“Julius-sama, it’s almost time for dinner.”
Julius had returned to his family residence and spent time in his room after the tea party had finished that evening. Parla, the head maid, knocked on the door and informed him that it was time for dinner.
“Ah, okay. I’ll go now.”
Julius put a bookmark into the book he was reading, put it onto the desk and stood up.
He opened the door, went out into the corridor and bowed at Parla, who was waiting for him outside.
“Now then, please go to the dining room. The Master and Madam are already waiting for you.”
“Oh? My father is also there? That’s rare.”
Julius felt that something was suspicious when he heard Parla’s words.
The Rosenberg family didn’t gather often for dinner.
Especially during the social season when all the members of the family were busy. They haven’t gathered for dinner in years.
This didn’t just apply to the Rosenberg family, it applied to all noble families.
“The Master went to the Royal Castle today, but he rushed back because something seemed to have happened there. He looked really troubled.”
“Hm, don’t worry about it…… Well, let’s just hurry.”
Parla and Julius quickly headed to the dining room.
Julius arrived at his seat and the waiter poured him an aperitif.
Julius lightly put the drink to his mouth and asked his father, Earl Rosenberg, about what was troubling him.
“Father, you returned earlier than usual today, did something happen?” Julius asked his father and Earl Rosenberg nodded his head calmly while he stabbed his hors d’oeuvres with his fork.
“Yes. I went to the Royal Castle today and heard something that bothered me. I had to tell you two as well, so I returned as soon as possible.”
“Something that bothered you?”
“What is it, dear?”
He understood why his father had cut his schedule to come back to the mansion, but he had no idea what it could have been from what they’ve been talking about thus far. Julius and Elizabeth, however, could tell how serious it was from the way Ernesto was speaking and corrected their posture.
In fact, this was the first time he’d said something like this.
“Well, I haven’t received definite information yet…… But the war might start soon.”
Elizabeth inadvertently gasped while scooping the soup made out of beans with her spoon when Earl Rosenberg told them this in a low tone.
Julius didn’t let this show on his face nor did he say anything, but he was shaken up.
“War…… With the Kingdom of Lakshurusu?”
In this current situation, the Kingdom of Lakshurusu was the only possible kingdom out of the three that would go to war with Aullène Kingdom. Julius guessed this and asked in confirmation.
Earl Rosenberg nodded in return.
“The Kingdom of Lakshurusu originally had disputes with our Aullène Kingdom, and it isn’t rare for us to have conflicts over it. However, today I heard that according to a spy, the Kingdom of Lakshurusu has been preparing military equipment. If they are preparing military equipment then our kingdom would be the only one they would attack.”
Aullène Kingdom was adjacent to the Kingdom of Lakshurusu, Dioatol Empire and east Einn Kingdom.
The Dioatol Empire was in civil war and weren’t interfering with the other kingdom’s, but amongst the four kingdom’s they were the lead in territory and military force. No one dared to attack them. It was most favourable for them that the Dioatol Empire didn’t interfere, it would be risky if they did.
Einn Kingdom had a good relationship with Aullène Kingdom and a not so friendly one with the Kingdom of Lakshurusu, but Einn Kingdom depended on its trade with the Kingdom of Lakshurusu, so it was hard to imagine that they would join in the conflicts.
Because of that, everyone knew that the Kingdom of Lakshurusu was targeting Aullène Kingdom.
“We have strengthened the border defence, but it would only be enough to buy time. We would organise the reinforcements while the border defence is buying time, then head out to a full-blown war.”
“Are people enlisting?”
The army of Aullène Kingdom was divided into the permanent army, which protected the Royal Capital and border, and a special army, drafted from each of the fiefs in times of emergency.
There was a limit to how much they could divide the guards, who protected the Royal Capital, so when the border guards couldn’t deal with a situation, they would reinforce the guards by organising a special army.
The special army was mainly made up of private soldiers of each fief and their citizens, so the feudal lords and their relatives often took up command.
If it was like that, then there was no doubt that the nobles, who had gathered at the Royal Capital for the social season, were already restless.
“Although the social season is on right now, it might be cancelled depending on the state of things. You should also act with that in mind.”
“I understand, father.”
Earl Rosenberg informed them with a grave expression on his face while he was cutting up his steak that was seasoned with a rich sauce. Julius and Elizabeth answered solemnly.
“Also, not a word to anyone about the present situation. You hear me? Now a word to anyone. This is just a tip-off, it isn’t definite.”
“A war, huh……?”
Julius had returned to his room after dinner, but he didn’t feel like continuing the book he was reading.
He laid down on his bed with his clothes on and looked at the ceiling.
He was thinking about what Earl Rosenberg had informed him at dinner: the war with the Kingdom of Lakshurusu.
The Earl had said that it wasn’t definite, but the fact was that the Kingdom of Lakshurusu was preparing military equipment.
It was hard to imagine that they didn’t have anything in mind for the prepared equipment. It was only a matter of time before the war would start.
Aullène Kingdom and the Kingdom of Lakshurusu have been in conflict for a long time and have repeatedly quarrelled with each other. However, that had all been dealt with by the border guards in recent years and they have never had to put together a special army.
Of course, young nobles like Julius have never experienced anything like war.
Prestige was important to the nobles of Aullène Kingdom, but the most important thing to them was continuing the family line.
Those two things conflicted in times like war, when their lives were at risk.
If it was about prestige, then they should proactively participate in the war and gain battle achievements, but if the head of the house and the eldest son died in battle, then the continuation of the family line would be threatened.
On the contrary, if the family line could be secured then they should participate in order to gain prestige.
For the Rosenberg House, as long as the current head, Earl Rosenberg or his successor, Julius, survives, then the family line can survive.
Earl Rosenberg was at the prime of his life and could still produce children.
If one paid a draught exemption tax, then not all members of a family would need to participate in war, but that would affect their prestige.
“Will it be my father, or me?” Julius, who was staring at the ceiling while thinking, only said that one sentence.
Julius was convinced that either he or his father would be heading out onto the frontlines.
If they thought about continuing the family line then Julius, who was younger, should remain. Even if Earl Rosenberg can still produce another child, it took time to raise a child until they could succeed a House, so it was risky.
However, in terms of prestige, it was more meaningful for Julius, the next successor, to head into the front lines than the current head, who had already obtained a certain level of acknowledgement.
And there was a reason why Julius wanted prestige.
His lovely fiancée’s face floated into his mind.
She was already mistaken about his gender, so he wanted to do something to show his masculinity to her.
If he could make himself seem more important with battle achievements, he could register their marriage with confidence.
Of course, if he lost his life in battle then everything would be lost. But at the same time, Julius felt that there was value in putting his life on the line.
Survival or prestige?
Julius lied down while conflicted and drifted off into dreamland.