The blood runs deep between the Nagras Kingdom and Elmenia Empire. Their history traces all the way back to the destruction of a certain kingdom that occupied the Corsas land.
The branch of the royal Corsas family whose kingdom met its last two hundred years ago escaped to the Elmenia lands, and built a new country, the now Elmenia Empire.
And Nagras was the city-state that had expanded its influence and territory while the ruining of Corsas Kingdom happened.
The southeast territory of the Nagras Kingdom, it was originally Corsas Kingdom’s territory. And according to the Elmenia Empire who claims to be the rightful successor to the ruined Corsas Kingdom, Nagras Kingdom had unrightfully claimed their territory.
On the other hand, Nagras Kingdom took Elmenia Empire’s claims up for debate. Nagras that was a city state during that time, they had sent out their army as a response to the dying citizens during the destruction turmoil.
The empire that hadn’t maintained security and integrity over the land that time, claiming that it’s theirs now is just absurd.
In the first place, the matter being the Corsas Kingdom’s successor is just what the Elmenia Empire says, Nagras Kingdom never acknowledged that fact.
It might be the truth that the royal blood of the Corsas Kingdom is still flowing in Elmenia Empire, but if so, Nagras Royal family would be the same, thanks to the Corsas princess that had married into their royal family in the past.
Needless to say, Nagras Kingdom and Elmenia Empire always collided with each other head on. Their diplomatic relationship is nonexistent, it is already many ten years they had settled business with force. The two sides that had clashed with each other many times is now already irreconcilable nemesis.
Repeating many times of military clashing and a period of peace, thinking that a war will definitely repeat again, Nagras Kingdom didn’t sit back looking at the empire army that had started to be active again for the past few years.
With the security around the country border tightened and rumors of war on the horizon, the citizens were not thinking about 「Surprised」 but actually 「Finally」 when the empire declared war.
The empire army that had already crossed the border without wasting time after declaring, they were waiting for the kingdom’s army after setting up their formation on the wasteland southeast of the kingdom.
There’re unexpectedly lack of land for the two large army to clash, and lands that are far from any civilization is even rarer.
Of course, for the kingdom, they would avoid a frontal clash near any kind of town or village, and for the empire that claims it is their homeland, they forbidden the act of depriving and slaughtering civilians in the war.
As the result of the two sides which strangely had the same opinion, there was only few fields that can be made into a battlefield.
About two days later than the empire army. The kingdom’s hurriedly put together army had arrived at the battlefield. The empire had 3000, and the kingdom had 2800.
Although the empire holds the upper hand, they have an expeditionary army after all, their supply lines would be long, and the kingdom which is fighting on their own lands have the advantage.
The army upper echelons had judged that their overall power would be about balanced. They would first send out the soldiers, the full out war will probably after they had drafted more soldiers and hired mercenaries.
As for the empire, their entire army is made of standing army, and doesn’t include drafted soldiers or mercenaries. If they were gathering people like that, news of them doing so would definitely reach the kingdom, and the kingdom would’ve known in advance before the declaration of war.
For the element of surprise, the empire had composed their army to fight on the first forefront from the standing army.
That is why, it is thought that the war would only get serious the next fore front, the battlefield this time is only to gauge each other, and to judge each other’s competence, the upper echelons had probably judged this as such prelude of the war. But that is just a naïve thinking, the kingdom received such painful lesson.
The sudden declaration of the war from the empire advancing onto their territory that had tensed up the citizens of the kingdom was suddenly poured cold water a few days after their own army had departed, it was the kingdom’s defeat.
It was about ten when the sun had not completely risen when the two factions clashed on the wasteland. There’s no meaning in ambush in a wasteland with nothing obstructing their vision. The two-army spread their soldiers, and clashed with each other frontally.
It was the first skirmish for the both of them, it was an expenditure of soldiers to test each other. With no reckless movement from every squad, sending the injured soldiers to the rear, and send out backup soldiers to the front, it was a fight totally following the textbook.
The situation suddenly changed four hours into the start of the battlefield, it was about two in the afternoon. When casualties from both sides had long surpassed hundred, about the time when the soldiers that had fought from the start of the battle was feeling fatigue along with nervousness, that group suddenly entered the battlefield.
It was an armed group riding on unfamiliar beasts, waving the imperial flag of the empire that had attacked the main army of the kingdom while they were in chaos at the sudden intruders.
The kingdom army that had continued the war for more than four hours already didn’t have the power to overturn the situation.
Undermining the entire army that was unsteady, together with the empire army’s full out attack, the kingdom army had been crushed. With the commander general dead, the entire chain of command was broken, there wasn’t any organized resistance they could put up.
The kingdom army that had tried to retreat from the forefront was caught by the unknown squad that had crushed the main army, and gotten sandwiched by the main force of the empire. In the end, there was only about 2000 people that made it out alive.
Casualties and missing soldiers are more than a thousand, with more than 1500 soldiers injured, it was a grand defeat that no one can argue with.
「And that’s why, the capital was like a burial ceremony. 」
Kyrill who headed to Ardis’s house had told the story to Nere.
Ten days had passed since the defeat of the kingdom army. Preparing for the next frontal fight, various territorial army had been gathered, with drafting citizens and putting up requests to mercenaries still on going, in any case, it is a chaos.
But because of the pathetic defeat before, the related parties with the army are still down in morale, they couldn’t stand up again from the defeat.
「Well that is quite the pathetic way to taste defeat. 」
Finishing hearing the long story, Nere commented as if it doesn’t bother her.
「It’s not wrong to say that the standing army of the capital is already on brink of ruin……. There’s still some fight possible with the territorial army from other territories and mercenaries and drafted soldiers but, that’s also the same for the empire. 」
The empire who had won the first clash one-sidedly stayed on the wasteland while waiting for more of their army to arrive from their home country. There’re also deserters from their side but, their number would be few compared to the Kingdom.
The standing army and the unknown cavalry squad, about 2000. And their army that had joined later almost surpasses 12000 in number. The war this time, the empire is seriously trying to settle the debt with the kingdom, it’s starting to look that way.
Contrarily, the kingdom’s military capability to defend against them is weak. There are only about 8000 gathered from other territories and drafted soldiers. Moreover, the standing army of the capital that is said to be the core of the kingdom’s military is on brink of extinction.
Although their reorganization is proceeding at a rapid pace, it would be doubtful that people who have light injuries that can fight properly would be more than a thousand.
「Is Ardis-san alright now though? 」
Kyrill was worrying for Ardis who is currently at the empire. That kind of strong monstrosity of a person, it’s highly unimaginable for him to be in a pinch.
But even so, it’s easy to imagine that it would be much more dangerous since it is the country in war with the kingdom now.
「There’s no problems. Mercenaries are originally nonaffiliated with any country. It would most likely not happen for the country to fight you just because your active area is the enemy country. 」
「Eh……? Could it be that Ardis-san, had entered the empire’s mercenary squad? 」
Kyrill’s face turned blue immediately. Facing Ardis as an enemy, Kyrill couldn’t start to imagine the consequences.
「That is possible. It’s not like my master is particularly fond of this country, it’s just a coincidence that he’s living here. 」
「That’s……, so but……」
「Don’t worry that much. Certainly, he may not have any reasons to go against the kingdom, he also doesn’t have any reason to side with the empire. It’s my master we are talking about. Whether it’s war or not, in an enemy territory or not, it’s sure he will accomplish what he set out to do. 」
「Yeah, that’s true. That person would even break through a battlefield with a cheerful face. 」
It was more likely to imagine that as something plausible, Kyrill’s understanding of Ardis is quite deep.
「Fumu. 『Speaking of the devil――』 huh. 」
Leaving her gaze on Kyrill who seemed convinced at his thinking, Nere looked south with her sky colored eyes.
「Eh? What’s the matter? 」
Kyrill asked as he didn’t know the reason. Some time later, Fillia and Riana’s happy voices were heard.
「He’s here Kyrill―! 」
「It’s Ardis and Rona―! 」
「Eh? Who? Ardis and Rona? 」
The twins were looking at a certain direction. Their gazes were a little to the east from south, when his gaze land on the door of the house entrance, Kyrill finally understood.
He felt presences on the other side of the door.
「Ah……, is it? 」
Standing up gracefully, Nere had arrived at the entrance and opened the door.
There’s only a few who knows this location in the dangerous forest. It’s also a house with twins that couldn’t be seen publicly. Of course, no one would suddenly visit, and Nere wouldn’t allow some unknown person to get near the house in the first place.
Such a Nere was bowing her head and welcoming the person inside. As far as Kyrill knew, it’s only one person.
「Oh, you’re here, Kyrill. Nice timing. I can save my time handing out souvenirs. 」
The other side of the open door. A beast covered in golden fur and a standing young man, it’s a reunion after three months.
「Welcome back Ardis! 」
The twins that were cheering and leaping into the black hair young man.