Translating Japanese Web Novels to English

WM V2C0418

Volume 2, Final Part, The Great Djinn War

Chapter 0418 How to Start a War

Translator: Jay_Forestieri

Editor: Tseirp

 

Twenty days before the Pope’s Inauguration ceremony in the Western Countries.

 

This is Curcio, a city near the western border of the Handal Union, one of the three major powers in the Central Countries.

It’s situated near the border with the Kingdom of Knightley.

And has a population of around fifty thousand, making it a relatively small city. However, being one of the cities along the western border of the Union, it hosts a garrison of the border defense force.

But they only number around five hundred troops.

 

 

The Union has had numerous conflicts with the Kingdom in the past.

Including the ‘Great War’ thirteen years ago, which was a full-scale war.

 

However, currently, they have maintained relatively good relations in recent years, even dispatching large-scale diplomatic envoys to the Western Countries.

While they cannot afford to be complacent, compared to the Empire, which shares a border further north, the Kingdom is considered a much less hostile neighbor…

 

 

That was the prevailing sentiment among the populace until that day.

 

 

The border guards at the watchtower in Curcio.

 

“Captain, what’s that over there?”

A member of the watchtower team, suspicious of what they saw through the installed telescope, asked the captain beside them.

“Hmm? Let me have a look through the telescope.”

The captain said, taking the telescope and peering through it himself.

A telescope is a tube-shaped device that magnifies distant objects.

 

 

“Dust clouds… could that be cavalry?”

At that moment, the captain’s mind flashed with memories of the nomadic horse-riding people who had invaded the Imperial territory and even slain the Emperor in one fell swoop.

However, after a moment’s thought, he realized that such a scenario was impossible here.

 

Beyond the border wasn’t the Empire or the Corridor States.

It was the Kingdom.

 

Finally, the raised flags came into view.

It was the flag of the Kingdom!

 

 

…Uh?

 

 

“The Kingdom’s flags? The Kingdom’s army? There are ten thousand riders…”

The captain said, passing the telescope back to the initial team member.

“Indeed… they are indeed flying the Kingdom’s flags… An invasion?”

 

The team member muttered, prompting the captain to finally snap back to reality.

 

“R-Ring the bell! Close the city gates! Hurry, send word to the capital!”

He issued a flurry of orders.

 

“Other than the Kingdom’s flags, there are no other banners. Is it the Kingdom’s army, or perhaps a noble’s private army… I cannot tell.”

The report came from the team member still looking through the telescope.

 

“What in the world is going on…”

The captain’s words echoed hollowly inside the watchtower.

 

 

Thirty minutes later.

 

Curcio fell.

 

 

 

In the capital of the Handal Union, Jayclaire, the Governor’s Office.

“Your Excellency, we’ve just received word that Curcio has fallen!”

“So soon! Just thirty minutes ago, we received word of the attack…”

Even the distinguished Lord Aubrey couldn’t hide his surprise at the report from his aide, Lamber.

 

Indeed, Curcio only had a garrison of five hundred troops.

After all, it wasn’t a major city located on a major highway and had no other large cities nearby that could be potential targets.

 

Being a border city meant it had high and thick walls and the soldiers stationed there were not poorly trained.

Even if they were attacked by tens of thousands of troops, as long as the gates were closed, it shouldn’t have fallen within an hour or so…

 

“But the reality is that it fell in less than thirty minutes…”

Lord Aubrey, quickly regaining his composure, muttered to himself, starting to think.

 

Supporting reinforcements for Curcio have already been dispatched.

Leading them is one of Aubrey’s trusted subordinates… trained by him for years, they would act accordingly to the situation.

For example, if the city has already fallen, they would surround it from a distance and wait for further reinforcements to arrive…

 

There’s no need for detailed instructions on such matters.

 

 

The real question is…

 

“Are they truly the Kingdom’s army?”

Lord Aubrey’s mutterings were audible to Lamber, the one who reported.

“Huh? But the report said they were flying the Kingdom’s flags…”

“Lamber, you’re straightforward as always.”

Aubrey chuckled wryly at Lamber’s spontaneous words.

 

“So… what you’re saying, Your Excellency, is that those who attacked pretended to be the Kingdom’s army, and the reason for that is to incite conflict between the Union and the Kingdom? But for that… they would have had to sacrifice their soldiers as well. Are they willing to sacrifice soldiers for such a scheme?”

Lamber quickly grasped what Lord Aubrey was implying but began to express his anger at the idea of sacrificing soldiers for a scheme.

 

At least Lamber doesn’t seem to be a schemer.

 

“Don’t be angry, Lamber. Well, admittedly, some aspects are hard to understand… But it’s even less believable that the current Kingdom would want to go to war with us. Just the other day, there was talk of King Abel being ambushed by Imperial insurgents, right? Would a Kingdom that’s been provoked by the Empire willingly pick a fight with the Union? Only a fool would do such a thing.”

 

Lord Aubrey paused for a moment, then continued.

“King Abel isn’t that much of a fool.”

 

 

From the Union’s perspective, the Kingdom is one of its hypothetical adversaries.

Whether it was the ‘Great War’ thirteen years ago or the intervention in the war against the Inbury Duchy three years ago, they’ve fought numerous times.

 

So, while not exactly a desirable opponent, they’ve never been considered foolish.

Of course, there were times when they thought the previous king had lost his ability to govern…

 

 

War doesn’t just happen suddenly, without warning.

 

 

A little thought would make that clear.

 

The domestic and neighboring country’s situations, conditions, circumstances, and such must all be in place.

Preparation is necessary to exercise military force.

This includes assembling troops, training them, and ensuring supplies are ready.

Troops must be mobilized, weapons and provisions transported, and the terrain and situation of the battlefield analyzed.

 

Uprisings, train bombings, or even the assassination of a crown prince can trigger a war… that’s a fact.

But all of these are nothing more than mere ‘triggers’.

Only when guns are prepared, bullets loaded, and targets determined… only after such preparations are made does war occur simply by pulling the ‘trigger’.

 

 

Just having the ‘trigger’ alone doesn’t cause anything to happen.

 

 

 

Lord Aubrey pondered.

Why now?

Why Curcio?

 

Do they want to involve the Union in the war?

If so, the possibility would be higher in the eastern border of the Union.

Although there are many small countries in the surrounding area, it’s more unstable than the western border.

Or perhaps, the border with the Empire has a much higher possibility.

 

Or perhaps they want to drag the Kingdom into the war?

If so, targeting the Empire would be much more likely.

After all, they attacked the king.

 

 

Or perhaps…

 

“Do they want to turn the western part of the Union or the eastern part of the Kingdom into a battlefield…?”

 

 

Abel was at peace that morning.

 

Before breakfast, he swung his sword and worked up a sweat.

Breakfast was shared with Queen Rihya and Prince Noah.

 

After that, he carried out his morning duties.

 

As usual, he was swamped with paperwork, but after three years, he had grown accustomed to it.

Also, those around him seemed to have grasped Abel’s rhythm or pace, leading to many things being optimized.

 

This led to reduced stress and, consequently, fewer mistakes.

 

 

As a certain Duke of Rondo somewhere used to say:

“Don’t work yourself to exhaustion”.

 

“Nope, that’s impossible.”

Abel always retorted.

 

…And even now, he still refuted that.

 

 

But that peaceful morning was shattered by a report from the Prime Minister, Marquis Alexis Heinlein.

“Your Majesty, the western Union city of Curcio has fallen to armed forces.”

“…Ah?”

 

King Abel’s response was one of disbelief.

 

No one can blame Abel, of course, except the premier duke who finds fault for no reason.

 

The western Union city… the countries bordering it are the Kingdom and the Empire.

Furthermore, considering the location of Curcio, it should be a city near the border with the Kingdom.

 

In other words, the only country that could potentially attack that city is the Kingdom.

But the king of that Kingdom, which is himself, had not issued any orders to attack Union cities.

 

Moreover, it seemed that the city fell ‘by armed forces’.

 

 

What armed forces?

 

“…Like the order of assassins? Or perhaps, like the bandits in the north from the other day?”

“The details are unclear. However, according to information obtained in the Union capital of Jayclaire, it was a group that raised the Kingdom’s flag.”

“That’s absurd!”

Abel’s response to Heinlein’s information was an outburst.

 

Naturally so.

A group flying the flag of the Kingdom.

He hadn’t issued any such orders himself.

 

It was likely information from spies Heinlein had secretly placed in the Union capital of Jayclaire, so the information itself was likely true.

 

If so, then what did it mean?

 

 

“…Of course, there are no units related to the Kingdom’s army that would do such a thing… right?”

Abel asked Heinlein, who was the prime minister, to confirm, as there was a possibility he didn’t know.

 

“Of course not. According to the information received in Jayclaire, it was said to be about ten thousand cavalrymen. Currently, there are only a few places in the entire Kingdom that can mobilize such a force. I’ve also confirmed with the lords of various regions, and the only ones on an expedition are the Silverdale Knights. The rest are all within their territories.”

Marquis Heinlein replied, seeming suspicious and having already confirmed many things.

 

“It’s usual for Silverdale to be on an expedition… they’re elite, but there are at most fewer than two thousand. Ten thousand, on the other hand…”

“There are indeed many incomprehensible aspects… We’ve issued notices to the cities on the eastern border of the Kingdom. And for information gathering, we’ve requested cooperation from the major trading companies.”

Both Abel and Marquis Heinlein understood that something unusual was happening, but they had no clue about the cause and purpose.

 

Above all, they lacked crucial information.

 

Therefore, they decided to request cooperation from trading companies to gather information.

The number of merchant caravans traveling to various places was enormous.

The information coming from these trading companies was substantial.

Among them, there could be information important to the kingdom’s government.

If they could pick up on that…

 

While still incomplete on a national scale, information gathering from the merchant caravans under the trading companies had become indispensable for the Kingdom as a whole.

 

 

 

Several hours after the fall of the city of Curcio in the western part of the Union.

 

In a town slightly south of where Curcio is located, near the eastern border of the kingdom, lies the city of Van Lane.

With a population of approximately fifty thousand, it is a city of similar size to Curcio in the Union.

The defense of this town is maintained by three hundred soldiers from the eastern garrison of the Kingdom.

 

Something unusual was also happening at the watchtower in Van Lane.

 

“Captain! Look at that dust cloud!”

“Could it be… the Union? No, we received a notice, was it that? Are the city gates still closed?”

“Yes. They are closed according to the notice.”

“All right, hurry and contact the royal capital. A dust storm is visible in the east.”

 

Thirty minutes later, the city of Van Lane fell.

 

 

 

On the mountainside overlooking the city of Van Lane, three carriages belonging to a caravan were parked.

This caravan frequently traverses the cities near the eastern border of the Kingdom.

Their caravan flag depicts a city illuminated by moonlight.

 

They are the Third Caravan from the Gecko Trading Company’s main branch in Rune, operating in the eastern border direction.

 

Their routes never cross the borders, instead, they connect cities near the Kingdom’s border or between large cities like Rune and the border cities within the Kingdom.

Due to the flexibility in their trade depending on the season and goods, they often avoid major highways.

Consequently, they are accompanied by a strong dedicated escort squad.

 

 

The captain of the Third Caravan’s escort is Chloe.

Formerly a member of the Inbury Duchy Intelligence Department, her chestnut-colored hair and matching eyes often make her look adorable as they move around.

However, due to her training in the intelligence department, she is surprisingly strong in close combat.

 

After the downfall of Inbury Duchy, she defected to the Kingdom and joined the Gecko Trading Company as an escort using her connections from her days back in Inbury Duchy.

There, she was trained by Max, the escort squad leader, and now serves as the escort squad leader for caravans traveling to and from the eastern border region.

 

 

“Evans, what’s that…?”

Chloe addressed the relatively young caravan leader.

Generally, caravan members require strong physical stamina and resilient mental strength, making them usually quite young.

In the Gecko Trading Company, most caravan members retire to work in the stores by their thirties.

As it’s physically easier.

 

However, in terms of the excitement of business, the caravan side far surpasses the store side…

 

Among the young caravan members, there is the nineteen-year-old caravan leader, Evans.

However, despite his youth, he has ample achievements and has been involved in caravan activities crossing borders since he was ten years old.

Despite his youth, neither the caravan members nor the escorts disregard him.

 

 

“Oh, Chloe. Here’s a report of what we’ve just seen.”

Evans said as he finished writing and rolled up the paper into a thumb-sized tube.

“Honestly… I’m not sure if they’ll believe the report of what we saw in Van Lane just now.”

Chloe expressed her concern.

Evans nodded in agreement.

 

However…

 

“Even so, it’s better to report it. We’re equipped with messenger pigeons for times like these, after all.”

Evans said as he attached the thumb-sized tube to the leg of a messenger pigeon in a cage and released it into the sky.

 

 

The pigeon flew westward.

 

“It may not be as fast as a hawk, but it shouldn’t take too long to reach Rune city…”

 

 

 

Amidst the gathering of various information from the eastern region, that piece of information came in.

 

“Your Majesty, we have received reports of a group heading towards the eastern region Count Lanshan’s city of Van Lane. It is said that Count Lanshan has dispatched his forces.”

“So they’re finally here…”

Abel nodded in response to Marquis Heinlein’s report.

 

He didn’t think the approaching group was the Union army, but he believed there would be some kind of movement.

Although it wasn’t clear yet who was behind these movements and what their intentions were, it seemed likely that something would happen, potentially leading to a deterioration in security.

 

 

Thirty minutes later.

“Your Majesty, it’s been reported that the city of Van Lane has fallen.”

“That’s way too soon, isn’t it?”

King Abel couldn’t help but utter the same words as a certain Union Governor.

 

 

However, it only took a moment for Abel to regain his composure.

 

 

“Hey, Alexis.”

Alexis is the first name of Marquis Heinlein.

Whenever Abel addresses him like this, it usually means a difficult proposal is on the horizon.

 

Although it was a difficult proposal, Marquis Alexis Heinlein had experienced many times over the past three years that such proposals often turned out to be the right move.

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“I think Lord Aubrey and I should meet in person and discuss this.”

“As you wish.”

Marquis Heinlein nodded once and replied.

 

He had come to the same conclusion, but it was still a difficult proposal to make.

A meeting between the leaders of two major powers.

And it was urgent…

 

 

However, Abel’s proposal came with an unexpected addition that caught Marquis Heinlein off guard.

“For that meeting, I want Kenneth to come along as well.”

“You mean Viscount Kenneth Hayward?”

 

Needless to say, Viscount Kenneth Hayward was a genius alchemist who represented not only the Kingdom but also the Central Countries.

 

“If possible, I’d like them to bring Frank De Verde as well.”

“Ah… You intend to establish a direct communication system using alchemy between the Crystal Palace in the royal capital and the capital city of Jayclaire, I see?”

 

Currently, thanks to the alchemy tools developed by Viscount Kenneth Hayward, direct communication was possible between the major cities within the Kingdom.

Of course, there were some limitations, but compared to the time before this system was in place three years ago, it had become significantly more convenient.

 

Establishing a similar system between the capital and the royal capital would allow for quick confirmation of the intentions of the top officials in the event of incidents like this one.

 

 

If Ryo were here, he might have exclaimed, “Hotline!”.

On Earth, a direct line is set up between the heads of government of two countries for direct dialogue, which is sometimes referred to as a hotline.

 

What Abel was proposing was indeed a ‘hotline’ between the Kingdom and the Union.

 

TLN: Please read my translations at tseirptranslations.com, I did not give permission to any site to host my translations. 

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2 Comments

  1. Lord_rimuru

    Damn I want ryo to come back in story

  2. byakuya kuchiki

    Could somebody be using illusions? For such a huge army to come and go so easily…

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