Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi Chapter 378
Having a major blow dealt to their right wing, the enemy decided to temporarily distance themselves from Zan Dora and regroup.
On the other hand, with minimal damage and Leopolt’s ability, we were able to reorganize our army quickly.
And now, after confirming the sun has set, we slowly start to take action.
Leopolt declared right at the end of battle that a night attack would come soon.
「The enemy’s objective, after defeating us, is to capture Zan Dora. Not only have they achieved neither, they lost a large portion of their forces.」
The battlefield is littered with corpses of enemy soldiers. It is definitely not an insignificant number.
「Beating us is not the only reason why the enemy sent such a big army, they want to move from Zan Dora to Rafen, then hope to invade Goldonia from the east. In other words, the enemy does not have time or troops to waste. They will try to defeat us with a forceful method if they have to.」
「There just so happens to be a new moon today.」
Myla and Luna strain their eyes in the darkness in the direction of the enemy.
They can’t seem to see anything.
「South Yuguria’s army will move rationally. A night attack might be irrational considering their casualties and fatigue of their soldiers, however it’s a rational tactic when looking at the bigger picture.」
In any case, it appears there will be a night attack.
If they’re coming, we will have to defend.
Dismounted bow cavalry and infantry are taken out of the campgrounds slowly.
Of course, torches are not being used.
Not much has changed several kilometers away from Zan Dora, where the enemy base is.
Naturally they are not going to attack us with torches lit.
「Will they really come? If nothing happens, then we will unnecessarily exhaust the soldiers.」
The one who answers my whispered question directed towards Leopolt is Brynhildr.
「Come, you mean those fools covered in black cloth and sneaking around?」
Brynhildr’s red eyes narrow slightly and she points to a particular spot with her finger.
I can’t see anything besides darkness though.
「Prepare for attack.」「Get ready.」「Wahaha―― mmgh!」「Please keep quiet!」
At the same time, the shoulders of the archers are tapped and something is whispered to them.
「That woman was sent over there.」
Kifil, who was assigned to monitor me, followed along.
To a vampire’s eyes, a night with a new moon is as bright as day.
By the way, Kifil told me her name on her hands and knees…… when I asked her as I was kicking her roughly.
Brynhildr seems to have ordered her not to say anything unless I treated her violently.
So that means I have to hit Kifil whenever I want to do something? How troublesome.
I hear a quiet order.
The sound of bowstrings being pulled taut and then released tells me arrows were fired.
「Gyaa.」「Gueh.」「Don’t make a sound…… calm down.」
I think I heard someone’s voice.
No enemy rushed out though.
「Did we miss?」
I ask Brynhildr.
「No, most landed roughly where they are. Several of them died too…… Hmph, this is a surprise. They are changing their route without breaking formation.」
If what she says is true, then we should be surprised.
Their night attack was detected and arrows were shot at them. Not many soldiers can stay calm after that.
「Seeing how we didn’t run after them or light any torches, they must think that our arrows were a lucky shot in the dark and merely meant to intimidate. They appear to be going around our defense camp and continuing the attack.」
That is some impressive training, but it won’t do them any good.
The place those guys are heading to is……
Kifil is probably advising on the timing and positioning.
In the darkness, large arrows are launched from lined up chariots.
Bolts which would kill instantly if they hit rain down, causing the enemy to shout.
Cannons were not used because the smoke given off after firing would be seen.
If our position was revealed, it’s possible the enemy would come at is with an all-or-nothing charge.
To that point, shooting arrows and bolts without the use of light will keep the locations where they are being shot from unknown.
「O-our position is compromised? Can they see us!?」
「No way, this is a night with a new moon and no torches are lit. Even if they are aware of our presence, they shouldn’t know our exact position! They must be shooting in a general direction! Spread out.」
Unfortunately for them, we can see.
「Now they have split up into two groups. One is moving slowly in front while the other is circling around from the west.」
They purposely left half of the group behind to attract our eyes while the other half rushes in.
Obviously, Leopolt should know what is going on.
An ally soldier shouts the order loudly with no intention of hiding.
At the same time, multiple tiny flames appeared in the dark. All of them were used to light the tips of arrows on fire.
「W-we’ve completely been foiled!? Everyone, stand up! It’s a total failure!」
It was already too late by the time the enemy commander yelled.
Countless flaming arrows sliced through the night and rained down at the enemy.
「Guwaaah!」「Dammit, we don’t have shields!?」「I-it’s a night attack, so anything heavy and would make noise……」
Small columns of fire extended into the sky, showing us the figures of the enemies as well.
They stand up and throw off the black cloth covering themselves.
Another volley of arrows came pouring down.
Kifil had been indicating where to shoot vaguely thus far, but things were different this time.
The bow cavalry sighted the enemy with their own eyes and fired arrows with a precise target in mind.
That would naturally lead to a rapid increase in accuracy.
And the enemy chose not to carry shields with them to improve their stealthiness.
As they are being shot at, their numbers visibly decreased.
「Now that it’s come to this, our only option is to charge!」
Some courageous commanders draw their swords and charge at our ally soldiers who emerged from the dark after shooting their flaming arrows.
「Do it here.」
In sync with Leopolt’s command, the ground between our allies and the charging enemy bulges out.
Ally infantry who removed the black cloth over them appeared seemingly from nowhere.
Our ally infantry cry out as they intercept the enemy.
Having the tables turned unexpectedly and getting attacked when they were ready to die in their charge accelerated the enemy’s collapse.
Eventually, soldiers on the opposing side began to scatter.
「Alright, stop the attack!」「Don’t give chase! Let them run!」
Commanders hold back the energized soldiers.
「I really wanted to pursue and whittle down their numbers a bit.」
「It can’t be helped. The reason why the enemy didn’t send help to their night raid squad is because they can’t distinguish between friend or foe. If we ran after them, we would have been severely counterattacked without a doubt.」
What a waste.
I’ll endure by rubbing Celia’s ass.
「Chief…… that’s my butt you’re touching.」
Damn Gido, why are you in such a confusing spot. It’s dark and easy to mistake you.
If you don’t stop it, I’ll jam something in you.
「Chasing them is impossible, however a method to deal damage to the enemy has been prepared.」
「You still have some tricks up your sleeve? The soldiers are going to be tired from the consecutive battles.」
Sure, we won comfortably the first time so it’s been forgotten about, but fatigue has definitely accumulated in their bodies.
If we want to fight longer, we should not overuse the soldiers anymore than this.
「I am only going to use the cavalry who have yet to play a part. They will be attacking the enemy at night.」
「Huh? A night attack?」
I question him unconsciously.
「The enemy might not think we will attack right after we repelled them, but it’s still……」
Myla tilts her head.
To begin with, cavalry are noisy and not suited for a night attack.
On a day like today when the moon is dim and footing is unclear, it’ll be hard to utilize the speed they’re proud of to the fullest.
「That part has been taken care of somehow. If things don’t go well, blame Leopolt-san. I’m only helping.」
Tristan pops up after disappearing again.
He seems sleepy from not being able to take a nap.
「Fumu, let’s see what you got then.」
「Just so you know, I’m not responsible for anything. Well, since I have nothing more to do, I’m going to sleep first.」
If we are successful, I’ll have a few nymphs pay a visit to Tristan’s sleeping place.
If we fail, it’ll be some sexually deviant men who visit him instead.
Tristan happens to be more popular with those guys than girls. He’s slender and feminine so it makes those guys want to dominate him.
Having failed their night raid, the enemy scurry back to their camp in shame, flames of varying sizes wavering in the darkness.
Thirty minutes later, about the time when they have pretty much settled down, the plan was carried out.
「Don’t trip, maintain your distance.」「Keep the times you use light short.」「Don’t let your horses make a sound.」
「Wahahahaha! My arm is itching to kill.」「Irijina-san, you’re being too loud!」
The cavalry squad is silently making their way to the enemy camp…… trying to anyways.
「Uwa, it’s sunk in here!」「I’m going to light a torch briefly.」「Achoo!」
「This is awful……」
It is as Myla said.
Horses bump into each other and let out a short neigh, mounted soldiers make a fuss at the sudden shake, and then a torch illuminates the area so a more stable foot path can be secured. It’s laughable that this group is supposed to be a night raid squad.
Nevertheless, it is a part of Leopolt’s plan.
The enemy doesn’t particularly react as we creep towards the enemy camp.
Only the flames of the campfire flicker.
When we reach a point not far from the enemy, I raise my voice.
「Alright, charge in!!」
Our cavalry roar altogether and light from torches multiplies.
Rumbling from the galloping hooves echoes in the night.
The faces of the enemy seem to brighten up instantly.
「Fools! Did you think we couldn’t hear you!?」
「Your noisy clamoring was leaking from the start, you amateurs!!」
「We can return the favor for what you did earlier!」
Lying in wait was a crowd of spearmen at the ready and crossbows positioned behind them.
Those poor horses get skewered and shot down by many crossbow bolts.
「It worked perfectly.」
The donkeys, after getting punctured in the body and shot in the face, tumbled forward dramatically.
Barrels carried on their backs break open and spill the oil inside all over the enemy soldiers.
「Eh? Just the horse?」
「Where are the soldiers……」
「Ueh, is this oil? There is also some kind of sand……」
Horses and donkeys with torches attached to their backs fall over one by one.
Some horses died instantly, some packhorses rampaged while trying to run, and donkeys fell along with the cart they were pulling, flinging dry grass everywhere…… not a single person was riding.
The cavalry squad and I were watching from a distance.
No matter how poorly suited cavalry are for night raids, we wouldn’t be that terrible in execution if we actually tried.
Everything was a deception.
Without the eyes of a vampire, they can’t tell warhorses from packhorses or cart-pulling donkeys.
Adding the torches to their backs completed the disguise as foolish cavalry charging blindly.
「I do feel a little bad for the horses.」
It’s a necessary sacrifice for victory, but hearing their painful cries hurts my heart.
Schwartz, whose feelings I expect to be more hurt than mine, is acting like it doesn’t concern him.
I guess there weren’t any mares among those killed. He’s only thinking about females, huh? What a perverted horse.
「It’s about time.」
「It seems so.」
Not really answering our words, the horse with a torch held in a bamboo tube on its back is pierced by a spear and flips over.
In the next moment, a dazzling light bursts out the vibrations of an explosion reach my chest.
Not long later, a pillar of fire erupts in the middle of the enemy camp.
More fire crawls underneath and spreads to other areas.
It clings to the pools of oil and dispersed dry grass to grow in size.
「W-what is this!!?」
「Is this gunpowder!? But for it to burn this much―― gah, my body! Gyaaaahーーー!!」
「This is what the gunpowder is for!? Shit, the grass is scattered everywhere too…… the fire is all over the place!」
A little later, the enemy screams.
Even at a considerable distance away, I can feel the panic in their voices.
The enemies close by stand no chance.
「So it seems the fire worked.」
「Yeah, it’s more flashy when seen in the night.」
Sekrit wedges herself into my conversation with Leopolt.
「Oh, that’s the special gunpowder I told you about. You put all of that on the horses?」
Sekrit smiles innocently like a child as she gazes at the enemies engulfed in fire and writhing on the ground.
When I touch her ass, she’s wet enough to stain her pants.
This woman is really dangerous after all. It can be good in its own way.
「It’s time to go.」
I hold my Dual Crater up high.
I don’t know if it is simply reflecting the flames or whether it’s excited about the upcoming slaughter, but the blade appears redder than usual.
I run at full speed towards the enemy camp enveloped in the hellish flames.
There is no trouble with vision. My surroundings are as bright as day.
There is no wall of spears. With so many places on fire, there isn’t a large enough space for soldiers to line up.
「Hurry and extinguish the flames! We also have to watch out for the enemy――」
I swing my Dual Crater and decapitate the commander trying to restore order.
With a ‘shing’ sound, his severed head rotates in the air.
That was literally the last sound made by the head before it detached from the body.
A spearman and crossbowman turn toward me.
I swing my sword up to slice the crossbowman from under his chin, while Schwartz’s momentum empowers his kick on the spearman.
After hacking blood, the spearman slides on the ground right into a burning pile of grass.
Although he lets out a terrifying scream, I ignore it and move on to the next enemy.
「We’re going too!!」
Irijina’s loud voice does not lose to the dying man’s cry.
The cavalry squad under her command also run full speed at the burning camp.
Our cavalry assaults the enemy without fear of a potential anti-cavalry formation.
The fleeing enemy soldiers are chased down by the speeding horses and skewered one after the other.
「Wahahahaha!! Hmp, hmp, hmp!」
As expected, Irijina stands out the most as she easily impales everybody in her way on her horse.
Rather than enjoying the massacre like Sekrit, she is innocently enjoying the freedom of going wild.
Ooh, two at once. Impressive.
「It’s so one-sided.」
「Or maybe not.」
I hear Sekrit’s voice beside me.
She prompts me to turn my head toward the enemy cavalry emerging from the darkness.
They must have sensed the abnormality, although not many were sent, probably because of how sudden it happened.
「Let’s confront them.」
Aside from Sekrit, Kifil is also here beside me.
She was told by Brynhildr to be my escort after all. She’s here because it’s night time.
She’s not riding a horse, but that’s not a problem.
A spearman and I pass by each other.
I tilt my body to the left, dodging the spear aimed at my head and then swing my Dual Crater, cutting deep into his chest from under his arm.
Since both of us are running, a light touch is more than enough.
「Are you the commander? I challenge you!」
The next enemy comes at me with a sword and shield.
I watch the sword carefully and avoid it.
My fist meets the shield slam which immediately follows his sword.
The enemy soldier reels backward when I punched his shield.
I don’t miss my chance and casually slice his neck.
His head doesn’t come off, but lots of blood gushes out before he falls to the ground.
「I’m getting warmed up.」
Seeing the third enemy raise his sword, I bring my horse close for a pre-emptive attack and cut his arm off first.
I grab the fourth enemy’s spear and pull him off his horse, then punch him in the face right as he is falling.
For the fifth enemy, I swing down my Dual Crater on top of his head.
I cut through his sword and shield brought up desperately to block my attack and even slice open his helmet, however he probably shifted backwards slightly to escape a fatal blow. As his head is completely exposed after his helmet falls off, I deliver a blow to his nose and cave it deep into his face with the butt of my sword.
I dismount from Schwartz, seeing as how this is as far as I can fight while riding him.
「He came down! Now’s our chance!」
My sword cuts both legs of the sixth enemy trying to call out to his friend, and he leans over about to say something in front of the seventh enemy, who I stab in the throat with my sword.
「T-there he is, the demon! It’s Hardlett! Hardlett himself has shown up!」
Before the eighth enemy could finish speaking, I turn my body and slice him horizontally.
His screaming upper half slides off the lower half of his body standing in place.
「Hey, they’re coming from all over.」
「I will obey my master’s orders and protect him.」
Sekrit and Kifil warn me.
The enemy reacts to that shout just now and more troops flood in.
Fumu, it’s getting more interesting.
I switch to dual-wielding my Dual Crater in my left and my longsword in my right.
「I am Hardlett. If you defeat me, you win.」
「A-alright! Everyone, aim for Hardlett――」
I have no obligation to wait for a reply.
I jump in before the sentence was finished and cut off the head of the commander with my longsword.
Interrupting the screams of those around, I slice the torso of one with my Dual Crater, then turn my body and cut another two with my longsword.
「Fufufu, this is the best.」
Sekrit, who leapt boldly into the enemy’s midst, thrust each of her two swords into the throats of different enemies, then spins to widen the wounds before pulling her swords out.
One would not expect the amount of blood squirted out to have come from two people.
「This is Hardlett’s woman!? I’ll kill her!」
「Damn you, demon’s lover!」
「Kuku, this is only the beginning.」
She blocks the two incoming enemies with her two swords and holds them off.
Sekrit’s strength is really nothing like that of a typical woman’s. She’s able to stand her ground against two men.
Sekrit disengages, then instantly jumps behind and raises her foot.
Her steel boots hit one of the man straight in the jaw. I could hear the sound of bones cracking.
As graceful as a dancer, Sekrit leaps and her leg swings into the other man.
Her kick hit his shoulder lightly.
The enemy soldier seemed confused by the unimpactful tap.
If he didn’t realize by this point, it’s already too late.
「Farewell, man. Kah.」
Sekrit runs her sword into the man’s crotch.
His scream was like a pig being castrated and it resonated throughout the battlefield.
「This one’s strong!」
「As expected of the demon’s lover.」
「Get the other one. Her body is more slender.」
The enemy steps away from Sekrit and crowds around Kifil.
I don’t think that’s a wise choice.
「It doesn’t feel great to gang up on a woman……」
「But blame yourself for being the demon’s lover!」
Three swords stick out at her.
Kifil deflects one with her sword, another with her shield and the last with her face.
「……iz thad it?」1
Kifil caught the last sword with her teeth.
It’s such an unusual scene, but the emotionless Kifil talking with the blade in her mouth is surprisingly cute.
Kifil transitions to attack.
She sticks out her own sword, which hits one of the enemy soldiers in the center of his armor, and although the sword bends, the blade is buried into his body up to the hilt.
The shield she sticks out at the enemy soldier’s face destroys his eyes, nose, and mouth.
Running out of weapons, Kifil grabs the last enemy soldier and bites down on his neck, perfectly tearing open his carotid artery.
A slight smile could be seen on Kifil’s face after she licks her mouth and cleans off the blood, which spurted like a fountain, from the now dead enemy.
「T-this one’s a demon too……」
「Hardlett is not a demon…… he’s a demon king! He’s a demon king with demons under his command!!」
Soldiers back away from the girls.
That was when a few flaming arrows shot into the sky.
It’s the signal to retreat which Leopolt decided on.
Our night attack was ultimately meant to rattle the opponent, not to wipe out the enemy.
If we don’t retreat before the enemy regroups, we’ll end up being surrounded.
「We’re falling back.」
I summon Schwartz, who was uninterestedly stomping enemies, and mount him again.
Sekrit pulls the horseless Kifil up onto her horse.
Unwilling to risk riding together and slowing the horse down, Sekrit jumps on Schwartz instead.
「This should be fine.」
Umu, no problems here.
Schwartz, you better not get turned on from her ass. That ass is mine.
As we are retreating, I catch a glimpse of a red military uniform from the corner of my eye.
I couldn’t see clearly from the weakening flames, but isn’t that a high-ranking commander?
「I want to target him, but there’s no time to charge.」
I can tell Irijina’s boisterous voice is getting further away.
Our allies are also starting to withdraw. We can’t stay any longer.
「In that case……」
I take out a sword meant for throwing equipped to Schwartz.
I’ll try to finish him off with this.
「Meant for throwing? That’s a regular one-handed sword.」
I ignore Sekrit’s remark and steady my aim.
The sword spins as it flies in an arc and then a short groan could be heard.
「I did it!?」
Looking closer, the sword only stuck into the commander’s shoulder.
That won’t be enough to be a fatal blow. I knew I didn’t have talent for acrobatic maneuvers.
「Guguh…… damn demon, how dare you…… guwah!」
As I was thinking about giving up, a shortsword stabs into the commander’s chest.
Celia is beside me.
I guess she came looking for me after I didn’t return for a while.
Her attack might finish him――
Two more swords stab into the commander’s face and throat.
Sekrit threw additional swords for good measure? That will do it for sure――
When I thought he was finished off, half of a soldier’s body which was carried from somewhere, was thrown at him and no more sounds came from the commander.
Kifil was the one who threw it.
The upper half of the enemy soldier’s body can be seen lying around nearby. She ripped him apart recently so she could throw something.
「……time to retreat.」
I’m feeling a little miserable as I return to camp.
We fended off the enemy’s night attack while successfully carrying out ours.
It’s safe to say we won completely.
「It would be nice if everything else continued as smoothly as this.」
I mutter to myself as I watch Celia and Sekrit fight for a spot.
That’s right, I have a feeling that things won’t turn out well.
My premonition would turn out to be true when we returned to Rafen in high spirits and was greeted by an express messenger sent by Erich.