DB – Chapter 65

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The Siege

 

The three thousand cavalry lead by Ria were mostly Manesh Kingdom’s cavalry that tasted victory in that battle.
Accompanying their journey, Ria made use of the two precious dragoons lent to her by Casalia.
They could attack from above in battles or use their famous charging capability that was even stronger than cavalry’s, but Ria decided to use them specifically for reconnaissance.
“You aren’t considering us as war potential?”
“Although flying dragons certainly are strong, they are powerless before the might of an army. It’d be different if we could integrate many of them into our army like Casalia though.”
Those who accompanied her on this march were Carla, Fio, and Serge, with everyone else house-sitting.
Shizuna, who was not well versed in the operation of cavalry, was also house-sitting. To be accurate, she was scheduled to go along with the large army that would cut off Cordova’s retreat.
The only exception was Serge, he was once again drafted as the essential supplies transporter for the siege. He was currently on Rudolph’s back.
“Well, if we don’t fight, that’s also fine.”

The strategy was simple. Force Cordova’s troops to stay in Salf, break apart their supply lines with beastkin troops.
Manesh and Casalia’s combined armies would make Cordova’s only choice be to give up the capture and return home.
Then the troops that departed from Salf would attack Cordova’s armies from behind, forming a pincer attack.
“Will it go that well?”
The night before they arrived at Salf, the four top executives gathered in a tent.
Even though Carla had seen Ria break Cordova’s forces with her magnificent ability, she was uneasy.
This was Fio’s first time on a campaign, her lips were pale from the stress.

“Well, it probably won’t go that well.”
Ria said so plainly.
“The first problem is whether or not Salf can endure Cordova’s troops.”
Ria gave the uneasy elements one-by-one.
“Cutting off the enemy’s supply lines as well, they might be vigilant for it this time. It’s doubtful whether or not we can catch the enemy’s army with good timing with our forces. And whether or not we can win, that relies on if everything goes smoothly…”
“Our military forces number sixty thousand people with just our current army, more should come out from Salf, but…”
For Fio that had received military training as a knight, she thought they could win if they succeeded holding again the seige. Because the enemy numbered thirty-six thousand, they had almost twice their number.
“Cordova usually wins against countries that have even two or three times their number though…”
Even in their recent battle, their infantry persevered greatly. Their cavalry had also withdrawn from the battlefield splendidly.
If it weren’t for the ogres’ charge, even though they wouldn’t have lost, they probably wouldn’t have gained a complete victory either.
“Well, we have various secret weapons, so let’s go playing it by ear.”
Saying that, Ria closed the strategy meeting.

 

*

 

Seeing the town of Sia, Ria thought it was crude.
Enclosed by a mote and rampart, it was a typical fortress city. However, the moat was narrow and the walls were low. It wasn’t a defense made with being attacked by armed forces taken into consideration.
“We welcome your majesty’s arrival.”
When the mayor went up out to greet Ria, she decided to immediately set out to inspect the city’s defenses.
“The moat’s shallow.”
“We haven’t been attacked by enemy forces for years…”
“The walls are low, too.”
“This is also for the same reason…”
Though she wasn’t particularly laying the blame on him, the mayor’s voice quickly became small.
“How many soldiers are there?”
“Three thousand between mercenaries and guards, five thousand volunteers.”
Although that couldn’t be considered a small number, the volunteers held children, those that couldn’t move well due to injury, and unsteady old men.
“Carla, heal the sick and injured. Fio, select those that can’t fight for logistical support.”
The volunteers that they could use were, at most, half of them.
“What about weapons and defensive equipment?”
“We are preparing them still now… all of our blacksmiths are working in full force.”
They probably wouldn’t finish in time. Although than mercenaries and the guards that already had weapons, Ria would still have to make enough for the volunteer soldiers.
When she looked at their current armory, many of the items were lacking maintenance and many of the weapons were unable to be used.
“Are there any logs?”
“… Logs?”
“Logs. Along with dropping them on enemies that try to scale the walls, they can be used to strengthen the walls.”
“I do not know. I’ll search.”
Ria’s genesis magic could not make wood. At worst, even though she could make huge sticks of metal, it would consume a massive amount of magical power.
There weren’t enough arrows either. Ria would have to make those as well.
“You seem to be pulling water from the river to the east huh. Are you concerned about the river’s flow being stopped?”
“We’ve heard stories about Cordova’s military engineering force, but it should be impossible with a mere ten or twenty days. We have a well, too.”
“And your food storage?”
“About ten days’ worth if we ration it. We are continuing to gather more even now.”
(I see. That’s plenty.)

“First, dredge the moat. They could currently pass through it easily.”
Even while saying this, Ria made the moat deeper with her magic.
When carrying the soil drawn up onto the walls, the walls would be strengthened by using hardening magic.
Carla saw to healing the injured, there were many soldiers that said they could fight if their old wounds were healed as well. Although it would take an extra amount of magical power to make old wounds look natural once again, it was even so a good thing that they could get more experienced fighters to join them.

Night by night, Ria would busily create armor and weapons.
First, she created enough spears for the people. Then, she needed to make arrows. Same with armor, they were all the same type but she made them strong.
“What kind of weapons are used in castle sieges fought in this world?”
Serge asked while storing the produced weapons and armor. Incidentally, Carla was already asleep to restore her magical power and Fio was busy at work assigning staff members.,
“I think it’d be generally the same as our previous world, but… maybe they use catapults a lot? With this town’s walls, long ladders might be effective.”
“Well, there is magic.”
“Yeah. However, even if you can prevent magic with magic, science cannot be prevented by magic.
That is, surprise was also a weapon.
“But that oil… It has more uses than I thought at first huh, that genesis magic.”
“That cyclops would be an easy win now.”

 

*

 

Their enemy that should have arrived after three days finally arrived four days later.
Moreover, their siege weapons that should have been prepared practically couldn’t be seen at all.
She knew since she had received a report about it from Pineau, but it seemed that they went to conduct arson on the Cordovan army’s weapons. It was news she was thankful for.
The Cordovan army cordially made their encampment, starting to enter battle formation from there.
Although Salf had gates in the south, north, and west, it seemed the majority of their efforts would be on attacking the west gate.
Ria had set herself up there. For the enemies to the south and north, she chose experienced people from the mercenaries and volunteers to be commanders.

Although there was a cavalryman sent to the front of the gate to recommend their surrender, he was sent back running by stones tossed at him before he could finish conveying it all. It was a small mercy that they didn’t use arrows on him.
Then, the battle began.

The Cordovan infantrymen held up their shields, rushing into the moat. They then began to throw sandbags into it.
Meanwhile, arrows were shot from Salf towards them, steadily damaging the attackers that were disadvantaged.
“So they came with sandbags huh… Well, we probably would have barbecued them if they used ladders.”
The dragoons soared overhead, examining the their allies’ movements.
Making a detour to the northwest, they seemed to be obstructing Cordova’s troops from behind. Like this, it would be their win if Salf didn’t fall before they could see their enemy’s backs.

“Lose the fire arrows!”
Following Ria’s instruction, fire arrows were shot towards the moat.
The oil covering its surface igniting, black flames rose up.
Though this kind of measure should have been saved for later if one took reclamation into account, considering their opponent, it couldn’t be helped.
In the end, that day’s battle came to a close with mutual arrow-fire from each side’s camp after the moat caught on fire.

On the second day, the enemy’s attack target became clear.
They were still predominantly attacking the west gate, concentrating their small catapults and archers on it.
Although they could cope with it, Carla’s existence was, as expected, foul play.
Soldiers that normally wouldn’t have been able to continue fighting after receiving arrow wounds were healed in the blink of an eye.
Since they could even resurrect the dead, their defensive capabilities didn’t fall.
Although she could use revival magic, about twenty people per day seemed to be her limit though.

In the early morning of the third day, she sent out the dragoons to perform reconnaissance behind the enemy.
As Asuka said, their supply base was destroyed.
However, when they landed to examine in depth since they felt no danger, it turned out the base was not only destroyed, but the defending forces were almost entirely annihilated as well.
This was different from Asuka and Pineau’s manner of doing things. Not just achieving the goal, but also continuing to kill the enemy. This was probably that new demon king’s army’s executive that Asuka had spoke of.
Although they were allies with each other this time, this was different from Ria’s policies. She wasn’t there though, so she couldn’t complain.

And to add to that, they obtained information that the Ogress army arrived from their detour march on the route that cut Cordova’s army off from its own country.
Since the Cordovan army sent out many scouts, they had probably already obtained this information. So long as the enemy commanders weren’t incapable, they should have been thinking about signaling for a retreat.

 

*

 

Because it was necessary to command the defense during the day, Carla could be found with the wounded soldiers during the morning.
“Your majesty, to be at such a place yourself…”
“Don’t worry about it. For solders that fight directly, this is all that I can do.”
Saying so, she treated the soldiers’ injuries.
Being conscious that their own commander was looking out for them raised their morale. Predicting everything, Ria made her way through the tents. [1]
“We can’t let pus accumulate in this. It probably wouldn’t recover easily with magic.”
As she said that, she opened up a soldier’s wound herself, sucking out the pus with her mouth before treating the wound.
“Y-your majesty…”
Contrasting the soldiers that could barely speak from surprise, Ria smiled with a beautiful face.
“You guys are fighting, after all. To defend the town, please do your best.”
Leaving the soldiers who were kneeling and worshiping her, Ria exited the tent.

“Ria-sama is… gentle.”
Fio spoke without holding back any of her emotion. However, Serge felt different about it.
“It’s in ‘Historical Records’ isn’t it?”
“Yeah, predict everything.” [2]
Ria muttered with a cool-headed face.
“Predictions? That just now?”
Though Fio was surprised, Carla pondered it and spoke.
“Is there a precedent?”
“Yeah, it’s something from over two thousand years ago though. With this, my reputation with the soldiers will improve; so will all of their morale. Soldiers that surpass their fear of death can be even stronger than trained soldiers.”
Even though she said that herself, it felt like she was boasting of her own faults. [3]
Even if she was an ordinary mage, she would definitely have done the same thing. But right now, she was expected to do things that brought meaningful outcomes.

Carla moved to Ria’s side and clasped her hand.
She was surprised. Even if she approved of her drawing closer, Carla almost never took the initiative in touching.
“You are deep in thought, I understand that you’re doing everything.”
Carla, who was clasping her hand strongly, let go before long.
“No matter what you do, I am your ally.”
Carla’s gaze was gentle. Her eyes like the sky seemed to take in and understand everything.
“Me too, that goes without saying.”
“Yeah yeah, even if Nee-chan banters a bit, that’s alright.”
Though Serge spoke carefreely, right now, he likely didn’t understand just how valuable a person that could talk to her like that was.
Because he didn’t know that, she was grateful.

 

*

 

On the morning of the fourth day, the Cordovan army started its retreat.
Seeing that, shouts of joy rose from the walls. They had repelled the Cordovan army.
“We did it, your majesty.”
After she responded to the mayor’s joyful smile with one of her own, her face did a complete change and looked serious.
“Prepare for pursuit. Collect volunteers that aren’t exhausted.”
“Pursuit? But the enemy hasn’t exhausted itself much…”
As he said, the army retreated because it was an order. However, Ria understood this was a crucial moment.
“The Ogress army and the Cordovan army will attack head on. At that time, attack from the side.”
Even though they’d successfully defended against the siege, it would be useless if they lost the essential battle. They would immediately attack Salf once again.
Salf was small, but it was a strategic location. If it fell, the circulation of magic stones and magic crystals from the Dark Labyrinth and Manesh would be obstructed.
Thereupon, Guinevere would get angry.

“After resting for today, we will begin our pursuit tomorrow! Mercenaries and volunteers, only those who want to!”
Ria’s declaration resounded through the plaza where the soldiers had gathered.
“I volunteer!”
She recognized the person that recognized his hand. It was the person who Ria sucked out the pus for and healed.
“Me too!”
“I’ll go too!”
“I’ll go anywhere for her majesty!”
Officers and men filled with morale gathered before Ria. Pitiable, daredevil soldiers. Those that Ria held dear.
In the end, other than Ria’s cavalry, seven thousand would participate in the pursuit.
This trade city Salf was mobilizing practically all of its forces.

 

Footnotes:
  • 史記 –> ‘Historical Records‘. 全て計算の上 –> Some saying (I assume) that I used quite a bit of time trying to understand… to no avail.  Return
  • See [1]! Return
  • Sorry, this part lost me a bit ago when it brought up the ‘Historical Records’. I assume it’s something semi-well known in JP culture. Return

 


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