In the end the first decisive battle between Therese and Duke Nürnberg came to an end without reaching a definitive conclusion.
Duke Nürnberg tried to kill me by using his protege magician Talrand, but failed. Getting enraged due to that cowardly act, I reduced the supply point in the rear to ashes with magic and thus he ended up retreating.
Exactly as stated by 『An army can’t fight on an empty stomach』, Duke Nürnberg left behind the disposable vanguard unit and retreated promptly.
Thanks to that, there haven’t been that many victims among those elite 110,000 soldiers he can depend on except for the several thousands of the command group.
Of the 40,000 soldiers that had been abandoned, around 15,000 were killed in action and around 20,000 became prisoners because of Therese’s pursuit order.
The remaining 5,000 soldiers apparently escaped, but even the liberation army has lost more than 2,000 soldiers.
If you consider the loss ratio, it might be a perfect victory for the liberation army, but that’s hard to say without delivering fatal damage to Duke Nürnberg’ trusted troops.
As result, it’s questionable whether one can really call this a victory.
“Al passed away once again, didn’t he?” (Burkhart)
“Since he has already died, it’s probably correct to call it him having been returned to his proper place once more?”
“I wonder about that.”
From atop the wall’s main gate where the headquarters was still located at, me, Burkhart-san and Doushi had a talk while gazing at our allies who are cleaning up the remains of the battle.
Actually it’s wrong for us to not help out, but since our burden was large this time, we were exempted.
“『Hero Summoning』, huh? There sure exists strange magic. Earl-sama, your bad premonition has been correct, too.” (Burkhart)
“Once in a while that happens as well.” (Wendelin)
That man called Talrand was eerie at the very least.
Since the dinner meeting I haven’t felt anything from him even though he had eaten together with us after being introduced by Duke Nürnberg.
Despite him being there, I somehow didn’t feel anything except for the awareness of him existing.
Having even the worry that I would forget his existence right away once I relaxed my attention for a second, I was simply scared of the man called Talrand.
That perception was right. Thanks to his magic, I ended up getting injured many times over in one day.
But honestly, his one attack from behind was really dangerous.
It looks like I unconsciously protected my vital spots and organs, but that was likely because Doushi’s training came in handy.
That means it was good for me to have received that training, even though it was done reluctantly.
“Master is really strong.” (Wendelin)
“Though the mana is overwhelmingly larger on your side if it’s now, right Earl-sama? Nevertheless, Al had that sort of dreadfulness. He is much stronger than someone like me.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san, who was overpowered even by master’s puppet, apparently completely understands his capability as magician.
Though there’s no doubt that you can consider him as leading on the continent as in teaching methods and the number of pupils.
“For my close combat it might be yet another ingenious way of fighting, right? I cannot feel relieved with my mana pool being large.” (Armstrong)
As the three of us are talking while sitting on chairs, the wand, which is a legacy of master, and high-class wine from the kingdom that has been poured into glasses are placed on top of the table.
Since it’s the second time for master to have been sent to the netherworld, we deceased from anything tedious and only offered him some wine.
Once I asked Burkhart-san and Doushi, I found out that master apparently belonged to the wine faction.
Which reminds me, there was also a biggish wine cellar in the basement of his mansion.
“To desecrate the slumber of the death.”
“He is no man befitting the title of emperor, right? What do you think, Earl Baumeister?” (Armstrong)
“It’s unreasonable to force such way of battling, isn’t it?” (Wendelin)
“Unreasonable, huh? Your phrasing fits perfectly, Earl Baumeister.” (Armstrong)
If he had won in the emperor election, something like this shouldn’t have happened.
He would have probably advanced the empire’s centralization while shaving off the power of the Lan tribe and the Mizuho people with a method of quietly dragging things out.
However, he has acquired his political power through a coup d’etat.
“For Duke Nürnberg, the imperial army that has announced its support and the feudal army of the Duke Nürnberg household are strong, backing parent organizations.”
That’s why he has always to consider them.
Since he can’t suffer losses pointlessly, he will use the other nobles, who pretend to obey him, and the imperial army that obeys him as they can’t help it while heavily using detestable strategies to diminish the numbers of the liberation army.
“Even if they get annihilated, he probably plans to give the territories of those nobles to his proteges so that he can increase his own support.”
In future history books it might be described as strategy of a savage and fiend, but I guess his actions will be just if they turn out well.
Though that only applies if they do work out well in the end.
“20,000 soldiers that surrendered, huh…?”
“Therese-sama was at her wits’ end how to deal with them, wasn’t she?”
They ended up surrendering readily once Duke Nürnberg had the army retreat since they were used as disposable pawns.
There were also many nobles who are angry at Duke Nürnberg, but treating them as allies just because of that is difficult.
Given that their territory and family has been taken hostage, there’s the possibility of them betraying this side once it turns into an actual battle.
“Even the prisoners are a trap…?”
“In a certain way I admire his excessively crafty style.” (Armstrong)
Certainly, it was just as Doushi said.
“But, what will happen from now on? Will we face-off once again or such?”
“As expected, that won’t happen. Of course we will depart to defeat them.”
Now Therese has joined our conversation as well.
Having led the struggle to clean up the aftermath of the battle while dealing with governmental affairs, she apparently reached a point in her document processing where she could take a break.
“A memorandum?” (Therese)
Next Therese discovers the glasses filled with wine and the legacy of master that had been placed on the table.
“Master should have peacefully died ten years ago. Therefore…” (Wendelin)
The three of us have agreed on the notion that he came visiting by chance to give me an intense training.
And that he went back to heaven after finishing that.
“A funeral service for someone, who has died already, is unnecessary after all. It’s an offering, you know?” (Armstrong)
Burkhart-san also agrees with Doushi’s remark by nodding.
“I had only seen his figure from a distance, but he appeared to be a splendid person. He was a suitable man to be called by the 『Hero Summoning』.” (Therese)
“If he had lived longer, Alfred would have been appointed as Royal Head Magician. However, for even my ancestor to be summoned. Though it looks like he couldn’t play too much of an active role.” (Armstrong)
“Because he was very far apart from the training and combat style of Talrand, he couldn’t demonstrate his abilities to his heart’s content?”
No matter how much he summoned the dead to him, who was close to non-existent, and let them possess him, the compatibility between a power fighter with a height of above two meters and a slender magician with a height of 175 cm was likely bad.
That’s why even someone at my level was able to easily repel him.
On the other hand, his compatibility with types like master was apparently excellent which is why I had a very tough fight.
“Maybe not. By the way, that magician called Talrand or such…”
“A magician of that caliber, one would consider it to be natural for him to be known in society, but…” (Therese)
Even among the nobles and magicians that became prisoners after surrendering, and in the liberation army as well, there were few who know of him.
“『There was someone with such name』, 『I remember them being there, but I don’t have any memory what kind of magician it was』, with there only being people testifying like this…”
“Isn’t the biggest question how Duke Nürnberg discovered and hired Talrand?”
It’s just as Burkhart-san says.
Employing a famous wizard with a weak presence was quite a hurdle after all.
“Even if you ponder about someone who has already died, it won’t help. Also, leaving that aside.” (Therese)
Therese cuts off the talk about Talrand, spreads both arms in front of me and begins to speak about something outrageous,
“Thou heart probably felt heavy in various ways after fighting against thy master. Feel free to leap into my chest.” (Therese)
“Come on, dive into my chest without reservation.” (Therese)
It seems to be a strategy to catch my heart by comforting me who feels down after defeating master.
Not only me, but even Burkhart-san and Doushi were unsure about the best course of action here and thus we stayed silent as is.
“Do thee worry about the looks by our surroundings? Look, thou don’t have to hold back because something like that.” (Therese)
Therese continues to spread her arms and prompts me to jump into her chest quickly.
I don’t know from just where she obtained that information, but the expressions of Therese’s retainers around us are gloomy.
They are staring at me with eyes as if depending on me.
“(They want me to continue rejecting her, don’t they? I will just do it as you guys expect!)” (Wendelin)
In the eyes of the retainers, I’m definitely not allowed to become Therese’s husband.
Since they are people of the empire, they are praying and wishing that she wisely looks for a husband among the nobles of the empire.
“Dear. Isn’t it soon time for having a meal…?” (Elise)
Having finished the preparations for lunch, Elise shows up at that point and is bewildered by Therese spreading her arms.
Using this as chance, I leapt into her her chest.
“Eh? Eh?” (Elise)
Elise appeared to be lost and surveyed the vicinity while being embraced by me.
“Wendelin, why won’t thou embrace me who is nearby?” (Therese)
“Because you aren’t my wife.” (Wendelin)
“Ah, thou’ve got a point.” (Therese)
Due to Therese’s and mine exchange, Elise seems to have finally grasped the situation.
She looks at Therese coldly.
“Therese-sama, you are tenacious.” (Elise)
“The principle of my life is 『Don’t give up』 after all. I became independent as Duchess Philip due to these words.” (Therese)
Meaning she got her despotic authority by struggling eagerly without giving up in order to not be used as puppet.
It might be a splendid disposition, but I was the one suffering from it.
“Anyway, excuse us since it’s time for lunch.”
We head to our house in order to take our lunch.
I put the wand on top of the table into my magic bag and Doushi gives me the empty glasses after chugging down the wine.
“It’s a excellent wine, isn’t it?” (Armstrong)
“Don’t drink the offering, Doushi.” (Burkhart)
“Don’t you think the wine lover Alfred will be sad to pour it away just like this?” (Armstrong)
“I certainly wanted to drink it as well.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san seems unhappy with the wine, which he had planned to drink, being gulped down by Doushi first.
“That’s what you were troubled about? However, Burkhart-dono, such things are usually first come, first served.” (Armstrong)
People have to keep their meal times in order to stay healthy.
Given that Elise came to let us know, we keep walking towards our house while chatting.
“Dear, did Therese-sama have have another task for you?” (Elise)
“Which reminds me, it seems to me she had…” (Wendelin)
I felt like she said something like 『making your debut』 or something along those lines, but currently lunch is more important.
Deciding to ask her later, I returned to our house while holding hands with Elise.
“Wendelin, thou are cold hearted these days.” (Therese)
Having returned to our house, we ate lunch together.
The menu is a kamaage* style using the dried udon noodles I previously bought in Earl Mizuho Country, tempura as side dish and onigiri in addition. (T/N: kamaage is about ingredients that are boiled without any processing done to them)
The garnish is dried plum. It’s a measure to avoid having a stomach ache since this is a battlefield.
Once everyone ate plenty of boiled udon, Therese showed up for some reason, scooped up the udon with her own fork and ate it.
“Though it won’t turn into a problem since I have a slightly stronger heart than other people, even if I’m neglected, as I have an unyielding character.” (Therese)
No, Therese’s heart isn’t just slightly stronger.
It’s probably as hard as orichalcum and her nerves are as sturdy as wire ropes.
“Someone older is no good after all?” (Therese)
“That’s not the issue here…” (Wendelin)
Even though I have told her many times that our positions are the problem, I slowly harbour the impression that I’m just wasting my time.
“Alright. Let’s pretend that I’m 15 years old starting from today. I dub it 『Therese’s-eternal-fifteen-years-old-plan』.” (Therese)
“(What’s that? This strategy resembling the age fabrication of celebrities…) Elise, I’d like some more udon.” (Wendelin)
“I will boil some more right away.” (Elise)
Since it was far too silly, I ignored her and asked Elise for another serving of udon.
Of course Elise pretends to not have heard her either and heads to the kitchen as if running away.
I’m certain she also felt troubled about giving a comment to that.
“15 years won’t work…” (Ina)
“Someone like me would rather make use of a 『Luise’s-eternal-twenty-years-old-strategy』.” (Luise)
“Too embarrassing to answer.” (Wilma)
“I’m regarded as slightly older than my actual age, but I’m surely not seen as older than Therese-sama.” (Katharina)
Various things are said by the other girls, too.
Burkhart-san stayed silent with a stiff expression on his face and Doushi heartily slurped a large quantity of udon as if it has nothing to do with him.
“Hey! Don’t take it seriously! Have at least the flexibility to understand it as joke!” (Therese)
“No, it’s hard to judge whether you are joking or saying this seriously.” (Wendelin)
“It’s just a joke!” (Therese)
Several dozen minutes later, when everyone was drinking tea after lunch had ended, Therese finally started to speak about the further military operations.
On that subject, everyone at last recalled that there was a talk about going on the offensive.
“We will take Alhans.” (Therese)
“Isn’t that an important military base?” (Wendelin)
Even I knew more or less since I had at least checked the map of the empire.
It’s located around the halfway point between this Great Sorbid Wastelands and the imperial capital. It’s a major military base of the imperial army.
It’s a military base with a huge fortress, and there’s even a city with a population above 300,000 people next to it.
Although it’s not official, it’s an important city that has been treated as auxiliary capital by the empire’s people. If we take this place, the imperial capital will likely come into sight.
“Don’t you think our war potential is too insufficient for that?”
“It’s also for the sake of increasing that war potential.”
Given that we have had losses in the previous, forced offensive, I can’t believe for the odds to be in our favour if I also consider the difference in our military forces.
Therese addressed my worry by saying that our military strength will be complemented by the aforementioned prisoners.
“Are you going to tempt the nobles north of Alhans to distance themselves from the central government?”
“It’s because they are feeling animosity towards Duke Nürnberg’s methods. If their territories fall into the liberation army’s sphere of influence, it will become unnecessary to worry about betrayal. Fresh reinforcements will also arrive from the rear again. That should lower our disadvantage in numbers, too.” (Therese)
“That might be so, but…” (Wendelin)
“Duke Nürnberg lost a great amount of food and materials. He won’t be able to attack with his whole army for a while.” (Therese)
It’s apparently because I burned down the large-scale supply point of the rebel army during the previous battle.
“It will take time to once again gather an amount of goods allowing to supply military forces of more than 100.000 for an extended time. Taking into account a supply shortage, they should withdraw to the vicinity of the imperial capital.” (Therese)
“Won’t it be fine if they resupply with magic bags?” (Wendelin)
“Hasn’t it been thou who burned away those magic bags, Wendelin?” (Therese)
Because the amount of goods consumed by an army is high, magic bags and common horseload is used in parallel.
Not depending on just one of them is nothing more than a security measure.
Goods that were transported using normal means and general magic bags had been placed at that gathering point.
Meaning, all of those were reduced to ashes by my spell.
“Even Duke Nürnberg is probably scared to death due to thy power allowing thou to use magic that burned down the gathering point located far in the rear, Wendelin.” (Therese)
“You think so?” (Wendelin)
I suppose it’s unexpected, but it’s not like I’m particularly excelling as soldier.
I wonder whether he’s really that cautious of me.
“Anyway, I’d like thou to depart to the front alongside the advance unit.” (Therese)
Accepting Therese’s order, we begin moving south with military forces of 60,000 soldiers.
However, our royal army group of 1,500 is treated as flying corps and moves independently.
“Company Leader Erwin-dono, you don’t have to be that nervous right now.”
Erw, whom I left in Philip’s care, had been entrusted with 500 soldiers of the royal army group and led the troops as company commander.
As that number isn’t low and since it’s a heavy responsibility for a merely 16 years old, Erw is stiff because of the nervousness on top of his horse.
“Erw-san, relax.” (Haruka)
“Haruka-san, as you are also stiff due to the tension, please relax.”
It wasn’t just because she’s his fiancée, however Haruka has a job similar to being Erw’s aide.
A middle-aged royal army soldier, who is acting as vice-commander, pointed out “Aren’t you also the same?” as she tries to ease Erw’s nervousness.
“I’m not nervous or anything like that.”
“Since I have had the same experience in my early days, let’s calm down by taking a deep breath for now. There won’t be any battle for a while after all.”
“He is saying something like that, but…”
I felt doubtful about the expectations of the middle-aged vice commander, who is assisting Erw, and try to ask Philip, who is confidently riding next to me on his horse, about his real motive.
No matter how you look at it, no one besides him is the commander of the royal army group.
Even if a greenhorn like me worked myself to the bones, I lacked the necessary dignity.
“It’s because the troops of the nobles, who aren’t his proteges, were forced into such unreasonable war, you know? The nobles, who have their territories around here, are likely angry at Duke Nürnberg.” (Philip)
“That’s why there will probably be almost no battles until our strategic target, Alhans”, Philip predicted.
“Quite a few of the 60,000 troops belong to the nobles who own territory north of Alhans. They should declare their participation in the liberation army after returning to their territories.”
Even though a great number of their allies were killed by the liberation army, they will be only used as disposable pawns once more even if they nonchalantly join up with the rebel army at this point.
Having said that, they had no choice but to obey Duke Nürnberg out of fear until now.
I have experienced the grief of the nobles firsthand.
“We will advance and leave the negotiations with the nobles around here and the military government after the occupation to Alfons, right? After all it’s not like they will depart to the very front either.”
“We won’t handle something like a guerilla warfare that severs our supply lines?”
“We will of course do that too, but there are things you can and cannot do with 1500 soldiers. Besides, this unit is treated as outsiders and mercenaries, right? Christoph.” (Philip)
“Yes, nii-san.” (Christoph)
“Pass him that map.” (Philip)
“Here you go.” (Christoph)
Christoph gives me a map.
It showed things like the roads around this area in a very detailed manner.
“The supply by horse-pulled carriages has been secured pretty much, but I’m taking into account the possibility of it being cut off. That’s the reason why you are carrying a large amount of food, Earl Baumeister.” (Philip)
As for this, the food that has been put into my magic bag increased after taking the previous battle into account as lesson.
Also, Katharina’s magic bag has been filled up in the same way.
“Just to be sure, we have plotted five escape routes in case something happens.” (Philip)
“Making use of our past experiences, we have also searched for mountain routes which aren’t frequented by many people.” (Christoph)
“In that case I feel relieved.”
I agree with Philip’s and Christoph’s explanation and their policy of quickly escaping if things go south.
“Even though it would have been great if you had used that ability in the dispute, no?”
“Please spare us with that.” (Philip)
Philip assumed a gloomy look due to my needless remark.
After that we continue our advance.
On the way we pass through several noble territories and cities, and take rests there.
That’s because we were asked to sell some of our food since they don’t have much themselves.
“Yes, with the previous battle, we have heard about taking place the other day, and even after that, the emperor’s forces bought up everything…”
As expected they didn’t pillage, but apparently the food was forcibly bought at a price far cheaper than the market price.
“It’s just a little bit until the harvest. So, I’d like you to sell us even a bit if you can spare any…”
“It’s a questionable scorched-earth-strategy, isn’t it…?”
They probably avoided a blunt plundering because it’s a civil war on imperial ground.
Since all of the surplus food has been bought up, you can’t consider it as anything but sabotage towards the liberation army’s advance.
I couldn’t think of anything but them trying to provoke the resistance of the local residents due to the liberation army forcibly procuring its food locally.
“I’m sorry. In fact we don’t have any leeway in our food supply either.”
We advance forward while continuing to refuse their requests.
There are also many territories that joined the liberation army after the return of their lord’s troops, but there were likewise territories, which had lost their lords in the battle, and nobles who planned to ally with Duke Nürnberg this late in the game by launching an attack.
Capitalizing on the territorial advantage since it’s their home area, they tried to execute surprise attacks against us.
“We cannot afford to have too many losses, correct?”
There have been surprise attacks by a few dozens soldiers from the flank of the mountain trail, but they were swiftly dealt with since we sensed them ahead of time.
“A knight peerage, huh? Erwin, you are in charge of the left wing after surrounding them.” (Philip)
They apparently tried to launch surprise attacks against us by hiding, but they ended up getting surrounded after being discovered ahead of time.
Erw and Haruka received the vice-commander’s help and properly moved their company according to Philip’s order.
“Are you going to wrap it up by overwhelming them in one go?”
“No, there’s the saying 『A cornered rat will bite a cat』, right?”
“Will they surrender without even fighting?”
“I will make them.”
Philip was skeptic, but I go in front and cast a very weak 『Area Stun』 against the enemy soldiers lying in wait.
Since the power is at a level of a low frequency medical device, they yell in surprise and easily give away their positions.
“In case you don’t surrender, I will have all of you die without you even having the time to take a stab at us.”
Once his surprise attack ended in failure, the commanding noble immediately threw away his weapon and surrendered.
It was a low-ranking noble, seemingly an elderly knight, and his feudal army with soldiers that mostly consisted of farmers with shabby equipment.
“If I don’t at least pretend to fight…”
The elderly noble was grandly toyed with in this civil war as poor knight.
Apparently he announced his participation in the rebel army in the beginning and was ordered to guard the road without departing to the frontline since his rank is too low.
Thanks to that, he suffered no losses since he didn’t attack the liberation army’s field encampment.
“You will likely think badly of someone like me, who surrendered, saying something like that, but what’s going on with the civil war?”
It’s probably the sorrow of a small feudal lord living at the boundary between both powers.
It’s because there’s the possibility of not only his soldiers and him, but even the fief’s population getting annihilated if he makes a mistake in joining the wrong side.
“Since we are still continuing our advance south, this place should soon enter the liberation army’s sphere of influence.”
“Haa… Alhans, is it?”
“I can’t tell you because we are in the midst of a military operation.”
He’s an old person with a strangely good perception.
I tried to dodge the question, but if you think about it normally, even Duke Nürnberg should have noticed that Alhans is our next target.
Will he hold onto it or will he abandon it for the sake of gathering his forces?
I don’t know which he will choose, but I feel like he will abandon the northern territories, except for Alhans which he will defend to the last, for the time being.
It’s because the areas from the empire’s central north to the northern territories of the south are troublesome to control as they are a mosaic-like mix of countless small feudal lords and small areas under the direct control of the empire.
Meaning, they will immediately become his allies after surrendering if he takes military forces along.
However, as a matter of fact, they might betray him. If he strengthens their watch in order to prevent that, he will end up binding unnecessary personnel.
It will be necessary to spare the military forces of his trusted proteges.
Since it’s such a troublesome area, I planned to continue our advance while leaving those, who surrendered, to the group in charge of the military government in the rear.
“For that reason, please stay in your territory without devising anything unnecessary.”
“Umm… Can’t you take us along?”
I end up looking at Philip unintentionally.
We would proceed while adding the troops which just surrendered.
It’s a pattern that often occurs in military history, but I don’t know whether we can trust them.
What will we do if they betray us after going even further south?
Since I couldn’t reach a conclusion, I wanted Philip’s advice.
“What do you think, Earl Baumeister? We won’t get anywhere if you don’t make a decision as supreme commander.”
“Our troops will grow and they will also serve as guides. I suppose it’s probably alright since this area will also become safe once we take Alhans.”
“My thoughts are the same, too.”
“We will be your guides. Please leave it to us. Let me introduce myself formally. I’m Bernal Günther von Popek. I serves as family head of a humble, poor Knight household. By the way, as for those accompanying me…”
And then, after a few hours, we continued our march southwards.
The old knight called Popek came along as guide, but even the troops, he brought along after returning to his territory for a short while, were only elderly.
“The surplus food was completely bought up for cheap by Duke Nürnberg, as such, the youngsters are working on the fields.”
The majority of his 30 soldiers were composed of old people.
“Earl Baumeister-dono, in fact I want to join up with the lords in my neighbourhood.” (Popek)
“As long as those gathered cause no problems.” (Philip)
Due to Philip’s approval, the neighbouring lords lead their troops one after the other and join us.
“He’s a governor of an area directly under the direct control of the empire. Since he’s the governor of a small place split into small pieces, he’s almost like a hereditary noble, I guess?” (Popek)
His appearance is that of a normal old man, but Popek seems to be surprisingly well-connected.
In a week after his participation, many nobles and the governors of the areas under the empire’s direct control joined us while leading their troops, and our military forces grew to around 4.000 soldiers, aka close to three times as much as before.
However, the majority of the soldiers were elderly.
I don’t think it’s an issue since those, who can’t move, aren’t participating, but Christoph’s prediction was in the process of coming true.
『Since their food is barely enough, the elderly have apparently taken the initiative and are serving as soldiers.』
I had a feeling that it was a nice way of saying that they abandoned their elderly, but they don’t look as weak as expected.
Since all of them had participated in disputes over territory and concessions in their early days, they were used to mobilising while walking in orderly ranks.
“There’s currently no problem as supplies are arriving from the rear as scheduled.”
The numbers of troops increase and that also invokes the participation of other nobles as it stands out.
However, as if seeing through the fact that there are many elderly, those nobles also bring along old soldiers.
“There’s no other option but to pray that it won’t turn into a battle, I suppose.”
“That’s probably impossible. Besides, we can use them much better than new recruits.”
The elderly soldiers were very familiar with setting up sleeping tents and preparing food.
At the time when we arrived at the east side of Alhans after continuing south for a further two weeks, Popek, who has become the leader of the old people, starts saying something outrageous,
“Let’s take Sakart.” (Popek)
Once we spread the map in a hurry and search, we discover a city with that name in the south around 10 kilometers from here.
“What will you do after taking such city?”
Erw’s question was reasonable.
Rather, stopping to march south any further and taking part in the attack against Alhans would be probably much easier.
Since our side has nothing but old people, they will likely let them stay on standby in the rear.
“There’s an abandoned fortress next to this city, you know?” (Popek)
“Look, nowadays it’s that. It’s said that they consolidated the military installations in order to cut down the budget.”
The fortress next to Sakart functioned as important defense base in the past.
“In the distant past, it was a major defense base when there was still an enemy nation in the central northern region and the empire a small country.” (Popek)
After that, as the empire’s attacks in the north proceeded without problems, the fortress adjoining to the city of Sakart ended up losing much of its importance.
Although talks about its complete demolition were raised for several hundred years now, it seems that it was actually realized around 30 years ago.
“Did the imperial army oppose the cost reduction…?”
Notwithstanding, after spending time on tenacious negotiations with the imperial army’s top brass who had vested interests, it was decided that the fortress of Sakart would be abolished.
There were such people in the kingdom as well, but individually they are boorish people with ulterior motives that participated in the rebellion of Duke Nürnberg after feeling a gradually impending danger due to the withering army.
“But they demolated it completely, right?”
“They are renting it out to civilians due to not having the budget for it or something like that.”
Since it has sturdy storehouses made out of stone that excelled in crime prevention, they are apparently lending those to the city’s merchants.
In order for vagrants and criminals to not enter it, they seem to manage it by regularly deploying guards.
“I’m aware of it because I’m occasionally shopping in the city of Sakart.”
“What is it, Luise-dono?”
“The city of Sakart didn’t flourish like Alhans?”
“Since it should have a population of 50.000, it’s mostly a commercial city, I guess? I hear their prosperity was snatched away by Alhans for various reasons.”
“Wend, what will we do?”
“Ina, what do you think?”
While looking at the map, I was troubled about what we should do next.
Given that Therese said to leave the attack of Alhans to the main force, it was a sufficient achievement to ignore the fortress and simply observe the attack on Alhans from the rear.
Since there are close to 50 nobles that are following me, it will turn into a satisfactory achievement with this.
“How about scouting it out and going to Alhans if it’s no good?”
“I suppose that’s a safe approach, isn’t it…?”
Deciding to try doing just that as a test, we advance towards the city of Sakart while sending a scout unit, consisting of elderly soldiers provided by Popek’s group and soldiers of the royal army group, ahead.
The scout unit returns on the third day and informs us of the situation on-site, but the rebel army apparently had left a garrisoned force of around 100 soldiers and completely retreated to the rear.
“It looks like there has been yet another purchase of food, doesn’t it?”
“Probably, but if it’s Sakart’s merchants, they are likely skilled at hiding things. It’s impossible to force them, right?”
“They might have been extorted by the rebel army.”
“I wonder whether that’s not impossible?”
Erw seems to agree with Popek’s opinion.
“Why do you think so?”
“In order to raise their food supplies reliably, the rebel army likely aimed for the weak group around Popek, but there are 50.000 residents in Sakart. Wouldn’t they run into resistance if they tried to buy food with 1000 or 2000 troops?”
“Half of the 50.000 are male. Even if you exclude the children and elderly, there are still 10.000 remaining, right? They are consuming a large amount of food anyway and there would be people standing in their way. I guess they left them alone after stationing only a little number of guards.”
Even Philip reinforced the view of the two and the opinion within the unit was in favour of an attack against Sakart, too.
“I pray that Sakart’s residents won’t become our enemies.”
“Earl Baumeister-dono, at the time of such civil war, the common people will simply and calmly join the winner.”
If the rebel army stays there, they will go with them and if we drive them away, they will attach themselves to the liberation army.
That’s all there is to it, is what Popek asserts.
“It’s wrong to call that cowardice. After all they have their own lives to live.”
I don’t particularly harbour any unpleasant feelings towards that.
It’s 『We will be loyal if you win』. That’s probably because they won’t do something as troublesome as expressly challenging soldiers in a reckless manner either.
“In other words, you are saying that we just have to win?”
“If we hold out while repairing Sakart’s fortress, we will be able to apply pressure against the imperial capital in line with Alhans.”
“Popek-san, you are…”
If you consider that he tried to make a stupid surprise attack, he has quickly changed into a capable staff officer after surrendering.
He seems to be well-informed about military matters, and he’s a character that really triggers a feeling of being out of place considering he’s a rural knight.
“I’m merely a poor Knight. Though I did serve in the imperial army in the past.”
Since he’s a second son, he served in the imperial army, but because his elder brother died early, he apparently returned to his territory.
“Given that my elder brother had a daughter, it means that I will have her marry my son and let them succeed the territory. Even though things may appear this way, I joined the elite course in the past.”
After briefly talking about himself, Popek-san puts both his hands on my shoulders.
“In the beginning I wasn’t able to avoid joining the rebel army, but you came at a good time, Earl Baumeister-dono.”
“With all the other nobles and soldiers being old geezers, let’s do our best in capturing Sakart since there are successors even if we die after failing, right? It will be a nice present for Her Excellency Duchess Philip, won’t it?”
Originally he was an elite of the imperial army, but Popek, the man who became a poor Knight due to his elder brother dying from disease, apparently intends to earn some achievements and become successful and well-known with a final battle.
All the nobles behind him appear to share his feelings as well.
Therefore they might be nothing more than elderly who won’t regret even if all of them die.
“What we’d like to ask of you, Earl Baumeister-dono, is to depend on you for an impartial report of our achievements.”
I barely manage to simply give them a reply due to their intensity.
We finally arrived in close proximity of Sakart, but there was no change in the number of stationed rebel army soldiers in the city.
With the city’s public order being under control of the guards to begin with, they are merely freeloaders.
Even though it would have been better if they had secluded themselves in the fortress with its very high defense strength, that was opposed by the merchants due to the possibility of the food and goods stored inside the warehouses being embezzled, and thus they had no other choice but to freeload in the city.
However, given that they are a group of rather low quality, they seem to prefer the city, where they can play around. As such Duke Nürnberg might not plan to decently defend this place at this point in time.
“Though I believed it to be an important military position…”
Elise had a stunned expression due to the rebel army’s lineup.
“It’s probably because they are thinking that they can take it back right away.”
“Is that so?”
Looking at the river flowing south of the city and the fortress, Elise appears to think that a recapture won’t be that easy.
“Even if it’s taken by the liberation army, it’s of no concern for the rebel army as long as they simply defend the south and the area around the capital to the last man.”
What matters the most for Duke Nürnberg is his protege force of 110.000.
As long as he has them, he will entice the liberation army to proceed south while aiming for a liberation of the imperial capital and it will also be possible to crush the liberation army in the vicinity of the capital.
Therefore, even if he temporarily loses one or two cities in this area, he believes that it won’t pose any kind of problem.
“He can receive supplies from the south and the circumference of the imperial capital. The liberation army will lose time with the maintenance of the supply structure for a while since he has taken all the surplus food, right?”
He’s probably planning to increase the military power of his usable proteges by conducting training during that time.
“Even though you are young, you are doing a good job in seeing through Duke Nürnberg’s tactic, aren’t you?”
Philip seemed to have the same train of thoughts as me and praised me for my adequately conjectured tactic outlook for a change.
“He will try to cut off the lifeline of the liberation army that grew big in one go while raiding the northern area of the imperial capital. Going by the battle array of the liberation army, he will lose unless he challenges the liberation army with almost all of his forces, right? Accordingly, if the rebel army attacks Duchess Philip-dono and the important people, the rest will likely fall like domino pieces, won’t it?”
A liberation army that lost its leader and top brass will likely be easily suppressed by the rebel army.
“He isn’t considering the empire’s domain after the victory at all.”
“That’s because Duke Nürnberg tends to lean towards the thinking of a soldier in the long run… While giving a good treatment to the central and southern areas, he will cause dissatisfaction by exploiting from the north. He has probably the idea of trying to go south after planning the unification of the empire and rebuilding the economy to some extent.”
Everyone, including myself, nod while agreeing with Christoph’s prediction.
“Rather than a matter for the future, it’s about taking the military base in front of our eyes first, right?”
Having said that, the plan has already been decided.
“Rebel army! Hand over Sakart and the fortress at once!”
“What’s up? What kind of business do old men like you have with us?”
Popek-san led his best elderly soldiers and started to provoke the guards at the city’s entrance.
Once they show up, they provoke the guards with soldiers that surpassed an age of 70.
There’s no difference in their numbers, but the guards left the city while fuming in anger as they shout 『As if we’d lose to such old geezers!』 and started to pursue them.
“Don’t run away, you old farts!”
“Your attitudes and shouting is grandiose even though you are just leftovers. Despite being also treated as parasites in the city!”
“Old geezer! I will definitely kill you!”
Apparently being pricked where it hurts, the guarding soldiers lost control of themselves and chased Popek-san and the others.
The game of tag continued for a while, but at the moment they entered a certain rocky area, they noticed that they have been surrounded.
“Nice to meet you*. Guests, we will make sure to entertain you courteously.” (T/N: Gokigen’yo … greeting of rich/noble girls)
Katharina, who showed up in front of them, cleanly cut up a huge rock with her『Wind Cutter』.
Due to the excessive power, they stay still while being befuddled.
“If you tell me that you will fight, I won’t stop you, but everybody, please bid an eternal farewell to your faces and bodies at that time, okay?”
There shouldn’t be any high-ranking magician capable of opposing Katharina in the military base that was partly abandoned.
All of the guards throw away their weapons and surrender.
“Even though it should be quite the important military base…”
Haruka, who manages their disarmament, felt like it was unbelievable, but even so we safely succeeded in taking the fortress and the city of Sakart.
“An open city declaration, you say?”
“Right. Since we will be confined to the fortress during an attack, we won’t be able to take the city into consideration. We will leave the public order to the guards and the administration to you, governor-dono. Just as it has been before, right?”
At the governmental office of the city of Sakart, which we occupied without even a single loss, I told the governor the gist that the military government won’t take up position in the city.
That’s because I would rather reinforce the fortress with construction works, if I had such spare manpower.
There’s a river flowing south of Sakart, and the fortress’ state wasn’t as bad as we thought either.
Even so, it was necessary to increase its defense capability by working on the repairs and reconstruction as fast as possible.
“The rest concerns the merchants.”
“You mean the goods and food in the warehouses?”
“Yes, if possible, I’d like you to sell them. At market price.”
“At market price?”
The merchants hesitated.
That’s likely because they are thinking that they will be able to sell above the market price if they hold out, given that it’s now a time of war.
“Though I don’t believe that there will be that much of a rise in prices once the supply route between this city and the liberation army has been established.”
Since the nobles, who have territories in the rear, are our allies as well, the deficiency of food should disappear.
Besides, even if they once obtain a profit by selling the food to us at a high price, there’s no point if Therese keeps an eye on them later on.
Given that it’s not like we are buying it at a cheap price like Duke Nürnberg, I strongly hope that they will sell at market price.
“However, we won’t force you into it.”
The merchants sold the surplus food at market price with expressions that showed their unwillingness.
“And, I think you already know about it, but…”
After threatening them that they will get death penalties if they provide information to the rebel army or shelter spies, our military forces that had swollen up to 4.000 people enter the fortress.
Given that it was an important base in the past, the entire army was able to get inside the fortress.
“We will demolish only the unnecessary parts. Though it would be great if they could use these to expand the city.”
“It looks like they were told to hold back on such remodelling and reusing of materials since they might be used in an emergency, according to the emperor’s idea.”
Popek-san, who became the leader of the elderly before I noticed, gave me the details on the circumstances behind the scene around here.
At any rate it’s a fact that he saved me troubles.
In preparation of holding the fortress for a long time, everyone immediately begins to work briskly.
“Somehow, our average age is high, isn’t it?”
Erw leaked in a whisper, but the elderly were very helpful.
All of them have campaign experience, although it’s at the level of disputes. And since they are living in rural territories, they are capable of various tasks.
At once they voluntarily started to reinforce the walls and fences, which were in the process of breaking down after being neglected for many years, with mortar or managed the prisoners.
“They look to be more useful than me and Erw.”
“Can you leave the interior to me?”
Philip had the royal army group patrol the area and requested the fortress’ repairs of the remaining elderly.
Katharina and I set out to a nearby rocky mountain and secured usable building stones.
“Now I got the reason why the city of Sakart wasn’t able to expand.”
The southern river was a good thing, but there were small monster domains, and the remaining area was dotted with wetland belts and rocky mountains making it impossible to expand the city any further.
It’s probably possible to develop the land if they put their mind to it, but I guess that idea was abandoned and priority was given to Alhans.
“Though you can reclaim it in a short time, Wendelin-san.” (Katharina)
“Because there’s no sand. We can’t use movement magic while taking the stones either. This place is outside the country, right? Since it will be troublesome, I pass on it.” (Wendelin)
After gathering building stones with the two of us, we strengthen and expand the fortress.
We are working on the fortress making it possible to defend it with just us even if the rebel army comes attacking.
I have told the governor, who is staying in Sakart, to declare that they are unrelated to us in that case.
We won’t be able to physically defend the city, and even the rebel army likely won’t plunder and slaughter the residents since they are also citizens of the empire.
Even Duke Nürnberg should at least understand that it will be used for ill repute, if they do something like that.
“What to say, they are skilled at it, aren’t they…?”
Erw is supervising the extension of the wall, but since the elderly have done the repairs of roads and houses at their birthplaces by themselves, they skillfully plastered mortar on the stacked-up building stones.
Physical work is a problem but they leave this to the young people and most of the piling up of the stones has been done by me with magic.
The work proceeded smoothly.
Even inside the fortress, the elderly skillfully constructed blockhouses and such.
“Their old man power is awesome!”
Just like in the Japan of my previous life, it looks like there are many lively elderly in this world as well.
“Anyway, we don’t know when the rebel army will attempt to recapture this place. Let’s work while continuing to stay vigilant.”
Since the leaders reached an agreement, we eagerly advance the work in order to finish the fortress’ reinforcement quickly.
However, given that there are many old people, we do it while having proper rests at fixed intervals.
“Say, what if the rebel army doesn’t come?”
Even one week after we put up residence in Sakart’s fortress, we couldn’t see the rebel army on the other side of the river for some reason.
Despite continuing a lookout for 24 hours every day, they don’t show up at all.
“Wend, is this really an important base?”
“Going by the map, it is, but…”
The direct line to the imperial capital is interrupted by the river, but if you speak about the distance in a straight line, even the distance to Alhans isn’t that short.
I explain while showing the map to Luise.
“Rather than that, the city’s governor has come yet again.”
The governor was visible in the direction of Ina’s look.
I have declared that the military government won’t take position in the city of Sakart, but since the trade with the south came to an end, he came to complain after a few days.
For that reason I have entrusted the construction work of the fortress to Philip, Christoph and Popek-san, and got stuck with maintaining the road towards the north.
『Earl Baumeister-sama, if we don’t start trading with the north, we will starve to death.』
There’s already a road, but there’s actually a huge wetlands belt north of Sakart.
Given that it’s a road bending and twisting to avoid that, the trade with the north has apparently declined in proportion to the long detour.
『Seeing that the trade with the south has stopped, trading with the north… if we don’t hasten the promotion of trading with the alliance of Popek-sama’s group of feudal lords…』
『I suppose it can’t be helped if there’s such a reason.』
I establish a road stretching straight north from the city of Sakart.
『Why is there a wetlands belt in this area?』
『It appears that the water of the river flowing through the south is flowing into the wetlands.』
I begin the construction together with Katharina, who was recruited at the same time for the task, but it will be impossible to make a road if we don’t handle the wetlands somehow first.
We ended up starting from making sure that the river’s water won’t flow into the wetlands by setting up flood controls and levee protection systems first.
I create a embankment with soil as flood measure, and then make the wetlands forcibly dry out by successively firing 『Fire Balls』 into the wetlands.
If a pro-environment group on Earth saw this spectacle, they would likely cause an uproar and scream 『It’s a destruction of the wetlands’ ecosystem!』.
『It’s definitely not very elegant.』 (Katharina)
『Are you going to do it with a method that will take a heap of time and labour then, Katharina?』 (Wendelin)
『Well then, let’s continue with the construction?』 (Katharina)
Katharina starts to forcibly dry out the wetlands with a chain firing of 『Fire Balls』, too.
We only dry the section, where we will build the road, very carefully, spread out stones there after stripping off the surface soil and complete it with this.
The ground might sink after a while, but the group from Sakart has to handle that somehow later on.
『Oh my, it’s a far more magnificent road than I expected, isn’t it?』
The governor praises us, but what bothers me more than that are the labourers digging a water drainage system at the edge of the road.
『It’s just for the sake of raising the road’s completion rate while we are at it.』
『While you are at it, huh…』
The governor has apparently hired people on his own and has them do construction work.
『That group is?』
There were even people fitting the description of farmers, who were tilling the dried wetlands to some extent and were sowing assorted grain seeds.
『Given that the reason for this wetlands belt isn’t underground water, we can easily advance the development of a residential district thanks to the river construction work you did, Earl Baumeister-sama. It’s a welcome occasion. However, as I believe that it will take time for the ground to completely dry out, I have told them to cultivate grains after considering the viewpoint of securing food. The moisture will also be absorbed by the crops.』
This governor seems to be knowledgeable about simple agriculture, too.
『We won’t trouble you with this, Earl Baumeister-sama. After all it’s something we are doing for our own convenience.』
There were such circumstances as well. In around one week, we finished a stone paved road continuing towards the north.
“So, what’s your business today?”
“You know, as a matter of fact…”
Apparently he wants to request an adjustment of the road pointlessly detouring towards the west because of the wetlands belt.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, you will reinforce the connection with Alhans, which is located in the west, obviously to apply pressure on the imperial capital with that line.”
“I can’t tell you since those are military secrets”, is what I try to tell him, but even a child would understand the strategic objective if it had a bit of knowledge.
There’s no way for this governor to not have realized that.
“Yes, I certainly understand. Earl Baumeister-sama, you are the commander, who has been entrusted with the military forces in this area, after all. I’m quite aware that you are keen on concealing military information.”
Calling me the commander of this area is probably exaggerated.
The main is the large army for capturing Alhans and we are treated like a flying squadron.
Even us coming to the city of Sakart was due to the suggestion of Popek-san.
“In short, you are asking me to build a road leading straight towards the west, too?”
“In truth, even the people of the city are hoping earnestly for the development of the west… The trade with the south was likely severed. Since a nice road was completed in the north thanks to you, Earl Baumeister-sama, the trade will probably improve as well, but…”
“Yeah, yeah, west it is then.”
“If trading with Alhans is accelerated, it will also raise the strategic value of this city, right?”
Once again I take along Katharina and we head to the west of the city.
And then I understand why the scale of this city is small.
“Wetlands in the north, hilly areas and rocky mountains in the west…”
At any rate, not even one square metre of flat land exists.
Even if they tried to expand the city, there would be no place for it.
“I suppose it’s easier than the wetlands…”
Katharina and me extend the road towards the west while levelling the ground.
After whittling down the hills, we used the gained soil for a bank on the west side of the river, the stones to reinforce the embankment and as there was also demand in the city, those were purchased by merchants.
“A second stage of construction for the fortress?”
“Because the personnel increased.”
Right after we finished the northern road, apparently nobles, who didn’t send any troops to the liberation army, and northern nobles in the city dispatched their soldiers.
In addition, it seems like volunteer soldiers from the city of Sakart applied as well.
“Volunteer soldiers? Isn’t that unwise?”
I believed it to be a bad idea to send soldiers from Sakart even though the city will declare its neutrality during a battle.
“That’s why they are volunteer soldiers. Since they have applied as individuals, they are unrelated to the city. That’s the stance they will take.”
Christoph accepted them because of these circumstances and reported it after the fact to me.
“Given that their handling will be troublesome, they will participate in the defensive battle if the rebel army comes to attack this place. However, after our advance, I guess they will be reorganized as defense force protecting this place. It’s the same for the elderly, too.”
Certainly they are more helpful than expected, but we can’t use them in the decisive battle against Duke Nürnberg’s elites.
Even they shouldn’t do anything rash since they are getting plenty of achievements at this occasion.
“If Therese dispatches a deputy commander, they will entrust the defense of this place to that person and let them give the commands.”
“Before that, you have been splendidly used by the governor of this city, Earl Baumeister, but please let me use you for this place place just as much. It’s for the sake of our safety.” (Popek)
“Damn! I’m perfectly aware of that myself!”
Such being the case, Katharina and me once again established a magnificent stone-paved road in the west of the city taking one week.
As expected we haven’t completely constructed it up until Alhans, but we should have decreased the unnecessary detours and shortened the distance majorly.
In addition there’s a large plain spreading in the west of the city. The river bank spreads to the west as well. The governor ordered carpenters to build a residential district at a point that adjoining with the flat lower city.
“The creation of a residential district?”
“Most recently the shortage of houses has become a problem in this city. We were troubled as there was no place either, but with this it’s a very appreciated situation.”
The governor told us that it’s thanks to Katharina’s and mine construction work while looking delighted.
The carpenters are starting the construction from the foundations right away.
By the way, the stones we sold after quarrying them became the main materials for the houses.
“As token of appreciation, I have dispatched loyal labourers in advance since I have been told about the expansion work by Philip-sama and Christoph-sama.”
Without me even being told by Christoph, I have been used by the governor.
However, thanks to that we were able to have them sell us food at a reasonable price. Even labourers for the construction work have been sent with their daily wages covered by the city.
I’m not involved in the governing and labour either, so it’s probably no good if I don’t continue the construction work with magic for the sake of both sides.
“Now that it has come to this, I will go at it steadilyyy!!”
“Dear, please don’t force yourself too much, okay?” (Elise)
“Elise, you are very kind. But since it’s not a battle, I won’t be unreasonable at all.”
After the north and west, the next is the east of the city.
This direction has also a bad terrain. Since places, which have large quantities of rocks with an overall length of around 20 meters protruding out, are continuing until they run into the river, I forcibly whittle these down with magic and level the ground. Afterwards we established a road and also constructed a riverbank on the east side.
In the one month until all of these works were finished, the rebel army hasn’t come to attack to retake the place for some reason.
Because of that, the construction work completely finished as planned.
The sounds of hammers are resounding in the city of Sakart that became opened up on three sides. Many people are arriving from territories that were occupied by the liberation army in the area in order to find jobs at the construction work and to do business.
And around that time, the latest news, which were regularly sent by Therese, reached us.
『We are in the middle of besieging Alhans. Wait at Sakart for a short while.』 (Therese)
They are not Duke Nürnberg’s proteges, but since around 20.000 soldiers of the rebel army are holding Alhans, she apparently decided on the plan of taking the city while lowering the losses through a siege.
Thereupon a detached force formed by Duke Nürnberg has started to meddle with the liberation army during the siege.
Since it was obvious that the intention was to exhaust the troops of the liberation army, Therese informed me by letter that she will also participate in the siege battle of Alhans while leading the reinforcements.
『As Duke Nürnberg is fixated on this side, he apparently won’t be able to meddle with thee, Wendelin. Make sure to not get careless. I entrust the strengthening of Sakart to thee.』 (Therese)
“Strengthening, eh? What would be the best to do here?”
“Haven’t we already done that?”
“Indeed, we have.”
“Though governor-dono came to request the demolition of the former lower city of you, Earl Baumeister-dono.”
“That shitty governor. His real intention is definitely to use me until I drop!”
I’m pretty much enraged on the surface, but accepting his request is also connected to my own safety. Once I consider it very carefully, it’s not that different from what I’ve done when I was in Baumeister Earldom.
Since I’m leaving the management of the nobles and army to Philip, Christoph and Popek-san, there’s nothing for me to do except to eat, take baths and flirt around with my wives.
“The townsfolk is thankful and greatly cooperates with us. The fortress’ expansion and the establishment of a river wharf has been finished, too. Our troops increased to 6.000 soldiers. We have met the expectations of Her Excellency Duchess Philip. Isn’t that great? We will be able to receive plenty of rewards afterwards.”
Philip and the others are probably happy with that, but I want to quickly return to Baumeister Earldom.
“By the way, where’s Erw?”
I ask Philip about Erw’s whereabouts.
Nowadays he had reached the point of being able to lead the troops reliably while getting Haruka’s assistance.
“That guy is off-duty today. He went on a date in the city with Haruka-jou.”
“Whaaat! That Erw did!”
Even though others are working untiringly every day, he goes on a date with his fiancée?
I think that’s an outrageous conduct that cannot be forgiven.
“A wife accompanying you at the construction work and at night you are flirting with your wives. Earl Baumeister, you are certainly a man that cannot be forgiven, aren’t you?”
“I agree with nii-san’s opinion.” (Christoph)
“It’s very enviable, isn’t it? If I were a lot younger, I might have put in some effort as well though.”
One week after that, I received the message that Alhans’ rebel army has finally surrendered.
We have secured a line connecting Alhans and Sakart. Afterwards it resulted in us successfully having the rear fall into the liberation army’s sphere of influence, but once Alhans’ merchants restarted their business and came to Sakart, they all had expressions full of surprise.
“The western road is straight and paved with stones. The city’s expansion has made progress! How come!?”
“The reason is simple. It’s because I was in charge of the construction work and Sakart’s governor’s handling of his workers is really rough.”
While I’m at it, this governor is a bureaucrat of the empire. As such he will pass on the governor job to his heir no matter whether the rebel army or the liberation army wins. Therefore he will likely use any measures if it’s for the sake of Sakart.
“Dear, you did your best.”
“Yeah, I kept at it in someone else’s country.”
While listening to the astonished voices of the merchants, my wives and me finally took a holiday and set out to go shopping.