Can we manage it?


 I opened my mouth to answer, but then Orto interrupted me.

“Please wait.
It’s too dangerous.”

 Orto cautioned me, and Dee stared back at him with a raised eyebrow.

“I understand.
It will be hard, but not impossible.
We will sustain some casualties and deaths.
However, we do have the power to eventually fight them off.”

 Orto shakes his head quietly from side to side as Dee utters this in a heavy voice.

”This my rule.
I don’t take requests that will cause the death of a party member.
To earn money as an adventurer, you constantly get in situations where you must gamble with your life even if you don’t want to.
That’s why I always act to minimize risks.
If I didn’t, I’d have died long ago.”

 Dee’s eyes sharpened as Orto replied.

“The time must come for everyone to risk their lives.
That time is now.
This village is my lord’s first estate.
And the villagers are his first citizens.
When my lord’s people are in danger, we must draw our swords! Who else will pledge their swords to the defense of my lord’s fiefdom?!”

 Dee draws his sword and says so, but Orto doesn’t draw his.

“That’s fine chivalry, though, and it’s none of our business.
Even if you paid us extra money, we’d still die.
If you travel, you’ll see war-torn villages and travelers being attacked by magical beasts.
I’m sorry, but the situation in this village is not some unusual sight.”

“…Alright, I won’t ask you to fight on the frontline.
Please, at least ensure Lord Van’s safety.”

 When Dee told him that, Orto begrudgingly agreed.
Though he would retreat at the first sign of any life-threatening danger.
The plan was set.

 At least, until he Espada’s voiced his disagreement.

”I disagree.
Aside from Lord Dee, the remaining two knights will definitely die.
In other words, Lord Dee alone will have to deal with a little over thirty people, including the magicians.
As far as I’m concerned, we have odds at around 50-50.
If  Lord Dee also dies in this, then there is no way we would be able to cement our rule in the village even if we do succeed.”

 Espada refused in a tone that was so cold it could be considered ruthless.
He was strictly against the adventurers staying out of the fight on the frontline.
Orto’s eyes became cold at such an opinion.

“I’ve already stated that we won’t fight in such a risky battle.
Moreover, our caravan is not in a position to fight in the first place.
We will be disadvantaged because we need to protect the kids and our carriages.”

 Espada gave a cold glance at Orto and reminded him.

”Despite my ancient appearance, I am also a four-elements magician of the earth aptitude.
There is a large amount of exposed ground in the area, so you can expect a lot of assistance from me”(T.N.
Note: I assumed that his aptitude was “earth” due to context clues, but it was never explicitly said.
I couldn’t think of any other reason why any exposed earth would be important.)

“What? You can right? No, even if you can fight….”

 Espada stared shallowly at Orto’s contemplative appearance.

“We will not expose ourselves to many risks as long as we follow my plan.
First of all, I will build a protective earthen wall.
Then, all adventurers should launch ranged attacks from the safety of the wall.
When the enemy’s attention is focused on us, Dee and his team will make a flanking charge from the side.
With this multi-step strategy, we will have a good chance of winning with minimal casualties.”

“… Can the wall protect us from enemy ranged attacks? If an arrow bypasses the wall from above, it’s over.”

“This carriage is lined in all key areas with steel plates.
Arrows will not be an issue.
Our only objective is to draw the enemy’s attention with our first strike, you may retreat behind the safety of the walls immediately afterward.
It is only a supporting role after all.”

 I feel uncomfortable a little uncomfortable with Espada’s strategy.
I don’t know how effective the first attack will be, but it will still be dangerous for those involved in the flanking charge.
The probability of death is still high.

 However, I believe that Espada will do something about it.

“Espada, do you plan to stay and fight?”

 He nodded as if it was obvious when I asked him that.

“Of course.
If I don’t continue the attack from behind the barrier as a decoy, Dee and his knights will die a dog’s death.”

“Surrounding the enemy is the most effective battlefield tactic.
I’ve studied it myself.
But is the plan fails, you will certainly die as you are the decoy.”

 When I said this in a strong voice, Espada laughed, worryingly naturally.

”Finally, I will be able to put on a show with these old bones.
Master Van, I only ask that you acknowledge my selfish request.”

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