It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (124/130), enjoy~
Chapter 189 – First Round
We proceed along the road, having Harpy, the scout, catch and kill a suspicious bird that looks like a messenger pigeon. It looks like there are scouts lurking in the woods. Well, we don’t have time to worry about them now, and there is no way they can keep up with our speed, so we leave them alone.
We continued on our way for about an hour. Finally, we arrived at Bobrovsk, a town in the Holy Kingdom’s sphere of influence. The defense force of Bobrovsk didn’t seem to notice the invasion until they saw us, probably because the scout Harpy and the others had blocked the communication of information in advance. It seems that the civilians who were being inspected at the city gate were hurriedly and urgently taken into the city. At this rate, the defense would be completely unprepared.
“Kosuke, let’s use the speakers.”
Sylphy picked up the microphone installed between the driver’s seat and the backseat and raised her voice.
“Attention all Holy Kingdom forces present in Bobrovsk, we are the Liberation Army of the Merinard Kingdom! Disarm and surrender immediately! If you do not surrender by the end of the quarter-hour, we will launch an attack!”
We are far enough away from the defensive walls and gates that arrows cannot reach us, so we are not sure how our opponents will react. However, it seems that at least they do not intend to go on such an outburst that they will strike out immediately.
And while this is happening, the following airboards are emerging from the roads one after another and encircling Bobrovsk. The riflemen equipped with machine guns, as well as the elite soldiers under Sir Leonard’s command, are proficient in the handling of crossbows, so all of the members of the high-speed strike force have the means to attack at long range.
Naturally, it is possible to fire from above the airboard, so all of them have some fighting ability, especially without dismounting.
“Do you think they will surrender?”
The sound of bells began to ring intermittently from the town of Bobrovsk as if to signal an emergency situation. There must be chaos in Bobrovsk by now.
“I doubt they will. If it is said that they surrendered without a fight, it will greatly affect the progress of the Bobrovsk defense commanders, and basically, the commanders who are placed on the front lines are solid men who do not have to worry about being overrun by the enemy… Three units of the riflemen will go around to the north gate to block the passage. Kill anyone who tries to force their way through.”
This time, Sylphy picked up the microphone on the vehicle-mounted Golem communicator and began issuing instructions to all sides.
“Harpy’s scouts, check to see if there are any fast horses rushing out of Bobrovsk. Bombardment squads, start bombing. Two of you will coordinate with the scouts, and if the fast horses escape from the blockade, you will bomb them. Capture any pigeons that escape the blockade as before.”
Sylphy’s rather merciless instructions flew out. Well, it is important to block the enemy’s information, isn’t it? It’s impossible to prevent it completely, but it’s better for us to do it than not to do it.
There are many points in which we have an advantage over the Holy Kingdom’s army and our liberation army, but the biggest is our information advantage. We have a golem communication device that allows us to exchange information in real-time, even over a distance.
In contrast, the fastest means of communicating information in the Holy Kingdom’s army is the pigeon, followed by the fast horse. As for the pigeon, there is a fatal difference in speed: the pigeon may be missed, but it lacks certainty, to begin with, and the horse is almost as fast as an airboard blitz invasion, even if attack time is subtracted.
And if the information is not conveyed, the Holy Kingdom’s side will always be subject to surprise attacks. It is very difficult to set up a proper defense system in a quarter of an hour ― 30 minutes. They would also have to evacuate civilians. If they were to throw all of that out, they might be able to set up some kind of defense system…
“This is the north gate. A group of men, probably messengers, have appeared and are advancing toward us with cavalry.”
From a distance, a crackling sound of gunfire can be heard.
“Processing is complete. We have no casualties.”
“Good job. Continue to maintain vigilance.”
“As you have heard. The second and third units will follow me. The fourth unit will be in charge of the situation. If anything happens, ask the Princess to give you instructions.”
After receiving Princess’s instructions, I used the golem communicator to give support to the riflemen and then lightly tapped on the window behind the driver’s seat. In response, the airboard began to glide over the fields surrounding Bobrovsk. It is wonderful that it can move over the fields in this way and not trample the fields. Moreover, it is impeccable because it is fast and has more maneuverability than a horse-drawn carriage. The only drawback is that there is nowhere to hide if bows and arrows or magic attack you, but since two mages who can use barrier magic are deployed, it is unlikely that the enemy’s attacks will penetrate the vehicle.
In this march, the airboard on which the riflemen ride has two riflemen and two mages, for a total of five people on board. The mages also serve as loaders. Although this is a trial deployment, I think it is a very reasonable formation.
When we rounded the back of Bobrovsk toward the north gate, the road was already deserted. The bells had been ringing earlier, warning of an emergency situation, so all the farmers who had been working in the field and the travelers who had been visiting nearby must have been accommodated in the city. No, if you look closely, it seems that there is still some kind of mess going on around the gate. I instructed the driver to deploy to a place far enough away from the gate.
“Block the road and stand by. Check your machine guns for ready fire.”
While giving instructions to my subordinates, I also check the machine gun myself. The maintenance was done by Kosuke yesterday, so all I have to do is check the operation and load the ammunition.
The city gate opened a little later, and about twelve cavalrymen jumped out. They were obviously trying to break through our blockade. Two horses were carrying lightly-armed riders who looked like messengers, and the rest were armed cavalrymen. The cavalrymen would act as shields and charge, and they would probably try to exploit the gap between us and let the messenger break through. I immediately contacted the Princess using the golem communicator.
“A group of what appear to be messengers have appeared at the north gate and are advancing toward us with cavalry.”
The Princess’s reply to my report was very short and decisive.
“Copy that. First, second, and third units. Target, enemy cavalry. Pull back, not yet… Prepare for annihilating fire ── Commence firing.”
With an order, we pull the trigger and shower the enemy cavalry coming toward us with bullets.
Rat-Tat-Tat! Rat-Tat-Tat! The cavalrymen are transformed into a cloud of blood smoke.
Even bolt-action rifles could blow away enemy soldiers in armor with a single blow, but this machine gun weapon fires 20 such shots in rapid succession in one second. No matter how well armored they were or how well they rode their horses, they were as good as paper in the face of this offensive power.
The storm of bullets from the six machine guns, two per airboard, literally annihilated the cavalry group in a very short time. There were no survivors. Naturally, the horses were also killed.
“With bolt-action rifles, you could have killed only the riders.”
Indeed. If the number of the enemy was twelve, there were twelve riders. If six men fired with bolt-action rifles, it was possible to kill all of them before the enemy got close to us.
“That may be so, but the purpose of this mission was to show overwhelming power.”
“I’m sorry for the horses.”
“It can’t be helped.”
Horses are very versatile livestock. It’s a triple threat: good to ride, good to plow, and good to eat. If you tell this to a horse-type Beastman, they will give you a nasty look… but that’s not important right now. Report report report.
“Processing is complete. We have no casualties.”
“Good work. Continue to maintain vigilance.”
I finished my report on the communicator and switched frequencies.
“We’ll pull the dead enemy soldiers to the side of the road. Get one person out of the second and third units. The rest of you will cover the recovery team. The mage will stay on the vehicle.”
The second and third units replied.
“Well then, go ahead.”
“Eh? I’m going?”
“I’m the captain, after all. I have to command.”
“Ugh! Jagira’s an idiot!”
Hahaha, what a loyal subordinate I have! Now, how will the enemy react?
It seems that some enemy cavalry had tried to break through at the north gate, but after that, Bobrovsk remained silent like a shellfish in its shell. No, that is an apt description since there were glimpses of what appeared to be garrison soldiers on the defensive wall. Anyway, there was no movement of any kind in response to the surrender call.
“…It’s about time.”
Sylphy muttered to herself as she checked the position of the sun. I can hardly understand it, but it seems that Sylphy can measure the time rather accurately by the position of the sun. My sense tells me that thirty minutes have already passed, but apparently, I was somewhat in a hurry.
Sylphy picked up the microphone on the speaker again.
“Time’s up! Raise the white flag if you are willing to surrender. If not, we will attack!”
She called out again, but Bobrovsk made no move. That’s as far as it goes, it seems.
“Harpy Bombardment Squad. Destroy the south gate of Bobrovsk.”
“Copy that. We will begin bombing.”
The Harpy Bombardment Squadron, which had already been deployed above the city, begins bombing at Sylphy’s order. It is a dive-bombing from the sky. After dropping the bombs, the Harpies return to the sky as if they were leaping up. And the next moment, a huge explosion occurred at the gates of Bobrovsk. In reality, there were only several medium-sized explosions at the same time, but because of the perfect timing, it looked as if a huge explosion had occurred.
“Aren’t the Harpies working too well together?”
“They were training in their spare time. They often used my bedroom as a virtual target. I used to help them collect dummy bombs. I also used to make a kind of wall out of the dirt.”
Grande’s sleepy voice came from behind. I wondered what the Harpies were doing.
Anyway, the south gate was crushed and collapsed by a single blow like a craftsman’s art. Another bomb was dropped there, and this time the rubble was blown away without a trace. Now the Harpies must have bombed out both legs, so they need to come back for a re-bombing… that’s great.
“The next targets for attack will be the garrison, barracks, and armory on the defensive wall.”
The Harpies flew off again, this time blasting the garrison on the defensive wall en masse, followed by the sporadic bombing of Bobrovsk’s internal defensive installations. Again, all we can do is watch.
“Well, it’s one-sided.”
“That’s the way it’s supposed to be. They attack from a height that neither bows and arrows nor magic can reach, so there is no way to resist.”
I hear Isla’s calm analysis from behind me. Well, yeah, that’s right, since they’re one-sidedly beating the enemy from out range.
“Um, what are we going to do after this?”
“We’ll leave the handling to the others, and we’ll move on.”
We don’t have time for postwar processing. The role of the high-speed strike force is to destroy enemy bases one after another with overwhelming speed and firepower and to pave the way for the following main force to easily overrun the enemy bases. If we wait for the main force to catch up with us every time, there is no point in making our legs faster.
“Report the results of the battle.”
“This is the scout. The garrison on the defensive wall has been wiped out. We have confirmed the destruction of the main defenses.”
“All right, Harpy Bombardment Squadron, return to base. After a 15-minute pause, we will resume our advance. All personnel must replenish their fluids.”
“Fifteen minutes. I’ll go replenish the air bombs while I’m at it.”
“Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, but be careful.”
I replied to Sylphy and jumped down from the cockpit of the airboard. Now, let’s get into a quick replenishment.