He was unusually honest while speaking, and then he hung his head down.
As I walked out of the room with an emotional Eric, Paul appeared from around the corner of the corridor.
“Eliza-sama, the Earl has summoned you.”
“Yes. He also has a message for Baron Dorvadine. The scouts have sent a message that the Densel army is moving out of their capital, so we need to send the Royal Army onto the frontlines right away…”
“Alright,” I nodded in reply. I glanced at Eric who was still looking down. When he noticed that I was looking at him, he turned his back away from the medical office for a second and nodded clearly.
When I returned to the conference room with Eric, Wiegraf and Marquis Lorenzorell, who had been waiting in the room, welcomed him as if nothing had happened. Then they began to schedule the imperial proclamation. Since there were no benefits in revealing that Eric had refused to do the imperial proclamation, publicly, I was the only person who knew about it as I was the messenger between the Marquis and Eric. However, it’s an open secret that he refused.
At any rate, I’ve resolved the troublesome problem.
I couldn’t give my opinion on the imperial proclamation schedule. All I could do was wait for orders.
Ergnard and I left the conference room earlier, since there was also no point in him contributing to that conversation, in order to do another task or miscellaneous matter so that our time wouldn’t be wasted.
“Did you pay a lot of attention to him?”
“… That’s pretty rude.”
“I didn’t say to who, did I?”
When we finished checking the details of the food and medical supplies, which had been brought in this time from the room next to the operations room, Ergnard smirked triumphantly. I felt a little annoyed at his smug expression that said, ‘I knew this would happen’ and sighed.
“You could have persisted a little longer, though. If you had, I would have won the bet.”
“Can you please not use people in your bets?”
“If I remember this next time, then I won’t.”
The bet was probably about when I could get Eric to give in or if I wasn’t able to get him to give in at all.
The wagers were probably these three: Ergnard, the Marquis and Wiegraf. Considering their personalities and their understanding of me, Wiegraf probably won. He used to be the chief of staff, so he can read people.
“I thought you wouldn’t want to pay a lot of attention to him, since your attitude didn’t soften at all when he came. He acted like he wanted a lot of attention, but you treated him coldly…”
“I can’t be that friendly to someone who I’ve only known for less than ten days. Besides, I also had a plan to use him as cushioning material.”
“I see. But you think of ways to save a person’s life the moment you meet them.”
“… I think about whether I should kill them or torture them more often than not.”
“You have a unique mindset.”
Ergnard laughed cheerfully while letting my comment slide.
“I hadn’t expected him to give up his duty at the last moment. There are other ways of fighting in this war without you having to make him give up and give the imperial proclamation.”
I know that. This Royal Army’s morale will drop incredibly, but as a last resort, we planned on killing all the slave soldiers, that the Royal Army couldn’t attack, with my army and the Earl’s army. If necessary, we could have asked for reinforcements from Margrave Junas.
“I couldn’t let it get that far.”
“Well, I thought it was like that since you hadn’t done that before. But why did you act so coldly towards him instead of mending your relationship? You said you wanted to use him as a cushioning material, but with your attitude, you’re completely making yourself unapproachable.”
I pouted my lips. He made it seem like we were having a conversation and eventually pointed this out.
“… Because if I worry about him, then I’ll get emotionally attached. That’s…”
Ergnard burst into laughter when I said that with another deep sigh. I glared at him as he laughed loudly. That’s why I didn’t want to say it.
I started thinking of ways to get him back, such as calling Rashiok and making him coil around Ergnard.
――― With a distant thud, the floor shook and rattled for a moment. Ergnard and I stopped moving for a moment and looked at each other.
“Impossible. Where from?”
We said as we quickly returned to the next room just as Marquis Lorenzorell and Eric ran out of the room.
“They’re going to do the imperial proclamation?”
“Yeah. The sound just now… is probably the sound of the Rindarl army in action.”
Wiegraf was slightly pale. Ergnard silently put his arms around his brother’s shoulders and looked me in the eye.
The battle is about to begin, his eyes said.
“In the frontline, Densel’s army began a massive march from Eris, a large city in Densel Dukedom, towards the fortresses in remnant hills. It appears that they are facing the troops at Di Lo Yun, the first defensive stronghold, on the plains below the remnant hills.”
Ergnard and I nodded as Wiegraf began to compile the information that had been brought by the messenger soldiers who were rushing in and out of the room.
The unforeseen situation occurred while the Arxian army was distracted by what was happening in their own bases. Naval ships came up from the seaside and landed in Teve River, which was the midway line between the second defence point, Di Loe Das Fortress.
The troops from the ship, which seemed to be under a different command structure from Densel’s army, attacked from behind and defeated the soldiers at Di Lo Yun. They were forced to retreat back to the fortress and were now surrounded by the enemy troops.
On the battlefield, the two enemy troops are engaged in battle with the soldiers at Di Lo Yun and the soldiers from Di Loe Das and the third stronghold, Di Loe Tros who came to the rescue of Di Lo Yun.
It was a good thing that the scouts, which included draconis, were able to detect the enemy troop’s advance as soon as possible, since each of the defensive strongholds were able to smoothly shift from alert status to being battle ready.
However, the battle commenced without Arxia’s Royal Army’s main unit, as well as Marquis Lorenzorell, or the remnant hills’ cavalry unit’s supreme knight commander, Ergnard. It was a very disadvantage situation for the Arxian side, as the Di Lo Yun troops were mainly composed of scouts and field soldiers, who were fighting to defend the stronghold, and the Di Loe Tros troops, who had come to back them up and were composed of cavalry troops were forced to fight on the riverside to suppress the troops on the ships. Additionally, the Jufgena Fortress troops would take at least half a day at the earliest to arrive at the battlefield.
“… Isn’t it possible for our formations and movements to leak to the enemy?”
Even in this state of emergency, Wiegraf remained, and seemed busy with some tasks, while he explained the current war situation to me. Wiegraf had suggested that we temporarily move the most rear base from Jugfena Fortress to a liaison base located halfway between the remnant hills and Jugfena in the documents that I had glimpsed at.
The liaison base was in a Densel farming village that we were occupying. What Wiegraf was suggesting was denied by the nobles who were cautious about aggressive acts from the farmers. We were in the worst situation for war, since we had outstretched our communications, so we couldn’t afford to listen to the nobles.
“I don’t want to think about the possibility of there being spies among us Arxians, but…”
In the gloomy Wiegraf’s mind, information about not only the 2000 knights and soldiers of Jugfena, but also the 1000 Royal Army soldiers, must be swirling around in his mind.
He glanced at me for a second, but then averted his gaze in less than a blink of an eye. I’m glad to see that he trusts me.
“… Oh, more importantly, I have a favour to ask of you. I would like to borrow the knight named Claudia Lorenzorell from the Kaldia army.”
“You want to borrow Claudia?”
“Yeah. I feel really bad since the situation has worsened, but I’d have to ask her to evacuate Eric-sama back to Kaldia. Of course, I’ll send some soldiers from Jugfena to go with them as well.”
I understood why he needed Claudia. Even under these circumstances, it’s necessary to attach a good number of soldiers with Eric while he’s on the move. Claudia is a member of the Lorenzorell House, and she’s also a knight, so she can be used as my proxy.
“I’m glad you’re quick to understand. Now then, shall we leave the fortress as well? We need to set up that liaison base by the end of the day.”