Chapter 43 – Threat of War
「 I’ll tell you what I found out over there. 」
A merchant-looking man from the Fox People tribe opened his mouth in the presence of Rione and the priestesses, as well as the members of the Kingdom Council.
The gods, except for Eunosis, were also watching the situation.
「 First, as you know, the migration from Roquon to Saatie has been going on for a while now, and the population of Roquon has been dwindling considerably. It seems that more than half of the people in Roquon have left, including those who moved to other places in the Kingdom of Rafayette. 」
So, about 20,000 people have already disappeared.
「 The Kingdom of Rafayette also takes this matter very seriously. After all, the loss of so many people would devastate the land and drastically reduce the production of crops. 」
Of course, they will.
This is why we should not be careless about suppressing religion.
It would have been better if they hadn’t made it this big and just punished some counts, but since they went in the direction of banning the Eunosis faith itself, the people ended up leaving.
「 I’m sure they’ve probably known that they went too far, too. Those who do things that are not in the spirit of tolerance usually end up being blamed. There are many such cases in the past history. 」
Rione said something that was very typical of a wise king.
If the repression is too strong, it can make people think they have no choice but to rise up. There are many cases where an armed uprising spreads and there is no way to stop it.
「 Yes. I am aware of that. However, things seem to be going in a slightly troubling direction. I will tell you about that now…… 」
The merchant-looking man’s face clouded over.
「 Regarding the many exiles, the central government of the Kingdom of Rafayette began to pursue the Counts of Roquon, located east and west of Roquon, who attempted to attack the House of La Vianta…… 」
I see, they have decided to punish the people who first started saying unnecessary things to reduce domestic dissatisfaction for the time being.
「 It’s funny. From what I’ve heard, it was the central government that condoned religious oppression. 」
「 You’re right. It seems that the central government is going to pursue the East and West Countesses in order to cover it up. 」
Well, I guess a small lord in the middle of nowhere can do whatever he wants.
If they start a rebellion, they can use that as an excuse to destroy them. Call it dirty, but that’s the way politics is in most countries.
「 The problem starts here. It seems that the Countesses of East and West are trying to take certain measures in order to keep their families alive. It’s still in the rumor stage, so we can’t be too sure…… 」
「 I will not charge you with a crime if you make a mistake. Please speak. 」
「 It seems that they are trying to prove how horrible paganism is and to prove their legitimacy. In other words, they want to destroy the Eunosis believers and the La Vianta family who fled to Saatie and say that everything was inevitable…… 」
「 Wait, what! Why should the people who were forced to leave their country be attacked even more? 」
Rione sounded almost indignant.
The others were also quite confused.
「 Think of it this way, my king, If you destroy the La Vianta family, you can then say that you destroyed them in advance because they were preparing to invade the Rafayette Kingdom. After that, they can report to the central government that we have expanded our territory, and the charges will be dropped. 」
Of course, they would want to take the land north of their country as a souvenir to get away with their crime.
「 Even if the central government does not approve of any such thing, if you have already occupied Saatie, you can at worst start your own action as a warlord of the land and survive. Of course, that’s only if you can occupy Saatie. 」
I have to say that this is a rather forceful measure, but if they are going to be held responsible for the Roquon problem and executed, there is no guarantee that they will not do something like that. If we stay put, the position of the country lords will slowly deteriorate.
「 I’ll wrap up the conversation. It means that Saatie will probably be attacked. 」
「 That’s right. Saatie, in particular, is becoming much more of a city than it was a year ago. There is no doubt that the lords of the northern part of the Rafayette Kingdom will want to have their fingers on it…… 」
I see, now that is a real problem……
It’s good that Saatie is growing, but it also increases the risk of being targeted……
「 How many troops does our country currently have available? 」
The Dog People, the military representatives in the Royal Council, have appeared. The generals are also contained within the council. That’s how small the size of the army still is.
「 If we exclude the security forces in each area, the number of soldiers would be about 6,000 at most……? However, the number of regular soldiers is much smaller, and most of them are temporary workers or those who only needed to be called up in case of emergency. 」
Considering the current size of the country, that’s about right.
「 Around how many enemy troops will be coming from the northern part of Rafayette Kingdom?」
「 I’m not sure……I think it’s around under 10,000. I’m sure it will wear them off too by the time they reach Saatie, so I don’t think you need to be afraid of numbers…… 」
The general however was not happy about it.
「 Even If that’s true, there are still more enemy troops than what we could expect to counter, so we can’t overlook it. 」
Rione’s face became grim as well.
Everyone in the room could not hide their anxiety.
They had been able to develop their country without war for a long time, but now they needed to face one.
「 Be more thorough in gathering information on the Rafayette Kingdom. Also, be as specific as possible in your military training and operational planning. Also, notify Governor La Vianta of Saatie immediately! 」
Nimbly, Rione did what she could in order.
The Beast Kingdom may be in danger for the first time in its history. From the looks of it, the danger seems to be high.
Please, please, please let us get through this safely.