A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan

Chapter 315 - Amusing

They left the run-down fortress leisurely by the gates, filtering out onto the field. Their exit was no doubt immediately noticed by a rather disgruntled set of Hojo generals, as they watched their plan fail before it could be fully attempted.

Out onto the field, Gengyo was unsure quite where to go. He walked by the side of his horse, leading it by the reigns, so that he would not stray too far away from the men. It was a waiting game now. A question of reactionary manoeuvres.

They began at a leisurely pace, walking along the edges of the battlefield, a respectable distance away from the Hojo encampment – far enough away that any attempts to attack them would be seen long before they could land.

"Let's get closer," Gengyo decided. "If we can irritate them into sending their calvary chasing after us, then we can net an easy advantage."

"This is an incredibly odd way of fighting," Jikouji noted, but they went closer anyway, as calmly as if they were merely eight thousand men heading out together on a relaxing picnic.

They were soon close enough to make out individual men, but still far away enough that any arrow fire would fail to reach them, and any cavalry charge would be seen long before it hit them.

Gengyo wondered whether Matsudaira could see them from his fortress and whether he was as amused as Gengyo felt. They were merely eight thousand men wandering across grassy plains, as though they were unaware of the fifty thousand strong hornet's nest watching them aggressively.

"Tell the men to load their rifles," Gengyo put in to Jikouji – it was better to be prepared.

"LOAD!" Jikouji shouted quickly. He was able to summon a voice louder than a thunder god with hardly any preparation. Gengyo almost envied him.

The men were soon fumbling with their rifles, loading them as they marched, preparing six deadly shots for any fools stupid enough to come their way.

Gengyo walked right past the Hojo encampment, barely looking their way. He set his destination as Matsudaira's centremost fortress.

At Gengyo's actions, the Hojo generals were stunned. They watched it from a distance, too shocked to react immediately. "He's surely attempting to lure us into a trap," one of them said, though that begged the question: what trap?

They dared not immediately send in their cavalry for fear of being made a fool of. Such confidence was surely backed up in some form or another. But then, they were being made a fool of anyway, allowing the enemy to pass so close by without doing anything about it.

They formed up their infantry instead, to at least exert some pressure. Ranks of Hojo spearmen began to form up on the edges of their camp and bowmen filtered in behind them. When there was enough ordered to be called a threat, they began at a slow march towards Gengyo's army.

Gengyo barely acknowledged them. He altered his course just enough to accommodate for the slowly advancing enemy, but otherwise stayed true.

Thus, the Hojo men began to advance a little bit faster, and units of cavalry raced up and down, looking for an opportunity to engage.

Gengyo pushed his men to the same speed, pushing forward at a faster walk.

The Hojo men began to run, as did the Miura men. They raced towards Matsudaira's middle fortress together, still a fair distance away.

The cavalry were allowed to grow excited, sighting a fleeing enemy's back. They left their men and galloped forward, drawing their swords, intending to smash them in the back.

"…Is he a fool?" One of the Hojo general's asked incredulously. There was not a single way he could foresee that easily eight thousand strong unit surviving. In their attempt at putting on a show, they had given their backs and forced themselves into an undesirable position.

The Miura men could maintain their sprint far longer than the Hojo equivalents. They put quite a distance between themselves and the enemy infantry, but the mass of cavalry was catching up more and more with every second. In a few short moments, they would be plunging into their undefended backs.

Finally, Gengyo gave the order. "TURN AND FIRE!"

It was so crisp, so disciplined, that even the enemy was inclined to feel a hot flush at its beauty. Two thousand riflemen formed a solid wall of artillery in half a second, the first rank crouched down to allow room for the second. The Uesugi remnants soon stumbled into their own positions, and they notched their bows with arrows, in time to fire with the rest of them.

The front cavalryman finally noticed the danger. He pulled hard on the reins of his horse, attempting to veer off to the side, but at such a speed, his action was fatal. The horse veered sideways and crushed him underneath it, screaming all the while. His comrades soon joined him.

Arrows flitted up in a cloud towards the sky. Another was notched in the bows before they even landed. But it was the rifles that did the heavy lifting. They tore fist-sized holes in the chests of mounted men, killing them instantly. The cavalry charge buckled in a wave as the trigger was pulled again and again until there was not a single bullet left to fire. Even then, it only took them a matter of seconds to push more into the chamber and the heavy artillery once more resumed.

It was a massacre. Not too dissimilar to that they had inflicted upon Takeda Yoshinobu. Half dead men were left crawling amongst a sea of arrow ridden corpses.

Gengyo had left the Hojo generals stunned with the sudden venom of his attacking prowess. Seven thousand cavalrymen lay dead at his hands. But his next action infuriated them.

When the massacre was over, he held up his hand, and then he began forward at an even slower walk than before. It was terribly taunting and borderline devilish. His whole army began to laugh.

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