Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 40 – Burning Canyon
“I’m back now!”
The area in front of the city walls that I had returned to after the teleportation was the very battlefield itself.
The shooters, who were mainly using bolt action rifles, were firing as much as they could with clips of 5 rounds each of thirty-ought-six ammunition. Even so, the number of shots was insufficient to deal with the nearly one thousand enemy troops surging toward us. The heavy machine guns bellowing in the gun emplacements are mowing the enemy down one after another, but they haven’t been able to stop their rush completely. The firing intervals seem to have become erratic. It’s also possible that there is a problem with the engine or the gun’s barrel due to heat that even the dwarves can’t eliminate.
When I turned around at the sound of a scream, I saw that a rain of arrows was about to rain down on us from the enemy archers’ simultaneous projectiles. The soldiers of Casemaian are armed with firearms and have high offensive capabilities, but they are bare bodies with almost no defense. If an arrowhead hit them, they would die easily.
My voice trailed off a bit. It’s unnecessary to shout, but when you’re in a dangerous situation, you can’t help but say it out loud to be a little more certain. The impact of the arrows, or whatever you want to call them, disappears at once, and after a moment’s pause, the shooters cheer. I also tried to see if I could store the armor of the enemy soldiers, but after stripping a few of them from the front row, I realized that it was too inefficient and decided to stop. The distance that can be stored is about 100 meters, and since there appears to be no range effect at the maximum distance, each person needs to be specified individually. Yeah, it’s useless.
“Yoshua! Jou-chan, are you okay?”
“We’re fine, but someone’s hurt! Who can use healing magic now?”
“Leave it to me; I’ll take care of it!”
The dwarf and beastman women took the rescued children from me, separated them into two groups, and carried them inside the castle walls. Myrril patted me on the back as I watched them go.
“It’s all right now. The church is full of elves; they should be able to heal them soon.”
“OK, then, let’s go in!”
The last of the kingdom’s troops had begun their assault, as I could tell from the sound of gunfire and the roar of the crowd.
I’m sure the bodies that had piled up around the machine gun emplacement after the dwarves were sent off this morning were easily stored, but when I looked down, I saw a new pile of bodies in front of the gun emplacement.
“…I can’t bear to look at them, even though they’re enemies. Is there any other way except to plunge in so thoughtlessly?”
“No. I’ve given it some thought, but even if I were in their shoes, I couldn’t think of any other practical way.”
No, don’t look at me like that.
The fact is that there is nothing I can do about it. The Japanese army in the Russo-Japanese War was like that, and in World War I as well. To deal with machine guns protected by redoubts, you can either dig trenches and approach them, crush them with artillery, spray them with poison gas, send in tanks… or, as the kingdom’s army is doing now and as the Japanese army did in the Russo-Japanese War, you can use manpower to build a mountain of corpses and charge in.
Every time the heavy machine guns howled, the kingdom’s soldiers fell in a heap. Horses that had started to charge collapsed in a pile, and the rest of the troops who were caught up in the fray died in a spray of blood. A group of cavalrymen, speeding up in a large circle, rushed toward the canyon, weaving through the rain of bullets at high speed.
Homemade bombs buried under the wagons blew up a group of light infantry who had sought shelter from the rain of bullets and hid behind a pile of wagons. No one moves after being reamed out by the blast and steel fragments.
Indiscriminate death scattered about. Even if it’s by the standards of this world where magic is used… it might be more unreasonable than attack magic because magic defense and detection are ineffective.
“Yoshua! The machine gun emplacement has been cornered!”
I hurriedly looked at it, but it was not a battle against the gun emplacement. It was a desperate assault against the canyon after overcoming numerous sacrifices to break through the kill zone.
“No, I can’t aim at that angle anymore!”
“Stop! No need to deal with those who have entered the canyon; just aim at the soldiers on the plain!”
Myrril and I move to the top of the cliff, where we can see down into the canyon. They succeeded in breaking through with just under 30 cavalry and 5 to 60 infantry. Without slowing down and without looking back, they continued to run deeper into the canyon. Once they crossed, there was a slope leading to the walls of Casemaian.
For the kingdom’s army, we are still a small force. If they can send even a single soldier there and disrupt the battle line from the rear, they think they still have a chance to win.
But they don’t understand. Why haven’t they heard from the distraction force that was supposed to have bypassed the plains and come around the north side of Casemaian from the Dark Forest before the war started? Maybe the soldiers on the front lines haven’t even been told about the separate force…
“Yoshua, let’s use napalm on the enemy soldiers in the canyon!”
“Copy that. All hands prepare for impact! Myrril, hand signals to the machine guns!”
There are several people who I taught to use hand signals as a means of communication between the machine gun emplacements and the city walls, but Myrril is the fastest and most reliable. Her movements were fast, concise, and without hesitation.
“Yoshua! Machine gun emplacement responding, ready!”
“Ready! On my count of three… two… one.”
There is a momentary pause in the sound of gunfire from the machine gun emplacement as the bombs drop.
A group of cavalry and infantry took advantage of the opportunity and ran further into the canyon. It seems that it was the hero who was at the end of the line.
Without knowing the consequences of doing so.
“Drop! Drop! Drop!”
At the top of the canyon, the beastman and dwarves who had been standing at intervals facing down from the cliffs threw down homemade bombs at my signal. The bombs were not the remote-controlled explosive type that was used at the beginning of the war, but a type that was set to detonate on impact from the fall. It was large in size, with tanks of various shapes attached to it. I don’t know the composition or source of the chemical, but I’ve seen what it looks like.
Of course, not in real life, but as a scene from an online video or movie.
“Yeah, evade, evade, evade!”
After a short pause, a tremendous expansion sound echoed through the air. The flame that spread throughout the narrow canyon lost its way and erupted on the cliff.
The flames and heat that erupted from the cliff’s edge caused the beastman to stop firing their weapons and gasp in fear. The dwarves and elves are not perturbed, but their faces are frozen in stunned silence.
“We’re in the middle of a battle; stay sharp! I will check the results! Everyone take care of the remaining enemies!”
There is no point in wasting manpower in a situation where the battle is still going on. I’m the best person to deal with it in case of an emergency. I know that. It’s something I’ve come up with myself.
Nevertheless, I had to be somewhat prepared to see the devastation. I didn’t hear any screams, but the foul smell of burning flesh wafted up to the top of the cliff.
The charred remains of the soldiers were lying at the bottom of the cliff in what is called the “boxer’s position.” If Casemaian is to be reconstructed after the war, all the bodies of the kingdom’s soldiers (and horses) lying around must be collected and buried or thrown away somewhere.
I think I’m the only one who can do that, and I think it’s something I should do.
Just the thought of storing tens of thousands of dead enemy bodies in storage… not even in their original condition is enough to make me feel heavy in the pit of my stomach.
As I moved around, I saw that there were a few soldiers who had escaped instant death and were screaming and groaning. It was just a matter of time. With severe burns all over their bodies and not being able to move much, they would soon go quiet.
Surely, I’ll go to hell. Even an atheist can see that. The person who orchestrated such a mass murder will not die well. It was my own choice. I have no regrets now.
“Ah… ah, ah… ah!”
There was only one person struggling and moving at the entrance of the canyon.
It was the hero. I felt a psychological shock as he stood up slowly, but he didn’t seem to have suffered much damage physically, perhaps because of the magic barrier or some kind of blessing.
He must have entered the canyon at the tail end and was blown away by the blast and survived as a result.
I don’t know if that’s fortunate or not.
The hero finally stood up and let out a muffled scream. He stood there, his voice trembling as if he was crying, stiffened by the sight of the burnt bodies of his own soldiers stacked up in the canyon.
Eventually, he felt my eyes on him and slowly looked up at me. We stared at each other in silence for a while. Up and down the cliff, 120 meters apart. It was a long way for us to see eye to eye, but I could see it. It felt like a distance I could reach, a distance I could feel. There was no anger, hatred, fear, or anything else in the eyes of the hero. It didn’t even look like he recognized me.
The hero’s eyes were dead.