It took several days to walk to Melvis’s castle from the Ogre village.
But it was not a place where I would usually be invited.
And that was much to my relief. However, I was now being asked to go and attend a meeting with Miralda of all people.
And so my feet couldn’t help but drag as I walked.
Corps Commanders tended to have their own riding beasts, but not me.
But as I was the General’s direct subordinate, perhaps I should have one…
“Well, if there is no rush, I don’t mind walking.”
This wasn’t like modern Japan, where people seemed to be constantly battling the clock.
And so I would go slow and at my leisure.
General Farneze said with disapproval as soon as I arrived. It wasn’t fair.
I was about to make my excuses, but thought that she might tell me to ride a beast next time. And so I just gave her the typical response. ‘I was stuck in traffic.’
‘What the hell are you talking about?’ was her response.
However, she understood the nuance, and didn’t rebuke me any further.
“I heard that General Miralda is coming.”
“Not coming. She is already here.”
So she had arrived before me. But I had come on foot.
Commenting on it too much might result in her telling me to get a riding beast, so I let it go.
“I’m surprised that you called her here.”
If someone like that went wild in the castle, the damage would be great.
“Well, we are in an alliance now. Besides, they are cooperating with us, militarily speaking. I couldn’t exactly refuse her when she asked to come.”
I couldn’t help but have dark thoughts. Forming an alliance and then entering the castle in order to kill the enemy.
Perhaps we could use that one day.
Of course, such a strategy was likely to meet a storm of protest from surrounding countries.
“It so happens that most people are so scared of General Miralda that they won’t come near the castle. And I haven’t called anyone here who I don’t want present.”
Not only did the strong have a lot of mana, but ordinary folks tended to avoid them.
And maybe she wanted to keep it secret from some people…but not me.
“Do I really need to be here?”
“You…are you dull?”
“Uh, I probably am. I find it hard to measure other people’s mana.”
It was quite true. Which was why I didn’t feel as threatened when facing powerful people.
General Farneze had a mixed expression.
“Well, it’s often better to live life without all that stress.”
I didn’t want to constantly think about whether or not others were stronger than me.
“I don’t know about that. Regardless, today’s meeting will be starting soon. And so I want to share some information with you first.”
Miralda had arrived two days ago, and they had had their first meeting yesterday.
“I’m sure it will come up later, but what was the purpose for this visit?”
It couldn’t be good, if she came all of the way here in person instead of sending a messenger.
It had been on my mind the whole time I was walking.
“There has been a change in…direction, as far as the Demon King is concerned. Their war is heating up.”
“That…doesn’t sound good.”
“Demon King Legard is strengthening his forces. There was a large scale battle the other day, and a total of five Lesser Demon Kings were killed between both sides.”
Demon Kings would have quite a few Lesser Demon Kings working under them.
Still, five of them in one battle? It was hard for me to comprehend the scale of such a battle.
“So, is Miralda going to be called back to the battlefield?”
While we hadn’t been given much information about it, it seemed that their armies moved in rotation.
That was something you could do when you had men to spare.
However, things would be different if the enemy was strengthening their fighting force.
“It is most likely. …However, that wasn’t Miralda’s main concern.”
“There is something else?”
What could be more concerning than an enemy Demon King reinforcing their military?
“The small countries that are being agitated by the Wild Hunt. Things are getting very bad. Some people are even fleeing and entering Tralzard’s lands and causing trouble.”
“Nehyor. The curse continues.”
I just hoped that someone would kill him already.
“As things have become uncertain in the west, they will want to put an army by the border. In other words, the army that’s been watching the east will have to be withdrawn.”
We had wanted to stop any other countries from interfering while we attacked Leninoth.
Miralda’s army had been very important in making that possible. And now they were leaving.
“I heard that the wars in the south are settling down.”
“Do you think they will come?”
In other words, would they attack us?
“I’m sure they will. We’re too tempting a prospect for smaller countries who want to expand their forces. So, what did you say?”
“I said that I could not make any decisions alone, and that I needed to discuss it with the others.”
“Ah, I see.”
What a headache.
I wish that I hadn’t come.
So, Miralda had been ordered to withdraw her troops.
But as we had formed an alliance, she came to us in order to explain the situation.
However, it seemed likely that any refusal on our part would be meaningless.
We had only been able to invade Leninoth’s country because of the threat that Tralzard’s army posed.
“The meeting will start soon. What do you think we should do?”
“I think we have to think of some other compromise. But it will be difficult.”
We were a small country. And our leader was in a long and deep sleep.
We had lost a general and our fighting force was weakened.
The warring amongst our neighbors was settling down, which meant we might be targeted next.
“Miralda will not stay here long. Think of something if you can.”
“…How much time do I have?”
“Until today’s meeting begins.”
I looked up and sighed.
“The ceiling here is clean.”