Chapter 69: War and more war (7)
The surprise attack was a big success.
They almost didn’t have any casualties and the enemy camp became a sea of fire.
On top of that, they slew the only capable commander, Looter.
This was a real big success.
“How about attacking once more?”
Aaron carefully asked while looking at the enemy camp that was on fire.
Roan shook his head.
“No. Although they wouldn’t have any control because they are putting the fire off…..”
Roan looked at Aaron and the commanders and continued talking.
“Now, it would be good to retreat.”
At those words, everyone frowned.
“Retreat? You want us to retreat after attaining this victory?”
Roan nodded with a calm expression.
His eyes calmly sank down.
‘If I get to raise a force, the first thing I have would to do would be changing the commanders.’
The actual Rinse kingdom, no, the majority of the kingdoms that were located east of the Grain mountains operated by approximating numbers.
Especially in the cases of corps commanders, many were part of a baron’s family but the problem was that they attained their ranks without having any relation to their skills.
‘Even in this place, excluding corps commander Aaron Tate, and Phillip Hass, the others are all commanders in name.’
The others were the ones who spent their lives as corps commanders without having any merits to back them up because of the excuse of being the eldest son of a noble family.
‘In the selection of a commander, abilities and human nature should come first.’
Roan took in a deep breath.
It was time to convince the commanders who only knew how to fight boldly without any abilities.
“The enemy knights are already outside of their camp. On top of that, the mages would also have finished preparations. Compared to them, we don’t have knights nor mages. If we were attacked in this state, we would suffer big losses. And if it turned out like that, the success of the surprise attack becomes meaningless.”
At the stipulation about the knights and mages, the commanders shut their mouths.
Phillip, who was the eldest, nodded.
“It was also Roan that guessed the surprise attack and proposed counter attacking them. I think that it’d be good to also listen to him this time.”
His attitude had changed a lot from when he first met Roan. He was different than the other commanders who were only greedy without having abilities to back them up. Because he had been in the battlefield for a long period of time, he didn’t have any unnecessary greed or stubbornness.
‘We can’t keep ignoring him when he has showed such amazing performance.’
Although his eyes were dark, he had recognized someone with the abilities.
“I think that would be good.”
Aaron added and came to a conclusion.
“Then, let’s retreat immediately.”
As the situation turned out like this, Roan quickly revealed his thoughts.
“I think it would be good to first make the infantry retreat while lighting up the torches and leaving the tents intact.”
At this statement, Aaron and Phillips immediately realized his reasoning.
“You want us to seem like we’re protecting this place.”
“Yes. That’s right.”
Roan brightly smiled and replied back.
Aaron called Mendel and sent out the order of retreat.
And then, the whole camp started to move busily.
Aaron called out Roan separately.
Roan slightly bowed and approached.
“The merits you’ve achieved by slaying the enemy commander and succeeding in the surprise attack is really big. I will certainly reward you after the war ends.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Roan saluted shortly afterwards.
A proud smile appeared on Aaron’s face.
‘He’s someone that I really don’t want to let go of.’
He was someone he liked more and more the more time passed.
‘As he slew a corps commander of Istel kingdom……..’
If he did well, he may be able to give him a title of nobility; a title of at least a baron.
This would be his incorporation into the noble’s world.
‘I’ll have to show my strength at least once.’
But to do that, it was important to attain victory in this war.
After a while, Mendel approached and bowed.
“We have finished the preparations to retreat.”
Aaron faintly smiled and looked at the other commanders.
‘I can’t leave them behind.’
Retreating to Nerf region, where the camp of their allies was located, was the safest path.
“My 7th corps will stay behind.”
As soon as Aaron finished speaking, the other commanders had surprised expressions.
“Oh! Will you really?”
“You’ve made a really difficult decision.”
They became happy at the truth that they would be able to retreat to a safe zone first.
Aaron bitterly smiled as he looked at their expressions.
‘The person that is suited to be in that position is Roan.’
He was talking about the bastards that occupied the seats of a commander just because they were nobles.
He felt bitter.
“Then, I will leave it to you.”
Phillip approached and extended his hand.
Aaron grabbed that hand and said the same thing.
“Then, I’ll leave it to you.”
Phillip, who realized what that meant, smiled bitterly.
After a while, the commanders left the camp while leading the infantry with Phillip at the front.
As the retreat happened really quietly in the middle of the darkness, Istel kingdom didn’t realize it at all.
Aaron looked at the back of the commanders getting farther away and let out a sigh.
“Whew. Nothing has to happen.”
At those words, Roan and Mendel bitterly smiled.
“Does something have to happen?”
“Right. As commander Hass is there, would something really happen?”
He awkwardly smiled and looked at Roan.
As a result, Roan also faced him and smiled.
But they couldn’t expect it at all.
That the maybe would catch the person.
When the sun rose, the 7th corps also started to prepare their retreat.
Roan stood in the middle of the empty camp and extended both of his arms.
“I think that it would be good to start a fire and make smoke appeared as if we are eating.”
“Oh, that’s a good method.”
Aaron nodded with a satisfied expression.
Soon, they lit up three thousand fires to make it look as if they were boiling soup and heating up bread.
They gathered plenty of branches and leaves on purpose and made it smoke.
The tents that were also set up on purpose took place along the fence.
“We will place scarecrows at the front of the camp.”
“Right. They will be suspicious if there aren’t any guards.”
The soldiers used spears and weeds to make a scarecrow.
And they also put armor over it.
Although it was a scarecrow without doubt when you looked at it closely, it was enough to trick the Istel’s soldiers that were far away.
Aaron looked at the insides of the camp and took in a deep breath.
“We will have to retreat.”
“Yes. From now on, speed is life.”
Now, the camp of Istel kingdom’s disorder was controlled a little.
If they were late, they would get their tails caught.
Roan looked at Istel kingdom’s camp fixedly.
Because of Kalian’s tear, he saw the camp as if it was right in front of him.
‘They’re already preparing to attack.’
The soldiers of Istel kingdom were maintaining their camp and moving around busily.
‘There’s no more time to waste.’
Roan set an eye sign to Aaron.
Aaron nodded and climbed his horse.
“We retreat as quietly as possible.”
The hoof of the horses, that were covered with pieces of cloth, stepped on the ground without making any noise.
The remaining cavalrymen left the camp in an instant.
Three thousand fires and hundreds of scarecrows protected their empty camp.
“Let’s repay the disgrace we suffered last time!”
Corps commander Baron Wett Landel of Istel kingdom raised his sword high and yelled.
The soldiers of Istel brought up their morale even when they were tired.
They knew how important morale was in a battle.
Wett yelled with all his strength and pulled the reins.
He was quite excited.
‘The commander has left his seat.’
He planned to grab this opportunity.
‘Although Looter failed, I will succeed.’
If he won this battle, he would raise huge merits.
If that was the case, he would receive half of the obtained territory as a reward for his merits.
Wett mobilized a large scaled army and crossed the plains.
He closely approached the Rinse kingdom’s camp and yelled with strength.
“Bastards! Cowards of Rinse kingdom! Don’t stay hidden like that and fight!”
What he wanted was a confrontation in the plains.
But even if Wett and the soldiers yelled, the camp was still quiet.
‘Something is wrong…….’
Normally, when a side asked for a battle in between the two camps, the opponent had to reply to them.
Because of that, Wett led 10,000 soldiers and left his camp.
This was to be a battle between 10,000 soldiers.
He was confident in achieving victory with just his capabilities.
But the camp of Rinse kingdom was as quiet as a dead rat.
An uneasy feeling was felt in their backs.
Then, the closest person to him and the staff officer of the corps, Arr, approached him.
“Doesn’t it seem weird?”
Wett frowned and asked back.
Arr turned his head and pointed at Rinse kingdom’s camp.
“Even the guards that were standing guard by the fences didn’t show any movements.”
Wett frowned and raised his right hand.
“Archers, to the front!”
At those words, the archers came to the front and readied their bows.
As soon as the order was sent, thousands of arrows split the sky.
A sharp sound rang out.
A rain of arrows poured over the camp of Rinse kingdom.
Even the guards that were on the fences became porcupines.
However they didn’t yell or fall; they kept protecting their places.
Then, Wett frowned and yelled.
“Damn! Even if it’s wrong, it’s completely wrong!”
He grabbed the reins and started to ride towards the camp.
“Co, corps commander!”
Arr was surprised and followed his back.
Soon, all the remaining soldiers started to charge towards the camp with hurried looks.
The entrance that was seemingly closed, opened up.
Wett, who went into a deep part of the camp, clicked his tongue with a hopeless look.
“Ho! We were completely done in.”
The camp was completely empty.
The guards that were guarding the fences were scarecrows made from weeds and spears.
On top of that, thousands of braziers were taking place at the back of the camp.
Arr, who arrived late, discovered a piece of cloth between the braziers.
He grabbed the piece of cloth and then frowned.
As Wett asked, Arr brought him the piece of cloth without saying anything.
There were letters written in it.
This was a major insult.
They were thoroughly conned.
Wett tore up the piece of cloth and ground his teeth.
His sight moved to the west.
“I will certainly pay back this humiliation.”
The 7th corps that quickly left the Bink region, soon arrived in Nerf region.
“I can see the camp of our allies.’
Aaron pointed a huge camp that was placed at the side of a mountain.
The placement of the camp showed that it didn’t have any thoughts to attack.
‘You gave up the whole eastern region starting from Nerf?’
Aaron clicked his tongue and shook his head.
And Roan also did the same.
‘The problem is that his ambition is great for someone that frightened.’
Because of that, there were many cases where Benjamin spoiled things at important moments.
‘I can’t just let him be like this.’
But he couldn’t do anything right now.
Roan was merely a vice troop commander of the army in the region.
‘I have to grab an opportunity. For Rinse kingdom, no, at least for me I want to chase him away.’
And fortunately, Roan was confident in being able to do so.
‘He’s someone who makes a lot of mistakes.’
He was waiting for the opportunity to completely chase him away.
While he was thinking about this and that, the front of the 7th corps entered the camp.
“It’s corps commander Aaron Tate of the 7th corps.”
At Aaron’s words, the guards saluted and then opened the entrance.
As he moved inside the camp, many scattered soldiers approached.
“You achieved victory while facing the Istel kingdom?”
“Based on the words that arrived yesterday, they say that the strategy was planned by the 7th corps.”
“Nowadays I hear a lot about the 7th corps.”
They mumbled while looking at the soldiers of the 7th corps.
It seemed like rumors were being spread by the soldiers of the other corps.
The soldiers of the 7th corps raised their chins up and widened their shoulders at the proud feeling.
Then, a group of people showed themselves from a deep part of the camp.
The group consisted of Benjamin, the staff officers, and the corps commanders.
Aaron and Roan hurriedly got off the horse and bowed.
“Oh! Corps commander Tate!”
Benjamin brightly smiled and faced Aaron.
However, he was boiling inwardly.
‘Damn. If I had known that Istel kingdom was that weak, I would have set up the camp in Bink region.’
He missed the opportunity to accumulate merits.
Benjamin was angry at that and felt regret.
“I received the report from Phillip Hass. You’ve truly achieved an excellent merit.”
Aaron slightly moved his sight and looked at Phillip.
Phillip bitterly smiled and shook his head.
His expression was somewhat bad.
Benjamin continued speaking.
“But you made one mistake.”
He clicked his tongue as if it was regrettable.
“Why didn’t you push back Istel kingdom even further when you had already achieved victory?”
When Aaron was about to reply with a calm voice.
Benjamin shook his hand.
“Anyways, it’s regrettable. It was an opportunity to annihilate them. So I was saying……”
In the first place, he didn’t even want to listen to Aaron’s story.
Benjamin continued saying with a chilly expression.
“From now on, I’ll lead the soldiers myself and intercept the bastards.”
Aaron didn’t say anything.
‘He’s looking down on them.’
His heart scattered because they blocked the Istel kingdom’s attack with just three or four corps, and also gave them a big blow.
‘I now know the reason why Phillip Hass’s expression wasn’t good.’
Probably some other commander would have been seduced Benjamin with sweet words.
Istel kingdom wasn’t that easy of an opponent.
Benjamin grabbed Aaron’s shoulders.
“You should be tired because you raised big merits in this battle and even retreated while protecting the camp until the end.”
His next words felt somewhat weird.
“That’s why I’m going to exclude you from the next battle out of consideration for you.”
Aaron frowned and raised his head.
He could see Benjamin’s face right in front of him.
He had an expression that was smiling but was somewhat severe.
Pressure and overpowering intent was felt from his eyes.
Benjamin repeated Aaron’s last words.
Aaron tightly bit his lower lip and bowed.
“The 7th corps is to rest and then annihilate Istel kingdom when they get nearby.”
In one sentence, he was leaving the main part for himself and giving him the leftovers.
Aaron couldn’t reply easily and ground his teeth.
Benjamin looked at that and snorted.
‘You’ve already raised a big merit. I can’t let you accumulate more merits that catch the eyes of others. On top of that Aaron, you bastard………’
He wasn’t even on his side.
If he kneeled down and pledged allegiance to him, he was thinking of using him, but now this wasn’t the case.
He felt rotten when he saw that he was acting friendly with Reil.
“Then, I’ll be asking you.”
Benjamin didn’t even listen to Aaron’s answer, and disappeared to the insides of the camp.
The staff officers and commanders followed his back.
Phillip, who stayed still until the end, approached and grabbed Aaron’s shoulders.
“Corps commander Tate. It’s useless. Although I tried to express my opinion, as the mouthing of the others was too strong……”
Phillip let out a long sigh.
Aaron forcefully smiled and shook his head.
“You didn’t do anything wrong.”
The two looked at each other and smiled bitterly.
Phillip just nodded instead of replying, and then walked away.
Aaron looked at him getting further away and let out a sigh once more time.
“Whew. How untrue.”
It wasn’t that he was greedy in accumulating merits.
However, it felt like he was everything taken away from what he had done.
Then, Roan approached.
“Roan. It’s useless. Everything was taken away by them.”
Aaron couldn’t even look into Roan’s eyes properly.
However, Roan’s expression was quite composed.
No, there was rather a faint smile in it.
He whispered in Aaron’s ear.
“No. Rather, it turned out well.”
Aaron opened his two eyes widely.
Roan continued speaking.
“The opportunity for us to end this war has come.”
< War and more war (7) > End
Translator’s note: Sponsored chapter! It was completely sponsored by L.de Q.! Thank you!
Thank you for reading!
Translator : Subak