「Dear countrymen! The time for battle has arrived!」
I announced to the villagers gathered in the town square.
Around 6 days ago I had received information that around 500 imperial soldiers were marching towards our village as we prepared.
Now it was only half a day before they would reach our village.
The information I got from torturing Joseph was that the soldiers would destroy the village, kill all the men and turn them into magic stones, and abduct all the women.
When having children between different races the birth rates would decline, but leaving aside exceptions, the child would be the same race as their mother.
In other words, they thought that as long as they left the women alive they could birth as many elves as they needed.
Up until now they had left our village some leeway to obtain the taxes and magic stones, but now they decided to give up on the taxes and instead raise the amount of magic stones they stole. Probably to cover the deficit.
「We will no longer yield. We won’t be robbed. Let us raise our spirits and fight the Empire with all our strength. Fight with the wind and our friends. This is the war that will determine our future!」
My words entered every one of their ears.
The atmosphere stilled.
「I don’t need anything special. Just fulfill my orders and move like we trained and we will win. I will lead us to victory. So please lend me your strength! Once the fighting ends we’ll all meet here again and hold a grand feast to celebrate our future!」
None of the elves looked like martyrs.
They all believed in our victory.
If we were to win this battle a large scale force would attack us in the future.
However, in less than a month winter would be here.
That would mean that a large scale march through the snowy mountains would be near impossible. If we won we would live freely until spring.
With that kind of time I could enrich our village and improve our strength.
「Everyone for victory!」
I cried out as if a prayer.
The elves responded with a fierce cry.
A smile emerged on my face. I don’t feel like we’ll lose.
And so 100 archers gathered their crossbows, put on their quivers, and marched out of the village.
I would not be utilizing 【Samsara Recursion】 in this battle.
This was the elves’ battle. If we couldn’t win by force of arms then this would all be meaningless.
If the village was attacked while I was away and ended up destroyed then what was the point? Victory would provide the elf people with experience and confidence.
Plus if I left 【Samsara Recursion】 unused I could keep it for any unexpected developments or reinforcements. I would leave it as insurance for if worst came to worst.
There was only one paved road between the Elf Village and the Empire. It was only 30 meters wide.
Originally the elf village was located in the middle of a forest with no roads to or from it.
Five years ago my father and his compatriots had used the thick forest to conduct guerrilla warfare to fight the Empire. The Empire feeling their disadvantage, decided to cut and burn the forest until they reached our village.
They forced their way forwards cutting a path straight to our village and eventually paved the pathway. Now we had a single paved road surrounded by woods.
Thanks to the heavy armor the imperial soldiers wore they couldn’t use any other methods to invade our lands. The soft forest soil would suck in their feet and with the added weight of their armor they couldn’t advance. Furthermore the dense foliage made it near impossible to swing their swords while inside the woods.
The soldiers had set up camp around 5 km from here. The troops consisted of 90% foot soldiers who had been sent ahead and 10% cavalry that remained behind.
This meant that the commander was most likely amongst the cavalry.
Currently the foot soldiers were around 1 km away. Thanks to the straight path we could see them easily. At this distance an elf’s incredible eyesight could catch sight of them. It was even possible for some facial features to be visible.
「Do not fire until I give the signal.」
On the imperial side I didn’t see any bowmen or mages.
It must have been because our bows couldn’t harm them before and our ability to use the wind to redirect their arrows made their bows useless. Furthermore human mages could only attack around 2-3 people from 20 meters away. This was practically useless.
The logic was sound as was their decision.
Only commanders used horses because although their armor could protect them from arrows, it couldn’t do the same for their mounts. If they fell from their horses in armor they could injure themselves badly.