“So, how are we going to move?”
Earl Salzberg immediately spoke about business the moment he entered the room where Signiz and Roberto were staying. His manner of speech appeared similar to that of a master talking to his vassals. Of course, such behavior can be regarded as arrogant. However, it was expected due to the difference in status between them. This attitude is quite rare for Earl Salzberg, who had been consistently acknowledging Roberto’s ability even when others sneered at him.
‘Finally, showing his true character huh? Which means, he can only compromise this much… However…’
Seeing the Earl’s manners, anger welled up inside Signiz’s heart. Of course, he understood that Earl Salzberg’s mentality is due to the current war. The war, which they should’ve won with overwhelming power, had unexpectedly become a war of attrition. For him, to show his true character because he could not hold his irritation much more, there was a part that made it feel as if it could not be helped. However, even when Signiz’s mind understood was that, it was the nature of a human heart to always contradict such understandings.
‘Calm down, currently we’re in a war. The situation would be worse if I minded such trivial matters now.’ After he regained his composure , Signiz exchanged a glance with Roberto. He saw Roberto trembling in anger.
After seeing the behaviour of the two, without minding them, Earl Salzberg continued,
“Let me say this once again. How are we going to move?”
Signiz and Roberto looked at each other after being asked the same question again.
‘There is no point in telling a lie. We should be honest here, huh?’
For Earl Salzberg, it might be something he didn’t want to hear, but Signiz had to say what was needed.
Signiz then finally spoke out. “If we take the safest measures, we should consider an early cease-fire.”
A few weeks ago, such an action would have been laughed/scoffed at. However, it can now be considered reasonable given the current situation.
‘I never thought that they would even use the citizens of the other northern territories as a weapon…’
Epiroz plays a strategic role for the defense of Northern Rozeria. This fortified city is said to be impregnable.
From the start, They didn’t really stockpile food and weaponry, and because of the war, the consumption had increased significantly.
At present, Epiroz could not resupply and their stockpiles were running low.
The reason why the situation had changed so much was due to the existence of the countless refugees waiting for the gate to open at the southern outskirt of Epiroz.
They were the people who previously lived in villages and towns in northern Rozeria.
As a matter of fact ,they all had a reason as to why they abandoned their daily lives and ran away to Epiroz.
And the reason for that was because there were raids on their homes, believed to have been caused by a detached force of Baron Mikoshiba’s army.
Since their feudal lord had sent most of their knights to support this war, their homes were almost defenseless.
Although they had left some soldiers to defend against thieves and monsters, they didn’t have the strength to defend an attack from hundreds of knights.
The enemy precisely took advantage of this information.
They burned down the Northern nobles territories one by one, starting from the south.
The citizens who lost their homes had all moved towards Epiroz.
Perhaps they moved to Epiroz since they knew that their lords were there.
And now because of the recent chain of events, the people had gathered at Epiroz city. As someone with great power and as the leader of the Northern Noble households, they had asked Earl Salzberg for help.
“I don’t like that… Now that the situation has turned towards an unexpected direction, to even propose a cease-fire would seem as if we’re at a disadvantage. We still have a greater number of soldiers, and it’s not like we’re going to starve immediately either.”
“Of course, I understand that. However, if we continue the war this way, obtaining victory would be very difficult. The enemy is trying to kill us by starving us out. We should abandon our offense and focus on our defense, then we should wait for the time being. Whether we could wait it out or not, this would be the deciding factor… Roberto, what do you think?”
“Although I could win against them any other day, but we can see that their soldiers’ skills are quite high, I think we could regard them on par with an average kingdom knight. Normally, we could gamble it out and see who would win but…”
Roberto shrugged his shoulders in response to Signiz’s question. Although it was an attractive bet in a sense of a one-in-a-lifetime gamble, he would decline if he had to gamble with his own life.
“Looking at how the northern noble households are falling apart… It’s a bit impossible…”
Seeing the attitude of the two, the Earl sighed and shook his head. Anyone could feel dissatisfied. Under these kinds of circumstances, the Earl’s competence as a leader also was limited.
“That is the problem, and Baron Mikoshiba is skillfully aiming at that weakness…”
The current situation in Epiroz was there were many people confused and proposed many ideas, making it hard to control everything
First of all, there was the hungry refugees and the city’s residents. In the eyes of Epiroz city’s residents, those refugees were dirty disturbing people.
From the usage of water to the distribution of the food, they were always quarreling.
But still, even with that the refugees that were taken to the Epiroz city still can be considered as good. There were still many people left outside of the city’s southern gate.
Under that condition, because they were outside of the city, they didn’t receive the Earl’s help.
And because of those people complaining, the head of the northern nobles household came and asked the Earl’s assistance every day.
It was natural for such dissatisfaction to appear among the refugees, they had to sleep on bare soil outside of the city’s wall, and despite being the same refugees, they could not get any food.
Their feudal lord could not let those citizens suffer further too.
Since even if those aristocrats thought of the citizen as tools to gather taxes, they still need to maintain those tools.
However, even Earl Salzberg had no other means left.
Even if his city was the biggest city it was still limited to the number of people it could accommodate. Food and water were not unlimited.
Also, it would be hard to arrange tents for the refugees as their numbers grew further.
And the biggest problem was the fact that these goods would never increase in the future.
They were stuck at a dead end.
As the sun set, the room was dyed a deep red.
It was as if foreshadowing the fate of these three people.