It’s about 10 a.m. in the past life after breakfast. The Dauphin, the Minister of War, the two knight commanders and the rest of the leaders of the forces to defeat Cortolezis have gathered in the military conference room. Many of the young nobles are here this time. It’s probably with the intention of making them accumulate merits.
It’s not strange for me to be here, considering that I’m the stablemaster, but it’s obviously strange for me to be here in this room since I’m a student age. It should be, but no one has said anything about it, so I almost feel like I’m the one who’s acting weird.
I was a deputy at the last refugee crisis and I was supposed to be at the end of the line, but now I’m in a position where I can interject at meetings from the very beginning. I don’t feel comfortable with the change in my position. For the time being, I’ll keep quiet.
And your neighbor, the Earl of Halforc, could you do something about the perfume? I can’t say.
Thank you, gentlemen. Kfernagel, let’s get started on the Koltoretsis side of things.
Baron Kufernagel, under the direction of the Dauphin, points to a drawing on the wall. It’s the map of Koltoretsis that Count Vogler showed us the other day. It’s a plan, but it’s very well done.
There are already some marks on the map, but the inverted triangle is the most common one. These marks indicate the places where water can be supplied except rivers. Basically, the troops will be moved on the basis of roads and these marks.
Of course, there is no reason to march in areas where drinking water is scarce or to go off the road until the war changes, unless of course the situation changes.
“The Marquis de Cortolezis seems to be recruiting men and building several forts in his territory.”
“And the farmer.”
Baron Kufernagel nodded at Viscount Davrak’s question. I suppose it’s not surprising that a few of the men frowned. I myself built several forts in the run-up to the Battle of Anheim… but it was hard to find the time, the budget, and the effort.
Besides, if you build several numbers, your opponent will spread out his forces, which is usually a bad idea.
“The fortifications as a whole are arranged in a triangle with the central city of Kortoretsis at the top.”
Baron Kufernagel puts a pin in the map. The fortifications fan out in the direction of King’s Landing, if I had to guess. Kortos is at the corner of the fan. We’re building four forts near the border of the Marquisate of Cortoresz. I guess those forts are meant to hold back the water.
“I suppose we’ll start with the town of Foan.”
Viscount Mitthak nodded in response to Viscount Davrak’s comment. They’re like a pair of fierce generals. It’s going to be a bit hot sitting between them.
The city of Foan lies on the line between Kortos and King’s Landing. It’s right in the center of the fan. It’s not as strong as Anheim because it’s not on the border, but it’s still not the same size as a hastily built fortress.
If we leave it here we’ll have supply lines and we’ll have to keep an eye on our rear when we attack the Marquis of Cortelezis’ stronghold. Of course the Marquis of Cortlezis will have strengthened their defenses in this town.
But if we attack the Foan, we have several forts on the Koltrezys’ front line, plus the forts on the two wings of the Foan town in our way, and even if we eliminate them, there are still forts between Koltres and the Foan. It’s a well thought-out layout.
But wait… If that’s what the enemy wants, they’ll need a good number of cavalry. Does Cortelezis have that many cavalry?
I’m the one who bought up the fodder to keep their cavalry at bay for so long. And yet this enemy’s position… Oh, so that’s what this is about.
First, let’s see what the enemy’s intentions are.
The Dauphin opens his mouth while I’m still trying to understand why he told me about Falliz so early in the morning. He looks at the map.
“The enemy’s intention is to blow the Royal Army deep into Koltrezis territory. These hastily built forts are meant to impede our advance.”
The idea is a vertical defense in depth. It’s a strategy that forces us to bleed as much as possible to slow our advance and increase casualties in exchange for more territory occupied by the Royal Army. Combined with a scorched earth strategy, the burden on the Royal Army would be even greater.
The peasants and inexperienced soldiers are resisting in the front line fortresses, hindering the movement of the Royal Army and increasing their losses. Such a fortress won’t last long, but Cortelezis doesn’t care. The objective is to buy time and put the burden on the supply chain while inflicting damage on the Royal Army.
If the Royal Army advances while attacking defensive strongholds in turn, the time and damage will become more and more negligible. However, if they ignore the forts on the way and head for their opponent’s stronghold of Kortos, the Royal Army will find its supply lines in jeopardy.
I wonder if the enemy understands our strength.
No, I don’t think so. Rather, I’m assuming that the Royal Army is a hastily built force.”
Minister of War Schundler has responded to that question. I agree.
If he assumed that the Knights had suffered losses in the attack on King’s Landing… he must have thought that the invading Royal Army would have many inexperienced soldiers and that it would take time to capture even the fortress where the farmers were holed up. They probably planned to buy time and negotiate at the same time.
“It is thought that they will eventually cut off our rear and cut off our supply lines. Perhaps the enemy cavalry will be in the rear and will try to get at our supply lines when they see an opportunity.”
Viscount Degenkolp nodded in agreement. If we pursue a retreating army from the rear with our supply lines cut off we’ll suffer heavy losses. He probably thinks that if he can take a large number of hostages he can make up for the loss of productivity he’s suffered by dragging the peasants away.
The Dauphin turned to me.
“Zehrfeldt, it is safe to assume that the enemy’s cavalry will not be able to move so freely.”
“Yes, not all of them, but the purchase and transport of the mares is well underway. The Marquis won’t be able to move his cavalry for long.
Some of them look surprised when I tell them that. They look like they’ve already made arrangements. But that’s not the point. His Highness uses the word “enemy cavalry.” He didn’t say “the Knights of Cortelez.”
“But we’re not doing enough with regard to outside forces.”
I don’t blame you.
“What’s the outside?”
It seems that Viscount Crank has been questioned. He opened his mouth to ask me a question. I’m not sure if I should answer or not, but the Dauphin’s eyes tell me to answer, so I do.
“If Fallitz sends out an army, we’re not prepared to deal with them.”
“Oh, my God.”
A few startled voices and a slight murmur. The Dauphin opens his mouth.
“I think it’s best to give you a brief overview of the situation in Farlitz. Farlitz is currently stable for better or worse, save for the demon army. The current king has ruled the country for over 20 years.”
I think the queen is from Delitzsdam. The current King of Farlitz is a good ruler. But if he’s stable for a long time… it’s the Knights who are out of action.
“Although the Knights had a place to play after the Demon King’s resurrection… but it doesn’t mean they can get satisfactory rewards or increase their territory. I hear the Knights are getting frustrated.”
I think it’s the job of those in power to do something about it, but Vine is a large country by nature and can afford it, and it’s difficult to make up for it when it’s too stable to take down the aristocrats who did something stupid and make up for it like our country did.
It wasn’t a very big country, so the king had to keep an eye on things. Perhaps it’s ironic or unfortunate that his domestic rule has backfired.
“Then there’s the matter of King Farlitz. Foreign affairs officials are reporting that he’s been showing signs of being energetic in a bad way lately.”
In history, it is rare that a man ends his life as a great ruler. On the other hand, there are countless cases that a man who was praised as a great ruler at the beginning of his life became a dark lord in his later years. It may be more than the cases that he was a tyrant from the beginning.
King Farlitz must’ve gotten tired of being a “good king”. His ambition… or should I say his sense of adventure… has awakened. Is this also due to the influence of the Demon Army?
“Then came a proposal from the Marquis of Koltoretsis. An oracle that a king will come from Cortlezis. Whether it is true or not I will not say. King Firlitz thinks he has a good chance of winning with Cortoretzis if Firlitz cooperates. He’s underestimated us.
And if we could take Koltoretsis into a semi-independent state and ransom the Vine Kingdom or part of it… We’d have the honor of having defeated a great power. The Kingdom of Vine and Farlitz aren’t exactly enemies, but they’re not on the best of terms.
But the oracle’s influence is great even if the gods are real. Or maybe it’s not just the oracle’s influence but also the fact that we don’t think about difficult things anymore like old Uwe said.
If you can deceive an oracle you can wield it like this. we’ll have to destroy the oracle’s priestess who calls herself a demoness.
While I was thinking about that, the crown prince looked at the map again.
“Now that you understand the situation, I would like you to look at the diagram again. If our army were to attack deep into the territory of Koltoretsis and surround the city of Koltos, and if the Farlitz army were to cut off our rear, you can see that our army would be in danger.”
The Earl of Halforc spoke up in agreement. The other participants nodded.
“So I’m going to make a plan based on the assumption that Farlitz will join us. If there are any objections, we’ll hear them all later. First…”
The Dauphin will outline the plan in detail. It’s a bold plan. But it’s only natural that we’re still concerned that the Demon Army might attack again… and we can’t move our forces for a long period of time…
It’s best to win without a fight, in theory, but it’s too late for that, and Koltoretsis is generally naive in its outlook, or rather in its own. If we leave them half-heartedly forgiven, a small fire may turn into a forest fire.
And they’re probably thinking of tightening their grip both inside and outside the kingdom. It’s not just Farlitz who thinks he can handle an army of demons. Even among the nobles of the Kingdom of Vine there may be people who misunderstand that. It’s probably intended as a warning to the rest of the country and to the rest of Farlitz as well.
The meeting took about as long as it would take over lunch, but everyone had a basic understanding of the plan, and it was decided to start preparing for the sortie. I’ll make the arrangements.