The clear blue sky without any clouds. Soft sunlight embracing the earth and the calm winds that blew through occasionally refreshed the people, it was a wonderful morning. Normally speaking, this was the kind of day where people would appreciate life and enjoy each others’ company.
However unfortunate, the world was never really fair, despite the blessings of the Heavens encompassing people equally.
And such unhappy individuals under such a fine day could be spotted in Epiroz city.
A group of men on horseback wearing polished white armor passed the city main street slowly.
Cloudy gazes mixed with negative emotions such as resignation, dissatisfaction and furious anger were directed towards them.
It was like a slave directing their attention at their hateful master.
“The situation seems rough… Is everyone acting this way everywhere ?”
Roberto turned his eyes towards one of the knights while frowning at the smell of filth mixed with sweat from the roadside.
The voice of the knight was not as powerful as he normally was.
“No… It is unfortunate but, this kind of thing is still better because the main streets have more patrols on duty. As for the back roads and the alleyways, the situation is much worse. Forget outside of the gate…”
While answering Roberto’s question, the knight watched the surroundings on alert,as if the enemy was close. In actuality, he had slept for only a few hours these past few days. Dark circles could be seen under his eyes.
(What a headache… Just for public order, and the situation was already like this… It would be natural if this situation affected the war…)
In this war, Epiroz was protected by Earl Salzberg, and it could be said that it would be a victory if Mikoshiba’s army withdrew.
They had an overwhelming advantage in term of defense, but it seemed something went differently this time.
Right, everything changed the moment a group of people appeared in the Epiroz suburbs around two weeks ago.
Suddenly, an angry voice resounded on the street.
Apparently, some disagreement occurred between the inhabitants and the refugees.
There behind the scenes, Roberto order the knights to quell the situation.
(These guys might affect the course of our next battle, it seems it would be better if I were to speak with Signiz directly about this…)
In the first place, Roberto didn’t feel enthusiastic about this war, he sighed while looking at the Earl’s mansion.
“But still, Earl. I would like to bring my people inside Epiroz as soon as possible. It would be too harsh to leave them outside of the south gate as it is… Don’t you think so ?”
That person was Viscount Baenna, he tapped on the desk with both hands. As his ranking was below that of an Earl, it was rather rude of him to behave like that. However, he was desperate. On his face, anger and impatience could be seen. Towards his attitude, Earl Salzberg had been sighing quite a few times already today.
“Certainly it is a terrible situation, I can understand Viscount Baenna’s feeling. However, Viscount. It is true that Epiroz city is the biggest city in northern part of the Rozeria Kingdom. However, there’s a limit to it. Furthermore, we’re in the middle of a war against Baron Mikoshiba. I cannot be careless just because they haven’t showed any movement for more than ten days. That is why I want to preserve extra food even if it is only just a little.”
“Indeed, what Earl Salzberg says is right. However, we cannot let the people fall into desperation like this. Our honor as Feudal lords would be tarnished. By all means, please consider the loyalty our family holds towards the Earl for so many years.”
Inside the Viscount’s eyes, the Earl could see an insanity particular to a cornered human.
Both men stared at each other in silence for a moment.
“I understand. I will leave it here today… Please reconsider this matter…”
Eventually, the first one who averted his gaze was Viscount Baenna. He guessed that it would be dangerous to push the topic any further. After he lowered his head deeply to apologize for his rude behavior, Baenna left the room slowly.
“Stupid bastard… For his people, he said… Do you think I don’t know your aim ?”
The true intentions behind Viscount Baenna’s rational argument were made apparent. Earl Salzberg who managed to see through it, relaxed his body deeper into his chair.
Then, he rang the bell placed on the desk.
“Call Signiz and Roberto. It is an urgent matter.”
After giving this order to the maid who responded, Earl Salzberg closed his eyes quietly. He was seeking for a way to survive in this chaotic situation.