Chapter 286 – Truce
After discussing the details with the civilian officials, and after some conditions were agreed upon, we decided to leave the meeting place and have a discussion among ourselves. We went back to the fort while the other party set up a tent that had been hastily brought from Brignolph and held discussions there.
“Aren’t you being a bit weak-minded? We won, so we should be more…”
“Do you think it’s in our best interest to push through with the harsh conditions?”
Bella nodded her head. Well, if it’s a fight between back alley thugs, maybe that’s alright. Just beat them up, take all their money and everything else they have, and throw them away. After that, it’s like, ‘the future will take care of itself.’
“But that’s not the case when it’s between countries. If we impose severe sanctions and compensation, at worst, the other country will go into collapse. If that happens, the country will be overrun by bandits, and we don’t want that to happen. Didn’t you hear what I was saying earlier?”
“That is true. But it would be better to destroy them so there would be no aftermath, wouldn’t it?”
I shook my head at Bella, who tilted her head and said so.
“That is not necessarily the case. Unless the Merinard Kingdom annexes the territory of the Tigris Kingdom and rules it, otherwise the whole of the Tigris Kingdom will become a lawless zone. Violence will come to rule over everything.”
“It’s a land where it’s easy for someone like me to live!”
Bella gave a clumsy wink. Shumel and Tozume are making “I guess so” facial expressions beside her, but they are on that side, too, huh?
“That may be so, but it’s a big nuisance to most people! Besides, if other countries refuse to take action against such a place, someone will eventually emerge to organize such a lawless area. It could be a bandit chieftain, or it could be a noble bloodline from the old kingdom. And so. If the kingdom of Tigris is brought together again like that, what do you think their impression of us will be?”
“It would be the worst! They will definitely want to kill us!”
“I know, right? And most people can’t easily decide to abandon their own land and go elsewhere. In other words, people who continue to hold grudges against the Merinard Kingdom will continue to be our neighbors for a long time to come. We do not want that to happen.”
“I see. So you are trying to make loose conditions to prevent that from happening.”
“You know the word gentle persuasion, don’t you?”
“Saint-sama is terrible!”
Bella complained about Ellen’s tongue, but I don’t think she deserves to be told that, the way things are going now.
“Bella-san, we are here to settle the dispute. Fortunately, the damage on our side is terribly minor, so we want to make concessions where we can and get the Kingdom of Tigris to secede from the Holy Kingdom.”
“Can you do such a thing? The Kingdom of Tigris is a vassal state of the Holy Kingdom, isn’t it?”
“I think it is possible. I think the influence of the Holy Kingdom within the Kingdom of Tigris has declined considerably. The Holy Kingdom failed to recapture the Kingdom of Merinard and then fired up the Kingdom of Tigris and the Duchy of Dihart to attack the Kingdom of Merinard, which they couldn’t beat, and caused them great damage. I’m sure those who encouraged the Holy Kingdom’s decision and created this situation are also on the tip of the spear.”
“In the first place, unlike the Duchy of Dihart, the Kingdom of Tigris became a vassal state of the Holy Kingdom simply because they succumbed to the pressure of the Holy Kingdom. The neighboring Kingdom of Merinard was practically destroyed and became occupied, and the Duchy of Dihart was forced to welcome the blood of the Holy Kingdom into its royal family and was made a vassal state with the royal family being made an archduke. The Kingdom of Tigris, seeing such a situation of its neighbor, has come down to the Holy Kingdom itself and has managed to be relieved of its state.”
“It’s so difficult; I can’t really understand it!”
Bella answered Seraphita-san’s explanation with a straight face.
“The Tigris Kingdom follows the Holy Kingdom as a vassal state, but deep down, they may want to escape the rule of the Holy Kingdom. That’s what we’re thinking. If push comes to shove, we are closer to the Kingdom of Tigris than to the Holy Kingdom. To the west is a small group of neutral states, and further west is the Dragonis Mountain Kingdom, which is on friendly terms with us. In other words, in short, if they follow us, they may have a better chance of getting a better deal than being taken for a fool by the Holy Kingdom. If the Kingdom of Tigris comes to us, we also have a bargaining chip: if the Holy Kingdom tries to mess with them militarily, we can send them reinforcements. I haven’t decided yet, though.”
“I see. The Duchy of Dihart’s head has been replaced by the Holy Kingdom, but the Kingdom of Tigris has not been replaced and is just following them.”
“Yeah… well, that’s about it. Yep.”
There may be a little more complication, but in short, that’s the way it is. For our part, we do not want the Kingdom of Tigris and the Duchy of Dihart to threaten our hinterland. If the Kingdom of Tigris arrives on our side, the Duchy of Dihart, which has a strong rivalry in national power with the Kingdom of Tigris, will not be able to interfere with us easily.
The Holy Kingdom and the Kingdom of Tigris are physically far from each other, so if something were to happen, we could provide support. In addition, if the Kingdom of Tigris becomes a trade window to the northern part of the continent, we and the Kingdom of Tigris will both be happy. It’s a good thing, isn’t it! If all goes as planned.
An hour or so later, we and the delegation from the Kingdom of Tigris met again in the meeting hall I had built.
“I thank you for your time, Kosuke-dono.”
“And I hope the second half of our meeting will be worthwhile. So, what was your answer?”
The final condition is that reparations will be 50% of the Tigris Kingdom’s national budget for ten years, on the condition that the subhuman slaves are handed over to us. In exchange for eliminating the plus-alpha based on the number of heads, this exempted the penalty for the discovery of subhuman slaves that were still concealed after the handover of the subhuman slaves.
However, if they were discovered, they would be handed over unconditionally, and those who kept the subhuman slaves secret would be severely punished. The condition was that the Kingdom of Merinard could dispatch an investigator if it so desired.
As for the condition that the children of royalty and nobility be welcomed into the Kingdom of Merinard as exchange students, we proposed that they be allowed to return home once or twice a year if they so desired and that the Kingdom of Merinard would be responsible for their transportation back to the Kingdom of Tigris from the Kingdom of Merinard, and the Kingdom of Tigris would be responsible for all transportation to the Kingdom of Merinard from the Kingdom of Tigris.
However, the content of education during study abroad would basically be decided by the Kingdom of Merinard, and the Kingdom of Tigris may express its wishes, but the decision-making authority would remain with the Kingdom of Merinard.
In addition, the mutual non-aggression in the event of a peace agreement was settled on a date ten years after the payment of reparations was completed. Whether or not another relationship will be established after or before that time will depend on future exchanges between the two countries.
As for the trade treaty that includes the non-recognition of tariff autonomy, the proposal is basically based on the strong position of the Kingdom of Merinard. The tariff rates are to be determined through discussions between the two countries, but in the event of a conflict of opinions, the Kingdom of Merinard’s opinion will be respected. However, we have no intention of unilaterally extracting profits from the Kingdom of Tigris. We have made a certain concession to the Kingdom of Tigris by including a sentence that we will hold discussions to review the terms every five years.
“The Kingdom of Tigris is willing to accept the proposal in principle.”
“Yes. There are no problems regarding reparations or the handover of subhuman slaves, but the study abroad and trade treaties affect not only the royal family but many nobles as well. Since domestic adjustments are also necessary, I can only reply that we basically intend to accept them.”
“The Tigris Royal Army has suffered heavy losses in this war. If we force through the content of the peace concluded today without making adjustments, there is a possibility that the country may even be divided.”
“It’s understandable, I suppose.”
Some nobles may think it is unthinkable to send their heirs to study in the Kingdom of Merinard. Some nobles would probably protest because they would no longer be able to impose tariffs on goods passing through their territory as they wished. It is no wonder that the Kingdom of Tigris could be divided if they took a hard-line policy against such people.
“If not, we can take appropriate measures…”
Nelson-dono’s complexion immediately turned pale at my words.
“To speak frankly, we’re looking forward to working with the Kingdom of Tigris.”
Nelson-dono, Macrito-dono, and others on the Tigris side looked at each other as if they had no idea what was being said. They may be thinking, “What is this guy talking about after threatening us with military force so many times?” Furthermore, the Kingdom of Tigris is a vassal state of the Holy Kingdom.
“No matter how powerful the Kingdom of Merinard may be, you can’t believe it without first tasting its power with your own eyes and body. Can the Kingdom of Tigris still doubt the power of the Kingdom of Merinard even at this stage?”
“No, no, that is… impossible.”
Nelson-dono said so, and Macrito-dono shook his head in agreement with a bitter expression on his face.
“I have no intention of playing nice with the enemy, but if we’re going to be comrades, it’s a different story. You know what I mean, don’t you?”
Nelson-dono’s eyes widened, and his body trembled.
“If our comrades are in danger, we are ready to help them directly or indirectly. We are not like those people. We don’t ask our comrades to take the front. At the very least, we are willing to fight side by side against a common crisis. Well, we expect you to keep an eye on things so that they don’t threaten our hinterland, not to fight with them.”
Nelson-dono was silent and dripping with sweat, and Macrito-dono was equally silent. Did I go too far?
“Well, for the time being, the result is that both sides have agreed on the main points. At this point, the Kingdom of Merinard considers that a truce has been reached.”
“A-ah! Of course, of course, that’s right. The Kingdom of Tigris agrees to the truce.”
“Then let us hope that this truce will lead to a formal peace.”
I held out my hand to Nelson-dono, and he shook mine.
The details of the truce and peace treaty signed by both sides were very complicated.
Roughly speaking, the truce period is three months from today, and the Kingdom of Tigris will aim to implement the peace treaty agreed upon today during the truce period. If the contents of the peace treaty are not fulfilled during the truce period, or if the truce is broken by military action on either side, the fighting will resume immediately.
The truce and peace treaty between the Kingdom of Merinard and the Kingdom of Tigris were concluded, ending the state of war for the time being.
“Next will be the Duchy of Dihart… This is getting tedious.”
“Kosuke-sama, let’s do our best for Sylphy’s sake.”
Seraphita-san encouraged me by saying so, but I felt like my heart was about to break. I want to go home.