Capturing the Lassen was easier.
The lord himself was killed in battle, and the army was completely wiped out, leaving it in complete anarchy.
But the Orth estate was different.
There were still 500 troops and a surviving Lord.
And the lord of Orth, Condor, was not a man to be trifled with.
He was a skilled swordsman for a country lord, cunning, and ambitious.
‘He’s a pain in the arse.
Even Camille would have a hard time dealing with him.’
Otto was thinking about the Condor.
“The Orth estate has locked the gates.”
Camille reports from scouting.
“Looks like they’ll be holding out through sheer willpower….”
Otto shook his head.
“They’ll probably open the gates tomorrow morning with a white flag of their own.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Don’t you think the Condors realise that even if they hold out, they’ll be breached anyway, with such a disparity in troop numbers?”
“Well, yes, but….”
“Condor is ambitious, and capable.
And he’s got the most trust of any lord in these parts.”
“So he’s not going to give up the estate easily.”
“But there’s no way he won’t give it up.”
“One way or another.”
“I could lead an army into the mountains and wage guerrilla warfare, or I could enlist the co-operation of the estatesmen in a rebellion.
Either that, or I could dig a trap and wait.”
“Why don’t you rethink the occupation of the Orth estate?”
“A wise suggestion.”
Otto agreed with Camille.
“But we should finish what we start.
Condor is an unrivalled lord, and if we don’t defeat him now, it will be us who suffer later.”
Although Condor was not a player-selectable main character, he was a foe to be reckoned with.
If left unchecked, there were many scenarios in which the Iota Estate would be destroyed by the Orth Estate led by Condor.
“Let’s go in first.
If you want to catch a tiger, you must enter the tiger’s den, don’t you think?”
Otto said, and turned his horse’s head towards the Orth estate.
“Come on, let’s go.”
The next morning.
As Otto had predicted, a white flag flew over the gates of the Orth estate.
“You were right, my lord,” he said, “During the night the lord, Condor, left the estate with his men.”
“Really? Then let’s go.”
Otto smirked at Camille, then spurred his horse on, heading for the Orth estate.
Taking the Orth estate was easy enough.
Not only was there not a single person resisting the white flag, but everyone was very cooperative with Iota’s army.
This made Camille feel rather uneasy.
‘Everyone is too cooperative.
I feel like I’m in the middle of enemy territory.’
But nothing much happened until dinner time.
“We have prepared a feast for our new lord, prepared by our servants, and I hope you will join us.”
“Is that so?”
Otto was invited to dinner by the officials of the Orth estate and attended the banquet.
The banquet was also attended by members of Iota’s guard, including Camille.
“Have all of our knights attend, heavily armed.
In full armour.
Have the soldiers stand by.”
“In full armour?”
“I think we’re going to have some fighting.”
“My lord dines.”
Otto attended the banquet with the utmost hospitality.
“My lord,” A man said, “my name is Michael, and I am in charge of the administration here at the Orth estate.”
The middle-aged man, who introduced himself as Michael greeted Otto.
“I see… you’re all dressed in your armour.”
It came to that, hahaha.”
Otto smirked, scratching the back of his helmet.
“This friend here is Camille, the head of the knights, and he insisted on wearing armour because he’s so suspicious, so I decided to let him.”
A tendon sprouted on Camille’s forehead.
‘When did I do that, huh?’
He flinched as Otto made him look like a suspect.
Wasn’t it Otto who had asked him to come in full armor?
“It’s only natural as a knight, of course.”
“It’s all to keep my lord safe, isn’t it?”
“It’s just that he’s so suspicious and cowardly, I don’t know what else to call him.”
“What is it? You’re being meddlesome and annoying, and your loud squeaky voice is driving me to death.”
Otto scolded loudly, even though Camille was right next to him.
He said it out loud for all to hear.
Tremble! Tremble! Tremble!
Camille was outraged by Otto’s treatment of him, but he endured it patiently.
The banquet began with Camille’s trash talk.
“What do you make of Lord Condor’s departure?”
“It’s his decision, so we can’t do anything about it.
Isn’t the estate in shambles?”
“There is a new lord here, and we can only honour your service.”
Otto enjoyed the banquet, chatting with the man called Michael about this and that.
Then he said.
“But no matter how many times I think about it, I find Lord Condor too pathetic.”
A chilling silence fell over the banqueting hall at Otto’s words.
The eyes of all the officials, servants, and maids of the Orth estate at the banquet were fixed on Otto.
“Why do you think so?”
Michael asked Otto, rather, smilingly.
“Not willing to surrender and give up the land.
Because if we fight, you’ll lose.
So you’re taking your chances by abandoning the estate and pretending to run away?”
“Is that so?”
“If you were going to leave, you would have surrendered neatly and handed over the authority.”
Otto took a drink of wine as he said this, then looked back at Michael.
“It gets ugly when a man pushes too hard, and he should know how to give up peacefully.”
“It gets ugly… it gets ugly….”
Michael repeated, echoing Otto’s words.
“Why don’t you give up cleanly? Condor?”
Otto said, turning to Michael.
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