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「We should fight them back in full force!」
Banging his fist against the desk the leader of the soldiers shouts.
「If we did that, we wouldn’t be able to measure how much of a loss we would suffer. I think that it may be wiser to compromise with them?」
The Merchant guild’s leader calmly spoke.
While stroking his long beard the town mayor groaned.
『If you obey my commands and pay taxes, I will let you off. Otherwise, I will use force to make you bend to my will. You will have two hours to decide, if you wish to obey me, open your gates within that time frame and come out to greet me』
This was roughly what was contained in document that Aur had written and sent out to the Mayor. Jake yelled out that it was a declaration of war, but if you were to be more precise about it, it was closer to an ultimatum. In any case, within these two hours, they needed to decide whether to fight, or whether to concede. The people in the Mayor’s reception room was: The Mayor, the guard captain, the merchant guild leader and for some reason or another Jake who was appointed as the representatives of the adventurer’s. They were all exchanging looks with each other.
Moreover, the guard captain had a do-or-die attitude, whereas the merchant guild leader had the opinion of submitting to Aur, these were two entirely different and very conflicting views. The Mayor couldn’t decide which option he’d choose and Jake wasn’t interested enough to interfere with the matter, and so they were left in an undecided state.
「Are you telling me that you are going to submit yourself to an evil magician?! You shameful human being! Not only that, this is clearly an act of aggression towards our Figuria Kingdom!」
「Then allow me to ask you frankly, do you think that you will be able to defeat the demon horde outside?」
The soldiers were actually people that was sent by the Kingdom. At the top of the country there is a king, furthermore under the king, there are lords who govern various areas within the kingdom. And one step below the lords there is the Town Mayor who governs a city and below that a village headman who governs a village. taxes are sucked up from the bottom of the food chain all the way to the top.
Aur’s demands are that the taxes of this city are sent to him instead of Figuria Kingdom……. In other words, it is almost like saying that the city will change which country it belongs to. The most surprising thing about all this is that, the amount that Aur demands to be paid in taxes is actually a lot cheaper than what is demanded of them by Figuria Kingdom.
The soldiers which belong to Figuria vehemently refuses to give in, but the merchants who are driven by profits wanted to agree to Aur’s terms. The town was in a predicament and at a loss at what he should do. This was because of this one sentence that Aur wrote in the document.
『In the case that you obey me, I will prohibit this city to pay any taxes to Figuria Kingdom』
Because of this one thing… If Aur went under the pretext of prohibiting the town from amassing military power, then they wouldn’t antagonize Figuria Kingdom and they could also pay less taxes. If this was the case, the town would simply be enriched.
The town can act as if they were “reluctantly” obeying Aur’s commands, and if Figuria Kingdom decided that they wanted the town to pay taxes as per usual, the Town Mayor can simply say “Then please subjugate the evil magician Aur first” he could have this kind of stance against both parties. The thoughts by the Town Mayor were actually the opposite to the ones by the Merchant Guild Leader. The Town Mayor was thinking this “If Aur was to fight against the country, just how long and how far could he last?”
「Don’t we have adventurers in this city?! If this is about taking care of monsters, aren’t those outlaws the perfect bunch to perform this duty?!」
「Well, that may be true but you know what? They are the type of people who won’t take any actions unless there is compensation involved. Who is going to pay for them?」
Jake who had been silent all this time responded to the words of the guard captain.
「You bunch of cowards…! At such a critical period for the city, are you still going to spout that kind of nonsense!? The enemy is an evil magician! this is an act of war! We have justice on our side, there is no need for any other reason to fight…..」
「However, the other party did not come here to plunder our city. In fact, if we concede to their demands, we will actually make a profit. Even knowing that this is the case, are you still suggesting that we put our life on the line for nothing?」
「Well even if you say that to me, I’m not really an adventurer anymore……. but what I am doing is clearly stating what the other adventurers will definitely say in response to your words」
The guard captain was shouting, the merchant leader was retorting calmly, whilst Jake was interfering with the conversation.
「Be quiet for a little while!」
The discussions were getting too complicated and the Mayor shouted out in order to shut everyone up.
「You said that your name was Jake? You are one of the people who directly saw what the enemy looked like, right?」
The Mayor calmed his mind and asked Jake with determination.
「Please speak frankly. If you include every soldier and adventurer in this town and we fight with everything we’ve got….. what do you think our chances are of defeating this enemy?」
「Listen up you people, hear my words carefully!」
The soldiers who were lined up in a row and also in front of the other adventurers, the leader of the soldiers raised his voice.
「The enemy is an evil magician named Aur, and his subordinates are demons and monsters! Without knowing what their magical prowess is like, their numbers easily exceed 300! In comparison, we only have a mere 200 people serving as troops! However we are the proud soldiers of Figuria kingdom, if you brave adventurers are willing to combine our efforts and work together, we will easily be able to defeat the likes of weak Goblins and Orcs!」
The path that the Mayor chose was one of resistance. He believed they could win. However, he also predicted that a great price was to be paid. This is the answer that Jake gave the Mayor, and the Mayor chose to believe in Jake’s words.
Instead of just seeking profits, they chose the path of bravery and valour, they were determined to not succumb to evil.
However, on the dark side of this decision, the more damage the adventurers group took as a whole, the less they would have to pay them when the war was over. This kind of calculation was also taken into consideration.
「Take up arms, raise your swords! Justice is on our side, evil will perish when faced against the light! Let’s go to war! For this city that we love!」
Ouuuuu! the men of the crowd raised their voices. You could even say that these two groups were usually antagonistic towards each other, but facing a common enemy, both the adventurers and the soldiers were working together to win the war. Their enemy was the evil magician who are accompanied by a group of savage monsters. The soldiers and adventurers who didn’t know the demands given by Aur were excited by the situation as their bloods flared with the spirit of righteousness.
Anyone who carries a sword in this era would fantasize about being a hero. Feeding into their desires to become heroes they created this exciting atmosphere.
「Get into your positions! The goblins will be left to the vanguards, however aiming for the Ogre’s when you see the chance is preferred! They are large creatures and easy targets, use all efforts to aim at them and shoot them down!」
People who were proficient with the use of a bow climbed the watch towers and prepared to snipe the intruders. There were soldiers with spears positioned in front of the gate, behind them there was adventurers who were skilled with magic.
「The enemy is controlling three kinds of monsters. Whilst we don’t know how many among them are magicians, but surely they will have little to none magical capabilities. Even if they shoot fireballs at us, do not be afraid, our magicians will cover you so just focus your attention on exterminating the goblins, soldiers」
「….To think that there would come a day when we trusted you with our backs….. But in saying that I don’t think we could find a more reliable ally!」
The adventurers who were magicians were communicating with the soldiers, and the soldiers were returning a friendly smile.
……It was possible to win this! Even if this body rots, the brave heroes will succeed and destroy the evil magician. The guard captain sincerely believed in this outcome. His body was filled to the brim with energy, and he felt that his armor was lighter than ever before. This is the first time that he went to war with such energetic feelings.
There is nothing that he was afraid of anymore.
「Let’s go, brave Heroes!」
A light trivial sound echoed.
And just like that, the upper body of the guard captain disappeared.