Episode 48: Yamato-style ・ Wagon Battle
After departing from the city of Orn, they finally caught up with the horse-drawn carriage that had abducted the girl Isis.
“If you value your life. Stop!”
After disposing of the advance party, Yamato made the recommendation for them to surrender, in a mannerly way.
His main purpose was to rescue Isis, not some indiscriminate slaughter. So, he wanted to avoid futile fighting if possible.
“Do you even know who you’re speaking to!? I am the great Viscount Butan, a famous merchant from the Empire! Kill them! Kill them all right now! “
Unfortunately, the other party’s leader, Butan, declared so.
Sticking out his plump body from the horse-drawn carriage’s window, he ordered the remaining mounted mercenaries to kill Yamato’s group.
“Negotiations have broken down. Let’s do it… Mountain Dog Group.”
“” AYE! Boss (Aniki)! “”
Saying so, he instructed Urd’s children that were riding in the wagon, along with the Han clan children that rode their horses parallel to it. Therefore, the earlier agreed-upon ‘annihilation strategy’ began.
“Isis is in the carriage. First, let’s take care of the cavalry escorts.”
The girl, Liscia next to him in the coach seat replied in a loud voice, and so they began executing the plan.
They weren’t worried about the other party hearing their conversation in the wagon, since it was drowned by the intense galloping sounds.
In addition, the same as they did last time, they were hiding the lower part of their faces with a cloth in order to hide their identities.
Being disguised as such, nobody would expect them to be simple villagers, even less from Urd.
“Slow down, take some distance from the carriage.”
“Got it, Yamato-ani-sama! “
While watching the enemy formation, Yamato gave those instructions.
With the masterful skills of the boy from the Han clan driving the wagon, it slowed down and took a bit of distance from their opponents.
They became familiar with horses from a young age, and were able to handle horses almost as if they were their own hands and feet; those were the people of the grasslands.
Theirs was a four-wheeled, two-horse simple wagon; the other party on the other hand had a luxurious four-wheeled, four-horse carriage.
At first glance, one would think their opponent has the upper hand, but these two horses were the famous Han horses, notable across the continent for their outstanding power.
Their speed and endurance were so overwhelming that it almost seemed impossible to believe they had caught up to the kidnappers at this place, coming all the way from Orn.
“Alright, begin combat.”
“Roger that! Yamato-niichan! “
First of all, they took some distance in order not to involve Isis, who was captive in the opponent’s carriage, in the fight.
They first will be cleaning up the surrounding mounted mercenaries, before rescuing her.
“Yamato-danna. They’re a famous mercenary group in this part of the continent. Be careful! “
“Yeah. You go back and hide, Lacq.”
Lacq warned them from the back, in the cargo part of the wagon.
He was brought by Yamato as a guide.
However, he shamelessly proclaimed himself as ‘useless in a fight’, so he wasn’t counted as a fighting force.
And according to him, those belonged to a dangerous mercenary group that would undertake any request if the money was right.
Proof of that was the fact that earlier, around a dozen of horse riders attacked them without even saying a word.
“Yamato-niichan! They’re circling us from behind! “
A boy keeping watch at the rear side, came to report.
Apparently, twenty riders from the mercenary group circled them and were coming straight at them from the highway.
The remaining ten enemy riders were pursuing the Han clan mounted archers that were spread in the grassland as a decoy.
“All members, ‘Volley Formation’! “
“Roger that! “
In response to the village chief granddaughter, the children in the read set up their crossbow.
This time, there were not many children brought from the city of Orn. Therefore, it was necessary to draw the other party closer and then fire.
“Da-danna! The enemies are shooting! “
A sorrowful cry from Lacq, who was riding in the hooded part of the cart resounded.
Because they were waiting for the enemy to draw closer, the mercenaries fired a preemptive strike with their own bows.
It was a natural reaction for Lacq to raise his voice in fear.
Although they were covered by a cloth made apparently to guard from the rain, it was obvious to him that it was quite thin.
After being penetrated by the arrows, he feared they would end up as human hedgehogs.
“I trust this design and Gaton-jii-san who made it.”
As he protected the children that were concentrating on their shooting, Yamato tried to calm Lacq and the children a little.
He wanted them to believe in him, who made the design to remodel the wagon, and Gaton, who made it a reality.
Then, the sound of the arrows from the mercenaries hitting the hood covering them sounded. The sound of the rain of arrows pouring down in rapid succession was heard.
And yet, everyone remained unscathed.
“Wow!! It’s really amazing! “
Lacq leaked his impressed voice at the fact that no arrow passed through the thin top hood of the wagon.
Yamato had already explained it to him, but he was surprised after actually seeing it in action.
“Urd-type Layered Defensive Membrane”
An ordinary bow and arrow weren’t enough to pierce the new defensive cloth, devised in the spring of this year and made by Gaton by woven layers of thinly made metal and cured leather.
Of course, along with the wagon, the two horses pulling it also had their body covered by the same defensive fabric.
“H-how can that be!? “
“The arrows bounced…”
On the other hand, the mercenaries had their mouths agape in surprise at the unexpected sight.
They never expected a farmer’s wagon to defend against their bows and arrows.
“Now! Crossbow squad, FIRE! “
Not missing the chance when the enemies were confused, the voice of Liscia echoed in the cargo platform.
In response to that, the crossbow squad fired through small openings made in the hood covering the wagon, aiming at the enemies.
They targeted the vital points of the mercenaries carelessly approaching. The Urd crossbows, able to penetrate even metal plates, easily take the enemies’ lives in a single blow.
“Second row, FIRE! “
The mercenaries tried to counterattack, but their attacks weren’t effective while they volley from inside the crude wagon was relentlessly reducing their numbers.
The mercenaries were stunned in confusion at that incredible sight.
Compared to the instantaneous reaction of wild animals due to instinct, there was a time lag in the reactions of humans.
And Liscia, being an excellent hunter and a good commander, did not miss that chance the opponent gave.
“Retreat! Run away! “
After a few volleys from the crossbow squad, the mounted mercenary group was on the verge of collapse.
The few surviving riders ran away and scattered at the desperate command of retreat.
“Wait! Bastards! Where do you think you’re going!? You need to protect me! “
“Shut your mouth! We already did enough for you! “
“Run away! “
At the carriage, Butan was yelling at the escaping guards.
Fleeing from an enemy was a clear violation of a contract for mercenaries, but everyone present valued their life higher than gold.
And they felt no obligation to toss their lives for a haughty merchant like Butan.
The remaining mercenaries chasing the Han clan cavalry archers, barely keeping up, also retreated.
“W-what… how could…”
Confirming the state of the losing battle from the carriage window, Butan became speechless.
What remained of his fighting force was that one single imperial carriage. And on the other hand, his opponents were completely unharmed.
The overwhelming difference in numbers that he had a short while ago, had completely reversed.
After being made aware of that unbelievable reality, Butan’s plump face was dyed with despair.
“Lien. Now! “
Taking the chance, Yamato shouted a command.
The person receiving said instruction was the knight Lienhardt, who had been secretly approaching from the grasslands.
“Don’t call me as if we’re friends! “
Yelling in response, the ambushing Lienhardt showed up.
Jumping out from the grassland, it charged at the carriage splendidly.
His target was the empire’s coachman. After jumping towards the moving carriage from atop of his horse, he took the reins away from the coachman.
His skills were befitting of his title as one of the best knights in this part of the continent, the 《Ten Swords 》 Lienhardt.
But right now, in order to save his lord, he wasn’t that person, he currently was the humble ‘Swordsman Lien’, a member of the Mountain Dog Group.
“Alright…. Hoo Hoo…”
With the reins in his hands, Lienhardt slowly stopped the imperial horse-drawn carriage.
The surviving mercenaries were dispersed, and no suspicious enemy soldier could be seen around.
There was no longer anyone who could defend the imperial carriage.
The only ones remaining should be the merchant noble Butan, and the unconscious Isis, inside the carriage.
“Don’t let your guard down just yet.”
Stopping their wagon, Yamato got down from it along with Liscia.
And just to be sure, he directed the Han clan mounted archery unit to patrol the surroundings.
“Don’t go having some weird ideas. Just hand over all your cargo. If you do so, we’ll spare your life.”
As the leader of the bandits, Yamato then pressured the merchant.
Since the lower half of their faces was covered with a cloth, Butan wasn’t aware of the bandits’ true identity.
For their show to succeed, it was necessary to attack the carriage and make the other party think that ‘they just took away the beautiful girl, along with the cargo’.
“Surrender, you say… uhihihihi…”
From the stopped carriage, Butan opened the door and came down from the carriage.
Despite the bleak situation, his vulgar smile remained. It was a weird expression, almost as if he was convinced of his own victory.
“Surrender. Do so and I’ll spare your life. This is your last chance.”
Yamato gave one final warning.
“Uhihihi… it seems like he finally woke up… with this, it’s my victory…”
However, the other party simple grinned forwards while muttering something in a low voice.
To Yamato, he was most likely an amateur at fighting, and therefore, he couldn’t have an impact enough to turn the tables at this point in time.
Yamato wondered whether he had gone crazy since he was pretty much defeated.
“Then, I’ll have to take that li-…”
It was at that moment, when he tried to attack Butan.
Feeling an incredible bloodlust, Yamato couldn’t finish his sentence.
“Everyone, scatter now! “
Yamato loudly instructed the children of the crossbow squad, who had surrounded the carriage. He was certain that they needed to evacuate this place as soon as possible.
“What’s wrong anik-!? Wooah!?! “
The children barely managed to move back.
However, they still got blown away by the incredible and unexpected sword pressure.
Thanks to Yamato’s teachings, they were able to land in a way to reduce the damage, therefore, everyone was safe.
However, a corner of the carriage was completely destroyed by a ‘blow’.
What is… with such a destructive power…?
A part of the cobble-paved road, alongside the lush meadow was gouged by the recent shockwave.
Yamato was stunned at such a sight.
“Huh, it seems like something interesting happened while I was asleep…”
The culprit behind the destruction then slowly made his appearance.
The one behind that shockwave, the one who blew away the crossbow squad was a single swordsman that rode the carriage.
Thick arms, a large and broad back, and also a huge sword.
A slash…? Was that a shockwave from swinging that sword too fast…?
Yamato guessed that the previous shockwave was result from the swinging of such a large sword, belonging to the person descending from the wagon.
His mind refused to believe such a thing could be possible, but that fact was in front of him.
An attack from such a sword had caused the previous shockwave.
“Ohh…? If I’m not mistaken, you are…”
After looking at Yamato and examining his appearance, the swordsman seemed happy, as a ferocious smile was plastered on his face.
Like a knight who found a worthy rival…
Or it would be more proper to say, like a predator who found a new prey.
As expected, he too was riding this carriage…
The bad feeling he had this morning at the bazaar finally came true.
“Yamato… I’m glad to see you came.”
Cold sweat flowed on Yamato’s back as he saw the figure of the Empire’s knight Barrès, happily grinning.
Yeah, I noticed this new keyboard doesnt have a “less than” and “more than” key… bear with the OOO for this chapter.
Check out these novels on Amazon!