Chapter 221: A Ruined City
Malt Kingdom. Capital: Biado.
「Hurray for Lord Hardlett!」「Military volunteers are so strong!」
After the battle ended and we confirmed there was no further attack from Vandolea, we withdrew back to Biado.
It was an unexpected crushing victory but our objective wasn’t to take any land from Vandolea, plus we weren’t prepared to do so.
「If we invade their home nation, they’ll probably take suitable measures as well. If a war on all sides is not what we want, then we shouldn’t act rashly. If it eventually becomes necessary, we’ll do it after detailed preparations.」
Leopolt is also saying the same.
「Doing anymore than that would trouble them too much.」
Myla looks at the group whose faces have a disappointed look completely opposite to the rejoicing citizens of Biado.
Those guys are apparently messengers from the Democratic Nation of Libatis.
I am told they were going to talk about a plan to deal with Vandolea’s invasion of Malt…… specifically they were thinking of conducting negotiations as favorable to them as possible after Vandolea caught wind of Libatis’s involvement.
If they fought fiercely with Vandolea, that would allow the Divine Nation of Altair to have more leeway.
They wanted to stop the fighting from happening in order to avoid that.
「Their efforts are worthless now though. Half of the Vandolea invasion army as well as their reinforcements suffered considerable losses and were routed. That’s quite serious damage if you consider their total military force of 120 000.」
「They were the ones who attacked first. We don’t have to hold back for the sake of Libatis.」
We have a somewhat friendly relationship and will cooperate with them, but there’s no point in sacrificing our own territory or Malt for that.
「So it’s impossible for them to invade for a while?」
I ask Leopolt just in case.
「Another invasion is tactically impossible. I don’t know if they would invade even if it didn’t provide them with any benefits though.」
If we think normally, they shouldn’t have any spare forces left to attack again, and I guess it’s none of our business if they decide to attack again because they’re pissed off.
「If they come again, we’ll deal with them when they come.」
For now, the fighting is over.
「Aegir-sama, the people are welcoming you. How about waving to them?」
It’s a little late bringing it up now but a whole bunch of citizens are waving their hands on this central road in Biado we are travelling on.
Malt and the volunteer army…… the Malt soldiers just carried the mountain of spoils home and were in the right place at the right time, so they can’t complain.
After this, the soldiers should be getting words of thanks from Celestina at the royal palace.
I’m worried about the reward they were promised, since I don’t think they’ll be happy just getting a pat on the head.
With that said, I can’t let her touch any other man’s dick besides my own either.
「I heard the Vandolean army had 30 000…… it’s unbelievable for a small army force to defeat them so quickly.」
「I thought our army was weak but maybe they’re actually pretty good?」
「I heard rumors that Lord Hardlett was there. That man is really strong, you know.」
I can hear the citizens talking.
My head is properly covered with a helmet so they shouldn’t realize.
「My younger sister works on a farm on the outskirts of the city…… and she said that Lord Hardlett sneakily visited her at night and slept with her! He definitely came here!!」
Guh, that reminds me, I do remember visiting a big-breasted woman at a plantation close to where we camped out at night.
I didn’t wear a helmet when I embraced her so my face was completely exposed.
Who would have thought she would recognize me.
「What’s up? We’re almost to the royal palace if that’s what you’re asking.」
When I spoke to Celia in a falsetto voice, she heaves a big sigh in response.
「Everybody, I appreciate your efforts! I will not forget all of you who worked hard to protect Malt.」
Celestina addresses the soldiers with a beaming smile on her face.
It’s really late to mention now, but as a formality, it was said that the volunteer soldiers gathered spontaneously to protect her and the country.
「And so we have a reward to present to all of you gentlemen containing all our feelings of gratitude.」
The soldiers’ eyes glitter, and here is what I am worried about.
「We’ll be having a dinner party where everybody can eat together happily~」
The soldiers freeze while I hold my head.
「Hey, hey…… what is the meaning of this?」
「Don’t ask me…… it’s not possible.」
A carpet is rolled out in the plaza outside the royal palace, and servants from the palace as well as city girls are mingling with the soldiers and eating while having friendly conversation.
But the place isn’t very lively.
The citizens of Biado are happy compared to the soldiers who don’t seem in the mood.
「What should we do, Lord Hardlett? The soldiers seem puzzled.」
Myla draws close to me.
I didn’t think the soldiers’ reward would be a friendly dinner…… it’s probably better than excessively issuing ranks.
If the soldiers who were caught off guard and staring blankly regained their composure, they would surely voice their dissatisfaction.
It would be problematic if they took revenge and plundered the city of Biado.
「I think I should do something after all.」
The rewards the soldiers are asking for are obvious.
Money, alcohol and…… fufufu.
「Alright Monica, shall we go!?」
At the location of the banquet, close to Celestina, I hug Monica’s shoulder and declare loud enough for the soldiers to hear.
「Don’t worry about, just go along with me. This is for the sake of Malt and Celestina.」
After forcefully getting Monica to consent, I lift her up in my arms.
Then I turn around and say a word to the soldiers who are eating with a doubtful look on their faces.
「You guys should work hard to seduce the girls too. If you do it by force, you’ll be punished.」
After saying that, as everyone’s gazes remain focused on us, I move to a place hidden from view while holding Monica in my arms.
「Wait a second! The way you just said that-!!」
「It’s fine. They aren’t kids and the soldiers would get mad at Celestina if their only reward was a merry dinner party.」
「In the first place, this is Hardlett-sama’s fault. You put the thought that “men are the most happy with women” in Her Majesty’s head! That’s why Her Majesty gathered all these girls and thanked the soldiers with them……」
I guess I did say something like that.
So the pure and innocent Celestina took that as me saying “eat together”…… however men won’t be happy until a part of their body enters a woman.
「Well for now, just focus on raising your voice. Try your best to make it sound like you’re feeling really good.」
「How could I do something like that!? Several thousand people are watching! Doing something so embarrassing, aah! Stop, that place is……!?」
If that’s the case I have no choice but to actually make you moan.
I’ll make you feel really good.
Seeing the two of us disappear and then hearing Monica’s squealing, the banquet area started to become noisy.
「I see, so that’s what this means.」
「Hey pretty lady, would you like to drink with me!? Of course I don’t have any hidden motives, none at all.」
「Just the tip please! Just the tip!」
「Hmm, if we could just chat a little more……」
「I’d prefer a more handsome type, but this is a celebration and all so maybe I can compromise.」
「What’s your annual salary? Do you have your own house? Are your parents living together with you?」
The place instantly became lively.
Now the soldiers shouldn’t have time to grumble or complain.
Rape isn’t allowed but they’re allowed to have sex.
In normal circumstances, the men of Malt wouldn’t be so calm.
However my army is a little special, since the mountain nation who are bow cavalry become warriors regardless of gender.
After battle, not only men but the women also feel the pent up desires.
「B-but miss, this is……」
「I feel like it’s about time to have a child. In order to be acknowledged by the chief, I have to bear at least one child. Now come, give me a good shot.」
「Are you crying uncle already? The men from Malt are pretty feeble.」
「N-not yet! I’ll keep going until my hips give out!」
「Do you think you’ll win if all three of you gang up on me? Alright then, show me what you got!」
The men have their share of food one after the other as they see everyone else go at it.
This is what you call an equal relationship
I’ll be ravaging Monica’s body plenty as well.
The Next Day.
While the soldiers seem to look more refreshed and the women’s faces are glossy after the banquet, I gather to together with Leopolt and Celia to have a serious conversation.
The reason was a sudden letter which was forwarded to us from Rafen.
That letter was from Clara, the precious source of information on the state of battle between the Federation and the Empire, however the contents of the letter were a little different this time.
「The Empire’s fleet has invaded the North Teries River…… and the Federation’s river fleet has been defeated…… ?」
「At the same time, the large fortress on land has been broken through……」
「The Empire’s soldiers have also appeared on the western side of the Albens territory!」
Clara must have earnestly did her best to gather all the information leaked from Marquess Malordol and wrote this letter.
「Leopolt, what do you think?」
「I can’t be sure of the specifics with just the information from this letter.」
「It doesn’t have to be really accurate. I just want to hear your opinion.」
「The south has been broken through and the river is lost. The troops which appeared on the western side is probably the landing of the fleet. There is a possibility that Albens is already facing a critical situation. It wouldn’t be strange if they surrendered after a few days.」
The letter was delivered to us through an express service but it should have been sent three weeks ago.
In other words, the battle should be settled by now.
「With the fall of Albens, the greatest city in the west, that signifies the loss of the entire region. Losing the superiority on the river as well effectively means there is nothing left to stop them from invading into White City.」
「I didn’t think the Federation would be defeated so soon like this…… it’s hard to believe when it happened so suddenly.」
Myla closes her eyes and groans.
I agree, the Empire has repeatedly attacked the Federation in the past but what happened this time was almost as if the conditions were completely different.
Why did things turn out this way?
I am pretty certain there is nothing in this world which could get past the triple-layered castle walls based on the time I visited White City.
However I’m not really worried about the Federation.
「Clara and Claudia…… I hope they’re okay.」
I can’t meet them too frequently but Clara is fond of me and Claudia bore my child.
「It’s frustrating that they’re so far away and out of my reach.」
If this was going on around close to Magrado, I would run over to help.
「There is nothing we can do about it now. We’ll analyse the effect of the Federation’s inferiority so please focus on the issue with the southern nations for now.」
Leopolt’s complexion remains unchanged.
You really don’t understand how people feel.
You must have been one annoying brat as a kid.
Imagining a child with his expressionless face makes me laugh a little.
「If they asked us for help, we can strike with full force. Until then, we can’t do anything.」
I look up to the autumn sky and pray they are unharmed.
–Third Person POV–
Right Before the Letter was Sent. Albens.
「Defend the west of the city! Dispatch the private army and the knights!」
「The gates have already been destroyed! We have to fight inside the city.」
「Reinforcements won’t be coming!? No way, but the promise…… so does that mean the entire ship sunk?」
Extreme chaos engulfed those inside the mansion of Marquess Malordol, the feudal lord of Albens.
Not too long ago, the Federation was forced to fight in an overwhelmingly disadvantageous situation.
The Empire’s marine fleet invaded the North Teries River, defeated the Federation’s river fleet and a separate Imperial unit was encroaching via land faster than the information could warn them amongst all the mess.
Because of the sudden attack, the unit undergoing a reorganization at the suburbs of Albens was instantly wiped out, furthermore even the main army of the Federation ironically was surrounded after being chased to the fortress and fighting a hard battle to buy time.
The Federation army under the leadership of Supreme Commander Ivan Galchenko was pincered from the front and back by forces which outnumbered them, eventually collapsing despite fighting bravely, and had no choice but to scatter to the east in defeat.
That left the Marquess Malordol’s personal army and knights as the only soldiers to protect Albens.
The Marquess is the leading figure of the influential nobles in the Federation but he only had around 20 000 soldiers in his personal army…… at that point, it was clear to everyone that Albens was done for.
「Marquess…… they are pushing towards us simultaneously from the west and south, plus the pier is getting bombarded by the Imperial fleet. At this point, the feudal lord should run. There still exists a path to escape to the east.」
The kneeling knights plead with Marquess Malordol in tears.
The Marquess silently replies as his eyes stay fixed on the enormous conflagration burning in the city from all the fighting.
「Yours and my grandfathers…… our grandfathers, no our grandfathers’ grandfathers have protected this city and land for many generations as lords and knights.」
Everyone stifles their crying.
A majority of the territory has already been overrun, many citizens have been violated and many have been killed.
The same will soon happen to Albens as well.
「We were not able to fulfill the mission entrusted to us by our ancestors…… can we just abandon this land and run away?」
The Marquess draws his sword and tosses aside the scabbard.
「This is our city, we were born here and we will die here.」
The knights say nothing more.
「Help the citizens escape if possible and choose a representative who will surrender after the fight is over. I doubt the Empire would want to rule over scorched earth. Maybe we will be lucky and they won’t massacre all of the people.」
A harsh fate will most likely be waiting for the people of the occupied city.
「However the people do not have an obligation to protect the land, they are fine to choose a life of humiliation if they want.」
“But……” The Marquess trails off and stares fiercely at the knights.
「Us nobles do not have that option. My kin, all those who can fight, take up your weapons! Those who are injured and the children will take their own lives.」
There was no hesitation in the knights’ eyes.
They are all nobles, so protecting the land and the people are their duties. If they are not able to do so, their entire family and followers would perish.
「We can’t just let the enemy walk all over us till the end. Depending on preparations, let us mount our own attack. We’ll show them the pride of the Federation’s nobles!」
Everyone roars in response and runs off in different directions to make preparations.
They might be prepared to die, but there is still plenty they have yet to do.
「Claudia, is it…… if you just stayed in White City……」
The Marquess looks sadly at Claudia as she holds her baby.
「I will not die yet. I will live until I see this child grow up!」
The legal wife and son of the head of the household would normally commit suicide to avoid being humiliated by the enemy.
Otherwise, it would not set a good example for everyone else.
But she is saying she still wants to live and her son is still young…… who could tell them to go and kill themselves.
The Marquess gently caresses the cheek of his wife and kid and kisses them lightly.
Then his eyes flare up as he shouts angrily.
「You gave your body up to enjoy the self-indulgent pleasures of debauchery and sexual dissipation in White City, you are no wife of mine! That child is probably the seed from some man of unknown origin! I am divorcing you today and expelling you from the household! Just take whatever fortune from the mansion you want as a parting gift, then leave immediately!」
The Marquess spins around and mutters something to himself.
「All the valuables are collected in the basement. You better hurry up before I burn it so those Imperial idiots can’t get their hands on it.」
「……thank you for everything.」
Claudia pinches her skirt and curtsies politely.
Over the years, she has become old to look more like her age and her body has also become out of shape.
But the in the mind of the Marquess, he pictures her during the time they were newlyweds, the image of her smiling on a ship when they traveled to Elektra for vacation.
「I loved you.」
Those words were soft enough that nobody could hear it.
The Marquess did not say anything more as he turned his back waiting for Claudia to leave.
Clara similarly bowed deeply before following the madam.
「With this, I have no regrets. I will use the last of my fire to burn those savages of the Empire.」
Glittering on the hand of the Marquess is the wedding ring he never once took off since getting married.
The final counterattack begins.
When the overwhelmingly small force switched to oppose the enemy, it resulted in the slightest amount of disorder in the encirclement of the Empire.
Breaking through and running past that small seam was a small woman and a round woman.
「Madam, I think you really brought too much! You won’t be able to run away with all of that! Let’s throw some away!」
Claudia stuffed as much jewellery as she could under her coat as well as fastened gems and precious stones to her body with cloth.
They were forced to walk on foot after being discovered by a commando unit of the Empire and losing their carriage. With all that weight she carried with her, it quickly sapped the woman’s strength.
The delicate Clara was also starting to gradually fall behind from carrying the baby in her arms.
「Don’t be stupid! Who would take me or that child in if we run away penniless!?」
「That’s true, but it would be meaningless if we get caught here.」
「Look, they’re over there!」
「Catch the girl so we can have some fun! The round one seems appetizing!」
The Empire’s commando unit chases after the two after destroying the carriage.
Fortunately, the Empire don’t have any cavalry but the difference in speed between the soldiers and the two women is clear and the distance between them is gradually shrinking.
「If you scatter the gems, you could probably distract them long enough……」
Still, Claudia insists on running away with every last precious stone.
Breathless after climbing up the slightly elevated hill, the Imperial soldiers are finally close at hand.
Clara quickly looks around but could not find any suitable trees or bushes to hide behind.
There was only a long and gently sloping downhill path which continues off to the east.
Believing there was no other options, Clara set the baby on the ground and placed a hand to her chest.
It’s a slim chance, but she thought that if she offered herself and allowed herself to be violated, their pursuers may leave the madam alone.
However Claudia spoke up happily in contrary to Clara’s tragic but brave resolve.
「I’ve got it! Clara, grab onto me.」
After hugging Clara, who was about to give up, and the baby, Claudia runs down the hill.
「It’s no use. We won’t be able to outrun them, eh, what!?」
The madam was running sluggishly at first but eventually began to pick up the pace down the slope.
「Hehehe, you can’t escape…… wha-, so fast!」
「After them! No good…… they’re too fast!」
The figures of the approaching Imperial soldiers seem to get further and further away.
「M-madam!? This is-!」
「I can move as fast as a horse if it’s down a hill. Hold onto this child securely!」
Claudia accelerates even more and then finally her legs leave the ground.
「You’re kidding, that woman is rolling!」
「She’s almost as fast as a horse……」
With the distance increasing to the point they can’t see the two women, the Imperial soldiers gave up chasing and returned home.
Since they were not aware of the jewels wrapped around Claudia’s body, they did not believe the two individuals were worth pursuing persistently.
「M-madam…… that was incredible!」
「Haa, haa…… I…… I can’t stop sweating…… nnaaaaaah, so hot!」
The resistance lasted two days before Albens fell, and Marquess Malordol as well as his entire household died.
The Marquess’s mansion was set aflame by his own hand and the fire continued to burn endlessly, turning his vast riches into charcoal.
After losing an important supply base and most of their forces, the Federation army retreated to the north coast of the river.
The battle at White City was about to begin.
「I will never forget about what my husband did…… now, let’s go to Hardlett-sama! Hold onto his child!」
「The Marquess may have been happier not knowing. What a cruel woman…… er, pardon me Madam.」
Federation VS. Empire – Comparison of Military Forces (Personnel will increase depending on drafting)
Military Strength – Current: 300 000, Max Mobilization: 2 550 000, Losses: 1 050 000, Civilian Victims: 700 000
Military Strength – Current: 2 300 000, Max Mobilization: 3 100 000, Losses: 800 000 (Military slaves not included)
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 23 years old. Autumn.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. King of the Mountains. Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless.
Family: Nonna (the pretty Nonna), Carla (concubine), Mel (concubine), Miti (concubine), Maria (concubine), Catherine (concubine), Kuu (lover), Ruu (lover), Mireille (lover), Leah (lover), Casie (starving ghost)
Rita (head maid), Yoguri (playwright), Pipi (lover), Alice (magical girl)
Marceline (lover), Daughters – Stephanie (lover), Bridget (sexually frustrated +), Felicie (lover)
Sebastian (butler), Dorothea (lover, in the capital), Melissa (lover, left for the capital), Alma (left for the capital)
Children: Sue, Miu, Ekaterina, Amata, Anastasia (daughters); Antonio, Claude, Gilbard, Reiner, Bartolome (sons); Rose (foster daughter)
Non-humans: Lammy (snake lover), Mirumi (mermaid)
Subordinates: Celia (adjutant), Gido (escort unit), Kroll (mendicant monk), Irijina (commander), Luna (commander), Ruby
Myla (security officer), Polte (training supervisor), Gretel (domestic affairs trainee)
Leopolt (staff officer), Adolph (domestic affairs official), Tristan (long-term business trip)
Claire & Laurie (official merchant), Schwartz (horse), Lilian (actress)
Citizens: 163,000. Major Cities – Rafen: 24,000. Lintbloom: 4500.
Army: 10,950 men (Standing By Within the Territory: 2000)
Infantry: 5300 , Cavalry: 800, Archers: 1000, Bow Cavalry: 1850
Cannons: 30, Large Cannons: 10
Assets: 1070 gold
Sexual Partners: 229, children who have been born: 48 + 555 fish