Vice Captain of Lorphys
Due to Lyle’s presence, that country once annihilated by a hoard of monsters was being treated as the headquarters of the alliance. The one who stopped by such a land was an envoy of Lorphys, Alette Baillet.
Regardless of who he was, he moved the alliance, Cartaffs, Djanpear, Faunbeux… a number of countries moved on his command, in order to meet the head of the alliance, Alette’s appearance was in order.
Her bob-cut blond hair that extended to her shoulders, with how busy she had been these days, she hadn’t had a chance to cut it lately. Using getting her appearance in order as a pretense, Alette was delighted she was able to take it easy for a day.
And the one who shoved enough work on her for her to think that way was actually Lyle, but…
Entering the castle of Rhuvenns, Alette led along her new subordinates. Her old men had been promoted, and were now leading units of their own.
Lorphys was also short on hands, and this time’s meeting was in relation to that.
Rounding the gate into the courtyard, she found not temporary repairs, the entire castle was being remodeled to serve as Lyle’s base.
She could hear the voices of soldiers training from afar.
Alette’s adjutant, a new recruit unraveled his observations.
“Knights of Bahnseim? Their training is too light. If they were knights of Lorphys, that level of training would…”
After he said that much, Alette glared at him. As Lorphys was a small country, they enforced strict training to make all their warriors into elites. But against similar numbers was one thing, and Alette understood taking on over twice her forces would be difficult.
“You’re laying your foolishness bare. They already have such numbers together, you must know that fact is already a threat. Even if you can brag about the harshness of your training, you must never underestimate your foe.”
Entering the castle, with their guide being a knight of Lorphys, her men looked relieved, letting their guard down. Catching that fact, Alette tightened her own.
Alette led young knights in their late teens. From the start, their shorthandedness was severe. They were knights unable to leave for Beim to see the world, and they couldn’t help but be strong willed.
The guide knight let out a sigh.
“You sure have it rough, vice-captain Alette. And you lot, at the very least, a majority of all the knights and soldiers stationed here have experienced a number of wars on the ten-thousands scale. Don’t say anything too strange to anger them.”
Seeing the fresh knights close their mouths awkwardly, Alette felt a little nervous. But entering the castle, she continued to brace herself…
Lying over the sofa in the office, I read through papers as I heard Monica’s report.
In order to reconstruct North Beim, they were requesting Novem and Clara. But Clara showed disapproval, and to make practical use of her Porter unit, she requested funding and arrangements to search for craftsmen.
Novem accompanied the magicians, reconstructing a number of villages around Rhuvenns. She wasn’t here.
Both Aria and Miranda had left their units to Maksim-san, to lead larger forces of their own.
Eva was busily meeting with the elves, while May was taking Marina-san around… no, speaking from what it looked like from the sizes of their bodies, it looked like Marina-san was leading May… whatever, the two of them were getting rid of monsters within the territory.
And the reason I was lying on the sofa in the middle of work…
“But when you called me over, we’re meeting in your office, huh. Perhaps I should think it a good thing you did away with the stiff greetings I’d have to take care of in the audience chamber?”
Queen of Cartaffs Ludmilla-san paid a visit. No, to be more specific, I called her over.
And right now, she was giving me a lap pillow.
Monica looked at me.
“Calling over the queen of a large country out of desire for a lap pillow, I’m sure this chicken is the first? Yet despite that, he never goes any further, so he’s a chicken after all. But I think it’s nice like this!”
She was happily sticking up her thumb, so rather than the documents, my face turned a little hot at the soft sensation under my head and the two large bulges above me.
The Seventh, quietly.
『… What a nice view.』
The Third sounded a little jealous.
『I’m in the bottom faction, so lap pillows… hah, how envious.』
What should I do. Milleia-san isn’t there, so the conversations in the Jewel were inclining towards the vulgar talks among men.
“… Don’t be like that. To be honest, Zayin, Galleria and Rusworth are threatening to send someone over, so I’m having them step down for now. Rather, what’s going on with Clara?”
Monica’s face turned serious.
“She has been denied for now. Clara and Adele have a bad affinity, after all. In regards to Adele’ grasp on budget, Clara fundamentally reproduces knowledge from books and the like quite faithfully. Well, I do think they both share a scarcity in application.”
If the automaton was saying they were scarce in application, were they really alright? As I was thinking that, Ludmilla-san advocated for Clara.
“Clara has a wealth of knowledge. And she holds knowledge on all sorts of fields. Aren’t construction and public works included in that? Then she’s necessary for Beim’s revival. If you ignore her spending to an extent. So you should probably pull that one called Adele out.”
I looked up at Ludmilla.
“That’s a surprise. I didn’t think you’d come to Clara’s aid.”
There, Ludmilla laughed a bit.
“You think? I have quite a high evaluation of Clara. She’s a proficient one.”
But Monica was against Clara’s entry into North Beim.
“I’m sure she’s a necessity in the current situation. But as long as Professor Damien shows no interest in modifying Porter, the formation of the Porter transportation unit will be difficult. Removing Clara from her post will be bad as a whole.”
Ludmilla-san narrowed her eyes a bit.
“A Porter Unit? A few of those machines have made their way to our side… hey, Lyle, won’t you sell me the information? No, give it to me. If we can lower the amount of horse drawn carriages, we can put those horses to other use. I would be able to use that as an explanation for the reason behind this visit, you know?”
There’s no real problem with handing it over. Rather, I planned to do it anyways.
“Very well. But the plan isn’t completed, so it’s only a promise. Please send a few magicians over. Or would you rather have us teach the knights of Cartaffs stationed here, and have them bring the magic home with them?”
There were knights of various countries, and there were a few people who came around to investigate what we were making in South Beim’s factories.
Those moving for the interest of their own countries, and it was coming to a head that the current alliance wasn’t monolithic.
“What, how boring. By your tone, it seems you planned to hand it over from the start.Well, that’s fine in and of itself.”
As Ludmilla-san said that, I spoke to Monica.
“Keep Clara at her station. But once Porter is completed, and we have people capable of moving it, send her to Beim. Until then, send some extra personnel around to Adele-san. For Clara… the craftsmen of South Beim are already surpassing their limits. Have her make a request to the alliance.”
“No, wait a minute. Why not give that request to Cartaffs? We have craftsmen on our shores as well. And we have the leisure. Transportation will be a problem, but are you really at a point where you can worry about such a thing?”
I somewhat understood her thoughts. She wanted Porter’s technology, but more than that, she wanted the groundwork for further technological advancements.
Within our alliance, the movements for each country’s interests were getting stronger.
If I didn’t defeat Celes soon on my side, it felt as if the alliance would crumble.
The audience chamber.
I’d used it a few times, but showing the royal castle’s once splendor, it was made quite vast and extravagant.
In order to get the advantage in various negotiations, make it as gorgeous as possible, and intimidate the negotiations partner as much as possible… or so spoke its make. Or perhaps it was simply so as not to be made light of. Or someone’s hobby.
Monica and Ludmilla-san, on top of her guard knights of Cartaffs were in the room.
Before my eyes, across a large table, Alette-san and her knights of Lorphys were before me.
Alette-san remained mindful of Ludmilla-san.
“Lyle-dono, I’ve already told you my business in the letters.”
I nodded, and spoke to Alette-san as she wore expensive clothing made for meetings.
“The Valkyries have raised the report as well. About Lorphys’ standing within the alliance, was it?”
Alette-san’s expression was serious.
“We aren’t used to this system, so there were quite a few people anxious over whether we were actually able to make contact. Putting that aside, Lorphys’ level of contributions truly are low at the current stage. I recognize that, but it’s something for which we had ample reason. Compared to the other three countries, we believe we have provided exceptional contributions to the cause.”
Zayin, Lorphys, Galleria… the reason those three nations cooperated with me wasn’t only because I had saved them. There had been rumor of Thelma-san and Aura-san in Zayin. Galleria and Rusworth formally declared Gracia-san and Elza-san would be accepting it.
Meaning, from their points of view, they had a marriage relation to me. In Zayin as well, Thelma-san was… let’s put that aside.
“I know. So I myself don’t have any particular complaints…”
“But that would be troubling! Lorphys has its status within the alliance. The problem that only our country seems to be getting a cold reception is the problem.”
I looked at Alette-san.
“There are people saying such things?”
It may be best to get Rauno-san to look into it, but investigating both friend and foe, Rauno-san had quite a bit on his plate already.
Our information network was also short staffed.
“In that matter with Selva, our territory definitely did expand. We are thankful for this time’s case as well. But there are many in the country who question any further cooperation.”
There, Ludmilla-san burst into laughter.
“What a funny story. There’s no way they can back out of the alliance at this point. Every land around Lorphys is already in Lyle’s hands. If they think about it, they shall reach their answer at once. If you pull out, you will be making an enemy of everything around you. Lyle isn’t naïve enough to leave enemies within as he fights Bahnseim. Otherwise…”
While Alette-san’s expression didn’t’ change, the feelings of her surrounding knights were showing on their faces. Anger and unrest, those sorts of feelings.
I held up a hand to Ludmilla.
“I am thankful for Lorphys’ cooperation. If the situation within the country is harsh, I will accept further cooperation at the minimum possible level. And I promise that such a thing will not invite a cold reception from the alliance, a cold reception for Lorphys.”
Alette-san’s eyebrows moved a bit.
“But with that…!”
Ludmilla-san opened her mouth.
“… Lorphys will have no standing? Say it already. What your group wishes for is Lyle’s engagement to your princess, right? But don’t forget it. It isn’t only me, we have the princess of Faunbeux. And the women who have accompanied Lyle from his early days. You understand it will be no easy task to get a hold here, right?”
I brought her here to intimidate them, but to think she’d go this far… even Alette-san was making a bitter expression. I’m sure she thought to push the crown princess on to me. But even for me, taking in someone Novem rejected was impossible. Rather, I don’t want any more. The Third says, it’ll work out! But I think I’m already far passed my limit.
From the Jewel, I heard the Seventh’s voice.
『There are never equivalent relations among countries. From ancient times, it was impossible to lay everything equal. But it won’t be interesting if you have to carry that problem here.』
The Third shared his opinion.
『That’s right. It’s no fun. And wait, while Lyle has the precepts, from Lorphys’ point of view, they’ll be screaming don’t bring your damn family precepts into this! Or something like that. But it sure is troublesome. Even if they betray and we suppress, the problem is how to treat them after that. And being too radical is… Ah, I just thought of something nice.』
It definitely won’t be nice. That alone I could understand.
In the audience chamber, Ludmilla-san and Alette-san’s voices were rising.
“It’s the time for a large move to sweep the continent, yet you flutter about your negotiations of isolation? Or could it be an entreaty? If you wish to turn coat, turn coat already. I’ll send out thirty thousand troops for you at once. You don’t even have to pay me for it.”
“Threatening simply because you’re of a large country. Don’t forget we pledged cooperation far before you. Is swooping in later and taking off with all the good stuff the principle of your lands?”
The air was tense between the knights of Cartaffs and Lorphys as well.
In such an audience chamber, I apologized from the depths of my heart as I spoke.
“Understood. Marriage has been important from times immemorial. However, at present a marriage to your royal princess is impossible. For I am in a position where I cannot marry into another house. And we cannot leave Lorphys’ throne vacant.”
There, a wrinkle graced Alette-san’s brow.
“But as long as you have a prince or princess with her…”
“And so, I recommend a marriage of leaders. Shall we set up a marriage interview first, Alette-san?”
Alette-san’s expression… or rather, I didn’t let that glimmer in her eyes slip by. I thought.
Sorry, with Baldoir. Not me. The two in the Jewel were…
『Okay, with this, it will be fine when marriage and such comes up within Lorphys!』
『Just like this, let’s have Baldoir work hard to win over the alliance… especially Lorphys’ camp. Oh right, Lyle… you have to repay the lad on a later date.』
… I’m the worst. I sold out my men.