“—Do you think it is fine to look foolish like this?!”
Drawood angry voice echoed inside the tent.
The other commanders could only look down, unable to respond. In an attempt to escape from Drawood wrath, the commanders were trying to shrink their body as much as possible.
“It is 30,000 against 5,000, you know?! But despite that, why can’t you guys seize that mountain?!”
Three days had passed since the beginning of the war.
However, it was safe to say that Marden military achievement up until now was zero.
After some investigation, they found out that Natra army had made major defense position on the first, second, and third critical point. They had stored supplies inside the mine, and they had managed to immediately supply the frontline and continue to fight.
Their base was solid. Deep moats were dug in front of each station, and the wall was made by using the excavated soils. Their deployed soldiers were also strong. Marden soldiers who manage to overcome the moats were met by skillful cooperation of the enemy’s soldiers, and if they were tired or injured, they would move back, and get replaced by their comrade immediately…
Thus Marden lack of preparations was apparent. So to speak, the Natra army had made the whole mountain into a strong fortress, but Marden had only prepared equipment for flatland warfare. Thus it was not suitable for attacking a fortress.
Of course, they had been looking for other ways, whether they could find a way to break the enemy’s defense, but the result didn’t lead to that,— Instead, this was the result. Not only a considerable amount of supplies being consumed, the morale of the soldiers also began to fall, making them unable to keep pace.
“Damn those barbarians…”
Drawood anger was not cooled down. He was being led by the nose by those who he had called barbarians. He was covered with anger, but the pride inside him was very much wounded.
At that moment, a messenger jumped into the tent.
“What is it?! We’re in the middle of war council you know?”
When Drawood snarled in frustration, the messenger body was trembling…
“P-Pardon my intrusion. However, there’s an important report from the soldiers who are investigating the surroundings…”
Having heard that, Drawood clicked his tongue and urged the messenger to continue…
“What is the report?”
“Sir… They said they had found an old tunnel that might lead into the Gold mine…”
Noise spread among the commanders.
“Speak in details. Where?!”
“Oi, bring a map around the Gold mine!”
The map was spread out in the tent in a hurry.
What was described on the map was the main Gold mine and, a ridge extending from there drawing an arc. What the messenger pointed was near the base of the ridge.
“They found a cave here in this part of the ridge, and when they survey it, they said that it was linked to a tunnel obviously made by human hands.”
“Is the cave a natural one?”
“Yes. This is just the opinion of the soldier who found it but, while surveying inside the tunnel, they found out it was multiple branches and thought maybe it was intentionally being done…”
” They have not confirmed where the tunnel might lead?”
“It seems the tunnels were quite long, that’s why not yet. The soldiers wanted to ask for the decision first.”
The report concluded, and the commanders inside the tent were looking at each other.
A path that may lead to the heart of the enemy’s army, when they were down in a predicament. Everyone present understood that the response here would become an important crossroad of their fate.
“General Drawood, I think we should investigate the tunnel as soon as possible. If the tunnel really leads into the Gold mine, we could change the situation.”
“I don’t think we should be sloppy with the investigation, I think we should send around 2,000 men to investigate, I’m not sure to call this a fortune but, there are a lot of soldiers at the back who are just standing doing nothing… Besides if the tunnel is a miss, the soldiers can just walk back.”
“If we move too many soldiers, the enemy might suspect something you know? We can’t let this chance to surprise attack the enemy to slip by.”
Drawood who had been silent while the commanders exchanged opinion one after another, finally muttered his decision…
“–Alright, I’ve decided.”
A week has passed since the war started.
There was a feeling of mental fatigue across the battlefield.
Marden army which could not break through the enemy defense, and Natra army that could not go out of the fortified Gold mine. The clashes between two force were peaked on the third day and became increasingly stagnant, and the time they only stared at each other also gradually increased.
Even today, there was only a sporadic bump near the entrance of the mountain path, and as the day went dark, both side entered preparation for the camp, and a lot of soldiers leave the watch duty and just went to sleep.
It was late at night when there was a movement.
It was at the place where Marden army had found a cave.
The cave was surrounded by trees making it hard to find. The moon was hiding behind the cloud, making the night especially darker and eerie. While inside the cave, to tell frankly, the darkness was no different.
However, shadows appeared coming from inside.
Not just one. Not only two, not only three. The shadows swell, and more than a dozen of them come out—.
“–Light the fire!”
Suddenly the light of torches illuminated the surrounding area of the cave.
Those dozen people were surprised as the moment the torches were being lighted up, what was appeared in front of them were Marden soldiers surrounding them.
“Go back to the cave! It’s a trap!”
One of the men on the front screamed.
“Chase them! Don’t let anyone escape!”
Someone from the surrounding shouted, and both sides moved at the same time.
(It is as General Drawood had expected…!)
He was Angrill, the commanding officer who was entrusted to participate in this chasing drama.
It was the third day of the war. Knowing the existence of the cave, Drawood said…
“First of all, we don’t know if the tunnel is leading to the Gold mine. However, even if it is, it was unlikely that the Natra army didn’t know of its existence.”
When Natra army occupied the Gold mine, it was natural for them to have done their own internal investigation. In addition, the miners were on their side. Thus it was funny if they didn’t know of the tunnel existence.
“If it comes down to it, there are two things that we can do as a Natra army. One is to block the path so that the enemy could not enter the Gold mine, second leave it so that they could use it later. I believe they choose the latter.”
“Why is that?”
“It could be used for an escape route for an event of an emergency, and also it is possible to secretly send troops to launch a surprise attack against our troops. If they knew that we’ve found out the cave, then they might bury it, but otherwise, they would leave it as it is as one of their cards.”
“Then, what are we gonna do? Should we sent troops to rush in?”
“No, let us set up a trap there.”
Drawood floats a distorted smile. In his heart, there was a humiliation done by the disdainful barbarians, and by trapping Natra, he at least could comfort his wounded pride.
However, because other commanders also feel that no one could point out that Drawood lacked composure.
“Like that, our army will let the enemy think we’re on a deadlock.”
“I-Is that really fine?”
“Don’t worry. And if we don’t move, those Natra barbarians would think of it as an opportunity and will try to stir up something even more… And if the tunnel is really connected to the inside, the possibility of them using the cave is very high. … Angrill!”
Angrill immediately saluted.
“You will lead five hundred men to surround the cave. And if they come out of the cave, immediately kill them and rush into the Gold mine. Right now, they managed to defend against our attack due to the geographical advantage, if we fight on level ground, there’s nothing we should fear. And with how few their soldiers, even with just a dozen of soldiers being dead it would be a heavy blow for them…”
“Please leave it to me! I will surely give those foolish dogs who crawling out of the cave a blood festival!”
Thus, Angrill and his men hid themselves around the cave, and four days after that night, they were chasing Natra soldiers who fled into the cave.
“Chase them! Don’t miss even one!”
As he chases the enemy, Angrill also ran through the dim cave with a torch on his hand.
The tunnel leads to the interior. It was definite confirmation. Now, all they have to do was to rush inside and devour the Natra army from inside the Gold mine. The first success merit would be his.
(But still, they sure run fast…)
Angrill admires them and ridicules them at the same time.
When the enemy crawls out of the cave, he thought the enemy was really unprepared. However, they managed to turn around and flee quickly, and up until now, no one hadn’t been caught yet.
(Some should’ve tried to block us, and some should run to inform the danger but, to think they would all run for their own dear life, as expected of a beast.)
Still, since they were beasts, their feet were fast. The opponent, despite not having proper light, they manage to navigate the tunnel that fasts.
(—Hmm, this is…)
Angrill’s eyes caught something deep inside the tunnel. He could see a glimpse of Natra soldiers running into a tunnel.
“They escaped to that tunnel! Chase!”
As he shouted, Angrill felt he was short on breath.
However, that was unavoidable. After all, he was holding a sword, wearing armors and had been running at full speed. And the soldiers around him were also in the same condition.
When he approaches the tunnel where the enemy had escaped, Angrill stopped.
How was the enemy?
Right now, on Angrill side, all of them were fully armed. That was natural, of course. After all, they had come to chase after the enemy.
But what about Natra soldiers who had come out of the cave before…
(… They wear nothing. Nothing at all…)
They had blindly entered the tunnel to chase after Natra soldiers. They had to go after them. That was what inside his head all the time. But when he had to think about it for a moment. Something felt wrong. As he runs through the tunnel, an alarm inside his mind was ringing.
And the enemy who were not wearing armors and weapons. The enemy who had immediately turn around and manage to navigate the tunnel without much light. Even though it was only several kilograms indifference, the enemy was already at an unstoppable distance.
(By any chance…)
He keeps chasing… While chasing, he looked back. Several dozen soldiers were coming along with him. The tunnel was not wide. Thus it was impossible for him to stop and turn back.
(Damn it, we’ve been lured…)
At the next moment, a roaring sound rang above his head, and with a shock, Angrill consciousness disappeared into the darkness.