“Viscount Frenco, are you seriously going to attack again? Don’t you learn!?”
Having learned that the lord of the neighboring territory would once again try to invade, Viscount Dolz shouted so.
Territorial disputes between the two viscount houses were commonplace before, but the previous heads of their houses have somehow reached an agreement and prevented any large-scale war between them. However, when the current lords of both houses came to power, the relationship between the two noble houses deteriorated right away.
Skirmishes between their forces have happened multiple times already.
“You should know by now that my mighty force is more than able to squash your cowardly soldiers! It’s almost like taking candy from a baby! You’ll regret attacking!”
Viscount Dolz confidently declared so.
The two viscounts have had a rivalry since they were young, since they attended the same class in the royal academy even. Throughout their school years, they would get into these violent fights against one another.
Each time they fought, they grew to hate the other more and more. And instead of the one-on-one fights back then, it was now army versus army.
“M-my lord, grave news!”
A vassal assigned to the task of marshalling the soldiers for the upcoming battle hurriedly sprinted toward Viscount Dolz.
“A-as you know, the enemy has about 5,000 soldiers. We tried to gather at least as many soldiers…but the most we were able to was only 3,000…!”
“What are you talking about!? There’s a heavy penalty for anyone who disregards calls for conscription! Not gathering enough is simply impossible!”
Unable to understand his vassal’s report, Viscount Dolz shouted so.
“It’s…it’s not that people are not enlisting, it’s that there aren’t enough people to enlist. The population itself has dwindled, sir…”
After hearing a totally unexpected reply, the viscount grew even more perplexed.
“The number of people leaving the territory has been gradually increasing…but these past few months, that rate has exploded. According to reports, as much as 50 whole villages have already left…”
“50 whole villages!? Where, where the hell can all those people have gone to!?”
“I believe most have gone to…to that rumored village in the wasteland…”
A barren wasteland could be found east of the viscount’s territory.
According to the rumors that managed to reach the viscount’s ears, a village was recently established there.
“Tch…that frontier village in Duke Albert’s territory!? But it’s just been established, so it should be impossible to accommodate all those people. In the end, many should return back to us!”
The wasteland village in the outskirts of the Albert territory was left undisturbed, mostly because it was in a wasteland and people thought a settlement there couldn’t amount to much.
“W-we believed so, but…but the village apparently has developed at an incredible rate…in fact, rather than call it a village, it might be more apt to call it a city…not just any city too, since it has developed to the point that it’s comparable to the largest cities in the Albert territory…”
“Comparable to the largest cities there!? How can a recently established village do that!?”
“W-we don’t know…we’ve sent people to investigate, but none of them have returned…”
Some time later, the Dolz army was defeated again and again by the Frenco army.
Both sides had about the same war potential originally, but because the Frenco army now far outnumbered the Dolz army, such results were pretty much inevitable.
And after some more time, the Frenco army finally made it to the capital of the Dolz territory.
If Viscount Dolz’s side focused on the defense, they wouldn’t be defeated so easily. However, given that there was reinforcement on the way, Viscount Dolz’s surrender would be simply delayed rather than prevented.
“Master! We must escape from the capital while we still can!”
“You want me to turn tail and run!?”
“Only so that you can have your revenge! If you fall here now, you won’t be able to reclaim what’s yours.”
“Ghh…very well! Viscount Frenco, don’t think you’ve won just yet! I shall have the last laugh…!”
Like that, Viscount Dolz fled from his capital along with his vassals. As for where they were headed, it was the place that contributed the most to their lost: the village in the wasteland.
TL note: I don’t exactly know why Lord Albert is referred to as a Duke here. In later chapters, he’s still a Marquis. Maybe it’s just a way to let readers know that the public is told that Lord Albert is promoted when he in fact refused?