At the same time, tumult and discussions also broke out in Arcadia´s side. Not only the signs of their defeat started to become more visible, but the head of their regiment commander was also taken. It was already impossible to prolong the war. In case they had to do so, then where were they supposed to find another regiment commander? To begin with, who was supposed to take responsibility of this situation? The scapegoat was obviously going to be…
“How are you going to take responsibility for this, Karl!?”
Karl was startled. Next to him at both of his sides were Frank and Ignahts, who had a sullen complexion in their faces, giving him their support. They already knew this was going to happen. (TL note: ->両隣にはフランクとイグナーツがカールを支えるも、顔色は冴えない<-Never seen mo being used like that -.-)
“Didn´t the enemy attack from the gap you created? If you hadn´t moved out, the regiment commander wouldn´t have been killed. Am I wrong?”
Karl wanted to say he was wrong, but Karl had no basis to say that. Although his troops would have been put in a hard position by Anatour if he hadn´t moved out, by the end results, it was the undeniable truth that he fell in the enemy´s feint by doing so. Letting the [Black Wolf] pass through and get to the regiment commander was without doubts Willian´s and Karl´s fault.
“Then, are you telling us that he should have brought Anatour down or stopped the [Black Wolf]?”
Anzerm spoke. The other centurion held his tongue. Anzerm was above him both in terms of nobility status and achievements in the military.
“That would be the same for the others, wouldn´t it? There are many others that were broken through by Nehderks´ troops without being able to react to their sudden change in the movement pattern. If that didn´t happen, this situation wouldn´t come to be. Although it is fine to look for flaws on others, you might as well be digging yourself your own grave. More importantly than that, shouldn´t we be thinking about our strategy for tomorrow´s battle?”
Anzerm´s words were extremely reasonable. However, he couldn´t keep up his speech. Everyone knew it after all. They knew they were completely cornered.
“The arrangements for a new regiment commander are already under way. We must at least put our earnest efforts to hold our ground. If we lose more than we already have, all the people present here will need to resolve themselves for the punishment there will be to come.”(TL note:->めて中立の緩衝地帯に出来るよう鋭意努力しろとのことだ<- Actually he is saying something about “creating a buffer zone”. If I had to guess, he means they need to have the front lines be one the enemy can´t do as they wish.)
Those were the words of the centurion with the highest status present in the place, the centurion Gilberto. Everyone became even more silent because of those words. It was only the trembling of the candles that showed movement at the place.
“…Karl von Teirah.”
Karl bit his tongue because of how surprised he became due to how Gilberto suddenly called him.
“How is that man?”
“That man”. Karl knew who Gilberto was talking about from the moment the question was asked.
“Willian is… Uh, the ten-man squad leader Willian is currently resting. Uhm…. Do you have anything you want to ask him?”
Hearing Karl´s words, Gilberto frowned. Karn became frightened. However, Gilberto wouldn´t pay any mind to Karl. Rather, the one he was interested about was at the man behind his merit.
“Let´s end this for the moment. Each of you properly rest up. We will be taking this up early in the morning. Anzerm, Gregour, and also Karl. The three of you stay here. The rest are dismissed.”
Gilberto ended the meeting with just a few words. All the other centurions unsteadily left the place. The only people remaining there were Gilberto, Anzerm, Gregour, and Karl.
“Go call that man; that ten-man squad leader of Karl´s army. The two of you don´t need to return after that.’
Frightened, Frank and Ignahts became petrified. They deeply lowered their heads and left the place.
“What do you intend to do, Gilberto?”
Gregour asked. He couldn´t understand the reason behind calling Willian in the current situation. It was because only the four of them remained at the place that it wasn´t going to become a hunt for someone to take responsibility. To begin with, the one responsible for this was Karl after all. In addition, the one to thought up their strategy was also [Karl]. There was no reason to call Willian, his sword, to ask him for his wisdom.
“We should end this worthless farce already. Right now, we are at a situation we need to lend that man´s wisdom after all.”
Gilberto´s face was filled with repugnance.
Willian was wrapped up with bandages tainted in blood at all places. He didn´t have his usual air of leisure, and it was possible to hear the sound of him clenching his teeth at the times he was assaulted by the pain. Right now, he had wounds throughout his whole body. It was visible how much he had overextended himself in today´s battle.
“Do you know the reason why you were called?
Willian had vacant eyes. He flatly spoke.
“Could it be I was called because I let the enemies get through?”
Once he heard that, Gilberto pointed his sword to Willian. It was at a speed that Anzerm, Gregour, Karl; none of the people present at the place were able to react. Willian was silently looking at the sword.
“Do not speak worthless gibberish. I am in a very bad mood. My hands might get out of control.”
Gilberto turned his eyes to Karl.
“Teirah. If you tell me any lies, I will destroy your household. Answer with that in mind. The one to have controlled you from behind the scenes until now was that man, wasn´t it? Though his strength is certified, even the strategies… were all controlled by that man. Am I wrong?”
Karl tried to look at Willian. In response to that action…
“Karl von Teirah! If you are truly a respectable noble, do not inquire for the face expression of the likes of this commoner! I am asking this question to you. Yes or no; I will have you give me your answer.”
Gilberto´s rebuke flew. Now that it became like that, whether it was Karl, whether it was Willian, neither could act carelessly.
Karl casted his eyes down. It was impossible to keep silent any longer. Although Gregour didn´t understand very well what was happening, Anzerm awaited for Karl´s answer with a calm face.
Besides, Karl´s conscience couldn´t endure it anymore. The feeling of taking away all of Willian´s achievements, and the way he was one-sidedly using him (of course, without noticing Willian´s goal) made up a completely crooked friendship. Although it was only after all this time after coming all the way here, Karl was still going to be Willian´s friend at the end. A friendship of equals. Because of that…
“…That´s right. Everything… were all Willian´s plans. I was only using him.”
Karl muttered while hanging his head down.
“Wha… What did you say!?”
Only Gregour was surprised. Anzerm kept silent without moving.
“It is not like I am reproaching you for that. You are misunderstanding me. I am just confirming a few things, Teirah.”
Gilberto once again turned his eyes to Willian.
“You have bribed your superiors, made use of Teirah, and thus made your will get across. That is quite elaborate of you. As I thought, I can´t come to like you. Even if you were a noble, I would still hate you.”
Gilberto sat down on his chair.
“You may sit as well. From now on we will be starting our war council. It is better to have some of your cunning than nothing.”
Even Willian became surprised at that. There was no doubts that Gilberto hated Willian. He was supposed to detest Willian. But even so, Gilberto requested Willian´s opinions on the matter. He acknowledged Willian´s strength, and also forgave the things exposed now.
“I would like us to discuss about our strategy for tomorrow and henceforth. Does anyone have any ideas?”
There was nobody that raised their hand. If any of them had any idea, they would have spoken up about it before to begin with. Though this would be expected of Gregour, not even Anzerm had any ideas. Of course, Gilberto too was lost. Although he had a few ideas, he couldn´t think of any lead that would verify their use.
“…I would like to confirm one thing.”
For the first time, Willian spoke in a strategy meeting. Not through the use of Karl´s mouth, but by his own mouth.
“You may speak.”
Gilberto gave him the permission to speak.
“Though I don´t mind proposing you a plan, there won´t be any meaning to it if I don´t have human resources I can apply it to. Do any of you have any idea why is it?”
Willian kept his eye on Gilberto, Anzerm, Gregour and Karl.
“Of course, you don´t. If I had those kind of human resources, or if you had any plans, we wouldn´t be in this situation, and I also wouldn´t be here now. Am I wrong?” (TL note:もちろんいませんね。そんな人材がいるなら、そんな策があるのなら、この場は存在しないし、私は此処にいない。違いますか？ ->そんな人材がいるなら<- Is he talking about himself or them as a whole? If it is about himself, then what about this one ->そんな策があるのなら<-)
Willian had finally realised he was at the same [standing] as them. That [Black Wolf] obtained it in the same way. He obtained his own hands and feet to move. He let them pile up defeats and create themselves an absolute predicament, and then he proclaimed only himself could save them from their situation. If the [Noir Guard] was to properly function, they would still be capable of fighting to some extent even with the military tactics of Nehderks. However, the Black Wolf didn´t choose that. He chose a much more effective, and a much more self-centered move.
His pain had already vanished. The feeling of exaltation prevailed. Just by thinking about the [power] he might be able to obtain made him feel like he would start trembling.
“The reason I am here now… This would be whether I am able to prepare you a winning strategy. I would like you to give me full control of the army under that condition. Would that be acceptable?”
When Willian said that, Gregour stood up and glared at him. The aura coiling around him was heavy, and bluntly shone. Although the military was important to him, he was still a noble over than anything.
“You have become too carried away, commoner.”
Those heavy words pierced Willian. However, to Willian, Gregour´s words didn´t have any meaning anymore. After all…
“Then how about you think up of a winning plan, count Tundar?”
Bitter words. After that, Gregour couldn´t come up with any follow ups. It was as if his ferocity vanished like mist.
“Giving full control of the army to a ten-man squad leader commoner is a bit too unreasonable. Don´t you think so, everyone!?”
But even so, Gregour still asked the others for their assent. Karl was silent since the beginning, and even Gilberto didn´t say anything. Even Anzerm was…
“I believe it is fine if we bet on [White Mask]. Of course, that is my personal opinion. It is fine if you dismiss the idea.”
Gregour was surprised. Then he turned his head to Gilberto, who was his last hope. Gilberto hated Willian. As to be expected, it didn´t seem that Willian´s nonsense would make it through. So he believed it would be.
“I will decide after I hear the plan. If you can convince me, then… I will put a figurehead as the new regiment commander. You will be at command. And if we are defeated… you will definitely die. We, who nominated you as the head, will die as well.”
“Tha-that´s absurd. To speak of our own deaths so easily.”
Gregour was baffled. Anzerm once again opened his mouth.
“This is the most recent great war since Raconia. Differently from Raconia, Arbas is abundant in fertile soil, and it is also the center of commerce. If that city cooperates in becoming a bridgehead for the enemy, it won´t be surprising that we lose our heads. We have two options. We either keep sitting here like that and die, or we can bet our lives on White Mask. We have only those two choices, Gregour.”
Anzerm, who was usually silent, was being very talkative. Gregour became speechless. It didn´t matter what Anzerm was telling him. It was clear he was going to support White Mask. Karl was also a puppet to begin with. By now, Willian had the favor of half the numbers of the people present at the place.
“It seems that Krulgar has voted on you. It seems that whether you will gain complete control of the army will be depending on my choice. Very well, I shall hear it. This strategy of yours that can win us this war.”
No matter how much Gregour was to be against it, in terms of numbers, if Willian was able to convince Gilberto, his proposal would be accepted. Of course, if the plan is one that doesn´t convince Gilberto, then surely Anzerm will also give up on it.
“”Now then, the turnaround will be starting from now on. Run around at the mountains as much as you want while you still can, wild dog. From tomorrow on… this will become my battlefield.”
Under his mask, Willian was smirking. There wasn´t something such as a perfect plan that would definitely succeed in this world. However, there were innumerable plans that could possibly lead one to victory. Willian showed his true worth in his acting and in his talent of presenting a plan that might succeed as one that will definitely bring victory. The one that can casually deceive even the whole world; the man that used to be a slave was now standing there. Compared to that miracle, turning tables on such situation was nothing special.
He had a plan. He could bring out as many of those as he wanted to. The reason why he had been respectfully bowing down for such a long time, and the reason why he had been burying himself in the books of various countries of the world were all for the sake of this day.