I'll try to post the next part same time next week.
Chapter 46 Part 1: That time when there was a melee in front of the fort and we didn't know what to do as we watched from the side
The morning of the next day, the leader of the unit who looks like an insect with feelers growing out of his head did a speech in a loud voice. While he was doing that, I was carefully eating my meal. I went through all the effort lining up to get this warm soup after all.
「We'll be moving on foot from this point onwards! We'll be able to see our destination, the fort, once we cross that hill! The fort is an important location in the frontlines where the supplies are delivered and injured soldiers are treated and at this moment, the humans are trying to snatch it away from us! Our job will be to repel them!
Just take whatever is necessary from your luggage in the carriages. You can leave the rest to the remaining 10% of the group that will stay behind. In case something happens, we can send a messenger here so you should look for someone who will receive that message! Our victory is certain! That's why I'd like it if you savor your meal and eat it slowly!」
So in other words, he's saying that this might be our last meal so we should savor this meal. Well, I guess you don't really say it in such a blunt way like that normally. Might as well savor my meal as he said.
「Oi, Caam. What do you think we're going to do?」
「Who knows? We were just told to act as a supporting unit so we can just move independently as a commando unit right? Even Yaoul-san wasn't sure since he said that it's out of his jurisdiction so let's just take it easy and try not to cause trouble」
「That's true. Let's just all mobilize together」
What's with this 『Let's all go together』 atmosphere building up here?
After we finished eating breakfast, I took my small rucksack and rushed to finish up the inspection of my equipment. If I take too long, the people from the infantry corps might make a fuss.
「Oh? It's time, isn't it?」
「Yeah, it seems so. Are we going to say at the end of the line like last time?」
We already finished guarding the Transportation Corps so our task right now is to eliminate the humans who're swarming the frontline base, however, the two of us weren't sure what we're supposed to do. We're being treated as mercenaries and there aren't a lot of us here so aside from providing us with meals and other consumable goods, we're pretty much ignored.
「Nn, I guess we should go thenー」
After saying that, our group started walking. We sounded very relaxed as we conversed so the everyone around started glaring at us.
「Come to think of it, are there any other units who have people that were dispatched from the guild?」
「I don't think so」
「Does that mean that Cravatte-sama didn't hire anyone else besides the two of us?」
「Ahー, that's probably the case」
Since we were so casually conversing, the members of the infantry corps started glaring at us as we followed them closely behind.
「Is that the hill?」
As I said that, the soldiers were already starting to line up side by side and the cavalry unit setting up behind the hill. They're split into two groups so they'll probably cross the hill from both sides.
Well, I already saw that in their training so that is to be expected but I wonder how they'll fare when we're in battle. While I was thinking that, we decided to take a look at the situation at the fort.
They're still so small I can barely see them but at the bottom of the gently sloped hill 700 meters ahead, there are human soldiers besieging the fort. In front of them is a moat that's surrounding a square rampart. The rampart was around 300 meters wide on one side and 10 meters tall with arrowslits on top. Since I can see people moving around on top, I guess the wall is at least 2 meters thick. The entrance should probably be a drawbridge. Can they accommodate these much reinforcements I wonder? I'm not sure if they're still alive in there though. I want to be able to sleep in a soft bed and a roof on my head soon.
The ground's completely bare with no trace of grass. I guess it must have been thoroughly trodden on. I can't even see any trees and only a few bushes nearby.
How annoying. We can't ambush them so I can only wear my brown clothes.
The moat was around 7 meters wide and looks to be about 3 meters deep. How deep the water level is then? I'm guessing that it's enough to drown the humans but can't really tell. Wait, don't tell me it's just a meter deep. Even if they botched up the construction, that's still too little water.
The distance between the ramparts and the moat is pretty wide so they won't be able to cross unless they had a really long ladder. I see that the humans have a siege tower but it doesn't seem like it'll be of any use (with the moat right there).
Now that I think about it, how do they do trigonometric functions in this world anyway? The wall is 10 meters tall and it's about 7 meters away from them so the ladder length should be…… Well, so long enough to reach it I guess. Un. It's no use even if somebody acquires that knowledge, they probably wouldn't know where and how to apply it.
Wellー, the worst thing about all of this is the insufficient water level. They would probably give up if it was deep but they can just enter the moat if it's actually shallow. It would be difficult to move through the water if it at least reached their waist though.
They are already in the water so even if the guys defending the fort pour boiling oil and water from above, they might just get away with only moderate burns. But even so, the unsanitary conditions in the battlefield among other things make it so that they'll probably suffer for a long time and will eventually die from those injuries. Well, they might also survive but that's just what I presume.
Is that a handcart……wheelbarrow? The humans have those at hand so while they're being shot by arrows, the humans were frantically digging and transporting soil to try and fill the moat. There's water in it though so it's just turning into a bog.
The guys in the fort are still holding out against the human's catapult right now but there are only a few guys aiming at the humans operating that mango-something whatever it's called. Or is that just an even bigger trebu…… Geez, I'll just call it a stone-throwing weapon. Why do these weapons have such complicated names? Well, the smaller one has a shorter range so I guess they picked that one to target. They would obviously bring those out after all. This is bad, isn't it? [TL: Mangonel=マンゴネル and trebuchet=トレビュシェット Those words are a mouthful for the Japanese I guess]
I wonder why the humans still haven't used that stone-throwing weapon yet. Well, I guess that has nothing to do with me.
「Oi. It seems like we're going to be attacking soon」
「Roger. I'm going to change my clothes so give me a moment」
After saying that, I changed into my brown clothes then mixed water with the soil to create mud to cover my face and hair.
Alright! With this, I'm completely brown!1
「You really are a strange guy, aren't you?」
「I can't really deny that」
The people of this world just don't get it yet.
A large number of people vigorously charged towards the hill then split into to the left and right paths. Looking at the right path, we can see the main entrance so you'd probably be behind the fort if you took the other path.
「Oi, did we get left behind?」
「Hm? Ahー. Well, it can't be helped. We're just hired help after all. Let's just look at the flow of the battle before we take action」
Noticing their loud voices, the humans turned around, put up their shields, then poked their long spears through the gaps. A formation that emphasizes defense is good and all but can they stand the force of a horse running downhill I wonder?
Ah, their formation's collapsing. Well, it's impossible after all. From there, the humans' were starting to recover their disarrayed formation but they were suddenly attacked by a large group from behind.
They guys who were attacking the fort were forced to go on the defensive as a response the charge so they were still able to somewhat recover but their numbers were clearly not enough.
After that, the prisoners who were only equipped with just a sword and shield started mowing down the humans as stones were flying at them. They may be prisoners but that still some pretty crappy equipment, isn't it? I wonder if it can't be helped since they're just considered as disposable pawns. Well, I can't really say anything about equipment considering that I have my shovel, crowbar, machete, and thick clothes.
I wonder if those unpopular old men are still alright……
We need to cut the rope to prevent that stone-thrower from attacking. Well, I guess we should go and give them support. I soften the ground near it with magic then turned it over burying a lot of the humans nearby while I was at it.
『It's magic! They have a magician with them! Stay vigilant!』
A flashy looking guy started waving around his sword while saying something. Well, I wouldn't be able to hear them from here though.
「Hmm. Well then, I guess we should go as wellー」
「Huh? Did you do that?」
「Yeah」 He was pointing his finger towards that scene so I just lightly replied.
「You really are an idiot, aren't you! You usually wouldn't be able to do that you know!」 He violently retorted.
「Well, I was able to do it though…」
「Haa…… Well, whatever. So, what are we going to do?」
「There's a melee up front so we're going to go around them. If we go through the other side of this hill using the left path, we'll be behind the fort. Let's just do that so we can proceed safely」
After saying that, we moved towards the other side of the hill while making sure we weren't noticed as we went around them.
I poked my head out a bit to make sure the coast is clear and to examine the situation. It looks like the humans can't do anything. They can't even set up their ladders on the ramparts because they're busy dealing with our troops as they're getting shot by arrows from above. It kinda feels like everything will somehow be alright even if we do nothing.
「This is just a conclusion I came up with but do you want to hear it?」
「What is it?」
「It kinda feels like we won't get our turn at this rate……」
While I was saying that, Keith also poked his head out.
It looks like he got what I meant.
「I wonder how it looks from the front」
「Don't know. Are we going to go around again?」
「I guess so」
We were already clear of the hill so we decided to go another detour to reach the right side while making sure that the humans don't see us.
「We haven't done anything yet, have we?」
While having that kind of exchange, we lowered our bodies as we made our way to a shrubbery located near the right side of the rampart. I really appreciate the reliability of the plants in these kinds of situations.
I'm not sure how intense of a battle they're having on the left side but it's just a battle between the laddermen versus the guys throwing boiling oil and water over the ramparts and the archers here on the right. Meanwhile, the exchange of arrows between the attackers and defenders continues.
「Shall we start giving them support while making sure to avoid shifting their attention to us?」
After saying that, I shot out a boiling 【WaterBall】. I choose boiling water instead of the normal one since I took into consideration the splash radius and figured that I might as well target the guys who are climbing the ladder.
I've always thought about this but how exactly does the water ball in games do damage?
Is it from the impact of being shot out or does it have something to do with the quality of the water used? I guess that might be it since I've heard that it's possible for the water's surface to have the equivalent hardness of a concrete wall depending on the angle and speed you hit it. I'm sure it would really hurt if a bucket's worth of water that was traveling at more than a hundred kph hit you.
Feeling the heat on their backs, the people climbing the ladders jumped into the moat by themselves in panic. While I was observing that, the soldiers on top of the wall peaked over and shot arrows into the moat. They probably want to make sure that they're dead.
Even though they're speaking a different language, it seems like you'll be able to understand the scream no matter which world you are in.
「Keith, will your arrows reach them from here?」
「It will but my aim might be a little wonky at this distance…… I'm sure that it will reach them though」
They're about 200 meters away after all. I guess it's hard to predict where the arrow would land at that distance.
「I see. We wouldn't want to hit our allies so it can't be helped. I guess I'll use my magic then. Ahー, we might get noticed if I do that. Is that okay?」
「Do what you want. I won't say anything about your magic anymore」
I generated a 500 litters worth of boiling【WaterBall】 20 meters above and dropped it towards an area where there were a lot of humans. I've seen that amount in a large tank at a hardware store so it was easy for me to imagine the size.
As if a large water balloon exploded, the hot water scattered around in every direction causing a large amount of steam to come out. The soldiers who got hit by the hot water screamed and jumped into the moat.
When the steam cleared up, the demonkin soldiers who had no idea what just happened came to their senses and started firing arrows towards the digging humans and topping down the ladders.
While groaning, Keith had a weird look on his face as he looked at me.
「It seems like you have something you want to say」
「I know I said that I won't comment about your magic anymore but you really are an oddball, aren't you?」
「Is that so?」
Even as I said that, I continued producing another hot water ball for my next wave of attack.
After doing that a few times, the soldiers started running away. It seems like they're about to approach our direction.
「Hey, I still need to aim my waterball at the guys attacking the wall so I'll leave these ones to you」
「Yeah yeah. I got it」
After saying that, he started eliminating the humans running towards us by shooting arrows at them one by one. No matter what you say about Keith, there's no denying the fact that his accuracy and rate of fire are really good. That might be the reason why he was also chosen by a noble.
After Keith defeated a few more people, instead of running away to our direction, they spread out left and right sides of the rampart.
「I'll just leave the guys coming this way to you. They're not running towards us just yet so it doesn't seem like we were noticed」
While examining the situation, I let loose another 【water ball】 but that no longer did anything because of how spread out the humans are. Even if I didn't do anything, the soldiers on top of the ramparts could have dealt with them with their arrows.
They have to worry about the hot water if they group up but then there are the arrows if they decide to split up or run away. And no matter where they run, they're bound to get attacked so the humans no longer have a chance in this fight.
「Don't you think that's enough?」
「Ahー, I guess so. There's no need for me to produce any more waterballs」
We decided to lay low in the bushes for a while.
A few moments after that, we heard loud cheers coming from the fort. There were still a few vanguards from the prisoner troops roaming about the entire battlefield has been mostly cleared up(of soldiers).
「Is that it?」
「We're already done, right?」
We stood up from behind the bushes and approached the out of breath prisoner soldiers.
「Is it over?」
「I think so」
The prisoner soldier we approached was a panting bloodstained beastkin who had bloodshot eyes and was being vigilant of his surroundings.
「I'm sorry to be rude but is that blood yours? Are you injured?」
「It's from the enemy so don't worry about it」
「I see. Then, let's go group up with the others」
We began to walk after that. It made me feel depressed knowing that we'll have to walk while avoiding the mountain of corpses. I didn't want to see any dead bodies but I can't avoid doing that since they are everywhere. It's the worst.
After most of the soldiers have gathered and even the carriages carrying the goods arrived they lowered the drawbridge and a flabby creature wearing clean and gaudy clothes and whose race I didn't know came out. In a high-pitched voice, he said:
「Thanks for the reinforcement」
Did he get so fat that it started squeezing his vocal cords? I can't even fathom a guess as to what race he is.
「Thank goodness you arrived on time」
The insectkin who is probably the one in charge of the place said that as he beckoned the caravan.
「All of the goods are fine as well. We'll be able to continue fighting with this」
Then the flabby creature butted in and address the troops.
「Nobody will get mad at us if we splurge out today! Because of that, while you're cleaning up, we'll make a nice hot meal for you!」
Un, I certainly think that it's important to raise the morale of the troops but you would probably jump on any reason to eat, right? Shouldn't you also attach 『debuu』 to the end of your sentences? He'll be saying something like
『I'm hungry. Bring out the food debuu』『What are you doing debuu! Finish off the humans quickly debuu!』[TL: equivalent to oink oink I guess]
While I'm coming up with such wild ideas, Keith was giving me a weird look.
While gathering the arrows from the soldiers' corpses our troops were finishing off the not yet dead but suffering humans lying around. After that, they piled up the corpses on one place then set them on fire. The smell of the burning humans started to reach my nose so I ran upwind to escape it. Or rather, why is it that the cleanup time takes longer compared to our time in battle?
As for the ones who ran away earlier, the lightly injured ones and the ones wearing flashy-looking armor were bound and gathered in front of the gate. Ahー, I really don't want to know what will happen to them after this. What do they even do with the survivors? Just as I was thinking that, when I looked back, their heads were already separated from their bodies.
「ah, I knew I shouldn't have looked……」
Muttering that, I searched for my luggage on the carriage and decided to stuff my face with sweets. It's already past noon based on the position of the sun so I decided to look for Keith while walking on the slippery blood-soaked ground.
「O~i, have you had your lunch yet?」
「Before that, you should go and wipe your face」
「Yeahー, I didn't get covered in blood this time so I completely forgot」
I shoved my face inside the 【Waterball】 I created then wiped it off with a cloth.
「That's a really convenient magic, isn't it?」
「Right? Want me to teach you?」
I tried saying that while grinning.
「I can't use magic」
「Well, my bow skill is pretty trash」
「So what? You want me to teach you that in return?」
「No. What I'm implying is that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses」
「Damn rightー. How bad are you with the bow anyway?」
「I'll somehow manage to hit anything but my target. It also kinda feels like the arrow would fly straighter if I just threw it」
「What's with that? Let me see it for a bit」
He laughed as he handed me a bow and arrow. Then, he then started commenting as I did my demo.
「Ooh, what a nice form」
「Ahー, it kinda seems like you've been cursed by god. It doesn't seem like it will fly straight no matter what you do」
While we were doing that, we heard some soldiers shout, 「It's meal timeーーーー!」 as they were walking so we immediately decided to follow them. It had more ingredients in it this time but they still served the same bacon soup and hard-baked bread.
「They're still pretty stingy when it comes to "splurging out", aren't they? Well, they've just restocked the supplies so I guess it can't be helped」
「There's just bacon in it so it doesn't really make me happy」
「Nnー. Damn right」
「You know, the carriage I rode to get to Tephroite had prisoners in it」
「What's this all of a sudden?」
「Well, I was thinking about searching for them since I've heard that there were a few of us from the demonkin side who were injured」
「Yeah. Moreover, I've heard that almost all of the injured were from the prisoner group so I'm a bit worried about them」
「Let's go then. We aren't soldiers so they probably won't say anything」
「I guess that's true. Sorry about talking about this even though we're eating」
「Don't mind it. It's actually better that way since the smell of that burning corpse mountain that's starting to reach us」
We quickly finished our meal after that then I walked towards the area where the prisoners were gathered.