“We should immediately launch a reverse invasion!”
Most of the army commander presented here issued the same petition.
“Now that we’ve defeated the invading Marden force, the eastern part of Marden is completely defenseless! Now we can gobble up a lot of Marden territory!”
It was the night after the battle of Porta.
Each commander voiced their opinion during the war council that would decide their future move.
“I agree. The damage to our army is small, and supplies consumption was still low due to us ending the battle in short amount of time…”
“We also have collected the Marden supplies. In fact, our soldiers might overeat right now, and their stomach burst out…”
Laughter filled the war council.
They were able to act like that without a doubt due to their sweeping victory.
It was easy to draw a conclusion and be merry, but there was also an aspect that was not as well… After having a domestic struggle for more than ten years. It was finally possible for them to bask in the light of victory and glory. As they were also the children of men, it was natural for them to tremble with joy.
Furthermore, this fight was supposedly a defense war. In a war, taking territory was what can be called profitable, thus in a defensive war, there was not much to gain… Therefore it was understandable they wanted to go and aim for profit…
(D-Don’t joke with me!)
Wayne, sitting in the upper seat, had contradicting state of mind compared to the surrounding…
(It would be risky for us to advance without a plan!)
Porta wilderness was Natra territory. Thus they had a detailed map of the terrain. One would be able to understand which road was connected to, where the rivers and mountain were located, the slope of the ground, villages, and towns… Thus making it possible for a smooth supplies line.
But if they advance to Marden, the story would change. Although there exist a simple map, the accuracy was horrible. No one knows how many villages exist there, they have not checked how many rivers they could not cross, even the road was not drawn in detail— If it were just a light trip then it would be possible, but with a thousand people going together, one small change in direction would take time and effort.
If that happens, the morale of the soldiers will fell, the supplies would diminish, and Marden side would catch up with them again… It was completely dangerous…
(But, I can’t say that can I… Arrrgh!)
If this were a victory gained with much pain, many General would agree with Wayne’s point of view.
However, in the present time, if he were suggesting to withdraw, the surrounding would think he was weak-willed and didn’t know what warfare was… There was no doubt that their loyalty toward him would fall like an avalanche, and at the end of it would be a coup…
(I have no choice but to ask someone for help…!)
It would be a confusing strategy, but, Ninim cannot be used here… She was standing behind Wayne, but she was there as Wayne’s aide. Her command of a unit was only temporary, and her authority had already been relinquished. She had no right to speak in this war council.
Then he only had one candidate left. Wayne turned to Raklum who sit a little further away from him.
(Raklum! Oi, Raklum!)
Raklum, who noticed his gaze, looked at Wayne.
(The current flow of the war council is bad. I want you to lie down and let them calm down!)
(… I see. Your Highness intention has been transmitted.)
When they were in the middle of exchange words with their gaze, the attention was turned to Raklum…
“Raklum-dono, what do you think with us proceeding ahead?”
(Leave it to me!)
Raklum nodded and said…
“Of course, there would not be another opportunity like this!”
(That is wrong you idiot!)
Inside Wayne’s mind, he had punched Raklum half dead.
(What are you smiling about?! I will definitely cut his salary! You herbivore bastard!)
The assembly no longer considers anything other than reverse invasion. Wayne won’t be able to overturn the situation if it stays like this…
Indeed, he could not disagree openly. But there was another way to deal with the situation…
(I don’t want to use this if I could, but there’s no other way!)
Wayne opened his mouth with determination.
“– I understand all of your opinions.”
Everyone movement stopped.
The merry air turns into a calm one, and everyone gaze turned toward Wayne.
Wayne called Hagar name who sits next to him.
“I can understand everyone’s assertion since we had won a big victory. However, how much burden will be applied to the army if we march unplanned? Since I do not have any war experience. I would like to hear your opinion.”
The old man nodded lightly.
“The momentum of our army won’t last long. After the lingering after-victory feeling clear up, the soldiers will be under heavy fatigue. If we’re on our way back home, then we might be able to raise their spirit, but amid unknown marching, they will surely succumb to their knees…”
The commanders face all turned sour. It was natural for them to looked like that. However, Hagar words which had gained many battlefield experiences cannot be dismissed so lightly.
(As expected, this is good—!)
Here he decides to ask the crucial question…
“Then, should we withdraw?”
It might sound more natural to ask that, but with all due respect that was not true.
As Wayne feared, the old man shook his head.
“There’s no doubt that this is our opportunity, it would be foolish for us to miss out. … What we should do is not to invade carelessly, but to give the soldiers a clear aim so that their spirit and physical ability don’t fall.”
“… Do any of you have an objection?”
In response to Wayne’s question, everyone was silent.
“Fine then. Then based on Hagar’s opinion, I have one suggestion…”
Wayne then looked at the map in front of everyone.
“As you know, this area of land is not fertile. This not only applies to the Natra Kingdom but also Marden. There are not many strategic points in the eastern part of Marden. And based on the strength of our army, we need a place where it would be easy for us to reach and worth to attack–…”
Wayne pointed to the map.
There was the mountainous area in the eastern part of Marden which was worth nothing until a while ago, but now, it was one of the most important locations.
“– The Girat Gold Mine. If we have to aim someplace, I suggest this place…”
Noise spread among the commanders. Puzzled expression appeared while looking at Wayne.
Wayne smiled inside his heart when he noticed the air had changed.
(That’s right, this is the reaction I wanted. —No matter how much you think about it, Gold mine is impossible!)
Girat Gold Mine was a critical strategic point for the current Marden. For them, it was actually more important than the capital city. Although Wayne didn’t investigate it in detail, he was sure that the defense there would be robust.
With the soldiers’ fatigue, attacking a place where a complete investigation had not been done. No matter how strategic value it had, it would be extremely reckless. Of course, Wayne knows that.
The reason why he proposed that was to make the commanders think that the meaning of reverse invasion was weak.
The commanders would then think: ‘A gold mine is impossible. If we are going to attack, there’s no other place other than that. Where else to attack? Is there any place more worthy than a gold mine?
Of course, there was none. There was definitely none. In the eastern Marden, there was nothing more important than the gold mine. As soon as that happens, it would make them overlook the other candidates. How much value small villages and worth compared to a gold mine. When thinking of that, it was understandable that the tension the commanders had dropped when they realize that.
(It will lower my evaluation for proposing such unreasonable aim. But that is fine! If this resulting us withdrawing, then it is actually a cheap cost to pay!)
He was sure that his plan going to work. Wayne took a gusty pose inside his mind.
“… Your Highness.”
One of the commanders opened his mouth with a firm face. Perhaps he was prepared to convince Wayne that his proposal was too reckless. In order to make him seems to listen to his men, Wayne had prepared himself—
“I am truly impressed with your insight.”
The word that was beyond his expectation comes out…
“Girat Gold Mine… Just as your highness said, if we’re going to aim, that place is the only thing acceptable.”
“I’m really surprised. — To think that your highness had planned to take the gold mine in secret!”
The latest survey shows that the mine’s defense is fragile, no more than a thousand soldiers are being placed there. We’ve also verified the marching route.”
“Though there won’t be big battles, it is worth a challenge…”
“While we’re intoxicated by the battle victory, to think that your highness is already considering the possibility of takeover… I’m ashamed as your subject.”
“Well then your highness, please give us the order to march!”
“Let us move and attack Girat Gold Mine as it is!”
“Your Highness” “Your Highness” “Your Highness”
Wayne looked at Ninim, who was standing with a big smile.
(… Ninim, help.)
Ninim smiled softly…
Thus the reverse invasion by the Natra Kingdom was being decided.