“Lord Gaphgoveilz, there’s a change in the movements of the enemy! The enemy soldiers have begun marching towards one location!”
“What, so they are not going to stay dispersed anymore?” (Boru)
Summarizing the report of the messenger of Gahne: the enemy soldiers attacking Gahne and Mejis are gathering in one location. The place they are gathering in is simple: the location where there’s the most of their soldiers in.
Is it because their march has been hindered countless times and they have grown annoyed by it? No, I doubt that a straightforward captain would take the initiative to regroup with the other units, considering his personality. I should consider this the order of the Scarlet Demon Lord. So they are finally bringing out their fangs.
“What’s the order of His Majesty?” (Boru)
“Head to the meeting points and prepare to intercept! However, the ones further away, prepare for the upcoming deployment! -those were the orders.”
“The battle will most likely start in full. All of you, make sure to steel yourselves!” (Boru)
We ride our horses and head to the meeting point.
It should be safe to assume that His Majesty and the Gold Demon Lord wouldn’t miss the enemy soldiers. I could only think that power was unfair just from a simple explanation of it after all. But it is possible for some of them to slip past after a free-for-all.
I am worried that we will have barely any energy to spare for those occasions. Well, guess that’s where us Taizu knights should display our prowess.
I arrive at the designated location and confirm the direction where the enemy is coming using farsight magic. Several units have already regrouped and are heading straight here. That kobold boss must be there, too.
However, they are marching slowly. They most likely plan on clashing with us while matching the confluence of other units. In that case, we should progress our preparations to face them.
“Archers, ready your volleys. We will lead the first charge. Shoot all at once the moment we clash!” (Boru)
“B-But if we do that, the Taizu knights will also be hit by the a—”
“We can avoid them with our eyes closed! Prioritize the second volley on the enemies that slip past us!” (Boru)
It would be one thing if they were arrows strengthened by magic like the ones the Taizu knights shoot, but there’s no issue if it is just mere arrows drawing an arc as they rain down.
The horses can also continue running without issues even if arrows were to pierce them thanks to their armor and their self-strengthening. If the enemy begins to battle the Gahne soldiers, it will be harder to charge in as cavalry. That would be more of a hassle.
This will pose a bit of a burden for our horses, but that much isn’t a problem, so there’s no need to worry.
A new messenger showed up while we were doing that.
“Lord Gaphgoveilz, a message! If this location is broken through, no matter whether they were to continue their invasion as it is or were to spread out once more, we would be too slow to react to it, so to face them with the Taizu knights as the core!”
“Ooh, so it is finally time to show what we are made of?! There’s orders to mobilize by Gahne too, right? Make sure to be thorough about their orders, okay?!” (Boru)
The soldiers of Gahne have numbers but their quality is low and don’t have much mobility. The speed they can deal with a situation would also lower with added commands if the battle intensifies. But we won’t be able to win this war if we don’t utilize those numbers to their fullest. So much responsibility. I am burning up.
I bring along the knights to the place where the enemies are gathering…and begin the charge.
The other knights begin to gather from the right as if matching us. The flag they are hoisting is that of the house crest of Lord Domitorkofucon. Looks like Cara has made it in time.
There’s someone within the cavalry that’s approaching me in one go.
“Boru, don’t go stealing the march, okay?!” (Cara)
“You are late, Cara. I thought you dropped dead already!” (Boru)
So we really are fated to stand side by side in the same battlefield, huh. We are always stealing each other’s limelight. Well, that’s what makes it worthwhile to compete.
Considering my remaining years, this might become my last battle. Guess I should put an end to this one already.
“Hey, Boru, how about we settle scores?” (Cara)
“…I was thinking the same. I was thinking I should make you eat dust before you lose to age!” (Boru)
“Says the senile old man!” (Cara)
“You are the last person I would want to hear that from!” (Boru)
The enemy soldiers activate the power of the Scarlet Demon Lord. They slowed their speed and took a stance to clash with us.
If the enemy generals are still deep in, then I feel no threat from this.
“I won’t tell you all to not push yourselves! Be reckless to a degree where you don’t die! Also, the ones who get hit by arrows from behind will be the fish that accompany our booze after death!” (Boru)
The knights roar. Not a roar like the ones of the beasts in front of us who are only noisy, but a united war cry.
What a pleasant sound.
I am proud of being a knight every time I hear this. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the compilation of what makes our chivalry.
Now, we shall become the spearheads. Our duty is to open the path.
I raise my hammer and observe the monsters ready in the front.
You might be different from the monsters that attacked Taizu, but I will be returning the favor of that time thoroughly!
“So these are knights…huh.”
I see off the backs of the Taizu knights.
It normally should be us of Gahne who should be protecting our country. I at first wondered ‘why do we have to let foreign soldiers take the lead?’, but now I even feel ashamed of even feeling that way.
They are strong. They are overwhelmingly polished in both heart and body compared to us Gahne soldiers. The difference between someone that continues living as a knight and people who have been trained in their military service was shown clearly by working together.
The ruling of our king is wonderful, and had absolutely no intention of losing to the countryside of Taizu, but I am now thoroughly grateful that they are allies.
The roar of knights and monsters made the air tremble, reaching even us who have our bows and arrows ready at the back.
Aah, would I be able to swing my weapon if I were to be made to stand at a place like that? Would I be able to come back alive? I can understand how abnormal the frontlines are exactly because I have been trained.
The enemies that they couldn’t finish will most definitely flow here. Their numbers will be lessened, but the threat of monsters is still present.
Our duty is to lower their numbers as much as possible.
The general raised his voice.
I have heard the order that we will be doing the first volley right after the knights of Taizu begin battle with the monsters. But are we really going to be shooting our arrows in a place where there’s people…?
I am nervous.
But it is true that our arrows would most likely not be any different from regular rain with how strong they are.
I pull the arrow with all the strength I have.
Countless arrows rain on the battlefield at the same time as the signal was given. I watch over the literal rain of arrows as I gulp.
I see the monsters in the front falling. As for knights falling…I can’t see any at a glance. They really are impressive.
This reality raises the morale around even further. I could see here and there soldiers who have begun readying for the next volley without getting the order from the general yet.
“Second volley, prepare!”
I bring out an arrow and draw it. We have to reduce their numbers as much as possible to reduce the threat for them and us. We have to be fast for the sake of th—
The roar of monsters is raised from the chaos at the front. The monsters that are trying to regroup with the others are roaring after the charge of the knights.
They must have received the effects from the power of the Scarlet Demon Lord which I heard of before. There’s no time. I have to release our arrows quickly. The arrows….
The arrows are released.
The arrows flying in the sky…no, this is weird.
There’s far less arrows compared to the first volley. Did they not make it in time for the call? No, there’s no way. The order of the general was the same as the one in training. There’s nothing hard about it.
There shouldn’t be, but…why…?
“Hm? W-Why…? Why…are there still arrows left…?”
The reason why there aren’t many arrows released was clear. Most of the soldiers haven’t shot. That’s right…even me.
The bowstring was still pulled even after the order to release the second volley was given. My hand is not letting go of the arrow and my arm is trembling.
It is not only my arm. My body is heavy like lead and I can’t move it as I want. I can hear my teeth clattering.
The general is shouting something, but I can’t hear what he is saying. No, I can tell from his movements.
He is shouting at us to release the arrows.
Right, the arrow. I have to help them, and the monsters…the monsters… The monsters roar once more.
Even if so, I somehow manage to let go of the arrow and shoot.
The released arrow didn’t draw an arc like the first volley, didn’t reach the monsters, and just powerlessly stabbed onto the ground.
“There’s strange sightings at the rear of the Gahne soldiers! It is as if a great number of soldiers have lost the will to fight!”
I was on the verge of clicking my tongue at that report, but somehow managed to not. If I show my irritation here, it might affect the morale as a whole.
The powers Yugura gave to the Demon Lords pose absolute advantage against humans. My friend was worried that the Strife of the Scarlet Demon Lord could affect humans, too… So it really was the case.
“Is it only the Gahne soldiers who have been affected by this?” (Marito)
“Yes, the clerics, holy knights, and knights of Taizu haven’t shown any particular effects!”
“It is possible it is affecting the mana in humans. The clerics in Gahne are prioritizing the preparation of long range magic and setting barriers around the Gahne soldiers. The Mejis side has noticed that there might be bad effects on them when clashing with the enemy.”
Even if they may get a certain degree of resistance from placing a barrier, it will be hard to protect all the Gahne soldiers with their high numbers. Moreover, the effect of this is bigger than that of the demi-humans. Not only will the morale of the soldiers as a whole lower if there are soldiers just standing in place, it will also increase the burden of the soldiers that have to cover for them.
“Taizu King, what do ya plan on doing?” (Gold)
“After confirming whether they can help out the people by using barriers, we will provide as much assistance as possible. We have no choice but to withdraw the ones that we can’t get the barrier on.” (Marito)
“…It seems like they can move to a certain degree by placing a barrier!”
“The ones who can cast barriers, assist the soldiers who have stopped moving. If their movements are still dulled despite that, have them prepare to fall back. Relay only the information of this to the Taizu knights, and give them the order to maintain a barrier around their bodies at all times.” (Marito)
There shouldn’t be any adverse effects on the knights of Taizu for a while since they can use high efficiency mana strengthening, but if more enemies gather, there might be some who will show the effects of it.
Then, should we attack in one go before they finish gathering? No, if they were to jump deep into enemy lines without any backline assistance, they won’t be able to avoid a full-on confrontation.
The monsters might reach the Gahne soldiers who are in the middle of recomposing themselves.
“Marito, can you hear me?”
“Yeah, I can. There has been change, matching the confluence of enemies.” (Marito)
This is truly good timing. That said, even if it is my friend, it would be difficult to immediately create a plan to overcome this situation.
I should share information first.
“I am watching from afar, so I have a rough idea of what’s going on. They will be flowing in just like that once they finish gathering up, you know?”
“They can move to a certain degree with the assistance of barriers. We don’t have a choice but to fight as much as possible after reorganizing. Are you okay?” (Marito)
“Mix is keeping a barrier on me the whole time. Is Mejis alright?”
“The holy knights are apparently okay. But I can’t hide my worries at what might happen after they have finished grouping up. I am in between whether to settle things quickly or not.” (Marito)
“That would be a bad move. The Scarlet Demon Lord has most likely begun to command directly. They are the ones holding the initiative as of present. You might end up getting swallowed.”
“Right. But enduring as it is would also be a hard call.” (Marito)
We tried to hold them back repeatedly while moving back, so we have barely any leeway left to retreat. If we move back too much, we would end up being stirred about by the enemies when they disperse. We should leave some elbow room until we see the skills of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
“Then, I will use one of my trump cards. Marito, please move while matching this.”
“By the way, how many trump cards do you have?” (Marito)
“It wouldn’t bring us back from the brink of death, but if it goes well, they should withdraw temporarily.”
“That would be a lot. I leave it to you.” (Marito)
The call ends.
The trump card my friend is going to use is most likely that. In that case, they should be contacting me soon.
“Your Majesty, countless devils have appeared on the battlefield! They have begun fighting the Scarlet Demon Lord’s monsters!”
“So he really did that. But we should be able to reorganize with this.” (Marito)
What my friend did was forcefully matching the numbers by deploying the soldiers of the Purple Demon Lord.
The army of the Purple Demon Lord is more numerous than that of the Scarlet Demon Lord if we are speaking solely in terms of numbers.
However, the army of the Scarlet Demon Lord has been raised one rank higher by Strife. We are still at an extreme disadvantage.
“But if the pawns of Purple are consumed, retreating in the future will become even harder.” (Gold)
“Yeah, we won’t be having a next time. But we should be able to reduce the casualties greatly with this. We have no choice but to think that this is better since we have time to get ready.” (Marito)
The result is that we managed to stop the invasion of the enemy thanks to the lack of hesitation from the Purple Demon Lord and my friend.
The enemies began to retreat after a certain period of time. Devils are small fry with numbers, but they served to buy time against the Strife that can’t be maintained in battle for long. We had numbers speak and also managed to hinder their regrouping.
The knights of Taizu were greatly exhausted by this, but there wasn’t too much harm done. The luckiest part is that the monsters that pushed on didn’t reach the throats of the Gahne soldiers who had their line of command made a mess.
But there’s a big loss from our side. More than half of the devils from the Purple Demon Lord prepared in Gahne and Mejis have been killed by the enemy monsters. The Blue Demon Lord still has her army, but her numbers are far lower, and the enemy has already finished regrouping.
We won’t be able to use the same method.
It seems the enemy will be resting for a while. I would like to hinder the enemy to not give them time to rest, but considering the exhaustion of the Taizu knights, it could become suicidal.
Unrest can be seen not only from the soldiers of Gahne, but also from the ones of Mejis. The doubts and worries about whether they can stop the next attack are spreading.
Even if I try to think up a plan, I won’t be able to take measures that can change the whole situation if there’s no soldiers that can move properly. What should I do…? What should I do to break through this situation?