Throne room of the Galland Empire in the capital city where the emperor lives.
Despite of its luxurious atmosphere, strong pressure spreads over. Hakan, Galland Empire’s Emperor, is sitting on the throne with his hand on his cheek while looking at the prostrating man and woman.
The man is wearing a brown robe and the beautiful woman is wearing a white robe.
Hakan quietly opened his mouth while gazing at the two.
「So when will the rest of the goods come?」
The man raised his face when Hakan said so.
「Combat slaves are very popular so it is not easy to gather that amount. To prepare 2,000 to 3,000 of them, it will need at least 1 week…」
The man reported so in a polite manner. Then, Hakan rang his nose and tilted his head.
「How long will it take you to gather?」
When Hakan said so, the man laughed as if he is in trouble and tilted his neck.
「… Well, we are going to make the most of our efforts…」
The man said so and rubbed his neck with one of his hands.
Hakan chewed the fingernail of his right hand being irritated with the man’s attitude.
「… A merchant who can only do such correspondence is third-rate. If the customer says hurry up, you should use any possible method to do so. That’s a true merchant.」
When Hakan said so, the man raised his face and raised the edge of his mouth.
「Oya, surely…is it alright to gather them by force?」
When the man asked in an ambiguous way, Hakan laughed with his nose again.
「Ha? What are you saying? That is my intention from the beginning. So, if you will have to forcibly gather, how much will be the additional cost?」
When Hakan looked at the man as if looking a fool, the man opened his mouth slowly after thinking.
「…Three times, probably.」
「 Three times!」
Hakan showed surprised exaggeration to the man’s words.
The man narrowed his eyes to Hakan’s attitude but Hakan returned to normal when he opened his mouth.
「Such a thing. Then, prepare about 20,000 troops.」
「20,000 is it? Thank you very much.」
The man said so and bowed deeply.
Hakan turned his gaze to the white robed woman.
「How is the supply of goods?」
When Hakan said so, she made a beautiful smile on her face.
「We are currently delivering foods from our country. It will take two weeks but the price will be the same. However, it might soar afterwards. All kinds of arms were also prepared.」
When the woman reported so, Hakan shook his head with a sour face.
「Indeed, the army takes a lot of money. The last failure extremely pulled the tail.」
As Hakan mutters, the woman nods while smiling.
「That’s right. But if you win, it’s…」
「Yes, I only have to win. If you win, everything is fine. Therefore, I hurry as much as possible. Speed is strength. Prepare without being noticed by the enemy, hit the enemy before they move.」
When Hakan said so, the man and the woman gave voices of admiration.
「As expected of Hakan-sama. We have already seen the result of the war.」
「Truly a splendid ingenuity.」
When they said so, they bowed their heads graciously.
Hakan made a big nod as if he’s pleased and opened his mouth.
「Umu. With this, the two of you are good to go. Tell the soldiers outside to accompany you to the gate.」
When Hakan said so, they bowed deeply again and said “thank you”.
Hakan vomited a deep sigh after confirming the the two went out of the throne room.
「…Maeas. When the Kingdom invades the empire, they supplied both sides to gain money. Is it my Galland Empire this time?」
Hakan dropped himself to the throne and groaned.
「Surely, a dragon knight’s country…? No, I still have my limbs with me.」
When Hakan muttered so, he put his weight on the backrest of the throne and looked up.
「I should win. I’ll let Maeas gain profit now. But if I win, I’m the one who’ll profit.」
—Random Civil Official’s POV—
Alda prefecture of Galland Empire.
If you ask those who live in the empire’s capital, it is a really far place.
Topal is a relay city connecting two fortress city which are defence bases in Alda prefecture.
Goods and soldiers are gathered at an alarming rate especially in Topal.
I want to immersed in a delusion having seen the mountain of expense reports.
I stretched my back again after feeling the fatigue. I read the reports about personnel replenishment.
I just verified that there are 50,000 troops in Alda prefecture and 20,000 soldiers in Emres prefecture.
Only 30% of those are soldiers of Galland Empire.
From here, only 30,0000 army personnel are supplemented by the empire.
The breakdown is 20,000 in Alda prefecture and 10,000 in Emres prefecture.
Majority of the gathered troops are regular army troops of the empire, slaves are still being gathered.
According to the schedule, there are approximately about 50,000 more troops to come.
Has Hakan-sama calculated them properly?
Being aggressive is one of his strong points. However, Hakan-sama has a bad habit of calculating the profit as if we already won.
At any rate, the current situation can be said that it is better not to wage war for the life and death of Galland Empire is at stake.
For instance, we invaded a newly made country which publicly announced it existance at the last minute.
Waging war is a coercive technique.
But if we lose, I don’t want to think about it.
If our country, the most prestigious in the five major powers, loses, it will not only be a serious internal damage because the other neighboring countries will surely move.
Will Maeas come to tear us off?
Will the Immenstadt Empire, that is in a stalemate with Rembrandt Kingdom, start to move?
Perhaps, although unlikely, Rembrandt Kingdom and Immenstadt Empire will pair up.
They are in conflict and hurt each other.
But seeing a large country like Galland Empire weakens, even enemies might cooperate to attack it.
「No, more than that…」
Though it is realistically impossible, the newly found country defeats our large army and counterattacks.
I showed a self-mocking smile unintentionally due to my imagination.
「Well… Such a thing…」
I said so to try to convince myself.
However, the report of the executed chief magistrate of Alda prefecture floats on my head.
A joke like report that 80,000 soldiers were annihilated in one or two days without any survivor.
Such a thing is impossible.
Even a siege war where you encircle the enemy won’t be able to annihilate the other party completely.
And that other party are 80,000 troops.
What kind of a great army is that?
「… The country of the Dragon Knight」
I felt a chill like an ice slipping down my spine while muttering so.
The existence of dragon knight is already known at the age of five but only a fool will believe that the dragon knight from the fairytale made a country.
The Dragon Knight appears and established a country.
A con artist like that appears every dozen years but the reality after that joke awaits.
My uneasiness might be just an unnecessary concern.
I decided to go back to work while thinking so.