Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
The northern region of the Grantz Empire was said to be a land of extreme cold, and true to this reputation, visitors spoke rhetorically of the magnificent snow-covered land.
Of the five Grantz territories, the northern region held the largest territory, but more than half of it was covered with snow, making it an extremely harsh environment for human habitation. That was why it has been spoiled with a reputation equal to that of the south, which was called barren land.
But it was not all bad. The north had different characteristics from other regions. While the northern part of the north was not a habitable environment, the south tended to be relatively warmer, with fertile lands called black soil. Against this background, the north had maintained a population and was active, supporting its economic base through trade with other countries and the export of crops to other regions.
So the southern part of the north was also the heartland of the north.
November 30th, 1026th year of the imperial calendar―Bromell territory.
The Levering Kingdom Army, which had suddenly launched an invasion of the Great Grantz Empire, had begun its southward march toward the black soil zone, the heart of the northern region.
The armies of the Kingdom of Levering were advancing at a breakneck pace, winning battle after battle all the way to Bromell territory.
Normally, they would not have been able to advance this far.
However, the Great Grantz Empire was in a state of unprecedented turmoil, and the head of the Bromell family was absent in order to seize real power from the Scharm family, the leader of the northern region, leaving only the nobles who were indecisive and unsure of which side to belong to. There was no way they would have the courage to stand up to the armies of the Kingdom of Levering. Many of the northern nobles, who had grown fearful of the Levering Kingdom’s army, were confined within the high walls of their homes, waiting for the storm to pass.
Even so, a small number of northern nobles were not willing to let their lands be trampled, and they were resisting the armies of the Kingdom of Levering with all their might.
Every time a person fell, the snow was colored red, and the soldiers stepped onto it and pushED forward without hesitation. The bodies buried in the snow were trampled over and over again, and the bodies were deformed beyond their original shape.
The people, ruled by pain, were covered in dirt, and the angry voices of the living run through the ground.
“…Do you still resist?”
A beautiful woman stood in the rear of the snowy red battlefield.
Her long eyelashes quivered, her moist eyes glistened in the sun, and white breath escaped from her pale red lips. Her dainty appearance, which was out of place on the battlefield, would surprise everyone, fascinate everyone, and capture everyone’s hearts. However, once she was on the battlefield, even a fierce general who had fought many battles in the past was no different from a baby to her. She was the absolute queen of the Levering Kingdom, Claudia van Levering, known as the ‘Purple Silver Princess.’
“It’s not nice to give up on the humans when the game is already decided.”
Her words were full of contempt, but they were also filled with passion.
While many northern nobles avoid fighting, a small number of them were willing to take on a hopeless battle. But they did not do so because they were coming toward them, prepared to die. They had no winning strategy, they had no support from their allies, and yet they were facing a huge army.
If by some miracle they could win, it would be a beautiful story, but if they lost, it would be a futile death, and they would be condemned by future generations. Claudia extended her hand to the poor Grantz soldiers in a gesture of lamentation.
“But I commend you. The northern nobles were foolish to send you to your deaths, and I feel sorry for you who were not fortunate enough to have allies.”
Let’s make this battle a beautiful story.
What may be black history in Grantz will be a page of beautiful history in the Kingdom of Levering.
They would be attached to the story as important supporting characters, as the brave enemy who stood in the way of the protagonist, the queen.
“As my stepping stone, you will play a supporting role to inspire the demons.”
Claudia was happily watching the battlefield when her aide approached her.
“Your Majesty Queen Claudia, I just received some information that is of interest to you.”
“What is it?”
Claudia turned around as she heard a voice from behind her, and the aide, after giving her a bow, put the report in her hands and handed it to her.
“It seems that the “Spirit Wall” has collapsed.”
Claudia’s mouth immediately dropped open in surprise.
“Fufu, it’s getting interesting, isn’t it?”
“There is no way that the surrounding countries will miss this opportunity, as the Great Grantz Empire is left with no choice but to collapse.”
As the aide said, the neighboring countries are waiting for the Great Grantz Empire to become disadvantageous.
However, who could have predicted that the Great Grantz Empire, which has reigned as the supreme power in the central continent for a thousand years, would fall?
“I’d say it’s too late to assess the situation, but… it may be unavoidable.”
It has been too long. The time that Grantz was powerful was too long.
Even if the Great Grantz Empire had spent a thousand years to get to this point and the surrounding countries had endured a thousand years, the weight of the history they had carved is different even if they had spent the same time. This had given rise to hesitation and led to suspicion and doubt.
“It’s not just the Grantz that have been lukewarm. It’s true for all of us.”
When Claudia looked again at her aide, her face showed an emotion she could not hide.
She wanted to think that it was not a trap, that it was an opportunity, but when she looked back at the times when she had been forced to lick hard times by unraveling history, she felt that she might have made a wrong decision. Anxiety, fear, and agitation could be seen in the aide, who was dominated by such emotions.
Seeing the sweat beginning to appear on the aide’s forehead, Claudia spoke to him.
“What do you think?”
“Yes, it is indeed good news for us that the “Spirit Wall” has collapsed.”
The northern part of the Great Grantz Empire was currently in the midst of a war between the Scharm family and Bromell family, while the central, eastern, western, and southern parts of the Empire were busy dealing with the Vanir Three Kingdoms, the Grand Duchy of Drall, and the Principality of Lichtine.
The armies of the Kingdom of Levering, led by Claudia, took advantage of this opportunity and moved southward in the northern region, chipping away at the territory of the Grantz. If the “Spirit Wall” collapsed at that point, there would be nothing Grantz could do―a decisive blow, everyone would think.
Claudia understood what her aide was trying to say but decided to wait for his words. If she told her subordinates the answer first, they would stop thinking. That was no way to develop people. You had to make them think, corner them, and see if they were capable or incompetent.
Above all, subordinates who were cowed by their superiors would be corrupted by them.
“Now, if you notice something, don’t be afraid to speak up. The path of a king cannot be created without advice. The nation will grow by taking in various opinions and allowing me to come up with the answers.”
“Yes, with all due respect, if word gets out that the “Spirit Wall” has collapsed, there is a possibility that the Scharm family and the Bromell family will come to a truce, and then the divided northern nobles will once again unite to face the threat and take a stand―I was afraid that they would reunite and eliminate us first… if that happened, we would be outnumbered.”
Claudia nodded deeply at the aide’s explanation.
“I think you make a good point. I wish we could have arrived at that answer before we attacked the Grantz.”
Claudia turned her back at the aide and looked again at the battlefield.
“The northern nobles will never forgive us for raiding them without declaring war. The families of the slain soldiers will also have their hatred for the demon tribe growing. If we say that we will return home, they will only be dissatisfied. This is no longer a children’s quarrel, and we can no longer allow it to stop.”
“Indeed… Your Majesty Queen Claudia is right. I am sorry that I have disturbed your ears.”
The decision to attack was the result of a consensus. This aide would have also supported the attack on Grantz. However, because of the hesitation, anxiety was revealed. Perhaps he was hoping to gain Claudia’s support. However, when he was rejected, he immediately withdrew his opinion. Perhaps he was afraid of being reprimanded.
But this aide had lost it. It was not the result of the nobles’ consensus that created this situation. It was because Claudia made the final decision that they were now in this situation. Whatever the outcome, the responsibility lay solely with Claudia.
“I am glad to hear your honest feelings. So, let me give you a reward.”
With a hint of confusion, the aide’s voice hit Claudia in the back.
“Yes, first look at the battlefield… and you will see that there are more stout-hearted men among the Grantz nobility than you expected?”
“Yes, a mere army of one thousand men, barbaric as it may be, but I must admit that they have the mettle to come up against thirty thousand.”
It was only a trivial resistance. For the Kingdom of Levering, the situation was easier to deal with than trampling ants. Even so, the soldiers of the Grantz came toward them, believing they could win.
Claudia thought it was a beautiful scene even after seeing it again.
Thinking of country, friends, and family.
Even if the battle was unwinnable, they were fighting hard for the sake of those they should protect.
“Don’t you think it’s too good to kill them? I would love to have them as my subordinates.”
It was the role of the commander to send the soldiers out to the battlefield, but if they did not trust the commander, they would not listen to the order to jump to their deaths.
However, the soldiers of Grantz who were coming toward the Levering Kingdom were not willing to run away but were prepared to die in the process. It was clear that they did not have the slightest doubt about the orders of their commanders.
Claudia, who was watching the battlefield from a distance, could sense that the soldiers had a strong feeling that they would be willing to die under their commander, even if they had a fear of dying, even if it was a battle they could never win. There WAs nothing more precious than a commander who haD earned their trust. A brave soldier WAs also an irreplaceable asset of gold, silver, and treasure.
“You want a human to be under your command?”
“I don’t care about race, as long as they are good. I would rather have a competent human than an incompetent demon.”
“Then, shouldn’t we make a surrender request to them… or else they will be annihilated?”
“If they would bow down, they would not have come at us in the first place. They will not surrender. They have decided that the battlefield is their grave, and they are going into battle… so it seems unlikely that capturing them will change the minds of those whose loyalty is so great that they are prepared to die.”
“If so, shouldn’t we kill him to avoid any future problems? According to the way Your Majesty Queen Claudia speaks, it would be dangerous to leave him unattended… If he is a good commander, it would be convenient to kill him to weaken the Grantz.”
Claudia didn’t deny it but affirmed it honestly and started to step forward. She took another step forward, leaving the aide with a dubious look on his face. Then, with a graceful motion, she pointed one hand at the soldier.
“Call the elite guards. Then bring my horse here to the battlefield.”
The aide looked surprised at this.
“W-wait a minute, Your Majesty. The situation is really favorable that it is not necessary for you to go all the way to the battlefield.”
“Fufu, I told you. I want a commander I don’t know the name of.”
“Your Majesty Queen Claudia yourself denied it just now…”
“That’s why I’ll go and get him.”
“What? Um… Will he change his mind if you capture him?”
“A man who is loyal, proud of his valor, and never abandons his duty is vulnerable to capture.”
Claudia straddled her beloved horse and pulled out her own beloved sword―the treasured sword of the Levering Kingdom, left behind by the founder King Rox.
“If we keep him alive, he can be used in any number of ways. And the same can be said for the path we must take. Only by living can we find a way forward, and only by living can we find a future.”
With these words, Claudia ran toward the battlefield.