It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (121/128), enjoy~
26th June, 1026th year of the imperial calendar.
The sky was clear and refreshing. There was no sign of rain and not a single cloud was in sight.
A strong wind was blowing through the land, and birds were flapping their wings, letting the air currents do the work for them.
The Steichen Republic – near Locke. This place would later be noted down as the historical turning point of Steichen. However, it was still a nameless place with sparse forests, and no one knew which way the victory would turn out.
A large amount of dust was rising from the ground. They were splitting to the west and the east as if they were competing to make the most smoke and were turning the sky an endless brown.
“We got a good spot.”
Holding down her wind-tossed sideburns with one hand, Liz looked out over the battlefield from the top of a small hill.
Her aide, Tris, an old soldier, stood next to her with a stern look on his face.
“The view is good, but… there are a few blind spots that stand out.”
There were a few places where they could not see from the hill due to the sparse forests.
“We’ll have to form a scouting party later and have them search the area.”
“Yes, that’s right. It is a good thing we can still see Jotunheim’s main camp.”
Jotunheim’s main camp was one cell (three kilometers) away from Grantz’s main camp, to the right.
The enemy, Nidavellir, was also well prepared, and the battle cry could be heard from their main camp built on a hill about three cells (nine kilometers) away. However, Nidavellir’s main army, which was spread out a short distance below, was quiet, with no disorder in its ranks, but morale was visibly low.
“There seems to be a significant difference in morale between the main camp and the main army of Nidavellir. Could it be that the main army of Nidavellir has been organized by those whose families were taken hostage?”
“I suppose it’s a strong possibility. But we must not have any sympathy for them. If they do not win, they will not be able to liberate their families.”
“…You are right. Above all, they will fight hard for the sake of their families. Even if their morale is low, we can’t let our guard down.”
Liz said, and she and Tris entered a simple tent that was surrounded on all sides.
Around the long table, the thousand flag captains stand with their staff, leaving the honorary seat empty.
After returning their salutes, Liz walked to the top and looked around at those gathered.
“Are any of you feeling self-conscious?”
Liz made a confirmation gesture, and the thousand flag captains, including the staff members, who had a fierce atmosphere, straightened their posture. They seemed to be nervous, but they were not overawed, and they were filled with just the right amount of enthusiasm.
“Good, then, let’s begin the war council. I’ll leave it to you, Tris, to be the facilitator.”
Liz called out to Tris, who was standing behind her.
“Very well. I, Tris von Tarmier, will be the one to explain.”
He stepped forward reverently and tapped the tip of his baton against the map spread out on the long table.
“First of all, our friends in Jotunheim report that the Nidavellir army is about 30,000 strong, of which 20,000 are in the front line, and the remaining 10,000 are in the main camp. Since the army is mainly made up of “Dwarves,” it is expected that heavy infantry will make up the bulk of the force and that they will use a formation similar to that of the main army.”
Tris quickly set up a piece for the Nidavellir army and then a piece for Jotunheim’s army.
“Jotunheim, on the other hand, has about 20,000 troops. They are expected to throw almost all of their forces into the main battlefield. Since they are mainly cavalry, they will make the most of their mobility.”
The last piece placed was Grantz’s army. Tris moved his piece eastward in time with his words.
“Let me begin by explaining the role of our army, the Grantz army. The Jotunheim side has requested that we bypass the battlefield and first drop the enemy’s main camp, then use that momentum to break into the main battlefield and smash the unsettled enemy main army from behind.”
Liz spun words to supplement Tris’s words.
“While Jotunheim’s army is drawing Nidavellir army, Grantz army should drop the enemy’s main camp and raid the enemy’s main army from the rear ― and then cooperate with Jotunheim army to launch a pincer attack, right?”
“That’s what I’m thinking. They are going to let us have some flowers for future diplomacy, aren’t they?”
Liz nodded as she listened and opened her mouth, tracing the map with her finger.
“Then, let me take your word for it. We will bypass the enemy’s main camp as requested and drop the enemy’s main army. Then we will make a pincer attack on the enemy’s main army to change the battle situation at once and end the battle.”
Once she had cut off her words, Liz requested a new piece from Tris and put it on the map.
“Before we do that, as a matter of course, we don’t know much about geography. So if they take advantage of our blind spot and try to get behind us, we will be in trouble.”
If the enemy forces were to bypass their main army and come after the main camp, there was a good chance that they would encounter the Grantz army. In addition, there may be other ambush soldiers hiding in the forests scattered around the area. In that case, they would want to launch a preemptive attack.
“So, let’s get the scouts ahead of them first. As soon as we spot enemy forces, we will aim for the enemy’s main camp, with the intention of destroying them.”
“Let’s have the Jotunheim side send someone who knows the geography.”
One of the staff members suggested this, and Liz nodded her head in approval.
“Let’s also organize a scouting party and have them watch out for the area around the Grantz main camp.”
Liz was about to select a few people to lead the scouting party.
“Your Highness, could you please leave this to me?”
Brutus came forward. He was the one whom Vetu had sent to help them.
“We can’t ask Jotunheim to send a guide just for the purpose of scouting, can we? In that respect, I am familiar with this area, and I think there will be no problem in terms of personnel selection.”
Although Liz was a little uneasy about entrusting him with a unit because of his uncertain abilities, he certainly knew the geography of the Steichen Republic better than anyone else present at the meeting. However, Liz sensed something dangerous about him. He had been sent by Vetu, and it seemed dangerous to put her trust in him. But it was also true that she could not turn her back on him.
Tris, who had remained silent until then, stepped forward in front of Liz, who was about to open her mouth after much deliberation.
“I will lead the scouting party. Besides, I have more battle experience than anyone here.”
Tris took one look at Brutus, then looked at the map and opened his mouth again.
“We have a good idea of where the enemy might be hiding, but being on the safe side, would you be willing to assist me, Brutus-dono?”
Tris smiled wryly and meaningfully as if he had seen through Liz’s expression.
“…Well, then, I’ll leave you a hundred soldiers. Brutus will be your assistant.”
Tris, happy to be of service to Liz, gave his first high-spirited reply in a long time. He then turned to Brutus and held out his hand.
“I’ll be counting on you, Brutus-dono.”
“You can count on me. I have been here long enough to know the roads that are not marked on the map.”
Liz saw Brutus and Tris shake hands and threw a few words at them.
“Tris, Brutus, I’ll leave you two to it. If you sense anything out of the ordinary, raise the signal.”
They sent a brisk reply and then dropped to one knee and bowed their heads in place. Liz nodded in satisfaction, then instructed one of the staff members to hurry up and organize a scouting party.
“Then, Tris, Brutus, you too must get ready at once.”
Tris and the others quickly left the tent.
After seeing them off, Liz opened her mouth to the commander of the Fourth Imperial Army.
“Are the Knights of the Rose ready?”
“They are ready to go out at any time.”
“Then, as originally planned, the 2,000 Knights of the Rose and the 1,000 Grantz Cavalry will head for the enemy’s main camp. The rest of the 1,900 cavalry will hold the main camp.”
Liz then sent instructions to the staff one after another and gave words of encouragement to the thousand flag captains.
This time, Liz would not go to the front. Instead, she would command from the main camp.
If Aura had been here, she would have gone to the front, but there were no military officers present who could take charge of the main camp.
“The war council is now over. The commander should return to his command with the thousand banner captains. As soon as the Jotunheim army moves, we will begin our march.”
Those who received the order from Liz started to move at once. The surroundings became hectic at once, but Liz sat quietly in her chair in the midst of it all.
“It makes me feel indescribable to just wait for the outcome.”
This was just a battle that the Steichen people wanted to stabilize their country, and the Grantz intervened on their own to use it for their own power struggle. Although it was something she did not like to think about, she would play a supporting role so that she could remain unaware in the event that the war is lost.
“I have to thank the Skadi for that.”
Even though she knew what they were trying to do here, she had given Grantz a mission so important that it would affect the war situation in order to make Grantz bloom. She was a law-abiding woman who could have simply let them rot in the rear without being told anything later ― or perhaps she was a person of large capacity.
“But then again, she’s a bold woman.”
For Grantz, Steichen was a foreign country, and they’re not familiar with the geography.
That being said, there was no way they would be able to coordinate with each other even if they were incorporated into the Jotunheim army.
“Therefore, Skadi decided to operate the Jotunheim and Grantz armies separately.”
Skadi, who had given such an important mission to the Grantz, to raid the enemy’s main camp, was either bold or rough, and even though it had only been two weeks since they had met, it was clear that she trusted them so much that it made them embarrassed.
“I’ll live up to her expectations ― but…”
It is also true that because she was in a foreign country, she felt a strange sense of excitement. That is why Liz chose not to move from the main camp.
Liz looked again at the map spread out on the long desk.
“The terrain is suitable for hiding and moving…”
The Nidavellir army, the enemy, has low morale, probably because they were forcibly conscripted, and although they are well equipped, their skill level is lacking.
In contrast, the Jotunheim army is united and mobile. Although they are a hastily prepared army and thus lack skill, their individual abilities are high, and their morale is perfect.
According to the staff’s opinion, Jotunheim will win, but miracles even happen on the battlefield when a peasant defeats a brave general who has fought many battles. In war, you never know how the outcome will turn out.
“You must be careful. Skadi, I wish you the best of luck.”
At that moment, a high-pitched tone was heard.