T/n: There are many words that I don’t know here, so please forgive me for the errors.
Chapter 119 – Light of The Holy City
On the second day, we slowed down a bit and took more breaks, so the distance traveled was about 250 km.
Just to be safe, we left the highway and took a large detour west of the royal capital, and returned directly to the western route of the highway.
Although the well-developed eastern route is easier to drive, that is the road to the imperial capital. It would be safer to avoid this route now that the Imperial Army is expected to interfere.
The sun began to set when we were less than 300 km from Casemaian. We were still only about 100 km from the royal capital. With the king naming us as his enemies, we wondered whether we should camp out or go ahead, even if it was a little too much.
“Owe-san, are there any enemies along the road?”
“No confirmation. At present, only those who appear to be refugees can be seen up to forty miles north of the position where Your Majesty and the others are now located.”
“Have there been any changes in the capital?”
“From the air, nothing in particular… but there seemed to be more lights than before.”
“Strange, isn’t it?”
Myrril looked at me. I also find it puzzling that there are more lights in the royal capital, where the number of people should be decreasing, but is there a problem with that?
“Usually, when there are more lights in a village, it means that people have become able to survive. Wouldn’t that be strange in the royal capital today?”
“Owe-san, is the source of the light a flame?”
“The torches and bonfires on the outer edges and on the city walls, but the light in the castle and in the center of the city seemed to be mixed with magical light.”
“There were few magical lights in the royal capital when I was there. If they are bringing in so many magical tools that can be seen from the sky, it is a testament to the backing of the imperial power.”
I don’t know what the hell is going on, but in any case, I’m not going to bother to get involved in such a troublesome situation, especially since I have a hundred refugees with me.
“Thank you, Owe-san. The sun is setting, so please return here.”
I recall the inner workings of the Imperial Guard that Rinko had predicted after we had eliminated the mounted golem squad.
“The generals who have been insisting on foreign expeditions will lose their voice, and the prime minister’s faction, which advocates the expansion of domestic politics, will rise to power,” was it?
That prediction may have been correct.
The people in power in the kingdom today are not the type of politicians who would seek to expand the domestic affairs of their own country. It is unclear whether they are generals or not, but they are the martial and reactionary faction of the imperial government that insists on foreign expeditions.
They have given up the domestic power struggle and are trying to make King Saliant their puppet, or it seems they have already accomplished that.
“What is the goal of the empire? To make the kingdom a puppet? I have a feeling that for all the money, people, and supplies they’re going to spend and all the trouble they’re going to go through… they’re not going to get much out of it.”
“Yes, the problem is what comes after that.”
Whether it is to manipulate the foolish king to extract profits from the kingdom, to set up a new national government, or to wage an all-out war against the prime ministerial faction of the empire’s mainland.
“The location of Casemaian is too bad. With a military force that can defeat all the neighboring countries between the imperial capital and the royal capital, they will not leave it alone sooner or later.”
“I suppose they will… Shall we move Casemaian to the Dark Forest or something? Or would we relocate the royal capital or the imperial capital or both?”
Or to heaven or hell.
“The Queen must obey the decision of the Demon King.”
“I know this is a cowardly thing to say, but I want to see your choice, Yoshua. I won’t question the consequences. I won’t question the pros and cons, and I don’t necessarily want everyone to be happy. I want to know your will, and I want to know where it will lead.”
I was asked for a vision of the future that I could not see, or rather, that I had turned away from.
I guess I will have to make a decision soon. If we continue to eliminate military threats, the surrounding countries will eventually fail, and the Casemaian will become the largest and most powerful force.
Those who once had power and were robbed of it will not sit idly by.
After securing an encampment and setting up a patrol, we remained on high alert that night and waited for dawn to break.
The refugees are tired, but their faces are cheerful, perhaps because they have heard that we will arrive in Casemaian tomorrow.
Our meal is the last of the soup and flatbread we have stocked up on. Then, we had a special dish of fried wyvern. The meal was received with far more enthusiasm than expected, and we had run out of cooked food. The rest of the food would consist mainly of emergency rations and portable rations, but we would be able to arrive before daylight tomorrow, so we should be fine.
“Well, Yoshua. How about sending a word to Casemaian to pick us up with the “Humvee” and the “Torajima-go” if it is another two hundred miles?”
“I thought about that, too. But, I have a bad feeling about this. I don’t want to draw as much strength as possible from the other side.”
“A feeling. That is something that is not to be underestimated. The worse it is, the more often it comes true.”
Yes. I’m glad she believed me, but I’m afraid that her confident statement is like a flag.
I was laughing about it like that when I was awakened at dawn by Myrril-san, and I realized how naive I was.
The enemy had moved.
Chapter 120 – Reunion With Calamity
“Yoshua, I think the enemy has made a move.”
I was napping in the driver’s seat of the bear-faced bus when Myrril rushed in and woke me up.
“No, they saw a magical light moving along the eastern road. Owe has gone up to monitor the sky.”
“Roger that. Myrril, you take the gun position on the roof.”
I immediately get out of the car, make sure there are no unusual circumstances, and give instructions to the standing patrols waiting around the perimeter.
“All aboard, move out!”
I have all but the patrol men resting in the car, so I ask Lumiere-san and Lionora-san to take roll calls and check only to see if there are any vacancies among the refugees.
Since this was an emergency situation, I stowed away the large military tents. Everything will be put away, even the things placed inside, except for the living creatures, so I will tidy things up later.
“Myrril, do you know the location and composition of the enemy forces?”
“Owe just sent me a message. There are twenty cavalrymen and four wagons. They appear to be Imperial troops, but they are moving strangely. They are moving away to the north using the eastern road.”
Northward by the eastern route? Are they going back to the empire? At this hour?
“Beware of the magical beast herd running amok. I think I better stow the bear-faced bus and move the refugees to the Ural.”
“No, well, I hear the “Doraiba” will be arriving from Casemaian soon.” [T/n: Driver.]
Are you saying that they have been traveling through the night? I don’t think it’s a good idea to pull out our forces over here right now…
“Just in time!”
A familiar voice came with a light exhaust sound, and a Honda XR came running in.
Riding two abreast with weapons on their backs are the muscle-brain girls, Yadar and Minya.
“What’s up? Has something happened to Casemaian?”
“No, the old men are all worked up and ready to go over here, so it doesn’t matter what comes. I heard you were being chased by the Imperial Army, so I thought you might need a driver.”
“Yes, I thought you might need a gunner to escort you.”
When it comes to the need for a driver, yes, we do need a driver.
At the training session, which was mainly for the beastman, Yadar was able to operate a manual transmission.
“I was praised for how quickly I got the feel for it. Maybe it’s because I was used to working with “Kuracchi” in “Ekusaru.”
Now that they were here, there was nothing I could do about it. It’s a very reassuring reinforcement. I entrusted Yadar with driving the bear-face bus. With Minya in the gun position on the roof, I asked her to use the spare RPK.
Lumiere-san will be attached to the passenger seat of the truck as the escort shooter.
While I am in the driver’s seat preparing to depart, I receive a message from Owe-san, who has been sent up to monitor the skies.
“Your Majesty the Demon King, Your Majesty the Queen.”
“Owe, what’s going on?”
“The cavalry and wagons are moving further north on the eastern road and are now 120 miles (about 200km) of your position in the forest, but just before that, in the forest about four miles northeast of Your Majesty’s position, I can see a magical light in the midst of a battle.
“Fighting? Which force is the one that is clashing?”
“There are a large number of mages, so it seems to be the Imperial Army. The exact number of soldiers is unknown due to the trees hiding them, but from the scale of deployment, I estimate about five hundred. As far as I could see from the sky above, the target of the battle was not likely to be humans. Perhaps a herd of magical beasts.”
“A herd? A herd of magical beasts gone berserk? Are they releasing the monsters without ensuring the safety of their own troops? What a bunch of idiots…”
“We will return to Casemaian by the western road. Owe-san, please return this way as well.”
“Roger… no, please wait. Something is coming from the southwest, from the Dead Forest!”
“Southwest? Is that an enemy too? Don’t tell me that even the tribal unions have joined forces in earnest…”
“It doesn’t look human. The treetops are shaking violently, so it is quite huge…”
In the still-darkness of the night, an explosion-like cloud of smoke rises in the distance behind us. What looked like the wreckage of a tree could be seen twirling and flying in the air.
“It’s an earth dragon. It’s almost 80 feet long.”
“I wonder if I can shake it off.”
“There is distance and no hostile intent toward us. As long as we don’t provoke it, we should have no problem.”
For a moment, Myrril was on alert, as if she had lost interest in the vehicle, but then she looked backward and tilted her head.
“Oh… wait a minute, I’ve seen that one’s messy, distorted magic waveforms before.”
From the communicator came Owe-san’s voice, slightly strained.
“Yes. I have a hunch that this is the individual who was lured by Your Majesty the Queen in Yerkel before.”
“Oh, is this another fate?”
No, of course not. I don’t need such a connection.
I think the earth dragon is a character that should rather appear as the demon king’s familiar or something. But I don’t remember calling it…
“But the position of the army on the eastern road is strange. Why did they put the soldiers in that place? If they failed to control the outburst of the magical beasts, wouldn’t it be natural for them to retreat instead of staying?”
I had a bad feeling.
“Owe-san, please check the other side of the forward-deployed troops. What are the wagons carrying heading north?”
“A cloth-covered cage, a convoy wagon. And inside it, a magical beast… I will descend a bit to check it out.”
“Yoshua, what’s going on?”
“They’re trying to do the same thing we did. Maybe there’s some bait in the back of the wagon to lure the earth dragon.”
“Your Majesty is right. In the cage, I see bloody monsters. Goblins, giant ogres, and orcs.”
The purpose of the troops who stayed behind was not to check on the monsters but to stall the “Demon King” on his way back. No, it is to block the return of the “Demon King,” who is on his way back from the rescue mission.
The Imperial Army is planning to draw the earth dragon to annihilate the Casemaian in the meantime.
“Owe-san, I’d like to ask your opinion.”
I talk on the communicator to the winged lady on airborne alert, Owe-san of Belisho.
“At your service.”
“The wagon is loaded with dying orcs. The Imperial Army is trying to use it to incite the earth dragon against the Casemaian. What is the fastest and best way to stop them?”
“Destroy all four carriages, I guess. If it’s just the occupants and the magical beast, I can take care of it with my M4.”
“There’s still one RPG left in the Ural military truck.”
Owe-san’s suggestion is followed up by Luvia-san. If we can get both of them to fly, we can hold the wagons before they reach Casemaian.
“I understand what you are trying to do, but even if we kill the orcs now, the “smell of fear” will still be there. Shouldn’t we slaughter the earth dragon first?”
“If we stop the wagons from going to Casemaian, there will be no direct damage to us. The smell that calls for earth dragon and other large magical beasts is now heading to Casemaian while being dispersed. For example, I could go ahead and store it.”
“It’s pointless. The earth dragon has already caught on to the scent. If it loses sight of its target on the way, it is only a matter of time before it comes to the nearest populated area, Casemaian.”
What are we going to do? I know I have to kill them all, but I can’t decide in which order. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough cards in my hand. I can’t think straight.
“Hey, hey, what’s the matter? There’s nothing to worry about. Worst case scenario, the old man and the others can kill at least an earth dragon. Let’s just do what we can and what we have to do here.”
At Yadar’s openly candid suggestion, Myrril and I turned to each other and relaxed our shoulders.
“…The top priority for us is to get the refugees back to our homes safely.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I was out of control.”
That’s what happens when you get tired. I was trying to do everything myself. There was no way I could do it.
“Yadar, that’s rare for you to say such a good thing.”
“…Rare for me, you say?”
“He was right. Yadar’s role is usually to run and lose control.”
“Even you, Minya?”
“Yes, we lost our cool enough for Yadar to point it out to us.”
“You guys, I don’t know what’s going on here, but you’re being rude!”
“No, no, I appreciate it. Thanks, Yadar!”
“Hey, don’t pat me on the head!”
“Your Majesty the Demon King. About 500 separate units of the Imperial Army are deployed on the western road. They are attempting to block our path.”
“As expected. They let the luring force rush into Casemaian, and they themselves are here to stop us in our tracks.”
“They’re not going to stall the Demon King for a mere five hundred, are they?”
Yeah, I thought so too. They’re completely numb to it. We only have seven men on our side, including the driver.
“Yadar and Minya will protect the refugees in the bear-face bus. Luvia-san, please proceed behind the bus. Owe-san, please continue to monitor the skies above.”
“Hey, what about Yoshua and the others?”
“Of course, I will lead them into the enemy position. This may happen. I’ve prepared something for them.”
I had not thought about the situation up to this point, but I hid that fact and launched the Tiran armored personnel carriers.
No matter if it is an earth dragon or a human, I will turn them all into minced meat no matter what kind of equipment they are equipped with. Whether it’s to stall them or not, if it can be done, then do it!
“Is that a … “Sensha”?
“Yeah, right, the T-55 meth, right?”
Yeah, that’s close. That’s about right, though.
Anyway, you, the muscle-brained tiger girl there, will you please stop calling my trump card as if it were a beetle?