The third. Quite a large scene change. Don’t worry, I didn’t skip a chapter.
Gomen ne, Oniisama Chapter 2 part 3
– Princess of the Inferno- Before
The soldiers on the battlefield would see on this day something beautiful and completely out of place in this harsh land- a seemingly ordinary young aristocratic woman.
“What do you think this is? This report? Do you remember?”
“Yes! It was something you ordered commander; geological features, the amount of water in the river, and the weather of the last 4 months.”
The man was ordered to make this report by this young girl, certainly he was.
Although the report had been tampered with by changing the numbers, there’s no way this girl who spends all her time in a mansion could tell.
The man considered what to do with the gold he received as a reward for tampering with the data.
“Yeah, you can see just by looking that several times the amount of water described in the report is flowing in this river.”
The collapse in order in the knights on the front can be seen clearly.
If they offend the wrong person, any hope for advancement in their career would vanish completely.
This is life at the bottom, completely reliant on being fed by the hands above you.
Where the most frightening thing is the angry face of your superiors.
“It looks that way. The enemy water mages are probably controlling the water level.”
Faced with such a response, the girl drops her eyes back to the report.
It is true that the enemy has deployed magicians of water to the battlefield. For the magicians of fire that are their greatest enemy, of course they would use water to counter.
And, the magicians of that country only care about their own work. After their magic produces results, they throw all the cleanup to others. Actually, the upper echelons don’t really care either, since it provides something to make the soldiers do.
“So, please report how many enemy water mages there are.”
“Based on the results of the investigation, it should be about three people.”
When the soldier said this information, the coppery red haired girl formed a thin smile with her mouth. Oh, how convincing. Alone, she had already confirmed, that is, that there was at least twice that number. In a conflict between magicians, even a small difference in numbers could be an insurmountable barrier.
While appearing to suppress a smile, she spoke unexpected words.
“-I understand. Keika.”
“On the river, there are a minimum of three times the number of water mages that were reported. Go upstream and dam the river. You have about thirty minutes. Can you do it?”
“…am I permitted to borrow some earth mages?”
“Take who you wish.”
The woman in a military uniform who was following behind the girl quickly ran off without even a salutation.
For her to totally ignore the report, this wasn’t what was predicted. This deployment isn’t the expected result.
But why, now the additional reward is-
“Commander? What are…”
The girl’s lips moved slightly.
The fake report in the girl’s hand was engulfed in crimson flames.
“I would rather not be forced to terminate you guys in the middle of this war.”
The red colored eyes of the “mere young girl” that slowly looked back at him, were steeped in anger.
One year has passed since I became the family head.
The neighboring country sent more troops to the border.
In other words, they have come to have a war.
The topic of the battlefield moved up in the social circles up to the highest levels.
As the day-to-day tactical situation only got worse, finally, I was sent as the family head of the Ruzil house.
With words like “the glorious stage for your first battle is ready”, and encouraging me to go.
However, I was commander in name only, and they continued to interfere with me even as the situation continued to worsen.
Originally, just general magicians that were not part of any clans were sent to the battlefield, but three months ago a military base suddenly fell.
Although the magicians of the Ruzil family were dispatched in a hurry, the situation was unclear, and the geographical conditions were unfavorable. Finally, control was given to me.
The battlefield that was only a skirmish a year ago became a full scale invasion of our country.
The enemy has already taken control of the river on the front side of the fort.
At the fort known for being impregnable, the enemy is already building a bridge across the river. Past the river, the land is flat and there are no obstacles. This region is famous for its farming, and there are steep mountains between here and the territory of influential nobles, making it difficult to get reinforcements.
Reinforcement is unlikely.
No obstacles on the open plain.
Once they pass the river, it’s the end.
I really want to wave a white flag.
First of all, if this “impregnable fortress” falls, the blame will fall to the commander.
According to the novel, when the magicians are deployed, this fortress would definitely not fall so easily.
…someone is definitely messing with the situation, with an extraordinary level of finesse.
Standing on the tower overlooking the area with a telescope in my hand, the amount of damage that has occurred is apparent.
The army has been churning out magic without concern.
The farms are scorched, the wells are contaminated, the soil is rough, and some of the trees are still burning.
After the farms have been damaged to this extent, recovery of the harvest will take multiple years.
In the long run, it could even influence the Royal City.
Because of all the people carefully observing my first battle, if I allow even a little more damage it would be disparaging the reputation of the Ruzil family.
If this situation is to be overturned, it must be done as quickly as possible.
This is why the trump card, the Ruzil family head, was sent.
However, while trying to deal with this, the nearby water source combined with the enemy water mages are be a big problem.
To win as quickly as possible and avoid dragging out a long war, fire mages are the best.
Fire magic can quickly exhibit a large effect much more easily than other magics.
But while fire magic can be said to be the most aggressive, it’s also the most affected by the environment.
Water is a very large problem for fire mages.
On a day when it rains, even lighting a match can be difficult.
That’s why if a general magician is specializing in fire, they usually learn magic of the forest or earth as backup.
But because of the characteristics of the clan,【Origa】is only able to use fire magic.
As a result, I’ve hit a wall…
“Commander. A signal from the detached force. They’re looking for you.”
“I understand. I’ll go.”
Since I told her to clean up the river, Keika is probably asking for the support of the wind and forest mages.
Some influential people put in great effort to send much aid as possible. However, it seems there was some group interfering with the parliament, and no reinforcements were sent from either of these two clans.
I can’t help but sigh… the Vesta Marquis didn’t send any reinforcements, considering the burnt land and giving up the situation as hopeless and worthless.
For better or worse, the influential people with all their effort could only send one person.
“Here it is.”
As we approached the tent the messenger guided me to, he appeared troubled and seemed to be considering saying something.
However, since I could hear the voices loud and clear, no explanation was necessary.
“That the stronghold where the magicians were deployed fell in a single night is pretty strange, isn’t it. To hold the line here now, what benefit is there to the country? Did you guys even properly investigate what they’re doing before deciding to make a move?”
“I apologize, at this time we still don’t know the situation clearly.”
“Well then you should properly examine it, and maybe even just withdraw from the field. Doing something foolish like this is-“
A young male voice emanated from the tent, a familiar voice. One voice sounded agitated, and the other sounded genuinely disgusted.
Ehhh, how troublesome… for some reason, I feel like wrapping up his head tightly with a cloth to shut him up.
“I came here as a representative of the knight training school, just to ask you. Why did the devoted and loyal knights flee from battle? I want to know.”
Although I’m thankful that he sent reinforcements, I’m not very happy that the person dispatched was the son and heir to the clan of the forest.
It seems that he was sent to avoid various troubles linked with trying to send an official dispatch. The reason they claim he was sent is to learn on the forefront of the battle as a senior of the knight school, which is only sort of a lie.
Even though I really wanted to avoid any interaction with the hero lineup, this time it seems to be unavoidable.
…..at least Gil-sama didn’t come.
“Long time no see, Atlas.”
It’s a reunion after a whole year, but our relationship isn’t a very friendly one. Thanks to the rumors formed at that dance a year ago, our social lives became more difficult and we’ve formed a grudge between us. It can’t be helped.
Exhaling, he stared at me for a bit, seeming surprised that I appeared here.
“The knights will not escape first. We are devoted to protect; protect the king, protect the people-“
“So? There’s no excuse for not listening.”
I reproach him with a serious face.
―It’s in places like this that his personality is troublesome, even in the novel.
It was funny at the ball a year ago. Out of the cast of characters, he is the most serious, but also the least flexible.
Since he is like that, having to be polite and respectful to a younger child in public must have been hard.
While listening to his talk of chivalry, I lightly interrupted because it was likely to take too much time.
Encouraging him to sit, his mouth remained open for a moment with an awkward appearance before he shook his head and fixed his face.
“I had to postpone investigation of what happened at the last fort. Right now, what’s important is defending this fort.”
…alright, I’ve decided.
To avoid changing the story excessively, I will act as I should according to the story. To focus on the important things, Atlas put a lid on his emotions.
Precisely because he has this serious character, he became one of Gil-sama’s close friends. Leaving the tent and saluting briskly, he raised his hand and relieved the soldiers waiting around there.
Confirmed that all the soldiers left, he opened his mouth.
“The enemies are abnormally fixated on that fort. For the country that supposedly has a small number of even regular magicians to send so many of them to capture this fort is insane. That it was captured so easily is also strange.”
“Certainly, the number of personnel that are occupying there is abnormal.”
“If that’s the case, it’s best to figure out why as soon as possible. Perhaps there’s a valuable earth vein of magical energy. At any rate, we should take care of all the magicians in that fort in one night.”
On a normal battlefield of this scale, there would be about three magicians.
Magic is powerful, so the number of magicians is small.
Thinking about it, I’m not sure what he plans to say.
“At that time, there were five magicians deployed in that fort. However, not one of them were able to send a distress signal, and determining the reason is difficult. In addition,”
The moment I tried to continue my words, I got a feeling of being entangled by magic, like having your skin rubbed the wrong way.
When I suddenly stop, the boy’s face looks a bit confused, but he doesn’t say anything.
“No… thinking about this won’t recapture the fort. We can’t afford to waste hours on this. Unless this is settled before winter the farmers will suffer.”
“Winter is the king here, is it.”
While speaking, I felt an invisible magic prickling at me, making it difficult to say certain words.
Although the mage is still an apprentice, and is low ranked on this battlefield, he has one skill-
Eavesdropping, tampering, disturbance of magic-
The disarray among the allies is severe enough that it’s impossible to tell who the traitor is.
“I won’t stay still. Because that’s my duty.”
Leaving the tent and looking around, I felt that the invisible presence was still.
Elusive as a rat, and impossible to tell who it is. How should I deal with him…
Thinking about the annoyance, I clicked my tongue.
Within the letter of proxy from the knight training school, words stating that Atlas would be serving as an official knight were signed by the director of the school.
And, walking through the camp, his eyes shined with excitement.
“My father told me to come and assist however possible. What should I do?”
“Just don’t do anything. Knights and soldiers are already waiting in the back. As if we would ask a knight apprentice to do something.”
The words struck him like a punch.
Well, so it happens. He came excitedly to do as his father requested, his hand on his sword, desiring to show his worth as the senior of the training school.
Coming with a strong feeling of pride.
“I asked for Harvester-sama, not some knight apprentice.”
Having requested an excellent magician, they were completely uninterested in him. Although he was sent for training only as a pretense, those on the battlefield viewed it as the actual reason and treated him as a child.
Stay in the back to protect the people; it was clearly a useless action that would have no effect on the current situation.
Magicians; brutal, cruel, and the ones who have control.
“While you protect a single person with your sword, magic will fell ten of the enemy’s men.”
“Are you insulting the knights?!”
“Of course not, we magicians don’t have the numbers to take care of a situation ourselves, and we rely on the knights. All I’m saying is that there’s the right person for the right job, that kind of thing. You get it?”
The depression of the future marquis of the Harvester clan was unabated. Similar to how【Origa】was entirely focused on strengthening her magic, he was completely focused on training in the knight school.
Since that’s also how he was in the novel, it’s not a surprise. However,
“This is the battlefield. You are not yet a real knight.”
Although the great magic clans have begun to decline, the pressure upon the future head is undeniably huge.
Once he finds a path different than his father, it’s understandable that he will want to escape that way.
The path he discovers in the story, is that of joining the heroes.
But, here on this battlefield, he shouldn’t appear at all. That’s why,
“This is not the place for a knight apprentice.”
“…then, if I were a magician?”
Here is this man’s theme in the novel, huh.
Should he be a knight, or should he be a magician.
In the original, this conflict is what Gil-sama helped him with.
For the villain to point it out in a place like this would be improper.
But, it’s absolutely necessary to get these people to help with the defense, so it can’t be avoided.
“I already gave instructions to dam the river, and the amount of water flowing has been reduced considerably. What I want, is for Atlas-sama to get rid of what is left. Use the trees on the banks of the river to absorb all the water, to help shield this side of the river from the heat.”
Though it was arranged for the river to be blocked, even the gently flowing water left over is still a danger to my magic. The fact that the signal was sent means that this is the limit of what they can do with a dam. In a situation where there is water around, even a small mistake can allow for the enemy magicians to drown out my flames.
That is why, I must make this request.
“You only need to start absorbing the water once I move, since otherwise it’d be a hassle.”
“…how, when I am just one person?”
“Using fire will damage the land no matter what. If possible, I would at least like to reduce the damage done. Because of that, feel free to take the other two magicians of the forest we have.”
What I can use, is only fire.
It’s the way the setting has been since the beginning.
That’s why, the only options I have are burn or not burn.
“The protection, it can probably stretch further.”
“Of course it can. But, it’s useless if the fort is burned down. That’s why I want to concentrate it there.”
“Burn down the fort?”
I ignore the surprised voices. The standing messenger soldiers take a deep breath.
―Now, is when I make my resolution.
“Commander. Do we request that the enemy return our civilians?”
“There’s no problem with the low number people that are trapped there, so it’s unnecessary. After all- they’ll just become ashes.”