Wisteria was carried into the open with the enemy’s cavalry force charging. Reports from each battlefront began to arrive at the Rodelia army headquarters one after the other.
「Squad Jones is in contact with the enemy! 」
「Squad Wilson is still advancing! 」
A young girl sat amid everyone, in an elegant chair unsuited for the gory battlefield.
Tilting the porcelain cup in her hand, she was enjoying tea leisurely while everyone else were scrambling around.
Her name is Jelia.
The commander responsible for all six thousand men of the Rodelia army.
Even though everyone else was busily sending messages around, the individual herself seemed quite relaxed and laidback.
She was known as the Red Catastrophic Butterfly because she ascended to the post of general in Rodelia with her own capabilities, despite being of common birth.
Needless to say, it was a name given to her by those who confronted her; nonetheless, it appears that she had taken a like to it and was actively utilizing it.
In front of her was a table wide enough for an entire adult to lie on his back, and on it was a map of the entire topography of the battlefield.
Red pieces represented the allies while white pieces represented the enemies. Her subordinates moved the pieces in accordance with the overseers in the sky and reports made by each group’s messenger.
「The enemy cavalries are moving! Likely towards our right wing! 」
The newly obtained information was immediately updated on the map.
By climbing into the air using invisible 『Footholds』, it was possible to survey the entire battlefield.
Although there are still reports made by each group, it’s not like they need to wait for them to grasp the situation.
Naturally, it goes the same for Randeshell as well.
Although the sky is a place susceptible to heavy arts and arrows fire, there’s no worry if they are out of range of both.
Ever since it was possible to conduct reconnaissance from the air, it became hard for them to set up ambushes in an open battlefield like this.
As for intentional surprise attacks, it’s even more difficult from a tactical standpoint.
Despite being able to instantly grasp the situation, there’s still a time lag between their instructions reaching the battlefronts.
Although there are situations where instructions didn’t reach the battlefronts in time and they would be hit by surprise, it’s mostly locally contained and doesn’t affect the overall outcome much.
「Your Excellency, there are movements from the Randeshell’s cavalries. 」
One of the subordinates standing next to Jelia conveyed the update to her.
At the same time, the other subordinates moved the pieces on the board.
The piece that represented the enemy cavalries charged towards the piece that represented the right wing and the allied mercenaries.
「It was earlier than I thought. 」
Her bright red lipstick helped enhance the impression of her moist, and gleaming lips while her overjoyed voice resounded.
「The mercenaries at the front are moving well. 」
「Fu――n. Who were they again? 」
「If I recall…… it’s Wisteria. They are mercenaries with the usable rating. 」
「Is that so. How pitiable. 」
What Jelia said was unfitting for the battlefield, rather, it was unnatural considering it was directed towards her own allies.
Even so, it wasn’t like there was anyone there who understood the meaning hidden beneath her words.
「Our left wing is properly withdrawing, right? 」
「Yessir. They are slowing down and are moving to withdraw as you ordered. 」
When she ordered the left wing to retreat, the unit of mercenaries on the right was kept in the dark, changing the original semicircular arc formation.
For the enemies, the overextended right wing would be an eyesore. Because of that, they would surely mobilize their most valuable cavalries once they decide that it is their winning chance.
「Go tell those mercenaries at the back to charge forward. They will surely do their best if we told them, 『You will be the one losing out in a winning battle』. 」
「Yessir. As you wish. 」
「Also, make preparation to assault at any time. 」
「……Sir Spencer commanding the cavalries is an excellent knight. He would surely perform well without――」
The subordinate that was in the middle of speaking was suddenly blown to the wall.
「Who gave you permission to talk? 」
Her gaze was chilly as she wiped off the blood from her right fist. The person that took the hit was on the ground about ten steps away.
Blood spilled from his nose with several broken teeth visible painfully inside his half open mouth.
Even though everyone there were considerable warriors of Rodelia, it was impossible for them to avoid Jelia’s punch without precursor.
It was the proof of her absurd power. Another subordinate glances at his injured colleague with pity before taking over her orders.
「I will go ahead and inform Sir Spencer. 」
Replying in the shortest way, Jelia reheated her tea with arts and continued enjoying herself.
The subordinate that irritated Jelia was no longer to be found. Probably, some smart and alert subordinate had taken him away.
After taking a few moments of break, she muttered.
「Now then, did those stubborn heads from Randeshell properly bite the bait? 」
「They are moving with signs of having so. 」
「I suppose. It was a little expensive, but it’s reassuring to have the most troublesome people retire quickly. 」
The war this time is a grand one with the main forces of each country going head-to-head.
However, for Jelia, victory or defeat didn’t matter much. Despite having the upper hand in numbers, it’s hard to break the opponent with just one match.
Despite having the tendency to stick to traditional tactics, her enemies also have the mind to think, the intelligence to devise strategy, and know when to retreat when the situation is not in favor.
It is because of this that Jelia set the purpose of this battle to be 『Annihilating the enemy elite cavalries』.
If that much is possible, then the rest of their army can be cleaned up later.
Randeshell New Country had always been strong in cavalry battles. But conversely speaking, if they don’t have their cavalries, there’s no doubt in Rodelia’s victory.
That’s why rather than victory or defeat, her primary aim in this battle is to annihilate the enemy cavalries.
For that to happen, she even placed tasty baits by making a situation where her allies looked like they overextended.
She reasoned that for the bait, she should utilize mercenaries who could be hired for a fee.
After all, Rodelia won’t feel an itch even if all of them died. But, of course, they must be sturdy enough to withstand enemy cavalry attacks, so she had to employ skilled ones.
Although it was somewhat expensive, it is still a bargain if they can end the war between two countries in a single blow. Randeshell wouldn’t be a threat if their cavalry is crushed.
「The enemy cavalries are moving! 」
A report came from the overseer from above. One of the subordinates moved the piece on the table.
The piece that signified the enemy cavalries moved closer to the ally right wing.
「Did the message make it in time? 」
「Yessir. We have received signal that both have received it. 」
「Is that so. Then I will wait for the good news. 」
While Jelia talked with her subordinates, reports came in one after another.
「Randeshell cavalries started assault on our right wing! 」
「The allied mercenaries who had been waiting in the rear have joined the attack!」
The pieces on the table moved busily. Seeing that, the corners of Jelia’s mouth loosened.
「It’s about time for the closing. 」
Cavalries are units that specializing in charges, so once they stop, their effectiveness falls by half.
By drawing the enemies’ attention with the allied mercenaries, she would command the cavalry to charge after the opposing cavalry charged forward to stop them in their tracks and diminish their effectiveness.
To do this, bait was required, as well as an obstacle from the opponent’s side to prevent their cavalry from turning back, and, most importantly, orchestrating a scene to convince the enemy of victory.
The mercenaries served as the bait. Since it was obvious that the mercenaries will soon be annihilated, she never stationed any regular army there.
With the left wing of the semicircular formation withdrawing, if the mercenaries that overextended as bait get surrounded by the enemy infantries from all directions, they will also block the retreat route of the enemy cavalries.
Then, by withdrawing the left wing and convincing the enemy that they are winning, all that remains is to convince them that the mercenaries are the only ones left to help the Rodelia army.
Since they were so easily caught in her bait, Randeshell is truly a gullible opponent.
「Our cavalries? 」
「There isn’t a report yet, but they will surely move soon. 」
The cavalries only had to charge in before the enemies’ cavalry retreats. If they don’t miss that timing, then the original goal of annihilating the enemy cavalries will be achieved.
But, on the off chance the cavalries were too slow to the action…….
Then, there’s nothing to do about it. The only thing left to do would to be punish Sir Spencer, who led the cavalry, and go on to the next battle.
It’s not as though sacrificing the mercenaries will incur a big loss on Rodelia’s side.
「The unlucky mercenaries caught into it are pitiable but……. well, they’re only mercenaries. 」
Without a sliver of guilt, Jelia murmured as if it wasn’t something she cared about, and the report from the overseer in the air came.
「Sir Spencer is now moving! 」