In case anyone want to know this manga’s name.
Kaoru Chapter 33: Hell, second stage
Six days passed since Arigo Empire’s army lost a great deal of supplies.
And in all 6 villages that they had been passing though, all the wells were polluted by poisons and there weren’t any food left either.
[ When I issued a calvary squad unit going ahead to secure wells and foods, I was amazed at the news that the 4th village secured a well that was not poisoned.
But right after that, I was surprised with the report from the remaining soldiers that ran away after fighting with 7 Balmoa knights.
I wished on the possibility that Balmoa Kingdom’s knights are irrelevant to those who spray poisons and the possibility that they don’t know the existence of that hidden well, but when I arrived at the village, the well was already contaminated.
Since there were corpses of our soldiers in a hut of the hidden well, they probably knew the existence of the hidden well from the beginning.
It seems that they were a unit that came back after noticing there was one hidden well left.
The fact that more than 20 of our calvaries were defeated by 7 enemy knights is shameful for soldiers of military country like us.
However, from our remaining cavalries’s testimony, one of enemy soldiers was called as「Roland-sama」
That means he must be「The Royal King’s Brother, Roland」
Also, he was accompanied by a mysterious girl with an extraordinary strength「Demonic Fran」 from the rumor, she was an elite Knight, and recently had become private escort for Royal King’s brother.
It’s not surprising about this outcome, however this result will affect our moral. Normally, we will punish or dispose those who fled back without serious injuries, rather than keep fighting after returning to our homeland.
Well, only if we can return to our homeland. But right now, during this expedition, they will work normally. There is no need to reduce our strength ]
The food distribution that was reduced to a quarter has already been exhausted two days ago, and the water that was reduced to one quarter will be exhausted today.
The cavalries are descending from the horses and walking in order to reduce the burden to the horses that didn’t have enough water, but the horses still start falling down.
The collapsed horse rider, while crying, cut the artery of the horse, given the drawn blood to the weak soldier, to drink and distribute raw meat to everyone.
For cavalry, it is the same as eat and drink their battle comrade’s flesh and blood.
Those who were given the blood and meat also endured the tears and greedly consume their blood share.
They must endure shedding tear. When they shed tears, they will waste a lot of water.
Also, when they eat meat, they will need more moisture for its decomposition and absorption, so they will be even more thirsty. When eating there will be saliva but it’s only temporary relaxation. Saliva is water in their own dehydrated body after all.
Those who drank poisoned water left behind in the highway. At first some soldiers tried to carry them along, but then those soldiers were discharged more water outside the body than the drinking water, and a lot of water was necessary to live.
Also, as they carried another soldiers, they couldn’t keep up with the march by themselves.
In the end, they had no choice but to put the sick soldiers on the horse-drawn carriage, but the horses that only drank a little water, also didn’t have enough physical strength to carry extra things.
Those who drank water in the first village were unavoidable because they didn’t know, but those who had become water testing for next villages had their hearts break. (T.N: They must feel like a lab rat)
In addition, some soldiers couldn’t tolerate the thirst and there were quite a few people who drinked well water sneakily in the village.
Certainly, while drinking, they could satisfy their thirst, it was a blissful taste. Until about 30 minutes later …
And finally, those who didn’t drink poisoned water also began to collapse.
Dehydration, and heat stroke.
Even you can easy cure them if you give them enough water, salt (fluids and minerals) and let them rest in a cool place, but this army have neither water nor salt. There is no place to rest and no carriage to carry.
They just lay down next to the highway.
And the voice of the fallen soldiers can be heard from both sides of the highway.
「Please take me with you」
「Please don’t leave me 」
「I do not want to die in such a place」
「I will live and come home … My newborn daughter is waiting …」
Soldiers stretch their faces and fix their line of sight forward, not to look at both sides.
「Do not look」
「Do not listen」
「Do not cry. Because moisture is important. or our friend’s life is wasted」
It was hell.
It will be better if you fight and killed in battle.
However, without fighting, those soldiers were suffering and collapsed at the roadside of a foreign country.
No soldiers want such a thing!
Will other soldiers go back here to help after this?
Even then, can the fallen soldiers live until then?
In the first place, can the soldiers that are still standing, live and return home?
The facial expression of the accompanying Sacred Country’s priests were also stiff.
Can they preach to those who lie by the side of the highway about the existence of Goddess’s love?
… If there was anything. It was devil and hell. And the one brought the soldiers here is devil, the place here is hell. That was enough saying.
*** One more day ***
[ Our Armies will arrive at the town tomorrow.
We can get plenty of water, food and place for troops to rest.
If we can do that, the army of the refined Arigo empire will be resurrected, not just a flock of dreadfuls like now.
We just need to enter the unprotected town and occupy it ]
*** And the next day ***
Delayed considerably behind their schedule, Arigo Empire northern invasion army finally reached the town or rather small city Nicosia which is one day away from Capital of the Balmoa Kingdom.
And the Armies went through the last hill, when the front units finally had the town in sight.
Suddenly, the front units stopped.
The other units behind can’t suddenly stop, the rear unit crashes and knocks down the formation.
With the front units which should be full of desire to get food and water from the town stopped, the Commander rode the horse forward with anger. This is a valuable horse that had enough water for commander use.
And the Commander who went to the position of the front units froze as he saw the same scene.
In the front of Nicosia town, there were Balmoa Capital’s defense force that is about 12,200 soldiers.
It was the whole army that gather from all over the country excluding 3 thousand left in the Capital and 40.000 in the border.
The Commander and the high staff members collapsed on site.
「Didn’t they defend in the capital?」(High rank staff)
「Although they are only more than half the strength of our army.
Balmoa Kingdom armies are thoroughly prepared when our armies can barely walk. We can hardly make simple formation let alone properly fight in battle …」(Commander)
Battle doesn’t mean that all soldiers enter the battle all at once.
In reality, battle only occurs at the contact part with the enemy in front of each army, and the tired, wounded soldiers will be replaced with soldiers from the back.
In other words, the number of soldiers who actually fight at a certain moment doesn’t change very much.
If that is the case, the weaker one will be knocked down. It is like a winning battle of Kendo. One strong fighter can knock down 5 of their opponents one after another.
… There’s no chace to win.
[ Even if we try to withdraw, there’s no power left for us to march.
And there are only the wells contaminated with poison on the way back. Also, with this brutal march, we will quickly get caught up and attacked from behind.
Even if we recklessly fought this battle, I will merely lost 20,000 precious soldiers of the empire in vain.
A valuable 20.000 troops out of the 80.000 Arigo empire troops …
In that case, we should surrender and still have chance to return home after the end of the war …
But it isn’t decided that the empire has already lost this war.
The responsibility for surrender is for the commander to take and I am willing to do it.
Compared to the life of 20,000 soldiers, my life is cheap.
It’s impossible to execute all the prisoners of war and it would be a big burden just to feed 20,000 prisoners of war.
Whichever country’s victory, it won’t be long for our soldiers to return to our country …] (Commander’s inner thought)
「We will surrender, prepare the messenger immediately!」(Commander)
High rank staff and soldiers looked puzzled, but they never opposed.
「Hurry! Maybe we can ask help for those who we left (4 dead:puns intended) on the highway, time is important!」(Commander)
The staff rushed out in a hurry.
「Did it end?」(Kaoru)
「It seems like that …」(Roland)
Stand a little behind the deploying Balmoa Kingdom Defense Force, Roland answers Kaoru’s muttering.
Villagers are likely to return to their villages earlier than they thought.
The medicine that put in wells will become ineffective after ten days even without doing anything.
It’s to prevent the wells to become unusable for a long time.
And of course, even if we don’t wait for 10 days, we can use it immediately after mixed a new medicine from Kaoru.
However, food and water bottle that are left in each house of villages as a trap are advised not to use unless you mixed the new medicine or wait after 10 days.
Well, even if you drink it, you only suffer from diarrhea for a few days, and you can cure with drink more water and minerals.
「But, this is disappointment …」(Fran)
「Well, was it better if we fight 20.000 of soldiers until thousands of soldiers from both side get killed and surrender?
Do you insist to have a fight like that?」(Kaoru)
「Well, but it’s still …」(Fran)
It seemed that it was a little difficult to convince Francette who is always aiming to be a knight at all times.
But if she was asked if she wanted to kill many Empire soldiers and get many Balmoa Kingdom’s soldiers get killed as well for self-satisfaction, she had to deny it.
「You will go back to the Capital like this」(Kaoru)
Kaoru said to Emil and 7 children. The village boy, Tapani also blended in perfectly.
「Must we return when Kaoru isn’t?」(Emil)
Emil can’t easily accept.
「That’s right, because you can’t do anything this time」(Kaoru)
「Why? At least we can be as much as a shield!」(Emil)
「That’s why, it isn’t good!
You may be get cut or stab in heart. And when you do, not even I can do anything to help.
But when I am alone, I can do anything」(Kaoru)
「But we were knowing it from the start and we are willing to do it」(Emil)
「… Well … you guys are still weak」(Kaoru)
After a bit of hesitation, Kaoru said it firmly.
Emil standing silent.
「Don’t get me wrong, it’s just「you guys are still weak」
It can’t be help because you are still children, and Francette is a special case」(Kaoru)
The female knight Francette suddenly heard her name mentioned and was flustered.
「Besides, I am not saying that you are useless.
You are doing your work great.
And now I want you to help me with what you are doing great」(Kaoru)
As a result of persuasion, 「The goddess’s eyes plus」plus one child are convinced.
This group is already 8 people, is it okay?
That’s why the children will return to the Capital with a carriage.
In the Capital, they will gather information about the behavior the aristocrats and influential people, people who are connected to other countries.
Of course, you should really understand, but it will be quite difficult. Anyway, it was enough to be the reason why the children agree to return to the kingdom.
「… so what are you going to do this time?」(Roland)
After the children went away, Roland asked Kaoru with a shabby face.
「Oh, I think I will go to the battlefield in the west」(Kaoru)
「「Eehhh!」」(Francette + Roland)
「No, I won’t permit that, It’s too dangerous!」(Roland)
Roland shouts out.
But it was ineffective with Kaoru.
「I don’t need Roland-san’s permission.
I’m just a commoner girl from another country that traveled and stayed in Balmoa Kingdom until now.
And right now I’m just having a journey to the west」(Kaoru)
「No, no …」(Roland)
It was Roland who changed his complexion, but soon he calm down and smiled.
「So, how do you go to the west? There are no merchants going to the west because of the war. There will be no carriage.
Can you walk there without a carriage, and how many days will it take with Kaoru’s legs…?
I will not lend a carriage or any soldiers from the royal palace」(Roland)
Knowing Kaoru can’t ride a horse, Roland thought this would be able to stop Kaoru. But…
「… Oh, is that so. I will go by myself then」(Kaoru)
Kaoru walking away from the dumbfound Roland.
She is heading to where she kept the horses that she captured in the 4th village.
「Hey, you guys. Who can take me on a long journey?」(Kaoru)
There are 18 horses. (T.N: there were total 20+3 horses – 5 cavalries ran away)
「Oh, young miss, are you a new kind of horse?」(Horse A)
A brown hair horse with a shaken voice answers.
「No, I’m just an average human who has a connection with Goddess…」
「「「「If you have connection to the goddess, you aren’t average at all!」」」」(Horses)
For some reason, I got Tsukkomi by the horses. No they are horses, should I call it 「Tsukkoma」instead. (T.N: Tsukkomi + Uma/horse)
「Well, leave that topic alone.
If you go with me on a journey, I’ll cure all your injuries, diseases, and prepare delicious food.
After the trip is over, I will buy a nice female horse from the horse store or pasture. I’ll put you together as my possession」(Kaoru)
「「「「Pick me! Young lady」」」」(Horses)
「Pick me! Youngster, just give it up to the elder! 」(Elder horse)
The horses got a big fuss.
「Uhm, about that, Kaoru-san, You are saying something to the horses, but what is happening…?」(Francette)
「Oh, It’s a fight to decide who will take me …」(Kaoru)
「「「「Eeeeeeee !! 」」」」(Fracette + Roland + 4 Royal Guard)