“Ugu …” (Midas)
As Midas’ thoughts deviated into I would pay anything for just having a usable answer, Hifumi pressed on.
“Besides, it’s strange, isn’t it? Imeraria should have known that Vichy would attack the national border having prepared a sufficient war potential. Or rather, since she has induced this, shouldn’t she have sent reinforcements a lot earlier?” (Hifumi)
“No, such expectations … In reality the second son of a Marquis household, Debold-sama, had been dispatched as envoy of peace to Vichy.” (Midas)
“Is that so? That means an envoy of peace delivers such a provocative letter in this world?” (Hifumi)
The letter that was thrown at Midas was the on Hifumi had taken out from Debold’s breast pocket.
“This is … !” (Midas)
It had Imeraria’s signature. Thrusting unreasonable demands at Vichy, no matter how you looked at it, the contents couldn’t be called anything but hostile.
“Well then, I want you to properly convey to Imeraria that she has overstepped her bounds this time. Now matter how kind I may be, even I have my limits.” (Hifumi)
What kindness are you talking about? Were his thought reflected on his face? Origa pointed an icy gaze at Midas to the degree of making him shiver.
“It came to a point where it would be proper for me to receive yours and the princess’ heads. Shouldn’t you be grateful for the generous treatment of Hifumi-sama?” (Origa)
“I-I am very sorry …” (Midas)
While bowing his head in apology, Midas raised an 「Oya?」 having a question towards Origa’s just spoken words.
Going by the current way of the talks, it sounds like me and the princess can survive.
“There was far too little resistance, I guess …” (Hifumi)
“The degree of the scheme was too little, even for Pajou. Also, the soldiers of Vichy attacking straight from the front like idiots, didn’t divert from our predictions in the least. Although Origa seems to be able handling it well, Kasha wasn’t able to implement what she had been taught at all.” (Hifumi)
Midas suddenly couldn’t follow what Hifumi was talking about.
“Due to the long, long history of wars in my country and world, there are many substantial studies repeatedly refining the art of efficiently killing your enemies, such as those heavily armored, those riding a horse, those being separated from their allies and those being swift, no matter the circumstances. As a result of that, many created military strategies and weapons vanished, making it literally a struggle to survive for those.” (Hifumi)
Maa, though I ended up completely forgetting those things recently, Hifumi inserted an idle complaint in his mind.
“However, after coming here, the opponents I faced were only luke-warm opponents at best. I first thought that it was only this country, but it seems the other countries aren’t any different in that regard either. As I worked as adventurer and statesman, I always pondered about it and at last I reached a conclusion.” (Hifumi)
“Th-The conclusion is …” (Midas)
As Midas feared he would hear something absurd and his desire to escape from this place right away was almost stirred up, he resisted those up-welling feelings as he had to convey what Hifumi was going to say to the princess.
“There isn’t enough fighting in this world. There isn’t enough desperation to stake their life on fighting between people. Therefore I decided to make my move.” (Hifumi)
“What the hell are you planning to do …?” (Midas)
Although he didn’t want to hear it, he couldn’t help but listen to it.
And just as he thought, Midas regretted hearing about it.
“I will spread the methods of fighting in order for the human society to become self-aware and come to their senses all around the world. Oh well, if I drill thousands of people scattered throughout the world in the ways of war, my intent will naturally come true, don’t you think?” (Hifumi)
“In other words, you will raise well-trained people to pit them against each other all around the world? Is that what you are saying?”
“It’s a magnificent idea. Of course I will also do my very best to help you.” (Origa)
Even though Origa said this as if it was natural, Hifumi gave up while thinking No matter what I tell her, she will accompany me anyway.
“Ah! I will use this territory as is. Once in a while I will return here. I want a place where I can run various experiments as well.” (Hifumi)
As result the people brought up in this territory will become ‘people who might cause damage to Orsongrande in the future’.
That’s just madness.
(However, there is no way to decline this …) (Midas)
Most likely even Imeraria won’t be able to refuse.
Especially since this is the second time her life has been spared.
He even seized disadvantageous evidence.
As Hifumi laughed joyfully, Midas frantically endured strong stomach pains. Because of Alyssa’s pursuit the numbers of the Vichy army dwindled even more though they took flight escaping Rhone.
The offensive lasted for a few days and the activity of the border security in Rhone was arranged to resume. All was explained to the citizens of Arosel and the tidying up began. Alyssa returned to Arosel wearing a tired facial expression.
“… Sleepy” (Alyssa)
“Yes, thanks for your hard work. Sleep well.” (Origa)
Having received the report from Alyssa, Origa saw her off unsteadily returning to her own room within the building of the Lord.
Origa herself had to commit herself to such things as returning the temporarily refuging citizens back to their own homes and giving orders to the soldiers left behind to clean up the city. Having her injury completely healed by the magic potion, she acted more vigorously than before.
And now she is handling her own and Hifumi’s share of travel preparations.
In the briefing session with Midas, Midas had no other choice but to accept the one-sided instructions in regards to the report contents from Hifumi. The result was a report stating Pajou and the other knights of the Third Knight Unit, which Hifumi had killed, had been killed in action in the battle with Vichy.
Because it would cause a huge loss of face for the royalty, if the truth of Imeraria giving the order to assassinate another noble were to be spread, Midas gladly accepted that kind of conclusion as it was far more amicable than he had imagined it to be. Although it was wrong towards Pajou, there was no better solution without this whole situation having a dramatic impact on the princess.
But Midas’ tension recurred once he heard Hifumi’s words after this topic was settled.
“I will go to the royal castle soon as I have to talk with Imeraria.” (Hifumi)
“Yo-You have to talk… ?” (Midas)
“No matter how you look at it, I am a noble of Orsongrande, so it is necessary to return triumphantly and give a report of the victory, I think.” (Hifumi)
Like this it became a matter of Hifumi heading towards the royal capital, alongside the surviving members of the Third Knight Unit, by himself without taking any soldiers along. In order to protect the territory, all of the territorial soldiers will be left behind.
“It will be only us, so I won’t particularly mind if you attack me during the trip, okay?” (Hifumi)
“You must be joking…” (Midas)
As Hifumi laughed impishly, Midas barely managed to squeeze out an answer.
The political centre of Horant is the capital city, Ludan.
The Ludan castle, where the aged king Suprangel Geng Horant (T/N: >> Supurangeru Gengu Horanto) resides, is called royal castle. He has been holding the throne for the long time of 50 years.
However, the one having substantial ability in the ways of politics, being his directly descending grandchild, was Belldore. (T/N: >> Verudore <<)
The elder king had declared to pass the crown to Belldore, who had no children of his own. Even the experiment with the magic tool, orchestrated by Vichy, was something pushed forward by Belldore for the sake of gaining moderate accomplishments.
With the authority of the king being very powerful, the order of royalty is an absolute for the few nobles of Horant as well. The standing of regular soldiers drafted from the common folk is quite low. But the gathering of funds upon the king’s order for the sake of developing the magic tool had been remarkable. With the wealth that was brought about due to the magic tools, criticism from the masses was suppressed.
“How is the situation developing?” (Suprangel)
“It’s going well.” (Belldore)
When the king inquired with a hoarse voice, Belldore answered standing upright.
“The aggression-rising magic tool Ganga and the emotions-restraining magic tool Elrik are almost complete, too.” (Belldore)
“However, there are flaws as well…” (Suprangel)
“Installing Ganga causes the target to go on a rampage or die. Being upon the effect of Elrik causes the actions of the target to become sluggish. Also, the target’s judgement declines sharply. Still, there are ways for practical use either way. There won’t be any problems if we use it only on soldiers and make sure to have the commander make the judgments and give out directions to the soldiers.” (Belldore)
As Belldore answered confidently puffing up with pride, King Suprangel nodded his head.
“Very well. It is fine to go with your results as they are. You will also give the researchers a reward to show them your generosity.” (Suprangel)
“I shall follow your words.” (Belldore)
Furthermore the king decided to listen to the opinion of Belldore concerning the situation in the other countries.
“… For some reason Vichy and Orsongrande seem to be noisy…” (Suprangel)
“It appears that there is a young noble of Orsongrande, having obtained the trust of the princess, acting violently and rudely. He has been bestowed the territory including the national border to Vichy. I hear he shaved off an unknown size of territory of Vichy. Isn’t the battle continuing even now?” (Belldore)
“Even at the border of our country to Orsongrande there seems to be movement.” (Suprangel)
“Since we have officially sided with Vichy and because even our country’s soldiers are heading towards the border, they have apparently deployed their soldiers in response. They won’t attempt to make contact though.” (Belldore)
If they start an all-out war on this side, it will become a war at two fronts for Orsongrande. It means that while continuing the war with Vichy, Orsongrande won’t start something right way. That was the common opinion shared by King and grandchild. Once the war with with Vichy ends, the reason for Horant to deploy its soldiers will vanish as well.
“Orsongrande’s side has raised a set amount of military gains. Although the general outline is that it will end with Vichy’s side compromising, they are more or less resisting the outcome. Putting aside their quality, Vichy has prepared a great number of soldiers.” (Belldore)
After contemplating for a while about this information, the king said slowly as if chewing it thoroughly,
“Well then … Once the state of affairs has calmed down and the soldiers deployed at the border to Orsongrande can be withdrawn, I will use the opportunity to retire from this position.” (Suprangel)
“That is…” (Belldore)
“You will become the next king. It will be good for governing this country. But, show me the proof of the magic tools, Ganga and Elrik, being effective on the border soldiers. I have decided this to be your first accomplishment as king.” (Suprangel)
“Ha, I will make my move at once.” (Belldore)
“Umu, I am waiting for the good news.” (Suprangel)
For the news, of Hifumi leading the small force of Fokalore’s territorial troops against the military forces of Vichy and repelling them, to circulate in Horant, a few more days were still necessary.
There is a town called Münster (T/N: >> Miyunsuta) extremely close to the national border to Horant on Orsongrande’s side.
This town has the same scale as Fokalore and, including several farm villages in its circumference, an earl called Biron is governing it.
Biron isn’t particularly close to either the prince or the princess. He wasn’t very well-informed about the situation taking place close to Vichy where Fokalore played a central role as his territory could also be said to be on the opposite side. Even the the request for stationing the troops of the Second Knight Unit this time was something he only reluctantly accepted due to the documents having the signature of the prince. The communication with the knight unit also only started at the time the Second Knight Unit’s captain, Stifels, came to visit in order to exchange greetings. Biron’s stance was “Just do whatever you want.”
“Why has a knight unit come all the way to this place?” (Biron)
Without trying to conceal his dissatisfaction, Biron complained to his butler, standing close-by, as he was sitting dead tired on a sofa.
He was a still young head of a household at the age of 30 years. With the death due to illness of his father 5 years ago, he was called back home to succeed the Earlship although he had been working as bureaucrat in the capital.
Even the current circumstances, he understands that Vichy and Horant have a connection notwithstanding the lack of information. He also knew that there wasn’t even any point in provoking Horant. Of course, anticipating an emergency situation, a lot more soldiers are patrolling the area close to the border than usual. He also knew well that he might have to to dispatch troops on short call.
At any rate, since quite many soldiers were deployed to another place, the maintanence of public order in the whole town started to show holes. His only wish was for the whole situation to quickly finish not caring whether the rising noble Hifumi, whose face he doesn’t even know, wins or loses.
Not only that, in regards to the Second Knight Unit, turning up here recklessly and in a fighting mood, Biron was highly vigilant.
If something strange happens and hostilities with Horant unfold, he doesn’t have the intention to lose, but he will feel unease about the safety of the town of Münster. His own territorial soldiers will be depleted as well.
Moreover, the Second Knight Unit is building a simple fortress in the middle between Münster and the national border. It goes even as far that they are talking about inviting Prince Ayperos there for encouragement. To begin with, due to the influence of the princess’ popularity, Prince Ayperos has a thin presence with the plain achievements he has earned. Biron can do nothing but sigh.
“I guess it is a suggestion by the queen, but doesn’t she understand that starting a war here will cause his evaluation to pummel even more?” (Biron)
Or, do they have some certain plan for victory or tools able to make it happen, I wonder? Biron pondered about that. But if there were such things, it would be impossible for that haughty, over-confident Stifels to stay silent about it.
“If that new viscount called Hifumi or something like that is able to defeat Vichy at an early stage, then…” (Biron)