16-28. Garleon Union
Satou here. I wonder when did wars begin to mainly turn into information wars?
I guess it's only natural, there's no point in amassing weapons without a battlefield, and using a weapon that has a good compatibility against your enemy is the practically same as having forces many times over.
『--Do you mean for me to betray Garleon Union?』
『Hahaha, not at all. The thought of tempting your majesty to violate the union charter never even crossed our mind.』
Some quite a timely conversation reached my ear.
On my way back from the mermaid village, I discovered one place that was holding this scene while I was using space magic [Clairvoyance] and [Clairhears] to investigate if there was any discord in Garleon Union.
Though maybe it's only obvious since I chose a place with the most suspicious individuals around.
A highly nervous gentleman overflowing with small fry aura and an avaricious-looking nobleman continued their talk in the spectacle shown by my [Clairvoyance].
The nobleman is the second rank of Garleon Union, Gaboz king who's supposed to be wanting to take the leader position.
『King of Gaboz, it has always been on our mind, a kingdom ought to be ruled by a king.』
『In other words, you want to return Garleok City that was once turned into a democracy by the hero? Pusan Garleok?』
I see, the nervous gentleman, Pusan-shi is a descendant of the former Garleok royalty huh.
Looks like he's also an underling of the [Skeleton Archduke].
Map information is hell of a cheat as always.
『It's nothing like that at all... We only want to return to our rightful position. And then with the guidance of the strong king of the union, your majesty Gaboz, the country will go toward an unprecedented future.』
How do I say it, it truly is a depraved noble-like persuasion, all talk with no substance.
『I get what you proposed.』
『Then! You'd be our supporter, wouldn't you!』
In contrast to the all-smiles Pusan-shi, Gaboz king had a cold expression on his face.
『I have no idea what you're talking about. Heiz, he's a traitor of the union. Arrest and deliver him to Garleok City congress.』
『Should we send only his head?』
『No need to waste our salt. Let the guys over there deal with his head.』
『P-please wait, Gaboz king! With you as our leader--』
The guards took away Pusan-shi who was still trying to convince the king.
『Fool who wasn't even worth a clown wasting my time--give me the report.』
『Yes. The spy that we sent to Skeleton Archduke has fallen on their hands.』
The king snorted displeasedly to hear the head page's report.
『However, the [Pigeon of Blessing] the spy carried has brought back news.』
『Hou, just what you would expect from a [Sage Tower]-made magic tool.』
--Oh, those terms sure tickle one's heart.
If I'm not mistaken, Sage Tower is another name for the city where the great temple of God Karion resides.
I'm looking forward to visiting it already.
『And, what does it say?』
『Yes, the Skeleton Archduke is just a puppet of demons, and the demons intend to attack Garleok City as well as Garleon Main Temple to obtain the [Golden Wheel].』
『Hmmph, the demons' goal is the [God's Ship] huh...』
The [Golden Wheel] that showed up in their conversation is in my Storage, there's no chance of it getting stolen.
『You mentioned puppet of demons. So are they the Wing of Liberty bunch?』
『No, they don't seem to be demon lord believers.』
『Fumu, then we can safely assume that those guys won't play a part in this, can't we?』
The head page slowly shook his head before continuing on.
『We still do not know for sure, but there is a high chance that they have slipped in among the mercenaries hired as escort fleets.』
『Then, the escort fleets might raise a revolt right when the pirates come attacking huh...』
『It pains me to admit.』
That might be a bit bad.
Since two third of Garleok Union marine forces consist of the mercenary escort fleet.
--Well, I can think up a way to deal with them now that I know though.
『Our country will take a wait-and-see stance.』
『Understood. What should we do about the escort fleets?』
『We cannot possibly turn all of them into union forces. Guard merchant fleets of high importance with our own national escort vessels.』
The head page who has received the king's decree runs out to deliver the messages to other pages.
And then, the king looks up at me.
『That's the gist of it. We'll leave the rest to you, break a leg.』
Looks like he noticed that I was peeking through space magic.
Well, he's still a king who rules over a City Core regardless of how petty.
He apparently thought that a magician of Garleok city was the one doing the peeking, not me though.
"What's the matter?"
"It seems like Gaboz King isn't plotting to raise a rebellion."
I replied to the asking princess Sistina.
It might have just been an act because he noticed me looking though.
Afterward, I tried investigating other cities too, but all of them were just being gray, none plotted to betray the union by making use of pirates.
I personally thought that there would be at least one traitor among them, it was a bit unexpected.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
『Your excellency archduke~ your acting earlier was splendid nano.』
A female pirate with heavy make-up talked to a lanky nobleman-looking pirate.
The latter is the Skeleton Archduke, a male human with a skeleton-like face--no, with a skeleton mask worn on his face.
『Now the pirate union has been successfully formed, and Garleok City will be destroyed just like your excellency's wish nano.』
『U-un. But, was that really okay?』
The voluptuous female pirate clings on the timid young man.
Since it doesn't only apply to her chest, but her entire body, I'm not really envious.
『It's perfect nano.』
『O-oh good... Hey, how long should I keep doing this?』
『Until the real Skeleton Archduke comes back nano.』
I see, this young man is a fake huh.
I thought he's the real thing since he has Skeleton Archduke title.
However, there's no other Skeleton Archduke within the known Map.
『It's okay nano. You can definitely do it nano.』
『B-but, crashing an island of ice into Garleok City and then sinking it with swarms of monster during the confusion, is that really possible?』
I see, that mid-demon-laced iceberg I retrieved back then was brought here for that purpose huh.
『No worries nano. The real Skeleton Archduke can control even demons nano. Merely puncturing a hole on the bottom of a warship is--』
In the middle of her words, the female pirate looked up and glared at me then she threw a dagger here.
『--Seems there's a peeping tom here nano.』
Looks like the female pirate noticed me.
I canceled the space magic and returned my consciousness here.
"It appears that the pirates are going to band together and attack Garleok City."
"That's terrible desuwa!"
Lady Karina and Mia were enraged.
"So it will really turn into naval battle?"
I told them about the information I got from space magic.
The pirates, or rather, the demons manipulating the pirates are probably going to control monsters to do destructive acts.
"Don't tell me, the woman manipulating the fake Skeleton Archduke is?"
"Yes, she's possessed by a demon."
I found no trace of demons when I was checking things back then, but they were suddenly there before I knew it, just like the stuff with iceberg.
Good grief, you really can't let your guard down.
"For now, I'll bring along the temple knight commander to go meet the mayor."
"Should we wait here?"
"No, some pirates that are on their way to congregate at Garleok city are using the opportunity to attack small merchant fleets, I'd like you girls to rescue them."
I told that to princess Sistina.
"Yup, try to only drive away the pirates if you can."
I gave an affirmative to Mia's question.
If we cull out too many pirates, the fight would be over before I could show off [Group Valor] after all.
"The pirates have formed a union and they're going to attack Garleok City?"
I'm meeting face to face with the mayor using the temple's connection.
I could have done so as an earl of Shiga Kingdom if I wanted to, but it apparently would go faster through the temple, so I asked for an intermediation.
"Yes, I caught sight of multiple fleets of pirates cruising together when I was sending a lost mermaid back home."
"And you know they're heading to Garleok City just from that?"
"I have no positive proof. But every one of those fleets was heading toward Garleok City. I think it would be best to be vigilant about it, no?"
The mayor frowns after hearing what I said.
The cost of preparing for war must be high, it's not like I don't understand why he doesn't want to do it indiscreetly.
The temple knight commander who had been keeping silent up until now opened his mouth.
"Multiple pirates coming here is the truth. Temple Knights will abide by the master of the 『Golden Wheel』 and deploy our ships."
"『Golden Wheel』 you say? Was he recognized as its master?"
"God Garleon himself has granted his permission to have it lent."
"--It can't be, the 『God's Trial』."
The temple knight commander solemnly nodded.
After looking shocked for a while, the mayor folded his arm and went lost in thought.
After a while, the mayor looks at me and opens his mouth.
"I'll have you know however, we cannot allow you to take over the right to command Garleok City fleet."
Even though it's the home turf of God Garleon, the union isn't exactly a religious nation, so I also think it's only natural.
And not like I wanted to take over the command anyway.
"However, you are allowed to board the flagship as an observer."
"Of course, temple knight fleet can go with our fleet too."
It was settled before I could say anything somehow.
Well, it all worked out just like I wanted so I'm gonna ride on it.
"Hold it right there, noble youngling!"
The day after, I was stopped by a bearded admiral when I was going to board the flagship.
"Like hell I'm gonna let a noble command my fleet! Seems you've cajoled the mayor, but I'M the admiral of this fleet!"
The admiral rattled on while scattering his saliva around.
"Yes of course. I've been allowed to get on board in order to closely watch the commanding prowess of the best admiral in Garleon Union."
"Hmph, seems you're good with words huuh? But, just so ya know! I ain't the best admiral in the union, but on the entire continent!"
He's got some pride it seems.
"Also, ain't no place for women on board! Let 'em ride on the temple knight ship."
Lady Karina and Mia who are together with me look displeased, but I reply to him with a smile before they could snap back.
"Very well. They will be riding on my personal ship."
"Mia and Lady Karina, I'm entrusting you two to patrol the sky on the airship."
I told the guy that Mia and Lady Karina would follow along on an airship, and then I follow after the captain who went on the ramp with perked-up shoulders and boarded the iron flagship.
"Ya whippersnappers! Pull the anchor!"
"Pull the anchoor."
He roared at the crew like a pirate, rather than an admiral.
In modern times, apparently there's many cases where an admiral differs from a captain, but it seems admiral and captain hold the same position at Garleon Union.
"Raise the sail!"
"Raise the sailll"
An officer transmit the captain's order to the crew.
"But we have the magic furnace--"
"Quit yer' yappin'! Magic core fuel ain't gonna pay itself! Save the magic furnace till the battlefield."
Wind and water magicians had a sour look on their faces when they heard the captain, but they obeyed him regardless and used their magic.
From what I gathered with Attentive Ears skill, these magicians are using a magic to gather wind and another to reduce friction on the hull.
The fleet depart at a speed that surpasses an ordinary ship.
That said, it's still way slower compared to an airship.
I should go do something to kill time until we meet the pirate group at their rally point....
I'm feeling the sea breeze on my body while thinking about that.
※Next update is planned for 12/31
Or it might be delayed to 1/7. I'll do my best where possible~.