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Translator: Smaturin Editor: Nefarian
Soldiers are generally split into five different categories.
First, the most common type is the infantry. They carry s.h.i.+elds and fight with spears or swords. They halt enemy attacks and are the cornerstones of defense; preventing the enemy from advancing. There are two types: the light infantry with their thinner armor that is suited for mobility, and the heavy infantry with their impregnable, heavy armor. Figuria has a larger number of light infantry and Grandiera has a larger number of heavy infantry.
The next most common are archers. If the infantry are cornerstones of the defense, then archers are the cornerstones of offense. They are capable of killing enemies at a long range with longbows and crossbows. Longbows are useful for rapid firing, but require skills that can be difficult to attain, while crossbows are easier to learn to use, they take longer to load. Crossbows are also difficult to make and can break easily, making them difficult to acquire in large numbers.
The next most common is the cavalry. The star players of the battlefield. It is said that the result of any war depends on how the cavalry are utilized. They boast incredible mobility and force, that can scatter the infantry in no time, and also slaughter archers and sorcerers.
Next are sorcerers. In truth, sorcerers are not considered as being very important on the battlefield. The reason for this is that magic attacks are inferior to bows. The range does not reach far enough and they cannot be fired in rapidity. And if they ever get close to the cavalry, they will be killed before they have a chance to try anything.
The reason that this type of soldier still exists in spite of this, is that magic is the only defense for siege cla.s.s magic. In other words, they exist to repel the magic of the enemies' sorcerers.
Lastly…there is a category of soldiers that do not partic.i.p.ate in the fighting directly. Transport soldiers carry food and equipment, medics heal the wounded, engineers construct large weapons etc.
The infantry protects archers and sorcerers while the cavalry contains and confuses the enemy. Once the enemy is in disarray, the infantry will push forward and the archers will annihilate the rest. That is the general flow of war.
Five days since the declaration of war.
Aur and the army of Grandiera were facing off at the Blancheau Planes.
As the defending side, Aur's army had a horizontal line of infantry with the ends of the line pointing forward towards the enemy, what you would call the 『Crane Wings Formation』. Archers and sorcerers would support from the rear. It was a defensive formation that was well suited to surrounding and ma.s.sacring enemy troops that were charging forward to attack.
The opposing Grandiera army took the 『Fish Scale Formation』, wherein units of several hundred would line up in the shape of triangles. Unlike the Crane Wing, they would concentrate their force at a single point and break into the enemy with a single blow.
Grandiera had a large, experienced cavalry, and they were apparently attempting a quick victory by breaking the center of the Crane Wing and defeating the leader.
Once the head has been removed or thirty percent of the fighting force has been killed, armies will tend to lose their ability to function, and will collapse.
「They are still so few…」
Aur muttered as he used magic to ask enquire about the state of the enemy troops. The enemies cavalry were around 400. Two Fish Scales composed of 200 knights each. While it was still much larger than the cavalry of 100 that Aur had, it was much less than he had antic.i.p.ated. They could have easily brought over 1,000 knights.
「But, they do not seem to be underestimating us either.」
Said Ellen, who was glaring at the enemy troops in person.
「They are just out of range from our archers. Their magic barriers are also fairly thick. Our arrows will not be able to penetrate something like that.」
「So they have a.n.a.lyzed what bringing the fight to Figuria Castle would mean. 」
「That is likely.」
Ellen nodded. The rain of arrows fired from the wyvern riding Ellen was one of Aur's trump cards, but it was not so strong a weapon as to be impossible to deal with once it was known. He would need to decrease the enemy's sorcerers by at least a half for her to be effective.
「Ambus.h.i.+ng them with teleportation will also be impossible. There is an anti-teleportation magic barrier surrounding the entire enemy formation. We may be able to attack from the rear, if they charged forward, but their cavalry will still break through.」
Ogres and orcs are no match for the speed of horses. Even if they could take their rear, the enemy would escape before they could make an attack.
「So, we will have to stop the enemies cavalry with our infantry. …their cavalry is 400 in numbers, our infantry is 1,600. I wonder if we can really hold them with just… four times their number?」
「It's impossible. There is too big a gap in terms of competence.」
Aur replied flatly to Yunis, who wore an uncommon expression of nervousness.
「Don't worry. I have a plan.」
Aur replied as Yunis' eyes widened in surprise.
And then, the war began.
Grandiera's cavalry shot through the planes like arrows. In spite of the horses being covered in armor and carrying knights also covered in armor, their speed was not much different from a bare horse.
Indeed, they resembled huge, iron cannonb.a.l.l.s. They shrugged off the rain arrows and thrust forward into the battlefield. They never broke formation or attacked their flanks. They intended to rely on speed and weight in order to break into the other side's formation.
Figuria's soldiers raised their s.h.i.+elds to engage them, they brandished their spears while their teeth chattered in fear. Could such thin spears really stop the oncoming rush of solid steel? Can such thin s.h.i.+elds protect them? Each of them imagined the sight of them being kicked, trodden over and crushed into pieces by the cavalry mounts.
「Do not be afraid!」
At that moment, the Demon Lord's resounding voice echoed from their backs.
「Who do you think is protecting your backs? The Demon Lord who is master of one thousand sorceries and ten thousand beasts. Whether they are covered in armor or carry a spear, they are all just children of men. Would you fear them more than a demon from h.e.l.l?」
While his voice was not loud, it mysteriously carried to every corner of the formation.
「Now, my vanguard. Raise your chins and gird your loins! And tear those fools to shreds!」
The soldiers all raised their voices in unison. Their hearts, once frozen with fright, rose and filled with bloodl.u.s.t and madness. Their eyes shone brightly and they held their spears ready as they glared at the cavalry of Grandiera.
「Why are you under it too?」
Aur smacked the back of Yunis' head.
Yunis dumbfoundedly looked at her surroundings, her eyes blinking.
「I cast a berserker spell on the soldiers. It takes away their fear and raises their will to fight, but it also lowers their defenses.」
That being said, it was still preferable to cowering in fear. And it was also the first step in what would unfold next.
「…good, now is the time. 『Do it, Spina!』」
Aur used magic to send Spina the signal as she waited in the dungeon. A deafening sound echoed, and half of the cavalry on the battlefield was covered in a cloud of dust.
「The time is now! My men, go and surround the enemy!」
Aur's command boomed, and his infantry immediately fell on the enemy cavalry. However, the enemy was formidable and quickly recovered their position after faltering a moment from the dust. They calmed their horses and instantly fell on the oncoming infantry.
However, it was only half of the cavalry that was able to do so.
「What the h.e.l.l happened?」
「There is actually a part of the dungeon's first floor that stretches into this area. I had the kobolds dig a giant pitfall from underground.」
This meant that the rear half of the Fish Scales fell into the dungeon by way of the pitfall. As they wore very heavy armor, most of the knights would have been instantly killed or suffered grave wounds, and even if they could move, they would quickly become feed for the monsters in the dungeon. The cavalry would be of no use in a narrow, ill-footed dungeon.
Even with half of their numbers gone, the knights continued their attempt to break through, pa.s.sed the infantry. However, something was attacking them from the rear.
「And because it's connected to the dungeons, I, of course, had an ambush ready. While they may not be able to run as fast as the horses, it won't matter if our infantry can buy them even a few seconds…」
While the knights were halted by the rush of the infantry who no longer had any fear of death, they were attacked by h.e.l.lhounds from their rear. These black hounds were the size of bulls, they incinerated the iron armor and bit into the necks of the horses, tearing the armor whole. The enemy were not accustomed to facing such beasts and while they hesitated, the infantry, who were under a berserker spell, paid the beasts no mind and fell upon the cavalry without a moment's delay.
「We can devour them.」
The infantry in the front. The beasts in the back. Completely surrounded, the lifeline of the cavalry had been severed..