Ch. 152 The Second Southern Conquest III
“But… is it really the right choice to engage in battle under such circumstances?”
A thought crossed my mind as I watched the enemy on top of the cliff.
A battle now would be the decider.
Breaking through a phalanx formation would result in the total collapse of the army–in other words, it would mean the ruin of one’s country in a battle like this.
Both parties would go for a battle like this only when they are certain they can win.
At the very least, if you’re shutting yourself in in your castle or base, even if you don’t win, you won’t be losing so it’s only natural to do so when your odds of winning aren’t high.
“It is right that they don’t have any other choice. After all, they would get isolated in the midst of the enemy if they were to stay shut in. They have no other way but to win. A war is all about creating the situation needed to win and then dragging out the opponent onto the battlefield.”
So you mean to say it’s our win since we made them resort to battle in a situation disadvantageous to them.
Even then, since they did choose to come out and fight, they must think that they have a shot at victory as well, right?
“How do you think they’ll move?”
“No idea about that… But the poison should be embedded so…”
That is true, we did fill their food with poison.
Once it kicks in, we should be able to win no matter what the enemy does.
The issue would be if they counteracted the poison.
I’m still curious about their strategy.
“I guess we’ll find out once it starts.”
“That’s correct. You can be more carefree. Here, have a drink.”
You’re a bit too carefree, I’d say.
Four days of glaring at one another.
The battle has not yet begun.
The opponent probably does not want to face the battle.
Which is why they are tediously trying to delay it.
They just won’t come out of their base.
There’s not much we can do about this one.
“Well, they do know that they’ll lose if they fight… Rather, if you’re not going to fight, then just stay shut in in your castle or surrender. The enemy’s commander is quite the indecisive man.”
“They are a democracy after all. They must have come out to show off to their citizens but the actual leaders probably don’t want a fight.”
Unlike the impression a democracy gives, they often tend to take extreme actions.
It’s nothing uncommon.
“But this isn’t favorable for us.”
I need to get the farmers back to their land fast.
But more importantly, we are running short on rations.
Normally, it is standard to acquire rations locally.
Our army has done the same till now.
However, if we were to stay here longer, the residents here would run out of food themselves.
We could definitely buy it off forcibly but that would end up decreasing our reputation.
At present, we are paying for the army provisions and are also promising to not harm them as long as they surrender.
“What should we do? Try instigating them?”
In the Records of The Three Kingdoms, the military commander drank outside of the enemy base to provoke them.
Then they would go, “It’s Zhuge Liang’s trap!!”.
I wonder if Bartolo and I should do the same here.
A “It’s Bartolo’s trap!!” or something like that.
“No, I don’t think that’s necessary. They’ll make a move soon enough. After all, even now, the small to medium cities are coming under our command.”
Well, then it’s fine but…
“Ohh!! The enemy is preparing for deployment.”
“Seems like they finally got off their back, huh? We can win now.”
Bartolo stood up, throwing the empty sake bottle to the ground.
Oi, pick it up later. It’s good manners to pick up your trash yourself.
“Your Majesty, you stay here and watch.”
Bartolo stopped me as I was about to go to battle.
I mean, I am strong. Besides, I am not really good at commanding so I think I’d be better off fighting in the front lines.
“That won’t do, bro–Your Majesty. If you were to die, our country will go under.”
I guess I don’t have a successor yet, huh?
Raymond is seedless too.
…It might actually become an oligarchy and not go under.
“Even then, there would be disorder. Do not go out in front no matter what.”
Bartolo strictly stopped me.
Since you’re asking that much, I’ll decide on watching over the fight.
It would be nice if I could learn something from this.
The army’s formation was just your usual phalanx formation.
A standard formation.
No strategy whatsoever.
“Your Majesty, we boast an army four times larger than the opponent’s. It’s better to clash head on with our numbers since we are overwhelmingly high in numbers.”
“I hear that quite often.”
The strategy to attack head on if you win in numbers.
“Now then, the enemy is… isn’t that the oblique line formation?”
Their forces were weirdly slanted towards the left.
Are they copying Bartolo to overcome the difference in size?
“Is that alright?”
“It would actually be better for us. The main house can’t lose too easily.”
Hannibal lost to Scipio, though.
I will believe Bartolo here.
Bartolo isn’t just a drunk old man.
He’s a capable drunk old man.
“Now, Your Majesty.”
“Got it… Everyone!! March!!”
With my command, the Rosyth army started moving forward at once.
Step by step, they moved fast.
And immediately, the enemy’s left wing attacked our weak right side.
Even then, our forces are four times the enemy’s.
It won’t break that easily.
At the same time, our left wing collided with the enemy’s right.
The outcome was already decided.
It was time.
A sound of a large gong resounded from the enemy’s base.
At that moment, about two thousand of the enemy’s soldiers started running away as fast as they could.
Due to that, the barely maintained phalanx formation collapsed.
This is the true form of the poison.
We had colluded with the city with the least morale among the three cities beforehand.
“It’s fine if they run. It’s fine as long as they run once they understand who’s the victor. We won’t go pursuing them either. Afterwards, we’ll treat them as autonomous cities.”
That was it.
In other words, if they were winning, they did not need to betray the other two cities.
The enemy happily accepted our terms.
And thus, the battle had quickly closed its curtains with our victory.
Afterwards, the city that betrayed the others was taken in under us as an autonomous city, as promised.
One of the remaining two cities came with a reconciliation appeal after the battle, which we accepted and took them in as a union city.
No need for indemnities.
The last city surrendered at the end of a castle siege.
We imposed a reparation charge of 100 tarant on them and also took them in as a union city.
With that, these three cities should be snarling at each other.
“You betrayed us”, “You surrendered soon after, didn’t you?” and whatnot.
They won’t be cooperating with each other.
Divide and conquer is fundamental to complete domination.
As these three cities surrendered, the number of cities surrendering to us greatly increased.
While they were small in size, they were considered a big state in this area.
Once they were beaten, the situation quickly turned to our favor.
We welcomed them all as autonomous cities.
We can take away their power and impose taxes anytime we want.
What takes priority is expanding our territory and chipping away at the enemy’s strength.
One might think there’s no benefit in doing this.
However, it would be wrong to think so.
First and foremost, our war potential would increase.
After all, they have a duty to provide soldiers to our country.
Secondly, it would build up an economic bloc.
If it becomes easier to trade, the country will get richer and the taxes will rise.
And finally, we will get tributes.
It is not enforced on them and neither did I ask for it–but they will come with tributes for me.
Although each of these tributes won’t amount to much but when there’s a dozen of them…
It would easily cross a hundred tarants.
That’s quite the income.
There’s also the political power and diplomatic position and whatnot…
There’s a lot of points in our favor.
“Your Majesty, Mr. Ains has arrived.”
A personal guard came informing me of Ains’ arrival as I was looking at the map in the camp.
I see, Ains, eh?
We can finally enter peace negotiations.