Surveying their ranks, Stiffels opens his mouth to talk in a serious tone.
“Today we will execute an important military operation. It is a strategy to demonstrate that the Second Knight Order is our country’s best knight order. It is absolutely unforgivable to fail it.” (Stiffels)
Will it become a full-scale war again? With tensed expressions the knights and soldiers straightened their backs.
However, the vice-captains, knowing about the strategy that will be explained from here on, stiffened in tension for a different meaning.
“The operation will be simple. We will provoke the enemy at the national border and lure them into our country. We will then attack the enemy, who will be cut off from Horant’s territory after they entered our country, from the rear. In a situation, where they won’t be able to replenish their troops, we will annihilate the enemy!” (Stiffels)
As the soldiers are just standing there as if they aren’t able to comprehend the mentioned things, the knights are exchanging looks with each other having heard about this strategy for the first time.
“Captain, is it allowed to ask a question?” (Knight)
“What is it?” (Stiffels)
“You tell us to lure them into our territory, but are we luring the enemy up to this village?” (Knight)
Even the soldiers can be seen to be agitated by those words, but Stiffels voice was more intense.
“No, we will pass this village and withdraw till Münster.” (Stiffels)
The soldiers began to stir and words of bafflement started to appear from the knights.
“Then, aren’t the people of this village and the citizens of Münster in danger?” (Knight)
“The villagers will evacuate. Once the enemy draws near the city of Münster, they will probably be stopped by the defense of the territorial soldiers. If we attack from the enemy’s rear, it will be possible to launch a pincer attack” (Stiffels)
Listening to the explanation up until here, the knights and soldiers regained their calm and in reverse began to praise Stiffels’ strategy.
“I can’t help but to declare this as magnificent ingenuity!” (Soldier)
But, different from the soldiers, praising the smiling Stiffels, a part of the knights can’t hide a bitter smile.
There is a continuation for this operation. After crushing Horant’s army from the rear, using the momentum, they will assault Earl Biron, either in the Lord’s mansion or at the front, if he appears there. It is a plan to kill him.
“First, have the villagers take refuge. All they have to do is to temporarily escape to the different villages in the vicinity.” (Stiffels)
As the knights received their order, they took a part of the soldiers and left in order to explain the situation to the village headman.
“Well then, take care of preparing the other things necessary for battle. We will depart in one hour!” (Stiffels)
All present soldiers answered in a chorus towards Stiffels’ command.
Around the time the Second Knight Order was preparing their military operation, the First Knight Order headed towards Münster by horse.
Although the order’s members were suspicious of him, their major concern was as to what road they should take from here on out. There weren’t few amongst the order who also considered to leave and return to the capital.
“Captain Ribezal, how will we move from now on?” (Knight)
As a single knight drew his horse close and uneasily asks him, Ribezal answers in a monotonous voice without even turning towards him.
“We will return to Münster and make camp in the city’s vicinity. Sooner or later the Second Knight Order is going to return. At that time I will once again sound them out about joining hands with us.” (Ribezal)
After smoothly speaking those lines, he once again became silent as before.
Beirevra, walking next to Ribezal’s horse, chuckles at a spot invisible to everyone.
If this plan was to turn out well, Beirevra had been promised that the observation by Horant would be lifted and that he would be appointed as feudal lord of the new territory of Horant.
Beirevra, not doubting the success of the strategy anymore, thought about receiving the permission to enter Horant in a short while at leisure.
☻“Brother-in-law-san, I’m told you have called for me.” (Sabnak)
Sabnak, entering Biron’s office, saw an unknown skinny soldier stand there uprightly.
The soldier shows a worn-out appearance, but he gives Sabnak the impression of being skilful as the soldier’s feet are tightly arranged.
“Ah, you came.” (Biron)
Biron introduced the standing soldier to Sabnak, who sat down on the sofa, without moving from his desk.
“He is a territorial soldier called Hack. His strength lies in gathering intelligence. I am relying on him quite a lot.” (Biron)
The soldier called Hack straightened his back with a snap due to Biron’s words.
“Gathering intelligence… is there something you are interested in?” (Sabnak)
Because of Sabnak’s question, Biron had Hack do the explanation.
“Well then…” (Hack)
Hack turned his body towards Sabnak, who corrected his seated posture.
“The Second Knight Order’s captain, Stiffels, moved on to the next stage of his plan of drawing in Horant’s army, spread out in the vicinity of the border, lure them onto our territory and stand up against them in battle. Evacuating the common villagers at the border’s village, they will pull the enemy up until Münster by having them pass through the village. He plans to do a pincer attack in cooperation with our territorial army. He wants to annihilate the enemy army isolated on Orsangrande’s ground. Those are the details. They have already started marching towards the border. I think they should be coming in contact with Horant’s army right about now.” (Hack)
As the details were explained smoothly, Sabnak tilted his head to the side in confusion.
“Pincer attack? Brother-in-law-san, are you going to cooperate with the Second Knight Order?” (Sabnak)
“No, not at all. I haven’t heard anything about such talks. It’s unthinkable for me to follow that plan.” (Biron)
Expressing a smile, Biron thrust up the index finger.
“I guess most likely they intend to claim the achievement for themselves dragging us into it on their own accord. The story should go like “Launching a surprise attack by cowardly methods, the enemy was even allowed to invade the country’s soil. We killed them before Münster.” or something like that?” (Biron)
“Such a thing…” (Sabnak)
“They will be able to fabricate this, I think, if there isn’t anyone to take an opposing opinion.” (Biron)
Biron accurately saw through Stiffels’ aim.
Amongst that, it will also be possible to whittle down the influence of the princess faction if Biron is killed.
“In other words, he is planning to kill Brother-in-law-san.” (Sabnak)
“If he knew about the matter of you being here as well, he would likewise aim at all of you from the Third Knight Order.” (Biron)
If the princess faction has no evidence, there will only be the Second Knight Order to verify the flow of the battle, is what Stiffels should be thinking, Biron points out.
Fokalore as well as here, there are only things giving him a headache.
“And, what will Brother-in-law-san do?” (Sabnak)
Certainly, I don’t think he will go along with Stiffels’ plan, Sabnak offered his sympathy.
“Naturally, the plans, I mentioned the other day, are for such occasions as well. Well then, there is something our Earl Biron household wants to officially request from the Third Knight Order.” (Biron)
“Let’s hear about it.” (Sabnak)
Biron laughed impishly towards Sabnak, whose face became serious.
“I want to entrust you with the guarding of all citizens of Münster. Outside of the city.” (Biron)
“… Ha?” (Sabnak)
Stiffels was irritated by unusually not receiving any reports from the messenger soldiers left behind at Münster.
At this time all of the soldiers affiliated to the Second Knight Order, left behind at Münster because of Biron’s order, had already been restrained, but Stiffels had no means to know about this fact.
“It can’t be helped. Once the enemy floods the gate of the city, the territorial soldiers won’t be able to move anyway.” (Stiffels)
The provocation unit, led by the vice-captains, has already attacked the border. If all goes by plan, they can expect the unit, dragging the enemy behind, to return to the village soon.
In front of the city’s entrance the soldiers will split to the left and right. Making a large detour, they will attack Horant’s soldiers from the left, right and back while they should be battling with Biron’s territorial forces at the gate.
They will forcibly drag the territorial soldiers into the battle.
Meanwhile numerous footsteps, causing the earth to tremble, approached.
“… They came, huh?” (Stiffels)
As there were the familiar armoured appearances of the knights and soldiers when he looked towards the border, they were chased by a massive amount of soldiers from Horant as they headed towards this direction.
“But, no matter how often I see this, that lot is giving me the creeps.” (Stiffels)
The soldiers from Horant don’t raise their voices and neither do their faces stiffen.
More than about their war potential, he feels a chill in his spine due to the enemy not showing anything resembling an emotion.
This isn’t the place to be preoccupied with such matters now, Stiffels shook his head.
“The enemy came! Execute the strategy as planned!” (Stiffels)
Following his order, the Second Knight Order and the soldiers, albeit slowly at the beginning, move in the direction of Münster.
Stiffels burns with the ambition, that even becoming the prime minister is in his reach in the future.
“What’s this about!” (Ayperos)
The chamberlains as well as the guarding soldiers, just looking at each other, none of them is able to reply to the raging Prince Ayperos.
Not just the prince was trembling. The chamberlains were likewise.
The result is the current situation.
“Someone explain it to me!” (Ayperos)
A single shadow approached and quickly kneeled in front of the raging prince.
“Your Highness, Prince Ayperos, I’m at your service.” (Ribezal)
“Oh, Ribezal, huh? You came at a good time. Even Stiffels isn’t here. Good grief, this fellow isn’t useful at at crucial times at all.” (Ayperos)
As Ayperos asks “So, what’s this about?”, Ribezal answers him with his eyes cast down.
“Stiffels will probably soon come here. Driven away by Horant’s soldiers, I expect him to flee in this direction.” (Ribezal)
“What are you saying! That man, has he been defeated while previously bragging to such an extent!?” (Ayperos)
Without even turning his eyes on the prince, who is unsightly stamping his feet, Ribezal continues.
“This city was abandoned by Earl Biron. Currently he is leading the citizens escaping towards the capital on the highway.” (Ribezal)
“Even Earl Biron?! And he even left me behind while escaping!?” (Ayperos)
The chamberlains are nothing but flustered due to Ayperos having a fit of anger with a deep red face.
“Therefore it is I who came to receive you as soon as possible.” (Ribezal)
“I-I see! I won’t have to worry then. Let’s leave the city right away and return to the capital!” (Ayperos)
“That won’t be happening.” (Ribezal)
Before they became aware of it, they are surrounded in a circle by the members of the First Knight Order.
Every of them, with a befuddled face as if partially having blacked out, stood still and relaxedly held their swords.
“… What’s going on here?” (Ayperos)
“That’s what’s going on. Do it.” (Ribezal)
Following Ribezal’s order, the First Knight Order swung down their swords at the chamberlains and guards. Ayperos’ surroundings transformed into a pool of blood in an instant.
Ayperos, backing off with quivering legs in a state of barely remaining standing, is easily seized by Ribezal and has his arms being bind behind his back.
“S-Stop! What rudeness! D-Doing such a thing to me…” (Ayperos)
“It has been an easy win just because you have panicked at this place.” (Beirevra)
The concealed Beirevra gets close in front of Ayperos.
In his hands he is grasping the magic tool that was installed on Ribezal and the other knights.
“Who are you bastard!? What’s this!? S-Stop it…” (Ayperos)
“Don’t worry, you won’t feel any pain. Far from pain, you won’t feel anything at all after having it attached.” (Beirevra)
Rolling up the expensive clothes, the magic tool was forced into the abundantly fat chest. The built-in pipes penetrated the interior of Ayperos’ body one by one.
Upon Beirevra’s command 「Stand up」 the lying down Ayperos stood up unsteadily.
There can’t be seen any light in his pupils anymore.
By no means I expected it to go so smoothly up to this point, Beirevra couldn’t hold back his laughter.
I wonder how much appreciation I will earn with this accomplishment?
Accompanied by the living-corpse-like knights, Beirevra escaped from the city and chased after the feudal lord of Münster for the sake of gaining even more accomplishments.