If there’s only one problem, one can give it their undivided attention, but as soon as there are several problems, it becomes obscure as to what the problem is to begin with, and you end up going left and right not knowing where to start. As soon as that happens, one gives up on all their problems while thinking that they don’t give a damn anymore.
In other words, unless you crush each and every problem immediately after they appear, they will keep on accumulating, and once they have accumulated beyond a certain point, they will only vanish when one resigns themselves to them.
“Ahahaha~… Renya-sa~n. Don’t you want to take my place as the Archduke?” (Lydia)
Her Majesty the Archduchess laughs while being halfway buried under a mountain of documents.
Renya, who was summoned to her room, sends a very frosty glare at the archduchess who started to speak about something outrageous while smiling.
Noticing his gaze, the archduchess’ body trembles and her cheeks blush for some reason. Then with both of her arms she hugs her own body.
“Don’t give me the chills~, Renya-san, those eyes~, they make me want to be dominated~.” (Lydia)
“If you have the time and energy to spout stupid shit, how about redirecting those resources into decreasing that mountain of documents a bit.” (Renya)
The location is the archduchess’ office.
Three desks with mountains of documents piling up have been set up in the room. The archduchess, Mayria and Shion each sit at one of the desks.
The one freely handling a stamp and quill while clinging to the desk frantically, as if not noticing the conversation between Renya and the archduchess, is Mayria. Shion doesn’t even twitch anymore, her eyes were completely white and wide open, while leaning her back into the chair’s backrest, though it was unknown when she entered such a state.
Isn’t the act of trying to have Shion, who is mainly suited for physical labor, help out with the filing of documents far too unreasonable in the first place? Renya wonders, but he leaves it alone without commenting on it as it’s probably the archduchess’ idea.
“To begin with, just what the hell happened for so many documents to have accumulated?” (Renya)
“It’s the postwar handling~. I mean, it’s because we have to deal with the country’s entire defensive force. The principality’s army was dispatched at almost full force~. We had also requested the cooperation of the adventurer guilds in every city~. It’s at such a degree that even I don’t understand how many organizations were mobilized if I also include those similar to vigilante corps~.” (Lydia)
“Get a hold on the situation! You are the highest authority.” (Renya)
The archduchess is on the verge of tears, but even if she were to cry, there’s nothing Renya could do.
Even though it’s not to the same extent as Shion, Renya also belongs to the physical labor faction, if forced to choose a side.
Rather than being stuck to a desk and having a staring game with documents, running around with a weapon in his hands suits him more.
“So, what’s the business you called me here for?” (Renya)
“Wait, wait.~ Don’t hurry so much. First take a seat~.” (Lydia)
Apparently believing that it would be pitiful for him to have a conversation while being made to stand, she had prepared a single chair in the middle of the room.
After waiting for Renya to sit down on said chair, which she had encouraged him to do, the archduchess moves the documents on the table to the side and faces Renya.
“Aren’t there usually minister-like people who deal with such miscellaneous matters?” (Renya)
Several days have passed since the war against the Holy Kingdom came to an end due to the hero’s demise.
Even Renya understands that they have probably just started with the postwar procedures, but with the archduchess appearing to be close to death already, he ends up worried about whether they will be able to finish this matter safely.
“There are, but~… their side has to handle even more, so~… the daily handing-in of letters of resignation from them doesn’t stop,” the archduchess says with a sigh mixed in.
She’s rejecting all of them, but even so it seems it doesn’t deter the nobles from approaching her with the wish of resigning one way or another.
“Even more than the work pressure, there seem to be some nobles among them, who meddled with you in various ways in the past, and from this time’s event they belatedly noticed that you are someone they can’t manage by themselves and shouldn’t take on by all means. Their train of thought seems to be that they want to wait for things to cool down by staying in their own territory, even if they have to quit their official posts,” Lydia says.
“It will be a nuisance if they are that scared of me though, you know?” Renya scratches his cheek.
Certainly that kind of harassment is an act that dampens the mood, but Renya can’t get accustomed to idea of systematically eradicating them, just like this time’s hero, merely because of such actions.
Of course, he doesn’t possess a character that would hesitate on getting rid of them if there was even the slightest chance of harm befalling his friends, but if it’s a low degree of harassment and if they go at it moderately, it’s not like he won’t tolerate it to some extent.
“Speaking of the hero~, I wonder, what happened to that armor~? To begin with, just what is that thing?” (Lydia)
Renya shortly and bluntly answered the archduchess, who asked while tilting her head to the side,
“That’s what I want to ask.” (Renya)
Even Renya didn’t understand the armor’s true identity at all.
After the battle against the hero, Renya had to frantically stop the armor, that had started to systematically and furthermore greedily devour the allied forces, which had lost the one leading them.
Though he didn’t do so for humane reasons, but simply because he didn’t approve of harming those who had already lost the will to resist any further.
However, even when he tried to pull it back by binding its arms behind its back, there was no way for Renya to stop all the hands growing out of the armor’s torso, even after somehow having immobilized the armor, not to mention the difficulty brought about simply due to the armor’s weight.
In the end Renya somehow stopped its gluttony after threatening it by thrusting the tip of his katana inside the armor and making it choose whether it wanted to be chopped up on the spot or to make do with the dead soldiers around the perimeter of the outer wall, which was manned by the garrison.
Renya wondered whether it didn’t hear his orders properly, but according to the armor’s gestures afterwards, the armor itself had apparently fallen into an unrestrained rampaging state after preying upon the hero. It apparently managed to somehow recover due to Renya’s truly-angry mode and the coldness of the katana’s blade thrust into it.
I wonder, was the thing it ate too wicked? Renya ends up pondering, but the thing it devoured had also created a fateful problem.
The subordination affecting the alliance’s soldiers wasn’t undone.
For Renya, who thought that the problem would be somewhat solved as long as he crushed the head, it was an unforeseen incident.
In front of Renya, who thought that the restrictions would normally vanish alongside the disappearance of the one who subordinated them, one armor quietly averted its eyes.
After Renya captured the armor that was about to run away and asked for an explanation of the circumstances, he found out that the armor had apparently assimilated the hero’s abilities after having eaten him.
“It’s unprecedented, isn’t it~…?” (Lydia)
Currently that armor is standing with an imposing stance on the outer wall while holding the holy sword, which was the hero’s possession, with both its hands like a cane after it had picked it up from the battlefield.
Since it possesses a body that doesn’t require any sleep, food or rest, it stood stock still the whole time unless it was called by Renya.
Its entire body is wrapped up in a pale glow. Its unmoving appearance has earned it the depressing evaluation of being somewhat disgusting among the citizens of Trident Principality’s capital city.
“That thing, if you try to somehow classify it, I think you would call it an Undead Knight, right~?” (Lydia)
“I guess so.” (Renya)
The outcome of the appraisal ability used by Renya, who thought it’s probably necessary to precisely appraise it at least once, resulted in it being identified as an Undead Knight just as the archduchess stated.
However, a “?” was shrewdly attached next to its title.
“It’s an undead, right?” (Lydia)
“So it is.” (Renya)
“The human race’s hero is an undead… how ridiculous~.” (Lydia)
The armor that took over the hero’s abilities had seemingly also completely adopted the title of hero. Even the result of the appraisal clearly stated “Occupation: Hero.” (T/N: Lol)
Renya strongly cocked his head to the side confused on whether it’s okay for its body to be clad in holy power despite it being an undead, but so far the armor hasn’t fallen into a state of destroying itself due to its own power.
“Even if it’s an undead, it was probably a human in the beginning, so… it’s not that far off, now is it?” (Renya)
“Umm~, well~, I wonder about that~?” (Lydia)
The archduchess’ expression makes it apparent that she isn’t fully satisfied with the explanation, but since the phenomenon actually exists in front of her eyes, it’s meaningless for her to deny it.
Given that it’s properly handling the holy sword, which can’t be used by anyone but a hero, the fact that that armor was endowed with the hero’s power won’t change, no matter what anyone might say.
“Isn’t it fine if you consider that it became a very sturdy hero that won’t degrade?” (Renya)
“Well~, I guess it’s better than the previous one~.” (Lydia)
“In the first place, there are even some aspects that became somewhat easier thanks to that armor.” (Renya)
The part that eased up the most was the cleaning of the battlefield.
Since war is a place where lives are taken, it will naturally cause a great number of deaths.
If people die, they leave a corpse behind. Normally it requires cleaning afterwards, a job hated by anyone no matter whom you ask, such a task consisted mostly of recovering the corpses quickly and burying them.
However, that was unnecessary this time.
That’s because all of them ended up getting completely eaten by the armor.
In regards to this, only Renya, despite it being the enemy nation’s soldiers, wondered whether such behavior was acceptable, as all of them probably left behind a family, but the reactions by those around him were quite indifferent.
In the first place, these corpses might become the cause of diseases spreading if not quickly dealt with.
And, the act of making an appeal to the defending side to return the soldiers’ bodies to the attacking side apparently doesn’t exist in this world.
“All the soldiers, who ended up devoured by the armor in the recent war, are treated as Removed from the military register because they are considered to be missing in action or dead.” Mayria explained to Renya.
Isn’t that slightly pitiful? Renya wonders.
“Without the armor, it might have taken a bit more time for me to kill the hero. His teleportation was extremely annoying. Thanks to the armor… is something I can’t firmly state either, but since it pretty much came to an end easily due to the hero’s stupidity and the armor’s help, it saved me some trouble, I guess?” (Renya)
“Now that you mention it, that alternative plan of yours, what was that about, mother?” (Mayria)
Mayria cut into the conversation without taking her eyes off of the documents.
The archduchess smiles cheerfully after pondering about it with a “Hmm~” and then bluntly says,
“I guess a self-destruction spell that would have swallowed up the entire city~. With a boooom~.” (Lydia)
“Pardon me?” (Mayria)
“As I said~, self-destruction devices covering the entire city had been prepared~ directly below this Trident, okay~?” (Lydia)
“It was apparently the hobby of the ancestor-sama who founded Trident Principality,” the archduchess laughs, but hearing that, Mayria’s face became pale and Renya looked at his feet with a somewhat reluctant expression.
In other words, the archduchess’ alternative plan was to draw the alliance into the city, and make the entire city explode the moment the hero entered as well.
Of course, the archduchess expected to die after getting swallowed up by the explosion, in case she picked that method.
“Even so, as long as Mayria, the next archduchess, safely escaped to the rear after the battle resulted in a draw with the hero, such a scheme would allow the Trident Principality to avoid losing or perishing for the time being,” the archduchess says.
It was a strategy that used the Trident Principality’s army as a sacrifice in order to buy enough time for Mayria and her group to escape and for the spell to activate. Therefore, the archduchess apparently bet on Renya’s suicide attack before executing her original plan.
“The activation method is a secret~. I will pass it on to Mayria-chan or Shion-chan once one of you becomes the archduchess~.” (Lydia)
“A-Ahaha… I have to thank you and that armor-san, Renya-san…” (Mayria)
Mayria’s voice is somewhat lifeless.
It’s a mechanism that will very likely drag all the capital’s citizens into it, if there’s a mishap in its handling.
“It doesn’t matter~ since I didn’t have to use it~, the negotiations with the Holy Kingdom~ will start from here on out~. But, I guess it will become slightly easier~ thanks to armor-kun~.” (Lydia)
The alliance’s soldiers, who didn’t have the insubordination skill removed, were still enslaved to the one who inherited the hero’s skills.
A group of tens of thousand of soldiers that treated that armor as their master.
The Trident Principality unexpectedly got its hands on a very big number of workers. Putting it like that, it was a wonderful miscalculation.
“We deprived the soldiers, who came attacking, of all their belongings~ and asked armor-kun to have them start rebuilding the fortresses around the border~.” (Lydia)
“Is that really alright?” (Renya)
What the archduchess is saying is that she has allocated the soldiers as a labor force in order to restore the things damaged in the war, a so-called trouble fee for the Holy Kingdom related to the recent war.
Since they are in a state of insubordination the soldiers are compelled to obey, whether they like it or not, if ordered through the armor.
The human losses of the Trident Principality are low to a surprising degree.
Since they aren’t zero, there were quite a few instances where the country had to compensate the families. But it was at such a level that it allowed one to say that the war still ended with a relatively minuscule amount of deaths for having been attacked by 100,000 soldiers.
“I plan to have the other side cover their living expenses~. I mean, it’s a considerable amount of money when considering the expenses needed to maintain several tens of thousands of laborers, right~?” (Lydia)
The number of surviving soldiers was too big for all of them be used as laborers.
“I plan to send back the majority of the soldiers to their home countries,” the archduchess says.
It’s only reasonable, but almost all of the soldiers that will be staying belong to the Holy Kingdom. It seems she intends to send back as many of the other countries alliance soldiers as possible.
“Even so, around 20,000 laborers will stay behind~. Even if it results in their living expenses being provided by the other side and the materials being supplied by our side. I think it’s still cheap once I think about the money that will be needed in order to fix the damage caused by the war~. The leftover money will be put to use towards the domestic reparations and financial support~.” (Lydia)
The archduchess reveals a complacent and ill-tempered smile.