Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 226

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Chapter 226

Third Person POV–

Vandolea People’s Federation Central Region . Vandolea Army .

「The ground is shaking again . 」「It was pretty big this time……」

The ground already shook multiple times today .

People might have gotten used to it, but the stronger than usual trembling made the soldiers worried .

There are even some horses that neighed nervously as their caretakers calmed them .

「This isn’t simply the earth shaking……」

Bejček continues chewing on the already tattered nail of his thumb while holding his head anxiously .

Beside him is a similarly grim-looking Ca.s.sano who is staring intently at a map and a letter .

「So we’re for sure not getting any reinforcements from home?」

「Well, they told us if we retreat even further from where we are, we’ll totally be treated as deserters . 」

As soon as they were defeated at the border, Bejček and company had no chance of winning .

The best they could do was to maintain the battle ranks without being completely annihilated as they one-sidedly get pushed back and send detachments to slow the enemy down while retreating .

「I hear that those guys from Altair are beginning their all-out attack from the west . The main army shouldn’t have any soldiers to spare . 」

「……it’s probably the doing of those dirty rats from Libatis . They advocate for peace but they’re actually skilled at secretly manipulating others from behind the scenes . 」

Bejček slams the decree with a bang on the desk .

New words won’t pop out of the doc.u.ment even if he stares at it longer .

「I’ve gathered people from guards to vigilantes from the village…… we are finally able to bring our numbers back to 15,000 but the quality of soldiers is ugly . It’s suicidal to collide head-on with Hardlett’s army no matter how you look at it . 」

Bejček raises his hand to let Ca.s.sano know he understands and then exits the tent .

He then points to the south .

「Look…… we’ve gotten so close to the Dard mountain . We’ve been pushed all the way to a place like this . 」

The imposing mountain at the end of where Bejček’s finger was pointing isn’t as tall as the ones in the great mountain range but it still was relatively big when you look at its blurry form at a distance .

The towering mountain straddling the boundary of Altair and Vandolea is also an important strategic point, where the armies of both sides have fought countless life or death battles at the base .

「If we don’t stop them here, we really don’t have anywhere else to run . We’ll let them march all the way to the capital city of Vandola . 」

「……comrade Bejček, can you throw your life away for the sake of your nation?」

Ca.s.sano and Bejček knew that their country has already forsaken them .

They actually already realized this when they were ordered to invade enemy land with an overwhelmingly inferior force .

「If we flee now, our fatherland won’t have forces to spare to chase us . 」

「You’re probably right . 」

Bejček compares the sight of the row of black flags lined up to the north and the vast plains spread out before him to the south .

「They may have abandoned us, but they are still our fatherland . We can’t just run away without putting up a fight . 」

「Even if that means laying down your life?」

Both of them knew the strength and ruthlessness of Hardlett’s army .

It is certain they will lose their lives if they fight again .

「If we manage to survive and run away from our nation and families, we would have to live the rest of our lives in submission . I’m a small person…… I don’t have the tolerance to do something like that . 」

「Is that so……」

It happened right when Ca.s.sano was about to say something .

「The earth is shaking! It’s another big one!!」

The shaking was strong enough that the two men couldn’t stand properly and it lasted for 20 seconds .

The two of them smiled wryly as they supported their unstable bodies with a hand on the desk .

「I made such an effort to look cool when I said it too, but the G.o.d of the earth got in the way . 」

「He must be telling us not to make such pointless chatter . Perhaps G.o.d also wants us to fight…… besides comrade, our fatherland doesn’t acknowledge the existence of G.o.ds . 」

The two of them smile at each other again .

Using the mishmash of troops gathered from the village to form battle ranks, they prepare for what will probably be their last fight .

–Aegir POV–

Goldonia Side

「The main unit of the army has finally stopped moving . 」

We prepare for the start of another battle once Leopolt confirms the enemy is getting into defensive formation .

「Here, where there is no city or fortress? Is there some sort of trap…… maybe it’s not even worth asking . 」

If there is risk of that, Leopolt should have already silently made the suitable precautions for that .

「The scouts are constantly monitoring the enemy’s movements . There does not appear to be any suspicious movements . They can’t use the terrain in this plains to spring an ambush on us either . 」

「So they just suddenly felt like fighting the decisive battle here . 」

「Maybe it’s a political reason . 」

Tristan, who I pulled along against his will, comments as he reads his book .

Celia was about to slap him, but the conversation wouldn’t go anywhere if he gets knocked unconscious so I let him speak .

「In the first place, that army under normal circ.u.mstances would have pulled back temporarily to wait for reinforcements or prepare siege weapons after fighting an unexpectedly tough siege battle . But they’re actually just charging at us recklessly . It just doesn’t make sense strategy-wise . 」

「To add to that, Altair’s full-scale offensive is probably not allowing them to divert any military strength anywhere else . 」

It looks like they’re struggling on the other front too .

「The enemy has stopped running to challenge us . Then we just have to crush them head-on . 」

There is still some distance until the capital city Vandola, but if we defeat these guys here, there will be nothing else to get in our way .

Even if it results in a ceasefire, we are free to set the conditions of that ceasefire .

「Are preparations finished?」

「Everything is ready . 」

Myla straightens her posture in a snap .

「We’ll bring victory to the chief . 」

It looks like Luna is good to go too .

「Escort squad, ready and awaiting orders!」

Celia also straightens her back adorably .

The good thing about sending her out onto the battlefield is that she has gotten used to military rules and her posture has improved .

Her slender back and firm b.r.e.a.s.t.s, her soft but healthy toned s.e.xiness and her dignified appearance all combine into one body .

What a wonderful woman .

「U-um……」

「Mm, sorry . 」

My hand just started feeling up her back and a.s.s on its own .

Let’s save the s.e.x for after the war .

「We’ve practically won already!!」

Irijina’s loud voice reverberates in the air .

It feels like it will reach the Dard mountain .

「……mun . 」

「I’m in perfect condition . 」

「I won’t lose this time ‘round . 」

Mack, Gido, and Cristoph are all ready as well .

「There is nothing that clouds my blade . 」

Kroll should be fine if he says he is .

Well now, let’s start the battle .

「Kyah」「Owah!」「Mu……」

The earth shakes once again .

I wonder how many times that makes it . Nevertheless, our advantageous position should not change .

The enemy is deploying its forces in a wide, double wing formation .

There is five thousand directly in front of us and about the same number on either side .

Despite the numbers seemingly being equal, it looks like they picked up soldiers along the way, because I can see many of them are wearing shabby-looking armor even at a distance .

「They are wary of the cavalry detouring and surrounding them . But the front lines look thin where their spears are . We should be able to divide them if we breakthrough . 」

Leopolt sees through the goal and weakness of the enemy formation in a single glance .

「Considering the mobility of the bow cavalry, couldn’t we circle around the sides of both wings?」

I can see what Luna is thinking, but I reject the proposal .

The enemy is specifically wary about being flanked .

Forcefully using a strategy the enemy is watching out for is not a good idea .

「Right, right, if you only do things which your opponent dislikes, then you’ll pretty much win most of the time . 」

「Speak more politely to Aegir-sama!!」

I look to Leopolt while Celia and Tristan have their little drama .

He nods and gives orders to everyone .

「Our attack will be directed to the front . Bow cavalry will focus fire to collapse the frontlines . I don’t believe the enemy has any cavalry left, but make them your highest priority if they appear . The infantry will provide support by attacking head-on . 」

The plan is simple but the degree of difficulty is high . Archers will be shooting from the back as the infantry advance forward so there could be accidental misfiring leading to friendly fire if training is lacking .

If that happens, the infantry will be unnecessarily worried about getting hit from the back and will not be able to fight well .

The archers need the skill to accurately hit only the enemy while the infantry need the courage to trust their allies and focus only on fighting the enemy in front of them .

My army possesses both of those requirements .

「Chargeee!!」

The bow cavalry charge at the enemy first .

4000 of the bow cavalry rus.h.i.+ng forward while kicking up a dust cloud also serves to lower the enemy’s morale .

「Defense! Get into anti-cavalry formation!」

Naturally, the enemy army will not allow a charge through and set up their spears to guard against the attack .

As expected, the enemy has a skilled squad in front wearing metal armor and moving in unison .

「All units halt, loose three volleys!」

The bow cavalry come to a sudden halt and rapidly launch three consecutive volleys .

As their name suggests, the long spears are long and heavy so the soldiers carrying them could not carry s.h.i.+elds as well .

Simple large s.h.i.+elds were propped up on the ground to protect some parts of the soldiers’ bodies but aiming for the gaps where the s.h.i.+eld does not cover is an easy task for the mountain nation who have learned how to use bows since they were kids .

「Guwah!」「Gue!!」

「They’re precise! Hide behind the s.h.i.+elds!!」

Soldiers desperately try to hide behind the s.h.i.+elds but not before many soldiers were taken out . Their formation gradually becomes messed up as the soldiers move out of line of fire .

「It’s a good time for the cavalry to charge now . 」

「I suppose it’s fine if there is no left or right wings . 」

Leopolt approves and gives out the orders .

At the same time, the infantry shout and start charging, while the bow cavalry switch from firing horizontally to high angle fire and begin raining down arrows on the enemy .

As soon as both sides collide, our ally infantry immediately start pus.h.i.+ng into the enemy lines .

The collapsing spearmen squad could not hope to stop them .

The spears protruding out were cut down and the soldiers holding them get stabbed instead .

In addition, soldiers with bowguns mixed in with the infantry unit shot down the enemy commanders one after the other to further speed up the process .

Normally, the defense would send their own infantry to meet ours .

「s.h.i.+t! We can’t move efficiently because of all the raining arrows!」

「If we keep holding our s.h.i.+elds up, they’ll just breakthrough the front! We should advance i- gueh!」

The bow cavalry aim slightly ahead of the infantry who are engaging the enemy on the frontlines and shoot relentlessly .

Because of that, the enemy infantry are pinned in one place with their s.h.i.+elds and were unable to come to the aid of the frontlines .

Brave soldiers try to inspire those around them but instantly die from an arrow through their face or chest and it ends up producing the opposite effect .

「Well, it should be time now . 」

Tristan inserts a special bookmark made from a bird’s feather into his book before he closes it .

At the same time, both enemy wings start moving to support the troops on the frontline .

They’re probably trying to wrap around us and form an encirclement .

「They can have both wings consist entirely of new recruits if we don’t detour . Their movements are quite slow . Let’s watch carefully . 」

The enemy tries to close in on the fighting infantry from both sides but Leopolt already antic.i.p.ated this development .

「Bow cavalry, change your target . 」

The bow cavalry switch their aim 1000 at a time and start shooting at both enemy wings, raining arrows on the moving soldiers .

The observing Tristan looks serious for a brief moment before his eyes droop back down lazily .

It’s rare to see someone on the battlefield with such a relaxed look .

「The left wing is weak . They’re a terribly disorganized bunch . 」

Apparently, Tristan determined from his experience in the fort battle that the enemy army had roughly 5000 relatively skilled soldiers in the whole army .

「The 5000 soldiers in front of us right now are clearly those skilled ones . Which means the soldiers on both wings are the 5000 less skilled and the 5000 they recruited along the way . 」

The volleys from the bow cavalry wasn’t just an attack on the left and right wings, it was also meant to measure the morale and skill of the enemy army .

「The spear cavalry and escort unit will follow me to charge into in the right wing . Tell the va.s.sal lord armies to engage the left wing . 」

I look over to Leopolt to confirm if that’s fine with him .

「It is within my expectations even if the va.s.sal lord armies are defeated . We’ll deal with it when it happens, it won’t be a problem . 」

This guy has absolutely no compa.s.sion .

They’re trying their best too, you know .

「That’s fine then . We’re charging in, follow me . 」

The spear cavalry charge forward, with the heavily-equipped escort squad running in the center of the formation .

Spearmen should be gathering on the outside of the enemy’s right wing to stop us from surrounding them .

If we slip past the bow cavalry and attack from the inside, it would be hard for the cavalry to be thwarted .

The enemy frontline should be trying to hinder our movements but are currently doing battle with our infantry so they should not be able to divert any attention to us .

「We’ll push through and stir up the interior . Think of yourselves as a d.i.c.k violating a pretty woman!」

「「Oooooh!」」

「Let’s f.u.c.k ‘em up!」「Make ‘em squirt like crazy!」1

「Eeeh……」

Celia has a strange look on her face when the other men shout out their obscene comments .

Well, don’t take it so seriously .

Take Irijina for example, she’s joining in with the guys and shouting things like ‘hammer it in’ .

As the enemy gets closer, the cavalry ready their spears while picking up speed .

The opposing soldiers scramble to do something, but it’s already too late .

We successfully penetrate the right wing to collapse their formation .

Just when we were sure of our attack, it happened .

「Uooh!」「Owah!」「W-what the-!!?」

Confused cries come from allies as the earth shakes more violently than previous times .

「T-this is a big one . 」「I can’t stay on my feet!」

Everyone comes to a complete stop in the middle of charging and several soldiers were thrown off their horses .

Even Schwartz’s legs are sprawled to help him balance .

This is bad .

The tremors continue for 30 seconds before dying down .

Having no experience with this incident, the horses were disoriented, causing our formation to be messed up .

Not to mention we were just about to charge into the enemy formation, meaning we stopped right in front of their soldiers when the shaking started .

「N-now is our chance!!」

The enemy commander shouts and the enemy cavalry charges at us .

Since they were in a defensive stance and already stationary, they weren’t as affected by the shaking .

「Tch…… pull back for now . Give out the orders!」

「Yessir!!」

I leave the command to Celia and adjust the grip on my spear as I prepare to intercept the approaching enemies .

Schwartz isn’t soft enough to stay fl.u.s.tered either and is also starting to recover after the rumbling stopped .

「Come at me . 」

「Uoooooh!!」

I raise my spear to meet the attack of the enemy soldier charging head-on .

But something doesn’t look right .

「Hey, why are you facing the other way when you’re charging . Are you underestimating me……」

The enemy is running towards me with his back turned .

I thought he was fooling around but when I followed where his eyes were looking at, I also couldn’t stop staring at what was going on .

The enemy cavalry and I exchange blows and a weak metallic clang rings out before we stop and look at each other blankly .

「What the heck is that?」

「I have no clue…… I’ve never seen anything like it before . 」

The enemy and I line up our horses and stare dumbfoundedly at the scene unfolding before our eyes .

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The surrounding enemies and allies have stopped engaging each other and there no more metallic clas.h.i.+ng sounds can be heard .

Eventually the King reaches climax and collapses on the bed exhaustedly .

Rosario stares down at his head with cold eyes and gently pats the King like a mother would .

–Aegir POV–

Side Story: Search for the Culprit .

I relax in the living room with the other girls .

Some are enjoying tea and snacks, some are lovingly taking care of children, some are quietly reading books, some are jostling with each other rowdily, and Irijina is eating a whole roast of meat .

Everyone is enjoying themselves peacefully .

However, the calm time would be disturbed by an unjust act of barbarism .

Pppbbbbfhpii~~

A sound cuts through the mood of the room . It wasn’t a loud sound but it was loud enough for everyone to hear .

「「「「……」」」」

Everyone’s time stops .

Those playing around also stop moving, while Nonna’s hand retracts without grabbing her teacup .

Irijina is the only one unfazed and continues munching on her meat .

Everyone looks around and asks ‘who was it’ with their eyes .

However n.o.body says anything for fear of falsely accusing somebody of leaking a fart in front of me .

They were trying to avoid bringing up the topic first and focusing the conversation on them .

Everyone gradually begins to resume what they were doing before the fart .

That’s right, it’s right to pretend it didn’t happen .

That would bring back the peaceful atmosphere…… or it should have .

「Guh……」

It stinks, it smells like something rotting .

This kind of smelly fart is pretty rare .

「……aaah, good grief! It stinks like h.e.l.l!! Who was it!!?」

Finally unable to bear it, Carla shouts angrily and the subject was brought out into the open .

「It wasn’t me . 」

Nonna is the first one to deny and drinks her tea like nothing happened .

Although, her eyebrows remain wrinkled due to the smell .

「It’s not me either!」

Celia also speaks up and leans on me .

There, there, I know it’s not you .

That should do it for the girls who will deny the act particularly strongly .

「Mama is not stinky, right?」

「No~」「No d.i.n.ky~」

Mel and Maria plead their innocence while playing with their children .

And the search for the culprit began .

「Isn’t it Yoguri-san? It’s so smelly . 」

「I-it’s not! If I had to say, it’s more likely to come from you……」

「What, it’s not me either!?」

「With the smell this strong, it must have come from upwind…… meaning someone close to the door……」

「S’not me! I don’t lie!」

I can’t take it when a single fart causes this much friction between us .

「Sorry, it’s me . 」

If I do this, no one should have a problem .

The culprit would be one of the girls if it isn’t me .

And I’m sure none of them would be willing to admit it .

「G-geez, how vulgar Aegir-sama . 」

「Well, if it’s Aegir-san then……」

That should end the whole argument .

「I can’t agree with that!」

Celia cuts in a destroys the temporary peace I created .

「I was beside Aegir-sama the whole time and everyone’s faces scrunched up before the smell came over to us! I absolutely won’t let this end with the blame pushed onto Aegir-sama!」

I appreciate her consideration but it wasn’t necessary…… just when I settled the debate right then and there .

The girls begin arguing again .

「The smell came from over there! Isn’t it Catherine-san!?」

「What are you saying? The one denying it so strongly must be the one who did it . 」

All this glaring is ridiculous .

How should I resolve this?

「Hahaha, it stinks . It’s delicious and it stinks!」

Irijina continues eating her meat as if unaware of all the fuss that was made . If it’s her, I’m sure she won’t mind .

「Irijina, you’re the one who farted . 」

「What!? I didn’t do it . 」

I pat the giant Irijina and whisper softly to her .

「Your a.s.s did it without you knowing . Don’t worry, it’s something that happens to everybody . 」

「……I-is that the case? Sorry! It seems like my a.s.s did it on its own!」

My apologies, Irijina . If it’s you, the others won’t blame you too much .

I’ll drink with you later .

「I guess it’s possible with Irijina-san」

「It can’t be helped . 」

The girls make peace once again .

「I can’t accept that!」

The one who interrupted this time was Myla .

「I’ve been with Irijina-san often enough to know that the sound she makes is loud enough to interrupt conversations so it should be obvious when she does it!」

「Well, that’s true……」

「Irijina-san, have a little modesty……」

「No Myla, this is not the place-」

「No, I will not allow an innocent person to be recognized as the culprit on my watch . We should search for the real culprit!」

Oh yeah, Myla was this kind of person .

That’s why she has a reputation of being too strict as the enforcer of public order .

「Now, let’s confirm everyone’s statements!!」

Whatever, do as you please .

I don’t care who did it .

Afterwards, even Myla’s strict investigation did not reveal the true farting culprit and the case turned into an unsolved mystery .

That reminds me, Casie would usually be making a fuss in times like these but I don’t see her anywhere .

The last time I saw her, she was eating something while staying away from Irijina .

I look around and find the maids in the courtyard by an open fire .

「We’re roasting potatoes . 」

「We already roasted 10 of them…… but there’s one missing . How strange, n.o.body came by at all . 」

「Didn’t the spirit of the mansion take it? You know how food often just disappears? Especially those made with pumpkin . 」

What a mysterious story .

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: 14,300 men

Infantry: 7200, Cavalry: 800, Archers: 1000, Bow Cavalry: 3900 (Va.s.sal lords army: 1400)

Cannons: 30, Large Cannons: 10

a.s.sets: 470 gold

s.e.xual Partners: 233, children who have been born: 48 + 555 fish

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