Day 178 after being summoned to another world: (Decisive Battle 6)
“Everyone! Finally, we’ve reached this far! This will be our final battle. The decisive battle will start from now on. From here on out, this is the battle to determine Rozeria Kingdom’s future! The total number of the enemy force is 2500. I’m convinced that we will obtain victory if everyone does their best in this battle. I believe in the power of everyone! We will grasp victory! Glory to the Kingdom of Rozeria!”
“””OOOOOOOH! Victory to us! Glory to Rozeria Kingdom!”””
Responding to Princess Lupis’ speech, the Knights raised their voices in a victory cry.
A knight standing at the front raised a fist high, and those standing in the back raised their spears high.
It was the voice of the Knight’s resentment that had been repressed by General Hodram for many years.
They finally had the opportunity to gratify their grudges.
Furthermore, they are currently in a very advantageous situation.
Gerhardt had quickly put into action his intention of switching his allegiance.
As soon as he had presented the terms to the messenger, he immediately began working behind the scenes to take down the man currently controlling the nobles faction; Earl Adelheid..
Because of the measure put into place by Ryouma,the result was achieved quickly. The nobles faction also now strongly desired to curry favor with Princess Lupis in order to improve their standing.
The effect of Ryouma’s measure was demonstrated dramatically.
“Ooh… Duke Gerhard-sama, I was rude the other day…”
Earl Aldeheid couldn’t hide his embarrassment at the sudden visit of Duke Gerhardt. He greeted him with courtesy and tried not to be rude.
He was camped in the suburbs of Irachion with a tent.
“No no, It is me who is rude for intruding on you so suddenly like this.”
This was just the usual lip service between nobles.
Aldeheid had supported Gerhardt for many years, but now Aldeheid had betrayed him for General Hodram’s side.
Anyone would be angry in that situation.
But from his expression, no one would be able to see his anger.
He’s an arrogant man, but he was a man who could adopt a humble attitude if necessary.
It might be said that his act is perfect.
Of course, for someone like Aldeheid who has worked under him for many years, Gerhardt’s acting was transparent. But it did have the effect of making the conversation flow smoothly.
They could speak calmly without having to raise their voices.
“So? What is the issue? There’s a lot of preparation needed to be done for the decisive battles according to General Hodram, so we don’t have much time…”
Although Earl Aldeheid’s words are polite, there was a hidden implication.
To put them bluntly, he has no time to talk with Duke Gerhardt right now.
“Oh, I’m sorry about that… But, do you know about this? The princess is going to make a bold move…”
Gerhardt said meaningfully.
There’s no other choice for Earl Aldeheid than to listen to Duke Gerhardt.
“A bold move? Has Princess Lupis plotted something?”
If Princess Lupis is planning on doing something, the Earl definitely can’t just ignore it.
Especially if it comes from Gerhardt.
“Her Highness seems to have split the knights into a few groups and headed towards the noble faction members’ territories, to burn them.”
“Wha! It can’t be! There’s no way her Highness would do that!”
It is no surprise for the Earl to react this way.
Right now is a war between countrymen, a civil war.
In other words, for Princess Lupis to burn the noble faction’s territories is the same as hurting the economy of the Rozeria Kingdom, which in turn will also harm herself.
Razing and pillaging vallages is not an usual strategy in war, and is in fact a standard tactic. When used correctly, it can be a very effective tactic.
However, the Earl had never heard of such tactics being used against the nation’s own territory.
“I can’t believe it… For the princess to take such measures… Did something happen?”
Of course Earl Aldeheid would be surprised in this situation.
Gerhardt though is convinced that his report has captured the Earl.
“Indeed! That is because Her highness is a gentle person.”
“Right? That’s why there’s no way the princess would do that.”
The way Earl Aldeheid said those words is as if he does not realize that he has been taking part in a rebellion.
Well, for those who know Princess Lupis it is reasonable for them to understand that.
Gerhardt keeps on talking while also suppressing the urge to laugh.
“But… There’s a man under her highness who does not care about such things…”
Hearing this, the Earl grew restless.
“A man… Is it that one that is being referred to as the demon?”
“That is right. It was that man, the one known as [The Demon of Irachion]”
Duke Gerhardt silently nodded his head hearing the name from Earl Aldeheid.
Having drowned 5.000 soldiers, and killed the remaining survivors with a smile on his face, he was known by the surrounding people as “The Demon of Irachion.”
It was actually just the result of the rumor that Ryouma had spread, but, peasants who did not receive proper education easily believed it as the truth.
This rumor had also reached the Earl.
Most of them had heard the rumor because so many peasants had pleaded to return back home.
“But still… That rumor, is it really the truth?”
“Whether he’s the demon or not, its just a rumor. However, his demon-like brutality and unforgiving personality is the truth.”
Of course, Mikoshiba Ryouma is not a demon.
Even though he did kill the enemy with no mercy, he’s not someone who has the fetish of enjoying killing other people either.
However, the image of him being a demon is important right now.
“… Indeed if it was [The demon of Iracion] then, it might be possible… But, is it really the truth? That he’s going to do what you’ve said?”
The Earl seems still unable to believe it yet.
Of course, Gerhardt also realized that.
But his aim is only to shake the Earl.
“Well, I told you that I just heard such rumor. Whether to believe it or not it is up to you… Well then… I can’t disturb you more than this… I will leave now.”
“Eh? Are you going back already? You don’t have to hurry like that!”
The Earl tried to detain Duke Gerhardt as if forgetting his first words.
The Earl seems to feel uneasy already.
That is why the Earl wants to hear the information more clearly.
“No no, It is not good for me to get in the way of your work… Well, if you feel concerned about my story, how about ask the merchants in the city. Since I also heard the information from there. The person who told me the story would surely tell you the story in more detailed.”
Since he said that , the Earl couldn’t detain him much longer.
“I understand… Thank you for telling me such an interesting story.”
“No no, I apologize for disturbing your busy work. Well then, excuse me.”
Gerhardt left the tent.
The Earl immediately gathered his aides.
He wants to ascertain the truth of the rumor that Duke Gerhardt had left.
“Well then, is that rumor is the truth?!”
Earl Aldeheid was amazed at the report that his aides brought to him.
“It is unknown whether the rumor is true or not…But it is true that the merchants who came to Irachion spread such rumor…”
His adjutant’s words hit him.
The nobles have a certain instinct imprinted on them.
That is to always maintain their family name, power, and territory as the top priorities.
They are stubborn when it comes to their territory.
They have no intention of cherishing their farmers. However, there’s also no lord who would keep silent when their territory is being damaged.
To have their home burned down is the same as losing their stronghold. Not only are their families there, but they also gather militia there. Now, there are only women left at home, meaning defending is almost impossible.
(This is bad… Really bad… But, what should I do?)
The Earl was filled with anxiety.
If the rumors are true, then there’s no other choice but to go back and protect his territory and family.
But returning to his territory without obtaining nothing just leaves debt.
Although his subordinates have not yet gone out to battles, he can’t leave without any wages either.
Even the peasants who’ve been conscripted ended up leaving their work.
If they returned home with nothing, then it would create dissatisfaction.
(But… If that is the truth then… My family… My wife and grandchildren…)
It would be good if they only end up being sold to a slave trader.
He would still be able to purchase their freedom.
However, the person he is dealing with is the man known as [The demon of Irachion].
He will kill mercilessly, even if it’s a small girl..
This fear grasped Earl Aldeheid’s heart tightly.
His son, who was beside him, was unable to understand his father’s distress.
But it was also clear that they both want to return to their territory as soon as possible, for their wife and children.
“Earl-sama! Please excuse me.”
A soldier appeared in the entrance of the tent.
He seems to have brought some report.
Earl Aldeheid turned to dismiss the interruption.
“What is it?! I told you not to disturb me.”
But the soldier hesitatingly tried to say something.
“I understand but… Viscount Romane and the other nobles want to meet your Excellency. I told them that your Excellency does not want to be disturbed, but they said it was urgent… What should I do?”
The Earl sighed because he knew exactly why the Viscount and the others had come.
“… I understand, let them come.”
While watching the soldier’s back, the Earl turned to his son.
“What do you think about this?”
“I think, my thought is the same as father’s…”
“You too? Then what should we do?”
The Earl was happy that his son had grown up to be a wise man just like him.
“I think we should go back to our territory…”
“Your son’s is right!”
Several people came into the tent.
“Oh, I see all of you have come because of this emergency. But what are you going to do about it? With the Princess’ forces this close, it would be impossible for us to return to our territories.”
The Earl asked the small, middle-aged man that entered the tent.
He sat down in a chair abruptly, but no one paid attention to the small discourtesy when there were more important things to discuss.
“Earl, I wish to say this plainly. I’m planning to return to my territory.”
Viscount Romane’s words shocked Earl Aldeheid.
The Viscount is one of his faction members, but his desire to return to his territories will not be easy to deal with, on account of his arrogance and position. As the leader of the lower nobles, he was an aggressive but kind person. Individually, the nobles have anywhere from dozens to hundreds of soldiers, but united they are a formidable force. For this reason, the Earl ignored the Viscount’s behavior. However, he can’t just ignore his declaration.
The Earl raised his voice with as much dignity as possible.
“Don’t be foolish! Do you intend to betray Duke Gerhardt?!”
It was too late for him to say that since the group under Earl Aldeheid had already switched sides from Duke Gerhardt to General Hodram.
However, the biggest army still belongs to Duke Gerhardt.
Although he has no real power, the Duke still is the flag of their faction.
But the viscount only twisted his lips lightly and sneered at him.
“What are you saying now? Aren’t you the one who betrayed him just the other day? Although you’re already old, I don’t think you’re at the age where you forget things easily.”
The Earl’s adjutant who heard this moved his hand to the hilt of his sword.
The Earl immediately stopped his adjutant.
Then the Earl turned around facing the Viscount as if giving up.
“Indeed, I have no excuse to say that… Fine, let’s get right to the point… Why?”
He was asking why the Viscount wanted to return to his territory.
Although the Earl had anticipated the reason, he just wanted to confirm.
And based on the answer, he would then plan out his own future.
“You should know the reason already, no? About those rumors…”
The Viscount said with an irritated expression.
“As expected… That was the reason huh? Is that rumor really true?”
The Viscount shook his head indicating that he did not know.
“Did you all decide to withdraw without confirming the truth first? All of you?”
“The authenticity of that rumor is irrelevant, Earl-dono.”
The one who said that was a young noble standing behind the Viscount.
Earl Aldeheid was unable to remember his name.
It was probably one of the lower-ranked nobles belonging to Viscount Romane.
“What do you mean?”
“The rumor has spread among the peasants. As a result, a lot of them asked us to return home.”
The ones with the most at risk if their territory got burned was the peasants.
All of their property would be gone, and their houses would turn into ash.
The nobles might receive help from their relatives, but peasants could only protect their family by themselves.
They would hardly be able to take care of another person if something were to go wrong.
That is why they want to return home,to protect their modest wealth and the lives of their family.
“Foolish! Just make one or two people among the peasants into examples by punishing them, then this will all be taken care of, right?”
The Earl was stating the nobility’s usual method of taking care of these sorts of problems, and it was a very effective method.
“About that… The peasants seem to have prepared to revolt against us if we don’t let them go back home…”
“What?! The peasants what?!”
That was quite a considerable surprise for the Earl.
He never expected that the peasants had been cornered that far.
“Indeed. I managed to calm them down for now, but after investigation, similar incidents happened in almost all of the other camps…”
“So what’s going on? Did you find something?”
The Earl did not want to hear about it anymore.
He didn’t want to listen to more bad news.
“Marquis Schwarzen has already withdrawn together with his army.”
“Can’t be… To decide that so arbitrarily!”
Nobles also have factions among themselves.
Within the nobles faction, Marquis Schwarzen is number 3.
Although in terms of Duke Gerhardt’s trust, Earl Aldeheid won because of his rank in the faction, but going by the size of territory and influence, then Marquis is second only to the Duke.
Even in the formation of this army as well,the Marquis’ soldiers are second in number to the Duke only.
The Earl can’t disregard it easily if such an important person had withdrawn from the front lines without saying anything.
“Have you reported this to General Hodram?!”
That was the question the Earl wanted to ask the most.
However, the young nobleman only shook his head while showing a nasty smile.
“At this hour, what result are we going to get by reporting to that person? Marquis Schwarzen also told me that if we disturb his movements, he won’t hesitate to battle it out. If that is the case, we have no other way anymore… We should start thinking about our family’s survival rather than reporting to General Hodram, don’t you agree?”
“Did you want to sacrifice General Hodram? Are the others also of the same opinion?”
They were silent when the Earl asked this.
In other words, they agree to it.
The Earl felt sick to the stomach by their indifference.
However, he also felt that he could understand their attitude, even if it was disgusting.
It might be because of the noble’s survival instincts that were ingrained into them since childhood that lead to such an attitude.
“Fuuuh… Fine… If you all have prepared for this much, I have no more words to say… Let’s follow your opinion.”
“Then, let us all withdraw immediately. Whether the rumor is true or not, we must defend our territory!”
Receiving Earl Aldeheid words, Viscount Romane immediately left the tent.
While looking at his son, Earl Aldeheid muttered.
“I betrayed Duke Gerhardt and then immediately sacrificed General Hodram huh… That is not a beautiful thing to smear our family name with…”
All of his aides and his son remained silent.
They all realized how harsh the life of nobles is.