Chapter 16: Declaration of War
The plate armor suddenly opened its mouth and began to walk up noisily… and sat down on a chair at the dining table in Carlo’s place.
“What’s with this armor… I thought it was an ornament, but there’s someone inside?”
Luna didn’t respond to Zavok’s mutterings and questioned him about what he had said earlier.
“Let me ask you one more time. What you said earlier, can it be interpreted as a declaration of war ─”
Before Luna could say anything more, Zavok kicked a chair away.
“Yeah, it’s a declaration of war! I will have everyone killed!”
Carlo and Trebas were pressured by his forcefulness and vigor, and their bodies trembled.
Zavok took note of that and spoke to them in a gentle voice.
“Well, that said, there is room for concessions on our part. After all, His Majesty the Emperor has said, ‘There is no economic act as stupid as war.’ If you guys show a certain amount of sincerity… like paying a million gold, then that’s a different story. I would put down my banner and withdraw the declaration of war ─”
“─ No, let’s do it. It’s not good to gloss over this type of issue. It should be clearly done in black and white.”
Luna was only focused on pushing the fight.
“Wow… you’ve been quite assertive since a while ago. It’s the Spedio family and their people who will be in trouble if a war breaks out, right? A trampling, a massacre, it’ll be a slaughter! Your careless remarks will turn this territory into a bloody hell! Do you understand that properly??”
It was a threat that would make an ordinary person sit up and think hard but…
Such cheap words did not resonate with Luna, who fought on more battlefields than anyone else three hundred years ago, killed more enemies than anyone else, and saw more tears than anyone else.
“That’s scary. ─ Now, I’d like to finalize the date and time for the start of the war. When should we do it?”
As if his threats were in vain, she wasn’t moved in the slightest and continued to talk calmly.
(Wh-what is with this guy…? Is he not afraid of my threat and the Empire’s White Dragon Flag…? )
Just as Zavok began to feel an eerie fear of the far too calm plate armor, his subordinates standing behind him had a secret conversation.
“H-hey, that armor… by any chance, isn’t he that?”
“Ye-yeah, the ‘Saint’s representative’ that appeared in the Kingdom’s territory… right?”
Zavok overheard their conversation and stiffened.
“You, no way… Are you the representative of the Saint who apparently brutally killed the two demons―Silver!?”
“I don’t remember killing them in a particularly brutal way, but… I am certainly Silver Glorious L Bloodfallen Heart.”
Luna took it upon herself to say her full name.
She hadn’t given up on that name yet.
“Why is the representative of the Saint in a countryside like this…!?”
“I have some connections to the Spedio territory. I’m currently using this as one of my bases of operations.”
“Ha, ha ha…… You’ve got a bad personality too. I wish you’d just say so…”
Zavok’s face was cramping as he put on an awkward smile.
Never in his wildest dreams did he think that he would come across such a huge figure, the representative of the Saint, in such a remote place.
“So, regarding the earlier declaration of war… let’s decide on a specific date. When will it be done?”
“Wa-wait, don’t be so anxious. What I said earlier was just verbal tit-for-tat… I don’t really want war either. As long as they show some kind of ‘sincerity’… I’ll quietly back off.”
Zavok said, trying to get ‘concession’ from Luna.
“Hmm… although I would like to say that since they have already paid the prescribed land tax and said they have no intention of paying a single penny more but… Zavok-dono came all the way to this remote land, so to return home empty-handed would be… I prepared something trivial as good faith.”
“As expected of Silver-dono, it’s great to have someone who understands!”
Luna, who had planned that as the settlement, went to retrieve the items she prepared from the back of the cupboard.
“This is my sincerity. What do you think?”
A large basket was placed on the desk, filled with many ‘Blessings of the Earth’.
“It’s vegetables grown in the Spedio territory that were picked in the morning. The ones from here are especially delicious, you know?”
Spring tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, onions, asparagus, and many other vegetables that were in season right now.
In Luna’s previous life, she was the daughter of a farmer, and being given ‘seasonal vegetables picked in the morning’ was a proper sign of respect but…
Zavok’s gang, hungry for money, took that as a clear provocation.
“Hey now, you bastard…! I’ve been keeping quiet all this time but you better not get carried away!”
One of the most short-tempered men in the group violently kicked the table.
The wooden dining table snapped in half, and the basket of vegetables flew into the air ─ tomatoes splattered on Luna’s face and her helm.
Within that tense atmosphere, Luna carefully picked up the vegetables scattered on the floor and placed them back into the basket one by one.
She has a calm personality and rarely gets angry.
However, this time it was different.
“…Don’t waste food.”
A gruff voice steeped in anger trickled out.
In her previous life, Luna was born into a poor farming family.
Through actual experience, she knew how hard farming was, how precious the harvest was, and how precious food was in a life of poverty.
For her, what he had just done could not be overlooked.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said, ‘Don’t waste food.’”
Luna said, releasing slight killing intent.
For her, it was child’s play…
The killing intent of the Saint that sent all the demons into the depths of fear three hundred years ago was not something an ordinary person could bear…
“Ah, ah, aaaaaaaa…”
The man’s body shook like a newborn fawn, and he suddenly fainted.
He was so scared that his hair turned white and fell off as if he had aged into an old man.
When Zavok and his companions saw that strange scene, their faces turned pale.
Because they were small fry, they quickly ‘understood’.
Never go against the plate armor in front of them.
“We-we-we’re sorry! This guy is really stupid to the point of death…! H-hey, the vegetables in the Spedio territory are delicious! Right, you guys? Right!?”
“““It’s crazy delicious…!”””
Zavok and his companions desperately stuffed their faces with vegetables.
Filled their mouths with tomatoes, chewed on cabbage leaves, and ate the asparagus.
Their survival instinct told them that if they didn’t eat, they would be killed.
“Hmm… well, that’s fine.”
Luna wiped her face with the towel provided by Trebas and turned to Zavok and the others.
“Can I take it that the fact that you are eating the vegetables shows that my sincerity was conveyed to you?”
“Of course! Thank you very much for your consideration, Silver-dono!”
“Th-then! We still have work to do, so please excuse us!”
As soon as Zavok and the others said that, they ran out of the mansion as though fleeing for their lives.
(Phew… that settles the matter for now.)
The Imperial tax collector left the Spedio territory.
With that, they’ll be able to live peacefully for the next year ─ until the next tax season arrived.
“Silver-dono, thank you very much…”
“Thanks to you, I think we’ll be able to survive this year…”
Carlo and Trebas bowed deeply and expressed their gratitude.
“No, please don’t mind it. The Saint has a connection with this place. As her representative, I wish to preserve it.’’
“What, this Spedio territory…!?”
“Ah, I’m so proud!”
When they learned that their territory was a ‘land connected to the Saint’, they were happy from the bottom of their hearts.
(Well, I’m not telling a lie…?)
The person they had a connection with was not the ‘Saint of 300 years ago’, but the ‘Saint of the present day’, but… technically, she wasn’t lying.
(If we talk for too long, they might find out that Silver is me… I think it’s time to go home.)
Thinking that, Luna cleared her throat.
“Then I’ll excuse myself as well.”
“A-are you going to leave already…?”
“At least let us give you something to thank you…!”
“No, don’t worry. I didn’t do anything that significant.”
When she said that and left the mansion, Carlo and Trebas went to see her off.
“Silver-sama, please come again anytime!”
“Next time, we will prepare lodgings exclusively for Silver-sama and will be waiting for you!”
“Thank you for your consideration. Farewell ─ <Gate>”
Luna activated the high-level space magic and disappeared into the gap between dimensions.
“─Phew, I’m tired.”
Luna teleported to the student dormitory of Saint Academy, stored her plate armor in Storage ─ and fell backward onto her bed wearing her Saint Academy uniform.
Then, the next moment,
Tama’s eyes lit up when he saw his master return, and he pounced on her.
Tama’s tail wagged and he slowly moved up to Luna’s chest and licked Luna’s cheek.
“Ahaha, that’s so ticklish…”
She smiled happily and stroked his fluffy fur.
“It was a lot of trouble, but I’m glad everything went well…”
Luna breathed a sigh of relief after completing the task safely.
Yesterday, while racking her brain in her room, she came up with an idea.
That was the special operation named by the Saint that she just executed, ‘The incident where the armored person they happened to come across was the Saint’s representative’.
- She, in her plate armor, pretended to run into Trebas who was heading to a pawn shop to raise money.
- After revealing her identity as a representative of the Saint, she asked about the problems of the Spedio territory and offered to cooperate, feeling righteous indignation.
- After returning to the Saint Academy, she would skip class and teleport to Spedio territory, where she stood as an armor displayed by the wall ─ after that, she just went with the flow.
(Well, in any case, it was a perfect strategy by me. Hehe, maybe I can play the role of a staff officer…?)
Luna was extremely excited, but this time she had clearly used her head, which was very unusual for her.
Instead of her usual haphazard approach, she made a successful strategy with just enough cards in her hand and put it into action.
First of all, Silver was widely known as the representative of the Saint, and no one would choose to oppose her.
And Rho had already confirmed that Zavok did not have the power to start a war.
If she pushed hard, the other side would have no choice but to back down. She carried out the strategy based on that idea, and it actually unfolded as expected.
(After this… I need to do a ‘follow-up’ just in case)
The strategy had the big disadvantage of ‘connecting Silver and the Spedio territory’.
To be exact, she said, ‘The Spedio territory is one of my bases of operations’, to give her some leeway, but…
If her sightings in this area overlap, the relationship between Silver and the Spedio territory would be talked about, and suspicions would eventually be directed towards her, wondering if she is the Saint.
That alone must be avoided at all costs.
(For a while, I will try to stay away from Spedio territory and create another base of operations as Adventure Silver.)
Luna was quietly thinking about her follow-up actions while playing with Tama’s toe beans.
(Ah, I want to act like a villainous heiress soon… But for that, I need to make my house bigger. Also, as an adventurer, I want to see the world 300 years in the future… Ah, that’s right, my dark history… I have to hurry to collect it)
Her ‘things I want to do’ and ‘things I have to do’ were mixed up, creating a huge traffic jam in her heart and head.
(…It would surely be easier if I could talk to someone…)
Since Luna hid the fact that she was the Saint, there was no one she could consult with.
“Hah… at times like this, I wish everyone was here.”
She let out a big, long sigh as she remembered her deceased friends: swordsman Zell, magician Shasha, and monk Fiona.