Late hour with the yellow full moon.
Even though it was long past bedtime, Bernard was still awake. Finding something so unsettling, he walked around the room with his hands behind his back.
After wandering back and forth for a while, Bernard stood in front of the window. A scarlet light was twinkling in the distance on the land where pitch-black darkness fell. He already knew that it was a fire from the Kustan camp.
When he opened the window, the cold night air flowed in, and he heard the cries of unknown insects somewhere. It was a quiet and peaceful night that made it hard to believe that this place was in the middle of a battlefield.
Even so, Bernard did not loosen his tension. It was because he did not know when and where the Kustan army would attack again.
‘They must be looking both ways.’
Bernard thought as he glared at the enemy camp.
‘Otherwise, there would be no way that only a small number of troops would be deployed like this.’
Although it was a rough guess, Bernard knew that the Kustan army had about 8,000 troops. However, the number of troops attacking the fortress was only 1,500, at most 2,000.
Are they doing it on purpose? Most of the troops consisted of cavalry, so the Kustan Army’s movement speed was very fast. They marched to the fortress on horseback, provoked the Velician soldiers waiting on the wall. Then they pulled back into the Kustan Army’s camp as soon as they saw the momentum for a full-scale battle. Occasionally, siege weapons were deployed, but they were used only twice.
Thanks to this, even though three days had passed since the battle began, neither side was yet to make any clear results. Obviously, it feels like they were still walking in place even though they have fought several times.
Bernard narrowed his brows.
‘What the hell are you up to? I don’t think they would get anything out this way either?’
This type of strategy was often used to drain opponents, but judging from the current situation, this did more harm than good to them. And unless the commander of the enemy country was an idiot, there was no way he wouldn’t know this.
‘Is it just a useless worry?’
Bernard, who was rolling his head to determine the enemy’s intentions, sighed.
‘Maybe it’s because I’m getting anxious as things are going better than expected.’
In fact, looking at it, this situation was a perfect situation for Bernard. To lure time as long as possible while minimizing the loss of his forces. Because that was the ultimate goal he wanted to achieve in this battle.
If they continued in this so-called ‘hit and run’ action, he would be able to achieve that goal more easily.
‘It must be a good thing for me.’
He had the uneasy feeling that he had missed some important clue. Bernard made various hypotheses in his head. Then, another long sigh escaped his lips.
* * *
There was a small knock on the door. Herietta, who was sitting on the bed and preparing to go to sleep, raised her head. She glanced at the clock on the wall, and it was already nearly midnight. Who would come to see her at this late hour?
“Come on in.”
Herietta brushed back her long loose hair and gave permission. There was a moment of silence, and the door opened with a click. Carefully opening the door, a person entered through the open gap.
Even in the dark with only one candle lit, Herietta immediately recognized who the guest was. She got up.
“What is Your Highness doing at this hour?”
Bernard hesitated at the door without entering the room.
“I was wondering if you were okay.”
“What could be the reason for me not to be okay?”
Dumbfounded, Herietta laughed.
“Would you like to come in?”
“No. I only came to see your face for a moment.”
Said Bernard, shaking his head.
“I’ve confirmed that you’re fine, so that’s enough.”
“You came all the way here and now you’re just going to leave. Don’t say anything you don’t mean to say.”
Herietta walked over lightly and took Bernard’s hand, who was standing by the door. She then led him into her room.
“While you’re here, rest for a while. No matter how busy you are, you can give that much time.”
Herietta looked up at Bernard and she invited him again. Her eyes are as warm as the spring earth. Bernard, who was staring at those eyes, nodded his head helplessly.
The two of them sat down in front of a small table placed against one wall of the room.
“If you had come a little earlier, I would have served you a cup of tea.”
Herietta grumbled, tilting the water bottle and pouring water into the glass.
“There is a slice of lime, so it won’t be very plain.”
Herietta handed Bernard a glass of water. But even after accepting it, he didn’t think to put his mouth on it. A face that seemed to be immersed in deep thought. His expression, looking down at the teacup without a word, seemed somewhat weak.
“DId something …… happen?”
Bernard has become visibly emaciated over the past few days. Herietta, who was looking at him, carefully opened her mouth.
“You don’t look good.”
Bernard glanced at Herietta’s worried words. Eventually, he let out a small breath.
“It’s because I have a lot to think about.”
“A lot to think about?”
“Did I really make the right decision? Did I overthink the situation prematurely? Those kinds of thoughts.”
“My judgment will determine the future of many people in the future. Even if I regret it later, a decision once made will never be undone.”
“I didn’t pay attention to that until now, but for some reason I felt a little strange yesterday and today. My heart is heavy, and I feel stuffy as if my breath is blocked.”
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