The Worst Man
… The number of refugees flowing into Beim grew by the day.
Today once more, a party made its way to the strict and sturdy gate to seek help. Seeing that, a young adventurer on guard duty clenched his fist.
“Why did we abandon them!? If we went out, those Bahnseimian Cowards wouldn’t have been able to do as they pleased in Beim!”
While he was right, he was just as wrong.
It’s true there were loads of skilled adventurers in Beim. Comparing them one at a time, a majority of them of them possessed abilities exceeding the average soldier. But the adventurers who had never experienced the place called the battlefield couldn’t understand it.
The one on duty with the young lad was a forty-year-old adventurer considering his retirement. He was an adventurer without anything particularly special about him, but he had packed in various sorts of experiences.
He had stepped onto the battlefield out of a want for money, and had seen how things went there. He was told to lead some young adventurers, and the Guild had given him the role of getting a few parties together. But from that man’s eyes, the young adventurers around were complete amateurs.
They had taken on monsters in the Labyrinth. They had taken up requests and gone out to slay monsters. With only that level of experience, they truly couldn’t understand a battlefield.
It was hard when both sides had even a thousand, so when it came to a war with scale exceeding a hundred thousand… the man looked at the young adventurers.
“What will come of dispersing our war potential? How many people do you plan on taking to save them?”
The young adventurer spoke.
“That goes without saying. As long as there’s a hundred, we’ll be able to do it. To save the villages, and turn back those Bahnseim dogs!”
From the villagers that had taken refuge in the city, they had learned the pillaging forces acted in units of a few hundreds. On the words of the young adventurer who had just heard that, the man shook his head.
“… If you go out with those numbers, you’ll just be surrounded by double that, and beaten to the ground.”
Bahnseim had greater numbers from the start. And their side had mercenaries knowledgeable on the terrain of Beim. If you thought about it normally, Beim was cornered.
But there were many among the adventurers who didn’t understand that. It was as if they couldn’t grasp that not against monsters, they were fighting against the same humans.
No, the scale was so large, they couldn’t fully process it.
“We fought our way to the twentieth floor and survived it all! Our ability is enough to take us all the way to the thirtieth. There’s no way we’d lose so easily.”
Seeing the young adventurer’s overflowing confidence, the man touched the iron helmet over her head, and pulled it down to cover his eyes.
“… Do you guys know who’s in charge here?”
There, the adventurers looked at the man.
“What? You’re telling us to do what you say? Sorry, but no matter what an unskilled adventurer says, we won’t…”
Before the young adventurers looking down on him, the man spoke.
“Wrong. I mean the guy in charge of this place. The guy above the guy above me. The one responsible for this gate.”
As the adventurers made faces that showed they didn’t understand his meaning, the man confirmed his suspicions as he resolved himself…
(Do you think we have a guy up there who’s carried out war on this scale? When our enemy’s one that wars for breakfast lunch and dinner?)
… Beim’s center.
In that place where the merchants and Guild executives would gather, complaints of the villagers who’d taken shelter came in every day.
Demands to put out money for the villages that met damages were of the better sort. The more troublesome ones were the claims that they were the victims, and should thus be treated better.
They booked out most of the inns, but no matter how many rooms they prepared it wasn’t enough. If they stuffed people into unused buildings, the complaints flooded in. Within that terrible situation, the most troublesome thing of all was…
‘Why was Lyle exiled?’
Or so they protested. That he defended against a large army of monsters and pulled off what was being referred to as the miracle of Redant; it was all recent events, and fresh in the peoples’ memory.
Now Redant Fortress was so easily slipped through, and voices for them to take responsibility for these casualties piled up by the day.
The meeting room… there, they should have been carrying out discussion on how to deal with things henceforth.
But the reality:
“It isn’t my responsibility! You were the ones who agreed to his exile verdict!”
“But it’s true the South Branch forced it through!”
“And the mercenaries of the South Branch even took the initiative to invite Bahnseim in! I won’t let you say you have no responsibility in this!”
The South Branch executive was being condemned by the other executives and merchants in attendance. If they heard the ones guiding Bahnseim were mostly mercenaries of the South Branch, anyone would want to shout at him.
And day after day, these meetings would never get on track.
“Now isn’t the time for such things! We need to think up how to deal with Bahnseim at once!”
“The refugees who entered the city are going to raise a rebellion before they even get here. So we have a need for someone to take responsibility for it!”
“I heard they’re pillaging around. Why not sent ten to twenty thousand out for relief?”
“Who will lead them? And Bahnseim’s army has already reassembled, and begun its march on the city.”
As their meetings didn’t go anywhere, their response was delayed. In order to protect their trade enterprises in the city of Beim, the merchants didn’t want to send soldiers out.
The Guild had its face, so it wanted to send out adventurers to assist the residents of Beim’s territory.
Opinions were divided, and at the end of every meeting, the same line would come out…
“… Why don’t we send an envoy to South Beim? If we use sea routes, Bahnseim won’t be able to do anything about it.”
Voices to seek out Lyle’s aid were rising and when their own positions finally began to feel dubious, it flowed towards seeking help from South Beim… from Lyle.
But anyone in Beim understood. They were the ones who exiled the boy, and from the eyes of a third party, Lyle was completely the victim.
The merchants starting up new enterprises in South Beim had been exiled from the city themselves. Just by asking for help, would help really come?
And the most important thing was…
“Even if we seek their help, South Beim doesn’t have that amount of troops. And what will they demand in exchange?”
The one who watched this repeat every meeting was the East Branch’s executive’s guard Tahnia. The head of the East Branch… Tahnia’s superior spoke.
“This situation is dangerous to South Beim as well, so there is a possibility they will cooperate. No, perhaps I should say there was one. Now that we’ve come so far, they won’t make it in time.”
Tahnia to her superior.
“Is it no good to give him reinstatement and favorable treatment from the guild alongside an adequate reward?”
The superior laughed a bit.
“Will that man move for something like that? Tahnia, what does the Tanya who manned the receptions desk think?”
Tahnia thought a bit before shaking her head. Her silky black hair that extended to her shoulders swayed.
“… It’s not happening. No matter what you present to him, I can’t say for sure that Lyle will save Beim.”
Her superior nodded. To such a meeting room, a notice came in. A Guild personnel out of breath violently threw open the door.
“With an army of approximately ten thousand, South Beim has crushed the forces plundering Beim’s southern regions!”
It was better news than Beim could have wished for…
… Breid was irritated with the attacks that came every single day.
When night came, he would suddenly hear loud noises. The neighs of horses, and the clashing of metal. The toll of the bell. On top of that, with the attacks under the cover of night, they were facing a shortage of supplies.
It wasn’t like they didn’t have enough to get through the journey. Looking at it as a whole, it was a trivial matter. But the soldiers’ exhaustion was accumulating by the day.
The Baronet was on horseback, lined nearby Breid. Breid sent a glance towards him.
“Is Lyle’s party really unprepared for this?”
To his voice lightly mingled with uncertainty, the Baronet answered boldly.
“It’s the opposite. Before these numbers, without any proper methods to choose, he can only carry out this sporadic harassment. I’m sure you’ll face casualty if you lower your guard, but it doesn’t sway the outcome of your inevitable victory. They just don’t have any other means. If they did, they’d have attacked us a long time ago.”
(It’s true there’s a sort of sense to his words. If they could attack, then they haven’t. And they’re only going to the level of harassment.)
“Understood. I’ll increase the number on watch during the night.”
Raising the night watch even further was Breid’s countermeasure for Lyle’s harassment…
Seeing the increase in guards, Eva thought a bit.
The elves around her… the harassment squad awaited her orders. The dark elf woman called over.
“Now then, what shall we do, princess?”
Eva was surprised.
“Wait, what’s with princess?”
“Of the Nihil trive. And our shining star of hope. Being a princess isn’t so bad, right?”
Eva thought that was a little off, as she stuck out her chest, and put a hand on the large breasts that came out with it.
“Stop it with princess. Right, let’s go with songstress. Best songstress in the world.”
She had intended it as a joke, but the dark elves all at once…
“Songstress, huh. You sure are grandiose, songstress.”
“Well, ‘s long as you’re an elf, perhaps that’s the better one, songstress.”
Before the elves who earnestly tried to make songstress a thing, Eva shook her head. Her expression was a little embarrassed.
“I’m sorry. That one was a joke, so stop it there. That was my bad.”
There, the dark elf woman spoke to her.
“Now then, what shall we do today, songstress? Make a loud voice or sound with your Skill? Or perhaps an assault with arrows?”
Seeing that the songstress wasn’t going anywhere, Eva lowered her shoulders. She spoke to the dark elves.
“… With the enemy numbers, that’s enough for today. I think we’ve harassed them plenty. Let’s proceed ahead, and get some rest.”
“It doesn’t matter. Lyle did say to make some moderate space at times to make them feel safe. It seems that way is more effective.”
Eva’s squad’s harassment was gradually exhausting Bahnseim’s army…
As we lay in wait for Bahnseim’s army, preparations were underway while we held a meeting with the forces that joined us.
The forces that joined us were the main body from the alliance. A portion of them didn’t know of Bahnseim’s movements, so they wouldn’t part with valuable war potential.
However, as Bahnseim was setting Beim alone as its target, the forces that were sent were able to quickly arrive be sea. Mainly due to the hard work of the Trēs House’s and other merchants’ ships.
Letting her silver hair sway as she approached me was black-clad Gracia-san. No, Gracia. She was making a bit of a stern expression, but once I directed a smile, her pale skin was flushed.
“I’m happy we could meet, Gracia.”
I spread out my arms, and embraced Gracia once she had nervously made her way towards me. It was to indicate my existence and standing to those around. Something extremely favorable for me.
But Baldoir who’d met up with us recently opened his eyes wide. Beside him- while he wasn’t assigned to educating him- Maksim-san explained various things.
“Maksim-dono, just how many women has Lyle-sama enclosed in his camp!?”
“Calm down, Baldoir-dono. He hasn’t enclosed them. They’ve enclosed him. Make sure not to be rude. Of all else, she’s putting out a considerable number of troops. Her country is lending out ten thousand, the same level as Elza-sama of Rusworth. ”
Within the alliance, the ones giving out ten thousand were Galleria and Rusworth. Zayin was lending eight thousand, while Lorphys lent six thousand. While their scale was the smallest, that was because they couldn’t find the personnel to spare for it.
An army of thirty four thousand had amassed in South Beim.
For Cartaffs’ soldiers, even if I had just made use of them, nine thousand were fit to move. That forty three thousand on top of my own forces and South Beim… we were in a state where we could move around forty five thousand.
While I was only holding Gracia-san lightly, the large sensation of her chest was…
『Lyle, getting a big head won’t set a good example to follow. Keep it together. If you aren’t yet used to women, then just put in a quick word to Miranda, and she’ll take your virginity away at once…』
Milleia-san pretended to give advice as she strongly advocated for Miranda. But the Fifth’s opinion was different.
『Okay, let’s ignore her. Settle on Novem or Aria. Those two won’t light a spark for their surroundings, so they’re relatively safe.』
The one who opposed that opinion was the Third.
『Whoa, it would be troublesome if you forgot my number one Clara-chan. Aria-chan isn’t bad, but her personality can’t lie. It’s a given that the information will leak from her… here, you should settle for Clara-chan or Novem-chan!』
But the Seventh wrung out his voice.
『You fools. This is all linked to the vital issue of legal wife! Lyle take some measures with Ludmilla or Lianne.』
Just what is this. Their opinions don’t align at all. The early days were the same, but the opinions in the Jewel never coincided.
I separated from Gracia, and spoke as her face reddened.
“Please lend a hand to me again, Gracia.”
There, mindful of surrounding eyes, Gracia stroked her hair.
“Leave it to me. I’ll swing my spear for your sake. T-that’s… as your woman, it’s my…”
Once she had said that much Elza hastily burst onto the scene. In contrast to Gracia, she wore white clothing. And her light-blue hair granted a cold impression around.
I offered Gracia my thanks before turning to Elza.
“I was waiting for you, Elza.”
“Y-yes! I wanted to come in a hurry, but my retainers wouldn’t allow it. However, now that I’m here, you can be relieved.”
When she opened her arms and hugged me, Baldoir spoke up again.
“… Lyle-sama, I’d like to think not, but could it be…”
Maksim-san let out a dry laugh.
“How about it. Isn’t he amazing? … It’s our saving grace there are so many female rulers in our time. Lyle-dono is amazing. He can take down whatever prey he aims at without fail. I’m worried for Adele-sama, so I never let them stay alone in the same room, mind you.”
Baldoir looked seriously into Maksim-san’s face.
“It couldn’t be that Lorphys and Zayin are…!”
When Maksim-san said unfortunately, Baldoir looked relieved. However Maksim-san’s further words made him hold his head.
“… Zayin is a work in progress, rather even I don’t know what’s going to happen there. By rumor, it seems he has relations with the current and previous generation of Holy Maidens. And Lorphys’ royal princess was refused by Novem-dono. Isn’t that nice? I don’t know what’s all this about precepts, but it seems all the ones but Lorphys have cleared the conditions.”
“… The Walt House family precepts, is it? Certainly, as long as they’ve cleared them all, and Novem-dono of the Forxuz House recognizes that, there shouldn’t be any doubt about it But there’s definitely going to be a problem with succession… just like in the generation before the one before mine… father, what shall I do….”
Why is it… it’s starting to become intriguing to observe Baldoir’s reactions. Should I just introduce him a few as well? Or so I began to think.