The Queen’s Coronation
A battle of pursuit began against the Cordovan army, which had ran away.
For this, their own cavalry didn’t have enough war potential, preventing them from achieving maximal military gains.
The enemy’s cavalry had lost practically all of their war potential. Even so, there were still a few more captured by the beastkin ambushing them from behind.
For their infantry’s war potential, their numbers dwindled steadily through the pursuit. Their final casualty count numbered around five thousand people. The number of captives was around the same amount.
As for Cordova’s remaining military force, they abandoned the areas they invaded and returned to Cordovan territory. With the pursuit stopped at the nation’s border, the allied forces started work on preparing a simple stronghold.
On the grounds where the battles occurred, Serge learned why Carla couldn’t be counted as part of their war potential.
Regardless of friend or foe, she would heal the wounded with her magic. Because she used her magical power for that, she didn’t use her magic for combat.
There were no deaths among the ally side’s officers. To be precise, Carla resurrected them even if they died. Of course, an enormous amount of magical power was necessary for that. She wouldn’t be able to do it for every soldier.
“There really is a revival magic huh…”
Although Serge felt admiration, even he was busily walking around and distributing supplies.
In the forefront, Manesh’s reinforcements that had finally arrived at this late hour were dispatching supplies.
Ria and Carla were standing before wounded enemies and prisoners, giving a speech.
“Gentlemen, there are few paths you can take.”
It was Ria that raised her voice. Towards Carla, who was standing beside her as though to snuggle, even the enemy soldiers assumed a praying position as if she were a goddess. She had likely saved many of them from the brink of death.
“First, you can continue on and choose the path that leads to death, but I don’t recommend it.”
Ria shrugged her shoulders as though she were jesting. The enemy soldiers laughed only in their expressions.
“There is also a path that will see you liberated and returned home. Perhaps most people will choose this one. However, weapons will not be permitted. Minimal rations will be provided.”
At this, many people looked surprised. Prisoners of war were usually restrained for use in prisoner exchange, with the majority sold as slaves. And yet, she said they would be given rations.
Because the battle finished quietly without prolonging, the allied forces had food to spare. Using this, Ria proposed liberating the captives.
Although there were naturally many dissenting opinions on this, in the end, this was added as one of the choices. By daring to liberate their captives, this was intentional advertising towards Cordova’s interior.
“There is a third way, but you will become a slave to our country for three years, pursuing land reclamation for development. You will be freed after three years pass. Assuming you can reclaim a plot of land, you can do as you want with it, even sell it. You are even free to return to Cordova.”
This was an abnormal proposal. If they were enslaved as was normally done, they wouldn’t have a choice in the matter. She would even purposely limit the amount of years, giving them the land when their time was up.
Wasn’t this practically immigration? Or maybe this was part of a population growth policy?
“There are some among you all that are the second or third sons of a farming family, or there may be people originating from low income groups from the city as well. If you do not aspire to return to your hometown, I recommend taking this path.”
Since Cordova’s army definitely had anti-refugee measures in place, this was considerably attractive. Particularly, unlike Cordova, there was a large chance that they wouldn’t be roped into the war.
“And then there is the last path, but people will be chosen for this.”
Ria’s gaze swept over the soldiers. With her forceful discernment, only a few soldiers didn’t flinch.
“I will recruit soldiers to be my, Ryuke Riana’s, bodyguards. For any daredevils among you, I want you to apply.”
Even if they weren’t daredevils, if they called themselves a man, they would be forced to consider it.
Particularly the men who took pride in their strength. Their eyes held a certain gleam. If they hadn’t seen Ria’s crazy fighting, this would have been looked like a good offer.
“As being my bodyguard will be truly dangerous, I only request for genuine soldiers. That is all.”
Ria abruptly turned and left.
Concerning the results, more than half of the soldiers returned to Cordova.
Manesh soldiers escorted them to the border, freeing them there. They hoped that they would propagate the allied force’s political stance throughout Cordova.
Additionally, close to half chose to become slaves. They were sent to clear land in Manesh. Since the area opened for development had brought in golems as an experiment, it wasn’t that harsh of an environment either.
And for those that went with being Ria’s bodyguards, around one hundred soldiers remained. It went without saying that Ria beat down each and every one of the people that claimed to be daredevils, smashing many noses in.
As for Manesh finishing the postwar processing and returning, it had been one month since their departure.
Their victory against Cordova in combat provided a huge influence, with most of the surrounding countries joining the alliance and sending delegates. Cordova’s notoriety had reached an extreme.
However, many of the ambassadors came to say similar things.
“By the way, we have heard that your highness still does not have a consort. If you wish, our country has a prince, and he is perfectly of age to be a groom…”
Towards offers like that, Ria answered politely.
“It is unfortunate, but I have no interest in men. I might have accepted a wife though…”
Currently, there were no ambassadors capable of proposing to present a princess.
Although things like that were usually discussed in private and not in front of ambassadors, she had made certain that both Carla and Shizuna attended.
“Besides, I already have a bride.”
Saying that, she demonstrated towards Carla.
“And a concubine.”
Saying that, she demonstrated towards Shizuna.
“Well, I already have enough women for a while. With a beautiful wife and adorable concubine, I don’t have the love to spare.”
Carla’s composed expression didn’t falter, but Shizuna looked down with a red face.
Carla was attending in different clothes than her usual knight outfit, she was wearing a dress like a noble’s daughter.
“B-but then, how will you produce an heir?”
A bewildered ambassador asked.
Even if worrying about a successor was natural for nobles, that story had already been settled.
“It is planned for Manesh’s prince to become my adopted son. It will be formally announced when I ascend to the rank of archduchess.”
Since it was originally Manesh’s territory, she would adopt the prince as her son and heir. It was a reasonable story.
As expected, since there wouldn’t a successor born, no countries had women that took wives. If there were, it’d be a scandal.
“At any rate, I am too busy. I don’t even have the time to flirt with my bride.”
Ria was grumbling, but the people around her were busy as well. Not to mention Carla, Shizuna was also training with the men that had newly become Ria’s bodyguards.
Shizuna’s request from Valis was the acquisition of a new Skill.
It was something that Ria and Carla already had from their Gifts, but it was something that ordinary humans couldn’t obtain. It was [Limit Break].
It was a skill said to be able to allow a human to surpass their limits. While fighting against others, she strove to master this skill.
As she continued exhausting herself trying to master it, Ria wasn’t able to have fun tormenting her at night.
“Even though we’re finally back from the battlefield, it’s nothing but business…”
“Give it up. Such is the way of a statesman.”
Seeing Ria desperately grapple with official documents, Guinevere was the one to laugh in response. Although, she also had a mountain of official papers next to her.
Days like that passed by, and when Ria finally learned to assign others to do her business work, something that she was looking forward to finally arrived.
The messenger from Caslia had arrived.
First was the advance force, thirty knights leading three thousand infantry. The face leading them all was one she recognized.
From within the group of knights that lined up before the palace’s plaza, a knight vice-captain appeared.
Taking a knee right there, he made a deep bow to Ria.
“Your highness hasn’t changed at all…”
“No, I’ve changed.”
Her appearance had changed considerably. Above all, her eyes were a different color now.
“You probably have a lot to say too. For now, please come in. Everyone else, be at ease.”
Saying so, Ria had Reyas stand.
The elevation of his gaze was different. Since Reyas hadn’t changed, it was herself that had grown.
“Understood. Then, just one more person with me.”
Reyas raised a hand, calling out a knight’s name.
As for who came out of the group, it was a knight with a small build. When they took off their helmet and revealed their long black hair, it was no wonder.
A girl. Around the same age as Ria. She was tall for a woman, although it wasn’t as much as Ria. Though it’d be fine to call her a beautiful girl at first, her eyes were dreadful. She seemed to be staring at Ria.
(Wait, is she really staring at me?)
She couldn’t recall the child, but wondered if she had maybe done something bad to her indirectly.
(… I have no idea.)
Since her level was also considerably high, it would’ve been unpleasant for her to have a grudge.
“I am Fiona Uran Crystera. This life, I stake on serving your highness.”
(No no, rather than saying you’ll stake your life, isn’t your gaze saying you’ll stake it on killing me?)
Reyas had the woman that took a knee and declared such stand. The Crystera family should have an earl. That is to say, this young woman’s becoming a knight was something serious to get her family’s understanding for.
“She will serve at your highness’ side, please accept her as your liaison with the knights. As her age is also close to your highness’, please use her without reservation.”
“Please treat me well.”
(Was there some fighting spirit in that? I felt some blood lust in that greetings.)
In truth, she really was a capable secretary.
“Fio, take these papers.”
In the blink of an eye, she had already been given a pet name. Their ability to work together was even greater than Lulu’s.
She was probably a person that could properly separate work life and personal life. Although she would often meet with Guinevere as a liaison, her evaluation of her was high as well.
If you excluded Shizuna, who shared bedrooms with Ria, Fio, who actually accompanied her for paperwork and troop reviews, she was the person she was in contact with the most.
But even so, Ria was anxious about those eyes that contained vigor as they stared at her.
“I wonder what Carla’s doing today.”
“Her Royal Highness Carla—“
With a freezing tone, Fio spoke. Moreover, she added the ‘royal highness’.
“—Is expected to visit an orphanage today.”
(Ah, come to think of it, there was that huh. She was under the care of an orphanage as a child.)
“By the way, Shizuna-sama is expected to go to review Manesh’s third army.”
Although it felt off for Shizuna to have a ‘-sama’ attached, she was now written down in the family tree as the official second princess. It was decided that she couldn’t continue on calling her her consort forever, but the term ‘queen’s wife’ sounded odd.
But she understood with Fio’s attitude.
(She probably hates homosexuality. Well, it can’t be helped. That’s the general value system.)
“Fio, you know…”
So Ria decided to discuss it with her amicably.
“I understand that it’s hard for you to approve of homosexuality. If you don’t like it, it’s fine if you want to get a different job.”
To contrast that, Fio responded intensely.
“That’s not it!”
Her voice was a strong denial.
“I… yearn for Hime-sama!”
A confession of strong favor.
From her vigor, Ria had been instinctively pressed back. This was the first time she had received such pure goodwill from a woman.
“But, it always feels like Fio is glaring at me…”
(What was that then?)
Fio’s eyes swam about. However, she once again stared at Ria mightily.
“I was stupid.”
Then, Fio’s confession began.
When she was in Casalia’s court, she was attracted by Ria’s freedom.
That she liked women, she longed for that figure that could declare such a thing composed, something that normally wouldn’t be declared at all.
She wanted to be even a little closer to her. Thinking that, she became a knight.
Despite that, when Ria left to travel, she regretted not conveying her feelings.
Even though she was a woman, she had accepted a woman as her wife. Moreover, it wasn’t objected to. Her attitude left yet another deep impression on her.
She had been envious of the two people that had become Ria’s wives.
Saying that much as though vomiting it all out, she added to the end in a small voice—
“I love you.”
To be frank, Ria was overwhelmed.
Hearing that upfront, this was the first time Ria had been told by a girl that they loved her.
“Fio… you like women?”
That’s why she asked such a stupid question.
“The one I like… is only Hime-sama.”
It was different from the kind of strength Carla had, it was a single-minded strength.
“I love you.”
Fio told that to Ria as she stared at Ria intently, tears forming in her eyes.
(Ah damn. Isn’t she adorable?)
When Ria stood up, she reached for Fio’s cheek with her hand, bringing her face close.
She kissed the tears collecting on her eyes.
Then, gently, as though handling a fragile item, she embraced her.
“If you’re together with me, you won’t have children. Well, even if you have an affair and make a child, I don’t mind if you return to me though…”
“The one I like… is only Hime-sama.”
Fio shrank into Ria’s embrace.
She should take responsibility for her. Ria decided that.
“When my coronation is completed, you will be my third wife.”
Fio’s tiny nod indicated she understood.
With the noble that held the rank of duke in Casalia having brought the crown and paperwork from her father, the preparations for the coronation began.
Since Casalia sent a giant army of thirty thousand with him, even the choice of cantonment was difficult.
Because many royal families from the surrounding countries gathered for the coronation, they also had to prepare suitable reception services. Since Ria was a person that fundamentally wasn’t full of herself, she went to meet the people that came personally as much as she could.
As expected, due to the workload increasing exponentially, Fio was managing her schedule.
“If you cut down on training time, it would become very easy.”
“That’s the only thing that’s no good!”
Although various trivial events occurred, the coronation day arrived quietly.
The duke placed the crown on the stand before the throne. The procedure was for Ria, who naturally dressed herself as a man, to place it on her head herself.
Not sitting on the throne, she faced towards the courtiers, the nations’ kings, and the ambassadors, raising her arms.
“Long live her majesty the queen!”
Guinevere exclaimed in high spirits. Everyone cheered in chorus.
Archduchess. This was Ria’s official position.
When the member of a royal family descends to the status of a subject, it’s usually considered to be duke at the highest. This was something exceptional.
She had heard how many times her father went through difficult negotiations, but she could only bow her head towards Anise.
Next was the country’s name.
At first they considered using Manesh’s name to make use of its reputation, but since Guinevere would exist as Manesh’s duchess after this, it would be inconvenient. 
Then they thought about calling themselves the Cordovan Archduchy with the intent of subjugating Cordova, but anyhow, using Cordova’s name would be bad.
So then, it was decided to use ‘Ogress’ in the name.
It was a name from ogres, which were said to be barbaric. However, by daring to use it, they would show their harmony with other races.
For the nobles of surrounding countries, they once again recognized their freedom.
From here on, the _____ Territory would become the Ogress Archduchy. They didn’t need to establish all laws and an organization system, but it would happen little by little.
They chose to treat the chosen mayors of Shashmeer and Jaeburg, which were self-governing towns, as non-successive earls.
Incidentally, Vargas was bestowed with the rank of baron.
It would have been inconvenient for a commoner’s daughter to be the archduchess’ wife after all.
The ogre king as well as the beastkin representatives were also given titles.
At least under Ria, they appeared to intend to obey the duchy.
Not sitting on the throne, Ria remained standing and began her speech.
“Before, when I had traversed a labyrinth, it was revealed to me that the millennium would be upon us within ten years.”
It was something that, until now, only a small portion of people knew about. The courtiers stirred greatly.
After waiting a moment, Ria continued to speak.
“This Ogress Archduchy’s greatest goal is to survive the millennium.”
This was the country’s clear vision. And for this, be it country or people, none had reason to oppose it.
“However, before that, there is a problem that must be settled.”
Right, as for what was staring them in the face, it wasn’t the millennium.
“Invading other countries without reason, Cordova is an evil country that causes wars and must be destroyed. Then, we will return territories to their rightful lords.”
There were even nobles that came from countries destroyed by Cordova in the audience now.
Tears shone in their eyes.
“Cordova is a large country. However, we have gathered together under one purpose and are supported by Casalia Kingdom as well. The prospects of our victory are perfectly in our favor. All that’s needed is your support.”
Here, Ria unsheathed Nagasone Kotetsu, pointing the blade towards the heavens.
“The hammer of justice will fall upon Cordova! Victory shall be ours!”
They were justice.
Believing in that became strength.
Someone repeated ‘Victory’ in a small voice.
Then someone else followed suit. Before long, many voices shouted it out.
Morale within the royal court rose.
With this, they might somehow prevail over Cordova. Even so, she felt uneasy.
No matter how uneasy she felt, she would not let it show on her face.
Shouting to the skies as though on a battlefield, Ria cried out once again.
- I know little in regards to titles of nobility, but I’m fairly certain this is due to a duke’s/duchess’ domain—their duchy—having its own name. In this case, Manesh. Return