Shadow Court Magician Chapter 115: Reinhardt Retrieval Operation

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~Nine’s Perspective~



 Nine looks at his boss who dived into the mouth of the monster fearlessly.


 I’ve seen many bosses in my time as a magician, but it’s rare to find a boss who is as bold and risk-taking as Leon. It was also worth mentioning that he was very considerate of his subordinates.


 There are many shitty bosses out there, but I don’t think I’ll ever meet another one like Leon. In that sense, he was a man I would never let die.



(…Please entertain me more.) (Nine)



 I chose the path of a magician, saying I would never be a soldier, but I am grateful to Leon for bringing me into this world because at least I could live a life free from boredom.


 I am grateful for my encounter with Leon, but then something cold ran down my back.


 Because the roar did not come from the belly of the earth dragon.


 The implosion spell is a spell that takes time to chant, but a magician of Leon’s caliber should have been able to finish it in a minute. But nothing happened, two minutes had passed and there was no change.


 I am growing impatient by the second. Leon must have been torn apart by the dragon’s teeth. Or perhaps he was being dissolved by the powerful stomach acid. After 30 seconds, I let out a sigh of relief.


 Leon was coming out of its stomach.


 Nine celebrates his return, manipulating the fire magic to cover him.



~Leon’s Perspective~



“I’m glad I didn’t have to get rid of the lizard on my own. So it’s good to see the Lieutenant Colonel’s face again.” (Nine)


“I’m feeling quite ill, but thank you.”


“But what a failure for the Lieutenant Colonel.” (Nine)


“I didn’t fail. I was just brimming with mercy.”


“Mercy!? At this moment!?” (Nine)


“Because it’s such a time. I can’t harm a pregnant woman even a dragon.”


“What? That’s a female!?” (Nine)


“Yes. It is absolutely pregnant. And it has been giving birth.”


“Maybe that is why it looks like it’s rampaging…” (Nine)


“Exactly. Pregnant women of any species, ancient or modern, have an overactive defense mechanism. And they’re hungry.”


“So that’s why the wyvern was upsetting her.” (Nine)


“Yeah, and I’m sure it also ate up all the mammals around it.”


“I see, but what are you going to do?” (Nine)


“I will show that I’m not hostile for the time being. I’ll buy it a meal to make it feel better.”


“As expected, Bro also hits on pregnant women.” (Nine)


“That’s when women are most beautiful.”



 After replying like that, I ordered Nine to call the fire cows back.


 After the fire was extinguished, the cows came back to me, but I felt a little bad thinking that they would be eaten by the earth dragon. However, we could not change the lives of the soldiers.



“I have to make a memorial of them someday”



 I thanked the cows that were served at the table, the cows that saved Sicily, and the cows that would be sacrificed, this time, to the earth dragon.


 The earth dragon that has finished eating the cows becomes calm like everything was a lie.


 Dragons are wise creatures. The dragon must have realized that I was not an adversary through this series of actions. I pat the dragon’s head and watch her give birth.


 After three days and three nights of roaring and labor pains, the giant dragon gave birth on the morning of the third day.


 It was a difficult birth and only her legs were able to come out, but I attached a rope to one of the legs of the baby dragon and pulled it out.


 He then had his men pull on it.


 They pulled like a tug of war at an athletic event, and the baby dragon was safely born into this world. The roar of the baby dragon echoed in the morning sun.


 This is how we succeeded in forming a bond with the ancient dragon, the master of the area.


 We tell her to stay out of our way.



“Wow, Lieutenant Colonel, you know how to speak dragon tongue?” (Victor)


“No way, it’s a feeling.”


“…” (Nine)



 Nine is dumbfounded. But I was convinced that she was on our side. At least she wouldn’t get in the way of the engineering work.


 No, she didn’t have time for that.


 She was lovingly feeding the baby dragon. She was feeding it a half-digested cow that she had swallowed whole the other day.


 It was a grotesque, but loving sight.


 There was no reason for her to disturb us when she was busy raising her child.


 After confirming this, I returned to the main body of the Libra Division.


 My men were hard at work building the fence and moat.


 It was quite a feat. The mountain of Shibi was originally a natural barrier, and with the addition of this defensive fence and moat, it was a match made in heaven.


 As a bonus, I also earned the trust of a giant earth dragon.


 The giant earth dragon began to listen to me.


 I couldn’t force her to do anything since she had just given birth, but I built a fence with the trees she had knocked down and asked her to use her huge body to move large rocks. The giant dragon was almost ideal as a civil engineering machine. Thanks to her, the fortification of Mount Shibi was completed more than a week ahead of schedule.


 My men were amazed at the miracle that I had wrought, their eyes widened. 


 Well, I guess it’s called human virtue. But only Nine and Victor knew that it was not a miracle, but an inevitable fate.



 After gathering the necessary materials and preventing the dragon from interfering, all that was left for us to do was wait for the princess to return.


 While observing the civil engineering work, we waited for the princess to return.


 Seeing this, Victor, for instance, said



“You’re like an untrusting husband who worries about his wife’s affair.” (Victor)



 But it wasn’t misplaced sarcasm, so I didn’t mind.


 I couldn’t help but worry about the princess.


 According to the report from the intelligence unit that I had sent with her, the princess had successfully defeated the Imperial troops that had surrounded the Earth Division.


 Although it was in the form of a peace treaty, she was able to make temporary peace with the empire and put an end to any worries about the future. 


 The Earth Division would also rush to reinforce us.


 However, in return, the commander of the Earth Division, Lieutenant General Ziggurat, committed suicide.


 He took his own life and took responsibility for his actions.


 It was a death of dignity and courage, the kind of death that makes you wish for…


 I had only talked to Lieutenant General Ziggurat a few times at parties and in the corridors of the military headquarters, but even in that short time, I had gotten to know him as a person.


 He is more strict with himself than anyone else and loves justice more than anyone else. He hates crookedness and is inflexible, but he shares the same aspirations as the Princess.


 He is a patriot, even more so than the Princess, in that he has been carrying out her wishes for the past 40 years.


 When I heard that such an old general had committed suicide, I couldn’t help but feel hollow inside, but what worried me, even more, was the princess.


 Her gentle but noble heart must have resonated with me to the point of being torn apart.


 I wanted to do something to comfort her, but I was too tactless to know what to do.


 As I was pondering this, I heard a report from my subordinate about the return of Princess Sicily.


 While I was wondering what kind of expression I should show her, the princess herself arrived.


 Her expression was fierce and ready.


 I look at her and realize.


 Princess Sicily has a much stronger heart than I do.


 The one who needs comforting is not her, but me.



(…What kind of strength does she have in such a small body?)



 She had already accepted Ziggurat’s death and was looking to the future.


 All she seemed to be thinking about was how she could connect his death to the future.


 Then, as her military strategist, all I had to do was lend my wisdom to make that future a better one.


 I held out my right hand to the returning Sicily and squeezed her right hand tightly.


 After a few words, I led her to the newly set up Operations Command Center.



 I had her sit down at the top of the Operations Command Center and gave her an overview of the campaign.


 Her maid suggested that she relax after the long journey, but the Commander resolutely shook her head and looked straight at me. I will live up to her expectations.



“The preparations for intercepting Maxis’ army are complete. The fortification of Mount Shibi is complete, and reinforcements are being prepared.”


“The men of the Earth Division have promised to attack Maxis’ army from the rear.” (Sicily)


“Thank you. I’m sure they will fulfill their promise on behalf of their old Commander.”


“Yes, and Lieutenant General Ziggurat wrote a lot of letters before he decided to commit suicide. It was addressed to the divisions posted throughout Ernia. Those who share his aspirations will become our allies.” (Sicily)


“Thank you. Even if they are not hostile to Maxis, their mere presence will be a deterrent. I’ve heard that the anti-Maxis momentum is growing in the Royal Capital, so the number of troops they have at their disposal is less than 50,000.”


“Our army around 500 right?” (Sicily)


“That’s right. The expected reinforcements are around 15,000 from the Earth Division. And the volunteers who came along with us are 500.”


“Isn’t there a chance to win if it’s 25,000 or 50,000?” (Victor)



 Victor said he squeezed through the tent of the Operations Command Center.



“Yes, according to Lancaster’s Law, up to double the number of your own troops can be managed depending on how you fight.”


“Besides, we’re going to be holed up in a semi-fortress.” (Victor)


“Yes. Usually, a castle siege requires three times as many men as the enemy.”


“On the table, we have the advantage, don’t we?” (Sicily)


“Exactly. If we do the rest according to our calculations, we ‘should’ be unbeatable.”



 I say “should” because there is only one element of uncertainty.


 I’ve done what I should have done as a military strategist. I did everything I could in advance to achieve victory. I did everything I could do in advance to achieve victory, including building a defensive position to face the large army, requesting reinforcements, and making advance plans.


I am convinced that by doing so, I was able to raise my victory rate to 70%, but I was not without my concerns.


 I remembered the man in black who had come to my room the other day.


 The man who claimed to be a priest of the Demise Cult, Expana.


 I remembered his shadowy and ambitious eyes.


 Expana is not incompetent. In fact, he’s probably quite capable. If you take into account his obsession with power, his talent as a military strategist might even surpass mine.


 Such a man has teamed up with Maxis. I could only imagine that there was some kind of secret plan.


 If I couldn’t defeat that secret plan, I might be defeated. 


 I calculated calmly, but I had no obligation to let that calculation succeed.



(No matter what measures they prepare, I will defeat them.)



 Once again, I’ve made up my mind to do so, and I’m working on the keystone of this operation.



“Operation to Retrieve His Royal Highness, Prince Reinhardt.”



 I started to explain it to everyone.


 As the officers of the Libra Division gathered in the operation control room, I told them about the plan.



“I’ve already told everyone, but our basic strategy remains the same. While holed up here in the mountains of Shibi, we will prepare a separate force to rescue His Highness Prince Reinhardt and have him ascend to the throne, and on the other hand, we will have Maxis focus in fighting us rebels.”



 I looked around, but no one had any objections, so I continued.



“We have 500 troops holed up in the mountains of Sibi, but they are elite. We can expect support from the Earth Division, and we should be able to hold out for quite a few days. The question is, can we get His Highness Reinhardt back?”



 One of the officers raised his hand to that question.



“Isn’t it dangerous to divide the troops to retake His Majesty Reinhardt?” (Officer)


“Why do you think so?”


“Our troops are small. Then we will be split to smaller squads.” (Officer)


“You are right. Even though the mountain of Shibi is fortified, it is impossible to draw more troops from 500 soldiers. That’s why I’m going to infiltrate the capital alone and retrieve His Highness.”


“Lieutenant Colonel Leon alone!?” (Officer)





 All of the people in the Operations Command Center had the same expression on their faces. I seem to be the only one who remains calm.


“As you said, I can’t split the soldiers in this fortress. Our purpose is to recapture His Royal Highness, but that only makes sense if the princess is safe.”


“Theoretically, yes, sir.” (Officer)



 The officer tried to argue, but Sicily, the Commander, said,



“–Okay, I’ll allow that operation.” (Sicily)


“Your Highness!”



 Chloe, who was attending the strategy meeting, protested loudly.



“Chloe, it’s okay. Leon-sama’s words are more accurate than anyone else’s. This division was created by Leon-sama’s plan. Whether we live or die depends on his wisdom. How can we expect to win if we doubt him?” (Sicily)


“………” (Chloe)


“I approve the operation, but I will not allow him to act alone.” (Sicily)



 As she continues, she is looking around the officers.



“Major Victor and Major Snipes you cannot go with him.” (Sicily)



 Victor looked disappointed, and Nine looked like he was about to protest. However, Sicily continues resolutely.



“Maxis is coming soon. Both of you have to command the soldiers.” (Sicily)



 The theory is justified, and since they knew it, they would withdraw immediately. This is because they have very few officers.



“I know, he will bring Chloe with him.” (Sicily)


“I don’t want to leave your Highness’ side.” (Chloe)


“It’s the same for me.” (Sicily)



 Sicily smiles gently.



“But this is a battle for the fate of the country. And Leon-sama is no longer half of me, no, he and I are one and the same. Protecting Leon-sama means protecting me.”


“…………I understand.” (Chloe)



 Chloe gave her affirmative.



“Thank you, Chloe.” (Sicily)



 With a gentle smile, Sicily finally looks at me.



“Then, Leon-sama, take care of her.” (Sicily)


“Yeah, I will.”



 That was the end of the exchange. In a sense, the trust between the princess and I was fully realized. There was no need to say anything else.


 I gave them all a plan for dealing with Maxis and began to prepare to return to the Royal Capital.


 All I had to do was pack some clothes and a few books in my bag.


 Chloe is a seasoned traveler, so the preparations were done quickly.


 We could have left right now, but it was getting late in the evening. We decided to take a good night’s rest today and leave first thing tomorrow morning.

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