As much as I was expecting this message, there was still a small part of my brain that hoped it would all turn out to be just a silly scheme aimed at derailing my reputation amongst fellow nobles. It was this assumption that pushed me into dealing with Ostros in such a brutal way, yet now that the invasion was finally confirmed, there was no way for me to keep sapping the national manpower, especially with how disciplined the enemy troops were!
"I want to talk with the commander of the rebel troops! Announce the ceasefire properly."
While in the future, people would consider a white flag to be a symbol of shameful surrender, in the historical reality, it was rarely used in this way. Even if there were few causes when someone announced their surrender by waving a makeshift, white flag, most of the time, it was used when either party wished to meditate rather than continue the clash.
"Sir, here you go!"
With one of the subordinates of mine instantly tearing his white shirt off his back and sewing it to a random piece of wood that he grabbed of the barricade, I took the makeshift flag in my hand and stood above the cover.
No matter how many times I would shout it, there was no way to stop the fighting just like that. Even with Kalen shouting Pax like a madman, even with the officers relaying my order through the line, it still took about half a minute for all the shots to finally stop.
While I would love to go to the enemy lines immediately and discuss the reality that they were most likely ignorant about, doing so would be akin to suicide. While heroic tales of the past ages often liked to flaunt how honourable the people of the past times were, it went without saying that there was bound to be someone who lost his precious friends or family during the battle, who wouldn't bother with the white flag, when the opportunity to get his revenge on me for all those people that he lost today!
Yet as I kept the flag in my hand, some of my soldiers quickly cleared out a small entrance in one of the makeshift barricades, even going as far as to bring some stray horses from somewhere in the town!
"Sir, good luck!"
As one of the non-combat subordinates of mine helped me to one of the horses, I could see several members of the first army, still wearing their combat-torn clothes. Yet rather than using the ceasefire to tend to their potential wounds or refill their supplies, they were already mounting the other horses and surrounding me with a tight formation!
"You guys… I'm really happy that I entrusted our future and the future of this entire country to you... "
Seeing their strange enthusiasm, I couldn't stop myself from getting emotional for a moment, before shedding all those spare emotions aside and pushing the entire formation forward.
Thankfully, despite all of my worries, the survivors from the carnage were either smart enough to understand that this ceasefire was the only way for them to get away from this place with their lives, or simply too broken to have the strength required to lift their firearms.
"I'm the current commanding officer of this army. Seeing how you came to discuss terms… Should I take it that you are willing to surrender?"
After travelling on the horseback through the corpse-littered battlefield, it didn't take me any effort to recognise the opposing side officer when the entire group came out from behind the cover of the trees. Compared to the soldiers that surrounded him and wore the marks of the heavy fighting, this guy was dressed in the finest robes I have ever seen in my life in this timeline, not sullied by even a speck of dust, despite him camping in a damned forest!
"Surrender? While I could consider accepting yours, this is no time for this kind of little games. In short words, I just got a confirmation that the news that I hoped to be false, were actually true. In other words, while we are killing each other here only because your master was hungry for my prosperous lands, the muscovites are burning down the entire east of our country!"
Just a single look at the face of the officer that stood in the middle of the group of enemies, was enough for me to confirm that there was no point trying to reason with him. From the pride clearly written in his mocking smile, through the clear contempt he had for the common folk that surrounded him, he was the perfect picture of the worst kind of Polish noble you could ever find.
Willing to sacrifice everything and everyone except for himself in order to get a better status, higher position or more lands. Just this alone was making it hard for me to not order my troops to clear his subordinates so that I could slap him in the face.
Yet even while knowing all of that, I still went on when explaining the matter as if I was standing with someone who actually cared about what I was speaking. And that was because, rather than talking to the officer himself, I hoped that it would be his soldiers that would hear what is going on!
"Invasion from the east? Are you mad? Or are you really stupid enough to think I would ever believe such simple lie?"
Once again showing the contempt on his face in the open, the enemy officer looked at me as if he was looking at the worm, crawling at his feet.
"In this situation, I think it won't be you deciding whether it's a lie or not."
With my eyes wandering to the side for a moment, I allowed one corner of my lips to rise in an irreverent smirk.
"And who do you think will decide that then? Did the battle made you lost your ability to recognise who is in the damned charge?!"
Hearing my response, the officer's head flared in red, with his insulted pride instantly pumping his face full of blood.
"If you ask me who will judge the current situation…"
Rather than replying to his insults, I rested my hand on the horse's neck, before jumping off the saddle and gesturing to my men to follow my example.
With my extended hand pointing at the small cloud of dust already visible in the distance on the other side of the local river, I continued to smile at the enemy officer with the brightest grin that I could produce!
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