous! Who was it, who was the one who tried to drop magic on our forces!”
One of his sons spoke up.
“It goes without saying it was my sister-in-laws! Dammit! If I was anywhere close to my brother, I’d have been dragged in… this is bad.”
It was as bad as he said. From behind, and ominous oversized serpent with a body of black flames appeared. It slithered across the ground as it swallowed in dead soldiers, burning them away as it made their way towards them.
The Fifth cried out.
“Press forwards! Whatever happens, press forwards! Fiennes, you pull back and deal with your wives already! Oy, I know you can hear me!”
The Fifth cried out, but the Sixth purposefully gave a grand laugh as he cut forward. No… he ran away…
“Ahahaha, there’s nothing but small fries out here!”
… In contrast to the flashy rampages in Centralle’s circumference, there were few dead to be found in its central districts.
It was a situation almost like a donut, and the space near Agrissa had cleared up to make a place of scarce population.
The one proceeding through such a space was the Third with a few hundred soldiers. The knight who was the progenitor of the Randbergh House called out towards him.
“Sleigh-sama, we found them! Bahnseim’s royalty!”
The Third was leaning his invisible blade against his shoulders, treading lightly over the mountains of rubble.
“Hmm, I did think they’d be alive, but unharmed, eh? As expected of royalty. Seems they brought quite a bit along with them.”
Magic tools and other special equipment.
While Centralle had been blown away, the royal line had survived. Of course, the Third had anticipated that. They were royalty. They’d at least carry some special tools on their person.
There was the King, the Queen and Crown Prince.
The King turned the bracelet that enveloped his right hand towards the Third.
“A-are you dead men as well! Don’t come any closer!!”
A golem appeared, likely summoned from the bracelet. No, it was dubious whether or not it was a golem. A something of humanoid form a few meters high and made of stone came at the Third’s party.
“Is that what you used to defeat the dead soldiers? Well, I’m happy you survived. I mean… it would be most troublesome if your whereabouts became unknown.”
Everyone took a stance with their weapons, but a blue light made its appearance behind the Third. From it, a large steel ball about the size of a human head shot out, hitting the doll’s abdomen and piercing it through. That human form crumbled away.
The ball was connected to a chain, and making a clanging jingle, it was sucked back into the light. Once the blue light died down, there stood a single woman.
“Good grief, you’re always flaunting that leisure of yours. You look plain unreliable to those watching.”
The woman holding the chain connected to the steel ball was the Third’s wife.
“I’m sorry. Well, you think it would’ve been dangerous if it came to my sword? Oh right, more importantly, let’s tie up the royalty. If they get away, it’ll be troublesome when they become the banner of a rebel force.”
The Third had searched out the royalty, or perhaps tried to find traces of their deaths. For they would be a hindrance to Lyle’s rule.
There was a possibility they could run away in this situation, so he wanted to restrain them swiftly.
“What’s more, it looks like they’re still alive, so we can even make them take responsibility.”
Towards the smiling Third Generation Head, the Crown Prince Rufus drew the sword at his waist. It seems he had been freed from Celes’ influence.
“Y-you’re in the presence of royalty! Name yourself!”
The Third smiled wider.
“For even his voice to be the same, he really is a descendent, is what I’m feeling. Well, since it’s come to this, I guess I’ll give my name. Third Generation Head of the Provincial Noble Walt House… Sleigh Walt. I came here from hell.”
Before the Third’s lighthearted declaration, the royal remnants seemed confused. Normally it would be impossible, but the day had already been a stream of impossible things.
Dead men and soldiers of bone. What’s more Celes died, and a monster was floating in the sky.
But the king muttered.
“The Walt House again? Just how far, how far will they prowl after the name of Bahnseim?”
In contrast to the king’s terribly mortified face, Rufus cried out in rage.
“What impudence! Sleigh Walt-dono was the righteous general of Bahnseim. I will not allow you to sully his name!”
But in the next instant, the Third’s face turned serious. His soldiers quietly surrounded the royal line.
“Righteous general? That’s not something you should joke around about. Because of your ancestor, I had no choice but to attack and die. And after that he even steals away my achievements and calls me the righteous general of Bahnseim? It doesn’t delight me in the slightest to have such a legacy built up. Now pay your tab for snatching all the Walt House’s achievements from the birth of this accursed Kingdom of Bahnseim.”
There, Rufus spoke.
“Such talk from an imposter. Such a thing is…”
He tried to retort, but perhaps the king knew the truth as his face turned pale.
“… No, he’s the real deal. There’s no doubt about it. The records of our line of kings has stated it so. To be wary of the Walt House. But to think that three hundred year grudge would visit on my generation…”
A grudge against the Bahnseim House had led to this, or so the king had interpreted it. Sleigh was about to explain, but the first to open their mouth was his wife.
“Silence! We didn’t even know of such a thing of the past! But leading your land to such depravity, it’s only natural you take responsibility for your ineptitude to rule. It’s merely a coincidence that the Walt House is to come next. Blaming your own failures on some Walt House grudge… learn some shame!”
As she slammed the solid metal ball against the ground, a subterranean tremor rang about. Sleigh corrected his sentiment and posture, giving a purposeful clearing of his throat.
“Eh~ ahem! Well, that’s how it is. Truth is, our descendent Lyle said he wants to be emperor, so I decided to help him. To be quite honest, I couldn’t care less about what happened three hundred years ago, and I’m irrelevant.”
The royalty opened their mouths in a daze. Rufus spoke.
“F-for a reason as petty as that… the Bahnseim Dynasty that’s carried on for three hundred years…! … Bhah!!”
The Third’s fist smacked into Rufus’ face, sending him flying a distance. And the Third spoke with quite a refreshing smile.
“But you see, since I was sent to die in vain, I think I’m fully justified to smack you. That bastard made good use of my death… now then, you’ve used us left and right as you sat back and relaxed in your palace. Isn’t that enough? … So why don’t you do one last job for Lyle’s sake.”
The Third’s knights and soldiers restrained the three remaining royals.
“G-get away! Unhand me!”
“Who do you think I…”
The Third’s soldiers apprehended Bahnseim’s royal line’s survivors. Meanwhile, the Third’s wife spoke to him in worry.
“Now then, we’ve gone and delivered some justice, but… do you think our descendent Lyle will be alright? He won’t turn out worse than the Bahnseim royal line, will he?”
In the worst case, it would come back around like a boomerang, leaving quite an unsavory end.
The Third chuckled.
“Who knows? A king’s rule is what the people of the world to come will judge. But while I doubt it’ll be the best, won’t he get everything together in stable rule? He’s at least got that much in him.”
The Third turned his eyes towards the Royal palace. And once he returned them to his wife.
“And here are some words I could never say when I was alive. Perhaps there’s no meaning for a record like me to say it, but say it I will. I caused you some trouble. And thank you. It’s because of you that the Walt House came so far.”
With those words, his wife gave a warm smile, her face turning a little red.
“It’s because you’re like that, that you always… now let’s be off. There’s still things left for us to do!”
“That’s right. Let’s go. And you really are the best woman around. You’re wasted on me.”
Seeing the back of his wife as she showed her motivation, the Third followed behind.
Third Generation Head (´∀｀): “Everyone sure has it rough, Ahahahah. (lol)”
Sixth Generation Head （；・∀・）: “Third! The trick! Please give me the trick to a stable relationship!”
Third Generation Head （・∀・ ）: “… Earnestly devote your love to a single woman, perhaps? Well, you’re already too late, so no need to worry about that one (lolol).”
Sixth Generation Head (|| ゜Д゜): “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU”
Lyle Σ(・∀・|||): “Eh? Me too!?”