༺ I Don’t Need a Guillotine for My Revolution ༻
Written by – 카르카손
Translated by – Mara Sov
༺ Civil War Period – Lafayette’s Front (1) ༻
As soon as the autumn harvest was completed, King Louis launched a campaign to crush the rebels, summoning a large army in the Capital – Lumiere, and setting a march towards the south.
In response, the Faction of the late First Prince also mobilized their forces and set out.
The leaders of the First Prince’s faction gathered at the Charolais Fortress, located between the southern territory of Lafayette and the eastern Duchy of Lorenne, roughly in the central part of the Kingdom.
The atmosphere of this meeting was not just grim, but desperate.
“They have over 20.000 men? Are you certain of this?”
The expressions of all of those gathered here paled at the faction leader’s question, Duke Christopher De Lorennene
“This could be a mistake? Perhaps our scouts were delirious? The forces we faced before the plague were fewer than this! Even if they secured the North, the money necessary to raise a force like this wouldn’t just fall from the skies. So how could they have mustered such an army?”
Count Pelford, one of Duke Lorenne’s trusted aides, spoke up, but my father, the Marquis of Lafayette, replied to him in an indifferent tone.
“We already double-checked this information. Unless every single one of our scouts has gone mad, those numbers are correct.”
A grave silence fell upon the meeting.
After the plague, the Lord of the Northern region lost most of their power.
Even after conscripting every possible man, our forces barely numbered over 10,000 strong.
I was rather mortified as well.
Before my regression, King Louis had launched an offensive to mop up the remnants of the First Prince’s faction, but their numbers were only slightly larger than ours.
That’s why we were able to hold them off even without my father for long enough to King Louis realize that the newly minted revolutionaries were a bigger threat than he had expected, so he sought reconciliation.
But now, they are going to wage war on us with twice our numbers.
Maybe it’s the butterfly effect caused by my father, the Marquis, still being alive?
The presence of my father might have made them cautious, but how could this explain the sudden doubling of their forces?
This isn’t just a territorial dispute; a force of this magnitude requires more than just a peasant conscription.
Not even to talk about how much money it would take to feed, clothe, and arm such a force when both factions were virtually bankrupt after the long Civil War.
Perhaps those damned bastards made a deal with the Abyss Corporation?
“The difference between our numbers is too great, isn’t it? In this case, we should retreat and prepare for a battle of attrition……”
“Their territories in the North will remain intact, while ours will be plundered and burned to cinders. If we back down here, then they would simply pick us off one by one.”
Amidst this heated discussion, another piece of intelligence arrived.
“The enemy divided their forces into three and is advancing. About 6,000 men are being led by the Duke of Orleans and are heading towards Trouville, 4,000 troops are being led by the Duke of Bretagne and are heading towards the province of Berry while 10,000 troops led by King Louis himself are marching towards us.”
“So they intend to strike our base of operations.”
Murmurs spread across the conference.
The enemy forces marching east are clearly targeting Duke Lorenne’s domain.
What bothered me, however, was……
“4,000 are marching toward the Berry province?”
The Marquis furrowed his brow.
From the Berry province, in the southwest, the only target of worth belonging to the First Prince’s faction was the Lafayette Marquisate.
It was understandable of them to pressure the leader of our faction with 6,000 troops, while the bulk of Lafayette’s forces were already positioned to deal with the main force, led by King Louis. So, why would he send an additional 4,000 men toward a province where the only target worth speaking of was Lafayette?
Considering the distribution of forces, Duke Lorenne’s domain would engage with a token effort, as the force sent there was barely enough to keep him in check while the bulk of this army was being invested against Lafayette and the other southern families.
“Apparently, King Louis is intent on purging Lafayette and the other southern families first.”
Said Count Lionel with a grave tone.
That was clear. But why would he pursue this goal?
While avoiding the Revolutionaries’ ire was one of my biggest goals, the secondary motive behind stopping the Marquis from revealing Eris to the world was to avoid King Louis’s unnecessary attention.
The Blue Knight’s reputation was certainly worthy of legend, but with Duke Lorenne as the head of the faction, why would they go out of their way to deal with Lafayette?
“……We’ll have to divide our troops as well.”
Before anyone could speak, Duke Lorenne quickly spoke up.
“The enemy forces heading for my territory are not insignificant. With 6,000 enemy soldiers, I’ll have to mobilize my army to deal with the Duke of Orleans.”
A frown naturally twisted my expression.
Duke Lorenne and his coalition of easter nobles have an army of 5,000 men strong.
Although it was smaller than Duke Orleans’s forces, they planned on sending most of their forces south and leaving us with barely half of our initial force here.
In my past life, when I had the title of Marquis, the First Prince’s faction didn’t stand at such a disadvantage, but now that we were cornered I could see their true colors starting to show themselves.
Now I know why the Marquis called him an incompetent pig.
“If we do that, the South will be the first to collapse!”
Count Lionel, that was Lafayette’s neighbor was the first to protest this–
“Should we fall, your own demise will follow shortly, Duke.”
As he heard the Marquis’s cold words, the Duke of Lorenne took out a handkerchief and wiped the sweat off his obese face.
“Whether we lose some territories or not, it’s all the same in the end. We cannot fight back while being this severely outnumbered. If we could do something, then I would send 1,000 men to the south under the command of the legendary ‘Blue Knight’. If it’s you, then I believe you’d manage somehow.”
With this, the enemy forces approaching south numbered 14,000, while our defenses were only 6,000.
Even with the Blue Knight, it would be quite improbable to overcome such a disadvantage.
“We’ll use 2,000 men to hold off the Duke of Bretagne, and with the rest, we’ll take on King Lu—”
The Marquis’s eyes twitched as Duke Lorenne interrupted him.
“I’m risking the safety of my territory by lending you a precious fifth of my army, and yet, the Marquis is sending a third of his already meager forces to defend his own lands?”
“Well then, what would you propose?”
“Even if the Marquis, the mighty ‘Blue Knight’ is as powerful as believed, it’s impossible to defeat 10,000 soldiers, including the King’s elite troops with a mere 4,000. Since he would be able to win this battle anyway, shouldn’t it be wiser to let me command all my forces to victory in the east instead?”
Duke Lorenne’s absurd proposal made the Marquis’s face darken.
Ah, I think I can understand some of the roots behind the Marquis’s anger now.
Does Duke Lor-No, this pig, actually think……
He can win against the Duke of Orleans’s 6,000 men with all his 5,000 troops?
“Your Grace. If the Lafayette Marquisate falls, the other territories in the south will follow closely in a chain reaction. We cannot allow the enemy’s advances in the south.”
At last, Count Lionel seemed to realize the danger to his own territory should Lafayette fall, as he proceeded to support us. But Duke Lorenne proved to be more of a fool than I gave credit for.
“Of-Of course, I’m not saying we should ignore this threat. But since all territories are being threatened shouldn’t we share the burden among ourselves equally? I’m taking a big risk by sending 1,000 troops. Therefore, why won’t the Marquis contribute with 1,000 troops of his own as well?”
The same genius who was worried he wouldn’t be able to hold back the 10,000 men with his 4,000 is now suggesting that the Marquis tries his hand in holding them off with only 1,000?
“After all, once they cross the plains of the Berry province, the way towards the Marquisate is protected by a dense forest, so the enemy won’t be able to advance as swiftly, and a small number of troops should be able to hold them off until we can join our forces after securing the victory on the central and eastern fronts.”
His intentions couldn’t be more obvious.
Should the enemy make a breach, the Marquisate of Lafayette would be the one suffering the most, and since Duke Lorenne’s territory is completely opposite from the Marquisate, this wouldn’t be his problem to deal with.
On the other hand, if the central front collapses, the King’s main force could turn their sight toward Duke Lorenne’s territory.
The Marquis was looking downright murderous at this point, but there was nothing we could do if the Duke refused to lend us his troops.
It’s horrifying to me that I fought alongside these people against the revolution. And I certainly wouldn’t fight alongside them a second time.
“Then, who will command the 1,000s in the west to hold off Duke Bretagne’s 4,000s?”
A role where the commander would have to do his best to stall for time with minimal casualties, lest he gets utterly crushed by the overwhelming forces.
The Marquisate may be threatened, but there was no one aside from the ‘Blue Knight’ who could face King Louis’s army and have a chance of survival.
Naturally, no one was crazy enough to take on such a burden……besides me that is.
“I will go.”
As I stepped outside of the conference room, I simply let out the insincere praises about being the son of the ‘Blue Knight’ and the rising star who defeated Millbeau County multiple times.
I couldn’t understand why the Lafayette Marquisate was being singled as a threat, but there is no use pondering about it.
Given the situation, I have no choice but to use some of my hidden cards prepared in anticipation of the Revolution.
Reaching into my quiver, I pulled an arrow of a different color from the rest.
While a sword enhanced by Eris Divine Power would lose its blessing after a few swings I asked her to apply her blessings into an arrow in the form of a trump card.
Eris wasted days praying over it, as the sheer amount of Divine Power encased on this arrow allowed me to relax my nerves.
“What were you thinking?”
As I turned around, I realized that the Marquis had followed me.
“We are defending our territory. Any other person put into this role wouldn’t fight with his all, that’s why I should take command.”
The Marquis stared at me for a moment as his face broke into a satisfied smile.
“Indeed, you have grown up. You’ve finally become a man worthy of the name Lafayette.”
Ah, I understand it now.
Initially, I had been keeping an eye out for him in the chance he could cause some trouble, but he kept to himself and showed no signs of his usual plots.
It seems to me he had come to his own conclusion. Since he couldn’t control me anymore, he must have convinced himself that I was now a son to be proud of.
I couldn’t help but let out a bitter laugh at this realization.
“Your Excellency, may I ask you something?”
“Weren’t you aware that both Sir Gaston and I are more than capable of overpowering a regular Knight?”
The Marquis became silent.
But his silence was already an answer of its own.
“You recognized the swordsmanship of a Royal Guard at a mere glance, so you surely could distinguish our skills. So, why then? Was it because you believed that Sir Gaston’s and my own swordsmanship was so insignificant that they held no value to you?”
That’s not likely. The Marquis held the Knightly tournament every year before my incident, and he always took the top performers to the battlefield.
Not to mention that Sir Gaston, even before my regression, was already vastly superior to any Knight that came out of that tournament.
“I think that’s because to you, Your Excellency, I was not a son to be cherished or taught, but a rival who threatened your position, isn’t that right?”
“……Yes, that is correct, Pierre. But now I realize this simple truth. A lion’s cub cannot be a mere house cat, no matter how much you tried to suppress it—”
“Then just treat the cub as it was always treated.”
“I didn’t grow to where I am now because of your ‘support’, Your Excellency. The man standing before you is simply a weed that prevailed despite your best efforts to trample it down.”
I wasted years of my life under the Marquis’s cold disdain and it was only after fighting the Revolution and being decapitated on the guillotine that I came to be who I am now.
I have reached this place only through a miracle.
The old me wasted too much time to escape his influence, and the shadow of the Marquis persisted even after his worthless death at the hands of the plague.
After all this hardship and through this miracle, I’ve barely made it here, and now this man who has been nothing more than a source of constant pain and regrets dares to call himself my father and be proud of who I have become?!
“So, don’t even think of including me as one of Your Excellency’s success stories now. I may bear the name of Lafayette, but I’m not and will not be the Lafayette you wished for. What I am, however, is your rival who has grown outside of your control, despite your best attempts.
“Hah! Such arrogance. Tell me then, can you prove to be all of this without the name of Lafayette?”
“Yes, Your Excellency. And I will show it to you.”
Whether he thinks I’m easily disposable or he’s grateful for my efforts, I don’t care.
During the end of the fight against the Revolutionary Army, I faced numerous situations far more desperate than this one.
And now that I have resources to draw upon, I can’t afford to lose face in a battle that will become the prelude to the Revolution.
“So, instead of pretending to be a doting father who has turned a new leaf, show me the ‘Blue Knight’ Your Excellency, for I plan to win and crush all of those who stand in the way of my goal.”
“Hahaha! I hope your might lives up to your arrogance.”
“This arrogance you speak of could have been only bestowed by you, Your Excellency. After all, aren’t you the one who has to live up to the title of Strongest Knight in this Kingdom?”
The opportunity to prove my worth on the same battlefield as the Marquis was something I didn’t have in my past life.
Therefore, I looked at him as a fire burned in my eyes.
“If Your Excellency falls short, I guarantee that it will be me who the people think of when they hear the name ‘Lafayette’ and not the supposedly great ‘Blue Knight’.”
TL: LET THE WAR BEGIN BITHCES
The next 5 chapters will be all out warrrrrrrr