Chapter 2 – Each Speculation
The new royal capital of Felzen was settled in Sandinal in the southwest.
The decision to move the capital was made by one of the Six Kingdoms, Anguis, which took the initiative and forced the move.
Unfortunately, no one resisted the decision.
This was because most of the Felzen nobility, along with the royal family, had been killed in the war with the Grantz four years earlier.
However, the Felzen remnants, led by Haran Skaaha de Felzen, a survivor of the royal family, objected to the decision. However, their influence was minimal, as many of them had left her side after Skaaha joined the Grantz.
Before that, the old royal capital of Scheue had long since fallen into ruins, and the people’s support was skewed in favor of the Six Kingdoms.
The new royal capital of Sandinal, which was born from various considerations, was close to the Grand Duchy of Dral and the country of Azel, the gateway to the Six Kingdoms, and was full of vitality due to the dramatic increase in the number of people coming and going.
Compared to the devastation on the east side of Felzen, the west side, which includes Sandinal, has recovered to the point where it is hard to believe that it is the same country.
Thanks to this, many merchants from the Grand Duchy of Dral visited the city, and the population of Sandinal continued to increase rapidly as people from all over the country came to the city.
In a few more years, Sandinal would become a metropolis that would rival any other in the country.
Just as everyone was thinking this, the invasion of the Great Grantz Empire began.
Led by Skaaha, a survivor of the Felzen royal family, the invasion was launched in the name of a great cause.
As a result, many refugees flooded into Sandinal.
The upper echelons of Anguis, which were struggling to cope with a population that had increased even just as rapidly, and were struggling to deal with the drastic increase in crime, were thrown into complete chaos.
In the meantime, the armies of the Six Kingdoms, scattered throughout the country, were being kicked to the curb in the face of a massive invasion campaign by the Grantz. When they finally put together a plan to improve Sandinal, a large force of Grantz appeared right under their noses. Merchants disappeared from Sandinal, and many people began evacuating to neighboring towns and villages, not wanting to get involved.
The satellite cities began to wave their flags of surrender one after another, and the current Sandinal, while not quite a shell of its former self, had a significantly smaller population than it did in its heyday.
All who remained were the residents who had originally lived in Sandinal, as well as soldiers from the three countries of Greif, Azel, and Anguis.
The atmosphere of the city was heavy as if the brightness of a few months ago was a lie. Everyone’s face was colored with anxiety.
Perhaps unable to bear the pressure of the situation, even now, one could see people packing up their belongings and leaving the city.
“If you hadn’t come, Sandinal would be at peace!”
“Because we believed in the Six Kingdoms… we have angered the Grantz.”
As they left, they hurled abusive epithets at the Anguis soldiers, who complained in their hearts that they were being selfish. In times of peace, they would have welcomed them with open arms, but in times of trouble, they would have blamed the Six Kingdoms for everything. The soldiers sent them off without saying a word, thinking it was better that a riot did not break out.
When they forced them to stay behind to defend the city, a riot broke out, and it was no longer a matter of defense. Above all, the soldiers were under strict orders from their lord not to harm anyone who left the city.
Such a lord’s mansion was built in the center of the city. It was a medium-sized wooden mansion surrounded by a wall that could be easily jumped over.
A member of the Felzen royal family used to live there but was killed in a battle with the Grantz.
The mansion was once burned down at that time but will be rebuilt by the new ruler of Sandinal, Lucia Revere de Anguis.
She was currently in her office, enduring abscess and rubbing her eyelids to ward off sleep.
She was not working on any of the piles of paperwork, just looking bored, and her aide, Seleucus, offered her a cup of tea.
“Please take a cup of tea to help you stay awake.”
There were no words of thanks or appreciation. Lucia accepted the tea in an irreverent manner, but Seleucus, who was accustomed to such a response, didn’t move an eyebrow. Lucia, with such a well-behaved aide by her side, was about to put a cup of tea in her mouth but stopped just before she did so.
“Have you seen Nameless?”
“No, I have not seen him. I don’t suppose he’s ever been to Sandinal?”
One month ago, during the battle with Hiro, Nameless disappeared.
Lucia, who also possesses the weapon, did not know what kind of effect it had, although she guesses that it is caused by the “blessings” of the Five Destructive Holy Principle Swords.
“What is he up to…?”
It’s so quiet that it’s almost eerie. She has no idea what he is doing right now. But what was certain was that he was ‘watching’ the situation, even if he was far away from here.
“We are at a total disadvantage.”
Lucia, who was arranging the pieces on the map, said while swallowing back a sigh. Despite her words, Lucia’s gesture lacked any trace of tension, and her aide, Seleucus, smiled wryly.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I’ve got more cards in my hand from the battle ahead. How will we use them now?”
Sandinal was currently under siege. The main force of Grantz had joined the third army and was in the process of regrouping. As soon as they finished, they would attack.
On the Six Kingdoms’ side, the defenders of Sandinal were Anguis, Azel, and Greif. The remaining three countries had retreated to Azel and were watching the situation.
“What are we going to do from here? It is true that we have been working to strengthen our defenses since we moved the capital, but they are not strong enough to hold off such a large force.”
“Even the Steichen Republic seems to be participating in the war.”
Although the First Army had been destroyed, Grantz still had more than 100,000 troops. To this, the Raven Army’s 2,000 troops had been added, and the Steichen Republic’s 5,000 had also been added.
“Furthermore, the “Order of the Golden Lion,” “Imperial Black Order,” “Order of the Rose,” and other elite forces have also been assembled. Indeed, if they attack at this rate, the Six Kingdoms will be destroyed.”
“They have assembled such a large force. Will the mainland of the Grantz be alright?”
“Well… I hear a lot of fishy stories, but I wonder how much of it is true.”
It is true that the Grantz are concentrating too much of their strength in one place.
Most of the main forces were in the west.
Now that the home country was thin on the ground, taking advantage of the chaos would ensure that a few cities could be dropped.
It would be an opportunity to win against a major power, but it would probably end up as a skirmish. If only looking at the small side, it would not be a good idea to play a hand, but if you look at the big picture, you could create a very interesting situation.
However, it was a long road to get there. There were very few countries that could do it.
“The North? Even though there is Levering Kingdom, it is still an ally. If so, then the South, or… the Grand Duchy of Dral and the Principality of Lichtine, have been utterly defeated. I wonder if they have enough energy left to revolt against the Grantz after all this time…”
“Nowhere is that realistic. Even in the Steichen Republic, the supreme chancellor has traveled all the way to Felzen.”
“Then the only remaining countries are the Vanir Three Kingdom, I suppose.”
“I think it’s highly unlikely…”
“Why do you think so?”
“The only way to attack the Grantz is through the Grand Duchy of Dral or the lands ruled by the Free Peoples. And it wouldn’t be the Grantz if they couldn’t detect it.”
“Well… what do you think? The Grand Duchy of Dral faces the Vanir Three Kingdoms.”
Lucia repeatedly tapped the southern side of the Grand Duchy of Dral on the map with the back of her fist.
“The south side is famous for its many fairy believers. If they shelter them, who knows what will happen?”
Even so, the Grand Duchy of Dral would not have the stomach to invade the Grantz at the present time.
Hunthaven von Dral, who became the Grand Duke in place of a legitimate son who died in the battle with the Grantz.
Lucia had met him several times and remembered him well as having a timid character.
That is why the Grand Duchy of Dral still has not recovered from the death of the previous Grand Duke.
It was hard for Lucia to believe that Hunthaven could make such an important decision that could destroy the country.
But what about his entourage―there must have been one man with a lot of ambition.
“As I recall, there was a man called Exe…”
“The Grand General of the Grand Duchy of Dral, yes. He is the Grand Duke of Hunthaven’s right-hand man, as they say.”
Hearing Seleucus’ explanation, a vivid memory finally came back to her.
She recalls that Exe was always behind Hunthaven. Wherever they went, they always worked together. They were like parasites, never wanting to leave each other, and Hunthaven was always watching Exe’s every move.
“Yes, I wonder how this General Exe will react.”
The story of how Hiro had given him a hard time reached the Six Kingdoms.
If he still harbored that grudge, his anger would cloud his eyes.
If the Vanir Three Kingdoms were to inflict heavenly punishment on their behalf, it would be no problem for them to overlook it.
“It’s just a fire on the other side of the river, and it’s something we can’t help but think about.”
Even if Grantz’s home country was attacked, it will not hurt them in the slightest.
“There is a strong possibility that the Grandz will withdraw their troops from Felzen.”
She had asked the Black Dragon King for help as an insurance policy, but how much it would help was unknown.
“I don’t care what happens after Grantz has a bit of a run-in with the Azel, but… if Vanir Three Kingdoms move in, it could be tricky.”
There was one thing that should be of concern.
Lucia’s plan may be foiled depending on when the Vanir Three Kingdoms move.
If that happened, she would lose her grip on the real power of the Six Kingdoms.
If the Vanir Three Kingdoms were to move, the Tigris, Urpeth, and Scorpius of the Six Kingdoms would also respond to their influence.
“But they have not moved yet.”
If the Vanir Three Kingdoms had been notified, they would have made some sort of move by sending troops to defend Sandinal. However, Tigris, Urpeth, and Scorpius were only retreating to Azel to see what was happening. Under the current situation, if the Grantz were to invade Azel, they would abandon the land of the “human race” and return to their home country.
“We should be prepared for that.”
It was certainly better to have a number of moves in mind, no matter how things may turn out.
For now, it was just a matter of keeping it in the back of their mind and not missing any opportunities that came along.
“First, let’s reduce Greif and Azel’s forces a little.”
They will have to deal wisely with what is in front of them now while the rest will follow.
“Are you ready, Seleucus?”
“Everything is in order. It’s just us now.”
“Excellent. Then we have no more regrets about this place. We will abandon Sandinal.”
“Understood. I will prepare a carriage for you.”
“Kakaka! This is getting fun!”
Lucia began to walk briskly; her fan spread out to cover the lower half of her face.
“Now, my path to becoming the unified king is in sight!”