Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi - Chapter 73
Translator: Nat Editor: Beansprout
「It seems that several thousand Treia kingdom troops have been deployed near the border. The small groups of farmers have been crushed entirely.」
Adolph has a pensive look on his face, while Leopolt remains expressionless, but the fact doesn’t change. The kingdom of Treia is also slaughtering the escaping farmers to act as a deterrent for others.
「Now we’re doing the opposite of what we told Madolan not to do. Aren’t we talking about what’s going on in his country?」
「Also, I am having the camouflaged light cavalry cross the border to perform reconnaissance and collect detailed information.」
As expected, Leopolt is shrewd. On the off chance that they get captured, he will probably just deny that he knows anything.
「Make sure you do it moderately, okay? So, did you find out anything beyond what the rumors told us?」
Adolph’s information mainly comes from talking to peddlers and the people, analysing and then compiling it together. It is surprisingly accurate, but he doesn’t know much regarding the army.
「Their numbers are around 5000, they have a balanced formation of cavalry and archers. It is the kingdom’s army without a doubt.」
「So he deployed 5000 of the kingdom’s troops? Did he not think that he would clash with me if he wasn’t careful?」
「Well, that’s because Lord Hardlett ended the conversation so belligerently……and you also harassed him too.」
These guys have such small assholes.
「Yes, up until now, the troops have been spread wide and thin, laying in wait to defeat the farmers heading towards the east, but around the day before yesterday, there was a group beginning to congregate near a point close to the borders.」
「A gathering? Are they going to cross the border?」
「There is no point in them doing so. From this point on, I’m in the middle of confirming, and things will be based purely on conjecture but……」
I urge him to spit it out.
「I’ve received reports from the reconnaissance cavalry that a group of farmers are coming together a little at a time. They are probably looking to grow their numbers to the point that they can’t be dealt with when they spread out.」
During the past war, the volunteer soldiers grew to several tens of thousands in size. With the country divided up, that size is impossible now, but even so, if the squad of 5000 men is not at full strength when they clash, they won’t be able to deal with a group of several thousand people.
「I see……although it’s not like we can ignore it. How many of our troops can we use?」
「There are 2000 from the eastern army, 300 from the private army, and from the mountain nation……there are 1000 bow cavalry.」
He can’t keep calling them mountain nation when we have included them in our army. Designating them as the bow cavalry squad, their common sense is too different from the other squads and are unable to cooperate in an operation, so I have to directly take command over them.
「If we have 3300, even if they invade us, we will have enough to deal with it.」
Considering the wide territory, the ratio of cavalry in the eastern army and the private army is large; the bow cavalry squad is also a horse-based unit as the name suggests. Giving them bows and arrows made in Goldonia will also help them to contribute more than what they’re worth.
「So, what should we do? In our current situation, there is no special threat within our territory. Their troops are all moving around freely though.」
「It’s the first time that we move altogether, is it? It’ll be a good training exercise. Let’s stick around the border zone.」
As expected, Adolph raised an objection.
「As it is, Treia is already on edge with the rebellion, and they hold suspicion about us from the earlier conversation. If you leave over 3000 soldiers near the border, you will provoke them and if things go poorly, an accidental war will……」
After Leopolt and I look at each other, I turn to face Adolph.
「Is there any problem?」
「I thought you would say that.」
Adolph’s sigh was drowned out by the soon-to-be-rowdy sounds in the mansion.
A few days later, western area around the border.
The gathered kingdom army of Treia and my army which has marched from the west to the border zone face off against one another. To the west, there are gentle hills on the border, so it wasn’t a clear line. There was just an ambiguous line drawn where Treia was on one side of the hill and Goldonia was on the other. Besides, there are no villages or fields nearby, so there was no way to establish a standard other than using the terrain.
「Tell everyone strictly, the bow cavalry especially, not to climb the hill.」
Both countries aren’t hostile with each other, and trade isn’t really restricted so it can occur freely. Thus, there is no need to be too cautious around the border line, and even if an individual was wronged on the highway, nobody reallys blames each other. However, when an armed squad crosses the border, there is a different meaning. I’ll let you intimidate all you want, but the first one to cross the limit will be the first to wage war.
「It’ll be alright! We won’t move until the chief gives the order!」
The bow cavalry, who won’t listen to anyone’s orders besides mine, will need to cooperate in a fast and efficient manner with the others, so that’s why I brought Pipi along with me. While we were moving along, they also ignored everything else while advancing. This will need to be addressed in the future.
「And at least call me captain, if you call me chief it would cause a few problems here and there.」
If my subordinates called me chief, then it would feel like I’ve become the king of the barbarians or something.
「I understand, great chief!」
「…………so, how is it going Leopolt?」
「Since we cannot climb the hill in front of them, I erected watchtowers and posted sentries, but the situation is the same as the reports from the scouts. Around 5000 troops have been deployed such that they block off the border. However, their formation is facing the Treia side and are not defending against our attack, but rather they are probably preparing to catch the rebellions’ escape.」
「I see, it might have been too quick of me to bring the entire army here. But it can’t be helped that we’re already here. So I guess we’ll be remaining here until they move?」
I gave a strict order to move again, and we formed our ranks so as to not cross the hill. It seems that Treia’s side has noticed the watchtowers standing side-by-side, seemingly growing out from the bottom of the hill.
「One light cavalry is crossing the hill! He’s holding a white flag and seems to be a messenger.」
Celia calls out. This is also functioning as a training exercise so Celia, Irijina and basically everyone related to the military came along. Even so, they’re coming quite quickly to complain, aren’t they.
「I am the second dispatch of the kingdom of Treia…………」
They have to name themselves every time and it just makes me not want to listen.
「……and is there any reason in which Lord Hardlett is personally leading the army here!?」
「I don’t know anything about hunting farmers or whatever, but there are 5000 soldiers moving around in the area next to my territory. Is it that rare for a feudal lord to just watch absentmindedly?」
「It is all within our territory, so Lord Hardlett is not related……」
「Of course it has nothing to do with me and I’m not looking to pick a fight. We are just moving in preparation within our own territory as well.」
The messenger is probably wary of the fact that there is a possibility that we are working with the farmers and are boxing them in for a pincer attack. But if that was the case, then we would have attacked you as soon as we discovered you.
「If your army doesn’t violate the border line and try to attack us, then we won’t do anything.」
「……Those words are not lies are they?」
「Would you like to try your luck and step over the borderline?」
After we stared at each other in silence for awhile, he told me that he didn’t have any intention to cross the line since his only goal was to suppress the rebellious farmers, so he left.
「Was what you told the messenger the truth?」
To Leopolt, that messenger was probably there to deceive us, but it wasn’t like that to me.
「Of course it was. No matter how many farmers they hunt in their own territory, I won’t do anything.」
In Yoguri’s case, we moved out due to my personal promise, but I don’t have any natural attachment to any other citizens outside the territory otherwise.
「Although, even if they come and attack us, we would just demolish them.」
「As expected, they’re not stupid. At this critical time when they have to deal with the rebellion, they probably wouldn’t do something so foolish. The actual experience you get while marching, constructing encampments and feeling the atmosphere of the battlefield is also important after all. So it won’t be a waste.」
The bow cavalry, previously known as the mountain nation, especially needs to be shown how my army moves and properly understand it. When I go to pet Pipi’s head, Celia, the representative of the plains people, opposes and also comes to cling to me. With both hands petting the heads of girls, you wouldn’t think that this was a battlefield.
「There is a new squad in the front! Their numbers are……they are in a disorderly formation, so details are unknown. The size is in the thousands! They are heading towards us in a straight line to the border.」
I unintentionally whistled. It seems we arrived here at the perfect time.
「It’s the group of farmers, isn’t it?」
「I’ll confirm it, just in case.」
I climb up onto the watchtower myself. It’s a simple thing, so not many people can climb on it at the same time, but if it’s just Celia and I, it shouldn’t be a problem. Leopolt climbs onto the adjacent watchtower. Irijina also wanted to look, but her weight was over the limit so she was denied access.
「For a gathering of farmers, they can conduct a decent march.」
「It’s because Arkland’s army has been dismantled and the sun has still not set yet. They probably have those who have served in the military leading them.」
That’s right, right now there is a deluge of people who have served in the military in Arkland’s territory. The farmers are returning home after having fought as volunteer soldiers, so it means there was a fertile ground for this large-scale rebellion to grow.
「But even so, it will be hard to break through that formation.」
Although there is some semblance of order, their formation is all over the place. Since escaping is their objective, women and children are also included in the center and are being protected, which means that they can’t move or change their formation quickly.
「Their numbers don’t seem to reach the tens of thousands. They won’t be able to win against 5000 of the Treia kingdom’s army like this.」
Leopolt goes and gives a negative opinion. So the only chance they have is to clash head-on and try to sneak into my territory in the heat of battle. The objective of the farmers is not to win, and only to escape after all. It’s not like we can attack if they try to run in front of the Treia kingdom’s army and my army.
「Can we not do anything besides just watching?」
「Well, let’s see. In any case, whether the citizens die or whether the royal army suffers damage, Treia’s national power will be injured. It is a pleasing thing for a neighbouring country to be weakened, and it would be the ideal situation if the citizens are annihilated and the royal army suffered large casualties.」
If Yoguri was here, then she would definitely hit Leopolt. Celia is nodding in acknowledgement. Studying up on strategy is good and all, but don’t turn into Leopolt. I’m a little worried so let’s prank her a little.
I slip my finger in between the gaps in her armor and rub her special place. Hearing such a cute voice all of a sudden, one of the lookouts left on the tower turned to look, but he can’t see it from the front. Celia is desperately trying to regain her composure as the soldier returns his gaze to the opposite side of the hill.
(Aegir-sama! Please stop. The soldiers will find out!)
I ignore Celia, who’s pleading to me in a soft voice, and my finger enters her private part. She twists her waist to try and resist, but there is nothing she can do about the finger that has already penetrated her, and her insides are gently squeezing down on me so it’s telling me that she doesn’t really dislike it. Using the finger, that knows her immature caverns too well, to churn her insides, I scrape the place where she likes it the best.
When that place is rubbed, Celia would moan and get turned on, but right now she’s in front of the soldiers. When I see her desperately trying to endure by biting her sleeve, it makes me want to tease her more, but it would be pitiable to show the soldiers such a shameful sight, so I want to settle it quickly.
I bring my mouth close and whisper into Celia’s ear.
(You’re cute, Celia. Go ahead and cum.)
While whispering, I rub her favorite spot.
She’s desperately trying to hold her voice back from climaxing by biting her sleeve, but her body is bent forward and she’s leaning against me, sticking her trembling ass outward. After a short moment, a lot of liquid leaked out, dripping down her thighs.
She was breathing hard, but seeing as how nobody seemed to find out, her expression relaxed in relief.
「Lord Hardlett, are you finished? It seems like things are starting soon.」
Knowing that Leopolt was ruthlessly watching from the beginning caused Celia to turn red, trying to fix things somehow, but seeing as how she couldn’t do anything, she buried her face into my chest.
「I can see how things will turn out, but I just need to find out how many people will throw themselves in.」
「I believe it is about 100 people at most, which is ideal. If a large group is successful in escaping, you can expect confusion too.」
We watch over the battle between the rebellious farmers and Treia’s army. Well, let’s see what kind of outcome it will turn into, and see it through to the end. Both armies collide with each other in front of our eyes while shouting.
–Third person/ Farmer POV–
Within the group of farmers
「Let’s go, Endigo! We have to get the women and children through no matter what!」
The farmers, who were all wearing mismatched equipment, are shouting while charging at Treia’s army. The one who is shouting is my best friend from the former Arkland’s army. He has an excessively strong sense of justice and was the one who pulled me into participating in this rebellion.
「Everyone listen! You don’t have to fight them directly. We win if we can get over that hill!」
Smooth words make smooth ways. Even as a rank-and-file soldier, I’ve been enrolled in the army for many years, and those who have ran through the battlefields many times will also understand. In order to fight against the army with our mixed bag of people, we would need triple the numbers. From what I can see, we have 8000 against an opponent who has 5000, so we absolutely can’t win. The only way we can go forward is to recklessly charge at them and try to take advantage of the confusion to cross the hill.
The vanguards of both parties collided and the battle began. In this fight, there are some amongst the group who have been hardened by battle from the experience gained from being in campaigns and also those who have armor and spears and other equipment, so they should be able to fight equally. But if you look just one step back, there are those with only spears and swords and no armor. Moreover, there are farmers who are just wielding hoes and scythes in the back.
「Cavalries are coming from the side!」
Normally, longspears would be set up in order to block them, but there isn’t enough equipment nor skills required to do so. We can only ignore them and continue to advance.
Arrows rain down and the cavalry cuts down the women and elders as they please. I sweep the feet of the horses of the two cavalry that came close to cause them to fall, but I have no choice but to ignore the others. A defensive battle is meaningless, our only desire is to advance forward.
My companion, who has defeated five enemy soldiers already, got pierced in his stomach by the sixth one. The ones who stop moving will instantly get stabbed repeatedly.
「Endigo, go!! Don’t stop!」
I was planning not to from the start. I run pass them before the final blow cuts the voice of my buddy short. I defeat the enemies that appear in front of me and run earnestly. The number of women and children that we were meant to protect have also decreased in numbers, and those that remain can now be counted.
「You traitorous native lowlife! Die!」
I avoid the spear of the noble riding on his horse and stab him in the thigh with my spear instead. It was a blunt thing that was covered in rust, so it must have hurt. A crappy soldier like you would make for a good escort for the supply squad in the Arkland army I was previously in. While mocking the noble who is screaming in agony, I guide the others forward, running through one by one.
「Just a little more! Once we pass the hill, they won’t come after us anymore.」
Perhaps because of the encirclement of the collection of allies in the back, there weren’t many pursuits on us. If that’s the case, we can run away successfully.
The ones at the front cheered as the climbed the hill and started to run down it. The Treia army gave up on the group who climbed the hill, not pursuing them, and giving their all to decimate the group in the back instead. I feel sorry for those in the back, but they probably knew that it would turn into something like this. Even so, it is ironic that I am extending my life when I have no interest in living, while my buddy who told me about his dream has died.
Once we ran to the middle of the hill, we turned back to look, even when we knew it was pointless. It was there that we saw a certain scene.
There is a married couple running away while protecting their small child, but due to their fatigue, their speed was slow, so Treia’s soldiers have caught up to them. The desperately resisting father was instantly slain and the mother was also stabbed through her chest. With the sudden deaths of both parents, the child starts crying, and after the soldiers swung down their swords, they left in search for another target. This was probably going on all around as well, but something sparked in my mind.
Just one month ago, I also had a wife and child. Due to the heavy taxes, it was hard for us to eat, and I was able to earn a daily living by doing a boring job, but the child who was still young could not survive the poor lifestyle.
It was there that my wife started to plead with the acting official to have some compassion for her. But the acting official wanted equal compensation from the visiting wife, demanding her body, which she complied with for the sake of her child. And sure enough, after playing around with her body as he pleased, he threw her away like a piece of trash.
The struggle with food continued, the child weakened and died. After losing our child, and my wife, who even had her body toyed with, thought that she lost everything. I went out to bury my child and when I returned home, my wife had committed suicide.
Since then, my time has frozen in place, and I had lost all meaning to live. My resentment and my sadness disappeared, and I was just living in a trance-like state. That’s why I was pulled along by my buddy and without hesitation participated in this rebellion, which clearly had such a small chance to succeed.
Another family was finished off in front of my eyes. Probably at this point in time, several hundred parents and children have perished.
I have to stop this. The emotion that was awakened in my heart is anger. If I don’t crush them, the sorrow I have tasted will repeat endlessly.
「But even if I go back there, there’s nothing I can do……」
If I leave everything to my anger, run down the hill and attack those guys, I will still meet the same fate as my buddy. Cutting down a few soldiers makes no difference.
At that time, those guys who have climbed up the hill pointed at something and shouted. There was a row of watchtowers, and several thousand soldiers lined up. I thought it was an enemy ambush but it didn’t look like they were coming to attack. Sending my eyes further back, their flag is…….
「The Goldonian army! Have they come to save us!?」
With this amount of soldiers, they should be able to repel Treia. Moreover, there are an abnormal amount of cavalry. The cavalry should be a bad opponent to the Treian army, which had prepared to deal with the farmers.
「Heeeeeey!! Please help us! Everyone is getting killed over there!」
I call out loudly but there was no response. If I think carefully, since they have already built watchtowers, they should be able to see the situation on the bottom of the hill, and if they were going to help us, they would have come long ago.
「They’re just keeping watch……. No, is it because they can’t cross the border?」
Everyone knows that Treia and Goldonia worked together to crush Arkland. They probably don’t want to interfere with an incident happening within our territory.
「Is it useless?! ……but if that’s the case why do they have such a large army at the border zone?」
The ones at my side who have desperately run into the safety zone naturally couldn’t hear my voice. It wasn’t an answer, but I felt a strong gaze from the top of the watchtower. When I look up, that gaze came from a man wearing a black cloak, who looks like a noble, and it was unusual to have such a pretty woman clad in armor on the battlefield by his side.
「The war demon Hardlett!!」
I remember seeing that face. In the Datrohn fight where I was serving in the military, he blew away my allies away like ragdolls right in front of my eyes, and he was a knight out of a nightmare. I knew I was aiming for his territory, but I didn’t think that he would actually show up in person!
Those eyes gaze at me without any sense of timidness. I try to tell him to ‘please help me, since right now my friends are being killed over there. If it’s you, you should be able to help’.
But he doesn’t move. Even so, his eyes don’t avert themselves from me. It felt like he was smiling a little. It wasn’t a sneering smile that thought of me as a fool, but he was seeking something dramatic. It seemed like that kind of smile to me.
Nobody said anything, but at least that was what I felt.
「Fine, my life is pretty much thrown away. Why don’t I show you the best play!」
I turn back to the side where Treia’s army is while standing on the summit of the hill.
「Listen here! I’ll teach you incompetent fools of Treia, who can do nothing but kill women and children! I am in fact the leader of the rebellion, the one responsible for turning the revolt against you stupid people!!」
A voice came out that surprised even myself. The nearby soldiers quickly turned back to face me. Being the only one standing on the stage is not a bad feeling.
「Even if you kill the others, it will result in the same thing; I will once again come back and cause another revolt in a different place!」
The Treian soldiers start to gather. Conveniently, the archers are standing in the front.
「What’s wrong? If you don’t kill me, things will repeat itself again and again! Although you guys are such amateurs that even if someone was to stand in front of you, your arrows couldn’t even hit them. Shoot me if you can.」
A portion of the archers got enraged and nocked arrows on their bows, but the commander hurriedly stopped them. As expected they would not fall for such a simple tactic. When I look, the nearby soldiers have already gathered at the bottom of the hill, surrounding it with all of its members. But none of them climbed up the hill to try and catch me. There is no one with the courage to step over the border line.
「What’s wrong?! Incompetents! Fools! Trash! Are you cowards who can’t even shoot the enemy?!」
In response to the resounding voice, the sound of gritting teeth can be heard.
「Tell the entire squad, absolutely don’t shoot! It will be shot into Goldonia’s territory!」
A noble-like man shouts while running in front of the archers on his horse. I also curse at that noble but other than glaring at me, he doesn’t take any action. I have to hurry, or else the battle will continue and the people at the back will be annihilated. When I look around for a way to breakthrough this deadlock, I found a familiar flag. Since I was in the army, I recognize the flags of certain nobles.
「Aren’t you Viscount Mezale?! I am a citizen of your territory. Is your little brother doing well?」
The one who scrunches his face is a muscular man with a large build; it’s the first time I saw his face, but it seems like he is the viscount.
「How rude of me! I have killed the younger brother! Did you want to confirm the corpse?」
Of course that was a lie. I just want him to hear the story where an unknown person killed Viscount Mezale’s younger brother during the citizens’ revolt.
「To harm a noble, what a vulgar lowlife of a citizen!」
This is good, the older brother is definitely as he appears and has a quick temper.
「Your younger brother had a magnificent body like that of a pig and a brave heart like a chicken. It is truly regrettable that he passed away.」
「How dare you, how dare you! You mock the dead, someone shut him up!」
The elder Mezale brother turns red and bellows and his subordinates get their spears ready, also drawing their bow strings at his order.
「Lord Mezale, calm down! This is the enemy’s trap.」
The surrounding nobles are desperately trying to soothe him but having gotten this mad already, they couldn’t do so.
「I will tell you how your younger brother met his end. I thrust a metal skewer into his asshole, and turned him into a living shishkabob. He was like a pig so it looked delicious, but his agonizing cries were just like a sheep’s.」
「Uooooo! Shoot him! That savage man! That brute of a man – that rebel! Kill himmmm!!」
The soldiers could not disobey the orders made from their master in anger. Arrows were fired one after the other, flying straight at me. Almost as if the flow of time has slowed down, I could see each individual arrow. I spread my arms out to receive the arrows and close my eyes. The first one, then another – I could feel the sensation of each arrow piercing my body.
But they were unable to shoot accurately to pierce a single human with several dozen arrows and a few arrows missed their target, falling on the ground in front of me………….
Several arrows flew over my head, flying all the way to the other side of the hill.
Even after my body got pierced with over 10 arrows, I felt no pain, I only felt a sense of satisfaction. I twist my head to face Lord Hardlett and smile.
Wasn’t it an interesting turn of events? How is this?
My vision gets hazy and I could no longer tell what kind of face he was making, but I did all that I could. I have no regrets. Will I meet my wife and child in the underworld? As my field of vision gradually darkens, I stretch my hand out to try and find my lost family, as my consciousness completely falls into the dark.
The situation is as expected: the Treian army is beginning their massacre and only a small number of citizens were able to crawl into my territory using that gap. However one man stopped moving and sought for help from me. Of course, I have no obligation to listen to him. But the man wasn’t cursing at me, and after a slight smile he provoked the Treian army, and his whole body was showered in arrows, passing away shortly after.
If you wanted to talk about results, this is all he did.
The last thing he left in this world are the few arrows that flew all the way over to our territory, nothing more. The arrows that missed their target and flew all the way here were stuck into the ground harmlessly.
But one of the arrows had flew into the leg of one of the soldiers in our ranks. The unfortunate infantry held his leg and fell over, but the wound wasn’t deep and after stopping the light bleeding, it would be fine. However that still meant that the Treian army has fired arrows over the border line and hurt one of my army’s soldiers.
「Leopolt, can this become the reason for us to attack them?」
「Obviously. Something like releasing arrows which violate the border laws is the same as declaring war. If it was an accident, however, there is still room to negotiate.」
The man on the top of the hill who became like a porcupine was probably aiming for this. His deliberate acting was comical but his courage was the real deal. It would have been easy for him to choose life. Just a few more steps on the hill towards our side and nobody would have been able to harm him anymore.
Even now, the face of the man on top of the hill shows his satisfaction of accomplishing what he set out to do and it doesn’t show neither fear nor shame. What a rather foolish but interesting man. At the very least he was more so than the Treian army who were killing the citizens in front of me.
「Leopolt, Celia, order the entire army to attack.」
「It will probably become an all-out war. Are you alright with that?」
「We can win, can’t we?」
I haven’t thought about it, but it looks like he has something in mind.
「I don’t think it will become such a bad future.」
He doesn’t betray my expectations. Then why don’t we start this war?
As I got off the tower, Celia immediately gave them the order and the entire squad formed ranks. All that is left is a single order from me.
「Tell it to the entire army! Just now, there was an attack on our army by the Treian army on the other side of the hill. This is a clear hostile act. Thus, we will now eliminate this threat and invade into Treia!」
There is no commotion. Everyone saw that the arrow flew over here and everyone was trained to the extent that they would not get scared of fighting.
「But before we march forward, let’s get our revenge first. Archer squad, bow cavalry, release a volley to the other side of the hill. We’ll return the favor 100 times over!」
Following the rain of steel of over 1000 arrows, the entire army goes over the hill and flows into Treia like an avalanche. Goldonia and Treia were not hostile to each other. This war was started by me and I will be the one to fight it.
Aegir Hardlett: 20 years old – Wartime Mode
Eastern Independent Army: 2000
Cavalry: 500, Archers: 300, Infantry: 1200
Normal Private Army: 300
Cavalry: 200, Infantry: 100
Bow Cavalry: 1000
Subordinates: Leopolt (Independent Army Vice-Commander), Celia (Adjutant), Irijina (normal Private Army Commander), Pipi (communication duties)
Current location: Treia kingdom, Eastern area border zone
- Nat: 尻の穴の小さいやつらだ. I’ll leave this up to your interpretation. I believe that Aegir is saying he can’t take insults well.