No Battle No Life - Volume 1 - Chapter 8

Published at 15th of May 2016 12:52:18 PM

Chapter 8

Volume 1 Chapter 8: I suspect you’re an artillery fanatic…

Aude, French side

“You must bear this in mind, the Massif Central is of critical importance!”

Tu was familiar with the topography of this place from his closed beta days . He knows full well that if he is to create a miracle from the despairing disparity in numbers, he has to use the highlands well .

Just then, Tu felt a slight piercing pain in his hand . He raised his hand and saw that there were several red lines on the back of his right hand that formed 2 dragons

This was probably the “King’s Privilege” though if this attack was just to test the waters, then he cannot use it .

“Remember, covering fire must be done in a timely fashion when the tides of battle are favourable . I leave the judgement to you . ”

“I hear and obey, your majesty . ”

Tu looked at the back of his hand once more before putting it down as Lannes accepted his order seriously .

The smiling youth was gone . Right now, the king was serious and cool, which made Lannes get his act together as well, as he had chosen to follow him after all and was eager to be a part of his first victory .

“Grouchy, you lot come here . ”

Tu whispered to the generals who came over in their ears to re-confirm the strategy for the coming battle .

Night slowly came, and the Austro-Hungarian army finally made its way to the battlefield after taking its time .

Because the army for this expedition was formed by 2 main organisations in Vienna and the inner northern areas, the 30,000 strong army was divided in 2 . 20,000 from the troops under the royal family’s direct command and 10,000 from the northern army . These 2 groups made their way to Aude separately, with the intention of gathering there .

Because of the topography of Aude, this army did not have much artillery firepower, and comprised mainly of line infantry with the prided riflemen in the rear guard .

The riflemen were armed with the rifles which were currently the most accurate weapon in the world, though the numbers were few as there were only 20,000 or so of these riflemen amongst several thousand feudal lords in the entirety of Austria .

— As expected, because the riflemen are their trump card, the feudal lords were terribly unwilling to send them out even if it was the Emperor himself who was gathering troops and so only 500 or so were sent out in this 30,000 strong army . With such numbers, they can largely be ignored .

Before the Austro-Hungarian army arrives, Tu decided to take a bet after hearing the scout’s report .

— My plan has no issues . If anything, the Austro-Hungarian side has overestimated itself and granted me a grand opportunity which I won’t let go of .

He pointed to the highland and once more recited the battle plans .

“Apart from the Imperial Guard, all other battalions are to move into a defensive formation roughly 10km away from here on the right wing of the highlands . The first defensive line will comprise of Lannes’s 4th battalion less the artillery, Murat’s 2nd battalion and a portion of Saint-Cyr’s battalion . ”

“At an appropriate distance behind them will be the second defensive line . There, Saint-Cyr’s cavalry will lie in wait, and finally Grouchy’s 3rd battalion will form the third defensive line and be ready to provide reinforcements when needed . ”

“On the left wing of the highlands, Ney’s 1st battalion will be in charge of luring the enemy on the left wing to climb the highlands . ”

“I will lead the Imperial Guard to re-take the highlands just as the Austro-Hungarian army takes them!”

This long series of orders were overwhelming, and came from a young man not older than 18, making one feel terribly unnatural .

— Was this a maturity beyond one’s age?

“Ney, your mission is especially important . You must imagine yourself as a matador and lure the enemy to you with a red cloth but you must also take care that they do not run you down!”

“Please don’t worry your majesty!”

Ney’s fighting spirit was lit up by the excitement of fighting a battle with the odds stacked against him .

Though Ney’s task seemed to be the hardest, Tu understood full well that the cruz of this plan lay in the step that involved retaking the highlands, which was the completing step to dividing the Austro-Hungarian army .

If his troops which were supposed to retake the highlands were defeated then the plan would be finished there and then . When that time comes, he would definitely meet his end, so he decided to be the one to personally lead the most elite of the soldiers for this .

The preparations were now complete, and what was left was to unleash it onto the Austro-Hungarian army!

The Austro-Hungarian army on the right was nearing Murat .

As the distance narrowed to a musket’s firing range, Murat drew the sword by his waist as his warhorse neighed .

He could feel an unusual power fill him, and he seemed to be brimming with desire for battle .

“Are you afraid?”

The words which the young king had posed to him before the battle floated up in his mind . Back then, he hadn’t answered .

“Of course I’m afraid, your majesty . ”

Murat’s face cracked into a smile as he found the answer, upon which his battlelust grew even greater .

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“I’m afraid I might kill too many and your majesty can’t reward me enough . ”

Murat looked up and laughed .

Even though the army before him outnumbered his own several times over .


Countless bullets shot out following Murat’s roar .

The other side yelled out too, and the bulk of the light infantry hastened their charge under the covering fire of a portion of the line infantry . Thunderous roars and te sounds of slaughter resounded through the highlands .

“Adjust the gun positions, targeting the right wing of the highlands and begin bombardment . ”

Lannes who had been hiding in the back had also begun artillery support .

With the roar of a hundred howitzers, shells bagan raining down onto the Austro-Hungarian army . This was the artillery that Tu painstakingly formed and now was the time to reap the rewards of his hard work .

— It can be difficult sometimes to tell whether this is a game or reality . These howitzers were after all, some years ahead of their time, yet took just a few weeks to be manufactured .

The Austro-Hungarian army was beaten back by this sudden volley and their attack weakened by quickly regained strength .

“Long live the Empire!”

The dull and continuous cannonfire shook the earth as the Royal Army on the right had begun engaging the enemy .

The cannonfire seemed to draw closer by the minute . Looks like it will be a close struggle and the cannons will likely be the decisive factor . I must defeat this lone battalion on the left, get up on the highlands and then move to assist the right side .

“You think you can stop the Northern Troops with just this few?! Charge!”

The comrade to his side roared out the troops began their charge at the enemy .

The enemy returned fire sporadically as they retreated and seemed like they had no intention of stopping us from taking the highlands, or perhaps they are luring us in .

— Could it be a trap?

No, no, the enemy must be giving up . That’s right, our side has so many, they can’t possibly hold us off with so few on their side!

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Besides, even if he voices this concern of his, he would only be seen as a coward as he couldn’t imagine anyone believing him under such favourable circumstances as everyone else was just thinking about how they could rack up more achievements .

Earl Charles hid what seemed like ludicrous thoughts to himself, and joined the charge .

“Don’t let them escape!”

“Capture the king alive!”

The enemy continued to retreat while the Northern Troops advanced onto the highlands .

The Northern Troops poured out onto the highlands, drunk from their seemingly imminent victory as they chased the retreating French troops in the hopes of reward, completely forgetting their comrades on the right who were stymied by artillery bombardment .

— This was truly a chaotic charge for the entire battalion had become a snake that was frantically slithering for the French troops on the right .

“You lot from Vienna, us brave warriors from the north will be coming to save you soon!”

The general leading at the front shouted this out with great fervor but soon, a heavy punch would knock the daylights out of him .

The enemy that had been retreating up till now had begun firing back at full power after they reformed their formation and…

— Another battalion has joined in?!

“The enemy on the right has…!”

The flag bearer in the centre of the troops suddenly realised that a flag with a never-before-seen coat of arms consisting of a dragon design and an eagle before a single arrow went through his head . Within moments after this arrow flew out, a new warcry drowned out every other sound before and the army was split in 2 .

— Cries of slaughter rumbled .

Murat had begun engaging the enemy and Ney had successfully lured the enemy onto the highlands . Everything went according to his plan and now was the time to launch a counteroffensive .

Tu drew the bow from his back and slung on his quiver .

As long as it was still the era of muskets, arrows still had their use . Besides, his archery has taken him through countless battlefields and all those who’d laughed at him and his bow had all fallen without exception .

Using the darkening evening sky and the shadows cast by the highlands as cover, Tu led his Imperial Guard toward the dreaming enemy . This was the moment he had been waiting and scheming for .

— Time for them to see the true strength of France .

The cannonfire and slaughter on the left had masked the footsteps of the Imperial Guard and they had arrived before the highlands virtually undetected . Right now, they could hear the curses of the enemy that took over the excited shouts of the initial charge as Ney’s battalion began firing back at their full power .

“Break them!”

— Grouchy’s battalion had probably entered the battlefield .

“Our blades will draw the blood of all who oppose us!”

“Follow your liege and welcome victory, brave warriors!”

Tu smiled at the soldiers behind him as the Imperial Guard unsheathed their swords while Tu pulled out 2 arrows .

“For France!”


The flag of France rose tall and proud and the air rumbled as the troops charged out onto the highlands with their swords drawn .

— Those who use guns are cowards, the Imperial Guard never uses guns!

Hearing an unusual tremors from the plains on the right, the flag bearer of the Austro-Hungarian Northern Troops finally detected Tu and the Imperial Guard .

But, it was all too late .

“The enemy has appeared on the…!”

As the arrow whizzed through the air and met its target, the flag bearer fell before he could finish his warning .

The sky darkened while the artillery continued its bombardment unabated . Tu used a fire to spot the enemy and let loose his arrows as the Imperial Guard charged into the enemy and divided them in 2 .

“Enemies! Frenchies we haven’t seen before!”

“Ah! They’re charging at us!”

The Austro-Hungarian army descended into chaos as they awoke from their premature victorious fever and met with the nightmare they found themselves in . A number of troops had begun running away from the other side of the highlands as fear began to take hold in their minds .

The scales began tipping in favour of France .