Chapter 21 – Four Countries Alliance
The Highserk Empire was one of the smaller countries founded in an area with countless countries, kings, and lords.
The first war after the founding of the country was said to have been a defensive war, and when the enemy’s main force was drawn into the Highserk territory, they were destroyed in a war.
The Highserk Empire, which achieved a complete victory, continued its momentum and annexed the territory of the country which came to attack.
Power balance was emphasized in areas filled with small countries, and neighboring countries colluded to invade the Highserk Empire, which had emerged and started to disturb the balance, but after decades of long battles, only one stood at the end.
The Highserk Empire.
From the perspective of the surrounding mid-sized countries, it looked like small and unsightly countries were rampaging amongst themselves.
At first, every country felt that way. The first thing that noticed the incident was the Liberitoa Trade Federation. One of the vassal states was defeated in a battle and came for reinforcements.
Liberitoa sent 10,000 troops, which could be called an excess. Combined with the number of troops in the vassal state, it was 15,00.
As for Highserk, it only had less than half of that. The battlefield was also advantageous to Liberitoa, and everyone ended up with a big win. Or it was how supposed to end.
But, the result was a devastating defeat of Liberitoa. The vasaal state also ceded part of its territory to Highserk.
Liberitoa then changed its mind about Highserk after they tasted the unthinkable strength of soldiers and how accustomed they were to war, and forced to pay a high prize to Highserk.
It was a power that no one could believe hidden in such a small country.
The next thing being noticed was the Kanoa Kingdom. A lord reigning the border area, was disturbed by the expanding Highserk, then clashed with Highserk over control of the river.
The battle ended in just six days, and the entire territory of the local aristocrats there was lost. The lord and all his family were killed, and the land was taken by Highserk.
Here, the neighboring countries, Ferrius Kingdom and Craist Kingdom, also witnessed the threat of the Highserk Empire, but since they welcomed the same mid-sized country to be weakened by newcomers, they didn’t want to cooperate or support the Kanoa Kingdom, and stayed on the sidelines.
After that, in front of Highserk, who had a defense war and reason to attack, Kanoa Kingdom was brought to its end.
And now, even Myard also succumbed to the Highserk Empire, and the remaining mid-countries in the north became three countries. Now that the territory of the Highserk Empire had become more than a mid-sized country, it was unclear how far the Highserk would grow and expand its territory.
The territory, which was small like a goblin’s body, was now the prominent one compared to the neighboring countries.
Moreover, if the Ferrius Kingdom, which was paralyzed on one side, was to fall, the end of the neighboring countries would only be a matter of time. As long the three idle powers didn’t make a move at all, and the calculative Highserk Empire wouldn’t take any action to provoke the three powers.
The impatience and fear of neighboring countries were about to cause an event that wasn’t possible in peacetime.
Now, in a room, somewhere in the Craist Kingdom, which faced the territories of both Ferrius Kingdom and Liberitoa Trade Federation, was being guarded by mobilizing all the Knights.
One of the invited important persons, Hugo Avans, Foreign Minister of the Liberitoa Commercial Federation, sat in a corner of the round table.
Forming fire-attribute magic, he ignited a cigarette with one side cut off and purple smoke was spreading o the air.
One of the guardians of the Craist Kingdom was keeping an eye on Hugo for the fire magic that had been activated. Hugo had been a foreign minister for 10 years, but he hadn’t been on the path of a civil official.
As an infantryman, he ran around the battlefield and experienced battlefields many times. His head was lonely because his helmet and his scalp were burned on the battlefield.
Even after becoming old, he could still take on a few infantrymen, but he wasn’t sure if he could take on the escorts of people who hold important positions in other countries.
“It seems you’re really enthusiastic about your work.”
Hugo, smiling with his burned cheeks, praised the Knight of Craist Kingdom, but the reply he got was blunt.
Hugo and other members of the Liberitoa Trade Federation Parliament were in a good mood with the addition of the Ferrius Kingdom and the Principality of Myard in the war against the Highserk Empire, but the situation wasn’t good these days.
The two countries were sad in the fall of the Principality of Myard, and the Ferrius Kingdom was now full of defense.
It was enough to discourage Hugo, who expected Ferrius to have multiple fronts against Highserk.
Hugo gazed at the people sitting at the round table.
In the center was King Chester Craist, from the host country, Craist Kingdom. To the right was King Bariston Ferrius of the Ferrius Kingdom which had been invaded by Highserk recently.
Balliston’s body, which was leaner than his younger brother, Winston, who was a warrior, was even thinner than when Hugo visited for consultation before.
His complexion wasn’t good, but his eyes were even sharper than when Chester met before. Such eyes were something Hugo liked.
“Well now, the Ferrius Kingdom seems to be in trouble.
I’ve never thought that Myard would fall, and for your Kingdom to lose the majority of the army… it’s a pity, really, I can’t find any words to say.”
Hugo was the first to open his mouth.
“…Hah, thank you for your thoughtful words.
I’ve never thought My kingdom repeating the same mistake as Liberitoa.”
To Hugo’s sarcasm, Balliston pierced his gaze violently and responded.
“Whew… the same mistake? I don’t remember Liberitoa losing one-third of the land like Ferrius.”
“Stop it there now, you know we didn’t get together to enjoy an elegant conversation.”
The organizer, Chester, gave a warning. Hugo wasn’t really going to instigate each other either. He just did a light talk, an exercise, before getting into the main subject.
Should I leave the greeting around here? By the way ―― “
Stopped the words there, Hugo turned his gaze to a corner of the round table.
“Where did that beautiful lady come from?”
At the end of his sight, a girl was sitting there. There was no doubt that blue blood was flowing in her based on her gestures and behaviors, but Hugo wasn’t informed of the girl. After all, it should be a place for multilateral discussions by the three countries of Liberitoa, Ferrius, and Craist.
Limited aides were behind the protagonists sitting at the round table. If you could sit here, that meant you had a national-class influence that could influence the future of the country. Frankly, Hugo thought that the lady, was out of place.
It was Balliston who answered. The girl continued his words.
“My name is Rita Myard.
I am participating, as a representative of Myard.”
Hugo instantly turned the gears in his head. He had no direct acquaintance with the girl, but he knew her existence.
“I see, you’re the only daughter of Youth-dono, right? To think that you had escaped, what a surprise… But it’s strange for you to be the representative of Myard, which was destroyed recently.”
Without being shaken by Hugo’s words, Rita replied.
“Because there were knights that I could rely on… Sure, Myard lost more than half of its territory, but Celta still remains.”
After thinking a bit, Hugo clapped his hands.
“Celta… Oh, sure the fishery resources and waterways there would have been economically important, but now its only function is as a base for fighting the dragon in the lake.
Only a handful of healthy navy and escaped soldiers, plus there is the lake dragon, won’t even have enough taste.
I’m sure, Highserk will leave it alone.”
For Hugo, the huge Lake Celta and the surrounding rivers were areas that had to be suppressed in terms of resources and economy, so a lord of that area, would have more disadvantages than profits.
In addition, the Navy was proud of its outstanding skill because it had been holding down the lake for many years even though they were weak in the land battle. Hugo was disappointed, but he understood that Highserk wasn’t a foolish country to casually reach out there just to suffer a lot of damages.
“Yes, until a while ago, it was as Hugo-sama said, but now the Lake Dragon has been subdued.”
Hugo’s face was distorted for the first time since the meeting began.
“It, has been subdued?”
“Yes… it has been subdued.”
Although it was a dragon subspecies, it was a powerful monster that belonged to the highest rank among monsters. The giant jaw gate shatters even ogres and trolls. When the former lake dragon attacked the floating city of Liberitoa, it was subdued at the expense of a garrison of two and a half companies.
A battle with such a large sacrifice, would have been heard by Hugo from merchants and spies.
“Well, that’s good news.
I’m sure the brave soldiers of your country had a hard time.”
“Fortunately, not even 1 person died.”
It was Chester who jumped in the conversation regarding the lake.
“No one? Against the Lake Dragon?”
Hugo distorted his lips as he couldn’t believe it.
“Thanks to the Navy of Myard, the Knights of Craist Kingdom, and visitors from “another world”.
I wouldn’t say one worth a thousand, but for sure one worth a hundred or two hundred soldiers.”
Chester clapped his hand and one of the young men who was refraining himself, came forward from the wall.
“He’s one of the visitors of another world”
“Nice to meet you… I’m Asama… Yuuto Asama.”
It was a young man with black hair and black eyes who introduced himself. He was still young, and maybe he wasn’t used to such a situation, his movements were stiff. Without the information of a visitor from another world that he just received from Chester, Hugo wouldn’t believe that he was among the person who defeated the Lake Dragon.
“Hoo, to subdue the lake dragon at that age, I’m impressed.
The name of people from another world is really exotic.
If this was a different place, I would like to hear the brave story about how the lake dragon was defeated.
Hugo wanted to figure out what magic and skills the young man had and how he would fight, but Hugo understood that the people sitting at the round table weren’t stupid enough to expose their cards to that extent.
“It’s nothing special, because I just fought according to the instructions of the Knights of Craist Kingdom.”
Hugo understood Chester’s aim, which was the showcase of Rita and Balliston, and the appearance of visitors from another world.
“Even though Rita-dono and Yuuto-dono are young, both are really excellent.”
Hugo said half compliment and half-serious. The Craist Kingdom was a country that had a land that could easily connect to another world, and had developed the country in both literary and military arts by the guidance of visitors from another world. Such a talk like human resources falling from heaven, He wanted it to be just a fairy tale.
“Let’s get back to the main subject”
Chester said with satisfaction. Discussions between the three countries had been completed. So, Hugo was convinced.
The suzerain and former vassal states, profit-sharing rights of the lake, military balance, and Hugo would examine those resources that were used in the bargaining.
Ferrius wants a strong alliance.
It’s an alliance with a focus on both military and economic affairs with Lake Celta as the economic zone.”
Balliston suddenly set up Hugo.
For Hugo, diplomacy was no different than war. Rather, he strongly believed that war was part of diplomacy.
Hugo was annoyed that even though he had a foothold in his position before the verbal war, he couldn’t say that it wasn’t a fascinating proposal.
“That’s really straightforward.”
Once an alliance was formed, a full-scale war with the Highserk Empire would be inevitable. Still, this proposal could never be held too long for the future of the Liberitoa Trade Federation. As the showdown with the ever-expanding Highserk Empire would eventually come.
As many concessions as possible―― with such resolve, the gears in Hugo’s head were turning at high speed. He didn’t notice himself, but Hugo felt happier than when he was having a silly conversation.
“Continue the talk, because it’s an important story of the glory and decline of each country.”
Even though Hugo had a twitch from his burned skin when he smiled, right now, he didn’t even feel any pain at all.
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