Episode 23: Assault.
The ‘battle’ finished soon.
“Noooo, please help me…”
“Just my life, please, only that…”
They laid at their feet, kneeling as they begged.
Frightened by the tragic scene of corpses lying around, everyone was desperately pleading with crying eyes.
“What should we do, ‘Aniki’? ”
“Like we planned take all their belongings, every single thing, leave them with nothing.”
“W-why! ? We will die in these mountains! ”
“Then do your best to survive. This is the minimum mercy you will get from our ‘Mountain Dog Group’.”
After the battle was over, the withdrawal operation began.
Following those orders, the remaining people were strip of their belongings and those were thrown inside the windmill.
It was unknown how much time it would take them to reach the nearest village on foot.
Wild beasts inhabited nearby and were sure to be encountered along the way, so their survival rate while being practically naked would be extremely low.
“Alright, let’s go back to the hideout.”
“Roger, ‘Aniki’! “
In accordance with Yamato’s order, all the members of the self-proclaimed mercenary group ‘Mountain Dog’ departed, returning to Urd Village.
“This far will be alright, everyone.”
They were now quite a considerable distance away from the windmill. Yamato spoke to the villagers in order for everyone to relax and calm their alertness.
There was no sign of the remnants of stripped bandits chasing them, so there was no longer the need for acting.
“It’s good it ended safely, Yamato-sama.”
“Yeah, for the time being, we can have a little peace of mind Liscia-san.”
“It was really nice that everyone in the village ended up without major injuries…”
The assault on the bandit’s hideout, the windmill hut, ended up with their sweeping victory. It was an event that almost felt unreal to them.
According to Liscia who was walking next to Yamato, it was a one-sided battle with barely any harm done to the villagers.
“Aniki, can we take off this disguise? ”
“Sure, it should be fine now. Also, you don’t have to keep calling me ‘Aniki’ anymore.”
“How about Yamato-Aniki-chan! Can we use that? “
The children following us from behind started removing the clothes covering their mouths, taking off their disguise. The other villagers also undid their disguise.
When they stormed the windmill, they disguised themselves.
It was a simple cover up, consisting of a thin cloth to hide their facial features. In order to further conceal their identity, they were forbidden to call each other’s name and had to use nicknames instead.
‘Aniki’ huh?… thinking about it now, it was quite a clichéd name to choose.
Yamato’s nickname was “Aniki”.
And in the setting, he was the leader of the made-up mercenary ‘Mountain Dog’ group.
Although it wasn’t him the one who named it as such, he couldn’t help but to think — Just give me a break.
(TLN: Mountain Dog is written the same as Yamato, just adding one stroke, so it is a pretty lame and unimaginative name. Just a reminder, Yamato is written ‘Yama’ from yama [Mountain] and ‘to’ from hito [Person])
“Even so… we really… we won, Yamato-sama…”
“Yeah. It was thanks to the kids and everyone in the village, and also thanks to you, Liscia-san.”
“Not at all, it was all thanks to Yamato-sama’s tactics! “
The strategy to attack the bandits was a simple one.
First and foremost, Yamato and Liscia erased their presence and approached the windmill.
The first set of opponents, the guards, were taken out from long distance using Yamato’s crossbow and Liscia’s Marionette Bow.
The two lookouts had their skulls penetrated and died after a short death cry.
After that, the advance team consisting of children of the crossbow squad positioned themselves around the windmill in two groups.
Their formation was diagonal to each other and perpendicular to the windmill, to avoid friendly fire. Yamato decided on this by using an actual war formation as reference, used by the Daimyos of the Sengoku period.
After taking out the lookouts, he snuck into the windmill hut.
Making use of animal fat and dry straws brought from the village, he burned them, producing a thick, black smoke. The tallow, being a poor-quality oil, was perfect since it had a strong odor and produced a very black smoke.
Trying to imitate the lookout’s voice, Yamato shouted towards the insides of the windmill. 『Get out of the cabin before everything is burned to the ground』 He yelled.
“What on earth is happening!? “
Surprised by the smoke and flames, the bandits jumped out of the windmill cabin one after the other.
With there being only one exit, the building was in a state of turmoil that could be compared to a beehive being poked.
Along with his signal, bolts were fired from one of the crossbow squads lying in wait.
It was a crossbow tactic to allow continuous fire by dividing the crossbow squads into two groups and having one fire while the other reloaded.
A violent rain of arrows fell upon the bandits.
One after the other, the bandits who came out from the cabin met a quick death after receiving the attack from the crossbows.
And after being attacked by an enemy they weren’t expecting, they were swallowed by a whirlpool of deeper chaos.
“Protect yourself with a shield! ”
“It’s not working, what’s with these arrows!? “
Some of the bandits tried to guard themselves using shields. And considering the situation, that would have been the wisest choice.
But, even the sturdy shields were easily penetrated by the crossbow bolts. The dumbfounded bandits were trembling while watching their companion being taken down one after another.
They were currently in the center of a crossbow storm that couldn’t be prevented even by those wearing metal armor. In this world’s level of civilization, it was an overwhelming attack which didn’t even allow to defend from it.
“I-I surrender! ”
“I beg you! Please, just spare my life! “
After considering their current state of being nearly at death’s door, the remaining bandits gave in.
Yamato’s, and everyone’s aim was not to mindlessly slaughter them all. So they accepted their surrender.
“I will, but instead of taking your lives, we will strip you off of all your possessions.”
In this way, the battle was finally over, and the possessions and valuables of the bandits were confiscated. After collecting the horses and a wagon they had, everyone returned home.
“Was it really alright to bring the bandit’s wagon along with their belongings? Yamato-sama.”
“After questioning one of them he told me, these were all goods they stole. There’s no need to hold back, let’s consider this a reparation fee.”
With an anxious face, the village chief’ granddaughter Liscia was glancing over the wagon and goods collected from the bandits.
The main reason why Yamato decided to bring their possessions with them was because there was the risk of them being used by other bandits if left behind. Besides, expensive horses and a wagon were valuable for the village.
“Reparation fee…? Is it?”
“Think of it as a nuisance fee. It will also serve to cover the living expenses of ‘these children’.
“…I’m really glad you decided to bring ‘these children’ along….”
“It was a choice they made for themselves. Let’s decide what to do from now on after returning to the village.”
Liscia had a concerned face as she looked at the weak children riding in the back of the wagon. They were wearing clothes with patterns Yamato hadn’t seen before.
So those are children of the grassland people, the ‘Han clan’… Well, I hope nothing bad happens if they come with us to Urd…
After being caught by the bandits, these were the children who were imprisoned inside the windmill cabin.
It was decided to bring them back to Urd Village after hearing from them about how their families had been slaughtered and they had since become orphaned.