Chapter 56: The Bitter Result Of My Crime
“……Densel has issued a statement saying that they have nothing to do with the incident that occurred at Fort Jugfena. It seems that they’re treating it as an isolated incident caused by exiled soldiers.”
Earl Terejia told me so in a quiet voice, and I was only half listening to him while thinking of other things.
It felt foggy inside my head. I heard that Claudia was completely uninjured, that Ergnade and Gunther only suffered light injuries, and that the Shiru tribe in the hidden passage remained safe, but that did nothing to help clear up the fog.
Although the enemy’s plan failed and we defended Fort Jugfena successfully, it was a difficult, close victory with many losses. Three entire infantry squadrons were wiped out, and all archers were dead as well. On top of that, the commander of the fort, Earl Einsbark, as well as his son Wiegraf, they were seriously injured, and twenty soldiers from the fifty soldiers I took with me to Fort Jugfena died in battle as well, costing me forty percent of my army.
What’s more, the invading soldiers had likely focused on destroying Arxia’s lines of defense, the rampart alongside our border was smashed all over the place, and there were quite a few holes in Fort Jugfena and its walls as well, we’ve been dealt quite a blow.
The Densel Dukedom is saying that all of this was a private war waged by exiled soldiers, thus having nothing to do with them. They only prepared a slight compensation for us by selling off the properties of those involved, and executing all the responsible parties and their relatives.
It seems that the group of soldiers had been exiled after a political defeat, and that they had been from a group that opposed Densel uniting together with the Rindarl Union.
While looking for a way to survive, they attacked Arxia thinking that the other three countries might reconsider letting Densel into the Rindarl Union if Densel was involved in a war with Arxia, that seems to have been their motive. Being worried about how relations between Arxia and Rindarl would be, Densel would prefer not to have bad relations with us. Well, that’s their excuse, but I’m sure it’s all just lip service and was plotted by them.
Meaning, all Arxia got was the execution of the so-called anti-Rindarl Union members.
Of course, saying such things, Arxia is quite angry and discontent as well. Not only did Densel attack us unprovoked, they even abandoned their own citizens and shifted all the blame to them, having the soldiers executed saying they were exiled political discontents.
The ones who lost the most was us, as the Kaldia domain was supposed to take in the new Artolan refugees that had all died, and the Shiru tribe. Although Densel attacked Fort Jugfena unprovoked and without warning, since Fort Jugfena was on standard combat alert, damage could have been even worse.
However, the northern Arxian nobles loudly blamed the harboring of refugees from a former defeated country that was enemies with Densel for causing this skirmish, it seems that there’s no way of stopping the world from viewing these things as having caused the skirmish anymore.
“The House of Lords has made its decision on the matter, the battle that occurred will not be treated as an invasion by Densel, and it will be treated as a private war waged by exiled soldiers. This is in order to quell the anger of the northern nobles, so no matter how angry we are inside, we have no choice but to take it quietly and accept the paltry compensation money offered by Densel.”
For once, Earl Terejia didn’t even try to hide his irritation, but I didn’t really care. I felt like politics didn’t matter to me at all right now.
Everything felt blank to me right now. My head was filled with fog and I couldn’t think clearly, I even wondered just what Earl Terejia was getting so angry about.
“The church had openly called out for us to protect the Artolan refugees. None of them publicly opposed that back then.”
Since the church had openly proclaimed that the Artolan refugees and the Shiru tribe would be protected, anyone saying something otherwise could have been excommunicated and persecuted for being a heretic.
Even more than being a heretic, it’s excommunication that would affect one for life. Since the Arxia Kingdom and the Ar Xia church are inextricably interconnected, being excommunicated would mean there’s no place for them anymore. This is even more so for nobles, they wouldn’t dare go directly against the church that’s in charge of the law.
The issue of the church being in charge of the law aside, the Ar Xia church usually almost never involves itself in the country’s national affairs. This time had been extremely rare for it to act like that, is what I had thought at the time.
My mind feels numb, I don’t feel like thinking any more deeper into these matters. Even though this is all something that deeply involves me, right now I don’t care about others’ expectations or feelings at all.
“……That’s all. Well, for now you can just take things slow and get some rest.”
Earl Terejia seemed to worry about me with his last comment, as he left my room. My nanny Mrs. Hortensia remained standing quietly beside me, as I pulled the cushion supporting my back away, and laid back down on my bed. Her expression was softly distorted, and her eyes were closed.
I can tell that she’s pitying me, and the way I am now, I could only receive it without any sort of mercy on myself.
I don’t even feel like I deserve to receive pity, and my usual dedication to work had disappeared without a trace. Without even trying to clear my mind, I simply closed my eyelids.
Was it because I’m tired, I don’t even know. However, I do know for certain that I want to fall into a deep sleep.
From the other side of my bedroom door, I could hear a slightly muffled voice.
“She didn’t move at all again today?”
“……Yes. ……It’s already been like this for one month. Eliza-sama’s not doing anything by herself at all, other than blinking her eyes and breathing.”
“I see. This is, no matter what, sad for a child as young as her…… I’m sorry, but please keep taking care of her. Please don’t mind that you have to take care of her meals and body, someone experienced in these types of things is coming in a few days……”
……After that, I couldn’t hear what followed after anymore. The blurry words got lost in the fog, and disappeared somewhere into my mind.
I’m so sleepy, is all I thought. That’s all I could think, and my consciousness completely sank into the depths of the fog.