Chapter 270. The Wind of War (5)

As the tension in the room grew to the point of being palpable, I felt tired and raised my hand, rubbing my eyes. When I moved, the prime minister's guards that were hiding and keeping an eye on me took action.

"Stop!"

When I shouted, the prime minister's secret guards fell from the ceiling unconscious. At the same time, Bors and Lionel stopped moving, nearly about to stab their swords into the prime minister's throat. Before I knew it, Gwalchavad and Percival had readied their shield and spear, respectively, as they arrived at my side. I tapped on their shoulders.

"Withdraw." The five knights guarding me opened my pocket space and withdrew, including Tristan, the one responsible for overpowering the guards in the ceiling at my command.

"Teleportation? No, a pocket space? But a pocket space isn’t an area that living beings can endure,” William asked interestingly, as befitting a magician.

As expected of Arpen's son, he doesn't care about his surroundings and is asking these kinds of questions.

"I'll explain that later if I have a chance, and I'm sorry about that. They're very loyal."

Fortunately, the prime minister's guards seemed to have just passed out. Tristan usually acts like a wild child, but it was a relief that he knew how to control himself during this type of situation.

The prime minister glanced at his guards that had been overpowered in an instant and shook his head in a cold sweat. "No, it seems my subordinates acted first, so it's fine."

"Thank you for your understanding. Arwen, can you go to my workshop for a while? I think this conversation is going to be a little lengthy.”

Arwen hesitated for a moment and nodded.

"Agravain."

"Did you call for me, Master?"

William’s eyes twinkled, and the prime minister broke into a cold sweat as Agravain suddenly appeared from my pocket space.

"Please escort Arwen safely to the workshop."

"Yes, sir."

Agravain left the boarding house with Arwen, and I waved at Arwen.

"Who's that child?" asked the prime minister.

I sat opposite the prime minister and answered, "She is my disciple. She's a talented child, so I'm learning a lot too."

William nodded as if saying he could relate. Come to think of it, William was also giving lectures at the Magic School.

"By the way, seeing that you're here, Uncle must have called you. I thought I managed to thoroughly trick Uncle," I said.

"Oh, it's just that I thought something was a little off... But you're not mad, are you?" said my uncle.

I didn't expect my uncle to notice that I tricked him. I shouldn't have tried to fool him, but I temporarily forgot that my family has good instincts. If he were as intelligent as Hestia noona or Leisha noona, he would’ve ignored his sixth sense, but it seems to have been counter-effective for people who preferred to trust their instincts like him.

Uncle Bloody looked at me with hesitation. I guess Uncle Bloody was sorry that he told other people when he said he would keep it a secret, despite the fact that I tricked him.

"No, I just won’t be able to be a civil servant in the future."

My uncle flinched for a moment at my words. If it were anyone else, then maybe I could continue, but since the prime minister found out, I could safely say that my civil servant life was completely over. 

"No, I didn't mean for that to happen."

I smirked at Uncle Bloody, who looked flustered. "I know, but you'll still get scolded by Third Sister. Third Sister was probably just going to secretly find out where I was and slowly try to convince me, but with this, it’s all gone down the drain."

My uncle looked tired, thinking about the future. Well, Hestia noona’s scoldings were pretty scary. It was all the more terrifying because it led to my father's iron fist sanctions.

On behalf of the speechless Uncle Bloody, the prime minister said, "Why do you think it’s completely over? Just continue as you’ve been doing. Your civil servant life, that is. We're not mean enough to interfere with your hobby.”

"It’s fine. It's funny to hear that from someone who's only thinking about taking advantage of me."

At my bitter grin, the prime minister said with a kind smile, "That's not true. It's heartbreaking that you thought I’m such a bad person that I would take advantage of my friend’s nephew."

Seeing the prime minister pretending to be just made me scoff. "If you didn't intend to take advantage of me in the first place, you wouldn't have shown up pretending that you didn’t know who I was."

"Haha, that's...” His words trailed off as if I hit the mark.

"Well, I can guess why you've come here. In all likelihood, it's asking me to participate in the war.”

The prime minister gave a gesture of surrender and affirmed my guess. "Information travels very fast. Just meeting with the Fairy Tribe alone would not have been enough to conclude that there’s going to be a war.”

The prime minister was secretly searching for information about me. I shrugged as if it were nothing much. "It's already been three years since I left my hometown. I have my own information network and forces."

The prime minister smiled. "That's scary. Are the two people who held a sword to my throat or the two who guarded you also part of your forces?”

"Well, I suppose you could say that.”

Even at a glance, it was apparent he thought that he had another card to use.

"I see. Alright. Since you already know why we’re visiting, what are you going to do? Will you help us?"

I became lost in thought at the prime minister's question. Initially, if I were caught by the prime minister, regardless of Aunt Talaria's request, I would have ignored it and ran away. But two things stopped me.

Firstly, the people who were trying to revive the Demon King would come after me. And as for the second reason, Aunt Talaria might hold a grudge, and after ignoring her request, she might interfere with my new home. If I accomplish her three requests, my aunt would be a reliable ally, so it was better not to reject her.

Additionally, I formed too many relationships during the past three years, so it was necessary to sort that out to some degree in order to leave. I can’t simply run away like Flam without finding a replacement just because my identity was revealed. I would at least make some guides for my replacement.

When I grew silent while I organized my thoughts, William and Uncle Bloody looked at me nervously. The prime minister pretended he wasn’t anxious, but his eyes trembled slightly. I grinned at the sight. "Since you're in the position of asking, I assume you prepared for the cost, right?”

In any case, cooperation with the empire was essential to grant my aunt's second request. Originally, I was going to talk to Uncle Bloody about it, but it became easier since he showed up and asked of his own volition.

At my question, the prime minister was sweating and gave a happy expression as if he had passed the first hurdle. "Of course. What do you want? Since it’s for someone of your level of power, I'll ensure that it does not disappoint you.”

I crossed my legs and smiled. "I don't like annoying tasks. If it's something I have to do, I would like to finish it as soon as possible."

The prime minister beamed brightly at my words. "That's exactly what I want as well.”

"It's nice that we are on the same page. Then, how much authority are you willing to give me to get things done as quickly as possible?”

At my question, the prime minister's face momentarily went stiff then relaxed as if he put on a mask. "By authority, do you mean military authority?"

"Of course. Are you here to ask me to work as a military magician?” I replied.

The prime minister looked at me seriously. "The war could break out in a month. In terms of the period needed for the procedures, the time required to transfer military command on a scale that you want...”

"Well, your way of thinking is too narrow. Don't you have a good figurehead next to you?"

The prime minister looked at Bloody, following my gaze. "I see. If it’s like that, it would be possible."

Uncle Bloody received the prime minister's and my gaze, and he looked puzzled because he didn't know why he was being looked at.

"But Bloody leads 10,000 troops. Will all those troops simply obey your orders?"

I sighed when the prime minister looked at me doubtfully. "That's why there's a figurehead. With the exception of a few executives, the soldiers will think they are following Uncle."

The prime minister clapped at my point. "Aha, you don't have command on the surface, so you can't move a large force on your own.”

"I won’t be the official commander there, so if my actions are deemed strange, I could be inspected. However, this could cause the chain of command to split and create confusion in the command system."

"That won't be a problem because Bloody is your family member and will trust you completely.”

I nodded lightly.

"All right, I'll give you the position of Strategic Advisor to lead Bloody's vanguard, even though we'll need the Emperor's approval. Right now, you’re at the sixth rank of prestige which equates to a major, but I'll give you a promotion for the Fairy Tribe delegation work, so you’ll be a colonel."

It seems like I’m about to get a promotion directly to the fourth rank of prestige, equivalent to a first-class knight. Usually, even the elites only get this position in their late thirties, but it seems I’ll be getting it before I’m even twenty. Of course, it couldn’t be treated the same because civil servants and actual knights had different promotion systems. In fact, the rank didn't matter.

"But you talk as if I already agreed to participate in the war. This is only one of my conditions."

The prime minister, whose face lit up, became severe again at my attack."What else is there? A reward? If so, then, of course, I will give you one.

I waved my finger. "You can just match the reward with my military service. I'd feel sorry if I asked you for a hefty reward when my military service amounts to little."

The prime minister smiled bitterly at my modesty. "You have a lot of confidence. Aren’t you saying that since there’s no way your military achievements would be small, I should prepare a large reward?"

My goodness, you interpreted my modesty in that way! Of course, he wasn't wrong.

"So, what are the conditions you want to add?"

I answered the prime minister's question without a hitch. "First of all, we need to touch up the soldiers' weapons. For rifling a musket, it takes a lot of time and is expensive, so let’s simply change the bullets into Nessler bullets." [1]

The prime minister didn’t understand what I was saying and asked, flustered, "Nessler? What do you mean by rifling? And use a musket? Are you suggesting we start line battles again, something that was abandoned 80 years ago?"

In this world, although it was only for a short period of time, line battles were prevalent in war after the musket was invented. However, with the presence of magic, weather, and superhuman soldiers using magic, muskets have been reduced to objects used against monsters and demons. When muskets became antiques, wars reversed back to a generation of armor and swords.

"Don't worry. Only a part of the unit will use muskets. Grunts should do what grunts do. Huhuhu." At my laughter, the three of them got goosebumps and shivered a little.

When I brought up using a musket, William enquired, "If you were to use a musket, what would you do for defense magic against lead bullets?”

"Naturally, there's a method. Huhuhu."

There was anti-bullet magic, cheats, make-shift approaches, and many other ways to avoid that issue. Coating the lead bullets with copper or applying grease was one of the various methods for this effect. It seemed that the wind of war, which smelled of gunpowder, was blowing toward the empire.

* * *

Uncle Bloody, William, and the prime minister went back, and I returned Arwen to my room. The room I entered for the first time in a few days had a window open, one that had definitely been closed. After shutting the window, I saw a short letter on my desk, along with two gold coins, which were now hard to see due to the currency reform.

- I'm sorry, I'm finally paying you back the gold I borrowed from you. Arwen has nothing to do with the kidnapping I committed, so I hope you can treat her the same. She’s become much brighter since learning magic from you.

I took out a debt certificate from the casino that I received for paying off Flam's debts.

"You idiot, you didn't pay back the interest.”

I'll still have to hold on to this debt certificate. I'm going to teach Flam the scary magic of compound interest.


1. Rifling is making spiral grooves in the inside of a rifle barrel.

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