Maseki Gurume – Vol 7 Chapter 9 Part 2

Here’s the chapter, enjoy~

ED: LonelyMatter



Part 2

 

It was already past noon after marching since the morning.

After a short rest and a small meal, they were clearly exhausted from last night’s battle, and the majority of their fatigue was concentrated at their feet.

“It’s almost frightening.”

Aside from the fact that the half-monsters didn’t show up, it was also hard not to feel strange that they used the general as if he were a pawn to be discarded. If it could be said that they did not anticipate the appearance of Ishtalika, that was just one more reason, but after having occupied Euro, they should not be surprised by this.

“I hear that the monsters living on this continent do not have the qualities to evolve into demon kings. Then what will the red foxes use against us? Half-monsters? Will they attack us by sheer numbers?”

No matter how much they thought about it, they could not come up with an answer, and only doubt grew in their hearts.

They looked up at the azure sky and watched the white breath of the red foxes as they rode the wind.

On the second day, they only marched on, with no sign of contact with the enemy or traps.

It was on the third day that the Ishtalika forces arrived in the suburbs of Birdland.

“All troops halt──!”

Hearing Lloyd’s order, the entire army stopped marching at once.

The weather was clear, and the visibility was very good, as it is just past noon. There was no snow in this area, and the march had created a cloud of dust.

Birdland did not have solid stone walls like Rockdam, and Lloyd and the others could see all over the town. The buildings standing in a row were not bad, even from Lloyd’s point of view, since the wealth of the continent is concentrated in this area.

Waiting for them, there was Heim’s army.

“They’ve had a taste of the power of the crossbow, but they’re now prepared to take it head-on…?”

When Lloyd lifted one arm as if to hold it up, the knights of Ishtalika took notice of the movement. The knights who were in charge of the crossbow all moved forward to push it out at once.

Lloyd, who was about to signal his intention to unleash it all at once and decide the winner, noticed a man coming out of Heim’s army.

“What, that man was here?”

That man was Logas.

Lloyd’s muscles were on a rolling boil at the appearance of this man, with whom he had a close relationship as an Ishtalikan, and he moved forward on his horse.

As soon as he was within earshot, Logas’ anger was clear.

“Not only our Prince Tigre! You barbarians have kidnapped our Lady Elena as well! What business do you have on our continent!”

“…Oh, so that’s how it’s set up.”

Lloyd was curious to see what he would say, but the indescribable words left him puzzled. It was quite natural to think that Ishtalika had arrived after hearing the report at Rockdam. There was nothing surprising about that, but when he was told that they had kidnapped the two, even though it was half-expected, a bitter smile appeared on his face.

“I don’t know what you people have gotten yourselves mixed up in! But then how could you have invaded Rockdam! There was a means to an end, even if you had to ask!”

“Of course there was! We, Heim, are the true rulers of this continent!”

“What? You were supposed to be looking for the person responsible for the assassination of the royal family ── Oh, so that’s what this is all about.”

Lloyd mumbled in a sad tone and scratched his head.

Logas was, in a word, pathetic, as he told his story with such gusto that it didn’t even add up before the story was even connected. 

It was likely that General Logas was already under the influence of the red fox.

“You should have learned the difference in strength between us during the meeting the other day. At least you are not a stupid man when it comes to war.”

“That’s enough of your nonsense.”

He raised his hand in the air.

The soldiers at the vanguard of Heim’s forces donned colorful cloaks and readied their weapons for the assault.

The cloaks they held in their hands were probably made of monster material.

Lloyd looked at the cloak with mixed emotions.

“It was Edward-dono who gave us the advice.”

It may be a means of mitigating the crossbow of the Ishtalika, but it was too weak.

Good quality equipment would have reduced their killing power, but as far as he could see, the quality was not good enough.

“Our heroes of Heim! Strike the sword of justice against these abominable barbarians!”

The army of Heim, which had been sent out with the proclamation, rose to its feet in unison.

The number of the army was several times that of Ishtalika, but from Lloyd’s point of view, it was still only a few times. If the crossbow had been blocked, Lloyd and his army might have had to make some changes in their tactics…

“Not a bad commander, after all, is he not?”

Heim’s forces spread out as if spreading their wings.

It was the best way to prevent the entire force from being hit by the crossbow. And it’s the only way to attack in the gap between the next crossbow loading and the next round.

Logas quickly backed up as soon as he finished, and Lloyd sighed.

“If I was going to fight you, I would have liked to have crossed swords with the former you. ──But I don’t think such a thing is to be wished for on the battlefield.”

Ahead of his eyes, a desperate charge was unfolding. It was as if they were prepared to be crushed to pieces.

“Don’t be afraid!”

“Move forward!”

The desperate voices of the Heim soldiers could be heard from everywhere. The knights of Ishtalika were wondering at their confidence, which had changed from their escape the other day, but what they had to do remained the same.

“First shot. Ready.”

They are also the splendid knights of Ishtalika. When they heard Lloyd’s voice, they immediately changed their minds and readied themselves. The knight in charge of the crossbow sets the sights and focuses on the Heim soldiers who continue to spread out.

“──…Release!”

Almost as soon as Lloyd lowered his hand, the crossbow started firing all at once. As the glimmer spreads over the Heim soldiers, it hits them all at once.”

“…Gahahh!”

“Hurts… It damn hurts! Hahah!”

They were like dead soldiers.

They ran around even though their bodies were missing and moved their feet with bloodshot eyes to take the lives of as many Ishtalikans as possible.

“Listen! Brave men of Ishtalika! No matter how desperate your opponents may be, if they are weak in the flesh, they are no match for you! There is nothing to fear! It is time for us to show our strength!”

Lloyd held up the great sword, the pride of the Glacier family, to the sky, and the blade of the sword reflected the light strongly. There was no lack of adjustment. The sword was a special grade sword that had just been sharpened by Mouton before he came on the expedition.

“They have prepared quite a large number of troops. With this, I don’t know what’s going to happen in Heim’s home country.”

Even though the distance to Heim’s home country was now closer, weren’t they betting too much on this battlefield?

“Archers, release!”

Lloyd hurriedly gives the order, realizing that he had been thinking about it for a moment.

The battle between Heim and Ishtalika was thus set on fire.

As the fronts collided, the forces of both sides fought to the bitter end.

Heim’s front line was overflowing with dead soldiers, but they were still stubborn. Some of them had their arms crushed, and others lost their eyes, but they still pressed forward. Even when the knights of Ishtalika cut off their arms, they still bit down on them as if they felt no pain.

“What are you afraid of, you fool! If you drop their heads like this, they will die!”

“Y…yes!”

Lloyd cut down the Heim soldiers that were swarming around the knight.

He easily cut them in half, just as he had cut the lamprey rabbit in half.

“Don’t forget! Behind them are the enemies from the time of the Demon Lord Wars!”

As far as they could see, the soldiers of Heim who were coming toward them were not completely out of their minds. They were morbidly elated but did not seem to have lost their ego.

For example, they could stay in the royal capital of Heim and go about their daily lives. But there may have been something on the battlefield that was affected by the red fox.

──The soldiers of Heim, who were in a state of out-of-the-ordinary excitement, felt this way.

“Cavalry, step back!”

This instruction triggered the crossbow to take up position once more.

The reloaded crossbow was pointed at the Heim soldiers, and the second bombardment began.

“Release!”

The front-line Heim soldiers were not targeted because they were chasing around the knights of Ishtalika, but the bombardment hit those who were in the rear. The trick that was done to Heim’s army is unknown, but perhaps related to the excessive bloodshed, the footsteps of those on the front line are gradually becoming heavier.

Still, Heim’s army continued to move with a stupefying vitality, even though they were covered in physical deficiencies.

──Now, what to do?

There was no need for Ishtalika to decide the outcome here.

Given the situation, there was no need to attack forcibly, and if the opponent was pursuing, they could just fire the crossbow while taking turns.

──If they retreat from now on, what would be the problem?

No, there was not.

The knights of Ishtalika were likely to be damaged, so there was no need to force a frontal fight. As was mentioned earlier, all they needed to do was to fire the crossbow while retreating.

“All troops, retreat! Just as far as we can see the Heim soldiers! Retreat at once!”

──Just hurry them up.

If by any chance Heim should fall back, they would follow it up with an attack.

If they never came out of Birdland, in the worst-case scenario, they should continue to attack with crossbows aimed at Birdland. There was no better strategy than this that did not waste the lives of the knights of Ishtalika.

But this plan turned out to be a setback.

 Please wait, Lloyd-sama! A group of some sort is coming from behind us…”

“From behind──?”

How did they get behind them in such an open space?

The sudden situation was bewildering, but it couldn’t be helped if the number of enemies had increased.

“His Excellency the Marshal! M-miasma… the knight in the rear guard has been exposed to the miasma!”

“Miasma…? Don’t be ridiculous! Even if there was a miasma with our equipment, there should be no problem!”

Lloyd turned his attention to the knights in the rear guard and noticed that they had indeed started to fall.

“Well, here they are at last!”

Further in from the scene of the fallen knights of Ishtalika, a swarm of creatures that kept emitting strange cries came into view. The sound resembled a female scream, similar to a screeching sound.

Lloyd had seen dead half-monsters in the royal capital.

However, he had not received any reports of any miasma emission. Then why──?

“The carriage! It seems that the miasma is leaking from that carriage!”

The royal knight pointed to the center of the half-monster horde.

A large carriage was being pulled by several robed men. Also, one person could be seen sitting on the coachman’s seat with a spear in his hand. The carriage was extremely luxurious, and it would not be out of place if it were said that a nobleman was riding in it.

The purplish misty smoke leaking out from the bottom of the carriage was probably the miasma. The smoke spread around the area as the wind blew slowly, and the half-monster inhaled it.

“Even with all our equipment, we can’t counteract this thick miasma…? How could Heim manage it… No, it’s obvious.”

It was obvious that the red fox was behind this.

But if the source was the carriage, then attack the carriage. The problem was that in order to get within range, they needed to get close, and the effect of the miasma couldn’t be ignored.

“Stop the retreat! Deploy to the right flank and take assault positions!”

Now that they could no longer retreat unchecked, they had no choice but to move forward.

“Turn the six crossbows back and aim at the carriage! And kick out the half-monsters surrounding us!”

At Euro, there appeared to be enough of them to require the main weapons of the battleships. Fortunately, this time there were not that many of them.

“Archers! …Release!”

Although hastily prepared, the archers under Lloyd’s command unleashed an attack on the Heim soldiers.

“Cavalry, push forward! We will crush the Heim soldiers from the right-wing!”

The most important thing was that they do not get surrounded.

Before that happened, Lloyd directed the way.

“But I don’t get it. Using such miasma would have caused damage to their allies ── Or is there some kind of equipment that prevents them from being affected?”

If that were the case, then the only people affected by the miasma would be the knights of Ishtalika. Lloyd let the reins slip from his many sweaty hands, and with a sigh, he regained his grip on them.

Currently, the most frightening thing was the miasma coming up from behind them.

It would take some damage and time, but the Heim soldiers, now turned into dead soldiers, would be able to handle it.

However, the problem was that it will take some time.

“Then, why don’t I just quickly beat Logas… Mm?”

Suddenly, he realized.

Logas suddenly came riding up to the vanguard on his own horse.

“My brave comrades-in-arms! You have withstood the barbarian attack! His Highness the First Prince… no, His Highness the Crown Prince’s reinforcements have arrived at last!”

Logas uttered this in a loud voice as if to inspire the soldiers.

Then, the Heim soldiers’ morale rose as if they had all come to life at once. Even those who had lost their arms and those who had facial defects.

Everyone picked up their weapons and raised them with a voice full of energy.

“The holy power of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince will save our Heim! Go, brave men of Heim!”

Meanwhile, in a distant corner, Lloyd was saying,

“What does that mean, Logas, that your first prince is in that miasma-spewing carriage?”

Assuming that Logas’ words were true. Lloyd turned his cold eyes to the distant Logas as if he were looking at a filthy rat.

But Lloyd, looking ahead to the future, summoned a nearby royal knight.

“I have a mission for you. Leave the battlefield and contact the home by message bird. Then hurry back to Rockdam and carry the equipment entrusted with the knights who have been left behind!”

The reason why he went to the trouble of sending a message by leaving the battlefield was because he judged that the volume of information to be conveyed was too much for the message bird alone.

It was also to return to Birdland and carry the remaining forces and equipment.

The knight, who understood Lloyd’s intention without asking, saluted and returned the words.

“Yes! I will go! May the fortune of the war be with you, Lloyd-sama!”

 

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