The Makoku capital city, Ivreel.
The Makoku king, Royce Frost greeted the now returned Twelfth Step, Lara.
“I’m pleased to see you return.”
“I was unable to complete the mission. And I must be punished for it.”
Lara’s role was to deliver messages for the king.
And so she had not participated in the battles at all.
As she kneeled before him, the king called to her in a gentle voice.
“It was a dangerous mission. And you risked your life in doing it. There is no need for punishment. It’s good to have you back.”
“I am not worthy of such words.”
“You can give me a detailed report later. For now, you must rest.”
He ordered for the weathered-looking Lara to be taken to a different room. Then the king declared that he wanted to be alone, and retired to his room.
His true purpose had to be to kill the queen. And that had failed.
Without her, Ryukoku would surely fall into chaos.
The countryside lords would not be loyal.
Even if the prince took the throne, his grip on all of the Ryukoku lands would be weak.
And the Makoku king was confident that he could use the chaos in order to take half of their lands.
However, such possibilities were now gone.
Makoku had also been researching the relationship between the two moons and the Great Shift.
Judging by past records, it had started to be whispered that the next one might not be so far away.
But they had not been sure.
But once they used Ryukoku’s predictions as part of their research, they came to the conclusion that there was no doubt of it happening.
A Great Shift would come.
“The Moon Beasts will attack.”
No matter how he thought of it, Makoku would fall.
It wouldn’t matter if their population was a third of its current size.
For some reason, crops could not grow in Makoku’s southern lands.
Most of it was rocks and sand. And the rest was a wasteland.
And there was little water.
Even if they tried cultivating the land, they could not expect satisfying crops.
It was the east western lands, including the capital, that was the source of Makoku’s food supplies.
If these were ravaged by the Great Shift, the country would not be able to feed itself.
“Calculations have already been made.”
Shoukoku didn’t even have granaries.
Most of their food was imported.
In the first place, their population was small, so not growing their own food was not a concern for them.
They could just buy it.
As for Gikoku, their army was even more fit for fighting humans than Makoku.
And as they had suffered little damage from the Moon Beasts over the years, they had a great population.
It was said that they could build an army of one hundred thousand men if they needed to.
And a great many of them would be riding war machines.
Gikoku not only had many soldiers but advanced craftsmanship. You would have to be a fool to go to war against them.
That being said, there were also rumors of fighting between clans in Gigoku.
However, it was likely that an attack on the country would just cause them to unite.
In the first place, Gikoku was split among nine clans, and each had their own cities that they managed.
It wasn’t like Ryukoku, where cutting off one head would unsettle the whole country.
If you wanted to fight Gikoku, you would first have to amass a force that was strong enough to wipe out all of their clans.
It was a ridiculous idea.
“We still have time.”
The calculations were finished.
The amount of crops that could be harvested on this continent was just enough to support the population of the four countries.
If Makoku’s granaries disappeared, then one country would starve.
Of course, that country would be Makoku.
He had to do something in order to help his people survive.
This attack had allowed him to observe how Ryukoku would react.
Attacking the palace was not a good way to go about it.
It would be better to target the queen when she had left the castle.
“Our next chance will come during the Dragon Welcoming Ceremony.”
It was just as the new year started.
And so for now, he would have to save their strength and wait.
The king ran his pen across a sheet of paper as he began to make plans.