Chapter 271 – Wrath
“They never said about this!”
“Macrito-dono, calm down.”
“Antonius! How can I be calm? My army of 8,000 men, and more than 6,000 of my own men, have been savagely beaten to a pulp! We went to the trouble of preparing heavy shields and armor and placing them in the vanguard because we were told they would block the enemy’s attacks, and the result of slowing down our movement speed is what we have now! If this is the case, it would have been more effective to charge at full speed with light armor, as I had said at the beginning!”
Covered in blood and mud, Lord Macrito Jean Nicklaus, the commander of the Tigris Kingdom army, spat this out. His armor was covered with fine scratches, and his shoulders were so crumpled that they were almost useless. It seems that a stray bullet from the first enemy attack had snagged his shoulder armor and caused this.
Macrito-dono was not at the front line, so he must have been at a reasonable distance behind. Even at that distance, the power of the bullet was this strong. A shield as heavy as a man can carry would not be able to defend against that. If the hit had been bad, Macrito-dono would not have been here by now.
“And those damn birds! They’ve been throwing shit at us from unreachable heights in the past, but this time they’ve gone to the extreme! What is that exploding weapon? It’s like a mage’s explosive magic! What are we supposed to do when such a thing is thrown up in the air like that! Even our arrows with wind magic on them, of which we had prepared a good number, were useless!”
“Calm down, Macrito-dono… It’s hurting your body!”
Macrito-dono is already old enough to be considered elderly. I don’t want him to get too agitated and die in a fit of rage. The morale of the kingdom of Tigris is probably in shambles, and I don’t know how many of the knights are still alive. I don’t want to have to take care of the soldiers of Tigris who have lost their leader.
“…We must say that the enemy’s forces were a little stronger than we had expected.”
After accepting all of Macrito-dono’s reproaches, the man opened his mouth gravely. His name is Steiner Hiltz―he is a member of the Holy Kingdom’s military. He is the man who led the recent invasion of the Kingdom of Merinard by the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris.
“A little…? A little, you say? A mere 400 soldiers kicked out 20 times the number of soldiers! Rumor has it that the Holy Kingdom’s army of 20,000 men was kicked out of Merinard by just a few dozen men! It’s obvious that you haven’t been able to accurately analyze their forces, which use unknown weapons and tactics! Or what? Are you saying that the Tigris Kingdom’s soldiers are being used as a sacrificial pawns to analyze their forces?”
Macrito-dono’s face turned red, and his indignation was evident as if he was in flames at Steiner’s comment. It is like an erupting volcano. I was afraid that he might actually die in a fit of rage.
“I have no intention of doing so. More importantly, if the forces of the Duchy of Dihart had coordinated and attacked at once, wouldn’t you have been able to sweep away the enemy in one fell swoop? From what I have seen, it seems that those strange weapons of theirs cannot attack in succession. It looked as if they were taking turns attacking, with about a hundred attacking at once, followed by another hundred. Once they attacked once, they must have had to wait for a certain amount of time before they attacked again. As long as you can get close enough to them with a volume that exceeds their intercepting speed, you can use your superiority in numbers to crush them. Rather, isn’t the responsibility for the loss of the Kingdom of Tigris on the Duchy of Dihart’s uncooperative course of action?”
This bastard. He’s trying to shift the blame on us. Macrito-dono glared at me.
“What a stupid accusation. There is no way that you could have predicted such a huge loss of life with a twenty-fold difference in strength. To begin with, wasn’t it Steiner-dono who said that the vanguard should be heavily armored and equipped with anti-aircraft equipment with wind magic? Macrito-dono has more experience on the battlefield than I am, and the Tigris Kingdom’s army is more highly trained and more numerous. That’s why I entrusted him with the vanguard position, and I think that both Macrito-dono and Steiner-dono felt the same way, which is why you agreed with me when I entrusted you with the vanguard position. I don’t want to be blamed for this now. Besides, it is precisely because we were there as a rearguard that the wounded soldiers of the Kingdom of Tigris were evacuated from the battlefield and are now being treated.”
I insisted that we were not at fault and stressed that Steiner, who had made a mistake in analyzing the forces in the first place, was entirely responsible, thus avoiding the brunt of Macrito-dono’s wrath. Wipe your own ass with your own hands. Don’t try to force your responsibility on us, you sly bastard.
As I was doing so, a messenger from the Duchy of Dihart came running from the front line.
“I have something to report! A messenger has appeared from the enemy side to announce a ceasefire!”
“Ceasefire…? Under these circumstances?”
The Tigris Kingdom’s army has been almost completely wiped out, but our forces of the Duchy of Dihart are still in good shape. What in the world does a ceasefire mean in this situation?
“Yes, there was a loud call from a strange vehicle floating in mid-air. What shall we do?”
“What shall we do, huh? My forces are strong, but I don’t think the Tigris Kingdom’s army is capable of continuing the battle any longer.”
“…It’s infuriating, but it’s true. Not even the most physically fit can fight properly.”
The Tigris army is not capable of continuing the battle any longer. It’s true. It is impossible to keep up morale if you are being pummeled by incomprehensible attacks like that. Even if you ask the remaining soldiers to stand up on the battlefield now, how many of them will really obey you? …Well, the same concerns apply to the army of the Duchy of Dihart as well.
I said that earlier, the Tigris Kingdom army is more highly trained to stand up to Macrito-dono, but in fact, there is not much difference between the Tigris Kingdom army and the Duchy of Dihart army. However, the Tigris Kingdom Army outnumbered the Duchy of Dihart by about 1,000 men.
The whole army witnessed the Tigris Kingdom army being kicked to pieces right in front of their eyes. The morale of the Duchy of Dihart’s army was at its worst. If I give an order, the soldiers will stand on the battlefield even if they don’t want to, but even the slightest threatening attack could destroy their morale and cause them to run away.
“Wait a minute. Do you accept the ceasefire? The armies of the Duchy of Dihart have not even exchanged spears yet?”
“If you say so, the Tigris Kingdom’s army hasn’t even exchanged spears either! They just beat us to a pulp! What is it? Are you telling us to jump out in front of the enemy without any countermeasures and die a miserable death?”
Macrito-dono began to snarl at Steiner again. I understand his feelings, but now is not the time for this. If we don’t accept the ceasefire, we don’t know when those damn bird bitches are going to fly over us and throw those explosives at us.
“Macrito-dono, let’s leave the question to Steiner-dono for later. Right now, we should be thinking about negotiating a ceasefire.”
“Hmm… Steiner-dono, I will report this matter to His Majesty the King!”
I think Macrito-dono is an excellent general, because no matter how angry he is, he listens to me when I tell him off like this. If I had been in his shoes, I would have strangled or slashed Steiner to death long ago.
“Danna, why don’t we just go out there and smash them without calling a ceasefire?”
“It would be possible to do that, but I’m afraid of attacks by bows and arrows imbued with wind magic. It is said that horizontal shooting is also effective; the range and power of the shot are very high. If we get close enough with air boards and get dozens of shots in, we could be shot down.”
When the harpy bombers bombed the city, they were also intercepted by arrows that had been imbued with wind magic. Fortunately, they were flying at a high altitude out of range, so the power of the arrows was dampened, and the attack was prevented by the arrow-repellent barriers that the harpies were equipped with.
“If the air boards were destroyed and we were to collide head-on, the damage would have been unavoidable.”
“Moreover, if the air board and the magic rifle were captured, we would have been screwed. I don’t think we should go all the way out of our position to attack them.”
“Then, why don’t we let the harpies bomb them? There’s no danger then, is there?”
“If the ceasefire talks break down, that’s one way to go. Or my heavily armed Iron golem―is that too much? Maybe I’ll just start a rock golem army?”
“I think that would be more brutal.”
The rock golem army is a rock golem army with no particular armaments. But don’t underestimate them. Their physical strength is equal to or greater than that of the advanced adventurers Shumel, and since their entire bodies are made of rock, their entire body is a deadly weapon, and of course, they have extremely high defense and durability. A single swing of the arm is powerful enough to blow a human being away like a crushed tomato. I have about 50 such rock golems in my inventory, so if the need arises, I can dispatch them.
The problem is identifying the target, but the game-like convenience of the system allows me to move according to the identification of friends and foes that I recognize when I take them out of my inventory. Viva, the game-like convenience. It’s a miracle of God, isn’t it?
Well, I don’t mind the convenience. It can only be beneficial. While we were talking, a golem message came in from Worg.
“Kosuke, the enemy has agreed to negotiate a ceasefire. It has been decided that negotiations will take place at a vantage point on the side of the battlefield.”
“I think I’ll go with you in case. In the meantime, I’m the top official of the Merinard Kingdom here, and… that’s the way it’s going to be, isn’t it?”
“Isn’t that right?”
“I guess so.”
“I’m sure of it.”
“No doubt. Then, is it okay to go there with Kosuke’s air board?”
“Yes, I think so. It’s a little cramped, but it’s not so bad for Worg to get on.”
“Okay. I’ll wait here.”
The communication is cut off. Now, let’s go see the enemy’s face, shall we?