Outbreak of the Great War
Even if they’d decided to subjugate Cordova, that didn’t mean they could immediately rouse their military.
They first had to prepare their logistics.
Developing Ogress’ internal roads, as well as reclaiming farmland that had become hinterlands. Although Serge could use space-time magic for means of transportation, he was just a single person.
There were four main routes being considered for the invasion of Cordova. Three of those had the goal of thoroughly dispersing Cordova’s forces.
Manesh’s forces, Casalia’s forces, the ogre forces, and the beastkin forces had become their primary strength.
There were great expectations placed on the beastkin outside of the battlefield in particular. If humans were sent out on reconnaissance, they would fall far behind the beastkin.
“I want a budget~”
In the meeting, Guinevere moaned just like a spoiled child.
Guinevere’s golem cavalry project would require a huge budget.
Where those funds would come from was a problem. As Ogress was a new country, it didn’t have organizations that had swelled up uselessly. Even the former Manesh had its center of political strength destroyed by a dragon beforehand, so its organizations had slimmed down.
But it seems that Guinevere had also more or less thought of this too.
“A trade route plan!”
Guinevere’s plan was something meant to help stimulate the circulation of money, which they could then levy taxes from.
“That would cause problems for the land reclamation though.”
Ria was wholly against it.
“The reclamation won’t take long. The golem unit is absolutely necessary. They would change this world’s wars.”
In fact, Serge also approved of Guinevere’s views.
This world’s golems would play the same role on the battlefield as tanks did in his previous life. If they fought against Cordova, whose main strength was its infantry, with those, it would become a very powerful countermeasure.
“Although there aren’t any guns, this world does have magic…”
Something to one-sidedly trample over the enemy from long distance wasn’t readily available. Even so, the number of magic soldiers sent from Casalia would become a threat for Cordova.
The country’s future was being decided during a tea party. Serge was taking part in this gathering.
Serge’s achievements in perfect logistical management in the previous battle had been recognized, he had become a noble.
With the upstart of a lifetime, and moreover in this age full of exceptional cases, such a position was necessary in order to converse with Ria’s group.
Incidentally, his peerage was knight. It was the lowest rank of nobility, but a noble was a noble. Moreover, it was something he earned with his own strength.
“Since the circulation of magic stones and magic crystals from labyrinths have increased, I can also do more golem operation experiments~”
Furthermore, the golems’ practical use was also thanks to Serge, as he could easily move them to the front lines.
Although they had been thinking about defensive positions so far, if they used the giant golems in an engagement—or possibly a castle siege—what kind of results would they bring?
There were various things that could be called Cordova’s strengths, and as expected their infantry’s strength as their foundation could be considered the greatest factor.
They were truly surprised by their obstinacy when they fought them.
Their infantry had been neutralized. The neutralization of an enemy’s main force is the most important factor for winning a battle.
“I’d like to turn it into a huge fight as suddenly as possible. Although it’d be great to decide the victory in one go, I want to examine how practical my golems are~”
They should take defensive battles wherever they could. Perhaps, with Cordova’s defeat just before, they would soon go out for an attack.
Those expectations were entirely correct.
Fio asked with a dubious expression.
“Yeah, since I wanted to go and see the town’s state of affairs.”
“That’s… it certainly might be important, but isn’t it dangerous?”
“I’ll be bringing strong bodyguards so there won’t be any danger.”
The lineup to perfectly remove danger. It was complete.
Ria and Carla. Also with the two strongest people in the country, Irina. With Fio as a retainer, and finally Serge.
“It somehow keenly feels like I’m out of place here.”
“Don’t worry about it, it’s the same for me.”
Serge was secretly speaking with Fio behind them. To be frank, the two of them were the representatives of mediocracy compared to the three in front of them.
Those three were hiding their faces within deep hoods. At any rate, even though it was inevitable since their faces were too well known, it was extremely suspicious.
If they were questioned by some sentries, Fio would deal with them. That’s why she was taken along.
There was also another person she wanted to bring along though.
“I really wanted to bring Guinevere along too…”
Ria said that, but Carla objected concisely.
“You had better give up on that. You don’t know where you’ll be wandering to after all.”
With the sun setting, the group advanced.
Manesh’s population didn’t stop being active when the sun went down.
Lights leaked out from street stalls and stores lit up the various people’s faces. Those people’s expressions were uniformly cheerful.
“What a good country…”
Fio murmured unconsciously.
“By winning against Cordova, Ria brought hope back to the people.”
Carla responded like that.
But the reason why Ria left the palace this evening wasn’t to see this.
A bat flew through the night’s darkness.
Accordingly, Ria went to a remote path separated from the main road.
Because Fio couldn’t function well in the dark, Serge made a magic light.
“Um, where are we…”
The moment Fio began to ask that in worry, a girl appeared.
“Ooh, how are you doing?”
Since Ria called out, neither Carla nor Fio who were meeting the girl for the first time were cautious.
It was a beautiful girl with flaxen hair.
By the way, Fio thought that this girl might also be one of Ria’s lovers, but kept that to herself.
“Well, it’s just that relations with my colleague aren’t going too well.”
Asuka was honest as usual.
“You had a quarrel with Rei?”
“No, it’s a guy you all don’t know about. Well, that aside, how about we move to somewhere else?”
And so by Asuka’s guidance, they were lead to a luxury inn in Manesh.
“Welcome back, Ojou-sama.”
“Please bring refreshments for everyone.”
Asuka ordered in an accustomed tone, inviting everyone into a room.
It was the kind of luxurious room where nobles and wealthy merchants were live in.
Out of everyone present that sat down following those words, only Carla was still standing.
Her eyes obserted Asuka. She probably knew that she wasn’t an ordinary person. However, she didn’t know her true colors. That made Carla all the more vigilant.
“Carla, it’s alright. She’s a cooperator with us.”
“Right, Dragonslayer-san. If you were serious, couldn’t you easily kill me?”
Although Carla wasn’t emitting any true blood thirst, she finally sat down on the sofa hearing that.
“Well then, I’ll speak about Cordova’s situation.”
There was a small city-state called Salf in the north. It seemed that Cordova was mobilizing its troops to capture it.
“Three army corps huh.”
More than previously, and furthermore more than double the amount. It was beyond enough war potential to capture Salf.
Although Salf was a relay trade town, that didn’t mean it was that important of a place for military aims.
“Well, if they devote themselves to defending with their castle walls, they won’t immediately surrender. Meanwhile, we can shred the enemy forces’ supply lines.”
Saying that, Asuka looked towards a corner of the room.
“Pineau, come out.”
Until then, no one had noticed that someone was there.
It was a tiger-striped cat beastkin. He held a sharp expression.
“Pineau is one of our anbu’s commanders. He’s still young, but his skills are reliable.” 
That was most definitely right, considering that Ria didn’t notice him despite being in the same room. His hiding abilities were extraordinary.
(Even though he’s still young… compared to a vampire, wouldn’t all beastkin be young?)
“This child’s forces are preparing disruptive activities in Cordova. I dare say it would be given enough damage so that a war of attrition would be impossible.”
Beastkin forces certainly were suited for such activities. Ria and them had primarily been using them as reconnaissance units.
Although things related to Cordova were going well, there was a single problem troubling Asuka.
“Because there are large movements happening in the central part of the continent, I think that I’ll be separated from Rei for a little while.”
The center of the continent. There were talks about Lemdria annexing various towns that had once belonged to the former empire.
If one looked into those movements, they would almost certainly see someone’s hands.
“The Great King Hollyn is at an old age. Although Lemdria should be stable, if something happened to that person it might quickly turn into a rebellion.”
Regarding the millennium, they would probably cooperate with Lemdria to defend against the demon tribe’s invasion. But for now, it wasn’t an immediate problem.
(Even so, what really is the millennium? From observing Rei and Asuka, I think it’d be possible for humans and the demon tribe to live together peacefully though.)
“And so, I’d like Pineau to be a liaison, but who should he send messages to?”
“Then I can—”
“I’d be fine—”
Fio and Serge both raised their hands. They certainly were close to Ria, so the two were suitable.
“It’s Fio—Fiona. I am her majesty’s secretary.”
Although it the original plan was to make Fio her wife, since there was an immediate problem of not having a substitute, she was still working as Ria’s secretary.
As so, Ria still hadn’t embraced her. Not in the physical meaning though. In the sexual meaning.
“Understood. Then I’ll send information to those two people from here on. Pineau, I’ll leave it to you.”
The cat beastkin nodded quietly.
Sending Irina and Fio back first, Ria and Serge decided to talk with Carla about everything.
Borrowing a nearby private room with a meal, Ria began to talk.
First, how she met Serge when she started her journey.
That she and Serge were reincarnated individuals from another world.
That she was originally a man, and that’s why she had no interest in men.
That she had traversed labyrinths and met with Labyrinth and Valis.
That Irina was the successor of the Golden Dragon Clarice, and that she herself was chosen as Valis’ successor, she held nothing back.
After hearing about everything, Carla was lost in thought for some time.
But in the end, she asked in her usual tone.
“Is there anyone else who knows about this?”
“There are a few people who know about bits and pieces, but Irina is the only person who knows everything. Well, I get the feeling that that girl doesn’t comprehend everything though.”
Valis had probably sent her along with Ria’s group in order to have her comprehend it.
“Why tell me?”
“Because, I thought it’d be fine to talk about it if it’s you.”
In truth, she wanted to tell everything to her comrades that she entrusted her life to.
But if in the case that her secrets were exposed out, it’d be different if they had the strength to cover it up. Carla had that strength.
“Ria, you place too much trust in me.”
Carla spoke with an unusually embarrassed expression.
“For example… I might speak with Guinevere-sama about this, and someone might overhear.”
“If Carla decides it’s fine, it can’t be helped. That’s just what trust is.”
“Right right, I’m confident that I’d chat about everything immediately if I started getting tortured or something!”
Carla smiled at Serge’s banter.
During their meeting the next day, Cordova’s forces invading Salf was announced.
This was information that not even the intelligence chief had gotten yet, but assuming it came from their queen’s personal connections, they believed her and would move their army.
Of course they held some reservations about it, but that same information was brought in and confirmed one day later.
As for the advance troops, Ria declared that she would personally command three thousand cavalry herself and expressly head to Salf.
There were dissenting opinions of course, but she wouldn’t bend on it.
“Salf decided to fight a defensive siege. In this situation, it’s necessary to preserve our ally’s morale.”
For that, the queen would personally go to the front. This would show the most extreme effect.
And apart from that, they also organized forces to invade Cordova’s own country. They also sent out directions to organize and march to each lord that was bordering Cordova.
This great war that would later be called Cordova’s Upheaval was about to begin.
- Anbu… Think ninja/saboteur forces. Return