Chapter 132: A Definite Strike (3)

Viscount Sabian from retreating Allied Forces Headquarters.

“A guest has come for you, My Lord.”

There was only one person in the entire world that Viscount Sabian would address as his ‘Lord.’ Unlike what Siegfried thought, Milton was still in the Headquarters. 

“How many troops?”

“About 20,000 men and led by a man named Nathan, My Lord.”

Milton laughed, then muttered to himself. 

“Huh, a punk I’ve never heard or seen before.”

“Sir?”

“Never mind, it’s nothing. Rather than that, it seems like the plan was a success, Sabian.”

Viscount Sabian smiled in response. 

“That’s because the bait was impressive, sir.”

“Haha…”

Milton chuckled. Then, he shouted out a command for his entire army.  

“We’ll be welcoming guests. Let’s show those reckless Republicans how it’s done!”

“Yes, Sir!”

“Turn around! All of you, turn around! Annihilate the enemy!”

“Wahhh!!!”

With one sentence from Milton, all the troops that had been retreating suddenly turned around and startled the Republicans who had been trying to stealthily attack them from the back.

“How… how are they this fast?”

It was more difficult than it seemed for an entire army to suddenly change directions since the troops at the front of the army and the troops protecting the rear of the army were too far apart and had different purposes. For an enemy to be this fast could only mean…

“Could they have already prepared for it? That’s not possible.”

Once he had received his orders from Siegfried, Nathan had confidently moved towards Milton, but now, he had realized something. This wasn’t an army that was retreating. This was an army that was pretending to retreat to lure their enemies in. The evidence for that stood at the front of the army…

“I am Jerome Taker!”

Jerome Taker, Milton’s dependable right hand, charged forward.

With a Master leading the charge, the Knights rushed forward and their combined destructive power destroyed their enemy.

Clang! Clash! Clang!

“Guh!”

“Ugh…”

This was a complete disaster for the Republicans. They had only worn light armor in order to quickly chase after their enemy, but were completely mowed down once Milton’s men began attacking. A Master could exert the greatest power on the battlefield, and when the rest of the Knights followed right behind him, the Republicans couldn’t hold their positions.

“Infantry, charge!”

“Let’s welcome the Republicans dogs!”

“Wahhh!!”

The infantry charged straight into the chaos and the archers supporting them from the back followed after them…

Having lost many men and unable to function as an army, the Republicans became something to be trampled upon, not someone to beat.

***

Milton only needed to watch from the back without having to join in the fight. 

“How many did you say there were in the enemy’s army?”

“It’s about 20,000 men, sir.”

At that report, Milton smiled at Viscount Sabian. 

“We hit them hard. I think I can even hear Siegfried throwing a bitch fit from here.”

No one mentioned that the term ‘bitch fit’ was too vulgar and wasn’t something a nobility should say. On the battlefield, an enemy’s fit was the allies’ happiness.

“Thank you, My Lord.”

Viscount Sabian bowed deeply as he thanked Milton.

Thank you. It was a simple phrase but it was the only phrase that expressed his gratitude the best right now. He had previously made a very big mistake, a mistake so bad that it almost put Milton’s life in danger. However, Milton had still believed in him. Viscount Sabian thought that if he had been Milton, he wouldn’t have been able to trust himself again. But as if it was only natural, Milton had still trusted him. It was like Milton thought there was no need to doubt him because of a single defeat; Milton still had faith in him. 

It was that fact that made Viscount Sabian feel so much gratitude that it brought tears to his eyes. It brought tears to Viscount Sabian’s eyes that Milton still had faith in him. This plan had only been possible because Milton still trusted him. 

‘Of course, Marquis Bologna’s ambition also played a big part.’

Viscount Sabian grinned broadly. 

***

This had been Viscount Sabian’s plan from the beginning. 

First, they would pretend to retreat and let Siegfried decide whether he wanted to chase after them or not. Usually, they would create a trap and wait until the enemy fell for it, but this time, the enemy was particularly impressive, so they had to put in some effort. 

Milton and Viscount Sabian selected 10,000 troops and pretended to attack the enemy’s mainland. From the outside, this plan seemed very possible. If they could attack the Kobrook Republic’s Capital or their granaries as originally planned, then it seemed possible to make up for the Northern Front’s defeat. 

Of course, Marquis Bologna was determined to achieve something great during this war and enthusiastically supported this plan. 

[Didn’t you promise me that you’d give me command and the chance to achieve something?]

There was one other person than Marquis Bologna who had raised their hand in support.

[Wait a moment. I was also promised something like that, Marquis Forrest! You didn’t forget the promise you made me, right?]

That person was Princess Violet. She desperately wanted to prove herself in this war and fought against Marquis Bologna for this opportunity. That’s how successful this plan seemed and that’s how much this plan’s outcome was worth. 

Viscount Sabian was only thankful. What exactly was he thankful for?

‘Princess Violet is great at drawing attention. She’s sincere, but she’s also very effective.’

That’s right. From the beginning, this plan seemed very successful, but it was only a bait. No, strictly speaking, it was still a great plan. 

‘Siegfried will probably prepare against this plan’

Viscount Sabian couldn’t underestimate Siegfried any longer. Siegfried was someone equal to himself, no, Siegfried was a strategist who was even better than himself. That’s what Viscount Sabian kept in mind as he dealt with Siegfried. In other words, he was making plans with the assumption that whatever plans he made, Siegfried already thought of them. 

If Siegfried predicted they would try to sneak into the Republic by detouring, then he would most definitely try to intercept them. In that case, the current 40,000 men Republican Army would have to split up and the number of troops attacking the retreating army would lessen. They were capable of dealing with the retreating troops without lying in ambush or creating any traps. It would be even better if the plan attracted Siegfried’s attention. 

When Viscount Sabian quietly informed Milton of this, Milton turned to speak to Marquis Bologna. 

[I will leave this operation in your hands, Marquis Bologna.]

[Marquis Forrest?!]

[That’s a wise decision.]

Princess Violet’s face expressed that she thought it was an unfair decision while Marquis Bologna straightened his back. However, Milton had more to say.

[Jerome will be guarding your back, Marquis Bologna.]

Marquis Bologna’s jaw tightened. The fact that Jerome was a Master wasn’t hidden any longer. While it was great that there was a Master within their army, the mere presence of a Master was intimidating and threatening. Marquis Bologna was concerned that even if he attacked the enemy, his achievements would be considered to be less because of Jerome’s presence. Knowing exactly what was going through Marquis Bologna’s head, Viscount Sabian spoke up. 

[My Lord, if we don’t have Sir Jerome, our fight with the enemy’s main army might get difficult.]

Marquis Bologna spoke up as if he had been waiting for this exact moment.

[I can handle this operation with just my men. I won’t need Sir Taker’s support for this.]

[But what if you encounter the enemy troops while you pass through their lands, Marquis Bologna? That’ll be…]

[Then, what if Sir Taker went with you, but left in the middle? Would you be alright with that, Marquis Bologna?]

Marquis Bologna nodded at Viscount Sabian’s suggestion.

[That seems doable. No, that seems like the best option.]

Marquis Bologna thought the probability of this plan succeeding was very high, that’s why he didn’t want to share the achievement with anyone else.

Milton nodded his head as if he understood Marquis Bologna. 

[In that case, let’s do that. Please be patient and wait for the next one, Princess Violet. I will definitely keep my promise to you.]

[…Alright, I understand. ]

That’s how Viscount Sabian’s plan got started. He was convinced that Siegfried would predict the detour. He also determined that Siegfried would grasp that Jerome Taker would be a part of that detour troops

There were moments where a strategist had to believe in his enemy’s abilities. If you know your enemy and yourself, you can win every battle. It was a different world, but the principle was the same. 

If it was any other strategist, using a Master in a plan like this would be a waste, but because the opponent was Siegfried, a Master was crucial to the plan. Just as Milton was wary of Siegfried, Siegfried was equally wary of Milton. Siegfried most likely knew that Jerome was Milton’s best and strongest officer. In that case, it was possible to use Jerome’s influence as bait. With that conviction, Viscount Sabian implemented his plan. 

And now, everything in Viscount Sabian’s plan worked out perfectly. Having moved Siegfried where he wanted, the 20,000 currently in front of Viscount Sabian’s eyes were like prey. Although Marquis Bologna had been sacrificed, that wasn’t a big worry for him. Coldly put, Marquis Bologna was a foreign country’s aristocrat and also a nuisance to deal with. Either way, he had been the best bait because he had been full of motivation. 

“If we destroyed that army right now, I’m guessing Siegfried won’t be able to do whatever he wants right?”

“Yes, My Lord. Even if he is a great strategist, there’s no way the difference in troops wouldn’t be troublesome. “

“You’re right. In that case, we should increase our military achievements as much as possible right now.”

Having said that, Milton stealthily peeked backwards.

“Then, shall we slowly loosen our hold on them?”

“Timing wise… yes, My Lord. It seems like it’d be alright.”

“It’s not too soon?”

“It’ll be hard to hold them back anyways. We should take advantage of the battlefield right now and let them loose, let them fight as wildly as they want, My Lord.”

“Hm, you’re right.”

Based just on Milton and Viscount Sabian’s conversation, you might think they were discussing whether they should let wild dogs loose. 

After a while…

“Charge! All of you, charge!”

“Follow the Princess!”

“Don’t fall behind!”

“Wahhh!!”

Princess Violet led her Florence Principality’s army and charged forward; they ran forward like wild dogs.

“It’ll be alright, right?”

“Yes. It’ll be… alright. Probably…”

As always, Princess Violet couldn’t be controlled on the battlefield, but as long as she was on the field, it was a disaster for the enemy. Her army might as well be specialized in pursuit while Princess Violet was as stubborn as a wolf that caught scent of blood. 

“She’ll eat at least half of them alive.”

“Seems like so, My Lord.”

If Siegfried lost a large chunk of his troops here, it’ll be difficult for him to be active on the Eastern Front. 

“With this, we’ve really hit him good, haven’t we.”

When Milton said this, Viscount Sabian paused.

“No, My Lord. We haven’t yet.”

“What do you mean we haven’t yet?”

“Didn’t I tell you, My Lord? I promised we’d hit him hard.”

“What else is left?”

Viscount Sabian broke out into a large smile. 

“You’ll find out soon enough.”

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