The place was one of the room in the Royal castle within the royal capital, Periveria.
Mikoshiba Ryouma who had received the message that peace talks were going to happen after he captured the Notiz Fort, had started to draw the soldiers back to the royal capital.
(They are being happy while knowing nothing.)
Ryouma sneered at the merry people around the castle town.
‘Ignorance is bliss.’ That saying was really true…
The people in the royal capital didn’t realize the dangerous situation they were in.
They cannot understand that, because they can only see the problems which were in front of their eyes. Like a child playing on top of a lake covered with only a thin ice.
They didn’t realize that sooner or later, they might fall into the bottom of an abyss.
(But then again, even if they understood the situation, they will only see that they will meet a rough future…)
Inside Ryouma’s mind, the Zalda Kingdom King’s face emerged.
To be able to predict the future was not always something good.
They were the only handful of people capable of doing that after they observed the many events from the surroundings.
The problem was that even if one can predict the future, it didn’t mean one can avoid it.
Even if one were to prepare against the predicted adversary, many unexpected events can still occur, And it was the worst for the Zalda Kingdom which didn’t have an effective central government.
(After this, it depends on that old man abilities… But I guess, it would be hard…)
Although it was a ceasefire negotiation, it seems like the Ortomea side was already taking the initiative. No matter how much Julianus made his moves, it was doubtful that he would be able to make a huge impact. <TLN: Winning is complicated>
Realistically thinking, the Zalda Kingdom’s national strength was too small for them to improve their situation with the time they bought from the negotiations. Furthermore, while Ortomea Empire proposed the peace talks, they also already thought of another way to win.
According to Ryouma’s observations, there were some traitors among the nobles of the Zalda Kingdom. And they seemed to hold very significant influence within the Kingdom. Otherwise, the situation wouldn’t be this dire.
(Everything will depend on the negotiations, but I believe the hostility will reopen within one year…)
Ortomea Empire would stretch the negotiations as long as they needed, and then end them without any resolution when they were ready for another war. After that, they can just invade the Zalda Kingdom, once again.
For the Ortomea Empire, these peace negotiations were only for the purpose of evading the complete destruction of their army, and not seriously talking for the consideration of a peace treaty with the Zalda Kingdom.
When that happens, the people who were now cheering will change their attitudes and raise a voice full of grudges.
If the expected didn’t come true, it was in humanity’s nature to feel grudges. Because Ryouma didn’t feel any dislikes against him, he could only look at Julianus with a pitying gaze.
(Well I guess I can’t do anything about it… It was something inevitable… Besides, as long as I get the objective I wanted, I should not get involved any further with this Kingdom…)
People might be pleased that the war had ended, but things can’t be that simple.
The end of the Zalda Kingdom was floating inside Ryouma’s mind.
However, Ryouma’s thoughts were being disturbed by the noisy conversation he heard from behind him.
“It was a flavor that I’ve never tasted before, but there were a lot of tea types, huh… Which place is the origin of this one?”
“Yes, I heard that one is a product from Lisnose.” <TLN: Name リスノルス>
“From the central continent ?”
Sara nodded her head answering Elena’s question.
“Because this one is Ryouma-sama’s favorite, thus we import them to Sirius City. How about another helping ?”
Elena directed her gaze at the cup which became empty and lifted her lips.
“The faint fragrance of the tea leaves is really great… Well then, please another one…”
This time, Laura presented the dishes she had towards Elena.
“Oh, my ? This is…”
“It is a confection created after hearing the description from Ryouma-sama, the name is Macaron. It is very good you know…” <TLN: Description not receipt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaron#/media/File:VanillaMacaron.jpg>
“Oh my, really ? It has really an interesting shape, doesn’t it ?”
Saying that Elena brings the Macaron to her lips, and the moment it entered her mouth, her cheeks loosen.
“This is… it uses a significant amount of sugar doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it seems like it was very common for the people from Ryouma-sama’s hometown to make it this way…”
To put it more accurately, they didn’t hold down the consumption of sugar.
What’s important was for the people to keep the balance in using sugar.
“Hee… Not bad Ryouma-kun…”
“Thank you, though, it was really hard to gather all of the ingredients…”
Ryouma answered Elena’s words with a bitter smile on his face.
In this world, confectionary is something that was usually made by chefs, since it was using a large amount of sugar, which was considered as a luxurious item.
And for the most part, the upper class restricts the amount of sugar those chefs can use.
That also included everyday lives.
Rather than taste, sugar was mostly used to show one’s own financial and political power.
As a result, for someone who had come from modern Japan, the taste of confections in this world was very dull.
The first bite aside, it was very boring eating confections of this world.
He can forgive it if it were only the liquors, but he was really irritated with the taste of confections in this world.
(Thanks to Asuka, I guess…) <TLN: Fak, his childhood friend name… I was wondering who the heck is she for a solid 1 hour.>
She would usually force him to make food together sometimes, but looking at the current situation, it made him feel thankful towards that cousin of his.
When Ryouma received the teacup from Sara, he sat down deeply on the sofa in front of Elena.
“With this, the war has ended…”
Elena opened her mouth while lowering her eyes slowly.
“Indeed, it is a satisfying result…”
“I guess so…”
Elena only answered Ryouma’s with short words.
For the time being, the Ortomea Empire’s army had pulled back. It can be said that the reinforcements had fulfilled its mission.
Even if the peace was only for a brief time, even if it was only stalling for the inevitable.
“After the ceasefire messenger came to explain the situation, I spoke with Eclatia for a bit…”
“Did she say anything?”
“She said that she will keep in touch with her home country and see the future movements. Well, she seems to speculate the Ortomea’s aim as well… But honestly, it was something that couldn’t be helped…”
Towards Ryouma’s question, Elena shook her head quietly.
“Mist Kingdom doesn’t have more leeway… Frankly speaking, it would be impossible for providing reinforcements beyond this…”
Zalda, Rozeria, and Mist. Among the countries called the eastern countries, the most stable and powerful country was the Mist Kingdom, where trade with the central continent was thriving.
However, because they were rich, they also have a lot of enemies.
The border with the southern kingdoms was always tense, considering that Mist Kingdom strength lay with its navy, it was hard for them to dispatch a large army to help another country.
On top of that, the battles were far from their country.
Although they sent their army because they understood the importance of the conflict, they never liked the war.
With such thought, the ceasefire this time was not something that the Mist Kingdom thought as disadvantageous.
“If that’s the case then, as expected…”
“Right, I will return to the Rozeria Kingdom as soon as possible and replenish my soldiers for the next round… Though how far her majesty Lupis’ reforms have advanced is also a problem…”
More than a year had passed since the start of the reinforcement mission.
It would not be surprising if Lupis gained some successes during that time.
“Well, I don’t think she will gain some satisfactory results…”
Towards Ryouma’s bitter words, Elena fell silent while showing a bitter smile.
Elena herself probably thinks that the reforms have already advanced a lot.
“How much time we can get from the negotiations, it depends on his majesty Julianus. I guess…”
“We can only leave things to him for now. I’ve played my role long enough, and I can’t leave Wortenia peninsula much longer.”
He didn’t want to get involved any more.
Elena turned her gaze at Ryouma’s eyes after she heard his words that indicated he didn’t wish further involvement.
“I feel like you still have some leeway though?”
“Oh please, I’m at my limit here you know ? In fact, I’m just barely able to keep things together. That’s me being honest here…”
Saying that Ryouma showed a gentle smile.
He didn’t have time to spare anymore. That alone wasn’t a lie. However, that was not the complete truth either.
If it was on schedule, the initial development of Sirius City, which already became his home base, should be about to end.
After that, he needs to gradually develop the whole peninsula.
In that sense, Ryouma still have some room to spare.
However, it was for his own territory, not for another country.
(Even if I involve myself further, there are not many things we could do…)
That sentiment too existed inside Ryouma’s heart.
He had obtained enough reputation, and the reinforcement mission this time ended honorably, furthermore his fame as a strategist should spread to the neighboring countries.
Above all, it was very satisfying for him that he had managed to open diplomatic relations with leading countries such as ErnestGora and Mist.
(Reputation, connections, and profits…)
He had nothing more to aim for…
If one were to take the discussion further, it was not like Ryouma didn’t have the means to make the Zalda Kingdom achieve a real victory.
But, Ryouma just didn’t want to use it.
The problem was the labor and time he needed to spend to achieve that. And it was also not a hundred percent sure he could achieve it.
After all, Ryouma was not a God that could see ahead with 100% certainty.
(Well, it would be greedy of me if I tried to get more than what I have right now anyway…)
Now that he had managed to obtain the results he had originally planned, further profits might end up hurting him instead. Because profits were something that can make other people feel envy.
From that point of view, he thought it would be better for him to end everything here…
Although personally, Ryouma favored Julianus more than Lupis.
“Well, fine then… I guess I can’t burden Ryouma-kun any more than this…”
Elena sighed after she said those words.
For Elena, she wanted to keep the personnel she can use as much as possible for the war that will happen again soon.
However, for Ryouma who had a duty to finish his territory’s development, she could not say anything.
(If only that child could understand politics like Ryouma-kun…)
With those thoughts, the face of a blonde young man that she had raised as her close aide. appeared inside Elena’s mind.
“Hmm? Ah, I just thought a bit about Chris…”
“Chris? Ah, Elena-san’s aide, am I right?”
A bitter smile appeared on Ryouma’s face.
He understood why Elena looked gloomy.
“At the time he heard about the ceasefire, he was very furious was it not?”
Elena nodded her head by way of answering Ryouma’s question, while shrugging her shoulders.
“Indeed, he even flared at me.”
“Hoo… But then, I guess it was reasonable for him to get angry, no ?”
A beautiful young man that looked like a woman.
Thinking about the figure of a pretty man getting angry at Elena, Ryouma could not help but laughed a little bit.
“Well, it can’t be helped. I think it was normal for a field commander to be like that ? Does Elena-san think differently?”
It was a fact that Ryouma’s plan had aimed at the complete destruction of the enemy invading army, and a lot of effort had been put into it.
How much blood had to flow for that plan to be carried ?
And, another chance of victory might not come the second time.
Yet, the Zalda Kingdom king ceased the fight without the consent of the other countries. Not to mention, at a time when the Ortomea Empire army was trapped in a cage…
As a matter of course, it was natural for Chris.
However, that was because he was a field commander.
Each position had its own opinion.
Each position had a different view at things like someone who saw the scenery from the top of the mountain compared to someone who saw it from the foot of the mountain.
“Of course… “
She was putting her expectations on Chris.
Elena wanted to make him her successor in the future.
As the elderly Elena had lost her daughter, he was someone she regarded as her son.
That was why she wanted him to find the answers by himself.
“Well, it can’t be helped after all, even Chris-san has his share of bad luck. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
One of the Rozeria Kingdom General had died.
Chris who was always being overshadowed by him for a long time was hungry for some acknowledgments.
He was being impatient to achieve a good result, he cannot let himself get satisfied with some low assessments.
Combining with his beautiful face, it had become his inferiority complex.
He didn’t want to be despised by the surrounding people. And he wanted the people to acknowledge him. Such thoughts were swirling inside Chris’ mind.
Ryouma himself didn’t think that Chris was someone who was ambitious.
After all, every person wanted to receive a valid acknowledgment from other people.
“Well… I guess so…”
Elena was well aware that she cannot compare Chris with Ryouma.
Within the knight orders, Chris was among the best, his head was not that stupid either. In terms of talents, Chris was someone who one day will be responsible for the next generation of the Rozeria Kingdom military.
However, youth come with roughness. <TLN Unpolished diamond.>
Especially when it comes to reading other people’s minds, he was very naive. Also, the lack of understanding for the politics of a country…
(Like that, I always ended up comparing Chris with the youth in front of me. It might also be the reason why Chris felt irritated all the more at me…)
However, if one were to think about the Rozeria Kingdom’s fate, it could not be helped that she thought like that.
In truth,if only the young man with mediocre features that was in front of her could stay by her side…
Thinking that, Elena then sighed while looking down at her cup of tea.