Volume 3 Chapter 9-1: Reconnaissance

 


When considering our war with the Empire, the importance of gathering information was paramount.

The most essential part of this plan was to stop the Imperial soldiers before they were able to reach the supply base. For that reason we had to know definitively when…no even before they departed so that the members of Nettle could deploy.

For this reason I had split the members of Nettle into teams of four that would engage in reconnaissance in rotations of five days each.

「Your group got the short end of the stick, sorry about that Roleau.」
「It’s nothing big. Well, honestly I’m disappointed that we couldn’t have some maple syrup before we set off, but you’ll let us have some when we come back right?」

I was apologizing to Roleau’s group of four who were set to leave in these early morning hours.

I had wanted to let them try the fruits of their labors before they set off.

However, it was unfortunate that their destination was a small cabin near the Empire’s supply depot. This cabin was around 100km away so even using wind magic and 『Body Enhancement』, it would take Roleau and his group from now until the sun was setting to reach it.

「I’ll prepare plenty of it for you when you return. When you guys come back I should have been able to make some alcohol, so look forward to it.」
「Ah well I’m excited now. Well Chief, we’ll be heading off. If we don’t head off soon then Rek and the rest won’t be able to get home in time.」

And so Roleau’s group headed off.

They wore the hip belts I made, a rucksack, and some heavier clothes to stay warm.

Inside their rucksacks they had enough food and clothing for a week, plus they were carrying one of the special made birdcages that the homing pigeons would fly to.

Even this was training, they would engage in reconnaissance while only subsisting on ‘cookies’ and what they could find in the forest.

The reconnaissance mission itself wasn’t particularly difficult, but the mental burden was quite heavy.

「Has the Empire made a move yet?」

As I saw Roleau off I waited for the next letter from the scouts.

What was written were the number of carriages entering and exiting the supply base. Furthermore it recorded which ones came from the Empire’s direction and how many moved from Erucy’s direction.

「As expected, they’ll engage in full scale transport once things get closer to engagement.」

A while ago I had headed to the area around the supply base to set up some of the supply areas for Nettle. I placed food and spare supplies along with a well at each location.

While I was there I spied on the supply base to check and saw that they had not yet prepared enough enough weapons or food for 5,000 soldiers.

In short, that meant they would have to increase the items in storage before the war began.

Periodically the base would receive and send supplies, once the amount increased significantly it would be a sign of the impending battle. Once that was confirmed and relayed back to us, we could set off for the front before the army even managed to arrive.

The Nettle teams were hiding in a nearby cabin while keeping watch over the supply base with a telescope. They watched all day keeping count of the number of carts entering and exiting the base.

Thankfully they were able to rotate so they didn’t have any issues yet.

「Finally back again?」

A pigeon flew over with a note attached to its leg.

A pigeon would be released at dawn every day with the report from the reconnaissance team so it would return to my roost.

In this era without radio communication there were very few efficient means of communication.

The weakness of this was that it was only one sided.

The pigeons weren’t heading here on purpose though. I was making use of their homing instincts that led them to return back to their nests.

Once the reconnaissance team sent their last pigeon they wouldn’t be able to communicate any further information, plus back at Erucy we couldn’t send any information back to them.

That’s why it was necessary to send a new team every five days with fresh pigeons.

According to the regulations of Nettle, if a pigeon is not sent back for 2 consecutive days then we will take it as if they have encountered trouble and send a rescue team.

「Well then…I guess it’s time for me to get to work as well.」

Today was the day we would harvest the maple syrup.

I’m sure that everyone was looking forward to eating the delicious sweet syrup.


 

Leave a Reply