Running Away From The Hero! (Remake)
Chapter 75.1: Side Story 5

RATH Side Story 5

TL: Eevee

Side Story – A certain princess’s memories (5)

“I won, I won! I won! I won!”

Looking at Reia bounce around the room excitedly, I gave her a disapproving look.

“Uuuut… Your Highness…”

“Yes, Reia. This victory isn’t yours.”

Although I was going to tell her what was correct, Reia acted slightly differently to what I expected.

“There’s no need to be so angry at losing to me, Your Highness!”

“As! I! Was! Saying! Why Reia, are you the one so full of yourself! For someone that was just moving the pieces for Ast who can’t use magic!”

After the first strategy game we played, after I saw Ast use that amusing bombardment I immediately sent for a set of strategy chess that was even used in the imperial command rooms.

Strategy chess was a game where you chose from a set type and number of soldiers available to you, and used your magic power to give them orders to make them move after a set period of time.

For example, if you added magic power to a knight piece and set its actions to move, attack, and defence then the piece would move automatically.

And because of that, unlike normal chess, the chess pieces move immediately after your turn ends.

Meaning, it wasn’t a game where you moved your pieces after seeing how the opponent moved theirs, but you had to predict how your opponent was going to move before you moved your pieces.

If you were attacked while moving, you would receive significant damage, and if you defended an attack then you could minimise your damage.

Moreover, there were specific affinities between different unit types, if you attacked a defending enemy unit with an affinity disadvantage, then on the contrary it there was even a chance of a counterattack.

And then there were charges of the cavalry brigades, magic attacks from the magician unit, ambushes by battlemages, there were many different factors that had to be taken into account and hence it was a game where you had to use your brain a lot.

Meaning, Reia is bad at this game.

She’s not just bad, she’s extremely bad.

Once, a knight captain that had an eye on her swordsmanship skills tried to train her skills as a strategist by introducing her to strategy chess.

And, the results were simply unspeakable.

129 matches, 0 wins, 0 draws, 129 losses.

They kept lowering the standards, and in the end she played against a newly-enrolled Mercardia student and she still lost.

Worse, that student was born as the son of a farmer, a student that enrolled to become a merchant that had never studied anything to do with warfare in his entire life.

She fought the match of her life and lost by the skin of her teeth to a student like that.

And I just heard from that Reia to not get upset because I lost.

That wasn’t just an insult to me, but the entire imperial family, and hence the empire itself.

“Ast, play again.”

So to shut that mouth of hers the best thing to do is play again.

Even my win rate was such that I would win 7-8 times out of ten.

It was just that sometimes Ast would use some strategy that I’d never thought of, my basic skills were vastly superior to his.

“Your Highness, it is soon time for lunch.”

“That’s why we need to play now, Ast.”

Ast argued that it was soon lunchtime, but on the contrary, that was exactly why I requested a rematch.

“Because a very happy Reia will be boasting to the maids all the while we eat.”

Normal people don’t boast about beating me, a member of the imperial family.

No, on the contrary it would be normal if they kept their mouths shut and said nothing.

But in Reia’s case, much like the knight order evaluated her swordsmanship as abnormal for her age, her head was also evaluated as somewhat abnormal by me.

Meaning, Reia is a being where both her body and mind are far removed from common sense.

“Haa, I understand.”

And then there was another abnormal being in front of my eyes.

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

An member of the imperial family was commanding him directly and yet Ast dared to sigh and grumble “but today’s lunch was supposedly the chef’s finest work…” right in front of my face.

Really, to think that my sole bodyguard and my sole steward were both abnormal people.

“Then Reia, Ast, begin the game. To speed things up, we’ll limit the game scale to a single regiment.”

It’s the best. That something that felt lacking with just Reia alone was being filled up thanks to Ast.

To think I had something else to turn to other than teasing Reia.

This would have been unimaginable just a few months ago.

“Your Highness, we’re going to win again this time!”

“Er, Sir Reia, isn’t Sir Reia simply moving the pieces as I’m telling you to?”

“Ieeet! The most important role here is mine, Sir Ast! If I’m not here then the pieces won’t even move!”

“It would hardly make a difference even if I asked a passing maid to do it… well, if we don’t use Sir Reia even at times like these then it would be a waste of Sir Reia’s wages after all.”

“Hang on a second, Sir Ast? Isn’t that the same as saying that I do nothing here!”

“Your Highness, this strategy chess, it seems like a very good thing. To think it could even make Sir Reia think…”

“Sir Ast!”

Unlike a normal chessboard, on the giant game board where all sorts of obstacles were strewn across it, as magic power was injected into it, the board glowed and the surroundings darkened.

It wasn’t that this effect was being applied to the actual space around it, but illusion magic was being applied to the players to make it look like that was happening.

“Let’s see.”

Although let alone the empire, you would be hard-pressed to see the ocean in the kingdom where Ast used to live, but for some reason he was very good at naval and aerial warfare.

Although it wasn’t like he was incompetent at regular land-based warfare either, there was a significant difference in the way he operated those armies compared to his handling of aerial and naval warfare.

Starting from the way he previously used his battlemages to create an aerial ambush, to using his battlemages as a transport vehicle for his magicians to launch a massive hit and run attack to defeat me.

Then should I use an aerial unit from my side?

“Since it’s only a single regiment, if I focus on aerial warfare then I won’t have enough ground troops.”

In strategy chess, magicians and battlemages are both units that take a significant amount of resources per unit to deploy.

But unlike the magicians that could annihilate a land-based army with their superior firepower, battlemages simply did not have that raw power.

If it was the bombardment that Ast created, and the battlemages under my command that were working to be able to consistently use it, then they could provide a significant amount of firepower, but those things were not yet implemented in strategy chess.

And because of that, when you played with a single regiment, just a ten-man squad of battlemages were sufficient.

“But could he be thinking of that and also use battlemages?”

I overdid it slightly but chose 40 battlemages in the end.

Thanks to that I lacked knights, but I could make up for it with cheaper conscripts and good infantry to create something resembling a decent army.

This strategy was also one I learned from Ast, as Ast sometimes enjoyed using very cheap units to attack with sheer numbers.

[The battle will begin.]

[The battlefield terrain is a plain.]

[The scale is a single regiment]

[Atia vs Reia]

[The match will begin.]

“Don’t think you’ll be getting lunch until I win.”

To shut Reia’s mouth I swore I’d get an overwhelming victory.

“Battlemage corps, two squads of ten, suppress your magic reactions and proceed to the marked point. Ground troops, defend.”

Although their movement speed dropped, I had the battlemage squads suppress their magic reactions to pull off an ambush, and a few turns later.

“Huh?”

Ast’s knight brigade sacked my base, and game over.

And on that day, we did not eat lunch.

#10 Their story: A certain villain’s story

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

“Sir Ast, let’s do our best!”

“Yes yes, Sir Reia.”

I smiled at Sir Reia who as looking excited despite doing nothing.

Fine, the beings called protagonists always had stand-ins.

And then they acted as stand-ins for said stand-ins and that was how they improved themselves.

Take one of the legends of stand-in matches, the master of bottom dealing, the people that only those who saw that pharaoh’s bloodstained board game knew about, the ghost that was in some respects better suited for summer ghost specials, all their stand-ins got stronger on their own.

One of them beat the pharaoh that he was standing in for, and another got creamed in the land of his past life, but he still got pretty strong.(1)

“We can win this time as well, right?”

Although of course I knew hoping for that kind of growth from Sir Reia was pointless!

“Yes, Sir Reia. If we work together, we can fight any enemy.”

“Then let’s begin!”

Her Highness and Sir Reia stared each other down from opposite ends of the strategy chess board.

Although I couldn’t experience it for myself, if you injected magic power, then you would not be able to see one another’s units, and the units would move like in augmented reality.

Put simply, it was basically AR St**Craft!(2)

“Sir Ast, how are we going to organize our units?”

Sir Reia looked straight ahead and whimpered as she asked me.

Normally I would think about it a bit, but right now I’m hungry.

And so I want to end this as quickly as possible and go eat.

“Set all available units as knights.”

“Eh? All knights against Her Highness, that’s impossible.”

Looking at a shocked Sir Reia, I said imposingly.

“It’s alright. I have a plan.”

That plan being to have all my units charge in and get annihilated as quickly as possible so we can hurry up and go eat the chef’s greatest masterpiece yet!

“Really? I trust you, Sir Ast.”

Oi, if you trust me that easily then you’ll leave a mark on the thing called my conscience, miss knight.

“We’ve started. Commands.”

“All units charge in the shortest route possible. Continuously.”

“Sir Ast?”

I could clearly see Sir Reia’s surprised face.

Attack is the greatest defence! Is what you’d expect Her Highness to say but she surprisingly likes to use defensive tactics quite often.

And she’s especially the type to prepare against these sorts of blatant baits.

Against Her Highness, who prefers to play the long game and slowly choke her enemies out, a direct charge of the knights is nothing short of suicide.

“it’s alright. Everything is part of my plan. Like you said earlier, all you have to do is trust me.”

“I trust you, Sir Ast.”

It feels like I can already see the image of Sir Reia charging at me once the game is over already.

But my hunger takes priority right now.

“Charge, charge, charge, charge!”

“I understand!”

Despite my ordering to continue charging, Sir Reia doesn’t doubt me a bit and continues ordering her units to charge.

Around about now my knight units and Her Highness’s should have met up and getting slaughtered.

“Hm?”

But something’s not right.

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

Although I, who wasn’t affected at all by the magic couldn’t hear Her Highness, but I could see her face.

I named it half map-hack mode.

With this there were a few times where I made some key decisions by looking at Her Highness’s expressions…

But… why is her face not looking so good.

“Could it be, we’re actually winning?”

I turned my head slightly to look at Sir Reia and boy did she look excited.

I did nothing but charge with my knight brigade, but to think we’d actually win!

“We won, that’s Sir Ast for you!”

And a short while later, Reia looked at me with such sparkling eyes it was almost awkward, and Her Highness was biting down on her lower lip as she glared at me.

“So that’s how you’re going to play?”

Your Highness? All I did was charge in like an idiot.

And what do you mean that’s how I’m going to play? All I wanted was to eat lunch!

“Again.”

“Your Highness, we really should be heading off to eat lunch…”

“Quiet. This time, start with a division.”

“The scale has gotten bigger too?!”

“Alright, Your Highness! I’ll take that challenge!”

“The one who’s actually playing is me, why is Sir Reia the one shouting so confidently?”

“Alright then, begin!”

“Your Highness, too?”

Reia who shouted so confidently and as if she got fired up over it, Her Highness was making a serious face.

This isn’t good.

It seems like she’ll keep on playing until she wins.

With the thought that I might not be able to eat lunch, my already hungry stomach complained even harder.

“Another all-in with knights, all units charge!”

“Yes, since it’s Sir Ast saying it I’ll trust you!”

The exact same charge of the knight brigade as before.

There’s no way that Her Highness would fall for the same trick twice!

“Uggghhh… Again!”

And my faith activated a trap card!

Looking at her annihilated base, Her Highness even gnawed on her lip as she glared at me and shouted that.

“Charge, charge! All units charge, idiot!”

“Yep! Understood, Sir Ast!”

And another knight brigade charge in the next game as well!

If she even loses to this then, then Her Highness will have gotten triple bunker rushed(3) to be Kong…(4) er, Her Highness will have suffered three consecutive losses.

Surely Her Highness the imperial princess that is famous for being talented as hell wouldn’t lose to the same build, and to the same bullshit cheese strat!

“Gggghhh… So you’re going to keep on doing this, Ast?”

And just as the elders said, that ‘surely’ ended up biting me in the ass.

Sir Reia was taunting Her Highness looking as happy as she oculd be, and accepting those taunts and glaring at me, was Her Highness.

In that case, I need to stop using the charge strat, and use a different plan instead!

“Again, again, again!”

And so the games went on until my 30% win rate rose to nearly 50%.

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

And so, I shed some tears because I could not eat lunch, and the chef that created his life’s work and was waiting for us to taste it also ended up shedding tears as well.

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