Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 72

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Chapter 72

–Aegir POV–

We finished loading all the citizens from Yoguri’s village onto wagons and horses, and are now heading back home from Baron Pedot’s territory . The villager abduction operation……it caused such a big commotion with the baron’s soldiers, so if possible I want to avoid anymore fights with the other feudal lords . It would be nice if we can speedily head into my territory and not get suppressed .

「Is Samarsa okay?」

The strategy was rough around the edges, but the only one who got seriously injured was the mother called Samarsa .

「I’m not a doctor so I can’t say much, but the arrow was pulled out very cleanly and the amount of blood loss isn’t that big of a deal . Now, as long as the wound doesn’t infect, I don’t believe it will be life-threatening . 」

On top of not having good quality medicine, there are no absolute guarantees . I think she’d want to get saved for her child’s sake too .

「Samarsa’s husband died from illness, so that child is a memento . If we can do something about her……」

「In any case, it won’t change anything even if we rush things . Other than having our horses gallop faster, there is nothing else we can do . 」

In order to make the wagon packed-full of villagers even a little lighter, Yoguri is riding with me in front . Unlike when we were coming, the wagon has now gotten heavier and is clearly dragging down the marching speed .

「It would have been better if more wagons were brought with us . 」

「Don’t be ridiculous, if we gather the wagons inside the territory, then we can say goodbye to our secret . I thought you were going to get on the back of the worst horse . 」

「Hmm…… . So, what’s with the hand that’s slipping in my crotch then?」

Even though we wanted our horses to go faster, it was still only fast as the wagon could dash, but to Schwartz it was nothing more than a trot . Since there wasn’t any shaking, it didn’t hinder me from caressing Yoguri .

「You’re doing whatever you please, but I only said that I would offer you my virginity . I don’t remember saying that I would be your s.e.x slave . 」

Celia and Irijina aren’t around this time . Pipi is still small . It’s not like I can be too forceful with her .

「Also, you’re embracing me however you want, but I’m still unmarried, you know? You even went ‘dopyu dopyu’1 and came inside…… . . If I get pregnant, are you going to make me your concubine or something?」

「If I make you a wife, it seems like I’ll get a whole lot of trouble . 」

This time was unavoidable since it was a promise made since the Arkland war .

「Of course . Things like tax and labor, I’m going to appeal directly to you every time I get the chance . 」

Adolph seems like he’s about to explode, so I’ll refrain from making her into a wife .

「That’s why……I wanted you to spare me from having your seed in me . I’ll let you do anything else you wanted . 」

In that case, I’ll accept . I reach my hands to her b.r.e.a.s.t.s immediately, but got brushed away .

「I thought you said I could do as I wanted . 」

「Samarsa is still in danger, so not until we get back . When she gets help, I’ll let you do it . 」

The number of reasons for wanting the mother to live has increased . But Yoguri shouldn’t underestimate me . She just had her virginity taken so I’ve held back quite a bit on all my attacks on her up till now . When we get back, I’ll make sure to drive her crazy a whole lot .

「Pipi doesn’t understand . Chief is such a great and strong man . Why would you refuse to have his seed?」

Pipi cuts into my conversation with Yoguri .

「Why? Well he won’t even look after me, so wouldn’t it be bad if we also made kids?」

「You have friends don’t you? Are you saying they won’t help a pregnant woman?」

「Well of course they will help, but if an unmarried woman holds a child, it makes me look like a loose woman!」

「Why? It’s a joy to have a strong man plant his seed in you . 」

「Aaah, geez, then you two can just have s.e.x with each other! 」

「Of course we will . If the chief desires it, everyone will oblige . Even young kids and other wives . 」

「Wait a second, you do that stuff!?」

「No, I didn’t . I just picked up several adult women . 」

The difference in culture between us and the mountain nation is vast . It seems like it will take quite a lot of time and effort in order to get both sides to work together .

We were travelling back home and encountered the other feudal lords’ 100-man squads several times, but seeing our numbers, they thought twice about it and didn’t come at us . We were able to arrive at my territory while shaking them off our tails .

「I’m glad you’re safe, it seems that you got into a fight too . 」

Leopolt waits at the rendezvous point inside my territory and the mountain nation people switch straight away to training . I secretly sneak away from the area and throw off my armor, then return to Rafen . The ident.i.ty of the golden knight cannot be known by the villagers either; it’s for the sake of keeping my heart at peace .

「There’s kind of a badly injured person here . Go show her to the doctor . 」

「I understand . Then I’ll have the injured person continue on the wagon . The other villagers will come this way . 」

The villagers start to gather, trying to figure out what’s going on .

「I declare it to everyone . The barbarians that have kidnapped all of you have been swept away now!」

The villagers seem to have a blank look on their faces . But Leopolt continues further .

「Knowing this, if you want to go back to where you were before, I will release you immediately . However, if you all……are unsure of where you may have come from, I will allow you to stay and live here on this land . 」

I was watching the situation from afar but it doesn’t seem there are any people who chose to go back to where they came from . With this, I have fulfilled my promise . All that’s left is for Samarsa to get saved and there will be no bitter aftertaste .

–Third person/Treia Kingdom POV–

Former Arkland Territory Treia Kingdom Domain

「Hm . So this year’s harvest amounts to this……」

「Yes……at any rate, this is the first harvest after the war ended and the fields have been ruined . 」

The two men conversed while overlooking the harvest of the wheat fields . One of them speaks arrogantly, while the other acts subservient with his waist bent forward in a slight bow .

「Harvest of this degree is not good enough . I will set the tax using last year’s harvest as the standard . 」

「Y-you can’t! To base it on the state before the war, that’s too irrational!」

The arrogant man glares at the servile man .

「Don’t be so rude! Even if you don’t have wheat, you are growing the vile millet and vegetables, aren’t you? It can probably be rationed for a year’s time . 」

「By your instructions to prioritize the wheat fields, even if it’s good now, the winter reserves will……」

「Oh, shut up! Anyways, that’s how it’s going to be . You just have to convince them afterwards!」

The arrogant man leaves, the servile man……the mayor of this village, attracts villagers around him . There was no attempt to hide the conversation and the villagers probably heard what has been said; their faces are dark .

「Mayor……those guys, they’re telling us to die . 」

「It’s no good anymore, we will really starve to death . 」

Everyone is wrapped in despair, but a single man cuts in sharply with his words .

「……Let’s head east . You’ve heard about those rumors, haven’t you? We’re going to run to Viscount Hardlett’s territory . 」

Everyone knew about the rumors . Within the darkness, people naturally seek a bright hope . There is no tax, wages are paid for labor, and the migration of an entire village is allowed .

There are few people who will believe everything they hear, but even so it is a fact that it would be easier to live there than here . Not even thinking about abandoning the land that they’ve lived on for generations, they just looked on in envy like kids while muttering ‘that seems nice’ to themselves . But now, they have no hope otherwise .

「But recently, there have been many people from other villages who have escaped and the feudal lord’s soldiers are patrolling . I heard that if you get caught, you’ll work as a slave on their demesne until you die . 」

「Isn’t it the same now?! What’s the difference from that and starving to death?」

The mayor tries to control the villagers and speaks .

「Let’s go together……if we go one or two at a time, we might become prey to bandits, and easily found in the same manner by the feudal lord’s soldiers . If everyone in the village goes, then we will surely make it!」

Everyone remained silent for a short moment at the mayor’s voice . If everyone in the village stood up, then the feudal lord will also resist . This isn’t an escape attempt, but something closer to a rebellion .

「Then, let’s invite the guys from the neighboring villages too! They are also being ruled by the same feudal lord and their situation should be same . 」

「Let’s call back the young migrant workers who left! They have all served in the army in the first place . They will certainly be reliable in fights!」

「There’s a spear brought back from the war hidden in the shed in Landon’s house! It’s much better compared to a hoe or a sickle!」

The villagers are offering their opinions one after the other . The cause which urged them into such extreme action is not solely due to the ruthless behavior of the feudal lord .

During the Arkland War, if there was no precedent of people having conducted an armed rebellion, then they may have been too frightened to do something like going against the feudal lord . Or, if there were no places which changed the way they were governed, then they may have accepted their current situation and gave up .

But it wasn’t like that . They have past experience of using force to rebel against the kingdom and there are young people who have gotten used to battle from serving in the army . There is also a place to live where the heavy tax isn’t crus.h.i.+ng the people – in other words, they have hope . It didn’t take much time for them to gather the people in the vicinity, grab weapons and raise a battlecry .

Two or three of the poor villages, which hasn’t even seen 100 people, started their forced escape scene in collaboration with the farmers . That rumor spread in a flash to the surrounding villages . Under the high degree of government pressure of the Treia kingdom lord’s rule, those villages which had serious cases of famine and poverty were being abandoned one after the other .

Instead of trying to hide and escape like rats, they turned the tables on the bandits that tried to hunt them and even defeated the net that the feudal lord set up . With such a large number prepared, there are some among them who are not aiming to escape, but chose to attack the feudal lord instead .

It hasn’t even been a year since the last war, but inside the territory of the former Arkland, at least within the Treia kingdom, the sounds of crumbling can be heard .

–Aegir POV–

「Something serious is going on!」

Some time has pa.s.sed since the legendary stories of the golden knight – the stain of my life – and when I was finally able to kick out the memory from my heart, Adolph ran into my private room with a distorted expression . I was sitting on the sofa with Mel and Carla bent over at my feet, crawling their tongues on my member from the left and right .

「Hey, what are you doing?!」

「Please be a little more considerate . 」

The both of them cursed Adolph as they stopped moving their tongues and returned my thing back into my pants . They seemed to struggle in doing so as it was still erect . Adolph looked backwards with an uncomfortable face . He’s still immature, since Leopolt would have started to mention his request with his usual expressionless face .

「So, what’s so serious?」

「Ahem . To our west, within the area that Treia kingdom occupies, there seem to be frequent occurrences of citizens rebelling . 」

「Really? So what?」

Honestly, I’m not really interested . If it’s something related to the kingdom of Treia then it’s not like the king of Goldonia would give me any orders, so it’ll be fine if we just leave it alone .

「Well, we can’t do that . Because one of the reasons for their uprising is that they have started to move to the eastern Goldonian area, our territory . 」

「? I don’t know what that means . 」

「In other words, they want to escape to our territory . But they can’t run because the feudal lord’s soldiers are there . So they formed a faction in order to defeat the soldiers . 」

「Well that’s a splendid escape scene . When they enter my territory, have them disarm themselves . If they won’t listen, they will just be insurgents . We can just wipe them all out . 」

「Fortunately, not a soul in our territory is looking to cause problems at the moment…… . But things are not that simple . Today, there were also denominations of 50 to 100 people who came . This is no longer on the scale of refugees . 」

The territory only had about 2000 people in the first place, so having several hundred people flowing in all at once like an avalanche will cause various problems .

「Will we run out of food?」

But Adolph denies it .

「No, I have finished speaking with the merchants in the capital regarding that . We have already stocked up a large amount for the year at a price lower than market price . You do not need to worry too much about the friction with the existing residents either . We have lots of uninhabited land, and they were originally residents of the same country in the first place and just crossed the border on their own, so there shouldn’t be any serious confrontations . 」

「When I listen to what you’re saying, it doesn’t seem like there are any problems, but say what you are worried about . 」

Carla and Mel, who are waiting on standby in the corner of the room, are getting irritated . Their service was at the final stage and they were getting ready to get into bed .

「With this many residents, it will create the same problem as last time – management . The feudal lords and Treian royal family should have an idea of where they are headed . They will probably be looking to protest and block off the borders from their side or perhaps through the Goldonian royal family . 」

I am more concerned about getting exposed by Baron Pedot and them coming to beat me up……The guys from Treia won’t say or do anything other than protest and put up border security . As expected, they won’t say something like ‘your place has too low tax, so increase it, and don’t give out wages for labor’ .

「But the outflow of citizens is their fault and has nothing to do with us . The immigrants are basically the same as slaves who have thrown away their status . There’s nothing wrong with giving them land again . 」

The farmers who abandoned their land will be treated as vagrants, who have no social standing . I can just say that these vagrants just came into my territory on my own, gathered together and made a new village, and they can’t do anything but complain . Then it will definitely turn into a fight against them .

「Also, most of the western side of my territory is bordering with Treia . Many soldiers will be needed to watch over all of it . Why do I have to do that? There is no reason for me to do so . 」

Adolph seems to have the same opinion and slowly nods .

「That is correct . That’s why we have to bear in mind that this incident may be brought up in the talks with the Treia side and the Kingdom . Afterwards, we may need a countermeasure for our territory for after the revolt . I believe that falls under Leopolt-dono’s expertise . 」

The roles are properly divided up – Adolph does the domestic stuff, Leopolt deals with the military, and I play with the women . Celia is trying to get involved in both the domestic affairs and the military affairs, but it seems she is still quite inexperienced, gets lost in the conversation and cries her eyes out .

「That’s true . ……But this could have been brought up in the future when we have a meeting, did you really need to burst into my private room for this?」

It’s not like things were going on in my territory at the moment . It wasn’t even urgent news .

「If you wanted to see us naked then it would have been better to wait a little longer . 」

「Maybe he wanted to join in if there was a chance . How naughty . 」

「That’s not it! ……I am from the rural area of Arkland . We might have to treat the rebellion over there more seriously than necessary . 」

Adolph tells me that I should be careful from now on, as he lowers his head . The place becomes slightly darker .

「Then I’ll forgive you . Then let’s continue, embrace me~」

Carla instantly gets naked . Of course, she is in plain sight for Adolph to see everything .

「-! Excuse me . 」

Adolph hurriedly leaves the room .

「Pfft-, the way he hurried out, maybe he’s a virgin?」

Carla cackles happily . But I can’t forgive her for showing her naked body to a man other than myself . She still isn’t quite aware of the fact that she has become my wife now . Every corner of Carla’s body belongs to me . Before escalating things, let’s stab her with something……thicker than a nail .

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「Eh? You’re doing it already? I’ll get mad……just wait a minute!? Not the a.s.s!」

「Thanks for coming all this way . I’m Hardlett . I will hear your request . 」

Conversations with n.o.bles of other countries are all sorts of annoying and takes a h.e.l.l of a lot of time, but I omit everything . That guy called Madolan seems to be a little taken aback, but from what I can tell, he looks to be one of those military types of knights who doesn’t require those fancy polite words and wants to quickly get to the main issue .

「Just the other day, a portion of farmers from our territory has raised a rebellion . 」

Leopolt’s face twitches slightly . For a n.o.ble, something like having a rebellion occur in their own territory is a disgrace, and even if the whole society knows about it, it’s not something that you normally talk about . That must be how far at wit’s end he must be .

「Well, that’s serious . 」

Ultimately, I remain expressionless, and turn to the wind with no interest in anything . Although in reality, I am not interested at all either .

「It’s embarra.s.sing for me to say it here but…… . Getting to the main issue, the insubordinate farmers seem to be escaping and are estimated to be headed to your territory . 」

「Well, that’s quite problematic . 」

「Yes, they are armed as well so there’s a chance that they will be bothering Lord Hardlett . When that happens, I request that you place security at your borders . 」

It’s exactly what Adolph said .

「I appreciate your concern, but it’s not possible to heed your advice . 」

「……May I ask the reason?」

「Needless to say, your homeland is to the south of my territory and the territory occupied by your country is to the west of my territory, and thus I am surrounded on all those sides by your country . There’s no way that I can place guards to cover all that area . 」

「Of course, I am not telling you to do it for all areas . If it’s possible for you to capture a portion of them, it may serve as a threat to the rest . 」

Their aim is not to capture everyone, but to crush the rumors . Since my land is being praised as the ideal land through the rumors, if the soldiers on my territory start capturing people, their hope will be crushed . Once the farmers lose hope, they will quietly accept their fates and obey them . I can see their line of thought, but I don’t have an obligation to follow it .

「On top of my territory being large, my population is limited, and the highways are not even maintained . Although it is my territory, besides the main town and villages, I don’t have the reserve capacity to spare for guards . 」

「I have seen a large army on the outskirts of this town in the garrison . You also have a large amount of cavalry, do you not?」

「That is preparation for the barbarians . They frequently come down from the mountains to our east . If I move them, I won’t be able to respond to their attacks when the time comes . Just the other day, the barbarians invaded our country’s Baron Lorey’s territory, and I have just subjugated them . Also, there hasn’t been any damage in my territory in the first place caused by those rebelling farmers or whatever . 」

Leopolt immediately corrects me, informing them that it’s Baron Pedot .

Quite some time has pa.s.sed already, and I’m pretty sure he has registered what I have said, but Madolan stays silent . To them, foreign tribes are also a serious threat . Rather than the small-scale group of armed farmers, I have a legitimate reason to prepare for the other threat instead . The mountain tribe already obeys me and the one who attacked Baron Pedot was me, but he doesn’t need to know that . The kingdom of Goldonia wasn’t notified about my complete control over the situation either .

「……there is information that you hired the immigrants from other territories as manpower in your own territory, moreover you have given them land and helped them create villages . 」

Madolan looks at me with a harsh judgemental look in his eyes, but I give him a grin in return .

「If you ignore the vagrants, beggars and those sorts of people, the public order will be disrupted . With that said, I don’t have the luxury to just give them food . Fortunately for me, I have tons of land, so I’m just letting them do farm work to earn their meals . In the first place, I have no clue whether they were previously farmers or slaves or something else . 」

「I heard that Lord Hardlett imposes an abnormally low tax, you compensate the people who do not have land with labor and things like that……don’t you know that you are attracting the citizens from other territories to come?」

「Well, I have a military background and don’t know much about the management of territory . I’m not interested in it either so I hand it off to my domestic affairs official . But does the tax and labor in my territory have anything to do with your country?」

A dangerous atmosphere is in the air, but neither Madolan nor I gives in . Only the maid, who came bringing some tea, is dripping cold sweat and panicking . Her b.r.e.a.s.t.s are big……maybe I’ll invite her over tonight .

「If that’s all you wanted to say, then there is no need to talk any further . I won’t pay attention to what your soldiers are doing in your territory and I’m not going to pay attention to the rebelling farmers either . 」

But don’t talk about my territory, since I’ll handle that on my own . I glare at him with those intentions embedded in my eyes .

「It’s unfortunate, Viscount . I have already told our royalty and the Goldonian royalty should also have been informed about the situation . 」

This threat should be their last trump card . But I have a cus.h.i.+on by the name of Erich .

「Then I will think about it when the king brings it up . 」

After facing downwards and mumbling something, he gave a single order to his subordinates and they left on their horses . Things were dealt with more simply than I thought .

「What an upstart and uncivilized person-」

「Seems so . Did you get into a fight again?」

Nonna was waiting for me after I came out of the reception room where we were holding our conversation . I wonder if she heard my mumbling, I better not badmouth .

「Well, I guess so . They’re probably cursing at me and heading to their great Count right about now . 」

Nonna sighed .

「It won’t be good if you act so belligerent to n.o.bles . 」

「I don’t mind . He probably doesn’t have the courage to come fight me seriously anyway . 」

Adolph and Leopolt were about to go back to their usual duties but I called them back, and speak after rubbing Celia’s b.u.t.t .

「Leopolt, finish up the eastern army’s training and have them rest . Irijina……oh, she’s not here, well she’ll gather all the private army troops . I feel sorry for Pipi but I need her to run to the mountains to get the leaders . It won’t be 200 this time, I’ll provide the food, so I need them to round up everyone who can fight, except children, and bring them here!」

Not only Nonna, everyone lets out their voice without thinking . I can’t blame them; this is complete mobilization .

「Adolph, it’s just as you heard . There will be close to 1000 mountain nation so there will be an estimated 3500 military strength……let’s see, I will need you to gather one month’s food supply . 」

「……What on earth are you planning to do?」

I wanted to make a serious face, but I unintentionally smiled a little .

「It’s not based on logic or theory but intuition, and I can smell a war is on its way . 」

After that, the situation gradually starts to move . Since the kingdom of Treia could not get my cooperation, they must have thought that the regional feudal lords were uncontrollable, so they invested in the royal army . They guarded the borders strictly and the group of farmers that were heading to my territory became splatters of blood one by one .

But with this treatment, it further expanded the resentment of the group of farmers extensively, blowing up in scale to the several thousands, and after they broke through the royal army by force, they started to head east in a straight line .

Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett . 20 years old . Summer

(Traditional age reckoning)

Status: Goldonia Kingdom Viscount . Eastern Independent Army Commander . Troop Count 2000

Feudal Lord of Arkland Southeast Area . Private Army 300 . Mountain Nation: x.x.xx

a.s.sets: 4500 gold (5000 gold Debt )

Weapons: Dual Crater (large sword), Large spear

Equipment: Black Cloak, Gold Armor (lol)

Family: Nonna (wife), Carla (concubine), Mel (concubine), Sue (daughter), Kuu, Ruu,

Rita (imitation maid), Sebastian (butler)

Capital: Melissa, Maria, Catherine, Antonio (son), Miti, Alma, Kroll

Subordinates: Celia (adjutant), Irijina (private army commander), Pipi (mountain nation emissary), Leopolt (Independent Army Vice-Commander), Adolph (domestic affairs official), Schwartz (horse)

s.e.xual Partners: 45, children who have been born: 7

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