We contemplated our plans before engaging the enemy army. Specifically, we looked into slowing them down and figuring out if we could make our lives easier through some sort of preemptive action.
“What now, Master?” Fran asked. “Make walls? Dig holes?”
“Hmmmm…” I stroked my figurative beard as I contemplated her suggestions. They were legitimate options. In fact, the best case scenario would be one in which we built a wall capable of keeping the black catkin safe and the monsters out. The ideal wall would also come armed with a nice deep moat, and make it so that it would be impossible for any monster, weak or strong, to cross it.
Of course, creating such a structure was but a pipe dream. Neither Fran nor I had the mana or ability to do such a thing. The only mage in the country that could was on the Basharian front.
The largest hole we could possibly make was only three meters wide, three meters deep, and five meters long. Of course, it was possible for us to use the spell over and over, but crafting something in such a manner would take hours, hours we didn’t have. The army was sure to arrive before we finished. That said, I wouldn’t have suggested such a flawed method even if we had enough time to actually carry it out. Creating countless large holes would exhaust both Fran and I, and draining oneself of magic right before engaging in a large scale battle was naught but a fool’s errand. And that’s not even factoring in the fact that it could just end up splitting the army in two. Having the two halves each assault a different place would be bad. Really, really bad.
I recalled my old world as I thought about the many strategies we could potentially employ. I barely knew anything about the military tactics they used back there. The only military-like word that I knew off the top of my head was guerrilla warfare—the tactic in which a smaller group wore down a larger group through the use of traps, ambushes, and other similar techniques. The tactic was powerful in the sense that it was able to slow the larger group’s movements by forcing them on guard. Soldiers on the receiving end of the guerrilla tactics would become anxious. They would fear the fact that they could be subject to an attack around every corner, and through said fear, lose their morale. Or at least that’s how it tends to go in novels and movies.
But again, the option was unavailable to us. Our trap creation skill was too low a level to mass produce anything useful. We could go around dropping pitfalls everywhere, but I have a feeling that’ll cause more harm than it’ll prevent.
It was impossible for us to remove every single hole we created, especially if we camouflaged them by covering them with dirt. In other words, we were bound to leave at least a few lying around and anything we failed to clean up would be to the black catkin what landmines were to the vietnamese. Yeah, can’t have that. Gotta learn from history’s mistakes, not repeat them.
“Well. It looks like our only real choice is to dive right in. We’ll probably need to start with something flashy so we get the army’s attention.”
That said, we weren’t about to actually just march right on in. We were still going to do something, and I had just the thing in mind.
“Alright Fran, Plan B.”
The two of us began casting the Stonewall skill over and over to produce a series of large, rocky blocks. They were a bit flimsy because we traded thickness for overall size, but they more than served our purposes.
“Master, good enough?”
“Yeah. The whole thing’s got a pretty good feel to it. You can even see the windows.”
“Alright, I’ll handle this next part,” I said, as I activated Earth Control.
I used the skill to maneuver the stony walls and close the gaps between them. Before long, we had ourselves a makeshift fortress. Located in the middle of the forest north of Schwartzekatze, the building was large enough even to be seen from afar. Its gate was so large that it almost seemed to resemble the Arc de Triomphe. Appearance wise, it was perfect. But durability wise, it may as well have been made of paper mache. The entire construction was hollow, through and through.
Still, it was good enough. It didn’t need solid defenses. We hadn’t planned on using it as a point of defense. It was a weenie, a landmark. The whole point of it was to tower above the forest such that it could be seen from afar.
The monsters would be unable to leave it alone. They would have to attack it else risk getting flanked after they passed it by. In other words, it provided us a method to predict their actions. I’m not actually sure how effective it’ll be, but they should at least notice it. And if they notice it, they’ll probably at least be wary of it.
“That’s that.” All the building needed now was a couple soldiers. Of course, I didn’t actually have any soldiers under my employ, nor were there any nearby willing to risk their lives in a fort doomed to fall. The only solution was therefore to make them ourselves.
I retrieved ten corpses from my inventory. I didn’t look for anything in particular. I just chose the ten humanoids in the best condition, so there ended up being goblins and stuff thrown into the mix.
“Alright Urushi, do your thing.”
The wolf cast spirit magic and instilled force and will into the lifeless corpses laid before him. All ten reanimated bodies soon rose to action and immediately readied themselves to receive his orders. I grabbed a couple random worn out bows and handed them to our makeshift soldiers such that they could fire arrows at any monsters that neared. As I only had five, I armed the remaining undead with broken swords and spears.
Silhouette wise, they looked exactly like soldiers, and the monsters would likely be deceived so long as they continued moving around atop the fort.
And with that, our preparations were complete. Everything was perfectly in order.
“Fort’s done, Fran.”
“Then, let’s go?”
“Yeah. Let’s go.”
We enchanted ourselves with all sorts of support magic before flying off into the sky yet again. As we didn’t want our enemies catching wind of our actions, we made sure to climb until we hit an altitude at which they would be unlikely to spot us.
“Ugh.” I groaned as I looked down on the army. “The way they’re swarming is kinda gross.”
“Looks like garbage,” added Fran. I know, right?
“Alright, let’s do this. Let’s hit them hard and make it as flashy as we can while we’re at it. Once we’re done with that, we’ll charge right in. You ready?”
Editor’s note: Hey, guys! Joker here. Looks like next chapter is going to kick off the big battle. Can’t wait. But somehow, I doubt that the tower will do much like what Sword-Dad is thinking. If these monsters really are being controlled, I have a feeling that whoever is controlling them is just going to push them past anything to get to their goal. Much like major undead swarms act in novels like this. But who knows? I’m not the guy controlling them, so I don’t know what they’re thinking. Probably have major plans in the works, or it’s just someone testing something. Dunno. Only one way to find out, and that’s to keep reading. See y’all in the next chapter!