On Le Lucé hill
Editor: Skythewood, Darkdhaos, Rockgollem, Teddy Miao, Vysne
Empire Year 851, 22nd May—
It was a day later than expected when the First Imperial Army linked up with them on the nearby Le Lucé hill.
A tent was set up on the flat, green ground to conduct a conference. Even though it was daytime, it was quite dim due to the fog.
From time to time, there would be a strong breeze, causing the grass to dance along with the wind. While the altitude was not too low, standing on the mountaintop would still get your hair messy.
The black-haired youth— Regis Auric brushed aside the hair covering his eyes due to the strong wind and looked to the side.
It was the girl who accompanied him on the stroll. Even though it was dim, her beautiful hair looked as if it was shining, which made her conspicuous. Her crimson hair was lifted up by her white and smooth finger.
Her crimson hair brushed against Regis’ face from time to time due to wind, causing him to feel a little itchy. The girl looked over towards him and they both exchanged a look.
The girl who carried the blood of the Belgarian Royalty was Marie Quatre Argentina de Belgaria. As royalty, she was not normally allowed to walk together with a commoner like Regis regardless of whether he was her strategist or not. If they were alone however, Regis would call her by her nickname Altina, and would also not display a formal attitude towards her. This was because Altina would get angry if Regis displayed such a cold attitude towards her, because it would break Altina’s heart…… Though, any person with a brain would not let her feel sad.
Altina opened her mouth.
“Ah, my hair is brushing against you, sorry.”
“Ah… it’s fine.”
“Is that so? Hey, you seem to be in a daze. Could it be that you’re sick?”
She stretched her white hand towards Regis’ forehead.
Regis immediately retreated two steps back.
“Looking at you made me fall in a daze” was something Regis could not bring himself to say. He broke out in sweat in embarrassment.
“That’s good… ... Troublesome matters keep coming up recently, so don’t push yourself too hard, alright?”
It was just like what Altina said. Regis had gone through the attack by Varden Duchy, travelled for twenty days straight and even fought a losing battle three days ago.
Luckily, the Beilschmidt Border Regiment did not suffer many losses, and both Altina and Regis were relatively unscathed. However, they were fatigued by the long campaign and battles.
“Compared to us, the soldiers are even more tired… …”
While the others were marching, Regis was sitting on a carriage which was also the temporary office; and he did not participate in any battles directly.
Altina drooped her shoulders.
“Unlike you, the soldiers and I went through training, so the one that I’m most worried about is you.”
“Is that so… … I can’t really deny it because you’re right…”
Altina stuck her tongue out.
“Heh heh~ Since you can’t deny it, does that mean I have some talent in strategizing?”
“That would be even better because it would lighten my workload. I’ll have more time to read that way.”
“I’m just joking.”
“How cruel… … It can’t be helped, guess I should just sacrifice my sleep.”
“Wait a moment, Regis?”
“I’m just fooling around too.”
“Then that’s good… … If you don’t rest properly , you will really get sick!”
“That’s because I already cut my sleep time to the bare minimum already.”
Altina was surprised by Regis’ words.
“Ah, the bare minimum rest is still rest, so I won’t collapse that easily? Probably…”
“Waaa, really! Ah, that’s right, let’s sleep together then! In that case, I will be able to know whether you’ve rested properly!”
Altina had an ‘I am a genius’ look.
However, Regis’ face was getting redder.
As soon as Altina realised what she had said, she blushed.
“Ah, no… … I didn’t mean anything weird?!”
“I-I’m considered an adult too! I won’t sleep with a male before marriage!”
“That’s true… …”
In Belgaria, one was considered an adult when they reached the age of fifteen.
Altina had her fifteenth birthday on the battlefield yesterday.
Together with the maid, Clarisse, they had a small party.
Jerome, who was known as the Black Knight gave her a bottle of high-class wine. It was not rare to gift wine for the coming of age.
Altina who drank for the first time, she—
Regis shook his head and cut off his thoughts as the scene was too wonderful for him as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, I believe that girls shouldn’t share a room with a male that easily regardless of their age.”
“I-I know that…”
Altina, whose ears were red replied.
They reached the area near the tent which was situated on top of the hill.
“Even when we are in this kind of situation, you’re fighting against Prince Latreille for the throne, so you can’t be too careless.”
“What do you mean by being careless?”
“Hm… … If I knew that, I wouldn’t be phrasing my words like this… … Anyway, you can leave the negotiations to me.”
“Mhm, I’ll leave it to you.”
The tent was guarded by the First Imperial Army’s cavalry on all sides. Last month, Altina and the others ran into some conflict with them, and inflicted severe casualties on one of the knight corps.
They won’t be making trouble for us now, would they? Regis thought as he was a little nervous, while Altina entered with a dignified look.
Her attitude was as if she could take on anything that was thrown at her.
The knights saluted her uniformly without hesitation, flawless and in a textbook manner.
Altina returned a brief salute while Regis followed behind her.
The entrance to the tent was covered by a piece of cloth hanging down and a rock was used to hold it in place at the bottom. Pushing it open, Altina entered the tent as Regis followed closely.
Upon entering, there was a herbal scent. There were six knights at each corner of the tent while First Grade Admin Officer Germain was beside his lord. He had a pained look and there were traces of fatigue on his face. On the other hand, Latreille was sitting on a chair, looking at the map laid out on the table with his head bandaged. That was an injury he received several days ago. However, his face was as calm as usual and was white whilst his lips were as red as tomatoes. He showed no trace of fatigue at all.
He shifted his sight from the map to them and spoke.
“It’s great to see you’re fine, Argentina.”
“I’m surprised that you’re still so energetic Latreille, I heard that you were injured.”
“That’s right, I fell for the enemy’s tricks. They threw rocks and logs from the cliff above and had their cavalry charged at us.”
“Charging down cliffs and the like, I know you can do it too.”
“That was when I was a child… … I never expected them to penetrate deep into the heart of an army of thirty thousand. Even though we were moving in a valley.”
“Where did the ambush take place?”
Germain, who was at the side replied to Altina.
He pointed to the map.
“Here. Because it’s a path through the mountains, it is very narrow. The enemy came from both sides and retreated after a brief engagement.”
In such conditions, it would be hard to protect the headquarters regardless of how big their army was. These kinds of paths halfway down the mountains usually had many cliffs surrounding it. One would not realise it simply just by looking at the map.
If we’re invading the enemy’s territory, we can only blame ourselves for not preparing against the enemy’s traps and ambushes. However, this is the Empire and the invader is the enemy.— Regis thought.
They needed to have detailed information to understand the terrain to lay an ambush. A lot of time is also required to prepare a large amount of traps. The enemy sure is praiseworthy.
Altina pointed at Latreille’s injuries and said.
“It can’t be helped that you were ambushed, but what about the injury?”
“I was injured by the Mercenary King Gilbert using his special weapon, the trident. I thought I avoided it, but another attack came. He was more skilled than I expected.”
He was still looking towards the map.
Ughhh, Altina softly grumbled.
“So it was the mercenary group, Renard Pendu…”
“Argentina, there appears to be a few problems on your side too.”
“There’s a little… …”
Altina had a bitter expression.
In the battle against Varden Duchy, the enemy from Renard Pendu was a young girl called Franziska. The girl was an expert in using crossbows as she shot the bodyguard Eric and also damaged Altina’s sword, the Grand Tonnerre Quatre.
Latreille picked the pieces up from the map and twiddled with it.
“How’s the Seventh Imperial Army?”
“I believe I had that written in the report clearly. Lieutenant General Barguesonne died along with most of his soldiers.”
The Seventh Imperial Army that had twenty-one thousand soldiers was reduced to ten thousand in the battle a few days ago.
Four thousand killed in action, five thousand injured and two thousand deserters.
Though there might be deserters who were considered dead, and vice versa. In any case, it was not easy to write a detailed battle report since they had lost the battle.
On a side note, among the four thousand in Beilschmidt Border Regiment, they only suffered one hundred casualties from the Black Knights.
Latreille pressed Germain to continue, and Germain spoke.
“I’ll be reporting the situation for the First Imperial Army. Combining the Third Imperial Army and the mercenaries, we have about thirty thousand. While we lost about a thousand in the battle a few days ago, it did not affect us greatly and we still have ample supplies.”
It was natural since only their headquarters was attacked.
Immediately after that, Germain reported about the movements of High Britannia.
“Currently, the High Britannian Army’s southern and northern units are centralizing. Their total strength should be about seventeen thousand.”
Germain placed the pieces onto the map. Red for Belgaria while blue represented the enemy.
Forty-four thousand against seventeen thousand… ...
In terms of numbers, Belgaria had the advantage.
Latreille moved the pieces that were on the map.
“Considering the defeat of the Second and Seventh Imperial Army, the difference in numbers might not necessary mean assured victory… … However, to protect the capital, an all out assault is our only choice. That’s what I think.”
Germain nodded in agreement.
Regis did not deny it either.
While this strategy was direct, it was a good idea.
It was different from the Seventh Imperial Army where infantry was a large part of their forces. They had five thousand cavalry with them now. Even if they were attacked from the sides, they could still reduce the number of casualties. However, Belgaria had already lost thirty thousand soldiers. If the First Imperial Army was taken into account, half of the military force was lost. After this battle ended, it would probably be hard for Belgaria to hold onto the other battlefronts.
High Britannia was not the only enemy Belgaria had to fight against. Latreille was troubled because he understood this.
“Sir Regis, do you have any different ideas?”
Something seemed out of place.
Normally, in these situations, the sharp-witted prince Latreille would gaze at the target’s eyes to see through their thoughts and intentions. This time however, he kept his eyes towards the map, which was very rare.
As to how weird that was, Latreille having use of, and acknowledging Altina was already a strange sight; and then he asked Regis, Altina’s strategist for help. He was playing his cards unorthodoxly..
Is the situation for the Empire so bad he couldn’t be bothered by such details any longer?
Or could it be… ...
—Now isn’t the time to be probing Prince Latreille.
Even if Regis took the bait, it was unclear if he took it out of his interests. In addition, Regis did not prepare anything, so he would face many dangers by investigating it. Furthermore, Latreille might have him silenced if Regis found out his secrets.
It would be best to sort out the information first.
From here to the capital required about half a day of travelling; meanwhile, High Britannia had already set-up their camp. According to the reports, the enemy should still be camping out in the wilderness. It would be dependent on the weather, but the earliest time for the enemy to be resuming their march would be tomorrow morning, Regis thought.
They could protect themselves against rain and wind if they set up camp, and cook warm meals with simple pots. However, soldiers on the march could only sleep on the ground and eat their food cold. Even the technologically advanced High Britannia could not change that. They most likely won’t make their troops suffer unnecessary hardships.
Precisely because of that—
“I believe… … the First Imperial Army should head towards the capital.
Latreille finally turned his head this way.
“Sir Regis, you mean that we shouldn’t be doing a frontal assault? Then, what is your plan?”
“That’s right… … Although the capital Versaille doesn’t have any walls, it still has a few strategically positioned fortresses. Can’t we buy some time if we make use of them?”
Latreille was in deep thought.
Germain had the same expression too.
Since Altina was the only one who knew that, she had a smug look.
“If we do a frontal assault, we will have too many casualties. This would threaten the Empire’s survival afterwards. Even if we can win against High Britannia, we must avoid doing so through a frontal assault.”
“That’s right. If we exhaust ourselves too much, it would definitely cause problems in future battles.”
“However… If we can stall for time, we can keep the casualties to a minimum. If it’s sieging, the enemy’s musketeers would be ineffective, and neither can they use their shieldbearers to assault the castle. Even the type 41 Elswick cannons don’t have enough firepower to break through the metal-reinforced walls.”
“That’s true, but if we were to keep defending for a long time, the Empire would fall. If we fall into a deadlock with the High Britannian army, the other nations might not just watch idly by and attack us too.”
The neighbouring countries have most likely begun preparing for war. If they saw Belgaria enter a defensive stance, they would attack like bees swarming nectars..
If Belgaria had friendly relationships with neighbouring countries, they would be coming to help out in this situation. Though it was too late to consider such a thing.
“That’s true. If we factor in the neighbouring countries, we have at most half a year to chase the High Britannian Army out.”
“A defensive battle is not feasible. Sir Regis, do you have a better idea?”
Regis carefully examined his plan in his head once again
From the books he had read, he selected the cases that were most similar to the current situation.
This example should be fine.
Still, Regis was not that confident.
“I believe we should cut their supplies.”
Latreille was thinking.
While Germain was surprised.
“Then, if we are talking about their supplies, there’s an army of ten thousand guarding Chainboule. Even though there are reports that half of them are supply units… … Their escorts are still musketeers that are equipped with the latest guns, so how can we win against them so simply? Considering that we have to protect the capital, we can’t commit too many people.”
“Ahh… … It’s true that it would be tough winning against an army of ten thousand. Furthermore, even if we win, there will be no meaning if they send more soldiers in from their home nation.”
“That is so. In the end, High Britannia could still send in more soldier and supplies.
Unlike Germain who still could not understand, Latreille seemed to notice something and had a serious expression.
“Sir Regis, could it be that you’re aiming their supply ships?”
“That is correct… … Since High Britannia’s ships are their only source of replenishing their supplies, if we targeted those then we should be able to turn the tide of the war.”
Latreille shook his head.
“Impossible, while it’s regrettable… … The Empire’s tattered navy could not win against their steamships.”
“That’s true, we will lose if we fight them head on.”
Regis acknowledged the difference in military power between the two countries.
Latreille had an intrigued look as he listened carefully to what Regis was planning.
In panic, Germain exclaimed.
“Why are we discussing about attacking their supply lines if it won’t succeed in the first place?!”
“There are many strategies to defeat an enemy’s navy whose firepower is stronger than our own.”
“What did you say?!”
“What I meant is there’s no other way to protect the Empire except cutting off their supply lines. It would be great if there was a way to defeat the seventeen thousand unit army of High Britannia, and also not suffer great casualties and losses as a result.”
“Facing such a strong opponent… You said… you can win?”
Germain narrowed his brows as he was in utter disbelief.
Latreille asked as to confirm it.
“Can I leave it to you… … The Empire’s fate… …”
“Personally, I would leave it to someone else if there’s someone more suitable than me…”
“That’s impossible! Attacking High Britannia’s steamships, only a Wizard could do that!”
“Ah, I can’t use magic either… …”
“If possible, the strategy would be just like magic. No, it might be more suitable to call it monstrous.”
<TL:Magic and monster sounds sort of similar in Japanese>
<TL:Magic and monster sounds sort of similar in Japanese>
“I do not have that kind of talent… … I only know what to do because I read it in books… ...”
Latreille closed his eyes.
Germain looked at his lord worriedly.
Altina placed both of her hands on the table and leaned forward.
“Is there any reason to hesitate, Latreille! Isn’t it because you don’t want a frontal assault that you called for us?! Compared to the strategy that would not protect the Empire even if we win, isn’t Regis’ suggestion much better?! It will be fine, just leave it to us!”
Latreille stretched out his hand and stopped Altina.
“You’re mistaken, Argentina… … I have my own considerations too. I am only thinking about how many men I can spare to enact Sir Regis’ plan.”
“So you agree with Regis’ proposal?”
“Tell me how many you need.”
Altina turned around and looked at Regis.
“That’s right… … I believe our Border Regiment is enough. However, it would be great if there are local units assisting us.”
“It’s enough with just us!”
Fufu, Altina puffed out her small chest.
Latreille gave a wry smile.
“So you still require local unit’s aid? However, I can’t let Argentina be the messenger.”
“Ah, I’m quick with my legs?”
“Kuku… … Looks like you learnt quite a bit. Be it in battle, economics or politics… … Looks like Sir Regis is a good teacher.”
“I was taught by him quite thoroughly.”
“True. Then, the Beilschmidt Border Regiment will merge with the remnants of the western units to form the new Fourth Imperial Army. The commander will be Argentina… … Though your rank will have to change. “
“Admiral Bertram who is stationed at the Western Sea have a rank of Vice-admiral. It would be awkward if your rank is below his… … Together with Fort Volks, you will be promoted to Lieutenant General. Is there anything you are unsatisfied with?”
“I’m fine with it, it’s not like I care about ranks in the first place.”
“It’s just like you… … Germain, the letter of appointment.”
Germain who was his assistant took out a letter and placed it upon the table.
The letter was already prepared.
It was unknown whether Latreille had the same idea as Regis or that he expected Regis to have thought of such a plan.
Regardless, Regis revised his impression of Latreille— He’s really someone whose depth cannot be measured.
Altina took the letter of appointment
“Then, I’ll be accepting it! Regis would handle the High Britannia’s steamships while I’ll leave it to you to buy some time!”
“Fu… … Trusting your subordinates and bravely facing the uncertain future is your strength, Argentina. However, I have a group of loyal subordinates too. Coupled with my position as the representative who holds the military in my hand, you’re still not fit to lecture me about it. The one to protect the empire will be the First Imperial Army!”
Altina and Latreille smiled at each other.
They are burning up—
Latreille called out once more as if he remembered there was still something left.
“Sir Regis, your promotion to the third grade administrative officer was arranged a few days ago. Have you received the orders yet?”
Regis and Altina shook their heads.
“You have yet to receive? Could it be that it was sent late?”
Fort Volks was located at the border and right beside them was the Varden Duchy. It would take a lot of time for a letter to be sent there as it was too remote.
“Then, I shall issue a new one here.”
Latreille picked up the pen while Germain spread out the letter in front of him.
Because every necessary detail were already written, Latreille only needed to sign it.
Official Letter of Promotion
Sir Regis d'Auric,
You are hereby promoted to Third Grade Admin Officer as of today.
Empire Year 851, 22nd May.
Field Marshal Allen Deux Latreille de Belgaria
From the look of it, Latreille was no longer just a soldier.
According to hearsay, the emperor had issued an order to attack just before they entered a war against High Britannia. It was likely that Latreille was given authority at that time.
Latreille pushed the conversation onward.
“In terms of formality, there isn’t any problem since Argentina, who is your commander, is present. Sir Regis will be granted the rights of a Third Grade Admin Officer as of today.”
Or so that was what Latreille had said, but Regis’ job description remained the same.
In the first place, Regis held authority and responsibility that did not match any other Fifth Grade Admin Officer.
——Ahh, the increased salary will allow me to buy more books. That’s great! Regis thought delightfully.
Together with other documents, Germain passed the letter of appointment to Regis.
“Congratulations on your promotion and receiving the peerage of Chevalier.”
<TL’s note: Chevalier means knight in French.>
Seeing Regis’ surprised look, Germain smiled a little. Perhaps that was just a little payback for Regis refuting him earlier on.
Upon closer inspection, one would find the word “d” beside Regis’ name in the letter of appointment.
<TL: In French, de means of (in some cases), and by adding the word of next to a family name means it’s nobility.>
Latreille pointed at the document and said.
“Sir Regis, please come to the capital after the war concludes. We need to have the nobilities department grant you the certificate for the title of Chevalier. For the time being, please use that document as your identification.”
“Ah… Nobility… is it…”
What Regis received was not only the letter of appointment, but also the Chevalier certificate.
There were examples of Belgaria giving the title, Chevalier, to soldiers who were Third Grade Officer and above.
While nobility had to be bestowed by the emperor, Chevalier could be granted by nobles in place of the emperor.
In the first place, there was no link between the military and nobility. In addition, there were few cases of a commoner promoted to a Second Grade Officer and above.
Germain tilted his head.
“There’re quite a number of people in the military whose goal is to obtain a peerage… but Sir Regis seems to have puzzled look and doesn’t really look happy.”
“No… … That isn’t it…”
While Regis was prepared to be promoted, he was utterly confused now.
Germain squinted his eyes. Regis felt that the expression Germain made looked just like a snake.
“There are some civilians who are against the nobles and the aristocratic system. Is Sir Regis the type of person who holds such heretical thoughts?”
“Are you referring to the liberalists? I’m not one of them.”
“There’s nothing better than that.”
“However… only the nobles will be happy and not others… For such thoughts to exist means that there are problems in the national system. After all, a country should make its citizens happy. Instead of meting out titles to satisfy their personal desires, a country should come out with a more efficient way to make its citizens happy. That’s how I feel.”
Regis shook his head lightly.
“Of course, be it Prince Latreille or Sir Germain, your actions are for the good of the citizens. Thus, you would not have the thoughts that only the nobles would be happy, right?”
“That’s right… …”
“As such, it would be wrong for me to be overjoyed upon receiving a peerage. Instead, for the inept me to receive such heavy responsibility resulted in me having stomachache.”
“Uh… … What foresight… … As expected of Sir Regis.”
“Thanks for the compliment..”
In the end, Regis did not smile at all upon receiving the peerage.
Latreille broke into a smile and nodded.
“Just giving Sir Regis the title Chevalier is a wasted potential. I pray for the day when you and Sir Germain would be by my sides.”
“Er, you’re overexaggerating.”
Altina grabbed Regis’ arm
“You can’t! Regis is my strategist!”
“That goes the same to you… There will be a day where you will be my right-hand man. Though, the offer which I asked you to be my bride on the founding anniversary still stands.”
Pleeh—— Altina stuck her tongue out and made a face.
Perhaps due to Latreille being used to his half-sister’s childish attitude, he did not react to her.
While dragging Regis’ arm, Altina pushed open the entrance and left in big steps.
“Let’s go, Regis! To the west!”
Latreille closed his eyes
His head had been in a buzzing pain.
As the sound of Altina and Regis’ footsteps gradually softened, the surrounding light dimmed.
The entrance was closed by a cloth, hence they could not feel any wind.
Germain ordered the knights to guard outside, hence dismissing them.
As if replacing the knights, someone entered the tent.
The voice was filled with tension
Latreille opened his eyes
In his sight was a chubby person standing still.
“Is it the doctor?”
“Can you see me?”
“It’s better than yesterday.”
“How many fingers can you see?”
While the doctor’s right hand pointed out some fingers, Latreille could not count the number of them.
“I can’t… … Though I know it’s the right hand.”
“I-is that so… …”
After saying ‘pardon me’, the doctor began to stretch open Latreille’s eyelid and look at his eyes.
“It seems to have recovered a certain extent.”
“Exactly how much have I recovered?”
Latreille’s question caused the doctor to hesitate.
“Let me make it clear first,” Latreille spoke.
“Doctor, I dislike spuriousness, especially from a doctor. Do you understand? Tell me honestly about my injury and it will be fine.”
Even so, the doctor found it hard to speak the truth.
After some time passed, Germain brought something that resembled a bowl of water to the doctor. Only then did the doctor speak after drinking it.
“Oh Lord… … Prince Latreille, it would take around half a month for your right eye to recover. However, there’s no hope for your left eye… … The poison has already seeped too deeply.”
The weapon of the Mercenary King, Gilbert, was laced with venom.
While this action might be despicable to a soldier, Gilbert was a mercenary.
“Is that it?”
“Prince Latreille… … P-Please pull yourself together… … This might be the Lord’s will. This could be a test given to you as to judge whether you can ascend to heaven.”
“While your right eye will recover… … Your right eye… … will still gradually lose vision completely after some years as it will be doing the job of two eyes, which may be very stressful for it… …”
Germain looked as if he was about to collapse as he used one of his hands to support himself.
“For this to… …”
“Do not panic, Germain.”
“This was the result of the flaws in my strategy and skill. Rather, I’m lucky to be even alive.”
“From today onwards, I will be relying on you even more… … I will be troubling you.”
“No such thing! I have already resolved myself to do anything for Your Highness!”
However, Latreille could not see that posture as his vision was like he was inside a thick fog.
“Most likely father would not make a blind person his heir.”
“That’s very likely…”
Latreille’s father—— The current emperor, Liam XV, was obsessed with keeping the bloodline. It was likely that he would also look into the wellbeing of the candidates.
Liam without hesitation accepted the sickly Auguste withdrawing his inheritance rights. In addition, Auguste’s sister who was in long term recuperation had also been excluded regardless of her wishes.
Latreille clenched his fist..
“We can only keep this a secret.”
“This isn’t just about the inheritance rights… … I would be laughed at by the neighbouring countries and nobles if I lost my vision and became the emperor.”
“For Prince Latreille to stably govern the Empire, we have to keep this hidden.”
“Yes… … Luckily, I only need half a month for my right eye to recover. After that, I can still maintain my vision for a few years?”
The doctor nodded and added, “That is if you attempt to recuperate as much as possible.”
“As much as possible, is it?”
Easier said than done, Latreille thought.
They were currently in a war to protect their nation and Latreille himself was the field marshal.
Furthermore, he was at the forefront of the battlefield.
Strategically speaking, they had to make their move now.
“Even if I can’t see, there shouldn’t be any problems if we defend at the stronghold. My right eye would recover by the time the battle ends… … Also, father is already old. He won’t be able to lead the army personally at such a crucial time… … He has to make a decision soon…”
“Once I become the emperor, I will change this country… Change it to a powerful country that will not bow down to others just because they have newer weapons and technology. The Empire will exceed them in military and production technology. I will give our soldiers better equipment and double our agricultural production. Furthermore, I will improve our flood control, punish those nobles who use the taxes for their personal entertainment and won’t host any foolish banquets. I will rectify those old laws and reign in the Church’s authority… … I will make Belgaria a utopia that will never fade even after a millennium.”
“Uhh… … Your Highness!”
Germain widened his eyes.
Latreille’s voice was calm, but one could sense the passion in his words.
“There are many ambitious people in the world whose noble souls were trampled by unreasonable events. That is something we must not allow to stop us.”
Latreille relaxed his grip and let loose a breath.
“As such… … Argentina’s victory is necessary… …”
“Could the Fourth Imperial Army really win? After all, they are made of defeated soldiers and a border regiment. For them to be the opponent of the High Britannia’s ships that defeated the Empire’s navy… ...”
“If it was you, are you not able to do it, Germain?”
“If it’s your command! However, it would be unlikely that I would win. Even Vice-Admiral Bertram who excels in naval battles lost the Trouin encounter and had to retreat without any results.”
“That strategist said ‘we would lose if we conduct a frontal assault’... … How will he sink those supply ships?”
“I’m born on the west coast, so I understand that the battles that take place in the sea and on land are different. Sir Regis’ strategy is not an exception, so there shouldn’t be too much of an effect.”
“He was born inland.”
Regis’ resume stated that he was born and raised in the capital. The capital was far from the sea and only had lakes.
“Isn’t it a little dangerous to expect so much from him?”
“Surprisingly… … Ever since the war started, we have been separated from Argentina’s regiment. So we aren’t really clear about the details.”
“If that’s the case, the outcome in which that person visualises may be different to the outcome that we see.”
“Leaving aside Princess Argentina, Sir Regis doesn’t seem to be brave or courageous at all.”
“While I don’t think he is someone who would lie to protect himself… … If he doesn’t sink those supply ships… … the Fourth Imperial Army’s commander and staff would be held responsible after the war.”
If the Fourth Imperial Army was defeated, this would make the fight for inheritance rights far simpler. Though it would threaten the survival of the empire.
Latreille’s head suddenly began to ache.
He had a terrible look due to the pain.
The doctor quickly advised them to leave.
“Please take a rest now. At least for today since the blurry vision will cause unnecessary burden for your head.”
“Okay… Germain, we are setting off tomorrow morning. Hence, you need to think of a way to flank the enemy and reach the stronghold. It should be possible if we abandon our cannons.”
After finishing his words, Latreille closed his eyes and leaned back against the chair.
The Belgarian Army began to move in the rain at midnight.
With the First Imperial Army as the core and the Third and the Seventh Imperial Army with mercenaries added in, they were a force of forty thousand.
They abandoned their cannons and camping equipment to speed up their march. As such, they bypassed the enemy and returned to the defense line near the capital first.
The Beilschmidt Border Regiment—— Also known as the Fourth Imperial Army with a force of three thousand nine hundred marched towards the west.
When the Fourth Imperial Army set off, the remnants of the Seventh Imperial Army sounded their horn for their long departure.
When they first linked up, the Seventh Imperial Army had a hostile attitude, though it was different now.
This was mostly to thank them for helping in the Battle of Lafressange.
Regis thought that if he was more capable, he could reduce the number of casualties even further. Which was why he could only feel guilt towards the Seventh Imperial Army.
Under Altina’s command, the Fourth Imperial Army sounded the same tune back.
Be brave and more courageous.
Entrust your body to the Lord’s protection.
Entrust your hand to Victory.
What awaits at the end of the battle is glory and honour.
My friend, we shall meet again one day for drinks!
This was the lyric of the tune.
They saw the knight, Coignieres, saluting them. When they first met, he had an arrogant attitude. But now, he was sincerely saluting them.
The militia, Ducasse, was inside their army. To protect his family living in the east, he wanted to push back the High Britannia Army no matter what.
Please protect the empire—— That was how he implored Altina and Regis.
There were many others who thought the same as him.
A citizen of a defeated country had no human rights. Their wealth or lives might be snatched away on the whims of the victor. That was how scary it was.
Altina who was mounted on a reputable horse smiled at Regis gently.
“The Seventh Imperial Army has changed a lot! Even though they were full of hostility towards us at first.”
“That’s because we both fight for the Empire. So this is normal.”
“Yup, you’re right!”
“What is it, why did you sigh?”
“That’s because I’m not used to people expecting things from me… … My stomach hurts…”
“It’s alright! You will definitely succeed!”
“”That would be nice… …”
Regis shrugged his shoulders and boarded the white carriage.
Altina pointed at the west and shouted.
“March on, Fourth Imperial Army!”
Tng! Their footsteps resounded through the earth.