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Chapter 65 – Start Marching
There is a word that means “to gather together.” It’s a word with an image of many people gathering together, or everyone surrounding each other, or something like that. Yeah.
What is it, you ask? You’re probably wondering. Of course, you would. Well, it’s just my opinion about what happened last night after we ate Pirna’s and other Harpy’s traditional food, yeah. I don’t think I would be dealing with five people at once.
However, even though I had to deal with five people, it was easier than when I dealt with Sylphy and Isla… It seems that the nourishing effects of the traditional dishes were real.
“Good morning, Danna-sama.”
“G-good morning, Danna-sama.”
When I woke up, my whole body was wrapped in warm feathers. It was because Pirna and Flamme were hugging me on my left and right arms, and Pessar was hugging me around my waist. Pessar-san, that’s not a good place to be.
“Where are Sylphy and Isla?”
“They are already up and ready for breakfast.”
The feel of the feathers rustling against my skin was tickling and comforting. It was warm, and it made me want to fall asleep again.
“A-are you feeling all right?”
“Strangely enough, I don’t seem to have any problems. I’m more worried about you girls.”
Even though it was the first time, I was so intense that I didn’t even try to fool myself with medicine as Isla did.
“Oh, we’ll lay eggs.”
“We’ll be fine in that sense.”
I talked with Pirna and the others while wrapped in a natural down comforter until Sylphy and Isla came to call me. No, but you can’t go there, Pessar-san. It’s not good there. I said no, it’s just a physiological phenomenon.
“You look tired this morning.”
“Love is heavy.”
I’ve been taken care of in various ways this morning.
Sylphy was boiling a bath for me, so I took a bath to flush out all the stuff from yesterday. The three of the Harpies washed me all over, and it was a real treat. I was a little tired, though.
“Hahaha, you just have to take it in stride. It’s just the beginning.”
I couldn’t understand the meaning of Sylphy’s words and asked her back. Then, Pirna and the others came out of the bath at just the right time.
“Pirna, how many people did you have in total?”
“All eighteen, I think.”
“Fifteen to go. Good luck, Kosuke.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
I feel my face tense up. You want me to take on all of the Harpies? I think that’s a bit of a quandary. I’m not sure if I can support all of them, but I’m not that worthy of them. I mean, that number is simply going to be out of control due to my mental fatigue.
“Kosuke-san, we’re serious.”
“E-everyone adores you, Danna-sama.”
“Danna-san is our savior, after all.”
I turn my gaze to Sylphy. She quietly shook her head.
“It seems that this is the culture of these Harpies in the first place. They share one man with a few to a dozen, or even dozens or hundreds of others.”
“It’s true. A Harpy’s child is a Harpy. Harpies are born only to women. It’s not uncommon for a generation of sisters to be born to the same partner.”
“What a fantastical biology that is!”
In the end, it took me several days to deal with all the Harpies, including Fronte and the others. Sylphy’s and Isla’s attacks were just as fierce as their rivals, so while my heart was full, my body was in pain.
“…Let’s do our best.”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Sykes in the research and development department, so I shook his hand firmly. It seems that he saw my face and realized what the situation was.
“The only way is to build a shelf in your mind… You must build it in your mind.”
“What senpai says carries a different weight… Oh, take this. It will help your tired body and keep your strength up.”
“Your kindness will be greatly appreciated…”
I handed Sykes a newly developed stamina recovery potion. The recovery effect is not drastic, but its duration is very long, and it also gradually returns the lowered stamina and life to normal values.
It was the next day that the invasion of the Merinard Kingdom was declared.
“You look very tired. I hope you’re okay?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine.”
I wondered if my eyes were too tired. As soon as we met in the conference room, Danan was worried about me. In addition, the skin of several Harpies, including Sylphy and Isla on either side of me, and Pirna next to them, is glowing. I think they’re sucking the life force of me.
“It’s not easy being popular.”
An old man with a lion’s face is smirking at me. What are you laughing at? I’ll send you back to the main base one day and make you and Danan dedicate yourselves to the widows. Remember that.
“This time, it’s an all-out war. Our goal is to take the three forts in one fell swoop with all of our major forces.”
“Umu. What about our forces?”
“We have 200 elite soldiers who can also fight in close combat and 300 crossbowmen who have completed their crossbow training, making a total of 500.”
“That’s quite an increase.”
“Yes, there are more liberated people who want to participate in the battle to reclaim the Merinard Kingdom than we thought. Even with defensive troops at each base, we still have this many people.”
When he said defense troops, he meant about fifty crossbowmen who had also learned to use ballista. It’s not much, but crossbows, ballistae, and a seven-meter-high wall should be enough to deal with Gizma.
“There is no problem when it comes to transportation, as long as Kosuke-dono is present.”
Ms. Zamir, whom I have not seen in a long time, says so with a face as emotionless as ever. She is a so-called lizardman… no, a lizard woman. She is a woman, but her face is completely that of a reptile.
When she was in the Merinard Kingdom, she was an expert spearman who served as a spear instructor for the royal family, and when Danan and the others rebelled in the Merinard Kingdom three years ago, she fought on the front lines and defeated many soldiers of the Holy Kingdom army with her spear.
She was not able to participate in the previous liberation operation because she was in charge of guarding the main base with Melty, and she was not able to be involved in the subsequent defeat of the Holy Kingdom’s army, so she strongly requested Sylphy and me to definitely participate in this operation to retake the Merinard Kingdom territory.
Incidentally, like Sir Leonard, she’s also equipped with a mithril weapon that I made. Mithril is quite sturdy as a metal, so there was no need to make it as big and thick as the Beast Spear I had given to Ms. Zamir before.
Even so, she requested a large-bodied spear with a long blade, so the result was more like a long-bodied jumonji spear… rather than a longsword with a long handle. It is also equipped with a sharp mithril blade at the spearhead, making it an incredibly aggressive piece.
She was using this spear, named Meteor, to exterminate Gizma around the main base as if to relieve her exasperation.
“It is a problem that the burden is only on Kosuke.”
“It’s not so much a burden, but it’s still distorting.”
It seems that it would take a lot of work to take in and out supplies for 500 people every day. But I’m the only one who can do the job, so I have to do it.
“It’s no secret that we’re a group that relies heavily on Kosuke. We should make every effort to eliminate the need to burden Kosuke as soon as possible.”
Sylphy smiled bitterly. For the time being, the other group members seem to be thinking the same way, and they all have a bitter expression on their faces. As for me, I don’t feel bad about the fact that someone is relying on me.
“So, what’s the lineup this time?”
“Me, Kosuke, Danan, Ms. Zamir, Isla, and Melty will be with us. Sir Leonard will be staying at home this time.”
“It can’t be helped. I was there last time.”
Sir Leonard nodded obediently. Well, I’ve heard that he went on quite a rampage in the last liberation mission. As for the Harpies, not all eighteen of them are going out, and three of them will remain at the front-line fort. Since the Golem communication device is now sufficient to communicate with the main base, it seems that they will simply stay as scouts.
Other former Royal Army soldiers such as Worg and Gerda, as well as former adventurers such as Shumer and Indy, will all be going out.
In addition, the rifle squad, consisting of Jagira and four of her subordinates who had completed bolt-action rifle training, would be under my command along with the Harpy Bomb Squad.
The forces using my special weapons, such as bolt-action rifles and Harpy aerial bombs, were to be under my command. If they weren’t with me, they wouldn’t be able to resupply.
“The basic tactic is to surround the fort after Harpy’s aerial bombardment has weakened the enemy’s resistance, and Kosuke digs a hole in the shadows of the night to send troops into the fort and control it.”
“We’re going to try to kill the messenger as much as possible. We need to take out two of the three forts before the situation is exposed. Even if we have to use our precious aerial bombs, please try to destroy the messengers from the first fort we capture.”
“Aye aye, ma’am.”
“Are there any more questions? No? Then let’s move.”
“Leave me in charge of this place.”
Sir Leonard saw us off, and we began our military campaign to retake the fort at the territory’s border.
The necessary supplies were already in my inventory. The Liberation Army soldiers had already finished their preparations for the march, so the march began immediately after the meeting.
At the front was an elite force of former Royal Army soldiers led by Danan. There were about 100 soldiers in the group, 40 heavily armed infantrymen armed with strong armor, large shields, and one-handed weapons, and 60 light infantrymen armed with crossbows, spears, daggers, and light armor made of Gizma shells. These were soldiers who excelled in group combat.
Behind them followed 300 Liberation Army soldiers led by Sylphy and her second-in-command, Ms. Zamir. Like the light infantry, they were armed with spears, daggers, and crossbows, and in a sense, were the main force. Basically, the crossbow is the main weapon, while the spear and dagger are self-defense weapons for when they are involved in close combat. Their skill level is one step below that of the light infantry led by Danan, but they are reasonably proficient at crossbow shooting.
In the meantime, Shumer’s army of 100 rangers, made up of former adventurers, acted as the guard. Their armaments are all different, but their individual combat abilities exceed those of Danan’s elite soldiers. They are difficult to operate, but they are strong in melee combat. They will be mainly used as a raiding force inside the fort.
In addition, there are five riflemen led by me, fifteen members of the Harpy Air Force, and ten members of the Mage Corps led by Isla. There are also about ten civilian officers, including Melty, but they are not counted as part of the force.
“Melty seems to be strong, though.”
“I’m a weak maiden, you know?”
“Oh, yes, you are.”
“What’s with that reaction?”
What kind of joke is it that Melty is a weak maiden who can easily subdue Sylphy and turn her into a dress-up doll? I can’t help but feel that she would be able to take down the enemy soldiers if the situation called for it.
The march was going very well. Every once in a while, Gizma appears, but a volley of crossbows quickly exterminates it. Then I’m sent on a run to collect Gizma. Would you guys mind drawing them out a little more before you exterminate them?
“Thanks for the effort, Kosuke.”
“Kosuke, what’s with the inexplicable jumping motion?”
“Oops, here comes the trouble!”
Apparently, Isla has been watching my strafe jumping for some time now. What? Even if you ask me, I can’t explain it either. It’s a trick that utilizes command actions like a bug.
“They’re getting along very well, aren’t they?”
“I guess so.”
“Do you think I should join you?”
“No, you can’t.”
“What’s with you, Sylphy?”
I think there is some kind of horrible conversation going on behind me as I struggle to explain to Isla, but I’ll pretend it’s just my imagination. Melty is aiming for me too, after all… and my spine is starting to tingle.
I made eye contact with Jagira, who was walking nearby and asked her for help, but she averted her eyes. What kind of a subordinate abandons her superior.
In the end, I couldn’t give enough of an explanation to satisfy Isla, so I had to jump up and down in front of her. It seems that if I can’t explain it, she’ll just observe it herself and come to her own conclusions.
But, like the rest of my abilities, Isla was unable to discover the principle behind it. I was too tired from all the jumping around for nothing.
“It makes me uneasy to look at.”
“To be honest, it’s a little creepy.”
My glass heart was on the verge of breaking.
“They’re terrible people, aren’t they? Here, let Mama comfort you.”
Melty smiles benevolently and opens her arms as if to say, “Come on, I’ll give you a hug.” A magnificent pair of breasts, comparable to Sylphy’s, jiggled excessively.
Huh, this Kosuke is not going to be caught by such an obvious fishing hook――.
“Don’t fall for that obvious fishing hook, you idiot.”
When I was going to jump into Melty’s chest, letting my instincts take over, Sylphy grabbed me by the back collar, and my neck tightened up. In addition, Isla, who had crept up on me before I knew it, puffed out her cheeks and punched me in the side. It doesn’t hurt, but I can feel her dissatisfaction.
“You’re very flirtatious, aren’t you, Kosuke?”
“To put it bluntly, I feel like I’m too nervous about getting excited.”
It’s only the first day, but we’re getting closer and closer to the battlefield. It would be strange not to be nervous. When I’m really nervous, I get excited and start talking a lot.
“That’s a problem. Sylphy, please take good care of him.”
“I don’t need to be told.”
“If it’s too much for you, I can help you if you want.”
“No, thank you.”
Sylphy and Isla hugged me from both sides and warned Melty. Isn’t the way these two are wary of Melty a bit unusual?
Melty leaks a leisurely smile, and Sylphy and Isla threaten her. Isla let out intimidation… wait, can that be called intimidation? I’m not sure. It’s cute, though.
At that time, a voice from the front said, “The destination is in sight.” It seemed we had arrived at the first shelter. The shelter has a capacity of 500 people, or up to 1000 if it’s packed tight, so the Liberation Army members should all be able to find a place to sleep without any problems. I’ll have to prepare some food when we get there.
“Let’s getting along from now on too, Kosuke-san.”
Their menacing looks to Melty were unstoppable.