Chapter 40.1 - The Commune Liberation Battle (1) |
In Clermont, an urgent meeting is being held. The topic is, of course, the invasion of the Weichsel Imperial Army.
“The Weichsel Empire’s goal is simply the annihilation of the vampires, correct?”
“Indeed. The Weichsel Empire has informed the citizens that the goal of this war is not invasion, but freeing Commune from the monsters.”
“So, are my people safe?”
“It seems that they are under the imperial army’s protection. In addition, the imperial army is continuing their invasion and advancing towards Clermont with great vigor. They will surely reach Clermont within days.”
After hearing the whole report, Roseline breathes a sigh of relief upon learning that her people have not been harmed.
Even if vampires are invading their territories, Roseline is furious that the Weichsel Empire crossed the borders of the Allied Commune without even informing them. However, she can’t entirely criticize Weichsel’s actions. While Roseline was away from Clermont– no, while the vampires were here, there may have been some sort of trouble between them and Weichsel. If that led to the invasion, then she does have some resentment, but it would be unreasonable to unilaterally blame them for it.
Originally, the vampires snuck into Clermont because they mixed in with the northern nobles. She considered the possibility that they joined the northern nobles after they arrived in Clermont, but it wouldn’t be strange if the northern territories were the vampires’ den from the beginning. This isn’t only the north’s problem. There’s a possibility that vampires may be lurking in other regions as well. Sooner or later, she’ll have to investigate nobles from all over Commune.
After all, they couldn’t find the vampire girl who is considered the mastermind. Due to the danger, they were unable to take vampires prisoner, and in the end, the vampires’ scheme which Raoul feared still remains uncertain.
That aside, the more pressing issue is the Weichsel Imperial Army.
“Your Highness, what shall we do? If we go to war with Weichsel, even our powerful army won’t make it through unharmed.”
“Even if we fight with all we have, we don’t have enough men for a field battle. Even if we stay within city walls, we don’t have enough provisions for a siege. Most of our provisions have already been rationed. In addition, with the northwest under Weichsel’s control and with no contact from the northeast, we can’t expect reinforcements.”
“Even if we ask the Castal Kingdom for assistance, it will take time. They won’t make it before Weichsel arrives in Clermont, at least.”
The military clearly stated that they would like to avoid war with Weichsel at all costs. Even Roseline understands that there are still apprehensions regarding the current state of the army. They’re trying to keep up the appearance of a powerful army, but in reality, it would be more accurate to say that they’re just barely managing to look like an army. Since the army’s higher-ups were all turned into vampires, there aren’t enough commanding officers to lead the army. The surviving commanders are somehow managing to keep things afloat, but nothing more. Some among them are old, retired generals who were called back to the army, so it’s clear just how short on manpower the army is.
Avoiding war with Weichsel would be preferable. The army aside, if Clermont is involved in another war, it will hinder the reconstruction efforts as well. If Weichsel claims that they invaded with the intention of freeing them from the monsters, then there should still be room to negotiate.
“First, we’ll send a messenger to the Weichsel army to request a ceasefire. They think Commune is still under vampire control, so they will inevitably point their blades towards us as well. We will let them know that we of Commune are alive and well.”
Not all of Commune is under vampire control. At the very least, Clermont and Charante are under human rule. They must make Commune’s situation clear, inform Weichsel that they are confronting the vampires, and request a ceasefire.
They would be in Weichsel’s debt, but if they can obtain Weichsel’s cooperation, then they would make great progress in resolving the issue of the vampires dwelling within their country. Then, they would be able to truly take this country back from the vampires.
‘And he doesn’t want war, either.’
Marie Alexia von Zavarish. As soon as he heard that name, Chaos became deeply shaken. It was clear that Chaos knew her. Roseline can’t imagine what the connection is between Chaos and the notable count family which is well-known in Weichsel, but she suspects that they were quite close.
With her as his opponent, he would never be able to point his blade at her. That’s why he ran away. The day they received the report regarding Weichsel, Chaos fled with teleportation magic and hasn’t been seen since. Roseline has a feeling he’ll never return.
After losing her uncle, it’s lonely now that the person she could let her guard down around has left, but even so, Roseline thinks it might be better this way. The negotiations with Weichsel won’t necessarily go well. If the negotiations fail, then Roseline will have to fight. Even against a friend of Chaos.
If that happens, then Chaos will be caught in the middle. If he’s here, then he’ll get dragged into the war. The sensitive Chaos wouldn’t possibly be able to endure.
‘I regret that I was never able to truly express my gratitude, but you saved me. That alone is plenty. So don’t come back. There’s no need for you to be tied down here.’
Nobody can object to Roseline’s orders. If she decides on a course of action, it will soon be carried out. The princess’s vassals take action.
In order to prevent war from returning to this land.
“Oh? So, you are a messenger from the Allied Commune?”
“I am honored to be granted an audience with you, Your Majesty.”
“What business do you have with me? I will not allow you to claim that Commune is unaware of what they did to my country. Moreover, this is the land where vampires dwell. You are no vampire, either.”
“Regarding the circumstances, please have a look at this letter. It is an official letter from Commune entrusted to me by my master.”
In one of the Weichsel Imperial Army’s tents, a messenger bowing his head in reverence holds out a letter. A servant receives the letter and hands it to Viktor. Viktor opens the letter and looks down at it.
Too soon to have read the whole letter, Viktor looks at the messenger.
“Sir messenger, there’s something I’d like to ask you. Have you read the contents of this letter?”
“I have not read it, but I am aware of its contents.”
“Oh, you know it?” Viktor pauses and narrows his eyes. “Then, should I take this as an official declaration of war?”
Written in the letter is a condemnation of Weichsel’s act of invasion. And it says to immediately withdraw from the territory they invaded and surrender to Commune. Rather than an official letter addressed to the ruler of another country, it is lacking in etiquette, like an order given to one’s own vassals.
“No, this land is the territory of the Allied Commune. Aren’t you the ones who illegally invaded? We demand the imperial army’s immediate withdrawal as well as the surrender of the territory you have invaded, including the Duchy of Mayenne. Until then, we promise not to lay a hand on you. We are saying that we will allow the imperial army to return to their homeland unharmed. Do not squander the mercy of my master who is offering to forgive your unjust actions,” the messenger says with a condescending smile.
The nearby soldiers of Weichsel glare at him murderously. A mere messenger of another country is looking down on their emperor. As he is a messenger of another country and in the presence of the emperor, they’re holding themselves back, but they could attack at any moment.
“I see. Mercy, is it? Are you implying that Weichsel’s men are inferior to your own?”
“Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. Our soldiers will not lose to the likes of mere human soldiers.”
“Mere humans, you say?”
“Do you mean to say that the inferior human race can win against the superior vampire race?”
Upon hearing these words, the soldiers stepped forth to protect Viktor.
“So you’ve finally revealed your true nature. However, the land we have advanced on thus far has been occupied by this superior vampire race. Inferior humans such as ourselves have stolen land from you. Tell me, sir messenger, is it possible for a superior race to lose to an inferior race?” Viktor sneers at the messenger. It’s clearly revenge for their earlier exchange. Seeing the messenger furrow his eyebrows slightly, the soldiers feel satisfaction.
“This country belongs to us, the vampires. Humans are our food and livestock. It should be clear who is in a stronger position. I suggest you leave quickly.”
“I disagree. This land has been ruled by humans since long ago. It does not belong to you vampires. No, there is no land on this continent which belongs to you. It is all human land.”
“It seems that we’ll never come to an agreement no matter how much we discuss this.”
“That should be obvious. The conflict between humans and monsters has continued since the time of legend. Humans and monsters cannot possibly coexist.”
“I see. There is wisdom in your words.”
The soldiers gulp at the sight of them both grinning at each other.
“Now then, if you’ll allow me to take my leave. Your Majesty, let us meet again on the battlefield.”
“Do you think I would allow you to escape after spouting such insults?”
“Please do not underestimate a vampire’s physical ability,” the messenger says and immediately attempts to jump with all his strength. However, he’s hit from the side and falls to the ground. The collapsed messenger looks for the one who hit him. The one who rushed forth from the group of soldiers and punched the messenger is a young female knight. The messenger’s eyes widen, unable to comprehend the notion that there could be a human with physical abilities equal to or greater than his own.
“Don’t look down on humans, vampire.”
The messenger grits his teeth and glares at Viktor.
“You think too highly of yourself, human!”
He raises his sharp claws and rushes at Viktor. However, the soldiers act as a wall and his claws are unable to reach him. As a result, the soldiers’ blades which are pointed at the messenger pierce his body. Thus, the messenger met his end.
“I apologize. With the situation as it was, I was unable to capture him alive.”
“No matter. Even if he was a messenger, he was a monster, after all. There’s no need to keep him alive.” Viktor looks around at the soldiers and loudly exclaims, “However, now I am certain that this land is entirely under vampire control. To h**l with this ‘superior race’ nonsense! We will not surrender human land to these arrogant monsters who look down on humans and consider us food. My brave soldiers! Let us free Clermont by our own hands!”
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