Saturday, March 12, 2022

Musket Girls! Chapter 1 ~6

 Chapter 1: Death God Scythe

Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

Based on the web novel, https://ncode.syosetu.com/n2112gv/


After dying easily in my previous life, I was reincarnated into a different world, and faced imminent death again.

“Fire!”

As the Platoon Leader, I gave a command. The 50 line infantry under my command fired as one.

“Prime and load!”


It was a battlefield similar to the 17th century in my old world. It was towards the end of the Age of Exploration. When colonization was happening everywhere, and the powers of monarchy were at its peak.

It was the same for the Schweidel Empire.


The Empire might sound like a colossal country, but after centuries of war, it had lost a lot of territories, and wasn’t too different from its neighboring nations.

However, the Empire had not forgotten about its past glory, and continued to wage war in the name of recovering the land it had lost.


It might be shitty for my second home nation, but the neighboring nations were shittier, since they treat other countries as religious heretics since their founding. The truth was, they were all different sects of the same religion, but somehow, that just intensified their hostility.

That was why the war lasted for a century.


The enemies’ bullets flew our way, fired from the Agan nation’s line infantry.

I thought about charging in, but the barrage was too intense, so a charge would probably fail.

So I raised my saber and shouted.


“Don’t just stand there, move your hands! Fire!”

Three or four men fell from that attack, and the rest of my troop Fire on command. The place was covered by the white smog from the gunpowder, and I couldn’t see anything.


The visibility was shot, but I still need to fulfill my obligation as a Platoon Leader. If I don’t crush the enemies before us, my rank might be stripped by a court-martial committee.

So I gave another order.

“Fire!”


The rate of fire for line infantry was around 1 shot every 20 seconds. I didn’t have a watch, but my body remembered this timing. If the troops failed to load in time, they would hold their fire until the next volley.


“Damn it, the enemy numbers didn’t decrease! They have more than 40 men!”

 

The Sergeant assisting me checked through his telescope at the barely visible enemy troops through the smog.

A Corporal shouted:

“Platoon Leader, we have six injured!”

Another two men were shot.

 

A simple calculation showed that of the 50 men in my platoon, 【we have suffered more than 10% casualty.】

In modern war, it was about time to retreat, but this was a different time in a different world. We couldn’t retreat with 【a unit that was almost 90% combat ready.】

 

“P-Platoon leader! We are almost at our limits!”

The soldiers yelled, and I could almost laugh it off with a forced smile.

“Hahaha! If we flee now, we will be relegated into the penal brigade! Do you guys want to charge in the front with pikes?!”

“Ehh?! I don’t want that!”

 

The soldiers wailed as they loaded their bullets. They might be saying all that, but they didn’t stop moving their hands, this was the result of their training.

I patted his shoulder, and shouted for everyone to hear.

 

“Our job will be finished after killing them! Let’s finish this before dinner! If we can take this city, we can buy all the wine and women that we want!”

Sigh, I hate this, how vulgar. When I was in the Military Academy, I wanted to work in the support department, so why was I fighting here?


‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌

To be honest, I hated war, I hated this world, and I didn’t want to know how the Empire turned out like this.

But I would die if I didn’t fight, so I had to kill in order to not be killed. It was the same for both friend and foe.


“Keep firing! Your muskets are full of energy! Let those Aganians know that we have balls!”

I raised our morale with a vulgar joke. These were words I prepared ahead of time. It was stupid to risk my life in a battle, but we had to be fools in order to survive.

 

The enemy resistance was fierce, but there was only one platoon guarding this path into the city. There were more platoons behind us, and we could flank and decimate the enemy if we linked up.

So their resistance was futile, just to buy time.


Hmm? Buy time…?

At that moment, I felt a chill on my neck.

“Shit!”

I grabbed the Sergeant by his collar, and dragged him down.

 

At the same time, something broke through the smog before us, and flew towards our formation. It was cannon fire.

“Hyaa!”

“Uwah!”

“Hiiee——?!”

I could hear screams, we probably lost 10 men.


I stood up immediately to check the damage. Those who died on the spot were complete messes, so I couldn’t tell how many died. There were also people covered in blood and groaning.

I ignored those who couldn’t fight for now, and checked to see how many could still hold their muskets.

We have a little more than 30 men.

 

“I-I’m saved… Platoon Leader, how did you dodge that?”

The Sergeant stood up with a pale face, and I gave him a hand. If I was any slower, Both of us would have lost the top half of our torso.

“I have a long history with the Death God after all.”

 

I had died once before, so that was probably why I could sense death. It felt like a cold blade slicing through my neck.

I didn’t know why I could sense that. I called it 【Death God Scythe】.

If not for this power, a modern man like me wouldn’t be able to survive in this era.


Leaving that aside for now, our platoon would be destroyed if we get hit by cannon fire again. They might be small caliber field artillery, it was powerful enough within the range of musket engagements, which was about tens of meters.

We had no time to waste.

 

I made a face as if I was waiting for this moment, and charged with my saber.

“Good, they used their trump card! Next is the decisive battle! Everyone, charge!”

The Sergeant behind me shouted:

“Huh?! Platoon Leader?!”

“Don’t let the Platoon Leader die!”

“That’s right, charge! Everyone, charge!”

 

For the infantry, the order to charge was absolute.

“Uwah——!”

The infantrymen jumped into the smog with muskets in hand, a short bayonet fixed to the tip of their guns… It actually looked closer to a sharp iron pike, which was enough to stab the enemy to death.

 

And of course, I charged in front of the soldiers. In this situation, the platoon wouldn’t move if the leader didn’t lead from the front.

I knew this wasn’t safe, but I had the 【Death God Scythe】.

I sprinted in the smog, then quickly turned red. I heard a bullet swooshed past my ear.

 

When I came out of the smog, the enemy line infantry was ready.

‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌

“Fire!”

 

With the shout of the enemy commander, their muskets rang out, the fire and smog obscured our vision.

However, the 【Death God】 didn’t say anything, and I didn’t fall.

 

Muskets had low accuracy, since the bullets were fired by the flint igniting the gunpowder.

Without any rifling in the barrel, the trajectory of the bullet wasn’t stable, and the musket itself would shake from the impact.

So there wasn’t any need to think about dodging.

 

“Hah——!”

When I swung down my saber, my platoon also engaged the enemy in melee combat.

“Die——!”

“Damn you——!”

 

The enemy expected this charge, but their volley didn’t hit because of the smog, and we engaged in bayonet fighting after that one shot.

“Kill, kill!”


We regressed into barbarians in both mind and body. I kept slaughtering the enemy Sergeant and Corporals, since it was their job to stop the men from fleeing. The enemy would be routed if I took them out. Go on and scram.

I could hear gunshots from time to time, probably from my platoon. They must have loaded their muskets during the charge, then fired at point blank range. Well done.


When I realized it, there were no moving enemies left, and there were 20 odd enemy corpses on the ground. We had around ten dead too.

“Platoon leader, the enemy has fled. Our platoon has around 20 men left.”

The Sergeant I saved just now reported.


“How terrible…”

There were more survivors, but they were squatting down and holding their stomachs. The Sergeant didn’t include them in the survivors count.

The medical care level in this world was low, so a gunshot wound in the stomach was almost certain death.

Let’s brighten up their last moments with this victory.


I raised my saber high and shouted at the top of my lungs.

“Our platoon has routed the enemy platoon, and captured this strategic point! This is our victory! We fought a great battle! We seized the enemy field cannons! And now, we will defend this place until our allied units are here!”

“Wooaahhh——!”

 

Even the soldiers who were clutching their stomachs and on their last legs yelled with their muskets high.

I held their hands one by one, and complimented them on their efforts.

“You fought bravely. You are a warrior of the Imperial Army, and your country is proud of you.”

“Heehee… Great… I did it…”


I hated doing something that reeked of militarism, but it couldn’t be helped in this militaristic world. If we couldn’t defend the dignity of the dead soldiers, then the surviving ones wouldn’t fight anymore.

More importantly, they did fight with valor. If me, their Platoon Leader didn’t praise them, then who would do so?

 

The platoons behind us rushed on with no regards to my dying men. They were our comrades from the same Company.


A fellow Platoon Leader saluted when he passed by on his horse, and I returned his salute.

Other companies from our battalion came one after another, followed by the supply wagons and the cavalry. They would take care of the upcoming battles.

 

I saluted the soldiers who couldn’t move anymore, then ordered the 20 odd soldiers under my command:

“We will tend to our wounded and bury the dead. Bury the enemies too, or else the citizens will complain to us.”

I put on my service cap, and smiled.

“And next, there will be beer and women.”

Ahh, how vulgar.




Chapter 2: Death God Strategist


After a series of battles, I was now face to face with the bigwigs at the Fifth Division headquarters, and other commanders under the Division.
They were like the stars in the sky to me, and I saluted nervously.
 
“Infantry Second Lieutenant, Euner Krombertz, reporting in.”

The ranks here were slightly different from my old world, but Second Lieutenants were still the starting rank for officers. Similarly, the starting point of a junior commander were Platoon Leaders.

Some of my batchmates from the Academy were already promoted to First Lieutenant, but as a commoner, I was passed over. Honestly speaking, my career would be a great success if I retired as a Captain.


It seemed that the big wigs wanted to speak about something along that line.
 
“I heard your platoon suffered a devastating loss in the engagement with the Agan army a few days ago.”
“Yes, that happened in the course of our successful mission.”
 
That wasn’t a lie.

It was the fault of the battalion Commanding Officer who sent one platoon because of the terrain. If he sent another platoon to flank the enemy, that wouldn’t have happened.

The Commanding Officer strengthened our main forces to defend against the enemy attacks, leaving less men for the detachment units.

The academy clearly taught that shrinking a unit would lead to heavy losses, which showed how terrible the Commanding Officer was in strategy.
 
“We have received the reports. You accomplished a difficult mission, and the Battalion Commander offered you high praises.”
 
That was great. So the death of 30 men wasn’t his fault then. What a useless noble.
The bigwig probably noticed how I felt, and sighed softly.
 
“The third platoon will be disbanded, and reassigned to replace the losses in the first and second platoons. You will relinquish your position as a Platoon Leader. Your war merits are clear for all to see, but those who can’t hold their tongue call you【Death God】.”
 
“I know that very well.”

It wasn’t my fault.
The bigwig continued speaking in a formal tone.

 
“It must be hard to accept losing your position despite your accomplishments. I want to promote you, but it’s not possible to fast track you to First Lieutenant.”
 ‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌
This wasn’t a war game between kids, so I wasn’t expecting to be promoted.

There weren’t that many ranks, if promotions were given after such skirmishes, I would become a General in no time. And the Schweidel Empire didn’t have different tiers of general officers such as Brigadier General or Lieutenant General, they all had the rank of General.


So normally, I would just get a medal for my efforts. In that case, there wasn’t any need to summon me to the Division headquarters.


Now that I thought about it, there was more than meets the eyes.


“Oh right, I heard you are strong in operation planning.”
 
What was he saying? I was a frontline commander that led charges from the front.


Despite what I thought, I already knew from my previous life that I could only agree with that comment. That was what this old man wanted.


“Yes! This humble one is confident in operation planning!”
“Good. You have field experience and strong leadership. You are proficient in training your men too, right?”
“Yes, that’s right!”
 
Hah, this was what I hated about the army.
If I didn’t reincarnate into that damn impoverished family, I wouldn’t be earning a living in this barbaric place.

 
While I was thinking about how miserable an organization the army was in this era, the bigwig nodded.


“Why don’t you try being a strategist?”
 
You posed it as a question, but this was an order, right? I could tell.
 
“Yes! I will readily accept this order!”
“Good. From this day forth…… Infantry Second Lieutenant Krombertz will be appointed as a strategist, here is your strategist epaulet.”
“Yes! I will work hard to live up to this appointment!”
 
Yay, a strategist, so happy.

 
… I wasn’t that happy, but I could now bid farewell from using my saber to lope off the enemies’ heads.‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌
There was just one problem, a strategist wasn’t an independent post.
 
Most senior officers in the Schweidel Empire were nobles. They were highly educated, but that didn’t mean they were proficient in command.


That was where a military consultant, also known as strategist, comes in. The main job was to advise the commander on how to execute the unreasonable orders given from the top. But in the end, it was just advice, they didn’t have special authority.

So, who would I be supporting as a strategist?
In the Fifth Division, staff officers and strategists were firmly in the hands of the Duke Ritreille faction. They would never take me, a commoner, into their ranks.
Would I be transferred to another Division? But the other Divisions were also the nests of nobles. 
The bigwig then revealed the answer, as if he had just settled one problem.
 
“You will be transferred to the Sixth Special Brigade. You will be a strategist reporting directly to the Brigade Commander, that’s definitely a promotion.”
 
Was that really a promotion?

 
In the Empire, Brigades were smaller in scale when compared to Divisions, and were usually formed temporarily with non-standard compositions. And being a special brigade bothered me. It sounded great, but that was definitely an unorthodox brigade.
I felt uneasy about it.


But the bigwig didn’t say anything, and gave me a document.

“I will know when I get there.”

I didn’t know what was going on, but being a strategist in a brigade wasn’t too bad.
In any case, I would take the supply wagon there, and read the appointment letter along the way.

With that in mind, I started packing my room in the barracks. An orderly suddenly ran to me in a panic.

“Lieutenant, a carriage has come for you.”

“A carriage?”

I didn’t ask for that.




Chapter 3: 


I went out from the front gates of the Fifth Infantry Division in a carriage, and probably wouldn’t come back again.

I didn’t have any fond memories here, so it was fine. They didn’t treat me well here, the atmosphere wasn’t friendly, and most importantly, the food tasted bad. That was an important problem in the army.

The only issue I had right now was this carriage.


I wasn’t riding on any old wagon, or rather, this wasn’t a carriage from the army.

The interior decor was luxurious, and the leather seats were comfortable. The shaking was minimal despite the bad road conditions, and the soundproofing was great too. This was obviously the private carriage of a rich noble.


However, the one sitting opposite me was a beautiful lady in military uniform.

She wasn’t a real soldier, and was just draping a senior officer coat over her shoulders. She didn’t have any rank insignia, only an emblem.

It was the emblem of House Ritreille, one of the archnobles in the Empire, and the leader of the faction controlling the Fifth Division.


She wasn’t wearing the riding pants of an officer, but a skirt. And obviously, that wasn’t a uniform.

In short, she was a weird beauty cosplaying in the style of a soldier.

And now, I was alone with this weird cosplay lady.


“Second Lieutenant Krombertz, I presume?”

“Yes, I’m Second Lieutenant Euner Krombertz.”

“A pleasure to meet you.”


The beauty nodded slightly with a smile.

She spoke slowly and clearly, in the typical style of a noble.

She was in her twenties, around my age.

With a mature look, her thin long brows left a deep impression. If this was a manga, she would be a character with slit eyes.

 

The cavalry in plate armor guarding the carriage might be heavily armored, but they were the private army of a noble, not from the Imperial army. Their uniform made that clear.

The atmosphere was strange, so I should be careful of the tone of my speech.

I bowed silently. However, my habits as a junior officer made me sit right by the window, so I could only salute with my elbow tucked in.


In contrast, this beauty sat leisurely in the center of her seat, and her demeanor wasn’t like a soldier at all.

The beauty said while looking out the window:

 

“How is the carriage?”

“It’s very comfortable, I’m really grateful for the ride.”


I didn’t ask you for this though. I was surprised when such a luxurious carriage was waiting in front of the barracks. It was also escorted by heavy cavalry, so I thought there had been a mistake. This was a treatment far above the paygrade of a commoner Second Lieutenant.

I had a bad feeling about this unexpected grandiose reception. This was the same in this life or my past life.


“For a Second Lieutenant like me to enjoy a ride in your private carriage, I’m really grateful for your kind hospitality towards a soldier of the Empire.”


The beauty smiled.


“My house is dedicated to the expansion and recovery of the territory of the Schweidel Empire. So naturally, I would hold nothing back in giving support and respect to every soldier.”


Oh. I was being sarcastic, but she just let it slide. What a scary person.

The beauty continued:


“Especially towards young officers with bright futures, we will spare no expenses in supporting them.”


What did she mean? Was she trying to cozy up to me? I refuse.


“That makes me envious. I will work hard to make others think that way.”


I wanted to fudge things over with that, but the cosplay lady clung on to that topic.


“But Sir Krombertz is already a true soldier who can shoulder the future of the Empire.”

“You flatter me, I’m not that great a person.”


Damn it, I had to get out of here. It was normally impossible for an archnoble like her to get in contact with a mere Second Lieutenant like me.

But I couldn’t escape from the carriage with the cavalry surrounding me.

 

“But I heard Lieutenant Krombertz is a renowned officer known as the 【Death God】?”

“There are people who called me 【Death God Krombertz】, but that’s just because I lost many of my men in battle.”

 

The beauty looked at me curiously.


“That’s because of the ferocity of Sir Krombertz, right?”

“I don’t think that’s true.”

 

A commoner officer like me was often forced to take on tasks that were tough with little rewards.

I couldn’t get used to this in the Military Academy, and none of the factions would let me join them. In the end, I ended up alone just like my previous life, and was now an officer with zero political prowess.

It was embarrassing, so I just fudged through the topic. However, the beauty was still staring at me.


“In any case, Sir Krombertz is famous in the 5th Division. Just a few days ago, you broke through the field artilleries of the Agan Kingdom, and captured those artillery pieces, right?”


She then moved her fingers and revealed my past.


“In past battles, you successfully defended a fort. You fended off the invading army for three whole days until reinforcements came.”


Back then, I just needed to keep the gates shut, so it was easy. But I was still busy keeping the troops’ morale up with encouragement and threats. And I lost many men in the process too.


‘And Sir Krombertz has never lost a wargaming exercise since your academy days, right?’

“That’s just a game.”


The settings for wargaming in the academy were very crude.

By taking the high ground, attacks could inflict heavy damages. The criteria for a crushing loss of morale was vague, so I could use units like sacrificial pawns. The strategy computer games in my previous life were more realistic.


“You ranked highly in the swordsmanship competition.”

“A competition is nothing like a real battle.”


Actually, I was a strong reserve in the Kendo club in my past life. But I often lose my individual and team matches miserably, so I couldn’t take pride in it. I knew I wasn’t that good.

But the beauty didn’t agree with me, and just stared at the saber on my waist.

As an impoverished Second Lieutenant, the only thing I spent a lot of money on was the hilt of my saber. It was custom made to be wielded with two hands.

The blade was just a consumable part. I just used whatever works, as long as it didn’t bend or break.


“But you have achieved a lot of merits, right? I heard you used a rare form of swordsmanship.”

“That’s just the delinquent style used by commoners.”


It’s just swordsmanship on the level of club activities, so it wasn’t much, a two handed sword strike was just sharper and heavier than expected. And that was to be expected by using the principle of leverage.

Furthermore, two-handed swords had faded from the battlefield for a long time now, so naturally, only a few knew how to defend against two-handed swords.

That was how I gained an advantage in battles.


But this was really uncomfortable.

The army cosplay beauty was definitely a part of House Ritreille.

And she wasn’t your run of the mill noble lady. From the carriage and cavalry, she must have authority on par with the head of a Noble House.

Noble officers maintained close relationships with their Houses, and had the tendency to join the same Division and faction. However, the Fifth Division was firmly in the grasp of Duke Ritreille, so she was probably scheming something.

 

And so, I raised a slightly awkward question.

 

“Is this carriage really heading for the Sixth Special Brigade?”




Chapter 4: Sixth Special Brigade


The beauty answered my joke seriously.
“I can assure you about that. I’m headed in that direction to attend to some other matters, I’m giving Sir Krombertz a ride since we are going the same way.”
If she said so, I would take her at her word.

Now that I thought about it, if she wanted to kill me, she would need to be wary about my counterattack too. There would be no way she would meet me, a soldier, alone.
Conversely, maybe she created a space for us to be alone to catch me off guard.

The beauty suddenly changed the topic.
“Sir Krombertz, how much do you know about the Sixth Special Brigade?”
“I have never heard of it.”
“The Brigade Commander too?”
“I don’t know either.”
“Is that so?”

Hey, don’t stay quiet, I’m curious.
The beauty smiled, as if she had seen through me.
“The Sixth Special Brigade will become the core of the Imperial Army in the future. That’s what I believe.”
You had the freedom to believe in anything you wanted, but who might you be?

The carriage stopped at this moment. We had not reached the destination yet, but the beauty had already gotten up.
“I will take my leave then. May we meet again.”
I didn’t get what she meant, but I acted like I did and nodded.
Why didn’t you leave your name before leaving?

   *   *

After that, the carriage reached the headquarters of the Sixth Special Brigade without further incidents.
“I’m finally here…”‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌
I got off the carriage, and before me was a gate that was a little shoddy.
There were only dense forests and mountains around the area.
 

 
According to the military map, there wasn’t anything around here, since this was in the middle of the east-west mountain range in the south of the Empire. There wasn't anything worth protecting in this region, and it was hard to deploy troops in the steep mountains.
I never knew an Imperial Brigade was garrisonned here. In the first place, why did they put a brigade here?

The fortress might look pretty, but wasn’t practical in battles.
The high walls and sharp spires were the very picture of a “western castle” to a Japanese person like me.


This looked like a castle from the middle ages where siege battles were waged with catapults, with no consideration for artillery fire. With proper siege artillery, I could capture this fort in half a day.
On top of the main gate was the sign 《Sixth Special Brigade Headquarters》.

In the army, especially for the Schweidel army, you needed to be careful if there was a “Special” or “Extraordinaire” in the name of the unit, it simply meant they weren’t normal. Personally, I would prefer “Normal” or “Standard” units.

While I was standing there in a daze, a tall officer opened the gate and charged out.
“Hey! What are you doing here!”
She sounded young, this was my first time seeing a female Non-commissioned Officer.
And she was big, probably taller than me. She had broad shoulders and had the inverted triangle body shape of an athlete.

The tall female Non-commissioned Officer walked over with large strides.
“That civilian there! This place is restricted to normal citizens! This is not a tourist attraction! I’m sorry, but please leave! Speaking of which, where did your carriage go?”

I wasn’t a civilian nor a tourist.
Hmm, I was seen that way because I was wearing a coat, huh? I didn’t like it, but I was wearing my uniform and saber under my coat.
I pulled out my collar insignia and showed it to the tall girl… pardon me, I meant the tall female Non-commissioned Officer.
 ‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌
“I’m Second Lieutenant Krombertz, a strategist. I have been assigned to this place, word should have been sent ahead of time.”
“Ehh?! Ehh——?! M-My deepest apologies!”
The female Non-commissioned Officer saluted in a panic.

“I, no, this humble one is Staff Sergeant Hannah Heiden!”
【Staff Sergeant】 was a rank in this world, equivalent to a Sergeant Major, a veteran who assisted in supervising Sergeants, and at times, would serve as Platoon Leader in lieu of a Second Lieutenant.
She reached this rank at such a young age?
… Oh no, this wasn’t normal.

To hide the uneasiness in my heart, I returned the salute with two fingers.
‘It’s only natural to be mistaken since I’m wearing my personal coat. I should be the one apologizing.’
“No, not at all! I-I’m really sorry Second Lieutenant Krombertz!”
That was a nice reaction, she might be bigger than me, but she was really cute.

I took out the letter given to me by the Division headquarters.
“Here are my orders, I want to report to the Brigade Commander. Sorry, can you guide me there, Staff Sergeant Heiden?”
“Yes, right away! Oh, let me take your bags!”
“It’s fine, I’m not frail enough to make a lady carry my luggage.”
“It’s fine, I can’t let a superior carry his bags.”

After this meaningless chatter, I lost to her conviction and handed her the luggage. In the Schweidel army, Hannah’s logic would be correct, but I had never seen a female soldier before, and couldn’t get used to this way of doing things.

“Then, allow me to lead the way!”
Hannah said with a blushed face and ragged breath as she pulled up the heavy luggage box. She was as strong as she looked, this was my loss.

“The Strategist Lieutenant is here! Open the gates!”
On Hannah’s orders, the guards quickly opened the gates. All the soldiers I saw were young girls.
This was really bad, huh?




Chapter 5: Colonel Alzer


There were girls everywhere in the fort, ranging from their teens to their twenties.
Was the Brigade Commander a lecherous noble Officer, who gathered female soldiers to create a harem…? What a disgusting thought.

This was bad, a strategist had to work closely with the commander they were advising, so it would be hell if their personalities didn’t match.
“This is the place, Lieutenant.”
“Oh, erm, thank you.”
The Brigade Commander Office was at the end of a long corridor.
Hannah knocked on the door.

“Brigade Commander! This is Hannah!”
“I can tell from your voice.”
Hmm, it was the voice of a young woman, was the Brigade Commander a lady too?

Ignoring my wavering, Hannah reported:
“I have brought Second Lieutenant Krombertz here.”
“Oh, he is here already? Please come in.”
I was ushered into the Brigade Commander office, and a young lady with raven black hair was waiting inside. She was slightly older than Hannah, but was still in her twenties. This was the Brigade Commander?

Oh right, I needed to salute her.
“Pardon me, I’m Strategist Second Lieutenant Euner Krombertz, reporting in.”
The beautiful Brigade Commander with raven black hair stood up and returned my salute.

“I’m the Commander of the Sixth Special Brigade, Colonel Alzer Mediren. Allow me to omit a formal introduction as per military tradition. Will that be fine?”
“Yes, it’s not a problem.”

The full names of the nobles in the Schweidel Empire were long and difficult to remember. From their names, their paternal and maternal Houses, and their status within their Houses would be clear. Anyway, their names were really long.

“Oh right, if possible, please refrain from addressing me by my last name. Because of some family reasons.”
“Understood, Colonel Alzer.”
Oh, “family reasons,” huh? Speaking of which, was Mediren that House that was as famous as House Ritreille? She was probably a lady from a branch house, but she would still face all sorts of problems.

“Thank you. Well then, welcome aboard, Second Lieutenant Krombertz.”
She then asked me while swaying her black hair.
“Were you surprised that the Brigade Commander is a woman?”
“Not at all.”‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌

Speaking of which, this was the first time I had seen a female officer in the Schweidel army. But with my past life memories, I wasn’t surprised because my superior was a woman.

“These are my transfer orders and my Military records.”
Alzer seemed surprised about my lack of a reaction. Her confused expression was a little cute.

“Hmm… Good work, you must be tired from the long journey.”
“Not at all, I’m looking forward to being a strategist, so I’m full of drive right now.”
It wouldn’t be good to be too rigid, so I said that with a smile.

Colonel Alzer nodded in agreement.
“That’s good. I prepared a personal office and room for you. I thought about assigning you an orderly, but it’s a bit troubling because of the ethical issues.”
“I can take care of myself, thank you for your concern.”
There were only girls here, so it would be an issue if strange rumors were to spread.

My answer made Colonel Alzer smile happily.
“You are a real gentleman. Oh right, did you meet a strange woman on your way here?”
“I did.”
I answered immediately.

After confirming that, Colonel Alzer sighed softly.
“And that woman… let me guess, she is Duke Ritreille?”
“Yes, she is from House Ritreille… Duke Ritreille!?”
That cosplay lady was actually the head of House Ritreille? That young lady?

Let me confirm this first.
“She is a beauty in her twenties, wearing a military uniform with the emblem of House Ritreille. She has slit-like eyes.”
“Yes, that’s her. She isn’t a soldier, but a politician, and an important figure with many rumors. I’m glad that you told me that honestly.”

This was natural, since the Imperial army was paying my salary, not House Ritreille.
“Because I’m a soldier.”
“Very good, I’m starting to like you.”
Colonel Alzer laughed out loud, and unlike Duke Ritreille, that didn’t make me uncomfortable.
I didn’t know what their relationship was like, but I would rather join the Alzer faction.


The Colonel read through my records and nodded.
“Euner Krombertz … Krombertz is your sacred name? Can you tell me why you didn’t include your last name?”
“I was abandoned at a young age, and don’t know my last name.”
“Oh, I see, my apologies.”
“No, please don’t mind it.”

Sacred names were bestowed by the Empire’s Church, if one had the place of birth and Sacred Name, the Church could prove one’s identity. It was usually omitted, but for people without last names like me, we would usually include it.

“You passed the Military Academy’s entrance test at the young age of 15… But your results were average when you graduated.”
“Commoners would face all sorts of issues.”

To compete with the nobles, I had to be prepared for schemes and conspiracies. They truly believed that commoners and nobles were two different species, and wouldn’t even allow a competition to take place. I was lucky that I wasn’t killed.

“You were commissioned as an army Second Lieutenant after graduation, and had been serving as a line infantry Platoon Leader ever since.”
“Yes. I wanted to join the Accounting Department, but didn’t make it.”
Officers in the Accounting Department mainly deal with budgets and expenses, and in the Schweidel army, they were also responsible for supplies, logistics, and other miscellaneous tasks. They were technical officers in charge of administrative matters.

I wasn’t good in mathematics in my past life, but was great by the standards of commoners in the Schweidel Empire. Even in the Military Academy filled with talented people, I was above average.

“I heard that commoners would be posted to the infantry no matter what they learned in the Academy. The next in line of noble houses are posted to the Accounting Department and logistic positions.”
“That’s right, you got a problem with that?”

Colonel Alzer glanced at me, and I said expressionlessly.
“Not at all, we can’t let those brilliant minds die in battle like commoners. A lot of money is spent on their heads.”

Those guys would spend tons of money to hire top rated scholars to teach them personally. People like Newton or Kepler would tutor them in their homes.
With the money they made through tutoring, the scholars could indulge in their research too, so I was hesitant to complain about the nobles being sly.


Colonel Alzer smiled wryly.
“You are really sensible.”
“I’m just analyzing this logically.”
“That’s great, you are really growing on me.”
Was she being sarcastic? We just met recently, so I couldn’t be sure.
But she was cute even when she was smiling wryly… It seemed like I got a pretty good boss.




Chapter 6: The Five Royal Houses


Colonel Alzer flipped through the documents. “You achieved great war merits in all your battles, so why are you still a Second Lieutenant?” “Because I’m a Commoner……” I had gotten tired of explaining this. However, Colonel Alzer just smiled. “It’s true that you’re a Commoner and you don’t belonged to any factions of the 【Five Royal Houses.】 In our glorious Imperial army, you can’t make it big without the backing from the Five Royal Houses.” The 【Five Royal Houses】 were famous Houses that existed since the founding of the Schweidel Empire and had persisted until now. They were the descendants of the five Knights who conquered the Empire’s territories.

House Mediren and House Ritreille were part of the Five Royal Houses, and the heads of these houses were all part of the order of succession to the Imperial throne. However, that was just an honorary privilege, and had never been exercised before. The authority of the Five Royal Houses was absolute, and no matter how much land and money one possessed, if they couldn’t prove their blood relations with one of the Five Houses, they wouldn’t be recognized as nobles. The other nobles placed a lot of importance on their relationships with the Five Royal Houses, and formed five factions. On the other hand, Commoners could become nobles through marriage or adoption. One of my Commoner batchmates married a noble. He had a great relationship with his wife, and his promotion was also fast, and was already a First Lieutenant. “So, you have not married yet?” “I’m still single.” To be frank, I did have a few marriage interviews, but I turned all of them down. If I got married, I would need to work for my wife’s family, and would be looked down upon there. I would still be treated like a Commoner there after all. Dealing with relatives like that was just like a punishment game. So I answered frankly. “I’m not good with such troublesome matters.” “I see, the Sixth Special Brigade will take care of you then. There isn’t any politics inside this Brigade, so don’t worry.” “That will be a big help.” At this moment, Hannah suddenly walked up to me, and whispered into my ear. “The Brigade Commander’s House is the【Ring finger】, the main house of the Mediren clan.” “Main house!? Not a branch house with the same name?!” I couldn’t help yelling, and Colonel Alzer smiled awkwardly. “That’s how it is. And the biggest problem is that I’m in the line of succession, although I’m at the far end of the line.” “That surprised me.” The Five Royal Houses had a nominal ranking between them too, known as the five fingers. The Mediren House was ranked fourth, also known as the 【Ring Finger.】 They might be ranked fourth, but they still had tens of branch houses, controlled a large faction, and held major influence… That was what I remembered. “I’m the daughter of the House head two generations ago, born from his second wife. The current House head is my 44 years old nephew. By the way, don’t be mistaken, I’m just 22 years old.”‌‌‌ “… I see.” An aunt 22 years younger than him? That’s a tough position for the current House head. The head from two generations ago also worked hard … While I was thinking about something rude, Colonel Alzer sighed. “I don’t go by my last name to avoid giving trouble to the House head. Maybe I should give my Sacred Name instead. No, that’s …” She seemed troubled, so I couldn’t help asking: “What might your Sacred Name be, Colonel?” The Colonel looked at me a little begrudgingly. “Don’t laugh, okay? It’s 【Knightzer】” Alzer Knightzer. “Fufu.” The one who couldn’t help laughing wasn’t me, but Hannah. Colonel Alzer was displeased. “I said don’t laugh. My name is Alzer, why choose the name Knightzer. My name is not a poem, that damn bishop.” I almost laughed too, so please forgive me for reading this name out in Japanese. This was the sad fate of reincarnators. Anyway, she had a point. The 【Five Royal Houses】 held great authority and wealth, but they were accompanied closely by death if they acted inappropriately or misspoke. The records of the Empire’s nobles were filled with nobles who died from mysterious circumstances. Colonel Alzer was wary of that and chose to stay away from the political struggle to keep herself safe. The Colonel still looked unhappy. “Hannah, you already knew my Sacred Name, right? So how can you still laugh every time?” “S-Sorry! Fufufu …” Hannah saluted with her trembling body.


Colonel Alzer sighed and stood up. Hmm, she was unexpectedly short.

Citizens of Schweidel differed in size according to their status, and those from the Five Royal Houses should be taller. However, she was less than 1.5m tall, about standard for a Commoner.


Even when I was homeless, I would risk my life at times to hunt down proteins, so my height was around 1.8m, while Hannah was taller than me by a few centimeters. Normal Commoner men were around 1.6m.


The Colonel glared at us.

“You want to say something?”

“No…”

“I got my small stature from my mother’s side, my father likes petite ladies.”

The Mediren head from two generations ago must have completed his bucket list during the ending stage of his life.


The petite Colonel walked to my side with a dignified air. She was looking up at me, but she had a majestic aura of a noble.

She said in a formal tone.


“You’re unlucky to be posted here. We have an opening for a strategist, but you are just a Second Lieutenant, and there is no guarantee that you can earn war merits here. However, I have no intentions to let you go.”

“That might be true, but I’m fine with that.”

“Really?”


Colonel Alzer looked surprised.

“This Brigade is an empty shell. A Brigade should be made up of a few battalions, but we just have one company of female infantry of 150 soldiers.”

I see, because it’s a unit under the direct command of the 【Five Royal Houses】, so nominally, it’s referred to as a Brigade.

And I liked that.


Curious about my lack of reaction, Colonel Alzer probed me a little.

“You will have to take care of women soldiers until your retirement, that must be humiliating for a male officer…”

No, that sounded great.

Fantastic.

This would be the best job I could ask for.


I saluted excitedly:

“No, there is meaning in a tough battle, I will work hard to accomplish my mission.”

The Colonel showed obvious confusion.


“Are you serious?”

“Of course I am.”

Reincarnating in another world was the best.


The Colonel stared right at my face, as if she was looking at an exotic animal.

She then started laughing.

“Looks like I hit the jackpot.”

“Hmm?”


The Colonel said with a smile:

“I have been searching for a weirdo like you. So let me ask you again, please become my strategist.”

It seemed I was really popular for some reason.


And so, I stood up straight and saluted.

“Yes! I will serve you with all my heart!”

“Thank you, I have high expectations of you. Right now, I need your experience and knowledge for something.”

“Please speak your mind.”

Luck was finally on my side.




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