A few days later, at the frontier...
After my wedding with Lisette was over and I was waiting for my wedding with Yukino (Haruka was put off due to punishment for messing up her dress)...
I asked the harpies to scout around and gather information about the royal capital.
"These days, soldiers are often coming out of the Yuan Guan...
"There are soldiers scouting the vicinity of Kittle and Gurtra.
"Unlike the peasant soldiers who exterminate bandits, they are alone, you know?
They sneak out at dawn or in the middle of the night.
That's what Leroy and Leroy the Harpy told me.
A soldier on a solo reconnaissance mission: .......
I'm curious. I wonder if he's up to something in King's Landing again.
I'm sure you're not the only one.
I don't think so.
The color and shape of their armor is different. The armor is different in color and shape. It looks more expensive than the soldiers over there.
Leroy and Loloi replied to my question.
I've found a pattern in the soldiers who are invading the Gurtra territory.
They're coming out of a different castle than the one on the far side of the country.
"I can see them from a distance because they are unmotivated and tottering.
"I'm telling Prim, the military strategist, to reposition the Soldiers of Will.
"I'm doing ....... My King.
While Leroy and Loloi were reporting back with glee, Prim the Strategist was muttering to herself.
Prim is hugging her knees in the corner of the room.
By the way, Prim is not very fond of the harpies Leroy and Loloi.
She can't stand them because she feels guilty for running away from home for so long.
Prim's my mentor, she's in charge of the Harpies.
Don't just stand there, come sit next to me and talk. Prim.
"I'll be at ......, if you'll excuse me.
Prim sat down in the chair next to him.
"Tell me about the soldier who broke into the Gultra Keep. You were there to question him, weren't you?
"Yes. Princess Carol kindly allowed me to be present.
Prim moistened her throat with tea, then said in a nice voice.
"Based on their testimony, we've determined the course the enemy soldiers will take. Leroy and Loloi have confirmed it through their reconnaissance.
Do you have the location of the 'enemy whip' almost fixed?
Yes, sir. I think we have a 90% chance of containing the enemy. Any enemy we miss will be captured by our rangers.
So the defense of the Grand Protectorate of Gurtra is no longer a problem.
Yes, sir. I heard that Princess Carol will be coming for a sightseeing tour of the Dragon Emperor's Temple soon.
All right. I'll tell Lisette and Haruka and prepare to welcome her.
"Are you sure? Our king seems to be very busy.
"Princess Carol is the self-proclaimed 'First Priestess of the Dragon Emperor'. I want to let her touch the Dragon Emperor's shrine.
Of course, it's possible that Princess Carol is just a 'Dragon Emperor fanatic'.
But if there's something that only she can see, I want to make sure.
Even if there is nothing, we can still deepen our friendship with the Grand Protectorate of Gurtra.
When the tour of the Dragon Emperor's Temple is over, we can prepare for the next mission.
I spread out a map on the table.
It was given to me by Sylvia, and it described the territory of Kittle and the surrounding areas.
The circles here and there indicate the location of the magic circle.
This is a copy I made when I visited the Castle of the Fangs.
"What will be important from now on is the magic circle south of Kittle and Glutra.
"That's between the territory of each of the lords and the Distant Country Gate that leads to the royal capital.
Yes. If we reactivate it, we can deal with the soldiers before they enter the Kittle and Glutra territories.
There are three magic circle locations.
If you reactivate even one of the magic circles, the border area between the two territories will be surrounded by wards.
If you put up a wall there, you can stop the enemy soldiers before they can advance into your territory.
The area between Dengokugan and Kitoru is an empty zone without a lord.
According to the system, the lord of Dengokukan is supposed to rule this area, but due to the disorder of the country, it has been neglected. It is said that he does not fight bandits or demons, but only collects taxes.
It's not that we want to expand our territory, but we'd better take precautions in case the Ten Wise Men come to attack us in earnest.
I said, and Prim nodded next to me.
I think it's a good idea. My king.
"In the meantime, I want to secure the magic circle so that it can be activated in case of emergency. Then we can use our skills as much as we want outside the Kittle Realm. We can also activate the Soldiers of Will.
We can also cut off supply routes when the enemy troops are advancing.
That's right. It's an insurance policy for living comfortably in the middle of nowhere.
If it comes to it, we can attack the Distant Regions barrier.
I won't go that far. But it would be easier to infiltrate .......
We've been interrupted twice trying to get to King's Landing.
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure you'll be able to do it.
I want to go to the capital at least once to see the current Dragon Emperor and the Ten Sages.
I've decided to live in this world together with Lisette and the others.
"That's it. Can you go scout around the points on the map? Leroy, Leroy.
I just want to see what kind of condition the magic circle is in. We don't want to be seen.
I said, and Leroy and Loloi raised their wings and nodded.
"Okay, Leroy, Leroy. Leroy and Loloi.
...... Prim is trying too hard. ...... But I can't help it.
"I'll do my best for the king!
Take care of him. Leroy, Leroy.
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're doing.
They closed their eyes and then ran outside.
Now, I have to prepare for Yukino's wedding and Princess Carol's tour of the Dragon Emperor's Temple.
"On that note, I have something to report.
About the trading post on the frontier.
Oh, that's right, ....... Come to think of it, distribution to and from King's Landing has been halted, hasn't it?
Yes. It seems that it's forbidden to go to the Far Country Gate to sell goods, or for merchants to come from there.
Are you in trouble?
No, because the traveling merchants are helping us.
You mean the wandering merchants, Meneses-Nairis?
Yes, they are. The group of merchants are grateful to the king for giving them a place in the trading post. They have their own routes, and business is going on as usual.
That's nice to hear.
Traveling merchants are spreading their network like a spider's web throughout the country. The Ten Wise Men have restricted the distribution of these products, and in turn, the traveling merchants have come to be valued.
Prim looked down at the parchment in front of her.
Meneses said ...... that he could not tell you right now, but that he might be able to offer valuable information to the King of the Frontier.
Tell him to take it easy and don't worry about it.
Prim held her mouth in a smile.
But I'm sure those kind words will make Meneses and his friends work even harder.
"Is that so?
The king guaranteed the business of the traveling merchants by giving them a seat at the trading post. He invited them to his wedding to Lisette. I think it's more than enough for those merchants who had no place to stay to swear their allegiance to the king.
...... When did that happen?
That's why they've made it a rule to honor the 'King of the Frontier'.
Wait a minute. I didn't hear that!
The King has censored the song for the Harpies, so I'm going to send an unabridged version to the traveling merchants at ...... Hey, my King! Why are you pecking at my forehead with your finger? It hurts. My king...!
"In the central city of the continent...
What's going on? What's going on here, Strategist Riedal?
This is the court of Alicia.
In the back of the room, Zacchaeus, the Tenth Sage, shouted again.
"We've invaded five times! And yet, none of the soldiers you sent to the Grand Protectorate of Gurtra have returned! It's obvious you've failed. Riedal!
"...... I am disappointed in you, Master Zachus.
The boy called Riedal replied with a smile.
He sits in a chair by the window, swinging his feather fan gracefully.
He sits in a chair by the window, swaying his feather fan gracefully, and says, "A plan to move a country is always done with ten moves ahead. Even if the first move is a stumbling block, it is all right as long as the final goal is achieved. If you are in such a hurry that you are only on your second move, it can only mean that you have given up on ...... moving the country!
I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm sure you can figure out without thinking which is more, the number of soldiers in this royal capital or the soldiers in the Gurutra Patriarchate near the frontier.
Are you saying that you are forcing the other side to fight a war of attrition?
Master Riedal turned his gaze away from Zachus.
It is because of its greatest wealth and resources that it is called a royal city. If we use them to reduce the enemy's military strength, we will ultimately win. Isn't that a given?
"Don't you think that the soldiers captured in the Gultra Patriarchate will be a force to be reckoned with?
Don't you remember that it was peasant soldiers who were dispatched?
I know that! But ......
They're just peasants who lost their land in the war and were given crude weapons. Even if you capture them, they won't be able to fight. At best, they can only open up the land and cultivate the fields.
The Gurutra Patriarchate will be richer for it!
It will soon be in our possession, won't it?
As if to discourage Zachus, Master Riedal said.
"But I can see your point, Master Zachus. I will make a third move.
"...... A third move?
"There are four who have been summoned by the goddess Nemesis. There are four who have been summoned by the goddess Nemesis: Touki-Housset, Cactus-Denin, and myself, Riedal-Srept. ...... There is one more. Please give him an army.
He's the one who's good at wielding demons.
He's only as strong as his soldiers. By all means.
All right. But don't fail.
Riedal the Strategist turned and looked at Zachus the Wise.
Then he stood up and bowed deeply.
"Then I will execute the mission.
"...... No, wait. I forgot to mention that the inner sanctum has rewarded me for going to war.
The inner sanctum where the Dragon Emperor resides?
"Yes. The Dragon Emperor is mercifully sending food and wine to the peasants on their way to exterminate bandits. I don't know where he got the idea to go.
That's very ...... kind of you.
The warlord Riedal smiled crookedly.
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience. You mean for the sake of the people?
I'm sure the Dragon Emperor is deeply concerned about the hardships of his people.
But I don't understand. I've never heard of any merchants coming or going to the inner sanctum where the Dragon Emperor resides.
It is said that the courtesan has secretly summoned a traveling merchant.
"...... A traveling merchant? The merchant who travels all over the continent?
We have the court merchants here. The court lady must have gotten in touch with the merchant through her contacts. Well, that's just the beginning.
Zacchaeus, the Tenth Wise Man, shrugged.
In any case, if His Majesty is willing to pay for it, I see no reason to object.
All right, sir. I'll tell the soldiers to do the same.
"No, no. Tell the soldiers I paid for it. If it's from the Dragon Emperor, they'll have to be careful about transporting the goods.
Traveling merchants may hang around for a while, but don't worry. They serve no one. They will go away when their business is done.
With that, Zachus the Wise waved his hand.
Riedal the Strategist bowed and left the room.
"Excuse me. Master Riedal.
In the corridor of the palace, someone stopped Riedal.
He looked to the side and saw a young courtesan standing there.
I am in the service of the Dragon Emperor, and my name is Kataria. My name is Kataria and I am in the service of the Dragon Emperor. I have something to tell you regarding the delivery of wine and food to the troops that Lord Riedal is sending.
Master Zachus has already told me about it.
Riedal waved his hand in annoyance.
"I'm sure the soldiers will be grateful for your mercy.
As for me, I would like to accompany myself and a few of my companions in carrying the cargo.
His Majesty is concerned about the safety of the cargo, given the deteriorating security situation. I'd like to see it with my own eyes and reassure him.
"...... I see.
Of course, I will disguise myself as a soldier. Your Majesty will be kept secret from the soldiers.
............ Very well, then.
Master Riedal waved his feather fan and nodded.
I will allow you to accompany me. You may tell the Dragon Emperor that Riedal was grateful.
"Thank you, my lord.
Contact me as soon as the rations are ready.
Kataria fell flat on the floor of the corridor.
Riedal, the military commander, walked away with a high-pitched step.
So he never knew what kind of expression the palace lady had on her face when she saw him off.