CHAPTER 194 – PAINFUL NOSTALGIA BECOMING FUEL FOR THE FIRE
…And that was what happened during my attack on Eris. Let’s go back to the time of the strategy meeting.
“Tomorrow morning at dawn, the attack on Eris will commence. This attack will completely be the independent decision of me and you, and perhaps it’ll even be our final battle against the enemy invading army, so that’s why I decided to act on a large scale this time. You can even go ahead and think of it as my treat!”
Me and you, so Wiegraf says, but his rank in the military is much higher than mine so this should really be called his independent decision. I see, we currently don’t have the time to discuss with the general commander who’s currently at Fort Drofy or with the royal palace back in Arxia’s capital, so this can only be a pragmatic independent decision.
“Each draconis heading to Eris will be equipped with a large sack the size of approximately two or three adults, filled with sawdust drenched in flammable oil. We’re going to target its military facilities as well as the castle of the lord of Eris. We’ll use the draconis’ wind magic to spread the fire as much as possible.”
…Indeed, this is indeed on a rather large scale. Wiegraf was talking calmly yet happily about such a strategy, so I strongly felt his resemblance to Ergnade. And now I’m learning that the former strategist Wiegraf also views my infamy as an excellent weapon to be used against the enemy.
Although technically we’re supposed to receive permission first from the highest-ranked nobles in order to attack an enemy city, if we carry out this operation using only me and the Jugfena knights, the legal risk will be almost zero. It’s certain that we’ll be scolded for taking an independent action, but it won’t be a big deal as long as we don’t get the royal army involved. That’s why it’s okay for me to do this by only borrowing the Jugfena knights’ assistance.
No matter how much criticism I receive, as long as we deal a critical blow to the enemy to the extent that they won’t want to fight us anymore, I’m prepared to do anything in order to finally force a peace treaty out of them. I think that just about all our soldiers in this war also think this war is bothersome and tiring as well.
…I’m no longer mad at Mefuri who’s completely surrendered herself to me now, but to the enemy country of Densel that sent children to Arxia as living bombs, making Claudia receive terrible injuries in that underground tunnel battle, Densel definitely makes my blood boil. Although I do realize that their ordinary citizens probably had no part in all of this.
“Eliza, after setting fire to Eris, and making sure the enemy knows you’re the one who did it, you’re to move immediately to Fort Drofy. Meanwhile, the other three fake Earl Kaldias will continue spreading chaos and terror in Eris. When you reach the battlefront at the Tave River, that should be right when the enemy will find out there’s something going on at Eris…”
“And so my appearance at the Tave River will send the enemy into even further chaos, is that it?”
“I’m sure that their fear will be multiplied several times over, I’m looking forward to it. Now then, about attacking their navy…”
As Wiegraf continued speaking while grinning, he turned to look at Mefuri for the first time who was sitting obediently in the room with us.
“So that you won’t be bothered with too much work to do after the war, I’m going to have to trouble you with a lot to do for the time being. You should at least work off the costs it’ll take to repair all the walls you destroyed, don’t you think?”
As Wiegraf tilted his head slightly, Mefuri nodded silently a few times in affirmation.
Of course, draconis have characteristics similar to wolves, as they’re wolf dragons. For instance, they seem to have endless amounts of stamina, almost as if they don’t know fatigue.
…But I could only smile wryly as Vedwoka was the only one who could do such a thing, so I took a small nap on her back as I arrived at Fort Drofy by myself while Vedwoka flew high enough that we would go unnoticed by anyone on the ground.
Until the signal to begin the next part of our attack, I’m to wait at Fort Drofy. We’re waiting for the message from Wiegraf that the enemy’s realized I was behind the attack on Eris, and meanwhile I met up with my Kaldia army that had also arrived at Fort Drofy while I was burning the city of Eris and replenished my energy with some food.
After I quietly asked about Claudia and Mefuri’s conditions, and updated myself on the latest reports on the combat situation, I was surrounded by my own soldiers that had been with me for so long as soon as I went to the dining hall.
Everyone was calling me Charlie for some reason like the old days, and as if I was still a novice apprentice soldier, they tried to stuff me with food as if I still needed them to look out for me. Even the members that weren’t from my army seemed to be addressing me as Charlie instead of Earl Kaldia.
“Hey, eat this as well, Charlie.”
“…No, I’m fine. If I eat anymore, I’m going to have a stomachache before battle.”
“What are you saying, you used to eat anything and everything you could get your hands on in order to not starve! How could you get a stomachache!”
“This is a different matter, about my stomach’s capacity.”
While making pointless idle chatter with the my soldiers that have increased in number over the years, I thought about how I hadn’t chatted with them like this for several years.
It’s still similar to my bantering with Teomer and Gunther, but I hardly ever talk to the normal members of the cavalry and infantry squadrons these days. …And as for the newer members of my army, they’ve probably never even had a chance to talk to me.
I felt a sense of nostalgia almost as if I was a novice soldier back in the barracks again. Through that nostalgia, there was also a throbbing sense of pain.
This atmosphere reminds me of the days when Kamil was still with me.
I’m going to use this pain of mine just like the oil on the sawdust from earlier.
It’s just perfect for right before battle.