This is Yukkuri demasu!
As always, Yukkuri is swamped by real life… I couldn’t get any break in my work schedule until October… But I prioritize Genjitsu translations, since I feel bad for Larvyde.
The translations will be finished… As soon as I can breathe…… I miss my hikkiNEET days…. working is such a pain……
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 3: The Negotiation B
「Whoa, what a superb view.」(Souma)
Looking down from the ramparts of Van, I could see the formation of fifty thousand soldiers from the Elfrieden Army around Amidonia, and on the opposite side, I could see the formation of about fifty thousand soldiers from the Grand Chaos Empire Army. By the Empire’s side was the five thousand men strong Amidonian Army, so the total was close to about sixty thousand men. The number of soldiers was more numerous than the previous battle and were all gathered right beneath my eyes.
「If you look around, the gathering of an incoming large enemy army, how fun♪」(Souma)
「What’s with that song?」(Liscia)
「It’s a modified form of a song from a war period in my country……something like that.」(Souma)
The melody is 『close and open』. My granny once said, 「『close and open』was originally a foreign folk song. When it first arrived in Japan the lyric is 『If you look around, the green willow mixed together with the sakura flower』」. The song I sang just now was a modified version of the 『If you look around』 song. Liscia, who stood beside me, replied in astonishment.
「What was the occasion for that song? If that army really came to attack, what would happen?」(Liscia)
「First, without a doubt, we will lose. Right, Hakuya?」(Souma)
Hakuya who also stood beside me nodded at my question.
「Just as you said, Your Majesty. Regarding the in the number of soldiers, generals, equipment, experience and moral…… Our country loses to the Empire in every field. If this becomes a battle, then our Army has no chance to prevail.」(Hakuya)
「……Of course, right.」(Souma)
Battles are driven by 『Heaven, Earth, Man』, that is 『Heavenly opportunities (timing of attack), Earthly advantage (geographical advantage), and the Harmony of Man』. The Empire, leader of the anti-Demon Lord Army, has the timing of attack and the Amidonian Army has the geographical advantage. However, if I was asked if the Kingdom has the People’s Harmony to oppose the Empire, then I can only answer: no. I could only dispatch the soldiers from the Army and the Air Force, so that they could be exempted from their treasonous rebellion. It was not that bad when the enemy was just Amidonia by itself, but when the enemy is the superior in all fields, aka the Imperial Army, then of course we couldn’t expect any fighting spirit from our men.
「If we could at least win in equipments……」(Souma)
Even when looking from this place, I could see the Rhinosaurus corps that are attached with the Field Cannons. I had heard that Rhinosauruses were used in castle sieges, but it seems that the Empire has used them even further as mobile artillery. Actually, I also had this kind of idea, but for a Rhinosaurus to be able to be equipped with cannons, it was necessary to “train” them, so they wouldn’t be spooked by the sound of gunpowder explosions. Since the Rhinosauruses on our side were gathered by Tomoe-chan’s “please”, I had shelved the prospect of “training” them.
It was vexing to see that the Empire had already implemented the corps that I had in mind. But well, if any military layman thought about it for a bit, then they would hit upon the same idea, too. As long as there is a demand, then most of these ideas will be implemented. Of course there doesn’t need to be a battle, just making a stance that it could be used in battle could become a negotiation card. On the contrary, it could be said that the Army spread before my eyes is the card prepared by the Empire. Even though I knew about this, this situation is quite a conundrum.
「”My Liege (陛下/heika), there is an unfamiliar “legion” (兵科/heika).」(Aisha)
At a place not far from me, Aisha, who was looking at the enemy army, spoke out.
「What’s with that lousy pun?」(Souma)
「N-no, you’re wrong, Your Majesty! I meant the enemy’s corps! I can see that there is a group of soldiers wearing completely black full plated armor!」(Aisha)
「Completely black? …… I can’t see any human-sized troops too well from this distance.」(Souma)
「Dark elves have good eyes. That group carries very long weapons.」(Aisha)
「I think that perhaps they are the 『Magic Armored Corps』.」(Hakuya)
Hakuya appended his words on Aisha’s. it is a new phrase for me.
「Magic Armored Corps?」(Souma)
「Perhaps it can be explained as a heavily-armored pike infantry specializing in anti-magic combat. That black helmet and armor constantly generates a barrier that could withstand any kind of magic. There is a saying that the Empire’s territory extends just as far as these soldier files could march, so they are the Empire’s treasured army that they are the most proud of.」(Hakuya)
Oh, really…… Certainly pike infantry is a type of soldier carrying long spears for anti-cavalry combat. Although, I only know about this from games, they would make a dense phalanx formation to oppose the charging cavalry. So they are a corps that sticks out their spear to counter an attack. Certainly, I believe that depending on the situation, they could be a powerful corps…… But is it to the extent where they could be called a treasured army? I asked Hakuya about this.
「Your Majesty, do you remember the reason why gunpowder infantry never appeared both in this Continent and outside this Continent?」(Hakuya)
He asked me back.
「Because magic’s attack power is higher and its firing range is longer, so gunpowder weapons are unnecessary, right? That’s why large mass projectile cannons are used only in naval battles or when attacking wall reinforced with magic.」(Souma)
「That’s correct. In addition, the creatures living on this Continent have hard skins, so the average gunpowder infantry wouldn’t be able to damage them.」(Hakuya)
In other words, since they couldn’t even use it as hunting weapons, there were no reasons to develop guns. But then, they should have developed rifling or armor-piercing bullet, right? Even a musket that could only fire a literally round pellet should have been widespread (the Japanese domestic harquebus is an early form of musket). If at one point, we could produce such a rifle, then it should have increased the country’s power. But even if I knew about the musket’s history, as expected, I didn’t know about its construction. Hakuya continued his explanation.
「Furthermore, depending on its suitability, the armoTr could also be enchanted with a damage reduction effect. Conversely, to break through this, it is normal for a weapon to also be enchanted with a damage increase effect.」(Hakuya)
「Ah, a vicious circle……」 (Souma)
「Yes. There also the fact that the enchantment arts for armors and weapons are more powerful on objects with a greater mass. In other words, in this world, the arrow are stronger than a bullet, but the arrow is weaker than the lance.」(Hakuya)
So does that mean, even if we develop a rifle, the small bullet wouldn’t have much power? The day for the implementation of gun corps becomes increasingly distant……
「Even in this world, using magic or a wyvern knight bombardment wouldn’t be effective against them and a cavalry charge would simply be countered. Also it is not possible to aim the cannons to shoot at them (the shells are not explosive), so in the end, that mass of black helmets and armors would still slowly be approaching. For the enemy’s side, it will be……」(Hakuya)
「Quite a horror. They would only see them as Hell’s Army.」(Souma)
If they are fighting on the flat plains, they will be invincible. So perhaps battling them on a hilly region or wetlands that have bad footholds, luring them towards the traps, or surrounding them and creating chaos in their formation…… was something that I had thought, but these plans were only applicable in a defensive battle. It will be hard for the invader to battle on the place that they choose. So the phrase 『Territory as far as the Magic Armored Corps have marched』 was really suitable.
「Furthermore, the Imperial Army also has strong units besides the Magic Armored Corps.」(Liscia)
Liscia told me as she looked at the enemy lines.
「Not to mention the Wyvern Knights, they also have Griffon Knights that are said to be as strong as the Dragon Knights. Magician Corps that overwhelm our own in terms of both number and quality, battle-specialized Rhinosaurus Corps…… If we battle with the Empire, then we will need to take on all of them.」(Liscia)
Ah…… She’s right. The enemy’s army didn’t only have the Magic Armored Corps. So my thinking about battling them in a place that I chose was foolish.
「……As expected, we couldn’t win against the Empire.」(Souma)
Because Liscia and Aisha made worried faces, I smiled a bit.
「Not yet, for now.」(Souma)
「Now then, shall we greet Jeanne and Julius?」(Souma)
When I made this order, the other three answered vigorously.
「「「Yes, Your Majesty!」」」(Liscia)(Aisha)(Hakuya)
◇ ◇ ◇
Van’s Castle’s Audience Room.
In an audience room that had both paint and decor more glamorous than the one in Parnam Castle, I sat on the throne. Standing on the carpet several steps below me were the younger sister of the Grand Chaos Empire’s Empress, Jeanne Euphoria, and the eldest son of the late Amidonian Duke Gaius VIII, Julius. Julius, who I met now for the first time, was a handsome man in his twenties and had a cold feeling similar to Hakuya’s, but his eyes, that seemed to see others as beneath him, gave me an unpleasant feeling. He is an ikemen who I couldn’t be liked, or for short, an “eerikemen” type of feeling.
Our lineup for facing them had as only Liscia and Hakuya at both of my sides, and Aisha, who served as the bodyguard, behind me. Seeing this, Jeanne tilted her head.
「How unexpected. I would have imagined that the negotiations would be watched by a lot of soldiers.」(Jeanne)
「Soldiers shouldn’t be needed for the audience with only the both of you, right? It will be discourteous.」(Souma)
「Indeed. An admirable insight.」(Jeanne)
Said Jeanne in admiration, but inside my mind, I stuck out my tongue. I simply believe that if a ruler in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms had done what Jeanne had pointed out, then there will be a shameful scene where the envoy says, 『You only have an audience of two people, but is it he Kingdom’s etiquette to be surrounded by soldiers?』 or 『Do you not feel secure if there are no soldiers protecting you?』…… So I did this to shut her up.
「Well…… As long as there is that lady behind you, you will feel safe, right?」(Jeanne)
Jeanne’s sharp eyes looked at Aisha. Did military people give off an aura or something? She could accurately see through Aisha’s capabilities. Aisha made a bow while staying in silent.
「An excellent soldier you have there. I wanted to have one bout with her, but I think it will be hard for me to win. As expected from King Souma, you have excellent retainers.」(Jeanne)
What a compliment. I couldn’t see how much truth was in it. She shouldn’t be someone who would back down just by seeing Aisha’s vigilant appearance, right?
「So are you, you are bold not to take any companions even though you are going to face the king of a country. Aren’t you worried about being assassinated?」(Souma)
「I am coming to this place as an envoy of peace. Why should I worry about being killed?」(Jeanne)
Jeanne, who said this while smiling, was quite an actress. She didn’t “bring any companions”, but wouldn’t the Imperial spy corps who had already infiltrated this castle were protecting her? Perhaps right now, they were rattling blades with Juna-san’s Marine Corps who were guarding this conference. Next, I shifted my attention to Julius.
「It is a pleasure to have finally met with you. I am Souma Kazuya.」(Souma)
「……Amidonian Duke Julius.」(Julius)
Julius called himself as the Duke while not concealing the hostility in his eyes. He couldn’t perform the coronation ceremony since we had occupied Van, so he shouldn’t be able to introduce himself as th Duke, but I couldn’t point this out since I was also in the same situation as him.
「Then, what is the purpose of your current visit?」(Souma)
「……What a farce. Return Van promptly!」(Julius)
Jeanne made a sour face as if she had swollen a bug, but Julius ignored her and kept on talking.
「Our Amidonia Dukedom is a participant in the 『Humanity Declaration』. There is a provision where 『Border changes due to military action would not be recognized』! Elfrieden’s action of dispossessing Van using military action is in violation of this provision, so I demand a prompt return of Van!」(Julius)
「Say what you like, but...」(Souma)
I rest my hand on the throne and placed my chin on it before continuing.
「The one who invaded Elfrieden Kingdom not long ago was your side, right? Your side is the one who schemed first to change the border with military power, but when you lost the war, you complained about the provision violation. Isn’t that rather unreasonable?」(Souma)
「……The invasion to Elfrieden Kingdom was Father’s…… Gaius’ own arbitrary action.」(Julius)
「But you had also gone with the same campaign, then that’s why you have the same crime. To begin with, before doing negotiations about territory returns, you ought to apologize for invading our country first, right?」(Souma)
「Julius-dono, what King Souma said is true. Since our current position is asking for a territory return, we must begin to show our goodwill by apologizing first.」(Jeanne)
Julius was completely vexed in his heart, but since this was something that his last ray of hope, Jeanne, had said, then although he hated it… no, real~ly hated it, he lowered his head.
「……Even though it was the previous Duke Gaius’ own actions to invade your country, it is my fault for not being able to stop him. I ask for forgiveness in this.」(Julius)
「I wonder why I am not hearing any apologetic words……」(Souma)
「However, the current situation is that our country has been invaded by your country. Since we are a participant in the Humanity Declaration, we have the right to appeal towards the Empire, to request the return of this territory.」(Julius)
「Such a proud way of “I’ll leave it to others”. Julius might have said this, but what is the Empire’s opinion about this?」(Souma)
Seeing I had brought her into this matter, Jeanne shrugged her shoulders.
「The Empire doesn’t want to support Amidonia since they reaped what they had sowed. However, since they are a participant nation of the Humanity Declaration, we couldn’t reject their request.」(Jeanne)
「In other words, the Empire wishes for us to return the territories we captured during the war, beginning with Van?」(Souma)
Well, I had guessed that the Empire would take such a position. I was getting irritated at Julius, who stood beside her while making a face as if saying: this is justified. But this progressed just like assumed. Therefore, I answered just like in the assumptions.
Souma: Not yet, for now… Waiting for the implication of this line…
The chapter should have ended like this:
Jeanne: Become mine Hero!
Souma: I re-
Liscia, Aisha, Juna: We refuse!
 It’s based on the older version of the children むすんでひらいて (close and open [palms]) tune (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oypsXiOM3S0) which came from Le devin du village, a French opera by Jean-Jacque Rousseau (also known as Rousseau’s Dream) . The tune is then used by a 1773 rendition of the “Lord, dismiss us with Thy blessing” Hymn (the Greenville hymn version http://www.hymnary.org/media/fetch/184008), which was then used by the US 19th century Folk Song : Go tell Aunt Rhody (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4vxDJKjoBI | you know, the one used by Resident Evil 7). Which was then borrowed by the Japanese Ministry of Education as a Hymn for the Book of Hymns for the Elementary School Children in 1881 as 見渡せば (When I take a look around) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKw6-6dZh0A), and as the Militarism took over the nation in 1895, the song lyric was changed into 戦闘歌 (the War song) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmOxqtGZMP8): This is the version that was sung by Souma. After WW2 was over, the song lyric was changed once more into the current form.
 This is from the Three War Principles from Mencius: “天時不如地利，地利不如人和” in Gong Sun Chou II (公孫丑下). Souma is using the Japanese shortform: “天の時、地の利、人の和”. The full quote from Mencius: “Opportunities of time vouchsafed by Heaven are not equal to the advantages of the situation afforded by the Earth, and the advantages of the situation afforded by the Earth are not equal to the union arising from the accord of Men.”
 The training here means: Breaking an animal in with force so they would obey.
 *untranslatable pun forgive my poor native English capabilities* (E/N: Man, I can't think of a single way to translate that pun either. (=.=)) Changed into the current form thanks to ReaderBot from NUF. Pun is really something that hard to translate...
 vicious cycle refer to complex chains of events which reinforce themselves through a feedback loop. In this case the existence of defence enchantments magic cause the development of offensive enchantments magic, which triggered the development of even better defence enchanments magic that trigger even better offensive enchantments magic , which trigger an even greater better defence enchantments magic, which repeating ad infinitum.
 That’s why the Magic Armored Corps weary a very bulky full plated armor and carry a pike: a long and heavy weapon. Greater mass = greater protection and offence.
 Eh? Wouldn’t a cannon roundshot is an excellent anti-infantry weapon???
 This is a pun: イケメン (Ikemen = hunk) and 好かない (Sukinai = unlikeable, detestable). Souma took Ike from Ikemen and combine it into “いけ好かない” (ikesukinai). I don’t know how to make a suitable pun for this in English, so I just translate it as it is. (E/N: I used “eerie” + “ikemen”, does that work?) Better than nothing I guess…
 Remember that even now, Souma hadn’t formally been crowned yet. The right to succeed the throne is actually are in Liscia, so unless Souma marry her, he would only, in his own words, an Acting King (Acting in the meaning of “temporarily doing the duties of another person”) not a proper King.
 Just imagine Souma like this: