“Well then~, moving on to the main topic~.” (Lydia)
Renya sensed the archduchess’ attention, who had neglected him for a while, shifting towards him.
Once she had turned her eyes his way, he could perceive that the archduchess was releasing a somewhat bright aura whereas Mayria was shedding tears profusely as she was postrated on top of the table.
Next to him, Shion, who had become ghastly pale, was frozen in standing on attention while her body was trembling.
Since Renya is in the same room, it’s only natural that the secrets revealed by the archduchess would reach his ears as well, but somehow thinking that it was a conversation that he must not listen to, Renya made sure to consciously omit the archduchess’ words until she was satisfied.
As long as he doesn’t try to understand it, other people’s conversations are nothing but noise that barely scratches the surface of his consciousness, as such Renya perceived the archduchess’ conversation, close to its entirety, as incomprehensible noise.
However, because some of the words that plunged into his ears happened to have some sort of meaning, Renya feels that he ended up hearing around 10% of the secrets Mayria doesn’t want others to learn about.
“I wonder what kind of information you might have brought with you?” (Lydia)
The words, which were thrust out smoothly, caused a chill to pierce Renya’s heart, resembling the blade of of a dagger.
While reflexively patting his chest, he agrees, I see, so this is her archduchess mode.
The sound and quality of her voice didn’t change.
Even so, it’s a voice that possesses a cold sharpness that could likely choke the life out of someone without them realizing it.
While frightened without showing it on his face, Renya tells the archduchess about his conversation with the king of the Holy Kingdom.
The archduchess listened to Renya’s report while patting the back of Mayria, who was still prostrating, with a smile, but once Renya finished his report, she looked fixedly at Renya’s face and bluntly said,
“You, are you maybe an idiot?” (Lydia)
As substitute for Mayria, who still hasn’t recovered, Shion retorted in shock.
Renya, who was openly called an idiot, doesn’t show any reaction and the other members only observe the situation.
“I didn’t mean it as in him being stupid~. If you consider it normally, no one will do something like that, right~? That’s why~. I wondered whether he’s an idiot~.” (Lydia)
“There are some parts I can’t deny there, but… such talks go faster if you grab the other party by the neck first.” (Renya)
If they end up getting on with the war normally, the damage will magnify to the utmost.
It’s very likely that it would take a long time until they would commence negotiations. The damage to the citizens of the Trident Principality would become worse and fatigue would accumulate in proportion to the time taken.
And, the Holy Kingdom’s side would also end up having debts they wouldn’t be able to pay.
Going by Renya’s opinion, there would be very few gains for either side in this war, no matter whether they win or lose.
In case the Trident Principality won, there’s nothing they would be given by the Holy Kingdom.
Or rather than there being nothing, you could say that the Holy Kingdom would lose its leeway in paying the Trident Principality anything due to the remunerations and reparations they would have to pay to the other participating countries if they lost.
In case the Holy Kingdom won, it would certainly result in them obtaining the entire Trident Principality, but beyond the payment of rewards to the various participating countries being large, they would instead lose the Trident Principality as a shield against the threats brought forth by the Miasma Forest.
The expenses caused due to that should be far higher than anything they would be able to gain.
“That’s certainly true, I guess~.” (Lydia)
“This battle should come to an end in a small amount time and with few losses as long as we get rid of that pervert.” (Renya)
“Meaning, you will be the one to do that?” (Lydia)
“Yeah, I will finish him off. There’s no one else who could, right? Trident’s national army needs to suppress the damage by focussing on defense.” (Renya)
While nodding and saying that with a lifeless voice, the archduchess’ eyes were definitely appraising Renya.
She’s in a position where she can’t agree with his story that easily, and due to such a position, she also bears great responsibility.
It wasn’t a very likable gaze, but Renya decided to let her assess him while staying silent.
“I’m sorry~. But I’m in a position where I can’t bet on a gamble that has no chance of success~.” (Lydia)
“Do you have a plan if you aren’t going along with mine?” (Renya)
Renya didn’t consider himself to be a tactician.
If he was pushed to say, he was well aware that he always somehow managed to get through things with brute strength while making many mistakes and slip-ups along the way.
For that reason alone he even considered the possibility that the woman in front of him, who holds the position referred to as archduchess, possesses a plan that goes beyond his own.
If the archduchess’ plan is far better than what I have to offer, I should cancel my ideas regarding the Holy Kingdom’s matter and join in on that, he even believes, but unfortunately the archduchess shook her head sideways.
“I don’t have any plan, which takes a small amount of time and keeps the damage low, on hand beyond what you suggested~.” (Lydia)
“So? In that case?” (Renya)
While urging on the archduchess to answer, Renya was astonished in his mind.
The archduchess certainly said that she has no plan that goes beyond what Renya suggested.
Renya noticed that in other words there was apparently an alternative plan, if you included the condition that it would take more time and cause bigger losses than his proposal.
“I will join in on your plan. Our Trident Principality’s national army will focus its efforts on defense. We will make sure to endure and keep the damage as low as possible until the adventurer Renya slays the hero who is the ringleader of the enemy.” (Lydia)
“Thank you. … I think I will be able to fulfill your expectations. I think that the enemy army won’t pursue too far either, if the hero, who unifies them, is defeated.” (Renya)
“I wonder about that~…?” (Lydia)
The archduchess replies with a contradicting remark to Renya.
Mayria, who managed to revive somewhat, asked while raising her body,
“Mother… Your Majesty, what do you mean by that? The enemy army is a force that was forcibly gathered under the hero’s authority. Isn’t it a fact that their leadership will fall apart if they lose the hero?” (Mayria)
“It seems so~. But, I wonder whether that will really happen~?” (Lydia)
Mayria is at a loss for words as she doesn’t understand the meaning behind the archduchess’ words.
As if admonishing Mayria, the archduchess continued,
“About this~, I think even the hero himself might not have realized it~. If he did~, I think that it would be normal to have a plan in regards to such a situation, right~?” (Lydia)
Renya had no other option but to nod after being asked “That’s right, isn’t it?” by her gaze.
As he himself is unable to answer with “There’s no way for that to happen”, Renya only confirms the archduchess’ words.
After checking that Renya nodded, the archduchess bent herself slightly forward on the table.
Even though everyone fully knew that her frightfully massive assets would stick out like a sore thumb due to having their shape changed from being crushed against the table’s top, they unintentionally ended up observing that spectacle.
Only Renya averted his eyes in an instant.
That’s because he sensed that it was the archduchess’ method of gathering the attention of those present.
“The Trident Principality’s army will stall for time until the adventurer Renya defeats the hero and also offer support to that end, as first plan. But, in case it takes too much time, or if it’s judged that defeating the hero is impossible, we will shift to the second plan.” (Lydia)
“Second plan? You have something like that?” (Emil)
Emil asks while looking doubtful.
Knowing the current state, the combat power ratio between the allied forces and the principality’s forces has become 3 to 1.
Assuming the principality’s side holed itself in completely, you could call it a difference in combat forces that would allow the allied forces to somehow manage to win with a brute force approach.
On top of that, the allied forces have a being called the hero that possesses absurd combat abilities as a standalone unit.
If there’s no one like Renya, who can inhibit the the hero’s actions by clashing against him alone, just the being called hero would be a huge problem. And yet, if one adds the difference in combat power, it would be fine to conclude the whole conversation by saying that there is absolutely no chance of victory.
With that as a precondition, Emil couldn’t believe that, despite all of this, there’s a counterplan that left Renya out of the equation.
This is also something Emil judged after having personally experienced fighting against Renya.
“Yes, there is~.” (Lydia)
Even after having a look full of doubt pointed at her by Emil, the archduchess’ response wasn’t incoherent.
With that attitude it could be said that she possesses quite a bit of courage, if she’s bluffing. If she isn’t bluffing, it means that she really owns a plan that can work as an alternative to Renya’s suggestion.
“Is it fine for us to hear that plan?” (Croire)
Even if she doesn’t doubt the archduchess to the same extent as Emill, even Croire seems to be unable to believe in the existence of an alternative plan. She tries to ask the archduchess in a reserved manner, but this question was immediately shot down by the archduchess.
“I don’t know from where the information might leak~. It’s a secret until that time comes~.” (Lydia)
“What about the timing to switch from my plan to your plan?” (Renya)
Renya asked while averting his look from the archduchess.
“I guess it won’t take that much time~. As for the time until the alternative plan starts up~, it will only require that our military forces stop the enemy army during the start up phase~.” (Lydia)
Shion had an expression full of surprise.
Mayria’s face has become stiff and pale.
It seems that these two somehow understood what the archduchess intends to do from her words just now.
And Renya thought with a sigh that they likely wouldn’t tell him about it even if he asked.
“Therefore~, I guess I’d like you to hurry as much as possible~.” (Lydia)
“Got it. This time… I will do so without holding back.” (Renya)
Renya stated with a serious voice he hadn’t used until now, but he falters after receiving the silent retort “So you always held back until now!?” from everyone but the archduchess.
Only the archduchess, who hasn’t actually seen it with her own eyes until now, looks at Renya with a somewhat strange gaze, then looked at the other members, and finally rested her gaze on Renya again.
“Oh yes! There’s actually something I want to ask you~. I wonder whether it’s fine for me to ask as it looks like I won’t be able to hear it if it’s not during this kind of occasion~?” (Lydia)
“What is it? If it’s something I can answer, I will do so.” (Renya)
Reflecting on his own actions while tilting his head in contemplation and wondering Have I been acting this rashly until now?, Renya replied without thinking too deeply about the archduchess’ words.
“When will I be able to see the face of my grandchild~?” (Lydia)
Renya asks back while having a hunch that he heard something that doesn’t fit the current mood at all.
The archduchess stared at Renya while showing a friendly smile and asked once more,
“As I said~, my grandchild’s face, you know~.” (Lydia)
“Why grandchild?” (Renya)
Renya is completely unable to estimate from where such talk originated, but the archduchess advances the chat without minding him.
“For someone like you Renya-san~, your heart’s desire is Shion-chan, no?” (Lydia)
“Hey, don’t move the conversation forward by yourself.” (Renya)
“I’m sure you have difficulty choosing since there are plenty of cute, young women around you, Renya-san~. I recommend our Shion-chan, but I also think that Mayria-chan will become an excellent wife~.” (Lydia)
“Aren’t you promoting your own daughters here?” (Renya)
Renya is astonished, but Shion, who was on the side of being promoted, didn’t look all that dissatisfied. Mayria ends up hiding her face by prostrating herself on the table once again.
“But, forcing you is not a good thing, I suppose~. After all, Rona-chan is big~. And that elf over there has rarity value?” (Lydia)
“Being called tiny-breasted in a roundabout way…” (Croire)
Croire hangs her head in a crestfallen manner.
However, she can’t deny it.
After all her small swellings can be called as non-existent with the big masses in front of her eyes.
“That child with the side tail over there is… average, I guess~.” (Lydia)
“Do you have any complaints about that?” (Emil)
While answering back with a stiff smile, Emil’s eyes wander towards Renya for some reason.
Renya answers with just his eyes “Don’t turn the topic in my direction.”
“In the end it’s no good if you make a move on anything you can lay your hands on~. By the way, what do you think about a 36 years old widow~?” (Lydia)
Being asked with a flirtatious glance while putting on a slightly coquettish air, Renya raised his voice.
“As if I’d care!” (Renya)
“Though I won’t lose to Rona-chan if it’s in volume and springiness~.” (Lydia)
The archduchess shows them off by lifting her breasts with a squish.
In a panic Renya looked into the far distance and thrust a finger in front of the archduchess.
“Don’t try to compete. Be faithful to your husband.” (Renya)
The archduchess looked dissatisfied, but Renya had no intention to pay her any attention.
That’s because he somewhat felt that she would succeed in her dangerous play if he paid her any more attention.
“I don’t want to call Renya father.” (Shion)
“I agree with Shion-ane-sama.” (Mayria)
Shion and Mayria whisper with expressions that look completely reluctant.
“You two are sisters, so what are you worried about!? Concentrate on the war now!” (Renya)
Do these guys really understand that at the current rate the country might be destroyed, the archduchess executed and the capital city fall, if we lose? Renya cocked his head in puzzlement.