Eve-of-Battle Speech – Georg
Georg Rose Archive
—Just outside of Sutherland’s northern gates
Fifteen divisions of around 2000 people were stationed around the plains that spanned around the outside of Sutherland’s northern gates.
They were arranged not in the shape of a horse’s hoof like the army had devised but were asymmetrically dotted around the landscape. It was similar to the formation that adventurers often took up when dealing with a large outbreak of monsters; it emphasized mutual cooperation.
The possibility of someone controlling the undead was one of their worries. Many expected the controller to find difficulty in controlling such a large army, and so decided to use a battle formation more suited towards monsters.
With this formation, even if one division were to fall, nearby divisions could quickly make up the difference or quickly fall back since they weren’t clumped up. Naturally, the army and the court nobles fiercely objected to this formation, but once the expeditionary force suggested that the army spearhead the horse hoof formation, their rebuttals quickly died away.
The supreme command over the army lay with the emperor, Georg Rose Archive. Archive would be finished if they lost this battle, and indulging in the court noble’s ego and conceit was for times of peace. They should focus just on overcoming the battle.
“Now, how are they doing……” Georg thought.
Finally, just dozens of hours before the battle, the scouts reported tens of thousands of undead splitting off from the main body to head towards Thermax.
“I wonder if Grey’s misgivings have become reality.”
Georg was almost certain that there were people who wanted Grey as far away from Sutherland as possible.
“They fear a single child more than the empire’s entire army……we’re being underestimated.”
It was frustrating, but the decision made sense when he considered Grey’s absurdities. The reason Georg was so uneasy, too, probably lay in the fact that the child named Grey Millard was not present.
Still, they grasped an important truth instead: there was a high probability that Cyrus was colluding with the mastermind.
Cyrus and the other court nobles were definitely citizens of the empire. For those not in the Commerce Guild, the empire served as a foundation for their own authority and wealth. In reality, they ones who served to lose the most, not Grey and those around him. So even if the moved to protect their fatherland for purely selfish reasons, it was still excellent patriotism.
That’s why no matter what reason Cyrus had, he shouldn’t have sacrificed his fatherland. At least, that’s what Georg had thought. No, that’s what Georg had wanted to think. And the undead attack on Thermax had now grounded that faint expectation of his into a fine dust. Grey was forcefully sent to Thermax, and now it was being attacked. Georg wasn’t so blinded by peace that he would write this off as a mere coincidence.
He would stick to only the gains before him, and the incompetents who destroyed even their own foundation had no place in his empire. He needed to purge them with this incident.
“Your Majesty, it’s almost time.”
According to the scouts, there was less than an hour left before the undead would appear on the horizon.
Georg straddled his horse and set forth to see many lords kneeling towards him, as well as the 30,000 or so soldiers and mercenaries who were following suit.
“The undead are soon to come. Raise your heads,” Georg commanded.
He paused for a second and surveyed his surroundings to see countless different eyes piercing through him.
—Eyes that burned with determination to protect their family and their fatherland.
—Eyes that aspired to achieve military success and raise their standing.
—Eyes that shook with fear and unease as their survival instincts kicked in in front an undead army several times larger.
—Eyes that feebly planned to protect their own interests amidst the chaos.
None could fault any of these types, except for—.
“Your Majesty. With all due respect, this formation is—” Cyrus began to say, but Georg cut him off.
“Cyrus, I order you to take up the front lines along with Hero-dono.”
“What are you saying!” Cyrus protested. “There are strengths and weaknesses to war. We traditionally have the expeditionary force hold the front lines while the army protects your Majesty, the commander. Surely you haven’t forgetting this!!?”
“You would be right if this were a conflict between humans vying for each others’ commanders. However, this is a rare circumstance where the undead are the enemies. They’re the same as unintelligent monsters; they won’t aim for my life.”
“But there’s still that one in a million chance!”
“Are you to say that I would fall to mere undead, Duke Cyrus?”
“N-no, nothing of the sort—”
“And you know, Duke Cyrus, I don’t want to leave myself in your hands,” said the emperor, whose chilling words sent a chill down even his own spine.
“W-what could you possibly mean—”
He’s already hopeless. It became apparent once Georg tried to actually interact with him.
“I should have already given you that answer. Think on your own.”
“Your Majesty, are you planning on going against the will of your father, the former emperor!!?”
They’re pests living in this empire, just that like segregationist old fool. And their personalities are just the worst.
Georg didn’t care anymore; he had made his decision. He would never speak with them again. Leaving that aside, he focused his gaze next to Cyrus.
“Hero-dono, do you understand why I’m sending you to the front lines?”
“Yeah.” The Hero, who was sitting crossed-legged, turned away and gave a light nod.
“You’ve saved the empire many times, so—”
“I don’t mind. I’ll tell you everything once I come back safely,” he said.
Yukihiro the Hero stood up and muttered, “Georg. Thanks for everything.”
Then, he set off towards his deathbed.
“Shit! What am I swaggering about!! These are the seeds I’ve sown!!”
When the Hero had first arrived in this world, he had used his preeminent powers to save the citizens from the giant magic dragon. And yet he wouldn’t hurt a single person, even if they were a bandit. He was that type of gentle kid.
He was just 12 years old at the time, and whether he was dyed black or white depended on the adults. Georg should have known that.
He should have protected him, because that’s an adult’s responsibility. And yet he allowed the Hero to be used with the excuse that it was under the orders of his father, the current emperor.
Georg was the same. Georg had unknowingly walked the same path of hate and scorn as those rotten fiends and the court nobles.
“I’m done with all of this……”
Everyone silently stared at their exchange.
There was a wide range of people, from those who knew as much as Georg did about their background to adherents to the Hero who knew nothing.
But not a single person said a word, probably because they were aware of the Hero’s resolution and the heavy atmosphere.
Georg dismounted his horse and said, “Here’s the only thing I’ll say!”
He took a deep breath.
“Every last one of you, survive!!!” he squeezed out, staring fixedly at the ground.
The commander of a war raised the morale of his allies. So this pitiful and unrealistic statement clearly showed that he was a complete failure of a commander.
If it were him……if it were Grey, he would surely rouse up the soldiers and encourage them. He was like the previous emperor in that regard.
“Probably because I’m unfit……”
‘You’re not fit to be emperor.’ That fiend, the previous emperor, had often said that to him. If not for his commendable parts, Georg wouldn’t have a single shred of respect for the previous emperor. That’s the kind of guy the latter was.
However, that fiend undoubtably had more dignity and charisma as an emperor—Georg was fatally lacking in that regard.
“Raise your head and look,” Sieg said from the side.
The moment Georg raised his head, he heard an ear-shattering roar that almost threatened to shake the ground. The war cry propagated throughout and bounded onto the battlefield.
“Your majesty, walk the path that you believe in, and we retainers will support you with everything we have.”
Sieg kneeled, and Georg’s retainers stopped shouting to follow suit.
“All divisions, charge!!” Georg roared, signaling the start of the battle.
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