Those two things had become flesh and blood of Leonard.
Far from the imperial capital, no one had called him ‘crossbreed.’
With a thousand knight of Rozalia, he fought without getting tired. That was when he met Alan. The two of them who had studied at another territory, Eidonia Territory, absorbed the bravery and nobility of the valiant knight of Alexis like a cotton absorbing waters.
“No matter how strong you’re as a man, a stupid man is no good. Especially if you don’t have any charm.”
That was what his aunt said, thus he decided to study voluntarily.
Sometimes during the evening when Leonard was very tired, he was being dragged to the city.
Her favorite place during those times was the general bar. The food that the old man Matthew made was very delicious. Especially his stew. Only when she was at that place would she let herself lose and drink a lot.
“When I was just married and moved here, Lint was a countryside with no stone houses!”
Every time, she would start the same story.
“Due to that, I being laughed a lot. But still, I swear to myself that I would never think of my situation as getting the short end of the stick. I promised to myself that I would make Alexis richer than even the imperial capital, making those who made fun of me jealous…”
Her life story was full of idle complaint and also prideful moment.
Even with that, Leonard always had fun listening to her stories.
The story of his drunk aunt would always take a lot of time, even until late of night. Usually, the superstitious waitress would say ‘If children walk alone at night, a ghost will kidnap them, you know?’ while looking worried. But Leonard who heard that remained calm. His aunt would always say ‘Such thing is not true.’ explaining it in a simple way that even him who was still a child understood.
After she finished her drink, he would then carry her aunt on his back(albeit it was more like he dragged her with his small body) while keep listening to her stories.
Walking under the moonlight, when the city had slept, only Rozalia voice could be heard. He really loved those times.
Happy days passed like an arrow.
Leonard’s body grew bigger, and he would not end up dragging Rozalia anymore when he carried her on his back.
And fate come during the Year 208, Third month of the year, Claude Empire calendar. –
Leonard heads toward the battlefield when the air still mixed with late winter breeze.
The northern military powerhouse, Admov, had attacked Claude’s northernmost territory, Alexis.
It was something that happens every ten years.
And Rozalia and the knights under her command always ready to defend.
During the battles, she would always take command directly. That was what made her the Marchioness of Alexis. She had managed to repulse Admov invasion three times in the past 40 years, making her a famous general.
This time, it was her fourth defensive battle.
Just like Leonard, this time, Alan was standing next to him for his first campaign.
(I’ve trained my martial arts for Aunt sake.)
Riding the horse, he cut straight into the enemy line.
The result was disappointing.
He could not find a warrior stronger than himself.
Those who could match him was not even exceeding ten people.
Thanks to Alan and fellow knights, he manages to let himself loose like a storm.
But, that was all to it. From the point of view of war, it was a battle without meaningful result.
“No matter how strong you are, you cannot gain anything by yourself, see?”
Rozalia said those words and had a nasty grin on her face. Hearing her words, Leonard couldn’t return a single word.
In the battlefield, prowess was something that worth no less than garbage.
“You need to first learn the art of war. Learn how to move your army, take advantages of situations. If you manage to learn those, then you would be able to take advantage of your own prowess.”
Hearing his aunt words, Leonard could only nod his head in response.
Not ignoring her advice, he decided to learn military arts.
He continued to follow his aunt footsteps on the battlefield.
In fact, Rozalia was very skillful in war.
The number of Admov’s soldiers who invaded was around 30,000 men, not including the rear troops such as transport troops.
They were a large army.
On the opposing side, Alexis’ army was only 10,000 men, including knights, standing soldiers, and mercenaries.
Rozalia didn’t even take a step back against an enemy three times larger, but instead, she overwhelmed them with her ingenuity.
In the first place, Alexis territory had a natural stronghold, which was the vast forest that covers most of the land. Due to that, Admov was unable to build a proper camp and had to march through highway using long lines formation. Alexis could match their power just by simple blocking the highway.
“But, we won’t be able to fight them equally like that. We will be the one who worn out first if we fight like that.”
If she wanted to pursue a stalemate, she could just rely on the city walls and fight a siege battle.
But what Rozalia wants was an aggressive battle.
She likes to make a few elite teams and lead them to ambush the enemy along the way.
She would use the animal trail as side road that was not on the map to get on the back of Admov army and constantly ambush them.
Due to that, Admov army would have their supplies cut, and their morale plummeted, causing them to move sluggishly despite being a large army. Deserting soldiers would become chronic, and Alexis army could reduce the enemy numbers even without swinging their weapons.
‘In a war, a battle was not only on the front line.’. she said that while having a nasty vicious smile that looked like a bandit than a famous General. “The Alexis restaurant won’t accept violent customers. I wish they go home immediately…”
In this era, the war would always be fought with both armies taking a well-formed formation, then confront head-on. That was why, in the future, the historians would praise Rozalia’s concept as a progressive strategy.
Sometimes, Leonard would fight near their own camp, sometimes under her direct command, all for the sake of absorbing her excellent ability.