The Aion army is getting closer.
They have already arrived in the vicinity of the outer walls. A report about that finally arrived at the units that were camped there.
I thought it would be okay since a great number of the soldiers were training close to Tsige a few days ago, but once I came back to check, they were being dispatched in a variety of ways.
I felt slightly guilty that I pushed the karaage onto them that day, so I helped them out everyday and provided them a variety of things.
It wasn’t me who personally did the helping, and I didn’t confirm for how long they would want it.
I might have wasted a number of days there.
“I messed up there. Later, I should go there and confirm if there were any misunderstandings and apologize.” (Makoto)
I remember the mistake while in the sky where no one is in and reflected on it.
The enemy is already closeby, so since I have the chance, let’s get a look at the army of Aion.
I didn’t have any really special reason as I brought myself atop the sky of the outer wall.
I am trying to be careful to not be found by Tsige or Aion, so since I can’t find them with the naked eye, I properly prepared glasses from Shiki that have the ability to work as binoculars.
I was searching for a small binocular, but ended up with some mysterious glasses that a certain child detective would have. <Detective Conan Ref.>
I will have the clouds move aside for a sliight bit…
An oblong black mass is moving.
Even though I still haven’t activated the long distance sight function. That’s impressive.
No wonder they said it is a large army.
Uhm…the Golden Highway is that, and the relay towns are mostly around there.
They still have a distance of around 1 or 2 towns.
In terms of distance…around 40km, maybe?
How much distance can an army move in a day?
Even if the speed of the army increases or decreases the closer they are to the target location, it most likely wouldn’t make that much difference.
I don’t really have a lot of military knowledge.
Ah, the great reversal of China.
If I remember correctly, it was a force army whose march took several days.
Around 10 days from Okayama to Kyoto? Half of Tokyo to Kyoto? Let’s just go with 250km.
They made it in 10 days, so 1 day would be around 25km.
And this was registered as a forced march, so lower it a bit to 20km?
Ah, but the scale of the army was different.
Was it 100,000?
As for Aion…I use the glasses to zoom out and look at the whole picture.
The scale of the army is around 100,000.
For some reason, there’s also people inside, at the sides, and at the back that are decently equipped and also a lot of people at carriages, so if we count those people too, it would be around 250,000-260,000.
The bigger they are the slower they advance.
With the assumption that the water and equipment are being carried more easily thanks to magic, I would say their speed would be around 10-15km.
It is hard to measure just how much magic is involved in an army.
Let’s give them 20km.
From what I can see, they are not doing anything too special as they advance.
Ah, I see.
The ones who are sticking at the back of the army are merchants?
Marching will make you hungry. People would require their meals, medical supplies, water…and some slight pleasures.
The demands created from that amount of people are outstanding.
There’s worth in risking their life to follow them, huh.
…You could call them merchants of death in a sense.
I feel like they are a bit different from the merchants that sell equipment and try to prolong wars for profit… Following the army; in other words, they are risking their own life to do business, which could in a way be perceived like that.
There’s a lot less mounted troops at the front than what I heard the forerunner unit had.
Maybe they returned to their affiliated units the moment they regrouped?
There’s more than one type of banner raised after all.
If there’s several lines of command for the amount of banners, that would be funny, but there’s no way that’s the case.
It is probably like proof of the participating nobles? Limia had something similar.
However…I honestly think that the army of Aion is bigger than the time at the Stella Fort.
Does that mean they find the insurrection inside their country as more of a problem than the war against the demons?
Or was it because the expedition distance was a lot higher, so they couldn’t send a bigger army?
“There’s an equal number of merchants or even more than the army itself. Even with that, would they be able to maintain their supplies for a long lasting war?” (Makoto)
Replenishing supplies is of utmost importance on their journey.
The merchants most likely carry a part of that burden.
If they are using the proper way, the settlements on the way would also benefit from it, but if they are going the confiscation route, that would be insane.
I try inspecting the surroundings widely including the outer wall of Tsige.
The Aion army has an oblong formation and it is practically one big mass.
On the other hand, Tsige’s outer wall is outrageously horizontal.
There’s a number of camps at the inner area of the outer wall, and from what I can tell…there’s around 20,000 people.
But it is not like all of them are soldiers.
And the ones who are soldiers were a hurriedly constructed army of adventurers, mercenaries, and many other varying professions.
…I look here and there.
Where is the confidence of Rembrandt-san coming from?
I seriously wanted to tilt my head at it.
I don’t think PRG assumes that each person can kill several hundreds in the war.
Preparations in the whole outer wall? There’s practically no people stationed at the east side of the wall that has the Golden Highway in between.
Even with an army as big as Aion’s, I don’t think they would be able to completely fill up that outer wall though.
It is more like there’s units sprinkled here and there.
Aside from that great wall, this is the very definition of a war between a big nation and a small one.
The two sides have taken distance from the Golden Highway at the very least.
If they were to put their hands on that, they would be criticized by the whole world, and the Adventurer Guild wouldn’t stay silent.
Are they being careful not to drag it into their battle?
“What’s that?” (Makoto)
When I trace ahead of the Golden Highway, there’s adventurers -pretty skilled ones- gathered there.
Quite the numbers too.
Even in Tsige you rarely see that many gathered in one place -that’s the kind of scale it was.
I will try investigating with Sakai.
“Isn’t it broken?”
What’s going on?
Did an idiot cause an accident?
A good part of the Golden Highway’s wall had been destroyed.
Was it magic?
No, right now it doesn’t matter if it is physical or magical.
What’s important is that quite the powerhouse is picking a fight with the world.
Doing something like that in the Aion territory of all places.
Just how many sparks are you planning on lighting, Aion?
Is Aion the type that places so much emphasis in the information gathering department that they end up narrowing in all other important places?
A thought transmission.
There’s no one in the sky, so I ended up speaking out loud.
It should be fine.
(I am sorry to interrupt while you are out. A woman of advanced age has come to the company to visit. She said that she didn’t make an appointment, so she will wait until you return. I was thinking about whether to ask her to leave, but the people say she is the representative of the Couple Company? So I thought that it would be better to leave it to your judgement, Waka-sama.)
“Couple… Aah, that old lady, huh. I didn’t take her to be someone who would use such a forceful method though.” (Makoto)
(Will you schedule with her for a later time and have her leave for now?)
“No, I will meet her. I will be back quickly, so can I leave it to you until then, Akina?” (Makoto)
Looks like it is one of those rare instances when one of the Arkes, Akina, is at the store.
She doesn’t get involved in company work, especially customer service, but when Tomoe, Mio, Lime, and Ema are not around, she is asked to be my assistant.
Her being perplexed here speaks of her inexperience in this front.
(Okay, I will do so.) (Akina)
It is not like the battle will begin today.
The Couple Company is a goods circulation professional that even Rembrandt-san keeps an eye on.
Thinking about our standings, she should be the one calling me to go to her.
Her coming to my place without any appointment might be because there’s some sort of issue.
Alright, let’s go back.
“Have I been hated by Akina-chan?”
“She is a girl that’s not used to that kind of conversation, so I apologize for the rudeness.” (Makoto)
“Oh my, is that so? Even though she is that beautiful? She is such a pure girl. How lovely.”
“Thank you very much. I will tell her.” (Makoto)
After I hurried back and entered the room where the Couple Company’s representative was waiting, I saw Akina who was being rained with recommendations for marriage interviews and was on the doorsteps to madness.
After I greeted them, Akina returned to her senses and made the rare action of hiding behind my back, and then hurriedly left the room after excusing herself.
She came here because she had business with me, so why does she have papers for marriage interviews? This woman is way too much of a mystery.
Did she have them in reserve? Is she the type of old lady that likes to serve as the go-between of couples?
This person has a big company on her back, so her influence is on a whole other level.
I just hope there’s no pitiful victims of this…
“I am sorry for suddenly coming here. We saw each other the other day, but since we met at that kind of place, I wanted to have a talk with you at least once.” (Couple)
“I see.” (Makoto)
No, people don’t normally come just for that.
“As you can see, I don’t have a long future ahead of me, so I got a bit impatient there. But I am happy that you have made time in this way, the representative of the Kuzunoha Company that is currently the talk of the times, Raidou-kun. You seem to be busy.” (Couple)
Is this that?
The kind that goes ‘it looks like you have been doing well recently, yet you have forgotten to pay your respects to us?’.
‘Oh my, oh my, the young people recently are truly straightforward and energetic’.
The kind that has a lot of hidden meanings behind it?!
“I am indeed busy, but I apologize. Even though we have been helped out by the Couple Company, I didn’t even go to greet you.” (Makoto)
“Hm? Aah, that’s okay, that’s okay. Our place delves with regular people to companies, so we have a wide range of customers. Having every single one of them greeting me would be impossible for me.” (Couple)
So that wasn’t the route it was going in here?
Then what is she here for?
The industries we are in are pretty different, so in terms of connection, that’s all I can think of…
“Well then, I will introduce myself again. Capri Toraddo; the representative of the Couple Company. I assume you already know about my job, but we are a courier company.” (Capri)
“Ah, I am Raidou. The representative of the Kuzunoha Company and in the miscellaneous store trade.” (Makoto)
“Most merchants would normally put their family name or their future objective in the name of their company. By the way, as for me, when I established my company, I was super nervous when writing down in the documents. I was planning on writing Toraddo, but ended up writing my name, and by the time I noticed, my hand had slipped. That was just so funny. Even though I messed up, I didn’t say anything, trying to act tough for some reason. That’s how it ended up with the Couple Company. Your name is a Lorel type of name, Raidou-kun, but are you Raidou Kuzunoha-kun?” (Capri)
“No, my family name is Misumi.” (Makoto)
What am I doing?!
I responded normally unconsciously!
…I should be careful of this strange tempo and atmosphere.
If I get swallowed by it, I might end up saying unnecessary things.
“Then that’s a strange way to connect names. Do you remember the meeting before?” (Capri)
“? Yeah, of course.” (Makoto)
“That place is full of old men. There’s times when I feel suffocated by it. Bronzeman-san still calls me young lady, so there’s parts that make me happy though.” (Capri)
You would have to be an elf or a dwarf to believably call this person a young lady.
She is at the age where it would suit her a lot to be basking in the sun at the veranda.
Despite appearances, she is an active representative of a company, moreover, controlling at the top of Tsige.
“I managed to bring up my goods circulation company in an industry that was predominantly of men, worked and worked, and just when I was thinking about dropping the pen, you brought an unbelievable wave when you came to this city. I panicked quite a lot at that time, you know?” (Capri)
And she even raised the Couple Company on her own to the position it is now?
She is no old lady, but a living legend.
Being able to even call her young lady is actually impressive in itself.
“Every single day was a battle. And by the time I noticed, it turned into going independent from the Aion Kingdom. Do things like this actually happen?!” (Capri)
It would be crazy if things like that were to happen on the regular.
“And here I thought Rembrandt-kun had gotten softer lately after marrying, but now he has become even sharper and untouchable. The other companies are on their wit’s end just trying to keep up with him, and there’s those that can’t even do that and just fall off. There’s already no balance in Tsige.” (Capri)
“Everything is your fault, Raidou-kun.” (Capri)
“No matter if it is that boy, he is a novice in war and strategy when estranged from commerce, and yet, he has the face of certain victory even against the more than 200,000 army of Aion. That’s just weird no matter how you slice it.” (Capri)
I agree with that.
I honestly can’t understand what that person is seeing, even when we had a naked talk in the hot springs.
The only thing that I understood was that those two don’t get dizzy from the heat.
“If it is an information battle, merchants have their own way to battle, but even if you have a famous mercenary group, the numbers are overwhelmingly lacking. According to the information I gathered, Aion will be arriving at that outer wall in a few days. And so, I thought that maybe the origin of all this, Raidou-kun, would know something about what’s in the head of Rembrandt-kun.” (Capri)
“Uhm…I am sorry. I also don’t know that much. I have had Rembrandt-san request things of me, and would give out things to Tsige in order to contribute, but in regards to the war, the plans, and the chances of victory, it seems like it is under a number of strategists and Rembrandt-san probably to protect themselves from any leaks of information.” (Makoto)
“…You haven’t been told anything?” (Capri)
“No. But in regards to the army, I think you have the correct information.” (Makoto)
“Why do you say that? Were you worried as well and spread a network too?” (Capri)
“Something like that. If we count the merchants accompanying them, the army of Aion is around 250,000. Purely in terms of soldiers, it is around 100,000, and they are about 2 relay towns away in distance.” (Makoto)
“…That’s quite the precise information. Looks like the eyes of the Kuzunoha Company have caught Aion pretty accurately.” (Capri)
I confirmed just a moment ago with my own eyes after all.
“Just that…” (Makoto)
“What’s the matter?” (Capri)
“It looks pretty excessive for them to bring out an army of that size to gain control of Tsige, and I don’t think the amount of supplies the merchants have will be able to cover the necessities of that big army. It is fine if they are buying them properly from the settlements in the way, but if they are doing something forceful like confiscating them, I was thinking it would be quite the pain for those settlements. A part of the Golden Highway seems to have been damaged too. It made me think that the country is getting more stormy internally than I thought.” (Makoto)
And in reality, I don’t know if it is Tsige or Aion, but there’s quite the hate created here.
I tell her about a part of what I saw, while trying to confirm it myself.
This person can create an atmosphere that makes it easy to speak.
I think it is a specialty of hers.
I pay extra attention to not slip anything, but I myself am aware that I am a bit loosened here.
“…Looks like this might turn into an unexpected exchange of information.” (Capri)
“Actually, according to what we have gathered at our place, the supplies they get along their way, it seems like they are saving it someplace in the Golden Highway temporarily. I don’t think they will have the soldiers of the country do something as reckless as putting their hands on the Golden Highway, but maybe this is their way of getting back at us?” (Capri)
“Then, do you mean they made the adventurers do it?” (Makoto)
“They have a wide variety of talents: from pieces of trash to saints. There might be people who would accept the job.” (Capri)
A wide variety of talents, she says. That’s quite the pleasing spot to be in.
“Then, the Adventurer Guild won’t be taking it silently. They have declared to the world to not touch them, and yet, they are making their people do something like that.” (Makoto)
…I thought ‘take that Root’ for a fraction of a second, but let’s leave that aside for now.
Ignoring the morals of the plans, I think their skill to harass others is top level.
“There’s a chance that this will become a tailwind for Rembrandt-kun. That boy is lucky.” (Capri)
“Couple Representative…” (Makoto)
“You can call me Capri-san, Raidou-kun.” (Capri)
“…Capri-san, what do you think of this battle?” (Makoto)
“I have already placed my chips on the hope that we will win, so if we don’t win, I will be executed.” (Capri)
“In terms of standing, I am someone deeply involved in the management of Tsige. I was reeled in by the cajolery of Rembrandt-kun and the talk about the City-State.” (Capri)
She’s got guts.
Instead of running away if something happens, she is prepared to share the same fate as the city.
This person might arm herself and fight back if it were to ever come to it.
“And so, the main topic comes from here!” (Capris)
“Eh?! This wasn’t the main topic?!” (Makoto)
“The exchange of information was an aside. The victory or defeat of the war was a topic you brought out.” (Capris)
“That might be the case.” (Makoto)
“I think that the reason why Rembrandt-kun has become younger and has powered up is because of your relationship with him. I can’t win against age, you know? I am already an old woman. But if there’s a method to feel younger, I think I can continue being a useful Couple Company to everyone for around 50 years more. Today, Rembrandt-kun’s idea about exclusive use roads and station maintenance surprised even me as a person that works in the goods circulation trade, and I wanted to know just how much of that was influenced by you, Raidou-kun. No matter how much he tells me it is just a miniature version of the Golden Highway, there’s no way I can acknowledge it was solely his idea with just that…” (Capris)
From there on, talk that felt like I was being swept by surging waves began.
Advanced talk about marketing, mixed with talk about inflation, and I was made to keep company to Capri-san till it was night.