Today was a day off in Erucy.
Despite all my work, I usually took at least one day off a week. As usual I would take care of the goats and work with the crops, but once I finished that I could relax.
Today was a rest day for the members of Nettle. Even if I soothed their exhaustion using magic, their minds and spirits would still feel fatigued.
However, I felt that doing nothing all day would be a waste, so I set up a voluntary lecture in the morning and made the evening completely free.
Though the lecture was voluntary pretty much everyone…including Kuu and Yukino, took part.
「Today I will lecture you mainly on tactics.」
I announced. The lecture was being held inside the largest room of the Chief’s house and I had set up a chalkboard and was using a piece of chalk to write on the board.
「More accurately, I will be covering how to defeat an enemy with overwhelming numerical superiority. This is the perfect time to demonstrate the plans and tactics that we will utilize in the upcoming battles.」
I moved my hands and wrote ‘Erucy: 20 troops. Empire: 4,000-5000 troops’ on the blackboard.
Through various methods including Raffa, we were able to pull out even more soldiers than expected.
However, when Raffa was negotiating using the fire magic stone and realized that his wife was almost certainly dead, he attacked an imperial soldier and died from their retaliation.
It was a shame since I would have been able to use him much more effectively….
I had the ability to save Raffa from the situation, but if I had killed all the soldiers then the information would not have been transmitted to the higher ups. If I saved Raffa while allowing some soldiers to live, they would know that Raffa was being watched and that the information was most likely fake, so I had to let him die.
「Now then, before I tell you the answers I’d like for you to try and think of a solution. Anything is fine. When you think of it, just say it aloud.」
As I said that the citizens began thinking when Roleau shot his hand into the air with great confidence.
「Go ahead Roleau.」
「We all just have to kill a hundred enemies each. We do that, and we win!」
What an amazing muscle-brained answer!
It was just that…even if they each killed a hundred that would only be 2,000 enemies. There would be over half left over.
I’m sure that he was considering the statement I had made about most forces surrendering once they lost 30% of their forces. I thought a bit better of him.
「Certainly if each of us kills 100 enemies each we can win. But that’s unrealistic. Before you’re able to do that, the enemy will kill some of your allies and then those left over will need to kill even more enemies.」
If we fought face to face, no matter how many lives we had, they wouldn’t be enough to survive.
This time our opponents would have bows as well. If we didn’t have an equal number of forces it would be prohibitively difficult to create a headwind and strike down their arrows.
「How about we catch them with traps? Drop boulders from clifftops on top of them? Maybe make some pitfalls?」
Lucy said as she timidly raised her hand.
「That can work. As long as they are well made then it could do the job. But in reality there are only certain places where those traps are practical, and traps that can target such a large force require incredible amounts of effort and can usually be seen through if the enemy isn’t a complete idiot.」
Furthermore with a 4,000 strength force that would march in a line of 1~2km long, only a small portion would get caught in these traps.
「Anyone else have any ideas?」
I looked around, but no one else seemed to want to speak up. Therefore I presented my answer.
「Essentially we have two options. The first option is to ignore the small-fry soldiers and simply aim to kill all their leaders. Once the generals are dead, the army will lose form and discipline.」
「So it’s like Cyril is for us. If they killed you…un, we wouldn’t know what to do and we’d be in big trouble.」
Lucy muttered and the others nodded in agreement.
I was happy they believed in me, but it also gave off a feeling of crisis. Erucy itself was too dependent on my existence. I had to fix this one of these days.
「Well, this time it’ll be much more difficult. The Imperial forces are more flexible and tougher than I thought. For example let’s say I died, next in command would be Roleau, if he dies, then the next in command would be Lucy. That’s pretty much their system.」
The information about the Imperial forces was quite accurate as I had gotten it from interrogating those nobles that we had captured.
When the 500 troops had sortied, they were led by Nobles who wanted to obtain some honors, but normally the one who led the normal army was someone uninvolved with politics.
In this era, the one who decided where and how to fight was the top leader and if you killed him then the army would lose its direction and will to fight.
However, the Imperial forces fought on orders from someone else besides the military commander. For this reason, even if you killed the leader of the army, the soldiers still had a reason to fight and the only thing that would change is who gave the direct orders.
「That’s amazing. I think that’s impossible for Erucy…if Cyril dies and I have to listen to Roleau then….un, I feel like I’d want to give up on everything.」
Roleau cried out in protest. Even so his voice was clearly joking since he could feel that Lucy wasn’t saying it to be mean.
「Well, for those reasons that plan would be difficult. Now, the other option, we aim for their food supplies. No army can win against hunger. If we can slow them down enough then their food will run low and we can wait them out.」
Indeed, that was the biggest reason we forced them to move out as soon as the snow started melting.
In order to resupply the Imperial army would have to confiscate the emergency food stores of the villages they passed which were already almost empty from the long winter. I aimed for this since the first crops of the season would only be able to be harvested a month or two after the thaw.