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Chapter 40 – Mistake
In order to loot the Estoani Kingdom, I sent spies to collect information. Still, I couldn’t determine their exact military strength. They had the image of being weak since they were defeated by the Borghardt Kingdom, but if things were bad, it might end up more difficult than Carling’s imperial army of 20,000.
But well, since there were no other places to pick fights, I guess I had no choice but to go. Since my territory adopted a war economy, we might end up suffocating if we continued to expand the military even if the war stopped. Although, even if there was no war, my territory was quite rich, so it wasn’t actually a problem. The neighboring duchies of Klaus and Poitiers were richer, though.
Or rather, despite the war occurrences in their territories, only a few of their fortresses were destroyed, and thus the repairs were carried out without a hitch. Just the other day, I simultaneously received replies to the letters I previously sent to Wagner and Alfred, which proposed a joint battle.
“”I’ll go along as long as you make the first move.””
…Basically, as long as I take the role of taking on the kingdom’s army head-on, they will proceed to plunder the Estoani Kingdom. It couldn’t be helped then. I would make the first move. Needless to say, I had no intention of being crushed by the kingdom’s army, but I got word from both Wagner and Alfred that they would send their armies if I made the first move, so I announced this on a large scale within the Carling Empire.
Then I had my slaves switch the war banner with those used by Wagner. I thoroughly instructed them to name themselves as Wagner’s army when they attacked the Gra duchy.
Well, even if I said I would make the first move, they didn’t have a particular instruction on the details. Since Wagner affirmed he would attack a week after, there was no way I wouldn’t make use of this. Ah, Alfred was cautious and didn’t make any affirmation. It stopped at the verbal promise. But well, I think he would still keep his word.
Of course, I had to fight against the duke of the Gra duchy, but I made use of the 1,000 members of the immortal corps as walls while 500 soldiers from the standing army repeatedly attacked and looted the villages. We were the invincible army of Saint Lord Wagner, HYAHAHH. I got quite used to acquiring wealth through looting and capturing village girls, so I made a lot of progress.
Naturally, Wagner complained about this, but I replied that he had to invade properly after a week, and then I withdrew on the fourth day. If I stayed any longer, I would have to face the standing army of the Estoani Kingdom, so it couldn’t be helped. On the promised day, Wagner used my name and attacked Miller duchy. I couldn’t help but laugh at how similar we did things.
The difference between us was that Wagner’s looting army was spotted by the already-wary Estoani Kingdom’s standing army, so it seemed they killed each other quite violently. Both of them suffered more than 1,000 casualties, showing how thick their killing intent toward each other was. Since Wagner’s army size was probably about 5,000, I guessed the standing army of the Estoani Kingdom was around the same number.
Meanwhile, the Borghardt Kingdom declared war on the Estoani Kingdom. Hey, that was different from our deal. Alfred used the justification of his wife number 6. Did he intend to use the justification from his wives to expand his territories? Well, that was indeed one way to expand territory… but that was quite nasty.
Because of that, the Estoani Kingdom had to focus on the war against the Borghardt Kingdom, so their standing army had to move. The army of Miller duchy still remained, but I crushed it by fighting it together with Wagner’s army. All of this happened in the span of only 2 weeks since I invaded the Gra duchy.
“It seems the capture of Duke Miller’s army is over… are you trying to enslave them all?”
“No, I’m going to sell them back to Duke Miller. At this rate, the armaments and armor would be taken as well, so if I ask for money, they would have to pay.”
Linde-san continued to educate the slaves, so Cornelia accompanied me to the war this time, but due to her experience as former vice chief of the mercenary group, she was used to the task of capturing the enemy army. Her brother Hans was even more experienced in this… Speaking of, I guess I could eventually make him a count. If my territory continued to expand, I think I would get more counties than I could manage, so I was thankful for an existence like his who was technically a relative and also a capable person.
In the end, the role of attracting Estoani Kingdom’s army fell to Alfred, but he definitely intended to take over all the way to the Gra duchy instead of just looting them. Both Wagner and I already looted them, though. Even though both of us had the characteristics of “Saint Lord” and “Piety,” we ended up engulfing the Miller duchy in a sea of fire, which was just terrible. Now that we had done this much, it made me wonder if there was still a benefit of seizing Miller duchy.
In the first place, we had a hard time since we lacked justification. If one wanted to earn justification over a whole duchy, they needed to use a tremendous amount of wealth, to the point that marrying someone who had the justification might be a preferable option. But people who had those justifications would be popular to begin with, so they likely already had a partner from an early age.
The war within the Carling Empire seemed to increase with the death of the first prince, and the emperor’s army also suffered some damage due to the war with Countess Jeremias earlier. Currently, I couldn’t declare war within the Carling Empire. In that case, why not sell the neighboring duchy to another nation?
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