The march of Demon King Janius’s army seemed to be going smoothly.
They were only a few days away from us now.
As per General Miralda’s command, no one was to intercept or disturb them in any way.
If anyone had time to spare, they were to use it to help construct the defenses around the camp.
Besides, even without any interference, the march of Janius’s army was slow.
Apparently, they were building bases and defensive walls while they marched, so that they would not collapse if they had to retreat.
An army that acted like this while marching would also be cautious when fighting. It would be just as difficult to make them collapse on the battlefield.
As for what Miralda’s men were doing in the meantime, it was reconnaissance work.
She had scouts moving back and forth between the camp and the enemy. And so the enemy battle array was now known to us.
Their chief was General Fonval, as had been predicted. A Rahab.
A Demon King’s General.
And therefore guaranteed to be very strong.
Rahabs were mortal enemies of dragons to the point of being called ‘Dragon Eaters.’ They had the appearance of four-legged sea serpents and had especially sharp fangs.
And they were so large that it was easy to see them from far away.
“Yes, they have such grandiose names like ‘Dragon Eater.’ But it’s all just appearances. It’s his great misfortune that he was sent into these lands. I’m sure the mask will be torn off very quickly.”
General Miralda then chuckled to herself like some kind of villain.
Up until now, Demon King Janius had been concentrating on his war with Demon King Gidman, and had been ignoring Tralzard’s country and all its dragons.
However, he had kept Fonval close to the border town, as a way of keeping Tralzard in check.
But according to Miralda, they were not at all deserving of the name ‘Dragon Eater.’
The scouts continued to come and go with their reports, and we received updates on how the enemy was moving.
The purpose of Fonval’s army was the destruction of General Miralda.
And so they were marching in a straight line towards this camp.
“They clearly have no intention of attacking any town along the way. With this momentum, it’s as if they would build roads if there were none.”
“Well, they are clearly not trying to waste any time then.”
These were Tralzard’s lands. If too much time passed, reinforcements might arrive.
They would quickly lose the advantage then. That was what Fonval was likely thinking.
We estimated Fonval’s army to be about ten thousand.
As for Miralda’s army, it was nearly six thousand.
This was because she couldn’t call any soldiers away from the frontlines, and because one corps had been destroyed.
“This is where the decisive battle will be fought.”
The General pointed at the riverbed.
There wasn’t much water, but plenty of sand and gravel stretched along the wide river.
“The enemy outnumber us. Are you really going to fight in such an open area?”
“I’m sure they will divide their men before the battle, and find advantageous positions as well. This is not the time to fight with the camp at our backs. We should move out and strike.”
There was no doubt that Fonval would separate his troops in order to break up our already inferior numbers.
At worst, he might attack us from three different sides. And so perhaps having a river on one side would at least make it easier to defend ourselves.
“On the other hand, is there a possibility we can fight without splitting up?”
“If we take our time and focus too much on defense, they will just attack us from the side or the back.”
Yes, things were not likely to play out the way that we wanted.
Besides, if we didn’t split up our soldiers, only those in the front would actually be fighting.
They would be doing nothing while the enemy was free to move around.
It would be easier to fight if we split up like they were, and faced them.
In shogi, even when the main battle was happening to the right of the board, pieces were still being moved on the left side. If we moved together like a bunch of meat heads, we would not be able to react to the ever changing situation.
“I see that you’re all here.”
General Miralda stood on the platform.
Everyone that would fight in the upcoming battle was lined up here.
It reminded me of a morning assembly at school.
Of course, Miralda was the principal.
I stood behind Commander Dyle and watched.
“Fonval and his fools will be arriving shortly. What will you do?”
“Kill them all!”
The unsettling voices cried out.
They really weren’t that different from Ogres.
“I understand you well. So, how will you do it?”
“Easy! We will use all our strength to wipe them out!”
Said an especially loud voice.
“No, Vovob. What is that large mouth of yours for?”
She asked. The man with a mouth like a crocodile stumbled for an answer.
Apparently, he was called Vovob. He looked really strong.
“Wipe out? I have never taught you all to fight so elegantly!”
The General continued.
“The enemy underestimates us. So what should we do? Should we take them on?”
The General’s eyes went over the soldiers.
“Vovob. Your mouth exists to tear the enemy apart. And that is what you must do!”
“Yes! I’ll tear them apart with all the power within me!”
“It’s the same for the rest of you. Do what you do best. And… Tear. The. Enemy. To. Shreds!”
The General paused before unleashing every word.
Devour whatever you can get your hands one. Don’t look back.
That’s what she told all of them.
—Be filthy and feed.
It was terribly off-putting.
Was this the army of a Demon King?
Was this how they fought?
As I stood there and scowled, the other soldiers shouted in excitement.
It was more wild than an idol concert. The roaring would likely be heard from far away.
I turned to look at Saifo, hoping that he would agree with me. However, he too was pumping his fist into the air as if this was the apocalypse.
“You’re too easily affected.”
But my protest was erased by the frenzy.
After all, this place was now a crucible of passion.
And so I gazed around and half-heartedly raised my own fist and said, ‘aye’ just so I wouldn’t stick out.
The time for the decisive battle was approaching.
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