Chapter 05: Decisive Battle
The technique of creating trenches wasn’t new in my previous Earth.
In Europe, trenches were already used in siege warfare from the late Middle Ages. It involves digging holes to hide in, making it difficult for the enemy to target us while allowing our side to show without the need to sit or crouch, thus providing a tactical advantage. The widespread adoption of this tactic occurred explosively, particularly after the Russo-Japanese War when machine guns became widely used and especially during World War I.
I initially had my doubts when I heard that the ‘Church’ were using trenches even in open-field battles.
How can they instantly dig trenches on the battlefield?
The ‘Warrior Clan’ has cavalry. I thought that the ‘Warrior Clan’ could surprise the enemy while they were preparing or even go manoeuvring around to their rear.
Because I had seen something that I didn’t want to see.
“… Is this the first time you’ve seen this, Master?”
“I didn’t really want to see this.”
Yoshinaga-san and I had flown to scout the area and saw that the ‘Church’ was digging trenches. Or to be more precise, it was more like they were ‘having’ the holes dug.
The ones who were doing the digging were faint ‘gods’.
“Only the One and Only God exists in the ‘Church’, so they call those gods ‘angels’. They are stripped of their divinity and are only given just enough karma as necessary to exist.”
“… That’s horrible.”
“That’s how the ‘Church’ operates. The most faithful among the believers are given ‘angels’ as a ‘blessing’. The ‘angels’ are invisible to humans, so the believers are under the illusion that they have been gifted power by their God.”
“And that leads them to believe in the One and Only God?”
The calm part of my brain was impressed while my gut was churning with anger. The gods who have been robbed of their believers are rendered powerless, then enslaved and repurposed as ‘angels’. It was blasphemy, but it was ingenious.
It was an idea that I would never imitate, but if this idea succeeds then there is no limit to how far one can expand their influence. Of course, that’s only if there are no competitors coming up with the same idea or similar ideas.
“Are those weapons called crossbows? Don’t you know a lot about crossbows?”
“I wish it was only a crossbow… but those look more like repeating crossbows.”
“Repeating crossbows? How is that different from a crossbow?”
“Both were used in China in the past, but the repeating crossbow is capable of rapid-fire.”
Repeating crossbows and crossbows are mechanical bows and can fire arrows mechanically unlike ordinary bows. They have various advantages and disadvantages, but the greatest advantage was that they don’t require specialised training.
In Japanese historical dramas, they often show samurai practicing archery because a bow is a weapon that requires constant training. On the other hand, mechanical bows such as the repeating crossbow and the crossbow are far easier to use. Even peasants from this area could be counted as part of the military force and assume their role in battle if the basic usage of the weapons are explained to them.
Shooting repeating crossbows from these trenches would certainly be an effective tactic against the cavalry that is coming towards them from the front. The ‘Church’ wasn’t digging trenches in a straight line, instead they were digging it in the shape of a ‘W’. When trenches are dug this way, there will be no blind spots, no matter which direction the cavalry charges from.
Yoshinaga-san nodded silently. I was looking at an ‘angel’ who was being used by the ‘Church’.
I was fortunate enough to not only be an evil god but also a god, but if I had made one mistake somewhere then I might be forced to work like a slave for the ‘Church’.
The ‘Warrior Clan’ and demons will be fighting the ‘Church’.
Our enemy isn’t the human-made ‘Church’ but the ‘Church’ itself, in other words, the One and Only God.
I feel bad for Yoshinaga-san, who is bent on revenge, but as we are now, we will never be able to defeat the system created by the One and Only God. Since karma is the source of all power for gods in this world, it would be impossible to change the outcome of the battle if the disparity in the ability to gather karma is too different.
A god who has karma can use that to perform miracles and gain believers more easily. It is the same as gold in my previous life. It’s easier to increase 100 gold to 101 than it is to increase one gold into two and similarly, growing 1,000 gold into 1,001 gold is simpler.
I heard a battle cry from behind my back. It was the ‘Warrior Clan’.
I must focus on the battle at hand for now, but I will have to face the One and Only God one day for Ruro, Draco and Yoshinaga-san.
The feeling of spending my life carefreely as a god when I first reincarnated into this world had long disappeared.
I grabbed Yoshinaga-san’s hand naturally.
After a moment of surprised stiffness, Yoshinaga-san gently squeezed my hand back.
“Master… when this battle is over…”
My heart raced once.
“… You’re going to have to tell me about that Ruro girl.”
Spearman in the centre, flanked by the cavalry.
It was orthodox, but I believe it’s a good formation that contains the basics. It was strange for me to say this since I wasn’t a soldier in my past life but just a mere businessman.
Since they referred to themselves as a ‘Warrior Clan’, I had imagined that they would charge in groups based on where they were living in the grassland, so seeing them in an orderly battle formation surprised me a bit. I had assumed their tactics evolved around calvary-focused hit-and-run manoeuvres, much like the Mongolian equestrian tribes.
Their spears, which were more than three metres long, were heavy. They would need to be well-trained to form a dense formation. Their ancestors were warriors who had settled in this area to defend against the invading demon army. Perhaps in the past there was a need not only for cavalry with high mobility suitable for invasion and plunder but also for tactics using spears which can provide a solid defence. It was possible that this knowledge continued to be passed down in some form.
I was looking down at the battlefield from the sky with the <God of Wind> Rilfis. Yoshinaga-san and Eulenspiegel were watching over the demon army. In times of crisis, we would lose our communication link if we don’t have two people on each side. At first, I suggested that Rilfis and Eulenspiegel pair up, but they were both unwilling to pair with each other. They probably didn’t want to see each other.
Still, this was quite a solid formation.
I was wrong when I thought they had sacrificed Ruro because they were scared of the goblins. Ruro was clearly a nuisance.
Did her position as the chief’s granddaughter and the daughter of a traitor make things difficult for her?
There is something odd about her situation though.
The ‘Warrior Clan’ who were on the ground holding their spears or riding on horseback all had red hair. The chief also had red hair, but why does Ruro have green hair?
I glanced over at the <God of Wind> who was folding his arms beside me. I hadn’t paid much attention to him before, but Rilfis also has green hair. No way.
“… I want to ask you something before the battle, Rilfis-san.”
“Why’re you being so reserved, Hirano. We’re comrades-in-arms. Ask me anything.”
Rilfis laughed heartily, perhaps intoxicated by the mood of the battlefield.
“It’s about Ruro…”
“Oh, thanks for helping her. Really, thanks. I owe you one, Hirano. I couldn’t save her myself. I’m not making fun of you for showing yourself to a human, alright? I know that that kind of courage is necessary sometimes. Anyway, I’ll pay you back in some way or another for that.”
“I don’t care if you pay me back or not… why was she made into a sacrifice?”
Rilfis flinched at my question. So, something is going on.
I gave him one more push. My experience as a salesman was whispering that Rilfis would fold with one more push.
“I don’t think it’s because that girl’s father became a priest at the ‘Church’.”
“Oh, well, the direct cause was because her father had betrayed everyone, yup, but…”
“We’re comrades-in-arms, aren’t we? Why are you beating around the bush so much?”
Rilfis went silent.
Below at the edge of my vision, some of the ‘Church’s’ forces had started firing their repeating crossbows since they were getting impatient with the slowly advancing ‘Warrior Clan’. The advancing troops had yet to enter the range of the crossbow. Were they threatening the ‘Warrior Clan’ or do they have inexperienced soldiers in their ranks?
Even so, I continued to stare silently at the side of Rilfis’s face, then he muttered.
“Ruro Banten, is, you know, my daughter.”
“Daughter, my daughter. She’s my child.”
“Can a God have a child with a human?”
I probably look like a complete idiot right now. Rilfis looked at me and shrugged.
“I didn’t know we could.”
He may have said it in a light tone, but it sounded heavy. It makes a lot of sense if Ruro is Rilfis’s daughter.
Why could she see me?
Why could she handle a spear that emits karma?
And most importantly ―――…
“Then Ruro’s father joined the ‘Church because…”
“… Yeah, that’s right. It was my fault.”
The spearmen were within range of the ‘Church’s’ repeating crossbows.
From this point forward, they can’t take a step without risking damage. The speed of the crossbows’ continuous fire appeared unusually fast. It was normal to take a long time to load a repeating crossbow since you can fix a lot of arrows to the bow, but it seemed like they were having the supply troops prepare the crossbows for them in the trenches.
“She was a beautiful redhead. She was a slender beauty which is rare in the ‘Warrior Clan’ since most of their women are voluptuous.”
I couldn’t think of a response. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t guessed this but hearing it directly from the person himself had a profound impact that resonated in the depths of my being. It was quite serious to hear that a god can have a child with a human.
“I don’t know where you come from, Hirano, but you must be familiar with Greek mythology, right? About Zeus, Apollo and all the other Greek gods.”
“I don’t know much about them.”