Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 13 Chapter 1

The Sixth and Eighth Army
Translator: Skythewood Editor: Darkdhaos, CEObrainz

The Fourth Army started advancing again.

Regis got on the carriage.

And Clarice sat opposite him as usual.

When there weren’t any outsiders, she would become very chatty.

And would often tease Regis.

But these few days, she spent most of her time just looking at Regis with a smile.

Regis asked exasperatedly:

【… Erm… What is it? The atmosphere feels different from usual.】

【Is that so?】


【Are you mistakened, Sir Regis?】

【… I hope that is true.】

【You said the atmosphere feels different… Maybe it’s Sir Regis’ mindset that has changed?】

【… That may be so.】

It happened several days ago.

When he finally had the chance to have a proper conversation with Clarice.

Back then, she told Regis “I like you”, and that wasn’t a lie or a joke. Regis didn’t think too much  about it back then, and thought she was just teasing him for fun again…

— But what if that was a sincere confession?!

No no no… Regis shook his head in his heart.

It was hard for him to imagine that anyone would ever love him.

But if that was so, then what did Clarice actually mean?


Regis rested his head on his hands and pondered.

He couldn’t calm down.

If he had more information about the southern front, he could formulate battle plans. But unfortunately, they were still in the intel gathering stage.

The carriage door was knocked.

He looked out the window, and saw Altina troddling over on her horse.

【Can I bother you for a moment?】

【Ah, alright.】

Regis opened the small windows at the front of the carriage, and told the driver to stop for a while.

Altina smiled awkwardly:

【Carriages sure are nice. You can reach such speed just by spinning the wheels around.】

【Madam Généralissime, please don’t say something so childish alright?】

【Your Highness…?】

Not just Regis, she was willing to listen to Clarice’s advice now. That shows how much she had grown.

After handing her horse to a subordinate, Altina got on the carriage and sat down beside Clarice.

【Eddie will be coming later.】

【Lord Eddie will be joining us?】

【He said that we should have a discussion before we meet up with the Sixth Army.】

【I see. I wanted to ask him some things too.】

【Then like usual, let’s set up tent in the evening, then go to sleep after finishing dinner—】

【… Yes.】

Altina will practice with Eddie before and after meals, and this part was probably included in “after dinner”.

Regis and Clarice suddenly locked gazes.



They looked at each other without saying a word.

Altina swiveled her head between the two of them.

【Hmm—? What’s going on? This feels strange?】

She was sharp.

There wasn’t any basis for this, but she sensed the stiff atmosphere.

At least for Regis, his feelings had changed subtly after that incident a few days ago.

Clarice smiled awkwardly:

【After hearing me say “I like you”, Regis has been troubled all this time.】

Altina turned stiff.

【… Hah?】

It was a bit scary.
Pfft, Clarice said with a laugh:

【Ara ara, Your Highness is showing an expression I have never seen before because of Regis… I feel a little envious.】

【C-Clarice, are you serious?!】

【What do you mean?】

【R…Regis, the things about him! You l-l-like…】

【Of course it’s true, Princess. In the entire Belgaria empire, would anyone hate Sir Regis? Ah, I don’t know what His Majesty Latreille thinks. What about you, Your Highness?】

【Ehh? Well…】

【Choose either “like” or “hate”, okay?】

【Then, li… Hey, why are there only two choices?!】

Clarice sighed and drooped her shoulders.

【Hah… My Princess has become smarter.】

【Why do you look so disappointed?!】

【Well, I like the way the Princess is right now too.】

Regis who was sitting opposite them realized after hearing their conversation.

【… Could it be, when you said “I like you” to me, you mean it the same way as liking Altina?】

Clarice said with a giggle:

【Ara ara, Sir Regis, isn’t that obvious?】

The breath he had been holding in these few days could finally be exhaled.

【T-That’s right~】

Altina had an uneasy face.

【Is it true? Clarice, is what you said true?】

【How could I ever lie to the Princess?】

【You did trick me plenty of times.】

【… Your Highness sure is smart. Yup.】

【Don’t try to muddle it, Clarice. Is it really really true?】

Yes—, Clarice tilted her head with a smile. Her expression made it hard to discern what she really thought.

【To be frank— I think Sir Regis is a charming man. He is the hero who saved the Belgarian Empire and a First Grade Admin Officer who is a commoner. He will definitely make it into the history books. After becoming the strategist in the Office of the Généralissime, his authority is on par with a minister’s aide.】

【Erm, yes.】

Altina looked even more anxious.

Even Regis couldn’t sit still after hearing all that.

Clarice said seriously:

【However, there isn’t any woman who will be willing to spend her days with a man who spends the majority of his salary on books.】


Altina and Regis moaned at the same time.

Clarice said with no room for debate:

【I like Sir Regis. I like him very much. It’s true. But it is different from the “like” that Your Highness is thinking about. I have my own plans for the future too. I’m a bit skeptical about an impoverished life surrounded by books and not knowing what tomorrow will be like.】

Regis’ head bowed in a slump.

【… I have nothing to say about that.】

【Ah, ahaha… Well, Regis is really a handful!】

Altina laughed dryly.

It felt suffocating.

To fan away the heavy air, Altina quickly switched topics.

【Hey, Clarice, what about your plans for the future? Do you have an ideal type of man?】

【An ideal type huh… Probably someone with a lot of savings.】


Altina opened her mouth wide.

Regis almost rolled onto the floor.

— So this is reality.

Even if he was revered as the saviour of the nation, and advanced his career enough to make history, no woman would even consider spending their future with a bibliomaniac like him who spent all his time and money on books.

【… I see, I already know.】

The corners of Regis’ eyes turned moist as he slowly opened a book.

As expected, this was the only thing for him.

He just needed to read books. They would let him forget the sadness of the present, the unease of the future and the regrets of his past.

Fufu, the world of books sure is wonderful!

【Regis! Don’t start reading books in the middle of a conversation, hey?!】

Altina said through gritted teeth. But even so, this was the only thing Regis could do to soothe and calm his mind.


【What are you mumbling!?】

【You’re actually reading it out loud…?!】

Clarice watched the rowdy two with a smile.

Eddie also got on the carriage.

He was Duke Eddie Fabio de Balzac.

The head of the clan bestowed with an 《Emperor’s blade》, he was armed with the 《Defendre Sept》.

His hair was curly and messy, and he didn’t look like a Duke, or even a career soldier at first glance.

He was even mistook for a mercenary or rookie, and voluntold to load the cargo.

And his personality was such that he would agree because he happened to be free.

【Yo, Regis! Huh, why are your eyes red?】

【Ah… Haha… I cried a little.】

【Hmm? Well, never mind.】

Eddie had a personality that didn’t mind the details.

He sat beside Regis.

There were four people in the carriage— Regis, Altina, Clarice and Eddie.

【So, how goes the south?】

【Our messenger just returned.】

After getting in touch with the Sixth Army, they had a firmer grasp on the situation there.

Regis laid a simplified map on the table inside the carriage.

【… The invading Etruria Theocracy army has 20,000 men. Seven forts of various sizes have fallen, and the southern base city Sembione fell into enemy hands a week ago.】

The fortification of Sembione city was on the average level in the empire. So why did the Sixth and Eighth Army abandoned it so readily?

Eddie frowned.

【The enemy forces has quite a substantial number. If they already took the city a week ago, won’t they continue with the next step of their invasion plan?】

【That might be possible… But given how far they have invaded, it will make more sense to wait for a resupply there. After all, they also need rest.】

【Once they are ready, they will hit the next stronghold.】

Regis nodded.

【Right now, the Sixth and Eighth army is garrisoned in Aroe Maroe City. There is a lake to its south and its walls are shorter, but it is built on a plain which makes it a good battlefield.】

【You are planning to fight the decisive battle in Aroe Maroe City?】

【… There is a sturdier fort to the north… But if we pull our forces there, we will lose a third of the southern territory.】

Altina tilted her head.

【When Grebauvar was seized, Regis wanted to pull our army back to a more defensible position even if we would have lost our territory, right?】

【Yes. The fact is, the frontline is now the fort in front of Mordor city. We had already abandoned Grebauvar.】

【Is this pacifism?】

【Erm, no… this has nothing to do with ideology, this is just the conclusion if we consider the most efficient methods available. After all, we don’t need to garrison as many troops in an easily defensible position】

【Then why aren’t we retreating to that sturdier fort to the north? Is it because of Eleanor’s request?】

Regis shook his head.

【… The Tiraso Laverde clan is an important supporter of the Fourth Army. They did request many things from us. But I didn’t pick Aroe Maroe City as the battlefield for the sake of recovering lost grounds quickly.】

Altina and Eddie listened quietly.

And of course, Clarice did the same. She didn’t interrupt this war conference.

Regis said:

【… The southern lands are a critical food production area for the Belgarian empire. It is still half developed, but its crops like wheat, corn and soy account for half of the empire’s harvest.】

【It’s that much?!】

【… If we lose a third of the south, then it won’t be any surprise if the price of wheat doubles. It’s the same for lemon and oranges. Potatoes, tomatoes and corn from the New World grows fast too, but we would probably lose them all.】

【Isn’t that serious!】

【…Grebauvar city also has specialty products, so it’s painful to let it go… But in this war, we can’t afford to lose any land in the south.】

【Yes! I understand! I will definitely recover these lands.】

Altina clenched her fist.

Regis nodded.

【… With the huge increase in population, we are already facing a farmland shortage. In my humble opinion, we should stop the war and focus on developing the land for agricultural use.】

Regarding this issue, Professor Brather’s 《Southern Revolution》 included all the finer details.

Eddie shrugged.

【Well, Latreille will scold us if we pull back the frontlines any old how.】

【Haha… That’s true. When I proposed flooding Grebauvar city, he already nagged at me plenty.】

It would be a serious problem if the southern frontlines were pulled back substantially.

They reached the consensus that they had to recover the territory.

Regis asked:

【Lord Eddie served in the Sixth Army before, correct?】

【Ah—… That was about half a year ago, when we were suppressing Earl Trosa’s rebellion. It was terrible.】

He said impatiently.

【The commander back then was Lieutenant General Bernard Jean de Dorval right? He was also the de facto commander.】

In the noble’s private army, a noble might be the commander in name, while another person proficient in military matters will command in his stead. This was a common practice.

【Yeah, but he was a Major General back then.】

【It seems that until recently, he was assisted by his adjutant, Lord Zemoruto.】

【Hmm? I never met that guy before. Maybe he is the knight who was transferred over to replace me.】

【Maybe. Well, let’s leave that aside for now… Can you tell me about Lieutenant General Dorval? I want to use it as reference during negotiations and formulating battle plans.】

Eddie shrugged.

【He attacked an enemy fort with mediocre fortification with three times their number. The rebellion which should have been suppressed in half a month got dragged to half a year without any results. That’s the kind of commander he is.】

Altina showed a loathsome expression like Eddie.

【Isn’t that incompetence?!】

【I didn’t contribute to the battle in all sorts of way too. Anyway, that Lieutenant General is timid and pessimistic. Even when a charge should be ordered, he would call for a retreat instead.】

【How disgraceful!】

With performances like that, no wonder no one is willing to talk about him in the capital.

What the imperial citizens like to discuss are glorious victories.

And of course, crushing defeats could also spark off debate. But since there wasn’t any information related to that, he probably didn’t lose too many men.

Speaking of which, if he really lost a lot of soldiers, he couldn’t have maintained the frontline for half a year.

【… Is he really just timid?】

An incompetent commander would lose the lives of his soldiers for nothing instead.

According to Regis’ investigation, the Sixth Army’s fighting strength was constantly at the 20,000 mark, and there weren’t any large scale recruitment drives to bolster their numbers.

Which meant that despite the lack of victory, there also weren’t any losses.

He thought off handedly:

【… From the battle records in recent years, the Sixth Army has a survival rate far higher than other units.】

The amount of rain during the rainy season in the south was staggering.

Not only did the wet ground become hard to traverse, the amount of water in the river also increased, and it took an entire day to cross the river.

The Fourth Army had brought a large amount of supplies with them in accordance to the Sixth Army’s request. They lost their resources along with their base. They also had many refugees in tow.

Even the supplies in the base behind them were limited, a symptom of terrible planning. But they wouldn’t have lost if their planning was good in the first place.

And so, the Fourth Army brought a larger than usual load of logistics to the south.

Two weeks later—

The walls of Aroe Maroe City appeared before the Fourth Army.

Its stone walls were erected on the grassy plains.

The city was about the size of Grebauvar city and was considered massive for a regional province.

The puddles on the ground reflected the clear blue sky.

Large chunks of white clouds hung above the horizon.

It was late morning, there was no trace of the downpour earlier, and the sky was completely clear.

This region had high temperature and low humidity, which made for a fair climate. But after it rains, it feels like a sauna.

You would sweat just from sitting around.

Altina who was riding alongside the carriage on her horse shouted:

【I can see it!】

Regis answered through the carriage’s window:

【The south sure is vast. This journey took more time than a round trip from Fort Volks to the capital.】

【We have to let the troops rest for a while—】


【Is Aroe Maroe City fine? Did Etruria seize it?】

【We already got in contact with them. The theocracy army is still in Sembione city, and shows no signs of movement. Their resupply is probably delayed because of the rain.】

【Which means that they can’t attack?】

【… If that happened, our imperial army will be the one attacking their stronghold, which will be even better for us.】

【Is Sembione city easy to attack?】

【The theocracy army doesn’t have any high performance cannons, so we can take down the walls by firing from afar. It will be a piece of cake.】


【… The enemy should know the difference in the performance of our cannons. I think it’s just a matter of time before they assault Aroe Maroe City.】

【Will they bypass us from another route?】

【… If they did, we will just take down Sembione city and cut off their supply line. It will be even easier to defeat a starving army.】

【You covered all the bases as usual—】

【This is… the basics in the Military Academy right?】

Regis spent a lot more time practicing fundamental swordsmanship compared to listening to lectures. His results were lackluster, so it was best not to bring it up.

No matter what, the Sixth and Eighth army were still there. With the reinforcement of the Fourth Army, the enemy couldn’t ignore this stronghold and continue their invasion.

The Etruria Theocracy army will definitely attack Aroe Maroe City.

They reached the city gates.

As the messengers already made several trips to make status reports, the gate was already open when they reached it, so they didn’t need to wait.

They entered the city though the wide open gates.

Altina was intrigued by the city walls.

【Ehh—… it’s actually brown.】

【Because the soil here contains malmstone. So the boulders dug up here are light brown—】

【Ah, there’s a cat! It’s white nya!】

【… Ah, yeah.】

【It seems to be more agile than the cats from the capital.】

【That’s because the species is different. There’s a book that studies cat. According to Professor Giga Domingo’s 《In Search of Cats Overseas》, the cats from the south are closer to the originals. After all, cats are animals found in tropical countries in the first place.】

【I see—】

They passed through the gates.

All the buildings were built with light brown earth and stone, giving off a warm impression.

The newer structures were erected in the style of the Belgaria empire, with protruding windows and triangular roofs.

The older buildings had flat roofs and small windows, just like a warehouse.

The evolution of culture could be observed in this city. After all, this land wasn’t part of the Belgaria empire a century ago.

With the main roads filled with twists and turns, it was both impractical and lacked aesthetics, making it hard to discern the intent of its architects, as if the city was built by many individuals naturally.

Not just the citizens, soldiers could be seen here too.

There were those who saluted at the sight of the Fourth Army, and those who hurriedly hid into the houses.

Altina frowned.


【What is it?】

【Like what Eddie said, I don’t feel any aura from them at all.】

【… Did they neglect their training?】

Regis couldn’t swing swords, wield spears or ride horses. So he couldn’t tell the power levels of the soldiers no matter how much he observed the individual soldiers.

Altina commented:

【I don’t think they are weak since there are few rookies. If I have to say, they are like veterans who are so familiar with war that they don’t feel tense.】

【… I see.】

【We are already invaded, aren’t they too relaxed about it?】

They even saw soldiers with bare upper bodies and faces red from drinking in the day.

Regis advised Altina:

【… That’s how the regional units are. It’s the Beilschmidt Border Regiment disciplined by the strict General Jerome that is special.】

【Don’t this mean that the commander here isn’t nervous at all?!】

【… That is true.】

They came to the building in the center of the city.

An orderly unit stood in formation before them.

【Ara, they are still disciplined soldiers here.】

【… Are they the Eighth Army?】

Altina complimented them, but Regis head’s remained tilted.

Was it because they were in a city? They weren’t armed with lances, but had swords and shields instead. Although there was a need to switch out equipment depending on the situation, the popular weapons on the battlefield right now were lances that were taller than the user.

— In other words, the commander of the Eighth Army was an aristocrat from the west.

And their style was to place heavy emphasis on tradition.

Fortress city Aroe Maroe, Main hall.

Although the room was small, it was decorated with the vibrant colors of the Belgarian Empire, and looked extravagant.

Altina got on a spot that was elevated.

Regis stood diagonally behind her.

Eric stood beside him as the Escort Officer.

And the commanders of the Sixth and Eighth Army stood in neat formation before Altina with their staff officers.

The commander of the Sixth Army was Lieutenant General Bernard Jean de Dorval. He was about 40 years old.

With a bald head and a uniform with plenty of decorations, he still couldn’t hide his bulging tummy. He had a gentle smile on his face.

【Thank you for making the long journey here, Madam Généralissime Argentina.】

The commander of the Eighth Army was Lieutenant General Lorambert Abel de Rockhoward, 35 years old and had the standard buffed build of a Belgarian soldier.

He saluted crisply.

【This humble one is the commander of the Eighth Army— Lieutenant General Rockhoward!】

As they had already discussed this before hand, Altina spoke without beating around the bush.

【I already know that the southern frontlines have been pulled back significantly. So does the new emperor Latreille who made the decision to send reinforcements.】


Rockhoward gritted his teeth.

He seemed ashamed for being forced into such a situation by the enemy.

However, the one primarily responsible for this, Dorval remained unfazed.

Altina continued:

【As the Généralissime of the empire, I will assume command of all the units here. Anyone who opposes may speak out now.】

【The Eighth Army is ready to carry out your orders!】

Rockhoward answered with his chest held high.

Dorval showed a smile that made others feel uncomfortable.

【I will be honored to follow the lead of the famed Généralissime.】

【Hmm… Then I will ask in my capacity as your superior officer. Why did you retreat so far back without even fighting a proper battle?】

Rockhoward started sweating profusely. His face turned green and seemed to be on the verge of collapsing.

【Ah, well… We the Eighth Army is ready to do all we can to defend the empire’s territory… I’m just following the orders of Lieutenant General Dorval.】

Dorval was unexpectedly calm even though his name was brought up. Normally, someone would be a little anxious when they were being faulted.

— Is it because he is a grand noble from central?

His smile never left his face.

【My deep apologies. We fought a few skirmishes, but the enemy are religious fanatics who battle like beasts, so we prioritized the safety of the citizens. Our numbers are too small to defend the vast lands in the south…】

He droned on and on with his excuses.

There wasn’t anything outside of Regis’ expectation.

In summary, we did everything we can— That was why he was saying.

The enemy didn’t have new weapons or unexpected new strategy.

They simply didn’t fight a proper battle.

Altina cut off Dorval’s explanation.

【Enough, I won’t question what you did before any more. Since your are now under my command, there must not be any more instances of reluctance in engaging the enemy!】

【O-Of course!】

Rockhoward nodded.

On the other hand, Dorval showed a bitter face.

【Ahh~ my deepest apologies. Actually the Sixth Army is exhausted as we have been holding the frontlines for an extended period of time. If possible, I wish to request for more time to rest up…】

【Hmm? It doesn’t seem that way? Or rather, they have gotten dull from resting too much.】

Altina glared at him.

Dorval shook his head.

【No such thing! My house is also an impoverished noble in central. Hence, we have many old soldiers in my units, and they aren’t as spry as the young men…】

【How can a commander behave like this!?】

Before she lashed out, Regis interjected:

【Your Highness… the exhaustion of the soldiers can’t be discerned visually. Let’s take the advice of the experienced general.】

【Muu… If Regis says so.】

Dorval and Rockhoward both showed a surprised expression that says “So this guy is Regis”.

They heard his name before, but this was the first time they saw him in person. They were probably shocked by his unsoldier-like appearance.

Dorval immediately made a toady smile.

【As expected of the famed hero strategist! Thank you very much for your kind understanding! Allow us to witness the heroic battles by the elites serving under Madam Généralissime.】

Which meant, he just wants the Fourth Army to fight while he watches from the sidelines.

It was obvious that he had no intentions of fighting.

Regis tried to calm his emotions as much as possible, and said calmly:

【… I understand. When the Etruria Theocracy army attacks, the Fourth Army will engage the enemy with our full might. Since both of your armies are now under the Princess’ command, please refrain from acting on your own.】


The two of them answered with a salute.

Regis nodded too, then turned around and saluted Altina.

Altina who was assigned a private chambers inside the Aroe Maroe city shouted:

【What the hell are they doing!? Don’t they have any drive at all!?】

【… It’s more serious than I imagined.】

Regis sighed.

Altina was pacing around the room like a bear that had woken up during hibernation.

Clarice who always waits on her wasn’t in the room as she needed to prepare lunch.

Eric stood at the door with his rifle as her escort officer. In his hands was the High Britanian made 《Snider Rifle》 gifted to him by Regis.

Eddie and Abidal Evra were tending to the troops. The soldiers were exhausted and unhappy after the long journey, so they had to keep an eye on them.

Right now, only Altina, Regis and Eric were in the room.

Eric said:

【But doesn’t the Eighth Army’s Lieutenant General Rockhoward seem full of drive?】

【Yes, compared to Dorval.】

When he heard their conversation, Regis tilted his head.

【… Is that so? The Eighth army didn’t engage the Etruria Theocracy army directly either. He said he was just following the commander-in-chief’s orders.】

【Are you saying that is just an excuse?】

【… I’m not sure either. I have to ask someone who was here when the skirmishes happened.】

【How about asking the staff officers from both armies?】

【No… No matter what, I don’t think any of the staff officers will badmouth their commander.】

Right now, Altina was the Généralissime, and had the authority to dismiss both commander’s appointment. If a staff officer said something stupid, he would be out of a job immediately.

Regis took out his pocket watch and checked it.

【There is still someone in this outfit who can tell the truth. I already called for him, he should ne…】

The door was knocked.

Eric answered the door.

The heavy doors were opened, and a man dressed like a noble bowed gracefully.

【This humble one is Inspector Frank Ignatius de Duran from the Ministry of Military Affairs. I’m honored to meet the renowned Madam Généralissime and Sir Strategist.】

It was a handsome and graceful man.

Altina showed a face of detest.


Regis mediated:

【Well, not all inspectors are selfish and greedy.】

Inspector Becker who was assigned to the Beilschmidt Border Regiment was an infuriating man. That was the reason behind her prejudice against inspectors or their likes.

Frank shrugged.

【I understand. Just introducing myself as an inspector gives the impression that I’m fishing for a bribe. However, my wages are already enough for my family, and I’m not looking for more. My wife and son is like a goddess and angel, and I want for nothing else except their smiles.】

What’s with the sudden assault of random thoughts?

This person might be a weirdo.

Regis scratched his face.

【Erm… Inspector Duran is introduced to me by Ms Fanrine. She said that we can ask him anything after we meet up with the Eighth Army.】

Fanrine was a General Administration Officer in the Ministry of Military Affairs. She couldn’t be wrong.

It wasn’t nice to talk at the door after asking him to come— so Regis ushered him in.

The few of them sat around a table for four.

Altina sat on the inside, Regis took the seat to her left. As the escort officer, Eric stood diagonally behind her to the right.

Frank who sat opposite her continued.

【I’m not a soldier, so I don’t know how I may be of assistance… I traveled together with the Eighth Army when they were despatched to the south.】

Regis nodded.

【Do tell us what you know. How Lieutenant General Dorval and Lieutenant General Rockhoward exercise their command. I hope to learn everything in detail.】

Altina said apologetically.

【It was wrong of me to assume all inspectors are bad. I’m very sorry.】

No no, Frank shook his head.

【I do hope you all can trust me, but I myself don’t trust my inspector colleagues. They are just rats living on the ship named the Ministry of Military Affairs. The retards who finally gnawed a hole through the bottom of the ship. Well, the Ministry is finally paying the price and dissolved for the bill it chalked up over the years… Ah, officially, I don’t have any post right now. When I introduced myself arrogantly earlier, that was just a lie.】

He looked bright and cheery, and didn’t seem to care where his next posting would be. As if he already secured a winning ticket. Maybe he already had a backup plan ready.

Regis added in a bit of idle chat:

【… Normally, the organization would be dissolved after the personnel have been reassigned… But to actually dismiss all the employees, that goes to show had much anger Emperor Latreille bore towards the Ministry of Military Affairs. Just how much headache did they cost him when he was Field Marshal?】

Hahaha… Frank merely laughed, and avoided commenting on the new Emperor.

Back to the topic;

【So, can you tell us about the command and actions of the Eighth Army?】

【Just what happened that led to this current situation?】

【Lieutenant General Rockhoward… is very cautious, but he would issue unexpected orders at times.】

【… Eh?】

【He is from a grand noble house in the west, and should be well versed with strategy and tactics… But there are times when he misses the forest for the trees.】

【F-For example…?】

【There are several, the most critical one is when they just linked up with the Sixth Army for the defence of Sembione city—】

One month ago.

Sembione city was a big city founded on a hill.

It didn’t have tall walls, but it had wells, water reservoirs and plenty of food, making it an adequate military base.

There were 20,000 soldiers from the Sixth Army garrisoned here.

It wasn’t clear why Dorval retreated here.

The Sixth Army’s base should be a sturdier fort at the frontlines further to the south.

But it was lost in a short time, and they had to retreat across the Calena river to Sembione city. This situation was entirely their responsibility.

No matter what, Sembione city still had 50,000 citizens and 20,000 soldiers.

The Eighth Army linked up with them here.

Rockhoward said:

【Our unit is here to assist on Field Marshal Latreille’s orders. If the Sixth and Eighth Army work together, we can surely repel the Etruria Theocracy army in one fell swoop!】

Dorval looked at the unit and asked:

【How much food do you have?】

【Enough for the Eighth Army to fight for a month.】


Judging from common sense, this amount wasn’t an issue. But Dorval ordered an evacuation of the city as if he sensed something.

Maybe he just want to reduce the rate of food consumption in the city while they turtled in the city, so he reduced the number of citizens here.

A week later, the Etruria Theocracy army appeared before Sembione city with 20,000 troops.

The Empire was 40,000 strong.

Rockhoward decided to end the war swiftly, and proposed leaving the city to engage the enemy. Dorval accepted this proposal.

When Regis heard that, he couldn’t help shouting:


【As I thought, you think that is strange too?】

【That’s because… They had a fort right there for their defences. They should let the Etruria Theocracy attack and grind down a part of their numbers. After the enemy is exhausted, they could open the gate and force a decisive battle with the enemies on the plains.】

Regis wasn’t talking about any amazing strategy.

This was common sense.

It was a strategy that could be found in any normal textbook, the basics of the basics.

Frank nodded.

【So, as for why Lieutenant General Rockhoward suddenly proposed fighting outside the city… I heard what his conversation with his staff officers.】

In a room assigned to the Eighth Army.

The Lieutenant General sat in a leather chair in the innermost side, surrounded by his staff officers standing around his table.

It was the Eighth Army’s war conference.

A Staff Officer reported:

【The Etruria Theocracy army is here! There are 20,000 of them!】

【Hmmp… The Sixth Army kept saying retreat retreat, which made me wondered how large the enemy forces are. So it’s only this much huh?】

【There’s nothing to fear, the Belgaria Empire’s victory is inevitable!】

【Hahaha! We can’t let our guard down alright?】

It was a word of caution, but it was said with a joking tone which made the staff officers burst out in laughter.

The battle had not even started, and Rockhoward was already cheering as if victory was a given.

The staff officers also basked in the joyous atmosphere.

【The Sixth Army’s Lieutenant General Dorval will thank us too. This victory is thanks to the arrival of the Eighth Army. The nobles and Ministry of Military Affairs will evaluate us highly too.】

【Hee hee… I’m not interested in thanks and praises… But it can’t be helped if I become a shining star!】

Rockhoward was a noble from the west.

He was part of the First Prince faction.

As Auguste forfeit his succession rights to the throne during Founding Day in April, Rockhoward became the laughing stock in the social world.

His status was even lower than the new nobles from the south.

He yearns for a chance to salvage his reputation.

None of his staff officers wanted to be a wet blanket, so they were all gung ho and high spirited.

【Even in a straight up fight in the plains, the Empire with twice their numbers will never lose.】

【That’s right! Let’s teach those conscripts who switched their hoes for spears what a real battle is!】

【This is a good chance to show them the might of our traditional western swordsmanship!】

Without even drinking a sip of wine, these bunch of staff officers started getting hyped as if they were drunk.

Rockhoward shouted in high spirit:

【Alright! Attack! We can win by fighting in the plains, why are we still defending the fort!?】

【… My head hurts.】

It had been a long time since Regis felt a headache.

He sighed.

Frank frowned:

【Regrettably, I’m not exaggerating. They decided on their battle plan with the same atmosphere when deciding to go fox hunting.】

【Yes… I can’t tell he is such a person.】

【It might not be appropriate for a noble like me to say this, but aristocrats are like lions who boast at home, and act like loyal dogs in the presence of their supervisors.】

【… That’s true. But why didn’t Lieutenant General Dorval reject this retarded proposal?】

【I don’t have any evidence… but it seems that their rations were running low.】

【… I thought they had sufficient supplies?】

【The fact was, when the Sixth Army retreated in defeat, they abandoned almost all of their rations. And they also brought many refugees with them. But the fact that they were still protecting our citizens when evacuating was praiseworthy.】

If they are going to protect the citizens, they should ensure a steady food supply too, and cover all the corners — That was the meaning hidden in his words.

Even Altina was hugging her head.

【What are they doing, those hairless retards?!】

【… Your Highness, let’s not talk about body hair… At least the citizens and soldiers are safe. It’s a good thing that he made such a decision… Well, we brought plenty of rations with us, which should be enough to satisfy them.】

They already received the report that a large amount of rations was needed, so the Fourth Army brought several more time food than usual.

Frank shrugged.

【Although the forts and Sembione city should have adequate food stores…】

【… They are now rations for the Etruria Theocracy army.】

【Probably so.】

Not just the three seated people, even Eric standing behind sighed.

Altina started complaining.

【Is Etruria still not attacking because they ate too much and couldn’t walk?】

【Haha… Well, maybe they are waiting for the rainy season to end. It is almost September, so it should be over soon.】

【Is that so?】

The dialogue was almost over, but Altina shouted: 【Wait wait wait!】

She showed four fingers on her right hand, and two fingers on her left hand:

【Even if leaving the base to attack is a mistake, the Belgaria Empire has 40,000 men, while the Etruria Theocracy has 20,000. Why did they lose?!】

Frank answered:

【When the two forces were facing off, a fire broke out in Sembione city.】


【It seemed to have been caused by carelessness. But we only learned about it from the city guards after the fact… Lieutenant General Dorval who had overall command outside the city judged this to be “the base behind us had fallen”, and ordered a full retreat…】


Altina was shocked beyond words.

Regis said with a sigh:

【Hmm… This is just like the scene from Klone Milo’s famed work 《Heroes Elegy》. It is widely praised for being an outstanding heroic novel, but in the decisive battle, it was criticized for the part where “the enemy fell into a panic because of a fire that broke out suddenly, giving the protagonist a chance to turn the table”.】

Altina said angrily:

【If there are 40,000 troops, the results of our battle with High Brittania would have been different! But a misunderstanding over a fire is mistaken for an enemy attack despite having such a large army!? Stop kidding me!】

【… I can understand being mistaken when their base that had only minimal forces caught on fire.】


【… But they should have sent a messenger to verify first. They can order the retreat after making sure that the base had been lost.】

And of course, this would only work if they had deployed their troops cautiously to avoid pincer attacks.

Altina vented her anger for that decision which was really too retarded.

Did nervousness result in the commander’s mistake on the ground?

That might be so, but for a mishandling of fire to lead to such tremendous loss wasn’t a joke one could laugh about.

How much blood would need to be spilled to seize back the fort?

It rained a little this evening, but the weather was clear the next day and the day after.

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