Combat is the most important part of war, but that’s not all there is to it.
There is also work to be done in the aftermath of combat.
The first thing to do in this instance….
It was, of course, to handle the traitor.
Wounds were visible all over Louis’ body as he was dragged in front of Nelson.
Even still, his eyes were full of poison.
Nelson watched Louis with a cold gaze as he spoke to him in a very business-like manner.
“I dispose of you immediately, for conspiring and rebelling with the Republic, negligence of duty, and murdering your fellow officer Butland Rigor.”
Louis shouted out with clenched teeth in response to Nelson’s words.
“Don’t make me laugh! I’m the eldest son of House Walker. How dare a commander of the border execute me! Do you think you’ll be safe from the repercussions?”
Louis was still delirious after coming this far.
Nelson didn’t bother replying to Louis’ nonsense. He instead lifted his chain sword and slowly made his way in front of Louis.
Louis then cried out more urgently.
“I’m Louis Walker! The eldest son of the Walker family! Are you listening?! Damn you, old man! If a blade touches my neck someone like you will….”
Nelson’s blade quickly flashed in an arc before Louis had a chance to finish his words.
Louis’ head fell to the cold floor with an expression full of malice and poison.
Nelson spoke coldly while seeing Louis’ detached head.
“I would have been more successful in my career if I cared about that stuff.”
Nelson had no intention to forgive Louis regardless of how well off the Walker family was.
After sending Louis’ head flying, Nelson then looked over at Marez Cardia who was trembling in fear next to him.
“D… don’t kill me. I couldn’t help it. Didn’t I actually contribute to this last battle?”
Nelson turned his head to look over at Milton as Marez spoke in a hurry.
Milton then nodded his head as he spoke.
“His words are correct.”
Frederic’s plan seemed perfect in the last battle, but there was an unknown variable.
Marez Cardia was the variable Louis Walker thought he had persuaded.
After Louis murdered Butland and threatened him, Marez had no choice but to join Louis in this operation.
He became unsettled as the plan progressed.
The particular reason he was so anxious was because of his family.
Louis was the type of trash that would use his family and throw them away for his benefit.
However, even if Marez was a piece of trash, he still had some fondness for his family.
Even if he successfully fled to the Republic after the operation was successful, destruction was the only thing left for his family residing in the Strabus Kingdom.
When it’s found that an aristocrat defected over to the Republic, all other family members would be turned into slaves.
Such a thing should never happen.
After much deliberation Marez decided to betray Louis.
Except he didn’t know how his betrayal could stop this operation.
Milton was who he thought of at the end of his contemplation.
‘If it’s Milton Forrest, he’ll be able to do something.’
Even if Marez normally talked behind his back, he knew Milton Forrest was a much more capable individual than he was.
That’s why he covertly sent someone to Milton to notify him of the situation in the midst of battle.
Milton was very surprised when he learned of the circumstances while purchasing supplies in Pratinos.
‘This idiot is causing a huge disaster’
He knew the way Louis looked at him was peculiar, but Milton had not paid much attention to it.
It was because Milton was planning to leave the military next year and didn’t think he would ever see Louis again.
However, he didn’t expect Louis to cause such a big mess.
“My Lord, what will you do? Should we return to the fortress immediately?”
Milton thought for a while after hearing Jerome speak before answering.
“No, before that….”
Milton borrowed a total of 500 men from Pratinos to form his troops.
Then he first checked what actions House Walker’s merchant company was taking before heading to the Crow Fortress.
First, they needed to cut off the enemy’s reserve troops now that they knew the enemy had disguised themselves as House Walker’s merchant company.
‘There is no meaning in returning to the Crow Fortress if we can’t win against the enemy. I must be thorough in the work I can do.’
That’s how Milton immediately eliminated the Republican troops that were on the move after disguising as House Walker’s merchant company
At the same time, he stole their flags and had his troops wear the enemy’s clothes.
“We’re now heading back to the fortress. Let’s go hit Louis Walker from behind!”
“Yes, my Lord!”
That’s how Milton was able to attack the enemy from their rear and save his allies upon returning to the Crow Fortress.
“Therefore, it’s wrong to say Marez Cardia completely betrayed us.”
Nelson crossed his arms to think briefly after hearing what Milton said.
This short span of time felt to Marez as if it was as long as 100 years.
It was an obvious reaction since his life depended on Nelson’s decision.
Nelson opened his mouth after organizing his thoughts.
“It’s definitely not fair to judge him with the same sentence that Louis Walker had.
“Marez let out a deep sigh in relief.
Nelson had not finished speaking.
“There is the crime of ignoring the death of your peer Butland Rigor after witnessing it firsthand. Despite whatever reason you may have it’s true that you cooperated with the Republic. These two facts are enough reason to cut off your head.”
“C… Count, I had no other choice. Please forgive me just once.”
If Marez’s arms weren’t tied up, he would have held onto Nelson’s pants.
Nelson gave his final sentence to Marez in that state.
“Marez Cardia will have his military service extended for 10 years to pay for his crimes.”
“10… 10 years?”
For Marez, who was scheduled to be discharged next year, Nelson’s sentence was akin to the sky falling.
‘Tsk tsk… Poor bastard.’
Milton looked at Marez and clicked his tongue.
Milton had served in the military in his previous life, so he knew well what it meant to be discharged.
But, to have to extend your service for 10 years….
‘I feel so bad for him.’
Milton truly felt sympathy for him.
“Co… count. Your words of extending service for 10 years is a bit…”
“What? If it’s too little, should I make it 20 years?”
“No, not at all.”
Marez looked defeated, but he seemed to have accepted it.
That’s how the traitors were taken care of.
Then Nelson called Milton into his office.
The first words he said then were….
“Return back to your country, Milton.”
Milton couldn’t understand what those words meant when he heard them initially.
Milton asked in reply, after he understood a little bit later.
“I’m still under military service, how can I head back?”
“Don’t worry about the military service documents. I’ll handle it for you. You should hurry back. As soon as possible.”
Nelson looked very sincere as he told Milton to go back.
Milton stared at Nelson’s face before speaking.
“Am I in danger?”
Nelson’s expression sank at those words.
“It’s not your fault, Count.”
“It still involves my country. I’m terribly sorry.”
Nelson decided to quickly relieve Milton of his military service because he had made another major accomplishment.
The command center of the Western Front did not look kindly to noble foreigners having huge achievements which outshone the accomplishments of their own nobles.
Additionally, Milton’s latest accomplishment came from taking care of the betrayal of Louis Walker, one of their own aristocrats.
The command center would treat Milton as a thorn in their eye the moment the news was publicized.
Louis Walker’s family was also a problem.
“Louis Walker himself was trash, but House Walker ranks within the top 20 houses of the Strabus Kingdom.”
“They probably… wouldn’t leave you alone.”
Milton should have gotten angry but couldn’t.
He couldn’t when looking at Nelson’s somber expression as he spoke of his country’s filthy corruption.
“The only thing I can do for you is to send you somewhere out of their reach. Fortunately, you’re a foreign aristocrat so you can head back once I relieve you of military service.”
Milton had an easy expression after listening to all that Nelson had to say.
“Understood. I was planning on being discharged next year anyway, so I’ll just think of it as leaving a little earlier.”
‘I’ve earned enough money to pay off my House’s debt anyway.’
As Milton started to stand up with those thoughts, Nelson stood from his seat and bowed before speaking.
“I’m really sorry. You fought as hard as you can for our country… but we treated you with discrimination and contempt. I’m truly sorry.”
“Raise your head. It’s not your fault, Count.”
Milton’s words could not comfort Nelson.
For the old man who took pride in defending his country for his whole life, it was more painful than he thought to face a rotten part of his country.
He felt miserable that he was powerless in his current position to cut out those rotten parts.
“I’m truly sorry,”
Milton stood up to leave since he felt like Nelson would apologize to him nonstop.
Then as he proclaimed that they were going back home to the troops he brought with him….
“Hurray! We’re finally heading back!”
An explosion of cheers rang out.
The soldiers that were originally in the fortress and came under his command looked disappointed, but the troops that came with Milton from the Forrest territory had been waiting for these words.
They would not have liked joining a war in a foreign country due to their Lord’s command.
‘I’ll have to give them plenty of rewards later.’
Milton told everyone to prepare for departure as soon as possible while thinking that.
“We will leave as soon as the preparations are complete.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“I will hurry as much as possible.”
Rick and Tommy had a face full of smiles as they replied back to Milton’s command.
Then four days later.
Milton’s day to depart the Crow Fortress came.
He didn’t have to head back to the Western Front command center since Nelson took care of all the minor details.
He could just head back now.
“Make sure we haven’t forgotten anything.”
“We haven’t left anything, Viscount.”
“I want to head back soon.”
Milton smiled and spoke as he listened to the soldiers’ replies.
“Alright then, let’s hurry back. To our home.”
The moment Milton opened the doors of the fortress after saying that….
“Salute to Viscount Milton Forrest, hero of the Western Front!”
With loud shouts, countless people could be seen in front of the fortress’ main entrance.
“Huh…? What is this….”
Milton panicked because it was something he hadn’t heard about.
Looking at how many people were gathered; it was more than just the troops from the Crow Fortress.
It was a given for all the troops of the fortress to be there, but the guards from the city of Pratinos as well as the merchants all came to send Milton off after hearing that he was leaving.
They spoke pleasant words to Milton, who was leaving.
“Congratulations on your discharge, Viscount.”
“We will welcome you anytime you come to the West.”
“Please always take care of yourself, Viscount.”
“I will tell my grandson of your feats.”
It was their own way of giving Milton a farewell ceremony.
Milton’s nose felt tingly.
‘This is not my style.’
Milton thought he would be extremely embarrassed if he happened to shed any tears here.
Nelson then approached Milton and spoke.
“You put in a lot of hard work, Milton.”
“Not at all. Count, did you happen to call these people yourself?”
“No way. These are all people who came here of their own volition.”
Nelson took a good look at all the people gathered in front of the fortress before speaking to Milton.
“This means you made a big impact.”
“The soldiers and citizens of our Western Front will not forget you. If you run into any trouble in the future, send me a letter. I will do my utmost for you.”
“Thank you, Count.”
Milton said his goodbyes to Nelson and waved to the people as he left the fortress.
“Hurray for Viscount, Milton Forrest!”
“Hurray for the hero of the West!”
That’s how Milton’s life on the Western Front came to an end.Previous Chapter Next Chapter