Defense Specialization and Devising Strategy (2)

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“I see…”

“What do you think? Sally would like to hear your thoughts.”

Inside the royal castle. The gist of the operation was surmised by Payne. Maple nodded upon receiving the explanation of the risks she had to take.

“I’ll do it!”

Despite her anxious expression, Maple declared firmly.

“…Understood. Then, I’ll be sure to work out the details of the strategy. Of course, I’ll also make sure that you don’t take any more risks than necessary.”

“Got it!”

“Please inform all members of [Maple Tree] to gather at the royal castle training ground. Sally is waiting for you there.”

“I understand.”

Maple went straight to the room where the guild members were waiting.


“Hey, what happened?”

“You seem to be in good spirits… Or, motivated, to be precise.”

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“We’ll devise a strategy with Payne and make a sortie!”

Upon hearing that, the six got noisy. Everyone had a hunch that the purpose wasn’t simply to launch a surprise attack or to reduce the number of the enemy factions.

“Have you decided on the details?”

“Well, we’re about to… But it seems that we’ll be attacking either the [Thunderstorm] or [Rapid Fire].”

“Which means, those four…”

“Eeh, we’ll attack them…?”

“I don’t know, sounds difficult…”

Mai and Yui weren’t confident because they’d be at a disadvantage. However, it’d be a different story if Maple were to aid them. If anything, the outcome of the battle was up to the strategy.

“Then, it’s time for a strategy meeting. Where’s Payne and the others?”

“Sally is waiting for us at the training ground. Let’s go meet her!”

“Okay. Then, what are we waiting for?”

When Maple brough the guild members to the training grounds, Payne and Sally, who’d arrived much earlier, were sparring intensely.

Seeing how fast-paced their match was, it was difficult to think that they were simply having a warm-up. Maple was astonished by them.

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“Hey, Maple’s here. Hey, they have arrived!”

At Frederica’s call, the two stopped and put away their weapons.

“Thank you.”

“I’m surprised. And you were holding back?”

“I was.”

“How reliable.”

“Don’t get too serious and run out of fuel, okay?”

“I know.”

“Alright, then let’s start the meeting.”

Thus, Payne immediately conveyed the outline of the strategy.

“This time, the enemy is targeting Maple. We have to take advantage of that. In other words, we’ll be using Maple as a decoy to lure them out.”

“Maple, are you alright with this?”

“I am—!”

Maple nodded at once in response to Sally’s question.

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“If we deploy all the members of the [Congregation of Holy Swords], I’m sure the enemy will be intimidated.”

“Then, is it our turn?”

“That’s right. Small numbers, yet high combat ability. [Maple Tree] is more suitable for this approach.”

Then, Payne talked about Wilbert.

“However, if Wilbert finds out about our exact numbers, the enemy is unlikely to engage us in battle. It doesn’t matter if he finds out that we’re trying to lure them out, but I’d like to not intimidate the enemy too much.”

“As in, we’ll make the enemy think that they still have a chance to win and engage us in a fight?”

As a result, only a few people—including Maple—would join the front line. Others would serve as backups just in case.

“If we succeeded in luring those four, Velvet and Hinata are most likely to be in charge of the frontline, with Wilbert and Lily as their vanguards.”

“I agree. I mean, considering their traits and skills, it makes sense…”

“Once the battle ensues, we’ll go on to the offensive with the purpose of dividing them. Using Ray, I and the other members will attack [Rapid Fire] and isolate [Thunderstorm].”

“Then, what are we going to do with Velvet and Hinata?”

“Those two are somewhat difficult…”

Of course, Frederica was referring to Hinata’s [Isolated Area].

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Once that skill became available again, Hinata would use it on the weakest units. If Mai, Yui, Iz, and Frederica were targeted, they’d most likely die.

“We shall dispatch an equally strong duo to fight the two.”

“Then, it’ll be Maple—who serves as a decoy—and the other one is… I guess it’s already decided.”

“I’ll do it.”

Sally was best-suited to team up with Maple. Moreover, they were compatible in both skills and status. They had great chemistry, to boot.

No one argued against the decision.

“That’s the gist of it. Now, let’s work on the details.”

“If it drags on, other members will probably intervene. In order to give advantage to Maple and Sally, we can’t afford to make a mistake in division.”

“Let’s do our best, Yui!”

“Yes, if they get too close, let’s do this—!”

Yui imitated the act of swinging a sledgehammer. By coming up with the most effective division, they’d be able to defeat the opponents.

Undoubtedly, it was a risky strategy, since it was greatly influenced by the movement of the enemy. Even so, considering the possibility that the enemy might launch a similar surprise attack on the royal castle, it was necessary for them to make a move.

The time for execution drew near. Maple and the others continued their discussions so that there wouldn’t be major setbacks when carrying out the strategy.

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