79. Chapter 79
“Hmph, that coward Edgar is unusually enthusiastic.”
There was a magical silver ring on the finger of the rattling man at the desk, and the reflected light swayed as if to claim its existence.
Inside and outside the camp, all of them were dressed in armor and ready for the battlefield, but only the man wore an embroidered robe and leaned in a disproportionate chair without showing any tension.
The man, Odilon de Meisenav, gazed at the two armies facing him from the command post covered by the camp enclosure. Viscount Edgar foolishly rejected Odilon’s warm-hearted proposal. In addition, he and his main forces were occupying the foot of the mine behind the branch castle where Baron Josh, from the vassal house, guarding.
“There are more soldiers than I expected. It seems true that he embraced Highserk’s soldiers.”
According to the ears of Odilon’s sneaking in here and there, the total number of those of Highserk was 500, and all of them were regular soldiers. They might have better combat skills than small fries, but after all, they were just soldiers of a second-rate country. The lack of uniformity of weapons and damaged armor further emphasized that.
“After all, they’re just a second-rate squeezed residue.”
Odilon looked at the forces he had brought. With abundant funds, even the ordinary soldiers wore heavy armor, and with the training by regular soldiers, they would be more than ready. Two well-known mercenary units, which members were also famous as adventurers, were also joining the line. It was clear who was stronger objectively.
“By all means, please give an order to my unit!!”
“No, the one to bring victory to Odilon-sama, will be my unit!!”
The morale was kept high, backed by the difference in Lord’s rank, and the ones from Meisenav Family and the vassals’ family wanted to make a name for themselves. He intended to give those, who were the force directly underneath him such as those from Meisenav Family and his retainers, a place to gather experience, but until then he wanted to avoid exhausting them as much as possible.
Fortunately, those from the vassals and some lords of small territories joined the army in an attempt to gain the wealth that could be brought from the magical silver mine.
Odilon had already decided what to take the lead.
“I’ll have Viscount Barnes Cuvier take the lead. With 2000 soldiers, including the infantries, bring down the branch castle.”
“It’s a great honor to be appointed as a prestigious vanguard. That branch castle, I’ll bring it down, at any cost!!”
The branch castle would be sieged, then face a decisive battle with the remaining troops, such an option was there, but if a large army collided, precious forces would get caught up in a turbulent battle and there would be a risk of losing all of those soldiers he had raised hard.
Odilon was hungry to scrape the branch castle’s troops and destroy the enemy. If the enemy decided to devote their troops to support the branch castle, he could bury all of those troops in one sweep, without sacrificing much.
In contrast to the rejoicing Viscount Barnes, Odilon whispered in a low voice to a group of people who felt down after being dismissed from the vanguard role and were frowning.
“Your suitable stage is still ahead. You can leave it to them to take the lead in the exhausting castle attack.”
Following Odilon’s words, the members of the group had dark smiles. Despite the difference in prediction, the two armies were trying to open the battle while preserving the main force.
Those who stuck to the walls were watching over the army in full of sight, while Walm calmly counted the enemy’s troops. He naturally didn’t waste the time like counting one by one from the edge. There were several ways to figure out the number of troops in reconnaissance. In addition to perception with a help of skill, there was a way, such as making a shape with tools, fingers, and hands, then counting the approximate number within that frame. Walm knew that.
If you were accustomed to a full-scale war that incorporated many units and collided with each other, you could naturally process it in your brain and grasp the approximate number without creating a shape with something. Of course, there might be a need to consider the errors, it might be also necessary to take into account the existence of intentionally concealed ambush soldiers.
“About 1,800 to over 2,000, is it?”
Walm was convinced that it should be a reasonable number.
The castle was packed with about 700 people, and it made sense to prepare more than three times as many troops to attack the castle if they wanted to show off their forces. It was unclear whether their scouts were so good or if there were some spies, in any case, it seemed that the information on the branch castle side, hatefully, had been known to some extent to the enemy.
“Eh? There are so many?”
Kuwen, who didn’t miss Walm’s mutter, shook his voice in anxiety. In the end, the total number of forces might be reduced due to morale issues. But right now, many had not been able to grasp the scale of the battlefield because they were in a castle where friendly forces lined up around them. As they collided, they would realize that even if you didn’t like it, their force was at a numerical disadvantage.
“2,000 people and there’re still many more behind…”
“Don’t make too loud noises. You’ll lower the morale. Then, you’ll be scolded by the 100-men commander.”
The two hurriedly closed their mouths and nodded. Their movements were like a pair of tin dolls that had a will. Walm had little experience in training newcomers on the battlefield. His former companion, Jose, was good at it, but Walm was always providing advice as he rescued them on the verge of being hurt. He didn’t know how to properly do it, so there was no choice but to imitate Jose’s method here, albeit poorly.
“… Are you guys growing hair under there?”
” “eh?” “
Unable to understand the intent of the question, they both made a dumbfounded expression.
“Ah, hm, well…”
“It’s growing like normal. For the time being.”
In addition to being confused, their eyes were saying that they had a suspicion, perhaps Walm had “that” kind of hobby. Feeling afraid that Walm might do something to their bodies, they both slightly retreated. But Walm was unwilling to be looked at with such eyes.
“Rest assured. I like women. I mean, it looks so small. I thought you have no hair there. So, it just shrank because of fear? I see.”
It wasn’t that Walm had a peculiar hobby, but it was the result of poorly imitating his former comrades. He thought it would be better than throwing some cheap words to reassure them. At this time, there was no doubt that Viscount Edgar was at a disadvantage, so Walm couldn’t bring himself to say a word of reassurance.
“I’m not scared!!”
“I’ll be the one to hunt.”
A protest was raised from Kuwen, and Kalim struck the ground with a slight stab of his spear.
Fortunately, the newcomer was motivated, even if it was just on the surface. Sure, it was just a perhaps strange joke, but it was worth it, and the boys’ whole body, which was stiffened from tension, had loosened and their complexions turned a little better.
“Then, it’s great. But it will take an hour before the attack. Because they don’t want to do a careless attack.”
“Look over there. It’s not below.”
The boys were amazed at the blatant words, but they obediently stared at the point that Walm pointed to.
“They’re making something.”
“That’s right. Use big shields and bamboo bundles to avoid attacks from a long distance. The big shields, can only be carried by a few people, but their durability is proportional to their weight. The bamboo bundles may look unreliable. But, the nodes inside are removed and soil is stuffed in. It can prevent not only stones and arrows, but even direct hits of weak magic attack.”
Walm was also in their debt when attacking a castle in the past. It could be said that such items would help the immature soldiers on the frontline shine.
“Ah, so it needs to be assembled and prepared.”
“Yeah, that’s right. Once that’s in the front row and starting to move forward, it’ll be the time.”
Kalim made a proud face, probably because he arrived at the correct answer by himself. Kuwen, on the other hand, was dispirited. Walm looked away from them and looked at the near but far enemy.
As expected, the lords in the Three Big Countries had financial power and could play with it. The enemy this time seemed to have gathered “amusing toys”. In addition to the big shields and bamboo bundles, a battering ram and a small siege tower were also prepared.
“No, it’s on purpose.”
The enemy must have checked the height of the branch castle in advance. If not, it would be so strange that the siege tower fit the height of the wall too well. Large siege towers were difficult to operate. If it was too heavy, the wheels would sink into the ground, and good care must be given when transporting it. Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, could be said to be wasting resources.
Walm felt unfavorable about it, but without a doubt, the leader of the enemy must be someone who really understood what he was doing.
“Right, this is why you don’t want to quarrel with the rich. It’s just miserable.”
Walm exhaled his inner feelings, so that the two boys wouldn’t even need to ask him in the first place.
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