Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
Land barn, a core city in the western part of the Kingdom.
There is no town further west of here. Only a few villages for people who run agriculture and forestry.
However, this is not the last stop for the highway that stretches from the Royal capital.
Going further west, passing through plains and climbing over the mountains. It is connected to the Fortress city in the eastern part of the Empire.
And of course, this was also a road that connects the Fortress city and the Imperial capital. Considering these points, it could be said that this was a road that connects the Kingdom and the Imperial capital.
An important road as a trading route between the Empire and the Kingdom.
Right now, on the plain where this road stretches where the Kingdom’s army was at the eastern end, and the Empire’s army at the western end.
「The margrave looks serious this time around」
A hill near the Kingdom’s encampment. At the summit, an A-class Knight was standing facing the Imperial army camp.
A man with kaiser mustache sitting in the cockpit muttered while looking at the Imperial’s army encampment through the eyes of his Knight.
This man was the Knight Commander of the Kingdom’s knight order.
(This amount of Knights… He must have brought everything he can mobilize)
His expression was bitter.
According to the report, the empire has two A-class Knights and thirty to forty-four B-class Knights. And there were even C-class Knights that numbered no less than ten.
He even came to check it with his own eyes but… the number seems about right.
The fort near the border, which was set up to speed up the highway, was made to withdraw without fighting before the overwhelming force.
(We can’t leave the Royal capital empty and defenseless after all)
That’s what made him different from the margrave.
Hearing the news of the Empire invasion, half of the Knight order was sent as the initial response.
In terms of numbers, there are three A-class Knights and B-class Knights that numbered over twenty.
The rest are still in the Royal capital to act as support and keep the place safe.
(Shall we wait for the reinforcement from the Royal capital while defending this place?)
Couldn’t come up with a good plan, the vertical lines between his eyebrows deepen.
A few days have already passed since they set up encampment. But both sides were only staring at each other’s camp without any movement at all.
(No, it was our side who didn’t make any move…)
The Empire was trying to strengthen the fort they took down on the first day.
The fort was located further back inside their encampment, but some C-class Knights that were carrying materials could be seen from here.
(…C-class Knight, huh)
The Knight Commander stared at them with complicated feelings.
This is because the C-class Knights were always treated as some sort of disease inside the Knight order.
They don’t accept C-class Knights in the Kingdom’s knight order. The five units that belong in the knight order right now were only used for non-combat purposes only.
(What a foolish thinking)
The knight commander spat.
A C-class knight is extremely useful as an auxiliary force. There are many ways to use them, such as reconnaissance, base defense, and escort for supply units.
Such Knights were branded as a disease and thrown away by the knight order’s higher-ups.
『The Knight of knight order has to be at least a B-class otherwise it wouldn’t be considered as a Knight』
By proclaiming so, they were trying to separate themselves from the knight order of another country that employs and uses C-class Knights.
We are a high-class knight order, unlike all of you. They probably said something along those lines while sticking out their chest proudly.
They disregarded the Imperial Knights, which double in scale, as “Public Knights”, and small fries that didn’t even worth mentioning.
(To think that they put their power over such useless thoughts)
The former knight order’s higher-ups were very enthusiastic about this matter, they even went as far as thoroughly developed a law about it.
And because of this rule, now the knight order has to do extra labor to do something about the C-class Knights they gathered.
Even if there is no actual change in its specs, as long as there is a fact that it was remodeled, they can argue that it can be called a B-class Knight.
(That’s even worse than a paper tiger*. We’re going to lose our credibility soon if we kept doing this)
(*TL Note: “Paper tiger” is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhilaohu (纸老虎／紙老虎). The term refers to something or someone that claims or appears to be powerful or threatening, but is actually ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge.)
The Prime Minister was also working on the abolition of this law, but it seems that there are some influential people who are particular about the branding that was created by the knight order, so it became difficult.
He twisted his neck as if to loosen his stiff shoulder. It made a dull, gokiri sound.
A B-class Knight acting as the messenger came running from the encampment.
It was a summon from the second prince.
He sighed heavily.
A pilot who appeared within the royal family after a long time. That was the second prince.
In the future, he is expected to take up the role of knight commander, support his brother, who will be the next king, and boost the country.
And this time, he participates in this campaign after strongly requested for it himself.
(If they told to me leave some A-class Knights behind in the capital, I’d rather have the second prince fill that role though)
This time, the Knight order of the Kingdom has 3 A-class Knights that participated in the battle.
It is half of the seven A-class knights left in the knight order, excluding the designated Knight of the former knight commander.
However one of them was the second prince’s and the other one was his bodyguard.
The second prince won’t listen to anyone and the bodyguard only obeys the second prince.
There’s nothing more difficult than this situation.
A deep sigh came out again from him.
There, he thought about the designated knight of the former knight commander.
(If only that Knight was decent, we would have one more A-class Knight that could participate in this battle)
The designated Knight of the knight order’s former commander that never stood on the battlefield.
It was judged as just an ornament and have the activation key taken away.
Originally, he should be the one who rides it.
If he did, there should be an A-class Knight that would listen to him. And the variety of ways to fight would have expanded greatly.
But when he actually tried and ride it, what he found was that the operation was too difficult to be handled by others.
(In the end, nothing had changed)
The knight commander let out a self-pitying laugh.
Indeed, the former knight commander may have been dismissed. However, his designated knight was still displayed in the hangar even at this time.
It was the same as before.
「The rest will be up to how far this Knight can go, I suppose」
The only A-class Knight he can count on right now was only the Knight he rode.
As if he wanted to let this Knight hear it, the knight commander said while surveying the cockpit interior.
「What a good Knight」
After giving up on riding the former commander’s designated Knight, I walked through the hangar with the maintenance chief.
It was to pick the ones I would ride between the high-ranking Knights in the knight order.
The maintenance chief talked about the specifications of each Knight. However, the knight commander fell in love with this unit at first sight regardless of its specs.
「There’s a bulge on its shoulder, and the head design was also wonderful」
This bulge was used for storing an auxiliary magic circle.
The voluminous body line is the characteristic of A-class Knights.
There were also bulges on various parts of this Knight, but the ones on its shoulder were unique looking.
And its head also had the same motif as its shoulders.
If Tauro saw the thing, it might remind him of the object on the roof of the building that stood on the Sumida river bank.
The bulge like the one on this object was on both shoulders and the head of this Knight.
The knight commander instantly decided to ride that Knight and ordered a full re-painting.
Originally, it had light-gray color, but now it’s entire body was glittering with golden color.
As a result, the objects on both shoulders and head are similar not only in shape but also in color.
(*TL Note: You can google “隅田川河岸に建つビル” if you’re curious about its shape.)
The Knight Commander called it by the name he had given it.
Then he turned the Golden Knight’s feet toward the main camp to meet the second prince.
On the other side of the plain.
On top of a hill at the western end is where the Empire’s encampment is located.
The commander, Count Rosehip, was also looking at the Kingdom’s camp using his Knight, as was the commander of the Kingdom’s knight order.
His Knight is an A-class Knight with a black base and a large bright red rose on it.
(Three A-class Knights huh? Well, I guess at least that many would show up.)
Although they greatly outnumber their opponents in total number, they have two A-class Knights, which is less than their opponents.
A powerful Knight is a formidable presence that can influence the situation in the battlefield even when fighting on its own.
(The number of Knights is almost double, but eight of them are C-class. We can’t send them into battle.)
The road leading them to their home country. They need to defend it.
In an expedition, it is absolutely necessary to maintain supply lines and retreat routes. That’s what he believes.
(Me and Lord Reaper each have to deal with two of the three, and the last one… I guess I’ll let the Rose Knights handle it.)
The Rose Knights under his command are more highly trained than the Frontier Knights loaned by the Margrave.
It might be possible to stall it by surrounding them with multiple Knights.
In the meantime, the remaining Knights will exterminate the rest of the Kingdom Knights.
(So far so good. Now we just need to pay attention to the timing of the battle)
The fort on the Kingdom side of the highway was requisitioned on the first day.
This was because the Kingdom’s soldiers stationed there fled after they saw the overwhelming force of the Empire.
And currently, that fort was being strengthened by the enemy.
(The God of War is sure a whimsical being)
When and where a battle begins is often decided by the invisible hand of the god of war.
It was something that has been proven several times.
He who was not a follower of the god of war, won’t surrender his life and death on that hand.
He would bear in mind as not to miss the best opportunity to start the attack.