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Felzen region―the name of a place that has been ravaged by war many times.
The people had fled to other countries due to the unstable situation, and the economy had nearly collapsed. There was no trace left of the days when the country was a happy place when it was a kingdom.
The current ruler was the Great Grantz Empire.
After having lost control of the region to the Six Kingdoms, Grantz had regained it, and a garrison of 30,000 troops were now defending Sandinal, the new capital city.
Its commander was named Rozl Frey von Ingnal. He was a young man in the service of the Muzuk family, one of the five great noble families of the Grantz Empire, and a close confidant of Vetu, the head of the family. He was a slender man who seemed ill-suited to battle, but he was also popular in social circles because of the fragility he exuded with a touch of elegance and sex appeal. However, because his skin was dazzlingly white―no, morbidly pale―he was not approached by women who were creeped out and just wanted to watch him from a distance, regardless of his evasiveness and popularity.
He never cared what the public thought of him. To him, the most important thing was the Muzuk family. His room in the lord’s mansion in Sandinal was decorated with reasons for his loyalty.
Currently, Rozl had finished a round of paperwork and was sitting in his chair looking at a portrait. It had been brought all the way from the Great Grantz Empire. It was a portrait of the previous head of the Muzuk family.
He was the benefactor who had picked him up as a war orphan when he was a child. Although he has no memories before that, he has never thought of it as an inconvenience. The reason was that the previous head of the family raised Rozl with so much love and affection as a substitute for his parents that he did not care about such things.
Therefore, in order to return the favor, he studied hard to be useful to the Muzuk family, but the previous head of the family passed away before Rozl became a civil officer. However, his son Vetu, who succeeded him, was excellent and possessed all the qualities of the head of the family. Then he had no complaints about serving. The only thing that had changed was the subject, and he vowed to repay the gratitude he had not been able to repay to the previous head of the family by bringing prosperity to the Muzuk family through Vetu. That was the only thing that made Rozl’s life worth living. Rozl remembered the kindness of his benefactor in this way when suddenly the door was knocked on, and one of his entourage entered with his head bowed.
“Regarding the city, the major chaos is under control. The only thing left to do now is to take countermeasures against the night burglars who haunt the area.”
“I’ll leave the organization of the subjugation team to you. Even though they are night burglars, don’t let your guard down. And respond to the demands of the people as much as possible. There will be plenty of supplies to go around.”
“Are you sure? It is no use worrying about the favoritism of the people in such a remote area.”
“When the reign begins in earnest, the old capital will be restored, and this place will be forgotten. However, there is still a pilgrimage of Her Highness Celia Estrella, which will take place later on. Until then, if you are ungentlemanly to the people, even in remote areas, you will be punished when it becomes public knowledge.”
Having lost the first, third, and fourth princes in quick succession, she was all that remained. There was also the second prince, but he had a poor track record. If the order of things went accordingly, the sixth princess was sure to take over the throne. It would be a mistake for the Muzuk family to make any policy that would offend her.
“I see… I’ll make sure the soldiers are thoroughly aware of that.”
“You must be very careful about that. I don’t want to be burned by the Flame Emperor. It may be possible to extinguish it without feeling any pain, but I don’t want to die at such a young age yet.”
Rozl looked up, and a smile appeared on his lips as he began to put the documents together.
“But first, I’m going to have to take off the heads of anyone who violates military regulations because it could become a matter of responsibility for me.”
“…..I’ll keep that in mind.”
“You don’t have to worry about it. I am sure that none of my subordinates would ever betray the expectations of their superiors.”
The aide bowed his head and then took out a piece of paper.
“Then, here is a letter from Serphina-sama.”
“Well, I’ve certainly given it to you, so I’ll leave you to it.”
“Oh, thank you.”
After saying a few words of thanks, Rozl immediately checked the contents of the letter. His eyes moved busily, and his shoulders began to shake. His morbidly pale skin turned red as he read the letter. When he finished reading, he clutched the letter from Serphina roughly, and with his hands on the desk as hard as he could, Rozl exclaimed in an exasperated voice.
“What the hell is this!”
The anger did not disappear from Rozl even as he scattered the papers on his desk on the floor.
“Don’t be ridiculous; what have I done all this for?”
He crushed the letter and threw it against the wall. But then, with a startled look on his face, he picked up the letter again.
“…..If this thing gets in anyone’s eyes, it will be the end of the Muzuk family.”
It was not sealed, and there were no measures taken to prevent others from seeing it. Just a letter sent by a fast horse. Regardless of the truth of the contents, if someone had stolen it, it would have been irretrievable.
“What is she thinking?”
But there was no use complaining in a place like this. He rang the doorbell on his desk and summoned his aides.
“We’re going back to Sunspear.”
“I will leave the governance of this place to others. I must return to Sunspear.”
“Is something wrong in Sunspear?”
“Yes, there is a traitor inside. I have to get rid of then. This is no time for politics here.”
The look on the aide’s face was as if he wanted to know why, but the fact that Rozl did not say anything meant that it was a top secret that could not be revealed, even to his aide. Whatever its contents, the only thing the aide could do was to get Rozl back to Sunspear as soon as possible.
“…..I will have a horse ready for you immediately.”
After seeing the aide leave the room, Rozl pulled a large sword out of the empty space. The sword is as tall as he was, and it was one of the five demon emperor swords, “Souma.”
“I will eliminate all the walls that stand in the way of the Muzuk family.”
Rozl raised the great sword above his head as if to dedicate it to the portrait of the previous head of the family and bowed in the manner of a vassal.
“I will surely make the Muzuk family the rulers of the central continent.”
November 5th, 1026th year of the Imperial Calendar.
The Great Grantz Empire―the First Imperial Army led by Rosa―had halted its march near the south.
Not that there was any problem. It was just that the sun was setting, and they decided to encamp.
Once the encampment was set up and the tent pitched, it became a kind of city. However, since this was also her own territory, she asked for cooperation from the nearby nobles, rented houses in a nearby village, and let her soldiers rest in the best possible environment.
Rosa herself rested in a tent to avoid being used for politics. Lying on a couch, she groaned to herself as she read the reports she had received from the scouts she had sent out to various locations.
“The Grand Duchy of Drall has not made any protests, huh…? Should I assume that they, too, have fallen under the control of the Vanir Three Kingdoms, or is it just a matter of observation?”
It was necessary to test the Grand Duchy of Drall a little bit. Based on their reactions, they could either be the enemy or an ally.
If they were going to put off their decision until the decision between the Vanir Three Kingdoms and the Gratz Empire and declare their intentions at the last minute, then this would cause them a little bit of pain.
Rosa completed a letter to the Grand Duchy of Drall while writing a threatening letter.
“Well… what about my brother’s situation…”
The battle that would be taking place in the north. The battle between the Scharm family, led by the second prince Selene and the Bromell family, which saw the crisis in Grantz as an opportunity and exposed its ambitions. Rosa wanted to think that her brother had the upper hand, but she knew it was not a good outcome. As she read through the report, it seemed that a battle with the Bromell family was inevitable.
“I guess they are in sync after all.”
While the main Grantz forces were dealing with the Six Kingdoms, the Bromell family rebelled in the north, and in the south, the Vanir Three Kingdoms launched an invasion with serious intentions. It would be foolish to say that they were not working hand in hand. Otherwise, they could not have acted so harmoniously.
“They can do whatever they want…”
Seeing that they have their hands full, the Bromell family was taking advantage of the absence of the head of the Scharm family to stifle them. The head of the Scharm family was former Prime Minister Gils. He was the elder brother of the second queen of Grantz and Selene’s uncle. Because of this relationship, Selene was acting as the acting head of the Scharm family, even though he was the second prince of Grantz.
“I don’t think they’re going to take his life, but… the Scharm family is not going to be safe.”
Even if the Scharm family lost the decisive battle against the Bromell family and perished, they would not take Selene’s life in order to negotiate with the Grantz as a hostage. However, if they want the destruction of the Great Grantz Empire, it would be a different story…”
“It’s a difficult one. There are no extra forces left…”
The fate of the Grantz would be determined by the next move. Although a margin will be created if the main army that Liz brought with her returns, it would still be dangerous to consider them as a fighting force because of how much strength they would have left after returning from the battle with the Six Kingdoms.
“After all, we will have to wait until after we intercept the Vanir Three Kingdoms, won’t we?”
Rosa shook her confused head and picked up a letter.
“…General Weiss’ move was good news, but…”
According to the letter from General Weiss, she had successfully joined up with the Muzuk family, but the contents of the letter were full of distrust toward the Muzuk family. There was no doubt that Vetu was up to something, but it did not seem to go to the heart of the matter. There was a danger that they were connected to the Vanir Three Kingdoms, but a hasty decision could make more enemies. It would be better to be cautious and gather information without being noticed or suspected.
“I have never received a letter from her before.”
The handwriting was so well-written that Rosa could not help but admire it. Rosa had only seen General Weiss once―or, to be precise, only once from a distance. So she didn’t even know what she looked like. Even so, even from a distance, she could tell from the atmosphere she wore that she was a person of distinction. Above all, Rosa had nothing but memories of being annoyed by her selfishness. Whatever the order was, it depended on her mood, and it was the role of General Robert, the former five great generals, to listen to her requests.
“It would have been the same whether she was there or not, but I could tell from General Robert’s demeanor that she was competent.”
No matter how much he was blamed, General Robert continued to defend General Weiss. If he were bowed down by the former five great generals’ army, no one would be able to complain. Moreover, Rosa’s father, the previous emperor Greyheit, was also soft on General Weiss. The reason for this was not known. There were rumors that she was an illegitimate daughter, but they were just rumors. In other words, there must have been something more to her than just her ability. If she had only boasted of her military prowess, Greyhite would have cut her out.
“Because he was very harsh on his own son, Stobel.”
The bitterness and resentment built up, and Greyheit died at Stobel’s hands.
“Is there something about her that makes the Emperor of Grantz hesitate to punish her…? Phew, it’s too late to ask now.”
Now was not the time to think about anything else. With a wry smile, Rosa looked over the report. This was a situation where even the slightest change was not to be missed. She plucked at her brow and sighed. It looked like she would not have time to sleep again today.