Chapter 213: Fuhrer Seigfried (1)

Two years later.

Two years had passed since the end of the Second Ideological Conflict. Two years was by no means a long time, but those two years held a lot of significance - the truce period that Milton and Siegfried had agreed to was only for two years.

Usually, a peace treaty lasted for at least ten years, but Milton and Siegfried had been satisfied with just two years. In fact, both of them knew that with the current international atmosphere, the peace wouldn’t last even if they had agreed to make it longer. Considering the difference in ideology and the turbulent international situation, two years was the limit and that was why both of them had agreed to limit the truce period to only two years. 

Siegfried hadn’t wasted the past two years. 

“His Excellency, the first Fuhrer of the Unified Republic, Seigfried!”

As Siegfried appeared in the great hall, his steps revealed a dignity that no longer needed to be hidden as he took in the worshipful gaze of the high-ranking officials of the Republic.

In the past two years, Siegfried had slowly assumed full authority until he had gained full control over the entire Republic and not just the military power. This had been expected and planned for, but it was the process that had been surprising.

The Republic had consisted of two countries, the Kobrook Republic and the Hanovirtue Republic, and the two Fuhrers had shared equal power. However, the two of them had handed over their authority to Siegfried as if it was only natural. In fact, Siegfried had designed it so that ceding power to him would be inevitable and natural.

Siegfried had made his presence known throughout the Republic. He had gained complete control over the military, swayed public support, and raised the status of the administrative officials who had been neglected in comparison to those in the military. While the two Fuhrers had been keeping each other in check while nibbling away at the other’s power, Siegfried had been steadily increasing his own power base. 

In the end, Fuhrer Painheim, who already had a favorable impression of Siegfried, was the first one to offer Siegfried the position of Fuhrer. Fuhrer Schheimer opposed it at first, but he soon grasped reality as he felt the chilling gaze of both the people and the military once news spread that he was against Siegfried rising to the position of Fuhrer. 

He finally realized that the Republic was already in Siegfried’s hands and his own era was over. And once he realized it, Fuhrer Schheimer decided to worry more about his own comfort and safety than going against the public and agreed.

Thus, the two Fuhrers offered Siegfried the position of Fuhrer of the Unified Republic.

However, Siegfried initially refused the offer and instead, insisted that he would give up his post as the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic’s army and return to being a regular citizen. 

Then, off the record, he told his entourage his point of view.

[I didn’t rise to a high position in the Republic because I wanted power. I just wanted to participate in the utopia that everyone dreamt about. But a Fuhrer? It goes against what I wanted.]

That wasn’t his official statement. He had just been talking about his ‘honest feelings’ to his aides and that happened to be ‘accidentally revealed to the world. At least that’s how it seemed from the outside.

As a result, the people and the military enthusiastically supported Siegfried.

“But besides His Excellency Siegfried, who else could become Fuhrer?”

“I know! If it’s not him, then no one can do it!”

“How can someone who fought against the Empire and won be so humble…”

“Shouldn’t we do something?”

“That’s right, I think we should.”

The people decided to do something for Siegfried. As a result, demonstrations in support of Siegfried taking office as Fuhrer happened throughout the Republic. Usually, demonstrations were more like protests but this was a demonstration in support of Siegfried and the military secretly supported it instead of suppressing it.

Siegfried had created an atmosphere in the Republic so that a large-scale revolt would happen if he was to reject the title. 

[If this is the will of the people, then there is nothing I can do.]

In the end, Siegfried accepted the position of Fuhrer as if he had been coerced. And so, Siegfried became the first Fuhrer of the Unified Republic.

This had been the perfect political maneuver. He had won the hearts of the people and gained the position of Fuhrer without inflicting any harm to the two Fuhrers who had previously been in power. It was so perfect that even the historians couldn’t believe that Siegfried had aimed for this exact scenario.

However, Siegfried wasn’t satisfied.

‘If everything went to plan, then I’d have taken the entire northern region with the unification of the three Republic countries.’

The person to ruin Siegfried’s plan was the Lester Kingdom’s Milton Forrest. Because of him, the Hildes Republic had been destroyed and Siegfried had to personally kill Fuhrer Bahasten. Because of him, the western region of the Strabus Kingdom had been lost and Siegfried had to share the north with a powerful country like the Lester Kingdom. Because of him, it had become impossible to completely conquer the Valence Kingdom and turn it into a platform to attack the Empire. 

Everything seemed like it was going according to plan on the surface, but Siegfried’s plan had greatly deviated from its original path because of Milton Forrest of the Lester Kingdom.

‘I have to deal with Milon Forrest before the Empire. Him first.’

Having risen to the position of the Republican Fuhrer, Siegfried did his best to stabilize the country’s state affairs first. And as soon as he was ready, he planned to launch an all-out offensive against the Lester Kingdom.

But then…

“Your Excellency! An urgent message, sir.’

“What’s the problem?”

The messenger who had just run in looked urgent. He reported to Siegfried in a trembling voice.

“There’s a letter from the Andrews Empire, sir.”

“And what does it say?”

Siegfried had an ominous feeling when he received a letter from the Empire. His premonition was exactly right.

“It’s a declaration of war, sir.”

The Empire had declared war on the Republic. It was as if they had been waiting for the peace treaty with the Lester Kingdom to come to an end.

‘It sure doesn’t end easy.’

Siegfried’s expression hardened. 

***

The Empire’s declaration of war. This in itself was expected to some degree, no, it could even be said that it was late

In the Second Ideological Conflict, the Empire had suffered a major defeat. It was a defeat that would go down as the most humiliating defeat in the history of the Empire.

It was to the point that on the continent, some even said that the Empire had been overestimated. People said that perhaps the Republic or the Lester Kingdom, which had been forged in multiple wars, might be stronger than the Empire that had been indolent in peace for a long time. 

Dishonor, disgrace, humiliation. There was no greater shame than this for the Empire.

Naturally, the public opinion in the Empire was to stage a massive attack on the Republic. Not only the aristocrats of the Empire, but the common people were insisting on attacking the Republic. Even the vassal countries’ attitude towards the Empire had become ambiguous as the Empire’s prestige eroded. 

However, the current ruler of the Empire, Emperor Gilbert Terre Andrews, didn’t move. 

When the emperor silently sat through a defeat so humiliating that it would go down in the history of the Empire without doing anything, the public began to express their disappointment with their current emperor. But exactly after two years had passed, the Empire declared war on the Republic. 

Why did it take two years? Neither the Republic nor the citizens of the Empire were able to understand why.

However, there was someone who was able to understand the reasoning the quickest…That person was Queen Leila of the Lester Kingdom. 

***

“So the Empire is saying we should attack the Republic with them?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

An ambassador from the Empire was meeting with Leila in the great hall of the Lester Kingdom’s palace. Ultimately, the Empire wanted the Lester Kingdom to fall in line and attack the Republic with them now that the truce period with the Republic had come to an end.

“It’s a bit difficult to give you an answer right now.”

“What could be difficult, Your Majesty? Does the Lester Kingdom not wish for the Republic to be destroyed?”

Leila frowned when the Imperial ambassador pressed for an answer. 

“Although I am the Queen of the Lester Kingdom, my husband, Grand Duke Forrest, controls the military. This isn’t something that I can decide on my own.”

“I see. If that’s the case, then I’ll wait for your answer, Your Majesty.”

When Leila firmly stated her position, the Imperial ambassador could only retreat. But, even as he withdrew, he had something to add.

“However, I wish for you to remember that His Imperial Majesty wishes to hear your response as soon as possible.”

Having said his piece, the ambassador from the Empire finally withdrew. And once he did, Leila sighed and muttered to herself.

“Things are getting complicated.”

She immediately called for Milton and explained the situation to him. 

***

“A joint effort with the Empire… If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to destroy the Republic this time.”

“That’s right. You might even be able to kill Siegfried, the one person you hate the most, this time too.”

Despite the opportunity to destroy the Republic that had been threatening them, Milton and Leila’s expressions were dark. There was only one reason for this.

“You think the Empire could really stop the Republic?”

Queen Leila shook her head in response to Milton’s question.

“The possibility of accomplishing a feat like unifying the continent is dangling right in front of his eyes. Do you think Siegfried would just let it go?”

“That’s true.”

Milton sighed.

Even though he had a chance to destroy the Republic, Milton couldn’t help but hesitate. He couldn’t trust the Empire at all. If the Empire and the Lester Kingdom cooperated to attack the Republic, then the Republic most likely wouldn’t survive. No matter how great Siegfried was, there was no way he would be able to face the Lester Kingdom in the west and the Empire in the south simultaneously. The Republic would be finished without a doubt. 

But, what would the Empire do afterward?

Would they be satisfied after the Republic was destroyed?

Unlikely.

If the Republic’s territory was annexed, then the Empire would control 70% of the continent at that point. Then, only 30% would be left.

In other words, there was no way the Empire wouldn’t be eyeing the Lester Kingdom.

On top of that, if the Lester Kingdom expended much of its strength in the war against the Republic, then the Empire could very easily topple the Lester Kingdom.

It was like this. [1] There is a tiger living in the mountain. But in that same mountain lived two leopards and the tiger was very annoyed by that. However, if the tiger fought against them, it would most likely win, but it would be a Pyrrhic victory. In that case, what should it do? First, the tiger would recruit one leopard and kill the other one. And if the tiger was to attack the first leopard before its wounds even healed? Then it would be very easy for the tiger to be the sole ruler of the territory.

That was the picture the Empire was currently drawing. This was the worst-case scenario, yet Milton and Leila were confident that it was highly likely that this would happen.

“Well, I’ve managed to delay giving them an answer, but…”

“We won’t be able to postpone it forever.”

Milton sighed in frustration.

‘This is all because of Siegfried and his activities. Damn it. If the Valence Kingdom had been left intact, then it could have been used as a buffer zone and as a counterweight to the three major powers.’

Milton was afraid of the current situation. The chessboard had become too large for him to make hasty decisions. 

If the Second Ideological Conflict had been a battle to fight for a bigger piece of the Valence Kingdom then...

This war was truly a battle for supremacy.

Once the war begins, it won’t end quickly and may continue until they see the end to this.

‘If you look at the history of Earth, there are wars that have continued for 100 years. There’s no way it wouldn’t happen here.’

Milton was beginning to get a throbbing headache. Just then, Leila cautiously began to speak.

“There actually is one way.”


1. I added this part because the change was very abrupt.

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