“Although I got a message earlier, you are early.” (Breithilde)
Arriving at the grassland where Margrave Breithilde’s army is stationed, I descended from the ship in advance with the spell <Flight> and met Margrave Breithilde and his party.
Given that an Earl is an Earl, even if he’s a newcomer, I’m an existence they have to pay attention to.
“We suppressed the rebellion within one day. You have my gratitude for the assistance by Burkhart-san.” (Wendelin)
“He is your bodyguard after all. Please don’t worry about it and use him as you wish.” (Breithilde)
Since it might be a setback to the development of the Savage Lands if something happens to me in the worst case, Margrave Breithilde has placed his treasured Burkhart-san with me.
Apparently he has entrusted his own protection to several magicians he has employed in addition.
“And, they are the rebels, but…” (Wendelin)
I talk about the details of the rebellion and them who were captured afterwards and then entered my service after getting persuaded skilfully by Klaus.
“As expected, they were personnel to cause disturbance in the rear from Browig’s side, huh?” (Breithilde)
“No, rather than personnel, they were treated as sacrificial pawns.” (Wendelin)
“The economy over there is stagnating after all. The are even getting rid of excess personnel now, aren’t they…?” (Breithilde)
Since they have been blocked from moving money, items and people to the development of the Savage Lands, third sons and below of lower retainer households have needlessly lost their destination.
Given that there are people left over, they likely judged it as profit, if they can prevent me from making a move while also using and getting rid of the people.
“It’s not like everyone who has been driven out can make a living as adventurer either. This problem exists in my family as well. I’m grateful to you, Earl Baumeister.” (Breithilde)
Besides the Helmut Kingdom, there are currently no noble households that are short on people except us.
Rarily there are people who aim to become nobles by reclaiming wasteland from the scratch, but they are uninteresting for people to become government service candidates because it’s unknown whether they will be able to become nobles or not. Since there’s nothing like a job magazine either, there are only few people who know about them, too.
In the end that means that it creates many young people of retainer households who are unable to get employment.
“It looks like they are quite cornered economically.” (Breithilde)
As Erw’s group also got off the airship while the two of use were talking, we immediately moved to the troop headquarters and continued our conversation there.
“Currently our battle formation is close to the border line of the Eschago Grasslands which are extending over the eastern and southern domains. Our military forces are around 4.000 and are compromised by a mix of seven households. Additional reinforcements will come in one more week, but with that it will be around 6.000 troops, I guess.” (Breithilde)
I have a feeling as if the numbers are low, but it can’t be helped as money goes flying by only preparing and deploying military forces.
The salary of the soldiers and their provisions will become the burden of the noble household below Margrave Breithilde that dispatched their feudal army .
“So, how about Browig’s side?” (Wendelin)
“They have 5.000 troops. That’s why it’s a stand-off currently.” (Breithilde)
Both sides don’t wish for a decisive battle. The damage will become big if they do such a thing.
Therefore it has naturally turned into a stand-off like this.
“Also, there’s another battlefield.” (Breithilde)
Next Margrave Breithilde spreads a detailed map of the boundary line’s region on top of a desk.
“It’s around 300 km Northwest from here. At that place the vassal, Associate Baron Henckel, of Margrave Browig and my vassal, Associate Baron Lanzel, are facing off against each other over a copper mine.” (Breithilde)
How it began originates from a recurrence of a rights dispute over a boundary area like here.
“The copper mine, which is located at the borderline of both territories, is boasting a splendid yield. Naturally they competed over it in the past…” (Breithilde)
There were many conflicts in the past, but for now they are sharing it evenly.
“That’s sudden.” (Wendelin)
Deploying their military forces, the Associate Baron Henckel household of Margrave Browig’s side drove the mine director of Associate Baron Lanzel household’s side and his guards out off the copper mine.
And now the military forces of Associate Baron Henckel’s household, who are occupying the copper mine, and the Associate Baron Lanzel’s household, who deployed their army to recover it, kept glaring at each other.
“Fortunately there haven’t been any casualties though.” (Breithilde)
It’s a blessing that there aren’t any casualties albeit it being a dispute, because it will become difficult to control the dispute if casualties appear.
“Eternal monopoly is something troublesome as well.” (Breithilde)
While letting off steam by fighting each other once in a while, both sides reluctantly agree to an even division.
Those were the true colours of this time’s rights dispute.
“That’s why I ask you to please use training weapons.” (Breithilde)
All of the soldier participating in this dispute apparently use dulled blades in both armies.
I never thought they would be that thorough for the sake of avoiding casualties.
“Eh? Training weapons?” (Wendelin)
“It’s alright. They are loaded on Henrik-dono’s ship.” (Moritz)
Moritz, who’s at my side, informed me that that a number matching the people had been loaded on Henrik’s ship.
I’m told that Thorsten made a smart move and stored them there.
“Since Thorsten-sama is Minister Edgar’s esteemed son, he is well-informed about such matters, too.” (Moritz)
“That saves us, but we don’t have the share for those guys.” (Wendelin)
“If it’s the share of around 20 soldiers, I will sell you my spares.” (Breithilde)
“Thank you very much.” (Wendelin)
Because I was able to secure weapons for our new subordinate unit too, Margrave Breithilde continues the talks again.
“Of course, even if you dull the blades, they are similar to blunt weapons. There will be deaths if people are hit at the wrong spots. Their number will be considerably low though.” (Breithilde)
Decreasing the number by capturing the opponents, they will afterwards have negotiations and settle it with money.
Similar to the nobles of medieval Europe, they plan to resolve it with ransom.
It was apparently normal for there to not be more than one casualty in both armies although they fought if it was the battlefield of medieval knights and mercenaries as the core. (T/N: Not sure if the author means medieval Europe here or this world. In case it’s former, that’s bullshit, in case it’s latter is contradicting the earlier statement…)
Rather than killing it’s more profitable to capture the opponents and demand ransom.
Even the kingdom’s side recommends behind closed doors to battle while avoiding casualties as much as possible.
“With such feelings, the noble households, who are engaging in the quarrel in the boundary area, on both sides exceed more than 80 households. This time the noble households of Margrave Browig’s camp suddenly dispatched their troops and occupied and plundered the concession of the noble households under my control. As we must take those back, our allies have gathered their troops and now the stand-off continues. Although it’s the mobilization of such numbers, there are dozens to several hundred smaller battlefields, but there are also around 40 places for them.” (Breithilde)
Certainly, a great number of memos was written on the map which had been spread out by Margrave Breithilde.
The troops of Knight ○○ household are confronting the troops of Knight ○○ household who suddenly occupied the shared woodlands or Associate Baron ○○ household’s military forces have arbitrarily occupied the area of the ○○ riverbank prohibiting the coming and going of people for the sake of waiting for the arbitration and the troops of Knight ○○ household, which are their opponents in the dispute, are confronting them by kicking up a fuss once they withdraw the soldier from the riverbank.
After the nobles of the Breithilde household’s side were beaten one-sidedly due to the majority of the Browig household’s side’s surprise attack being beyond expectations, they are itching for an opportunity to retake their shares of concessions after gathering their troops.
“Are there any noble households who have clashed with their opponents?” (Wendelin)
“No, not yet.” (Breithilde)
This is the troublesome part of the disputes here.
I didn’t grasp it from the copper mine at the beginning, but since those were disputes to extend the territory a bit or over how much water to pull from the river source, a genuine clash will exceed the budget if the casualties increase.
“On the other side, if we don’t dispatch soldiers to those places, the other side’s control over the concessions will be approved. Not dispatching soldiers is an impossible choice. We have to consider the nobles’ honour.” (Breithilde)
I can understand that since there were countless territory disputes between fellow countries in my previous life as well.
Since they would demand even more excessive things taking advantage of their opponent, if they had a weak attitude of 『so-so』 like Japan, it’s probably natural to confront them by sending out an army.
I see, nobility seems to cost quite a bit of money.
“If it’s like that, aren’t they a bit clumsy?”
“Which household? Although the occupation could be prevented by sensing it ahead of time, it will be our complete defeat afterwards. If it comes to the arbitration, we will have an one-sided disadvantage.” (Breithilde)
Browig’s side, which suddenly advanced their troops, is evil, but the concessions and territories, they are competing over, will practically end up being ruled by Browig’s camp.
You could say that this would naturally become a one-sided disadvantage in the arbitration as well.
“Do you want to take it back to some extent?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, but that’s also difficult.” (Breithilde)
The feudal army of Margrave Browig, who’s the person at the heart of the matter, is waiting in the rear of the Browig’s camp.
Since you can expect him to dispatch his military forces in response, if Margrave Breithilde sends out his feudal army, which is likewise kept in the rear, as reinforcement, he can’t currently do anything but confronting them like this.
“How troublesome… As it is now, it will turn into a disadvantage if it comes to the arbitration…” (Breithilde)
“Is that their aim?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, it is.” (Breithilde)
Because dissatisfaction has appeared due to missing out on our development rights, he is likely restraining the complaints of his followers with such measures.
Also the money, which has been saved up by the Margrave Browig household, is expended on military movements and thus circulates into the territories.
I didn’t know of the possibility of this kind of a public works-like aspect.
“Then I will get them back.” (Wendelin)
“Can I leave it to you?” (Breithilde)
Flying to the dispute areas in turns with the small airship we have chartered, we will defeat the troops of the nobles from Browig’s side and capture them.
It will be even more convenient if he dispatches his feudal army as reinforcements for his own camp in the middle of it.
If we can charge a high ransom by capturing them, Margrave Browig will regret having meddled with us, too.
“Thank you very much then.” (Breithilde)
Receiving the map from Margrave Breithilde, we quickly hurried to the locations where the nobles’ military forces faced off against each other with the small magic airship.
“Doushi isn’t participating this time after all.” (Erwin)
“As it is a dispute between the South and East, it will become a problem if the Royal Head Magician comes to support the South.” (Henrik)
“I do understand that as well, but in the case of doushi it seems also possible that he would participate by saying something like 『It looks interesting』.” (Erwin)
“No way!” (Henrik)
“No… Since it’s that father, it’s possible…” (Henrik)
It’s been a half day on board the ship while Erw and Henrik have such chats.
The ship safely arrived at one of the battlefield.
As it was explained by Margrave Breithilde in the beginning, the copper mine, they are competing over, is close to the border between the Associate Baron Henckel household and the the territory of Associate Baron Lanzel’s household.
Certainly, the feudal army of Associate Baron Lanzel with its around 300 soldiers has set up camp in front of the copper mine right at its border and is monitoring it.
If you properly look at the copper mine, the side of Associate Baron Henckel’s household soldiers had stationed sentries in several places.
“Welcome! Please come in.”
Both armies were surprised by the magic airship suddenly visiting at first, but once I sent Erw as messenger to the troop headquarters of Associate Baron Lanzel’s feudal army, the person himself came right away to greet us.
Associate Baron Lanzel was an ordinary, around 40-years-old ojii-san.
“Reinforcements from Margrave Breithilde-dono, is it?” (Lanzel)
“Yes. Let’s recapture the copper mine right away.” (Wendelin)
“Eh? Will it be alright?” (Lanzel)
Although he approves of the recapture of the copper mine, he wants to be spared from having too many victims, too.
Once I looked at Associate Baron Lanzel’s face, I was able to grasp that he is thinking like that right away.
“In short, there won’t be any problem if both sides have zero casualties, right?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. That would be the optimal solution.” (Lanzel)
If that’s the case, it’s simple.
Just like at the occasion with the rebels, it will be fine to capture after paralyzing them with an Area Stun.
We shouldn’t suffer an unexpected defeat either, if they can’t detect us.
“Well, then first comes the execution of the agreement. Brier-dono.” (Lanzel)
“Ah, yes. I was ordered by Margrave Breithilde-sama to accompany Earl Baumeister-sama. I work in military administration.” (Brier)
On a certain battlefield a certain problem with assisting the noble in leading the army occurred.
That is their share and recognition of military gains and achievements.
There were quite a few nobles who tried to steal the achievements of a noble, who came as reinforcement, once the war ended despite being the ones rescued after them having come to assist. That was the cause of many troubles springing forth.
Therefore Margrave Breithilde has dispatched an military administrator to formally record and recognize such things as military gains in this time’s case.
The military administrator who was dispatched this time by Margrave Breithilde is called Brier-shi. He was a serious looking fifty-years old man.
His character is truly bureaucrat-like.
Also there’s an agreement regarding the share of military gains.
It’s about the rights over such things like prisoners and the equipment, provisions, money and goods possessed by the military forces.
There was something like a sharing percentage for stuff like the ransom of the prisoners themselves.
“Everyone, since they will become paralysed and will be unable to move, please help with their arrest.” (Wendelin)
“As expected of the Dragon Slaying Hero-dono…” (Lanzel)
It will become a Area Stun with a vast range contrary to the one at the rebellion suppression, but as there were no parts of selecting the range and targets, it was a job that entered the category of being rather easy from my point of view.
The copper mine was large, however the area with people was limited.
Even if it’s me by myself, I should be able to cope with it plentifully.
“I leave the help with the capture of the paralysed soldiers of Associate Baron Henckel’s side, the care of the captured prisoners and the defence of the retaken copper mine to you.” (Wendelin)
“Of course.” (Lanzel)
First off, it will take time to do that with just our members and second, since the costs for sheltering the prisoners is included in the ransom, there won’t be any problems if they can receive a payback afterwards.
Third, according to Burkhart-san’s detection, it seems that around 300 soldiers of Associate Baron Henckel’s side are crammed into the copper mine.
If all of them become prisoners, the defence of the copper mine shouldn’t be that difficult.
“Won’t you do something like occupying the territory of Associate Baron Henckel at this chance?” (Wendelin)
“No, it’s an unwritten law since the old days. It’s assumed to be an act close to a taboo.” (Lanzel)
At the time when Associate Baron Henckel’s side came invading in the beginning, they would have been able to occupy the rest of Associate Baron Lanzel’s territory as well, if they felt like it, but the other side didn’t do that.
No, it seems they weren’t able to do it.
“To the bitter end we are only fighting over the interest of the copper mine. Otherwise there would be no end to the dispute.” (Lanzel)
If they entered each other’s territories, killed their residents, raped the women, devastated the fields and burned the houses, then there wouldn’t be an end to the resentments.
In the end it took the shape of the dispute revolving around the copper mine.
It’s apparently the same for their fellow noble households who are fighting over other interests, too.
“If the dispute becomes too violent, intervention by the royal family has to be expected as well.” (Lanzel)
In that case they can’t expect a advantageous arbitration.
“The copper mine, which is the source of the dispute, will be confiscated by the kingdom or such. Back in the old days such arbitrations weren’t rare, it seems…” (Lanzel)
They are only competing over the interests with both households.
Showing such stance, they are preventing the intervention of another power.
Their patron and someone who governs the region like Margrave Breithilde provide help to the nobles in the same area. The nobles, who received assistance, help out with the stability of the area in return.
It’s been such kind of relationship since long ago, it seems.
“Well, then it’s the conclusion of the agreement.” (Lanzel)
In the end the Earl Baumeister household won’t be related to the rights of the copper mine at all.
In exchange the Earl Baumeister household’s side takes all the belongings of the Associate Baron Henckel’s feudal army, who retired from the battle, and the rights of the prisoners.
Afterwards the Associate Baron Lanzel household will charge our side for the money it took to take care of the prisoners they were entrusted with.
Since both sides reached an agreement, although there were some other minor supplements as well, Brier-shi quickly recorded it on a parchment used for contracts and the Associate Baron Lanzel household and me signed it.
Paper was already spread among the common people in this world, but there were many situations where they even now use parchments for things like such important contract documents.
“Well then, let’s get to it right away.” (Wendelin)
There are many places which have a similar state of affairs as this place here. In order to resolve it as quickly as possible, we decide to start the operation immediately.
“Are there any magicians?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. At the time they attacked the copper mine, there was a parson releasing fire arrows. But I think that it’s probably a temporarily hired adventurer, however…” (Lanzel)
It seems that if it’s the rank of an Associate Baron, they very rarely employ a single magician of elementary level.
According to Associate Baron Lanzel, there’s still no such news that a magician was made a retainer by Associate Baron Henckel. “It’s no more than one who was temporarily employed in addition to this time’s dispatch of troops”, he said.
“It’s meaningless since he will become paralysed alongside them though.” (Wendelin)
If it was a magician at Katharina’s level, it would be possible for them to resist the Area Stun and counter-attack us.
However, going by the evidences, it doesn’t seem to be necessary to worry about that.
“Are the preparations alright?” (Lanzel)
Once the feudal army led by Associate Baron Lanzel and the Earl Baumeister feudal army led by Thomas and Moritz make an appearance in front of the copper mine, the soldiers of the defending Associate Baron Henckel’s camp get tense.
“(Let’s go!)” (Wendelin)
However, that tension ended up getting interrupted by the Area Stun following right after.
Paralysing everyone who’s in the mine, they lost the ability to move from the spot.
Passing the order to both armies, the perfect occupation of the copper mine and the arrest of the paralysed Associate Baron Henckel’s feudal army begins.
“Well then. Can I leave the rest to you?” (Wendelin)
My turn has already ended. There’s no necessity for Associate Baron Lanzel to act as head of the army either.
That’s because he will steal his subordinates’ work if he butts in any more.
Accordingly, taking out a table and chairs from my magic bag, I invited him and his close aides to tea.
Wilma sets the table and chairs and Elise begins to brew tea with the tea set I took out.
By the way, Erw, Ina and Luise accompanied Moritz’ group as observers.
It was in preparation for the case where there are soldier which haven’t been paralysed in the worst case.
Also, Burkhart-san and Katharina sat down on a chair and drank tea as well.
They wouldn’t be able to do anything if they went to the mine anyway. High-ranking magicians are welcome if they appear at such tea parties.
That’s because the tea parties between fellow nobles are quite troublesome.
Erw has gone to the actual site as retainer. Even though they are my fiancées, Ina and Luise held back since their social standing is low and also headed for the actual site.
Given that Wilma is Minister Edgar’s adopted daughter, she remained behind and helped Elise. It isn’t necessary to talk about Elise as she is my future first wife.
Associate Baron Lanzel and his aides feel grateful for Elise herself pouring them their teas.
Klaus is casually partaking in the tea party as well.
There reason was that there were no retainer-like people on my side at this tea party between fellow nobles.
Although Klaus was merely employed by me personally, it was also true that he looks retainer-like if he’s next to me.
“I’m sorry Earl Baumeister-dono’s lady has to pour the tea herself.” (Lanzel)
“You don’t have to mind since she’s still my fiancée.” (Wendelin)
Once we put out stuff like the sweets and chocolates we got from Artur-san next, they ate them while looking very interested.
“I heard the rumours, but those are indeed delicious sweets. Is it alright if I also bring back some for the children?” (Lanzel)
“Please feel free.” (Wendelin)
Once we pass a somewhat larger quantity as present, Associate Baron Lanzel passed it to a subordinate soldier boy who is looking delightful.
“By the way, was it a sudden occupation?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. Back in the old days there was regularly strife over the concession rates of that mine, but…” (Lanzel)
Naturally the claim of both sides is 『That mine is ours!』.
However, since that was realistically impossible, they decided that the Associate Baron Henckel’s camp gets the northern side and Associate Baron Lanzel’s camp the southern.
“And yet there still dispute over it?” (Wendelin)
“Let’s call it a kind of venting…” (Lanzel)
When there’s something like a succession of lordship, the new feudal lord dispatches his soldiers and confronts the other party with the reasoning of showing his strength.
“Still, they properly announced it.” (Lanzel)
『This mine is ours! Wait and wash your necks as we will send our soldiers any day soon now!』
Half of it seems to be something like a beauty of style.
With that both sides dispatch their soldiers and confront each other at another border line. Each side sends 5 representatives and they carry out a contest of strength.
The winning side is allowed to mine at more profitable spots until the next troop dispatch.
“There’s a chance to get exquisite ore at the border line. We are able to obtain the right to mine there.” (Lanzel)
“It’s completely a scrimmage.” (Wendelin)
“It seems that there were more than 100 casualties on both sides when it became a bloody battlefield in the past. Therefore we obtain it with a contest without valuable retainers and young residents dying. What formed this kind of system is probably the wisdom of our predecessors.” (Lanzel)
It might be a smart choice since there’s no point if the miners die even if they get to dig at the valuable spots in the mine.
It was a surprise attack and a complete occupation of the mine.
Though it seems there were many places with the same rules among the other fellow nobles as well, all of them were violated. Everyone was bewildered.
“It’s the Margrave Browig household after all?” (Wendelin)
“It looks like it.” (Lanzel)
Two hours later Erw’s group returned and reported the successful capture of everyone who was in the mine.
Also, stuff like the water and food, prepared for a long confrontation, the weapons, living-ware, the rewarded gems and the money; apparently a large amount of goods was successfully seized.
“Lord Lanzel. The Junior Commader Fricks-dono has joined the mine’s defences.” (Erwin)
“Got it.” (Lanzel)
Associate Baron Lanzel coolly nodded like a noble to the report of Erw.
“The defence is alright. Associate Baron Henckel’s military forces are…” (Erwin)
“Yes. Since it was reduced by more than 80%.” (Lanzel)
As 300 guards were forced to surrender in the cage-like mine, it must be futile for him to do anything with the remaining war potential of several dozens of soldiers.
At the present time it was natural for the Associate Baron Henckel household to have lost.
“Moreover, we captured Associate Baron Henckel.” (Erwin)
“He was at that place!?” (Lanzel)
According to Associate Baron Lanzel’s information, Associate Baron Henckel wasn’t in the mine as he was taking command in the rear.
Therefore he is surprised to hear of Associate Baron Henckel himself getting captured.
“Did he come for an inspection?” (Wendelin)
“That’s probably it. I think it’s fortunate for Earl Baumeister-dono as the ransom will increase.” (Lanzel)
For the time being it was successful, but the road ahead is still long.
According to the map I got from Margrave Breithilde, there are still several tens of places with a similar dispute to this place.
Also, there’s also the possibility that Margrave Browig will send his main army as reinforcement.
Although they are confronting Margrave Breithilde’s main army, it’s also possible possible that they will dispatch reinforcements from another place.
If that happened, it would be necessary for us to oppose those military forces as well.
“Associate Baron Lanzel-dono, we will head to the next battlefield. Is the defence side alright with this?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. Even if Margrave Browig’s army planned to re-take the mine by sending reinforcements, it will be difficult unless it’s more than 1.000 soldiers.” (Lanzel)
The law that the attacking camp needs more than 3 times that of the defending camp seems to exist in this word as well.
And, even for the side of Margrave Browig’s army it’s pointless to suffer heavy casualties just to take this mine.
“Even for Associate Baron Henckel, if he considers the remaining forces, the best he can do is probably to maintain the public order. There seems to be a son who will succeed him, but he is likely very busy with ruling the territory.” (Lanzel)
Apparently among the ones captured in the mine there were the retainers who support the ruling of the Associate Baron Henckel territory.
Naturally that means a shortage in labour.
Also, the majority of the common soldiers were recruited from the farmers of the territory.
The possibility of the productivity and tax yields in the Associate Baron Henckel’s territory dropping was high with their absence.
It’s definitely “misfortunes never come singly.”
“As it is, we will defend the mine to the last until the arbitration.” (Lanzel)
“Then I shall leave the care-taking of the prisoners to you.” (Wendelin)
“Please leave it to me.” (Lanzel)
Once I left the care of the prisoners to Associate Baron Lanzel, we started to move to the next dispute site. A few hours later we discovered dozens of troops occupying a sandbank in a river and a matching number of troops glaring at them from the riverbank while being atop the magic airship.
“Umm, Lord Jähring, who has stationed his forces on the sandbank, is from the Browig household’s side while the one who is restraining him from the southern riverbank is our ally, Lord Becker.”
It looks like Brier-shi, who is accompanying us as military administrator, usually works as crest official. He apparently remembers all the names, faces and the personal histories of any insignificant southern noble’s head, their sons and their main retainers.
In any case, there are many nobles in this country.
Therefore high-ranking noble households always employ a crest official. They lecture their lords about any information before meeting another noble for the first time.
Him having become a military administrator this time was for the sake of supplementing me as I don’t know many of the nobles.
“Both appear to possess Knight peerages and are nobles managing modest territories.” (Brier)
He doesn’t call them trifling or poor directly. Calling it modest, it seemed that a crest official of a high-ranking noble household got refined parts.
Being entitled with the job called crest official, those people had a specific task since the crests were drawn on the armours of enemy nobles on the battlefield in the past.
Since there’s no war right now, they gather the information of a great number of allied nobles and their families in the same country and teach that information to their lord as necessary.
Since they remember information related to 1.000 to 10.000 nobles, they have been passing on the secret of memorizing such amount for generations within their families.
The story method, the way of using the first letter of a word or a rhyming game, that’s the secret, I guess?
If comparing their memory to the ordinary me, it’s a very enviable ability.
“They are glaring at each other here as well…?” (Wendelin)
It seems that both armies are glaring at each other as they are disagreeing over the ownership of the sandbank.
In the past the river split the territories on either side, but one day a flood came and the sandbank appeared.
Naturally both of them claimed their territorial rights and disputed over it.
“Even though something like agricultural land will bring little profit…” (Erwin)
Erw sighed as he looked at the sandbank which lacks surplus space and was encamped by dozens of soldiers.
“However, isn’t it the noble-sama’s who want to claim it?”
For a noble, who possesses territory, it’s out of the question to say something like 『Here you go, it’s all yours』. However, as there shouldn’t be any gain even if they fought over it, both sides agreed to keep the sandbank as off-limits until now.
“Still, they are disagreeing over it since a fey years ago.”
Splitting it as agricultural land isn’t possible, but apparently one can catch a lot of fish if fishing from that sandbank. Quarrels appeared between the residents of both sides who entered the sandbank at their own volitions.
“After that they entered the sandbank during the night and caught fish there. As they aren’t getting caught, this brawl-like dispute won’t cease.”
From my point of view it’s 『Such level of differences…』, but from the viewpoint of the fief’s population actually living there, it’s a critical issue deciding whether their livelihood becomes abundant or not.
Both nobles also have their pride and couldn’t afford to not dispatch their soldiers, I guess.
“But, an occupation of the sandbank is too rash.” (Brier)
Brier-shi sums it up in a brief comment, however I wonder what Margrave Browig is planning to even occupy such location?
“Let’s settle it quickly, huh…?” (Wendelin)
The procedure doesn’t change from before.
After paralysing them with Area Stun, they will be taken prisoners and the forces of our ally, Lord Becker, will occupy the sandbank.
“This time I will do it.” (Katharina)
With it being a sandbank this time, it’s not largely spacious like the copper mine.
Therefore I decide to leave it to Katharina.
Once she cast the spell, the troops of Lord Jähring’s side, who were on the sandbank, collapsed and lost the ability to move. All of them were captured with the whole process taking less than an hour.
“You helped me greatly.” (Becker)
Being thanked by Lord Becker, we leave the prisoners and the occupied territory in his hands and head to the next point.
I will omit the rest as it’s the same process everywhere. With Katharina, Burkhart-san and me completely paralysing the opponents, we repeated the process of capturing the enemy forces together with our allies on-site.
“He appeared! The Dragon-Slaying Hero! I myself am called 『Fire Wall』… Ah!”
Occasionally there were also magicians who resisted the Area Stun.
However, such fellows get knocked out right away and join the others as prisoners.
“How about at least listening to him giving his name?”
“That’s a waste of time.”
The magician, who calls himself 『Fire Wall』, has mana to the extent of being between elementary and intermediate level.
Even if I compete with him after his introduction, he likely wouldn’t keep up for a minute.
He had been caught by being entangled with my electric whip spell which I christened as Stun Whip and lost consciousness right away.
“If they are first-class, they won’t get knocked down while introducing themselves.” (Burkhart)
While looking at the fainted 『Fire Wall』 who gets tied by Moritz’ men, Burkhart-san gave a bitter comment.
“The number of magicians is fairly low.” (Katharina)
Katharina appears to think that the number of magicians employed by the noble’s camp is scarce.
Also, their levels are low, too.
“They aren’t able to employ someone like an intermediate magician that easily.”
Almost no intermediate magicians are employed for short term in disputes between fellow, insignificant nobles.
“They are making easy money with their adventurer occupation or are employed by a high-ranking noble.”
As the rest is people like Baron Rembrandt, who makes plenty of profit with his special magic, they ignore insignificant nobles as they can’t pay the remuneration anyway.
“As result the ones who appear are questionable folks like 『Fire Wall』-kun. Even that takes a large sum to employ.”
Even the degree of being between elementary and intermediate level is useful to an extent as they can become a trump card in such disputes.
“In a dispute between several dozens, he is a magician who can produce a fire wall. He is very valuable. He simply suffered the bad luck of encountering us this time.” (Burkhart)
As Burkhart-san says, usually magicians like us don’t appear in such circumstances either.
It was 『Fire Wall』-kun’s misfortune this time.
“Also, for around 10 years the eastern area had a poor crop of magicians for some reason.”
Somehow almost no newcomers with mana above intermediate level debuted.
“Since there aren’t enough magicians, they are generally bound to the area where they were born. Even if the eastern nobles tempt them with money…”
That means they won’t come since they put priority on their home area.
“Boy, you are the biggest upstart in the recent years for my master, who is on bad terms with them. I think that Margrave Browig got panicked as well.” (Burkhart)
Hence he sabotaged me by rising a rebellion.
However, I think he did something stupid.
If he hadn’t done such a thing, I might have refused the dispatch of troops since I’m busy with the development of my territory.
“If he hadn’t done something like disturbing our rear, I might not have been summoned either.” (Wendelin)
“No, I believe that you would have been summoned either way.” (Burkhart)
Since I as noble was made a fool by Margrave Browig, it was definitely wrong if I didn’t get revenge by sending out soldiers, it seems.
“As consequence of that, a large number of prisoners and even the concessions, they possessed from before, are taken away, huh…?”
In fact, the nobles who suffered damages will likely blame Margrave Browig who ordered the occupations and troop dispatches if it becomes disadvantageous for them during the arbitration afterwards.
There was also the possibility of them loosing out if they don’t even get a compensation for their losses.
“At any rate, the entire dispute area will return to be in our ally’s side’s favour.”
After that we continued to intervene in the disputes between fellow nobles, who were glaring at each other at the border line from the West to the East for around half a month. Paralysing the Browig household’s side’s troops with Area Stuns, we successfully acquired a large number of prisoners.
Even things like the territories and concessions, which were the disputed items, were all occupied by our allied camp and left to them to defend causing deep distress for Browig household’s side.
Once we returned to the Eschago Grasslands where Margrave Breithilde’s main army was stationed after finishing our job, we were greeted by Margrave Breithilde himself with a happy expression.
“I heard the reports. It seems that you scared the hell out of Margrave Browig.” (Breithilde)
“Only in ransom we are able to charge quite the sum.”
“Although there are no casualties, the number of prisoners is enormous.”
The troops, sent out by the nobles of the Browig household’s side, have become prisoners after all of them were paralysed with Area Stuns.
There are also many noble family heads and leaders. That means we will be able to get a lot of ransom.
“However, it looks like that made them seethe with anger terribly.”
When I match my sight with Margrave Breithilde by looking at the front, the feudal army of Margrave Browig, who confronted us by taking quite the distance, had closed in to a range that one could see them with the naked eyes.
At the same time a large amount of knights and hired mercenaries are visible within the enemy army.
“My name is Reichardt Steinauer and I’m hailed as one of his men by Margrave Browig. I demand an one-to-one fight with a hero of Margrave Breithilde’s feudal army.” (Reichardt)
Young knights and ronins with letters of commendation introduce themselves one after the other and hoist their weapons up.
However, their weapons were after all practise ones with dulled edges.
“The contest of strength has started.” (Breithilde)
“Contest of strength?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, it’s something we came up with after being taught by the previous horrible tragedy.” (Breithilde)
“It was the dispute in my youth. In those days I wielded my spear with desperation.” (Klaus)
Klaus, who is recently putting great efforts, to a disagreeable degree, in stuff like accounting and managing goods, food and follow-ups on our new unit, speaks up here.
Which reminds me, he should have participated in a territorial dispute, where many casualties appeared, a few decades ago.
“Right. Klaus-san participated at that time.” (Breithilde)
Margrave Breithilde is aware of the details from the incident with the rebellion the other day.
However, because it’s my decision how I judge Klaus, he doesn’t seem to be worried with him being close-by.
“I survived somehow is the feeling I had.” (Klaus)
Even now the cause is unknown, but suddenly both armies, who glared at each other, moved and clashed. Apparently there were more than 100 casualties on both sides.
Since the weapons weren’t practise ones at that time, there was a steep increase in killed and wounded soldiers.
“After that we put significance into reflecting.” (Breithilde)
Apparently it was decided to use training weapons in a secret agreement.
Also, the promotion of one-to-one fights in a sham battle style.
The hired mercenaries as well, if they display great military prowess in front of their masters and the nobles, it will connect to rewards, promotions and getting permanently employed.
However, since there are also cases where the evaluation falls conversely, the participation is something to be careful with.
“Everybody, we will go and confront them.” (Breithilde)
Trying to answer the Browig camp’s demands, the Margrave Breithilde feudal army as well as the mercenaries and knights from the noble households, which act alongside him, leave.
While both armies watch, dozens of people start a sham battle of attacks. Those who reach a conclusion right away and in opposite those who exchange long sword attacks; various scenes unfolded.
Basically once they are pushed off their horse and lose, it finishes with them becoming prisoners.
Looking at the progress of the battle, it seemed to be mostly even.
“Ah! Thomas has appeared.”
Thomas, who is the leader of the new unit, went at an one-to-one fight against a knight who isn’t too different in age from him.
“He is the superior one.” (Wendelin)
When I check with the binoculars, the fight’s progress is tilting towards Thomas’ side.
A short while later he pushes his opponent off their horse and with the sword thrust at him, his opponent becomes a prisoner.
“We had something like horses?” (Wendelin)
“As I was told that they are necessary, I lent some.” (Klaus)
“That is, thanks…” (Wendelin)
For the sake of the soldiers who want to participate in the one-on-one fights, Klaus went and borrowed several of the spare horses.
My face had a slight cramp due to the too perfect preparations.
“That man called Thomas is skilled with the horse as well.”
I knew when I employed him, but Thomas was an useful personnel indeed.
Sword, spear, bow and horse as well as calculation and education; to a certain degree he is skilled at anything.
He isn’t a genius, but he apparently put great efforts into acquiring everything at his free time since his time of living at home.
If I increase the things I’m capable of, I will get an independent household someday, too, is the method how he encouraged himself to put effort into it.
Even as commander of the new unit, he is above the standard. Actually I wanted such personnel very strongly.
“It seems that he is returning after having captured the knight of the Browig household’s side.”
“Will you give him a letter of commendation and a reward?”
This is also something to boost the morale, but once an ally captured an enemy knight, Margrave Breithilde and the nobles, who are participating with other feudal armies, began to write a letter of commendation with pens which were prepared by their close aides.
When, where, who and whom they captured in the one-on-one battle. They record those information to give them a letter of commendation and rewards befitting their achievements.
“Does such method boost the morale…?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. The letter of commendation is an item proving their own military exploits. If it’s mercenaries who aim to enter into government service, there’s too many of those.” (Klaus)
As expected, Klaus understands it well with his old man’s wisdom.
He gives me advices with a slightly odious degree of perfect timing.
“It looks like Thomas-dono came back.” (Klaus)
Was it very vexing to get captured?
Leading the knight of Browig’s camp whose glaring expression doesn’t vanish, Thomas returns.
“Good work out there. Umm, what’s the name of that knight who became your prisoner?” (Wendelin)
“It’s Christhart Richard.” (Thomas)
“Hey, Klaus.” (Wendelin)
Richard should have been Thomas family name before he changed it.
In other words, that prisoners is Thomas’ elder brother.
“Although he hasn’t served a lord before, Täufer-dono’s military exploits are magnificent.”
Täufer, Klaus speaks of, is the new family name Thomas had chosen.
Since the person called Thomas shouldn’t exist in the Richard household anymore right after he was made into a sacrificial pawn anyway, Klaus had him think about a new family name as fresh start.
“Täufer, you say! You are my younger brother!” (Christhart)
It looks like he is getting agitated after becoming a prisoner. This man called Christhart is speaking of foolish things.
“Christhart-dono, although Thomas Täufer is my retainer, you call him your younger brother?” (Wendelin)
“Of course! Thomas is!” (Christhart)
Finally he realized his verbal slip.
In order for Thomas to participate in the rebellion in the Knight Baumeister territory, the Richard household erased his existence.
Despite that, he is calling that erased man his younger brother.
“Is Thomas really your younger brother?” (Wendelin)
“No… he just resembles him, I think.” (Christhart)
It’s a weird story for someone to resemble a person who shouldn’t exist.
It seems that being captured after losing the one-on-one fight with his younger brother disturbed him considerably.
“No, I didn’t see such man!” (Christhart)
“Is that so…?” (Wendelin)
With Christhart’s words Thomas understood that he couldn’t return to the Richard household anymore.
Albeit only a bit, he wore a sad expression.
“Master, the letter of commendation and the reward for Täufer-dono.” (Klaus)
“Ah, right.” (Wendelin)
I quickly handed him the letter of commendation I wrote with a pen and gave him a steel sword I bought after being taught by Erw previously from my magic bag.
As quite high-priced article knights apply their family crest on this level of sword and always carry it with them.
“I’m looking forward to your work from here on out, Thomas.” (Wendelin)
“Thank you, it’s my pleasure.” (Thomas)
“Also… (Klaus, I don’t know the customary monetary reward!)” (Wendelin)
“(It’s 2~3 gold coins).” (Klaus)
I also give him gold coins, but since I’m not knowledgeable about the customary monetary reward, I quietly asked Klaus.
It would have been fine if I asked Margrave Breithilde if I didn’t know. In that case I planned to tell him “Serves you right” or such, but that guy knew after all.
“(You know it well.)” (Wendelin)
“(It’s an old man’s wisdom.)” Klaus)
Since I grasped the customary monetary reward, I quietly put 5 gold coins in a bag and pass it to him in the name of raising Thomas’ loyalty here.
If I splurge a bit here, the others of the new unit should do their best as well.
However, the average is 2 million to 3 million Japanese Yen.
Given that disputes aren’t that rare, even nobles hand out rewards while splurging from the money they saved at those times.
All the more since there are onlookers in the surroundings, too, I decide to think.
“I will also give you permission to participate in the marriage interview meeting.” (Wendelin)
I said that at the end with a mood like it doesn’t matter, but Thomas, who is a man around 30 years, returns while floating a smile with a step that looks like he’s even skipping.
As Klaus has said, he is womanly for a young man.
“When I see such a scene, Earl Baumeister joining the circle of nobles rings true.” (Breithilde)
Margrave Breithilde is absorbed in a deep emotion as he looks at my appearance.
“By the way, where’s Erw?” (Wendelin)
The female camp was preparing the meals in our encampment together with other noble ladies, but somehow I didn’t see the figure of Erw who should be my guard.
“If it’s Erwin-sama, he’s over there.” (Klaus)
In the direction Klaus pointed at I could see Erw having gone to the front and fighting in a one-on-one with a knight of the Browig camp.
“That idiot…” (Wendelin)
“Since Erwin-kun is young, he probably wants some achievements too.” (Breithilde)
It’s as Margrave Breithilde says, but since it will be troublesome to get Erw back if he is captured, I didn’t want him to join the sham battle.
“It looks like he has the advantage.”
Erw’ opponent wasn’t as strong as expected.
Once they crossed swords for around 10 minutes, he fell off the horse due to Erw and was captured.
“Master, I captured the enemy knight.” (Erwin)
Erw returns proudly while calling me master since there are other nobles here as well.
The captured prisoner had a somehow frustrated expression because he lost to a youngster.
“You idiot! Don’t appear in one-on-one battles!” (Wendelin)
“But, I want achievements!” (Erwin)
Given that achievements are achievements, I properly gave him a letter of commendation and a reward, but I didn’t forget to drop a fist on his head first.
Like this my first peculiar war days continued, however it didn’t seem like there were any signs for this dispute to come to an end either.