Battle of Lafressange
Editor: Skythewood, Darkdhaos, Rockgollem, Gingery Klaus
“In a nutshell, it was due to arrogance.”
When asked for the cause of this dire situation, Regis replied so.
“If they had planned a little more carefully, the outcome would be different, right?”
“At the very least, they wouldn’t have had the mindset that they had already won... It’s regrettable, but this is a case of overconfidence. Even I did not expect the situation to be this bad… … Against an enemy with unknown weapons, they did not consider that the enemy might employ other methods of fighting? Our side has the numerical superiority while High Britannia Army’s supply line is stretched thin. Shouldn’t a frontal assault be our last resort?”
Regis, who was riding Karakara, shook his head.
The Beilschmidt Border Regiment entered the battlefield from behind the Seventh Imperial Army as if it was chasing them.
Soon, they were halfway down the mountain and saw the U shape formation of the enemy.
From the neat movement, it was obvious that it was not the frontline collapsing but a planned maneuver.
That went the same for the Seventh Imperial Army breaking through from the front. Rather than saying they had cut a path through, it was more like the enemy opening a path for them.
Now, the U shape formation had become a double column formation. The Belgaria’s soldiers that were in between them were being shot far more easily than a fox.
It was not hard to imagine the Seventh Imperial Army being attacked from behind.
It was a complete defeat.
Altina who was riding behind Regis asked.
“Regis, are you regretting it?”
“... … Yes. Just like I mentioned, we should have moved north and linked up with the First Imperial Army. If things went well, we could do a pincer attack on the southern enemy.”
Even if the enemy was using the latest guns, the result would be different if they could attack them from both sides.
Against the enemy of ten thousand, the Belgaria Army could muster fifty thousand to attack. The Seventh Imperial Army mainly consisted of infantry, but there were three thousand cavalry from the First Imperial Army.
——No, out of the three thousand cavalry of First Imperial Army, one cohort was burnt down.
The First Imperial Army had two thousand five hundred cavalry now.
Even so, by adding five hundred black knights of Beilschmidt Border Regiment, there would be a total of three thousand cavalry.
If they could do a detour and attack from behind, the casualties at the frontal assault would be reduced greatly.
This proposal was brought up in the war council, but was rejected without any consideration.
“... If I was more convincing, the result would have been different, right…?”
“Even if you regret it, nothing can be changed now.”
“No, but… …”
“Rather than dwelling in the past, we should focus on what is in front of us! There’s still some things that we can do, right?!”
“... … Yes.”
Regis already knew where the enemy’s headquarter was as he saw a black coloured two-wheeled carriage, which was eye-catching. It should be used by someone of importance and coupled with the reports, it should be High Britannia’s new queen, Margaret Steelart.
High Britannia’s commander—— Colonel Oswald Coulthard understood the strength of Belgaria’s infantry without a doubt. He should know that the infantry was strong in charging, but not used to changing its course of attack.
If that was the case, he would not place the headquarter at the dangerous frontal area. When the enemy was changing into U shape, the headquarter should have already relocated to one of its wing.
After observing the situation——
It was as expected, the enemy headquarter had relocated to the left wing.
“... … A good chance.”
“What should we do now, Regis?!”
“It’s about time we start moving too.”
Regis raised his hand to attract Jerome’s attention.
“Is it time?! It’s finally here!”
“Ah, that’s right.”
“Che… … You should speak with more dignity!”
“I-is that so… …”
Altina spoke from behind.
“Really! It’s fine as it is! Tell us quickly, Regis!”
“That… … The black knights would attack the enemy’s left wing. The black coloured carriage would be where the enemy’s headquarter is.”
“Got it, so we will be attacking the flank of the left wing, right!”
“No… … Most likely, the enemy’s back is facing us. As our cavalry speed is faster than that of the messenger, it would take some for him to report. As such, we have to make use of this time to launch a surprise attack and prevent the enemy from reorienting themselves.”
The weakness of changing formations and relocating the headquarter was that it was hard to maintain the enemy surveillance network.
The soldiers moving into their new position was a hindrance to the messenger.
Especially when they were in the midst of changing formation. The question of where to go and how to reach the headquarter was constantly changing.
Precisely because of that, Regis wanted to be stationed at high grounds as to observe the whole battlefield while the High Britannia Army was stationed at low lands.
Jerome tilted his head.
“The back facing us? Another magical talk of yours.”
“N,no, that’s not it… … I just happens to know it. It’s because I read it before… …”
“Ahhh…… Forget it. Even if the riflemen are lined against us, I’ll just trample over them!”
“After that, the direction to go after breaking through isn’t the front of the enemy, but to the left side.”
“Eh? Hmph, I see… … Leave it to me!”
Jerome grabbed his spear.
And picked up his pace.
“Black Knights, Follow me! We’re going to trample over them!”
The cavalry clad in all black charged towards the enemy.
The clopping sound grew louder.
If they were changing their formation quietly, they would have realised that the enemy coming from the back was a group of cavalry and thus changed their formation.
However, when thousands of soldiers equipped with metal armour were moving, it was not easy for them to notice the cavalry charging at them.
Even if they could, turning to defend against them was even more difficult.
Regis also told Altina the plan.
“Have the infantry march forward at full speed.
“Is it really fine? There’s still 10Ar (715m) between us, won’t they be tired?”
“Because we won’t be fighting the enemy, so I don’t think we need to move that fast. The enemy headquarters will move to the right to defend against the black knights assault, and we will fire arrows in that direction.”
“Eh? How do you even know this?!”
“Isn’t this common… ? To protect the headquarter from the cavalry’s attack, one should move out of the way of the enemy’s charge?”
“That’s right, it’s pointless to escape in the cavalry’s direction. But, can someone really know how others would move?”
It was natural for Altina to be worried.
However, Regis took the initiative and said.
“The Black Knights will be veering to the left in their charge through the enemy… … It is still dangerous for them due to the guns that can take their lives in one shot.”
“Still targets aside, it is difficult to aim at a charging cavalry!”
“That is so.”
They could only pray for them to return safely.
In any case, as the Black Knights escaped from the left, the enemy headquarter should relocated to the right.
“We will be able to rain arrows onto the enemy headquarter, right?”
“... … To be exact, we just need to act like we are doing so.”
“If we are too close, the counterattack would be terrifying. It will be enough just to cover the Black Knights and the Seventh Imperial Army to escape. If the enemy had to protect the headquarter with all their might, their commands to pursue will be delayed. After all, there are only so many messengers.”
Altina was speechless.
Regis was beginning to feel a little uneasy.
“... … Erm? Did I say something weird or miss out anything?”
“Normally, one would only consider your allies movement right?”
“Is that so?”
“So Regis think about what the enemy commander would do too.”
“Ahh… Yes, since it was written in the book. Rather than focusing on each individual soldiers, the book focus more on the roles of commander and aides. Things like when would it be difficult to mount a cavalry attack or how to harass the enemy as to delay their pursuit. These things are easier to remember.”
“Is it written in some military reference book?”
“No… … But in terms of stories… … For example, there are more knights and princes protagonist than ordinary soldiers right?”
“You’re referring to the person who wrote I’m the Wizard?”
“Well… … He even wrote a book titled Angels’ War. It seems that the army was composed of only girls.”
“Ha? Why are there only girls?”
“Isn’t that kind of adorable?”
“Eh…? So Regis also feel something like that.”
“Please don’t speak as if I do not have any emotions. Even I will feel something when witnessing a beautiful moment and I think cats and dogs are adorable too.”
“So you find girls cute too?”
“Well… I suppose so.”
“Is that so… To view girls the same as pets… …”
“Wait… …?! Are you mistaking what I said?!”
Altina straighten her posture, drew the sword from her waist and pointed it at the sky.
“All men, charge! Cover Sir Jerome!”
“Continue to march on until another command arrive! After which, we will be firing arrows at the enemy once the trumpet sounds to let them escape!”
The soldiers let out a roar.
Forward, retreat, turning, fire arrows, attacking… … The soldiers were trained to listen to those simple commands from the tune of the trumpets and to move swiftly.
Though they did not know how well they could move due to the mercenaries groups they hired.
As Altina waved her sword to the front, the trumpet for charging was sounded.
The warhorse, Karakara, quicken its pace.
Regis wondered whether the horse really understood the orders of humans. The soldiers behind maintained the pace to run 7Ar (500m).
Looks like Altina have some capability, that’s great..
Seeing the cavalry’s momentum, Oswald quickly gave out instructions.
“Move the headquarter to the elevated ground to the north! Make haste!”
As the messenger ran, the trumpets sounded.
It was too slow.
Two soldiers were pulling the reins of the black coloured carriage, even Margaret was to be moved… ...
The timing was tight and he wondered if they could make it in time.
The heavy infantry guards were overrun.
“To think that we recruited soldiers that are this weak… …”
Be it the shieldbearers or the riflemen, they were still alright in a situation similar to that of their training. However, once they were exposed to unexpected situations, their weakness would begin to show.
That reminds me, it was the same when the Third Prince of Belgaria, Bastian, attacked the fort.
What was more unforgivable than unexpectedly being attacked was that he pointed his gun at Margaret.
“Hu… … There’s no need to panic, the enemy shouldn’t be someone that hard to deal with.”
Is this the difference caused by experience? Oswald thought.
Without bringing any guards, he went in the direction where the battle was happening.
Oswald stopped some distance away.
In the face of the approaching cavalry, the soldier shrivelled as if they saw a nightmare approaching them.
“Excuse me, soldier. Can you pass me your rifle for a moment?”
“Ha? Er, eh?! C,commander Sir!”
“No, I’m just a staff officer.”
Oswald took a rifle from one of the soldier who was protecting the headquarter. He did not do it violently as if he was snatching it, but he also did not have the time for the soldier to present it to him.
Oswald did not have such interests.
The gears were turning a little chaotically
“They are just cavalry riding on momentum, we just need to crush the head——”
Oswald opened the lid and confirmed that the cartridge was loaded. After closing it, he aimed at the foremost rider.
As there were High Britannia’s soldiers in front, he had to shoot in the gaps between heads.
However, Oswald was taller than most soldiers and was also confident in his marksmanship. In addition, the enemy was riding a horse.
It was enough to get him a clear shot.
The target was a knight wearing black armour.
Is the shining spear the Le Cheveu D'une Dame (Dame's hair)?
If that’s the case, he should be the famous black knight, Jerome Jean De Beilschmidt.
No matter how outstanding he is, he would die when a bullet pierced through him.
Oswald pulled the trigger.
The hand that was on the right of the gun pulled the trigger, causing the hammer to hit the firing pin.
The firing pin then struck the primer that was located behind the bullets.
An explosion occurred inside, causing the bullet to shoot out from the barrel.
The rotation given to the bullet gave it a almost perfect straight line trajectory towards the head of the black knight.
At the very moment Oswald pulled the trigger, Jerome moved.
The bullet pass through thin air.
“Oryah! Those who wish to die, quickly come out now!”
The loud voice that spoke the language of Belgaria swept through the High Britannia’s soldiers.
He dodged it?
Although his target was moving in a way that was hard to get a bead on him, Oswald anticipated those movements when he fired.
However, as if seeing through the attack, he dodged at the very moment when Oswald fired.
Even if it was a coincidence, it was as expected of a hero.
Oswald returned the rifle to the soldier. The gun could not be used again without reloading and he did not have any ammunition with him.
“Looks like he isn’t a simple foe… … Shieldbearers, attention! There is no need to block the path of the Black Knights! Instead, become a wall that can fend them off from approaching the headquarter! While it’s regrettable an order that was not in the training have to be made, protect our queen!”
“Pass down the command to those beside you! Wall! Become a wall which will protect the queen!”
The message was not passed down through messenger or trumpets, but through the soldiers to their neighbours. Soon, they were finally done arranging themselves.
Compared to their previous actions, this was far slower.
Even though they were trained on what to do during a frontal assault by cavalry, they could only improvise to deal with this.
An ugly wall shape line formed slowly.
How long can this last?
Oswald used his right hand to pull the sword out from his waist. His hand was hurting badly.
Once he put strength into it, bloodstains could be seen on the white bandage on his hand.
Half a month ago—— It was the area where he was injured by the Third Prince of Belgaria, Bastian.
The wound had already reopened from the recoil of the gun from earlier.
His mouth turned into a sneer.
“Hu… … Am I going to protect my country here?”
Just like a clock which had a missing tooth on its gear, he felt his heart was in a disarray.
The cavalry drew closer.
The shieldbearers were groaning while the riflemen were madly shooting ...
Jerome was already in front of them.
For a moment, their eyes made contact.
He was just like a beast.
Oswald felt that Jerome’s mouth moved for a moment.
——Fufu, so you’re Oswald?
In actuality, the Black Knights ran past him as if they were riding in a deserted plains.
Just like when Jerome avoided the bullet. Even when they had received training as to shoot at the vanguard of the cavalry, the guns that were aimed at him did not bring any results.
Even if the bullets grazed him, it could not pierce through him.
That hardness, is it the new steel?
Even if it could only be made in High Britannia, they could not totally prevent it from being exported. There were also merchants that did not consider the consequences should they sell it to the Empire.
In fact, it would not be surprising if the Empire’s nobles made their full armour with the new metal, though it would be foolish to do so.
Just like a typhoon., the Black Knights went away.
The wall that was made in a rush seems to have some effect.
No, that’s not right. What if their main motive wasn’t to attack the headquarter but to tire us out and create confusion?
If that’s the case, we should pursue the cavalry from the back.
Just as Oswald was about to pass down the command, a soldier yelled.
“The enemy infantry! They have drawn their bows!”
“What did you say?!”
In the area of the dust of cloud that was made by the cavalry——
Were soldiers who had already drawn their bows.
Just before Oswald could give the order, someone shouted “Protect the queen!”
So the slogan I used earlier to raise the soldiers’ spirits had become a disturbance this time...
The shieldbearers protected the headquarter while the riflemen began firing at the enemy.
If this was the case, it would take some time for the commander to reassert control.
Oswald covered his mouth.
“I see… … So war really isn’t a place where one can be whimsical.”
It was Glenda who was equipped with heavy armour.
The number of weapons on her had increased further ever since she entered the battlefield.
At her back was a spear, four guns were hanging at her waist and her chestplate and shoulderguard held ammunitions.
Her bulky look made her looked like she would be slow. However, the light infantry behind her that finally caught up were all breathless .
Glenda had an apologetic look.
“My apologies for arriving late!”
“It’s fine, it isn’t a problem.”
Since the Black Knights was stopped from approaching the headquarter and Glenda’s unit had arrived, we can prevent the army from plunging into confusion.
Most likely, the enemy cavalry had already retreated.
Should I pursue them …?
The soldiers attention were still on the enemy that appeared behind them.
Glenda also noticed that and immediately responded.
“Ah, I’ll immediately set out to engage them!”
Oswald shook his head.
“Calm down a little, Lieutenant… … The bow is unable to shoot this far. At least, not till the headquarter.”
“Ah, that’s right.”
The distance between them was about 200yd (183m)
If it was a longbow, it might be able to shoot at the outer ring, but definitely not enough to shoot at the headquarter.
Even though this was within the range of High Britannia’s rifles, it was not a distance they could fire at accurately.
“That was a plan intended to create confusion and intimidate us.”
Glenda’s face redden as she completely fell for the enemy’s trick.
“Seeing that they had already drawn their bows, it would be natural for people to believe they would shoot. After all, the regular soldiers do not have any ability in measurement and estimation.”
Which was why the riflemen only began firing once the commander orders it after receiving confirmation from a professional surveyor well-verse in measuring distance.
If the soldiers could gauge it themselves, the commanders could just issue the order to fire when the enemy was at a set distance away and be done with it.
“The enemy is retreating!”
“Hmm, that’s because the Black Knights have escaped. Also, the Seventh Imperial Army too.”
Taking another look, Glenda realised that they could not pursue anymore as the Seventh Imperial Army had been moving away from them.
Dark clouds gloom over Glenda’s face.
“Could it be that, the cavalry and the archers were all for this?”
“He targeted us when we were changing our formation to chase the Seventh Imperial Army… … Using the Black Knights to attack… … And revealing the archers after the cavalry retreated to induce confusion… …”
“The enemy has someone outstanding.”
“That’s normal. After all, the Belgaria Empire is a powerhouse in the continent.”
“Y,yes… That’s right.”
Most likely, she had forgotten how big the enemy was as she was getting carried away by the victory.
Oswald saw the flag of the retreating archer unit.
It was a green shield.
“That flag… it should be the Beilschmidt Border Regiment. Not just the Black Knights, their infantry too.”
“Where did I hear that name…?
“That should be the unit that conquered Fort Volk. As a precautionary measures, I even asked the Varden Duchy to stop them and also sent them cannons… …”
Looks like there wasn’t any effect.
Perhaps they didn’t even attack the fort. If that’s the case, there is a need for some punishment.
Glenda straightened her posture.
“That means the Varden Duchy failed to stop them! What a disgrace!”
“It can’t be help. It’s because that unit is that outstanding, we even experienced it ourselves.”
“Y,yes… … Their commander seems to be a princess.”
“That’s right. You did your homework, Lieutenant. The commander of Beilschmidt Border Regiment should be the Empire’s fourth princess, Marie Quatre Argentina de Belgaria… … Compared to that, her strategist seems to be the capable one.”
“Ahh, so that’s it! I heard it before! His name is… …”
While her martial arts skill was outstanding and her loyalty was as solid as steel, but her intelligence was a little regrettable.
She was currently troubled like a student who encountered a difficult mathematics question.
As this appearance of her was rare to the light infantry guards, their eyes widened so much they became round.
A messenger came running towards them.
He knelt on one knee in front of Oswald.
“Sir staff officer, a royal decree from Her Majesty!
“Pray convey the orders.”
“That… … ‘I’ve been waiting so long that I thought of dying’, something like that…”
“Rather than saying it as an decree, it’s more like passing down a message. Understood, thanks for the hard work.”
The messenger lowered his head embarrassingly.
Oswald instructed Glenda:
“Lieutenant, I have to return to Her Majesty… … I’ll leave the sorting out of the units here to you. We are about to set off soon.
She then regrettably muttered.
“If Sir Oswald could continue commanding us… Then the Empire’s strategist would not have any chance. Why did she come to the battlefield...”
It looked like she was unhappy with the fact that Margaret was coming along.
“No, that’s wrong. It’s precisely because there is Her Majesty that there’s me. The battle this time ended with us defeating the Belgaria Army that was twice our number and thus opened a path to their capital, so there’s nothing to regret about. In fact, we should puff our chest out with pride and sing praise to our victory.”
Glenda smiled happily.
That was the girl whose cheeks were dyed red. However, on the battlefield, she was known as ‘Battle demon’, so she had a unapproachable side too.
Oswald returned her salute and move towards the black carriage.
All the while remembering the enemy strategist’s name in his heart.
Empire Year 851. 19th May——
At the battle of Lafressange, High Britannia achieved overwhelming victory again, matching their record in their first battle.
Because of this defeat, the empire’s frontlines retreated greatly.
It had shown the world that guns would become the mainstay in battle.
High Britannia’s First Division began moving towards the Empire’s capital.
Even so, after the battle had ended.
They camped on some hills at a distance not too far from the battlefield. Cannons were lined and riflemen were keeping a lookout.
It was not that easy to approach the capital.
The defeated Seventh Imperial Army was shocked to hear the passing of their commander.
After escaping from the enemy, they were too tired to keep a lookout as they continued to stay motionless.
After the supply teams arrived and make their rounds around the battlefield, they could finally treat the injured and prepare food.
Rather than saying it was the military camp, it was more like the gathering of refugees.
As the Seventh Imperial Army did not send anyone for a meeting, Regis and Altina went to the headquarter of the Seventh Imperial Army as to discuss about what they should do next.
Even Jerome was injured and had to receive treatment. Luckily, it was not anything serious.
There were casualties in the Black Knights as well. Though it was unclear, there should be near a hundred casualties.
Regis and Altina passed through the tired Seventh Imperial Soldiers...
Only the large headquarters tent was assembled.
After obtaining permission from the sentry, they entered the tent.
“Please come in…”
As the cloth that act as the door was pushed opened, Regis asked softly.
The senior officers inside looked over at them.
Altina narrowed her brows as their face was as dark as corpses.
Barguesonne’s seat was empty.
The messenger that spoke foolishly was here too. He averted his gaze, but it seems he was the only one they could talk to.
Altina asked to confirm.
“Has the Lieutenant General passed on?”
“What about the others? Did the head battle strategist survive?”
“The head battle strategist… … Vicente… … had become like a child.”
“He behaved like a child losing his parent, not knowing what to do and kept talking to Lieutenant General’s corpse… … From his behaviour, he is a gone case…”
“For that to happen…”
Altina sighed while using her hand to support her forehead.
While it was true that they had a tragic ending, but the survivors would not be able to exact vengeance for the Lieutenant General if they mull around like this.
Regis closed his eyes for a moment.
It was for the people who died…
Altina walked to the innermost of the tent and stood in front of the senior officers.
“First, my rank is Major General. Hence, I have the highest position second only to Lieutenant General Barguesonne. Is that right?”
As the senior officers did not agree or deny, the messenger who spoke about Vicente answered her. While he was rude before the battle, it was unlikely he would be so after the battle.
“Looks like you could still speak. What is your name?”
“Coignieres… … Ah, no… My name is Coignieres.”
“Understood. Before coming here, I roughly understand the unit’s situation. You guys have only two choices. Either returning to your home base in the eastern battlefront or continue fighting the High Britannia Army with a newly appointed commander. That’s all.”
Apparently, the officers did not even have any strength to argue.
They were completely silent.
Coignieres lowered his gaze.
“If we withdraw… Will we be charged for defying orders?”
“Wouldn’t it be fine? Since the commander had died, I don’t think you would be blamed. Furthermore, the only person who could investigate it, Latreille might not even have the strength to do so.”
This time, they began to become noisy.
“Exactly what is going on… …?”
“A messenger came. The First Imperial Army had engaged the enemy and while they obtained victory, the commander was injured. It’s rare to see the commander getting injured after winning the battle.”
Just by considering the sorry state the Seventh Imperial Army was in, it was easy to imagine what the First Imperial Army had gone through.
At the very least, the victory they expected deviated too far from reality.
In any case, to the soldiers, it was a big thing to them that they would lose their emperor’s representative who was leading the Belgaria’s Army.
“——Will we lose this war?”
People who thought this began to increase.
Regis scratched his head.
How many of the survivors will desert? If there are deserters in this desolate area, they would either die of diseases or become bandits.
Thinking about the nearby villages, his head began to ache.
Altina continued her words.
“Latreille would be here tomorrow night as he intended to link up with us. If you still want to return to the rally point, I believe it’s best to do so before he comes.”
If they linked up with the First Imperial Army, the Seventh Imperial Army which lost their commander would serve under the First Imperial Army.
Even if a certain person became the commander, the most she could do was to retreat.
Coignieres lifted his head.
“W,we … lost Lieutenant General Barguesonne!”
“The General died protecting the Empire!”
Regis was also quietly listening.
“We lost something precious to us! We already gave our best for this battle! Shouldn’t it be enough?! We can’t even be called a unit now! After becoming such a state, how can we still continue battling as soldiers?! Please allow us to return to our base!!”
At this time, the officers that kept quiet began saying
“T,that’s right… … We should return”
“We also need to hold the Lieutenant General’s funeral.”
“In the first place, it is the First Imperial Army’s role to protect the empire.”
Altina fell silent and unhappily frowned.
“Looks like you really can’t make it… …”
“Nope, it’s just that scary.”
“That terrifying High Britannia Army…!!
“It can’t be help, Your Highness. There isn’t anything more dangerous than bringing soldiers who lost their will into battle.”
“I know that.”
Which was why they gave them two choices.
Coignieres dashed out of the tent.
“I will go tell the soldiers about the news of returning to base! It’s likely there will be deserters tonight. If I inform them now, it would prevent that from happening!”
That’s right, let’s just do that. The other officers also agreed with him.
The senior officers began walking out of the tent.
Regis and Altina also left since it was meaningless to stay.
What was unexpected was that the officers stood still outside.
The one facing them was a soldier.
A man with large build.
He was topless and had muscles that looked like armour. His chest, shoulders and arm was bandaged. Even though his head was bandaged, from the silhouette, he seemed to have only lost his left ear which was bloodying the bandages.
Just how many bullets did he took?
“Did you hear that?”
“What are you trying to do?”
After Coignieres’ questioning, the soldier reported his name.
“I’m Ducasse, a farmer from some village.”
“Hmph, a militia looking for his superiors, what is it?”
“Is it true that we are escaping back to base?”
“Escaping… … This is a tactical retreat! A militia like you won’t be able to understand. It is difficult to continue fighting in such a terrible state. In the first place, it’s the First Imperial Army’s role to protect the nation! Furthermore, thirty thousand reserves are rushing over there!”
After knowing his opponent was a militia, Coignieres’ gloomy face had become arrogant once more.
Ducasse brushed aside him.
“Ahh… … Isn’t the Seventh Imperial Army the strongest in the plains? Weren’t you guys boasting about it before the battle? Only to become like a tattered rag… … Thirty thousand behind us? What did the Seventh Imperial Army with twenty thousand even accomplished?!!”
“L,like I said… i,it can’t be helped!! No one know how strong their weapons are!”
“Ha! Because of that, what are you going to do upon returning to the east?! Would the High Britannia Army return after attacking the capital?! Won’t they move to the East after that?! Furthermore, there is still Estaburg there. With another enemy you couldn’t defeat joining in, can you even protect the eastern borders?!”
“Ke… … Then… You can charge them by yourself! The enemy is at the hill enroute to the capital! You should be satisfied after attacking alone and dying!”
“Stop speaking nonsense! If that’s the case, can you even protect my hometown?! If you soldiers could protect it, I will go attack the enemy now! Regardless of how many people and bullets come after me! Everyone… Everyone… because of people like you, they died!! Because of trashes like you!”
Towards Ducasse use of words, Coignieres’ face redden.
“You, how dare you… … For a mere militia, you need to be aware of your standing! Insulting a knight?!”
Coignieres’ hand was grabbing the sword hilt.
And drew the sword.
The officers who stood still behind Coignieres took a step back.
The soldiers around them also straighten their backs.
Reflecting the rays of the setting sun, the silver sword gave off a red glow. Coignieres’ killing intent was real.
However, Ducasse did not have any fear.
“Heha, are you going to kill me? That’s fine, after all I should have died earlier! However, would this protect my hometown?”
“My wife, my fourth child who would be born in July. My three children. They are still waiting for me back home… … Would the officers here really able to protect them?! If you can, I’m willing to give you my life no matter how many lives I have! Come, cut me down!”
His hands were wide open.
Tears were flowing nonstop.
Ducasse had already broke into tears.
“Exactly what should be done… … You are soldiers… … Please protect our home … … Isn’t the empire strong… … Please protect… my family…”
“Uuh uh uh…”
“Can’t we win against High Britannia Army——?!!”
Ducasse shouted out sadly.
Coignieres rebuked back.
“How can we win! That! That kind of army! Those weapons! We lost! This battle, the empire lost——!!”
“No… … I think we can win though.”
It became silent once more.
Ducasse looked over with his red eyes.
Coignieres and the other senior officers turned their head. They had faces in which showed that they do not believe it.
The soldiers around them also looked at them.
Only Altina who was beside him was thinking this was normal.
Regis lowered his head.
“Actually… … I would said it is possible if the Seventh Imperial Army was willing to help us.”
The one who let out a trembling voice was Ducasse.
Regis was shaken by it.
“Is it true?! Can you… really win… … and protect my hometown?!”
“Well, at the very least, until the High Britannia Army retreats. However, I can’t say the same for the countries in the east… …”
Ducasse ran over.
He ran as if almost want to knock Coignieres off flying.
In front of Regis, the man knelt down. Ducasse was clasping his hands together as if praying to god.
“Please! please! Please help me! My family…! My children!”
After hearing the word ‘children’, Regis suddenly remembered his two nephews
If this goes on, the High Britannia Army would be close to Rouen
Altina rested her hand on the militia’s shoulder.
“All of you are the citizens of the Empire! In that case, we will strive our best to protect you and your family! Which is why, please lend me your strength!”
Then again, the soldiers of Seventh Imperial Army did not know anything about her. At best, she was just some maid or something. After all, she was a young girl that had yet to come of age in the battlefield.
The crimson-eyed girl puffed her chest out.
“I am the commander of the Beilschmidt Border Regiment, Belgaria’s princess, Marie Quatre Argentina de Belgaria! And this person beside me is my strategist, Regis Auric!”
Pak, pak. Regis’ shoulder was slapped.
They were in the spotlight all of the sudden.
While the soldiers did not know her appearance, they still heard of her heroic deeds.
It was the commander and her strategist who conquered the impregnable Fort Volk with a small force. Furthermore, it was the Beilschmidt Border Regiment who helped the Seventh Imperial Army escaped in the battle of Lafressange .
Coignieres came running with his sword in hand.
“D,do not speak randomly! Lies! This person is lying! If we can obtain victory, then why did we not get it today?! Even though you were only behind us watching!!”
“That’s because it was Lieutenant General Barguesonne’s order!”
Coignieres was a young knight, but looking at his speech, he looked just like a child throwing a tantrum.
Regis tried to mediate between the two.
“That… It’s true that we can win. This isn’t something based on confidence, but I really know a method to do so.”
With a sword in hand, the knight yelled like a mad dog——
Altina stared at him sharply.
“Silence, Coignieres. You, didn’t you say something like ‘you’re just a militia’ earlier? Although I do not wish to say it… … But from my standing, aren’t you ‘just a knight’?”
Being said that by Altina who was a royalty, Coignieres could not say anything.
Regis used a calm voice and explained.
“Since we just lost in a battle… It can’t be help that you can’t suppress your emotions. However, we still need to discuss properly about the essential problems calmly… … Then, can I explain my method of winning against High Britannia Army?”
Coignieres quieten down.
While Ducasse nodded.
“Then… … If I’m too specific, it might be leaked to the enemy and I would be troubled by that. So I’ll be simplifying it.”
Regis took something out from his pocket which was lead-coloured.
It was only as big as a fingertip.
“This here… is High Britannia’s bullet for their guns.
Ducasse and the other soldiers had disgusted faces. That was because the small thing caused them to lose many of their comrades.
“This ammunition was made from metal, well, compared to the guns, this bullet… … The technology to produce this is next generation. If we are talking about mass-producing it, it would be using the stamping press and metallic plates…”
“Wait, Regis, speak simpler!”
In the midst of his explanation, Altina who was the impatient interrupted.
Regis scratched his head.
“Well… This is the enemy’s weakness. Something this complicated is definitely something they cannot produce here. So they are reliant on the supplies from their country. For example, if they were in a stalemate, they would be lacking ammunitions and other resources. We also had information about their guns. Compared to the old models, their guns would be more prone to wear and tear… … That goes the same to the ten thousand unit that stayed in Chainboule… … While we did not know why they were there, it became apparent after thinking about it.. That was to protect their supply line. Not just the ammunitions for gun, even the shells for their cannons is the same. If they are drawn into a long-term war, then that was necessary.”
Ducasse opened his mouth.
“W,wait a moment! Long-term war?! Is it possible?! Just looking at today, aren’t we defeated that easily?!”
“In the first place, if we were going to be defensive, we should be defending at our base. Furthermore, the place we should be attacking was their supply lines.”
It’s better to explain it more simple. Regis thought.
“While the High Britannia Army is strong, their weapons are more reliant on the supply lines than us. In short, if we cut their supply line, they would have no choice but to return to their country.”
Coignieres interjected the conversation.
“There’s still ten thousand at the harbour, isn’t it? In the end, we can’t win!”
“That’s not necessary true…”
The man who just stood up had fallen once more.
“We will give up attacking on land and attack them in the sea… .. Without their supply ships, their supply line would naturally stop.”
Ducasse supported his waist and his eyes widened in shock.
While Coignieres was not relieved at all.
Even the senior officers were feeling troubled.
The other soldiers were whispering things like “The sea?”,”Supply ships?” or “Is it possible?”
Altina tilted her head.
“I never went to the sea before. But, didn’t the Empire’s navy lost? Can we really do something to High Britannia’s supply ships, Regis?”
“Hee, there isn’t a problem… … What I do know are stories of how powerful fleet failed. If I put them end to end, there would be enough stories to cross the ocean.
Volume 5 End