Chapter 2 Episode 24
Day 169 after being summoned to another world: (Assassin 1)
Numerous dead bodies were floating on the surface of the water that filled the moat.
It was already night time, and the surrounding was illuminated by the light from the torches.
“Fuuh~, everything seems to be going well huh…”
Ryouma muttered as he gazed at the floating dead bodies.
His words were spoken in a sad tone.
Since thousands of men have lost their lives as a result of his plan,.
It was normal for Ryouma to feel a little emotional.
In fact, considering that he was only a highschool student until a few months ago, his mental strength is far superior than an average person of his age.
“Yes, and the casualties on our side are minimal. ”
Ryouma had planned on using the Thaves river’s ferocious water current to his advantage since the moment he arrived.
After all, he was at a huge disadvantage, and unless he uses everything at his disposal, he will have no chance of winning the battle.
Water, for the present day human on Earth, especially Japanese people, is not considered a threat..
Except for a minority, most Japanese can swim since swimming lessons are compulsory in their school years.
However, that is the case in Earth.
It is a completely different story for this world.
Unless they are someone with an occupation related to water, such as fishermen and sailors, the majority of the population cannot swim.
Though judging from how people live in this world, it was understandable.
In this world, most people do not have the privilege to live their daily lives without having to work. For example, a farmer would have to do their agricultural work everyday, children included, in order to get by everyday. These activities occupy most of the sunlight hours, leaving people with little spare time to do anything else.
The truth is, there was no real incentive for them to learn how to swim in a land that is mostly covered in forest.
Days gone by and those children become adults.
As they became an adult, work and responsibility are increased proportionally as well..
In fact, within Ryouma’s troops, only about 50 people are able to swim.
Ryouma chose to capitalise on that fact without giving it a second thought.
Furthermore, those militia soldiers were wearing only leather armour.
And leather armors are prone to absorbing water, making it extremely heavy.
If they were only equipped with a spear, they could have just let it go. However, with those leather armours, there was no quick way to strip them.
In fact, most people would struggle to strip off regular clothings under water, as they tend to stick to body, let alone the leather armour.
As a results, the peasants who did not have any swimming experience had drowned.
“I see, how many were there?”
“We did not take any prisoner of war as instructed…, and because the order was to kill everything in front of us, the casualties on the enemy’s side should exceed 5.000. ”
The enemy’s total number was 7.000.
And now 5.000 of them are dead.
There were those who died from drowning, and those who died while attempting to retreat from the fence they had reached.
The group that managed the survive had noticed the water and immediately retreated.
Although there were some survivors, this battle was already over.
“The enemy’s force that was attacking the north side was completely annihilated, but since it took longer for the water sweep down the central and south sides, some were able to escape… Regardless, we were able to reduce the number of the elite knight force quite significantly. Overall, this can be considered as a very successful result. ”
Ryouma nodded to Laura’s report.
An elite knight wearing plate armor has a very strong battle power.
However, Kyle’s rash judgement had turned the tide of battle upside down.
The ferocious water current had completely swept Kyle’s elite knights, devastating their battle force.
The recklessness shown by the enemy certainly played a big part in the plan’s success, but Ryouma thought that in warfare, luck could be categorized as a factor as well.
“With this, we should be able to hold them off for several days…, Tell the men to get some rest but make sure to assign people to watch duty.”
Laura nodded to Ryouma and left.
“Now then…, what am I going to do now…”
Ryouma muttered to himself.
He is a person who values planning and making preparation, but at the same time he can also be flexible.
In fact, being flexible is one of his forte.
The water plan was not supposed to be use this early.
It was a plan that Ryouma had prepared for t the enemy’s main army when they arrive.
(Well since this is a defensive war, that result was not necessarily a clear success, since that plan was supposed to be for later. However, we might have been worse off had we not killed the enemy immediately when there was an opportunity to do so. )
On the bright side, however, due to the fact that they were able to defeat the enemy’s army that outnumbered them by a large margin, the knights’ morale kept rising.
Besides, reducing the enemy’s force from 65.000 to 60.000 is significant..
(Well at this rate, it would be easy to execute the next plan, so it’s all good I guess?… After this, it depends on how fast the enemy can move…, I sure hope not until Princess Lupis arrives here…, but well, I guess that is asking for too much, huh? There is no way Duke Gerhardt and General Hodram will let this situation slide… )
Ryouma knew that he needs to ready another plan immediately in case the enemy makes another attack.
All the preparation should be done before the main force lead by Princess Lupis arrives here as well.
(I will need one day to gather all the information regarding the present situation. The second day should be spent on using the gathered information to formulate a plan, and another day to prepare everything in places. I am going to need at least three days…, if today is included, then that would be four days. If we can get through the next three days without any trouble, we will have a good chance of winning this battle… )
A smile finally appeared on Ryouma’s face.
(The more time I have, the more options available to me. There should be enough time for me to make some preparation even if the enemy tried to rush here. )
Only time will tell whether Ryouma’s judgement was right or not.
No one will know the answer until the war is over.
An outcome of a single battle does not decide the victor of the war.
“You bastard…, you sure have some guts to appear before me like this…, I will praise you for that. ”
Duke Gerdhardt sneered at Kyle coldly.
It was already late in the night.
However, the light from Duke Gerhardt’s office located in Irachion city was still on.
Normally Duke Gerhardt would already be asleep.
However, today is different.
Only a handful out of the 7,000 soldiers that headed off triumphantly in the morning managed to scram back to safety in what was almost a total destruction..
And Duke Gerhardt was unable to sleep because of that.
“Yes, sir! I have no excuse. ”
Kyle lowered his head.
He had no choice but to admit his mistakes.
“The number of casualties from the peasant-recruits were 4,000, and another 1,000 from the elite knights…, not only did we lose in battle, our state of economy was heavily affected as well… ”
Duke Gerhardt struggled to keep a straight face when he read through the report presented by his aide.
Though occasionally, when some people become angry, they are able to remain calm and collected.
At least, Duke Gerhardt is one of those people.
“Yes, sir! I’m very sorry. ”
Kyle lowered his head once again.
“I couldn’t care less about those farmers, but did I not make it clear to you how indispensable those knights were? ”
Pressure can be felt from his words.
They were all the elite knights that he had been recruiting for past several years.
Not only were they deployed recklessly during the battle, but to think they would march straight into the enemy’s plan, it was understandable for Duke Gerhardt to be angry because of that.
Even more so when the one who led them was Kyle, who is supposedly talented in the field of warfare.
As much as he trusts that talent, he couldn’t help but be disappointed with the result.
“Yes, sir!…, I am deeply ashamed…”
Kyle kept apologising over and over while lowering his head.
Even if he wanted to make any excuse, it would only cement his status as a loser and infuriate Duke Gerhardt even more..
There was simply no room for him to make any excuse.
“And yet here you are, getting out alive and running back with your tails between your legs…”
Duke Gerhardt kept complaining as he read through the report.
“Yes, fortunately, because the horse I was riding was able to swim, I managed to survive…”
“Hou…, and here I thought that you had abandoned everyone else just so you could make it back alive. ”
The Duke ridiculed Kyle harshly.
Kyle gritted his teeth as he endured Duke Gerhardt’s insult.
There was nothing else he could do.
The fact that Kyle managed to get out alive was down to pure luck.
Having decided that he would proceed to the frontline himself, he made his way through the dry moat.
Then, a huge wave of water came crashing down.
At that time, he was surrounded by knights in every direction, blocking all the escape routes.
The water immediately swallowed Kyle, who was wearing plate armor just like the other knights, and he should have died there.
It was because the horse he rode has changed his fate.
Kyle’s quick judgement of removing some of the heavy part of the armour also influenced his survival greatly..
Regardless of whether it was down to luck or not,
The horse he rode was able to swim out of the muddy water current.
And Kyle narrowly survived.
“Fine…, I will postpone your punishment verdict. ”
Hearing Gerhardt’s decision, Kyle let out a sigh of relief.
It wouldn’t be strange for Duke Gerhardt to hand him a capital punishment.
In fact, it was strange that he did not receive it right away.
After all, the damage Kyle has caused was worthy of one.
“What are you looking relieved for? I never said that I would forgive you? ”
Kyle’s body froze up almost immediately.
“Oh well, you are dismissed for today. ”
Duke Gerhardt waved his hand signalling Kyle to leave.
“T-Then, please excuse me. ”
After lowering his head, Kyle went out from the office quickly.
It was as if he was trying to flee from his mistake.
After Kyle had left the room, Duke Gerhardt let out his anger.
The was a short insult, but it packed a lot of rage.
“Are you sure? Leaving it like that. ”
“Are you suggesting that I should get rid of Kyle now?”
The aide nodded his head.
“Fool! Do you think that this damage can be offset by his life alone?!”
Kyle has long been out of Duke Gerhardt’s plans.
The reason that Kyle is not yet dead is not because Duke Gerhardt wants him to redeem himself..
Rather, the Duke spared Kyle’s life solely because having one more soldier is better than having one less.
That is the only reason he puts the execution on hold.
“The peasant recruits were dispensable…, But to think he wasted the elite Knights too…, that fool!”
Losing this battle does not mean that the Noble faction has lost the war.
But regardless of how insignificant of a battle it was, a loss is still a loss.
Gerhardt couldn’t help but be angry at this, despite understanding the situation.
(The timing is bad…, Hodram had just joined us, and I don’t want to show him a weakness that he can exploit…)
The result of this battle could be a huge problem for Duke Gerhardt who’s currently in the middle of negotiation with General Hodram as to who should lead.
Hodram himself has been a military commander of Rozeria Kingdom for the past ten years.
Gerhardt, on the other hand, has been dealing with mostly internal affairs.
It would be logical to entrust the command to General Hodram.
Even if most of the soldiers belong to the nobles faction.
Gerhardt perfectly understood that.
But then, there is a risk that Hodram might deprive everything from him.
(That guy is a quite an ambitious person after all. He will definitely aim for my neck if I make a bad move. He is that kind of person. At the very least, his ambition is smaller compared to mine, that’s why I can entrust the command of the security unit with confidence.)
For Gerhardt, a person of Holdram’s calibre is hard to come by.
That’s why he accepted Hodram, who had lost his previous standings.
However, after taking in Hodram and seeing the actual person, he realized that Hodram’s ambition has not changed from before.
Gerhardt found out that from the beginning, ever since he served Princess Lupis as the Knight faction’s leader, Holdram has been hiding his real intention all along.
He could feel the pressure from Holdram, as if being looked at by a hungry wolf preying on its target.
(I should’ve never listened to Sudou’s advice…, as expected, it was a mistake to take in Hodram, huh?)
A figure of a man appeared in Gerhardt’s mind.
The man who has always been standing next to Princess Ladine. The man who suggested that Gerhardt should take in Holdram as an ally..
In fact, he is the man who introduced Gerhardt to Princess Ladine..
With a mediocre face that can be found anywhere and an average body build and height, there was nothing particularly outstanding about him.
The only features worth mentioning are his black eyes and black hair.
His existence is only known to a small group of people, even among the aristocrats of the noble faction, since he has never left Princess Ladine’s side.
(No…, like Sudou had mentioned, Hodram is a valuable fighting force…, considering the number of knights lost in battle, his value should increase even more…, but the big problem is his ambition….)
Just for the sake of argument, Gerhardt actually has no problem handingHodram the military power.
Because he understands that it would be very difficult for him to run the entire kingdom by himself.
As long as Gerhardt’s interests are not disrupted, he would not mind.
Simple as that.
(But right now, time is not on our side…, once Princess Lupis main force arrives, the momentum of the battle would swing to their side immediately… )
A peasant might be weak individually, but in a group, they can pose real threat.
The reason why the other nobles decided to join Gerhardt is because he has a large advantage against Princess Lupis in term of sheer soldiers number.
But would that reason remain valid if Gerhardt was unable to crush a small unit of Princess Lupis’ troops that only have 2.000 in numbers?
Chance is, the peasants and the nobles would start to doubt his ability..
Even worse, from the candidacy point of view, Princess Lupis is ahead of Princess Ladine in term of legitimacy. If the Duke’s ability were to be doubted, it would only cause his followers to lose faith and turn their back away from him.
Taking all of these into consideration, Kyle’s failure this time cannot be described as anything but a disaster.
(This is very much a catastrophe, huh?…, But, no! The war is not yet over! )
Gerhardt shook off all the negative thoughts in his head and regained his composure.
(I will deal with Kyle’s matter later… Curse that enemy’s commander! If I could quickly dispose of that man, will our chance of winning increase?)
Despite Kyle’s recent error in judgement, Gerhardt had previously acknowledged Kyle’s leadership skills. Thus, he had not anticipated this outcome at all. The bottom line is that the enemy’s commander has far exceeded his expectation.
Gerhardt knew that without a smart leader, there was no way their soldiers could execute the flood plan this well. Killing that leader would surely put him back in the driving seat.
(Previously, the report mentioned that the assassination attempt has failed… But if I recall correctly, we still have some assassins among the enemy’s mercenary group… A couple of skilled ones too…, Is it possible to assassinate the enemy’s commander with this, I wonder?)
An evil smile finally appeared on the Duke’s face
From the start, assassins are disposable weapons. It is perfectly fine if they die after the assassination attempt.
Moreover, the enemy should let their guard down after winning their first battle.
(If I want to do it, I should do it now huh?)
“Order the spies to kill the enemy’s commander! Now!”
His aide immediately rushed out of the office.
“Kukukuku! I’ll teach you a lesson!”
Evil laughter resonated within the room.
His ambition and confidence have not wavered.