Night had fallen as the moon claimed the sky, signaling the end of the first day of the mock war.
Around eight to ten armed cadets stood guard in front of a half-demolished skyscraper which the class 1-A-1 was using as their makeshift base.
"You are stupid! I have told you, we can't fight them in the middle since we'll have to watch our flanks on both sides all the time!"
"And I'm telling you, we don't have to worry about it. They won't flank us."
"Oh, and how do you know that?!"
"Because Alberto would most likely attack head-on. Trust me on this!"
"Mr Morningstar, we can't risk losing this whole war by trusting you, which we don't by the way!"
"Miss Black, you're doing it again. You're letting your grudge against me cloud your decision-making!"
"What grudge? You're not important enough to have my grudge. Don't flatter yourself."
"Right, right. Sure."
In the grand lobby of the skyscraper, a circular table had been arranged. Atop the table lay Nero's smart bracelet, its screen facing up. The smart bracelet was emitting a holographic map of the surrounding vicinity.
Around the round table gathered all the Lieutenants, Lord Commander, and the two strategists, one of them being me of course.
Amelia and I were arguing over our strategy for the war. Since we had made contact with our enemy troops earlier today, it's obvious that the main war will start tomorrow.
The reconnaissance team used the three-dimensional recording feature of their smart bracelet to make a 3D map of the Shopping District that we were using for reference.
The shopping district comprises numerous stores and shopping centers. We have already marked all the shops that could potentially be sources of our necessities such as provisions for food and water.
All that's left is to come up with a strategy to take control of the shopping district and then we'll win.
And right now, we are in the process of doing just that. Actually we've been doing this since evening.
After a short break, during which I used to take some selfies and interact a little with Grace, we returned to our brainstorming session.
Amelia and I, being the two strategists of our force, were coming up with a perfect plan to snatch this victory from our adversary.
Actually, only I was making an effort to come up with a winning plan while Amelia was shooting every one of them down.
It's not her fault. I have come to the conclusion that she is a book-smart individual – the type of straight-A student who excels in theories but sometimes overlooks the practical aspect of things.
I'm literally the opposite of her. I work with the practicality of the situation and sometimes disregard the theories.
If something can work, then we should try it even if it sounds stupid – that's one of my mottos.
Anyway, as I was saying, we are polar opposites. However, that's what, I think, makes us a good team of strategists since we can cover every aspect of a situation.
Hmm, I like her.
Not in that way, of course. I like her usefulness and the potential she has to offer. To be honest, I can't wait to break her and then make her dependent on me so I can use her to her full potential~!
Ahem. But that'll have to wait. For now, I'll have to make our class win.
"Okay, guys! Stop!" seeing our argument was not going to end anytime soon, Nero interfered with our brainstorming session. "One by one, state your suggestions."
"I'll go first," Amelia raised her hand and said:
"I propose we don't take over the shopping district. Instead, we form a small, mobile task force that'll get into one of those shops, grab the supplies, and swiftly retreat back to this base. Meanwhile, our main forces can engage with the enemy."
Nero touched his chin and commented, "That is actually not a bad plan."
"I know, right?" Amelia puffed her chest with pride. "After our troops have replenished, we'll attack them head-on."
"Yes, yes," Nero nodded his head. "This way, the battle won't be dragged on for too long. Is there something you would like to add, Lucas?"
He turned his eyes to me and asked.
I eyed his figure up and down and took my time before answering. I had to say; this guy looked handsome in the body-fit nanotech combat suit we had donned.
After building up some anticipation for my excitement and feeling enough jealousy toward Nero's good looks, I said:
"Miss Black's suggestion was honestly impressive but there was one major flaw with it."
"Oh? And what might that be?" Amelia shot back, seemingly offended.
"In your plan, you've automatically assumed that our task will safely get in and get out with enough supplies. You see, to put it bluntly if something goes wrong with the task force, we'll be fighting our enemy with an empty stomach. In that scenario, we'll lose."
"I– uh… In that case, we'll create more than one task force!"
"Good idea but that will deplete the number of soldiers on the front lines which will in turn severely weaken our army."
"...Y-You're only looking only at the worst-case scenario."
"But of course," I shrugged. "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time – Murphy's law."
Of course, she had no counterargument ready for that. I know the way Amelia Black thinks. She just focuses on her moves and pays no heed to her opponent's.
That's the main reason that caused her to get poisoned by the vampires later on in the story.
She's a sharp weapon, but her edge is flawed. I'll mold her to my liking so she will make a formidable tool for me in the future.
And what's the best way to mold a blade? Beat it with a hammer mercilessly!
Hmm? What do you mean it's not the correct process? I'm wrong, you say? Damn.
Well, then forget this analogy. You get what I was trying to say, right? Good.
Sigh, I'll take blacksmithing classes in the 2nd semester.
"That's a good argument, Lucas," Nero acknowledged. "So, what's your proposal?"
"I say that we split our forces into two equal divisions," I suggested. "We'll send each army to encircle the shopping district and launch simultaneous attacks from two sides, trapping the enemy between our two frontal assaults."
Nero pondered over my words for a moment before commenting, "So a classic maneuver."
"It works," I shrugged. "And in this case, our troops can use buildings as cover to encircle them and trap them. They'll never see us coming and we'll finish them in one fell swoop."
"That's a good idea, I won't lie," Nero touched his chin. "Okay, give me a few moments while I think about it."
All of us present there saluted in unison before we dismissed ourselves.
""Yes, Lord Commander!""
In the morning,
"That stupid, stupid idiot!"
"You're so smart, yet you don't know those two words have the same meaning. Hehe."
"Shut up, Kent!"
Right now, I was standing outside the base building, watching our troops get ready to fight on the battlefield today.
Nero had decided to carry on Amelia's plan of action, just like in the novel.
In the novel, Amelia and Grace suggested two different approaches to fight class 1-C-8 in the Battle Of Shopping District.
In it, Amelia suggested what she had suggested yesterday, and Grace suggested a stupid plan that I won't even bother to tell.
Grace wasn't stupid. She suggested a bad plan because she had a purpose.
She wanted Nero to accept Amelia's plan.
Amelia's plan consisted of creating a small task force and evacuating some supplies like food and water – something our troops needed – from the shopping district swiftly.
Her plan, as I have pointed out before, had a major flaw.
Too much depended on the task force. If they were to fail to grab the supplies and evacuate, class 1-A-1 was doomed.
And that's exactly what happened.
In the novel, the task force was the most crucial element of Amelia's plan but it failed to achieve its task.
They walked into a trap. Someone tipped class 1-C-8 and told them about their positioning and plan.
Yes, of course it was Grace. She leaked that information.
As a result of that, the task force was wiped out and class 1-A-1 had to fight the rest of the mock war with an empty stomach.
If not for Nero, they would never have won. But if not for his stupid decision to go forward with Amelia's plan, they would've never been put into that situation in the first place.
That's why I suggested a better plan. However, Nero still made the same stupid mistake he did in the novel.
"Okay buddy," Kent placed a hand on my shoulder, jolting me out of my brooding thoughts about Nero. "I'm going to go join them. By the way, let's make a bet!"
"Yeah, so here's how it goes: between the two of us, who'll contribute the least in this mock war will get the right to punch the other one in the face five times! It's a punch bet!"
"Ah, sure, whatever." I absentmindedly replied before asking: "What position are you in?"
"Left flank, front line," he answered, gripping the long polearm scythe in his hand. "And don't be hung up on Nero's decision. Not everything can go your way. Also, no backing out from the bet now!"
With those words of comfort, he walked off to join the rest of the members on the left flank – the comrades he'll be fighting with today.
As I watched Kent's figure receding into the distance, mixing up with other cadets preparing for the upcoming battle, the sullen expression on my face melted into a wicked smirk.
A glint of calculated madness sparked in my eyes as I declared in a whispering tone, "But everything already is going my way."