We arrive at Canale Castle. As this was the second time, I was able to pass through easily without being stopped by soldiers like I was the first time.
'Well come on Ars I'm sorry to hear about Raven we lost a man we missed...'
County Manager Lemayle said with a somber look on his face.
'It's hard for me to have time to mourn Raven's death right now. As soon as the other lords gather, we will begin our military council.
Then, after waiting for a while, the other lords came up to the castle. They sat down at the round table as before.
''First of all, before we begin our military discussion, we need to have a word. The other day, Raven Lovenoven, Lord of Lamberg, fell ill and died. He was a brilliant man who was more active than anyone else on the battlefield...
The other two lords were not surprised, as they already knew of their father's death, but they listened with a somber look on their faces.
'We do not have time to grieve for Raven's death. Continuing to fight for the future of Canale is our way of mourning Raven.
Rumail said in a powerful tone. He then motioned for me to stand up.
'As you know, this Ars will succeed Raven as the head of House Rovent. He is still a child, but in spirit he is as fine as an adult. I am sure he will serve as a lord.
Once again, Lemayle made my introduction.
I guess I should say something here too.
''I am the new lord, Ars. I am a young man, but I will do my part to the best of my ability.''
It's a too ordinary greeting, but it's better than being run over by a strange greeting.
Those who were listening to my greeting began to applaud. It stopped after a few dozen seconds and I sat down again.
'Then let the military debate begin. If anyone here has an opinion, raise your hand and say it. We won't get angry or punish you for missing the point, so don't hesitate to say it.
It looks like he's willing to properly listen to the opinions of his vassals as well as his lord.
I glanced at Leets and the others with a glance.
Leats nodded lightly when his eyes met mine. It would be a signal to say if there is anything else.
Roselle was trying to hide behind Leets.
Apparently, Roselle seemed to be invoking her shyness. This doesn't seem to be a promising way to voice an opinion.
''Let's start by explaining the current situation in detail. Menace, please.
I'm sorry, sir.
Lemeil left the explanation to his vassal, Menace Leonard.
''First of all, there have been a lot of behind-the-scenes exchanges between the Clan-sama and our family. It is said that the reason for raising an army this time is because they have come up with a plan to win the war. They have successfully orchestrated the current four counties, including Masa, and the five counties to the south, for a total of nine counties, and they have signed a contract with the Mayteleau Mercenary Group, which is renowned for being the strongest in the province of Low File, and they have enough forces to win the war.
Of course, you've done quite a lot of things, haven't you? My brother seems to have a certain amount of ability, too.
But it would be an exaggeration to say that he's sure to win.
There's no such thing as a sure thing in battle, and my brother, of course, isn't going to sit back and watch it happen.
'Of all the counties to the west, only Perena County is not responding to the arrangement. Perena County will be completely surrounded by the enemy if it doesn't follow Master Clan due to its location, but they still won't follow Master Clan and won't change their claim if they follow Basamark. We have been ordered to orchestrate this Perena County or drop it in battle.
Perena County is a neighboring county to Canale and is a constant source of skirmishes these days.
That makes it difficult to orchestrate, so you're going to drop them in battle?
''It may be difficult to orchestrate, but there's nothing better than dropping them without fighting, so I'm going to try to orchestrate first. So we would like to hear your ideas for strategy.
You're playing the hand of a strategist. I didn't see that coming.
I'm not sure what to make of it, though. After all, we have no information about Perena County.
I looked at Reetz and he raised his hand.
'You have an idea? Let's talk.
Several people looked at Leetu, who was a Marka, and gave him a look of contempt, but Lemeil didn't see that at all. He must be the type of person who doesn't discriminate.
''How to orchestrate it would be difficult without information about the other party. Therefore, we should first find out why the head of Perena County doesn't stick with Clan-sama in this situation.''
That's a fair point. But when you say probe, what exactly do you do?
Could it be that he proposes to use the Mercenary Shadow? It's not yet decided that he can hire them, so it's a big risk, but if he succeeds, he'll get a good reputation from the county chief.
I was wondering if Rietz was going to propose this now.
'Well we'll have to come up with something better...'
He gave me a look, muttering, "I don't know.
Are you telling me to make a suggestion, perhaps.
I suppose it's Reetz's way of caring for me in order to raise the county chief's opinion of me, but to be honest, I'm a little embarrassed to be set up.
Well, let's just ride it out here.
''How about hiring a group of mercenaries to gather information? I think I know just the right mercenary group for this mission.
Are these mercenaries skilled?
I glanced at Reetz and he nodded at me. If Reetz said he had arms, at least he wasn't a clunker. 'Yes,' I replied.
''Then I'll leave the role of finding out the inner workings of the Perena County Chief Family to your lord. However, if you are unable to hire a band of mercenaries, or if the band of mercenaries turns out to be untrustworthy, you will come back to me at once to tell me you have failed. It is not a sin to fail, but it is a sin to keep quiet about it.
He's a pretty good guy to say.
I've had men in my previous life, but the last thing I want is for them to fail and be silenced.
The military council was adjourned for once and I left the castle to meet with The Shadow.