Arc 3 The Precious, Chapter 60 RA Small Rebellion
One week after the decisive battle.
Gildanstein had defeated the Hero Christand and obtained the strategic point——The Dragon's Maw.
By sealing off this place, Christand's invasion of the royal city becomes impossible.
The Christand had lost their only route of invasion, and the great honors promised to His Highness Royal Prince's soldiers were just around the corner—— or at least that was how it was supposed to be.
Not even throwing a victory banquet, the faces of the soldiers were gloomy.
Huddled together, not one of them wanted to act alone.
—-Screams that echoed every night.
Everyone felt a shiver down their spine at the sound of it echoing from all over the Bernaich mountains.
The day after the battle, heavy rain fell, and the fires in Mirskronia didn't spread.
Although there were some remaining embers, they were extinguished within a few days, and restoration work was underway to rebuild the fortress on the burned-out mountain ridge.
The same was true on the Bernaich side.
They were supposed to hunt down the remnants hidden in the mountains and restore the fortress on the mountain ridge to stabilize the situation.
However, this had not yet been completed.
In the dark forest—-in the silence, a beast lurked.
The young man, Captain Bergra, climbed the mountain while glaring at his left and right, being on excessive caution.
He was one of the soldiers mobilized in a hurry and was promoted to corporal after achieving results on the first day.
Then, as luck would have it, he killed an enemy centurion the other day, and as their side also lost a centurion, he was promoted to captain.
He was one of the most promising soldiers.
He was now leading his troop to the top of the mountain.
Two battalions were used for a mountain hunt in Bernaich, which was further divided into five.
Four centuries made up one group.
It was an unimaginably strict system, but even so, they couldn't let their guard down on this cursed mountain.
Bergra spat out a spit sticking to his throat, thinking that his luck had run out for him to come here.
—-Hunting the remnants.
Yes, they were here to hunt the remnants.
They were not in a position to be hunted.
The Christand army had pulled back to Fort Belgash.
He had heard that they were the ones who were damaged in the pursuit battle.
Therefore, first, they would make sure that they had the Dragon's Maw under control, and after that, they would send out a larger force than the Christand's to defeat it.
It seemed that the top had decided on such a plan, and according to this plan, the Dragon's Maw needed to be suppressed first.
Gildanstein returned to Royal Capital ahead of the others and moved to control the royal nobility.
The commander who had been entrusted to take his place was Gretz Wiring; although he had no brilliant achievements to his credit, he was a skilled general.
Almost all of Christand army had already retreated to Fort Belgash, and there should have been nothing to be worried about in the Dragon's Maw.
But a demon lurked in Bernaich.
There was no one who didn't know who the demon was.
The cursed child—-the headhunter Krische.
It was a monster that took the form of a little girl with silver hair.
Leading a squad of Century clad in black armor, she lurked in the mountain like a reaper.
The mountain ridge fortress was burned again, and the corps commander and his adjutant, who had come to inspect it, were killed.
And the military engineers who came to restore it were all killed.
The general took this very seriously and ordered a large-scale mountain hunt to be carried out—-but as a result, seven centuries were destroyed.
This was the third large-scale mountain hunt.
The first time, the first priority was to find the enemy, and the search was conducted independently by each century.
However, the isolated centurions were crushed one by one, and one battalion commander lost his life in the process.
The second time, the century was combined into two units to stabilize the search.
The result was the same; two centuries were easily crushed by the reaper.
The third time was done half desperately.
Four centurions were operated in a way that they could be interlinked.
The two battalions formed 5 four century units, which kept pace with each other and climbed the mountain at the same time to confirm the safety of the other side.
Just in case, two battalions were also attached to the engineers who went to rebuild the fort.
This time they approached with the stance to go overboard with it.
Otherwise, no one would want to climb the mountain.
All survivors from Bernaich were going insane with fear.
Most of the survivors were so frightened that they were useless as soldiers, and this also spread to the other soldiers.
Fear of the unknown was like that.
It was only a hundred men.
However, the century was said to be a group of monsters that jumped around using the trees as their footholds.
There were even deserters from the group that was to go to Bernaich.
The soldiers who had been fighting in the center the other day said that they had seen them up close, led by the cursed child, and pleaded not to go to Bernaich.
Even the heroic century was hesitant about the situation and repeatedly told their superiors that they had to be careful, and the general, Gretz, who saw the gravity of the situation, resorted to what could be called a violent measure.
A simple human wave tactic.
Yesterday, all the soldiers were taken out of Bernaich and given a full day's rest.
The only thing that had been confirmed was the century led by the monster, and if they were alone, they should have reached their limits by now, so they deliberately gave them time to escape.
Gretz did not know of any other unit that could operate so well in the mountains.
On top of that, the century only had 100 people.
Considering their ability to descend even on cliffs, it would be easy for them to escape even if they were to hunt the mountain with all their strength.
It would be extremely difficult to defeat the enemy, and the strategic plan of 'stabilizing the Dragon's Maw' itself would be delayed by the decision to pursue the enemy.
In all probability, the monster had returned to its nest by the end of last night.
The reason for the deployment of such a large number of personnel was rather to relieve the anxiety of the soldiers climbing up Bernaich.
However, the uneasiness still remained, and it did not leave the soldiers' hearts.
Bergra, likewise, thought going to this mountain was a short straw.
The corps commander did not even go into the mountains, leaving command to his battalion commander for fear of being killed.
They were like canaries being thrown into a mine shaft.
They needed to risk their lives to make sure of their safety.
Even though it was now daytime, They could not be relieved.
There had been several instances of attacks during the day.
The attacks were not limited to night.
“Bergra, don't be too nervous, Just keep your head up.”
“If you look like that, it will affect the morale of your subordinates.”
Centurion Arond laughed and tapped him on the shoulder.
An old man with deep wrinkles.
If he had been walking by the roadside, no one would guess that he was a centurion.
However, Around was a veteran soldier with over 30 years of military service.
There was depth in his hoarse voice and Bergra nodded.
but I can't just calm down.”
“Don't worry; they must have escaped yesterday.
And even if there were any left, this time, it's the combined unit of four centuries.
No matter how skilled they are, there are only a few enemies.
Even if they see us, they won't attack.”
Certainly, there's no way anyone would do such a stupid thing.
'I'm sorry,' Bergra bowed lightly, and Arond laughed, 'You're still a greenhorn, huh'.
“You're a captain; you should be confident.
And the soldiers will learn from that.
That's why—-a, gh…hg”
—-The wind blew.
Arond's head tilted in a strange direction as silver flickered in front of him.
His neck was cut from the middle, and a great deal of reddish-black liquid spewed out.
Not knowing what had happened, he froze, and bathed in the warm liquid.
He heard a scream.
He looked around and saw that he was surrounded by bodies with ripped necks before he knew it.
And it was increasing in the blink of an eye.
He saw a silvery shadow that swayed like two tails.
A black cloak.
The purple eyes saw him, and Bergra screamed and fell on his buttocks.
Arond's body covered Bergra's, and the confused Bergra shook both of his arms and legs frantically.
Fresh flesh peeks out from the cleanly torn section, and blood gushed out.
He finally realized belatedly that what he himself had been drenched in was Arond's blood.
The purple eyes shifted right next to him as if they had lost interest.
Silver color passed.
The corporal's head rolled off as he was about to call out to Bergra.
He stretched out his hand as if he were about to run towards him and fell down.
Screams were heard again from another direction.
A black-painted soldier appeared out of nowhere, thrusting their sword at his comrades.
He couldn't even count how many were there.
He had lost his composure.
As if crawling, he turned his back and went down the mountain.
He was incontinent.
He was not even aware that he had soiled his pants with blood and urine.
He fell, smashed himself against trees and rocks, and still ran.
Behind Bergra, who was running away, he heard the screams of his comrade.
It didn't matter.
The fear of being killed was the only thing that kept him running.
“Oi! What happened? Where's Arond!?”
He ran away without looking back, and found another century.
He clung on to the centurion—-a man he recognized.
“Tch, so they come, a, gha…?”
The commander's vigorous eye—-before he knew it, a knife had grown out of his eyeball.
And in the next instant, his neck was ripped open.
Bergra caught the sight of blood oozing from the pink cross-section.
A new flower of blood was blooming before his eyes as the silver hair danced.
As if whirling, as if dancing.
The men crumbled like puppets with broken strings.
Everyone had their necks wide open, like big mouths.
The fear had gone beyond its limits.
It made reason vanish from the Bergra head, rendering him unconscious and plunging him into darkness.
When he next awoke, the man was no longer a soldier.
The vision of a neck splitting open before his eyes would never leave Bergra mind for the rest of his life.
She wobbled, putting her hand against the wood, and coughed.
Her beautiful, willowy eyebrows contort, and her brow wrinkled.
“…Adjutant Corps Commander”
Krische leaned against a tree while coughing and sat down as if she was sliding down.
Dagra frowned when he saw that.
He could see that she had a fever, and her eyes were somewhat vacant and shaky.
For the past week, they had been conducting raids day and night, and Krische was always in the lead, cutting into the enemy ranks.
As for her, she had not even taken a proper rest.
She threw out her curved sword without sheathing it, moistened her throat with a canteen, and coughed.
The thick, machete-like curved sword—-the blade of which had been beautiful was now dull and had even lost its luster.
The century had taken a rest.
More often than not, only half of them were mobilized in a raid rather than a full force, just like this time.
For her part, she ran around in the mountains, probing the enemy's situation and keeping a watchful eye to prevent them from discovering their position.
The results were tremendous.
It was safe to say that she was achieving results that were unthinkable for this number of people.
However, the burden was too much for Krische, and the limit is visible.
“Begil and Zarka are wounded, no deaths.
The number of combat-ready personnel is now 68.”
Wounds that were minor enough not to hinder movement were not included here.
There was no one here who was not slightly wounded.
Even Krische's shoulder was injured when she hit a tree while running away.
He knew that both of her hands, inside the gauntlet, were covered with countless blood blisters and bandages.
Soldiers who are having difficulty fighting are being sent back toward the fort, with two who can move for each one who can't.
Those that were not expected to return or were considered dead numbered about six.
Since the battle was limited to a surprise attack and the duration of the battle was set short, the damage was surprisingly low.
“—-This much should be enough.
We've already bought enough time.
The enemy won't be able to move for a while.”
“There are still 68 people; we should be able to operate for another three days.
….The provision is also sufficient.”
The rations carried by the Second Battalion were dispersed and used to keep the troops fed.
Hardtacks, honey, and the like—-that's the only thing that can't start a fire, and most of the rest was stolen from the enemy.
Krische removed her cuirass and pulled out a small bag from inside her cloak, which she wears around her neck with great care.
She checked the small bag, which contained candy, and squinted to make sure it was clean.
“…Looking at yesterday's retreat, Krische feels that the harassment has been quite successful.
At the very least, Krische wants to get rid of the fort's military engineer once more…”
She suppressed her trembling body and lets out a small cough.
Dagra was concerned about Krische's body.
above all, Krische-sama, your body is at its limit.”
Dagra didn't say her official position.
Dagra looked at her no longer as a soldier but as a master to serve.
“And Selene-sama gave you the order to return the other day.”
Krische shoulders jumped.
“…Krische is fine.”
Then she closed her eyelids.
The reflection of Selene weeping over Bogan's body.
She knew Selene would be sad.
But she was grieving more than she could have imagined.
Krische couldn't do anything about it.
Krische hit her own cheek.
She might have hated Krische, she thought.
Regret swirled around in her chest, making her feel sick.
“Krische should have killed him.”
Why didn't she just kill Gildanstein at that time? Then she might have been able to comfort her.
That she properly avenged him.
But Krische got scared and ran away, so she didn't avenge him.
It was a hopelessly stupid move.
Selene's expectations, Krische, didn't meet them at all….
“That's not true.
no, you've met Selene-sama's expectations more than enough.”
“Krische does not want Selene to think ……
that Krische is useless.”
At first, Krische explained to Dagra and the others that it was for the purpose of rebuilding the army and preventing the pursuit.
That it was an essential job for the military, and that was why it couldn't be helped if she overdid it.
But maybe she couldn't even keep up the pretense anymore.
Lately, she's kept saying Selene's name.
As if saying it to herself.
In front of him was not a monster or anything like that, but just a helpless young girl.
Her purple eyes flickered anxiously and sadly, only to sink into self-doubt.
Dried blood stuck to her hair, and her breathing was somewhat shallow.
“…For now, please take some rest.”
The soldiers around her also looked at her with sorrow.
It was harsh even for them—-the battle continued to the extent that they even felt that.
There were also casualties.
However, the reason why there were no outspoken complaints was that the girl in front of them always went above and beyond.
She was faithful to a fault and did her part.
When they were in the throes of exhaustion, she cut through the enemy alone.
While she was monotonously cutting off countless heads, she was also attentive to the troops' movement.
There were many people who were saved by her.
If you are afraid of getting your comrade killed, kill the enemies who targeted your comrade before they kill.
She was true to her word and practiced it more than anyone else.
She doesn't want to reduce their combat capacity.
It was only that that was on Krische's mind, not out of camaraderie.
But the facts of her actions were there, and no one held malice towards her.
They could tell just by looking at her that she was at her limit, and it was getting worse day by day.
Yet the girl still held the will to fight.
Why did she fight so hard?
Whatever the reason, her loyalty to her duty is worthy of respect.
“…we will raid the fort after the sun goes down.
Krische is on reconnaissance.”
With that, Krische stood up, wobbled, and fell to the ground.
It was Kalua who immediately supported her.
“Ahg, damn it! Throwing a tantrum like a child, it's not the time to talk about the attack, you know.”
Kahlua scratched her head.
She hadn't even been able to bathe properly, and her head itched.
Mia raised her voice in a panic, but Kahlua stops her with her hand.
Krische looked at Kahlua with confused eyes, and Kahlua looked at Krische as if to glare at her.
“If you really want to do it, I'll take some scouts along with me.
Usa-chan, get some sleep.”
Kahlua put her hand on Krische's forehead and frowned.
The fever was so high that it was strange to be able to even move.
She knew that, in theory, no matter how tired their body was, they could still move it by manipulating the magic power, but she was exasperated.
Her body trembled slightly.
“This and that, it's better than Usa-chan, who has a fever, right? Ugh, what was it, something something commander? Ah right, temporary acting commander.”
Kalua announced irritably while looking at Dagra, and Dagra, who was dumbfounded, nodded.
I judged that the commander is not in a condition to make a normal judgment.
Do the two captains agree?”
We're of the same opinion.”
Corinth and Tagel immediately saluted and agreed.
It was the authority of the adjutant.
It was used in the event of a commander's abnormal mentality, forcedly taking over command without the permission of the superiors.
It could be exercised with the consent of all unit commanders directly under it, temporarily depriving the superior authority.
Krische is the First Corps adjutant, and Dagra is the centurion under her direct command.
Although it was not exactly in the position of adjutant, this authority was given some degree of freedom, and it was said that a person equivalent to an adjutant could exercise it.
Currently, the commander was Krische, and Dagra was exactly the equivalent of her adjutant cum centurion.
Therefore, under military law, there were no problems.
It was one of the least used, as severe punishment could be imposed if seen as abuse, but it is also their right to defend themselves should they encounter an unscrupulous commander taking advantage of their position.
“The acting commander is me, Dagra.
Krische-sama please take a good rest.”
Krische looked at Dagra in confusion.
However, it is a legitimate right as stipulated by military law.
Krische had temporarily lost the right to give orders to them.
“Bald Eagle, it's strange…
Krische still has a clear consciousness…”
“However, I must conclude that Krische-sama is currently incapable of making normal judgments.
If there's have any objections, we will hear them at the fort.
I judged that we have done enough delaying action.
All troops prepare to retreat after a short break.
We will leave the mountain after dark.
Be prepared for that.”
Everyone saluted in unison, and Krische glared at Kalua.
They were without any strength and weak, just as she looked.
“I, was it Bery-san, entrusted Usa-chan to Mia and me, right Mia?”
“Huh? Eh, ahh, unn—-ah, yes, Adjutant Corps Commander.
Argan-sama has entrusted Adjutant Corps Commander to us.”
Confused, Mia gave a mysterious salute, and Kalua smiled and pointed to the small bag around Cliché's neck.
“Look, didn't you make a promise to her? ……Is it okay if Usa-chan doesn't let her eat that candy quickly?”
“Ah, that is…
.just how earnest are you, Usa-chan?”
'Look here', Kalua brought her face closer and glared at Krische.
“Adjutant Corps Commander, this is a legitimate decision in accordance with military law.
Usa-chan has been ordered by the acting commander to rest, okay?”
“Rules are important; isn't it the cute Adjutant Corps Commander's mouth who always said that?”
Kalua pointed her finger to the Krische lips.
Krische eyes swum around, and Kalua sighed.
'Someone get a blanket', Kahlua said as she pulled off Krische's blood-soaked cloak and called for Mia.
“Mia, warm her up a little.
I'm sure it will be more comfortable.
I'll be on guard.”
“Eh, uh, o-ok…”
Mia took the blanket one of them brought, then she hugged Krische and sat down.
Mia furrowed her brows as her extraordinarily petite and thin body had a terrible fever.
Krische, as if she had given up, without even resisting, shivered as if she was freezing.
“Just rest for a while.
It's an order from the acting commander.”
After glaring at Kalua and Mia, Krische quietly pressed her body against Mia and closed her eyes.
It was as if she passed out.
The weight of her body immediately increased, and soon after, they could hear her breathing in her sleep.
Come to think of it, she had hardly slept.
Since she had been here, she had only taken a short nap.
Mia gently hugged Krische's hot body, and she caressed her gently.
“I understand how you feel, but…
what a way to talk to your superiors.”
Kalua got a knuckle on the head from Dagra.
However, a smile of relief appeared on Dagra's face, and everyone who saw it looked at Krische's sleeping face with a somewhat soft expression.
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