Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 28 – The Power of Stone Rubble
On the upper floor of the royal castle, I was tapping my fingers irritably on the desk in the round table where the military council was held. The only people around me were a lone general with a distracted look on his face and a squire assigned to me.
Everyone else was probably running around busily organizing their respective armies. Maybe. The only ones who don’t have work to do are the idiots, the incompetents, and us who are summoned.
“…Hey, is there any word from the scouts?”
“I apologize, hero-sama. There are no signs of the returnees yet.”
They’re not coming back.
The scouts, a total of more than 80 advance troops, a platoon of guiding mages, a viceroy’s troop sent on suspicion of desertion, and more than a dozen messengers sent out to think of reasons for the loss of contact, but no one came back.
As far as the kingdom’s army is concerned, the war is now open.
They must deliver a lightning-quick blow to the careless subhumans. For that purpose, they sent out scouts and advance troops made up of cavalry and infantry. None of them had contacted us, and none of their whereabouts were known.
In addition, the third prince, who was said to have gone out on his own to defeat the enemy, is nowhere to be found. The most elite of the royal army’s mage corps calls itself a guiding mage platoon, but in reality, it is a squad, in short, a mage prince who doesn’t know his place and his protector.
He doesn’t listen to anyone; he doesn’t follow anyone’s command. It’s not like they’re going to want a demon tag that’s only high in rank and mediocre as a fighting force. When everyone in the castle heard that he had left without permission, they were all relieved, but it was more trouble than it was worth when he didn’t come back.
At any rate, the place where that idiot disappeared is the place that will become the battlefield. If he was dead, that was fine. If he remains unidentified, he will be an obstacle to the release of large-scale attack magic. If the prince were to become involved, the commander would certainly be held responsible.
“…I would rather just burn them all down.”
“What is it, hero-sama?”
“Nothing, nothing. When do we leave?”
“His Majesty the King would be the one to lead the main force…”
“I know what that means! I’m asking when the main force will be leaving!”
After shouting at him, I realized that there was no way the squire could have known that. The king had decided to deploy the troops, but the preparations were slow in coming. Because the noblemen have been late one after another. Frustration and anxiety are prevalent.
Even I can see that I’m losing my composure.
I looked up at the words but was disappointed when I saw a soldier rushing into the room. He was a guard in the castle. This was not a report from the front line but an announcement of a new problem.
“The Transportation Corps has disappeared.”
Needless to say, supplies are the key to maintaining the front line. They were slow and had to get there early to set up, but they must have been sent out with a sufficient number and skill of soldiers as escorts. And now they’re gone?
The troops that have disappeared so far have been combating troops of various types. But the Transportation Corps is the second half of the army, not the front. …I believe.
“What do you mean, were they captured? Why would the Transportation Corps be on the front lines right now?”
“No, sir. According to the guards, they stopped and camped a dozen miles from the planned battleground.”
“Report accurately. What do you mean, “disappeared”?”
“A wagon loaded with supplies disappeared in the morning, leaving behind ten naked bodies and two living soldiers, also naked.”
“The survivor reports… no, is that the report?”
“Yes. The wagons and clothes suddenly disappeared, and the soldiers suddenly died.”
I’m about to yell at him, but there’s something I need to check before I do.
“What are the wounds on the body? Gunshot wounds… ah, a round hole somewhere on the body?”
“…Y-yes. How did you know that?”
I thought it was impossible, but I knew it was that guy. He must be on the subhuman side, that’s for sure.
That is, it’s a strange magic that has been shown in the White Room to steal supplies. The magic of instantaneous movement, robbery, and shooting. There is no way to counter this, at least… not with the soldiers of the kingdom army. If they keep handling this, the damage will only increase. And the supplies they take will steadily fatten them up.
“We’re going into battle. Get the horses ready.”
“No, sir! His Majesty the King has ordered us to wait until further notice.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! We can’t wait forever! I’ve told you many times that it’s foolish to underestimate the power of war! This is the result of ignoring that! If we continue like this, we’ll be crushed before the war even starts!”
The soldiers glanced at each other, intimidated by my fierce attitude.
“I don’t like it. What are you guys hiding?”
“If you don’t want to talk, that’s fine. If you can’t trust me, that’s fine; it can’t be helped. But in that case, I will abandon you on the battlefield.”
The guards who would remain in the castle might not mind, but there was a high possibility that they would be uprooted and mobilized in the current situation. The one who couldn’t take it anymore was the squire who would be following me to the front lines.
“We don’t know the reason or cause yet, so our report is unofficial.”
“I don’t care. Talk.”
“Some of the advance troops are camped outside the invasion route, in front of the planned battleground.”
“Conserving our strength before contacting the enemy? I have repeatedly said that this is a foolish strategy…”
“They are not a fighting force. On the contrary, they are unable to move from the spot. According to reports… there seems to be an outbreak of plague.”
There was one thing that neither Myrril nor I had expected.
Or rather, we had forgotten about it. The dead bodies that had been shot and left in the path between the royal capital and Casemaian.
No one recognized the naked, rotting corpse lying on the side of the road, swollen with gas, as the prince. One of the soldiers, who was trying to pass quickly because of the foul smell, threw a stone at the corpse, cursing.
The prince, who was ruptured and spreading carrion, seems to have bestowed germs all over his impolite subjects.
It’s unclear what kind of disease it is, but several generals complained of high fevers, diarrhea, and vomiting, and just before the war began, the valuable asset of a high-ranking attack mage was wasted on an inefficient detoxification treatment…
But that’s another story.
Chapter 29 – Battlefield Looters
Now, this war.
From the point of view of the enemy, the kingdom’s army, it’s not even a war; it’s just a subjugation by sheer numbers. In fact, from our point of view, it’s a suicide mission.
In other words, the key to this battle is how much we can reduce, disrupt, and disable the enemy’s forces before the war begins… or the only thing that will keep us alive.
In addition to limiting the enemy’s line of movement, the Casemaian, like a natural fort, is located high above the ground, about 100 meters above the ground. We could start with a slight advantage, but we were not optimistic considering the difference in strength.
After all, we were outnumbered to the point of being uncomfortable. If we, an army of less than a hundred, were to go head-to-head with an army of thirty thousand, we would be swallowed up by the violence of numbers, regardless of our geographical advantage or our machine guns.
The muscle brain beastman said, “We only need to kill 300 soldiers each, right?” But that’s not the point. Even if that were the case, the other side would have 30,000 chances per turn, and we would only have 100 (actually about 40). Even an idiot can understand that – and it’s a matter of probability that is hard for our Liberation Army members to understand.
“So, let’s do some work, shall we?”
“Hmm, that’s interesting.”
As I was about to sneak off, I was caught off guard and let out an involuntary scream. Before I knew it, Myrril was behind me, holding my shoulders tightly.
She has a big smile on her face, but her cute forehead is covered with blue veins, and her back is covered with an aura of anger. To be honest, I’m scared to death.
“Where do you think you’re going when a war is about to break out?”
“I’ve got some things I really need to do before the battle. I’m sorry, but it’s my top priority right now. Please don’t stop me.”
Myrril was perplexed by the fact that I was trying to make the most of my second glance, but she seemed to agree with me.
“I-I’m not going to get in the way of that, but… what is the purpose?”
Yeah, I’m screwed.
I need money as soon as possible to order more from Simon ― or rather, to make up for the deficit in the budget that is already running out. The quickest way to do that is to raid the Transportation Corps.
According to the report from the elven scouts, the advance team is heading towards us in several groups, but for some reason, the first group is the Transportation Corps, which is not well guarded. They are camped about fifteen miles from Casemaian.
If a mile is equal to a mile in my original world, that’s about 24 kilometers.
As of now, I have the ability to teleport within sight. The distance and number of times I can teleport depends on how much magic power I have left.
I can use teleport, store, and teleport back. That’s why I can’t take anyone with me. I don’t even know the limits of my skills and magic, so I’m just testing the waters. If it goes well, it could greatly reduce the enemy’s strength.
…It should be.
When I arrived in front of the church an hour later, the dwarves were in the middle of a discussion about burying IEDs in front of a map.
I taught them the simple principle and how to use it and gave them samples of gunpowder, explosives, and detonators, but after several experiments and analysis, they now seemed to know more about it than I did.
To be honest, I don’t know much about bombs, so this is very helpful.
“Oh, Yoshua, you haven’t gone out yet?”
“No, I went. Here’s the first one.”
Myrril and the rest of the dwarves open their mouths wide, but there’s no time to waste.
I went back and unloaded the luggage, then went back and unloaded the luggage again.
Sometimes I hear Myrril’s voice somewhere, sometimes I see her out of the corner of my eye, but I couldn’t care less. I let my mind go blank and repeat mechanically. This is just a task. It’s a game of speed until the enemy starts to take notice.
“Hey, Y-Yoshua, can’t you wait a minute!”
“See you later; I’m busy.”
As I go back and forth several times, the capacity of the storage and the distance of the teleport increase, while the magic power consumed by the skill seems to be decreasing little by little. It’s also possible that the total amount of magic power is increasing, but there’s no time to look at the status right now. I should hurry back and go again…
“Wait, I told you!”
I was tackled by Myrril, who was waiting for me when I got back from the teleportation, and I fainted in agony when she tackled me on my solar plexus.
“How long are you going to keep doing this?”
I must have gone back and forth a total of seven or eight times before I realized it. My body felt a little dull. I thought it might be a symptom of low magic power, so I decided to take a break.
“Hmm, but if I could, I’d like to take a break for a little while longer… Huh? Isn’t it dark in here?”
“Of course it is, you idiot! I tried to stop you many times, but you wouldn’t even listen to me!”
As I looked around the church vestibule, the carriages of the kingdom army that I had brought in for teleportation and storage were piled high, forming a thick wall. I don’t remember stacking them three high, but I must have done it.
“You’re going to crush us to death?”
“Well, this much material before the war starts would be tremendously helpful.”
A minimum of twenty and a maximum of thirty carriages must have been stored in each teleport, so there are roughly two hundred carriages here. Certainly, if this collapses, you might die.
I knew from experience that living things could not be stored and would be repelled, so I repeatedly tried to store them at random and then escaped by shifting. The horses that had been tied to me ran away annoyingly, and occasionally a soldier who had been sleeping or hiding in the back of the wagon popped out naked (I guess the equipment was still stowed), so there must not have been any enemy soldiers among the ones I brought.
Since I was desperately trying to make up the numbers, I didn’t see or hear anything about our situation. The residents of Casemaian had already started to sort out their belongings, and the unused carriages were being carefully dismantled and sorted to be used as building materials or firewood.
“Oh, yeah. …Sorry.”
“I know what you’re thinking… What I don’t understand is why you have to go through all this trouble.”
There was a military story like that. But now I understand. Maybe people who want to have a huge buffer are afraid of having more than they need.
“We can’t even fit food in the church anymore. We opened up a storehouse at a nearby merchant’s house and decided to store it there.”
“There were some barrels of water, but it was only a matter of time before they went bad. We’ll put them here and boil them.”
“The weapons are mostly low-grade mass-produced swords and flimsy shields. But, I suppose we could use them to reinforce the gun turrets if we put them together in the shape of dragon scales.”
The conversation between the old Dwarven men is interesting because they talk in the same tone as Myrril, except the first person is me.
The young dwarf seems to be talking rather normally, so why does the old man talk like that?
“Myrril, did you find any gold?”
“Oh, they’re all in a barrel over there.”
The one that Myr pointed to was a large barrel that seemed to be filled with water. I’ve seen them filled with wine in my previous world, but I don’t remember the capacity… If it were a barrel, it would be about 120 liters.
The amount of gold coins is less than half of that. I don’t know how many, but I’m pretty sure they won’t be heavy enough to carry when they fill up the barrel. Before that happens, I’ll throw them in the market.
“I don’t need the silver and copper coins; we can share them with everyone…”
“We have no use for them either.”
“That’s right. There’s no such thing as stores or merchants here.”
“How many wagons have you checked for cargo?”
“About ten. At this rate, it’ll take all of tomorrow to process them.”
“I see. Then we’ll suspend the operation. I’m going to store the carriages, leaving only the contents. Just check and organize what you need. Where do you need to be covered up?”
“The blockade at the bottom of the hill and the horse fence at the front. Then we can place them on the battlefield and set traps.”
“Alright. If you give me a location, I’ll take the wheels off the wagon and put it there.”
We’ll take away the enemy’s assets and counter their attacks. It’s not just killing two birds with one stone. As a matter of fact, it’s simply fun to rob the enemy.
Casemaian’s camp was filled with bright air.