Weekly chapters (2/2).
Chapter 40 – Reinforcement 2
[Randall, how many soldiers did you bring?] (Ortashia)
[Haa. About 1000 of Banrondo’s army and about 200 from the Order of White Wolf knights.] (Randall)
[I see….] (Ortashia)
Ortashia and Randall were facing each other on a desk, engaged in a military discussion. Since it’s something important, they had moved from the borrowed room at the inn to a conference room in the York’s House of Lords. Since it’s a meeting room of a rural town, it’s just a normal room with some decorations and tapestries. Shingen was also present in that very room. He was sitting next to Ortashia, acting like an aide or military officer for her. He didn’t say anything though. Rather, it’s because he knew very little about military affairs.
Shingen didn’t really understand how the military worked. There were many various things that he has to learn from Ortashia since after all, there will be times when he’ll be forced to talk about technical terms, politics, etc. Without some understanding about the topic, he’ll just get left behind. For now, it’s better to just stay besides her like stuffed animal.
[――――――only half than expected.] (Ortashia)
Randall lowered his head at those words.
[I have nothing to say. The neighboring countries are also eyeing this region… I’ve brought every single soldier that I can afford to take.] (Randall)
There is the prosperous military kingdom Lucian neighboring Ardesil. Lucian is known to be aiming for Ardesil’s mine and thus the two kingdoms often engaged in skirmishes. It seemed that the Lucians are aware of Ardesil’s inner turmoil so they intensified their pressure upon the Barlond region which is situated at the border. They moved their army near the border, performing marches and military trainings but without actually invading. Although Randall wished to avenge Maruto, he’s still burdened with the task from the previous queen to guard the border. And so he left Barlond’s regional troops under the leadership of his son, Raid.
[The Lucians is it? That barbarian country will surely invade if given even a slight opening. Can’t be helped. When we’re done here, I’ll make sure to sweep them clean….without sparing any survivors.] (Ortashia)
[…..no need to slaughter them.] (Shingen)
Shingen gave his advice. He knew that the girl in question is fond of fighting and killing but he still wished that Ortashia won’t do it unless she has to. Perhaps it’s because Shingen isn’t used to killing people yet. Ortashia merely waved her hand at that advice. Randall wrinkled his face for a short while before continuing.
[Actually, about that Mars guy, he won’t make it in time to join the battle.] (Randall)
[That side has the same problem. Southern barbarians are on the move.] (Randall)
[Che. Those people are like maggots; they keep appearing no matter of how many we have killed or crushed…] (Ortashia)
Ortashia clicked her tongue in irritation. Shingen simply watched in silent from the side.
Mars was also one of the nobles who sided with Maruto. Randall had asked for his cooperation and, should he agree, they were to rendezvous at the town of York. However, he’s also tasked by the previous queen to watch over the south and thus cannot afford to leave yet. He’ll join in once he has completely routed the barbarians.
Ortashia frowned, smiling bitterly.
[He’s still as dutiful as ever.] (Ortashia)
[Hahaha. Indeed he is.] (Randall)
Ortashia then inquired to Mina who was standing behind her.
[By the way, how many soldiers are stationed here?] (Ortashia)
Mina opened the book she’s been holding, checked it, then replied after confirming the content.
[Including the guards, there are around 500.] (Mina)
[….hmm. So if we merge them together, it should be 1800, yes?] (Ortashia)
Everyone’s face turned stern. Only Shingen who didn’t understand what’s implied. Whilst looking all around, he embarrassedly raised his hand. Their gaze quickly focused on Shingen.
[Errr, that’s, I…. I’m not really familiar with all this, but how bad is our current situation?] (Shingen)
[Nn, you’re right. Our country….Ardesil’s army is divided into several corps. Each corps consists of roughly 10000 soldiers. They’ll be treated as a special organization if their number surpasses that. Since the army made use of many compact formations, they’ll look like a tight clump made up of 10000 soldiers. I do not know yet how many corps Runatitas will send out. And I do not know who is their commander yet. The intel will have to wait until they arrive.] (Ortashia)
Riru and Elize had been deployed with some soldiers at the highway between the town of York and the capital to act as a reconnaissance party. The decision will have to wait until they returned.
Hearing those difficult words from Ortashia, Shingen could only stare at Ortashia’s face. Ortashia couldn’t help but to find those clueless face to be cute while Randall gave a brief summary.
[――――――to put it simply, 1800 soldiers must fight against 10.000. Or even more than that.] (Randall)
Shingen who finally realized the position they’re in could only smile bitterly
[The scale….isn’t it too different?] (Shingen)
[Yes. That’s really the case. Either get surrounded then annihilated by the overwhelming number or trampled by the cavalry……it’ll be bad unless we can think up a countermeasure as early as possible.] (Randall)
[This place will see a lot of battles. Tt’ll be nothing but cruelty and savagery.] (Shingen)
Randall seemed to be committed to fight and his tone is as if searching for beauty of the battlefield. His expression got a little relaxed after Ortashia nodded in agreement.
[Well, the opponent is the army of our own country. It’ll be slightly easier since we already knew their capability and habits to some extent.] (Ortashia)
[Habits? Like a weak point or something?] (Shingen)
Hearing that, Ortashia was like that’s right! Randall then explained.
[The heavy infantry of the Ardesil army uses a closed formation. Aligning themselves while holding a heavy shield, they created a nigh-impenetrable wall. They’ll stay in that state while also attacking. With that, they don’t fear arrows or even a cavalry charge. Truly a fearsome formation ――――――-] (Randall)
The continent strongest, the Ardesil army’s secret lay in those so-called ‘closed formation’. It was a formation learned from the empire of the Ornidian continent that has been in conflict for so many years. With this formation, it is said that the empire had won many battles let alone never lost one. An unbreakable formation or so people thought.
However, this close formation was broken once. A long time ago, during the Minerva war, the strongest shield wall was broken down by a single Minerva’s sword slave, Ikki Tousen. Although it is reported that she annihilated the whole corps, she’s considered as a special case and thus the formation never officially broke.
Ortashia had also read about that Minerva war. She gave Shingen a side glance, she thought ‘since he is also a native Jiparg, would he be able to do the same thing?’ though her expectation for that possibility is fairly low. Surprisingly, she believed that kind of fantasy-like story. Perhaps because she could control the wind herself.
(――――――even in this situation I still feel strangely calm. Why is that….? Is it because this guy? Although it’s just a silly expectation. I guess――――――I want to see the second coming of Ikki Tousen.)
She kept that thought in her heart as she gave Shingen another look.
[―――――is it really impossible…?]
She rested her cheek on the table and exhale a big sigh. The breath swayed Shingen’s forelocks.