A few days later, we arrived at a city called Narita.
This city was located before reaching the easternmost part of the empire. It bordered the Carmell Earldom and was the last big city before entering the territory to the Carmell Family.
The first thing that we saw after arriving at the city was desolation. This city, which once had been one of the most prosperous cities of the empire, was eerily empty, with only some locals remaining in it.
Moreover, it was obvious that the people that remained in the city were filled with worry. With just a glance, you could see fear and concern in their faces.
It was normal, though. After all, this city was the first place that would be swallowed by the flames of war if war truly erupted.
In fact, when we arrived at the city, we could see many people leaving it in a panic. Every one of them running away from the already unavoidable war.
“I came here once before.” Louise, who was by my side, spoke up with a sigh. “I can’t believe that this is the same city that I saw back then.”
I tilted my head. “How was it back then?”
“Lively and filled with people,” Louise replied. “It was a very beautiful city, unlike this bleak place w are seeing today.”
I fell silent and smiled wryly.
Something like this is normal. When war comes, nice cities become bleak, and prosperous countries become ruined.
Strangely, wars are something commonly seen in practically any civilization. It’s not limited to humans and daemons. Practically every intelligent species that I have seen practices war to different degrees.
It sounds awful, but greed and ambition are some of the driving forces of living beings, and war is one of the easiest, fastest, and most effective ways to fill it.
Sighing silently, I looked at Marana, who had been standing behind me, and gave her an order.
“Tell the men to rest today. They have the rest of the day free.”
“Is it alright, Your Highness?” Asked Daisy, who also came with me for this expedition. “Don’t we need to hurry as much as we can?”
“Indeed, we need to hurry up, but there is no need to be too anxious. Let the men rest. Perhaps this will be their last relaxed rest in a while.”
Daisy tilted her head to my words, but in the end, she nodded.
The army rested outside the city, and Marana, Raven, and Akilah stayed with them. Louise, Daisy, Katherine, my two aunts, and I, on the other hand, entered the city. After all, there were some things that we needed to do inside.
As soon as we came inside, we were received by the lord of the city.
The lord, a middle-aged fatty called Edward, received us enthusiastically. However, it was obvious that his enthusiasm was an act, and judging by the clear exhaustion in his face, he has clearly been very worried lately.
“Any news of the rebel army?” I asked as soon as I saw him, but to my surprise, the city lord stiffened and did not reply immediately.
Instead, he looked anxiously at his surroundings. When he saw that there was nothing wrong, he sighed in relief and led us hurriedly inside a hall.
Once we were inside, he sighed in relief and dismissed his servants and guards.
I raised an eyebrow when I saw that. Does this guy want to tell us something?
He is being pretty wary, though.
“Did anything happen?” I asked.
“Nothing yet, Your Highness.” The city lord spoke with sweat on his forehead, “But I fear that with the slightest trigger, something can happen.”
Louise, Daisy, Katherine, and my two aunts frowned when they heard that.
“What is wrong?” Aunt Dayana asked.
“Well… Actually, this city is pretty close to the Carmell Earldom and it had a very good relationship with the Carmell Family, do you understand if I put it like that, Your Highness?”
I was startled, but then, I smiled amusedly.
“… Could it be that the people of the city are in favor of the Carmell Family and the Crown Prince?”
“A great part of them are.” The city lord nodded and wiped off the sweat on his forehead. “In the last week, we have stopped eleven groups that supported the Carmell Family. In fact, just last night, we stopped a group that was planning to attack you today.”
… So it’s that, huh.
“The Carmell Family is well-liked here, huh,” Louise said with a wry smile.
The city lord nodded.
“Yes. The Carmell Family has very good policies for merchants, farmers, and craftsmen, so there are a lot of people that have a very good impression of them. This city is at the border with the Carmell Family, so this situation is very noticeable here.
“In fact, I’m sure that many people in the city are collaborating secretly with the Carmell Family. Perhaps the fact that you just arrived at the city has already been leaked, Your Highness.”
The girls behind me put on grave expressions, but I just smiled and did not pay too much attention to it.
Just like I said before, I don’t put the rebel army in my eyes. I’m more interested in the two people that can take advantage of this chaos to achieve their purposes.
Ysnay and the Unknown Immortal.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that I will go easy in my brother’s rebel army, but in the end, I can destroy it whenever I want.
The only reason it even exists in the first place was that I wanted to use it as bait.
Just at that moment, someone knocked on the door anxiously. The city lord’s face changed immediately, and his expression turned anxious.
“Y-Yes, w-what is it?”
“City Lord, we have bad news!”
“B-Bad news? W-What happened?”
“The rebel army is advancing towards this city. They probably will arrive in two days!”
The face of the city lord turned ashen white.
As soon as he heard the news, he looked at me with a pale and pleading expression.
He said nothing, but I could understand his meaning just by seeing his expression.
I sighed and nodded.
“Go and leave the city. Also, tell all the inhabitants of the city to evacuate. From today onwards and until the end of the war, this city will be under the control of the military.”
“T-Thank you, thank you, Your Highness.” The fatty city lord nodded gratefully. “Thank you.”
Then, he ran off the hall with an anxious expression.
Obviously, he had been wanting to leave the city from a while ago. The only reason that he didn’t was to avoid being accused of abandoning his post.
Now that he received my permission, he could leave with peace of mind.
As for what was going to happen to us? Why should he care?
Current schedule: 10 Chapters/week