14-18. Muno Earldom (3)
Satou's here. I dislike war. I don't mean that it will become peaceful if we just throw away weapons and decrease military might, but I think it's better if there are less casualties. It'll be nice if it's like in games where it can be settled in a war with no one dying.
"Viceroy-sama! The third tower has been destroyed! Knight Gauen and Knight Juran have been made captives."
"If those two got done in, that means normal knights won't be a match for them..."
"You fools! This is not a knight match, it's a war! Push them with number! Distract their attentions with archers."
The domineering viceroy rebuked the timid staff officers.
He's the viceroy of the second city of Kuhanou Earldom, Sedam, that's near the silver mine the Kobolds are attacking.
I've come to ask him for the permission to intervene in the war against the Kobolds, but it's hard to call out to him.
Perhaps I should go out and come here again later.
I slipped out of the scouting ridge where the viceroy was, caught some suitable soldier and applied for a meeting with the viceroy.
Going out would be annoying, so I just skipped a few procedures.
"Visitation at a busy time like this?!"
The viceory's shout reached downstairs.
"What?! A retainer of Muno Earldom huh! If he's asking to be patronized at a time like this, I'll cut his neck."
Soldier A who's beside me averts his gaze awkwardly.
The viceroy probably purposely said it like that so I could hear it as a restraint.
After a bit, Soldier B came down and took me and Tama to the viceroy.
Of course we left the weapons we had on hands to the soldiers.
"Are you the retainer of Earl Muno? Having a catkin as your page, you've got some bad taste."
I was offended with a first discriminatory remark in a long while, but then I remembered that the discrimination of demi-humans was quite bad north of Muno territory.
"I'm honored to meet you, Viceroy-sama. In regard of the Kobolds that are troubling your excellency--"
"Hmph, are you saying that you're going to single handedly take care of them?"
"Immediately if you'd allow."
I turned a fearless smile to the viceroy who was going to say that it was impossible.
For some reason, Tama who was dressed as a page beside me also mimicked my expression.
"I'll give you half a koku time. If you show me that you can do something about it during that period, I'll give you my thanks."
"Thank you very much."
Normally speaking, even just gathering your force would need a few hours.
Even if I'm challenging them with a few elites, we can't probably gain complete control over the Kobolds who are currently in deadlock against Kuhanou force in half a koku--about one hour.
"Tama, I'm counting on you."
"Don't worry be happy~ nin nin~"
Tama entered ninja mode and then she disappeared.
I gave instructions to everyone using [Telephone] magic to begin to clean up the Kobolds.
"W-what is that!"
"Pe-people are, no, the dog-heads are fluttering in the air."
Two of the viceroy staff officers couldn't keep up with the absurd scene happening in the battlefield.
The beastkin girls on the frontline are catching and throwing the Kobolds to the air.
No matter how strong the girls are, their strength is not this absurd.
The thing that's helping them doing the act is a simple type of Acceleration Circle I've given them.
It was originally a technique I thought up when Pochi and Tama were having fun with the shooting experiment in the desert, but I'll keep that a secret in order to protect the Kobold warriors' dignity.
Mia's Artificial Spirits, Arachnes that are standing are spinning spiderwebs 100 meter back to absorb the impact of the thrown Kobolds and capture them.
Just to be safe, I let Nana to guard the airship and Mia.
Through the space magic [Tactic Talk] that's still connected to the girls, I can hear the screams filled with fear and angry roar from the Kobolds who are getting overran by the beastkin girls.
The job is complete while still leaving a lot of time in the half a koku time the viceroy put as a term.
『We've completed the suppression.』
『Good job, take the next action.』
『Understood! Pochi Tama let's go.』
I ordered the beastkin girls with [Telephone] to collect the Kobolds who couldn't fight anymore before they went back.
It seems there are several captive Kobolds in the torture room of Kuhanou army.
I'll leave it to Tama to take care of that.
『Tama, sorry but I'm giving you an additional mission.』
『Don't worry be happy~』
I tell Ninja Tama the torture room's location, and then I begin the next action in order to assist her.
"Vi-viceroy-sama, a huge monster from the forest!"
"All members, evacuate! Just leave those Kobolds and evacuate!"
The viceroy and the staff officers were surprised when they saw the artificial spirit Behemoth appearing from behind the mountain in Muno territory.
I created that Behemoth, but for some reason it's bigger than the ones Mia and Aze-san summoned.
The attention in the fort are all gathered to the Behemoth.
"Viceory-sama, please don't worry. That's a spirit my companions have asked for help."
"Th-that's not a monster?!"
"Yes, it's going to exterminate the Kobolds that have escaped from the fort."
Although I said that it was going to eliminate, the Kobolds in the field had all been captured, the Arachnes had put them outside Kuhanou territory per Mia's instructions.
That Behemoth is an excuse so that they won't demand the Kobolds to be taken into their custody after the battle.
The Behemoth has finished moving, it's showing its side to us here.
We're about 300 meters apart.
"Viceroy-sama. It's going to be a bit dazzling and noisy, please take care."
After I've warned him, the Behemoth executes its race-specific ability, [Great Thunder].
Our purpose this time is for intimidation, I've lowered the power to lessen the environmental damage.
The thorns on Behemoth's body stretch and then lighting powerful enough to whiten the sky shoot out from them.
"""Eyes, my eyeeeeees"""
It looks like, besides the viceroy, there were only a few people who heeded my warning even though I had warned them beforehand.
The thunderous sound hit our ears and the smell of ozone swept on our hair and clothes.
The ionized air stimulates my skin.
"Wh-what is that."
"Such power from just one attack...."
The viceroy and staff officer gasped when they saw the scarred ground left by the Great Thunder.
About 1km of the mountain forest straight from the Behemoth are carbonized in 45 degree cone shape.
Behemoth calmly walks on that black road while clad in small electrical discharges.
The frontline of Kuhanou force fall in silent due to the excessive spectacle.
I faintly saw Tama taking the Kobolds away from the fort on the corner of my vision. They've disappeared into the trees, it should be alright now.
"It seems we overdid it. I wanted to capture several Kobolds to find out their strongholds...."
I tried talking to the Viceroy, but he looks like he'll drop his jaw, he just keeps staring at the battlefield with no response.
Looks like I really overdid it.
"A-ah....Yo-you've done well...."
I offered a chair to the Viceroy who's still in shock, and then, thump, he dropped down to the chair like he had lost his power.
"--We should have several Kobold captives. I'll give them to you as a reward. Take them."
"Then, I'll gratefully accept them."
Looks like he heard me even though he looked stupefied.
Tama had infiltrated and save them already, but I feel less guilty now that I've gotten the permission.
I presented a weapon that was in the soldier's custody to the viceroy.
"Although this may not be enough as a thank, this is a present from my Viceroy."
"I-isn't' this the rumored magic spear of Echigoya Firm! Earl Kuhanou told me that he needs to wait for one year even after pulling his connections in the Royal Capital--are you sure?"
"Yes, of course."
It ended up like we took the viceroy's deeds so it was to make up for it, though it also served as a compensation for the trouble we caused them.
The soldiers will probably have busy days ahead of them with repairing the fort, but since no one loses their live, let's think of it to be a good outcome.
"--Piaz, you traitor!"
"A-aniue, you misunderstand!"
<TLN: aniue= 'Esteemed older brother'.>
After the captured Kobolds were brought by Mia's spider-shaped artificial spirits, Arachnes, a siblings quarrel began when we went back to the airship.
"Misunderstanding is happening it's bad nanodesu!"
Tama and Pochi are beside the quarreling siblings, they look flustered and confused as to what should they do.
I stop the Kobold older brother from talking with wind magic [ Seal Talk].
It's originally a magic used for sealing magicians' chant.
It's often used in crimes, so it's not written in general magic books.
"Now then, Piaz's older brother. For the sake of you Kobolds' future, shall we go ask Earl Muno's permission."
I said so and then the airship levitated.
I put the Kobold soldiers and the Arachnes in a sub-space using [Another World] magic during the flight.
I'd feel sorry if they got eaten by monsters if I left them as is.
I thought of giving them to a fort between the two territories, but there were only 50 soldiers in the fort while there were 200 robust Kobold soldiers, managing them would be hard for them so I decided against it.
The Kobold soldiers are inside the Arachnes' cocoons, so they should not notice that they're inside the sub-space.
Orion-kun's attitude toward the beastkin girls has become strangely polite, I don't know whether it's because he was shocked by the Behemoth's lightning attack, or because he was surprised with the throwing of Kobolds.
"You've gone and done quite the spectacle."
"Yes, after doing such a senseless thing, the people of Kuhanou Earldom won't imagine that the Kobolds who were attacking the mine are safe."
When we got back to Muno Castle, I was called by Earl Muno and Ms. Nina.
Tama took a letter to Ms. Nina to tell her about the situation ahead of time when the airship was doing the landing sequence.
"I'm told that the Kobolds were deceived by a weaselkin magician to attack Kuhanou Earldom in search of some Blue Crystal thing, is that right?"
"There is no mistake."
"If the Blue Crystal really does not exist in that silver mine, that is so."
The Kobold little sister and older brother who are tied affirm Ms. Nina's question.
I took only these siblings to Muno castle because they're the children of Bolflos clan's patriarch.
Judging from the things I've heard from the Kobold little sister during the flight, the older brother is the leader of the radical faction, while the little sister is the leader of the moderate faction, and the patriarch who should have unify the two is in sickbed.
"Master! We've made a huge discovery!"
Right then, Arisa together with the princess appeared.
The timing was perfect because I instructed Arisa through [Telephone].
"It's said that there's a Mithril vein under the town of Tagenkoumi! There's also a record about some unknown blue gem!"
The document Arisa is holding is something I've prepared and made to look worn out with [Weathering] magic.
"This is quite convenient isn't it, Viscount?"
"Right isn't it. It seems that fortune is on their side."
I elude Ms. Nina calling me [Viscount] full of doubt with [Poker Face] skill and receive the document from Arisa.
"This document seems to be something from the era of Marquis Muno. Apparently they secretly dug it at that time. Judging from the time, the killing of Marquis Muno by 『No Life King』 probably happened before they could do a full-scale mining operation and so it went to a standstill."
The [Deception] skill is exploding after a long time.
I think it's running wildly since I haven't used it for a long time.
"I see--You, what's your name?"
"Keiji. The next patriarch, Keiji Bolflos."
After pondering for a bit, Ms. Nina asks the Kobold older brother.
"I'll offer you two choices. One, for the crime of treason, your whole clan is to be executed or deported from Muno Earldom. The other one, the Kobolds are to retake the occupied town for Earl Muno, become the people of Tagenkoumi, and provide the work force to acquire the underground resource."
"Are you going to turn us all into slaves?"
After hearing Ms. Nina, the Kobold older brother shouted like he was barking while baring his fangs.
"If we did that, Satou would turn his back on us. This guy is softhearted you see. If we did such a thing to you guys, he'd take you all to a new land, I'd even bet on this."
Yup, I can't refute Ms. Nina on that.
If that really happened, I probably would take the Kobolds to the Mithril vein in the Black Dragon Mountain behind the scenes.
"That's why it's going to be 『Inhabitants』. Normally, I'd like to entrust the patriarch to be the governor, but there was the thing with the 『Kobolds attacking』 Kuhanou Earldom's silver mine. We can't instate him immediately. Just like the dwarves, spend your time and gradually become a self-governing dominion."
After hearing Ms. Nina, the Kobold older brother contemplates.
"Thank you for your kindness. I will absolutely persuade the patriarch and the elders."
"I'll also help anija to unify the clan's will."
<TLN: Old expression to say "older brother".>
The Kobold siblings replied Ms. Nina passionately.
"Is that alright with you, Earl Leon?"
"Umu, I give you my consent."
Earl Muno generously nodded to Ms. Nina.
"Well then we should hasten exterminating the monsters from Tagenkoumi town."
"Then, let us Kobold soldiers lead the frontline!"
The Kobold older brother came forward while still being tied.
There's no mistake that freeing the town from the monsters should be done by the cooperation of the Kobolds and Muno Earldom's army.
However, that means they will have to plan the draft for the military march and the arrangement for the unification of two forces, huge tasks await them.
It'll need several months even at the fastest, or even half a year if it's done badly.
I think they can do it somehow even without us if we just curtail the boss class monsters that rule the town, but leaving them, saying "Pardon me for going ahead", right before a great task would be heartless of me.
"Earl Muno, we have our sightseeinig job, however--"
Orion-kun turned back toward me while looking like he couldn't believe it.
Yet, when our eyes met he lowered his eyes as if he was frightened. ...Incomprehensible.
"Orion, you must not be unreasonable okay."
"It's as Earl Muno said. In just a day, Viscount Pendragon settled the probable dispute with Kuhanou Earldom and found a definite solution today, afterward, we just need to make it happen. If we relied even more after so much, we'd better off yielding our position as statesmen to him too."
Orion-kun was remonstrated by Earl Muno and Ms. Nina added.
"You two, please wait. I cannot join the united front since I have a sightseeing job to do, but we will recapture Tagenkoumi town at least. How about performing the united front for when you need to recapture the other towns and cities?"
"You say it as if it's so easy."
"Is such a thing possible?"
Ms. Nina muttered in astonishment, Earl Muno asked like he couldn't believe it.
"I have some excellent companions. If we're with those girls, saving Tagenkoumi town and exterminating the monsters will be a walk in the park."
It's already afternoon though.
<TLN: The idiom "Walk in the park" is literally written "Before breakfast" in Japanese.>