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Chapter 18. A declaration of war.
‘The enemy’s military is nothing, but… I don’t know why I feel so uneasy.’
Timothy was in a dilemma.
As a result of sending seven scout hawks over the last two days, Laputa’s military force was mediocre at best, if not a joke.
If military power was the only factor, the victory of the Burrow lands would be given.
The basic specs of the Burrows were overwhelmingly better than Laputa.
Kang Chul-In’s land Laputa was composed primarily by humans, but the Burrow land was comprised of ants, moles, centipedes, mole crickets, and others that lived primarily in the soil. If a war broke out, an overwhelming victory was to be expected.
But he felt uneasy.
In Kang Chul-In’s land, it was hard to find any big threats, but… this was commonly called ‘having a bad feeling’. Timothy did not feel too good about this impulsive and reckless battle.
“It is difficult. Very difficult.”
Timothy let out a long sigh.
It was understandable, because Timothy’s specialty was [Administration], and so he was an advisor best suited for paperwork. And so, he was not too competent on war tactics.
But also, he could not leave things to the Sovereign, Kimura either.
Kimura knew nothing.
He was immersed in role-play and wanted to be king, labeling himself as ‘Shogun’ and ‘Great Warrior’ and other things Timothy could not understand. He was a typical tyrant, a young tyrant at that.
“Sigh… my fate!”
A long sigh came from the old Goblin’s mouth.
They definitely had the upper hand in military force, but he could not deal with the uneasiness that overcame him. It was as if he was to poke a beehive.
But there wasn’t any solid excuse for him to convince Kimura to give up on war either. If he had a good enough excuse, it would be worth it to manipulate and convince him… but their superiority in numbers was so clear that there wasn’t any foundation in telling Kimura to give up on battle.
It was then.
A pretty good idea crossed the old Goblin’s mind.
It was quite a good idea.
‘This will do! I could make a suitable argument!”
Timothy smiled widely and went to seek his Sovereign, Kimura.
“b.a.s.t.a.r.d! How dare you shoot an arrow at me!”
Kimura was drinking honey water in the Sovereign hall located deep underground and was grinding his teeth thinking about Kang Chul-In.
“Could you send me as a diplomat?”
Kimura tilted his head, as if asking him what kind of a dumb question that was.
“Why would you send something like that? You can just invade!”
“There are rules in battle as well.”
Kimura squinted and furrowed his brow at Timothy.
“Although he is the enemy, there are basic rules that one needs to keep.”
“Stop saying things that are difficult to understand, you stupid Goblin!”
“So, what’s your point?”
“As the old saying goes, the best victory is won without a fight.”
“Hm… yes that it true.”
What Timothy said, anyone heard at least once, and it was a line from the ‘Art of War’. Although the world was different, it seemed that a victory acquired without a fight was valuable in both worlds.
“If you send me as a diplomat, I will offer the Sovereign who had wronged you to surrender.”
“Yes, Shogun. If you offer surrender and they accept, wouldn’t we be able to win without shedding any blood? It won’t be easy, but since our military strength is much greater, there is a chance.”
Kimura seemed contemplated, and so Timothy took the opportunity to continue.
“Even if the opponent did not accept the offer to surrender, wouldn’t it be an advantage for me to go as a diplomat anyways?”
“Advantage? What advantage?”
In that moment, Sovereign or not aside, Timothy was about to scream ‘Why do you live with a head if you have no brain!’
This was not just an issue of age.
The human himself was just stupid and did not think much.
In the advisor’s position, his patience was tested again and again.
‘I must endure it… this is my Sovereign… I must…’
Timothy persevered with all that he had, and held in his anger. And with a gentle and polite tone, he spoke towards Kimura.
“First, sending a diplomat shows that our Burrow lands is civilized and will not just use force. It is a show of sorts.”
“Is that it?”
“Of course not my Lord! A diplomat is a legal spy. While I offer surrender, I will also bring intel on the enemy. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to see it with my own two eyes instead of using expensive scout hawks?”
“Hm… I guess you are right as well.”
When Kimura seemed to agree, Timothy made a reliable face.
“And also, a war is not just invading whenever you want, but making a declaration first. It is a savage thing to do to just wage war without any warning. Aren’t you a good and wise leader, Shogun?”
“Hm… yes, that is true.”
“If you trust and leave it to me, although I cannot guarantee surrender, I will bring good intel.”
Kimura who had been manipulated by Timothy’s words, allowed for him to leave.
“Ha. You make sure to tell that Sovereign. If he does not surrender, he would taste h.e.l.l.”
“Yes, of course. Hehe~ Then I will be back, Shogun.”
Timothy cheered on the inside, after finally getting approval.
‘It is done!’
Honestly, Timothy did not want this rash, unprepared war. Therefore, saying that he would offer surrender was just to convince Kimura.
Timothy’s intention was this.
He would go, but he would come up with an excuse to make Kimura give up on war such as they have a secret army or a weapon that they were concealing.
Timothy knew that a war was no child’s play.
Also, he wanted to visit Kang Chul-In’s land and relieve the unknown uneasiness that was consuming him. However, Timothy’s delight was short-lived.
‘Sorry, Shogun… but Timothy is prepared to sin if for the safety of the Shogun and the land!’
Timothy apologized to his Sovereign Kimura in the inside.
Intention aside, Timothy’s actions were undermining the Sovereign Kimura, so he felt guilty.
“Sigh… I hope the Shogun would soon become a wise and quick leader.”
Timothy mumbled, and went towards Kang Chul-In’s land.
Timothy went to Laputa as the diplomat for the Burrow lands. And he was able to meet the Sovereign of Laputa, Kang Chul-In.
“So, it was just a patrol of the surroundings, and you had no other intention?”
Kang Chul-In, sitting on his throne, made an interested expression.
“Oh ho…that’s funny.”
“I wonder who would use seven of those expensive scout hawks to just patrol. And just my land… are you overflowing with gold over there?”
Timothy was speechless at Kang Chul-In’s sharp response, and started to make an excuse.
“It’s not that! The Sovereign of the Burrows want peace! It’s just that our lands are so close together, so we are just preparing for unforeseen events. Yes, it’s just that.”
“I would be very grateful if you would think of it as like a patrol only on defensive terms. Kimura Shogun promised that there will be no more of these situations in the future. Please, this time…”
Kang Chul-In stopped Timothy mid-sentence.
“What did you just say? Say it again.”
“Ah, yes. The Sovereign of the Burrows wishes to be called Shogun instead of Sovereign…”
Kang Chul-In exploded in laughter.
Timothy could not understand Kang Chul-In’s sudden laughter.
The Kang Chul-In that he saw, was not someone who would laugh in a formal situation like now. Even with a glance, Kang Chul-In was filled with authority and dignity as he just sat on his throne, but he had laughed. Timothy could not understand.
“Sovereign, may I ask why you are laughing?”
“I laughed because it was funny. Do I need another reason?”
Kang Chul-In answered.
“Which part is funny?”
Discomfort filled Timothy’s face. Although Kimura was incompetent and showed signs of being a tyrant, he was Timothy’s Sovereign. In Timothy’s position as a loyal advisor, it was right to feel offended. However, Kang Chul-In asked again with a smirk, not caring of Timothy’s feelings.
“Your Sovereign, asked to be called Shogun?”
“Yes, Sovereign. Kimura Shogun…”
“is a crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.d.”
“Your Sovereign is the craziest of the crazy, a little rascal.”
Timothy’s face hardened at the words of Kang Chul-In.
“Sovereign, your words are insulting the Sovereign of the Burrow lands.”
“I call a crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.d crazy, what else am I supposed to call him?”
“Maybe if I were to call him something different, idiot? Mentally r.e.t.a.r.ded? Pandemonium… they said it was filled with crazy r.e.t.a.r.ds, it was true.”
Kang Chul-In snorted, as if this situation was absurd.
It was an expected response.
Maybe if Kang Chul-In was a different race, but as long as he was Korean, Kimura who called himself Shogun was crazy in his eyes.
It was the most important position of the bakufu, and was descriptive of j.a.pan’s supreme ruler in the medieval and current ages. Despite being j.a.panese, Kang Chul-In didn’t imagine there would be anyone shameless enough to call himself Shogun. However, Timothy who did not know this, had no choice but to be upset.
“Sovereign! Although Kimura Shogun is young, he is the ruler of a land! If you insult my land’s ruler in a formal setting like this…”
“What, are you going to go to war or something?”
“Sovereign! How can you say such violent things! As I said previously, Kimura Shogun wishes for peace…”
Kang Chul-In stopped Timothy and said in a calm voice with authority.
“Timothy, you said? Do not insult me with such lies.”
In that moment, Timothy froze at the stare of the man sitting on the throne.
The stare looking down was not that of a criminal. It was like a predator with its prey in front of it.
‘This… this man… is different from the Shogun…’
Timothy did not want to admit it, but he needed to accept that the man in front of him had a much larger plate than Kimura.
The aura itself was different.
It was as if he was born to be king. The throne suited him. And this kind of man spoke with authority, so it was expected that Timothy was suppressed and speechless.
‘Timothy… remain calm! Wake up! Your Shogun was insulted! If you lower your tail here, it is the same as the Shogun losing!’
Timothy tried to be strong. He was trying to be a competent advisor.
“Sovereign, although you are upset, your words are too harsh. I would like you to apologize to Kimura Shogun, my Sovereign. If you don’t, the Burrow lands will declare war…”
It was then.
Before Timothy finished his sentence, Commander James hurried into the Sovereign Hall and bowed to Kang Chul-In.
“My Lord, I need to report immediately.”
“What is it?”
“The enemy has moved from the underground and begun to advance into our land!”
And in that moment, Timothy felt his world go yellow, and wished to bite his tongue.
‘He could not wait that much… that retched!’
As Timothy was thinking this, Kang Chul-In smirked and turned towards Timothy.
“What were you saying? Continue with what you were saying.”
What was happening. Timothy could not raise his head in embarra.s.sment.
“From this point… forward… our Burrow lands… are declaring war… on you Sovereign.”
Timothy announced war with his head still bowed. It was a play to be written in history: where the declaration and release of troops happened simultaneously.