Chapter 28 – Future Plans
I was the first one to have returned to the barracks. Seeing as there was nothing much I could do I went to check on the initiates. I found them scattered around the two barracks doing various housekeeping tasks and Erika occasionally instructing them to redo their tasks as she deemed it unacceptable. Walking up to Erika, I asked her how the clean up was going.
According to Erika, the cleaning up for the interior of the two barracks were complete. They had also started to clean the exterior with things like weeding and removing debris.
As I observed the initiate work, I realised something that I had not realised before today. There were more female soldiers here than there were male soldiers. Of the fifty initiates here thirty of them were female. The ratio of female to male soldiers currently in the platoon was three to two. While in the average Kar army there was a ratio of one to four. I found it strange that I had never noticed this before.
As I watched them work, I thought of another idea. Seeing as I was already not following the conventional approach to battle formations, I might as well just train everyone here as knights or at least as cavalry troops. That way they could move around the battlefield rapidly and we could distinguish ourselves as a rapid response battalion.
Training every one of them as a knight might not work as it was expensive to make their armour and pay their salary. The upkeep of a group of knights was extremely costly, but if they were just an elite cavalry battalion it was still within our budget.
The checklist just kept increasing with every idea I thought up. If this continued, we would never be finished with our preparations. While I enjoyed being lazy at times, I still believed that these changes were worth it. No matter how well we prepare there will always be something we missed out on. So, the next best thing was to prepare the best we can and continue to learn as we progress.
Leaving Erika to continue with her duties, I returned to my room in the barracks for a short nap. Flopping face-first onto the bed and kicking off my shoes. I rolled onto my back and soon drifted off.
It was not until when the sun was about to set that I woke up again. By that time my friends had already returned and were doing their own thing around the barracks.
Going around the barracks, I gathered them one by one. I wanted to know how they went with their recruiting efforts today. They were all members of a club and had more contact with the wider academy than I did. Drawing on these connections they were supposed to visit their respective clubs and try to gather some prospective members and recruits.
Out of all my friends, the ones that I had the most expectations for this task were Dorothy and Catrina, who were in the tea ceremony club. The tea ceremony club may seem like they only admired various teas. They were much more than this. For the club to even be able to operate, they need to source their often-exotic teas and confections by themselves. It was not uncommon for these exotic teas and confections to travel across many different countries to arrive.
Being able to source all these products demonstrates their vast connections with merchants. What we need the most right now, were people that had connections with various merchants that could help us secure resources particularly consumables like food.
As we are an independent battalion, we will most likely be sent all over the place, it was vital that we can secure resources in foreign lands. Having lots of money meant nothing if you can’t spend it. This was why I had placed so many expectations for Dorothy and Catrina’s club.
Looking at Dorothy and Catrina’s smiling faces it was not hard to tell that they had succeeded in convincing members of their club to join. When Catrina told me they were able to secure three members, with one of them being the daughter of an import merchant, I was overjoyed. It looked like securing resources would be much smoother with our connections.
Moving on, I turned to Anna and Louise and asked how they went. I did not have many expectations from them, as most of the people in their sword art technique research club had mostly already decided on their future careers. Many would join the royal knight order, the wolf knights or become a knight under a noble.
However, I was surprised to hear that they were able to convince eight girls from noble families to join. When I asked how they were able to convince so many girls to join, I found out that while Kar was a free and open country that did not discriminate between gender, it was still frowned upon by some noble families, for girls to join knight orders that were mainly made up of males.
The Eternal Garden on the other hand was different, we only had female knights, and even our soldiers were predominately made up of females. It made it much easier for our order to take in the daughters of noble families. Maybe we should make the Eternal Garden just a knight order for females. If we are unable to compete with other knight orders through conventional means we would just attract members by promoting our most unique quality.
After hearing the good all the good news from Dorothy, Catrina, Anna, and Louise, I now had more expectations for Chandre, as she was in the hunting and camping club. Members of her club were often out in various environments and would prove to be great scouts and wilderness experts. If we could recruit a few of them, it would prove as a major asset to our battalion.
But, looking at Chandre’s gloomy look it was plain to see that she was had not been very successful. She explained that she was only able to gather two people that were willing to join us and become scouts.
Hearing that she was able to gather two members, I was confused as to why she was so gloomy. We did not need many scouts, as a few experienced members were all we needed. The rest could be trained up when needed. After informing her of this matter, she instantly lights up. I was guessing that she must have thought I needed many members for the prospective scouts but had forgotten that we could always train more if we needed them.
Lyn was another person that I had some expectations for. The petting zoo would often deal with and look after many exotic magic beasts and animals. They were more than qualified to oversee the stables. Lyn was also only able to convince a few people to join. It was not unsurprising as there would be few nobles that will be willing to join the army as junior officers that just looked after horses, where there are little to no prospects in promotions. Seeing the problem here, it may be more rewarding to seek out farmers and farmhands instead.
Finally, it was Hilda’s turn to report her progress. As Hilda was in a variety of hobby clubs, I was expecting that she would have been able to recruit the most members. My expectations were more than met when Hilda reported that she was able to gather, twenty girls and no boys that were interested in joining as strategic and planning personnel.
Once again it seemed like a trend was forming here. From Hilda’s report, it would seem as if these sheltered wealthy girls wanted to join the army but were uncomfortable with being in an army where there were many males. Our knight order and battalion may become one that only had females in it. It was becoming apparent that a female-only knight order and battalion, was enticing for females.
I proposed the idea of limiting the order and battalion to only females. My friends believed that it could work for the order, but some more thought on the battalion was needed before we were to go ahead with the changes. For starters, we already had male members in the battalion, so if we suddenly made it so that males cannot join it would be unfair for them. While the Eternal Garden only had female knights, so changes here would not be considered unfair or the likes.
As it was getting late, we continued our discussion at the small canteen that was in the barrack we were staying at. As we did not currently have officers and knights other than ourselves, so we had allowed some of the soldiers to stay in our barracks to give them more space. This would change as we get more officers and personnel.
I need to remember to have a talk with Claude about our new headquarters. I did not want it to be small and cramped. I wanted it to be large so that our soldiers can live comfortably. This way, it could keep the soldiers happy after a long day of training while also serving as a reward and luxury that would not cost us too much with its upkeep.
After dinner, we were still unable to come to much of an agreement on the future arrangement of the battalion regarding the gender limitation. However, we were able to agree that the order needed to have a gender limitation. At the very least females must make up the vast majority. This way we have a distinctive trait that can attract some girls that want to join an order but cannot because of social stigma or pressures.
While we continued to discuss our plans well after dinner. Most of our plans were rough and unpolished now. We had agreed on many points and ideas but had little knowledge on how to implement them. This issue only served to further enthesis our need for an adviser.
If only Sir Frederick had joined us, we would at least have someone to help us. Currently, we were just stumbling around and solving issues as they showed up and caught our attention. It did not have to be Sir Frederick, even his nephew that he had talked about would work, but we still had not heard any news from Sir Frederick regarding whether he was interested.
All we could do was just wait. Hopefully, when tomorrow came around Amelia and the other members who will be joining us would have ideas on how to implement our plans. I’m sure that with the combined power of Amelia and Hilda’s fellow club members we could think up a sound and structured plan.
However, that would all have to wait until tomorrow as it was late and even if we continued to discuss our plans it would prove to be unproductive. Thus, we all returned to our rooms and rested for tomorrow.
Even though I had a nap after returning from my trip to the student council, I still felt exhausted. I had not been training hard or anything like that, so it was by no means physical exhaustion. It was mental exhaustion from all the planning and thinking. Even the thought of more work to come was making my life more difficult.
I could not wait for Amelia and the other members to join. The sooner Amelia and the other new member join and take up their responsibilities the less work I will have to do and the less pressure there is on me. While ironically praying to the moon on such matters I fell into a deep slumber.