Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
For example, if you join up with other nobles, the other heirs to the throne will take the initiative to take the lead in order to take credit. In other words, there will be a competition for the credit. There is even a possibility that this will lead to quarrels.
If political disputes are brought into the battlefield, there will not be a day of peace but a day of fear of the assassin’s blade. This is an excellent opportunity for the heir to the throne to gather in one place. It would create a situation where they could take out all their rivals at once.
If that happens, they won’t be able to work hand in hand to destroy the rebels. They would become suspicious and unable to trust anyone.
(If I were a rebel, I’d take advantage of that opportunity. Mislead them with false rumors and divide them.)
Make a lot of betrayals and exhaust the mind. If this happens, they’ll be nothing, and they won’t pose any threat. In such a situation, it is difficult to say whether they can fight the rebels head-on. If they are not, they may be destroyed.
“Then… We have no choice but to go for victory with three thousand eight hundred.”
Liz sighed deeply in regret and began to look at the map again with a groan.
Hiro looked at her lovingly and then looked at the others.
“Anybody else has any ideas? How about Aura?”
“…Hmm, I’ll think about it some more.”
“What about Skaaha?”
“I think a surprise attack is the only way to go. The ground is indeed muddy because of the rain, but I still think that taking advantage of the darkness to attack the enemy will be more effective than fighting head-on.”
Skaaha crossed her arms and turned her greenish-blue eyes to Hiro.
“I think we should do some things before that. They’re all soldiers brought in by noblemen who have lost their cool in anger. I doubt there is any loyalty there. If they’re in a situation where they might die, there will be deserters.”
If it had been a nobleman with no name, Hiro would have agreed with Skaaha’s story.
But the other party was former General Loing. There are many noblemen who bow down to his dignity, and there are many soldiers who envy him when they think back on the war record he has left behind.
A half-hearted attempt would not work. If it fails, it may strengthen the unity of the rebel army. Hiro thinks that things should be done carefully. Former General Loing must have several moves in mind. The key to victory or defeat lies in how far both sides are able to read each other’s moves.
“You’re thinking too much, aren’t you? I don’t know how great this Loing guy is, but I still don’t think he reads any deeper than Hiro-dono, right?”
“Maybe so, but… I don’t think there’s any harm in worrying too much about it.”
“You have a point, but―…”
Skaaha was still trying to think of something to say.
“No, let’s stop here.”
After seeing Hiro for a while, she closed her mouth and fell silent. The strange reaction caught Hiro off guard.
“Do you have an idea, Hiro?”
When Aura called out to him, his sense of discomfort was pushed to the corner of his mind.
“Oh, yeah, I do.”
Hiro’s smile deepened as he looked down at the ground.
“I think I’ll use mud.”
Aura blinked her eyes and tilted her head as if she didn’t understand what he was trying to say.
Hiro picked up one of the pieces on his desk and placed it on the map.
“According to the reconnaissance unit’s report, several swamps have formed here.”
This was six cells (eighteen kilometers) north of the Plain of Hope, where Hiro and the others had set up camp ― four cells (twelve kilometers) south of the main rebel camp.
“The first step is to draw the rebels here. We are going to set up traps and try to win the battle at once.”
Hiro looked at Liz and Skaaha with a strong gaze.
“I’ll also apply your plan. You’ve put a lot of thought into this, and it would be a shame to let it go to waste.”
Liz’s expression was a mixture of surprise and delight. The only response from Skaaha was a twitch of her beautiful eyebrows.
“So, each of you will have an important role to play from now on.”
Hiro looked at the people gathered in the command center with exaggerated hand gestures and spoke cheerfully.
“First, I want you to buy up as much oil as you can from nearby villages and towns.”
Hiro explained, placing piece after piece on the map.
“After that, we’ll make it look like mud and set the oil on fire.”
Aura’s question was met with a nod from Hiro, who then pointed to the map.
“After that, I want you to cut down some light trees from the nearby forest. I intend to place them between our forces and the enemy’s to form a wall.”
Then it was time to procure arrows, figure out who would play what role, which would lead the troops, and how much time they would need to prepare, apply Skaaha’s plan, incorporate Liz’s plan, and find a plan that would satisfy everyone.
“It’s just a theory. Not everything will go as planned.”
They just need to be prepared to fail.
Hiro then looked up from the map and smiled.
“If we fail, I’ll turn it into a success. I want you to go into battle with peace of mind.”
That was the last thing he said.
“Then let’s start planning.”
Hiro said to disband.
“Then leave the rest to me and wait for the good news, Hiro!”
Liz was the first to leave the tent to do her part.
“…I’m worried; I’m going to check on her.”
Aura, perhaps anxious about leaving everything to Liz, left with a subtle expression on her face. After that, Ghada and the others also left the tent to fulfill their respective roles.
“Your Highness Hiro, what should we do?”
The central nobleman who was going to help them in this war asked with a look of confusion on their faces.
Hiro took out a bag full of gold coins from his pocket.
“I’ll spare no expense, so I want you to make a splash.”
When the bag of gold coins was placed on the desk, a loud jingling sound echoed through the tent.
“I want you to share Liz’s heroism with the people and nobles living in the center.”
“Is that all you want? Is there anything else about the rebellion?”
“No, just Liz. If other rumors are spread together, the information may get mixed up and cause confusion. Just tell them about Liz, that’s all.”
With only three thousand eight hundred soldiers, she rushed to the national crisis. The people’s hearts will surely boil when they hear the story of Liz, who went into battle to relieve the people’s anxiety, and no one will spare her praise. Eventually, bards will write songs, and dancers will dance to the tunes in the taverns.
“Very well, sir. Then let us get ready.”
Then the central nobleman muttered that they didn’t need the gold. They politely declined, muttering that it was an investment in the future.
“Well, we’ll leave you now.”
Hiro threw a word of thanks at the back of the departing nobleman and then turned his attention to the woman who had remained until the end.
“Skaaha, what do you want from me?”
“…..Hmm, well, let’s just say I have something to do.”
In a slurred tone, Skaaha walked up to Hiro, patting the back of her head in a confused manner. She stopped and looked into Hiro’s face with her green-blue eyes.
“Don’t bear it too much on your own. You have many friends, and you should trust them a little more.”
Hiro’s face was puzzled, and Skaaha flicked the tip of her nose in embarrassment.
“I’m new here, so it’s natural that I can’t be trusted. I think you should say something to Aura-dono and Liz-dono. It seems like you’ve been bothering them a lot lately.”
“…..Liz and Aura?”
“It’s easy to understand you these days. You can set up a meeting with them after this battle is over. You don’t want to regret… talking to them then, do you?”
Skaaha patted Hiro on the shoulder.
“Well then, I’ll go and help Liz-dono with that.”
She left the tent briskly, leaving only her advice to fulfill her role. There was a weight to it. Words that could only be said by a woman who had lost her family. When he wanted to talk to her, she was gone, but her face was still there in his heart.
Instead of regretting it for the rest of your life, tell me what’s on your mind. Maybe that’s what Skaaha wanted to say. But she doesn’t have the words to say it now.
“Sooner or later, even if I confide in them, it will depend on what kind of outcome this battle will have.”
Hiro knocked down one, two, or three of the pieces on the map and then turned his face down.
There was one thing he hadn’t mentioned at the military council. One thing that he thought would be troublesome if people found out. Hiro did not dare to mention the name of “him” in the military council.
It was unconscious.
“Huh, ha, hahaha!”
Pleasure welled up from the depths of his heart.
An uncontrollable frenzy was raging in his chest.
“Fufu, haha ― guh!”
But for a change, Hiro’s expression became pained, and his forehead began to sweat profusely. His heart was beating fast, and he clutched his chest to show his resistance.
As if trying to regulate his breathing, he leans back against the backrest and stares at the ceiling with vacant eyes.
The madness inside him wants war. He could feel his evil mind stirring. He could feel himself becoming less and less himself as the darkness latched onto his consciousness.
Hiro looked at the map on his desk as if to escape from such pain. He stared at the pieces that showed the positions of the various forces.
“If things go as expected…”
The world will be exactly as he wants it. So, he couldn’t suppress his pleasure — the craving for war.
It was not something that could be managed with logic. Reason had no use for it.
“…I don’t think I can take it anymore.”
In spite of his words of resignation, Hiro formed a deep smile, stroked his eye patch, and searched for signs of his surroundings. He could hear the sounds of soldiers moving hurriedly as they began to prepare for battle.
However, the command center was enveloped in a strange silence, as if it was separated from the world.
Hiro looked up at the heavens and narrowed his Heavenly Spiritual Eye.
The stars were twinkling in the night sky. They were still shining as they had a thousand years ago.
Hiro put his hand on the edge of the eye patch and pulled it off without hesitation.
“Altius, the heir to your will has appeared.”
An eerie light spilled from Hiro’s left eye.
And yet ― there was a darkness of sorrow that struck a person’s heart.
The atmosphere creaked.
Space couldn’t withstand the immense force and began to make a popping sound around the surroundings.
The noise that had been ringing in the corner of his head for so long.
“Rey, the heir to your dreams has arrived.”
――It was a clear sound.