“So our next discussion will be this.”

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I spread a map.
On that map, there are the towns’ names, important places like bridges that are located outside the twins, and names of scouts that have already been in the towns.

“I’ve dispatched scouts to this town and to this forest that’s located near this bridge, When you get there, please confirm the situation with those scouts.
If the situation is dangerous, I will allow the expedition route to be changed.”

“Who has the final authority regarding route change?”

“Though a butler from my house will also be going, I will give that authority to Gekke.
After all, the sensitivity to danger on-site for a mercenary like Gekke is high.

On the other hand, if I let the butler have the final authority regarding route chance, there’s a chance that he will keep going to dangerous places for the sake of the house.
In a sense, people who have high loyalty are more troublesome to handle.

This reminds me of the saying ‘You should send a coward as a scout’ from… I think Takeda Shingen?[1] Well, that doesn’t matter.
I said this in order to let everyone know that their life is the most important.

“I am grateful that you have arranged this much for us.”

Avant said so while nodding with admiration.
I.will.never.give.the.map.
Still, merchants sure are good at making people’s hearts move, since unless I keep reminding myself I might get tempted to give the map.

“As always, you’re far from the image of a student, Welner.”

“I agree with that.

Mazell said so and even Luguentz chimed in acknowledgment.
Really, what is he saying? Manpower management is important.
It’s common sense to send people first to do the job that requires the most time.

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“Oh, and do everyone know about the renovation of Veritza Fortress?”

“Yeah.”

Only Gekke answered my question but I’m pretty sure everyone knows.
In front, the reason for the renovation is announced to prepare in case another demon outbreak happened.

The only person who knows the other purpose of the renovation is me and Mazell.

“From my perspective, the renovation is a bad move.”

“A bad move?”

“Yeah.
The fortress was said to be used as a refuge in case the capital gets attacked but think about it.
The fortress itself has a half-assed defensive power and it is close to the capital, making it essentially a useless place for refuge.
If I was a devil, I will wait until the fortress’s renovation was somewhat complete then attack it to make it my base,” This is actually a spoiler of the game scenario. 

When the fortress really falls the people that are close to the fortress are probably only I, Luguentz, and Mazell, while the rest will be on the expedition.

Despite that, I have my own reason for mentioning the fortress here.

“Hm…That’s possible.”

“If that happened it’s going to be really troublesome.”

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Gekke and Luguentz exchanged glace and grumbled.
As expected a mercenary and an adventurer have a sensitive sense of crisis.
But for Gekke, a former noble, other than a sense of crisis, I think he also understands the fortress’s strategic value.

After gulping down another pastry, Feli asked, “So, what’s your plan, bro?”

Who the hell is your bro… With that thought inside my head, I answered Feli, “What I can do is only to give a warning to the kingdom and I already did.
Here I want to tell you guys what to do in case the fortress really falls.”

I took a deep breath.

‘When the news reached any of you, don’t stop what you’re doing.
For the expedition team, I want you to continue the expedition.”

“Why?”

“Because we need the equipment to retake the fortress.
It’s for our own good.”

I answered Gekke’s question.
There’s actually another reason besides that but this reason is easier to accept and is more convincing.
That’s why I choose to give this reason as an answer but it seems like Mazell is still not convinced since he said, “I wonder if it really for our own good.”

“It’s fine if all we need to do is to retake the fortress but what if after the devil occupies the fortress they tried to attack the capital?”

After I said that, Mazell seem to be finally convinced.

“So you’re saying that the devil might attack the capital?”

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“I’m certain that will happen.
After all, from their perspective, isn’t it easier to attack us rather than sit and wait for us to come to retake the fortress? Though I don’t know if the devil will immediately attack after occupying the fortress.”

It’s a lie.
In the game, the devil didn’t attack the capital after occupying the fortress and I doubt he will do it in the reality (I hope).
The real reason why I need to convince the expedition team not to return immediately return is to buy time.

The event of the retaking of Veritza Fortress in the game is what makes Mazell become acknowledged as a hero so I need Mazell to be the one that retakes the fortress.
The ‘problem’ is (though I don’t know if I can call it a problem) because the kingdom’s casualty from the recent demon outbreak is much lower than in the game I can’t predict if the kingdom will choose to immediately dispatch the knights to retake the fortress after it falls or not.

My hope is that the knights can stay put until Mazell is strong enough.
That’s why I do this to buy time, otherwise, the hero’s acknowledgment event might fail.
That’s a villain’s way of thinking though.

“That’s why even if the fortress fall, I want you not to return immediately.
It’s fine even if you return late as long as you return before the big battle.
Return with as much equipment as you can.”

“Understood.”

Avant nodded and beside him, Gekke give a silent acknowledgment.
I’m glad.

“For Mazell and Luguentz, I want both of you to continue your training.
In the case the fortress fall, I need both of you to participate in the battle for its retakes.”

“Got it.
When that time comes, let me go on a rampage.”

“I more or less understand but if the fortress really falls, what’s going to happen to the people inside?”

To think that Mazell will ask that… Right.
This is a question befitting of the main character.

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“It’s impossible to completely prevent victims but I’ve already given HIs Highness several suggestions.
Now we can only pray that His Highness accepted my suggestions.”

I’ve really done that.
Although I also want to minimize victims as much as possible, my authority is limited after all.
I will also make some preparation. 

Despite the fact I know what will happen in the future, I stayed silent about it.
Because of that decision, many people might come to resent me in the future.
Though, even if I told people about my knowledge I don’t know if they are going to believe me.

Even if they did, it’s somewhat scary.
Worse case, nobles that are hostile to my father might accuse me as the devil’s accomplice for knowing so many things.

In a noble society, that kind of baseless acquisition can become a fact.
That’s how terrifying the noble society is.
The game is much simpler.

“We are only humans, not a God.
So let’s just do what we can do.”

After that sentence, I declared today’s meeting is over.
I will just do what I can.
Since if I fail, I won’t just get a ‘Game Over’ screen like in the game.


T/N: I made a mistake in Luguentz gender.
Japanese sentences like to omit the subject so all this time there has been no clear gender pronoun for Luguentz.
Because of the sentence ‘not a cute girl character but still popular,’ I immediately assumed that Luguentz is a woman.
He uses the masculine pronoun ‘Ore’ but in Japanese media like novels, manga, and anime women using masculine pronouns isn’t anything strange.
I only noticed my mistake after I look at the character illustration and description on the light novel promotional page.
I’m sorry! I have edited Luguentz pronoun in the past chapter.

Anyway if you’re curious about the character illustration you can visit https://over-lap.co.jp/narou/824001276/  you can also buy the light novel here: https://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4824001277 

[1] A famous general from the Japanese Sengoku (warring state) period.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeda_Shingen ↵

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