BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 25 (WN)
Chapter 25 – Eve of the Decisive Battle – The Fallen Wise General
【POV: Snowe Halphas】
I quietly whispered to myself as I looked up at Fort Bryden, a key stronghold of the Maxwell territory.
Fort Bryden was a square-shaped fortress. The steep mountains on its west side made it impossible to house a large army, so it could only be assaulted from the other three cardinal directions.
The imperial forces had already surrounded the fort. The First Imperial Army would attack from the east, the Second Imperial Army from the north, the Imperial Knights from the south. The volunteers that joined us were spread among the three platoons.
Three platoons with three different chains of command; in addition, the respective commanders definitely did not have a good relationship with each other either. On paper, Prince Lars was the supreme commander of the allied army, but it was not a decision made without heated debate and protests.
They should probably just focus on their respective targets, without thinking about cooperating with the other platoons.
“This is where my brother died…where, for me, everything began…”
My older brother, Eis Halphas, once attempted to conquer Fort Bryden, but fell in battle against the forces led by Dietrich Maxwell. My quest for revenge began then.
“I will not fail, no matter what…I will avenge you, brother, and bring House Maxwell to ruin. I will show you…that I can surpass you…!!”
Eis Halphas, the left half of the Twin Wings, the First Imperial Army’s Wise General, was both a source of pride and a peak to overcome.
Five years ago, I lost my brother and, at the same time, my life’s goal.
At first, I thought of inheriting his will and leading the Prince to the throne. As I watched Lars gradually lose his grip on reality, accumulating mistakes and failures, my line of thinking gradually changed.
(My brother truly died to protect such a worthless man!? House Halphas bore responsibility for the failed campaign for a man like him!?)
The cause for the defeat five years ago was blamed completely on Eis Halphas. We did not receive any concrete penalties, but my position among the knights became very precarious.
The grief of losing my brother, the resentment for the dishonor we were forced to bear…slowly by surely, they turned towards Prince Lars. I saw the good-for-nothing prince as a target of revenge, as much as House Maxwell.
(First, we will take down Fort Bryden and wipe out House Maxwell. After that…)
I was going to have Lars killed and instate Prince Grett as emperor. Then, as a close retainer to Grett, I would cleanse the stains on my name and become the new captain of the Imperial Knights.
My brother, though he was called Wise General, could never surpass Bjorc Zagann, the hero of the First Imperial Army. In order to surpass my brother, I had to become the supreme commander of the knights, surpassing even Zagann.
(Only then, will I have truly surpassed you, brother…!)
My resolve reaffirmed, I looked once again up at the fortress.
The sun had already set for a while: the night sky was dotted with stars. We had sent a messenger to the fort, to demand that house Maxwell surrender, and were waiting for a reply.
I did not expect Maxwell to surrender, of course. The messenger was probably never going to return.
“…the fighting will begin at dawn…the dawn of my path to glory…!”
The imperial allied forces numbered over 30,000. The enemy numbered only 5,000. No matter how impregnable Fort Bryden could be, there was no way we could lose.
The same land that saw my brother fall will witness my rise to glory!
“I am going to win! I am going to bring victory to the imperial army! No matter what!”
So I swore to the night sky, unaware of the series of unexpected events waiting to happen…