「Was that really fine? 」
「What is fine? 」
The place that used to be King Thoria’s office had changed owners, and all the unnecessarily gaudy interior were already swapped out for less flashy items.
When Ardis asked the new owner of the room who is also his disciple, Minerva responded with a reflexive question.
「The country name. 」
「Isn’t it a great name? 『Wisteria Kingdom』. 」
「I’m not asking for that though」
Ardis with a troubled expression looked at Moore.
「It’s already decided. Rather than that, there are still mountain loads of stuff to be decided. We’ve got no time to be fussing over just a country name forever, right? 」
Ardis glared hatefully at Moore who spoke as if he didn’t care anything in that regard.
After the previous meeting, Ardis was chased around for the name, Wisteria. In the end, he revealed only to Minerva and Moore that it was the name of the mercenary band he was in.
But it seems like Minerva caught onto something.
『Then wouldn’t it be convenient? If Shishou’s past comrades arrived in this world similarly like Shishou, then they will surely be interested in a country named Wisteria. If it can help Shishou reunite with them, then it’s meaningful enough to use it as the country name. 』
Saying so, she suddenly pushed for the name, and even Moore joined her boat in that.
Although the meeting happened in the shape of hearing the attendees’ opinions, with Minerva who has the right of succeeding the Nagras royal family and Moore who is the leader among the militia, there was no one who was allowed to object.
Naturally, there were voices of reusing Nagras Kingdom’s name, or even other suggestions like Rovres Kingdom or New Corsas Kingdom, but in the end through Minerva’s insistence, it was settled as Wisteria Kingdom.
「Despite having my life saved three times already, I haven’t been able to do anything to repay this favor. Isn’t it fine for me repay one of my debts like this? 」
Although Ardis didn’t have the intent to make her owe anything, having her justify it like that, he couldn’t object any more.
In fact, what Minerva said made sense.
Like Victor who he met a few days ago, there might be others like Ardis who ended up in this world, or even came here on their own volition.
Rather than looking for a needle in a haystack, spreading the name of Wisteria to get their attention would be more likely to work.
Now that he thought about it, rather than going around as a wandering mercenary to look for information, it would’ve been better for him to form a new mercenary band with the same name.
But when he brought it up, Rona scoffed at him 「Al as the captain? Isn’t it too far-fetched personality-wise? 」.
「And that’s that. Better heed to Her Majesty, the queen’s orders quietly」
「Please stop with that Her Majesty the queen thing already……」
Minerva responded in a peeved way at how Moore raised her up.
「But we can’t call you Ojou-sama forever, right? Leaving aside private occasions, Kyle’s been pestering 『Please consider being formal when in public』. 」
「Certainly that will be the case in public, but if it is just us alone, isn’t it alright to be as usual? General Greystar? 」
「Uwaah, I see how it is. 」
Moore who was called a general as payback made a fed-up expression.
Now that there’s a need for order in the country, albeit small, Moore was naturally designated as the general with military control.
The person himself insisted on 「An easier position please」 ,but everyone else didn’t let that happen.
「Could it be, I should call Your Excellency, Greystar as well? 」
「Hou, you’re joking about that too huh. Why not take the other general spot for yourself, Sir Ardis? 」
Ardis who ganged up to tease Moore together with Minerva got hit by a painful counter.
「Spare me from that. I’m not a noble. 」
「Don’t say that. If Wisteria Kingdom is formed, no matter how it is, you’re one of the founders. It’s thanks to Ardis’s help that Glock could expand and Thoria could be taken. According to previous examples in Nagras Kingdom, a count or marquis peerage is only reasonable. 」
Moore’s words weren’t flattery.
No matter what world, one who contributed to founding a country will be treated courteously. A peerage on such occasion is only normal.
Frowning between his brows, Ardis wordlessly protested against Moore’s suggested future.
Ardis isn’t against the idea of becoming a noble itself.
After all, being a noble comes with special privileges and authority, which are powerful weapons.
However, a noble’s privileges naturally come with the responsibilities.
And Ardis is confident that it will only become a shackle in the way of accomplishing his goal.
「Captain Greystar, let’s leave it at that much. Shishou is troubled too. 」
Which side was it that Minerva’s saving boat saved?
「……I guess. Certainly, it’s better to think about surviving in this situation now. After all, enemies are on four sides. 」
Moore changed the topic.
「Alburn in the north, Empire in the south. And the territory that the Monarchy captured is close to Glock too. Possible allies are…… only the Coalition? 」
Minerva answered Ardis’s question.
「Yes. After all, with the only other country being the Holy Kingdom far on the west end of the continent, and we don’t have much interaction with them before. 」
「At the very least, it’s best we can ally with the Coalition but……they’re on their wit’s end too. 」
As Moore said, other than Calves, the biggest city state of the Coalition in the west that is currently under invasion by the Monarchy and Empire army, there were only two or three other city states that hadn’t been occupied yet.
With the two sides having a detrimental difference, Calves falling was just a matter of time.
Forming an alliance this late would do what good, such opinions were naturally around.
On the other hand, with no one else other than Wisteria Kingdom wiling to form an alliance, even if their potential ally may look flimsy, the Coalition will still not give up a valuable ally.
「The Coalition’s survival is important for our survival too. Even if we stay put, Rovres Alliance will come sooner or later. We need the Coalition to keep fighting as long as possible. 」
After Calves falls, the Empire and Monarchy will face their spears towards either the Holy Kingdom in the west, or the new Wisteria Kingdom.
Spectating the Coalition getting destroyed will only cause the current status quo to worsen.
Ardis understood this as well.
「So that’s why I’ve been thinking that right after announcing the formation of Wisteria Kingdom, the Coalition――specifically the Calves city state, we should contact them for an alliance. 」
「I understand the reasoning but……」
Even though he understood the logic behind Minerva’s words, Ardis still had some doubts.
「Calves is on the brink of falling, right? It’s not like we can take it easy, go back and forth to form an alliance, right? In the first place, the route from Glock to Calves is all occupied by the enemies. 」
「Since that’s the current situation, the formal procedures will be minimized as much as possible for it to work out. We will only send out few members for the negotiations, and those few members should also be able to support them against the Rovres Alliance when the alliance forms. 」
He understood that his strength was needed when Minerva brought up the point of sending only few elites, but even Ardis is unable to fulfil the role of being a diplomat to negotiate.
「…………I’m saying this first, being an alliance ambassador is too much for me. 」
Ardis made his claims clear, but then Minerva added on.
「Regarding that, no need to worry, I myself will be there too. If Shishou can just take care of supporting them――」
「Minerva, you’re going to Calves!? 」
Ardis interrupted in the middle at his disciple’s reckless thinking.
「It’s no time to be going back and forth, right? Even if my bloodline is only for show, isn’t it the quickest for me as the country leader to go directly? Of course, several bureaucrats will also accompany me for the actual talk. 」
Following Minerva, Moore added on.
「Luckily, the escort at Marrieda’s place, the guy called Nicole is from Calves. He looks like he has already told the news to their diplomatic department. They should have some interest in this talk. Apparently, they’re looking at this positively. 」
「That Nicole? 」
「Who knows who that man is? If he has a voice in Calves that reaches their government, I’m sure he’s from a powerful merchant house……or maybe he’s the third son of a noble. 」
Even if it’s a national crisis, looking positively towards forming an alliance with a new country that hasn’t even regained their order is too far-fetched.
It’s something impossible unless it was suggested by someone quite influential in Calves.
Ardis recalled the bodyguard swordsman with dark green hair.
He was someone on par with Moore and had an impenetrable presence, but it was certain that he didn’t seem like a normal mercenary either.
His swordsmanship didn’t seem like something that was forged through actual combat like Ardis’s, but something that was learned through someone else.
Although Nicole’s background was unclear, it didn’t matter since it has come into use for them now.
Though, with Marrieda around, it may not have been the case.
Ardis made a heavy sigh purposefully, giving up on objecting to her decision, and instead focused on the plan.
「Fine. My role is to be Minerva’s bodyguard, and to support Calves to defeat the enemies, right? 」
「There’s no need to defeat them. It’s enough to just keep them at bay, or maybe hit them until they can’t move. Well, normally, this is an outrageous request that might as well be a joke but…… Ardis can do it, right? 」
「……If there’s no one like me on their side. 」
「Spare me. No way there’s a second or third person like you, right? 」
Unlike Moore’s bitter smile, Ardis’s expression was not bright.
Victor’s figure from that day came into mind.
It’s not completely impossible to have others that came to this world like Victor.
And there’s nothing guaranteeing that they won’t be on the enemy side.
「Since we can’t stand out, we have to minimize the number of members. I will leave the selection to you, Ardis. Though, with you alone, I think guarding and supporting will all be solved. 」
「……How many bureaucrats are tagging along? 」
Depending on the member count, Ardis, Rona, and Nere can carry them through the sky.
The risks of encountering enemies if not using the highway is reduced greatly, and moreover, by flying, it’s possible to rest during the day in a secluded spot, and fly in the night.
「Four others excluding me. 」
Minerva answered Ardis’s question.
Five people including Minerva……, as Ardis showed a troubled expression.
It’s a little too much for the three of them to carry.
Leaving aside children, girls, or man with small stature, they are all average grown man, so carrying one person each is probably the maximum.
「Also, choose only those that can ride a horse. 」
Ardis asked again after Minerva added on.
「Horses? We’re not using a carriage? 」
「Yes. If the occasion needs it, we must rush through, so we need to have a horse for everyone. Please make sure the people chosen can at least handle a horse. 」
Ardis started making plans for the journey while considering those conditions.
If everyone is riding a horse, rather than an envoy, it’s better to think of it as a covert cavalry squad.
Avoiding the towns and roads that the enemy had occupied, by going through a route with least traffic, they can avoid unfortunate encounters.
If the members are experienced, then beasts or demonic beings are not a problem. With Ardis’s gate, food supplies for the journey shouldn’t be a problem either.
「Alright, I will finish picking by tomorrow. 」
Saying so, Ardis already had a few candidates at the back of his mind, and started thinking about who to bring and who to leave here.