Reborn as The Underdog First Prince Volume 1 Chapter 4 part 10

In the game, Totila was the only mountain folk who could use fire magic up to the second tier.

Just with his pure combat ability and without using any magic tools, he would be quite a threat.

Given his crafty personality, he might come up with a way to take down the Shiranui.

“Should we request reinforcements from the homeland? Even if just the third division of the kingdom knights whose main duty is defense…”

“If possible, I don’t want to rely on reinforcements. I don’t want to leave the homeland vulnerable.”

Rynfelt and Rynsgaya were once the great nation of Ryn.

But one time, when the king split the territory between his two sons, discontent exploded.

The two brothers each claimed themselves king, splitting into two separate countries.

So both were always watching for chances to intervene and restore the former nation’s glory.

According to the game knowledge, Rynfelt likely wouldn’t launch any large-scale invasion now, but they would readily take advantage of turmoil on this side.

If possible, I wanted to handle this without using any other personnel.

“With our inferior numbers, quality is the only option… Distributing more fortified armaments is a last resort, but at minimum I want to take Marb.”

From an information security standpoint, I only wanted to allocate fortified armaments to trusted soldiers.

But with the gap widened this much, I was starting to think I might have to distribute them more aggressively just to have enough forces.

Even considering some equipment could end up in enemy hands, it seemed a necessary risk.

Chieftain Totila… as expected, he wouldn’t be an easy opponent to deal with.

Cruel, crafty, with thought processes more like Todd’s group than a mountain folk.

He would do anything to win─

“─Oh, wait. There are still options.”

“Hm? You have some kind of plan?”

Haruto’s investigation revealed Ho possessed a minute amount of magical power.

Therefore, he currently wore fortified armor for magicians.

His toned physique stood out against the black bodysuit, making him look even more muscular than before.

“Garul, Totila’s methods have drawn backlash from the mountain folk, right?”

“Of course. They readily attack under cover of night and disregard the etiquette of war, looting women and food without restraint. They scorn the shrine maidens’ teachings and forget to show gratitude to their ancestral spirits and the mountains. So there are many who resent him. They just can’t rebel because his forces are too overwhelming.”

As things stood, Totila’s rule was far from absolute.

He may have had large forces, but he didn’t have the people’s hearts firmly in his grasp.

You could say the forced annexations were taking their toll.

After all, like Garul and Ho, many among the mountain folk made no attempt to hide their animosity toward him.

That’s exactly why we would make that the focal point of attack.

Rather than soldiers, we would target the hearts of the soldiers and their families.

The Shiranui may be invincible, but Todd inside it was not absolutely strongest.

In other words, no matter how powerful the exterior, that didn’t necessarily apply to the interior as well.

Thanks to Haruto tangentially talking about the Shiranui, I was able to come up with this method.

“What do you think Totila’s approach makes the mountain folk feel about us, Ho?”

“Of course there’s some backlash. After all, you lot are clearly born outside the mountains, damn herbivores. But it’s less than with Totila. You’ve got the will to adapt to us mountain folk. While the surprise attack on my clan may have bent the rules, in effect it was barely more than a one-on-one duel. For us martial mountain folk, we see you as a dependable great general, you could say.”

The mountain folk considered fighting good.

To them, the strongest was the most suitable to lead a clan – to unite their own tribesmen.

But that strength didn’t just refer to pure combat ability.

You had to be strong, of course, but there were also duties as chieftain, etiquette toward other clans, gratitude to ancestral spirits, and the like.

Both we and the mountain folk had trouble understanding each other.

As Todd spent more time among the mountain folk, he made an effort to act and speak in line with their way of life.

He had no intention of disrupting the culture and customs of the mountain people, but it seemed that his presence was gradually starting to have an effect on the community.

Todd had offered prayers in the mountains multiple times, buried the deceased in the traditional way of the mountain people, and even had bone divination done using the skulls of the dead, as per the mountain people’s customs.

As a former Japanese, he had placed importance on harmony, and this had been well-received by the mountain people.

Furthermore, following Ho’s advice, he had used authority rather than direct force to make those around him obedient.

The fact that Todd, as a human, was more than just a strong man would likely be conveyed to the mountain people.

“We’re not going to force anyone to do anything. We respect the mountain people, and we won’t take their property or families. Right now, we’re fighting against Totila. We’ll make that clear and try to bring the remaining three mountain tribes on our side.”

Currently, it could be said that the mountain people were mostly united under either Todd’s tribe or Totila’s tribe. While Todd’s side might be at a disadvantage in terms of numbers, Totila’s reputation, for better or worse, was having an impact. If they could spread their own rumors through the mouths of actual warriors, many might be drawn to their side.

Of course, at the moment, it appeared that Totila’s side had a clear advantage.

Therefore, Todd was considering what would happen after the battle between their own camp and Totila’s camp. Some might choose to join Totila’s side.

While the difference in military strength wasn’t significant due to differences in weaponry, Todd had no intention of trying to make them understand that.

However, for better or worse, the mountain people lived under a different set of norms than their side. For them, death was not absolute, but rather a matter of pride.

They were not afraid of death and were willing to make suicidal attacks as a legitimate tactic.

This unique set of norms among the mountain people meant that they could make seemingly irrational choices from their side’s perspective.

Todd had come to think that this was precisely what would set them apart from the other camps.

As he spent more time with the mountain people, Todd began to think this way.

The simple and warlike nature of the mountain people, coupled with their deep reverence for ancestors, family, and kin, was not something that would change suddenly just because they sided with Totila.

Therefore, their unprovoked attacks can reach their enemies.

“I’d like to reach out to the other side as well, to get our message across. That way, we can reduce the forces that Totila can send our way.”

“Hmm… How would the people who have been strictly restricted in matters of love and food react when they see a neighboring country that guarantees freedom without constraints? Some may even try to defect to our side. There may even be those who try to revolt against the king.”

“Oh, Your Highness, you’re quite the schemer. What happened to respecting the mountain people’s ways? What you’re doing is inciting civil unrest and sowing discord among the people. It’s almost like you’re a terrorist. You were planning this from the beginning, weren’t you?”

“…It’s not like I planned it from the beginning. I really didn’t.”

He was accused of planning everything as if he had foreseen it all, but Todd himself had no such intentions.

He simply didn’t want to force the mountain people into anything and had respected their customs.

Looking at history, many cultures had disappeared, and many ethnic groups had become extinct.

Todd had likely attracted this stroke of luck because he wanted to learn about the culture of the mountain people, which would probably never be prosperous in the future.

But it looked like Haruto and Raienbach had gotten the mistaken impression everything was unfolding in the palm of Todd’s hand.

A completely absurd misunderstanding.

Todd himself had just been dealing with things on the fly, not even knowing if Totila would truly gain prominence.

” …… Something is coming.”

Raienbach’s cheerful face grew serious as he spoke, and he put his helmet back on which he had tucked under his arm.

Just as Todd wondered what it could be, slightly after he noticed, Todd sensed a vibration in the earth as well.


I sent magic power into the Shiranui and hurried out of the meeting house.

The mountain folk outside had also sensed something, taking up weapons in hand.

One especially tall man in the house used as a lookout tower was shouting about something.

“Enemies attack! Enemies attack!”

“How many!?”

“So many!”

I had the urge to click my tongue at the lookout’s vague report.

We were still only approaching the second peak of the mountain range.

Meanwhile, Totila’s forces should have just crossed the fifth peak, Mount Narup.

I considered if it was one of Totila’s surprise attacks, but the information seemed far too quick for that.

Would he really see us as enough of a threat after taking just a single mountain?

If so, then who could be… Pondering that, one idea came to mind.

Hard to believe, but… Todd decided to ask and confirm.

“Are there people wearing black clothes like us at the head of the attacking group?”

“There are, four people… Could they be allies?”

“I see, that completely slipped my mind. They’re allies, Todd’s clan, so make sure not to attack them.”

After relaying just that, I watched the lookout climb down from the roof and repeat my words to spread them around.

The agitated mountain folk calmed down quickly.

Some seemed vexed they wouldn’t get to fight, quite like the mountain folk.

“……Here they come!”

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