Under the starry sky.
In the middle of the night, the moon shines perfectly.
It was the best view.
The scenery which makes one admires the possibility of the infinite universe. It was rich in mystery, and beauty, giving us peace of mind.
However, for the humans who lived in these times, they could not afford to enjoy such feeling.
And right now, both sides, Baron Mikoshiba’s army, and Earl Salzberg’s coalition had finished their day-time battle.
“Excuse me. I have come to report.”
Ryouma stopped the movement of the pen he was holding after he heard those words.
The documents he was working on were the important ones which he needs to check it himself, he didn’t have any reports from Laura that he was looking forward to.
“Laura ? You may come in…”
Following his words, the entrance of the tent was opened just a little.
The one that appeared was a person with golden hair, smiling at him like a goddess.
Looking at her smile, it gave peace to Ryouma’s tense heart after a battle.
“Looking at that face, you seem to have successfully managed to obtain the desired result ?”
“Yes. The casualties on our side are thirteen people. The heavily injured people are 22 people. However, due to our medicine and healing magic arts, their lives should not be in danger. We may anticipate them to rejoin the army in a couple of days while waiting for their strength to recover. Also, from the report I’ve received, the casualties were caused by two people.”
After listening to Laura’s report, Ryouma sighed deeply and relaxed his back deep into his chair.
No one knows what kind of feelings he had inside his heart right now.
People have lost their lives today.
Not because of an accident, but because his orders from the beginning, asking them to fight at the battlefield.
Even though it was their professional duty as soldiers to fight on a battlefield, no normal human could bear the responsibility of carrying the death of those soldiers.
(I am still not used to it… Well, those who are accustomed to it, are those who have lost their sanity though…)
It was kind of a contradicting feeling for him.
Up until now, Ryouma had ordered them to go to a battlefield where they might lose their lives.
Whether it was when he ordered them to hunt some monsters within the peninsula or chasing the spies that infiltrated the peninsula, both cases have danger where his soldiers might die.
Of course, Ryouma had also done his best to provide some measures and give it to the soldiers.
However, no matter how many expensive weapons and armors he gave, there would always be dead soldiers.
It made him feel his actions become dirtier each time.
But in the end, this world was no different compared to his previous world.
There won’t be a result without a sacrifice, the person standing will have to move on at the expense of others.
It was an awful and ruthless world.
If he were to stand as the one being sacrificed, he understood that he would feel it to be unacceptable.
However, even God could not create a world without sacrifice.
Much less a human who was not a god, it was something one should never hope for.
That was why, for Mikoshiba Ryouma, he could only do one thing. Take the sacrifices deep inside his heart and remember them, then prepare everything to reduce the casualties by as much as possible.
“Which meant those two are genuine monsters, also it was a proof that my army is far superior compared to the enemy’s force.”
“Yes. The performance of the weaponry we’ve bought from Nelsios was really amazing. After all, in other countries, such weapons and armors won’t be sold for less than 10 gold coins a piece.”
“Well, the performance is something we’ve expected.”
What Ryouma worried the most in this war was : “How to protect the soldiers under his command ?”.
At first, the population of the Wortenia peninsula was close to zero. There was a settlement of demi-humans, but their presence was peculiar to the peninsula, an existence which hates humans, thus Ryouma could not ask them for taxes.
Considering future expansion, it was indispensable to have an army to fight against other countries.
However, Ryouma could not recruit citizens and push them to fight like other countries did.
His situation was very contradictory, he needs an army but had no citizenry to recruit from.
Ultimately, he managed to do it by buying slaves and educating them, but when one thinks from the viewpoint of cost efficiency, troops made from slaves was very expensive.
Thus he could not use them like the other feudal lords, where they could order their soldiers like insects and have them replaced anytime.
The only way he could do to compensate the numbers was by increasing their quality.
Naturally, it would become a great loss to have a soldier, which he had spent so much time and efforts into, ending up dead.
Thus Ryouma paid attention to the engraving magic arts that the demi-humans, especially the elves, had.
Even now, in all parts of the western continent, weaponry made by the demi-humans were traded at high prices due to its performance.
“Having the armor engraved with magic that made it harder and lighter, for a human it would be hard to effectively reproduce such elaborate craftmanship.”
“Consumption of Prana also has a big influence on victory or defeat on the battlefield after all. As expected, trading with Nelsios-san was the correct decision back then…”
For armors, the thick strong material was the most needed.
As strong and thick as possible, but at the same time, as light as possible.
The engraving magic arts the demi-humans have, which could combine those two opposing factors, would make any warriors salivate.
(At the same time we could not let this information go out… Should I order Iga clan to strengthen their vigilance ?)
If his soldiers used the weaponry purchased from Nelsios, their performance would increase greatly. However, in the end, weapons were just tools.
Tools didn’t choose their users.
Of course, even if the weapon of his soldiers were stolen, the enemy won’t be able to easily reproduce it, he just wants to pluck out anything that might cause him harm.
(Well, for now, future policy has mostly been decided…)
Ryouma had already completed several plans.
After that, he just needed to choose the best possible solution for the current situation.
(It is unlikely that the frontline would be broken. The question is how am I going to deal with those two people…)
Signiz and Roberto. Those two people could influence the battlefield just by going alone on horseback.
The proof for that was they could even break away from Ryouma soldiers’ enclosure.
The most reliable plan Ryouma could choose would be ordering his shinobi clan to assassinate them. Or induce Earl Salzberg to kill them both, but Ryouma didn’t have any intention to choose either of them.
As enemies, they were a terrible opponent. Only God knows whether or not they would be willing to chase at Ryouma’s neck regardless of their own life.
(However… They could be really reliable as an ally…)
Ryouma didn’t hope for total dominance of the northern Rozeria lands. He needed many excellent people under him to achieve his dream. For that purpose, there would be a time when he needs to make an enemy into an ally.
(I have no choice but to purely compete here…)
“I will take command of 500 troops and go south…”
The moment she heard him, Laura’s eyebrows twitched.
“Understood. Then, what about the command of the front line ?”
“About that, I will leave it to you, Laura. You may ask Lione-san to assist you.”
Laura quietly nodded her head in response to Ryouma’s order. She didn’t say anything more because she understood what Ryouma aim was…
Thus the curtain falls on the first day of the war which had many expectations intersected.