It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (116/125), enjoy~
Chapter 181 – Messenger
A knocking sound can be heard from the door.
“Please come in.”
An extremely calm voice was heard from overhead. It was Ellen’s voice.
Eh? Where am I, you ask? I’m under the desk in the inner office! I thought Ellen was going to hide me in a back room, but for some reason, she shoved me under her desk and took her own seat at the same desk.
Therefore, in front of me now were not Ellen’s fascinating raw legs… but the lower half of her body wrapped in a saintly robe.
“Excuse me! I come with urgent news by order of Her Eminence Archbishop Deckard!”
“Thank you very much. So, what’s the urgent news?”
“Yes, an expeditionary force has been sent from the home country to conquer the rebel army that has been roaming around the Merinard Kingdom. The number is about 20,000.”
Oh, 20,000… I don’t know if that number includes the Transportation Corps or not, but it’s a huge number. Even though the Holy Kingdom is a big country, can it allocate such a large number of troops to us so easily? How is the war with the empire going?
“The details are in this letter. Also, there is a word that Her Eminence, the Archbishop, has asked me to be sure to pass on to you.”
“What is it?”
“Her Eminence the Archbishop, said to be prepared.”
Ellen muttered, and I heard a dry rustling sound as she began to check the contents of the letter. Did Ellen go to the trouble of shoving me under the office desk so that I could hear this as well?`
But what the hell does it mean to be prepared? Well, if 20,000 soldiers are coming, there are a lot of things that need to be prepared. A place to stay, drinking water, food, and sanitary conditions that could be fatal if an epidemic broke out. I mean, is there enough room in Merinesburg to suddenly support 20,000 soldiers?
I’m curious to see what’s in the letter.
“…I see. I have indeed received the letter from Her Eminence the Archbishop. I hope you are well-rested.”
“Yes, thank you very much. But I would like to return to the lord as soon as possible.”
“I see. Then please ask Sister Amalie if there is anything you need. And…”
Ellen was silent, or so I thought, and then she rose from her seat and was silent for a few moments. What is she doing? As I tilted my head, Ellen’s leg, or rather her robe, in front of me gradually began to glow with a bright light. What light!
“It was a miracle of activation. You seemed tired.”
“That’s… It is an honor to receive a miracle directly from Saint-sama!”
Such an exchange took place overhead as the light subsided. I see, so now the light is a visual effect of using a miracle or something. It’s quite conspicuous. If it were done in the middle of the night, wouldn’t it give away your location?
“Yes. Please tell Her Eminence the Archbishop that we have taken care of everything. And thank you.”
“I understand. Now, if you’ll excuse me!”
Footsteps and the sound of a door opening and closing were heard. Apparently, the messenger had left. However, Ellen showed no sign of moving from her seat at her desk. Um, I can’t get out? I poked Ellen in the knee area, and she took a half step back. So I can’t get out, right?
I looked up from the space between the slightly empty office desk and its seat and saw Ellen’s crimson eyes fixed intently on me.
“I thought you might be a little more eager to enjoy my nether regions?”
“I don’t have that kind of fetishism. I mean, it’s hidden in your robe, and there’s nothing to enjoy…”
“Does that mean you want to do this?”
Ellen gradually pulls up her robe and begins to reveal her raw legs. Oh, they’re white, thin legs… that’s not what I meant.
“Stop it. It would be unladylike.”
I grab the gradually rising hem with both hands and pull it down. It was close.
“I’m afraid I’m not going to win against the Elf Princess unless I do this.”
“Such things are not something to be rushed. It should be natural, just natural. It’s not about winning or losing.”
Having said that, I was easily seduced and whisked away by Sylphy and the others. In other words, I am weak against temptation. I am aware of it. I’m learning, yes.
Ellen finally backs away, and I crawl out from under the desk in the inner office. Phew, I feel liberated.
“But 20,000? That’s a hell of a number… As expected of a big country.”
“Yes, it is. I guess that means the home country is getting serious and starting to act to get rid of anyone who gets in its way.”
Ellen then picked up a letter that was on her office desk and handed it to me. You mean I can read it, right? Let’s see.
The contents of the letter were unbelievable.
“Is this for real?”
Ellen shrugged her shoulders in reply to my words.
The letter was written in a rather difficult and elegant language, but in summary, it said, “The aim of the expeditionary force is not only to conquer the liberation army but also to dispose of Ellen, the saint of truth, as a witch.” I’m a little confused as to the meaning.
“What happened to make this happen?”
“I suppose it means that while I have been away from the Central, the garbage I have so far disqualified with this ‘eye’ of mine has regained power. It is lamentable.”
Ellen lets out a deep sigh. How could such a thing happen?
“It would be along the lines of, “They’ve decided that I’m a witch and all the crimes exposed by my ‘eye’ were orchestrated by me, or something like that.” That’s what they would do.”
“Isn’t that too absurd? You don’t mean to tell them that you just saw the truth with those eyes and denounced them, do you?”
“Yes, of course. With these eyes, it’s easy to ask them where to find any kind of evidence. When we held those hearings, we heard everything that was said, and we also got the physical evidence.”
“You turned it upside down… What can I say? I’m speechless.”
I’m tempted to complain about the nostalgia faction who easily regains power in the mainstream just by missing Ellen, but I don’t think it’s right for me to say such things irresponsibly, not knowing the inner workings of the group. In other words, the power of the nostalgia faction in Adol religion is so small that it can’t even prevent the mainstream from making such an unreasonable claim.
“Isn’t it dangerous to stay in the castle?”
The mainstream has already identified Ellen as a witch and sent an expeditionary force. The expeditionary force will arrive later than Ellen’s boss, Her Eminence the Archbishop, but even if Her Eminence the Archbishop arrives here in Merinesburg, she will not be able to stop the Holy Kingdom’s expeditionary force once it starts to move. If Ellen continues to stay in this castle, she will be sent to the firing squad as soon as the expeditionary force arrives in Merinesburg.
It is no longer a matter of falsifying the doctrines of the mainstream and spreading the correct doctrines and stirring up the Holy Kingdoms ─ or Adol religion ─ by pointing this out. If this continues, Ellen will be eliminated, and it will only be a matter of time before the nostalgia faction that had Ellen as its standard-bearer will also be eliminated as heretics as well.
“I agree. If things continue as they are, I have less than a month left to live. I will be captured, tortured, forced to ‘confess’ to all my crimes, and burned on the pyre.”
Ellen turned her back to me and looked out her office window. Is the sky where her gaze is directed? Before I knew it, a shroud of black clouds had appeared in the sky. It looks like a shower is coming.
“I won’t let that happen. I’d rather take Ellen than let that happen to you.”
“And then you will take me in handcuffs and make me your own?”
“Yes, I will. And together with the Liberation Army, we will destroy the Holy Kingdom Army. By any means necessary.”
“Twenty thousand people? You want to kill that many innocent people?”
“If necessary, I will. For me, the life of Ellen alone is more important than the lives of 20,000 men of the Holy Kingdom’s army, whose faces I don’t even know. Or rather, I would have to fight them even if Ellen wasn’t involved.”
And it is an army to conquer the Liberation Army in the first place. In any case, it is a given that we will have to cross swords with them.
“In other words, is it an afterthought?”
“In the big picture, yes, I suppose so. But it’s important to me.”
“I see. Yes, that’s right. I may be called a saint, but I am still just a little girl with a little special power.”
“Maybe so. But I think we can reduce the number of deaths.”
“Right. Certainly, with my miraculous powers, I could save some lives, maybe dozens.”
Ellen turned around to face me and nodded her head in agreement. No, not like that.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. If Ellen and Her Eminence the Archbishop, and the others openly give their support to the Liberation Army, then the Holy Kingdom and the Liberation Army can try to have a dialogue. No matter how weak the power of the nostalgia faction is in the Holy Kingdom, even the nostalgia faction would have various contacts, wouldn’t they? Not only within the Holy King’s own country but also to other countries.”
“Hmm… yes, I believe the names of myself and Archbishop Deckard are known to some extent in other countries.”
“I think the Liberation Army would love to have such contacts and connections. If we can reach out to other countries and make peace, there will be fewer deaths as a result.”
“Is that so…?”
Ellen mutters this with a blank expression but with a somber atmosphere. This is the thing, isn’t it? Everything she has done has been turned upside down, and she’s quite depressed. Her reply was somewhat absentminded: “Is that so?” “I see” “So that’s it.”
“When you’re feeling down, something sweet is good for you. Come on, come on, let’s relax a little on the parlor set over there.”
I push Ellen, who is looking down and depressed, and lead her to the parlor set couch to sit down, and then I pull out Ellen’s favorite pastry from my inventory, too. It was a fluffy pancake with whipped cream, strawberries, and strawberry jam on top.
Using a knife and fork, I cut the pancake into bite-sized pieces and brought them to Ellen’s mouth.
“Mmm… It’s delicious.”
Ellen’s red eyes gradually returned to life as I brought the pancakes to her mouth a few times.
“I would like a drink.”
I take a ceramic cup of milk from my inventory and hand it to her. What milk, you ask? I will remain silent. Anything is good as long as it tastes good.
Ellen took the cup from my hand, slurped it down, and drank the milk.
“The milk is delicious, isn’t it? You made me drink it before too.”
“Hahaha, the environment is better over there. The quality will be better.”
The rear base where this milk originates is less stressful because it is fully equipped with food, clothing, and shelter, is far from the front lines and is not attacked by monsters.
“I don’t think that’s true for Ellen, but don’t do anything rash. If push comes to shove, I’ll kidnap you and run away.”
“Yes. Then I will be kidnapped like an adult.”
“Let’s do that. Now it’s just a matter of how it works…”
I can’t come up with an appropriate countermeasure in my head, but I think it would be better for the Liberation Army to seize Merinesburg before the Holy Kingdom’s army arrives, considering what will happen later. This city is large and well defended by multiple layers of walls. Above all, our Achilles’ heel could be Sylphy’s family ― the royal family ― sleeping in the frozen section of this castle.
No, Sylphy would probably choose to fight even if her family was taken hostage… I don’t want her to make that decision. I still think we should let the troops advance to Merinesburg. The problem is the march… Can we make it here before the Holy Kingdom’s army arrives while taking control of the forts along the way? Even if we take only Merinesburg, if they cut off our supply with the rear and isolate us… we will be fine with me, won’t we? It might be more effective to keep the Holy Kingdom’s army bleeding while holed up in Merinesburg. It might also be possible to continue attacking the Holy Kingdom’s army surrounding Merinesburg from the direction of Erichburg.
Mass produce airboards and form a fast maneuver force and quickly occupy Merinesburg, ignoring towns and forts along the way. Meanwhile, the main force marches forward, capturing the towns and forts that the high-speed maneuver force has ignored. The fast maneuver force that occupied Merinesburg extracts a portion of the fast maneuver force and intermittently raids the advancing Holy Kingdom forces, delaying their invasion and forcing them to bleed out. If the main force reaches Merinesburg before the Holy Kingdom’s army does, it will hold the city and fortify it; if it fails to reach Merinesburg in time, the main force will attack the hinterland of the Holy Kingdom’s army while the mobile units ahead of it hold fast in Merinesburg. Hmm… could that work?
Air bombardment by the Harpy Air Force, maneuver attacks by pickup airboards with machine guns attached to airboards that are faster than horses, and defense using golem-style ballistas and goatsfoot crossbows: if we can use these effectively, it does not seem difficult to repel the 20,000-strong Holy Kingdom army. And if the need arises, we can also use the magic sparkling stone bomb as a trump card.
“I sense a hint of evil.”
“I beg your pardon. I was just thinking about our strategy against the Holy Kingdom’s army.”
The content of the plan is something that could kill the Holy Kingdom’s army mercilessly and unilaterally, though. As expected of a saint, she has a keen intuition.
“Well, I think we can manage about 20,000, so don’t worry too much.”
“I envy you your confidence in asserting that you can manage against an army of 20,000 men. Are there flowers blooming in your head?”
“Oh, you’re getting back into the swing of things. Keep it up, keep it up.”
I pat Ellen’s head, which is regaining her usual sharpness, while I continue to think about tactics against the Holy Kingdom’s army.
Well, my tactics will probably be full of holes, so I’ll need to have Sylphy and the others consider them. Then, I would need to contact them and explain the situation to them.
I thought of that, and in order to contact Sylphy and the others, I first drifted my eyes around the room to look for Lime and the others who might be lurking somewhere in the room.