"The envoy was enraged. Sending an army to invade our territory without any proof that it was Zaka Kingdom's doing is nothing but an act of tyranny no gods would forgive. They are to withdraw their force from Daina that instance and to send an envoy to his majesty afterward. The king and his boundless forbearance will surely allow an audience with that envoy. Thus he spoke."
"Hou. He let that straight out in the midst of those beastmen huh. Guy got guts."
"It's Yeteria Wazbon who was recently promoted as the chief of foreign affairs department. He was previously a domestic affairs undersecretary. He is known as the prime minister's right hand man."
"Ah, that man huh."
Lecan knew that individual. An official dispatched by PM Office during Herb Saint's visitation to Vouka. Someone above the clouds to Vouka's townlord.
"Oho, you're familiar I see. But we don't have time for idle talk now. Anyway, General Boudou refused to withdraw. He then said that Guido Empire army will stay at Daina for the time being, they will wait for us to bring the treasure back or investigate who possesses it. If that demand is not met, they will invade the royal capital, take the king captive and force us to search for the treasure. They will simply do the same thing in the neighboring countries if they can't find it here."
Yeteria inquired all kinds of things to get as much information as possible. One among those inquiries was if the beastmen had clues about the identity of the robbers.
General Boudo showed equipment the robbers had on them to answer that. Broken swords, crushed armor, torn necklaces, torn clothes. Yeteria asked if he could bring them back to be examined. General Boudo readily gave his approval.
Yeteria was escorted by an elite group of Royal Knights. They carried out a thorough investigation on the invader's army state of affairs. But since their equipment and formation were nothing like what's known in Zaka Kingdom, the knights couldn't get a good grasp on their actual strength. They felt that the number was far too low to pick a fight and invade a whole nation, but every single beastmen they came across to was formidable, their might might even equal to depth-walking adventurers.
Yeteria had the equipment he brought back appraised by royal palace appraisers right away.
The broken swords were from Tsubolt.
The crushed armor were armor commonly found in Zaka Kingdom.
The torn necklaces were from Palcimo.
The clothes were the same type that was popular in the capital a while ago.
The composition seemed more like that of adventurers' than knights', but it was concluded that the group who had those items on them must be either Zaka Kingdom's people, or at least those who collected them from Zaka Kingdom.
To this revelation, PM Office took a stance of accusing Guido Empire as telling a falsehood. They must have sent covert operatives to gather Zaka Kingdom-made equipment and make a false accusation to demand unreasonable compensation.
Zaka Kingdom must dispatch an army to repel Guido Empire's army. Negotiations could begin afterward. Even if Guido Empire turned out right, they wouldn't be able to strongarm Zaka Kingdom after their loss.
The entirety of Royal Knights and Royal Mages were dispatched to Daina. They also called for the kingdom's lords to dispatch their powerful knights.
Marquis of Transhe, Marquis of Mashajain, Marquis of Gido, and Marquis of Smarc dispatched their knights while Palcimo was asked to dispatch their Mage Units. They also asked Marquis of Egis, Marquis of Wado and Marquis of Tsubolt to employ and dispatch powerful adventurers.
Town lords along the dungeon highways are to give support by supplying food and other forms of assistance to those knights. Town lords who aren't are to send food and funds to the capital. They also asked for human resources in various fields.
Royal Knights and Royal Mages moved out toward Daina without waiting for lord knights to arrive first. This was done on the behest of the king as well as nobles and priests who live in the capital. They cannot allow the capital be besieged. They wished to keep the invader army as far away as possible. They believe that by letting Royal Knights and Royal Mages have the initiative as other lord knights make their way to Daina, the capital and its surroundings would be spared from war.
There are 100 Royal Knights and 25 Royal Mages. Plus the same numbers of squires.
They have 200 foot soldiers, 100 spearmen, and 50 archers accompanying them. 600 in total. Adding to that are units responsible for transporting luggage and logistical support.
Royal Knights and Royal Mages arrived at Daina on the 25th of month two.
They declared that Zaka Kingdom has never robbed Guido Empire's temple nor has it taken the treasure there, and demanded the release of Marquis of Daina. Then, surprisingly, General Boudo released Marquis of Daina.
They then demanded the release of Daina Knights. Unbelievably enough, General Boudo also released all the captive knights.
Afterward, they logically should ask for the release of Daina noblemen. But as most of those nobles already fled Daina, this demand would have been pointless.
Thus they demanded the invader army to withdraw from Daina. Otherwise, they would be wiped out.
Responding to that, Guido Imperial Army offered one-on-one duels of honor.
As knights, they cannot possibly refuse a challenge to duels of honor.
The condition was for the Guido Imperial Army to withdraw if Zaka's side won, and for Zaka Kingdom to search for the treasure if Guido's side triumphed.
Thus the duels were held.