Burnett ==> Branier I don’t know where I got Barnett, but corrections have been made
Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
The remote Branier Territory of the eastern Samla Kingdom.
The land east of the Uiru river once belonged to the Nozan Kingdom.
Right now, this area was ruled by a noble from the Salma Kingdom, Margrave Branier’s family.
It was a considerably large area for one house to rule over, but seventy years ago, the grandfather of the Branier family’s current head was a Knight Commander who spearheaded the conquest, and due to his remarkable and distinguished service he was granted ownership of the land by the king of Salma Kingdom
However, the nobles from the capital loathed the former Knight Commander due to his commoner background and rapid rise, the farmland and the population had been devastated by the battle and any attempt at land expansion was met with retaliation from Nozan.
Still, the land originally consisted of gentle plains and was very rich despite the steady influx of monsters from the Sobiru Mountains. Public order grew under the knight corps’ thorough protection and reconstruction continued, allowing the land to prosper.
Due to their efforts the Branier family had been raised to the ranks of nobility by the king and now stood as one of the kingdom’s most powerful houses, though it was increasingly isolated from the other nobles.
In the center of the territory, ridiculed by other nobles as the “frontier”, sat a castle that had been converted from mansion which had been standing in the region since it was under the Nozan Kingdom’s control.
The castle was a bit different from a normal one as the originally elegant mansion was surrounded security walls and guards towers.
The castle reflected the uniqueness of the territory whose capital it was. A lone, elderly man sat in one of the mansion’s large rooms, working on some paperwork at his desk.
There was little about the man that indicated his advanced age.
While his fine clothes were befitting for someone of his status, his well-toned physique was barely contained by them. The white mustache under his nose and his sharp eyes gave him a somewhat villainous appearance.
The only clear indicator of his age was the thinning gray hair atop his head.
This man’s name was Wendelin De Branier.
He was the first heir of his family’s territory, a Lord renewed for impeccable leadership and his continued suppression of Nozan Kingdom’s assaults.
The only sound within the office was that of his pen scrawling across the page, so the quiet knock at the down stalled Margrave Branier’s hand, making him look up from his work.
After receiving permission, a young woman opened the door and offered a curtsy before entering.
Her dress wasn’t as extravagant as those usually found in noble society and her expression remained calm as she walked towards her Lord.
Normally, the women appearing in such a place were simple servants or the types who enjoyed to dress up, but this woman’s mannerisms were more reminiscent of a secretary.
When Margrave Branier recognized who the woman was he lowered his pen and silently jerked his chin.
“Branier-sama, we received a rather worrisome report from the patrol guards a while ago.”
“Hmm, what is it?”
A hard edge appeared in Margrave Branier’s eyes as he began to twirl his mustache before jerking his chin again.
“Just southwest of here, local residents witnessed a carriage led by a guard detail being attacked by a monster that has never been seen before.”Margrave Branier raised an eyebrow at the statement.
It was a reasonable reaction from the Margrave as it was a common occurrence for Nozan Kingdom to send troops ahead in preparation for another attempt to reclaim the territory.
However, the next part of the report was different from how these things normally played out.
“The exact number guards was unknown, but we are certain there was only a single carriage. It’s likely that the convoy was protecting a dignitary. The witnesses were unable to identify any coat of arms or family crest due to the distance between them and the group.”
“Just southwest of here…… Was it a messenger from Rarisa? If so, then why? Have the whereabouts of the carriage and the monster been verified?”
Margrave Branier began stroking his chin and pressed the woman for more information regarding the situation.
“Yes, the carriage was reportedly traveling east from there, so a search party was sent to investigate. The wreckage of the carriage and the bodies of a few guards were discovered. However, the body of the carriage’s occupant was never found and it’s likely they managed to escape. As for the monster, a simple sketch was prepared based on the witness’ descriptions of it.”
The secretary-like woman pulled out a parchment and handed it over to Margrave Branier, who proceeded to examine the strange figure drawn on it.
“The upper body of a human and the lower body of a spider…… what is this? Are those four arms and two head? Is it a new type of monster…… no, even still……”
Margrave Burnett groaned as he examined the image on the page before placing it on his desk and looking up at the secretary.
“Were the slain guards identified?”
“No, although the report said that the quality of their equipment was impressive, they didn’t carry any identifying items.”
The woman closed her mouth after answering his questions and awaited his instructions.
“It’s suspicious that they didn’t carry anything to identify themselves. If it had been a noble from the capital, what would be the point of hiding their identity……? No dignitary would act in such a manner.”
Margrave Branier muttered to himself in order to arrange his thoughts and it wasn’t long before he realized something and slicked back his thinning hair.
“……Maybe someone from Nozan Kingdom tried to enter Dimo Earldom? But why? They could have sailed across the Clyde gulf, so why take the risk of using the land route? No, the details can be inferred later.”
Margrave Branier stroked his mustache once more before he started giving instructions to the secretary-like woman.
“We will look into the whereabouts of the convoy’s survivors later, for now organize a subjugation force to deal with the unidentified monster! There is a possibility that a village was destroyed in their attempt to escape the monster. Dispatch six platoons to the southern area, make sure all units stay in contact with each other as they search the area!”
The secretary-like woman spoke a small acknowledgment of the Margrave’s orders.
“Understood, I’ll inform the knights immediately.”
She bowed after saying so and immediately left the room.
After watching her leave Margrave Branier slowly stood up, walked over to the large glass window in his office and took a look outside.
“……Just what’s happening in Nozan Kingdom?”
Branier asked that question to no one in particular as he glanced over the well-maintained garden outside the window.