Chapter 281- High-pressure Response
“Hello, Macrito-dono. I’m here because the messenger offering surrender and an apology never arrived.”
I said from the balcony at the front of the fort, looking down at Macrito-dono sitting on his horse. Golem warriors surrounded them on both sides and behind, ready to flatten them in an instant if I gave the order. Naturally, Macrito-dono and his companions seemed to understand this, and their faces went beyond pale at this point.
“Kosuke-dono, I would like to know the intention of your actions.”
“I have just told you. We have come all the way here to demand total surrender, apology, and compensation for your despicable act of aggression. If not accepted, we intend to destroy, loot, and burn every city and village on the road to the royal capital.”
It was a bluff. I don’t intend to destroy the towns and villages that can’t even put up a resistance, let alone the civilians. Well, I’m willing to destroy the gates, walls, and military facilities as a pretext.
“I-if such a thing is allowed…!”
“That’s a strange thing to say. The Tigris Royal Army conspired with the Duchy of Dihart to invade the Kingdom of Merinard. You were going to do the same thing if we didn’t fight you off, weren’t you? Of course, if you were going to do it, you had to be prepared for what you would get back, didn’t you?”
As I looked down at him, Macrito-dono fell silent. Well, yes, that’s right. If the war was really launched with the intention of invasion, it is only natural that the people would be destroyed and looted.
“That said. We honestly don’t have time to worry about you either. If we’re going to do this, it’s one of two ways deal.”
“What do you mean by one of two things?”
“The first is to conclude a non-aggression pact and a trade treaty and to pay reparations. If you accept the terms we give you, that’s fine. As long as the treaties are kept, we don’t have to worry about each other, and trade will keep the economy going. And as long as you settle up, we can focus on other things, and you don’t have to be afraid of us.”
This is generally what is written in the diplomatic documents prepared in advance. Well, the contents of the non-aggression pact and the trade pact are mostly one-sided in favor of the Merinard Kingdom. The Kingdom of Tigris offered their underage royal children to the Kingdom of Merinard as hostages, and in the trade treaty, the content was unequal in that the Kingdom of Merinard wouldn’t recognize the Tigris side’s right of tariff autonomy. Furthermore, we are demanding a huge amount of money as reparations for the invasion. It would be impossible to accept the terms of the treaty as they are.
Of course, we do not want to force them to accept these conditions either. Instead, we intend to extract concessions on other issues in exchange for loosening the conditions.
Well, we will establish each other’s embassies, allow our ambassadors and diplomats to have extraterritorial jurisdiction, appoint the sons and daughters of royalty and other influential people as ambassadors and diplomats from their side, and also accept “foreign students” in the Kingdom of Merinard. However, these ambassadors, diplomats, and foreign students would not be granted extraterritorial rights or something like that.
As for reparations, since the history of my world has proven that imposing a huge amount of money that cannot be paid is not worth it, I intend to settle on a moderate amount in the end and make them accept some favorable conditions in exchange. For example, I’m going to make them build a temple of Adol nostalgia, or I’m going to offer to gradually eliminate the mainstream. Or we could conclude a secret treaty to gradually eliminate the influence of the Holy Kingdom in the Kingdom of Tigris. If they are willing to do so, we can support them.
Since the invasion this time was probably ordered by the Holy Kingdom, dissatisfaction with the Holy Kingdom must be growing among those who suffered a heavy defeat because of it. If they say they will turn to us after witnessing the military power of the Merinard Kingdom, we can give them a little candy. The Kingdom of Tigris is in the same situation as the Kingdom of Merinard was a short time ago.
“…What’s the other thing?”
“As I said before, it’s a bit complicated, but we’ll go up to the capital, capture and kill as many of your royalty as we can, and then your capital will be obliterated. Just like that border fort. Of course, we will also make an example of all the towns and villages on the way to the capital. If you knew which way was up, would you be inclined to follow? What, it won’t take a month. This time, I won’t give you two weeks. You will see more and more cities and villages disappear every day.”
This is a hard line, but I don’t intend to take it too far. In the worst-case scenario, we may be forced to take this measure, but probably not. If the Kingdom of Tigris gathers its troops and attacks us at this point, there is a possibility that we will have to go in this direction. I’m sure Macrito-dono is aware of our power and will definitely stop them, so I don’t think it will be a problem.
“T-that’s not possible! That’s bullshit!”
One of the men accompanying Macrito-dono, a middle-aged man with the appearance of an aristocrat, shouts, dripping with greasy sweat.
“You think it is impossible? Do you think I can’t do it? I’ve eliminated the border fortresses of the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris in a single day, you know? Do you really think so? If you want, I can show you that I can make Brignolph disappear right now.”
Saying this in a grim voice, I pulled out three new self-destructing golems equipped with magic sparkling stone bombs from my inventory. From their point of view, it must have looked as if three new golems had suddenly appeared. Well, they probably don’t know that these are self-destructive golems.
“W-wait! No, please wait! W-we can’t judge… and if we don’t even know what the treaty says before that, we can’t reply!”
Macrito-dono said in a bloodthirsty tone. Is that his outstretched hand a gesture of “Calm down, we’ll understand if we talk?”
“That’s true, too. Capri.”
I hand the diplomatic document to Capri, and she takes it under her arm, flies off the ramparts, and lands softly on the ground. She then handed the diplomatic note to Macrito-dono and returned immediately.
“If that were true, I expect to hear back from you tomorrow…”
“Impossible! It would take four days to get to the royal capital from here, no matter how fast we can get there on horseback!”
Macrito-dono screamed in desperation. Hmm, four days, huh?
“Then it’s ten days; I’ll wait only ten days. If there is no concrete response after ten days, we will use force. If I detect any movement to attack us before then, I will immediately attack Brignolph. Move with caution, okay? Don’t upset my mood.”
“A-alright. No, I understand. I ask you to be calm as well.”
“That’s up to you. I’m already irritated by the wait. Oh, if you can afford it, you can tell the Duchy of Dihart. I’m going to pay a visit to the Duchy of Dihart next.”
“Okay, I mean very well… I’ll take the document back for the time being.”
I shook my chin, and the golem warriors who had been blocking their retreat moved to clear the way. Macrito-dono and his men turned their horses around and withdrew to Brignolph.
After seeing them off, Capri shouted out when their figures were as small as peas.
“Eeehh… I’m getting the chills from Danna-han just now.”
“The usual gentle Danna-han is good, but a dignified husband like earlier is good, too.”
“You’re so impertinent even though you’re Kosuke.”
Ellen, who had been sitting quietly behind me, kicked me in the Achilles tendon area. Hey, stop it, it hurts, and it’s dangerous.
“Fufu, I think Kosuke-sama will make a fine king, won’t he?”
“Give me a break. I’m just a little guy who’s trying to be cool.”
“Is that so? I thought you were rather dignified.”
“I think you had more dignity than those thugs.”
“Don’t use those thugs as a comparison…”
Seraphita-san and the demon girls are also lifting me up… They are just trying to lift me up, aren’t they?
“Hmph… Compared to me, you still have a long way to go.”
Grande, who was out in the back, buried in a cushion, so far back that she couldn’t be seen by Macrito-dono and the others, told me that.
“What is it? You have something to say?”
“I don’t think that’s dignified; I think that’s intimidating.”
Grande, who had a rugged tail with a slime cover on it, began to rub the stone floor with her tail, and Bella was quick to respond. Good, say more. If possible, you should take the hate so that I don’t get pecked by that tail. I want you to do your job as my bodyguard to the best of your ability.
“Whatever it is, let’s take it easy for a while, shall we? What shall we do for the next ten days?”
If only the Kingdom of Tigris had a golem communicator, we wouldn’t have to wait so long. Well, it can’t be helped. I’m going to spend my time in a place out of sight so that I won’t be ridiculed by those people.