There was a reason why Cairo didn’t respond as soon as the news of Hector’s attack was delivered.
The young King of Cairo, Daniel Cairo, looked at the empty room with a sad expression.
“When will the others even arrive?”
“…I apologize. It seems like it will take a while because the unexpected news was delivered so suddenly, and everyone is coming from far away.”
The servant shook his head. But that was all. He didn’t say anything about calling them again. He did have a special lord, but he knew that the King couldn’t save his life if he went up against the Central Government. If the monarchy had been strong, the current situation wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
“Haah…” Daniel Cairo sighed. He was utterly shocked when he heard the news of the Southern Front being attacked. As if a quick response wasn’t necessary, the nobles of the Central Government told him to put the judgment on hold until everyone had gathered. Basically, the King had no power to make any decisions.
Marquis Benedict, Count Denver, and Count Gregory—Only with the consent of those who had great power could the troops of Cairo move. A long time passed. And in the meantime, the Ranger Unit of the Hector Kingdom passed through the Southern Training Center, attacked the rear of the Southern Front, and even succeeded in capturing the Warp Gate. Nevertheless, the Royal Family of Cairo was unaware of the harsh reality.
Daniel Cairo was only waiting for those who had actual power in the nation, and they showed up a while later.
“Ahahaha. I am a little late. On the way, the carriage had some issues, so I couldn’t help but be a little late. Anyway, is it true that the Hector Kingdom attacked the Southern Front?”
Marquis Benedict showed no regret for being late. And the others weren’t much different. Both Count Denver and Count Gregory, who had sat down, ignored Daniel Cairo, who had been waiting for them for a long time by himself.
“According to the report from the Southern Front, the Hector Kingdom has crossed the border and attacked the Defense Lines. I don’t know what the reason is, but at this rate, the Southern Front will be in danger.”
“Then, shouldn’t we send troops there?”
Finally, sending support was being talked about. Simultaneously, Danial Cairo’s stomach started to twist intensively. He would have dispatched troops hours ago if the nobility had arrived at the meeting promptly or if he had the authority to issue an order! But what could be done now? This was the reality of Cairo.
Daniel Cairo said, “Then, we will send troops to the Southern Front right now.”
“We accept the order.”
A decision was finally made. It was the way Cairo, a small nation, held its meetings. However, it was too late by then.
The Warp Gate had already been captured. It was then that Marquis Benedict realized how serious the situation was.
“…The Warp Gate has been taken over. This is a serious problem for us. Not only is there no way for us to send troops to the Southern Front, but this leaves the Southern Front no choice but to try and withstand the onslaught of Hector.”
He had judged that Cairo would not be in danger from their attack anyway. The southern area of Cairo was barren. It wasn’t important to them geographically, and it wouldn’t be too hard for Hector’s forces to subdue the soldiers out there. The problem was if Hector decided to hold out on the Southern Front. If things became like that, the Warp Gate there would be a massive problem for Cairo.
They finally realized that waiting for each other to come before taking the decision was the problem. If they had reacted a little faster, the Cairo Kingdom wouldn’t have had the Southern Front taken over so easily.
Daniel Cairo said, “How do we deal with this situation? The Southern Front wouldn’t have been in such danger if you had allowed me to take the correct decision when the crisis on the Southern Front was reported. Reflect on what you did. That is your responsibility!”
Even though he was a weak king, there were limits to what he could stand to. However, despite seeing the King’s anger, the other nobles weren’t scared.
Just then, Edwin Hector contacted them.
When the Magic Call was connected, Marquis Benedict spoke on behalf of Daniel Cairo.
“For what reason did Hector attack Cairo? We thought Cairo and Hector had a friendly relationship. Actually, we didn’t even do proper border checks because of no threats, and when we heard the news about Hector’s droughts, we even provided food. So, what the hell is this?!” He asked aggressively.
Nevertheless, Edwin Hector didn’t lose his composure even in the face of Marquis Benedict’s aggressive tone.
[You really are shameless. It is Cairo, not Hector, who crossed the line.]
He had played out the current situation numerous times in his head. It was obvious how the Cairo Kingdom would act out. Thus, Edwin Hector had prepared a perfect answer.
[Half a year ago, there was an incident where Cairo’s soldiers had crossed the border. They explained that they had crossed the border as they were lost, but actually, they were holding the maps of Hector, which had major locations marked on them, in their hands. We tried to capture and subdue them, but when they realized that their intentions had been revealed, they jumped down the cliff to die. From then on, we had no choice but to doubt the intentions of Cairo. Why the hell did you send people out to explore Hector? There would have been no reason for Cairo to do such an act unless there was some hidden malicious intent.]
That was different from the truth. The soldiers of Cairo had been found while they were falling off a cliff. It seemed to be a simple accident, but Edwin had turned that into a cause for war.
In fact, the reason itself wasn’t right, but it didn’t matter that much. After all, war is war. The winner of the war is always said to have the right justification. And even if it caused troubles later on, the important thing for the Hector Kingdom was to solve their current problems.
“Do not frame Cairo! We never did it!”
The backlash was fierce, yet Edwin didn’t even blink.
[In the end, there was distrust between Cairo and Hector, and we attacked the Southern Front to bury the guilt. You already know the Warp Gate is in our grasp. The Hector Kingdom has total control over the Southern Front. What we ask for should be clear from now on. Apologize for what happened that day, and give us a proper compensation instead. If you faithfully comply with these demands, we will consider our previous relationship and withdraw from here.]
Hector’s true purpose wasn’t mere slaughter. The treasury of their nation had been drained, and they still had money to pay to the Golden Bank. Borrowing money from other sources would only add another burden on their heads.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t strange to ask for compensation in a war. The Southern Front had barren land, but it was still the land of Cairo, and Hector decided that they could get money from Cairo if they used that.The debut release of this chapter happened at Ñøv€l-B1n.
“Do you think that makes sense?!”
The nobles of Cairo protested. Nevertheless, that was all. Edwin showed no signs of backing down. If it was something that could be solved by negotiation, then he wouldn’t have even attacked them in the first place. When he looked at the people of his nation crying in pain, he realized that he must solve their problems, even if he had to become a demon.
[I will give you 3 days to think and respond. If you do not comply with our demands, then we will prepare for the next stop from the Southern Front being turned into Hector’s land. Keep this in mind. If you try to compromise here only to gain time, then the hostages we have captured will not return alive.]
And as soon as he finished his words,
Edwin Hector cut off the Magic Call.
As soon as the Magic Call was cut off, silence filled the discussion room. After hearing Edwin’s words, even Marquis Benedict had fallen silent.
Eventually, Daniel Cairo said, “The Warp Gate is in the hands of the enemies. We have no other choice. Even sending the troops through the nearest Warp Gate will take at least a fortnight. The Hector Kingdom will surely become ready to defend while staying on the Southern Front in the meantime, and a war will plunge Cairo into hell, regardless of who wins it. The only way to reduce the damage is to pay Hector the amount they will be asking for.”
“They will definitely ask for a lot.”
“Is there any other way? If you don’t like this, tell me what we should do!”
Everyone gulped. The current situation was funny. The nobles of the Central Government were people in a small nation who only acted like they were great, but when an actual crisis hit them, their attitudes changed instantly.
The reality was always different. At least Marquis Benedict spoke about wanting to solve the situation, but Count Denver and Gregory had utterly different responses. They were people who supported other nations anyway. Thus, they acted like the fate of Cairo didn’t have anything to do with them. It had always been like this—They usually treated Daniel Cairo like a scarecrow, but when things got difficult, they put him forward as the King.
“…I accept the terms of Hector.”
“I am against it,” said a person just then,
Count Denver asked, “Are you saying you have another way?”
“It is clear that Hector wants money for now. They probably intend to save their nation, which is in trouble, through this war. Thus, the amount they will ask for will not be small. This isn’t a mere matter of reclaiming the Southern Front. We also need to consider the situations that will appear after that. If the Kronos Empire crosses the border while we are running low on finances, the nation will have to go through even more damage for even trying to reclaim the Southern Front.”
“…But there isn’t another way out.”
At that moment, all the eyes in the room were focused on the member of Valhalla.
Count Denver knew information the other nobles here didn’t.
‘They think there is nothing on the Southern Front that can turn things around.’
But there is one thing—One person who can do it.
Count Denver continued, “There is Roman Dmitry on the Southern Front. According to the report we just received, he had successfully defended the Fifth Defense Line against Hector, and has also delivered his intention to mobilize forces that can be used against Hector.”
No one here knows about Roman’s true talent. He is actually a 4-Star Aura Swordsman who destroyed Barco without much effort. Alright.
“We have to trust him. If we send the troops to the Southern Front now, and Roman Dmitry creates a hole in Hector’s defense, we have a good chance of winning the war.”
Even though he was only one variable, Count Denver was ready to place his bet on Roman.
Editor’s Thoughts: The first bet has been placed! Edwin Hector’s calm thoughts and plan seem to be good, but will he be able to last against Roman? Wait, the question should be how long he will be able to last against Roman. Anyway, Roman’s true talent is now being revealed, albeit slowly, and more carnage on the battlefield is coming soon!