Chapter 242 Another Battlefield

“There’s been a report of insufficient medicine. Take everything out of storage! Ask the merchants’ guild to help collect as well.”

Duke Armenia’s territory’s capital was completely different now, in a state of chaos. Everyday was packed and busy.

I had my duties.

Duties to protect the people who live in the eastern region. And duties to help Ryle, Dida, and the police guard face down conflict.

But I can’t participate directly in the battle to help them. Because of that, I can only do my best to do what’s within my capabilities.

To tell the truth, I still want to visit the battlefield. The thought coils around me like a deep-seated anxiety.

I, who can issue orders, still hunching in the back for safety.

If I were there, I’d be able to learn intel sooner, move people accordingly…! That’s what I thought.

But precisely because I was a leader, I couldn’t let anything happen to me.

In other words, to protect the powerless me they needed to distribute more guards, which only increased the work our guards had to do.

I understood this. Even so, it pained me.

Every movement of every moment, and our corresponding planning and reactions.

Each time I saw the report of casualties, I was overwhelmed.

Gazing down at the materials in my hand.

Spread open on the table was a map of Duke Armenia’s territory and a few chess pieces.

“Is there any movement on the police guard’s side, in terms of adjusting their plans?”

I could only trust Dida and Ryle with everything happening on-site.

Since we didn’t have something like a telephone to immediately communicate, whatever I said would only increase the chaos of the situation. Of course, I kept receiving scheduled reports.

Putting that aside, I only asked that the people there be careful, take in the whole situation and pay attention to how people and objects might be moving.

Other than the northern team, every other police guard had sent most of its forces to the eastern region.

“Yes, yes, the north remains where it is. Western and Southern divisions arrange for their personnel to move out. They should be able to arrive in the eastern regions within days.”

I trusted in Ryle and Dida’s strength.

But on the other hand, I needed to consider the possibility of a situation where they had to retreat.

How the enemy would attack, how they would deal with reinforcements. The escape route for the people, and how we would arrange the police team.

Taking all of this into consideration, I turned these thoughts over in my head.

“All right. What’s the situation like on evacuating the citizens? How much more progress have we made? Are the supplies holding up?”

Reports came one after another. Officials listened together, then gave their own opinions.

At the same time they spread this intel to each department, running around to guarantee everything was carried out without a hitch.

“My report says that there’s been no progress in evacuation..”

“How? Has something happened?”

“No, it’s because…”

The official responsible for reporting went silent temporarily.

What could have happened, I thought. Narrowing my eyes, I gazed at him while he opened his mouth seriously.

“‘Because it’s our city, we need to do our part to protect it’ and so on. ‘We can’t just be protected by Lady Iris, we need to serve as her strength too’…That’s what the people who remain. The young men are in charge of moving supplies and running errands, while the women look after supplies and cook for the police guard.”

Those words sent a shock through my whole system I could barely articulate.

“No…way…”

These words tumbled out of my mouth, even quieter and hard to hear than I expected.

It wasn’t a moment for emotions, yet somehow I was moved beyond belief.

“This is all the truth.”

When I looked at him, I noticed the corner of his lips twitching.

Yes, the reason he had gone silent was also because his emotions were on the verge of eruption as well.

Just like me right now.

We must feel the same way.

The citizens are in a position of being protected.

When it comes to power and violence, they have no real means of fighting.

The natural disaster from beforehand was an example.

When a catastrophe like that happened, they couldn’t do anything but run to my territory.

I couldn’t blame them. They were weak, after all, with no chips in their hands. In this situation they made the best decision to save themselves.

Or at least, that’s the way it should be.

Yet this time the people of that city chose the battlefront.

Not giving up and fleeing, or bowing their heads before a new authority. No, they chose to fight.

That city, that territory…they felt its importance too.

They’ve affirmed the path we’ve taken until today.

Their determination, their longing shook my heart.

“Excuse me, milady.”

While I was still sunk in thought, Tanya appeared.

“Can I report something to you?”

“Ah, yes.”

The warmth in my body stopped me from formulating a complete thought.

“Report from Dida. To seize the government offices back, the Boltique family has agreed to join forces with us.”

She said this by my ear quietly.

“W-what?”

“Something about punishing others for abusing their name. Plus, they said they owed you a favor. I don’t know which one is more true…”

Tanya couldn’t help but smile.

The burst of emotion from earlier hadn’t even calmed down yet, and now I felt as if I’d been thrust into it all again.

Before my eyes, the image of Claus appeared.

It really did make me want to laugh.

A man with a sharp eye, who was quite a good man when you really talked to him.

Only them, who loved the city and were beloved as well would do something like that.

Originally I thought we’d never see each other again. Yet somehow we were standing on the same battlefront again.

“Excuse me. About the medicine, the merchants’ guild will provide support. Here’s a signed document from them.”

“We’ve received intel from the medical association that volunteer doctors keep departing for the eastern regions. They’re asking us to set up a system to support them.”

Like they were following Tanya into the room, reports came one after another.

One after another, they touched my heart.

“A leader’s job is to make the people proud. Protect the people, love the people, and make sure they prosper. Safeguarding their way of life so they develop a sense of belonging, which one can use to rule over them…I think that’s a ruler’s job.”

The words I’d said to the officials in the past came back to me now.

The paths I’d walked, struggling with what was wrong or right or what transforming our current system would even mean.

Because I never had a solution for these issues, I forced myself into the mindset that forward was the only way I could go.

Right now, in this situation, the people…everyone was telling me the answer.

Not just the people who were directly related to me, but each citizen too.

My eyes grew teary, but I wouldn’t allow myself to cry.

It wasn’t a time to dwell on my emotions.

“Immediately establish a support system for doctors and medicine! Since any medical setting will need more space, give some suggestions for that. Send the police guard and officials there and recruit more volunteers, plus a reminder to the volunteers in the eastern regions to undertake things in shifts. Tell them not to get too worn out.”

Officials issued order after order, responding to the new information.

“The people have responded to us. We have to protect our people and land, and do our duty!”

“Yes, milady!” The officials responded together.

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