Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi Chapter 352
After repelling the first attack, repairs are being done on the broken parts in preparation for the next attack.
Those who didn’t participate in the fighting worked through the night.
「The outside is damaged considerably too…… though not much can be done.」
Myla’s pitfall and sandbag reinforcement have been used up in the first attack.
「A few defense weapons can be fixed…… but we’re going to have less in the next battle.」
A rather large amount of ballistae and our already limited number of cannons have broken down.
「Can the ones mounted in the east and north be taken off and carried?」
The defense weapons are installed in all directions to protect the city.
Work has been done to securely fix them in place on top of the walls so moving them would require dismantling, transporting the pieces down from the wall and then building up the weapon again at the desired location.
Doing that after an attack might be considered foolish.
Realistically speaking, the enemy should be focusing on the west and south gate which they’ve done damage to while avoiding the unharmed north gate and east gate where reinforcements are likely to arrive.
「That would be dangerous.」
Leopolt, when did he get here?
「The enemy has performed a frontal attack to confirm how fortified the city is. If the enemy commander is not a complete idiot, he would determine that forcing their way through would result in heavy casualties and time lost.」
「Well, the enemy’s goal is ultimately Tortoent, so it can’t really be called a success if they wear themselves out in the process of bringing down this city.」
Leopolt tells me I’m correct in thinking so.
Is he my teacher now?
「Therefore it’s possible they use a trick in their next attack. In order to maintain our ability to defend, it’s better to keep the equipment where they are now.」
「Alright. Let’s do that then.」
I’m not going to argue with Leopolt over military tactics.
A woman isn’t involved, besides it’s smarter to listen to him.
That was when Myla spoke up.
「Can we build it in the circular empty space in front of the gates? I want to build a point where we can concentrate fire on when the enemy breaks in.」
「That is necessary. I will advise for preparations to be made right away.」
Leopolt agrees so I give the approval.
「Then Hyuutia-dono, if you could make the required arrangements, and Lord Hardlett…… since a few residences will be torn down, please take care of the explanation to the mayor.」
「Wait a second.」
How is the mayor going to react if I tell him we need to demolish some houses?
Is he trying to push the troublesome things on me?
「Then shall I convince him? If you give me the title of adjutant, I’ll get it done quick.」
A devilish smile appears on Sekrit’s face as her hand caresses the handle of her sword.
Stop that, I can only see an unnecessarily complicated future ahead of us.
「Adjutant!? So you’re aiming for my position after all!」
Celia swoops in to confront Sekrit.
Her sharp kick was easily blocked by her leg being caught and she ends up suspended in midair.
「You, let go! Aargh let me go!」
Celia somehow spins her body to whip her free leg at Sekrit.
However that leg was also grabbed and she is left hanging upside down with her legs spread apart.
「Hooh, what a springy ass and white thighs you have. I’d like a chance to use my whip on them.」
「S-stop that! Don’t spread my legs! Let me gooooーーー!!」
「It’s fine to play around, but tomorrow…… no, it’s possible an attack might come tonight. Get some proper rest.」
I don’t think they’ll raid us so soon at night, although it’s better to be safe.
「I have no duties. There isn’t a need for me to prepare, is there?」
「Don’t say that, I’ll be relying on you in critical moments.」
Sekrit smirks and then leaves for bed.
「Uuu, I got humiliated in front of Aegir-sama.」
「Celia, I’m counting on you too.」
Giving a kiss to Celia’s forward helps improve her mood and she prances off too.
Now I wonder what kind of fight we’ll have tomorrow.
It would nice if it was more interesting than today.
――The Next Day. Early Morning.
「Hey, this isn’t what we talked about.」
「I didn’t talk about this.」
Eeei, arguing semantics with me.
「The enemy should have 30 000. Now they have 50 000.」
「Perhaps they increased their forces during the night.」
They’re not goblins who can simply pop out reinforcements left and right.
「In any case, we have to accept the fact they have 50 000 now. The strategy where we hold off their attack and then rush out for a field attack when there’s a chance…… we’ll have to abandon it. The siege defense will continue until the enemy gives up or until we can’t defend anymore.」
Damn Leopolt, staying so calm.
Then again, it would be troublesome if this guy aimlessly paced around in tears not sure of what to do.
When I imagined him doing that, I chuckled a little and calmed myself down.
「Anyways, no use complaining about them getting more troops. Can we still defend against 50 000?」
「It’s not a problem. To begin with, there’s a limit to how many soldiers you can add to the front of a siege. No matter how much they increase their forces, it will only make their rear guard larger and won’t change their actual attack power.」
In the next moment, I can hear a chorus of war cries from the enemy camp.
The enemy commander is probably inspiring his soldiers.
They really have high morale.
I thought they would be more depressed after being driven back yesterday.
「They’re coming! Citizens evacuate to the center of the city, soldiers get in position!」
Alarms ring out furiously while heavy military boots stomp on the ground.
「They’re coming simultaneously from the west and south!」
「Three battering rams confirmed in the south!」
「Many troops are on the west side! Multiple ladders sighted!」
There, I knew it.
They’re coming at us with a frontal attack from the west and south.
「There are some enemies on the north side―― they’re building simple encampments with dirt.」
Celia tilts her head.
「Are they being cautious of us rushing out?」
They might be searching for any weaknesses in Melibark.
It seems they are digging up the earth and setting up simple camps, but we don’t have the luxury to send a force specifically to deal with them.
「I don’t know what their plan is so we’ll prioritize the west and south. We can worry about the north later. Let’s go wild today too.」
「You can’t. Stay in the headquarters today.」
Celia stands beside me.
Of course, it depends on the situation.
Just like yesterday, the attack begins with arrows, then an assault by ballistae and catapults.
If I had to point out one difference, it would be that they aren’t using cannons this time.
「So they’re saving the cannons for the future like we thought?」
They won’t be going beyond this point though.
「Myla will oversee the west. Leopolt will take the south.」
They won’t get past, as long as I’m here that is.
The first side to get rushed by the enemy is the west side.
「The enemy is spreading out along one side of the walls!」
Myla nods in acknowledgement of the lookout’s report.
Battering rams are not on the west side.
「So they intend to climb over the walls, huh? Well, the destroyed ram from yesterday is still in front of the west gate after all.」
「Setting ladders and scaling them is the same strategy as yesterday.」
It didn’t work last time.
They might have more today, but the number of ladders which can be fixed to the wall remains the same.
「First, defend this attack with everything you’ve got―― fire volleys of arrows in rapid succession. No need to act sparingly, just keep shooting!」
Encouraging shouts come from our allies.
「Nock―― and loose!」
Archers lined up on the wall collectively release a volley.
There was no need to give the order to aim because so many enemies are in front of them.
「It doesn’t matter how many people are behind. If you take out the lead soldier, those following will be taken out too!」
In contrast to the archers, soldiers wielding crossbows can shoot soldiers climbing the ladders with pinpoint accuracy.
The bolts are powerful as is and firing from above only adds to their potency. Enemy soldiers are sent falling back down, crashing into their own allies.
「Those who aren’t holding anything, grab rocks and throw them! We have plenty of objects even if you run out of rocks!」
Non-archers pick up rocks from a prepared stack or other various things and toss them over the wall.
「Asshole, throwing all that nonsense!」
「What’s that…… a radish? Are you trying to mess with me!?」
A withered plant, a shattered jug of water, and even rotten vegetables get thrown.
It might not kill an enemy, but it still hurts to get hit.
Their speed of ascending the ladder also lowers the more they have to pay attention to their heads, which in turn reduces the precision for the crossbow soldiers aiming from below.
「The how about this!?」
A considerable amount of pots filled with oil get thrown down.
Fire gets flung right after, igniting the garbage and hindering the enemy’s advance.
「Shit! Concentrate arrows over here, and turn those soldiers into porcupines!」
The enemy won’t go down quietly.
Response is quick from their side and covering fire rains down in the spots where our ally archers are.
Thick defensive stone walls help shield the archers.
It won’t be easy to shoot them as long as they stay hidden.
I turn my head when I hear a scream and see an iron ball which had just blasted away part of the bulwark and four soldiers along with it.
「Getting hit by a catapult is a different story though.」
It’s hard to do anything against the cannonballs which draw a large arc in the air and come plummeting down.
With that said, it’s not the most accurate weapon, so getting struck by it is a matter of luck.
Those shells make loud thuds as they land inside the city.
Such a big miss happens more often than not.
Those voices came from Marta and the commander of the seventh division army, also known as Keith.
「No worries. I’ll do something about it if it falls above you.」
Marta has no need to be accustomed to battle so it’s fine for her to get as scared as she wants.
She clings tightly to my sleeve with a flushed face.
She looks as if she would suck my dick if I took it out right now.
「……My apologies. This is my first time getting shot at by catapults.」
Seeing Myla and Celia remain calm, Keith awkwardly adjusts the collar of his military uniform.
Perhaps Keith never experienced an attack up close.
「That was a close call just now! Ngo, ngoh……」
Irijina is in the middle of a pre-battle meal.
If you talk while you eat, it’ll come flying out.
「Leopolt, how is the south faring?」
A lookout yells before he answers.
「The second battering ram has gone up in flames! Furthermore, the enemy attack on the right side is at a standstill!」
Leopolt doesn’t raise his voice, rather he gives orders in an unconcerned manner.
「Archers, target the soldiers trying to extinguish the fire. The rest of you, move to the left. They’ll come from there next.」
He seems to be doing just fine.
Actually, he’s doing better than the west side and Myla is feeling a little vexed because of that.
Don’t worry about it too much, if needed, I’ll climb up the wall and push them back again.
Celia pulls my sleeve.
How does she know?
The enemy’s attack intensified and the number of wounded ally soldiers started to increase as well.
Of course we dealt more than our share of damage to the enemy’s forces to stop them from getting on the walls but signs of fatigue are starting to show.
「Eh!? They’ve stopped attacking…… they’re pulling back from the west and south walls.」
I was about to shake Celia off and head out myself.
「They couldn’t handle the losses and withdrew?」
My guess was immediately denied.
「The enemy lost roughly 2500―― a mere 5% of their total 50 000…… that won’t stop them.」
「They’re switching the rear guard with the front. In fact, the intermittent attacks up until now were meant to exhaust us. Please understand that the real attack starts now.」
As soon as Leopolt finishes, a lookout strains his voice.
It was more tense than it was before.
「There is large movement in the enemy army! They’re going from south to west…… no, to the north! They’re moving to the north!」
It feels quite illogical for them to suddenly attack the north after focusing on the west and south gates all this time.
What was all that frontal attacking for?
Leopolt gathers information from the lookouts and gives orders accordingly.
I get it, it’s unexpected.
「The walls and defense structures on the west have taken considerable damage. If they wanted to mount an all-out attack, wouldn’t it make sense to attack the west?」
Myla also seems confused.
Well, we’re not the ones deciding where they attack. If they come, we just have to meet them.
「Leave the bare minimum of soldiers behind and send the rest to the north. Will the installment of the ballista make it on time?」
Myla shakes her head.
Yeah, I didn’t think so. It would be trouble if battle breaks out in the middle of their work.
Leopolt seems to be thinking hard.
「Leopolt, do you have a concern?」
「I’m treating it as a potential problem. For now, I’ll just do the best I can.」
What’s that about? Whatever, I’ll leave it to him.
「I’m giving you command then. Time for me to head out.」
I notice Celia lapse in attentiveness from the surrounding commotion and run north.
It’s cute how she’s trying to chase me.
「Owah! He’s here again!」
One soldier shouts when he sees me climb up the wall.
Don’t talk like you saw a monster.
「What’s going on with the enemy?」
「Well it looks like the infantry and battering rams are quite far back, nowhere close to attacking us.」
Now that they’ve made their way to the north, wouldn’t it make sense to attack us before our defenses are set? What are they dawdling for?
At that moment, the enemy formation opens up and something heavy appears slowly.
It makes me unconsciously click my tongue.
「A large cannon…… they were waiting for this?」
Its size is incomparable to the ones used by them previously where it took a few people to carry it around.
This one has a long barrel and requires a horse-drawn cart to wheel it out, which makes it visibly more powerful.
「It will be placed on their camp…… no, they had platforms ready from the beginning.」
「1…… 2…… 3…… 8? T-this is bad.」
The enemy pulls their cannons onto piles of dirt.
Looking carefully, I see the pedestal is slightly tilted with the barrel of the cannon facing the sky.
At that angle, they can’t be aiming at the gate. Their targets are most likely the soldiers on top of the walls or the city itself.
「Lined up next to the large cannons are the other smaller ones! They have about 20 in total!」
「Catapults are being set up too!」
I can’t hold back a smile.
The enemy isn’t going to reserve their cannons after all.
So the reason cannons weren’t used too much in the first attack was so they can concentrate all their fire power on the north gate.
「Hey, Lord Hardlett is smiling.」
「Scary…… my ass just clenched.」
I give Celia’s bum an extra tight squeeze before grabbing a spare short spear.
I want to get a shot in before they blast us.
Because I’m so bad with a bow, I decide to use a spear instead.
I relax my body and inhale deeply.
My body tenses up right before release, launching the weapon with all my strength.
「Auu! A-Aegir-sama is wonderful when he’s savage like that…… aah, my underwear……」
The spear flew almost like an arrow that was propelled by a heavy-draw-weight bow, stabbing one of the enemy soldiers prepping the cannon in the chest.
Those nearby stare back at me in disbelief.
I guess that’s because it was a little further than a bow’s range.
It went a nice distance if I do say so myself.
「100 times that will come back now. Everyone, get ready. Celia, you stay behind me.」
Our ally soldiers could only grin sheepishly with a mixture of displeasure.
Celia slaps her cheeks to get pumped up, although she’s looking at me with charmed eyes.
Once we get through this attack, I want to have Marta and Celia line up for me so I can compare their holes.
Then the bombardment commences.
Moments later, the entire wall was shaking.
One soldier hiding behind the bulwark gets blown to pieces.
A cannonball grazes above the walls and takes with it two archers’ upper bodies.
The ally who got hit with that fragment falls into the city covered in blood.
One cannonball deviates into the city and falls into a stone house, destroying the residence in a single hit.
「It’s so powerful!」
I push Celia’s head down when she tries to look up.
Taking her along was a mistake, I should have left her in the headquarters instead.
Cannonballs from the smaller cannons also drop from the sky one after the other.
They were too strong for our stone defenses to stop.
Screams can be heard with every impact, each projectile smashing several allies.
Cannonballs that miss also arc into the city.
Nothing can be done to them unlike flaming arrows.
「Fire back. Aim and shoot the ballista!」
Bows don’t have enough range, however it’s not impossible for a ballista.
Nevertheless, the difference in strength between bolts and cannonballs is too great.
Our bolts only kill a few of the cannon operators while their cannonballs obliterate our ballistae into tiny pieces.
In a short period, most of our ballistae end up demolished and the shootout has become a one-sided bombardment.
「They’re still shooting……?」
「Dammit…… the walls are going to fall……」
At this rate, the soldiers’ morale will drop rapidly.
Certainly, the enemy cannons are impressive, however they need to be a little closer if they want to destroy the gates.
It won’t be easy considering the fact getting closer would mean entering the range of our archers.
Not to mention at the pace they’re shooting, their cannons will malfunction and warp soon, decreasing the amount of usable ones.
Unfortunately, presenting such logic to the soldiers when they’re in this state won’t raise morale.
「You’ll get hit when you get hit whether you’re crying, angry, or sleeping. So lower your heads and think about the time you slept with a girl.」
「Wah! Don’t say that while rubbing my ass!」
When the soldiers nearby get on their hands and knees, I alone remain standing and fondle Celia’s bum as she’s taking cover.
A cannonball happens to shoot out from a roaring cannon and land next to me, kicking up sharp fragments.
Some of it cuts my cheek, but that’s not a big deal.
「Wow…… does Lord Hardlett not feel fear?」
Of course I do, I’m just praying none of them fly at me.
「I’m a virgin, so what do I……」
Don’t ask me, picture the woman you admire and imagine fucking her or something.
「I’m going to think about the time with you.」
「Me too, partner.」
Eei, don’t look at me.
I’m not going to bathe around you guys anymore.
At least they can distract themselves.
All of a sudden, the cannons stop firing when we turtle up and try to endure.
It immediately brought a smile of relief on the soldiers’ faces, except this isn’t the time to be relieved.
「Everyone, raise your heads. The enemy is coming!」
Right as I finish speaking, war cries can be heard from the enemy camp.
The enemy charges with shouts almost loud enough to cover the voices of myself and the commanders.
Their troops spread out and push toward the north flank.
Shieldbearers are in front and infantry follow behind, just how they’ve attacked previously.
「Do we have any ballistae left?」
「None! The bulwark has pretty much been destroyed too!」
We’ve lost a lot of the advantage granted to us by the walls.
The guards will have to personally defend.
「Then we’re going to have to do it. If we win, I’ll arrange some nice girls for you.」
I draw my longsword and ready a short spear in my left hand.
「There, come on.」
I throw my spear.
Our ally archers take that as a signal to loose a volley.
「Don’t stop moving! This battle is for Her Majesty Wilhelmina!」
My spear pierces through the commander on horseback while the arrows take down the soldiers around him.
The enemy is quick to respond with their own archers.
This time is different since we’ve lost the protection of the walls.
Instead of having an overwhelming advantage, a lot more allies get exposed to arrows and fall over.
「We’re suffering heavy casualties! The height advantage isn’t enough to win against their sheer number!」
I cut down the incoming arrow aimed at the shouting Celia.
In doing so, my shoulder also gets hit by an arrow, although my body is wrapped in dragon armor and the impact is all I feel.
Oh yeah, I think Pochi’s scales and this armor have a similar feeling.
Maybe it’s a coincidence or my imagination. Let’s go with that.
「We’re losing the shootout! We can’t keep the enemy in check!」
By the sixth round, our ally volleys have gotten much weaker.
Too many archers got killed so the barrage is too scattered.
「Get the injured and the dead off the walls and call for reinforcements.」
There’s limited space on the battlements.
If people staying there can’t fight, they’re in the way.
「A squad is already waiting on standby below as ordered by Leopolt.」
「That guy is so prepared it’s almost annoying…… anyways, it doesn’t matter if you can’t fire as a unit. We just need as many arrows as possible.」
With the arrival of backup, energy seems to return to our allies and we start matching the enemy’s archers again.
Arrows and cannons aren’t the only things the enemy has.
They have shieldbearers in front, who make way for infantry by splitting to the left and right.
Their strategy is different this time.
「Enemy infantry are approaching the walls―― they aren’t holding any weapons! They’re piling up sandbags.」
「…… I see. That’s why they were digging in the north.」
The work they did in the north was for platforms which angled their large cannons upward and simultaneously for providing dirt for sandbags.
It’s simple for the enemy to prop up ladders to climb, and just as easy for us to kick them off.
On the other hand, piling up sandbags takes a long time, allows the enemy to be exposed to arrows longer and results in more casualties, however it isn’t that easy to topple sandbags once they’ve been stacked up, which in effect corners the defending side with a level of certainty.
「The enemy is getting serious now.」
「Archers, aim at the infantry! Don’t let them pile!」
Competing with the enemy archers is already taking all their efforts so our ally archers couldn’t complete Celia’s orders as well as she wanted.
Those throwing rocks couldn’t stop the infantry either.
「First squad is finished, retreat!」
「Second and third squad is on standby, getting ready.」
The enemy steps over the corpses of our allies and closes in on the wall, steadily growing the mountain of sandbags.
「The enemy has resumed their bombardment!」
「……with their allies this close?」
Cannons firing again means we can’t lift our heads even more.
It also means that the less precise cannons sometimes end up firing on their own soldiers.
「Do not fear! This sacrifice is necessary for victory. Believe in the empire, believe in Her Majesty, and advance!」
The enemy infantry panic briefly before quickly composing themselves.
「I thought an attack on their own troops would do more to ruin their morale. They’re stubborn.」
Their morale and resolve are nothing to sneeze at.
A few losses here and there won’t deter them from carrying out their duties.
「Yes…… I didn’t think it would be to this extent.」
Celia noticeably gulps.
It’s looking like we can’t stop them.
「Archers, get down from the walls. Infantry, halt your throwing and grab your weapons.」
I can sense the soldiers gulp as well.
It was an order with the assumption that the enemy climbs over, so it makes sense for them to be nervous.
Defending a siege in which the enemy crosses the walls is not the most hopeful development.
I’ll have to follow up.
「Do not worry. I’m better at cutting and thrusting than I am at throwing things.」
I give them a reminder while rubbing Celia’s ass.
「L-like I keep saying, don’t do that! They’re going to misunderstand the thrusting part!」
A chuckle escapes my lips in part due to Celia’s cute voice.
This is good, we’ll be fine if we laugh and fight.
Their cannons stopped when our resistance disappeared, allowing them to heap sandbags all the way to the top.
That wall of dirt was finally as tall as the city walls.
「Invade Melisbark! This battle is our―― gugh!!」
「Why hello there.」
As the man with the appearance of a leader lifts his sword and shouts loudly, I run my sword through his windpipe.
I twist the blade while it’s still in his neck and then kick the body down.
「How dare you do that to the commander!」
I bring up my sword to parry the spear thrust at me, turn the blade down and slice the man in half from the top of his head to his crotch.
All his innards spill onto the hill of sandbags and the two separated sections slide down the slope.
「You aren’t residents, but you’re welcome to come in.」
I lower my body to avoid a sideways slash and then stab him in the stomach from below.
While causing the man to scream loud enough to drown out the cheers on their side, I throw him directly above me and then cut through his body diagonally in midair.
A fountain of red internal matter sprays down.
「Welcome to Melisbark.」
I smile at the enemy soldiers covered head to toe in blood.
「What is he……」
「Cutting apart the commander and vice-commander like that…… what is he?」
The enemy soldiers yelling as they climb up stop in their tracks.
Umu, I guess it was worth putting on a show and getting showered in smelly blood.
Killing people in such a brutal way isn’t something I like doing, it just serves to decrease the opponent’s morale while also increasing our ally’s morale.
「Lord Hardlett is a monster after all.」
「There’s a rumor that the war demon eats people if he hasn’t fought in a long time.」
Hey now, I’m doing this to help you guys.
Why are you guys scared too?
Hurry up and get in the fight.
A raging battle begins on the walls that cannot be considered wide.
Stopping the initial charge and letting my allies catch their breath helped them hold their ground better.
「Keep them out! Don’t let them enter the city!」
「We will win if we get over, push through no matter what!」
Well, a melee where we kill each other with swords and spears is exactly what I want.
A middle-aged soldier comes at me.
「The guy from before was you!? Good timing, now become the rust on my spear――」
「That won’t be possible.」
Because everything from your shoulders and up are already dancing in the air.
「You can’t push us off anymore! The hill is already built.」
A young unfriendly man pokes his short spear at me.
「Aah, is that so?」
I let his spear bounce off my shield, and then kick him in the chest.
The man flies into what’s left of the defensive walls and dies when his head smashes into the rock.
「You can really feel how many there are from fighting them directly!」
I run to the next four people climbing up.
The first person was taken by surprise when I stab him with my sword and my momentum carried my body into his for a powerful tackle that sends him flying.
The second person swings a sword down at me, which I meet with an upward swing, actually breaking his sword in the process as my blade continues moving up and cutting his face.
The third person was in defense, so I first cut his shield along with his right hand, then break his left hand with a hit from my shield, and then send him flying with a kick.
The fourth person tripped on a corpse at his feet as he climbed up, so I grabbed him by the head and held him out in front of me.
「Gue! Gya! Ogh! Gabh!」
Several dull thuds transmit from his body to me.
Apparently crossbows were aimed at me and this guy took all the hits.
The crossbowmen become shaken from not being able to finish me off and hitting their ally instead.
「Alright, come at me for revenge.」
I throw the dead body at the crossbowmen.
The man’s body flies beautifully into their ranks, crushing two soldiers as it lands.
Three remaining soldiers look like they’re about to run away……
Before they could do so, daggers fly into an eye, the side of the head, and neck respectively.
Celia nods contently……
「No, not good!」
I start running and then sweep my longsword right in front of Celia’s face.
I could hear three short clinks from my sword knocking away the knives aimed at Celia.
How could they do that to my cute Celia?
I follow the source from where they were thrown and find a man who isn’t even 150 cm tall.
「I’m impressed that you could see through the expertise of the seasoned knife master, Chinpan!」
The little man is slender and hopping erratically almost like a monkey.
「Hmph, how arrogant of some street performer to boast about throwing―― gueh!」
One of his ally soldiers gets stabbed with a knife and dies before he could finish badmouthing the short man.
「Strength means everything on the battlefield! It doesn’t matter if I’m a street performer if I kill the enemy!」
「That’s absolutely right. Let’s go.」
I ignore the small man’s reaction and swing my sword.
「Heh, I’m not going to fight head-on against a big lug like you! I’ll put some distance between us――」
When he skillfully flips backward in the air to separate, I throw a handful of gravel and pebbles at him with my left hand.
I grabbed it when he was blabbering on incessantly.
There’s a bunch of it lying around since the wall got damaged after all.
Unluckily for him, his head was turned toward me during the last flip and my scattering of pebbles hit him in the face.
Blood trickles from his nose and a tooth chips.
「Kikiiーー! How cowardlyー!」
I was about to deliver the finishing blow and then his own hand slipped from the wall.
What’s with this guy?
「Alright, one more step!」
「Shit! Don’t let them take the stairs, defend it with your life!」
The enemy closes in on the staircase descending to the city.
That is much more important than the monkey man.
I jump into the ball of allies and enemies.
「Get down if you’re on my side.」
Lowering my hips, I hold my longsword back before unleashing I full-powered sweep.
「Is this my leg?」
「The world flipped upside down?」
Somehow, our allies manage to successfully duck to avoid getting sliced, whereas the eight enemies weren’t so lucky and they were cut in half at the waist.
「What are you doing? Push back.」
I rest the bloody sword on my shoulder.
In response, the soldiers run off either screaming or cheering.
I heard one of them yell “I’m going to get killed!”.
I’m your commander, I’m not going to kill you.
We fended off their invasion into the city for now, however, with the continued piling of sandbags, two or three more routes for the enemy to climb means more of them will swarm us.
「Should we retreat into the city?」
Leopolt and Myla are quick to respond as usual, and I can see a simple barricade already set up within the city as well as the rearguard infantry and the cavalry waiting on standby on the main road.
Even if the enemy charges in, it won’t be easy to bring down the city.
「No…… I think we should hold out here. Allowing the city to be invaded will dramatically decrease our morale.」
Celia objects. It pleases me to see her maturing.
「Fufu, alright. Let’s stay for a little longer.」
When I ready my longsword again, a messenger shouts.
「All troops, turn your shields toward the city and take defensive positions!」
「What is he saying?」
Turn your backs to the enemy and have the shields face inside? That’s quite perplexing.
Our allies don’t seem to be obeying the order.
「Turn toward the city and take defensive positions――!」
I strain my eyes to look closer and see Myla shouting the same thing.
I’m not sure of the meaning behind the instructions, but I’m going to believe in her.
「All of you, do what you’re told. No complaining, just do it!」
The soldiers hurry and follow suit when I yell at them.
That’s the result of popularity and benevolence.
「No, I think it’s fear.」
I’ll poke around Celia’s cheeks later.
「What are they doing, have they gone insane?」
「Their commander is probably crazy. Now’s our chance!」
Of course our allies are free to be cut in such a state.
However it wasn’t a one-sided slaughterfest.
「Bow cavalry, loose your arrows! Fire everything you’ve got!」
Countless hits rain down onto the shields while the enemies behind us get riddled with arrows.
The eerie sound from the slicing of wind made by the arrows traveling through the air was almost like the cry of an unknown monster and it was followed by the rhythmic tapping of metal as they make contact with our shields.
「The bow cavalry are shooting! With us in the range as well!」
Our bow cavalry did not have a role in our siege defense so all 4000 of them were preserved.
I thought they were waiting in the main street just in case the city gets invaded, but they were actually lined up parallel with the north wall.
Myla must have aimed for this from the start.
「Don’t move your shields. If you get cut from behind, you get cut. Recklessly running would turn you into a porcupine on the spot.」
Our allies made themselves as small as possible and hid behind their shields while our bow cavalry fires arrow after arrow.
Celia doesn’t have a shield so she wraps herself in my cloak and curls up with me.
「What a staggering barrage!」
「Naturally. One volley has 4000 arrows.」
Not only is their precision high, their rate of fire is beyond that of average archers.
Even more so when they’re prioritizing firing in succession.
「And they’re unexpectedly aiming well.」
More arrows are hitting the enemy than they are hitting our allies’ shields.
Considering our positions, it would be normal to think the opposite was true, and that is another demonstration of the excellent skill of the bow cavalry.
The enemy soldiers who were looking to clean sweep our vulnerable allies end up being vulnerable to a rain of arrows.
A storm of tens of thousands of arrows eradicated the enemies from the walls in no time.
「The squad which crossed the wall has been destroyed! They can’t maintain the attack!」
「Retreat! Retreat for now!」
Like the ebbing of the tide, the remnants of the enemy withdrew.
It can be considered a wiser decision than persisting.
「Injured soldiers move into the city, reinforcements move out.」
「We can’t move the sandbags. Pile up something flammable and light it with oil. It will do for now.」
As to be expected from Erich’s royal army.
They are starting to make appropriate moves.
I shouldn’t interfere unnecessarily.
I guess that’s the end of…… no, I can’t say that.
「Battering rams are approaching the north gates! They’re making contact!!」
The rams make a distinct boom as they shake the gates.
So they moved those things while we were fighting?
「The gate has been destroyed!!」
The metal doors get dented in with a dull thud and slowly fall inward.
「Over here this time?」
I get down from the walls.
Myla is already standing in front of the gate where an encampment was constructed in a hurry.
「The gate broke down.」
「Run into the city!」
「Rout the enemy! Now is the time to show our strength!」
Unlike climbing the sandbags, where they had to use their hands, the soldiers can freely charge forward through the open gates.
Cavalry can freely sprint forward too.
Myla simply raises her hand calmly.
A semi-circular space was created in front of the gates by tearing down a few residences.
Staring down the gates are a row of 80 chariots, which launch a volley of bolts at the intruders.
「What are those wagons!?」
Melisbark’s gates are wide.
Nevertheless, it is still a restricting space.
There is nothing they can do if we concentrate fire in that narrow space.
「I thought chariots could only be utilized in a field battle, I didn’t know they were so easy to use in a defensive battle.」
Since it takes time for ballistae to be set up and taken down, it would be hard to deal with a mobile enemy.
However having ballistae pre-installed on the wagons of the chariots allows them to move and change positions quickly and accordingly.
Those enemies who initially ran in all ended up on the ground.
It didn’t stop the trailing soldiers from coming.
「Fire number two!」
The ballistae on the chariots roar once again.
In an attempt to trample through the city, the enemy sent their cavalry.
It just made for better targets for our ballistae.
Powerful bolts would impale the riders on horses and plunge into the large bodies of the war horses, killing them instantly.
If lucky, the bolts would pierce through the first target and stab into the enemy behind.
Every time the thick bowstring made a low-pitched twang, a cry of agony from the soldier and horse would follow, and then the sound of corpses hitting the ground.
Soon enough, the area in front of the gates was littered with dead people and horses.
A few managed to run past the rain of bolts and closed in on the chariots, only to encounter the crossbowmen and spearmen also riding on the wagons.
Whether it was the first or the second option, it resulted in the enemy dying.
「Crossbows, infantry, to the front. Move the battering rams out of the way and build a temporary wall.」
Obstacles line the ground so the cavalry can’t really build up momentum for a decent charge.
All that’s left is for the infantry to fight it out and the closing of the gates will be complete.
A jostling match in front of the gates will come down to a collision between a select few.
It might sound strange coming from me, but there is no better person suitable for the job than me.
「If the commander goes personally and something happens――」
I give Myla a kiss.
「I trust you to take command. I will defeat the enemy and seal the gate.」
I ready my longsword.
「Understood. I will leave it to you then.」
「Take care of the rest for me, Myla-san.」
「Wait right there. You will stay with me and provide assistance.」
「No way! I’m going with Aegir-sama――!!」
Celia gets caught by Myla, which is fine.
Nobody knows what will happen during a chaotic melee in a tight space.
I was actually worried about Celia in the earlier fight.
I spot an especially large mass of muscle among the soldiers running toward the gate.
「Mack, you were here too?」
Thinking now, something needs to be done about the battering ram stuck in the gates and a temporary wall needs to be constructed.
That’s the duty of the engineering corps.
「……you being there is the strange part.」
I guess he’s right.
I hear the enemy yell.
Our side doesn’t lose to them and roars back.
Sensing our defenses would be strong, the enemy sent their heavy infantry to the front.
They’re equipped with thick armor and shields which resemble clumps of steel.
「I’ll smash through. Follow me.」
I position my shield in front of my body and run full speed right at them.
「Fool. Does he think he can get past us heavy infantry!?」
The vanguard plant their shields firmly on the ground and readies their swords, but I charge right into the middle of their ranks regardless.
The impact created a loud metal crashing sound.
Three soldiers get knocked away, one gets stomped on and crushed by my boots.
「T-through the middle!?」
「Don’t underestimate me! Don’t let him pass!」
Facing the next row, I lower my body to avoid the spears and make a scooping motion with my shield.
Two lumps of metal get tossed into the air.
「The third one!」
This time I spin in front of the enemy, using the momentum from the running start to empower the swing of my sword.
Four clumps of metal fall to the floor with a harsh clattering sound.
Blood squirts out from the inside of their armor.
Lots of stuff must have gotten damaged in there.
Is that it? Those guys only had armor that weighed more.
They were actually easier to deal with than regular infantry since they didn’t even move much due to all that heavy equipment.
Stunned at how I broke through, the enemy quickly gets pushed back by our ally infantry and falls apart.
We arrive at the battering ram which broke the gate.
「Shall we move this?」
「We need people.」
If we wait, the enemy might come before our allies.
「Let’s move it a bit for now」
It looks really heavy…… no, it is ridiculously heavy without question, except its wheels are still attached.
To begin with, this thing was made to move by pushing it.
「It took thirty people to do so.」
「You can exert the strength of 20 people. I’ll represent 10 people.」
Mack grumbles and puts his hands on the ram.
The two of us make unpleasant grunts as we gather up strength to move the weapon.
「It’s not budging. Put your back into it.」
「…… this is the most.」
I’ll have to use more energy.
I grit my teeth and let out a guttural roar as the muscles in my entire body work hard.
Its wheels start turning slowly.
The battering ram slowly rolls backward.
「Mack, don’t get your sweat on me!」
「Don’t ask…… the impossible……」
If we don’t get this thing moving quickly, Mack will drench me with his sweat.
When we finally start building some momentum, it suddenly stops.
「Dammit, those guys from Libatis are pushing it out.」
「Don’t lose to them! Push it back in!」
It looks like we got some resistance from the enemy.
Judging by the number of voices, there are quite a few of them too.
Trying to get in our way? We’ll have to outpush them.
The two of us are determined not to lose.
I guess I could circle around and get rid of them, but that would feel like I lost somehow.
Maybe they also think the same as they devote all their energy into competing with us from the opposite side.
「What’s with this power!? It feels like 50 people are pushing!」
「…… it’s two, idiot.」
Mack converses with the other side through the battering ram.
「Don’t lie, we have 30 people over here! Weak-ass Libatis people should give up and leave now!」
「It’s not a lie, you guys should be the ones who stop first! The guy beside me is sweating like crazy and stinks.」
I can’t help chiming in.
That was when I heard footsteps.
「Good! We have 20 more people as backup. Now we’re equal in number, it’s our win.」
Shit, having an additional 20 people is going to be tough.
I have to be prepared for my muscles to be sore.
「Chief, I’m here to help!」
Ooh, Pipi’s here to back us up.
「Hahaha, we have Pipi and a lizard on our side. We win.」
Now give up and stand down.
「Pfft! That sounded like a girl to me. And I lizard, you say? Are you trying to win by making us laugh? ……by the way, who’s wing is sticking out?」
Pochi stands up behind me and Mack and puts its hands on the ram.
Pipi rides on my shoulders and pushes as well, though it doesn’t make much of a difference.
「Here we go!」
When everybody exerts their strength, the ram rolls backward down the hill.
It was pushed back with enough force that it ended up rolling over and killing a few of them.
That’s why I told you to step away.
In the next moment, its wheels could not support the weight and breaks, toppling the battering ram on its side.
「If we consider this as a part of the wall, our objective is complete.」
Mack is saying something.
Sorry, this isn’t the time to be talking about lizards.
When the battle is over, we can chat over some alcohol.
The engineering corps start building behind us.
Seeing the battering ram collapse and their soldiers fail to get past the gate, the enemy stops moving.
Before we knew it, the sun is starting to change color.
There’s no more time to mount another attack.
「Inform the defense commander! I propose an armistice until sunset for the purpose of retrieving the dead and injured! I repeat――」
I hear the enemy shouting.
Let’s leave things here for today.
「I could not see through the enemy’s moves. It is my mistake.」
It’s rare for Leopolt to apologize.
Still, his face is expressionless.
Not like it bothers me at this point though.
「The enemy’s route of reinforcement is unknown and the route of transportation of their large cannons remains unknown.」
That was a surprise.
「I thought a sandbag strategy was not possible due to the earth around Melisbark being too hard. I did ascertain that only the part around the north had softer ground which made it easier to create encampments and sandbags.」
Heeh, that’s not something we would know immediately after coming here though.
I can’t say it’s entirely Leopolt’s fault.
「I also learned after the fact that the north side wall was slightly inclined due to ground problems during construction and was suitable for attack.」
I wouldn’t be able to tell.
「I’m aware this is something I, as a staff officer, am supposed to confirm.」
Leopolt lowers his head.
Like I said, stop apologizing with that expressionless face, it’s creepy.
Let’s clear the air with some humor.
「Then when we get back to Rafen, show me how you love Nina. I’ll consider us even after.」
「Nina is nothing more than an attendant, however I can do so if that is your order.」
Leopolt plainly responds.
Why is the one being apologized to getting their mind whittled away?
「Commander Hardlett! I have something to discuss!!」
The one to change the atmosphere is the intruding third party, the mayor of Melisbark.
What is it this time, a continuation of the dismantling of residences?
「If it isn’t the mayor, what’s wrong?」
「What do you mean what!? The damage to the city is enormous! Citizens were killed too!」
So he wants to talk about the cannonballs hitting the city.
Well, the target was the walls and from what I can see, the damage wasn’t too extensive.
「48 houses were damaged and 28 people got injured! 3 citizens died!」
If we allowed the enemy to get into the city, that wouldn’t be the end of the damage,
By the way, our army consisting of mostly infantry and archers, suffered over 2000 casualties.
「Isn’t this not contrary to the original promise? We should capitulate before any more damage is done――」
Enough, I’m getting a little pissed.
「――we came at your request to provide reinforcements. I’m not telling you or the citizens to fight, so I would appreciate if you don’t meddle unnecessarily. If you have complaints, why don’t you bring it to the president chosen by the citizens and say, “we don’t want to fight, can we open up the city?” or something.」
I’m tired so a hint of anger is in my voice.
「Tyrant! As expected, the noble system makes light of the citizens!」
I get it, just disappear from my sight.
If you want to complain, catch me when I’m free and in a better mood.
After the mayor leaves, Myla flies into a rage and slams the desk.
「Why do we have to be scolded in a way that makes us look like the ones who killed the citizens even though we came to help!? Does he not realize that more losses will occur if he lets the enemy nation occupy the city!?」
They have probably never been occupied by another nation before.
「How about attracting the enemy into the city and conducting urban warfare? If we fight using the houses, it’ll be easier to defend. He won’t say the same thing if 10 or 20 thousand people die.」
「Why are you even here? Get out.」
Celia complains about Sekrit’s presence.
It we do that, he’ll just surrender on his own.
「But if we leave them alone and the situation turns grave, not getting the cooperation of the citizens will hinder our defense.」
Keith speaks nonchalantly.
If the citizens turn on us, it doesn’t matter how much we fortify our defenses, the city will fall easily.
「We need to settle it quick.」
I turn to Leopolt.
「I’ll have you take responsibility. Think of a plan to get it done as fast as possible.」
Leopolt answers while looking in my eyes.
「I have already done so.」
Leopolt spreads an outline of the city he found somewhere on the table.
Muu…… I was thinking of going a quick round with Marta while he thinks.
This guy doesn’t know how to read the mood at all.