A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 206 - A Plan

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"What? Are we already going back again?"

"Aye, commander Miura reckons they won't be able to do much else for the rest of the day -best to stand down and relax a bit."

"Huh… It's even earlier than yesterday. True, we did crack open their weapons, but I don't really feel like I've done any work. Doesn't feel like battle. If anything this is easier than working in the fields."

"Best not let Jikouji or Morohira catch you saying that. They'll have you shifting stones for the rest of the week. Just accept the break, and come and catch a drink. I'm sure our boss has it all figured out anyway."

"Oy, you two! Make sure you don't drink too much. You need to be sober again by nightfall."

"Yes sir!"

"Nightfall? Is something going down later on? Would explain why we're on such an early break."

"Dunno. Seems like it though."

As Matsudaira focused on tunnelling, Gengyo was faced with the troubling problem of trying to counter it. To defend from the inside - that seemed to be the obvious solution. To fire continuously into the darkness, and ma.s.sacre the men. That would be a coin flip, however, and causalities would be inevitable, making future advancement troublesome.

It was a significant turning point in the siege, and a decision had best not be made lightly, and even then not by a single person. It was only fitting that Gengyo called to council his most trusted men. Even Isabella was recalled from her post to take part. Everything needed to be planned and articulated perfectly, without a single mistake or misunderstanding.

"In regards to how to deal with these tunnelling attempts, I have an idea." He announced once they were all seated around the table. It was rather cramped, with the room being so small, yet no complaints were spoken.

Silence reigned as they waited for him to continue, their ears primed and ready, and their hearts hopeful. "We will expand our army, by employing a new type of soldier."

"A new type of soldier, Miura? The townspeople will not fight for us. I do not think it is sensible to put faith in their hands." Togashi immediately raised his concerns as Gengyo had urged them to before the meeting began.

"Not the townspeople. There is another force available, and they will be quite willing to enter our employment."

His words caused a series of frowns, as they struggled to recall such soldiers being present. If such a force existed, then why had they waited till now to ask them to join their ranks?

"How well trained are they? If they are unable to act on our battle tactics, then it will be useless having them in the first place." Being around Gengyo for as long as he had, Jikouji did not bother to raise the question of where the forces truly existed - he took it as fact that they did.

"That's right, Jikouji! I don't want some noodled-armed newbies getting in the way when I'm hacking f.u.c.kers to pieces. Where's the fun in that?" Morohira agreed.

"Oh. Their tactics are a little different from ours, but they are easily implementable. They specialise in doing one thing: charging the enemy, and breaking their ranks. Opening the fruit, so we can feast on the core."

"Eh? A cavalry unit? That would be pretty useful. That's the only thing we're missing." Rokkaku mused, much preferring the idea of combat by horseback.

"Something like that." Gengyo replied with a smile.

Sensing a certain misdirection present in his words, Akiko spoke up, in an attempt to establish the truth. "You're being silly, aren't you? It's not soldiers. It's something else. Some weapon."

Being called out as he was, his smile only widened, as he raised his eyebrows, and held his hands up defensively. "I might have been playing, just a little. They're not exactly soldiers. They're more… Cattle."

They stared at him. He stared back, undeterred, looking rather pleased with himself for his novel idea.

"Cattle..?" Isabella repeated, shaking her head, appearing almost disturbed.

"Of course. They are freely available here, are they not? A good couple of thousand, at least. If we were to purchase all of them, and send them charging toward the Matsudaira camp, then who could stop them? We had only need stroll in after, and deal the killing blows."

"Is that… Is that really feasible?" Jikouji's frown deepened, as he tried to visualize such a storm in his head. 

"I can't see why not. Matsudaira will be resting his men tonight, in preparation for the tunnel breach tomorrow. When night falls, we will send them out, and then we will charge straight after."

"I like it." Togashi decided, surprising everyone. He was usually more reserved when it came to military affairs, but now he was mirroring Gengyo's smile. "They're big beasts. With the dark covering them, they'll cross the plains and be at the camp before the scouts can even react. And how can they react? No one's ever fought an army of oxen before. This is it. I'm sure of it. I had a feeling that it would not end here. This is the path to victory."

"Good man. I promise it will not." He looked around to see whether anyone else would voice agreement. At the very least, none could come up with a suitable reason why it would not work. But the feeling of ridiculousness as they discussed it was poignant, and it was difficult to see past that initial reaction.

"Hah… So what do we need to do?" Rin asked after a long and drawn out sigh. Anything less would not be expected of her brother, she supposed.

With Rin, the score was deemed settled. No one else would speak up now. And so, the fun - in Gengyo's eyes - began.

"Brilliant. I'm looking forward to this one." He stated. A creative mind always delighted at the prospect of testing new strategies - new ways of approaching a problem, and this here truly was a novel solution. A more exciting way to seize victory there was likely not. "Jikouji. See to it that every ox in this entire city is purchased and brought to rest by the eastern wall."

"Aye, I'll see that it's done."

"Isabella, recall the scouts and have them focus all their efforts on monitoring the Matsudaira camp. Any changes in formation, and I am to be notified immediately."

"As you say."

"Togashi, Morohira, Rokkaku. Make sure the men don't get too drunk. Have them ready and a.s.sembled by sunset at the eastern wall."

"Got it."

"Akiko, Rin, accompany Jikouji and see to any disputes. There can be no problems leading up to this. It needs to function smoothly."

"Sounds boring, but okay."

"Everyone else, a.s.sist me in making a catalyst for their stampede."

Within moments they each had a task, and the room was a mess of movement as they each struggled towards the door, preparing themselves for the final stretch of this military marathon. 

They carried out their tasks with grace, yet their minds were undoubtedly on the battle head. Their successes had been reasonable, but against such numbers, none of them had been crushingly significant. Tonight, their efforts would culminate towards a single point. The only possible opportunity 500 men had of beating 8,000.  They would bet their all on this.

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A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 206 - A Plan summary

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