Chapter 21: The rise of the TS medic

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*Disclaimer: Please don’t post this chapter in novelupdates since I don’t want to mislead other translators.

Chapter 21

After the invasion where we lost a lot of things…

“…Good work. Touri-chan, you can go take a meal break.” 

“Thanks.” (Touri)

We spent peaceful days for around a few months. 

The offensives of the enemy stopped completely for some mysterious reason. 

That said, it is not like the enemy got weaker. They simply reinforced their defenses. 

Our army also struggled attacking because they have hardened their defenses in a situation where their military force is higher, so we have only been able to do small skirmishes in these few months. 

“It has been truly peaceful lately. Can’t the war just end like this?” 

“Whichever the case, my military service will be over soon. I will be bidding farewell to this hell regardless of whether this war ends or not.” 

“I am jealous.” 

There really hasn’t been any change in these few months. 

If I had to mention anything, it would be that the request from Chief Medic Gale to change my affiliation from the frontline unit to the medic department was rejected and things got rowdy for a while. 

According to what Chief Gale said, the higher-ups began to discuss the worth of having medics in the Ace Platoons after I saved Captain Gaback. 

Could it be that I am at fault for this? 

This is something I heard rumors about, but Chief Gale was apparently the one who decided who to put in the Gaback Platoon. 

Also, the reason why she chose me to join the frontlines was because I had a small build, didn’t have stamina, and am an orphan. 

Basically, she gave me over with the assumption that I would be quickly used to the ground and die.

It was expected that a rookie like me would die soon after. 

Gale-san would have been able to tell Captain Gaback ‘See? It is because you sent a medic in the frontlines’ if I were to die immediately. 

If that rumor is true, the chief medic is extremely crafty. 

“Here, I bought these tea leaves in the city. Have some too, Touri-chan.” 

“Thanks, Chief Gale.” (Touri)

But rumors are rumors. 

The one in front of my eyes is the usual kind and beautiful Gale-san. 

Let’s not worry about it too much. 

“Can I have some too?” 

“Aah, supervisor. Go ahead.” (Gale)

The field hospital has been peace itself these few months. We even have the leisure to enjoy tea time in the afternoon. 

It is a complete turn from the way too busy days until now. It is a work state that feels like heaven. 

Well, I was pretty busy since I was being made to train by the captain though.

“Look, Touri-chan. It is a photo of my daughter.” 

“Ooh, you were married, Supervisor?” (Touri)

“Yeah. I will be able to see my daughter if I work hard for only 2 months more.” 

‘The last time I met her was when she was 2 years old, huh. Has she forgotten the face of Papa?’ -is what he said as he spoke fondly about himself in a rare good mood. 

“I will be seeing her after 3 years. I should buy something nice for her before going back. If I remember correctly, there’s a famous doll store in a settlement nearby.” 

“Aah, I have heard about it too. The marionette store, right?” (Touri)

“I will get a whole lot of retirement funds, buy a nice doll for my daughter, and go back. I am sure she will be happy.” 

It has been half a year since I have been sent to the frontlines. 

The battlefield has been peaceful to a creepy degree.

This peace is not only on our front, but on all the fronts. 

Our army has done assaults a number of times, but the casualties simply increased because of the way too sturdy defense of the enemy, and we eventually stopped doing it. 

Battles decreased so much that the soldiers even began speculating ‘maybe the countries are discussing a peace treaty in the shadows?’. 

I don’t know much about politics, so I only thought of it as ‘I am happy there’s less deaths now’, but how great would it have been if that were the case.

Then, why is it that the enemy suddenly stopped their attacks? 

According to the documents about the end of the war, the enemy general, Alex Eifelt, was apparently causing a strike on the headquarters. 

‘Don’t push the convenience of your politicians to the army’ -that’s the assertion of the enemy general, Alex.

The consecutive offensives of before was a performance for the sake of the politicians’ people. 

Pointless sacrifices came up from his subordinates because of this, creating an opening for the enemy, and giving them a chance to fight back. 

They even fell into a bone-chilling situation where ‘Our defense line would have been broken through with one more step’. 

He must have judged that his nation would fall if they were to tag along with the reckless behavior of the strategic headquarters.

Everyone in the frontlines who was tired of the politicians’ propaganda agreed with Alex, and declared to headquarters that ‘We won’t do offensives as long as you don’t replenish the soldiers’. 

And so, they refused all orders to attack and formed a sturdy defense line. 

This clash was mainly because there was a big difference in the perception of the battlefield between the leaders and the soldiers on the frontline. 

The politicians of the Sabat Federation were apparently thinking ‘We have close to double the soldiers, so we should be able to win if we push with numbers’.

There were no such fearsome things like guns before this East and West War, so the battles were mainly through sword and magic on plains. 

For the people in such an era, they thought that they would be able to brute force it with a difference in numbers even if a few casualties happen.

But for the people who know about the trench battle of before, they would want to say ‘what nonsense are you spouting?’.

It is often the case that the offensive force would get wiped out while there’s barely any harm done to the defensive side. 

It easily covers the gap of double the numbers. 

And so, Commander Alex has been asserting the policy to use the difference in military force to slowly advance.

But the politicians that didn’t know when the masses would rebel and were desperately ruling the nation didn’t accept such a slow policy of Alex. 

‘The war will be over soon. An affluent lifestyle will await them if they win’ – every time those sweet words were spoken, the less effective they are. 

And then, a few months after the strike…

Alex was finally changed and a different staff officer, Burstaf Nova, was sent to the frontlines as a commander. 

Burstaf was a man loyal to the headquarters and had a lot of connections with the soldiers in the frontlines. He was apparently ‘the best substitute for Alex’.

While such words were spreading in the frontlines…Burstaf had his eyes on a certain fantastic thesis.

The author of the thesis was: Silf Nova. 

She was the daughter of Burstaf, and was a daughter he was proud of who graduated at the top of the military school.

She didn’t even take a month to make a strategy with that thesis of hers, and declared that she could break through the West front and win the war with this. 

Of course, no one believed such a dream-like thesis. 

That thesis of hers was rejected as if natural, and she was lying in her own room.

There’s a reason why this thesis caught the eye of Burstaf.

The state of the Sabat Federation was worsening on the daily at that time, and a strike happened within the army, so there was no leeway at all in the government. 

That was the state of things, so the headquarters gave the unreasonable demand of ‘Settle things within this year even if it means a few casualties happen’ to Burstaf.

In the time Burstaf was holding his head in pain at this impossible task he was given, he found the thesis of his daughter and tried reading it without much expectation, thinking ‘it might give me an idea’. 

But he eventually began to consider the details seriously. 

‘Maybe this thesis can lead us to success?’ – There was something there that made him think this. 

And then, he adjusted it a bit and consulted with the strategy chief, and it was judged that the thesis of Silf had no holes and there was enough chance to succeed. 

And then, at the time when the season ended and was about to change…

Headquarters finally decided to take action with the thesis of the 15 year old girl as their core under the command of Burstaf. 

Silf also had to head to the frontlines as one of the tacticians since she is the writer of the thesis. 

As for the details of the strategy that would bring chills to normal soldiers…

— “A simultaneous invasion of the whole East and West front.”  

There won’t be enough magic crystals and mages in such a vast battlefield, so they won’t be able to do magic attacks for long.

And then, use their 3 defensive lines that are close to unharmed to march forward evenly. 

Silf Nova wouldn’t be able to deal with such a wide attack area. Once a frontline somewhere is broken through, the enemies will take flight like a balloon that had a hole punched through. 

The tacticians said the ones attacking are at a disadvantage. 

That charging forward against a defense line that’s not exhausted at all and no cover fire from magic was suicidal. 

The people on the frontlines that heard the details of this plan had pale white faces and were fiercely against the decision of headquarters. 

They declared in tears that the dead flesh of 180,000 soldiers would line up the frontlines if they were to do that and their capital city would be captured in one go.

It was said that one of the commanders in the frontline cut open his own stomach in order to chide Burstaf. 

But Silf observed the state of those commanders and said: “If you think it is impossible to break through, it just means that you have been procrastinating in your battles.” 

She sneered at the commanders. 

And so, the most horrible strategy in history was set in motion with this, but there was no way for me to know at that time, and was simply happy about there ‘not being many injured’. 

 

That strategy suddenly took place. 

“…Eh?” 

There was fine weather. Below a blue sky with not a single cloud in sight. 

The blitz offensive of Silf began without any prior signs under the command of the new commander, Burstaf. 

“The sound of magic attacks… That’s rare.” (Gale)

“…I am sorry. Even though we are in the middle of a talk here…” (Touri)

“Right. Head to the frontlines, Touri-chan. Follow the orders of Captain Gaback after that.” (Gale)

I still remember this day clearly. 

The me on this day ran from the field hospital to the frontlines for defense. 

It takes a couple of minutes to get from the field hospital to where the Gaback Platoon is stationed. 

The captain would scold me if I were to take too long, so I ran there. 

…But today’s assault was clearly weird. 

Because…

“Eh?” 

The enemy had begun charging even before I reached the Gaback Platoon’s base. 

“T-This is bad.” (Touri)

They are charging in way too fast no matter how you think about it. 

They barely did any magic attacks to prepare beforehand and are just charging in. There’s a limit to being unexpected. 

I certainly thought this at this moment: “I am thankful that they are attacking in such a short period of time, but the enemy is unfortunately attacking from the very front. There’s no assurance that stray bullets will reach, so they will have to move carefully.” 

The reality is that it was not unlucky or anything. The enemy went on an offensive on almost all the locations, but there’s no way I would know that.

I take distance from the trench at the front just in case and head to the base. 

 

Without noticing that I didn’t have the time to be moving so slowly. 

 

“Refused. Absolutely no.” 

There were a lot of people who were against the plan of the young genius, Silf Nova. 

“We will not obey the plan this time around and will become the last fort that will protect the capital.” 

Within them, the commander of the Sabat Federation’s south zone, Eivem, was resolutely against the plan of Silf, and refused the order to attack that was given.

It is because he could imagine a hellscape would happen if they were to do that. 

<<This is a violation of the military laws. Deserting is capital punishment. Obey orders at once.>> 

“Being executed is just what I want if my life can save a lot of lives.” 

Eivem refused to obey orders and there was contact from headquarters soon after to begin the assault at once, but he didn’t show any signs to obey. 

It seems like Burstaf called Eivem soon after the beginning of the assault. 

<<The current plan is one that has an extremely high probability of success. The success of this relies heavily on an offensive on a large scale. Your refusal to obey can even lead to the fall of us as a whole.>> (Burstaf)

“I would like to hear from what dream you thought that this plan would have a high chance of success.” (Eivem)

Eivem was showing no signs of bending. 

He had no intention at all to begin the assault, no matter how he was being persuaded to. 

Eivem had pledged to protect his homeland even if the frontlines are wiped out. 

<<You can’t even get that, you idiot?>> (Burstaf)

“Hah?” (Eivem)

Eivem argued with Burstaf for a while, and the voice on the other side of the call changed to that of a girl. 

It was apparently a mysterious cold and haughty voice that one could feel intelligence from. 

<<The core of this plan comes from the surprise factor. Your usual strategy is apparently to shoot a whole lot of magic for a few hours and then charge onto the designated base… Don’t you think something like that is simply a declaration of ‘We will be attacking there’?>> 

“If we don’t do that, we would end up being hit back greatly by the defense units hiding in the trenches. Wiping out the enemies in the trenches is a basic strategy in a trench ba—” (Eivem)

<<Defense units. That’s right, defense units. The units that are stationed in the trenches at the frontlines are units that are specialized in defense and can endure magic attacks for long periods of time.>> 

The voice of the girl had a mocking tone. 

The reality is that Silf must have been looking down on the man called Eivem. 

The girl at that time was 15 years old. It was a time in her life when she was the most sensitive and arrogant. 

<<There’s a limit to what you can expect from the retaliation of the defense units. The serious opposition from the enemy comes from the 3rd defense line onwards, right?>> (Silf)

“…” 

<<But the units that form the 3rd defense line are raid units that move often to the locations that are predetermined by the magic attacks.>> (Silf)

That’s why the young parts of her emotional side stood out. 

<<Then, what would happen if there’s a large-scale offensive that would make those raid units unable to determine where to go?>> (Silf)

You could say her tactical eye was far higher than any tactician at that time.

 

On that day, the East and West front that was in a stalemate for 10 years finally had broken. 

No matter how steady of a plan it was, it would have been possible to turn the tables if we had a grasp of the enemy’s actions completely. 

“Oh, runt, what are you doing?! Come here quickly. You are going to get shot!” (Rodley)

“Eh? Rodley-kun?” (Touri)

The strategies until now had been mainly attacks that aimed to break through one point.

They would set the point of attack, concentrate their forces in that place, and would aim to break through the enemy lines with dense attacks. 

Increasing their power to break through by concentrating their forces in one place, and then bring chaos to the facilities at the back after breaking through the enemy lines.

This is the latest strategy in this era. Captain Gaback himself understood this strategy well and fought. 

On the defense side, the raid units would move, matching the attack of the enemies, and would be used in the strategies for the 3rd line of defense. 

This is a strategy that could be used exactly because they knew where the enemy would attack. 

It would take around half a day at longest for the magic attacks and the preparations to rush towards the enemy. You would be able to move quite a lot of soldiers in that time. 

“The enemy is already right in front of us! Jump the trenches!” 

“Y-Yes!” 

That’s why charging in after really short magic attacks showed an extremely high surprise factor. 

The enemy came rushing in when the defense net at the back still hadn’t finished forming. You could say it made sense that the soldiers at the frontlines were unsteady on their feet. 

The casualties on the Sabat side were apparently pretty high even if it was a surprise attack.

They had to face the almost unscathed defense units after all. They were easily fought off in the trenches with units that were calm. 

But it is not like all the defense units could deal with things calmly when it is an endurance battle and their stamina was sapped away. 

There were people who were spacing out because they assumed the enemy wouldn’t charge in yet; ones who thought there would still be more magic attacks coming, so they deployed super sturdy defense magic and couldn’t react in time; there were many openings that the enemy could take advantage of. 

And then, the 3rd defense line still hadn’t been formed beyond those defense units. 

The assault after the beginning of the magic attacks was so fast that the formation of the defense line didn’t make it in time.

The result was that a lot of defense nets in these vast battlefields were broken through. 

Hell eventually broke loose. 

It was not a war, but a massacre. 

No matter how outstanding of a unit they are, they would end up being wiped out if they are surrounded by enemies from all directions.

Allies were being killed one-sidedly by violence like a hunter cornering a beast. 

It was a fatal blow that could decide the winner of this war -in all the fronts aside from the south commanded by Eivem who refused the order to attack.

The Sabat Federation achieved the long sought for ‘breaking through the enemy lines’ of both armies. 

“Captain, the enemy units are also at the back…!” 

“I know.” 

Defeat. 

Our nation Austin was defeated by the strategy of the enemy tactician, Silf Nova.

We might have still been able to recover if the strategy were the same as before: breaking through one point. 

The leaders of Austin thought of many countermeasures in the case of being broken through.

But how do you recover when the enemy breaks through all the frontlines?

“Is it okay to not provide assistance somewhere?!” 

“We will be left behind like this and get surrounded!” 

“I know!” 

Everything ended that day.

In the time I was carefreely sipping tea with Chief Gale, the victory of the war was set. 

“—I know, but no order is coming.” 

Deserting the battlefield is a grave crime. 

Even Captain Gaback can’t retreat unless there’s an order.

“More enemies!!” 

“Face them! Don’t let them get through here!” 

“They have already done so from elsewhere!” 

“Then be careful of your back too.” 

Our ally commanders seemed to have completely stopped functioning at this time. 

There were apparently an astounding amount of points where the enemy had broken through. 

There were endless reports coming to the command center, and they couldn’t decide where to put which force. 

“But at this rate…!” 

“Wait… Yeah, understood.” 

Within those, only Major Renvel, who was the commander of our front, sent an order to all units by his own behest. 

“Order to retreat. We are falling back.” 

“…! Y-Yes!!” 

He gave permission to all units within his command to abandon their posts even when there was no such permission from headquarters. 

That’s normally an unbelievable order, but Renvel-shi was certain of defeat when seeing the situation unfolding, and allowed the retreat of the frontlines on their own discretion. 

A lot of soldiers managed to survive thanks to this decision.

But a lot of the frontlines where there were no proper commanders couldn’t get an order to retreat. 

The casualties of Austin after this were more than 10,000, counting the deaths and the missing. There were apparently more than tens of thousands injured and captured. 

They suffered damages of more than half of the forces.

The government hurriedly requested reinforcements from the neighboring countries, but there was no nation who came to our help. 

 

At that time, I thought this East and West front was hell on Earth. 

I was crushed by the reality that lives could be snuffed out this easily. 

But I learned that I still haven’t experienced true hell. 

People dying on the battlefield is natural. The true hell is formed in a place that’s not  even the battlefield.

 

This operation would be called the Silf Offensive in the future, and would be described as the biggest merit of war in this East and West War.

On this day, the Sabat Federation secured a grand victory that’s rarely seen due to the novel strategy of the young genius tactician, Silf Nova.

It is said that Burstaf clapped and Eivem was speechless.

After that, in the books of history from Sabat, Eivem apparently said ‘This was not an action out of self-interest, but for the sake of my country’, however, he retired from the army to take responsibility. 

Silf Nova was evaluated highly with this achievement and obtained extremely high influence in the headquarters.

That would turn into extreme misfortune for the Sabat Federation and the young Silf, but…let’s leave that for later.

 

“…Ah.” 

I was single-mindedly running, chasing the back of Captain Gaback. 

I noticed that the area near the field hospitals were burning. 

The hospitals where there were kind people were being assailed by gunshots and explosions. 

I didn’t have the leeway to go check the state of the field hospitals, and the friendly troops scattered a while after, so I could never learn of the casualties in the hospitals. 

I investigated with everything I had after the war, but I in the end could not reunite with any survivor from this field hospital. 

I think Gale-san and the supervisor lost their lives on this day. 

“…!” 

This is how I was smacked from a lukewarm battlefield to true hell. 

The casualties of war increased sharply from this day on. 

I didn’t know at all that I was standing in a big turning point in history. 

I could only be scared of the howling torrent of history. 

1st Arc over.

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