The war that happened on the 20th of August, without waiting the sun to set, the war ended with one expected and one unexpected result. The expected result was the loss of the Kingdom.
After all, it was an unfavorable war considering they had lost the first time. The Kingdom no longer has the power to resist against the Imperial forces that fought after being crafty and careful.
It is a result well expected by many.
The already unfavorable Kingdom army fell right in the Empire’s trap, and had their headquarters easily dismantled when assaulted. Even worse, the third prince and the General was taken down, it was a complete defeat in many ways. It was a perfect victory for the Imperial army.
On the other hand, the unexpected result, it was the retreat of the Imperial army. The Imperial forces that was expected to advance into the Kingdom’s capital after winning the war retreated their troops on the 22nd and returned to their country. Regarding that, no countries could wrap their head around the reason, even the Kingdom’s best brains didn’t understand why.
Although it’s a fortune unthinkable for the Kingdom that should’ve been on the express to doom, they probably can’t rest easy not knowing why. Even though the news about the war had spread out to the other countries starting from the Kingdom, it’s likely only the higher up figures of the Empire and those from their alliance, San Rojeul Monarchy would know.
「To spoil our desired victory, what an incompetent Emperor. 」
Outskirts of the Imperial capital, a room that was lent to the reinforcements that came from the San Rojeul Monarchy.
Three young men were around a table. Among them, one man with silver hair insulted the Empire’s most prominent figure, and was reprimanded by another man with narrow eyes sitting across him.
「That’s saying too much. 」
「Hmph. As if I would pay any respect to an Emperor that has no chance to win if not for our help. 」
From the silver-haired, there was a clear contempt towards the Emperor of the Elmenia Empire.
「Even so, we are here as the reinforcements of an alliance of goodwill. There’s no knowing if there’re ears around, refrain from saying such things. 」
「Agree. There’re things that you shouldn’t say even if you knew. 」
At the narrow eyed’s words, the third person with a large build beside the silver-haired agreed while nodding.
「Keh, there’s no one but us here anyways. 」
「It’s about your attitude. If you’re so loose mouth here, if anything happened, you would definitely say something inappropriate. 」
At the silver-haired who showed no reflection, the narrow eyed’s sternly reprimanded again.
「Agree. Your attitude had brought troubles before. 」
The large build laughed.
The narrow eyed changed the topic.
「Since our captain died, we can only wait for further instructions from our home country. Only captain knew the details of the plan after all. 」
「Question. You have not heard anything? 」
The large build asked.
「I heard some fraction of it but not all. I only knew that we are supposed to push the Empire’s back and to induce the war with the Kingdom, and to support in that. But isn’t that something you two know as well? 」
Two people nodded at his words. Even if not all details of the plan were told by their country, they could infer to a certain degree from the deceased captain’s actions and words.
「The plans is to make the Empire our puppet country gradually, is what the captain revealed but……. I don’t know if that’s the captain own thinking or the actual plan. 」
The narrow eyed closed his eyes and shook his head lightly. The flying horse cavalry unit that was sortied in the war took a grave hit. After messing with the Kingdom’s headquarters, the three persons spread out in order to find the remaining soldiers didn’t know all well about the situation.
The captain who had led a thousand of his men encountered enemy, they only knew that half of them, about five hundred cavalries were killed in action from those that survived.
According to them, the nightmare started when they found the last cavalry on the run. Thirty cavalries were sent in advance with the order to apprehend, but they encountered soldiers from the Kingdom, and was annihilated.
The captain and the remaining cavalries who caught up later also entered an battle, and casualties were made one after another because of unbelievable attacks from magic.
Certainly, losing five hundred men is painful. Excluding the injured, the unit had reduced to only thousand two hundred men who can move immediately. But even so, they are still a considerable force in the Imperial capital.
But now that they had lost their captain, they cannot move but wait for further instructions from their country.
「Confirmation. The letter to our home country? 」
「Already sent. The earliest reply would probably arrive a month later. 」
It’s far back to their country.
On top of that, it is a vast ocean separating the two. Although they had a special method to communicate, it will still take a considerable time.
「It’ll be good if nothing happens till then. 」
At the ironic words of the silver-haired, the large build nodded.
「Agree. A civil war might happen in the winning country. Really, things just don’t go the way you want in life sometimes. 」
In this war, the empire had prepared more forces than the enemy, and had established dominance ever since the first fight. On top of that, the Kingdom’s army had moved just as they planned, and they had even made it into a defensive battle even though they’re the one invading.
On top of that, the flying horse cavalries from the Monarchy, feeding fake news into the Kingdom army and trapping them, they had planted the fact of victory.
Originally, they had even planted traps in the retreat routes expected to be used by the Kingdom, even ambushing soldiers were assigned in order to thoroughly annihilate any remains.
That attempt was successful. The Kingdom army lost, and fell in the trap while retreating and annihilated by the ambushing soldiers. They made sure all their effort was not in vain to cripple the Kingdom entirely.
But the chance to finish the invasion was all for nothing now.
「The commander of the right wing, Viscount Lithria was it? 」
「Yeah. The only son of the bigshot noble, Duke Tangram in the Empire. Five others family heads, seven successors, and six second or third sons. A total of eighteen was killed. 」
The narrow eyed revealed the information that he had gotten himself to the large build.
As if continuing the story, the silver-haired snorted with a stupefied look.
「So, enough forces, plenty supplies, but retreated in a panic even though the enemies are no longer in a state to fight, such stupidity. 」
「The nobles in this country holds tremendous power. Even though an Emperor, without the nobles’ support, his position is threatened. 」
The long-desired invasion of the Kingdom. Their choice of not taking the perfect chance to do so, even if the Empire’s people knew the reason, they couldn’t possibly be convinced.
Duke Tangram, whose eldest son died on the battlefield, demanded the Emperor to take responsibility and step down, but the Emperor himself refused.
Following after Duke Tangram that has the biggest faction in the Empire, the nobles in his faction, and the other noble family that had lost their family heads or successors showed distrust to the Emperor and the civil situation in the country worsened rapidly. It’s already at a situation where a civil war is inevitable.
「Question. Who was the one benefitting from the war? The Kingdom avoided their territory being taken but, their army and third prince were lost. The Empire won the war but didn’t reap the rewards and retreated, only piling up deficit for war funds. They could have gotten ransom money if the enemy prince was captured but, thanks to a certain someone, capturing isn’t even an option. 」
「Is it my fault! Their royal family will be all executed when the Kingdom falls anyways! 」
At the large build’s prosecution, the silver-haired took it personally. After all, it was none other than him who attacked the headquarters and accidentally killed the Kingdom prince.
「Certainly it was so at that time. We could have easily advanced to their capital after the victory, a month would be enough to totally disassemble them but……」
The Empire’s internal affairs no longer allows for anything related outside. The narrow eyed’s shoulders dropped along with an audible sigh.
If the original plan failed, the better choice would have been to capture the enemy’s royalty to demand ransom from the Kingdom. But that’s if the third prince in question is still alive.
In this situation, even if the Empire proposed a temporary truce, it’s unclear what action the Kingdom will take. Of course, the Empire might be able to advance the talk in their favor but, if the Kingdom knew of the situation in the Empire now, they would surely make use of it.
If the enemy prince is still in the Empire’s hands now, a one-sided negotiation might’ve been possible.
「We have considerable losses too, our captain was killed. In the end, the Empire, Kingdom and ourselves, all of us were hurt without profits, huh. 」
「So troublesome, why not go take down the Kingdom by ourselves. 」
「Foolish. No way such a selfish decision is allowed. 」
Certainly, the flying horse cavalries has enough power to easily trample on the dying Kingdom. But their home country might not be desiring that already, and there aren’t any resources to upkeep the territory after invading the Kingdom and annihilating them. On top of that, they would obviously antagonize the Empire.
Leaving aside the two that had started arguing again, the narrow eyed stood up to declare the conclusion.
「In any case we must wait for further instructions, to not be involved in the storm brewing in the Empire, notify our men to be more careful than ever. 」
A month later, was when they received instructions from their country. It was 『Return immediately』.