Wilhelm’s War Chronicle ~Military operation to prevent Tarim from advancing south~
It was nearly midnight when everybody was called for, but nobody raised a complaint.
Inside the completely silent reception hall, knights clad in imposing armor are gathering one by one.
I’m not wearing armor, rather I’m dressed in a military uniform.
It’s slightly different from when I was formally dressed. Being made for battle the uniform omits excess decoration, but perhaps she’d be pleased by it as well.
Although it’s an emergency, recalling her I unintentionally grinned.
I wondered what I should do when I heard she had gone home, but perhaps it was for the best.
I won’t be able to go back here for at least a month.
As expected, leaving her behind alone in the castle wasn’t an option.
When Father’s entrance was announced, I bowed my head.
The news of Tarim advancing south again was reported by the Prime Minister, along with the decision to dispatch reinforcements.
It’s as I assumed.
In accordance to Father’s voice, I stepped forward.
I got on my knees and bowed my head, then Father’s voice resounded.
“Crown Prince Friedrich, you are appointed as the Supreme Commander of these reinforcements. Lead Primera Chivalric Order and prevent Tarim from advancing south no matter what it takes. No intrusion will be allowed.”
“I have received the orders.”
I showed my consent to departing to the front in command of Primera Chivalric Order.
Next, Father faced the Magician Division and spoke.
“Magician Division Commander, William von Pellegrini.”
In response to that call, Will also stepped forward.
His dark blue robe fluttered.
“I command you and your unit to provide rear support. And, unlock the transfer gate so the reinforcements can be delivered promptly.”
“I understand. The transfer gate has already been prepared, it is possible to transfer at any moment.”
It’s probably because Alex distributed the information earlier.
Father nodded with satisfaction at Will who’d already finished preparations.
And, once again he turned his gaze here.
“Friedrich, this Divine Sword is yours.”
Father held out the Divine Sword, Areus, handed down in the Royal Family that he’d had at his waist.
It’s the legendary Divine Sword supposedly wielded by the Founder of this country.
I stared at the scabbard inlaid with gems of various sizes that holds the golden sword for a short while.
The Divine Sword that the kings of this country always equip dimly shined.
“You have a person you must protect, thus this is only appropriate. May you have the Founder’s blessing from now.”
“I will definitely meet these expectations.”
I firmly received the sword from Father.
The person I must protect that Father mentioned naturally refers to my princess consort, Lidi.
Now that I’ve become the Crown Prince properly thanks to the ‘Royal Flower’, the Divine Sword has been granted to me as a proof of being the successor, it’s like that.
The sword, that I thought would be heavy, contrary to my expectations was so light I unintentionally opened my eyes wide.
While I was staring at it in astonishment, the golden Divine Sword shined bluish-white.
“The sword chooses its owner. You have been acknowledged by the sword.”
Hearing Father’s words, I put the sword on my waist.
It probably reacts to the blood of the Royal Family.
I stood up straight and facing Father nodded.
“I will definitely bring victory to our country. ―――― Depart!!”
“Your Highness, I am grateful for the reinforcements.”
I was approached by a man with grey hair who was waiting for us to come out of the transfer gate.
The man past his middle-age is Margrave Shallum.
The armor he’s wearing is already dyed red with blood, the smell of which fills the air.
I guess they’ve crossed swords already.
Perhaps because it’s after the fight, he’s in high spirits.
“How is the situation of the war?”
“It has entered a short pause. The enemy numbers about 5000. They’re nothing but cavalry. Because they’re advancing south before schedule, fortunately their number is smaller than usual. My forces number 3000. The situation is currently a tie.”
“I see, well done.”
I shortly praised Margrave Shallum for holding back an army of 5000 with 3000 troops, and hurriedly headed for the headquarters.
Among the echoing footsteps, we quickly exchanged information.
The leader of Primera Chivalric Order and Will are also accompanying me.
This time these two are the leaders of the reinforcements, so it’s necessary to share information.
“5000, huh. Certainly, it’s less than usual. But, if that’s the case we can quickly settle it. This time I brought Primera Chivalric Order on His Majesty’s orders. They number 3000. After making preparations, we will join immediately.”
“Yes. After they join, please use my forces of 3000 at Your Highness’s discretion.”
“I see, if that’s the case I’ll gratefully accept.”
I also spoke to the leader of Primera Chivalric Order following behind.
“Bertrand, we’ll be leaving soon. Have the members prepare for war.”
A man clad in silver full-body armor nodded that he received my will.
Holding a helmet in one hand, he was looking here with an earnest expression.
The leader of Primera Chivalric Order, Bertrand, is an honest man who recently inherited a marquis title.
Bertrand von Lowe.
He’s a dependable man past 30 who gathered an elite quirky company.
At his recommendation, this time I brought 3000 knights, but I’m confident there will be no failure.
After talking about the state of affairs for a while, we settled down in the headquarters.
“What about the injured and prisoners of war?”
“Although there are some, it’s as usual. They’re receiving treatment in the relief tent.”
“Yes, Your Highness?”
Having heard Margrave’s words, I called out to Will.
“Have several people who specialize in healing magical arts head there. Have others spread a defensive barrier around the headquarters.”
Will assented to my words
“I understand, we will head out right away.”
Leaving the scene, Will gave instructions to his subordinates nearby.
“As soon as the preparations are completed, we will depart for the front. I would like to settle it quickly. If we come by Tarim headquarters, I will start the attack with magic.”
“Your Highness, magic is…”
Hearing my words, Will looked here worriedly.
I replied that it’s all right.
“There’s no problem. I’m in the perfect form right now. Using grand magic few times won’t be a burden.”
“I hope it’s fine.”
He must be worried since I was on the verge of losing control the last time.
When I nodded again, Will backed down.
“Your Highness, preparations are complete.”
Hearing Bertrand, I stood up and took the Divine Sword in my hand.
I felt like the Divine Sword was somehow trembling with excitement before the battle.
I smiled thinly as if enticed by it.
My excitement has been rising for a long time.
“Will, I entrust my back to you.”
“Of course. I will protect Your Highness, so advance without worrying about the surroundings.”
“Yeah, I trust you. I have nothing to worry about.”
I mounted my favorite horse that I brought along and departed, leading the troops.
Will followed closely behind, deploying many magic formations.
I drew the Divine Sword and grandly raised it. The golden sword emitted bluish-white light from its blade.
I turned around to the troops and spoke in a loud voice.
“Do not allow them to take even one step into our country’s territory!! From now on, expel Tarim!! Advance!!”
“Magician Division, deploy a barrier over the vanguard!!”
“Understood. First team, deploy the defensive barrier. Next, second team, prepare magic formations.”
After two weeks of repeated skirmishes, at last the battle for Tarim’s headquarters began.
Settling this will bring the conflict to an end.
From my horse, I gave an order to deploy a defensive barrier, and Will dealt with it calmly.
In response to Will’s command, a mesh-like barrier was spread above the troops.
The main weapon of the nomadic equestrian tribes of Tarim is the bow.
They specialize in mounted archery, making them troublesome and difficult opponents.
Long range bow attacks always hurt.
To eliminate unnecessary victims, we defend against arrows with defensive barriers. Care is necessary, as arrows are often coated in poison.
In order to use magic, I’m several meters in front of the army.
I’m obviously being targeted, but I was protected from everything by Will’s magical arts.
“Your Highness, please hurry up”
The arrows released all at once were blocked by Will’s barrier.
I nodded to Will, and having confirmed the wind’s direction, I prepared the Divine Sword, still on horseback.
I concentrated to circulate my magical power inside it.
Recently, this concentrating hasn’t been going well and has been often disturbed, but this time I’m able to control my magical power as naturally as breathing.
Unmistakably, it’s thanks to giving Lidi the ‘Royal Flower’.
Looking at me easily charging the sword with magical power, Will had his horse take a few steps back.
The distance to the enemy army is still above 100 meters, but it doesn’t matter.
I’ll defeat them with a single blow.
“Shine, flower of flames――――”
The Divine Sword charged with magical power reacted to my words.
The magical power is much better compared to my usual sword’s.
After all, it deserves being called a Divine Sword.
The golden sword absorbed my magical power and shone bluish-white.
Sensing that it’s filled with magical power, I grandly swung it towards the enemy army.
The air vibrated, and blue flames surged forth from the Divine Sword. The whirlwind of flames swooped down on the enemy army.
In a flash, the flames cut into the enemy, and the sparks that shot off burned the surroundings to nothing.
With only that, half of the enemy army was extinguished.
While I calmly observed the results of my attack, the enemy army displayed confused movements from suddenly suffering great losses.
Perhaps they’re planning to withdraw for a while.
I won’t let them, I gave instructions to the army standing by behind.
“The enemy army collapsed. Do not miss the opportunity of victory!! Whole army, charge!!”
From my rear, a war cry arose in response.
Overtaking me, the army of 6000 knights swooped down on Tarim’s forces that attempted retreat.
Tarim’s forces already number little above 2000.
There’s no way we’ll lose.
… We won.
It was unexpectedly quick.
I thought so, but at that time Tarim’s soldiers all faced backwards and prepared bows.
As soon as I saw their stance, I gave an order without thinking.
“Magician Division!! Everybody immediately deploy the barrier again!! Front line is the top priority!! It’s coming!!!”
At my order, the magicians that prepared formations beforehand all at once deployed the barrier.
Almost at the same time, the arrows rained down like hail.
Having been repelled by the barrier spread anew, arrows limply fell to the ground.
The arrows that flew at me had no chance of making it through the barrier Will made before.
Although we were able to defend against Tarim’s volley by a hair’s breadth, it’s frightening thinking we might have not made it in time.
Breaking out in a cold sweat, I commended Tarim who developed the skillful tactic of firing backwards while retreating.
… I absolutely didn’t expect them to do something like that.
Until last year Tarim was just a group that recklessly charged.
But, the controlled action just now was on the level where you could call them an army.
Thinking they’re the same as usual invited carelessness.
… They may have acquired a skilled tactician.
“Your Highness, are you injured?!”
Will, who had been a little away, rushed his horse here.
Around him, five magical formations were deployed.
Normally, two is the limit to magical formations being invoked simultaneously, but Will, who has a reputation of a genius, can use up to eight simultaneously like it’s nothing.
“I’m okay. Switch the second team to support magical arts. Our army is at the advantage, We’ll finish it quickly.”
“Yes. Second magician team!! Invoke support magical arts. First team, maintain the defensive barrier!!”
I further instructed Will who was giving instructions to his subordinates.
“Will, taking the opportunity, find out who their commander is. This year Tarim is different than usual.”
“Tarim’s commander? I understand.”
While hearing Will’s voice behind me, I also instructed the chivalric order.
“The center collapsed. Primera Chivalric Order, attack the center!!”
There’s no other way to attack.
While watching the knights swoop down on Tarim’s forces, I spoke to Bertrand who approached me.
“It’s the critical moment. So that they never think of advancing south again, beat them completely.”
“I understand, Your Highness!!”
I saw off Bertrand who vigorously nodded and galloped off on his horse.
My turn is over.
Taking a rest, I watched over the army pursuing Tarim.
There’s little will among the Tarim soldiers to resist.
After a while, the battle concluded and changed to a cleanup fight, so I entrusted the directions for the rest to Margrave Shallum.
I turned to Will to hear the results.
However, he unexpectedly looked displeased.
Will brought his horse near and bowed.
“I apologize, Your Highness. I couldn’t look into distance due to a masking magical art.”
I was genuinely surprised by these words.
Will returned a bitter smile.
“Maybe if I were a bit closer, but it’s difficult to penetrate magical arts at this distance.”
At Will’s words I looked towards Tarim’s forces.
When it turned into cleanup fight, the enemy general had already escaped.
I concluded that there’s no point in investigating further.
“Got it. It’s enough. I took up your time.”
“No, I couldn’t be helpful.”
“No, thanks to your support we won. With that the war concluded quickly. Let’s go home.”
That’s right, let’s quickly go home――――.
When I relaxed a little, white objects fell from the sky. I unintentionally looked up.
The identify of the white objects was snow.
At first snow was fluttering down here and there, but quickly it piled up.
“… It’s the right time.”
Will nodded to my mutter.
On my signal, the whole army withdrew.
The war is over――――.
―――― And before I noticed, the season changed to winter.