(TL: The Author’s other major work, Dragoon has hereby been finished at 167 Chapters. I highly recommend you read it (if someone plans on translating it). Its main feature is the character growth of its two major characters, Rudel (Doomed(?) to Support, aiming to be a dragoon knight) and Aleister (The Reincarnated Hero). Rudel is the main character by the way.)
Lorphys’ Royal Princess
The room in Zayin that was coming closer and closer to being my work prison.
In it, I felt like crying out.
And increasing work.
Why do we even need to do this? Work that couldn’t help but make you thing that.
“Why won’t they move? Even when we’re ready on our side.”
A just cause to invade Selva, as well as the necessary soldiers and supplies. We already had it all assembled. No, to be more precise, we were going to be recycling what Zayin had in store to use in the invasion of Lorphys.
The scale would be four thousand.
That was all the battle-ready troops we could prepare, and our logistic support was around the same numbers. At the same time, we were hiring mercenary brigades to finish preparing to invade.
The numbers were less than half of what Zayin planned to use on Lorphys. But that was plenty.
From Selva’s diplomatic situation, they couldn’t count on reinforcements. They had the larger countries of Galleria and Rusworth around them, but those two were glaring at one another, and there was no sign of them coming close to dispatching reinforcements. To be blunt, while Selva didn’t have any major diplomatic enemies, they didn’t have allies either.
They seemed largely uninterested.
The ones who had become masters at deskwork, me, Novem, Miranda and Clara looked towards May as she sat in the center of the room.
May was eating a meal Monica had prepared.
“I properly delivered the letter again, you know? But another meeting, he said. It sure is a long process.”
May laughed, but none of us felt like joining in.
I stood, and spoke to Novem.
“… I’m going to go confirm it with Gastone-san. I need to get Aura-san and Thelma-san to write up a few documents, so I won’t be back a few hours.”
Novem smiled at me.
“Very well. I’ll make sure to advance forward the work here.”
She saw me off with those words. Miranda and Clara were making doubtful expressions, and Monica acted as an interpreter for their sentiment.
“You’re running away I see, damn Chicken Dickhead.”
A room in the temple.
It was a place more soothing than the rest of it.
Plants were planted around, and water flowed through the room’s extravagant construction. The white and round table was surrounded by four, but those four were making enervated faces as opposed to their surroundings.
A worn-out Thelma-san, verified something with a Gastone-san who looked like he’s collapse at any moment.
“Gastone, how is the present situation?”
I get the feeling Gastone-san was even more ragged than when I first saw him. His complexion was pale, his eyes bloodshot, and the hand lifting up his tea cup was quivering.
“No problems apart from the matter with Lorphys. No, there are problems, but they’re at a level where we’ll manage one way or another.”
A limp Aura-san put her right hand on the back of her chair, and bend her body as she ate some sweets. They were prepared by Monica.
“And why can’t you just recall them already? If you call back the priests scattered here and there in the outer regions, it will be resolved at once, won’t it? Ah, these aren’t bad.”
While she made a delighted expression as she munched on the confectionaries, Aura-san also looked quite exhausted.
“Even if we call them back, we have too few to send in their place. Since we’re going to be changing the fundamental rule of the land, they’re quite some work to be done out there. You’ve officially become the Holy Maiden. In order to prevent foreign interference, were going to take heredity into account as well.”
Up to now, Zayin had been influenced by other nations, and manipulated into launching constant wars. Changing that would be a considerable amount of work.
A number of priests had collapsed; those losses totaled greater than the casualties of the preceding war. The ones who collapsed retrieved treatment, before promptly being put back to work.
This was hell.
Gastone-san looked at me.
“So you shall be going to Lorphys, Lyle-dono? I cannot prepare the paperwork at once, but how should I put it… why isn’t Lorphys moving? It’s a considerable expenditure for us to keep our troops at the ready here.”
Less than half the troops. But to move an army and maintain it required money and supplies. If Lorphys didn’t move, we’d be the ones rendered immobile.
“I’m going there to ask. I want to put an end to it already.”
Thelma-san looked at me.
“You have another plan?”
I took my cup in hand, and after a sip of tea, I closed my eyes, and shook my head.
From the Jewel, the Fifth let his voice.
『You resorted to tactics because you didn’t have the numbers, but with the numbers together, a frontal assault is the best option. It’s best to keep casualties low, but numbers are in themselves a plan and a power.』
Gathering troops was also a form of power. If you could do that, then you didn’t have to actualize a risky plan every time.
“Nothing of the sort. It will be a normal war. And the reason I could win with strategy was because I had all of you with me. I wouldn’t’ have been able to do so much if I were working alone.”
Aura-san stared at me with doubtful eyes.
“Oh I wonder. I heard it from the temple virgins, but in the city, our Holy Knight Captain is being treated like a hero. A hero who used a small force to defeat legions of men. How ironic it must be that we never once went up against a large army.”
“If we fought a large army, then even if we achieved victory there, we’d have lost the war.”
Thelma-san shook her head.
“But you first have to win for there to be a chance at victory. Still, in that case, why isn’t Lorphys moving? Could they be doubtful of our forces? With our army having lost to a minority?”
That may be a possibility. I won too much, that Lorphys had come to believe the army of Zayin was weak.
That we wouldn’t be reliable.
“Whatever the case, we need to get Lorphys on the move. I’ll be back as soon as I can, so please press forward the preparations.”
When I said that and stood, Gastone-san…
“Please return as fast as possible. Or we’ll really have corpses on our hands.”
… Gastone-san threatened me with an exhausted smile.
After I rode May to Lorphys, I headed straight for the royal palace.
Before I could have an audience with the princess, I was to speak with Lonbolt-san first. Alette-san had been chosen to be my guide.
Walking through the palace, I struck up a conversation with Alette-san.
“So how is the situation in Lorphys?”
Alette-san looked a little tense.
“It’s calmed down. A majority believe that war has been evaded.”
It seems they were quite negative about war.
“In Zayin, we’ve made a formal announcement that Selva was the one scheming behind this matter. We’re prepared to mobilize, and if possible, we’d like to make a move at once.”
There, Alette-san turned to me.
“We want to mobilize as well. But the leaders’ opinions are divided each meeting. And I have to ask you don’t get them too riled up.”
When I put myself on guard, Alette-san made a conflicted expression.
“Princess Annerinne said to forgive Selva on this matter. Without nulling her engagement, she has expressed a desire for Zayin to step down.”
When I was too surprised to raise a voice. Some laughing voices came from the Jewel.
『What’s with that? Simply awful!』
『Now’s the time to attack. Totes not happening!』
『It’s a good thing we didn’t join Lorphys’ side. What should we do? Attack of our own accord?』
『Managing will be a pain. It will be easy enough to defeat them, but Gastone will die on us.』
While I felt so tired, the Ancestors sounded as if they were enjoying it.
I knew she’d fallen for the man, but I didn’t think it was to this extent.
I spoke to Alette-san.
“Um, we already made the official announcement that we were going to attack, you know?”
“Yeah, I know about that one. But the princess… we want to move as well. But we cannot do so without orders.”
The Seventh, delightedly.
『Hahaha, I’m getting the urge to crush Lorphys now. Should we just take it down while we’re at it?』
On that opinion, the Fourth.
『Rejected. As they are, Lyle’s party can’t manage it. And taking it will take time. We’ll have to get the princess to open her eyes. Kindness is supposed to be a virtue, but… it’s painful that she can’t recognize the present situation.』
The Third spoke in a lower voice than usual.
『A decoration should behave like a decoration. What’s she trying to do by pulling it down… come to think of it, there were others in this country with claim to the throne, weren’t there?』
The Fifth denied that opinion.
『They’re a small country after all. It seems the current princess is actually relatively popular. There will be those that riot if she dies.』
Disappointed, the Third spoke.
『I see… but the individual herself is going to marry that Dario, so if you asked her to hand off her position, wouldn’t she happily hand it over?』
He hadn’t given up yet.
(What does he find so fun about this anyways?)
I shook my head, and walked down the palace corridor. I was a bit curious as to why Alette-san looked a little nervous as she watched me.
The audience chamber.
In it, I found the figure of Dario glaring at me.
The princess, Annerinne, showed some tension as she looked towards me. In contrast, Dario seemed a bit frightened.
I had come as a messenger, so I planned to briefly relay my matter, and wait for a response. The knights were in the chamber as well, alongside Lonbolt-san and the other ministers.
Everyone was tense, but among them, Dario’s fear was out of place.
For some reason, the Seventh burst out laughing.
『Dayum! Instead of hiding away the Selvian prince, they put him up front… they have no intentions of negotiation, do they not!? This is bad, my stomach hurts!』
Something hit him in the funny bone. Dario truly did feel out of place.
(And wait, aren’t the ancestors just a bit too high-strung lately? They aren’t tired like me or anything… did something happen?)
After a bit of time, the princess opened her mouth.
“… Pertaining to the matter with Zayin, perhaps it’s best I offer my congratulations.”
Hearing that, the Third laughed.
『Oh my! She’s already picking a fight, this girl! She can’t even hide it? This girl’s too honest with herself!』
The Fourth spoke levelheadedly.
『Is that not why she chose a man over her country?』
The Fifth, also levelheadedly.
『Why of course.』
And with that line, everyone in the jewel simultaneously burst into laughter. I really don’t get where my ancestors’ funny bones are.
While I listened to their laughing voices, the princess spoke to me with a serious face.
“But the war ends here. Isn’t that enough? I have no wishes to enlarge this war any further. I’ll have Zayin pull back their hand from Selva.”
The ancestors laughed. Their stomachs ached.
『No, it really was the right choice to join Zayin’s side. With this one up top, it would be irritating all the way up.』
『Well, even if it’s interesting from the eyes of a third party, there are cases where those involved can’t laugh, I see.』
My feelings at the time.
(I can’t feel the slightest bit of tension in the ancestors’ laughing voices. This is no good. Even I’m going to end up laughing.)
Other people couldn’t hear those voices, I’m sure. They were awaiting my response with earnest faces.
But with all the laughter entering my ears, I could only take the serious atmosphere as an extended joke.
“No, we’ve already made the formal announcement and declaration to invade, so withdrawing it will bring about various problems to our position. And in our negotiations with Lorphys, both parties agreed to attack together already.”
The royal princess hung her head, and spoke a little regretfully.
“Then we shall be fine without the return of the land once stolen from Lorphys. Is that not enough to put your side at ease?”
Lonbolt-san burst out.
“Your highness, that’s wrong!”
He began explaining the present state of affairs, but it was getting quite hard for me to hold in the laughter. Every single time, the ancestors would chip in their commentary.
The Seventh even…
『When they haven’t done a thing, she’ll have us return it? She’s just going to ignore that we prevented Zayin from invading them? My, my, how convenient.』
『She really is a convenient princess. No, a convenient woman, perhaps?』
There were some more laughs to follow. There, the Fifth.
『You guys would never be saying such things if your wives were here.』
『Stop it. Don’t bring it up now… you’ve made a strange sweat break out, you have.』
The ancestors… none of them could raise their heads to their wives, it seems.
They usually put up bravado, but when I thought of how frantic they surely must have been before their wives, it made me feel like laughing. No, I did end up laugh.
When shocked eyes enclosed me, I looked around. Their expressions were the height of seriousness.
I cleared my throat.
“No, My apologies. Um… well, let’s use this opportunity to wash away all rudeness we’ve exchanged. So will Lorphys be able to send out troops? Or will they not? It couldn’t be… that you’ll say you’ll be assisting Selva, I’m sure?”
When I frantically tried to smooth it over, I hurried without choosing my words, and ended up regretting my statement.
The Fifth spoke.
『What, so you do know how to rile people up, Lyle. Alone in an enemy camp… you don’t get too many such opportunities. Ah, my gut.』
It really was a slip up caused by panic, and I really couldn’t say anything to it.
The princess spoke.
“Trying to threaten us. Lorphys shall never side with one who can act so unjust! If you wish to converse with weapon in hand, we shall take you on!”
Everyone present tried to stop the princess. But hearing my ancestors’ laughs, even that began to look like a comedy.
I couldn’t feel that this was a tense stage at all.
(It’s no good, I can’t hold it in anymore.)
The fatigue of unfamiliar work, and the immobile state of affairs wearing me out. I was psychologically worn out, so I made a mistake I never usually would…
My voice echoed through the chamber, my surroundings becoming chillingly quiet in contrast.
… I ended up laughing loudly. Perhaps determining that was a bad choice, the Fourth followed through for me.
『Lyle, no matter how interesting it may have been, you laughed too much. At least keep your expression constant, and make sure they can’t read your intentions when you do it. Now then, that one was bad, so let’s change our hand. No, in this case, it would be mouth…』
My past memories of the Fourth talking me into trying to seduce Thelma-san revived, but I was sure he wouldn’t do anything like that here, and decided to believe in him.
Repeating his words.
“… You call us unjust, but Lorphys was once yet another country making use of Zayin, was it not? You think us ignorant? The Holy Maiden of three generations prior was a person of Lorphys. While I’m at it, there are records of them using the country to invade and pillage in Selva.”
… When we were sorting through documents, I did see such information. The country had such a past, and whenever problems befell it, they did make proper records.
The border zone of Zayin, Selva, and Lorphys. The delineation was vague, so skirmishes were an everyday affair.
I never thought the paperwork job would prove useful here, but it didn’t really make me happy.
“So you imply you’re all just? And in this matter with Selva. It was done to put Lorphys under their rule. To turn it around, they were trying to invade you, princess. You’ll just shut your mouth and permit it? From Zayin’s point of view, we cannot overlook such a country enlarging their national power.”
The one who had been silent up to now, Dario, stood, and yelled at me with an immensely threatening tone.
“Don’t get so stuck up just because you won for once! With Zayin’s feeble soldiers, you think you can overcome the might of Selva!?”
“Yes, that was my intention. That’s why I got our troops together to begin with. I thought I had already carried out the preparations for victory. But dear second prince, it does appear you know quite well of the battlefield. How about you go home and start preparing for war? I, Lyle, have a desire to learn a thing or two about the plains of war. And you must be oh-so strong. I simply can’t wait. I was just getting bored of how few worthy opponents were to be found in Zayin.”
『Ahaha, the surrounding expressions are wonderful.』
I began to sweat as I followed along.
(Damn glasses! After criticizing me, you riled them up even more! When I thought you’d get it all together, what the hell are you doing!?)
As Dario’s expression turned pale, I made the preparations to escape. Linked to me with Skill… Connection… I instructed May to get ready to run.
『May, the signs are looking grim. I beg of you… prepare for our escape!』
May spoke reluctantly.
『… You’re the one that stirred them up, aren’t you? Not that it matters. I’ll come to your rescue, so just stay put.』
On top of the sharp glares around, the knights were already reaching for their weapons. They hadn’t taken stances yet, but they dropped their hips, and were prepared to move at any moment.
Dario tumbled onto the ground, and landed on his backside.
The Princes spoke.
“Dario-sama! … Apprehend that fool!”
She turned her right hand at me. As her long violet hair- long enough to reach the floor- swayed, and the knights were just about to leap, the window to the audience chamber shattered, and May jumped in.
In quilin form.
The surrounding ministers and knights backed off some upon seeing her form.
“A-a quilin, you say!?”
“A quilin came to save him? It couldn’t be…”
“W-what should we do!?”
As everyone panicked, quilin-form May approached me. She swung her head to beckon me to her back, so I mounted her.
“S-stay put! Everyone lower your weapons!”
Lonbolt-san ordered the surrounding knights to stand down, and told me to wait. Dario had lost consciousness upon May’s entrance, and wet his pants.
As the princess embraced Dario, it wet her hair. And noticing that, she thrust the man away.
“Kyah! I-impudence! My precious hair! S-someone bring something to wipe it with.”
Seeing Dario collapsed on the floor, the Third spoke.
『I believe I’ve just witness the moment love shatters.』
And once more, the ancestors burst out laughing.
As a cold sweat flowed down me, I began to think of what to do with what’s to come.
A few hours later.
I rode May’s back, and headed for the capital of Zayin.
I was given a letter from Lorphys, pertaining to the invasion of Selva. After that, they soon agreed to join the offensive.
Of course, on the promise that Lorphys and Zayin would have no hostilities between them.
The participants besides me would surely meet up later to discuss the specifics, but all I could do was hold onto the bag containing the documents, and let out a sigh.
“Just what was it… that audience…”
It was madness, or how should I put it, I had to wonder why I did something like that… It’s certain that I was tired, and mentally unstable.
But normally, that would be no good.
And for some reason, the ancestors were depressed.
『Yeah, sorry. I couldn’t stop laughing… quite a bit’s been going on lately. I’ll explain it tomorrow.』
『… Once it’s come to an end, I have to wonder why I did something like that. I do regret it.』
『Looking at only the results, there wasn’t a problem. It’s that, you know. That… I was tired.』
『Looking back, that was rude and embarrassing. Let’s just forget it ever happened.』
Was there something to tire out the ancestors?
I thought, as exhausted as I was, I returned to my room in Zayin, where I was sure my workload would have increased.
Emotionally, I felt from the bottom of my heart I didn’t want to return.
(But maybe I can get Novem to console me…)