Editor: Mahou Shoujo Cruiser-Chan
Day 180 after being summoned to another world: (Decisive Battle 7)
“Your Highness! The instruction to march!”
Meltina urged Princess Lupis to stand in front of all the troops.
According to Ryouma’s plan, all the noble’s stationed troops around Irachion should have returned to their respective territories.
Since Gerhardt had switched sides, all that remained was the 2,500 knights commanded by Hodram. In contrast, Princess Lupis currently has 25,000 soldiers under her banner.
The situation where princess Lupis was inferior and being overwhelmed had now been reversed, the knights who stood awaiting the Princess’s command had impatient gazes. Their morale was at an all time high, after all, they numbered more than ten times the enemy’s size.
However, contrary to the Knights high spirits, princess Lupis’s heart is filled with bitter feelings. Despite the situation she was in she was unable to dance in joy or feel happy. The fear of a certain man had budded in her heart.
(This is that man’s power… The man who could turn the tides of war for such an inferior person … I’m scared of that man… Mikoshiba Ryouma. I’m afraid of that intelligence, and I’m scared of his lack of leniency, I’m scared of that heart that has no respect toward royalty. That man will leave this country the moment we finished dealing with Hodram. That is good… After all, that was the promise we’ve agreed upon at the first time. But… What if he were to join the enemies side? I can’t compete against him… Is there even a person who can match against him in this country? What if he were to oppose us, the man who was able to make light of both Hodram and Gerhardt.)
She had realized it since the beginning, no, rather she was convinced of it. Despite beating Hodram, anxiety welled up in her heart.
In the meantime, she tried to suppress her feelings of uneasiness.
(No, I should think about this later. What’s important right now is to ensure Hodram’s defeat)
Nodding lightly toward Meltina, Princess Lupis begin to face forward.
She raised her sword and pointed it toward Irachion.
Right now all that mattered is to finally defeat Hodram.
(Everything… Everything I’ve done is for the sake of winning this war!)
The cheers echoed once again, and the Knights began advancing all at once.
Their aim is to get Hodram Alberg’s head.
“Ryouma-sama… Is it alright?”
The Knights led by Princess Lupis leave trails of dust behind them while marching towards Irachion. A group of people watched the knights advance from a nearby hill.
“Yes, there’s no point for us to participate in the attack on Irachion.”
Ryouma answered Laura’s question lightly.
Together with these two, there’s her sister Sara and approximately 80 members of the mercenary group led by Lione and Bolts.
Although all of them were prepared to go to the battlefield at anytime, Ryouma who is the commander told them that they are not going to move from their current position.
“But young master… If we don’t attack Irachion and the war does not end, what are we to do?”
Bolts make such a question that carried the concern of all the present people
“If we don’t attack Irachion, the battle won’t end? I see… Does everyone share the same opinion?”
Everyone who heard Ryouma’s question nodded their head.
Since Hodram did not move his army out of Irachion, there is no other way to end it but to go on the offensive even if Gerhardt had already fallen under the Princess.
Ryouma who understand Bolts concern shows a smile on his face.
“Then here’s a question. Currently, there’s only the 2.500 Knights led by Hodram at Irachion. Since Duke Gerhardt had pledged allegiance to the Princess, there only exist one enemy, also known as Hodram. Do you understand?”
Following Ryouma’s question, everyone nodded their heads.
Due to the rumor Ryouma had spread, the nobles quickly returned to their own territories as a result, a large number of soldiers had left the outskirts of Irachion. This is another reason why Princess Lupis decided to take the initiative
Only Hodram and his subordinates were all that remained as Princess Lupis’s enemies.
All the people present understand that well enough.
“What about princess’s military force?”
“Around 25,000 soldiers.”
“Sara is right, then now, how many troops does Hodram has?”
Bolt quickly shouted.
“That is correct, the difference is more than ten times, hasn’t anyone wondered why Hodram chose to seclude himself within the city walls?”
Ryouma’s gaze turns toward the distance.
Everyone tried to guess what Ryouma’s words mean.
“Do you think that the General himself is not inside the city?”
Lione tried to confirm the thing she had thought.
“Yes. But well, that probability is around 50-50 I guess? As far as I know, Hodram is an arrogant and indifferent man, but at the same time I think that he’s a strong man who knows that giving up is a bad thing.”
“He’s not going to give up?”
“At first I thought that he would confine himself within the city since there would be no reinforcement for him. After all, the nobles are not going to help Hodram after returning back toward their own territory. With that being the case, Hodram only has two option left, an honorable death or escape… But I do not think that Hodram is going to choose honorable death.”
“Then doesn’t that mean he’s going to escape? But still, can he even pull it off with such a large difference in power?”
Lione’s reply toward Ryouma was skeptical.
Lione who has experienced many battlefields is fully aware of the difficulty when withdrawing from the battlefield.
It is simple to make an army advance forward but it becomes difficult when an army has to withdraw at a moments notice.
Furthermore, despite the fact that the Knights are good as individual soldiers, they lack cooperation and teamwork as a group, so if a sudden order to withdraw were to occur, they would need proper cooperation to avoid chaos during retreats.
Conversely, if the soldiers are just thinking of escaping by themselves without cooperating with the others, the prospect of them being dead is high.
History has proven this to be true.
Since the knights lack the ability to work together, the probability of Hodram would be closest to zero.
“Indeed, that might be true. Well, to do that he would need to prepare a lot of things… Furthermore, we are only considering the scenario where he would try to escape with his knights, the worst possible situation would be if Hodram were to escape whilst abandoning his subordinates, only bring his close aides and family members.”
Lione nodded in agreement after hearing Ryouma’s words.
Even if it was possible, Ryouma felt the possibility of Hodram retreatingwhile leading the army to be very low.
“It can’t be… To abandon his people…”
“Young master! No matter how bad a person he is, I don’t think he would do that…”
Everyone was at a loss for words.
He may be able to escape if he abandons his subordinates and escapes alone.
However, doing that means Hodram would need to give up the Knights who believed in him and chose him to be their general.
Even for Lione and Bolts, they would not do something so shameless despite being mercenaries and some armies employ peasants and mercenaries to act as meat shields and for Hodram as a commander of an army to abandon his own trusted knights, no one seems to believe he would do such a thing…
“Well~, that was just a possibility… To ascertain that, there’s no choice other than for us to attack Irachion. I decide for us to not participate in the attack is because I don’t think it would make much difference. That’s why I asked the princess to let us do another task…”
Although Ryouma was not 100% sure of the outcome, the odds of it occurring were quite high based on the fact that Ryouma said there was a 50/50 chance of it happening.
Certainly, the Princess is in a very advantageous position, even without Ryouma participating in the battle, it will not affect her chances of obtaining victory.
But if he were to take into account of postwar rewards, deciding not to participate in the assault might not be too profitable from a reward standpoint.
But even with that in mind, Ryouma still decided to stay back on the basis that Hodram might escape.
“Still doubting my decision?”
Everyone shakes their head in response. Having explained up to this point, everyone felt convinced with his reasoning.
“Now then… We have to wait for Genou to come back I guess?”
“Genou is it?”
Toward Ryouma’s words, Laura scanned their surroundings.
Certainly, the two people, Genou and Sakuya are not present.
“Don’t worry… I just ask them to go to Irachion for some errand… Spreading rumor and other stuff… Oh speak of the devil, how was the situation? Genou, Sakuya…”
Mercenaries disguised as merchants have been spread around Irachion to perform espionage duties.
Their primary duty is to spread the rumor of the person called Mikoshiba Ryouma to the peasants, while some were given the mission to sneak into Irachion to investigate the enemy’s movements.
Now that Gerhardt has changed his allegiance, they can place full effort in monitoring Hodram with Genou and Sakuya acting as liaisons..
Ryouma’s gaze is directed towards the two people who just got arrivedfrom Irachion.
“Thank you for waiting. Mikoshiba-dono.”
“I’m sorry for being late.”
The two people apologize toward Ryouma while bowing their head lightly then they begin to give their report.
“Mikoshiba-dono hunch is right on the mark… According to those who kept surveillance on Hodram’s mansion, they spotted a number of merchants being summoned yesterday to hurriedly conduct business negotiations…”
“Business negotiations huh… Do you know the contents of the negotiation?”
Genou nodded his head in response towards Ryouma’s question.
Ryouma had predicted such a report would come, but he couldn’t decide the course of actions without a more detailed understanding of the situtations. Thus he asked the two to investigate.
“Yes, when we asked some of the merchants who came out from the mansion, I heard that the people from the mansion want to sell some clothes and other furniture.”
Ryouma nodded his head while listening to Genou’s words.
It seems like Hodram wants to escape aboard. Thus he wants to sell all of his assets.
“Well now, he appears to be trying to raise some funds to escape…”
“Also, they seem to have stocked up on preserved food.”
“Preserved food… I guess he’s going to abandon his subordinates after all…”
Hodram would not need to prepare preserved foods if he were planning on bringing his subordinates with him, since there is a unit in the army that handles supplies.
Furthermore, to call upon the merchants personally, it proves that he is hiding it from his subordinates.
“Yes, the probability is high.”
Genou nodded in agreement.
“How about the escape route? Have you been able to predict it?”
“No, as expected, I haven’t spotted anything so far. But…”
“What’s wrong? Did you catch something interesting?”
“It would be quite hard to escape while bringing his family together. With all the baggage, there’s no other choice other than to pass via the highway.”
Sara quickly spread the map in front of Ryouma.
“With Irachion… We have four possibilities.”
Ryouma noted that there are seven highways connected to Irachion, three of which are being blocked by Princess Lupis’s army, he might be able to cross it if he were to circle around the army but it would be too dangerous if he were to bring his family with him. Ryouma narrowed the options down considering Hodram’s reputation within the kingdom.
“Southeast, South, Southwest, West, there are four possibilities… Since he will be going with his family, I guess we can exclude the west since it would lead toward the Zalda Kingdom.”
Ryouma nodded his head in agreement toward Laura’s words.
(Certainly, the Zalda Kingdom who is known as Iron country has many steep mountains road. It is a terrain that is too severe to go with family.)
“We can exclude the southwest for the same reason… Thus, what left are southeast and south…”
Both southeast and south are directed toward the southern region. That place is the biggest fierce war zone in the western continent where small countries jumbled up close together.
However, it is also a perfect place to hide.
“These two choices huh…. Now then which one…”
Ryouma then looked up toward the sky.
He has 100 troops on hand.
Every single one of them has very high competence as warriors, but Ryouma also knows that his opponents would resist desperately, so he had no other choice but to recognize their battle powers to be equal. All that was left was to predict the number of troops he would bring with him. It couldn’t be too many since if he were to bring too many, it would be less inconspicuous. Ryouma’s estimated that Hodram would have around 50 knights with him as his escort.
(It is a foolish idea to divide my troops… But I can’t let them escape either… What should I do, I wonder?)
For the future of Rozeria Kingdom, Hodram must die.
And there’s also his promise toward Elena.
Various idea appears within Ryouma’s mind, but he immediately discards them. No matter how good Ryouma was with thinking up of strategies, there was always a limit to it. He couldn’t figure out a solution to supllement the shortage of troops pursuing Hodram.
“What’s the matter?”
Sara whispered into Ryouma’s ear who is absorbed in his own train of thought.
“Just now, a report was made that some military units passed this area…”
“Is it the enemy?”
Sara shook her head toward Ryouma’s question.
“No, it is Elena-sama.”
“Elena-san? She should be participating in the attack with Princess Lupis… Are you sure?”
“Yes, they will arrive here soon.”
“Understood. Please lead me to her.”
Sara nodded at Ryouma’s words, and they both left the place.