Reincarnated into a Game as the Hero’s Friend - Chapter 140
When Gezarius saw the fort that stood on top of the open grass plain, he frowned. The third fort had a strange structure. The fort structure would resemble a triangle if looked at from the sky.
A building that looked like a watchtower stood on each corner of the triangle, and there was a wooden wall that connected the three watchtowers. Gezarius couldn’t find any knowledge about the fort, which had such a strange structure in the memories of Puckler or Mangold.
What alarmed Gezarius more than the fort’s strange shape was the corpses of wandering demons and animals covered with filth lying around the fort in a strange manner. It was as if a strange ritual had just taken place here.
Of course, Gezarius was cautious. After all, he had first-hand experienced Welner’s various tricks. Gezarius ordered his subordinates to surround the fort from afar, while keeping his caution. Although the Zeavert flag was raised in the fort, there was no movement from the humans.
Gezarius then waited until midnight. Although he had experienced the magic lamp attack earlier, no one could deny the fact that demons had an advantage in fighting at night. No matter how many tricks Welner had prepared, Gezarius thought that the chances of those tricks being successful would reduce considerably in the night when humans could barely see anything. Gezarius planned to attack the fort at once at midnight and slaughter all the humans before they could escape to Anheim town.
At midnight, Gezarius howled and the demon army rushed toward the fort from all directions. There was no response from the human army in the fort. Some demons used their superior jumping ability and landed in the fort with a single leap, some chose to strike the wooden walls.
After Gezarius landed inside the fort and looked around everywhere, his angry voice resounded throughout the fort.
The excited demons, one by one, stopped their movement after hearing their general’s order. Then, some demons began to realize what had just happened and became stunned.
There were no single humans in the fort. From the beginning, the third fort was empty.
The reason the human army had shouted ‘go to the west!’ and ‘head to the third fort!’ before was only to lure the demon army here while the human army had long returned to Anheim town without them noticing.
The fort was created in a triangle shape to make the demon army cautious and waste as much time as possible before making their move. The strangeness of the fort, such as the lying corpses, was something that was prepared to dull the demons’ sense of smell so that they could not figure out that the human army had long left the fort.
The reason the fort was built on top of a grass plain was to make it difficult for anyone to find horseshoes marks and see inside the fort from higher areas. Even the flag that Gezarius saw in the previous two forts was a trap to make Gezarius believe that the existence of that flag in this 3rd fort meant that the human army was here.
While the demon army was stunned in the place, the morning sun rose, causing words that were carved in the flagpole to be visible.
I’m going to Anheim town to eat.
A message that was written as if toward a friend made Gezarius let out a shout in anger. That shout made the demons around Gezarius prostate in fear.
“HOW FAR ARE YOU GOING TO GO TO MAKE FOOL OF ME?! YOU DAMN BRAT!!!”
After that, Gezarius ordered his subordinates to go straight to Anheim town. Thus, the demon army headed to the south from the northern side of Anheim town.
While the demon general was shouting in anger, Welner came out of his room with sleepy eyes.
After Welner returned to Anheim, he instructed a few things to Behnke and Kesten, who were both in charge of Anheim while he was gone, then immediately returned to his room in the mansion and fell straight to sleep. He was exhausted.
After he slept more or less to his heart’s content, Welner ate his breakfast without really caring about the table manners. It was at that moment that Behnke and Frenssen came to meet Welner. When Welner greeted them with a yawn, they both smiled bitterly.
“Huahmm… Sleepy” (Welner)
“You smell a bit, sir.” (Frenssen)
“I’ll take a bath later.”
Welner replied to Frenssen while yawning. Welner immediately collapsed on his bed after only taking off his armor, so it couldn’t be helped that he smelled. At that time, Welner was physically and mentally at his limit. It was only after Welner woke up that he regretted dirtying the bed sheet with his sweat.
“There are a few things that I wanted to tell you.”
“What is it, sir?” (Behnke)
Welner then gave Behnke various instructions about evacuation plans if the town walls were breached by the demons. He gave a broad outline of the evacuation plan including evacuation personnel, drill, and escort. As for the details, Welner decided to leave it to Behnke.
“At any rate, I want to minimize the civilians’ casualties. It would be best if the demons didn’t breach the walls, but in case they do, please do the evacuation as I had instructed.”
After saying that, Welner drank his lukewarm tea. Then, he took out the things that he had already prepared.
“Sir Behnke, Frenssen.”
Welner gave them one Skywalk each. The two men looked at Welner with confused expressions, “Your Excellency…”
“It’s just insurance.”
Welner replied, while waving his hand.
“I have no intention of losing or dying. Just think of these as a duty that I have as a governor.”
If Anheim town fell, Welner needed to send two messengers to the capital, one to report to the kingdom and the other to report to his father, the head of the Zeavert family.
Welner had no intention of losing. Even so, it was the duty of the governor to prepare for the worst situation. Behnke and Frenssen looked at each other, then accepted the Skywalks.
“If that is the case, then I shall accept this.”
“Ah also, if there is still no sign of our enemies, can you call Sir Kesten?”
“As you wish.”
When Welner finished his second cup of tea, Kesten and Rafed arrived in the room. Welner immediately asked Kesten, “Sir Kesten. Have you contacted the capital?”
“Yes. I sent a messenger when I saw the signal, then I sent another one after some time had passed.”
Welner nodded. Although there was no way the messenger would face a bandit attack or an accident midway since he used Skywalk to go to the capital, there was still a chance that the messenger would get attacked by the demons right after he arrived outside the capital, so it was a right decision to send a second messenger after some time had passed.
After that, Welner discussed other preparations for the war including personnel assignments or the availability of the weapons and tools for war. Welner also instructed them to proceed with the preparation for the catapult.
“How’s my reputation in the town?”
“It is about half good and half bad.”
“That’s good enough for now.”
As the army had returned victorious, the reputation of Welner, the army’s commander, was now quite good. On the other hand, some people blamed Welner for the war, saying that if Welner didn’t send the troops to the Triot, the war wouldn’t have happened even though the Pledgers Council had explained to the people of Anheim that the demons would have still attacked Anheim soon even if Welner hadn’t sent his troops to Triot.
Well, Welner had expected this level of blame.
“If we win, we will be envied. If we lose, we will be criticized. We have a quite unfortunate standing.”
“Stop saying depressing things.”
Unexpectedly, Kesten’s statement made Welner feel down. Although Welner had been prepared to face the consequences of the war both as a commander of the army and as a noble, Welner was still not happy to be blamed like that. Seeing the two’s conversation, Rafed cleared his throat.
“Well, because the story of how you played around with the demon general has spread, you are now quite popular, sir.”
“That’s good. In the upcoming battle, I only have my popularity to count on.”
If Gezarius used Mangold’s appearance when he attacked the town, there was a chance that some people would rebel from inside after they saw how the son of the previous lord of this territory had appeared. Welner could only count on his popularity as the current governor to decrease the chance of rebellion happening. The chance would forever remain, though.
“I wonder when the reinforcement will arrive.”
“Who knows? In the first place, the reason why I chose that kind of strategy was to buy time since we don’t know when the reinforcement will come.”
Gezarius must have predicted that the humans had sent a messenger to the capital, but there was a chance that Gezarius didn’t know the existence of the Skywalk. If he didn’t know, that means there would be quite a bit of a gap between Gezarius’s prediction of when the messenger would arrive in the capital and the messenger’s actual arrival.
In addition, Welner had also bought a lot of time by using a strategy that made his army move between forts. So now, Welner could only do his best to survive until the reinforcements arrived.
“Still, Your Excellency, you smell.”
“Frenssen said the same thing earlier.”
After being told he smelled for the second time by Rafed, Welner let out a bitter smile. Then he sniffed his sleeves. Rafed, who saw his action, continued his words.
“You know, Your Excellency, your fiance might hate you for smelling like that.”
“I don’t have any fiancee!”
“Truly? I thought Lily-dono is your fiancee.”
Welner was surprised by Rafed’s words.
“Why do you think Lily is my fiancee?”
“Well, seeing how protective you were of Lily-dono before, I thought she was your fiancee. I mean, there are many ways to make Lily-dono your fiancee despite the fact she’s a commoner.”
“It’s possible to make Lily who is a commoner my fiancee, but she isn’t my fiancee.”
Welner didn’t have a fiancee. You could say that Welner was too busy with his job to think about getting a fiancee now, but even without that, Welner himself had constantly tried to avoid the topic of a fiancee.
“Well, I can imagine your reason for not having a fiancee but it will be best if you do not mention it to anyone.”
Welner smiled bitterly at Kesten’s somewhat sarcastic remark. The reason why Welner avoided the topic of fiancee was simple. The current Welner was an easy target for ambitious parents and hyena girls, especially in Anheim.
After all, even though Welner’s reputation in the capital was bad, he was still the heir of a Count house. Although his reputation made it possible for him to avoid the talk of engagement for the time being, there were still many girls who wanted to get married to him despite his reputation just to become a future countess.
In addition, people with great military prowess were basically popular in this world. Although the fact that Welner succeeded in wounding Gezarius had not spread yet, the news of Welner exterminating the bandits had become well known. Currently, Welner had a reputation as a civil official who was strict in judging crimes.
While thinking ‘it would be troublesome if too many strange rumors about me started to spread’, Welner stood up and went to take a bath. Maybe it was something that Welner did to escape this conversation, or perhaps Welner simply wanted to think about other things on his own. No one would know the truth.
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