How to Survive as the Wife of the Monster Duke - Chapter 121
Ilyin jerked awake, casting away the thick blankets. Even outside the door, Etra caught the soft sound of blankets falling, the gasp of her mistress as she woke, and immediately knocked.
It was as though Ilyin could still feel the pounding of the Yesters passing by. Out the window, the blizzard enveloped everything in impenetrable white, just as in her dream.
The dream that had now changed. But how?
“Yes, ma’am,” Etra replied, taking her mistress’s response and an invitation to enter. Her face was flustered as she approached Ilyin, whose face was still white as a sheet from what she’d just seen.
But there was something more urgent than her dream right now.
“Are you alright, ma’am?”
“How long…,” Ilyin asked, ignoring Etra’s question, “how long has it been since Den left?”
“Not even an hour, ma’am.”
Ilyin pulled the remaining blankets aside and rose quickly from the bed.
“And how many Delrose soldiers are left in the mansion?”
The army of Aden de Biflten was the strongest in the winter region, and it was so because of his divine power. Even if he were abandoned in the middle of the cold wastes without his armor, he would return alive. The only dangerous place for those he defended was anyplace he wasn’t.
But he was still human, and his divine power didn’t free him from the many limitations of that. Ilyin, in her dreams, could see the whole of a battle, even see it all from above. Aden couldn’t – and he could be taken in an attack from the rear like any other general.
He himself may well survive, thanks to his divine power. Ilyin certainly believed so. But what of his knights? And what of the people of Elo?
And why was the army of Shining Elo, hidden away in their secret stronghold, leaving their own people undefended?
“The Delrose army remaining behind is enough to defend the mansion,” Emil reported calmly when summoned to Ilyin. He thought it odd, to be called to his Mistress in the middle of the night and wondered why the size of the army was such a sudden concern.
“How much of the army did Den take with him?” Ilyin prodded.
“About half, ma’am,” Emil answered.
The territory of Delrose was the area around Biflten mansion and the southeastern area that was close to the warm region. They held that territory to control the road so that no other houses could leave into the warm region, or move around Biflten, without Delrose knowing.
“Other than the troops at the southeast…. everyone should be around the mansion, correct?
“Of course, ma’am. But what is this about?” Emil asked carefully.
Ilyin glanced about. Only the 7th floor maids were about, aside from Etra and Emil. All of them are deeply loyal to Delrose.
Den’s important people. And my important people, she thought.
As were the Delrose knights that were out with Aden. Ilyin didn’t want any of them hurt. And like Aden, she selfishly worried about them more than the people of Elo. And because of that worry, she couldn’t keep silent now.
“It’s a feint operation,” she said.
“Pardon?” Emil said. He tilted his head as though not sure he heard Ilyin correctly. Did she mean them to launch a surprise attack from the mansion?
“You…,” he said, “you want us to attack the Yesters, ma’am?”
“No,” Ilyin replied, “It’s a feint by the Yesters against us. They’re going to attack the Delrose army from the rear as they’re engaging the first wave of Yesters.”
Emil had no idea how she could have known such a thing, but Etra did. It suddenly made sense why her mistress had looked so pale when she awoke.
“Ma’am, what you saw just a moment ago…” she asked.
Ilyin nodded quickly in reply.
“We have to stop the second wave of Yesters,” she said sternly.
“We’re going to form a reinforcement in this weather?” Emil asked. The Delrose always worked as one, operating smoothing even under adverse conditions, but today was particularly adverse. Not to mention the short notice and mysterious reasoning. Still, Ilyin had seen what she had seen, and she couldn’t do nothing knowing what was to come.
“We understand what you mean but…,” he said carefully, “this could lead to another attack on the mansion.”
Emil was always considered the natural-born knight of Delrose. Among his free-spirited peers, he stood out as a man of principle, one more pragmatic and grounded than the rest, who cared deeply about Delrose and put faith in what he could see and touch.
That made him the perfect choice to operate the grounds, where rules had to be strict. And Aden trusted him deeply, leaving the mansion in his care whenever he was away.
And now the Emil of the knight ground chose his words diplomatically, telling Ilyin that this sortie could take the reinforcement into another group of Yesters lying in wait. It was not in his nature to take such risks on nothing but foresight, to stake the lives of the knights and all those in the mansion on such a thing.
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