Chapter 30 – Reverse Invasion!
As the soldiers started to flee to the east, cheers erupted around the battlefield.
“We did it! We defeated the humans!”
“I never would have dreamed that we could win so easily!”
As they all celebrated the victory, Mette and a few of the Kijins ran to the east.
“Chase after them! Don’t let them get away!”
“Mette, wait! I want to gather information. Capture them alive.”
“V-very well! You want me to cut off all their heads and…no, capture them alive!?”
Mette shouted back. At the same time, Melk and some of the werewolves ran to the east.
“Mette is likely to kill them by accident. Leave it to us.”
“Wh-what! N-no! I will capture them!”
Mette shouted as she ran after them.
What was frightening was that she was almost as fast as the werewolves.
In the meantime, Ecleshia bowed her head to me.
“Joshua, I thank you for defeating our enemies. It was that man, Barnish, who burned down our forests.”
“I see… I’m very glad that we were able to stop him here.”
In that case, it meant Barnish came here without really resting. How very hard-working of him.
Then I heard voices from the back.
“Let’s continue on and invade the enemy fortress!”
“Yes! We must free our comrades!”
Their voices did not seem calm or rational.
But then again, if the fortress was currently protected by only a few soldiers…it could be a great opportunity.
“Sir Joshua. What is the matter?”
“It depends on the size of our enemy…but we can’t be reckless.”
Up until now, I had been trying to use strategies that would ensure that there were no deaths on our side.
But if we went and invaded them, it would all be for nothing.
While I didn’t know how many soldiers the enemy still had, it was sometimes important to give up.
Yes, it wasn’t absolutely necessary to take the enemy base. We just needed to free the demihumans. In that case…
And so as soon as Melk and the others returned with the first slave hunter prisoner, I started to question him.
“How many soldiers are in your fortress?”
As for the location, Melk would know, as she had gone with the others in order to continue howling.
But I wanted to know how numerous the enemy was.
However, the slave hunter would not reply.
And then Iria unsheathed her blade and spoke to the slave hunter.
“We are not going to waste time here. You will answer within ten seconds. There are others who can replace you!”
“I-I’ll answer! There are about three thousand!”
Three thousand… That seemed like a lot, considering they had sent three hundred for this attack.
And surely they had no reason to keep so many soldiers for their defense.
Besides, could one slave merchant really gather together so many mercenaries?
It was hard enough for a single baron to gather a few hundred.
In the first place, the city to the south was considered holy ground for mercenaries. And yet there were only three thousand mercenaries there at the most.
And more than anything, it would be a colossal waste of money to have so many guards, while sending others to hunt demihumans who were supposed to be near defenseless.
However, I thought that I’d play along for now.
And so I raised my voice in surprise.
“What!? Only three thousand! Everyone, rejoice! This is the perfect time! We must go and attack the enemy castle!”
Upon hearing my voice, the already excited demihumans raised their voices in a frenzy.
“All right, Iria. Let’s offer this one’s head to the gods, and pray for victory. With your blade, he can die without any pain.”
The slave hunter began to shake uncontrollably.
“N-no! I was lying about the numbers! There are actually ten thousand of us! You better not kill us. We will be avenged!”
Ten thousand was frankly impossible.
Even a duke or king would find it hard to hire so many.
Now that it was established that he was a liar, I pressed further.
“So, why did you lie then? Are you trying to lure us into a trap? Were we going to be surrounded!? And why didn’t the rest of you say anything!?”
I shouted angrily at the other prisoners who were being brought in.
And then one of them shouted.
“Wait! Everything that he said is a lie! I’ll tell you the truth if you spare me! There are only fifty guards at the base!”
“That’s the truth! I’ll testify to it! So please spare me!”
“Yes! You can take it easily if you attack now!”
Now the slave hunters were talking eagerly.
Even the man who had said there were three thousand at first was banging his forehead on the ground and saying, ‘I meant to say fifty!’
“I cannot tell which is the lie. And since you may still be lying, I will give you some time to spit out the truth before we attack the castle. If what you say is a lie, then you will be beheaded. If it’s true, I will spare your lives.”
At this point, the slave hunters became very pale.
“Werewolves! Head to the northern fortress with these men in the lead!”
Melk nodded, and then they surrounded the slave hunters and herded them towards the forest like sheep.
There were around five hundred werewolves. And I would send all of them out.
While the slave hunters were still close by, I shouted next.
“And you Ents will also go north!”
Ecleshia nodded silently and then ordered the Ents to head north.
After that, I shouted the names of some other races, which were not even here, and ordered them to go north. I did all of this so that the slave hunters could hear.
Iria turned to me and asked,
“Is this part of some plan?”
“Aye. I will free everyone without sacrificing any lives. …Mette! You and half of the Kijins will stay here!”
Mette looked rather sad at this, as she seemed to have wanted to participate in the battle to free the others.
But she quickly returned to her usual cool expression and waved her hand and said, ‘may luck be with you!’
“Everyone else, we’re going north!”
I shouted, and then with the Kijins, golems and slimes, marched to the north.
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