It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (11/47), enjoy~
October 25, 1023rd year of the Imperial Calendar ― On this day, the two armies were still only facing each other.
Hiro, who is in the main camp, sighed and looked at the rebel army spread out in front of him.
“There’s no sign of movement today either. It’s easier for us, but we have no time to relax.”
Even though it was a battlefield, there was no bloodshed, and not a single sword fight could be heard. The only thing that is going on is a sideshow of soldiers hurling abuse at each other. In the near future, this will change from angry shouts to military chants. As Hiro was lost in thought, one of the staff members approached him.
“Your Highness, what do you want to do now that the time has come?”
“Let’s retreat as we did yesterday. If the enemy seems to be pursuing us, we will shower them with arrows and turn our forces to intercept them.”
In such a situation, it is possible to use the advantage of being small in number. If a prey weaker than themselves turns and attacks, the opponent will shudder and break ranks.
This would create a ripple effect that would spread to all the troops. If this happens, the damage will be enormous, and when the troops are reorganized, their faces will turn pale.
“If there are too many of them, they will inevitably become arrogant. No matter how many warnings the upper management gives, it isn’t easy to make them reverberate all the way to the end. Especially when military discipline is in a state of disarray like theirs.”
If they think that hurting innocent people and burning villages to the ground is a victory, their arrogance will be even greater.
“Since that’s the case, shall we retreat as planned?”
Hiro told his commander and signaled his flag bearer to retreat as he had done yesterday. The rebel army showed no signs of pursuing, and the southern army opened up a comfortable distance.
Again, the two sides just stared at each other, and the sun set without exchanging a sword. When the sun sets, the moon rises, and night falls, as is the natural order of things.
The southern army, which had set up camp, was to remain vigilant and take a rest. As they were allowed to drink a little alcohol, there was a lively atmosphere in the encampment. Soldiers chatting and laughing could be seen here and there.
In the center of the camp, in a place called the main camp, Hiro had called the commanders of each unit. All the warriors were gathered around a simple long desk. All of them looked at Hiro, who was sitting at the upper seat, with a tense look on his face.
“I have been watching our opponent all day today, and I have been able to make some predictions.”
When Hiro said this lightly, as if making small talk, the unit commanders looked surprised.
“That means… you were able to read their strategy?”
One of the unit commanders said. Hiro nodded with a confident smile on his face.
“I can’t say for sure, but it should not be wrong.”
“So, shall we switch our strategy?”
“No, we’ll stick to our original plan and use everyone’s strategies to get things done.”
Hiro is not going to break his promise. He wanted to show them the light of day with the plan that they had come up with. However, one of the unit commanders opened his mouth anxiously with a hint of shadow on his face.
“…But if we stick to the plan, there is a possibility that we will be wiped out.”
“I’m here to prevent that from happening. I will definitely lead us to victory.”
Hiro held up his hand to the map on the desk, then picked up one of the pieces in the corner.
“Tomorrow, we will retreat to Schnee fortress. We will retreat while pretending that we are laying a trap.”
Guided by Hiro’s hand, the piece headed west. And it eventually reached a fortress.
“And this is where the battle will take place, and all of our plans will come to fruition.”
At that moment, the ground turned red. It will be as bright and colorful as a blooming flower.
“Until then, we will continue to run away, avoiding unnecessary battles. But it’s no fun just to run away. Like yesterday, we will send out some troops and make them exhausted by smelling a night attack, which will encourage them to be conceited and crush them at once.”
Someone gulped under the pressure of Hiro’s determined spirit.
“U-understood. We’ll follow your instructions, Hiro-sama.”
“If anyone has any questions, I will be happy to answer them. If you don’t feel comfortable saying it here, please come to my tent later. Don’t worry; I will tell you everything without hiding anything.”
Hiro slowly looked at the people’s faces in this tent, took a small breath, and continued to speak.
“So let’s end the military council now, shall we?”
With these words, all the unit commanders saluted, straightened their postures and left. At the same time, the temperature inside the room began to drop drastically as the number of people decreased.
Hiro sat down in his chair, leaned his elbows on the desk, folded his hands, rested his chin on them, and turned his gaze to look down at the map.
“If you believe you’ve won, I’ll prove you wrong.”
Hiro gave a small smile, stroked his eye patch, and laid out several pieces on the map. Some schemes popped into his mind, and his left eye pulsed with an aching desire to try them out.
“When I was done here, I had the Felzen region, the Grand Duchy of Dral, the Steichen Republic, and many more countries waiting for me further west. Not all of them will be the enemy, though…”
Once there is no one left to fight on the central continent, he will advance to the northern continent across the sea or the western continent. However, he is sure that they will invade from there before that.
“Oh ―… There was also the Eastern Archipelago.”
It’s a land inhabited by beast peoples, and it’s a magical land where monsters are rampant. The beast people are a belligerent race, but they can’t move for one reason or another.
So, unless they are provoked, they are not likely to make a move.
“I have no idea what’s going on right now, which makes me anxious.”
Even so, there are many options to choose from, and the opportunities to test one’s abilities will continue to increase. As Hiro knocked down the pieces he had lined up, he stopped and looked at the one still standing piece.
A thousand years had made the country huge. It has become more powerful and dominant in the central continent than even Hiro could have imagined. Unless the surrounding countries united, no country could stand toe-to-toe with the Grantz Empire. However, this does not mean that there is no cause for concern.
“I wouldn’t say that the emperor doesn’t have power, but the nobles and lords are getting too powerful.”
If they don’t look inward rather than outward at the right point, things may get out of hand before realizing it. Eventually, the five major noble houses will need to be balanced.
“To destroy the central nobles, it would be fine to create a new power from factionless and have them compete with each other, but that could lead to a one-power era.”
The momentum of an emerging force is a scary thing. It can swallow up rival forces in the blink of an eye.
If the ship is mismanaged, the country will collapse at once. In order to prevent this from happening, the only way is to move forward steadily, one step at a time. In order to do so, the power of the nobles in the east must be strengthened to a reasonable degree.
“There is much to be done. I can’t afford to waste my time here.”
Hiro knocked over all the pieces and stood up. He flipped the hem of his black robe and started to walk out.
“The first thing I want to do is end this pointless war. I have no intention of being bound by the fate of the past.”
With a single loud footstep, Hiro stroked his eye patch and walked outside. The only sound left in the empty tent was the sound of the wind.
Then ― a shadow hovering in the four corners stirred eerily.
It eventually formed the shape of a person and danced around happily with a lurid smile on its face. The darkness continued to spread quietly, unnoticed by anyone, like water soaking into cotton.
October 26, 1023rd year of the Imperial Calendar. In the evening, the southern army showed a different kind of movement than before.
“Hou… It’s blinding.”
There is a roofless carriage in the center of the rebel army’s main camp. The one riding it is Baal. A large amount of powdered snow is flying in front of his eyes. It was enough to cover the entire southern army.
“They really like to play in the snow. I will not be the one to fall for such a transparent trap, though.”
Baal pulled the map closer. Then he glared at the pieces, playing with them with both hands. The Schnee Fortress is just around the corner, and he has sent scouts to check it out, but it is not solid.
“I’ve built a few castle-breaking battering rams. The vulnerable gates should be easy to destroy.”
Now, if only the enemy would behave as expected, it would not be in vain.
Baal guesses that the enemy will be moving away from them at full speed in a cloud of snow. If he tried to chase them, they would turn around and attack him.
It’s possible to destroy the enemy here, but this is not the time to be bothered by that three thousand men. This is because there will be a battle with the Second Prince’s army after this.
“Baal-sama! The enemy has begun to move away at full speed!”
That’s what the messenger said. Baal’s smile deepened. After this, the enemy will flee into the Schnee Fortress and hide like turtles.
“And if we rush after them, they’ll probably surprise us from behind.”
About a thousand of them must have been away when they first met. They probably must be hiding somewhere. It would be a terrible thing if the enemy took them by surprise from behind when they were attacking the Schnee fortress.
“I’d like to leave an intercepting force behind.”
If that move was read, it was inevitable that the intercepting force would be pinned down. If they can’t gain much time, they will only lose troops in vain.
“If that’s the case, let’s destroy that plan. There’s no need to bother with it. Let’s leave it at that for today.”
Baal beckoned the messenger over with his hand.
“Notify all troops. Tell them to watch their backs after we surround the Schnee fortress.”
“Ha, understood, sir!”
As he watched the enemy army retreating towards the Schnee fortress, Baal pondered in his mind.
(The only thing left for them to do now is to attack at night.)
A number of stones have been laid out for this purpose. Baal had been trying hard to catch them off guard by repeatedly indicating that they would attack at night. The soldiers at the end of the line are becoming less and less cautious.
If they were to launch a night attack, it would be easy for them to collapse.
(Well, if I hadn’t read it, that is. Let’s get back at them.)
The enemy has come up with various measures to deal with any situation that may arise. It’s as if they’re looking at a textbook. On the other hand, it can be said that it is easy to understand…
(Boring. He’s only a descendant, after all. It looks like he couldn’t get past the God of War.)
By falling the night attack, the enemy’s morale will be lowered, and when they escape to the fortress, strike them. Convinced that the final battle would be this evening, Baal went to report to Fraus’ carriage.
“I heard that the southern army has fled to Schnee Fortress. Is it safe to assume that everything is going according to your plan?”
Fraus, who may have noticed Baal’s presence, spoke up.
“It’s all right. Even if he is the descendant of the God of War, he is still just a human with a shallow mind.”
“That’s all right then. So when should I show up? Isn’t morale starting to drop?”
As Fraus had pointed out, the rebel army’s morale was dropping.
The enemy is outnumbered, yet they do not attack. In addition, the fact that they have been subjected to disastrous night raids and other sham attacks, yet they are still playing poorly, is one reason for the drop in morale.
“The morale will naturally rise. Besides, the moment to show off will surely come, so I suggest you wait until then.”
Once the night attackers were defeated and driven back to the Schnee fortress, all that was left to do was serve them as they wished. At that point, Fraus will be given the task of dealing with the most troublesome man dressed in black.
This is where the results of the experiment will be tested. If it fails, Baal will give up on this country and return to his home country. If the Crown Prince is lucky enough to survive, the plan will continue, and his comrades will surely agree with Baal’s idea.
“The demon race will once again dominate the central continent. It will happen.”
When he saw that Baal let out a low laugh, Fraus also cleared his throat happily.
“That’s right. We’ll build a huge nation that can match the Grantz Empire!”
Baal laughed inwardly as he left the carriage. In the cold wind, Baal stopped walking and looked back at the carriage only once.
(We, the demon race, have no place for you.)
There is no pure blood in the Levering Kingdom, even though it is called the demon kingdom. There are some who have thick blood, but all of them have the blood of other races mixed in.
(The demon race does not need half-breeds. You are slaves ― just as the human race once was.)
A thousand years have passed since the powerless human race began to spread across this continent. They have only continued to undermine the central continent. Nothing that the human race has brought has been harmful to this world.
(That’s exactly what’s happening today.)
Baal’s mouth twisted in hatred, and he kicked the ground and started walking again.