Chapter 59: Prepared Hearts and Brave Arms
A few moments after the battle began, a strong and distorted wind was blowing in front of the main gate of Garoua Maria.
A large amount of arrows flew in the sky. The guards of Garoua Maria and the soldiers of the Heraldic Order were mixed together in a fierce battle. Gradually, the momentum of the guards on the top of the wall weakened. The number of arrows flying in the sky was noticeably decreasing.
Saint Matia stood proudly beside the Heraldic soldiers to raise their morale and strengthen their voices. Unnaturally for the guards of Garoua Maria, their momentum weakened so suddenly.
This attack was unexpected by the guards and citizens of Garoua Maria. Matia carefully planned for this war to happen. She, of course, expected some resistance from her opponents. The enemy’s forces could be tough to overcome, or they could collapse at any moment. Under these circumstances, such natural collapse was in fact unexpected.
Of course, the battlefield was something that changed continuously. Matia didn’t think like a little girl that would overestimate such a thing. Everything could happen. Battles were unpredictable sometimes. They couldn’t be measured. Events could happen naturally, or they could happen unexpectedly. Today was the day where one had to guess. Yet, there was no need to feel worried over such unexpected events. No need to fret over the unnatural.
However, the next scene everyone saw was much more than Matia’s own imagination. In Matia’s ears, she could hear a strange sound in the dark.
It was an old sound. The sound of iron shaking and wood breaking a part. The sound of something big moving up.
Not just Matia. The Heraldic soldiers and Largud Ann who accompanied the Saint woman, and also Filaret, blinked their eyes in astonishment. It was both startling and confusing. Many scenes could be assumed when going to the battlefield, but such a scene could never be assumed.
That “big mouth” only opened for specific occasions. Nevertheless, on battlefields, that “mouth” remained closed no matter what happened outside. This “strong guardian” shouldn’t be the one kneeling with a spear. Certainly, it was the opposite. Before Matia’s eyes, the impossible happened.
The main gate of Garoua Maria opened its “mouth” and invited the Heraldic soldiers into the city-state precincts.
A distorted wind blew through.
「Saint Maria, what should we do now? There are many scenarios. Of course, the main scenario could be a trap waiting for us in the city.」
Ann’s words were heard aloud while they wiped out the bad air drifting around. Her words too, showed how skeptical she was at this odd occurrence. This event must have been beyond her expectations. Very unexpected and unnatural.
Matia slowly sighed upon seeing this. She just squeezed her eyes gently so that nobody could read her expression.
Matia carefully chose her words so that her soldiers wouldn’t fall to a strange depression.
「Everyone should take a long breath three times. Give me time to settle my feelings and know what direction we should take with the wind.」
Even Ann, who by nature was calm at her core, had a slight upset in her eyes. Likewise, the agitation and confusion of the Heraldic soldiers, who had been caught up in the frenzy of the battle, continued without stopping.
Matia touched her mouth and gritted her teeth so that no one would hear the cracking sound. Uncontrollable rage scattered in the air.
…It was certainly a trap. They probably wanted to catch their enemy by treating them as a stupid bird that fell on the spider’s web.
Of course, there was also the possibility that the gate opened because of the Heraldic people that hid in the city. This possibility couldn’t be thrown away entirely. Yet, it was just a small possibility either way. Because if it really were the action of the Heraldic people, Matia expected to see some sort of signal that could confirm that option.
The sky was covered in black and the main gate opened without any apparent reason. No signal or action was seen that could confirm that slim possibility. Nobody saw a slight movement.
Therefore, it was the enemy’s trap. It was rather obvious. It was as if the opened main gate was calling the Heraldic people to come inside at their own free will.
The correct answer at present would be to choose to withdraw. There was no fool who’d step into the beast’s nest. In the first place, today’s plan was just a guess. There wouldn’t be any problem with withdrawal for now.
However. Matia made a sound while she gritted her teeth.
The one who set this trap was horrid. She clearly understood the situation and the lack of options at present. That’s why she felt frustrated.
The most important thing in the rebellion of the Heraldic Order. What was necessary to cut up the strong man’s feet and break off their necks? It was the “wind blowing from behind”. Yes, it was what pushed the weak and boosted their confidence. The so commonly called momentum was indispensable.
In particular, everyone was finally here, at this precise moment. Matia was honored and praised as a Saint. Everybody counted on her judgement. Pressure filled Matia. Matia prepared her breathing and assembled the words that stuck on her head for a few moments.
The wind blew high and loudly so that it could tell her a destination. Yes, a divine call.
「All members of our units. Prepare your shields and get ready for entry. Our path has been set. We are all prepared to use the corpses of our fellow compatriots as a foothold, all in order to sip the blood of this pitiful enemy. We shall sever the thirst of their throats.」
Her words meant direct assault. No one tried to oppose her and everyone followed the instructions. Everyone believed in the words of this Saint. This woman was absolute. Everyone held the spears and shields.
Saint Matia understood her circumstances very well. She wasn’t strong as an aristocrat in political and economic power, nor was she from a historical heraldic lineage. Literally, there was no single backing to her supremacy as Saint.
Everything was based on her own talent and charisma. She got the position of Saint because she was relentless and fearless. In other words, Matia had to convince the Heraldic people with the power of a single woman, the “power of Matia”.
Therefore, Matia wasn’t allowed to withdraw from this opportunity. She was dignified as a strong hero who could crush any traps waiting for her. That was the greatest expectation on the shoulders of a girl named Matia. Her small shoulders were as heavy as a tight grip.
Yes, it was a trap. She understood that clearly. That cunning brain of hers understood everything. Nevertheless, the soldiers didn’t. Matia thought that this was a clear opportunity and must be regarded as such. Therefore, Matia must meet those expectations.
Expectations that believed strongly that Garoua Maria could fall overnight. She firmly believed that they had to continue to produce good results that could reach those expectations. Matia understood what was the real mission carried by a Saint.
If those expectations weren’t proven real, then the status of the Saint woman in the Heraldic order could be broken down. Not all Heraldic people were happy about the existence of a Saint woman guiding them as leader. If she couldn’t get great results, her future would likely end.
However, if the symbolic Saint woman died, the Heraldic Order would not be longer be able to maintain its momentum. All of their dreams will transform into bubbles that flew in the air. Everything would disappear. That alone couldn’t be accepted.
Matia held a spear with the strong grip of her arm. She wanted to inspire her soldiers. Then, from the tip of the spear, she showed them a white beacon.
Everybody was waiting for that signal. It was the proof that their resolve would be put into motion and that the assault against the enemy would continue.
For Filaret, this assault was excessively incomprehensible.
She believed that everything could be achieved through knowledge and wisdom.
The sudden opening of the main gate. It was an unmistakable trap. It must be a ploy to lure the Heraldic people in, surround them inside and kill them off.
Yet, the soldiers began to move forward.
「…I don’t know if you’re sane or not. But, that is a trap. I don’t know about you, but I know that the citizens and the guards of the city would do anything to protect it. Even if it means using traps to lure you in. There won’t be any dignity if they want to save themselves. So, I don’t know why you are putting your soldiers at risk by responding so quickly to that trap.」
That’s right. Indeed, the opening of the main gate was in itself a rushed plan taken quickly to eliminate the ordinary people that tried to change the course of history. Even if the people of the walls knew that this trap could be useless, somewhat, they knew that this ordinary people calling themselves the Heraldic Order were afraid of failure, and still wanted to lurk deep inside of the main gate.
Still, Filaret knew it perfectly well. There was a person in the guardsmen who could choose and execute such a dangerous strategy.
Of course, if this was the case, then this assault was a mistake. They would be crushed entirely.
Yet, there was no doubt that this raid wasn’t that great in numbers. The opponent inside the walls understood this much and took that dangerous strategy into motion. Was there anyone here that could make sense into this? Anyone who could provide a different answer for this assault in the middle of this dark night?
Filaret was overwhelmed with the words professed by the Saint woman.
The Heraldic soldiers were no longer stoppable. No language would stop them now. Actually, they were like a group of beasts that only looked ahead. They kept going forward even if they knew that they were going to their tombs.
Therefore, Filaret spoke with the Saint woman about this foolish act. Matia replied as if she understood all the words that were spoken to her.
「Yes, I know it all. Yet, it’s you who don’t understand it. The world is not entirely commanded by mere intelligence. Sometimes you have to prepare your hearts for every possible scenario, sometimes you have to be brave, and sometimes you just have to be hopeful.」
The black eyes gleamed in the dark night. Filaret’s eyes saw no fear nor frustration in Matia’s demeanor. Her eyes shined brightly at the assault that was about to unfold.
What did she mean? Matia’s words were too mysterious for Filaret’s comprehension.
Of course, she tried to transform the world itself once. However, it was done with knowledge and wisdom even if she failed in the end.
Nevertheless. This way was too hastily. The Saint woman knew that everything could be a trap, and yet, she still wanted to enter the depths of hell. That was a reckless choice.
Regardless of everything that was spoken, Matia still wanted to move forward. She said that some things couldn’t be done with intelligence on the ways of this world.
Suddenly, Lugis appeared in Filaret’s mind.
Speaking of which, he was somewhat similar. It was hard to say that his act in that underground temple was done with intelligence. It was certainly not. It was too hastily as well. Yet, he chose that option too. The option of foolish bravery.
Filaret stopped speaking with Matia. She didn’t respond anymore. Only one thing changed. Just follow their backs. Just as she followed Lugis, she’ll now follow Matia’s back. Filaret hoped to find a clue that could give her an answer to finally understand the prepared hearts of those who acted impulsively without thinking about intelligence.
Filaret the follower.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!