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Volume 3: Chapter 257 – Gathering Shadows (1/3)
Like a tropical depression that suddenly grows into a huge cyclone, the seed that was the saint grew a stem, and the coalition of minor nations along with their various agendas attached themselves to it and became its leaves. The name of that flower with its blood-colored petals – the holy war of humanity against the monsters.
“Heralding from the Iron Country, 500 heavy infantry and 1,000 squires, under the command of the Iron Bull General, Rasmoa-dono!”
More and more reinforcements from the minor nations were coming to the Ivory Tower by the day. The elder of the Blue Tower, Floyd Berchen, turned to the researcher beside him. The latter immediately straightened his back and fulfilled his duty.
“It’s a group of elite knights from the Iron Country. They have never lost before in the skirmish with the minor nations, and General Rasmoa has also been in the army for 40 years. It wouldn’t be wrong to call him a seasoned warrior.”
Floyd nodded as he placed a game board piece on the Iron Country’s part of the map.
“In total, there are now 13 countries who wish to join us after Shushunu’s defeat.”
The coalition of minor nations consisted of many countries. The small country of Orphen from the north, the Iron Country, Elfa, from the center region, the small country of Fenis from the south. They were all minor nations, but they sent a large number of soldiers to the coalition. The people, who thought about the future of their countries, wanted to secure a more advantageous position for themselves after the war by showing off their military.
Rasmoa from the Iron Country sent Floyd a bribe under the pretense of it being material support from the king, but Floyd had no interest in such things and immediately put it away as part of the military budget.
In fact, no matter who it was and no matter how much they sent, he would announce everything to the other two members of the Council of Three Towers that was the decision-making body of the Ivory Tower, leaving the decision of the budget to the Red Elder, Serion.
For the Ivory Tower that is responsible for the birth of countless government officials, they had no shortage of brilliant young men. That was also true for Serion, who was the great archbishop of the largest eastern religion’s church.
Minor nations like Dismina and Ramana, which were once subordinated to the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, had no choice but to throw their lot in with the coalition like the rest of the minor nations.
The source of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom’s power was the War Princess and the Sorcerer Cavalry (Mana Guard) that could move freely on the battlefield. It was because of that that the minor nations were willing to answer Blanche’s tyrannical demands, and it was indeed thanks to them that they were protected from their neighbors.
Unfortunately, Blanche Ririnoie killed herself in the battle with the goblins, causing the Holy Shushunu Kingdom to lose its power. Naturally, with its power gone, the nations that were once subservient to it, immediately left, but now, they had no one to turn to. The minor nations were more or less in the same situation, but if they were to show weakness, they would immediately be taken advantage of; hence, it could be said that being under the protection of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom was actually a blessing for them. After all, being under Shushunu greatly decreased the danger of a war being declared upon them. All the ingredients – be it soldiers or friction – needed for such declarations were already present,
It just so happened that the War Princess and the Holy Shushunu Kingdom had countries like Dismina and Ramana under them that the other countries never had a chance to do so. After all, declaring war on a country under the protection of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom was no different from challenging the hegemony of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom itself.
But now, they had broken free of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, and the opportunity the other countries have long been waiting for was finally here.
To these countries that have been spoiled by Shushunu, their neighbors looked no different from starving lions or wolves. After all, these nations were all nations that have survived in the shadow of a great power even if it meant fighting a difficult diplomatic battle or sending one soldier after another to die.
It was too difficult to stand on their own. As such, they had no choice but to look for a helping hand.
Fortunately, there was the saint who led the multitude. On top of that, there was also the Ivory Tower that said beautiful things such as fighting against the monsters.
“Permission has been granted under the name of the church to go through the neighboring countries.”
Serion solemnly nodded, and Floyd and Tanya nodded as well.
“We don’t want unnecessary friction. Tanya-dono, how are the potions?”
“We have enough potions for minor wounds (light potion) for 10,000 people. For heavy wounds (heavy potion), there’s enough for 5,000. As for our mana potions, there’s enough for 3,000.”
“As expected, the mana potions will require much time.”
“Concocting them requires a lot of care. Of course, if it were potions on the level of those given to Germion Kingdom, we could make them twice as fast.”
“No, let’s just maintain this pace. Time is equal for all.”
“Yes… Only, the resources are a problem. Various nations are supporting us, but the adventurers guild has declined and no resource has come from the Western Region at all.
“I’ll do something about that on my side.”
Serion said and Tanya nodded.
“I understand. In that case, let’s continue as we have.”
After confirming that the other two nodded in affirmation, Tanya stopped speaking.
“That will do.”
While Floyd and the others were agreeing among themselves, cheerful voices resounded. Tanya frowned a little, but she didn’t say anything, and neither did Serion.
“…It seems the saint will be able to fulfill her duty. Let us all work harder to save humanity.”
Amidst the silence, the three elders parted.
“…It’s only natural for humans to have different ideas, or more precisely, will. After all, that’s what it means to be human. But, tell me, gods, is that really enough to break off relations? Hmm? I know you’re watching.”
A smile carved itself upon Floyd’s lips as he mocked himself.
This ageless wizard that has lived for many months and years looked down from the spire at the commotion around Saint Reshia. The sight he saw was so full of zeal it seemed it could melt the snowy plains. That zeal was the madness of the believers.
“Children are meant to leave their parents. Even if emotion might overpower rationality, there is no going back. The hand of time will not be reversed, and there is no going back the path treaded.”
As he turned to the west, his eyes brimmed with confidence.
“I’ll tame it all. Human emotions, will… With the chain called wisdom, I will.”
How long has it been since he was last able to keep his excitement from showing? Floyd’s smile grew deeper, and he went back to his lab.
The crystallization of humanity’s wisdom stood tall and proud upon the snowy plains.