Saturday, April 2, 2022

Musket Girls! Chapter 17 ~21

 Chapter 17: The Signal from Cannon Fire

Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

On the second day in Fort Zeffel, I decided to survey the area outside the fort. It was dangerous to go alone, so I asked Staff Sergeant Hannah and the garrison troops to accompany me.

“There aren’t any trees around the fort.”

“Yes, we cleared all the trees as per the Guard Captain’s orders.”

The guards answered immediately, and I responded with a smile.

“As expected of the elite Third Division.”

“T-Thank you.”

He looked bashful. I was just being polite, and felt a little embarrassed by how happy he looked.

The intrigued Hannah asked:

“Strategist Sir, why should we fell the trees? They make for good cover.”

“That’s true, but if our field of vision isn’t clear, our artillery fire won’t hit either. Enemy infantry can creep towards the walls too, and it will be a problem if they set fire to the forest.”

Hannah was popular, had strong endurance and good leadership. She was suitable to be a commander, which was why Colonel Alzer promoted her.

Since the Colonel made her a key member of the Brigade, I should teach her more too.

“In contrast, if the enemy’s artillery is in range to hit Fort Zeffel, that means the Stronghold has fallen, so the trees are pointless as cover. This fort itself is used to protect the supply line to Godo Stronghold.”

“I understand.”

Godo Stronghold had a few forts in front of it, and reinforcements had been sent there. I hope they could fend off the Bruges Hunter Soldiers.

   *   *

Contrary to my expectations, the battle developed in a strange direction.

“Strategist Sir, Strategist Sir!”

A girl from my unit barged into my tent, like a student running into a teacher’s office.

I stopped writing my memo… or rather, the Company member’s work aptitude, then stood up after setting aside my pen.

“What is it?”

“There are cannon sounds from the distance!”


If I listened carefully, I could hear something similar to fireworks. And of course, that wasn’t fireworks, but the sound of war.

I was too focused and didn’t notice that.

The girls sneaked at my bags at the corner of my tent.

“Maybe we can see with the Strategist’s telescope?”

“That might be so. Anyway, let’s go take a look.”

From the sound of it, it was fired from the other side of the hill.

From the walls of Fort Zeffel, we could see Godo Stronghold at the top of the hill. I used the telescope issued to Officers and took a look, but didn’t see any cannon fire.

However, I saw smoke that seemed to be from cannon fire.

“The Stronghold is firing at the other side of the hill.”

“Is the Stronghold under attack?!”

“Eh, a war?!”

“Strategist Sir, I’m scared!”

You lot…

Well, this was normal since it was their first time on the battlefield. I was scared out of my wits during my first time too.

“Our job is to make war. And you have received your wages, right?”

“I know, but I’m still scared!”

“The Strategist is a demon! Demon! Death God!”

Yes, right, I was a Death God.

But they didn’t cry or lose strength in their knees, which was much better than the worst recruits. And being rowdy was a sign that they were not too tense. Their ability to deal with stress was better than I thought, which made me feel at ease.

I told the women soldiers that have gathered:

“The Stronghold is firing, but it isn’t clear whether it’s being bombarded. An Outpost Fort on the frontlines is probably under attack, and the Stronghold is firing to cover that Outpost Fort.”

That was all I said before dismissing the crowd.

“Next will be the job for me and the Brigade Commander. Carry on as usual.”

Despite what I said, the situation was getting fluid…

   *   *

The next day, the situation was turning for the worse.

“An Outpost Fort had been captured?”

The report by the Guard Captain, Captain Dumble, made Colonel Alzer frown.

“I heard the Third Division’s plan is to teach the Bruges a lesson.”

“My apologies, I’m shaken by this too.”

“You’re right. No, I should apologize.”

The Colonel lightly clenched her fists and continued:

“The ones attacking had been attacked, which means the plan has been disrupted. Lieutenant, please analyze the battle situation.”

That job had been tossed to me?

It couldn’t be helped. This might sound bad for Captain Dumble, but I still had to carry out my duty.

“The situation is deteriorating fast, we have to consider the possibility of abandoning the fort.”


Captain Dumble was stunned.

“Be careful with your words, Lieutenant. Godo Stronghold is an important base for the Third Division.”

He might outrank me by two levels, but he wasn’t my direct superior, so I rebuked him immediately.

“Pardon me for being frank, but there is value in capturing this fort because it’s an important base. So the enemy would have the adequate resolve and preparations too. And as you have said, they already captured an Outpost Fort.”

If they captured Godo Stronghold, then this region would fall into the hands of Bruges Duchy. This was the territory of House Mildor, one of the Five Royal Houses. If that was to happen, then the Third Division which belonged to the Mildor faction would become a laughing stock.

So Captain Dumble would never admit that was a possibility.

“That’s impossible. Godo Stronghold is one of the toughest castles in the Empire, and we have the terrain advantage. And the elites of the Third Division are garrisoned there, so we will never lose to the Bruges mountain hunter soldiers.”

The Captain wasn’t incompetent, but he still lost his composure. Godo Stronghold seemed to be a really important base.

Colonel Alzer warned calmly.

“Calm down, Captain. In our world, ‘losing is impossible’ are taboo words.”

“Y-Yes Mdm. My apologies, Colonel.”

Good, he had calmed down.

Captain Dumble wiped the sweat from his brows, and looked at us with wavering eyes.

“We have received news from Stronghold Command. Our order is to strengthen the defenses of Fort Zeffel.”

The Colonel twitched her brow.

“Not asking for reinforcements, but to strengthen our defenses?”

“Yes, because the Sixth Special Brigade isn’t under the Stronghold’s Command.”

“That might be so, but I’m still worried. Don’t you feel the same, Lieutenant?”

Why did you bring me up again? Are we a comedy duo?

“Yes, Your Excellency. If the Bruges army doesn't plan to lay siege on the Stronghold, then Fort Zeffel which is situated in the rear won’t be attacked. But if the order is to strengthen our defenses, then the reason could be…”

The Colonel flicked her bangs at this moment and laughed.

“The Stronghold is going to fall, right?”


Damn it, they captured the most crucial base, how sly.

Colonel looked at Captain Dumble, and said with a calm voice:

“We can’t see it from here, but there must be a rare sight on the other side of the hill. Those in the Stronghold can see it, but they don’t plan to let us know.”


Captain Dumble’s face turned pale. Unlike us who were here to help, he couldn’t flee. He would be summarily executed if he did so.

So he made his resolve and straightened his back.

“If it comes to that, this humble Officer will follow through with his mission.”

As expected of a Captain who made it to the top on his own merits, he stood by his principles when push turned to shove. No wonder he got appointed as the Guard Captain.

The Colonel nodded calmly.

“Don’t worry, even though your men call us a ‘vase army’ that’s just for show, our Brigade won’t abandon them.”

It seemed that the guards were speaking ill of us behind our backs.

Seeing Captain Dumble’s face turned ghastly pale, the Colonel giggled:

“We’ll show your troops our competent side, look forward to it.”

“Y-Yes Mdm!”

How pitiful.

The ominous sound of the cannons came from the Stronghold right after that.

This was bad…

Chapter 18: The Recollection of the Death God

The sound of cannon from the Godo Stronghold was much louder than before, that was the sound of a large caliber cannon.

After that, the Stronghold sent out orders using flags.

“We are, surrounded and attacked, beware….”

I confirmed the message through my telescope, and made a solemn face.

Staff Sergeant Hannah looked uneasy.

“If they are surrounded, does that mean the enemy is laying siege?”

“Yes, because an Outpost Fort had fallen, there is a gap in the defense net, and the enemy is launching an offensive by using that as a stepping board.”


Fort Zeffel was one of the Outpost Fort protecting the Godo Stronghold, but there was no way we could attack the enemy on the other side of the mountains. The purpose of this Outpost Fort was to maintain a supply route with the rear line.

“Captain Dumble requested us to bolster our defenses, so the Sixth Special Brigade will also be posted as sentries and patrol the fort. Remember to move in groups of two.”


“But the one being attacked is the Stronghold, right?”

“If I am the enemy commander, I will send out scouts and roving units to the back of the Stronghold, and cut off its connection with the other Outpost Fort. So it is almost time for the enemy to roam near the fort.”

The attack and defense of Strongholds and cities were the realm of professional soldiers, and would obviously be taught in the Military Academy. And cutting off supplies to isolate the target was the basics of the basics.

Seeing how tense everyone was, I made a joke:

“Alright, recruits, the enemy will teach us how to defend a fort. We will pay the tuition fee with lead bullets, don’t forget to make payment.”

Schweidel soldiers like this type of jokes, and I was no exception.

… However, the girls from our Company didn’t fancy my theatrics.


“I understand…”

Their reaction was a bit cold. Hey, this wasn’t how it should be.

Hannah who was standing by the side looked a little dazed. A while later, she shouted as if she just realized something.

“Hey, don’t just stand there, salute!”


What put them in a daze in such a situation? That was amazing in its own right.

It was enough that they weren’t wavering from fright, so I answered with a smile.

“You don’t have to worry so much, the Colonel and I will think about what to do. You just need to do as you practiced.”

Everyone nodded and saluted. The atmosphere wasn’t bad.

Next, I began my own work. Since I gave my word, I should act like an Officer.

When I went to the Colonel, she was reading letters. It wasn’t written orders from the army, but pretty envelopes beloved by nobles.

“How’s the situation, Lieutenant?”

“It’s not too good. Godo Stronghold is firing their large caliber cannons, but from the sound of the bombardment, they haven’t gotten the advantage.”

“You can tell from the sound of the cannons?”

“To a certain extent.”

Using cannons was a practiced craft which involved precise calculations, and every shot was meaningful.

When at an advantage, there would be a rhythm to the fire, just like the accurate move of chess pieces. In contrast, a unit forced into a corner would fire erratically. I could feel all that from the pause between each shot and the order of fire.

“That sounded like someone firing as fast as possible to stop the enemy’s advance.”

“I see.”

The Colonel fell into deep thought.

“What about our fort?”

“Our Company will bolster the fort’s defenses, and Captain Dumble will move all the cannons in the fort to one side of the Stronghold.”

The cannons in the fort were small field cannons that were easy to move. It didn’t have much range and power, but it had the advantage of being light and mobile.

“I want to hear your thoughts on this, Lieutenant.”

“If we are just considering our Company, then I suggest we flee right away…”

But that wouldn’t do, so I scratched my head.

“As long as the Stronghold doesn’t fall, the enemy won’t launch a grand offensive. However, the connection between the Stronghold and the rear would be in danger of getting cut off.”

“Yes, and if it gets cut off, those inside the Stronghold won’t be able to withdraw, and reinforcements won’t reach the Stronghold.”

The Colonel had no combat experience, but as a noble, she still learned the basic military knowledge, and quickly understood.

She then showed me a letter.

“A secret letter from Duke Ritreille, she emphasized that we have to defend Fort Zeffel.”

“Pardon me, but she isn’t a soldier, right?”

“But she is a politician, and a 【Five Fingers】 of the Empire.”

The Colonel had a stern face, and I could sense that someone was pulling tricks behind the scenes.

The Colonel adjusted her service cap as she sighed:

“Just like how soldiers shouldn’t get involved with politics, politicians shouldn’t interfere with military operations. However, this is a norm in our country.”

The concept of civilian control of the military didn’t exist in this world, but Duke Ritreille still didn’t have the right to interfere with the military. On paper, the Schweidel army served the Emperor.

But reality was different, which led to this unreasonable action.

Sigh, this couldn’t be helped.


“Let’s deal with the situation at hand then.”

“Sorry for the trouble.”

Stop it, I would have no choice but to work hard if you make such a face.

“As for the reason to defend this Fort, it’s natural to keep the path open for reinforcements to go to the Stronghold. I don’t trust her completely, but Duke Ritreille will probably send the Fifth Division over through her own means.”

“I couldn’t trust her completely, but in any case, it is too late to withdraw now. We should proceed quickly with the plan to delay the enemy.”


Delaying the enemy, huh… Depending on the scale and target of the enemy, and how long we needed to delay them, there would be different choices. But this time, there weren't any options.

I wasn’t a strategic genius, and couldn’t think of a grand plan to overcome the disadvantage in numbers, and could only implement the tactics taught in the Imperial Army text book.

With the cannon fire from the distance as my background music, I hid in my tent and thought.

The structure of this fort made it difficult to defend against bombardments, and it was basically over if the enemy brought artillery. We only had light field cannons on our side, so we wouldn’t have any advantage in a battle.

Would we win if it was just infantry? Field cannons were meant to deal with enemy artillery, and with our Company pitching in, we could man the embrasures. So there would be a way, right?

And of course, the enemy knew that too, so their infantry would be supported by artillery too.


I realized something bad.

I ran out in a hurry and checked the Stronghold with my telescope.

“Damn it!”

There were many embrasures on the walls of the Stronghold facing our side. They were closed right now, but if they moved the cannons, this fort would be within range of their attack.

“What’s the matter, Strategist Sir?”

Hannah looked puzzled, so I said to her with a quiet tone:

“If Godo Stronghold falls, we would be bombarded by its artillery fire.”


Hannah turned towards the Stronghold.

“So there is a chance that the enemy will seize the artillery?!”

“That’s right, and with that elevation, the Stronghold could hit us easily. The cannons are meant to support Fort Zeffel in the first place, so if the Stronghold fell, they would aim for us.”

Normally, once a Stronghold fell, the supporting Outpost Fort would lose their purpose. If the Stronghold fell, the garrison in the Outpost Fort would retreat.

But because of Duke Ritreille’s orders, even if the Stronghold fell, we would still need to defend this place.

No, we couldn’t hold this fort. Everyone would die if that happened.

… Despite what I thought, I still had doubts in my heart.

Despite the dire situation, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 didn’t trigger. So my life wasn’t in danger yet.

The prediction ability I named 【Scythe of the Death God】 could warn me of my death slightly before it happened. If staying here meant certain death, then it should have triggered already.

For example, there was an incident when I was still wandering the streets.

One time, I found a basket of white bread along the street. For Commoners, the staple food was black sour bread, while white bread was like dessert.

And luckily, there wasn’t any owner around.

It was a rare stroke of luck, so I wanted to make it my dinner.

When I was thinking about that, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 caressed my throat.

I wasn’t sure back then, but I felt I would die if I ate it.

Thinking about it calmly, there was no way that white bread could be in the Commoner zone along an alley. People who would buy such things wouldn’t wander the back alleys which had bad security.

It was regrettable, but I gave up on the bread and just took the basket.

While I was thinking that, the other wandering kids charged in and even grabbed the basket. Luckily, I didn’t resist, and didn’t die.

The next day, most of them turned into corpses. Their fingers were stained with blood, and their nails had fallen off, probably from scratching the paved ground in pain.

Beside them was an empty basket.

Only a child who ate a small piece of bread survived, but my efforts to treat him failed, and he died that night.

That child apologized to me several times, saying: “Sorry, Euner… this is our just desserts…”

I still remember his last words: “I want to see mom again…”

This was probably some noble testing the efficacy of poison, or they had just put the poisoned bread there half jokingly. Be it poison to exterminate vermin or to take out political rivals, nobles were always closely linked to poisons.

All that was common.

For me, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 was an indispensable power during my wandering days. It could even foretell a death several days later, although it couldn’t tell me how to avoid it. It could only tell me that death was looming before me.

And now, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 was silent.

If the result was us being wiped out with me alone being captured, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 would remain silent, so I couldn’t depend on it completely.

In any case, it was too late to run now. Line infantry were weak to pursue attack in a retreat. Even an Officer might be killed without any time to surrender.

If that was the case, we might as well surrender while we were besieged.

The frail fort, light cannons, new subordinates, unconfirmed reinforcements, the authority of a Strategist Second Lieutenant, and the 【Scythe of the Death God】.

How should I play my cards? Where could I break through?

I put down my telescope and fell into deep thoughts.

Chapter 19: Making a Bet with your Life

“If the enemy captured the Stronghold, we would come under intense artillery bombardment. Will you still make us defend this fort then?”

Colonel Alzer said with her arms crossed, and looked up at me while seated on her chair.

“Your proposal is hard to understand, so please explain.”


However, telling her that I was a reincarnator with a special prediction ability would be out of the question.

Before I thought of that possibility,  I grabbed a chair and roamed around the fort, looking for all sorts of places to sit, seriously thinking about doing my work right there on the spot.

If I would die from cannon fire on that spot, then the 【Scythe of the Death God】 would say something.

… I had never used it that way before, so I wasn’t sure if that was accurate, but so far, there had been no reaction from the 【Scythe of the Death God】.

Anyway, no matter where I was in the fort, I wouldn’t die. Was that true?

In any case, I reached the vague conclusion that it probably wasn’t a problem.

My idea was so crude that even I felt it was ridiculous, but it seemed that the Stronghold wouldn’t get destroyed by artillery fire.

I used an adequate explanation for the conclusion I got from 【Scythe of the Death God】.

“As you know, the enemy is the mountain hunter troops. Those hunters are tough soldiers, but they don’t know anything about artillery.”

The Colonel studied military theory as a noble, so a half-assed lie wouldn’t get through her.

“There isn’t any dedicated artillery unit in the Bruges army, and their cannons are basically support for their infantry.They aren’t professionally trained like Schweidel artillery soldiers, so they will never hit us.”

The Colonel looked right at me and said:

“Like how ‘impossible to lose’ is a taboo, ‘impossible to get hit’ is the same, right?”

“It’s as you say.”

Oh no, she refuted my logic.

I was good at sophistry, so I smiled and answered like a black hearted salesman.

“The point is, we just need to bear some risk. Instead of retreating and earning the ire of Duke Ritreille and Captain Dumble, it’s better to stay and bet on the low accuracy of their artillery.”

I then continued:

“Even if we retreat, the nearby places are still garrisoned by the Third Division. I don’t think they will help the Sixth Special Brigade that abandoned Fort Zeffel.”

It might be old and outdated, but Fort Zeffel could still defend against infantry attacks. Muskets could only show its true prowess when under cover. The damage received in a fortification would be much lower than being pursued and attacked in a field battle.

The Colonel supported her cheek and thought for a moment before saying:

“So you’re saying, instead of fleeing awkwardly, it is better to be the target of their artillery?”

Please don’t make such a scary face. It was more imposing because she was a beauty.

I hid the wavering in my heart, and answered as if it was obvious.

“If we run, we wouldn’t get anything out of it aside from our lives. And we might not make it out alive either. If we run into an ambush or a cavalry pursues us, then a newbie Brigade like us will definitely get routed.”

“That’s true.”

“On the other hand, if we hold the fort until reinforcements come, the Sixth Special Brigade will become heroes, and no one will look down on us.”

If the reinforcements could make it on time.

However, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 showed this possibility.

The Colonel stared at my face.

“You sure are calm about betting the life of your direct superior. You must be a hopeless gambler, a reckless fool, or…”

She said with a smile:

“An incredible Strategist?”

None of the above, just a reincarnator with a bit of predictive ability.

The Colonel seemed to accept it and nodded.

“Very well then, if a Commoner like you can show such valor, then I can lend you my life in this wager.”

“I’m grateful for your trust in me.”

Was my line just now something that a villain would say? Was my character developing in a strange direction?

Rather than worrying about the result of the battle, I was more worried about my social relations in the future.

As for staying in Fort Zeffel, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 still didn’t give any warning. This was true wherever I was in the fort.

Which meant that for now, the whole of Fort Zeffel was within the safe zone.

It was possible that it might warn me at the last minute and tell me to flee, so this was a gamble for me too.

However, there wasn’t a truly safe place on the battlefield, and no options were absolutely safe in life.

I convinced myself that way and smiled.

“This is an investment for a better future, and we don’t have to march or charge for this campaign. We just need to sit still and wait for the win.”

I was acting like a scammer.

After that conversation, I heard the women soldiers chatting with each other.

“I heard the Strategist make Lady Alzer say ‘you can use my life’.”

“As expected of the 【Death God Strategist】.”

My image had gotten weird.

During this time, the sound of cannons continued relentlessly, but soon stopped.

“Have the enemy captured the Stronghold?”

The Colonel asked, and I answered while looking through my telescope:

“The Imperial Army flag is still being flown, and I can still hear the faint sound of muskets. Let’s try to keep as quiet as possible, and disguise our fort to be empty.”


“If the Stronghold has really fallen, the enemy will send out scouts. When they come here, we can keep quiet and try to draw them in closer.”

I said with my eyes on the long and thin package beside me.

“We can carry out a round of test fire.”

“I see, you have it all thought out.”

It might sound like I predicted all this from the start, but that wasn’t true. I was just playing it by ear, and waiting for the decisive battle.

After that, I received a report from the sentries. There seemed to be movements around the fort.

I looked at the embrasures at the side.

“Sir Strategist, this way.”

She pointed at the road between Fort Zeffel and Godo Stronghold.

“It was just an instant, but I saw some light in the woods. I think it’s the lens of a telescope.”

Oh, nice judgment. I checked with my telescope, and saw the blue uniform of the Bruges army. The uniforms in this era were really prominent.

“Well done, you did a great job.”

That woman soldier was unfazed, and asked coldly.

“Pardon me, but what should we do now?”

“That’s right…”

This cool woman soldier was the sniper selected from the First Platoon, Lyra Nash. I heard she was the daughter of a hunter, and because of that, her proficiency in shooting was at the top of the Brigade.

From what I was seeing, it wasn’t just her shooting ability, her judgment was outstanding too.

I took out the cavalry gun that had been prepared for us.

“Want to try a shot?”

But Lyra shook her head.

“I’m not used to it yet.”

The cavalry gun I procured arrived late, and we set off right after inspecting the goods. So far, we have only confirmed how to use it, but no one has really practiced with it yet.

And of course, training had not started yet.

As expected of a hunter, she was very serious about guns.

“I will try it then…”

The enemy would get away if I dallied, so I poured some gunpowder into the priming pan, dumped the rest down the muzzle, then shoved the bullet down with a ramrod.

“Your movement is really smooth, Strategist Sir.”

“You don’t have to be nice, this is a given for a soldier.”

I used to sneak into the noble’s private forest to hunt in my wandering days, so I have gotten used to loading muskets quickly and silently.

There was no aiming scope in this world. The target was about a hundred meters away, and didn’t notice me yet. From my side, I could only see the upper half of the target.

I might be a reincarnator, but my experience with rifles only started a few years ago.

I still gave it a try.

I didn’t know the kinks of this gun, and there was no chance for a second shot, so I shouldn’t expect my shot to land. I rested the gun on the embrasure and secured it with my shoulder.

The rest was up to luck. I gently squeezed the trigger.

The spring hit the flint and caused a spark, and fire erupted from the muzzle.

The shot was off. It only grazed past the target and made the trees sway. That Bruges soldier quickly prone down.

I could only smile awkwardly at Lyra.

“That’s the best I can do.”

… That was what I thought when a bloodied Bruges soldier fell out of the woods. So there was another one.

The soldier who got hit didn’t move.

I shot the guy beside my target… I felt a little bad about that.


Lyra gasped in surprise.

No, that was a misunderstanding. I could tell from her face.

It was awkward, but I still hid my embarrassment by taking out my telescope.

Yup, that was a Bruges soldier.

I felt relieved when I saw his blood stained uniform. Luckily, it wasn’t a civilian. I apologized to that Bruges soldier, and hoped he wouldn’t bear a grudge.

I suddenly realized that Lyra had been staring at me. She was still expressionless, but her eyes were sparkling.

“Nice shot, Strategist Sir.”

You got it wrong, don’t look at me with those shiny eyes!

“It’s just the whim of the Death God, I don’t have the confidence to do it again.”

I handed the cavalry gun to Lyra, and pulled my service cap down.

Lyra’s hot gaze was stinging me.

“You can do better than me, so use it well with the other selected marksman.”

“Yes, Strategist Sir.”

I felt dizzy because of Lyra’s respectful eyes, and quickly left the place.

That was really just a lucky shot.

Chapter 20: Fearless of Death

Not long after, just as Strategist Second Lieutenant Krombertz said, the Stronghold started their bombardment.

Colonel Alzer frowned.

“It feels like our allies are attacking us, this is uncomfortable. Oh right, where’s the Lieutenant?”

Staff Sergeant Hannah pointed at the west wall with a troubled face.

“Erm… he’s over there.”


That was the place closest to the Stronghold’s bombardment, and the Bruges soldiers could see that place clearly.

“What the hell is he doing?”

“He asked me to serve him tea there, so I did. He is sitting in a chair there and reading a book.”

“Ehh?! …What’s going on? What is he scheming?”

Even the calm Colonel Alzer fell into confusion, which was a rare sight.

This was the second time Hannah saw the Colonel lose her composure. The first time was when she saw Hannah being tied up at the mill.

And this was the second time.

Hannah explained to the Colonel:

“He said that since he proposed a dangerous plan, then he should stay in the most dangerous place.”

“He has a respectable sense of responsibility, but I will be in trouble if he dies. Call him back right now.”

When Hannah heard that, she shirked her tall body.

“The Guard Captain, Captain Dumble, is trying to convince him.”

   *   *   *

“The hell are you thinking?!”

Captain Dumble’s shouts were drowned out by the bombardment.

“You know how powerful the Stronghold’s cannons are! Even an indirect hit can kill you!”

I set my teacup down on the table. The tea was shaking because of the tremor of the cannons. That one fell quite close.

I then stood up and smiled:

“Please don’t worry, Captain.”

I waved at the Stronghold. They probably couldn’t see me though.

“Their artillery crew are amateurs, and don’t even know about ‘Straddling.”

At that moment, Captain Dumble, who was an Artillery Captain, looked surprised.

“… That’s true.”

Captain Dumble looked around the fort.

“They didn’t adjust their range, and aren't using suppressive fire to cover an infantry attack. Their attack is different from the textbook examples of artillery tactics.”

“Indeed, either the bombardment is conducted by their infantry or pioneers, or the Stronghold’s defenses are putting up strong resistance, so they can’t focus on firing. In either case, the danger of those cannons are no different from lightning strikes.”

There was no need to be too afraid. Or rather, the battle was now a competition of patience, which was the reason I put up this show at the risk of my life.

Captain Dumble looked calmer, and he looked right at me.

“But I’m surprised that you know about Straddling, you are from the infantry, right?”

“The infantry has to fight with the support of the artillery, so I learned the basics of artillery tactics.”

“I’m impressed. I hope the infantry officers in my Division will hear you out too.”

Straddling is a method to adjust the accuracy of artillery fire, and a practical usage of statistics. By slowly adjusting the range of the artillery, they could lock onto one point before firing all out.

This was the most logical method for amateurs to improve their accuracy.

However, the enemy that seized the Stronghold’s cannons didn’t know about straddling, and the accuracy of the cannons wasn’t as accurate as it could be.

The precision of firearms in this world was low, so it was unnecessary to be afraid of such a bombardment.

That might be so, but the bombardment that fell near the fort still sounded scary, and the women soldiers from my units were screaming because of that.

As expected of an artillery officer, Captain Dumble might look pale, but he still understood what I meant.

“That’s why you’re doing this?”

“That’s right. Since amateurs are shooting randomly, then the chance of getting hit will be the same no matter where I am. Mathematically speaking, running or hiding is meaningless.”

“I never thought an Infantry Lieutenant would tell me about his thoughts on artillery tactics.”

Captain Dumble scratched his head, then looked at me again.

“How should I put this… I have never seen a man who is bolder in the face of death than you.”

“I’m honored to hear that.”

Anyone would think that if they saw someone sipping tea on a chair at the top of a fort under bombardment.

However, I had the 【Scythe of the Death God】, so I would know if death was eminent. And it was still safe now. Why did I have this prediction ability anyway?

I handed a chair to the Captain and said:

“As long as the bombardment continues, they won’t send their infantry. And if they mobilized their infantry, the bombardment will stop. In that case, we can just wait leisurely for rescue.”

“If they don’t hit us…”

Captain Dumble didn’t look good, but that was a given, since he didn’t have any prediction ability like me.

“Aren’t you afraid of the artillery?”

“Frankly speaking, I am scared, but if the officer is afraid, then the soldiers can’t fight at ease. So even if I’m trembling in my heart, I still need to act fearlessly.”

I couldn’t tell whether the 【Scythe of the Death God】 was always accurate. It had never betrayed my trust yet, but who knew what the future held?

Captain Dumble smiled awkwardly.

“You’re bad at lying, you look like you’re enjoying the battle… Oh, I remember now. You’re that 【Death God Krombertz】. But aren’t you with the Fifth Division?”

Even the Third Division knew about me?

Captain Dumble scratched his head:

“Your batchmate is in our Division. Haha, you’re more amazing than the rumors.”

What kind of rumors…?

He seemed more concerned about that than the bombardment. Captain Dumble seemed to have accepted this fact, and looked more relaxed.

“I now know that you’re not a mere mortal, so do what you will.”

“Thank you very much.”

I saluted as I thought about my batchmate in the Third Division.

Who was that?

   *   *   *

“Who is that guy!?”

A Bruges infantry shouted from the Godo Stronghold’s artillery platform.

“Look! That Schweidel Officer is drinking tea on top of the fort’s wall!”

“Really?! Is he insane!?”

Intense gunfire came from inside the Stronghold. The corpses of Schweidel and Bruges soldiers were increasing.

“Hey, he is waving at us!”

“Damn it, is he looking down on us! Kill him!”

Cannon shots echoed from the Stronghold, but the shots swerved far from the fort, kicking up a cloud of dirt at the barren land behind it.

“Right, right! Turn it more to the right!”

“Didn’t we turn it right just now?!”

The projectile from the cannons would change depending on factors like the amount of gunpowder, wind direction, and barrel temperature. So even when firing under the same condition, the projectile would change slightly. It wasn’t easy to land a shot even with aiming tools.

However, the Bruges soldiers were filled with rage, and just wanted to blow that pretentious Schweidel officer away.

“Why can’t we hit him!?”

“Who knows, these Schweidel-made cannons must be faulty!”

The next shot landed slightly to the right of the previous shot, but it flew further than the previous shot.

“Enough, let me shoot.”

Right after saying that, that Bruges foot soldier fell with blood on his head.


When the Bruges soldier turned back, he saw a heavily wounded Schweidel artillery soldier who was covered in blood.

Where was he hiding? Or was he just piled up with the other corpses?

“Y-You bastard!”

Everyone raised their guns, and someone noticed.

“Wait, he has a bomb! Don’t shoot!”

That surviving Schweidel artillery soldier had tied small barrels of gunpowder to his chest and waist.

The fuse on them was all lit, and was about to burn out.

They were surrounded by gunpowder.

“Could it be…?!”

Facing the stiff Bruges soldiers, the bloodied Schweidel soldier smiled.

“Let’s see who will fly higher.”

Chapter 21: Explosion and Tea

Right now, I was having a tea party with my superior.

“The fragrance is at the level of 2nd rate Dillimo, but it doesn’t flow down smoothly.”

The one appraising the tea leaves for us was Brigade Commander Colonel Alzer.

I couldn’t appreciate tea at all. And my taste buds had dulled after reincarnating, probably from the bland food culture in the Empire.

However, none of that matters. A shot landed near the fort, and something was flying our way.

“I’m grateful that there is hot water, and the battlefield is more clean and comfortable than the alley in my hometown.”

That wasn’t a lie. Soldiers could enjoy the most basic benefits, and Officers had better treatment than them. Even though we were on the battlefield, it was still better than being a wandering kid.

The Colonel smiled wryly.

“You are really dependable. Is this hail of cannon shots nothing to you?”

While she was saying that, another spot near the fort got hit. However, the 【Scythe of the Death God】 was still silent.

I smiled after sipping on my cheap tea.

“This isn’t a rain storm yet, so we don’t need an umbrella.”

“I see.”

Another spot got hit.

“Instead of that, is it fine for you to be here, Your Excellency?”

“You are here because it’s fine to be here, right?”

Yes, that was true.

The truth was, staying by my side would be safer.

The Colonel glared at me.

“The probability of getting hit is the same no matter where I am. In that case, I might as well put on a show to raise the troops’ morale. Staying here and drinking tea looks really courageous, and the soldiers will look at you differently because of that. Isn’t that right?”

“It’s as you say.”

I was a selfish and calculative person, and would use any chance to leave a good impression. This was how a mere mortal should live his life.

However, Hannah who was with us didn’t think so, and her tall body was trembling.

“C-Can we move to a safer place?”

“If there is a safe place, I want to go there too…”

If we got hit by the Stronghold’s large cannons, the walls and ceilings of this fort would collapse easily, so it was more dangerous to stay in a room.

Seeing how Hannah was trembling, I encouraged her:

“Don’t worry too much, the battlefield is always changing.”

It was tiring to formulate a perfect plan, so having strong nerves was more or less a necessity.

… That was what I wanted to say.

The next moment, there was a big explosion in Godo Stronghold, which shook the tea violently.

Part of the Stronghold’s walls had collapsed, with fire spitting out of the embrasures and windows. It was quite a scene.

An unknown debris flew near here, and hit my service cap.


Hannah leaned back in surprise.

“Oh, what was that?!”

That’s my line, what happened there?

It was useless to act surprised, so I just drank my tea nonchalantly.


“Did you do that, Lieutenant?!”

That was impossible.

I shook my head, then observed the Godo Stronghold with my telescope.

“The cannon platform had been blown to shreds. Looks more like suicide by gun powder ignition.”

Cannons were fired with an open flame, so if the gunpowder wasn’t managed properly, there would be an explosion. And of course, I wasn’t sure whether this was the case.

The cannons firing at us had been silenced. I couldn’t tell from here, but there should be charred corpses inside. The cannons were probably destroyed too.

This was an unexpected development. Now I knew why the 【Scythe of the Death God】 had been silent.

I stood up and put on my service cap again.

“Break time is over, it’s time to work.”

“Y-Yes! But why?”

Hannah saluted me, but looked confused.

The Colonel spoke on behalf of me.

“We don’t have to worry about the Stronghold’s bombardment now, so the enemy will send out their infantry. There’s no other way to capture this fort now.”

She was right. This was her first battle, but as expected of a noble, she had a good grasp of her textbook’s contents.

I nodded and told the Colonel.

“We need to grasp how bad the Stronghold has been damaged, and enter defensive mode immediately.”

“I understand, can you tell me what to look out for?”

It would be great if I could rely on my knowledge from my past life. Regrettably, my experience in defending a fort was gained after I reincarnated.

And that experience wasn’t much.

“Please try to act more reliable. If morale crumbles while we are trapped, it will be hell. And we have nowhere to run.”

“We can’t confirm if there will be reinforcements, and you want me to keep morale up, huh. Never mind, that’s fine too.”

She actually said that, and with a smile too. How reliable.

The Colonel draped her coat over her shoulders, and put on her service cap a little crookedly. She gave off a feeling of stability, smiled at me and said to Hannah.

“First Platoon will man the tower’s embrasures, Second Platoon will patrol the walls. Let them know we aren’t decorative dolls.”

“Yes Mdm!”

What should I do now… I was the Brigade Commander’s consultant, not the commander of the infantry. So once the battle started, I wouldn’t have anything to do.

While I was thinking that, the Colonel scooted near me.

“You should stay by my side, and give me advice as needed.”

“Yes Mdm.”

That was true. I was getting ahead of myself.

The Colonel continued:

“If I’m doing anything wrong, please tell me. I’m almost at my limits.”

The raven-haired beauty in uniform was shaking a little, and I couldn’t help laughing.


“Don’t laugh.”

Colonel Alzer glared at me, but wasn’t really angry, she was just pouting a little. This was natural, no matter how brave someone was, if they went to a battlefield, they would still feel uneasy.

“My apologies.”

My boss was really cute.

Alright then, I would work hard to assist you.

After the cannons in Godo Stronghold had gone silent for some time, enemy movements were detected in front of Fort Zeffel. We could see shadows in the woods, and the vegetation was swaying unnaturally.

As we expected, they couldn’t bring the cannons over the mountainous terrain. The enemy here was just a scouting unit.

After confirming the deployment of the First and Second Platoons, I went to issue my orders.

I started with the First Platoon.

“The embrasures here are made for bows, so it’s designed to be very tall. Please take note not to stand up.”

To use bows more efficiently, such embrasures had long vertical gaps. It was similar to embrasures for muskets, but slightly different, which was pretty scary.

There was another thing.

“Don’t forget to divide yourselves into loaders and shooters. If the shooter got hit, then pull back, and let the shooters from the Second Platoon take over.”

They were divided into teams of one shooter and two loaders. The shooter will focus on firing three muskets in turns, while the loaders will load the gun for her.

This was similar to the 【Three Stage Salvo】 popularized in novels, but more efficient, since the best shooters get to fire three times.

This was common in this world and in my old world, and wasn’t as impressive as the novel says. When battles were fought with muskets, this path was inevitable.

I ran upstairs and issued orders to the Second Platoon.

I needed to be stern here.

“Everyone, fix bayonets. The enemy will conceal themselves and scale the walls. When that happens, push them down with your bayonets, do not hesitate. If they make their way up, they will not hesitate to kill you all!”

They were no different than normal people mentally, so there was no way they were used to killing. Once it was down to melee combat with bayonets, they couldn’t avoid to hesitate to kill. That was the mentality of normal people.

There was no way to solve that issue, so I could only prepare as much as possible.

“Platoon Leader Midna, if any soldiers are unable to fight, send them down to be the loaders for the First Platoon shooters.”

“Yes Sir.”

Sergeant Midna, who was a former maid of Colonel Alzer, saluted nervously.

Shortly after that, at the foot of the hill where Godo Stronghold was situated, we could see something at the edge of the cleared woods.

The enemy was coming.

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