It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (7/43), enjoy~
The next day ― it was early in the morning, just after dawn. On a plain dotted with forests, the southern army led by Hiro and the others succeeded in catching up with the rebel army.
The rebel army, standing calmly in three horizontal lines, did not seem overwhelmed. The archers were placed at the front of the first line, ready to fight at any time, and the cavalry behind them was arranged to take advantage of any opening. The infantry formed a tight formation in the center.
“A spearhead formation. It looks like they don’t intend to make a move from there.”
It’s also called the turtle formation, and it waits for the shells to be struck from the outside. It is a formation in which they are confident that they will not be crushed, and when the bait approaches, they stretch out their necks and flatten it.
“I thought they would attack in numbers, but I guess they’re not too conceited, and they’re not too careless…”
They know the art of war. They don’t just leave it to the numbers and dare to charge in blindly.
They used a formation in anticipation of the small number of people in the area. This would mean that Hiro’s army would have to initiate the attack, but…
“There’s a way to do it, but it’s no fun if we just do it the normal way.”
Hiro muttered and stepped out of the carriage.
“Where are you going?”
Claudia was chasing after him. Hiro turned over his shoulder and lifted the edge of his mouth.
“I’m thinking of recommending a surrender.”
“…What are you talking about? How can they accept such a thing?”
Claudia made a dubious face and galloped her horse to stop Hiro, blocking the way in front of him.
“Would you please step aside?”
“You have to explain first. There is no way they will listen to a surrender order.”
Fraus’s army was 30,000 strong, while ours was only 5,000. There is no way they will accept surrender. But that was Hiro’s goal.
“We have to upset them a little. They’ll be surprised.”
“Wouldn’t that just make them laugh?”
“Certainly, which is why we need to provoke their anger so that they will take the bait.”
“…In other words, you want to go to them as an envoy and go on a rampage?”
“No, it’s not going to be that easy. I won’t be able to get close to them. So I’ll ask them out from a distance.”
Claudia sighs in resignation as if she is tired of understanding Hiro’s words.
“Fuh… I understand. What should I do then?”
“Can you prepare a hundred horsemen for me? Make sure you tell them to follow my instructions.”
“Please have the cavalry depart immediately, and the rest will proceed as planned.”
Claudia’s face tightened as she heard Hiro’s words.
“We can’t afford to make even a single mistake. So the tightrope battle begins…”
With a hint of nervousness in her voice, Claudia said extravagantly, but there was no need to take it so seriously.
If the plan that is about to be implemented fails, it can be simply utilized. As long as it avoids total annihilation, it can be revived. However, there is no need to break the appropriate tension by saying unnecessary things. It would be a problem if they got too worked up, but it would also be a problem if they got too relaxed.
So, Hiro nodded his agreement to Claudia.
“I’ll leave the rest to you, then.”
As Hiro said this, he extended his hand toward Claudia.
“I’m sorry. Can you give me a bow and an arrow?”
“I don’t mind, but…”
Claudia tilted her head curiously at Hiro, who was checking the bow.
“What are you going to use it for? Are you sure you only need one?”
“You’ll find out soon enough; you’ll just have to watch.”
With a soft smile, Hiro began to make his way towards the front.
The hem of his black robe fluttered behind him, slapping the air as he moved through the tense soldiers. Feeling the cold, tense breeze flowing through the battlefield, Hiro made his way through the front ranks.
When his vision opened up, 30,000 soldiers were lined up in an orderly fashion on the snowfield. The enemy army was buzzing with excitement at the sight of just one person ― the one who had come out of nowhere.
However, they seemed to have decided to watch Hiro’s every move and did nothing.
“Attention, rebel soldiers! It’s not too late. Surrender!”
Hiro’s voice echoed across the snowfield. But as expected, the opponent’s reaction was to laugh in disgust.
“You should talk in your sleep while drinking from your mother’s breast!”
The cold wind carried the cursing laughter.
Hiro grabbed the hilt of the “Heavenly Emperor” at his waist.
“By all means! Then let’s fight until the very last!”
As Hiro pulled out the Heavenly Emperor, a hundred horsemen rushed from behind him in a horizontal line as a signal. As the archers in the front of the enemy army took their stance, Hiro waved his arms to the side.
The cavalry horses that were galloping at full speed came to an abrupt halt, sending up a large amount of powdery snow. At the same time, the arrows fired from the enemy side filled the sky.
Hiro, looking at the scene with a calm face, put the “Heavenly Emperor” back in its sheath and replaced it with a bow. At that moment, there was a loud and chilling sound, as if earth and stones were raining down.
A large number of arrows pierced the snowfield all at once. However, there was no damage to the cavalry, and surprisingly, everyone was unharmed. If that were the case, the enemy army would naturally be upset.
Seeing this, Hiro did not miss the opportunity and shouted out loud.
“As expected of a renowned demon race! Even if you were to search the entire continent, you wouldn’t find a race as ineffective as yours! You can only deal with women and children, so your arrows can’t reach us!”
As Hiro sarcastically spoke at the top of his voice, the front line of the enemy army was disrupted and a troop of cavalry ― a hundred of them ― came charging out.
“Then I will deal with you! Experience the horror of the demon race for yourself!”
“…There’s nothing easier to catch than a fool.”
Hiro murmured to himself, then drew an arrow from his bow and squeezed it. When he measured the distance and released his hand, the arrow flew in a straight line, snarling the air. It pierced the enemy commander right between the eyes.
The next moment ― with a loud noise, the enemy commander turned into a silent corpse.
Hiro pulled out the enemy’s arrow that was sticking into the ground and continued to fire. The arrows hit the unsettled enemy soldiers, and another one became a corpse. When he had killed five more in the same way, the enemy cavalry stalled, perhaps because they had lost their commander and judged that it was indeed dangerous.
Hiro turned around and gave an order to the waiting cavalry.
“Commence the operation. We’ll crush them thoroughly.”
A hundred cavalrymen shouted in unison as they pulled up from the front line. Hiro turned his attention to the enemy troops, who were still puzzled. They are completely isolated, far from the front line.
“Well… there’s no more use for you, so please disappear in peace.”
After pulling out the Heavenly Emperor, Hiro began to run, sending the falling snow flying behind him. When approaching them with lightning speed, he sliced off the head of an enemy soldier as if stroking his eyes.
He dodged a spear thrust by an enemy on horseback by twisting his neck and leaped by kicking the ground. He turned himself around high above the enemy soldier’s head and slit his throat with the tip of his “Heavenly Emperor.”
The fresh blood that spurted out stained the white earth a speckled red.
“It’s too late!”
As soon as Hiro landed on the ground, he took a large step and cut down the enemy soldier in front of him along with his horse. In addition, Hiro tossed and turned the enemy soldiers at an invisible speed. He jumped to the side, sometimes retreating backward and then stepping forward to shower them with slashes. At last, perhaps sensing the abnormality, the first group of the enemy made a move. They began to move forward to save their compatriots.
Hiro stroked his eye patch and made a thin smile.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“You’re too late.”
He cut down the oncoming enemy soldier with a single sword and blew a sound when he put his finger in his mouth.
“Hiro-sama! Over here!”
He grabbed Munin’s hand and jumped on the horse.
“From here onwards, it’s an abyss… break them up, break them down, and burn them up with the fires of shame.”
The first line of the enemy was approaching. He smiled, pointing his hand to crush the scene.
“Let’s have some fun.”
The murmur of delight was drowned out by the roar of horseshoes that shook the earth.
The enemy’s first line numbered about five thousand. The initial turtle-like formation had undergone a transformation. The cavalry spread out to the left and right as if drawing wings and the infantry ran in the center without bothering with their heavy armor.
One black eight formation ― the dragon wing formation.
It is the most frequently used formation in warfare and is favored by many nations because it is easy to change from the spearhead formation.
“…You’ve set up a siege tactic, huh? That is quite impressive.”
With a bit of admiration, Claudia muttered and looked over her army’s formation from her horse. The soldiers waiting for the enemy in a flank formation were more excited than nervous due to repeated provocations.
“…If we continue to clash like this, the difference in numbers is likely to cause a breakdown.”
The number of soldiers here is 5,000, the same number as the first group of the opponent ― that’s if, including the injured, the real number is about 4,000.
The number has been faked so that the enemy won’t know about it, but it’s only a matter of time before they find out.
“The rest is just a matter of how much momentum you can give them to put their weight in the center… Also, we need to figure out when to move the cavalry.”
Claudia looked around at the surrounding terrain and gave a small snort. Hiro instructs her, but whether she succeeds or not is up to Claudia, and she can’t make a decision easily.
“Princess! I know the composition of the enemy’s first team!”
Claudia was troubled, but Hugin pulled his horse closer.
“The cavalry on either side totals two thousand. The infantry in the center is three thousand. The enemy’s second line doesn’t seem to be moving. Maybe it seems like the first group is acting on its own.”
It’s possible that they misunderstood their own abilities because of their overwhelming military prowess against the people or lost control because they didn’t restrict their actions such as plundering or that the number of 30,000 may have contributed to their conceit. Claudia put her hand on her thin, pointed chin and smiled broadly.
The enemy is a large army, but it’s not a deadly one, and it’s not as if they think it’s an easy fight; there’s no resolve there. Claudia made a decision and pulled out the magic sword Auto Claire on her hip.
“Raise the flag. Let the operation begin!”
The heraldic banners of the Levering Kingdom rose one after another in the main camp, and the horn blew high in the sky. The cavalry on the left and right began to march forward, raising a cloud of dust.
The infantry, including the main camp, was in a position to wait for the enemy. The wind blew, the flags swept through the air, and the woods made a quiet sound, but the boots of the army crushed them all.
“They’re coming! Don’t let them overwhelm you!”
Claudia shouted, and at the same time, the front line shouted and clashed with the enemy army. Swords clashed with swords in the front line. Sparks flew, blood mist danced, and spear points flashed.
The cavalry also seemed to have started fighting just out of sight, and dust rose high in the sky.
“Princess! The center is still being pushed!”
Hugin informed her, straining her eyes on her horse. When Claudia looked in that direction as well, she saw that the center of the army had been pushed back significantly and was beginning to retreat. Taking advantage of this gap, the enemy forces were concentrating their attacks heavily on the center. However, Claudia was not in a hurry. Rather, a small smile appeared on her face.
“There’s no need to worry. Hiro-sama is there, you know.”
The center is made up of militia in order to break down deliberately. According to Hiro, the whole thing is a ploy to win. In other words, it’s all about pretense ― to lure the opponent in and to minimize the damage to their side.
“Many of the soldiers were losing confidence. If they get used to retreating, it will affect their future strategies. So Hiro-sama decided to put on a show. Using the militia is a bold move, but… it may help the soldiers regain some confidence.”
It must have chilled their nerves… After saying that, Claudia looked at the front line.
“I’m really impressed. Is he really the descendant of the “God of War”?”
The enemy soldiers on the front lines are probably shivering in fear right now. They must be desperately resisting to avoid being swallowed by the darkness. Claudia kept her gaze on the front line with such a premonition in mind.