TL: Uhhh, apparently my visit to the doctor was fruitful, and I have a gastroscopy tomorrow (nothing serious, just that there’s a slot open and it turned out to be super fast). I won’t be playing Danganronpa V3 today because I’ll just be resting all night. My updated play date of D3 is 27 Sep 6pm GMT, hopefully nothing goes wrong unless my sedation lasts all day. (it’s like a super simple operation right?!!!)
Also, this chapter is supposed to be October’s, but I pushed it up (TLed right after doctor’s appt lol).
Chapter 30 – Expansion.
The morning’s daylight broke through the clouds, but there were still remnants of the cold air from yesterday’s night, and white mist could be seen from the men and horses’ mouths. Winter was coming to Trentheim.
A group consisting of humans and horses passed through the mountain valley. Their surroundings were filled with greenery, but the scenery from afar was almost ink-black, almost as if it was painted with dark palettes. Somewhere past the fog were mountains filled with verdant green foliage, creating a strong contrast between the mountain peaks and valleys.
There were a total of thirty-odd men, each fully covered with armor and weapons. However, they were not from Aouine’s formal armies but mercenaries.
In Trentheim, the only places where Aouine’s formal armies were at: The Palas Region, or Graham’s northern mountains where Graudin’s most elite knights were stationed.
After the men passed through the valley, they entered a small clearing within the forest. Another group of men was guarding a bunch of crestfallen youths. When the latter noticed the incoming group, they raised their heads and saw the group’s leader, a middle-aged noble.
All but one looked at him restlessly; the youth who was the exception amongst the group looked slightly frustrated.
The middle-aged noble, Lord Macsen, was riding on his favorite horse. It was a stout black horse with a smooth mane and a purebred from the north and had accompanied him through thick and thin. Even though it was already aged and no longer as quick as before, he was still affectionate to it.
(TL: I just want to point out one thing, Lord Macsen’s real name is Samuel, but since he’s in charge of the Macsen region, he’s called Lord Macsen.)
He bade his horse up to move up to the youths and glared at them without speaking.
A few days ago, he received the report of a rebellion in Firburh. This cautious noble did not march straight to his lord as it was forbidden for retainers to bring their private soldiers without orders. Only when he was certain that the news was accurate had he ordered his knights to march.
The Macsen region was close to Firburh, and an army could reach there by nightfall if they started in the day. He gathered his army overnight and left the next morning, and entered Port Gris. The scouts who went ahead had reported that it was not occupied, and the towns nearby had not heard any news from Firburh. Even after traveling for another ten miles, there were still no signs of any rebellion.
Lord Macsen was not surprised. The news he received stated that there were only a few groups of mercenaries that participated in the uprising in Firburh. He believed these mercenaries to be no different from lawless bandits who did whatever they wanted and probably left the city after looting it.
He even thought that he was too paranoid for checking the port. Only people who wanted to occupy the city would control the port; they were just a bunch of mercenaries who loved wealth and would not wait in the city to be exterminated.
He was originally worried that Madara might be involved as the Undead’s army was still lurking somewhere at the southern border, but once he saw enough reports, he was confident of the situation.
It was nothing more than a simple rebellion.
Lord Macsen was relieved at that moment. But his good mood did not last a long time after his confidant gave frustrating news to him, and it was the cause of why he had to bring thirty of his men in this forest.
His youngest son, Carglise, was wearing a light brown cloak that hid most of his clothes, but it was clear that he was bearing a longsword. Lord Macsen favored him the most out of his three sons because the youth displayed quick wits and excellent swordsmanship. He had placed in much effort on him, but the latter refused to accept his efforts and was constantly lazy and playful.
In the end, Lord Macsen sent him to the neighboring county, but not only did it not cure his attitude, he even came back with a streak of ridiculous ideas after he received an education.
When he learned that Carglise had brought along his subordinates and servants, he went into a fury and ordered his men to capture him.
“Speak,” Lord Macsen asked as he glared from above: “Why did you sneak out?”
“I’m too bored, father.” Carglise raised his head and was unaffected by his father’s dominating pressure.
“Hmph, didn’t you want to experience what war feels like? I’ll bring you along this once. But I want the truth from you.”
“War? They’re just a bunch of civilians. How can this be considered a war?” The youth gave a faint smile and said disdainfully, but his tone turned serious: “Very well, father, did you know that there are rumors that princess Gryphine had gone back to her lands and are gathering her knights—”
Lord Macsen took a pause. Even though he was also considered a noble, he was of a lowly rank and would not even be factored in as a pawn in the political chessboard. He did, however, hear of the rumors in the north.
“And why does it concern you?” He asked.
“Of course it does,” the youth said excitedly: “this would be a battle that decides the kingdom’s fate. I decided to cast my lot in this moment of history, and serve the princess—”
Lord Macsen did not expect his son to have this ambition. He took a short while before he spoke again: “Ridiculous. You have never left Trentheim. Do you know where the princess is? Or what’s happening in the current political affairs?”
“I have my ways.” Carglise was full of confidence.
Lord Macsen had no answer. His son was smart, and he might really find a way. He shook his head and ignored that thought: “I don’t care if you have your ways, you should be thinking of ways to convince me—”
“Father, there will be times where you won’t be able to keep me from leaving, so why don’t you give me your blessings to become someone of importance in Aouine? The titles that your generation have in Trentheim are your accomplishments. To me, a true knight should gain their achievements through wars—”
“Wars? Have you ever seen one?” Lord Macsen could not help but mock his son. He had followed Graudin as a knight when he was young, and the wars he had made him a cynical and careful man. In front of his son’s seemingly romantic notions of wars, he had nothing but scorn.
[Hold on— My son was taught by Lord Palas when I sent him over to the neighboring county. Even though he doesn’t have a famous reputation, he’s a first-rate veteran in Trentheim.]
On Graham’s mountains, Lord Palas led his army and defended against other nobles’ attacks, and faced constant battles against bandits and the occasional undead in the south. The occasional civil trouble in Trentheim would be akin to docile lambs to him. Anyone in this region would recognize him as a strict military man.
After thinking for a while, he recalled that his son had also fought over land disputes. In terms of leading a battle, his son might be as good as him.
“Very well, I’ll give you a chance to show me that you can do it.”
“What exactly?” The youth was thrilled.
“Become my assistant and show me your performance. If you’re capable of undertaking this position and excel in it, I’ll let you leave.” Lord Macsen’s mind obviously thought otherwise, but he did not wish to waste time arguing and wanted to deal with him after the upcoming battle is over.
[Maybe I should throw him to Lord Palas since he likes wars so much.]
While there were rumors that he was on bad speaking terms with Lord Palas, it was actually untrue.
But the youth realized what his father was thinking, and he rolled his light blue eyes before he smiled again: ” Father, these people are just a group of unruly civilians. Are you not making a mountain out a molehill?”
“Oh? Does your confidence come from studying combat tactics under Lord Palas?” Lord Macsen suddenly realized that it was a good idea to waste his son’s energy. He had heard of an unfounded rumor and decided to goad him: “I’ve heard the leader of the rebels is a young man too. He’s around the same age as you, but he’s actually leading the mercenaries despite the veterans amongst them. You, on the other hand, are just boasting all the time. Now that I’m giving you a chance to prove yourself and you’re not taking it?”
Lord Macsen was not truly concerned as to who led the rebels, but he wanted to tie his son down.
“A trick like this wouldn’t work on a knight, father,” Carglise said, but his interested expressions betrayed him, “but fine, I’ll agree to your terms and see who this person is.”
Lord Macsen’s face was stoic, but he was laughing inside. However, his smugness was gradually turned into another sigh.
[The young people are just too impulsive.]