Outskirts of Trisnia – Goldonian Camp.
The summer sun s.h.i.+nes down on our allies――on the sweating Goldonian soldiers.
Small catapults move at a crawling speed toward Trisnia and behind them, larger ones are being a.s.sembled.
「Build it properly. If you half-a.s.s it, you're the one who will die!」
A commander yells as soldiers stack bricks for the catapults.
The bricks gained from the dismantling of a nearby irrigation ca.n.a.l should be enough to protect against arrows.
「It stinks……I hate this.」
「Don't complain. It's better than being engulfed in fire.」
Militia, who don't look particularly disciplined, grumble as they tirelessly smear sludge on the roof of the battering ram.
It's so that the battering ram doesn't catch on fire when hit by flaming arrows.
My eyes s.h.i.+ft to the enemy side―― the South Yuguria army side, where they are setting up ballistae behind the walls of Trisnia, which can't be considered large, like a porcupine and piling bricks and logs in the gaps to use as encampments for their archers.
Suddenly there was a sound of something cutting through the air from the other side of the wall and then the iron ball that soared up in the air fell with a heavy thud in between the two armies.
Our allies were briefly surprised, but quickly calmed down and returned to work.
It was because they knew the enemy was testing their catapults and not aiming for real.
Both armies keep watch over the opposing sides while steadily continuing their preparations.
Neither of us bothered with trivial meddling or half-hearted skirmishes.
「This is going to be interesting.」
「Right. Everything is in order for our plan.」
Leopolt promptly replied to me.
Tristan stretched lazily and then also nodded.
Celia stretched fully and stood in between me and Leopolt.
When everybody resumed working, several trails of smoke began to rise from the city of Trisnia.
We haven't attacked yet, which means the smoke is from the citizens' cooking…… so it is about noontime.
「Even when countries fight each other, the residents can only live and eat everyday like normal.」
The one who made that comment with a rather mixed expression was Maria's mother, Pamela.
She is still living in Roleil, a city northeast of Trisnia, and is operating a little inn, which is also Maria's home, called the Little Bird Pavilion.
There is a reason she is here, despite being Maria's mother and unrelated to war.
We're going to be fighting in Treia and Roleil can be considered the central city of Trisnia, so it's possible that sparks could fly in that direction depending on how the war developed.
On top of that, even if unaffected directly, remnants of the defeated army could commit crimes or the city could be attacked by bandits and monsters taking advantage of the security deteriorated by war. That's why I suggested to Erich for us to safeguard the people of Roleil.
Of course, that included Pamela…… rather, I should say that was the main objective.
It's foolish to leave precious soldiers in Roleil before a decisive battle, but some of the soldiers Myla brought along, like the military volunteers and lightly injured, can be split off from the main army.
「In the worst case scenario, the shop burns down, which would be sad, but I wouldn't be able to face Maria if something happened to you.」
The outcry I experienced in Arkland was a good lesson.
「I think everyone is grateful for that. Seeing a beas…… ahem! Seeing the unstoppable Hardlett is enough to deter bandits, I'm sure. Although…… isn't it too blatant that you treating only my family differently? It feels a little awkward……」
Pamela stayed single for a while after grieving the death of Maria's father, but later remarried to a middle-aged man in the neighborhood.
Aside from being a little perverted, he was a regular portly man.
I feel like it's a waste for an average and laid-back man to have a beautifully mature lady like Pamela, but since the both of them are fine with it, it's not my place to say anything.
「You're the mother of my beloved woman. Of course I'm going to show you preferential treatment.」
I can't treat everybody equally.
「I'm saying there's a limit…… a few dozen soldiers is enough to protect my place……」
It's better to be safe than sorry and station more guards than a group of bandits can break through.
By the way, only a few people are placed in the other places where it's possible to pa.s.s through.
「There's also the fact that my place is unnaturally full.」
I a.s.serted for the soldiers garrisoning in Roleil to use the Little Bird Pavilion for accommodations and meals.
It was once the Little Bird Pavilion was full that the soldiers then scattered to different places.
「And also what's with the soldiers doing things like cleaning the gutters and repairing the walls?」
I don't know anything about that.
I only know that my intention to give the Little Bird Pavilion preferential treatment is not hidden.
Perhaps the garrisoned soldiers are trying to curry favor.
「I'll promote them after the battle.」
「It's kind of amazing in a way that you can be so open about it. Even though it's pretty unfair.」
I had to interrupt and ask her something before moving on.
「Well, it's a little problematic for you to be here with me going to such lengths to protect Roleil and all.」
For some reason, Pamela snuck in the transport corps and followed my squad.
If we start fighting, she won't just simply be caught in the mix.
「I'm not the kind of person who can live nonchalantly and not say thanks to my daughter's lover for doing so much. Besides, I hear there is still a little time before the fighting starts.」
Pamela lowers her head and bows respectfully.
I accept and respond with "you're welcome".
That's it for formalities though.
I bring myself right beside Pamela and stick to her shoulder.
「How are things with your husband?」
「Things are good. He's a nice guy who works hard in his own shop in the neighborhood. We always talked a lot.」
「How is he as a man?」
「He's not exactly the most handsome. He also isn't terribly bright, has a fat body and a noticeable body odor. However, I'm getting on in age. Older people like us still find each other attractive in bed. ……he's also perverted and persistent.」
This is the important part.
「But at 50 years old, no matter how perverted your husband is, there is a limit to how many rounds he can last. An entire night…… no, wouldn't it be tough to even last five times?」
「He'll die if he goes five times! Basically, he only goes one round or twice if he's in the mood, but the next day……wait, how did we get to this topic!?」
I continue pressing Pamela.
「If you only wanted to thank me, you could have done so in Roleil. Why did you deliberately slip into the transport corps?」
I take Pamela's hand as she opens her mouth and stroke her slowly, starting from her fingers slightly worn from countless was.h.i.+ng and moving to her upper arm.
「Did you come seek me out?」
「W-what are you saying!? I'm married and the mother of your wife…… plus, I'm 50……」
Pamela denies it, but she turns away and blushes.
One more push should do it.
I gently wrap my arm around Pamela's waist and pull her toward me so I can whisper in her ear.
I don't know if she reacted to my words or my breath hitting her ear, but the easy-going Pamela let out a cute shriek like a teen girl.
「If I bang you, I can go for 15 rounds.」
When I peek at her, I can see her body begin to tremble.
It isn't a trembling from fear, rather it originates from her lower body.
「Come sleep with me.」
I squeeze Pamela's waist a little harder and push my crotch against her thigh.
I'll let her fully feel the presence of a strong young male.
「Both you and your husband are at that age, no? It's fine for you two to look elsewhere sometimes.」
「I do see him seduce 20 year old dancers at a bar……」
Good, she's wavering. Time for the finis.h.i.+ng blow.
I embrace Pamela's shoulder tightly.
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***
「I want you. I want to…… gobble you up.」
I take a peek at the goods being recommended by a loudly shouting street stand owner and see a pot filled with lots of grain that I've never seen before.
At first glance, it appears to be top quality barley, but it's whiter in color and somewhat translucent.
「This is grain harvested from the wetlands west of the Empire! The Central Plains don't make this at all so if you miss this chance, you'll never get to taste it again. It's magic grain that goes well with meat or fish, and if you cook it, it becomes soft and has a unique sweetness……」
Seeing we are interested, the stand owner keeps appealing to us.
Miti and Maria both smile sheepishly.
The reason is…… the price. It's more than ten times the price of the highest quality wheat.
They're the ones who usually work in the kitchen. Their rational mind is probably stopping them from buying something this expensive.
「Alright. I'll take all of it.」
That's where I come in.
Since we're on vacation, I don't want us to be held back by money, I want us to eat what we want.
The grain we bought quickly became cooked by the chefs that prefer street vendors and appeared before us.
The food served by the girls includes the grain we bought earlier, b.u.t.ter, shrimp, cream and cheese, which was then baked.
Mel's eyes widened after she took a single bite and she couldn't help quickly taking another bite.
She had to open her mouth and fan the insides because it was still too hot.
Maria served a dish covered in tomato sauce with the usual meat and seafood scattered throughout.
It looked a little soupy compared to Mel's dish, but it must be pretty tasty considering she is a good cook herself and she didn't say anything after those initial words.
Miti doesn't say anything and is just shoveling food into her mouth.
Similar to Maria's dish, her dish consists of the grain mixed with tomato sauce and finished with an egg on top.
It's a little odd to watch the three women eat silently.
「Here, we have something for the master too!」
My dish has arrived.
I have quite high expectations after seeing their reactions――
The dish in front of me is nothing but the grain.
Even someone like me who knows nothing about cooking can tell. They served the grain to me as is.
A heap of the pure white, glimmering grain was served in a bowl and steam was rising up from it, showing how fresh it was.
No other ingredients or spices were added.
In other words, they simply cooked it and served it.
「You better be ready for the consequences.」
If I ordered a grain dish and they gave me boiled grain, I would flip the table.
This stuff isn't cheap either.
「No, no, this goes with it!」
The chef presents a plate with plenty of meat that seems to be fried in oil and then chopped into small pieces.
So they have some sort of meat to go with it.
Still, this is far from a proper dish.
If I was Nonna, I would storm into the kitchen with my b.o.o.bs bouncing around and yell at the chefs.
However, I'm not Nonna, so I quietly bring a bite of the roughly-put-together meal to my mouth.
Then, I proceed to empty the bowl without making another comment.
It was tastier than I imagined.
Rice, huh……west of the Empire means that place is oppressively hot even if we travel by boat.
The climate is completely different, so we probably can't obtain it easily in the Central Plains. How unfortunate.
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***