Chapter 202 – Lily War(5)
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The march began.
– Raaa listi, trii freude…….
– Greecia sisbi mer bremedea
The singing of priests resonated over the heads of soldiers.
A fair number of clerics had joined our cause. We didn’t have anyone at the level of a saint, but numerous priests and priestesses were singing a sacred song in harmony. The melody was amplified by a spell as it went up to the skies and descended like rays from the sun.
A massive army of 60,000 soldiers marched together with this harmony. Jeremi brought her horse next to mine before speaking.
“Danta……no, do you not plan to sing a verse, Mr. Priest?”
“I apologize, but I am a complete flunky when it comes to music.”
I stuck my lips out.
In truth, this was what made priests so pivotal when it came to armies. The holy anthem increased the soldiers’ morale greatly. They helped prevent the soldiers from going out of control and also greatly decreased the likelihood of things like pillaging and self-indulging from happening which were things that happened fairly often in armies.
Well, the hymn was basically descending upon the soldiers marching under the sun. It probably feels like they were being blessed by God. This should probably reduce things like PTSD as well.
“Oh? I guess children don’t actually take after their parents.”
“I am referring to Daisy. She is really good at singing. It almost felt like a spirit was singing.”
Huh? Was the hero good at singing in the game as well?
“……She has never done any singing while in my presence.”
“Of course not. Who would want to sing in front of a priest?”
“Would you look at the sharp tongue on this bright adulteress?”
Jeremi laughed. I could only growl at her. I was the one who enjoyed being fellated while the greatest opera singer on the continent was giving a passionate performance. Seriously, I know nothing about the fine arts.
Jeremi pointed behind her with her thumb.
“But where do you intend to use all that?”
“Ah, the wooden fences?”
Our army was pulling about a hundred wagons. Piles of pre-built fences were stacked on top of the wagons that were being pulled by donkeys. I had ordered the farmers to build them. They were my secret weapon.
“From what I can tell, there are only two strategies that Henrietta can carry out. Hmm, I can’t really call the first one a strategy, but it’s the pitched battle that she wanted. If that happens, we simply have to overwhelm her with our numbers. But……the second strategy, the Emperor might show up himself.”
“The Emperor of Frankia?”
“We deliberately made our targets the ‘Emperor’s disloyal retainers’ instead of the Emperor himself for the sake of fortifying our cause. We made it sound as if the Emperor was an innocent victim in this matter. What do you think would happen if the Emperor were to appear on the enemy’s side in a situation like this?”
“Aha. It would affect our morale.”
What I feared was the Emperor himself coming out to give the opening speech.
In this world, there was a custom where representatives would step out and give ceremonial speeches before massive armies collided. These speeches could be summarized into 3 lines. Surrender. No. Then die.
Since knights were unimaginably powerful, a chivalrous procedure was naturally established within wars as well. It was an effective way to raise your troops’ morale and deal a blow to the enemy’s morale. It would be very troubling for us if the Emperor of Frankia were to come out as their representative in this situation…….
“However, that would give the Emperor the right to command.”
It was hard to believe that Henry III could show any sort of military talent when he had only shown us his incompetent side up to this point. Therefore, making the Emperor come forward was a double-edged sword. They could lower our morale greatly during the opening speeches, but incompetent orders would be given during the actual battle.
“Henrietta de Brittany’s intentions will become clear depending on whether the Emperor comes out or not. If he comes forward, then Henrietta is aiming for a pitched battle and a political victory. However, if he doesn’t…….”
I trailed off.
“That means she is genuinely aiming to annihilate us all without relying on any sort of political or diplomatic means. I prepared these fences in case of the latter.”
Our forces arrived at St. Denis Plains near the vicinity of Parisiorum. The Brittany-Emperor Alliance was setting up their headquarters here. Just from a glance, I could tell they didn’t have even 30,000 soldiers.
After sending out scouts to gather intelligence, we learned that the Emperor had not arrived. There were no banners that indicated the Emperor of Frankia was here either. Only the flags of the generals who were acting as the Emperor’s proxy were fluttering in the wind.
“So you are aiming for a total annihilation, Queen?”
I glared at the enemy camp on the other side of the plains.
There were a few nobles who, unbeknownst to the enemy, were within the enemy’s camp. Thanks to this, we were able to get a fairly accurate grasp of the enemy’s forces. They probably had spies planted in our side as well.
Supreme Commander: Queen Henrietta de Brittany
Subcommander: Deputy General Gaspard de Tavannes
■First army: Kingdom of Brittany’s army. Supreme Commander: Queen Henrietta de Brittany.
Infantry 5,000 (mercenaries, conscripts). Cavalrymen 8,000 (1,000 knights).
■Second army: Emperor of Frankia’s army. Supreme Commander: Deputy General Gaspard de Tavannes.
Infantry 2,000 (conscripts). Cavalrymen 8,500 (600 knights).
□ Total soldiers: Infantry 7,000. Cavalry 16,500 (1,600 knights)
We immediately held a war council with the intel we had received.
We had Duke Henry de Guise as our supreme commander, Anna de Bis, a member of the Council of Thirteen, as the commander of the Republic of Batavia’s army, the mercenary leaders we had hired from the dwarven alliance, etc. All sorts of nobles and generals were gathered here.
“It is clear now. The Queen of Brittany is aiming for a cavalry battle.”
Subcommander Anna de Bis spoke. She was a half-elf and a self-made heroine who had climbed to the highest ranks of the republic as a child of mixed blood. She was also a member of the <Liberation Alliance> like me.
“Our side seems to be inferior when it comes to our cavalry. Their knights are especially menacing. As long as they are aiming for a cavalry battle, I believe that we should not go along with the enemy’s desire.”
Anna stated. She had green hair which was hard to see within human society. As expected of a half-elf, she was also beautiful. It wasn’t surprising to see that a few of the nobles were staring at her nape and hair with blank eyes.
“I agree. I had a bitter experience with their cavalry not that long ago.”
Supreme Commander Henry de Guise smiled bitterly. He was a duke who had aged to his forties well and had an impressionable beard. He was completely defeated by Brittany’s army in his previous battle.
“If His Excellency were present, then it would have made things perplexing, but as Priest Jean Bole pointed out, it seems the Queen of Brittany is planning to wipe us out.”
“Indeed. I am not sure if I should call her reckless or overconfident.”
“Nonetheless, she has the talent to back up her confidence.”
Duke Guise commented as he stroke his beard. Carelessness is forbidden. He was giving off this kind of mood.
From what I was told, despite Frankia’s complete defeat, he was the only one who managed to retreat safely with his men. He may not be a genius, but he wasn’t incapable. It should be fine to leave him as the supreme commander.
“Position the cavalrymen behind the infantry…….”
“It is important to put spearmen in between so that there are no openings.”
The generals stayed modest as they had their free discussion.
As I expected, Anna received the right to command Batavia’s army while Duke Guise took the right to command the noble army. However, there was one thing that pleasantly went against my expectation. There was surprisingly less discord between the commanders than I thought there would be.
Duke Guise may be considered second-rate as a general compared to Henrietta. However, he was definitely first-rate as a noble. During the meeting, some of the aggressive mercenary leaders and nobles would shout things like:
“What is everyone saying? We have 60,000 men while the enemy only has 20,000. I cannot bear to listen to you all trembling in your boots before some woman even though our army is three times bigger than theirs! Supreme Commander! Leave a unit under my command. I will capture the woman and bring her head to you.”
However, whenever they did, Duke Guise would respond to them sternly.
“You are truly brave! However, I will continue to defer from utilizing our cavalrymen for now. Cavalry battles are not the only way to show your bravery. There is no reason for us to go along with what that queen desires.”
Duke Guise skillfully talked the commanders down and proved that he didn’t receive his title through something like a card game.
“Our forces will be carrying out Priest Jean Bole’s plan.’
Duke Guise declared firmly and I responded with a respectful bow.
My plan was rather simple. I was going to place down the wooden fences that had been painstakingly transported here by the donkeys in front of our army. We were then going to position our spearmen around those fences.
‘I borrowed General Zepar’s idea.’
I smiled on the inside.
General Zepar had splendidly defended against a bunch of knights during the Battle of Austerlitz by using wooden fences and stakes. I won’t be able to show the same magnificent commanding skill as General Zepar━that skill was something that was only possible because a Demon Lord was commanding monsters━but it shouldn’t be hard to take advantage of our fences.
Setting wooden fences up in front of our army would naturally decrease the charging power of the enemy’s cavalrymen. The cavalry charge that Queen Henrietta was most likely going to rely on was going to lose its power. Our men would then plunge their spears into the cavalrymen who had lost their speed.
Normally, the army a the smaller number of soldiers would defend against the larger army. However, it was going to be the opposite for us. We were going to carry out a defensive battle even though we had an absolute advantage in terms of manpower.
“The cavalrymen and knights boasted by the Queen will be stopped by our shield and lose their strength. We will attack them in earnest once they are exhausted.”
Duke Guise nodded in response to my explanation. I had already informed him of this plan beforehand, but we were deliberately putting on this exchange for the sake of the others around us.
In other words, this was a strategy that was designed solely to stop mounted troops……. A formation that was created purely to deal with Queen Henrietta.
Several generals complained that this was a cowardly plan, but Supreme Commander Duke Guise had personally experienced the terror of Brittany’s cavalrymen a short while ago. Duke Guise would never allow his men to fight rashly.
I felt reassured. Our commanders weren’t incompetent, so it was unlikely for us to lose because of them.
Even St. Denis Plains was advantageous for us. There was a river on the left side of the plains and a forest on the right side.
The ground near the riverside was soft, so it wasn’t appropriate for cavalry charges. There was no need to mention the forest either. Therefore, St. Denis Plains was a fairly bad place to try and rely on cavalry charges. There was no advantage for Brittany.
Duke Guise gave a gallant shout.
“Not only do our forces have an advantage in terms of numbers, but our strategy is superior as well. The battlefield favors us as well. I ask of you generals to fight with the certainty of our victory!”
Brittany’s army started to move the next morning. The sun was rising upon St. Denis Plains.
TL Note: Thanks for reading the chapter. I don’t know why, but this segment feels pretty long. Maybe it’s because I don’t particularly enjoy translating war scenes and tactics. Who knows? Well, the fight is actually going to start in the next chapter. Not much else to say. I’ve just been playing some Minecraft recently. Be nice if that server were a bit more active.
Welp, I’ll see you guys in the next chapter.