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Chapter 86 – Demon King’s Trap
A tree golem with Brigadier Chelska on its shoulder straddle step scrambles through the forest.
One tree golem, five clay golems, and ten accompanying infantrymen.
This is a lineup that could overrun even 100 infantrymen of the kingdom.
The field commander of the mounted golem unit, Commander Klein, let out a sigh.
He is now riding the clay golem himself and has his squire Zarpa seated in the front-opening chest hatch.
He was so disgusted with the self-satisfaction of the decorative commander Chelska that he took up the Golem that was to be boarded by Zarpa under the guise of leading the clay golem that was alerting the surroundings and was at the head of the following group.
“Forward, keep going!”
The incompetent Chelska shouted out instructions in a pompous manner that somehow he didn’t even have to provide. He wanted to make his brother, who was apparently packed in the base, hear it, and be proud of his heroic rescue mission.
――What a fool.
Although we don’t know what happened, at most, only about 15 members of the setup team have been out of contact. I can only think that they are not thinking about the battle after the fact to send such an excessive force to stay at the base.
Even if it was necessary to retrieve supplies, this was not the time to be doing such things before the attack on the enemy position.
What should be dealt with immediately is not the search for the missing but the defeat of the “Demon King.”
He is the one who united the subhumans who were gathering in Casemaian and defeated the Kingdom’s army. According to fragmentary information, he is said to be a mage from another world summoned by the kingdom.
He is called the “Demon King” in the kingdom, but his true identity is not yet known. The defeated Kingdom’s army is said to have numbered in the thousands or tens of thousands of soldiers, but the information is too mixed to be corroborated. The Imperial Army’s advance party, which went to investigate the situation, had been out of contact one after another, so the emperor, impatient, had sent out his strongest forces.
Since this is no time to play along with Chelska’s games, the main force of the mounted golem unit has been sent to besiege Casemaian. There are four ore golems, three tree golems, and 15 clay golems.
As soon as Klein and the rest of the detachment join up with them, they plan to launch their attack.
“If we don’t get this done quickly, Armie will take all the credit…”
“That would be nice.”
Squire Zarpa looked around nervously. He is a young apprentice rider, but he was born and raised in the western frontier territory and had experience in hunting monsters.
In fact, in the western region bordering the Dark Forest, the only way to survive is to keep on defeating the monsters that come from the forest.
“What do you think?”
“The forest is quiet, even though many golems and humans have entered. Perhaps there are no people in the base.”
“You mean they’re dead?”
“No, I don’t know about that. But if there is a corpse, the smell of blood should attract beasts and monsters. The fact that they have disappeared means that something got here before us. Something that would scare the beasts and monsters away.”
Klein ordered his men’s clay golems to spread out and be vigilant of their surroundings.
There is nothing — no sign of living creatures, no magical response. Neither perception, search and rescue, nor detection magic has found anything that looks like it.
“There is no sign of lurking. Maybe they’re not here anymore.”
“Yes, probably. But I don’t see any reason to do so. Killing them, disposing of their bodies, and disappearing. That means this place has no use for them. And yet the most important requirement, that thing, remains.”
A tree golem with Chelska astride approaches the ruins of the church.
Lined up on the ground floor of the church is a “bursting shell projectile gun” developed by the Imperial Army. It is a revolutionary weapon, but its developer was lost in the collapse.
“Oh, shit… Hey, wait! Accompanying infantry, stop Chelska! Move away…”
It was too late. The tree golem moves to evacuate, and at its shoulder, Chelska can be seen trying to jump down in a panic. There was no way he would make it in time.
“All hands, retreat! Get down and brace for impact!”
Klein has the clay golem turn its back and brace for impact with its arms on the ground.
A sound like a lightning strike rumbles, the earth shakes, screams, and a high-pitched metallic clang. The surroundings instantly burst into flames.
It is a broad attack, like offensive magic, which is not caught by magic detection. This is what was reported.
“…The Demon King’s Army’s explosive fire magic!”
Chapter 87 – Riding A Giant
Klein shook his head, cursing at the ringing in his ears and headache, and looked back at the explosion site with the entire clay golem’s cavalry.
The tree golem is burning in pieces as if it caught fire after the explosion. The charred stick-like object behind the blown chest hatch is probably a manic cavalryman, and the smoldering mass on the ground is probably Chelska.
The four other clay golems were spread out and did little damage. The one that took the most damage was Craig’s mount, which was in the front row.
Although the passage of magic power was bad, it was not so bad that he could not move. Zarpa, who was sitting on the chest hatch, is also safe because he turned his back. His hair was only scorched by the flames that erupted against him.
“Those flames are part of the trap that was set. I saw it rise from the cannon.”
“If you’ve got time to look at something like that, get down; that thing’s scorched.”
“We should consider the possibility of an enemy attack at the same time as the explosion.”
“You really are a new recruit, aren’t you? Is that your habit as a hunter?”
“As a hunter, yes, but my grandfather was a mercenary who was drafted into the subhuman scavenger hunt. He was trained to know what to do to survive.”
“Then I guess your abilities are more suited to infantry. It was perhaps unfortunate that the aptitude of a mage was recognized. The position and salary are not as good as they are rumored to be.”
With that, Klein called the roll and checked the situation.
When he reported the death of Chelska to Armie, who had gone ahead of them, via magic communication, the reply came back, “Congratulations on your promotion, Sir, even though you are a field officer.”
The brigadier general aside, there were also words of mourning for the death of Cardeg, a beloved man who had been a manic cavalryman of the tree golem.
“We were on the verge of going up against the Demon King’s army, and now we’ve been given the bum’s rush. We’ve got to get a big result to wipe the slate clean.”
Klein gathered the remaining troops and headed for the forest where Armie and the others were waiting for him.
But the truth was, he knew. This was not a matter of luck but of the difference in strategy, awareness, and supplies that had been built up and prepared by the time the war began.
“Yoshua, according to the winged tribe monitoring the sky, the only enemy caught in the trap was a single tree golem. It seems that only a fool who acted arbitrarily died.
I say this with a sense of regret, but it must be the higher-ups in the unit who are allowed to go off the rails like that. And they are almost always the habitual ones.
There are two types. Either they are idiots with a very powerful force, or they are idiots in a very high position.
Hopefully, it is the former.
“All hands, prepare for battle!”
“Rinko, let me ask you something.”
I approached the mad scientist former high school girl who came up beside me with the plan I had in mind.
“Can I jump with teleportation and shoot the golem operator to death?”
“Impossible. The rider’s body in combat is covered by a magic barrier. The hatch can only be opened from the inside.”
“If I were to take the weapons or the golem itself in storage, would there be a way to get to it?”
“What do you mean?”
“In storage, living creatures are exempt.”
“If so, it’s difficult. The Golem is an artificially altered monster, and in the broadest sense of the word, it is an artificial life form. I think it is possible to have disassembled body parts and weapons.”
I shake my head. I knew I couldn’t do that in the middle of a battle.
It’s possible to take the cannon into storage, but it depends on the situation because it requires visual inspection. Two hundred meters or so should be enough to store it with a target designation.
I would like to try it, but the mortar is in the forest, and I can’t see it right now.
“What and to what extent does the magic barrier neutralize?”
“It depends on the output of the manic rider and the cavalry… or rather the core, but if it’s clay or a tree, it won’t hurt as much as a battering ram.”
“What about ore quality?”
“In the Imperial Army’s experiments, the mortar’s bursting warheads were repelled. In the first place, the strength of the mounted body is an order of magnitude higher. I don’t know how powerful a tank cannon is, but it might be difficult to penetrate it.”
Oh no, I’m getting worried.
If the tanks are ineffective, we have no way to counter them — a trap bomb. Even if the Golem itself is not destroyed, it should be possible to damage the crew.
Do we need to adjust our personnel deployment on the plains? No, it’s not a good idea to move something that has been coordinated and mastered at the last minute.
As I am in distress, Myrril, who has removed one ear from her headset, tells me.
“A large ore golem is coming, east!”
A huge shadow rushes toward us, reaping the trees in the forest. But it stops in the middle of the forest, leaving a distance of about five kilometers to be measured. I think it is within the range of the tank cannon, but I can’t tell from here if it has a line of fire or not.
“There is another ore golem and about ten clay golems around it. The rest are two ore golems, three wood golems, and ten clay golems, spreading out and circling from the south.”
So all the forces are concentrated on encirclement and extermination? The Imperial Army is serious.
“…Huh? I thought there was an accompanying infantryman? Where are they going to attack from?”
All over the place, it’s that thing you were talking about before. All die together…”
Hey, you’ve got to be kidding! Those are…
“The mounted golems attack?”
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Thanks for the chapter