Based on what I’ve seen of the Olga Federation Army, I wouldn’t think this 105th division was a part of them.
Rather, it may be more accurate to describe them as a hurriedly gathered army or a band of mercenaries.
Even so, they have the necessary numbers. I roughly estimate about 8000 here.
All of them are scattered so it’s hard to say exactly.
「Everyone, line up! Commanders, step forth!」
Celia shouts strictly in the same manner she uses to address my private army, however there was practically no effect.
「What was that?」「Uhya~ what a pretty girl.」「If we step out, will you let us f.u.c.k you?」
Celia turns red in anger from all the jeering and was about to pull out her sword.
「Well, calm down. Cutting them won’t achieve anything.」
I hug Celia’s shoulder and walk to the center of the garrison, then find a random box lying around to stand on.
「Everyone, listen. I’ve been appointed to be the commander of the 105th division army corps from this day on. Nice to meet all of you.」
My voice should have reached everyone, yet I didn’t get a decent response.
A few people who I guess are the commanders give half-hearted salutes while the other soldiers look bored.
「First, I have something to say to all of you.」
「Tch, another excessive briefing?」
「You’re probably just going to talk about loyalty, courage and patriotism, right? In which order is it going to come this time?」
The soldiers have an even more disgusted look on their faces, and I can hear them whisper and curse under their breath.
I can understand what they’re feeling. There’s nothing more irritating than hearing some big shot talk endlessly.
「This girl is-……」
I hug Celia who is glaring at the poorly reacting soldiers.
「-Mine. She’s wonderful, right? I’m not handing her to anyone.」
The soldiers’ expressions change to looks of surprise. For some reason, I feel like I’ve won.
「And these women-」
I grab Pipi and Natia who are hiding behind me, Marta, Leah, and pull them in for a hug.
Brynhildr is sleeping because it’s daytime.
「All of them belong to me. If you try anything, I’ll beat you up. If you pounce on them, I’ll rip you apart. Be careful.」
I at least have to give them a warning.
「……H-haaah?」「I-introduction of women?」「What did they even come here for……」
I don’t hear any curses from the soldiers anymore. All that I feel is a sense of bewilderment.
I’ve won again.
「Next is―― oh there’s no more. Let’s stop then.」
As I was about to move back, Celia pulls me.
「Wait! You haven’t told them your name yet! What did you come here to do!?」
Oh, I forgot. I have to give them my name at least.
「I’m Aegir Hardlett. I’m from Goldonia. That’s all.」
I stepped on the box again just to say those few words before stepping down.
The bored atmosphere among the soldiers has disappeared.
The lazy mood changes to confusion, and their narrow eyes looking at with me with contempt widen in surprise.
「Fufufu, I have a perfect grip on them.」
Guided by the commanders who have a similarly surprised look on their faces, I head to the command tent.
「So, who are you?」
When I entered the tent, I was greeted by a large muscular man who appears to be in his late thirties.
He’s easily over 190 cm tall. Coupled with his untidy hair, he looks more like someone from a savage tribe than a soldier.
「I’m Yakov, the provisional commander of the 105th army corps. I was ordered to be your deputy commander after your a.s.signment to this post.」
He doesn’t use flowery words nor does he have a very welcoming face.
「Alright. I look forward to working with you.」
After a handshake just for appearance’s sake, I drop myself onto a chair.
「It seems like the morale here is quite low. Do you know the reason for that?」
「I’m a soldier. I don’t have the ability to complain to the top bra.s.s.」
In other words, he’s saying the fault lies with upper management.
「Yakov, was it? You’re knowledgeable about this army, right? Tell me about the rumors spread by the soldiers. Rumors don’t identify the speaker so there is nothing for you to worry about.」
I know it’s hard to complain to me when I arrived not too long ago, so I create a way out for him.
Yakov hesitates briefly and lets out a sigh before opening up.
「The soldiers in the 105th division were forcefully conscripted and are being treated as second clsas citizens. Rumor has it that either way, we’re going to be used as sacrificial p.a.w.ns……」
In White City, there are citizens who have citizens.h.i.+p and second cla.s.s citizens who are considered to be living there without permission.
Second cla.s.s citizens are not given the same rights as regular citizens and their livelihoods are much tougher.
The reason they’re not chased out of White City is to be prepared for situations like this―― manpower for provisional armies and jobs requiring physical labor.
Obviously, they don’t have the right to decline to be drafted.
I look off in the distance and find some alcohol nearby. I was going to gulp it down quickly, but Celia takes it away.
「Our equipment and pay are both worse than that of the Federation’s regular army, and the commanders are trained intensively, even though there are rumors about the war not lasting for long anyways……」
Oh, I found some cheese. ……it’s covered in mold. Throw that away.
「The only missions they give us are trivial tasks. And whenever there is large fight, we’re thrown in like sacrificial stones…… all the provisional armies formed from the second cla.s.s citizens are treated like this.」
I take a bite of a sausage I found lying on the corner of the desk…… woah, that’s sour! It’s rotten!
「……as a provisional army, we don’t have any decent horse riders and our training is insufficient! On top of that, our commander is someone borrowed from another nation! Telling me to raise morale with all these issues, you must be crazy!」
Yakov slams the table as I spit out the piece of sausage.
That last part sounded like his own feelings, but now we can get to the point quicker.
I smile at Yakov who is looking at me with determined eyes.
「Do you have confidence in yourself?」
He must have expected me to reprimand him for all the things he angrily shouted at me.
Yakov gives a deflated response.
「I’m talking about confidence to win head-on against the enemy. Fighting a real fight, not like sacrificial stones.」
「Us second cla.s.s citizens survive by completing physical labor and exterminating monsters! I’m confident that we can scare the h.e.l.l out of the enemies if we fight seriously!」
Yakov responds with the confused expression still on his face. He’s forgetting to use keigo, but since I’m not fond of it either, I look past it.
「Shocking them isn’t good enough…… although it’s fine. Why don’t you try then.」
I steal the alcohol from Celia, then hand a cup to Yakov as well.
「Raise the morale, by force if necessary. You seem determined to do so anyways.」
I try to smile amicably, except that just makes Yakov frozen in place, gripping his cup tightly.
That’s strange, was I making such a scary face?
「Alright, then me too.」
「You’re not drinking.」
I pour water into Celia’s cup instead. I’m not giving you any even if you make that face.
A Few Days Later. Near White City – A Certain Village.
「Imperial army spotted ahead! They don’t look like military slaves, likely the regular army. Total number is 7000, exactly as reported!」
The red base of the Imperial army uniforms can clearly be seen even at a distance.
The enemy must have realized our presence too. They’re starting to get into formation.
According to Commander Stessel, the Imperial fleet still controls the rivers around White City and when needed, sends small squads to land to carry out disturbance strategies or to take away goods for replenishment.
The enemy army in front of us is one of those squads.
Ally and enemy are already facing each other and an order from either side would start the fight on the spot.
「So 7000 is still small scale, the Federation and Empire are really on a different level.」
「I rushed to the headquarters and heard that you wanted us to sortie……」
Yakov anxiously speaks out.
「That’s right. This amount is perfect. This will make for an appropriate first campaign, don’t you think?」
「B-but…… the enemy is the Imperial regular army. We are――」
I glare at Yakov.
「A second cla.s.s army? You’re saying that you can’t win because you’re an army composed of second cla.s.s citizens?」
The large man is stuck for words and seemingly shrinks a little.
「It’s because you, as the commander, have such a way of thinking that you aren’t getting any proper missions.」
I asked Commander Stessel about the 105th army corps.
It’s true that the 105th is a second cla.s.s army and it’s true that he only gave them miscellaneous tasks, but he never intended to treat them as sacrificial stones.
The reason wasn’t because they were an army composed of second cla.s.s citizens.
He merely determined that they weren’t fit to complete important missions due to a lack of skill and morale.
「Effort was taken to form the army and equipment was given to them. Our nation has no luxury to waste resources.」
That’s what Stessel said with a smile.
「Not enough training? Of course not! Obviously the competent armies would be prioritized and given the limited s.p.a.ce and resources.」
After patting the shoulder of the speechless Yakov, I advance in front of the soldiers with my horse.
Why don’t I give them a little encouragement before the fight. I inhale deeply and shout in a loud voice.
「You guys are worthless!」
Celia screams after my declaration.
「Haah!?」「Are you looking down on us!?」
I wanted to test what would happen if everything ended here, but they would probably lose badly, so I won’t.
「You’re a group of conscripted second cla.s.s citizens sc.r.a.ped together. Not to mention your morale is extremely low so the big wigs won’t even pay attention to you. How else can you be used besides as sacrificial p.a.w.ns?」
「S-saying whatever you want……」「We already know all that……」
The backlash disappears as I speak of them harshly.
「It’ll be impossible to restore your honor by staying here. Even if I try to suck up to the higher ups or if you try to live good lives, nothing will change.」
Eventually, they all become quiet. The enemy must be confused.
「But there is one way. One method for you to get recognized.」
I draw my long sword and point it at the enemy.
「That is to win. If you win, everything will work out. Victory is everything on the battlefield! You just have to win!」
I grab the head of a nearby soldier.
「What do we need to do to win?」
「T-to be loyal and fight courageously……」
I let go of the soldier’s head roughly and glare at the other aligned soldiers from on top of Schwartz.
「What kind of answer is that? Loyalty, courage, patriotism, was it? You were making fun of me by calling what I was about to say excessive briefing, yet you’re here spewing the same things.」
None of the soldiers chatter anymore.
「To win, all you have to do is…… keep cutting down the enemies in front of you. Without drawing back in the slightest, cut them down, cut them down, and keep cutting them down!」
If Leopolt was here he would definitely offer a sarcastic remark, but since he isn’t, I feel a little relieved.
「You can be courageous or cowardly or anything else. As long as you kill every last enemy, it will be out victory.」
Perhaps they were happy it was easy to understand, a very small portion of soldiers let out a war cry.
「When you return home after you win, you’ll be heroes. Then you can say this to the soldiers in the other armies who have nothing but fancy equipment: “When will all of you go into battle? We went and came back victorious!”」
Up until now, it must have been the other way around. More than a handful of soldiers cheer this time.
「One more thing. I spoke with the Supreme Commander. If you return home with the win, you’ll be rewarded with alcohol, food and women!」
The surging cheers resound to the heavens.
It’s as I thought. Men act because of women.
「Follow me, the whole army will charge――!」
Seeing me jump out in front, Yakov quickly chases after me on his horse.
The other soldiers run in a straight line towards the enemy either cheering or shouting.
We have no formation or order. However we at least have an overflowing amount of fighting spirit.
There is no better spot to use this momentum than now. Using petty tricks at this point is meaningless.
「Aegir-sama, the formation is a mess! We’re charging in like a dumpling! Will this work!?」
The 105th army is primarily infantry and not cavalry.
8000 infantry charging in a ma.s.sive clump while shouting must be an ugly sight.
Both Celia and Yakov who are beside me seem anxious.
Celia in particular knows how Leopolt and Myla fight, so she should be aware that this disorderly fighting style will lead to defeat.
「They most likely don’t have the training to carry out a proper formation. Which means they won’t win if they collide with the enemy in the same formation.」
「What those guys need right now is not a clean fight. What will wake up losers who do nothing but complain is a victory, regardless of whether it is an ugly one.」
More casualties will result like this than in an organized fight. Still, it’s much better than remaining worthless.
Soon enough, the enemy gets close.
The Imperial army is in a defensive line abreast formation, although they never thought we would start with an all-out charge and seem to be fl.u.s.tered.
They must not have expected the Federation army to fight like this. That thought makes me laugh.
「I’ll go first.」
Arrows focus on me as I take the lead.
I’m not worried too much as both Schwartz and I are wearing dragon armor.
The arrows aimed at more dangerous spots get deflected by my sword and s.h.i.+eld.
I brush away an arrow right before it was about to stab Schwartz’s eye.
Schwartz glances at me and neighs.
Those who aren’t familiar with him will probably think he was saying thanks, but I know what he’s really saying.
To translate his neigh, it would be something along the lines of “that was close, do a better job of brus.h.i.+ng those things away”.
「If you don’t want to be hit, raise your speed!」
With a snort, Schwartz accelerates enough to make the arrows miss their target, flying through the empty s.p.a.ce behind him.
He proceeds to maintain speed and charge at the enemy…… then changes direction, making a sharp left just before reaching them.
At the same time, I tilt my body and swing my longsword.
Schwartz’s acceleration and the weight of my longsword is more than enough to send the enemies and their s.h.i.+elds flying.
Following the consecutive sounds of metal clas.h.i.+ng, the very front row of the enemy soldiers get knocked down.
The horse armor worn by Schwartz protect him from the glancing blows of the hurried spear thrusts.
Despite getting cuts from lucky hits through the gaps in the armor that graze his skin, Schwartz treats it like nothing happened.
The soldiers could never have gotten any strong thrusts in when Schwartz was moving so quickly anyways.
「The general is ma.s.sacring all the enemies he encounters!」
「Incredible! He can do more than just talk!」
I’m just running around, swiping at their s.h.i.+elds using the weight of my sword, though more than a few should have been fatally injured.
Still, in the eyes of the ally soldiers behind me, I must be taking out entire rows of enemies all at once.
「Follow the general――!!」
When the clump of allies engage the enemy, I hear the symphony of fierce metal clas.h.i.+ng, dull sounds of flesh being cut, and the piercing shouts of pain.
「Push, push――!」「Cut them all down! Do whatever you can to win!」
「What’s with these guys!? They’re crazy!」「Are these really Federation army soldiers!? They aren’t reinforcements from a savage tribe!?」
The allied soldiers are crossing swords with the enemy…… actually, it’s more like they’re rampaging about.
There were no systematic orders being given, the soldiers were merely swinging their swords, kicking down s.h.i.+elds, and those who lost their weapons are picking up rocks and throwing them.
The Imperial army trying to maintain their ranks are being overwhelmed by the crazed vigor.
「This is our only chance of victory.」
The enemy will eventually try to play another hand, like getting backup from archers or having a detachment detour around.
When they do, the window for the momentum-driven 105th division will close.
We have to finish them now when they’re panicked and confused.
「The center of the enemy lines is not very thick. I want to break through the middle and split them up somehow……」
The enemy is keeping the same thickness throughout their battle ranks under the a.s.sumption that we would come at them with a similar formation.
If we tear through the middle, they won’t be able to group up.
Except it’s hard for orders to get through in such a chaotic fight. What should I do?
「The enemy general is in the middle of the enemy formation! You’ll get 100 gold if you defeat him!!」
The surrounding soldiers react to Yakov’s sudden shout.
「100 gold!?」「The middle! Break through the middle!」
The ally soldiers concentrate their attacks in the middle.
Yakov turns to me with a smile.
Heh, nice one. That’s more effective than a poorly executed order.
「We’re charging through the middle too. We’ll cut all of them down…… just be careful.」
I warn him as I crush the head of one soldier and kick him away from my horse.
「Careful of what?」
Yakov looks at me after lopping off the head of an enemy.
「Capture the enemy women alive. I’ll be taking them afterwards.」
Yakov, what are you stopping for? I’m going on ahead.
Federation VS. Empire – Comparison of Military Forces (Current + Losses = Max Mobilization. In the case where numbers don’t match, it means there are spare forces.)
Olga Federation 「Stalemate」
Military Strength – Current: 1 230 000, Max Mobilization: 2 550 000, Losses: 1 320 000, Civilian Victims: 970 000
Military Strength – Current: 1 080 000, Max Mobilization: 3 100 000, Losses: 2 020 000 (Military slaves not included)
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 24 years old. Winter.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. Mountain Legend. Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless. Dragon Slayer Hero.