It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (94/115), enjoy~
Chapter 4 – Those Who Have Hope
March 17th, 1024th year of the Imperial Calendar.
As if guided by the sun’s rays, the troops were leaving Beirut territory. The heraldic banner raised was the serpent ― the flag of Anguis.
A total of 30,000 troops were advancing on the roads that connect to Felzen.
In the middle of the road is a carriage carrying the commander.
Inside the carriage, Lucia was looking out the window with a disgruntled look on her face. There’s also a man who looks frivolous, sitting in front of her. He is Seleucus, who is Lucia’s second-in-command.
“…You don’t seem to be feeling well.”
“Of course. I didn’t think there were so many foolish people here.”
Staying in the west any longer won’t help the war effort. And yet, many of them came to support Luca. It’s just that human greed has taken a turn for the worse.
The fact that they had defeated the descendant of the “God of War” had made many of them blinded by their obsession with that one point, unable to assess their own strength.
“Well, if you only look at the result, it may be inevitable.”
“Hmm, it’s just unfortunate for the soldiers to have such people as their superiors.”
When the commanders of the various countries heard that the Grantz Empire had gathered 130,000, they advised that they could win.
They overestimated themselves without paying attention to the fact that an army of 200,000 had been reduced to 160,000 against 40,000.
This was a statement based on an understanding of the current situation, and Lucia couldn’t keep her mouth shut.
“So the name of ‘God of War’ is better than 100,000?”
Lucia said sarcastically in disgust.
“With a thousand, he has no enemy on the ground; with ten thousand, he has no enemy in heaven. So, the military strategy of the “God of War” rules over three thousand worlds. I think it’s natural to get carried away.”
“Hmm, you remembered well, didn’t you?”
They were so proud that they thought that 130,000 was no match for them because they had defeated a descendant of a man who had created many legends. It was so foolish, and knowing the fact that that descendant was actually able to escape, they looked like a bunch of clowns dancing around.
“If Luca was at least sane, we could have retreated without any problems.”
It was expected that she would break down when Eagle died, but she broke down in a much worse way than expected. It was unexpected that the plan to turn Luca into a puppet to fill the void left by the loss of Eagle went awry.
“Everything can go wrong.”
“We had no choice. We attacked the Grantz Empire, you know.”
The country that had dominated the central continent for many years. It’s not unreasonable to be misled by a series of victories against such a large country.
“And since most of the people with the right to inherit the throne are no longer with them, it’s easy to see how the Grantz Empire is weakening.”
“If we remove the title of the imperial family, they have only lost four humans. It’s not as if we’ve gained much of an advantage in the big picture.”
Even though the Central and Western regions had collapsed, the rest of the country was still alive and well, and the number of 130,000 was immediately gathered. It is obvious that the war will be prolonged from now on.
If they remained robust even after attacking with all their might, they should have watched them rot away.
Right now, the Six Kingdoms’ sides are united because they have a common enemy, but what lurks in the pit of their stomachs is how to kick down the others. If they hadn’t forced themselves to attack, the Grantz Empire would have fallen apart on its own over time.
“It is certain that we have misjudged the point at which this war will end.”
If they go any further, there will be no turning back. The first priority should have been to consolidate the ground by retreating to Felzen. If the Grantz Empire were in the midst of a power struggle, there would have been many more insiders on hand. Human greed is unfathomable, and there will always be an opening. This was the time to wait for it.
It was the only way to be sure of victory.
“There is always an order to everything. There are many paths that lead to the right answer.”
If it is difficult to accomplish something even with careful preparation, just think of another way.
If you give up thinking, your country will not prosper. It will only perish.
“If I were to let my soldiers die in vain here, it would all be for naught.”
“But didn’t you give Luca-sama the Ghost Corps? There was no need for you to give them away as well, was there?”
Lucia responded to Seleucus’ question with a snort.
“They are too much for me to handle. I knew I had to get rid of them somewhere.”
But when it came to dealing with other countries, the insanity of those people, who bite anyone and everyone, could not be overlooked.
“I thought it would be more convenient to give them to Luca so they could be killed.”
“I believe it was the wrong time to discard them, but I think there will be times in the future when they will be needed in battle.”
“As long as they continue to harbor their madness. But if it’s removed, they’ll be useless.”
“…Removed, you mean?”
Seleucus tilted his head in wonder as if he could not grasp the meaning of the words.
“That’s fine if you don’t understand. It’s too much trouble to explain.”
Lucia shunned her second-in-command and glanced at the window again.
“My battle has already turned to the next. There is nothing left to gain in Grantz.”
“The next battle is in the Felzen region…?”
“Yes, we have the honor of defeating the descendant of the God of War. While the rest of the world’s attention is focused on the Grantz, I will intervene in Felzen as quickly as possible and outmaneuver them.”
“I hope that person doesn’t get in the way…”
“Don’t worry about the Nameless. It seems that she is busy training her dog. There is nothing she can do until the adjustment is complete.”
Lucia tapped her iron fan against her forehead with a triumphant look on her face.
The carriage came to an abrupt halt just as a commotion was heard from outside.
“What’s going on?”
It was not a fight between soldiers. There was a more tense voice coming from outside. However, there was no clear answer from the jumble of voices.
“I’ll go check it out.”
Lucia stopped Seleucus from leaving his seat with her hand and listened carefully.
“Enemy attack! Enemy attack! Enemy attack from the right!”
But Lucia didn’t panic; she narrowed her eyes with interest.
The first thing that came to her mind was where the attack was coming from. Then, thinking about the possibility of bandits or monsters attacking, she shook her head as if to deny it.
“Lucia-sama, let’s go outside first…”
Seleucus was knocked unconscious, leaning against the wall in a sitting position. Lucia did not react and quietly shifted her gaze to the side.
“Oh my, oh my, you’re not even panicked, are you?”
A voice sounded out of place and cheerful in the tense air.
Next to the unconscious Seleucus ― a hooded figure was sitting.
“…Nameless, huh? It’s been a while.”
And when Lucia muttered, her mouth, hidden by the hood, lifted up in an uncanny grin.
“It’s been a while, Lucia-san. How are you?”
“I don’t like the idea of you riding in someone’s carriage without permission. How long have you been riding?”
“Since the beginning, I guess?”
When Lucia tried to sit up, a cane appeared out of nowhere and was thrust at her.
“I’d rather you didn’t move. I don’t like it because it’s a little bit incompatible with your mandala.”
“What’s this all about? Are you trying to set up a fight with Anguis?”
She sat back in her seat, pointing her iron fan at the cane that had come so close to touching her chin.
“Good gracious, I have a deal for you. I’ve come to ask for the body of the Fourth Prince Hiro.”
“You know it. It’s the Black Death Village. They said they really wanted the body of the Fourth Prince Hiro. It’s not like we didn’t know each other, and they offered me so much that I couldn’t say no… I was in real trouble.”
“If the Unified King finds out that you’re still connected to those people, you might――”
Lucia closed her mouth as the Nameless thrust a hand at her.
“So let’s make a deal.”
The Nameless held up an index finger and waved it to the side.
“I’ll keep my mouth shut about letting the Fourth Prince Hiro escape.”
A killing intent comes from Lucia’s sharp eyes. The hand that gripped the iron fan was trembling from anger. Seeing this, Nameless bounces her shoulders as she clears her throat in amusement.
“Are you wondering how I know all this?”
Lucia didn’t answer. The Nameless was even more delighted to see her.
“I am not playing a trick on you. In fact, I’ve been watching it since the beginning, so I know about it. Well, before that, the difference in ability between you and him was obvious, so even if I hadn’t seen it, I would have suspected it from the start.”
Sensing the mocking air, Lucia’s body swelled with a clear intent to kill.
A touch of excitement ― the temperature in the carriage began to drop rapidly.
“So you want me to let you take the body of the Fourth Prince Hiro?”
“I think it’s not so bad. It would be better to have the fake corpse taken away so that the lies can’t be exposed. Besides, you have the real arm, and you can present it to the King as evidence.”
“If you know the truth, why are you taking such a hard line?”
“Once this deal is over, the people of the Black Death Village have no use for me. Therefore, after I give them the fake corpse, they will give me what I want, and our cooperation will be terminated. There’s no need to tell them the truth.”
“There is no way the Black Death Village will let a deal go bad… Are you planning to die?”
“Haha, no way, unfortunately, I don’t have any suicidal tendencies. And even if they send an assassin, I have a watchdog, so it’s no problem.”
The light-hearted tone of voice was annoying as if it was hitting a nerve.
Lucia wanted to snap Nameless’s neck right now, but in a small space with a blade against each other’s heart, Lucia would not be safe either. Although she felt frustrated, Lucia gritted her teeth and tried her best to quiet her uncontrollable feelings.
“What do you want ― a weakness to keep me away from the unified king’s throne?”
“I’m simply doing as our King wills. Rest assured, I am not interested in a little throne called the unified king.”
Just as before, the Nameless suddenly disappeared, blending into the air.
Lucia was not surprised. In fact, anger was more prevalent.
“…Fuh, Kuku, kukakaka, you think the unified king’s throne is small?”
She wanted that little seat and cut off several things. She even used others to go this far. It is not pleasant to be told that there is no interest in it.
“You shouldn’t try… I’m going to kick you to the bottom.”
As she made a new determination, Lucia felt the presence of people outside and became alert.
“Her Majesty Queen Lucia! The cart that was carrying the body of the Fourth Prince Hiro has been attacked!”
It seemed to be an ally, not an enemy, and Lucia immediately deflated her limbs.
“And what happened to it?”
“It was taken! I’m sending a squad to recapture it immediately.”
“Don’t bother. Leave it.”
“If you go after them, the whole squad will be wiped out.”
If it’s the Black Death Village, the odds are against them. Even if they organize a chase team, it will be very difficult to retrieve the body. And if they have Nameless, the soldiers will just die in vain.
Although she was curious about the Black Death Village that had begun to move in earnest, she was also curious about the purpose of Nameless.
There are a lot of other things to be concerned about as well…
“In any case, it seems that the first thing I have to do is eliminate the problems that lie ahead of me one by one.”