༺ I Don’t Need a Guillotine for My Revolution ༻
Written by – 카르카손
Translated by – Mara Sov
༺ Civil War Period – Lafayette’s Front (2) ༻
Francia Kingdom – The Nivernais Plain in the north.
“Those damned wretches……”
King Louis gritted his teeth as he rested inside the command tent.
Already, the Estates-General he had convened turned into a circus as the commoners belonging to the Third Estate started to make absurd claims of deserved representation.
How could those lowly commoners dare to claim equal rights to that of the nobility and the clergy?
Yet, he was now being compelled to march and deal with the bigger problem right now, and the letter held in his hands only served to stroke his fury.
The long pompous letter started with a decorous congratulation on his ascent to the Throne and wishes that the Divine favor him, but the actual content of the letter was straightforward and succinct.
It is with the utmost respect that we acknowledge Your Majesty’s triumphant accession to the throne and subsequent victories. However, it is imperative to bring to Your Majesty’s attention that the realm’s stability now stands precariously at the brink of disarray.
In light of these circumstances, may we respectfully propose that it would be a measure of profound wisdom to consider an armistice? Such a noble act of diplomacy would not only reflect Your Majesty’s magnanimity, but it would also garner substantial financial backing, bolstering the Kingdom’s prosperity.
We must, with all due deference, convey our concerns regarding the continued hostilities and the potential ramifications of further purges within the nobility of the Kingdom of Francia. Should the conflict endure at the expense of the realm’s highborn, we fear we shall be compelled, albeit with great reluctance, to dissent in the interest of the kingdom’s future.]
This letter was signed by the neutral houses such as Aquitaine and Anjou.
It was essentially a veiled threat that if the civil war continued, the neutral nobles wouldn’t remain as neutral……
“Damn them, they are all traitors! We should just eradicate them……”
With the Kingdom swimming in debt, having normal governance was already a far-fetched dream. But with the Abyss Corporation’s assistance, the outcome of this war was already decided.
Fortunately, a messenger brought him some much-desired good news.
“Your Majesty. They have split their forces into three. Duke Lorenne commands 4,000 troops against the Duke of Orleans, The Heir of Lafayette leads 1,000 troops against the Duke of Bretagne, and finally, the ‘Blue Knight’ is intent on confronting Your Majesty with 5,000 troops.”
As he received the report, King Louis finally allowed a satisfied smile to bloom on his lips.
“The Duke Lorenne continues to be predictable as ever, while the ‘Blue Knight’s’ arrogance is indeed as high as the heavens.
Does he think he can stop me with just 5,000 troops? Hahahahaha……..”
“Indeed, Your Majesty, their foolishness is beyond doubt. However, it seems that the Duke of Bretagne’s forces didn’t divide their army as much as planned.”
“Hmm, that is a bit disappointing.”
King Louis stroked his chin with a sense of regret.
Though the deployment of such a large army of 20,000 was only possible due to his deal with the Abyss Corporation, he was expected to attack the Heir of Lafayette as the condition. His plans to further divide their army, however, didn’t seem to have worked completely as King Louis expected to draw at least 2,000 soldiers to fight the 4,000 he had sent.
“Speaking of which, are they really so lacking in commanding officers? To appoint the Second Son of Millbeau, that disgrace who has done nothing but lose as the commander……”
“That is because no one else volunteered for it, Your Majesty. And besides, Millbeau County has a personal score to settle with Lafayette.”
“Hmph, rabble will always be rabble. Send a message to the Duke of Bretagne to crush them and thoroughly plunder the Marquisate.”
“By your will, Your Majesty.”
It was a pity that only 1,000 men were drawn in, but with the 4,000’s at his disposal, the Duke of Bretagne could easily defeat the Heir and ravage the Marquisate.
As of now, his real concern was the Blue Knight. Fortunately, he had minimal forces at his disposal and since Duke Lorenne had drawn almost all of his forces to defend his territory, the current army King Louis had to face was halved.
“After all, the real danger here is not those small fry, but the Blue Knight.”
In the Knight Kingdom of Francia, the number of troops doesn’t always guarantee the outcome of a conflict.
No matter how many soldiers one has, If the Knight is allowed to freely charge into their ranks, then most battles could end right there, which is a common happenstance.
Nevertheless, the reason why a numerical advantage is still considered a threat is that, typically, the number of Knights is proportional to the number of troops, especially since the Knights are usually the commanders.
Yes, that’s right. Usually, this would be the case.
King Louis glanced at the Royal Knight Commander standing beside him – Stephane D’Artagnan.
The King’s most trusted Knight and his second-in-command. A knight who had suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the Blue Knight.
“I trust you know that there will be no better opportunity than this, Sir D’Artagnan.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. I’m aware of this.”
Even D’Artagnan alone couldn’t match the Blue Knight. During the Civil War, the Second Prince’s army always sought to evade a confrontation against the Blue Knight.
But this time things are different.
After all, one of the clauses behind his deal with Abyss Corporation was the downfall of Lafayette.
Though Abyss Corporation emphasized that the Heir was to be focused on, King Louis and the loyalists naturally focused more on the Blue Knight himself, than his heir. To them, the Blue Knight was Lafayette and Lafayette was the Blue Knight.
The 6,000 troops taken by the Duke of Orleans hardly included any Knights as his role was merely to bait the attention of Duke Lorenne’s forces and tie them up in the east.
King Louis gathered nearly all the remaining Knights in the Kingdom of Francia to deal with the Blue Knight and his army. The total forces of King Louis numbered 10,000 soldiers, of which 300 were Knights.
This army was solely prepared to deal with the Strongest Knight in the Kingdom, as he gathered every single Knight who managed to survive the Civil War.
With Duke Lorenne’s cowardly personality, this was a battle they couldn’t lose even if they tried.
King Louis smiled triumphantly, already certain of his victory.
“If only we had done this at the beginning of the Civil War…This time, we must kill that damned Blue Knight! Without him, those traitors will be like candles in the wind.”
At the southern ends of the Berry Province, at the entrance to the central forest region of Francia.
“Isn’t this a surprise? They aren’t retreating, but instead, they’re initiating a flank rotation.”
Count Millbeau frowned at Duke Bretagne’s relaxed tone.
Even though most of the 4,000 men were provided by Count Millbeau and his vassals, the Commander-in-chief was no one but Duke Bretagne, the King’s favored.
Count Millbeau turned his irritated gaze toward his second son, Damien De Millbeau, his once favored son who flinched and lowered his head.
If that fool hadn’t plunged Millbeau’s honor into the mud, the position of commander-in-chief of the southwestern army would have been his!
Regardless of Count Millbeau’s discontent, Duke Bretagne looked towards the enemy army stationed at the entrance to the forest with admiration.
According to the intelligence provided, the force following the Lafayette Heir was about 1,000, but the number of troops stationed before them certainly seemed to be larger.
“So, somewhere close to 1,500? That’s more than we expected.”
“It seems to be that way, Your Excellency.”
As he studied the enemy troops organized in a long line, Duke Bretagne proceeded to stroke his chin in a contemplative poise as he said.
“Even so, our numerical advantage remains unchallenged. But they do seem rather peculiar. Forming a line with their backs towards the forest……”
While Duke Bretagne maintained a relaxed contemplative behavior, Count Millbeau’s frustration was already getting out of hand.
He needed to distinguish himself in this battle to regain his honor before the King and the nobles.
“Let’s commence the advance, Your Excellency.”
“Hmm. Very well, let us move forward a bit.”
With the Duke’s consent, the army composed of 4,000 troops began their orderly advance across the plains.
As they drew closer, the weapons held by Lafayette’s soldiers became visible to the naked eye.
“Muskets in the center with spearmen on both flanks? Interesting. They positioned themselves in a long line formation to prevent the Knights from flanking, and in the center, they sought to maximize their firepower with muskets?”
The usual military doctrine in the Francia Kingdom went as follows — The infantry would fight in the center, while Knights and cavalry would clash on the wings, with the one who could successfully attack the enemy’s flanks and rear was usually the winner of the conflict.
Thus, this line formation with their backs towards the forest and spearmen on the flanks to prevent the cavalry seemed reasonable to the untrained eye.
“Not a bad strategy. But it’s too naive.”
However, for this to work, the spearman had to actually stop the charging Knights and cavalry. And how could a mere spearman, lined up in a row, stop a Knight’s charge who could even charge through bullets, arrows, and spears?
“Perhaps the forest is a way to minimize their chances of being pursued by the Knights and cavalry, should they retreat.”
The Duke shook his head at Count Millbeau’s theory.
“Should they retreat into the woods, how could they remain organized? An army that has fallen into disorder does not last for long. If that was the plan, they shouldn’t have engaged us in battle.”
While the two commanders each had their own doubts, a blue flag was raised high from Lafayette’s army.
“What kind of signal is that?”
The answer to that question was quickly delivered as a series of explosions echoed from within the forest.
As everyone stood stunned, a round iron cannonball flew in with a deafening roar and grazed past the advancing army.
While the first shot missed its mark. The second was not so harmless.
The cannonball fell into the marching column with a terrible sound as it broke and crushed many of the troops.
As the third and fourth shots flew over the heads of the marching soldiers, they began to panic.
“Your Excellency the Duke! They have cannons on high ground in the forest!”
“I have a set of working eyes as well, you know?”
The Duke Bretagne stroked his beard.
“They are using siege weapons to target the troops.”
Judging by the sound of the cannon rifle and the intervals, they don’t seem to have many cannons.
This alone wouldn’t do much against 4,000 soldiers.
“Your Excellency! I shall lead a strike team and charge toward these fools and disable their weapons!”
However, the psychological effect such weapons had was significant, as Count Millbeau and the Knights began to grow restless.
It should be easy enough to trample them, but it was also distasteful to play into the enemy’s hands just like expected.
Above all, Duke Bretagne, who had some reputation as a tactician in the Francia Kingdom, preferred to fight elegantly rather than being dragged into the enemy’s pace.
Not to speak of how much damage a volley of musket fire could do to his troops, and he certainly didn’t wish to waste the army entrusted to him by the king.
Even a little rain conjured by mages could render the gunpowder weapons useless. After that, he could charge at them without reserves.
“Send forth the mages who can conjure water. Give those fools a worthy baptism—”
The Duke’s orders were interrupted by the loud roar of cannon fire as two more cannonballs flew, hitting his troops with a deafening boom.
The Duke could already feel his annoyance rising.
As if this wasn’t enough, Count Millbeau continued to needle his command with his veiled barbs and now he was getting caught in the enemy’s pace.
“……Show them our might.”
“Yes, Your Excellency!”
By the Duke’s command, three mages clad in loose robes stepped forward to cast their spell.
However, as if waiting for this exact moment, a Knight on horseback burst forth from the enemy lines.
“That Knight, what is he—”
Before he could even finish his sentence, the Knight took off a bow, nocked an arrow while galloping on his horse, and released.
The mage who was casting his spell was pierced in the throat by the arrow without even understanding what had transpired as he collapsed, unable to even yell injustice.
The Duke immediately recognized the coat of arms engraved on the Knight’s armor. The coat of arms of the Lafayette family. This was not the Marquis, the great ‘Blue Knight’, this Knight was his son, the Heir of Lafayette.
While the Duke processed this information, the Knight nocked another arrow in his bow and released it.
The second mage tried to conjure a magical shield to protect himself, but the mana-infused arrow that left a blue trail as it sailed through the air, pierced right through the mage’s defenses and struck him.
Of the three mages, one was instantly killed, the second was writhing and screaming in pain with an arrow lodged in his arm, while the third was busy fleeing in terror.
“What are our arches doing?!”
“The distance is too great for a normal archer to cover, My Lord……”
How could there exist a Knight who would resort to such a cowardly weapon as a bow, and even waste his mana infusing the arrows to strike his enemies from a unilateral distance?
He’d been had, and now 2 precious mages were wasted.
This cowardly welp had outsmarted him and made them waste their magical advantage.
The Duke of Bretagne trembled with rage.
“Such petty tricks……”
Once more, the cannons roared.
Another cannonball tore into their ranks, and the drop in the army’s morale was noticeable.
“Your Excellency! Please give me the order! If this is allowed to continue, we’ll only accumulate our losses!”
“Your Grace, please give the order to charge! We’ll break through their feeble lines and deal with them in one fell swoop!”
As the Knight’s patience reached its limits, Damien De Millbeau, the second son of Count Millbeau, who stayed silent until now spoke up.
“Y-your Grace! That Lafayette scum is a man filled with dishonorable tactics! We must not be swayed by him! He may have more troops hidden in the forest!”
“Silence you fool! Know your place! You have no right to speak here!”
The Knight’s clamor, the boy’s rebuke and the Count’s angry shouting only served to agitate the Duke even further.
The Duke watched as the Lafayette Heir returned to their ranks with a leisurely pace as the mages took cover, too afraid to even do anything.
Could it be true? Had he hidden additional troops in the forest for an ambush?
By stretching his forces thin, he ensured that his flanks were covered, and the hidden troops could emerge from the forest to strike during any engagement.
This theory had merit.
Narrowing his eyes, the Duke surveyed the distant enemy formation and the forest behind them, but even a Knight’s vision couldn’t properly discern the enemy’s cannons stationed on high ground, or be able to see within the forest.
While the Duke wasted some time lost in thought, the cannons roared once more as the artillery shells flew in.
Despite the damage being insignificant to the overall army, the soldier’s formation and morale had been visibly shaken.
His 4,000 troops were being harassed by a mere 1,500.
He was the Duke of Bretagne, a famed tactician of this Kingdom!
He wouldn’t allow such shame to continue under his command!
Finally, the Duke lowered the visor of his helmet.
“Knights! In formation! We shall strike the enemy in one swift move!”
“Y-your Excellency, will you lead the charge personally?”
Concerns were voiced immediately, but the Duke had his own pride to consider. It would stain his honor to stay hidden behind the lines, especially when someone like Count Millbeau was clearly plotting against him.
“Who do you think I am?! Know that I am also a proud Knight in the Kingdom of Francia!”
“……Yes, Your Excellency!”
As if they were waiting for those exact words, 30 Knights, including Count Millbeau quickly rallied around him, followed by the heavy cavalry.
“Hah! Let’s show this brat what happens when he deals with real men! We cannot afford any more losses, or I won’t be able to face His Majesty on his triumphant return!”
The brat must be trying to force some loss on them as he planned to strike them with an ambush when the opportunity appeared……
I will take the Knights and the heavy cavalry to strike at their center and split their formation into two. The infantry will take the flanks while we keep a reserve prepared to deal with any ambushes.”
While it may seem like he’s preparing to deal with a cavalry charge, having a formation spread as thin and wide as he did is a grave mistake.
Ambush or not, once the cavalry charges at such a thin line, it will collapse in no time.
“Y-Your Grace, forgive my impertinence, but this could also be a part of his ploy……”
“What kind of cowardice is this? Are you even a Knight!”
“Do you wish to fall by my sword? You worthless scum!”
As the son of Millbeau tried to step in once more he was immediately rebuked by the Knights and his father.
Did the brat dare to think he was a better tactician than him?
At this point, even the Duke was thoroughly infuriated by him.
“If you are so anxious, then be free to take command of the reserve force.”
A position that stripped away the honor of combat from a Knight.
To the unfathomable disgrace of having his son being imprisoned in such a position, the face of Count Millbeau turned ashen.
Damien’s face also paled, but his expression seemed somewhat relieved.
This coward’s relieved face, combined with the resounding boom of the cannons tearing through his army, made the Duke’s displeasure hit its limits.
With a trembling hand, he gripped his spear and shouted.
“For the honor of the Kingdom! For the glory of His Majesty the King! Chargeee!”
Trumpets cried incessantly in the enemy camp and their flags continued to dance relaying orders.
The enemy’s Knights and heavy cavalry positioned at the center of their formation were charging at our meager formation.
Behind them, thousands of soldiers from the infantry rushed forward, their number filling the horizon.
The ground quacked under the charge of the army as tension spread throughout our men as they drew near.
Mounted on my war horse, I held a flag and studied the anxious expression on the sergeants in front of me as they awaited my orders.
Not yet. We must allow them to get just a little closer.
Lifting my head, I looked at the banners of Duke Bretagne and Count Millbeau leading the charge.
They must believe that their galavant charge will shatter our formation with a single push.
Knights, the proudest and mightiest force of Francia. Those who used their mana to brush aside the spearman and musketeers alike, leading to the stagnation of combat tactics in this Kingdom.
Despite our Kingdom’s obvious decline and backwardness compared to the other nations, they are the sole reason why most commoners don’t dare to think of a rebellion.
As the overwhelming Knights approached, the musketeers arranged in two rows started to fall into disarray, and as the sergeant started to lose control of his men he called out to me.
In response, I raised the flag in my hand.
The muskets lined up in a neat row, spit fire and smoke as the loud sound of gunfire echoed through the plains.
The pungent smoke rose, but only a few unlucky cavalrymen who advanced too quickly fell from their horses.
The Knights, using their mana to protect themselves and their mounts, continued their charge.
I continued to wave the flag from left to right, but in truth, there was no need to signal the troops anymore.
As the Knights brushed the musketeers’ volley aside, the gunman, seized by fear, scattered to escape the Knights even without me issuing the order.
The Knights and heavy cavalry were late to realize the sharp stakes laid out in a line after our soldiers left.
A few of my men who didn’t flee in time were either trampled to death or pierced by the cavalry weapons, but even then, their momentum was too great for them to slow down or change directions as they were impaled on the stakes along with their horses.
However, Duke Bretagne and Count Millbeau, as well as the other Knights, demonstrated their prowess as they sliced through the stakes with their mana-enhanced swords.
Even with modern weapons and clever traps, it was truly a challenge to stop the monstrous Knights of Francia.
However, their momentum has certainly been dealt with, and both Knights and heavy cavalry were now clustered together.
That’s enough for me.
Looking down at them, I threw away the flag and unleashed my sword, holding it high.
Unlike the cannons stationed on high ground that harassed their army moments ago, the cannons hidden behind the palisades were aimed and now waited for my command.
From this moment on, everyone will know.
That the symbols of this Kingdom, the symbols of oppression, are merely humans made of flesh and blood.
“Lafayette! You filthy worm!”
The Duke yelled in his overflowing anger, but it was too late.
I simply watched as the once fearless Knights now waved and trembled as I lowered my sword.
The artillerymen lit the fuse and ducked with hands on their ears, as the cannons sang their iron song.
The staggering power of the cannons spread shrapnel and gravel like a ruthless storm, covering the disoriented enemies.
The overwhelming violence tore into everything equally – be it their mana, their shining armor, their warhorses, and most of all,
All were blasted into shreds.
TL Note: Ohhhhhhh
NOTHING IS INVINCIBLE AGAINST A 50 KG STEEL BALL OF PURE FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!