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Chapter 14: The Eighth Generation Head

The Eighth Generation Head

... The first day.

On that battlefield where tens of thousands of men clashed, as the day drew to a close, the battle was resolved with the Walt House's withdrawal.

All the main members were gathered in the Walt House tent, as they held a meeting. But while the Walt Army had put out casualties that couldn't be called small, they did not seem flustered.

Maizel looked over the faces gathered.

"Now then, this has been proof enough Lyle holds the gem passed down for generations, and is able to use it. The First through Third's Skills are full of fault, but Fourth through Seventh will be more troublesome than anything on the battlefield."

In a battlefield of restricted Skills, for someone not to crumble upon experiencing it the first time, Lyle was the first Maizel had ever seen. But that wasn't any reason for panic.

Beil gave his report.

"The units of second and third sons impatient for merits projected out, and have come out with numerous casualties. It isn't low, but it is still within the realm of our expectations."

Casualties came out. That meant that humans had died. However, the gathered members didn't seem inclined to brood over it.

Maizel spoke a little sorrowfully.

"Sons unable to succeed their houses see dreams of gaining achievements on the battlefield to stand on their own feet. There's no helping they be reckless. But it wasn't a waste. With their bodies, they have proven that Lyle can handle the gem."

Jared gave a report.

"Maizel-sama, Novem's form was confirmed on the right flank. But I have not properly clashed with her. The enemy is matching our formation, moving units around at will. It has been determined their rear support is more capable than ours."

Beil agreed to that.

"The left flank was the same. When it was supposed to be a field battle, they focused on defense, and prepared stockades. It felt as if we were in a siege. The disadvantage of numbers is a great one."

Hearing that, Maizel nodded... and laughed.

"Well then, I gave them a chance to earn their stripes. With this, the young'uns should keep quiet for a bit. And showing them a bit of pain will firm their spirits. Because it's been nothing but one-sided battles to this point."

One of the vassal knights offered Maizel some advice.

"There is a feudal lord who suffered heavy casualty on the right flank. He should retreat. And if you'll let me have my say as a Walt House vassal, if you keep us stationed on the back lines forever, our members will eventually..."

"I know. Now then, we've gotten the chance to learn the troublesome ones. Let's get our battle array in order."

Like that, Maizel's group conducted a discussion about the following day...

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"They are concentrating on our right flank."

Hearing Monica's voice from the watch tower, I was able to know why the left flank didn't seem particularly pressed.

"So they'll attack from the right. Send reinforcements. Even so, we're winning in numbers over there. If they do something like that, the result should be..."

Numerical advantage. Terrain advantage. In regards to the advantages we held, my father had decided to concentrate on the right flank.

There was some leisure in the left and center, giving us some reserve force. At the very least, the enemies in the centers' quality of equipment was falling short of yesterdays'. What's more, they weren't assertively attacking. When I came to the decisions to send reinforcements, I ordered a messenger at once.

"... Does he plan to take the right flank first?"

As we had fortified ourselves in our position for defense, we had a fault such that we couldn't easily change our formation. For that sake, we were specialized in stopping the enemy's advance, but our means of offense were lowered. In order to compensate for that, we constantly held reserve forces to send around, but...

At that moment, Monica reported the movements of the center.

"The enemy has retreated. But, this is... they're scattering and dispersing."

Just a glance, and it seemed the enemy was blatantly trying to lure us in.

"Ignore it. Right now, we need to reinforce the right..."

But before anyone could hear my verdict, the unit before my eyes jumped out of their own accord. It was as if our positions had been reversed from yesterday.

"... The vanguard has crossed over the stockades, and gone on the offense."

"Why... what is General Blois doing?"

But the units nearby the general hadn't moved. A portion had taken independent action. And following suit, a few more had followed along.

I immediately sent a messenger to tell them to pull back, but immediately following, another messenger raced over.

"A portion of the units have ignored orders, going AWOL and beginning pursuit of the enemy! They have ignored General Blois' command, and crossed the stockades! General Blois has put in an urgent request for reinforcements..."

Facing the messenger, I issued out some irritated orders.

"I'll send them! Tell them to endure until then!"

Looking closely, the enemy's lightweight equipment implied they had formed with running as the premise. When I thought they had concentrated on the right flank, their scattered and dispersed soldiers cleanly regroup and assailed our soldiers coming at them.

In order to help them, some more units leapt out of the center.

"What are they doing!?"

With enemy and ally in such disarray, support through magic and arrow was impossible. Simultaneously, they were taught the difference in drilling between our forces. While they had the shape together, what they had built up was different.

"The enemy has pulled out of the right flank. They have begun an advance towards the center."

"Kuh! Will reinforcements make it in time?"

At that moment, a large magic flash of light came from the left flank.

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... At the left flank, the enemy's substance was different from the day before.

With the enemy forces centered around the Forxuz House' army, their magic attacks had become something severe.

Lyle's camp had taken a defensive formation, but even so, the enemy had become even more aggressive than before.

Novem was protected by surrounding Valkyries, as she held up her staff and activated her magic.

"Block it."

With nothing but words, a pale yellow light appeared before her allies on the left flank to form a shield.

But they had concentrated their magic on only one place, to make sure Novem was nailed to the spot.

Because of that, in another part, the enemy had breached the stockades and infiltrated. As Maksim and Miranda, as well as May and Marina were there, they hadn't crumbled. But it was an extremely harsh situation.

For their allies were prepared to flee.

The especially terrible ones were the soldiers they took in. Rather than the Bahnseimian soldiers, the main problem was the number of soldiers from Beim on the left flank.

"When we're outnumbering them here."

As Novem muttered that, a unit that had a magic shield deployed started an attack aimed at her.

"... He's here."

Looking at her foe, she was able to confirm the form of her brother who'd delivered her staff, [Elbert Forxuz].

As Novem had to keep her shield up, preventing her from using magic, the Valkyries produced guns from their binders and began their own attack.

However, the bullets were completely blocked by the shield Elbert had deployed. Rounds bounced off, and the attacking cavalry began to accelerate with the stockades before them.

The accelerating horses destroyed the stockades as the magic shield rammed into it. What brute force... Novem thought, as the Valkyries moved to action. Taking weapons in hand, they set themselves on the enemies that were focused on Novem.

Elbert jumped down from his force, landing before Novem with a hint of flight.

"How long it has been, oh little sister of mine!"

Her brother with his long brown hair tied behind was in full body armor, his hand clenched around a sword. He cut at Novem, but she parried it with the staff in her right hand.

"It's been a while, dear brother. If you're here, that means this offensive is father? As I thought, his bad habits are coming out. The timing is too easy to read."

Seeing Novem's expression fail to change in the slightest, Elbert started to sweat.

"Don't think bad of us. Just as you've sworn loyalty to Lyle-sama, we've sworn our own to Maizel-sama."

Novem gave a light nod, turning her left hand to her brother...

"I understand. So I'll try to make it painless. Now disappear."

... She shot her magic, sending him flying through the air.

Elbert had immediately deployed magic shield, making it so he got out just with being shot backwards. He looked around. Around, he should have been able to see his guard knights fighting the Valkyries.

But the Valkyries had pulled them down from their horses, and stuck in the finishing blows.

"... They're not human. But if that's how it is!"

Wary of the Valkyries, Elbert raised his left hand high. Enemy knights gathered around him. Novem showed not the slightest quiver, and to protect her, the Valkyries stood up front, deploying their wing-like binders out front like shields.

With Elbert at the center, a storm of fire swelled up, brushing the surrounding stockades to oblivion.

Immediately following, a large-scale magic rained down aimed on Novem, to which he added his fire to raise a violent explosion.

"Did that get her?"

As Elbert said that, he looked at the tattered Valkyries around. While their bodies were torn up in all sorts of ways, the skeletal structures remained. As they had been constructed of sturdy materials, they were able to escape with that extent of damage.

And Novem was where she stood, completely unharmed. Elbert looked at Novem, and made a bit of a fed-up face.

"... These children were quite precious you know. Lyle-sama went as far as to assign them to guard me."

Having deployed a magic shield so there wouldn't be any surrounding casualties, Novem looked tiredly over the Valkyries littering the ground. She returned her eyes to her brother.

Elbert smiled a bit.

"Father and I have nothing greater than that to offer. That was an attack great enough to blow away the right flank in its entirety. As I thought, you really are outside the norm... everyone retreat."

Watching Elbert's tired expression, Novem held up her staff in her right hand.

"It was a splendid attack. However, don't think I'll let you get away."

Blocking that joint attack of Jared and Elbert, Novem had also contained ally casualties. But the battlefield was inclining a harsh direction for Lyle's army...

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Night. I held a meeting in the tent.

"Gosh, our position from yesterday was totally reversed. Having crushed the enemy's outliers on the first day, one of our units got a little stuck up and leapt out."

General Blois gave his report as if it were a joke, but his expression was worn out. Saying they couldn't abandon their allies, it seems it was a situation where the commanders in charge weren't able to give out any decent orders.

Military regulations exist for things like this, but the difference between the regulations each part of our army learned was becoming blatant here.

Within the tent, I gathered out main members and confirmed the casualty count as I muttered

"... Station our reserve forces at the vanguard. Send the injured soldiers to the back lines."

General Blois looked over the units he'd be sending back.

"That's a bit much, but there's no helping it."

As Blois said, they had grown lax over their victory on the first day. I should've straightened them out.

Eva made a tired expression as she spoke.

"Give me a break. On top of rushing out of their own accord, we got injury after injury trying to save them. There are plenty with their dissatisfactions. How about some punishment?"

With allies about to die before their eyes, ignoring it would lower morale. The reason some jumped out driven in their righteous indignation was to save their allies. And in the case they were unable to save them, their complaints would turn to their other comrades.

To me and General Blois, that is. And once they calmed down, their next dissatisfaction would go towards the unit that jumped out. I really want to ask just what they were thinking.

"I'll have them sent back, and punish the commanders. That's disregarding orders, and acting beyond authority. Well, I'll prepare a chance for them to redeem themselves, though."

Eva still looked unsatisfied. Just as she ought to. In order to save them, deaths had come out in Eva's unit.

They were war deaths that would originally have been avoided.

"That's not enough."

And Elza- also in attendance- looked unsatisfied as well. At first, she was stationed on the left flank, but with a change of battle array, I had her take Novem's position at the center. Of course, looking back at how things were going today, perhaps it would've just been best if I kept her on the left from the start.

"It was a clear invitation. Yet there were fools unable to see through it... Beim's soldiers truly are weak."

Elza's unit had attacked and rescued as well. But she had managed to keep casualties down, and you couldn't say she suffered anything too severe.

General Blois shrugged.

"It would be harsh to compare them to those that go through the everyday wars of Rusworth and Galleria. Well, the responsibility's mine either way."

I sighed.

"... It's also my responsibility for not straightening them out on the first day. I couldn't see through the enemy's objective."

There, General Blois shook his head.

"I wonder. From their point of view, if the center didn't crumble like that, they would have simply continued concentrating on the right flank. Even so, the explosion on the left flank was a surprise. It seems the casualty count was low, but to be honest, a chill ran through me."

"... let's move the right flank back."

Hearing my words, Blois' expression turned serious.

"That would put the center up front. But originally, we'd hold them in place a few days to bleed them out more."

Moving both sides back was part of the original plan.

And I stood as I spoke.

"Let's have our engineers work on strengthening the stockades at night. From tomorrow, the center's going to be the harshest war ground, after all."

This battle was already forcing itself into its midst.