Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 8 – The Beginning of the War
The port of the royal capital was still bitterly cold in winter.
Under the cold sky above, the voices of knights echoed besides a group of battleships anchored.
──Hey! We don’t have enough materials! What are you doing!
──Hurry up and board! The departure is near!
Not only the knights of the royal capital but many knights from all over the continent were gathered here. Knights from areas where many monsters appear were also called in, all of whom were accustomed to fighting.
“Hahahaha! I’m glad to hear they are in good spirits!”
“…Father, you need to be a little more tense.”
“I don’t want that! If you are so tense that you shrink, it would be better for everyone if you make a fuss like this instead!”
The two men standing on the pier spoke in front of the bustle of the area.
“Hah….. how are you so energetic when you are about to go to the battlefield?”
“You at least know about morale. There is nothing more important than that.”
“So, how would you describe the quality of that energy…? Hah… no, forget about it.”
In front of Lloyd, who was strangely tense, Dill shut his mouth as if he had given up.
“By the way, where did Martha go?”
“Mother is doing her chores with red eyes.”
On the other hand, Dill looked at the sea with the same sad eyes.
“It has been five days since Heim attacked Rockdam and with its army advancing to the capital. It is only a matter of time before it falls, isn’t it?”
“You are right. The fall of Warren-dono has delayed our response, but it is not too late. We will drive the Heim army out of Rockdam and march towards Birdland. Then we can attack the port town of Roundheart and win the battle.”
This was a good start.
There was only one reason for Ishtalika’s decision to move the army.
Under normal circumstances, such a use of force would not have received public support, but this time Heim had given them a new excuse.
“I didn’t expect them to go and occupy the empty Euro.”
“But it’s convenient. There is no better excuse than that.”
Euro, from which Duke Amour and the inhabitants had evacuated, was a deserted place, but if they occupied it, it could only be said that they were asking for a fight from Ishtalika.
Therefore, there was no greater cause.
“…But what’s the point of going this far? No matter how many demon lords they had manipulated in the past, if it results in Ishtalika’s wrath and their destruction, I don’t think it makes any sense at all.”
That would seem like a suicidal act even for the red fox, who was considered to be a pleasure-seeker.
“I agree, but not all red foxes share the same values. …For example, they may not have the desire to be such a ruler. They might just like to make a big splash, purely for the excitement.”
Lloyd’s cheeks relaxed as he realized he had repeated the same thing the elven chief had said.
“Perhaps their chief has a special purpose that we do not know of, but that only their chief can think of.”
“Do you mean to say that they don’t care if they destroy Heim but that they still have to achieve their goal?”
“That is what I mean. Well, it is still our purpose to take their heads off.”
──To defeat the enemies!
──For the sake of Ishtalika!
Suddenly, the voices of the knights reached their ears.
They remembered what had happened a few days before.
“As I recall, His Majesty announced that the enemy from the Demon Lord’s War was lurking in Heim, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s right. I heard that it was Ain-sama’s idea, but if we talk about it this way, we don’t have to mention the fact that the Demon Lord Arche was being manipulated. So the word ‘red fox’ is not even mentioned either.”
“Umu… it would be too heavy a story to tell all at once. As in the case of Warren-dono and Professor Oz, what needs to be kept under wraps must be kept under wraps.”
Unlike Ain and Sylvird, the two here did not know some of the information, including the fact that the Demon Lord Arche was the founder of the country. However, they knew the fact that the Demon Lord Arche was controlled by the red fox, and they thought they should keep that fact a secret, so as not to surprise the people.
Also, the matter of Warren’s collapse has been hushed up, and only a few people in the castle have heard about it.
This was done to prevent the rest of the country from knowing about it, not to mention the loss of strength due to his absence, and to avoid causing unrest among the people.
It was also kept secret that Oz was currently in the castle hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.
“The people were perplexed, but all of them were angry at Heim’s conduct. These circumstances combined to solidify public opinion that the attack was justified. His Majesty also declared that the disturbances in the port city of Magna and Upashikamui’s rampage in the adventurer’s town of Baltic had been committed by the enemy during the Great War.”
“Well, of course.”
“One can settle more than one score at a time. That seems to bring a lot of anticipation and festive feelings into the mix.”
Lloyd smiled as one of his cheeks twitched at the mention of festivities and rubbed his hair vigorously, which Martha had cut for him.
“Leave it to me. It is unfortunate that I cannot show you my fight, Dill, but if push comes to shove, I will take Logas-dono’s head off.”
“I believe in you. Now I must go to Ain-sama’s side. So, Father, why don’t you go to Mother’s side now?”
“We said our goodbyes last night. It would be greedy of me to ask for another.”
“What nonsense are you talking about? What will happen if you are killed in the line of duty on another continent? I think you should go by her side one more time and not be so stubborn.”
“Wha… H-hey! What the heck do you mean if your father dies on a mission due to the war?”
Lloyd poked Dill’s body with a frustrated expression and turned away, crossing his arms.
Neither of them really meant it. Not one of the knights passing by thought it was overdone in the slightest, and some of them naturally smiled at the exchange between the two.
“Enough! Go on, move quickly. Ain-sama is probably waiting for you!”
“Yes, yes… I’ll take my leave then.”
After exchanging light banter to the end of the farewell, Dil turned around with a smile on his face.
There were things that both of them needed to do. To that end, Dill stepped forward to Ain’s side.
“By the way, Father, I believe Mother was checking the cargo.”
“…..The battleship I’m on, right?”
“That is correct. ──Then, Father, may the fortunes of the war be with you.”
Lloyd responded to his son’s proclamation by raising his hand as he turned away.
◇ ◇ ◇
On the nearby main street, Sylvird was making a speech to the people on the occasion of the knight’s departure.
Ain, along with Krone, was waiting in a carriage parked nearby.
“──And that is why! We, Ishtalika, are against Heim! And we must settle with the enemies of the past! On this day, the warriors gathered in Magna will set sail from the port in order to accomplish this!”
Sylvird’s voice came from outside the carriage, interspersed with the cheers of the people.
“Would it be wrong of Ain to think if… Warren-sama was here, at a time like this?”
She was considering Ain’s feelings because she had heard about Warren and Beria’s true identities. All those close to Ain knew that the two were red foxes.
The royal family, and the Glacier family, Krone, and Chris.
Needless to say, only these people were told, and they were all surprised.
But after hearing what Beria had told them, everyone had decided to accept it.
“I know it, too. I don’t think they were evil red foxes. ──I just can’t sort it out. I still like them, and I’m worried about Warren-san, who’s lying in bed right now. I guess I just need some time…”
“…I think it can’t be helped. I can’t say I’ve settled down yet myself.”
In response to the comforting words, Ain mouthed “thank you,” expressing his gratitude to Krone.
As this was happening, the carriage door unexpectedly opened, and it was Sylvird who stepped in.
“Ain, how was my speech?”
“It was just like Grandfather, full of the majesty of a king.”
“Fufuffu… I’m sure I did, didn’t I?”
Sylvird was in a good mood after being praised by his grandson, and his forehead was covered with large drops of sweat. Although it was still cold, it could be inferred that he was enthusiastic about his speech.
He picked up a towel he had left in the carriage and wiped his forehead and neck.
Then the sound of a steam whistle came from the harbor.
“The fleet departed after my speech. We shall now return to the castle and pray for everyone’s safety.”
Ain nodded at Sylvird’s voice and looked in the direction where the fleet was.
In his heart, he prayed for the safety of Lloyd and the others, but he could not forget the strange connection between himself and the red fox, and he was tormented by a heavy, inexpressible feeling.