Chapter 94 – The Beginning Of The War
After setting up camp, two days passed in which I mainly talked to other adventurers. Maa, nobody bothered with explaining rules and regulations of war though. We were assigned to the left wing of the army, A rank adventurers will serve as commanders, and will lead units of around 100 people.
On the third day, scouts reported that there was movement on the camps on the other side of the border, our camp instantly became tense. Not many of the people here should know war. Even the knights haven’t been in one in a long time.
I don’t know how things will go, but we need to keep our calm, we may have a numerical advantage, but we’ll lose if we move recklessly. The battle will probably start tomorrow morning, so we shouldn’t waste any time and prepare. But first, I should finish eating.
On the fourth day, our troops hastily moved to the battlefield, before dawn. A messenger arrived last night, carrying the orders to move out. I left a big luggage in the tent with water and preserved meal, and brought only my sword to the meeting place.
More than half of the adventurers have already gathered in the meeting place, most were tense and anxious. Even I am feeling a bit uneasy myself. It’s the first time I’ll kill a person anyway, I think anyone that didn’t get anxious is plain mad. There are still plenty of people running around under the dimly lit sky.
As soon as the sun started rising, the commander raised his voice. “Start moving towards the border! Don’t delay the other troops!” Each unit commander was relaying a similar message… Everyone already started moving, let’s follow them.
When I got to the border I could see where the battlefield would be, there were lots of people on Soutinsu’s side. They seem to be going all out from the very beginning. Of course, Sobyuuru has gathered all of its strength as well.
According to our information, Soutinsu’s army has 60,000 troops, while Sobyuuru army has less than 70,000. The difference is less than 10,000, and when thinking of big armies, 10,000 isn’t that much of a difference, the skill and morale of the soldiers matter a lot more, as well as the number of magicians.
Soutinsu has been focusing on magic since long ago, and they also have a good number of mercenaries. Sobyuuru had no major war in several decades, so it is worse in warfare if compared to Soutinsu, which constantly tried to expand its territory through wars. Because the Sobyuuru knows that, they probably recruited the adventurers, since they have plenty of combat experience.
I’m not sure which side will win this. However, Sobyuuru has many friendly countries, so we’ll have the advantage over the isolated Soutinsu if the conflict takes long. Even if Sobyuuru loses this battle, plenty of knights and allies will arrive if given enough time. Reason why Soutinsu is trying their best to win this in one decisive blow.
The two armies were glaring at each other. The tension kept rising as the feeling that a battle could start at any moment spread. As the sun finished rising, messengers quickly moved through the army. Eventually, the movements ceased, and a countdown to the war’s start could be felt. The signal to start a battle is made with magic. A thing like a signal flare is launched and all commanders move with it.
A sound like the burst of a balloon was heard, and red lights shone in the sky. “Allied forces, advance!”
With the voice of the commander, soldiers and adventurers started running and shouting.
And so, the battle began. I ran to not get left behind. In the middle, the cavalry was already colliding. Finally the war had started.
A battle of this size is unprecedented on the kingdom’s history. The biggest one had around 30,000 troops on the kingdom’s side, and 50,000 if you combined both sides’ forces. The number of deaths was over 20,000. This one has more than double that much, so it will likely be marked in history.
Sounds of weapons and armors colliding are spread throughout the battlefield. One can also constantly hear screams, of both anger, sorrow and death. Even now, just looking at the enemy’s soldier, one can see a constant spill of blood.
I watched the scene as if I was not involved, but a sound suddenly resounded near me. “Oi, Jou-chan1! If you aren’t in the right mind for fighting, retreat! You’ll only get in the way otherwise!”
A soldier wearing the armor of Soutinsu and an adventurer I saw several times on the guild, clashed swords. It seems like the adventurer protected me from an enemy’s attack… Of course, this is a battlefield. I need to focus, I’ll die if I get distracted. “I’m sorry for the trouble, but I’m alright!”
I swung my sword out of the sheath, cutting the enemy in half. A katana isn’t suitable for cutting armors, but being a sacred treasure actually made the job easy, I’m surprised. Thinking on it though, it could even cut a dragon’s scales, so a normal armor should be easy work. “Huh? Guess I don’t need to escort you out, but don’t overdo it, alright?”
The adventurer that protected me said it with a wide grin on their face. “Of course, survival is my top priority. Please take care of yourself as well.” I told them in a light mood. That was the first time I cut a person down, even if I include my previous life. It’s not that different from cutting an orc of goblin though, I think my morals already adapted to this world’s… Maybe I’ll feel guilty about it later.
Anyway, for now, I should try surviving on this hectic battlefield. And to do that, the best method is to defeat as many enemies as possible. The sooner they run out of troops, the sooner this ends.
I closed in to the enemies while laying low, and slashed them with a swift strike. I avoided using Qi because it wears me out too quickly, so it’s not suited for prolonged battles. Of course, I used it when necessary. The battle just begun though, so I fixed my posture and ran to the next enemy.
How many have I knocked out…? The battle is too large, we quickly lost the chain of command things changed to a brawl. I was counting on the beginning, but I quickly gave up on that and am now swinging my weapon mindlessly.
I wonder how much time already passed. 2 hours? Maybe 3 considering my fatigue. Find an enemy soldier, slash, kill, repeat. I kept on repeating this pattern. I was bathed in other people’s blood, and also bleeding here and there. I don’t mind the smell of blood though, my nose has already gotten used to it.
On my hands there is definitely a sacred treasure, even after this many clashes, the blade still has no blemishes and the sharpness is as good as ever. Without this, I would have already retreated. I noticed that the area around me was full of dead enemies, but allies were still fighting a bit far from here. I ran away towards it, as there was no enemy near me.
At dusk, we received the withdrawal order, the enemy seemed to be retreating as well. Today’s battle had ended. To fight all day long is truly taxing, both physically and mentally.
Returning to the camp, I was exhausted, so I just sat down to rest. Some people are groaning in pain, others are moaning the loss of their friends. And others, like me, are just resting. After a while, I moved to my tent with a towel and a change of clothes, I don’t have a hobby of being bathed in blood after all.
Everyone else is giving priority to rest. But I used this time to bathe and remove the blood from my skin and hair, and then washing out the dirt out of my clothes and armor. When I got back from the tent, I heard some people talking about today’s battle, as well as sharing some information.
“It seems like Soutinsu is holding back on using their mages, apparently, almost none of them appeared on today’s battle. I heard it directly from the knights, so it must be true!”
“You sure it’s true? What reason would there be to hold back in the first place? Today was an all-out battle, as far as I heard, the biggest amount of deaths in a single battle was around 20,000? And in today only, 5000 already died, not to count the injured ones. To hold back in this kind of situation, isn’t it the same as saying you wish to lose?”
“Oi oi, I’m just saying what I heard, I don’t know what that means, if I did, I’d quit being an adventurer and become a strategist.”
I see… In other words, Soutinsu is only using around 40,000 troops, while our kingdom has more than 60,000. If things continue like this, the battle might end tomorrow, or in 3 days in the worst case scenario, they won’t be able to overcome the numerical advantage after that.
It is weird that Soutinsu sent no mage though, there is definitely something iffy about it… I have a bad feeling about this… I should be careful tomorrow…