The mission convoy left the mining town passed along the fort under construction and then proceeded southwest along the highway.
Officially, the moment they crossed the fort, they had entered Cabarine’s territory. However, Wayne knew that there was a big difference in the actual situation.
“This area is a conflict zone between the Marden remnants and the Cabarine army. We will proceed with caution until we enter Cabarine’s sphere of influence.”
The delegation mission convoy marching calmly after being given instruction by Wayne.
Marden remnants. During the war against Natra over the gold mine, the Marden Kingdom fell due to Cabarine’s surprise attack, but the second prince of Marden, Helmut, had managed to run away from the capital and after he joined with the withdrawing force from the Gold Mine, he created the Marden remnants army.
They were commonly called the remnants army but, they themselves call themselves as the liberation army and act to recapture the capital city and resurrected the Marden Kingdom. For that reason, now over a year, they had been fighting against the Cabarine army.
Fortunately, just like Cabarine, the remnants seem to not want a two-front war against Natra as well.
But if Natra’s royal member entered the area where the conflict between the remnants and the Cabarine rage on, the story would be different. Wayne had heard a report that during the winter they had been in a state of inactivity but, he predicted that the battle would resume soon.
(I hope nothing troublesome would happen.)
Wayne prayed from the bottom of his heart while swayed by the carriage.
At that moment, he suddenly noticed that Ninim had been looking at something eagerly.
“Ninim, what are you looking at?”
“A map. I want to check our route progress.”
Ninim’s line of sight didn’t leave the map while answering.
“According to General Hagar’s information, a remnants army’s base located near this area. We need to get out of this area as soon as possible before they found us. According to my research, there are three ways to get us safely to the Cabarine capital, and the safest way probably the middle road. I heard the shortest route seems to have a frequent landslide. Are you listening to me, Wayne?”
“My bad, land me the map for a bit.”
Wayne took the map from Ninim and opened the carriage’s window to get more light.
The mission envoy would pass along the hill with bare soil path. Surrounded by highs and lows terrains, if one were to check, many of these places were a suitable place for hiding.
Furthermore, it seems the thick forest could be seen ahead. After staring alternatively at the map and the terrain that still have snow covering the place, Raklum beckoned from outside the window after seeing me looked troubled.
“Your Highness, is there something wrong?
“What do you think about this terrain ahead of us, and compare it with this map? “
Raklum, just like Wayne looked at the terrain and the map alternatively. Then he turned around and showed a stern face.
“… I can’t understand it well but, somehow I feel something wrong by looking at the map and the terrain… It is an ideal place to hide soldiers though…”
“Right… Take some people and make them go first. According to Hagar’s report, other than the Marden remnants there seem to be bandits here.”
Raklum quickly instructed his subordinates to check the path ahead first.
Someone was looking at the delegation mission convoy while holding their breath.
“— Did he noticed?”
“No, not yet. However, it seems to be a matter of time.”
They hide their faces and hold a sword or a spear on their hands.
“The number of their convoy is 50 people, I heard.”
“Though I told him to reduce it more. That useless dead tree.”
“Should we go, commander?”
“Commander, your order? Though this would be sooner than we’d planned but, we’ve prepared.”
Then, things started to move.
Raklum was the first to notice.
“Enemies! Take out your weapons and get ready!”
The escort soldiers responded immediately. Wayne thought the speed of them setting up their weapons such as swords and spears was impressive.
But even with that, they still could not overturn the attacker. Dozens of people who suddenly appeared from both sides of the road attacked the convoy all at once.
“Wayne! Take cover!”
Ninim grabbed Wayne’s body and pushed it down to the carriage floor. One beat later, one spear penetrated the carriage from overhead, then two, then three, then another one being thrown to the carriage.
“Protect the carriage!”
Raklum’s voice reverberated from outside the carriage. Sounds of swords clash indicated the close-range battle had started.
“Your Highness! Are you alright?!”
Wayne replied to Raklum’s voice from outside while being pushed down by Ninim.
“I’m alive, report the situation!”
“We’re being surrounded, and the situation is unfavorable! The enemy– Oi, don’t get in my way!”
Then the sound of a scream of someone could be heard. Blood splash stains the carriage window.
“The enemy affiliation is unknown! Numbers and skills are probably equal to us! I advise making a strong breakthrough instead of continuing fighting!”
Raklum’s voice was filled with frustration. Hearing the situation was so bad, Ninim could feel a shiver down to her spine.
However, Wayne thought was not about that.
The mission was about 50 people, all of whom were trained Natra soldiers.
However, the report said the number of people and skills was the same.
Even if this pincher move was easy to do, it was not something a bandits group could do. Then, who were they? Wayne immediately comes to an answer.
(The enemy is regular soldiers, dressed as bandits! They aimed at the carriage first instead of charging! I guess there’s a high possibility that they are people from Cabarine or the Marden remnants army)
Wayne had arrived this far. That was why he could easily deduct who these people affiliated to.
(I have some clues but, I have no proof. — I guess I will bet on it!)
Wayne shouted after a flash plan being decided.
“Raklum! I’ll leave this place to your command! We will dash to breakthrough!”
“Yes, sir! Then, Guard!”
“No need! You just deal with these people with all of your strength! If you pull some just to follow me, your battle formation would collapse!”
“But your Highness!”
“It’s fine! I have Ninim, and the coachman is with me! Also, you guys make sure to get out of this alive! This is definitely a trap!”
With this pincher attack, it would be hard to turn the carriage around. When one tried to break through, one usually chooses to run forward, that was why Wayne could understand there was a trap there.
“Then which way?!”
Wayne responded to Ninim cry.
Hearing the answer, Ninim and Raklum could understand.
Then one pulled the spear pierced the carriage and broke the carriage’s door.
Hearing Raklum’s voice, not only his allies, but the enemy paid attention.
“Wayne Salema Albarest is Here!”
At that moment, everyone stopped their movement briefly to think about what that was meant. During that moment, Wayne’s eyes were looking around at the bandits’ formation. Then he turned his eyes toward those who tried to give a command.
(I guess that one is the commander—!)
Wayne then threw the spear in his hand toward the said commander. The attacker who noticed the incoming attack twisted one’s body but, unable to evade the attack completely, the spears pierced the commander’s leg.
Ninim then ran the carriage according to Wayne’s signal. They tried to push the enemy and allies away and left the battlefield.
The destination of the carriage was not southwest— But northwest.
“— Chase them!”
A man whose leg broke due to Wayne’s last attack shouted. However, the attackers’ respond to that command was a bit slower. Because chasing Wayne would means that they would have to avert their gaze away from the Natra soldiers in front of them.
Not only that, but they also found it hard to keep focus as they thought the target was about to slips away. As a result, the concentration of the bandits greatly reduced. Natra soldiers who saw the chance didn’t leave the chance to pass by, and Wayne leans forward as he observes the result.
(That’s right, like this they couldn’t move. And on the other hand—)
Wayne then turns his gaze the forest ahead. As he had expected, a new player comes out from there.
(I know it! So finally they come! Damn it!)
It seems the enemy even hide horses inside the forest. The number was four riders. Wayne looked back and clicked his tongue.
“Ninim! Full speed! They are about to catch up to us!”
“If we go full speed on an unpaved path like this, the axle will break!”
“Don’t worry about that! Just run!”
*Ah, Geeez!* Ninim then increased the speed in frustration.
However, the enemy’s riders also accelerate their speed. Wayne looked at them for a moment. Slightly gentle terrain. Wayne then took another spear piercing the carriage previously and waited until the carriage to not shake too much and then throw the spear.
—- However, the spear only grazed the enemy’s horse and pierced the ground.
“Well, I guess I won’t be able to hit them— Ooooh!”
Wayne hurriedly withdraws into the carriage interior when he saw the enemy pulled out bow and arrows. Then a moment later, the enemy’s arrows assaulted the carriage.
“Wayne, are you alright?!”
“Damn it, the money in my wallet won’t be enough to repair this carriage damage!”
“You’re thinking about that?! Something like that doesn’t matter if we’re dead!”
Then strong noise could be heard under the carriage. And soon, the whole carriage moves out of balance. The axle had broken and one of the wheels had blown away.
“This is bad…!”
The carriage was about to roll over. The horses also slip and fall. Wayne continues to endure the shaking while looking at the hopeless situation.
After the carriage stopped rolling, Wayne got out of the carriage.
Immediately, Ninim rushes and took his hand. Apparently, she had jumped off the carriage and was safe. However, they were not given any time to celebrate, as the enemy’s riders come closer.
“Wayne, I will buy us time!”
Before she continues speaking, Wayne stopped Ninim words by placing his index finger on her lips.
“I don’t need those words. — Look.”
The moment Wayne said that a lot of arrows were pouring into the enemy’s riders.
Ninim was surprised and then she saw the direction the arrows come in, there were dozens of men standing on the hill.
Being assaulted by arrows, the four-horse riders fell to the ground.
After that, some soldiers riding horses run from the top of the hill toward Wayne.
Ninim tries to stand in front of Wayne, but Wayne stopped her by hand.
“… Two people there, are you injured?”
“As you can see, we’re fine. All thanks to your help. Let me express my gratitude.”
“If you guys are safe, then that is what matters. … Also, looking at the damaged carriage, it seems you’re an aristocrat but, may we know your name?”
Wayne nodded his head in response and declared.
“I’m the prince regent of the Natra Kingdom, Wayne Salema Albarest.”
The soldiers in front of them were all bewildered.
Seeing their reaction, Wayne smiled at them.
“I came here to meet with Prince Helmut, Marden Liberation Army leader. — Could you take me to him?”