「Will my master not participate in the war? It’s any mercenaries’ desire to let their names known through war I suppose. 」
After Kyrill went back, Nere asked Ardis.
「It’s not like I became a mercenary because I’m bloodthirsty for war or anything. I thought I wouldn’t be involved in this war at all though……」
「You’re saying, it’s different now? 」
Ardis who clouded over his words was asked by Nere again.
「I mean, is it strange to think that it would be a waste if a home tutor that was trained for the twins died in the war? 」
Ardis was retorting Nere, but she just snorted in response. Although she calls Ardis as her master, her attitude is nothing more than being rude.
「Fumu. Forgive me if I made master upset. There’s no need to employ excuses for everything, isn’t it fine to say that Kyrill is valued. There’s no need to bring the twins in this. 」
Her words shut Ardis up. Isn’t it fine to be honest and say that you’re worried for Kyrill, it was a critical hit.
「Even the occasion when Kyrill was facing off the student of nobility before, didn’t my master watch him in secret and took care of him? Well, if you weren’t that much, you wouldn’t have done such a troublesome thing like going against the Thoria army just for the twins. 」
Nothing could be said against that.
Ardis who was somehow awkwardly displeased decided to stop thinking about useless attempts at talking back and focused on how the Kingdom would go against the Empire.
The Imperial army that was expected to be riding on the victorious momentum and advance their army halted on the wasteland about half a day distance from the border.
They’re probably waiting for more soldiers from their home country to arrive and group up before pushing into the Kingdom.
It isn’t a good hand to play considering they are sacrificing their momentum but, the Imperial troops might be thinking about gathering all their forces before settling the fight for the final time.
It’s possible they are trying to settle everything in this war. The rest of their army is probably on the way towards the Kingdom currently.
What could the empire be thinking. Are they trying to hold their horses back so they wouldn’t be careless, or are they overconfident in their power. Ardis couldn’t know something that only gods know.
Elmenia Empire occupies a wide piece of land spanning from east to west on the Rovres continent. It is the country that self-titled as the successor of the Corsas Kingdom that had once wielded one third of the entire continent.
The overbearing castle built surrounded with grey walls in the capital spread out in an ovular shape. In the middle of the vast castle. Leaving aside commoners, a room that even nobles aren’t allowed in, two figures are on two sides of a luxurious looking table.
「Your Majesty. The masses are rejoicing at our victory. The days where we regain our past glory after defeating Nagras is within sight. It’s a wondrous thing. 」
「Though you don’t look at one bit joyful. 」
The old looking emperor pointed out while smiling bitterly. The opposite is a man that looked two rounds younger and much stronger. To say something of irony to the highest power in the country, one wouldn’t get by unscathed normally.
Although the man was being courteous, his expression was not hiding his displeasure. It is because he is the emperor’s actual son, it’s only possible since he is the crown prince. At his father’s teasing words, the son didn’t hold back and blurted out all his unsatisfaction.
「I don’t mind a war with the Kingdom. Even better if we won the war. I am one who will bear the Empire in the future. I am aware the weight of our long-lasting mission of reclaiming our old territory. 」
However―, he faced the most powerful figure of the empire.
「It’s different if we are talking about inviting some unknown forces into our side. 」
At the crown prince’s insistence, the emperor paused two breaths before asking back.
「……Are you talking about those that came from the southern continent? 」
「Do you really have to ask that? 」
The emperor sighed. The crown prince was referring to the reinforcements from their new ally, San Rojeul Monarchy. The army that had made the kingdom taste defeat in the most pathetic way during the first battle.
「The war this time can be won with their help. If we are to only employ the imperial soldiers, it is highly probable that we will just experience the same pain in the past, a report from our military strategists came. I don’t know what you are worrying about but, isn’t it just thinking too much? 」
「I wouldn’t be this upset if they are mercenaries. There’s no problem at all if they are moving on the intentions of money. But they are a unit that has a country behind them. Moreover, it’s a country that we just came to know of its existence a few days prior. 」
San Rojeul Monarchy is a country located in another continent south of the Rovres continent. It was about half a year ago when the other side had contacted them.
After holding the welcoming banquet, it was only a while later that the two country had entered an alliance, even the nobilities in the empire were confused at the situation and panicked at the sudden development.
Due to the Empire’s location, the only country that is directly adjacent to their territory is the Kingdom of Nagras, the Elmenia Empire had always suffered from diplomatic isolation.
The Coalition in the west of the kingdom and the Bronshell Republic are both located centered to the kingdom geographically. Although the empire is not hostile towards them, it’s not like the Empire can hope for them for an alliance.
The east of the Bronshell Republic, north of the Empire, across the sea, is the Alban Kingdom, which has a huge island as its territory. Although they have a good relationship with the Alban Kingdom, they can’t be of help as they are quite far.
The dangerous ocean has many water element demonic beings lurking around in the waves separated the Elmenia Empire and the Alban Kingdom. Although the Empire’s sailing technology is much more advanced than the Kingdom’s, they still had to sail along the coastline.
As they are crossing the sea lines of the Nagras Kingdom, they couldn’t send out large fleets, they had only conducted small scale commercial trading with Alban Kingdom. And naturally, the war with Nagras Kingdom this time, they couldn’t hope for Alban Kingdom’s reinforcement.
The Empire neighbors the Nagras Kingdom on the northwest direction, other than that, all around them is covered with ocean without exceptions. As they couldn’t get through the northern seas, they thought the only way was to clash directly with the Nagras Kingdom, but that was a mistake on their part.
There was another continent across the southern seas, and the people of San Rojeul Monarchy from that southern continent had first reached the Elmenia Empire, it could be considered the fortune of the Empire’s location.
Welcoming the guests that had no prior appointment from afar, Elmenia Empire had signed a military alliance with them in secret. However, because of war happening often with the Kingdom ever since their founding days, the empire had not sent a single ambassador to the monarchy.
In the first place, unlike the monarchy, the Empire didn’t have the capability to send their ambassador to the other country across the continent unless riding on their ship. The Empire didn’t have the technology nor skills in order to cross the vast ocean on their own.
「We have not a single clue about their country. Are you not aware how dangerous that is? 」
The danger the crown prince sensed, the emperor just ignored it as if it was something not worthy to be considered.
「It will be fine if the relationship proceeds as now. If the Kingdom crumbles, there will be no other forces on the continent able to rival us. We can have the leisure to enjoy as the continent’s conqueror. Even the sailing technologies can be learnt from the monarchy, a military alliance with the Alban Kingdom is well in possibility. 」
The reason why the emperor had tied an alliance with the Monarchy is after he had taken in consideration of their technology. If they can cross the northern ocean and form a route to the Alban Kingdom, the empire’s ally that was only a dream before can be possible.
In any case, if they manage to defeat Nagras Kingdom, there is no longer any other factions on the continent able to go against the empire.
But, that’s just thinking too positive, the crown prince pointed out.
「Do you really think they would be so kind to donate us reinforcements? 」
The monarchy had the technology to cross the seas as they wished, there’s no predicting what they actually have up their sleeves. Thinking from a military perspective, they can attack the empire at any time, and there’s no way for the Empire to defend against that.
Fighting against an enemy that is unpredictable where they can come from, thinking about it gives shivers. At the very least, there should have been plans to learn the bare minimum of technology to cross the ocean between continents before asking them for reinforcements. That’s what the crown prince thought.
If he would say so, the Empire is now threading on a very tight rope. But his worries are no concerns for the emperor.
「No way they could easily send an army from that far. Although those knights were gallantly strong, the numbers they can send aren’t much. If we are down to defend, there’s not much to say defending against fatigued soldiers that managed to cross the seas. Rather than that, we must show who is rightfully the owner of the continent. 」
The empire was in a balance with the Kingdom in the past. But recently, the problematic demonic beings around the Kingdom had been subjugated, as the result, the new Heavy Iron mines near their capital allowed them to gain power rapidly. The difference in power was vast, it was showing a little yesterday.
They had to not show the San Rojeul Monarchy in any way they should side with the kingdom. For that, they had to secure an upper hand against the kingdom as soon as possible, the emperor insisted so strongly.
Even if the crown prince is someone who succeeds the emperor, he can only do so few things against the emperor of the highest power. Showing his opinions, he can reveal his thoughts, but in the end, the emperor is the one who makes the decision. Although he was still unconvinced with that, he could only silently nod.
The crown prince who finished the audience exited the room, walked down the corridor along with his escort while thinking about his next steps. The danger of inviting the San Rojeul Monarchy’s soldiers into their country, the emperor would’ve known that by now.
But even more so, the emperor’s ambition of becoming the 『Continent’s conqueror』 still weighed out more. The crown prince suppressed the dark cloud inside him forcibly, and started thinking about things that he can do with his position one by one.
Since the war had already started, there is no turning back. They must win now that it is started, they must also show no gaps to the San Rojeul Monarchy.
Conquering the Kingdom, becoming the biggest force on the continent, and eliminating involvement with the monarchy as much as possible. The next day, while envisioning a clash with the monarchy is set in schedule, he had listed up instructions for his own aide.