The Girl Who Ate a Death God Chapter 12 / Chapters List

Stuffed Lamb Intestine is For Some Reason Delicious

General David, upon finishing work incorporating the Third Army into the Fourth Army, immediately began formulating a plan to recapture Antigua. Supressing the Rebel Army was a matter of utmost important for David. His forces were sufficient. Goods were in abundance as transportation had been completed. If they were to attack, there was no other time except now. Moreover, harvest season was soon approaching. Before the crops senselessly went over to the Rebel Army, he wanted to hurry up and reclaim them. Recapturing Altura Plains was more urgent than their tight financial situation.
In the conference room blazing under the early summer heat, the Staff Officers of the Fourth Army were clamorously and noisily arguing. In order for their own opinions to be approved, for the sake of catching the eye of the commander, they were frantic in their own right.

"—-When one's forces are greater, a frontal attack is the yellow brick road. A cowardly battle is ill-befitting of His Excellency."

"That's what Yalder said, and he was defeated. We ought to clearly work out a plan here."

"What is vital is in what way do we cross Alucia River. There is danger associated with a large army crossing such a wide expanse. We will be attacked by the enemy is what I'm saying. On the other hand, Belta and Antigua are linked by this bridge. But crossing Sulawesi Grand Bridge also has its dangers."

He pointed to a site on the map. There was an important point of traffic, where hustle and bustle could be seen, and where peddlers traversed everyday. Currently, as the Kingdom and Liberation Army were glaring at one another, there were nearly no merchants using it. It would cost money, but their safety was guaranteed: they utilized ferries.

"It is unreasonable to make use of that bridge. At best, only around one company could cross at a time. They'll be beset by the waiting enemy and beaten the instant they've crossed.

"Then how about forcibly crossing the river? We'll push through in one stroke. A few sacrifices are unavoidable right. A battle can't be fought fearing death. We'll muster all the Fourth Army and cross in a moment. We've been repeatedly training for this."

He boldly spread the knight pieces on the map towards Alucia Plains. Strength in numbers, that was his central dogma.
With a "Hmph," another Staff Officer took a piece symbolizing the Liberation Army and whacked it over there. The Kingdom's Army piece shot off from atop the map.

"Like our opponent would just watch while we cross the river. How about you go back to military academy and go study again. What the heck are you thinking? I really want to have a peek at what's inside that upbeat head of yours. This is no different from Yalder."

He vilified, and it was almost like he couldn't stand it.

"Strength in numbers. After that is only God's guidance and luck more or less. What we consider is in what way before the battle starts can we prepare a force that exceeds the enemy. And, we have been increasing the number of soldiers. If that's the case, we should make a confident attack. I cannot see the need to think of some clever ruse. It's pointless."

This man was recently appointed to Staff Officer. He was originally an ex-military officer, and what fate would have it that he would be in this place. He clearly possessed thought and character not suited towards a staff officer.
"There is a need to hear other opinions." At this one line from the corps commander, everything was settled. He was a staff officer in name only and was basically a personal bodyguard. He was obstinate, but he had a mean sword-arm. The Chief Staff Officer of the Fourth Army had to consent, thinking that this was David's intention.

"Spare me the tedious talk. What a staff officer should consider is how to minimize damages, or how to guide the unit to victory. That's all there is. In that aspect, we cross wit instead of swords. Your thinking is that of a military officer and is inappropriate for a staff officer. Don't make that mistake again. —-Anyway, a forced river crossing is not possible, Your Excellency. If they aim for us when our formation is disturbed and our marching speed has fallen, we will fall easy prey."

After hammering down the nail that was the ex-military officer Staff Officer, he informed David that the contrived river crossing was inadvisable. David was sorting documents while sitting in his seat and drinking water at the same time. The respectable bodyguard-cum-Staff Officer did not agree with that manner.

"I see. What an interesting exchange of opinions. It was gratifying to be able to see the difference in thinking between a military officer and a civil officer. Truly a sight. ......Then, how about we combine the two opinions?"

David elatedly smiled, and the staff officers exchanged glances.

"—-So, what Sir is saying is?"

"We will use the strategy that those guys used. When we feign attack, we defend. We make them think we won't, we do. We feign numbers, but it'll be the opposite. Wasn't this the fundamental tactic learned in military academy? Are you gentlemen so busy that you've forgotten?"

David placed a piece at Sulawesi Grand Bridge on the map, and then another piece was moved to a spot where the width of Alucia River was relatively narrow. Then, he ran them to Antigua Branch Castle.

"....I see. So the unit on the bridge is a decoy. No problem in that case. As expected of you, Your Excellency David. I am in awe of your wisdom."

"This is a very effective plan I believe. Those guys will strengthen their formation on the riverside. And then in the long run, Antigua will be completely vulnerable."

"If they tighten their defences of Antigua on the other hand, we can leisurely cross the river."

Flattered the Staff Officer, and the other people were also exaggeratedly nodding.

"Still, how would we cross? Siege weapons are needed to make Antigua fall right? Also, a supply train is needed to maintain a large army. There is no way we can cross just like that."

The bodyguard-cum-Staff Officer idly played with a wagon shaped piece. Siege weapons, rams, siege-use ladders, and catapults were currently being prepared. They were lacking those for capturing Antigua. As it was, it would be difficult to ferry them over the river.

"Regarding the siege-use weapons, they are currently being assembled at that very location. Of course, the construction soldiers have been mobilized. Regarding the method for crossing the river, we can just use pontoon bridges. We've brought them all the way here just for that purpose."

The Chief Staff Officer placed small blocks of wood on the denoted river crossing site. Small boats would be lined up and tied together, making an instant bridge on top. Durability was a problem, but it would be fine if they would last until the crossing was done.

".....I see. In that case, it seems this plan will go well."

The bodyguard finally nodded in consent. When the Chief Staff Officer though about how he would have to give the same explanation to the commissioned officers, he became almost nauseous. But, this amount of hardship was nothing much for the sake of his own fame. If he worked hard, he would be transferred to a do-nothing job like the staff officers of the Third Army.

He put his feelings in order, stood up, and said summarized the contents of conference.

"First, we dispatch troops to Sulawesi Grand Bridge, draw out the enemy main force, and nail them down. Late at night and at the same time, we dispatch the construction unit, we build a pontoon bridge at the river crossing site. At dawn, we start the march. The cavalry unit as the First Division will cross the river, trample, and pulverize the enemy guards. The Second Division of infantry will build a beachhead and march towards Antigua. The Third Division will be the main shaft of supply trains, siege weapons, and worker soldiers. —-Is this all sir?"

David nodded, and the other staff officers showed agreement in succession.

"—-Umu. The Sulawesi Grand Bridge diversion unit will cover the riverside with battle flags like a shroud. Then, they will show the enemy often that they intent to advance. ......No, perhaps just that won't be enough. I will also take battle formation near the Grand Bridge. If the flag of the Army Corps's commander is raised, that will add an additional layer of believability."

Informed David, and the staff officers exchanged glances. Though it was a diversion, that did not change the fact that it was a dangerous place.

"Your, Your Excellency, will you also depart for the front? A diversion unit though it may be, it is accompanied by danger."

"Of course. Those worthy of nobility must display their authority and stand at the vanguard of the masses. If the commander fears, the soldiers do not follow. That is war. Just as he said earlier, we cannot behave cowardly."

David asserted. It was hard to reconcile pride as a noble with life. As a military person, he would devote himself to the Kingdom and moreover attain the highest distinction. That was David's aspiration.

"Your Excellency's honest resolution is splendid. All of us here vow further loyalty."

"I expect great work from you all too."

"Sir-, please leave it to us."

"We will absolutely bring Your Excellency victory."

In order to guarantee David's safety, the Chief Staff Officer started to further supplement the plan. The commander being killed was the worst possible scenario.

"Judging from the enemy's main force, for starters, it is difficult to think that they would throw caution to the wind and cross the river. However, in the off chance that they come to cross the bridge, I believe we should surround all of them and exterminate them. If they try and forcible cross the river, we will meet them at the riverbank. We will also call for reinforcements from Belta at that time. These are further considerations, so there is a need to deploy more than 10,000 to Sulawesi Grand Bridge."

"The elite of the Army Corps would have to be deployed along with His Excellency's elite guards. We need to assure perfection."

"If they follow under the direction of His Excellency David, wouldn't there not be any problems?"

The deployment of the Army Corps's most elite infantry-they would pretend to be 30,000 strong via handcrafted dummy soldiers, which were straw effigies made to wear armor and to hold battle flags. They were substitute soldiers to make the enemy think that they were reinforcements. They would tie down the enemy main force, and they played the most important role in this battle. The commander's leadership would be tested.

"Umu. For example, if the enemy main force were to change course, we would cross the bridge and strike their backs depending on my decision. The enemy soldiers will probably be annihilated, pincered by us and the unit crossing the river. There is no doubt in our victory wouldn't you say?"

David reassuringly nodded. The operation had been decided. —-Operation Alucia Crossing.
This would no doubt be left behind in the Kingdom's annals. It would probably be a brilliant military record about David. The road to rising to Field Marshal was assuredly wide-open. David unintentionally leaked a smile for his own glorious future.

 
First Division: Advance cavalry unit. 10,000.
Second Division: Fourth Army mixed infantry division. 50,000.
Third Division: Supply train & construction soldiers. 3,000.
Sulawesi Grand Bridge Troop Headquarters: 15,000 of the most elite.
Left behind for defense of Belta: 50,000 of the former Third Army, on standby and prepared for battle.

With around 80,000 soldiers pumped in, David's all-in, crossing operation was about to unfold.

—-Conference room. Commissioned officers who would lead the troops gathered.
Duties for the operation in the near future were being assigned, and stations were instructed.

"......Major Schera. Your unit will have 1,000 men. Rear guard of the First Division is your duty. Your mission is to not get in our way. Earnestly devote yourself to lookout. Don't even think about excessive things. If you try to steal a march on us, I will absolutely punish you. Drive this into your skull!"

From the cavalry that was assigned 3,000, 2,000 were reshuffled into another unit. Even so, to be able to lead a unit could probably be said to be fortunate. If there was another field officer who could lead cavalry, Schera would have been discarded at the onset. Forget David, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that all the leaders of the Fourth Army Corps loathed her. That she would be demoted to a private had impressively circulated, and there was no shortage of passing snickers.

"Sir-, I will devote everything I have!"

"Hmph, you'll probably be just a common soldier the next time we meet. How truly annoying."

Contemptibly spewed out Major General Alexei, who would lead the First Division, and the surrounding men laughed.
Though, the people who were once the Third Army kept silent, knowing the validity of Schera's prowess. It would be unbearable to say something excessive and be demoted. Hence, they didn't speak. The mouth is the cause of all calamity after all.

"Get it? Training cavalry takes an extraordinary amount of time and money. By all rights, a young girl like you would never have been entrusted with even a single rider. Take that fact, thoroughly drive it into your incompetent head, and really understand it.. Absolutely do not waste troops. Soundly abide by my instructions. Absolutely do not get in the way of other units. If I judge that you cannot do even that, I will immediately execute you. Got it?"

Pronounced Major General Alexei. This was not a threat. When he heard at first that this little girl was a field officer and was also leading 3,000 cavalry, he had forgotten to be angry and was dumbfounded. It's because of things like this that the Third Army was defeated. He didn't even want to give her 1,000, but he couldn't otherwise. Even just forcibly assigning 2,000 to other cavalry units had affected command enough that he wanted to avoid anymore confusion before the start of the operation.
Therefore, she was assigned a duty, rear guard of the First Division, that anyone could do.
As soon as this operation was over, he planned on petitioning for her demotion. He didn't want to see her face. That someone had prepared even a grandiose nickname, Death God, Alexei thought that ludicrous.

"I, Major Schera, completely understand!"

"Then dismissed. The talk after this is not for you. Just go feed the horses. Get used to it, because after the operation is over, you'll be doing that everyday."

"Sir-!"

Sniggers enveloped the conference room. Schera alone left the room together with stares of disdain. After listening to such a trivial talk, she was extremely hungry. Let's hurry up and fill my stomach while feeding the horses.
Thought Schera while whistling. At the barracks cafeteria, she casually purveyed some vegetables and quickly headed to the stables. She threw fodder into the horses' feeding trays and gave her own horse carrots.

"I'll go with this ......What is this do you think?" She asked her brown horse, but,
it intently chewed the carrots without even a glance towards her.
She hadn't expected a response, so Schera was talking to herself while stuffing her cheeks.

"Stuffed lamb intestine. Sausage. How did something like that become something this good I wonder. Food truly is mysterious wouldn't you say?"

While gorging herself with the overflowing meat juices, Schera was enjoying the modest meal with her loved horse.

"Horses have it nice. They can survive off of grass and water. I'm really envious."

Just once, the horse looked in her direction. With a small neigh, it began taking carrots into its mouth again.
Schera sat down on the stable's floor and lightly sighed. Again, a fight would start. She should probably fill her stomach while she could in this interlude, since after they sortied, there would possibly be more dried food. She wasn't particularly dissatisfied, but she was more or less tired of it. Well, dried food wasn't bad in and of themselves probably. It was fine as long as she could eat. That was more important than anything

When she returned to her office, two adjutants were waiting with sour faces. They had likely heard that 2,000 people had been taken from them. They frowned. A greeting came from Schera.

"What's the matter, you look like you've eaten a bug. Did it taste that bad?"

Don't eat bugs; they may contain toxins. Eating one would ruin the stomach. Schera was not endowed with the insight to distinguish between edible and not edible. Same with mushrooms. Each and every one looked suspicious, and Schera did not have the judgement. The best thing to do would be to have someone try eating it.

"That is not it! The troops have finally had high morale! They just do not understand! Major Schera leading should result in even greater war gains, yet!"

Katarina raged with enough temper that it seemed steam would come out from her head. She had through great trouble became an adjutant, yet suddenly, there was the crisis that her superior officer would drop to a common soldier. Furthermore, that their own forces had been reduced to 1,000 was no laughing matter.

"He should have seen the Major's military achievements. It seems he somehow does not believe it. Yalder had fabricated it he said."

"Ridiculous! There was no need to do such a thing-!""

"He would do anything to raise morale, is what I conclude our superiors to be thinking."

"If I do fall to a common soldier, let's do our best together. Ahh, treat me to food please. My wages will be deducted after all. If it comes down to it, I wonder if should sell this armor."

Katarina's face flushed when Schera lightly muttered, 'It seems expensive.' Katarina had just taken up a new post, and if Schera was suddenly dismissed, maybe there wouldn't be a position for an adjutant at all.

"Major Schera-!"

"Your body won't last if you stay agitated. There's still much time until the operation starts."

After looking at Katarina with eyes of sympathy, crunch, crunch, Schera started eating beans. The beans today were sweet. Jackpot. Today might be a good day.

"You heard the Major. Right, Honored Second Lieutenant Katarina?"

Vander put his hand on Katarina's shoulder, and she violently shook it off and shouted in anger.

"Shut up-! I'll show them. I'll get some achievements somehow.
—-Right... If I don't overcome this adversity, me becoming an adjutant would have no meaning."

Katarina started fervently muttering with dazed eyes. Vander put his hands up in surrender, seeing that she had gone to her own faraway world.
Schera ate the rest of the beans while gazing at her, seemingly very interested.

—-In years to come, this clash would be known as The Battle of Alucia Crossing. Its outbreak was near at hand.