The Strategist Knows Everything - Volume 1 Chapter 1 : The Beginning
Chapter I: The Beginning
Re-translated by: Hiro02
Riding in the carriage that Diorood-sama had brought, I’m on my way to Earl Yuren’s castle. To be honest, I wish I could have waited at least for another day since I’m still healing, but I did my best to push my sluggish body since Diorood-sama is busy. Well, he is raising an army against the King. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t busy.
Diorood-sama, who is sitting across from me, looked at my face, or rather, at my eyes, with his crimson eyes.
“Yukito. Is your hair and eyes colour natural?”
“Eh? Ah, yes. I had these eyes and hair since I was born. It’s the first time someone asked me that question.”
“My apologies. It’s a very unusual colour on the continent. I’ve heard that only people from the Insulae have black hair and eyes.”
“I see. There were only people with similar colouring around me. I was never regarded as unusual or attracted attention.”
As I said that, I saw information about the Insulae Diorood-sama mentioned through my skill.
【Insulae. Islands surrounding Rodinia Continent. As marine technology developed, the interaction between islands became prosperous, but not much with the continent. They have formed their own unique culture, and the people of the islands all have black hair and black eyes.】
I see. It’s something like Japan. That is probably unusual. If they see someone they have never seen before, it wouldn’t be strange for them to kick up a fuss.
“I like black. Do you think it’s weird?”
“How so? Even black has various types. There is a black that fascinates people and a black that terrifies them.”
“Fufu~. I knew I made the right decision early on when I chose you to be my companion. Everyone always replies they also like black when I tell them that. It isn’t amusing, you know?”
Following the Prince’s question with flattery is only natural. Even I’m breaking out in a cold sweat right now. It was a close call. I replied without hesitation.
“Do you hate… flattery?”
“I hate my father. He only has ears for favourable words. That’s why I hate words said to boot-lick.”
“I understand. I’ll make sure to use that knowledge accurately.”
“You can talk to me as usual. I don’t care how many abusive words you say to me. If you are angry because that’s your true feelings, then I will receive them without complaints.”
“What if I say words opposite of my real intentions? And what if I don’t speak from my heart?”
“Then that is just the result of me not having a discerning eye. I’ll just give up on that then.”
Diorood-sama said with a smile as he sank deeper into his carriage seat.
I’m no match for him. Could this be what they call ‘royalty’? I’m not half as confident as he is. Is it because he’s backed up by great effort, or is it talent? At the very least, I saw a King at Diorood-sama’s figure.
“I’d like to ask one question.”
“By all means.”
“Why are you… raising an army?”
I wiped my hands, which were damp with cold sweat, on my pants. I was worried whether it was too impolite, but Diorood-sama’s smile did not falter.
“As I’ve said before, I hate Father. I am not pleased with everything he has been doing. Therefore, I am raising an army. Well, only Earl Yuren supports me, though.”
“Going to that extent… to the King, your father, that is, well…”
“He’s a terrible man. Both as a king and a person.”
I wondered about the King of Veris, but the screen never showed up. Maybe I need to see the person in person.
For now, I’ll learn about the King, though it seems like I won’t make progress at it. Diorood-sama is clearly very annoyed. He really hates the King too much.
“As a human, too… has he stepped off that path too?”
“A man who tries to put his hands on his own daughter? It would be an insult to label him as a human being similar to us.”
Right now, I feel like I just heard the most outrageous thing; laying his hands on his biological daughter.
The look on my face must be hilarious… Astonishment, fear and confusion were now jumbled together inside, and my mind is in so much chaos that my facial expression cannot keep up.
“Father’s specialty is warfare. He has been undefeated since his first battle. His favourite thing is beautiful women. It doesn’t matter who she is, as long as she’s beautiful. It could be a peace envoy, the daughter of a comrade in arms, or his own daughter.”
“Hasn’t… anyone said anything?”
“Everyone who opposed is already in their graves. Other countries also do not want to become targets. So recently, he has been doing anything he wants. For trade, for friendship, for marriage, everyone passing by the country for various reasons are being checked, and if there is a beautiful woman, she will be taken to the castle.”
Did no word of this get out? That’s just too much. No matter how you look at it. Other countries must have made alliances if the King did something like that.
“Have there been no nations that have joined together to form alliances?”
“Twenty-three years ago, when the King was fifteen. Father annihilated the allied forces of foreign countries three times. There are a lot of small countries surrounding Veris. These small countries are just nuisances while strong nations which can challenge Veris alone cannot intervene.”
I’m having a hard time following this geographic story. I wanted a map, and suddenly a screen came up. This is a really useful skill. Even the map is fully-detailed.
Near the bottom of the screen, there are lands and seas written with Veris. On top of it, there are also three small countries.
I see. So, since Veris is facing the sea, their war potential is basically concentrated on one border. The three countries on top must be small nations.
“It’s a troublesome country. All the more because it’s powerful.”
“So, is that why you stood up to take action?”
“The whole time, I kept it in my heart. But then, I heard that he invited my older sister into his bedroom. That’s when it all started. It wasn’t for the good of the people or the country, I’d be raising an army for the selfish reason that I do not want to hand over my sister to that man. Fufu. It’s ridiculous, don’t you agree?”
“It’s not ridiculous at all! It’s not ridiculous to want to and try to protect someone important to you. I think it’s a… noble act that no one has the right to laugh at.”
I couldn’t help but say that out loud. I said something absurdly embarrassing. Diorood-sama is also surprised. I’ve done it. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m writhing in agony inside the carriage, either.
“Ha, haha– hahaha! Yukito! That’s right! You’re right! I also think so! What am I worried about… I can’t turn back anymore. I can only go straight ahead on the path I’ve chosen! Thanks, Yukito! You have taken it off my chest!”
Diorood-sama grasped both my shoulders with a strength contrary to his fragile appearance and said that cheerily.
“I-I’m happy to be of help…”
“Well, then there are a lot of things to be done. I will go around and persuade lords personally to appeal to participate in the army! Yukito! Follow me all the way!”
“A-alright… And so, Diorood-sama.”
“You can call me Dio. Everyone close to me calls me that.”
“Then, Dio-sama. Where is your sister? Shouldn’t we hide her immediately?”
“Ah, I haven’t told you yet. I have three older sisters. Two among them already fled outside the country. And my sister, the one Father is after…”
Dio-sama cut off his words there and let out a sigh. I’m not sure why a sigh would come out of the current flow.
“Yeah, well, my sister that he’s aiming at is… an enemy…”
“Holding military ability that surpasses even my father, named as Black Princess (Kurohime) and feared by other countries, the current General-in-chief of Veris, Kaguya Halberd. She is my sister and the woman Father wants to conquer.”
I almost blurted out, “If she’s that kind of person, she probably doesn’t need help.”
I mean, wasn’t his sister opposed to the rebellion?
However, there was one question.
“Dio-sama’s last name is Arkwright but your sister’s is Halberd?”
“The royal family is Halberd. Arkwright is from my mother’s side. Besides, a man who wages war against him cannot call himself a Halberd.”
While I was hesitating about what to say to Dio, who shrugged his shoulders and made a funny face, I heard the sound of someone approaching, and a voice calling Dio-sama became audible.
■ ■ ■
“Albion’s envoy has been attacked by the King’s army.”
The messenger running on horseback alongside the carriage reported briefly to Dio-sama. While looking outside from the carriage’s window, Dio-sama replied, “I understand,” to the messenger and sat back with a grave look on his face.
【The Duchy of Albion. Overlooking Veris, it is a large country on the other side of three small countries. Its magical arts are well developed, and it has an army of powerful sorcerers.】
I quickly read the information that appeared on the screen, and I understood the situation to a certain extent. It seems that the King’s bad habits have kicked in.
“… This is bad. This time, Albion’s emissary is different from the past ones.”
“Is it a person of high status?”
“Not just high. The person is called Celsus Maiden, born under the lucky stars on the day magic was extremely abundant. An existence that earned all magician’s reverence. Her beauty is comparable to the sun ascending highly at the heavens, and the two moons shining in the night sky. Anything besides that is an understatement.”
“I understand that she’s a great person and a very beautiful woman, but what brings someone like that to such a danger zone like this…?”
“Danger zone, huh? What a fitting expression. This is probably the most dangerous place in the world for beautiful women.”
I thought I had said something wrong after I said it, but unexpectedly, Dio-sama seemed to like the expression “danger zone”. He muttered a few times and said, “I’ll use it next time,” he said to me with a smile.
“Dio-sama… are you perhaps, not worried?”
“Yeah. I’m not panicking. It’s true that Veris’ current situation has really become bad, but that’s the only problem at present. All magicians will regard Father with hostility from now on, so this might be a good opportunity for them to be more cooperative with us.”
“The reason she is called Celsus Maiden is not just because of her date of birth or her beauty. A high ranking sorcerer is given a sorcerer’s title, something like a nickname, to express themselves. She is a supreme magician for she personally has a magic name, and can use it just as her alias states. Celsus Maiden’s magic is named Ventus Processus, and her magic attribute is wind.”
“Rumours say that she can manipulate the wind around her according to her will. I heard that practically no one can touch her without her permission, and whether it’s true or not, there’s even a story that she casually walked in the middle of 5000 troops and made the enemy commander submit. Moreover, Albion elites were chosen to protect her. In terms of magic, she’s a supreme genius. Therefore, she can come into a danger zone as well. The only person in Veris who can probably compete with her is my sister.”
“Then… why did you look so serious?”
Dio-sama smirked at my question, then rested his elbows on both knees and placed his clasped hands under his chin.
“I considered the possibility that they might come to me. The idea of an envoy coming to the rebel army was rather troublesome, but as I was explaining it to you, Yukito, I realized that it’s unlikely to happen. If they are returning to Albion, they should use the land routes instead of sea ones. It is hard to imagine that they purposely sent her away so she can take refuge here. The Celsus Maiden probably came this time to show the rest of the world that they are powerful enough, even if they start a fight with foreign countries. This is a danger zone, after all. They might have judged that there would be no shortage of rebellions in Veris.”
“Is that so? Well, if they’re that strong, then they won’t have any problems, but it was handled very roughly. No matter how strong you are, a possibility is a possibility, even if it’s 1 out of 10000. If it were me, I would have objected to sending an important person…”
“I agree with you. Should I send a letter of protest to Albion? Something like, ‘Please don’t send fair maidens to our country.’”
“Only Dio-sama will make that kind of protest.”
Dio-sama and I both laughed at the same time. Dio-sama’s antics were making a complete mockery of his father, the King. However, I want to meet this woman who is said to be inadequate to compare to anything other than the sun and moon. Err, is it possible that I will be blown away in shock after just having a glimpse of her? I hope not.
While I was worrying about trivial things like that, I heard the sounds of a galloping horse again. Dio-sama and I, who were laughing, freeze up. Somehow, I have a bad feeling about this.
“Your Highness! We’ve received a report that Albion’s envoy is heading this way instead of the border! Shall I prepare for their arrival immediately?!”
“Ah-yes. I’ll leave it to you… I won’t tolerate mistakes.”
Dio-sama, whose cheeks were drawn together, said so to the knight who had come to report to him and then began to stare at his crossed hands in dismay.
“…In my country, they say ‘there’s a grain of truth in every joke’, something like that.”
“That’s a good phrase… I will remember it…”
After that, Dio-sama and I were silent in the carriage for the scant time it took us to reach Earl Yuren’s Castle, Dio-sama’s stronghold.