Withdrawal Battle

Despite losing most of their wyverns, the Jiernetta Kingdom soldiers reversed course and came at us with full force.

“Yes!  We’re retreating!  Put the shields back on the wagons!  The ballista can be used, so aim at the wyverns while running away!”

As he gave these instructions, Ortho opened his mouth with an air of surprise.

“Are we running away? If we can just manage the wyvern, we can win, right?”

Till, Dee, and the others seemed to understand what I was thinking and didn’t say anything.

“I told you in the beginning.
The main goal is for everyone to return home without anyone dying.
If we go up against that big army, we will be wiped out first.
Even if we win, we’ll be torn to pieces too.
Those who want to die can stay, but I’m leaving, okay?”

When I confirmed this, everyone shook their heads left and right in unison.
I raised one hand in laughter at their very honest reaction.

“Then retreat!  The streets are wide.
We’ll line up the wagons in a single file, with the knights guarding the left and right sides!  Adventurers, please play the game!  Oh, and don’t move around too much because the ballistas and archers will attack from the carriages!”

At my words, everyone started moving at once.
Each armored carriage immediately reverted to its original shape and took aim to the rear with only the ballista out.
Inside, each of them had a mechanical bow with a rapid-fire mechanism waiting, ready to aim through the window at any enemy who came near them.

In addition, some of the cavalrymen are accompanied by members of the mechanical bow team, bow in hand, and Arte’s puppet has also returned from the ramparts.

I guess the challenge is to keep them from getting too close.”

I mutter to myself as the carriage begins its retreat and drives off, and Camsin looks out the window and opens his mouth.

“They’re already getting close!  Even the ballista doesn’t seem to be able to hit the wyverns very well!”

“Are they flying in a zigzag?  Then tell the ballistas to anticipate where they’re going to move and fire rapidly.
I’ll ask Arte to take care of the tip of the approaching enemy force.”

As I told him this, Arte looked out the window and responded while looking behind him.

I will guard the rear.”

Arte stated emphatically and made a small movement of his mouth with magic power.

Immediately after, Arte’s doll on top of the carriage softly landed on the ground and ran backward like the wind.
Arte looked at the doll’s back, which quickly became smaller as it kicked the ground, with a serious expression on her face.

The doll ran into a head-on collision with the oncoming enemy advance guard and swung its arms.

It was only a horizontal swing of the sword, but the enemy soldier who caught it with his shield was sent flying backward, and fell down with two or three others caught in his path.

Then, receiving a sword slash in return, several more enemy soldiers fell to the ground, splattering fresh blood.

The doll plunged into the enemy camp, alone, and disappeared from sight.
However, even though the figure was not visible, the soldiers’ astonished voices, shouts and screams, and the sound of violent impacts were still echoing.

The enemy’s marching speed had obviously slowed down.

“All right!  Ballista, mechanical bow troops, fire at once!  Now is the time when the movement has stopped!”

With a hasty command, the sparsely shot arrows were fired all at once.

The arrows flew like rain, partly due to the power of the mechanical bows, which could fire ten arrows in a row.

“Come on, let’s run away!  Take off as fast as you can!  Mechanical archers, replenish the arrows!”

A loud voice responded to my command.
They are full of energy.
Run, run, run.

“Cavalry’s coming!”

“Let’s leave it to Dee and the others.”

“Oh, they took him down in an instant.”

“I’m sure they did.”

Till and Camsin were giving us live reports of the situation, but the Dees and adventurers surrounding us were too ironclad.

In the meantime, the mechanical archers had finished their preparations, and in no time at all, the situation was reversed.

“Arte, can you cut down the tree on the left side toward the street?”

“I’ll try!”

Arte quickly responds to my instruction and manipulates the puppet.
The doll, which had been fighting the enemy soldiers far in the rear, came back next to the carriage at the speed of wind.

After confirming the puppet’s appearance, Arte points his palm to the side of the street.

Then, the doll is played and dives into the woods that spread out just beside the street.

The trees are cut down spasmodically as if cutting bamboo with a machete.

The enemy soldiers were impeded in their pursuit by the trees that had fallen on the road.

After that, some of the enemies who had once pulled away came at us again, but we managed to escape thanks to Arte’s puppets, ballistas, and mechanical bow troops.

After a day of forced marching along the city roads, we rested for about five hours and ran again toward the village.
After that, it was a twelve-hour day of travel, with twelve hours of rest and night work in between.

Finally, the view of our second home, Seat Village, spread out before our eyes.

“…We made it.
I’m back…”

I heard someone mutter, and I nodded with the corner of my mouth raised.

I moved to the coach’s governor’s stand, stood up, and thrust one hand up into the air.

“We’re home!  We’re going to have a party!  We’re going to have a barbecue party!”

As he announced this, a loud, earth-shaking cheer went up.

Perhaps noticing the shouts, the figures on the walls of Seat Village also raised their hands and shouted something, and the gates of the village opened with cheers.

The remaining people in the village came out of the gate and waved their hands.
Espada was in the front row.

“I’m home!”

I say as I reach the front of the castle gate, and everyone comes up to me at once.
Surrounded by smiling faces, I began by saying the most important thing.

“Everyone is safe!  No one is dead or seriously injured!”

I told them, and with a breath of relief, I was greeted with shouts of joy and applause.

“Welcome back.
I am glad you are safe.”

Espada bows deeply in greeting, to which I reply with a laugh, “Thank you, Espada.

“Thank you, Espada, for all your hard work.
Did anything happen while I was gone?”

“Yes, I did.
This time, people from the village in the Marquis’s domain have been pouring in.
So the population has increased by another 300 people.

“Really? So Seat Village finally has a population of 1,000?  What about housing?

“Right now, we are staying in the soldiers’ dormitory.
We are still in the process of getting them to learn the work, but we would be happy if Van-sama could take a look at them.

“Yes, that’s right.
Then, for now, let’s have a barbecue party, including a welcome party.”

As we were laughing and having such a conversation, Espada’s subordinate and protégée-like sister opened her mouth.

“Oh, um, the war…”

Asked so fearfully, I nodded with a troubled laugh.

“We lost.
Well, it hurts that they took the citadel, but we returned unharmed, so let’s be happy about that.”

When I said this with a chuckle, everyone present raised their eyebrows in concern.

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