Chapter 164 – Presence
The Aegina Kingdom’s regular army.
The five thousand soldiers that the Thousand Knight・Flying Hawk General leads are currently attacking a certain fortress.
Just a while ago, that fortress had been occupied by a group of bandits.
Their name was “Red Beak Gang”.
They did not do many crimes, and because they were a small force of only about a hundred people, it was a gang that was left alone. However, there are currently five thousand of Aegina’s regular soldiers pushing towards them.
Inside the tent protected by 5000 men, that Issigonis whispered.
「To think that I will fight a battle with this much difference between forces」
「Did you say anything?」
What reacted to Issigonis’s whisper was a young girl that was not suitable for this place.
The Aegina Princess, Selene Mi Aegina.
She is accompanying the army as a Martial Lieutenant.
……nominally, that is.
Issigonis answered the selfish princess who made him fall into this situation with a tone that suppressed his emotions.
「It was nothing. I just thought that it’s about time for the scouts to return」
Selene did not seem interested.
After a while, just like Issigonis’s excuse, the scouts came to report.
Selene narrowed her eyes and tried not to look at that man who was dirty all around because of infiltrating, and Issigonis treated him normally.
「How was it?」
「It is confirmed. There are a total of 200. All of them are inside the fortress」
「It increased compared to the previous information huh. Well, even so, it’s still only 200」
Issigonis shouted with a loud voice and one young man rushed in from outside the tent.
「Order the whole army to initiate the attack」
「The whole army?」
The young soldier asked “are you sane?” with his eyes.
Issigonis glanced at Selene(without her noticing).
「It’s victory. All nothing but victory」
Basilios gave a bitter smile.
After making the expression “Lord General have it hard too huh”.
「Understood. I shall send that order」
He said and left.
「What should I do?」
「I believe it is alright to just stay here. I will be staying here as well. As a commander, one must steadily wait at times of victory. When in defeat, one must run away」
「Yes. It would be a serious thing if the commander in chief were caught or killed. My job is to lend all of my authority to a subordinate and immediately escape」
Selene said with no interest.
“She probably doesn’t understand it”, Issigonis thought.
That is fine as well. It is only a promotion-game by a royalty.
The reason why a huge army was moved is because of the thought of not wanting the soldiers to die because of that game.
It became 5000 vs 100ーー200, but there should be almost no fatalities with this difference between numbers.
It is also not impossible to have no casualties if they stick with long-range attacks.
(I hope that this thing ends in a hurry)
While thinking of that, Issigonis waited for the report of their victory.
The report of their victory would not come no matter how much he waited.
The sounds of battle have yet to stoppedーーthe battle has not yet ended.
The battle continued far longer than what Issigonis expected.
“What is happening?”, it was that time when he started to have doubts.
Basilios rushed into the tent in a hurry with unsteady steps.
「The first 500-men cohort, wiped out!」
「What did you say?!」
「What? What’s going on?」
Ignoring Selene, he asked Basilios.
「What do you mean by wiped out? What happened? What have they done? Is it magic? Was it a trap?」
「No, they clashed head-on……and they were wiped out」
「Head-on……? Don’t tell me!」
Issigonis became pale, and asked.
「T-The opponent is? Is it a man? I-Is it a man wielding two swords?」
「We do not know」
「Find out immediately! If it’s a man wielding two swords, immediately order retreat! This is a highest grade command that you do not need to confirm!」
「Eh? B-But the opponents are just 200ーー」
「In this situation, can’t you understand even you’re told about a man wielding two swords?!」
His calmness from earlier disappeared.
Seeing that Issigonis’s expression, the young man Basilios had a pale face.
「ーーDemon Sword Wielder!」
Basilios rushed out of the tent.
After a while, he returned to report.
「General! It was not a man wielding two swords. The bandits’ leader is a woman with long hair」
Issigonis clearly looked relieved.
It was not the Demon Sword Wielder. Since they’re saying it’s a woman, it shouldn’t be a disguise as well.
That made him eased in mind.
「What the heck is going on!」
Selene was making a fuss since earlier.
Knowing that it’s not the Demon Sword Wielder, he had the leisure of taking the company of this selfish princess.
「Please forgive me, Your Highness. It might have been the worst situation」
「What worst situation?」
「The opponent might have been the Demon Sword wielder. In other words, it might have been a Viscount of our Kingdom, His Excellency Kakeru Yuuki-sama」
「Viscount? Why is a guy like that, I mean, what so if he came」
「We will be annihilated」
Issigonis said in the simplest way.
Hearing that, Selene looked dumbfounded.
「Ha? What stupidity are you talking about. We have 5000 here you know」
「Even ten thousand would not be enough」
Issigonis clearly declared furthermore.
「As you know, he is an owner of powers that could individually decimate a Red Dragon. An existence that mercilessly ignores all strategyーー」
「Ha? Red Dragon? What’s that」
Hearing Selene say that, Issigonis looked down at her for just an instant. The reason that it was only for an instant is probably because he got used to it.
(Not mentioning Olivia Incident, she doesn’t even know what a Red Dragon is)
While sighing secretly inside, he fixed his expression and attitude, and continued.
「Anyways, it means that it is a dangerous opponent. However, if it is not so, then there is no need to worry」
「Fu〜n. But, he’s just a Viscount, right?」
「……it is exactly as Her Highness says」
Issigonis almost rolled his eyes. He thought that there’s no use saying more than that, so he decided not to.
After a while, Basilios came again.
「Report. They are desperately resisting, but we are gradually pushing them back. They should be annihilated soon」
「I see. Fumu, if so, then that woman is such a waste. Although she’s an enemy, it is too bad to let her die」
「I completely agree」
「And, if possible, I don’t want to have more casualties than this. Is there any other way?」
「Please stop joking. Lord General should have already thought of a way」
「I just want to hear many opinions. From experience, I know that there would be one or two better opinions than what I have if I ask ten subordinates」
「Ten of them, only then that they are equal to Lord General huh」
Basilios gave a wry smile.
「If so, then rather than sending in ordinary soldiers, we must send a few people who have confidence in their skills with honor and title as a bait」
「On the side, it would be scouting out talents as well. This incident especially, the new recruits seem very tired」
「Let me see, let’s do that then」
「Is it alright?」
「I’m just thinking the same way」
Issigonis turned to Selene.
「Is it fine, Your Highness」
「……about what we talked about right now. About inviting volunteers who can break the opponent’s defense with promotion as a bait」
「Promotion? Then, I’ll go」
Issigonis stopped her in a hurry.
With an expression that says that he did not expect she would react like that, he couldn’t help but make a loud voice.
「It is not a significant thing that needs Her Highness presence」
「But, it’s promotion, right? I came here for that」
“Come to think of it, that’s right”, Issigonis gave a wry smile.
“Well then, how should I calm her down”, when he was thinking about that.
Basilios opened his mouth instead.
「Please forgive this lowly one to speak. Within military exploits, there are achievements through appointment and recommendation」
「It is the merits acquired by someone who found an excellent talent. For commanders and civil officers, it is treated more importantly」
Issigonis met eyes with Basilios who said that, and got relieved.
Thinking of that, he added up.
「Most of the military exploits that made by the one recommended will be given to the person who recommended them. By recommending several people, if they were all able to make achievements, it is possible for one person to earn military exploits for several people」
「What, that sounds good」
「That is why, we will bring several candidates, so we would like to ask Her Highness to pick someone within them」
「I see, that’s right, I got it」
Issigonis brought Basilios out of the tent.
「Not at all. I’m just also relieved that I was able to help as well」
「However, babysitting is more difficult than I imagined」
「I did not hear anything」
「I’ll confirm this just to be sure. It’s really not the Demon Sword Wielder right?」
「We did not find the appearance of such a man. And, although it is just a little, we are pushing them」
「I see. If it were really the Demon Sword Wielder, we wouldn’t be able to push in even just a little」
「Is he really that much? The man called Demon Sword Wielder」
「It’s an opponent that I don’t want to encounter as an enemy in my whole life. That is……traumatizing」
「……I will pray that it would not be so」
Issigonis made a bitter face and Basilios gulped.
The two of them does not know.
The Demon Sword Wielder that they do not wish to become enemies with.
Just, right now.
He was just by their side.