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Chapter 72 – It’s More Trouble To Have More Friends Than Enemies (Straight Face)
When we returned to Fort Gamma after logging, Sylphy and the others had gathered for another meeting. When I tried to walk past them, I was grabbed by the shoulder.
“Kosuke, I’d like to hear your opinion.”
It seems that Sylphy saw that I was trying to go past her. I failed in my attempt and was dragged along unceremoniously. The Liberation Army soldier and Ms. Zamir, who had accompanied me, sent me off with a smile. Do not think you have beat me…
“What’s the matter with you all? You look so difficult.”
“At Fort Alpha, refugees… no, volunteer soldiers have gathered.”
“It’s not like they’re… from the Holy Kingdom, is it?”
Then you wouldn’t have said they were refugees in the first place.
“Yes, mostly Beastmen, but there are some human soldiers from the former Merinard Kingdom mixed in.”
“Is that so? You mean the ones that split off because they didn’t want to go to the Great Omit Wilderness?”
Danan nodded his head in agreement with my words. I see, if there are humans mixed in, we would have been able to explore the movements of the Holy Kingdom, and it has been quite a while since we started fighting the Holy Kingdom army. It’s not surprising that a lot of preparations are needed to make in order to take action.
“How many are there?”
“One thousand people.”
“What? Can you repeat that?”
I think I heard a great number.
“One thousand people.”
“It’s a lie, isn’t it?”
“There are about 300 people that can fight. The remaining 700 are their families and other non-combatants.”
“That’s a problem.”
I believe the main base had a capacity of 3000 people when the first phase of construction was completed, so there should be enough room to accommodate them, but it’s a long way… It takes about a week to walk.
“Melty, do we have enough food?”
“To be honest, it’s a bit tight. We have a stockpile of food at our main base, but it isn’t easy to bring it up here. We need to build a food production base as soon as possible. That too, somewhere close to the front lines.”
“The main base is a long way from here…”
The original plan was to retreat to the Great Omit Wilderness, so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem if we made food at the main base in the rear. In fact, since we’re operating out of the Great Omit Wilderness, we’re in a state where our supply lines are stretched thin. This is not good.
“We could set up a base just outside the border of the Great Omit Wilderness and a little further into the Great Omit Wilderness.”
“I think we should do that.”
“Fortunately, most of the Gizma have been exterminated in the Merinard Kingdom side of the Great Omit Wilderness. There should be little danger.”
“We can’t reinforce the fort anymore.”
The unexpected always happens. The current situation is that the sudden increase in the number of allies is more troublesome than the enemy.
“Still, what amazing timing. It’s as if someone guided them to…”
“Qubi? I haven’t seen him in a while.”
“He went undercover and got in touch with a former member of the Merinard Kingdom military.”
“Sneaking in by himself, that’s amazing.”
Is he a spy or something? A spy fox?
“Anyway, that’s the situation. I’d like to hear your opinion.”
“My opinion, huh…? First of all, what direction are we discussing?”
“I’m of the opinion that we should seize Erichburg at once, with the help of the volunteer army.”
“I’m against it. We’ve got a lot on our plate right now, and I think we should be ready for anything.”
“But that would also give the Holy Kingdom time to get ready. The enemy’s advantage is in numbers. If they attack three forts at the same time, it will be tough. The moment we start to defend ourselves, we may be crushed.”
Sylphy smiled in annoyance as she watched Danan and Melty argue with each other.
“They’ve been doing this for a while now, and they can’t seem to decide what to do.”
“What do you think, Sylphy?”
“Alright. I’m thinking of adopting Danan’s opinion, but I’d like to hear Kosuke’s as well.”
Danan and Melty turned around quickly and made contrasting expressions at Sylphy’s words. Danan looked as if he was going to say, “You know what I mean, Princess,” while Melty looked as if she was going to say, “Why is my opinion being rejected?.”
“I want you to look at this map first.”
“The map of the area? This is the fort, and the surrounding towns and villages can be reached by… These lines are roads, right?”
“Yes. There are other smaller roads, but these are mainly the larger roads that the army can travel.”
“…I see. Erichburg is really a major transportation point, isn’t it?”
As far as the map shows, there are no other routes for the Holy Kingdom’s army to go south once we have captured Erichburg. If we can capture Erichburg, we can isolate the forces of the Holy Kingdom south of Erichburg.
“Yes, that’s right. If we hold Erichburg, it will be difficult for the Holy Kingdom to adopt a strategy of overwhelming us with a large army.”
“So all we have to do is defend Erichburg solidly?”
“That’s right. In the end, we will be able to reduce the number of forces devoted to defense, which will allow us to devote more manpower to maintaining security.”
Danan clenches his fists and makes a strong argument. Melty, on the other hand, looks a little disappointed.
“What’s Melty’s biggest complaint?”
“It’s not that I’m unhappy; it’s just that I’m worried about ruling afterward if we do manage to capture it. Even if we capture Erichburg in the shortest possible time, there will still be soldiers of the Holy Kingdom south of Erichburg. There is a possibility that they will cause mayhem, looting, or even banditry in various places.”
“It’s a problem that will always be with us if we go forward with the war. If they do that, the reputation of the Holy Kingdom’s army will suffer as a result, and if we defeat them, our own reputation will be enhanced.”
“I hope it goes that easily.”
Melty doesn’t think it will go that well. It will certainly be a different kind of hardship than before. Up until now, all we had to do was to be careful of Gizma, who would just barge in and be stupidly straightforward.
“I don’t think there’s much to worry about. With Harpy, which can scout a wide area from above, and the Golem communicator, it should not be difficult to hunt down bandits.”
“Umu, I think so, too.”
Danan agrees with my view. Even when hiding in the mountains and forests, Harpy’s eyes are not easily fooled, and if we have a strong unit that can communicate with each other using golem communicators, it will not be difficult to hunt down the bandits.
“Not everything can be solved by force…”
Melty glared at Danan and me with a look that seemed to say, “You muscle brain!” Hyiee… Scary!
“Well… Kosuke, are you sure you agree with Danan’s plan too?”
“Y-yeah… It’s a basic tactic in war games to capture key transportation points. I think it’s better to capture it when you can, even if you have to put off your internal politics so that it will be easier later on.”
It’s a basic tactic in strategic simulation games to seize key transportation points. If the opponent has more mobilized forces, it is even better.
We’re much better at defending our bases than we are at fighting in the field, and even if they bypass the Erichburg by surprise, we can use the Harpy’s wide-area search capabilities and the Golem’s communication speed to defeat them individually.
“What are the volunteers doing now?”
“They’re staying at Fort Alpha. We’re planning to leave as many as possible in Fort Alpha who can help us and send the non-combatants back with an escort.”
“Do we have enough food and stuff?”
“We’ll be able to get by with the harvest from the fields Kosuke has planted. We’ll be sending some extra supplies from Fort Beta.”
“My inventory is still well-stocked, so if the need arises, I can just make a run for it.”
“I’d rather have Kosuke set up a supply base. That way, we don’t have to walk non-combatants to the main base, which is far away.”
“That sounds good. I’ll start working on it tomorrow.”
“Please do so. Danan and I will stay here and organize a force to attack Erichburg. Kosuke, move to Fort Alpha and set up a production base there.”
I’m sad to be separated from Sylphy again… even though I have no choice.
“Isla will be with you.”
“Yeah, there might be some injured or sick people.”
How long will we be separated this time? It seems like a long time to capture a whole city… Hmm, I’m going to miss her. It’s not that I don’t miss Isla and Harpy because they’re here. I like them, but for me, Sylphy is the most important.
“…Don’t look so lonely. It will shake my resolve.”
“I don’t have a choice.”
“Um, you two? Can you guys do that in private, please?”
“Fufufu. Are you jealous?”
“…Sylphy? Don’t get too carried away.”
Melty whispered something into Sylphy’s ear as she turned her chest with a smug look on her face. As soon as she did, sweat began to appear on Sylphy’s face. What is it?
“Are you okay with that?”
“Please don’t do that!”
“What should I do then?”
With a strange impatient look, Sylphy clutches at Melty and begins to wobble. What the hell is this? I’m so curious!
“Oh… I guess that’s it for the meeting. Kosuke, get some rest for tomorrow.”
Danan hurriedly left the meeting room, looking uncomfortable. Danan seemed to have heard something.
“Hmm, do you like that one? Or would you prefer that?”
“I’m so sorry!”
Sylphy was half-crying. Melty, what kind of her weaknesses does she have…? You can never be sure with Melty.