Ludwig scouts

 

“My apologies for calling you at such an hour, Captain Dion.”

“Not at all.
It is natural for us soldiers to work at the will of Your Highness, no matter the place or time.”

Dion kneels and bows his head.
He paid proper homage to Princess Mia, who saved the lives of his own subordinates.
This was a rare and exceptional attitude for him who is usually cynical and sarcastic.

“Well, is that so? It’s kind of creepy hearing that from you, but … well, it’s okay.
Actually, I have something to ask.”

For some reason, Mia was staring at him cautiously, but she cleared her throat and started talking as if she was finally comfortable to speak her troubles.

“So, you want to go to the forest to get your hairpin back…?”

When Dion heard about the situation, he involuntarily tilted his head in wonder.

Is it really expensive? However, she doesn’t seem to be that kind of person to worry about expensive things… or is it a gift from someone special?

It was Dion who speculated that, but after hearing more details about the request, he just became more confused.

“So, it is something you got from a child in the slums…”

No matter how much it meant as it was a keepsake of the child’s mother, he couldn’t understand why she would bother to return to the forest for such a thing.

“I am perfectly aware that what I am asking you is quite selfish of me, though.”

“It doesn’t matter.
Let’s go.”

“……What?”

“Your Highness gave me a great favour by creating an opportunity for my soldiers to withdraw from the frontline.
The least I could do to repay such favour is to listen to one or two selfish requests.”

Besides, I am sure it is more than just selfishness, right?

Dion said the last part in his heart.

“Well, I can’t move the soldiers, but I’m here.
So, if you’re okay, I’ll take you myself.”

“Oh?! Me alone with you!? Just the two of us?”

Mia’s face turned blue for a moment, but…

“Fine… I suppose that can work…”

Her voice trembled as if she were about to cry.

 

“Captain Dion”

A voice stopped Dion as he stepped out of the room.

“Oh, Ludwig?”

He saw Ludwig, Mia’s confidant, standing waiting for him.

“Please, I would like to ask you to keep Mia-sama safe.
Mia-sama is a necessary person for the empire now and in the future.”

“Well, I’ll do my best.
I owe Her Highness a favour and I am not a man who doesn’t repay a debt.”

He casually saluted Ludwig and tried to turn to go…

“There is one more thing I would like to ask.”

Dion slightly tightens his expression as he noticed Ludwig’s determined gaze.

“What else can I do for you, Ludwig?”

“Once you come back safely, I would like you to join our cause and become one of Her Highness’ allies.”

“Join your cause? That sounds like a really big deal… and I thought that Her Highness did not like me very much.”

Since this invitation was coming from Mia’s most trusted aide, he must have misjudged how Mia thinks of him.

“While you’re inviting me to your cause, but you did not tell me what exactly I should be doing? Should I join the Imperial Guard and protect Her Highness? Well, that seems to be fun too.”

“Considering your sword skills, you’ll be the most reliable guardian.
That’s certainly a fascinating suggestion, but that’s not it.”

After shaking his head a little, Ludwig said something unexpected…

“I want you to be a general.”

“What? Me? You want me to be a general?”

As expected, Dion also opens his mouth in shock at Ludwig’s words.

“Let me explain.
I work in the Golden Moon Ministry, and I have connections with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
But unfortunately the military, that is Black Moon Ministry, I have no influence over it.
For what Her Highness wants to do, I, a civilian is not enough.
She needs allies in the military department.
And not just any allies.
She needs someone who has the ability to achieve what she plans she has in her heart.”

“For that reason, do you want me to work my way up to the very top and help her from there?”

In a sense, what Ludwig was asking him was more difficult than being an imperial guard and putting his life on the line for Mia.
For Dion, who has no interest in career advancement and thinks that politics is a pain, this might be a bad idea.
But…

“Hmmm….
Now that you put it like that, that sounds to be fun too.”

Nobody was more surprised by those words other than Dion himself.
He couldn’t believe what just came out of his mouth.
However, the more he thought about it, the more it made sense.
If he was to wield his sword and put his and his men’s life on the line, better to do it for the Princess than for some braindead noble.

“Well, anyway, it doesn’t make sense to say anything else for now.
There is no guarantee that we will be able to survive and return safely from the forest, and there is no guarantee that this conflict will be resolved peaceful – Hey! What are you laughing about?”

He raised his eyebrows at Ludwig who was chuckling.

“No, don’t mind me.
It’s not a big deal, I just find all of this amusing.”

“That Her Highness will surely fix this mess and that I am just wasting my time worrying about it? Is that what you think?”

“There is that.
But more importantly, it seems that you, Captain Dion, also thinks that way too.”

When Ludwig pointed it out, Dion was surprised.
Indeed, he certainly did not feel anxious.
He just thought that it was because he has confidence in his sword skills.

Was I also thinking that so long as I leave it to Her Highness everything will turn out fine?

Dion laughed.
The thought of it was both amusing and also vexing.

 

The secret talk of this night will be a renowned event that appears in the history books in the future.
Later, the prestigious Chancellor Ludwig and the General Dion Alaia, will be known as Mia’s Four Heavenly Kings.
It was the first encounter of the two men who will devote their lives for Mia.
It will be a friendship forged through adversities, but it all began on this fateful night of secret talks.

 

Author’s Note:

By the way, I think Anne is one of Mia’s four heavenly kings.
The last one is still undecided…

And it goes without saying that the weakest person is not one of the four heavenly kings, but Mia herself who leads it ….

That was the story.

 

Translator’s Note:

Why is the author bullying Mia so much…

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