She didn’t fear that she could easily be trampled on by the knight beast’s feet and patted it. Even so, Alware was bigger than she’d thought and she was both surprised and anxious.
(Can I ride this monster with my wounded body?)
Nonetheless, she didn’t have time to hesitate. Mari looked up at the kicking strap and thought about how she would get on. When she concluded that it was impossible for her to do it alone, that black haired man, who was riding a knight beast, brushed the crowd of men aside and approached her.
The Knight looked horribly amused at the girl, who was blatantly frowning, and extended his hand.
“What are you doing to Her Majesty!? How rude!”
The people who shouted were the men who were brushed aside.
A strong sense of dislike swelled within Mari when she saw the Knight’s hand in front of her. Somehow, she understood that she, the Queen, hated this man.
Even if she glared at him with such emotions, the man did not withdraw his hand.
He was the only one who had noticed what Mari was thinking.
Nevertheless, she didn’t want to borrow the hand of a man she hated but now wasn’t the time to be bull-headed. She reluctantly ———, really reluctantly took his hand.
Then the man told her to hoist her legs onto her knight beast’s kicking strap and easily pulled her up. He released Mari on top of Alware, his grip was powerful and somewhat rough.
When she felt as if she was going to scream, she clenched her teeth desperately and somehow managed to cling onto Alware’s saddle.
The man was laughing and Mari swallowed the words that were threatening to flow out of her mouth.
(If he’s like that then of course he’ll be hated by the Queen.)
She shouldn’t be concerned about such a man. She readjusted her attitude and sat down on the knight beast.
From on top of Alware, Mari could see a mirage-like townscape from far beyond the army and from beyond that, she could see the hazy mountain ranges. The sky was clear and the sun was hot.
She firmly held her hands above her head and braced herself for defeat or victory.
She briefly ordered. Next, the roars of the surrounding knight beasts resonated.
The knight beasts instantly quieten at the voice of their leader, Alware. Then they all raised their voices and bowed down to Alware.
The hustle and bustle of the battle subsided and silence spread in her army and the enemy’s.
Everyone looked at Mari in surprise.
Mari didn’t miss this chance and held her head up high. She then spoke.
“Who did you defeat?!”
Her cold voice resounded throughout the battlefield. Mari was relieved that she spoke in a bigger voice than she’d thought.
“Stop with your bullshit!! The ones who are going to be defeated are my enemies!!”
Everyone was speechless at Mari’s voice and vivid appearance.
She was beautiful.
Mud and blood stuck on her pale yet well-featured face. Her big black eyes that showed strong determination sparkled as if dominating others. Her waist long black hair that had been tied up had came loose and was fluttering amidst the clouds of dust.
She wore a luxurious deep crimson dress that was unsuited for a battlefield. The top of her sleeves had torn off and the cloth fell off her shoulders. Her chest stained in blood could be partially seen.
The black-haired Knight who was staring at her chest, whistled.
Mari glared at him.
(Well, whatever. It’s just a dream anyway……)
Mari raised her hand and shouted.
The surrounding people were enchanted by her divine, majestic figure and snapped.
“Waaaaah!!” They shouted in joy. All of a sudden the army that had lost all its spirit, revived. They faced their enemy with tremendous force.
Mari exhaled in relief. She had managed to rally them up.
At that moment ーーー
She felt an intense stare and turned her eyes towards ーーー the enemy army. There was something shining with the sunlight.
It was hard to distinguish the figure with her eyes from a distance so she stared at it.
Shining blonde hair flashed inside of Mari’s mind.
(…… What was that?)
She wondered but she soon knew the answer.
That was the enemy’s commander.
She recalled his blue eyes glaring at her along with the indescribable feeling crawling up her spine. He had a painful expression on his good-looking face and he looked as if he was frantically trying to tell Mari something.
Mari realised that that exchange was the cause of this war but she couldn’t recall the main detail. It was shameful of her and she shook her head as if trying to shake off her hesitation.
(This is a chance. Let’s worry about it later.)
Her army’s war cry resounded inside of the dry wind.
The morale of the army swelled up like a melting pot but she was still unsatisfied.
(Did I overdo it?)
Mari clicked her tongue inside of her head.
“All the Captains should control their units while maintaining spirit! Don’t charge out recklessly and seize the reins!”
She sharpened her senses and warned her army, who were full of energy, to tone them down.
Nonetheless, this was certainly an opportunity. The enemy’s army were still pressing forward, it was important to decide who would win and who would lose. Mari called out to the black haired man who was staring at her…… No, staring at her chest while keeping her unpleasant feelings in check.
“What’s the force ratio?”
The man answered, amusingly.
“About three to one? It was four to one a while ago but someone dramatically collapsed.”
Mari choked upon those words. The strength of the losing army is the number of lives. Even though it was a dream she still felt guilty.
(Is that in the thousands? Or tens of thousands?)
She knew that her face had paled.
“I see. …… I’m sorry.”
At her frail apology, the man widened his eyes as if he was seeing something unbelievable. Then he said:
“Did you hit your head……?”
He was really a detestable guy but Mari believed that he was the only useful one. She wanted to settle this as soon as possible so that there weren’t any more victims.
“I want to use the human wave attack. Are there any Captains good with tactics?”
Her purpose was to weaken the enemy by consistently attacking. Hence it was a good idea for a Captain ———, a person to take command of the knights.
Mari suppressed her unpleasantness and moved Alware closer to the knight.
“Eh? …… You talking to me?”
Mari nodded at his question and he was getting more and more surprised. But he still answered her.
“…… Only Major General Leonir and Lieutenant General Bashir. And of course, next is me. But if you need someone to order the whole army then it would probably be General Bashir.”
He’d replied arrogantly just as she’d thought he would but it didn’t seem like he was lying.
“Well then, Lieutenant General Bashir will stay here. …… I’ll leave you to command another faction.”
Mari commanded the first half in a loud voice to her surrounds and the latter half was said in a small voice to the man.
“Eh? A mercenary like me commanding the troops?”
Mari was fed up with his self-deprecating words. Whether he was a mercenary or not, if he can be use then she would use him. Generally speaking, mercenaries are pros at war. Mari beckoned at the knights. He approached the knight beast amusingly and once again stared at Mari’s chest.
She resisted the urge to slap his face and whispered into his ear.
“Attract the enemy’s attention here. Choose the knights you need, make your way through the gap and infiltrate the enemy army. I want you to catch the enemy’s commander.”
He let out a sigh of amazement at Mari’s words.
“It’s easier said than done…”
The men who were mostly ignored by Mari ——— the Queen, were angry and irreverent.
Their criticism is directed at the Knight who was being disrespectful and messing around with the Queen.
“A merchant like you dares to talk to her Majesty like that!”
(…… I see, so his name is Darius?)
Mari had predicted the earlier reply but she was still angry. She suddenly laughed and once again whispered to the knight ——— Darius in a seductive voice.
“The enemy was able to cut me down in the middle of this great army. Are you saying you can’t do the same?”
Darius laughed and whispered at her provocation.
“Kidnapping someone and killing someone are two different things. Are you sure you want to leave such a job to me? I might run away, you know?”
Mari was confident for some reason and declared. She did feel disgust at his actions but she didn’t feel that he was untrustworthy. Mari believed in her intuition.
Darius was caught off guard at Mari’s reply for an instant. He separated from her and stared at her from the front.
“Eh? …… Then, the contingency fee is still whatever I want, is it not?”
(This means that he’ll accept, doesn’t it?)
Mari calmly nodded, satisfied with his reply.
“I’ll give you whatever you want, whether it be land or money.”
This was a dream anyway. It wouldn’t put a dent in Mari’s pocket. Darius’s eyes shone suspiciously as he heard those words.
“I’m not interested in such things. …… What I want now is you. …… Let me sleep with you.”
An angry uproar came from the surroundings. There were also people who wanted to kill him. A murderous intent was focused at Darius.
Mari was stunned.
(This guy, is he an idiot? …… Making that kind of thing a reward for a life and death mission.)
“Do whatever you want.”
Mari, who believed that this was a dream, coldly accepted.
The shrieks were directed at Mari this time.
“Ah, no problem.”
Mari flicked her hand telling him to hurry up and leave.
Darius laughed in satisfaction, returned the reins and left without looking back.
“…… Is Lieutenant General Bashir still not here? Everyone, know your corps, follow instructions and prepare to move immediately.”
Mari ordered, silencing the voices of the surrounding people.
There was no going back. If Darius succeeded then they would be able to win within a short time as she had desired.
If he failed, then the casualties would only increase. However, if their human wave attack proceeded smoothly then they wouldn’t lose in strength.
While she was thinking of a way to ensure Darius’s plan, a voice called out to her.
“Your Majesty. I, Bashir, am here.”
The polite knight who said that and kneeled on the ground was the bipolar opposite of Darius.
(So he’s Bashir. I hope he’s a bit useful……)
Mari instructed Bashir on their strategy.
“Divide the troops into platoons, hit them with a human wave attack from upfront. Don’t let the enemy rest. I’ll leave you the tactics and organisation to you.”
Bashir calmly gazed at Mari. Mari, who watched him straighten his back with a serious expression on his face, thought: He was probably around 40 years old. The man in front of her had a stern aura that could definitely command an army.
“If I may, I think with our momentum and fighting power, it would be better to siege them with a full-on frontal attack.”
Bashir proposed a frontal attack. Mari laughed and nodded at his ability to calmly analyse the situation.
“I don’t intend to destroy the enemy.”
Mari clearly explained her idea and Bashir slightly widened his eyes.
“Despair gives courage to cowards. They will desperately resist if we corner them and it wouldn’t just be the enemy that receives damage, but us as well. Even if we attack them, I don’t intend to cut off their escape route. If they intend to escape then their forces will be reduced. Those who want to surrender are welcomed to do so. Of course, persecution of the prisoners will not be excused.”
Mari said and Bashir quietly lowered his head in admiration.
“Even if they are the enemy, they’re still your citizens. I will comply with Your Majesty’s benevolence.”
This time, Mari was surprised at Bashir’s words.
(My citizens!? …… Then, is this a rebellion?)
“That being the case, Your Majesty……”
Mari interrupted Bashir, she could guess what he wanted to say.
“I already sent Darius out with a troop.”
As Mari expected, he knew what she meant and nodded.
“I understand. I have said something needless.”
“I don’t mind.”
Mari wanted to commence the operation at once but she hesitated.
The words “rebellion” was stuck in her mind. She wanted to know what had caused this rebellion.
However she couldn’t ask in a place like this. After all, she didn’t want to seem out of place so she asked something else.
“Why did you propose that?”
Bashir’s attitude was likeable. He didn’t blindly obey the Queen’s order. He moved after expressing his ideas and grasping the situation. However if that was his own army style then the Queen wouldn’t be intruding on the battle and getting shot down. The Queen before Mari awoke, was an arrogant ruler who did not listen to her subjects. But she wanted to hear the real intent behind Bashir’s advice.
“Because I don’t want to regret anymore.”