Is This, Combat?
The arrow shot by my youngest uncle pierced through the chest of one of the foreign invaders without fail.
As I stood on a high platform across from the charging invaders, I was able to confirm their collapse.
Other uncles peeked over the wall, watching my youngest uncle’s outstanding performance.
“Already the third one?”
The uncles in the courtyard couldn’t help but be amazed by my youngest uncle’s archery skills.
My youngest uncle didn’t show off flashy archery like Legolas from The Lord of the Rings.
He simply repeated the plain process of pulling an arrow from the quiver, hooking it to the bowstring, and drawing it.
However, whenever he released the bowstring, an invader fell without fail.
“There might be no casualties if we do well.”
“We can do it!”
With the youngest uncle’s performance, the once dead-eyed uncles gained hope.
“We’re saved ㅋㅋ”
Was that really the case? From a distance, there seem to be quite a lot of invaders.
It didn’t seem likely that they’d retreat so easily.
My father seemed to have a similar thought.
“Everyone, stay alert! The battle hasn’t even started yet!”
At my father’s order, the uncles watching the invaders fall from the wall returned to their positions.
As expected, the invaders briefly retreated because of my youngest uncle’s archery skills but then regrouped with strange door-like shields and then resumed their charge.
Even for me, a person who spent over 30 years studying and was thus proficient in practical Japanese, it was difficult to understand the battle cries.
It was like visible fear.
I realized then that I was not in a law-abiding 21st-century civilized country but in the 16th-century Middle Ages.
Their barbaric cries showed a jumbled mix of fear of imminent death, the desire to survive, and the intent to kill the enemy.
Did I just swallow? No?
Looking around, I saw Kang Cheol with a tense expression, just like me.
Well, he must be nervous, too.
“Um, Kang Cheol, you should go to the inner part now.”
“How can I leave when you’re here, young master? I’ll stay here too.”
What a loyal foolㅋ!
“Anyway, never leave my side, no matter what.”
“Yes, young master!”
The situation made me feel like I’d left a child by the water.
Let’s assess the situation as calmly as possible!
First, the invaders were steadily advancing with their shields up.
My youngest uncle was shooting arrows through the gaps in their shields, but it was not enough to turn the tide.
It’s impossible for an individual’s power to flip the course of a war.
To minimize their numbers, we must target those not protected by shields.
According to my research, the effective range of an arrow was usually between 50 to 100 steps.
And the invaders were closing in fast.
Wasn’t it time to shoot?
Yet Grandpa didn’t give the order to shoot as if he knew my thoughts.
Ah, Grandpa, please! We have to shoot now!
I felt like my blood was drying up.
How much time had passed?
Finally, the order to shoot fell from Grandpa’s lips.
From the watchtower, no, from the storage room, my Grandpa, who had patiently waited for the enemy, sent a signal.
Following Grandpa’s arrow, a rain of arrows poured down from our relatives.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
In an instant, the shields became like hedgehogs.
The shields blocked Most of the arrows, but those who couldn’t be protected were struck down.
“Keep shooting, keep shooting!”
As the rain of arrows began to pour, its effect started to show.
The invaders’ feet were tied down at the thought that they could be killed by a blind arrow at any moment, and their initial charge slowed down significantly.
Twung~! Twung ~ Twung!
We desperately fired our bows.
But it seemed that the invaders were just as desperate.
Despite the rain of arrows and the fear of dying, none tried to flee.
Well, if they left the protection of the shields, they might turn into porcupines.
The invaders crawled slowly toward us, like turtles hiding their bodies behind their shells.
However, it seemed they had a reason for reducing their marching speed.
“Just hold on a bit more! Their arrows are not infinite.”
Ah, was that their trick? I could roughly understand what they were saying thanks to watching many animes.
But the invaders’ thoughts were wrong.
At my house, we had purchased thousands of arrows from Unyang since I started learning archery.
If you want to shoot hundreds of arrows a day, you need that many arrows stocked up.
Moreover, that was just the number of new arrows. I knew there were even more used arrows lying around the house.
In other words, they underestimated the dedication of we Korean nobles have for archery.
And even for the servants, they each brought over a hundred arrows, which was a necessary virtue for Korean nobles who were sincere about archery.
In short, even if we shot 3-4 arrows at each of the 500 invaders, we still had plenty of arrows left.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the Korean militia was able to play a role during the Imjin War, even after the collapse of the regular Korean forces, was their dedication to archery?
As expected, the arrows flew non-stop toward the invaders.
“If you don’t have a shield, use a corpse to block the arrows!”
The invaders began to show signs of impatience and anger.
To make matters worse, the hastily made shields were nearing their breaking point.
“You idiots! What are you doing? Are you going to die like this, skewered by arrows? We’re almost at the wall! We can survive if we stick to the wall. Run faster!”
Realizing that the shields could no longer protect them, the invaders charged for the wall where the arrows couldn’t reach.
Nearly 100 of them had fallen before they reached the wall.
Not only that but many of the surviving invaders were badly injured and bleeding from the arrow wounds.
“I’ll spare your lives if you turn back now!”
There was no way the invaders could understand Grandpa’s merciful request.
But wouldn’t they have understood the body language that was universally used?
An invader who seemed a head taller than the others reluctantly chased after the rest, his face flushed with anger.
“Break down that door! Kill them all!”
Kwaang! Kwaang! Kwaang!
A scream came from the door shortly after.
Were those ignorant fools trying to break down the door with cold weapons?
Our house’s door was made of oak, at least 20cm thick, so breaking it down with brute force was not easy.
At the very least, it would take 10 minutes of hacking with axes to open the door, right?
Besides, the door wasn’t the only obstacle.
While the invaders prepared, we didn’t just sit idle.
We set up makeshift barricades made of soaked straw in the yard and dug holes with hoes.
However, if the door was breached, all that would remain was closed-quarter combat.
Even if we had an advantageous formation and received support from arrows fired from the watchtower, we couldn’t ignore the difference in numbers.
And these invaders had lived their whole lives fighting while the people in the yard had spent their lives farming.
The difference in combat power would be stark.
To turn the tables in this situation, a single shot was needed to change the course of the battle.
Fortunately, there was someone on our side who possessed such an ability.
“Youngest uncle! The guy in the red armor seems to be the leader of the invaders.”
“Yeah, I saw him too and tried to target him, but he was able to block my shots easily. Sigh! I guess I need to get a little closer to take him down.”
Was he able to block an arrow that was not even visible to the naked eye?
It was an arrow that flew more than 300 paces with incredible force.
Was this not reality?
Was I actually inside a novel?
How could a person block a flying arrow with a sword?
Was that even possible?
His Way of Surviving
Huh! That was really close.
Takeyoshi looked at the short arrow deeply embedded in his chest armor, licking his lips.
He recalled what had just happened.
Before the battle began, Takeyoshi’s attention had been on the man who could shoot arrows from a distance of more than 300 paces.
That guy with the bear-like shoulders and a dirty expression on his face, it was him, right?
Holding their shields, his subordinates began to run, hoping to survive the arrow attacks.
Soon, the nobles on the rooftops began shooting arrows like rain.
On the battlefield, the most powerful weapon was the arrow which could take away lives from a distance.
Especially the blind arrow could even cause the great Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen to lose their lives.
Takeyoshi was not pleased with this situation.
Damn, I should have just robbed the commoners’ houses safely.
However, he knew very well that once his subordinates had tasted blood, they couldn’t continue their pirate life without paying back in blood.
Takeyoshi had a heavy responsibility of somehow showing his subordinates the taste of Korean blood.
Otherwise, guys like Kaido or Enma might start a rebellion anytime.
“Hey! What are you doing? Will you just die while being pierced by arrows? If you stick to the wall, you can survive. Run faster!”
As soon as Takeyoshi gave his command, his subordinates rushed in.
Takeyoshi knew very well that blending into the crowd would give him the highest chance of survival in this situation.
When his subordinates started running, Takeyoshi, hiding among the crowd, saw a nobleman pulling an arrow.
The nobleman was aiming at him.
That guy is?
It was the nobleman who could shoot arrows flying more than 300 paces.
In an instant, Takeyoshi felt a chill down his spine.
And without even realizing it, he grabbed the back of the neck of the subordinate running in front of him.
At the same time, the bowstring left the nobleman’s hand.
The arrow that pierced his subordinate’s body also went through Takeyoshi’s chest armor.
‘If I hadn’t used my subordinate as a shield, there would be a hole in my chest, right?’
Takeyoshi made the decision and kept running.
And before the next shot came, Takeyoshi arrived at the wall.
Having escaped from the brink of death, Takeyoshi could finally check the situation.
Nearly a hundred of his subordinates had lost their lives to the arrows.
If we can’t fill the ship, I might have to prepare for an actual rebellion.
Then, he heard a Korean voice above his head.
“If you turn back now, we’ll spare your lives!”
He couldn’t understand what was being said, but seeing the person looking down at him while swatting away flies with an annoyed expression was enough to let go of his rationality.
“Break down that door! Kill them all!”
Upon receiving Takeyoshi’s command, his subordinates began to strike the door with their axes.
Kwaang! Kwaang! Kwaang!
I will catch all these bastards and kill them, then return to my country!
Takeyoshi suppressed his anger and waited for the opportunity to come.
 Chikusho (ちくしょう) is a Japanese expression of anger.
 Chosenjin (朝鮮人) is “Joseon people” in Japanese.
 “I will definitely kill you!”
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