Scheme part 1
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda:
- Martin Luther:
Another day had passed. The senior officers and I led by Martin Luther were sitting together to go over our combat plan again and again so as to not miss out on any details.
A messenger ran towards us at his highest speed with the intel that just came in his hands.
“Looks like we won’t have any problems.” I glanced at the paper quickly and said to everybody, “They are approaching us at the assumed speed and schedule, and have also lost a few hundred men. They’ll be here in a while after dark. What a bunch of cooperative guys.”
“Boys.” Martin Luther claimed, “This battle is one that involves life and death! Buckle up!”
I intended to say encouraging words after looking at these warlike young men, though the words that came out became, “Carry on, I’ll see all of you in the celebration party!”
I gazed carefully at each of them and tried to remember their faces.
They were dismissed which left only me and Martin Luther standing behind.
I had made a decision according to my army’s condition to abandon our previous strategics and fight this battle by utilizing infantry operation methods.
To carry out that plan would certainly be troublesome. However, the taste of victory that would result from this war was so appetizing, which when compared to any trouble, was worth a whole lot more.
Like the newly built camp that we spent the whole day on, it was not far from the battlefield we were at yesterday.
Its size and exterior appeared the same as the one we had assaulted yesterday, plus, we added certain ‘structures’ to make sure our returning allies were as welcomed as old friends who had returned home.
“What’s on your mind?” Martin Luther asked.
“I’m considering the addition of a team of sappers dedicated to such jobs.” I aimed at the new camp and said, “Any laymen work much slower than the professionals.”
“Oh?” Martin Luther was a bit surprised, “You are actually not thinking about the battle at hand?”
“What are you so worried about?” I looked at his eyes and gave him a smile, “We will surely win.”
It was not something that was said blindly. A close-range battle was something I was best at in my previous life. Thus, a thorough plan could almost guarantee a victory.
“Hahaha!” Martin Luther’s laughter was always incredible, “Let’s go! We should be prepared.”
I cursed the weather.
I rode a dull horse with full body covered in iron armor. Although it was an empire-standard armor for middle officers, the handiwork of it was not pleasant. The stitches were rough and the closures were worse. The space between each piece of armor was broad enough to pinch a finger through.
The wind was getting heavier mixed with pieces of sands. I couldn’t help but lower my face shield. A few strings of dyed brown hair escaped from the armored spaces and fluttered mischievously.
I had been waiting there for a while, and waiting was one of the things that annoyed me the most.
My steed neighed and tossed its neck. Then a burst of depressing neighs and the sound of hooves were brought in by the night breeze.
“Feeling tense?” I murmured to my lieutenant next to me, “Just the two of us.”
“A… bit!” His sound slacked in the wind, “I’m not afraid, anyway.”
“Bear this in mind.” I tapped his shoulder, “We two are the key to today’s victory.”
The lieutenant nodded and said, “Sir, I understand! I’m glad to be the one to handle your operation. I’m Kirk, ready to fight.”
“Good, let’s go.”
I kicked the horse and neared a marching cavalry band. Kirk followed.
I held the reins and approached them leisurely.
Kirk went ahead and deployed an infantry flag down the wind to reveal our identity. The flag was found in the camp we attacked yesterday on the watchtower. It was brand new compared to its previous dead owner.
The two parties were close enough to see each other clearly. I saw a band of fifty, nearing sixty. Kirk began to swing the flag in a particular pattern, and the other team replied with the same style of actions.
We passed through each other and turned around to meet their chief officer.
“Vanguards?” I shouted.
“Positive! Are you the camp guys?” Their officer replied, and I sensed a trace of exhaustion from his voice. I noticed his distinct khaki armor. It was enchanted.
“Sure!” I lifted my face shield to gain his trust, “How was it going?”
“They are catching up.” His thumb pointed at the back, “Tons of trouble! DAMN!”
“Kirk!” I showed my liberal sympathy to the enemy officer and called my lieutenant, “You take our brothers ahead and tell my commander we’ll be right up. Get the food and shelter ready!”
“Roger!” Kirk nodded and dashed away with dozens of ‘brothers’, which left the enemy vanguard leader waiting for the main force with me.
“Sir, what was the trouble you were talking about?” I asked the khaki-armored man.
“Don’t ask, we were fucked!” He spat hard into the air, “Things were good when we got in. The returning, not so much. We got attacked by the rats, you know, wingmen from the sky and sandman in the sands! We were dead tired and lost a few hundred brothers!”
“It’s good to have you back!” I comforted, “I’ll let you have a rest in the camp, and you’ll be brimming with energy!”
“You don’t know.” He took off his helmet and revealed his muscular face and sighed, “Our general Harric’s temper… we are lucky not to have returned empty-handed.”
I had no idea what he was talking about.
He was probably thinking about his business at home and kept silence. In time, both of us were silent.
“They are here!” The vanguard leader showed.
I looked to the direction and found a somewhat messy cavalry band that had appeared in the skyline.
“Looks like they didn’t chase them across the border.” He said, relieved, “Judging from their slow riding.”
“Let’s just go back to the camp.” I said, “I’ll put a few guys here to lead them.”
How would I dare to stay? Though I was good at acting, I wasn’t going to joke about giving myself away.
“Okay!” The exhausted vanguard leader took my advice.
Who would not want a good rest after a long march.
“I’ll let you rest in peace… forever.” I told myself.
“Here they are!” Marfa, who was guarding the gate, said, “Open the gate!”
The train of horses passed through to the stable, which had a dozen of hitching posts lined perfectly in the front.
This was more than enough to tie down their horses. Once a horseman was off his horse then he would be down for the kicking.
By the way, those were several thousand horses! What a lucky day! I’ll be rich!
“Let’s check out the resting chamber.” Once the horses were tied, I told the officer, “And food.”
“En!” He swallowed, “Let’s go.”
I led him to the other side of the camp and introduced on the way.
“Take a look, here is for your troop’s stuff at the center, safe like hell! That way is the dining area, large enough for you?”
“You bet!” He replied.
“And here.” I led him down to a few giant tents, “Here is the dining area for you commanders. Is this place big enough for you?”
“Let me see…” He glanced at the tents and on his fingers, “Junior officer seventy, middle twenty, four commanders… that’s enough for us.”
“Perfect…” I made fun of myself while winking towards Jack.
Jack the rabbit trotted off to inform Martin Luther about the number of enemy officers.
“You wanna eat first?” I had someone bring a bowl of thick, delicious meat soup to this officer with enchanted armor, “You look starved, why don’t you take off your helmet?”
“I’ll wait.” He shook stubbornly, “My commander is not here. Give me some water please.”
I watched as he swallowed the soup and emptied my brain. This officer was a good man except for his looks.
I kept myself from asking his name. For me, killing, whatever the reasons, the guilt after would haunt me. I did not like such feelings. Probably no one liked it. However, if I did not know his name, I could get rid of such feelings sooner.
By the time the vanguard leader drank his second bowl of soup, the main enemy force was entering the gate.
“My commanders have arrived!” He dropped the bowl and said, “Let’s go.”
We dashed with a bunch of guards to the them.
“Sir!” The guard leader saluted the man on his horseback, “The infantry battalion has prepared us with food and shelter! I’ve checked personally, everything’s fine!”
“Where is their commander?” The one on horseback wore a white attire and had a cold look.
Was this my opponent?
“Sir!” I talked, “My commander and I have gone out for your troops! He probably missed you guys. But I can assure you. I have sent my men to him! He’ll be back shortly after!”
“He’s not here?” The white officer gazed at me with doubt. After thinking briefly, he talked.
My heart almost rose up to my throat.
This moment, another officer by the white commander whispered to him, “Our men are much too tired, and so are the horses.”
The white officer had no other choice and went off his horse and said what I had expected, “Eat and rest! Keep your armor and saddles on!”
“Give me someone!” I summoned a soldier, “Take the commander’s horse to the stable.”
“Not necessary.” The white commander handed his horse to one of his deputies, “Your captain, Mr. Rico, how’s he doing?”
“Good! But our commander’s name is Vincent!” I said loudly. I had already prepared for such moves.
He nodded with relief and entered with his men into the tent we prepared for him.
After this, I quit the act and watched as the knights tied their horses and started having dinner, leaving only a squad in the camp center watching their baggage and horses.
Marfa walked quietly aside and whispered, “They are all in, I’ve sealed this place.”
I nodded and went with Marfa to a tiny tent.
The tent was crowded with my sweaty men.
“What? Nervous?” I put on the Manchete and flirted.
“Not really, the air bores me.” Moya said bitterly.
I grinned, “You’ll be served with fresh air right away.”
“Boss!” Marfa looked through a hole in the tent wall, “They are eating!”
“Let them fill up!” I said, “Or the food I prepared is wasted.”
“Boss…” Moya said deliberately, “Can they eat stuff like that?”
“Sure they can. Remember, you all remember.” I gazed around all of them, “For me, I’m willing to do anything to keep as many as my soldiers alive, even one more man means something to me! You will do the same, no matter what it takes, and no matter what anyone thinks about you. Provided what you are about to do will benefit us, do it! As for your personal reputation, starting from today, lose it!”
Who would expect what I said had created a man like the first High Judge of the Empire. Despicable Justice Jack, or so called by many.