Chapter 14:

CHAPTER 10: CRECY REDUX

The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 2


The second part of the Tri-Skill Tournament, the ‘Command’ phase, had finally come.Bookmark here

“For this stage…” Sophia explained to me, “We’ll be hiring mercenary companies to be commanded by you.”Bookmark here

“Luckily, since this tournament was popular, it always attracts mercenaries from all over Chersea.” William added, “We can find them around the battlefield; they’ll be advertising their forces to the highest renter.”Bookmark here

Oh, so it’s like the medieval style of warfare,” I remarked.Bookmark here

Hmm? Medie…what?”Bookmark here

“Nothing. Carry on.”Bookmark here

“I’ve ordered my butler to go around and get the best mercenary companies on our side.” Sophia pointed it out, “To be sure that we’ll win, we need to have a complete mixture of soldiers with different weapon specialties.”Bookmark here

“I see. What have you got in mind?”Bookmark here

“A company of crossbowmen, at least two companies of spearmen, and a company of cavalry will do.”Bookmark here

“The crossbowmen are for harassing and screening the main force, which will be composed of spearmen infantry and the cavalry.” It was William who kept on dropping some backup explanations related to military, “The infantry, like always, will bear the brunt of the enemy offensive, and the cavalry will chase down the escaping soldiers.”Bookmark here

Hmm…sounds like an excellent tactic.”Bookmark here

“It is the standard in our books, silly.” Sophia countered, “Every sane military commander knew of how these troops should work.”Bookmark here

“Well, I’m a commoner, so I’m exempt.”Bookmark here

“Indeed, you are. But you’re not a ‘common’ commoner.” William countered me.Bookmark here

Hmm? What do you mean by that?”Bookmark here

Oh, haven’t you heard?” William looked at me like I’m some stupid person, “You’ve been the talk of the town ever since you defeated the Paladin Prince Maxwell von Kluck in your duel using a ‘demon weapon’.Bookmark here

“What?” I was surprised by that information.Bookmark here

“Indeed, you are! The commoners were thrilled to learn that someone like you is representing them in this tournament.”Bookmark here

“But I didn’t; I’m just here because a certain pair of kids asked me to fight for their sister.”Bookmark here

Ahem…as I’ve said earlier, you’re slowly getting famous…or infamous, whichever side you want to see.” Sophia kept on her words, “The nobility suddenly feared the influx of ‘demon weapons’ being traded in human territories after they saw you effectively use it on a battle against a fully armored knight.”Bookmark here

Well, I guess that’s to be expected. Back in the old Earth, the current Pope (before I was summoned here) condemned the makers of firearms because it was an ‘un-Christian’.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry Mister Kuro.” Sophia smiled gently at me, “We’ll protect you from these mad aristocrats until you safely return to the Holy Palatial Gardens.”Bookmark here

Honestly, I didn’t know what to say to her, other than the usual, “Thanks!” I’m being creeped out by the kindness of these Rubinforths lately. I noticed drastic changes in how these kids are treating me. Like how when I woke up, and I saw Sophia carrying an ornate silver tray of sumptuous food for my breakfast. She said it’s her usual hospitality, but I highly doubt it.Bookmark here

Before, they would have a maid serve me food on a plain wooden tray with—I don’t know if those are scraps, or if someone took pity on me and set aside some leftovers.Bookmark here

Now, I guess that was a full course meal, something that’s reserved for the nobility. And to think that Sophia herself would bring it to me was something unprecedented as well. William also had a noticeable change in character. Before, whenever I try to talk to him, he’d always give me this uninterested look. But now, every time I tell them something, he’s listening intently to my words and obeys my orders or requests.Bookmark here

I didn’t know about the Duke and Her Holiness though…I hadn’t seen them since I woke up…Bookmark here

Oh, it’s Mister Kuro!”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

Oh, great! Speaking of the devil himself.Bookmark here

“Papa!” Sophia greeted him, “You going now to the tourney field?”Bookmark here

“Yes, I have to make sure everything’s okay in there.” the Duke replied to his daughter with a pleasant smile; something that I haven’t seen since knowing him. And man, that’s kind of creepy too. What the hell just happened?Bookmark here

“Mister Kuro, are you ready for the next challenge?” there’s a hint of intimidation on his tone when he asked me that. But you know, for some weird reason, I also felt that he said that on a pleasant note—as if he’s waiting for something worthwhile from me. A far cry from his usual scowl and frown several times earlier.Bookmark here

Err…yes, Your Excellency,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Good. See you at the tourney fields then.” the Duke then went off on his way.Bookmark here

Uh…is this what the Beastman Saint told me before that there’s a change happening? If so, I’m creeped out.Bookmark here

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Sophia’s butler arrived shortly after the Duke went off to inspect the tourney fields for the upcoming second part of the Tri-Skill tournament. We were surprised when he came back, for he looked so dejected we didn’t recognize him at first.Bookmark here

“Forgive me, Your Excellency.” the old butler bowed, “The price for hiring mercenaries suddenly went way too high for our budget to take them in.”Bookmark here

“Hah?” Sophia was unnerved by what she had learned, “So, what have you got then?”Bookmark here

“I only got three companies of spearmen before spending all the money.”Bookmark here

William aired his concerns, “That won’t do. We’ll never win with just spearmen. What if our enemy would use crossbowmen? We’ll be defeated from afar if that happens.”Bookmark here

“My apologies, Your Excellencies! Word has it that that the Templar-Prince bought off most of the companies to gain a numerical advantage over the Imperial Prince, who brought over his hosts.”Bookmark here

“It’s alright, Jeeves.” Sophia dismissed him, “You’ve done what you could. You may rest now.” After the butler named Jeeves left (seriously, was it the standard to name your butlers ‘Jeeves’ or ‘Sebastian’?), the Rubinforth siblings and I discussed our current situation.Bookmark here

“We only got three leftover spearmen companies, huh?” William was visibly dismayed.Bookmark here

“I guess that’s it, my brother…” Sophia commented, “Our cause is doomed.”Bookmark here

“So, we’ll withdraw Mister Kuro’s registration?”Bookmark here

“Do we have any other choice?”Bookmark here

I was only listening to their desperate conversation. Honestly, I’m hopeless as well. However, it’s not like we could do something about it.Bookmark here

“Guys, I don’t think we should give up.” I tried encouraging them, “Hey, why don’t we try meeting the men your butler bought for us?”Bookmark here

Hm…is it still winnable?” William kept on asking me.Bookmark here

To which I replied, “We’ll see about that. But first, let’s see to those guys that were hired.”Bookmark here

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The mercenaries’ area was a small temporary enclave that was made to house the hired-arms selling their services to the contestants of the Tri-Skill Tournament. They usually advertise their combat specialties on a small board that was placed outside their respective tents. Think of it as a shopping place for those who need mercenaries. I knew it was a kind of strange, but this was pretty convenient, in a way. Lesser talk, more opportunity to browse around.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

However, during this time, all of them had removed their signs—a sign that someone had already hired them and replaced them with their employer’s banner.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

And just like what that butler named Jeeves said, by the time we have arrived, a lot of those tents had displayed the ‘Flaming Mountain’ banner of the Templar-Prince of Baltes.Bookmark here

“That guy made sure that he’ll counter the powerful legions of the Empire with numbers.” I heard what William said.Bookmark here

“Is this empire you’re talking about the most powerful in this land?” I couldn’t help but to ask that; I’m kind of interested in this place’s geographical politics after all.Bookmark here

“Well, you can say that.” William replied, “However, my grandfather said that back in my ancestors’ time, they didn’t even lift a finger in humanity’s attempt to drive the invading demon armies in Chersea. As a result, the Empire was ostracized from most of the Chersea’s kingdoms and duchies.”Bookmark here

“They are powerful enough to hold out on their own anyway, so what’s the point of associating with others?” Sophia said with contempt.Bookmark here

Kid, you don’t know how human alliances work? It’s not just simply helping others when they need military aid; it’s also for boosting influence and the prestige of your country. And based on William’s narrative, this Empire he’s talking about clearly treated its other neighboring territories as something of a second-rate civilization. Something like the Roman Empire did back on Classical Antiquity Earth.Bookmark here

“Anyway, here are our soldiers, I guess…” William and Sophia stopped right in front of a tent that displayed the teal and white banner of the Rubinforth house. Across the narrow path, two more tents had the same banner.Bookmark here

I guess those are our three companies of men…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Hey, Cap, who are these kids and the weak-ass guy?” the thinly bearded mercenary spoke to someone inside the first tent.Bookmark here

Hmm? Probably our employers?” a gruff voice came from the tent.Bookmark here

“Huh? They are?”Bookmark here

“I heard that butler said they are a pair of kids; the children of the host of this tourney.”Bookmark here

“Well, if that’s so, then you better show your arse here, Cap!”Bookmark here

Ayt! I’m coming then!”Bookmark here

A few minutes of awkward silence followed as I, the Rubinforth siblings, and the mercenary waited for the person called ‘Cap’ to emerge from his tent. We heard a few rustling and tussle before a white, curly-haired man with a feminine-looking face showed himself to us. He wore an impressive, but beaten-up armor that looked like it went through many bloody struggles in the past.Bookmark here

“Ooh…” the Rubinforth siblings were intimidated by his presence. I was intimidated as well, but it’s because of something else. This white, curly-haired guy reminded me of someone I knew back in my old world. Wait, is his name—Bookmark here

“Greetings! My name is Griffyth.”Bookmark here

Fuck, it’s the famous NTR man!Bookmark here

“It’s Griffyth with a ‘y’ though.” he explained with a smile, “It’s to avoid legal problems…”Bookmark here

“Huh?” Sophia tilted her head, wondering, “What legal problems?”Bookmark here

“Nothing!” then he turned to me and gave me a look from head to toe, “You there!”Bookmark here

“W-what?”Bookmark here

“I like you; you’ll be mine!”Bookmark here

What the hell? Even the dialogue…Don’t tell me your mercenary company’s name is also—Bookmark here

“Yes, you’ll be with us in the Band of the Oak!”Bookmark here

Ha? Band of the Oak? That’s a lame pun for that famous fictional mercenary group back on Earth!Bookmark here

“Well, I should’ve named that ‘Band of the Hawk’, but I keep on getting the feeling that if I did, I’d be involved in a legal problem, so I renamed it to Oak.”Bookmark here

Indeed. I’m glad you did that since this stupid story might end up in hot, legal water if you proceeded.Bookmark here

Anyway, Griffyth then introduced us to his mercenary unit composed of mostly spearmen.Bookmark here

“This thinly bearded man right there is called Gats. It’s Gats with an ‘a’.”Bookmark here

“Let me guess…” I interjected this time, “It’s to prevent legal problems again?”Bookmark here

“You’ve guessed it right. I really like you!” Griffyth said that with a dreamy look on his face.Bookmark here

Come on man, stop with that homo-sounding dialogue. It’s seriously giving me the creeps.Bookmark here

“Gats is my best subordinate, and we specialize in fighting using spears.” Griffyth showed us to the other members inside his tent, “We’re about 67 men strong, and aside from spears, we can use swords, ride on horseback, and Tarasca over there can simultaneously cast magic while fighting hand-to-hand.”Bookmark here

Tarasca? You mean your equivalent for C*sca? I turned to look over the direction where Tarasca was, but…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, I expected Tarasca to be some cute mercenary girl. Much to my disappointment, Tarasca’s a six-foot, bearded guy that looked like a hippie…Bookmark here

Everything’s not right in this story. I hope the writer is still on his sane mind…Bookmark here

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Oh well, so much for the introductions. Gathering the mercenaries we hired, we talked to their captains. The other leaders were a grim, scary bunch, and Griffyth was the only one who looked different. His face looked so pretty he could pass off as a female; something that could cause an internet shitstorm debating whether he’s a ‘he’ or a ‘she’.Bookmark here

Alas, if they could only hear his voice…many virgin dreams would certainly be destroyed…Bookmark here

Ah anyway, the Rubinforth siblings then took the time to introduce me to them as their commander (temporarily)…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

And just what I expected, they didn’t like to be commanded by a weak-looking commoner like me.Bookmark here

“Surely, you jest Your Excellencies.” one mercenary chuckled, “You mean this guy will lead us in battle?”Bookmark here

“I’m sure you know what he just did to the Paladin Prince on the first round.” William tried to defend me.Bookmark here

“This and that, are two different things. He may have been an experienced fighter, but will his skills suffice?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, we’re hopelessly outnumbered here! We don’t want to ‘die’ needlessly!”Bookmark here

“Come on guys, I like him!” Griffyth tried to side with the Rubinforths.Bookmark here

“Shut up Griff! Don’t lump us with you, you effeminate man!”Bookmark here

That shut the NTR man for a while. Anyway, I couldn’t let this continue. I needed to convince them that fighting under me was a worthwhile venture.Bookmark here

“Hey, guys! Listen to me!” I tried to get all of their attention.Bookmark here

“What is it, newbie?”Bookmark here

“Are you guys scared or something?” I asked.Bookmark here

“What did you say?”Bookmark here

“We? Scared? Surely you’re joking!”Bookmark here

“Well, you’re backing out even though you haven’t proved yourselves yet.” I pointed out.Bookmark here

“Of course, we are! How can we be so sure that you’re a competent commander?”Bookmark here

“That’s the point.” I explained, “You see, didn’t you three companies end up rejected because the nobles think you are a bunch of incompetent good-for-nothings?”Bookmark here

“Hey! Watch your mouth!”Bookmark here

“Hold up, let him speak.” Griffyth calmed his companions down; their hands were already on the hilts of their swords.Bookmark here

“Well, I know it’s pretty uncommon to see a commoner commanding you. But here’s the deal; you know we are looked down upon by these nobles because they think I can’t properly command, more so make some good battlefield decisions. Now, imagine if, for some miraculous reason, we won the contest? What do you think those nobles would think of you?”Bookmark here

Silence ruled the entire group as they realized what I’m trying to say to them.Bookmark here

“That’s right. They think I’m an incompetent, arrogant commoner. But because your mercenary companies are so good at fighting, your martial prowess made up for my lack of understanding of the battlefield.” a sly smile appeared on my lips, “And so, with that kind of advertisement, I don’t think your groups would go hungry for a long while…”Bookmark here

“He’s speaking the language of the gods!” someone among the mercenaries spoke up.Bookmark here

“Yes, the language of the mercenary god!”Bookmark here

“I don’t think there’s such one!”Bookmark here

“Whatever! What he says is true and reasonable!” A mercenary picked up his weapon and stood by my side, “I’ll be fighting for Master Kuro!”Bookmark here

“Me as well!” another mercenary joined us. And just like a contagious disease, they became convinced I could lead them to victory.Bookmark here

Ugh…I hate playing on people’s hopes…Bookmark here

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So, after gathering them in one place, Sophia was having her headaches upon learning that we only had 205 men with spears and a variety of equipment divided into three companies. A hopeless situation compared to the 20 mercenary companies of different weapon specialties hired by the Templar-Prince of Baltes.Bookmark here

I could tell that William wanted to cry in despair, but he’s been holding back the tears pretty well…Bookmark here

Nice kid.Bookmark here

Sophia and the mercenary captains also expressed hopelessness in the situation. From a highly motivated force earlier after my speech, they became desperate and were even considering dropping their participation from the contest upon learning the true situation. Only Griffyth had the guts to convince them to stay. Well, I had the same opinion as most of them. But I decided not to focus much on the numbers. I was looking towards the battlefield site. The weather had been a drizzle, which made the soil wet. There was no high ground that could be turned to our advantage, and also our enemies’ advantage as well.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I remembered a military maxim that says it’s better if you choose where you fight your battles.Bookmark here

And actually, we could make this field into our chosen battle site. I faced Griffyth, who was surveying the place with me.Bookmark here

“Captain Griffyth?”,Bookmark here

“Just call me Griff.”Bookmark here

“Okay. I’m just curious, what is the reason your companies were not hired by the Templar-Prince?”Bookmark here

“Well, he’s an asshole.”Bookmark here

“No, not that…”Bookmark here

“It must be because we’re too few compared to other mercenary groups.”Bookmark here

“Well, your band is fewer than most of these people.” I kept on asking, “Can I know why? I mean, you could’ve hired more people if you wanted to join and be hired in this prestigious game.”Bookmark here

Griffyth gave me a wide grin, “You know, Master, I and the other captains of these companies don’t look into numbers when we fight. The Band of the Oak prioritizes morale and the quality of fighting men, unlike those other mercenary groups who think they can make a difference with numbers.”Bookmark here

“I see…”,Bookmark here

“Yes, that’s our philosophy as a group. You see, most of these nobles only look at the number of men, and not at their quality. I beg to differ. We may be commoners but given the proper training, and encouragement, we can be a force to reckon with on the battlefields. I saw this happen on other lands, where conflict rages on.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“So yeah, the nobles had doubts as to my reasons I keep my men well below the usually accepted numbers. It’s for ease of command and training. You see, Master Kuro, we’ve been training with other weapons to bring out difference and flexibility on the battlefield.”Bookmark here

“Which means?”Bookmark here

“We could become spearmen to fight the cavalry, or swordsmen, to crush the infantry. We can also fight using bows and arrows for long-range duels.”Bookmark here

I was silent when I heard that. Surely, that knowledge could bring about a difference in fighting a battle. If I remember, someone else from Earth pioneered this idea before—in the early days of gunpowder. King Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden had his men ‘cross-trained’, meaning they could operate on any type of battle condition. His infantry could become cavalry, and his cavalry could act as artillerymen.Bookmark here

Such innovations brought his kingdom into power in the years following the Thirty Years’ War.Bookmark here

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Now I’m having an idea of how I’d fight our battle…Bookmark here

Armed with the knowledge that the mercenary companies we hired could be converted into several types of soldiers depending on battlefield conditions, I set about to check the rest of our little army. Just to give you a background, in this type of RPG-based, or medieval-fantasy world, what I’d noticed was that the warriors were often limited to the weapons they use at their disposal. For example, if you become a knight, then you remain a knight. Thus, you couldn’t use the bow.Bookmark here

In this battle, I’d like to exploit that flaw.Bookmark here

Uh, Tarasca…”Bookmark here

“Yes?”Bookmark here

“Can you use fire magic?”Bookmark here

Hm? A little. Only a few barrages of fireballs, and that’s it.”Bookmark here

“How about some magic spell that can turn the soil into a muddy mess?”Bookmark here

“I can, but what for?”Bookmark here

“How about covering the mud with grass?”Bookmark here

“I guess I could do that, too?”Bookmark here

“Can you simultaneously cast them?”Bookmark here

“Well, I can’t, but I can use it in quick succession.”Bookmark here

“Nice.” I just slapped him at the back. I did that lightly, though, but his well-built body was so hard that it hurt my hand. Tarasca looked at me like he was weirded out; it was awkward. Maybe I shouldn’t do any mercenary-like things since I’m not a mercenary, anyway.Bookmark here

And then, I turned into the other mercenary company that we hired, ‘The Band of Brothers’. The leader was called ‘Winters’, and though I kept on getting that weird ‘World War II’ vibes whenever I’m talking to him, I’m having a pretty good time discussing military stuff with the veteran.Bookmark here

“Hey, Winters!”Bookmark here

“Yo, man!”Bookmark here

“I got a few questions about your mercenary company.”Bookmark here

Hmm? What is it?Bookmark here

“You said earlier that your company can use bows, and crossbows aside from spears?”Bookmark here

“Yes, we can. You know the battlefields; it’s like a capricious lady, she keeps on changing the more the action ensues…”Bookmark here

“I see…well, can you acquire lots of reserve arrows, just in case?” I purposefully kept my plans a secret from them just yet. I’m sure we’d be all hard-pressed the moment the battle started.Bookmark here

The last one who I went to talk to were the captains of the last mercenary band we hired, the ‘Golden Territory Warriors’, named Kevin and Stephan.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I swear, something’s off with these names. Anyway, I also asked them a few questions about the abilities of their mercenary company. Kevin happily narrated the history of their group instead; fortunately, Stephan was more level-headed and gave me the information I need. Well, from the looks of it, they’re the most upstart among the three companies we hired. Many of their members could only use the spear, though they’re aiming to use the sword as well…in case the combat became up close and personal…Bookmark here

And now, I guess I already knew what I should do…Bookmark here

After I’m done with learning the abilities of our little army, I invited Sophia, William, and the mercenary leaders to a ‘war council’—for short, I’m about to lay out my battle plans before them…Bookmark here

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Then came the horn blast, announcing the start of the contest.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

There were four of us that were left in the second part of the Tri-Skill tournament. From the Mithril Group, the Imperial Prince with his professional legions; from the Gold Group, the Grey Knight of the East, with his group of knights and men-at-arms; from the Silver Group, the Templar-Prince of Baltes, and his mercenary hosts…Bookmark here

And well, from the Bronze Group, my motley army of spearmen, led by the NTR man, a pair of basketball players, and a Normandy paratrooper. (Of course, it’s a pun…get it?)Bookmark here

What the hell is this composition? Not that I had anything else to choose from. But I guess, to bite my enemies, I’ll put their abilities to good use. And unlike the first contest where no one had the resolve to put their bet on me, this time, I had someone willing to risk their money…Bookmark here

“What? Devras? That demon merchant?”Bookmark here

I’m surprised. Considering that he’s a business-demon, he’s way too much of a risk-taker. To think that he’d put his money on me…that’s a lot of confidence there.Bookmark here

I really had to win!Bookmark here

“Candidates from the Silver and Bronze groups! Please step forward and pick a paper!” the judge called out to us.Bookmark here

And so, the two of us took our chosen papers and simultaneously opened them. Well, much to my relief, I was to fight the Grey Knight of the East instead of the Templar-Prince or the Imperial Prince. I guess this was much better than having to fend off the attacks from the sea of mercenaries sent to destroy us or face the wrath of the disciplined legions of the Imperial Prince, to which I’m sure our group had no chance to stand against.Bookmark here

Again, as was on the first phase of the Tri-Skill Tournament, the fight between me and the Grey Knight was considered a side-show. So, we were to be the first to cross arms…Bookmark here

“The first group to get annihilated or surrender will be the one defeated.” The judge explained the rules to us, “Any type of weaponry and skills are allowed, but no one is to attack the general of the opposing army. Did you understand my instructions?”Bookmark here

The Grey Knight gave his nod as a sign that he understood, and I also expressed my agreement with the rules. And then, after shaking hands, we went back to our respective sides to arrange our battle lines.Bookmark here

“Alright guys, it’s time to fight.” I told my mercenaries, “Go to the positions you’ll be holding as I told you in our war council.”Bookmark here

The grunts and nods of the men from my little army gave me the confidence that somehow they’ve recognized me as their leader, at least temporarily. Although we knew we’re hopelessly outnumbered and were assured with substitution dolls for safety, I still promised them I’d try to emerge in this contest with them mostly unscathed.Bookmark here

A big promise to fulfill, but in war, encouraging words can spell the difference between a resounding success or an infamous failure.Bookmark here

“Fight!” the judge began the fight in earnest, partly maybe due to the next fight between the Imperial Prince and the Templar-Prince looming. So, they’re kind of in a hurry for our battle to be done with.Bookmark here

Don’t worry, I’m also of the same opinion, Mister Judge.Bookmark here

As per our plan, I concentrated the ‘Band of Brothers’ unit in a single mass in the middle of my battle line. They were armed with bows this time, but they had their spears at the ready beside them. On their flanks and positioned to protect them from flanking maneuvers was the mercenary group of ‘Golden Territory Warriors’, which I divided into two sub-groups, each commanded by one of its captains.Bookmark here

For the ‘Band of the Oak’, I placed them behind the battle line to act as a reserve force to reinforce any part of my front that was in danger of breaking.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

However, the key piece in this plan was Tarasca. His ability to cast several types of magic in quick succession was my key to winning this battle. He and his skill would be my ‘force multiplier’ so that we could fight on par with the armored knights and men of the Grey Knight of the East.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

I heard the horns being blown on the opponent’s side, signaling the start of their advance. The crowd that was watching on the bleachers cheered wildly. Unlike the first part of the Tri-Skill, a lot of the audience watched the ‘arrogant commoner’ battle it out against the greatest nobles of the land of Chersea.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

From a distance, I could see the armored knights of the Grey Knight marched directly into my battle line. His infantry followed closely behind the cavalry.Bookmark here

A pretty direct tactic, I’d say.Bookmark here

I could tell their contempt for our group, since we looked like a ragtag band of bandits and brigands instead of a ‘real’ fighting army. Add my infamous reputation as a ‘commoner’; of course, they’d think that I won’t be able to command and fight properly.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I would say that the enemy formation would be easy picking for my archer-spearmen, if not for the smokescreen that was deployed by the enemy’s magician at the last minute.Bookmark here

In a matter of a few moments, the entire battlefield in front of us was shrouded in thick white smoke.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Keep your eyes peeled men!” I heard Griffyth shout his orders, “And also, your ears open.”Bookmark here

I could understand why he said that. The horses’ hooves would make an inevitable sound as they galloped towards our line, and that would be the signal that they’d be coming to charge down on us.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

However, there’s no sound to be heard amidst that smoke. Even the crowd fell silent as well, but I guess this quietness was created artificially by the magicians on the opposing side.Bookmark here

Heh, pretty solid tactic, I guess…Bookmark here

At that moment, a huge fireball then came out of the smoke and fell on us.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

But Tarasca made quick work on that fireball, which was a diversion from the actual attack!Bookmark here

“To the right!” I heard Kevin shout.Bookmark here

“Raise the spikes!” was my order to the mercenaries.Bookmark here

Then, out from the ground, came several pointed rocks that skewered the horses and the knights that came charging through the right flank of my line. Those that jumped through their incapacitated comrades then found themselves slowed down by the muddy ground after the spikes at which I ordered the archers to let loose a hail of arrows on the trapped men.Bookmark here

“The left is under attack as well!”Bookmark here

“Tarasca, give those bastards to the left a taste of your fireballs!”Bookmark here

Tarasca nodded and followed my orders. Since the archers were busy finishing the poor souls on the right, I thought Tarasca should pick those knights attacking our left flank from a safe distance.Bookmark here

Soon, the left of our line was illuminated by burning knights and horses.Bookmark here

Ugh…even if they’ll live after their damage was absorbed by the substitution doll, it’s still painful to be burned.Bookmark here

Soon enough, the knights realized the futility of their actions and slowly retreated.Bookmark here

Haha! We’re driving those guys back, and we haven’t suffered a single casualty just yet!” Gats commented.Bookmark here

“Master Kuro, how about us?” Griffyth asked me impatiently, since I was holding them back. I could tell that he also wanted a share of glory for his company…Bookmark here

“Keep your positions, Griff. Those are just reconnaissance units.” I told him, “Expect another round of assault. Tarasca, set up the barriers!”Bookmark here

Tarasca then put up the magic shield and deployed it above us. Next, I ordered the other mercenary magicians in my army to reinforce Tarasca’s barrier; for soon, the missiles from the enemy were raining down on us.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

The explosive fireballs and flaming arrows showered our positions with impunity. Tarasca’s shield, with help from his fellow magicians, was holding up pretty well. Griffyth watched in awe as the colorful explosions of the magic spells and arrows made a beautiful spectacle above us.Bookmark here

And then the barrage stopped.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

The battlefield was quiet for a few moments until I noticed that the mud field Tarasca secretly created earlier became rock solid. Must be the work of the enemy magicians.Bookmark here

“Spears at the ready!”Bookmark here

The Band of Brothers unit then quickly dropped their bows and resorted to using their spears, deployed in a phalanx formation. The first three ranks were formed with their weapons pointed towards the enemy, and they silently waited for the incoming assault.Bookmark here

“Here they come!”Bookmark here

The first units of the armored knights appeared through the smoke, which the opposing magicians immediately dispersed after to reveal the mass of knights and men-at-arms charging towards us, with their armors glistening against the sun.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

The mud fields were now frozen solid, meaning they could cross to our battle lines unhindered, and the archers were converted to spearmen to meet the cavalry charge. Tarasca was spent, so he’s resting at the back for a while.Bookmark here

I guess we have to hold this line for a while…Bookmark here

----------Bookmark here

The battle for the front became close and personal. Though the forest of sharp spears deterred the knights and their horses from completely charging us down, the men-at-arms closed in on our spearmen.Bookmark here

“Griffyth, now your chance!”Bookmark here

“Alright boys, time to show these arrogant bastards what they’ve missed from not hiring us!”Bookmark here

“Aaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!”Bookmark here

The Band of the Oak unit then came with a countercharge against the men-at-arms. As the spears of the Band of Brothers and Golden Territory Warriors were way too long to fight the enemy infantry in close quarters, I had the NTR man’s group fight them with their swords. Spears protecting the swords from the cavalry, and the swords protecting the spears from the infantry. The enemy’s range infantry and magicians couldn’t rain down their projectiles on us, since doing so would endanger their men as well…Bookmark here

Nice, just like what I used to fight with when I’m playing my real-time strategy games on PC. Rome T*tal War FTW!!!Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

However, I’d also noticed that the mercenaries were about to reach their fighting limit. They’re getting exhausted, and this could mean danger—absolute danger. My entire battle line could collapse if I won’t do something soon…Bookmark here

I turned to Tarasca.Bookmark here

“Hey, can you still cast at least one more spell in a large area?”Bookmark here

Tarasca gave me an honest response, “Well, I could. But doing so would completely exhaust me until I sleep again.”Bookmark here

“Alright, cast another spell and turn that area a few distances away from our line into a mud field.”Bookmark here

“Okay, as you say, Cap!” Tarasca then stood up and started chanting. It took him a while to complete his spell since I asked him to cast it on a large area. At the back of my head, I prayed that my entire line would hold against the furious assault of the Grey Knight’s men.Bookmark here

“Mud Field!”Bookmark here

At that moment, the ground in front of us softened and the attacking men were shocked to while they sink slowly into the soil. Many of them panicked and tried to scamper for safety; the horses and the knights were effectively immobilized, and those who were near our battle line were trapped between our swords and spears and the mud field.Bookmark here

Heh, just like what I planned…Bookmark here

At that moment, I gave the order to the Band of Brothers group.Bookmark here

“Arrows on the knights! Fire on my command!”Bookmark here

The archer-spearmen then took their bows and aimed at the struggling knights and men-at-arms who were caught in the mud, as well as those who were still alive in front of us. And then, I let loose the thunderous order…Bookmark here

“FIRE!”Bookmark here

A great massacre then followed; Crecy style. (1)Bookmark here

Author's Note:  (1) The Battle of Crecy took place on August 26, 1346 and was fought between the Kingdoms of England and France, which were then locked in a struggle called the 'Hundred Years' War'.Bookmark here

It is one of the three famous 'longbow' victories for the English, so-called because it was won primarily with archers, in a time when armored knights were the force feared in the battlefield.Bookmark here

According to an account that I've read, the French knights were impatient and attacked early before any signal was given. In the process, they were led to mud fields, hills and pits dug by the English, where the combination of terrain and fleeing allied mercenaries hindered their momentum, and so were massacred by the ensuing melee, and arrows from the archers.Bookmark here

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