The Story of Hero Among Heroes ~The Founding Chronicles of Arestia - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Chapter 113 – Road to the East
[The domestic areas seem to have stabilized. Isn't it about time to enter stage two already?]
What George said changed the expressions of everyone else who's present.
Yes, the time had finally come.
As soon as the Istrea diplomat returned to his country, Ares issued an urgent order for the important figures of Schwarzer Frontier Territory to gather up.
The round table was used once again. On Ares' both sides were the two Schwarzer's brains, s.h.i.+on and George.
On the right side of the table, sat the military leaders; Sigurd, Darius, Eckhart, Loran, and the consultant Gale.
On the left side were the domestic officials such as Elan, Rodman, Tobias, Natalie, Francesca, and Oliver.
And not only those living at Grants, Redgear's Wilfred, Trevoir's Louis, Brittany's Gray as well as deputy leaders like Arnold and even Shadow and Lilith were present.
[The other day… a diplomat from an eastern country Istrea came as a messenger. Apparently the situation in the east has become tense… thus we can't afford to take it easy anymore. First of all, within a year, we have to pacify the northern riders, then the dwarves and the aryan, therefore removing our remaining worries within our own territory.]
Ares' words brought calmness to the attendees.
s.h.i.+on then took over.
[This time, we have formed a secret alliance with Istrea. Once we're dealt with our internal problems….. we'll march to conquer the eastern countries… while keeping it secret from the empire.]
[That is….. what do you mean?]
The young Loran raised his hand out of curiosity. The others seemed to have the same question as they looked at s.h.i.+on expectantly.
[Some time ago, Balzac brought us news from the capital. Apparently, the royal capital is currently considering attacking the Western Thracia empire. Therefore, now they will lessen their focus on the east.]
s.h.i.+on then spread out the map on the table and continued.
[His Majesty the Emperor is currently ama.s.sing power for the campaign. But Thracia is no pushover either so the campaign will most likely last for quite a long time. Worst case… it'll last for 2, 3 or even several years. We can afford to decline partic.i.p.ating under the guise of defending against barbarians. We'll use that couple of years window to swallow the east.]
[The eastern countries…?]
Many were surprised by s.h.i.+on's explanation.
Taking over from s.h.i.+on, Ares was the one to speak next.
[A major change will happen in Arcadia within 2 or 3 years. At that time… in order to contend against other major powers… we have to already ama.s.s more power than the others.]
He then pointed to eastern countries on the map.
[Now the eastern countries are in a state of war. It'll be so much quicker to conquer them. Also… it'll make it easier for us to gain the trust of the people.]
It'll be difficult to gain the trust of the people if we take over a land with a good master. On the other hand, if we 'liberate' the land from a tyrant, we'll become heroes in the eyes of the people, and they will welcome us with open arms instead. That's what Ares implied.
[With the frontier already stabilizing, we're now ready to attack. First, we pacify the barbarians and secure our foothold. After that, we march out and conquer the eastern countries. Those are our plans for the future. Any questions?]
[H- hold your horses there!]
Raising his voice was the earl of Trevoir, Louis.
[I can understand pacifying the barbarians… but, why does it seem to me that Your Excellency is very sure that something will happen to the empire within that couple of years!?]
Now everyone's gazes were pointed at Ares. Ares then opened his mouth with a slightly troubled look on his face.
[I'm sorry… Regarding that… I can't tell you all right now. But believe me. The empire will fall into turmoil in a few years.]
Everyone seemed to accept that answer for now. So s.h.i.+on continued.
[Now, is there any need to doubt our Lord…? However, Milord will certainly tell us the reason one day, correct?]
[If that is the case… then very well.]
s.h.i.+on then turned back to everyone.
[Then, first of all… pacifying the barbarians… I have already prepared our battle plan.]
That said, s.h.i.+on marked spots on the map.
[First, the eastern mountain dwarves and the Aryans. Milord himself and Darius will be the one who will handle these two matters respectively.]
[Wait! Why does it have to be Darius!?]
It was Sigurd who complained.
[It's because Darius is more familiar with the terrain. Is that a good enough reason?]
Sigurd could only back down hearing that, while Darius laughed in satisfaction.
[So, marching there, huh… the land is steep and narrow. Bringing a large number of troops is impossible… if it's me, I'll only bring several elites with me.]
[When it comes to that…]
Ares was the one who answered Sigurd's question.
[Yeah, we'll bring the White Legion.]
Again, there was no denying Ares' words.
For he's about to unleash the strongest among his 『Broken Legions』, the 『White Legion』.
Despite so, this particular legion was never used in any battle before. And yet Ares said that he would field them now.
[If it's them, then we should be able to keep up with the Aryans which is said that any one of them is a match for a thousand.]
Ares chuckled after saying so.
[First, Milord and Darius should go visit the dwarf first. After that, pacify the Aryans.]
s.h.i.+on explained whilst moving his war fan around.
[How Milord will do it, it'll be all up to you. I leave everything to you.]
[The military advisor makes it sounds like it'll be a piece of cake…]
Ares grumbled inwardly.
Ignoring that altogether, s.h.i.+on and simply resumed his explanation as he pointed at the north of the map.
[Sigurd and I… as well as Lauren will head north. There is information regarding barbarians appearing recently. They've attacked some villages but fortunately, no casualties so far. We will go to the northern fortress and gather more information.]
Then s.h.i.+on once again turned to Ares.
[Our goal is not to defeat them. If we want to occupy an area, then any of us will do. But barbarians have no fixed base and are nomads. The most important thing here is to 『win their hearts』, so that they won't attack us anymore. That's why we'll need Milord for that.]
All eyes focused on Ares. Everyone in this room knew that he's a vessel that carries the memories of many heroes.
[After pacifying the Aryans, Milord must join us at the northern fortress. Only then will we finally make our move.]
[…so you're asking me to be some sort of an envoy?]
[Does Milord have any problem with that? After all… it's something that only you, Milord could do.]
Ares once again grumbled inwardly after hearing s.h.i.+on say that.
[No matter how much time we have, we'll never be able to fully conquer the barbarians. Therefore this 1 year… is very important. It will decide the fate of our 『Arestia』. So we must proceed carefully.
Many nodded in agreement to s.h.i.+on's words.
Excited and anxious, each one of them showed a different expression. But all of them had the same thought in their mind. The change of era had begun.
After the explanation was over, George finally spoke.
[I have one question.]
[What is it?]
[When will Milord hold your wedding?]
[!? Dang it… I forgot about such an important thing…]
s.h.i.+on said nothing while Ares raised his voice in a panic.
[Ermm… I don't think there is a need to rush it, right?]
[What do you mean? Milord. Your fiancees, including Sharon-dono, have already left the royal capital. Also… Her Highness Princess will also leave the capital next week, yes?]
[Haa? Why no one told me!?]
[Isn't that exactly why I'm telling this to Milord now??]
George said it as if it's nothing. He promptly continued before Ares could say anything.
[There was an advance notice from the capital, so we've already made preparations to welcome Milord's fiancees. The only thing that is still left undecided… is the date of the wedding.]
[Wait a minute… when did the notice come…?]
[Well, thinking about the future, the sooner the better. Maybe we should hold it as soon as they've arrived?]
Darius also spoke up. He was clearly amused if judging from his expression.
[Wait…..can you at least listen to me…]
[However… it'll be difficult if it's soon. Especially since one of them is the royalty of the Arcadia Empire. We should make it like something that only happens once in a lifetime.]
Ramires also tagged in. Bergan nodded as well.
[Oii. The one who is going to marry is me…]
[No, we don't have to invite any extra people, since it'll only inconvenience us. More than anything… we need to keep the development of this city a secret from those mangy aristocrats, especially regarding the fact that demihumans and demonkins can live freely in here]
[That means… direct relatives to the soon to be wives and Archduke Schwarzer's family… am I correct?]
[But, can it really be that simple? It's the marriage between someone of the Archduke clan and the Royal clan. We must at least make it as grand as possible…]
Sigurd and Elan also joined in the discussion. But Ares soon voiced out his objection rather loudly.
[I don't need that kind of thing.]
That voice of his attracted the attention of everyone in the room.
[Ah, you guys finally listened… As I said, I don't need that kind of thing. The Royal clan or Archduke clan doesn't matter. I want to celebrate my marriage with people close to me. And it's not like I enjoy receiving congratulations or greetings from a stranger.]
Everyone went silent after hearing what Ares said. Then, starting with s.h.i.+on's chuckling, everyone began to laugh merrily.
[Well, this is the frontier after all. We can afford to make some changes to the established wedding ceremony. Since the lord himself has spoken, it must be held as soon as possible]
Many nodded in agreement to what s.h.i.+on said.
[Then, Milord. I have one question left.]
The discussion seemed to be concluded already… but George raised another topic.
[What is it this time? I feel like this can't be good]
[How will you treat Liliandono and Lilith-dono?]
The air seemed like it's frozen right then. Ares' face stiffened and so did Lilith's. Until Liliana's brother, Wilfred stood up from his seat.
[Your Excellency… I would like to hear the clarification directly as well. That girl… it's true that she's been longing for Your Excellency. Also, the other day I heard from her about a certain promise. As a brother… I feel complicated to say this… but if she can be with Your Excellency, there is no greater fortune than that.]
Ares of course remembered. That time, at the bed. He did promise Liliana something.
Subsequently, Lilith also spoke up.
[I'm really particular about my status. As long as Master loves me, I don't mind being a concubine or even s.e.x slave.]
[That is something I need to think about as well…]
After muttering that, Ares turned to Wilfred.
[For the time being, let's put this meeting into an end for now. But we'll talk about this matter slowly after this. Lilith too. Even if you don't care, we still need to talk about it…]
And thus, the meeting was over.
The next day, the news that the lord Ares Schwarzer would hold his wedding shortly was announced throughout the frontier. Along with that was the announcement about Ares' engagement with Liliana Redgear.
There was no announcement made regarding Lilith. It's because she's a demonkin. The ma.s.s was not yet ready for such news after all. For the time being, she'll have to act as Ares' mistress.
Exactly a month later, Ares' wedding was held.
A grand wedding ceremony in the newly built church in Heinz. The festive celebration was not only limited to Heinz as the celebratory bell also rang in the entire region of Schwarzer Frontier. With all the chaos around the continent, the sound of the bell also served as a beginning of a new hope.