The fierce fighting continues. We advance forward ever so slightly while taking down the surging Imperial military slaves.
Our allies bellow back and forth.
「Their weapons are c.r.a.p! They’re nothing once you block it with your s.h.i.+eld!」
「The only thing they have going for them is numbers. If you’re tired and can’t move anymore, switch places with someone behind you!」
「It’s inevitable for them to circle around to the side. Don’t slack on your defense.」
I can hear the enemy yelling too.
「Focus on moving forward. Keep attacking until the enemy crumbles!」
「Encircle them on all sides and then crush them!」
「They have a monster? Who cares, overwhelm them with numbers!」
The melee becomes more disorderly. I can see Yakov start to feel fl.u.s.tered.
「If we continue fighting like this, we’re the ones who will get fatigued first.」
It’s just as he says. The enemy has too many forces for us to take advantage of the difference in our military strength, and we are somehow fighting on equal terms. Of course, a huge part of that is the better equipment and higher skill of our allies.
But unlike the enemy, most of our forces have come up to the front and not much of us have time to rest.
Even if they’re five times stronger than the enemy soldiers, they can’t fight for fives times as long.
「We can’t let it turn into a battle of attrition…… guess we have to target the commander.」
「Looks like that’s our only option.」
In all times and places, the defeat of the commander will lead to the downfall of the army.
Especially so for the military slaves, whose commander is only giving out simple orders to push forward. They should fall apart instantly once their leader is taken out.
「It’s the same for us.」
「I won’t die.」
I withdraw temporarily from the melee and hug Natia.
「W-what are you doing!? You’re going to start something all of a sudden on the battlefield!? Can’t you be more conscious of the time place―― huh?」
「I do want to make that beautiful waist belong to me, but I need you to search for the enemy commander now.」
When I lift the girl up on my shoulders, Natia, after remaining silent for a few seconds, pounds my head.
「D-don’t make me misunderstand like that. Er…… is it the fancy-looking guy over there?」
The military slaves are wearing crude brown armor.
Their commander, wearing proper armor, stands out amongst them.
Natia and Pipi who both have excellent eyesight can easily distinguish a person like that in a crowd.
「That one, alright.」
I enter the melee again and make a beeline for the commander.
I clear away the military slaves, who are nothing more than a walls of flesh at this point, and make my way closer through all the sc.r.a.pes from their spears and swords.
「What are you dawdling around for? Keep pus.h.i.+ng with numbers…… hey! Isn’t that an enemy!? Someone protect me――」
By the time the commander realized it, he was too late.
I was already charging at him while shouting.
I charge forward with my longsword pointing out and my body behind a s.h.i.+eld. I close in quickly towards the commander like an out-of-control speeding wagon, knocking away any enemy soldiers who get in my way.
The commander pulls out his sword in a hurry only to get rammed by my s.h.i.+eld and then I make a deliberately large downward motion with my longsword at the head of the man who fell on his a.s.s.
I feel the sensation of bone shattering, flesh tearing and my blade hitting the ground.
There was no scream.
A second later, the commander who was sitting on the ground split in two, the right and left side falling apart in opposite directions.
Naturally, blood and guts spill everywhere, causing everyone in the area to take a step backwards.
「T-the commander is dead……」
「W-what should we do…… I guess we run until we get another order!」
All enemies in the vicinity scatter.
The soldiers overseeing the military slaves also retreat after seeing their commander defeated, losing their reason to hold their ground.
「Let’s keep this up for the others as well! Thoroughly target the commanders!」
Cheers erupt from the ally soldiers.
「Kyaa, forgive me!」
I grab hold of a female military slave who was trying to mix in with my allies and escape.
「You’ll have to fight again even if you run. Listen to me and come over to this side.」
「N-no way! You’re only saying that so you can kill me! Let me goー!!」
I take the hand of the struggling woman who isn’t willing to listen to me and guide it to my crotch. I don’t have time to persuade her gently.
「Ah…… what is that, it’s so big…… amazing……」
「Have you calmed down? Now, become a prisoner.」
Good thing I got hard from the state of arousal during battle.
「……okay. I’ll be a prisoner.」
Good, that’s for the best.
After that, attacks focusing on targeting enemy commanders were continuously carried out with Yakov in the center, killing off several commanders.
Celia, also realizing my intentions, changes the formation and starts aiming for the stand-out enemies.
With so many leaders lost, the army of military slaves starts descending into chaos.
「The enemy is moving about in confusion! Now is our chance to push through!」
Celia is shouting animatedly in front of me after I return to the headquarters.
It’s true the enemy hasn’t decreased much in number, however they are scattered.
They are meaninglessly repeating actions, soldiers within the same squad are uncoordinated and following two different orders, and they are no longer functioning as an army.
If we launch an all-out attack now, they would fall apart, that’s what I was thinking until……
「Message just in――!! Urgent orders from command headquarters. The 105th division is to retreat immediately.」
My ally soldiers let out groans of dissatisfaction and surprise after hearing the sudden order to retreat. We just managed to gain the upper hand after a hard battle too.
「No way! We just need one more push to rout them and you’re telling me to retreat!?」
Celia also raises her voice. However the messenger continues.
「Main headquarters is in trouble! The 105th division will abandon the right wing and support the center. I repeat――」
I turn to look at the headquarters. Before I knew it, my allies are being greatly pushed back and their lines are becoming a mess.
The intense shootout between the cannons and ballistae on both sides happening earlier now appears to be a one-sided bombarding by the Empire.
「The enemy has already reached the headquarters, at this rate……」
No matter how many enemies we crush on the right wing, everything is over once the headquarters falls.
「Celia, unfortunately you will have to give up your first victory for now. We’re heading over right away.」
「The good news is that the military slaves are at the height of confusion. They won’t chase after us even if we retreat.」
Yakov comments with a serious face.
But it’s ruined by the female prisoner he’s carrying under his right arm.
「You’re the worst……」
「Agreed. Stupid womanizer.」
As Celia curses him, Natia also looks at me coldly.
I wonder why. Don’t tell me it’s because of the female prisoner I’m carrying under my left arm.
We come running to the headquarters and see that the situation is worse than we thought.
Enemy infantry and knights have taken over the s.p.a.ce in the middle where our ally soldiers are supposed to be, and the melee is becoming widespread.
「We have to rebuild the lines somehow!」
「It’s not possible anymore! There are holes all over, plus a large portion of enemy soldiers have invaded too far!」
「Are the reinforcements from both wings not here yet!?」
「The right wing is doing their best just to keep the enemy in check, while the left wing has been pushed back by the enemy and is retreating. Support is impossible!」
「Is His Excellency Wolnasky still in the headquarters? It’s not safe anymore. Please have him move back!」
「His Excellency is saying he wishes to stand his ground……」
The ally squads have not collapsed yet, but it is clear they are at a disadvantage.
Commander Womanizer is not running away, which is why the soldiers are barely holding on.
「The war front is being broken in many places. At this rate, everything will fall apart.」
「We’ll try to do something before that happens.」
Right when I was patting Celia’s head, an enemy knight runs in my direction.
「I’m in the enemy lines! I’ll cut down every last one and destroy the Federation ar――」
Before he could finish his sentence, I spin my body and slice the mounted knight’s torso in two.
「Everyone, follow me. We’re cutting down the enemies who invaded our headquarters. Don’t kill your allies.」
As the 105th division and I enter the headquarters, the battle gets more chaotic.
After tearing through our ally’s defenses, the enemy soldiers are attacking the knights and personnel stationed in the headquarters.
Charging at those enemies from the side while letting out war cries are the soldiers of the 105th division.
They slash with swords, they thrust with spears, some grapple with their bare hands, and I even see a few who pick up rocks to throw.
In a sense, the battle has been brought to a state of melee in which we specialize in.
「Focus on cutting down the enemies in front of you!」
There is no need to maintain lines in such a battle royal. All you need to do is fight using your own abilities.
Our job is to do all we can to drive the enemy out of the headquarters.
What I can do is to fight splendidly, using my sword to inspire allies and intimidate the enemies.
On foot, I hack at the enemy infantry and drag the riders off their horses.
After grabbing the enemies by their back and pulling them to the ground, I pound their faces in with my fist until they become unrecognizable.
I block an enemy’s sword with my longsword, reach out with my left hand during the crossing of swords, grab the man’s head and then twist to break his neck.
In such a messy scramble of a fight, I hear Celia scream out.
「Aegir-sama, please get on a horse. It’s better to fight on horseback!」
「I can’t ride on that perverted horse because he’s injured.」
Right now Pipi and Natia are riding Schwartz.
The weight of those two combined is lighter than my weight when fully armed, besides he won’t be moving too vigorously if the two girls fight primarily with bow and arrows.
If I swing my longsword and s.h.i.+eld around on top of any horse besides Schwartz, the horse will lose balance and fall over.
At that moment, an enemy sprints towards Celia while shouting.
「That girl on the horse, isn’t she an enemy n.o.ble!? Get her!」
An enemy infantry approaches Celia.
「I won’t go down so easily!」
Celia deflects the spearhead thrusted at her with a sword, then slices the enemy’s wrist.
Blood sprays out of the enemy’s hand as an artery was cut, causing him to drop his spear.
Celia returns a thrust without delay, stabbing her sword through the man’s eye.
The man twitches uncontrollably after getting pierced in the head and dies.
「Drag her down!」
Three enemies run at her simultaneously this time, which Celia prepares herself for.
However those three don’t even reach her.
「What do you think you’re doing to my Celia!?」
I charge at the men while taking a swing with my sword.
「What’s this guy’s deal!?」
「Is he the girl’s bodyguard―― gueh.」
「Wh-what’s with that ridiculously large sword―― hogeh.」
With a muddled splat, the two men get sliced in two.
I deliver a full-powered kick to the last enemy, sending him flying.
Blood leaks out from all orifices of his face as he remains motionless on the ground.
「Are you alright, Celia?」
All of a sudden, ally soldiers rus.h.i.+ng to protect the headquarters gather around Celia.
「Are you the commander for the reinforcing army!? Your help is much appreciated!」
「We got separated from our units during this confusion…… due to the urgency, we will fall under your command. Please give us your orders.」
Celia becomes fl.u.s.tered, while the number of soldiers around her keep increasing.
More and more soldiers separated from their squads gather.
「As a follower, you contributed greatly too. You did well to protect your master!」
Celia is giving orders on horseback whereas I’m fighting on foot.
It was clear to them who was the superior.
I don’t really care either way. I feel 100 times more comfortable getting orders from Celia than from Leopolt.
「We don’t have much time to correct things. You’ll give out the instructions.」
After I said that, Celia starts ordering the ally soldiers, albeit hesitantly.
「Those wielding swords and short spears will go in groups of five to clean up the enemies within the headquarters.」
「Yes ma’am! Who knew getting ordered by such a dignified woman would feel this good……」
「Those with bows and crossbows, gather around me. We will go provide support after we collect a sizeable force.」
「Understood! Aah…… how sweet.」
「The right wing will be fine for now. My unit will defend the left wing so just concentrate on the enemies in front. Scouts, let me know when you see movement in the cavalry to the rear.」
「Roger that! I want her to step on me.」
Celia gives out orders while Yakov and I cut down enemies indiscriminately.
Something seems wrong, but I won’t worry about it since it’s not anything unpleasant.
With the help of the 105th division’s fierce fight and Celia’s leaders.h.i.+p, the enemy gradually gets pushed out of the headquarters.
Eventually, each of the ally army corps restored order and successfully reconstructed the war front.
「We managed to support them somehow.」
Celia wipes the sweat off her brow.
That was excellent command if I do say so myself. She’s way more capable than me.
「No way…… how could I disregard Aegir-sama and take command like that……」
「No, Celidono’s command was magnificent. I’m also starting to fall for you after seeing that――」
「Shut up, rapist.」
Yakov slumps his shoulders dejectedly.
The way Celia looks at me compared to others is like night and day.
She has recently also gotten along with Leah and the other girls, while Yakov doesn’t even fall within her circle of friends.
「The 105th division probably can’t fight anymore. We better let them rest.」
They fought a tough battle with the military slaves on the right wing and directly went to fight enemies in the headquarters.
Anymore than that would be pus.h.i.+ng them too far. Everyone is already collapsed on the spot in exhaustion.
「Until the next wave of enemies come――」
The moment Celia opened her mouth, there was a staggering roaring sound which produced a cloud of dust.
「We’re getting bombarded――!!」
「They have stopped the melee and are firing their cannons!」
The source of the noise was made clear from an ally’s yelling.
「Tch…… cannons, huh?」
After the initial shot, several more cannonb.a.l.l.s noisily come raining down.
They must have a considerable amount of cannons.
「We’ll line up our cannons too! Fire back!」
An ally commander shouts and then cannons also begin to fire on our side.
「So this is a fight between large nations…… both sides have numerous cannons.」
The sound of Empire cannonb.a.l.l.s falling in our camp mix with the sound of ally cannons firing, and the resulting noise was more deafening than that of the disorderly combat from earlier.
「It looks like we have fewer cannons though…… meaning we’re at a disadvantage.」
Yakov comments in disgust.
He’s right though. For every one shot we fire, the enemy seems to fire five or six.
I look around and see destroyed cannons everywhere. They must all have broken down during the first exchange of fire.
「B-boss, what should we do!?」
The guys from the 105th are about to run away.
Well, there’s nothing we can do about the iron b.a.l.l.s flying overhead and landing at our feet.
「Find a hole to jump in. And then pray you don’t die.」
As much as I want to help out the fellow cannoneers, I can’t do anything from 200 m away.
This helpless feeling just leaves a bad feeling in my mouth so I pick up an orb sitting next to a cannon.
I exert my strength and try throwing it, but it lands somewhere in between ally and enemy.
「As I thought, not good enough. This distance is too much for me to reach.」
「No…… it must have flew over 100 m…… are you a monster?」
I just thought of something. Maybe Brynhildr could make the distance.
「What. I hope you weren’t thinking of me as a monster just now.」
She was right next to me before I knew it.
Or perhaps she was close by all this time.
「Of course not. Please…… we can’t have them shooting however they please.」
「How suspicious. Whatever. So, what do you want me to do?」
I look around nearby and point to the b.a.l.l.s scattered around a destroyed cannon.
「I want you to aim for the enemy cannons and throw these. With your strength, you can hit them from here.」
「……geez, you want a woman to carry something so heavy…… haa, I’ll have you make up for this later.」
Brynhildr walks over to where the broken cannon is.
「Right, grab those b.a.l.l.s―― wait, that’s the wrong thing.」
「I just need to throw these, right?」
The object gets picked up and thrown at the enemy.
It flies in a long arch and lands perfectly on top of the enemy cannoneers…… taking out three all at once.
「Eh? Eeeh!? This is…… not a dream, right?」
Not many ally soldiers look this way during the intense firefight, but the few who do couldn’t believe what their eyes were seeing. I could almost hear the surprised gasps from the enemy too.
Even the enemy soldiers manning the cannons around the ones which got sent flying stopped firing to see what was going on.
Brynhildr had taken the broken cannon and threw it at the enemy.
If a large muscular man was the one who performed that feat, it would cause a stir amongst the allies celebrating the birth of a hero, however everybody could only doubt their eyes when they saw the deed was done by a small girl.
「Here, one more.」
She again picks up a damaged cannon and hurls it at the enemy.
Her aim was a little off this time and the projectile landed in front of the enemy camp, although the object was thrown at such high speeds that it turned into a giant lump of iron as it hit the ground, the momentum carrying that ma.s.s of metal straight into the enemy, knocking them down like bowling pins.
「My shoulder hurts. This is the last one.」
Brynhildr grabs a supply wagon for the final toss.
The wagon, fortunately with n.o.body on it, spun in the air along with the several barrels of water packed on it as everything got thrown.
It was a truly strange sight.
The wagon lands slightly behind the enemy cannoneers and explodes with a loud crash sound.
I didn’t even realize it until then that the cannonfire from the enemy side has gotten weaker.
The number of casualties was trivial, but the enemies should be shaken up knowing cannons or wagons could come flying at them.
「That was tiring. I also bathed in the sun. I’m going to sleep.」
That was all Brynhildr said before disappearing behind me.
I’ll have to treat her really nicely tonight.
「The enemy’s bombardment has stopped!」
「Alright, let’s take this chance to destroy the enemy cannons!」
Ally cannons roar loudly.
But the sad lack of numbers was obvious, and I doubt they would deal any effective damage.
The fact we are at a disadvantage doesn’t change.
「Chief, those red people are coming to the front!」
Pipi, who is riding on Schwartz, strains her eyes to look in the distance.
「Red…… the enemy’s equipment, especially that of their high officials, are covered in red……」
Pipi continues to look.
「There are lots of red cavalry. There is one man wearing a fancy ornament in the middle. He’s shouting behind the cannons?」
Yakov, Celia, and I exchange looks.
「A single unit wearing a flashy outfit leading a bunch of knights…… is the enemy’s commander cla.s.s heading out to regroup the shaken cannoneers?」
At the same time I asked, I grab the bolt of a ballista beside me and start running.
I’m not going to be fighting so I can leave my longsword in place.
My instincts are telling me this is the final chance we have for victory.
I sprint out past the ally front.
Fortunately for me, the way was cleared of fellow soldiers with all of them partic.i.p.ating in the artillery battle.
There is a little over 200 m in distance which I can cover on my own in no time.
The cannons can’t adjust their aim so quickly and they can’t hit me even if they manage to shoot.
「W-what’s that!? One person is charging at us.」
「Fire your arrows!」
The enemy reacted relatively swiftly and released a volley of arrows in my direction.
I prop my s.h.i.+eld in front and continue running forward.
My body and legs are protected by the s.h.i.+eld while I use my Dual Crater to deflect anything coming at my face.
I can’t worry about arrows. .h.i.tting the parts of my body that stick out. They shouldn’t be fatal injuries at least.
One arrow stabs into my right side, another arrow which I failed to deflect pierces my left shoulder.
I endure the sharp pain that runs through my body. As long as my legs and right arm are unharmed, I should be able to do what I have to.
The distance is now 50 m, which is about a good enough distance for me, so I drop my Dual Crater and take a hold of the bolt I grabbed earlier.
I set my sights on the man wearing the fancy ornament behind the cannoneers.
At this range, even I can confirm his ident.i.ty―― or I should have been able to.
「Tch, he’s being guarded!」
That man was being protected by s.h.i.+elds of the knights around him so I can’t get a good look at his face.
I didn’t think they would defend against a single person, why do the Imperial knights have to be so devoted to their duties.
「This isn’t good. If I pull back now, I’ll be turned into a porcupine.」
Just when I was about to resort to aiming with my gut feeling, a hoa.r.s.e voice calls out to me from behind.
「Boss! Leave it to us!」
「Let’s go, you guys!」
The 105th division must have chased after me when they saw me run out.
Confirming the appearance of a rearguard, the enemy knights fortified their defenses even more.
「Alright, you guys act as a platform!」
I know it’s a strange order, but the soldiers seem to grasp what I’m aiming for.
The man on the very bottom kneels to the ground like he’s prostrating, then the next man gets on top.
「Wh-what are they doing!?」
「So ominous! Shoot, just shoot them to death!」
Arrows fly and stab into the defenseless bodies of the soldiers lying face down.
「Guwa…… it hit my thigh……」
「My arm…… only a little more, bear with it.」
「It rammed up my a.s.s…… I-I can’t, hold it in!」
The soldiers of the 105th division let out screams of agony, yet they don’t fall apart.
The throwing platform created by the men was completed.
「Here I go. Be strong.」
I step on the man-made platform without hesitation and climb up.
The soldiers groan more than when they were hit by the arrows and I hear a bone-creaking sound.
Sorry. I’ll reward you guys with women and money when we win.
I take a firm step on the very top man and leap up into the air, twisting my body in mid-air.
As my body dances in the air, I look down at the enemy.
I could finally clearly confirm the fancy armor which was hidden by the s.h.i.+elds when I was on the ground.
He has a fluttering cloak and an important-looking moustache…… I have no doubts. He is the commander.
My eyes meet with the open-mouthed enemy commander.
I throw the bolt with all of my strength behind it, injecting a prayer to the arrow that it doesn’t miss.
If I don’t hit the target after all this, I’ll look so uncool.
My wish was granted and the large arrow accurately soars at the enemy general.
「Protect His Excellency, the commander!」
One of the knights steps in front of the enemy general with his s.h.i.+eld.
What impressive determination. If this was your average javelin, he would become a hero for risking his own life to protect his general.
However the bolt I threw was a perfect translation of my strength, if I do say so myself.
The large arrow seemed to growl as it rips through the s.h.i.+eld like paper and pierces the body of the knight behind it.
After exiting the back of the knight, it proceeded to fly deep into the enemy general’s chest.
I confirm that his splendid moustache was dyed red with the blood he coughed up before landing on the ground.
I wanted to land safely and gracefully like Celia usually does, but I fail and fall on my stomach. Our weights are too different.
The wind is knocked out of my lungs and I end up choking.
I fell down in front of the enemy lines, so this is not a joke.
Even though I know this in my head, I can’t breathe properly and am finding it hard to move.
I start to think to myself that this is where I’m going to die…….
「T-they got the commander!」
「What should we do!? Retreat? Continue fighting?」
「Let’s fall back for now. We’ll wait for the instructions from the second-in-command!」
The enemy doesn’t pay attention to me and slowly withdraw. It looks like I’m saved.
「Muu, looks like you’re doing fine.」
As I catch my breath and look to where my allies are, I see Brynhildr carrying a large boulder.
She casually tosses it away, the rock landing on the ground with a loud boom.
I guess she would have thrown that thing if I was in real danger.
I asked for many unreasonable requests today. I’ll return the favor in kind later when we get in bed.
「Protect the general! Get into defensive formation!」
A few moments later, the 105th division soldiers surround me with s.h.i.+elds.
「We should fall back temporarily too. I’ll lend you my shoulder.」
I tell Yakov I don’t need the hand he extends to me.
I didn’t even suffer a major injury, so I don’t want to get so close with a sweaty man.
「Aegir, you okay? Need any medicine?」
Ooh, Natia came running too.
「It doesn’t look good…… I can’t stand…… lend me your shoulder.」
「Got it! Grab onto me.」
I borrow Natia’s shoulder and rest my body on hers.
As I press against her shoulder, I can feel her modest yet defined b.r.e.a.s.t.s.
She should smell like sweat too, but for some reason it isn’t unpleasant.
「I’ll support you too!」
Celia also runs over to me, so I wrap my arm around her waist and grab her a.s.s.
The two of them are worried about me so they’re not concerned about the other small details. Fufufu, this is good.
After that, the Empire army stops moving, glares at us, then eventually retreats slowly to the south.
At the same time, a messenger from the command headquarters in White City arrives.
Federation VS. Empire – Comparison of Military Forces (Current + Losses = Max Mobilization. In the case where numbers don’t match, it means there are spare forces.)
Olga Federation 「South Coast Battle In Progress」
Military Strength – Current: 1 140 000, Max Mobilization: 2 550 000, Losses: 1 410 000, Civilian Victims: 980 000
Military Strength – Current: 1 420 000 (460 000 of which are military slaves), Max Mobilization: 3 100 000, Losses: 2 140 000 (Military slaves not included)