Editor : Starbuck11, key
A country existed in the southwest part of the western continent.
A city-state, filled with temples built by using majestic marbles.
Despite the border with the southern kingdoms and the Kirtantia Kingdom, which was one of the major powers, becoming tense, the country had survived preserving its independence for many years.
No matter how much the borders of neighboring countries changed, there was no effect to this city-state.
Even Ortomea Empire didn’t touch this country, even though by doing so they would be able to gain the southern harbor they had desired for so long.
It was as if the country was a giant sleeping monster. In fact, if that monster was awake, it would be easy for them to conquer the entire continent.
The name of that city-state was Holy city Meneztia <TLN: The name メネスティア, If it was given 1 more character, it can be translated as Meneoz’ Tears… With the name of the god in it, Idk if this was a typo by the author or not but, let us be safe…>
It was the city of God dedicated to the light god Meneoz, and it was the home of the light god religion organization with believers across the continent.
While some might’ve called it a temple city, it was not like the entire town was an inviolable sanctuary.
When world war happens, even a religious community cannot protect themselves with only the authority of abstract divine existence.
The city was protected by high walls. Above all else, it had guards watching the surroundings at all times with sharp eyes.
Those guards had thick iron armors, with the tip of their spearhead shone brightly.
And the light in the eyes of those who walked around the town was full of desires.
It was the gaze that should not belong to the servants of God.
And the soldiers were not the only ones who had such a gaze.
These people were like hungry wolves.
They were people who foolishly believed that they were people blessed by the God and that their actions were for God. <TLN: Basically a bunch of zealots…>
They shouted the name of God as a tool to satisfy their desires.
And deep inside this city, located at its center, the noblest man in town gently relaxed in the luxurious chair that was similar to a throne, playfully with a glass filled with wine while hearing reports from his subordinates.
Luxurious canonical robe with white as base color, sewn with gold threads. The gloss of the garments indicated that the clothes he wore were made of silk.
The staff decorated with jewels that were by the man’s side indicated his high status.
“Hoo, Ortomea has pulled their army back?”
“Yes, Your Holiness… After the death of Greg Moore, the Notiz Fort has fallen into the enemy’s control.”
“What about the casualties?”
“According to the spy report, the Ortomean side immediately proposed a ceasefire the moment they found out they were being flanked from behind, thus allowing them to escape the total annihilation of the army. However, the attacks led by Elena Steiner and Eclatia Marienel had managed to kill around 10,000 of their men.”
Hearing the report from the man kneeling in front of him, he lifted his lips and laughed.
The smile was truly like the devil’s sneer.
Most people would shake in fear if they saw his facial expression.
However, the kneeling old men didn’t show any expressions even though the master of the room showed such malicious laugh.
“I see… 10,000 huh… Considering Ortomea national strength, such casualties can’t be said as fatal…”
“Along with Notiz Fort having fallen into the enemy’s hands, the storages of supplies had also been reduced to ashes…”
“Well, it was the correct decision for both countries to pull back…”
“That Zalda King seems to be a tenacious man, huh?”
“I heard rumors that he was just someone mediocre, but I guess those rumors were wrong…”
Hearing the old man’s word, the man nodded his head.
It was an evidence that the old man kneeling in front of the man was an able person.
Ceasefire when the Ortomea Army was trapped. Not only that, before the negotiations finished, they let the Ortomea Army retreat intact.
If one were to look only at that part, Julianus might be seen as someone stupid.
Since it was obvious to them that Ortomea Empire had trampled over their country, and the King had just let them return home.
For ordinary people, most will definitely demand some reparations.
However, those people wouldn’t realize that there were pitfalls here. It was a trap.
In the first place, many people didn’t realize that the negotiations were actually meaningless if one were to compare the two countries’ economic and military strength.
There was nothing binding if it was a just verbal promise. A penalty could only happen if one were trying to breach a contract.
That was the easiest way to understand the word of ‘promise’.
And the law only had its meaning if there was the force to enforce it.
The existences who punished those who broke the law. People will only follow the law if there was such a force.
If it was only the law, but there was no force to enforce it, then the law would be meaningless.
And that was the same with a peace treaty.
Certainly, those negotiations were a process based on the premise that the two sides will keep their promises.
However, what if there was an overwhelming power difference between the two?
A relationship like a parent and a child, teacher and student, CEO and employees, lastly big and small countries…
Each relationship was different, but the essence does not change at all.
In this case, the aggregated strength of Ortomea Empire and the Zalda Kingdom was like that between a parent and a child.
If some sort of treaty was born from the negotiations, will Zalda have enough power to force Ortomea to abide by it?
It does not mean that the strong one won’t keep their promises.
If one were to ask, in the Ortomea’s point of view, there was plenty of room for negotiation if they deem it necessary.
However, this case was different.
For Ortomea Empire, they didn’t have any reasons to force the Zalda Kingdom into the negotiation table.
The man sitting on the throne thinking deeply while he plays with the glass in his hand.
(First of all, it will be difficult after this. And Julianus seems to have noticed… When the negotiations are over, the one with less power will get destroyed…)
Even if the Zalda managed to make Ortomea Empire promise to pay the repair money, it didn’t mean they would really pay it.
Many people didn’t notice that.
Because the innocents believe that promises exchanged were something that should be guarded and preserved.
“Before even the negotiations start, they let the Ortomea Army leave, huh… It’s not bad at all… That decision…”
“Yes, if the Zalda makes the Ortomea Army stay throughout the negotiations, it would’ve taken considerable effort to prepare for everything, thus the Zalda side seems to have agreed to let them leave…”
“Do you think the King will be able to earn some sympathy from the nobles and earn their help? “
“At least, not from those who sided with the Ortomea Empire…”
Of course, it was unclear how effective it would be if a government where many of its influential nobles bow down towards the Ortomea side.
However, it was also the fact that they can use the Ortomean retreat as an achievement to convince the nobles to help.
“For the Zalda Kingdom, this development has given them a little ray of hope, I guess…”
“Yes, if they continue the war, the Zalda Kingdom defeat would become absolute. Even if the Empire army got annihilated, it is doubtful that the Ortomea Empire would stand silently. Not to mention if they tried to take Sardina down…”
“That situation is normally something the Zalda side should rejoice about but…”
If one were to take the commander-in-chief, the war will end.
However, this time, doing such a thing would only hasten the arrival of the next battle.
“From the Zalda Kingdom’s point of view, such a plan was not really good. Of course, they can ignore that and keep doing the siege battle, but…”
“If one of his imperial daughter who has a high position within the imperial family died, the Emperor himself might leave the domestic governance and make Zalda’s conquest as a top priority.”
“Yes, with that being the case, I think the second wave would be ready within a few months. However, by then the Zalda Kingdom won’t be ready. Since Ortomea was the one who proposed ceasefire, rather than being persistent in taking the chance of victory they choose to think it over…”
“Rather than short-term victory, choose to earn time for a real victory, huh? Indeed, good decision…”
“Yes, it was not bad… However…”
“The more the Zalda King tried to survive, the longer this fight will be. And will that be in line with the people’s aspirations ?”
“Yes, and since the start of this war, the prices of goods within the entire continent have soared high with no sight to stop, as far as the information goes, a considerable number of high profile companies have profited from it. It is only my suspicion, but this ceasefire, those guys might be behind this…”
“Like a vulture extorting the corpses, huh…”
A sarcastic smile appeared on the man’s face.
However, it was certainly matched for the person who also tried to advance their own interests in this war.
“Precisely, Your Holiness…”
For the two of them, the survival of the Zalda Kingdom was not important, but for the King of the Kingdom, it was his top priority.
After a long silence, the man opened his mouth.
“Do you have any plan?”
“Has Your Holiness heard the name of Christoph firm that has its base in the fortress city of Epiroz?”
Responding to the old man’s words, the man shook his head.
The Pope never heard the name of a small business that exists in only one part of the continent.
“So ? What’s with that Christoph firm ?”
“They seem to have used the same method as those guys, and made a huge profit from the war…”
Hearing the words of the old man, the man’s eyebrows moved.
“Are they those guys comrade?”
“It is impossible to understand which side they are on, but it seems that there is a nobleman who supports them from behind the scene…”
By listening to the old man words, the man understood which the direction the report was going.
“I see, shake that nobleman and see his reaction, huh?”
“Yes, we can monitor the trend and see if he is a member of those guys or not.”
“Will he become a good piece, I wonder?”
“Good, Good… Let’s go with your plan… Hahahahaha”
The man smirked and crazy laughter can be heard from inside the throne room.