Chapter 86 – Therese-sama appears at the frontline


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“Frank! Stay firm!”

“Uuhh… Mother…”

A few hours after the gruesome battle ended, I helped with healing at the field hospital where Elise was at.
Since I had run out of mana, I was forced to recover it to some extent with a nap of several hours. Afterwards I was assigned to relieve the great number of injured by making use of the magic gems I had on hand.
Since I had not practised healing magic overly much due to relying on Elise, there’s no way for me to use all the magic gems.
At any rate, as I ended up giving priority on the healing, there were some among the injured for whom I might have not been in time.
Like this, I now encountered the scene of comrades raising their voices to encourage their friend whose consciousness was hazy.
The youth, who was close in age to me, was struggling against the looming death.

“Earl-sama! Please save Frank!”

“…”

There were very many who I wanted to save, but the mana I recovered by napping had already run out and I had used quite a few of the magic gems as well.
Given that I don’t know what will happen down the road, I was strictly ordered by Alfons to preserve a set amount of magic gems.
It’s regrettable, but we have no other choice but to bet on his life force.

“Sorry, but my mana has…” (Wendelin)

“No way… Frank! Stay strong!”

When I look at the youth about to die any time now, only feelings of guilt are welling up within me.
It’s not just about me being unable to save him, but it would also become unfair if other wounded wouldn’t be saved if I helped him.
What if there was another attack by an enemy army at the moment I used up the magic gems?
Although it was pathetic, I had no other choice but to abandon him ruthlessly.
It’s a coldhearted calculation with regards to the battlefield.

“Dear…” (Elise)

“I’m sorry.” (Wendelin)

Even Elise who stands next to me, has already run out of mana.
She exhausted her magic gems and even the mana in the ring I gave her as a present before.
Once I looked properly, her priestess garb was sullied with blood as she was apparently giving her undivided attention to medical treatment.

“Frank! You definitely have spirit!”

“Aah… My deceased mother has…” (Frank)

The seriously wounded youth called Frank appears to have already lost his mother.
Him seeing an illusion of her probably indicates that the time for him to ascend to heaven was drawing near.
His young comrades continue calling out to him, but his consciousness gradually becomes distant.
Frank’s death was now around the corner.

“Sorry. If I had been able to use stronger healing magic…” (Katharina)

“No, the magic one can use depends on the individual. It’s not your fault, Katharina.” (Wendelin)

“Wendelin-san…” (Katharina)

This is simply inevitable since there’s suitability and unsuitability.
Katharina had run out of mana as well. The best her healing magic can achieve is to heal minor injuries.

“Dear…” (Elise)

“Wendelin-san…” (Katharina)

All three of us were filled with feelings of regret. I had no other means but to simply embrace both their shoulders and console them.

“Mother…” (Frank)

“Frank!”

At the time when I considered it hopeless beyond doubt, that person appeared at the best possible timing.
Though he doesn’t look like a protagonist, he’s a person who seems to always be present in the middle of the turmoil.

“The injured are here, huh!?” (Armstrong)

Doushi, who showed up, had preserved his mana as a strategic option. Furthermore, although no one asked him to, he participated in the pursuit battle.

“Doushi?” (Wendelin)

“Uncle-sama?” (Elise)

“We will talk later!” (Armstrong)

It’s unknown why Doushi participated in the pursuit battle.
He vigorously rushed in riding a dosanko horse while holding in one hand the hexagon staff that’s often used by people of the Earl Armstrong household, which they obtained from somewhere.
Due to the sudden event, Alfons was dumbfounded, and yet, Doushi has succeeded in returning safe and sound.
However, his robe was blood-stained making Elise draw back.
Hasn’t he accumulated stress in various ways because his fighting style, which used three-dimensional movements, was impossible due to the restrictions on movement type spells?

“Youngster! Stay strong!” (Armstrong)

Doushi had learned 『Holy』 healing magic, but he has to embrace the other party for it to show any effect.
Doushi resolutely spread out both his arms while being wrapped in bluish-white 『Holy』 light.

“Please hurry (What will it be? Even though it’s a very great deed of him, his appearance is…)” (Wendelin)

“Umm… Please go ahead, uncle-sama.” (Elise)

From the point of view of Elise, who grew up in the church with its prohibition of homosexual love, something like her uncle, she should respect, hugging a young boy is probably a nightmare-like view.
However, this is also for the sake of saving the young boy’s life.
Without thinking about anything unnecessary, she also requested Doushi to heal him.
Once Doushi embraces the young boy while emitting the 『Holy』 bluish-white light from his entire body, the boy’s wounds vanish gradually.
Although it doesn’t work unless he hugs the other party as usual, its effect was exceedingly splendid because of his terrific mana quantity.

“Uuh… Mother.”

The young boy, who was about to die any time soon, had his consciousness slowly return due to the effects of Doushi’s healing.
However, there’s just one pitiful truth.

“Frank-san, as for the mother that’s embracing you…” (Elise)

“Noo~~~! You must not say iiit~~~!”

The serious Elise talked about reality, but she can’t be allowed say it in this situation.

“That young boy was saved. Any further than that is…”

“Understood.” (Elise)

Doushi has saved the almost-dead boy with his healing magic.
If seen from the standpoint of church officials like Elise, it’s likely a miracle they would want to record in a book, but going by the impression given by the scene, it’s a view one wants to seal away in one’s memories.
That’s because a muscled old man had hugged a young boy with all his might.
I have no doubt that it will be treated as prohibited item by the church, if a record of that is left behind.

“Doushi, if only you could use normal healing magic…”

“Yes…”

Completely discarding the previous sorrow, Elise and I can’t leak anything but a dry laughter.
And, even for the young boy Frank who was saved, disaster struck.

“Mother?” (Frank)

“Hmm. I’m not your mother, it’s great that you are alive.” (Armstrong)

“…” (Frank)

It’s probably natural for the young boy to become speechless.
Even though the figure of his deceased mother popped up in his mind at the time when his consciousness was hazy due to being close to death, he is embraced by a hard-faced, bright blue yakuza, an embodiment of muscles, once he opens his eyes.
At the same time Doushi showed the young boy his smile, however the boy doesn’t take it by face value since it’s Doushi after all.
From his point of view, he might regard Doushi as muscled death god.
He stayed stiff for a while.

“Haard~~~! Mother is haaard~~~!” (Frank)

It seems he was unable to endure the reality that befell his own body.
He raised an ear-shattering scream.

“Ahahaha! If you are this lively, you are already fine, I guess!” (Armstrong)

“Say, Richter! Konrad! What’s this about?” (Frank)

Frank, who recovered from his injuries, asked his nearby friends, but as there was absolutely no way for them to say anything with Doushi in front of them, his friends just lowered their sights.

“You were saved by Doushi-sama.”

Just that brief comment, one of them simply tells him the truth in a low voice.

“Frank, isn’t it all fine since you were saved?”

“That’s it, lad! As long as you are alive, you can enjoy life for a long time to come yet!” (Armstrong)

Even the deeply emotional scene gets messed up by Doushi. The saved boy receives compassionate looks from the other wounded.
However, they realize their situation right away.
The matter of them also getting hugged by Doushi right away while screaming soundlessly.

“Doushi, is your mana all right?”

“I have used almost none of it at the pursuit. I simply killed the enemies with this staff after catching up to them from behind.” (Armstrong)

“I see…”

Putting aside whether it’s right or wrong for a magician to go out for a pursuit to kill the enemy soldiers with a hexagon staff, it was also a fact that many of the injured were saved thanks to Doushi.
Though it’s correct to assume that all of them screamed in their minds while being embraced by him.

***

“Passing away just like that or getting saved by being hugged by Doushi; even though it’s natural to choose the latter, it’s doubtful on an emotional level, isn’t it?”

“The sole salvation is the fact of no feelings of love being involved.” (Katharina)

“Don’t mention such cruel thing for no special reason, Katharina-jou-chan.” (Burkhart)

“Dear teacher, I’m already a married woman…” (Katharina)

“Oops, sorry. However, still, how do you feel about getting embraced by him as an adult woman?” (Burkhart)

“I will make sure to not get injured, and even if it happens, I will leave it to Elise-san or Wendelin-san.” (Katharina)

“That’s an extremely normal reply, isn’t it?” (Burkhart)

“Teacher, just what do you want to hear from me?” (Katharina)

The next day after the battle took place, I, Burkhart-san and Katharina continued chatting while repairing and expanding the field encampment.
Although the wall was useful for defending against the enemy soldiers; since it turned into a situation where it had an insufficient height due to the corpses piling up on the other side, we were requested to add more height to it by Alfons.
We have also been asked to increase the number and depth of the moats against cavalry units, but that has been scheduled for tomorrow and the days after.
The reason for that is the large quantity of corpses of the enemy army currently scattered there. They are getting buried by the soldiers and hired local residents.
As it’s currently winter, the progress of decay is slow, but we can’t leave such huge amount of corpses alone forever.
The other magicians, who participated in the battle, dug a hole and after taking a memo of those, whose identity they could affirm, stripped off the usable items and tossed them into the hole.
Scattering oil and burnable things at the end, a magician set the hole on fire to cremate the corpses within.
There’s no way that something like dealing with corpses exceeding 10.000 in numbers will finish that easily if you don’t decrease their numbers by cremating them.
Also, the act of looking for spoils of war from the corpses; since this is also a part of the reward and war expenditures, it was normally carried out without whitewashing it.
Though it wasn’t an overly nice view to behold.
The stench of corpses burning in front of the stone wall that was built around the field encampment is disgusting.
But even this was the reality of a battlefield.

“Even so, I’d like to refrain from joining those corpses by losing.” (Burkhart)

“It’s because you are newly-wed, eh?” (Wendelin)

“Me as well as Earl-sama, right? By the way, what about Erw-boy?” (Burkhart)

“He’s on a date, isn’t he?”

Given that the guards were newly arranged by Alfons, there’s no need for Erw and Haruka to devote themselves to guarding that much.
Accordingly, he swiftly immersed himself in training trying to learn katana techniques.
With Haruka in the role as his teacher, she’s training together with him.

“I appreciate your efforts for continuing the pursuit battle.”

With the pursuit carried out by the elites of Mizuho national army’s Battou Unit and Duke Philip household’s feudal army, around 20.000 soldiers of the 40.000 soldiers of the rebel army were turned into corpses.
There were wounded and prisoners as well, but those don’t amount more than 2.000.
It might be because their lords would get executed if they returned after losing and because it might also result in harm towards their families if it’s just them surrendering, but there was an endless number of soldiers who were killed after fighting to the bitter end.
Because our allies had priority in healing, there were many wounded who ended up dying yesterday.
Due to the excessive amount of corpses, everyone was in a state of coping with it while being weary.

“It looks like quite a few of our allies died as well, doesn’t it?”

“Yes.”

The casualties of our allies were 2.567 in total.
If you consider the kill ratio, we have an overwhelming advantage, but this time’s rebel army wasn’t compromised of elites either.
Disposable military forces have caused more than 10% losses to our side.
Duke Nürnberg likely won’t consider his side to be at a disadvantage at all.

“Meaning Alfons-san is greatly troubled?”

“That’s how it is.”

We cannot help it in a real war since we will get killed if we cut corners, but the more soldiers die, the more will the empire’s national power decline.
Even for Therese that’s probably an unresolved problem that gives her a headache.

“Because we will have to fight, an expansion of the stone wall is preferrable.” (Katharina)

“That’s right, isn’t it…”

Because we finished the requested repairs and expansion, we withdraw to the rear next and cultivate the wasteland.
That doesn’t mean that we are colonisers, but it was for the sake of growing a certain kind of crop.

“Wend!”

“We waited for you.”

Ina and Luise, who helped by tilling the wasteland site with magic and planting seeds, show up.

“What kind of seeds are you planting?”

“It’s idiot daikon after all.”

“This is the actual produce.” (Ina)

Ina shows a large turnip with a size to the extent of Sakurajima daikon. (T/N: The largest variety of daikon on the world)
Even though it’s name is idiot daikon, it actually seems to belong to the family of turnips.

“It looks like this will become fodder for the horses.”

Due to its toughness, it’s unappetizing if humans eat it, but it easily grows on any kind of wasteland.
A certain extent of water was necessary, but we dealt with this by digging a large quantity of water wells.
It’s apparently called idiot daikon because 『Any kind of idiot can grow them』.

“I hear its place of origin is Earl Mizuho Country. It was produced by selective breeding of turnips.”

“Aahh, okay.”

I quietly listened to Luise’s explanation.
Once I hear daikon, I get the urge to eat an oden vendor’s pickled daikon radish.
Recalling even the combination of whitebait and grilled Pacific saury with grated daikon, I was absorbed in my deliberations how I should try to obtain it from Earl Mizuho Country.

“They will be ready for harvest in two months after sowing the seeds. They are also resilient against cold. They are fine with wastelands, too. Their only flaw is them tasting nastily, I guess?”

There doesn’t seem to be any problem with the horses eating it.
After harvesting the idiot daikon in the wastelands, next buckwheat, foxtail millet, barnyard millet and such will be grown by planting seeds in soil with horse dung mixed in.
By doing this gradually, the soil will improve so that wheat can be grown.

“Isn’t it possible to cultivate it in the Baumeister Earldom as well?” (Wendelin)

“That seems hopeless. They appear to be weak against heat.” (Ina)

Ina, who was planting seeds, replies to my question.

“That’s regrettable, I think” (Wendelin)

“Rather than using such roundabout method, I think your way of cultivating new land is much faster, Wend.” (Ina)

“No, not at all. Even I don’t cultivate new land that fast.” (Wendelin)

Since the majority of the soldiers work as farmers to begin with, I think we should leave the colonization to them.
There are also things such as digging wells and constructing roads for me.

“It’s not that different from the time when I was in the Baumeister Earldom.” (Katharina)

“This can’t be helped, though you have to add killing people to it. It looks like this will drag on for a while.”

“Yes, it’s completely a war of attrition.”

We are fighting against opponents who don’t consider suddenly losing 40.000 troops as damage.
I guess that’s probably because we can’t take the gamble of invading the imperial capital to turn the tables in one swoop.

“That’s why we are growing feed for the horses, right?”

It’s likely for the sake of lowering the burden on the supply.
Since something like wheat isn’t possible all of a sudden, we are substituting it with idiot daikon.
Even the field encampment is continuing to enlarge its function as a kind of defence fortification.
Piling up wood and stones that were processed by magicians, they were in the middle of expanding the watchtowers and barracks.

“After all there’s also a limit to a war of attrition. As expected, it’s planned to somehow wrap things up within several months.”

At that point Alfons shows up accompanied by Burkhart-san.
Burkhart-san has been assigned as constant guard to him as the supreme commander.

“It seems that Therese will deploy the main army here.”

“Did she gather allies to some degree?”

“Looks like it. Hey, Alfons-sama.”

“With all northern lords and a majority of the northern lords in the east and west, the rest has either declared their neutrality or joined as individuals, right?”

Since the rebellion has split the empire into two factions, all decide whom to follow by judging which side will emerge as winner.
Except for the official stance, it’s difficult for the nobles as well since it’s no good if they don’t truly join one side after deciding the winning side.
Just like in Sekigahara, they will lose their ranks in worst case if they make a mistake in their judgment. (T/N: Sekigahara is a movie about the end of the Warring States period in Japan)
For the nobles, it should be quite the painful decision to make as it can result in the disappearance of their household that lasted for several thousand years.

“So, when will they come?”

If she leads the army as supreme commander, that alone will rise the morale of our allies, too.
The degree of danger will go up as well, but it’s not like she will be told to swing her sword at the front line.
At this point it’s probably necessary for her to appear in the spotlight after resolving herself.

“It seems tomorrow early morning. I hear it’s quite the large army.”

“Roger.”

On that day I wield magic to expand the field encampment. Early morning of the next day, the military forces led by Therese showed up without problems.

“Although it was a defensive battle, making the enemy, who excelled in numbers, flee was definitely a great achievement, Alfons. Here’s thy reward.” (Therese)

“Ha!” (Alfons)

Therese, who was dressed in a more luxurious mithril-made chain mail than the one worn by Karla before, directly called out to Alfons who went ahead as her representative, and handed him a bag filled with gold coins.

“There are rewards for others as well, but these will be given afterwards.” (Therese)

“Ha!”

Therese immediately sets up her headquarters in the fortress which was built by stacking up building stones.
Moreover, gathering the lords and retainers there, she starts a simple war council.

“Did we defeat close to 20.000 soldiers? That’s a great war progress.” (Therese)

I guess it’s natural to raise the morale by first praising them since a battle, where half of the rebel army was killed, is a rare, great war progress.
However, it wasn’t a situation where it was possible to be delighted without restraint.

“With us being the defending side, the difference in the quality of magicians became apparent.”

Due to Alfons’ remark, the looks of all the important people, including Therese, turn towards us.

“Quite a few of the enemy’s magicians were defeated as well. However, the majority has been those who were employed by the prince-elector households.”

Although she had apparently read the report in advance, Therese’s expression was sorrowful.

“The difference in national power between the kingdom and the empire is continuing to increase. Don’t thou agree, Earl Baumeister?” (Therese)

“Who knows? I’m just a mercenary.” (Wendelin)

“No, I’m not blaming thee. I just felt jealous that thou live in Helmut Kingdom.” (Therese)

As expected, Therese didn’t address me as Wendelin as she usually does.

“Yet I only clawed my way up as eighth son of a poor noble.” (Wendelin)

“Thou struggling is a downpour that became a blessed rain for the kingdom. Furthermore, the empire is exhausting its national power in a civil war. There’s no other choice but to make it stop as soon as possible, and to enlarge our national power by including foreign trade as well. It’s truly something that will take much effort.” (Therese)

“In any case, currently I’m just a mercenary.” (Wendelin)

If I raise achievements by participating as Earl Baumeister, it will become troublesome because the problem of rewarding me will appear.
『Is it possible for a single person to hold peerage and territory in both countries?』 Due to that issue that had never happened between both countries since the dawn of history, it will very likely plunge the governments in chaos.
I will be quits by simply receiving money as mercenary, but I guess that’s the most fortunate outcome for both sides.

“Anyway, it’s something inconvenient for Duke Nürnberg.” (Therese)

“What was the intention behind sending the previous enemy army of 40.000?” (Erwin)

Erw, who has been training his katana techniques together with Haruka recently, posed an unusually serious question.
I wonder whether he was able to obtain a bit of self-awareness as my retainer?

“(Is he trying to show off his good points to Haruka?)”

Either way, I wanted to ask the same as well.

“Whether it’s winning or losing, both bring profit to Duke Nürnberg.”

If he was able to obtain a victory due to Therese’s preparations being too late, the scales of the two parties confronting each other in the civil war would have likely inclined towards Duke Nürnberg’s side.
It’s not like only the Lan tribe lives in the territories of the northern lords.
He could expect for there to be many people betraying their lords after seeing the difference in power.

“Even if he lost half the numbers due to the defeat, it’s a win for him?” (Erwin)

“Well, you know, that’s owed to the composition of those 40.000 troops.” (Wendelin)

I explain my pet theory to Erw.

“They are organized from the troops of all the prince-electors, who are held hostage, and General Classen who possessed authority in the imperial army’s centre although he’s incompetent. No matter how many of them die, it won’t hurt Duke Nürnberg.” (Wendelin)

The troops have been dispatched upon the order of Duke Nürnberg, who has seized the empire’s centre due to the coup d’état, and failed.
If he punishes them after blaming them for the failure of the operation that led to losing their military forces in the end, he can lower the prince-electors’ power without doing anything himself.

“So, the prince-electors, who dispatched the troops, will get executed?” (Erwin)

“No, going by the information of our spies, General Classen had apparently his rank changed, but the rest has to pay penalties.” (Therese)

The reason why Therese was delayed in coming here is probably because she was busy with the reconstruction of her information network without relying on magic and magic tools.

“It’s because General Classen was killed in action. So the punishments were lenient, you say?”

“The family head and his successor of the Earl household were idiots after all. For Duke Nürnberg it was likely easy to punish them without any hesitation. Or rather, luckily he has also caused the debacle of losing half of the military forces.”

“So, it’s penalties for the other prince-elector households?”

“Losing a large amount of the retainers and soldiers who were their backbone, a penalty has been handed out for the operation’s failure in the end. Apparently it has been often the case that the responsibility for defeat is connected to a penalty in the warring era. Since it’s not that much of an injustice, they can’t complain about it either.” (Therese)

At the moment when their family head was taken prisoner, they likely lost the ability to refuse as well.

“So, cracks developed in the framework of the prince-elector households because there are also things such as assurances towards those killed in action?”

“I guess it’s convenient for Duke Nürnberg. If they don’t pay up, they will be compelled to compensate with territory and concessions. Formally it will be paid to the imperial government, but its current head is Duke Nürnberg after all.” (Therese)

One might say that it’s a method befitting Duke Nürnberg who is aiming for a centralized authoritarian rule.

“How dirty.”

“It’s just as Erw says, it’s really nasty.”

“Fortunately it looks like the members of the central’s imperial family haven’t been executed.” (Therese)

Since there would be a rebellion by the imperial army and central’s appointed nobles, if he did something like massacring the imperial family, it appears that he has limited it to house arrest at present.
If he advances that centralized authoritarian rule, the probability of them getting executed would get high though.

“Then, none of the prince-elector households will become our allies, huh?”

“No, Ansgar-dono, who’s over there, joined our side.” (Therese)

Therese introduces the finely-dressed young man who is next to her.

“I’m the young Duke Ansgar Helgar von Baden. I happened to have heard a lot of your fame, Earl Baumeister.” (Ansgar)

As blonde-haired young man with an age around 20 years, he was a characteristic person with looks that made it apparent that he was a very well-bred young noble.

“Huh? Young Duke Baden-dono, it is?” (Wendelin)

If I remember correctly, his father, Duke Baden, should have run as candidate in the emperor election.
I remember listening to his speech while rubbing my sleepy eyes.

“My father, Duke Baden, and a part of our chief retainers were arrested. However, we haven’t dispatched any soldiers for those 40.000 soldiers strong military forces.” (Ansgar)

The Baden Dukedom lies in the north-eastern part of the empire.
There was the possibility of being attacked by Therese if they carelessly dispatched soldiers.

“The one who acted lawlessly first was Duke Nürnberg. Even if we temporarily side with him, I’m uneasy about the future. Our Duke Baden household will follow Therese-dono. Father and his chief retainers have to accept becoming the cornerstones of my Baden Dukedom.” (Ansgar)

I guess he’s saying that he will abandon them, but it can’t be helped since that’s not a problem only concerning parent and child either.
If he were unable to make such decision, he won’t be able to become the family head of a prince-elector household, though it might be harsh to say so.

“(However I guess it’s wrong to ask him about it…)” (Wendelin)

He will desert his one and only father.
He shouldn’t be able to do so calmly.

“The participation of the Duke Baden household will be a great help since it will even out the power balance.” (Therese)

After chatting for a while, a dinner meeting that also served as introduction of the major nobles was held, and Therese explained her plans to everyone at that location.

“There will be a reorganization of the empire’s nobles due to this rebellion.” (Therese)

She doesn’t annonce it formally, but Therese, who opposes the rebel Duke Nürnberg, is a strong contender for becoming the next empress.
Urquhart the 17th, who was elected the other day, likely won’t be able to accomplish his duty thanks to his unsightly way of getting captured, even if he’s alive and gets rescued.
And, that next empress candidate states that a reorganization of the nobles will take place.
The Duke Nürnberg household, the perpetrators of the rebellion, will naturally lose their rank. In addition there will be some, who will lose their ranks or a part of their territory, and those, who will perish completely in the civil war albeit being influential families.
The territory that will become free in such manner, will be naturally distributed to the winners.
Supporting Therese is a declaration equal to obtaining that privilege.

“(Well, that’s only natural, I guess.)”

No matter whether it’s a rebellion, people who work for free don’t exist in the first place, much less to say about nobles.

“Sure enough I don’t know when Duke Nürnberg will come attacking with his entire army, but that battle will be decisive.” (Therese)

After dinner, the nobles returned to their respective camps.
While continuing the expansion of the field encampment and the colonization, we are waiting for Duke Nürnberg’s troops going north.
If Duke Nürnberg doesn’t defeat Therese, he won’t be able to unify the empire.
He is bound to come north without fail.
If the situation changes, the strategy might change as well, but at present that’s the plan.

“So, this is thy house, Wendelin?” (Therese)

“Yes. I built it myself.” (Wendelin)

Since the other nobles were gone after dinner, Therese called me Wendelin once again and furthermore intruded upon my house.
So far as it goes, she has an excuse.
With it being about confirming the reward for us, it’s plain obvious for anyone to see that it’s just a pretext.
The reason is because Burkhart-san left since he has his duty as guard of Alfons and Doushi ended up going out somewhere as well.

“It’s remarkably luxurious.” (Therese)

A mercenary basically pays for his own expenses on the necessities of life.
Tentatively we have been given a plot of land by Alfons and piling up building stones, which were quarried from abandoned mines and such, it has become a house with quite the size.
For temperature regulation it uses an air-conditioner and something like a heater magic tool instead of a fireplace. It’s also fully equipped with a bath and a kitchen.
After the interior design of the house, such as the plastering, was completed carefully, furniture and other magic tools were installed. Therese was apparently astonished by its extravagance.

“Those are magic tools I’ve never seen.” (Therese)

“They are excavated items after all.” (Wendelin)

The air-conditioner and the heater are items we discovered in the Demon Forest ruins.

“Mine residence has stoves and fireplaces. Even so, it’s still far richer than those of the soldiers. Can I get thou to sell me the magic tools?” (Therese)

“I’m sorry, but I need the permission from the kingdom for that.” (Wendelin)

Although the fortune of the Demon Forest’s magic tools had been bought by the magic tool guild using up a large amount of money, it was expected to take quite some time for them being able to mass produce them.
Even if the items are present as patterns, they are magic tools that can’t be reproduced that easily.

“Good grief. It’s possible that the empire will become at disadvantage regarding magic tools as well.” (Therese)

“How about Earl Mizuho Country?”

“The trend for self-reliance is high over there. They won’t invade, but follow their own path. Once we win in the civil war, I might bind them by making them a prince-elector household.” (Therese)

There was a possibility that they would be occupied by the empire, but Therese is probably believing that there are benefits in integrating them.

“By the way, there will be a remuneration for thee.” (Therese)

According to the contract, we will basically be paid with money.
The workload from killing to construction of the field encampment, well digging, cultivation of fields, healing of the wounded and such has been authorized and recorded by Alfons. Based on the market price, an amount of money will be added to the total sum.
Even at this point in time, it had already become a substantial amount of money.

“Also, there is the license for trading between Earl Mizuho Country and Baumeister Earldom, and…” (Therese)

There’s the permission to take minerals from the abandoned mines located in the Great Sorbid Wastelands.
Of course, since this had been carried out in the past by the magicians of the empire, I smoothly received the approval to this condition.

“Did thou procure plenty of gold and silver?” (Therese)

“So-so.” (Wendelin)

“So-so? That’s great then.” (Therse)

It’s an advantage to have a lot mana at such times.
After all I can freely extract ore from veins that are impossible to mine with the current technology of the empire with magic, like those located several hundred meters below the abandoned mines.
The amount of gold and silver I collected until now was so much that I wouldn’t be troubled even if wasn’t paid a reward.

“(Certainly, ignorance is bliss. I guess they can’t reach such underground veins anyway.)” (Wendelin)

If they detected it, it would have been mined a long time ago already.

“I have heard from Alfons, but it seems that thou participated actively.” (Therese)

“More or less.”

“There’s no need to be humble. I have received a report that several high-level magicians were part of the enemy’s front line. They were people said to be as remarkable in the empire as the four brothers some time ago.” (Therese)

I think that I’m an unrefined magician that only copes with firm defence power and mighty emission type spells in battle.
It will still take a long time for me to reach the level of master, I believe.
However, among the empire’s magicians there were many who were more unrefined and unexperienced in handling things impromptu than me who can rely on the fact of having mana.
That’s why I feel like they were crushed one-sidedly by Katharina, Burkhart-san and Doushi without even looking at me.

“The role model of an empire’s magician is Doushi.” (Therese)

“In other words, being specialised in something?” (Wendelin)

“Indeed. I hear that it was said by a renown magician in the old days: If you set your heart on one thing, that magic will become strong.” (Therese)

I don’t believe that to be wrong.
As a matter of fact, if you settle on one type of magic, the efficiency of mana consumption and its power will rise.
However, there’s no guarantee that you will definitely become powerful by doing that.
If one persists in it to the the degree of Doushi, they might become the strongest, but for a magician like me it’s better to possess a variety of knowledge to handle things on the go. After all the only thing one can say is that it depends on the person themselves though.

“Many magicians will die from now on.” (Therese)

If you go further, all of them will be imperial magicians, if they are killed by us, since it’s a civil war within the empire.
For Therese that’s probably something headache-inducing.

“Even if I lament over it, it’s inevitable. I have to hasten in bringing the civil war quickly to a close and proceed with reinforcing the empire’s national power.” (Therese)

“As first empress?” (Wendelin)

“In this situation, that’s how it will play out. Besides, there’s also the requirement that we can win against Duke Nürnberg.” (Therese)

“I will go at it with the intention of winning. I don’t want to die.” (Wendelin)

Spare me from dying in such civil war.
For that sake I’m even killing people which I don’t actually want to do.

“That’s a sound argument. Returning to the previous talk; there will be a special reward from me for thee who has obtained huge achievements.” (Therese)

“You sleeping with me is not necessary.” (Wendelin)

“Ooh! Wendelin, thou are a cold-hearted man. To not even pity me who is bound to inevitably become empress…” (Therese)

“Please look for a husband in your own country.” (Wendelin)

“I agree with Wendelin-sama. Since you are the most likely candidate for becoming the next empress, Therese-sama, you should avoid a scandal with a man who has five wives already.” (Elise)

Opening the bedroom’s door which is located next to the living room where I was talking with Therese, Elise showed up in a negligee.
She likely took offence to Therese’s suggestive seduction once again.

“Elise-dono, huh? Once I become empress, the selection of my husband will become complicated. It will be fine if you lend him to me for just a bit.” (Therese)

“Borrowing a man, I don’t think that your statement is befitting for you, a lady of the empire, at all though, Therese-sama…” (Elise)

“Even if I stick to being unmarried, I still want a child at least. I promise that I will definitely not reveal that it’s Wendelin’s seed.” (Therese)

“That’s sophistry, isn’t it? Won’t you announce it officially without any hesitation depending on the political circumstances?” (Elise)

Therese couldn’t answer Elise’s question.

“Therese-sama, you intend to seek asylum at the time when your defeat in this civil war is set in stone, right?”

What if she had a relation to me at that time, and furthermore was even pregnant with my child?
That child would possess the qualifications to succeed the Earl Baumeister household.
If Therese defected, she would be bound to also gather her retainers and family members. Based on my position, I would have to shelter them.
There should be also many people who will have a successful career by becoming retainers.
And there’s also the possibility that Therese and her faction would begin a political strife towards recapturing her native homeland within the kingdom.
Elise’s guess shouldn’t be that far from reality at all.

“(Indeed, doing it with Therese will be more expensive than having sex with any kind of high-class prostitute.)” (Wendelin)

Even if she became empress, there’s the possibility that she would diplomatically demand something from the kingdom with the child as excuse.
In short, Therese’s seduction is that dangerous, I believe.

“Besides,”

Elise continues talking while embracing my back.
I turn my awareness towards the sensation of her breasts that won’t lose to Therese’s either.
While she’s my wife, those are truly splendid.

“Wendelin-sama is busy every night.” (Elise)

Once Elise said so, Ina and the others also showed up from the bedroom while wearing negligees.

“Therese-sama, cutting in line isn’t very praiseworthy.”

“Five people or six people, I think it’s the same either way though.” (Therese)

“If it’s within Helmut Kingdom, it’s possible that such thing might happen in the future.” (Ina)

Ina expresses her distinct will of refusal towards Therese.

“Therese-sama, creeping at night into Wendelin’s bedroom will be impossible since Wilma and me are there.” (Luise)

“Right. It would be best if you would narrow down your aim at Alfons or such, Therese-sama.”

“Alfons doesn’t view me as woman.” (Therese)

Due to Wilma’s and Luise’s surveillance, Therese shouldn’t be able to steal into my bedroom at night to make love.
With her strength, no matter how much she struggles, she won’t be able to win against Luise and Wilma.

“In that case, how about Duke Baden?”

“That person’s first wife is the niece of His Majesty Urquhart the 17th. It will probably be turned down by the other side.” (Therese)

It seems that usually there are political marriages between the prince-elector households and the imperial family.

“Apparently you have various difficulties, but please search within the empire.” (Katharina)

“Katharina, your way of saying it is the cruelest!” (Therese)

“Even if you tell me that. Wendelin-san is busy after all. He has to embrace me to create a successor for my Waigel household.” (Katharina)

No sooner than saying that, Katharina began to move towards the bedroom while pulling my arm.

“Thee, certainly thee are not…” (Therese)

“Yes. We have everyday kept Wendelin-sama company with everyone, but is there something wrong?” (Elise)

“Uuh!” (Therese)

Therese ended up drawing back a bit due to Elise replying with a serious look.
Since she has no experience of coping with that, just like Katharina in the past, she probably pulled back instinctively.

“Wendelin, are thou fine doing it every day?” (Therese)

“I’m all right with it.” (Wendelin)

There was also the spell from master, but it’s not like we are actually doing it every day.
In short, it’s important for Elise and the others to not give Therese a chance.
There are also many days where we talk until sleep or play games.

“Always with five people?” (Therese)

She has apparently no experience how to deal with it.
Therese spoke up with the usual firmness in her voice, but her expression looks like she’s losing her head.
She probably can’t endure getting embarrassed in her mind.

“Do you want to join as sixth person, Therese-sama? Five or six people is the same, right?”

Once Elise delivered the finishing blow, Therese reflexively left her seat after hearing that.

“No… Such a thing is… For my first time, I ask for it to be just the two of us…” (Therese)

Her tone becomes gradually incoherent. At the end she declared this in a loud voice,

“I will definitely produce a fait accompli when it’s just Wendelin and me!” (Therese)

Once she goes as far as saying that, she leaves the house as if trying to run away.

“Did we do something slightly pitiful to her?” (Wendelin)

“Dear, if we don’t give at least this much of a clear explanation, a second and third Therese-sama will appear.” (Elise)

“You are right, I guess…” (Wendelin)

Since there’s already the case with Elise’s and the others’ mana increasing, there’s no way that I can carelessly increase the number of wives and lovers.

“Dear, let’s soon go to the bedroom.” (Elise)

“Sure.” (Wendelin)

Even if we go outside, there’s no entertainment with there only being soldiers around. Swiftly secluding ourselves in the bedroom will quicken the recovery of mana and raise the probability of survival.
I think I will pretend that to be the case.

“If I think about it now, it was difficult for Dominique.”

“Most recently I have such impression everyday.”

“Is that some sort of escapism? It’s different, no? For us children are necessary.” (Luise)

“Since it’s a war, it can’t be helped that such emotions arise as well. Father-in-law said so before.” (Wilma)

“Wilma-san, you know it well.” (Katharina)

“Should I erase the evidence on top of the bed with the 『Purification』 spell…?” (Wendelin)

The next morning, while entering the bath together, we chatted with each other as if forgetting about the disastrous scene on top of the bed.

 


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