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Volume 4: Chapter 279 – Encounter (4/5)
After gathering information from the scouts under Gi Ji Arsil, they decided to destroy the humans’ information network one after another.
“Just killing fleeing targets won’t produce merit.”
Rashka was unenthusiastic, so Gi Za had to remind him.
“But there’s no reason to go out of our way to give the enemy free information either, is there?”
“A job as tedious as this should just be left to the scouts.”
The mountainous region was divided between Elfa and Altigand, but the speed of their march from Elfa was rather slow. As far as Gi Za was concerned, this mission was just meant to be a diversion, so there was no need for them to go deep into enemy territory, but Rashka just wanted to fight and didn’t care about that.
“…The enemy will show themselves soon even without you being so restless,”
Gi Za said.
“Is that really true?” Rashka asked skeptically.
Gi Za said with full confidence, leading Rashka to tilt his head.
The wyvern knights of the humans were powerful, but Gi Za knew that they were not all-powerful.
They couldn’t fly when the weather was bad, and it was difficult for them to fly for a long time. Moreover, the goblins had Douhet the Flame Ryuu. As long as he was around, it was unlikely that the wyvern knights would attack so easily.
As such, if the enemy wanted information, they would have to scout them frequently.
But when their scouts were destroyed, what would they think? They might think that the enemy was attacking them.
That’s why they had to intercept any enemy that approached.
Besides, if the wyvern knights weren’t available, the enemy would have to attack them with ground units. And with the region here so full of mountains, they also wouldn’t be able to use their cavalry, so that leaves them with just their footmen.
“The enemy won’t come with a big army. At most, they’ll bring about 3,000 soldiers,” Gi Za said.
“Hmm. We can handle that much,” Rashka said.
Rashka stroked his chin while carrying his thick Blue-Silver Steel (Srilana) club. The sight of him laughing like a demon with one eye would surely be an object of terror to any foe.
Gi Za was about to say something, but he suddenly stopped.
He felt bad for Rashka, who was being so enthusiastic, but Gi Za actually didn’t mind if they didn’t encounter any enemies while carrying out this mission.
What was most important was to hide the construction of the underground tunnels. And even in the worst case situation, where the enemy didn’t attack and just holed up in their fortress, it still wouldn’t be a problem.
However, if the enemy did make a move because of the destruction of their information network, then he could just attack them with Rashka and make the goblin happy, while giving him room to make merits as well.
“This time we’re going there.”
At the end of the direction Gi Za pointed at was the slightly elevated summit of a mountain, where a beacon could be seen.
“We have to climb up that?”
“You can divide the army if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
“The enemy will target us once we’ve divided ourselves.”
Gi Za was telling him to avoid needless casualties, so Rashka could only nod.
As much as Rashka loved to fight, he did not like to lose, and sending the youths of his tribe to die meaninglessly was unacceptable as their chief.
So in the end, the Gaidga Tribe climbed up the mountain and destroyed the beacon. But by this time, the body of the God of Fire (Rodo) could be seen below them descending toward the west. As expected, even the Gaidga Tribe struggled to climb the mountain when wearing Ganra armor that’s made out of leather and iron.
“Good grief. Why do we have to climb a mountain after going all the way out here?”
Rashka complained, but Gi Za ignored him and fixed his gaze at a certain location.
“It wasn’t a waste climbing the mountain… Look, enemy.”
When Rashka saw the direction Gi Za was pointing at, he let out a voice of glee and smiled like a predator.
At the head of the enemy forces was a platoon dressed in white, behind which was a mix of various platoons.
“The vanguard is probably made up of elites. So if we’re going to beat someone, it has to be them.”
“Okay, so what’s the plan, tactician-dono?”
Rashka acted the fool, and Gi Za was more than happy to answer, a fierce smile surfacing on him as he looked down at the enemy.
“We’ll aim for their flank and take them from the side.”
“And after that?”
“The darkness of the night is ever our friend. We’ll slip into the darkness and strike the fleeing enemies.”
As a smile surfaced on Rashka, he kicked his subordinates about and gave out orders.
“Eleanor-dono, aren’t we hurrying too much?”
“But the Demon King’s Army has already gotten so far. At the very least, we need to hurry to the foot of that mountain.”
“Topographically-speaking, that’s true, but…”
Rasdir’s opinion was met with a troubled frown from Eleanor.
After Yuan was sent to the rear to manage the volunteer soldiers, Rasdir spoke his mind about Eleanor’s decisions.
Rasdir might have joined the army at her request, but he was always anxious with her decisions.
Of course, he could understand Eleanor’s stance. They were in a mountainous region with poor visibility all around. It wasn’t as bad as a forest, but it was by no means the kind of place that instilled confidence when camping. And the foot of the mountain that she pointed to was indeed an open area, and their back would be protected by a cliff too, so it was indeed a great spot for their camp.
Rasdil turned around and wondered.
Was that honest man really just going to leave all the decisions to this girl? People’s lives were at stake here. Rasdir thought for sure that Yuan would be taking command, even if on paper it would be Eleanor.
Terrain had advantages and disadvantages once they were occupied.
Eleanor might have made her decision after considering those, but Rasdir was still uneasy. So he tried to call out to her one more time, but this time, Eleanor has had enough.
“Rasdir-dono, I am the commander of this army. Since you have already decided to participate in this operation, you need to understand that. Needless worries with no basis will only scare the soldiers.”
He couldn’t possibly tell her that she was too inexperienced for him to be at ease, so that was all that he could say in response.
Her words did hold logic, after all.
But the problem was that the battlefield was not always so logical. Did she truly understand the aspect of war that was the fog of war?
Rasdil had established himself as a knight commander at a young age, and was not acquainted with any peer of his generation. All the commanders in Elfa were older than him, and they were all people that he respected.
But now, he had to take instructions from a commander younger than him, who herself was only a commander of a small platoon. Moreover, said commander was a young girl. Understandably, Rasdir didn’t know how to handle her.
Fighting while anxious was generally not a good idea. Especially, once the soldiers were able to get a whiff of it.
Around the time when the body of the God of Fire had started to disappear into the clouds of the mountains, they finally reached the foot of the mountain and started making camp. They put down their luggage, put up their tents, and set up fences to serve as their defensive walls.
“…Stick together, don’t let your guard down no matter what.”
As Rasdir gave that command to his subordinates, they too began making camp while keeping their distance from Eleanor’s holy knights and the volunteer army. The holy knight’s were fine, but Rasdir could see that the volunteer soldiers were poorly trained. Staying with people like those would just make them waste more time than necessary.
But then when the God of Darkness had begun to spread his wings, a goblin horde suddenly appeared.
They appeared so suddenly it was almost as though they’d popped out of the ground. Moreover, they were the gigantic sort equipped with thick armor.