“I have a plan. I’ll deal with the soldiers that are coming from down the slope. In the meantime, the rest of you will rout out the enemy in the front. And when you’re done, take the non-combat personnel and head for the goal point. I’ll follow you from behind.”
As there was no time, I explained it to them quickly.
The enemy was demanding that we fight a two-front war. And I had no intention of complying with them in the most honest way.
“That’s it. Got it?”
“Not really, Golan. But I guess you want us to fight like we always do?”
“Exactly. Don’t look anywhere but up ahead, and rout out the enemy!”
“Argh! That’s something I’m good at.”
“That sounds easy.”
“When can we do it?”
“Let’s do it now!”
“You guys…don’t forget the non-combat…they’re gone…”
They all ran ahead while shouting at the top of their lungs.
“…Well, I guess the rest of you better go after them.”
That was all I said to the non-combat personnel. Then I started dashing down the slope.
If I had guessed correctly, the people coming up from behind us would be a race that specialized in defense.
After all, they had purposely created noise and were trying to lure us towards them.
Of course, between someone going up a hill and someone going down… It was the person going down who would have more momentum.
But the enemy would have defenses that were so high they could still stop us.
So much that this wooden club I was holding might not do any damage at all.
The battle line would be a deadlock. I wouldn’t know what to do from there.
And then the reinforcements would come from behind for a pincer attack. Something like that.
I quite disliked these kinds of methods.
But it was the only possibility that I could think of, considering the positions of the enemy.
“I knew they wouldn’t allow us to reach the goal without a fight. And this is what they prepared.”
What then appeared from the bushes, were creatures with black shells.
“Specialized in defense was an understatement.”
They were Black Running Turtles.
There were only five, which was fewer than I had expected. However, they were practically on the same level as Reapers. They could beat Ogres with ease.
Their shells were hard and durable. Even our usual weapons—the metal rods, would have a tough time getting through them.
In that case, it seemed like it would be better to not fight them at all. However, these guys were fast.
When it came to a siege, you could break through an enemy base by just having a few Black Running Turtles charge into them.
Perhaps because they had to carry the heavy shells on their backs, they had very strong legs. And so while these legs looked like the most obvious place to attack, doing so was usually futile.
“But they’ll catch up with the non-combat personnel if I don’t do something. …Well, better get going then. With these guys, the important thing to remember is that they have forefeet, not hands.”
I said with a grin.
○ Goal Point – Corps Commander Dyle
Corps Commander Dyle was waiting for Golan and the others to arrive.
Of course, there was a good possibility that they wouldn’t arrive at all.
In the first place, this training was… His thoughts were interrupted. They had arrived. And far ahead of schedule.
He had just seen that the non-combat personnel were with them as well.
They had only just come into view, and so they had yet to be counted. However, he believed that they were all there.
In other words, they had passed the second part of their training.
But then again. This training wasn’t supposed to allow you to pass…?
Dyle held his head and muttered, ‘It doesn’t make any sense.’
He wanted to know what had happened, but Golan was nowhere to be seen.
“Golan? Oh, I think he’ll take a little longer to arrive?”
“Longer? What do you mean?”
The leader was acting on his own? This too did not make any sense.
“Well, uh. The enemy was coming up from behind us. And so he went and faced them by himself.”
One of the Ogres explained.
So he challenged them without knowing that they were Black Running Turtles.
More like ‘running mountains.’ They could break your bones by just stepping on you.
“In that case, Golan is already…”
“I’m sure he’ll be here soon!”
Dyle felt sorry for these simple-minded, optimistic Ogres.
“Unfortunately, he will not be joining us. If he is even alive now.”
He had faced them alone. What recklessness.
“Hey, did you hear that? ‘If he is alive!’ That’s so funny!”
Said an Ogre woman. The others burst into laughter. What was so amusing?
“He is fighting the Black Running Turtles, is he not? There is no way that he could win. And he will not be able to run away from them either. After all, they are much faster than they appear… And so…?”
Dyle then realized something odd. Why were all the Ogres unhurt?
And where were the Black Running Turtles now?
Dyle had placed the Mizuki in front of them as the very last obstacle.
A corps that lacked ability would easily end up a victim to a pincer attack no matter how hard they fought.
And even if these Ogres were very capable, they would still have to split into two groups and fight. They had inferior numbers, and would lose.
They should not have been able to overcome this final obstacle.
The only way they could have gotten through the Mizukis was if they all attacked together.
In other words, they would lose the moment that they split up.
That being said, the Black Running Turtles were coming up from the back. So even if they all charged at the Mizukis and fought, the non-combat personnel would be attacked in the meantime.
And if they tried to defeat the Black Running Turtles first, the Mizukis would hear them fighting and rush down to attack them.
In other words, the purpose of this training was to make them experience a battle that could not be won.
Breaking their spirits once was necessary in order to make them rise again. That was the real goal.
And what was most odd now, was that after they fought with the Mizukis and escorted the non-combat personnel to the goal, the Black Running Turtles had not attacked them.
“What does this mean?”
Dyle looked towards Halm the Crystal Dragon.
Halm just shook his head. He didn’t understand either.
They had been sandwiched between two groups of enemies that they could not win against. And yet they were here. Safe and with the non-combat personnel.
Was such a thing really possible?
“Ah, it looks like I’m late.”
Dyle raised his voice. ‘Hey’ Golan said with a wave of his hand.
The Ogres had said that Golan went off to fight the Black Running Turtles by himself.
“Oh, I see you all reached the goal together. Well, I guess that’s the end of this training then.”
“What do we do next, Golan?”
“Like I’d know. Don’t ask me.”
Golan and the other Ogres were talking excitedly. And from the looks of him, he had not been injured at all.
Dyle did not understand any of it.