DB – Chapter 67

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Reinforcements

 

As for the Cordovan soldiers that surrendered, or rather became wounded prisoners as Ria’s way of dealing with them, they were divided into three groups.
One group would work on roadworks for three years, being liberated afterwords. This condition somewhat resembled the land reclamation from before, but she was expecting Cordova’s military engineers’ abilities.
Another group would be released as is, but there was a condition this time. The condition was that they absolutely had to return to their hometowns by all means. The reason for this was because she’d heard that Cordova had treated the soldiers that were liberated before as rebels.
And then there was a third way, but it was the path of working as Ria’s bodyguard.
After the soldiers chose their paths, Ria’s group went back on the road towards Manesh.

Twenty thousand reinforcements from Casalia awaited Ria’s arrival at Manesh, along with some familiar faces.
“Luluuu! Carlos!”
Right, among the reinforcements were the magic corps that Lulu belonged to, as well as the knight order that Carlos belonged to. A reunion after a span of several months.
Even if the troops were gathered as hired soldiers, for the Ogress army that had few commanders, this was very welcome.
After that, Ria heard about the situation in the royal capital from Lulu. Apparently, the confusion from the minister’s assassination seemed to have been concluded with the criminal being the a foreign country’s subordinate.
Incidentally, there were a lot of second and third sons of penniless nobles among the soldiers sent in the second group.
They were unmistakably there for the war against Cordova with the aim of acquiring plots of land that had lost their feudal lords.

 

*

 

And again, Lulu brought up an incredibly important personal matter.
“Eh? Marriage? You did?”
“No, I haven’t answered yet, but…”
In the queen’s private room, there were her old comrades, as well as all of Ria’s wives. Carlos was left out.
It was the group of everyone concerned. Carlos was left out.
Since he was the one to propose to Lulu.
“Ah… heeh… and so?”
“Well, I’ve been thinking about what to do…”
“So you want to discuss something like that with me huh…”
Ria inclined her head to the side.
(Carlos is a good man. Yep, a good man. Though he contracted that disease known as elf lover, well, there probably won’t be any problems about Lulu being a half-elf.)
He’s devoted, and a gentleman. Ria acknowledged that in their hardships during their travels, he had upheld his charge as a knight. A model noble that couldn’t be found in a whole generation.
His face wasn’t bad either, so she couldn’t think up any particular problems.

However, even Ria was embarrassed being consulted about such a thing.
“What did you say to him for now?”
“To please wait a little.”
“So, what about to yourself?”
Asked that, Lulu’s eyes reddened a little.
“I think he’s a good person. He thinks about me, relies on me, and even if he’s a little unreliable, he’s adorable…”
“If that’s how it is, isn’t your answer decided?”
The battle formation of women nodded. Since even Gig nodded, it must have been obvious.
However, there was a single person that raised their hand.
“I think you should wait until after the war is over before giving your answer.”
It was the youngest, Serge, who should have understood the hearts of women the least.
“Eh? Why?”
Although Lulu asked in puzzlement, Ria understood.
“Right, a flag huh.”
“Yeah. The most supreme flag of them all: ‘I, after this war is over, will marry you!'”

Ria nodded along with Serge, who stressed his sentence.
“That certainly does satisfy the requirements. That’s bad.”
Naturally, the expressions of those in the surroundings became rigid at the two people having such a serious conversation.
“What’s so bad about it~?”
As for Irina’s question, although she was unable to read the feeling in the air, it was a GJ in this case.
“Well, I guess it’s a kind of superstition…”
“Before a war, a soldier would say, ‘I, after this war is over, will marry you!’ Then die in the following battle. That’s the pattern.”
“That’s definitely a superstition.”
Despite being called a saint, Carla, the atheist, cut the thought away cleanly.
“But I’ve certainly seen it a lot in stories.”
Recently, saying that it was for her education as a princess, Shizuna had been reading a lot of books.
“Well, there is a lot of power put into words.”
Ria thought about it logically. [1]
“For your answer, isn’t it fine to wait for the war to end? That way, in order for Carlos to hear your answer, he’ll just have to do his best to survive it.”
“I see, that is true.”
And like this, the time for their short tea party came to an end.

 

*

 

“And that’s what was said.”
“Mmmmmm…”
To Ria’s explanation, Guinevere answered listlessly.
“Something fun like that happened… while I’ve been desperately sorting these documents…”
Although Fio said that in envy, if she pulled Fio, who was the secretary, away, their work wouldn’t advance.
When could she make her her formal wife? This was Ria’s headache.
“Setting that aside, I was able to perfectly complete the golem corps project’s plan.”
“Oh nice, so there was funds for it.”
“I invested my own funds. This was originally my country after all.”
“Hoh… wait, you used the money of the Uslan marquis family? Did you speak with Carla about it?”
“Carla’s things are my things. My things are my things as well. It’s fine. Carla would agree if I spoke to her.”
Certainly, Carla wasn’t interested in things like amassing wealth, she didn’t have any personal belongings that were particularly luxurious either.
Rather, in Carla’s case she was in a situation where could live off of just the gifts she received from other nobles.
But still, with her territory management going through a magistrate, she barely felt like a noble.
“Ah, should I use that imperial household agency’s model…” [2]
“That’s fine to hold off on. For now, roadwork and reclamation are high priority.”
“I just want the war with Cordova to be over with…”
“For that, please send out supplies by going through those documents.”
“Gaaah. Mou, finish the war sooo~n.”

While Fio was going through and reviewing the documents one by one, there was something she noticed.
“This Black Cat Company sells an incredible amount of goods…”
“The Black Cat Company is a famous delivery company primarily in Lemdria, but there’s a branch in Casalia as well. Although it’s sure to have dealt in Cordova for years as well, they’ve recently changed their policies regarding them.”
In other words, they abandoned Cordova when they realized it would go on the decline.
Clever merchants on the sidelines would judge the information like that, they’d likely even seen Ogress’ might as it was well-known now.
“I’d like to meet their company director at least once. How could I get in contact with him?”
“Other than the branch’s head, the company director might be a bit difficult to. It seems his name is Yamato, I’ve practically not heard him meeting people.”
“Wait.”
Ria spoke reflexively.
“… Black Cat’s company director is named Yamato?”
“Yes. It seems to be a name that’s succeeded from generation to generation. There’s even talk that people who don’t already know who he is aren’t meant to learn it. Although they more or less refer to themselves as a secret society, everyone knows of them as the Black Cat Company.”
“Ooh~, is that so?”
There’s probably no mistaking that their founder was a reincarnated person.
“I have a question about their the accumulation of goods too, I’d kind of like to meet their representative. Let’s see… the person in charge is Fernoss Crystal… Crystal family huh.”
The Crystal family. Although it was Ria’s mother’s surname, in truth, it wasn’t a surname that was handed down through the generations.
It’s without doubt a special surname that, as Serge lightheartedly did, labels one as a mage. On the other hand, the magicians that call themselves by this surname are mostly adults.
For example, the same way Ria’s mother got this surname from Rufus, Rufus got this surname from Azelford. In Ria’s case, since she’d had high magical power since birth, she had naturally been given this surname.
In other words, this Fernoss woman was also someone with considerable magical power.
“Then, I’ll confirm the meeting’s purpose.”
“Yeah, please.”

Their routine work more or less handled, Ria unrolled a map on the now-vacant desk.
The map was of Cordova’s territory. Although it was obviously not too accurate, it was enough.
“That Cordova could feasibly mobilize five hundred thousand seems like some kind of joke…”
“There are more if you include minors and those in the reserve. But then since they have focus on border control and revolt prevention, they can’t use all of them.”
“Well, that’s how it is. Nevertheless, with that kind of tyranny, how aren’t there any revolts?”
It was something that seemed like it should’ve happened. When she said that, Guinevere looked surprised.
“You don’t know? They have a secret information system. If someone tries to incite a revolt, they kill everyone in their family as guilt by association.”
“That’s horrible…”
Are they North Korea?

“But on the other hand, they’d be incredibly glad about being liberated. No matter how you put it, with an administration that starves them year-round, they’d very likely prefer us.”
“But then how could we prepare and distribute enough food for their entire population…? Say what you like, Serge is just one person, he can’t do it alone.”
It became a problem of logistics.
Through and through, she believed the country called Cordova to be a strong country. It wasn’t just their military force that was strong, but that their entire warped country was as though it existed to war with others.
Just why was an entire country established for war? If she had time to, she wanted to look into that.
“When we enter Cordovan territory, we will have one advantage.”
“Hou?”
If that’s the case, she wanted to hear the advantage.
“That country maintenance fully paved roads. An army’s march as well as supplies transportation becomes easy.”
“I see, so then first of all maybe we should fell one of their bases on their border somewhere…?”

No.
No no.
More than that, they had to do something that their enemy hated even more.
If they felled one of their opponent’s bases, they would be able to freely move into Cordova.
In that case, rather than one, wouldn’t it be fine if they felled every feasible base along their borders?
At any rate, their army’s strength consisted of Casalia’s and Manesh’s soldiers. However, they wouldn’t be able to defeat Cordova’s troops of five hundred thousand without using the armies of other countries.
Ria immersed herself in that thought.
The more a general used their head, the less soldiers needed to be sacrifices.
Although Ria far from hated shedding human blood—she rather loved it—but it was a different story if it was her allies shedding blood for no reason.
“Fio, please arrange meetings for ambassadors and military officers that come in contact with Cordova, as well as with merchants that have business relations with Cordova by tomorrow.”
“But it’ll reduce my sleeping hours even more…”
“Well, have Guinevere help with half then.”
“Geh—”
“Though I said that, I will do my best until I can end this war. After it’s over, I’ll be leaving all of the administration to you all.”
Ria’s statesmen didn’t think of that remark as irresponsible, but oppositely Guinevere felt good about it for some reason.

 

Footnotes:

 


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