Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 14.2: “Baronet Gateskell: Part 2”

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~Gateskell’s Perspective~



 Fortunately, Roderick Lockhart is the very picture of a knight.


 He is inflexible, but if he feels a great debt of gratitude, he is likely to comply with our request and hand over the distillation technology.


 I ordered my subordinate, Harrison Gunnell, to assassinate Mathias Lockhart and abduct his family. And also, to deliver Rodrick’s family to him on the pretense of having rescued them.



 My subordinate, Gunnell, a knight I had accidentally rescued, was a veteran of the war against Lux. He was betrayed on the battlefield by a senior nobleman and lost his men and his honor. As a result, he was so in despair that all his hair turned white.



 He returned to the imperial capital to retaliate, but unfortunately his revenge failed, and he became a wanted man. By chance, I rescued him while he was on the run. He has been working for me ever since.


 When I picked him up, he was so badly wounded that he could not move properly, but when he recovered through healing magic, he showed a surprising talent. In addition to his swordsmanship, he had a talent for espionage and assassination. And naturally, Gunnel was put in charge of behind-the-scenes work.


 He ordered Ganel to attack the Lockhart family.



 To return to the story, it is a well-known fact that Roderick would take over once Mathias died, and there was a strong possibility that my plan would succeed.


 However, the Lockhart family is famous for their elite soldiers.



 The predecessor lord, Govan Lockhart, became a knight from a commoner due to his skill, and his men were fierce fighters who went toe-to-toe with Lux’ elite, beastfolk slave force.



 Even Gunnel, the most skilled of my men, is only above level 50, but I hear that the squires of the Lockhart family are above level 60. In fact, Rodrick is over level 50 even though he is not yet 20 years old, proving that the Lockhart name is not a joke.



 He has already discussed this point with Gunnel.


 This time, there are three squires of Mathias, and the rest are patrol members. No matter how skilled they are, they are few in number.


 The battle is in numbers. If we prepare a force that can overwhelm the enemy, there will be no problem.



 The only element of concern is Zacharias Lockhart, the second son of Mathias.


 According to my research, he has already made a name for himself in the Academic City as a high-ranking magician, and as an adventurer, he has made such a name for himself that there is no one on the Aurella Road who does not know him. That alone is nothing to be afraid of, but what I fear most is that he has political talent.



 The fact that he was able to refuse the invitation of a veteran like Wagman, even though he was on good terms with Wagman, the chairman of the Council of the Magicians’ Guild, is a true indication of this.


 At the young age of 15, he is capable of going toe-to-toe with Wagman. He has talent to a frightening degree.



 It is true that there is no correlation between political talent and fighting talent. But to be able to compete with a man of Wagman’s stature is to be a gifted young man with a bright future ahead of him. That seemed frightening to me.



 I had discussed this point with Ganel.


 Ganel assured me that Zacharias should not be left unguarded, but that he was unlikely to be a major obstacle.



“Master Desmond, from what I know of Zacharias is a very skilled adventurer. However, he does not seem to have any experience as a mercenary, nor does he seem to have much experience in interpersonal battles.” (Gunnel)



 As a military novice, I couldn’t immediately understand what Gunnell was trying to say.



“Even if he has no experience in interpersonal combat, wouldn’t a high-level magician be a powerful asset?” (Gateskell)



 Ganel shook his head,



“Adventurers specialize in hunting monsters. They are the hunters, not the prey.” (Gunnel)



 Little by little, I was beginning to understand what Gunnel was trying to say.



“You mean to say that adventurers and soldiers fight differently?” (Gateskell)



“Yes Sir. Adventurer magicians prefer to fight where they have the advantage. For example, a fire magician does not like to fight in a forest where there is a risk of fire spreading. A magician of wind magic also fights by leading monsters into grasslands and wastelands where there are few obstacles. Zacharias’ party often hunts monsters with wind and fire attributes. In other words, fighting in deep forests is not their strength.” (Gunnel)



 Gunnel said that magicians have different fighting styles depending on their attributes, and their fighting strength tends to be greatly reduced in places where they are not good at.


 I thought it made sense, but a doubt came to mind..



“Zacharias is a genius with all attributes. Then, doesn’t he have no need to choose his battlefield?” (Gateskell)



 Ganel seemed to be concerned about the same thing and replied, “That is certainly true.” But he had already considered that as well, and his answer came back immediately.



“Certainly, there is a possibility that they will use other attributes. But this time, I intend to surprise them in the forest. If we bring them into a melee in the forest, where they cannot see clearly, even the most powerful magician will have no choice but to respond with single-shot magic for fear of hitting their allies. In other words, although powerful, they would only be as much of a threat as an archer.” (Gunnel)



 I still couldn’t accept it.



“Zacharias seems to be a person who can predict the future. I can’t help but feel uneasy…” (Gateskell)



“I’m afraid that no matter how much of a genius he is, even one who can predict the future, there is no way they can see everything. There are many examples of young geniuses dying in the field on their first battle, which can be easily swept under the rug. In a situation where there is a fight, a moment’s hesitation can be fatal. It would be better if we didn’t give them any time to think about it by making a surprise attack…” (Gunnel)



 Gunnel was more talkative than usual, perhaps to reassure me.



“I will put all the men I have gathered together into this operation, especially the best swordsmen, to the Lockharts. At least three times as many people as the Lockhart family.” (Gunnel)


“Three times as many? Rodrik defeated the One-Eyed Titan Cyclops with only one platoon. Isn’t that too few?” (Gateskell)


“If we disperse the enemy’s strength by launching a surprise attack, we can increase our strength by five or six times. On the other hand, if we increase the number anymore, there is a risk that the ambush will be detected. Therefore, this is the optimum number of people.



 Gunnel decided to assign thirty-seven of the seventy or so mercenary-type ruffians, who were good at close combat, to the attack on the Lockhart family.



“Very well! I’ll leave everything to you.” (Gateskell)



 I trusted Gunnell and decided to leave everything to him.



 I had another plan in mind.


 That is to involve the Ouellette Trading Company in this raid.



 As the masterminds behind this, they wanted us to take the risk alone. In other words, if we failed, they would not be able to pursue us. So, I decided to drag them into this as an insurance policy.



 Of course, I did not tell Ouellette about this ambush at all. I only ordered them to secretly gather weapons for a future uprising, because we would need them.



 He was reluctant at first, but when I told him that if we gathered weapons, they would surely catch the attention of the Frontier Count and expose our plans, he reluctantly agreed to cooperate.


 I ordered Gunnel to use the weapons Ouellette had collected with the raiding party. It seems that Gunnel was also concerned about the mercenary soldiers he had gathered, so he gave them these weapons and also trained them.



 Ganel’s men, who had been released on the Aurella Road, reported that the Lockhart family had moved.


 I sent a messenger to Armand Boyette, the deputy of Rawcliffe, ordering him to secretly dispose of our pawns if the raid failed.



 Boyette has been compromised by Ouellette and is complicit in our plot. We are told that Ouellette set up Boyette because we needed to suppress the exit of Rawcliffe to the Aurella Road to transport the Blood of Lucidus.



 Boyette was a petty and untrustworthy man, but this time, he had decided that it was a kind of insurance policy.




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