Chapter 2 Episode 23
Day 169 after being summoned to another world: (Defensive War 4)
“Mikoshiba-sama! Please look at the enemy’s movement!”
Ryouma who is currently taking command of the central side received a report from one of his knights.
“Hmm? They don’t look like they have any intention to retreat at all…, that commander, is he going for all or nothing?”
Ryouma carefully observed the enemy’s manoeuvre.
“It seems like there is a lot of movement in one of the enemy’s headquarter…”
“Indeed, it looks like they are trying to finish the fight by sunset… Although, I don’t know why they are in a hurry…”
Ryouma does not know the man named Kyle.
He is not aware of the fact that Kyle has personally asked Duke Gerhardt to allow him to lead the army.
One thing Ryouma could notice was that the soldiers around him are impatient.
(There are three gates located on the north, south and central sides, where each of them provide the easiest access route through the dry moat. That being said, it is never a simple task to occupy those gates without proper preparations.. Is he so stupid to not realize that?… It doesn’t seem that way, judging from the first impression. He is probably just underestimating the strength of this fortification. The overwhelming difference in number must be the reason why he is so overconfident.. That’s why he is trying to force an attack, but still, why does he need to be so hasty? ?… No matter how worthless the peasants’ lives are, I never thought they would pull something as reckless as this…)
In light of how cheap peasant lives are in this world, if the number of peasants decreases too much, their tax revenue will be heavily affected.
Certainly their life alone might not have much of a significance. However, it is still a bad idea to let them die unnecessarily..
(Why is he so impatient? Is he worried that our reinforcements are about to arrive? No, no matter how I look at it, it was obvious that we would still need more time for the reinforcement to arrive…, that means…)
“Oi! Do you know anything about the guy named Kyle!?”
“Yes, sir! I’m quite familiar with the person!”
One of the knights near Ryouma raised his hand.
“What kind of person is he?”
“Let see…, selfish, cunning, and a cowardly man?…”
Toward Ryouma’s question, the knight described Kyle with absolute disgust.
Naturally, it is understandable. If a knight betrayed the Princess after he had previously sworn his loyalty to her, that fact would not go down well amongst the other knights.
(Somehow, this is too much of a biased response…)
Ryouma is currently unhappy with the situation.
It’s good for him if they all hate Kyle.
However, if they keep underestimating Kyle’s ability, then it would be hard for them to win.
There is no direct correlation between a popular person and a strong person..
In this case, an unpopular person and a weak person.
Likes and dislikes towards a person simply cannot be used to determine their ability.
Deciding that a person is weak just because you hold a prejudice towards them is no different to the reasoning of an immature child.
Certain attributes that may sound bad on the surface can actually have another good sides to it.
Being a selfish person means they are capable of gaining the best benefit for themselves.
Being a cunning person means they are careful and clever..
And being cowardly person can mean they are cautious and observing..
Sometimes, the evaluation of the same person can differ, depending on who the evaluating person is and how much they like the evaluated person..
(But…, what’s going on, if that evaluation is as I have predicted, then…, it feels like I am facing against a different person…, maybe a different person took over the enemy’s command?)
Following the knight’s description, Ryouma could not imagine that the person who is in command of the enemy is Kyle.
That is, until he heard the following words.
“That guy has a big pride, a big mouth and also an arrogant attitude!”
“Big pride? Big mouth? Can you elaborate what kind of big mouth you are talking about?”
“Yes, sir! It was around four years ago, at the time when the rookie martial arts tournament was being held in the Rozeria Kingdom….”
(May need a line here to indicate time skip?)
To summarize the words of the knight,
After boasting that he could defeat Mikhail who was said to be the favorite in the martial arts competition under 1 minute, it turned out he had lost to Mikhail in the first round when his sword was disarmed from his hand.
It quickly became the hot topic of discussion in many taverns.
“I was also there, so there’s no mistake. ”
“By the way, how was Kyle’s skills? It can’t be that bad, can it?”
It was left unclear whether Kyle was someone who could back his words with action.
Since winning in martial arts can be attributed to luck as well.
However, as soon as he lost, there was no chance to prove his ability.
To put it bluntly, even when he lost to Mikhail, if he was the second strongest within the kingdom, then his words are not to be taken lightly.
Hearing Ryouma’s question, the Knight’s expression distorted.
That indicates even though he does not want to admit it, Kyle is someone who shouldn’t be underestimated..
(I see…, I guess Kyle is not a completely useless person huh… Aside from his big talks, most knights in Rozeria seemed to have acknowledged Kyle’s abilities and his aspiration to become the best despite the fact that he had lost to Mikhail.. )
After a brief analysis, Ryouma came up with a plausible theory.
(I see now! Kyle, who was confident of his own ability decided to join Gerhardt. He must’ve proposed to Gerhardt that if he was given an authority, he will crush the enemy troops immediately or something along those lines… If that is true, then I can see why the enemy is being impatient…, and if that is really the case then I can easily counter it… )
Ryouma was able to accurately grasped Kyle’s train of thought.
Within the nobles faction, being a traitor must have affected his position…
That is why he wants to achieve something great to convince the lord and strengthen his own footing.
(Kukukuku…, If that is what he thinks then, I could use this for another plan…)
Ryouma decided to prepare a new countermeasure after knowing that there won’t be any reinforcement for the enemy.
“Messenger! From now on we can expect to be attacked from the north, south and central side simultaneously. Tell Bolts and Lione we will execute the first step of the plan earlier than expected. And tell Sara to move to the north and wait for the signal!”
The messenger dashed off to where Sara is at..
Ryouma then headed down to Laura who was leading a unit of knights to protect the central gate.
“Listen up! Increase your fire power! As you can see the enemies are approaching here endlessly!”
Laura who was defending the central was also involved a big fierce battle.
The enemy soldiers rushed towards the gate like a swarm of locusts.
“This is bad! Spear Knights come forward!.. Thrust!”
A number of militia who manage to survive from the rain of arrows have reached the fence once again.
Laura commanded the spear knights to step forward.
“Laura-sama! There are too many enemies…, at this rate…”
A knight near Laura issued a warning.
Because the enemy wave attacks never stopped, it made the knight who was in charge of leading the defense restless.
It was natural for them to lose hope.
“Silence! Why do you think we’re going to lose!? Under Ryouma-sama’s direction, we have yet to let anyone pass the gate, have we not?!”
Like Laura had said, Ryouma’s strategy seems to have worked out for now.
Slowing down the enemy’s advancement with moat and fences, as well as filtering the enemy’s military forces to attack the three gates, have allowed them to hold their ground effectively despite having fewer troops.
Constant rain of arrows from behind the fence greatly reduced their numbers.
Rather than relying on an individual’s abilities, working cooperatively allow them to compliment their strengths efficiently.
With good cooperation between the troops, they were able to mutually reduce the mortality rate dramatically.
Although such strategy was highly unpopular among the knights, Laura on the other hand valued Ryouma’s strategy highly.
Laura scolded the pessimistic knight while recalling memories of her father at the time when she was little.
[Laura, listen…, a man standing at the top should never show any weakness…, even when you are afraid, even if you want to run away…, how long a man can stay resolute…, that is what determines the quality of a person who stands at the top. ]
No matter how good Ryouma’s strategy is, if Laura wavered even for a split second, the front line could collapse in a single moment.
At the end of the day, human mental strength is what important in the battlefield.
If she showed any hesitation even for a second, it will spread to the others like a wildfire.
“That is correct! Show no mercy and kill them all! We must hold our ground until the time comes!”
A sudden voice came from the back.
Laura raised a surprised voice.
Ryouma is currently in charge of the central gate. Though in fact, he also has the authority over the whole command.
Therefore he should never go to the front line directly. The orders should be dispatched from the headquarter which is located further inside..
“The enemy’s main force has begun to move; they are probably going to make a simultaneous attack soon. ”
“So that’s how it is.., I have felt that the pressure from the enemy has suddenly increased for some reason. ”
Laura nodded in acknowledgment.
“With regard to that, I think I should take command in the front line personally.”
Ryouma’s line of sight was directed to the front.
Currently, there has been no big problem so far.
“Is it alright to do that?…, emm, what about Lione-san and the others?”
“It’s fine…, I’ve already given them some instructions. The only thing left is to give Sara the signal. ”
“Is it really alright?…, to use that now?”
Laura asked anxiously.
The reason being was that the plan Ryouma had prepared was supposed to be used against the Noble faction’s main force, in order to buy enough time for their own reinforcement to arrive. Now that he has decided to use it early, Laura couldn’t help but be anxious.
“Well, it can’t be helped. I understand that it is earlier than we had planned, but since the enemy is rushing in recklessly…, We might as well take advantage of this opportunity and kill them.., It would give us a little bit of breathing space for a while…, and don’t worry, I still have some other plans up my sleeve. ”
Ryouma finished his sentence with a devilish smile.
His explanation in someway was like an indirect insult to the foolish commander and his unfortunate soldiers, who are about to become victims of Ryouma’s devious plan.
Ryouma, who has an inferior number, must emphasize on the two important factors in order to win.
The first is to minimise the damage taken as much as possible.
The second is to ensure that the morale of his troops don’t drop.
Now that they have prepared moat and fences, they were able to reduce the damage significantly. First condition is cleared.
However, what about the second one?
He just barely managed to meet it.
To be fair, the truth is that he had no other options to meet the second condition effectively..
The attacking side usually has higher morale in a battlefield.
There is less psychological stress on the attacking side than the defending side.
And crucially, the commander who is currently working under Ryouma, serves Princess Lupis. The fact that Ryouma, who is a complete outsider is the highest seat in the command chain baffles the commander and his soldiers greatly.
They found it hard to trust Ryouma who has unclear background.
It would be hard to raise and maintain morale if the soldiers have any doubt in their commander.
They were following Ryouma’s order properly for now. However, if a gate was breached somewhere, there was no guarantee that Ryouma will be able to push the enemy back.
That’s why right now, Ryouma wants to show the knights his prowess.
“Listen up! Just a little bit more! We can do this!”
The knight responded to the encouragement from their commander.
“What are you doing?! Are we still not getting through yet?!”
Kyle shouted in frustration.
He has already brought the 2.000 elite knights to the front line.
He expected that they would be able to immediately cut through the fences and break into the enemy’s line.
However, as it turned out, he was still unable to breach Ryouma’s defense line.
Kyle then proceeded forward to the enemy’s defense line himself.
He ride his horse deep into the dry moat as he moved towards the fences.
And Ryouma was never going to miss such opportunity.
“Now! Send the signal to Sara!”
Ryouma’s instruction was immediately received by the mercenary who was waiting behind him.
Following that, a fire arrow was launched up to the sky.
It was the signal that begins the onslaught.
“Ojou! The signal from Mikoshiba-sama!”
One of the mercenaries who is working under Sara pointed toward the red light that was launched into the southern sky.
“Are we ready? Is the water ready?!”
“Yes ma’am; we can go anytime!”
A U-shaped weir was installed horizontally at the north riverbank of the Thaves river, altering its usual flowing characteristic. Though currently there is a 20 meters-wide earth barrier standing between the river and the moat.
The Thaves river boasts a very powerful water current.
With this weir, they can easily divert enough water to fill up the moat quickly.
“Good! Let’s do it!”
“Make sure you collapse the 20 meters-wide barrier between the river and the dry moat! Don’t make any mistake now!”
Under Sara’s order, the mercenaries started chanting at once.
“”” O spirits that controls over the earth. Hear our call and transform the land before us!!!”””
“””Earth magic art, Earth Sink!”””
The mercenaries placed their hands on the ground simultaneously.
The ferocious water current immediately started flowing into the dry moat, now that there is no more weir obstructing its usual flow..
A few soldiers on the north side noticed the odd sounds.
Then in a split second, series of panic voices took over the battleground.
Perhaps being a hunter previously, some soldiers have sharp eyes and good sense of hearing.
“Oi! Did you hear something?”
A puzzled soldier asked his colleague next to him.
Because hearing the question made him nervous, he immediately replied,
“Fool! What the hell are you talking about! Concentrate, or you’re going to die!”
Both of them are people from the same town.
That is the reason why he had opted to respond, albeit in a harsh tone, even though it was dangerous to talk.
It was a bizarre conversation between 2 soldiers, who are barely managing to survive the constant wave of arrows shot at them by a team of knights under Bolt’s command.
Since he was talking under such circumstance, his colleague thought he was crazy.
“No! I can definitely hear it you know!?”
“What are you talking about! This is not the time for this kind of talk!”
The man from the same town responded once again.
The puzzled soldier knew that losing focus on the battle could be a fatal mistake, but he just couldn’t ignore this hunch he had either.
He decided to turn his eyes to the north.
It was there he saw…
A huge wall of water is flooding at him.
He screamed in panic.
The scream has alerted the other soldiers about the approaching wall of water.
All the movement in the battle has come to a complete halt.
No one could raise their voice.
All that can be heard is the sound of water colliding with the moat wall.
It was the sound of death, just like the sound of the trumpet the angel plays to mark the end of time.