Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 34 – Signal Gun
The formation of our kingdom’s army was perfect. At least, that’s how it looked to me, a Japanese native.
It was the first time for me to experience war with swords, spears, and bows, but when I saw the strong soldiers that filled the plain, I felt that there was no enemy that this army could not overrun.
“Hey, Hiroki, are you sure you can handle this?”
“Don’t worry about it. The war has already started. Now is not the time to be rattling on about it.”
“…But you know, there’s that guy over there.”
“Just shut the fuck up! I don’t give a shit about that shit anymore! If you’re so worried, why don’t you come up with a better plan, O Sage?”
As usual, the incompetent sage, Tomonori, who has no plan of action, keeps his mouth shut and walks away dissatisfied.
It seems that his aptitude as a mage is unnecessarily high, and he has been given a special assignment that is both flashy and highly dangerous. But the cowardly Tomonori is not proud of it in the slightest. In fact, he probably wants to run away right now.
What a worthless guy.
If you have any experience in martial arts, you know what I’m talking about. Being scared will not change the situation. It only narrows your vision and dulls your judgment. You can’t attack while on the run. If you curl up in a ball of weakness, you will be beaten to a pulp. If you have no choice but to fight, there is no solution but to push hard.
After all, the enemy was a mishmash of less than a hundred subhumans. From what I’ve heard, they don’t even have any iron weapons, and their main weapons are bows and arrows and clubs.
I don’t remember his name, but the fact that he’s a third-rate businessman doesn’t affect many people. I know he has a pistol, but it’s only one gun, and it should be easy to crush him if I let the armored soldiers charge him.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll go out myself. I can protect myself with a powerful magical barrier and use my rock-shattering holy sword to deliver the death penalty. I can do it. I have to do it. In order to get rid of the humiliation and regain fame as a hero, victory is desperately needed.
“Hero-sama, what are you doing in the back like this? Your Majesty the King has ordered you to take the lead.”
When I saw a follower rushing over to me, I snickered.
You’ve got to be kidding me. What good is standing at the front of a battlefield like this? After all, we don’t even know where the enemy is yet.
“It’s not my place to be bothered by people who haven’t even been to the front lines. If you want to do it, do it yourself. The point is, all I have to do is kill all the subhumans in the end.”
“Do you have a problem with that? I’ll kill you first if you keep babbling on like this.”
“Ah… no, yes.”
“Don’t worry; I’ll get to the front lines of the fight soon enough. As long as I can see them coming.”
The battlefield against the subhumans is a ridiculously wide-open plain. It’s about three miles… long and five miles wide.
The main enemy camp is located in a high wall, and the only way to get there is through a canyon. The key to victory was to get through the canyon as quickly as possible with as little damage as possible.
The plains are mostly flat, but on closer look, there are a few shrubby spots scattered about, a strip of what the kingdom’s people call a dry river, and a few small hills. It seems that the drop in both high and low is about 10 feet. I don’t know the unit of measurement in the kingdom, but it is about twice a person’s height. There are pieces of wood and iron lying around that look like the wreckage of an abandoned carriage, which could be used as a barrier.
If we use it well, we can cope with a longbow shot down from the Casemaian, which is about 1/10 of a mile high (about 160 meters), by using it together with a large shield.
I sent out scouts to check, but there were no signs of subhumans hiding anywhere on the plain. I wondered how long they had been waiting for us, but I was disappointed.
“The high ground, the barrier, and the hollows should all be the first to be seized as key points that will determine the outcome of the battle, but to leave them unattended is just the shallow wisdom of subhumans.”
Whether he was trying to soften the awkward atmosphere or trying desperately to dispel the anxiety and fear of being on the battlefield ― most likely the latter ― the squire licked his lips and said in a strangely cheerful voice.
The commander of the mixed forces of the royal army is General Tristria, the third son of the duke’s family, which means he is a distant relative of the royal family. It is said that he is a fierce general known for his continuous victories and undefeated record throughout his life, but it would be crazy for the kingdom’s army, which has only ever fought with at least four times as many men as the enemy, to have any losses.
Even now, 10,000 heavily armed infantrymen with tower-shaped shields are positioned on the flat ground in front of the enemy, attracting the attention of the subhumans and preparing for an attack and assault. Behind them, at a safe distance, are 3,000 archers for support. This alone is more than enough to destroy a hundred subhumans.
While they were drawing the enemy’s frontal forces, the five hundred heavily armed cavalrymen took advantage of their speed and rushing power to go around the unobstructed perimeter, pass in front of the cliff where the main Casemaian camp is located, and jump into the enemy’s heart at once.
It seems that General Tristria is not just a muscle-brained idiot who uses his main force to force his way through.
He had dispersed two or three hundred of his small (and disposable) mercenaries in the shade of four dense bushes and had about five hundred of his light infantry moving along the dry river to a gently sloping position on the north side, the final assault point.
He placed two hundred archers and three hundred light cavalry on the front side of the three hills close to the enemy position. This was probably a way to see the battle situation and eat up the fleeing enemy.
There are a few other hidden gems as well. We will win. We will definitely, definitely win.
“But General Tristria’s inability to eat is true. He’s thinking about the post-war period now.”
“It’s that lineup. The one who makes a splash on the front is his family’s duke’s army and the heavy infantry troops drawn from the son’s count’s army and margrave’s army. But in the end, the Kingsguard cavalry commanded by the first prince decides the outcome of the battle. Isn’t it obvious what he intends to do?”
I shook my head in disgust at the squire’s words. It’s a given that we’ll win, so what he’s concerned about is how he’s going to grease the wheels and how the reward will be distributed after the war.
Apparently, there’s still a lot I can’t see. Politics. It’s stupid… but if I don’t force myself to learn it somewhere, I’ll look like a fool if I don’t know it.
In coordination with the flutes, drums, and hand signals, the 13,000 strong vanguard troops of the kingdom army began to change formation. All at once, they set up their shields, hardened themselves like turtles, and waited for the time to charge, keeping their breaths low. And then.
At the very back of the kingdom’s camp ― in other words, the area where I’m standing ― the mage corps unleashes long-range attack magic — a ruthless and powerful attack, like the cannons and missiles of modern warfare. There is no way to escape this attack magic unless you have a mage that far surpasses this one.
The light that flew straight at the enemy hit the top of the city walls and shattered, scattering dust and debris over the enemy lines. A few feet away from me, the leader of the court mage, who was in command, raised his thick armored head and nodded in satisfaction.
I think he’s one of the generals’ lackeys too…
“Alright, that’s it! If it stays like this… Ebuh!”
The leader mage, who was about to give the next signal with his command sword in hand, suddenly disappeared.
Something sticky and chunky landed on me. As I realized that the warm, fishy smell was blood, flesh, and grey matter, I heard a delayed roar in the distance. The metallic sound that echoed behind me was that of heavy armor folding and collapsing…
Before I could gather my thoughts, I heard the sound of wind rushing through the sky.
“The enemy is attacking, mage troops, evacuate! Retreat… Hyiiu!”
Something falls on the mage who moves in order to disrupt the battle line and escape.
That was something dangerous. I don’t know what it is, but I know that it’s something incredibly dangerous in my gut.
“Run! It’s not that way; it’s to the front, you idiot!”
If you are attacked in a state where you are defenseless, it is a bad idea to move back. You will be targeted. There is no way to escape from such a situation in martial arts except to stand guard and get into the enemy’s hands. It seems to have worked for him now.
As I lay on the ground holding my head, the ground around me was violently shaken and dug up. I survived the roar and blast, and when I looked back, the mages had been shattered, along with their entire camp.
I almost died. Just as I was about to get up, I was blown away by the impact that struck me again, and I rolled over, shaking my confused head in the smoke and gunpowder. What the hell was that…?
“Wait, gunpowder smoke? …Damn it, is that gunpowder smoke?”
I could hear the wind noise again. The things falling from the sky one after another were undoubtedly small bombs.
“It’s landing now!”
Myrril, who was observing with binoculars, corrected the distance and direction. To be honest, I can’t even faintly see the bombs hitting the ground. Myrril, you claimed you could see across the plain with your naked eyes. Please give me back my binoculars…
“Alright! East gun turret, number one, hold! Number two, two degrees to the left! Number three, keep the same angle, two degrees overhead!”
“West gun, number one and two are good! Keep firing! Number three, five degrees to the right, three degrees elevation. We’ll cut off the remaining mages’ escape route!”
The battle began with a volley of shots from the enemy archers. The longbow’s curved shot, which drew a mountainous trajectory, would certainly kill you if it hit you, but there were no allies within the enemy’s range, to begin with. The only thing in range was the machine gun position, but it was reinforced with logs and large rocks based on the shell of a land-running dragon (a five-meter-diameter dome that looked like a turtle’s shell to me), and a barrier made of scaled shields taken from the kingdom’s army. In addition, it is a safe zone completely isolated by horse fences, empty moats, and barbed wire. It can’t be shaken by a bow and arrow.
Incidentally, two more Land Dragons were hunted in addition to the one that was killed by long-range shooting, and their shells were secured after the dragon steak party.
The magic bullets that came from the mage troops were too far away, or perhaps they destroyed the walls of Casemaian slightly and fizzled out.
Simonov’s 14.5 x 114 mm rounds, which were fired in return, blew away the mage commander, who was apparently wearing heavy armor, like an empty can, and then slipped backward, taking several people with it. It was so powerful that it was impossible to confirm whether the enemy had barriers against physical attacks or not.
In the end, the mortar shells that were fired in anticipation steadily slaughtered the fleeing mages. It’s not clear if the dwarves have a basis in mathematics or if they have unusual intuition, but it’s surprising to see that they’re dropping bombs almost exactly where they’re intended, even though they’ve had very little actual training.
We wanted to crush the mage and the dragon cavalry as soon as possible, but we only succeeded with the mage. There is no sign of the Wyvern yet.
“Yoshua, the heavy infantry in front is moving!”
I saw the enemy’s main force, the heavily armored infantry, harden their defenses with the drums, whistles, and flags signaled earlier. It seems that the ones that were stopped in a stiffly guarded position finally began to move forward at the next signal.
I wondered if they couldn’t determine their direction of movement because they couldn’t see our soldiers, but either way, there was only one way out. We had no choice but to aim for the entrance of the canyon. The fact that we were kept waiting was probably due to confusion in the enemy’s command, or perhaps they had an agenda of their own.
“…But then again, how could they think of such a strategy?”
“I think about it, but I don’t believe in implementing it.”
“It may be effective on the battlefield where the number of soldiers is the most important factor, but it is a huge waste of money, people, time, and effort.”
Myrril and the surrounding dwarves watch the advance of the heavily armed infantry with half admiration and half dismay.
I’ve never seen a dense formation in actual combat before. The speed is slow, but the defense is perfect, and the way they combine shields and spears and move in a dense formation is like a giant monster. No matter how brave the beastmen were, they would not be able to inflict even a scratch on 10 or 20 of them. They would be pushed, surrounded, and crushed to death.
It’s a way of fighting that beastmen, dwarves, and elves can’t do and wouldn’t even think of doing.
If you’re a history enthusiast, you’ll appreciate this… That speed is nothing short of maddening when you’re watching from above.
“Come on Yoshua, let’s get started!”
“Okay, use your judgment and do it promptly, but keep track of how many you have left!”
“Yes, leave it to me! Grandpa Kenneth, Grandpa Kellman, prepare for 2-1 through 2-4!”
“Copy that. 2-1, 2-2, safety release!”
“2-3, 2-4, we are ready.”
“First target is within range of effect. Not yet. A few more to go…3…2…1, now!”
The old dwarves hit the remote control switch, and the group of heavily armed infantry disappeared in a cloud of dust.
The first thing I heard was a thud in my gut, followed a moment later by the sound of the earth-shaking, and then an explosion roared in my ears. The armor that had soared high into the air was blown up almost to our line of sight, torn apart and crushed into disintegrating wreckage that rained down on the enemy lines.
After the blast had passed, there was a huge crater and a couple of thousand bodies of soldiers lying motionless on its outskirts.
There was no trace of the remainder. Really, nothing.
Everyone was at a loss for words. It wasn’t a shock. We knew this would happen, and it turned out the way we expected, but our brains were having a hard time accepting the information. After a few minutes of silence, the old dwarves murmured in strangely flat voices.
“Thousands of…, no, ten thousands of heavily armed infantry are… pulverized.”
“…You’ve created… this thing, in your own country.”
It’s not my country. Well, in terms of military might, my country is in the same boat.
“Alright! Rifle squad, on your marks!”
The elves on the city walls responded to Myrril’s instructions, who seemed to come to her senses quickly.
Looking down below, I could see heavily armed cavalry troops that had bypassed the battlefield and were charging down the cliff at high speed. Some of the cavalry seemed to have lost their stride, perhaps due to the impact of the explosion. Even so, they bravely stitched their way through the horse fence and went around the barbed wire fence, aiming for the entrance to the canyon. They must be planning to break through and run up the slope to the main Casemaian camp where we are.
The main force was wearing silver armor and red cloaks. They were the cavalry of the Kingsguard.
[T/n: I’m sorry if there are many mistakes in the command.]