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Author: 桜木桜 (Sakuragi Sakura)
Volume 4: The Coalition and the Spider
Chapter 109 - The One-Eyed and the Hawk I
"Is that the enemy's fort?" (Alexios)
Alexios looks down at the Belvedere Kingdom's fortress from the top of a mountain.
The land here is ruled by King Belvedere. (TL Note: The one being observed.) And it is also the first line of defense against Lezzad.
In front of the fortress is a fairly wide river. On the fort's side is a wide forest which stretches to the other side of the fort. It would be impossible for a large army to march in to attack the fort coming from the forest. For this reason the soldiers guarding the fort focus mostly on keeping watch for enemies coming from the front where the river is.
Both the terrain and the fortress itself will make things difficult. (TL Note: I wonder why the author is saying the fort will make capturing the fort difficult. That should be obvious with any fort.)
"Attempting to cross the river would be bad. The enemy force would be ready waiting for us on the other side. Our country has attempted to do so in past but have never succeeded."
Explained the spy/scout sent out by Ains to Alexios.
"I see. This is troublesome."
Alexios answers it while sizing up the fortress with his one eye. (TL Note: I like to imagine that he looks like Guts.)
Currently, the total number of soldiers of the Lezzad-Gehenna Coalition led by Alexios is about 2,000.
Half of this number is comprised of 300 Germanis cavalry and 700 Gallian infantry. The other 1,000 is all Cretian hoplites.
The lingua franca between them is Cretian.
The Germanis cavalry and Gallian infantry are mercenaries hired by Lezzad.
As long as commands are kept to a single word, they will be able to understand orders given in Cretian. The Cretian language acts a a lingua franca of sorts for coastal countries in the Tethys Sea much like how English is for the world today. (TL Note: Sounds like I am the one saying this.)
"Alexios! I've surveyed the enemy's manpower."
The voice Alexios heard was Melia's.
Their newborn child was left to a trustworthy Lezzadian assemblyman.
"There are currently 500 enemy soldiers guarding the fort with 1,500 reinforcements arriving by tomorrow. This puts the total counts to 2,000. I will go check the terrain now." (Melia)
"I see. Thank you, Melia. I love you. Examine the terrain if you would.
There might be a point upstream that we could cross."
Alexios receives the detailed report from Melia and reads it.
In the report there was information regarding the enemy general and even the weapons being used in the enemy's army.
"Was it really necessary for you to go this far?" (Ains)
"There's no harm in going in depth in my investigation. We don't know where a weakness might exist in the enemy afterall." (Alexios)
Alexios answers Ains' question.
Ultimately, the most important thing in a war is information. That is what Alexios thought.
"The enemy numbers 500 currently... I wonder if we could win if we tried crossing the river now? Let's just eliminate them."
Ains proposes an attack to Alexios.
To this, Alexios shakes his head.
"No, we'll fail if we try that. Crossing the river would be difficult. I've only just arrived here.
We've no ships. The river is at a depth that we could attempt to cross it without ships... however the exhaustion caused by such a crossing would be intense on the soldiers." (Alexios)
"But the enemy's forces are equal to ours in number. Would it be that difficult to capture the fortress?" (Ains)
"Well, relax. I've got an idea. ... though it all depends on what terrain is like." (Alexios)
Alexios shrugs his shoulders.
Five days pass
"Sir, a report! There is no large-scale movement being made by the enemy army." (Belvedere Soldier)
"Well, I suppose they are attempting to build ships to cross the river."
The Bevedere Kingdom's general judges this to be so.
The Lezzad-Gehenna coalition army have not moved at all. No, rather would it be more accurate to say that they can't move?
"Well, even if they could make a ship to cross, it's not like they'd even be able to. We have special anti-naval ballistae prepared for that. And even if they manage to cross, how would they even attempt to capture the fort then?" (Belvedere General)
This fort has prevented Cretian invasion for many years.
So long as the amount attacking and defending are about the same, we will be able to ensure a successful defense. There is no need to win any battles at all. Until the Rosyth Kingdom's defeat, we will be able to defend.
"What's more is that I hear the enemy general is just some third-rate brat! Our victory is assured!!" !"
So proclaims the Belvedere general.
"Sir, would it not be more plausible that the enemy would attempt a crossing at night?" (Belvedere Soldier)
"What are you saying? None would dare attempt a night crossing with a large army. It would be too dangerous to do so. It would be possible if it were just a small force... well, for now keep watching for movement. The flames from any torches during any night crossing attempts will work as a sign." (Belvedere General)
Flames from torches would be suspicious anyways.
It should take no more than 10 minutes to understand what is happening. If there are only a small number that would not be true, it doesn't matter if a small force like that is attempting anything anyways.
It would be nice if we had a sorcerer that could soul-ride an owl to investigate, sadly such a person does not exist in this fortress.
There aren't many sorcerers who can even soul-ride an owl in the first place.
"Let them come. They pose no threat. (TL Note wasn't too sure how to translate ドンッと構えていれば良い。)
The next morning
"Sir!! ！There's a problem! The enemy has camped over the river!!" (Belvedere Soldier) !"
"What? That's impossible..."
The general unbelievably murmurs.
Right in front of him is the enemy camp across the river.
About five days ago...
"Well, the plan is simple. The reason why crossing the river is dangerous is because of the enemy's army waiting. Therefore, we just need to build a base on the opposite shore before crossing over." (Alexios)
Ains questions Alexios as his one eye shines. (TL Note: I’m not completely sure why his eyes are shining.)
"Have a small number of soldiers cross in the middle of the night. About 20 soldiers cross a day. They can cross the river from inside the forest that stretches the fort
from east to west. In other words, we can double the number of crossings per day to 40 people. We repeat this four times by the 5th day. A total of 160 soldiers already crossed." (Alexios) (TL Note: To clarify, what they mean is is that they can get 20 per side of the forest per day to cross making it 40 total per day.)
"Even if we get 160 soldiers to cross the river by then, would they not be swiftly crushed?" (Ains)
Even if a base could be built on the other side of the river, there would be no point to it if it could not be maintained.
Our army would just be treated as a joke.
"That's why we'll build our own fort. Well, I'm calling it a fort but it won't be something as grand as that. A fence and moat with guard towers for archers should be good enough." (Alexios)
"How do you plan on building this? I don't think the enemy army would make it easy for us to build something like that..." (Ains)
"We build the entire fort in one night. We can just build parts of the fort here. The fence can easily be disassembled into rafts. Oh, and don't worry about the 160 people needed to cross the river, we'll be using my slaves to do this. I will be the one overseeing the construction." (Alexios) (TL Note: Clearly inspired by Sunomata Castle. Also I am guessing they intend to use parts of the fence as a raft to cross the river.)
There is still concern about whether or not a good construction could even be done in one night. (TL Note: Betting this is dialogue by Ains but it is not formatted as such so I left it as is.)
Alexios, however, laughes as he answers.
"Well, just wait and see. I will ensure the success of this plan. In addition to this, there is a second plan I came up with. I want to move the Lezzadian cavalry." (Alexios)
Thus on the fourth night.
The last forty people along with Alexios and Melia board the ship and cross under the cover of night. Light from torches are kept to a minimum.
With this, only the moon and stars can be used to navigate to the other side.
Alexios to the predetermined meeting place.
There were already 120 people who had made this crossing successful. With this, now it's 160 people.
Everyone of those who made it are Alexios' slaves.
They would work the field for Alexios, however now here they are on the battlefield with him. They were all excellent slaves with knowledge in civil engineering.
"Alright, I'm going to use the divine blessing now. Be sure not to speak of this to anyone else... Well, if it's you guys it should be fine." (Alexios)
Saying this Alexios exchanges eye contact with Melia.
Melia bites the soul-grass and soul-rides an owl.
Alexios then speaks to owl (now Melia).
"Well then, I will be borrowing your eyes."
Alexios removes his eye-patch and activates his Divine Blessing of Eye Borrowing.
This divine blessing allows its user to look through the eyes of any who they are intimate with. With this, Alexios and Melia (now an owl)
share vision of their right eyes.
"Next I will lend my eye to you guys." (Alexios)
Saying this, Alexios activates his Divine Blessing of Eye Lending.
This is a divine blessing where the user grants others his eyesight. However what is being seen is not shared. (TL Note: Basically it's like only granting 20/20 vision if you have it to someone else.)
What Alexios had lent to the slaves was the right eye of the owl Melia whom he is sharing vision with.
With this the slaves' right eyes are able to see clearly in the night.
"Alright, let's hurry with making this fort, And use as little noise as possible."
"SIR !" 」」
The slaves salute in a low voice.
Thus, in a single night, a strong encampment was built.
As soon as the Lezzad-Gehenna Coalition Army confirmed the construction of the fort,
the soldiers began crossing the river.
300 soldiers had already crossed by the time the Belvedere army had realized what had happened.
With this the total number of troops crossed is now 460 soldiers.
Belvedere's general prepared the army to sortie the enemy fort in a hurry.
He leaves behind the bare minimum amount of troops behind to guard the their fortress. The enemy base must be immediately destroyed with full force.
"March men! The army in the newly built fort is about 500! Now is the time to crush them!
Moreover the enemy is camped in the backwater. It's our chance to crush them !"
The Belvedere general ordered his army to attack the Lezzad-Gehenna Coalition Army. Around 2000 Belvedere soldiers encircle the 500 coalition soldiers and attack.
However, even with an advantage of quadruple the soldiers, the enemy is not surrendering.
"Aaaaaagh ！ Hurry and finish them ！ Why aren't they surrendering!? !"
"My apologies sir! Unlike what was previously thought, the enemy is strong... in addition they hold a good position..." (Belvedere Soldier)
There are 4 reasons why the Belvedere army are not able to make the Coalition's army surrender.
The first is that the Coalition hold a strong position.
The position was hand-picked by Alexios, so it makes an attack on it very difficult.
Although dug shallow, the fences provide a good defense; as humble as this is the fort also has a tower for archers to attack from.
The second reason is because of Alexios' ability to lead an army and his divine blessings.
Alexios is borrowing Melia's eyes while she soul-rides a hawk; as it flies over the fort, it gives Alexios a (literal) bird's-eye-view of the entire battlefield which he uses to help him to decide on what orders to give.
Even if the Belvedere army changes where they concentrate their attack, it will soon be countered by Alexios.
The third reason is because of their situation regarding the position in the backwaters itself.
The raft which Alexios' slaves rode on were converted to become the fences for the fort; the rafts the rest of the soldiers rode on were burned. Thus, the 500 soldiers in the fort have no escape route.
Because of this, the soldiers are fighting with their lives on the line.
There were also reinforcements arriving one-by-one to the fort, thus their only hope was to stand firm and fight.
The final reason is the existence of reinforcements. (TL Note: Not sure what they mean by 援軍の存在 but it seems to refer to Alexios' slaves)
Alexios' force of 160 who crossed over the river earlier are not as exhausted as the others.
They are able to handle some of the more intense areas on the battlefield.
The longer Alexios' army fights, the stronger his defensive position stands.
The Belvedere army canceled their assault around the time the sun had risen high above their heads, shining.
By then 70% of the Lezzad-Gehenna Coalition army had succeeded in crossing the river.
"We've no choice. We have to withdraw for now. Oh well, even without the advantage of the river we still have the our fortress. The fort is protected by a water moat and walls. It would be difficult for the fort to fall with the defenses it has. All we need to do is move back, stand guard, and wait for reinforcements to arrive."
The Belvedere general muttered to himself and starting giving orders for a retreat.
However, a few minutes after, smoke begins to rise from the Belvedere army's fort.
"What is the meaning of this !"
Sending someone to scout ahead on a fast horse, the army follows and marches back hurriedly. The scout returns and reports.
"Sir, this is serious ！ Lezzad's cavalry divisions have snuck past us and are attacking the fort ！ It seems they crossed the river upstream and circled back to attack!"
"What? ！ We must hurry ！ Really what were those guards doing?!"
"(The general is acting as if this failure had nothing to do with him...)" (Belvedere Scout/Soldier) (TL Note: I wasn't 100% sure how to translate this bit.)
"You say something?" (Belvedere General)
"No sir, nothing!" (Belvedere Scout/Soldier)
The general hurries back to his fort but it is already too late.
The flags of Lezzad and Gehenna are raised and fly over fortress.
The fort's gates open slowly as enemy cavalry appear.
From behind them the rest of the Coalition's army begin advancing towards the Belvedere army.
The Belvedere army immediately surrenders.
The casualties from of this war totaled 200 on both sides. (TL Note: The author says war but I don't know if they mean the battle that just happened.)
With this Alexios' first battle on the Aldernian Peninsula ends famously.
Author's notes: This win was the result of Melia's studying of the topography. It would be a mistake underestimate her. Almus will be up next.
Translator’s note: Hi I’m new at this so I welcome any constructive feedback. I also want to let you guys know that I am changing the English name of Almis to Almus. This is mostly because it seems like his name is taken from both Aeneas and Romulus so “us” instead of “is” makes more sense to me. If you really hate this then let me know.
If you want to see updates you can also go to r/isekaikenkokuki on Reddit. It’d be helpful if you post any criticisms there on the respective chapters as they update. I’ll start working on finishing translating chapter 120 soon.