BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 33 (WN)
Chapter 33 – Those who Rampage Below, Those who Watch from Above
On the northern side of Fort Bryden…
The Second Imperial Army, led by Grett Baal, received the report of a surprise attack.
“Y-Your Highness!! We are under attack!!”
“W-what!? Did Maxwell move!? Where are they attacking from?”
“No, Sire!! It’s our allies! The First Imperial Army!!”
The knight’s report left Grett slack-jawed.
He did plan to battle the First Imperial Army in the near future, but not before Fort Bryden was dealt with. He had no intention of starting anything before the fortress was conquered.
“They have already reached the center of our formation!! We urgently await orders!!”
“S-Stop them immediately!! Do not let those traitors come any closer!!”
The Second Imperial Army boasted twice the numbers of the First, but the sudden attack had destroyed their numerical advantage. After Grett’s orders their counterattack finally started, but the heart of the Second Imperial Army’s formation had already fallen into a chaotic battle between the soldiers of both sides.
“SHIIIT! SHIT SHIT SHIT! LARS, YOU GODDAMN IDIOT!!!”
Grett’s enraged yelling echoed from the Second Imperial Army’s camp.
The battle between the two imperial armies had quickly reached a state of utter chaos: they were both speedily heading to total annihilation.
Looking down on them from the northern walls, I spoke to the man standing behind me — Oboro.
“Looks like everything went well.”
“Indeed. Those two must have done a good job.”
“Right…may their souls rest in peace.”
I closed my eyes and fell silent for a while, sincerely praying for those who had given their lives for the sake of House Maxwell. Oboro too chanted a prayer for his fallen subordinates.
“I must say I did not expect things to proceed so smoothly, Young Master. Lars Baal must be rather dull in the head.”
“Well, I guess so.”
I nodded to Oboro’s words.
The First Imperial Army had suddenly attacked the Second — which meant my plan had worked.
The messenger from Grett who made an attempt on Lars Baal’s life — was actually a Fangs of Steel assassin I had ordered to infiltrate the Imperial Army.
He pretended to attack Lars on Grett’s orders, to spark a conflict between the two imperial armies.
“No matter how impulsive and thoughtless Lars Baal might be, If he still retained the ability to make a calm decision, he would have easily seen through this “divide and conquer” scheme.”
In the last week of fighting, however, only Lars’ First Imperial Army was on the receiving end of our poison and gunpowder: his distrust of the Second Imperial Army surely peaked. The frustration from their struggle also helped cloud his vision and hide something he would have normally spotted.
“We have to say thanks to Snowe Halphas for really double crossing them. An ally turned traitor is a lot more hateful than someone who was an enemy from the start, after all.”
When our spies in the empire reported about the possibility of Snowe Halphas’ betrayal, I was so overjoyed I took Sakuya’s hands and did a little dance, then and there.
Snowe had inherited his older brother’s talent as “Wise General” and was quite the tactician, or so I had heard. If he had remained at Lars’ side, they might have seen through this plan.
I did not know the reasons behind his betrayal — maybe personal interest, maybe self-preservation. The betrayal of the man trusted as a strategist, however, cost Lars his judgment: the conflict with Grett became inevitable.
“Brothers that don’t get along going to war together were wrong from the start, anyway. In the history book a thousand years from now, Snowe Halphas will be recorded as a rebel who drove the empire to its downfall, I imagine.”
“The fate of a traitor…what cruelty.”
Oboro clasped his hands and whispered, with pity in his voice.
“Anyway, he gave us a chance. Let’s use it the best we can.”
I looked down at the fortress. The Maxwell forces were already gathered at the northern gate, ready to strike the enemy at any time.
At the eastern walls, Ladd Efreeta was ready to depart too. Once I gave the signal, we were going to catch the First and Second Imperial Armies in a pincer attack. My hot-blooded friend was probably chomping at the bit, waiting for my order.
“All exciting battles too must come to an end…time for the grand finale!”
As the war horns blow, the gates open — and the Maxwell cavalry bolts outside.
I watched them and grin a fanged smile, then jumped down from the walls and onto my trusted steed.
“I will go too! The Imperial Prince’s head is mine!!”
Thus, the war between the Baal Empire and Lamperouge Kingdom drew to an end…
The victor of this unprecedented battle was…!