Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
About the same time as knight commander of the Kingdom’s knight order enjoyed the golden fruit.
Silhouette of three men were swaying on the wall in a room within the Fortress city at the eastern part of the Empire.
A middle-aged bald man in plain but expensive clothes, a slender man with a handlebar mustache and sleepy eyes, and a muscular man with short white hair.
「So the knight order of the Kingdom lost one third of their Knights in the battle against heavy lancers huh」
Because of how shocking the information that was brought in, the margrave puts one of his hands on top of his bald head while letting out a hoarse voice.
And the handlebar mustache added more information while stroking his prided mustache.
「For the A-class Knights, it seems they have lost half of the number. And so, looking from their total forces, calling it one third would be too small」
The room turned silent for a while.
The Margrave who is lord of this city, the handlebar mustache who controls politics and information, and the white short-haired man who responsible for military affairs. These three people who were present here right now are those who stand at the top of the chain command in this military base on the eastern part of the Empire.
There is no doubt that this was pleasant information for them, who want to make military advances on the Kingdom.
However, the great amount of damage that knight order of the Kingdom had suffered and the presence of the heavy lancers who caused it, making their mouths shut.
「It is unwise to march the army when the whereabouts of such fearsome beast is still unknown」
The man with short white hair groaned while folding his arms.
Monsters doesn’t know something like borders. There is no guarantee that the heavy lancer herd with such destructive power won’t cross the mountains and appear at the Empire territory.
The man with short white hair, who was asked “what action they should take if that happens” by the margrave, answered with a slightly reluctant tone.
「We parry their assault and hit their flank. There is no other way but to do it like this」
This is the standard by the book way to deal with heavy lancers. Even if it’s him, he can’t think of any other way to do it.
There was no better plan coming up from the margrave and handlebar mustache, so it concluded with the white short-haired man’s plan. Then the agenda moved to the main subject.
Handlebar mustache opened his mouth.
「It could be said that this is a once in a lifetime chance. The Kingdom’s knight order seems to gradually replenish their Knights but, the inside of it wasn’t」
He stopped talking but it seems there is no interruption from the other two men, so Handlebar mustache continued as if he was prompted to do it.
「Although they call it a B-class Knights, their insides are only a C-class Knights. Furthermore, the number of their pilots is uneven, so they shouldn’t be ready to get out for a battle yet」
The man with white short hair nodded deeply at Handlebar mustache’s explanation.
「As long as we don’t make any mistake in dealing with the remaining A-class Knights, I think we can push forward with brute force」
The opinions of two people who support him in politics and military. The margrave put those in a pot inside his brain.
After a while, he added his own seasoning and let it simmer.
And then he passed his judgement.
「Let’s do it」
With that one word, Handlebar mustache and the man with short and white hair corrected their posture and waited for his next words.
「The objective we have to achieve this time is to take over the western part of the Kingdom. For that, the goal is to occupy the core city of Landburn in the western part of the kingdom. We will use the Knights and take it by force」
The other two nodded.
「The lords should prepare immediately. We will start the invasion as soon as you are ready」
Both of them responded sharply to the order and stood up from their seats.
From this moment, the margrave who governed the frontier at the eastern part of the Empire began to attack the western part of the Kingdom.
And the movement of goods that became suddenly active was immediately noticed by the Kingdom.
The tension between two countries began to rise rapidly.
The stage of this story moves far north from the fortress city of the margrave to the northeast.
It is a region sandwiched between the empire and the kingdom, where many small countries exist.
The empire’s attitude, which did not hide their ambition of expanding their territory, alerted the small countries and resulted in the birth of an alliance between the Kingdom and those small countries.
And the country of Black Locust country is one of them.
「Your majesty, a reply from the Kingdom has arrived」
In the only town in the country of Black Locust country, in a small palace in the center of it, the King of Black Locust country received the letter from the Minister.
He cut the wax, read the contents once and frowned.
「The Kingdom said that they can’t dispatch the Knights of the knight order」
To those words, the minister, a timid old person who had his stomach bulging out, only let out a disheartened sigh.
Recently, there have been movements from the Empire, so to take measures against them, they requested the Kingdom to dispatch some Knights from their Knight’s order.
「I heard that tension in the western part of the Kingdom is rising. I wonder if it has something to do with that」
The king replied, “I thought so too” at the minister’s words.
Then he began to think how far they could face the Empire forces in this situation where support from the Kingdom’s knight order won’t come.
First of all, he estimated the strength of the entire small nations around here. And he instantly completed that.
「Including our country’s Barrel doll, the Knight we can operate totaled three units」
There are only three countries that have a Knight and a pilot.
While showing three fingers with his right hand, he continued.
「A total of three C-class knights huh? That’s not very reassuring」
The lord and his retainer looked at each other.
The power of the northern Empire is much smaller than the power of the mentioned eastern Empire. But unfortunately, the power of this country is still much smaller compared to that.
He won’t say he doesn’t want two units, but at least one, he at least wants support from one unit of a B-class Knight. That is what he really thinks.
「Then, why don’t we request the dispatch of the merchant guild’s Knight instead of the Knight order’s?」
In response to the minister’s proposal, the King muttered “Fumu”.
「If I’m not wrong, he is a pilot that Lightning adored wasn’t he? And he was also the one who defeated the stone golems recently, right?」
He thought about it for a while and nodded. Then he gave instructions to the minister.
「Right. “If the knight order is not possible, at least please send the merchant guild’s Knight.” Send that words to the Kingdom」
The minister bowed deeply and headed to his writing desk.
The stage once again moves, although a bit shorter distance, further northwest from Black Locust country.
It is a town in the northeastern part of the empire.
This town could be said as the core of this part of the Empire, but it was far to be called a city. It was a normal sized town you can find anywhere.
And at the center of this town is a fort that doubles as the lord’s house.
The area around here is filled with small nations, including Black Locust country.
The land was thin but not to the extent it could be called barren, and perhaps because of that reason, there is no power to accumulate wealth and swallow their surroundings.
Their lack of attractiveness is probably one of the reasons why the force from the outside didn’t lay a finger on them.
However, the Empire from this time is different.
It didn’t hide their ambition for territory expansion. As a result, those who were willing to rise were striving to fulfill either their own wishes and to fulfill the wish of their Emperor.
「That middle-aged baldy, he’s really doing it, isn’t he?」
A woman spoke inside one of the rooms in a fort that can’t be called a castle.
Her long black hair is strongly waved and on top of her tight make up, a strong scent of perfume was drifting from her.
Eyeshadows were applied on her eyes that looked like she was glaring, and the tip of her lip is wet with lipstick.
「Now then, I wonder how we should proceed」
A thin man with an old-looking face responded with a grin.
Just as there are margraves governing the eastern part of the empire, there are also viscounts dispatched here.
The viscount, though unilaterally, viewed the margrave as a rival and had a fierce sense of rivalry.
The man with an old-looking face is a chief vassal of the viscount. And the ripe woman in front of him that looked like she was about to fall was the viscount herself.
「We will also move」
Mature Viscount spoke while harboring a strong will in her eyes.
He didn’t know how deep she thought over the matter but, the thin old man nodded regardless.
He is the one who supported the viscount both politically and militarily after all.
The Kingdom should have their hands full with the preparation to deal with the margrave’s attack right now. If so, then they shouldn’t have any more forces to be distributed to the north.
(With our Knights, the likes of northern part of the Kingdom which have no support from the Kingdom should be a piece of cake to deal with)
With that in mind, he also told that to the ripe viscountess.
Upon hearing that, she removed her thick make-up and ordered him to device an invasion plan immediately.
She can’t stand doing nothing. The thin old man who was already familiar with that attitude of hers, immediately began counting the number of Knights they could mobilize.
(Two units of B-class Knights and sixteen units of C-class Knights)
This is the limit of Knights they can send out at the moment.
(That should be more than enough)
After he nodded to himself, he spread a large map between him and the viscountess, and put several pieces on top of it.
「We will invade the small nations at the same time as the margrave’s invasion starts. And then crush their Knights that stationed around this vicinity」
While doing the explanation, he moved a humanoid piece on the top of the map and knocked down the other pieces with it.
「After that, we should occupy the major city of each countries, and form a line of defense from here to here」
This time, he lined up several sticks on the south of the small nations near the Kingdom.
「We can make this defense line as the new border with the Kingdom. And with that, this land will be new addition to the Empire’s territory」
After he said that, he set up a small Empire flag in the inside part of the sticks. It is a cute flag like the one in a kid’s meal set.
「It’s my battle after a long time. My body is already aching for it」
The ripe viscountess laughs disgustingly while holding down her lower abdomen.
She intended to ride a B-class Knight herself and depart for battle.
The thin old man didn’t stop her. Because Ripe viscountess is the lord here and the strongest pilot around.
He himself was also a B-class Knight pilot so he knows that well. Her presence on the battlefield will greatly affect their combat strength.
「I can’t let that guy who can’t even ride a Knight get too full of himself now can I?」
The one that reflected in Ripe viscountess’ eyes was the figure of a dirty half-assed bald middle aged-man. The man who became the margrave of the frontier was not a pilot.
A long time ago when the man still had rich hair, she and that man were at the same baron rank.
She wasn’t interested in that man who wasn’t even a pilot, but before she knew it, he repeatedly ascended to the ranks of a margrave that could be said to be the same position as a marquis.
「I won’t admit it, to someone like you…」
A man who cannot enter the battlefield riding his Knight have no worth to be called a man. That sense of value of hers cannot forgive the prosperity of the margrave.
Thus, following the margrave in the eastern part of the Empire, the viscountess from the northern part of the Empire also made her move.
The place flies further down to the south.
What’s there is, the center city of the Kingdom, the Royal capital.
A large square in the center of the Royal capital. The large building of the merchant guild is built facing this square.
The guild master’s room on the top floor, the 3rd floor of this building.
There was a small old man with a goblin-like appearance buried his butt on an expensive old-fashioned chair, and an old man in his thirties standing in front of him.
「And that’s how it is, Tauro-kun. A request to aid the north has came to us」
The old man in his thirties, which is me, made a blunt reply as I sorted out the things in my head.
According to what guild master said, the Kingdom and the Empire, the tension at the border of these two countries is rising at the moment.
One is the west border of Landburn.
And the other one is at the north border. However, this part is not a direct border with the Empire. There are many small states in between.
(So it was confirmed for the western part)
The information that has been gathered showed the empire’s seriousness. It is certain that there will be an invasion in the near future.
The knight order have also been busy with the preparation for the invasion in the west.
As a result, it has become difficult to dispatch the Knights to the northern countries, which had previously been requested.
(And somehow, I and Old Lady were chosen to be the reinforcement instead)
He told me that the northern nations had instead sought help from the merchant guild’s Knight.
Even if it is a country, there is no problem as long as it is not the knight order. The guild master was requested of this when he was called by the prime minister.
「It’s because either the Knights and the pilots of the knight order haven’t sorted out yet. In that respect as well, I would like to see the countries we are friendly with to hold on as well」
There, the guild master paused for a moment and looked up at me with hopeful eyes.
「It’s a good opportunity. Why don’t you try to go there」
The reason why they requested the merchant guild’s Knight was probably related to the matter with stone golem the other day.
You can easily find out which Knight was active on which day around which parts and who they belong to just by doing a little research.
Someone, most probably Lightning, must have given their opinion. Something along the lines of, “If the knight order is not possible, then why not try contacting Old Lady”.
(Well, it’s probably better than having to go to the knight order as their reinforcement)
If the battle there gets serious, I will be demanded to come and help even though I belong to the merchant guild. And I can’t refuse because it’s the merchant guild in the Kingdom.
Even though the Knights are being reformed recently under the leadership of the new knight commander, some of the old guys still remain.
If I’m going to go to a battle in the end, it’s better to go to the one with Lightning.
To my reply, the guild master showed a relieved expression.
I want you to go, although I won’t force you to. It was probably something like that. The guild master is supporting the Prime Minister.
Like this, I and the Old Lady were dispatched to the northern allied countries where tension with the empire was increasing.