Dragon’s Bloodline — Chapter 74

Attacking the Capital


There was a man named Manyu.
As a highly ranked Cordovan bureaucrat, he was a man whose name was included in the lowest position of the royal court’s council.
Among the disorder caused by the threat of impending Ogress army in the council, he gave the Cordovan king a single proposal.
“How about we set the slaves free, turning them into soldiers?”
His words gave a change to the council’s mood, which had thus far been leaning towards capitulation.

Although Ria had recommended that Cordova surrender several times, they had refused each and every time.
The reason was simple: they had plenty of forces remaining in Cordova.
However, the army of twenty corps they had sent as their elite suffered a defeat before the Ogress army. Now, that army was moving to invade the capital.
Ria’s statement of already assuming the royal palace as her prize had already been conferred to them.
Even now, if they capitulated and entered Ogress jurisdiction, they were only guaranteed positions as Cordovan earls.

However, Manyu proposed to wait.
Would Ogress’ queen spare the life of the king of the country that had resisted this much?
Moreover, would she do the same for the king’s aids and the other nobles?
Cordova capital had strong walls, they even had food. As long as they had sufficient forces to rely on, they still had the ability to resist.
And after resisting for a long enough time and showing off their power, they might not be unable to draw up more acceptable conditions for their surrender.
Manyu’s sentence caused a stirring wave to flow through the king and nobles’ intentions.
“Then Manyu, the only person that can take command of the slaves, shall we remain in our country?”
The king finally spoke.
“If permitted, this retainer will use his life…”
The Cordovan king nodded powerfully.




“By the way, Fio, take a look at this guy’s papers. What do you think of him?”
“He seems… very capable.”
Fio muttered involuntarily.
A bureaucratic noble of the Cordovan monarchy, Baron Manyu.
“Why would such a capable seeming person appear in a country that’s almost destroyed…”
Ria sighed.
A situation where such an out-of-the-norm person appeared wasn’t asked for, but it was probably ideal for a country.

Talks of Cordova using slaves as soldiers was brought to her immediately.
Those who participated as soldiers would be liberated as free people in the future.
Those who earned achievements would be provided lump sums or land.
If they captured Queen Ryuku Riana? The one to hold her head up would be given a title of nobility.
They were very attractive terms. Certainly, if Ria lost now, there would be no one else that could attack Cordova.
The only one with the ability to bring this large of an army together was likely Reyas.
However, it wasn’t something that could be assembled with just ability. It also needed leadership and legitimacy.
Although it would be good enough to include Guinevere as the supreme commander, the person supporting them logistically with Manesh would be gone.
And to start with, Carla was not suitable for being a commander of war. Though she did have the charisma…

As their first goal, they began their attack.
The former Cordovan soldiers whose lives were saved by Ria attacked the capital intensely.
Preparations were everything for the attacking side in a siege. Even so, since Cordova’s side had no where left to go, their morale had naturally fired up.

Long ladders were placed against the rampart, but they were destroyed one after another by stones and logs.
Much the same happened to their catapults’ attacks as well, as since the rampart was strengthened by magic, they didn’t do much damage.
For many generations before this, it was thought that this was an excessive defensive strength built by that cowardly king, but right now it was demonstrating its effectiveness.




Five days passed.
Although moderate damage was inflicted on the enemy forces, there were naturally many allied sacrifices as well.
Ria had appeared in her seat at the war council, but the push for a brute force approach was still huge.
It was probably natural. Those being sacrificed were chiefly the Ogress soldiers that were formerly Cordovan soldiers.
It was natural for the nobles whose territories’ armies weren’t in the line of fire to single-mindedly promote attacking like that.
However, this troubled Ria.
If they didn’t get Cordova to yield and preserve their national power, they wouldn’t be able to fight against the demon tribe in the Millennium.
But even with all that, Cordova’s capital held impregnable defenses.

“Attacking the fortress is a bad idea, but attacking their spirit…?”
Casually, she spoke those words.
She had spoken them calmly, but they changed her war council’s course of action.
Thanks to associating themselves with Ria’s way of thinking thus far, her staff officers had grown.
And so from the next day on, it was no longer a castle siege, but psychological warfare.




First, they mixed papers in with the stones they launched.
This was something meant for the beastkin.
Even at this point, they weren’t treated the same as humans and weren’t allowed to apply as soldiers.
The papers spoke of things like how outside of the rampart, beastkin were already being treated just like humans, it was even said that one was receiving the queen’s affection.
Even if they didn’t rouse themselves and collect into a revolt, this would collapse some of Cordova’s support.

Outside of the tall Cordovan rampart, an even larger hill was created with earth magic, large enough that it could be seen from the inside.
It wasn’t at a distance that catapults could be used, but every person could see it for themselves, causing a serious pressure to loom over them.
Because of this pressure, the Cordovan soldiers’ spirits steadily weakened.

Moreover, the Ogress army’s area didn’t look like an encampment, it had both a huge wall and a moat. Its construction had reached the point of being able to be called a town.
It gave the feeling that they intended on capturing the capital no matter how long it took. For the Cordovan soldiers that wished for their emancipation from slavery at the end of this battle, not being able to see how far away its end was filled their minds with gloom.

Similarly, construction that required a large amount of manpower had begun.
The water that met the needs of Cordova’s population was pulled from a large river, but the construction they started was to stop it up.
Even though it was both a huge project that required a large amount of physical labor and excessive technological insights, both existed in the current Ogress army.
Moreover, they would reward those working for it with extra pay.

While they were at it, they started to announce when they would be launching stones.
They would inform which city block of Cordova they would be attacking with a day’s notice by throwing bundles of paper.
Naturally, when they launched the stones in that area the following day, other than the personal suffering, mental stress built up quickly.
The rampart still existed, but the citizens that were supported by the soldiers that came to defend them were defeated.




And so, it was a cruel strategy, but she would separate Manyu and the soldiers from Cordova’s governing body.
A messenger was sent to hand over documents strongly insisting on Cordova’s submission and promising Manyu, who had fought bravely, the position of viscount.
Manyu probably should have cut down the messenger and discarded him; however, he courteously saw him off, passing the document to the royal palace.
For now, the king praised Manyu’s correspondence for the matter, but a touch of suspicion was given birth.
The contents of the papers were severe for the royal family, yet awfully sweet for Manyu.

Several days later, Manyu was charged for having secretly met with enemy messengers.
The morale of the slave soldiers defending the rampart quickly plummeted.
If it were the Ogress army in that situation, Ria and Carla could stand up before them and encourage the soldiers.
However, Cordova’s king had no charisma.
As he was only called the existence standing at the topmost position of Cordova’s governmental structure, even if he needed to be capable, he didn’t need to show himself.

On a certain night, without any context, one of Cordova’s gates opened.
Countless beastkin appeared from it, fleeing to the Ogress encampment.
Since this wasn’t something that they had colluded together with them, unfortunately, they weren’t able to take advantage of it and invade the city.
However, this was probably the one last push they needed.

Papers with this fact written on them were launched into Cordovan streets by the catapults.
The citizens’ support regarding the royalty collapsed completely.
This was no longer the Cordova famous for its merciless officials. Its laws no longer functioned.
Even its military discipline collapsed. By removing Manyu from the front lines, it could be said that Cordova sealed its own fate.

A mere ten days into the siege.
Cordova offered its capitulation to the Ogress army.




Concerning this, Ria allowed the Cordovan royal family to leave the capital with their minimum posessions.
She left the royal palace to the soldiers’ volitions.
Immediately before that, something was taken from the royal palace by Casalian soldiers moving under Fio’s directions.
The documents concerning Cordova’s domestic taxation, as well as its law books and the like.
Fio placed importance of these bundles of completely valueless bundles of paper above anything else.
“Ahh, I didn’t notice. Great work~”
Reflexively patting Fio’s head, Ria smiled.
Fio returned with a glad smile of her own.

The soldiers’ plunder was thorough.
Everything of any worth in the Cordovan castle was lost.
Of course, this included food.
In truth, the Ogress army had diminished its military provisions. It was a relief now that the war was over.

Baron Manyu, having been placed under house arrest, was of a small build and a refined man.
Although it was thought that he could command the slaves well, it might rather be that his very appearance gave them a sense of security.
“With Cordova renamed to Cornada, Baron Manyu will be given the peerage of earl. I’ll leave Cornada’s governing to you. Work hard.”
Ria gave a bombastic announcement.
With an expression that looked as though he wanted to weep, Cornada Earl Manyu accepted it humbly.
The treasury had become barren. There were no more slaves. His reign would be tough.
Still, Ria felt this tough reign was best left to him.
He had full support from the liberated slaves.
Above all, Ria didn’t want to do any more.

As for the Cordovan earls, they had lost nearly all of his territory, but their lives were spared and they were forced to be succeeded by their sons.
They would live long lives, past the period of upheaval, greet the Millennium, and see the era following that.
However, their names would never again appear in history.




“So tired~, so tired~”
Lying directly on top of the carpet and tumbling about, Ria embarrassed those around her.
“Have some tea.”
The tea that Carla prepared was her usual milk tea.
Ria finally drank some, stopping her baby-like whining.
“Ah~, it’s going to be hard from here on~”
She collapsed forward onto the table in exhaustion.
“That’s so. It’s something that has to be done, so you’ll do it somehow, thanks in advance.”
Fio’s face was also thickly fatigued. Truthfully, the person able to move around the best was Carla.

Every day, she healed those who were injured and became sick due to the war.
It wasn’t a situation where she needed to keep extra magical power in reserve anymore, so by her hand, even those who normally wouldn’t recover were able to turn back into able-bodied people.
With her like that, many no longer called her the dragonslayer, but the holy woman.
“This one does not want to work! This one absolutely doesn’t want to work!” [1]
Even though she said that with her mouth, Ria worked one way or another.
To quickly return to Manesh and temporarily go back to Casalia, making Fio her official wife…
Seeing that sumptuous feast in her dreams, Ria did her best today as well.



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