The Escape

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It’s been a week since the duel with Diaroze.
Kisei and Saki have escaped inland and are currently flying low in a mountainous area.

“Hnnnnn, I’m hungry…….”

Kisei muttered with a tired expression inside the cockpit.
They still couldn’t join up with the main force thanks to Diaroze’s skillful command.
As a result, they were pushed inland instead of the shore where their main force was and they can’t resupply themselves.

“The ration stored in the cockpit was only enough for 3 days after all.
Even if we eat it sparingly, this is our limit……”

Likewise, Saki doesn’t hide her hunger and said that while sticking her tongue out.
It doesn’t seem like they can join up with their force any time soon as they have been taking detour after detour to avoid their pursuers.
They can’t even request backup since the Noredian is jamming the communication in this area.

“It might be time for us to start procuring our own food huh…….still, I don’t want to leave the cockpit.”

“It wouldn’t be strange if we run into their patrols after all.
Man, we are in a bind aren’t we.”

“Your voice doesn’t sound that nervous though…….”

Saki sighed at Kisei who said that in a cheerful voice.
He might try to look cheerful on the outside but Kisei’s attitude is still overkilled.
Still, from what they have been through together, Saki knows that Kisei is being serious.

“I mean, we are certainly in a tough situation but the enemy commander was super interesting as an opponent don’t you think.
I am so looking forward to a rematch that I don’t even feel tired you see.”

“That shameless woman who set up an ambush during a duel!?”

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Thinking about it from a Vuld’s perspective, it’s unavoidable to think of Diaroze as a coward.
Getting angry at such a thing would be normal, but instead, Kisei seems to be happy about it.

“She knew that she can’t win in a one-on-one condition so she chose the perfect timing to launch a surprise attack.
She was just using the best method that can secure her victory, this Diaroze person.”

Kisei smiles in a good mood while gently strokes the control stick.

“Don’t you think she’s interesting? A person that can push me back to this extent.
It’s been a while since I found an interesting opponent you know.”

“You sound like someone from a warmonger race you know.”

“I don’t really want to hear that from a Vuld though……”

“Don’t be stupid, us Vuld is a race of farmers you know.
Just look at that.”

The [Dainsleif] pointed toward a rice field carved into the mountain slope.
It is considerably big and the patch of water is reflecting the brilliant sunlight.

“Most Vulds work in agriculture and food productions you know? There are only a few who became warriors.
You always met my people on the battlefield so you might only see our bloody side though…….”

“Wait a minute.
That’s a rice field, right? And it doesn’t look abandoned either.”

While zooming in on the rice field, Kisei excitedly asked Saki.
The rice field is well maintained and no weeds can be spotted around the rice that grows out from the clean water surface.

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“It’s been some time since this planet was taken over.
If the people here abandoned this place then, it wouldn’t look this clean right.
This means there are still people here!”

“Th, That’s true! Alright, let’s go see for ourselves.
Maybe they might be generous enough to share some food with us.”

Impatient, the two flew toward the rice field.
As they approached, they could spot several women working in the field.
The expression on their faces was a mixture of surprise and fear but as soon as they recognized that the two belonged to the Calencian army, they waved at them with a smile.

“That’s a relief.
At least it seems they are in a welcoming mood.”

“Well, I hope they won’t turn us to the Noredian later though…….”

Saki sarcastically muttered and proceeded to carefully land her striker so as to not damage the rice field.
They landed in an open spot and many farmers gathered at the feet of their strikers.

“You should stay inside.
It would be bad if things go south down there.”

Without waiting for Kisei’s reply, Saki opened the cockpit hatch while confirming that she has her pistol in the holster.

“Ahh, thank goodness! They are really Calencian knights!”

“So the rumor that they have come to liberate us is true huh……seriously, took your damn time.”

Saki bowed to the farmers.
As far as she can see, they are not pointing their weapons at them.
With a sigh of relief, Saki descends to the ground.

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“Sorry, for disturbing your work.
I’m Lt.
Makishima Saki of the Imperial Guards.”

“The Imperial Guards!?”

“Come to think of it, this striker, it’s different than what our soldiers normally use…….”

From the noisy crowd, an old woman with crooked hips slipped through and walked out to the front.

“Welcome, sir knight.
Thank you for being polite with people like us.
So, what does an Imperial Guard like yourself want with a backwater village like ours?”

Saki stiffened her expressions at the old woman who didn’t hide her distrust toward them.
Earlier in the war, the Calencian army abandoned this planet and withdrew their troops.
This resulted in a merciless and disastrous purge bombing on the planet.
Since the bombing was concentrated in the urban area, a rural place such as this one may have been safe but……….it’s still can’t be helped that the people here have a low opinion about the Calencian army.

“We were separated from our main force…we also ran out of ration.
I was wondering if you can share some leftover food with us.

“So, you are telling us to hand over our food huh…….”

The old woman groaned with her arms crossed.

“I’m sorry but we can not spare anything right now.
There is a shelter housing the evacuees from the bombing nearby…….the food that was stored there almost ran out already.”

“Well……that’s unfortunate…….”

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These people are probably not eating well themselves.
It is clear from the dark expression of the farmers around her once she mentioned that she needed food.
Naturally, Saki is not willing to forcibly rob them either.

“Unnn, then at least can we have some water………”

When she said that, the sound of the cockpit hatch being opened echoed.
When Saki hurriedly looked up toward the [Caliburn-Revive], Kisei was already climbing down.

“A, A man just came out of a striker!”

“U, Uwah… cute……maybe he’s a prince…….?”

“Isn’t that a Terran? I never thought I could see someone so beautiful.”

Their surroundings suddenly turned rowdy.
They may have been confused by the existence of a male soldier but the women’s gazes all light up.

“Umm, sorry but……I’m really hungry so can I at least ask for one meal?”

“If you are going that far then there’s no way around it! Come along to my place, I will give you as much as I can.”

“Your attitude changed too fast, Oi!”

Seeing the old woman say that with her cheeks blushed, Saki can’t help but retort.

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