“Are you alright, Wend?”
Me, Burkhart-san and Katharina, the three of us cast an Area Stun on the whole army of Margrave Browig and fainted after using up all our mana.
I remember that far, but I have no memories beyond that point.
Even though the enemy came attacking in the night, currently the light of day is radiantly shining. It seems like I slept for quite the while.
“What about Browig’s army?” (Wendelin)
“They were utterly defeated.” (Ina)
Ina, who is anxiously staring at me who had fainted, explained the events after we lost consciousness.
“The wide-range Area Stun was a success.” (Ina)
Apparently it bore fruit for us to utilize several tens of magic gems after deciding our respective divisions.
However, all of the magic gems, Ina had shown me, were completely drained.
“Burkhart-san and Katharina are also sleeping due to mana exhaustion.” (Ina)
“I see. But, what happened to Elise’s Light of Miracles?” (Wendelin)
“There are many wounded. Since almost everyone of Browig’s army became unable to fight, Margrave Breithilde asked her to put priority on treating the wounded.” (Ina)
Given that we only fainted from mana exhaustion, they apparently let us sleep just like that.
“There were this many injuries?” (Wendelin)
“Just the count of casualties is close to 100 people…” (Ina)
I recall the situation yesterday night.
In order to get all of Browig’s army affected by the Area Stun, we drew them in as far as possible, but before that, Margrave Browig’s army released many arrows.
“There are people who have been hit in bad places. It seems there were 3 casualties among our allies, too.” (Ina)
Since Margrave Breithilde’s army responded to the attack by firing arrows, many casualties have appeared on the side of Browig’s army.
Rather, since a lot of arrows came our way as we were lying in wait for them, it looks like Margrave Browig’s camp has more casualties due to arrows.
“Did the casualties concentrate around the knights?” (Wendelin)
At the they had been galloping on their horses at a considerable speed, they were paralysed together with their horses and fell off.
You can even say that it’s only natural for the casualties to increase.
There were many samurai and feudal lords who died after falling off their horses in the Warring States period and Edo period of Japan, too. Since the size of the horses in this world is close to thoroughbreds, it would be reasonable for the amount of casualties to suddenly increase if you consider falling off a horse with a high momentum.
“Elise is very busy with healing the injured.” (Ina)
She would have likely restored our mana with 『Light of Miracles』 if Browig’s army still had intended to fight, but fortunately almost all of Browig’s army became unable to fight after one cast.
Last night there was a report that the paralysed soldiers of the Margrave Browig army have been captured and relieved and that there have been several hundred soldiers of the enemy army who escaped the Area Stun by being in the rear.
To begin with, since their allies were suddenly wiped out in front of their eyes, they apparently ended up throwing away their weapons without any resistance.
Afterwards the troop headquarters, set up by the Browig army, was confiscated.
However, even there the few remaining soldiers, numbering only around 100 to guard the materials, surrendered immediately after hearing about the main army’s defeat.
“Erw was successful at leading the troops to confiscate the troop headquarters.” (Ina)
“That guy. He is working quite diligently.” (Wendelin)
When it was close to morning while they were arresting the warriors of Browig’s main forces and continuing to heal, soldiers, who were urgently transported in a continuous stream of small magic airships due to the emergency request last night, arrived.
They assisted their allies, went scouting and apparently captured ten-odd emergency food storages in the rear of the troop headquarters.
“As those places were only protected by few guards, they surrendered with almost no resistance or ran away.” (Ina)
“An overwhelming victory, huh?” (Wendelin)
What were they thinking? The Browig army, which was committed to the ideology of opening a path towards victory since they were cornered, started an attack with all their power just to end up with many casualties and the rest becoming prisoners due to our magic instead.
Their numbers surpass 10.000 people.
There were also 10 nobles in the main army. The top brass of the feudal armies as well as the Browig army and Margrave Browig’s daughter, albeit her being only a figurehead.
Just the ransom will increase the burden on Margrave Browig household’s finances drastically.
“Margrave Breithilde-sama wants to talk with you about that matter.” (Ina)
“Got it.” (Wendelin)
It looks like the time is already just before noon.
My mana recovered completely because I slept for a long time. I also felt like my maximum amount of mana gained a bit.
In exchange I feel a bit dizzy due to my tremendous hunger.
After eating chocolate, I took out from my magic bag, I get up from my makeshift bed with Ina’s help.
“You okay?” (Ina)
“It’s the same as at the time of the battle with the dragon golem. I will recover soon.” (Wendelin)
A short while later I feel clear-headed as the sugar apparently reached my brain.
With this I should finally go to Margrave Breithilde’s location.
“Any difficulties?” (Ina)
“It’s fine, but please support me for a little while.” (Wendelin)
I had no particular dizziness or such when I tried to stand up, but since she has a nice scent if I lean against Ina, I pretend that my condition is a bit poor.
“What about Katharina?” (Wendelin)
“The same as with you, Wend. I think she’s still sleeping.” (Ina)
Once we moved to a slightly apart makeshift bed where Katharina was sleeping, she was apparently already awake.
“My stomach is empty… But, I will endure here.” (Katharina)
“A diet?” (Wendelin)
“To the bitter end it’s for caution’s sake, but it’s possible that I might become fat…” (Katharina)
“For caution’s sake, eh…” (Ina)
It doesn’t particularly seem to be the case to me, but I wonder how it’s in reality?
I don’t mind it, but it might be a serious issue for the person herself.
“Is that so? Rather than that, Margrave Breithilde is calling us, Honorary Associate Baron-dono.”
“I guess so.” (Katharina)
She was summoned because she is a noble as well, as she slept for almost half a day after using up all of her mana, the sugar level of her brain isn’t sufficient, it seems.
As she wasn’t unable to stand up like she wished, she sat on top of the makeshift bed and shook her head.
“Hey, eat something sweet. That will make it easier.” (Wendelin)
“Sweets are…” (Katharina)
“You were told by Burkhart-san. Eei! Something like dieting is unnecessary for you!” (Wendelin)
Now that it has come to this, I can only push it into her mouth forcibly.
However, since it’s possible for her to close her mouth if I push it in with my hand, there’s nothing better than snatching her calm judgement away here.
Due to my unexpected deed, the head of Katharina, who has no immunity towards such methods, ended up boiling.
She was in a daze while being bright red, but she is apparently chewing the choco which was crammed into her mouth.
“Do you want to eat a bit more?” (Wendelin)
She successively eats three pieces of choco with mouth-to-mouth feeding.
Katharina, whose head was in a state of boiling, swallowed down the choco without any kind of resistance.
“That went well.”
“Wend, putting aside the first time, was it necessary to give her the ones afterwards with mouth-to-mouth feeding?” (Ina)
“For the time being, let’s decide that it was necessary. Oops, that’s right!” (Wendelin)
Since it’s no good if feelings of unfairness appear due to such things, I hold a piece of choco in my mouth once more and kissed Ina next while pushing the piece of choco with my tongue into her mouth.
“Just a moment! Uguu…” (Ina)
She resisted a bit in the beginning out of embarrassment, however even that weakened right away.
Receiving the piece of choco, I pushed in with my tongue, in her mouth, she swallowed it after licking it for a bit.
“There’s no necessity for me to eat choco, is there!?” (Ina)
Ina begins to complain to me while having a bright red face.
“The point here is equality.” (Wendelin)
“It’s fine now! You have to go to Margrave Breithilde-sama place quickly.” (Ina)
“Ah, there was that, too. O~~~y, Katharina.” (Wendelin)
“Since you have done something weird, Wend…” (Ina)
Once I turn my look towards the makeshift bed where Katharina had slept, she was in a state of absent-mindedness while still having a bright red face.
It seems she still hasn’t returned to reality as the stimulus was too strong.
“O~~~y, Katharina.” (Wendelin)
“You cannot do something like this all of a sudden to Katharina!” (Ina)
Even Ina, who is the most serious among my fiancées, returned right away to a slightly red face, but Katharina is in this state just because of a bit kissing.
“I see, seeing a person with a large gap between their appearance and their contents is something interesting”, I admired.
“This ain’t a situation to admire her. You have to quickly take along Katharina, too.” (Ina)
“That’s a point I forgot.” (Wendelin)
“Don’t forget it!” (Ina)
“That’s right. Once I try to come here to get you since you have been called by master, you are doing stuff that makes it embarrassing to look here, Earl-sama.” (Burkhart)
Before we realized it, Burkhart-san stood next to us and moreover watched all the silly stuff up until now.
“I think it’s great to be young. But for now there are things to talk about.” (Burkhart)
Having her face dyed bright red once again, Ina raised a voice of blaming towards me.
“By the way, when will Katharina-jou-chan restart?” (Burkhart)
“Who knows? It’s something I tested for the first time after all.” (Wendelin)
And, even while the tree of us were kicking up a fuss, Katharina continued in her state of absent-mindedness with a bright red face on top of the makeshift bed.
“Did you recover your mana, Earl Baumeister?” (Breithilde)
Somehow reactivating Katharina, we headed to the troop headquarters of Margrave Breithilde’s main army in a hurry.
Margrave Breithilde, several of his retainers, 10 nobles who are providing their feudal armies and their retainers had gathered there. Apparently we arrived last.
I have brought Ina along as guard. And since Katharina is a Honorary Associate Baron who hasn’t provided a feudal army herself, she participates as one of the nobles.
Once we sat down, a young subordinate soldier brought some tea.
Once I drink it, it has a lower fragrance than the ones Elise brews, but there’s no choice but to endure as she isn’t here due to her healing the large amount of injured who appeared in yesterday’s battle.
“Well then. Yesterday was a disaster where we had been dragged into a 『war』.” (Breithilde)
Margrave Breithilde intentionally stresses the word 『war』.
Until now that had been a drawn line for conflicts occurring between nobles.
Disputing with the method of having as little as possible people die, fellow nobles dispatch their soldiers in regards to concessions.
There are people who call it a war since it’s troublesome, however for the kingdom that was a 『dispute』.
From the point of view of the kingdom’s government, no war has broken out after they have signed a ceasefire-agreement with the Holy Empire Urquhart.
Since this is a petty strife between fellow nobles of the same country, they call it 『dispute』.
However, it’s difficult to call what happened yesterday a 『dispute』.
There have been close to 100 casualties. Different from the accidental clash several decades ago, the Browig army clearly started the battle.
With a total military force of 10.000, after calling in the reinforcements who hid in the rear, they even changed their weapons from those used for training to those used in actual combat. The mounted knights tried to demolish and trample down Margrave Breithilde’s main army as vanguards.
If they were successful, the number of casualties among Margrave Breithilde’s army should have easily reached four digits.
“Anyway, it’s an annoying situation.” (Breithilde)
After we cast Area Stun and fainted, Margrave Breithilde struggled hard with the post-treatment without sleeping at all.
They disarmed and arrested all of the soldiers of Browig’s army who had collapsed due to a paralyse. The injured are treated by Elise and the priests who have joined the campaign and are able to use healing magic.
Even though reinforcements are gradually getting here on small magic airships and such, it’s still troublesome to manage the situation of the prisoners since there are this many. Originally it’s not allowed to cross the border in such disputes, but such stuff can’t be said in this situation either.
Dispatching small units, we gained control of the troop headquarters of the Browig army and the emergency food storages in the rear.
There were 100 soldiers at the troop headquarters and around 20~30 soldiers per emergency food storage. Because they had mostly surrendered, they had to be managed as well.
Furthermore, there’s also the possibility of another unit starting an attack to free the prisoners.
As it’s indispensable to scout, Moritz, Thomas, Erw, Luise and 10 of my soldiers are participating in the investigation of the surroundings since the army’s short of hands.
“Fortunately Special Envoy, Viscount Knappstein, is here, I guess?”
He will verify that this 『war』 had been started by the Browig household’s side.
I decide to believe that at least our side won’t get blamed one-sidedly.
I couldn’t deny the possibility of him betraying us at the last moment and scheming something though.
“I guess you are harbouring some concerns since I’m a person from the royal palace, but it’s a fact that this 『war』 had been caused by the Browig household.” (Knappstein)
Even though he presented an arbitration draft according to the usual price and conform to the customs, Viscount Knappstein stated that this would be now out-of-the-question as they started a 『war』 to break down their current disadvantageous circumstances without considering the consequences.
His expression was as usual, but it seems like he himself is angry as well.
Since he lodged over here last night, he might have gotten killed in the worst scenario.
“However, there’s one big problem.”
A problem, that made it unclear how to settle the state of affairs which became even more tenacious, appeared.
Together with the nobles and soldiers of Browig’s side, we have captured and left to our allied feudal lords in the dispute area, the total number of prisoners, which the Margrave Breithilde’s household is currently managing, is close to 20.000.
Even if we claimed the expenses afterwards, there would be no doubt that it will be a lot of work.
In addition, although it’s necessary, we are already moving our troops into the territory of Browig’s side.
It seems that the supply unit, which came in the early morning to carry the food to the troop headquarters and to the more than 10 emergency food storages, had been completely captured including the personnel.
“Since the number of people is large, it is indispensable to frequently transport food.” (Breithilde)
However, if the supply unit doesn’t return, the Browig household’s side should find it strange.
Before that the rumour of the crushing defeat will spread northwards. There ought to be people who have deserted, even if it’s only one, too.
The news should reach Browig’s household in a few days.
“For the meantime we will live off the food we confiscated. Since we have already entered a state of 『war』, we are recruiting to supplement the army.” (Breithilde)
“What’s the problem then?”
“I wonder who would be good if we negotiate in the future?” (Breithilde)
Due to the question of a young noble who was present, Margrave Breithilde answered while floating a dry smile.
“They came attacking once they were asked about the person to sign the arbitration’s agreement by Viscount Knappstein.” (Breithilde)
Since it’s currently unknown who’s steering the Browig household, it’s troublesome.
There’s no doubt that even if Margrave Browig himself is alive, he isn’t in a state allowing him to give instructions to others.
Normally the heir should carry out the administration of the territory as feudal lord proxy.
However, as that household has been swallowed by an inheritance dispute, the top brass of the feudal armies dispatched the soldiers with the purpose of making the eldest son, Philip, the heir and were defeated in the end.
“The leader group, who commanded those military forces, were completely arrested. The important lot hasn’t been there even though they should be at the front-line in full gear.” (Breithilde)
It looks like none of them died from something like falling off their horse due to Area Stun.
If there was at least one victim after appearing at the front, I would be able to sympathize with them, but once I heard that they became prisoners without any injuries, I felt disgusted at their irresponsibility.
“What happened to that princess-sama?” (Wendelin)
“She was at the troop headquarters. It seems like she surrendered to Erwin-san.” (Breithilde)
I wondered whether they had resisted or not, but it looks like they capitulated right away.
“We have received her properly and politely. It’s a bother to bring a woman to the battlefield.” (Breithilde)
If they did something to her, it would become a disgrace for Margrave Breithilde.
Therefore she is courteously kept in isolation.
“That princess-sama has no kind of authority either. She’s an irrelevant figurehead, I think. The problem is…” (Breithilde)
“Even if we resume the arbitration after this, who will be the one to come, right?” (Wendelin)
I don’t know whether it will be the eldest or second son, but seeing that they aren’t named as heirs, there’s no one who can sign an agreement even if we reduce the conditions.
“How about Margrave Browig himself?” (Wendelin)
“If he could have come here, it shouldn’t have become this irregular to begin with.” (Breithilde)
Certainly, if there are any leadership qualities remaining in him, he shouldn’t have dispatched his soldiers and made his daughter the Supreme Commander Representative.
“Margrave Browig is dead and his surroundings are concealing that. Or, he is already in a state where he can’t give instructions anymore. As they don’t know when he will die as he isn’t conscious anymore or similar, Philip, who has strong support from the army, ordered the military’s top brass to raise some achievements with a dispute. I guess he judged that he should probably place his daughter as someone from the family at the top, even if only as decoration.” (Wendelin)
“I wonder whether it’s as you imagine, Earl Baumeister?” (Breithilde)
If Margrave Browig ended up dying while he was away from his father’s sickbed due to a dispute, it would be quite likely for the second son to selfishly name himself as heir and send a messenger to the royal family.
That’s why neither party can leave the mansion, I guess.
“Even though it’s fine for them to come to the front-line after leaving it to a trusted retainer.” (Wendelin)
“I guess that’s because it’s unknown how the seal official will react.” (Breithilde)
A noble household’s family head shows his validity by signing documents.
Therefore, since there aren’t any seals like in Japan, the proof of a family head was a seal, that had the crest carved in gold, granted by the royal family.
At the time they seal a letter with wax, they press that seal on the wax and thus it becomes proof that this letter is genuine.
That means that the person who possesses this is the family’s head, but for high-ranking nobles there was an official retainer position called seal official who manages this.
“It’s an extremely plain office, but high-ranking nobles treat the seal official favourably.” (Breithilde)
The person is chosen for being loyal to their lord and sincere before ability matters.
There are also many cases where only they secretly hear the name of successor from the lord.
Once the lord tells them about the successor, that person will risk their live to hand over the seal after the lord’s death.
There were many seal officials who were killed by other succession candidates in the past as well.
“If Margrave Browig hasn’t yet died, the seal official won’t hand over the seal either way at any price. However…” (Breithilde)
What will they do if Margrave Browig hasn’t decided on a successor before he died?
That means, no one will know.
“The seal official is a type of civil official as well. If Margrave Browig dies after Philip-dono departs to the front, Christoph-dono will press the seal official to give him the seal. Even if Philip-dono leaves behind a trusted retainer, that won’t serve any use.” (Breithilde)
That’s why both can’t leave from Margrave Browig’s sickbed at any cost.
“Such thing is…” (Wendelin)
I try to take it out from my bag quickly.
If it’s a seal, I received it as well, but usually I kept it in my magic bag.
“Earl Baumeister, you are a rising noble, therefore you likely won’t appoint a seal official for several tens of years.” (Breithilde)
I won’t find a reliable, sincere retainer easily. On the other hand, since it’s simply a post which can receive wages for just looking after the seal, no one but high-ranking nobles is able to employ a full-time seal official.
Normal nobles keep the seal with them or they have other retainers hold the post additionally to their regular duties.
“You have changed it into something very luxurious.” (Breithilde)
“That’s because Roderich told me that it would be better to make it flashy.” (Wendelin)
The seal is something granted by the kingdom, but there’s no great difference in its appearance to a cheap seal sold at a stationery shop.
The seals upper part is made out of gold and the remaining handle part is made out of silver.
And, although it wasn’t allowed for the seal part, nobles were allowed to freely change the handle part.
High-ranking nobles compete with the extravagance of remodelling the handle part.
It’s not like they will show it to someone, but nobles are after all creatures who put on airs.
“Is it an image of two dragons entangling with each other?” (Breithilde)
“It’s pretty much a household that started its success with a dragon subjugation. That’s the reason.” (Wendelin)
The dragons are a golden craftsmanship and their eyes have emeralds in them.
The work had been requested by Roderich, who knew a famous artisan in the capital.
『Even as artisan he is my acquaintance.』 (Roderich)
『That’s because I happened to carry a bit of rest of an unique raw material I picked up at my work as adventurer.』
As usual Roderich was well-connected.
Handing over the request to the artisan right away, a flashy seal of the Baumeister household was completed.
“However, it seems difficult to hold it.” (Breithilde)
“When we noticed that the artisan had already finished it.” (Wendelin)
Neither Roderich nor me anticipated it this far.
Since a strange atmosphere began to spread between the two of us, we decided to return to the actual talks.
“But, now it has become troublesome.”
“The troublesome part is at most stealing from them.”
“I wonder whether it’s a bit vulgar to call it stealing, but since they bet on an unnecessary night raid, we will largely increase the sum for the reconciliation money and the ransom.” (Knappstein)
Viscount Knappstein began to earnestly revise the arbitration draft, which has become a reference, without changing his expression.
“How about occupying some city to give us an advantage in the arbitration draft?”
“No, it’s bothersome to occupy a city.” (Breithilde)
Since it’s the territory of another noble, there’s a possibility for idiots to appear who do stuff like pillaging.
While we don’t want to cause an even greater disturbance, it can’t be helped even if we increase the dispute causes again.
Margrave Breithilde rejected the suggestion from the young noble.
However, instead of that we are occupying the majority of the Eschago Grasslands.
We ended up occupying and gaining control of the enemy’s troop headquarters and their emergency food storages while we were at it.
“Seeing that the dispute has gone this far, it might be advantageous in the arbitration if there were occupied territories.”
In the end we closed that day’s meeting by only deciding to continue managing the prisoners and securing the occupied territory until Browig’s camp sends a messenger.
“Which reminds me, I have a request, Earl Baumeister.” (Breithilde)
“A request?” (Wendelin)
He wants me to take care of Margrave Browig’s daughter which is called Karla or such and has become a prisoner.
“Given that there are women at your place, Earl Baumeister, could you have them take care of her as fellow women?” (Breithilde)
Although he has cautioned them, there’s nothing but men at Margrave Breithilde’s place. She likely feels depressed being surrounded by nothing but men over there.
Since she is the daughter of a noble, it’s necessary to properly look after her even if she’s a prisoner.
If something happened to her, it would cause Margrave Breithilde’s reputation to fall.
“Even though it’s fine to not bring women along since it’s troublesome.”
He ended up saying unintentionally to the elderly chief retainer who worked as representative in the negotiations and who became a prisoner.
Of course that retainer didn’t change his disappointed expression without saying anything.
“I don’t mind, but if I like her, I will propose for her to become my wife.” (Wendelin)
“Heroes have a great fondness of sensual pleasures, huh? I’d like you to pardon me from that. (Breithilde)
It looks like Margrave Breithilde considered my statement to be a joke.
In fact it’s a joke. It’s very improbably since it won’t happen due to the opposition by the surroundings.
“(However, she…)” (Wendelin)
With black hair and black eyes, she has a face close to that of a Japanese in this world full of western people. Moreover, her atmosphere resembled my girlfriend from my student days in my previous life quite a bit.
To the bitter end it’s just the atmosphere though. Karla-jou’s appearance was that of an overwhelming beauty.
“Ina, are you alright with that?” (Wendelin)
“About the matter of putting her among fellow women? Got it.” (Ina)
Although we raised even more achievements by defending against the law-breaking night attack of the Browig army, I didn’t realize that we might have been dragged into an excessively troublesome situation.