34-Episode 34 Forget

 After the county chief finished talking to us, we stayed at the castle for the night.
 Incidentally, I appraised the status of Hammand and Kral, but neither of them were of particularly good status.

 The next morning, as we prepared to leave the castle, we were about to leave.

Hey, Ars, can I talk to you for a second?

 Hamand approached me.

'Yes, sir, what is it?'
'Actually, I'd like to ask you something about my daughter. She's been in a bit of a bad mood lately. You seem to be exchanging letters with Lysia frequently, do you have any idea what's causing this?

 Bad mood?

 Unfortunately, I have no idea.
 The letter I received recently should have looked the same as usual.

 ........No, wait?

 I did read the letter, and I didn't feel uncomfortable with its content.
 But after reading the letter, would I have written a response?

 ........I don't think I've written.

 When I was going to write a reply, I had just forgotten all about it because my father had just fallen and the Governor was assassinated, and so many other things had happened.

 It was certainly rude of me to forget, but would Lysia be so grumpy that people could see it?

 Well, could it be possible that he was enjoying his correspondence with me, deep down, as you might expect?
 If so, it's no wonder he's in a bad mood.

 I told Hammand that I had forgotten to answer the letter.

'Oh, perhaps I shouldn't do that. My daughter has been looking forward to hearing from you every time. I know you're busy with a lot of things, but I hope you'll get back to her if you can.

 Since Hammand is saying this, I'm pretty sure he's looking forward to it.
 'You've done a bad thing,' he said.

'All right. I'll write it up and get it out as soon as I get back.
It's a pleasure to work with you.

 So the conversation ended and Hamand left.

 We left the castle and hurried back to the mansion.


 When I returned to the mansion, I found that I had received a letter from Lysia.
 The contents were.

'Mr. Ars, I haven't heard back from you for a long time, has something happened? Have I failed in my duty? If there was one, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know.'

 It was written to me.
 It was a letter that seemed to gut the guilt.

 Given her true nature, I doubted she really felt this healthy, but I still couldn't help but feel guilty.

 I was quick to

''It's not Lisia-sama's fault, I've had a lot of things going on lately, like my father's fall and the assassination of the Governor, so I completely forgot to reply. I'm sorry.''

 He wrote a letter of apology to them.

 After that, he gathered Roselle and Rietz together in the study room and decided to discuss the future policy again.

'Well, as for the future course of action, as the county mayor said, I suppose we should first prepare our army better.
'We should have an army in place, but it's difficult to increase the number of troops any further. We can increase the skill level of our troops, but without an increase in numbers, we won't be able to dramatically increase our strength.
So that's it.
It's important that you get used to commanding your own troops, because if a battle occurs before Raven-sama's recovery, it will be up to you to lead your own troops. It's a good idea to lead your troops in a mock battle, although the numbers will be small.

 A mock battle.
 Unlike a real battle, you won't be exchanging lives, but it would be better to do it.
 The only way to avoid panicking when the time comes is to gain experience in simulated battles as well.

''Do you have anything from Roselle?''
Hmm, the county mayor made it clear that he made it for his brother? Do you think that brother is going to be able to beat his brother?
I'm not making a decision based on the information I have.
'I see. But that's not good enough. If you're on the losing side of this battle, if you're not, it will destroy the weak and upstart family of Loebent. We have to pick the side that can win for sure.
''Well that's true. But we can't go against what the county mayor-dono has decided to do, can we?
'If my brother turns out to be no good, I'll have to convince him to switch sides and if that doesn't work, I'll have to consider betraying him.

 So it's possible that we won't be able to survive in the future if we don't do exactly the same thing as the warring feudal lords?

What we lack right now is information. Without information, we can't formulate any tactics or strategies. We should be actively scouring the entire Mythian region for information, somehow, even now.''
How exactly do I do that?
"...and have someone else gather information? With soldiers.
Will that work?

 When Roselle and I were in distress.

I've got a great resource for that. The mercenary group known as The Shadow. I'm not sure I've ever seen such a thing before. You can hire them for money, but it's never too little.
''Mercenaries.......it would be a bad idea to hire a mercenary without telling my father. We should think about that after my father's health has recovered.
That too, I suppose.

 However, it was a boon to know that there are mercenaries who specialize in gathering information. I think you're right in thinking that information is the most important thing.

''I can't hire mercenaries, but I'll select a few soldiers who seem to be good at gathering information and send them to various parts of Mythian. That's better than not doing it.
I understand.

 Two things were decided in today's discussion: practice mock battles, and send vassals to various Meesian locations to gather information.

 A few weeks later.

 Once again, the unexpected happened.