Chapter 25 – Take A Look Around

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The Vichy central committee is run by 5 committees representing the 5 large cities, popularly abbreviated to “Centre” in Vichy.
Basically every city recognises it’s own local authority that has a structure to it.
A liason from the centre is sent to each city, while on the surface a perfect observation system for the centre, a perfect cover for spies. For that reason, a city-state trying to withdraw from Vichy had not happened for more than 50 years….
「 What on earth…? What is going on! 」
In the central committee’s simply decorated yet dignified conference room, a corpulent fat man raised his voice.
「 This clamour is pointless. First it is necessary to gather information. 」
「 In any case, the representative for Arusel is unaccounted for. According to the observer sent, most of the soldiers seem to have been killed. Collecting information will take time. 」
「 While we’re being slow, Orsongrande is possibly starting something. 」
「 Impossible. There is no reason for strife, nor is there any indication of such from their goods circulation. 」
The central committee members exchanged several opinions, “It seems that many of Arosel’s troops have been murdered” being the predominant theme.
Legally speaking, protests should be lodged with Orsongrande, but cannot for lack of evidence.
「 Excuse me! 」
A soldier rushed into the unsettled conference room carrying an official document.
「 What? We’re in the middle of a meeting right now. 」
「 That is…. A letter of protest has reached our country from Orsongrande. 」
「 Letter of protest!? 」
A man stood up hitting the desk, his large stomach wobbling, and snatched the document from the soldier.
「 Th-This… 」
Seeing the man at a loss for words, a female committee member took the document from him and looked it over.
「 Let me see… 」
According to the document from Orsongrande, the committee of Horant had obtained magic tools that twisted human nature, the city-state had also issued instructions for the death of an innocent woman. Furthermore, a protest against using these magic tools for aggressive behaviour within Orsongrande territory, backed up with evidence and an eyewitness.
Moreover, Orsongrande called out the high-handedness of the city-state’s central committee over time and questioning the independent actions carried out under their jurisdiction, calling for allies to separate from Vichy, ending with telling the central committee to come down hard on this in the name of justice.
「 This is no protest, it’s a declaration of war! 」
「 Why in the world…. 」
「 Immediately contact every city and tell them not to reply to this joke of a protest from Orsongrande. 」
「 Definitely….. You! Immediately notify our contacts in every city! 」
「 Yes! Understood! 」
The soldier who brought the document immediately rushed out of the conference room.
「 This is a great danger for Vichy. If by some chance a city-state emerges considering separating….. 」
「 I think that is quite unlikely. I don;t know about here, but establishing an independent nation won;t be considered in other city-states. 」
「 Is that so? ….. Considering the military forces, the beastmen tribe area and the Horant side have more troops present. If you think about it, our country will not be affected to that extent. 」
Relief filled the conference room for a while, but the interaction with Orsongrande had yet to be decided.
The meeting ended with the decision of cooperation for the time being, albeit half-heartedly.
The future may have been different if they had taken a proactive defense regarding Orsongrande, but with common sense was usually disregarded in favour of possible selfish gains.

It was Hifumi’s second day at the castle. They had stayed over at the castle.
「 The assembly of the allied city-states is dispersed everywhere, an easy way to maintain stability and cooperation. With the right cooperation, economy grows well. However, every city-state will defend itself, and the patriotic feeling that every “country” has is much lower. 」
Hifumi explained while cheerfully munching on a steak in the morning.
The instigator of the protest document to Vichy was obviously him.
Sitting with him were Princess Imeraria and Alyssa. Origa and Kasha had been released from slavery.
Even though they were freed, they had not left Hifumi. With their revenge still unaccomplished, they were now employed exclusively by Hifumi as adventurers to travel with him. They strongly wished to accompany him so, Hifumi lightly said 「 Well then, you’re hired. For now, until Beirevra is caught and killed. 」
Alyssa was employed as an attendant to Hifumi, who was treated as a viscount. At any rate, she was relieved at having obtained a social position in this country. Once the promotion ceremony ends, they would go to the territory.
「 However, would the tentative explanation received be enough, I wonder….. 」
In contrast to Hifumi, Imeraria was clearly uneasy, reflected in her appetite.
The day Hifumi had returned to the castle, Imeraria made the document to send to Vichy as proposed by Hifumi. It was delivered to Vichy’s central committee via the ambassador to Vichy who received it by pigeon and a fast horse. It would probably reach Vichy that day or the next. That was the fastest level of communication in this world.
At the time, Hifumi told them to send the documents to each city in Vichy before the central committee began to move.
「 In any case, it is impossible to keep the movements of every city under surveillance. Unawares, the neighbouring city may be an enemy, amusing, isn’t it. Besides, on examining the documents, the centre has a large number of troops. Due to this, each city will send their agents everywhere there is great influence and financial strength. The central committee will desperately scramble for control. 」
Imeraria was unable to object to Hifumi’s words. After a brief consultation with the Prime Minister, it was hurriedly arranged. Though now doubts have come up with time. At the time, it was a hasty action, but at this point, could it be likened to a declaration of war?
「 At least the strength of their political system is nonexistent. Thanks to their council system, it’ll lead to squabbles and it’s unlikely that they will move for two weeks at the earliest. 」
While saying so, Hifumi rose. Origa, Kasha and Alyssa attempted to follow, but stopped when he signalled them not to.
「 Where to? 」
「 Shopping near the castle for a while. 」
Throwing up a hood to hide his face, Hifumi left the room as though he had not a care in the world.
「 Um…. 」
After Hifumi left the room, Alyssa opened her mouth. All eyes focused upon her.
「 About Hifumi-san, saying something extreme like crushing Vichy, but sending documents instead, seems rather gentle, isn’t it? 」
「 Alyssa-san, as a noble’s attendant, your speech will require correction. 」
「 Auu…. 」
Alyssa instantly withered at Imeraria’s quiet rebuke.
「 Apart from that, Mr. Hifumi’s actions are not gentle at all. 」
「 What do you mean? 」
「 Mr. Hifumi probably intends to use divide and conquer to capture the city states. As a result of that, now when Vichy moves, the troops on the side joined with Horant will be fortified as per Mr. Hifumi’s suggestion. 」
Apparently, there seemed to have been a discussion between Hifumi and Imeraria.
「 That’s what I said too, but the princess agreed to the confrontation with Vichy, no? 」
「 …. If Vichy isn’t destroyed, this country will be. Will Mr Hifumi be violent here and cause it to collapse internally? Or will the circulation of goods from Vichy stop and cause the same? 」
Imeraria sighed as though she had no options.

「 Oh, the great Viscount-sama returns. 」
Hifumi had made his way to the shop that the dwarf Thorn managed.
「 How did you know? 」
「 It’s on a bunch of flyers, a customer showed one to me. 」
The document that Thorn thrust at Hifumi detailed “the actions of the hero Hifumi in saving a woman from Vichy and bequeathing upon him the title of Viscount as a lord to defend the new border between Orsongrande and Vichy”.
「 Hmm, even the parchment isn’t of bad quality. 」
「 Apart from, that, would you like to make purchases…. or rather make another strange object? 」(Thorn)
「 How rude. They are splendid battle tools. 」
While saying so, Hifumi pulled out several pieces of high-quality paper from his Dark Storage.
「 Hmph. 」
Bad attitude notwithstanding, Thorn’s eyes sparkled with curiosity while looking over the papers.
「 What the heck!? 」
「 The dimensions are written there, as are the number of orders. 」
Blueprints for some tools and weapons were written on that paper.
「 Why do you want so much of this assembled? 」
「 If you want to see, come to Fokalore with me. The manner of fighting in this world. 」
「 Hmm, let me think about it. There are many orders, and the structure is quite complex. It will take around 2 weeks. 」
「 Do it in 10 days. 」
「 …. I’ll have to call in an acquaintance. 」

After that, Hifumi went to the slave shop once again.
The same doorman was standing guard. He took one look at Hifumi and hastily scampered into the depths of the shop.
Almost immediately, the manager, Uraru came out of the shop.
「 Hello hello, Hifumi-sama. Thank you very much for remembering this humble shop, please come in. 」
Led inside by Uraru, Hifumi sat down and mentioned the same conditions as last time, strength, regardless of age or sex, in addition to a new one.
「 It may be difficult, but a bright fellow is preferable. 」
「 Ha ha ha! Certainly, there won’t be many smart slaves… Oops, keep that secret from Origa and Kasha please. Well then, I shall make preparations at once. 」
After waiting for a while, Uraru returned and led Hifumi to a room with five people in it, of both genders.
Every single member was wearing simple padded tunics, all somewhat dirty.
「 These can read and write and count to some extent. 」
An embezzling bureaucrat, an accountant at a bankrupt hotel, various others who fell into slavery.
Talking to each one, addition and subtraction was possible, but few could do multiplication and division, it seemed to be the general standard for this world.
「 I’ll buy them all. Clean them up and get them some new clothes on me. Bring them to the castle tomorrow. 」
「 Certainly. Incidentally, why would you want educated slaves?  」
They call this level educated? (Hifumi)
「 Preparations are very important to fight to the heart’s content. That aside, are there slaves skilful enough with their hands as much as a dwarf? 」
Uraru respctfuly inclined his head to Hifumi’s enquiry.
「 Certainly, there are. 」

Exultantly returning to the castle, Hifumi gathered his girls [TN: I’m tired of constantly writing all their names] and explained their next move.
「 In 10 days we will leave and go to Fokalore. It will be a routine visit of village territories. War omits nothing. 」
Hearing the word ‘war’, Alyssa flinched.
「 We will prepare till then, but first is the military unit formation. 100 men shall be divided into 4 corps, with a 30-30-30-10 composition. The last one will be the military supplies corps. 」
「 Mayor..? 」 [TN:’輜重隊’ is military supplies corps, but is pronounced as ‘シチョウタイ or shichoutai’ that apparently can mean a bunch of stuff. mayor is what I’ve got.] 「 Huh?….. 」(Kasha)
Apparently supplies were carried individually in this world, a unit for cooking and supplies does not seem to exist here.
「 Well now, I guess I’ll have to explain. That unit will carry materials and food, and do all the cooking. For the remaining 3 corps, Origa, Kasha and Alyssa will be the commanders for the first, second and third respectively. 」
「 C-Commander, it’s impossible for me! 」
Hifumi lightly bopped Alyssa on the head as she stood up panicking.
「 The conventional methods of fighting are useless anyway, doesn’t matter who the commander is. 」
「 Any of us are fine huh…. 」 (Origa)
「 No need to worry. In any case, you do not need to fight your opponent directly in the beginning. 」
「 What do you mean? 」
While answering Kasha’s question, Hifumi pulled out a piece of paper and started writing on it.
「 If my expectations are correct, it’ll be a siege that will involve the civilians as well. 」
「 The civilians…. 」
Origa was unable to continue, the silence filled with the sound of Hifumi’s quill.


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