Chapter 91 – Is this hypocrisy or a voluntary activity?


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“With his achievements until now, I intend to grant the peerage of an honorary imperial Earl and the position of staff officer in the liberation army to Wendelin von Benno Baumeister, but what are thy thoughts on that, Sirs?”

The next day, Therese formally announced the appointment of my post and the conferring of decorations for me to the nobles who had gathered.

“No… There are no particular opposing opinions.”

“Earl Baumeister has actually achieved plenty of meritorious deeds…”

“There was never an instance of holding peerages in both countries so far, but if it’s a honorary peerage, it’s limited to lifetime…”

I didn’t know what they are thinking inside their heads, but there was no one among the nobles who openly objected.
There should be many who don’t look fondly at me, a foreign noble, obtaining authority in the liberation army.
However, if they remove us, who are an influential military asset within the liberation army, at this point in time, it’s very likely that they will lose the decisive battle against the rebel army.
There’s no doubt that complex emotions are clashing inside their chests.

“How will the appointment be carried out?”

“By that thee mean?” (Therese)

“The capital’s imperial palace is under the control of Duke Nürnberg.”

An elder noble voiced out his sole worry.
Only the emperor can assign peerage. It’s been said that Emperor Urquhart the 17th has been put under house arrest after getting caught by the rebel army. Duke Nürnberg is assuming the seat of emperor on his own devices.
It was a way of calling that hasn’t sunk in much among the rebel army since it’s a coup d’etat administration, but even so, news that he has independently started to grant peerage and positions streamed in, too.
It looks like he has begun to award the territories and peerages of the nobles that were killed after clashing with the liberation army or got eliminated at the time of the coup d’etat to his own loyal retainers.

“No matter how much that man has alleged himself to the imperial throne after gaining control of the imperial palace, that’s nothing more but a fabrication. It will be fine if our side does a formal conferring of decorations after liberating the imperial capital. Since it’s a time of war now, it will be a temporary conferring of decorations.” (Therese)

Thus I became an imperial noble with the condition that it’s limited to my lifetime.
Originally I would have needed to ask His Majesty in the royal capital, but thanks to that jamming device, communication with him is impossible.
With its effective range being strangely wide in accordance with the obstructed magic being limited, no kind of information from the kingdom has reached us for more than a month since the start of the civil war.
Even if they would send a messenger this way, it should be difficult for them to arrive with the empire’s south and centre belonging to the rebel army’s domain.
Which reminds me, I wonder what happened to Earl Schulz and the others that had come to the empire?
It seems that several magicians got killed, but I don’t want to believe that Duke Nürnberg is as foolish as putting his hands on nobles.
If he went as far as massacring them, it will turn into a situation where even His Majesty has to consider sending out a punitive force.
There’s also the honour as a state before worrying about profits. If one thinks about it in the long term, it’s the state’s duty to turn giving a punishment into a profit.
It was certain that this isn’t a world where things will be over with just a bit glossing over.

“According to the intelligence of our spies, it appears that Duke Nürnberg himself is finally leading the army.” (Therese)

It seems that Therese diligently gathered intelligence about the rebel army.
Both armies had such a large scale that they would produce corpses in the ten thousands in a second battle, but he might have thought that it won’t get settled if it stays like this.
There were reports about the rebel army running large-scaled mobilisations.
Even our allies’ liberation army that opposes them is trying to gather as much military potential as possible.
However, since they are mainly messengers using fast horses, information won’t reach us in real-time, no matter what we do.
The point that it took time was frustrating.

“So, how’s the difference in combat strength?”

“The rebel army has around 120.000 soldiers while we have approximately 90.000 soldiers.”

Since I don’t know how much the empire can mobilize at maximum, I couldn’t judge whether that’s a lot or a little.

“Is this the limit of forces we can barely muster?”

“Both sides can’t dispatch that many troops.”

If one considers the number of people in the empire, it should be possible to mobilize 1.000.000 soldiers in theory.
But, in order to reach that number, it’s normally indispensable to conscript the commoners such as farmers and craftsmen.
However, once they do that, the productivity of the areas under the direct control of the empire and the territories of the nobles will drop.
With the income of the recruited people decreasing, the taxes won’t be paid either.
The people, who were recruited as soldiers, won’t receive anything but pocket money as wages, although they will be guaranteed the minimum amount of necessities for life.
It’s even possible for them to get rewards if they put in great efforts in a war, but there’s also the trap that those people, who are strong to the degree of being able to play an active role, have become career soldiers to begin with. Honestly speaking, normal commoners shouldn’t be able to perform that well.
The reason for plundering to be allowed in the past wars was the necessity to compensate for the reduction of their income.
Something like raping women apparently saves on the money to pay for a prostitute, if spoken by a guy with a sharp and nasty tongue.
It’s a cruel story, but that’s what a war is about.

“It’s best to keep the combat forces to the bare limit by assembling soldiers while making sure to not drop the productivity as much as possible.”

Even so, that’s probably a problem that causes headaches for both sides.
Since there’s the decline in productivity and the interruption of the flow of goods and money between the hostile spheres of influence of both powers, there’s also the issue of a deterioration of economic activity due to the traffic and distribution being paralysed.

“Going by the lack of combat forces, Duke Nürnberg and therefore the coup d’etat administration is struggling harder with the strengthening of their foundation than they expected.”

The strategy of getting rid of the annoying nobles through the liberation army succeeded to some extent, but now there are voices showing anxiety towards Duke Nürnberg’s military talent popping up due to the defeats.
Even the battles just a while ago were strategically a victory since the rebel army took all the stolen bases back, but tactically it’s a fact that there had been overwhelmingly many war casualties on the rebel army’s side.
This time’s large-scale mobilisation seems to be for the sake of wiping out those worries.

“For Duke Nürnberg that means that he couldn’t shave off our military strength as much as he had planned. Oh well, there’s no other option but to meet the enemy on the battlefield.” (Therese)

Therese’s strategic plan is to intercept the enemy at this field encampment and to press them to retreat by making them accumulate damage. There was no one who objected to this.

“Since I will announce the deployment tomorrow, make sure to not be negligent in your preparations.”

The meeting finished with the announcement of how we will intercept the rebel army and the conferring of decorations for me.
Once I tried to leave the room, I got kidnapped by a smiling Therese. For some reason it resulted in me having to struggle with a large amount of documents in her office.

“Why? And moreover, why this many?” (Wendelin)

A pile of documents was stacked up in front of my eyes.
Even during my time as trading company worker, I never had to deal with such a huge amount of documents.

“Thou are a staff officer, right?” (Therese)

“Wasn’t that just in pretence?” (Wendelin)

“Even if it’s just a pretence, it will be great if my documents decrease with that.” (Therese)

“Before that, processing documents isn’t the task of a staff officer!” (Wendelin)

“If I, as the most important person in the liberation army, order it, even a staff officer has to process documents from that moment onwards.” (Therese)

“(What an arrogant attitude…)” (Wendelin)

It’s just natural, but if you move a large army, a large quantity of documents will be generated by only that.
Since the rebel army controls the imperial capital, they can simply leave it to the government’s bureaucrats by treating it as them cooperating, but the liberation army heavily leans the burden on the retainers of the Duke Philip household.
The High Earl Mizuho household and the Duke Baden household are helping out as well, but the other noble houses don’t have any experience with organizing an army that had been gathered on such a large scale.
Getting confused by military movements they are not familiar with, they couldn’t assist at all.

“Though I don’t think that I can stand up to the task…” (Wendelin)

Even so, due to my habits from my time as salaryman, I began to read the documents at once.
Since it looks like Elise and Ina can help me with that, we begin checking the details written in the documents assigned to us.

“Ina, what about Luise?” (Wendelin)

“She ran away.” (Ina)

“That’s what I thought.” (Wendelin)

Her brain isn’t bad, but something like paperwork is impossible for Luise who lives by partly following her instincts.
Even going by her character, she’s bad at such detailed work. Thus she already ran away at lightning speed.

“Elise, what about Wilma?” (Wendelin)

“I think it would be difficult for Wilma-san…” (Elise)

Wilma was skilled at hand-writing, but she had basically no experience with paperwork.
Since her father-in-law is that person, I’m pretty sure he didn’t teach it to her either.

“How about Katharina? That girl seems like she would be unexpectedly alright with this.” (Wendelin)

“She appears to be busy with another job.”

According to Elise she was apparently entrusted with the task of training the magicians with Burkhart-san.
Her mana won’t grow from now on, but she wants to compete with good efficiency and thus gets taught by the veteran Burkhart-san.
She has been asked by Therese. Katharina apparently serves as Burkhart-san’s assistant.

“What about Doushi?” (Wendelin)

“Wend, do you really want to entrust Doushi-sama with paperwork?” (Ina)

“Dear, I believe that to be the most unsuited work for uncle-sama.” (Elise)

Being told that with serious looks by those two, I had no other choice but to silently nod.
Certainly, I feel that just imagining the appearance of Doushi swiftly working through a large amount of documents in my head is already odd enough.
As it will immediately become troublesome for him, it gives the impression that he will blow his nose with those documents.

“Uncle-sama has gone to dig trenches against horses outside the encampment.” (Elise)

It looks like he was recruited to increase the number of trenches that proved useful in the previous defensive battle so that cavalry units can’t approach.
Nevertheless, going by the image, you might say that it’s the work that fits Doushi the most.
I could easily imagine Doushi digging trenches as a physical worker.

“So, it’s us three, huh?” (Wendelin)

Ina, who is studying diligently the most, and the perfect superwoman Elise.
We decide to look through the documents that seem to be uncomplicated.

“A full report regarding the army’s organization? Since Earl Rolzas and Viscount Heinen are on bad terms, to not station them close to each other… a full report from Viscount Schindzielorz?”

“Currently I’m planning to reshuffle the 90.000 troops into three army corps.” (Therese)

According to Therese’s strategic draft, she plans to become the general of the central army corpse and leave either the left or right side to young Duke Baden.

“The remaining side will be filled by High Earl Mizuho then?”

“No. It will be included with the centre. His household is special. Also, if I suddenly give him a superior command rank, the nobles below him will likely oppose that. In reverse, even the Mizuho army will hate it to be commanded by a noble whose face they have never seen.” (Therese)

The difficulty of consolidating and commanding the feudal armies of the nobles lies here.
The numbers and skills of the military forces the nobles lead are varying. Even if you place a certain noble at a higher commanding rank, they will just end up wasting the far too particular feudal armies and that will become a seed for quarrels in the future.
And even before that, just thinking about the formation was already a headache-inducing problem since the liberation army is entirely made up from feudal armies. Thus a superior commander might deliberately try to waste the the military forces of a noble they dislike, or conversely, the nobles might not listen to the superior’s orders and oppose them.

“Although the rebel army might have it easier, it’s just a matter of how much easier.”

Since there are many nobles making it thus inevitable, it’s also possible that one gets betrayed on the battlefield once it turns into a close battle.
If you organize the army while keeping that in mind, the army’s strength and efficiency of the command structure will drop.
Therese expected that it’s likely only the feudal army of Duke Nürnberk household and a part of the imperial army that can be relied on in the rebel army.

“However, even so, the rebel army is superior in regards to numbers and skill.” (Therese)

“That’s because the imperial army is with them.”

As a standing army they probably have actual experience at the level of maintaining public order, but as they have regularly received training in group combat, they still enter into a higher category.

“In the end we can only rely on the feudal army of Duke Philip household and the Mizuho army, huh…?”

Things like the full reports from just a bit ago are nothing but a part of the difficulties.
There are many considerations to be taken in regards to combining them. Despite the roughly 90.000 troops being split into three groups, they won’t become 30.000 troops each.
Only the centre will have 40.000 soldiers. If the army corps with the lowest amount of 20.000 soldiers struggles, we will likely end up sending out reinforcements.
If you neglect them, it will result in the rebel army getting ahold of the field encampment’s earth wall.

“In addition, there’s also the situation of the emergency food stores, the lists of equipment to buy… Why is it that expensive?”

Even though it’s the trade of daily necessities, the prices were staggeringly high to an extent that even I as amateur realized it.

“There are many rats like those.”

Therese attaches a red label to the document I found, immediately calls the retainer in charge with a bell and orders to punish the person responsible for that.
If close to 100.000 humans gather, there will be a set number of those who commit a crime.
In addition there are cases of theft among the units, fights between soldiers, not paying money to the peddlers who visited the encampment and raiding the neighbouring villages with several people to rob the villagers and to rape the village’s women.
It’s no good if Therese doesn’t give a final judgement for these as well. The colour of fatigue dyed her face.

“After overcoming these difficulties, there’s the decisive battle with Duke Nürnberg. Even though it should finish sooner or later, just how many casualties will be generated from taking the imperial capital and Nürnberg Dukedom…?”

And after the war they have to elect a new emperor.
It seems mostly decided with Therese as empress, but she should once again end up with troubles due to the reorganization of the torn empire once she gets enthroned.
I believe her to be pitiable, but if I show an odd sympathy with her here, she will very likely request the fulfilment of the fait accompli.
Hardening my heart, I should probably operate in a businesslike manner here.
In short, it’s best if I silently carry out the processing of the large amount of documents.

“Finally done, eh…?”

“Wendelin, thou seem plentifully capable as feudal lord, too.” (Therese)

“That’s because I’m a feudal lord, more or less. Though only in name.” (Wendelin)

Which reminds me, I wonder whether Roderich is successfully advancing the development of the Baumeister Earldom?
I didn’t think that information not flowing in could have been that inconvenient.

“Come to think of it, won’t thee go to the first-aid station, Elise-dono?” (Therese)

“Today uncle-sama is in charge if there are any injured people.” (Elise)

Trying to have Elise go to the field lazaret which is her original task, does Therese plan to seduce me during that time?
Since her intention was plainly visible, Elise didn’t leave my side.

“Doushi is?”

“As a matter of fact, recently he has learned 『Holy Healing』.” (Elise)

“That person overturns the common sense of the magic society in various ways.” (Therese)

It’s understandable for Therese to be surprised.
Usually the growth of the mana pool stops when one becomes around 20 years old, but his is still continuing to grow even after passing 40 years in age. He even reached the point of being able to use 『Holy』 magic which he could barely activate until now.
However, since it won’t work unless he holds onto the other side while healing or attacking, the healing, which also served as practise for Doushi, had a bad reputation among the soldiers.

『I want to get healed by Elise-sama.』

『Me too. Even if it has the same effect, it’s different in various ways to Doushi-sama’s healing.』

『You can say that again.』

I fully understand the soldiers’ feelings.
Even I would definitely choose Elise if I had to receive medical treatment.
There’s most likely no one who wants to get hugged by the over-40, muscled daruma-like Doushi who has a scarier face than a yakuza.

“Though I can heal myself to some extent.” (Wendelin)

According to what master said, I have quite a bit of talent in it, but since my healing magic uses the 『Water』 attribute, it’s slightly different from Elise and Doushi.
Since there’s no difference in healing things like injuries, you might as well say that it’s the same, but as I don’t have that many chances to practise it, the problem lies in me being slightly inexperienced in using it, I suppose?

“I guess I will practise it some since there will be a large-scale battle soon?”

“That’s a good idea, I think. I will help you as well.” (Elise)

“That’s very reassuring.” (Wendelin)

Elise’s healing magic was really excellent.
I had seen healing magic before, but the way of using a special, written magic circle that magnifies the effect if it’s minor injuries, the wounded and sick get healed all at once after gathering on top of the magic circle.
Because her mana has increased, the number of people she can deal with per day has grown as well. Elise has become very popular among the soldiers.
There were even soldiers that worshipped her by calling her 『Saint-sama』, but in proportion to that, my reputation has fallen.
Things like 『Earl Baumeister has to die for having married Elise-sama!』 has spread mainly among the unmarried soldiers.
Incidentally, there were also others who said 『Even the other four are nothing but beautiful wives! Earl Baumeister has to die after all!』
Of course there’s no one who says that publicly, but even in this world the jealousy of men seems to be something deep-rooted.
However, I wonder what’s that 『after all』 about.

“That only natural since we are married. We can use healing magic together.”

Elise’s remark was filled with thorns.
There’s no doubt that she has said it towards Therese.

“Certainly, I can’t use any magic. But, Elise-dono, thee use 『Holy』 magic while Wendelin uses 『Water』 healing magic. Even as amateur I know that it’s considerably different.” (Therese)

However, Elise undauntedly retorted to Therese,

“I don’t think that you are aware of it as amateur, Therese-sama, but even if the attribute is different, the healing magic is the same. There are also many shared aspects like the means of imagination and the mana control.” (Elise)

“I didn’t know that.” (Therese)

“Then, please excuse us at this point.” (Elise)

Once Elise says so, she links her arm with mine and leaves Therese’s office.
I was curious what kind of expression Therese behind us has with Elise openly linking arms with me, but since I’m scared, I purposely made sure to not look back.

“(I couldn’t say anything. How scary…)” (Ina)

“(I’m afraid as well…)” (Wendelin)

Ina whispers to me in a way so that only I can hear it. I agree with her opinion, too.
During the clash between Elise and Therese, Ina continued to silently sort the documents until we left.
In the end it’s true; the character of a person will become apparent at such times.

“You must not be negligent towards that person.” (Elise)

“In the end you became an imperial noble didn’t you, Wend?” (Ina)

Even though it’s limited to my lifetime, it’s still nobility.
I considered even the possibility of the reward being dodged, but did Therese think that I would refuse it with that as reason?
The condition is that the currently approved pay system continues, too.
In regards to the financial part, the pay towards us will follow after the war.
If we win, there will probably be plenty of fortune from the crushed Nürnberg Dukedom and the imperial government to take. With her stating that there’s no need to actually consider the case of losing, this part makes one actually feel that Therese is a noble.

“I had to accept the peerage anyway.” (Wendelin)

“That’s right, isn’t it…?”

If we hadn’t been mercenaries, I would have refused to take part in the previous dispatch towards the Talberg Mountain Fortress.
It was unknown just what kind of decision-making led to such an order, but the current me is an aide of the staff of Therese, the supreme commander of the liberation army, as imperial Earl.
If she places me at her side, the probability of me getting manipulated and crushed due to reckless orders will be low.
Elise seems to think that Therese’s temptations will increase accordingly, and it actually turned out like that.

“Looking at your current situation, Wend, it’s a dirty move since she knows that you have no other choice but to accept it, right?” (Ina)

As Ina says, I have to accept it because the awarding of an honorary peerage to me has benefits for Therese and me.
Hence you can say that I have been toyed with by Therese’s ability as noble.

“Even if we worry about it, there’s no point. Let’s go to Doushi?” (Wendelin)

“Yeah. Though you can expect the patients to scream.”

As Ina expected, after going to the field lazaret we saw the figures of patients screaming and Doushi who healed them one after the other by hugging them while emitting a bluish-white light from his entire body.

“Nua~~~!”

“That’s no real injury. As a man you don’t have to scream about something of that level.” (Armstrong)

“(I think he simply hates being hugged by you, Doushi…)”

And, although Doushi is probably restraining himself and hugs them lightly, the soldiers should feel like being strangled by a vise.
From the point of view of patients with bone fractures, it’s probably natural for them to harbour the image 『Didn’t our injury actually get worse?』
The soldiers, who are waiting for healing, gathered in one place and trembled like kittens.

“Doushi, I will take over for you.” (Wendelin)

“Is that fine with you, Earl Baumeister?” (Armstrong)

“I will do it while being taught by Elise-sensei.” (Wendelin)

“In that case, I can have a peace of mind I guess?” (Armstrong)

——————————— End of Part 1 —————————————

Although Doushi says that, I’m not that bad at healing magic.
At least I don’t hug the patients.
Once I switch with Doushi, there are ten-odd sick people and soldiers who got injured while working on the field encampment construction which began for the third time.
There’s no combat and since they have been healed by Doushi and the other healers, the situation was like that.
I immediately begin with the healing of a young soldier who received a cut on his arm.
After disinfecting the wound with alcohol, I cast light healing magic on it and it completely recovers right away.

“If it’s a lightly injured patient, that should do it, I guess…?” (Wendelin)

Next I treat a patient who ended up with a bone fracture after getting pinned under lumber.
Since it’s a simple bone fracture, I cast healing magic after affixing the broken part with a brace, and it got immediately healed with that.

“Thank you very much.”

Moreover I heal the ten-odd patients one after the other, but it wasn’t that much of a struggle since there wasn’t any heavily wounded person.

“There’s nothing I can teach you.” (Elise)

“Sooner or later there will definitely be something I will need you to teach me, I’m sure.” (Wendelin)

I follow up on Elise who pouted because there’s nothing for her to teach me.

“I didn’t have much opportunity to practise healing magic…”

“Won’t you participate it on the nursing round once you are done with that?”

“Nursing round?”

“Yes. We will proceed with the healing in the small cities and villages around this area.”

I’m encouraged to become one of those doing nursing rounds by an elderly priest who manages the field nursing.
Since they are inconvenienced by the war, we heal for free after visiting villages and cities which usually don’t have any healing magicians. While at it, there also seems to be the intention to raise the approval rate of the liberation army.
It’s something they will come up with if it’s a slightly quick witted noble, or rather, it seems to be Therese’s idea.

“We won’t go that far.”

“Making a round trip from here takes around half a day. Though we will use horses.”

It will turn into training for my healing magic. That’s far better than combat.
We mounted horses and headed out on a nursing round.

“Is it fine if you aren’t present at the field encampment, Wend?” (Luise)

“Duke Nürnberg’s forces haven’t arrived yet.” (Wendelin)

On top of the Dosanko horse, to which I finally became accustomed, I answered Luise’s question in such manner while riding together with her.
Me, Luise, Ina, Elise, Erw and for some reason Doushi have come along on the nursing round. We are heading towards a village with three Dosanko horses.
The other members are all busy and thus stayed behind in the field encampment doing other tasks.

“I hear we won’t get attacked all of a sudden since the area is getting scouted diligently as substitute for communication magic being unusable. At least for today there won’t be any problems with going on a nursing round.”

“After all it will be troublesome if you get summoned by Therese-sama, won’t it?”

“I thought that being a staff officer would be a pretence, but today I had to file documents all of a sudden…” (Wendelin)

“With her liking you, Wend, and by placing a amazing magician of your rank at her side, Therese-same is capable of appealing her own strength to her surroundings.”

As Luise says, Therese has locked onto me as a man and as a noble.
Getting away from her in the name of work is acceptable, I guess.

“I got mostly used to horses, but it’s painful that I can’t use the magic four-wheel.”

“Indeed…”

The 『Magic Four-wheel』 refers to the car we took out of the underground storehouse in the Demon Forest.
In addition there are also a bike which is called 『Magic Two-wheel』, things similar to bulldozers and shovels which are called 『Magical Construction Devices』 and devices like farm tractors which are referred to as 『Magical Farmwork Devices』.
All of it has been sold to the kingdom’s magic tool guild, but it has been predicted that it will take a lot of time to reproduce those due to the technological gap.
I also put some into my magic bag, but they won’t move at all because of that jamming device.
I don’t know what kind of contrivance it is, but it’s a really troublesome device.
The wheeled magic tools are probably recognized as 『Movement』 type magic.

“If we use it here, on imperial ground, the nobles and merchants might get annoying in their wish to obtain one as well.”

“That’s true, I suppose.”

I guess you can say that it’s only natural that we carried out the experiment on whether the magic four-wheel can be used here secretly when Erw and Haruka weren’t present.
Since it would be convenient for travelling if we could use it, I planned to do so while handling the annoying bunch, but with even the moving magic tools being hindered, Duke Nürnberg has developed an outrageous device.
No, I should say that he excavated it?

“Dear, we will arrive anytime soon now.” (Elise)

“There won’t suddenly be heavily wounded people that are about to die, right?”

“I would expect that kind to be quite rare…”

“Erw, there are no enemies around, right?”

“If there was an enemy attack inside the territory of the liberation army, that would become Therese-sama’s responsibility. This place is close to the field encampment, too. It’s very unlikely. Though I will continue to be vigilant.” (Erwin)

Just as Erw said, there were no enemy attacks along the way. Once we arrived at the village’s entrance, we were greeted by a crowd of villagers.

“It looks like we will be able to receive medical treatment with magic today. That’s very appreciated.”

A white-haired elderly man, who appears to be the village headman and looks like he’s past 70 years in age, extends his greetings towards us as representative of the villagers.

“With there being no healing magician in this village…”

Even though there are priests in the church, it doesn’t mean that all of them can use healing magic.
There are many priests, who can’t use magic, that mix medical plants, they have studied on their own, into something like pharmaceutics and prescribe those.
Just because the church is supported in rural villages, that doesn’t mean that they are only preaching.
However, medicine is expensive. The village has become poor due to the current war.
Even though they are close to the northern highway, their income vanished due to the pedestrian traffic decreasing.
Performing nursing rounds was also for the sake of avoiding their criticism.
Since it’s likely that they will cooperate with the rebel army before we can notice it if we leave their dissatisfaction unanswered, it’s indispensable to follow up on them.

“Well then, let’s start right away?”

“Can you heal as well, dear sir?”

“I’m still inexperienced, but leave it to me!” (Armstrong)

The village headman apparently thought of Doushi, who’s accompanying us, as guard.
It was obvious that he’s a magician because of him wearing a robe, but the first impression of him doesn’t hint towards him being able to use healing magic due to him completely looking like a destroyer.
Elise, who always wears the attire of a priestess, and me as well appear to be users of healing magic going by our outward appearance.

“It’s warmly welcomed that you have many people with you.”

“Are there so many injured and sick people?”

“It’s not just our village. As we were contacted by Duchess Philip-sama in advance, patients from the villages and cities in the vicinity have gathered here as well.”

“That makes sense.”

Rather than us going around each and every village, it’s more efficient if they gather in one place so that we can heal them all at once.
Probably Therese thought so as well and thus gave out such directive.

“Let’s start then?”

We immediately split the large number of patients into two groups.
One group consists of women, old people and children. The other group has only men.
If you ask why, that’s of course because that person is present.

“You have sprained your foot? Let me treat it swiftly.” (Armstrong)

“Ugyaaa~~~!”

“A grown man won’t scream due to this level of injury!”

“No, I believe this person has screamed for another reason.”

You can’t call it anything but misfortune that the man receives his treatment while being resolutely hugged by Doushi due to a sprain.
There’s no way that he can complain about it since it has been completely healed, but I think you can easily declare that the reason for the men, who are receiving his treatment, to raise screams isn’t the pain of their injuries, just as Erw says.

“As Elise says, it will be fine to leave you in charge of the women, children and elderly, Wend.” (Luise)

While making the patients waiting for treatment lining up in order, Luise calls out to me.
There would be an ethical problem to let Doushi hug the women. For the children it would likely develop into a trauma. And it seems that it would be quicker for me to receive the old people. Thus it was decided that I will be in charge of that group.
While sometimes receiving advice from Elise, I cast one healing spell after the other.

“It hurts~~~!”

“Hahaha! It can’t be helped! Erwin-lad, hold him down even stronger!” (Armstrong)

“Yeah, yeah…” (Erwin)

The male patients are treated in succession while getting hugged by Doushi.
Since there were some among them who acted violently, Erw helped out by holding all of them down.

“Somehow it looks like I’m doing something evil…” (Erwin)

Due to Erw’s comment, we answered 『We fully understand』 in our minds.

“The way of using healing magic over here is peaceful and nice.”

An old woman, who received healing from me, expresses her impression, but the sensation given by me performing healing magic is normal.
The one done by Doushi is a rare exception.

“I got mostly used to it now.”

“Umm… Do you have a moment?”

After safely performing the healing of several hundred people, it’s finally the turn of the last person.
The patient is a young woman who didn’t seem to be particularly injured or sick, but there were quite conspicuous burn scars on her face.
I’m told that she ended up getting her face scalded in a fire several months ago.

“It doesn’t affect her life, but this girl is scheduled to marry next month…”

“In that case it would be the best to make her face beautiful.”

As a fellow woman, Elise was enthusiastic about her treatment.

“I agree with that, but how do you plan to treat it?”

As a matter of fact, it seems that these burn scars had been treated with healing magic once already.
The burns themselves got cured, but terrible traces were left behind.
It seems that there are many such examples, but the scars shouldn’t vanish even if we cast healing magic in addition here.
As I’m troubled, Elise teaches the healing method to me.

“There’s something we have to do first. Please give me a knife with a sharp edge.” (Elise)

Once I hand the knife to Elise, she calls out to the woman with the burn scars.

“Please endure because I will cut out the burn scars.” (Elise)

She says that and applies a medicine to the wound that softens the pain at the time of treating the injury, though it doesn’t go as far as working as anesthesia. Then she begins to cut out the keloid-like burn scars with the knife.
Occasionally the woman shifts her body due to the pain, but without minding that, Elise cuts out all the keloids.
The affected parts and both hands of Elise are stained in blood.

“Dear, please use powerful healing magic.” (Elise)

“Got it.” (Wendelin)

As for the idea; you first cut out the parts with the keloids and then recover the skin with healing magic from the scratch, I suppose.
It used up a slightly bigger amount of mana, but clean skin regenerates gradually at the wounds.
A few minutes later, once Elise wiped the affected parts with a wet cloth, the burn scars had completely vanished.

“Ooh! Amazing.”

“What’s amazing is Wend’s magic, isn’t it?” (Luise)

Although Luise says so, the treatment would have failed if Elise didn’t know of the method of cutting out the wound once.

“However, it has regrown beautifully…”

That means one won’t be able to heal all injuries and illnesses by just casting healing magic.
This kind of accumulated know-how is probably something you can call the church’s strong point.

“With this you will be able to marry without any worries.”

“Thank you very much.”

The young woman, who had completely recovered from the burns, thanked Elise and me.

“Your husband will likely feel relieved as well.”

“As a matter of fact he has come here together with me. He protected me during the fire. Since he suffered even worse scaldings…”

“Eh? Is that so?”

The looks of everyone hurriedly turn towards Doushi.
It’s because we were very worried about the safety of her fiancé.

“Burn scars, huh? Let me offer you a healing.” (Armstrong)

“Doushi! Normal healing magic won’t work!”

“The proof is in the pudding. It will be fine if I try my secret technique. Hmph!” (Armstrong)

Doushi made even more bluish-white aura gush out of his body than until now and at the same time embraced the young man who has terrible burn scars on his face.
It doesn’t look like an act of healing at all. It gives an impression similar to bringing down some powerful, ominous monster.

“Hii! Fnuaa~~~!”

“You will get married, right? If you are a man, endure it!” (Armstrong)

We end up lost for words due to that absurd scene.
Even though Elise, an expert, has said that it’s no good with just healing magic, Doushi ignored that and restricted the patient with strength and mana beyond the amount used until now.
It’s supposedly medical treatment, but no matter how you look at it, it doesn’t look like one.
The young man continues to scream due to being hugged strongly, but there was no one who could prevent it.
Even though her fiancé was in such state, the woman stood still on the spot unable to say anything due to the overwhelming shock.
And a few minutes later, we witnessed an impossible spectacle.
The burn scars had completely vanished from the man’s face.

“Why?”

“It’s probably because of the very powerful 『Holy』 healing magic.”

“However, if it’s me, I will choose Elise’s method.”

“Indeed. Even though it will probably hurt a bit…”

Though any kind of injury will get healed, depending on its degree, the time and strength one has to get hugged by Doushi will increase in proportion.
Except for a really terrible emergency, it was a magic I didn’t want to experience overly much.

“Sendorick! Are you alright?”

The young man has lost his consciousness after his burns got healed. His fiancée, who had her burns healed likewise, drew close to him and eagerly nursed him.
He will wake up around one hour after this, but even though both of them had their burns finally cured, there was no one who faced Doushi with a feeling of respect.

◆◇◆◇◆

“I wonder whether that person called Sendorick is doing fine?”

“Haven’t his burn scars been healed completely?”

“No, well, I mean his emotional scars…”

◆◇◆◇◆

The nursing round finished safely with a favourable reputation.
All the patients have been treated by Elise’s and my healing magic. Since today is almost over, it resulted in us lodging in the village.
Because there was fortunately a vacant private house, we decided to rent it after getting the village headman’s permission.

『Umm… it’s a vacant house with nothing in it…』

『Please don’t worry about it since we have brought our furniture along.』

As I have stored everything, beds, chairs, cookware and other furniture in my magic bag, I think that we are guests who don’t require much effort.
Given that the income of the villagers has fallen due to the civil war, I believe that it will be fine with this because they would get unnecessarily impoverished if we demanded too much from them.
However, as it seems that they will feel sorry if they don’t do anything at all, we had them just deliver food to us.
Elise and Luise used that as ingredients for making dinner.
Using a big pot for preparing 『Miso Stew』 on the magic portable cooking stove, it’s a dish that was independently developed by Elise.
Judging from the view of a Japanese, it was a dish that looks like a variety show, but after actually eating it, it’s delicious.
It’s a strange stew that matches with bread and rice.
In addition, they made salad, grilled the monster meat that I had stored in my magic bag and prepared things like ready-made desserts, but since it looks fine to leave it to just the two of them, I talked with Erw about the previous healing of Doushi.

“Emotional scars, you say. It’s not like it has gone that far…”

“Well, then how about you if you were in Sendorick-san’s shoes, Wend?”

“I would have probably decided against it.” (Wendelin)

Since Doushi left for a walk while at the same time making a sightseeing tour in the village, I frankly expressed my opinion.
No matter how close I might have been to death, I would want to avoid Doushi’s medical treatment as much as possible.
Though it would be inevitable to accept it if I was really about to die.

“Didn’t even the wife thank Doushi with a doubtful expression?”

In a certain village a man and a woman, who had a relationship of being childhood friends, had an accident in a fire. The man got burned badly due to protecting his fiancée. The woman also suffered terrible burn scars on her face.
The burns were healed with a priest’s healing magic, but the priest, who was in charge of the burn scars, couldn’t do anything about them.
It’s unfair to demand such level of skill from priests like those working in a village.
Rather, for there being a priest, who can use healing magic, present in the village is usually a miracle the village should be thankful for.
But, for the young man and woman, who would marry in the near future, it would be pitiable to have the burn scars remain as they are.
This was the reason why the two of them came here.

“The woman’s side was beautifully healed by Elise, and the man’s side by Doushi. Even though it’s a very emotional story, I can’t feel any deep attachment to it at all.”

“As you say, it’s a very moving story, isn’t it, Wend? Usually…”

Elise’s healing method was splendid.
Going by extreme logic, if the practitioner of healing magic has a powerful imagination and a huge mana pool, healing magic is capable of regenerating even a lower body half if it has been blown off.
Though it’s a great event if even one such person lives within a century.
With limited mana one can heal plenty of heavily injured people to some degree, I suppose?
The secret of healing magic lies in this point. The ones who have gathered the most know-how is actually the church.
There are many people who learn simple healing art and pharmacy as priests who got newly appointed to a particular area with a church which exists in every village.
If it’s minor injuries and illnesses, they will cure it to some degree even if they don’t use healing magic.
It seems like occasionally the method of supporting the patient with emergency measures and having the local priest call for a priest that can use healing magic during that time is used as well.
In recent years corruption became an issue in the church, but even now they are wielding a powerful authority since they provide help on practical issues such as these.
Since they are helpful, they are able to obtain a fixed level of support.

———————————- End of Part 2 ————————————

“Elise did something amazing.”

“It looks like a technique that’s usually used in the church, but I’m not well-versed in magic.”

Changing the skin, which had turned into keloids after being healed once, into its originally beautiful state is something unexpectedly complex.
As a huge mana pool is necessary and since the affected parts are cut out once, it’s the application of a unique method of using healing magic.
Something like a bone fracture will naturally be fixed by restoring the broken bone into its original position.
Without doing that, you usually have to cast healing magic several times and the bone will end up growing together in a strange shape.

“That means Elise has an understanding of simple healing as well.”

“That’s amazing, I think.”

“Yeah. She might be 10.000 times smarter than you, Erw.”

“I can’t refute that…”

Erw studied things like military command techniques for the sake of his future, but he had the shortcoming of having a slightly bad memory.
Ina, who read documents from the past, has an overwhelmingly quicker uptake than him. Nowadays it has taken the shape of him studying while asking her to explain.

“I’m a sword-idiot anyway.” (Erwin)

However, it’s not like Erw has no talent as army commander.
As he has stood and fought at the front-lines several times by now, he excels at swiftly finding and exploiting the weak points of an enemy army.
For a front-line commander that’s likely the best ability, was the evaluation of Thorsten.

“Unexpectedly Elise isn’t shaken even if she sees blood.”

“Even I had to puke the first time that happened.”

Everyone will equally vomit after seeing mountains of corpses as remains of a battlefield for the first time, but it wasn’t like that for Elise.
She might have already seen corpses during medical treatments.
She mentioned that she healed adventurers who got attacked by monsters after accepting a request from the adventurer’s guild in the past.

“Elise has a far stronger heart than us.”

“Rather than her, the exception with various parts that are too strong is Doushi.”

Hugging a patient who had keloids on his entire body, he completely restored the patient’s skin with nothing but 『Holy』 healing magic.
Considering it logically, I feel like it’s a waste of mana, but you can also say that there’s no problem as long as he can heal the patient.
Of course, even if Elise and I use the same method, we wouldn’t have been able to completely heal all the keloids of that man.
That’s an aspect of Doushi’s absurdness.

“You can’t describe Doushi with anything but 『simply powerful』.”

Him appearing on the battlefield, his usual conduct and even today’s healing magic, all of it is powerful.
The surroundings drawing back from him due to his overwhelming strength is, well, normal, I guess.

“I have become hungry. Please hurry it up with the food.” (Armstrong)

While we were having such chat, Doushi returned. Elise and Luise, who had already finished preparing the food, carried the dishes to the table.

“I got hungry since I did something I’m not used to.” (Armstrong)

“Dear, please eat plenty.” (Elise)

Although there are many people who tell her that that it’s fine even if she doesn’t do stuff like cooking since she’s the first wife of an Earl, Elise didn’t want to stop cooking by herself.
With my other wives being the same, even Therese has been curious about that.
At the same time of me thinking that it’s only natural since I’m also working as adventurer, it has been kind of useful to not get involved with weird women.

『Even I’m able to cook to some extent.』 (Therese)

Therese said something like that, but frankly speaking, it’s quite doubtful.
Does a busy Duchess-sama really prepare her food personally? I doubt that.

“For today we will go sleep soon. It will be fine if we return tomorrow morning, right?”

“Correct. There’s probably no patients left anymore.”

Since there’s also the movements of the armed forces of Duke Nürnberg, it would probably be best to return ahead of time just for caution’s sake.
And even before that, there was the issue that there’s absolutely no entertainment in this village.

“Let’s play play cards until we go sleep.” (Luise)

As there’s no bath, we make do with the 『Cleaning』 spell for today. It has been decided that we will sleep together with everyone by lining up the beds.
We decided to sleep together in the same room in order to stay cautious just in case.
Since it’s still early, we play cards according to Luise’s wish.

“Luise, despite being the first person to suggest it, it’s once again Daihinmin.

“I don’t want to be told that by Erw, the needy.*” (Luise) (T/N: The loser of the game is called daihinmin (the extremely needy) and the winner gets called daifugou (the grand millionaire))

In this world playing cards had already existed and various ways of playing with them had spread, but as Daihinmin didn’t exist so far, I decided to invent it.
Since it gets exciting if you do it during free time, there are many cases where we play it at night after having left to hunt.

“Wend, you are strong…”

“I think it would be problematic if the inventor was weak.”

For a while I continued to win as first, but suddenly Doushi puts out four cards.

“It’s a coup d’etat, right?” (Armstrong)

“Wh-! What do you mean with that?”

“Hooray~~~!”

“It’s a turn-around!”

Only Erw and Luise are delighted by the unknown 『Coup d’etat』 of Doushi. I fell to daihinmin.
Because it’s Daihinmin, it’s probably correct to call it 『Revolution』, but as it’s a word people aren’t very familiar with, we have changed it to 『Coup d’etat』.
If it’s a coup d’etat, there were occasionally situations in history such as 『Earl ○○, who was the Minister of Military and Naval Affairs, has fallen due to a coup d’etat inside the kingdom』. Thus they were able to understand it.
Even the rebellion that has occurred in the empire, seems to be called coup d’etat by Therese and the others.
They don’t appear to be overly familiar with the word revolution.

“Damn it. The 2 I possess has…”

In the end I stayed daihinmin until the end of the game.
I wasn’t blessed with card luck to once again cause a coup d’etat.

“Since it’s a rare, great victory, I will be able to fall fast asleep.”

“It’s the same for me, too.”

The expressions of Luise and Erw, who won for a change, are cheerful.
Since it’s usually me or Ina who win easily, they look quite happy.
We didn’t place any bets or such, but it seems they were genuinely happy about having won.

“Let’s sleep soon. Wend, use that.”

“Got it. Doushi. Excuse me.”

I cast the 『Silence』 spell on Doushi.
If I didn’t do that, it would become impossible to sleep in the same room with him.
His snoring was that intense.

“Though I don’t feel anything at all.” (Armstrong)

“I have never heard of people waking up due to their own snoring being too loud.”

“Well, do what you must. The 『Silence』 spell has also the effect of protecting against the noise from the surroundings.”

Saying that, Doushi lied down on the bed and departed into the world of dreams within less than 10 seconds.
His speed of falling asleep is terrifying.
Since he also worked as adventurer, he probably mastered going to bed early, rising in the early morning, eating quickly and shitting swiftly.
Although it might seem vulgar, we were actually told those words quite early at the adventurer prep school.

“His speed of falling asleep is enviable, isn’t it?” (Erwin)

Erw admired Doushi in that regard.
He might be snoring, but thanks to the 『Silence』 spell, we can’t hear any of that.
With this we will probably be able to sleep peacefully.
At the moment I thought that, there’s suddenly a knocking at the door.
Once Erw opened it while staying cautious, the village headman and a 12~13 years old girl stood there.

“Village headman-san, do you have any business with us?”

“Yes. Today we couldn’t properly thank you for healing the sick and injured of not just our village but also the settlements in the vicinity. Since our village is currently in a state of being cut off the circulation of money and goods due to the civil war, there’s only few things that could serve as reward, but…”

“A reward is unnecessary.”

Instead of Erw, I clearly refuse any rewards.
With the pacification of the imperial citizens, who are inconvenienced due to the civil war, as our objective, accepting a reward at this point would be putting the cart before the horse.

“However, that would be unthankful. Thus I was wondering whether this Philine could serve at your side, Honorary Earl-sama.”

“I’m called Philine. Please take care of me by all means.”

“Umm… I have plenty aides…” “We thank you very kindly.” (Wendelin & Elise)

Once I try to refuse, Elise forcibly interjects and takes charge of that girl.
It was an unexpected development, but as it seems that the village headman was relieved for us having accepted her, he closed the door right away.

“Elise?” (Wendelin)

“Err, Philine, was it?”

“Yes. You are Elise-sama, right?”

“Since it’s now time for everyone to sleep, we will listen to your story tomorrow. Good night.”

“Yes. Good night, Elise-sama, master, everyone.”

Since Philine is still a child, Elise put her to sleep in a bed and she immediately drifted off into the land of dreams.
I’m certain, she must have been worn-out from being nervous.

“By no means did I expect you to accept her, Elise.” (Luise)

“I agree with Luise’s opinion.” (Erwin)

Luise and Erw are surprised by Elise’s decision.
Even from my point of view, nothing but some speculations come to mind.
Because a noble, who can use healing magic, came to the village, they presented this girl as reward.
Telling her to work for me means that the village’s side doesn’t care whether it’s as maid or as lover.

“I have heard that a village will offer a woman when a noble visits.”

“That happened in the old days.”

I don’t know about the empire, but such things apparently happened at the time when the kingdom’s domain was much smaller.
Of course it was only in the area under the kingdom’s direct control, but there were reasons for doing it such as for the sake of having blood from outside enter the village and in case they didn’t do a reception when a noble came.
Now there’s a certain degree of exchange with the outside even if they don’t do something like that. Since it will complicate the succession if there’s some illegitimate child, it’s actually the nobles’ side that avoids this.
After all they think that it’s fine if they go to a brothel or shelter a lover they found themselves, if they want to play around with women.

“Well, then why give her to me?”

“It’s probably proof that this village has no leeway.”

In short, it’s been decided that the girl, who’s currently sleeping peacefully, isn’t needed in this village.
Leaving her to me, they probably plan to decrease the mouths to feed, even if it’s just by one person.

“In case of a man, they can till the fields. They can also go out to hunt.”

Young women, who bear children, are precious, but since their productivity is low in reverse, there are also cases where they are given away.
As Erw says, there are also many girls who are sold off to bad brothels.

“This girl isn’t an orphan, is she?”

“Maybe…”

It might be as Luise says. But even without that, she’s a girl that’s treated as unneeded by the village.
Elise probably realized that she would receive a far crueller treatment if I refused to accept her.

“Increasing our maids in this situation, eh…? Let’s treat her as apprentice and then send her as bride to some place once she becomes an adult.”

Since she’s still a minor, she probably won’t mind being treated as apprentice.
Elise and the other will likely teach her housework and such. If I guarantee her necessities of life and give her a bit of pocket money, it won’t cost that much either.
As for the possibility of not being able to return to our territory due to losing the civil war, I didn’t want to think about this.
Just thinking about it pointless.

“But, does Wend currently need a maid?”

“We are here after all.”

Since I’m being taken care of by five wives in rotation, Philine might certainly be unnecessary.
Or they seem to even consider the possibility of me making a move on her even though she’s still a minor.

“Isn’t she still a child?”

I should have had the same age as her when I subjugated a dragon, but even I felt that I have grown old after seeing a young girl like her.

“We are still 16 years old though.”

“Though we are facing difficulties that don’t correspond to our age.”

“That’s true. Luise, you don’t have to unnecessarily think about that.” (Erwin)

“I feel like it’s a somewhat deceptive way of talking. The adult, sexy me doesn’t give a damn about your nonsense though, Erw!” (Luise)

“Don’t hit me then…” (Erwin)

Erw, who treated Luise as a child, was lightly hit by her.
However, one might say that Luise’s and Philine’s appearances weren’t that different in age.
Rather, there would probably be many people who would consider Philine to be the elder of the two.

“So, what will you do, dear?” (Elise)

“If I abandon her, I won’t be able to sleep peacefully…” (Wendelin)

I might have abandoned them with composure if this was a middle-aged man, but that wasn’t agreeable for a cute girl.
However, if I take her in with no concrete plan, there’s the chance that it will cause other women to go for the same. Honestly, she was a girl that was troublesome to deal with.

“In short, it will work as long as others don’t think that she’s attached to me.”

“Such a method exits?”

“Indeed! I will make it happen!”

“How?”

“As my retainer, and in spite of being a candidate for chief vassal, he hasn’t even employed a single maid.”

“There was such a guy?”

“Yes. He’s in front of my eyes!”

If it turns into a problem for me to accept her, it will work fine if I leave her to Erw.
It will be alright if he takes care of her until he sends her away as bride after she becomes an adult, and it will also be okay if he keeps her as concubine or mistress if she suits him.
You could call it a very splendid idea.

“Me?” (Erwin)

“Yes. Once we return to our territory, you will have to build a mansion and carry out your life with Haruka. Think of it as practise for that.” (Wendelin)

“Wend, aren’t you trying to push her onto me?”

“There’s no such thing. You also think that Philine is pitiable, right? Hey, Elise.” (Wendelin)

“That girl is an existence similar to a sacrifice. We have to take care of her somehow. Of course we aren’t able to save all the girls in such situations, but I believe that some kind of fate is at work here.”

Once I pass the talk to Elise who accepted Philine, she persuades Erw with praiseworthy reasoning.
Erw shouldn’t have the ability to object to that.

“I think that Erw is scared of Haruka.”

“I see. She’s already dominating him.”

“Haruka-san is quite level headed after all.”

Luise skilfully provokes him that it’s because Haruka will be angry if he returns home while bringing another girl along, albeit her being a maid.

“As if that’s true! If I explain the circumstances, the kind Haruka-san should accept her!”

“Isn’t a single maid fine then?”

“Ugh…”

He got splendidly stuck by Luise’s incitement. Erw ends up approving the reception the girl.

“If you like her, it will be fine if you really make her your lover. Though it’s unlikely for you to say that since you are scared of Haruka.”

“Wend, you know…”

“This girl is quite adorable. Because you are a lustful man, it might happen, right, Erw?”

“Luise, the lustful man here is your husband.”

“Why should I be?” (Wendelin)

“Since you have five wives.”

There’s nothing I can reply towards Erw’s reply, thus I stay silent.
But, believing that Erw is gradually getting used to the thought of accepting her, I played my trump card here.

“Erw, it’s your lord’s order.” (Wendelin)

“Your lord’s order always has the worst possible meaning. I will ask Haruka-san, okay?” (Erwin)

It was an acceptance with conditions attached, but since he has to ask Haruka, it’s clearly showing the current situation for Erw.

“Wend, it’s just as I have said, isn’t it? Erw is already…” (Luise)

“I guess she’s really dominating him.”

“That’s not true! We are just discussing things properly since we will become a married couple!”

At the time when it was decided to accept Philine little by little like that, Doushi, who is the oldest here, slept by himself while snoring heartily.
Thanks to the 『Silence』 spell, that sound didn’t leak to the surroundings at all though.

 


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