Chapter 11: The Unfair Bet
She calmed herself down, and turned her gaze away. ‘Well, I guess I’m not as nervous around him as before.’ It was to be expected, since 30 years had passed. It was different from love for her family. She had once been burning up from her love for him, but that had been the beginning of her tragedy! She was just surprised from the unexpected meeting, nothing more.
The Emperor spoke to the Crown Prince.
“Why are you late?”
“We were discussing the budget of the Creme Expedition.”
The Emperor nodded his head.
“Yes, that’s important. We can’t avoid the citizens of our Empire being massacred. So if it’s a necessary war, we must win. Marquis, what is the Republic doing?”
“The forces of the Republic are still in the Black Land, so they haven’t moved yet. But the war of the Black Land is almost finished, and if we win the Creme Expedition and take control of the Black Sea, they’ll try to intervene somehow.”
The three continued to converse about the upcoming war.
“We are planning on using the Romanoff brigade. Do you think that’s enough?”
“Just that brigade alone is over 50,000 soldiers, so I believe it’ll be fine if the Republic doesn’t intervene. More than that could be too much on the budget.”
Elise quietly listened to their conversation. ‘So the war is happening.’ To be frank, she didn’t know about these ongoings of the Empire in her past life. Because she wasn’t interested. But she did know something about the First Creme Expedition. ‘The Expeditionary Forces fail. Completely.’ She clenched her fists above her dress. After the all of the Romanoff brigade failed, she knew that her second brother participated in the Second Creme Expedition. And he passed away.
But it was then.
The Emperor looked at her and smiled.
“We said such boring things in front of the Lady.”
“N, No, it’s okay.”
“How about it? Is there anything you’d like to say about the upcoming Expedition?”
“I wouldn’t dare….”
“It’s only because I want to hear what you have to say. Don’t feel burdened, and if you have any good ideas, let me know.”
It was a soft voice, as if letting her know it was ok. It wasn’t to seek her advice, he was just curious what her thoughts were, especially since they would be family soon. Elise hesitated. ‘Could I say it?’ She did know several things about why they had failed in the past. ‘But won’t they think it’s strange I know these things?’
She had already suddenly changed. But if she suddenly gave advice after not being interested in the politics of the Empire, she might be suspected of something. ‘No. I might be able to save more people.’
Eventually, the war ended in the victory of the Empire, but only with great losses. ‘So what if I’m suspected? The best thing would be to stop the war, but that’s impossible. Then, I need to save more people.’ As a doctor, she hated wars, where people endlessly died. If she couldn’t stop the war, she wanted to decrease the casualties.
“Then although I am lacking, I’ll tell you my thoughts.’
The Emperor looked at her like he was looking at his daughter being cute and nodded.
“For this war, we need to beware of two things.”
“Oho, two things?”
The Emperor had an amused face.
“Let’s hear them.”
“The first is the Eastern Kingdom Monshell.”
The Emperor had a confused face.
“The Monshell Kingdom? Not the Francoen Republic?”
“Yes, we need to consider the participation of the Monshell Kingdom in the war.”
The Marquis spoke to her in an educating tone.
“Elise, the Monshell Kingdom has no relation to the Creme Peninsula. They’re close, but they don’t care about the tribal wars going on in that area right now either, and they have no relation to the Black Sea. We have to worry about the Francoen Republic right now.”
“Yes, you’re right, father. Geographically, the Monshell Kingdom has no need to participate in the war.”
“But why do we have to consider their participation?”
“Because the current ruler of the Monshell Kingdom is Count Igrint.”
“Because of Count Igrint?”
The Marquis stopped trying to teach her and his face momentarily froze. And the same went for the Emperor. Both of them were giants in managing the empire. They would’ve understood Elise’s hidden meaning in her words.
“Lady, is that perhaps…?”
“Yes, Count Igrint is an unstable king who has not been acknowledged as the current ruler. To earn the right to be king the traditional way, he must be approved by the Francoen Republic.”
“Since the Monshell Kingdom is one that became independent from the past Francoen Republic, the Francoen Empire.”
The Emperor and the Marquis had grave faces. Even the Crown Prince was looking at her.
“The Francoen Republic can’t move their forces right now. Instead of approving Count Igrint’s right to rule, they may ask for assistance in attacking our force.”
A heavy silence descended on the garden. It wasn’t something to ignore just because a young girl had said it. There was definitely potential for what she said to happen.
“Huh, Monshell Kingdom. I didn’t even think about that. Yes, it’s definitely possible.
“Yes. The Republic won’t stay still. It’s completely possible that they’ll move the Monshell Kingdom.”
Both of them looked at Elise with awed expressions. How did they, who managed the entire empire, miss something that a young girl had caught? And at that moment, a cold voice pierced the air.
“The Monshell Kingdom only has about 20,000 soldiers they can deploy. Are you saying that their army can put our empire’s forces in danger?”
It was the Crown Prince.
One couldn’t know how Elise was feeling, discussing subjects with her husband after 30 years, but she calmly responded.
“If we fight head on, I believe our forces will never be able to lose. Since the Britia Empire has the best forces in the West, no in the entire world. Except for the Republic and the Prussian Republic’s forces, no army will be able to fight against us head on and win.”
“You know well. But?”
“Only if we fight them head on.”
The Crown Prince’s eyebrows furrowed. Before he could ask again, Elise said two words.
“Donovo River. And the Ukraine Mountain Ranges.”
“If the Monshell Kingdom’s forces move, they won’t come to the Creme Peninsula, but to the Ukraine Mountain Ranges. Since if they travel by the Donovo River, they can head straight to the Ukraine Mountain Ranges.”
“Lady, you’re saying….”
“Yes, the Ukraine Mountain Ranges are the only way for our Romanoff’s Brigade to get to the Creme Peninsula. If they are compromised, our forces may be isolated in that area.”
If that happened, there would only be one result. The total loss of the Expeditionary Force.
Another silence descended upon the garden. It was incomparable to the silence before. Everyone looked at the Elise in astonishment for catching what the giants who managed the empire missed.