Romelia Senki Volume 1 Chapter 2 part 5 

Ray looked at me, seemingly startled by my final order, but I stared straight at him.
 
Ray hadn’t yet felled a single monster. His long spear was pristine, unstained by blood.
 
I didn’t intend to reproach him for cowardice. But I couldn’t have a soldier who hadn’t killed an enemy either.
 
The battles would grow even fiercer ahead. It would be problematic if he didn’t shed his innocence quickly. Opportunities were scarce as it was. I hoped he would proactively capitalize on this chance.
 
“Hurry. It’s a soldier’s duty.”
 
“Y-Yes.”
 
At my command, Ray raised his spear as if it was the natural course of things. The apeling struggled desperately, screeching.
 
Daunted by the apeling’s expression, Ray couldn’t lift his spear.
 
“Now!”
 
At my shout, Ray reflexively raised his spear. But it missed, stabbing into the ground instead.
 
“Aim properly.”
 
At my repeated scolding, Ray repeatedly stabbed with his spear. After several times, he finally struck the apeling, but only its shoulder, far from a mortal wound.
 
“Ray, finish it in one strike! It will desperately counterattack!”
 
Unable to finish it off, Ray lifted his spear again, but still couldn’t hit a vital spot.
 
“Damn it! Damn it all!”
 
Ray stabbed at the apeling repeatedly with his spear.
 
Though the apeling had already died, the excited Ray seemed not to notice, stabbing it over and over.
 
When the apeling no longer resembled its original form, Ray finally realized it was dead and lifted his head.
 
“I did it.”
 
Ray smiled, his face spattered with blood, eyes wide open. I remembered that same face.
 
When we first set out and he felled his first monster, the prince had worn this face too. Back then, I had embraced him, wanting to become his pillar of support. But that was all in the past now.
 
“Well done. Return to formation.”
 
I briefly praised him. Ray answered in a tremendously loud voice.
 
It was a little funny so I smiled, returning to the unit. Here too, the apelings had been annihilated. Everywhere were new recruits repeatedly finishing off enemies like Ray just had.
 
At a glance, there seemed no major injuries.
 
The soldiers were absorbed in the excitement of defeating the enemy and the thrill of victory, but it wasn’t over yet.
 
“Ray, gather the wounded and treat them. Al, take five of the uninjured and stab-check the apelings. Watch for possibles playing dead.”
 
I ordered Ray and Al.
 
“Using people so mercilessly, hmm?”
 
The blood-drenched Al complained, but still obeyed with a smile. He was probably excited about defeating monsters.
 
“Yes, yes, personnel management is so difficult.”
 
Al, covered in blood, complained, but still smiled and obeyed. He was probably excited about defeating the magical beasts.
 
“Those of you with free hands, go extinguish fires and rescue injured villagers.”
 
After swiftly commanding the soldiers, I headed towards the attacked village.
 
Within the village, villagers peeked out from cracks in the fence.
 
“Everyone, we are the the Guards. We’ve come to save you.”
 
I introduced ourselves and stated our intention of defeating the magical beasts. Joyful and relieved voices sounded from the village.
 
The gate guarding the village opened and an old man emerged.
 
“Thank you so much for coming to our aid. As village chief, I thank you.”
 
The village chief expressed his gratitude. Villagers came out from the sides, rescuing those trapped in the fields and putting out fires. I also helped treat the injured with the soldiers.
 
After the rescue ended, I confirmed the villagers’ damages – three villagers had died and five were severely injured.
 
If only we could have arrived sooner, I thought with regret. But there was nothing to do but accept what had already happened.
 
“To the Guards, thank you for saving our village. It’s not much thanks, but I’d like to prepare a small feast, with some wine and meat.”
 
The soldiers were of course overjoyed at the village chief’s proposal.
 
Although the banquet that night was small in scale, the atmosphere was very lively. The soldiers all laughed and said nothing could make them happier.
 
Though they were a bit overly excited, this was after all their first great victory. Dampening things would be too ungracious.
 
Among the soldiers some were not holding cups but silver coins, drawing the gaze of others.
 
This was the reward silver given for their efforts this time. One coin could buy a sheep. Though a bit much considering it was just defeating small monsters for their first battle, for future motivation it was necessary to be more generous this first time.
 
The new recruits were extremely excited at the first huge windfall in their lives. They were probably thrilled at the prospect of becoming wealthy.
 
The loudest voice at the banquet was Al’s. Holding a cup in one hand and a huge chunk of meat in his mouth.
 
As the top contributor, Al was given two silver coins. He was ecstatic at this first huge sum to come into his hands. He immediately used the money to buy a whole roasted lamb from the villagers, heartily devouring it.
 
Of course it was not an amount one person could finish, so he treated everyone too.
 
I thought to tell him to use it more prudently, but this sort of wasteful character was just right. Seeing him squander his reward so extravagantly, the soldiers would think “Next time I’ll be like that too”, and become more motivated. Besides, money spent is naturally gone. To afford more indulgence in the future, they’d have to earn more money again, and go to the battlefield to gain military exploits bravely fighting. This was a good thing.
 
“You all did great today.”
 
As the banquet was ending, I decided to give them some final words.
 
“Tomorrow, we will leave this village and head to the next village. I hear magical beasts have been appearing there too.”
 
Even hearing of new enemies and battlefields, the soldiers did not cower at all. Some even whistled happily. They thought it a chance to gain exploits and make money.
 
“Let’s defeat all the magical beasts. We can do it!”
 
The soldiers became excited and cheered together. Though letting them get arrogantly carried away would be dangerous, I had to motivate them.
 
Because the next battlefield awaited us.
 

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Eighteen long spears stood in formation, pointing straight to the heavens. The soldiers gripping the long spears swallowed their spit as they stared fixedly ahead.
 
In front of their gaze was a dense forest.
 
The soldiers stared at the forest. They could hear sounds of branches being pushed aside coming from the forest, and see small animals and birds escaping.
 
Slightly later than the birds, a black shadow jumped out from the forest.
 
In an instant, the soldiers readied their weapons, but soon realized it was the silhouette of a companion.
 
The one galloping out from the forest on horseback was Al, who was acting as bait.
 
He passed through the forest with his body covered in sticks and leaves, riding straight toward us.
 
A few seconds after Al, five black shadows pounced out from the forest.
 
Charging forward on hooved feet supporting massive bodies were boars that had transformed into magical beasts. With vertical stripes on their backs, the boars had been enraged by Al’s attack on their nest and charged out without even glancing sideways.
 
“Make way for Al to get back in!”
 
I ordered the four soldiers in formation to retreat. Opening up a gap in the ranks after Al escaped inside.
 
Immediately plugging up the hole, the soldiers went to confront the boars.
 
Just as the name suggests, the boars charged forward fiercely. Even seeing the soldiers, they did not change course. Just as I wanted, they headed straight this way.
 
I gauged the distance, and at the optimal moment to lure the boars, I commanded the soldiers.
 
“Strike them down!”
 
Following my order, the upright spears swung down in unison, forming a thicket of spears. The boars did not even have a chance to change direction and willingly impaled themselves.
 
The soldiers used their long spears to block the fierce charge of the boars.
 
If it were me, I wouldn’t have been able to withstand that weight and speed no matter what, but the soldiers firmly held their ground even as they slid back a little, and three of the boars were fatally pierced on the spot.
 
But the two remaining boars were not dealt mortal wounds. They burrowed past the spear formation to the inside, shook their heads and deflected the spears.
 
“Hold the formation!”
 
I issued the instruction to deal with it calmly, but it was unnecessary. The soldiers did not panic and calmly responded, maintaining the formation. The boars could not get close as two other soldiers showed outstanding coordination, unleashing their spears together. With nowhere to escape, the boars were skewered by two spears. And as for the last one, the soldiers calmly drew back their spears and stabbed it dead without panic.
 
I was deeply satisfied with the soldiers’ movements, clenching my fist around the reins even tighter. Even in the face of the boars’ charge they did not fear, and could calmly respond even when met with resistance. From their first battle until now, the fourth real combat experience, their proficiency had increased through experience. This was not the effect of “Grace”. It was their real ability.
 
Seeing the soldiers kill all the boars, Ray beside me on horseback moved to step forward.
 
“Ray, calm down. I know you want to fight badly, but you have to protect me.”
 
I calmed Ray down. Cavalry was useless against the boars’ ambush. And not only as a guard, in case anything happened I needed combat power by my side too. Looking back, Al who had escaped earlier had returned on horseback and was next to me.
 
“That’s right Ray, from here on out is the real deal.”
 
Al, still panting heavily from spurring his horse, told him the battle wasn’t over yet.
 
“Al, it’s here as expected?”
 
“Yup, the big one.”
 
Replying to my question, Al nodded. I saw the magical beasts that had been beaten down. It was already about the same size as a fully grown boar, but had vertical stripes on its back. In other words, these were still just piglets.
 
“Ray, I’ll leave the reins to you.”


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