Chapter 85 – The First Sorbid Wasteland Engagement


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“A superb view, isn’t it!?” (Armstrong)

“No, I don’t think it’s a situation where you would call it that…” (Wendelin)

One week after we set up camp in the Sorbid Wasteland, the rebel army finally sent forth its advance guard.
With the stone palings and trenches against horses we laid out along the road towards the southern tip in-between, both armies glare at each other.
The estimated military forces of the rebel army are around 40.000 whereas our allied forces amount to approximately 25.000.
Going by numbers, we were at disadvantage, but as for quality we shouldn’t lose to them.
Besides, since it’s a defensive battle, we shouldn’t lose as long as we don’t mess up… is what I want to believe.
We were stiff from nervousness since it’s our first war, but Doushi acted as usual as if it didn’t concern him at all.
Even Burkhart-san seems to be astounded by his nerves of steel.
I’m sure that he’s completely brazen-faced like a dragon.

“Let’s tear the imperial capital’s 『blue and white daikons to pieces!”

“””Ooohh~~~!”””

Moreover, the ones with the highest fighting spirit amongst our allies are probably the members of Earl Mizuho Country who have been dispatched for the first time to a battle other than their past defending ones.
From their point of view, the advocates of an Urquhart race supremacy in the empire’s centre and south are inexcusable and they will go as far as annihilating them if they come attacking. Such feelings among them are strong.
Being deployed on the eastern side of the defence encampment, they provoked the rebel army while holding up the katanas they drew.
Furthermore 『blue and white daikons』 is a contemptible name the Mizuho people are using for the centre’s people like those in the capital.
Since I personally like daikon, I want you to avoid using it in scorn too much though.
Yesterday evening the pickled vegetables that resembled 『pickled daikon radish』 and the combined cooking in 『oden』 became a treat by High Earl Mizuho.
It went well together with the hot Mizuho sake in this still cold season.

“Their fighting spirit is roaring, isn’t it. That will be of help.”

And, in the centre of the encampment, the Supreme Commander Representative Alfons has taken up position together with Duke Philip household’s imperial knight order.

“Our numbers are lower than theirs, but will we manage somehow if we fight to decrease their numbers with a defensive battle?”

“I have high expectations of you, Earl Baumeister, for the sake of decreasing the casualties on our side. Best regards to Doushi and Burkhart-dono, as well.” (Alfons)

“I got it!” (Armstrong)

“Well, there’s no other choice but for us to be in the centre.” (Burkhart)

In case of a real battle like this, the deployment of the magicians was important.
While a magician has mana remaining, they are a joker-like existence that is capable of mass slaughtering ordinary soldiers.
Of course the biggest number of them is placed at the troops headquarters.
The military forces will end up collapsing quickly if the supreme commander gets killed after all.
However, there’s also the opposing move of leaving the defence of the headquarters thin on purpose. There’s also the possibility of using the clever scheme of diminishing the enemy soldier’s numbers in one go by deploying powerful magicians at the left and right wing.
That kind of deployment is one of the possible strategies, but as a matter of fact, thanks to the device that jams 『communication』 and 『movement』 spells, it turned into a situation where we are troubled by the stationing of the magicians.
Since reinforcement by flying over won’t work, I have a feeling that they took the safe measure of putting us in the centre and spread the remaining magicians equally all over.
The Duke Philip household actually employs a number of magicians, consisting of one high-level, four intermediate-level and fifteen elementary-level magicians, that can’t be compared with someone like Margrave Breithilde. Even the other noble households are employing unexpectedly many magicians.
In addition to them, even the adventurer’s guild was ordered to temporarily recruit magicians.
It seems that there’s such a system in times of war. There were many magicians who responded to that.
The empire’s adventurer guilds are currently split in two.
The northern branches have been baited by Therese with being promoted to the imperial capital’s main headquarters after the civil war is over and have allied with our side.
The central and southern branches appear to be cooperating completely with the rebel army.
There are also some branches, who have announced their neutrality, among them. The rest of the guilds were in a state of being split into two factions depending on whom they are supporting.
In case of a reintegration after the war, Therese will likely end up with quite the hardships.

“No matter which side’s military forces; both have gathered as many magicians as possible. There are also many folks who deny supporting either side as they hate such situations, but the supply of monster materials and magic tools will decrease for a while.”

Burkhart-san seems to be worried about the influence on the economy, but this much is inevitable as the civil war has to end.
Besides, pondering about that is Therese’s and the empire’s people’s job.

“I guess there are many magicians from the Ran race and Mizuho people?”

“That’s because it’s a critical moment deciding life and death for these ethnic groups.”

If one watches Duke Nürnberg’s way of handling things, it might be natural to feel a sense of impending danger.
There are a lot of magicians from the Mizuho people and the Ran tribe who had a dark brown skin colour. There seem to be especially many magicians employed individually by Earl Mizuho Country. Their quality shouldn’t lose to that of the centre.

“The relief units quality is high as well.”

“Earl Baumeister’s wife is a superior healing magician.” (Alfons)

Alfons seems to place great expectations on the ability of Elise’s healing magic.
If a great number of injuries are healed quickly, that will likely influence the army’s strength substantially.
Together with the healers that were dispatched by the church, Elise works as member of the relief unit slightly in the rear.
I have her devote to healing in the rear since her offensive means are lacking even if if she went to the front.
However, a disturbance occurred at that point.

『Eeh? You are splitting apart the relief unit from the one of Earl Mizuho Country?』 (Elise)

『Elise-dono, I know the fact about you also being a priestess of the church, but this issue is an adult consideration.』

『I heard the rumours, but…』(Elise)

The problem, which caused the most heated dispute when the empire made Earl Mizuho Country a protectorate, was this issue of religion.
As a matter of fact Earl Mizuho Country believed in another religion than the one of the church.
I don’t know whether that’s owed to them being Japanese-styled, but the religion is a like a mix of Buddhism and Shintoism. We have also seen several temple-like buildings in Earl Mizuho Country that had Shinto shrine archways.

『The radicals in the church urged to have the Mizuho people convert religiously.』

If they did such a thing, it would have been highly likely for the Mizuho people to unite and start a religious war.
Heavy losses would have appeared on both sides, I guess.

『After all, much blood flowed at the time when the empire assigned Protestantism as its state religion.』

The firm believers of Catholicism attacked protestants. Due to the protestants’ side retaliating as well, it apparently went as far as being on the brink of a civil war.
This happened even though they are the same religion.
It would have become terrible if they pressed the Mizuho people to convert against their wills.

『Accordingly, they came up with a compromise policy.』

Although they are praying to the same god, the form is slightly different.
The Mizuho faith is something like a denomination of the church.
That’s how they forcibly handled it.

『The church agreed to not propagate its belief inside Earl Mizuho Country in a secret treaty. And the Mizuho faith promised to not propagate its belief in the rest of the empire either.』

It seems there are also people who have become believers of the Mizuho faith among other ethnic groups and moved their residence to Earl Mizuho Country. Likewise there are believers of the church among the Mizuho people living outside Earl Mizuho Country. But, since it was a very small minority, they weren’t minded overly much.

『Understood…』 (Elise)

Elise isn’t stupid, neither is she a religious fanatic.
She understood people who believe in other religions, but there are probably some parts she can’t agree with no matter what, too.
It might be inevitable since she has been involved with the church since her childhood.

『Being unable to approve since it’s a religion different from your own, is not much different from Duke Nürnberg, you know…』 (Wendelin)

『I’m sorry, dear.』 (Elise)

『Because you haven’t seen anything else but the church since your childhood, Elise, I understand even if you can’t agree at some parts though.』 (Wendelin)

It’s an arrogant manner of speaking, but this might also be the way of thinking of a person who was originally Japanese and has a vague view on religion.

『That’s right, Elise. Things like religions are just instruments after all.』 (Armstrong)

『Doushi, since you are more or less the Royal Head Magician, put some proper thought into your wording.』 (Burkhart)

Due to the honest opinion of Doushi, who doesn’t believe in religion at all in a different meaning from me, Burkhart-san rebuked him lightly.

『How about you, Earl-sama?』 (Burkhart)

『It’s not like I don’t believe in anything at all. Look, I want to pray before a battle like this as well.』 (Wendelin)

It’s a kind of 『Even the head of a sardine believes*』, but since I’m usually contributing to the church with donations and concessions, it should be fine if they are useful at times as well. (T/N: Basically “Even something worthless like the head of a sardine will be seen as something precious if there’s a will to believe in it.” It’s a proverb illustrating the strangeness of religious piety.)

『Does that mean that I’m inflexible?』 (Elise)

『I don’t think that’s the case, is it?』

『That’s right. If it’s a really obstinate person, I think they will forcibly press a religious conversion.』

Ina and Luise, who possess a distanced relation towards the church just like me, comforted Elise.

『Besides, once the war starts, they won’t be able to worry about such things.』

『They won’t be able to say that they won’t heal someone because their religion is different.』

As Wilma and Katharina say, once the battle starts, the magicians and priests in charge of healing will become very busy.
Swiftly healing the wounded was something indispensable to maintain the military forces. As a matter of fact, at times they will have to consider the healing order.
Assuming two wounded people were carried in front of a certain magician who had mana left for one heal.
One person an ordinary soldier, the other a renown knight.
If the magician gave priority to the knight considering his fighting strength, what would he do if the soldier had a serious wound bringing him close to death?
Although the soldier would end up dying without getting healed, the future casualties would decrease by having the knight return, if one considers the war progress.
That means it was essential to heal the knight and let the soldier die.

『It’s no good if we don’t request the Earl Mizuho Country to be flexible as well.』

『The other side might not have such leeway, but there will also be cases where people will die if we don’t rely on them. That is, if we don’t handle this part flexibly.』

『Understood, dear.』 (Elise)

After this conversation, Elise headed to the field sick bay in the rear.
Nevertheless, religion is quite bothersome.

◆◇◆◇◆

“However, war is a cruel thing.”

Since there’s the danger of the wounded returning to the front-line after getting healed, it’s necessary to kill your opponent without fail in a real war.
Something like the previous dispute can’t be regarded as anything but a game, but real war ended two hundred years ago.
This situation is in order to not readily turn it into a war between countries.

“For the time being it seems that the enemy army’s general is introducing himself.”

Ahead of where Alfons pointed with his chin, there was a fat middle-aged man, who was riding a beautiful horse and wearing an extravagant armour, and two mounted knights who apparently served as his guards.
He made his horse gallop this way, but came to a standstill in front of the trench against horses I created.

“Barbarians who don’t understand the aesthetics of knighthood! Listen well! I’m the Imperial Army’s General Classen who was ordered to liberate the Sorbid Wasteland by His Majesty!”

“Aesthetics, eh… I think that’s useless if you don’t win the war.” (Alfons)

“Humph! That dark female pig’s gutless cousin, huh!?” (Classen)

Being treated as black pig; Therese probably wouldn’t have been very pleased about this.
Talking about aesthetics and such to people, I think you don’t use such slander.

“General Classen, as you don’t work out and only boast about your management abilities, you ended up turning into a white pig.” (Alfons)

The rebel army’s general appears to be a traitor from the imperial army.
Going by his tone, he seems to be a friend of Duke Nürnberg, but his provocations were returned with provocations by Alfons.

“Nunu! If you surrender now, we will spare your lives.” (Classen)

His face was bright red out of anger, but somehow he was able to not forget the courtesy before the battle of demanding surrender.

“Just our lives will be spared, ehh…” (Alfons)

“Barbarians who soil our Urquhart race’s right to live! Consider yourself grateful for just being allowed to stay alive!” (Classen)

“That Urquhart race or whatever is just a dream. There’s no such ethnic group after all.” (Alfons)

“You have a retort for everything, don’t you!? Even though you are just a greenhorn!” (Classen)

“You not being able to win an argument against such greenhorn equals to you being incompetent.” (Alfons)

“Acting arrogant though you are just a newcomer!” (Classen)

Intending to provoke, he gets provoked in reverse. General Classen’s face became deep red.
Even so, I’d like him to have a bit better taste in provocation and insult.

“Do you know him?” (Wendelin)

“He’s a famous idiot.” (Alfons)

He was able to become a general because of his good lineage, but without that he seems to be a person that can become at best a corporal.
His family’s home is proud of being a distinguished family from the time before the empire’s foundation. With those family ties, you can consider him as someone who matches well with Duke Nürnberg.
Thanks to Alfons’ explanation, I understood the circumstances of this General Classen.

“We will annihilate you lot!” (Classen)

It’s different if it’s winning against 25.000 with 40.000, but a total annihilation should be impossible.
He’s treated as incompetent by Alfons as he doesn’t understand even that much.
General Classen withdrew to the rear in order to start the battle.

“Won’t it be easier if we kill him with magic?”

“It’s a breach of etiquette. Since the other side is more or less abiding to the rules, let’s overlook him for now.” (Alfons)

I do feel like giving a shit about rules since the moment they caused a rebellion, but let’s follow Alfons’ order here.
A short time later, the infantry stepped forward, and began to advance while placing planks on the trenches I dug up against horse attacks.

“All troops! Start firing!”

Since the rebel army approached the long-distance firing range, Alfons orders for the firing to begin, but all of the released arrows are repelled.

“A~~~ha ha! Did you see my army’s 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』!?” (Classen)

Even though it’s not like he went out himself, General Classen seems to be in a good mood after all of the first arrows were repelled.
He’s probably making almost all magicians cast a 『Magic Barrier』 and is trying to continue advancing just like that.

“That’s because they will be able to reach this field encampment unhurt if all goes well.”

Given that our side’s attacks are prevented, it might be possible to get the initiative without any losses if it’s done skilfully.
However, there’s a trap in this strategy.
Since our side’s attacks are stopped by a 『Magic Barrier』, they are unable to attack as well.

“Sometimes there are people who come up with such strategies, but usually it will be put aside as wild delusion, right…?”

Certainly, they won’t receive any attacks until the 『Magic Barrier』 isn’t removed, but in reverse they aren’t able to attack at all. With the harsh consumption of mana, it should become difficult later on .
Since he can’t reach such a way of thinking, General Classen is an incompetent person, I guess.

“Even so, this is a chance, isn’t it?”

I take out the binoculars from my magic bag and start to search for magicians in the enemy lines.
With the elementary-levelled and intermediate-levelled magicians being spread out equally, the closing-in rebel army is almost evenly covered by the 『Magic Barrier』.
It might be an appropriate way of using magic for the rebel army which is aiming for a first victory due to their superiority in numbers.
Though that is if they don’t consider the endurance of the spell.

“The high-levelled classes are…” (Wendelin)

After a few seconds, I discover a magician who possesses mana at the level of Burkhart-san.
Since he’s kept back in the centre after all, they seem to have a fixed number of good quality magicians.

“(I can easily defeat them if I go at it from the front, but…)” (Wendelin)

Given that they are the cornerstones of the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 covering the entire large army, they can’t act freely.
As proof of that, they are donning the appearance of common soldiers.
They are deliberately masquerading like that in order to prevent getting sniped with magic from our side.

“Wilma.” (Wendelin)

I bring my face close to Wilma’s, hand her the binoculars and tell her about the magicians disguising themselves as soldiers.
It’s in order to ask her to snipe them.

“Still don’t know…” (Wilma)

“It’s because not much time has passed after increasing your mana. You will learn it sooner or later.” (Wendelin)

Wilma still hasn’t become used to distinguishing magicians.
Accordingly I decided to designate the targets for her.

“Y~~~ea. Difficult.” (Wilma)

While saying so, Wilma nocks an iron arrow onto the aforementioned iron bow and snipes the magician.
Usually the arrow would be repelled by the 『Magic Barrier』. She shouldn’t be able to shoot a freely-acting high-level magician.
However, currently most of the magicians are busy with deploying the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 in a group effort.
As they are focussing their entire might on that, they shouldn’t be able to react to an iron arrow that comes flying at them all of a sudden.
A 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 possesses a firm defence power, but naturally it has flaws as well.
It’s fine if you break through with offensive power that exceeds its defence power.
The iron arrow fired by Wilma penetrates the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 of the rebel army with a 『Boost』 I piled up onto it and smashed the head of the magician, who disguised himself as soldier, into smithereens.
By its appearance it’s a plain spell, but I remembered the sensation of having a large amount of mana taken away due to penetrating a quite firm 『Magic Barrier』.
The iron arrow, which pierced the target, causes further casualties by piercing several soldiers in the rear.

“Hii!”

Apparently getting confused by the death of a high level magician, the ranks in the surroundings become disordered, but the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 didn’t vanish.
It probably means that it won’t get erased by the death of one or two magicians.
No matter how splendid a magician, if their actions are tied up, they will end up dying quickly.
One can probably guess the ability of General Classen who doesn’t understand such a thing.

“Tsk!” (Burkhart)

Burkhart-san clicks his tongue.
It was planned to give a signal to our allies once the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 vanished and have them fire spells and arrows at the enemy.

“Earl-sama, kill some more.” (Burkhart)

“Roger.” (Wendelin)

To pull down the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』, there’s no other choice but to kill magicians who possess an advanced level of mana that supports a bigger part of the barrier.

“Ina-san, it’s that person.” (Katharina)

“It’s difficult to find them because of their disguises.” (Ina)

Katharina seems to also show the results of her special training with Burkhart-san.
Telling her the location of the disguised magician, Ina throws a spear using her improved mana.
Katharina places a 『Boost』 on it as well. It made a hole right in the middle of the magician’s torso and he died.
It’s definitely been an instant death.

“I feel sorry but he would return after getting healed if it was just an injury. Make sure to definitely kill them.” (Burkhart)

Burkhart-san’s role was to make sure that Alfons doesn’t die no matter what and to give orders to us.
At such times difference in experience will become apparent no matter what.
Even Doushi obediently abided to his orders.

“If Erw-boy dies while still unmarried, it will be pitiful.” (Burkhart)

“Burkhart-san as well, you can’t die because you are a newly-wed.” (Erwin)

“Say such things after getting married.” (Burkhart)

“I will marry soon.” (Erwin)

Erw who’s acting as my guard, retorts to Burkhart-san while looking at Haruka who is guarding Katharina, but honestly speaking, I didn’t really know whether he has a chance.

“Anyway, target those with a high magic capacity. There’s no doubt that it’s those who are disguised.”

“Hey, when is our turn?” (Luise)

“I’m bored, too.” (Armstrong)

“There will definitely be a follow-up attack. We are preserving you two so that you can kill a great number by yourself.”

Alfons declared so cool-headedly, however his opinion is correct.
Duke Nürnberg, who rose in rebellion, is wrong and Therese, who tries to defeat him, is right, but there are many nobles who have no choice but to lower their heads to Duke Nürnberg who has seized most of the centre and south.
That means it’s necessary to remove their binding to Duke Nürnberg by achieving a great victory here.

“It will be really troublesome if there’s no damage in a war.”

Two high-level and eight intermediate-level magicians have already died due to our sniping.
Upon mine or Katharina’s instruction, Wilma and Ina snipe, and after adding 『Boost』 to their attacks, they break through the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』.
It consumes a lot more mana than an unskilful strategic-class attack spell, but if we kill the high-ranking magicians at this point, it will become easier in the future.

“It’s a massive loss for the other side.”

“I pity the magicians who die while unable to demonstrate their true strength due to such order.” (Armstrong)

Doushi shows compassion to the killed magicians.
If one were to ask why it turned into such a stupid result, it would be because of the incompetence and cowardice of General Classen.
Magicians, who can certainly demonstrate effectiveness if allowed to act freely, ended up stuck with the duty of maintaining a 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 for the sake of lowering the losses among the soldiers.

“It looks like there were many cases where the usage of magicians influenced the outcome in past wars. There was enormous damage to the winning side if even a single, remaining person with reasonable ability fought to the bitter end in a lost battle.”

Thanks to that, the frequency of wars stayed low.
Because the winners suffered great losses as well, it took time to recover.
Even for the dispute with Margrave Browig to have taken such shape might have been an act to evade major losses appearing in case it came to a real war.

“We will continue sniping magicians. Wilma. That guy over there.” (Wendelin)

“Got it.” (Wilma)

I’m searching for magicians with the binoculars, but Wilma confirms them easily with her naked eyes since she has a good eyesight.

“Recently, my eyes got even better.” (Wilma)

Given that her body is constantly strengthened due to the Hero Syndrome, her physical ability has grown all the more after her mana increased.
A part of that seems to be her eyesight and hearing as well. It’s a mysterious phenomenon.
Wilma said that her five senses got sharper.

“The power output has greatly fallen.” (Burkhart)

Burkhart-san confirmed that the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 that spread over the rebel army had weakened quite a bit.

“Wouldn’t one usually cancel it and attack?”

“That’s why he’s an idiot, that General Classen.”

They considerably lowered the distance to us. I think that they should attack after cancelling the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 for the rest of the way.
If the remaining magicians can act freely, they should be able to destroy the walls and palings as well as kill quite a few soldiers.

“It’s probably because their losses are low at the present.”

“Well, they suffered major losses among the magicians though.”

There are few casualties, but the majority of them are magicians.
Since he lets his precious magicans die after blocking their movements, General Classen is incompetent after all.

“Duke Nürnberg, he’s capable, isn’t he?” (Ina)

“Who knows.”

Even if he was capable as Ina says, he might have had to compromise quite a bit to obtain the support of the central’s imperial army.
When we were continuing to snipe magicians while brooding over such things, the war situation finally changed.
Suddenly sounds like things bursting were audible all at once from the Earl Mizuho Country’s National Army at the left wing.

“What are those?”

“No way, did they complete 『Magic Guns』?” (Alfons)

I understood from the word 『Magic Guns』 Alfons mentioned while being surprised.
Since the Earl Mizuho Country possesses a Japanese-styled culture range from around the Warring States period to Edo period, they probably developed something like matchlocks which fire bullets with mana.

“First line change! Second line to the front!”

Once I looked at the rebel army’s left wing confronting Earl Mizuho Country’s national forces, their advance guard was in a state of complete destruction.
At the moment the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 became weak thanks to us, they attacked the soldiers and pierced them with bullets that were fired with mana.
Moreover, it seems like the shooting interval of the 『Magic Guns』, different from matchlocks, is short.
As it seems to be alright to just put the bullet in the gun barrel with a pre-load style, and since the mana is provided by an embedded magic gem, it’s excelling in its rapid-fire ability more than the gunpowder one.
Because the gun barrel heats up after shooting around five times, they seem to swap with the next relief personnel once that happens.
Due to that highly-efficient new weapon, the rebel army, which was confronted with it all of a sudden, became greatly disturbed.
However, as there hasn’t been any orders for retreat, the rebel army’s left wing continues to advance while pointlessly increasing its casualties.

“Earl-sama, the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 vanished, no?” (Burkhart)

“Yes.” (Wendelin)

They finally cancelled the 『Wide-Area Magic Barrier』 in order to let the remaining magicians move freely.
Burkhart-san was bound to notice that. Once he matched his eyeline with Alfons, a red flag was raised at the central troop headquarters.
Upon the flag signalling the start of our side’s attack, arrows and spells are relentlessly fired at the rebel army which got closer.
With the rebel army starting to retaliate as well, it finally has reached the state of a full-scale mortal battle between both sides.
The rebel army continues to attack and advance to take this battlefield encampment. Our allied forces are trying to prevent that. There seem to be many casualties among the rebel army which is the offensive side, but the other side has still magicians left.

“The seventh watchtower was completely destroyed! There’s a great number of killed and wounded!”

“Battalion Leader Vogel died in action! Company Commander Linz has taken over command!”

Our allies’ casualties are reported one after the other, but it’s not possible for us to go assist them.
Intermediate-levelled and elementary-levelled magicians have been deployed there in fixed intervals. Due to our side’s sniping, we have the upper hand in quality and number of magicians.
We have to protect the troop headquarters. It’s wrong if we don’t assist in crushing the military forces in front.
We didn’t have any leeway in our first war with battles to the death.

“Earl-sama, don’t use too big spells.” (Burkhart)

“Roger.” (Wendelin)

Creating small-scaled 『Wind Cutters』 and 『Fire Balls』, I fire them at the rebel army’s soldiers who are trying to get across the stone wall one after the other.
Though they die by getting burned or torn to pieces, I can’t go easy on them.
After all it will be the end after I get killed once we lose.

“We are overall superior, aren’t we?”

Three hours after the attack of the rebel army began, there were countless numbers of enemy soldiers collapsed before our eyes.
I haven’t counted it accurately, but it’s doubtlessly losses reaching into the thousands.
Several hundred casualties appeared among our allies as well, but because of their brute force approach after the number of magicians had decreased on their side as attackers, the rebel army’s losses are enormous.

“Even General Claussen can’t retreat anymore at this point in time, I guess.”

Suddenly a 『Fire Ball』 comes flying in front of my eyes.
They probably tried to turn the tables with a single lucky sniping attack, but its power is low. It’s easily stopped by Burkhart-san.

“It’s that guy.”

“Yes!”

Katharina releases 『Wind Cutters』 aiming at the magician.
The first strike was repelled by his 『Magic Barrier』, however next I fired a bullet with magic, pierced his head and he collapsed.
I should have definitely killed him.

“Is that spell a reproduction of 『Magic Guns』?”

“That’s right.” (Wendelin)

Since I don’t know the structure of a gun and such, I’m only firing a magic bullet that had its front part squashed with mana.
The materials are metals like iron and some tungsten.
Recently I became able to find other metals than iron and copper with 『Detection』, but since I don’t know the methods of using chrome, nickel, bauxite and such, I simply stored them away after using 『Extraction』.
It seems that the power of a gun will rise if you use rifling, but I don’t know whether the magic guns got such contrivance.
Even the other other party likely won’t teach the details of their secret weapon they hid until now that easily.

“I want to learn it as well.” (Katharina)

“It’s a magic that can’t be used for anything but killing people though.” (Wendelin)

“That might be necessary from now on as well.” (Katharina)

As Katharina says, in front of us there are gross corpses piling up.
Without the rebel army stopping its attack even though they have suffered losses in the thousands, a part of our allies is already piercing the knights and soldiers of the rebel army, who have climbed the stone wall, with spears.

“There’s no end to it, is there?”

“Seems so.”

Even Erw and Haruka borrowed reserve spears from Ina, climbed the stone wall and started to make the enemy soldiers fall off.

“Commanding officer discovered.” (Wilma)

Wilma continues to snipe with her iron bow aiming for commanding officers.

“I wonder, is Elise alright?” (Wendelin)

Unable to go and see her at all, I become worried about Elise who is continuing to treat the injured in the rear.

“Elise-sama is fine because she’s strong.” (Wilma)

“I see.” (Wendelin)

Wilma, who is idolizing her, swept away my worries while using her bow.

“However, it’s strange, you know…”

The rebel army’s offensive lasted for around six hours by now.
Close to 10.000 corpses were piled up already. Thanks to that, it has become easier for the enemy army to climb the stone walls.
Even though they are overwhelmingly disadvantaged going by the loss ratio, they devotedly attack without stopping.

“That’s simple. It’s because the main force consists of the prince-elector lords’ feudal armies.”

With their lord being held hostage, they are unable to retreat.
Since failure is connected to punishment for their lords, they are unreasonably attempting to take this field encampment even if they have to sacrifice themselves to harm their opponents.

“Is that the reason for General Claussen to act as the supreme commander?”

From his point of view that equals to that of an appointed central noble belonging to the military faction, it doesn’t hurt him at all no matter how many feudal armies of other nobles are run through.
Moreover, although General Classen is an authority of the imperial army, he’s also an incompetent person.
Duke Nürnberg’s dictatorship will be strengthened by judging him if he fails. If the military forces of the prince-electors are killed, it will be simple to gain total control over their territories.

“Is he making us get rid of the prince-electors’ military forces…?”

The prince-electors themselves are hostages, but since they are in charge on paper, they will be judged after being forced to take responsibility for the defeat.
It’s probably a scenario where their territories will be confiscated and absorbed by Duke Nürnberg.

“That’s why they can’t retreat at any cost, I suppose.”

This mountain of corpses surpassing a 10.000 is the result of that.
A large amount of arrows and spells are fired by both sides. Earl Mizuho Country’s national army fires their magic guns continuously.
Our allies’ casualties amount to around 1.000, but that’s owed to Elise and the others of the healing corps doing their best with us being the defending side.
The enemy army suffers increasing damage because they get targeted at the times they try to have their wounded fall back to the rear.

“Will it plunge into a night warfare, I wonder?”

“I’d like to avoid that if possible.” (Alfons)

“Why?”

“It might be possible if it’s Duke Nürnberg’s army, but I want to focus on precaution at night.” (Alfons)

Seeing that he was aiming for an usurpation of the imperial throne through a rebellion, it won’t be strange for him to have imposed such training on his feudal army, is what Alfons is probably thinking.
To begin with, it seems that Duke Nürnberg’s army is famous for being powerful.

“In that case we have to settle it quickly.”

“It’s necessary to shoot General Classen for that. Can you do that?” (Alfons)

Since their losses are great, General Classen has gone quite far towards the frontline and is urging on the soldiers vigorously as if he has gone mad.
However, on both his sides there were two treasured high level magicians. It was difficult to snipe General Classen with magic because they gave their undivided attention to his protection.
They have deployed a firm 『Magic Barrier』 protecting only them and General Classen. It’s not possible to break it that easily.

“It’s possible if they use their mana to the degree of running dry, but…” (Wendelin)

Since one doesn’t know what might happen on the battlefield, you want to preserve a certain extent of mana if possible.

“Sorry, but please do it.” (Alfons)

“Got it. You heard him.” (Wendelin)

“He’s a useless general who is lazing around in the rear!” (Armstrong)

Once I give the signal, Doushi, who threw rocks at the enemy army out of boredom, flings a huge, mana-charged megalith at Classen’s group which was several hundred meters away from us.

“He’s skilful to throw it that far, isn’t he?” (Luise)

“Luise, listen up and hurry!”

“Hitting them isn’t that difficult, but…”

In addition Luise starts to throw stones, though they are not as big as that of Doushi. Ina consecutively throws her reserve spears and Wilma rapidly fires iron arrows.
As their aim is accurate, they reach General Classen’s location one after the other, but all of it ends up getting repelled by the 『Magic Barrier』 cast by his two guarding magicians.

“Katharina!”

“Yes!” (Katharina)

However, those are just decoys.
Immediately following, I fire several bullets with magic while attaching strong 『Boosts』 to them.
Furthermore, matching my timing, Katharina improved them by piling up 『Boosts』 onto them as well.
All of a sudden it’s an impossible stunt, but I believe it to be great that we incidentally practised it before.
The several bullets gain an absurd penetrating force and head towards General Classen’s group.

◆◇◆◇◆

“It doesn’t how many attacks you pile up, in front of us brothers’s 『Impregnable Fortress』 and 『Solid Wall』!”

“Older Brother! It’s bad!”

No matter how strong the shield, if it’s attacked by an offensive force exceeding its defence, it will break.
Their 『Magic Barrier』 is penetrated at several points by small bullets. They penetrate the two magicians’ and General Classen’s bodies in succession.
Moreover, as the bullets have rotation added onto them, they are also acting as dum-dum ammunition used in interpersonal combat.
With a great part of their bodies’ intestines gouged out, the three fell over while vomiting blood.

“General Classen!”

“The Supreme Commander!”

Unrest spreads to the soldiers who were in the vicinity. It propagates like a wave to the entire army.
Even if he was an incompetent Supreme Commander, he was still their Supreme Commander.
Once he was killed, their moral naturally deteriorated.

“Retreat!”

Additionally, weak points appeared due to the enemy army being a mix of several feudal armies which didn’t do combined training until now.
A part of the commanding officers began to retreat on their own volition.
Once that happened, it likely wouldn’t take much time for this flow to spread to their entire army.

“Alfons, I’m out of mana.” (Wendelin)

“I’m wasted as well.” (Katharina)

Katharina and I sit down back to back on the spot.
It’s not going as far as us fainting, but we probably won’t be able to use magic decently anymore.

“You saved us. With this it’s our victory. We will dispatch the pursuit unit!” (Alfons)

“What’s the danger of an ambush?”

“None. We will also take along magicians who can use 『Detection』.” (Alfons)

“Be careful of 『Hide』 magic.”

Since it’s a war after all, there doesn’t seem to exist graceful behaviour.
Alfons gave the order to pursuit to the knight order he preserved.

“Is pursuit necessary?” (Katharina)

“Yes, it is.”

From the point of view of Katharina who’s aiming to become a noble, she seems to consider the act of pursuing an enemy, who shows their back, as inappropriate for a noble.

“A pursuit is the best way to decrease the enemy numbers. It’s because they have turned their backs on us.”

Besides, if they manage to get away, the will reorganize and come facing us again.
Decreasing the enemy numbers when it’s possible to do so is the very best method to decrease the future losses of our allies.

“Is what I’m saying whitewashing?” (Katharina)

“I think usually it’s fine like that.” (Wendelin)

“It can’t be helped because it’s a war now?” (Katharina)

“If you don’t consider it like that, you won’t be able to kill people, right?” (Wendelin)

“I guess so…” (Katharina)

We have killed a great numbers of monsters until now, but genuinely killing people in front of us happened after we came to the empire.
We killed soldiers in order to run away from the coup d’état forces and today we have also killed a large number of enemies who have made an onslaught.
At the time of fighting I didn’t think about anything while in a trance, but once I look at the blood-stained corpses spreading below my eyes, I can’t stop trembling at all.
Since even I’m like that, it’s probably even more painful for a woman.
Before I noticed, I was sitting down while embracing the four of them.

“I’m sorry. It’s because of our circumstances.” (Alfons)

“It’s a job after all. Though it’s no good for a mercenary to tremble after seeing corpses.”

“No, it seems to be the same for me as well…” (Alfons)

Once I look properly, Alfons’ fingers are trembling as well.
Among the soldiers in the vicinity there were some who are standing by changing their spears into walking sticks out of exhaustion. There are also some who are calling out to their injured war buddies while crying.
The only ones full of spirit are probably the pursuit units which sortied after getting their preparations in order.

“Even that’s an empty liveliness. After all there’s not a single person who’s experienced in real wars.”

It’s for the sake of obtaining rewards and success in life by raising deeds of arms.
While persuading themselves like this, they departed to the front in high spirits.
But, in fact, it’s inevitable for everyone to be frightened.
People, who love to murder, rarely exist.

“Wend, I will go as well.” (Erwin)

“Is it fine?” (Wendelin)

“I still haven’t gotten used to horses. I won’t go too far.” (Erwin)

Even Erw probably wants to obtain deeds of arms here.
Because the Earl Baumeister household grew too much, people, who are criticizing Erw for being a man with nothing more than connections, increased as well.

“Please pardon my yet unknown return.” (Erwin)

“Take care. Besides, you are also together with Haruka-san.” (Wendelin)

“It’s a bloody date, I guess.” (Erwin)

“Don’t say that. Then, I shall head out as well.” (Haruka)

Erw seems to join the pursuit unit of the Earl Mizuho Country’s national forces due to his relation with Haruka.
While holding up his new Mizuho katana that was created for him, he departed to pursue together with the members of the aforementioned 『Battou Unit』.
It appears that Haruka is also next to him.

“Earl Baumeister, it’s fine for you to take a break now.”

“Is it really?” (Wendelin)

“For today, that is.”

Only the pursuit units are now participating in the battle. It seems they are now only sending out scouts in case of a night attack by another enemy army and a counterattack by the escaping enemy army.

“Our side will take care of cleaning up the battlefield. There’s no way that we can exhaust Earl Baumeister’s party, who is an effective war potential, with such work.” (Alfons)

“Got it. Shall we go to Elise’s place?” (Wendelin)

I don’t believe that I, who has no mana left, would be useful in any way, but I wanted to see Elise’s face anyway.
Although it might be a victory, I don’t feel overy good about it.
Entrusting Alfons’ guarding to Burkhart-san, we retired to the rear.

 


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