Chapter 235 – Aftermath
The pacification of Gleiseburg continued smoothly, and towns and villages in the vicinity of Gleiseburg began to show their reverence for the city. Word spread quickly through merchants that Gleiseburg, which had the strongest defenses in the region, had fallen in just one day.
“If Greiseburg can be taken in a day, then we are no match for it.”
Is what they thought? With a low profile, the lords and emissaries from neighboring towns and villages came to ask Danan for his favor.
Then, not only Danan but also the saint of Adol is there. And then there is the apostle of God, a holy person whom they have never heard of before. And the subhuman people, who until now had been treated as slaves and shadows, are now walking around with their hands out in the open. It is only natural since they are now under the rule of the new Merinard Kingdom, or rather, the Liberation Army.
The reaction of the messengers who saw the situation was largely divided into two.
“The good old kingdom of Merinard is coming back!”
Those who were pro-subhuman and had secretly followed the old Merinard Kingdom’s philosophy were the ones who were excited and snorted with joy, asking about the future plans, what kind of laws would be enacted, and how subhumans would be treated.
“This is not good. We have to get a system in place as soon as possible.”
Those from the pro-Holy Kingdom villages and towns would make a pale face, give only the bare minimum of greetings in a low-profile manner, and then quickly leave. It is said that those who react in this way are easily recognized by those of subhuman beastman with a good sense of smell. They said they could smell the scent of frightened or cornered prey. Do they detect the smell of cold sweat?
“Well, that’s just how it is. Most living creatures, human or otherwise, naturally express their feelings and emotions through their smells.”
Danan, who had just finished meeting with the messenger, shrugged his shoulders. Today, Danan was not wearing armor but rather a magnificent military uniform, which was quite a sight to behold. As a former Kingsguard, he was one of the elites of the elite in the former Merinard Kingdom, and even his smallest gestures seemed to have an air of elegance about them. When I first met him in the village of the elves, he was so intimidating, even though he was wearing only a pair of crude trousers and a shirt that I thought he looked like a bandit’s boss or something. Looks are important, aren’t they?
“I guess that’s how it is. What do I look like, by the way?”
“You’ve got a sweet smell mixed in.”
I try smelling myself, but my sense of smell doesn’t detect any such thing. After all, a subhuman’s keen sense of language is an amazing thing. However, sweet is――.
“Perhaps it’s Ellen and the others?”
“I guess so. Well, you’re always like that.”
Now I share a bed with one of Ellen and the others every day, and before I did that, I was like that every night with Sylphy, Isla, the Harpies, Melty, and Grande, and so on… yeah?
“Eh. Does that mean that I’ve always been thought of as a vigorous man by the subhumans?”
“Yes, that’s right. Isn’t it true?”
“That’s, well, it’s true, but…”
But still, that’s what it’s about. Isn’t it like a bit of a walking obscenity, walking around with a hint of an affair in the air?
“Don’t worry about it. I’m used to it. I can’t help it if I were in such a position myself, so I don’t pay much attention to it.”
“I see… If I were to worry about every single thing, there would be no end to it, wouldn’t there?”
“That is the point. It’s obvious at a glance. Not that I’m paying attention, but… we’re going off-topic here.”
“Right. So, what are you going to do now?”
“We will effectively control the towns and villages of those who have been acting suspiciously. It is hard to imagine a large-scale rebellion at this late stage, but if we are too slow, they might try something untoward.”
“And when we are done controlling the surrounding areas, we will move on to the next city, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. Well, it will gradually get easier.”
“Is that so?”
“It has to be that way. That’s what you and the saint are playing for, isn’t it?”
I nodded in agreement with Danan’s words. I go out of my way to appear and generally play the role of an apostle of God in the hopes of achieving that effect. No, it is more likely that I am pretending to be one, but the possibility of that is high at the moment.
As we were talking, a soldier of the Liberation Army rushed into the conference room where Danan and I were talking, gasping for breath. It seemed that something unusual had happened.
“What is it?”
“A rescue call came in from the town of Curéon! There is a monster’s stampede!”
I tilted my head at the unfamiliar words. Well, I can guess what it is from the words.
“You know how Gizma came to the elves’ village, right? It’s the same thing.”
“Oh, I see. So what kind of monster is it?”
“Gluttonous Grasshopper… Gluttonous? Grasshopper? Insect again?”
And this time, it is one that seems to fly and jump. The name already sounds troublesome.
“That’s about it. They are very voracious eaters. When they are hungry, they eat not only grass and crops but also trees, animals, and anything else they can eat. Usually, they’re exterminated periodically to prevent a stampede…”
“But they weren’t exterminated.”
“The number and quality of adventurers seemed to be declining under the rule of the Holy Kingdom, so their numbers must have increased without them being thinned out… Well, now I don’t know what to do.”
“Is it that bad?”
“It’s terrible. It’s extremely terrible. Not only are there so many of them, but they fly. They’ll devour the crops first, which could lead to a famine. The scale of the problem will not be known until a survey is conducted, but since they are not concentrated in one place, it is not something that can be solved by bombing harpies. They fly very fast, to begin with, so if the harpies fly too low, they will be in danger.”
“That sounds awful. I think I can manage the famine if I work hard enough to the death.”
I have confidence in my ability to produce food! Though my arms and back will most likely suffer due to the constant farming!
“That may be so, but the Merinard Kingdom can’t just say that it can’t do anything about it. It’s a matter of honor. Well, the Holy Kingdom’s face is completely destroyed by this incident, so if we can get things right here, our reputation will be greatly enhanced…”
Danan is thinking with a difficult look on his face. There might be a chance if a large number of light machine guns were deployed, but just imagining what the ammunition consumption would be like gives me a headache. Then, if it comes to this…
“I’ll have to play the extra card here.”
What are you going to do? Danan looked at me with an expression that seemed to ask me that. It’s obvious that it will cause environmental destruction, but if it’s going to be destroyed anyway, it will be the same thing anyway. I don’t see any other use for it, and to some extent, I had assumed it would be used in this situation, so I think it’s better to use it here.