It’s long, so I split it into 2 parts.
13-1. Chapter 13 (Part 1)
On the plains outside Aidenberg, the capital of the Principality of Myard, the battle for the survival of the nation was about to begin.
Ferrius-Myard Coalition Army was roughly divided into two camps to form a position where they could overturn the predictions of their strategists. One was 14,000 troops dispatched from the Ferrius Kingdom, and the other one was 4,000 regular soldiers and 7,000 militias from the Principality of Myard.
Even so, they were in a position where they could support each other. Not to mention they were located on two small hills that could be considered advantageous in the plains.
Moreover, the area around the base was protected by horse fences, to make it difficult to defeat the general with a single blow and cause confusion in the command.
In addition, considering the fear of being pinched from the valley of the hill, two battalion-sized units reinforced the defense at the foot of the hill. With this, a strong line of communication was established.
On the other side, the Highserk Empire army was hiding on the side of the hill where the Myard soldiers were.
Of the nine battalions, four battalions were spread out in a line, with three battalions behind them, and the Jaff Cavalry Battalion and the Liguria Battalion behind them.
According to the advance information Walm had received, apparently, the first four battalions would attack the hill, and the three battalions in front would intercept the attack of Ferrius’ army. Myard was to be wiped out first.
The Liguria Light Infantry Battalion and the Jaff Cavalry Battalion were to destroy Myard in a single blow after the advance guard had cleared obstacles such as horse fences. Walm was depressed as he envisioned the battalion’s difficult task.
Without warning, a full-scale battle began. Carried by the wind, sounds of explosions and screams of men and horses reached the position where Walm was. Even for the Highserk Empire, which was known for its strong soldiers, it was very difficult to attack the hills with a small force.
Walm continued to wait while his allies fought to the death on the front lines. The frustration of not being involved in the battle, the relief of not being in the dead zone, and also the nervousness for the battle he would soon participate in, all these feelings were mixed.
Squad Commander Duwei opened his mouth as everyone was nervous.
“… Whatever it is, It’s just too slow.”
“Maybe the defense line is stronger than expected?”
For the Highserk Empire, which had only a small force, speed would be important. It should be a lineup that focused on maneuver warfare and aimed 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 defensive line didn’t collapse at all. Certainly, Walm felt uncomfortable as well.
“Too many on the side.”
Walm let his thoughts out when he saw the array. If too much time was taken to defeat Myard’s Army, Ferrius’s Army attacking from the side or rear would have to be stalled longer.
Now the side defense was taken by three battalions. With Ferrius’ troops getting pinned down, the three battalions were completely transformed into one unit to stall them.
“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 the cavalries nor the light infantries aren’t deployed.”
Light infantries were often treated as handymen. When it became difficult to break through, they were thrown in to clear the way for the cavalries.
Space and distance were important factors in war, and Walm understood that if such an emphasis was placed on a deep operation, light infantry could be used to follow later on, but in the end, that would be meaningless if the basic purpose couldn’t be achieved. [TN: “Deep Operation”, for more information you can google it.]
“I don’t think Commander Berger would misread the enemy…”
The speech at Sarria City came to Walm’s mind. Commander Berger was the commander who inspired those soldiers and ended the Battle of the Border in short order. He didn’t believe it was just a fluke.
At that moment, a new noise of swords echoed in Walm’s ears from the left side of the hill.
“Urgh, it’s the main force of the Ferrius army.”
Four enemy battalions were visible to Walm.
Two Highserk battalions in the middle row on the left side went to give a response. Still, the enemy was almost double the number. Surely, they would have a hard time stalling.
“There’s no order yet?”
Said Barito, the rookie of the squad, in dismay.
“This isn’t good… right?”
Complained Noor, the other rookie of the squad, with anxiety.
“A reserve unit of Myard is coming out from the right side of the hill. Damn it, it’s a battalion-size.”
The unpleasant prediction that Myard’s only reserve unit would be deployed from the right side of the hill, was correct.
“I can see another newcomer. A Ferrius battalion from the outside on the left. They’re going to circle us.”
With a siege now looming, Walm saw the need to rebuild the formation.
Unlike the other soldiers, who were busy opening their mouths, the Squad Commander had fallen into the sea of thought.
“Squad Commander Duwei?”
Jose, noticing this, called out Squad Commander’s name.
“It’s a crisis situation… But, the frontline units haven’t been exhausted significantly. The units that are suppressing Ferrius’ main force will also devote themselves to earning time. Still, there must be something behind this, I’m sure of it.”
It was about that time that the enemy, the size of a battalion on Myard’s right, began to descend the hill. A messenger ran around the position where the Liguria battalion was. Walm was ready and thought that the time had finally come.
Then Walm covered his face with his hands and exhaled. He felt the warm air being pushed back into his palm and flowing through the gap. This was a habit Walm made before the battle.
Perhaps it was Commander Berger’s orders, immediately the voice of Battalion Commander Liguria echoed.
“It’s a sortie!! The goal is the 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 commanded soldiers were stunned because the situation was beyond comprehension. Walm also spun his brain to help swallow the command.
In short, of the only nine battalions at the time of this inferiority, two would storm into the main camp of the enemy.
Although it was an adjacent hill, it was still 4 to 5 km long. A trained soldier without equipment could do it without problems. But in the present situation, they were all wearing the equipment and they had to slash the enemy on the way and also at the destination.
In the foreground, there was a hill on where the Myard Camp was located, and on the right side, one Myard battalion started to come down from the hill. Considering this situation, Walm thought this was unreasonable and insane, but then he remembered his friendly army that couldn’t advance further.
“No way… a deception…?”
Squad Commander Duwei nodded to Walm’s mutter.
“Pretend that the attack is stagnant and drag out the enemy. Moreover, the soldiers at the front line of Myard are leaning forward and being detained there. From the hill, the last reserve unit will go down 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 expressed information he had received from the battlefield he was observing.
“No, enemy troops who can easily return to rescue have already joined the battlefield.”
Six battalions of Ferrius’ army covered the left wing of Highserk’s main force to complete the siege. Their outer edge was furthest from the hill of the Ferrius camp, as this was to be a siege. Direct communication with these units would be difficult and would take time to turn back. As far as Walm could see, the friendly troops, with the main purpose of holding them back, were assigned in preference to the enemy battalion on the inner edge, which could have returned most quickly to the enemy’s main camps.
“Whichever the main camp that gets crushed earlier, will determine whether to win big or lose big.”
Given the path ahead, Walm wanted this 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 mouths.
Readying to run, Walm waited for the moment.
There were no drums or trumpets announcing the deployment. The units were tightly packed, and the gaps between each platoon or company were narrow at first, but as they began to run, gaps gradually opened up.
The two battalions just started running quietly, yet at full power.
Walm desperately kicked up the ground and ran, so as to not fall behind.
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 an uproar. It was a good opportunity to form a platoon and overrun the enemy, but getting through was the priority.
“Don’t stop!! Run!! Run!!”
Roared the desperate Platoon Commander Kozul with a heavy breathing sound.
Walm wondered where the fat Platoon Commander got this extra strength, but now he focused on the enemy in front of him.
As Walm ran, he swung his halberd at an enemy soldier blocking his path. It hit in the shoulder and severed the soldier’s collarbone. The next soldier he hit on the torso along with the armor.
In both cases it was possible to return to the battlefield if the bleeding was stopped, Walm wanted to strike one last blow but then decided there was no need for that.
As it was easy for Walm to imagine that they would be completely killed by subsequent troops.
The enemy troops, on whom the cavalry rushed, were horribly fragile and confused.
Some of them tried 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 less than 50 meters. The enemy group formed a spearhead, and if the Highserk soldiers attacked them directly, damage would be inevitable.
Walm sensed the intention of Squad Commander Duwei and concentrated his mana while running.
Willart sent a magic attack 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 held even after receiving damage, but a fireball fired at the fragile spot left a large hole in the center of the enemy formation.
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 cut blood and iron, Walm swung his halberd down.
The cutting edge, which entered from the right-back of the head in the manner of a helm splitter attack, broke through the skull and knocked down the enemy in just a single blow.
Another enemy who tried to stop Walm was pierced in the shoulders and thighs by a short spear from Barito and Noor, who had been following from the side, and immediately sank to the ground.
Waiting for the enemy soldiers to get up were the legs of countless Highserk soldiers. And so, the death struggle was immediately cut off.
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