Earlier during harvest month, from Bucce to North Goran Elson, all civilians living along the region were notified of the scheming on the Black Roses of Bromantonu from the other side.
Now camped on these grounds were the White-Winged Knights from Braggs. Deputy squad leader Walter had received notice from the princess and had begun the alarming evacuation of the civilians in the path of a potential war.
The tasks, however, turned out to be far more complicated to execute than previously expected, especially when the villagers’ most prized possession was at stake, the full harvest. A plea for the peasants, in the peak of fall, to abandon their harvest, and for the Nobles to move their subsidiaries to the barren Northern lands while their own profits laid golden across the fields was a heart wrenching sight.
If they were to leave at this point of year, all their harvest would woefully go to waste. Not only would their livelihood for the rest of the year be in jeopardy, but the uncertainty that was bound to follow in the upcoming year was truly a hurdle to overcome.
With that in mind, it came to no surprise that nearly everyone decidedly chose to stay, all but a handful of factory workers.
North of Bucce however, the exact opposite occurred as the orders faced little resistance from the civilians, many still with vain memory of the war just a little over a year ago, the trauma and forlorn still imbued in their hearts.
Most of the refugees from the previous year were gathered within the outer ring of Praguesse, and with the looming fear of the impending war, more and more arrived each day, with the city now pushed to its limits.
City mayor Baron Kervell, in an attempt to sustain sufficient army rations, had little option but to reduce the sustenance provided to foreign refugees, which unsurprisingly prompted a widespread hatred towards the city management and the city dwellers themselves.
Early September, a letter from Freya had finally arrived in the hands of Princess Gryphine.
“Your Grace, Madara could by today materialize the unification, the Battle between the army merger and the Black Roses had now seen a comparatively drastic change of events. On the south side of the Seas of the Dying Moon, many Lords of the Necromancers had pledged allegiance to the King Necromancer, and now the Madara army has seen a significant increase of necromancers in their ranks. Do be wary, Your Highness.”
Gryphine, when she received the news and the envelope was in the midst of researching the history of the Vaunte mainland with Madam Veshath, and as she scanned through the details of the sender on the envelope, she was shocked pale.
The princess apologized to her teacher, a wise and attentive individual who had sworn servitude to the Royal family for decades. Madam Veshath was a well-connected person, and from the look of her royal mentee, could instinctively tell the gist of its contents. She politely nodded to the princess with a gentle smile, packed up the teaching materials, and excused herself out of the study.
Princess Gryphine, only upon noticing the doors closed behind her teacher could she cut open the envelope and went through its details. She then hurriedly summoned Oberwei, the Wolf Baron to review the contents of the letter. Oberwei rushed over, scanned through the letter, and was left perplexed. Putting eyes within Madara was not an easy feat, and for that, the royal clan spent countless efforts to insert just a few of their spies within the outer ranks of the hostile nation. Even then, all informed reverence was that the situation was all normal and nothing was out of the expected, but here there was this Count Trentheim that had retrieved all this insight seemingly singlehandedly?
He flicked on the edges of the letter before letting out a frustrated sigh, “Your Grace, can you confirm the origins of this letter?”
“This is a letter handed to me by Freya herself, in person. I believe its legitimacy can be upheld,” Her cheeks at that point were poppy red. The letter bore the customized letterhead that only Brendel and herself knew about, and she had decided there was no reason to disclose it to anyone else. But in this scenario, she was wondering if Oberwei would doubt her instead.
Meanwhile, Oberwei was solemn as he shook his head, “This is truly a peculiar piece of intel...the Count, how did he retrieve this information?”
“My dear servant Oberwei, I do not see why Count Trentheim would lie to us on such a matter,” Gryphine frowned, finding potential ways to justify her reasoning, leaving Oberwei rather perplexed on his mentee, in name at least.
Not too long ago, he was informed of the friction between Trentheim and the princess herself, but what was unexpected was that their relationship was as good as before in such a short amount of time. Nevertheless, it was great news. Knowing Brendel in person for an extended period of time earlier on, before his rapid surge in fame, Oberwei knew him as less power-hungry than what the rumors were to say.
Even though time could change a person, a person’s true core values would not change so easily, he was certain. Furthermore, due to Aouine's current need for peace, if the Princess were to fight for fame and power with her loyal servants across the nation, it would spell trouble for the hard-earned stability that they had right now.
I trust Her Highness sees the big picture.
Oberwei nodded, but almost immediately shook his head, “The letter mentions that Madara would complete their general unification by today.
If what the letter says is true, it would prove an immensely crucial insight. However, Your Grace if you may, in my humble opinion, over the course of a year and a half, I am highly suspicious on whether Madara could achieve such significant transformations over this limited amount of time, for they too experienced war and its consequences, and a nation as large as Madara, the distribution of wealth, profits and funding would be far more complicated to agree upon.
As for what Count Trentheim once said, that the war was Bloodstaff and Cheque’s own selfish provocations, to that, I wholeheartedly agree. Events like these have happened multiple times throughout the course of history, be it in Madara, or within our own borders even, when our Lordships dismissively entered Madaran territory to invade and pillage.”
He awkwardly chuckled at what he chose to hide from Princess Gryphine throughout her early years. The truth was that it was more frequent decades ago when Bloodstaff invaded Karsuk to avenge the Goldcity lordship. Back then, Madara’s internal affairs were a mess, while Aouine was a stable, centralized kingdom. There was never a tradition of the weaker side invading a stronger opponent in the history of this world.
Nevertheless, ever since the War of the Black Roses, the situation began to change. Many within the kingdom’s educated Nobles were fully aware that the stalk of Bromantonu Black Rose could be pollinating by now, but for the Madarans to rapidly unite and immediately pursue an all-out war was hardly believable.
However, if Brendel was present, he would have mentioned the unique circumstances of current affairs. To put it simply, the Supreme ruler of Madara and the Queen of the Demons Alvitr must have plotted a show to lure Bloodstaff to his death.
On official terms, Madara was indeed fractured into pieces, but as Oberwei himself noted earlier, in truer terms it had now reunited, and the battle was the Supreme Leader’s play to remove the undesirables in his nation. Right now, with the resources and power all unified and jointly accumulated once again, the next war would be one of revitalization for the Darkened Kingdom.
Bloodstaff on the other hand, under the persuasion of both formal and informal alike, had completed the changes required to his legion, which would be the first “New Madaran” army that the Aouine kingdom would be facing very soon. In the history of this world, this was where Count Grinoire would meet his tremendous defeat.
Unfortunately however that Brendel was not around to explain any of this, all he could do was to pin his hopes on the understanding and support of his suggestion.
Gryphine patiently listened as Oberwei spoke, but was still indecisive, for this time around, her enemies were one that she had little to no knowledge or experience about. Before the Battle of the Black Roses, the Madara issue was but a border skirmish, barely an itch for the kingdom, and was only moderately dealt with per the wishes of local lordships.
If it weren’t for the majority of Nobles deciding upon solving the Radner issue once and for all, the War of Autumn was nothing but another border defense conflict.
Princess Gryphine at this moment even had her interest perked on the revitalization of Madara on the potential security concerns of her ancient kingdom, but in the current context, did not know how to raise the topic with the count.
She gave it some thought, before eventually offering a reply, “Your judgment might be logical but it could be too abrupt a conclusion. I believe the count himself wouldn’t pull a decision this lackluster.”
“It’s not that I am suspicious of the count,” Oberwei chuckled awkwardly, noting that his mentee truly does have a mind of her own, and after the Battle of Ampere Seale, seemed all too keen to trust the military prowess of Brendel. Nevertheless, even the more vigilant of the Nobles could not deny that Brendel truly does have an outstanding record of decision-making in the face of changing tides and military events.
Given it a thought, he was assuming it might be from his narration of Brendel’s battle history to her that he might have romanticized a little too far. He initially presumed he was to provide her with a vivid image of an experienced counterpart that he held in high regard. After all, Brendel was indeed a true diamond in the rough from within Trentheim, even more so one renowned for his loyalty to his country and his personal goals.
Compared to Nobles like Makarov and Fleetwood, he appreciated a youngster like Brendel more.
In spite of that, he too disapprovingly noted to the princess that it was important to her to have her own decisions, and not to sway her affection towards any of her subordinates too much, for the benefit of herself, her country, and naturally for Brendel too.
He contemplated for a moment before he reasoned, “I am just wary that Count Trentheim might have received a misdirection in information.”
Gryphine’s facial expression darkened.