“It was unexpected for him to use this move.” (Armstrong)
“Tell me, how did we miss him moving about?” (Burkhart)
Doushi and Burkhart-san seem to be baffled as well.
The struggle to death with the rebel army’s main force that lasted for six days eventually finished in a draw.
Numbers of soldiers, quality and number of magicians, new weapons such as magic guns and the powerful Mizuho army; despite all these advantageous conditions, the liberation army couldn’t defeat Duke Nürnberg and only stacked up big losses.
Of course the rebel army has suffered quite the losses as well, but it’s far from fatal.
On the contrary, the inexperienced liberation army couldn’t move at night out of fear towards a night raid by the rebels.
And once the rebel army fell back to the imperial capital’s suburbs, they gave up on the capital all too easily and quickly.
Although Therese and the others apparently ended up dumbfounded, they still couldn’t afford to not recapture the capital.
As soon as the liberation army regrouped and entered the capital, the Mizuho army and us, who are outsiders, were provided a stay in the outskirts.
I don’t know what Therese is personally thinking, but she was probably persuaded by the nobles, who are worried about the political power distribution after the soon-to-come civil war victory, with the reasoning that it’s for preventing assault towards women, and the pillaging of belongings in the war.
“There are likely many nobles who will be troubled if we are noticed by the capital’s residents. Good grief, and that even though the Mizuho people don’t have any interest in the politics of the capital…”
High Earl Mizuho, who has taken up camp next to us, complains while drinking the tea that was served by Elise in the troop headquarters of our side.
There’s no particular necessity for us to enter the city against their will either. High Earl Mizuho apparently believes that it’s needless to be suspicious of us since there’s plenty enough other work that has to be done.
“That means Duke Nürnberg saw the capital as burden, doesn’t it?”
Three days have passed since Therese and the others entered the capital, but the chaos seems to continue until this very day.
I hear that quite a few of the prince-electors and high-ranking nobles were killed, however it appears that the crucial emperor and his family survived altogether.
Given that he’s a foolish emperor that allowed a coup d’etat, they are at a point where they want to request his abdication, but the person himself is apparently saying 『I’m the officially enthroned emperor who won in the emperor election, and as such I will decide by myself whether I will abdicate or not』. (T/N: Smelled this one coming miles away. Smart move by Nürnberg as Therese literally lacks the balls to just lop off the retard’s head)
The troublesome declaration by the emperor is legally not wrong either.
Rather, if they abdicate him by force, that in itself will become an illegal act.
There wouldn’t be much difference with the way how Duke Nürnberg handles things.
As a result, Therese can’t raise her hands against the emperor.
I heard that even the emperor himself believes that it’s unnecessary for him to abdicate since there’s a woman at the top of the liberation army.
He proclaimed the recovery of the imperial capital on his own accord causing the confrontation with Therese’s group to become even more severe.
Duke Nürnberg took all the people supporting him and their families back to his territory.
The only ones left behind are those guys, who adopted a servile attitude towards Duke Nürnberg, and those who were locked away under house arrest.
The emperor and those people had feelings of guilt and a sense of impending danger as they were helpless against Duke Nürnberg.
At the same time they have understood that they won’t be welcome in the government under Therese.
It took less than two days for the quarrel between both sides to intensify with traitors appearing among the nobles of the liberation army, who believed that the distribution of posts and benefit would be contrary to their expectations even though they took the troubles of participating in the liberation army.
It appears that the capital is effectively split in two with the emperor faction staying in the imperial palace and Therese’s group in the imperial army’s headquarters, according to what Alfons reported with a grave expression.
“It looks like Duke Nürnberg has avoided a direct clash with Therese for now, doesn’t it?”
“Isn’t he confronting Therese politically by using the fallen emperor?”
“That’s how it is. Aaaah~, with this all our troubles until now come to nothing.”
After Alfons returned to the capital, the usual members gathered around a hot pot.
Haruka, Takeomi-san, Doushi, Burkhart-san, High Earl Mizuho, Philip and Christoph are with us.
Earl Schultz’ party was present as well.
I took into consideration that they had been killed in the worst case, but all of them were sound and safe except for one magician.
Once they learned about us camping in the capital’s outskirts after it got liberated, they moved to our side while depending on us.
『I’m very sorry. Something difficult as leading an army…』
『No, aren’t we nobles from the same kingdom?』
Earl Schultz’ group, which had been under house arrest for a long time, thanked me with exhausted expressions.
The same Earl Schultz is eating from the hot pot while looking full of curiosity.
It will soon become spring, but the capital’s outskirts, which are located in the north, are still often cold in the morning and evening.
The Blowfish Hot Pot prepared by High Earl Mizuho has a deliciousness that pierces one’s body. (T/N: I localised the thing completely but for those who want to see the Japanese nabe, search for ふぐちり)
“It’s light and tasty!”
“It has resulted in a nice soup stock.”
“It also looks expensive.”
“I will be able to eat my fill.”
“I feel like obtained the chance to eat something unusual.”
The hot pot was very popular among the women.
“Erw-san, here you go.” (Haruka)
“Thank you, Haruka-san.” (Erwin)
Erw had a happy face as he had his platter filled from the hot pot by Haruka.
Me feeling that something is going to happen soon is probably because I’m twisted?
“By the way, this has no intestines, right?” (Armstrong)
“Doushi, it is said that you will ascend to heaven if you eat those.” (Burkhart)
“The taste is so good that it makes you ascend?” (Armstrong)
“No, it means literally ascending to heaven. It’s poisonous after all.” (Burkhart)
“Eeehhh? Is this alright?” (Luise)
Luise, who listened to the conversation between Doushi and Burkhart-san, yells upon hearing about poison.
“No need to worry. All our family’s cooks possess the licence to prepare blowfish.” (Mizuho)
“So there is a licence for cutting and trimming blowfish.”
“People will die if they are served the poisoned parts, right? Although it’s delicious it was often used as test for one’s luck in the past Philip Dukedom with people often dying from it. Thereupon we set up a flawless food preparation system in our Earl Mizuho Country.”
“It’s because we didn’t shirk on diligent studying of cooking techniques and research of the edible parts while suffering many losses in the old days, that we can now eat such delicious blowfish”, High Earl Mizuho explains.
“(I only ate blowfish once in my life, but this is tasty.)”
My experience with blowfish is limited to the time at my company’s welcome party.
I enjoyed the taste of blowfish for the first time after a long while.
Earl Mizuho Country has unique cultural aspects in all kind of fields, hasn’t it?”
The group around Earl Schultz, who ate the blowfish hot pot, grilled blowfish, fried food, whitebait and zousui*, are apparently very satisfied with the Mizuho cooking they tasted for the first time. (T/N: Rice gruel with fish, vegetables etc., seasoned with miso or soy sauce)
After the meal, we immediately start chatting about the situation in the capital while enjoying tea and steamed buns.
“The current situation of the capital is, to put it in one word, chaotic.”
“That’s only obvious.”
According to Earl Schultz, it has developed into a state where Therese’s and the emperor’s factions are ruling parts of the capital while glaring at each other.
“Ranging from the lowest small nobles up to the major nobles, it’s unclear who betrayed Therese-dono to side with the emperor. Since all of it is just rumours and objectionable talking, the truth remains unknown.”
The administration, jurisdiction and military, all of them are split up between Therese’s and the emperor’s factions. Of course the efficiency of the governing has fallen and many of the capital’s citizens were revolting.
“The coup d’etat caused confusion, but in the governing after that, Duke Nürnberg has ruled with an iron hand.”
He was relentless to the nobles who didn’t obey him, and he sent the Mizuho people and the Lan tribe members to detention camps.
However, it looks like the residents, who are living their lives normally, weren’t overly unhappy with Duke Nürnberg.
“Though there was a bit of an impact towards the circulation of goods because of that particular device. Even though it was a high-handed method, he suppressed a rise of prices.”
The slightly deteriorated state continued for several months, but humans are unexpectedly adaptable.
However, at the moment the liberation army and the discredited emperor are both staying in the capital while having a fall-out.
“I feel sorry for everyone who formed a united front with Her Excellency Duchess Philip, but the one with the bad reputation among the capital’s residents is the liberation army.”
“Probably because they can’t restrain the misdeeds of the feudal army soldiers belonging to the lower ranks?”
“It’s just as Doushi says.”
A part of the liberation army that entered the capital as winners seems to be raping women and pillaging within the capital.
Therese is severely cracking down on them, but due to the confrontation with the emperor faction, her focus is divided causing her effort to diminish.
While we are at it, even those corrupt soldiers and nobles are politically Therese’s allies.
The more she judges them, the further Therese’s influence falls.
“This has also become a reason for denunciation by the emperor faction. We ran away fearing to get dragged into it.”
Therese apparently put them under her protection right away, but once a part of the liberation army caused an uproar by trying to intrude into the embassy, where they had been put under house arrest during the civil war, he took the personnel and the remaining people of the kingdom and escaped to this place.
“It was pretty obvious that they were planning to pillage the embassy. For the same reason she immediately put the Mizuho people, who had been put into detention camps, under her protection too, right?”
“Indeed. She safeguarded them right away.”
High Earl Mizuho swiftly answered Earl Schultz’ question.
“There are women and children among the remaining Mizuho people. Those of them, who came under Therese-dono and the son of Duke Baden, are alright, but…”
At the lower ranks of the liberation army, which expanded its influence rapidly, you will find nobles, whom you cannot trust as they don’t understand decency, and their feudal armies.
They are the people who are standing in Therese’s way, albeit they are supposed to be her allies, in the current capital.
“Putting aside if it’s a war with a foreign country, but they do that to their fellow countrymen?” (Wendelin)
“That way of thinking is naive, Earl Baumeister.” (Christoph)
“What do you mean, Christoph-dono?”
“As for fellow countrymen, you should understand if you look at Duke Nürnberg’s treatment of the Mizuho people and Lan tribe, right?” (Christoph)
Certainly, even though they live in the same country, I feel that their treatment is cruel.
“Besides, although you call them fellow countrymen, the majority of the population living in rural territories only goes to neighbouring territories for shopping. They are never told 『You are subjects of the empire』 by their lords. They spend their whole life being told 『You are inhabitants of this territory』.”
Now that he mentions it, even at my home there were few people who were aware of being subjects of the kingdom.
Most had only the awareness of being inhabitants of the Knight Baumeister territory.
“They only care about their financial standing and the condition of their small territory. And, although it was just a rebellion, they dispatched their troops once it turned into a war. That means they think…”
“That plundering and rape is their reward after they fought with their lives on the line?”
“That’s how it is. In their eyes, the capital is the enemy’s stronghold, and as such they don’t regard stealing goods and money for their families as anything condemnable. They assault women because they don’t want to waste any money on paying prostitutes. Of course that doesn’t apply for everyone. It’s just that such people exist as well.”
Should I say: As expected of the heir of a former high-ranking noble household?
Christoph seems to understand the feelings of the low-ranking soldiers well.
“However, normally that’s a breach of military regulations, no?”
“That’s why the military regulations worked until they entered the capital.”
Therese strictly judged and punished the offenders when those kind of crimes occurred.
“They probably lost all self-restraint after entering the capital, huh? That likely ended up going beyond Duchess Philip-dono’s range of possible perception. You can also say that her punishment faculty dropped due to the confrontation with the emperor’s faction. There might also be nobles who defend them by saying that the criminals will run over to the emperor’s faction if she punishes them in a bad way.”
“What a mess.”
“Although it’s pathetic, at such times, military regulations won’t work unless you at least behead all offenders. It’s really difficult to uphold the morale of the soldiers in a war.”
Philip implicitly criticized Therese.
“Say what you might, it’s a splendid move, isn’t it?”
Now that it has become like this, the criticism of the people living in the capital is currently turned at Therese and the emperor, who are allowing the public order of the capital to grow worse, rather than Duke Nürnberg who caused the coup d’etat before.
It allows Duke Nürnberg to weaken the enemy he should crush himself by causing a fall-out. He’s probably going to try to crush us after some time has passed.
“There’s one more problem. There’s no money in the current capital.”
Earl Schultz’ group witnessed Duke Nürnberg’s subordinates transporting goods towards the south in a hurry.
There’s no doubt that they took away all the movable assets owned by the imperial family and the imperial government to Nürnberg Dukedom.
“So that’s why he had weak troops gain time by clashing with the liberation army…?”
In the meantime they carried away all money, treasures and goods.
That’s the reason why the empire can’t hand out rewards to the nobles of the liberation army who went through all that trouble until now.
You can’t shake sleeves you don’t have. This probably enhances the pillaging of the lower-ranking feudal army soldiers as well.
It’s only natural that they won’t put their lives on the line for nothing.
“There’s something even worse.”
“It’s probably the same for the northern region of the empire’s central area. They don’t have any surplus on food.”
It was just as Philip feared.
The empire’s surplus food didn’t have even a single grain of wheat left.
It seems even the food that had been stored away in preparation for a bad harvest was completely gone.
“Although he didn’t requisit anything from the citizens, Duke Nürnberg apparently forced the merchants to sell their surplus at a fixed price.”
In other words, there’s no worry that the capital’s residents will starve for a while.
In exchange, the capital’s food shortage will become acute in one month.
There won’t be any problem if they can carry it in skillfully from other areas, but currently it’s not a political climate where they can do something like that.
It’s because the pointless strife between the emperor’s and Therese’s faction keeps going on.
“The liberation army had a little amount of food and funds, right?”
The funds are a gathering of money from the Duke Philip household, the Duke Baden household and other nobles.
There’s definitely no leeway, but they were in a far better financial situation than the current emperor and imperial capital.
“It has become a major problem that the emperor faction demands to hand that over.”
Given that he’s an emperor who has no money, food or backers, he probably wants to rally those from the capital somehow.
I understand his wishes, but I’m amazed that he has the audacity to demand money and food without lifting a finger while at the same time not giving a single reward to those who worked hard for the liberation of the capital.
From the standpoint of Therese and those around her, it has reached the point of them asking 『What’s his deal if he can’t even handle that much by himself?』
“Are you possibly saying that the reward for us is zero as well?”
“You said it before. You can’t shake sleeves you don’t have.” (T/N: Never been said, but just mentioned in Wendelin’s thoughts. Well typical inconsistency of the author, so don’t worry)
Philip’s cold remark stabs my heart.
“This is troubling…”
Due to the collecting in the abandoned mines, I have a certain extent of gold and silver.
As for food, we should be able to manage somehow for now with the amount currently stocked in my magic bag.
However, if things go on like this, we will run into a food shortage as well.
“Going by the number of people, there’s no difference to before, right…?”
Even the royal army group that had around 1,500 soldiers has lost 200 in the battles until now.
However, adding Earl Schultz’ group at this point, there’s not much of a decrease.
We increased the stocked amount and pay attention to our food consumption, but even so it will run out in around two months if we feed 1,500 people.
“How about asking Therese for food supply?”
“I guess you are right. Our numbers have grown after all.”
“Well, it’s not that different to before, but…”
“No, it has increased by approximately three times.”
I couldn’t believe Earl Schultz’ words.
Just where the hell is such mysterious group of kingdom citizens supposed to be?
“I’m sorry to tell you, Philip-dono and Christoph-dono, but…”
“They became prisoners of war!?”
The two ended up joining up with us after the destruction of the royal army’s advance unit.
It seems that around 3,500 soldiers of the 8,000 troops have been taken in custody after becoming prisoners.
“I heard that they have been recognised as prisoners of war and lodged in a shabby facility in the outskirts. It seems their food situation isn’t overly well…”
Since they are his countrymen, Earl Schultz likely feels the wish to somehow take care of them.
“Including that matter as well, I will tomorrow go to directly appeal to Therese.”
On the next day I enter the imperial capital for the first time in a long time while being escorted by Erw and Doushi.
There were almost no casualties or injuries among the citizens, but since they are anxious about the food emergency storages, there’s nothing of the liveliness from before the coup d’etat left.
There were also many citizens who stayed at home, fearing the crimes of the liberation army’s soldiers.
I try to get an appointment by going to the imperial palace first, but I’m told that it’s impossible to receive us as they are busy with the stability of the capital.
“It feels like they bluntly told us 『What did you foreigners come here for?』.”
“It’s probably because it will turn into a discussion about the rewards, if we meet them.”
“He’s a small-minded emperor, isn’t he?” (Armstrong)
Doushi shows no holding back on criticizing the emperor.
Since it’s Therese who has employed us, it’s far too obvious that the emperor’s faction believes it should be somehow handled by her.
Right after we entered the imperial army’s headquarters, which had been appointed as main base by Therese, we were able to meet with her.
“Wendelin, thou went to demand a reward from the current emperor?” (Therese)
Therese’s way of calling him 『current emperor』 easily tells me her sentiments towards him.
Because the emperor has survived, the majority of authority, also in regards to the matter of rewards, has been transferred to him.
Of course it would be no good if she didn’t pay it, but if she hands over my reward in the current financial situation, she will go bankrupt.
If complaints about an unfair treatment appear from the other nobles, it will likely spell the end of the liberation army’s power this time.
That’s why there’s no way that I would tell her to hand over the reward now.
“Yes. I gave it a try as I had nothing to lose anyway.” (Wendelin)
I tell Therese about me being turned away at the front gate of the imperial palace.
“His Majesty had become enraged that I employed soldiers and magicians of Helmut Kingdom on my own accord. He probably won’t even stick out his tongue for something like thy reward, Wendelin.” (Therese)
“Although it’s just as expected…”
I turn my look towards Doushi for an instant. I feel like his expression was quite grim.
Having the imperial capital that has no money and food forced upon him by Duke Nürnberg, is something completely different from giving us, who worked hard for it, a reward.
However, Therese is quite gutsy as well.
I know that it has been quite difficult for her and her retainers, but she thoroughly put us through troubles until now.
Does she believe that not paying a reward can be shelved by declaring it as business of the emperor?
“If it’s territory, I can take it into consideration, but…” (Therese)
“I don’t need something like detached land in a foreign country…” (Wendelin)
I already possess Baumeister Earldom.
Detached land would be bothersome to manage.
“It looks like our emperor believes the same. He stated that he won’t hand territory to a potential enemy like Earl Mizuho Country, much less to say about a foreigner.” (Therese)
“What will he give us then?”
“Since he doesn’t possess any funds…”
As all of the funds have been taken away by Duke Nürnberg, the anti-Duke Nürnberg faction has split into emperor faction, Therese faction and an outsider faction.
The outside faction is about us, who believe to not fit with either side albeit having small numbers.
At the current situation it’s unlikely for our outsider faction to obediently come under Therese.
We have a considerable influence making others consider us as third force.
“I have an interest in the future strategy of His Majesty the Emperor who is sitting in a house built on sand.” (Armstrong)
“Doushi, thee are very harsh.” (Therese)
As Doushi says, the authority of Emperor Urquhart the 17th has a weak foundation.
All of the nobles that are participating in the liberation army want him to retire to take responsibility for having allowed a coup d’etat.
Well, it’s a fact that he’s trying to calmly act like an emperor after being freed.
Because of that he’s standing in Therese’s way.
He has even divided the imperial capital’s government, preventing a resolution of the chaos so far.
“There’s no other choice but to take Nürnberg Dukedom and get back the money. However, we must not be impatient…” (Therese)
Duke Nürnberg lost a great number of his elites in the process of abandoning the imperial capital, but it’s not a fatal number of soldiers.
Rather, because he has taken along those people who have joined up with him, it’s possible that his combat forces actually grew.
Since he has plenty of money, goods and food, he should be able to easily wage war for several years.
“If we invade that place without any plan, we will probably done in as he wishes since the south is Duke Nürnberg’s backyard, right?”
Duke Nürnberg showed his ability as soldier in those six days of battles.
And, there’s probably a huge underground ruin in the south.
After all he even sealed Earl Mizuho Country’s fighting strength by using the legacy from the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization.
“The exploding golems, huh? Those are troublesome…” (Therese)
In addition he didn’t leave behind that device, which blocks communication and movement magic.
I guess it wasn’t here to begin with or he took it back to the south.
“(Even though I would have long ago returned to the kingdom after cutting my losses, if that device didn’t exist…)”
Moreover, even if he did invade the kingdom in the future with the tactic of freely using the golems from the Ancient Magic Civilization’s era, it’s possible that I will already be at the end of the latter half of my life.
At any rate, Duke Nürnberg regards me as enemy.
“(I have to defeat him, but…)”
There was also the move of returning to the kingdom and come up with countermeasures over there, but as expected, it’s probably best to remain on-site and take up countermeasures against him.
It appears that Philip, Christoph and Earl Schultz don’t have any intention to return to the kingdom as of yet.
Since the situation is too unsettled, they apparently can’t abandon it just like that.
I’m thinking only about my own matters, but the three of them are trying to somehow do something about the chaos in the neighboring country as retainers of the kingdom.
『It’s because communication is impossible. As such it’s difficult to even make use of spies and local cooperators.』
According to Earl Schultz’ opinion, for the royal army group, which grew to a size of little less than 5,000 in total, it’s best to watch the situation while camping out in the outskirts.
Though there’s also the reason that there are no other methods than ship, walking or carriage for them to return to the kingdom as magic airships don’t move.
“Even before that, all the magic crystals have been taken out of the magic airships.” (Therese)
“He probably won’t use them for anything decent anyway, am I right?”
There was also the view that it doesn’t matter since they don’t move, but Duke Nürnberg had taken away all the magic crystals after removing them from the magic airships that were docked in the capital.
If he was able to use those big magic crystals as weapons, the imperial army in its current divided state might lose easily.
Their numbers of the total military forces went up with the liberation of the imperial capital.
After all the soldiers of the nobles, who were put under house arrest by Duke Nürnberg, and of those, who pretended to obey, have joined.
Same as the imperial army, those, who didn’t accompany Duke Nürnberg, have once again pledged their allegiance to the emperor.
“The number of the emperor faction grew, but it won’t become an addition to the army’s quality. There are also many questionable folks who betrayed us. It’s also a fact that the majority of those, who didn’t obey Duke Nürnberg, have many among them who were treated as unneeded by Duke Nürnberg.” (Therese)
“Even Duke Nürnberg has at least invited the useful ones, hasn’t he?”
“He probably promised them a kind treatment as well. Besides, since the emperor faction has split away from us, our numbers don’t match up with his. There’s no way that we can invade Nürnberg Dukedom right away since we have no war funds and food.” (Therese)
In the current condition it seems like we can’t make a move at all.
“Putting that aside, I have heard about the bad reputation of the liberation army.” (Wendelin)
“I guess it’s about the assaults against women and the plundering. It will take some time and labour to punish them. I suppose this is also my responsibility.” (Therese)
It looks like she executed several hundred soldiers in accordance with military regulations.
However, she apparently ended up in a decisive dispute with the nobles who hired those soldiers.
“I was told they would be good fathers and husbands, once they go back to their territories. The nobles requested a reduction of the punishments, but I refused as I can’t do that.” (Therese)
Of course a bad aftertaste remained on both sides, and they ended up switching over to the emperor’s faction.
The emperor’s faction that wants to augment its allies apparently welcomed them happily.
“That’ll be the end.” (Erwin)
“I guess it’s normal to consider it like Erwin. But, His Majesty the Emperor has a weak support base, you know?”
It looks like Therese is actually feeling that the capital’s government is gradually getting worse as it’s an assembly of traitors.
Even the congress, which has the duty to restrain the emperor, doesn’t function due to the death of its members and the split between the emperor’s and Therese’s faction.
“Duke Nürnberg is a crafty one, isn’t he?”
“He probably abandoned the capital after predicting the course of events up to this point.” (Therese)
If time passes in this state, a great number of the empire’s subjects, let alone those of the capital, will be disappointed by the emperor.
And even a future where they will put their hopes into Duke Nürnberg might come true.
“So, what do you plan to do, Therese-dono?”
“I think I will temporarily return to my territory.” (Therese)
Seeing that the current emperor won’t abdicate, Therese can’t do anything.
Her surroundings are cheering her on to oppose the emperor, but that will only spell trouble.
“The time’s still not ripe. It looks like His Majesty will hand out the rewards in a little while. But then again, since he has no funds, he will likely setttle for medals, posts and also territory. Even I can’t predict what he will do in regards to thee, Wendelin.” (Therese)
After that we immediately left Therese.
“Therese-sama is suffering.” (Armstrong)
“We can’t do anything about it in the current situation.”
She probably never expected that the emperor wouldn’t abdicate.
The image I had of Urquhart the 17th at the beginning was that of him having the quality to be a reconciling, passable emperor of good pedigree.
In peaceful times he should have reigned normally without any particular problems.
However, since that’s in the process of falling through as impossible thanks to Duke Nürnberg, that person is probably also a victim of the rebellion in a certain sense.
“Wend, you are saying that, but as someone who has been dragged into it, I find it unbearable.”
“It’s as Erwin-lad says, isn’t it? An unworthy death has become realistic.” (Armstrong)
There’s no doubt, it seems that the emperor plans to increase the influence of the imperial family by reforming the territories in the name of rewards and then to gain victory by dispatching a large army to Nürnberg Dukedom after the harvest in fall.
“Since I have realized that, there’s no way for Duke Nürnberg to not have realized it, don’t you think?”
“It will be once again a group of golems, huh…?” (Armstrong)
Doushi, who can’t fly due to that device, was in a bind after getting surrounded by a large quantity of golems.
Since it took time to destroy them, he naturally ended up using a 『Magic Barrier』. As result his fighting strength apparently dropped earlier than usual as he used up more mana than expected.
“There was no honour for me, who was called the ultimate weapon, to win there either.” (Armstrong)
Doushi, who finished the battle after defeating a large amount of suicide bombing golems, reveals a remorseful expression.
“Apart from coming up with countermeasures in regards to that, we have to now think what we are going to do about the reward.” and such we talked about on the way back.
One week later we were suddenly summoned to the imperial palace.
As I kneeled in front of the throne with a finely-dressed Urquhart the 17th on it, he had a chamberlain bring a certain object.
“As I hear, you were arbitrarily made into an honorary Earl of this country by Therese? Since it’s limited to your lifetime, I shall recognise it, but I’d like Therese to consider things a bit more as well.” (Urquhart)
“That’s very right. Well, in the end it’s the shallow thinking of a woman.”
Urquhart the 17th started all of a sudden to criticize Therese.
It’s normal to call her 『Duchess Philip』 at such official venue, but ignoring even that, he addresses her as Therese without using any honorary titles.
She’s opposing him, so there’s likely parts where he looks down on her since she’s a woman, too.
The noble, who wore golden clothes next to him, is mimicking the emperor, but no matter how you look at him, he is no more than a flunky.
“I will pay the official reward after eliminating the rebel Duke Nürnberg. Until then, let’s see, you will be stationed in the city of Sakart and wait there.”
Once he says so, he handed me a worn-out coat.
It’s something that was respectfully brought by a single chamberlain on top of a tray.
“It’s the favourite coat of the emperor from seven generations ago. Since it’s a very great honour to be bestowed this, make sure to accept it and to take care of it.”
“At your command!”
Our audience came to an end with that.
It looks like they had it finish quickly since the outside is crammed with people.
“Earl-sama, is there anything special about this coat?” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san asks me as I’m checking the quality of the coat.
“Umm, since it’s something I was given by the emperor, I was wondering whether it’s in reality some expensive magic tool?”
“I think you know that it’s not the case, Earl-sama.” (Burkhart)
“Well, that’s certainly true, but maybe it has actually rarity value as it was created by a famous craftsman in the past, or it uses expensive materials…?”
“I think it’s well-made, but It’s a normal, old coat.” (Elise)
Since she’s making her own clothes, Elise is well-informed in that field.
She immediately appraises it as regular, order-made item.
“It’s a often practised custom since long ago. Penniless kings and emperors bestow their own and their ancestor’s daily items while calling it an honour.” (Armstrong)
“So it’s like that after all, huh?”
While feeling disappointed due to Doushi’s comment, we return to the field encampment.
Once we do, High Earl Mizuho cut something right in half on top of a wood-chopping support.
“High Earl Mizuho?”
“That worn-out coat for you, Earl Baumeister? I got this crude helmet.” (Mizuho)
High Earl Mizuho was apparently summoned by the emperor before us.
“Even though I’m grateful as he apparently recognises my peerage as High Earl Mizuho and the vassalage of Earl Mizuho Country, the reward will come after the subjugation of Duke Nürnberg. He told me that he will grant me the beloved helmet of the emperor from five generations ago for now!” (Mizuho)
Even though he has send out 15,000 soldiers and suffered quite a few losses, the reward to High Earl Mizuho was something similar to ours.
It might be natural for him to be enraged.
“Also, it seems that I’m to wait in the city of Sakart just like you, Earl Baumeister. I guess the residents feel anxious with us camping in the outskirts of the capital. It says plenty about him being blind to his own incompetence!” (Mizuho)
“Well, calm down. Let’s quickly withdraw from this ratty place.” (Wendelin)
“I guess you are right there. There’s no meaning in seeing the face of that idiot any longer.” (Mizuho)
Our royal army group and the Mizuho army hurriedly head from the capital’s outskirts to our appointed garrison in the city of Sakart.
Even though the imperial capital had been liberated at long last, the war situation became disadvantageous to us due to the trap of Duke Nürnberg.
Feeling reservations towards Therese as well, we stored our anger in the depths of our hearts for now as it’s currently a time to sit tight and wait for our chance for vengeance.