Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 98

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Chapter 98

–Third Person POV–

Three wagons and several dozen cavalry approach the Majino fortress, the fortress line that Treia is so proud of, from the south . Quicker than the garrisoned soldiers could shoot arrows, the horses cut away and throw torches in the wagons . Oil must have been sprinkled ahead of time, as the wagons instantly burst into flame, creating a ma.s.sive fire . A special dye burns and a red smoke billows upward .

The cavalry heads back south and leaves, letting the wagons continue to burn . A soldier runs out of the castle to extinguish the flames, but the wagons and torch combined to make too large a flame, so the fire doesn’t disappear that easily . The red smoke rises high up in the sky and becomes visible from a long distance .

–Goldonia POV–

At the same time, Goldonian Central Army Camp

The war council continues with a heavy atmosphere as the siege battle makes no progress and only sacrifices are piling up . Occasionally, a military official’s angry roar resounds, but no conclusion is reached . The event that stops such an unfruitful discussion is the billowing of red smoke from three locations .

Hearing the report of the red skyrocket, the first general who jumped straight out of the tent was Erich . To confirm what he saw, he closed his eyes tightly and reopened them .

「Gentlemen, this futile debate has lost its meaning . 」

Everyone focuses their gaze on Erich .

「Lord Hardlett has succeeded in detouring the Majino fortress from the east . The fortress is isolated and the supply line is severed . 」

‘Oohs’ echo from all who are present . Some of the military officials don’t seem to believe such an unrealistic detour happened, but the signal smoke is rising up from the south of the fortress, no matter how they looked at it . Regardless of what theory was applied, they have no choice but to acknowledge that Viscount Hardlett and his army has circled around the south side of the fortress .

「Gentlemen, it will soon be the fifth all-out attack . Why not let our smoke signal be the burning of their fortress?!」

The commanders spread the news of the successful detour to their soldiers and the mood of the camp is instantly revived .

–Third Person/ Treia POV–

At the same time, Majino Fortress, Central Fort

「……Commander, it appears some unidentified cavalry approached from the south and burned some wagons before retreating . 」

The old general continues looking down as he advises the soldier .

「You don’t have to worry that much about it . A separate unit from Goldonia just raised a smoke signal . This phenomenon should also be seen clearly by the enemy to our front . The all-out attack will be coming soon…… go get ready . 」

The atmosphere of the command room is strangely dark, even though they should have just fended off the fourth attack . In addition to having someone circle behind them, their fortress is now completely isolated . As long as the enemy isn’t defeated, the supplies won’t come . Regardless of how st.u.r.dy the fortress is, they can’t fight if they run out of arrows and if they run out of food, the soldiers will run away .

「We’ve been extracting food from our storehouse with the a.s.sumption of receiving a resupply after all……」

There are 40 000 soldiers acc.u.mulated in the Majino fortress . There isn’t much surplus food in Treia and it’s impossible to instantly gather food for 40 000 soldiers to eat for several months .

Many soldiers eat and drink everyday . The G.o.ddess that initially smiled upon the old veteran has now been stolen1 by Goldonia . Even if he doesn’t do anything, everything will catch up to him in an instant .

「Count Majino, the enemy doesn’t have many troops . If we deploy some of our soldiers and chase them out, we can connect our supply line . 」

「I’ve considered that . But the reason that the farmers can fight like full-fledged conscripted soldiers is because of the protection of the fortress . The ones who have detoured around us should be Lord Hardlett and his army, the one who went wild in the previous conflict . If we clash with him and his powerful cavalry in a field battle, what would happen……」

「But if we continue to let this go on, it will only be a matter of time before the fortress falls!」

「According to the scouts, his military strength is around 10 000, where cavalry make up over half of that number . If we are to put up a fight, we need at least 20 000 . If we send that many towards him, we won’t be able to hold off the enemy in front of us . If we fight, the fortress will fall right now!」

The old general didn’t mention anything because it would influence morale, but he has doubts about his own leaders.h.i.+p skills . He is confident in defensive battles involving the defense of a fortress and fending off enemy attacks, but field battles are a different story . The state of battle can change at the drop of a hat, and the slightest hesitation will invite defeat . When he was young, he partic.i.p.ated in wars against Arkland and has experience as a commander, but his track record in field battles were horrible .

Even if he had some advantage, Lord Hardlett is a brave general excelling in field battles, so he couldn’t imagine winning against him in a battle on an open field .

「But there is hope . 」

「Reinforcements from the capital……?」

The young officer sounds a little skeptical . It’s true that only reinforcements could reverse the miserable situation of holing up in the fortress and fighting . But there are only about 3000 soldiers left in the capital, and that is the minimum amount required to keep the fortress city functioning, so none of them can be moved . That means the only reliable ones are the imperial guards from the south, who will have to be brought back quickly, and there should only be around 5000 of them . Although they are well-equipped and skilled, it is doubtful at best whether they can chase off the separate unit of Goldonia that reaches 10 000 in number .

「That is……not all . 」

The old general forces a smile .

At the same time, Treia Kingdom Capital, Trisnea

「We have to do something to save the Majino fortress from being isolated!」

「But where will we get the military strength?」

「The imperial guards will be arriving soon! Although they are inferior in number, if they fight desperately-」

「You think we can do something with feeling alone?!」

「There are 40 000 in the fortress, you know? We can take 10 or 20 thousand and save Roleil ourselves……」

「If we do that and they get past our main force, close to 10 000 soldiers will come flooding in! We’ll be finished then . 」

「It’s the fortress commander’s ability to do something about that! Perhaps we have evaluated Count Majino’s ability too highly ……」

Before the complicated issue turns into an argument of who’s fault it is, the prime minister steps forward to the king .

「Oh great King . Our army and fortress stands in the face of trouble . 」

While the king is looking down at the prime minister, his eyes are looking about restlessly .

「To be able to get through the Erg forest……I heard Hardlett is the reincarnation of a wolf, but isn’t he really just a demon of some sort?」

The prime minister has no time to entertain the king’s fairy tale, so he ignores him and continues what he was saying .

「If this continues, the Majino fortress will exhaust its supply of food and arrows and then fall into enemy hands . Before that happens, we should defeat the enemy occupying Roleil . 」

「Is- is making peace with Goldonia not an option? I’m fine with surrendering some land, you know?」

The prime minister silently screams ‘impossible’ in his mind . Considering the actions Goldonia took after the demise of Arkland in the war, their intention is to swallow Treia whole; they wouldn’t agree to let Treia live in peace .

「According to one of the spies I sent, after occupying the land, Goldonia is teaming up with those unfaithful to Arkland and killing everyone they find from Treia . 」

「I-is that so? ……then I guess we can’t make peace . 」

Of course that wasn’t the truth; it was just a lie the prime minister created to prevent the king from causing trouble from advocating love and peace .

「But the fact we don’t have enough forces on hand is the truth, the surrounding nations are- 「It’s close to harvest season and-」「It’s hard to determine which of the two is better from what he says and-」 -should partic.i.p.ate in the war and compare them . 」2

Everyone has muddled expressions in this desperate situation .

「But as a result of repeated negotiations with the Magrado Dukedom, I succeeded in pulling some reinforcement from them . 」

The conference room became lively and even the King got up from his seat .

「How wonderful! So reinforcements will come!? So how many of them? And when??」

「There will be 10 000, so if they combine with the imperial guards, they should put up a decent fight……and about the time . 」

Everyone gulps . If he says two months, the desperate situation will not change .

「At the start of the war, they have been heading towards us via Stura and have already arrived at the south of the capital by boat . 」

The chaotic noise turns into angry roars .

「Wha-?!」

「No way!」

「You allowed forces from another nation to land in the country without the King’s approval?」

「Prime minister…… do you have any idea what you did?」

「This is an invitation for foreign threats! You and your family will get the death penalty . 」

「It is an immediately executable offense!」

The prime minister doesn’t falter from the raging n.o.bles, even going so far as to awakening a great yet quiet anger in the king .

「The country’s survival hinges on this crisis we are facing now; if I am executed now, the reinforcements from Magrado will not take action and this country will be swallowed by Goldonia . 」

「……Prime minister, if these reinforcements are able to save the Majino fortress, then you will be hailed as the hero and saviour of the country, and the sin of inviting foreign threats will be offset . But in the case that they fail, you and your family will be given the original sentence . 」

「I am fully aware . 」

The imperial conference finishes in an unbelievably tense atmosphere . In order to see this decisive battle of destiny to the end, the prime minister heads over to meet the Magrado Army of 10 000 on the King’s orders .

–Aegir POV–

At the same time, Roleil

「Aaah—!! I’ll die! I’m dyinggg!!」

「A woman won’t die from something like my d.i.c.k . How is this spot?」

「Hiiiiiih—!! It’s so thick and it’s rubbing such a good spot! It feels too good that I could die from c.u.mming!!!」

「You’ll c.u.m from this spot!? There, c.u.m then!!」

I thrust my meat rod into the depths of her insides several times before e.j.a.c.u.l.a.t.i.n.g. . The woman covers her face with her hands and screams like a beast . What a sensitive wh.o.r.e .

「Aaaaaah!! Hiiiih!! Aah, ahh-! Ooooooh……ooooh…………」

The woman who is sitting on top of me while I’m crossing my legs throws her head back as if her neck broke, her eyes roll back and she falls over . Just as she said, it looks like she died, but she’s still breathing . She’s continuing to squirt even now, so if she doesn’t drink water, she might get dehydrated .

This prost.i.tute was brought to me by one of those b.u.mbling three n.o.bles . She looked enthusiastic so I embraced her, but she has an incredibly sensitive body .

「Aegir-sama……are you finished?」

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Celia enters the room and glares at the women who’s bent like a shrimp .

「Which means it isn’t Treia . 」

「Yes, Stura or Magrado……most likely . 」

「It’s not Stura . That country only has mercenaries, and if there were any recruitment signs up, the merchants would know about it . 」

Claire said that the country only hired a few here and there . It isn’t something on a larger scale .

「You’re right . Magrado, unlike the other nearby nations, are considerably cautious about our nation . They probably want Treia to win so that Goldonia’s national power will drop even a little . 」

「So will we do battle with this army?」

「Probably……except in this situation, Magrado will undoubtedly be confused too . 」

What does he mean? I don’t get it, so I guess I’ll rub Irijina’s big a.s.s for now .

–Third Person POV–

A few days later, South of Trisnea, Magrado Dukedom Army Camp

「There’s no reserve army, you say!?」

The one who is shouting right now is a Count of the Magrado Dukedom and the supreme commander of the expeditionary force, commander Radgalf .

「The enemy forces are pus.h.i.+ng up against the fortress line so we don’t have much room to leave forces behind……」

As if being pressured by an intense force, the one who answered evasively is prime minister Dunois, who just arrived .

「Leaving forces idle and leaving a reserve army are two different things . If we don’t have a reserve army, if they breakthrough or detour, then our entire front will collapse immediately! Isn’t the primary reason for the current issue the same!?」

「R-right now the 5000 imperial guards are heading this way, so they can join up with you……」

「If you send troops out after they returned on such a tight schedule, they will not be able to fight the how you think . Soldiers are different from tools . 」

When Radgalf saw the prime minister look down, he secretly let out a sigh . Before the war, when they repeatedly discussed about contriving reinforcements, he seemed to be a skilled person, but when the war started, his amateurish ways stood out . Having a family lineage of military background and being involved with the army since he was around 10 years old, he kept seeing things he couldn’t believe was actually happening .

The original plan was for the fortress to hold back the enemy . If their side was advantageous, he would pounce on the exhausted enemy, but if they were at a disadvantage, he would appear as reinforcements for the fortress .

That plan was crushed as soon as the enemy’s large detour became obvious, but even so, if the enemy only has 10 000, he still believed that he could defeat them by cooperating with Treia’s reserve forces .

Things become tougher since there is no reserve army . He can’t expect much from the 5000 imperial guards who exhausted themselves just to come back . In that case, he has no choice but to settle with both sides having the same 10 000 forces .

「I beg you…… If I lose this fight, my country will be doomed . 」

The prime minister bows deeply to Radgalf, who is of lower social status and position . No matter the reason, if Goldonia takes over Treia, it will be against the wishes of his home nation . If they expand their territory, they will become an opponent that Magrado can no longer stand up to .

「So this is our decisive battle……?」

Radgalf has escaped death many times before . If he failed even once, he would not be standing here right now . This time is simply even strength; he can’t say he’ll win for certain, but it isn’t impending defeat either . This is where he should gamble .

「It’s unavoidable . We’ll have to go at our current strength . We’ll have the imperial guard follow for now . 」

「And also send a messenger to the fortress to send soldiers to perform a pincer attack……」

Radgalf nods silently . Reinforcements that may miss the timing to attack and have unreliable communication are worthless, but it doesn’t hurt to try and request something from them .

「The pitch black flag that Hardlett is waving……the demonic wolf’s army, what a worthy opponent . 」

「I’m counting on you! My family’s future is on the line……」

While warding off the prime minister’s words, he turns to his soldiers and raises his sword .

「Gentlemen, it’s time to depart . The enemy is the brave general who made a name for himself in the Arkland war, Lord Hardlett and the army he’s leading . 」

The soldiers don’t falter even an inch . They have been well-trained .

「Defeat them and improve your own fame . Let’s go!」

With a short ‘Oh!’, the Magrado and Treia expeditionary army of 10 000 begin their march .

Their movements are immediately discovered by the Goldonian scouts and it is only a matter of time before both sides clash with each other .

Aegir Hardlett . 21 years old . Autumn . Wartime .

Subordinate Units: 11 200

Infantry: 2700, Cavalry: 1500, Archers: 800, Combat Engineers: 200, Bow Cavalry: 6000

Subordinates: Leopolt (Chief of Staff and Deputy General Commander), Celia (Adjutant, Escort Captain), Irijina (Commander), Luna (Bow Cavalry Commander), Pipi (Mascot)

Current Location: Roleil

Accomplishments: Annihilation of Treia Eastern Defence Forces (surrender), Captured Roleil

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