Reborn as The Underdog First Prince Volume 1 Chapter 5 part 5

The mountain people did not fear dying in battle.
 
And yet they were clearly retreating.
 
Perhaps the impact of Shiranui’s presence had been that great.
 
(Well, it’s great that the enemy soldiers are losing their will to fight!)
 
Galloping loudly with dull thuds trying to stir up fear in the opponent, the mountain people fell back even further.
 
Meanwhile the troops behind Todd were loudly shouting as they vigorously pushed forward.
 
“Your Highness, please don’t overexert yourself!”
 
It felt to Todd like barely a minute had passed, but when he realized it Raienbach had closed to within shouting distance.
 
As he strode forward stepping on soldiers and horses he had toppled, the turmoil in the enemy soldiers grew even stronger.
 
“Looks like we can make it just the two of us. Let’s go lop their leader’s head off!”
 
“Overconfidence is forbidden…but certainly that would conclude this with the least casualties.”
 
The two matched their breathing and once more advanced.
 
But unlike when they first started the war, the mountain people had already begun to lose their will to fight.
 
Among the cavalry, some were praying to the gods, and others were beginning to make large detours to head towards the enemy soldiers, avoiding Todd and Raienbach.
 
Despite the fact that there was no one who didn’t know that Todd and the others were heading to where Totila was…
 
“What… what is that!?!”
 
“Probably a new type of armor they heard about in advance…”
 
“I’m not talking about that!”
 
On an improvised watchtower that overlooked the entire battlefield, Totila stood in stunned silence.
 
Everything was supposed to be well-prepared.
 
Their own camp had almost double the number of troops, which should have directly led to victory.
 
So, what the hell was that?
 
“Is that red monster… Todd?”
 
He looked like an oni from a bedtime story, with an appearance that transcended human strength.
 
When Todd swung his sword, horses and people were split apart, and when he punched, heads caved in, brains scattering.
 
Everything, from small tricks with his feet to everything else, was a one-hit kill, and his power was clearly abnormal.
 
Not only people but also horses were effortlessly lifted and thrown at the enemy.
 
After jumping several times the height of a big man, he landed without breaking his legs.
 
All of his actions were extraordinary, and his strength was far more powerful than the information they had gathered in advance.
 
While his sword skills were not highly refined, it seemed to have a certain rationality in his movements. It was likely a practical sword developed based on actual combat and training.
 
And due to his overwhelmingly powerful body, none of Totila’s clan members could inflict any damage on him.
 
Certainly, they knew that Todd was strong.
 
They had heard that he wielded a demonic power on the battlefield.
 
But this… this was beyond the bounds of normalcy.
 
And it wasn’t just Todd; there was a man in armor next to him with a physique similar to Todd’s.
 
He, too, was running around the battlefield with no less skill than Todd.
 
His sword techniques, compared to Todd’s brute force swings, were clearly refined.
 
The sword aimed for the enemy’s vital points or relentlessly targeted their legs to reduce combat capability.
 
Just as Todd swung his sword in all directions, thoroughly defeating only those who posed obstacles, he skillfully maneuvered to cover blind spots.
 
While his sword was not flashy, there was no doubt that he was a first-rate warrior supporting the chief.
 
Incredibly, without losing momentum, the two of them were advancing toward their main camp with brute force alone.
 
Although it was currently protected due to the thick layers, if things continued like this, they might actually be overwhelmed.
 
The prowess of these two was so astonishing that it led to the thought that they might be pushed over.
 
Already, the panic had spread throughout their side, and many warriors showed signs of anxiety.
 
What most inspires mountain people is when their tribal chief fights furiously.
 
In contrast to them, the mountain people behind Todd were vigorously raising morale without compare.
 
If the tribal chief went down even once, turmoil would spread through the entire army making recovery impossible.
 
Since they had nearly double the numbers, Totila had decided to direct things from the rear so as to reduce the chances of an upset.
 
He was wary that if he went to the front and they made a focused breakthrough there, something might happen.
 
But what was the reality?
 
Despite them waiting in the rear, the enemy paid them no heed and continued straight towards them without hesitation.
 
And mountain people were following behind Todd and the other man about his size, bearing down with fierce vigor.
 
Yet Totila’s tribulations did not end there.

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“Tribal King! It’s terrible! Several groups centering around Gu’s former tribe have begun to turn traitor!”
 
“What did you say!?”
 
“Ambush troops from the eastern forest! They’ve started advancing towards us!”
 
“Fool! The eastern forest is so dense horses can’t make it through, we checked things out ahead of time there!”
 
The mountain people Totila had reluctantly included in his own camp who had previously refused to submit to Todd’s rule.
 
They had never thought to turn traitor in the first place.
 
And as Todd had instructed them beforehand, they persuaded their former brethren that so long as they took Todd’s side from now own they could continue living unsuppressed in the future.
 
Some smaller tribes without power had decided to raise the banner of revolt after being taught by people who had spent days together with Todd and his unusual depth of knowledge regarding their culture despite being a plainsfolk.
 
Not letting this opportunity escape, they rose up in revolt after closely gauging the timing.
 
Amidst the shock still lingering in their entire encampment from Todd and Raienbach’s charge, dissenters beginning to leave made the turmoil among the mountain people even greater.
 
Many had begun wondering if they shouldn’t defect to Todd’s side as well.
 
With their vigor fading even more from them acting as kindling, ambush troops then appeared from the eastern forest.
 
Their true identity was the fortified armor platoon Todd had forged under cooperation with Haruto and assistance from Ho and Gaaru, the Fortified Infantry Platoon.
 
Totila had scouted ahead of time to check if there were any ambushes.
 
Naturally getting no reaction there made sense.
 
Because shortly before the battle began, Todd had used them as cover to skirt around the forest, bypassing his troops.
 
Normally doing something like that they still shouldn’t have made it in time, but the Fortified Infantry’s march speed exceeded that of horses.
 
And being troops on foot rather than cavalry they could advance smoothly no matter how steep the terrain or narrow the beast trails horses couldn’t traverse.
 
What’s more, their combat ability had greatly increased from the fortified armor, enough that ordinary troops could defeat veteran warriors.
 
To keep them from using their bows by throwing them into a melee, they had all drawn stylets and charged plunging into the enemy camp, raging around.
 
Even if their numbers were under thirty they were not something that could be left alone.
 
As report after report flew in, Totila felt ready to clutch his head.
 
Todd to the front, rebellion to the rear, ambush troops attacking from the right.
 
It was impossible to deal with all of these simultaneously, and if he tried eliminating the rebels and ambush troops Todd’s pressure on them would weaken allowing him to break through to their main camp.
 
This situation was clearly checkmate.
 
More than being at a loss for a move, no matter how he moved it seemed things could not be turned around for Totila, who heaved a massive sigh.
 
The result of this battle would likely not end up being good for the mountain people.
 
From here on the plainsfolk would enter their territories, digging into the mountains, clearing the forests, destroying nature, building cities.
 
But he no longer had the means to stop that.
 
Or rather, there was one method, but to do it he would have to be prepared to make tremendous sacrifices.
 
So instead, taking the choice that resulted in the least damage and raised even a little the chances of the mountain people’s lifeline being inherited was—
 
“Surrender…”
 
But Totila’s words caught in his throat there.
 
Seeing the light shining in the eyes of the warriors surrounding him, he suddenly returned to himself.
 
The ones here with Totila right now were all warriors who adored him and had followed after him.
 
He knew everything dear to them, from their favorite foods to the women they held.
 
They were gazing at Totila.
 
Some of them were grinding their teeth at the adversity, tears flowing as they endured.
 
There were some gritting their teeth, barely holding themselves back from rushing right over to Todd’s side that instant.
 
(It seems…I became a little too clever for my own good.)
 
Should he surrender immediately for the sake of the mountain people’s future?
 
With the battle going poorly and the risks for any remaining moves being too high, shouldn’t he take that option?
 
(No—that’s not right.)
 
He had forgotten something important, having grown too used to the plainsfolk’s ways.
 
The ones surrounding him were his personal Praetorian Guard who admired him and had always followed him.
 
They were all elites he had associated with like family.
 
And of course, they were mountain people.
 
And—he leading them, Totila, was a mountain person as well.
 
What had Totila stood up for to begin with in the first place?
 
To show the world of the mountain people’s existence here.
 
To fight and fight, win, and flaunt their power.
 
For that sake, striking down Todd right before his eyes here and now would be the greatest proof imaginable.
 
And more than anything—something welled up from the depths of Totila’s heart, desperately telling him he wanted to fight and win against someone so powerful.
 
Now that they had come all this way, Totila realized he was a mountain person through and through.
 
But at the same time, he was also their commander who had to attain victory.

Totila, a leader that was open-minded despite being a mountain person, hammered out the optimal solution in an instant amidst this impending crisis.
 
“Very well, if over there they intend to slight our mountain folk’s way of doing things and win through the power of the plains…Then I shall defeat that bastard instead through the way of the plains, with the mountain folk’s power! Onward, all troops! Follow me!”


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