Hachinan Tte, Sore Wa Nai Deshou! - Chapter 84.2
The carriage which left Earl Mizuho Country, safely entered Philip Dukedom.
It's cold in the Philip Dukedom, which is the northernmost territory of the continent and it's currently midwinter. Snow piled up on the large fields as well, but I guess it's a blessing that it's not to the degree of obstructing the carriage's advance.
The carriage proceeded through the outskirts of the central city Fierin, where the feudal lord's mansion is located, without trouble.
’’Those fields are vast.’’
’’Even for being in the north, Philip Dukedom is a big agriculture area.’’ (Therese)
Their focus lies on the cultivation of produce such as wheat, barley, rye and potatoes. But it seems they are also refining sugar from sugar beets.
They probably harvest two crops a year.
In spite of it being midwinter, crops have been planted on the fields.
’’But then again the efficiency goes down in comparison to the southern sugar cane. Therefore we are cultivating sugar beets on large-scaled fields.’’ (Therese)
As it doesn't seem that selective breeding as it's done on earth has made any progress, it appears to be hopeless unless they cultivate a large amount of them as the sugar beets have a low sugar content.
Even so, since it's easier than importing due to the distance of transportation, sugar manufacture from sugar beets has apparently become a key industry of the Philip Dukedom.
’’Also, fishing and stock farming are popular as well.’’ (Therese)
’’You are doing stock farming?’’ (Wendelin)
’’There's a large amount of soil, but it's cold.’’ (Therese)
Thanks to the diligent endeavours by the Lan clan members of old, there aren't many monster domains in Philip Dukedom.
That's why you can call it a possible feat.
The meat of cattle, pigs and birds obtained through stock farming was an expensive good in other territories.
Since there's a lot of land, agriculture is prospering. But as the area at the northern end of the continent will become extremely cold once the season turns to winter, they have large pigs called 『Hairy Pigs』 grazing there.
’’Though they are wild boars, they are livestock slightly similar to pigs. We raise them by having them eat the squeezed leftovers of the sugar beets.’’ (Therese)
They are large and strong against cold. Their fertility is also full of vim and vigour. They are enthusiastically pasturing since they eat anything.
’’Even the commoners are frequently eating the meat of 『Hairy Pigs』 in Philip Dukedom’’, Therese explained.
By enhancing the processing to bacon and sausages and improving the ways of preservation, this has also turned into an exported merchandise.
’’We are also actively breeding warhorses and horses for pulling wagons.’’ (Therese)
’’The military affairs and the economy are powerful then?’’ (Wendelin)
’’Tentatively I have been told that I'm the most powerful among the prince-elector lords.’’ (Therese)
In addition there are also many mines and the manufacturing industry is growing, too.
Certainly, the city of Fierin that gradually became visible was a metropolis that won't lose to Breitburg.
’’If it's about economic strength and military forces, we are superior to Nürnberg Dukedom. That doesn't mean that there's overly much difference though.’’ (Therese)
Though the mixed parentage of the ruling class, which serves as subjects of the empire, is improving, the independent spirit of the Lan people, who were the rulers of the north, is strong.
Based on the fact that having a dark brown skin is required for the family head of the Duke Philip household who should be the rulers, one can see that the empire's north is quite the unique region.
’’There's Earl Mizuho Country as well.’’
The carriage enters the city of Fierin and heads towards the feudal lord's mansion as Therese is explaining while smiling.
Once we arrive at the mansion which is similar to a fortress, two young men with one around the latter half of his twenties and the other in the middle of his twenties appear from inside the mansion.
’’You were safe, Milady?’’
’’What a relief.’’
’’It's my bane of having bad luck. Rather than that, there are visitors from afar here.’’ (Therese)
By the management of the two young men, we settle down after being allocated rooms, but they receive secret instructions by Therese who was with them.
’’They are mine own elder brother's children.’’ (Therese)
’’That sounds complicated.’’
’’Yep. Just what are they thinking about in their hearts?’’ (Therese)
Even though it doesn't look like they have insufficient ability going by the impression I got, they won't be able to succeed the rank of duke due to the reason of having a white skin colour.
They probably have various emotions they are bottling up in their chests.
’’What I was pondering about was the possibility of you, Therese-sama, being killed or taken prisoner due to a revolt by your elder brothers right after we arrived here.’’ (Armstrong)
While drinking the aquavit diluted with hot water he received in small gulps in order to warm up his body, Doushi mentions some dangerous things.
Even if they considered doing such thing, they would likely be stopped by Doushi right away though.
’’Even if they plan that, it will end with everyone getting killed by Doushi and Earl-sama, right?’’ (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san's thoughts were similar to mine.
Doing something like opposing Doushi with a small number of people while not being magicians is nothing more but the height of recklessness.
’’No, Burkhart. They are not capable of doing that in the first place.’’ (Therese)
’’Because their skin is white?’’ (Burkhart)
’’That's how it is.’’ (Therese)
For the Lan people who ended up being ruled by the empire, a family head with a dark brown skin is an absolute condition they won't yield on.
Therefore, even if Therese's elder brothers staged a coup d'état, no one would follow them.
’’My elder brother's children have dark brown skins. But, even if they set up my nephews as family heads, it would be obvious to everyone who's the ones pulling the strings.’’ (Therese)
Moreover, a child as supreme commander will also lose a winnable war.
’’There shouldn't exist anyone needlessly following such a child’’, Therese explained.
’’However, there's the possibility of Duke Nürnberg having set up a scheme, isn't there?’’
’’I can't prevent that, but in that regard both of us are the same, right?’’ (Therese)
Before coming to this room, Therese had ordered her elder brothers to announce to the lords of the north and of other regions to gather their soldiers for the sake of recovering the imperial capital that has been overthrown by Duke Nürnberg.
『Do you participate in the rebellion by supporting Duke Nürnberg or do you follow us, the Duke Philip household, in our attempt to defeat him?』 she asked.
She apparently dispatched them while adding quite the radical declaration.
’’Together with the information 『Earl Mizuho Country will side with us』.’’ (Therese)
During the unification of the empire, many ethnic groups converted into retainers and adhered to its rule.
The only one among them, Earl Mizuho Country, which preserved a shape of being half-independent, was regarded with awe by the nobles and their fief's population of other ethnic groups.
Moreover, it's the first time for them to dispatch an army for something other than defence. Coupled with their legendary strength, we will likely be able to obtain many allies, is what Therese seems to be thinking.
’’The nobles, who have other ethnic groups under them, are probably trembling in fear due to Duke Nürnberg's movements. Most of them should look positively at joining us.’’ (Therese)
’’Are there that many ethnic groups?’’ (Wendelin)
There were Arab-styled and Chinese-styled building in Bardiche no matter how you look at it, but what one understands immediately by looking is that their skin was dark brown just like that of the Lan people.
The Mizuho people are obvious because of their black hair and pupils and as they wear Mizuho clothes. But, as a matter of fact there are many people where you won't know their origination unless you look properly since their outward appearance looks like that of mixed Westerns and Japanese halfs.
’’The intermingling of different races has progressed for around 1000 years. That means that the majority of the ethnic groups aren't that different in their outward appearance. Even the language has advanced into being uniform since the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization.’’ (Therese)
More or less the ethnic group which has been living in the centre of the empire since the time when the empire still named itself as kingdom, has been called Urquhart people and they have apparently transformed into being the dominant ethnic group.
Duke Nürnberg caused a coup d'ètat and is trying to advance the centralization of the empire with that ethnic group as core.
’’Nevertheless, the definition of Urquhart people is ambiguous as well.’’ (Therese)
However, with the feeling of them being people living in the centre, their treatment around here might be similar to the treatment of Chinese people in the Chugoku region of western Honshu.
Biologically an Urquhart race doesn't exist.
’’In short, you are saying that he hastens a centralized authoritarian rule, but first attempts to make the Lan people and the Mizuho people, that are quite obviously a hindrance to him, submit to him?’’
’’If he crushes them and puts them under slavery, the groups in the east and west will likely listen to what he says out of fear.’’ (Therese)
Since the Lan people and the Mizuho people are an easily identifiable enemy, he will crush them.
Since they are strong, the other ethnic groups will easily yield once he makes them submit. That seems to be Duke Nürnberg's train of thought.
’’So, what will be our schedule from now on?’’ (Wendelin)
’’I plan to dispatch an advance force tomorrow.’’ (Therese)
’’We will carry out interceptive battles since we should be inferior in the number of military forces, but I want to prevent the enemy entering our territory and ruining it’’, Therese says.
’’Also, in order to prevent a separation of the northern lords, it's strictly forbidden to fight in their territories. Accordingly...’’ (Therese)
Therese spreads a map on top of the table.
On the detailed map of the empire, a red circle was drawn in the middle between the northern territories and the area under the direct control of the central government.
’’The 『Great Sorbid Wasteland』...?’’
It won't be seen by just following the northern highway continuing into Philip Dukedom, but just as its name 『Great Sorbid Wasteland』 suggest, it's a vast wasteland.
It's under the direct control of the empire, but it has a border with northern territories. You can't secure water unless you dig up a water well. It's dotted with mines and mineral deposits which have been abandoned. It's a place where development has been put off.
’’We will build a base here. And we will stop Duke Nürnberg's advance to the north here.’’ (Therese)
’’It won't be a short, decisive battle?’’
Therese agrees towards Doushi's question.
’’Since this is a civil war, a short, decisive battle is desirable if possible, but...’’ (Therese)
Therese thinks that we are at more of a disadvantage than Duke Nürnberg, who is currently suppressing the centre after having completely seized the south. Since it's not like she has gathered all northern lords as of yet, she can't advance her soldiers towards the imperial capital that easily.
’’The method of delivering a blow to Duke Nürnberg by defending against his attack in the Great Sorbid Wasteland will cause cracks in his foundation.’’ (Therese)
Their loyalty is strong. They will be able to deliver a blow to the southern feudal army and the imperial forces which participated in the coup d'état. Once that happens, they will be unavoidably able to cause unrest among the lords who are obeying Duke Nürnberg.
’’Him having gained control of the imperial capital is a strong point, but on the other hand it's also a weakness.’’ (Therese)
Especially that device, which jams the activation of spells and magic tools of the communication and movement category, wasn't good.
Since it causes damage to the circulation of good and the traffic, Duke Nürnberg's side suffers damage from holding the imperial capital instead.
’’He's a Duke-sama that doesn't do anything decent, I guess.’’ (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san says so, but thanks to that device, the kingdom can't take part in the civil war.
Since the device's effect should be reaching the kingdom's north as well, it's impossible for it to take advantage of the civil war and dispatch soldiers.
Even if they sent soldiers across the ropeway that serves as temporary bridge over the Gigant Crevice, the imperial army on site and the nobles would likely resist against the invaders.
Even if they were able to occupy the area, it would become necessary to govern that area next.
For a while they would continue to exploit the area, but they wouldn't be able to use magic airships to transport the goods.
War isn't as easy-going that you can win while having a serious shortage of supplies.
’’If the kingdom meddles unskillfully in the civil war, it will get exhausted in exchange.’’
The ones who would be happy about it are probably only some of the merchants who consider it as beneficial if they can sell goods to armies and soldiers who want to raise war accomplishments.
’’An extension of the civil war will ruin the empire, but at the current situation a short, decisive battle is impossible. I don't have any intention to cause our downfall trying to do the impossible. But then again I will likely give up and defect once we lose since I've got a bad character.’’ (Therese)
Therese's thinking isn't particularly wrong.
Something like being gallantly destroyed might be deeply impressive in records of historic tales, but in reality that's nothing more than foolishness.
Even defecting to another country is to wait for the next opportunity.
This might be something said by a normal, influential person.
’’Since I will be likely worn out if something like that happens, I will become your concubine, Wendelin, and leave the rest to our children.’’ (Therese)
In case the kingdom advances north, the Philip household might be restored by using her child, grandchild or later descendants.
In the end that's no more than one possibility, but nobles form connections with other families for such possibilities.
’’It's the same as usual with Therese-sama...’’
Luise is fed up, but there's another important matter besides that story.
’’So, what's our job?’’
’’Of course the securing of the Great Sorbid Wasteland and the construction of a permanent field camp in preparation for a protracted war. It's a suitable task for you, Wendelin, who is called Construction Works Adventurer.’’ (Therese)
’’That nickname has spread even as far as the empire?’’ (Wendelin)
Since the schedule was decided, it will be bad if we don't depart quickly tomorrow.
As we can't use 『Flight』 and 『Teleportation』, everything takes time.
’’That's a big horse, isn't it?’’
’’It's a northern special breed called 『Dosanko* Horse』. It isn't overly fast, but it's power and stamina are splendid. It also endures with frugal food.’’ (T/N: A horse breed native to Hokkaido)
On the morning of the next day after we arrived in Philip Dukedom, we immediately headed south on the northern highway towards the Great Sorbid Wasteland.
Our military forces are the Duke Philip household's feudal army and the feudal armies of several nobles who prepared their troops ahead of time after sensing the unusual events in the imperial capital. It's a total of 5000 soldiers.
The military goods necessary to keep an army moving are completely carried in magic bags by me and the magicians who have been employed by the Duke Philip household and the other noble households.
Since more than half of the army consists of foot soldiers after all, the scheme we have come up with to hasten the travelling speed after mobilizing a large quantity of horses and wagons, is to only allow them to wear clothes against the cold and to hold their weapons.
All of the heavy armour is on the wagons and inside the magic bags.
If the road in front is blocked by enemy forces, we will get rid of them with magic.
’’Even if we hurry as much as possible, it will take two... no, three days?’’
We have been given horses, but those horses were more than twice as big as normal horses.
If they are this big, they might also be regarded as different animals, but these horses are traditional northern horses.
’’Even if we move by horse, it's not possible to have them gallop at full power. Since that's the case, these slow-paced horses pose no problem either.’’
They seem to be horses used for agriculture or to pull heavy load, but even then they walk faster than people.
They were prepared ahead of time by Therese's elder brothers brothers for the sake of pulling the wagons which transport the goods.
’’Aren't they doing their job properly? I thought that they would look for alternatives such as betrayal though.’’ (Wendelin)
’’Dear, as expected, that might be going to far...’’ (Elise)
Although Therese said that it was impossible, I suspected her two elder brothers.
It was possible that they would be instigated to turn traitor by telling them 『White skin is preferable for the new Duke Philip. If you work well, you will be assigned a responsible post in the new empire』 according to Duke Nürnberg's plans.
’’My cousins aren't that stupid. They know that the ones who will be purged next by Duke Nürnberg will be them, even if they succeeded in the betrayal.’’
I mounted a horse together with Elise and a young, dark-brown-skinned man was sitting on a normal horse that was running next to ours.
As Therese's cousin, he's the family head of a branch family. He is the leader of this advance unit and his name is Alfons. He seems to be still 20 years old.
’’The skin's colour is important.’’
’’Yes. It might be something stupid if seen from the viewpoint of other people though.’’
Although they yielded to the empire, the blood of the Lan people has to run thickly within the family head of the Duke Philip household.
That's an absolute requirement. There were cases where someone with a white skin forcefully became the family head, but it never turned out well in the end.
’’Besides, the children of both of my cousins have dark brown skin.’’ (Alfons)
If she defeats Duke Nürnberg, Therese should become the next empress, if going by the circumstances.
Since it's impossible for her to hold the seat of Duchess Philip and empress at the same time, she will naturally pass the duke title to her children.
’’I see. In that case I'm relieved.’’ (Wendelin)
Rather than belief, that never declines, and fanatic loyalty, that's something I can depend on.
’’At any rate, what surprises me is that you can't ride a horse, Earl Baumeister.’’ (Alfons)
’’As eighth son of a poor Knight, I didn't have time to practise horse riding.’’ (Wendelin)
In the former Baumeister household there were only a few warhorses.
Even so, that doesn't mean that we had bought and kept a private warhorse like other nobles.
A good one was chosen from among the farming horses and I was only shown how to put a harness on it.
The fief's population, that didn't know the world outside, regarded it as a beautiful warhorse with only that much.
Actually, compared to the warhorses possessed by the Margrave Breithilde household, it can only be seen as a saddening packhorse.
However, even that one packhorse was apparently useful for the past Demon Forest expedition.
As it was a farming horse, it put up with frugal fodder. And even though it was slow, its stamina was good.
Also, it seems like there were also survivors among the expeditionary force who stilled their hunger by killing this horse.
In my childhood there was no time for the eighth son to practise horse riding during a shortage of horses.
Besides, as a magician, horses are unnecessary if there's 『Flight』 and 『Teleportation』.
In my previous life I at least experienced horse riding in establishments belonging to amusements parks and farms when I went there on school trips.
As often is the case, that was me riding one round while being led by the person in charge after successfully mounting the horse.
With such a level of experience, you can't expect me to get on such a large horse all of a sudden.
Therefore I'm currently just clinging to Elise's back while she's steering the horse.
’’Wife-dono, you are skilled at handling a horse.’’ (Alfons)
’’That's because this horse's docile. Even if I was taught about it just a bit, it's alright.’’ (Elise)
She's saying that modestly, but Elise is good at horse riding.
It seems she learned it since it was necessary as there were also cases where she had to leave into the vicinity of the capital during her voluntary activities at the church.
As she was able to pick it up with just that, Elise is a perfect superwoman after all.
’’Since it's right now a good opportunity, I will have Elise teach me in the breaks.’’ (Wendelin)
’’Good idea. Horse riding is indispensable for upper nobility.’’
As movement magic and magic airships aren't things that can be used that easily, horses are the most convenient for travelling normally.
However, the maintenance and training of horses costs money.
Especially for horses that become warhorses the costs rise exponentially. Getting on a horse skilfully was also proof of high ranking nobility.
Even that Margrave Breithilde who was generally acknowledged to have very bad reflexes, can ride a horse after getting proper training.
’’For a man it's wonderful to mount a horse and stick to you, Elise.’’ (Wendelin)
I won't go as far as telling her, but it's mostly the sensation of her butt.
’’I know that feeling, but I believe it will be even more fantastic if you learn horse riding and have your wife ride in the back, Earl Baumeister.’’ (Alfons)
Indeed, it's certainly as Alfons says.
Even while being from a different country and ethnic group, he was a splendid guy who understands a man's romance.
’’Alfons, you are a great guy.’’ (Wendelin)
’’Earl Baumeister, no, Wendelin. So you were a man of culture as well?’’ (Alfons)
Alfons and I exchange a passionate handshake from atop the horses.
- End of Part 1 -
It truly had the feeling of having obtained a friend for life.
’’Dear, do you enjoy such things as well? Though we are a married couple...’’ (Elise)
Elise asks me while looking embarrassed.
Even though we are a married couple who has already seen each other nude bodies, she's probably wondering what's so delightful about feeling her butt and breasts through her clothes.
’’Elise, that thing has nothing to do with the other.’’ (Wendelin)
That might be an eternal wall between men and women.
Elise tilted her head to the side as she obviously didn't comprehend, but even that appearance of her was quite adorable.
’’Actually, my wives can't understand it either.’’ (Alfons)
Since Alfons is the family head of a branch family as Therese's cousin, he appears to have already three wives.
You can also say that it's only natural for him to be a high-ranking person since he has been appointed as supreme commander of the advance unit.
’’On my previous holiday I realized my dream.’’ (Alfons)
’’Dream, you say?’’ (Wendelin)
’’That's right. I call it 『Dream of three nude aprons plan』...’’ (Alfons)
Even though they are the wives of a high-ranking branch family, he apparently watched them from behind as they were preparing the food in nude apron outfits while grinning broadly.
He was a vulgar person to a frightening extent, but simultaneously I notice that I forgot something important.
’’Damn! I haven't done that yet!’’ (Wendelin)
’’That's a waste as it will be an even more superb view if you do it with five wives.’’ (Alfons)
’’That's definitely true! Next time I will have a go with that!’’ (Wendelin)
’’I recommend to do so by all means.’’ (Alfons)
Since I was supported by Alfons, I decide to definitely do it in my mind.
’’As expected of my soulmate!’’
’’Dear, is there anything good about putting on an apron while nude?’’ (Elise)
Elise asks me with an expression that tells me immediately that she doesn't understand well.
She knows about the basic matters of men and women due to her education, but compared to Ina with her abundance of superficial knowledge about se* after borrowing strange books from Margrave Breithilde, she didn't have any knowledge of that kind.
’’It will get easier to bear a child.’’ (Wendelin)
’’I wasn't aware. That it's easier to make a child with such method.’’ (Elise)
It's not like I have lied in particular.
The serious Elise apparently decided in her heart that she must cooperate if that's the case.
’’Wend, you are...’’ (Ina)
That Ina with a lot superficial knowledge about se* tried to add something, but I don't have such leeway now since I'm earnestly trying to learn horse riding.
At any rate, since there are few high-ranking noble members in our party, the members who can ride horses are few as well.
Elise, Wilma who learned horse learned horse riding with the help of Minister Edgar, and unexpectedly even Katharina can mount a horse.
In her case;she secretly practised it thinking that it's natural for a noble to ride a horse.
Even her horse riding training was that of a loner.
She might actually surpass me in being a loner expert.
’’Wendelin-san, aren't you thinking about something rude?’’ (Katharina)
’’Isn't that always not the case? I was only fascinated by your magnificent horse riding figure, Katharina.’’ (Wendelin)
’’Have at least a bit of prudence... Aren't you ashamed, Wendelin-san?’’ (Katharina)
It seems I deceived her skilfully.
Katharina's face is dyed red to due my flattery.
I guess it's no problem though as her horse riding figure really suits her well.
’’Wilma, how's Ina doing?’’
’’I think she will learn it easily since her motor nerves are great.’’ (Wilma)
I have no doubt that me learning horse riding should take the longest.
My reflexes were ordinary no matter in what favourable light you assess them.
’’Ooh! Katharina's breast are hitting my back! Wend, once we switch it will be paradise for you.’’ (Luise)
’’Luise-san! Aren't you ashamed!?’’ (Katharina)
Katharina, who is teaching Luise horse riding, complained about Luise's old man comment with a bright red face.
’’Even among Wendelin's wives, there's someone who can understand a man's romance?’’ (Alfons)
’’Alfons-san, please don't mention anything uncalled-for.’’ (Katharina)
Katharina also complains to Alfons who recognises Luise as kindred soul.
’’Good grief... A leader who makes one worried...’’
Katharina says so, but I don't harbour any doubts at all about Alfons's qualities as leader.
He's always spouting stupid things, but the advance unit is well in order.
『About Alfons, he is usually only talking about stupid stuff, but for some reason he can keep everyone together well.』 (Therese)
With him having a mysterious charisma, his subordinates work happily.
In reality, that has happened to the advance unit as well.
That's probably the reason why Therese appointed him as the supreme commander of the advance unit, too.
’’However, that is unsightly...’’ (Alfons)
Alfons's look faced Doushi and Burkhart-san who are riding together on one Dosanko horse.
’’Certainly... no talent...’’
Burkhart-san is grasping the reins in front and Doushi is sitting behind him, but seeing that, nothing stirs in my heart.
What caused this combination is that Burkhart-san can more or less ride a horse with his old man's wisdom, but a normal warhorse would be harsh for him, and Doushi would crush any normal horse because his body is oversized.
’’I wonder whether carrying Doushi is difficult even for a dosanko horse?’’
Because it had to actually carry the weight of three people, the horse with the two on top had a slightly slower speed.
’’You guys, saying whatever you want...’’ (Burkhart)
’’There's only Armstrong-doushi's hard chest pressing against your back, Burkhart-dono. For me that would be impossible. Absolutely impossible. I would request a relief right away.’’ (Alfons)
’’The rumours appear to be true, Alfons-dono.’’
However, Alfons's words are reasonable as well.
Something like the sensation of Doushi's 100% muscled chest, no one will be happy about that unless they have a unique fetish.
’’Even I'm enduring it.’’ (Armstrong)
’’Don't say that, Doushi.’’ (Burkhart)
Moreover, Doushi says something cruel without realizing it.
Even though he has Burkhart-san transport him since he can't ride a horse by himself.
’’However, it was unexpected for you to be unable to ride a horse, Doushi.’’
Since the Armstrong household is a military lineage, I thought that they would usually carry out horse riding practise.
’’That's because the bodies of those belonging to the Armstrong household are big for generations now. Though there are largely-built horses through special breeding and training...’’ (Armstrong)
He was able to practise in his childhood at home, but when he left the household, it became difficult to obtain and maintain a large horse.
Besides, Doushi is a magician.
There's no necessity to unreasonably mount a horse either. It might be correct to not try doing the impossible since it's been a rather long time since he could ride a horse last.
To compare it with my previous life, it might be the same as a paper driver. (T/N: Someone who has a driving license but little experience in the actual driving itself)
’’If it's this horse, it looks good enough for me to buy it afterwards.’’ (Armstrong)
Doushi was happy that he found a horse which he can mount normally.
’’Dosanko horses are on the list of prohibited items for export though.’’ (Alfons)
Given that there are no horses as good as this to pull loads and wagons, it has been apparently forbidden to take them outside the Philip Dukedom.
As sole exception, castrated male horses have been employed inside the empire.
’’As a matter of fact, even the dosanko horses we are currently riding are castrated male horses.’’ (Alfons)
Just as Alfons says, all of the dosanko horses had certainly scars of having been castrated.
It has been apparently decided to change all the specimen, which are drafted as warhorses, into castrated horses due to taking into account that they might be captured on the battlefield.
’’But before that, dosanko horses can't survive in hot places.’’ (Alfons)
Since the heat's easily stored inside their large bodies, their survival might be limited to the kingdom's north at best, Alfons predicted.
’’How regrettable. However...’’ (Armstrong)
Doushi seems to have something that bothers him.
He suddenly turns his look to the side. The figures of Erw and Haruka riding on the same dosanko horse was visible at the end of his gaze.
’’It's because we were poor nobles as well...’’ (Erwin)
’’Please don't pull the reins too strongly.’’ (Haruka)
’’With a feeling of leaving it to the horse?’’ (Erwin)
’’Yeah, that's right.’’ (Haruka)
Since Erw is the fifth son of a poor noble just like me, he almost didn't have any experience in riding a horse.
Haruka has similar circumstances, but since her skills allowed her to be selected into the Battou Unit, she has received training there.
Thus, Erw received horse riding training after riding the horse together with her.
’’You are skilful.’’ (Haruka)
’’No, I'm still slightly uneasy, you know...’’ (Erwin)
’’You will get used to it.’’ (Haruka)
The serious Haruka politely taught horse riding to Erw, and he diligently received her coaching.
However, I have noticed it.
It's the same for Armstrong, Burkhart-san and Alfons. Due to Haruka pushing her body against Erw's back from behind with too much enthusiasm towards the coaching, Erw is delighted in his mind.
’’(It's mainly the breasts...)’’
’’(Is there anything besides that?)’’
’’(It's a pressing setting. Haruka-kun has high points...)’’
Without much difference in the things men think about, we simultaneously whisper similar things.
And, two days after that, we safely arrived at the Great Sorbid Wasteland while continuing our horse riding training.
’’Good grief. The other side is eager as well...’’
Three days after Duke Philip household's feudal army's advance unit arrived at the Great Sorbid Wasteland, I discovered a patrol of Duke Nürnberg household's army in the distance while carrying out construction works at the southern side.
’’Earl Baumeister, since our group will kill them, you can continue your construction work with a peace of mind.’’
’’I'm not worried about them though.’’ (Wendelin)
In preparation of the rebel army of Duke Nürnberg household's feudal army and the rest advancing north, I've been repeatedly laying out moats against horses on the southern side of the Great Sorbid Wasteland and even cooperated in the construction of the field camp.
Though it was an act that blocks the northern highway which enables the traffic and circulation of goods in the empire, it's no problem since the rebel's army prohibited the travelling of merchants and people towards the northern area in advance.
Our side is of equal status in that regard since we have been prohibiting the travelling of the merchants and residents living in the northern area, too.
It was a situation where the circulation of goods inside the empire was split into north and south due to the civil war, but since it's not really my fault, it can't be helped.
And the enemy patrols are regularly coming to see the state of our Construction Works, however they have been eliminated right away.
The reason for that is...
’’It's because our, Earl Mizuho Country's, prided Battou Unit is here.’’
Several of the elite Battou Unit of Earl Mizuho Country that were hiding behind rocks etc. which dotted the Great Sorbid Wasteland, assault the patrol's knights and soldiers with swords.
They try to defend against that defend against that with swords and shields, but they end up getting their bodies cut into pieces by the equipped magic katanas.
What was left behind afterwards were only several cut corpses.
Each member of the Battou Unit who slew them, collects their corpses and the horses and comes back.
’’How many times was it until now?’’
’’It's the fifth time, Milord.’’
’’They are persistent. Don't forget to get rid of them each time they come here.’’
’’As you order.’’
Once the members of the Battou Unit report to High Earl Mizuho, they put away the corpses and horses, and once again wait for the enemy after hiding.
Being suddenly stabbed with magic katanas by enemies who erased their presence, they end up getting sliced into pieces even if they defend with steel swords and shields.
These magic katanas seem to have drawbacks in their mana consumption and maintainability, but even if you look at it through past history, their amazingness is obvious.
Each of them is an elite who has overcome harsh selections and trainings. I could actually experience why the soldiers of Earl Mizuho Country are feared by the people of the empire.
’’However, the war progress is disadvantageous for our side, I guess?’’
We are succeeding in constructing a defensive field camp in the Great Sorbid Wasteland to prevent the rebel army to advance north.
Given that I have also been participating with Construction Works magic in this, its general parts were completed in these three days, though it loses to 『Sunomata Castle』.
Even our defensive forces are exceeding 10.000 soldiers after the additional reinforcements from Duke Philip household have arrived. High Earl Mizuho has joined us while personally leading 10.000 troops.
There were also nobles who have declared siding with us and have sent their armies, if we exclude a part of the northern lords.
Even the eastern and western lords, the majority of those nobles, who have territories in the north, are our allies.
However as we gradually are learning about the situation, it confirms that our side's at disadvantage.
Most of the south and centre has fallen into the hands of the rebel army. There seem to be only Lan and Mizuho people, who went into hiding, and a part of the nobles, who are pretending to obey while secretly betraying, left now.
At any rate, Duke Nürnberg has confiscated the assets of the Lan and Mizuho people. And he is also sending them to detention camps.
Economically that's not something admirable, but it's probably to prevent intelligence leaks and to hinder the destruction of the aforementioned magic tool that jams communication and travel.
’’Never did I expect for all of the remaining prince-elector lords to turn traitor.’’
They have turned traitors or rather they have to do so because their family heads are kept as hostages.
Most of the nobles were captured and placed under house arrest aside from those who resisted and were killed.
If you ask why we know this...
’’They likely won't abandon their family heads and side with us.’’
’’That's for sure.’’
A man with his body wrapped in black clothes is reporting to High Earl Mizuho.
I can't see his face, but I think his age is around 30.
He seems to be the head of the intelligence unit of Earl Mizuho Country. They have inherited the name of 『Hanzou』 for generations.
His appearance is that of a ninja often appearing in historical plays.
’’It's troublesome that the speed of intelligence transmission has remarkably fallen due to communications and travel being blocked.’’
’’It's the same for the other side as well though... It's become troublesome.’’
Making use of that, Duke Nürnberg suppressed the other prince-elector households and the central territories which are in disorder due to the absence of contact from their family heads.
It's not like all of them surrendered physically, but there were also prince-elector households which couldn't move what substantially benefited the rebel army.
Hearing the report from Hanzou, Alfons sighs.
’’Hanzou-san, how did you obtain that information about the imperial capital?’’ (Alfons)
’’Of course by using my feet and horses. We 『Ninja』 prepare every day assuming such situation might happen.’’ (Hanzou)
They seem to be gathering intelligence in enemy territory by running around and using horses.
Though we have equal conditions, it's troubling that it takes time to do anything now that it has come to this.
’’Earl Baumeister has his 『Teleportation』 and 『Flight』 blocked?’’
Even if we scurried home, it would be bothersome since we would have to cut through the continent.
I feel like wanting to avoid such worst-case scenario, if possible.
’’Instead, he is overwhelming with other magic. He has finished the foundation works of the defensive field camp in merely three days.’’
Hanzou-san seemed to be surprised, but I was desperate since it will be troubling for our side if we get attacked by the rebel army while the camp's completion is delayed.
First, since the objective is to lower their numbers by killing the lot which has been dyed with doctrines and opinions as well as stopping the rebel army's momentum through defence, I have set up fences and moats against horses, and am continuing to build barracks, watchtowers and walls made out of stone and not tents in preparation for a long-lasting confrontation.
The materials for that were easy to procure since the Great Sorbid Wasteland is an area with many abandoned mountain mines to begin with.
After collecting the minerals which look usable, I cut up the stone which was left behind and turned it into solid building stone.
Though the mineral contents were insignificant since they have become abandoned mines in the first place, gathering these and using other magic to the utmost limit every day raises my mana amount as well.
There should be a number of even more amazing magicians in the empire which is a counterpart of the kingdom.
It's also for the sake of not being killed by them that training everyday is important, I guess.
’’Ughh! It's seems you got strong as well, Luise-jou.’’ (Armstrong)
’’Though the one who's amazing is you, Doushi, who is teaching us while in a 3 vs. 1 fight...’’ (Luise)
’’My grown confidence due to having increased my mana has vanished...’’ (Ina)
’’Doushi. Too strong...’’ (Wilma)
Even while possessing a vast amount of mana as a magician, Doushi, who can't use magic that's useful for living like me, continued to practise in a real combat format fighting simultaneously against Luise, Ina and Wilma whose mana had increased.
Luise's fists, Ina's spear and Wilma's large axe seemed to be hitting him, but all of them were repelled by Doushi's 『Magic Barrier』.
’’It looks like my 『Magic Barrier』 will break if it gets attacked too much.’’ (Armstrong)
’’Though my hands are tingling...’’ (Luise)
’’Albeit being for training use, my spear ended up getting chipped.’’ (Ina)
’’It's the same for my large axe...’’ (Wilma)
Even though all my wives became strong by increasing their mana due to special circumstances, Doushi still boasted a strength that was far beyond them.
’’As you are 『Storm』, cut the stones properly and cleanly.’’ (Burkhart)
’’My strength lies in cutting things up and blowing them away with wind though...’’ (Katharina)
’’Earl-sama does it neatly.’’ (Burkhart)
’’The plans to win against Wendelin-san in magic accuracy is still far ahead down the road.’’ (Katharina)
’’Don't you have any intention to win? Or rather, if you don't learn such types of magic, you will end up being similar to Doushi.’’ (Burkhart)
’’For me it's impossible to go to such extremes.’’ (Katharina)
Katharina also helped out with the quarrying of building stones under the guidance of Burkhart-san.
For her it's a necessary training since she still has slight problems with finely-tuned magic accuracy.
’’Katharina, without realizing it, about Doushi...’’
Doushi should be the world's strongest in solitary fighting strength without a doubt.
However, different from me and Burkhart-san, he can't use life magic such as 『Construction Works』.
Even the fact of Doushi having been able to learn 『Holy』 healing magic actually surprised Burkhart-san.
Given that even Katharina should consider it as impossible to become a combat specialist at Doushi's level, she's probably placing priority on learning magic that can also be used for the development of her territory.
『Thanks to Earl Baumeister's group the construction of the field camp is going well. In that case, intercepting them is all that's left.』