14. Scattering Small Fry
“We’ve caught up.”
That was the voice that came out of my mouth and took my lead.
The border of Willendorf wasn’t far, and we had finally caught up with Caroline’s forces.
About 100 enemies in my field of vision.
Still far from a fighting distance, but hey.
At my words, the marching chant of Zabine and the others died away, and the color of their eyes changed to the color of battle.
“Faust, what to do?”
What to do? Again huh…
First of all, you’re the supreme commander.
Well, it’s your first campaign. It can’t be helped.
And since I’m the counselor, I’ve to assist her.
But, at a time like this, First Princess Anastasia or Duchess Astarte, would give their opinion and then ask me.
Since the opponents are only bandits, they’ll probably respect my opinion and give me a free hand from the beginning.
Considering this, the First Princess was insane from the first campaign, huh?
Not that Valliere-sama is inferior, just that Anastasia-sama is abnormal.
While I was busy with various miscellaneous thoughts, I looked at Caroline’s forces in front of me.
Then I murmured.
“Perhaps, the other party has noticed what we are doing.”
“You mean, they have magical glasses, the binoculars, like us?”
“It’s a very useful thing. There’s no way Caroline doesn’t have it. Not to mention, this is a plain. People who have good eyes, can definitely see us from a distance.”
I muttered confidently.
We, the pursuers, had already been noticed by Caroline.
So, the next action would depend on her.
Please refrain from an all-out war, an all-out combat is bad.
It’ll cause great damage.
And I, don’t want to let innocent citizens and my own people die in vain.
Helga, who was using binoculars, gave a report.
“The enemy—the enemy, is now, split in two.”
With the Willendorf border in sight, not surprising that Caroline chose to flee and use the bandits as pawns.
Well, I want to thank you a little for that.
It’s better than forming a formation, and fighting at full power.
Much better, no, just that, it’s a convenient flow for me.
“Helga, prepare our people for battle.”
I gave instructions to Helga.
Then, I gave instructions to the Second Princess.
“Valliere-sama, first, I will scatter the small fry.”
“Scatter the small fry?”
“In this situation, there is no chance for the royal guard or the militia. First of all ―― it’s just a massacre.”
I muttered this to the Second Princess.
Right, this is just a massacre.
A massacre of bandits, just like any other military service.
I smiled and returned the smile of the Second Princess.
Then I began the attack after signaling with a sign.
5 squires had done preparing the crossbow.
The preparations for firing had already been made.
Now only the trigger had to be pulled.
“Helga, take another look before you put the binoculars back. Can you see the enemy commander?”
“Yes, I can see the commander. Probably not a bandit. Wearing chainmail and a helmet ―― probably a squire.”
Bandits, aren’t the kind of people who just shut up and become pawns.
There will always be a leader to lead them.
So, Caroline’s squire?
That means the bandits were probably taken in after their leader was killed by Caroline.
Did the squire lead the bandits on the premise that she’d die with those disposable pieces?
Caroline seems like a respectable person, huh?
Considering many points, my analysis was complete.
“No need to shoot the squire with the crossbow. I’ll kill the squire. First, make sure to kill the five enemy archers with the crossbow.”
I hated archers.
It wasn’t hard to fend off the arrows, but it was distracting and frustrating.
If I could, I would kill the archer first, if only for that reason.
Right. That’s about the level of existence bandits are.
Well then, it’s about time to engage the enemy.
With the 15 royal guards led by the Second Princess and the militia led by the governor who stayed behind a bit, we, 20 soldiers of Polidoro and I, took the lead.
“My name is, Faust von Polidoro! Those who want to die, step forward!!”
Fear pervaded the enemy camp.
I, Faust von Polidoro, was the only male knight in the Kingdom of Anhalt who ran ahead of the others.
The knight of wrath.
The strongest knight of the Anhalt kingdom.
The enemy would have no reason to doubt that.
Sure, these were bad names for me, but in times like these, I was grateful to have such a title.
“Calm down! Rumors are just rumors, he’s just nothing but a male knight!! Calm down!!”
The leader of the enemies, Caroline’s squire, tried to calm the bandits, but it didn’t work well.
Forgive me but escape isn’t allowed.
Bandits first, then you’ll all be killed.
The scream of blood.
My command wasn’t to my beloved people, but to the 30 enemy bandits.
The arrow in the crossbow was fired at five suspected enemy archers, and thanks to the skill of my squires, who were used to shooting, the result of such an accurate technique was great, as expected.
Of the 30 bandits, 5 died within a very short time.
The scream of death.
I, riding on a horse, of course, cut the vanguard.
As usual, I wielded a magical greatsword, passed down from generation to generation, and decapitated five enraged bandits in succession.
And with that, the number of forces became the same, 20.
While a pool of blood formed on the ground, the enemies collapsed.
The bandits had no archers left.
As I wanted them to.
So I went in a straight line towards Caroline’s squire, who was the leader of the bandits, as one with the horse.
Then we jumped.
I danced through the air with my beloved horse Flugel and reached in front of Caroline’s squire, who was wearing chainmail.
The squire was overwhelmed by the sudden event.
Quickly with my favorite greatsword, I slashed the squire from head to belly.
The squire’s body split in two.
And the helmet that the squire was wearing, was completely split and fell to the ground in two halves.
“YOUR LEADER IS DEAD!!!”
My roar echoed across the battlefield, and the morale of the bandits who had lost their leader collapsed.
The miserably out-of-control bandits, some of whom begged for their lives, while others turned their backs on them and tried to flee, one by one, were killed by my people.
With a spear. Or with a sword.
But, this was nothing new for me.
During my military service from the age of 15 to 20, this kind of work really became an assembly line.
And my people will just do their own work like this――slaughtering the enemy.
While I was thinking so, I killed a bandit nearby.
There were too many to count.
I couldn’t count each kill because it was too much trouble.
Nevertheless, the fight lasted only a few minutes.
And none of our citizens came to harm.
The work went on without any major problems, and so the slaughter ended.
“In the next life, you should be reborn as a flower or something.”
With that closing line, I looked down at the bandit’s body lying on the ground.
30 bandits had been killed in a few minutes.
My squires had already begun preparing to reload their crossbows and pull the strings with the pulleys without my order.
The Second Princess Guard and 40 militia led by the governor finally caught up with us.
“Faust. What about the bandits?”
Another boring question from the Second Princess.
You can see it, right?
“I killed them all. You can tell by looking.”
“Well… what should I say, how about the damage to you?”
You think I want to die against a mere bandit?
The only times I was prepared to die were my first battle and the Willendorf campaign.
Bandits? I can slaughter them while humming.
Those guys are just small fry.
“This is where the story begins, Valliere-sama. While my squires prepare to reload the crossbow, we will resume the pursuit. Until we catch up with Caroline, please consult me in advance on tactical matters.”
“Caroline has probably decided that it is best for her to flee. She probably wants to continue across the border to Willendorf. In the worst-case scenario, I will have to slip out during the battle with the 70 enemy elites and pursue Caroline, who is trying to escape on her own. Should that happen, I will hand over command of my people to Helga in the meantime. Please deploy them freely at that time.”
Though, I’ve no intention of letting them die in vain.
Well, it’s not like Helga will listen to Valliere-sama no matter what.
She didn’t grow up that way.
Without saying that out loud, I looked at Caroline’s army.
There were two carriages in front, one of them was the carriage in which men and boys were taken from the area that was directly under the queen.
And in the other one sat Caroline.
Now, which one is the right one?
Big one or small one?
Most likely, something good is in the small one ―― I mean, Caroline must be in the small carriage.
While thinking like that, I continued to wait for the crossbow to be reloaded.
“You don’t have to die. Just let those bandits die.”
“In order to use those pawns, we need a commander. Caroline-sama understands that too.”
Caroline bit her lip as she thought of her squire serving as the bandits’ commander to be a discarded pawn.
Sadly, something like this happened when she finally reached this point.
Where the Willendorf border was right in front of her, which she could reach in another hour.
With the binoculars, she saw the border line of Willendorf earlier.
The knights of Willendorf were waiting at the border line with dozens of soldiers, as if they had noticed her from the watchtower of the fort.
We’ll reach our goal.
I’m sure that we’ll get asylum.
Right, we can escape from this country.
“In the worst case, Caroline-sama, please be prepared to escape alone.”
“Don’t be stupid. What’s the point of abandoning you all and running away alone?”
“The meaning of supporting Caroline-sama so far, remains. Even if only Caroline-sama survives, the meaning will surely remain.”
You, big idiot.
Do you still think that it was your fault that I failed in the succession dispute?
It was my failure.
It was I, who failed in the succession dispute.
“I failed in the succession dispute because I was stupid. I wish I hadn’t done that. Something like that.”
Caroline finally got it out.
It was all because of my incompetence that I was defeated in the succession dispute.
I’m finally able to admit it.
I should have laid the foundation for other vassals more.
I should have made connections with the royal family――Queen Riesenlotte and First Princess Anastasia during my military service, and worked to have them recognize me as the head of the family.
If only, I did more and better.
The seeds of words of regret that come out were endless.
“Both the squires and the people of the fief ate from the same pot during military service. We shall live and die together, right? That’s one reason for us pushing Caroline-sama’s back. That said, we don’t have time anymore. So, Caroline-sama, goodbye.”
Ignoring Caroline’s voice, the squire hurried toward the bandits.
Just for her to cross the border into Willendorf.
How many squires and citizens of the territory lost their lives in the feud over the territory?
How many seriously injured people were lost on this march and left their bodies there?
Now that I think about it again, I shouldn’t have started the family succession dispute from the beginning.
Every time a person died, the act Caroline deemed stupid that she did in the past permeated her body.
Caroline called out the name of her only daughter.
She couldn’t bring her to this escape drama.
By now, she would have been hanged in the territory.
“……defect to, Willendorf.”
With unsteady steps, Caroline muttered only that.
Having lost her husband to illness, lost her daughter to folly, and lost her superior squire to incompetence, this was her last remaining goal.
Give the men and boys, to Willendorf.
Using the wealth in the carriage, I shall make a comeback as a knight.
Selling as much information as I could about the Kingdom of Anhalt, is also a good idea.
Who cares if I’m called a traitor?
I’ve nothing left after all.
Other than 70 elite people who’re following me.
Excluding the citizens who have served together in the military, should be ――
While thinking so, a devilish report echoed in Caroline’s ears.
“Caroline-sama! Caroline-sama! We have just confirmed the enemy commander through the binoculars!”
“Who is it!? A familiar face? Duchess Astarte, or……”
“The enemy is a male knight. Probably, Faust von Polidoro. The Knight of Wrath!!”
Involuntarily, Caroline jumped out of the carriage and looked at the bandits and her squire who had become discarded pawns.
Probably a one-sided massacre is going on there.
Seems, judgment has come.
The Knight of Wrath came, ready to judge me, who has become an evil existence.
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