Chapter 277 – I Can See Everything!
After crushing the ambush force of the Tigris Kingdom army with three heavily armed golems, we left the battlefield as it was, removed the defensive facilities, and immediately resumed our movement.
We then reached the border fort of the Kingdom of Tigris and obliterated it at sunset with a self-destruct golem equipped with a magic sparkling stone bomb, just as I had done to the border fort of the Duchy of Dihart.
The fort was packed with a few Tigris Royal Army soldiers, but when they saw us appear, they retreated from the northern gate on horseback at full speed. Apparently, they had been instructed to do so in advance.
“It’s over, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Is everything going according to your plan now?”
Bella’s mysterious remark made me tilt my head.
“If Danna had been serious from the beginning, there would have been no trouble at all. There was no need to build a base or bring the riflemen squad, was there?”
“Also, it was your intention to use the golem to crush today’s ambush by the Tigris Royal Army, wasn’t it? Giving them two weeks’ notice, you clearly invited them by deliberately saying that after blowing up the Duchy of Dihart’s fortress, you’re going to blow up the Tigris Royal Army’s fortress, didn’t you?”
I was at a loss for an answer and looked at Shumel. She just grinned and looked at me. I was surprised that she wasn’t surprised by Bella’s comment.
“I have some idea how you feel about Bella, but it’s perfectly normal.”
“What do you mean by that?”
Bella is indignant at my reaction. I mean, you’ve always played the part of the idiot, haven’t you? Suddenly, you’re like, “I can see through everything!” I’m at a loss for a response.
“What did you want in the end? What did the kingdom of Merinard want?”
“Ah, I don’t know about that part.”
That’s right. I understand Danna’s power, but I don’t know anything about the military secrets of the Merinard kingdom.”
“Hmm… I mean, the kingdom of Merinard was greedy in many ways this time.”
The series of moves that I took the lead in this time was a complex intertwining of Merinard’s and my own agendas; if not to say that they were complicated, they were intertwined to a certain extent.
First of all, we had to repel the invasion from the two northern countries at all costs.
If the two northern countries―the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris―were allowed to invade and ravage the northern part of the Merinard Kingdom, or if Merinard’s territory was cut off, the neighboring countries might underestimate the Merinard Kingdom as an easy target.
Being underestimated as a nation was basically a hundred harms and not a single gain. If we were underestimated as a nation, we might encourage further invasions from neighboring countries, and we might also be slighted in diplomatic negotiations with countries that were not in a geographical position to invade us directly.
The Kingdom of Merinard wants to avoid such a situation at all costs. That is why I went all the way to the north to repel the invasion.
“Why did you go to the trouble of building a base and training magic riflemen?”
“The military and the Research and Development Department had a lot to do with it. The establishment of a military base was necessary to keep an eye on the north and to test the newly developed magic rifle weapon in actual combat. Accepting more subhumans to run the base was a side benefit.”
“So you were planning from the beginning to take care of the situation if the magic rifle didn’t work as expected.”
“I was sure it would be fine, but it was just an insurance policy. So, when the Tigris Royal Army attack was repelled, it was determined that the utility of the magic rifle was sufficient. After all, with only a simple defensive position, they were able to unilaterally crush an army of twenty times their size.”
“It was indeed one-sided. Though, I don’t think it can be used for adventures.”
“It’s not so good if you don’t have enough of them. Also, it is not suitable for hunting because of its loud noise.”
I see. Should I propose the development of a silencer? Since it is fine as long as it doesn’t make a sound, we could consider using magical means.
“Then what about the subsequent destruction of the fortress and the attack with the golem?”
“Purely an act of demonstration. The magic rifle alone would be enough of a threat, but it wouldn’t have enough impact, would it? The kingdom of Merinard has not only new weapons but also the means to annihilate a fort in an instant and a black iron golem that can easily kick out an army. We showed them that, if you won’t carelessly touch us… you won’t get burned. The only reason I purposely overlooked the witnesses and survivors was to get that information out to the public.”
“I see. I think I understand somehow. So, this case was not really a pinch for the kingdom of Merinard, right?”
If we had to do something about the formality, we could have unilaterally overrun the area with air boards of riflemen equipped with light machine guns. Air boards are being produced in increasing numbers every day, so now a large number of crossbowmen could be transferred and deployed in a short time.
Sir Leonard said that he wanted to deploy the riflemen to the east in order to establish a standoff in the east where the Holy Kingdom is located, but with the mobility of the air boards and the information transmission capability of the golem communicator, it is no problem to move by foot, carriage, and horseback and to outwit an army whose only means of conveying detailed information is by fast horseback.
“Something like a war between countries, huh? It’s not as noble as I thought; it’s more like a fight between back alley thugs.”
“That’s… Is that so?”
“That’s right. In other words, this time, the boss, the Holy Kingdom, told the underlings, the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris, to come and fight the Kingdom of Merinard, and the Kingdom of Merinard beat them up so that the surrounding countries wouldn’t take them lightly, right?”
Zakennaorrah! Suzzorah!* I’m not sure how I’d react if I were dropped into a concept like that, but it’s basically correct. [T/n: Please let me know if anyone knows about this.]
“So, are you going back to Merinesburg soon?”
“It’s about time. The Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris will not have the ability to continue the battle any longer, and the Kingdom of Merinard has no intention of expanding its territory at the moment. The war is now over, and that means no more business for me, either. Now it’s up to Sylphy and the others.”
I think they’ll just have to extract reparations or whatever from both countries and call it a day. If the other side is adamant about not accepting the terms, then it may be our―or rather, my―turn again.
“Well, I guess we’ll have to take it easy for a while until we get the results.”
“That sounds good. We’ll have a drink when we get home today.”
“But first, I’ve got to get Grande, who’s been looking after the house, in a good mood.”
We returned to the northern base while talking like that.