It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (17/60), enjoy~
Chapter 67 – Re-Sortie
After cleaning up the corpse, I was swamped. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that this is where my work really begins.
“You’re getting used to it, aren’t you, Kosuke?”
“That’s because I already do a lot of work.”
I repaired the half-destroyed buildings and walls and installed a watering hole. The fort had a well, but my infinite water source is much more convenient. While I’ve been doing various repairs, everyone has been cleaning up the blood inside of the fort. With 500 people, the cleanup itself went quickly.
“There are still some supplies left.”
Melty, who was able to safely seize supplies such as food and weapons from the warehouse, was overjoyed. For now, the Liberation Army is operating almost entirely on the supplies I provide, so there is little in the way of personal wealth. However, once the Merinard Kingdom is reclaimed and the country returns to a normal economic sphere, it will be necessary to carry out normal economic activities.
In other words, you have to pay everyone’s wages.
“Was there some money there?”
“Yes, there is some. Mostly personal money belonging to the soldiers of this fort, though.”
“The commander of the fort had some money, right? They have to pay their salaries.”
“Well, to a certain extent, yes. But it’s a front-line fort.”
It’s not enough at all from Melty’s viewpoint, I suppose. Well, indeed, the amount of money that can be found in one of these not-so-big forts is quite small. And Melty is right; this is a front-line fort. There’s no way they’d be storing that much money in a place like this.
I don’t know if it’s okay to act like a firebrand or a bandit. This is war, you know. It’s our legitimate right to loot the spoils of war.
So we made a raid early in the morning and succeeded in capturing the Holy Kingdom’s fort in a very short time, and by noon, we had finished repairing and cleaning the fort and finished its maintenance.
“In the end, all the buildings within the walls were to be rebuilt by Kosuke.”
“It can’t be helped since the dormitories Kosuke makes are cleaner, sturdier, and more convenient.”
“That’s right. I think so too.”
As we ate the lunch we had made together, we were immediately in a relaxed mode. The group consisted of me, Sylphy, Isla, and Harpies.
The menu for today’s lunch was a soup filled with dried meat, dried vegetables, dried mushrooms and other ingredients stockpiled in the fort, and dumplings made from kneaded grain flour. The Harpies were eating it with spoons, dexterously. In fact, the soup was surprisingly delicious, with lots of ingredients and a strong taste of dried meat, dried vegetables, and dried mushroom broth.
You’re asking if it’s okay to be so relaxed? It’s fine. I’ve already worked hard. Meals are important. After we finish eating, Sylphy has a meeting to discuss our future plans, and the Harpies have to go out to scout in various directions.
As for Isla and me? I’ve already done my job, and Isla has worked hard enough, incinerating corpses and treating the wounded while I worked in the morning. To put it bluntly, there was hardly anything left to do. We’ve got all the supplies we need in the warehouse, and I’ve set up the ballista on the wall.
“What are you going to do after lunch, Kosuke?”
“I’m pretty much done with my work. I think I’m going to check out the fort again, then I’m going to plant a field in a vacant lot, and after that, I’m going to relax.”
“Hmm, I’ll join you.”
“Okay. I might call you to a meeting, so just keep that in mind.”
“Okay. Everyone is going to scout, right?”
“Yes, we’ll be scouting in groups of three. Thanks to the Golem communicator that Isla-san made, our reconnaissance is going well.”
“Glad to be of service.”
As I predicted, the Harpies seem to be going on a reconnaissance mission. Speaking of which, how far away are the other forts? I didn’t know, so I asked.
“This one is in the middle of the three forts. There should be one fort every three days’ walk to the east and west.”
“Three days, that’s quite a distance. But at that distance, will the magic waves from the golem communicator be able to reach without problems?”
“Hmm, it should. There are no hills or mountains to reduce the magic waves.”
After finishing the meal, it was time for a short break. I took out the big bed I brought from the front-line base, and we all took a nap. We woke up early today, and we were tired from the battle and the cleanup.
After an hour or so of nap time, Sylphy and the Harpies left for their own meetings and reconnaissance. The two who remained were Isla and me.
“Fuwaa… do you want to sleep some more?”
“Hmm, everyone’s doing their best, so we should do our best too.”
“Yeah. Isla is very serious, after all.”
So, I walked around the fort with Isla to check for any problems. The expression of the liberation army soldiers is cheerful. It’s no surprise that since they were able to take the Holy Kingdom’s fortress without much danger.
“Thanks to you, we were able to make the Holy Kingdom army howl.”
“I would have liked to have hurt them a little more, but…”
“It’s the explosions, right? It’s a little disconcerting.”
“Don’t let your guard down too much. If it hadn’t been for that explosion, someone might have died.”
In the meantime, no one was killed in the battle. The resistance of the opponent was sporadic. A few people were injured by arrows that pierced them, but no one was killed instantly because of a bad hit. The wounded were all healed by the recovery magic of the mage corps.
“If you find anything wrong with the fort or any problems, let me know. I’ll fix it.”
Everyone in the Liberation Army agreed to my request in their own way. It would make my job a lot easier if I could get along with the Liberation Army soldiers.
“It seems to be no problem.”
“I guess so. Let’s start a farm.”
“Hmm, it’s important to prevent starvation.”
I looked around and saw no problems, so I placed farm blocks on the vacant land that I had decided to turn into farmland and plowed it with my hoe. If I do this, we can harvest the crops in a week or so without me sowing the seeds. It’s a cheating production capacity.
“What should I plant?”
“Hmm… I want something that’s easy to eat and keeps well.”
“I’m thinking taru.”
Taru is a potato with a taro-like texture produced in the village of the elves. They can be stored for a long time if they are kept in a cool, dark place with the soil still on them, or they can be washed and boiled with salt.
After planting the taru, my work was complete. The sun is still high in the sky.
“There’s nothing left to do.”
“I think you’ve worked hard enough, Kosuke. It’s important to take a break.”
“Is that’s so? Okay then.”
After Isla said so, I went back to my assigned accommodation and spent some quality time with Isla. I couldn’t afford such a situation, so we just messed around together and did some light skinship.
Eh? Why don’t we participate in meetings or plan strategies? That kind of thing is the domain of Danan and Sylphy. Even if it’s just the maintenance and management of the Liberation Army, the provision of weapons, and the case of the 5000 people who were blown up, my war record is a bit of a mess. I don’t want to overreach too much. I don’t want to be too overbearing. I don’t want it to turn out that way.
Of course, if someone asks me for advice, I’ll give it, but I’m an amateur at warfare. I can suggest a few tricks using my abilities, but I don’t want to depend on them all the time. I’m sure that Sylphy and Danan don’t plan on relying on me to carry on with the war either.
However, the aerial bombardment by Harpy is very effective, so there’s no way we can avoid using it. It’s the best advantage we have.
“Kosuke, do you want to make dinner?”
“Hmm, I think I’ll make curry today.”
“I like curry.”
I don’t want to work today anymore. The corpse was so gruesome, after all…
The next day.
We left a hundred crossbowmen at the fort, five of the mage corps, and Worg as the commander and set off for the fort to the west.
At this point, the landscape around us began to resemble a plain rather than a wilderness. It wasn’t very deep, but we could see some forests in the distance, and we felt that we had crossed the Great Omit Wilderness.
Now, the first fort on the border of the territory we occupied is… or should I call it Alpha Fort. We are now moving westward along the well-developed road that stretches west from Alpha Fort. There are plains all around, and it’s really peaceful.
Of course, it would be a disaster if the Holy Kingdom’s army were to launch a field battle on such a plain, so we are doing our reconnaissance closely. The main force is crossbow troops, so when the cavalry charge in, we can’t even imagine.
If we can find the enemy beforehand, I can quickly set up a field position, and we’ll be fine. While I was thinking about this, Danan’s communicator received a transmission. It seems to have come from Harpy’s reconnaissance unit, which was scouting the direction of our movement.
“There’s a convoy of escorted wagons in your direction. They are heading your way.”
“Is it the Holy Kingdom army?”
“No, I don’t think so. They’re probably merchants.”
“The destination is the fort, is it not?”
“Perhaps. Since there is only the fort ahead.”
“All right, follow them without being detected.”
Communication is cut off. What do we do now?
“Shall we attack?”
“We’re not bandits. We are not in need of supplies either.”
“But if they’re heading for the fort with supplies, then they’re merchants who are helping the Holy Kingdom’s army to replenish their supplies.”
“Why would merchants be supplying them? That’s the job of the Transportation Corps.”
“I wonder if the reason is that the Transportation Corps, which is responsible for the supply of this area at the temporary fort, was blown away by Kosuke. It’s only a prediction.”
Danan, Sylphy, and Melty begin to discuss the response. Danan voted to attack, Sylphy voted not to attack, and I don’t know what Melty thinks.
“It depends on the merchant’s attitude, but I think they’re probably the most powerful merchants in the neighboring towns, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being friendly with them. Don’t just attack them without question; it would be a good idea to talk to them.”
Melty seems to have voted not to attack. I feel like we should do something depending on the attitude of the other party.
“So, are we going to let them go in the end? Our movements will be immediately known to the Holy Kingdom’s army.”
“Think about the post-occupation governance. If the local merchants have a grudge against us, it could greatly impact our governance. Don’t tell me you’re planning to kill all the Holy Kingdom people in the Merinard Kingdom territory?”
“I wouldn’t say that, but…”
“Danan, I agree with Melty. It’s out of the question to be underestimated, but you don’t want to be overly resentful.”
“If Your Highness is so inclined.”
“The merchant is wise in his own interest. If you play your cards right, they may not be on your side… but they can be your business partners.”
Apparently, Melty had an idea. That kind of negotiation seems to be suitable for Melty.
“Then leave the negotiations to Melty.”
“Yes, leave it to me.”
“Then I will do my best to make sure that the convoy is captured. I’ll need Kosuke’s help.”
Danan seemed to be planning to surround the convoy at once by laying down the soldiers on either side of the road. If they lay down on the plains, they can blend in with the grass and be invisible even in daylight.
I, along with Sylphy, Melty, and a few other elite soldiers, will meet the convoy on the road and set up brick blocks to keep them from rushing in. Since I can stop Gizma’s rush with it, too, there’s no way it can’t stop a carriage.
After a while, we could see a cloud of dust ahead of us. It seemed that a convoy of carriages was in sight.
“I think they’ll probably stop, but stay alert. Set up a block as soon as you see it ramming into us.”
I stood right next to Sylphy, who was standing with her arms crossed and greeted the carriage convoy. They seem to be aware of our appearance and gradually slowed down to a stop, keeping a distance from us.
Then a man who looked like a merchant got out of the carriage along with armed men who looked like guards.
“We’re from the Pence Trading Company from the city of Miline. As for you who are blocking the road…”
The merchant seems to have realized that Sylphy is an elf and that the elite soldiers around her are not human but subhuman. His expression became overtly stern.
“My name is Sylphiel. Would it be easier for the merchant-dono to understand if I said I was a witch of the Black Forest?”
When Sylphy raised her arms, about 400 soldiers who had been lying low on either side of the road appeared. Since everyone is armed with a weapon, it must be quite intimidating. If I were in that merchant’s position, I’d be scared.
“H-hyieeeee! Why? The witch!”
“I have no intention of killing you. Unless you pull out your weapon and resist… What are you going to do?”
Sylphy showed up with a very thin smile on her face. Oh, when she does that, the merchant gets into serious trouble… and the guards are pale as well. Some people have already dropped their weapons and raised their hands in surrender.
Well, it’s nothing more than a suicide attempt to resist this difference in strength. There were five wagons and about ten guards. On the other hand, we have four hundred fully armed men. They’re no match for us.
Sylphy nodded in satisfaction and gave Melty a look. Melty nodded and stepped forward.
“My name is Melty. I am the one who is in charge of the distribution of supplies under Sylphiel-sama. We are not bandits who steal cargo and commit abominations. You’re from the Pence Trading Company, right? We want to make a deal with your company. A fair deal.”
I think Melty smiled. I can’t see her face from where I’m standing. Yeah, so I can only guess. I’m sure she smiled, but… for some reason, the merchant blew bubbles and fainted, which is strange.
While the merchant fainted, the wagon was pulled to the side of the road by the Liberation Army soldiers, and the cargo was inspected. The cargo consisted of foodstuffs, salt, a few luxury items, weapons, and arrows. There didn’t seem to be any special goods.
“Kosuke-san, you have jewelry and honey wine in stock, right?”
“Yes, I have them.”
“Can you give me some? I’ll make a deal with him as soon as he wakes up.”
“At your service.”
Melty gave me a strange look as I politely replied, but she seemed to have decided not to worry about it. Melty is very enthusiastic, perhaps because it is the first time in a long time that she has had a proper external negotiation. I’m sorry to hear about the fainting merchant… but let’s encourage him with some honey wine today. Yeah.
I swore to myself as I looked at Melty, who was filled with an aura of motivation ― not an aura of killing ― that was hard to describe.