BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 27 (WN)
Chapter 27 – Underhanded Ways of Skillful Warfare
Dawn broke on the decisive day.
Soldiers started hurrying and bustling in the fort. At the same time, noise gradually rose from the troops that surrounded it.
“I suppose it’s time to officially start the battle.”
I climbed on the eastern wall of the fortress and looked down at the First Imperial Army.
Next to me was the messenger they had sent the day before, to deliver their ultimatum: surrender or die. His hands were tied and he was firmly held still by Maxwell soldiers on both sides.
I drew the sword at my waist and pointed it at the sky, so the soldiers below could see it clearly.
“No hard feelings…heh, I guess it’d be too much to ask, huh? But this is the way I do battle. Don’t get lost on the way to the other side.”
“…I curse you, demon child of Maxwell!”
“Hah! Good luck with that!”
The man cursed me with his last breath, as I sliced his head off with one stroke. I kicked the limp torso off the walls, then picked the head up and held it towards the imperial troops.
Seeing their brethren killed before their eyes made them howl with rage. They started advancing towards the fort, spears and shields in hand. As the First Imperial Army started moving from the east, the Second Imperial Army in the north and the Imperial Knights in the south followed suit.
“Here we go — to the battle that will decide the future of the continent!!”
I looked down at the forces below, well over ten thousand, and my lips curved into a grin.
In response to my words, a beast-like howl echoed within the fort.
The First Imperial Army troops proceeded towards the eastern walls of Fort Bryden, in a veritable stampede.
“Bring the ladders!! Invade the fortress!!”
Following the captain’s orders, a group of soldiers carrying a long ladder rushed towards the fort.
Volleys of arrows were shot from the walls in their direction. The imperial soldiers held up their shields in defense, but some arrows managed to pierce their shoulders and legs nevertheless.
“Gh…are you alright!?”
“Those who can still move, fulfill your tasks!! You lot, get up now or the arrows…”
A soldier yelled at a group of comrades who had been struck by the arrows, but quickly realized that there was something unnatural about their reaction.
“Hey!! What’s wrong with you!?”
“It can’t be…poison!?”
The soldiers struck by arrows were writhing on the ground, foaming, clawing at their necks. By the time the soldiers around them realized the arrowheads had to be laced with poison, it was too late: another volley of arrows rained on their heads.
“Shit!! Maxwell, you dirty bastard!!”
More and more imperial soldiers fell to the poison. The soldiers who tried to assist their fallen comrades were targeted as well, without signs of stopping.
“I’m the dirty bastard? When your forces outnumber us five to one? That’s rich.”
Looking down at the screaming hellscape, I gave orders for the next attack.
“No need to hold back, shoot everything you have! It’s all on me today! Our guests came all the way from the empire, let’s fill their stomachs with our best poison treats!!”
The soldiers continued dipping arrowheads in the jars at their feet and shooting at the imperial troops. Countless jars had been placed at regular intervals alongside the walls, filled with poison: more than enough to kill ten thousand soldiers.
“It’s irritating to think that this is all thanks to that damn hag’s present…but I’m going to use everything at my disposal.”
The massive amount of poison needed for this plan was a gift from my mother, Grace.
The “Sea Hydra Gallstones” I received from Echidna Thunderbird at the royal capital could be soaked in water to create large amounts of lethal poison. A box full of gallstones was enough to make enough poison to kill ten thousand soldiers.
“…this sword, the stones…that damn woman’s gifts always come in handy at just the right time, it gives me the creeps…you’re not watching me from somewhere, are you?”
My trusted blade, Siegfried, was a gift from my mother as well. If I hadn’t received it, I would surely have died five years ago, fighting Bjorc Zagann.
“Mother knows best, is that it…? Makes me sick just thinking about it.”
To vent my building frustration, I dipped a javelin in the poison and hurled it at the enemy. It landed squarely in the chest of a commander that was giving orders to the scampering soldiers, piercing through his armor and jutting out the back.
“Well, that didn’t need poison in the first place…wait, that’s…”
A group of imperial soldiers was advancing with raised shields to block the arrows, carrying a battering ram. The Maxwell soldiers’ arrows were deflected by their shields, so the ram successfully slammed against the fortress’ walls.
“Young Master, the ram…!!”
“You have permission. Drop it.”
The soldier acknowledged my order and took out a pot from the wooden box at his feet. Using a lamp, he lit the fuse poking out of the pot on fire.
The soldier threw the burning pot down from the wall, above the imperial soldiers with the ram. As soon as the pot hit the ground, it blew black smoke and exploded.
“My eyes!! MY EYES!!!”
The soldiers dropped the ram and ran away in the direction opposite to the walls. Soon enough, poisoned arrows struck their backs.
“Fireworks are really the best. I feel like a kid again.”
“Young Master!! Please look at that!”
I turn to the direction the Maxwell soldier pointed to and see several four-wheeled turrets advance from the imperial camp in our direction.
I smiled, baring my fangs, and raised my right hand.
“Not a problem! Blow them away!!”
The Maxwell soldiers took the gunpowder pots, set them on fire and threw them at the turrets, one after the other.
Loud explosions resounded through the battlefield, as clouds of black smoke rose to the sky.