Romelia Senki Volume 1 Chapter 2 part 1

 


Chapter 2 – Heading to the Border, Seizing the Fortress
 
The 3-year journey to defeat the Demon King was truly grueling.
 
Having grown up a noblewoman, just hunger and cold were agonizing enough. After entering the demons’ territory, we were often in danger of attacks.
 
Although I endured the harsh 3-year journey, the trip to Cashewwas so miserable I wanted to scream out loud.
 
Because the carriage was packed with complaints.
 
The one grumbling was Grandma Cairo, who had voluntarily joined me.
 
“How could the lord and madam send Young Lady Romelia who just returned to the borderlands like this?”
 
Grandma Cairo complained incessantly. I had heard it many times already. The grandma seemed unable to accept me going to Cashew.
 
Certainly, at a glance, it looked like a disowned daughter whose engagement was dissolved and relations severed.
 
“That’s why I keep saying it’s not like that, Grandma.”
 
I was the one who proposed going to Cashew. I had explained many times, but the grandma ignored me, still criticizing their attitude as too much.
 
“It’s just how it is. The victim is Young Lady Romelia! Why must the young lady be sent to the borderlands? When it comes down to it, bringing up that prince who discarded Young Lady Romelia who followed him travelling in the first place and got engaged to some woman who popped up from who knows where is going too far!”
 
Grandma Cairo raged. Her usual piousness was nowhere to be found. Though her words thinly veiling the Church-recognized holy maiden were a bit concerning, I was already tired of admonishing her. Her husband Grandpa Catan with us in the carriage didn’t look pleased either, no longer reminding her.
 
“With Young Lady Romelia bearing such heartbreak, the madam does nothing but weep, and the lord says not a word. It’s too awful. They should say at least a word or two.”
 
I didn’t feel heartbroken, but the lack of scolding did surprise me. While I hadn’t expected the warm words Grandma described, saying nothing also shocked and frightened me.
 
“And the servants too. For Young Lady Romelia to go to Cashewyet not one follows, it boggles the mind.”
 
The only ones joining me in Cashewwere Grandma and her husband Grandpa.
 
“It’s fine, they have their own thoughts too.”
 
I didn’t blame them. No one probably wanted to go to the borderlands.
 
“But still…”
 
Grandma kept chattering on. I was tired of listening already.
 
“That’s enough, Grandma. This was all my decision.”
 
“But Young Lady Romelia, we’re going to Cashewin the borderlands. Won’t monsters appear there too? It’s too much to send the young lady to such a place.”
 
“I know, but it’s not a bad place. The scenery there is beautiful. It’s nice.”
 
I told Grandma of Cashew’s merits. Of course, that was really the only one.
 
“Young Lady Romelia, have you been to Cashewbefore?”
 
“Just once.”
 
I briefly answered the grandma’s question. While travelling with the prince, we had unexpectedly passed through Cashewonce. Though an unplanned detour, I did learn some interesting matters because of it.
 
“Alright, no more griping. There’s much to be done.”
 
I looked out the carriage window at the scenery outside. We had entered Cashewnow. Though it was tranquil rustic scenery, damage could be seen on the fences lining the road here and there.
 
It was probably caused by monsters. If even the roads were being affected, that would be a problem. The situation was likely worse in the remote villages. An on-site investigation was definitely needed.
 
“Grandpa, pardon me, but could you have the coachman stop the carriage? Let’s take a detour.”
 
I changed direction, taking a roundabout route through the territory’s more secluded areas to investigate the state of monster damages. Due to this, the journey was delayed further, and we arrived at the new residence, Carulus Fortress, 10 days later than scheduled.
 
“This is the easternmost end of the kingdom, Carulus Fortress? It’s unexpectedly quite nice.”
 
Alighting from the carriage, I murmured at Carulus Fortress, which we had reached 10 days behind schedule.

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It was a fortress surrounded by stone walls on four sides.
 
“Oh my, so this is Carulus? I may faint.”
 
Faced with the rough fortress, Grandma looked ready to swoon, but I already knew this place would be like this. I didn’t want a pretty mansion. I wanted a military facility capable of housing soldiers.
 
“Yes, nice right? The nature is beautiful. We’ll be safe even if monsters appear.”
 
I told Grandma.
 
Cashewwas blocked by the steep Gaehra Mountains to the north and wetlands to the south. The east was wilderness, then the border with the neighboring country. There was a history of war with them in the past. Though Carulus Fortress had been built at this easternmost end for defense against the enemy nation, Cashewitself held no strategic value. As such, Carulus Fortress also never faced battle. Perhaps because of that, the fortress had an air of negligence about it. The two gatekeepers flanking the main gate yawned, leaning on their spears. With the Demon King army advancing in the kingdom’s west, far removed from the main battlefield, morale here was low as well – one reason for sure.
 
“Young Lady Romelia, we can’t stay in a place like this. Let’s return to Miredo City immediately. We can still live decently there.”
 
We had passed through Miredo, the largest city in Cashew, on the way here. Certainly, life there would probably be comfortable.
 
“I have business here. Go to Miredo yourself if you want. No need to worry. Anywhere will become home if you live there long enough.”
 
The soldiers escorting us conveyed my identity to the gatekeepers. The gates opened and our carriage entered the fortress.
 
The interior of Carulus Castle was spacious. According to the documents, it could house up to 1000 soldiers at maximum capacity. It looked to only have 50 or so currently, but the records stated 100. They were probably out training or patrolling.
 
I alighted from the carriage and a scholarly man came to receive me. The Governor in charge of Cashewand Carulus Fortress was apparently away for training. Though it seemed they had immediately dispatched horses to contact him, it appeared we could only wait for his return.
 
Anyway, I had Grandpa unload the luggage and Grandma clean up the quarters. Giving her some work should quiet her down a bit. I sent the escort soldiers back and looked around the fortress myself.
 
But just a brief inspection revealed the fortress’s state was far from perfect.
 
The low personnel couldn’t be helped, but first, the soldiers’ morale was low. Lacking any sense of urgency due to the distance from the battlefield, they didn’t stop me as I walked around even though we were strangers.
 
Moreover, the soldiers’ equipment was also deficient. The weapons were worn and the quantities looked insufficient. Especially the arrows and crossbow bolts needed to defend the fortress, which were very few. The cavalry horses also seemed inadequately stocked.
 
After making a round, Grandpa had finished unloading the luggage which was carried to the reception room. I also went to the reception room, opened the luggage, and wanted to confirm the documents I brought. As I was checking the paperwork, a portly man escorted by guards entered.
 
Since his armor was ornately decorated, I could instantly tell he was of high rank.
 
“You must be Lady Romelia. Please accept my apologies for the long wait and welcome. I am Zelbeck, the Governor appointed over this territory.”
 
The stout man smiled gently and lowered his head. He was the Governor administering Cashewand also the fortress commander here. In effect, this fortress belonged to him.
 
“Governor Zelbeck, pleased to make your acquaintance. Now I must immediately ask a favor. It seems monsters frequently appear in this region. We should form an extermination troop. I will handle command, so please provide soldiers, horses, weapons, and provisions.”
 
Hearing my first words, Zelbeck laughed in surprise.
 
“As expected of someone who travelled with Prince Henry. You’re very brave, but protecting the territory is my duty. Please remain in your quarters, Lady Romelia.”
 
“I would like to, but Governor Zelbeck. Work seems to have stalled. Reports of monster attacks are coming from villages everywhere.”
 
“Those are merely bored ramblings. They’re just unwilling to pay taxes and pretending monsters appeared.”
 
Though Zelbeck tried to deny it, I wouldn’t be deceived.
 
“That’s not the case. Monsters appearings are true. We arrived late because we took a roundabout route to confirm damages in the territory. There has already been harm.”
 
Since I saw it with my own eyes, there was no mistake. Though no major damage yet, the monster numbers would likely gradually rise. If large-scale extermination wasn’t carried out, problems would inevitably brew sooner or later.
 
“Oh my, I Zelbeck have been negligent all my life. I will form an extermination troop immediately. However, please remain here, Lady Romelia.”
 
“No, I will join as well.”
 
I refused to back down. I wanted soldiers by any means. An army that would be my hands and feet.
 
“Lady Romelia, what authority do you have to say that? While this is indeed Count Grahm’s territory, you have no jurisdiction.”
 
Governor Zelbeck questioned my qualifications. Certainly, I was only a comital daughter and had no authority to order Governor Zelbeck around. However, I did have authorization if I lacked credentials.
 
“I have the authority. Look, this is a letter of authorization. Please confirm.”
 
I showed him the documents – a plenipotentiary letter handwritten by my father. With this, I held the same power over Cashewas my father the Count. There was nothing I couldn’t accomplish here.
 
Father probably gave me living expenses and servants, ample money to live as I pleased. But with that funding, I could also mobilize this fortress’s soldiers. I could even dismiss Governor Zelbeck if I wanted.


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