Episode 191

Linz Plains Giant Slalom (3)
1 week ago
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The Grand Duke of Ostarica felt that Lieutenant Benner’s confident proposal was quite good.

Because what he said supported the very point he himself had argued in the meeting yesterday, and it was the strategy the Grand Duke now wanted to propose through his staff.

Moreover, it was a statement made by the person among them who knew the Reich Empire’s military the best.

After reading the change in the Grand Duke of Ostarica’s expression, Lieutenant Benner thought,

‘I need to delve deeper now.’

“General Yaeger employing such aggressive tactics suggests he anticipated losing the battle of endurance among the soldiers. Thus, he opted for an unusual command strategy early on to swing the tide in his favor. Therefore, whether his operation ends in success or failure rests upon Your Grace’s judgment.”

Usually, such a statement would be followed by comforting words about the enemy commander making a mistake, and now is the chance to capitalize on it.

However, if the opponent was a well-known general, instead of mentioning a ‘mistake’ until the opponent was close to defeat…

‘It’s better to elevate the opponent’s status by considering the fame to be gained after victory, and further promote the abilities of those whom you wish to flatter. The best case would be making the Grand Duke believe that he induced General Yaeger to commit a mistake when reviewing tactics after the war.’

“Your Grace, I suggest ordering an immediate total attack by the infantry. Additionally, dispatch the knights when the clash between the enemy and our forces is at its fiercest. With our forces having a larger number of soldiers, it’s most prudent and certain to move in a conventional manner.”

The Grand Duke chuckled upon hearing this and said,

“That’s a fine strategy. Especially if the opponent is of the caliber of a great general, it’s better to stick to the standard approach rather than engage in pointless antics.”

“It is an honor, Your Grace.”

“Not at all. If you ever have doubts or suggestions about the situation on the front, feel free to offer your opinions as one of my staff. Even if I don’t ask, it’s okay.”

Upon hearing this, the other staff members shot envious glances at Lieutenant Benner, who had garnered the Grand Duke’s favor, but the lieutenant himself paid no attention to their stares.

This was because, as the person in question, he was only concerned with how to inflict significant damage on the Ostarican forces in this battle, as per the orders he received from General Yaeger.

‘If my acting as a spy for Ostarica and my subsequent betrayal are discovered, not only would my old friends Matthias and the others lose their heads, but to me, my family and I are more important than those who betrayed His Highness the Crown Prince.’

The Grand Duke thought Lieutenant Benner’s words were entirely correct, but he decided it would be better to apply them with a bit more ingenuity, so he gave the following order,

“Deploy the reserve infantry and press them all at once. The longer the battle with the Empire’s soldiers drags on, the quicker those with fewer numbers and insufficient relief personnel will tire. Additionally, have the knights, including the personal guard, ready to strike the rear of the Empire’s 7th Guard Division upon my command.”

Upon this command, the military band and the standard-bearers signaled to deploy the 40,000 reserve infantry and five divisions at once.

The messenger from the main camp then rode towards the knights waiting nearby.

“I report to Deputy Commander Yaeger. According to the scouts’ reports, the Grand Duchy of Ostarica’s army has mobilized the reserve infantry.”

“How many reserve infantry have been mobilized? Is the scale accurately assessed?”

“I heard it’s about 40,000. It seems likely that they’ve deployed the entire reserve infantry.”

Considering that the Grand Duke of Ostarica had mobilized slightly over 20,000 knights, the Ostarica army’s infantry amounted to roughly 160,000 men.

Furthermore, considering that reserve forces typically constitute 25% to 33% of infantry strength, 40,000, being 25%, meant the entire reserve force.

This meant the Grand Duke of Ostarica had accepted General Yaeger’s wish for a head-on confrontation with all their might.

“Everything is going better than expected. And indeed, the world is truly interesting. Unexpected events occur quite often.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s nothing of importance. It’s not something for a scout like you to worry about. The knights may soon make their move, so pay attention to the enemy knights’ movements. Remember, the life of His Highness the Crown Prince depends on how accurate and swift your report is.”

These were not empty words.

Because the Crown Prince, with only about 3,000 of his personal guard, was just 40 meters away from the deputy commander’s headquarters, where General Yaeger was.

This was because there was a sufficient risk of the Crown Prince being captured if they were defeated here.

“Understood, General!”

As the scout who had just reported left, General Yaeger, wielding a gold-plated baton symbolizing the command of the personal guard delegated by the Crown Prince, ordered,

“Except for one company directly guarding His Highness and the 7th Guard Division, all personal guard troops will take the vanguard as of now. However, other reserve forces, excluding our 7th Guard Division, will continue to wait in the rear. Conserve your strength until the command is given.”

At the same time, the soldiers of the 7th Guard Division and the personal guard shouted out loud,

“The warriors of reversal who overcame the hell named Reichen and honed their endurance through guerrilla training are advancing.”

“Let’s show the Ostarica scums hell!”

“His Highness the Crown Prince has also risked his life. Let us, the personal guard, also risk our lives in battle and offer victory to His Highness! Charge!!”

At the same time, they quickly swapped places with the division that had been at the vanguard until now, and the Ostarican soldiers reacted violently upon seeing our newly arrived forces.

“Damn it, that bastard General Yaeger and the Crown Prince…”

“…What the hell?! Those crazy bastards look terrifying! Scary!”

“Form up the ranks! Those bastards are all trash! Long live Ostarica!”

Normally, in such situations, it would be customary for the commanding divisional general to give a brief speech, but there was no need for such superficial and ornamental words for the 7th Guard Division.

So instead, he pointed with his baton at the enemy and commanded,

“7th Guard Division, charge! Sacrifice your lives for the glory and honor of Her Highness, the 4th Princess Louise. Prove your bravery and strength beyond what you demonstrated at Reichen Hill.”

Although it was quite a cringe-worthy statement, in this era where romance and admiration for knights lived on, it resonated well with the soldiers and officers.

It resonated so well that the soldiers advanced towards the enemy slowly yet heavily, as if they were about to applaud.

“Those squeaking, cute little bastards… I’ll smash every single one of their heads.”

“Fight in a way that does not shame the name of Her Highness, the 4th Princess!”

“Only those who do not value their lives come at us!”

Thus, the soldiers of the Reich Empire, who advanced with great momentum, showed an even more terrifying scene of battle to the Ostarican soldiers.

Not just the officers, but even the rank-and-file soldiers seemed unafraid of the spear blades, their expressions cold and indifferent.

They moved with precision as if measured, stabbing and withdrawing their spears, and striking with the shafts.

While there were no soldiers who fought as one against a hundred on their own, the collective movement of soldiers, each appearing capable of easily taking on at least three, began to make a difference.

The formation of the Ostarican soldiers began to crumble around the center under the attack of the 7th Guard Division, and the Empire’s infantry started to push the front line forward slowly.

At this moment, General Yaeger issued a command to secure victory.

“Inform His Highness, the Crown Prince. Move to the rear of the 7th Guard Division and contact the six divisions nearby to be cautious of the enemy’s flanking.”

As the messenger moved to deliver that command, he issued another order immediately.

“Inform the far-left two divisions of the left flank and the far-right two divisions of the right flank to deploy elite forces. Now is the time to play tricks on their feet by crawling under the spear shafts, as they are busy countering with long spears.”

‘This will tighten the noose on the enemy from both the left and right flanks as if encircling them, and seeing this, the Grand Duke of Ostarica will aim for a decisive strike to overcome the crisis.’

And naturally, the target of that decisive strike could only be the 7th Guard Division where the Crown Prince was.

“Order the commander of the personal guard to go support His Highness the Crown Prince. I’ll also set up a double in my armor here and head that way.”

30 minutes from that moment, the Grand Duke of Ostarica, as General Yaeger intended, burst out in anger, shouting,

“Damn it! Given the situation, we’ll stab the 7th Guard Division, who are fighting most fiercely, in the back! Lieutenant Benner, Captain Matthias, what do you think?”

Matthias wondered if this was permissible with the question, and Lieutenant Benner pondered how to drive the Grand Duchy’s army into hell with the question.

However, unexpectedly, both offered the same answer,

“It’s time to deploy the knights.”

“You must display Your Grace’s majesty. Deploy the personal guard knights at the forefront.”

Lieutenant Benner thought to himself as he said that,

‘General Yaeger, my brother-in-law, once said that our Empire’s soldiers have now reached a level where they can compete with the Swiss infantry. The 7th Guard Division is especially stronger than any knight order that does not ride horses. The Grand Duke is nearly finished now.’

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