South’s side problem
On one hand, the messengers came to congratulate us, and on the other hand, I went to each temple to pray for an easy delivery, and while all this happened, the construction of the castle advanced considerably.
It takes time to build all the facilities, but the main building was almost completed.
All this time we interacted as gently as possible with the surrounding forces so as not to cause unnecessary wars. Most of the remaining independent feudal lords came to congratulate us about the pregnancy, so surely they are paying attention to us.
For now the most terrifying of all the surrounding forces is the one from the Naguri prefecture, the Rentland House, but even so, I let the reliable general Shivik build a castle on the edge where our prefectures touch to deal with them. So for the moment peace is maintained.
Meanwhile, a feudal lord’s messenger from the prefectura Olbia which is located at the southern part of our prefecture came.
The whole prefecture Olbia is a steep land covered by mountains, for that same reason, no power capable of dominating the entire prefecture has been able to establish itself and in each basin there is a different power ruling. But since it’s a land with a strong war spirit, it becomes a force to consider when fighting.
Messengers of the Viscounts of Takti County and Naham came to me even though our lands don’t even come into contact. By having the same surname as their counties, it means that they are the ones that currently control their county.
Naham’s messenger was a cat-eared beastman. The cat-eared beastman don’t have a permanent home, some of them are like wandering merchants, so there is nothing wrong with this. Of course, some are appointed as generals or retainers, and there are others that act as messengers.
「I came to visit you on this occasion with the hope that our two territories could form a military alliance」
The messenger was quite imposing. If the quality of the messenger was poor, then it would be easy to see the relationship between their retainers and their lord, so it’s important to choose who to send as a messenger.
「At the moment, the feudal lord of Naham controls only two counties, but we are attacking other basins and gradually expanding our power. Like the Count of Fodoneria, despite having recently turned eighteen, the feudal lord Brand Naham is in the middle of strengthening the national power」
「That reminds me, the Viscount-dono from your land, when he was just twelve years old he inherited the leadership of his family, and from that moment his family continued to splendidly flourish」
Even I have heard the name Brand Naham. He is moving with the aim of unifying the Olbia prefecture, which that itself is something difficult to achieve.
「Surely the Fodoneria Count has in his eyes the lands of the north. If you continue along that path, before long the road to the royal capital will open, and to name a few things, your title as advisor or prime minister will become well known. So we assumed that surely you wanted to fortify the defenses in the south」
Without giving a definitive answer, I chuckled.
It seems they have a good idea of me.
To move towards the east where the royal capital is located, I must seize Nagrid prefecture, since it is easy to advance from there. In other words, if I conquer the Nagrid prefecture, the speed at which I can mobilize my forces will increase considerably.
If I lack a great military force, in the case that the forces around the capital have the intention of obstructing, I will not be able to defeat them. The surroundings of the capital royal is an advanced zone of agriculture, but at the end of the day, compared to other regions, its population is huge. In other words, the amount of soldiers they have is also huge.
Even if I’m able to unify the neighboring prefecture of the royal capital, is another story if I’m able to draw enough troops capable of overwhelming 10,000 soldiers. In fact, I have not even settled one of the many powers that there are, and if those who possess considerable power form an alliance then my way towards the royal capital will be blocked.
「I would be honored if I could support the dynasty, but I believe that that is an overambitious dream」
There is no need for anyone here to say their exact thoughts, so they embellish their words.
「Currently, the dynasty is in a divided state. If you could unify them, then you would be a peerless and incomparable meritorious retainer, and it wouldn’t be a dream to become a king. But this is only my personal opinion」
It would be excellent if the royal family themselves voluntarily gave me their throne, but until now there wasn’t a feudal lord able to achieve that.
「I will receive your words as a compliment. But I’ve never thought of something as disrespectful as wanting the throne」
――Don’t lie. Didn’t you say you would become a king?
Please my inner voice, stay quiet. One is my true opinion and the other one is my official stance.
――Sorry, sorry. This Monarch understands. With this kind of things the situation is also important. Even when this Monarch became the head of his house, my thoughts were only about whether I would be able to help the 13th great Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru or not.
It’s true that such thoughts can’t be avoided if your king is intelligent.
――The moment I thought about genuinely conquering the heavens, was when Ashikaga Yoshiteru was killed and his younger brother was sent to the capital to succed it. Even so, I took all the time I needed and slowly began to steal the influence from their generals. Until my position wasn’t the same or higher than the shoguns I had in my hands, I didn’t kill them even if I had the opportunity in front of my eyes. Even if I banished them, they had already prepared their children as successors.
In other words, be careful.
It wouldn’t be worth to be envied for something that I shouldn’t have done. I will try from now on to keep my thoughts inside my head as much as possible, and if for some reason I had to talk about them, I’ll just let them out with Raviara and Serafina.
I told the messenger that I was going to think about it and I told him to return for the time being. I had never thought about which course of action the south side should take, if anything it was secondary.
To tell you the truth, I had plan about it.
It’s just that there is a certain part of such a plan that makes me ashamed to present it.
While I was taking a little walk thinking about that, I went out to the courtyard.
There were Serafina and my younger sister Altia playing something called air ball.
It uses wooden rackets, and the goal is to hit a sphere and not let it drop. There is a net in the middle, preventing the passage between both players.
Right at this moment, Altia jumped in front of the net dropping the sphere in front of Serafina. But Serafina was already in position to block it.
「Altia-san is strong」
「Since I’m from the brain faction. You have nowhere else but to shoot it back to this position, so my defense will proceed smoothly next time」
Altia was making a triumphant face.
「Hey, hey Serafina, you have a child, don’t push yourself please…」
「Since I can’t walk around so much I was exercising a bit. You don’t have to worry, I wasn’t jumping like Altia-san」
It’s true, Serafina is not sweating. It seems that she was playing in the same position without almost moving from the same place.
It seems that Altia is sweating because she was playing very actively.
「Altia too, you have become very healthy」
She almost no longer suffers from her serious illness and her complexion also looks good.
「Yes, since I no longer wish to be a nuisance for my onii-sama」
「I never thought of you as a nuisance, you know?」
Altia is the only existence that I can call as a relative. I have other relatives, but truly I can’t really relax my guard in front of them. Since they are existences capable of taking away my position as Count.
「But, I’m still right next to you, onii-sama」
As expected, she’s also the daughter of a feudal lord.
On one hand I think it’s a good attitude, but on the other it makes me sad.
Altia put his hand on her chest and said this with a resolute attitude.
「I have already prepared myself to be married somewhere as in a political marriage」