A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 186 - Tricky

A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan -

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The cavalrymen charged forth, their swords held high, roaring at the top of their lungs. They knew some of them would die - the enemy held muskets. But their miscalculation lay in just how many would fall.

Behind them a ma.s.s of foot soldiers ran too. Even just this part of the army dwarfed the Red Feather.

The cavalry drew closer and closer, but still no shots were fired.

"Hold!" Jikouji ordered continually. It was up to him to give the perfect moment to fire. Their commander had ordered something difficult - that they only use one volley on these cavalrymen. As such, the single volley that they could fire had to be maximally effective, otherwise they still might lose men to their charge.

The horses spluttered across the field, casting clumps of mud up behind them. They foamed at the mouths from the exertion, and breathed heavily. Those mounted on top let out their fierce battle cries without a moment's pause. The purpose was more to boost their own morale than it was to scare the enemy.

It went a long way to unnerve a man when they enemy that he a.s.sumed would be fleeing was instead grouped up, with rifles drawn, entirely ready to face him, as though they had not just been gathered around to eat mere moments before. Such speed was uncanny.

"Hold…" Jikouji was still unwilling to let their volley go. The enemy were almost upon them. An undisciplined troop would have let a shot be fired by now, out of simple fear, but even though this was their first battle, they trusted in their commanders enough not to outright disobey the orders.

Gengyo watched on, mounted on his white horse, with his wife and his men by his side. Each one of them held a rifle.

"FIRE!" Jikouji barked. Like a coiled spring, all that pressure released instantaneously. They plugged their triggers almost gratefully. They could have pulled the hammer back once more, and fired again, as they had been taught in training, but they had the will power enough to hold themselves back.

That single volley of fine bullets collided with the front running cavalry soldiers. The men were formed up in ranks. The first rank fired first, and then the second, and then the third, allowing their volleys to reach all parts of the cavalry dispatchment. The first row met the bullets, and they penetrated deep. They almost expected the b.a.l.l.s to ricochet off their armour, as they were known to do, but not a single one did. They dug deep, and caused a chaotic amount of internal damage, throwing men from their horses.

The second rank's volley came just after, laying waste to the next lot of cavalry men. A domino effect of slaughter. Blood splattered continually, as the shots from 500 trained riflemen punctured holes in the bodies of 300 cavalry men. By the time that first shot had pa.s.sed, there were very few mounted men that had not yet been grazed by a bullet.

Fifty men - at most - remained mounted, though the majority of these men were carrying bullet wounds and rendered weakened. Still, they had managed to stay the saddle, and continued to charge forth.

"a.s.sUME MELEE FORMATION!" Jikouji roared, the men complied, drawing their swords as one.

"HAH!" They stepped down together, gripping the blades ready. They had a handsome selection of techniques they wished to try. Their excitement outran their fear, and they did not give, even as the horses galloped nearer. When the time was right, they ran free from their lines to confront the enemy, selecting to hack at the horse's legs rather than the rider, so that they might cast him from the saddle.

What was left of their cavalry was far too little. It was swallowed up in the jaws of the Red Feather army, and crunched. Several men were wounded by that charge, but not a single one was dead. Not yet at least.

"And now, for the main event." Gengyo proclaimed with a wide smile. Baited by their first volley, the infantry continued to charge in after their slaughtered cavalry. They thought their advantage was now to be had. The enemy had fired their weapons, and had yet to reload. With their superior numbers, they would use this opportunity to overwhelm them.

With their swords still drawn, the men reformed their ranks, and stood ready and waiting to confront the enemy. It was almost a kilometre that they were forced to sprint. Before they even got close to the first of the Red Feather's ranks, they had begun to slow. They were too poorly conditioned, and too poorly commanded. Even if they had made it, they would have struggled.

With a hundred metres between them and the enemy, it was Gengyo had the honour of giving out this set of orders.

"RESUME RANGED FORMATION." Swiftly the men brought their blades upwards, and plunged them into their scabbards, before reaching down, and picking up their rifles as one. They aimed it towards the enemy, and pulled back the hammer, ready. The enemy forces continued to charge, still thinking that it was they that held the advantage. But somewhere inside, they had a rather distinct bad feeling.

Fifty metres to go, and the order was given.

"Fire at will." He said this rather lightly, for he knew time to be very much on their side. It could have been a whisper, and it would not have mattered. The men knew what to do. This was no longer a battle, it was simple sport. A game of target practise.

The first volley served to confuse them, as many a man fell, wondering why it was that they were able to reload their muskets so quickly. The second shot startled them. They had not expected another shot so soon. And by the third, they were convinced that by some trick of the G.o.ds, these weapons could fire an infinite amount of ammunition.

Their already poor morale was at rock bottom, and they began to rout, fleeing from the battlefield. There was not a huge amount of men that remained standing, but as they ran, the Red Feather men were able to take their time to select the perfect target for which to unleash their rounds on. They had two shots left to spare, and they made good use of them.

A single man remained standing, running as quickly as he could for the trees. Several men aimed at him, and missed, because of the excessive distance.

Rokkaku drew his rifle for one final shot, making sure that everything was lined up to perfection, and then, he pulled the trigger. A moment later, the man staggered, before falling to the floor.

"Nice shot." Gengyo said, nodding with approval.

In front of them was a field of corpses. Both man and horse. A thousand men that stood alive and breathing merely ten minutes before, were now all dead, and scattered across the field.

"Has anyone died?" Gengyo asked, unable to see any Red Feather corpses from his vantage point. There were several seriously injured who would need treating immediately, but that was all.

He paused a few moments, and waited for a response, when there was none, he nodded with approval. "Good. You men have fought well today. I advise you take a look at this field, and take a look at the men around you. This was an enemy that stood double our number. I want you to acknowledge that fact, and then I want to you cast your mind to the future. Imagine the other forces that Imagawa will send our way. Now, I ask you, who believes in our victory?"

"HOH!" They raised their weapons as was, and shouted as loudly as they were able. For the first time in the lives of these warriors, battle had become a completely different affair. They stood at the top of the food chain. It was possible to fight this war and live.

He nodded a few times to himself, smiling widely. "Go and get yourselves some rest - you've earned it." The result of the battle had been even better than he had expected. He knew they would be able to overwhelm such a small force with ease, but this degree was almost laughable. 

The decision to use only a single volley on the cavalry did not come back to bite them either, as it had been a rather risky one. It allowed them to deal with the entire force at once, so that they would not be hara.s.sed by it as they continued their journey towards the capital.

"Thoughts, Jikouji?" He asked of his advisor. He could not see many flaws within their execution today, considering they had been so lax in the field of strategy.

"Excellent. Truly. We're going to cause quite a stir lad, I guarantee it." He said excitedly. "If Nakatane was here to see this, he'd b.l.o.o.d.y love it."

"That he would. He was an enterprising man. I know he would accept this technology with open arms."

"Aye, and that's not even the finished product yet is it, Miura? There's much more to come?" Togas.h.i.+ asked.

"That's right, my friend. I will continue to train the men, and we will expand our forces as and when we are able. The future is a very bright thing indeed."

He was not fool enough to think they could continue on this sort of easy rampage forever, and conqueror all of j.a.pan in this manner. Sooner or later, the technology of this revolving rifle would be leaked, and it would be ma.s.s produced to be used against them. But he would deal with that as and when it came. He would at least be able to overthrow Imagawa before that came about, he knew.

"Shall we finish that meal then?" He asked, to no one in particular.

"Aye, I'm f.u.c.king starving son. I didn't realize pulling a trigger could be such hard work." Morohira joked, dismounting from his horse.

"Try shooting with your toes next time, to increase the difficulty." Rokkaku suggested.

"True. You needn't bother though, it's difficult enough already for you, having to shoot past that huge nose of yours." Morohira retorted.

"I did want to test out my new skills…" Rin complained, having been blessed with such an easy victory.

"I did too…" Akiko said meekly, sneaking a glance at her husband to see if such a thing bothered him.

But Gengyo shrugged. "There will be battles in the future, and none will be as easy as this, you can be a.s.sured. Their leader was incompetent. We will be able to keep our rifles a secret for now, but a more tactically minded man can make things difficult for us."

"You speak as if you have someone in mind." Jikouji pointed out.

"Aye… Matsudaira."

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