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Chapter Two: Cheese is Very Delicious
The youth finally opened his eyes at the sharp pain running through his shoulder. The surroundings were oversaturated with the rising groans of patients. The more his consciousness cleared, the more his breathing became disheveled. His vision swayed. Taking a deep breath, he prepared himself and looked at his own body timidly. What limbs am I missing—-that was his only worry. If he paid attention, he had no arms or legs–was the tragedy that was all too close to him everyday.
The happy news was that his limbs were intact, and he was not missing a single extremity. He had been laid on a shabby bed, and his shoulder and knee which were injured by arrows had been dressed in bandages. The youth needed a moment before feeling relieved that he was somehow saved.
When he covered his face with both hands and ruminated on the fact that he was still living, his main benefactor, whom he deep down dreaded to meet, came along, holding a tray with a pitcher of water and two plain pieces of bread on it.
“Branch Castle Antigua. Our home. So, hungry?”
“……No, just gimme the water. I don’t want to eat anything right now.”
The youth lightly waved his hands to refuse, and Schera pointed to the bread and asked,
“Then, you don’t need this bread?”
“Ahh, you can eat it. I don’t have an appetite.”
“Much thanks. It’ll be tough if you don’t eat in the times that you can. I won’t give it back even if you tell me to. Never.”
She passed the youth a glass of water and gnawed at the bread that did not look very delicious. She made a smile of supreme bliss, and slowly chewed the dry, hard bread.
This person is actually happy, the youth thought.
“……Hey, after that, what happened to our platoon?”
“Half of Jira’s division was annihilated. The soldiers that somehow escaped were worn-out. The surviving members of our platoon were you, me, and maybe three other people? Unfortunately, Platoon Leader was not carried here.”
“……Platoon Leader, so he passed away.”
“He can’t treat me ever again. Truly unfortunate.”
The glory of Jira’s division was that the commander died in battle and that a great majority were annihilated.
General Yalder and The Third Army Corps members that were hiding as the ambushers, upon receiving news of defeat, were greatly disconcerted, made a commotion, retraced their steps to the back to the fortress with hasty speed, and tightly closed the gates.
The other party, the Royal Capital Liberation Army, wrapped up the rest of the defeated army, and their morale momentously started increasing.
The young man Commissioned Officer Fynn Kattef who killed Jira was greatly extolled as a Hero.
The Empire, which had hitherto been waiting and watching, sped up their military expansion and began to harbor aspirations of crossing the Alucia River, the national border. They began to assemble military forces in the Northwest as well.
At the moment, the two were glaring at each other, and tensions were minimized, but if the Empire declared war, the outbreak of war might involve the whole continent. Presently, it was the Kingdom’s civil war, and it wasn’t a war that involved fellow nations yet.
However, everyone could see that it was only a matter of time.
“Until new personnel are attached to our unit, I will be the acting Platoon Leader. My rank was that of a common soldier, so I have been promoted to Temporary Second Lieutenant. In other words, your superior officer. You’ll be in my care from now on.”
“Leave the jokes to your scythe. My wounds tingle.”
“I wasn’t lying. The enemy commander from that time seemed to be of some renown. Having brought back proof of his affiliation, I received words of praise. Along with tasty food subsequently.”
Schera had repatriated, bringing back the head of the enemy commander in the midst of defeat–with an additional bonus of carrying back a teammate.
She had been extolled with words of praise from the Company Commander, and until a successor could be determined, she had been entrusted with commanding the platoon.
It wasn’t a promotion per se; anyone would have been fine actually. Who took command of a mish-mash of reservists was not a matter of concern.
“…………Really? It’s the end of the world.”
“With your injuries, it seems you won’t be able to return to duty presently. You should go back to your hometown, and live a quiet life to the utmost. Plow the fields fervently, and send me some food please.”
Soldiers with wounded shoulders, knees, etc. were not usable. They would be sent back to the country before long, and maybe they would be recruited again once they were healed.
After all, that was just what consumable goods were. Well, just being sent back could be said to be exceptional. The worst case would be being abandoned on the battlefield. The youth was innerly relieved. For the moment, he had been saved. He could say he was fortunate enough.
“Well then, take care of yourself. Once you leave here, we will probably not meet again.”
Schera held the tray under her arm and pivoted on her heel to leave. The youth raised his voice in a panic. He had forgotten to say something important.
“Ah, wa-wait a bit.”
“……What is it I wonder.”
“T-Thanks for saving me. Really. If you weren’t there, I would have died. So, thanks.”
The youth lowered his head so he would not make eye contact. In that impulsive moment, he feared that Death’s scythe would sink into his own neck. That wasn’t a good thing to think about his companion who had saved him. However, he was scared.
“Treat me to a meal something. Of course, with cheese. That would be nice.”
With a light wave of her hand, Schera left the field hospital crammed with casualties behind while chewing her bread.
—-Antigua Branch Castle, Headquarters
Shouting at the downcast staff officers was a single, middle-aged man with a flushed face.
He was the commanding officer of the Kingdom’s Third Army, General Yalder. He had a short temper and largely lacked discretion, but as far as military offense went; he could boast that none in the Kingdom could match him.
His niche was his heavy infantry and heavy cavalry, nicknamed The Steel Division, and constantly repeated fierce assaults. They boasted stubborn defense like an iron wall. Yalder had poured his blood into raising them.
He piled up spectacular achievements for suppressing insurgents and thieves and skirmishing with the Empire. Thus, he acquired actual results along with pride.
It was to his disgrace that 10,000 soldiers had been wiped out, thoroughly caught in the enemy’s ambush and that his confidant Jira had been killed in the end. He ground his teeth so hard that blood flowed from his lips, and his face was so flushed that it looked like a blood vessel would burst at any time.
“F*ckf*ckf*ck-!!Those rebels are making fun of me-!! The glory of the name Third Corps is sobbing at this rate!”
“Sir, please calm yourself. Certainly, we lost 10,000 officers and men, but our main body is still unhurt. It is vital that we harden our defense of this castle right now.”
Chief Staff Officer Sidamo Arte calmly advised.
Born from a fallen aristocratic family, he rose in rank with just his wit. Naturally, it had been painstaking to set up a network of personal connections, and his pride had been trodden on countless times.
But perhaps as a result, he had splendidly made the position of Third Army Corps Staff Officer his own and even went so far as to earn Yalder’s confidence.
He was 30 years old and still young, and even as only a support, there were good indications that he would be further promoted.
He had first been opposed to Yalder’s surprise attack idea, but he couldn’t usurp a military officer’s authority–he could do nothing but give a gentle warning. Since if Sidamo incurred the displeasure of a superior officer, he could kiss his position goodbye.
“You don’t have to say that; I know already!! However, I was entrusted with 100,000 soldiers from His Majesty, like I could just hide here. I’ll be made a laughingstock-!!”
Yalder raged while sending his spit flying.
“The Liberation Army—-No, the rebel army, has reconciled with and absorbed the soldiers from Jira’s division who had surrendered. Furthermore, they are working on expanding their region of control.”
Another Staff Officer reported on the Liberation Army’s state of affairs.
“If we just twiddle our fingers like this, those friggen’ rebels will only grow more impudent. Those fools, have they they forgotten their obligation to the Kingdom!!? I will eradicate everyone, even their families!!”
Yalder forcefully slapped his desk. The documents having been affected scattered, and the civil officials gathered them.
“There are currently no movements from the Empire’s Army. However, there are often strange signal fires being sent up from observation posts……”
“Hmph, didn’t that start a while ago? I don’t believe those Empire scum would do something like seriously attack. They’re focusing all their efforts on backing the rebel army from behind. They are desperate to protect their own assets, no mistake.”
One military officer let out a sigh, and a civil official objected.
“However, they are increasing their military preparations. This is news from a spy undergoing military drills as we speak.”
“Misinformation, or perhaps deceived by lies. How many times has this happened up until now!? Each time, we strengthen our defenses. Every time, it’s been a fool’s errand; I won’t let you say that you’ve forgotten that!”
“Strengthening the defense of our national borders is commonplace. Calling it a fool’s errand, is that not an exaggeration? What do you plan to do if perchance the Empire crosses the border and launches an attack!?”
“Hmpf. Even if the Empire mobilized all of their troops, they still would not even reach half of the Kingdom’s soldiers. War is won by numbers. In other words, no matter what skirmishes we lose, at the very end, we, the Yuze Kingdom, will win. Don’t you understand that, you civil official?”
At some statistic that was pulled out of somewhere, the civil officer let out an overbearing sigh.
“Won’t even reach half our numbers? What kind of intelligence is that!? The Empire is attempting to expand their military more than they have before!”
“And so what of it! Don’t you know how many weak soldiers there are!!?”
With that spark, the military officials and civil officials started arguing on their own accord. This was a frequent occurrence, and Sidamo could no longer stop it. Just intervening would be ridiculous.
“Your Excellency. This is our best chance, while the enemy is drunk on their victory. Our numbers overwhelmingly exceed theirs. There is no need for planning and such, let’s squash them with a frontal attack!”
When a single, brave division commander raised his voice, other military officers followed with words of agreement. ‘Haven’t they learned the hard way,’ Sidamo was amazed, but it wasn’t shown on his face. This was often the case with The Third Army Corps.
“Mph. You guys’ proposal is agreeable! Shall I show you all the fearsomeness of our Steel Division! Chief Staff Officer Sidamo, do you have any comments!?”
“Sir-! Salvador Fortress, where the rebel army is holed up, has been deteriorated by age and is unfit for defense. I fear that an ambush may come while we march on the Alucia Plains.”
Sidamo spread out a map on the desk and pointed to the plains.
“If so, let them come. Our heavy infantry will round up all of them!”
One military officer pushed the horse piece representing the Kingdom’s army straight to Salvador Fortress.
“Their small force is quite unlucky. If they stay in the castle, we crush them. If they are aware of their disadvantage and come out onto the plains, then it will absolutely be our victory. Isn’t our victory assured?”
Yalder humorously laughed, and guzzled down water from an extravagant vessel.
“No doubt about it, the enemy is formulating a plan. There is need for sufficient caution against fire. We must not fall prey to the same one that Major General Jira fell prey to.”
“If we engage on the plains, then isn’t there no need to worry about ambushes? Even if there is one, their numbers are few. We can crush them underfoot.”
“The enemy is reading our path of advance. With certainty, they have some kind of trap I believe.”
“Sir Chief Staff Officer, you worry too much. You’ll die early at this rate.”
At a division commander’s teasing, the military officers laughed.
“—-Your Excellency. This is not excessive caution. We ought to send out the scouts while taking maximum precaution.”
“I get it. I get it. Chief Staff Officer Sidamo’s words also have reason. As you say, we will be sufficiently vigilant, and then entirely crush the opposition. Is that enough?”
“Sir- I am grateful for having my humble opinion taken into consideration!”
When Sidamo respectfully bowed his head, Yalder nodded in approval many times.
“Right. The Third Army’s course of action has been determined. We will decapitate the heads of the rebels hags, and with our hands clear the name of Jira! We will attack with 80,000, and 10,000 will be left to defend this castle. We depart to the front the day after tomorrow! Everyone have your preparations in order!!”
The military officers saluted and left the military main office.
Sidamo brooded for a short while, but with a light wave of his head, he followed after them.
—-Antigua Branch Castle, Campgrounds.
A 100,000 strong army was scraped up from the neighboring area, and Schera’s company was driven out from the barracks that was originally theirs to use. They were forced into huddling in a shabby tent and resting around a fire.
“Man. Thanks to those military cadet guys from the Royal Capital, my body’s freezing from this coldness. Ahh, it’s so cold. I’m actually going to freeze to death.”
“If the military police hear that kind of grumbling, they’d gratefully start preaching to you. Don’t get me involved bro.”
“I swear that the day I get preached to is the day I die. Don’t abandon me.”
“Shaddup. Get away from me. I don’t swing that way.”
“Jeez. The amount of food has also decreased. I can’t do anything like this. Also, our new Platoon Leader is a little touched. What are the higher ups thinking…”
“Haha. If she just had a bit more meat to her, wouldn’t that be nice. Even though she eats so much, just where the heck does it all go? Personally, I’d want her breasts to be a bit fuller.”
“I’m an ass-man myself. Unfortunately, our Platoon Leader’s got nothing anywhere.”
The devastated platoons were merged into one amalgamated platoon. This was the platoon that Schera came to lead. However, it was a small one of just 10 men.
“……We, were saved by Schera——, no, by Platoon Leader Schera. Her outward appearance is like that, but her strength is for real. She annihilated the enemy soldiers alone. You guys too, should know that.”
“I hear ya. I’ve heard that so many times already. Well, as a platoon under such a great leader, we might be able to live long lives.”
“It’s promising… I don’t really care for having to die. Shall we just humbly hope we’ll become heroes, not attack, and watch the show?”
“Hahaha. Cheers, to Sir Platoon Leader Schera, our Hero!”
The soldiers started drinking alcohol while revealing large smiles.
The members who were originally colleagues of Schera shivered as they tightly held their bowls of soup.
“……What’s the matter?”
“N-No. Nothing. It’s nothing.”
“Weirdo. Your soup finally cooled down. Hurry up and finish it. After this is happy time drinking alcohol.”
Schera was the one who got him out of trouble. If she wasn’t there, he would have died there.
Therefore, though he thought of her like Death itself, he wouldn’t say so.
Even though the figure of Death could be clearly seen, he wouldn’t say so. If he did, it might be his turn next. Therefore, he wouldn’t say so. He would attract the eyes of Death.
When he finished his soup that was as thin as water, he decided to join the soldiers in basking in the warmth of the bonfire, and he stretched out both hands.
Around that time, Schera was elegantly walking in the cold weather with the proof of Second Lieutenant rank triumphantly attached to her self.
Although she was greatly dissatisfied at the fact that the amount of food had decreased recently, success, she was gifted bread with cheese from a colleague she saved. While walking on the ramparts and gazing at the stars, she was enjoying her luxurious dinner.
“……Suspicious shadows detected. Quite free anyhow, shall I go check them out I wonder. I might be able to receive some delicious food. Once in awhile, I want to eat fruit. It’s only been dried stuff recently.”
Said Schera who licked her lips.
In her line of sight was a group looking around restlessly while walking as if trying not to make their footsteps heard.
Over their shoulders hung a large bag, it was as if they were doing a “Moonlight Flit.” She could see that there were about ten or so people, but she couldn’t tell in detail.
She lightly flipped her Second Lieutenant proof-of-rank with her fingers, and Schera descended down the stairs and walked towards the group stealthily working.
When the moonlight shined on her scythe, its warped blade cruelly glinted as if having found prey.
I shall follow you in your journey of lols
Very interesting. Thanks for the chapter.