063 Like Military Boots 1 p.1


Translator: yAmi

Naturally, all things must have a cause before they can have an effect. This is true no matter how astounding the event. A few facts overlooked by the people of that era can chain together to propel the situation to a specific event.

This war was no different. One day, the war suddenly sparked off with a unilateral declaration from the Federation of St. Gallen. Up until that point, there were countless events that could be said to foreshadow the war.

Firstly, the mass outbreak of monsters in St. Gallen.

This problem that has been plaguing the country since last year was not taken seriously by the other countries. After all, it was common knowledge by those on the Ithuselah continent that the monsters of St. Gallen were strong. If the disaster had been so great that it had swallowed up the city, people would have thought that the Demon King had returned. However, most of the monsters that overflowed from the forest area known as the Black Forest were worthless low-ranking monsters. The officials from each country were relieved. After all, they were only goblins and orcs, weren't they? While there were certainly some powerful monsters in the mix, none of them were intelligent enough to form the core of a major offensive. No matter how many of them there are, they will surely be exterminated in the near future.

But still, monsters are monsters. They are dangerous creatures whose raison d'etre is to end humanity. They kill livestock, steal food, defile fields, and destroy villages. In fact, in some of the remote rural areas, several villages had been destroyed and vast fields were devoured like locusts by the omnivorous monsters. The food situation in those areas deteriorated rapidly.

Two. Economic friction with the Kingdom of Arquell.

Since the war fifty years ago, the two countries of St. Gallen and Arquell had maintained a harmonious relationship. Although there had been territorial disputes and cultural conflicts and Molbaehr Kingdom which often tried to profit from the two countries fighting, there exists the common enemy of mankind, monsters. Humanity was willing to put down their grudges and take actions jointly in the face of such common enemies.

Specifically, the exchange of students between the two countries. Political marriages between noble families. And economic cooperation. Especially in the area of food products, there was a demand for agricultural products from Arquell, which could be said to be the granary of the continent. Trade thrived in the continent.

This all changed with the Great Fire in the Royal Capital last year.

The fire that destroyed Broussonne, the royal capital of the Kingdom of Arquell, has created a large number of refugees. In order to feed them, there was no time to export food to other countries. If we had prioritised exports at this time, there was a possibility that the starving people would turn into a mob and cause another revolt.

It was the St. Gallen that broke first. They too were facing starvation because they were hit by the monster outbreak in the same year. In fact, they were in more dire straits because they were behind in agricultural production and they hardly hold any grain reserves. It was the urban region in Arquell that caused the food shortage and they don't contribute much to food production, so why were they cutting back on exports to them? Such were the emotional cries from the people of St. Gallen.

Nevertheless, there were considerations made by the Arquellian side. The royal capital was the centre of the kingdom, and the main artery of distribution, the highway, began from this very centre. As long as the damaged royal capital was not taken care of, the transportation network would not be restored. Therefore, it was within reason to send food to the capital to restore residents’ anger and to restore public safety in the capital. In addition, a governor would obviously prioritise their own citizens rather than people of other countries.

It was a rational line of thought. But if rationality could fill one’s stomach, then there would not be hardship. The people of St. Gallen, unable to bear increasing shortages and inflation of food prices, gradually began to resent their neighbouring countries that were sending large amounts of food to the royal capital.

This was brought to a head by the outflow of money. In order to deal with the aforementioned outbreak of monsters, a large number of adventurers from Arquell travelled to St. Gallen. In the name of facing the common enemy of mankind, these adventurers, enamoured by the opportunity to earn money, went abroad to work. With this, the threat of monsters was somehow dealt with, but once it was over, another problem emerged.

Money. In order to request an adventurer’s help in defeating monsters, payment must be made to the Adventurers' Guild. After considering the guild’s fee as a middleman, the adventurer that completes the request takes the rest of the reward money. In normal times, this was no problem. Adventurers came to the city to eat, drink, sleep, buy equipment and tools, and even have fun. Such was the flow of money in the economy. Some of the money provided for requests would return to the local economy this way.

This time, however, things were different. A group of Arquell adventurers had suddenly arrived in St. Gallen to respond to the massive outbreak of monsters. For them, the culture of the neighbouring country was unfamiliar. The food, drinks, and customs were all different in this foreign land. It was said that many of them were unable to adapt and fell ill.

—The barbaric lands of the East are not to my liking.

As soon as they had completed their requests and accumulated enough money, they quickly set off for home. They were carrying piles of gold and silver coins that would normally be returned to the place where the request originated. The adventurers from Arquell mostly decided that it would be better to enjoy good food, wine, and women in their own kingdom. St. Gallen's share of gold and silver in the economy dwindled at a much faster rate than had been expected.

All that was left were famine-stricken people, deserted towns, skyrocketing food prices, and a shortage of money. The situation was disastrous. The anti-Arquell movement in St. Gallen grew by the day. The sentiment was that Arquell was stingy with their food exports and greedy for money.

On the other hand, Arquell paid no heed at all. None was wiser about the impact of their joint decisions. What's more, they were busy handling their own disaster, so it was inevitable that food exports would be somewhat reduced. The general consensus was that St. Gallen should be grateful that adventurers from the kingdom were assisting them.

Diplomacy between the two countries was seriously hampered as a result. Due to differences in perceptions, the arguments of the two sides were completely contradictory, and both sides became increasingly frustrated with one another. Within a year, the 50-year-old policy of peace had become a fragile house of cards..

The year passed. But the situation remained the same. Insufficient food was exported. Adventurers left after profiting as much as they could. St. Gallen villages agricultural outputs showed no signs of recovery. St. Gallen's patience had reached its limit.

—Because of the selfish behaviour of the West, our country is in a mess.

—Take back what Arquell has stolen from us.

—War. Time to remind the fools of the lesson from 50 years ago.

Once that decision was made, St. Gallen, the land of forests and elite soldiers, moved swiftly. They made do with what they had in the way of rations, mobilised secretly, and waited for the declaration.

They chose to start the war during harvest season. The goal was to secure food and feed its people.

The question was where to attack in the first battle. Common sense dictated that they detour around the mountain range separating the two countries and attack from the territory of the Duke of Allemande in the north. However, there was a problem with that.

First of all, it was obvious for the Arquell side that if they were going to be attacked, it would be from there. In addition, their land faced the North Sea, and a considerable amount of forces had already been deployed to deter Marbhea from across the straits. A fierce battle was expected, and it would be impossible to bring them down in a short period of time. It would be foolhardy to invade such a land first.

The current situation in St. Gallen was not conducive for prolonged battles and wars of attrition. The country's strength itself was declining due to famine and the economic crisis. It was obvious that if it was a war of attrition, they were more likely to lose steam first.

Attacking Allemande would not be easy. So what was their alternative?

After a few days of debate, the war advisers eventually settled on a piece of land.
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