5-15 (The two headed snakes poison)
On that day, at the border between Baron Mikoshiba and Earl Salzberg’s territories.
A man makes an appearance on the second floor of the fort built at the boundary.
“Finally we made it this far…”
Ryouma nodded with satisfiction while looking down at the lines of soldiers in black.
It had been several years since Mikoshiba Ryouma, your ordinary high school student, had been summoned to this world by the goddess of fate’s mischief.
No one knows how much blood and tears Ryouma had to spend until he reached this stage.
Numbers were equivalent to power. No matter what world, such fact didn’t change.
And now, Ryouma was trying to show the power he had cultivated in this world for the first time. The power he had kept hidden for all these years.
Even so, Ryouma still felt uneasy inside his heart.
(Once we start this, there won’t be any going back. I have no choice but to win.)
He fully understood that his existence was alienated from the surroundings.
For the majority of the Rozerian aristocrats, Ryouma was just an upstart. While for the Knights, he was a target of envy.
There were few people who saw through his power and become part of his strength, but the numbers of these people could be counted on both hands.
Mikoshiba Ryouma was close to that of a heretic for most people living in the Rozeria Kingdom.
And no matter what worlds, people hate heretics.
Nevertheless, the reason why he didn’t lose against his surroundings was because Ryouma always tried to hide his powers and talents, and managed others’ evaluation towards him so that they would’ve underestimated him as much as possible.
(No, I will be fine… I’ve also talked with Elena-san. And she had given me a satisfactory reply. Everything has gone according to plan… Afterwards, I just need to…) <TLN: Remember young man “When humans plan, God laughs.”>
It was the army he had brought up with great care.
Thus it was not confidence in how he trained the army that he was worried about.
It was just that most of his soldiers had no war experience, except for those who were part of the reinforcement to the Zalda Kingdom.
Naturally, they possessed big strength. But most of them only had the experience of hunting monsters within the Wortenia Peninsula. As a fighting force alone, each of them had the power of a mid-ranked knight.
However, a war where people killed one another was completely different compared to a battle where they killed monsters.
A war between people was a place where the strong would not always win.
It was filled with strong murderous intents towards the others, and the desire to survive.
“It will be fine. Definitely…”
Laura who stood on Ryouma’s side, gently grasped his trembling hand.
No matter how much steel nerves one had, it was difficult to keep calm if one were to start a conflict that will decide the future of so many people.
In this war, Mikoshiba Ryouma didn’t shoulder his future alone.
“Finally we took the first step towards our wish. Mikoshiba-dono.”
Suddenly he was called from behind by someone who was not supposed to be there, and Ryouma turned back while showing a smile on his face.
“Please don’t surprise me like that. Nelsios-san.”
“Well now, that was rude of me. As hunting is one of my way of life, erasing my presence has become a habit of mine.”
Ryouma shrugged his shoulders in response to the black-skinned man who scratches his silver hair while laughing.
Behind him, a few soldiers are hiding their faces with cloaks and hoods were kneeling.
“Thank you for seeing me off today…”
Nelsios and the others’ views were still uncertain.
Although he had visited Ryouma’s mansion at Sirius city and attended important meetings there, Nelsios was still not a vassal of Ryouma.
If one were to describe their relationship, an alliance would be more appropriate.
“No need to be so humble. After all, today is an important day for all of us. There might not be many things we could do, but we will spare no efforts to help you as much as we can.”
Nelsios said those words and took out a single cigar from his pocket.
He then twisted the tip and bite it.
‘Excuse me. Recently I could not calm down without doing this…”
Saying that, Nelsios lit his cigar using fire magic from his fingertip.
“As long you’re pleased, I would feel the same.”
Although Nelsios’ attitude was far from being polite, Ryouma nodded his head with a gentle smile.
By utilizing their physical ability and characteristics, demi-humans had managed to live peacefully within the Wortenia land They had spent a lot of time adapting to such a harsh land.
However, it didn’t mean their life was great.
Even though they managed to survive by collecting nuts, mushrooms, or hunting monsters’ flesh for daily food, it was impossible for them to get any luxurious goods.
They might manage to get liquor made from tree fruits as raw material, but the amount of production was relatively small.
They simply had no leeway to make more.
What they were thinking all the time was just for living.
Of course, such train of thought might be natural for those who lived within the Wortenia peninsula.
Compared to their capacity of magic arts and weapon production, their cultural production such as luxury and entertainment was low.
That was why Ryouma had given them luxury goods and taught them the pleasure of life.
In order to get into the demi-human bosom who had little entertainment.
“This is really spectacular. They looked like the heroic army that appear in the myths of old.”
Ryouma felt slightly itchy by Nelsios words who compared him with the hero from the stories of the long past.
However, rather than feeling discomfort, he wanted to smile bitterly at Nelsios desperation.
(Well, from his standpoint, I guess it is normal. After all, it is already impossible for them to cut contact with the outside world.)
An extraordinary effort and strong will were necessary to lower people quality of life once it had been raised.
“This is all thanks to many people’s contributions including Nelsios-san and the clan. I’m very grateful. After all, it was hard for humans to make this many weapons with magic arts engraved on it. Furthermore, all of you possess magic skills much more advanced than us.”
Nelsios nodded with satisfaction in response to Ryouma’s grateful words.
Indeed, no matter which countries, if their knights saw the weapons Ryouma’s soldiers had, they would raise their voices in surprise.
Engraving magic arts users were precious existences. Far fewer compared to the chanting magic arts user, those who could perform such bestowal magic were usually protected by the state or powerful merchants.
Furthermore, because the weapons that had been engraved by magic arts were very expensive, usually it was only given as a gift for a special talented high-ranked knight, even in the western continent, the three major powers including Ortomea could only have armed a team or two of knights with such weapons.
Then such soldiers were usually appointed as Imperial Guard who protect the ruler directly.
People who saw Mikoshiba Ryouma soldiers which were armed with such weapons would feel something surreal afoot.
Without knowing that the one who created such anomaly were the demi-humans who lived within the Wortenia peninsula.
“We’re happy to hear that. After all, we would like to continue trading into the future… Also…”
Saying that, the soldiers behind Nelsios stood up.
“Actually, today we would like to propose to advance our relationship further.”
“Which means ?”
“You guys, go ahead and show your face.”
In response to Ryouma’s question, while showing a smile on his face, Nelsios told the soldiers to take off the hoods.
In front of Ryouma’s eyes, people with beautiful appearance appeared.
“I’ve chosen among my clan members those with the best appearance and ability. Please use them anyway Mikoshiba-dono sees fit. Their abilities as guards and magic practitioners are high. And their ability to make children is also great. And you don’t have to worry because they already agreed for this…”
Ryouma had no words to reply him with, as he looked at Nelsios who laughed like a mischievous child.
(This guy… to make this kind of approach.)
Ryouma had begun to understand the aim of his surprise attack.
(It would be a poor move for me to refuse Nelsios-san… Whether or not I should embrace them aside, I have no choice but to make them my guard I guess.)
At first, it was only liquor and tobacco, then medicine and luxury that were rare products to the Wortenia peninsula, he was the only partner Nelsios had to perform such trade.
And that trading partner’s name was none other than Mikoshiba Ryouma.
At least, one can say that it was impossible for Nelsios to replace him and find another supplier.
After all, even if they had the strength to influence the western continent, the majority of people living there believed in the Light God’s teachings which advocates an outright ostracism against the demi-humans.
That was why the demi-humans had to live in seclusion in dangerous territories such as Wortenia peninsula.
How high was the chance for the territory to have a feudal lord that would not oppress the demi-humans ? And if the territory managed to have one, how high was the possibility for such feudal lord to meet Nelsios ?
Given such factors, for Nelsios, the man named Mikoshiba Ryouma was an important piece that could not be changed.
At least, Nelsios wouldn’t betray Ryouma unless Ryouma made an unreasonable demand.
(That is why Nelsios-san must be very worried right now… Should I increase our business transaction, I wonder ?)
In Ryouma’s eyes, he also wanted to strengthen their relationship, as two people who lead a persecuted life, of course, it was natural for both of them to feel like that.
“Then in return, lets me increase the amount of liquor and the number of goods traded including cigarettes.”
“Uhuh, We would highly appreciate that. Since both goods are very popular among my people.”
Nelsios’ face showed full of smile, letting Ryouma know just what he wished for.
It was natural, that one should gain something in exchange for cooperation. However, it was dangerous to word one’s wishes during such cooperative exchanges.
Since it might change into plain gratification and the possibility that Ryouma’s mood would worsen.
But even if one didn’t voice one wishes, there was also the danger of some misunderstandings if it wasn’t properly aired.
“I guess it is time for me to go… Then, let me excuse myself for today. If there’s a problem during my absence, please consult it with Simone or Boltz.”
After saying the first line, before parting ways, Ryouma whispered words to Laura’s ears which she responded with a nod.
“I understand. May the fortune of war be with you, master…”
Nelsios deeply bowed his head after Ryouma headed out for the meeting.
He was bowing as a retainer towards their supreme ruler.
On that day, in the year of 2814 Western Continent Calendar, The two-headed snakes with silver and golden head had begun to show their fangs and quietly swallow the entire continent.
Of course, nobody had realized it yet. Even those who would become the prey of their poison…