Chapter 141: Siegfried’s Ambition (3)

Fuhrer Schheimer spoke to Siegfried once he had finished offering flowers to Fuhrer Bahasten. 

“What is the Hildes Republic planning to do in the future?”

Now that Fuhrer Bahasten was dead, Siegfried was the person in charge. In fact, if you argued it, based on rank and position, the Republic had three generals directly under the Fuhrer. However, due to old age, none of the three generals had been able to join this war. It was unclear whether those who had been left behind in the capital were still alive and the whereabouts of the other people who were in charge was uncertain as well. Truth be told, currently, Siegfried was the one who held the reins in the Hildes Republic. That’s why Fuhrer Schheimer was formally asking about Siegfried’s intent.  

Siegfried responded like so:

“I’m not sure. Personally… I’m not sure what to do with a country.”

Tsktsk… weren’t you the one who led the trilateral alliance till now? How can you be so weak-willed now?”

“His Excellency the Fuhrer has just passed away. He supported me from behind and led me from the front… he was like a father to me.”

Extreme grief and anger could be heard in his voice.

“He just died, how can I do anything? I can’t…”

Seeing Siegfried unable to continue talking, Fuhrer Painheim spoke up.

“Then, what do you expect to do? Currently, the Hildes Republic’s army is moving based on your commands. How can you show such a pathetic appearance? Are you saying you’re going to run away from your responsibility?”

Siegfried sighed deeply at Fuhrer Painheim’s words.

“I’m thinking of entrusting the army to my second-in-command. And I will…”

“You can’t be thinking of…?”

“I’m thinking of returning as just an ordinary citizen.”

Fuhrer Schheimer jumped out of his seat at those words.

“What’re you saying? If you leave here, what about the Hildes Republic?”

“……”

“Leaving the army to your second-in-command? Who is your second-in-command? Does he have the ability to replace you?”

“He’s a fellow named David. When I wasn’t with the main army, he…”

“David? You can’t possibly mean that good-for-nothing?!”

While David had been staying with the main army, his incompetence had also reached the ears of Fuhrer Schheimer. He had heard that among the Republican officers, there was a good-for-nothing that was of no use or help. How could they bring in such a dull-witted person to replace Siegfried once he retired? This would be the entire Republic’s loss.

The Republic was currently in a very precarious position. Although they had toppled down the Strabus Kingdom, that didn’t mean they had all their occupied territories under control. They had to deal with their occupied territories, stabilize the Hildes Republic, and rewrite the Republican alliance…

Anyway, there were a lot of things that had to be done. But most of all, Fuhrer Schheimer wanted Siegfried. When the Hildes Republic was stable, it was a dangerous country, but currently, the Hildes Republic was on the brink of collapse. That meant that Siegfried was a free man without obligations to a country. Fuhrer Schheimer believed that if Siegfried was to come to the Kobrook Republic, it wouldn’t be a waste to make him his successor. 

‘I can’t let him go. For the sake of our Republic’s future, I can never let him go.’

Having come to a conclusion, Fuhrer Schheimer spoke to Siegfried in a grave voice. 

“I understand your sadness. Since you considered Fuhrer Bahasten as your father, it must feel like the world is ending.”

“……”

Siegfried stayed silent, but Fuhrer Schheimer continued to talk without noticing his silence. 

“But how could a man of your caliber just stop here? Is that really what Fuhrer Bahasten would have wanted?”

“Please don’t talk as if you know what His Excellency the Fuhrer might have wanted. How could you possibly know what he was thinking?”

As if he had been waiting for it, Fuhrer Schheimer pounced on Siegfried’s anger.

“I don’t know. I didn’t know him personally, so there’s not much I know about Fuhrer Bahasten. However, there’s one thing I do know with certainty.”

“And what is that?”

“As much as you followed and respected Fuhrer Bahasten as a father, he loved and cherished you like a son.”

“……”

Siegfried had a greatly shocked expression on his face.

Fuhrer Schheimer continued to talk without hesitation.

“There is no parent in this world that would want their children to give up and fall to pieces after their death. Would the Fuhrer Bahasten that you knew want that from you?”

“No, but…”

“Every parent must eventually leave this world. It doesn’t matter whether they leave earlier or later, they must all leave. Only by dying can the parents teach their children one last thing.”

“……’

“Would Fuhrer Bahasten want you to give up and waste everything because of his death? Is that all you’re capable of? Answer me.”

“… I’m… I’m…”

Seeing Siegfried’s conflicted face, Fuhrer Schheimer felt that he had almost convinced Siegfried. Now that he had pushed Siegfried this far, Fuhrer Schheimer felt he had to let Siegfried come to the conclusion on his own.

“I’ll give you a day. Let me know whether you’ve changed your mind then.”

With that, Fuhrer Schheimer got up from his seat and left the room. 

Before following Fuhrer Schheimer out, Fuhrer Painheim patted Siegfried’s shoulder and spoke to him.

“Don’t worry about it too much. It’s fine if you just do what you can.”

“… Do you really think so?”

“What more can you expect than that?”

Once Fuhrer Painheim left, the corners of Siegfried’s mouth rose as he was left alone in the room.

“How easy.”

***

At the same time Fuhrer Bahasten’s death was officially announced, something else was announced. The Hildes Republic had lowered their flag. Seeing how more than two-thirds of the Hildes Republic’s mainland had been invaded, it was inevitable. But it wasn’t as simple as just lowering their flag. The Hildes Republic was in a voluntary amalgamate with the Kobrook Republic and the Hanovirtue Republic. Their justification for merging together was that even though they were different countries, they were going to come together and fight until the day that their ideal world was built

Siegfried had been the one to start this merger process. Most of the Hildes Republic’s high-ranking personnel had been wiped out and so, after the death of Fuhrer Bahasten, as the last leader of the country, Siegfried set the direction the country would go. 

Siegfried was instated as the General Commander of the Republicans. As long as the war continued, Siegfried held authority over all the military in the Republic. Truthfully, from the moment the three Republican countries had created an alliance, this had been Siegfried’s role from the beginning. The only difference was that this was now an official title and would clarify his authority and give justification for his actions. But the ambiguous thing was that Siegfried now belonged to the Republic. 

Currently, the Republic had formed an alliance, but this wasn’t a permanent merger between countries. They had just combined their strength in order to defeat the Strabus Kingdom, their most powerful enemy. Even though the Hildes Republic was the most active, they had also fallen because of the Lester Kingdom’s counterattack. The three country alliance naturally became a two country alliance and Siegfried became the Republic’s General Commander while keeping control of the Hildes Republic’s forces. 

But which country did he belong to exactly? It wasn’t the Hanovirtue Republic or the Kobrook Republic; he was just the Republic’s General Commander. Siegfried’s position was very ambiguous and delicate. As the General Commander, he had the authority to exercise supreme command over all the Republic Army. However, it wasn’t specified how long this authority would last. Would this authority cease to exist once the war ended or would it continue even after the war? Nothing was specified. In a way, Siegfried seemed like he held all the Republican military forces in his hand. 

Of course, the two Fuhrers had no intention of putting Siegfried in this ambiguous position. Fuhrer Schheimer of the Kobrook Republic was trying to headhunt Siegfried and have him join the Kobrook Republic. However, Fuhrer Painheim had the same idea. Fuhrer Schheimer proposed to make Siegfried his immediate chief-of-staff while Fuhrer Painheim offered to make him a general.

However, Siegfried rejected both of them. He said that he couldn’t abandon his country and accept an important position when his country, the Hildes Republic, was struggling. He also justified his decision by saying that if he was to join one country, it would upset the balance. And so, within his neutral position, Siegfried was able to grasp in his hands an immense amount of power. Both of the Fuhrers knew that they had given him a lot of authority but they didn’t have the time to sit down and negotiate with Siegfried in order to control the distribution of power.

Now that Strabus Kingdom was destroyed, the other countries in the South, especially Andrews Empire, might begin to come out of the woodworks. They needed to quickly deal with the war and the fastest way to do that was Siegfried. 

Ten days. All of this had happened within just ten days of the two Fuhrers meeting with Siegfried. By the time they realized it, Siegfried was already in the most convenient position and was able to move the entire Republican armies as he pleased.

‘Now, we have to stabilize the occupied territories first.’

After all the preparations were completed, Siegfried planned to completely take over the Strabus Kingdom. But at that moment…

“An urgent message, sir.”

A messenger ran in urgently.

“What’s wrong?”

“The… the western estates are all surrendering to the Lester Kingdom.” 

“What?!”

Siegfried’s eyes grew wide. 

“Explain it to me in detail.”

“Yes, sir. That’s… The western region of the Strabus Kingdom is surrendering to the Lester Kingdom and the Lester Kingdom is already declaring that region as their territory, sir.”

“… damn it.”

‘How dare they intrude and help themselves first?’

Siegfried bit his lips. 

He had moved as fast as possible and thought that everything was in the palm of his hands now. But the Lester Kingdom was being bothersome once again

“Milton Forrest… is it you again?”

***

It rarely happens, but Siegfried’s expectation was wrong this time. What did that mean? It meant that it wasn’t Milton’s idea for the Strabus Kingdom’s western region estates to surrender; it was the Queen. 

Queen Leila had made her moves the moment she heard that Siegfried had captured the Strabus Kingdom’s capital. She had a gut feeling that she had the move that very second and so, she had immediately taken her escort guards and personally went out.

When Queen Leila first left, she only had 50 guards with her. Even if a country had sent most of their soldiers as reinforcement for war, how could a Queen move with only 50 guards? It was too little, however, she knew very well that the most important thing right now was speed. 

‘I have to move before Siegfried whips the Republic back into shape.’

Instead of taking a carriage, Queen Leila rode forward on a horse. By running her horse as fast as she could, she was able to meet up with Milton on the Eastern border.

“Your Majesty, what are you doing here?”

Milton was surprised to see Queen Leila in front of him without any notice. The first thing she said to him was…

“Give me some water.”

She breathlessly asked Milton for water, and he gave her his personal water canteen. 

“Thank you.”

She immediately gulped down all the water in the canteen. Although she lacked the dignity and elegance of a queen, she didn’t care. Perhaps it’s because she rushed over with minimal rest. She seemed quite exhausted.

‘But why are you here?’

Once Queen Leila drank her fill and got her breathing under control, she spoke to Milton.

“You finally see your fiance after a long while, and all you have to say is ‘why are you here?’ Is that really all you have to say?”

“Huh? No, that’s because it was so…”

“That’s enough. I have something more urgent than that, so I’ll deal with you later.”

‘You’re gonna deal with me later?’

Milton grimaced but Queen Leila just continued to talk.

“What’s the current situation?”

“The Strabus Kingdom has been completely conquered.”

“As I thought…”

 Although she hadn’t been able to gather information in her rush, the situation was going as she expected.

“Did King Bauchen surrender?”

“Yes, Your Majesty. I guess he had no choice once the Capital was invaded and all the royal family members were captured.

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