Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 29 – Difference
“We got invaded again?! Do the southern vassals really fight this often?!”
“Well, a war of this scale and frequency is rare even by their standards. Anyway, I plan to retaliate and retake the land after this, so this isn’t even the end.”
“…Is it really okay?”
“I think they attacked because they thought they could have an easy win… but Joachim’s army is a few levels inferior to Wagner’s. If we had a hard time now, what can be said of the future?”
When Linde learned that Count Joachim sent an army to invade us, she was surprised at how much turmoil there was in the south. Between the northern and southern regions of the Carling Empire, there were some differences in each culture. In fact, the alphabetic systems of the two regions way back during the empire’s founding were completely different. The north was the more dominant culture now and served as the unifying one, but locals still had their own customs, so it was rather interesting.
There were more aristocrats with long, established histories in the north, so there was less conflict and war over there. Also, many aristocrats were prohibited from declaring war on fellow vassals, like the Schult family. Above all, the territories under the direct control of the emperor and the princes were scattered there, so the smaller aristocrats probably had a harder time declaring war.
The southern region, on the other hand, was peaceful most of the time but turned into a warring state with every change in generation. Once the siblings settled down, so would the political situation but… it seemed like this time there were many ambitious people.
Compared to Wagner’s army, which was superior in quality and quantity to Joachim’s, I couldn’t imagine myself losing against Joachim. Of his army of 2,200 men, 1,600 were conscripts. In his standing army, 300 were heavy infantry, and the other 300 were cavalry. It was around the standard number expected from someone who held three counties, but wasn’t it just a paper tiger?
My army had 650 slave soldiers and a standing army of 550 men, which included former mercenaries. Compared to his army, I had a combined total of 1,200 professional soldiers, and only 600 conscripts. Even if it was only 1,800 men… fighting an army whose number was bloated using conscripts didn’t feel scary.
In the first place, it was common sense for people who were trained to kill as superior in combat, especially when compared to those who were just plowing the fields the other day. It’s why I avoided relying on conscripts and employed only those who volunteered among them. Too many deaths among the conscripts also meant fewer workers, so the economy would be negatively impacted too.
The 23 veteran slaves and the 69 new slaves who were killed in action in the war against Wagner were buried with dignity. I hurriedly bought 100 new slaves to replace them, and their morale during the preparation period was high. Up until the war, about 50 slaves were freed and rehired as light infantry soldiers in the regular army, so their expectation of being freed was probably high. In reality, even if they were released from slavery, they were still my pawns.
“I’m going to the battlefield as well, right?”
“Eh, you don’t need to. We will annihilate the enemy on the first day, so there won’t be a night battle.”
“Do I have to only fight in the night battles?”
“There’s nothing high-risk, so you don’t have to do anything more than you should.”
“What the heck? What’s the purpose of the concubine-knight if she is only given dangerous missions?”
I refused to let Cornelia participate in battle since she might get hit by a stray arrow and die during the chaos. She would only participate when I did. There was a difference between having a tactic that could be used in an emergency and not having one at all.
As Joachim’s army approached the Fentz fortress, with a single-minded focus on taking over it, they suffered quite a few injuries from pitfalls and impromptu hunting traps along the way, with about 10% injured. The incompetent opponent I longed for had finally appeared, yet I wouldn’t feel happy even if I won. Joachim wouldn’t die, so it didn’t mean anything.
With the wounded at the rear, Joachim’s reduced army of about 2,000 men faced my army of 1,800 men. Both sides were more or less equal. Since the battle occurred in my territory, we had the home-ground advantage. Moreover, our army was superior in quality.
I finally got to experience a war that I could win normally. The opposing army was terrible in various ways — their formation and chain of command completely broke down the moment they saw my army. And since they were within range of our stone throwers, large stones rained on the enemy. It meant that we suffered some casualties as well, but they were just slave soldiers, so it was fine.
Ah, a stone hit the new slave and he fainted. Couldn’t be helped. Even if you improve overall accuracy, a stone thrower was a stone thrower, so it’s impossible that every stone would hit its intended target. It was fine, 90% of them hit the enemies anyway, so the damage to my army was within the permissible range. For the time being, all I could do was pray that the soldier who just got hit would not die because of that one stone.
…But even if I prayed in this world, I felt like it would go to that shitty goddess somehow. Aah, a person who looked like the enemy commander got crushed by a stone. It was pathetic of them to fall on the horse just because they got hit by a large stone. Look at my veteran slaves, who continued to fight even when the back of their heads were gouged out, or the commanders who continued their duty even though they were currently speared.
Joachim’s army was already in a bad spot, but they hadn’t retreated yet because Joachim was probably really slow to decide. It wasn’t that he was cautious, but he was simply that slow.
The battlefield, which had practically turned into a one-sided slaughterhouse, concluded when the enemy’s diminished forces retreated. Joachim survived, unfortunately, but we managed to kill over a thousand men of the 2,200, with 200 taken prisoner. Let’s turn these prisoners into slaves and use them to fight against Countess Jeremias.1
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