Arc 4 The Beloved, Chapter 70 The back of the back
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He was 60 years old—-a thin man and though he was a noble, his age begins to show.
Wearing the elegant armor that has been handed down from generation to generation, he gazed at the tens of thousands of troops spread out across the grassland from horseback.
The sky was clear, and the clouds were thin and sparse.
'The wind is blowing in our direction—-not bad', the man smiled.
The imposing figure of a general.
He has a certain air of dignity about him.
His virtue lies in his decisiveness and bravery.
He is not afraid to make decisions that people fear and agonize over.
Whatever the choice, he never intends to sacrifice his troops alone, when the time comes, he has the courage to jump into a deadly situation himself.
He is the epitome of a warrior, and his soldiers were aware of his virtues, and he has the qualities of a great general who commands the respect of his soldiers.
However, if there was a flaw, it was his temperament, which prevented him from thinking deeply about things.
As a noble, he values honor and prefers a head-on fight, disliking petty tricks.
He cannot be said to be fatally flawed if he only seeks that of himself.
He is capable of winning a victory if he has the superior force.
However, he has a bad habit of asking others to do the same and believing others to be the same as him.
Summing it up, he is not a fool and has no glaring flaw, an ordinary general.
If he had been a battalion commander or a centurion, he would have been very brilliant personnel.
That's how he should have been evaluated.
However, being born as a legitimate son of the Duke of Marcellus, whose lineage is related to the royal family, he was not allowed to become just that, and he succeeded his father as a general.
In peacetime, that would have been fine.
But on the battlefield, it was a tragedy.
General Kuraray Marcellus was not a good enough general to take on Nozan Verreich, who had risen through the muddy battlefield with only his talent.
It was difficult to say whether the reason he was unable to finish off Northern despite his superior force was his incompetence or whether Northern was too capable, but just with the result It can be seen that the gap between the two was very big
Curare, who was not aware of this, looked out over the battlefield from his horse, a puzzled expression on his deeply wrinkled face.
“I thought they would attack today but…just what are they planning?”
Verreich made no move at all.
—-What should I do?
What was worrisome was the undelivered cargo (supply).
Depending on how he perceived it, the way it should be handled differ.
Ten thousand reinforcements.
The cargo that was supposed to be coming from behind it hadn't arrived.
They had plenty of room to spare.
It was not a pressing issue.
One part of the supply has arrived without any problems.
The only thing that concerns him was that the soldiers were a little anxious because of it.
'was there some kind of trouble?'
The original arrival schedule was the same as that of the reinforcement, half a day.
It was obviously strange that not even a message had arrived today.
'Did Verreich send out a detachment to attack?'
There were many possibilities.
It is possible that he could have sent a small number of men to the rear by advancing up the mountain.
But that's not possible.
What was the point, Kuraray put his hand on his chin.
What he was most afraid of this time was that the army crossing the Kurail Mountains to the north would engage in a pincer attack, but that was not the case.
If they had, they would have had no better chance than on the first day.
The enemy forces have not crossed Curare, no——that would be premature.
Assuming that there was an army that had invaded this side from Kurail, what about the possibility that that army ignored us and rushed to cut off the rear?
But what's the merit in that, that was bigger the pincer attack and defeating him on day one?
Curare's eyes widened as he thought about that.
“…Was it a trap?”
“Perhaps the enemy has crossed over the Kurail Mountain Range and entered far behind us.
And their goal is to recapture the Dragon's Jaw, and for that reason they have stolen our cargo.
……Verreich is a decoy, all he has to do is buy some time here against me.”
His adjutant noticed it, too, and pondered for a moment.
He nodded, saying that it was quite possible.
It was a fatal misjudgment——but in a way it was unavoidable he thought so.
He was not entirely incompetent.
He was a noble who, despite his position, is not conceited and respected his duties and honor.
Looking at one aspect of him, it could be said that he had an excellent temperament.
However, that was why he placed himself as the most important and sees things with his view as the central point.
No matter how good Nozan Verreich is, their strength is double his.
Even if some force conducted a pincer attack from Kurail, the enemy would still take a lot of damage.
There was also the risk of failure.
Instead, the enemy concluded that it would be better to penetrate to the rear unharmed and aim for the Dragon's Maws.
That's how Curare's mind read the enemy's movement.
Everyone wants to evaluate their own abilities, and everyone wants to be evaluated.
In that sense, the conclusion was very convenient, and the idea that the enemy bypassed him because they were afraid of a head-on confrontation with him tickled his pride.
His subconscious desire to have it so affirmed the conclusion in his mind.
We need to end this battle immediately….
Send the troops that were guarding the rear to the front.
Let's make full use of our numbers.
The formation of Marcellus' army changed.
The line is thickened, and the main attack is made on the left wing.
Their enemy had its main force on the right flank.
Crush the enemy's left wing before their right wing is crushed, and decide the outcome.
It was then, Verreich's army began to move.
What started to move was the front against their right flank——the enemy's First Corps.
Delaying their timing in a staircase from the center to the left flank, the enemy began to advance.
“That seems to be the case.
You must have understood what was noticed.
As expected of General Verreich, a quick decisions.”
“If they want to do that, then so be it.
The line of battle began to advance——but the more it got delayed, the more the line became disordered.
I can see the disorder.
Send out the cavalry from the left wing.
Let's penetrate the enemy's left wing before they break through our right wing.
All troops advance.”
“Yes sir! Wave the assault flags! Order the left wing cavalry to charge——they should aim for the seam! Send support from the center!”
——The battlefield was filled with the sound of battle cries.
The number had decreased from 30,000 to 27,000.
However, the voice was accompanied by a spirit that made the air burst, and the footsteps were those of an earthquake.
In response, Verreich's army responded, a battle cry from its left wing——the First Corps.
The pack wolves that were touted to be the strongest—-the voice of the First Corps, which was modeled after that, was filled with madness, almost drowning out the voice of the other side.
The two armies closed the distance, and a great number of lives were crushed between them—-then shattered with countless screams.
How many lives were lost as the two armies clashed?
Screams mingled with the battle cries, and the sound of steel clashing against steel echoed through the air.
The battle lines collided in a stair-step pattern.
The sound gradually grew louder and louder, like a thunderclap.
The cacophony of the music of battlefield gradually increased and became more and more insane.
The grassland was dyed with blood.
What was born in this space was the hell of this world.
“General! The right wing is being pushed!”
Attacking their right flank is a fierce man whose name is widely known on the battlefield——Granmeld Varkas.
The man was holding a six shaku, seven sun (2.0301 m) ——whole steel battle mace.
The weapon which should be called a lump of iron crushed its prey, the human body from the top of the armored helmet, bursting the flesh and crushing the bones.
Even from where Kuraray was, in the center, he could see from a distance how his soldiers were flying through the air and becoming a mist of blood.
A monster more than the rumor suggested—-I can't win against that.
Kuraray made a calm judgment.
He was ready to cross swords with it himself if push came to shove, but he knew that would mean defeat.
If so, he had no choice but to crush the enemy first.
“Send troops from the center to reinforce the right wing! The reserve will be used on the left wing!”
A breakthrough of the left wing by the cavalry——however it failed.
They had pikemen lying in the rear ranks.
At the timing of the cavalry charge, they replaced the infantry that was in front of them, preventing them from breaking through.
However, the damage was minor due to the cavalry commander's wise decision that he noticed just before.
The cavalry was still alive.
'I will need to reward him later', and the face of the cavalry commanding officer appeared in his mind.
The cavalry bypassed the pikeman as they were, and engaged with the enemy cavalry by going around them.
Finally their left wing finally bit into the enemy line.
A temporary stalemate——how to use reserves and make moves from this point on would be crucial.
When he licked his dry lips and was about to surrender to his passion——
“General! Enemy forces coming from Kurail…!”
He looked back to his left rear.
And he saw an army lining up there.
The army that emerged from the foot of the mountain had already begun to form a formation, their number was about 10,000.
They had tilted the line of battle according to the diagonal formation——that is, they were completely exposing their rear.
Not an ally.
The emblem of the flag is a thunder and a falcon.
——The army of the now-deceased hero, Christand.
“Everything is ready”
Krische nodded at the messenger's voice.
As usual, she was not mounted on a horse, and being short, she could not see anything, but she was able to grasp the situation before leaving the forest.
The Fourth Corps was ahead of them.
All Krische and the others had to do was to follow the path that had been made.
Krische will match the with Fourth Corps.
“As planned, the Fourth Corps will use its strength to open the way then split to the left and right.
You will take over for Krische and lead the rear.
Make sure that both wings of the Fourth Corps are not encircled.”
Third battalion commander Keith saluted.
She wondered which of the two she should choose, the fourth battalion commander Varga or the third battalion, but in any case, the third battalion, whose strength had been severely reduced by the last decoys, could not be brought forward.
The good-natured Second Battalion Commander Faglan leads the heavy infantry, which must be brought forward, and the Fifth Battalion Commander Geines, who commands the archers, is busy with fire command.
Through a process of elimination, it was concluded that Keith would take over command.
Krische will lead the Black and be the vanguard.
Make sure you devour the entry point properly so that it won't be blocked.”
“Leave it to me.
It's getting exciting.”
The assault flags flutter in front of them, and the battle cry echoed.
The 5,000 men of the Fourth Corps, led by Eluga Faren, began their assault.
It was an arrowhead assault formation——aimed only to break through the center, which was an unusual formation for Eluga.
Gradually, the distance between them and the enemy's rea formation was getting closer.
Leaping lightly, Krische looked at the enemy situation.
3000 enemy reserves were deployed here.
In addition, she could see that they were drawing troops from the line of battle in front of Nozan's line.
That's about 5,000——but they won't make in time for the breakthrough.
At the moment of the collision, only 3,000 of the enemy reserves, who had no time to form a proper line of battle, were deployed there.
It can be said that they were completely defenseless, and she was impressed that Nozan seems to have done very well, just like Eluga said.
The enemy was completely exposing their back to Krische.
If they could penetrate them with a single blow, they could finish them off before the 5,000 they scraped together could enter the battle.
The earth-stomping, all-out assault – the impact was instantaneous.
The front of the Fourth Corps pierced the enemy's rear reserve and cuts into it.
It was a little later that Krische become surprised.
The Fourth Corps pushed through the enemy line, which had been disrupted by the impact, to the left and right.
Most of the 3,000 were removed by the Fourth Corps.
“! Century, charge!”
A small blank area was born in the center.
Krische rushed in there quickly and killed the enemy centurion she saw.
She further ripped the centurion's neck, shattered a captain's skull along with his helmet with her foot, and then three corporals.
A black cloak and silver hair tied in two.
Two tails danced from side to side, raining blood, and Krische created a temporary paralysis.
—-There, the Black Hundreds, Dagra and others charged and devoured them.
“Hehe, I'm first!”
In her hand was a large, curved sword.
It was Kalua who stepped out in front of Krische.
The handles were meant for double-handed.
The handle is thin at the base and gets wider as it moves toward the tip—- if Krische's sword was a nata (hatchet), then hers was an axe.
The handle was thin at the base and gets wider as it moves toward the tip.
The blade was a little over shaku (90.90) long, and the blow was powerful.
Kalua bisected the enemy in front of Krische, and then stepped forward.
“Kalua, your new sword looks strong.”
“It's great, you see, I thought it would be nice to have a curved sword like Usa-chan.”
Kalua beheaded the man in front of her while conversing in a good mood.
Her cheeks were happily lifted.
“I'm not good with little details, so I chose a sword that I thought would be alright even if I cut an entire armor.”
Kalua laughed as she bisected the enemy's torso with all her strength.
It certainly seems a bit convenient.”
It seems to be alright even if she handled it roughly.
It was a very attractive word for cliche.
However, it was a little too big to hold normally, and it was a problem that too much blood splattered.
It was a little out of Krische's taste, who likes cleanliness.
“Kalua! Don't push too far!”
Mia appeared beside Krische, followed by the first squad.
In addition, two other squads filled Krische's left and right sides, and Krische tilted her head quizzically.
“Um, It's a little hard for Krische to move when so many of you come here….”
And she pouted her lips as she killed three men.
“We are Corps Commander's outrider after all, is what the commanding officer (Dagra) said.”
Krische thought for a moment and nodded.
It was certainly easy on her body
“Then Krische will leave it to you.”
“Yes ma'am, Kalua!”
Krische slowed down and switched roles.
She leaped onto the shoulders of the corpse she was just slain and looked around her.
The distance is half a ri (1.9635 km).
The required time is—-
The cold, inorganic purple eyes pierced the eyes of Kuraray Marcellus.
The eyes and the dancing silver hair.
Kuraray Marcellus felt a shiver run down his spine as he caught sight of them.
—-Why, from there.
What was in Curare's mind when he saw the attack of the Christand's army was confusion.
“General, please step back!”
“No, if I move here, everything will collapse!”
'They aimed at me from the beginning'——Kuraray was finally convinced.
Nozan spent three days on the defensive to make himself look like a decoy.
By being passive, he make them suspicious of him and read too much into the situation.
They had intended to strike the back from the beginning——
“Callus! My spear!”
He took the spear from the squire and carried it.
There was no escape.
If he ran the formation will be disorganized.
If they do, they will not be able to withstand Verreich's assault.
The reserve 3000 was deployed.
Even if they were pulled out, it will be fine as long as they could stall time against Verreich, for the pulled-out vanguard to come here.
The enemy was a small force.
The one that was breaking through was a small unit aiming only for Curare's head.
If they can overcome that, although they won't be able to avoid a painful blow, at least their neck will still be intact.
“As soon as the reinforcements drawn from the front join in, to the left wing——move the army with the mountain at our back! Use the mountain as a wall to protect your back and endure today! Don't worry, the military superiority is still on our side!!”
He raised his voice and looked at the left wing.
The cavalry that had been charging earlier was returning here.
If that's the case…
“Heh heh, good, I've made it through!”
With a somewhat airy laugh, a woman jumped out of the crowd.
With a maniacal smile that seemed as if her reason had flown out of the window, she cut down the soldier in front of her with a large curved sword that looked like an axe.
——The soldier was bisected
With one sword, she slashed from the shoulder to the side, along with the armor, and she laughed as she was showered with blood.
And the soldiers in black armor appeared from behind he.
It was much too fast.
It was certain that they were no ordinary soldiers.
There was no unification of weapons.
Some carried curved swords, others great swords, others axes, and others wielded iron clubs.
They appeared, bathed in shredded flesh and blood.
——Just what the hell are they.
“—— Protect the General!!”
The first voice to reach him came from the left wing.
It was the cavalry.
They were returning to his aid with a gallop that seems like it would shorten the horse's life.
Dozens of cavalries——not that many.
Some horses was so exhausted that it fell over.
However, a cavalry charge in this situation was fatal.
Kuraray vowed to give everyone a personal reward if they survive——but a shadow leapt out from the black soldier.
Two dancing silver tails.
Something quicker than a horse's gallop cut through the line of cavalry.
A beat later, countless spray of blood erupted, and several riders near the front fall over.
Was that by design or accident.
In a chain reaction, the following columns of horses toppled over, completely draining the cavalry of the momentum to charge.
“Corinth! Take care of the cavalry!”
“Yes ma'am! Squad 11 to 16, the corps commander has set the table for us! It's full of delicious prey, eat it up!”
With the voice of a man who seems to be the commanding officer, some of the black soldiers jumped out.
Curare's eyes widen at this as well.
The speed of their steps and leapt——everything was out of the ordinary.
All of the twenty or so who jumped out were composed of people who possessed magical powers.
When he looked closely at the weapons they had, most of them were heavy weapon.
They were carrying swords and axes that no ordinary person would be able to hold.
—-No way, all of these black-painted soldiers.
The half-convinced realization brought despair to Curare's mind.
Screams echoed from the surroundings.
Only a few dozen remained of the escort—-the screams of the men who had been there.
Silver danced in the black waves.
For a moment, his eyes met with purple eyes.
That was the second time.
She was Bogan Christand's adopted daughter.
He had seen her in a dress from a distance at the victory ceremony the other day.
She was a girl with a serene beauty, somewhat like a doll.
He had heard that she had played a tremendous role in the battle against the empire.
But he had thought it was nothing more than some dubious tale.
With that eye-catching look, even one will sound like ten (basically become exaggerated).
At best, it would be a quite okay move on the front lines.
If she is the daughter of a general, even if she's not all that excellent, she will still be lifted up.
—-But that is not the case.
If you saw it then you will understand.
What was in front of him was an obvious foreign entity.
It's the best choice in the army to solidify the surroundings.
It was not just a mere dozen of soldiers, but dozens carefully selected from 30,000.
However, the girl's blade, which danced around the battlefield in all directions, will surely take the life of one person once it flashed.
The black-armored soldiers were also unusually strong, but she was the only one who was clearly different.
She wore no helmet and a one-piece dress peeked out from under her cloak.
Except for her cuirass and thick boots, she wore no protective gear.
That's enough for her—-it was as if she was saying that, she didn't even think she'll take a single scratch on the battlefield.
Her long hair swayed like a tail, her cloak fluttered, never getting caught.
Absolute confidence that can be said to be arrogant was reflected there without being hidden.
—-It was a monster in the shape of a girl.
Even though Kuraray was terrified, he swung his spear around as if he was crushing it.
“If you want to take this head, give your name!! This Kuraray Marcellus will personally deal with you!!”
He cried out to kill her fear that had arisen.
Things had already come this far, he no longer had any hope to come out alive.
If he was to be killed, at least he wanted die as a warrior.
He with his simple honesty stepped forward to protect his pride as a noble.
The purple eyes sparkled—- their gazes intersected.
The monster squinted slightly and stepped forward.
Dora, his adjutant, slides his body in to protect Kuraray.
“Usa-chan, make way!”
But from the side appeared a black-haired madman laughing.
Her ax-like curved sword bisected Dora's body along with his armor.
The black-haired woman slammed Dora's corpse into the ground——and everything there's nothing between them.
The girl had already stepped in.
For Kuraray, this is the last spear of his life and the last spear he will wield as a warrior.
There was no hesitation, and he handled the spear just as he has done many times before.
Born into a great noble family, he has repeatedly trained to the point of vomiting blood since childhood.
His naivety scraped off in the land of death and, the spear sharpened with flesh and blood has pierced countless lives.
Today's spear was brilliant——but the girl easily dove further beneath it.
She stepped low as if licking the earth.
He maneuvered his spear before his thought could catch up, pointed the butt end thrust at the girl, and unleashed a full-throated thrust.
But the girl's movement, her suppleness, was like that of a snake that clung to the spear.
The girl closed the distance such that even that was not an obstacle to her.
As if wrapping herself around the spear's hilt.
The girl smiled as she leapt up, twisting her body so that it ran along the spear's hilt, and got on the horse's neck right in front of Kuraray's eyes.
“……nice to meet you.”
A shock pierced his torso.
It wasn't until he heard her next words as he flew through the air that he realized he had been kicked down.
“I'm Krische, goodbye.”
A smile like a flower, bloom on her beautiful face.
As Kuraray wanted, Krische said her name and bid farewell.
Kuraray never responded to her words.
He never spoke again.
His neck has already been cut in the middle by the curved sword.
The blood spurting from Kuraray's kicked-off neck did not stain the beautiful girl, not even a drop of it.
The girl no longer showed any interest in the corpse.
She just glared at her surroundings, playing with her fingers through her silvery, immaculate braid.
Black cloak, pure white skin and beautiful silver hair.
On horseback, the girl's figure drew the eyes of people everywhere.
The men rushing out to help the general stiffened, and the black-armored Century cut them down.
Kalua slammed her sword into the general's neck as he fell to the ground, severing it completely.
She then pierced the neck with the tip of her blade and raised it high above.
“Look at this head! Your general has been killed by Christand's First Corps Commander, Krische Christand! Resistance is useless, put down your swords and surrender!”
Kaua raised her voice.
The clash with Verreich began, and in less than one koku—-the men who saw the head being suddenly raised and its helmet lowered their swords one by one.
“If you don't resist and surrender, we won't treat you cruelly! Even though we fought each other, now that the Kingdom has lost its people and generals, this battle is meaningless! Quietly put down your sword and surrender!!”
The voice that followed was Dagra's.
Christand's soldiers roar echoed on the battlefield, and they raised flags of thunder and hawks in great numbers.
The battle that had begun once——the heat didn't cool down immediately, but the screams and the sound of clashes of steel that resounded were gradually replaced with cheers.
Although there were some who showed desperate resistance, most of them lost sight of the meaning of fighting for their lives and fell to their knees in front of the voice.
“Haha, it's a rare overwhelming victory.
As expected of Krische-sama.”
“Skeleton did a great job.
He is very good at making paths.”
Krische smiled at Eluga on her horse as she overpowers the surrounding enemies and forces them to surrender their weapons.
Eluga looked at the enemies around him with a wicked smile of delight.
An old man who looked like a grim reaper and a monstrous girl.
The soldiers of the Marcellus army who saw it were frightened.
“Bald Eagle, Mia, not a bad move.
From now on, if you keep moving like today, Krische will be able to take it easy.”
“Also, Kalua, you did a good job.
Bald Eagle, Kalua did a great job this time, so appropriately (whatever/randomly, give her a reward).
It seems that the 4th and 9th groups were doing pretty well even though they didn't stand out—-“
While Krische was appropriately (randomly) praising the soldiers for their achievements, a man broke the line of the soldiers and appeared.
The wolf-shaped helmet and armor were stained with blood.
What he held in his hand was a large staff that was longer than his height.
The man takes off his helmet and got down on his knees.
“…That was reallt such a splendid move, Krische-sama”
“If the situation is that good, then it will be easy for anyone.
Corps Commander Varkus.”
“No no, even so, it's because of Kische-sama's ability that it's so easy to do.
I thought I'd eat and kill him sooner than that, but…
I'm no match for Krische-sama.”
The man, Grammeled Varkus, laughed——the scars on his face twitching.
Then he stood up, carrying the great war club on his shoulder.
“With that body and that sword, this easily.
As I thought during the battle the other day, yours is beyond my understanding.”
“Krische have never found it difficult to kill people…if they come at Krische, Krische will just cut them, so it's simple.”
Krische roughly wipes the blood on the curved sword with the corpse's pants, and carefully wipes off the rest of the blood with a cloth taken from the pouch.
The thin blade had no nicks.
Grummeled looked at her sword amazed and shocked.
He wondered how many people could kill he with such a thin sword, probably no more than ten.
“She is a fearsome one.
…Krische-sama, Corps Commander Faren.
For now, please go to the main camp.
The general is waiting for you there.
He would like to have a quick talk about our future plans.”
Sheathing her sword, Krische nodded and looked at Eluga.
Skeleton, shall we go?”
It's a little rushed, but…”
Granmeld looked at Eluga, startled.
Eruga looks back, glared at him.
what is it, Granmeld-kun.
No, should I call you Corps Commander Varkus now?”
“Ha, ha ha…
no, either way is fine.”
Grammeld walked out as if to lead the two of them, and his shoulders shivered quietly.
Eluga pressed his eyes, and Krische tilted her head puzzled.
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