Following the subjugation of Agrissa, the founding of the Bahnseim Kingdom, and the division of the continent…
Having heard that flow, and heard of the Walt House’s relation to the Forxuz House, the Third’s voice quietly reverberated through the Jewel.
『Hah, why is it the most important part is always left out? We have to know just how Agrissa was defeated… no one here really cares about the Bahnseims, right?』
His discouraged expression was a surprise for both me and Milleia-san. No, to that man, perhaps that was the correct way.
The Fifth seated himself on the table, and looked up at the ceiling as he folded his arms.
『Get close and strike, huh? Meaning the ancestor of the Walt House managed to pull that off. If the Forxuz ancestor who specialized in magic was operating separately, perhaps that witch was specialized against magic. Is that why she was recorded on a Yellow Jewel specialized to Rearguard?』
But the Seventh touched his chin, speaking with a serious expression.
『If that’s how it is, I must remark that Celes in a monster in close quarters as well. I can’t say for sure this makes for good reference. But I really could care less, or should I say, it’s a dubious tale.』
All three of them showed some doubt at the tale of the Walt House’s predecessor. When I was so mindful of the Forxuz House’s side of it, none of them seemed to pay it any mind.
“Um, about the Forxuz House…”
The Third smiled.
『Hmm? Isn’t that fine? It’s a bit of a heavy reason, but we’ve identified why they’ve served the Walt House all these years. Well, Novem-chan is a memory holder, and her sentiment towards the Walt House is so strong I don’t know if she’s actually looking at you, Lyle, but that’s something you’re going to have to resolve yourself. Rather, our ancestor really was too naïve.』
The Seventh agreed with him.
『Even if we spread that the Walt house defeated Agrissa at this point in time, if we can’t prove its truth, it will just be a lie. Even if you prove it, ‘and so?’ is the reaction you should expect.』
The Fifth made a conflicted expression as he looked at me and Milleia-san.
『I’m sure our ancestor had his regrets, and I do want to do something for him, but… if Lyle conquers the continent, and makes it so Bahnseim was the bad guy to recover his honor, that’s the best we can do. But if we do something like that, you know…』
The three looked at one another, and nodded. As a representative, the Third opened his mouth.
『To be frank, it will be thought of as propaganda to make you look important. Well, all rulers, to a greater or lesser extent, do it to put on airs, and I’ll admit it’s important. But why so late? Is the feeling it gives. In truth, even if we bring ruin to Bahnseim, it’s not like it won’t weigh on our conscience. I mean look, that was three hundred years ago.』
Once upon a time, it would have been able to take it back and restore our ancestor’s honor. We could’ve worked towards it. But at this point Bahnseim was too terrible to advocate for. And the Walt House was also terrible. Even if we could call it the Walt House’s just cause, Celes’ actions had ruined it.
The Seventh let out a sigh.
『At the end of the end, if you ask whether it’ll be any use, that dubious conclusion is…』
The three of them were disappointed, and seeing them like that, Milleia-san was shaking.
『What’s with you all! You got to learn of the Walt house’s legitimate claim, and of the Forxuz House! Just think about it a bit. The Bahnseim House stole your ancestor’s achievements, causing the continent to split and lead to where we are now!』
The Third’s opinion was cool-headed.
『No, it’s not like Bahnseim’s the only reason it split. I’m sure they wanted to go independent to begin with, and they should’ve had their dissatisfactions. And just because they were unified, that doesn’t guarantee they would be happy.』
The Fifth looked at me.
『Hey, it’s that. Lyle… to clear our ancestor’s lingering regret, there’s no helping it but to destroy the Bahnseim house. Think of it like that, and it’ll be a load off your mind. And isn’t that fine for now? Rather, could it be the name Lyle is…』
The Seventh hit his hands together as if remembering something.
『When my son and his wife were troubled over thinking up a name, they went to consult with the Forxuz House! Well, isn’t that fine. In such a long history, there are sure to be some name overlaps somewhere.』
The Third smile.
『That’s right, but… heavy. You’re heavy, Forxuz House! But you did look after us, so we should at least overlook that much. Lyle, that’s how it is, so look after Novem-chan, won’t you?』
What is this, I don’t even. Not just in a lifetime, their treatment of a clan that spent every generation serving the Walt Hosue was way too light.
“Um, just what should I say next I see Novem?”
The Fifth to me.
『Think over it yourself. Rather, if you love her, accept her. Though if she’s looking at you, or through you to the Walt House, and that hero of the past, who can say.』
When you put it like that, it’s true Novem permitted a harem, and some parts of her sense of values were different. No, if she was truly looking at me as a royal line… then I’m curious as to how she sees me as an individual.
The Third sighed.
『Ah~ I really thought we’d learn Agrissa’s weakness from that, you know. Just the right moment for it to avoid the question. What’s this, when I had my expectations up.』
Shaking in rage, Milleia-san moved, instantly drew a gun, and discharged it. The bullet hit the Third head on… or not. The bullet embedded into the chair he had been sitting in, and disappeared.
Within the Jewel. In the round table room, only his voice was audible.
『Hey, don’t be so angry. It’s not like we’re saying Milleia-‘chan’ is useless or anything like that. Just looking at the result, you weren’t any use, but you’re cute, so I’ll forgive it. C’mon, my dear granddaughter.』
As he riled, Milleia-san directed a vexed expression around.
… The Randbergh House.
A lineage that had become a knight House during the Walt Third Generation Head’s time.
They had served as vassal knights to the Walts generation after generation, and had even gotten a daughter of it married in. A firm house, even in the Walt’s territory, enough that once the Walt House had moved its manor to manage its expanded territory, they were left to look after what was left.
A knight Lyle admired, 【Beil Randbergh】 was the second son of the present head of the House. Right now, he was serving at the Walt House Manor, under Celes’ influence.
To the current head, Novem spoke.
This was a vital land to the Forxuz House, one that even Celes was too wary to lay hand upon.
The head wasn’t under her influence.
“… That is the present situation, Randbergh-sama.”
The man passed his fifties had conspicuous wounds over his body. Many from war, and perhaps his body would no longer moved as he willed it, as he carried a staff.
“They wouldn’t keep me company when I came by the mansion, but I never thought it would have gone so bad.”
Covering his face with both hands, the Randbergh House head looked dispirited.
“It’s true the state of the mansion was strange. I’ve confirmed it as well. But with my younger brother by their side, I never thought it would…”
To Novem, the Randbergh House was a trustworthy one with high loyalty. Worthy of sheltering Lyle, and managing the land once raised by the First.
That’s why Novem had dropped by this land. To confirm Celes had done as promised, and not lain a hand on it.
Novem lowered her head towards the head.
“Radbergh-sama, could you lend some soldiers for Lyle-sama’s sake? At present, the force he can move himself is much too small.”
The Randbergh House head nodded. But at the same time, he called a youth to the room.
“Understood. We Randberghs have a debt to the Walt House. If it will help Lyle-sama stand, I will send troops. But my body no longer listens to me. Baldoir, come in.”
A youth called Baldoir entered the room. He was tall in stature, his tidy brown hair silkily extending to his back.
His emerald eyes were sharp, while his body was trained.
“Baldoir, you heard our conversation, right? Go serve under Lyle-sama. I’ll send people from the territory. Take at least three hundred with you.”
On the Randbergh House head’s words, the man called Baldoir looked a little surprised.
“Three hundred? Father, at present, even two hundred and the territory’s management will be…”
His father raised his staff a little, before hitting it into the floor. There, Baldoir closed his mouth.
“My apologies. It seems he doesn’t understand the severity of the matter. But Baldoir has gone through his first campaign, and from the eyes of a parent, he’s a skilled one. He’s a little inexperienced, but I’m sure he’ll be useful. It’s just, for us, three hundred is the limit. We’ll do our best to prepare some youths with power, but with me alone, I can’t send out any more troops.”
From Novem’s point of view, she was counting on around two hundred. Even that was more than a tenth of the military force of the territory. With three hundred, it was a number that would bring problems to the rule.
But now, she wanted as many troops as possible.
“My deepest gratitude. Then we will be heading south. There, we’ll enter Djanpear, and take a ship to South Beim.”
Baldoir was a little surprised.
“From Djanpear to Beim? The eastern front has grown flurried, and a war is starting there, correct? Understood. I shall prepare at once.”
With brisk movements, he left the room.
Novem watched off his back, and recalled the Fifth’s daughter once sent to this house as a bride.
(… All is for Lyle-sama’s sake.)
But no one could tell which Lyle she spoke of…
… Adele heard the report from the Valkyries she’s brought alone, and held her head.
Lyle’s party had gotten cooperation from Faunbeux, and had even taken in the Margrave of Resno managing the border.
Novem’s unit had attained Djanpear’s cooperation, and the surrounding countries were currently negotiationg with Jules.
And yet, Adele side was small, one that could crumble at any moment. She hadn’t gotten any significant results.
“… I should have attempted larger houses.”
The one comforting a depressed Adele was Maksim.
“Milady, it isn’t all bad things. Looking to results, we have gotten several thousand troops on our side.”
Those several thousand, to be precise, fell short of five thousand. If things went poorly, there was a fear it would drop below three thousand.
Adele didn’t know just how much assistance the feudal lords would offer. Perhaps there were some thinking to betray as well.
When she reported as such to Lyle, the Valkyries expressionless relayed his response.
“Isn’t that fine? You’ve handed the item in question to the trustworthy lord. Even if a traitor comes out, there isn’t a problem. Lyle-sama is delighted the preparations are getting together. Hah, why wasn’t I stationed closer to Lyle-sama.”
Thinking that last bit was unnecessary, Adele prepared to return to South Beim. These days, she had it rough consulting on the worries and complaints of small-time feudal lords.
Understanding the reason Lyle had got his hands on such a large-time lord, Adele discussed with Maksim on what was to come.
“Maksim, seeing the rise in the cost of living, and the gathering of troops in the east, what do you think? By the time they flow into Beim…”
“… The harvest will be over, and it will be winter. A little longer, they’ll be ready to make their march on Beim. I’m sure it won’t even be two months before they arrive at Fortress Redant.”
As Maksim said it with confidence, Adele nodded in relief. With that much time, she could move to Djanpear, take a ship from there, and return to South Beim.
“So how long will the fortress hold? From my point of view, I’m sure Beim has reinforced it, and their military force has increased, so over two months is…”
After she’d said that much, Maksim spoke to her with a serious face.
“… Milady, Fortress Redant will only hold a few weeks. At soonest, it will be breached within a week.”
She couldn’t believe those words.
But Maksim had much experience in war, and he was a man proficient as a knight. On these sorts of fields, she trusted his words. And she trusted the man as well.
“I’m sure they’ve reinforced, and the troops stationed will be much greater than when we were there. Even so, a few weeks?”
“Yes, that’s right. If it were Lyle-dono, perhaps he’d be able to turn them back, but the possibility the pain would be split both ways would be high.”
Adele wanted to know the reason. Simply because Beim had strong adventurers. If those adventurers were stationed, they should be able to fight to a certain extent. Adele had watched Lyle, so she thought as such.
“I’ve heard they’ve plenty of skilled adventurers to spare, though?”
“That’s the hard part. Skilled in that sense means skilled in small platoons, and not skilled under the banner of a large legion. And it’s hard to say they could establish uniformity. Even if a low-level general of Bahnseim led the army, I think they’ll be able to breach in a few weeks.”
Adele tilted her head.
“With Lyle-san’s time, a pain as it was, they annihilated a legion of monsters.”
Maksim looked troubled, as he scratched his head.
“And that’s the problem. It’s true a monster army is a threat, and they have simple strength in numbers, but… well, it just goes to show humans are more troublesome. And you seem to be mistaken, so let me offer a revision. When Lyle-dono is leading an army, it becomes frightfully strong.”
“It’s his Skills. The Walt House’s head have left such Skills in that blue gem of his, so…”
Maksim smiled. And he shook his head at her.
“It’s his talent to pull them off that’s a threat. And he’s unthinkably calm for his age, disinterestedly moving to solidify his surroundings. At times holding sentiment, at times cruel and cold… I don’t know another teen who’d move to that level to accomplish his goal. He holds the air of an old general, and he’s a foe I’d rather not fight.”
The Lyle Maksim evaluated. But if you said that to the man in question, he’d surely make a dubious expression. And the ancestors in the Jewel would definitely rain praise on Maksim. Because it would be as if he were evaluating them.
Adele could only take in the words of Maksim’s explanation. But it seems she couldn’t understand the deeper essence.
However, if that’s what Maksim said, that’s how it was, she agreed, and stood.
“Now then, in that case, we must hurry and prepare. It shall become busy. Maksim. I’m counting on you.”
Hearing that from Adele, Maksim’s face turned red, as he lightly rubbed beneath his nose with a fingertip.
“L-leave it to me, milady.”
Around, the Valkyries looked at him.
“It’s a waste. That serious air of his.”
“Wouldn’t there be a problem with their age gap?”
“But he’s a damn chicken that neither exceeds nor falls short of our master. We’ve left the two of them alone so many times, yet let alone laid a hand on her, he hasn’t even confessed.”
“… Though if he did, at this point, it would feel like a death flag.”
Adele and Maksim, not listening to the surrounding voices, smiled as they discussed their future plans…