Author: Dawn

“What about Her Highness the Princess? How…”

Upon hearing the report, even Rudehrn was utterly bewildered, the most shocked he had been in years. It was inevitable.

Even he, with his vast experience in warfare, couldn’t have foreseen this situation.

The remarkable victory in Akiten had surprised him as well. Dealing with the enemy’s feigned withdrawal, then striking while they were engaged in the siege.

It was easier said than done. Appointing someone to handle the feigned withdrawal wasn’t a casual choice either.

Given that it wasn’t even a forest, he had been skeptical at first.

Even though he had felt a twinge of disappointment at the Third Prince’s defeat, he had still heaved a sigh of relief at the Princess’s triumph.

He had felt sorry as he couldn’t provide reinforcements in such circumstances.

The enemy had 35,000 troops. The best approach was for the Princess to engage them and stall for time with her forces.

Alternatively, she could abandon Akiten and make a grand retreat to join the main force.

“It was Carl Schurtafen’s plan.”

“Schurtafen? Again?”

He had heard that Carlyn was responsible for handling the feigned withdrawal. Knowing his skill, he could comprehend the situation.

Still, he considered it an impressive feat.

However, he hadn’t expected it to happen again. He secretly wondered if it was Duchess Lyurik’s plan once more.

“Yes. He employed a strategy of drawing out the enemy’s archers and infantry through a feigned retreat in the Epyder Plain, then collapsing their formations with a cavalry charge.”

Rudehrn remembered the young boy he had met on the training grounds. Despite his youth, he possessed a dazzling talent with the sword.

But he hadn’t expected that talent to extend to warfare as well.

Thinking back, he had noticed that spark since Akiten, or even during the previous competition battle.

He had shown remarkable prowess even back then.

On the other hand, there were parts that he understood. The boy had been a swordsman aiming for the moon and its light.

His calmness and composure would undoubtedly have been valuable in reading situations during the war.

“Haha. Impressive, truly impressive.”

Rudehrn laughed heartily and applauded. Those around him were all wearing bright expressions.

Given the astounding victory they hadn’t anticipated.

“I knew my friend had talent, but to this extent. It’s a remarkable achievement.”

“That’s right. To defeat over 60,000 with just 25,000 troops. A tremendous accomplishment.”

Even the knights beside Rudehrn nodded in agreement with his words. Except for the princes, the mood was cheerful.

The First Prince and Third Prince had sour expressions, while the Second Prince’s inscrutable demeanor made it hard to gauge his thoughts.

Even the Emperor’s chief strategist couldn’t help but express admiration and spoke up.

“That friend will receive a medal from Your Majesty.”

“Well, of course.”

It was a sincere remark. The knight had truly altered the course of the battle. Considering the overall situation, he deserved the Founding Emperor’s decoration medal.

With more battle left ahead, it was almost certain as long as he didn’t make a major mistake.

Not only Schurtafen but the Princess as well would receive commendation.

Rudehrn anticipated a change in the dynamics of the succession struggle.

Since the time of the Founding Emperor, the Emperor of the Empire had to be the most powerful and reliable individual.

The war with the West, the biggest war in 100 years, was no small matter.

The Princess’s contribution would change the views of nobles and commoners alike. Rudehrn admired Duchess Lyurik’s foresight.

‘When she rejected Your Majesty’s proposal, I wondered what she was thinking. Perhaps my vision has deteriorated.’

No one had predicted the Princess’s success, except Duchess Lyurik.

And the fact that all of this was thanks to Carlyn was astonishing. At that moment, a messenger approached.

“Sir Rudehrn! The Western Army is retreating!”


Rudehrn smiled. It had only been a short period, but they had been a manageable opponent.

As soon as the plan went awry, the natural course of action was to withdraw.

The Western Army’s destination was obvious.

Once they returned to the West, they would have to focus on resupplying, making the war even more arduous.

‘Well, at least it’s better than now.’

Rudehrn passed over the First Prince and the Third Prince. The fool who had charged against orders and the ignorant ones who relied on their larger force, despite the staff’s suggestions.

The Princess, Duchess Lyurik, and Carlyn would be much more helpful than those individuals.

* * *

“Your Highness, you’ve accomplished an amazing feat. Truly admirable.”

“It was something that needed to be done.”

“When we return to the Empire, I have something to discuss in private…”

Since returning to the main camp, the praises for Erendil had not stopped. Even among the supporting nobles of the Princes, some were subtly hinting at a change of allegiance.

Although they were cautious due to the ongoing war, the shift was significant. The way the soldiers looked at us was different too – envy and resentment. We were the only unit that had emerged victorious.

The Second Prince hadn’t even participated in a proper battle. He had fallen for the false siege.

The main camp had managed to rescue the First Prince, but the Third Prince and the First Prince had suffered near-total defeat.

Honestly, the First Prince’s performance was somewhat surprising, no matter how encircled he had been during the false fortification.

Losing 40,000 troops was unexpected.

‘This wasn’t supposed to be such a difficult battle.’

If it weren’t for the succession competition among the Imperial Princes, this catastrophic defeat wouldn’t have happened.

Tsk. In a way, it was like the Emperor have abandoned his troops. From the beginning, it was his role to ignore even the staff’s suggestions.

Perhaps it was one of the reasons the Empire had been shaken so much in the game world.

Regardless, the change in perspectives was apparent to me as well.

“Schurtafen, have you eaten?”

“Not yet.”

“Let’s eat together. Sir Emmet said you should eat first.”

“Yes, of course.”

The other guards of Erendil, who had been initially wary of me, now pretended to be friendly. Other nobles and knights did the same.

This was due to the recognition of my role in dealing with the false fortification in Akiten and the strategy in the Epyder Plains. If I remembered the looks I received when I first arrived in the Empire, this was quite a change.

“Carl, I heard you had a significant impact on this battle. Remarkable.”

“When we return to the capital, let’s have a drink. It’s on me.”

Though I was still a Haisen outsider, there were still a few who weren’t entirely friendly. But they were a minority.

Some impulsive nobles even made startling propositions.

“My daughter is sixteen now, and she’s truly beautiful. She’s about your age, so how about meeting her? After all, a commander should marry early.”

I had simply evaded a count’s suggestion with a tactful refusal, but I was genuinely taken aback.

Even the soldiers’ gazes had changed. They were already supportive, but it had intensified.

-Charging with Sir Carl felt like riding the winds. It seems even faster now.

-Oh, you too? I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

This talk among the cavalry spread as a rumor.

I had to be a bit careful. Discussions about my Winds might arise if I wasn’t cautious enough.

Anyway, since I was at the heart of the victorious battle, there were many discussions about me.

-Sir Carl? He’s insane. Did you say that even while falling after being almost pierced by a spear, he managed to do a flip in the air?

-Then, what happened next is real. As he got up from the ground, he instantly threw a spear into the chest of the knight who had thrown the lance at him. Thunk!

-Even the Sword Master candidate, Faorn Shade, was taken down by Sir Carl? Three opponents in total?

-I saw it myself. It was just three opponents.

-False. It was two opponents.

-Huh? I heard he took down one opponent in a single bout.

Among themselves, some were discussing and asking me what was true. When I confirmed that it was two opponents, there was a mixture of cheers and disappointment, as if there had been bets made.

Moreover, as there were very few casualties among the soldiers who had been with me, even strange rumors had spread.

-Could it be that the Goddess of War is with Sir Carl?

After the last battle, and now with just two battles, even I was somewhat bewildered. Although it was a great victory, I hadn’t expected the atmosphere to change this much.

Perhaps the soldiers who had suffered defeat needed to hear tales of victory. They probably wanted to hear only good things.

It was a good thing for me too. Although it seemed a bit excessive to say that even the Goddess of War was on my side, considering the upcoming events, it was a good opportunity. If I could just maintain this momentum, I would gain overwhelming support.

Judging by the atmosphere, it seemed like all the soldiers here wanted to come under Erendil’s command.

Not long ago, morale had been dismal before our arrival, but now the atmosphere was quite positive.

After a few days, we had reorganized our forces and restocked supplies to pursue the retreating enemy in the west. Then, on the day of our official departure, Rudehrn and the staff brought shocking news.

“We bring the Emperor’s orders as the departure approaches. His Majesty has commanded that effective immediately, the command authority of His Highness the First Prince and His Highness the Third Prince, who have suffered severe defeats in Mivent and Omisan, be revoked and that they return to the capital.”

“What? Father?”

“What in the world does that mean?”

The First Prince and the Third Prince vehemently objected. Their faces turned red, and it was evident that they were very agitated.

Their anger was palpable. If it hadn’t been for the Emperor’s name in the command, they might have immediately drawn their sword and possibly attacked the staff.

“These are His Majesty’s orders.”

“This is absurd!”

“The war is not over yet!”

Despite the firm words from the staff, the Third Prince and the First Prince remained unyielding.

They knew that returning like this would tarnish their reputation.

‘While I can somewhat understand their feelings, it’s not good to show such a scene.’

Were they grasping at straws?

Frankly, while it might make sense for the First Prince, I couldn’t fathom the basis of the Third Prince’s confidence.

The First Prince still had around 10,000 troops, but the Third Prince had no forces of his own.

Could it be that the main forces would be redistributed? This was impossible since both the First and Second Princes had opposed that at the start.

In fact, the order to return was, upon reflection, somewhat inevitable. There was hardly anything they could do on the battlefield now.

“Sir Rudehrn, are you really saying what’s written?”

“I am just following the Emperor’s orders.”

Amidst the continuing protests, the staff intervened.

“His Majesty suggested that if you have any objections, you should return to the capital to express them.”


The First Prince and the Third Prince stared at him, speechless.

“The remaining forces will be distributed under the command of the main force, His Highness the Second Prince, and Her Highness the Princess.”

At these unexpected words, the Second Prince’s expression brightened. So did ours. It was a favorable opportunity.

With the tide turned in our favor on the battlefield, all that remained was to establish dominance. There was nothing else left.

Unlike the crestfallen Third Prince, the First Prince looked at Erendil with an intense gaze. It was a plea for help, an indication that he wanted us to support him in becoming the Emperor.

He probably had been harboring similar thoughts since losing his forces.

However, there was no means for us to intervene, given that the Emperor’s order had been issued.

Erendil tilted his head slightly. The First Prince himself must have realized that there was no solution, as he averted his gaze.

In that instant, Erendil looked at me. She seemed to be saying something without words.


I couldn’t peer into Erendil’s heart, but I could sense a gaze mixed with trust directed toward me.

Halfway there now. With the First and Third Princes excluded, only the Second Prince remained. All I had to do was finish this.

The Second Prince also seemed to share this sentiment, as he looked at Erendil with a slight uplift of his lips.

‘Why are you smiling? There won’t be a place for you.’

Perhaps Erendil seemed easier to handle than the First Prince. However, I would never allow things to unfold in such a manner.

As the First and Third Princes retreated in defeat, the imperial forces began their march westward once again.

Author's Thoughts

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