The Great Leburan Empire of the northern continent’s western region.
The capital of the Empire was called Vittelvare. It was a metropolis that had acted as the capital of the Leburan Empire even before it split into its eastern and western half, yet it still retained its dignified appearance.
A giant wall, erected out of polished stone, was built around the city. When a person left or entered the city they would see impeccably maintained streets and parks, as well as a multitude of pleasant looking people chatting about.
At the center of the capital was the emperor’s palace, that was the size of a small town, dubbed Dionborg.
In a certain section of the palace, the rulers of the Great Leburan Empire were gathering in a hall. The current emperor, Garba Leburan Sergio Phoebus, sat on a luxurious throne at the apex of the national assembly.
His long white hair and beard were carefully combed back. Though the wrinkles on his forehead were thick, his eyes still carried the sharp glint of a bird of prey. Atop his head sat a gold and jewel encrusted crown, that acted as the symbol of imperial authority, and his body was adorned in extravagant clothes and a luxurious mantle. The gorgeous scepter in his hand was proof of the emperor’s power.
Directly beside the sullen emperor sat a handsome young man and the country’s five chancellors. In the emperor’s line of sight sat the empire’s fifty senators who were in the middle of arguing amongst themselves.
“Wetorias and the surrounding areas have been isolated by the frequent monster attacks! We request the national army to be dispatched immediately! The East is eying the land from across the Shiari river. With things as they are now, we have to prevent the East from crossing over.”
“What did you say?! Wetorias already has one of the army’s battalions stationed there! With those numbers, it should be easy to wipe out mere monsters!”
“That’s right! If the East discovered that two thousand honorable soldiers of the border territory asked for aid, we would become a laughing stock! Not to mention the fact that moving the army would be a heavy financial burden! Is the north territory willing to take on that burden?”
“Huh, the southern territories can handle it! Didn’t the Urato and Shiana Mountain ranges have military forts at their bases for the sole purpose of slaying monsters? This is an opportunity to show their power and importance to everyone!”
Each senator was elected from their respective territories and thus this shouting match was nothing more than them trying to reap the most benefits for their territory.
The Great Leburan Empire was divided into four regions that were then broken up into territories ruled over by feudal lords. As a result, there were often skirmishes between the nobles of each region.
The emperor lowered his head at their unsightly bickering before looking at the man to his side. The handsome man, who was boasting a wide smile, was Saruwisu De Osto. He was the emperor’s official aide and as such rarely expressed any emotion beyond the smile stuck on his face.
Emperor Garba started speaking at a low enough volume so that the chancellors couldn’t hear him.
“What are your thoughts about the recent monster attacks?”
The senators were too busy arguing amongst themselves to look in this direction. Saruwisu turned away from the senators and looked at the emperor before he started to speak.
“With all due respect, according to our spies, it seems that the East has finally succeeded in their attempts to control monsters…… If that’s the case, then their main goal could be Burugo Bay south of Wetorias.”
Emperor Garba’s expression soured when he heard Saruwisu answer.
“I’ve heard there have been frequent sightings of Giant Basilisks and Ogres around Wetorias. If these beings can be controlled as the report says, then they could really pose a threat.”
“However, since no soldiers have been spotted so far, couldn’t it be possible that the East is just testing the effectiveness of the monsters at Wetorias?”
The Emperor glanced out into the distance as he sunk back into his throne.
“Hmph, if that eastern brat had such shallow thinking we would have devoured them a long time ago. The monsters probably aren’t tamed enough to be used alongside regular soldiers. The question is if they could be used in an ambush……”
“Should we take control of the northern army due to the recent raids?”
“No, if we make unnecessary moves in Wetorias, we would leave ourselves open for an attack across the river from Jerina. We should avoid being wedged between a northern and southern assault.”
The Emperor rested his elbow on his throne and stroked his chin as he expressed his concern.
“The East’s plans will surely be affected by what has transpired in Rhoden though.”
The emperor’s eyebrow raised upon hearing Saruwisu remake.
“Certainly. However, that Rhoden boy needs to gain control of the kingdom immediately.”
Emperor Garba stood up after saying that and furiously banged his scepter against the floor. The senators that had been arguing till now went completely silent as they focused on the emperor.
Garba glared at all of the senators and told them to cease their arguments with a sonorous voice.
“If we leave things in Wetorias as they are now, we’d only be inviting those eastern rebels to cross the river. This situation will be handled by the army immediately, the southern army stationed at the northern edge of Tabor shall be dispatched as support.”
Something like a groan escaped the mouths of the senators at the emperor’s declaration. One of the older members stepped up and raised his hand. The emperor allowed the man to speak with a jerk of his chin.
“With all due respect, Tabor is located between the Urato mountains and the Bayonne mountains, an area prone to monster attacks. If the southern army patrolling that area is dispatched to Wetorias, wouldn’t that cause the trade and travel along the highway to stagnate?”
One after another, other members of the senate started to voice their opinions to the Emperor.
“The troops under the command of general Keling stationed at Harutobarak should be sent instead of those at Tabor. The Tabor soldiers can continue their duty while everything is underway.
“But in that situation the defenses at Harutobarak will be undermanned if-”
“The area doesn’t require such heavy protection since there are divisions located east of the Urato mountains and west of the Shiana mountains respectively.”
The older members of the senate write off of any potential problems, making quite a few other senators to sneer at them. A chuckle even escaped the lips of the observing senators.
“Are there any other opinions? Please remain standing if you are opposed to the suggestion.”
The senators simultaneously glanced at one another after the Emperor spoke, before rapidly taking their seats. Only a small number of senators remained standing.
Saruwisu looked around the hall for a moment before declaring the matter settled and moving on to the next point on the agenda.