Volume 7 Chapter 3 Part 3
“Thank you,” the king said. “By the way, can you offer me a piece of advice?”
“I think the local nobleman, Count Gaze, is planning to head into battle to retake Raijis on his own. I’d like to hear your opinion on that.”
Take back on his own, eh? I suppose local nobilities don’t want to rely on the state too much for various reasons, like honor and interest. My objective is not Raijis itself, so if they want to take the city back, then by all means, go ahead.
“What kind of troops does Count Gaze have?” I asked.
“They’re known to be the cream of the crop. Count Gaze is a nobleman who’s known for his martial prowess, and although his force isn’t that big, they’re highly proficient.”
“Compared to Cardinal Georgis’ army, which one of them is stronger?”
Cardinal Georgis was the reason behind the persecution of those with special classes (or inferior classes as they were referred to back then). We fought him about a year ago.
At the time, he had a monopoly on the sale of healing medicines, and he seemed to have considerable influence. But although his army was huge, they were not exactly strong. They were better trained than Count Meigis’s army in terms of overall coordination, including long marches, but they were incompetent when it came to a battle that involved using Skills and spellcasting.
If this Count Gaze had the same firepower as the Cardinal’s army, then he would just be wasting the lives of his men.
“Let’s not even compare them. Cardinal Georgis’ army was the best in terms of both quantity and quality. No Count have an army as powerful as his. Count Meigis is an exception, of course.”
“Then I suggest you tell them to stop. He’ll just lose his men for nothing.”
“All right. I will send orders right away.” Wearing a frown, the king then began pondering over something. He seemed to be bummed out.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Oh. I’m worried that Count Gaze might not follow orders.”
“Is he the kind of man who would disobey the king’s orders?”
Although this nations is a kingdom, the power of the king is not absolute. Even the king is bound by internal politics. Or so I’ve heard. But still I expected his subjects to actually follow orders when they are given.
“He’s not particularly rebellious, but he’s obsessed about fighting. He thinks strength is just, and being strong is admirable.”
“So basically a musclehead.”
While too much cowardice is not good when you’re a soldier, being too brave is a problem in and of itself as well. I wish he’d at least listen to the king’s orders.
“Do you have any advice on how to fight if Count Gaze does not back down?” the king asked. “His soldiers are citizens of the kingdom. I don’t want them to die in vain.”
“Fighting is not an option. Tell them to retreat as soon as possible.”
“What if the Count doesn’t listen?”
Basically, it’s impossible to fight a war against an opponent who’s much more powerful than you are. Courage and skills won’t even matter. You can’t just win against the unbeatable.
And strategies only work if you have at least some sort of power to show for it. If you don’t have any, there’s no chance of winning unless the enemy suddenly became weak for no reason.
“If they really won’t retreat, then I have one idea. I won’t really recommend it, though.”
“What is it? Please tell me.”
“You don’t even need to ask me. It’s a very simple tactic. Just have your troops charge in as many times as possible until the enemy runs out of mana. What I’m saying is, gather a lot—and I mean a lot—of personnel and try not to get killed all at once. The ideal scenario is only one person dies, but against someone who can use Sandstorm, ten deaths should be okay.
Sandstorm, like Steam Explosion, is a spell that takes time to recast. If the only magic the enemy can use is Sandstorm, launching an attack during cooldown should be easy. But usually people who can cast that level of magic has some Basic Skills down.
For an army at the level of Cardinal Georgis’ troops, they would be an impossible opponent. I doubt they have a lot of wide AoE magic spells, but they’re still a huge threat nevertheless.
“You mean ten dead for one enemy?”
“No. Ten for every spell cast.”
The king became speechless. He should have known what I meant from my tone, but the shock was still a little too much I guess.
“And is victory possible?”
“Even a powerful Mage has limited mana. If you make them use their magic until they run out of juice, all that will be left is an ordinary human being.”
Actually, this tactic would have been very effective in the battle to retake the royal palace. If the enemy threw bodies at me to drain my mana, they would’ve killed me… well, not really, but I would have been forced to retreat temporarily to recover mana.
One excellent method to take a shot at an opponent who’s much powerful than you is to drain their mana. However, if you don’t want to give the enemy a chance to recover their mana, you will have to constantly send soldiers as sacrifice, which is a method that no sane person would take. At least, it’s a tactic that I and Count Meigis’ army would never employ.
“I understand the logic, but it’s too much,” the king said.
“That’s why I said I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re not willing to go that far, then don’t try to fight an impossible battle.”
“I understand better now. I’ll give an order to Count Gaze to never engage in battle.”
Sounds like the king got my point. I have no idea if Count Gaze will actually obey orders, though.
“Thank you for coming,” the king said. “I pray for your success in battle.”
And thus our conversation ended. He said he’d pray for our success, so I’ll also pray that the king won’t go bankrupt from the bills that Myna will inevitably send him.