Translator: Drey Editor: Sherminator
When I returned to the dining hall with the somewhat calm Ayla, everyone was cleaning the dining hall and the kitchen.
It seems that my and Ayla’s food have also been removed, so I called out to everyone even while I was feeling a tinge of regret.
When I called out to them, Rant came walking with his back being pushed by Schnee.
「I, I’m sorry for earlier. With my careless remark……」
「Ah, n, no, It’s fine. Me too, I’m really sorry for suddenly going out during the meal.」
The two apologize to each other and I felt relieved. Torraine with a plate in both hands and Mea approached us.
「Um, we reheated the food.」
When Mea said that, Torraine looked at me while arranging the dishes on the table.
「We thought that maybe the two of you had something you wanted to talk about, so we will draw back for now. We will come again to clean up after you finished your meal.」
When Torraine said that, Rant and the others also went out after bowing.
Certainly, it’s nice to have a complicated talk with Ayla, but they are too considerate.
Looking at the steam rising from the foods and drinks, my eyes met with Ayla’s. Seeing our stupefied faces, both of us bursted out in laughter.
While laughing at each other, we pick up our forks.
「Let’s eat. After we eat, I will hear your full story.」
Ayla nodded and replied.
【In the bar of the Royal Capital】
A blond-haired man in his thirties and two brown-haired men who looks a little bit younger were sitting at the table.
Plates with foods and fruit wines are lined up on the table, but none of them are trying to get their hands on it.
When the blond-haired man glared at the two in displeasure, they lowered their head silently.
「…… Do you have any information?」
「I also don’t have any progress since then」
After he listened to the answers of the two he sighed faintly, the blond-haired man looked around quietly. The customers were sparse, so the employees were at the back of the counter.
「…… a flying island, is it? There are no rumours at all about that in the Kingdom, but how about in the Empire?」
「There should be contact soon from those who infiltrated in the Empire, right?」
「However, if the missing princess has gone to the Empire……」
Among the two, the one who looks timid muttered that.
「It can’t be helped then. The Kingdom had no choice but to repel the Empire again with another method.」
「Can they beat the Empire?」
「It’s futile. The Kingdom is not that stupid to start a war against the Empire. Besides, they will be crushed in an instant assuming that they will initiate the war first.」
「…… So, the ideal thing to do is to wait for the Empire’s attack and strengthen their defense. This will be the longest war of attrition seen in decades」
「Yes, if they send a lot of forces into the Kingdom, it is possible for the Empire to crush the Kingdom in a few months, but on the contrary we will be grateful if they exhauste themselves here because the defense of the Empire will be reduced.」
While the men were absorbed in their conversation, they heard a door being opened vigorously from the entrance.
「It, it’s the Empire! They have attacked!」
The skinhead man shouted that and the customers who were drinking near the bar counter stood up.
「What did you say!? Here in the Royal Capital!?」
「N, no, I heard that they are setting up near the border to prepare for the war. According to the report, mercenaries are also hired and included in their battle formation……」
「Dammit, if that’s true then this is bad!」
Inside the very noisy bar, the blond-haired man lowered his posture and took a sip of wine.
「…… It seems like, this is because of the disappearance of the princess, isn’t it?」
「Yeah. Also, the Empire’s movement is faster than we thought. If the Empire hired a lot of mercenaries, there’s no way that they will only put pressure on the Kingdom, right?」
「If they will only put pressure on the Kingdom, they will probably set up their troops slowly and take their time to show off their war potential.」
「When do you think the war will start?」
「The Empire’s movements are too early. If the Kingdom gathers their soldiers, their only choice is in the Falbe Fortress City located between the Royal Capital and border. Although they will leave their biggest war potential in the Royal Capital, I think 30% of it will have to be concentrated in Falbe」
「If they neglect the Falbe, they will surely be attacked from behind in a siege in the Royal Capital.」
「You’re right. And, if the Empire will seriously gather up their troops from the south, it will take a month before the troops will arrive. But, if they will attack immediately, they will probably attack after a week. 」
When the blond-haired man guessed that, the two opened their eyes wide.
「…… I have never heard of an operation of the soldiers with such speed」
「Hold on. The information about the Empire’s troops setting up near the border must have came from peddlers or adventurers. If that’s the case, it will take more than a week even if they galloped in a horse from the border to the Royal Capital. Perhaps……」
「If they planned to attack soon, they should be advancing to the Falbe Fortress City now.」
「We, we should not stay here and relax!」
「We should also move away from here!」
Looking at the two who stand up hurriedly, the blond-haired man finally reached his hand to the food.
He stabbed the piece of meat with a fork and carried it to his mouth, and looked at the two who are urging him.
「Calm down and have a meal first. Even if we take our meal, it will not take much time.亅
The man said that and put the meat in his mouth again.