Day 169 after being summoned to another world: (Defensive War) 1
“Listen up! From here on, the mercenary units must build the defense facility as instructed. Our performance here will be our lifeline! I want everyone to remember that!”
The sun was shining in the middle of the sky. The cloudless sky was so clear as if it is favouring Ryouma’s camp.
Countless fists are raised up to the sky in response to Ryouma’s command.
Before his eyes, there are 2000 knights whom he was put in charge by the princess, and 100 mercenaries led by Lione.
The advance party led by Ryouma has successfully crossed the Thaves River within three days just as they had planned, and now they are building a defensive facility on the east bank of the Thebe River.
This is to enable the other 20.000 troops led by Princess Lupis that will arrive at the Thaves River west bank in four days to cross over.
And for the sake of their survival until the main force arrives.
“There’s a high probability that the enemy is already aware of our actions here and is planning to attack! Our time is limited! However, if we can surround our camp with water and fences to some extent before they attack, you guys who are elites should be able to hold them off even if the enemy numbers are 30 times greater than you!”
Echoing roars followed Ryouma’s words.
(Fuuh, at least I have no problem with morale for now. After this, it’s just a matter of how much they can prepare as I’ve instructed. )
After Ryouma’s speech had ended and each platoons have returned to their posts, one man remained standing in front of him.
“Mikoshiba-dono. I’ll begin the reconnaissance together with 500 Knights. ”
Ryouma nodded toward Mikhail’s words.
It is dangerous to split a quarter of their force into reconnaissance. However, this is still much better than overlooking the enemy movement and ended up getting a surprise attack.
That is what Ryouma had judged.
“Very well, though I will say this once again; you must only do reconnaissance. Withdraw immediately and do not attempt to engage in battle even if you spot the enemy. ”
There’s no meaning in reconnaissance if they cannot locate the enemy.
A reconnaissance is an information gathering mission.
Thus there’s no need for them to engage the enemy.
“I understand. I don’t really approve showing our backs to the enemy, but this is also part of the strategy. I guess there’s no other choice. ”
Mikhail answered Ryouma in disappointment.
However, because Ryouma was given the authority by the Princess directly, Mikhail has no other choice but to follow his orders.
“I asked of you to do this because you’re one of the best, and we can’t afford to have too many casualties from this mission. It is not an exaggeration to say this mission’s success depends on your performance, you know?”
It is a demanding role, considering Mikhail’s insufficiency in the brain department, but there’s no other suitable person than him.
Ryouma has no other choice than to trust Mikhail for it.
“I understand. Well then, please excuse me!”
Mikhail turned his body and walked away after saying that words.
Ryouma looked at the Mikhail’s back as he left.
Because there are no capable people around, Ryouma had no choice than to leave it to Mikhail, but later on, Ryouma will find himself regretting this decision.
“Listen up! Just do like how we have trained! And keep your guards up!”
“”” O spirits that controls over the earth. Hear our call and transform the land before us !”””
The mercenaries began their chant together with Bolts.
That was a low level earth manipulation magic arts.
When they placed their hands on the surface of the ground, the earth sank simultaneously for about 1 meter in front of the chanters.
“Alright! This is good. The first group of magic users will continue digging the same hole again after you’ve had your 15 minutes rest! And the second group will check for any mistakes and shall rectify them immediately!!”
“How is your work progressing?”
A voice called out to Bolts who was tasked with the construction work.
Currently, the sun is just about to set.
It has been just over three hours since Bolts had began his work.
A dry moat with 20 meters width and 5 meters depth entered Ryouma’s field of vision.
Not to mention that the length is over 500 meters. It was unbelievable for them to achieved it in such a short amount of time.
“Ah! Young master! Well, let’s see, I guess we’re going to be okay. ”
Bolts answered him while still facing towards the dry moat.
“But still… Young master really is an amazing person. To come out with such plan. ”
Bolts’ praises were by no mean an exaggeration.
Ryouma had suggested using Earth magic not as a weapon;
But as a tool that will give them an advantage in war.
It was treated the same level as other tools such as swords and spears.
“It’s not that big of a deal. ”
Ryouma lightly brushed off Bolts’ praises. However, unbeknown to Ryouma, his idea has in fact revolutionised both the military and the economic world.
The effectiveness of utilising magic arts outside of combat is overwhelming, particularly in the field of construction.
Usually, when Earth Sink is casted, a pit with diameter of 5 meters and depth of 5 meters is created.
No matter how you see it, it is just a simple hole.
Generally it was used offensively to trap enemies by making them fall into it. However, most magic users often overlook this magic art in actual combat.
Since it has a diameter of 5 meters, it would be understandable to think that this magic is a useful attack. The truth is, it hardly has any use in actual combat.
The reason is because your enemy wouldn’t simply stand in the same position all the time.
It would be difficult for someone to predict their opponent’s movement and land the spell accurately.
Moreover, despite being 5 meters deep, such depth wouldn’t kill someone immediately.
It is also easier to just use other magic arts with higher killing potential rather than Earth Sink.
But now, what would happen when people start to use Earth Sink as a magic art to create a dry moat that can be used to reinforce a defence rather than to create just a pitfall?
“No, young master, you don’t understand the significance of your idea at all!”
When someone sees Earth Sink casted as a weapon in a direct battle, they would more or less ignore it.
However, looking at this, if people use it outside of combat, Earth Sink can be useful for a wide range of applications.
It was no wonder for Bolts to praises Ryouma for coming up with such idea.
“Is that so?”
Ryouma tilted his head in contemplation.
From where Ryouma came from, such idea is a no brainer.
On the contrary, he thought that this world people has a very inflexible mind since no one has noticed such thing.
Ryouma shows a wry smile when he saw Bolts who strongly nodded.
“Well this fight will depend on the result of the reconnaissance, I think we won’t have much time left. I can leave this matters to Bolts-san, right? ”
“Sure! Leave it to me…, Oi! We won’t be able to finish the work in time if you don’t properly calculate the distance between each other! Please excuse me, young master, I’m going to take a look. ”
Even while he was talking to Ryouma, he seems to be properly monitoring the construction progress.
As expected from a veteran warrior.
Ryouma was grateful of how reliable he is.
Monitoring the dry moat construction progress was one of the reasons why Ryouma had come here.
“By the way, where is Sara now?”
“Sara-jou-chan is it? … Hmm…., ah! Over there! She is keeping an eye out just like the young master has ordered huh. ”
<TLN: Sara-jou-chan, literally means “Young lady Sara/Miss Sara”>
Blonde hair swayed in the direction where Bolts finger pointed at.
“That means it was that black haired woman huh?”
“Indeed, that is correct!’
Ryouma gazes were directed at the black haired woman who’s working next to Sara.
“Because Sara-jou-chan has been watching her properly, I feel a bit relieved!”
“Indeed. Had we got outsmarted by that, it would be pretty bad. ”
“Yes…, I also know that.”
“If any unforeseen circumstances were to happen, please deal with it appropriately. ”
Bolts showed an astonished expression hearing Ryouma’s words.
Because in his strategy, she also has a role to play.
Looking at Bolts’ expression, Ryouma leaked a small laugh.
“Certainly, I can use her for something. However, there’s also a possibility of it being a trap. That’s why, if something bad is about to happen, I want Bolts-san to deal with it as you see fit. ”
“I understand. Please leave it to me!”
After Ryouma had said those words, Bolts returned to his job once again.
“Now then, next I should check on how Lione is doing…”
“Everything is proceeding according to the schedule!… Well, I will begin our work after Bolts has finished his. ”
Lione shouted loudly at Ryouma when she saw him walking toward her direction.
Ryouma smiled at her and lightly waved his hand.
“Are the fences ready? ”
“Yes, since we’re near the forest, we can get as much wood as we want after all. ”
Lione looked at a mountain of fences in front of her.
It was fences made by tying woods together with ropes.
Once Bolts and his team has completed the dry moat, all that left to plant the fences behind the dry moat.
“How about the bridge?
“It is supposedly being prepared right now. We’re currently cutting the trees for the material. ”
Teams of men go in and out of the forest while bringing back pieces of log.
It seems they are using body strengthening magic arts just like Ryouma had instructed.
Thick trees that usually require a large number of men to carry are being carried just by one man on their shoulder.
“Don’t forget to make sure it has sufficient strength for the cavalry to pass through, alright?”
“Don’t worry! I know…, I’ll make sure to order the guy with experience as a carpenter to lead the construction work. After all, this is an important part of the strategy…”
Lione reassured him.
“Alright, I will leave it to you then. ”
Ryouma returned to his tent after saying those words.
For Ryouma, he still has a lot to do right now.
While Ryouma was busy fortifying the defence, Mikhail was approximately 5 kilometers from his position.
One might think that moving 5 kilometers within 3 hours time is slow. However, that is an understatement.
Since his mission is to reconnaissance, it is natural for him to move slowly and carefully in order to avoid being discovered by the enemies.
“Fuuh…, for now, there’s nothing suspicious, huh?”
A view of grassy plain is visible in front of them; they should be able to spot any soldiers approaching from Irachion.
When Mikhail has confirmed that there were no enemy soldiers, he settled down on a rock nearby his feet.
(The future battle will be decided from this skirmish, huh… but that face of his, does he despise me?)
Ryouma’s anxious face appeared within Mikhail’s mind.
Almost three months had passed since Ryouma and Mikhail met.
On the surface, he seemed to have opened his heart toward Ryouma, but in truth, Mikhail couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied toward Ryouma.
Most can be attributed to the fact that Ryouma had killed most of his subordinates during the assassination attempt, but there’s also the fact that Princess Lupis had given her trust to Ryouma despite his questionable origins.
(In the first place, what does he think a knight is?!…, a knight is a fighting warrior! All these carpenter works should have been left to the likes of farmer!)
For Mikhail who values his pride as a knight highly, Ryouma’s current plan does not make him happy.
Certainly, the efficiency is good.
For that, Mikhail admits it.
However, he hates the idea that a knight has to dig up trenches, dry moat and cut trees.
In fact, many Rozeria Knights have the same thought.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that every one of them think alike.
However, because the princess has given Ryouma the authority, they are obliged to followehis orders. Not to mention that he was also the one who thought of a good strategy to go against enemy with overwhelming military force.
For now, the reason why Mikhail had volunteered for reconnaissance job is that it is much better than doing carpentry jobs of cutting woods.
Mikhail himself understood what kind of effect Ryouma’s plan will have, and he also should be able to understand why Princess Lupis had placed her trust on him.
However, his pride as a knight ultimately invited jealousy toward Ryouma.
His loyalty toward Princess Lupis is unyielding.
It is comparable to Meltina’s loyalty.
However, although right now what Princess Lupis needs most is not a loyal person, but rather a person who can understand strategy.
He would still think it’s fine if Ryouma held the same Knight’s pride just like him.
But the reality is different.
He knew that Ryouma couldn’t be the same as him.
That’s why Mikhail envies him.
And his feeling of envy caused him to fall into the darkness.
“Mikhail-sama! There’s a smoke up ahead. It’s probably the enemy’s scout team!”
Mikhail looked surprised after hearing his subordinate report.
“What! The enemy you say!?”
“Yes! Although we still can’t confirm the numbers yet, they showed a little movement!”
“What’s with you! If you want to make a report, make it clear!”
Following Mikhail’s angry voice, his subordinates moved ahead to confirm the information.
(There’s not much of movement?…, should we verify the numbers first then report to Mikoshiba-dono?)
Despite what he feels, he still thinks of the objective of his mission.
Doing reconnaissance while keeping the soldiers’ casualties at the minimum.
Ryouma has clearly outlined the importance of this.
Currently, they only have 2000 knights with them.
It is natural for them to prioritize avoiding battles than trying to reduce enemy soldiers.
However, such train of thought were blown away when Mikhail’s subordinates came to report.
“Mikhail-sama! I’ve confirmed the information! The enemy’s numbers are 100!”
“100 you say?! Is that really true?!”
A smirk appears on Mikhail’s face.
(100 huh…, then that would be only one-fifth of our numbers…, no sign of enemy reinforcements nearby…, they are probably a reconnaissance unit being sent in advance just like us…)
“Mikhail-sama! Please give us the order to return to report immediately!”
An adjutant proposed that to Mikhail.
Certainly, what he said is correct.
However, there won’t be any achievement for them if they return just like that.
That is what Mikhail had in his mind.
(The enemy is a scouting unit. Our numbers are 500. There’s no need for us to do battle…, yet, if we could reduce the enemy numbers even just a little, it would become advantageous for us later…)
At this point, what Mikhail had in his mind was only about his achievement.
For the chance to make an exploit in battle.
Mikhail shouted and raised from his sitting position.
His eyes were filled with bloodthirst.
“No! Everyone prepare for battle! We will engage them!”
Looking at the battle that is about to happen, Mikhail felt elated.
The ecstatic feeling mixed with his ambition has clouded his judgment.
He had completely forgotten.
What his mission is, and what kind of importance it holds.
This judgment of his would send Ryouma into predicament.