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The Holy Kingdom declared war on Trident Principality for siding with the demons.
This information quickly spread across the human continent.
Once the Holy Kingdom did it’s one-sided declaration of war, it appealed to the surrounding countries that they should defeat Trident Principality hand in hand. Accordingly, many countries gathered their troops successively at the border between the Holy Kingdom and the Trident Principality.
The supreme commander was Hero Yuuki.
Once they were asked to participate under the hero’s and the goddess’ name, only few countries were able to refuse.
A few countries rejected the appeal by the Holy Kingdom stating that they won’t cross swords with their brethren as long as they aren’t absolutely sure that the Trident Principality has sided with the demons, even if the Holy Kingdom makes use of the hero’s name, but the majority of the countries obeyed.
In total there are 19 countries on the human continent. Among the 17 remaining countries, after deducting the Holy Kingdom and the Trident Principality, 15 countries were participating on the Holy Kingdom’s side.
It was decided to dispatch an army of 100,000 soldiers, consisting of 50,000 soldiers from the Holy Kingdom and 50,000 soldiers from the allied forces, against the army of the Trident Principality.
The Trident Principality protested against this by sending an envoy concerning the one-sided declaration of the Holy Kingdom, but the Holy Kingdom restrained the Trident Principality’s envoy.
At the current rate, it looks like they are going to execute the envoy. Rumours circulated where great emphasis was put on Hero Yuuki’s words pertaining to that regard. However, there was no way to infer whether it was the truth.
Because of this, even the Trident Principality understood that there was no further room for negotiations and gathered its national armed forces.
The Trident Principality decided to station 30,000 troops in its capital city, Trident, to undertake a defense battle.
“Say? Why did it suddenly become a conversation about a defensive battle at the capital city?”
“We have an urgent need to talk”, being informed of that by Mayria, Renya was summoned to Mayria’s office, which was located in the army’s facilities.
Additionally, Shion and Rona had also been summoned. Since there was a note attached that Mayria leaves any further attendees to Renya, he decided that he might as well bring Emil and Croire along.
Although Renya tried inviting Frau to go with them, she immediately declined due to lacking interest in the topic.
Being basically a fairy, there’s apparently nothing of particular interest within the army’s facilities that manages to pique Frau’s curiosity.
“There’s something I’d like to borrow during your absence, master ~no.” (Frau)
On a rare occasion Frau requested something from Renya who was preparing to go out.
Renya tilted his head to the side wondering what it might be.
“Since I’m always indebted to you, I will arrange for nearly anything, but… what is it?” (Renya)
“I’d like to have that armor into which you tossed Liaris-san ~no.” (Frau)
Renya was starting to forget about it, but that armor, which he used to subjugate the wyverns with Liaris in it, had been left unattended ever since he threw it into his inventory.
It was made out of steel with a little bit of mithril added. Once he took it out of his inventory, the armor appeared and fell on the floor, causing a heavy thunk.
Given that it’s an item he was about to forget about after having put Liaris inside, it hasn’t been cleaned at all since then.
Looking at the dry blood clinging to it, Renya frowned.
“This is… terrible, isn’t it?” (Renya)
“It’s fine ~no. I want it just like that ~no.” (Frau)
“If you want it, I will give it to you, but… what do you plan to do with it?” (Renya)
“It’s a secret ~nano. Frau will clean it ~no. Master, hurry to your invitation ~no.” (Frau)
Being seen off with a smile, the other members hurried and finally arrived at the army’s facilities. The place they were guided to, after giving their names, was Mayria’s office, and right after they were told to sit down at a round table, they were suddenly informed about the whole situation.
What followed after Mayria’s explanation had ended was a comment on something Renya had asked about, when he rose his hand and received permission to speak.
“Between the border to the Holy Kingdom and the capital city, there is no city with the capacity to undergo a defensive battle. There are several forts, but by no means do they have the scale to accommodate enough troops to repel 100,000 soldiers.” (Mayria)
It’s apparently a salvation that the enemy’s army isn’t gather as quickly as they could because the Hero, who is leading them, lacks experience in military affairs.
That gave the Trident Principality the necessary time to evacuate the people from the cities and villages along the path between the border area and the capital city.
Those people have already started moving in order to evacuate to cities like Kukrika, that is to say, to the western side, away from the capital city.
In addition to using a part of the national army’s soldiers as guards for those refugees, the soldiers that have been assigned to defend against the Miasma Forest can’t be relieved from their duty either.
“The 30,000 soldiers stationed in Trident is what we can barely muster in the present situation”, Mayria says.
“Well, even if we were to assign all of our forces to defend the capital, for argument’s sake, it’s doubtful whether the total army count would reach up to 100,000 soldiers.” (Mayria)
It could potentially result in them having the same number, or if circumstances allow, a superiority in numbers, but there’s the hero on the enemy’s side.
The existence of a single person causes a hopeless discrepancy in military power just by having him make an appearance.
“Examining past records, a single hero equals to at the very least 10,000 soldiers. If you look beyond that, he should possess an endless amount of combat abilities. Moreover, I guess you might call it an effect of focussing combat power, but… the fact that a single entity holds that much power excentuates the difference in military power even further.”
“Are you saying that you will carry out a defensive battle at the capital city with inferior numbers while knowing that?”
“There… there’s no other way.” (Mayria)
Mayria says while tightly squeezing her hands, which were on top of the round table, and lowering her gaze.
The emotion included in that remark is very likely mortification, isn’t it? Renya perceives.
Even though she knows that it’s not the best method, the present situation doesn’t allow her to pick another.
It’s a fact that Mayria knows as well.
At least that means that they would have originally stuck to a defense after having gathered a lot more soldiers in the capital city.
However, in order to do that, it’s necessary to withdraw the soldiers stationed at the Miasma Forest and the guards who are protecting the citizens that are evacuating away from the area around the border.
It’s possible that nothing will happen at the Miasma Forest.
But, if something does happen during the war, the harm done by monsters or demons will likely turn into something major.
Moreover, if there are no guards for the refugees, they will become prey to bandits or something similar.
The Trident Principality has been maintaining a reasonable level of public order within its borders, but it’s not like they were able to completely eliminate people of such occupation.
In other words, if they try to focus completely on the capital city’s defense, they’ll abandon a considerable number of citizens.
Having said that, there’s no meaning in having the capital city completely destroyed just for the sake of protecting those citizens.
In a situation that might be summed up with “It’s hard to satisfy all parties”, the decision handed down by the archduchess was to station 30,000 soldiers in the capital city.
“The main forces under the Holy Kingdom’s direct control number around 50,000 soldiers, and the rest are forces that joined from various other countries, totalling to 100,000 soldiers. It’s quite a number, but since it’s a mish-mash, cooperation will likely be a problem. And, the capital city Trident is also a fortress city that completely covers the city’s vicinity within a wall. Since it has been said since ancient times that the ones attacking a castle require more than three times the numbers of the defending side, it seems that mother decided that we will barely be able to manage.” (Mayria)
“I believe it to be a plan that will collapse with the existence of the hero, but…” (Renya)
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“Indeed… that’s why how much we can reduce the enemy’s military forces before getting surrounded is important, correct?” (Mayria)
“We won’t let them simply march into our country just like that”, Mayria said.
Although they can’t station many military forces, fortresses of reasonable sizes exist along several of the allied army’s predicted invasion routes. It looks like a few soldiers will be set up as traps.
“Death soldiers, huh…?” (Renya)
There was no reply, but Mayria wasn’t able to match Renya’sgaze.
One could say that that in itself was the answer.
“So, what do you want me to do as a mere adventurer after telling me about such serious national matters?” (Renya)
Even if he knows the circumstances, it’s not a story where Renya has to participate.
In the first place, it’s not a situation where one would make use of adventurers either.
From the standpoint of an adventurer like Renya, it doesn’t matter much whether the ruler of the nation might be the archduchess or a king.
It will be fine as long as he moves to another country once he gets fed up with a particular country.
If it’s a country with an adventurer’s guild, they will be immediately able to guarantee a person’s identity. As long as he doesn’t commit any crimes, he won’t be denied entry to any such country.
“First, please allow me to take back Shion-ane-sama and Rona. I have already confirmed that with both of them.” (Mayria)
“Sorry, Renya. I don’t think that that some like me will be much help, but I can’t ignore that my younger sister is in trouble after all.” (Shion)
It sounds as if she’s saying something splendid, but I wonder whether she actually comprehends what she’s saying, Renya ponders.
However, as she seems to be believe that she won’t be very useful, hasn’t she reached quite the nice spot as a soldier? Renya wonders.
“Given that I’m pretty much connected to the lowest seats of nobility, I also…” (Rona)
Rona says something that doesn’t seem to be an apology.
“If you have confirmed the will of the two themselves, there’s not much I can say, is there?” (Renya)
“I have some issues with those words, as you are the party leader.”
“Ah, now that you mention it, there was something like that, wasn’t there? Well, it’s no problem with me then. Is it alright with this?” (Renya)
Renya had completely forgotten about it, but it’s a fact that Shion and Rona belong to Renya’s party. This led Mayria to feel that she must go through the proper channels by getting the leader’s permission .
Renya believes that it’s not worth worrying about it, but he thinks If she says that part is important, than it might be so.
“Is your business with me finished with this?” (Renya)
“No, there’s more. It’s about Croire.” (Mayria)
“If you are going to tell me to go back to the elven country, I’m going to have to turn you down.” (Croire)
Croire took the initiative with a composed expression before Mayria could talk about what kind of business she had with Croire.
Apparently that’s what Mayria wanted to tell Croire, and as such she’s looking at Croire with a glum expression.
“There’s no way that I can let you, who are blood-related to His Majesty the Emperor, experience something dangerous.” (Mayria)
“I will be the judge of that. Please don’t fuss over me.” (Croire)
As if suddenly coming up with an idea due to Mayria still trying to argue about it, Croire said,
“Ah, if you let me have Renya-san, I don’t mind going back to the elven country though.” (Croire)
For some reason Shion’s face stiffens due to Croire’s declaration, who spoke while having a cheerful smile.
While perspiring cold sweat in her mind, due to that change in situation, Mayria gave a disconnected reply, as if choosing her words carefully,
“Umm… I don’t own Renya-san, so giving him to you… but, if you ask him, can’t you have him go with you to the elven country? (Mayria)
At the same time as she stopped speaking, piercing gazes stab Mayria coming from Shion and Rona. Due to that, Mayria shrinks her body, obviously being overpowered.
While watching such a situation, Renya immediately replied,
“I have to decline that.” (Renya)
“Muuh… the speed of that reply is slightly sad. In the end the emperor is the issue here, isn’t he?” (Croire)
Being given an instant reply, Croire starts to, quite seriously, explore methods to remove that emperor, although such discussions only took place in her head.
Although he’s an existence I want to handle somehow, he has a too high a social standing to do so.
However, even if I’m refused because he simply exists, it’s wrong just letting it be like that, Croire agrees with herself for some reason.
Leaving Croire alone, who started to immerse herself in her thoughts while grumbling in a whisper, Renya asks Mayria,
“This is the end, right?” (Renya)
“No, there’s still more. I have heard that quite an effective medicine was used during the soldiers’ training I requested of you, Renya-san. Do you still have a stock of that medicine?” (Mayria)
Feeling like the topic moved in a different direction all of a sudden, Renya looks at Emil.
Sensing Renya’s stare at her, Emil guessed that he wanted her to answer. After thinking it over for a bit, she said,
“I don’t have a large amount. If I have the ingredients, I can make them fairly quickly, but… quite a bit of it was consumed during the training.” (Emil)
“I will prepare the ingredients. I’d like you to prepare a number of those.” (Mayria)
“As military goods? However, why so sudden yet again? The army possesses its own stock, right?” (Renya)
Due to Renya voicing out the doubts in his mind in such a way, Mayria wonders how to answer him and turns her gaze towards Rona.
“I believe it will be easier to obtain his cooperation by telling him the truth.” (Rona)
He shifts his eyes from Mayria to Rona.
After requesting permission from Mayria with her remark, Rona faced Renya and started to explain.
“As a matter of fact, the efficacy of the divine arts has declined on our side after the Holy Kingdom declared war against the Trident Principality.” (Rona)
“This will turn into a major problem. We haven’t confirmed it yet, but the same is likely happening in the capital city as well.” (Mayria)
Mayria followed up on Rona.
“It’s normal for any army to employ more than several divine healing arts users, albeit their numbers are low”, Mayria says.
Compared to before, it looks like those divine arts have weakened in efficacy in the Trident Principality.
“The cause is very likely us becoming the Hero’s enemy, as he possesses the goddess’ divine protection.”
I see, Renya consents.
Different from sorcery, the divine arts, which borrow and use the power of divine beings, had the underlying principle that they will become unusable once the gods’ power becomes inaccessible.
And, the goddess, who ought to lend that power, is on the hero’s side and considers the Trident Principality as her enemy in the current situation.
It was similar to the saying that there’s no idiot who would lend their strength to the enemy just because they are asked to do so.
“With the number of our soldiers already being inferior, it won’t be a decent fight if we can’t heal them properly.”
“And that’s why you’d like me to produce large amounts of medicines, right?” (Emil)
“Can I request that of you? Of course, our side will provide all the ingredients.” (Mayria)
Without even trying to look at Mayria who earnestly requests that while bowing her head, Emil only stares in Renya’s direction.
If seen from the standpoint of someone that knows Emil’s true identity, the current situation consists of matters completely unrelated to Emil.
Even spectating from a safe place by herself while bursting into laughter due to the thought Aren’t these guys retards? poses no kind of problem for Emil.
“Emil, I request it of you as well.” (Renya)
Renya bowed and called out to Emil while thinking She most likely wants to hear these words.
“Please allow me to be in your debt.” (Renya)
“Yeah, let’s see. Although it’s not something at the leveling of you owing me something, I have no other choice if it’s requested by the leader, do I?” (Emil)
It’s a way of talking that somewhat puts on airs, but with Renya bowing his head, Emil immediately approved of Mayria’s request.
“Can you carry the ingredients to Renya’s home after I write them on a paper and pass that to you?” (Emil)
“Understood. And Renya-san.” (Mayria)
“What is it?” (Renya)
Renya answers after being addressed, but Mayria, the one who actually spoke up to him, only chews her lips while starting at Renya with an expression of hesitation, wondering whether she should say it or not.
“If you have any further business, hurry up and spit it out.” (Renya)
“… Renya-san. I’d like to… I’d like to request your cooperation as well.” (Mayria)
After thoroughly hesitating, Mayria finally said those words.
It’s great that she managed to do so, but for some reason Mayria cast her eyes down trying to not make any eye contact with Renya.
I believe it’s slightly rude to not look at the person she’s asking for help, Renya thinks, but he wonders Maybe she has some kind of reason? When he tries asking her about it,
“No, I mean… you will turn it down, won’t you?” (Mayria)
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“It’s a battle that has little chance of succeeding, so I’m also aware that it’s quite unreasonable. In your eyes it’s probably very foolish as well, Renya-san.” (Mayria)
“Well, that’s certainly true. Not being able to gather the soldiers together at the very least is painful, I think” (Renya)
Splitting up your military forces isn’t a praiseworthy deed no matter which age it might be.
If you clearly know the places that will be attacked and those that will be defended, it’s a basic strategy to have the military forces focus there as much as possible. The method of the Trident Principality to split up their forces all over in their desire to have their soldiers defend various places couldn’t possibly be called a smart way of handling things.
Seemingly comprehending that as well, Mayria hangs her head even deeper after hearing Renya’s words.
While looking at Mayria such a state, Renya continued,
“However it’s also true that it’s unrealistic to only pursue the ideal course of action. Besides, I guess it’s a fact that it’s hard for you to abandon them. Besides…” (Renya)
Just a little tinge of regret was mixed into Renya’s voice.
“I’m fairly sure that it’s me who pulled the trigger on this situation…” (Renya)
If Renya hadn’t gone to rescue Shion from the hero, it probably wouldn’t have developed into this kind of situation, is what Renya means.
Although you might say that he couldn’t choose that option at that time, as it would have meant looking away while abandoning Shion and letting her become the hero’s plaything, there’s no mistake that Renya’s actions are the main cause of the current situation.
The sole saving grace is the fact that the Holy Kingdom wasn’t able to identify the criminal in the end.
Thanks to this, the Trident Principality can insist on their accusation being false, and the Holy Kingdom has been put into a situation where they have to carry out the attack while also knowing that their justification is just a pretext.
“It’s.. It’s different. I think it would have turned out like this even if you hadn’t tried to rescue Shion-ane-sama.” (Mayria)
“If you say that your actions are the cause for all this, Renya, then it’s my fault. If I had been able to conduct myself more skilfully…” (Shion)
“Bah~… ah, stop, stop. No matter what you say at this point in time, something that already been done can’t be changed.” (Renya)
The two say as if covering for him, but after groaning for a short moment, Renya roughly scratched his head while clearly stating,
“Just tell me if you need my help. If it’s now, I will take up the job cheaply as it’s owed to various circumstances.” (Renya)
“Ah, so you will take money, won’t you?”
Due to Croire retorting with “I wonder, just where did the story about being the trigger and so on go?”, Renya threw out his chest and answered,
“This is this and that is that. I simply decline working for free.” (Renya)
Mayria took over while wondering whether he possibly has some bad memories with the words working for free.
“I will give you a reward if I can have you accept my request. So, may I ask you to help us?” (Mayria)
“I will take you up on that. I will leave the amount of reward money to you. … It will only be my share, right?” (Renya)
“That means Renya and I will act together, doesn’t it?” (Croire)
Croire declares shrewdly.
Croire puffed up with pride in defiance towards the gazes of the Trident Principality’s side which were filled with the hope I wonder whether she can’t obediently return to the elven country and said,
“Please prepare my share of the reward as well. Ah, please calculate my share normally, okay?” (Croire)
“Though we will pay you five times the regular rewards if we can have you go back?” (Mayria)
“I will turn you down, even if you offer me 300 times the regular reward. I have no financial troubles.” (Croire)
Croire boasts with an “Ahem.”
Mayria, Rona and Shion exchange glances while wondering whether there’s any reward that would somehow make her return to the elven country.
“This has become interesting. Renya’s battlefield debut, eh? That’s something I have to see.” (Emil)
“Emil… oh well, whatever…” (Renya)
Renya sighs deeply while coming up with a manuscript in his head on how he is going to explain the situation to Frau once he gets back home.
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