「It’s the autumn of this year.」
「Is that so?」
Then that makes sense.
The one talking to me right now is the supreme commander of the central army, as well as a Count of the Goldonia kingdom…… in other words, Erich. Even though he normally doesn’t get out of the capital much, he finally got curious enough to check on his own territory, stopping by mine while he was at it. What we were just talking about is confirmation for the start of the war in autumn.
「As I thought, are we aiming for the harvest period?」
When the central army was established, most of the Goldonian royal army became the reserve army. On the other hand, Treia has many conscripted farmers, and the fact that they’re fighting during harvest season, will be its own disadvantage.
「That is also a factor, but the main reason is the movement of the other nearby nations. If we clash with them during the harvest period, the other countries won’t rush to Treia’s aid. In the meantime, we will settle things quickly.」
Besides Goldonia and Treia, the region also has the Yurest Alliance, which is connected on the border, the Magrado Dukedom separated by the large river and the republic of Stura. Neither of them pose a threat to Goldonia on their own, but if they come behind us while we’re in the middle of fighting Treia, it would be harder on us. On the flip side, as long as we finish off Treia, even if the other three nations joined forces, Goldonia will still be a tough competitor.
「Take them down quickly…… is it?」
Treia is largely inferior to Goldonia in both population and economy, but their land is still quite vast. If we add the condition of ending it quickly, they might prove to be a tough opponent.
「In order to oppose the fortress that they’ve built up around their nation, we will also need to ready a considerable amount of siege weapons. Even so, we want to breakthrough from the front and promptly conquer the capital. As planned for today, you’ll invade them from the east, lure out their forces, and take over the eastern region if possible.」
「I’ve also heard that they have set up defensive camps on the east, although not as many as from the front. Bring siege weapons with you.」
We could also do it secretly, but if we’re going to do it, it might be better if we work together with the central army.
「After the war starts, quickly…………………」
Erich remains quiet and listens to me for awhile, but he’s thinking with his chin resting on his hand.
「If your plan works, it will certainly change the entire state of battle. But there are too many uncertainties, and it isn’t guaranteed that passing through the mountain nation’s territory is safe. If we encounter a roadblock there and end up having to backtrack, it would worsen our situation.」
「Even if it results poorly, it won’t affect the capture of the fortress. It’s nice if it goes well, but if it doesn’t, nothing will change. It shouldn’t be a bad bet.」
「Well, that might be the case for me, but won’t it be a fatal blow to you? ……No, you’re also going through hell. I said something unnecessary.」
Erich nods slightly and stands up.
「Alright, do as you wish. Trust in your own good fortune.」
And so, the small meeting I had with Erich is over.
「It will be the autumn season. I don’t know how they’re going to set things up though.」
After the conversation with Erich and seeing him off, I gather together with Leopolt, Adolph and Celia.
「If it’s autumn, we’ll barely be able to make it somehow.」
Adolph murmurs without much worry.
「Oh, so would it be bad if it drags on?」
「Of course it will. It’s fine for the bow cavalry since they’re normally living in the mountains, but the 3000 soldiers of the private army are directly supported by us. We have gathered the poor residents, who won’t complain about their pay so long as they are provided with the daily necessities of life, but if we continue to pay them all as usual, we’ll run ourselves dry faster than we realize.」
The only reason that the soldiers haven’t complained about a decent pay is because they don’t have to worry about starving or finding lodging as long as they stay in the army. For a remote region living in poverty, those two factors are the most important. However, my territory is gradually stabilizing with Rafen as the core. In that case, it should not have much effect on the low pay relative to the other occupations.
「Once we get on the battlefield, they’ll plunder……no, there are also chances for them to take the enemy’s goods for themselves. And if we win, their morale will also go up.」
Adolph and Leopolt nod. Celia rests her head on my hand and also nods.
「We’ll do it at the same time the war breaks out. It seems we can work together with Erich and the central army.」
「Yes, preparations are progressing.」
I’ll have to send a messenger to the mountain nation as well. I went at Luna too much yesterday so she can’t move, and Ruby is looking after her. So, I guess I’ll send Pipi.
「Claire should be in the city, so go call her. Also, tell Irijina to cut back on the soldiers’ training so they don’t get too tired.」
「Isn’t the start of war in autumn? It’s still the peak of summer. Is there a need to take action so soon?」
I hug Celia close, and stroke her head, messing up her hair.
「Wah! What are you doinggg?」
「The actual battlegrounds have been determined for the most part. I think it’s better in most cases to act quickly.」
Celia doesn’t seem convinced at all. Her knowledge centers around the books she reads, so I can see she’s stuck in the mold of those theories. It would be nice if she could learn from Leopolt regarding that, but she’s quite the stubborn kid.
I give Celia’s cheeks a final pull and rise up from my seat. Claire’s a merchant, so she acts quickly after all.
「Adolph, in regards to the dispatch of troops, we don’t have the luxury to give an honest wage. It’s time for the harvest. Consider limiting our labor force and sending the laborers back to their villages.」
I’ll leave the details for him to deal with. I guess in the worst case scenario where we run out of money, I can just borrow from Claire. Being short on cash is a little scary.
「Thank you very much for inviting me today.」
Claire really showed up quickly along with her follower, the young girl. As expected of a go-getter merchant, she acts fast. If I didn’t look carefully, I wouldn’t have noticed that her breathing is rough.
「Sorry for calling you so suddenly. Well, why don’t you drink some tea and catch your breath.」
「Sorry for the trouble.」
Claire only takes a sip from her cup for formality’s sake, so I state my business.
「I want to resupply on food and copper-lined water jugs.」
「Food, is it? This month’s portion of grain should have been delivered though.」
「Not grain. Something like cured meat and hard-baked bread.」
After talking with Leopolt, I present a piece of paper with a rough idea that was put together with much consideration.
「This is……the movement of the army? ……no, please disregard that.」
As soon as I send her a slightly harsh stare, Claire immediately apologizes. Though she is a good woman, I can’t have her blabbering.
「Arrows and spare wheels for the wagons, and much more are written there, so please have a look. This is written with the entire army in mind so I’ll leave it to you to supply us with what you can. And also distribute it to the city’s craftsmen……」
「You don’t have to worry. I have made a contract with this city’s merchants and craftsmen and if I tell them, they’ll arrange it for me.」
It’s become like that before I knew it.
「Then I’m counting on you. It’s not an emergency, but we don’t have much time to spare either.」
「I’ll arrange for it immediately.」
While Claire looks at my messy handwriting, she writes her own letter quite smoothly. She writes quickly, not to mention her characters are very neat and pretty.
「As soon as I’m aware of the time, I’ll let you know immediately.」
With that said, Claire gets up and stands in front of me. When our eyes meet, she leans over and gives me a kiss on the lips.
「When you have time again, please give me some love.」
「Are you leaving the city?」
「Yes, the peddlers in Treia are having a little dispute so I thought I’d go and settle it-」
I grab Claire’s hand and pull her back into the room, even though she was just thinking of leaving.
「For the next while, don’t enter the Treia kingdom.」
「But I’m a merchant, so……」
「I’ll say it again. You must not go there…… got it?」
If I say it like this, she’ll surely understand my intentions. It can’t be helped, but it’s better than having Claire get mixed up in the mess and getting herself injured.
「I understand……thank you for the valuable information.」
Celia stares at me and asks me why I told her, but I ignore her.
「Then I’ll stay in this city.」
Claire hands the letter to one of my subordinates and returns to her room, stroking my hand gently before leaving.
「So now we have time…… how shall we spend it?」
Without delay, she clings to me and looks up at me. When I look down, I can see the valley of her breasts from the gap in her clothes. In addition, her stomach is pressing against my crotch and I can feel myself getting hard.
「Laurie’s here today too…… we can enjoy ourselves more.」
The young girl called Laurie is just as she appears – a child with an innocent smile.
「I’m Laurie. I’ve heard from Claire-sama that you’re an incredible and kind person. I don’t……have much experience with this kind of thing, but Laurie wants Viscount-sama to play with her too!」
Her face isn’t dyed with any kind of coercion, and it looks like she genuinely wants me to embrace her. But her appearance and gestures are completely like those of a child, and seems only slightly older than Pipi.
「But surely it won’t fit……」
「It’ll be fine? Laurie’ll do her best! And if it’s Hardlett-sama, I’d be happy to be broken……」
The young girl lightly clasps her hands together in front of her mouth and looks at me with a somewhat feverish gaze. She’s charming enough to make me want to embrace her even though I’m not interested in tiny girls like her. If it was Andrei, he would throw off his clothes without hesitation.
I extend my hand and consider tasting her a little bit just to try, but Celia appears at the tip of my hand.
「Aegir-sama still has jobs he has to do. Claire-dono, please leave.」
「No, I don’t really……」
Celia is getting desperate, so it can’t be helped. I give up tasting her and let the girls leave. The young girl was just a sideshow, but it’s a real shame I missed my chance to sleep with Claire.
「I hate women who give such flattery to any and every guy they meet. Those kinds of women will always have another side to them!」
「You say woman, but she’s just a girl around 10 years old right?」
「……You were going to embrace that child, weren’t you?」
It’s not like I was seriously going to embrace her, I was just going to have a taste.
(That kid, she has guts, doesn’t she?)
All of a sudden, Casie appears from the ceiling. Come from the door, you scared me.
(That girl, she could see me. When I took a peek during that conversation you had earlier, our eyes met.)
Earlier? You weren’t here, were you?
(I stuck my face halfway out of the wall behind you.)
Don’t do that kind of thing. You’ll repel the guests who can see you.
(Our eyes met, but she was absolutely unfazed. It’s quite amazing, even though she’s so small. There are huge muscular guys who would wet themselves too.)
There’s a prevalence of deceitful appearances in this world after all. But it’s a little unbelievable, since if a small innocent child sees a ghost or something, they’d want to cry. Maybe she didn’t really see the ghost, but just coincidentally looked in that direction.
(I’m sure she saw me though……)
As Casie mumbles something, she grabs a fruit from the desk and takes a bite. Recently, this ghost has started eating things. And please stop mumbling in my head, it’s giving me a headache.
「That’s good and all, but you’ll have to take responsibility for making me miss my chance to taste those girls.」
「Th-that is……please wait, not here. Wait until we get back to the room…… no, Casie-san is looking!」
I hold Celia’s arms behind her and forcefully lower her shorts and underwear all at once, then place my meat rod against her. She’s grown in height so when she lowers her hips, we can somehow do it in this position too.
「No matter how many times I put it in……it’s tight.」
「Aaaaah……Aegir-sama’s thing is always so thick and hard……it’s spreading me apart……it’s going to tear meee……」
I fuck Celia roughly from behind and she climaxes while Casie watches.
–Third person POV–
After a while, in the Treia Kingdom
About ten men exchange short words with each other and check their weapons, spears and bowguns. The men are wearing the armor for the legitimate army of the Treian Kingdom. Because of the large conscription happening recently, it’s not rare to find soldiers in Treia.
「Alright, it’s here.」
At the end of the men’s line of sight, a considerably large caravan is moving forward slowly. There are escorts on horseback riding with the several wagons and they don’t appear tense at all. This isn’t the large highway where there’s high traffic or where bandits and monsters are either. There’s tension between the nations, but unless a war is going on, there’s no reason for the merchants to stop doing business. However, it results in something catastrophic.
The men jump out and stand in front of the caravan to block their path. The escorts react to the people who jumped out so suddenly, but when they saw the armor of the Treian Kingdom, they froze. The middle-aged man in charge of the caravan steps forward and presents some documents with a servile smile.
「Thank you for your hard work. This here is the document from the Treian Kingdom that permits us to pass through here.」
The middle-aged man is on his best behavior in order to pass through and make this temporary inspection go as smoothly as possible. But then, his head drops to the ground with that flattering smile still plastered on it.
The subordinate of the supposed merchant and the escorts all turn their eyes to the scene.
「Do it! Kill them all!!」
Instantly, the escorts are shot down with bowguns and the merchants trying to escape are killed.
「Stop! Please stop! We are just simple merchants…… this is-!」
「You are Goldonians, that’s enough for us!」
A sword pierces through the front of his face and after a shrill scream, the pathetic merchant stops moving. The slaughter soon ends and there are no remaining persons alive around the wagons.
「Take everything of value and set fire to the wagons! Somebody will come soon. We’ll run away before that.」
「It’s become so familiar to us, with it being our third time.」
「It really feels like we’ve become bandits. But we’re finished with that now, we’ve done enough to fulfill our roles.」
The men dump the Treian army’s armor and equipment into a deep hole they dug in advance and pile dirt on top carefully. Their roles have finished with this and now they’ll return to Goldonia, where their families are waiting.
「There are already rumors that people from Treia attack and kill people from Goldonia in this area.」
「The others are doing well too.」
Even during this attack, they pretend not to notice the escorts escaping and purposely let them run away while plundering. The escorts are running for their lives back to Goldonia, and should tell the kingdom of the incident.
「If we run in a group, we’ll stand out, so we’ll part ways for now…… meet up in the capital next. Don’t get caught.」
「「「Yessir! Glory to Goldonia!」」」
Without much time passing, Goldonia declared war on the Treian Kingdom to prevent the barbaric acts and to retaliate against the murder of their own merchants and travelers by the Treian soldiers.
From the perspective of the surrounding nations, they thought that this is ultimately a result of Treia’s savage acts and something they caused themselves, and not the pointless argument Treia is claiming in which Goldonia is conspiring to invade and take away territory from them.
And thus, not even two years after the united front in the Arkland war, these two nations will clash with each other.
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 21 years old. End of Summer.
(Traditional age reckoning)
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Viscount. Feudal Lord of Arkland Southeast Area. King of the Mountains
Troops Commanded: Eastern Independent Army 2000, Private Army 3000, Bow Cavalry 6000
Assets: 1300 gold (700) (Labor Cost -150) (Army Provisions, Supplies -5000)
Weapons: Dual Crater (large sword), Large spear
Family: Nonna (wife), Carla (concubine), Mel (pregnant concubine), Rita (maid), Catherine (lewd), Sebastian (butler), Ruby (Luna’s follower), Yoguri (freeloader), Casie (ghost)
Children: Sue, Miu, Ekaterina (daughter), Antonio (son), Kuu, Ruu, Rose (foster)
Capital: Melissa, Maria, Miti, Alma, Kroll
Subordinates: Celia (adjutant), Irijina (commander), Luna (commander), Pipi (follower), Leopolt (staff officer), Adolph (domestic affairs official), Claire (official merchant), Schwartz (horse)
Sexual Partners: 83, children who have been born: 9