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Chapter 19 – Pincer Attack
A war between counts could last for several months. Or rather, that was the usual duration. If the defending side had a strong fortress, it would take a tremendous amount of time just to break it down. Even if the attacking side chose to just surround the fortress, they could be stuck there for a long time. The death count could easily hit the thousands in wars between counts, so things wouldn’t end so easily.
But by the next month, my fiancée Linde-san would arrive at Fentz county, and if I couldn’t end the war quickly, there was no doubt Wagner would strike me from behind. Even though I was allied with Duke Schult, it would take at least a month for reinforcements from Duke Schult to reach Fentz county. If Duke Schult happened to be in the midst of another war, he wouldn’t even send reinforcements.
That was why I stationed half of my former slaves possessing highly ranked regeneration traits, and conscripts which numbered 250 people in total, to the fort in the western region of Fentz county, which was close to Klaus duchy. I stationed many cannons that played an active role against David’s army in the last war, so even the few people there should be able to defend. At the very least, they could buy some time until the main army returned.
I used the remaining 1,200 men + 300 mercenaries to invade. This mercenary group had a tendency to disappear from the battlefield when their leader was killed in action, making their evaluation very low so I could hire them cheaply. Even these low-reputation mercenaries could serve well to fill up numbers and it wasn’t like they were low-skilled either. Just in case, I had the younger twin sister of the current chief of the mercenary group be held hostage at the headquarters, so it should be fine.
“There’s no way onii-sama would run away! Rather, I’m also a warrior! Let me go to the frontlines!”
“Shut up, hostage. If you want to recover your reputation and participate in battles, just shut up and follow me.”
Cornelia Schmieder, the little sister of the current chief of the mercenary group, was someone from a branch, of a branch, of the branch family, of a certain countdom in the north. Since said branch family had no possessions, these two entered the mercenary group as soon as they became adults. Since they were twins, they were somewhat abhorred by others. Twins were usually killed in this world after all. Twins of different sexes were somewhat alright, but it was said that twins might be the reincarnation of couples who eloped in their previous life, so people still wouldn’t look at them kindly.
The one who served as the new chief of the mercenary group was Cornelia’s elder brother, Hans Schmieder, who possessed the characteristics sturdiness, potential, and swordsmanship level IV despite being only 16 years old, so he was quite strong. I tasked this mercenary group to protect my new toy, the battering ram. This siege weapon was large and took time to move, but its power was guaranteed. A thick log was hung there, and if it could hit several times, it could easily destroy castle walls.
My biggest worry was the possibility of the battering ram being destroyed before it lived up to its use, but well, they were a mercenary group that Alfred hired in the past, so it should be fine. Also, I had slave soldiers attacking from the other side as well serving as a diversion. I gave them gunpowder and tasked them to attract as many enemy soldiers as possible. The captain of this unit was the new marshal, Gramilian. If he played a very active part in this war, I would grant him a family name.
The war reached its climax in just three days. Since the other side chose to hole themselves up in their fort from the beginning, no field battles happened along the way. After that, 300 newly purchased slave soldiers and 300 mercenaries would attack from the west, while the other slave soldiers would go to the other side and attack from the east.
As for the conscripts, they were deployed in a net-like fashion as a countermeasure in case Artaud successfully escaped. To be honest, even if the conscripts participated in the clash, most of them would die on their own, which would lower the county’s productivity, so I’d like to avoid using them as much as possible. But they were useful in surrounding areas like this, so if war was the only thing considered, there was no harm in bringing them.
…Even so, the noise, or rather, the loud clang of the battering ram was amazing. It was so loud that I could even hear it from the other side. The force produced was the mass times its acceleration, and since the rampart was gradually thinned, producing such a loud sound was natural, but I think it has become a terrifying sound for the people of Triore County living on the other side of the rampart.
Meanwhile, Gramilian managed to destroy the walls with gunpowder. The gunpowder was set near the castle wall and lit using a flamed arrow from a distance. A hole was created in one shot then the hole was filled with more gunpowder and set to explode once again. By the second explosion, the hole became big enough for people to pass through with no problems.
…Hey, doesn’t this mean the battering ram was unnecessary? The amount of gunpowder used was quite great, or rather, all the gunpowder I gave to Gramilian was used up so that meant tons of money just vaporized, but it allowed people to break through the castle walls relatively safely. The rampart on the other side was also broken by the battering ram, allowing the slave soldiers and mercenaries to enter and trample the enemy inside. We searched for Artaud-kun and safely captured him, so he was immediately executed. That was how it went.
With this, in addition to Fentz county, I would also rule over Triore county. There were now holes on the western and eastern sides of the walls of the county’s main city, and it would take some time to repair them, but I was still a count owning multiple counties.
Also, I was informed that Wagner heard about my declaration of war and had quickly made preparations to have his army attack me, but since my war ended so quickly, he wasn’t actually able to make his move. Perhaps to vent that irritation, he instead used that army to plunder the Aubrey Kingdom again and managed to capture the eldest son and daughter of the current king. Was he invincible or something?
Wagner also started building a fortress in an area adjacent to Fentz county, but that totally seemed to serve as a countermeasure against me. Even when he left to plunder, he left a certain amount of his standing army at the border while bringing 2,000 conscripts as the main pillaging force… While both were conscripts, the Klaus duchy’s conscripts were stronger than Fentz county’s.
Even so, seeing 2,000 conscripts manage to ransack an enemy capital, it seemed the Aubrey Kingdom was hopeless. There seemed to be a lot of peasant uprisings occurring there, so it appeared that they would be run over in the near future.
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