Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi Chapter 354
I run towards the enemy in front of me.
If I break past this formation, will the headquarters be beyond them or will there be two more squads waiting behind?
Right now, I don’t know. I will leave that for Leopolt to think about.
I only know that I have to focus on defeating whoever is standing in my way.
Schwartz doesn’t slow down.
I notice an arrow is stuck near his face so I help pull it out for him.
Trailing us is my escort unit as well as the cavalry of the royal army.
As they did not have a role in the siege battle, they are pumped up and ready to contribute now that they have a chance.
We have already come far away from the dazzling flames which lit up the darkness.
Minutely maneuvering the cavalry to disturb the enemy while visibility is poor is out of the question.
「Our cavalry will be the drill.」
Simple is best when it comes to cavalry. We can charge into the enemy lines, open a hole and create a foothold which allows the infantry in the rearguard to easily punch through.
I, as the lead cavalry, will act as the tip of the drill.
「Get into anti-cavalry formation! Defend……」
Schwartz accelerates further.
The enemy commander is giving out orders while overseeing the entire battle and he probably didn’t expect my horse to be this fast.
We reach the enemy before long spears could get lined up.
「A black gale……」
Right before contact, one soldier turns his spear to me, but I throw my longsword at him.
My sword flies right into his stomach, the force of impact throwing him down on the ground on his back, which opens a hole in their lines big enough for a single horse to fit.
Schwartz quickly adjusts his path and heads straight for the hole.
He knocks away enemies coming from either side of him with his giant body and tramples through the reserve forces waiting behind.
「I let you borrow it and now I’m taking it back.」
As I pass by, I pull out my sword sticking out of the enemy’s body, then bisect the upper half of the commanding officer.
「Crossbows, what are you doing!?」
「Idiot! How can we shoot in this situation, we will friendly fire!」
Schwartz travels like the wind through the enemy army.
The squishing sounds beneath his hooves echo loudly.
I also recklessly swing my sword and shield.
Being surrounded by enemies actually makes things easier.
On the contrary, the enemy has a difficult time.
The archers and crossbowmen especially have it the hardest as the darkness as well as how close they are together makes it extremely likely for them to shoot their allies.
In a short time, I was able to get through the second layer of defense.
「What are you doing, letting Lord Hardlett go alone like that!? Pulverize the enemy!」
「Aegir-sama, please slow down a little!」
It looks like my allies are colliding with the enemy behind me.
Having created a hole, the enemy is out of sorts and it should be a matter of time before they get run over.
「……that was pretty thin.」
I mutter to myself and smile when I see what is waiting for me.
「No wonder…… it was all to buy time for the third layer.」
The third line of defense has appeared in front of me.
Their soldiers are prepared and neatly arranged, and it looks hard to get through quickly.
Countless flaming arrows and bolts fly from the new enemy.
While I cut down any arrows aimed directly at me, the ones which fall around me lights up the area and helps secure better vision for the enemy’s next shots.
Moreover, the bolts I could not defend end up hitting me and Schwartz.
Sure, most of them bounce off our armor, however a few bolts find their way into the gaps in Schwartz’s armor due to him being a larger target.
He exhaled slightly, pretending to be fine, but I know having him charge into this squad would leave him with more than a scratch.
「Your job is done here.」
I dismount from Schwartz who continues to run.
He had a “oh, is that so?” face as he runs off to the side somewhere.
I let the momentum from jumping off Schwartz propel my dash toward the enemy.
「This guy’s whole body is black…… no, he’s just covered in blood!」
「Damn demon…… shoot! Shoot him full of holes!」
Multiple arrows and bolts soar at me.
The one that stopped was the enemy.
My shield protects me as I’m charging and allows me to maintain speed.
I feel numerous blows hitting my shield and my armor.
Two projectiles dig into my flesh, although that is not nearly enough to affect my movement.
「Here he comes!」
「Light infantry forwar―― uwaaaah!!」
Almost like pushing apart the sea of arrows, I lower my hips right as I reach the first soldier and then make a sweeping motion.
Four crossbowmen get sent flying all at once.
I saw blood squirt so my attack must have finished off a few of them, but I don’t have time to count how many.
Response time is fast on the opponent’s side, as infantry holding shields and swords appear before I realized.
「Everyone dismount! Attack from the front!」
Catching up with me after enduring the harsh barrage of arrows, the escort squad get down from their horses and choose to fight.
It’s probably going to get messy from here on out.
「Look how this guy is dressed. He’s a commander.」
「How brave of him to lead the charge. Now I’m going to finish him and turn him into one of my achievements!」
Oops, I better focus on the enemies in front of me.
When I take a deep breath, the world seems to move slowly.
It’s been so long since I’ve had this feeling.
About twenty enemies stand before me, all with the same swords and metal shields, plus the man at the far back with the red shield is the commander.
The very first man shouts as he approaches me and swings down his sword, which I block with my shield, and then I return a slash to his torso from the right.
My sword tears through his armor, rips through his soft innards and cuts through his solid spinal column.
He lets out a sluggish scream.
I don’t force my body back after it shifted to the right, instead I use the momentum to bash the next enemy with my shield.
The sensation of his facial bones getting crushed is transmitted through my shield.
Using the foe’s body to stop my initial slashing motion, I focus my gaze at the sword being thrusted at me from the front.
My response is a powerful slash to the opponent’s legs.
I purposely aimed low because stabbing him in the stomach would restrict my movement.
In a forward-leaning position, I bring myself down barely touching the ground to avoid attacks from two enemies on either side of me, then bounce back up in a spinning manner to slash their backs.
Showing my own back to the enemy will naturally invite attacks.
From what I saw last, they were aiming at my head, side and thigh.
My shield is lifted to defend my head, I twist my body to dodge the thrust at my torso, then I shift my leg to allow the armored portion to take the hit.
The enemy’s astonishment was also sluggish and hard to make out.
Now is when I hear the first guy I cut fall to the ground.
I return to my normal stance and then throw my shield at one enemy while slicing in half another through his shield.
Noticing that the enemy let go of his sword, I leave my shield where it is, grab the spinning sword in midair and lop off the head of a third enemy with it.
Time moves at regular speed once again after I exhale.
「Eight people in a single breath……」
Before the enemy could finish speaking, I inhale deeply and start moving again.
I draw the Dual Crater at my hip for the usual dual-wielding setup and swing at two enemies in front of me.
My attack was faster than their attempts to defend.
The Dual Crater went on to bisect one of them, meanwhile the blade of my longsword was deliberately tilted to the side to deliver a blunt hit to the other.
A dull edge makes slicing cleanly hard, although the man’s head is caved in so I guess the result is pretty much the same anyways.
Another man cries out sluggishly as I block the slash from my right with my longsword, then use the tilting center of gravity to launch a kick to my left.
I let my leg fall back down and lower my hips for another powerful sweep with my longsword.
The circular slash at shoulder level chopped off one head and four hands.
Positioning my Dual Crater lower at the same time I spun around sliced the faces of the two enemies who crouched.
That wasn’t the end.
I follow up the rotation by running forward.
A fierce slicing of wind can be heard as my Dual Crater and longsword cuts through a head and body respectively, strengthened by the energy of my dash.
Retaliating slashes from the enemy are so slow they seem to be stopped.
I dodge one sword, then the second, then the third, and then slaughter their owners with my Dual Crater.
I’m unable to evade the fourth slash to my waist, so I block with my longsword, proceed to tackle that soldier and finish him off after he falls by stomping on him.
The fifth sword which comes along with the shriek of the man I just took out gets grabbed with my bare hand and snapped in half after I toss my Dual Crater up in the air.
When I catch the Dual Crater, I behead the dumbfounded enemy.
Now the only one left is the commander.
「Who’s a demon?」
I cut his words short with a headbutt, bashing my helmet-wearing head against his skull and splitting it open.
With a chance to look back, I see the ground littered with twenty corpses, and none who looks remotely able to get up and attack me from behind.
「This is impossible…… it’s not real……」
Bystanding enemies immediately take steps backward.
Those I determined to be commanders hide behind their subordinates when their eyes meet with mine.
「We can’t fight head-on against that kind of beast! Shoot him down! Kill him with crossbows!」
Crap, I let go of my shield.
I have no other choice except to deflect with my sword.
Just when I thought I was in a little trouble, my escort unit rushes in.
They may be off their horses, but the heavily armed soldiers should be more than enough to defeat crossbowmen.
「Aegir-sama! I’ve finally caught up to you. Gosh, how could you leave your shield!」
It’s Celia and Mack.
Mack’s entire body is dripping with sweat as he picks up my shield.
「I saw what you did earlier. It was so fast my eyes couldn’t follow.」
Celia’s eyes are sparkling.
Hahaha, I’m glad she’s fallen for me all over.
During my escort unit’s fierce attack, the bow cavalry and royal army also catch up and the third army starts to collapse.
It’s not a rout. They are maintaining order and retreating to their headquarters.
In any case, the attack on the headquarters can finally begin.
「They’ve pushed through! Stop them at all costs, those who can move go to the front!」
A group of large men come forth amidst the melee.
「Warhammer…… no, it’s even bigger. They’re equipped with giant hammers and large axes!」
「Those are siege weapons used to destroy fences and gates.」
In no way do they look like a squad meant for field battle, but I guess the enemy is desperate.
Over 2 m tall men wielding enormous weapons come at me.
They’re equipped with gigantic two-handed weapons, wrapped in coarse-looking chains, and wearing a helmet that resembles a can covering their entire head except their eyes.
The pressure exuded by their sheer size and executioner-like appearance overwhelms our allies.
A boost to their morale is required.
「Mack, let’s do this.」
Mack and I stand in front, facing off against the executioner look-alikes.
The irregularly-sized hammer is swung down.
Since two hands are needed to use it, I can easily dodge and slash the man’s vulnerable stomach, but I purposely block with my shield.
A loud clang rang out like the sound of the bell signaling the daytime, and then Celia and the others closed their eyes instinctively.
「……fumu, is that it?」
The impact only pushed my shield back slightly.
Of course, the executioner’s eyes open wide like he can’t believe what happened.
When I return the favor and bash the hammer with my shield, the large man flies backwards.
Mack is also forcibly pushing the executioner to the ground with his warhammer.
As expected, since in terms of strength Mack is even stronger than me.
Once again, the executioner challenges me.
I meet his downward attack with my longsword.
Sparks fly when our preferred weapons clash, and then the executioner’s hammer shatters.
I grab the man by the chains around him with my right hand and lift him up.
He mumbles astoundedly in a low growl.
His weight should be around 150 kg.
「Off you go.」
I throw the big man.
He didn’t fly far because he was so heavy, however he fell head-first and snapped his neck.
It would have been simple for Celia to land on her feet. I guess being heavy has its merits and demerits.
At the same time, Mack also manages to get a hit on the other executioner’s head with his hammer.
「Incredible…… Lord Hardlett is strong.」
「If you stay calm and think, those guys are full of openings. They’re nothing to fear.」
Now the morale of our allies has recovered.
They are quickly finishing off the executioner’s with spears and crossbows.
With Leopolt and Myla also in command, our forces are slowly pushing the enemy back.
I take a step backwards so I can look at the bigger picture and determine where to attack next.
「Enemy general, prepare yourself!」
Celia’s warning alerts me to an incoming spear.
The owner of the spear is a knight wearing red armor unlike the small fry around.
That thrust was dangerously close to hitting me.
The spear is also a nice silver color.
「I’m not done yet!」
The knight retracts the spear so a follow up attack can be performed, a feat which takes considerable skill.
Although not as heavy as a strike from Irijina, it is comparable in speed.
「This is the finisher!」
I falter when dodging the spun spear, allowing an opening for a full-powered thrust.
Failing to evade the sharp thrust―― it gets caught in my left hand instead.
「Yes, your attack is quick, but has no weight behind it.」
Unless such an attack was a surprise, it won’t finish me off.
A prompt yank pulls the spear out of the knight’s hand.
I position my Dual Crater above the blankly staring knight’s head.
Right before my sword reached the downward looking head of the knight resigned to the inevitable outcome, I see long hair spilling out from beneath the helmet and catch a whiff of a sweet scent.
My Dual Crater barely stopped in time.
The blade actually split open the helmet and cut off a few strands of hair.
With a dry clang, the two parts of the helmet fall to the ground.
「You were a woman!? You should have said so in the beginning, I almost cut you!」
The woman was taken aback when I yelled at her, then her face becomes dyed with anger.
「So what if I’m a woman!? I’m a soldier of South Yuguria, whose allegiance is sworn to Her Majesty Wilhelmina, and I’m your enemy!」
Pulling out the knife at her waist, the female soldier assaults me.
「Careful! Let me take care of it!」
I hold out a hand to stop Celia from jumping in and stand in front of the woman myself.
「Die, enemy of the Empire!」
Her knife easily gets deflected by the arm guard on my left hand while my right hand dives into her crotch.
Finding a gap in her armor, my hand squirms into her pants and I insert three fingers in her hole all at once.
Messing around with Sekrit paid off.
I see blood trickling when I pull my fingers out.
「Oops, you were a virgin? Treat this as lesson of war then.」
She drops the dagger and squats down.
「Uuuuu…… my virginity…… I had the resolve…… even so……」
At least I made her lose the will to fight safely.
If she continued to resist, she might have been killed by her own allies.
「How dare you do that to big sis!」
Woah, a sword this time?
It’s a pretty silver sword too.
When I bend my body backwards to avoid the slash, I discover the attacker is another female knight. This one looks to be one size smaller than the first.
「I’m coming to save you now!」
She shouts as she charges again.
Unfortunately, her attack is much lighter and much slower than the first woman’s attack.
「I’ll take that.」
I steal her sword, lift her up and roll her pants down enough to fully expose her ass.
「What are you doing!? Stop thaaat!」
I thought I could demoralize her in the same way, but I guess she’s a little too young.
「How about this?」
I shove two fingers into her ass.
Now she’ll lose her will to fight and will obediently become my prisoner.
「Nhiiih! Don’t…… I was nervous this whole time because this is my first battle…… ah, ah, ah, aaaahーーーーーー!!」
「She peed herself.」
Celia calmly states.
This is a wonderful mess I created.
The small knight slumps to the ground in tears.
No shred of defiance remains in her.
My goal is achieved for now…… I guess.
「I’ll make amends later.」
Let’s leave these two to our allies.
Mack, Celia, and I found the place where the fighting will revolve around.
「If we can take that hill by dawn, the bow cavalry can overlook the enemy and shoot as they please. The enemy won’t be able to remain here!」
Looking closer, I see Myla has taken command of a battle around the hill too.
She must have also figured out the importance of this point.
Reinforcements from the enemy are coming out in droves.
The enemy commander has been properly identified as well.
「Let’s assist Myla and secure that hill.」
I want to get to her as soon as possible, but I can’t relax when the night limits visibility so much that enemies can be hiding anywhere.
I cut down one of them.
Celia slashes at the feet of another, then stabs the fallen soldier to finish him off.
Mack crushes the head of yet another with his warhammer.
Sekrit severs the arms of an enemy soldier with her swords, then severs the man’s legs while she’s at it, and leaves him to die.
「When did she……」
She found her way behind us in this chaos.
Oh well, she’s good with swords so I’m sure she’ll be a good help.
「Myla, I’m here to assist.」
Myla smiles happily.
The commanding officers around her also cheer.
「Ooh, Lord Hardlett has arrived.」
「Our victory is practically assured!」
I don’t know if she unconsciously let her guard down when we get praised but Celia doesn’t realize the enemy behind her.
The enemy’s sword grazes Celia’s shoulder.
It was a shallow wound which the enemy intends to add on to.
Celia hastily holds her sword up in defense.
It ends up being unnecessary as my body automatically takes action, jumping in from the side and slicing off the enemy soldier’s dominant arm.
「I’m fine! It’s a minor scratch!」
Celia pleads her case that she’s still in good shape, except I can only focus on the blood staining her clothes.
My vision instantly turns red.
「You hurt my cute Celia…… unforgivable…… absolutely unforgivable.」
I grab the legs of the fallen soldier who lost his arm.
This guy seems to be the lead so a few others are following behind.
They’re all equally guilty.
I swing the man’s body at the other incoming soldiers.
He’s being treated like an abnormal warhammer.
My swings come from above to crush my enemies and then from the side to knock them away.
「This is absurd…… Lord Hardlett goes crazy when a woman gets injured?」
「How frightening…… it’s not any different to the rumors.」
You guys, be quiet.
I hear Sekrit’s laughter as well, although it doesn’t matter to me now.
When I smash the final enemy, my human warhammer seems to have gotten lighter.
I look over and see that the soldier’s body has torn apart, leaving only his legs in my grip.
Celia’s not too badly injured so I guess I can let them off.
That guy’s head and body flew off somewhere.
If I rely on my anger to fight, I tend to make more careless mistakes.
Taking a deep breath, my eyes happen to find Sekrit facing off against an enemy.
The enemy is attacking her and she’s merely blocking.
Don’t tell me she’s struggling.
「Kuh, I got hit.」
To my surprise, the enemy’s sword cuts Sekrit in the thigh.
Thankfully it was a small nick, however it’s the stream of blood on her dark-skinned thigh that sets me off.
Once again, my vision turns red.
「She did it on purpose! That’s definitely done on purpose!」
Celia’s voice seems far off in the distance.
I let out another animalistic roar and lift up the enemy over my head.
「You hurt my Sekrit!」
I snap the enemy in half by bending him too far in the opposite direction.
Blood leaks out from the deceased man’s mouth, anus, and the crack in his body.
「Sekrit, are you okay?」
「It’s only a scratch. ……pfft, that wasn’t bad.」
I’m relieved they’re both okay, but they have to be more careful.
If you girls got hurt, I wouldn’t be happy even if we won.
Mack was the next to grunt.
An arrow apparently struck him in the shoulder.
「You alive? You’re a pretty big guy so you’re an easy target. Be careful.」
Let’s get back to fighting.
We help out Myla’s squad by rampaging wildly.
We defeat a tenacious enemy unit and take out the commander at the head of the army.
When the morale of our soldiers start darkening, we pick a big fight to encourage them, and push the enemy back again.
Myla commanding well at the head of her army and then Leopolt mobilizing the reinforcements at the optimal timing gradually tilts the battle in our favor.
A crack of light appears on the horizon to start brightening the sky and by that time most of the hill is in our hands.
Our bow cavalry is on standby and ready to rain down arrows on the enemy when the sun clears up the field of vision.
The end is near.
「Infantry, go rout the enemy left wing! Just one more push. If we fend off this counterattack, we can drive off the enemy!」
Myla wipes the sweat off her forehead as she yells her order.
Her dignified voice rouses me to fight harder on the frontlines.
I find a chance to take a breath and our eyes happen to meet.
Myla, while her face is dirty and stained with blood, nods and gives me her best smile, feeling that our victory is all but guaranteed.
At that time, I feel my face tense up.
I shout as loud as I can, but my voice gets drowned out by the background noise.
Myla notices my mouth move and smiles, her body acting on its own.
「No need to worry! I won’t be done in by something of this level!」
Myla deflects the spear aimed up at her on horseback with her shield, then finishes off the enemy with a nicely timed counterattack.
That’s not it.
I’m not worried about that guy.
I run to her while pushing aside enemy and ally alike.
There’s no way I make it in time though.
One enemy makes his way through to Myla’s side.
He was most likely remarkably desperate to get this far through all the jostling.
A sword is swung in passing.
Fresh blood gushes out from Myla’s neck.
More was spilled this time than when Celia and Sekrit got hurt.
Myla holds her hand to her neck, looking at my face as she slowly falls off her horse.