Spring had passed, and summer had come, Admov army still continued their invasion, but their offensive was like an old donkey waiting to die, and could not penetrate Alexis military defense line.
They didn’t withdraw probably due to their upper echelons obstinacy. Admov had spent a considerable amount of money to get the logistics for moving the 30,000 men. It was something that was hard to be dismissed.
It was something unrelated to the soldiers, but because of them continue to advance despite the lack of supplies, their soldiers could not eat something satisfying, causing their eyes cloudy.
(Even though they are our enemy, somehow I pity them…)
That was what Leonard thought.
(Since aunt sees no reason attacking them, it would be good if they immediately withdraw…)
No matter how brave he was, he was still a naive fifteen years old boy.
Because soon, Alexis army would be in the same boat as them–…
And he didn’t yet realize that kind of future was drawing near.
Rozalia would always prepare one-year supplies stock for 10,000 men in Alexis territory capital city, Lint.
And when war broke out, Alexis army which ended up defending the homeland, always received further support from all over Claude.
However, such support didn’t arrive since this war started.
Such baffling situation stuck inside Rozalia’s mind. Of course, the staff who were involved in the strategy and logistics meeting was aware of such a situation, but to not causing unnecessary worry, they didn’t tell anything to the front line.
In response to the situation, Rozalia in the middle of war tried to gather information, to find out what was the cause of such a thing, there she found out many ‘accident’ where their supplies would be sunk, raided by bandits, and other cause during transportation.
‘Was all of that just a series of bad luck happened?’ Or–. Thinking like that, Rozalia continues to investigate further. However, due to her in the middle of a war, it was hard for her to do so. –
It was at the end of eight months of the year that the cause was found. Five months had passed since the war began.
300 transportation troops carrying the first relief supplies from Eidonia. At that time, a written letter from Alan’s father was delivered.
According to the letter–, four Claude nobles, in the imperial court had plotted to prevent aid supplies from going to Alexis by pressuring the lords of every territory, and write it off as an ‘accident.’
Also, although few lords didn’t give in to the pressure, such as Alan’s father, they still sent the supplies but was struck by ‘accident’ devised by the four court nobles.
Rozalia then called her trusted people into her camp and confided such fact.
Naturally, Leonard was also being called.
“Why did they do that…?”
It was natural to have such a question.
To speak frankly, what benefits did they gain by disturbing their own allies who fight to protect the homeland? That was what floated inside everyone’s mind.
“I’ve made Alexis too rich, because of that the other tried to get revenge I guess…”, Rozalia said that then snorted.
“Up until now, I am needed as the guard dog of the north. But, when Admov invades again next time, I would already be too old. That is why they think this is the last time I would be useful for them. That is also why they wanted me to be defeated here…”
She made a conclusion while looking indifferent.
“Well, it’s fine… At the worst-case scenario, the war will end when winter comes. I will let myself the fool, and serve the purpose…”
In winter, maintaining logistics would be very difficult. Carriages would find it hard to move due to the snowy road, and firewood needed to be burned during the night would become too enormous. Such disadvantages were more prevalent for the invading army. If the war was not yet being settled by the time winter come, it was highly possible that Admov would withdraw.
But unfortunately, that forecast was far off…
Rozalia who had learned of the conspiracy wanted to end the war as soon as possible, And her tactics had become more severe. By the end of fall, Admov army had reduced to 10,000 men. Then, winter comes. Even though they had been drawn into a corner, and they should’ve withdrawn. The Admov army still decided to continue the attack amid the freezing winter.
The reason for that was because the four court nobles had leaked to the enemy information that Alexis food supplies would be depleted in a year.
“Are they really willing to go that far?!”
He could not stand it, and Leonard was screaming at the enemy that was not in front of him.
The amount of three meals per day had been reduced every week. If they didn’t do that, they would run out.
Regardless of the ranks, the morale of the soldiers was visibly falling.
Even with so much territorial advantages, Alexis army had continued to get defeated battle after battle.
It remained Leonard that an army with low morale was very fragile.
At last, Alexis army was driven to the last stronghold, its capital city, Lint, to carry out a siege battle.
They made to even hand out a weapon to the citizen to help defending the city– To ask assistance, dispatch of a messenger to the other nobles was intensified, even more, they even promise a great return after the war ended.
However, due to the court nobles interference, no one helped.
The inside and outside of the castle had become hell—.
Outside, a scene of carnage where only blood and death could be seen.
Inside, competition for food had caused riots happened frequently.
A horse that was seen as something not useful anymore during the siege had been turned into meat.
Leonard did so in order to survive.
The knights that had no choice but to kill their horse partner cursed the court nobles while shedding tears.
In the case of Leonard, he tried to endure it.
He had the same feeling as everyone else. But he always remembers, that ‘tears are the seedling of misfortune.’
The siege battle continues.
Everyone celebrates their worst new year in their life, and more than three months had passed since then.
Claude, year 209, day 29, the fourth month of the year.
Rozalia finally decided to abandon Alexis territory.
She judged that if this continue, people would start eating other people It would force the people to suffer as a refugee, but they cannot escape this problem without any sacrifice. First of all, let the people flee to the neighboring territory, and Alexis army would earn enough time by fighting two more weeks.
Rozalia abandoned the city with agonizing thought, the land that she had raised for many years.
And even though she abandoned the city, they were not yet being released from hell.
The bitterness of withdrawal warfare, while carrying deep sorrow.
The soldiers were being killed one by one from behind as if the enemy were harvesting wheat.
Rozalia was always in command even during such time.
“Aunty… Leave the rest to me and withdraw..”
Leonard appealed so, but she stubbornly ignored him.
“As a General, I would like you to hear this… In a manner of speaking, General is not only killing an enemy, but also allies. That is why, I at least want to see it with my own eyes, when my soldiers dying, they had died following my orders, if a General could not do that, then they are not a General. Though it won’t change much the mind of those pigs at the imperial capital.”
She gazed at him as if scolding him.
Leonard, who was unable to return a single word, resigned and decided to stay as well.
He tried to protect his aunt and his companions by continuing the mortal struggle.
But his attention always follows only one person…
Then, when they were almost escaped from Admov army.
With three hundred men, Leonard blocked the enemy pursuit of 1,000 men.
The main corps which had escaped to the end of the highway had also been attacked by another Admov force.
Rozalia, who had commanded the army, left the place to Leonard and headed to command the main force.
Leonard, who had been entrusted with the order, defeated the enemy one after another, even when his sword broken, he would pick up the enemy spear, and so on…
“Come at me!”
The roar caused shock even for Admov soldiers.
“Do you want to decorate this battlefield with your death?”
Leonard threatened the enemy with roaring voice.
However, the enemy soldiers were numerous, and there was no sight that they would stop just because of that.
“If you so wishes, then I will kill every single one of you, no matter 1,000 or 2,000!”
The reason why Leonard turn talkative was because he was irritated.
Rozalia had headed to the main unit straight away, it can’t be helped if he was worried.
Because that unit only had injured people that could not fight.
He didn’t know the scale of the other force that attacked the main unit, but still…
Fast… He wanted to leave the place and head to the other side immediately.
Such desperate thought ended up being disturbed—…
“OOOh! Finally, they come, the archers!”
He heard the cheers of the enemy commander.
Following the pursuit forces, an archer unit had caught up to the front.
“Shoot that man in the middle of the battlefield!”
Following his command, dozen of arrows flew toward Leonard.
Many of the arrows missed the target and hurt Alan and the others.
Two struck Leonard body, on his shoulder and tight.
He glared at the enemy’s archers while enduring the pain on his body.
The next arrow was being held up by the archers and then being released once again.
Several dozen arrows flew again…
A friendly knight screamed.