Volume 7 Chapter 1 Part 1
One year after the battle with the Cardinal.
After defeating the Emperor Ogre, I decided to head to the active volcano of Raijis to awaken my Skills, but I was told that Raijis had been invaded by another country.
Furthermore, Raijis—the city closest to the active volcano—was conquered by a single person. The timing and the method of suppression suggested that it was done by no ordinary army. After receiving the report, I headed to Count Meigis.
“Did you hear what happened to Raijis?” I asked.
“Of course,” the Count replied. “It doesn’t sound like the work of an ordinary army. What do you think we should do?”
Raijis itself is quite far from Count Meigis’ territory where we live. Only one city had fallen so far, and there wasn’t any sign of two whole countries clashing. While Raijis was part of the same kingdom, unless the frontlines expanded further out, it doesn’t have much to do with Meigis’ domain.
“What do you usually do?” I asked.
“Well, if it’s a war in that location, we don’t want to intervene. Unless the kingdom asks for reinforcements, we shouldn’t have to do anything.”
“I see. But if we don’t do anything, there’s a good chance the situation will worsen to a point where it’ll be too late to fix things.”
“Should we deploy our army after all?”
From what I’ve heard in the reports, the people who invaded Raijis are not the kind of people that can be handled by soldiers of this kingdom. Count Meigis’ army, which had been trained to fight by using their Skills to the fullest, with a focus on special classes, would be able to deal with them, but it wouldn’t be that easy. Charging straight in with only a sword or a spear will only result in pointless deaths.
They say that a battle is about numbers, but that only applies if both sides are equally competent. If one soldier equipped with a heavy machine gun fought a hundred soldiers equipped with only knives, there’s almost no doubt that the former would win.
Even if the enemy only had a small number—no, it’s precisely because they number only a few that sending a force not accustomed to battles using Skills would only result in them dying in vain.
If you’re looking to sacrifice hundreds or thousands to kill one enemy, you can try making them run out of mana, but if they succeed in escaping using a mobility Skill, you’ll have to start all over again.
If the royal army don’t stand a chance against Zaiel Empire, the situation will get worse and worse. Raijis might be far, but eventually the enemy will reach the Count’s domain.
Some say it’s better to fight them now than to fight them later. If the kingdom, with its well-established logistics network, is in shambles, even Maxia Trading won’t be able to show its full potential.
Also, for personal reasons, I don’t want Raijis taken by the empire. The Raijis volcano is practically the only place in the whole kingdom I can use for Skill Awakening.
If the kingdom were to abandon Raijis, I’d take it back for myself. If it’s irrelevant to the kingdom or the Count, I can’t really force the Count’s army to move. But this time, the Count has a stake in the matter. I’d like to use whatever I can.
“If possible, I’d like to deploy our forces,” I said. “Is it okay to send troops to other territories without permission?”
“It’s not forbidden. No point in forbidding it, in fact. No noble would send reinforcements when no one asked.”
Okay… so it’s fine. We can mobilize troops, but sending too many personnel would weaken the domain’s defense. Normally, some of the troops are sent to training, but if we mobilize everyone, we’ll have quite a big force. However, this is not a situation where only numbers matter. If it was all about numbers, we could just leave the matter to the local nobility and stay out of the way.
“For now, I’m thinking of taking a squad of about twenty,” I said.
“All right. How will you choose them?”
“I’ll get from the first squad, those suited for the mission. I’d rather have guys who are more suited to assisting rather than fighting.”
The first squad is the group created during the battle with Cardinal Georgis. Many of them were originally ordinary farmers, so after the battle, they returned to their normal jobs, but some of them remained in the Count’s army and continued their training.
They had not been soldiers for very long, but they have been trained to use Skills effectively in battle, so in terms of actual combat power, they are probably one of the best in the kingdom. A year ago, they overpowered the Cardinal’s army despite having only a tenth of the enemy’s numbers.
Moreover, the first squad can switch jobs if they want to anytime, even after a war—working in the healing medicine factory. Those who want to quit the Count’s army go there without being told, leaving only those with high morale. It’s the perfect unit to take on a special mission like this one.
“Very well. What about supplies? We have enough provisions and arrows for the whole army to fight for three months in case of war. With only twenty people, I suppose about five wagons is enough?”
Supplies, huh? It’s true that the preparation of supplies is the most important task in war. Since we don’t know how long we’ll have to fight, we should bring a lot, but…
“Nah, we don’t need them. We only need enough food that won’t slow us down. Plus I’ve got my Magic Storage.”
“I think you should save the magic storage for emergencies. If you consume its contents right from the start, you’ll have trouble if the battle drags on.”
“Yeah. So we’ll just carry what we can, and the rest we’ll get locally.”
The magic storage can hold a large amount of supplies, but that amount is finite. It would be preferable to use it only in situations where we can’t procure anything. If we can, then it should be saved for emergencies. In fact, better to replenish it whenever possible, leaving it at almost full capacity.
The longer a battle rages on, the more difficult it is to determine how long it will last or when you’ll get provisions. Fortunately, we have a professional on our side.
“Myna, I can count on you for logistics, right?”
“As long as our domestic logistics network is functional, I’ll support even a force a hundred times larger than yours. Though our combat troops aren’t that different from the supply troops of a larger noble army, so it might be difficult to transport supplies to the front lines where you’d be.”
That’s good to hear. She looked disappointed that she can’t bring supplies to the front lines, but I doubt normal trading firms have combat troops in the first place. And while hers was only as good as supply troops of some bigger nobles, that’s still pretty impressive.