Chapter 539 Skirmishes and Motives
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Start of New Volume
In the border region between Soukai Country and Tenshou Country, amidst in the World of Conflict, the armies of both nations encountered each other, leading to small-scale battles. The Tenshou Country army consisted solely of human soldiers wearing lightweight armor with red stripes and wielding spears. On the other hand, the Soukai Country soldiers wore rugged, lead-colored lightweight armor with conical hats and carried spears, which consisted of a mixed army comprising various races, including humans.
Having initiated conflicts with multiple neighboring countries simultaneously, the Tenshou Country army was formidable, both in terms of superior soldiers and equipment quality compared to Soukai Country. It was only natural that Soukai Country suffered a crushing defeat, resulting in the loss of their sole heir. There was an insurmountable gap between the two nations, not just in terms of determination and resilience but also in the quality of their soldiers and equipment, or so it should have been, in theory.
As the tide of battle began to turn in favor of Tenshou Country, the thunderous sound of galloping horses echoed through the air. Instantly, the soldiers of Soukai Country, who had been pushed back, erupted in jubilation.
”They’re here! Kuroumaru-dono and his cavalry! Hold the line!”
Led by Kuroumaru, the cavalry unit swiftly exploited the unprepared flank of the Tenshou Country army.
”Charge! Scatter them!”
As Kuroumaru swung his naginata at the forefront, he effortlessly cut down several enemy soldiers with remarkable precision. Following closely behind him, his comrades swung their spears in the same manner, piercing through the armor as if it were nonexistent. While sporadic counterattacks aimed their spears at Kuroumaru, his armor easily deflected them without a scratch.
Thus, defense was nonexistent for them as they relentlessly trampled over the Tenshou Country army, preserving their momentum of assault. It was a scene that could be described as one-sided slaughter rather than warfare, spreading despair among Tenshou Country soldiers and sowing hope among Soukai Country soldiers.
The battle was already decided. It did not take much time for the Soukai Country army to annihilate the Tenshou Country army.
* * *
The weapons handed over to Kuroumaru were of overwhelmingly superior performance even with just the finished pieces, elevating Kuroumaru and his comrades to a special status. Although their numbers were still insufficient, Shinji had already delivered the supplies for the cavalry unit led by Kuroumaru, the ones who would rush to the scene whenever a spontaneous skirmish occurred.
Having completed the battle, Kuroumaru and his comrades returned to a temporary base, where they kept watch over the recaptured fortress. Their arrival was met with raucous cheers from their welcoming comrades, and Kuroumaru waved back in response. It was becoming a common sight ever since they had upgraded their equipment.
”With Kuroumaru-dono, Tenshou Country is no longer an enemy!”
”When our unit was isolated, Kuroumaru-dono came to our rescue. Not only is he courageous, but he is also compassionate.”
”That’s right. We were concerned about what would happen to Soukai Country after the demise of the Lord’s heir, but with Kuroumaru-dono here, Soukai Country is secure.”
The atmosphere among the conscripted soldiers and those loyal to Soukai Country, including the neutral factions supporting Kuroumaru, was joyful. They genuinely rejoiced in the fact that they had dealt a blow to the detested Tenshou Country.
(They’re getting carried away just because those foreigners have superior weapons…)
(Yeah, if we could get our hands on that, we wouldn’t be too far behind…)
Although the military officials from Garoumaru’s faction outwardly celebrated the victory, they were naturally displeased inside. They had the confidence that, under the same conditions, they could match Kuroumaru’s military achievements. And indeed, when it came to individual valor, Kuroumaru stood head and shoulders above the rest, but in terms of the unity and coordination of their units, Garoumaru’s faction had the advantage.
The difference in equipment quality had clearly manifested in the results, and Garoumaru’s faction had no grounds for complaint. After all, they had been the ones equipping themselves with the best gear using their vast personal wealth.
(They can only remain confident for now. It’s impossible to continue winning battles indefinitely. Once those guys die in battle, our leader will become the lord. We just have to wait for that day…)
If Kuroumaru were to fall, there would be no competitor for Garoumaru, and the position of the future lord would be secure. Hence, they did not engage in reckless gambles and simply followed the orders they were given.
”It’s our turn next. Let’s go.”
To avoid tarnishing their reputation with the lord, they dutifully carried out their missions in a calm and composed manner. Regardless of their affiliation with Kuroumaru’s or Garoumaru’s factions, their diligent approach proved to be the most challenging movement for Kuroumaru’s supporters.
(Unless I achieve something significant, I won’t be able to face the princess who chose me.)
Kuroumaru watched silently as the military officials from Garoumaru’s faction left, their backs receding. His gaze was stern. He was aware that without substantial accomplishments, his evaluation wouldn’t change, even though success seemed just within reach. Gripping his fist tightly, he recalled the image of Tsubaki in the royal palace.
In a certain room within the royal palace of Soukai Country, Shinji, accompanied by Tsubaki and her serving maid, awaited the arrival of their guest. The girls did not dare reprimand Shinji for his disrespectful act of closing his eyes in front of Princess Tsubaki, knowing that he was using magic. The ability to perceive the distant conditions of the war-torn land through flowers in the temporary base was a type of magic. When they first heard about it, Tsubaki and her maid found it hard to believe, but after witnessing it multiple times, they had no choice but to trust it.
”…Kuroumaru-dono is safe. It seems they have repelled the Tenshou Country army once again.”
Shinji spoke, and Tsubaki and her maid breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing that their ally was unharmed. However, Shinji’s expression remained troubled.
(I had hoped that Garoumaru’s attitude would influence his subordinates as well, but it seems it won’t be so easy.)
Shinji intended to create obstacles for Garoumaru’s faction, including stirring up negative impressions of Garoumaru among neutral military officials and sabotaging their plans. He had already been asked once by Garoumaru to sell his equipment. But Shinji refused, stating that the supplies for Kuroumaru hadn’t been fully delivered yet, and as expected, he was met with a terrifying glare. However, with Emily present, he couldn’t retaliate against him, so he pretended to be apologetic and leave.
After that, while monitoring Garoumaru’s residence, Shinji had hoped for some kind of reaction, expecting him to become more agitated as he seems to be very upset about it.
(Well, anyway. The purpose of strengthening Kuroumaru’s forces has been achieved. Let’s make sure to advise him not to make reckless charges until the time is right.)
Shinji planned to accompany Kuroumaru when he infiltrated Tenshou Country to save his adoptive parents and ensure that Kuroumaru would achieve great deeds. For that reason, he couldn’t afford for Kuroumaru to sustain serious injuries before the operation.
He relayed his intentions to Tsubaki and asked her to write a letter. It was Shinji’s responsibility to deliver it discreetly, ensuring that no external parties realized Tsubaki’s favoritism towards Kuroumaru.
”Shinji, once I finish writing and send it to you, what should I do after that?” Tsubaki asked.
”Well, let’s practice magic. You have a good grasp of the fundamentals, so I have some valuable teachings for you, Princess.”
”Hehe, thank you. Even if it’s just flattery, it makes me happy.”
While Tsubaki smiled happily, her maid wore a worried expression. She was concerned about Tsubaki’s fervent dedication to learning magic. Although she understood intellectually that Shinji’s teachings were useful not only for Tsubaki but also for the future of the country, she couldn’t help but feel uneasy due to the societal expectation that women should support men from a distance. The maid prayed that Tsubaki’s involvement in magic wouldn’t lead to conflicts with her future husband.
However, the maid was unaware of the things she truly needed to know. The daytime practice sessions were only for confirmation and creating an alibi. The real training took place on Tsubaki’s bed, where they engaged in intimate magic rituals, both physically and mentally. Tonight, just like any other night, Tsubaki planned to invite Shinji into her chambers, exchanging their thoughts and more. This was something that her loyal maid remained oblivious to.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.