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Chapter 40 – Deciding Upon A Strategy
The next day, after harvesting the fields, we once again crossed the wilderness to the Black Forest and returned to the Elven village without any trouble.
“Your Highness, I’m so glad you’re safe.”
“Yes, I’m back.”
Sylphy nodded back at Danan, who welcomed her. In her waist was a revolver in a leather holster. It was a revolver I made this morning exclusively for Sylphy. I had given her a briefing on how to use the pistol yesterday, so she should have no problem handling it.
By the way, Sir Leonard was able to block bullets from a .45 caliber automatic pistol without difficulty, but he said that it was difficult to deal with bullets from a revolver that uses .357 Magnum bullets when they were fired repeatedly. That’s because the initial muzzle velocity is almost twice as fast. And the power is probably higher accordingly.
“So, how is it going?”
“I can’t go into details yet, but it was okay.”
“So we won’t be called “toilet birds” anymore?”
“Maybe. Well, I guess another problem will probably come up.”
Pirna was immediately surrounded by her fellow harpies. There was a reason why they were so eager for a new weapon for the harpy. Up until now, their missions on the battlefield had basically been aerial reconnaissance and “bombing.”
Of course, since there was no gunpowder, the bombs were only large stones, boiling water, or hot oil, and the purpose was to demoralize the enemy. If you are smart, you will realize that there is something more effective to use in this context.
Yes, it’s p*op. To be precise, it was something that was pumped out of the toilet. The girls repeatedly flew, enduring the smell, and kept flipping the bucket over the enemy soldiers. The nickname they were given by the enemy soldiers (mainly soldiers of the Holy Kingdom) was “toilet birds.”
By nature, harpies such as these girls are very fond of cleanliness. They bathe in water every day and take care of their feathers without exception. They also like to dress up and take care of their personal appearance, as many of them are female.
For these women, being called a toilet bird was an abuse they could not stand. Besides, they simply don’t like the idea of having to carry p*op again in a war, even if it is unavoidable. It’s not just the girls; no one wants to be near something smelly and dirty.
“Thank goodness… I’m so glad…!”
“Thank God we don’t have to carry smelly things anymore!”
“That stuff gets to your mind… I mean, you can’t escape the smell for a while.”
The girls cried and rejoiced. The next bombs to be dropped will be aerial explosions… which will certainly not smell as bad but will be more resented by the enemy soldiers. I think that’s what Pirna was referring to when she said there was another problem. If I were an enemy soldier, I’d call them shitbirds, fuckin’ harpies, or toilet birds as well.
If they get caught, they’re going to be treated as badly as snipers… Let’s put safety first when operating these girls.
Now that I’ve talked about them enough, let’s talk about completing the construction of the first base and the change in plans. The main figures were gathered in the usual place.
In other words, there were nine of us: Sylphy, Danan, Melty, Isla, Qubi, Sir Leonard, Ms. Zamir, Shumer, and I. Besides, there were many other people who had come to watch this meeting. It’s a meeting where their future course of action will be decided. The observers have no right to speak, but they can’t be criticized for just listening. Well, it’s the only method that can be used with the current number of people and situation.
“Well, first of all, we finished the construction of the first base without any problems. It’s surrounded by a solid wall seven meters high and three meters thick and has accommodation for over three hundred people. As for water, several wells have been dug, and a water quality survey has been completed. The water was drinkable without any problems.”
A murmur of joy could be heard from the observers.
“We also found out that we can cultivate the land thanks to Kosuke’s efforts. As you all know, Kosuke’s power is special. It grows in a slightly different way than normal soil, but… it could make us self-sufficient in food quite quickly.”
This time, a confused murmur was sounded. Well, of course. There’s no way they could suddenly become self-sufficient in a wilderness field. Cultivating the wilderness is a very time-consuming process, after all.
Rocks and stones have to be carefully removed, and the thirsty, thin soil has to be improved over several years, maybe even a decade. Even if they are told that they may be able to become self-sufficient at an early stage, they may wonder if it is true or not? That’s what I thought.
“To be honest, we don’t know the full extent of Kosuke’s capabilities. There are many things that need to be verified. Therefore, I would like to send about fifty people to the first base to test the farmland operation that Kosuke will create. At the same time, we plan to begin construction of the second base.”
“I see… How many bases are we planning to build in the end?”
“Well, we are still in the process of figuring it out, but… as you know, the first base will eventually be handed over to the elves of the Black Forest. So, our base will be the one after the second one in the true sense of the word. Is that clear?”
Everyone nodded at Sylphy’s words in response to Danan’s question.
“There are three bases that we will definitely need: one to communicate with the elves, one to be our base of operations, and one to be our frontline defense. We’ll also need several shelters for those who need to move between these locations. As we had originally planned, we would leave the base in the morning so that the moving personnel could spend the night safely, and we would build these small bases within reach before the sun went down. So, here are the locations of our frontline bases…”
Sylphy looked around at everyone’s faces and then opened her mouth again.
“It’s located five days’ walk from the Merinard Kingdom. It’s in the middle of the Great Omit Wilderness.”
The biggest buzz in the room was heard now. The shorter the march for the attack, the less tired the soldiers would be, considering the policy of retaking the Merinard Kingdom. Five days on foot would be very tiring, and the chances of being attacked by Gizma would be high.
“Excuse me, but what are your reasons for choosing that location?”
“Umu… a change in our plan. First of all, we are small in numbers.”
“With the weapons Kosuke makes, we’ll win the war. Probably. But after we win the war, we will not have enough men to maintain the territory. Isn’t that right?”
Danan closed his eyes in response to Sylphy’s question. That would be an affirmation, I suppose.
“I thought about reversing my plan after discussing it with Leonard and Zamir. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that I despise Danan and the others. So I’m going to stay here and discuss it until we’re all satisfied.”
“I see… Five days from the Merinard Kingdom territory, you are aware of the Holy Kingdom army stationed in the Merinard Kingdom, as well as the invasion from the Holy Kingdom, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. We’re going to use the Great Omit Wilderness itself as a natural strategic point. At the same time, we will send a small force into the Merinard territory from the Great Omit Wilderness to liberate the Merinard citizens from the local villages and towns.”
“You’re bringing citizens with casual clothes into the Great Omit Wilderness…?”
Danan’s face contorted. Perhaps he recalled his desperate march across the Great Omit Wilderness to the Black Forest.
“We’ve thought of that, too. Kosuke will build us a safe and discreet shelter in the basement. It will be a safe and unobtrusive shelter in the basement where we can store water and food and pass the night safely.”
“I see. Then we can gradually gather the people from the Merinard Kingdom and build up our strength.”
“Yes. At the same time, I would like to make contact with our compatriots who are hiding in the Merinard Kingdom.”
“When you say compatriots, you mean… humans. Are you planning to spread the information? The Holy Kingdom will be notified.”
“That’s exactly what I want. That’s why this is our frontline base.”
If the Holy Kingdom army attacked based on the information, they would just take them head-on. Well, after marching for five days through the Great Omit Wilderness, where Gizma is running rampant, if it were me, I would definitely not want to attack the fort.
“…I understand the plan. In other words, Your Highness is going to change your plan to accumulate strength in the Great Omit Wilderness and then retake the Merinard Kingdom.”
“That’s right. It will be a long journey. But we can’t afford to fail. The sooner we start, the better.”
“As you wish.”
Danan seemed to be satisfied with Sylphy’s sudden change of plans. Next, Melty raised her hand and spoke up.
“I would like to ask you to elaborate a little more on the part of cultivation through the work of Kosuke, Your Highness.”
“Umu, sure. I’ll let you talk about that directly with Kosuke. Kosuke.”
“Eh? Me? Seriously?”
Sylphy-san, did you force me to deal with Melty? Oh, she averted her gaze. She forced this on me!
“Ah, anyway, I want you to see this.”
I put the bales of wheat on the side of the table. There were six of them. Each one weighed about 60 kilograms, so that’s 360 kilograms of wheat.
“What are these?”
“They are bales of wheat, harvested from a plot of land 32 meters x 32 meters, or about one hectare, or 100 are.”
“…Harvested? You were over there for less than a week, weren’t you…?”
“Uh, yeah. Um… the harvest was done in less than three days.”
“Are you serious about that?”
Melty’s eyes are frightening.
“That’s what happened when I did everything from starting the field to sowing and watering with the soil I prepared! It’s not my fault! I don’t know what would have happened if someone else had done it. So, Sylphy said that I need to verify it.”
“I see… This is a tremendous amount of harvest from a single field… May I see what’s inside?”
Melty stood the bale up, untied the rope with some effort, took up the lid-like part on the side of the bale, and opened it. Heh, I didn’t know that bales were made that way.
“The grains are large and uniformly shaped… Isn’t it the highest quality?”
I don’t know anything about that.
I’ve never seen a bale of rice in person before. To me, rice is sold in plastic bags at the supermarket, and wheat is already in the cupboard as powder. I’ve never seen wheat that has not been ground up with my own eyes since I came to this world. I’ve seen it on TV, though. Well, I’ve seen barley used for barley rice. I was addicted to it for a while.
“All this in less than three days from a single field…?”
Melty grabbed a handful of wheat and shivered. It’s super scary. Also, Isla’s eyes are dead again. What’s going on?
“A-anyway, that’s why, you know? I’ve been told that I’ll have to verify various things, such as whether this will happen no matter who plows my fields, what will happen if the land is just plowed without my soil, whether it can be harvested repeatedly, and what will happen if my soil is plowed just like a normal field by someone other than me.”
“That’s something that needs to be verified. If we can harvest this much in three days, and if it can only be done by Kosuke-san’s hands… Fufu.”
Melty’s eyes scare me! It scares me! This could mean I’ll be plowing fields all day, depending on the outcome! I’m a crafter and a survivalist! I’m not a farmer!
“Hahaha, by the way, what’s wrong, Isla?”
“…Among the alchemy potions, there is one called the Cultivation Accelerator.”
“The effect varies depending on the quality… Kosuke’s farmland is as good as if he had used the highest grade of cultivation booster like water.”
“Haha, my stuff is kind of cheating, so don’t worry too much about it.”
She managed to recover. I have a few things I want to discuss with Isla and ask her. I also want it to be a barrier against Melty. I’m really desperate.
“I understand about the field. Certainly, you need fifty people to verify this.”
“Yes, I’m glad you understand. Um, Sylphy? Anything else?”
“Hmm, yes. Are there any other questions?”
Shumer raised her hand in response to Sylphy’s words.
“Do you mean you’re not going to beat up the Holy Kingdom?”
“Yes, we should not go head-on with them. But that doesn’t mean we won’t do anything. We have a mission to infiltrate the Merinard Kingdom with a small group and liberate the villages. This will be a very dangerous mission.”
“I see. I don’t know how difficult it is. I don’t care what it takes as long as I can give the Holy Kingdom people a run for their money. Your will to fight has not changed. But in order to have a decent fight, we need to make more friends and build up our strength first. Is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“Yes, then I have no complaints.”
Shumer seems to be aloof, but there is a strong sense of vengeance in the back of her mind. I’m sure the Merinard people here have something like that, to a greater or lesser extent.
“Is there anything else? Well, now we have a decision to make. We will open up new land in the Great Omit Wilderness and liberate the people of Merinard who are still under the rule of the Holy Kingdom. Then, we will accumulate enough strength to reclaim the Merinard Kingdom. It’s going to be a long journey, but let’s work together to overcome the hardships.”
Everyone at the table nodded their heads at Sylphy’s words, and the crowd cheered, shouting, “Ooooh!”
A new bridgehead has been secured in the Great Omit Wilderness, and the plan has been decided. How far can we cultivate the Great Wilderness, and how far can we penetrate the territory of the Merinard Kingdom before the Holy Kingdom finds out about our movements? It’s a race against time from here on out.