Chapter 201: A Trick (1)

“They say that Milton Forrest is rampaging on the walls, sir.”

“What’s the detailed situation?”

“Our men are struggling on the walls and more than half of our siege ladders are damaged, sir.”

“They’ve responded rather quickly. If the ladders are damaged, have them immediately fix it on-site. Don’t let the enemy rest.”

“Yes, sir.”

The Republican soldiers obeyed Siegfried and diligently moved ladders.

Compared to the siege ladders that Milton had created, the Republican’s siege ladders were greatly improved. One of the improvements was that the siege ladder wasn’t one whole piece, but it was now possible to disassemble into many parts. Since a siege ladder would be the first thing to be attacked and damaged by the enemy during the battle, Siegfried had improved it so it could be disassembled and its parts repaired. After all, no matter how strong and sturdily it was built, a ladder still had limits. The Republican’s siege ladder had been improved so that even if it broke during a battle, there would be spare parts so that it could be repaired on site.

In fact, when the repair part came, the soldiers in charge of the siege ladder skillfully changed out the broken ladder. Seeing how it took less than a minute to change out the broken part, it was obvious that they had repeatedly practiced disassembling and repairing it.

“It’s been fixed, sir!”

“Good! Attack again!”

“Yes, sir!”

The siege ladders once again raised the ladders against the Meichi Castle walls and the Republican soldiers began climbing up the ladders onto the walls.

“Go! Don’t give up!”

“Be the paving stone of the great Republic!”

“For paradise!”

“Waaaaaaah!!”

The Republican soldiers united their voices and attacked fiercely.

***

“Damn it. There’ll be no end to this.”

Milton frowned.

He had walked around smashing the siege ladders on the Meichi Castle walls, but the situation hadn’t changed. The Republic soldiers were still persistently attacking. Even knowing that the Lester Kingdom’s soldiers were keeping the Republican soldiers on the ladders in check with long spears and that powerful knights were waiting for them on the walls, the Republican soldiers didn’t hesitate. 

‘These ideological fanatics got indoctrinated again.’

He frowned. If the Republican soldiers were attacking with the ‘for paradise’ nonsense, then they were going to get really stubborn about fighting. After all, humans got stronger when they were acting with a purpose and the Republicans were showing exactly that.

“Die!”

Keugh…”

One of the Republican soldiers was stabbed in the chest with a long spear. At that moment, the soldier grabbed onto the long spear sticking out of his chest with both hands and tried to fall off the side of the ladder.

“Hey… hey hey, let go, you psycho!”

The soldier who had stabbed the Republican was frightened. If you’re going to die, die alone. The Lester Kingdom’s soldier didn’t think the Republican would try to drag him down too.

“For… paradise…”

Having said his dying wish, the Republican soldier succeeded in dragging down his opponent and dying together.

“Ahhhhhhh!”

The spearman fell screaming. This was a scene that was happening all over the castle walls. Over there was a soldier who dragged down and died with the enemy that had stabbed him and over there was a soldier purposefully using his body as a shield to open up the way for his comrades following behind him.

“Don’t be afraid of death!”

“Let us be the cornerstone of a glorious paradise!”

Waaaaaahh!!”

The morale of the Republican soldiers rose tremendously. No, this wasn't high morale, it was lunacy. Although Milton’s Lester Kingdom’s army consisted of highly trained elites, at that moment, they were fed up with the Republican soldiers’ madness and were on the verge of losing their spirits and becoming discouraged. 

But thankfully, the Southern Knights were standing on the walls right now.

“Don’t be frightened! There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

“They’re just crazy fanatics.”

“If it’s your wish to die, then I’ll grant you your wish!”

No matter how high the Republican soldiers’ morale was, they couldn’t compete with the reality of the difference in skills. Their ‘armor’ of ideology induced madness was no match for reality. Although the number of Republican soldiers scaling the walls increased, because the Southern Knights were guarding it, the Republicans weren’t able to take over the walls.

As that fierce battle on the walls slowly stopped, the Republicans finally quit their siege and withdrew as the sun set.

“We won!”

“Piss off back to your homes, you Republican dogs!”

“Waaaaaah!!”

The Lester Kingdom’s soldiers' shouts of victory could be heard, however, they hadn’t fought an easy battle. Having fought all day, the Meichi Castle walls weren’t colored red just with the colors of the sunset. It was clear evidence that both the enemy and the allies had shed blood from the fierce battle.

After the first day of battle, Milton immediately checked the casualties.

“There are less than 1,000 casualties and there are 700 men injured, sir.”

“And among the injured, how many are seriously injured that it’ll be impossible for them to continue fighting?”

“About 200, sir. But the rest of them only have minor injuries.”

“I see. Good.”

There was more damage than expected. During a siege, as long as the enemy didn’t have access to the walls, there wouldn’t be much damage to their own soldiers, however, there had been over 1,000 casualties.

There were two reasons for this. The first was that Siegfried had improved the siege ladder and soldiers had constantly gone up the wall making it a much more difficult siege than usual. The second reason was the Republican soldiers’ unusually high morale. While the Republicans usually raved like religious fanatics at the drop of a hat, they had been worse than normal.

‘Is it because of Siegfried’s Charisma? Either way, there was more damage than expected.’

While Milton had been thinking so, an aide brought him good news

“While our casualties were great, the enemy’s casualties seemed just as great, sir.”

“Any idea how bad?”

“Yes, sir. Thanks to your quick judgement in sending the Southern Knights up to the walls, we were able to defeat many of the Republican soldiers who had scaled up the walls, sir.”

The aide subtly spoke more flattery.

“Just the number of corpses collected on the walls is close to 2,000 sir. It’s clear that if we added the number of people who died from falling off the walls and those who were killed outside the walls by the arrows, then there would be a lot more, sir.”

Milton nodded.

“It was a hard battle… Do we have enough supplies?”

“Yes, sir, we do.”

“Then, let the soldiers eat their fill and have them rest tonight. But, alcohol is strictly forbidden and make sure they stay vigilant.”

“Understood, sir.”

Milton fell into deep thought after giving those orders.

‘Our damage was great, but the Republicans should have suffered more. This is a fact.’

The number of Republican soldiers that Milton had personally killed and tossed off the walls today was likely to be more than 200. If the war continued at this pace, then the Republicans would be the ones to fall first.

‘There’s no way Siegfried wouldn’t know this. Something will definitely change in tomorrow’s battle.’

Milton steeled himself and decided to prepare for the next day.

***

“Tomorrow, we’ll be attacking Meichi Castle with the same tactics as today.”

This was the first thing Siegfried said to the gathered Republican commanders in the barracks. 

One of his officers carefully raised his hand.

“Sir, our casualties were significant in this battle.”

“What’s the exact number?”

“Our casualties exceeded 3,000 and the number of injured is about 2,000, sir.”

“And how many of those injured are so severely injured that fighting is impossible?”

“Less than expected, sir. Most have minor injuries and there are fewer than 100 men who are severely injured.”

At his report, the other commanders spoke admiringly.

“So most of them are only slightly injured.”

“They’re worthy of being Republican soldiers. Because they fought without getting fatally injured, there are a lot fewer men who died.”

Usually, the severely injured were soldiers who had been injured and lost the will to fight and had collapsed. Those soldiers would hang on until the end of the battle and be saved by their comrades. Then, they’d be registered as a severely injured man. 

In that sense, the fact that the Republic had such few severely injured soldiers meant that most soldiers fought disregarding their own bodies. Because most of them had fought bravely until they died even as arrows turned them into pincushions and swords flew at them, they were registered as casualties instead of being severely injured. 

Even the commanders thought the soldiers had been brave. In line with the mood, Siegfried bowed his head as he spoke. 

“They are really impressive men. As the Commander-in-Chief, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our soldiers and commanders.”

When the Commander-in-Chief bowed his head and expressed his gratitude, all the commanders were astonished.

“Ah… it was nothing sir.”

“How could you say something like that, sir? There’s no need to be that appreciative, sir.”

“He’s right, sir. They’ve all sacrificed themselves because they believed in your virtues and wisdom, sir.”

The Republics were all countries that rejected the class system. But the respectful treatment of the people who were fascinated by Siegfried’s overwhelming charisma and legendary actions was no different than how people acted towards a country’s monarch.

In that respectful atmosphere, Siegfried continued to speak.

“I thank you for putting your faith in me. In that case, won’t you trust me just a bit more?”

Siegfried looked around and made eye contact with every single one of his officers.

“I know that there was a lot of damage to our soldiers. And it’s understandable that you’re worried the battle will continue on the same path, but trust me. If you do…”

Siegfried pounded the desk with his fist as he made a pledge to his officers.

“I guarantee that the Meichi Castle will fall in three days.”

At that, all the commanders stood up immediately and saluted in unison. They responded with the Republic’s customary military response.

“I will follow your order, sir!”

“I will follow your order, sir!”

They didn’t need further reasons. Siegfried had said to trust and follow him. He had said that Meichi Castle would fall in three days. If so, then all they had to do was accept it. After all, Siegfried was a man who never told a lie.

***

The next day.

“All forces, attack!”

“For the paradise of the future!”

“Waaaaaaahh!!”

The Republican soldiers attacked the Meichi Castle once again; their method of attack was the same as the previous day. With a strong defense, they approached the wall and used the siege ladder to have the soldiers climb up the wall. Many Republican men had died yesterday, but the soldiers continued to fight without fearing death.

In response, Milton used the same countermeasures as yesterday. He stationed the Southern Knights on the wall as he also ran around dealing with the enemies personally. But even so, he carefully observed the situation.

‘What is he thinking? Why’s he struggling in the same way as yesterday?’

Milton couldn’t understand the current situation. In yesterday’s battle, the Republic had suffered enormous damage, so it was strange that they were using the same attacking method. Any commander with common sense would somehow change the method of attack, but Siegfried was sticking to the same attacks as yesterday.

What did it mean? Milton couldn’t take it as ‘his judgement was clouded by anxiety.’ It wasn’t someone else, it was Siegfried…

Milton carefully observed the situation; he questioned whether there was something different from yesterday. He continuously wondered whether he was missing something. But even after the battle had ended, Milton couldn’t see any differences.

The Republic had fought fiercely and the Southern Knights that Milton commanded continued to stop them.

“Waaaaah! We won!”

“Piss off, you boring bastards!”

Eventually, that day’s battle was over and Meichi Castle continued to stand firm. As the soldiers shouted in victory, Milton felt uneasy and couldn’t join in their cheering. 



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