Torame after parted with Chart headed toward the kitchen where his subordinates were cooking.
“Thank you for your hard work, captain.”
“Please eat, captain…”
He then took the warm chicken tight and eat it.
Torame was originally a mercenary who commanded a medium-sized mercenary group since young he was already experienced many battles.
His father was also a mercenary, he had helped his father since he was thirteen years old, until his age doubled.
Torame was the type that prefers a steady advance in life than making a brilliant performance.
What most important was his crisis detection ability.
In this age where there were few big wars, the main income of a mercenary group was from escorting caravans and annihilating bandits. When Torame took escort caravan job, his ability at quickly detecting bandits lying in ambush was perfect, and he never let the bandits escape…
His nickname was ‘Teumessian Fox.’
The name was from ancient mythology, a great fox destined to never be caught, and tasked to punish people.
He survived in mercenary business with all of his body part intact.
Torame’s ability at detecting crisis became famous throughout the neighborhood, and more and more people joined his group, before he noticed, he was already in the position of mercenary leader.
Recently the harms of bandits had increased in various place, and he caught Duke Dinkwood eyes who offered him to become a knight after seeing his ability.
Torame had accepted such invitation in which he immediately quit being mercenary and disband the mercenary group.
Only his close followers were kept close. And that was these guys…
“I know that they were the same aristocrats but, there’s no different even when they are from the Emperor’s family…”
“I agree. They are all from the same hole. In that world, only two kinds of people exist…”
Torame answered while licking the chicken fat from his fingers…
“One who is a good master, and one who is a bad master.”
“That is, indeed, true!” His followers agreed while laughing…
“Don’t laugh too much, understood? Duke Dinkwood is someone who pays us good after all. Moreover, he has a good position…”
“… I wholeheartedly agree, and he also easy to serve…”
With Torame remind them, the followers fixed their seating posture. –
“This time our work is to guard the young master and the others, the captain especially has the hardest work in this, no?”
“I just need to behave modestly and say ‘yes yes’ to anything… Just to humor those young masters…”
“Ueeeeh… I wonder if we would win this battle by acting like that?”
“That pig is a pain in the ass, but, the prince seems to have a good head. For the time being, there’s no fear for us to follow him.”
“Haa… That’s surprising…”
Torame was actually feeling the same.
“I heard he had graduated from the imperial military school as the top grader but, that doesn’t seem to just a show…”
The prince was young, but he was also someone who able to make a quick judgment.
As a former mercenary, he didn’t like playing by the books too much but, this time it was something right to do… In many cases, young aristocrats wanted to show themselves by making an unconventional decision, but the prince seems to be free from such frivolous foolishness.
Above all else, he also had the determination to improve and maintain the soldiers’ morale.
Again, the aristocrats’ commander won’t understand those who worked bellow. It was not the general place to fight, it was the soldiers who did the fighting, and their morale was oftentimes decided the outcome of a war.
Chart might not be able to understand the mind of the soldiers.
But as a commander, knowing the importance of morale was enough.
“I can’t imagine what it is like to attend the imperial military academy, a place where only aristocrats attended. But there seem to be good teachers there…”
Torame was honestly impressed. He had heard that the prince was blessed with talent, but he thought it was just empty flattery. He was worried when he had been ordered by Duke Dinkwood to help a greenhorn born in a sheltered environment as a general to win a war, but it seems it was needless anxiety.
He feels no element would make them lose in this battle.
Torame who had been living his half-life on the battlefield made such judgment…
Leonard and Shera were staying in a post town, located 5ri(around 20 kilometers) south of Eidon, the provincial capital of Eidonia.
Of course, he was not staying there to play. They were there to wait for the 500 Alexis knights.
They had split up and traveled here as travelers.
It was a tactical decision to keep Chart army finding out Alexis Knights had joined the war. It wasn’t hard to imagine that within Eidon and its suburb, there was a lot of spies there. Thus it was necessary for them to meet at another place with enough space.
First day of stay—
“Waaah, the room is so nice, Leo-sama!”
Inside the large inn, Shera was in high spirit after jumped into the best room in the inn.
“— If we stay here together, it might feel like a honeymoon… Ufu….”
“Do you find a man to aim at?”
Leonard immediately entered his room next door.
When he was in the middle of unpacking his belonging, he felt a glance behind him…
“Mou~… Leo-sama lacks romance!”
There was the figure of Shera on the doorway, sulking, stared at him with resentment in her eyes.
But the problem was Leonard feel there was no time for him to feel relax.
The enemy forces were in the middle of invading Eidonia even right now.
“Leo-sama is a really straight-laced person…” Shera complained.
“Bauman and the others said that they would all gathered by the 20th day, and another plan that Alan has been working on still need time to prepare. Since we could only wait right now, why not spread our wings a little? Morale is important, you know? Morale!”
“Can’t do. It is in my nature…”
Due to Leonard clear response, Shera hung her head and muttered, ‘How disappointing…’. Somehow, she was honest about her feeling…
Practically, he understood why Shera told him to relax a little.
Leonard had a map of Eidonia memorized inside his mind, with his calculation the enemy army would arrive in Eidon within 20 days. However, even after he waited for 22 days, it seems they won’t show up… His initial calculation was far off, and the actual movement of the enemy was considerably delayed. According to the scouts, the enemy was currently halfway toward Eidon.
‘Why did that happen?’ Was what appeared inside his mind…
Alan, who came to exchange information while avoiding public eyes, entered Leonard’s room where the three of them had a discussion…
It was midnight, the 22nd day…
Shera then lit up the lamp while winked a lot full of mischief…
“The pike soldiers are already slow in movement, to bring the plundered goods with them, their marching speed would slow down considerably…”
Leonard nodded in consent and asked…
“Was that the reason why you asked us to tell the citizen to run without bringing the goods?”
Thanks to that, they had earned more than five days extra time to prepare…
“Indeed. And there also other benefits by making them march slower. For example–…”
Shera expanded the map. It was the suburb of the provincial capital. There was a forest in the north of the city, it was in the horizontal shape that stretches to the east. The road runs straight from north to south, splitting the forest, and it was the shorted distance.
“Now then, from where the enemy would start their assault? If it is by crossing the highway then it would be easy for us, but…”
“I don’t think my elder brother is that kind of idiot…”
Even if there was no other option, it was foolish to make a large army to pass through a narrow path in the forest.
Naturally, they should’ve chosen to go around the west side of the forest.
“According to the the scouts, the enemy marching speed is around 2,5ri per day. Well then, Alan-sama? How long do you think it would take to bypass this forest?”
“That would take half a day, I guess?”
Hearing Alan’s answer as a local, Leonard then started to think.
If that was the case, then the enemy army should cease march and camp around the northwest of the forest. Then they would start marching again at dawn, arrive at the provincial capital city in the afternoon, then start attacking…
If they didn’t make a stop overnight and detouring from an odd time, night time might come shortly before they get to Eidon. It was basically, if they didn’t take an overnight rest there, they would have to perform night assault.
And again, Chart was not that stupid…
“Ne~… Both of you understand, right?”
Seeing Leonard, who was thinking hard, Shera was trying to suppress her laughter.
She then pointed at one point on the northwest of the forest.
“As a result of slowing the enemy’s speed, we can expect them to stay overnight here. … No, we will invite them to stay there…”
“I see…” Alan muttered… “But, is there anything good by purposely doing that?”
“If you don’t understand it then don’t go around and said ‘I see…'”
“I’m just guessing from the story, Leo. Or rather, do you even understand it?”
“Then don’t go around putting on air if you only understand it roughly!”
“Mu… You’re like a child who tried to find fault at someone else…”
“Sorry for being like a child. But it is better than being like an old man like Leo.”
Alan then turn his gaze at Shera and said,
“From the perspective of a woman, what do you think of a young man in their teens, talk and think like an old man?”
“Ehmm? I think it is wonderful?” Shera replied blankly…
“It was a mistake of me to ask Shera that…” Alan turned his gaze toward a faraway distance…
Leonard then cleared his throat and returned the topic.
“I ‘roughly’ understand Shera aim…”
For him, to emphasis, his words might sound childish actually… Leonard then continued…
“But if we are going to use that strategy, I think there’s some problem, don’t you think so?”
“Then let me tell you in detail.”
Shera said confidently…
“Using the Legend/Folklore you mean?”
“We will also use the legend/folklore.”
Leonard looking convinced, and Shera throw her chest out full of confidence.
“It is about time for disclosing the secret. Since Dahlia-neesan is about to arrive as well…”
She then explained how to defeat Chart army in detail.
It was a too unconventional plan, or rather unprecedented.
At first, when Leonard and Alan heard it, they both had a difficult face.
However, when Shera finished her talking, both of them were laughing their ass off…