It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (24/63), enjoy~
Chapter 76 – Her Battlefield
After gathering and organizing the forces from the rear bases and forts, we started marching towards Erichburg.
The force consisted of 300 volunteers from the former Merinard citizens that Qubi had brought with him, 500 crossbowmen who had joined us after completing their training in the rear, 30 elite heavy infantry, 50 light infantry, and 130 scouts made up of former adventurers. The number was slightly increased due to the fact that there were several former adventurers of medium rank or higher among the former Merinard citizens that Qubi had brought with him. In addition, there were ten from the Harpy Air Force, five mages, and five riflemen. In total, there were about 1000 people in the army.
Since Kosuke was not accompanying us this time, we needed to prepare my logistics properly. Fortunately, we have the supplies that Kosuke prepared for us, so all we have to do is carry them. We managed this by using carriages that we had seized from each fort.
Since we would be passing through several towns on the way to Erichburg, we planned to seize them and requisition more carriages. We will not take them by force but rather negotiate and pay a fair price. I’ll leave that to Melty, and there will be no problem.
By the way, the 300 volunteers will basically be accompanying us as Transportation Corps soldiers in the rear. They’re still halfway through their training.
“Your Highness, we will soon be in Mitters Town.”
“Fumu… Is there any movement from the enemy?”
“They have no intention of retreating. They are forcing the residents to arm themselves and are prepared to fight back. And it seems they’re pushing the residents forward.”
“They’re using untrained people, huh…?”
The way the Holy Kingdom’s army is doing this is almost disgusting. As soon as it starts, it seems that the riflemen will come into play.
“There are about 30 enemy soldiers, right?”
“Don’t touch the militia, just the regular soldiers of the Holy Kingdom army.”
Mitters town used to be a campground for merchants trading with the elves of the Black Forest. It became an inn town, and as farming villages were developed around it, their crops were brought in, and the inn town became a town. It is a town with such a history.
The number of soldiers of the Holy Kingdom guarding the town was about 50, plus about 100 conscripted militia, who closed the town’s gates and deployed their forces on the defensive wall. It seems that there are only about ten archers in the regular army of the Holy Kingdom who can attack from a distance.
According to Pirna of the Harpies’ reconnaissance, the enemy is gathering bricks and stones for protection. Those who can’t use bows and arrows are probably planning to fight back with stone-throwing. The crossbows are superior in both range and power, so it’s easy to shut them down completely, but I wouldn’t want to hurt the conscripted militia.
“Seal all the gates. We will then issue a surrender order.”
On my orders, the soldiers surrounded Mitters Town and sealed off the town. There is no time to take a leisurely approach to warfare. I called out to the wind spirits and prepared to deliver my voice throughout Mitters Town.
“Listen! Residents of Mitters Town. We are the Merinard Kingdom Liberation Army, and I am the leader, Sylphiel Danal Merinard! The Witch of the Black Forest may be a better description for you.”
Hearing my declaration, a kind of murmur could be heard from Mitters Town.
“Our goal is to liberate the territory of the Merinard Kingdom and free the unjustly oppressed sub-humans. We will show no mercy to the soldiers of the Holy Kingdom, but we have no intention of harming the innocent people, burning their towns, and looting their property.”
There seemed to be widespread unrest among the conscripts. The Holy Kingdom’s army commander is screaming and scolding the soldiers, telling them not to be fooled. I think that’s a bad move in this situation.
“The same goes for the militiamen who were forcibly conscripted. If you lay down your arms and give up your will to fight, we will not harm you or capture you. As for the generals of the Holy Kingdom’s army, as long as you do not resist, I promise to take you prisoner, disarm you, and release you safely.”
It seemed that some of the regular soldiers of the Holy Kingdom’s army were beginning to get flustered. Some of them looked at each other and started to lower their weapons.
“Shoot the commander.”
“Ha… do it.”
Gagagagan! The sound of bolt-action rifles firing in rapid succession echoed, and the heads of the officers of the Holy Kingdom army who had been admonishing the soldiers on the castle walls were blown off. The soldiers of the Holy Kingdom army, who were bathed in the splattered blood and brain plasma, raised a scream that seemed to tear the silk. What a voice a man can make… though I don’t know how to feel.
“In terms of the number and quality of the soldiers, you have no chance of winning. I will give you half an hour’s grace. If you want to surrender, lower the flag of the Holy Kingdom, raise the white flag, and open the gates. If there is no response from you, we will launch an attack. I expect you to judge wisely.”
I ended the effect of the wind spirit magic that had been diffusing my voice and crossed my arms. From here, it’s a matter of waiting for a while.
Mitters Town chose to surrender shortly afterward. Perhaps it was a good thing that the morale of the Holy Kingdom army, whose commander had been killed by the riflemen, had fallen to the bottom of the earth and that we had promised not to loot the town.
The Liberation Army soldiers entered the streets of Mitters Town and overpowered and seized the military facilities. Naturally, they also confiscated the supplies that were stored in the military facilities.
“Danan, give strict orders to the soldiers not to cause any trouble.”
“As you wish. We may have to make an example out of some of them.”
“I’m asking you to make sure that doesn’t happen… okay?”
Danan grinned and started to say something outrageous, so I made sure to keep him on his toes.
Melty, accompanied by Zamir as her escort, happily went out into the town. They must have gone to procure wagons and supplies from the merchants of the town. They probably used the cash they had confiscated from the fort and military facilities, as well as the jewels they had received in advance from Kosuke, to get them.
“I’m glad we were able to take control of the town without any problems for now.”
“Yes. I hope we can continue like this all the way to Erichburg.”
“I don’t think it will work out that way.”
Leonard’s words soon became a reality as he stood in front of us.
“You are prepared to fight to the bitter end, aren’t you?”
“Yes, it seems so.”
It took us another three days to march from Mitters Town to Erichburg. In terms of location, it was about a five-day walk from Fort Gamma. We were advancing to the town of Mayswood, just before Erichburg, while suppressing small villages along the way.
“The enemy force is about 2000, huh?”
The Holy Kingdom’s army had concentrated its forces on the town of Mayswood to intercept us. There are 2000 of them. That’s twice the number of soldiers we have.
“It looks like they are planning to besiege the city and fight a defensive battle completely.”
The city of Mayswood was built in the middle of a forest that produced high-quality timber and developed through forestry and timber processing. Since monsters can spring up from the nearby forest, it is equipped with a strong defensive wall. This time, they are trying to use that wall to repel us.
“They are not going to follow the surrender order, are they?”
Although we gave them the same advice to surrender as we did in Mitters Town, it seems that they have no intention of surrendering this time.
“It is fortunate at least that there is no conscripted militia.”
“Yes. We’ll overwhelm them with firepower first.”
“Very well. Crossbowmen! Advance!”
As soon as I called out to the wind spirits to start blowing a strong tailwind, 500 crossbowmen stepped forward and started shooting. A burst of crossbow shots pierced the Holy Kingdom soldiers on the defensive wall, and the strong headwind stalled the arrows fired by the Holy Kingdom soldiers. Some of the arrows reached our crossbowmen, and some of them were wounded, but none of them seemed to be in any danger of death.
In less than ten minutes, the enemy’s return fire became sparse, and they were completely hidden behind the defensive wall. For now, the shooting war is a one-sided victory for us.
“After all, the crossbow is amazing. I don’t think we’re going to lose in a shooting war.”
“That’s true. But they’re holed up now.”
“It can’t be helped. We’ll do what we always do. Send in the Harpies.”
“And what about the target?”
“Tell them to prioritize killing and wounding the enemy soldiers. Minimize damage to facilities and civilians as much as possible. And make sure no one falls.”
Danan moved away from me.
“Even if you’re not around, you’re still able to protect us… Kosuke.”
Harpies equipped with aerial bombs in both feet soar high into the sky. Soon, they will start raining death down on the generals of the Holy Kingdom army. If that happens, the outcome of this battle will be decided.
There’s no shortage of wood to make a battering ram around here. I gave the order before the battle began, so by now, the Transportation Corps soldiers should have cut down the large trees and completed the battering ram. After the Harpies eradicate the wall’s defensive forces, we can use the battering ram to break down the gate.
If Kosuke were here, he could have bombed the gate and blown it up, but now that Kosuke is not with us, we can’t afford to waste the Harpies’ precious air bombs.
The bombing by the Harpies began. The sound of air-shaking explosions rang out repeatedly, and the Liberation Army soldiers cheered.
“Once again, the Harpies’ military prowess comes first.”
“They’ll claim it’s Kosuke’s merit, not theirs, though.”
For us, the Liberation Army, Kosuke is genuinely our lifeline. At the same time, it is also fatal kryptonite.
“From now on, will you keep Kosuke in the rear, where he will be safe?”
“Yes. That’s what I intend to do.”
“I have a feeling that Kosuke will not be happy about this.”
“I think so, too. But, you know, if I put him in front of me, he’ll get hurt.”
“I don’t think it’s always safe to keep him in the back either.”
“Then what do you think I should do, Leonard?”
Leonard shrugged his shoulders at my question and then answered.
“I think it’s best to keep him close to the princess at all times. It is the safest way for both of you to be happy. I have failed because I didn’t do so in the past.”
Leonard lost his wife in the war against the Holy Kingdom’s army. His territory was attacked by a separate force of the Holy Kingdom’s army, which bypassed the main force of the Merinard Kingdom’s army, and his wife wielded her sword until the end of the attack and died.
“I will consider it favorably.”
“It would be good to do so, I think. The quality of the food will be better with Kosuke here.”
With a laugh, Leonard walked away toward the battering ram that had been brought from the rear. He will probably have another bout with Zamir for the best spear.
“Kosuke… wait for me.”
This Mayswood will fall soon. If so, Erichburg will be within a stone’s throw. The liberation army will be able to breathe a sigh of relief once Erichburg is under control. Until then, we have to be patient.
“I still have a lot of work to do.”
I gripped the hilt of my Pale Moon and looked up at the defensive wall of Mayswood, which had been torn to shreds by the bombing of the Harpies.
“Begin the assault! Show the Holy Kingdom army what you can do!”
With the soldiers shouting, I headed for the city gates. First, let’s take this place down. Let’s focus on that.