Chapter 224: Vandolea War ② A Multilayered Trap

 


Translator: Nat


–Third Person POV–

Goldonia-Vandolea Border Fortress

The Vandolean army led by Bejček is using its numerical superiority to push forward, trying their best to surmount the ditch, cut down the fence, and breakthrough the gap of the fortress.
However, the outcome was a miserable one.

「Hidden ditches are all over the place! Watch where you step!」
「Idiot! Don’t bunch up too close because you’re scared of the holes, the enemy can easily…… ugyaah!!」

The dip in the ground certainly appeared like the weakness of the fortress to the Vandolean army and should have had the weakest defence.
But when they actually attacked that ditch, they were pressured into fighting a tougher battle than expected.

Directly in front of the ditch is a defensive encampment where Goldonia soldiers could attack from and push the Vandolea soldiers back so that they accumulate in the lowlands.

The commander tries to get the soldiers to spread out but that caused pitfalls to appear on both sides.
The trapholes were not very deep but had dry straw on the bottom which caught fire when Goldonia fired their flaming arrows.

With the fire closing in on them, the Vandolea army’s formation became more and more densely packed, turning into a big clump that would make it hard for the Goldonian archers to miss.

「Fireeee!!」

The Goldonia archers release their arrows swiftly.
The number of arrows raining down is small but the Vandolea soldiers were grouped closely together so the arrows took out more enemies than expected.
Vandolea soldiers try to block the volley with their shields, however it was hard for them to get into a proper defensive stance with each branch of the army mixed together in a jumbled mess.

「How unsightly…… get out of the range of arrows for now! Let’s regroup!」

Bejček shouts with a sour look on his face.
He knew that time is more important than anything, but didn’t think they could make progress if they continued to allow themselves to be pushed back.
If they keep fighting in such a disorganized state, it would actually prolong the siege battle.

Briefly escaping outside the archers’ range, Bejček and Cassano reorganize their forces while analyzing the enemy’s defence installations they learned through their earlier attack.

「The enemy did not chase after us…… they might have a small force in relation to the impressive-looking fortress. The number of arrows don’t exceed 300 at one time. If they have a normal composition, the most they can muster should be around a thousand or so.」

「They must be ultimately trying to keep their losses to a minimum while waiting until reinforcements arrive. If the 5000 soldiers from Hardlett’s main army reaches the fortress, it will become impossible for us to get past.」

According to the reports from the soldiers, the defensive encampment at the place believed to be the weak point is seedy-looking as expected.
There were several holes here and there which are a little bit deeper than the average height of a person but besides that, the only thing for defence was a wooden fence and stakes acting as a countermeasure for cavalry.
It is comparatively lacking to the stone castle walls of the fortress.

「As we thought, they couldn’t finish the construction in time. They set up at a good spot and were able to throw us for a loop but we’ll be prepared during our next attack.」

「Yes, that point is even more cramped than the terrain makes it because of the encampment. When we push out, it becomes clogged and hard for us to move. The enemy is also definitely expecting that to happen. In that case, we’ll divide into groups of a few thousand and attack in waves. There will be casualties but we should be able to breakthrough quickly.」

Bejček nods in approval and adds to what was said.

「We have about 500 cavalry. After sweeping away the fences and stakes, they’ll charge in. Once they get on the other side of the fortress, the enemy soldiers will want to run away.」

「Excellent suggestion.」

Bejček and Cassano head off to verbally motivate the commanders with who are hurrying to finish reorganizing their squads.

「I thought a bunch of prisoners wouldn’t be good for anything but you guys showed quite a bit of promise out there.」

「You guys too, even though I was mocking you for being the general of a defeated army.」

The two of them laugh and shake each other’s hand.
It’s possible they might succeed in the next attack.
Such thoughts were in their minds.


Goldonia Side.

「If the enemy is not an idiot, they will attack in waves next.」

「Waves?」

「Yeah, the enemy got a good look at our defences. They can topple that much even without a large force. The more important problem is how they get clogged, you see. Have the soldiers at point #2 and point #3 gather here as well.」

「Are you sure?」

The dip in the land currently being attacked was not the only weak point of the superficial fortress on the border.
There were two other locations where the terrain made it hard for walls to be set up.
Since it would be easy to breakthrough if those points were attacked, the soldier insisted that several hundreds of soldiers be stationed at those points to protect them. If anyone gets too close, the plan was to fire the faulty cannons and intimidate them.

「The enemy took a considerable loss in order to gain insight about the defences in that place. They won’t concentrate their attacks on another point at this time. If they have the military strength, it will seem possible for them to breakthrough that point.」

「Then I will go give the orders right away. ……by the way, are you not going to wear any armor? If the enemy confronts you……」

The soldier looks with a troubled face at the unprotected Tristan, who answers while giving out instructions and munching on a cookie.

「It’s pointless. It won’t make much of a difference if a sheep wears armor.」

Tristan speaks in a mocking manner before standing up.

「More importantly, when is the Margrave coming? If he could at least send cavalry ahead of him, then we can settle this battle.」

「Express messengers were sent from Rafen to Biado radially outward……」

The exact location of the main army who was supposed to be heading back to Rafen was unknown, so Tristan instructed the soldier as such in order to relay the information as fast as possible.

「It doesn’t look like they’re leading with the cavalry. Geez, how much does he intend to make me work.」

Tristan heaves a big sigh, though there doesn’t appear to be any urgency in his tone.
The soldiers around him were already used to Tristan’s negative thinking and did not get disappointed.

「I guess for now we can do all that we prepared and chase them away. Everyone, I’m counting on you to do as we planned. If you do it well, not many allies will die, probably.」

The lookout’s resounding shout signals the enemy attack.

「The enemy is split up into seven waves of 2000 soldiers each and is concentrating on point #1! It looks like they are attacking in waves!」

「Fumu, the most optimal in this space is to go with 3000 each but I guess they get a passing mark. It seems getting clogged in the beginning really bothered them.」

「Prepare for defence! Follow the plan!」

「Aah, having soldiers who move as I say makes things so easy…… it’s all thanks to the superb training done by Leopolt.」

「Don’t say something so easy-going and climb up to an elevated platform, please! You have to take a look at the battlefield this time.」

Tristan unwillingly stands up as the soldier pulls him.

「I’m telling you everything will be fine as long as we stick to the plan…… aah, I still haven’t finished drinking the rest of my tea.」

The Vandolea army is advancing quickly while in a defensive posture with their shields above their heads unlike the first attack.
As soon as they entered the range of the bows of the Goldonia archers, arrows rained down but because shields were already propped up, not much damage resulted.

The archers on the Vandolea side could not return fire.
With the space being confined enough as it is, it would only bring disorder to the overall attack if the archers stopped moving to shoot back.

「Stay calm, the enemy defences are not sturdy. We can destroy them in close quarters!」

A commander with plenty of battle experience shouts out to keep the soldiers advancing smoothly.

「Heeh…… they’re pretty levelheaded.」

「The quality of the Vandolea soldiers isn’t bad.」

As Tristan looks down uninterestedly from the high platform, the tiniest bit of light returns to his eyes.

「It looks like there are two kinds of soldiers. One which is well regulated and the other which appears more disorderly…… is this a temporary collaboration?」

Tristan continues thinking out loud and feels an itch to chew something. He reaches into his pocket but when he couldn’t find anything, his mouth becomes slightly crooked.

「However, something like that won’t be a problem.」

Vandolea’s military forces withstand the arrows as they approach the top of the hill in front of the exit of the lowground, where the fence and row of stakes are positioned

「Go! Demolish the fence!」

As soon as the commander shouted, soldiers holding large axes and hammers charge forward to smash the fence and stakes.
Arrows fly in an attempt to intercept the enemy and manage to fell a few soldiers but the defensive encampment was being destroyed at a rapid pace.

「Retreat! Fall back!」

The Goldonia soldiers who were protected by the defensive structures and getting one-sidedly attacked get chased back.
There is nothing which spurs the soldiers forward more than seeing the enemy army retreat.

「The enemy is running! Keep pressing forward!」

The attacking side is coming out with more casualties than the Goldonia soldiers who are running backwards while attacking back with arrows and spears.
Even so, Vandolea is steadily making their way forward.
They would win if they breakthrough so they aren’t focused on the losses.

「The cavalry are coming!」

The lookout shouts in a hurry.

「Well, that’s trouble.」

Tristan comments without even looking.

A dust cloud gradually makes its way closer from Vandolea’s headquarters, sent after the obstacles were taken away.

「Our allies are abandoning the defensive formation at the lowground and falling back to the inside of the ditch.」

There is a long, horizontal ditch dug past the defensive formation located at the base of the slope.
The defending soldiers crossed planks laid across several points and fell back to the other side of the ditch.
Fences surround the place where the plank leads and spearmen line up in a row.
Naturally, the approaching Vandolea cavalry would understand the setup at first glance.

「Be careful, there’s a ditch!」

「Hmph, you think we’re idiots who would gather in front of spears? The width of the ditch is nothing special. If we run at full speed, we can jump over anything!」

「Don’t underestimate our horses!」

The Vandolea cavalry spread out parallel with the ditch and accelerate.

「Everyone, jump!」

「Well, that’s not going to be possible.」

Tristan mumbles in a subdued voice and then screams can be heard from the cavalry squad.
Shallow holes are dug right before the ditch.
The depth of the holes is only enough to swallow up to a person’s knee and is nothing more than a kid’s prank.

「They’re taking away our footing!」
「Ugyaaaah!」

To the horses who are still running at full speed and trying to leap over the gap, that depth proved to be fatal.
The holes trapped the horses’ legs one after the other, causing a disastrous scene where all of them tumble forward.

The horses break their feet and cry out sorrowfully while the riders who got crushed by their own horses spit out blood towards the sky.
Still, the tragedy does not end there.

「Hey, what’s going on!?」
「I can’t stop in time!」

The ones who got caught in the holes were only the first row of the vanguard but the trailing soldiers also trip over their fallen allies and stumble as well.

The surviving soldiers get run over by their allies and are crushed.
The cavalry doing the crushing in turn lose their balance and are thrown to the ground, getting trampled by the horses behind them.
The cavalry unit quickly becomes a complete mess.

「Do it now!!」

The defending soldiers don’t miss the opening which presented itself, crossing the ditch and delivering the finishing blow to the fallen cavalry or dragging the panicking enemies down from their horses.

「A trap hole can only work on one person but if we use it like this, a whole bunch of people can be taken down.」

「……」

The soldiers debate whether they should look at Tristan with respect or shock as he chews on a lemon peel preserved in sugar which he found deep in his pocket.

「The enemy cavalry are retreating! ……the infantry rearguard have been sent out. It looks like they’re going around the ditch.」

「They don’t have to be so scared since there’s nothing there.」

The area which the Vandolea soldiers chose to go around is flat ground seemingly unsuited for defence.
However Tristan deliberately had soldiers advance there.

「I’ve got it! They can’t set up any tricks on this flat land. We’ll close in on them immediately!」
「Gather the rearguard as well. We can crush them with our numbers here.」

Reinforcements instantly accumulate at the place they believe is their only way to breakthrough.
On the other hand, the defending soldiers are clearly outnumbered.

「Hahaha! They put their archers and bowgun units in front.」
「We might take the first volley but they can’t do anything to us once we close the distance!」

It would be different if there was a defensive encampment, but it could only be viewed as suicidal for archers to face off against infantry on level ground.

「Charge!」「Trample them!」

The Vandolea army charges forward altogether while the defending soldiers stay in place, getting ready to fire their projectiles.
It was right when the attacking side finally thought they won.

「Hoi.」

The Goldonian soldiers made a move at the same time Tristan made a meaningless noise.
Several people rolled heavy stones down a deep well-like hole.
It triggered the grinding sounds of countless moving chains.

「What the-!?」
「You’re kidding……」

All of a sudden, a row of fences appeared in front of the charging soldiers.
The Vandolea soldiers stop to look up at the fence, thinking it doesn’t look like something that could be done in just 30 seconds.
And then a volley of bowgun bolts and arrows rained down.

「How could you, well they must be thinking of a bunch of things.」

「Ahaha.」

The mechanism was simple.
Fences were laid sideways on the ground ahead of time and then chains were installed above the enemy side.
If the large rocks attached to the chains were dropped down a deep hole, it would trigger a chain reaction to instantly pull the fence up.
After that, the only thing left to do would be use a stick to prop up the fence so it doesn’t collapse inward, and then you have a fence which seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

「Its strength is pretty low but impact is what’s important here. ……make sure it’s secured later.」

Sure enough, the enemy soldiers were confused by the sudden appearance of the fences and stopped moving.
With that, the archers and bowgun unit have free rein to shoot.

The well-aimed shots take out the Vandolea soldiers one after the other.
Naturally, the counterattack could not reach the defending soldiers on the other side of the fence, making it a one-sided affair.

「If we don’t destroy the fence-…… where’s the demolition squad? The axes and hammers are-……」
「They’re in the back obviously! We wanted to cross swords after all!」
「Rearguard, fall back! Eeei, if not then go from the sides……」

More sounds of moving chains could be heard and then fences appear on the left and right side.

「I-it’s no good. We have no choice but to retreat now!」

「We aren’t going to call for the demolition squad!? They’ve already advanced here, so if we fall back now we won’t be able to move……」

Seeing the Vandolea army in disarray, Tristan raises his hand before the fence could be attacked.

「The enemy isn’t looking in front any more. I guess it should be about time then.」

Chains were disconnected and several of the fences in the front fell over.
After that, around 1000 soldiers ran out and attacked the confused enemy.

「Retreat! Retreat…… run away! Ruuunnnnn!!」

In the height of chaos, the Vandolea soldiers were not able to conduct battle decently and pulled back.

「Well let’s see, what will they come at us with next? This kind of enemy with shallow thinking is pretty easy to read. Completely different from a certain someone who relies on strength alone.」

The Vandolea army continued to push forward afterwards but every time they did so, they were harshly punished and chased back.
The battle developed in a way contrary to Bejček’s expectations and the siege warfare remained at a stalemate for many days.

「This is a trap…… we should make a detour without getting close……」
「We’ll be deliberately attacking a place with heavy defences though……」
「There’s no other choice. It’s better than being burned!」

「Making a detour and leaving wet bundles of straw, what an easy job.」

「The enemy is only made up of light infantry, pursue them!」
「If we chase after the enemy, there won’t be any trap holes! Finish them all at once…… uwaaaah, why!?」

「Well, there are some of those. It will take 100 light infantry and maybe about 70 heavy infantry for the support to fall.」

The end of the battle happened when a flaming arrow was fired out of desperation.
It landed in a normally meaningless spot…… right in the center of the stone wall, but the fire from the arrow quickly started to burn the wall.

「Acha, they’ve done it now.」

「…… yeah.」

The thin wooden wall instantly caught fire and the entire fortress was engulfed in flames.

「Make sure all the lookouts escape. The cannons…… I guess we can leave them, since they can’t be used anyways. I feel a bit bad about leaving them to burn because they’re defective.」

The other allies who were in high spirits from the continuing one-sided victory are also looking on with mixed feelings.
It might have been a superficial creation but it was still sad to see a building they worked hard to build turn into ash.

However, it delivered a greater shock to the Vandolea side.

「……what is that?」

「The fortress, the whole thing is burning?」

「I-it’s collapsing. Isn’t it made of stone?」

When the last burning wall fell down, the attacking side finally realized how pointless all the deception and attacking that happened up until now was.

「What have we been doing all this time……」
「A wall like that could have been taken out by ten people, yet we lost thousands……」

The exhaustion in their bodies gradually turn into an intense desire to kill.

「Don’t let those Goldonian bastards return alive!」
「Without the wall, we can massacre their mere two thousand troops!」

The enemy prepared to attack while muttering abusive language, but the Goldonian soldiers were not afraid nor did they look to run away. They simply stood in a neat row.

「We would have ran away two days ago.」
「Yeah.」

Tristan and a subordinate soldier chuckle together.
They don’t have a reason to hurry anymore.

「Begin the all-out attack! Let these Goldonia bastards have-……」

Loud war cries drown out the shouts of the Vandolea army.

「Jeez, how late can you be. Because of that, it felt like I did a whole lifetime’s worth of work.」

「All units, charge! Pincer them.」

A dust cloud approaches from behind the garrison, soon revealing three thousand cavalry galloping forward from the north.
The main army has finally arrived and starts to attack instead of saving the defending army.

The soldiers who were once part of the Malt invasion army screamed when they saw the bow cavalry and spear cavalry.

「Do not fret! The enemy cavalry number is 3000 while we have easily over 10,000……」

In that moment, another dust cloud appeared on the east.
It was additional reinforcements of 2000 bow cavalry from the mountain nation who took the shortest route to meet up with the main army.

「From two o’clock……」

「The garrison soldiers are circling around to the west! They’re looking to surround us from three sides……」

They have to confront an enemy which they suffered a crushing defeat to again, not to mention they’re gradually being surrounded.
They should not be able to handle this situation.

The unskilled prisoners instantly collapsed, followed by the former Malt invasion army who were routed shortly after. And that was how the battle on the border ended.

「And now my role is finished. I’ll be going back to Rafen……」

「We received an order from the feudal lord-sama just now telling us to follow him.」

「Affuu.」


–Aegir POV–

Hardlett Army. Main Army.

「Myla-san has routed the enemy. She has met up with the reinforcement bow cavalry and seem to be on their way back. Are you sure it’s fine if we don’t give chase?」

「We don’t know much about Vandolea’s territory. It won’t be good if we carelessly follow them too far. We should prioritize meeting up with the garrison and bow cavalry first.」

Leopolt replies in my stead.
From what I hear, the garrison should have fought against the enemy army with close to ten times their forces but they don’t seem to be very exhausted.
Their casualties were a mere 100.
As I thought, Tristan is extremely skilled. I’ll have him work more and more.
Just like Adolph.

「So, um-」

Celia and Irijina look at me unhappily.

「What’s wrong?」

「Kuh, how humiliating……」

Their complain probably has to do with the woman standing beside me…… the enemy adjutant I captured during the fight with Vandolea.
I thought I could get her to tell us information about Vandolea, but she’s quite tight-lipped. I had no other choice but to bring her with us.

「What will you do if you keep such a woman by your side and she tries to kill you in your sleep?」

Celia’s complaint is that the woman is dangerous.

「You mustn’t rape a prisoner of war!」

Irijina’s complaint seems to be my constant rubbing of the girl’s ass.
Well, it’s nice to touch after all, I hope she can let this go.
Besides, it’s not rape if there’s no penetration. It should be fine.

「Can you just talk already? I don’t like hurting women but since you’re not saying anything-」

Leopolt said to leave it to him and she’ll talk immediately, but I didn’t allow him since I didn’t want him to make a mess of her.

「I would never betray my nation like that!」

「Considering all that, it doesn’t look like she’ll desert her country.」

I don’t think she’s monitored too closely so she could probably run away if she really tried.

「……I don’t think the fatherland will forgive a soldier for returning home shamelessly after becoming a prisoner of war…… but my family will be troubled if I’m killed. In that case, if I’m captured like this-……」

「They will treat you as deceased and the honor of you and your family will be protected?」

The adjutant nods.
Just forget about such a country who would criticize a woman for coming back alive.

「Then why not just become my woman as well. I’ll treat you well.」

「Why does it have to be like that!? Who’s going to belong to the person who killed the commander I respected dearly!?」

That’s unfortunate.
I guess I’ll have to be patient and win her over slowly.

「Even so, it’s so watery.」

「UUuuuuu…… so humiliating……」

As I continue to fondle her ass, my hand becomes soaking wet.
I take a look and see a trail of liquid running down her thigh all the way to her feet.
I didn’t even tease her that much and she’s already dripping.

「It’ll feel so much better if I put my dick inside, you know.」

「I would rather bite my tongue and die than let you do that!」

The girl’s harsh, but I can only picture the girl moaning in pleasure under me.
I’m pretty sure she’ll become mine not too long from now.

「So…… er……」

Crap, I forgot again.

「It’s Daša, Aegir-sama.」

I nod when Celia reminds me coldly as I try to call out to that girl.

「Hmph!」

She pinches my hand and takes it away from her butt.
Hmmm, remembering a girl’s name is really important.

And then, I could feel something that made my body shake.

「Hm? Was there a strange breeze just now?」

「I didn’t feel anything!」

Irijina doesn’t feel much of anything so I can’t rely on her.

「It felt like the earth was shaking……」

The sensitive Celia places her hand to the ground but she couldn’t figure it out.

「If it’s so vague that we can’t tell if it happened or not, it shouldn’t be a problem I guess. Now, let’s get ready to march.」

「Yessir!」

We will pursue the retreating Vandolea army.


Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 23 years old. Autumn.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. King of the Mountains. Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless.
Citizens: 163,000. Major Cities – Rafen: 24,000. Lintbloom: 4500.

Army: 13,200 men
Infantry: 7450, Cavalry: 850, Archers: 1000, Bow Cavalry: 3900
Cannons: 30, Large Cannons: 10

Assets: 570 gold (Continuation of War -5500)
Sexual Partners: 230, children who have been born: 48 + 555 fish


 


3 Comments

  1. dang tristan, you manage to get only around 100 casualty while having to fight 1 to 7 in number

  2. Now I am really interested for what has happened underground.
    Thanks for the chapter!

  3. Earthquake? Hopefully the epicenter is not our MC’s land but his enemy’s…

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