Chapter 237 – Preparation For Assault and Interception
“I see it; that’s the town of Curéon.”
After a short hour ride in the gondola carried by Grande, I reached the destination town. My eyes could only see that the town was surrounded by stone walls that were not very high, but from the direction and distance, I was sure that this was the town of Curéon.
“It looks like it. Shall we go down to the town?”
“No, it’s not yet a town that the Liberation Army has conquered in earnest, and it might be dangerous, so let’s not go down there. Do you know where the grasshoppers are?”
“I know where they are. It seems to be in the woods over there.”
Grande flapped her dragon wings and changed direction. In the direction of the forest and a neighboring area that was once a meadow could be seen. The reason why I say “what would have been a meadow” is because even to my eyes, I could clearly see a glimpse of soil color in the green meadow. I wondered if they were the remains of the Gluttonous Grasshoppers digging up the grass or traces of the Gluttonous Grasshoppers crawling out of the ground… Either way, there was no doubt that it was the work of the Gluttonous Grasshoppers.
“Did they tear up the meadows and head for the woods?”
“It seems so. Maybe it looked like more food sources than a town surrounded by stone walls.”
“If so, the town of Curéon was saved.”
If the Gluttonous Grasshoppers had headed immediately for the town of Curéon, they would have been wiped out before they could contact us.
“Drop me off between the town of Curéon and the forest. I’ll hunt the grasshoppers that slipped in there.”
Grande begins her descent. I can’t get used to this feeling of being dropped. I won’t say which part, but it feels like swoosh.
“Alright. First, let’s build an interception base.”
“Umu, do your best.”
“Yes. But I’m not so sure…”
If I’m the only one to pack it in, will it be more like a turret than an interceptor base?
“Grande, do you have any idea how big the grasshoppers are?”
‘Yes… I think a large one would be about the size of the current me. A normal size grasshopper would be about the size of… my tail?”
Then Grande wagged her bushy tail, then noticed the tail cover, and began to remove it. Since she is going to be fighting, it would be better to remove it, right? Yes, I will keep it.
“Since it’s grasshoppers, they fly, don’t they?”
“They do fly pretty well. It will probably try to bite Kosuke, so try not to get caught in it.”
“I see. I wonder what I should do. Assuming the weapon is a light machine gun with a mount…”
After about 30 minutes of trial and error, I finally managed to build the interceptor base.
“Okay, like this.”
What I created was a structure that looked like a bunker. The durability of the structure, made of strongly reinforced concrete blocks, was well guaranteed. The gun sight was built a little higher than semi-subterranean to accommodate flying grasshoppers. The gun sight is equipped with a 7.62mm light machine gun of the gunners’ specifications.
I thought about using a 12.7mm heavy machine gun, but I decided to use this one because it would be a big problem if a stray bullet hit Grande. The 12.7mm would be overkill considering the size of the grasshopper.
“I mean, are you sure you have protection against stray bullets?”
“That big one just now would be dangerous even for me, but this smaller one should be fine. Besides, I should be able to take care of them all, shouldn’t I?”
“I guess so.”
Grande’s smiling face reeks of a big flag, but I’m going to let it pass. The town of Curéon is not entirely without defensive forces, so even if some leaks occur, it should be fine.
“By the way, Kosuke?”
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
“I see. Do you want a cheeseburger or pancakes?”
Before the battle, we decided to have a light meal at a table and chairs outside the interception base. I only had the cheeseburger, but Grande said she would have both. Since I had to pull her out today for my convenience, I had to eat her hearty meal.
“Don’t rush; I won’t take it.”
“But it tastes good with a mouth full of food.”
“That’s true. It makes me happy.”
I wipe Grande’s mouth with a napkin as I nod my head in agreement. Grande seems to think that pancakes are dessert, and so she starts with the cheeseburger, which she munches on. She eats it with such relish.
“What is this…?”
“You are…? What are you thinking, eating carefree in a place like this?”
As Grande finished her cheeseburger and began to attack the pancakes, a group of soldiers, or guards, perhaps from the town of Curéon? A few armed men visited us at the interception base I had constructed. They were puzzled to see us eating at a table set up right next to a bunker made of construction materials they had never seen before.
“You sent a request for help to Gleiseburg, didn’t you? We’re like an advance party sent by them. Just the two of us.”
“Just the two of you…? The Liberation Army is abandoning the town of Curéon!”
A soldier shouts, distraught when he hears what I’m saying. He’s wearing good armor. Maybe he is a big shot in the town of Curéon.
“If that’s their intention, they won’t send us. I told you, we’re the advanced team. The follow-up party will be here shortly. Until then, we’ll take care of the grasshoppers.”
“Ridiculous! What can you do with just the two of you? And that girl is only a child, isn’t she?”
“Hmm. It is true that I look very small.”
Nodding at the soldier’s words, Grande uses her fork to cut the pancake into bite-sized pieces and brings them to her mouth. I’m amazed at how dexterously she uses the fork with those big clawed hands of hers.
“She may look small, but she is a dragon. If you speak to her rudely, the Dragonis mountain kingdom or the lizardmen who believe in dragons will get really angry, so you should be careful what you say to her. Though she is so gentle that she rarely resorts to violence.”
From Grande’s point of view, most of the human race is insignificant, and she doesn’t need to worry about them. She doesn’t even care if they bark at her a little.
“No, that is, however…”
A soldier in good armor or a knight? At any rate, let me at least introduce myself.
“I belong to the Liberation Army… I don’t have an official position or title, I think?”
“Yeah, I don’t think I have one. Well, I’m Kosuke, who probably belongs to the higher ranks of the Liberation Army. This is Grande. She is a humanized Grand Dragon.”
“Yes, my name is Grande. I am not surprised that you don’t believe me since I have become so much smaller. However, I don’t care in the slightest if you don’t believe me, so do as you please.”
“U-umu… I am Brennan, captain of the Curéonian Guard. The two men behind me are my subordinates, Hugh and Tellus.”
The knight with the handlebar mustache is Captain Brennan, the mild-mannered spearman is Hugh, and the sharp-eyed shield-bearer is Tellus.
“We’re going to exterminate the grasshoppers now. What about you three?”
“Now? Just the two of you?”
“I’m in charge of shutting down the leaks that are trying to head for the town of Curéon. Basically, Grande will do it alone.”
The three of them were incredibly confused by my explanation. Well, yes. It is understandable. If I were in their shoes, I would think the same way. But it’s the most efficient way to do it, so there’s nothing I can do. I was told not to blow it up with a magic sparkling stone bomb, after all.
“Well, what do you think would be best for them?”
“Nothing much. We’ll just do what we have to do. They were the ones who asked for our help in the first place, weren’t they? Then I don’t think we should be dictated to by them, no matter what we do.”
“I see. Well, that’s that then.”
“Umu, I’m off.”
After wiping her mouth covered with whipped cream, Grande spread her dragon wings and flew off toward the forest. I watched her go and then opened the heavy iron door that I had set up on the bunker.
“I’m going to get ready to intercept, so I think it’s best if you all go back to town.”
“No, I won’t wait. I’m sorry, but this bunker is for one person only.”
With that said, I shut the door and locked it. The truth is, there is room for four people, including me, but it would be a disaster if they were to attack me from behind when I was concentrating on intercepting the grasshoppers. I’m going to be very determined to keep them out.
They may have no reason to attack me, but they may be blinded by the power of the light machine gun I use, or they may try to use me as a hostage to get Grande to do whatever they want. It is impossible to trust them at this point.
“Well, let’s do it.”
I set up a subhuman-spec light machine gun with a heavy barrel made of black steel on the gun rack and sent the first round into the chamber. I hope Grande does well.