Interlude 25 – Erwin von Armin’s Campaign Diary?

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– Erwin’s PoV –

“(She’s an angel! There is an angel!)” (Erwin)

“Troops of Earl Baumeister-sama? We will surrender here.”

“(She’s a beautiful person…) If you have surrendered, we will guarantee you treatment according to our usual customs.”

“I accept. I will make all hands discard their weapons.”

Heading in the direction of the headquarters of Margrave Browig’s army leading an army as ordered by Wend who is our lord, I fell in love for the first time in my life on this day.

◆◇◆◇◆

The Browig household, which held dissatisfaction towards the presented arbitration draft, made the most prohibited move in this prolonged dispute.
Changing their equipment and weapons towards actual combat ones, they attempted a night attack with their entire army.
This night attack has been prevented with an 『Area Stun』 by Wend who is my lord and best friend.

『Isn’t it fine if we blow them away with large-scaled magic?』

『Isn’t it better to keep the losses among the enemy as little as possible while preventing damage to our allies as much as possible?』

As usual, Wend is fussing about weird things.
Since the situation has already deteriorated this far, I feel like there won’t be any complaints even if the Browig household’s troops are annihilated, but he chose a method to decrease the losses at the expense of exposing himself to danger.

『If that’s no good, take us and run away, okay?』

『I leave that part to Erw.』

After I met with Wend, it has been a bone dragon, an old dragon, a dragon golem, nobles and their troops and finally it’s an army of 10.000 soldiers.
Even though Burkhart-san and Katharina would help him, their contribution amounts to a third of the total.
If you go by military definition, military forces, which have 70% of their soldiers incapable of fighting, don’t function.
The achievement of these two might be seen as something like an extra for adding a complete victory to Wend’s victory.

『A request to send out soldiers came from Margrave Breithilde-sama. Our Lord is resting, but even then we won’t be able to send them out in this situation. It will turn into a post-approval by our Lord, but I think that we should send out soldiers from our side as well.』

Once we put down the three who fainted, Moritz-san makes an appearance.
With the night attack by the Browig household ending in failure, the few troops remaining in the rear capitulated immediately.
The majority of their allies, who were at the front, got paralysed all of a sudden and couldn’t move anymore.
The few remaining soldiers, who have no commander, shouldn’t choose an honourable death by fighting against 5.000 soldiers either.

『Apparently it resulted in the enemy headquarters in the rear being occupied in a hurry.』

Wend and the others used up their mana and fainted, but even during that time the situation keeps moving.
Including a punishment-like meaning for the night attack, Margrave Breithilde-sama has invaded the eastern territories and is deciding the occupation points including things like the troop headquarters and the places where supplies were stored.
Together with Moritz-san, I’m leading a few soldiers towards occupying the enemy’s headquarters.
Once we headed towards the headquarters alongside assisting soldiers of Margrave Breithilde’s army, there weren’t any decent military forces left there.
It seems that the Browig army made use of almost its entire numbers in order to make the night attack a success.

“We are the allied forces of the Margrave Breithilde household and the Earl Baumeister household! Tell the Margrave Browig army to surrender!”

Although we are hastening with the capture and relief of the paralysed Browig army, pretty much around 500 soldiers of the allied forces are facing against around 100 people on the Browig household’s side.
The Browig camp has no chance of winning in the first place if they fight us from the front.

“Do you think that we will surrender!? Tomorrow reinforcements will arrive and the situation will turn around once more!”

A middle-aged man, who might be considered the one in charge, shows up from within the Browig army’s headquarters and raises his voice that they definitely won’t capitulate.
I didn’t know whether he’s aware of the news about his allies getting annihilated, but the enemy army is closing in on the troop headquarters.
He should understand that they lost, but I guess he’s thinking that he will pile shame on top of shame if he surrenders here without doing anything.

“Erwin-san, I leave it to you.”

“Got it.” (Erwin)

The retainer who is leading Margrave Breithilde’s army, asks me to persuade him.
I don’t have such a skill, but since I’m Wend’s retainer, he apparently plans to prompt him into surrender by recounting what my lord accomplished.

“(I wonder whether it will go smoothly?) Let me tell you in advance, but the entire Browig army was utterly defeated.” (Erwin)

“Don’t spout such lies!”

“Isn’t it possible to recommend your surrender in order to spare the low-numbered military forces inside unless you wish to get annihilated? The Browig army has been destroyed by Earl Baumeister-sama’s magic.” (Erwin)

Since there’s not much of a point even if I decorate my words, I decide to tell him everything in honesty.
It seems unrest is gradually spreading inside the Browig household’s headquarters after hearing my words.

“I believe it to be best for you to surrender quickly. Our lord’s mana will likely recover until your reinforcements arrive.” (Erwin)

“Kuhh… I will consult with Karla-sama…”

Karla-sama; that’s probably about the female proxy supreme commander of the Browig army Wend talked about.
As she seems to be nothing more but a decoration, she wouldn’t be taken along on a night attack after all.
If there was some mistake and she got killed in action, it would likely become a problem.

“(Which reminds me, Wend mentioned that she’s a beauty, didn’t he?)” (Erwin)

Be that as it may, 『A sheltered noble daughter who is only beautiful is, well…』 I think.
I understood after being taken along to such establishments by Burkhart-san once I became an adult.
There’s a constant number of beautiful women, but there are only few women who I want to spend my life with.
Because Wend has his position, it’s probably difficult for him, but I thought that I’d like to be pardoned from marrying for a while.
But then again there’s the compulsory marriage interview meeting once this dispute ends.
Will there really be a good woman there, I wonder?
When I was pondering about such stupid things, it was decided that we will receive the capitulation from Karla-jou whom I considered to be a decoration of Browig’s camp.
It seems she’s a woman who has more heart than I thought.

“(Wend, is she really a beautiful woman?)” (Erwin)

As I’m thinking that, Karla-jou shows up.
As expected of the daughter of a high-ranking noble; she seems to be tinged with a nimbus by dressing her body with mithril-made equipment.

“I’m the Proxy Supreme Commander of the Browig army, Karla von Browig. Since we are going to surrender, I’d like to request a lenient treatment of the soldiers. By the way…” (Karla)
“…” (Erwin)

Seeing her face, I receive a shock.
I fell in love in an instant with the beauty of Karla-jou who came out of the headquarters.

◆◇◆◇◆

“It has been decided that we will take care of Karla-san.” (Wendelin)

“Because there are women among us?” (Erwin)

“That’s correct. Haa… War is really troublesome, you know?” (Wendelin)

Once we sent back Karla-jou’s group and return after obtaining military gains by capturing goods storages of the Browig household’s side in addition, Wend sighed.
He seems to be thinking that our troubles increased by taking care of Karla-jou with the end of the situation that turned from a dispute into a war not in sight.

“(However, that’s convenient for me!)” (Erwin)

Since I also serve as Wend’s bodyguard, there’s nothing strange about me getting in contact with her.
Karla-jou’s care is bound to be taken care of by Elise and the other girls.
In that case the chances for her to get in touch with Wend will increase and that also means that the opportunities for her to get in contact with me as his guard will increase as well.

“I will serve as Wend-sama’s personal bodyguard. Erw, you will be in charge of guarding the vicinity and interior including Elise and the others since we are short on hands.” (Wilma)

“Eh?” (Erwin)

Just when I was looking forward to it, I’m immediately informed about a change in my work schedule by Wilma.

“My elder brother is busy with administration and supervision of the encampment.” (Wilma)

“That’s right, isn’t it…?” (Erwin)

Since a messenger still hasn’t been sent by the Browig household’s side, Margrave Breithilde decided to enlarge the size of the protective occupation.
Though additional reinforcements have arrived as well, it seems that Moritz-san is busy after being assigned too many tasks.
Even I was placed as a person in charge of the troop guarding headquarters.

“(It’s fine. I will still be able to stay at Karla-san’s side. I can talk with her in my free time.)” (Erwin)

“Erw, why are you grinning?” (Wilma)

“No particular reason…” (Erwin)

Wilma has a somehow sharp intuition.
Since it would be embarrassing if my feelings towards Karla-san were noticed at this point in time, I reset my expression right away and started to devote myself to my guard work.

“(What was thaaaaat~~~! Karla-san as a wife of Weeend~~~!)” (Erwin)

I never received such a shock in my entire life.

『Erwin-san, you are quite skilled at archery, aren’t you?』 (Karla)

『Same as my lord, it’s the experience of a rural noble.』 (Erwin)

A few days after Karla-jou came to us, I was at the peak of happiness.
Although I had my job as guard, I was able to receive coaching from Karla-san who is an expert in archery in my free time.
I have her teach me archery while chatting about various things with her.
Moreover, she is very skilled at teaching as well.
She is giving me advice how to prepare and nock an arrow into the bow as well as how to support it with my hands, but she has a very floral scent.
It was the joy of a slightly perverted fetish, but it seems it’s the same for Wend as well.

『I’m envious of you, Erwin-san, since I’m completely hopeless in swordsmanship.』 (Karla)

『Though I’m jealous of you, Karla-sama, who is a master in one art.』 (Erwin)

『Erwin-san, there’s no need to attach -sama to my name. Although I’m a daughter of the Browig household, I was simply the daughter of a poor noble until one year ago.』 (Karla)

She, who was a forgotten daughter, was summoned due to Margrave Browig’s one-sided convenience.
That’s why her attachment to the Browig household is weak.
And yet her handling of their headquarters was splendid.
She’s not only beautiful.
Another beauty existed in her as well.

『Today’s meal was prepared by me.』 (Karla)

『You are good at cooking.』

『Since I was a freeloader at my mother’s home in the capital, I know a bit of cooking.』 (Karla)

『No, not at all. It’s delicious.』

The meal prepared by Karla-san was tasty.
Since even that picky eater Wend said that it was delicious, I think that’s quite the achievement.
She should be almost equal to Elise.

『Erwin-san, I fixed the part that became loose on these clothes.』 (Karla)

Even though it would have been fine even if she didn’t do such things as she was a guest of honour, albeit as prisoner, Karla-san gallantly worked together with Elise and the others.

『I enjoy working while chatting with Elise-san and the others.』 (Karla)

『(She’s an angel! Seriously, an angel!)』 (Erwin)

Undoubtedly she will be the best wife once she becomes one, I think.
However, the wall of social status exists for the current me and Karla-san.
I’m Wend’s retainer and Karla-san is the youngest daughter of Margrave Browig.
Moreover, at the location of the arbitration negotiations, which finally resumed, both of the two successor candidates of the Browig household schemed to push Karla-san into becoming Wend’s wife.
That actually throws my heart in great turmoil.

“Heey… Wend?”

“Will you accept her? Even after Margrave Breithilde, Roderich and the retainers below heard about it; none of them supported it!”

It was obvious that the nobles and the newly hired retainers, who economically profit from the development of the Savage Lands as well, were targeting a share of the enticing cake.

“This pointless troop dispatch happened because of the instigation of a rebellion at my native home. It would be the best to get financially in the black by charging them with as much ransom as possible.”

It looks like Wend never wants to get involved with the Browig household again.

“That’s certainly true, isn’t it? Even the numbers we are providing now are probably a hard blow to the Baumeister Earldom.” (Klaus)

“After all the rebellion’s mastermind says so.” (Wendelin)

“No, no, Wendelin-sama. It’s appropriate to describe me as the one in charge of executing it.” (Klaus)

Wend, who became a noble, shouldn’t want to take Karla-san as his wife going by his personal feelings.
He is saying so himself as well. There shouldn’t be any mistake in that.

『If it didn’t include any ties of obligation, she would be the ideal woman though.』 (Wendelin)

That was his evaluation. I feel slightly uneasy though.
However, that old man Klaus, who can easily ward off Wend’s sarcasm, is terrifying.
Such a demon-like geezer didn’t exist in my parent’s home.
He definitely made a mistake in the place he was born at.

“Erwin-dono, are you worried about something?” (Klaus)

Moreover, this old geezer.
It seems he noticed my feelings about Karla-san.
He immediately sounds me out.

“There are no worries here.” (Erwin)

“Depending on the progress of the arbitration negotiations, the condition that Wendelin-sama marries Karla-sama might once again…” (Klaus)

“Eeh!?” (Erwin)

I end up raising my voice in surprise due to Klaus’ sudden revelation.

“You are young. Erwin-dono, I think it would be better if you kept in mind to hide your emotions a bit. Though there’s no need to hurry with it as such things come with experience…” (Klaus)

This geezer is a demon after all.
As it was exposed anyway, I honestly talked about my feelings while thinking that I might as well inform Wend about it, too.

“A love across social standings? Unfortunately, as I don’t have any experience in such matters…” (Klaus)

“Now that you mention it, I haven’t heard you talk about your wife, have I, Klaus?”

“She died young from disease. As a former second son, I wasn’t in the position to allow me succeeding the village headship. I believe that you’ve heard that, but…” (Klaus)

It seems that even Klaus-san had a fiancée.

“She was the second daughter of a nearby farm family, my childhood friend. Since both of us were fine with being poor, we wanted to start a family no matter what…” (Klaus)

However, with the sudden death of his father and elder brother, it was decided that Klaus-san would become the village headman.

“Once that became a reality, the surroundings started saying 『It’s necessary to get an adequate wife for the new village headman Klaus-san』 or such. I didn’t want to give up on Marta at any cost.” (Klaus)

It seems that he couldn’t yield on just that, faced down the opposition of the surroundings and took his childhood friend as wife.

“However, that put a burden on her…” (Klaus)
Receiving pressure in the form of 『Is the second daughter of an ordinary farm family really suitable as wife of the village headman?』 by the surroundings, she ended up dying from illness while their children were still very young.

“I might have wronged her. But, I was told 『I was happy』 by Marta on her sickbed. She might have said it out of consideration, but those words were enough for me.” (Klaus)

After that he persisted in staying single without following the surrounding’s recommendation of taking a second wife.
Usually a village headman will take a second wife right away if his first wife dies.
Him not having done that is probably because Klaus-san stuck to his own principles.
Because there’s no doubt that this damaged the honour of Wend’s father who recommended it, I can understand that those two are on bad terms with each other.

“My experience might not be very helpful. A love with a difference in social status between the partners. That will work if you have for example assets or if you become a noble by developing a territory by yourself…” (Klaus)

Although I thought about that as well, I considered it unnecessary after seeing Wend.
Rather than becoming a noble, I feel more at ease with being employed.

“Besides, during that time someone else will probably be chosen as Karla-san’s husband.”

“That’s right, isn’t it? In that case, think about it from the other way around.”

“The other way around?”

“Karla-san’s value has to be lowered.”

As youngest daughter of the Browig household, it’s normal for Karla-san with her current social standing to be married to the family head or successor of at least a Baron household.

“However, that means it’s impossible for her to become the first wife of Wendelin-sama. It would be different if she were the first or second daughter though.”

If she marries Wend just like that, she will likely take the fourth rank behind Katharina in the hierarchy.

“There’s no point to even talk about Elise-sama. If she demanded the position of first wife, criticism would flood the Browig household. They might even end up making an enemy out of the church. Second rank is impossible too, if you consider the social standing of Wilma-sama’s father-in-law-sama. Since Katharina-sama herself holds the title of an honorary Baroness, there would be an absurd amount of reproaches if she suddenly overtake her.” (Klaus)

“In that case, it’s fourth rank?” (Erwin)

“If that happens, it will anger Margrave Breithilde-sama who sent in Luise-sama and Ina-sama. Having said that, the Browig household won’t be able to approve of her becoming the lowest rank or such either.” (Klaus)

“It was an impossible arrangement from the beginning, I suppose.” (Erwin)

“That’s how it is.”

The ranking of the wives is a troublesome matter, however, as fellow related parties, we talk about it in a serious manner.

“If they don’t understand that, the Browig household is going to have a bitter future ahead, no matter which of the two succeeds the family. I guess the idling state will continue for a while.”

Klaus-san had a truthfully pessimistic view of the Browig household’s future.

“I understand that, but what can I do in that case?” (Erwin)

“Even at the present time it will be harsh for Karla-sama to become Wendelin-sama’s wife. So how about cornering her even more?” (Klaus)

He’s saying that since she’s the youngest daughter, the hurdle ahead of marrying should lowered.

“You are an unmarried chief retainer who’s entrusted with guard duty and who is Wendelin-sama’s close friend. Well, I wonder how the Browig household will think about it then.” (Klaus)

Even if they can’t push her into becoming Wend’s wife, it might work if she becomes my wife.
Moreover, it should also be difficult to complain about it if she becomes my first wife.

“It will also become possible to form a relationship with the Earl Baumeister household. Well, it actually depends on Wendelin-sama to decide what kind of relationship it will turn out to be though.” (Klaus)

Sooner or later there might be people that pop up who think that it will be troublesome if there’s yet another sudden outburst by the Browig household after they aren’t given any concessions at all.
It will probably be convenient one way or the other if there’s a connection at the time of them being given some concessions.

“If she becomes your wife, Erwin-dono, it will become easy to control that part. If it gets inconvenient, it will be possible to hinder their movements with Wendelin-sama’s authority.” (Klaus)

It means there’s also the choice of not giving them anything by him saying 『She’s not my wife after all』.

“I got that, but will the Browig household get cornered any further, I wonder?” (Erwin)

As of yet they are still resisting pointlessly.
Eventually they might become desperate and carry out an assault with their entire army.

“If it’s about that matter, you have probably heard from Katharina-sama, haven’t you?” (Klaus)

“About Herthania Valley?” (Erwin)

It’s a treasure box of resources, but it’s a monster domain where it’s impossible to mine as it’s protected by propagating rock golems.
From the Browig household’s point of view, it’s a bad property, but it will likely cause a big shock to them, if Wend and the others end up liberating it after receiving that place.

“We should be able to get back something like a slight reduction of the reconciliation money in an instant.”

If that happens, the Browig household will be cornered all the more.
They will officially transfer it to the Earl Baumeister household at the negotiation and there’s also a governmental official, who came from the capital, there as witness.

If they say something like 『Since it was liberated, those terms are void after all』, they will get blamed with 『Can’t the Browig household even keep a set arbitration draft?』

“At the current point in time, the family where Karla-sama will marry into is still uncertain. The circumstances won’t shift that easily either.” (Klaus)

“What about me then?” (Erwin)

“You have to devote all your power into the liberation of the Herthania Valley.” (Klaus)

Right after that the transfer of the Herthania Valley to the Earl Baumeister household was set in stone.
At the same time of a reduction in the reconciliation money, it allowed the Earl Baumeister household to finish the arbitration negotiations first.
I thought that the Browig household wouldn’t hand it over that easily, but the losses added up quite a bit for their side after they attempted the liberation of the Herthania Valley several times in the past.
As expected they probably estimated that the liberation would be impossible for Wend as well.
In my opinion it’s an action equal of having transferred a wonderful concession to Wend for cheap.
It might be impossible for just Wend, but that guy has several magician acquaintances.

“Well then, I guess I will get in contact with Doushi.” (Wendelin)

“You are going to call Doushi as well?” (Erwin)

“His treatment will be conform to that of an adventurer.” (Wendelin)

Since it would be troublesome to split the concessions if he called him as noble, Wend decided to call Doushi as an adventurer.
It seems he will pay all the rewards with the money on hand, if we succeed in the liberation of Herthania Valley.

“It’s just because it’s you, Wend, that such absurdity is possible.”

Watching Wend count the platinum coins he will hand over as reward, I agree with that statement right away.
The raid into Herthania Valley will be carried out by Wend, Doushi, Burkhart-san, Katharina and Luise.
If one looks at the line-up, it becomes obvious. He apparently intends to storm in from the sky by making use of 『Flight』.

“We will ignore the grounded beast-type rock golems from the very beginning. Those will be entrusted to the diversion units. I leave the vanguard of the diversion units to you, Erw.” (Wendelin)

“Please do so.” (Erwin)

If I do my best here causing the Earl Baumeister household to grow again, the Browig household might lower the requirements to marry Karla-san.
I didn’t know whether what Klaus has said would actually work out, but currently I have nothing else to depend on.
Moving to the actual site, Herthania Valley, we promptly enter the domain and take on the rock golems which came to intercept.
Their strength is slightly less than ordinary wolves, but since they are made out of rock, their defence is high.
I cut down three of them, but ended up having to repair and sharpen my sword.
Inducing an exhaustion of their opponents with numbers is probably the aim of these golems.

“Erwin-san, your skill in swordsmanship is magnificent.” (Karla)

I was praised by Karla-san for that.
When I was praised by her, I was glad from the bottom of my heart that I seriously trained my swordsmanship.

“Erwin, Karla-san will support you as well.” (Moritz)

Moritz told me that after we started the diversion job of the Herthania Valley liberation operation.
Once I look back, Karla-san is waving her hand.

“(This is my chance to show my manliness!)” (Erwin)

I cut down the golems with the orichalcum-made sword I bought for 20 million cents from the reward for the battle with that dragon golem.
As expected of orichalcum, the rock golems are cut apart like paper. It’s something that caused my evaluation to go up as well.

“You have an amazing sword there.”

“I bought it with the reward I got as an adventurer.” (Erwin)

“Cutting that many golems, there’s no a single chip on the blade… I will leave the lead to you, okay?”

“Yes!” (Erwin)

While Wend’s group is targeting the boss of Herthania Valley, the Rock Gigant Golem, I continue to wield my sword.
If I do my best here, Karla-san is bound to notice my feelings.

“Finished, huh…?”

At the moment I had cut down many golems, a thunderous roar resounds in Herthania Valley’s ground and an earthquake occurs.
It seems Wend and the others reached the objective.
Alongside the destruction of the domain’s boss, the Rock Gigantic Golem, all the manipulated golems returned to simple piles of rock.

“Erwin-san, even as adventurer you are first-class, aren’t you?” (Karla)

As result of moving to the encampment together with Elise after the golems had been annihilated, Karla shows up next to me.
Karla-san called out to me as the very first.

“I’m Wend’s extra though.” (Erwin)

“Earl Baumeister-sama is quite the special person, thus he counts as an exception. I believe that you are amazing as well, Erwin-san.” (Karla)

“(I did it! She said that I’m amazing!)” (Erwin)

After the liberation of Herthania Valley, we collected the ores and magic stones from the remains of the golems while moving to the troop headquarters and confirmed the veins of ores.
We have to try to make them into money swiftly while at the same time taking measures against thieves scheming to steal them.
I was quite busy as well, but I was still able to talk with Karla-san often.

“Though they might get angry if I say such stuff, but I really don’t want to stay at the Browig household.” (Karla)

“I understand your sentiments. I’m in a state of having mostly broken off relations with my family’s home.” (Erwin)

Karla-san hates the Browig household that doesn’t do anything but toying with her life.
I also had a mountain of things I wanted to tell my family’s home.
At the time when I became an adventurer, I was treated as being halfway disinherited and discarded by my father and elder brothers.
Being only given the least amount of money to support my independence, I was told 『You don’t have to return home anymore』.
Since my home was a slightly bigger Knight household than Wend’s, there was no place for me as the fifth son.
Before that, during my childhood, the others had an attitude of it being natural to steal the spoil I had caught myself with troubles. It made me wonder what the others are thinking.
I believed that my father and the others would hinder me even in saving money after becoming independent.
Exploiting a minor’s fruits of labour; just what were they thinking?
However, they received their punishment for that.
Once they learned of the fact that I had become a chief retainer of the Earl Baumeister household as Wend’s close friend, my home sent a letter all of a sudden.

『What kind of family status as retainer can you get Stoffel and Wielan?』

When I got this letter, I didn’t understand its meaning at first.
Even though they severed the connections, they sent a letter as if it was obvious for me to take care of my elder brothers government service once they knew about me having a connection with my best friend, the family head.
I was unable to do much more than being dumbfounded due to the overwhelming shock.

『I’m only disgusted, I guess.』

『These Stoffel and Wielan are?』

『my third and fourth elder brother.』 (Erwin)

All five of us had the same mother, but our relationship as brothers isn’t any good.
Since it was a set-up where the higher elder brother exploited and oppressed those below, my third and fourth elder brothers, who were squeezed dry by my first and second elder brothers, chose me, who was the bottommost, as target.
Hearing it from other guys with the same circumstances at the adventurer prep school, my family seems to nominate for quite the cruel category.

『Because of that, it’s fine to ignore them.』 (Erwin)

『Won’t it be bad if you don’t consider it somewhat?』

I was warned to pay attention to their needs by Margrave Breithilde-sama, but once I explained the situation, he could agree with me.

『That’s a bit terrible after all. No one is talking about good treatment, but it’s at least common sense to not become a nuisance.』

Them hindering me to save money for my independence is because they are believing that it doesn’t matter even if I die a dog’s death after leaving home.

『The fifth son, whom they didn’t mind to die a dog’s death, became independent. I think it’s plenty with that.』

『Yes, it is.』

After that talk I decided to not give my family’s home any favourable treatment.
Once I told them that, they sent me yet another letter. It contained excuses such as 『We were strict to imitate lions who cast down the children into a ravine』 or 『It was inevitable since you were excellent』, but I naturally ignored them.
Moreover this matter was apparently leaked to Margrave Holmer who controls the west.
Margrave Holmer apparently thought that he would be able to get a slightly better treatment due to his connection with me.
However, actually he wasn’t able to get anything but an ordinary correspondence.
It’s not like one gets excluded like in the east, but my family’s home apparently got treated coldly after he learned of the circumstances with the truth which was contrary to his expectations.

『If my mother was alive, I might have considered it a bit.』 (Erwin)

『Your mother?』

The only one who covered up for me was mother, but she ended up dying to illness when I was 11 years old.
I don’t have any obligation to fulfil for that home anymore.

『Is that so…? My mother is still alive. Only that much might be a blessing.』

Reaching the point of talking about such matters, Mine and Karla-san’s relationship should have deepened quite a bit.
Wend hurriedly furthers the defence and development of the liberated Herthania Valley. Due to his astounding speed, the Browig household can’t do anything with its successor candidates being bound to the location of the arbitration negotiations.

“We captured several guys who seem to be spies of unknown affiliation.”

“Unknown affiliation, it’s probably impossible for it to be anyone but the Browig household.”

“No matter from where those spies have come, the current Herthania Valley is in a semi-wartime state.”

It is pitiful, but spies will be executed once caught.
It’s a peaceful epoch, but it’s normal for fellow nobles, who are on bad terms with each other, to dispatch spies to their opponent. If they are caught, they will be killed.

“It’s especially bad if they are caught by the royal army who has come as reinforcement.”

There are sometimes cases where they are released secretly after negotiations behind closed doors, but if they are caught by the royal army that operates in accordance with the laws, they are beheaded right away.
Even if it’s the Browig household; since they have arbitrarily sent in spies to the Herthania Valley which has become the Earl Baumeister household’s possession, there’s no way for them to file a complaint. They pointlessly wasted trained spies.

“Because they have no leader, the ranks are probably in disorder.” (Karla)

It’s likely just as Karla-san said.
If they wanted to obtain intelligence, they should have send in spies in a far more systematic manner.

“After all I have no other choice but to pave my own path by myself…” (Karla)
Several days after the liberation of Herthania Valley, Karla-san revealed that to me.

“Pave your path by yourself?” (Erwin)

“Yes. I want to be omitted from the family register of the Browig household. I want to live by my own strength in a position that has no fetters binding me down.” (Karla)

If you consider her archery skill, it’s possible going by her ability, but the probability of those two elder brothers of her letting go of her as piece for a political marriage is low.
Just how the hell does Karla-san want to accomplish that?

“There’s my uncle, who ranks third in the succession order, in the Browig household.” (Karla)

She gave Wend information as advice.
There’s the youngest brother, who’s close to thirty years old, of the Browig household’s family head who died just recently.
It would be best to aim for an early conclusion of the dispute by making this man succeed the Browig household, is what she says.

“Karla-san, you will get him to remove you from the Browig’s family register?” (Erwin)

“There’s no other way than that.” (Karla)

“I see. That’s a good idea.” (Erwin)

She will become the daughter of the poor knight household which is her mother’s home, and stop being the daughter of the Margrave Browig household.
If this happens, the freedom of her actions will spread as well.

“(If I consider it from the standpoint of family status, she will match with me. Isn’t that a splendid plan?) Klaus-san.” (Erwin)

“It’s not like I told you that with absolute confidence, but Karla-sama is considerably…” (Klaus)

Klaus-san seems to be thinking that Karla-san is much smarter than he expected.

“A beautiful, wise wife. It’s a wonderful chance, isn’t it?” (Erwin)

“Haa, I guess so…” (Klaus)

I’m slightly worried about Klaus’ tone, but currently our first priority is to accomplish the previous plan.
I enter the Browig territory as a guard of Wend.
And then the Browig household inaugurated the third succession candidate as new family head and accepted the arbitration draft because of Wend’s retaliation.
The chief retainers, who commanded the night attack, were hung and their households lost their rank as well. In addition there were also many households which collapsed due to the reduction of their wages.
Almost all of the predecessor’s family was sent off to the capital. They ended up losing their authority after being given a Knight peerage as a substitute for the dismissal wage.
Although they just reap what they sowed, that’s what happens after angering Wend.
That guy won’t do such a thing unless there’s harm to himself.

“It finally came to an end.” (Karla)

“Yes.”

After the end of the dispute, Karla-san succeeded in getting removed from the Browig’s family register.
Once I ask her about her plans from here on out, it appears that she wants to inform her mother, who’s living in the capital, first.

“Afterwards I will earn money for living together for a while, I guess.” (Karla)

“Earning money for living together?” (Erwin)

“Yes. I’m getting married.” (Karla)

“Is there such a person? What kind of person is he?” (Erwin)

I receive a shock as if being hit hard with a blunt weapon due to the impact of reality, but Once she begins to talk about her partners traits next, I’m gradually getting overwhelmed by happiness.

“He is one year younger and our romance started with me teaching him archery…” (Karla)

Even after hearing his other traits, I can’t think anything but this being definitely about me.

“(In other words, this is…)” (Erwin)

It’s a pattern that resembles quite well I read about in a romantic story I saw while indifferently flipping through the pages of a book before. It’s actually about the woman proposing to the main character after rejecting him once by saying 『I’m getting married』 to the main character.
No, it’s completely the same situation.

『If it’s women, they love such stories.』 (Erwin)

『Do you have any complaints about that?』 (Ina)

I ended up saying something bad to Ina who’s the owner of the book.
The current me liked such story very much.

“I want to receive permission from my mother in the capital. I also think that I want to live us together after things calm down after the marriage.” (Karla)

“That’s nice, I think (Victory! I won!)” (Erwin)

Yesterday I refused after being asked 『Would it be better for me to order her to marry you?』 by Wend, but with this it’s alright now.
Since I will get married at long last, it’s not good for mutual love for it to be out of compulsion by my lord.
After all she has actually chosen me.

“After I finish my preparations in the capital, I will come to Baulburg for greetings.” (Karla)

“Got it.” (Erwin)

Karla-san went back to the capital and I returned to my normal life while looking forward to her revisit.

“Erwin, you are in high spirits, aren’t you?” (Thomas)

“Really?” (Erwin)

Just as pointed out by Thomas-san, I’m cheerful.
Even so, as I don’t make any mistakes in my work, there’s shouldn’t be any particular problem with that.

“Are you alright?” (Katharina)

“I don’t know what you are worried about, Katharina, but I’m in perfect form.” (Erwin)

Once we got a message from Karla-san that she will arrive in Baulburg tomorrow, my tension rose right away.
Katharina was worried about me while inclining her head to the side, but something like her misdirected concern has absolutely no influence on the current me.
And then, on the next day, when I was waiting in front of the port one hour before her arrival while paying attention, Karla-san showed up from the magic airship that landed.
She wore a simple one piece often worn by daughters of low-ranking nobles and not the expensive attire as well as the mithril-made armour she wore at the time when I met her for the first time.
Even so, her beauty doesn’t wane at all.
She was my angel after all.

“It’s been a while, Erwin-san.” (Karla)

“Long time no see, Karla-san.” (Erwin)

Having our long-awaited reunion, my heart is overflowing with joy.
She came to this place in order to marry me.
With only that I welcomed the biggest delight of my life.

“Let me introduce my fiancé.” (Karla)

“(You are still continuing the story? Karla-san, are you unexpectedly a romanticist?)” (Erwin)

That means, after it becomes evident that her partner is me, both of us will hug and then share a kiss.
Even though it’s something that is a mere few seconds away, I can’t help looking forward to it.
Even so, I indulged in the feelings of pleasure without holding back until that moment.

◆◇◆◇◆

“… (Huh? What’s this about?)” (Erwin)

Even though that should have happened, I was left standing in front of the port by myself.
I don’t know why, but Karla-san introduced the man, who has quite the similar air about him as me, behind her as her fiancé.
Moreover, he appears to be an outstanding talent who won the championship in the archery division of the martial arts tournament.
Being recognised for his skill, he entered governmental service for the Margrave Holmer household as archery instructor. At the same time as having their honeymoon as married couple, they will hunt and gather together in the Demon Forest.

『I was treated very well by Erwin-san.』

『Congratulations.』

Somehow mustering my willpower, I congratulate them, but this was my limit.
I’d like to be praised for being able to say just that.

“Hey, Erw.” (Wendelin)

“Wend, leave him alone.” (Ina)

“But, Ina.” (Wendelin)

“If you touch him now, he will collapse.” (Ina)

Wend and Ina are talking about something, but I can’t hear them well.
Rather, why did it turn out like that?
Did I do something wrong?
It went very smoothly with Karla-san.
Since Wend held back and didn’t talk with her overly much except during work and archery training, I was the closest to her besides the female camp.

“(A friend treatment? She was treating me as companion?)” (Erwin)

After introducing her fiancé who resembled me well, she left.

“Hey, it’s the grand marriage interview meeting, however…”

What is Wend saying? I don’t understand.

“Erw-boy, you can choose as you like.” (Burkhart)
It seems that Burkhart-san is saying something as well, but I don’t understand that either.

“You are Erwin-sama, right? I’m called Irene Firien Fähriger.”

Some girl-like person has started to talk to me, but I don’t comprehend.

“It’s no good. That’s a serious injury.” (Burkhart)

“Burkhart-san, is it better to give up this time?”

“He’s young, thus it will probably alright even if he delays it by one or two years.” (Burkhart)

“Right…”

The outsiders are talking about various things, but I don’t understand the meaning of their words neither do they enter my head.

“(But you know… It’s the long-awaited grand marriage interview meeting.)”

I’m barely able to recognize that much.
Certainly, my first love ended.
It ended with me getting completely rejected.

“(However, will I give up on everything because of that?)”

I’m still young.
There might certainly exist a second Karla-san in this world.
There are many participants in the grand marriage interview meeting organized by Wend.
There might even be a woman that fits me perfectly among them.

“(Stand up! Erwin! I will find a new love!)”

Mustering my willpower, I regain my self which was in a daze due to the shock of a broken heart.

“(I will even get several wives just like Wend! Aim for a small harem!)”

Having overcome my unrequited love, something like a shock doesn’t exist for me anymore.
I will definitely show that by getting a wonderful woman, who surpasses Karla-san, as wife.

“Wend, is there any wonderful woman among the participants?” (Erwin)

“Ehh…? The grand marriage interview meeting has already ended though…” (Wendelin)

Wend thrusts an outrages truth at me who finally woke up.

“Look! The cleaning up has already started.”

The cleaning up of the tables and such had already begun in the mansion’s garden.
And even before that, there’s not a single participant here either.

“Everyone is showing their partner around the city after deciding on one and there also some who have started to prepare living together.” (Wendelin)

“Huh?” (Erwin)

“Sorry, Erw. If I helped you more forcefully this time…” (Wendelin)

“No… It’s fine…” (Erwin)

My pride wouldn’t allow it for Wend to make Karla-san forcefully marry me even though there’s a partner she has set her heart on.
Rather than that, when I finally came to my senses, the grand marriage interview meeting had already ended.
Isn’t that in itself a shock?

“Sooner or later we will have another marriage interview meeting…”

“No, I will find a wonderful woman by myself!”

Now that it has turned out like this, I will show my backbone.
I will definitely find a far more wonderful woman than Karla-san, and marry her.
Swearing that in my heart, I exclaimed it on the spot as if declaring it.

“Such dream-like aim will cause you to stay single for a long time to come.” (Katharina)

Katharina says something quite rude.
Although she herself doesn’t have a man she gets along with except Wend.

“Nevertheless, Wendelin-san is there for me.” (Katharina)

And I was slightly vexed that I couldn’t object.

 


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