What was this basic training that they were talking about?
There was something ominous about it, and I wanted to know.
And so I asked him.
“Indeed. I will have to explain to you a few things about soldiers in this country, first. Is that alright?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Demon King Tralzard’s country.
It and Lesser Demon King Melvis’s country were so different in size and strength, that it would be ridiculous to even compare them.
So to be honest, I was very curious to know how things were managed.
“In this country, you cannot become a soldier just because you want to.”
“Is that right?”
“How is it in your country?”
“In general, they are drafted. Each village is required to send a certain number, and they just obey.”
“In that case, there must be times that you receive people who are completely useless.”
“Well, that’s true. But what can you do? That’s just how it works.”
Yes, there were people who wanted to be soldiers and people who didn’t.
Still, there would be trouble if a household didn’t send at least one person, and so the oldest son was usually sent out to be a soldier.
And if the oldest son died, they would say, ‘now it’s your turn,’ and send the next son to the battlefield.
It happened in every house.
Mine was the same.
My parents told me that my older brother had been blown up by magic, and that I had to take his place.
It wasn’t the nicest way to put it, but they never did find his body.
Someone claimed to have seen his body get blown up by magic, and since he never returned to the camp, it was assumed that he had died.
And I had not questioned it once as I went off to the battlefield.
However, things were apparently different in Demon King Tralzard’s country.
“In this country, those who do well in the battlefield will make a name for themselves. The greater the fame, the greater the possibility of being promoted. And even if you are not, you are rewarded based on your accomplishments. And that is considered to be a great honor.”
Rewards. I knew nothing of such things. …No, wait. I did get a sword. That was a reward.
Speaking of promotions, I had become a Commander as well… Though, it had been through Gekokujyo.
And yet people would still treat me like a servant back in the village.
“Being a soldier is a shortcut to going up in the world. Because of this, there is no end to the number of people who want to join. However, accepting them all would lead to trouble.”
“You won’t have enough food.”
He was surprised.
It has always been the case. The military and food were tightly related.
There was even a story of oppressed people raising a rebel army. And once they decided to attack the capital, what was once ten thousand men had bloated up to a hundred thousand by the time they surrounded the city.
At that point, just feeding them was a colossal task.
It could not be done without stealing from surrounding towns and villages.
This had happened so many times throughout history.
And not only during war.
For instance, when there was a great earthquake in Kansai, Japan. Many volunteers came from all over the country.
And while the location was in chaos from the disaster, the volunteers had just come with the clothes on their back. And it was very difficult to prepare places for them to sleep and food to eat.
But thanks to this lesson, when there were earthquakes later on in Tohoku and Kyushu, the volunteers were smart enough to bring their own food with them.
People went home during the night, and those who couldn’t prepare a place to sleep had the good sense not to participate at all.
In other words, there were many instances when participating in something without any preparation only led to trouble.
“Now that I think about it, you did say something about a special selection.”
“…Aye, that is correct. We have strict limits when it comes to accepting people. And so we have to test them before deciding. It’s really a matter of their will and ability.”
So it had nothing to do with wealth, intelligence, temperament or nature.
Well, I guess that wasn’t as important when it came to soldiers.
“And those who pass will be accepted as soldiers… No, I suppose you have to train them first.”
“But I’d think that only a small number of them would actually be sent to the battlefield. I suppose you keep the others as reinforcements when your soldiers die? And if they are trained in the meantime, they will be able to work decently with the old soldiers when the time comes.”
“Indeed. Well, I’m glad that we understand each other. Those who are selected will undergo basic training. It is there that they will learn what it means to be a soldier, as well as how to move and act.”
“So, that’s what we will be doing.”
“Yes. Once the basic training is finished, there is something called battle training, which will be on the actual field. But as this relates to this country’s strategy, I cannot talk about it here.”
We would probably be taught how to move strategically.
‘Form a close formation’ they might say, and we’d have to do it quickly. And if they said, ‘halt’ we would all have to stop at the same time.
The time it took, and the formations, and how they guarded.
Those were likely military secrets.
This was different from Ogres, where the one order was just, ‘forward.’
It was no wonder they wanted to keep it a secret.
If this was a sport, then it could be compared to a tryout and the team practice. They would be separated into a first team and a farm team, and the people in the farm team would train and hope to be promoted to the first team.
And obviously, practicing formations was something you didn’t show to other teams.
“About this basic training, I intend to make adjustments while considering every race’s aptitude.”
“In that case, why not have a hearing?”
“Hearing? What should I ask them?”
“Well…aside from the obvious questions about what they can and cannot do, you might also want to know their strengths and weaknesses. I think talking to them will help you understand them better.”
“…Perhaps you are right.”
Dyle was deep in thought.
It seemed that he was at least capable of listening to the opinions of people who were much lower in rank than him.
“Very well. We will still be traveling for some time. I will observe them and uh, do this hearing that you requested.”
“I’m grateful for the consideration.”
Now they were unlikely to give out impossible orders.
I sighed in relief, but made sure that Minish and Dyle did not notice it, even though they were now looking at me with deep interest.