Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 26 – The Underground Passageway
Wagner’s army was advancing much faster than I expected. Even though he saw through my traps, there was another reason why he arrived so early — it was because he prioritized the marching speed over the physical strength of his army. If he could arrive before my army could respond, the fortress of Fentz county would fall without a fight.
If I were an ordinary count with a small standing army, I would have been felled easily since the conscripts wouldn’t arrive in time. But in reality, I have my slave soldiers and my standing army, so I could last until they arrived. As the sun went down, Wagner’s army built an encampment and settled there for the night. As far as I could see from the top of the fortress, almost everyone was inside the tents. It was completely different from us, as expected of a saint lord.1
In this world, many encampments didn’t even set up tents. Well, even in the warring states era of Japan, people were just laying rags on the ground and sleeping in the open, so it couldn’t be helped… I guess it is as expected of Wagner’s army; they have a solid foundation.
Well then, I had prepared a unit that would attack in the middle of the night and a unit that would attack in the early morning, adopting tactics that denied the enemy of their sleep. Actually carrying out a night-time attack in this world was very hard. Or rather, night-time attacks done back on Earth also mostly failed because the risk of killing comrades in the midst of confusion was high, making it easy for subordinates to hate the commander who made such a call.
Rather, the so-called night attacks during the warring states era were basically carried out in the early morning, so it was more correct to call it a morning attack. As for night-time attacks in the real sense… for people who don’t understand how difficult it is to carry out, just turn off the lights in your room in the middle of the night and close the curtains. It will turn your room pitch black and you will have a hard time recognizing what is where. Trying to fight a battle in that state was insane.
If the unit was made to carry a torch or something similar, they were just a moving signal because of how conspicuous it was in the darkness of the night. That was why I chose to have Cornelia lead and have the army follow her from behind. Night vision was amazing; she was moving normally despite the total darkness.
After getting close to the enemy to some extent, we set a flamethrower to shoot upwards and left it as it was while we returned home… The flamethrower was the first thing that came to my mind when developing a weapon that didn’t use gunpowder like a cannon. It had a cylindrical shape with flames that could be unleashed from its tip.
We pushed its switch, hooked it with a string, then left. A spring was installed on the flamethrower to allow it to ignite once the switch returned to its original position, making it like a timed weapon. I tested it so that if I set the string to be cut, a pillar of fire would rise properly after an hour. It could also serve as a signal.
After leaving several flamethrower signals around, I returned to the fortress and noticed that the catapult was ready. Linde helped with this one. The power catapults were amazing, but setting up the stone and weight took a lot of time and effort, so I was thankful to see it ready in such a short period of time.
“…What’s with your ‘I will avoid putting two of you in danger’ earlier? Do you know how nervous I was?!”
“We used the underground passageway, so there was barely any danger, no?”
Cornelia was complaining after the operation was executed, but since we moved while using the underground passageway, the possibility of danger was relatively small. I had my slaves dig these underground passages, so Wagner didn’t know how far it went. He probably knew about its existence, but he didn’t seem to know where the entrances and exits were.
We moved to some extent using the underground passages, but since it was within the security line, it could be said that there was no danger. And after the last flamethrower was placed, 3 pillars of fire would rise in an hour. Then a few minutes later, the remaining two would raise their pillars of fire. Ooh, that was bright. I could see things well.
“We can see the damage that the enemy has suffered with this, and they should be gathering there to extinguish the pillar of fire. We can just aim the catapult there and shave off their numbers.”
“Um, wouldn’t it start a fire? It’s a pretty big flame after all…”
“They should have water magic users, and Wagner himself is one, so there shouldn’t be a disaster. In the first place, the woods aren’t that dry during this season, so I doubt that it would cause a big fire to begin with.”
Linde seemed to be worried about the forest setting on fire, but it should be okay during this season? Besides, the enemy would be desperately extinguishing the fire, so a big fire shouldn’t occur. I also wanted to avoid having the territory’s precious assets—the woods—to be incinerated, so I already made considerations before executing the plan.
But in the unlikely chance a big fire occurred, that meant Wagner’s army could be burned to death as a whole, so that might be convenient. Also, it was only meant to prevent them from sleeping, so it doesn’t matter if the damage wasn’t that big.
The downside of this plan was that once they secured the flamethrower, they would begin to produce it for their own use. Also, Wagner would most likely become more aware of the existence of the underground passages nearby. However, because the catapults were playing such an active part, I could hear their screams everywhere, so it was quite an efficient plan.
Catapults weren’t as fragile as cannons and their ammunition barely cost anything. A part of the woods began to catch fire, so they were having a hard time extinguishing it. I guess they would not be sleeping much tonight, just as I planned.
“…Why didn’t you use these three catapults in the afternoon?”
“Aah, these catapults are designed for super long distances, so it’s hard for them to hit close targets. Rather than aiming it at the soldiers that are rushing at us, aiming it at soldiers that are resting from afar is easier. Also, even though the ammunition could be considered limitless, gathering the stones and setting them up takes a lot of time and effort after all.”
The catapults I used this time were better known as trebuchets back on Earth. It was a variant of catapults that were actively used until cannons made them obsolete, and it was used to throw stones far away using the force generated by the platform as a huge weight was lowered.
…Simply put, it might be more reliable than cannons at this stage of war. I wanted to make it mobile so that it could be used to attack instead of just defend. Ah, no good, a gate just broke down.
Want early access to Cannon Fodder, Melancholy of the Demon Army Officer, and I Was a Man Before Reincarnating, So I Refuse a Reverse Harem? Support the translator on Patreon!