Shinwa Densetsu no Eiyuu no Isekaitan – Vol 11 Chapter 3 Part 5

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ED: LonelyMatter



Part 5

 

The snow was dancing, shimmering. The wind was weaker than usual, and the force of the pounding on the windows was also weaker.

If the windows were opened, the heat from the fireplace would escape outside and be crushed by the cold air inside.

On a cold night, a woman stepped out onto the balcony. She held her purple-silver hair, tossed by the wind, and smiled in this cold. Beautiful… was the one word that describes her.

If she were a flower, it would be a shame to pluck it, watch it wither, and shed tears, then just look at it. A woman who made you feel such strange emotions―her snow-white skin was so fine that it seemed to melt when you blew on it, and she gave the impression of being so fragile that she seemed to disappear when you touched her.

Although she was a ‘demon,’ she was a “heretic” who was born and raised as a ‘long-eared race.’

She was Claudia Von Levering, queen of the Levering Kingdom.

She looked down and saw a land covered in snow―this was the borderline between the Kingdom of Levering and the Great Grantz Empire to the north, and the name of the fortress that was built was Dernier.

Claudia, who sensed the signs of the collapse of the Great Grantz Empire, came to Dernier and had been keeping an eye on the world ever since.

“Even if there is no wind, this cold is poisonous to the body. Please return to your room.”

One of the staff members called out to her from behind, and Claudia asked him a question as he stood behind her.

“What is the current situation?”

It was an abrupt question. It was not a question that should have been asked here. But the staff member would not complain. If the queen wanted, he must explain, wherever she may be, and he must obey.

“…It seems the Scharm family’s stronghold, the “White Silver Castle,” is surrounded by northern nobles led by the Bromell family. But surprisingly, it seems that the Scharm family―the second prince Selene – intends to intercept them and has come out of the castle instead of staying in it.”

“The number?”

“Sixty thousand Bromell family and forty thousand Scharm family.”

“The Scharm family’s numbers are a little low.”

“Yes, but although the Bromell family has a large army of sixty thousand, most of them are hesitant to turn their blades against the main family. Therefore, the strength of the Bromell family will be reduced to about 40,000 in real terms. Depending on the course of the battle, there will be those on both sides who will turn on each other, so for now; we don’t know which side has the upper hand.”

“I see… But the Scharm family has decided to take up the fight?”

“I think it’s dangerous. As long as they stay in the castle and stall for time, reinforcements will eventually be dispatched from the central government. The main force is already in the Six Kingdoms, but they also seem to have the upper hand.”

Claudia nodded at the staff member’s opinion but ultimately shook her head in denial.

“We must not forget the existence of the Vanir Three Kingdoms. If they come from the south, the center will devote its forces there.”

The central part of Grantz could not afford to lend a hand to the north. Even so, they may be concerned about the existence of the “Spirit Wall,” but as long as it was still in place, they had no choice but to devote their forces to the Vanir Three Kingdoms.

Perhaps even Claudia would make that judgment. It was only natural that they would be more concerned about eliminating the foreign enemies coming from the south than the “Spirit Wall,” which may or may not collapse yet.

“There is no prospect of reinforcements, and there are concerns about the “Spirit Wall,”… so from an overall perspective, an early settlement would be desirable. The Scharm family’s decision to strike out is not a bad one. While locking oneself in a castle can buy time, it is a tactic that may be perceived as weak-kneed. While the other nobles still have doubts, it could be a very dangerous move. Besides, the second prince Selene’s coming forward will boost the morale of his allies and will no doubt create an upheaval on the other side.”

“I see…”

“In the face of the rivalry of forces, which way will make the scales tip, and which way will God’s finger be pointed?”

Claudia turned and walked past the staff officer back to her room.

“Now, what are we to do in this limited situation…?”

Sitting in the chair prepared for her on the higher seat, Claudia crossed her legs and looked at the map on the desk. Around her were gathered not only the staff but also the commanders of the various units―the Levering nobles. One of them expressed his opinion quietly.

“There are many northern nobles who were wary of us and were reluctant to send out troops, and it would be extremely difficult to take advantage of the chaos and cut into the territory of the Grantz.”

“Yes… I see your point. We have only 30,000 men available… of which we could take two or three castles by the time the Bromell and the Scharm family reach a decision.”

When Claudia said this in a distressed tone, one of the commanders, who seemed to have high self-esteem, wrinkled his brow.

“As might be expected, it is not that few, but is Your Majesty Queen Claudia doubting the ability of our soldiers?”

“No, I’m just not optimistic. There is also a possibility that the victory or defeat will be decided early. Regardless of who wins, it is inevitable that all the blades will be pointed at us once the game is settled. It will be a matter of life and death for the Kingdom of Levering.”

“…But wouldn’t it be shameful to just sit back and watch this happen?”

“Yes, so let’s see how things go with an eye toward gathering more information.”

Claudia sipped the tea brought by a servant and smiled gracefully. The commanders saw her and showed their disappointment. No wonder, they have been staying in this place for a long time. The best forces of the Levering Kingdom had gathered here, and yet they spent their days gazing at the snow-covered land. This was not a sightseeing tour. Therefore, those who could not stand it raised their voices in protest.

“We are in the midst of an opportunity for the Levering Kingdom to make a great leap forward. This is the long-cherished wish of the ‘demon tribe’ that has suffered so much up to now! For the sake of leaving a bright future for the next generation we have left behind in our homeland, we need to make an early decision here!”

“If we make a bad decision, the Levering Kingdom will be destroyed. We must not make a decision easily as we are thinking of the next generation. There is still time. Bring to me all the information you have on the Grantz, even if it is trivial.”

Claudia’s attitude did not change, and even though she was not being taken seriously at all, the commander persisted.

“Wait―Didn’t Your Majesty Queen Claudia say earlier that the victory or defeat may be decided early, and isn’t it a little too late to gather information?”

“Fufu, I only said that in the case of the north, there is a possibility that the victory may be decided early. And it’s not just information about the north; I want information about Grantz.”

Claudia sighed a little and shook her head with her hand on her forehead, not hiding her disappointment.

“We can’t afford to destroy the country by looking only at the locality. If we look at the big picture, it won’t turn out badly. Or are you doubting my words?”

“No… that’s not what I mean…”

“Then you understand. What are you going to do now?”

The commander’s face turned pale, and he immediately bowed his head.

“I will immediately make contact with the spies who are hiding in various places.”

“Good. Then go.”

“Yes!”

“The big picture… looks out over the entire central continent. It’s making my head hurt.”

If they made one mistake, there would be no good; if they made two mistakes, they would be in danger, and if they made three mistakes, destruction awaits them.

What the Levering Kingdom was about to go down was a thorny road. It would not be easy.

“…There is one thing that bothers me.”

Claudia’s index finger pointed to the center of the Great Grantz Empire.

“It’s discord, isn’t it…? It’s lurking everywhere, and it’s putting the Grantz in unprecedented danger. It will not be easy to remove this. And if we have so little time left, there is no other way but to fight the status quo.”

Even if the people’s hearts are united, if a gap was created in the military, other countries would take advantage of it.

The pride and arrogance born of being a major power had created the current crisis in Grantz.

“If the privileged classes, such as the five great nobles, had been abolished, this situation might not have arisen.”

The current Grantz were not united as one. The goal was to eliminate the external. It appeared to be one, but in order to obtain the vacant seats of the privileged class of the five great nobles, many of the Grantz nobles were thinking only of outwitting others.

“Even though Grantz is said to be a treasure house of human resources, it must be suffering from a shortage of human resources if wars like this occur one after the other. How far those opportunistic people can be used will determine their future.”

However, unexpected people sometimes come to the forefront during such difficult times. When a country faces a crisis, “heroes” are born. They appear out of the blue as if to relieve the resentment that has been suppressed until now. One such person was an acquaintance of Grantz’s, but would this person be able to break out of his shell?

“I think there is a good chance that it is the sixth princess Celia Estrella, but… I don’t believe in her as unconditionally as His Majesty the Black Dragon King does. I am concerned about her ‘naivete'”

Her ideas were not suited for a bleak world. It was only in times of peace that it came into its own.

For example, the “Heroic King of Twin Blacks,” who laid the foundation for the millennium of Grantz, was a spectacular story told by people, but there was a dark history behind it. He was a ruthless man in reality, though he would never speak of it in front of the Grantz people. Some other countries even treat him as a ‘devil’ or an ‘evil god.’

According to the literature of other countries that Grantz was not involved with, he abandoned his ‘lenience’ after a certain period. He showed no mercy to those who defied him, and enemy generals always had their heads chopped off, even if they surrendered. Countless countries were destroyed, and a great number of people died because of their resentment toward him.

Then, Altius, the first emperor, a young man who shone like the sun, showed mercy and forgave them, and the people showed their capitulation to the Grantz, leading them to claim supremacy over the central continent.

“In war, a villain is necessary… a candy and a whip, which the Grantz had achieved with the brothers a thousand years ago.”

Sacrifice was essential for both winners and losers in war―behind every pretty face was a dirty one. That was why history was so spectacularly colored and why it could touch the hearts of future generations.

“But the sixth princess Celia Estrella must do it all alone and all by herself. She must be willing to get dirty and stay clean.”

Karma was buried in glorious history. A ‘country’ founded on many sacrifices continued to hide its dark side. Kicking against the destroyed countries and using the defeated countries as shields, they continued to hide their dark side.

“Naivete is fatal, and if you care about your country, you must be ruthless.”

Claudia sighed with a somber expression on her face.

“But it would be a shame to abandon it altogether. Considering what will happen later, it would be dangerous to abandon the ‘naivete’ of the present.”

What remained after the difficult situation was a major undertaking: the stabilization of the nation.

Once the war was over, an era would come when the strong would not be needed. There would be no need for rare heroes.

It was in times of war that heroes were sought after and shone; in times of peace, heroes were not sought after and were neglected.

It was said that the “Heroic King,” who was born a thousand years ago, disappeared from the stage at the birth of the Great Grantz Empire because he realized this. There was a theory that he did so to avoid a battle for the throne with his elder brother Altius, but in any case, it was a good and graceful way for him to leave the world without disgracing his late years. It was because of such a wise decision that he has become a ‘legend’ and was now revered by people as one of the Twelve Great Gods of the Grantz depicted in ‘mythology.’

“Although he is a pathetic existence.”

From Claudia’s point of view, the God of War was nothing but a tragedy created by war.

He continued to fight for his country, his people, and his loved ones, only to be no longer needed. As the war drew to a close, he found his existence being neglected, and it was difficult to imagine what his life was for when he was subjected to such selfish feelings and decided to leave without holding a grudge.

“I hear he was emperor for only one year… How much of that is true?”

Decades after the war ended, he came to the fore and ascended the throne as the second Emperor of the Grantz. He died within a year, leaving behind no significant accomplishments. One wonders what the significance of his death was and whether he was rewarded to that extent. It was a question that stirred the imagination, but no matter how much she tried to guess, there was no answer, and Claudia did not show much interest for very long.

“I wonder what will happen to the Grantz of today’s world… though our country is no stranger to them.”

What do they think, what would they accomplish, and what did they intend to gain?

It was necessary to discern.

As queen, she would be very careful and cautious in making decisions that would affect the future of the Levering Kingdom.

“Still, what was the right decision is something that will be judged by future generations after all is said and done.”

History was handed down by people, and evaluation was also made by people.

Until history was handed down to posterity, everyone was merely a minor character in a nameles story.

 

*****

 

Going west of the Kingdom of Levering, the land of the “demons,” lay Himinbjörg Castle,’ the home of the Bromell family. And further west from there, in the center of the northern part of the country, stood the ‘White Silver Castle’ in peace.

For 500 years since the appearance of the barbarians, this land had never been threatened by foreign enemies.

But now, a large army of sixty thousand men, led by the Bromell family, was lined up in an orderly fashion and was approaching the ‘White Silver Castle’ with a heat that would melt the snow. But facing them to intercept them is a large army of forty thousand led by the Scharm family, and both sides are staring at each other.

“It’s a magnificent sight… I’ve never seen so many people gathered in one place before in my life.”

In the back of the forty thousand troops led by the Scharm family, a person was impressed by the sight that spread out before his eyes.

Werewolf Scharm Selene von Grantz.

He was the second prince of the Great Grantz Empire and the acting head of the Scharm family.

“Selene-sama, this is not the time to be impressed. The Bromell family’s strength is greater than ours. We cannot afford to let our guard down.”

Proditos, one of the twin wolf generals who was also Selene’s right-hand man, complained.

She glared at the banner of the Bromell family, which had turned its fangs against the main house. Around them, shameless northern nobles could also be seen. When Gils, the head of the Scharm family, was still alive and well, they were shamelessly flattering him, but they were cowardly enough to switch sides at the slightest shake of the foundations. Moreover, even at this late stage, some still seem to have doubts. Many northern nobles, large and small, feel indebted to Gils. Therefore, while they had turned to the Bromell family, they did not seem to be prepared to turn on their master’s house, and their hesitation was palpable.

“The Bromell family has about sixty thousand soldiers, and ours are about forty thousand. The number is clearly superior to ours, but behind the scenes, we have received letters from some of the nobles who have joined the Bromell family, and it seems that many of them are thinking of protecting themselves even before the fight.”

Proditos held out the letters from the nobles. The reason why she was somewhat hesitant was probably because she did not want to spoil Selene’s mood. In fact, Selene tried to tear the letter once but stayed and sighed as if having trouble dealing with it.

“Depends on the war situation, huh…? I can see that they’ve been watching my step. I don’t want to add those who don’t have faith to our camp again, but we don’t have the luxury of doing so. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have had this problem at all.”

“It can’t be helped. The world is not so sweet that you can live only on your feelings. Everyone is struggling to live for tomorrow.”

“I guess no one will follow you if you only have ideals….. Still, it was good that we were able to keep the gap in strength to a minimum. I suppose I should say it was thanks to the Levering Kingdom.”

The fact that they raised an army and closed in on the border made the neighboring nobles reluctant to send out troops. Thanks to them, the Bromell family, which was initially said to number one hundred thousand, has reduced its numbers to sixty thousand.

“But we can’t be all thankful, and it is also true that the Levering Kingdom is eyeing us with vigilance. We must immediately pacify the north and seal our borders.”

“On paper, we are allies.”

The Kingdom of Levering was an ally of the Great Grantz Empire. Their relationship was far from equal, but it had been improving since Claudia took over as queen. However, they must have their own feelings about it since they had suffered so much. Above all, Queen Claudia did not seem to be so foolish as to miss an opportunity. Since she took the throne, the Levering Kingdom had continued to grow at a tremendous rate.

“When weakened, everyone tries to avenge the grudges they have borne. A smart person would not have missed it if they saw the current situation in Grantz.”

Proditos said sadly, and Selene was about to reply when a familiar figure caught his eye. The figure walking in front of him, the imposing figure, was another twin-wolf general, Helma. His expression was dark, but his steps were not heavy. Selene wondered why he was walking faster than usual but waited for him to come.

“Second Prince Selene.”

“What is it?”

“It seems that the battle has begun at the Spirit Wall.”

He could guess everything from those words alone.

In fact, the only people who knew what was happening at the “Spirit Wall” were the twin wolf generals and Selene.

They could not afford to give out any information that would be detrimental to their fight against the Bromell family. There was also a desire to avoid as much confusion as possible. Above all, Selene and his associates chose not to publicize the fact that the collapse had not yet been decided. Eventually, everyone would know. But at that time, they wanted to wait until after the Scharm family had defeated the Bromell family. In the meantime, they had sent a fast horse to Rosa, the Prime Minister of the Great Grantz Empire, but by the time they reached her, the battle with the Vanir Three Kingdoms might have already begun.

“A battle at the Spirit Wall, too, huh…? But aren’t they in strange harmony with the Bromell family?”

“They may have joined hands. Aside from the flesh-eaters, the intelligence of the marked tribe is close to that of the humans. If they were in contact with these people, it would not be impossible for them to join forces.”

“Then why go through all this trouble…?”

Selene’s face was downcast, and Helma tilted his head as if unable to understand.

“What do you mean?”

“No, everyone knows the importance of the ‘Spirit Wall.’ Then there is no need to go out of your way to raise an army in sync with it.”

They can just start a fire at the ‘Spirit Wall’ first. Then the Scharm family would have sent soldiers to defend the ‘Spirit Wall.’ Selene would not have remained in the area. However, from the beginning, the Bromell family had been showing suspicious movements to attract attention.

“If they hadn’t made any suspicious moves and kept the matter hidden, the White Silver Castle would have been empty by now. A castle without a master could have easily fallen, so why did they go through all this trouble?”

Selene’s question made Helma ponder. Before he could find an answer, his sister Proditos interrupted the conversation.

“It would make sense if they had only recently joined hands, but it’s not like that, is it Selene-sama?”

“Certainly, it is understandable. I also thought about the idea that they were trying to draw attention to the fact that they had tied hands in order to hide it, but it just didn’t seem right.”

If anyone were to find out that they had joined forces with the marked tribe, their lives would not be safe. Above all, considering the danger of letting them go free, there is no way they can join hands.

In the first place, there were no insolent people in the north who would invite those man-eating monsters into their midst.

“It’s just an empty theory. It would be better not to think about it too deeply.”

“It is always better to have no regrets. I believe that a commander should take measures to assume the worst, even if it is in vain…”

Selene nodded vigorously, agreeing with Helma’s opinion. Then he turned to Proditos.

“Even if the Bromell family were to join forces with the marked tribe, our plan would remain the same from the beginning. It’s all about an early settlement, after all. Therefore, we will regularly threaten those who are likely to turn on us. Those who are seduced by sweet words are also those who are naive. Their hearts are easily broken.”

“I understand. Let’s give these indecisive people a chance to think for themselves. Now, I have some preparations to make, so I will leave you here.”

Helma saluted and left. Selene, who was left behind, put his hands on the two swords at his waist.

“The path we are on is still without light. In front of us is a fog that makes it difficult to see anything, and it is doubtful if it is really a path at all.”

“But we have no choice but to press on. We must not be afraid if we are to grasp what lies ahead.”

“Proditos, you’re right. Still…”

The strange feeling of discomfort would not go away. The more he tried to take action, the more something stuck with him. Selene repeatedly asked himself if this was really the right thing to do. Visually, there is no indication that he is falling behind. He was sure he was keeping up with the rapidly changing situation… but he could not dispel the uneasiness that had sprouted deep in his heart.

“――Kanshou and Bakuya… I’m going to need your help again.”

The two swords were pulled from his waist and shone in the sun, the blade crests swaying as if to encourage Selene.

“Let’s go wild.”

 

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