Chapter 122 – The Price of Violation
The hill was lushly forested on both sides, with a gentle slope leading up to the top for about a kilometer.
The front side of the forest was dotted with bushes and colorful flowers. This was a long, quiet, beautiful landscape that would make you want to stop and have a cup of tea if you were on your way to a picnic…
A large group of infantry, filling the hill, came running down from behind the woods on either side toward our convoy.
Nearly a hundred men are killed or disabled by the sweeping fire of MAG general-purpose machine guns, which had shot out of range and at elevation before the battle began, but the enemy shows no signs of being intimidated.
We continue to advance as fast as we can, climbing over or trampling over the corpses on the enemy’s side. The only thing going is the Tiran APC with Myrril and me on it.
“Yoshua, to the left!”
“I can see it. Leave it to me!”
A heavy cavalryman leaps out of the bushes at the bottom of the hill and rushes forward to flank us.
The war in this world, or even in my previous world, would have followed the theories of a pre-modern war. However, even though it was said female by Myrril, fighting against tanks was a meaningless suicide mission.
Strong men with long spears in their hands were hit in the chest armor by rifle bullets and fell from their horses one after another, coughing up blood and dying as they engulfed the following ranks.
In between the exchange of ammunition belts, Myrril finely adjusted their trajectory, and the huge body of the Tiran APCs checked the soldiers as they pushed forward.
The soldiers come toward us with a shout that resembles a winning cry. Their eyes already see nothing.
It is not that they are not frightened. They have already accepted their death as a matter of course. Looking into the dark, stagnant, swampy eyes that are staring back at me, I begin to send bullets into them again.
The sound of heavy armor being crushed by the front of the vehicle reaches my ears, interrupted by screams, yells, and gunfire.
The Tiran APC continues to advance without hesitation, literally laying waste to everything that stands in its way.
Since the first collision with the enemy, Myrril has stopped raising her voice except for necessary instructions. She can’t afford to do so, nor does she need to.
We were determined to deliver the refugees safely, no matter what. If there was an enemy standing in our way, we were determined to crush it.
Every time Tiran’s huge body moved forward, the enemy caught in its path would end up in a condition worse than minced meat. Not only human bodies but even horses were run over and crushed, spreading their flesh and blood and spreading a reddish-black color on the ground.
Their swords, spears, arrowheads, and offensive magic cannot even scratch the Tiran we are riding, and we just run over and crush them.
I don’t know if their families are being held hostage or if their minds are being manipulated. Even though they know that they are no longer a match for the steel monster that looms before them, the imperial soldiers just keep moving forward.
They are not allowed to avoid or retreat, and there is no way for them to escape death.
A low, vindictive roar rises up, and the men, their mortal faces exposed, press in. Faces contorted with fear, anger, and hatred loom and disappear as they are caught up under the tank’s body.
Myrril continues to stare at them through the slit window, and at some point, her whole body tenses up in the cockpit.
If you don’t numb your mind, you won’t be able to come back.
Even I, who was operating a general-purpose machine gun, the MAG, in the gunner’s seat and kept reaping and shooting the enemy, felt something like a heavy lees building up in the pit of my stomach.
“Myrril, move forward! Let’s move out to the top of the hill!”
The Tiran APC starts to climb a gentle hill, blowing smoke from the exhaust pipe at the left rear of the tank. Spearmen coming out from the left are killed by the sweeping fire of the MAGs, and the archers who come raining arrows at us from near the top are countered by the 7.62mm lead balls.
At the top of the hill, in the middle of the road, the abandoned commander’s camp remained. Myrril plows straight into it with the tank, repelling and trampling the piles of supplies.
“…Don’t you dare to think of running away at this late stage, bastard!”
At the end of the road, I saw a group of men on horseback riding away. They were probably imperial nobles. These commanders had thrown away their equipment and were running away frantically.
They had abandoned their men, who had come at us as dead soldiers.
In an unnaturally low, hard voice, Myrril shouted.
“Yoshua, don’t let them get away!”
A 7.62 millimeter round spit out from the MAG landed on the backs of the fleeing men, and they fell off their horses and fell to the ground.
After stopping the Tiran at the top of the hill, Myrril made a 180-degree super-cinematic turn on the spot.
From the enemy soldiers’ point of view, this would have appeared to block their escape route, but no longer did any of them have the will to resist.
Myrril emerges from the cockpit and stands next to my gun position with the UZI slung over her shoulder.
“Your commanders abandoned their ranks and men, fled, and were defeated by the Demon King! Surrender! Those who do not lay down their arms will be killed!”
The remnants of the Imperial Army dropped their weapons and slumped down.
UZI bullets pierced the soldiers who were still trying to come toward us as if it were a conditioned reflex.
The number of survivors was less than 20. We had no intention of taking prisoners, so we let them go, telling them to run wherever they wanted to go.
“…Perhaps I am not suited for this kind of role…”
The thin, weak voice, appropriate for her age, reaches only my ears.
“So do I. But I don’t think forcing this role on someone else is right. I’m really grateful to you, Myrril. If I had been on my own, I would have been crushed long ago.”
I hold the head of the dwarf girl who has snuggled up to me and look off at the passing bear face bus and Ural military truck.
I wave to our friends who call out to us, “You did a good job,” but I can’t help but feel unfulfilled.
If I’m not cut out for this, then I’m not cut out for war. I’m not suited for conflict, and I’m not suited for heroic roles at all.
I don’t even know if there is a role for a middle-aged man who was born and raised in a country that is painted with pretense, beauty, and artifice.
“…Ah, that’s right. I’ve been despised as incompetent, but in fact, I’m a cheat adventurer with maxed-out parameters. I’ll show you that I can do it well, so please let me change my job there.”
The next thing I knew, I found myself speaking my mind. The Nojaloli looked at me with the eyes of a sleepy dog and smiled gently.
“Let’s go home, Yoshua. You have done well.”
“…We did, didn’t we?”
It was only a hundred miles to Casemaian. I missed home terribly, where everyone was waiting for me.
Chapter 123 – On The Way Back
A few hundred yards from the hill where the battle took place, I asked Myrril to stop the Tiran and get out of the gun seat.
I think it was sixty miles to Casemaian, which is about a hundred kilometers or so.
The airborne surveillance by Owe-san, the winged tribe, showed no sign of the enemy on the way back. I am told that there are 500 soldiers of the Imperial Army who have set up a blocking line on the eastern route to the imperial capital, on the part of the road that we did not use, but I don’t care about that anymore.
“Owe-san, what happened to the wagons?”
“At thirty miles to Casemaian, Maeve of the winged tribe stopped it. The dying orcs are said to be brought alive along the road to the imperial capital by the beastman, but the effect is still unknown.”
“How about the earth dragon?”
“It is currently about 20 miles to the southeast, about halfway between the east and west city roads. It seems to have lost sight of the odor and is lost.”
“Thank you. We will get the results soon. If not, the end result will be the same.”
I switched to Ural’s side-wheeled motorcycle and stowed the Tiran, which had done a great job.
Without this sturdy chassis, we would surely have died prematurely. Even if my body were safe, my heart would have been broken.
To fight against 500 regular troops in an open area, you need to have as many soldiers as your opponent, even with firearms. If we were to fight while protecting defenseless civilians, we would need to outnumber the enemy, and even then, we should be prepared to make sacrifices.
This victory is too limited a situation to be of any help in the future. It makes no sense to compare it to the theory.
Casemaian’s forces are too distorted.
Myrril and I followed the convoy on our motorcycles.
After a while, we see the butt of a Ural military truck. I pass it, honk my horn, and pull out in front of it, opening up a gap of around 200 meters before catching up with the bear-faced bus driving ahead of us.
“Do you want to ride over there?”
“I’d like to get a little more wind. If you want, you can stay with me until we get to Casemaian.”
“No problem, Your Majesty the Queen.”
We passed the bear-faced bus and continued on our way. As we continue to ride with the wind in our faces, my foggy thoughts start to fall apart and overflow. Motorcycles are inconvenient, but not bad for a kind of relaxation.
The entrance to Casemaian now comes into view. On the outer edge of the plain, at the foot of the bridge over the outer moat, the residents were out to greet us.
“””Welcome back, Yoshua.”””
“Welcome back, Your Majesty the Demon King.”
“Are the others all right?”
They all spoke words of encouragement to me. Suddenly I felt like crying, so I waved my hands and continued on my bike.
At the edge of the settlement, where the work was just beginning to be completed, Heimann-jiisan was waiting for us, sitting on a heavy construction machine.
“Good work, Yoshua. And you, too, Jou-chan. I hear you’ve done very well.”
“I was only going to check on things for four or five days.”
“It seems that the royal capital is already a chaotic place with all kinds of evil spirits of the mountains and rivers. No wonder they are all involved. Merel told me that the kingdom is being eaten up by seven domestic and foreign powers, large and small, doing whatever they want.”
“Does that include Casemaian?”
“Of course. We are supposed to be among the first to take the bait.”
I laugh and shake my head. The old man raises his hand and makes a sign to the winged tribe above us.
“We have a guest. Yoshua, after you get your truck and bus in, please remove the bridge and send everyone to the back. We need to welcome it.”
As the old man raised his hands to the outer edge of the plain, I saw a T-55 waiting on both the east and west sides of the southern end, blowing white smoke and starting up its engines.
“An earth dragon?”
“Yes. Unfortunately, the attempt to lure it to the imperial capital was unsuccessful. It is 20 miles to the southwest, and it is heading this way.”
“Ah, we didn’t have time to finish it off. I am sorry.”
“What is it? Just watch me. I’ll kill it in an instant.”
Heimann-jiisan, who had become a tank commander, turned on his heel and walked quickly away.
“Well then, I’ll go too…”
“Oh, Your Majesty the Demon King. It’s your bad habit to take away the work of the lower ranks.”
According to Myrril’s advice, I turn to assist the refugees. First of all, I lead the bear face bus and the Ural military truck across the bridge and into the Casemaian property, and then I lead them to the canyon entrance by motorcycle.
The refugees, relieved to be free from the cramped and stifling confines of the vehicles and containers, turned around to see a 70-foot-long (over 20 meters), hungry-eyed earth dragon.
The tank cannon fired and blew the dragon’s head off from both sides as if the screams of despair were a sign that the dragon had been killed.
The fact that they did not aim at the torso but at the small head suggests that they were not only training to fire artillery but also to secure some meat. I wonder if the earth dragons are tasty too.
The refugees’ eyes swam with an expression of not understanding, and their gazes eventually fell on Myrril and me as if they were seeking answers.
“Forget your conventional wisdom. If you’re going to spend time with Yoshua, you’re going to get tired of it.”
Oh, man, that’s terrible.
I smiled and welcomed the newcomers to our group of beastman, elves, and dwarves.
“Welcome to Casemaian.”