In the middle of the night, I woke up because of a loud door banging noise. Apparently, it was a messenger from the Kurumfar.
「What’s wrong, Aga?」
「It’s an enemy attack. The harpies on the night watch spotted an enemy」
「Understood. I’m going right now」
I took Rico, Gon, Ferris, Luara, and Irimo and teleported over. The insides of the mansion were in a mess, Pius gathered the mercenaries to assemble a defensive formation. I saw the harpies gathering outside the window, as well as the Geryon King, Geki. It seems that everyone waited for me.
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From the second floor of the mansion, the baby geryon, Itora, flew towards me flapping her small wings. I hugged Itora and went outside. There, the harpies and Geki stood on the watch.
「Master, north of the mansion, right after you pass through the forest, there is a gathering of the enemies」
「We, the geryons, are already on standby in the forest」
「All right. I’ll go and look at these enemies」
I hugged Itora, put Gon on my back, mounted Irimo, and flew into the sky.
The enemies made their camps on the periphery of the forest. They looked like the imperial knights.
「Apparently, their aim is the Master’s mansion」
「It seems so. Most likely, they will march forward while subjugating the nearby monsters. At this rate, it will take them about a few hours to reach the mansion」
「It’s too fast」
「Right, they probably intend to move at the dawn. We need to make our preparations until then. However, why does the knights’ order aim for me? Even though I faithfully fulfill my duties before the emperor」
「It’s a mystery」
「Hey, Gon. I often hear that going against the country is a rebellion. But how do you call it when the country goes against its subject? 」
「It’s clearly not a rebellion. Even I don’t know how to call it」
We returned to the mansion as we discussed it.
Immediately after getting down from Irimo, I created a rain cloud high in the sky and made it rain. This should make the earth muddy and hinder their advance. Preparing for the worst, I cast a barrier with the mansion in its center. With this, Rico and the rest should be safe.
「Pius, lead the mercenaries and prepare an ambush in the forest in front of the mansion. I will cast a monster-repelling barrier of everyone. Towards the invaders, release the arrows, hit them with stone and magic. And Geki, you and the other geryons are to hide on the sides of the mansion. If the monsters come out, clear them out. The harpies will stay on standby inside the forest. Act as a scouting party and inform me of the enemy’s movements. If it goes down to it, you will participate in the attack too」
I turned around and gave instructions to Ferris.
「Ferris. You and Luara will fly towards Kairiku and Tohotsu. Luara to Kars in Tohotsu, Ferris to Marcel in Kairiku, tell them to gather the sea tribe outside and put some pressure on the knights」
「Listen, everyone! When I appeared here, victory has already become ours. All that’s left is to annihilate the enemy. Lure the enemies as close as possible and eliminate them in one strike. I will launch a firework in the sky. With this as a sign, go on the offensive」
Ferris grabbed Luara and disappeared beyond the clouds. I made the rain stop. At the same time, I made sure to make all of the necessary arrangements. When the preparations were complete, the sun was about to rise.
The imperial knights completed their preparations at about the same time.
「The sun has risen」
「A splendid morning sun that symbolizes our brilliant future indeed」
Muttered Jiono to Gragoleir as he faced the rising sun.
「All right, it’s about time for us to depart. Wait for the good news」
Spoke Oshe as he approached them on the horse. The two saw him off with a smile.
「All troops, depart!」
「Please excuse me!」
Something unexpected happened when he was about to march forward. When he looked in the direction of the voice, he saw his subordinate, Kunogen, riding the horse his way.
「What is it, Kunogen?!」
「Please delay the attack for a while longer」
「It’s difficult to traverse the forest right now. The ground became muddy due to the recent rain. Is the advance unit falls, the situation may escalate and there would be a possibility of injuries」
「The advance unit will fall? Why are you so sure? 」
「It’s my intuition that was honed on the battlefields for many years. It’s too convenient for the enemy」
「Kunogen, what is your rank? When did you graduate from the Royal Military School? 」
「….I’m of common birth. I didn’t attend the Royal School」
「There, you will learn about the battlefield even if you don’t want to. I learned much more than you experienced. What is a probability of your intuition being correct? Is it absolute? 」
「No, I can’t say that it’s absolute…..At least, wait until the ground dries. Besides, I can see the sea tribe squads gathering behind our backs. With us stuck between them, we won’t be able to hold for long! 」
「To you, who can only move based on your intuition, let me tell you something. The sea tribe is here to observe us. There is no way the bunch of fishermen has enough guts to attack us. This fight will end before the sun reaches the apex. We will go forward together with the sun. The enemy will be forced to fight facing the sun. Where can you find an idiot, who is willing to let go of such an opportunity? 」
「I’m aware of the circumstances. After all, I run around the battlefield long before the vice captain」
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「Shut up! Let me say this! I’m the commander here! I will fight this battle in the way I want! I’m not going to accept your instructions! 」
Saying so, Oshe led the army forward.
Seeing the knights departing, I unconsciously murmured.
「I can see their ending already」
「Advancing inside the unknown forest while treading on unsteady footing is suicidal」
On the other hand, Oshe was completely certain of his victory. The enemy is a small armed force, 100 people at most. It would be easy to prevail against them when struck with full force. Besides, every soldier has a barrier stone purchased from the Daquet Company. Because of that, the soldiers were able to advance through the forest without being hurt by the monsters. To be precise, there are monsters in the front but they are dealt with without any problems. Versam is going to die by the hand of a man equipped with a barrier stone of his own making. Where can you find such an ironic story? Oshe tried his hardest to contain his smile.
He looked at the surrounding forest to distract himself. The insides of his head immediately became filled with the thoughts about his future after this fight.
At that time, his horse suddenly stopped in its tracks. Being pulled into the reality again, he looked towards the front of the army in displeasure. The advance unit and the horses halted their advance. When he was about to order them to press forward again, he heard a sound that he didn’t usually hear.
Looking at the map, it seems that the knights came close to the Pius’ squad. The two armies will encounter watch other in about 5 minutes. Most likely, Pius is able to see the enemy’s army from his current position. I released a scorching bullet in the air. Dogoooon, it exploded in the sky with a tremendous sound. With this as a sign, the geryons on the sides launched an assault.
Pius’ squad was the first to encounter the enemy. They attacked from the front in an imposing manner. The imperial knights were thrown into disorder by the sound of the explosion. The knights had the barrier stones equipped so Pius’ squad’s attacks were repelled. However, their true aim were the horses. Feeling the pain, the horses rampaged, threw the soldiers off, or ran away with soldiers still on them.
The harpies calmly observed the situation from the trees and relayed the information to me. I immediately enveloped the whole forest in a barrier that was able to render the barrier stones ineffective. I took a lot of MP but I still have about 2/3 left. There is no problem.
Meanwhile, the squads of the flanks received an attack from the geryons with some of the soldiers blown away or trampled. With the barrier stones suddenly malfunctioning, the battlefield became a scene from hell. The knights were swiftly losing their numbers and the panic spread amongst their ranks.
Oshe thought that he was dreaming. The advance unit was steadily pushed back and the geryons were closing in from the sides.
「A, aa, aaaaa…….」
Releasing a voice that couldn’t be considered a voice, Oshe heard a scream from Kunogen at this side.
「……Captain! Vice captain! Let’s retreat! Retreat! 」
「Ei! How useless! Withdraw! Keep retreating until you leave the forest! All troops, retreat! 」
Taking the reins of Oshe’s horse, Kunogen ordered a retreat.
Oshe was frozen solid. His brain couldn’t catch up. Why am I running away? I have 1000 knights under me. Why are they dying? What about the barrier?
There was a figure of Oshe sitting on the horse that was pulled by Kunogen on the battlefield.
The knights retreated while leaving 1/3 of their numbers behind. Because of all the fighting, the ground was even messier and muddier than before. Everyone retreated in chaos with some of them being trampled by their own comrades.
When Oshe finally left the forest and reached Jiono and Gragoleir, he had only 15 people following behind him.
「What the hell!? What’s happened?!」
「Oi, Oshe! What kind of pathetic display is this!? Explain! 」
Oshe, who had an unbelieving expression, didn’t answer their queries. The soldiers appeared from the side of the forest. As if chasing after them, the geryons came out of the forest with the harpies hovering above them. The soldiers ran away in panic.
「We were met with defeat inside the forest. The Versam Army and the geryons completely routed us」
Answered Kunogen while breathing roughly.
「I didn’t hear anything about these monsters being here!」
「Jiono, look there!」
Looking in the direction pointed by Gragoleir, he saw the sea tribe sealing their escape path.
「We are surrounded」
Calmly analyzed the situation Kunogen.
「Oi, what should we do now?! Gather the troops and charge towards the imperial capital of the Gragoleir territory! 」
「It is impossible to break through. We don’t have any other choice but to surrender」
「You *******, are you still a member of the knights’ order!?」
「Not letting the soldiers die a meaningless death is one of the basics of fighting. If you aren’t willing to surrender, commit suicide. Drink a poisonous bowl is fine, piercing your heart with a dagger also works」
Jiono and Gragoleir looked at each other.
After a while, Jiono, Gragoleir, and Oshe sent Kunogen as a messenger to surrender.
- It seems that 15 people are those who still had horses or something. Cause they arrived ahead of the rest. ↩