Chapter 89 – Tactical victory, strategic defeat


<– Previous Chapter | Glossary | ToC | Next Chapter –>


 

One week after we captured the Talberg Mountain Fortress we were still besieged by fresh forces of the rebel army.
The number of rebels encircling us over here is around 10.000 in estimation.
Without starting a siege battle, they at first sent a messenger to demand our capitulation following etiquette. Next they examined our side from outside the range of Wilma’s magic sniper rifle.
The reason for that is probably because many magicians with a lot of mana were sniped one after the other by Wilma who should be someone that kills in such way for the first time.
Of course superior magicians tried to defend with 『Magic Barrier』, but with me stacking 『Burst』 onto the bullets, their barriers were penetrated and erased.
Many of them passed away by getting their heads pulverized. The remaining magicians launched spells in retaliation, but those were blocked by Burkhart-san, Doushi and the magicians of the Mizuho national army.
Because our side devoted itself to defence, with the exception of the sniping, it turned into a far more disadvantageous situation for the rebel army’s magicians.
As they didn’t have any high-ranking magicians to begin with, the rebel army that lost in the magic battle retreated outside the magic sniper rifle’s range and returned to its original plan of besieging us.

“They are not coming any closer, right?”

“They will storm the fortress after starving and weakening us. Or they will demand surrender, I guess.”

As I’m looking at the enemy army in the distance from atop the wall together with Takeomi-san, they don’t move.
Since they are calculating that our food will be used up soon, their plan is probably to avoid acting unreasonably.
The one who was currently following me was Haruka’s elder brother, Takeomi-san. This person was quite decent as long as his younger sister wasn’t involved.
There’s nothing strange about this statement whatsoever.

“But then again, we haven’t used up our food, but…”

It was unknown whether Therese made me participate due to foreseeing this situation, but we pulled through the shortage with the food stored away in my magic bag.

『Earl-sama, you are carrying a large amount of food, right? Didn’t you return the share of Margrave Breithilde’s expedition in the past?』

『It’s just stuff that piled up after buying it.』 (Wendelin)

『Is that what you call, as long as one is prepared…』 (Burkhart)

『Burkhart-san, how about you?』

『Me, Doushi and Katharina-jou-chan got at least our own shares covered.』

I don’t know what other people own. At any rate, there’s no problem with me stockpiling it since it won’t spoil.
Besides, if you have money, it will cause one to buy impulsively after all.
There are also the things I haven’t sold off like the ingredients we obtained by hunting and gathering in the Demon Forest. I bought a large amount of food after coming to the empire as well.
Thanks to that, our allies aren’t starving at the moment.
It’s likely owed to me being taught by master to maintain a large amount of food in my magic bag.
However, it’s only overwhelmingly a lot for a single individual.
When it comes to feeding 1500 people, it would sooner or later hit the limit.

『Even so, it’s amazing since you let 1500 people eat for more than a week.』

『I’m the type who doesn’t take food lightly.』

『I do understand that after seeing this.』

There’s also the food we brought along with the army to begin with and the little bit of food left behind in the fortress, but as expected, one more week will probably be the limit.
According to the strategic plan, it was scheduled for food and dedicated guards to arrive here right after we captured the fortress, but it was unthinkable for them to get through with this perfect encirclement.

“I guess they will realize it any time now?”

“They shouldn’t notice it for a few more days.”

If it doesn’t concern his younger sister, Takeomi-san is usually an excellent subordinate and swordsman.
The reason for us acting as if we are running low on food is to trigger a needless offensive once they think that they have leeway to do so.
It might be wrong if we don’t fight them eventually, but currently it was necessary to prepare for a fortress defence battle first.
This Talberg Mountain Fortress apparently didn’t receive much of a budget.
Contrary to its appearance from far away, it has worrying parts in its defence capabilities due to the lack of maintenance. I got stuck fixing various of those with my magic.

“They shouldn’t have been suspicious of us at the occasion when we returned the prisoners.”

At the time when we got surrounded by the rebel army in the beginning, we released everyone that became a prisoner in the previous siege battle.
Even if they stayed here, they would be a hassle to take care of. After all they would also consume food.
Given that it was an unconditional release, Toyotsugu-san gave the commander of the rebel army a him befitting vocal message of 『It’s an expression of respect towards the soldiers of the enemy army that fought bravely』, but the enemy army very likely believed that we considered the prisoners, who would pointlessly consume our food, as burden.
Since we sent them back without asking for ransom or a prisoner exchange, the other side should believe that we made a bitter decision in order to lower the food consumption.

“We have to throw them off guard a bit more, I guess.”

Due to the fact of us being besieged by the rebel army that appeared right after we occupied the Talberg Mountain Fortress, the same thing should have happened in the other occupied territories.
Without a doubt Therese has to send out soldiers as rear guard.
It’s highly likely that we will be put off going by priority and numbers of military forces. In that case gaining time might be the best plan.

“She will probably prioritize young Duke Baden and his followers.”

“Yes…”

It’s young Duke Baden that destroyed himself after proposing an excessively aggressive plan, but since he’s an influential ally, she can’t let him die without helping either.
If he died in action, there was the possibility of the Duke Baden household changing to the rebel army’s side in fear of the safety of Duke Baden who’s said to have been captured by Duke Nürnberg.

“Besides, this place won’t fall that quickly.”

“True.”

When the two of us went to the Mizuho national army’s encampment after descending from the wall that had already been repaired and reinforced, Toyotsugu-san and the top brass under him were having a meal.
The menu consists of something resembling vegetables and meat in soy sauce with grilled bread.
Also, in addition to this, I provided them with chocolate and native fruits of the Demon Forest.
Commonly there’s a great difference in army meals between soldiers and those above knights.
It seems there are even some among the nobles that bring their own cooks along, but now everyone was taking the same meal.
Since it’s a fortress defence battle where the mental condition and morale of the soldiers will be important, it’s possible for us to suffer an unforeseen defeat if only the top brass eats delicious food and drinks alcohol.

“I want to eat fish, you know.”

“I want to have my fill on drinks after quickly beating and killing that bunch.”

“I think it’s already a luxury that we can eat decently. If it wasn’t for Earl Baumeister-sama, we would have run out of food by now.”

The top brass of the Mizuho army eats their provided food quickly.
Since we are in a war, it seems to be crucial etiquette to eat swiftly.

“It looks like we will be provided with rice tomorrow?”

“Yes, though it’s the southern rice…”

I answer Toyotsugu-san’s question.
It was the rice originating from Breitburg which I considered as delicious at the time when I first obtained it in my childhood, but if you compare it to the rice domestically produced in Earl Mizuho Country, its taste loses out no matter what.
Given that the south has a mild climate and an abundance of water, it’s possible to harvest twice a year, but compared to the north that can’t grow rice more than once a year, it’s inferior in taste.
Rice becomes delicious with an extreme variation between hot and cold temperatures.
This is something I’ve heard often in my time as salary man.
The evaluation of rice from Niigata and the Tohoku region is high. Such is also the reason why the rice of western Japan isn’t that famous.
In addition there’s also the influence of water quality. But this is also better on the side of Earl Mizuho Country that can use thawed water.
Moreover, although the yield will drop, it’s actually easy to improve the taste of rice by growing it in mountainous areas.
In reality the rice that has been cultivated in the mountains among the rice produced in Earl Mizuho Country had a higher price with its low amount of yield.
I bought it as well. When I tried to cook it as test, it was really delicious.
It was completely as if eating Koshihikari. (T/N: rice sort, google it if you want)
On the other hand its price is two shu per 10 kilogram, 20.000 yen in Japanese currency (around 180 $).
It seems that it reached this price since it’s being exported to the empire as high-class food.

“I won’t complain as long as I can eat rice. Besides, I’d like to thank you for even providing alcohol for us.”

As one-time exception, I provided one cup worth of alcohol to all of them.
It was something similar to rum that I had forcibly brewed with magic using sugar of which I possessed large amounts as ingredient, but it was popular among the soldiers who were unable to prepare alcohol due to the sudden fortress defence battle.

“The truth is that I have various others as well, but…”

All of the alcoholic drinks that I couldn’t share with all soldiers had been sealed away.
After all we would incur the soldiers’ displeasure if we ate the delicious things only among ourselves.
Given that discord inside a closed-off space such as a fortress defence battle will explosively spread from the most trivial things, the act of just the leaders drinking alcohol or eating special dishes had been prohibited.

“Though in my heart I want to drink your treasured wine even if I have to buy it for five times the market price, Earl Baumeister-sama. Let’s do that after cutting our way out from here.”

“If we get through this, I will sell it a lot more cheaply. No, I will offer you one for free.”

“That’s appreciated. Let’s rampage around in proportion to that wine later.”

Besides, it has actually produced profits already.
The majority of the food necessary for holding the fortress was provided by me, but it’s definitely not for free.
I will send all the claims to Therese.That sum of money will be considerably higher than the market price.
After all I will charge her while adding a transportation fee.

『Wend, is it really no problem to go with three times the market price?』

Ina, who is keeping the account book of the provided food as it’s necessary to write down the bills, asked for confirmation due to my instructions.
She’s most likely considering it to be too much of a rip-off.

『It’s Therese’s error that invited this situation.』

The failure of providing supplies is the duty of the supreme commander, Therese, who should take responsibility for it. Because it’s me who has to clean up her mess, it’s only natural for the remuneration to have an increased amount.
Besides, it’s not good for Therese to create too many debts towards me.

『It would be better for me to be considered a stingy man despite having achieved military gains by the other retainers and nobles.』

It’s a precaution so that the other side won’t think of lending and borrowing as they please.
Looking at the war progress so far, Therese will likely be stuck suffering with the reorganization of the empire’s domestic affairs for a while even if she wins.
For that empire it would be troublesome if they consider me getting involved with it.
A person who takes their reward greedily as mercenary is actual of more benefit to her.

『Since it’s Therese-sama, I believe that she will understand your intentions, Wend, but she will likely cry about the piled-up expenses.』

『I won’t take responsibility for it to that extent.』

Such arguments exist as well. Therese should be quite troubled in working out a reward for us.
If she unskilfully assigns territory or concessions to us, there will be opposition in her surroundings. If she changes it into a loan, she will end up increasing her debt towards us.
Therese has the obligation to pay the reward to us in one batch.

“For the people of Earl Mizuho Country, the state of the empire’s government being somewhat weakened is convenient.”

Although it’s a protectorate, seeing that there are too many people like Duke Nürnberg, it’s wrong for Earl Mizuho Country to always exist as imaginary enemy for the empire.
Even in the current joint army, by no means did they participate just out of good will.

“Anyhow, we won’t be able to receive that reward if we can’t win.”

“Certainly, there’s no point if we don’t win.”

Several days after that talk, the rebel army finally made its move.
As if checking the situation little by little, they climbed the mountain road directly in front of the Talberg Mountain Fortress’ gate.
Influenced by the width of the mountain road, the number of military forces that can attack simultaneously in front of the gate is around 2000 people, I suppose.
However, if they can attack in turns, there was the danger of the rebel army capturing the fort since they had 10.000 soldiers.

“The magicians are getting a VIP protection…?”

Being vigilant of Wilma’s previous sniping, they, who had their numbers decreased, were assigned to act as guards for nobles and such.
Once I observe their military forces in detail, I can see that they are a mixed army of feudal armies that joined the rebel army.
Having personally seen the last moments of the magicians that got sniped, they seem to devote themselves to their own protection.

“They are not wrong. After all it’s troublesome if a noble family head dies.”

It’s inevitable for the feudal army to fall into disorder once its top vanishes.
There are also many who end up being regarded as only trying to avoid getting wounded or killed by themselves, but since that might be because of the difference in their conduct until now, I can’t say anything about it.

“What will you do, Wend?”

“I will test my new weapon.”

“Is it fine if I throw this huge jute bag?”

“I leave it to your superhuman strength, Luise.”

“As I’m only increasing my power with magic, it’s not like I’m usually that strong though…” (Luise)

It seemed that she was a bit unhappy with me treating her as possessor of superhuman strength, but Luise threw the spherical jute bag that was prepared below her feet with its diameter of one meter towards the marching enemy army.
The soldiers hurriedly evaded the jute bag that flew several hundred meters after getting boosted with mana, but I ignited the jute bag just before it hit the ground with magic.
The jute bag caused a huge explosion originating from its centre. As it was stuffed with things like bullets prepared by me, sharp rock fragments and metal pieces that have no other use but getting melted down, those were scattered into the surroundings and many soldiers became victims to them.
In regards to its power, the fragments that flew towards nobles were blocked by the 『Magic Barriers』 of the guarding magicians, but it’s not like the nobles are the targets.
By wounding and killing as many soldiers as possible, it turned into a situation of them giving up on a siege battle.

“I ended up throwing all of them.”

“It’s that kind of weapon. It has an amazing power.”

The total number of prepared jute bags with fragments in them was 10. All of them exploded close to marching soldiers and caused many victims.
There weren’t that many dead, but there are many soldiers wounded by the fragments.
The heavily injured soldiers are safe and they get pulled back to the rear by the lightly injured soldiers.

“They won’t be able to participate in the attack until their treatment finishes.”

In addition it will increase the burden on the campaign priests who shouldn’t have been replenished overly much.
If they bolster the attack unreasonably before they can recover their mana after having lost it due to the many injured, it’s easy to expect that they won’t be able to save the wounded as they won’t be able to heal them.
It was something we prepared for the sole reason of stalling.
Given that there have been definitely casualties above the three-digits, it was effective, even as offensive weapon.

“Wend, you are vicious, aren’t you?”

“Uh huh. I will receive those words as praise.” (Wendelin)

“As a husband you are quite reliable, I guess. But why did those explode?”

“I used unused magic stones scraps.” (Wendelin)

If it’s on Earth, one would likely use gunpowder, but I don’t possess the knowledge how to manufacture gunpowder.
I feel like I heard that the materials are charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre, but the actual mixture of those is difficult. It will be troublesome if I cause a detonation during the mixing.
Besides, why should I, who can use magic in this world predominated by magic, have to popularize gunpowder?
It couldn’t be helped if someone invented it, but in reality I don’t have any worries on that side.
That’s because of the magic guns that shoot mana bullets implemented by Earl Mizuho Country.
There’s no doubt that both countries will devote all their effort on spreading these.

“Magic stones, you say?”

“It’s necessary to meddle with them a bit though.”

Among the magic stones that can be obtained by hunting monsters there are many which don’t fetch much of a price because they have too little mana within them or are too small.
There’s also the way of treating them as consumable goods just like firewood and charcoal for the production of magic tools, but since there isn’t that much demand for that, the adventurer’s guild doesn’t pay much for them.
It seems there was a technology to create magic gems from a large amount of magic stones scraps during the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization, but unfortunately that’s still being researched for now.
It’s not like the magic tool guild and the sorcery guild have increased their demand in regards to the quantity in order to experiment on it. Thus I pointlessly stored away the magic stone scraps I gathered.
Putting these magic stone scraps into a jute bag and creating a core of a size around that of a dodge ball, I have altered the property of their mana by casting the 『Tuning』 spell.
Next I created a big bag by placing the previous jute bag with the magic stone scraps bag in the middle and filling up the rest of the space with stones, iron scraps and bullets. After throwing it to a distant place, explosion magic is cast on it at just the right moment.
It’s something that’s aiming for the same effect as a burst bullet, but what becomes the key here is the 『Tuning』 of mana.
I use 『Tuning』 on the mana properties of the magic stone scraps which are slightly different from my own mana’s.
Once I do this, the magic capacity of the magic stone scraps becomes around half of before, but if I don’t do this, I won’t be able to ignite them from a further distance.
It can be regarded as a fishy method, but since my opponent in war is currently a large army I want to economize on my mana as much as possible.
If it’s this method, I can save a far bigger amount of mana than firing spells from a distance with the same amount of mana.

“I also think that it’s fine as long as it’s usable.” (Armstrong)

Doushi who can’t use 『High-Speed Flight』 due to the blockade of movement magic, boosted his physical strength with mana and continued to throw stones.
He has likely chosen that method because there are as many throwable stones as he wishes.
Soldiers directly hit by a stone stopped moving, but the efficiency isn’t really that good.
Doushi currently didn’t use the snake-emitting spell as its mana consumption is intense in relation to its power.
He’s probably considering throwing stones as sufficient since there’s still a distance to the rebel army.

“Those guys won’t stop their advance, will they?”

Even while suffering several hundred casualties due to Doushi’s stone throwing and my self-made explosion balls, the rebel army is gradually approaching the main gate.
The nobles don’t have any sense of impending danger since they are protected by 『Magic Barriers』 cast by the few magicians. It looks like they intend to continue to attack.
While Burkhart-san strengthens the attacks of our allies’ archers with magic, he observes the movements of those magicians.

“I guess the magicians won’t shift to offence?”

“The nobles are not a bunch that will give an order to attack to the degree of losing their own protection.”

The skill and equipment of the mixed units of the rebel army are inferior to that of the imperial army and the mixed units of the prince-electors’ feudal armies we battled before.
While we are at it, they don’t seem to be used to the command chain of military forces either.
They might believe that they will win if they simply flood the main gate with large numbers.

“The other side is heartless as well, I guess.”

Burkhart-san shows a stunned expression.
Our allies are working diligently even though Therese has taken full command. The rebel army seems like it’s completely grasping the supremacy of Duke Nürnberg at first glance, but although the influence of annoying nobles and the imperial army’s staff has fallen, they are led, no, forced to attack unreasonably without sparing any victims.
For Duke Nürnberg that’s convenient as it will be great if his enemies get reduced, and even if that doesn’t happen, they will end up losing power by suffering casualties.

“On a short term, it’s a good move, but…”

“On long term it’s the worst, right?”

It will require a large amount of time and money to recover from the casualties after all.
Though he might intend to reform things after the destruction.

“Wendelin-san, they got close.” (Katharina)

“I guess it’s anytime now.”

“Magic Gun Squad! Aim properly! Fire!”

The magic gunner unit that assembled on the wall starts its shooting. A large amount of regular and ballistae arrows are fired as well.
Many soldiers are hit in front of the main gate and collapse on the ground. The rebel army starts its archery attacks from slightly behind the main army, but these are blocked by just Katharina.

“I can’t use it too often.” (Katharina)

Katharina freely uses the 『Strong Wind』 spell and diverts the attack of the rebel army’s archers.
A large amount of arrows that were shaken by the wind magic quickly dropped to the ground.

“I will go healing.” (Elise)

“Thank you.”

Occasionally there were some who got hit by an arrow, but since the number of those is overwhelmingly lower than those of the rebel army, the wounded were immediately healed by Elise and several other healing magicians.

“Our side holds an overwhelming advantage, but I suppose they won’t give up.”

Even Erw attacked the enemy with archery alongside Haruka and Takeomi-san next to me.
Since there are still no enemy soldiers who have climbed the walls, there was yet no opportunity for him to wield his katana.

“Erw, won’t you use a magic gun?”

“Although they felt sorry, I was asked to lend them mine since there aren’t enough of them. It belongs to the other party to begin with. Either way, it is inevitable since I haven’t got familiar with its handling.” (Erwin)

“At any rate, they are prioritizing the Mizuho army.”

Although they borrowed magic guns with the maintenance being handled by the Mizuho army, Erw, Haruka and Takeomi-san fall short in skill to Wilma.
As the number of magic guns the Mizuho army brought along this time is low, Erw and the other two gave theirs back to the Mizuho army that can use them much more effectively.
Since it was the same for Haruka and Takeomi-san who are their companions, Erw probably had no other option but to hand it back obediently.

“In that case, only Wilma has one, huh…?”

However, even Wilma didn’t use the magic sniper gun.
It’s necessary for her to replenish her mana after each shot. And even if she targets the nobles, the bullets will be blocked by the 『Magic Barriers』 of the magicians.

“This way is more effective.”

Wilma dropped one stone after the other that she had gathered before on the rebel army.
She is easily dropping rocks with a diameter of around two meters towards the base of the walls with her superhuman strength.
Of course there’s no way for those being squashed by the rocks to survive.

“They don’t give up easily.”

A considerable number of casualties has already appeared. The mana of the healers, who healed the wounded from the previous attack with the exploding balls, has probably been used up by now.
The injured soldiers, who were pulled back to the rear, didn’t return even after several hours.

“Though it would be great if they did so any time soon.”

“If they were able to do that, they wouldn’t have attacked to begin with, right?”

“Doushi, don’t make a sound argument all of a sudden. It was a joke.”

I understand Burkhart-san’s feelings, but it will likely influence their pride if they can’t recapture a fortress that has no more than 1/7th of its usual guards, disregarding that it’s a mountain fortress that’s difficult to capture.
The commanding officers that seem to be nobles are apparently continuing to order the attack without caring about casualties.
Once I look properly, I can see them giving orders with furious gestures in the distance.
For them the danger is low since they are protected by the 『Magic Barriers』 of the magicians next to them.
Without feeling anything about pointlessly wasting their soldiers, they are simply giving orders from a safe location.
That’s probably why Duke Nürnberg nominated these guys while thinking that they will be useful for a strategy of pushing with numbers.
They probably don’t consider it particularly regrettable even if their soldiers get wasted.

“Our side is in a defensive battle while keeping the number of casualties low.”

There’s no way to check how the other capturing forces are faring, but reinforcement is hopeless with these numbers.
Even if I’m ordered to do so, I will have no choice but to firmly refuse.
We have to scurry back to the field encampment in the Great Sorbid Wastelands somehow while making sure to not get defeated.
Of course we have no other option but to abandon this Talberg Mountain Fortress.
We can’t maintain such mountain fortress without any supplies either.

“Magic Gunner Squad! Change with the second platoon!”

The rebel army is still attacking vigorously. And, due to suffering relentless counter-attacks by our side, their casualties are growing.
They recovered and sent the wounded back to the rear, but the dead are neglected and were piling up in front of the wall and gate.

“Shoot after aiming properly!”

Our allies continue to fire bullets and arrows while avoiding the arrows coming flying from the siege forces’ rear.
There were casualties sometimes as well, but the loss ratio is pathetic in comparison to the rebel army.

“New weapon, version 2.”

Since the number of allies is low, I want them to get as much rest as possible.
Thinking that it’s necessary to increase the casualties on the enemy’s side for that, I take out a new weapon made by Earl Mizuho Country from my magic bag.

“A magic cannon, eh…?”

It’s not a bad or boring pun. It was a cannon that fires a shell with magic.
As a matter of fact this weapon has been developed even by the kingdom with a similar concept.
I heard talks about this before.
However, a cannonball won’t fly overly far. With its mana efficiency being quite bad, it hasn’t reached a practical adoption so far.
Even with Earl Mizuho Country increasing it efficiency a bit, it was judged as having no purpose and was lent to me.
The magic cannon that has a cannon barrel of around one meter length, has been placed on a wooden cart similar to a two-wheeled wagon in order to make the aiming easier.
Just like the magic guns, this had the magic formulae embedded beforehand as well.

“Wend, what about the bullet?”

“I will load it now.”

Normally you would load it with a cannon ball that seems to be used in shot-put.
However, since that doesn’t have that much power, I load several kilos worth of magic stone scraps first and then continue with a cloth bag that had a large amount of iron scraps and bullets inside.
Next I use 『Tuning』 on the magic stone scraps inside the cannon by touching the magic gem attached to the magic cannon, and completely finish the firing preparations with this.

“The aim has to target a location where the density of enemy soldiers is as high as possible.”

“Roger.”

“I will help as well.”

Ina and Erw move the magic cannon placed on top of the cart. Its barrel faces the rear unit which was amassing its numbers in order to attack the the wall next.

“Ina, is this place fine?”

“Our allies will be sufficiently able to deal with those trying to cling to the wall now. It’s more efficient to fire it at the enemy forces who are gathering their forces to close in next.” (Ina)

“I see.”

I agreed with Ina’s opinion.

“Erw, you have to do your best and study it.”

“Say, Ina, do you actually have the talent for becoming a commissioned officer?” (Erwin)

“I don’t really think so…” (Ina)

The aim of the magic cannon got set by the two of them and I swiftly detonate the magic stone scraps inside the cannon.
Alongside an explosion, the bullets and scrap iron fly towards the target. And then they tear the advance unit of the enemy army’s force that gathered to attack the wall into pieces.

“Campaign priests! We need healing magic!”

“They apparently used up their mana for healing the wounded of the previous bursting balls.”

“Why didn’t the lords move the attack to tomorrow?!”

There were even more wounded among the rebel army due to the bombarding that had its power increased by getting boosted by the magic stone scraps.
It seems that the bursting type is more efficient than a round cannon ball.
Since I can’t expect a fuse, the efficiency will be limited if it’s a round cannon ball no matter what.

“Next!”

“Roger.”

“Sure!”

Next we continue with an attack by exploding balls.
We carry out the bombing of the places where the soldiers of the rebel army have gathered as long as possible. The rebel army that arranged its forces at a place, where arrows won’t reach, thinking that they will be safe there falls into disorder and even medical treatment doesn’t exist because of mana exhaustion.
Did their will finally break due to the continuously increasing victims?
At last they started to retreat just after noon.

“Wilma!”

“Leave it to me.” (Wilma)

Of course we won’t pursue the rebel army since their numbers are overwhelmingly higher than ours.
But, it was necessary for Wilma to decrease the number of enemies by sniping them during their withdrawal.
Wilma sets up her magic sniper gun and I search for the guy with the highest magic capacity among the magicians that had turned their backs on us while supplying mana to her.
Though I say that, that guy was easy to find since he’s next to the noble commander.

“It’s him.”

Once I issue the direction to Wilma, she immediately targets him and pulls the trigger.
He had already reached a distance several times that of the effective range of arrows, but the bullet, which had its power strengthened by my mana, destroyed the magician’s head like a pomegranate.

“Next is that guy!”

“Got it.”

Due to the sniping from an impossible distance, the rebel army quickened the speed of its retreat.
It seems that one more person in the limit.

“I won’t let you get away.”

The head of another intermediate-ranked magicians gets blown off due to the Wilma’s sniping. With this today’s battle finally came to a close.

◆◇◆◇◆

“Elise, I’m sorry.”

“No, as priestess this is my duty.” (Elise)

After confirming that the rebel army had moved back far into the rear once the battle ended, we opened the gate and disposed the corpses.
Having said that, since the rebel army might restart its attack at any time, we can’t bury the corpses.
Looting the usable items, we gather them to some degree and Elise and the priests give them their prayers while sprinkling holy water that they had created in advance on the remains.
That’s because the corpses will at rare times turn into undead even without this place being a monster domain if we don’t do this.

“Let’s go back?”

“Yes.”

A few hours later we return into the Talberg Mountain Fortress together with the soldiers of the Mizuho army that carried out the work together with us.
I do that while holding hands with Elise. If I didn’t do that, I would end up plunging into gloomy thoughts because of the mountain of corpses.

“Wend, dinner is ready.” (Ina)

“Thanks, Ina.” (Wendelin)

Given that there should be an attack tomorrow as well, it’s the best to eat dinner swiftly and go to bed early.
Even so, it’s probably good that something like night watching hasn’t been assigned to us.
Since they would be discovered immediately due to the terrain if they tried a night raid, there’s no meaning in it, but as it seems that they might irrationally attack to lower the morale of our side, we were cautious.

“They are trying too hard, aren’t they…?”

In this situation the night activity with my wives is impossible.
We split into tents for men and women and went to sleep.
If a magician doesn’t sleep, their mana won’t recover.
As it’s unknown when their mana will be needed, they are always given priority on taking a break.
Since Erw, Haruka and Takeomi-san are expected to serve as shields to not lose precious magicians, they guard our tents in shifts.
Even the Mizuho army has sent people over. Using a three-shift system, they don’t shirk their caution towards the rebel army either.
We have been given enough time to rest, but my mind couldn’t feel at ease due to having just seen the mountain of corpses and the unfamiliar battle.
But, there’s no way for me as man to whine about it.
After all Elise and the others are putting up with it with their female bodies.

“Everyone is following you, Earl-sama, because you are their husband. Even if they consider it painful, they won’t voice it out openly.” (Burkhart)

“Then, is it compassion to not ask about it…?”

“If they are with you, they will be given a blessed treatment, Earl-sama. However, it’s likely for them to get involved in such unexpected incidents. Besides, those who can’t endure that don’t qualify to receive your favours, Earl-sama. Elise and the others are fighting because they understand that.” (Burkhart)

This world isn’t that easy-going.
There’s a limit to the number of people I can support. It’s indispensable for them to answer the favours from my side with service and loyalty.
As that’s the same for my wives as well, there’s no room for me to indulge in stuff like sweet love affairs.
If seen from the standpoint of Earth’s circle of romance novels, the values Burkhart-san mentioned are probably weird.

“(Though it was the same even in old Japan…) At any rate, it’s the end for this foolish operation.”

“Therese-sama didn’t manage to consolidate the right to command the army, right? She couldn’t prevent the overeagerness of young Duke Baden and his followers.”

As cool-headed noble, Therese probably factored in failure to some extent.
It’s very likely that she’s planning to get the upper hand over young Duke Baden by using the debt of having rescued him before it turned into a fatal defeat.
But that’s not funny for High Earl Mizuho who hasn’t send out his soldiers because he wanted to.
Pointless casualties have popped up. There’s a mountain of things we want to say about that as well.

“Though I don’t know whether we will be able to talk about that or not. Let’s go sleep in order to do so.”

“Doushi, he can sleep well at any time, can’t he?”

“He has probably a heart and nerves made out of orichalcum, you know…”

Burkhart-san and me retire to bed since we are exhausted even while bearing with Doushi’s snoring.
And because the defensive battle continued three days later, I think I will omit a detailed description.
Even while being mowed down one after the other by arrows, magic guns and the magic cannon, the soldiers of the rebel army don’t cease attacking for some reason.
The losses should have already reached the thousands, but they don’t stop their offensive at all.

“How is that any different from being insane?”

“Well, they are likely believing that they will be able to capture this fortress soon.”

Evening of that day, Elise, who has been in charge of relief, states her own opinion as we are eating dinner with everyone.

“At the current point in time, the number of people killed in action in the Mizuho army has reached 123.”

“Almost 10 percent, huh…?”

Of course there are no casualties among us.
Erw and Takeomi-san got wounded sometimes, but because those were minor injuries, they got healed by Elise right away.

“10 percent is tough, I think.”

It’s different when it’s a game, but for an actual army to suffer more than 10 percent losses is quite severe.
It’s not rare for that to cause morale to drop either, but as that didn’t happen, it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that those were the true elites of the Mizuho army.

“Yes. I think the other side has already lost around 40%, but…”

As the total number of rebels at the beginning was said to be 10.000, that numeric value is an estimation at best.
That’s because the rebel army can’t attack the Talberg Mountain Fortress with its whole army due to the terrain.
Since they aren’t able to attack simultaneously with more than 3000 soldiers at once, that might increase the losses needlessly.
However, due to the rebel army throwing in fresh troops one after the other no matter how many we kill, voices of anxiety started to appear even within the Mizuho army.
Even if we achieve great military results by killing countless enemies, won’t we get crushed by their numbers in the end, such worries are spreading.

“I’m sorry. I’ve been giving you troubles.”

“No, I don’t participate in the battle after all.” (Elise)

“You are participating, aren’t you? An army that has no logistic support will collapse in an instant. Besides, if not for you, Elise, the number of casualties should have been more than twice of what it is now.”

She continued to treat severely wounded people that would make a normal man shirk away while getting bloodstained.
Thanks to that, Elise gets treated as saint even among the soldiers of the Mizuho army.
At the same time rumours started to spread saying stuff like 『Earl Baumeister has it nice for having such beautiful saint-sama as wife. I want to change places with him!』

“If I’m told that by you, dear, I’m happy.” (Elise)

Elise’s healing magic has even healed quite severely wounded soldiers.
It’s something else if it’s the Earl Mizuho Country’s main army, but a healing magician matching Elise doesn’t exist within the detached force led by Toyotsugu-san. That’s why we were able to restrain the number of people killed up to this point.

“I ended up gaining extra muscles only on my dominant arm.” (Ina)

Ina helped with the adjustment of the magic cannon’s aim on my side and fired a large amount of spears by using a throwing device.
Once the rebel army withdrew, we recovered a large amount of spears carried by the enemy soldiers killed in action and used those.
There were only worn-out spears since they have been recovered many times while being bloodstained, but there was no inconvenience with just throwing them.
The spears strengthened with mana caused many injuries and deaths among many of the rebel army’s soldiers, but as an additional bonus, Ina seems to possess something like tactical insight.
She was very good at precisely matching the aim of the magic cannon at places to make the closing-in attack of the rebel army collapse and at locations to obstruct the coordination of each unit.

『Ina, why are you attacking that place?』

『Because that unit will try to destroy the front gate next. The unit that is attempting to destroy it at the moment has already been routed due to their severe losses. As it’s a matter of time for them to retreat, it will be fine to leave them to other allies.』 (Ina)

『Ina, you are amazing, you know. It’s strange for you to know that.』

『This much of a judgement is probably normal for a commander.』 (Ina)

『But, you don’t have any experience as commander, do you? Did you read about it in a book? Didn’t you only read strange romance works?』

『Erw, that’s an insult.』 (Ina)

『Sorry. Teach some of that to me. My education by Thorsten-san has been interrupted due to the war.』 (Erwin)

With such exchange apparently taking place, Erw got taught in tactical theory by Ina in the evenings.
Unexpectedly she had read quite a few of such books as well.
Ina became a good teacher for Erw, but there’s a person who took offence due to that.

『Certainly, I can’t teach him that, but…』 (Haruka)

Haruka ended up getting jealous, but she couldn’t teach him since she had no knowledge about things like the commanding of an army as she gave priority to her sword skills just like Erw.
Ina didn’t possess that knowledge either, but she has obtained it diligently.
This is probably the blunder of Haruka who didn’t study it.

『Nii-sama, can’t you teach Erw-san?』 (Haruka)

『Haruka, for a samurai it’s fine as long as they wield their katana.』 (Takeomi)

『…』

She apparently asked her own elder brother, however even her elder brother was unreliable in this area of expertise.
They have been born into a retainer household with a low social status that doesn’t allow them to be employed as anything but servants to begin with. In the Battou Unit they haven’t received any education while being told that it’s fine as long as they can simply swing their katana at the enemy in front of them.
Its nature was slightly different from normal military forces.

『Nii-sama, you are completely useless.』

『Wh-!』

Due to Haruka unusually using abusive words, Takeomi-san received a huge shock.
It might have been a hard blow for a sis-con.

『Haruka-san, I won’t do something like making a move on the wife of another person! Besides, even if Ina was single, Ina is a no go. After all, she’s scary.』 (Erwin)

『What do you mean by that!?』 (Ina)

Erw soothed Haruka skilfully.
Conversely he resolutely hurt Ina’s mood though.

『What you ask; I mean it as it is.』 (Erwin)

『I haven’t been told such thing even once by Wend! Wend has been praising me by saying that my hair is beautiful or that my skin is fair.』 (Ina)

『Well, such a fondly talk of others’ loved ones is unnecessary.』

It was terrible because Ina had various worries as well. The current worries of her are apparently focussed on the matter of whether she has gained muscles like Doushi on her arms due to throwing spears.
She sighed while comparing both her arms by eye.

“Isn’t it fine? Luise or Wilma don’t have such circumstances at all either.”

“My worries are about 『I wonder whether I can’t increase my chest size by skilfully gathering muscles there?』” (Luise)

Something like the tragedy of battle doesn’t have to be mentioned at this point in time anymore.
Deliberately not putting it into words was for the sake of forgetting it for a while.

“Wilma, Doushi and me have been only throwing stones.” (Luise)

Since movement magic has been blocked, air battle has been sealed for Doushi and Luise.
There’s absolutely no way for them to leave the Talberg Mountain Fortress by themselves with the rebel army surging forward. They busied themselves with the job of just throwing huge rocks and casting 『Magic Barriers』.
Since it’s these three throwing the rocks, it’s nothing more but a calamity from the viewpoint of those getting attacked.
As a matter of fact many rebel soldiers have been injured and killed after being hit by rocks.

“We are still able to manage fighting somehow, but there’s no information from outside coming.”

“Wilma-san, the source of that information came.” (Katharina)

Ahead of Katharina’s line of sight was the figure of Takeomi-san who headed some time ago to the headquarters where Toyotsugu-san is located.
Once he sits down on a seat, he begins to report at once.

“Earl Baumeister-sama, at last a swallow mail arrived from the headquarters.” (Takeomi)

Since it’s pointless even if they dispatch a messenger to the Talberg Mountain Fortress that has been isolated, they apparently sent a letter using a Mizuho swallow.

“Based on that, our allies were utterly defeated with the exception of us.” (Takeomi)

They were surrounded by large armies and had their supply line cut off at places that had deliberately its military personnel and materials pulled out and were carelessly left behind as military bases that were short of hands.
Since there was a lack of food, it was impossible to hold the fortresses. Although they attempted to escape, they were overwhelmingly defeated after getting attacked. That was apparently written in the letter.

“Their destruction was prevented because of Therese-sama dispatching a rear guard. Quite a bit damage was done due to the counter-attack.” (Takeomi)

“It seems that the outside is fine, but what should we do?”

We haven’t lost, but we are still under siege by the rebel army.
As there’s also the problem of food, we won’t be able to hold the fortress forever. We have to explore a method how to withdraw from here.

“Fortunately reinforcements are headed our way.” (Takeomi)

“Then it will turn into a pincer attack?”

If the reinforcements clash with the rebel army that has been attacking us, our side will launch an attack against the enemy and change it into a pincer attack.
It was a plan anyone could come up with, but real war was like that.
One can’t use a clever scheme that easily.

“Let’s prepare for leaving this place…?”

After dinner we had a council of war with Toyotsugu-san. We decided to hasten the preparations for the retreat in order to be ready whenever the reinforcements start the battle.
Although we can’t take the fortress with us, we will try to return while taking as many things with us as possible.
In the current war situation it was ill-advised to keep this Talberg Mountain Fortress.

“Speaking of the time, it will be tonight or tomorrow morning, I guess.”

In the worst situation, our allies have completely lost their main force that was aiming to capture the Commercial City Halbart.
It’s very likely that further large armies will participate in the siege of the Talberg Mountain Fortress with the momentum of victory once their hands are freed up.

“Are we in danger of getting annihilated?”

“We are.” (ina)

As Ina says, we are in danger of getting completely defeated.
No matter how hard we fight, the losses of the Mizuho forces that are under Toyotsugu-san are gradually increasing.
Even the food; we are just not starving because I put large quantities of food into my magic bag by chance.
If it goes on like this, we would run out of food in around a week according to my calculations.

“There’s a possibility of the reinforcements performing a night ambush tonight.”

“Is the skill of Duke Philip household’s forces that high that they are able to pull that off?”

“They should have received a minimum of training.”

Although they suffered a crushing defeat, the feudal army of that Margrave Browig household carried out a night attack as well.
It should be possible to rush the rebel army, which is pointing its attention at the Talberg Mountain Fortress, from the rear.

“As they should be focussing on rescuing the main force, I don’t think that the reinforcements for our side are that big. Wend’s deliberations might prove correct…”

“It might also have been random remark from me.”

“No. It’s not that much of an absurd view.” (Armstrong)

“I think it’s just as Doushi says. Let’s gather our luggage.”

Toyotsugu-san’s group appears to have arrived at the same conclusion as us.
Gathering all the luggage until it became night, we equipped harnesses on all horses and lied down on mats, with the exception of the guards, being ready for a night warfare.
While we were dozing, just before the day changed, flames suddenly rose at the foot of the Talberg Mountain.
Next a mixed sound of horses galloping and screams as well as yells of people was audible.

“Let’s head out, Earl Baumeister-sama.”

“How about the probability of this being a pretence according to the enemy’s plan?”

“I think it’s not.”

“Let’s return to headquarters then?”

We launch the whole army leaving the Talberg Mountain Fortress in one go and descend towards the foot of the mountain using the sole existing mountain path.
Once we did so, the rebel army, which had attacked us for many days, was in chaos after receiving a night raid by our friendly reinforcements from behind.
Fire arrows were released at their encampment. They were trampled underfoot by cavalry units. They couldn’t form the ranks of military forces anymore due to the increasing casualties.

“Destroy them!”

Having the highest noble rank here, I naturally start giving orders.
What we should do now is to destroy the rebel army by assisting the reinforcement’s night attack and to prevent pursuit by the enemy.

“Roger!” (Armstrong)

It’s probably because he wanted to vent his anger for not being able to do anything but throwing stones in the defensive battles up until now.
Doushi clad his body with a 『Magic Barrier』 and plunged into the enemy army that hasn’t escaped yet by himself.

“What’s that!? That monster!”

“I don’t want to be told that by you who caused a foolish war!”

Doushi releases punches and kicks. He even smashes the head of a knight who wore full platemail. That knight fell to the ground with his plate at the body part and head part being dented to an unbelievable extent.
It’s probably an instant death after suffering that much fatal damage to the brain and organs.
There’s no need to talk about the soldiers.
Trying to not get killed by Doushi, they are only trying to escape without blocking his path.
Without a doubt even master shouldn’t be able to win against him in mere fighting strength.

“Earl-sama, don’t admire him. Let’s go.” (Burkhart)

“Yes.” (Wendelin)

We cut into the rebel army alongside the Mizuho forces in order to not kill our reinforcements by mistake.
The Battou Unit, Haruka, Takeomi-san and Erw, in order to test his orichalcum katana, charge as vanguards.

“Yo! Yo! It’s finally our turn!”

“Chesto!”

There were foolish nobles who introduced themselves in this situation.
It was an act in accordance with etiquette as if it was a dispute like the one with the Margrave Browig household, but right now they are no more but simple fools.
They lost their weapons after having their swords cut by one strike of Erw’s sword.
It was proof of the orichalcum katana’s power, but as it’s necessary to have suitable skill to cut metal, it looks like Erw has improved his skill through rigid training.

“I’m Viscount Hildesheim. I will have you treat me as prisoner.”

The enemy noble tries to surrender after having his sword cut apart, but we don’t have the leeway to take prisoners in this situation.
Erw cut off his head in one go.

“Even though it’s fine for them to run away.”

“Haruka-san, let’s head to the front.”

“Yes, Erw-san.”

“Younger sister, I’m here as well, but…”

The three of them go in front of me and slay one enemy soldier after the other.
Alongside Burkhart-san and Katharina, I cut up numerous enemy soldier with small-scaled 『Wind Cutters』.

“You mess with me? I’m Aren the 『Squall』!”

“Don’t care. I have no choice but to kill you unless you run away.”

“Humph! The likes of an adventurer wannabe who was employed by the poor Duke Philip household!”

Despite being a person who had definitely been employed himself, the magician stated that with a self-important tone while he stood in front of Burkhart-san.

“To not be aware of master…” (Katharina)

“Katharina-jou-chan, I don’t particularly mind even if a man doesn’t know my face, besides…” (Burkhart)

“Old man! You seem to be composed!”

“Yeah. You have already died.”

“Died?”

The 『Wind Cutter』 that was secretly released by Burkhart-san sends the head of the magician flying from behind.
He sent the 『Wind Cutter』 flying like a boomerang while 『Squall』 didn’t notice.

“Elementary level, eh? I immediately realized that he didn’t have the surplus to extend the 『Magic Barrier』 to his back.” (Burkhart)

After throwing a glance at the headless 『Squall』, Burkhart-san starts to immediately search for another target.
The attacks continued, but almost all of the rebels were defeated in less than an hour from then or escaped from the encampment.

“There was no turn for me…”

“It’s a war until we safely return after all.”

Luise says something similar to an elementary school teacher.
Certainly, this feels like 『It’s an excursion until we come back home from the excursion』.

“No, Luise. The war itself hasn’t ended completely yet.”

“Ah, so that’s how it was. I will adjust my combat style.”

The rebel army that attacked the Talberg Mountain Fortress was annihilated, but it was still uncertain whether we would be able to safely retreat to headquarters.
There was also the possibility of the rebel army’s fresh troops pursuing us in order to defeat us.

“Yo. You were safe?”

“Oh. The reinforcement’s commander is you, Alfons?”

“I’ve been told to do so by Therese.”

At the time we mostly finished with the mop up of the remnants of the enemy army, we finally reunite with Alfons who led the reinforcements.
He came upon Therese’s order while leading 4.000 soldiers.

“Unexpectedly you have become accustomed to behaving like a commander, haven’t you?”

“Everything’s handled by my subordinates.”

His own martial arts were sub-par, but Alfons seems to possess the qualities of a commander as expected.

“Let’s escape quickly then? You got only 15 minutes!”

If you ask why the 15 minutes; it was the time to be used for looting the spoils of war on the battlefield.
We return while carrying the goods that were left behind in the encampment after the fire, and the weapons, armours and personal items of the corpses.
A war costs money. The spoils of war are a just privilege for the soldiers who fight while risking their lives.
Especially since it’s a civil war this time, they are prohibited to plunder the citizens if we later occupy a city or such.
Given that Therese had announced for violators to lose their heads, all that’s left is stealing from the enemy army.

“Since your group’s numbers are low, it’s a large profit for you, Earl Baumeister, right?”

“Hmm I guess you might say that it’s profitable.”

The personal belongings and expensive armours of nobles and knights, and there are also many among the magicians possessing magic bags.
Of course, since the ones who defeated them have the privilege of looting, it’s profitable for us as mercenaries.

“That doesn’t mean that we will only move if it yields a profit. Especially this time’s operation has…”

We were about to get annihilated after getting encircled due to this pointless operation.
We are angry as well, but the seed of discontent is spreading even more so among the Mizuho army led by Toyotsugu-san.

“Therese is decreasing the number of Mizuho people on purpose for the sake of her rule of the empire after the war. There are also some that are enraged that she’s stealing the strength of their national army.”

“That’s bad, isn’t it…”

For Toyotsugu-san not coming to greet Alfons was also because of such circumstances.
Officially he announced that it’s for the sake of confirming the casualties and to reorganize the army for the retreat, but there wasn’t a single person who believed those words.

“They are getting deceived by Duke Nürnberg’s scheme, aren’t they?”

“Don’t blame Duke Nürnberg for anything and everything.”

He’s probably a capable enemy, but this time it’s only about Therese being unable to properly secure the sole right to command the army.
As for the kind of scheme that instigates discord on our side, this applies to both sides.

“The one with few mistakes wins in a war. I pray that Therese will be that one.”

“Yeah, that’s a wise saying. I feel like I have heard it somewhere before, but…”

Doushi, who fought by himself, comes back with his robe bloodstained.
I remove the blood spurts with the 『Cleaning』 spell.
For some reason Doushi is bad at this kind of assorted magic.
No, isn’t it weird to say for some reason at this point?

“Sorry, Earl Baumeister. Do you have a bad opinion of Therese-sama?”

“It’s as you say, Doushi. I certainly do have a bad opinion of her, I suppose.”

“It probably can’t be helped if she’s the supreme commander.”

Doushi and Alfons try to cover for Therese, but I drove in the nail deeper due to that.
If you pamper her because she’s a woman, it’s possible that she will do the same mistake again.

“Well then, it’s time.”

“Let’s try to run away, eh?”

Once the time for looting the spoils of wars comes to an end, the reinforcements and the Mizuho army started to travel towards headquarters in a hurry while skipping their sleep.

“What about an enemy army’s pursuit?”

“At present there’s none.”

While rubbing my sleepy eyes and occasionally dozing off on top of the horse, we continue our retreat.
We serve as rear guard. I had Wilma, who was riding together with me on the horse, check our rear once in a while.
If there’s a pursuit unit closing in, it will be my task to discourage them from continuing their pursuit by mercilessly firing off magic.

“I wonder whether there will be a pursuit? What do you think, Wilma?”

“Probably they won’t come.” (Wilma)

“That would be the best.”

“Since we destroyed the enemy army, they should hesitate even if fresh reinforcements arrived.”

The rebel army that got attacked by us, who secluded themselves in the Talberg Mountain Fortress, lost more than 3000 soldiers in the reckless siege battle and following that we should have killed around 2000 soldiers in the night attack.
If you go even further, as the reinforcements released fire arrows at them during the night attack, that caused a fire in the wintery plains and dried woods which were ahead of their escape path.
It seems that almost no people live in the vicinity. Also, they won’t extinguish the fires since they don’t have the leeway to do so.
I don’t think that they will be burnt to death that easily, but they shouldn’t have the flexibility to reorganize from there and start a pursuit.
Having lost all goods such as food due to their encampment burning down should be painful as well.

“We also killed plenty of nobles.”

“Magicians, too.”

We have defeated many magicians in the fortress siege and nobles as well as magicians during the night attack.
With the absences of their greatest war potentials and their commanders, it’s very unlikely for them to be even able to reorganize.

“Anyway, I want to return quickly and get some sleep.”

“Wend-sama, let’s sleep together.” (Wilma)

“True. Let’s sleep together with everyone.”

“Elise-sama.”

“That’s right. We will sleep together with everybody.”

Elise, who is riding a horse next to me, approved Wilma’s request.

“It’s not that kind of sleeping with each other, I really want to enter a bed normally and get some good sleep.”

“I agree with Ina-chan.”

“Me too. It seems that my eyelids will become too heavy soon.” (Katharina)

It looks like it has been decided that the six of us will sleep together today.
I guess that’s also nice once we safely get back.

“Umm, Haruka-san, won’t you sleep together with me?” (Erwin)

“Eh!? But, we still haven’t married…” (Haruka)

“Erwin, it’s fine to turn you into rust on my katana, right?” (Takeomi)

“It was a joke!”

Is it because he’s half asleep?
A joke?
Erw provoked Takeomi’s anger by speaking about strange stuff.
He probably wants to only sleep together with her, but if you ask the Mizuho people, that’s a taboo before the marriage, I guess.
Takeomi-san drew his katana with a grim look and pointed it at Erw.

“We still haven’t married. But, it’s not like I dislike something like that. It’s something similar to a slight yearning, but… Being woken up kindly in the morning by Erw-san or such. That’s something I saw in a story book called 『Records of the hard struggles of a young wife』…” (Haruka)

Humans seem to blurt out things similar to sleep-talking if their sleepiness reaches a excessive degree.
Haruka herself was immersed in her own world while her face was dyed bright red.

“Will we able to survive somehow albeit being drowsy?”

“Probably. Though the future outlook is bleak, Doushi.”

“It really is.”

Doushi’s and Burkhart-san’s expressions are gloomy.
It was only us and the Mizuho army that achieved great accomplishments by winning in this time’s military operation.
However, strategically it was a crushing defeat. Toyotsugu-san, who suffered a loss of 321 soldiers of the 1500 in the end, hadn’t any interest in talking with Alfons more than necessary.
Even the surviving young Duke Baden and his followers shouldn’t be amused about us having won.
It’s irrational, but that’s how the emotions of humans work.

“Even though we defeated a large amount of enemies, I got worn-out as if we suffered an overwhelming defeat.”

“A big army of dragons would have been easier, I guess.”

“You can say that again.”

War between humans is tiring.
I want to quickly return to my adventurer’s life of hunting monsters.
As I was thinking about such things, Doushi and Burkhart-san continued to complain for a while behind me.

 


<– Previous Chapter | Glossary | ToCNext Chapter –>