“Did the Holy Kingdom swallow your terms?” (Renya)
The archduchess quickly nods towards Renya’s question.
“There’s no way they could actually refuse them anyway~. And they have also released an official announcement pertaining to this time’s war~.” (Lydia)
She opened the desk’s drawer and after rummaging through it, took out a piece of paper from within.
The archduchess immediately held out the piece of paper towards Renya.
“Is it fine for me to read it?” (Renya)
“It’s not like it’s a confidential document, you know~?” (Lydia)
After getting the archduchess’ permission, Renya took the piece of paper from her hands and scanned through its content.
It was a letter sent in the name of the Holy Kingdom’s 25th king.
Renya casually looks at where the kingdom’s generation has changed. It seems the person, who was the king when Renya visited and held negotiations with the country, was taken off the throne in some sort of way.
Though I think it would be nice if it didn’t happen through an accident or an assassination, Renya thinks while continuing to read through the letter.
“I feel they used many, pointless words, but… in a nutshell they are saying that the cause for the war was the hero going on a rampage and that the Holy Kingdom is a victim that was dragged into the situation. However, because there’s a need for the country, who owned the hero, to take responsibility for his deeds, they will pay reparations to the countries that joined the alliance, and furthermore, they will pay reparations and offer an apology to the Trident Principality, the biggest victim. Did I get that right?” (Renya)
There were various other things such as Hero Yuuki having been deprived of his title as the hero and so on written in there. But for Renya the subject of who’s the hero isn’t all that interesting, as the hero is gone, and thus he completely skipped over that part.
It appears that the majority of the things Renya told the king when he raided the Holy Kingdom’s royal castle have been written down into this official document without changing the content.
It was Renya’s intention to raid the Holy City’s castle once more and to properly transform the area into an empty lot this time, if they had tried to act as if they didn’t know what Renya had agreed upon with the late king with the excuse of the new king’s take-over. But he believes that there’s no need to do so with the contents of the letter being as they are.
“So the case is closed with this?” (Renya)
“There’s still some fine-tuning left, but~ I think that it’s roughly finished~. The rest falls into the sphere of politicians~.” (Lydia)
“Even if I tell you about that, it won’t interest you, will it?” Once Renya is told that by the archduchess, he can only nod.
In all honesty, Renya has absolutely no interest in things related to who suffered what losses and what kind of cross-national treaties are being made to compensate for the damages caused.
“Which reminds me, what about Liaris?” (Renya)
Renya firmly warned Liaris, who was about to show her power as a dragoon as if the war was the critical moment to do so, before the battle, and made her give up on that idea.
Certainly, if the opponents were common soldiers, an attack with a dragon would have been very effective. But he judged that she would likely be degraded into a mere target if the hero were to be within the enemy’s army. What I felt after seeing that hero’s light attacks, made it obvious that my predictions weren’t wrong, he assesses.
A powerful combat asset will display its effectiveness by raising the allies’ morale during the time they are in good health, but it was also a fact that if they were done in, it would lead to a decline in moral that would overcome the previously raised amount.
“I had her return to the city of Kukrika~. After all she’s a precious combat force and a valuable existence~.” (Lydia)
The strategy of having Dra-kun peek his head out from under the outer wall to fire his breath apparently gained him quite the military accomplishments, if one ignores the method’s cheapness.
“As result of that, it’s scheduled to advertise her feat on a grand scale within the country while also keeping the method hidden,” the archduchess says.
Due to this Liaris’ fame as dragoon will rise even further once again.
“Did Emedra return together with them?” (Renya)
“Definitely don’t get involved with the battle over here,” Renya had instructed the dragon with a firm voice when the war had begun.
The reason was the same as for Liaris, but it also included Renya’s fear that if the emerald dragon were to die here by any chance, it could possibly trigger many different problems in many different areas that he isn’t aware of, going by Dra-kun’s and Croire’s behaviors towards the dragon.
From Renya’s standpoint, he recognised the red Dra-kun and the green Emedra as the same type of flying lizards.
“Isn’t that one~ still flying around somewhere close~?” (Lydia)
“I see, if it’s still here, I will try to ask it if we can use it as transport back home.” (Renya)
Regardless of whether a dragon is a flying lizard or not, there’s certainly no mistake in it being a quick transportation method in this world.
Renya knows that it will probably be expensive if one considers a dragon’s maintenance costs, but it’s difficult to get your hands on a vehicle with the same speed as a dragon in this somewhat wide world. If I consider it from there, I’d like to own at least one dragon for myself, he ends up thinking.
Even if the emerald dragon is impossible, going by Dra-kun’s and Croire’s attitudes, isn’t it alright to catch at least one as long as it’s one of those living in the rocky mountains, just like Dra-kun? Renya wonders, but once he went to ask Dra-kun, the talk caused his deep red body to become ghastly pale.
“Ahaha~ … just so you know, dragons are pretty much the strongest monsters and regarded as symbols of fear, okay~?” (Lydia)
“That’s no concern of mine.” (Renya)
“Yeah, you might be right~. So~, now it’s time to talk about your reward for the work you got done this time, Renya-san~.” (Lydia)
Renya recalls that he told Mayria at the time she requested his cooperation to pay a reward, even if it’s just a small one, since he doesn’t want to work for free.
Given that I told her that it would be okay to stay reasonable with the reward, it probably won’t be anything special anyway, Renya thinks. The archduchess smiled at him and said,
“I will give you a peerage and a territory~.” (Lydia)
“… What?” (Renya)
The archduchess clearly told Renya, who thinks that he might have misheard, while speaking slowly,
“As I said~, I will give you the rank of Earl and a territory~. The Kunugi Margraviate will be newly established~.” (Lydia)
“I don’t need it.” (Renya)
Mayria’s face cramps up due to the archduchess’ completely unexpected words.
Seemingly sensing somehow that the mood has changed, Shion, whose white eyes were opened widely, recovers her spirit and raises her body atop the chair.
The archduchess looks at Renya with a face as though asking “Why did you reject it immediately~?”
“That means that I will be affiliated to the country, doesn’t it? Gimme a break!” (Renya)
“No good~?” (Lydia)
“Yes, it’s hopeless. In that case it would still be better to treat this as working for free.” (Renya)
“Hmm~, how troublesome~.” (Lydia)
The archduchess lets out a groan while folding her arms in front of her abundant chest.
Shion apparently still doesn’t understand what’s going on clearly and looks at the archduchess with an absent minded expression. Mayria looks in Renya’s direction, and not the archduchess’, while holding her twitching, cramping cheeks with both hands.
“What is so troublesome about it?” (Renya)
Once Renya asks the archduchess, who was remaining silent while continuously groaning, she looks at Renya while keeping her arms folded, and stays quiet for a bit.
Just when Renya started to wonder whether he should try asking her once more, the archduchess opened her mouth and said,
“You know~, I have the impression that you have gone a liiiittle bit too far, Renya-san~.” (Lydia)
“In this time’s war~ you definitely proved that you were far stronger than Hero-san, didn’t you Renya-san~?” (Lydia)
“The information that it was me who defeated the hero shouldn’t spread though, right?” (Renya)
Certainly, Renya defeated the hero in a location with many onlookers.
Even Renya knows that it would create various issues if this information was circulated throughout the continent.
Exactly for that reason, he used the good opportunity that the alliance’s soldiers, who were present when he finished off the hero, were subordinated and strictly ordered the armor to command them that they are not allowed to talk about what they have seen.
As one can definitely expect for the situation to become nasty if even just a bit is leaked about this matter, he made sure that they would kill themselves on the spot if they spoke of it.
Renya doesn’t trust the subordination state itself overly much, so it’s a countermeasure he came up with for techniques, that might be used on the soldiers, that could make them confess through some sort of method.
“It’s not about other countries~. The problem is inside the Trident Principality~.” (Lydia)
“In regards to within the country… it’s because there was no method to impose a gag order…” (Mayria)
As it’s often said “Anyone can start a rumor, but no one can stop one,” information will apparently leak from somewhere even if you try to keep it a secret.
“Until now such rumors had been to the level of “Renya-san seems to be super strong~,” but now it’s different~.” (Lydia)
“To be precise, people were made to understand that you possess an abnormal combat power due to the fact that you defeated the hero, Renya-san.” (Mayria)
“And if we said that it was all accomplished by that armor?” (Shion)
Shion, who appeared to somewhat comprehended the situation, cuts in.
“And who’s the master of that armor-san~?” (Lydia)
“If we said there isn’t one…” (Shion)
“If we announced that the hero was defeated by a masterless armor moving about on its own devices~, it would cause panic among the people, right~?” (Lydia)
“The reason that the armor’s reputation, who is currently standing stock still on the outer wall, has now settled at the level of it giving off a somewhat bad feeling is that the people, who see it, think that it’s probably under someone’s control. If that perception is changed into the armor being under no one’s control even though it’s a being that possesses power to the extent of completely defeating the hero, that fact would likely cause quite a lot of chaos,” the archduchess said.
That argument applies to Renya himself in the same way as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s as the armor’s master or as a person who possess enough power himself to defeat the hero, either way it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a being in the Trident Principality that exceeds the hero while also being under no one’s control. Even if you put the common people aside, it’s a truth that scares even the nobles, who are the essential building blocks for the Trident Principality’s governmental system.
“In other words, you are telling me that you will put a collar around my neck?” (Renya)
“Though it’s not like I clearly said it in such way~.” (Lydia)
The archduchess nods while assuming a slightly gloomy look.
It has become cumbersome, Renya sighs, but seeing that I have taken an openly aggressive stance against the hero, I think that I would have been exposed sooner or later anyway.
However, I didn’t predict what would happen afterward.
Come to think of it, it’s not incomprehensible for it to turn into a conversation of “What kind of monster is that?” if some unknown stranger crushes the hero, the strongest combat force of the humans in this world, all by himself.
Though I consider such a conversation to be still better than it turning into people shouting “Kill that monster!”, which would be the worst case.
“Even if you were to escape to another country, it’s a liiiittle bit troublesome at the moment~. I mean, it looks like that armor-san has inherited the powers of the hero~.” (Lydia)
“What about emigrating after handling the armor somehow?” (Renya)
“That’s okay~. In that case I will even give you a farewell gift~ and keep it a secret from the nobles to where you emigrated~. But~…” (Lydia)
Releasing her folded arms, the archduchess places both her elbows on the desk, puts her chin on top of her palms and stares at Renya.
“Going by the way you live your life… you will probably get exposed sooner or later, no matter where you go.” (Lydia)
Renya can’t deny that assertion.
If he’s asked whether he can live hidden from society like a hermit after having gotten rid of the armor that possesses the hero’s abilities and emigrated to somewhere else, Renya has no other option but to reply that he can’t.
Even if he was able to do it, for argument’s sake, it’s easy to imagine that he will most likely resolve a similar situation with force, just as he did this time, if it happens somewhere close to him.
However, if he did that, his surroundings would learn of him having an abnormal combat power just as it happened this time. And in the end they would start moving, trying to attach a collar to Renya’s neck in the same way.
“However, if it’s me~, I believe I can somehow handle those situations~.” (Lydia)
The archduchess says to Renya, who’s asking himself ‘What would be the best option?’
“Cuz I’m the archduchess.” (Lydia)
“No, cuz, you say…” (Renya)
Her Majesty the Archduchess presses both hands against her hips and forcefully throws out her chest.
She possess something truly splendid there, Renya turns his look towards the archduchess’ emphasized breasts while feeling slightly weary.
Shion’s and Mayria’s gazes, who had noticed Renya’s stare, naturally became chilly.
“It’s not a collar~. I think it will be alright as long as the people in the surroundings believe that you have fallen into a trap~.” (Lydia)
“Mother, what do you mean with that?” (Shion)
Upon Shion’s question, the archduchess pushed out her chest even further and stated,
“If we make Renya-san into a noble, first off it will mean that he has become affiliated with the county and it will also allow me to claim to the nobles that I didn’t leave the situation unattended.” (Lydia)
“I see, and so?”
“Making him a duke~ is slightly difficult~. But since the rank of earl is also fairly high-ranking, only I, the archduchess, will be able to give him orders.” (Lydia)
“In other words… as long as you leave me alone, it will be possible for me to live without bothering myself with the country?” Renya, who somehow realized what he wants to do, asked the archduchess, who looked as if she wanted to say “I’m amazing, right?”
“Though I guess your inconveniences will increase~. Since you will become landed nobility, please make sure to properly manage your territory.” (Lydia)
“Do your best since there are various things such as reclamation, colonization and taxation, okay?” Being told so by the archduchess, Renya’s expression becomes extremely displeased.
“There’s no way for me to be capable of doing something like that, is there? I’m a simple swordsman!” (Renya)
“I will give you Mayria-chan as your aide.” (Lydia)
Once the archduchess says that while raising her index finger, Mayria stares at the archduchess’ face with a surprised expression.
“Moreover, I will also add Shion-chan as the one in charge of military affairs.” (Lydia)
The archduchess raises her index along with her middle finger.
Not only is there the strange situation of a mere adventurer being appointed to nobility, but the archduchess even says that she will send both of her daughters to him.
Due to the abnormal terms added on top of the already strange situation, only the feeling of it being too late to say anything stands out, but Renya was able to comprehend what the archduchess wanted to do.
By attaching both her daughters to him, she will apparently appeal to the other nobles that she shares a friendship with Renya and at the same time she will make it clear that he’s under her strict control by her having placed watchdogs at his side. It seems that’s what she wants to emphasize.
“Though, if you have any other requests, I will accept them as long as they are within my capabilities~.How about it, Renya-san? I do feel bad about it, but I wonder whether I can have you accept it~?” (Lydia)
In the archduchess’ eyes, the current Trident Principality is in a situation where it possesses two mighty combat forces, namely Renya and the armor that became the hero.
Given that the archduchess roughly understands Renya’s nature, she can’t state for sure that she doesn’t intend to use those two combat forces at all, but she also didn’t have the intention to handle them imprudently.
However, if Renya decides to emigrate, it will result in these two combat forces being immediately gone, which will be a huge loss for the Trident Principality.
Taking things into consideration up until there, the archduchess planned to compromise quite a bit for Renya.
I will leave the country since it’s becoming troublesome, that idea was extremely attractive, but the matter of him having to wander from place to place each time he’s exposed wasn’t very appealing.
Even while taking the matter of him having been told to travel around the world as he sees fit when he came to the world over here into account, having a proper place to call home is much better than trying to wander around with no goal in mind. Moreover, the style of visiting various places is also soothing on an emotional level.
“Can you really promise me that you won’t push me around for the good of the country?” (Renya)
“I can’t put it down on an official document~, but I will have Mayria-chan and Shion-chan secretly hold onto a written oath signed by me~. However, I wonder if I can have your permission to make various requests if the situation develops into a national crisis~?” (Lydia)
“Well… I don’t mind that, but it won’t be free of charge, okay?” (Renya)
“There’s no noble that serves the country for free~.” (Lydia)
“Can I also get your permission to assign Rona to me?” (Renya)
“She’s your party member after all, Renya-san~. I will approve it~.” (Lydia)
“What about support by the country in regards to the territory’s administration?” (Renya)
“Financially, funding is impossible~. No matter what we do, I think it would take the shape of a loan~. Though I will somehow handle it so that it becomes an unsecured loan with no interest~.” (Lydia)
Renya started to wonder whether he can ask for any more favorable conditions from the archduchess who also stated that it would be okay for him to continue his adventurer activity after having assigned a governor.