It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (123/130), enjoy~
Silence reigned in the main camp of Nidavellir.
Within a fraction of a second after the battle began, the main front line had collapsed, and the second line had been torn apart before the breakthrough power of Jotunheim’s army, crumbling to the point that it looked as if it would fall apart at any moment.
Utgarde, who had been watching the battle from the hilltop, entered his tent with a mocking smile. Then he laughed at his chief advisors, who were in the midst of heavy silence.
“Hahaha, the “Beastman” is amazing after all. They are completely out of control if it comes to a battle.”
“It’s no laughing matter, Utgarde-sama!”
One of the generals rebuked Utgarde for laughing.
Seeing the bitterness in his expression, Utgarde sneered.
“It is funny to see the brave and resolute General Gormo making such a face. What are you so impatient about?”
“The main army is about to be defeated. It is natural to be impatient.”
General Gormo slammed the desk and sat down on his own seat, his shoulders cowering in exasperation.
“Are you worried about having fewer soldiers? Then you can conscript them again. And when we run out of them, why don’t we buy some slaves from the Principality of Lichtein, and then we won’t have any more problems, will we?”
“…Do you know why the main army is in such a shambles?”
General Gormo asked Utgarde, his face turning red.
“It is because they are weak. It’s pathetic that such a thing was my people. I should have killed him after all.”
Utgarde laughed as he ate a piece of fruit on his desk.
“That’s not the cause, is it? You have favored your elected army too much! You have mistreated not only other races but your own people as well!”
Utgarde covered his ears, and General Gormo’s face turned purple as if he was choking.
The other entourage members hurried to stop General Gormo, who had his hand on the sword at his waist.
“Please calm down, General Gormo. If we fall out under such circumstances, we will lose the war.”
General Gormo bit his lower lip so hard that it bled and sat back down in his chair vigorously.
Utgarde, who had laughed at the situation, rested his elbows on his desk and looked at the map.
“But it would be bad if the main army were destroyed, wouldn’t it? You and your men must have thought of many ways to win, so what will you do now?”
General Gormo shook his head to expel his anger, then put his hand on the map and opened his mouth.
“…If the main army is destroyed, our army will be defeated. Therefore, first――”
“Then let’s retreat.”
The decision was so simple that everyone in the entourage gasped.
Even General Gormo was stunned, forgetting his anger.
“I was against it from the beginning. We came here because you said we could win if we fought here, but if we couldn’t win, it would have been better to stay in Garza.”
When Utgarde snorted with a hint of petulance, General Gormo shook his back and tried desperately to contain his anger.
“T…that would have been possible in other countries, but the enemy is from the same country. They understand the structure of the city of Garza. And when it comes to the Beastman, our walls are meaningless.”
“Even if their arrows reach us, what will they do?”
“They live in the same country, and their technology is equal. If they use weapons against us, we will not be able to withstand them. We don’t have the strength to defend against them. That is why they came out to attack us.”
The oppression and forced conscription of the people caused many of them to flee the country.
Utgarde had scattered money in order to gather people’s hearts, and their food reserves were unexpectedly low due to the feasts held day after day and night after night. Moreover, even if they fled, they would not have the morale to stay in the castle, and the only way left was to starve to death.
“Above all, we are also concerned about the movements of the Principality of Lichtine. If we siege, we will certainly be safe ― albeit for a short period. But that would leave Garza, and the rest of the city would be painted over by Jotunheim and Lichtein.”
‘Then we can’t just run back here. So do you have a plan?”
Whether he understands or not, it was impossible to sense understanding from Utgarde, who looked at the map with a curious expression on his face. Finally, General Gormo let out a deep sigh filled with lamentation.
“Yes, there is. Therefore, please don’t make the pathetic choice of fleeing.”
“I know, I know, don’t glare at me like that. I was wrong, so explain it to me.”
“We are no longer able to regain control of the main army. Therefore, we will use the main army as a decoy to attack the enemy’s rear.”
General Gormo explained the situation in a way Utgarde could understand, moving his pieces on the map.
“But the enemy will be thinking the same thing. So we will return the ambushers hidden in the woods to the right of the main camp, but they will soon be sent to reinforce the main army.”
“Why leave the left ambushers behind and retreat only to the right to reinforce the main army? Wouldn’t it be better just to hold the main camp as it is?”
“First of all, let me answer your first question. It’s because the Grantz army is on the left from our position. The “Beastman” are straight, for better or worse, and they don’t like to play tricks. Therefore, we judged that the enemy would not come from the right. And the reason we are not holding the main camp is to prolong the life of the main army, which is a decoy.”
“To buy time?”
“Yes, at this point, we will let the main army suffer a crushing blow.”
These are the people assembled by taking hostages. There is no one who has the energy to fight. If they survived, that would be a problem. Their families were no longer in the Steichen Republic.
“Their families have been sold into slavery by Utgarde-sama. If they were allowed to return alive, there is no doubt that a riot would break out.”
“Haha, but we gave that money back to them in the form of armaments, didn’t we?”
When Utgarde clapped his hands and laughed, General Gormo made a bitter face.
Utgarde’s mouth lightened without realizing it, and he began to clutch his stomach, unable to hold back his laughter.
“Kuku, the family who was taken hostage has become a protective armor to protect their precious lives. What’s there to complain about… Right? Everyone?”
Utgarde asked for agreement from the surrounding entourage, and they nodded without hesitation and laughed in the same way. The laughter echoed through the tent, and Utgarde looked at General Gormo with tears in his eyes as if he was satisfied.
“But more importantly, to return to what we were talking about earlier, what are you going to do in case the enemy comes from the right side ― Jotunheim’s side?”
General Gormo shrugged his shoulders at Utgarde’s words.
“War is a kind of a gamble. Sometimes the outcome of a war depends on luck. Therefore, I would like to draw as much of that luck as possible our way.”
“Hoh… is such a godlike thing possible?”
Utgarde looked at General Gormo with a twinkle in his eye as if he were a child listening to a fairy tale.
“We will divide the 5,000 “elected army” that is standing by. We will divert them from the left and right, aiming at the main camps of Grantz and Jotunheim. The right side will move with a flurry of movement, while the left side will move cautiously so as not to run into the enemy.”
“What happens if the left side runs into the enemy?”
“It is impossible. We have a very special trump card.”
General Gormo’s eyes flashed mysteriously, and he stared at the map with his mouth set in a straight line.
The face was so terrifying that Utgarde, who had been listening with amusement, stiffened.
The fighting caused a violent cloud of dust and smoke, and if you tried to breathe in, the sand would get in your mouth and hurt your dry throat. Even if you did nothing, someone’s blood flew at you just standing there, and your head bounced on the ground along with a scream.
Stepping on and crushing the arm of someone unknown rolling on the ground, Skadi stabbed the approaching enemy to silence him.
“…It still stinks after all.”
Skadi let her arms hang down to the ground and checked her surroundings.
The sound of sword fights became more intense than it had been at first, and the cries of angry, writhing flesh’s final screams shivered in her ears. Perhaps it was because of this that a sense of discomfort was mixed in with the smell of iron rust, making it difficult to grasp the true nature of the situation.
“I wonder what it is… something is bothering me.”
Skadi shook her head, sweat flying off her face, and exhaled as she sat on the corpse with her ample thighs.
The king’s guards attacked the surrounding enemies to protect the Lord, who was suddenly left defenseless.
“Anego, are you tired?”
“Don’t be silly. I’m not tired at all.”
Skadi, who opened her mouth and yawned, tilted her head as she looked around.
“Something stinks in here.”
“That is… I think it’s the smell of sweat, blood, and tears.”
The smell of choking blood certainly fills the air.
The ground was filled with so many dead bodies that there was no place to step.
Corpses shedding tears as if they died thinking of their families.
Corpses with distorted faces who died in agony.
Corpses emitted resentment from their wide-open eyes.
But no one paid attention to them. As if to dishonor the dead, the corpses were crushed to the point that they no longer retain their original form. Not wanting to die, everyone continued to fight desperately, looking only forward.
Various emotions clash and play off each other, and the desires of both sides steam up the battlefield with a feverish intensity.
“No, it’s something much stinkier.”
Her instincts were sending out a danger signal.
She shook her head from side to side to ensure, but all she could see were the soldiers of both armies fighting desperately.
She looked up at the sky and saw that it was clear, the exact opposite of her racing heart.
“Has there been any word from the main camp?”
“No, nothing. No sign of any smoke signals, so I don’t see any problem.”
“Then Grantz, huh…? No, no. I wonder what this is.”
Skadi stood up and brushed her bangs, and squinted her eyes.
Then, picking up the helmet that had rolled to her feet, Skadi tilted her head. The helmet with the contents inside is overflowing with blood as if a faucet was twisted, and it is sucked into the ground.
But even though her arms were covered in blood, Skadi didn’t show any sign of discomfort.
“Oh… so that’s it.”
Realizing the nature of her discomfort, Skadi glanced at the northern sky and then called out to her entourage, which was competing with the enemy soldiers.
“Is there any reserve left in the main camp?”
“No, we were outnumbered from the start. Almost all of them must have been deployed to the battlefield to destroy the enemy’s main army.”
“I see… Then we’ll just have to go from here.”
Skadi whistled. Then her beloved horse came galloping through the midst of the battlefield.
“I’ll leave you in charge of the main army. And can you contact the rear and tell them to send two hundred men after us?”
Ignoring the stunned reply of the entourage, Skadi licked her lips and lifted the edges of her mouth.
“I’m going to go kill a few moles that are hiding out there.”
As soon as she said this, Skadi began to run across the battlefield.
Her horse started to accelerate and, in an instant, was running alongside her.
“Haha, you came well. I’ll reward you later.”
She kicked the ground and leaped, then straddled her beloved horse and began to cross the enemy main army with her momentum intact. The allies were amazed at the commander’s sudden change of direction, but so were the enemies, who were also lacking in spirit as they thrust out their spears. There was no way such a thing would stop her.
“You’re in my way.”
The enemy line was instantly cut to pieces with a swing of her claws.
Skadi dashed off the right side of the enemy’s main army with great vigor and plunged straight into the woods in front of her.
Her beloved horse galloped along without slowing down, avoiding the trees that blocked the way ahead.
“Oh, they are coming.”
When she noticed a presence approaching from behind, she realized that her allies were chasing after her, even though she could not see them.
It was probably thanks to the work done by the entourage.
“Now, what is that smell?”
The birds flew off, startled by the roar of the horseshoes, and the animals scurried out of the shadows of the grass at Skadi’s murderous intent.
As the trees became more and more uneven, a large light appeared ahead of her.
Skadi’s smile deepened as she stood on her horse.
“Skadi Vestra Michael.”
As soon as she passed through the woods, she jumped off.
“It is time to be hunted, you mole!”
She was met by a group of “Dwarves” astride small horses.
“Wha― e-eh, gyaaah!?”
The “Dwarves” were surprised by Skadi’s sudden appearance, but they fell prey to the claws in an instant.
“I saw a faint dust cloud. I thought it might be ― but I guess you have to rely on your intuition ― and it looks like I hit the jackpot with the elected army.”
A small horse that had lost its master passed in front of Skadi.
The enemy soldiers who were marching behind them were stunned by the sudden loss of their comrade, who was right in front of them.
“As expected of the elected army that can only fight women and children. You’ve done a very interesting thing, abandoning the main army and attacking by surprise ― though you’ve just failed, haven’t you?”
The enemy soldiers back away, their cheeks twitching as Skadi licks the blood from her claws.
“So, what’s wrong with that?”
The enemy soldiers drew their swords with bated breath as Skadi was cloaked in a strange atmosphere.
They surrounded Skadi, leaned back, and readied their weapons.
In contrast, Skadi was calm and composed under the circumstances, even smiling.
Skadi thrust her claws into the ground with her arms in a full stance.
It would have been easy to hit her no matter where they slashed, but they could not find an opening, and the enemy soldiers were unable to step in. Skadi looked around at them with dismay and held out her arms.
“Are you sure? You guys missed your chance.”
Don’t be ridiculous. These words were never uttered.
“Charge! Rescue Skad-sama!”
“Fuhh ―― gghh!”
The horsemen who had rushed out of the woods one after the other clamped down on the flanks of the elected army.
“Return fire! The heavily-armed troops――!”
They had just gained the upper hand, but now they were on the verge of death at once.
The iron shields easily caved in, and the small bodies of the “Dwarves” were blown away by the amazing arm strength of the “Beastman.” A violent cloud of dust rose from the horseshoe-ravaged ground, mixed with screams and shouts of rage. The eerie sound of shattered flesh reverberated through the air, and the neighing of horses swallowed it all up.
“Hold out until reinforcements arrive!”
Skadi shouted in the midst of the chaos. The surprise attack had given them the advantage, but there was no telling how the battle would turn out. The enemy was the elected army. They were not agile, but their strength was equal to or greater than that of the “Beastman.”
“You guys! If you let them get away, I won’t forgive you! “
After some time, the main battlefield would send some reinforcements. The entourage is a worrier, so that was not a concern. But by then, the possibility of missing the enemy’s ambush force was great.
“We’ll have to reduce them here… as much as we can.”
The “Dwarves” that came through the dust were silenced with a single swing, and then Skadi leaped.