It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (91/113), enjoy~
The next day – as the sun began to rise. Hiro was looking down at the gate from the breastwork.
“The sound is flashy, but the result is plain…”
A strong wind swept through his hair.
The wind bothered him as it tried to freeze his skin; Hiro looked at the scenery in front of him with a blank expression on his face. In front of the gate, the enemy soldiers with arrows stuck in them were lying down. He could count the number with just one hand, and he could also see that many stones had fallen on some parts of the ground.
When Hiro saw this, he gave a small laugh.
“It seems to have been effective enough.”
When you can’t see what’s ahead, sound is the best way to judge things in the dark.
The enemy must have heard the sound of small stones crashing to the ground and mistakenly thought that many arrows were raining down on them.
That’s what created the strange scene in front of him.
“Ara, you’re already awake, I see.”
When Hiro turned around in response to the voice, he saw the purple-silver queen, Claudia, standing there with a refreshing smile.
“Did you sleep well?”
“I was able to get a good night’s rest thanks to a rather fancy lullaby.”
“It seems that Hiro-sama’s plan was a success, thank you very much.”
Claudia walked up to him after expressing her admiration.
“Did you get a sense of the commander’s personality?”
“To a certain extent, yes. At best, he is a good commander who takes things calmly; at worst, he is a fool who misses an opportunity.”
If he were to evaluate the commander as a whole, he would be an ordinary commander — a tasteless, odorless mediocre commander who is neither good nor bad.
“Now, Claudia, there are a few holes in this plan. The enemy commander seems to have overlooked them, but do you understand?”
Hiro looked down again and asked Claudia a question.
She did not protest, nor was she dubious, but simply followed his words and put her hands on the breastworks, looking down at the ground.
She squinted her eyes as if thinking of the situation on the battlefield where a one-sided attack would have taken place last night.
“First of all, the number of dead bodies is low. That means there are a lot of soldiers who have returned back.”
Judging from the bodies, it seems that they were lightly armed, but their heads were well protected, and none of them died from small stones. There may have been a few whose brains were shaken by the impact, but seeing as there are no bodies without arrows sticking out of them, it seems that none of them were dumb enough to die from a pebble and were able to escape safely.
“Then there was the fact that they couldn’t make use of the information from the soldiers who had escaped.”
If the commander had been able to get details from the soldiers or check the extent of their injuries, the fort would have fallen by now.
“But that’s not the point. There is no way to judge… whether the fort has fallen or not.”
Claudia muttered quietly, then returned to the subject.
“Anyway, the enemy commander is calm, but he is not a man who gathers information from trivial things, and he seems to have no power to assess the situation.”
“You are correct. I mean, now that morning has come, the enemy commander must have realized that he was being schemed against.”
By now, he would have noticed the state of the fort or heard the report from his spy and would have been overcome with anger.
If his ego is strong enough, he’s sure to launch an attack.
The preparations for that had already been made last night.
Hiro looked at the enemy troops with an amused look in his eyes, wondering when they would launch their attack.
“Well, he behaves just as I imagined.”
A drum sounded from the camp of the Six Kingdoms. The army began to move forward, shouting and inspiring their own troops. When the horn was blown, the enemy forces surrounding the four sides began to move in unison. There was also a glimpse of siege weapons nearby.
“So let’s open the gates ― are you ready?”
Claudia nodded as Hiro told her.
“Yes, and the morale of the soldiers is high since they have had enough rest.”
“Then let’s get started.”
When Hiro raised his hand, the flag bearer responded by waving a large flag.
And then the ground beneath Hiro’s feet shook. The traps underneath the gate were opened.
The unexpected action caused an uproar from the enemy forces.
However, the advance did not stop. Perhaps they hadn’t been ordered to stop. The front line was clearly baffled, but they still had no choice but to keep walking until they got the order.
“How do you think the enemy will react?”
“If it turns out to be an empty fortress plan, the enemy army will retreat temporarily.”
“And if they don’t?”
“If they think they’ve read my plan, they’ll order an assault.”
Last night, they fell for the trick. The enemy, eager not to be fooled again, will read too much into it. The fact that they had been fooled last time made it impossible for them to make a favorable decision.
Moreover, they had to immediately give orders to the front line in order to avoid dampening the momentum of the first group that had started to move. However, there was no way to disrupt the chain of command so that it would change two or three times. And if there were no time left to think about it, the thought would run away at an immediate and straightforward order that could be given to the entire army.
“I’m sorry to say, but whether they choose to charge or retreat, my victory is unassailable.”
As Hiro gave a pitying look, the first group of the enemy made a big move.
They ran off in a cloud of dust.
“It seems to have been an assault… Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to leave.”
Without waiting for Hiro’s reply, Claudia descended the stairs that connect to the courtyard.
Without even a glance, Hiro held his mask and gave the enemy troops a wry smile.
“I should have put things in perspective. Being able to give simple orders doesn’t mean you’re quick-witted. It’s the result of abandoning your thoughts ― it’s obvious that you’re upset.”
Hiro lifted the corner of his mouth as if in mockery and raised his hand toward the flag bearer.
At the same time, the first group of enemies dove through the gate and avalanched into the courtyard.
However, there was no smile on the face of the enemy soldiers who had made it in without any resistance. This was because there were no Levering soldiers in the courtyard.
“They abandoned the defense?”
“The walls! Go up there; they must be hiding there!”
They were not allowed to stand still as they attacked. Above all, since the back is blocked, they have no choice but to force their way forward.
Then, many of the enemy soldiers began to slip and fall for no apparent reason.
“What, mud? Watch your step!”
The horses overturned, neighing in distress, and the people on the horses slammed into the ground.
There was a shout of agony, and the soldiers of the Six Kingdoms looked panicked and desperately tried to get up.
This is because the unprotected state is an easy target for the archers hiding behind the breastworks.
“…They’re pathetic. They’re too reckless.”
As soon as he saw that the enemy soldiers could not grasp what had happened, he waved his hand to the flag bearer again. Then the archers who had been hiding behind the breastworks appeared and started shooting arrows.
The arrows were covered with intense flames.
It cut through the air and pierced the muddy ground where the bewildered enemy soldiers were. The air shrank, and flames erupted.
A desperate cry roared out — the enemy soldiers, unable to endure the heat and struggled to escape.
Forgetting to fight, they threw away their swords and even tried to take off the armor that protected them.
However, as the horses were engulfed in fire and ran wild, many of them were jumped by the horses’ legs and sometimes crushed by the horses’ hooves.
Of course, not all the enemy soldiers were engulfed in flames.
Those who escaped the hellish scene ran up the stairs provided in the walls.
However, they stopped with a startled look on their faces, their eyes glued to the burning soldiers.
Then, a rain of arrows quickly shot out.
“Damn, it’s a trap! The bottom――!?”
As they slid down the stairs, the enemy soldiers were shot down.
Claudia’s boisterous voice rang out amidst the screams.
At the same time as the roar of horseshoes shook the courtyard, the cavalry led by Claudia thrust spears into the backs of enemy soldiers who had given up the fight and fled, killing them like a muddy stream.
“We will drive them back! Brave men, follow me!”
Raising her sword high into the air, Claudia mercilessly slaughtered the enemies swarming the main gate.
The first line of the enemy’s line broke down in the face of irregular attacks and traps set fluidly.
“Now, will they save their outnumbered allies or not?”
A horn was blown from the enemy camp.
When Hiro looked over at the enemy’s main camp, he saw that the second line was moving to save the first line.
His eyes were cut off as he slowly made his way down the stairs that connected to the courtyard.
“That’s a bad move. They should have ordered a retreat, not a rescue.”
When Hiro reached the gate, Claudia, who had kicked out most of the enemy soldiers around her, came riding up. Claudia’s shoulders are bouncing with excitement.
“It seems that the enemy’s second line has begun to move.”
“It seems so.”
“What are we going to do about the main enemy position behind it?”
Claudia would like to use this momentum to run through to the enemy’s main camp. It’s not that she can’t do it, but it’s just too risky.
The enemy’s first line was estimated to be roughly five thousand, but not all of them were burned to death inside the fort. It was probably only about eight hundred that were burned by fire. Claudia charged in to take advantage of the confusion, but even so, the total damage must have been less than two thousand. The scale of Fort Tullus was too small. If it had been larger, the damage to the enemy would have been enormous.
“As it was, it was too weak to be a decisive factor, so we had to come up with a plan.”
“What do you intend to do?”
“What’s behind the enemy’s main camp?”
“It’s… where they keep their rations, but it’s heavily guarded.”
Claudia’s face suggested that this was more reckless than attacking the main camp.
“We’re not at that stage yet.”
Hiro gave a small smile.
“Can you arrange a hundred or so archers… on the breastworks?”
“What are you going to do with just that?”
“I will go and capture the second line’s captain.”
It could have been the first line captain, but he was lucky to have escaped and would have been moved to the rear by now. It’s not easy to catch the prey after it has been trapped. There was no point in wasting time on such an annoyance, and he had no choice but to target the second line captain, who was driven by momentum.
“You seem to be serious…”
Claudia looked at Hiro with a dumbfounded expression before calling one of her aides over.
“I’m off then.”
Hiro raised his hand lightly as if he was going for a walk and walked out proudly.
He walked out of the fort through a gap in the heavily armed infantry that blocked the entrance.
The second line of deadly enemies was charging at them, their eyes changing color as they tried to take their achievements.
Hiro’s eyes caught the scene.
His voice was muffled by the clamor, so quiet that it sounded like he was really muttering.
Still, Hiro’s voice resonated well. It shook the eardrums from the storm of sword fights.
Faithfully, without the slightest delay, the archers around him shot their arrows into the sky.
First, a warning shot ― the archers standing side by side on the breastworks also attacked.
The enemy cavalry’s speed slowed down, and their momentum was reduced, causing a disruption in the formation.
Hiro took another step forward.
“Look, there’s a prominent captain’s head here. There’s no time to stand still.”
Hiro tapped his own neck to provoke his opponent.
With the appearance of a strange man wearing a mask, the enemy soldiers fighting on the front line were momentarily taken aback.
However, those who were quick to notice the noble-looking form of the man changed the color of their eyes blatantly.
“The enemy general is coming out! Take him down! Don’t bother with the small fry. Set your sights on him alone!”