Chapter 11: The Republic’s Ploy (2)

It went without saying that the one leading the attack on top of the Grey Mountains was Milton. His subordinates, Jerome, Rick, and Tommy were also there next to him.

“Fortunately, we made it in time.”

“Thank goodness.”

“We were fortunate to get immediate support.”

Milton moved as soon as he heard the enemy had entered the valley of the wind. He took just three others with him to the Valley of the Winds — Jerome, Rick, and Tommy. These four were the only ones to move out to keep the enemy unaware.

If a whole squad moved out, the enemy was likely to catch on and capture them. This was done so secretively that someone who didn’t know of the circumstances would surely think of them to be deserters. However, there was a problem here.

“My Lord, even with Sir Jerome, there’s no way just us four can hold off the enemy.”

It was just as Tommy spoke during their trek.

The Valley of the Winds was an easy location to defend, but one still needed troops to make the best use of it. How were four men going to hold off 2,000 enemy soldiers? It would be impossible unless one of those four men was at the Master rank.

Milton replied to the worried Tommy, “I can’t tell you right this minute for security reasons, but there’s a way. For now, it’s imperative for us to get to the Valley of the Winds as soon as possible.”

Jerome and his knights nodded their heads.

‘If My Lord says so then….’

‘The Viscount must have a plan.’

The Milton Forrest they had seen so far was not a man who moved thoughtlessly. If anything, he seemed to think too much almost to a fault. If a person like Milton moved with conviction, then there really must be a way.

Their small group was able to travel quickly to reach the Valley of the Winds. There, they found out what Milton had been planning.

“Are you Sir Forrest?”

“Yes. What is your name and affiliation?”

“I’m Terry, with the security forces of Pratinos. My 500 subordinates and I will now be under your command, Sir Forrest.”

500 soldiers were standing by behind the man who spoke respectfully.

The entire security force of Pratinos had mobilized. Troops were needed to stop the enemy from marching through the Valley of the Winds.

However, taking troops out of the fort was dangerous because it was likely to be noticed by the enemy. Therefore, Milton told Nelson that they needed to take the troops out of the targeted city of Pratinos to respond to the enemy.

Nelson accepted Milton’s suggestion to resolve the situation. He immediately sent a message to ask for help from the mayor of Pratinos with an explanation of the current situation.

Nelson might only have been a 1000-man commander, but he knew a lot of people from fighting at the Western Front for decades. This was how Nelson had a straight line of communication with the mayor of the major commerce city Pratinos.

The mayor of Pratinos moved immediately after receiving the message from Nelson. From what he knew of Nelson Cardinal, the latter wasn’t the type to spout nonsense. If he said there was a crisis, then there really was a crisis.

The mayor immediately mobilized the entire security force of the city. There weren’t any military personnel available, but there were still guards left to maintain the city’s security. The mayor boldly entrusted the troops, knowing that even if they were left in Pratinos, they wouldn’t be able to defend the city walls. This effectively reduced the defensive strength of Pratinos to zero.

‘Good. We should be able to do it with this much.’

Milton clenched his fists after looking at the troops. It was only 500 people, but they were all strong young men who were well equipped, considering they came from the rich city of Pratinos.

“I thank you all for your cooperation.”

“It is to protect our home. Please command us as you would like.”

“That’s a good attitude. I want to get started right away. First….”

Milton had the troops create an obstacle in the Valley of the Winds. The obstacle wasn’t something the enemy could ignore but was still something they could climb over.

“My Lord, if we’re going to create an obstacle, wouldn’t it be better to make it high enough so they can’t climb over it?”

Rick asked Milton during the construction, but Milton shook his head as he replied, “No. Create it at a height the enemy will be able to climb over. Since the enemy is good in mountain warfare, an obstacle of two meters should be something they can easily climb over.

“We won’t be able to stop the enemy with that though.”

“That’s right.”

“…huh?”

“My goal isn’t to stop the enemy here. It’s to eliminate them here," Milton remarked.

Rick expressed his confusion with a dumbfounded look.

That was when his friend, Tommy, shouted at him.

“You won’t come up with an answer with that dumb head of yours. Just hurry up and get moving.”

“Who are you calling dumb?!”

Rick shouted back loudly, but quickly commanded the troops to get the job completed. Rick realized later why Milton had ordered the obstacle to be constructed so short.

“Retreat! Fall back!”

“Hurry and ret… Kuuuhhhk!”

The enemy couldn’t withstand the arrows falling like rain from the middle and ordered a retreat.

However, the enemy couldn’t properly retreat because of the obstacle they had decided to ignore and climb over previously. The obstacle was something they could easily climb over during a march, but it wasn’t something they could ignore in battle, especially not when arrows were raining all around them.

“Damn it! Tell them to hurry up! What are the guys in the front doing!”

“You fuckers, stop wasting time and… Kuuuuhhhk!”

In a situation where the 2,000 soldiers of the Hildess Republic could neither advance nor retreat, they were constantly dying one by one.

“The Lord’s head is certainly better than mine after all,” Rick mumbled to himself.

Tommy then retorted, “Did you just realize that?”

“No, I knew that already, but… don’t you think our Lord is incredible?”

“What are you saying all of a sudden?”

Their hands continued to fire arrow after arrow, but they casually maintained their conversation.

They were one-sidedly attacking the enemy since the enemy’s attack couldn’t reach the top of the cliff. So, there was plenty of room for dialogue even in the middle of combat.

“All I’m saying is, even if you studied at the academy in the capital, you wouldn’t normally be able to come up with an amazing strategy like this. Right?”

“…That’s true.”

The Rick that Tommy knew was a simple and straightforward guy who didn’t think deeply. However, sometimes Rick came up with things even he hadn’t thought of.

“If we are together with our Lord, I don’t think we’ll end up as just plain knights from the countryside.”

“That may be true.”

“It’s not a maybe, it’s a given. So… Keuhmmm. Sir Jerome?”

Rick stopped talking and called out to Jerome who was firing his bow from a short distance away.

Jerome hadn’t joined in on the conversation but had heard everything the other two were saying. He already had an idea of why Rick called out to him.

“What do you wish to say, Sir Torris?”

Even though he had an idea of what Rick wanted to say, he asked to make sure since this was a sensitive topic.

“It’s none other than, since My Lord is such an excellent person, I thought that perhaps it would be great for Sir Jerome… to serve under him with us. That’s all I was thinking.”

Rick had a hard time approaching Jerome, but he had a straightforward character and had to say whatever was on his mind.

Jerome didn’t answer Rick and just continued to shoot his arrows in silence.

Rick spoke again to Jerome, “Sir Jerome, can you think about it? With Sir Jerome, we would….”

“Stop, we’re in the middle of battle,” Jerome cut Rick off but didn’t refuse the latter outright.

Tommy saw Jerome’s reaction and thought there was some potential there.

Looking at it objectively, having an expert level Knight serving under a plain noble from the countryside like Viscount Forrest could be excessive. However, Jerome’s current actions indicated he wasn’t totally against it. That might be why…

“Please think of it positively.”

“Sir Croix, now you’re saying it too…”

“A Knight must find a good Lord to serve to make full use of their skills. Just thinking about it is enough, so please consider it.”

“……”

Jerome gave no response once again. However, his expression showed he was deeply conflicted.

The battle ended one-sidedly.

It was hard to even be called a battle, since the trap was prepared perfectly and the enemies that entered it were slaughtered. Not even half of the 2,000 enemies were able to run away, and the Valley of the Winds was full of the enemies’ corpses.

In comparison, there was no damage to the allies. It was only natural since they one-sidedly attacked the enemies from the safety of the cliff with rocks and arrows.

“Congratulations on the overwhelming victory, Viscount Forrest.” Jerome came over to congratulate Milton on his victory.

However, Milton simply smiled before replying, “The result was due to the immense advantage in terrain. I was lucky.”

“It was your strategy that created such a situation. You can’t call that luck.”

“No, I was definitely lucky,” Milton explained while smiling bitterly.

The Valley of the Winds was the worst path for the enemy to march through. Nevertheless, the enemy tried to sneak past through here.

They might have planned for it carefully, but to Milton, the whole plan seemed like a reckless gamble. It was an all or nothing move. They might have prepared several things to ensure the plan was successful, but they made no preparations in the event of a failure.

“It was the result of the enemy’s arrogance. My strategy is not something I can boast about.”

‘After all my intellect is only 69… Huh?’

Milton then noticed from his status window that his intellect had gone up slightly. His intellect was at 69 previously, but had now gone up to 74. There was also a small message underneath.

[You defeated an enemy over twice your number with your strategy. You are given a bonus of +5 points.]

‘Oh… There was something like this?’

Milton couldn’t help smiling from the unexpected windfall.

Jerome couldn't hide his admiration as he gazed at Milton.

‘He’s a great person. If he is this impressive at such a young age, then in the future….’

Jerome then recalled Rick and Tommy’s words during battle.

“What is it, Jerome?”

“No, it’s nothing, Viscount.”

“How insipid… Let’s go. We need to report the outcome.”

Milton then wrapped up the current situation and returned to the Crow Fortress.

It was a tremendous victory.

Milton’s victory accomplished more than annihilating 2,000 enemy soldiers. Apart from the outcome of the battle, if the enemy couldn’t be stopped at the Valley of the Winds, the result would have been disastrous.

If the enemy couldn’t be stopped there then the commerce city of Pratinos, where all the supplies were, would have been completely ransacked. If such a thing happened, the enemy would have room to breathe, and the supplies to the Western Front would have taken a major hit.

It was a small battle where the participants from both sides put together didn’t even reach 3,000 people, but the effect of it would be felt throughout the Western Front.

Of course, Nelson counted Milton’s accomplishment to be of the highest degree. From working harder than anyone else to defend the fort in the beginning, to recognizing what the enemy had planned, Milton then came up with the right strategy to respond to the enemy, and successfully led the defense.

Nelson carefully wrote down all of Milton’s accomplishments and sent it over to the command office. The command office also rated Milton’s individual accomplishments quite highly.

This was an unusual level of achievement at the Western Front, which continued to have only small-scale battles. If Milton were a fellow countryman, he would have immediately gained a rank in nobility. However, Milton Forrest was unfortunately a foreigner.

From the standpoint of the command office, the enlistment of foreign nobles was a welcome sight. However, they didn’t wish for the foreigners to have large accomplishments in the front lines. There wasn’t any reasonable explanation for it, other than it being a matter of pride.

In truth, there had been some discrimination so far when evaluating the foreigners and nationals. Therefore, the command office gave the entirety of the accomplishments to Nelson Cardinal, who was in charge of the Crow Fortress. As a result, Nelson ascended to the rank of Count from a Viscount, and also became a 3,000-man commander.

Naturally, Milton’s accomplishments became much lower in direct opposition.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter