Chapter 106 is here!
If you’d like to read chapter 107, 108, 109, 110, and 111, as well as support the translations, please feel free to check out on my patreon page.
Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
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【”As expected of you, general Skuld, your talent is unrivaled.”】
Though he was grandly clicking his tongue in his mind, Albert gave Skuld a greeting upon her triumphant return.
―― Still, he had to admit this was truly stunning.
The jormungand army, the same army that had cornered Albert’s elites, had easily been dealt with by Skuld. For her, that was like taking candy from a baby.
Had Albert been fighting alone, the Strasbourg castle would already be down by now.
Mayber Lagrange alone wasn’t much, but Leclerc was definitely a tough opponent.
Even Albert was not incompetent enough to not understand that. He knew he owed Asgard a lot.
No matter how much he insulted Benedict, who had died in battle, Albert felt it wasn’t enough.
But expecting that he could crush an enemy of this level with Alphonse alone was naive of Albert.
A naivety that stemmed from a lack of experience when it came to military matters.
He had made the elementary mistake of not thinking that the enemy would prepare a trump card just like he did.
And now that he had suffered utter defeat at the very start of the hostilities, Albert’s usefulness to the Asgard empire had probably fallen to him only being able to provide his Strasbourg territory as a supply base for them.
But in that case, all Albert would be able to ask from the empire would be for them to spare his territory.
However, that much would not be enough to justify him wearing the stigma of a traitor.
Even though Jormungand’s land would greatly decrease if they lost the war, Albert would become its next king.
That was why he had betrayed his kingdom.
【”I guess this is as good a place as any to kill my fun.”】
Skuld looked down at Albert like she was looking at trash.
【”Say, are you seriously supposed to act as our empire’s vanguard here? How can you even dream of being useful to my empire when you couldn’t defeat an enemy of this level?”】
Albert had no word to say to the much younger Skuld as she told him off.
The difference in power between the two of them was very clear for anyone to see.
(…This damn girl who only knows how to fight!)
Albert never was a patient individual.
He had to desperately control himself to refrain from yelling at Skuld in return.
He felt humiliated, but he would only bring his own ruin if he turned his back on the Asgard empire over this.
【”I admit that was a disappointing display. But once the mass production of the Alphonse riders is done, I’ll be able to repay this debt twice over if I must.”】
【”…You really don’t get it, do you?”】
This time, Skuld sighed like she was sincerely amazed.
【”That’s why amateurs shouldn’t be able to have their say when it comes to war. The dead soldiers will turn in their graves.”】
Albert was apprehensive as to why Skuld would arbitrarily deem that he was an amateur.
Sure, he had never been on the frontline himself, but he had participated in plenty of small battles.
There was an obligation for influential nobles to receive a general course on how to be a commander from the military.
Albert had been considered an excellent student among his peers back then, and he took pride in that.
【”Why did you keep the Alphonse riders in reserve and then sent them straight out? That wasn’t one of that dead commander’s instructions, was it?”】
【”It was mine. Trump cards should always be kept reserve for the time when they can have the best psychological impact. But now I think we should have waited for the enemy to be a bit more tired…”】
【”Figured as much. So here’s the thing, even if you mass-produce the Alphonse riders, you will just lose again.”】
As one would expect, Albert couldn’t help himself from raising his voice in protest to Skuld’s blunt criticism.
If he let this go and acknowledged his own incompetence here, that would hinder the military cooperation between himself and Asgard in the future.
【”Aren’t you going too far with that statement, general Skuld?”】
【”Even though the Alphonse riders are based on our military’s Chaos riders, they aren’t centered on firepower as much. They should be used mainly as a mobile weapon. Using them directly in a siege is like declaring your ignorance to the world.”】
Albert finally recalled that Benedict had advised him to try to gradually decrease the enemy’s forces before throwing in the Alphonse riders in a surprise attack, not a direct attack.
【”B-but focusing on the victory in front of us and losing the actual big fish would have been pointless, wouldn’t it?”】
Albert’s pride wasn’t so thin that he could quietly acknowledge his mistakes.
He felt he hadn’t done anything wrong. He believe it would have been impossible to see that new magic spell coming.
Realizing that Albert did not have the ability to understand her words, Skuld brought that conversation to its end.
【”Since you’ve lost your soldiers, at least be useful in sowing discord in the country. Because right now, I have nothing to report to his majesty about you.”】
【”I will live up to those expectations.”】
Thanks to Skuld’s flawless victory, Albert felt it wouldn’t be too difficult to convince the surrounding noble households to join him.
He thought that once they’d realize that Jormungand had no chance of winning, then he might be able to get some important people on his side against all odds.
However, Skuld mercilessly cut-off Albert’s naive dreams.
【”Also, I’d really like to face the man named Kurats soon. There probably won’t be many people who’ll be willing to betray the kingdom as long as he’s still going strong.”】
At the end of the day, no matter how strong Skuld had shown herself to be, Kurats had destroyed an entire Asgardian army.
Skuld was right to expect that it would be hard to win over other aristocrats until Kurats would be defeated.
(He just keeps getting in my way…)
Even since that man had shown up, none of Albert’s expectations had proven to be right.
Seeing the grimace Albert was showing from his hostility towards Kurats, Skuld smiled delighteldy.
【”Make some noise, as much as you can. Tell people that Skuld is awaiting the hero’s challenge.”】
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Christopher had received the report of the punitive force’s defeat the day before today.
Only a bit over 30% of the forces of Lagrange and the other nobles were gone, but it seemed that Leclerc’s army, which was supposed to have been in charge of the rear, had been wiped out.
It was truly a breathtakingly complete defeat.
If this situation was not dealt with, some might start calling Jormungand’s power into question.
Showing a weak response would mean taking the risk of seeing the nobles at the border swarm to Asgard’s side.
【”Call Cellvis and Rosber. Bring Mordred, too.”】
Christopher bit his lip until blood came out. He cursed himself for his lack of vision.
Albert was a very ambitious man, always wanting to rise further.
Though he had already lost his standing, he was still Felbell’s husband, meaning he definitely still maintained some political power.
Even so, Christopher had never thought Albert would switch to Asgard’s side.
After all, no matter what Asgard promised, the chances of them staying true to their words was close to zero. Albert was not stupid enough to not understand that, was he?
After the war, if Asgard did succeed, Heimdall would take Felbell for himself and Albert would be lucky to even have a position as a feudal lord.
No, there was no way someone that ambitious and with that high a self-esteem would ever bid his time hoping for the best. There had to be a bigger goal.
【”―― Cellvis, in your respectable presence.” 】
【”Rosberg, here as you asked.”】
【”Mordred, here to answer your call.”】
Christopher took a sip from his cup to wet his lips, and kept his deep anger and disappointment towards Albert contained for the time being.
【”It appears the mad princess has torn our forces apart.”】
【”We have no excuses to offer, your majesty. Leclerc was a fine tactician. That mad princess is simply something else. She is out of standards.”】
In contrast to the very calm Cellvis, Mordred openly shouted. He was red in the face.
【”W-with all due respect, this is not my fault! Everyone here should be well aware of the power of the new spell!”】
【”That spell… It certainly did manage to scatter Strasbourg’s army, but it apparently did not have much of an effect on the mad princess’ forces.”】
Mordred felt miserable knowing that the new type of magic he had sent with great confidence had ended up giving such results.
This spell was the trump card Mordred had created by secretly gathering the research of Olivera, the man who had attempted to assassinate the princess. This was supposed to prove his superiority over Kurats.
But if even Surtr Lævateinn didn’t work, then Mordred had nothing else to offer. That was his last move.
【”There was a hole in Strasbourg that had to be plugged, it couldn’t be helped. We also had nothing else to entrust to Lagrange and the other nobles to allow them to gain achievements.”】
The kingdom should have gone to subjugate Strasbourg at full force from the start.
But Christopher was still a parent, and even though he was supposed to be impartial, there were some feelings involved when it came to going after his daughter’s husband.
【”According to my subrodinates’ information, Skuld’s army has already fully entered in Strasbourg. Moreover, the first army of Asgard led by Gunther, the devil swordsman, are also preparing for war.”】
【”So Asgard is seriously coming to take the country…”】
Skuld’s army by itself was enough of a threat, but if Gunther’s first army got involved as well, that would be akin to an all-out-war.
【”Rosberg will not be free to move as he wills if he has to deal with the devil swordsman Gunther…”】
Gunther and Rosberg were both known as the “Swords” of their respective countries.
They had once fought each other in a contest, which later became a famous altercation where both parties were evenly-matched. That day, they had both managed to show that their titles as the kingdom’s sword and the devil swordsman were no exaggerations.
They were fated opponents.
It was only natural for them to be cautious of each-other.
【”In that case, there will be no one left to compare with the mad princess when it comes to commanding troops and military prowess.”】
Cellvis’ sword skills were first-class, and there were some other people among the kingdom’s generals who had made a name for themselves through their spearmanship.
But none of them had attained the power of the out-of-standards commanders such as Skuld, Rosberg, and Gunther, who were each considered to be strategic weapons on their own.
It was nonsense to compare them to other people in the first place.
They had already reached a realm that could not be measured on human scales.
【”As expected, there is nothing we can do save for borrowing his power, is there?”】
【”―― I’m afraid so.”】
Cellvis answered with a regretful tone.
The truth was that he had hoped he could use this opportunity to raise the Jormungand military’s fame.
However, he knew the danger of putting the interests of individual organizations within the kingdom rather than the kingdom itself.
He hadn’t been the minister of war for so many years just for show. He had properly earned the king’s deep trust in him.
【”Send a messenger to the lord of Bashtar. I order him to subjugate the mad princess. Convey to him that he may ask for any reward he wants once it’s done.”】
In any case, since Lunaria was become queen in the near future, Kurats would effectively become the ruler of Jormungand. There was no real issue with him behaving in a grand manner.
Right now, the top priority was the kingdom’s survival.
While such serious talks were taking place in the capital, a struggle of womanly pride was heading for its end in Bashtar.
【”You can do it, Clodette! You’re the only one we can rely on now!”】
【”I,ih… Sorry. I can’t do it anymooore….”】
【”Cornelia! Marika! Frigga! Anyone?! As his women, are you really going to accept having depend on the power of those monsters?”】
【”Then are you saying you’ll take care of it instead, Lunaria? That’s great.”】
【”W-wait, I’ll allow them to do it for today. Hey, stay away! Help me, Triestella! I-I can’t anymore!!”】
The women’s assembly had just achieved a new record of consecutive defeats.
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Felbell languidly laid down on her bed, staring at her husband who was in such deep sleep he seemed dead.
The night before, he had held her in his arms like he was trying to suck her in.
But rather than holding her to seduce her like he used to, he had just been trying to escape his fear of death and his own downfall.
【”…He’s basically done for, isn’t he?”】
Albert seemed to think he’d be able to recover, but when she thought about it, Felbell did not believe Asgard would let him have his way.
He had been a traitor only once, but it was still natural for the empire to be wary of him.
Albert was not someone who could control his desires.
It was already clear to Felbell that Asgard would find a pretext or another to crush him.
Perhaps Albert’s instincts could perceive that as well.
（I wonder what’s going to happen to me?）
Considering the way Asgard had shown themselves to be so far, she would either be executed or become one of emperor Heimdall’s playthings.
（I supposed I should end it before that.）
If she was to be humiliated by the enemy, then Felbell prefered to die.
As a member of the royal family, she had that kind of pride.
（But just want in the world is this one doing?）
She wondered when it began.
What was it that made her realize that Albert was all bark but no bite, a sheep in tiger’s clothing.
He had fine looks that gave him an aura of elegance and wisdom, as well as a gracefully well-trained and refined body.
He had once been an eloquent man, familiar with all types of refreshing art forms. In those days, he used to be at the top, with no equal when it came to entertaining women.
The young women of the aristocracy’s high society had once all been captivated by him.
One of those women had been Felbell herself.
Then, one night, after she’d had to go through several rendezvous, Felbell had forgotten herself and tied herself to Albert.
She’d been a virgin, yet she had felt dazzled and intoxicated by the situation. She later learned that that was because Albert had used a philter.
――But she thought it was fine.
At the time, it had been unimaginable for her to end up with any other man than Albert.
Since then, she had started looking away from reality, and living her life fully dependent on him.
(What a stupid woman I am. I’m supposed to be the princess of a country.)
Felbell mocked herself.
That was how she felt about loving such a hopelessly foolish man.
And she could not tell if those feelings had changed.
Though she had found out Albert was actually a big coward save for his pride, Felbell did not feel like turning her back on him, mysteriously enough.
【”Glory seems like too much to hope for, so we can at least perish together.”】
Jormungand would be at peace so long as it was in the good hands of her resolute sister, who was the polar opposite of her.
Felbell had realized a long time ago that Lunaria was more cut-out for politics than herself.
【”What was his name again? Kurats, was it? If that’s the man Lunaria picked, then he is probably a good choice. She’s picked right, unlike me.”】
Had Lunaria heard this, she would likely have answered, “You are right, he is a good choice of partner, but do believe I have made enormous miscalculations”.
Translator’s note: There are technically three chapters here, but they’re short so I decided to post them in a bundle.