Chapter 0422 Circumstances in Various Locations

Translator: Jay_Forestieri

Editor: Tseirp

 

Jayclaire, capital of the Handal Union. The governor’s office.

 

“Your Excellency, another village has been set on fire…”

Lamber, the governor’s aide, reported with a grim expression.

 

“Is it Iwubara or around Carignano?”

“It’s Iwubara Village…”

The Union Governor Lord Aubrey asked without changing his expression, and Lamber replied with a frowning face.

 

 

Lamber seemed to want to say something, but in the end, even Lord Aubrey knew he couldn’t say anything.

 

“Lamber, it goes without saying…”

“I understand. The defense of this region is the responsibility of the Volturino Grand Duchy.”

 

Yeah, Lamber also understood.

That there were areas where the Union government couldn’t intervene.

 

If this were officially recognized as ‘war’, then Lord Aubrey, the Union governor, would have almost complete military authority within the Union territories.

But currently, it was just a local rebellion.

At most, it was large-scale armed activity.

 

This was something that each country forming the Union was supposed to handle.

 

 

The Handal Union, as the name suggests, is a united nation formed by many countries.

The Union government led by Lord Aubrey is merely a coordinator.

Of course, they can push various agendas, but it’s not something they can do recklessly.

 

At most, it’s the center of governance for each country.

 

Among them, the Ten-member Council, composed of ten countries, holds significant power within the Union.

 

The Volturino Grand Duchy also holds a seat in the Ten-member Council.

Of course, it’s the Grand Duke of Volturino himself who occupies that seat…

 

 

This time, the red-armored men are causing havoc in parts of the former Inbury Duchy and parts of the Volturino Grand Duchy.

The areas once belonging to the Inbury Duchy are now ruled by ten countries collectively, but the areas near the Kingdom’s borders were annexed by the Volturino Grand Duchy.

 

Originally, the Volturino Grand Duchy shared a border with Redpost, a city on the Kingdom’s border, when the Inbury Duchy existed.

Hence, the western regions of the former Inbury Duchy were also annexed by the Grand Duchy.

The other nine countries didn’t complain about that.

They left the border security near the Kingdom to the Grand Duchy, preferring to focus on other areas.

Because handling border security with a major power can be quite troublesome…

 

 

As a result, ninety percent of the affected areas this time are under the control of the Volturino Grand Duchy…

 

“If only the Grand Duke of Volturino would request support from the Union government, we could also send troops…”

“He probably won’t. That man.”

Aide Lamber said, and Lord Aubrey nodded slightly in response.

Thinking of the stubborn face of the Grand Duke of Volturino.

 

Generally, representatives of the ten countries forming the Ten-member Council don’t oppose the policies of the Union government led by Lord Aubrey.

 

However, that doesn’t mean Lord Aubrey can do as he pleases with everything.

 

Balancing these aspects is extremely difficult…

It hasn’t changed much since thirteen years ago.

 

 

Lord Aubrey doesn’t act as freely as those around him might think.

 

 

The capital city of the former Inbury Duchy, Aberdeen, is under the direct control of the Union Government.

Furthermore, there is a direct route built from the Union Capital Jayclaire to Aberdeen, which was constructed during the invasion of the Inbury Duchy, allowing for smooth transportation of not only supplies but also military movements.

 

To put it bluntly, from a strategic point, holding this stretch from Jayclaire to Aberdeen would be as good as having established control over the current Union Southern Region almost entirely.

That’s why Lord Aubrey had decided to leave areas like the western border with the Kingdom to the ten nations.

 

 

However, with this much devastation, it inevitably starts to affect the sentiments of people in other regions.

Some say they fear that the Union Government might not protect them when something happens.

 

In that sense, as a responsible ruler, Lord Aubrey genuinely didn’t want significant damage to occur.

 

 

 

 

“I see, so Hafrena City was safely defended.”

Upon receiving the report, King Abel let out a sigh and nodded.

 

“We’ve received reports that the attackers were high-ranking minions.”

The one making the report was Marquis Heinlein, the Prime Minister.

He has his own intelligence network, so detailed information often reaches him.

 

“How… did they manage to repel such high-ranking minions? I heard the Silverdale Knights arrived just in time, but… Hafrena’s defense force is still weak, and the stationed Royal Knights are just two squads, right?”

“That’s right. As you are well aware, Your Majesty, it’s the squads led by Zack Cooler and Scotty Cobook.”

“Really? They’re okay… right?”

“Yes. Apparently Zack Cooler engaged in combat with the high-ranking minion.”

 

Upon Abel’s slightly worried inquiry, Marquis Heinlein nodded in response.

 

“Zack… he really is dedicated to the path of the sword…”

As Abel knows the reason behind Zack’s dedication, it puts him in a rather complex emotional state.

Knowing that Zack’s love is unrequited.

Still… it’s also distressing to dampen the spirits of a hard-working friend.

 

“However, according to the reports, Zack Cooler alone couldn’t handle the opponent.”

“What?”

“A merchant from the Gecko Trading Company saved him from danger.”

“The Gecko Trading Company? A merchant? I don’t get it.”

Abel tilted his head in response to Marquis Heinlein’s report.

 

But then a realization hit him.

 

“Could it be… they used water-attribute magic?”

“Exactly, Your Majesty.”

“Ah, I see. So they were Ryo’s disciples…”

 

Abel remembered seeing the scene back when he visited the Gecko Trading Company.

The scene of the boys practicing with <Ice Wall> and <Icicle Lance> when he visited the Gecko Company.

 

At first, he was completely taken aback…

 

The merchant Gecko had explained it, and Abel understood.

“They are Ryo’s disciples”.

 

 

“Even his disciples can fight against a Djinn’s minions… what’s more, they’re merchants…”

Abel’s mutterings reached Marquis Heinlein’s ears.

 

Marquis Heinlein smiled slightly and replied.

“Because their teacher is who he is.”

 

 

 

Meanwhile, in Hafrena City.

“Where is Luce-dono?”

“He seems to have pushed himself too hard… he’s asleep. He probably won’t be able to move for a while.”

In response to Zack Cooler’s inquiry, Chloe looked towards the mansion and answered.

 

 

“…Evans.”

“Luce, you’ve finally come to. Hey, don’t move. You’re already weak, and yet you used a 5-layer package.”

“Couldn’t help it, Evans was in danger.”

 

With a wry smile, Luce spoke, and Evans frowned as he responded.

 

“Yeah… Thanks by the way.”

Evans said that and bowed his head while sitting.

 

“Did I… do okay?”

“Huh? You saved my life, didn’t you?”

“That’s true, but… I wonder if Teacher would have praised me… if he had seen me?”

“Of course. If it were Ryo-sensei, he would definitely say something like ‘Luce, that was amazing!’ ”

“You certainly sound like him.”

Evans said, mimicking his tone, and Luce laughed.

 

“But in the end, even the 5-layer package was torn apart, and he escaped…”

“Yeah, I guess so. He seemed to be a follower of the Djinn, still, he’s incredible.”

“I need to step up my practice.”

“… First, let’s get you fully recovered, okay?”

A senior caring for a diligent junior…

 

It’s always tough, no matter the era.

 

 

“Oranj, you dumbass! What a disgrace to be caught off guard by the Kingdom knights.”

“I apologize.”

 

This is the annex of the Duke of Shrewsbury mansion in Wingston, in the office of the new lord.

Erwin Ortiz, who looked thirteen, was scolding a kneeling giant of a man.

 

“However, the fact that you’ve destroyed many villages is a significant accomplishment. I’ll praise you for that. Well done.”

“Aye, sir.”

The Djinn Garwin with the appearance of Erwin, praised him, and the giant man, Oranj, expressed his gratitude.

 

“But it’s far from enough. Vim Lowe is active in the Union territory, correct?”

“Yes, sir. They don’t seem to have significant forces there. Everything is going very smoothly.”

Isolde confirmed in response to Garwin’s inquiry.

 

 

After apologizing, Oranj sat on the sofa in front of Isolde.

Isolde could tell that Oranj was in a good mood.

“It’s rare to see you in such a good mood.”

“Huh? Nah, not really. Just the same ol’ me.”

Oranj replied nonchalantly to Isolde’s words.

 

But he was aware of it.

 

To be frank, he had fun.

The battle in Hafrena.

 

The knights… well, they weren’t bad.

To wield a sword like that as a human is quite something.

 

But what was even better was…

 

(The water magician. And there were two of them! Two of that caliber… In contrast to my impression when I first awakened, I thought the level of the magicians in this generation had dropped, but boy was I wrong! Water magic has developed incredibly!)

 

There seems to be a misunderstanding.

 

(I’d like to fight with other water magicians… maybe I should ask Garwin-sama for another sortie? Ah, but I caused quite a few casualties in the physical soldiers… so it might be difficult…)

 

As he thought about that, one memory resurfaced.

 

(That water magician said something. His sensei is a million times stronger than himself… what’s a million times stronger than that? Well, even if it’s not that much, he’s definitely stronger than him, right? Ahhhh, I’d love to fight him!)

 

 

Watching Oranj like that, Isolde thought for a moment and then spoke up.

“Garwin-sama.”

“What is it, Isolde?”

“I think it’s time to move to the next stage.”

“Next stage?”

Garwin asked in return to Isolde’s words.

 

“Yes. Recently, I’ve noticed movements in the city, like rats scurrying about.”

“Rats… you mean spies? Where, and what have they discovered?”

“I’m sure they are spies from both the Kingdom and the Union, but I can’t say for sure what they’ve discovered…”

“Hmm. And what do we do about it?”

The two of them delved into detailed discussions.

 

While Oranj seemed to be listening, in his mind, he was thinking about something else.

Yup, like if he were to seriously fight those water magicians, what kind of magic would they use and stuff like that…

 

 

 

 

The expression of Prime Minister Alexis Heinlein, who entered Abel’s office, was noticeably cloudy.

That was unusual.

Despite always handling intense workloads, accumulating fatigue should have been common, but it never showed on his face.

Also, even when major problems arose, they never reflected in his expression when reporting.

 

However, the moment he entered, Abel glanced at him and could tell that his expression was noticeably clouded.

 

“What’s wrong?”

“Yes, Your Majesty. It’s not confirmed yet… I mean, it’s true, but why it’s happening is unclear…”

Marquis Heinlein’s hesitation was probably his first as Prime Minister.

“How unusual. I can tell something pretty bad has happened. What is it?”

“Yes…. The Shrewsbury Duchy may have ties to the Djinn.”

“…What?”

 

Abel frowned.

Of course, Marquis Heinlein wouldn’t report something like that without any basis.

He probably scrutinized the information several times.

Abel understood that this was a report based on a thorough investigation.

 

However, even though he understood… it was still an unwelcome report.

 

The current Duke of Shrewsbury is thirteen-year-old Erwin Ortiz.

Although his ducal authority is suspended, he returned to the eastern territory to learn about managing estates at his request, and he is currently in the ducal capital of Wingston.

 

“Explain in detail.”

“Yes. Regarding the Duke of Shrewsbury’s residence in Wingston, there is a place called the ‘Annex’, where not only the servants but also important figures like the Knight Captain are not allowed to approach. It seems that such an arrangement was made since Erwin-dono returned…”

“Hmm?”

“Red-armored individuals are seen coming and going there.”

“What…?”

 

Abel was speechless at Marquis Heinlein’s report.

 

‘Red-armored’ refers to those who have been wreaking havoc on the eastern borders of the Kingdom and the western borders of the Union.

It is almost certain that they are the minions of the ‘sealed Djinn to the east’.

The fact that such individuals are coming and going… is certainly unusual.

 

“Since their numbers are not large, their main base is probably elsewhere. However, we’ve confirmed sighting of someone believed to be a high-ranking follower, who clashed with the Royal Knight Company Commander Zack Cooler…”

“Hmm…”

Abel literally buried his head in his hands.

 

Needless to say, the Shrewsbury Duchy is the cornerstone of the eastern part of the Kingdom.

The first trigger of the war three years ago also began with the death of the Shrewsbury Duke at the time.

 

For such a crucial duchy…?

 

 

“It’s important to know whether Erwin Ortiz himself is involved.”

“Exactly. Therefore, Your Majesty, I have a suggestion.”

Abel asked for confirmation, to which Marquis Heinlein said he had a proposal.

 

“First, I suggest we dispatch Zack Cooler, who is stationed in the city of Hafrena, to Wingston to confirm the presence of the aforementioned high-ranking follower.”

“I see…”

“Of course, since the opponent is a Djinn’s follower, it’s a dangerous mission…”

“It’s dangerous, but… that confirmation is crucial.”

Abel deliberately voiced the importance of that confirmation, understanding Marquis Heinlein’s words.

 

Depending on the circumstances, it could lead to another division and conflict within the country.

 

 

Moreover, one side would be an alliance between the Shrewsbury Duchy and the followers of the Djinn.

 

 

Abel couldn’t help but say aloud.

“I hope it’s a mistake…”

Marquis Heinlein also nodded. But his expression was grim.

He knew better than anyone else the accuracy of the information he had gathered.

Still, he hoped it was a mistake…

(There’s no doubt there is a connection. The question is, how involved is Erwin-dono?)

 

Marquis Alexis Heinlein… whom has established a spy network not only in the Central Countries but also in the Corridor Nations.

Naturally, has infiltrators within the Shrewsbury Duchy as well.

These are exceptionally skilled individuals…

However, even they have been unable to gather information about the situation inside the Duke’s ‘Annex’.

Whether there is a connection between the current Duke Erwin and the Djinn, the fact that they cannot gather information about such a heavily guarded place… is certainly abnormal.

 

 

There must be something absolutely crucial being hidden.

 

 

A ducal household cannot exist completely disconnected from national politics.

They are inevitably intertwined.

And within that, there will naturally be things they wouldn’t want central figures of the state like the Prime Minister, to know about.

That’s only natural.

 

However, the abnormality of the Duke’s ‘Annex’ is too glaring.

 

Apparently, Erwin himself moves back and forth between the main office in the mansion and the new office in the annex.

 

Despite being an annex, it’s quite spacious.

And yet, no one, not even the servants, can approach it?

How is it cleaned?

Does Erwin clean it himself?

That’s ridiculous.

 

The more you think about it, the more unnatural it seems.

 

(While Zack Cooler would confirm the presence of the high-ranking follower… perhaps further confirmation about Erwin Ortiz himself is necessary. Come to think of it, I believe ‘they’ are nearby? I should have them investigate.)

With a small nod in his mind, Marquis Heinlein left the King’s office and immediately began drafting orders.

 

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

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