Arc 4 The Beloved, Chapter 73 Under the Sun
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It was warm.
The feeling of morning slumber—-the mind that was beginning to wake up, with a sense of drowsiness.
It was Krische's favorite time of day.
When Cliche opens her eyes, she found herself sandwiched between two women, Kalua on her right and Mia on her left.
Krsiche pondered a little about the situation and recalled about yesterday.
Her memory of the end of the feast was a little hazy, but she had returned to the tent in Kalua's arms.
Why were they sleeping together?
Despite wondering about it, thanks to that the inside of the blanket was warm.
And it instantly become didn't matter.
Through a gap in the tent, she could see the sun's rays.
The light was red—-it must still be dawn.
Krsiche closed her eyes, thinking that she can sleep a little longer.
It was such a momentary pleasure letting her consciousness fell into slumber.
The moment Krische tried to let go her consciousness,
—-Mia, who was turning over, directly hit Krische's forehead with her back fist.
The morning sun shone vermilion, illuminating the countless tents that had been pitched.
Are soldiers a hangover?
Was it because the soldiers were having a hangover?
Everyone was busy working, despite looking sluggish.
Walking through the encampment, Krische was accompanied by Kalua and Mia.
Mia's chestnut hair shook as she bowed her head repeatedly.
“I-I'm so sorry, Corps Commander…”
“…Krische is not angry.”
Even as she said that her forehead was red and throbbing, with a slightly dull ache.
It was the worst awakening in Krische's life.
Her cheeks, even while saying she was not angry, were puffed up in displeasure.
“My, as expected of Mia, to hit Usa-chan with a back fist.
The ability to calmly do things that no one else can do, what a big shot.”
“I-it wasn't on purpose.”
When the soldiers passing by saw her, they all saluted, and she returned diligently returned every one of their salutes.
While tilting her head at the strangely brisk salute of the soldiers, Krische headed for her destination.
She had intended to sleep a little longer, but Mia's backhanded punch woke her up completely, and she had no choice but to head for the Black kitchen to have a meal.
Basically, Krische's meal was made by them.
Meals were usually handled by a battalion——every 1,000 people, but they were not under the command of a battalion but under Krische's direct control, so they were outside of the chain of command.
There were times when one of the battalions prepared meals for them, but the Black Century was already given special treatment.
Dagra also said too much special treatment would not be looked upon favorably by the soldiers of other battalions, so she basically lets them cook their own meals if when there is some leeway.
Putting aside if it was just one or two people, preparing meals for hundreds of people would be troublesome, so as expected, no battalion would be happy about it.
It was a little early, but when they arrived at the kitchen, the soup seemed to be almost ready.
“Salute to the corps commander!”
The 2nd and 12th squads were in charge of the meals today.
Both have a high level of cooking.
The soup, which is boiled in a small bowl, has a good aroma that stimulated hunger.
It smells good.”
We can't just carry it with us after all.”
It was horse bones that were boiled as a soup stock.
Cavalry uses horses on the battlefield, and of course, they die in battle.
If that is the case, then it's better to not waste them.
Horse meat is often used for meals, and although it's often left un-bleed, and retains a slight odor, meat that has not been dried or smoked has value in itself.
Horsemeat was a welcomed battlefield gift for many soldiers, though cavalrymen who fought together with horses were reluctant to eat it.
It must have been simmered quite early.
Onions were thrown in to remove the smell, root vegetables were added, and then the horse meat.
The soup seemed to be a harmonious blend of melting delicacies.
Without saying a word, the soldier took a plate of soup and confidently handed it to Krische.
Krische looked at it with a serious face and sipped while blowing on it, 'fuu, fuu'.
She closed her eyes.
The taste passed down her sleepy throat and filled her stomach——a taste that permeates all five of his internal organs.
Koza, you've gotten better at seasoning.”
“Thank you for your kind words.
I used the leftover soup from yesterday as a base.”
“It's that kind of ingenuity that makes it possible to make it tasty.
Please keep up the good work.”
Krische nodded with satisfaction.
Koza, the leader of the 2nd Squad, also looked happy.
In the Black Century, a small reward was often given to the team that prepared delicious meals.
The reward may be an exemption from chores, or it may be alcohol or fruit, but it directly reflected Krische's desire to eat something as delicious as possible.
Due to that system, the soldiers naturally competed with each other, and Krische also gave cooking lessons several times, so their cooking skills have improved overall.
just it's a little.
Mia, barre fruit please.”
Mia ran and brought a pale red fruit.
The fruit was not particularly delicious.
Strong acidity and moderate sweetness.
However, since it is a dry fruit with firm skin, it can be kept for a long time.
It was often used by the military because it grew without being affected by the seasons.
Krische cut the peel into small pieces, crushed them lightly, and threw them into the pot.
Then she stirred it and scooped the soup with a ladle.
A single fistful of fruit in a large pot the size of half a Krische.
The slight odor that remained in the soup was masked by the fresh aroma, and the flavor was deepened.
A single fruit does not significantly change the taste.
The faint sweetness of a secret flavor—-When she sipped the soup, Krische nodded with a smile on her cheeks, took the soup on a plate, and handed it to Koza.
She herself didn't let go of the ladle.
“Now it's even better.”
The smell has disappeared.”
“Barre isn't very tasty, but it's good to bring it as a secret ingredient.
With so many ingredients, throwing some fruit in is not a bad choice.”
'Though if it's a light soup, the taste itself will change', she test-taste it over and over again.
She doesn't like sour soups.
Krische is basically on the salty faction.
But Krische had learned that a touch of sourness and sweetness would bring out the flavor.
The satisfied Krische didn't let go of the ladle and was absorbed in tasting the soup.
Koza and the others in charge of cooking looked at Kalua and Mia with a wry smiles, Kalua exasperated confiscated the ladle, grabbed Krische's waist, and lifted her up.
“Okay, okay, Usa-chan, let's have a light meal before the bread is ready.
Koza, please prepare some soup.”
“K-Krische, even if the meal is a little later…”
“Is Usa-chan going to keep drinking the soup like that until it's done?”
“T-that kind of thing…”
Koza and the others laughed happily, and Krische's cheeks blushed.
'Uuu' while she groaned, she was carried by Kalua, then sat on a log that was placed in place chair.
The piping hot soup was handed over.
Krische looks a little dissatisfied, but was no match for her appetite.
Blowing on the soup to cool it down, she sips it quietly.
The Kingdom's soldier meal is basically bread and soup.
But the bread had not yet arrived.
The bread was still being baked.
The bread is basically hard-baked, stone-like bread, and is usually eaten while being soaked in soup, which naturally does not taste very good.
Therefore, unless they are on the march, they often set up a simple stove.
It takes about two days to set up, so it is not always possible, but it is lighter, lasts longer, and tastes better if it is transported as wheat than if it is transported after it is formed into bread.
Considering the morale of the soldiers, there is a great advantage to having the bread baked on-site, and freshly baked bread is often eaten during the encampment.
Nozan seems to have issued an order to set up the stove on the first day.
They will win the battle.
And there will be many prisoners of war.
A blow aimed at the enemy general's neck—-Nozan, who was certain that it would settle the battle, had made such preparations in advance, foreseeing that the treatment of the prisoners would take time.
The stay here would be only a few days, but the soldiers would feel differently if they could spend those few days eating decent bread.
On an expedition like this one, these trivial pleasures are more important than anything else.
Krische, who wanted to eat delicious bread, unreservedly praised Nozan for his wise decision.
The contents of the soup change each time, but the base is potatoes, dried meat, and smoked meat.
Followed by onions and other vegetables that will keep for a long time.
Root vegetables with low moisture content are also common.
The Kingdom has little difference in temperature between seasons, and the air is basically dry.
Although the Kingdom is located in a place where food does not easily spoil, when it came to provisions, the variety was limited.
When they were close to the city, cheese and sausages were more common, but here they were able to enjoy a comparatively rich meal thanks to the large number of food supplies taken from Marcellus' army.
“Krische-sama, the bread has arrived.”
Bread arrived around the time she finished drinking the first bowl of the soup, and other things were prepared.
Arranged in front of Krische were sausages and slightly toasted cheese.
Soup made from horse bones with plenty of ingredients and freshly baked bread.
Even Krische, who had already filled her stomach with the soup, was drooling over these foods.
The Black Century has no work to do at the moment.
By the time they had finished their soup, everyone had gathered there, and although some of them were suffering from hangovers, they were smiling as they watched Krische happily enjoying her meal.
In the military, breakfast, and lunch are especially important, while the evening dinner is modest.
And between breakfast and lunch, breakfast is often emphasized.
This is because some troops may not be able to take lunch properly.
Even when camping, the breakfast is more lavish than usual, as it is still in enemy territory.
Although it was a bit painful to eat right after waking up from sleep, this was the norm, as the leftover food could be used for lunch.
Krische tore the bread and dipped it in the soup that was just served again.
The taste of the bread that has been soaked in the broth with melted meat juice and the concentrated flavor of the vegetables, danced in her mouth.
While chewing it well and tasting it, she made an incision in half of the bread and insert lamb sausage and cheese.
The cheese melted when it is grilled, and it goes well with the sausage, it popped when she bit into it.
Its saltiness was mellowed by the bread—-the combination of the three was outstanding.
Krische's cheeks were completely relaxed as she munched on the bread with cheese and sausage in it.
Mia, who was watching it from neck to her, placed her own bread on Krische's plate.
Krische's food preferences were already well-known.
Whenever there was sausage, she would eat it eaten sandwich style, so the Krische would have a second serving of bread that is dipped in the soup.
Krische, who was absorbed in her meal, didn't seem to notice it.
Basically, Krische's intellect will be severely stunted when she's having a meal.
She didn't even pay attention to the bread that had suddenly increased.
Today's performance is even better.
The 2nd and 12th squads won't need to work, except for the food for soldiers for today.
Other teams should learn from these two teams in the future.”
Krische nodded with a serious face, and the soldiers of the 2nd and 12th squads raised their voices of joy.
Compared to other groups, the Black Century attached great importance to the handling of food for soldiers.
They work hard and improve their cooking skills day by day.
Although it is difficult to say that their cooking is perfect because of the rough nature of battlefield cooking, Krische greatly appreciates all the efforts that are made.
The fact that they were given half a day off for cooking a decent meal made a big difference to their motivation when they were put in charge of cooking.
As a result, when time permitted, the meals of the Black Century were often relatively elaborate, and Krische valued their cooking more than their combat prowess.
Krische, after stuffing her stomach with food, smiled satisfactorily and called out to Dagra.
“Bald Eagle, what's today's plan?”
“Training for coordination.
The specialized weapon seems to have improved the individual abilities…
but in yesterday's battle, the coordination seems to have become a bit crude.
I think we should restart training in that area for a while.”
Krische will be inspecting each battalion, and after that, there will be a meeting.
I'll leave the rest to you…
but there is a possibility that we will make a move.
The training should be to the extent that fatigue does not remain.”
As Krische piled up her plate and was about to stand up, one of the soldiers quickly accepted it.
'Huh?' Krische tilted her head, then someone else came with a small bag.
“Nirkana fruit, Corps Commander.”
yes, thank you.”
Krische's meal was more lavish than usual today.
The soldiers were very attentive, offering her juice, more cheese, and so on.
She tilted her head in wonder seeing them, but could not think of any reason why.
However, they looked at the bewildered girl with gentle eyes.
“Then, Krische will be back at noon.”
Krische stood up, thinking 'strange, but oh well'.
Five people stood up following her.
Mia's 1st Squad.
She didn't really need an escort, but for making contacts and errands, the 1st Squad often acts with Krische.
The layout of the encampment is basically the same no matter where you go.
A corps consists of five battalions, each of which is assigned a post.
In the center is the commander and one battalion.
Four battalions surrounded it.
Each battalion was in charge of guarding its post.
Each corps had an encampment of approximately 2 ri (800 m) square.
The tent positions and supply depots for each battalion were also determined to a certain extent, thus minimizing confusion in the event of an attack.
It was also convenient, as the messengers running around in peacetime did not have to search for the tent of the corps commander or battalion commander each time they to contact them.
The prisoners of war were also allowed to set up encampments in the same way, but there was no difference, except that they were temporarily deprived of their weapons.
They were allowed to set up encampments for each of the original corps.
After one night, only a little over 20,000 remained.
Nearly 3,000 apparently fled somewhere.
There was some fighting and a few deaths, but nothing to be particularly concerned about.
Nozan had personally patrolled each encampment and had informed them about their treatment
They would not be punished for being enemies but would even be paid compensation equivalent to the conditions of our soldiers, though not necessarily in accordance with the conditions that Gildenstein's side had presented at the time of recruiting.
Even if they didn't join, if they moved together, the army would guarantee them food and transportation to nearby towns.
It shouldn't be a bad condition, and the reason for fleeing was probably due to political beliefs, or a grudge from the battle, or something like that.
Of the 20,000 prisoners of war who remained, 15,000 chose to remain employed.
Of those 15,000, about 5,000 were Krische's and Eluga's share.
There was one point to consider in terms of how to distribute the prisoners of war.
Did they want to create a new corps or incorporate it into the current corps?
In the end, Eluga established two new battalions, while Krische decided not to create new battalions, but to incorporate them into the current battalions and increase them.
This was due to the nature of the corps and the character of the commanders.
Due to her personality, Krische often comes to the frontline as a commander.
In that case, there was a possibility that her command will be delayed, and increasing the number of battalions will have a significant disadvantage in terms of command and control.
In contrast, Eluga prefers to stay out of the front lines and calmly command in the rear.
Therefore, he chose to establish a new battalion because he judged that he could easily control it even if he increased the number of battalions.
If it were possible to fight a battle with military superiority on their side, Krische, like Eluga, would prefer to command in the rear, but in reality, that was not the case.
If anything, Krische and the Black Century were more likely to be on the battlefield where they are outnumbered.
In that case, Krische would hesitate to establish a new battalion.
Another reason was that it was easier to incorporate them into a battalion than to newly establish it.
The division into century was convenient in this respect, and when incorporating them into a battalion, it was easy to reassign them because they were formed as a unit of 100 men.
If the centuries were simply thrown into the existing battalions, the battalion reinforcement could be done away with.
There were some units that disbanded due to wear and tear or escape, but there were generally no problems, and so far there was no major dissatisfaction showing.
“Keith, any problems?”
They're not bad soldiers.
They are quick to learn.”
Accompanied by the 1st Squad, Krische visited the encampment of the Third Battalion.
They were carrying out marching drills with the former prisoners of war that had been incorporated.
“Krische have included centuries who look excellent as much as possible.
Your corps will likely be used as a reserve corps in the future.”
Keith, the scrawny third battalion commander, stroked his beard and frowned.
“Krische will talk about it later too, but Krische and the Black Century will be working with the Fourth Corps for a while.
Krische and the First Battalion, Bagil will be offensive, and Keith will be mainly defensive, but Keith will be working in coordination with the Fourth Corps and need to move while considering the overall layout of the corp.”
'In short, it's like this time', Krische said simply.
Keith frowned more and more.
The responsibilities given go beyond those of the battalion commander and were closer to the role of a corps commander or the adjutant.
“Since the 4th Corps has increased the number of battalions, it would be fine to entrust most of the front-line battles to the 4th Corps.
Keith's role is to provide support from the rear.”
It seems like too much of a heavy responsibility to me, but.”
“Krische felt that Keith was the right man for the job.”
Keith was surprised by Cliche's words, which he had not expected.
She must have hated him—-that's he felt.
“When Krische used you as bait in the mountains, Krische thought there would be little more damage.
But you seemed to have understood Krische's intentions to some extent.
As a result, despite the pursuit, the Third Battalion did not collapse and was able to pull its men to where they could receive the Fifth Battalion's archery support.
…to reduce damage as much as possible under the given conditions and to maintain organizational leadership.
That Krische would say, is the most necessary skill of any military commander.”
Krische nodded while thinking about it a little, saying that it was really splendid.
Keith was perplexed by the girl's unexpected words.
“Krische would have liked to have seen a decent proposal from you in that situation, but Krische also feels that such point could be honed by having a perspective on the big picture.”
'In short, I have high hopes for you', Cliche nodded again with a serious face.
“Therefore, Krische has come to the conclusion to entrust Keith with the reserve as an officer equivalent to the First Corps Adjutant.
Do you have any objections?”
No, it's an undeserved honor.
But the other battalion commanders——“
“The First Battalion Bagil is highly likely to act together with Krische, so it's no good.
The Second Battalion Faglan is stuck in front due to the nature of the heavy infantry.
The Fifth Battalion Gaines is commanding the archers.
the rest was Fourth Battalion Varga, but Varga said he would be happy if it was Keith, so don't worry about it.”
Krische nodded 'un, un' and continued.
“The rear commander is a very important role.
If the responsibility is too heavy, Krische will think again about it.
How is it? “
Keith pondered for a moment, then saluted with pleasure.
This Keith will definitely live up to your expectations.”
Krische will count on you.”
Krische bowed and left.
Krische thinks it went well.
Is it fine like that?”
“Yes, corps commander.
I think it was wonderfully phrased.”
Mia smiled and nodded.
Krische had been thinking of entrusting Keith with rear command, but he was at a loss for what to say.
She basically understands that Keith hated her.
Mia, who was listening to the exchange with Eluga, also knows about the discord with the third Battalion.
Seeing Krische's hesitation as to how to explain it, Mia timidly made a proposal, and the conversation just happened was born.
The three important points are expectations, qualification, and praise.
Every battalion commander knew Krische's personality.
Mia thought the same Eluga, that no one would be displeased by her praise of their abilities.
She is a soft-spoken and honest person, so anyone who hears her praise will accept it as fact.
Mia then suggested that they start by getting the approval of the other battalion commanders.
Luckily, Keith was injured and still had his arms casted.
No matter how one thinks about it, it was only natural for him to be entrusted with rear command, and the other battalion commanders obediently agreed.
Varga and others have a similar role and were in a relationship to compete for positions, but he was indebted to Keith for the incident the other day, so he also obediently agreed.
If the outer moat was filled in like that, Keith can take on that role with peace of mind.
When one becomes a battalion commander, they will certainly have a certain amount of self-confidence in their own abilities.
Mia also came up with the phrase, 'If you think the responsibility is too heavy——'.
In effect, Krische was a puppet.
You could say that most of the phrasing was thought up by Mia.
“Krische thought Mia was a stupid girl, seems Mia is a good talker.”
Mia stops dead in her tracks, dumbfounded, and the four people around her burst out.
“Aah, well, there is something missing with Squad Leader Mia.”
“How to say it, the essential point was lacking?”
Squad members Bagu and Kerus laughed, and Mia glared at them.
Kalua happily put her hand around Mia's shoulder.
“Mia is smart, but she's kind of an airhead.
Like, she can't do some things even though she normally could do them.”
“…Even though most of the scolding is Kalua's fault, I'm the one who was blamed.”
“Corps Commander, Mia is trying to escape responsibility.”
Mia, basically, when your subordinates are wrong, it's your fault”
it's not like wanted to be a squad leader or an adjutant…”
Krische pondered a little and said.
“It's no good, Mia is the right person for the job.
Krische made Mia, Bald Eagle's adjutant because Krische has high expectations for Mia's growth.
Look, Mia is…
umm, moderately smart, and she's pretty good at talking…
Hmm, Mia is bad (noob) with the sword, but…
Mia might be an idiot, but…
Anyway, Mia is amazing.”
Um, Corps Commander.
It just makes it more painful, so please stop.”
Krische tilted her head and the four laughed again.
Kalua, for example, even held her stomach.
“Kuku, right, right, Usa-chan said something nice! Squad Leader Mia is amazing, I don't know what but she's amazing…!”
“Kalua! If you say more than that, I'll get angry.”
“Wow, the amazing squad leader is unreasonably got angry at her subordinates!”
People who stand at the top must be calm.”
Krische and the others went around the camp while having a silly conversation.
Surrounded by soldiers, chatting and laughing, with a gentle atmosphere.
The distortion was not completely eliminated.
However, her appearance slightly filled the gap between her and her soldiers.
A trivial change.
And so the sun rose directly above them.
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