After he finished subdued the bandits, Leonard went to Krador, the capital of Zaan, with his knights unit.
On the way, his adjutant, who was riding next to him started a conversation in a good mood.
“Well, that was an easy fight, isn’t it?”
He was a small knight with an ordinary face. He was an old man around 32 years old, with a well-taken care sword on his waist. When he laughed, one could see one of his top and bottom front teeth missing.
His name is Bauman, he had been supporting him since the time in Alexis.
And everyone who followed them was the heroes who once served Rozalia.
After they lost to Admov two years ago, half of the thousand knights had died or missing.
All the remaining 507 horsemen decided to follow Leonard.
For these two years, Leonard had kept a certain ‘plan’ a secret, and continued to performed bandits extermination and be sent to various places by taking advantage of Claude’s Emperor command.
This time was also part of that. The war costs money, that was why, not all of 500 men could be dispatched and stay in the imperial capital but, without a doubt, all of them had the same will.
With their won hands, they would bring back Alexis.
“As expected of the strategist-dono, huh?”
While Bauman spoke her admiration, Leonard consented while keeping his mouth shut.
He was at first a silent man, but since the time he lost Rozalia and Alexis, he had become more silent.
On the other hand, the body under his armors was even more robust, it was hard like steel.
He had kept Rozelia will in his mind and continue to train without slack.
“Your Highness, and the Strategist-dono, despite being young, marvelous indeed.”
Leonard assumed a solemn air due to the heartfelt praise of Bauman who was following him.
Before they went to war, ‘Let us use the horses~!’, That was what the ‘Strategist-dono’ said.
Using the horses in the mountain.
At first, Leonard tilted his head questioning the sanity, but soon he realizes.
The mountain in the province of Zaan was all gentle. Leonard and the ‘Strategist-dono,’ both of them had the geography inside their mind. It was the basis of the art of war.
Leonard then led his knights unit, after they saw the mountain the bandits secluded themselves in, he thought ‘If it’s this much, cavalry charge is possible.’
In addition, to keep the horses’ power during the assault, they would go up the mountain without wearing armors and not riding the horses until they found the bandits. Furthermore, they also take a lot of break during the time they climbed the mountain. Even when the battle started, Leonard didn’t order the charge until the very limit.
With such tactics being prepared beforehand, he had made the assault successful, and most of the bandits had lost the will to fight before the majority of them got killed, in the end, the result was a complete victory.
The possibility of cavalry assault in the mountain, the decision when to do cavalry charge, all of that was an art of war Leonard had learned in these past two years while performing bandits extermination.
It was something that bandits won’t be able to learn since they were people who only attacked the weak.
As soon as they arrived at the province capital, Krador, they went to the Earl of Zaan residence.
It was an old man who looked honest, who met them in the garden.
He was not the Earl himself, but the man who was entrusted with the administration.
“Thank you very much for the bandits’ exterminations, your highness! I don’t know how to thank you.”
After Leonard dismounting his horse, the old man expressed his thanks with both of his hands.
Leonard accepted it sullenly, but since he knows it was necessary, it can’t be helped.
“How is Earl Zaan?”
“About that… We’re very sorry. It seems he had been drinking until late at night, and right now still resting. I’ve tried to wake him up but…”
In other words, while Leonard and the others were dealing with the bandits, he was having fun.
“If that was the case, then don’t mind it.”
Despite feeling astonished, he judged that it was fine to report it to the Earl’s representative.
“These are the neck of the bandit leader and his aides.”
Following his order, Bauman showed eight freshly-severed heads.
The Earl’s representative face who saw the fresh beheaded head become a bit pale.
“I heard they had 400 members, but what happened to them?”
“I can’t bring back that many heads.”
“D-Did you kill them all?”
The representative face finally becomes a complete pale. On his face, the color of fear and the thought of ‘was all of that rumors true?’ floated in his mind.
Leonard didn’t respond and shut his mouth.
The representative officer then sighed while staring at the distance.
“Though they are bandits, somehow I feel pity…”
Bauman who heard that make a cough.
“Did you implying what his highness did outrageously?”
Surprised with that, the representative officer immediately apologized.
“Of course, I’m not blaming your highness. What important is the result.”
“It is fine. I also feel pity toward them…”
Leonard reassured the representative officer While gazing at Bauman as if telling him ‘Don’t go around scolding someone over a trivial matter.’
Seeing that, Bauman drawback, looking like a dispirited dog.
Hearing Leonard words, the representative speak his mind once again while dropping his shoulders.
“I can imagine why they decided to become bandits. I also hate myself for not being able to do anything to lessen their misery. This makes me feel a deep regret. I guess I will try harder at giving the Earl advice, and make him take care of himself better. It might be impossible soon but, I will do my best no matter how long it takes.”
He was a representative officer who actually blamed himself instead of filing his own pocket using his position.
Seeing that, Leonard took an interest in him.
Because sometimes he finds people like him that local expedition such as this was worth it.
“I also have experienced many time when I feel powerless.”
Leonard opened his heavy mouth.
Bauman who seen that muttered ‘how rare.’
“That is why we improve our ability more, raise our spirit more. As long you’re not giving up, I believe one day you will accomplish your goal. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, then there’s no meaning in living.”
“…Indeed… Indeed, it is as your highness said.”
Leonard engraved the appearance of the representative officer who nodded his head in agreement.
I hope one day I could invite someone like him when I recovered Alexis.