“Since Alan-sama have come as well, how about joining us for dinner?”
Following that, Shera asked the retainer to prepare.
Leonard then invited Alan to the guest room, and the three of them had a discussion.
While waiting for the meal to be delivered, Alan asked Shera what move they would do next…
“Strategist-dono. What should I do?”
“First, we should inform the residence of your territory that lives along the highway to evacuate.”
Shera responded quickly.
Alan’s sister, Mireille, had come to ask for help during the daytime. For this ‘strategist-dono,’ given enough time, she would be able to construct a plan no matter what kind the battlefield was.
“.. I understand. I will arrange it immediately.” Alan nodded with a difficult face. That was because he understands that the measures proposed were equivalent to ordering the resident to abandon the town and village where they were born…
“There’s no time to have a dispute with the civilian, alright?”
“I know, Leo. After things were done, I will give them tax exemptions and support money and tell them in my name that I will guarantee that until their livelihood restored. Though it won’t make them have a peace of mind, at least they will be convinced.”
Alan replied without hesitation. It was not easy to do that. There were many aristocrats who saw commoners as nothing more than expendables. It would be reasonable for the commoners to say ‘Why should we do that?’.
And because Shera knew Alan was such a kind man, she didn’t tell him to burn the homes and throw poison into the wells, so that it won’t be used by the enemies.
Then she asked another uncomfortable question apologetically…
“Are you fine with spending a lot of money?”
“Of course, if I could buy peace with the money I would’ve done so…”
“Now, instruct the refugees to evacuate their home with minimum goods and foods. Do not run away while bringing livestock. Of course, horses are fine since they could be used to run away. I want you to promise the citizen that you would compensate everything they lost…”
“I don’t mind promising them that but… If we leave it just like that, Keyness and the others will loot it, no? Why don’t we bring them with the refugees?”
“It also not good to raise the enemy morale too much, no?”
Leonard also put out his opinion, but Shera responded with a smile…
“Let them have it. Let me ask in return, the lives of the people or the livestock more important? If we’re being greedy here and run away while bringing the household goods and livestock, then the enemy’s soldiers caught up with the refugees, they lost their goods and their lives. Don’t you think such a history happened a lot?”
“I see your reasoning…” Alan seems convinced, but Leonard had another question inside his mind. Looking at Shera smile, he felt there was some hidden intention rather than securing the safety of the people.
He was curious as to what intention it was, but, he didn’t want to disturb the flow of the conversation for now.
“Let us hurry and take out the fast horses then…” Shera said.
Alan then immediately write the decree, while Leonard called and entrust it to his retainer. Approximately 80ri(Approximately 300km) from the imperial capital to Eidonia province. The province was the long one extending north to south, and if the enemy attacked from Carmine, they would come due North, the fast horses need to go to the northernmost villages making the maximum distance into 100ri. Even if they hurry it up by changing horse and make use of Claude nationwide Ekiden(Long distance relay), it would still take 5 to 8 days.
Today was the third day of the third month, And the Camelia army– No, the Chart army– was scheduled to launch from provincial capital Grinde on the 13th day. Then, it would take them 15 days to invade the Eidonia provincial border. Somehow they could make it in time.
And one thing that helps was that the majority of the enemy were pike soldiers.
A pike with handle exceeds 3ken(About 5.6 meters) was a powerful weapon, but it was too long and too heavy. Thus it was hard to carry them around. There was even anecdote that if a farmer that had never received military training being given a pike, they would break it into two just to make the handle shorter.
Therefore, the march of pike soldiers was slow, thus create a grace time one’s needed.
“What else should I do, Shera?”
“You should gather as many troops as possible in the provincial state of Eidon.”
“I understand. But still, if possible I would like to avoid making my citizen to hold weapon…”
“Alan-sama is really kind, huh? I understand, there’s no need for that. Besides they are not very useful.”
Since the days of the Great Empire, Claude had been thoroughly separating civilians and the military.
The strength of a soldier that had been trained every day was tremendous, a commoner that suddenly being given a weapon won’t be able to win against them… Even if they gathered civilians by saying ‘the power of great numbers,’ in the end, they wouldn’t add much power in the overall military powers. The exception was those hunters who had the experience of handling some kind of weapons, such as bows and arrows.
In the previous battle against Admov, they eventually set up recruitment, many were volunteered to join the battle, but in the end, they were mostly useless except for logistics support purposes such as carrying arrows and injured people.
“After gathering soldiers at Eidon? Don’t tell me we’re going to perform a siege battle?” Leonard asked.
“I’m sorry to say this but, there’s no stone wall like Lint exists there. We only have moat and fences…”
“In the first place, I don’t want to involve the city in the war, and this is a good time for our debut. However, at least I want to let our opponent fight at the peak of their fatigue…” Sheria said. Eidon was located at the southern tip of the Eidonia province, it was a strategy to let the enemy traverse the territory, spending their stamina to the limit.
“The only thing left then the difference in military strength.”
When Leonard said the most painful problem, Alan began to pray to the goddess of war Athens and ask for divine protection.
“Even if you pray to something like that, nothing will change, you know?”
Leonard was an atheist just like his aunt.
They had military force made up of 500 Alexis Knights and 1,000 Eidonia Standing force.
On the other side, the enemy military power was more than double that.
Unlike Alexis territory, which was covered with dense forest, Eidonia territory was mainly made up of plains… It was a difficult territory to protect.
“I don’t want to go with such uncertainty…”
Toward such harsh reality, Leonard tone of voice was tense.
“I understand your concern, but it is alright…”
Sheria looked triumphant.
“Do you have a good plan, strategist-dono?”
“Like I said, can you stop calling me like a stranger like that? Leo-sama is such a meanie, mou~…”
Changing from her triumphant look, now Shera pouted, sulking.
Seeing the situation, Alan covered his face using his hands. Underneath his hands, his expression as if saying ‘Can you do the lovers quarrels later?!’.
“Shera your beauty is ruined if you pout like that you know? How about fix your mood for now and tell me your plan?”
“Alan-sama is really good with words, huh?”
Shera then indicating ‘let us hear it from Leo-sama’s mouth,’ but Leonard didn’t realize the meaning of her gaze and nonchalantly waited for her to speak of her plan.
Seeing his behavior, Shera sighed and switched to a serious expression.
“Use the power of folklore…”
‘Fumu,’ Leonard nodded and put his hand on his chin.
“You sure you’re confident with that?”
“Of course. There’s no way we could save this country if we could not save Eidonia, no?”
This girl was very good at speaking and oftentimes, making the others admired her.
However, Leonard knows that she was not just an ordinary ‘strategist-dono.’
Claude historical calendar, 3rd month, 15th days, the year of 211.
The second prince, Chart, had come to the southern bank of the lake bordering Carmelia and Eidonia territory.
More than ten people, including Keyness, had accompanied him.
They were supposedly joined with soldiers from Grinde there.
With calm sunlight and wind accompanying them, Pike soldiers were walking through the highway.
Looking at it from above, the pike soldiers looked like a long snake.
Noticing was Chart waiting on his horseback, several horsemen come running toward him.
They were Dinkwood knights, who had taken command to bring the soldiers here.
“Thank you for your patience, your highness!”
When a knight rushes in, the attendant descended from the horses and kneels.
He was a knight with eyes that looked like a fox. He was young and didn’t look strong. His armors were only wearing leather armors.
Furthermore, he called his attendants punk, it seems his upbringing was bad.
Looking at him, Keynes and the others showed a distorted expression. “Does Duke Dinkwood really motivated to support us? To send such a suspicious-looking guy like him…” Such expression appeared on the majority of the people present.
However, Chart didn’t underestimate this knight with eyes that looked like foxes.
“You must have a hard time due to the long journey. — I didn’t expect you to arrive one hour faster than the soldiers, you know?”
That’s right. Being an elite troop aside, to make pike soldiers who were known as its slow marching to arrive at the destination in time, from Dinkwood province, the one who took command of such mission was worthy of praise.
After this, the command of the unit would be entrusted to Chart, and the knight with fox eyes would act as a military supervisor. Dinkwood must’ve sent him as an advisor to help the young Chart.
“As expected of a grandfather, he has sent me such a good knight.”
“Sir! It is an honor to be praised by Your Highness, Chart, who is known as a talented person!”
“You don’t have to be that respectful. So then, let me hear your name.”
Chart smiled at the man who had excessively praised him.
“My name is Torame.”
The knight with fox eyes introduced himself while bowing his head.
It was a name worth remembering. Chart keep that in mind.
“Well then, let us start defeating Eidonia.”
“Yes, sir! We will work with all of our power under the command of your highness Chart!”
“I expect your good work” Chart nodded and turned his horse around.
He had graduated from military school six years ago, but, this was the first time he had led an army.
However, Chart style makes the people think that was not the case.