TL: For my patreons, if you haven’t seen the announcement, please take a look at it.
First of all, I’m seriously sorry for the long chapter update. I’m coming home every day after my part-time job at 9-10 pm after the Chinese new year, and I’m so tired that I just can’t do much after. I even left my keys in the door (not the gate, fortunately) and got lectured on it -_-… My job ends around March 3-4, and maybe a couple of days more in March. I currently don’t even have the time to fix past grammar issues, sigh. If you do see mistakes in the recent chapter, go ahead and point it out, I’ll be fixing them next week.
There should be an estimated 17 TAS chapters in March as well (and it should clear all existing patreon + donations).
Also, important information below, I suggest reading it.
Chapter 111 – Trentheim and the young lord
[I’m sure that old knight is thinking that he has seen through my goals. How unfortunate for him.]
Indeed, the old knight did not know what sort of existence was he was facing.
Perhaps it was due to Brendel’s system or his eidetic memory in his past life, but he was could remember almost every lord in the past and future, and it did not matter whether they were insignificant or not.
He was familiar with them just like how he was familiar with his swordsmanship. From the start of Madara’s war to the second era of the game, he had done enough quests to meet up with almost every lord who had some kind of territory.
Lord Palas would definitely think over his strategies again if he knew Brendel was capable of reciting his nickname when he was a child. But unlike the youth, there was no second chance for him.
Brendel was grinning broadly; the old knight actually retreated back into his lands instead of continuing to advance to Macsen. After he finished reading the report from ‘Raven’, he tossed it back to the table.
Raven was the name given to the scouting wizards by him. It was quite fitting since most of them used ravens as their familiars to send back the reports.
“That’s a pity.” Raban had also read the report and sighed with a little disappointment: “The old knight is really cautious. We would have won half the victory if he tried attacking us—”
“Putting your hope on our enemies? This isn’t a good habit, commander Raban.” Amandina eyed from Brendel’s side, her voice chilly.
The lead advisor under Brendel was increasing her authority with each passing day. Even though she was saying it in a reproachful manner, Raban did not feel anything out of place, and she was even right to do so.
Raban simply laughed for a few moments: “I only feel that it’s a little regrettable. We will face a difficult battle in the next battle.”
“Not necessarily.” Brendel refuted.
Lord Palas might be cautious, but his very bones were steeped with an unyielding personality. Since Brendel knew what sort of strategies the old knight loved employing, he could logically guess what moves the latter would make next.
This information was merely the confirmation of his traps working. No matter what decision Lord Palas made, it would not go beyond his predictions.
On the other hand, Amandina looked at Brendel with astonishment, to the point where she was a little lost.
Brendel had called her in to inform her of his plan before Tagiv left the city. The traps that Lord Palas thought were everywhere, were actually located just around his army. If Lord Palas actually went out in full force to chase Tagiv or attack Macsen, Brendel might actually find himself at a disadvantage.
But it proved that his ‘strategies’ were more like a prediction.
“But why would that be?” Raban did not understand.
“Lord Palas is someone who graduated from a royal academy which specializes in grooming commanders. He also participated in the November War. Thus, he is one of the most orthodox commanders trained in an orthodox academy. Do you know that this academy has a few lines written in Kirrlutz in their entrance?
‘The objectives of a war are to attain your objectives and prevent your enemies from reaching their objectives.’
This is the core directive of Aouine’s military strategies. All commanders who come from a military school treat this sentence as their dictionary.”
Raban nodded first, with Cornelius and Medissa agreeing moments after they thought about it.
Since Raban came from a military background, he was familiar with this sentence. Cornelius had a few decades in battlefields and he could understand the verity of this sentence. Medissa also had her own understanding of the Silver Elves’ wisdom and agreed with it.
“The Subterrane Dwellers are moving out in full force to harass Lord Palas. It’s like telling him that we’re like a trapped beast, so we want to seek a chance to defeat the enemies here before Count Randner’s grand army arrives, right?” Amandina woke up from her stupor and asked.
“But isn’t that exactly the situation we are in right now?” Raban asked.
“Certainly,” Brendel nodded, “but are we going to be so foolish to tell their commander our situation and let them deal a ‘crit’ on us?”
He was sitting lazily in his chair and placed both his legs on the table, completely acting like a ruffian rather than a lord. Amandina’s eyebrows were twitching badly, and Felaern’s scowl was even more pronounced.
But the youth put on a smug look and added a certain jargon.
“Well,” Brendel’s expression did not even change as he lied, “it’s an abbreviation for a critical hit. I found it in an ancient journal which contains strategies about battlefields.”
Raban nodded with comprehension. Brendel continued speaking:
“But our strategy is still working. Our ‘supposed’ objective is to have a battle right now, but Lord Palas naturally would not let us have our way due to Aouine’s military directive. However, I find it hard to believe that he would just retreat without doing anything else. If he retreats so openly, he might be trying to hide his real goal…..”
“Or it could be a trap for us, if we carelessly chase his army, he might be able to get us instead,” Raban said.
“But what is his end goal?” Cornelius interrupted.
“He obviously wants Count Randner’s entire army to gather in his territory before launching an all-out assault.” Raban had completely gone into Lord Palas’s perspective and answered again.
“So we should still send out troops to break them?”
“His retreat might be a cover to hide his intention to attack Macsen secretly—”
Different voices came quickly and overlapped each other.
“Regardless of whatever is lying in wait, there are only two choices,” Amandina spoke calmly and came to a conclusion, “either we wait for their army to finish gathering, or we attack them right away without hesitation.”
But Medissa immediately interrupted.
“The way how we deduce a military outcome isn’t so simple. This isn’t a game of rock-paper-scissors. We need to understand what the military officer is thinking. Some things cannot be gauged easily. The strength of the opponent’s army, their resources, their morale, even the weather and geographical locations. Even having reinforcements coming to their aid is something to consider.”
“Two choices, with so many factors; any variations on the two choices feel like it wouldn’t be easy to deal with.”
Brendel listened to every opinion and finally spoke: “You forgot the most important thing, Lord Palas’s personality.”
“But what exactly is your plan, my lord?” Raban asked the youth.
Based on Medissa’s explanation, was it not easy for Lord Palas’s scheme to work with all these factors? And it seemed like the latter had made the best decision without them knowing.
They were already at a disadvantage and needed to resolve things before Count Randner’s army arrive. Even if Lord Palas did not plan any schemes and merely retreated to his territory, they would still lose once Count Randner’s army arrived.
But Brendel looked at them in utter disbelief: “Isn’t my plan working already? Each of you is beside me and you don’t understand what I’m doing?”
Everyone was shocked.
The youth’s smile was almost mischevious and he pointed his finger to the side of his head:
“Your thinking is limited. If I’m the one who tells you there are only two options, are you going to be stuck with these two options?
I’m the one who’s surprised, since two of my commanders here have been through at least a few decades of battles. Was there really no battle that took you by surprise and had a different outcome than what you had expected? If you don’t think outside the box, you won’t be able to see any other options, let alone the third option—”
Everyone was silenced, but Raban quickly asked with a frown:
“What is the third option?”
“Let’s talk about the first and second option. Since Lord Palas already retreated instead of meeting us head-on with his entire army, his first option would be sending in a separate army to march to either Firburh or Macsen, but we will be able to directly break our current problem if he tries this move. Of course, I doubt he’s that foolish, and I think even Graudin wouldn’t make this silly mistake.
The second option, if he chooses to shut himself up in his territory, we do nothing and wait for his army and we fight Count Randner’s full army. That would be quite dangerous for us.
However, we can directly move to the third option that I want instead of waiting if he retreats—”
Brendel showed his palms: “What exactly do we lack? Time.”
“But what does time do for us, my lord?” Amandina had been frowning nearly all the time from the start of the month.
Brendel reminded her in a serious tone when he spotted her furrowed brows: “Frowning all the time will cause wrinkles, my lady.”
“I’ll get you to pay it back sooner or later, my lord.” Amandina rolled her eyes and glowered at him.
Brendel laughed heartily, as though it was a great accomplishment to get his advisor to relax even a little, and explained:
“Don’t worry, time will eventually show you that it’s our ally. The third option….. is securing my inherited land, and from there, our options will expand again.”
He was not exaggerating.
Since the druids had sent him a message, he knew that they most likely had Valhalla’s news. It was going according to the history he knew of, and thus he made a number of arrangements, including Tagiv’s harassment to delay the old knight from attacking the Macsen region.
The meaning of Valhalla was important to him, and he needed to ensure that he got that legendary land before the Count Randner’s army arrived. As long as he got it, everything would not be a problem any longer.
He could either retreat there if his army was defeated at Firburh, though he did not expect to lose as there were the addition of the Druids in the upcoming battle too.
Everyone looked at him doubtfully, but they at least knew that their young lord did not boast.
But Raban still felt that it was still a little strange and asked: “But would that old knight discover signs that he has fallen into your scheme?”
“And did any of you discover what exactly I’m planning?” Brendel asked him instead.
“B-but what happens if he tries to pick the first option again, and attack with his entire army?”
“Sometimes a decision decides everything. The outcome of a battle can turn with just a subtle detail,” Brendel wagged his finger from side to side, “one of the worst trait a commander could have is to be indecisive, and to change a decision repeatedly is even worse.
In any case, Lord Palas has already retreated instead of attacking. Tagiv will constantly harass him all the way. When he finally tries to pick the option of attacking us with his full army, he would have to deal with the army’s sagging morale because he fled from a harassment instead of fighting. It’s too late for regrets at this point in time.”
“Do you mean that he’s going to lose in either choice of attacking now or waiting for his reinforcements?”
“Just like you’re stuck with the two options that all of you are discussing, I’m also giving him the same question supplied with the answers that you came up with. Why wouldn’t he lose? Sometimes you need to think outside the box instead of trying to react to what your opponents’ goals are…..”
Brendel’s words trailed off. Everyone was looking at him with an odd expression as though he was a devil. The youth rubbed his nose and felt embarrassed. This was not his strategy, but Incirsta’s during the second War of the Black Rose. The Black Lord humiliated the old knight with the same strategy, and he merely copied it.
“So what exactly should we do now?” Raban asked again.
“Just do your current tasks well,” Brendel answered, “and there’s a second issue that I want to talk to all of you about. I’m going to leave Firburh for a trip that will last around a month or more.”
He leaned in with all his fingers crossed together like he was praying: “I don’t hope to return to this territory with everything messed up.”
“My lord, you’re leaving again?” Amandina’s frown returned: “To Schafflund, or……?”
“It’s a secret.”
The youth raised a finger and placed on his lips.