Chapter 109: To the Eastern Front (1)

“And that’s what I saw on the battlefield?”

“Yes, Marquis, that’s right.”

After hearing Carl’s explanation, Milton felt like he could understand the situation.

‘A dark side created by an unfortunate childhood… isn’t this a quite serious problem?’

Milton was honestly sympathetic towards Princess Violet. He had already realized this with Queen Leila, but didn’t seem like it was particularly lucky to be born into the royal family.

Milton spoke to Carl.

“Sir Thomas.”

“Yes, Marquis?”

“Excuse me for saying this but, Princess Violet is mentally… well, how should I say this, disabled?”

“Yes, that’s right, Marquis.”

“Then what is your reason for having her as your Master and swearing eternal loyalty to her?”

For a split second, Carl’s face turned unpleasant.

‘Did I make a mistake?’

Feeling insulted, Carl clenched his teeth before speaking to Milton.

“Princess Violet reached out to us when we were discriminated against because of our status, abandoned by our families, and trampled by those in power.”

Carl looked Milton straight in the eye before continuing to talk.

“Even if the whole world is pointing at the Princess, none of us will betray her.”

“I see. Alright. I’m sorry for doubting your loyalty. I apologize for that.”

Milton’s position was much higher, but he still knew to apologize when he upset someone. 

“…Thank you.”

It seemed Carl’s upset lessened a bit at Milton’s apology. Either way, Milton’s question was answered. The issue now was…

‘How do I use the princess now that I know what her problem is?’

Milton felt he should discuss this particular problem with Viscount Sabian. 

Milton was thanked by the field commander for saving Horn Castle. The field commander had thought it was all over when Milton had come to save them with reinforcements. He was so happy that it felt like his dead parents had come back alive. 

“Please wait a bit. I’ll have a banquet prepared immediately.”

Milton shook his head at the castle commander’s words.

“We only did what we must during war. Let us put off the banquet until this war ends in victory.”

“Ah… yes, let’s do that.”

When Milton refused the banquet, the commander seemed greatly moved. Usually, commanders who participated in a war as an ally asked for something in return. Unlike wars that were fought in their own country, wars fought on foreign lands meant it was difficult for them to obtain land or title as a reward, so they demanded compensation in return. It seemed as though all of them had the mindset that since it wasn’t their country’s finance, it didn’t matter how much they asked for compensation. So when a reinforcement force showed an attitude like Milton, the commander was rather grateful.  

“Rather than that, I’d like to meet with the commander-in-chief of the Eastern Front.”

“The Commander-in-chief is Marquis Luke Bologna. He’s in Lucerne Castle in the rear of Eastern Front.”

“I see, then I’ll head over right now. I’ll leave behind 10,000 troops to help defend this castle.”

Having dealt with the situation in Horn Castle, Milton immediately headed towards Lucerne Castle. 

According to Viscount Sabian’s strategy, it was time to cooperate with the Eastern Front. 

***

Milton quickly met with Marquis Bologna once he arrived at Lucerne Castle. 

“I am Luke Bologna.”

“I’m Milton Forrest.”

The two of them met with their advisors inside Lucerne Castle. Staring straight at each other, they shook hands with stern expressions. Looking at their attitudes, it was obvious neither wanted to look weaker than the other and both wanted to gain the upper hand. Milton looked at Marquis Bologna’s stats. 

[Luke Bologna]

Knight LV. 7

Strength — 77         Command — 98

Intellect — 80                 Politics — 72

Loyalty — 00

Special Traits — Fortify, Siege, Caution, Night Raid

Fortify LV. 8: When defending a fort, it increases the morale of ally troops and increases your ability to command.

Siege LV. 6: In a siege battle, the ability to command allied troops increases. The rate of fatigue for your troops are decreased.

Caution LV. 6: Increases the probability of being aware of enemy ambushes or traps.

Night Raid LV. 5: When attacking at night, it decreases the confusion of ally troops while it increases the chaos of enemy troops.

‘Oh… this is quite?’

Milton felt admiration. Luke Bologna was indeed a man talented enough to be appointed as a frontline’s Commander-in-chief of Strabus Kingdom, a military powerhouse. The overall stats were all very high, but a Command stat of 98 was particularly great. And maybe because he had a lot of experience fighting in wars, but he was talented in both fortification and sieges and also seemed to be good with strategies that could be used in regular field battles. 

‘He’s in his mid-forties… is this what it means to reach peak performance as a member of the military? 

With constant training, Luke Bologna’s physical condition didn’t seem to be declining and his experience and wisdom seemed to have reached their peak. The stats of the advisors standing behind Marquis Bologna were also great. 

‘That’s a good thing. This is great.’

If the ally was competent, then it would be helpful in future plans. While Milton was thinking to himself, Marquis Bologna spoke first. 

“I heard you helped save Horn Castle from potential disaster. Thank you for that.”

“I only did what was expected of me as an ally.”

“Still, I’m very grateful for what you did. If it weren’t for you, we might have lost Horn Castle to the enemy.”

It wasn’t ‘might have lost,’ it was ‘would have lost.’

But, Milton didn’t point that out and went straight to the main point. 

“I wish to participate in this war by fighting on the Eastern Front. Marquis Bologna, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Front, will you give me permission to do so?”

Even though there was no way Bologna would reject a reinforcement force, Milton still asked him for permission. Puzzled, Marquis Bologna asked him a question.

“I have something I want to ask you.”

“Please ask.”

“The biggest battles are currently taking place in the Northern Front. Both the enemy and our allies are focusing their troops over there, Marquis Forrest.”

“Yes, I know.”

“If Marquis Forrest came to fight in this war hoping for a lot of military achievements, then shouldn’t you show your courage and talents in the Northern Front? Why are you here in the East?”

‘So he really is asking me.’

Milton responded as if he had already expected Marquis Bologna’s question. 

“I can answer this but… this is my advisor and he would answer it even better than I can.”

Milton introduced Viscount Sabian who had been standing behind him. 

“This is Viscount Sabian, my Chief of staff. 

“I’m Randol Sabian. It’s an honor to meet you, Marquis Bologna.”

“That’s enough with the courtesies. I’d much rather hear why you came to the East.”

At those words, Viscount Sabian took out a map and spread it out. 

“I’ll explain, sir. First of all, as everyone knows, this is a war in which the three Republic nations united and attacked the Strabus Kingdom. However, most of their forces are concentrated on the Northern Front.”

This was a fact that everyone already knew.

“But Marquis, why might they be focusing their forces in one place?”

“What a silly question. Isn’t it a classic standard procedure to gather your troops and attack the enemy?”

Viscount Sabian nodded his head at Marquis Bologna’s answer.

“That’s right, sir. Standard procedure. But, there’s another reason. From the Republican’s point of view, they can’t do anything but concentrate their forces. 

“Why’s that?”

“Because if they spread out, then the Allied Forces of the kingdoms, which has more troops, would have the advantage in the battle. 

This was exactly what Milton had been trying to do at the beginning. He planned to lead an overwhelming amount of troops and launch a fierce offensive on all Fronts, which would make it impossible for the Republic to concentrate their troops. The only problem was that in order for Milton’s plan to succeed, it required at least 500,000 troops. So, when the allies sent less troops, his plan became useless. 

However, Viscount Sabian had said something. He said that even though it was impossible to attack the Republic from all directions, it was still possible to attack them from two directions, causing them to split their forces in half. 

“The premise of the strategy lies in creating a situation that is great for the allies and unfavorable for the enemy. We want to make sure the Republic can’t concentrate their troops on the North by attacking them from the Eastern Front, Marquis Bologna.”

After listening to Viscount Sabian, Marquis Bologna nodded as if he agreed with their point. 

‘That’s not bad. No, it’s rather good. But…’

But he still had questions.

“You said you were Viscount Sabian?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I understand what you’re saying. But why the Eastern Front? Is there a reason you picked the Eastern Front and not the Western Front?”

Marquis Bologna wasn’t asking to be nit-picky but sincerely asking. Viscount Sabian immediately answered as if he had been waiting to be asked. 

“It has to be the Eastern Front for three reasons.”

“Tell me the reasons.”

“First, it can’t be the West. The Western Front is mostly mountainous and it would be difficult to lead a large army through the Grey Mountains.”

At those words, Milton wryly smiled in agreement.

‘It’s very tiring to lead a large army over that damn mountain range.’

Milton identified with that explanation because he had served on the Western Front before. 

“In fact, we also thought about sending a signal to Duke Palan, who’s in charge of the Northern Border of our kingdom, to attack. But, thanks to the Hildes Republic’s thorough preparation, that won’t be easy.”

“That’s a pity.”

Marquis Bologna seemed to find that regrettable. 

Viscount Sabian continued with his explanation.

“The second reason is that even if we crossed the Grey Mountains and invaded the Hildes Republic’s mainland, it’s doubtful whether that would have a big impact.”

“Why’s that?”

“The Hildes Republic is a mountainous region, so they’re very good at conducting time-consuming operations and fighting large troops with far fewer troops. And in the worst case scenario, the Republic might risk damaging the Hildes Republic and focus solely on attacking. We have to remember that they’ve set a precedent for doing so once before in the past.”

Including Marquis Bologna, all the Strabus kingdom’s people nodded. In the past, when the Hildes Republic lost their strength on the Western Front, the Strabus Kingdom had launched a great offensive. But, at that time, the Hildes Republic led by Siegfried dragged things out with the Blue-Night tactics [1]. Instead, the Republican reinforcements forces attacked the Northern Front. Although they were able to barely defeat the enemy at that time, the damage suffered by the Strabus Kingdom was enormous.

“Then, you mean that it’ll be different in the East, Viscount Sabian?”

“Of course. If we crossed the Eastern Front and attacked the Kobrook Republic, then the enemies will never be able to ignore it. After all, the Kobook Republic is an important food source for the Republics.”

If the Hildes Republic were in charge of producing weapons using the iron from their mines, then the Kobrook Republic was in charge of commerce and food production. Of course, the Hannover Republic wasn’t far behind Hildes Republic in food production, but 80% of the food for the Republics came from both the Kobrook Republic and the Hannover Republic. 

“It’s midsummer right now. Even if we are currently at war, farming can’t be put on pause. If we advanced the army and burnt down the Kobrook Republic’s granary, then…”  

“That’d be a devastating blow to the Republican’s food production. They definitely…”

“They definitely won’t be able to ignore that, sir.”

Marquis Bologna greatly admired Viscount Sabian. 

‘How incredible. If this succeeded then this war… no, it’d cause enormous damage to the entire Republic.’

Depending on how flexible and open minded a person looked at the war, the more opportunities and plans there were. Until now, Marquis Bologna had only been faithfully carrying out his mission and defended the Eastern Front. He had never thought there would be an opportunity for him to take the leading role in counterattacking. 

“Then, what is the third reason?”

Viscount Sabian laughed when he saw Marquis Bologna anticipating his answer. 

“The third reason…”

Now, not only Marquis Bologna, but every single person from Strabus Kingdom paid attention to Viscount Sabian. 

Without their notice, they had been drawn into Viscount Sabian’s plans.

Viscount Sabian smiled at them.

“I can’t tell you because it’s not safe here.”

“This…”

“No, that’s…”

“Aren’t you being too…”

Seeing the regretful look on Marquis Bologna and his advisors’ faces, Viscount Sabian spoke to them with an apologetic expression.

“I’m sorry, but it’s absolutely necessary to safeguard the third reason. However…”

However what?”

“If. If the worst case scenario happens and the Eastern Front isn’t able to break through the enemy’s borders and inflict damage upon them, then we’ll still have the third reason already prepared. That is all I will tell you.”


1. The Blue Night tactics are a tactic in which the defense forces voluntarily remove all military supplies and food that the enemy can use around them, leaving the enemy feeling limited and exhausted.

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