Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 65 – Uncertain Future
“This is amazing…”
It was the first time I had ever driven a truck bigger than a bus with a manual shift. The steering wheel is as big and thin as a hula hoop, the interior is rugged and simple, and the gauges are minimal, exactly what you would expect from a military vehicle.
The huge diesel engine is a bundle of torque, and the vehicle’s weight is quite heavy, so the speed is moderate (although I don’t want to go too fast because it would be hard on the people on the back of the truck).
I don’t know if it was a lie or not, but Simon said it had 11,000 cc, and that made sense.
“With such a big body, it’s really powerful. It’s even more powerful than the Hanbi.”
“It’s a car used by the military of a very cold country in my world, famous for its lack of decoration. It’s the same country that made the AKM and RPK.”
“…Fumu, it looks somewhat familiar. So, the country that made the Woji doesn’t make cars?”
“Cars made in Israel? I’ve never heard of it.”
I’ve heard of military vehicles and tanks, but it’s probably impossible for Simon to buy them.
We made more distance than I expected. It took us about an hour to enter the kingdom from the fork and head north towards Casemaian, with no one coming or going and no sign of our pursuers.
Myrril led us off the road and onto a narrow path where the ruts of the carriage had almost disappeared.
“M1 to H1, I’m worried about the health of the people in the back. Let’s take a break a little further into the forest.”
“H1, I’ll stop first, and then you can pass us.”
I run down and open the rear gate as I bring the Ural to a stop a little further down the road beside the Humvee.
Myrril has her UZI at the ready and is on perimeter alert, and behind us, Minya has taken up the rear gun position on the Humvee.
“Are we there yet?”
A small group of Beastman children peeked anxiously out of the container. I help them down. In the back of the container, some of them were asleep, wrapped in blankets. It would be impossible to go on a long trip like this.
“Sorry, not yet. Let’s take a break. Have you had some water?”
“Yes, I ate some of that crunchy stuff. It was delicious.”
“Yoshua, what’s that crunchy stuff?”
“It’s a highly nutritious rescue food. There were many who were nearly malnourished, after all.”
“Okay… Yadar, you and Minya will take over the gun position.”
“Yeah, I’m on it!”
“Minya, please help if anyone needs healing magic.”
We decided to take a longer break, so we prepared the cooking stove and built a fire.
Since they are in a weakened state both physically and mentally, eating something hot and easily digestible should help them feel a little better. For the children who had regained some strength, I gave them some cookies and candy bars as a quick source of nourishment.
“Yoshua, do you need any help?”
As I was boiling two large pots of water, Minya came back. She was in the container examining one of the weakened people.
“How did it go, Minya?”
“Lack of food and weakness of the mind. It wasn’t so bad that he needed recovery magic, but I applied some. It helps with fatigue and healing.”
“Well, thank you. I’m thinking of making some barley porridge now… What do you think I should put in it?”
“If you cook the Wyvern meat, it will give it a good flavor and nourishment. Give me a minute, I’ll pick up some herbs.”
“Keep it within sight of here. Do you have a gun with you?”
Minya nodded and showed me the sawed-off shotgun on her back, tucked in a leather strap.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen one… The current Minya would be no match for 10 or 20 heavily armed infantrymen.
“I’ll be right back.”
With the help of the women, I put the Wyvern thighs into tsukune style dumplings. When it was cooked, I added the barley and let it simmer for a while. When it started to melt and smell good, everyone gathered around, drooling.
“Here they are.”
Minya picked up some herbs and root vegetables, which were said to be good for nourishing and restoring strength. When I chopped them up and put them in, they smelled even more delicious.
I handed out the bowls and spoons that I had taken from the Transportation Corps of the Kingdom Army and used the ladle (or whatever they call it, it’s a product of the Kingdom) to serve a generous portion.
I also added some flatbreads and baked goods with nuts that I had gotten from Casemaian. The women at Casemaian made these in imitation of American sweets, but the simple, healthy taste is already better than the original.
“What a wonderful taste!”
“It makes my stomach warm.”
“I can feel it seeping into my body…”
It was very popular. We sold out in no time, and each of them started to look sleepy. Some of the children seemed to have already curled up and fallen asleep.
“Well, we’d better get going. We have about fifty more miles, right?”
“A little more, about eighty miles. If everything goes well, we should be there before dark.”
Less than 130 kilometers. How long it will take depends on the road conditions.
The rain started to fall around the same time as everyone else was getting in.
I had a bad feeling about this. Something was going to happen. I had the feeling that there was something unpredictable waiting for us at the end of the road. I tried to convince myself that it couldn’t be, that I was just nervous, but the feeling wouldn’t go away.
I shook off my anxiety and let the Ural depart.
Chapter 66 – Unexpected Reunion
In the pouring rain, I continued to drive the military truck with the Humvee leading the way.
The huge Ural body scrambled through the narrow, rough roads, and the six-wheel-drive off-road tires stomped steadily through the mud.
The large-displacement diesel engine, which was designed for practical use, was cramped and noisy, but it produced a powerful amount of torque that could propel the 15-ton weight of the vehicle over slight ditches and uphill gradients with ease.
“The black clouds are thick. This looks like it’s going to collapse.”
As if in response to Myrril’s words, thunder rumbled in the sky.
The rain was getting heavier than before. Even with the wipers at maximum speed, visibility was poor. The road shoulders were loose in some places, making it difficult to drive the heavy and wide Ural. It would be a shame if we were wiped out in a car accident after all the effort we had put into rescuing them.
The Humvee in front of us was probably the same way, slipping a few times and choosing the road carefully. Despite her sketchy personality, Yadar seems to have a surprising aptitude for driving.
Despite the torrential downpour, Minya kept her head above the gunwale and remained vigilant.
Her hair didn’t seem to be wet; perhaps she was protected by wind or water magic or blessings.
When our gazes met, Minya waved her hand in a carefree manner. I can only shake my head and smile back. I can’t afford to let go of my hand at all because if I’m not careful, I’m going to lose the steering wheel.
“The rest of the way is straight ahead. We’ve got about twenty miles to go.”
As we passed the last fork in our route, the forest opened up a bit, and visibility improved slightly. The road became wide enough for a horse-drawn carriage to pass us, though not as wide as a city road.
Just as I was relieved that the stress of driving would be eased, my vision suddenly turned white, followed by a roar. Something metallic shone at the end of the road, bathed in lightning.
Myrril tells me, reading Minya’s signal. She was communicating with her hand signals, but her face clouded over.
“Looks like an enemy ambush.”
“M1 to H1, what’s the situation?”
“There’s an unnatural fallen tree ahead and something lurking on either side. Yoshua and the others, wait there.”
The Humvee moved forward, and Minya swept her M60.
There was an immediate response. More than a dozen arrows were fired, followed by five flame bombs that looked like attack magic. The timing and angle of the shots were staggered, and the way they blocked the escape route showed that they were used to fighting.
The flames exploded as they grazed the Humvee, which swerved from right to left to avoid them. The machine gun quickly reaps the forest in response.
Even though it was a moderately powerful 7.62x51mm round, it was hard to tell how far it had reached the enemy in the thick, dense old-growth forest.
“Yoshua, the enemy is around 200, 10 to 15 each of archers and mages, and the rest are Cavalry and infantry. I’d say half of them are armored. Decide if you want to go back or break through.”
“We’ll break through. I don’t want to prolong our escape. But two hundred soldiers in a place like this? What army is that?”
“Imperial troops, dressed in ink, though. There are a few strange ones mixed in.”
No sooner had Yadar finished than I saw a man in silver and white armor and a pitch-black cloak coming straight at us. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, so his face was fully visible, but I didn’t recognize his blond hair and thin, grinning face.
Minya’s M60s were fired in rapid succession, but they were ineffective as they were deflected by the round shield that was propped up depressingly.
I had an unpleasant feeling of déjà vu. Yes, I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere.
It’s not the guy himself. I’ve seen that kind of man.
“Hey… could that be?”
“Yeah. Maybe it’s the hero of the empire.”
The remaining rounds of the M60 slammed into the silver armor in rapid succession. The shields continue to deflect them, but not without damage or impact, it seems, and the hero sidestepped and entered the forest, changing his angle and zigzagging into it.
Minya’s machine gun seat was silent. No head was showing. It was probably in the middle of changing its ammunition belt.
“Damn it! I’m out…”
“Wait, Yoshua! I don’t want the driver to move!”
As the empire hero raised his sword and was about to pierce the roof of the Humvee, Minya’s hand was thrust out from inside the car.
What she is holding there is a sawed-off shotgun. For a moment, the hero’s movements stopped, and he was hit in the face with two shotgun shells and blown away.
The fact that he didn’t die instantly even though he was hit in the bare face is probably due to the blessings of the hero or a physical barrier. Yadar comes down from the Humvee in front of the hero, who is rolling while screaming.
She’s carrying on her shoulders the black carbon steel military machete… that I gave her before.
“What’s she doing?”
“She said she wasn’t really good with a gun, so she borrowed a few ‘machettes’ for bushwhacking.”
It’s not just a few. There were five or six machetes in the scabbard on her back. No, maybe more. Yadar, who carried them like a thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy, pulled two more out of the car and held them in her hands.
That’s a bit greedy. What is she aiming for?
Yadar’s right arm flashed at the hero, who tried to swing his sword while holding his face with the hand that was holding his shield. The machete shattered and scattered as if a physical barrier had been put up, but she immediately followed up with her left arm and slashed through the wrist.
Yadar slowly cornered the hero, who tried to escape by crawling. She throws away the shattered machete without hesitation and pulls out another one from her back. Scary!
“Protect the hero-dono, now!”
A shout came from the back, and a large number of arrows and nearly ten flaming bullets flew at Yadar.
The one who shouted may have been the commander, but he’s definitely incompetent. Against a Beastman with superior physical ability and kinetic vision, raising your voice means your attack is a failure.
As expected, the tiger girl easily avoided the flaming bullets and waved her machete to signal Minya.
Did she use herself as a target to find out where the mages were?
The M60’s point-blank shot slammed into the depths of the forest. The sparks, blood splatter, and screams that fly off the target show that the target is definitely being killed. In the meantime, the hero stumbles unsteadily and runs towards the enemy camp.
Seeing this, the enemy also began to move at once. About 30 heavily armed infantrymen made a thick defense with stacked shields and went to retrieve the hero.
“Hero-dono, this way…!”
At the moment when they almost succeeded in joining up, more than a dozen 7.62mm NATO rounds were fired at the hero’s back.
The hero who was helped up by the heavy infantry did not move a muscle anymore.
I was almost relieved when I saw three shadows stepping out from the enemy line and went rigid.
“…Are there three more heroes?”
“No, I’ve noticed their presence somewhere before…”
Myrril is worried about something, but I don’t recognize them.
They were of varying sizes, but they all wore silver armor and black cloaks. One of them thrusts a long, stone-tipped staff, one wears what looks like metal gloves on both arms, and the other carries what looks like a miniaturized and misshapen version of the mechanical bow that Myrril once made.
“I’ll give you a chance to redeem yourselves! Go! There is no time like the present to take revenge!”
With the voice of the man who seemed to be the commander, Myrril nodded as if she understood.
“…Right, aren’t those the sage and saint of the kingdom?”
I don’t recognize them because they’re wearing masks instead of helmets.
If I’m right, the limping man with the glove is the sage. The one with the wand is the saint… Uh?
“And the man with the strange bow?”
“My guess is. …He’s probably the second prince of the kingdom.”