It’s long, so I split it into 2 parts.
13-1. Chapter 13 (Part 1)
In the plains outside Aidenberg, the capital of the Principality of Myard, the battle for the survival of the nation was about to begin.
Ferrius and Myard were roughly divided into two camps to form a position, overturning the predictions of their strategists. One was the Ferrius home army 14,000 dispatched from the Ferrius Kingdom, and the other was 4000 regular soldiers and 7000 militias of the Principality of Myard.
Although there were two camps, they were in a position where they could support each other. Also, they were on two small hills that could be said as advantageous in the plains.
In addition, the area around the base was protected by a horse fence, it would be difficult to defeat the general with a single blow and cause confusion in the chain of command.
In addition to the fear of being pinched from the valley of the hill, two battalion-sized units strengthened the defense at the bottom, and so a strong connection line was built.
On the other hand, the Highserk Empire army was hiding on the side of the hill where Myard soldiers were.
Of the nine battalions, four battalions spread in a line, behind them three battalions, and behind them were Jaff cavalry battalion and Liguria battalion.
According to the prior information that Walm was told, it seemed that the first four battalions would attack the hill, the three battalions ahead of him would catch the attack of Ferrius army. Myard should be annihilated first.
The Liguria light infantry battalion and Jaff cavalry battalion must crush Myard with a single blow after the vanguard had defeated obstacles such as horse fences. Walm felt depressed when he imagined the hardship of the battalion’s role.
A full-scale battle began without warning. Riding on the wind, explosion sounds and screams of humans and horses reached the position where Walm was. Even in the Highserk Empire, which was famous for its strong soldiers, it was very difficult to attack the hills with a small army force.
Walm kept waiting, while his allies were fighting for death on the front line. The frustration of not being involved in the battle, the relief of not being put into the dead zone, and also the nervousness for the battle he would join soon, all of such emotions were mixed.
Squad Commander Duwei opened his mouth as everyone was nervous.
“… No matter what it is, It’s too slow.”
“Maybe the line of defense is stronger than expected.”
For Highserk Empire which only had a small army force, speed would be important. It was supposed to be a lineup to focus on maneuver warfare and aim to defeat a small number of people.
The sound of the battlefield Walm heard, made it hard to believe that four battalions were attacking. The momentum was tremendous, but the line of defense didn’t collapse at all. Certainly, Walm also felt uncomfortable.
“Too many on the side.”
Walm let out his thoughts when he saw the arrangement. If you took too much time to defeat the Myard army, you would have to stall Ferrius army that was attacking from the side or behind, longer. Now the side defense was undertaken by three battalions. Now that Ferrius was stuck, the three battalions were completely transformed into one unit.
“It’s true that even two battalions may be enough to earn time.”
Jose agreed with Walm’s opinion.
“Yeah, but, even if that’s the case, I don’t understand why neither cavalry nor light infantry isn’t deployed.”
Light infantries were often treated as handymen. If it became difficult to break through, they would be thrown in to make a way for the cavalry.
Space and distance were important factors in the war, and Walm understood that if you put emphasis on deep battle, light infantry could be used to follow later on, but it was meaningless unless the fundamental purpose could be achieved.
“I don’t think Commander Berger would misread it …”
The speech in Sarria City came out from Walm’s memory. He was the commander who inspired such soldiers and ended the battle on the border in a short period of time. he didn’t think it was just a fluke.
At that time, a new voice of a sword echoed from the left side of the hill to Walm’s ears.
“Urgh, it’s the main force of Ferrius army.”
There were four battalions just visible to Walm. Two battalions in the middle row on the left side responded. Still, it was almost double the number. They would have a hard time stalling.
“There isn’t an order yet?”
Barito said in dismay.
“It’s not good as it is…”
Inexperienced Noor in the squad complained of anxiety.
“A reserve unit of Myard comes out from the right side of the hill. Damn it, it’s a battalion-size.”
The unpleasant prediction of Myard’s only reserve unit would be deployed from the right side of the hill, was correct.
“I can see the new Ferius battalion from the outside on the left. They’re going to circle us.”
Now a siege that was forming, Walm felt the need to rebuild the formation.
As the soldiers opened their mouths, only the Squad Commander had fallen into the sea of thought.
“Squad Commander Duwei?”
Jose, who noticed it, called the name of the Squad Commander.
“It’s a crisis situation… But, the frontline units haven’t been exhausted significantly. The units that went to suppress Ferrius’ main force will also devote themselves to earning time. But, there is something behind this, I’m sure of it.”
It was around the time when a battalion-sized enemy on the right of Myard began to descend the hill. A messenger ran around the position where the Liguria battalion was. Walm was ready thinking that the time had finally come.
Walm then covered his face with his hands and exhaled. He perceived the warm air being pushed back into the palm of his hand and flowing through the gap. It was a habit that Walm did before the battle.
Perhaps he received Commander Berger’s orders from the messenger, immediately the voice of Battalion Commander Liguria echoed.
“It’s a sortie!! The goal is Ferrius camp. We’ll go from the right-wing, pass the hill at full speed, and force Ferrius to surrender. The cavalry will start running. Brace yourself.”
” “ ” Huh? ” ” “
Most of the ordered soldiers were stunned because the situation couldn’t be swallowed. Walm also spun the gear on his head.
Of the only nine battalions at the time of this inferiority, two were trying to rush into the enemy’s main camp.
Although it was an adjacent hill, it was still 4 to 5 km long. A trained soldier without equipment might be able to do it without a problem. But the situation now, they were all wearing the equipment, and they needed to slash the enemy along the way and at the destination too.
In the foreground, there was a hill where Myard was located, and on the right, a battalion of Myard was starting to descend from the hill.
Walm didn’t think that would be a sane thing to do, but he remembered his friendly army who couldn’t attack.
“No way… a deception…?”
Squad Commander nodded to Walm’s mutter.
“Pretend that the attack is stagnant and drag out the enemy. Moreover, the soldiers on the front line of Myard are leaning forward and detained there. From the hill, the last reserve unit is going down to go to our camp as well. A quick change in order will be difficult to reach all of them.”
“Still, there is one battalion left on the Ferrius side, and a part of the six battalions aiming for a siege from the left wing may return to the main camp.”
In response to Jose’s negative opinion, Walm uttered information obtained from the battlefield that he was looking on.
“No, enemy troops that are easy to return to rescue have already joined the battlefield.”
Six battalions of Ferrius army were covering the left wing of the Highserk main force to complete the siege. Its outer edge was the furthest from the hills of Ferrius camp because it was intended to be a siege. Immediate communication to those units would be difficult and took time to turn back. As far as Walm saw, friendly troops with the main purpose of restraining them were preferentially assigned to the enemy battalion at the inner edge, which would have been the fastest to return to the enemy’s main camps.
“Whichever the main camp that gets crushed sooner, will determine whether to win big or lose big.”
Given the path ahead, Walm wanted that prediction to be wrong.
“Eeh, such a gambling-like strategy―― “
Noor became speechless.
But before Walm could think more,
“I think Commander Berger has his own way. More than that, be ready. If you let your guard down, you’ll die.”
Everyone closed their mouth. Walm waited for that time.
There were no drums or trumpets to announce the sortie. The units were densely packed, and the intervals were initially tight for each platoon or company, but as they started running, gaps gradually opened.
The two battalions just started running quietly, yet at full power. Walm desperately kicked up the ground and ran.
The preceding cavalry ran like an arrow, literally smashing the head of the enemy troops down the hill.
When Walm arrived a few minutes late, the enemy was still in turmoil. It was a great opportunity to form a platoon and overrun the enemy, but passing through was prioritized.
“Don’t stop!! Run!! Run!!”
The desperate Platoon Commander Kozuru shouted with a violent breathing sound. Walm was wondering from where the fat Platoon Commander had such extra power, but now he concentrated on the enemy in front of him.
While running, he swung his halberd down at an enemy soldier who obstructed the course. It went to his shoulder, and cut his collarbone. For the next soldier, he swung at his upper body together with his armor.
In both cases, it was possible for them to return to the battlefield if the bleeding was suppressed, Walm wanted to give a final blow, but then decided that it wasn’t the time for that.
Also, it was easy for Walm to imagine that they would be completely killed by subsequent troops. The enemy troops that the cavalry rushed into were horribly fragile and confused.
Some of such groups were trying to recover early.
Walm clicked his tongue thinking that the non-commissioned officers and soldiers must be excellent.
A large number of enemies were waiting in front of Walm. Perhaps, it was about a hundred people.
Squad Commander Duwei called Willart, and then Walm. The distance to the enemy was about to be less than 50m. The group formed a spearhead, and if Highserk soldiers hit them in a straightforward manner, damages would be unavoidable.
Walm sensed the intention of Squad Commander Duwei and concentrated his mana while running.
Willart struck magic a little earlier. Five or six soldiers in the front row were seriously injured, and a hole was opened in a part of the front.
Walm made the same fireball as Willart. It was an enemy unit that had been holding up even after receiving damage, but a fireball shot at the fragile location left a large hole in the center of the enemy.
Squad Commander Duwei and the veteran Highserk soldiers couldn’t overlook the weak points, and made a rush in the form of a naturally constructed wedge.
Following Squad Commander Duwei who literally stripped blood and iron, Walm swung his halberd down.
The cutting edge that entered from the right-back of the head in the manner of a helmet split broke through the skull and knocked down the enemy with a single blow.
Another enemy who tried to stop Walm, was pierced on his shoulders and thighs with a short spear of Barito and Noor, who had been standing aside immediately, and sank to the ground.
Waiting for the soldiers who wanted to stand up was the legs of countless Highserk soldiers. And so, the death agony was immediately cut off.
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