“Thank you very much for saving me!”
A man who seemed to be the captain of the fleeing soldiers spoke to me.
“My humble name is Lihilt Strahm!”
He was a young man with a tall figure. He looked younger than me; He was probably only around his twenties, and he had a friendly-looking face.
He had comparatively minor injuries among the soldiers. His subordinates were applying first-aid to themselves with a medical kit next to Lihilt as he talked.
“Are those lizardmen our enemy this time around?”
Firvus pointed at the fallen lizardmen with his chin.
“That’s strange… The main army isn’t stationed here. Why are you all the way over here?”
“We’re a detached squad.”
“It’s a small unit separate from the main army prepared beforehand. We were ordered to assault the lizardmen before the main army advanced.”
“With that number of soldiers? …Uh huuuh.”
Firvus spoke like he guessed something.
“Must’ve been real tough.”
“Then, we provoked the lizardmen just as we were ordered, but they were too strong for us. We decided to retreat after we thought we couldn’t hold them back any longer. After we frantically ran for our lives, we ended up way far away from the main battlefield, then got you all involved in our mess.”
“Well, we’re all in one piece, and so are you. All’s well that ends well, am I wrong?”
“I don’t feel as bad if you put it that way!”
Lihilt waited for his subordinates to finish first aid and spoke.
“Well then, we have a mission to follow through with! We’ll be returning to the battlefield!”
“No, there’s no need to. Come with us.”
Firvus flatly objected.
“There’s no meaning in going to the battlefield at this point.”
Then, Firvus hit Lihilt’s chest with a thud.
“You’re young and all, so your sense of duty is pushing you forward, but look around. Your soldiers are on the brink of collapsing from exhaustion. You’ve finished your opening gambit of disjointing them. Your job is finished.”
Lihilt’s face was full of guilt as he looked at his subordinates. His subordinates nodded back to him to cheer him up.
He was definitely well-liked by his subordinates.
The guard soldier cleared his throat.
“Mr. Firvus, I have a duty to fulfill for my kingdom, so—”
“That so, sorry about that. In that case, escort these guys for me. I’ve come to realize this place isn’t a safe zone. You two alone won’t cut it around here. There are monsters that can withstand the academy instructor Firvus’ Fireball—surely you two wouldn’t wanna die?”
The guard soldiers went silent after being told that.
We arrived at the main camp in the early evening.
The two guard soldiers left for the commander’s office after escorting us.
Lihilt and co parted ways with us to report to the army as well.
“Thank you very much for looking out for us. From now on, I’ll pay my due diligence to better read the circumstances at hand as a captain!”
After he spoke, the young man Lihilt left along with his subordinates.
“We’re gonna go and greet the big shot of the magician group. Follow me.”
Firvus began walking after saying that.
All I could hear from the surroundings were celebrating voices. The soldiers were merrily drinking alcohol and singing songs.
Today seemed to be an astonishingly overwhelming victory.
“The commander this time around sure is remarkable for his age!”
“Maaan, I want to follow that person for the rest of my life!”
I wondered who it could possibly be.
Firvus gave an evil laugh and continued to speak.
“That guy sure is impressive. He’s impressive—but he’s cold-hearted.”
“What do you mean?”
Laura asked a question.
“That Lihilt guy we just met earlier—they’re sacrificial pawns.”
Laura widened her eyes and lost her breath.
“His strategy is something along the lines of preparing a massive amount of sacrificial pawns like Lihilt and using them to disrupt the Lizardmen, then storming the main army in right after. It’s simple, but Lizardmen are stupid, so it isn’t all bad.”
“That’s awful! Even though we have to minimize sacrifices, he…!”
“The main army is full of sons of high-ranking nobility and people well-liked by important people within the kingdom. The commander can’t let them die, and he needs to make them achieve something in battle. He’s shoving the dangerous work onto the guys who don’t matter.”
“But—Sir Lihilt has a family name, plus he’s nobility, right?”
Firvus laughed with a hint of mischief in response to what Laura said.
“Strahm, huh… No one hears of that name. At best, he’s some destitute baron who’s nobility in name only, I guess. Those types of guys are easier to use than commoners. They have loyalty to the kingdom since they’re nobility, and they work themselves to the bone for their impoverished household.”
Laura stayed silent with a sad-looking expression.
I spoke in place of her.
“Mr. Firvus, you notice a lot of things, huh.”
I felt impressed while listening to the conversation.
As someone who has no merits besides Magic Arrow, I hadn’t considered any of that in the slightest.
Firvus laughed weakly.
“It might be because I’ve known Carlyle for so long. He’s a pessimist who can only see the dark side of things. I ended up catching his habit.”
Firvus then grinned at me.
“You could end up associating with Carlyle for a long time too. Before long, you might even miss the old days where you were still honest, you know.”
I’ll end up knowing that Royal Court Magician for a long time—
I wondered what that meant.
While talking about this and that, we arrived at the encampment of the magician group which Firvus was headed for.
“The two newly appointed students, Albert and Laura, as well as academy instructor Firvus, are reporting in. Starting henceforth, we will be under your banner of command.”
Firvus greeted the senior magician, who seemed to be the top-ranking magician in their group, at the back of the plainly assembled building.
“We’re placing our expectations on you.”
The senior magician gave a slight nod after speaking.
That was the entire greeting. Firvus’ real business seemed to be with a different person, so he began conversing with them.
With that being the case, Laura and I went out to the encampment—
“Oh, if it isn’t Albert and friends. Looks like we meet again, huh?”
There stood Lihilt, who we had just parted ways with.
Today’s second chapter. Enjoy and see you guys tomorrow, gn.