“Eh? What does that mean? Oh, did you make her say that on purpose?”
“I think he is probably holding a grudge about what happened last time.
Even though Chris and Kyle were so angry,
I thought it was strange because nothing was done in retaliation to Anna.
But I never thought it would be done in this way. . .”
Certainly, Anna’s attitude and words were awful,
but I never thought it would go as far as involving the Ahrens territory in retaliation.
I almost felt like holding my head in my hands, but the two of them responded with very serious faces.
“No, I thought that was the best way to do it.”
“To declare independence?”
“Yes. Once independence is declared, it can’t be undone.
Even if they return to Eugenis, they must agree on terms through negotiation.
Remember, they said they wouldn’t negotiate even though the contract has expired?
With this, they will have no choice but to negotiate.”
“Oh, that’s true.”
We can’t just pretend the declaration of independence didn’t happen and stay in Eugenis.
We’ll have to contract again, but it won’t be treated as a Duke territory anymore.
Maybe even Marquis territory will not be possible,
But that depends on Ahrens’s future actions.
At least if the Margrave knights are sent out and fight against Eugenis,
There’s no way we can offer favorable conditions to Ahrens.
“Also, it’s good to know how hard it is once they lose support from the country.
If they don’t understand our position,
I think we’ll have the same problem over and over again.”
When told, it might be true.
To awaken Ahrens, who misunderstands that it’s the richest land in the world,
It’s better to withdraw all current support and declare independence.
Then they will recognize how difficult the Ahrens territory really is.
“But still, it’s not right to involve others like this.”
“Yeah, that’s true. Miss Diana, sorry about that.”
When I looked at Diana, who had been dragged into this, she seemed surprisingly calm.
When our eyes met, she smiled softly and said, “Please allow me to introduce myself again.
“I am Diana, the second daughter of the Marquis Millecker family.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to have involved you in this.
I intended to meet Diana leisurely at the palace.”
“No, it doesn’t matter.
I apologize for not being able to persuade Anna-sama due to my lack of power.”
“No, that’s not your fault.
It seems that Anna has misunderstood that Ahrens is an important territory for the country. . .”
“. . .eh?”
“She thought it was a territory that we, the royal family, were coveting.”
“. . .I don’t understand why she thought so,
But I understand the meaning of what Anna-sama was talking about.”
Diana’s gentle face changed to a slightly sad one.
Being a neighboring territory, Diana probably knows the value of Ahrens well.
“Anyway, now that it’s come to this,
We’ll have to ask Marquis Millecker for cooperation too.
We must withdraw the border knights from Ahrens and bring them down to Millecker.”
“. . .That would help.
The border knights will be stationed in Millecker territory, right?
When Ahrens has a food shortage,
There are many incidents of Millecker’s villages being attacked.
Without support from the country, I’m sure that will happen.”
“It’s been less recently,
But in the past, it was said that black bandits would come down from the mountains.”
“Because of their black hair and black eyes, it seems that’s why they were called.
In the Millecker territory, there are many small villages,
Not only were food supplies stolen, but there were even casualties, it seems. . .”
“That’s. . .terrible, isn’t it.”
It’s not unreasonable that Marquis Millecker doesn’t want to help the Ahrens territory.
You wouldn’t want to send food to the territory where the bandits who have been tormenting your own territory are, right?
“However, since the royal family has begun to provide food aid to the Ahrens territory,
The number of bandit attacks has been decreasing.
Since the alarm magic stones have been installed, there has not been a single incident.
It’s all thanks to Sofia-sama.”
I never thought that magic stones set up for magical beasts would have such an effect.
But, thinking about it, if a creature that harms humans passes by, an alarm will sound.
Bandits are no different from creatures that harm people.
“. . .Perhaps, Diana persuaded Marquis Millecker for that reason?”
“Yes, that’s right. If Ahrens starves, Millecker will suffer.
I thought that supporting Ahrens would also be good for Millecker.
Besides, I thought it was a decision based on Sofia-sama’s policies, considering the whole country.”
“Thank you. You’ve saved us by persuading the Marquis.
Although, I don’t know what will happen with that story now.
I’ll tell the border knights about the bandit situation earlier.
I don’t know how long the talks with Ahrens will take.
Bandits may attack in the meantime.
I will instruct them to be careful and to guard.”
“Thank you very much!”