○ Town of Elstabia – Farneze
“A messenger from the royal castle?”
“They say that it’s an emergency.”
And so Farneze met with them immediately.
The place was her office.
There were no soldiers in the room. Just one civil official.
“What is it? What happened?”
The messenger was clearly nervous, which gave her a feeling of dread.
“We were contacted by General Dardaroth at the castle. He says he cannot hold back both Rous and Kurulu.”
Currently, a single General was being made to stop the advance of two invasions at the same time.
“That’s probably true. What’s the current situation?”
“As it’s within our own country, defenses are still stable. He’s set up a number of camps that are spread out in order to defend the area. But it’s not enough to actually drive the enemy back. And if things continue for too long, he will have no choice but to retreat. That was the report.”
So just standing their ground was the most they could do. And they would only get weaker from here.
But given the circumstances, he couldn’t be asked to do any more than that.
“And yet they have managed to stop the invasion for now.”
“Yes. However, there were apparently some corps that got through.”
The enemy was using multiple routes in this invasion.
Of course, not all of them would be guarded. And the enemy weren’t going to be kind enough to tell them which routes they would be using.
Still, this country was not that large. So there was a good possibility that the enemy would be able to reach the royal castle if they slipped through.
“And have any reached the castle yet?”
“There were two corps that did, but Adjutant Atrasushia went out and made quick work of them.”
“I see. That’s good to know. However, they won’t be the last.”
Now that the enemy knew there were routes left open, they might try poking through them.
But it was doubtful that the castle would be in trouble, as long as Atrasushia was there. However, there was also Nehyor to consider.
Perhaps it would be better to have the soldiers placed elsewhere, so they weren’t striking back so near the castle.
(…But perhaps it wouldn’t make any difference. It might be better to just have General Tulart return from guarding the border with Leninoth.)
This was a difficult decision she was facing. But Farneze knew that it would be a complete disaster if she didn’t think carefully and ended up chosing the wrong option.
“Anything else to report?”
“General Dardartoh has marched out in order to stop the invasion from Kurulu.”
“So he’s going to the frontlines himself. A fire was finally lit under his ass then.”
Once he was on the frontlines, he would not be able to give out orders to the other corps.
“And he wants you, General Farneze, to attack Rous’s army from behind.”
Golan had talked about it as well. Rous’s army was not far from this town.
Perhaps General Dardaroth was depending on this, as he went out to attack Kurulu’s army.
“I had meant to move only when the reinforcements from Demon King Tralzard arrived. Will that be too late?”
“General Dardaroth’s view is that they’re nearing the limit.”
Now that General Dardaroth was going to fight the Kurulu army, they would not be able to keep track of Rous’s movements.
Perhaps it would be best to leave everything and go immediately.
If Farneze did not go, the enemy would no longer have to stay on the defensive.
And a great host of them might reach the castle.
It would take several more days at least for the soldiers to arrive from Tralzard’s lands.
It might be too late if she waited for them to arrive.
“Will you be able to attack?”
“Aye. I will leave someone here to greet our guests when they arrive. But more importantly, you want us to hurry, yes? Then tell me the route that the Rous army is using.”
“Ye-yes! The route that the enemy is advancing through is here.”
The messenger offered a map.
It had the estimated size of the enemy army and all the places that battles had taken place so far.
As she deciphered the information on the map, a deep crease appeared on Farneze’s face as her eyebrows narrowed.
Incredibly vicious battles were happening in places that were only half a day away from this town.
“Are these numbers for our and the enemy’s armies correct?”
“They were confirmed.”
Their side was quite small. Only about a quarter of the size of the enemy.
Farneze was not surprised at how frantic General Dardaroth seemed.
One small event could tip the scale, and the enemy might push them away in one sweep.
Just thinking about the hopeless battle Dardaroth’s men were forced to continue to fight made it difficult for her to stay in one place.
“As this message was brought from the castle, and taking into account that the battlefield is moving…staying in formation in the back while abandoning the old camp and retreating…they must be around here.”
In this battle, the enemy soldiers were trying to avoid heavy losses. That was why things hadn’t fallen apart just yet.
Perhaps they had decided that the real battle would be waged in full force at the castle.
The civil official who was also in the room was writing down Farneze’s words.
“Alright, I’ll organize my army and leave at once. …Yes. At the same time, send word to General Tulart that he must leave half of his men to monitor the border while the others return to the castle. If this happens, then we will be able to send soldiers to help General Dardaroth as soon as General Tulart arrives.”
Farneze said, and then left the office.
Farneze was supposed to stay here in order to greet Tralzard’s men, but that was no longer possible.
“All of you. We will be leaving at once. Take care of the rest while I’m gone.”
She said to those who would remain in the mansion. And then she went out into the garden in order to gather the soldiers.