Helping with Logistics

We went up to the second floor of the pavilion and were shown into the hall.

The hall was decorated in a calm atmosphere with wood walls and floors.
There was a long table in the center of the room where about eight people could sit side by side.
Three men sat on either side of the table and one man sat in the back, facing each other.

All of their faces turned to me as I entered the hall.

“Mhm, Baron Van!  You’re here at last!”

One of the men at the far end of the room stands up to look at me.

It is His Majesty King Dino En Zola Berlinetta himself.

“We’ve already boiled down the steps to attack Scudetto, but now that you’re here, it’s a different story,” he said.
I will once again plan a strategy with the addition of the baron’s forces.”

Saying this, in a good mood, His Majesty beckoned to him.
But the stern middle-aged men around him look doubtful.

“…Um, excuse me.
Uh, I’m new here, but I’m looking forward to meeting you.”

It would be all right if I just bowed low and greeted them appropriately.
Panamera sits down on the chair to my right with a smile on his face.

Finally, Daddy walked past me with a blank expression and sat down in an empty chair in the middle of the long table.

Looking around lightly at everyone, His Majesty opens his mouth.

“Now, normally we would ask for help from the lords adjacent to the Capital, but time is a critical factor this time.
The Marquis de Fertio, the Border Knights, Count Ferdinand’s Knights, Count Venturi’s Knights, Viscount Panamera and Baron Van, all of whom are directly involved, shall join forces to attack Scudetto.
Is there any objection?”

As His Majesty announced this, a thin, droopy-eyed middle-aged man looked at me uneasily.
He was wearing finely made, flawless armor, and on his shoulder was a family crest with a windmill motif.

I had never seen him before, but that must be Count Ferdinand.
He looks as unsure of himself as the rumors say he does.

Count Ferdinand looked like he wanted to say something for a moment, but in the end he looked away from me without saying anything.

Did he not resemble Arte before he gained self-confidence?  Was it because they were father and daughter, after all? Even though he is skinny, he has a good-looking masculine face, and I can understand why Arte is so beautiful.

As I was thinking this, a white-haired, strong man sitting opposite Arte Daddy raised his eyebrows and looked at me intently.

“…You don’t mean Baron Van, do you?”

He said that in a hoarse voice.

“Yes, my name is Van Nay Fertio.
I just became a baron a few days ago…”

When I said my name with a shy smile, the white-haired man’s eyes sharpened sharply.
Perhaps that is Count Venturi.
It is a pleasure to meet you.
So, the rest are His Majesty’s attendants and either of the knight commanders.

“…Your Majesty, please don’t make bad jokes.
What can such a child do…”

Count Venturi turned around and kept his mouth shut when he saw His Majesty laughing amusedly.

“A joke, huh? Well, good.
Everyone will think so, but if they see how Baron Van fights, they will change their minds.
You can look forward to it.”

I raise one hand and open my mouth.

“Oh, excuse me.
I won’t be participating in the Battle of Scudetto.”

When I told them that, their eyes rolled back in their sockets.

Count Venturi’s and Daddy’s eyes hung sharply, and Count Ferdinand’s expression turned dubious.

“I would like to know what you mean.
If you take it as it is, this is not the appearance that you have joined the war for the sake of your own child?”

Count Venturi said in a low voice, and Daddy stared back at him with a wrinkle between his eyebrows.

“…Sir, do you think that I would make such a foolish move?  I am letting the eldest son of the acting head of the family enter the battle.
There is no point in making the youngest son withdraw.”

He did not say much.

His youngest son is less than ten years old!  He is less than ten years old!  Love him more! 

There were many things I wanted to say, but I swallowed those words and pasted a smile on my face instead.

“No, my father has nothing to do with it.
I’m just worried about my own territory.”

Count Venturi and Daddy’s eyes grew sharper as I told them this.

“This is a crisis of national security.
You’re not going to spare us the trouble of protecting a small village that’s about to be blown to bits?”

“You may be a child, but your perspective is too narrow.
No matter how much you defend your own small territory, if Scudetto is invaded as a base, you will be in an even greater predicament.
I hope you realize that much thinking.”

The two uncles exude anger.

I nodded with a light laugh, taking their anger in stride.

“I understand that much.
On the contrary, do the two of you understand my position? You two great nobles who showed up with an army in a crisis of national defense, don’t you have any idea what it’s like to be the lords of a tiny village?”

Van you’re angry.
You’re really pouting.

I had intended to say something with or without such a thought, but their faces became grim, as if they were about to say something.

But His Majesty stopped them.

“Well…if you insist so much, why don’t you tell us why you are not participating in this battle?”

Thank you.
You are the best, your Majesty.

I look around at everyone with a single cough, and open my mouth.

“Thank you.
First of all, I was appointed as a lord in a really small, about-to-be-crushed village.
I happened to have three knights, a retired old butler, a maid, and a slave boy who came with me himself, but other than that, I had no other help whatsoever.
But I did my best, and in about a year I made the village bigger and stronger.
Now we are not in need of food or clothing.”

When I first told the story, everyone’s eyes turned to my Daddy, who looked down at me with a pout.

With that at my side, I continued my explanation.

“But even so, it is still a small village now.
I have taken out a newly formed knighthood from that village and hired many adventurers to come here.
If my village were to be attacked by the Kingdom of Jiernetta in such a situation, we would have no chance of winning.”

He makes a tacked-on excuse.

His Majesty and Panamera, who are aware of the situation in the village, laugh a little, but the rest of us have no information, so we can’t immediately object.

With this in mind, I was about to open my mouth, but Panamera, as I had not expected, raised a question.

“Why do you think that Jiernetta might be targeting Baron Van’s territory…If it is a fortress in Count Ferdinand’s territory, it would have strategic value.
But is it honestly worth sending troops into a small village like Baron Van’s?”

At this question, everyone’s eyes turned to me.

I responded by saying, “It’s only in the realm of my imagination.”

“…They launched an offensive against Scudetto, which they had been unable to capture for many years, and quickly conquered it.
If you think about it from the perspective of the Kingdom of Jiernetta, this is different from the skirmishes they have been involved in.
I can only assume that they are taking on this challenge with a great deal of determination and confidence.
If they are serious about crushing the Kingdom of Scuderia, they will not only attack Scudetto, but also other important bases immediately.
For that reason, it is essential that we do not allow them to siege the castle, which will take a long time to capture.”

As I spoke, Panamera raised one eyebrow and reacted.

“…In other words, the nearby villages and towns that will be used for resupply?”

“Just make them unusable as quickly as possible.
In other words, we’ll burn them down.”

When I told them this, they all scowled and shushed.

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