An hour had passed since the first clashing of the two armies. The Kingdom’s headquarters received unorganized reports from the fighting units one after another.
「The left wing is in contact with the enemy’s right wing! 」
「Right wing, being suppressed by the enemy! 」
「The center is in a lock! All advances have halted! 」
With the topography map spread on the table, there were various smaller models that represented all the different units that are on the move.
「Is it possible to win? 」
Although it’s a tense situation, the person who couldn’t comprehend even with the map showing the latest updates on the war asked.
「Yes, Your Highness. Although we aren’t superior in our military prowess, we have already formed a plan for victory. 」
Facing the questioner with his body up straight, the deputy general, Ortrich answered.
Although he’s the vice general, Ortrich is a leader that has the most actual experience. In the entire army, he was only being respectful towards one person. In other words, the general of the war, the third prince of the Nagras royal family.
「The enemy have quite a lot more men than our sides……」
「I can’t deny that. Our side will surely crumble first if we challenged them frontally. But the plan to avoid so is already in action. Hey, explain it to his highness. 」
The general ordered one of the strategists beside him to explain the details. The strategist that received the order stood out. To not block the sight of the third prince, he extended a pointing stick at the table that had the map laid out.
「Currently, our army, is separated into the left, right wing and the center. The Empire is similarly divided in this fashion, so all units will clash either way. 」
Seeing the third prince nod, the strategist continued his explanation.
「Of course, if it continues like this, our side is disadvantageous. But our insider had already notified us of the Empire’s operation strategy. 」
「Empire’s strategy? 」
「Yes. That is why we will use that information to our advantage in order to turn the situation around. The enemy plans are ――」
The operation strategy that the spy had gotten from the Empire. It is to fake a retreat on their left wing to bait the Kingdom’s right wing. They would then send out troops that will take our right wing’s back, then, their left wing would turn around and perform a pincer attack.
If their plans worked, the Kingdom’s right wing that is already disadvantageous in numbers would collapse. Even if the center and left wing is kept, the crumbled right wing would allow the enemy troops to intrude into their headquarters, deciding their defeat.
「On top of that, the troops that would flank our right wing are the cavalry unit that had gotten us previously. 」
「The troops sent from the southern continent, you meant that? 」
The cavalry unit that rides on unfamiliar beasts, their identity was eventually found out by the Kingdom. Although their true power is not known, considering their previous achievements, they aren’t to be underestimated.
「So that cavalry unit will be participating too huh……」
「That is why we will use them. If we know they are going to attack, we have hands to counter them. We have supplied the right wing with suitable equipment against cavalries. 」
The strategist starts to explain about their plans in more detail.
「When the enemy’s left wing fake retreats, we will hold back on our pursuit to not be drawn in into their formation. 」
Moving the models representing the Empire’s left wing backwards and the cavalry model of the Empire towards the Kingdom’s right wing.
「Our right wing will take on a defensive formation in preparation to meet the enemy’s cavalry unit, spears and shields have been provided. At the same time, the main unit in the center that has saved on their energy will――」
The model of the center unit of the Kingdom pushed toward the right, and took the cavalry from behind. Following that, he moved more models around the right wing, and took the cavalry unit by its side.
「Our cavalries will encircle and crush their cavalry unit, is basically the essence. It will be too late for the enemy’s left wing to come in as reinforcements as they took too much distance. If we can finish off their cavalries quick, then it’ll be an easy feat to follow through and crush their left wing as well. 」
If even one of the three sides crumbles, they wouldn’t be able to keep up their army formation. Counter and taking advantage of the Empire’s strategy and crushing their left wing, and together with momentum, they will crush their headquarters. That is the strategy the Kingdom had come up with.
「I see. Is that why the left wing is ordered not to attack aggressively? 」
「It’s as Your Highness said. I’m impressed with Your Highness’ insight. The left wing’s role is to be a distraction. Their orders are to attack the enemy to the extent they wouldn’t realize our plans. 」
Since the plan is to intercept the enemy’s cavalry unit with speedy troops of their own, the Kingdom had stationed troops that excels in agility in the center. The left wing is mostly formed of drafted soldiers. And among them are the soldiers from Thoria as well.
Since there is a risk of getting done in if the three sides are overly unbalanced, few territorial armies are put at the left wing as well, but no one expected the commander of Thoria had volunteered to do so.
Although it sounds good to be stationed in a safe side since they aren’t ordered to attack aggressively, it also meant that they had less chance to get achievements.
It’s almost a certain victory since they had known the enemy’s plans in advance, the other territorial army commanders couldn’t wrap their heads around why the commander from Thoria side did so.
The Kingdom’s strategists would’ve wanted to put Thoria army on the right wing or center but, it couldn’t be helped since there weren’t any other who wanted to be on the left wing.
With no choice but to station the Thoria army on the left wing, the other territorial army are all focused on the center or right wing.
「But the center vanguards are pushing quite aggressively unlike the left wing, the enemy is only defending passively there. 」
「As expected, if both our left wing and the center unit wouldn’t aggressively push, the enemy might suspect something. That’s why we have ordered the center’s vanguard to aggressively advance. 」
「……Without caring for casualties? 」
The prince seemed to have an uncomfortable expression.
「The center vanguard are the mercenaries. Our soldiers aren’t being used. 」
「But even so, mercenaries are our citizens right? 」
「Excuse me for my rudeness, Your Highness. Mercenaries aren’t people that are loyal to a country. The mercenaries we gathered aren’t all from our country, and even many of the mercenaries in our country chose to side with the Empire in this war. There’s no need to sympathize them. 」
「Is that so……」
Although it seems like he’s still a little unconvinced, the prince avoided any more than that. An effective strategical choice isn’t necessarily a moral choice. In fact, majority aren’t. In any case, it will just introduce chaos if the prince decided to barge in right now.
The war changed progressively without regards to the prince’s opinions. The proof of that is a message that had arrived at the headquarters.
「Message! The enemy’s left wing showed signs of retreating! 」
The report made the surroundings covered in murmurs. After all, in this war, that is the key that would bring victory to the Kingdom. In other words, it is soon the time to decide the outcome of the war. General Ortrich nodded heavily, and gave out instructions to the strategists immediately.
「Notify the knights and the center unit! The operation will proceed as planned! 」
The strategists all had heated eyes. With few people calling out to the messengers, the prince who is the only odd one out of the tent that had many busy workers asked the general.
「General, this means――」
Facing the prince that had stopped his words, the general replied with a serious face.
「Yes. It is the development expected. 」
「It’s just as we thought huh. 」
The headquarters, commanding office of the Imperial army. Just like the Kingdom, they had a map illustrating the war on the table, and surrounding it are officers.
The officer that uttered so while under the gazes of other officers, he is the commander-in-chief of the invasion army. Even though he seems to be in his thirties, he was given the role to take command of an army of a large-scale war, it was because that he is one of the most powerful nobles in the Empire.
On top of that, he had a connection with the royal blood as the Imperial princess three generations ago married into their family. As such, he was one of the few trusted by the current Emperor.
「They’ve bitten on the bait nicely. 」
Hearing the words from the commander-in-chief, the nearest officer nodded
「With this, it’s finally one load off the shoulder. If they didn’t get bite it, then what was the meaning of staying in this wasteland for so long huh. 」
「Precisely. It was worth the effort to hold down the heated soldiers and building the base. 」
Utterly crushing all of the Kingdom’s military, and march towards the capital without anyone blocking them and take their capital. It is the Empire’s aim. Even though the Empire had won previous wars with the Kingdom, they had tasted many bitter failures because of the long distance from their own capital.
However, they wouldn’t repeat the same mistake this time, they had their goal set and determined.
Rather than reclaiming their territory, they needed to wipe out the entirety of the Kingdom’s military. A bait was needed for that. That is why they have leaked some information regarding their strategy.
「The enemy’s right wing didn’t pursue our left wing, it seems like they are keeping a distance. Manipulated by fake news, they must be quite happy thinking they have gotten us instead by now. 」
The officer on the other end of the table that had brought in this specific report said so.
Just like what he said, the Kingdom army hadn’t pursued but took a distance from the Empire’s left wing. Although they must be thinking they have cleverly outplayed the Empire, it is the other way around.
Of course, even if the Kingdom didn’t bite the bait, it’s not a concern. If that happens, they will just act according to the information they leaked out in the first place, sandwiching the Kingdom with the cavalry unit from San Rojeul Monarchy and their left wing, crushing the Kingdom’s right wing.
Although it might take a little more time to do so, it doesn’t change the fact that the Empire holds advantage over numbers.
Though, if they won this way, there would be many casualties. That is why the Empire had thought up of a perfect plan and threw out a bait, purposely leaking it to the spy they’ve identified, it was a snare that had been set up over a period of time.
It’s certain the Kingdom had bitten the bait. With their eyes too concerned on victory, they were too careless at what they should trust. The Empire’s left wing and the Kingdom’s right wing had quite some distance, the Kingdom would probably deploy their cavalries to toughen up the defense there.
But that was a useless preparation, all officers of the Empire there knew. The mounts of San Rojeul Monarchy, the event of what they call 『Flying Horses』surprising even the top brass of the Empire is still fresh in their memories. This time, it will be the Kingdom’s turn to be surprised.
「I can already imagine the surprised expression on the Kingdom’s soldiers. 」
Looking around the other officers, the commander-in-chief made a villainous smile.