CH 77

Arc 4 The Beloved, Chapter 77 Hilkintos of the West

As they pass westward through the central plains of the Kingdom and enter a complex woodland area, Krische looked up at the sky and told Dagra.

"...The sky. Rain is coming, Bald Eagle."

"It seems so."

The shape of the clouds, their position, and changes in wind and humidity.

Dagra, with his many years of experience, agreed with those words, which were based on her vast knowledge and intellect.

Predicting the weather was a very important military skill.

"Is something wrong?"

Dagra asked, and Krische thought for a moment.

She wanted to minimize the fatigue of the soldiers, but it was difficult for Krische to find the right balance.

"Rain exhausts the soldiers more than you can imagine. ...We've covered a fair amount of distance so far. I think it would be fine to rest early and let them eat?"

Dagra immediately sensing it, said that, and Krische nodded.

The words of an experienced centurion were closer to reality than those of anyone else.

As a man who deals with soldiers on a daily basis, he is well aware of the impact that marches, breaks, and other trivial things have on soldiers.

This is one of the reasons why Krische trusted Dagra and keeps him by her side.

His many years of experience was one of the most reliable factors for her to make a decision.

Krische did not take that lightly.

She knew the limits of what she could learn from books, and she did not believe she could understand the soldiers' feelings.

"After one koku, we should be in a slightly open area. Shall we take a rest there today?"

"Yes ma'am. Tagel, send out two fast-footed men. Send a messenger to Corps Commander Faren and Varkas Corps Commander. After that, to Battalion Commander Quiltins. For this anyone, is fine."

Immediately, Captain Tagel raised his voice and called out two men.

It was quicker and less time-consuming to use them than horses to send messages after entering the forest.

There is a considerable distance behind Krische, at the head of the column to the rear, and it is very tiring to run the horse on the edge of the road where the footing is not good.

Keith Quiltins, commander of the third battalion, who was the equivalent of adjutant, was in charge of sending out messages within the first corps.

He is right behind them, so anyone is fine.

Right now, Krische hadentrusted Keith with even the most trivial matters, and the transmission of orders within the corps.

Keith's control of the corps is essential for Krische to be able to move freely, and Krische took advantage of Eluga's suggestion to force Keith to take care of some troublesome matters.

Keith himself accepted it as an honor, so there were no problems at the moment.

"But rain huh? That's good."


"Krische had a few candidates for where to lure them, but this decided it."

Krische said this somewhat happily.

Aurugorn Sakizren Nirkrinea Hilkintos.

For many years he had single-handedly tookcare of the invasion from the Elderant Kingdom in the west of the Kingdom, and in the last war, he liberated the occupied Wolfeit.

In his battles, there are no spectacular reversals from a position of inferiority.

There are no daring offensives or brilliant tactics, he always establishes a superiority in terrain and force and settles the battle with that superiority.

He believes that the solid and royal road is the one that leads to victory, and he has always been victorious and undefeated because he has thoroughly practiced it.

His strength was his cool-headedness, forsaking all emotion and giving up everything for the sake of victory.

Rather than losing, he would rather burn the city and withdraw without hesitation.

His grizzled brown hair was cut short, and his carefully shaved cheeks looked hollow.

His eyes were large and big on his face, giving him a somewhat reptilian, eerie, highly strung appearance, which was indicative of his nature as a general.

A tall, skinny man------Aurgorn was in the tent looking over a letter that seemed to belong to Roland.

No, to be precise, it was delivered from one of his subordinates, Alkines.

It seems that Roland was under supervision and could not issue a letter, and had his subordinates send it instead.

However, that in itself was a trivial matter.

When the soldiers who had been sent out on a reconnaissance mission returned, the fact that is written on the letter would be confirmed, and the information itself was highly accurate.

He have had several dealings with Roland.

He had also had a long relationship with Gildanstein, a slave trader who was a trash but was good at making money, and if Roland was going to wag his tail, it would have to be their way.

"Good work, But I am surprised that it's not that youngster, Verreich. Seems I'm being underestimated."

Aurugorn muttered in a fed-up manner.

Krische Christand, Eluga Faen, and Granmeld Varkus.

The enemy force was about 14,000, and their side was 27,000.

"You may go home, dog. Tell your master that I will thank him later."

"Ha. Before that, please dispose the secret letter. I can't go home until it's over."

"Kuku... well done."

Aurugorn burnt the letter with a candlestick fire and tossed it in front of the kneeling spy------Dagris.

Secret letters are very important, especially for those who send them.

If Aurgorn were to fall in with the princess's faction, that alone would put Roland in a tight spot.

"You' have been disciplined huh. Why don't you come to my place? I'll treat you favorably."

"Haha, you must be joking. Keeping a lowly person like me by your side will only damage your reputation as a general."

"Thank you for your kind words.... then excuse me."

After watching the secret letter burnt and turn to ashes, Dagris immediately leave.

He liked his curtness. He didn't waste any words, which is good for a secret agent.

Aurugorn silently saw it off, then lowered his eyes to the map.

"... but even for stalling the number is too small. What do you think?"

He asked the bald adjutant.

Adjutant Beluse, who seemed to be thinking about that, wrinkled his eyebrows and put his hand on his chin while answering.

"Aside from Corps Commander Varkus, I have heard that the other two are good in the mountains and forests. In the battle against the empire the other day, their surprise attack decided the outcome, and they did quite well in the battle at Dragon's Maw. ...We should be on the lookout for ambush and surprise attacks during the march."

"We should slow down the pace and be vigilant huh..."

"They may be planning to harass us with a small number of fast men. It's hard to track them in the woods."

In front of them------a complex woodland area spreads out between the central and western part of the Kingdom.

Aurugorn must pass through here to aim for the Dragon's Jaw in the northeast.

It is possible to bypass the forest from the south.

Some amateurs might think that they could just ignore it and continue on their way.

However, the march of tens of thousands of soldiers would inevitably lead to a long line.

There was an army-sized enemy lurking in the forest, if they do something foolish like exposing their flanks it was only natural that they will be divided and destroyed.

A surprise attack in a marching column was a situation that everyone feared.

If they were to engage in battle without any formation, without control, without information, and without knowing the scale of their opponent, even if they had more than twice the strength of their opponent, they would be nothing more than a mere ragtag band of rabble.

A disorganized army is very vulnerable.

It is easy to understand if you think of a battle between poisonous snakes.

An army inevitably drags along its fangless body.

If that body was aimed at, both of them will unilaterally have their stomachs ripped open, and their entire bodies will be paralyzed by the poison------and to prevent that from happening, they must always turn their heads to the enemy's head.

An army must always advance against a powerful enemy, destroying it as it goes.

Alternatively, they could bypass them further away------but if they did this, they would never be able to participate in the Dragon's Maw battle that Hilkintos was aiming for.

It would take too much time.

It was more likely that the battle in the Dragon's Maw will be over by the time they arrive.

Even if they arrive before it ended, the Christand's army now in this forest will relentlessly aim at their flanks and back.

Aurugorn judged that there is no other way but a decisive battle in the forest.

Gertz Wiring, who was defending the Dragon's Maw, only wanted Aurugorn to link up with Gildanstein in the Royal Capital, but Aurugorn was different.

His primary objective was to stop the enemy advance from the Dragon's Maw.

That alone would ensure victory in this battle.

Verreich's army is operating with logistics connected from the east.

Even if Aurugorn did not confront and win against Verreich's army, he could stall its forces so that they would not be able to participate in the battle for the Dragon's Maw.

Then it would be easy for the Central Army to cut off the rear of Verreich's forces, which would leave them without food within their own Kingdom, exhausted, and ultimately forced to surrender.

If he had at least reduced their forces if he had bought more time.

That alone would have ensured victory.

His adjutant Beluse smiled wryly when he said that.

"It can't be helped. He is a central general after all."

"Hmph, the only merit is the pedigree of the family. The one we can count on is His Royal Highness... well, Wiring is not a bad general, but he seems to be quite weak after being cornered. Let's just hope Wiring isn't a fool like Marcellus."

Aurugorn folds his arms and frowns at him.

He didn't see any problem with the current situation.

But why are there so few of them? That was all he was concerned about.

Did they think that was enough------no, normally, they would have chosen stability here.

The opponent would have to break through the Dragon's Maw.

If by any chance they failed to hold off Aurugorn and thereby failed to capture the dragon's jaws, the princesses faction would be thrown into a deadly situation.

The dragon's jaws should only need to be brought into a pincer attack situation. They would not need much in the way of troops.

In the first place, the main attack in the Dragon's Maw is the Christand's army in the north----Aurgorn thinks that a supporting attack is enough to sandwich it from the south.

If They had intended to finish the battle in one fell swoop, they would have had no problem moving toward the Dragon's Maw with the entire army.

Or alternatively, make the Christand, who has come to stall them, assist the Dragon's Maw, and the Verreich army face off against Aurugorn. In such a situation, Aurugorn would have no choice but to hesitate to go on the offensive.

But the number of people who came this time was small------that's why Aurugorn was determined to get rid of them.

The mysterious behavior of the enemy aroused his suspicions.

Why, why were they resorting to these means?

----Think of it the other way around. If I'm the enemy, what will I do?

Back to basics. What would you think and how would you act if you were the enemy?

Stalling? In that case, Verreich's army should be the one coming for them.

Why is only one of them heading this way? ----It's probably mostly a matter of dealing with the prisoners.

But even if that is the case, it's better to let the army of the Cursed Child that is coming this way head first for the Dragon's Maw. That would be more certain.

If the enemy's aim is to attack the jaws of the dragon, the more he focused on that single point, the more he will lose sight of their intentions.

There was a possibility that he was fundamentally mistaken.

At the very least, the enemy was acting with the knowledge that Aulgorn would move.

The information must have leaked out. That part was fine.

They thought of a countermeasure and sent the Cursed Child ahead to stop stall them.

----Why did she went ahead?

Because they wanted to avoid a decisive battle on the plains.

Yes, if it's a small force, there's no choice but to fight in the forest. Otherwise, they would be no match for them.

But if it's a forest----and they excel in forests and mountains----

" way"

Aurugorn glared at the map with wide eyes.

They chose the battlefield not to stall, but to finish him off.

The enemy was few, and that was why he choose to fight a decisive battle. He will choose to fight, and they will step into the forest.

The army of the Cursed Child was small in number, and anticipating this, they entered the forest as if to lure them in.

What were they aiming for?

----Of course, it was an ambush surprise attack, ripping through the throats of those who looked down on the small force.


He slammed his fist into the desk.

The wooden cup on top fell to the ground and makes a noise.

"The premise was wrong. It's not a stalling. They seem to want to get rid of me."

"No way, that's..."

"Probably the target is here."

Shortly after entering the forest, there is a large river and a bridge through which soldiers and trains can cross.

It is surrounded by forests on the left and right, and they will reach here in three days.

However, three days later, this place will probably already be occupied by the enemy.

After leaving town, the enemy must be approaching here with a forced march.

Even if they fail to ambush, if they have this place in their hands, they will be more than enough to stall them.

It was certain that if they slowed down and guarded against the enemy, they would take this place.

"We can't move the army now, but tomorrow we will start a forced march. But tomorrow we will start a forced march. We can delay most of our rations."

"Yes sir."

"Are you saying I'm the same as that Marcellus' fool? I didn't think you would underestimate me this much. I won't be satisfied until I drop you guys."

There was anger in his voice.

His hand searches for the sake cup, but it had already fallen to the ground.

"Attendants (squire), what are you doing! Alcohol!"

"Y-yes sir! Excuse me...!"

The attendant who seemed to be frightened by Aurugorn's fury poured sake into a new cup.

When he handed it over, Aurugorn took a cigar in his mouth and the attendant hurriedly lit it.

"I have to thank Roaland for this. One more day late and it would have been too late."

"...True. But----"

"Beyond that point, they will be just another trapped rat. There is no escape."

Just like the west side, there are several small rivers in the center, which is a little further east.

The reason why the decisive battle took place on this side rather than the other side was probably because the river was wide and there was only one bridge that was the most suitable for advancing the army.

None of the bridges on that side are that large, and there are several of it.

It would be difficult for the enemy to anticipate their movement and narrow down their target, and if they were superior in terms of military strength, it would be possible to split up the soldiers and make a detour to encircle the enemy.

Easy to chase, hard to escape.

If this ambush fails, the countless rivers will become obstacles that make it difficult for them to retreat.

Aurugorn inhales the smoke and exhaled it with his fury.

He maps out the Christand army and finds a way to hunt them down.

His round eyes were hecticly, tracing the map.