Chapter 0385.2 Intermission – Empire Unrest Part 3.2
Some preparations were made.
It was said that the 10th Army was coming from the Imperial capital.
The commander was Flora Reisenheimer.
She is capable.
Moreover, her disposition is also wonderful.
Even without General Ivo, the commander of the 3rd Army, there were many rotten commanders in the Imperial Army, so she was an extremely rare decent commander.
If possible, he didn’t want to make her an enemy.
It would be difficult to draw her into their camp, but he hoped that she would stay neutral…
It was not difficult to come up with a plan.
However, the ideal was to convey the facts and have her remain neutral.
Facts are stronger than anything.
If you could move hearts by telling the truth, that’s the best.
However, it would be bad if she stayed neutral and the 10th Army ended up displeasing the Emperor.
If that were to happen, she would become an enemy to protect her subordinates.
Therefore, he also prepared a plan to avoid displeasing the Emperor.
The Empire’s 10th Army, led by Flora Reisenheimer, arrived at the borders of the Duchy of Alant.
There was a guide from the Duke’s army there.
Theo Byrne, the supreme consul of the Duchy of Arant, was the guide.
“It’s been a while, Flora-dono. I believe that is Elmer-dono, the advisor of the 10th Army.”
Elmer bowed his head in greeting.
With Theo in the lead, the 10th Army followed behind the Duke’s army guide, and two days later, they arrived at the government office in the duchy capital.
The 10th Army pitched its tent in the government square and slept there.
After instructing her subordinates to set up camp, Flora, accompanied by her advisor Elmer, immediately requested a meeting with Sigismund.
She was taken to the reception room of the government office and waited for two minutes.
Theo came in again.
“Flora-dono, Elmer-dono, I would like to tell you both the truth.”
What he revealed was the complete truth.
Including General Ivo’s request, what happened in the lobby on the first floor, how Sigismund woke up and was about to offer himself, and what happened in the square afterward.
He told all the facts.
Both Flora and Elmer listened in silence.
Midway through his explanation, he could see that Flora’s lips were trembling with anger.
It was for General Ivo’s behavior.
Even after Theo finished telling them everything, the two remained silent for a while.
Flora was the first to speak.
“Then, where is Sigismund-sama now?”
“After stepping away from the balcony, he collapsed. As expected, he had pushed himself quite a bit. A healer attended to him, and he has recovered enough to eat, but he still can’t speak. It would be difficult today, so I’m thinking of arranging the meeting tomorrow.”
“Is that so…”
“Tomorrow, it would be best if only about ten people could attend the meeting.”
Theo’s proposal was a strange one.
Why did he request for ten people even though he couldn’t speak?
“Theo-dono, what does that mean?”
“To be direct, I would like you to bring along the Emperor’s observers from the 10th Army as well.”
Theo answered Flora’s question with a faint smile.
Observers who report directly to the Emperor are assigned among the executives of all 19 armies and 10 magic armies, excluding the 20th Army, known as the Shadow Army.
Although the commanders are not directly informed… of course, the commanders know who the observers are.
Naturally, they are also in the 10th Army.
Theo was telling her to bring them.
“You intend to show the observers that Sigismund-sama is still unable to speak and let them report to His Majesty the Emperor… that way, you can buy time.”
Advisor Elmer whispered.
Hearing that, Theo smiled slightly, nodded, and spoke.
“I don’t want to fight with you. It would be foolish for Imperial forces to collide with each other. However, if we must clash, I will defeat you with all my might. And without a doubt, you will be annihilated.”
He paused for a moment.
Neither Flora nor Elmer could say anything.
“You two don’t want to fight me either, do you?”
A few days after the 10th Army arrived, the Empire’s 1st Army and 1st Magic Army, led by Emperor Helmut VIII, reached the borders of the Stein Duchy.
Of course, Duke Konrad of Stein, like Sigismund, was ordered to come to the Imperial castle and make an apology, but Konrad completely ignored it.
Therefore, they expected there to be fierce resistance at the border, but…
“Your Majesty, according to the reconnaissance report, the Duchy’s army is not within the territory.”
“I see. In that case, have the armies proceed but be careful.”
In response to the report from Consul Martina Döner, Helmut VIII gave instructions while nodding.
Nain is the capital of the Stein Duchy.
“Actually, Helmut-niisama can’t do anything.”
“Your Highness, what do you mean?”
Aide Rand questioned Konrad’s words.
“Because I didn’t do anything and remained holed up in Nain. If I had made a clear statement of rebelling against him, there’s a possibility that the city of Nain would be burnt down or the castle would be taken down. It’s natural to reduce your opponent’s strength, but I haven’t declared anything. I ran away from the Imperial Castle, but that’s it. He can’t do anything aggressive until he confirms whether I’m truly an enemy.”
“What if he forcibly burns down a town of Stein Duchy?”
“He would be criticized not only within the Empire but also abroad. Helmut-niisama is the Emperor of the Empire. And this Duchy of Stein is also part of the Empire’s territory. The people are citizens of the Empire. An Emperor who burned his people to the ground in his own territory… and they didn’t even take any clear hostile action… that looks bad, doesn’t it?’’
When Konrad said that, he smiled slightly and took a sip of his coffee.
And continued speaking.
“Helmut-niisama has no choice but to come to Duchy Capital Nain. That is definite. After that, he would see how I would react. I can imagine his actions up to that point.”
“I hear that the Empire’s 1st Army and 1st Magic Army led by His Majesty are elite. Of course, our Stein Duchy Army has never lost, but even if we rely on the walls of Nain, we will never be able to win. …Ha, I’m sorry, I said too much, please forgive me.’’
Rand expressed concern over Konrad’s words, but quickly apologized, saying he had gone too far.
“It’s fine. What Rand says is reasonable. The 1st Army and the 1st Magic Army are originally part of Helmut-niisama’s faction. They can’t be made to disappear like the 9th Army.”
Konrad said with a laugh.
“Even if we fought and won… there is no chance for us to win as there are still many regular Imperial armies waiting. What is even more troublesome is that Helmut-niisama is still the Emperor of the Empire. And I am the Duke of the Empire. He clearly has a higher status and position. In other words, if I kill Helmut-niisama… I’ll be called the Emperor Killer. Don’t you think it’s a pretty troublesome situation?’’
As expected, Konrad said with a smile, but Rand grimaced and complained.
“Now’s not the time to say something like that…”
“However, that is quite a difficult problem, isn’t it? Even if he were to die in an accident on the way to Nain, I would definitely end up being blamed as the one who killed him… So troubling.”
Konrad smiled, not showing any signs of being troubled.
Konrad continued speaking while smiling.
“Actually, I have already discussed the matter with Theo Byrne, including having Helmut-niisama come to our territory unharmed.”
“Speaking of Theo Byrne… he is the supreme consul of the Duke of Alant, right? Duke Sigismund of Alant sided with Your Highness?”
“He has no other choice. If you ask me, I suspect General Ivo did something foolish. It seemed that he had feelings that could be called hatred towards Helmut-niisama, the Emperor who sent General Ivo. Byrne has made only one request: ‘No matter what happens from now on, let us remain the same as before’.
“No matter what happens…? What on earth…”
Aide Rand frowned and muttered at Konrad’s words.
“Perhaps Theo Byrne was reading my plans.”
“What do you mean…”
“That’s why he went out of the way to say things like, ‘No matter what happens’.”
“Of course, I accepted. In fact, Sigismund-niisama doesn’t care about the Emperor position. All of Theo Byrne’s loyalty is to Sigismund-niisama. As long as that’s the case, he won’t become my enemy.”
When Konrad said that, he smiled faintly.
What he needed now was not an ally who actively tried to support him, but a friendly neutral that wouldn’t interfere.
All plans would be ready soon.
A knock sounded.
The person who entered the room was Volker Arbelein, the commander of the Stein Duchy’s army.
A man in his mid-thirties who is both fearless and intellectual.
If aide Rand was the arm that supported Konrad’s politics, then Commander Volker could be said to be the arm that supported Konrad’s military.
“Your Highness, all preparations have been made in the territory, as well as the Barony of Hespe and the Viscounty of Haddessen.”
“I see, good work.”
Konrad nodded, satisfied with Volker’s report.
Aide Rand tilted his head.
But Rand didn’t ask questions.
Commander Volker’s report had purely military reasons, and he recognized that it was outside the scope of his job.
So he was not worried.
Rather, he should be worried about the other party.
(I feel sorry for His Majesty the Emperor, having to deal with these two people.)
Two days after crossing the border, the Imperial army led by Emperor Helmut VIII arrived at the plain overlooking the capital of Nain.
In front of Duchy Capital Nain, the Stein Dukedom army was encamped.
If that were the case, Helmut was naturally able to question Konrad about his true intentions.
Of course, that didn’t mean that the two would meet directly.
They sent messengers back and forth and listened to what each other had to say…
“…So, Konrad has no intention of making an apology?”
“You are correct.”
The messenger who returned from Konrad’s camp answered Helmut’s confirmation.
“Even though I’ve traveled this far… That’s enough! I was planning on killing him anyway. So let’s kill him!”
Following Helmut’s instructions, the 1st Army and 1st Magic Army moved into battle formation.
However, the Stein Duchy’s army that was facing them did not move.
“What is the meaning of this?”
No one could answer Helmut’s whisper.
If this were another enemy, some staff members might say things like ‘They must have gotten scared’, but the enemy was Konrad and the Stein Duchy’s army.
He was not someone you should let your guard down against.
“Either way, we have no choice but to attack. March!”
Under Helmut’s instructions, the battle began.
When the Imperial regular army and magic army are together, the Imperial Army only has one tactic.
After the magic army’s simultaneous bombardment, the Imperial Army forms formations of 500 soldiers and charges.
It’s a simple, but very powerful combination that would succeed under extreme circumstances.
It’s extremely powerful… unless there’s an insane magical defense like the <Dynamic Steam Mine> of a water-attribute magician from some kingdom.
With one command from Helmut, 2,000 attack spells were released.
With the majority made up of fire arrows, there were also sonic blades, which have wind attributes, and stone arrows, which have earth attributes, attack spells that split after being fired.
In the end, it split into 10,000 attack spells to cover the area.
…Or it was supposed to be.
However, all 2,000 attack magic disappeared midway through.
Well, to be more precise, it hit something invisible and disappeared.
The scene could also be seen from the headquarters.
Helmut couldn’t help but whisper.
Of course, no one could answer that.
The steward beside him, Martina, was also stunned.
The entire Imperial Army stopped moving.
When things that are supposed to happen don’t happen, people stop taking action.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s an individual or a group.
However, for the Stein Duchy’s army that was facing them, the plan they had set up worked.
Developed as planned.
Arrows and attack magic were fired all at once from the Stein Dukedom army.
On ‘Phi’, which has magic, arrows are essentially useless in large-scale battles.
This is because it will be sent back by the wind attribute magicians.
However, it is extremely effective against opponents who are stunned and have stopped moving.
“It hurts, it hurts, it hurts”
“Shit, fight back.”
“No, put up a barrier!”
The Imperial Army was confused.
The arrows and magic constantly fired by the Stein Duchy army robbed the Imperial Army of its ability to make calm decisions.
The commanders were screaming and trying to regain control, but it was not going to be easy.
It would take time to recover from the chaos…
“The ‘Alchemy Barrier’ was a success.”
The person who muttered this was Volker Arbelein, the commander of the Stein Duchy’s army.
Even though it was a one-time disposable product, it could be highly praised for being able to achieve the maximum effect.
“Don’t get the timing wrong! Let’s just be thorough about that one more time!”
Volker gave sharp instructions.
Right now, so to speak, the surprise attack was successful.
However, the chaos would eventually subside.
Originally, he should have transitioned to close combat at that time, but this time he didn’t do that.
He only utilized long-range attacks to limit the attrition of his troops and prolong the confusion of the Imperial Army.
For the sake of the plan.
It was fifteen minutes after the start of the battle that he saw the plan in action.
“Your Excellency, that!”
A subordinate called Volker’s attention to the rear.
A cloud of dust could be seen approaching from the rear of the Stein Duchy’s army, further northwest of the Duchy Capital Nain.
“They’re here! Notify all troops. Don’t get the timing wrong to part. If you stay, you’ll get caught up!”
At Volker’s instructions, tension ran through the entire Stein Duchy army.
Those who approached them were not their friends.
If they get caught up in it, they too would die…
“Three, two, one… part! Move at full speed!”
Following Volker’s instructions, the Stein Duchy’s army parted left and right.
And not in an orderly fashion.
While feeling quite anxious.
As soon as possible and as far away as possible.
Move away from the center!
During that time, attacks on the Imperial Army completely stopped, but that didn’t matter.
In any case, run quickly and far away!
And then, the people who came ran through the Stein Duchy’s army that split left and right…
“T-the enemy has split…”
Few in the Imperial Army understood what had happened.
The Stein Duchy’s army, which had been attacking with the upper hand, stopped its attack and split left and right all at once.
From between the cracks, they could see a plume of dirt approaching.
“What on earth…”
The Empire’s vanguard said that much before they were unable to say anything else.
They got hit by arrows.
Those who approached…
The moment they recognized that figure, many lives of the Imperial Army were lost.
By short-distance arrows from horseback.
By continuous rapid fire.
Only the outermost members of the cavalry carried swords and small shields, but all others shot bows and arrows.
The role of the men with swords was not to defeat the enemy.
Everything is defeated with arrows.
It was also arrows that opened the way.
They were only aiming for one person…
Without being told to do so, the Imperial Knight Guards sacrificed themselves to protect Emperor Helmut.
However, they were defeated by arrows one after another.
That amazingly precise shooting.
Moreover, from horseback.
Arrows while galloping the horse with only both legs…
In the blink of an eye, Helmut was surrounded by corpses.
A red-orange-haired man stood in front of him.
“You’re wearing fine clothes. You’re the Emperor, right?”
Helmut was overwhelmed by the man’s words.
Helmut was the Emperor of the Debuhi Empire.
However, he still pretended. He could not look intimidated.
“I am Emperor Helmut VIII.”
His lips were trembling slightly, but he still showed his dignity to the best of his ability.
“I am the King of Horsemen, Hahn. You will bear the burden of your father, Rupert’s sins.”
With that said, King Hahn drew his sword and cut off Helmut’s head.
Helmut, who should be more than capable with the sword, was unable to move an inch.
In that way, Emperor Helmut VIII of the Debuhi Empire was defeated by King Hahn of the Corridor Countries.
That news shook the Central Countries…