Chapter 4 Episode 3
“What are you trying to say, Mikhail. Do you know what you are talking about?”
Earl Bergstone raised his voice.
Due to his anger, he had completely forgotten about courtesy.
He also called Mikhail without an honorific, but nobody was going to reprimanded him.
It was because Mikhail’s words were too unexpected and also shameless.
(This bastard… Right after he was being freed from his punishment of house arrest…)
Since the meeting began, Mikhail had been quiet, and the Earl had thought he was being thoughtful after his punishment, but apparently, it was Earl Bergstone misunderstood.
“Mikhail-dono… Just what is your intention by saying that?”
Earl Zareff inhales his breath deeply and slowly began to talk. He also turned his investigative gaze toward Mikhail.
In his words, wariness toward Mikhail can be felt.
“Is there even alternative to my suggestion? I’m confident that based on the result, I think it was the best choice we have.”
Certainly, thinking about the result, Mikhail suggestion was correct.
It was certainly due to the man named Mikoshiba Ryouma, Queen Lupis managed to obtain victory.
Originally his name should have been mentioned early, but no one ever mentioned that name.
Or rather, it can be said that they had intentionally erased that name from inside their head.
“If you’re serious with that then, I can only doubt your pride…”
Anger oozing out from Earl Zeref.
Since he was someone who rarely spoke, and always act behind the scenes, his words were especially felt heavy.
However, Mikhail returned his gaze with a cold light on his eyes while smiling.
“Is that so? He was used to be a commoner, and now he is a nobleman. Isn’t it reasonable to ask him to help Rozeria in time of crisis? Furthermore, this might be our last chance. If we miss this opportunity, the country might get destroyed. Am I wrong?”
He was not wrong.
Certainly, Mikoshiba Ryouma once was a commoner. Furthermore, he was a mercenary with doubtful origin.
If one were to take Mikhail words as it was, his words were certainly correct.
And because he had gained nobleman status from the Royal family, it can be said that it was obvious for him to defend the country.
Well, that might be correct if we all ignore the reality where Queen Lupis pushed him into Wortenia peninsula which filled with monsters because she feared him. –
Following Mikhail’s words, Lupis was silent.
However, fear accompanied with a sense of guilt appeared inside her heart. And also, a single hope.
And everyone knew what inside Lupis heart.
That she probably thought the same thing as Mikhail somewhere in the corner of her heart.
Or rather, everyone inside the room might have the same thought somewhere inside their mind but unable to voice it.
Certainly, that answer might be the only way to save the current Rozeria.
“I admit, I understand why you suggest that name but, I’m not sure if he is going to agree…”
Earl Bergstone spoke while waving his head.
A sharp sarcasm was included in his words.
He spoke as if he was making fun of someone somewhere.
Of course, the Earl himself wanted to ask Mikoshiba Ryouma for help.
Considering his skill during the time of civil war, it can be said that his ability trumped everyone in the present Rozeria Kingdom.
And now, considering the current situation the Rozeria Kingdom was in, there was no reason to conserve a trump card.
If the kingdom of Zalda surrendered to the Ortomea Empire, next they would without a doubt attack Rozeria next time.
And at that time, without being able to perform any resistance, the kingdom would be destroyed.
Most of Rozeria Kingdom territory were plains.
They had many populations due to their land being blessed with a good natural irrigation for farming, but because of that, they had limited numbers of topography which they can call a stronghold. –
The open field was a good place to perform military effort on a grand scale.
That was why, if the Empire could move beyond the western mountain range where they had a border with the Kingdom of Zalda, they will be able to overrun the Rozeria kingdom with their overwhelming soldiers. –
Once they invaded the Rozeria Kingdom, even reinforcement from the Mist Kingdom can be said to be meaningless.
That was why, if one were to consider only the circumstance regarding the kingdom, Mikhail’s proposal was completely correct.
His words have accurately spoken the truth regarding the current national strength of the kingdom of Rozeria.
And it would be meaningless to reserve the strongest card if they really needed it.
However, that was if they could ask Mikoshiba Ryouma, if they could do that, they won’t be worrying like this.
And it was also natural for Earl Bergstone to shows some anger.
Because all of this mess started due to the mistake of the man called Mikhail Banashu who was sitting in front of him.
Because he wanted to gain military merits, he had disobeyed an order that caused him being captured and turned into a prisoner of war. –
But when Mikhail heard what Earl Bergstone had said, Mikhail did not change his expression.
“There is no need to convince him. Just order him. Then, if he declined, we can just label him as a rebel. If he declined to help during a national crisis, then he is disqualified as a nobleman.”
There was not even a single piece of emotion could be felt from his words.
Just monotone voice. –
“Did you lost your mind?”
Earl Bergstone doubted Mikhail’s sanity while he seemed to have completely forgotten that the Queen was in front of him.
“Earl Bergstone, did you think I was wrong? Why should we keep a noble alive if they had no loyalty to the Royal family?”
“What did you say… If you said that, if that is a nobleman’s duty, then most of the nobles of this country would be targeted.”
They began to use hostility to speak with each other.
Most of the current Rozeria aristocracy did not hold such unconditional loyalty to the royal family.
Even without Ladine presence, they will still be a non-cooperative attitude to some extent from the aristocracy.
Earl Bergstone himself had only promised to swear loyalty to Lupis because he was promised of an important post after the civil war had ended.
Even so, there was a limit to everything.
(Nothing had changed, even after one year had passed…)
Earl Bergstone was a bystander during the start of the civil war a year ago.
Many times, Meltina and the princess had called for help but he did not accept it.
That was because they had asked for help with a reason of pure loyalty.
Loyalty to the royal family. It was certainly a nice word to the ears.
However, that alone won’t make people move.
Mikhail should have known that as well.
Because Mikoshiba Ryouma had demonstrated how to move someone in front of them one year ago.
“Why did you look impatient like this?”
Suddenly Elena who was keeping silent all this time opened her mouth.
“Impatient? Of course. That is because we only have a little time left. And if necessary it will be better if we execute Baron Mikoshiba to make an example for the other nobles, don’t you think so?”
Due to Elena’s unexpected words, Mikhail somehow becomes angry.
“I see… So that is how you really thought.”
Hearing Elena’s reply, Mikhail’s face distorted.
Due to Elena’s previous unexpected question, Mikhail had ended up spoke unnecessary words.
Certainly, his words were true, it might be useful to do that in term of making an example for the nobles.
However, there was no need to target Mikoshiba Ryouma just to do that.
After all, there were many other candidates for sacrifices.
(This guy… As expected, he holds some grudge over what had happened…)
Earl Bergstone instantly realized.
Certainly, Mikhail’s claim was something that was right at first glance.
However, it was hard to understand the true intention of someone behavior.
To insist on doing something meant that there was some personal intention behind it.
“I do not understand what you’re trying to imply.”
It seemed like Mikhail had decided to play dumb, although everyone thought it was already too late.
“Did you hate Mikoshiba Ryouma that much? That time, it was your fault you know? I think it is irrelevant for you to hate him.”
“I don’t understand what you mean by that.”
The moment Earl Bergstone gaze at Mikhail’s eyes at the time he said those words, he could feel the cold sweat run down his spine.
He could feel hatred from Mikhail’s gaze. It was a hatred close to that of an obsession.
It was an attitude that was very unusual if one were to remember the old Mikhail.
He might be thoughtless and careless as a human being, but this was the first time for him to show a hostility against one individual.
A spark scattered between the three people.
Lupis voice resounded within the room.
“I’ve decided… First of all, Elena. Please contact Mikoshiba Ryouma to come to the royal palace. We don’t know if he is going to refuse or not, thus we can discuss again regarding how to dispose of him after he truly refused. Is that alright with you, Elena?”
Lupis spoke rapidly ignoring the stunned Meltina.
She could not let the useless discussion to continue.
Thinking that Lupis decided to stop worrying.
It might not actually just that.
She might felt the cold atmosphere, and tried to protect Mikhail again.
“I will dispatch him as reinforcement. Since preparation is necessary, he can come here in one month. Also, tell the army of Mist kingdom which is waiting at the border that we give them the permission to pass. Do you all understand? Earl Bergstone prepares everything in one month.”
“In one month? That a bit too close. Also, are you sure we should let Mist kingdom pass just as it is?”
“There is no other choice. The impression of both countries toward us would be bad if we do not move fast. Not only that, it will also take time for us to deliver the message to the border… Is that enough?”
It takes time to move an army.
Especially when an army was being dispatched to a foreign country, they needed a huge amount of supplies.
It was natural that Earl Bergstone showed a frowned face, but there was not much time left.
The time left to think was already over.
Even looking at the letter sent by the Zalda Kingdom, one could understand they won’t be able to wait much longer.
Well, no matter what the reason, this was a ruler decision.
As a minister, one can only nod.
“””Certainly, Your Majesty!”””
Everyone who was sitting on the chairs began to stand up, they immediately stood up and obey the royal order.
Everything was for the sake of protecting the Rozeria Kingdom.
“Why did you say such thing?”
Three people remained inside the room.
“I just proposed the best method to protect this country as your subject.”
Toward Lupis’ question, Mikhail said those words without hesitation.
His voice was cold, unlike how he was in the past.
“Is that really true…?”
“What do you majesty mean by that?”
Mikhail expression did not change even after Lupis looked at him questioningly.
His expression looked like a doll, almost with no emotion left.
“Mikhail-dono. Such attitude toward her majesty is…”
“It’s fine, Meltina.”
While suppressing Meltina who was trying to reprimand Mikhail, Lupis looked at Mikhail with sad eyes.”
“Fine then, you may leave.”
“Well then, please excuse me.”
She could not do anything other than watching Mikhail as he left the room with sad eyes.
“Why everything ended up like this…”
Meltina could not answer Lupis muttering words.
The reason was clear.
However, she could not put out the words.
“Your majesty did nothing wrong.”
Meltina did not have any other choice other than to said those words…