Volume 7 Chapter 1 Part 2
“I only need you to transport supplies to a nearby city. The Count’s army will take it from there.”
“You can count on me, then. I’ll send the bill to the palace, so don’t worry about spending. We’re always being taxed, so we gotta take some of it back once in a while.”
I can’t even tell if she’s joking or not. If she was an ordinary merchant, I’d brush it off completely as a joke, but Maxia is a large company on a national scale. There’s like a thirty percent chance she’s serious, and that scares me.
“A bill to the palace… You’re kidding, right?”
“What? Of course I’m serious. If you’re going to fight to protect the kingdom, the government should foot the bill.”
Okay. There’s that thirty percent. It’s not like the government asked us to fight, so it doesn’t sound right to send them the bill. It feels like aggressive peddling. Can we really do that to the government itself?
“For the record, the government didn’t ask us to do anything,” I said.
“I know that. I’m sure we can get an ex-post-facto approval. I’ll bust out my negotiation skills.”
“Can you even spend national budget that easily?”
“Normally, you can’t. But a war is an emergency situation where, if left unchecked, will result in the death of thousands and the reduction of the kingdom’s territory. Worst case, the whole kingdom will be gone. If you do well, we can be a little unreasonable.”
Well, it is an emergency. Huh, well if she says so. If it doesn’t work, then so be it. We can just ask to be paid normally. Meigis’s domain is financially sound, as it doesn’t waste much money despite making a large profit from the monopoly on healing medicines.
“Whether or not they’ll approve it will depend on your results,” Myna said. “In short, it’ll all work out.”
Sounds like she has an unfounded confidence in me. My objective is not really war but Skill Awakening, but I guess it’s whatever. As long as she provides us with supplies, I won’t complain.
“Well, let’s talk about the costs after we’re done. First we form the unit.”
And so we were on our way to Raijis.
The next day. I, along with the troops I selected, gathered in front of the Count’s residence.
Our members don’t look like soldiers at all. They all had different gear, with nothing in common. No horses, no rations, no banner. Just a group of people that were chosen for their individual abilities. In short, more like a large adventuring party.
My selection did not result in this composition. More like, the Count’s first squad has always been like this when it comes to an actual battle. They’re basically the strongest we got.
We also don’t have horses because we want to go fast. While it’s true that horses are faster than humans, their bodies are not designed to travel long distances quickly. Trained adventurers are faster when it comes to long-distance travel.
For this unit, however, I picked the ones who excelled in mobility and covert capabilities.
“All right. Let’s go!” I roared.
And so we departed from the Count’s territory. We’re not taking a normal route. Instead we’re taking the shortest path that goes through some dangerous areas. It’s basically a loaded march, where our goal is to reach Raijis within two days instead of the usual five.
Then again, two days is nothing for this group. If we push ourselves, we can shave off another half day off the journey.
A few hours had passed since we left the Count’s domain.
“We are now within range of the communications network,” Sachylis, our Spirit Archer, reported.
Spirit Archers are bow-users, but in addition to combat, they excel in communication and intel-gathering Skills by employing the power of spirits and the wind. Sachylis trained herself more on the latter, supporting the group, rather than combat.
While communicating over dozens of kilometers is not possible, a few is fine. Using her ability, she has been in contact with Maxia. The firm has a communications network that spans all the major cities in the kingdom. By connecting to a part of the network, you can gather information from all over.
Right now, Sachylis is using said communications network to gather information about the status of our travel routes and the war situation in Raijis.
“How’s our route?” I asked.
“No change from the prior reports. There doesn’t seem to be any new information about Miriel Forest either. What do we do?”
“Miriel Forest, huh?”
Miriel Forest is not exactly a dangerous area, but since there are no settlements around it, almost no one enters. Basically, it’s a place that we don’t know much about.
Apparently, there have been several cases of adventurers entering the woods and going missing, so it was declared as a place to be wary of.
Danger zones—or not really that dangerous—like this, which we have little to no intel about, were located along our route. We’re trying to take the safest route possible, but passing through a domain whose noble is not in good terms with the Count is difficult, so some dangerous places we have no choice but to travel through. If there was an easy detour route, I’d gladly take it.
“What route would we take if we go around Miriel Forest?” I asked.
“Cardinal Georgis had considerable influence around this area, so I think there are many nobles here who have a grudge against us. But if we go through the forest, the nobles won’t find us.”
“Then Miriel Forest seems like the better choice. Monsters are less troublesome than humans.”
“I think so too. Let’s leave the politics to Count Meigis.”
Prior intel indicated that no Raid Boss appears in Miriel Forest. If we encounter something, it will only be as dangerous as an Area Boss. Taking one down and being done with it is much easier than getting involved with the aristocracy.
“All right, then. We’ll take the planned route.”
“Roger that. We’re almost out of range of the network, so I’m just going to inform them of the route we chose.”
With that said, we continued towards Miriel Forest. Of course, we’re keeping our guards up.
I use detection magic every now and then to check if there are any powerful monsters around. In addition, those who have Skills that can be used to locate enemies, such as Search Enemy, are positioned around the perimeter. The method is mostly employed by an adventuring party rather than an army, but it’s perfect for dealing with monsters.