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Chapter 58 – The Flash of Light The Girls Saw
“Now that the heavy talk is over, let’s talk about the war.”
Since we have finished talking about love, the next topic is war. For me, this is much easier to talk about than love. In other words, I don’t feel like I’m a relevant person in it.
“Yeah, I think we should talk about that too.”
Sylphy’s face became serious as she listened to what I had to say. Hmm, the temperature is so different.
“The conclusion of my talk with Sir Leonard in the morning was that whether we are negotiating or asking other countries to act as intermediaries, we need to show our strength first, right?”
“That’s right. The current us is an insignificant remnant of the rebel army to them. It can be said that we are the bandits who are preventing them from ruling their own country. They would never negotiate with such people properly.”
I wouldn’t negotiate with such people either, even if I were in their shoes, Sylphy said. Hmm. We’re like terrorists in their eyes. We have our own agenda and justice, but they have their own agenda and justice, too, I guess.
“By showing off our power, you mean, frankly speaking, going around killing soldiers of the Holy Kingdom, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. You don’t like it, Kosuke?”
“The fewer people die, the better, but it’s not going to be easy.”
The Holy Kingdom has already conquered the Merinard Kingdom and established effective control over it as a vassal state. It has already been twenty years since the Merinard Kingdom was made a vassal state. Unless you’re a long-lived species, you’re probably already forty to fifty years old, even if you were young back then. Many of them may have died due to lifespan, injury, or illness.
There is a possibility that the current generation of Merinard citizens is less aware of their role in the war due to the passage of time. After twenty years, there are probably citizens of the Holy Kingdom who have emigrated from the Holy Kingdom and have already put down roots. It is easy to predict that reclaiming the land will not be a straightforward task.
“We’ll just have to find a way to make it work… Speaking of which, have you been able to make contact with any of the former Merinard human soldiers that are hiding out in the Merinard Kingdom?”
“There are no such reports. If they’re hiding, it’s probably in urban areas, so we haven’t been able to contact them this time. They’re not supposed to be anywhere near towns or cities.”
“I see… Well, you can’t put words in people’s mouths. The capturing of the rock salt mine will have a certain amount of buzz, and rumors will gradually spread… No, if you want to spread rumors, it would be better to start from here.”
“Spread it from here? What do you mean? You want to infiltrate a spy?”
Sylphy tilted her head. Infiltrating a spy is indeed one way to do it. But the beastly Merinard Kingdom people seem to be controlled half as slaves, which would be a very risky strategy.
“How about spreading leaflets from the sky? Like “In the center of the Great Omit Wilderness, there is a new land created by Sylphy. Merinard’s citizens, now are the time to unite.” something like that.”
“You’re using Harpy again? Kosuke sure is loving the Harpy, isn’t he?”
“Aerial maneuverability is simply powerful, you know?”
Of course, I like the Harpies, but it’s not because I like them that I actively incorporate them into my operations. It is simply because they are useful that I incorporate them into the operation.
“But it might be a useful way to make our claims and intentions known to the public. Paper is an expensive thing… but since it’s Kosuke, you can make a lot of it, can’t you?”
“I can easily afford it.”
It’s easy to make a lot of paper with crafting ability using fibers from various grasses and leaves. It’s hard to write on each sheet of paper by hand, but if it’s printed with woodblocks, we can easily mass produce leaflets.
“I’ll suggest it as soon as we get to the front-line base.”
“That would be great.”
As I was about to refill my honey wine, I realized that the bottle was nearly empty. It seemed that I had drunk quite a bit before I realized it. Speaking of which, I feel like I’m pretty drunk. I’m still far from my limit, though.
“The honey wine is running out, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, do you want some more?”
“No… it’s enough already.”
Sylphy smiles seductively at me. No, I think she’s actually inviting me. It’s been a while since I’ve spent time with her like this. Let’s be sincere with each other.
We spent the night after Kosuke-san and Her Highness left, and the three of us have been on watch duty towards the temporary fort since this morning. Yesterday, we were able to eat the delicious hamburger that Kosuke-san left for us, but starting today, we’ll have to live with block cookies, dried meat, and dried fruits. The block cookies are pretty tasty, but they can’t compete with the hamburgers.
“Captain, do you think Kosuke-san will accept us?”
Pessar asked me this as she looked towards the temporary fort. This girl is always cheerful and a bit talkative. She has a cheerful personality and is a good mood maker in the unit.
“I-I hope he does.”
Flamme grinned, her cheeks turning a faint shade of red. She is probably imagining what it would be like to have that kind of relationship with Kosuke-san.
She has excellent night vision and good eyesight. She is also a skilled flyer and can fly quickly and almost silently. She is a very talented girl, but she is a bit reclusive and imaginative, or to put it more bluntly… she’s a lecher who doesn’t seem it and doesn’t talk about it.
Feathers that extend from the head like a wolf-beastman or a-cat beastman are moving up and down. It’s very easy to tell when she’s getting delusional because those feathers move.
“From what Fronte and the others have told me, Her Highness is positive that Kosuke-san is willing to have a relationship with us, and Kosuke-san seems to be interested in us, so I’m sure it will be fine.”
I had been told that, when they were asked desperately, Kosuke-san had been put to sleep with dark spirit magic, and then they’re allowed to “study” various things… When I first heard that story, I was so frustrated that I almost went into a rage. But afterward, in the bath with Kosuke-san… fufufu, he was so cute.
He never called us toilet birds; in fact, he respected us very much. And he also gave us unparalleled power. At first, I asked him to make a weapon that we could use, but what he made for us was far more impressive than I could have imagined.
“Kosuke-san is wonderful, isn’t it…?”
Flamme murmured with an enraptured expression as she put her hand on her cheek. Kosuke-san is a very mysterious man. He has black hair and eyes as black as the night sky, mysterious powers, weapons and tools that I’ve never seen or heard of, knowledge of cooking, and flexible ideas.
His character is hardworking, kind, and sincere. His attitude toward women is also not abrasive, or rather, he has an untrained mind. But he also has the courage to take on Gizma head-on. Mmm, I don’t want to be like Flamme, but thinking about Kosuke-san makes me want to see his face.
No, no. I’m in the middle of an important mission. The surveillance mission is boring, but we mustn’t neglect it. Kosuke-san will be disappointed in me.
“I agree with you, but we have to prioritize the mission right now.”
“Yes, but it will be boring for a while.”
“Still. You don’t want Kosuke-san to be disappointed, do you?”
Because the Holy Kingdom army can’t discover us, we can’t just fly in and watch what the Holy Kingdom army is doing. I will keep an eye on the direction of the temporary fort from this monitoring station.
There was no movement for a while, but after about two hours, the Holy Kingdom army appeared near the temporary fort. They surrounded the fort and seemed to be on the lookout for attacks from the fort. However, they soon noticed that there was no sign of anyone in the fort, and the infantry began to close the distance slowly, shields at the ready.
“There are no siege weapons in sight, right?”
“The last time we repelled them, they were still some distance away from the fort, so maybe they didn’t see the fort.”
The Holy Kingdom’s army was in chaos after our bombing, and they probably didn’t have time to worry about it. The number of survivors must not have been that many.
“Oh, the sign was pulled out.”
“Looks like they’re taking it to their commander.”
The signboard in front of the gate of the temporary fort had written the demands of our liberation army and a warning. Our demands are the return of the Merinard Kingdom, the deportation of the Holy Kingdom army and the Holy Kingdom people, and the release of the Merinard citizens. As for the warning, we consider the invasion of this temporary fort to be a hostile act by the Holy Kingdom’s forces, and we will enter into a state of war. It’s not a warning; it’s a declaration of war.
The person who seems to be the commander of the Holy Kingdom army who saw the contents of the signboard slammed the signboard into the ground and trampled it.
“Ah, geez. It’s a terrible thing to do.”
“I guess it’s only natural for them to do that.”
It seems that the Holy Kingdom army did not bring any ladders with them. The gates are tightly closed, and they seem to be discussing how to get in. Even if they tried to climb up, the walls were almost impossible to find a foothold, and the slope was so subtle that it would be difficult to climb up.
After struggling for a while, they seemed to have succeeded in getting in by hooking a makeshift rope to the wall. If there were a mage who could use wind magic, it would have been easier to get in, but I don’t know if there is one in there.
“It looks like there is no mage?”
“I-I don’t see anything like one.”
“I guess they decided they don’t need mages against us.”
The mage corps is the tiger cub of the Holy Kingdom’s army. Right, they wouldn’t want to come to a remote region like the Great Omit Wilderness.
It was not long before the soldiers were inside, and the fort was overrun. The gates were opened, and an avalanche of infantry troops poured in. All that was left of the temporary fort was a little food and some furniture. Kosuke-san had removed all traces of the watering hole, and the well that had been dug to hide the unnaturalness had been filled with poison and dirt. The water was too muddy to use, though, since it had just been dug.
The cavalry troops were running after Sir Leonard and the others’ tracks, but they probably wouldn’t be able to catch up with Kosuke-san and the others. They couldn’t risk being attacked by Gizma, so they couldn’t follow too closely.
After a while, the cavalry came back. The infantry was moving around in and around the fort, but there was no advance sign. It seems that they will stay here today. I guess they were satisfied with the fact that they got the whole magnificent fort intact. It can be used as a bridgehead for the invasion of the Great Omit Wilderness.
But that would be the death of them.
Nothing happened, the sun went down, and night came. It seems that they decided to take up positions around the fort, as it was impossible for an entire army of over five thousand to enter the fort. Until the sun went down, they dug a moat and built earthen mounds to prepare for Gizma. Bonfires were also burning brightly.
“Is it really going to explode?”
“I don’t think Kosuke-san will fail to finish the job.”
“T-that’s right. I don’t think Kosuke-san will――.”
Before Flamme could say anything else, it happened.
First, there was a flash of light and then a burst of flame. Then came the roar and impact. The explosion did not happen once, but many times in a chain. Each time, there was a deafening roar and a pounding impact on the chest.
Pessar, Flamme, and I were just overwhelmed by the sight. It must have been a very short time between the start and the end of the explosion, but I felt like I had been watching the scene for a very long time.
“Wow… there’s no trace of the temporary fort.”
“It’s much more impressive than I expected, Kosuke-san…”
As Flamme said, the explosion had literally left no trace of the temporary fort. All that remains is the ground that was gouged out by the explosion, the debris of the fort, and the corpses of the Holy Kingdom army spread out around it. Kosuke-san said that the damage to the Holy Kingdom army outside the fort might not be significant, but there is no such thing as a safe soldier as far as I can see.
“E-eeehh… C-Captain, what should we do?”
“Flamme, please scout under cover of darkness as planned. Try to be as undetected as possible, and maybe you’ll be okay, but keep your altitude, so you don’t get shot with a bow.”
Flamme flew almost noiselessly from the entrance. She’s always so unsure of herself, but she’s really good at what she does. I wish she could be more confident.
“Captain Pirna, as expected, Kosuke-san is amazing.”
“I’m not sure if “amazing” is the right word.”
How much damage has been done to the Holy Kingdom’s army…? At the very least, the soldiers in the fort will certainly not be alive. If there’s someone who’s alive, they must be something other than a human.
A few moments later, Flamme came back. She looked pale as if the scene had been too horrific.
“How was it?”
“T-there’s no trace of the fort, and I’d say less than twenty percent of the troops were still moving.”
“It’s almost a total destruction…”
If it’s 20 percent of the 5500, that means about 1000 are still moving, but how many of those 20 percent are in a completely decent condition?
“The Holy Kingdom’s army has lost its ability to fight.”
“Yes, I think that is correct.”
“What about us?”
“We’ll all recheck in the morning, blow this place up and head back. We’ll sleep in shifts today and keep watch.”
Pessar, who replied, “Yes,” will be the first watch, Flamme, who is strong at night, will be in the middle, and I will be the last watch. With our wings, we should be able to meet up with Kosuke-san by the end of the day tomorrow. I’ll have to make sure to report the results of the battle properly.