Saturday, April 23, 2022

Musket Girls! Chapter 27 ~30

 Chapter 27: Fort Defense Battle

Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

Fort Zeffel’s gate collapsed, and the burning debris stopped the enemy’s invasion. Even if they put out the fire, only infantry could go through, while the carriages and cannons would be blocked by the debris.

More importantly, with the collapse of the gates, the enemy was within our range of fire now.

Captain Dumble’s artillery Company started bombarding the enemy outside the gates.

The enemy’s formation fell into disarray, but quickly regained order and hid behind the walls that were still standing.

Unfortunately, they underestimated how rundown this fort was.


“I know, I know.”

Captain Dumble ordered loudly with a bitter face:

“Target the walls!”

The walls were already crumbling from the previous bombardment, so he continued firing at it.

The artillery unit never thought there would be a day where they would destroy their own walls.

They were baffled, but the shots still landed true, hitting the structural weak points of the walls.

The walls here were raised higher during the middle ages, and with interior corridors and other structures, the center mass of the walls was leaning outwards.

This design made it strong against attacks from the outside, but was weak from hits from the inside.

I wasn’t sure whether this was a mistake in the design or if the material and workmanship would be shoddy, but I would use this situation to my advantage.

After the upteenth shot, the huge stone structure started to crumble outwards. As expected, the engineering was shoddy.

Another few rounds landed true, and the walls started falling slowly, which was both spectacular and terrifying.

The Bruges army apparently suffered heavy damages from the collapse. We couldn’t tell for certain, but the walls must have fallen on dozens of soldiers.

Colonel Alzer put down her telescope and sighed softly.

“Is this really a fort defense battle?”

“It is.”

“My order is to stall for as much time as possible, right?”

“Yes, this is part of my stalling tactic.”

A short silence ensued.

“Isn’t this too much?”

“The more damage we deal to the enemy, the weaker their attack would be. Defending doesn’t mean we should take a beating one sidedly, sometimes, we need to attack more aggressively than the attackers to defend our fort.”

At least, that was what I learned in the Military Academy. We need to completely crush the enemy and make them regret their attack. And from my experience, this was very effective.

Colonel Alzer kept nodding.

“I see, that was very educational.”

“I’m flattered.”

“In that case, wouldn’t it be better to stuff explosive into the walls?”

“That’s… True.”

You’re thinking of something more terrifying than me. How far are you trying to blow the walls?

And Captain Dumble would never agree to that.

Oh, if we collapsed the walls inwards after all the enemy entered… that would be difficult to achieve, but it would be really cool. But the enemy would end up in an awful state.

I surveyed the field, and saw that the enemy had started to retreat. The place was filled with blue spots, marking the dead Bruges soldiers.

The Colonel looked back at me.


“The enemy’s strategy has been completely disrupted, right?”

“You are right.”

Colonel kept her eyes on me and asked:

“Tell me, what will happen next?”

Because of how serious the Colonel looked, I tensed myself up.

“The enemy commander must be thinking about the sunk cost.”

“Sung kost?”

Sorry, Schweidel didn’t have any words to express sunk cost.

“Well… Simply put he would have no other choice but to retreat. The commander suffered heavy losses in his attempt to capture this small fort, and would need to take responsibility.”

For the Bruges army that had already captured Godo Stronghold, taking Fort Zeffel was just cleaning up the battlefield after the war. They never thought they would face such stubborn resistance. I would feel the same if I was in his shoes, since normally, such a battle wouldn’t happen in this area.

A sure win battle turned into a heavy loss, and with how battered the fort was, they couldn’t capture much resources anyway.

I would hold my head in despair if I was that commander, since there was nothing to gain even if I won.

After the Colonel listened to my explanation, she nodded happily.

“I see, if he backs down now, the commander would be labelled as incompetent. Even if he captured this place, there wasn’t much merit either. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place.”

“That’s right. He doesn't want to humiliate himself further either, but I don’t know whether he will attack cautiously to limit his losses, or launch an all out attack to avoid a prolonged battle.”

“That’s true. If my opponent is a madman who can blow up his own gates, I will question whether the methods taught in the textbooks would work here.”

It’s embarrassing to be called a madman.

While we were chatting, the girls from the Sixth Special Brigade were still firing out of the Embrasuress. The tower had been surrounded by enemies that had spread out, and if we didn’t do something, they would encroach slowly and climb up the tower.

I smiled at the Colonel:

“In that case, we can relax for now. Captain Dumble must be tired now, why don’t you take over command, Colonel?”

“This is my first time though?”

“It will be fine if it’s the Colonel.”

If I was to describe this situation with Shogi, this was like abandoning most of the board and turtling with my gold general, silver general and knight. The formation was set up well, so it was fine to be reserved.

And this way, we could show the Colonel’s valour and popularity. Someone like me couldn’t take command though, I didn’t have the makings of a General.

And so, I got some free time. My role meant I would become a decoration when the plan was being executed.

“I will have breakfast then.”

“When we are surrounded by enemies?”

I smiled at the Colonel who was fighting her first battle.

“From now on, eating and sleeping while being surrounded by the enemy will become the norm.”

“That’s true, I will relax for a bit too.”

The Colonel waved her hand with a smile.

   *   *

As expected, the fort defense battle became a competition of morale.

The enemy didn’t dare to charge at us that day.

More accurately speaking, the enemy did send some scouts in through the debris of the gates, but they were shot down by the Sixth Special Brigade’s salvo.

Some of them made it to the buildings, but the path to the tower was already blocked off. While they were running around, we took them out with our cavalry guns.

The bravest of them all ran to the east wall to check on the cannon that had been abandoned there.

We already spiked the cannon, and that soldier was taken out by Lyra before he made it back with the intel.

Without the support of their artillery, the enemy line infantry couldn’t approach our tower.

The tower was different from the simple walls over there, the outer tower walls were tens of meters thick, and their hand cannons couldn’t even destroy our Embrasures.

The situation turned into a stalemate as planned.

The entire process was perfect, and we managed to buy time without doing anything. It was good enough to be recorded into text books. The instructors in the Military Academy would definitely lavish me with praise.

However, the soldiers under me didn’t think so.

Neither the Fort Zeffel garrison unit nor the Sixth Special Brigade had any experience in a fort defence battle. Being isolated by the enemy was very stressful to them.

They couldn’t sleep at night, found it hard to eat, and even bathroom trips were a hassle. Soldiers with such symptoms started appearing from the first day.

On the second day of the siege, I started wondering whether my plan was too shallow.

“Why the glum faces? Not enough sleep?”

The girls shook their heads quietly.

The movements and knowledge could be trained, but bravery was hard to temper, and could only be gained through battle experiences.

“The enemy won’t want to attack, and will send a messenger to coerce us to surrender in a few days. If we wait here, our reinforcements will come too.”

Hannah who looked sleep deprived asked on behalf of everyone:

“… Will they come?”

“If they don’t, then we don’t need to defend this fort anymore.”

Defending a fort without any reinforcements coming was akin to slow suicide, that was what the Military Academy taught.

“Even if the reinforcements came late, the Bruges army’s situation was not much better than ours. They came here by crossing the borders and climbing the mountains. Their supply line and retreat route are both a problem, so they won’t be as stubborn as us. And besides, they are still camping outside.”

From the living conditions, the side laying siege would be more tiring. At least we had roofs.

“We can chase away the enemy with artillery, so we just need to protect the cannon. This will be a piece of cake.”

At this moment, I heard something hitting the tower, probably a shot from a hand cannon. They were wary of our cannons, so they had to fire from afar. And of course, it didn’t damage the building at all.

They were probably hoping that the shot could fly in through the Embrasures. But the Embrasures were deep, so the chance of success was low.

Even so, this still surprised everyone, and I was spooked too.

We had plenty of food, ammunition and soldiers, but if our morale plummets, only a divine miracle could save us. The problem was, I wasn’t good at raising morale.

At this moment, the Colonel suddenly smiled, and said with a teasing tone:

“Everyone, please protect me, okay? I don’t want to surrender to the Bruges Duchy, and I don’t have any money to pay for my ransom.”

I did burn through a lot of the Colonel’s money… Colonel Alzer didn’t have much land, and her allowance was given by the Mediren main house, and they wouldn’t give her further support.

The girls’ faces turned serious.

“Of course!”

“I will protect you even if it kills me!”

“If not for Lady Alzer, my mother and I would have starved to death!”

“I will protect you! Because the Colonel is small and cute!”

She was really popular. I’m envious.

I was still a bit worried, but we managed to keep our morale up with the Colonel’s charisma.

At this moment, someone keeping watch shouted:

“The enemy is moving! They are in battle formation!”

Are they finally coming?

Chapter 28: The True Enemy

The Bruges line infantry formed ranks, and pushed forth in waves.

They didn’t hide their cannoneers this time, deploying them behind the line infantry to better control their shooting.

Captain Dumble issued his commands:

“Cannon 3, Cannon 4, turn to the enemy! On the double!”

He was planning to direct all five cannons at the enemy’s main forces. That was a wise judgment.

I whispered to Colonel Alzer:

“The detached units will approach the places with fewer cannons.”

“Got it. Second platoon, guard the Embrasures to our rear! First platoon, get ready to fire!”

“Cannon 1, prepare to fire! Target the center of the enemy line!”

The field cannons fired before the muskets did. They fired continuously with short intervals in between. The coordinated attacks hit the enemy’s formation. The field cannons might have small calibers, but still yielded great results because the enemy was clustered together.

“Adjust the aim! Zero towards the front! Stop the front ranks of the enemy from advancing!”

If the front ranks slowed down, the rear ranks would have to slow down too. If the entire army stopped in their tracks, then we could keep firing at them.

However, the enemy knew that too.

Infantry couldn’t sprint too far, they weren’t trained like professional athletes, and had to carry heavy muskets and bags.

If they sprinted at full speed and got out of breath, they wouldn’t be able to fight. So they couldn’t run even if they were exposed to enemy fire.

Sprinting would only be saved for the very last to end a decisive battle.

Colonel Alzer said to me:

“Can you tell the enemy’s intentions?”

“Right now, the most possible action should be to launch an all out attack at the tower, and infiltrate the courtyard through the debris. They will probably use the dormitory as the breech head, and invade the tower through the passage.”

The enemy didn’t have the firepower to destroy the tower, so they had to assault with their infantry.

The first floor of the tower was blocked, but if their pioneers worked hard enough, it was possible to clear the debris. The second floor also had a door linking to the north wall, and if they destroyed it with a hand cannon, then we wouldn’t be able to hold this place.

“We are completely dependent on the walls and cannons. If they break into our tower, then it is not possible to defend this place at all.”

“Is there anything we can do?”

“We need to protect the door and keep it from getting breached. The passages are narrow, so the attackers can’t overwhelm us with numbers, and we can buy more time.”

I didn’t expect the enemy to pressure us with force so soon.

If my predictions were true, then this wasn’t a bad thing.

“We can’t tell the troops, but the battle will be ending sooner than expected. And of course, it will end with our victory.”


“They can win by using some time to bring in the cannons, but they are rushing us with their infantry. Why would they do that?”

The Colonel finally realized.

“Our reinforcements are coming?”

At this moment, Staff Sergeant Hannah shouted:

“The enemy has stopped their attack! They are retreating!”

I took a look, and the enemy was leaving the tower swiftly. A bugle that sounded like a retreat order was being blown.

The Colonel and I went to the observation deck of the tower, and looked towards the side closer to the city.

“An unidentified Imperial cavalry is approaching, I can see infantry behind them.”

“If the cavalry is coming to charge their flanks, of course they will run. Well, we’re saved.”

Colonel Alzer sighed in relief, and perked up her ears.

“Can you hear that?”

Of course I heard that. I pushed down my service cap to hide my smile.

“It’s the marching tune of the Fifth Division.”

“Is that true, Lieutenant?”

“I’m certain. That imposing aura and disgusting old fashion theme is really nostalgic.”

In a siege, one had to be wary of the defenders’ reinforcements. A cavalry assault from the flanks or the rear could deal a fatal blow to the line infantry and artillerymen.

And of course, the Bruges army would be wary of that, so they started to flee when they noticed the incoming reinforcements. Well done.

News of the enemy’s retreat and the arrival of the reinforcements brightened the mood in the tower.

“Our allies are here!”

“Yes, we’re saved!”

“I thought we would die~!”

No no no, it was still too early to let our guards down.

I wanted to say that, but the enemy was retreating at an incredible pace. The battle appeared to be over, what a let down.

The Colonel looked at me and said:

“You looked like you still want to fight?”‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌

“No way, I’m just a junior officer who just wants to make a living.”


I smiled awkwardly. No, really, I was really scared of war.

When the last Bruges soldier disappeared behind the hills, hundreds of cavalry charged in from the city side. Seeing how fierce their charge was, I was glad that they were our allies.

“I have confirmed their banners, it’s the Fifth Division.”

The Colonel sighed.

“So this is the gift from Duke Ritreille? She took the tastiest part. Never mind, the rest will be my job.”

The Colonel put on her service cap again, tidied her appearance and smiled.

“I will go and greet the officers from the Fifth Division, come with me.”

That was my old workplace, I would prefer not to if possible.

   *   *

Colonel Alzer, Captain Dumble and I represented the garrison and received the officers from the reinforcements.

They were all shocked.

“How do I put this… the battle seemed to be very intense.”

The Battalion Commander, a Major, was dumbstruck when he saw the walls of Fort Zeffel.

One of their Company Commander, a Captain, was speechless.

“The enemy’s attack is really aggressive. I’m impressed that you held on to the fort.”

No, we were the ones who destroyed the walls. But no one would believe us anyway.

I peeked at Captain Dumble, and he used his gaze to tell me to “shut up”.

This place being an ammunition depot was a secret of the Third Division, and he couldn’t tell that to the Fifth Division. It was normal for each Imperial Division to have its own secrets.

I didn’t mind since I belonged to the Sixth Special Brigade. I had no interest in how the Third Division and the Fifth Division interacted with each other.

The officers of the Fifth Division looked at the collapsed walls and gates, and couldn’t help saluting Captain Dumble.

A Captain said:

“Captain Dumble, it must have been tough. We have pioneers with us, and they can start cleaning up right away. I will leave the repairs to the Third Division though.”

“Understood, I’m grateful for your assistance.”

The Battalion Commander then saluted Captain Alzer:

“The Fifth Division’s main forces will recapture Godo Stronghold. We are responsible for sweeping up the enemy remnants.”

“Oh, is that so?”

“Yes. The Division Commander would like to request the Sixth Special Brigade to keep watch over the surroundings.”

“We will gladly cooperate. We won’t abandon the brave warriors of Fort Zeffel. Do tell him that we will offer our assistance until the situation stabilizes.”


The war wasn’t over yet, but the Fifth Division would be the star of the show now.

That military uniform cos… No, Duke Ritreille, must be trying to create this situation.

The Colonel and I shared a wry smile as we walked.

“Your Excellency, we got played like a fiddle.”

“That’s right. The Third Division made a fool of themselves, and won’t be able to hold their heads up high before the Fifth Division. In other words, House Mildor will feel humbled by House Ritreille.”

“The third ranked of the 【Five Royal Houses】 won’t be able to raise their heads before the last ranked.”

“That’s it. That’s what that woman is aiming for.”

She used a war at the borders as a chip in a political struggle, which clearly crossed the line.

But that was how Schweidel was, this wasn’t rare in this nation.

I wondered why the Sixth Special Brigade existed.

“I think she wanted to mobilize the Fifth Division directly, but if Godo Stronghold doesn’t fall, the Third Division has no reason to accept reinforcements from another Division. However, as an individual unit, we are an exception.”

“Furthermore, showing up when the situation is dire will elevate the Fifth Division’s position. If the Fifth Division is garisonned here from the start, Godo Stronghold wouldn’t have fallen, and they will have much less to gain.”

“They will get a better reward if they wait… I see.”

The Colonel sighed and ruffled her head.

“That’s right. Really now, my apology before was a waste.”


“It’s nothing. I shouldn’t sympathize with that woman.”

The Colonel chuckled, then patted my back softly.

“Let’s take a look at Godo Stronghold before we head back. We should have the right to do that.”

“It’s as you say, Your Excellency.”

Let’s see what exactly happened there.

   *   *‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌

The banner of the Fifth Division was raised in Godo Stronghold that very evening.

The Bruges army retreated back to the borders immediately when they saw the Fifth Division. That was a little strange.

As for the reason… there appear to be some.

The east side of Godo Stronghold… which was the side facing Fort Zeffel, had been blown to bits. It was obviously caused by a gunpowder explosion, but the reason was unclear.

The eastern part of Fort Zeffel was battered too, and couldn’t serve as a frontline base even if they captured it.

Even if they used the battered Godo Stronghold to defend, the Bruges army couldn’t hold a candle against the Fifth Division.

So they fled.

Hmm… that seemed logical.

It could be explained that way, but it felt hard to accept.

But I should keep quiet if it was only this level of suspicion. I shouldn’t tell anyone except Colonel Alzer.

In the end, we were rejected politely at the gate, and didn’t enter Godo Stronghold.

The officers from the Third Division were quarreling about something at the gates, but were soon chased away by the officers from the Fifth Division.

“Lieutenant, from the looks of things, is the Fifth Division trying to seize Godo Stronghold?”

“It seems like it. I heard many key officers from the Third Division were killed in battle, and they lost a lot of soldiers and cannons. Even if they got their Stronghold back, they probably won’t be able to hold on to it.”

We trotted along on our warhorse as we chatted.

We didn’t enter Godo Stronghold, but since we were here, we decided to check out the west side of the Stronghold, which wasn’t visible from Fort Zeffel.

There were signs of intense battle everywhere… There were corpses of both friends and foes along the way as we rode cautiously.

“Should we go to the other Outpost Fort?”

“That’s too dangerous, I’m your only escort right now.”

“Your status requires an escort too.”

“Then I will be counting on you for that.”

While we were chatting, I noticed something weird.

“Your Excellency, look at that.”

“You mean that black dot?”

We raised our telescopes and looked at the things on the hill in the distance.

The Colonel muttered:

“Those seem to be cannons, and they are aimed in this direction. Did the Bruges army leave them behind? Our forces are recovering them, is there a problem?”

I didn’t know whether I should tell her the truth, and decided to do so as the Colonel’s strategist.

“I have seen something identical to that… They looked just like the siege cannons from the Fifth Division.”


Siege Cannons were huge and few in numbers, so I wouldn’t get it wrong. I had been tasked with escorting them on the battlefield before.

After pondering for a while, the Colonel asked:

“I want to take a closer look, what do you think?”

The next moment, I felt a chill on my neck. It was the 【Scythe of the Death God】.

I didn’t know why, but if we went there, we would die.

So I shook my head.

“It’s too dangerous, we need to be wary of things that shouldn’t be here.”

While we were talking about that, something was approaching the Schweidel soldiers recovering the cannons. They were friendly cavalry.

They must be the cavalry from the Third Division. The edge of their service cap had the colors of the Third Division.

The Third Division cavalry greeted the recovery team, then dismounted and approached the cannons. They were chatting with the recovery team, and there didn’t seem to be any problems.

The next instant, the recovery team stabbed them in the back.

Before the cavalry could head back, the recovery team assaulted them.


The Colonel was shocked. The cavalry team had been wiped out.

I moved my horse near the Colonel, and warned:

“Let’s hide.”

We moved the horses into the grass, and lowered our body. They shouldn’t be able to see us from this distance.

As I expected, the recovery dragged the bodies of the cavalry team away from our sights while they kept watch of the surroundings.

The brim of the recovery team’s service cap was the color of the Third Division, but they were obviously not from the Third Division.

“The Fifth Division, or the Bruges army? Which side do you think they are from?”

“They are more likely to be from the Fifth Division. It’s very difficult to move the cannons to the Bruges borders.”

I was curious about their identity too, but for now, I just needed to know if they were the enemy.

We sneaked away quietly, then looked at each other.

“The Bruges army invasion this time has more conspiracy than I imagined.”

“Yes. We need to be more careful around Duke Ritreille now. She is too dangerous.”

Chapter 29: Promotion to First Lieutenant

After that, we safely returned to the Sixth Special Brigade headquarters, and miraculously, we didn’t lose anyone. I was already prepared to lose a few soldiers, so this made me really happy.

Even though no one died, there were many sick and wounded. One lost her left index finger, another lost an eye, and many suffered cuts and bruises.

Luckily, the engagement occurred from a long distance this time, so no one died. But the body parts they lost were gone forever, and considering how young they were, I felt more responsible for it.

Inside my office, Platoon Leader Hannah handed me the report for the campaign.

“Aside from the wounded, around ten soldiers fell ill during the march and the siege. There are a few who can’t fight because of menstrual pain.”

“That can’t be helped, soldiers are human too, and will fall ill when they are exhausted.”

“Yes, it’s all thanks to the third platoon who came to fetch us, their wagon is a big hit.”

“Hahaha, is that so?”

That wagon was meant to fetch the sick and wounded away if Fort Zeffel fell. It wasn’t used that way, but that was for the best.

I would rather for this insurance to be wasted.

I exhaled in relief.

“We are lucky that no one died, that is normally impossible, this is the first time that has happened to me.”

Hannah, who had a well toned body, held the report before her chest with a smile.

“Everyone is saying that the Colonel and the Lieutenant chased the Death God away.”

But the Death God was me though.

I should give her a reminder.

“Best not to assume such ‘luck’ will happen again. The Fort Zeffel garrison lost around a dozen men.”

“Y-Yes Sir.”

To be frank, this wasn’t really luck, we just transferred the losses to our allies.

So the truth was, I caused the death of a dozen soldiers. Fort Zeffel lost almost 40% of their garrison infantry, and half of that was a result of my tactic.

One day, I might have to send at least half of the Sixth Special Brigade to face certain death. That would be a problem, so I needed to be a better Strategist.

I scratched my head.

“As a whole, the result is quite good, but there are many things we need to reflect on. I’m far from being a good Strategist.”

“Is that so? But everyone is praising you.”

“I’m grateful for their compliments…”

I looked at the map on the table.

“But from the big picture, the Empire suffered losses one-sidedly in this conflict. The Godo Stronghold and the surrounding forts were destroyed, and the Third Division lost many officers and men. The Bruges now have the advantage at our borders.”

And of course, the Bruges army didn’t gain much despite their great results. The Fifth Division had to garrison in the Mildor territory and continue to keep watch.

The Fifth Division probably planned to control a part of the Mildor territory permanently.

“So only that person benefited from this?”

“That person?”

“No, it’s nothing. This time, only the Death God reaped a bountiful harvest.”‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‌‌

Only Duke Ritreille gained from this, she felt more like a Death God than me.

Her nature and schemes were a shared secret between the Colonel and me. Duke Ritreille wouldn’t let anyone who knew this secret get away. If she couldn’t control those people, she wouldn’t hesitate to dispose of them.

While I was thinking about that, Hannah kept staring at me.

“Strategist Sir, are you hiding something?”
She might look ditzy, but was unexpectedly sensitive.

I stood up and put on my service cap.

“Well then, I need to meet the Colonel to talk about work.”

“Ah, how sly!?”

What did you mean by sly?

“I will leave the troops to you, Staff Sergeant Hannah. Especially the wounded, I need you to soothe them.”

“I will work hard…”

Leaving behind Hannah, who was throwing a tantrum for some reason, I went out to the corridor. I didn’t want such a good kid to get dragged into the complicated schemes of the nobles.

I walked down the long corridor towards the Brigade Commander Office.

But I stopped along the way because of the sweet perfume lingering in the air.

It was that woman.

Duke Ritreille was walking this way.

Why was she here?

With that in mind, I straightened my back and saluted on reflex.

Duke Ritreille also stopped in her tracks.

“As expected of 【Death God Krombertz】.”

That was unpleasant. Very few people would mention that to my face. For a soldier, causing the death of your allies was a disgrace.

“I’m Strategist Second Lieutenant Euner Krombertz. I don’t go by any other name.”

“Is that so?”

Duke Ritreille replied lazily, I probably wasn’t important to her.

I didn’t plan to wag my tail at her. On one hand, I didn’t like her. On the other hand, I might not gain anything by currying favour with her. Duke Ritreille wouldn’t hesitate to abandon an ally.

So I might as well let her detest me.

“The name Death God suits you better.”

“Oh my, thank you. I will take that as a compliment.”

The beautiful women smiled seductively. Just by her outer appearance, she was really beautiful…

Duke Ritreille should know what I meant.

‘I know your nature, but I’m not afraid of you.’

It meant something like that.


Well, she came all this way, so I might as well humor her.

“Please don’t forget that even Death Gods can die.”

“Thank you for your kind advice.”

What, are you trying to kill me off? I could feel some goosebumps.

Duke Ritreille didn’t say anything else and walked away slowly. Phew, this unpleasant conversation finally ended.

When she walked past me, I heard her mutter:

“Next will be the 【Second Rank】, should I kill more this time?”

What was that?

The second ranked, did she mean the second of the 【Five Royal Houses】?

That woman was evil to the bone.

As her footsteps grew faint, I started walking quietly.

I didn’t turn back, but the scary atmosphere from behind made me shudder. It was enough to overwhelm her perfume.

What would happen to this country…

   *   *

“I’m looking forward to the future, Second Lieutenant. Oh, pardon me…”

The Colonel said with a smile:

“I mean First Lieutenant.”

I suddenly became a First Lieutenant.

At a time like this?

I looked at her with surprise, and the Colonel smiled awkwardly.

“Because Duke Ritreille manipulated from behind the scenes, and you are highly evaluated for your work in the defense of Fort Zeffel. Most importantly, the Fifth Division Commander wrote a long letter of recommendation, saying 《He is an outstanding officer who served the Fifth Division with excellence. He should be given a status befitting his abilities to better serve the Empire》.”


I knew Duke Ritreille’s character, she wasn’t interested in righteous people. She wasn’t someone who would repay a debt either.

“Well, since she gave out this favor, I will gladly accept it…”

“That’s right, you will get a salary raise with your promotion. Given your age, you will definitely reach the rank of a Field Officer in the future.”

That was true, I was on the same path as a noble Officer. Commoner Officers could be promoted to Captain in his fifties, but a Noble Officer could be a Major before thirty.

The Colonel looked at me with sympathy.

“Duke Ritreille really likes you. When she mentioned you, she looked like she wanted to eat you up.”

“Thank you for that valuable information, Your Excellency. Although I would rather not know.”

We smiled at each other wryly, and the Colonel said:

“To be honest, it will be better for me if your words carry more weight. I will be in your care in the future too.”

“It would be an honor if I could share your burden.”

I saluted, then accepted the First Lieutenant epaulet from the Colonel.

Sigh, it couldn’t be helped, I had to work harder for the sake of everyone.

Chapter 30: Brigade Reorganization

The Sixth Special Brigade might have completed its debut battle, but many problems arose after that. Or rather, these problems would only surface after a battle.

“But there are too many problems.”

The Colonel sighed in her Brigade Commander Office.

“First, how’s the preparation for the gun?”

“We can get three more this month.”

“That’s too few, and there are a lot of problems after inspecting them.”

She was right, and I was very troubled by this too.

“This can’t be helped, since the work is done underground without the knowledge of the guild, we can’t be too brazen about it.”

And that workshop was famous in the underground world, so they had many old customers too.

Hence, if a request from a regular came in, the orders from new customers would be delayed. This had nothing to do with status or position, this was a business built entirely on trust.

“Do you know what a Clay Drill is?”

“It’s a tool used by potters, right?”

“It can be modified to work on metal, and carve out the rifling one by one. However, this would take a lot of time.”

Their skills were passable, and could keep a secret if you pay the price, and they wouldn’t use shoddy material.

But in exchange, their production rate couldn’t be raised.

The Colonel sighed.

“Might as well hire them to the Mediren territory, and be the exclusive craftsmen of my House? Since I’m using my own money, the House head won’t have any problems with that.”

“They are an underground workshop, and they would lose their lives if they did that.”

They specialized in shady requests like assassination weapons and tax evasion vaults, so if they closed shop, their clients would seal their mouths.

“It can’t be helped then. Let’s train our own craftsmen then. If we only depend on that workshop, we won’t be able to equip our troops with cavalry guns and fight.”

“It is as you say.”

“On to the next problem.”

The Colonel looked troubled.

“There are many soldiers who expressed their fear of firing a gun. They don’t want to kill people or be killed.”

“That is normal.”

Or rather, the others adapted too quickly. They were really resolved.

“The Company only has ten soldiers with this problem, but that number might increase. They might have to leave the unit. But the problem is, they don’t have anywhere to go. It will be a problem for us since we are trying to expand the Brigade’s combat numbers.”

“That’s a big problem.”

“There’s more.”

The Colonel leaned in close.

“It seems Duke Ritreille is trying to use the Sixth Special Brigade like her chess piece, and loan it out to other Divisions. She is negotiating something with House Zichtberg.”

“The Second Division, huh.”

That House controlled the Second Division, and was ranked second in the 【Five Royal Houses】.

The Sixth Special Brigade’s Headquarters was situated in the space between the influence of House Mildor and House Zichtberg, so it made sense to ask us for aid.

“In order to sell us for a good price, she requested us to increase our numbers. She says she will provide us with money and resources as support.”

“We can’t grow stronger with just money.”

I see, that was a lot of problems.

I thought about it, then smiled at the Colonel.

“Let’s solve all three problems in one shot.”

“Can that be done?”

“I can’t guarantee it will be perfect, but I can make the Colonel’s frown disappear. You’re a beauty, so don’t let this matter tarnish your charm.”

When I said that, the Colonel touched the spot between her brows.

“Don’t tease me… I will leave it to you then.”

“Yes Mdm.”

   *   *

That evening.

“I have sorted out the plan to reorganize the unit.”

“That fast?”

The Colonel looked shocked. I felt happy seeing my boss like this.

“First, I want to change the makeup of the Company from 3 platoons to 2 platoons. Our cavalry guns are limited, so we can’t strengthen our units even if we have more infantry.”

We could only get a few cavalry guns every month, and wouldn’t have enough for the next battle.

“Next, choose a small team of infantry consisting of troops who are lacking in firing speed, accuracy and mental fortitude, and assign them to other jobs.”

“Other jobs?”

“Like Military band or messenger riders.”

The Fort Zeffel defense battle made me realize that bugles and other means to relay orders were needed to properly command soldiers. Even if I shouted at the top of my lungs, I could only command 50 people, and directing other detachments would be very difficult.

“They might not dare fire muskets, but they can at least blow a bugle. They won’t die from blowing a bugle, and since they don’t like guns, then they can train to blow bugles, or horsemanship.”

“I also need runners…”

The Colonel thought for a moment, then nodded.

“That’s fine, can you train them?”

“I can’t manage this alone, so we need to find talents from the Company who can do this.”

I handed her the documents, and the Colonel browsed through it.

“The instructor for the Military band is Lania? I recall she is a wandering musician from Fenise.”

“Yes, it will be easier to find her name from the bottom of the firing accuracy and result test, but she is proficient in any instrument.”

“Next, the horsemanship instructor is Satula. I know she is a wanderer, but I didn’t know she is good at riding.”

“She is from the Kionis Commonwealth and was in the Kionis special cavalry, the Kionislan.”

The Kionis Commonwealth was a nation with a different religion, a nation made up of dozens of nomadic tribes and kings.

The Kionis cavalry was the warrior of the various tribes, and all of them were excellent riders proficient in lances and bows. They were especially fierce when fighting for their own tribe.

“Her tribe was wiped out by another tribe, and she wandered to Schweidel.”

“That place is always engulfed in civil war…”

They didn’t really identify as a nation, and always engaged in war on the level of tribes.

However, when another country invaded, they would unite and resist fiercely, and was a troublesome foe for the Empire.

“It’s great if she’s from Kionis, I can get a few unused war horses from the main House.”

As expected of House Mediren from the Five Royal Houses, they actually had unused war horses. They were expensive, and from the perspective of my previous life, they were like armoured vehicles. Just the maintenance fee would burn through a lot of cash.

“Alright then, there’s one more thing.”

“What is it?”

“I want to set up an artillery unit.”

I submitted the document detailing my plan.

“I realized from the battle a few days ago that we can’t fight without cannons, so we will need our own artillery battery. We also have people who are not suitable to join the infantry, but they might be suitable to join the artillery.”

We were short on people, so it would be a problem if people left the brigade. Hence, we needed jobs aside from the infantry to keep them in the Brigade, I worked really hard on that.

The Colonel flipped through the plan and glanced at me.

“What about the instructor for artillery skills?”

“Captain Dumble sent me a letter, saying he will send me my batchmate from the Academy.”

“The Third Division? That’s really generous of them.”

“He hurt his leg during the last battle and can’t fight any more, that’s why they dumped him on us…”

He might be forced to retire from the force, and asked through a letter whether the Sixth Special Brigade could take him in. It also said “If it’s you, I can be assured that he will be in safe hands.”

Since he went that far, I couldn’t reject him either. The person coming over was a good friend of mine during my days in the Academy.

“I can guarantee his character and abilities, he knows how to treat women, and is married. I think he will fit right in with this Brigade.”

“I will believe you since you say so. That settles the instructors, what about the cannons?”

I shrugged.

“As we discussed, please ask Duke Ritreille to provide the resource. She has so many cannons that she even lent them to the Bruges army.”

“That’s true, I will try to get them to hand over some of the Fifth Division cannons.”

The Colonel was outstanding in negotiation and politics, and should be able to pull some strings from the dark. In such a situation, it was fine to be a little underhanded, but an artillery unit was a must.

If we didn’t have cannons during the defense of Fort Zeffel, it would have fallen in half a day.

The Colonel looked up at me with her hand supporting her cheek.

“You are a really reliable Strategist.”

“I’m flattered.”

“Should I task you with a more difficult mission?”

“Please give me a break.”

If she really asked me, I would try my best though.

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