The front to have had the most development was not the bloody battlefield unfolding at the upper stream, nor the clash between the actual two commanders of each army, but the front a little below the center; the battle between Gregour and Nikka.
Gregour made a fist pump. Nikka had completely fallen into his trap. Now it was the surprise he prepared for today to take turn.
“You have left your back wide open!”
It was the gamble of having Anzerm Von Grulgar move away from the. Though at the cost of leaving the keypoint he was defending vulnerable for one hour in order to do that, it was for the benefit of taking down Nikka, the vice-leader of the Noir Guard mercenaries. Her surprise was caused due to none other than his firm and solid defense. The stagnation of the battlefield took a toll on her judgement, preventing her from even considering the things she was supposed to normally expect.
“A-are you fucking with me?”
Nikka has been sending attacks one after another without taking account for the losses of her own troops. Each attack was fierce enough to the point it made one believe they actually should have been able to break through Gregour’s defenses. However, that action created a weakness. Not bothering to take any extra measures when moving out, she would end up leaving an open unprotected space behind her troops every time she would go attack. That is where Anzerm aimed for.
“Give up, woman! You’ve done well enough facing me, Gregour Von Tundar! But at the end of the day, you were just a woman after all; just a mercenary. You were not my match to begin with. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”
Ignoring Gregour, Nikka sent out commands to her troops. Even Nikka wasn’t stupid enough to carry on attacking after what happened. She had to run away with all she had.
“Do you think I will let you escape?”
However, Anzerm cut off her path. He wasn’t the man to make a mistake at such crucial point of the last stages of the plan.
Nikka clicked her tongue.
Turning her eyes to the middle, where Volf was fighting…
“Sorry there, I’ll be going first.”
She made a feminine smile.
The first to notice the irregularity on Nikka’s side of the battle was Ywain, who was fighting at the upper stream of the river over the mountains. Ywain has been keeping up with Gilberto’s well until now, having been able to keep his superiority, and was, little by little, just about to get hold of the battle.
There was nothing he could do. He was too far away. Going after Nikka would be meaningless at that point. But even so, there was no way he could keep himself from shouting; from at least hoping…
To Volf, the man Ywain has recognized as his master, Nikka was almost like his soul. Nikka was a support to Volf in various ways. If Volf was to lose her, he wouldn’t be able to act like himself anymore. Even if Volf wouldn’t show anything on the front, he wouldn’t be able to fool himself inside his mind.
“Do not turn away your eyes, lion marquis!”
Gilberto’s sword fell upon Ywain. He was able to evade the attack barely. From the slash appeared a line from his eyelids to his cheek. From that line, blood flowed.
“I do not have time to fight you.”
Ywain’s sword blocked the next attack. Both faced each other with their swords intercrossed.
Gilberto had thrown away all courtesy and put on a mindset of fighting with all his power. Because of that, he was being able to oppose Ywain. Among the younger generation, there is probably nobody that could compare to Gilberto on a one-on-one fight. This fact was being put at the stake much more so now with the opponent he faced.
““It doesn’t seem like he will be able to take me down. However… I also do not feel like I can take him down either. So you were this strong, oh descendant of the xxxxxx.””(TL:Couldn’t find the name of his family… In the raw the literal translation would be too rough in english, so I thought about using his family name instead. I can’t find it anywhere though…. Please tell me if you read through and remember the name X.X)
Ywain was anxious. The situation was far too bad. The moment he couldn’t move was the moment it became settled for Nikka. Volf shouldn’t be in a position he can easily move away either. They have planned to push the center today in order to bring the White Mask out in the open. He most likely is in the middle of his offensive by now.
“Please survive, Nikka!”
All Ywain could do was to hope.
Volf soon noticed the irregularity in the battlefield. Currently he was in the middle of invading William’s fortress. It made one wonder if perhaps Volf would have had a change in his plans if only that had happened before he moved out, or if there was even enough time to spare for that to be possible.
Or if despite Nikka’s predicament… he would still only seek victory.
“….Push at the right where the defense is tight.”
Volf decided to abandon Nikka. Nikka wouldn’t wish for herself to be saved on the cost of throwing their victory away. Nikka was his childhood friend. She was the sole living being that knew of his whole past from the time he was born. Undoubtedly, she was a precious friend to him.
His subordinates did not object. They knew more than enough that their relationship was in no way simple. It was because of that same relationship that Volf abandoned Nikka despite how he felt. There was no way they were in position to raise any objections on that matter.
“So you think I’ll quit just because of that!?”
The black wolf laughed. The himself that did not step back; the himself that couldn’t muster even a bit of will to do so.
“”If it is well defended, it is because there is something to be protected. Once I get it taken down…. Their organization will crumble.””
At the himself that hungered, thirsted and desired for battle….
“It’s not over yet. Attack! Attack until they are down to our feet! Just wait for me, White Mask. I will be killing you soon enough.”
“…As expected, he did not pull back.”
William followed Volf with his eyes while giving orders to his soldiers, controlling their movement with nothing to restrain him. Volf was gradually advancing through the defenses. He did not show any hesitation even for an instant. It seemed that he wouldn’t be showing any openings he could sploit. The fall of their vice-leader Nikka did not cause any major changes to their front. It didn’t seem like there was any changes to the front at the upper stream of the river either. But even so, it was good enough of a trade to have taken down someone of Nikka’s caliber.
William’s analysis of the battlefield was very spot on to the actual situation.
“We are a close match in terms of tactics. Perhaps I am just a little behind. That would be the same in terms of personal prowess.”
In terms of fields that were related to war, Volf was a little bit ahead of William in most of them. At the present moment, William did not have any way to win against Volf in the tactical level. There was nothing he could do but to let them keep invading little by little, delaying them as much as he could.
“But even so, the one to hold the victory will be me.”