Chapter 4 Episode 19
“You accomplished such a difficult task very well. Thank you for your hard work, Kevin. Has everyone come out okay?”
Mikoshiba Ryouma addressed the five people who kneeled down in front of him, while showing dignity as much as possible.
Still, he could not suppress his worry toward the well-being of the five people.
Ryouma basically wanted a more friendly interaction, but Lione told him to be more dignified around soldiers.
Several months had passed since then. Although he was slightly awkward, he had become considerably accustomed to the nobility behavior.
Although Ryouma was someone who hated the behavior of flaunting power, in this world, nobility was part of social structure, it seemed like he would get despised by the surrounding nobles and knights if he showed too much of a friendly attitude toward commoners.
(Though I think this kind of behavior is annoying…)
Despite having those kind of thoughts, he also understood the necessity of a working structure within society.
Being arrogant and haughty won’t earn him trust from the soldiers, but on the other hand, the soldiers won’t be able to properly work without a clear chain of command within the military.
“Your words are too generous for us. Milord.”
Following Kevin’s words, the other four who kneeled one step behind also honored Ryouma by lowering their head deeply.
Milord was the honorific title Kevin and the other soldiers use to call Ryouma.
Although Ryouma himself didn’t like it because it gave too much of an aristocratic feeling, it was also somewhat better than when they called him young master or sir feudal lord.
It was not like the soldiers could call him ‘boy’ like Lione did either, thus they all settled down and use Milord to call him, similar to how Iga’s clansmen called him.
Actually, Ryouma lived in a house built in the middle of the city, thus it was never wrong to call him any of that.
“Somehow we managed to survive without using our trump card.”
Ryouma nodded silently while listening to Kevin’s report who also moved his hand to the small bottle they hung behind their back.
The small bottle was one of the trump cards Ryouma had prepared for the battle, but they had managed to end everything without using it.
Right now, a satisfied smile could be seen on Lione’s face who was standing behind Ryouma.
For her, they were soldiers whom she had raised from nothing.
For Lione and the member of the Red Lion mercenary group, these soldiers were their little babies.
That was why they felt satisfied looking at Kevin and the others’ growth.
“Good, if you used that, obtaining the victory itself would be an easy task but, at the same time it would cause us to have a troublesome relationship with the Zalda Kingdom as well.”
In addition to magic arts and team collaboration, Ryouma had also given Kevin and the others a trump card.
That was why Ryouma was convinced that even in a worst-case scenario they would still obtain victory.
By using it, it would be easy for Kevin and the others to win.
However, that trump card was a double-edged sword.
In the middle of a battlefield aside, since officially this fight was a match, if they use ‘that’, people might call them cowards.
Since it was a bit different compared to hiding one’s ability to surprise the enemy.
(Well, I did choose these five because I knew they could win the battle without using it.)
Having their body forged by training in the wortenia peninsula every day, and magic arts acquired after harsh training. In addition to that, Kevin also had strong solidarity toward his friends who crawled up from the bottom together, and he also had respect toward the living.
Although they still have room to grow since they were still young, they had already reached a good standard as soldiers, and as knights.
“Sir, on that point, we’ve already received a warning from Laura-sama beforehand…. She said we should only use it when we don’t have any other way to win…”
Following Kevin’s words, the other four behind him nodded their head.
Ryouma could see a sharp light glint in their eyes. It showed their determination to win no matter what the cost.
And also a proof that they understood the role they had been given.
They wouldn’t be able to have such attitudes if Ryouma had ordered them around high-handedly since the beginning.
(I guess I’m not wrong. The best result was a draw without anyone winning… These guys also seem to understand that. And that old man as well…)
Ryouma remembered the face of Julianus while he was looking at the back of the five people leaving the tent.
Naturally, Ryouma could not allow his men to lose, but winning was never the best option.
For Mikoshiba Ryouma, if he wanted to raise his status, he could just won the battle, but the best way in this situation was to end the match after the spectator acknowledged Ryouma’s power and before the battle truly ended.
Ryouma had planned to propose to end the battle before the victor could be decided while looking at the timing, but it was a pleasant surprise for him that the King, Julianus the First, also had the same thought as him and made his decision.
To be honest, Ryouma initially didn’t expect Julianus to have such ability since there was a rumor that he was a mediocre king, but Ryouma’s evaluation regarding the king had changed little by little since the time he met him during the audience.
The king was sensitive in regard to the victory and defeat, and managed to choose the option that didn’t hurt him the most.
To do that might sound simple, but to be able to do something like that, the person needed to have a strong self-control as to their own desires.
“Up until here, everything is according to plan, no?”
Sara asked Ryouma who was sitting in his chair.
“Right, somehow I guess… Like this, we won’t be ignored when we give an opinion during the war council tomorrow I guess…”
Ryouma gulped the wine in his glass in one breath and then exhaled his breath to relax.
“Besides, it was fortunate for us that his majesty the king was a better person than I thought.”
“Ah, I can understand that. Ryouma-sama, as expected, the reason why his majesty ended the match at that time was…”
Lione nodded her head in response to Laura’s remark.
“I guess he understands the trouble that would come if he loses the match. Not only that, instead of stopping the match by ordering the referee, he directed Grahart to enter the match and interfere. Since he managed to see through everything, I guess I have no complaints…”
Julianus declared the match had ended without prior consultation simply because he had realized Ryouma’s true intentions.
“In addition to that, he managed to bring out the parasites within his own people. That old man was really formidable.”
Following Lione’s remark, Ryouma smacked his tongue.
“Che, he’s indeed a sly old man. After he found out my intention, he actually used it for his own good…”
Despite saying that Ryouma didn’t sound displeased.
Sara then poured more wine into his empty glass.
“Like this, the plan should bear fruit then, boy?”
“Indeed, I was a little bit pessimistic when it came to the realization of our plan, but like this, we definitely could achieve it. It seems like getting permission from Lupis beforehand had not become a waste.”
In response to Lione’s question, Ryouma answered while laughing merrily, he then gulped his wine in one go.
“Everything would depend on the result of tomorrow’s war council…”
Responding to Sara’s remark with an empty glass on his hand, Ryouma leaned his body onto his chair in silence.
While he was looking at the flickering lamp, the glass was filled with wine once again.
“We had a lot of unexpected results…”
To the man’s voice, all the people present voiced their agreement.
“Indeed, I never thought that such result would come out.”
“That Gurido was being careless. To think his subordinates would lose to such children.”
Inside a nobleman mansion near the castle, eight men sat surrounding a roundtable.
Looking at their attire, they were definitely nobles with high status.
And looking at their arrogant expressions engraved on their faces, it was obvious what kind of lifestyle they had.
“Your Excellency… What are we going to do now? Despite this match being for the purpose of driving a wedge into the relationship between Rozeria and the Zalda Kingdom, with this kind of result, that esteemed person won’t be convinced.”
“That’s right. Like this, there’s no meaning for me to specially demand an action from that pig-headed person.”
Hearing those words, laughter escaped from all the men surrounding the roundtable.
It were such vicious waves of laughter.
“Earl Schwarzheim huh? He was a funny guy indeed. That man’s behavior during the audience. When I looked the way he was shouting, I nearly burst into laughter.”
“Agreed. Such a stubborn person, I wonder what kind of face he will make when he realizes that his actions were harmful to the kingdom and the king he loved.”
The men laughed again thinking back how Earl Schwarzheim talked desperately to the king.
And after they laughed for a while, a person began to speak. –
“However, that young man is certainly dangerous… Now I can understand Saitou-dono and Her imperial highness Sardina’s feelings.”
In response to the person words, the other men showed a half doubtful expression.
“Is that so? I don’t think he is that dangerous though?”
“I feel the same. Although certainly, he was worthy of evaluation, despite being placed in a remote area called wortenia peninsula, he had managed to gather such soldiers. But still, even if he brings five hundred men with him, that alone won’t be enough to influence the grand battlefield, and I’m doubtful that he could work with the other nobles with mixed units.”
That judgment was not entirely wrong.
At the minimum, one knight order needed 2,500 men, with that amount of soldiers, one could influence a grand scale battlefield.
In such battlefield, it was dangerous to operate troops numbering less than 500.
In actual battle, probably he would have been combined with nobles who brought the same number of soldiers to create a mixed troop.
If so, Mikoshiba Ryouma’s army would just become one part of a company.
Which meant, regardless of how good Ryouma’s troops were, if he was to be paired with inferior nobles who were poor when it came to cooperation, their overall ability as a corps would drop dramatically.
“Of course, I knew that. But still, It is kind of worrisome…”
Silence dominated the room.
The gaze of the men surrounding the table gathered at the one called His Excellency.
The man was quite powerful even among the men presented in the room.
“Will he disturb the Empire’s advance just like Joshua Belharres, you meant?”
“Indeed, his army might have been useless in a grand scale, but if he can put some ingenuity in it, with such quality soldiers, he might be able to do something damaging… And then the secret agreement we’ve obtained from Her highness Sardina which we’ve worked hard on, might break down.”
All of the men inside this room had a lot of common points.
Arrogant, greedy and also hungry for honor and power. Also, the Zalda Kingdom’s leading noble families which ruled vast territories. –
But the biggest common points was that they were people who were willing to sell their own country for riches.
“Despite the early success of eliminating General Belharress, not much progress happened afterwards.”
“Joshua Belharres. I heard that he was just a third son, but why… In this one year, Her highness Sardina also seems to have difficulty dealing with that guy as well.”
A sigh leaked from the men while saying those words.
“Well, there’s nothing we can do immediately right now. We will see the result of tomorrow war council first, and after that we’ll decide what to do. Now then, may our prosperity continue as time goes on.”
Words of approval came out one after another, and these men raised their glasses filled with wine.
“All for the prosperity of our family.”
After they drank the wine in a single breath, they smashed the glass of wine to the floor all at once.
“To think you dare to disturb us… I wonder, who are you?”
After the man called His Excellency muttered those words, a man showed up while stepping on the fragments of the glass.
As if the things under his feet were insects…