Can't Come Back - Chapter 49
“You are correct. From now on, I declare war on Talisbon. Send our forces to ensure that no further harm happens to the border residents. Draft all the imperial nobility’s private soldiers as well.”
The Emperor’s command reverberated throughout the office. The nobles lowered their heads and yelled together.
“We will obey your command!”
* * *
The declaration of war between the Notium Empire and the Talisbon Kingdom over the border region quickly spread across the capital.
“Did you hear the news?”
“Talisbon has been raiding us and crossing our border. Because he can no longer stand by and watch, the Emperor has declared war.”
“What?! War? What will happen to us?”
“They say we’ll get resources first. And practically all of the nobles will be there.”
All nobility awarded with a title were required to fight in the war. If they were physically unfit, they had to bring at least one brother or son from their household. It was impossible for someone like Dean to avoid this.
Dean was also enlisted into the war at the Emperor’s request. He was to receive a sword from the Emperor during the participation ceremony that night, lead the Hildayden knights, and then proceed to the frontier region.
“Berlia, Dean, my brother, has been drafted into the war with Talisbon.”
“What? So abruptly?”
“Talisbon has been causing havoc along the frontier of Notium for quite some time. His Majesty couldn’t ignore it any longer.”
Berlia, who was about to divorce Dean, was taken aback when she got the news from Cain. Cain continued calmly.
“To minimize our losses, we must invade before Talisbon properly prepares. That’s why he appears to be hurrying.”
“Are you going, Cain?”
Berlia’s eyes were filled with worry. Anyone could be injured or killed in a war. She feared Cain would be among the numerous aristocrats who went to war.
“No. While I can’t anticipate what will happen if the conflict continues, for now, it’s largely titled nobility who have been enlisted.”
“Ah… thank God.”
Berlia breathed a sigh of relief.
“More importantly, it would almost certainly be preferable to discuss the divorce after the war. Now the kingdom is in disarray, and with my brother at war, he will not serve in the Empire.”
Berlia nodded in response to his comments. The war took Berlia aback. She could, however, better prepare for the divorce now that Dean was gone.
* * *
The nobility, arrayed in full armor, was kneeling within the majestic imperial palace. Duke Dean Hildayden was one among them. The mood was solemn and solemn. The Emperor went out slowly and stood before them, his jaw gaping.
“Today marks the start of a day that will go down in Notium Empire history as a victory. I hope you can end the bloodshed of our compatriots on the border and lead us to triumph. I direct that all nobles present proceed to the border area facing Talisbon.”
Standing before the nobles, the Emperor gave each of them a sword.
“Count Russell Andrea, I sincerely hope you lead us to victory.”
“Your Majesty’s command, I will follow!”
“Duke Hanbez Kielrun, I entrust you with the victory.”
“I will carry out your order! I will undoubtedly bring victory!”
The emperor was getting closer to Dean. Dean became increasingly frustrated as his turn neared.
‘How come there is suddenly a war! Nothing is going well these days!!’
Dean, of course, did not wish to take part in this fight. He had studied swordsmanship as a required subject during his academic years, but he was not a skilled swordsman. As a result, he always pretended to swing his sword during class.
Of fact, he did not handle the Hildayden family’s warriors and knights, as a duke should have. Cain was in charge of the knights. So Dean sought to include Cain in this fight in some way.
‘I wanted to send Cain, not myself!’
However, he was Duke Hildayden. The emperor’s choice for participation in the war was, of course, Dean, the Duke. When anything wrong happened to the country in exchange for the authority and wealth of a duke, it was natural for him to do his duty. He had to obey the emperor’s orders, no matter how much he despised them.
‘I have to kill time somewhere in the back.’
Dean’s turn came up as he was contemplating this. The emperor came to a halt in front of Dean.
“Duke Dean Hildayden, I sincerely hope you lead us to victory.”
The emperor gave Dean a sword. He opened his mouth reluctantly, not wanting to detach.
“Your Majesty’s order… I’ll follow.”
* * *
Only Cain and Berlia remained in the mansion after Dean had left. But the atmosphere had changed dramatically since Dean had gone for Keindell. The country was in disarray due to the war, and Berlia had not entirely recovered.
“Berlia. How do you feel today?”
“I feel a lot better today. It’s all because of you, Cain.”
Cain went to Berlia’s chamber. When she saw Cain, she stood up.
“Please lie down a little longer.”
“No, I’m getting better.”
Berlia grinned. She had progressed substantially. Cain took a seat next to her, relieved.
The Hildayden Duke’s Knights, led by Cain on behalf of Dean, had arrived at the border area. Some administrative responsibilities have been reduced due to the war, and he has recently had more time to spend in the mansion.
“That’s a huge relief.”
“I have to get better before the war.”
Cain spent his leisure time caring for Berlia or assisting her in preparing for divorce.
“It won’t take long. According to what I’ve heard, the goal isn’t to occupy the entire kingdom of Talisbon, but rather the villages and cities close to the border.”
“Then I should hurry up with the divorce preparation.”
Cain stroked Berlia’s hair and whispered.
“First and foremost, concentrate on healing. So you can rest until the conflict is over. I’ll handle the rest.”
Dean and Berlia may be able to divorce once this war is over. Even if they divorced, it would have been impossible for them to remarry within the Empire. Cain, on the other hand, believed it would be lovely if they could live together covertly in a peaceful area. If Berlia decided to marry, they might live properly in another nation. This was due to Claudia’s vow to help.
‘There isn’t much time left.’
The scenario was far better today than when Cain initially thought he liked her alone. They had verified their affection for one another and even planned to spend time together.
“When my husband visited Keindell in the past, I wished he had remained longer. But now I need him to come back immediately. I don’t know why, but it feels weird.”
‘If the war hadn’t started, I could have divorced my spouse sooner. Then there’s Cain…’
Berlia appeared to be thinking along the same lines as Cain. She didn’t want to meet him in secret anymore, her heart fluttering with terror.
“I share your sentiments. I wish my brother would return soon.”
Cain kissed Berlia on the cheek.
* * *
“Is the conquest of this village complete?”
“Yes. To some extent, it appears like everything has been resolved.”
Dean took a peek around. It was a little town. The houses were either destroyed or burned down. There didn’t appear to be any enemies in sight.
‘It appears to be safe here.’
With a delighted expression, he dismounted his horse. He had grudgingly joined the fight, but it was not as difficult as he had imagined. Fortunately, he could remain in the rear, looking after the villages seized by the Empire’s forces. It was all by chance.
‘I don’t comprehend folks who go to the front lines willingly. It’s a dumb thing that only the desperate want to undertake.’
He despised anything dangerous. He reasoned that he should seize someone else’s accomplishment and obtain a prize after the war. Furthermore, by cleaning up in this manner, he could discreetly gather wealth, thereby slaying two birds with one stone.
“What about the villagers’ property?”
“Considering it’s a small village, there’s not much. There doesn’t appear to be anything noteworthy.”
Some villages were readily taken since their population was ordinary, and there were regions where they were met with Talisbon warriors. This was the former village. A little community that has not received adequate help from the soldiers of the Talisbon Kingdom. There couldn’t be anything exceptional about this place.
‘I need to extend my stay here.’
It was unfortunate that there was nothing to gain, but Dean was grateful for such a place because it provided a place to live daily. The imperial army would be seizing another Talisbon province while he was stalling. He aimed to safely end the war by slowly following the Imperial Army’s sweeps.
“Then we must transport the prisoners to the camp. Where are the village inmates?”
“They’re being held right now! We intend to gather them all in the village center soon!”
“Really? Then wake me up when you’re finished.”
After delegating all of the work to his employees, Dean retired to a quiet corner of the hamlet intending to nap until the job was completed.
‘Oh, this place appears to be lovely.’
Dean closed his eyes and lay down in the grass.
A quick rustling sound entered his ears just as he was ready to fall asleep.
‘Hmm? Did something happen?’
He opened his eyes and peered around, but nothing else could be heard.
‘It’s an animal, isn’t it?’
Dean didn’t give it much thought. He could have stood up and searched for the source of the noise, but his lethargy won out. He eventually closed his eyes and went asleep again.