Chapter 201: The Shadow of the War
From the west, the allied forces bearing the name of the Great Holy Church, bravely sounded their majestic trumpet, and a few days later, the joint armies of the Heraldic Order and Ghazalia left their stronghold, Garoua Maria. In other words, the Heraldic Order ceased to use the great wall of Garoua Maria as a shield.
It was an odd action that betrayed the expectations of not only the Great Holy Church but also the people of the Heraldic religion. Garoua Maria was the city with the most powerful defense mechanism in war.
The city-state of Garoua Maria would not fall so easily unless there was internal chaos and misguidance from the inside, as it did in the past when Matia defeated the city.
That fact was the reason why many people objected to abandon that absolute advantage. Most of them spoke loudly that the siege strategy was the best option.
However, Saint Matia, the saint of the Heraldic Order, and Eldith, the Queen of the Hanging Gardens of Ghazalia, were obsessed with defeating the enemy in battle. There were multiple factors leading up to that choice, but the biggest one was the number of their troops.
The Heraldic Order had at most 8,000 troops, and with the Ghazalian army, it slightly exceeded the 10,000. The rest was, at best, a bunch of paid mercenaries.
Of course, if they called old men who could not even swing spears or even children who did not know anything about the battlefield, the number could increase a little. However, bringing common folk would mean their downfall. Their army would no longer be seen as an army. There was no way that those people would act disciplined.
Therefore, the number of the Heraldic Order army was just 10,000, which was an unreliable number.
On the other hand, the number of troops dispatched by the Great Holy Church was close to 20,000. This number was approximately twice the size of the troops of the Heraldic Order, meaning that they were showing their ferocious fangs to smash through the small sphere of bad influence corrupting Garoua Maria.
Even worse, 10,000 was undeniably the total number of troops from the Heraldic Order, but for the Great Holy Church, 20,000 was just the number of their advance troops. Behind it, a larger army, which easily exceeded 100,000, was looking at the Heraldic religion with terrifying eyes.
That’s why Saint Matia said that a siege would be meaningless. If they just wanted to defeat the advance corps, then they would definitely choose the siege plan. But what would they do after that? Well, after defeating the advanced troops, the main army would appear and surround the area around Garoua Maria. That’s it. There was no other way to do it, because in the end they would have to use Garoua Maria as their coffin.
To be honest, I felt strange when Matia first said those words. No, of course, I understood the meaning of her words and couldn’t argue with her reasoning.
After all, in the Gospel War of my past life, the Heraldic religion followed the path of destruction after choosing a siege in Garoua Maria. At the end, Saint Matia took her own life by using the underground temple as her own coffin.
That would be the result if we did the same thing again.
However, that’s why I thought Matia would take the siege strategy again, because she did so during the Gospel War of my past life. I wondered if she had a change of heart this time, or if there was some reason where she thought that doing a siege would be disadvantageous.
Anyway, she did not choose a siege, which was great. I didn’t want to be an idiot who followed the path that once perished. Even if I had to die, it made more sense to do something and reach out to different possibilities than having a stupid death.
「Why don’t you see this endeavor with winning eyes? 」
We stopped along the way after deciding on a camp site to rest. I held my chewing tobacco in a big tent.
This place felt unpleasantly spacious for a tent, most probably because it was a tent originally used for meetings of generals and commanders. A strange feeling engulfed my chest.
Ann distorted her cheeks upon hearing my words. The color in her eyes looked far from being tender-hearted.
What? Ann shouldn’t look at people like that. Having a little kindness wouldn’t hurt.
「Lord Lugis, you were also present at the joint meeting, and it seems you’re now in this one too. First, what if I say that we have no chance of winning?」
I moved up my shoulders lightly to respond to Ann’s words, which looked at me with a strong gaze. I took a deep breath while placing the chewing tobacco on my teeth.
Even if I attended the joint meeting, did it make sense for me to attend this one?
Most of us spoke several kinds of topics, but I couldn’t understand the meaning of their words since I wasn’t used to formalities. I had to think for a few times before understanding the words. Even so, most of those fancy words were undecipherable since I spent most of my life in the taverns and the slums.
But when Ann said that we had no chance of winning my mind immediately understood her words, which would be similar to a foolish question.
「We’re not vain people who choose a battle without victory, Ann. Even if you don’t believe we have a chance to win this war, I want to believe there is someone who can create a path for victory.」
My interaction with a girl named Largud Ann felt no longer short.
Her attitude was always sincere, and always seeking for the best path. A girl named Ann was such a person.
However, she was once defeated by the Great Holy Church. That was an unmistakable fact.
Matia, the Saint, took her own life in my past journey, so I could imagine her aide’s future to some extent. When I thought about it, my eyelids ached a little.
However, even in that situation, Ann must have sought the best. What was the best way to achieve the best results?
I bet she thought like that until the time her life perished. At least, I believed that a girl named Largud Ann was that kind of person.
That was why it felt hard for me to think that she was just blindly heading to the battlefield without even thinking about proper measures. I was sure there was some speculation swirling around in her brain.
When I responded, Ann shook her eyes for a moment, and blinked her eyelids for several times over.
Ann’s expression seemed like saying that I had spit out unexpected words. She stiffened her face as she pondered for a while and opened her lips after a few breaths.
「In other words, it means that you are not thinking about anything at all, Lord Lugis? Or should I ask about your thoughts after the war council is over?」
I didn’t know what was going on, but it has been a while since Ann began to treat me harshly. She treated me quite respectfully when we first met, but not anymore.
I wondered if I said something that offended her as she looked at me with a face that would devour me alive. Then, Ann slightly loosened her cheeks and smiled, rippling her lips.
「I’m just kidding. Of course, I don’t want to choose a battle without victory. As you say, even if we have doubts, we must rewrite the script and create a winning path… I believe that you, Lord Lugis, are the one who can do it.」
I couldn’t accept the words that were suddenly thrown at me. I raised my hands lightly, and took my eyes away from Ann’s gaze to hide my shyness.
The Heraldic and Ghazalian generals began to show up in the Great Tent to attend the war council.
I like when Lugis speaks about the previous life, since we don’t know much about it as the story already began when Lugis was sent back to the past.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!
Thank you for the chapter. I agree with you on that one. Even just for a bit, we could understand Lugis a little more.
Ann being playful is a scary thing… I wonder what Matia’s plan is but I’m pretty sure in the first time-line she wanted achievement as a Saint more than success. After all, at first she was quite resentful after Lugis saved her life in this time-line.
Thanks for the chapter.