Chapter 0235 Drill
“The Imperial Army is withdrawing from the royal capital…”
Abel read the report and muttered.
“Perhaps they are heading to the eastern region~”
Ryo was lying on his usual sofa, slovenly, reading a book and replying randomly.
But suddenly he closed the book and stood up.
“W-What is it?”
Even Abel was surprised by Ryo’s unusual behavior.
“Abel, I have a suggestion.”
“If it’s about sending you to the eastern region, you can forget it.”
“How did you…?”
Abel was surprised when he suddenly stood up, but quickly regained his composure.
He saw Ryo’s so-called suggestion coming from a mile away.
“I bet you just want to mess with the Explosive Blaze Magician a little is all.”
“You must be kidding. You mean choke his goddamn life right out of him…”
“My answer is no.”
“Ugh…your tyranny this time is over the top, King Abel!”
“Hey, don’t you spout whatever you want…”
Ryo gave in to the tyranny of the powers that be, and Abel slumped wearily.
Ryo was also aware of the reasoning.
The reason remains the same as Ryo’s previous proposal to infiltrate the royal capital solo and freeze the entire imperial army, which was rejected.
Even if it’s impossible to convince all the people, they can only make the move to liberate the country after making most people recognize that ‘we must reclaim our country with our hands’.
If this was an operation to invade and conquer an enemy country, it would be ideal in a sense to dispatch a powerful force like Ryo, freeze the entire enemy army, and then invade and win.
That is because the loss of forces would be minimal, and defensive structures such as city walls and the royal castle could be obtained intact.
However, that is ill-suited for a liberation war or a war of independence.
Reason being that the liberation war itself has symbolic significance.
To be precise, it’s not about the war itself, but about the need to make the people realize that ‘they have participated in reclaiming the country’, for the sake of uniting the people effortlessly when the country is restored or becomes independent after the war.
That realization will facilitate national unity and national governance after the liberation war.
That is not a tactical or strategic issue, but a larger, political strategy.
A commander can solve problems at the tactical level.
A general can solve problems at the strategic level.
But when it comes to political strategy…only an ‘excellent’ politician can solve the problem.
Abel, as a king, already has the mindset of a politician who rules a country…and that was what it was about.
That same morning, Ryo’s peaceful retreat was suddenly broken.
The perpetrator was Neville Black, the Knight-Captain of the Rune Frontier City.
“Sir Ryo, we are finally done with the formation for the exercise outside the castle.”
Neville came into the office and reported to Ryo.
Ryo was visibly upset when Neville told him.
“L-Listen captain, I have a very crucial task of being Abel’s bodyguard…”
“Sure, I understand. But you are not busy while His Majesty is in here, are you? Which is why I’ve come to take you up on your offer, so please take the knights for a drill outside the castle.”
“I-If it’s a drill, then the training grounds should be enough…”
“Nah, I’m thinking of something more practical.”
Ryo looked to Abel for help.
“Yeah, that doesn’t sound that bad every once in a while. You have my permission, have fun.”
It would appear that there are traitors in various parts of the kingdom…
Though, alas, both claim to be ‘Kings’.
After that, Ryo would have to go on a weekly drills outside the castle…
In the afternoon of the same day, Abel’s office.
“Phew~ I am so spent~. I want something sweet and coffee please~”
There was a magician who newly occupied the sofa where Ryo usually slouches.
She is a wind-attribute magician and beside her is a powerful and peerless shield-bearer.
“And just when Ryo was put to work, now it’s you, Rin…”
Abel took one look, then turned his attention back to the papers again and blurted out.
“Huh? Come to think of it, where’s Ryo?”
After sitting on the sofa where Ryo usually lounges lazily, Rin seemed to have taken notice.
How very unusual that Ryo was not there.
“He’s conducting a drill outside the mansion.”
“Oh…that, so that was Ryo leading them~. The knights looked so happy that I wondered what was going on…that must suck.”
Rin prayed for the unfortunate magician as she picked at the snacks that were served.
“Well, while he’s in the mansion, he doesn’t need to act as a bodyguard, I guess~. It’s obvious that he’ll be pushed to do other work instead…and Ryo seems to be very popular among the knights too.”
“I hear they do mock battles from time to time.”
“Right. I heard that Ryo has officially taken up the instructor role that was vacant after Sera went back to the forest.” “A magician acting as the swordsmanship instructor of knights…”
Abel had a feeling that it didn’t quite sound right, but then when he thought they were talking about Ryo, he dropped it.
The former instructor, Sera, was also an elf who was supposed to be good with the bow, so it’s all good.
“Good grief…I wonder what Ryo has got planned with this.”
Rin was enjoying her coffee and snacks with a contented look on her face.
Beside her, Warren was drinking coffee silently, but also with a somewhat satisfied atmosphere.
With the exception of the water-attribute magician, the Lords’ mansion was peaceful.
The royal capital, on the other hand, was far from peaceful.
However, certain results have been achieved owing to that fact.
“It seems certain that the imperial army will leave the royal capital.”
“Yes, sometime next week apparently.”
Hector, the swordsman and leader of the C-rank party ‘Morning Star’ said, and Oriana, the scout, supplemented with the information she had obtained.
The two were now in the ‘Rebels’’ hideout.
Which was the largest of the several hideouts in the royal capital, the ‘southern hideout’.
“Hector, is that true?”
“Yes, Zack, I am sure of it.”
Zack Cooler, a former member of the Royal Knight Order, was the one who asked Hector that question.
Of course, Scotty Cobook, also a member of the Royal Knight Order, was beside him.
They, too, had become ‘rebels’ and joined the resistance activities in the royal capital.
“Finally. Well, sure enough, the ‘planner’ was right, the imperial army is preparing to withdraw… and I guess this will mark the end of the first phase…”
“The problem now is the second phase.”
Zack and Scotty let out a small sigh.
The second phase will be against Raymond’s faction, the northern nobles…and the nobles who have been joining them recently and who hold territory around the royal capital.
The opponents will no doubt be desperate to solidify their hold on the royal capital.
It surely won’t be easy to drive them out like the Empire.
This was definitely going to be a critical moment for the ‘rebels’.
“The second phase has no end in sight. We’ll keep at it until King Abel wins…”
Hector’s mind was overwhelmed with mixed feelings.
He had once tried to kidnap Abel, even though he didn’t know him then.
Of course, now he knows that the ‘B-rank adventurer Abel’ with whom he was involved at that time, became King Abel.
And that their employer, the Marquis Heinlein, supports King Abel.
And Hector personally, would rather have King Abel rule the kingdom than King Raymond and his faction.
It’s just that he felt a little conflicted because of his past.
“Small world, huh.”
Oriana, the scout, probably wondering the same thing, said so with a wry expression.
The following week.
That day, the last of the imperial troops that had been occupying the royal capital for so long withdrew from the capital.
The newly formed Royal Guard under King Raymond and the armies of the northern and central nobles were out in full force to see off the imperial troops.
Some rebels watched them in hiding.
“So where are those imperial troops heading to?”
“According to the intel from inside the royal castle, they are heading to Wingston, the largest city in the eastern part of the country.”
The scout Oriana replied Hector the swordsman’s question.
“So, they’re still going to remain in the kingdom…”
“Well, they did bring a good amount of troops and made a good amount of sacrifices, so…I guess they won’t leave unless they get what they want from Raymond.”
“It won’t be funny if it’s ‘the eastern part of the Kingdom’ he’s giving the Empire.”
Hector said with a frown.
Oriana nodded in agreement.
After sending out the imperial troops, the guards and the nobles’ army closed the gates of the royal capital.
These days, it is said that the gates of the royal capital are only opened when supplies are brought in.
But the truth is, no one has been coming to the royal capital to do business, and the lives of the people of the royal capital had been growing worse.
However, today’s movement of the guards and nobles’ army seemed to be different from usual.
“Hm? Where are the guards and the nobles army headed? Certainly can’t be the royal castle and the encampment…right?”
“You’re right. Something is wrong.”
Hector raised the question and Oriana concurred.
The guards were heading south of the royal capital, while the nobles’ army was heading toward the east and west gates.
Incidentally, they were at the top of a certain watchtower, which was provided by a collaborator of the rebels.
From there, they could see quite a bit of the layout of the royal capital.
As they watched for a while, they heard footsteps hurrying up from below.
From the sound of footsteps, they could tell that it was their party members, the magician Kenzie and the priest Tarlow.
“Hector, Oriana, this is bad. The guards are on their way to the ‘southern hideout’.”
The ‘southern hideout’ is one of the rebels’ hideouts scattered throughout the royal capital, and is the largest in scale in the capital.
By largest in scale, it meant that the number of people hiding there was also the largest.
“Apparently the guards stationed at the south gate are on their way there as well.”
Priest Tarlow added to the information.
“All these the minute the imperial troops left, they act fast!”
At last, the hunt for the rebels has begun.