069 Provocateur p.2

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Victor spoke with much resentment. Together with Lauber, he was in charge of the internal affairs of the province. It was natural for him to dislike the basic outline of the plan I've drawn up — the destruction of enemy logistics with a scorched earth strategy. After all, our tax revenue would be ruined due to that.

"For that matter, you can complain to the St. Gallen army that went out of their way to attack my territory. Or maybe to the old man who instigated it all."

"I've already said that a million times in my mind. Be extra careful with the latter."

"...... Oh, okay."

Due's cheeks twitched at the reply.

I think Victor is the type of person who holds back and accumulates a lot of things. ...... I'm a little worried that one day he's going to break down like my brother. They have similar personalities. He has the same blond hair. Maybe a little tougher than him though.

Victor cleared his throat.

"At any rate, we are too invested in it now. We must defeat the enemy forces at all costs. For that reason, please do not make a mistake in your duties at the provincial capital."

"I know, I know. First of all, you're being sent with me to assist, aren't you? His Excellency the Margrave is also in the carriage behind us."

"That's true, but......"

I said, looking outside the windows to check the convoy. Directly behind us was the carriage of His Excellency Margrave Doldran, a warrior who had been successful in pacifying the west. He is considered my subordinate in the faction, but in terms of the kingdom’s nobility, he is a few steps above me. To prevent others from looking down on him if he were to ride alongside with a young man who had just become a count, my carriage bore his family's crest instead. He looked apologetic, but I heard that this was also for the sake of order within the aristocratic society. Was there a point in any of these if we were in the state of war though?

But it's not just his carriage that was riding with us.

"Looking at it this way, it's quite a spectacular view, isn't it?"

"Indeed. It's the first time I've actually seen such columns of military supplies being transported."

Coincidentally, we were riding up a hill, and because of the angle, we could see quite far back into the convoy. Behind us, there were carriages, carriages, and more carriages as far as the eye could see.

This was the primary reason why I left Laubert over at Marlan to handle things. Delivering military supplies from Marlan to the provincial capital was a large-scale logistical operation.

"How much money did we spend on all of this......? Considering we had called on whichever merchants who were close friends of ours and bought whatever supplies they had?"

"If you'd really like to know, would you like to hear a rough estimate?"

"...... I'll refrain. Sounds like another long one."

"We're going to have to confirm it after the war anyway. Why don't we do it now?"

"This is basically unnecessary information for the war right? So we can win the war first, then take our time considering the price tag."

He then waved his hand in the air to decline. The two retainers both let out another sigh of exasperation, but made no attempt to say anything further.

I silently looked at the rear of the convoy. The weaponry being carried would be considered a toy to me, but I'm sure it would work extraordinarily well against the St. Gallen army for this one battle. I'm sure they'll be very surprised.

I hate war. People try to kill you, it consumes a lot of precious resources and money, and the rewards are rarely worth it. I don't know what it was about human beings that made them get so excited about it.

But, well. It does not feel bad at all to be able to thank the people personally who got me involved in the war to the fullest extent. The St. Gallen army, and that old man who's probably pulling the strings from behind the scenes. If I chance upon their surprised faces, then I wouldn’t mind going all out in this war.

……Anyways, if I wasn’t forced, then there would be no way I would choose to do this. Oh man, I really don't like this.

※ ※ ※

The government office of Volden, built on a hill outside the city, is a separate building from the residence of the head of the family, and it was where governmental work was conducted in the city. Normally, the building was filled with officials going about their daily business, but since the outbreak of the war, it has been the home of doom and gloom.

"What the hell does that mean!"

A man who looked like an official slammed his hand down on his desk, yelling and gnashing his teeth. The person he was shouting at and looking at with a stern, upturned gaze was, of course, the master he was supposed to be serving.

Count Tullius Shernan Oubeniel. He is a young man who had taken the throne of the Oubeniel family and the title of Count of Volden, replacing his predecessor who suddenly went insane and was forced to retire.

He stayed in Marlan, his original base of operations when he was a viscount, since the outbreak of the war, but all of sudden, he decided to come to Volden. There were many things he wanted to say about his behaviour, but the official swallowed them all. But even with that out of the way, the new Count had brought up something that he couldn't stand.

"I'm not sure what you mean......."

Tullius gave a nervous smile.

"There's nothing more to it than what's written on that summons order. If you can't read it, I can read it for you. ‘The aforementioned people are suspected of embezzlement in relation to tax collection. From today onwards, due to the unprecedented crisis in our state, we cannot entrust such people with such important positions.’ It's a troublesome order, isn't it? In short, anyone whose name is on this list will be fired for corruption...... Oh, by the way, your name is on there too, isn't it?"

Then, he took a turn and gave me a cold stare. He directed no mercy nor pity towards the new head of the family. The only emotion that could be described from it was a feeling of depression, as if he had already decided to send these space-wasting tools for disposal.

Suddenly confronted with such charges and on the verge of being ousted from his position, the official seemed to be distraught.

"I-Impossible......! What about our long years of service?"

"Public service, perhaps?"

The young noble standing beside their master’s side said with a cold, rueful smile.

Victor Delacroix Lorge. He was known as one of the elites of Tullius, being in service since the time Tullius was Viscount of Marlan. From the point of view of this official who had served the Count's family since the previous generation, he was nonetheless a novice. And yet, the young lad was trying to take advantage of the favour he had with the helpless new Count and monopolise power as a vassal of Tullius. As such, the old vassals of the Oubeniel Count family hated such a cheeky person.

The noble looking man looked towards the official who had caused the ruckus with disdain.

"How is it public service to misappropriate taxes and use them to build luxury villas and house women? Huh, I wonder when the definition of service in this country was revised?"


The official was at a loss for words.

Victor's words were very precise in pointing out the crimes the man was hiding.

But the official could not admit it. If he admitted it, he would be considered guilty and lose everything, so he would not voluntarily admit it no matter what.

“That's a false accusation! There’s no basis for it at all. Don't believe him, Your Excellency!”

"False charges?"

At the official's plea, Tullius flung a document on the desk with a disgusted look on his face.

"—This is the evidence. Accounting records, discrepancies in the cases you worked on, and notes from the merchant you negotiated with when you bought properties. And there’s more where those came from….. well, in any case, sufficient evidence to declare that this isn’t a false charge."


"By the way, we have copies, so there is no point in trying to tear it up or burn it. The originals are held in Marlan."

The official hung his head.

In fact, the very thought of doing so had occurred to him.

"B-but ......! Oh, yes, a trial! At least give me a chance to stand trial! You say you have proof, but it is too outrageous for you to decide the fate of your subjects at your discretion! Let everything come to light with legal processes—"
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