Chapter 2 Episode 18
(Outbreak of war 1)
Day 165 after being summoned to another world: (Outbreak of war).
“This is bad…, we cannot use this plan anymore…”
Ryouma scratched his head while staring at the ceiling inside his own room.
Beside Ryouma, only Sara and Laura, both of whom are wearing chainmail underneath their maid outfit are present
However, both sisters did not talk to Ryouma.
Because right now, their duty is to not disturb their master.
In the first place, Ryouma’s words did not require any answer either.
They were words that came out unintentionally while he’s in deep thought.
Both sisters had understood that since they had been with him for more than five months now.
“Nee-sama… Ryouma-sama seems to be in deep thought…, could he perhaps forgot that the banquet party will start soon?”
“Indeed… But you must not disturb him, alright?…, he will immediately call out to us the moment he made up his mind…, when the time comes you can just inform him that you’ve declined the invitation. ”
The sisters have decided that he will be absent from the dinner party.
“Unn…, understood…, then I will go and decline their invitation. ”
“Thank you…, please do so…, I don’t want to leave Ryouma-sama unsupervised after all…, please give her highness the princess my best regard as well. ”
“Un…, I understand, it would be dangerous if an assassin were to show up like the last time after all…”
“Indeed… Well, I think we should be fine since this is Ryouma-sama we are talking about… Ah right, go borrow the kitchen and prepare some evening meal for him.I’m sure he will be hungry when he’s done. ”
“Unn… Understood. ”
After exchanging a few words, Sara left the room quietly.
Jet black darkness has already loomed over the sky outside.
Currently, it would be a great opportunity for assassins to come out since even the moonlight is covered by the clouds.
Of course, the security within the castle is regarded as impenetrable. However, the place is guarded by humans and therefore error is bound to happen at some point.
Furthermore, their priority is to protect Princess Lupis’ safety.
It would be natural for them to treat the rest of the people as a second priority, even if they are the people who helped the Princess.
The other day Ryouma was attacked by assassins.
Ryouma, who noticed an arrow flying toward him, immediately bent his body to dodge it. Although the arrow missed, but because the arrow had poison on it, it could have been fatal.
Since the assassin’s whereabout is still unknown, they need to be cautious in case a second surprise attack happen.
Both Laura and Sara are ready to become Ryouma’s shield.
However, since the sisters understand that Ryouma does not permit the sisters to sacrifice their lives to save his, they armed themselves to be ready to respond to any danger..
One of the countermeasures is the chainmail they are wearing underneath their maid clothes.
“Fuu… I’m hungry…’
Almost two hours had passed since the time Sara went out to inform the princess that Ryouma can’t participate in the banquet.
“What time is it now?”
“It’s currently 8.05 p.m. “
Laura immediately replied.
“Ah, I see… Wait! There’s a dinner party today isn’t it?”
“I’ve already declined it on your behalf.”
“I see…, thanks, you’re a lifesaver. ”
Originally, Ryouma was supposed to dine with Princess Lupis tonight.
But a report that arrived in the morning had changed everything.
That report sent Ryouma lost in thought. He had to think about the countermeasures.
“Is there any message from them?”
“We were told that since Ryouma-sama might be busy thinking about a plan, Ryouma-sama does not have to be worried about being absent. However, there will be another meeting tomorrow, and they want Ryouma-sama to present the plan at that time. ”
Princess Lupis was surprisingly favorable towards Ryouma, despite his refusal to her invitation which is usually an act of serious offence.
This, in turn, reflected how important the report they received this morning was.
Hearing Laura’s words, Ryouma feels relieved.
“I see…, phew, tomorrow huh…”
Sound came out of Ryouma’s stomach.
Other than drinking tea, he has not eaten anything since Lunch. As expected, Ryouma was starving.
“I’m hungry… Is there anything to eat?”
“Yes, Sara had already prepared some food.”
“Is that so? Then let’s eat together. You guys have not eaten either right?”
Ryouma knew that the girls wouldn’t eat before him. Hearing his words, Laura nodded her head happily.
“We’ll prepare it immediately. ”
“Now then. Because there’s not much time, let’s go over the plan while we eat. ”
Both sisters turned their gazes towards Ryouma and nodded their head.
For Ryouma, both sisters have become his maid, his guard, and also his important adviser.
By explaining his thoughts to the sisters, Ryouma can sort out his train of thoughts clearly, and at the same time, it also functions as a rehearsal before he has to explain it to Princess Lupis.
Particularly, choosing the right words to convey the meaning and expression across is important.
Since both sisters are from a Knight family, by this world standard, they had received the best education.
From Ryouma’s perspective, their knowledge is more or less only equal to upper grades of primary school. However, since it was a knowledge obtained during the period of chaos like this, it was something they can be proud of.
In fact, most of the commoners, who accounted for over 90% of the total population are unable to write their own names.
Let alone mathematics.
With the exception of merchants, most common people can’t even do simple additions.
Because of that, Ryouma words can often be misunderstood by others.
Even when he was explaining a general concept, they were not able to grasp the essence of his ideas.
That’s why Ryouma explains it to the sisters first.
By observing their reactions, he is able to identify which words are not suitable to use.
Afterward, he can rephrase his sentences or explain it in more detail.
“Are you two aware that General Hodram has joined the noble faction?”
The sisters nodded their head.
Originally it was a piece of information that was only known to a small number of people. However, this sort of information will eventually be leaked.
This bad news that arrived in the morning is no longer a secret to the people in the castle.
Although Ryouma is disappointed that a national secret leaks so easily like this, he felt it can’t be helped since the level of crisis management in this world is quite poor.
Even if Mikoshiba Ryouma is someone who had been summoned from another world.
It is impossible for him to change the way a country does things in a single night.
There’s no choice other than for him but to prioritise the problems in front of him and rectify them in order.
That being said, the only things that got leaked was that General Hodram has joined the noble faction.
How he ended up siding with the noble faction remains a mystery.
“I see… First, should I start by explaining how it ended up like this? ”
Ryouma began to talk while munching down a piece of steak and followed by some wine.
It was around four days ago when General Hodram had left the royal capital, bringing with him the ‘white sword chivalric order’ in the name of restoring order.
Ryouma was not aware of this
He heard that General Hodram had a direct talk with Princess Lupis.
In reality, ever since the nobles faction started supporting Princess Ladine, the Kingdom’s security has deteriorated.
To maintain peace, one needs power; and to maintain that power, one needs strength.
Justice without power will never prevail.
Nevertheless, the royal capital Pireaus is one of the big regional cities. The nobles faction and princess’ faction stationed their soldiers in such city because of its strategic value. As a result, the security of Pireaus is the strongest compared to all the nearby cities.
Consequently, this leads to less soldiers guarding the smaller towns and villages since it has less strategic advantage.
Of course, something like this is inevitable.
Because neither Princess Lupis nor Duke Gerhardt have an infinite military power.
Ryouma is also concerned about the security, but there’s nothing he can do.
And General Hodram took advantage of that flaw.
“The kingdom cannot live without its people!”
With that line alone, it would be hard for Princess Lupis to ignore the argument.
If Ryouma or Elena were to hear these words from general Hodram, they won’t be able to believe in it.
Indeed it is a just argument.
But, is it possible that someone who has always seek benefits for himself to suddenly care about the people?
The answer is a big no.
Of course, nothing in this world is 100% certain.
However, it was clear enough that this was fabricated.
Had Ryouma or Elena were on the scene, they would never have believed such story.
At least, they wouldn’t have let General Hodram command the army directly.
However, Princess Lupis did not realize this.
No, She might have realized it.
However, she succumbed to the sweet talk about justice that General Hodram had presented.
Because her wish is also for the peace of the kingdom.
And as a result for that, she accepted General Hodram’s suggestions.
Sure enough, Princess Lupis ended up getting deceived.
“That’s how it is… ”
The expressions of the two sisters who heard the story from Ryouma did not change.
If he was to talk to Lione’s group, they would definitely talk back with abusive language; however, these girls wouldn’t do that.
Because they understand having spent time with Ryouma that it is pointless to get angry and nothing will be accomplished by just complaining alone.
“Is that how it is?…, and now Ryouma-sama is concerned due to the fact that General Hodram has joined the nobles faction is it?”
Laura turned her curious eyes towards Ryouma.
“Does Sara know what I have in mind?”
Ryouma instead asked Sara in return.
“Ryouma-sama, are you suspecting that this betrayal is the work of a third party?”
That’s correct, this is what Ryouma is currently worried about.
Him appointing Elena is the right judgment.
However, having Elena on his side is like obtaining a powerful drug.
And if one were to drink too much medicine, it would become poisonous instead.
Like so, Ryouma ended up mishandling the powerful drug that is Elena.
She certainly is showing great work.
Together with her friends she kept in contact, they almost single-handedly took out the Knight faction in a single stroke.
The dissatisfaction within the Knight faction she told Ryouma about is true.
Half of the Knights have joined under Elena in just half a month.
From the start, there was already a large number of knights who had dissatisfaction toward Hodram within the Knight faction.
And when those dissatisfied Knight found out that Elena have come back, they started to join Elena one after another.
And as the days went by, that numbers increased drastically.
It was to the point that only 2500 Knights that work under General Hodram’s direct command remained loyal to him.
Hodram, who had his faction taken over was very surprised. However, Ryouma was just as surprised.
Originally, the plan was to eliminate Hodram after they had defeated the nobles faction.
However, it was impossible for Hodram who had lost control over his faction to keep supporting Princess Lupis quietly.
Thus Ryouma was planning to eliminate Hodram before he does something.
It was only a week ago that he solidified that plan.
“That’s right; it’s just too unnatural… I’m very sure that I’ve cornered Hodram…, and now he needs some backing. I can understand that everyone wants reinforcement right now, but will Duke Gerhardt readily accepts him like this? Plus, I can’t imagine that someone like Hodram would lower his head to his political rival either… ”
Ryouma could never forget the eyes General Hodram had when the pair met for the first time during the audience.
His eyes were filled with greed and ambition.
“You damned peasant!” His eyes were practically screaming.
He’s the type of person who’s arrogant and would discriminate others, and those kind of people are usually merciless against their enemies as well.
He is one prideful man.
And most importantly, his relationship with Duke Gerhardt is very bad.
Even if he was being cornered, there’s no way for him to lower his head first.
That’s why Ryouma could never have anticipated that General Hodram would join the nobles faction.
“That might be true…, but there’s also the possibility that Duke Gerhardt is the one who approaches him first, no?”
“It’s difficult to think otherwise indeed. However, who was the one that gave Duke Gerhardt that suggestion? ”
Since the possibility of General Hodram lowering his head first is low, the only other explanation is that the nobles faction is the one who approached him first.
Certainly, if it was the nobles who are experts when it comes to political strategy, this would be possible.,
However, the discussion between the two sides with conflicting interests is usually time consuming.
And if the nobles faction have that much of leeway, then Duke Gerhardt would not have to pursue the matter of Princess Ladine’s succession.
Because he could just slowly bring Princess Lupis to the nobles faction side.
“I see… Then, there’s the possibility of intervention from the neighbouring countries, correct?” [Laura]
“That’s right… That is what I feared the most…, though, hopefully it stays as an imaginary fear. ”
Ryouma nodded while answering Laura’s question.
The Kingdom of Zalda that Elena had helped as reinforcement in the past is currently not on good terms with Rozeria kingdom due to the trade tariff issues.
And the relation with the Mist Kingdom is not exactly on good term either.
Despite in the past, the three-nation have cooperated against Ortomea Empire,their relation right now is not exactly good either.
In fact, relations like this can be viewed as bad.
Since they will not hesitate to bear their fangs at one another if you leave even a slight opening.
“And I have no information regarding the foreign nations either…”
Currently, Ryouma is unsure whether it is limited to this country alone, or if the entire world is like this, but he thinks the information network is shockingly awful.
There’s no way for them to acquire solid information on the other countries.
The only way to obtain any information is only from the mercenaries or merchants that passes by the nation.
However, the information from them can be inaccurate.
Moreover, most of the information were not useful for the nation.
After all, gathering information is not one of their work priorities.
The sisters now have understood Ryouma’s worries.
They know how valuable information and preparing ahead is for Ryouma, after spending time with him.
However, at the same time, the sisters know acknowledged that Ryouma’s concerns cannot be resolved by their powers alone.
Because the privileged class in this world does not understand the importance of information.
If Ryouma wants it, there is no other way but to hire a person to investigate.
But right now he has no time to do that.
“Ryouma-sama…, there’s no use worrying about what can’t be done…, for now, we should focus on how we can defeat General Hodram and Duke Gerhardt before the neighboring countries make their moves, no?”
Ryouma could do nothing other than nodding his head in agreement with Laura.
After all, by the end of the days, he has no other choice.
“Duke Gerhardt has about 60.000 men, combined with General Hodram’s 2.500 knights and the mercenaries he hired; they will end up with around 65.000 people. On our side, there are 12.500 knights, and the soldiers that Earl Bergston and other nobles have gathered are around 20.000 men. In total, we have 32.500 people. With those numbers alone, we’re in an overwhelmingly disadvantageous situation…”
Ryouma nodded toward Sara’s statement.
“Since most of the noble faction members are middle or upper ranked nobles, their territories are huge. Hence, the number of people they can recruit as soldiers is large. If we compare the numbers alone, we cannot dream of defeating the nobles faction. ”
“However, that much is a given. That being said, in terms of fighting power, we’re nearly equal. ”
All the knights can use magic arts.
Although there’s a difference of how much each individual is capable of using it,
At least everyone is capable of enhancing their own physical strength.
In terms of fighting power, that makes a big difference.
“Well… Ultimately, other than the fact that General Hodram switched over to the enemy’s, nothing has actually changed. ”
“I agree… Although we should not mind too much about something out of our reach, it would be bad if we were to ignore it completely. ”
Laura’s words summed up the current situation accurately.
The scariest thing for them is for the neighboring nation to suddenly invade before they finished dealing with Hodram and Gerhardt.
Although there’s no conclusive evidence for that to happen, they still cannot ignore the possibility.
“If that is the case then, we must put an end to all of this quickly…”
Ryouma turned his gaze towards the ceiling.
(Editor Tan: Sorry this took so long! Hope you don’t mind XD. Thanks for your hard work, things are starting to get interesting)
(TLN: Yeah me as well, kinda hectic these days due to national vacation.)
(TLN: Yeah me as well, kinda hectic these days due to national vacation.)