Volume 1 Chapter 4 Part 1
Chapter 4 Banners
News came to Theo that the King of Selvis, Nabir Gerje, had summoned all his subordinate Lords, left his castle, and headed west. He has also asked the independent Lords of the country to join him in the war effort. However, so far, there was no signs of any of said independent Lords gathering under his banner.
Rumors circulated that if King Selvis wins this battle, he will be forcing all of the Independent Lords of his realm to renounce their independence and become his subordinate Lords without any exception.
Meanwhile, Theo, who initially declared that he wanted to join the Fantasia Union had now expressed his wish to join the Factory Alliance also declared that he has no desire to expand his own realm any further, would be challenging the King of Selvis in a battle to secure the independence that he gained for himself, and he also invited his other fellow independent Lords to fight in the defense of their own independence together with him.
At the current moment, Theo led his army out of his realm and encamped in the grassy plains in the center of Selvis.
The king of Selvis has chosen to declare war against him, and he chose to respond to his declaration directly on the field of battle.
On the way there, he passed through the lands of several independent Lords without any trouble, which was a sign that the independent Lords favored Theo in this conflict, but he will not be able to win this war if the only thing he is going to have from them is their friendly neutrality. No, in order to be victorious in this war, Theo needed as many of the independent Lords as possible to be on his side.
Theo mounted his horse and looked out over the meadow in front of him. His current horse is not the shaggy old horse he used to ride before he met Siluca, but one of the fine white horses that Mesut Medrick left in his stable. As for his old horse, it was entrusted to the villagers so that it could live the rest of its life in peace.
The fresh green season of spring was over, and the pastures were all growing steadily, with the grass changing ever so slowly into a darker shade of green. Every time a warm wind blew from the south, it rippled like the waves of the ocean. Normally, cows and horses would be out on the fields eating the grass, but none of them were there right now, which was understandable. After all, in just a few short days, this place will be turned into a fierce battlefield of the war between Theo and the King of Selvis.
「Lord Lassic and Lord Neman have arrived. 」
Siluca called out to Theo from behind. When he turned around, he saw that Lassic David and Neman Maudry were coming towards him on foot from behind Siluca. Both are Lords subordinate to Theo, each leading dozens of soldiers on his own. Also on Lasik’s side was his contracted Mage Moreno Dortus.
「I’m glad to see that you made it here safely. 」
Theo dismounted his horse, greeted the two subordinate Lords with a smile, and hugged each of them. Both of them have come here by taking different routes than Theo. Their safe arrival means that the Lords of the territories they passed through also did not interfere with their passing, at the very least.
「I was expecting more and more allies to join us as we marched, if I am to be honest. 」
Lassic said with a dissatisfied look on his face.
「It is understandable that they would still be wary of you. They do not want the King of Selvis to threaten the independence that they fought long and hard to win for themselves, but in their eyes Lord Theo is still a stranger, and Lord Lassic is also no different than a newcomer in these lands. Additionally, if we look at our situation from a purely military standpoint, then it is clear that we are the inferior force here, so no Lord worth their salt would join us so easily. 」
Neman summed up their situation with a sigh.
He is a slightly overweight individual, and his armor also had a protruding abdominal part to properly accommodate that part of his physique. His eyes were small, and even though they were observing his surroundings, they were doing so in a visibly listless manner. His receding forehead looked unreasonably wide because he had his short, oiled hair thrown back, and beads of sweat were dripping from it down his face all the time.
「Well, I certainly cannot argue with that . 」
Theo was able to see how Neman’s assessment of the situation made sense. Lassic seemed to be thinking that all of the independent Lords of Selvis would rally to their cause to protect that independence of theirs, but Theo could not bring himself to be as optimistic about it as he was. If he adopted Lassic’s approach, then the other Lords would definitely see him as an overly ambitious Lord who was eager to expand his own territories no matter the cost. If he really was like that, then it would not be at all surprising if all the Lords of Selvis would eventually become his enemies.
「I asked another Lord with whom I am pretty close to if he would be willing to side with us. Unfortunately he refused to do that, but he also promised that he is not going to side with King Selvis when the day of the battle will be upon us. 」
Neman said apologetically.
「is that so… ? 」
Theo nodded with a smile and thanked Nehman for his attempt at getting more allies to their side. He is one of four independent Lords who recently invaded Lassic’s territory while he was absent from it under the pretext of reclaiming it for the old Lord’s sake. He was defeated by Theo and Lassic in battle and swore allegiance to Theo as a result.
He is a low-ranking knight who only governs one village and has no contract signed with any Mage, but the Modori family to which he belongs is a prestigious family that has been around for hundreds of years and has many relatives among the neighboring Lords in the area. One of them was the Lord who handed over his Crest to Lassic’s father. At the invitation of his cousin, the Lord, he and two other Lords, with whom he had been close friends, they all decided to invade Lassic’s territory to try and regain his family’s lands from Lassic.
Although not as aggressive as Lassic, a subordinate Lord must be loyal to the Lord who subjugated him, noy only for moral reasons, but also because the act of drawing power by a subordinate Crest requires loyalty to the Lord who bears the master Crest. If there are going to be any suspicions that the subordinate Lord might betray the Lord he is subordinate to, his Servant Crest will disappear immediately. That is because only if there is a spiritual bond between the Lords will the Crests of Master and Servant remain connected with one another.
「At this rate, it’s going to be a tough battle… 」
Siluca’s face was stiff and her voice was weak. Theo reacted to it with surprise. He thought that Siluca was someone who would retain a strong attitude and personality even in the most difficult of situations.
「No, forget about this battle being difficult, it looks like we have no chances of winning. The King of Selvis has three Barons and fifty Knights serving as his subordinate Lords, which is roughly 10 times our current strength. He also has financial advantage over us, and has an army of mercenaries at his disposal at all times. Granted, it is not a well-known mercenary army, but it is still better than nothing. 」
Lassic stomped his feet reluctantly.
「If worse comes to worst, I will simply charge into the heart of the enemy camp myself. That should spell the end of the battle, right? 」
Theo smiled at Lassic
Siluca said that she was willing to risk her life to make Theo’s dream come true. He knew she wasn’t lying when she was saying that, and Theo had already made up his mind to lay down his life for the cause if the situation demanded it.
Them winning this battle really seemed like a miraculous dream, but a failure was far more realistic conclusion here.
「I’m an outsider in all of this, but you two should be forgiven if you swear allegiance to the King of Selvis once the battle is over. 」
「No, this time, fighting to the death is the right choice, and that is what I am going to do. If I were to follow King Sevis, that would be as good as snapping the neck of my future with my own hands. 」
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