15: One-on-One Battle
Aullène Kingdom’s army started advancing after the battle flag and trumpet signalled the start of war but they changed their movement course before colliding with the Kingdom of Lakshurusu’s army.
The centre troops retreated as the side flanks continue to advance. At first as planned, they were preparing to surround the enemy.
The enemy also noticed this movement but they weren’t shocked by it probably because they had predicted it. They barely dealt with the left and right flanks and focused their attacks on the centre group.
“Fortify the defences and retreat!” Julius instructed the surrounding soldiers while carefully searching the enemy army.
The Kingdom of Lakshurusu’s army had the same equipment as the soldiers of Aullène Kingdom. Although they were in a close formation, he could see that there were people instructing platoons.
There was a commander in each platoon that was equipped with something different than the rest of the surrounding soldiers.
While he was looking at the enemy’s army, he saw a fearless, man in his prime straddling a jet black horse to the left.
The man wore an extravagant piece of armour and easily held a long sword with one hand.
His armour and equipment was different from those around him and even the aura he was projecting was different from the other commanders.
Julius was convinced that this was the supreme commander that he had been searching for.
“Go forward to the left and stop before colliding with the enemy troops!” He instructed his platoon and drew closer to the man on the jet black horse.
Just before the large number of soldiers collided with his small platoon, Julius spoke in a large voice so that it would reach the person he wanted to talk to, “I am here for Prince Hedwig. Are you he?”
The man noticed Julius and signalled the other soldiers. They stopped.
Then slowly, he replied with a deep low voice that resounded throughout the area, “Indeed. I am Lord Hedwig von Lakshurusu, the second son. Who are you?”
“I am the heir of Earl Rosenberg House, Julius Rosenberg. I came to challenge you to a one-on-one battle!”
“Oh? I’ve heard that name before.”
There was a large difference between the son of a King and the son of an Earl.
However, Prince Hedwig had heard Julius’s name before and was interested.
It wasn’t because…… Julius’s sword skill was famous in the Kingdom of Lakshurusu.
The rumour that Prince Hedwig had heard about Julius was that he was a woman disguised as a man.
A woman who dressed up as a man who dared step into the battlefield was a laughing matter for Prince Hedwig, who valued skill.
Therefore, in order to rip of her disguise, he drew his long sword ahead and answered her proposal for a one-on-one fight.
“Okay. I’ll accept your challenge.”
The soldiers formed a circle. Julius and Prince Hedwig, who had both gotten off their horses, was at the centre and they both had their swords drawn.
Julius tied his hair with the ribbon he’d received from Emilinne so that it wouldn’t block his vision.
“Well then, here I come!”
“Come, if you can receive my sword with that delicate body of yours.”
Julius struck Prince Hedwig, who was calmly holding his long sword.
It was ineffective to strike Prince Hedwig, who had a bigger physique than Julius, head-on. But, Julius challenged himself. That was what he had prepared himself to do to in order to take advantage of this war.
Prince Hedwig positioned his sword vertically and stopped the sword that was swinging down from the left to right. However, Prince Hedwig’s expression changed. Julius’s attack was much sharper than he’d anticipated.
Prince Hedwig had been serious with the battle but he had been a little lenient but he changed his mind and assessed that Julius was someone that he couldn’t go easy on.
Julius immediately jumped back after striking the long sword and Prince Hedwig praised him while holding his long sword.
“You’re better than I thought. Looks like I can’t take this easy.”
“I’m honoured. But this is only the beginning.”
“Oh, then let me enjoy your skills to the fullest. It’s my move now!”
Prince Hedwig stepped forward as soon as he said that and swung his long sword straight from the top.
The momentum was so great that an ordinary person wouldn’t be able to react and they would be split in half.
Julius concluded that he would be pulverised if he received this attack and averted it with his sword from the side. If he had been too early then his sword would have broken and if he was too late, he would be killed. It was a miracle that he managed to time it well.
Prince Hedwig, who had predicted that he would either repel or evade the attack, was surprised at Julius’s unexpected attack. However, he soon calmed down and leaped to avoid Julius’s follow up attack. He was able to react fast despite swinging his long sword with full power. This was because of his accumulated battle experiences and the results of his training. The attacks that Julius released only merely scratched Prince Hedwig’s armour.
Prince Hedwig leaped again, this time smaller than the first time he’d dodged Julius’s attack.
The two didn’t speak and stepped forward at the same time.
Unlike before, they didn’t draw their swords one at a time. This time they attacked each other at the same time while looking for an opening.
However, both were masters of the sword and it was hard to find the perfect opportunity to strike. Their fatigue built up.
Prince Hedwig had a better physique but his fatigue had built up to about 50% because of his heavy swings.
The two, who were exchanging blows, distanced themselves at the same time and tried to calm their rough breaths.
“It’s about time to end this soon.”
“Yes, we should.”
Julius nodded when Prince Hedwig said that they should end the battle.
They both positioned their swords and silently observed the other. The two were both skilled swordsman and even if they found an opportunity to attack, they could be killed in the next instant. Both were hesitant to make the first move because if they executed their attack badly the other person could take advantage of that.
The surrounding soldiers were tense…… Both armies swallowed their saliva trying to see who would win.
Julius was the one who broke the tension and attacked first.
He let out a tearing yell, lowered his sword and stepped to the left.
“How young.” Prince Hedwig concluded that Julius was enduring his tension to move first as he muttered in disappointment. He stepped to the right just as fast as Julius had moved, positioned his sword upwards and started running.
Julius’s plan was to shake his opponent’s vision from right to left as he looked for an opportunity to strike his opponent first.
Julius kicked the ground strongly with his left foot and attempted to change direction.
However, Prince Hedwig was faster in swinging his long sword down.
“It’s my win…… What?!”
Prince Hedwig believed that he would win but was surprised. He thought that Julius would swing his sword up but he didn’t and continued to leap while maintaining his low posture. He ran to Prince Hedwig’s left as he was swinging his long sword downwards.
Julius barely managed to dodge the long sword as it grazed his hair and this time strongly kicked from Prince Hedwig’s left back and turned around.
He pulled his sword behind him and thrusted it forward with the force of his turn.
Prince Hedwig couldn’t react quickly because the sword that he’d swung down with great momentum was heavy and it took all his strength to turn back. The sword that had been thrusted out pierced Prince Hedwig’s neck.
Prince Hedwig, who had been stabbed at the neck, couldn’t say anything. He spat out blood, dropped his long sword and fell down.
“…… Hah…… Hah……”
Julius approached Prince Hedwig, who had fallen down, while breathing heavily but Prince Hedwig had already stopped breathing with his eyes opened.
Julius closed his eyes and said a silent prayer, then he pulled out the sword from Prince Hedwig’s neck. Julius yelled loudly, “Lord Hedwig von Lakshurusu, the second son was killed by Julius Rosenberg in a one-on-one battle!”
The soldiers from Aullène Kingdom cheered loudly at the announcement.
The commander of Aullène Kingdom called a ceasefire because he concluded that there was no meaning in fighting now that the opposing side’s supreme commander was dead. The Kingdom of Lakshurusu’s deputy commander accepted this.
There will be a meeting taken at a later date between both countries and an official peace treaty will be formed on favourable conditions for the winner, Aullène Kingdom.
Aullène Kingdom army, the victors of this war, made sure that the army of Lakshurusu withdrew from their territory. The border guards stayed in their positions as the rest of the army made a triumph return to the Royal Capital.