『There are a few reasons why some may conspire to war.』
Inside the Jewel.
The Fourth prepared a blackboard, and began explaining to me. Up to now, I had only ever experienced real wars, so when it came to conspiracies, or wars that had rule books, I didn’t really have that deep an understanding.
So in regards to my deficiency, he was explaining, but…
『To put it simply, they want war. Or they need to have it no matter what, but they don’t really want the other side’s territory. Well, in various lands, you’ll find various reasons, and anyway, they’ve kept on fighting for a while.』
“… So we have to eliminate that reason? Both sides were showing considerable motivation, though.”
It didn’t look like everyone was conspiring to fight among friends. In any case, the warzone on the border must be going through hard times, right?
There, the Third spoke to me.
『Well, even if the reason changes everywhere, everyone has their circumstance. But if they’re fighting quite frequently, then it isn’t population regulation, is it.』
The population a land could support had its limits. Space was limited. Even if you pioneered to increase the sustainable population, it would eventually reach its limit.
In that cause, you’d have no choice but to snatch up land. But taking more land also meant there was more land you had to govern.
“So what could their goal be?”
When I tilted my head, the Fifth reluctantly answered.
『That’s what you have to look into. Well, roughly from what I’ve seen, Galleria is quite easy to invade. In that land, the feudal lords around are the head honchos, and you could also call it a clump of small countries. Even if you were to buy one off, I doubt any complaints would come out.』
I spoke anxiously.
“That’s true, but… am I really capable of government service?”
In order to alleviate my anxiety, the Seventh smiled.
『Fret not, Lyle. You’re still young, and you have results to show. Like hell there’s a lord or country who wouldn’t want you.』
In regards to him, Milleia-san from the side.
『Well, it’s often the case that overly capable people are hated. It’s not like you’re the one who has to get the position.』
On my surprise, the Fourth nodded.
『Isn’t that obvious? Getting into both country’s governments is impossible. If you did that, then I would have you executed if I was in charge.』
He wrote the names Galleria and Rusworth on the board, and started writing my comrades… starting with Novem, under them.
『So who shall we station where? How about we decide it. In this case, you’ll have to go on support, Lyle.』
“If my comrades take office, would that not be as if my party was serving two lords? I get the feeling that’s a little irrational.”
The Fifth looked as uninterested as ever.
『It’s fine like that. It’s not like they’ll be serving them forever. It’s to pull those two countries into an alliance with Zayin and Lorphys. Afterwards, you can deal with the surrounding small countries diplomatically and what not.』
The Fourth energetically explained his plan.
『First, you have to infiltrate both sides. Get some achievements in them… but this time, you shouldn’t try for achievement on the battlefield.』
Seeing me seriously listening, the Fourth looked delighted.
『You’ll mainly have them work on domestic affairs. First, you have to break the balance between them. In that case, the impatient parties will have no choice but to break the deadlocks. At that point, you’ll have a chance to send people in.』
Listening to his explanation…
“But domestic affairs will take time. Even if we successfully infiltrate, won’t we be bound in place for years, if not decades?”
On my opinion, the Fourth shook his head.
『We don’t have such time. That’s why we’ll be using those letters of introduction this time. Using introductions from Zayin, Lorphys, and Beim, you can swiftly get results upon infiltration. Well, from what I’ve seen, it’ll be Galleria.』
Better the domestic affairs of one side, and the other side might turn to us. I was curious as to whether that would really work out well, but we had a trump card of our own.
Milleia-san clapped her hands, and stood from her chair.
『Wonderful! The very fact they receive cooperation from a group with ties to Zayin, Lorphys, and Beim will raise a predicament. Of course they’ll panic. It would look like the other side was finally coming to crush them for real!』
The Fourth was enjoying himself quite a bit.
『Exactly! If they panic, the opportunity to use them will widen. For that sake, we need information. With information at the base, let’s dispatch the perfect personnel to both sides. If it’s no good from the outside, then crush them from within.』
I wonder why it is… for some reason, I pitied the countries the Fourth set his target on.
It was at that moment. As if recalling something, Milleia-san suddenly spoke up.
『Oh, right. Lyle, it’s been a while, so why not pay a visit to LYLE-kun? He may be feeling lonely.』
Staring reproachfully at her.
“… That guy gets lonely? And wait, I don’t really want to talk with him.”
『Don’t be selfish. Look, let’s go.』
She pulled my hand, and pulled me into my own room of memories.
『I was loooneellly, Milleiaaaa-saaan!!』
When we entered the room, Lyle took a leap at Milleia-san.
He casually aimed at her chest, and his hands were making indecent movements. While his form was that of a child, this should still be out of the question.
『Oh my, sorry for that.』
A light thwap rang out as Milleia-san shot a chop down on his head. Falling to the ground and twitching a bit, LYLE tottered to his feet.
『… Y-you don’t have to be so embarrassed. Following Novem, I award you the title of Iron Fortress.』
『Oh, how delightful. Anyways, you’ll be explaining some more today.』
It was the space I had once carried out my life.
LYLE prepared chairs for me and Milleia, before sitting on the bed himself.
『So what should I talk about… last time I asked you to return my body, but you won’t do that, will you?』
“Giving it to you isn’t happening, more so, we’re already different people, are we not. I wouldn’t really like me not being myself.”
Hearing my words, he muttered, ‘how cruel’. But he looked a little happy.
『Well, if you think you can beat Celes as you are, then so be it.』
Those words, that confidence… I asked him.
“If it were you, could you beat Celes?”
I was a little reluctant to ask such a thing, but I couldn’t go by without doing so. Milleia-san was looking at me as if she wanted to say something, but in the end, she remained silent.
LYLE spoke, completely brimming with confidence.
『I wouldn’t lose. But I guess I wouldn’t win either. At present, perhaps that’s what my hundred percent would get you. I mean, Celes took whatever she could from me. Well, I’m the first genius ever born into the Walt House, and a bonifide child prodigy, so there’s no helping she be envious of me.』
As he gave quite a dubious response, I regretted the fact I had posed the question so earnestly.
Milleia-san was giggling to herself.
I let out a sigh.
“On the contrary, could you return my memories?”
LYLE gave a fearless smile.
『Oh, I wonder. Rather, if you won’t return the body, I’d like to think we’re irrelevant.』
When I tried to rise from my chair, LYLE closed the distance between us in an instant, touching my forehead with the tip of his index finger.
『If you want to fight me, I’d advise you stopped. I mean, even if I was stolen away, I still remember how to move my body. You wouldn’t be able to beat me.』
Even if he wasn’t at Celes level, I didn’t get the feeling I could beat the existence before my eyes. When my expression turned regretful, LYLE wandered over to Milleia-san…
『Milleia-san… hold me.』
『That was terrible. Try again with a purer heart.』
『I’m merely honest with my desires, and my heart is pure as snow. So please hold me! I want to use those breasts as a pillow!』
Thinking this guy was the worst, I moved on to the next question.
“What do I have to do for you to return my sealed memories?”
Lyle turned to me.
『… Memories, is it? Well, if you want them back, then how about a match?』
『You and me fighting would be impossible. It wouldn’t even be a match. So… invite those lovers of yours into the Jewel. All of them. And therein lies the match. The contents are a secret. But if you don’t, I’ll definitely never hand over your memories, and if the chance presents itself, I’ll be taking your body.』
“Why do I have to introduce everyone to a pervy brat like you… bastard!”
When I noticed, LYLE transported himself atop the bed, and made a pose.
『As if there was any doubt! It’s because I want to grope the hell out of their breasts and bums! Now, for the sake of your memories, present your lovers to me!』
“There’s no way I’m ever bringing them here, idiot!”
The rebuild detached house had become considerably large.
To its side, a stable for Porter was made, and it looked like a large-scale reproduction of a dog house. It made me a little fearful of Monica’s love to Porter.
At that place I had set as my base, the large-scale Porter had arrived, loaded with Valkyries.
From it, Rauno-san disembarked as well, with a tired expression.
“You’re too rough with your grunts. What’s the meaning of a job request the moment I get back? What’s more, the difficulty level is way too high.”
An unshaven stubble, and an unkempt head. He was quite justified in his complaints.
“We’re in a bit of a hurry. So how was the land beyond Fortress Redant… Bahnseim?”
On my question, he breathed out a sigh.
“What was once our neighboring country has officially come under Bahnseimian rule. The one occupying it is a General from Centralle, going by the name of 【Blois Cadel】. And he’s not with Centralle’s elites, but some soldiers scraped together from the provinces… it seems he’s safely governing.”
A general of Centralle was sent from the capital to some remote region. Thinking about it normally, that was…
『Was he demoted? Still, if he’s established stable rule, we can’t be negligent with him.』
The Seventh was wary.
I wondered if we had to mind him to such an extent, but Rauno-san said something questionable.
“I don’t know if he’s capable. If he was sent off to the border, maybe that’s it for him, but I don’t want to think a man who rose to general could be incompetent. I feel sorry for those below him.”
He put in a bit of his personal sentiment, making me think something happened in his past.
“They won’t be moving for now, will they?”
“They won’t, I say. Casualties from monsters has risen, and he’s dealing with that as he governs the land. I thought they would rely on Beim, but it feels more like they’re keeping some distance from it. I wanted to look into it a bit more, but my requester just happened to have a sudden change in objective.”
He spat sarcasm, but at present, this field was the priority.
The countries of Galleria and Rusworth; I had to get them on our side no matter what.
“I’ll apologize for pushing you. I want to finish things up here quickly.”
Rauno-san looked over me.
“No, I treasure customers who’re good at paying their dues. I’ll even throw in a freebie.”
“What is it?”
“A portion of Beim- the portion you’ve cause to lose profit, to be precise- has started to move. The Trēs House is waiting and watching, and it’s possible they’ll have their own movements in the near future. You’re the big brother of that soon-to-be princess rampaging around Bahnseim, right? Beim’s higher ups may cut you off for that.”
Hearing that, I kept quiet.
The reason for that was…
『Oh, things are going quite nicely then. It all depends on how Beim moves from here on, though. If Fidel-kun’s just watching and waiting, then riling him up did have an effect, perhaps?』
『We’ve already gotten the money and equipment together, so I’ve only the utmost gratitude to him for going so far for us!』
『Well, it’s normal they cut us off. Now how much can we wring out from them before they do… anyways, they aren’t following the worst route for us, so it’s within our expectations.』
『The merchants of death and Guild need to go through some pain once or twice. Of course, they’d better hope that Beim survives.』
『Ah, since we’re at it, why not prepare a new city? For the sake of the future, let’s destroy the current Beim. We have to chip down their territory, and place restrictions on the city’s function.』
… Because the inside of the Jewel was enjoying itself. These guys took action knowing full well we’d be driven out. How terrible.
From the start, we… no, to the ancestors, the worst route Beim could take would be to, ‘put everything they have to supporting me’.
If they did such a thing, it would be exceedingly problematic. Getting a precise recognition of the threat of Celes, and supporting me with all they had was the worst possible situation.
If they did provide such support, even if I won, I wouldn’t be able to speak out strongly against the city. If I did, I’d need to resolve myself for strong opposition.
So to the ancestors, this outcome was according to expectations.
The Third spoke.
『Now then, let’s put the matter with Beim on hold for a while, and focus on Galleria and Rusworth for now. If we get both countries on our side, numerically, we’ll be able to move a few more tens of thousands of troops. It isn’t enough to fight Bahnseim, but it’s important for you to have usable forces.』
If it came to fighting Bahnseim, I doubted whether they’d really offer assistance, but I’m sure these people would think up a way to drag them in.
Musing over how reliable they were, I didn’t want to remain spoiled by them.
Rauno-san looked on my silence with worry.
I gave a bitter smile.
“I’m fine. Well, even if they drive me out, it’ll work out one way or another.”
There, he scratched his head.
“… Oh, I’m sure it will.”
Third Generation Head (´∀｀): “The pattern we wanted least was…”
Fourth Generation Head (-@∀@): “For Beim to give its full support!”
Fifth Generation Head ( ゜д゜): “If they did…”
Seventh Generation Head (・д・): “It really would be troubling. It gave the possibility of Lyle becoming a puppet.”
Milleia ヽ(*´∀｀)ノ: “So we shed tears as we riled up the surroundings (lol). There really was no helping it, I say (lol).”
LYLE|∀・).。oO(Don’t be fooled, they’re all enjoying this just about as much as I enjoy sexually harassing Milleia-san.)
Lyle (； ・`ω・´): “You’re all the worst!”