They had been preparing to fight the Eshio people since the beginning, that was why the Henoi didn’t need much extra preparation and was ready to move immediately.
The number of people was less than 100. Everyone hold weapons in their hand. The destination they were heading was the spot where the army would destroy the riverbank, in which Torez had told them.
They have arranged to be able to engage with the Kingdom army the moment they arrived at the site. With such a thought they were moving with quick steps.
However, suddenly their foot stops.
“O-Oi, that, aren’t those the Eisho people?!”
From the other side of the small hill, a group of people with weapons appeared. Their number was around 100 people. The other sides seem to look surprised as well since they also stopped their steps.
“W-What should we do? Should we attack them?!”
Torez who participate in the march opened his mouth as he saw the other ready to attack.
“Wait! If we fight against the Eshio guys, how are we going to stop the Kingdom army?!”
“That’s right! The first priority is to save the riverbank!”
“… Alright, everyone hurries up! However, if those Eshio guys attacked us, we will retaliate! Keep vigilant!”
Under the direction of the representative man, the Henoi tribe people walked toward the riverbank.
And the Eshio people also moved toward the riverbank while maintaining a distance.
“What are they doing? Are they also heading to the riverbank?”
“I guess so… Maybe they also knew that the Kingdom army is going to destroy the riverbank.”
Both tribes then arrived at the planned place. Fortunately, they didn’t see the Kingdom army arrived yet, and the riverbank seems to be safe. However, that didn’t last for long. Before long, they begin to prepare to face the Kingdom army.
It was a very strange sight. Two conflicting tribes were acting for the same purpose while being vigilant toward each other.
“… Like this, I guess?”
When the sun began to set, both tribes finished their simple defense.
“Everyone must be tired, right? Let us alternately keep watch and get some rest.”
“Agreed, but don’t let your guard down. I don’t know when the kingdom army going to attack after all…”
Their action in response to the unexpected situation was indeed great. No one doubted their determination to challenge the Kingdom’s army.
However, they didn’t know.
The difficulty of maintaining the state of mind and body when one didn’t know when the enemy would attack.
“The enemy didn’t come…”
“True… Damn it, if you want to come then come already…!”
“Oi, did you hear some noise just now?”
“Didn’t you say the same thing earlier? It’s just inside your mind.”
“How long are you guys going to keep talking? Get some rest already!”
It was important to not neglect vigilance but, if they were being too careful, they would create an unnecessary burden instead. Unfortunately, the untrained humans would be unable to sleep when they were exposed to extreme tension.
The burden created by not enough sleep to one’s own body and mind should never be underestimated. Eventually, the Kingdom army didn’t come and attack them even until dawn, and many of them were unable to sleep.
“… Oi, Torez, what does this mean?!”
“Didn’t you say the Kingdom army is going to come?!”
They raised their voice in frustration toward Torez but, one could not feel any power coming from it. The people of Eshio seems to be under the same situation, and it was clear that both sides had pilled a lot of fatigue.
Of course, that would be natural. They had carried unfamiliar weapons and didn’t get enough sleep as well. Due to the extreme tension, they were exhausted even without fighting.
“There’s no doubt they will come. They will definitely attack in due time..”
“When is that going to happen—…”
“O-Oi, wait! This sound…”
It was the sounds of horseshoe kicking the ground.
And not one or two. Dozens of horses were heading toward their place.
“T-They are coming! Everyone, get your weapon ready!”
The Kingdom army suddenly appeared in front of their tribes in formation.
Everyone held their breath.
The kingdom army, wearing armors and moved as one, was like a huge dragon. Despite having the same number, they were very different compared to Henoi tribes who move separately and didn’t have any sense of unity.
“Are we going to fight them for real?”
Someone uttered those words with a trembling voice but, in reality, they understood that they won’t stand a chance. The Henoi people were exhausted physically and mentally, the morale had fallen to the ground when they witness the Kingdom army. It was already a miracle that no one had tried to escape, and if the war begins, they would definitely be crushed.
While the tribes’ people had such thought inside their minds, one cavalryman stepped forward from the Kingdom army’s side.
“Henoi and Eshio people! We’re the Natra Kingdom army! It is not allowed to cause a disturbance in this area! Everyone, discard your weapons!”
The cavalryman recommended a surrender.
Had this was yesterday, the Henoi and Eshio people would show a rebellious attitude. However, right now they could not even afford to speak up.
However, even in that situation, they still stand in that place. Because they understood how serious it was if the riverbank gets destroyed.
That was why the next words from the cavalryman shook everyone’s heart.
“Listen! The former captain has been dismissed. and now our unit is commanded by the crown prince who visited from the capital city! We’re going to have a discussion with both tribes again!”
Noises start to spread not only among the Henoi people but also among the Eshio people.
“The crown prince is the one commanding they said ?”
“The crown prince, if I’m not wrong, he’s the one who defeated 30,000 Marden army…”
“That’s right. But more than that, I heard he’s a benevolent man who shows compassion toward people from another country.”
“I’d also heard that but… Is that really true? Will he really have a discussion with us if we throw away our weapons?”
Hope and conflict mixed within their minds.
If they calm down a little, they should’ve been able to notice how unnatural the current situation was. About the sudden return of their fellow tribe’s men and the plan to destroy the riverbank. In order to prevent that, they went to the site, and ready to face the enemy despite the fatigue but, suddenly a hand appeared to rescue them. If they have a bird-eye view of all the events, they should be able to notice someone pulling the string.
But, they didn’t notice it. That was because the reason why their opponent let them get exhausted was to make sure that they won’t be able to notice.
“Repeat! Discard all of your weapons! His royal highness does not want unnecessary bloodshed!”
The cavalryman keeps on rising his voice.
Then, one of the Henoi people dropped his weapon.
Starting with that, the surrounding people also let go of their weapon one after another, which the people of Eshio also followed.
Eventually, all of them abandoned their weapons, and the battle for the new land and water source was settled without any bloodshed.
“There’s no result better than this.”
Louwellmina who could understand Wayne’s plan from the beginning looked happy.
“Fabricate a non-existing plan, then sent in a spy, lastly let the enemy dance… It was a simple strategy but, because it was simple, it’s also easy to do. As expected of Wayne.”
“If I don’t have the reputation of winning against Marden, this would be a hard thing to do.”
There were two people inside the tent. The Kingdom army and the surrendering tribes were in the middle of a meal.
He had given them a feast with the pretext of lifting their fatigue but, Wayne actually had a different intent.
“Moreover, with this opportunity, you want to reconcile the conflict between those two tribes. As always, you’ve thought about a lot of things huh? Wayne.”
“If I don’t do that, it would be hard to drive forward this poor country.”
That was right, even if they solved it this time, if the fundamental problem between Henoi people and Eshio people was not solved, a similar problem would occur again next time. That was why Wayne intends to bring together the two tribes and stabilize the land.
“Your Highness, excuse me!”
The one who appeared was Raklum and the three soldiers.
“Oh, you guys can take it easy. … Torez, Cardia, Zolt, you guys did well despite the dangerous mission. This all is the result of your efforts. I’ll give you guys appropriate rewards later…”
It was the highest honor a soldier could hope for, being given a reward by the crown prince. While they saluted deeply toward Wayne, their expression showed deep joy.
“Raklum, I should apologize.”
“It is better for someone to have a few notoriety on one’s name. Moreover, if we did it using the usual method, bloodshed would be spilled, and the circle of hatred would appear instead. If we’re looking at that, it is better if none of that happens.”
Even if he said that, in the end, Wayne had taken the chance for him to have some achievements. Wayne then turned toward the three again, as he thought how to make up for it.
“If I’m not wrong, all of you are single, yes?”
“Eh? Yes, I do but…”
One person answered while the remaining two nodded their heads.
“Are there any lovers or someone in your mind?”
Everyone shakes their head, and their confusion intensified.
Then Wayne threw a bomb at them.
“I see, then the story would be quick. — You guys, why not marry the ladies from the other tribes?”
Wayne then continues speaking while the three looked dismayed and fall further into confusion.
“I will use this opportunity to promote reconciliation between the two tribes so that something like this won’t happen again. And having a relative bond would be the quickest way to achieve that. Like that, I want you guys being the pioneers.”
“No, that is…”
“Didn’t you say you will bet your life for your tribes?”
Wayne put his hand on Torez’s shoulders.
“If that is the case then, putting one foot into the graveyard of life is a cheaper price to pay.”
Astonishment and bewilderment, only those emotions could be seen on the three faces.
Wayne then continues while laughing…
“Well, I won’t force you guys. However, in the record, there was a time when the two tribes had friendly relations. For not believing that the two sides could hold hands, it would be a complete prejudice. You guys may go now…”
After Wayne said those words, Raklum and the others left the tent.
As the footsteps moved away, Louwellmina who was watching the situation opened her mouth.
“Wayne, is it true that there’s a record of the two tribes having a friendly relation?”
“Of course. I believe when I returned back, such a record would appear.”
“I see… It seems you still have that schemer’s tongue…”
“If a country could become rich just because the statesman is completely honest then I would not mind cutting my tongue.”
Wayne spoke those words with a smile on his face.
“Now then, it is time for me to have a meeting with the head of the two tribes. I’m sorry but I cannot bring someone from another country for this.”
“I’m happy right now, that is why I will obediently stay. But, it would be lonely by myself, so, please come back soon…”
“If that is the case then pray for the meeting to proceed smoothly…”
Wayne moved out of the tent. The destination was not the place where the two tribe chiefs were waiting…
“I’ve kept you waiting.”
Inside the tent set up a little away, Raklum had waited. And behind him were countless weapons bundled together.
“These are weapons that we confiscated from the tribes’ men.”
The catalyst of the dispute was the construction of the new river channel, but it was due to these weapons that the situation deteriorated. Had the tribes’ men didn’t have these weapons, the situation would’ve been solved by the time the Kingdom army was being dispatched.
So where did the weapon comes from? That was what he had planned to investigate but, such information was very important and must be strictly managed. That was why he lied to Louwellmina and took some distance.
“From my point of view, all of the weapons are new. It is definitely not made in Natra…”
If it was foreign items, then the problem would be why it drifted into Natra that was located in the north. If they tried to sell such weapons far in this kind of frontier, they would be selling loss.
To put it the other way around, some countries have enough weapons to throw them away… And when it comes to having a large number of weapons, it means the high possibility of preparing for war.
As Raklum run some scenarios inside his mind, Wayne muttered with an unpleasant voice.
“… This is bad.”
Raklum was anxious when he heard his lords speak such words. However, Wayne immediately reassures him and give Raklum an order.
“Raklum, prepare a pen and paper. I have to tell Ninim something. Also, start the preparation to withdraw the army. Since we’ve confiscated their weapons and break their hearts. For the time being, we could leave the negotiation to the other officials.”
As Raklum responded immediately and left the tent, Wayne looked toward the distance…
Beyond that tent where Louwellmina waited.
“—You’ve done it huh, Louwellmina.”