Once a plan has been made, Renya is quick to take action.
After telling Shion and the others to immediately start gathering their luggage, he requested a meeting with Lobelia.
Apparently having predicted Renya’s behavior as it was directly after her previous explanation, his request for a meeting passed without a problem. Renya tells Lobelia that he wishes to return to his own territory right away, and that on top of reinforcing his city’s defenses, he will go check the state of the dragonoid continent by using the elven country’s gates.
After silently listening to Renya’s words, Lobelia composedly nods once.
“You are going to take that simpleton, Lepard, and that fool, Kaede, with you, right?” (Lobelia)
“Personally I don’t think I have a need for a simpleton and a fool though? In the first place, doesn’t the beastman country need to reinforce its own defenses from now on? You need their strength, don’t you?” (Renya)
Renya wants to reject the help that comes from people that are evaluated as simpletons and as fools as they’ll only become hindrances, but even if there are some issues with Lepard’s and Kaede’s manner of speech and conduct, they are still not people who can be referred to as simpletons or fools, Renya thinks.
If I were to ask for their help, it would become remarkably easier in regards to combat prowess, but apart from the demon king’s subjugation, their power is something that should only be put to use for the sake of the beastmen. They are already set to be members of the hero’s party. I know that they have the intention to go search for the dragonoid hero for Kurz, but I planned to leave them in the beastmen’s continent for the moment.
As if she had predicted Renya’s words, Lobelia says while donning a very troubled expression,
“If you take those two with you, I will let two priestesses with fox ears and that have about the same age as Kurz stay at his side.” (Lobelia)
The gallant beastmen priestesses, who are capable of taking care of Kurz, are a big help for Renya and the others.
Seemingly because of the difference in age with Kurz, Renya and Shion have the status of being Kurz’ guardians, no matter what they do, but if it comes to priestesses with the same age, they are an extremely positive influence on Kurz’ cultivation of aesthetic senses, this is apparently because they look after him with a feeling of friendship.
Though that also created a development in a certain area that’s not really good.
In regards to having approximately the same age in appearance, there was also the possibility of asking Frau, but even if Frau looks childish, she’s mentally closer in age to Renya and the others than to Kurz. Moreover, coupled with the fact that she had created Kurz with Emil, an overly close and friendly atmosphere won’t develop between the two.
“Understood. I will borrow the two.” (Renya)
After having hesitated for a short while, Renya finally made up his mind.
He judged the merits to be large, considering the handling of Kurz along with Kaede’s and Lepard’s combat power.
Lobelia bared a ferocious smile towards Renya, who’s thinking, I’m sorry for pointlessly burdening the beastmen with hardships instead.
“You don’t need to worry about us. I’m here and the Fang King is as well.” (Lobelia)
“Thank you for taking me into consideration.” (Renya)
Renya thought that Lobelia telling him to take Lepard’s group along might be her being considerate as Lepard and Kaede will be of great help for Renya’s group when they go search for the dragonoid hero on the dragonoid continent.
Due to Renya expressing his gratitude for that consideration, Lobelia waves her hand as if to say that it’s nothing.
“Stop it. It’s not like we are going to be in as much danger as you, who will be going to a place that seems to be under attack by the demons.” (Lobelia)
“I will make sure to bring those two back saf…” (Renya)
“Stop that as well.” (Lobelia)
Lobelia interrupts Renya in the middle of his sentence while glaring at him.
“I’m sending those two out as the hero and his escort. Do you believe that I’m going to say or think that they mustn’t die? I have taken their deaths into consideration from the outset.” (Lobelia)
“You think that’s cruel for a parent?” (Lobelia)
“I couldn’t even guess what you are truly feeling and as such I lack the qualification to make a judgment.” (Renya)
Renya might have been the parent of someone else in his previous life, but he doesn’t remember.
By no means could he say that he understands Lobelia’s emotions, who sends her own child off as a hero while even factoring in the possibility of his death.
After looking puzzled for a moment due to Renya’s reply, Lobelia grinned broadly again.
“I would have beaten the shit out of you if you had spouted some sycophancy such as that you understand.” (Lobelia)
“Honesty is a virtue, that seems to be the best approach.” (Renya)
“It’s much better than lining up one lie after the other…Be careful, okay? I will pray for your safety.” (Lobelia)
Being prompted with a gaze to exit the room as the chat has ended with this, Renya bows his head, pouring his gratitude and respect into it, and then leaves Lobelia’s place.
Now that I have finished my goodbyes, all that’s left is to return to my territory by passing through the transfer gate.
Once they quickly went through the transfer gate after tossing the red bean jam and other stuff, they bought as souvenirs, into Renya’s inventory, they arrived in Klinge within seconds.
Renya thinks that he couldn’t enjoy a quiet, simple and subdued journey, but as soon as he came back, his own territory was in an uproar as well.
“Is it really true that Margrave-sama came back!?” (Keith)
It was Soldier Leader Keith who plunged into Klinge’s gate room, where Renya’s group was signing various documents as was necessary by law.
Keith and the soldiers under him, who continued with almost the same training menu even after having been trained well by Renya, have reached the point of receiving words of praise by their surroundings, calling them gross as their footsteps are almost inaudible and their breathing isn’t disheveled even after running a considerable amount.
Although it’s just very faintly, Keith’s breathing is disturbed. He must have come running here from very far away in a hurry, Renya judged.
“Yo, Keith, I’m home.” (Renya)
“It’s not the time for I’m home! Do you understand the situation we’re in right now?” (Keith)
“Yeah…I heard that the oracle has been handed down, but what about it?” (Renya)
Renya tilts his head to the side wondering whether that’s something to panic about.
It has been predicted that the demon king will likely appear sooner or later for a while now. This time that fact has merely been confirmed.
Once Renya says that it’s probably nothing worth mentioning or making a fuss over, Keith falls to his knees in depression, obviously exhausted.
“No, well, in your eyes that might surely be the case, Margrave-sama.” (Keith)
“Even you guys have been training in order to be capable of handling such a situation within certain limitations, haven’t you?” (Renya)
“Well, that’s correct too, but our numbers are insufficient. Same applies to our equipment as well. Can’t you give me some of your time as I will explain the situation?” (Keith)
After being begged like that, Renya calls out to Shion, Emil, Grün and Lepard.
He told the other members to sort their luggage and to allow their bodies to rest properly.
Of course he also ordered Kurz to get plenty of sleep after returning to his own room accompanied by the two priestesses who were attached to him by Lobelia.
Although it’s said that sleep brings up a child well, Kurz dozes off and wanders between dream and reality as soon as he has spare time.
He slept so much that Renya wondered, Shouldn’t he have easily overtaken us in height if a body were to grow in proportion to one’s sleeping time?
“Where are we going?” (Renya)
“To the barrack’s strategy room. I shall guide you.” (Keith)
In the strategy room a large map of the Trident Principality has been spread out on a big table.
In Renya’s eyes, who knows about maps from his former world, the map he was shown was quite vague and half-baked, but as land measurements and such weren’t carried out much in this world, accurate maps don’t exist.
Seeing as it still seems to serve its purpose, even that vague map is treated as a confidential document. For this world it was precious enough that if someone takes it out without permission they’ll definitely get dismissed.
Several entries have already been noted down on that valuable map. Going by a brief glance, Renya can see that it was filled with notes about the flow of soldiers and residents as well as the time needed for them to reach their destination.
“Spanning a defense net across the whole territory is impossible. There’s no mistake in this.” (Keith)
After waiting for Renya and the others to gather around the map, Keith opened his mouth.
Renya’s territory is vast, but there are only a few cities.
To be precise, the only city at the moment is Klinge. Otherwise it’s only a few settlements with the scale of villages, which posses a little defense power due to things like fences and moats.
“The settlements that are closer to the Miasma Forest than to Klinge are under review to be abandoned at the moment.” (Keith)
“That will hurt, but it’s probably inevitable.” (Renya)
The number of soldiers, which can be stationed at each settlement, was at present limited to around ten soldiers.
You could consider that number plenty as long as they face bandits or the sporadically appearing monsters, but in case of a genuine invasion, their opponents would be demons and an organized army of monsters. There’s absolutely no way for them to defend against that.
Keith, who considers leaving the soldiers and citizens in those places while knowing that they can’t defend themselves the same as abandoning them, said that he will start to work on a plan to have them evacuate to Klinge or to even deeper inland areas as soon as possible, once he receives Renya’s permission.
“You work quickly. As expected of you, Keith. I give you my authorization, so go ahead with it immediately.” (Renya)
“Thank you. I will put it into effect right away. But, even if we do this, you can’t call it perfect.” (Keith)
Keith spreads out another paper on top of the map.
The numbers written on that paper apparently recorded the amount and classifications of the soldiers stationed in Klinge.
“Margrave-sama, your soldiers amount to 3,000. Another 1,000 soldiers have been dispatched by the Trident Principality after receiving the oracle. This is the currently entire military force of Klinge.” (Keith)
“What about their classifications?” (Renya)
“All 3,000 soldiers of your army are infantrymen. The soldiers dispatched by the principality consist of 100 cavalrymen, 100 archers and 800 infantrymen. Since it will cause confusion if they enter Klinge, we are building a garrison right next to the city at the moment to have them on standby there.” (Keith)
“I think it’s not a topic where an outsider should interfere, but can I have a word?” (Grün)
Grün asks Keith.
“I wonder what one should think about stationing soldiers, who were dispatched to defend the city, in a garrison outside the city?” (Grün)
“Let me speak frankly, between us. We can’t expect much from the principality’s soldiers.” (Keith)
Upon Keith’s words, Lepard and Grün can’t hide their surprise, but on the other hand Shion and Emil don’t even raise an eyebrow, and when it comes to Keith, it’s as if he’s saying that it’s truly natural for this to be the case.
Even Renya shares the same opinion.
However, he also harbored the desire to retort with “But you are a former soldier of the principality, too.”
“They are this country’s soldiers, aren’t they?” (Lepard)
Due to Lepard asking that in disbelief, Keith replies somewhat proudly,
“We have been directly trained by Margrave-sama and continue that training to this day. Our skills are probably wide ahead of those of the principality’s soldiers.” (Keith)
“In addition, the soldiers that have been sent here are likely new recruits or people that are not much different from new recruits.” (Renya)
Due to the words mentioned by Renya, who followed up on Keith, Shion slightly knits her brows.
“Renya, do you want to say that mother cut corners in her selection of the soldiers?” (Shion)
Seemingly ill-tempered due to the fact that her mother was being doubted, Shion ended up using a somewhat interrogative tone, but Renya shakes his head.
“No, but it’s not like Her Majesty herself selected the soldiers to be sent here, right?” (Renya)
It might have been the archduchess who gave the order, but the ones actually putting it into practice should be civil officials or military officers.
From their point of view, they would desire to keep the soldiers, who could be called elites, after repeatedly practicing, close at hand for the defense of the capital rather than sending them to a dangerous margraviate.
Probably thinking that it’s fine as long as they gather the numbers, they would preferentially send new recruits, who had just been conscripted, and soldiers, who had received only a little bit of training, to the front line. This behavior is nothing that unusual either.
“Margrave-sama’s worries can likely be considered correct.” (Keith)
“Though it’s an understandable behavior.” (Renya)
Everybody regarding themselves as precious was something Renya could understand as well, but it’s a sound assumption that it’ll turn into a very dire situation for the Trident Principality if Renya’s territory is overrun. He ends up thinking that it would have been nice if they had taken that fact into consideration, too.
As long as time allows for it, it would be a good idea to raise their combat power by training them in the same way as I trained Keith and the others, but in this situation, where it’s unclear when the enemy might come attacking, there’s no way I can have them do as much training as Keith’s unit did.
“If it’s only Klinge, I have the confidence that we will be able to hold out even if we are rushed by a big enemy army as long as we have 300 soldiers with us, but there are still concerns due to our current equipment.” (Keith)
The equipment, which Keith and his men are currently using, are items that can be regularly purchased in the stores around here.
That doesn’t mean that they are bad items, just that they are very ordinary and have no excelling parts worth of mentioning.
It’s not like they wouldn’t be able to somehow deal with the medium-sized monsters using their strength and techniques, but if it comes to facing tough enemies or large-sized monsters, one can predict a considerable loss of equipment. This is something that cannot be ignored in a defensive battle.
“Also, the goods necessary while defending, and the fact that we are unable to dispatch some soldiers for the sake of the residents’ evacuation have become a concern that has caused a certain level of anxiety.” (Keith)
“It looks like this is not a situation where we can worry about the dragonoid’s hero.” (Grün)
Having been confronted with reality from Grün’s precise assessment, Renya started to ponder about a solution to deal with these urgent matters while smiling bitterly.