Realist Demon King – 185

Defense in Depth Formation

Like this, Hannibal was overwhelmed on the central battlefront. And then changes started to occur on the other battlefronts as well.

First, the north, where I had sent Slash the slime. The situation had turned on its head here.

The reinforcements meant our forces had doubled, and so they were able to push the ants back into the underground.

They could now spare soldiers to send to the west, which gave us the advantage at that battlefront as well.

Things had already been going well in the west, so the situation only improved.

Realizing this, I gave out a certain order to the ninja corps led by Fuma Kotaro. It was top secret, and I had not told anyone else about it before. But this bold plan surprised even Eve, who stood next to me.

Now, while things were going well on all of the battlefronts, the enemy would not be defeated so easily, and things began to return to being a deadlock in the south and center.
After all, the southern frontline had the enemy’s strongest forces, led by the old man with the fox mask.

They had been fighting for the whole day. And they killed anyone who came close, be they ally or enemy. And the battle showed no signs of ending.

As for the center where I was, this was also in a deadlock.

I used gunpowder and magic to confuse the enemy, but these were some of the enemy’s best soldiers. And ambushes weren’t enough to overwhelm them.

Even though he was burned, General Hannibal gave out orders to his men and tried to destroy the core.

However, he was just delaying the inevitable.

The next day, things had settled completely outside of the south and north. And so the victorious troops began to flood into the other battlefields.

Robin went to the south.

And Jeanne and Bradenboro came to the center, and Hannibal had no choice but to order a retreat.

It was an impressive retreat. They moved silently and with precision. You could have put them in a book about the art of war. And while I was in awe of them, I gathered my own men and started our own invasion.

I was going to send the soldiers underground, where Hannibal escaped. But someone was against it.

It was Eve.
And she had her reasons for it.

“The outcome of this battle has already been decided. You should watch from the castle, master.”

“You say castle, as if more than half of it hasn’t been burned.”

I said dismissively, as I had no intent of sitting back and watching.

I wanted to face Hannibal directly and finish this.

“I will never be able to fight against a general like that in my life again. And so I won’t let the opportunity go to waste.”

“I feel the same. I want to finish things with that old man as well.”

Eve was not able to argue against the both of us. And so she finally relented.

“Now, while I would like to go in and invade them now, there is still something that needs to be done. I will split up my troops here. And one of them will be led by Robin.

“Me?”

Robin looked confused, but it didn’t seem to be because he was worried about leading them.

“Where will you attack after splitting them up?”

Robin asked, and so I explained.

“Alioshe the ant queen is in Count Ismalia’s lands. But their guard would be weak now. Because Hannibal and his men are not there.”

“So that’s why you sent Fuma Kotaro there earlier.”

“Yes. If the situation allows for it, I will have him assassinate Alioshe.”

“However, shouldn’t you focus on destroying the enemy armies now?”

“The ants will all die if we kill the queen. It’s the best way to minimize our losses.”

“I see. Very well. Then I will lead my men and take Alioshe’s head.”

Robin seemed satisfied now. I would have Jeanne and Bradenboro follow him.

“You are sending half of your Heroes to Ismalia?”

“Yes. That is how valuable Alioshe’s head is.”

“You are just saying that. But your real motive is to keep them away from your fight with Hannibal, isn’t it?”

Toshizou joked. But in a way, it wasn’t far off from the truth.

Just like he didn’t want anyone to kill the old man before he arrived.

Like this, I separated my troops in order to face the enemy. But while Hannibal’s army should have been in a desperate situation, they were still very tough.

We were pushed back several days after invading the underground, and then his men returned to the surface.

But instead of attacking me again, they moved up to the north.

“I would expect nothing less of General Hannibal. He sees through my little schemes.”

He had realized that I was targeting Alioshe, and so he went to the rescue.

“Of course, it’s not out of loyalty, but necessity.”

If Alioshe died, then her daughter would die as well. And so he didn’t have many options.

All I did was narrow down his options so that things would be more advantageous for us.

The third act in the battle between the Ashtaroth army and the Hannibal army took place in a grassy field.

Up until now, we had been fighting in the town. So I felt that it was a stroke of good luck that we were able to fight in a wide open space.

The majority of Hannibal’s army was made up of ants called Hive Workers. And they were about as strong as human mercenaries.

Furthermore, Hannibal also had human soldiers that were well trained, and were reminiscent of the knights order.

So you could say that in terms of the quality of soldiers, both sides were equal.

However, the enemy was led by the strongest man, Hannibal Barca. So even we fought with similar numbers and similar formations, we would be at a great disadvantage.

“General Hanibal Barca defeated Rome during the battle of Cannae, while in an overwhelmingly disadvantageous situation. He moved his men expertly, surrounding and annihilating the greater Roman army.”

“Wouldn’t you need superior numbers in order to surround someone?”

Eve asked.

“However, Hannibal had his brilliant younger brother command the cavalrymen. By moving quickly, he was able to make up for the difference in numbers. He moved faster than the enemy on the field, made quicker decisions, and defeated the enemy swiftly.”

“It was like that in the previous battle as well. General Hannibal looked at the battlefront with precision and sent out his soldiers. There was something godly about the way he moved.”

“Yes, he’s like Baal reborn. A genius who sees the subtleties of the battle.”

“However, you are also strong for being able to match him, master.”

“But now, Hannibal doesn’t have his brilliant younger brother, or the cavalry. If he did, we would likely be surrounded and destroyed.”

“That is your postulate.”

I nodded at Eve’s words.

“Yes, that’s all it is. During the first and second acts, it might have looked like General Hannibal had the upper hand, but in fact, I did. Hannibal is not as free as I am. And just like during his previous life, he is plagued by a worthless superior.”

“You mean Alioshe.”

“Yes. He is just one of her generals. From what I understand, she is sending out armies in many other directions, even now.”

“So she is spreading out her fighting forces.”

“Yes. And in the meantime, if my best men invade and kill her, the ant army will collapse.”

“I’m sure that Robin and the others will be successful.”

“I believe in them. But the problem is that General Hannibal now knows about them. And so he will probably risk his own life in order to kill me. He knows that if he does not kill me now, he won’t be able to save Alioshe, no Alesha. Now, will I be able to survive against the fury of the greatest General there ever was?”

I said this self-deprecatingly because I was not confident in myself.

In fact, we were being pressed back by the enemy already.

While we hadn’t been surrounded yet, we were forced to retreat hundreds of meters. That was how hard the enemy was coming at us.

However, there was one thing we had on our side. And that was time.

I had almost infinite time. And the longer I waited, the more likely it was that a messenger would bring me good news.

On the other hand, Hannibal had no time.
This was a big difference.

I had been called the Demon King of strategy. I had defeated my share of Demon Kings.

And I had no intention of losing, and so even a great general such as Hannibal would have a tough time taking me down.

I almost felt bad at how desperate Hannibal’s army seemed as they pushed forward. But I then gave the order for my men to form the defense in depth formation. And my subordinates put it into action perfectly.

Next Chapter

The Legendary Rebuilding of a World by a Realist Demon King

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