Suspicious Men and Silver Blade
End of battle was a little bit awkward. I would not regret my decision as the commander of demon army, but it’s not possible to not have a heavy heart after killing this many.
Since they attacked suddenly, with that much number and weaponry, it was obvious that there was no room for negotiation. I would not be struggling if I could win with persuasion.
Still it is melancholic nonetheless.
Who’s the enemy general to come up with such a reckless strategy.
There were three injured among the werewolves. They are the ones who got hit by arrows directly.
“You three fought bravely. It is fine, it will be healed soon”
While treating the injured with recovery magic, I praised them for good fight.
Besides a few scratches, everyone else seems to be in good health. As one would expect of the werewolves.
I entrusted the rest to Jerik, and returned to the castle gate in a hurry. Because there is something to be worried about.
Monza greeted me with a troubled expression. Seems it was as I feared.
“Look at them. They were loitering around carrying knives.”
Near her feet, some men are squatting. There were silver knives scattered in the vicinity.
Their faces looked a bit distorted, so I timidly ask Monza,
“Isn’t it too much?”
“They tried to run, so a little?”
Monza cracked a smile. She is carefree, but she was a person who has room for leisure while executing any kind of cruel act.
I question the men.
“Who are you guys?”
Thereupon the men flared up.
“Because the outside is noisy, we just came to see the situation!”
“There are howls of werewolves, everyone is completely frightened.?
What a confidence.
“Well enough about that, why are you carrying things like knives?”
They sink into silence.
There is a law that prohibits armaments of civilians, but since knives used for cooking are daily use tools, so carrying is permitted.
I picked up the knife and looked, after removing the silverwork scabbard.
The knife blade is also made of silver. This seems like the handiwork of inujin artisan, there is a splendid flower engraved on it.
All the other knife blades are also made of silver. Silver is heavy and soft. Not suitable for daily domestic use.
But, among humans, there is a legend that ‘werewolves can only be harmed with silver weapons’.
A false rumour that ‘inujin spoils the silver’ is also spread by humans, but this case is the opposite. ‘Werewolves can only be harmed with silver’ is the false rumour spread by werewolves.
Because doing so, they would attack with soft and weak silver weapons.
I cross-examined the men while looking down.
“You guys wanted to perpetrate something?”
No answer. I become a little more angry.
“Things like silver knife should not be used in cooking or packing. Why were you carrying these? Answer.”
I bared my fangs at the silent men.
The men were expressionless, but obviously frightened.
It smelled of fear.
Finally one man started talking.
“G… Oh God, it is used to break the seal of letter.”
Is it a paper knife. Well since silver knives are soft, that would be the most one can do.
But it’s like a luxury.
Who would believe it.
“Just to observe the situation because of outside is noisy, did you guys bring tools for breaking the seal of letters?”
They remained silent.
So I raised my head and announced so that the nearby citizens can also hear.
“Check their backgrounds thoroughly. Hand over them to the viceroy. I entrust the punishment to viceroy.”
At last the final punishment would be left to viceroy. There was a need to show off like that.
Monza squad restrained the men, and dragged them away.
Sending them off, Sukuji asked me.
“Vaito-san, is it fine? The viceroy is the human, right? Won’t the punishment be mild?”
This young guy seems to be dissatisfied with this punishment.
So I reply with a troubled face.
“Can’t do anything, if we start punishing the citizens, animosity would become worse. They are undoubtedly suspicious, but they didn’t do anything.”
“That, That is so, but..”
Sukuji makes a face showing disagreement. Well that would be so.
As far as demons are concerned, there are no obligation for the strong to show that much concern towards the weak. If there are signs of revolt, then it’s sufficient to slaughter them all.
Although, doing that would definitely make it unfavorable later.
“The humans like to be coaxed. They resent immediately. Conversely, if you do something good, it’s easy to make them follow. In truth, I am also thinking of killing them all.”
“Is that so…”
Still it doesn’t look like he is convinced, but he is a werewolf. Even if there is something to complain, he will still obey the boss.
“Well, leave it to me. I will do it so that we will get the most gain.”
As I laughed patting his shoulder, Sukuji also barely smiled.
At that moment, the castle gate opened, Jerik and others returned. I had asked them to inspect the battlefield, seems like that was over.
“It’s strange, commander. Look at this one. This is a silver arrow.”
He held up an arrow, which the enemy had.
If you look closely, certainly the arrowhead is made of silver.
While flipping the arrowhead, Jerik, taking me as a fool, explained.
“This is a casted metal. Probably made after melting down silver coins, but it seems to be made in a hurry. Evidence shows that it’s not forged properly.”
I ponder for a bit.
“This arrow, however I look at it, feels like it is made for werewolves.”
“Ah, I have no doubt. Silver is softer than iron. There is no one to make weapons out of them deliberately.”
“In that case, the Tuban people know that werewolves are here.”
“I don’t know. What I know is that because of the fragile silver arrowheads, everyone’s wounds are minor.”
Jerik shrugged his shoulders.
He is truly a master blacksmith in all aspects.
However I can’t afford to be like that, so I muttered folding my hands,
“How did the people of Tuban know that werewolves are here?”
We have completely shut down the human movement in and out of the city since we have invaded Ryun Height. Other than that only the inujin caravan can leave.
Because the inujin caravan would only go towards the places under the influence of demon army, information should not have been transmitted to the Tuban people.
While watching the townscape of Ryun Height, I had a unpleasant feeling.
It seems information is leaking somewhere.
At that time, castle gate opened again, and Woddo squad returned.
“I held a memorial for the war dead. Things like holding a memorial for humans, I never would have imagined.”
“Thank you, Woddo-jiisan”
Woddo-jiisan is currently a peaceful retired old man, but originally he is a mercenary. I have heard that he had slipped into humans and participated in war in various places.
“By the way, Vaito-ya, look at this one”
The white werewolf with long military service held a bow that appeared to be picked up on the battlefield.
“Is this? Looks like the enemy bows.”
“That’s right. But it is a little small.”
Woddo-jiisan laughed merrily, and continued,
“This is a bow used by cavalry, but even in that case it is a little too short. Doesn’t seem to be fit for battlefield.”
“….is it for urban warfare?”
“Something like that.”
According to the Woddo-jiisan’s explanation, the bows carried by Tuban cavalry are made pursuing the merit in handling.
In exchange, the accuracy and power would be lost, but it’s easy to use even in confined urban area.
“In that case, isn’t it unsuitable for siege wars?”
“Quite the opposite. Other weapons are also like that, but it’s as if they haven’t thought about anything prior to passing through the castle gates.”
I was startled.
They attacked with only four hundred, because they had means to break through the castle gates.
And the men with silver knives caught earlier.
I, being wary of the betrayers, left two squads of Monza and other for security, but it became a result just as feared.
Perhaps, the tactics of Tuban side is like this.
With the assumption of demon army not being deployed except for castle walls, Tuban organized their forces.
The fifty bow cavalry with silver arrows are the counter werewolf urban warfare troop.
The three hundred fifty infantry would be the rear guard for urban suppression.
That’s why that time only the bow cavalry started attacking suddenly.
Taking advantage of mobility the bow cavalry unit would attack the north gate of Ryun Height. The defectors after opening the castle gates would lead the bow cavalry unit.
The bow cavalry unit would rush into the main street or plaza, and fire the silver arrows at the werewolves who came to counterattack.
As a trading city, the gate or main street are made wide, which is just right for moving around for bow cavalry.
The infantry would break into the city by the time most werewolves are defeated. They would then recapture Ryun Height by overwhelming the inujin with quality and quantity.
That sort of thing.
Since their assumption was completely wrong, the tactics and forces collapsed.
Thinking of moving the troops without thorough intelligence gathering, I wonder if the enemy generals are incompetent. Possibly, there is some reason.
In this case, I should have questioned after taking prisoners of war.
If the werewolves’ blood boils, then it becomes this brutal……