「The Kurumfar territory turned into something incredible」
「What do you mean?」
「The northern grassland turned into a granary. Rice, wheat, and vegetables…….they were growing as far as my eyes could see」
「On this unrecoverable land? You didn’t dream about it, right? 」
「Don’t say stupid things! I saw it with my own eyes right before I came here. There is no doubt」
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「So the Kurumfar obtained a new card, which is vegetables, in addition to salt」
「That’s not everything. A lot of people gather in the Kurumfar territory with the former Lord’s mansion, which is now a hotel, in the center of it. The population is gradually increasing too. There are rumors about the mercenaries settling down there. The Kurumfar is not the same as the one in our memory anymore」
「Damn it, how annoying. This is all that Versam’s fault」
The trio of Baron Jiono, Vice Leader of the Northern Knights Oshe, and Baron Gragoleir sat inside a luxurious room in a hotel in the capital. The three were appointed to manage the Kurumfar territory before but, once they learned about its condition, immediately ditched their duties. Actually, the three are fellow classmates from the Royal School, the so-called childhood friends.
They didn’t know yet. The Kurumfar territory now had another card called「fish」.
「It will become rather troublesome if we ignore the Kurumfar territory any longer」
「No, it’s quite troublesome already. There are people, who migrated from my territory to the Kurumfar. If the outflow of people increases any further, it may put me in a predicament」
Lamented Baron Gragoleir. His territory was just north of the Kurumfar but half of it was covered in forests and mountains, the people there lived clustered on a small amount of flat lands.
「True enough, if even more people leave your already small territory it will become much harder to you」
「……I have an idea. There is a way to make Versam fall and take away all of The Kurumfar’s food. Let’s us divide the territory’s salt and vegetables between us」
「As expected of Jiono. So you stayed silent until now because you nurtured something like this! You are as wise as always」
Hahaha! Delightedly laughed Oshe. The three’s strategy meeting took place during the night.
Three days later, Baron Gragoleir asked for a meeting with a leader of the northern knights, Rafaien as Oshe stood behind him.
「It’s unusual for Baron-dono to ask for a meeting」
「No, it’s nothing much, it’s just that three days ago I was ambushed by the bandits when I tried to pass through the forest. Although I managed to somehow escape, I still need to go through that forest to return to my territory on a day after tomorrow. I thought of asking for some escorts from the knights’ order. There is no need to escort me all the way, just until I leave the forest and reach the borders of the Kurumfar territory」
「Bandits?…….I didn’t hear anything about it, though」
「Then do investigate. However, I can’t delay my return. Baron Jiono is going to make a visit to my territory. He is going to travel together with me. Normally, I would have hired some guards but this time I have a guest after all. I can’t rely on luck. That’s why I came to ask for the help from the imperial knights. Can you dispatch some of your people on this occasion? 」
「Leader, I ask of you to let me go. There are more than 100 bandits in the Kurumfar territory. I too was attacked when I was on my way to the capital. They had enough power to give as a great trouble. We can’t be negligent. Most likely, a part of them operated in the forest near the capital. We should use our troops to escort the Baron and investigate the forest」
「……Well, if it’ to escort the Baron and investigate the forest, I can spare some forces. 100 knights should be enough」
「No, captain. If it’s possible, I want to bring about 1000 of my subordinates on this mission. It would be a nice exercise for my men. I think of it as a good training opportunity」
「…..All right. However, do not spend more time than necessary. Three days at the most. After that, you are to come back」
「Thank you for your consideration, captain-dono」
In that way, Oshe received a permission to move his troops.
At the designated time in the afternoon Baron Jiono, Baron Gragoleir, and Oshe’s army departed the imperial capital.
The party steadily advanced and reached the borders of the Kurumfar territory in the evening before stopping. Then, Oshe ordered to settle a camp.
「Just according to keikaku」
「There are no holes in my plan. Tomorrow, Versam’s head will definitely be separated from the rest of his body」
「That rising aristocracy deemed as an incompetent commander. It’s time to erase that stigma. I will show them my way of fighting」
「Oi oi, don’t be so fired up ahead of time」
「I know. I’m always calm」
「I hope so. Then let’s go through our plan once again. We will infiltrate the Kurumfar territory under the cover of the night. Then, we will pass through the forest and raid the mansion before the daybreak.  They should be in the mansion. My scouts witnessed him returning to the mansion yesterday. We are going to kill him. Also….let’s kill everyone else in the mansion. After that, we are going to return to the capital. Versam’s head and the bandits’ heads, for the bandits, we can randomly behead some people from the slums. We will carry them to the Captain Rafaien. We were attacked on the way by the bandits. Then, the bandits run away towards the Versam mansion. When we chased after them, the Marquis assumed their side and attacked us. Without any other choice, we thought and defeated his forces. Actually, the leader of the bandits was Honorary Marquis Versam all this time, or so the story goes.」
「Yeah, I know」
「After the commotion settles down, I will petition to the Emperor to manage the Kurumfar territory together with Baron Gragoleir. And after we get the Kurumfar territory, we will split its harvest and salt between us」
「But will it really go that smoothly? Prince Viras won’t stay silent」
「We are going with this plan. Versam stands out quite a bit thanks to the Emperor. There are plenty of nobles, who hate him. With Versam deemed as a traitor, the influence of Prince Viras and Prime Minister Guremont will weaken. I will aim for that and show him my support」
「If this goes well, we will profit greatly and Oshe will raise enough funds for a promotion. After all, Jiono can get the whole Kurumfar territory」
「I want to succeed by all means. I want to obtain the scenery praised by the Emperor himself when he stayed in that hotel」
「You always wanted to obtain strange things since the childhood」
「What are you saying? You just don’t understand. The value of that hotel, that is」
「Stop quarreling! For some reason, I, the great Oshe-sama, always end up as a mediator between you. It won’t be late to fight after we succeed」
「All right, it’s about the time to gather my men. From now on, it’s my time to shine. I will show you my skills」
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「I’m expecting a lot」
「I’m counting on you!」
Late at night, the silence was broken by an emergency signal. The well-trained soldiers immediately lined up. At the same time, Oshe stood before them.
「We are going to march at night. Everyone is to equip a real sword! We are going for a bandit subjugation. The target is a mansion that serves as their lair. Kill everyone, who is inside! 」
Oshe pulled out his sword, raised his voice, and pointed towards the east.
「The bandits’ leader is Versam! Honorary Marquis Versam of the Empire! Advance! 」
1000 knight begun their march in silence.