Chapter 4 Episode 3
Noon, Day 3rd, 11th Month, the Year 2813, Western continent calendar.
On that day, The Royal Palace at the royal capital city of Pireaus was filled with heavy air.
The senior bureaucrats ran through the relevant department with a pale face, and the military leaders have been forced to attend meetings. The Knights were waiting in their predetermined dormitory without anyone dared to take an off-duty, they were ordered to prepare their weapons.
Within the royal palace, people moving around in hurry.
However, most of them were people performed what they were ordered to do.
As a matter of fact, only a limited number of people knew the situation.
Although it can be said that not all of them were able to grasp accurately the current situation.
Some people who passed a certain room within the royal castle they gazed at a certain room’s door for a moment with a tense expression, then they hurriedly left the place.
It was a room in the royal palace closed with a thick iron door…
“I see… I understand that… But, It is impossible…”
A deep sigh leaked from Lupis.
Meltina’s report had made her heart turn gloomy. –
Or rather, anxiety and sorrow were floating on the faces of the people gathered in this room.
Inside the room, there were Lupis and his two aides, Meltina and Mikhail. Elena who was responsible for the military affairs. Earl Bergstone and other influential nobles from civil servant department.
“But your majesty… This cannot be ignored…”
“I know… But, do you think there’s such power left in this country to perform it?”
Lupis answered Meltina’s words with a tone of resignation.
Even Lupis understood that she cannot leave this matter alone.
In fact, Lupis convinced that this problem needs an absolute attention.
Despite her drawback of being easily discouraged, she was not someone incompetent.
And as a royal family member, she had received the highest education money can afford.
She was someone who could see reality as it was when she did not lose her calm.
From her point of view, the current problem had brought the Kingdom of Rozeria into a state of dilemma.
“This is definitely impossible… Especially when we need to pay more extra attention to the nobles in our countries… But then…”
“But then, we can’t ignore this request either… Regardless of the civil war, nearly one year had passed… Of course, from the viewpoint of reconstructing national strength, it will take more time, but we cannot use that as an excuse…”
Following Meltina’s frustrated words, Earl Bergstone opened his mouth.
His gaze was directed toward the two letters on the desk.
After the civil war ended, for his merits he had been given an important post due to his high political and governance capability.
Especially, he had good sense when it comes to the political situation and power balance between countries.
From his point of view, the challenge brought to this country this time was some kind of an invitation into an endless labyrinth without any way out.
(No matter which choice we make, the future of this country is…)
Such thought appeared inside his mind.
Two letters were presented in front of Lupis.
One was a letter that was being sent frequently from the Kingdom of Zalda since the war with Ortomea Empire started, it was a request for reinforcement sent by Julianus.
The content of the letters was the same with the others that had been sent since the Rozeria civil war ended.
The Zalda Kingdom that was being defeated by the Ortomea Empire during Notiz plain battle had lost most of their territory.
In order to break through the predicament, it was obvious for the Zalda Kingdom to seek reinforcements from the Rozeria Kingdom and the Mist Kingdom.
Since it was impossible for the Zalda Kingdom alone to fight against Ortomea Empire who had dominated the central part of the western continent.
And yet even with that dominance. The Ortomea Empire still could be defeated if the three countries, namely, Rozeria, Zalda, and Mist bend together.
In fact, together, they had managed to prevent Ortomea Empire invasion in the past.
Although they did it not because of friendship or something such as chivalrous spirits.
They simply did it because it was necessary for their survival.
If the buffer country called Zalda disappeared, Rozeria would suffer direct invasion.
Thus, it can be said that the other two countries sent their reinforcement to the Zalda Kingdom because of their own interest.
However, for a whole year now, Lupis had declined to sent reinforcement on the pretext that her country just recovered from a civil war, and she needed time to recover her country strength.
Or rather, the truth was that she could not dispatch soldiers even if she wanted to.
As a result of getting rid General Hodram who held the military power for many years, reorganization of the chivalric order was put in motion, and as a result of that, significant military strength was reduced.
(As expected, we should’ve eliminated Duke Gerhardt back then… Ah I forgot, he is a Viscount now… Anyway, it does not matter for Gerhard even if his rank dropped. In fact, he had taken up the situation quite plainly…)
Such thought appeared inside Earl Bergstone mind.
In actuality, despite he got his rank lowered, from Duke to Viscount, Gerhardt influence on the nobles did not disappear.
In fact, because princess Ladine was officially recognized as royalty, the aristocrats that stand against Lupis began to form a solid unity.
Because Lupis wanted to create her own power structure, many nobles were being forced out of their position since the civil war ended.
Even if it was reasonable in her eyes to cut off people who took Gerhardt side, for those who were being cut off, they did not understand that.
Nevertheless, if Gerhardt had died, even if they felt dissatisfied, they won’t be able to unite.
With Gerhardt ability, and Ladine name as a cause.
They managed to block Lupis path at every turn.
(Even if we sacrifice Mikhail Banashu… Ah I guess it was too late even if I think of this huh…??)
Earl Bergstone directed his gaze at Mikhail who was silent since a while ago.
That was his regret.
They should have managed to achieved complete victory back then.
If only, at that time, they did not accept Gerhardt capitulation.
(Having no other option aside, Mikoshiba-dono should have thought of something back then…)
Earl Bergstone also understood what had happened back then.
He himself had participated in the conference and he also received a proper explanation from Elena after that. –
When he understood it, he thought that it cannot be helped.
But, even under such circumstance, he ended up holding a small anger against Mikoshiba Ryouma who let Lupis fell under Gerhardt mercy without being able to argue back.
Or at least, in the Earl’s point of view, if Lupis did not let Gerhardt getaway, Ladine would get executed, and half of Rozeria Kingdom’s problem would have been solved.
And as a further result of that act, even if it was only superficially, those who did not like Lupis would still follow her.
If that happens, they should be able to dispatch soldiers to Zalda.
“There’s also another big problem, that is the trend of movement within the Mist Kingdom. Their reinforcements are already close to our border, and as soon as we approve their passage, they will immediately be able to cross… And my country cannot refuse this… If we refuse this one, we will have to fight against the Mist Kingdom. If that happens, it would lessen the possibility of the Zalda Kingdom survival…”
Bergstone’s words caused the air within the room grew heavier.
He said those words while looking at the second letter. –
The Mist Kingdom definitely won’t pull back from this.
Since if they abandoned Zalda kingdom, the Ortomea Empire army would run through the Eastern countries like an avalanche. –
In reality, if the three countries fought individually, there won’t be any chance of winning.
All three countries individual strength was far smaller compared to Ortomea Empire.
With how Rozeria had been acted up all this time, one could say that both countries have been patient in dealing with Rozeria.
“I have no choice but to sent reinforcement huh?…”
Lupis murmured those words while shaking her head.
There was no other option. –
“The question now is how many troops we can send, but from the perspective of our current domestic situation, dispatching one order of knight is all we can do.”
Disappointment spread across the room when they heard Meltina’s words.
Earl Bergston spoke on behalf everyone’s feeling in the room.
The number was too small to be called reinforcement.
At least they should send 5,000.
10,000 should be the minimum looking at the current situation.
Of course, it did not mean one had to use the knights under the kingdom direct control alone, but cooperation from the nobles seemed to be unlikely right now. –
Everyone felt restless and air of anxiety covered the entire Rozeria Kingdom. Right now, all of the people anticipated and paid more attention to Gerhardt movement.
In this case, faction was not the problem.
Even Earl Bergstone and Earl Zeref who held the position close to the queen could not muster any soldiers.
Since if civil war broke out once again while they were being dispatched to another country, their noble territory would turn into ashes.
With such domestic situation within the Rozeria Kingdom, they could not afford to participate other country’s war.
“The nobles could not move. We might conscript commoners but… I honestly think the number won’t be big enough… Of course, we can threaten them to join but…”
“By doing that, they will only pull our legs instead…”
Hearing Meltina’s suggestion, Lupis shook her head in disagreement.
If they conscript soldiers, they could meet the numbers they needed.
In fact, they could easily recruit 20,000 or 30,000 men.
Even 100,000 was possible.
However, one could not clearly expect them to be a proper fighting force.
And on the contrary, they might be ended up as a baggage instead. –
That was because this war was not invasion war.
If this was an invasion war, people would be willing to fight for their country.
Because they would be allowed to loot villages, or even to rape women.
While the enemy captured citizen can be sold as slaves. –
There were certain sufficient merits enough to bet one own life.
However, this war was a reinforcement to help another country.
They could not loot or assault the people they defended.
If they were allowed to do such thing, then it won’t be counted as helping.
Certainly, food, clothing, and shelter were guaranteed, but that was only the minimum.
It might change if they managed to capture the enemy’s commander during the war, but such fortune should not be expected.
They would only get paid a small amount of gold.
With such amount, one could say it was not enough to bet one own life for it.
That’s why, conscripting the commoners would only cause the soldiers’ morale ended up low, while also increasing the troubles as well.
And the scariest thing was that those ‘commoners turned into soldiers’ might accidentally attack Zalda citizen out of frustration.
Even if it was a short-term operation, it would be hard to sent reinforcement compiled of conscripted soldiers.
“There is no other choice but to sent commanders whom the other two countries could accept.”
Everyone nodded toward Earl Zereff words.
They absolutely could not lose.
If Zalda ended up being defeated here, Ortomea Empire would turn their fangs toward the Rozeria Kingdom.
Thus, this war was something that Zalda, Mist, and Rozeria could not afford to lose.
But if Rozeria only sent small reinforcement, they might not be regarded contributing to the victory.
In fact, for such lack of support, the two other countries might demand big concession in term of trades instead.
“I will go…”
Elena finally opened her mouth. –
And hearing what she said, everyone fell in silence.
“Are you sure? Elena?”
Finally, Lupis asked for confirmation.
On her face, a sense of guilt can be seen.
In a sense, it was natural for her to feel that way.
Since she could only give her 2,500 men to command as reinforcement.
Furthermore, this was not only a matter of reinforcement. They needed to persuade the other two countries when it comes to war merits later.
To put it bluntly, Elena was about to receive the short end of the stick.
“Of course, your majesty.”
Inside Elena’s heart who nodded her head, strong will to fight can be felt.
Since she realizes that there was no other choice to save the Rozeria Kingdom.
Even when it comes to Lupis closest associate, Meltina or Mikhail, they both have not yet made their name known around the neighborhood countries.
No one would be convinced that Rozeria had sent reinforcement if these two only bring 2,500 soldiers.
It was obvious that friction would happen.
In that respect, by sending [Rozeria’s white goddess of war], along with the small reinforcement, it should have been enough to convince the other two countries that they were truly a reinforcement.
“In that case, since Elena-sama would be the commander-in-chief, there should be another person who needs to act as her adjutant.”
Everyone nodded hearing Meltina’s words.
“Indeed that is true. But, who are we going to send as her adjutant, is there anyone competent enough for the job? Should Mikhail-dono go? Or Meltina-dono?”
Earl Zereff question was natural.
In the present Rozeria Kingdom, only a small amount of military official present.
Not only that, those two people had work which substitute could not do.
And once they dispatched as a reinforcement, it would be six months later until they returned to Rozeria. While depending on the war situation, it might actually take years for them to come back.
Thus, they could not afford to sent them.
However, they also could not let Elena go by herself to a battlefield that equal to a suicide mission either.
Everyone fell silent, and a short time later, a man broke the silence.
“How about we asked Mikoshiba-dono to go?”