It has been three months now since the Albert house won against the Schneger house and Raul returned to the capital.
He has sent numerous investigation teams to the wasteland, yet not one of them, not even a single person has returned.
The governor of the North still hasn’t responded as well.
In the end, their side settled on capturing merchants who had been to the city and interrogating said merchants. The information they got was consistent with the report they got from the governor’s subordinate. As absurd as the report was, it now seemed to be factual.
Apparently, Luke has indeed built a city in the wasteland from scratch and has developed it to the point that it now has a population of 10,000. All of this in just under two years.
“Luke…! How are you still alive!? Are you going to get in my way yet again…!?”
While glaring northward, Raul shouted so.
After a while of ruminating, he came to a decision.
“…Assemble the soldiers.”
“Sir? B-but the other party’s your older brother…this is a very pivotal moment for the Albert house right now; should now really be the time for sibling rivalry…?”
A retainer tried to advise Raul to reconsider, but he didn’t want to hear any of it.
“Silence! That bastard’s been amassing war potential in hopes of getting revenge for being exiled! He is planning a rebellion against the Albert house! That is not something I can ignore, brother or not!”
With such a pretext, Raul’s retainers couldn’t object anymore.
And then, he announced how many soldiers to prepare.
“5,000! Assemble 5,000 soldiers! I’ll be leading it, of course!”
At present, at least half of the Albert forces were stationed in the former Schneger territory.
Moreover, due to many factors including fatigue, assembling a large number of soldiers right after a great war was quite difficult.
“B-but didn’t the reports say that their city has a population of at most 10,000? A thousand soldiers should be more than enough, shouldn’t it?”
“Stop protesting and get me those soldiers! Go, before I decide to kill you.”
◇ ◇ ◇
After half a month of sleepless nights, Raul’s retainers finally managed to assemble the 5,000 soldiers that he asked for.
Before heading to the wasteland, the army stopped by Riesen, the city that the North’s governor lived in. It was a good place for them to resupply and rest a bit, but of course, that wasn’t the only reason they stopped by.
“Governor Dant has submitted to me false reports about the rebel Luke, making him a criminal. Arrest and bring him to me at once!”
After being given that order, the soldiers rushed into Riesen.
They were prepared for a fight, but to their surprise, the gates opened right away.
When they broke into the governor’s estate, they noticed something strange.
“…it’s completely empty…?”
They somehow sensed that Raul and his forces were coming, and fled.
“C-could they have gone to the city in the wasteland…?”
“Don’t they realize they’ve only made it worse for themselves?”
The governor being executed was a given and unavoidable, but at least it was possible that only he would be punished.
Everyone in their clan fleeing the city made that impossible now.
“I’ll make sure he and everyone close to him, down to their descendants, will regret this!”
◇ ◇ ◇
“What’s the matter, Dant-sama?”
“N-nothing. I just felt a chill run down my spine…(Now that I think about it, Raul-sama should have arrived in Riesen by now…he must be fuming right now at my betrayal.)”
After knowing about Raul-sama leading soldiers toward the North, I took my clan and escaped toward the Luke-sama’s village.
“However, is this really the best move…? If the village falls, then you and your house will also…”
“…I’ve prepared myself for that. But more than I am resolved for such a fate, I believe…believe in Luke-sama, and his village.”
According to the report I got, Raul-sama was leading an army of 5,000 soldiers.
The village had a population of about 10,000, but even in a defensive battle, it would be in a terrible disadvantage against such an elite army. Well, if it was a normal village. I believed that Luke-sama and his village would prevail in the end.
“Luke-sama has surpassed our expectations many times now and with great ease, so surely, he will overcome this adversity as well. I can’t help but think that.”