Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi Chapter 357
An army heads south on the maintained road.
Me and the troops I’m leading are also included in that army.
「What impressive numbers.」
The Libatis army actually reaches a total of 100 000.
Excluding the losses from the ambush at the start of hostilities, this can be considered their entire force.
As proof, Brian, the Secretary of Defense, is personally commanding the army and Jim, the commander of the capital’s defense is also in the ranks of that army.
「Even the standing army has been mobilized.」
Exactly as Myla pointed out, one group of soldiers is unlike the others and clearly appears less skilled.
「Adding our army to the total, we are 120 000 strong.」
Not counting the deceased and heavily injured sent back home, we have around 16 000.
That number should be equivalent to South Yuguria’s army or possibly greater.
I can’t seem to shake this bad feeling in my mind for some reason.
Let me ask Irijina to quell the unease.
「This fight is as good as won! No need to worry! Those guys are done for!」
There, I think a little of my unease has disappeared.
「I think we would have had 150 000 if citizens were conscripted as soon as war broke out.」
I hear a cold voice from behind me.
Damn Leopolt, after Irijina calmed me down too.
「The only ones we could draft are the citizens of the standing army who were prepared in advance. Indiscriminately sending people to the battlefield is out of the question!」
Jim glares at Leopolt.
He has an indifferent face though.
「…… people in the reserve army who dislike combat have been deserting though.」
According to Jim, that is also against the law in Libatis, but the problem is being left alone at the moment due to a lack of time to investigate and chase after the runaways.
「Besides, capturing them and sending them to war by force isn’t a good look either. If that is done……」
「He’ll lose the next election too……」
After finishing Brian’s sentence, he smiles wryly, although his face reflects the whirlpool of emotions he is currently feeling.
There’s no point in an election after you lose a war though.
「If only Goldonia’s reinforcement makes it on time.」
David chimes in.
「I’m very sorry about that.」
Erich contacted me saying he cannot send any reinforcements yet.
He is continuing to persuade the King, who is adamantly maintaining his passive stance.
Apparently, the King’s birthday is near and he will be taking a vacation at a picturesque location within the nation in commemoration. Which means, reinforcements will be sent after that, if they get sent at all.
The King was never very concerned about his own birthday in the past and all we would do was wish him a happy birthday.
Any excessive gifts or celebration would be deemed meaningless and his mood would be ruined.
In the letter Erich wrote, he ambiguously explained how the King is probably using his birthday as an excuse to take the girl he is infatuated with……Rosario on an excursion.
I can understand how the King must be feeling.
If I wanted to take my girls on a vacation and Leopolt brought up something about war, I would get pissed off too.
Which is why I can’t complain.
「In any case, we are not behind in terms of numbers. Now, the enemy is split up into the western army, southern army and eastern army. It goes without saying we will destroy each army individually if possible, and if they attack us head on, that’s exactly what we want. While I’m somewhat worried about how their cavalry have not made any moves recently…… we will just have to speed up the pace of our march and give them no time to set-up any tricks.」
Brian and the others probably have lots to do, so I leave them to it.
「What is your opinion on the Libatis army?」
As soon as I distance myself from them, Leopolt asks the question.
Again, he says it like he’s testing me.
「Their armor is fine, but they have too little cavalry. Each squad has an excessive amount of archers and crossbowmen. It doesn’t look like a composition fit to do battle on the field.」
The soldiers are all equipped with either iron or steel armor.
Their swords and bows are first-rate weapons and their proficiency in wielding such weapons is decent.
They might be usable in actual combat however their inclination towards a single branch of army makes things difficult.
「Well spotted. I would add that the few cavalry they have are mostly light cavalry meant for scouting, meaning there isn’t a large enough of a force to clash with the enemy head-on.」
This might mean we have an increase in responsibility.
「The mid-sized and small cities along the way had walls, ballistae and turrets set up on the perimeter. I believe that would cost a ridiculous amount of money.」
Jim mentioned that the military budget had been reduced since White became President.
With such defenses installed on top of that, Libatis can’t afford more cavalry despite being rather affluent.
「So, what do you think?」
I pass the vague question to Leopolt.
This isn’t because I can’t think of a specific question to ask or because I thinking is too troublesome, I just want to test him back and see how he answers.
「I have found three positive points. The first is the equipment and skill of the soldiers as well as quality of commanders being sufficient enough to fight alongside us.」
Good. Leopolt is giving his assurance.
「Second is their proper securing of logistics, which also benefits by expanding their land.」
Food gets delivered like normal even when we have left the city.
「Lastly is regarding their concentration of forces. If we were to collide with them head-on, it would be difficult to defeat them.」
So does that mean this operation will go smoothly?
「I also have three negative points. First is their current position. The enemy is divided into three armies in three different directions, which can also be seen as the makings of an encirclement.」
We don’t know where they will come from after all.
「Second is their lack of mobility. Since the enemy has cavalry, the initiative of choosing where and when the battle starts always lies with them.」
Yeah, this army marches pretty slowly.
It can’t be helped when infantry wearing heaving metal armor make up most of the troops.
「Finally and most importantly is the difference in intelligence. Judging by what happened in Melisbark, the enemy seems to have a considerably detailed and accurate grasp of the inner workings in Libatis. Comparatively, our allies don’t have any information on South Yuguria.」
Leopolt turns to the marching ranks.
「Naturally the cities and the capital Tortoent will have enemy spies, but I expect some may also be hidden within the army.」
We can’t hunt for spies at this point.
「So what’s your conclusion? Will we win or lose?」
Leopolt closes his eyes for the shortest second before making his declaration.
「Our likelihood of victory is approximately 20%. Please excuse me as I prepare a plan to limit our own losses during our escape.」
You could have just lied and said a higher percent chance.
How inflexible are you?
Look, the bow cavalry girl beside us is anxious now.
「Don’t worry. I’ll come save you if needed.」
I take the girl’s hand and stare into her eyes.
「I-I’m not scared at all. I believe in the chief!」
The apprehension doesn’t disappear from her eyes so I guide her hand to my crotch.
「What do you feel?」
「I-it’s big. As expected of the great chief……」
Her eyes begin to moisten.
「Now that I’m relaxed, the depths of my stomach is getting hot…… um…… err……」
「The next break is coming soon. We can look for a spot to rest――」
She grabs my sleeve and I notice her breathing get heavier.
「The grass over there is fine. I don’t mind if we get seen.」
One hour passed by extremely meaningfully.
「Thank you very much.」
The naked bow cavalry girl politely expresses her gratitude.
Even though her legs are still weak from the sex, she desperately maintains proper posture.
「I thank the great chief for taking my virginity…… and for letting out his seed into my insignificant hole.」
The mountain nation have an uncommon amount of respect towards their chief and this is what usually happens when I embrace them.
I’m the one who should be grateful, since I was offered such a toned body and even her precious virginity.
「I’m really honored that the chief penetrated me. Now I can brag to my parents and siblings.」
No need to deliberately compare.
The girl and I had consensual sex which will likely result in a pregnancy in a few months. That’s it.
「Where did Commander Hardlett! go?」
Crap, that’s Brian’s voice.
I can’t answer while I’m naked.
As if reading my thoughts, Celia jumps out from a nearby bush.
Could she have been peeking this whole time?
「Don’t worry about that. Now hurry and put your clothes back on.」
Celia helps me get dressed.
The bow cavalry girl bends her waist one more time before taking her leave.
「There you are! A report has come in from the scouting unit saying they encountered an enemy squad to the south and are engaging them. I want Commander Hardlett and your irreplaceable cavalry to sortie immediately.」
David supplements the report.
「We will also be preparing for a full scale attack soon, however it will be after tomorrow before we make contact with the enemy. There’s a chance the enemy will retreat when they see our forces. We want you to threaten the enemy from the flank and obstruct their movements.」
That’s the reason I came in the first place so I can’t just refuse.
「Fight for justice!」
Jim performs a neat salute.
I give a slight nod in acknowledgement of their order.
I lead mainly the bow cavalry towards the enemy, somehow managing to make contact before the sun went down.
As usual, the bow cavalry showed off their specialty of shooting on horseback and it didn’t take long for us to overrun the enemy.
After mere minutes, the enemy scattered.
Even I could tell something was off here.
「There is―― only a thousand! The enemy only has a thousand here!」
Celia and I look at each other.
We expected 30 000 and got 1000 instead.
Only two developments can follow a weak bait like this.
「We are not being surrounded. There is no place for the soldiers to hide.」
Leopolt replies almost at the same time I asked.
「That means the main force behind us?」
Leopolt is calm now that he knows I’m not being targeted.
「We’re going back. Reorganize the troops.」
As we regroup, a messenger with a horrified face comes rushing over.
「A night raid on the main force in the tens of thousands――! They exploited the opening during our transition to a full scale attack and everything is in chaos!」
Furthermore, a scout which Leopolt deployed to the south returned with such urgency his horse is foaming at the mouth.
「A large enemy force is approaching behind the enemy we just defeated! 30 000 or so, they’re marching north in attack formation!」
Leopolt calmly gives instructions to speed up preparations.
「The army who ambushed the main force is the western army we fought in Melisbark and the army coming towards us is the southern army.」
「So we walked right into their hands?」
What I’ve been feeling this entire war is the overall excellence of the enemy commanders.
「Not to mention we can only trace the movements of the cavalry and eastern army through speculation.」
There are so many factors to worry about.
Nevertheless, we have to get back to headquarters first.
This is looking like a long and arduous battle.
When we arrived at the headquarters, everyone was scrambling.
「Maintain the spear line! Archers, what are you doing?」
「We don’t have a good line of sight to fire! Hold the line with just the infantry!」
「Don’t run into the middle of the enemy. Circle from the right and break up their numerical superiority.」
「Cavalry detour in a clockwise direction. We’re going to shift the front of the enemy.」
「They’re going to partially surround us, send more troops to the right wing!」
「Cavalry won’t catch up in time! It doesn’t matter if you shoot blind, just fire your arrows and stop their movement!」
Perhaps it is because of the disorganized ranks or the poor visibility at night, but the supposedly overwhelming numbers of the Libatis army are struggling.
「Their composition is terrible too…… archers are practically useless in a night battle.」
The battlefield has become a jumbled melee between ally and enemy, and the only way to participate is to dive straight in.
Everything will be over if the headquarters falls so I guess I’ll reinforce the center.
「Going to the middle is correct. Carelessly running on the side risks being shot accidentally by our own allies.」
Leopolt nods as if grading my response as we rush into the chaotic fray where Brian is.
Schwartz tramples over a few people as he carries me forward, I’m not sure if they were friend or foe.
In such darkness and panic, I wouldn’t be able to tell anyways so I shouldn’t be too concerned.
Thinking in simple terms, I just have to kill everyone who runs at me.
If they happen to be allies who are turning their backs on the enemy, that just means they were unlucky.
「Heavy cavalry have appeared!」
「How formidable. Find some way to drag them down!」
Me and the escort squad charge straight into the enemy lines to create havoc.
Well, I can’t go completely wild and swing my longsword all over the place, so I hold it horizontally like a spear and run through people on my horse.
Sticking out my two meter longsword is almost the same as thrusting a spear anyways.
I make it a priority to aim for those giving out orders and those who dress different than the others as they are probably commanders.
Those who block my path and those who bother me somehow also get killed along the way.
「We won’t fall behind.」
「Push back the enemy.」
「Christoph got hit!」
My escort squad fights hard as well.
The difference in strength between my heavy cavalry and the enemy infantry is still quite evident in this free-for-all
More so when unhindered by a focus fire of arrows or an anti-cavalry spear line.
The enemy was able to push back Libatis with help from the surprise attack, so they have no advantage on us, having charged separately from the main force in the beginning.
Pressure lets up in the center, allowing our headquarters to temporarily catch their breath and transition to counterattack.
For now, we’ve foiled the enemy’s plan to settle the fight with the ambush alone.
「Commander Hardlett! Glad to have――」
I interrupt Brian before he could finish.
「Tens of thousands more are coming from the south. We’re going to fight at dawn too.」
Brian and David look at each other, and then give new orders.
However, the things they can do at this point are pretty limited.
「Leopolt, what is the situation like?」
There was no delay in his answer.
「We are equal in the center, losing on the left wing and on the brink of collapsing on the right wing.」
「Where should we go?」
Normally, wouldn’t it be the right wing where the situation is most dire?
「We should move to the left wing. It is difficult to save the right wing itself, but by providing a threat to surround the enemy on the right wing from the left, we can effectively save both sides.」
「Then let’s do that.」
Irijina and Gido step forward.
Celia adheres to my side.
Myla will be wrapped in a blanket and left next to Leopolt.
To be safe, I cover her head with my cloak.
Preparations are complete.
A big reason why the left wing, which has the same thickness in terms of battle ranks as the almost collapsing right wing, is hanging on is because Jim and his defense force is standing at the front.
Jim wields a large shield and large sword―― both of which require two hands to hold, in each hand instead.
He kicks away an enemy soldier.
He knocks back the enemy who attempts to dodge.
To finish him off, Jim delivers a flying headbutt.
「Oh, you came back!」
When Jim sees me, he shouts to his soldiers.
「Hey, reinforcements have finally arrived! Justice always prevails!」
「Let us show off the defense force’s real power!」
Jim’s squad cheers. My squad also joins the battle and pushes the enemy back.
Morale returns to the other squads on the left wing and they also start to fight better.
「More reinforcements are arriving from the middle!」
Brian is continuing to send more troops our way.
Even so, the enemy persists in their attack.
They don’t give up despite the difference in strength between us widening slowly and also losing the desire to defeat the left wing.
「In the name of Her Majesty, the queen!」
「There is no retreat. It is either victory or death!」
I line up beside Leopolt and stare at the battlefield with a troubled expression.
「They’re not going down.」
The commanders shouting aside, I didn’t expect the lower-ranked soldiers to continue fighting regardless of their allies falling down left and right.
Is this a normal occurrence in the South Yuguria Empire?
「Wahahahaha! Here we go!」
「…… handling idiots is easy.」
That was when Irijina and Sekrit charged forward.
I quickly follow after Irijina, but she rampages through the enemy lines.
「Around here or…… over there.」
Sekrit precedes Irijina, suddenly advancing forward to engage with an enemy cavalry.
In that moment, blood sprays out from the enemy soldier’s neck and his head slowly slides to the ground.
「Corps commander is dead――! He’s dead――!」
「Deputy commander will take over!」
Unexpectedly, the enemy falls into disarray.
「We can’t find where he is in this melee!」
「He’s being treated for an injury! What about Captain Nurfuks――」
Neither Leopolt or I am kind enough to let this chance slip.
A full scale attack commences as the enemy’s chain of command is out of sorts, finally forcing the enemy to retreat.
「Fall back――! Everyone, fall back――!」
Seeing the enemy withdraw, I give the order to pursue.
Two seconds later, Leopolt amends the order.
「Don’t chase, detour around to the rear of the enemy on the right wing. Threaten them with the possibility of an encirclement.」
He makes a good point, it just doesn’t sit well with me.
I rip out three strands of Schwartz’s mane.
Although it annoys me, Leopolt’s command was on the mark and the circling of our forces easily scares the enemy into retreating.
「That was quick.」
「After the entire offensive has been halted, there is no meaning for the right wing to continue persevering. Cutting their losses is the correct decision here.」
The crisis has been averted for now, but the real battle is yet to come.
A few hours are left until dawn and another large army will come from the south when the sky brightens.
If possible, I want to move to a more advantageous terrain……
「We probably don’t have the luxury.」
Sekrit comes back with a sneer, covered in the blood of her victims.
She did a good job, so I go to pat her head…… it makes her turn emotionless. I guess she’s different from Celia.
As she said, Brian and Jim are flying about trying to reorganize their respective armies.
Any kind of movement cannot be done before dawn.
「It’ll be fine! The enemy will be coming at us one army at a time! Let’s just defeat each of them!」
Celia is fired up.
「In this case, they will probably come in waves instead of a successive attack.」
Leopolt destroys that enthusiasm.
This man really doesn’t know how to read people’s emotions.
「Anyways, we have a tough fight ahead of us. Get some rest.」
More attacks are sure to come.
It will be easier to see when the sun is out, although the fighting will be fiercer.
And then day breaks.
「So we have over 30 000 who participated in the night raid and then 30 000 coming from the south―― huh?」
「We are still superior in numbers……」
Brian and Jim look glum.
That is all of the enemy’s visible forces, but the whereabouts of the enemy’s cavalry are unknown.
If those 20 000 cavalry decides to show up here, not much of our advantage will be left.
「Is there a chance they circle to the back?」
I felt like I should say something.
「Defense forces have been left in the major cities. It won’t be easy for cavalry to break through alone.」
「If the main army loses, they would actually be isolated. Ignoring this fight to take an excursion is not possible.」
Then that’s fine.
Our war council does not proceed any further.
To begin with, the enemy is staring at us in the face on the plains before us, so there’s no need to plan or anything.
The enemy, likely thinking the same, quickly makes a move.
Our meaningless war council is halted at the sound of the lookout’s voice.
Brian and David shout orders at their armies, Jim roars passionately.
When I glance over at Leopolt, he nods to indicate he has no problems.
In times like these, this guy is nice and quiet.
He proceeds to whisper in my ear.
「I have already secured the route for an emergency escape.」
Don’t say something unlucky.
Because my morale dropped, I take off Celia’s hat and ruffle her hair.
「Aaah! I spent a lot of time setting it in place!」
Good, I’ve recovered.
Libatis’s army and South Yuguria’s army collide at the same time.
The enemy’s formation is slightly pointed in the middle while our ally’s formation is slighted caved in to accommodate.
Arrows fly, a small amount of cavalry charge forward, infantry try to detour around, squads intercept each other and fight, and then separate.
「It’s a normal fight.」
I casually mutter.
「90% of the enemy’s moves are by the book. Although it is noticeable, a clever scheme can’t be used.」
Leopolt is right.
It was the same during the siege in Melisbark. The enemy has a fundamentally orthodox way of fighting.
「And when those guys choose to respond in a similar orthodox manner, they get crushed by an ingenious plan.」
「Don’t speak like it’s somebody else’s problem.」
Leopolt peeks at me without saying anything.
Everyone besides us are unrelated, but I know what you’re saying.
「The current state of battle isn’t bad. Nobody in the front is taking a single step back, attempts at detours are all blocked, and cavalry charges are repelled with ease.」
When Myla comments on her horse, I quickly wrap her up in a blanket.
「Gosh, I’m already healed so you don’t have to wrap me up like a fragile object!」
I still worry.
「Jim was right when he said Brian is skilled. It doesn’t look like they can get past our defenses.」
Purposely not leaving for an offensive must have been consideration for the troops’ fatigue from last night’s ambush.
Despite a valiant effort from the enemy, our numbers and defenses don’t look close to falling.
「Archers, volley fire! Loose!」
「Don’t lose to them! Fire back!」
In response to the enemy’s concentrated shooting, shields are propped up to minimize any significant effect.
Rather, it seems our counterattack produced more casualties on the enemy side.
「To the middle. Follow me――」
「Don’t break formation. Crossbows, line up!」
Daring cavalry charges get stopped by a forest of spears.
And once their feet stop moving, they are sitting ducks for the crossbowmen.
「Detour to the right. Get to the rear!」
「Send the reserve army. Obstruct their path.」
Both squads collide.
Unable to complete their detour, the enemy gives up and pulls back.
「They’re having a hard time too.」
At this rate, all these fruitless attacks will exhaust them.
A chance to attack will be born from that.
「Forcing their way through with a frontal attack is difficult. If a scheme is going to be used, now is the time.」
As if following a script, the enemy as a whole withdrew slightly.
Our allies suddenly become livelier, but Brian doesn’t go on the attack.
He probably determined that three hours since the start of battle at dawn wasn’t enough to tire out the soldiers.
「Let’s see, are they switching out another army? Some ugly looking guys have come out.」
Appearing on the front lines are soldiers wearing simple armor…… no, they’re in plain clothes.
With mismatching heights and scattered formation, they seem like militia gathered from a random village.
「They aren’t holding any weapons.」
Gido comments curiously.
Our allies cautiously prop up their shields and aim their crossbows when the unarmed enemy squad approaches……
「Blaze squad, fire!」
Several dozen flames assail our allies.
In an instant, both soldier and shield get engulfed by fire, causing them to roll on the ground.
「I don’t see catapults anywhere!」
More fire rains down on the heads of the confused soldiers.
「Uwaaa! What the heck is going on!?」
Our ally soldiers start falling apart.
Archers step up to provide support.
「Gale squad, ready!」
At the same time, the enemy archers loose their arrows in unison―― with that said, they were shooting at a distance they couldn’t reach, however……
「What’s that range!?」
The arrows fired by the enemy archers swerved in a different direction when they reached the airspace above the suspicious enemy squad, then rained down at our ally archers with more speed.
It was a volley from a range beyond that of archers.
Not to mention the arrows were as powerful as if they were fired from close range, easily penetrating leather armor.
「Magic users. I’m impressed at how many were gathered with a usable level.」
Magic users are already pretty scarce, and the number which can contribute positively to a battle are even smaller.
Now we’re seeing enough magic users that can grouped according to their respective elements, very impressive.
「Create a wall of fire!」
Several magic users walk forward while emitting fire.
The magnitude of the magic cleared the way of any ally soldiers.
「Quite powerful, but I feel Alice’s magic is much stronger.」
「I believe wind from the magic users behind them are fanning the flames. ……like what happened this morning.」
She must be referring to that incident.
I sneezed with Gido roasting potatoes on a campfire right in front of me, which blew the flames higher and caused him to be covered in soot.
「Our allies are gradually falling into a state of panic.」
I’m sure this is their first time seeing such a large number of magic users after all.
An excellent scheme on the enemy’s part.
「Leopolt, what would you do?」
「Simply charge right at them.」
Leopolt points at the disorganized ally soldiers.
「Sure, their magic is flashy, but not many soldiers got injured if you actually count. I think it’s nothing more than a smokescreen. If you close the distance without being overly concerned about losses, you can easily defeat them. Even if they aren’t completely defeated, they won’t be able to launch magic when the fight is brought to them.」
It’s still a fact that our allies are a mess right now though.
If they are ordered to charge, I doubt they can move properly.
At this rate, a powerful barrage might follow the smokescreen.
I leave my longsword behind and jump onto Schwartz’s back.
This time I draw my Dual Crater which is the best at dealing with magic.
「We’re the rearguard now?」
「I’ll get permission later.」
I don’t think it will matter if just the escort squad and I move out on our own.
Leaving the conversation there, I urge Schwartz to run.
As usual, the escort squad hurries to follow me.
「A new enemy!」
「Heavy cavalry? Haha, fools. They’re nothing more than targets.」
The enemy aims at us.
「A pure black flag and a large black horse…… could the guy in the front be……」
「A demon clothed in black……」
「The demon of Melisbark!」
For some reason, the enemy is making a fuss.
「Everyone aim for the one in front! Concentrate all your magic on him!」
「Stop him no matter what! We’ll somehow manage the rest!」
The enemy magic users cast their spells on me.
Most of them are fire spells.
「Isn’t that overkill!?」
I don’t mind taking the spells in place of Celia or Sekrit, but also giving me Gido’s and Christoph’s shares is unfair.
Schwartz wiggles his body like he’s also saying it’s my fault.
Regardless, the magic doesn’t stop so I swing my Dual Crater.
A lot of the fire actually flies toward me accurately.
There are also spells which miss, although I’m sure the wind magic users can redirect them to me like they did with the arrows earlier.
「I have to defeat them.」
My Dual Crater sweeps through the incoming fireballs.
I can feel the distinct impact on my sword as the blade of my Dual Crater slices the fireballs in half.
「Our magic disappeared?」
One of the male magic users stares in disbelief with his mouth hanging open.
「Don’t think, just shoot him!」
I thrust my sword at another blast to disperse the magic energy, then split apart the fire coming at me like a wall.
I also cut down an icicle which seemed like it would hurt if it hits me, and finally deflect a wind-guided fireball with my shield.
My dragonscale shield was made using a steel furnace so it’s extremely resistant to heat.
However it doesn’t dissipate magic like my Dual Crater does, so the embers which scatter on impact with the shield are hot enough to hurt.
Schwartz glares at me.
Alright, I’ll try using my Dual Crater to block more, so be good and run.
「Magic doesn’t work!?」
「He erased the magic…… no, he ate it! He’s a real demon!」
A wall of fire is deployed by three yelling magic users.
It may be as ferocious as the fire I saw in Melisbark, but it’s still ultimately magic.
With a powerful swing from my Dual Crater, the fire fades away like it was an illusion.
「You’re in range of my sword.」
A grin appears on my face as my Dual Crater decapitates two magic users.
When that guy tries to escape, I kick him from horseback, slamming him into the ground.
With how lightly armored he is, that should be enough.
「Run all over the place」
I leave Schwartz with that simple instruction and cut down the magic user in front of me.
「O-oh spirit of flames――」
I kick one right in the face as he forms some sort of hand sign.
「Gusting winds, blow like a whirlwind――」
I chop off the head of another along with his favorite staff.
「Spear of ice, show your power!」
「Are you stupid?」
I knock away the incoming ice shard and answer by stabbing his throat with my Dual Crater.
This is my first time fighting a squad of magic users, and it’s going surprisingly smoothly.
I don’t have to worry about any attacks beside magic, getting close enough to attack them is like a fatal blow, and I can pretty much know what type of attack is coming based on their chanting.
「O Great Earth, release your anger in the form of a rock!」
Cracks form in the ground and a stone flies out…… though not high enough to reach Schwartz, who lands on top of the magic user and crushes him.
I actually wanted to try using magic myself, but I’ll have to reconsider if it’s going to be as useless as this.
Wait, Alice doesn’t need a staff or chanting when she uses magic.
Maybe I can get her to teach me.
I hear the simultaneous chanting of two magic users.
Nothing happens when I turn around.
My body reactively swings my Dual Crater when the slight sensation of a breeze brushes against my cheek.
A small clink sound was made as if something hit my sword, and then wind scatters.
「It should have been an invisible blade of wind……」
I remember getting hit by a similar magic like this before.
The hand of another magic user glows.
I hold up my Dual Crater in his direction.
Almost instantly, lightning strikes the tip of my sword and then dissipates.
「M-my lightning bolt……」
I also remember getting hit by something similar way back when.
If I recall, it was way more powerful than the one I just cancelled out.
「Don’t falter! Surround him with the entire squad and then launch a barrage of spells!」
Ordering the entire squad means that he must be the commander.
I use his voice as a guideline and throw my Dual Crater at him.
「Kakah! How foolish of you to throw your weapon, my wind magic will deflect something like that!」
The nearly-elderly man swings his staff to release his magic.
His magic is definitely more powerful than the others I’ve faced so far.
Unfortunately, the swirling winds did not alter the trajectory of my Dual Crater at all, and the blade proceeded to sink deep into the old man’s chest.
「The sage got hit!」
「He’s a demon! A real demon!」
Here is when the magic squad finally starts to run.
「Magic squad fall back! Infantry, stop that guy!」
Spear-wielding infantry swap places with the magic users.
These opponents are way more troublesome to deal with.
No incantation is needed to thrust a spear after all.
「I won’t let you!」
At that moment, my escort squad comes running in.
However, it seems to have been within the enemy’s expectations.
「The remaining magic users will stop the other heavy cavalry! Magic should be effective against everyone except the demon!」
The magic users cast spells directed at the escort unit.
Mainly fire magic bombarded the cavalry, causing sounds of explosions and neighing to resound in the air.
Crap, more than a few might have gotten hit.
「We did it!」
「Next is the demon! Stop him no matter what!」
A small cheer leaks from the magic users’ mouths.
When the smoke cleared, the escort squad looked unharmed.
「I see…… it’s the armor. The dragon equipment protected them.」
Not only is the dragon skin armor light and durable, it’s also resistant to heat.
The skin is capable of withstanding countless hours in the hearth and only requires a light washing to return to normal condition.
Moreover, I’m thankful that the attack is magic-based.
If oil was used, the human body won’t survive even if the armor does.
Magic won’t burn for an endless amount of time so surviving the initial heat is enough.
This reminds me of the time Alice was practicing her magic and accidentally hit the sleeping Pochi with it.
She has formidable magic so I was sure Pochi would turn into roast lizard. However, when I was going to try and make it a tasty lizard at least, Pochi simply walks away tearfully with no scratches.
This and that are probably not related.
Celia, with a somewhat soot-stained face, gives the order to charge again.
「N-not a single one got burnt……」
「Demons…… they’re an army of demons――!」
What came afterwards added to an already desperate situation.
Pipi, who also has some soot on her face, instructs her mount Pochi.
「What is that thing!?」
Pochi opens its mouth to roar, and then a few seconds later, fire also shoots out.
Rather than burn, it is more accurate to say that the flames melt anything they touch.
Not an ounce of residue remains of the magic user.
「An army of demons led by a demon……」
「A demonic dragon……」
Who are you calling a demon?
And mistaking a lizard for a dragon, it seems this guy has lost his mind.
The magic users prepare to flee after their spirits get crushed, the infantry can’t hide their shock either, and both groups gradually get taken out by my escort squad.
Now the battle seems to have devolved into a slaughter.
「How many casualties do we have?」
「None! ……well, Christoph’s horse stood up on its hind legs and flung him off, knocking him unconscious. So one, I guess……」
Celia glares at the prostrating Christoph.
Him getting knocked out can pretty much be counted as no damage.
And so we thoroughly massacred the magic squad until the enemy reinforcements came.
Considering how rare magic users are, we can rule out future attacks of the same type.
Seeing us crush the magic squad, the Libatis army’s morale also recovered, bringing the battle to a standstill once again.
The fighting would continue until evening, and ended when both sides exhausted themselves at the same time the sun set.
After that, a vicious cycle of defense and offense would repeat itself until the morning of the fifth day, where our regular war council took place.
「Reporting, the enemy has changed their formation to a wide left-to-right deployment.」
Brian and the others nod.
Nothing in particular changed.
「Reporting, a small enemy night raid squad tried to detour and is now starting to engage with our left wing.」
I also nod.
It was an expected occurrence.
「Reporting, there will be a delay in the arrival of supplies. We are currently in the process of confirming.」
David makes a bitter face, though it isn’t anything rare on the battlefield.
Rather, it would be praiseworthy if such a thing happened on schedule every time.
「Alright, guess we’re in for another full day of battle today.」
It was right when I stood up and pat Celia on the head.
「Reporting in! An enemy squad suddenly appeared on the north road――」
Our eyes follow the mentioned location on the map.
The place is directly behind us.
Everyone freezes in place.
Did they circle around us at night?
I don’t think they slipped through our surveillance, and the enemy in front of us hasn’t decreased.
Someone must be sent urgently to eliminate them.
「30 000! A terrifying amount of carts and the symbol of the enemy’s eastern army flag have been confirmed! It’s the enemy’s eastern army that circled behind us!」
According to the map, the enemy eastern army should be far off to the southeast of us.
To actually be just north of us…… what’s going on here?
「Check the details immed――」
David’s words were silenced by an earth-rumbling sound rising from the enemy lines.
「The enemy is making a move! This is…… a full scale attack, it’s a full scale attack!」
「Don’t tell me, this was all planned……?」
「Did they aim for this from the very beginning and lead us to this place……」
Now we’re in trouble.
I wrap Myla in layers of blankets out of concern, and once again she protests.