Chapter 275 – Power Survey
“I want you to take another roll call and check to see if anyone’s hurt.”
Worg seemed taken aback but quickly regained his composure and began taking roll calls.
“Well, this is even worse than I thought.”
“The fortress was blown to the ground.”
“If anyone gets hit by something like that, there’s no way they’ll survive…”
The oni girls are looking through the windows of the protection facility or in the direction of the center of the explosion, where the dust from the explosion is still swirling around. They’re not as shaken up as I thought they’d be.
“We are adventurers, you know. We can’t survive if we’re always worried about strange and unexpected things.”
“Well, I’m a little surprised, though.”
“I can see why you can’t abuse it.”
“You adventurers are awesome.”
I guess they have a different mentality from normal people. Maybe it’s simply that these three are just too tough-minded.
After taking a roll call for about ten minutes and checking for injuries, we all boarded the air board and headed for the center of the explosion―the place where the border fort of the Duchy of Dihart used to be.
“There is a possibility that the air board may malfunction due to residual magic power. If you feel any malfunction, stop the vehicle immediately and remove the magic crystals.”
After sending instructions to each vehicle via the golem communicator, I tap the back of the driver’s seat where Bella is sitting and tell her to move the air board forward.
“I don’t think there are any soldiers of the Duchy of Dihart surviving that, but be on the lookout for them just in case.”
“Just in case. I think the only people who would survive that would be Grande-jouchan or Kosuke.”
“What kind of position am I in your mind, Shumel…?”
I’m not one of those amazing creatures that can shoot beams out of their mouths.
“As long as you don’t get hit by surprise, you seem to be able to survive any kind of attack, right?”
“What do you really think? If I knew that thing would explode at point-blank range, would I be able to handle it?”
“I think you can manage if you build a protective wall of black steel and mithril blocks with a total height of 2 meters.”
If it’s just to save my life, I think I can handle it.
“So that’s what you think, huh?”
“By the time you start throwing out walls of one meter thick black steel and mithril, you’re already in the same category as Grande-san, aren’t you?”
“In the sense that they are out of the ordinary, they are exactly the same.”
By the way, I think Grande can manage if she dives into the ground as fast as she can. I think it would be a bit tough for Sylphy and Melty. I think Melty could retreat at full speed and escape from the instant death radius if she had ten seconds before the explosion. As for Sylphy… I’m not so sure about her; I haven’t seen much serious combat action from Sylphy. She can use spirit magic, and if she dives into the ground with earth spirit magic at the moment of the explosion in addition to retreating at full speed, she might have a chance.
Speaking of which, Grande is not accompanying us on today’s operation to destroy the fort. I asked her to stay at the base just in case. She didn’t seem to be interested in it either. She is probably somewhere on the base right now, basking in the sun or something.
“No, it seems like the speed increased even though I didn’t increase the power…?”
“Turn it off. Notify all vehicles to stop the air board and remove the magic crystals. An unintended increase in output has been detected.”
It seems that the levitation device and wind-magic propulsion system have some kind of safety circuit to prevent the excessive output of magic power from flowing into them, but I am not going to bother to test their endurance under these circumstances. We are already within a dozen minutes’ walk of the center of the explosion, and we should be able to walk from here.
“Wow… that’s a great concentration of magic. I feel like I’m going to get dizzy.”
“Hmm, I’m fine, though.”
“I don’t have any problems either.”
“I can’t feel anything at all because I don’t have any magic. Well, it’s a little hot, though.”
When we came close to the center of the explosion, only Tozume looked depressed. Usually, she is buzzing around with her hammer, but the fact that she gets dizzy from this means that she has a constitution sensitive to magic power―in other words, she has a high level of magical ability. If she learns magic, she will be a better adventurer.
“But a trump card is really a very powerful thing…”
“Right? Well, I’m not in the mood to get too excited since the current blow has wiped out about 10,000 people without a trace.”
“Is that so…? I, for one, am very encouraged.”
Worg tilted his head curiously. It’s war, it’s the enemy, and we’re going to kill them without mercy. It’s a very simple idea, and I don’t think it’s wrong. Well, it’s too late for anything. I myself think it’s not right to be so sentimental about blowing up a fortress after killing tens of thousands of people in the Holy Kingdom with a weapon of my own making.
However, it’s not something that can be so easily dismissed, and I don’t want to let this feeling paralyze me. I wonder how the weapons developers of my former world came to terms with this? I wonder if they were supporting their aspirations for their country or protecting their own soldiers.
When I think about it, I guess I’m arrogant… I can say that I look down on this world. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I guess I look down on the people of this world as uncivilized savages and feel sorry for them that I have to unilaterally overrun them with advanced weapons. I hate myself for that.
“What’s wrong? You seem a little down.”
“I’ve got a lot on my mind, too.”
“That’s right. I don’t think it’s necessary to feel sorry for the enemy. If we had not done this, the people in the base and in the Mesotherium would have been killed by the enemy.”
“Leave the dead people alone. It’s boring and useless to be dragged down by dead people.”
“Isn’t it useless? You can’t help it even if you think about it, you know. Apologizing in your heart won’t bring them back to life. They died because they were weak. That’s why they died. We will step on their corpses and get over them. That’s all there is to it.”
“You’re so dry…”
“I think you’re just too wet. But that is the way it is, isn’t it? Twenty years ago, we were weak, and the Holy Kingdom took advantage of us. Now we are doing the opposite. That’s all.”
“That’s all, huh…”
Their thinking is simple. The stronger, the better in the race for survival, that’s all. It would certainly be easier to think of it as simple as that. I don’t care if I go to hell, but if I do something like a one-sided massacre like this… I’ll have to get used to it so that my conscience doesn’t get numb.
After surveying the crater, which was still hot, and confirming that there were no survivors and that the structure had been obliterated without a trace, we left the border fortress of the Duchy of Dihart. There were a few remnants of underground structures near the center of the crater, but most of them had been vaporized by the high heat… Even if someone had been hiding in the underground structures, it is unlikely that they would have survived.
However, if a condemnation shelter or other shelter had been built deep underground, it was found that there was a possibility of failing to finish the job. In the future, it might be better to make a tandem warhead anti-castle self-destruct golem with one magic sparkling stone bomb in the upper and lower body, the lower body separating and exploding underground while the upper body remains on the surface and explodes.
No, I don’t think I need to go that far, but it would be fine to blow up the surface facilities and bury the victims alive…?
But maybe the royal family could escape through underground escape routes… In fact, the royal castle in Merinesburg has a network of underground passageways that lead to sewers and other escape routes, and it’s possible that other countries―such as the Holy Kingdoms’ castles, for example–have the same network of underground passageways. I still think we should just develop it. I will discuss this with Isla when I get back.
“Are we going to blow up the fortress in the Tigris Kingdom in the same way?”
“We’ll blow it up the same way.”
“Urgent! Urgent! We’ve confirmed an ambush on the route to the Tigris border fortress! They number about 5,000 and are waiting for us!”
An urgent message came in from the harpy-san, who was scouting in advance of us.
I see, they are going to ambush us under the pretense that they have vacated the fort as we demanded. The reason why the harpies didn’t find the ambush soldiers in the morning is because the harpies didn’t know where to go… Well, they searched from the base to the border fort of the Tigris Kingdom, but they didn’t search the route from the border fort of the Duchy of Dihart to the border fort of the Tigris Kingdom in the morning. I guess this is an instructional error.
“What are we going to do? No matter how many elite soldiers and harpy bomb squads we have, we can’t take on a hundred times as many without preparation, can we?”
The only ones here now are fifty elite riflemen, half of the harpy bomb squad, and one air board full of riflemen brought in by Worg, plus us.
“We’ll be fine.”
If I build a small defensive facility where they can see us and have the elite riflemen defend it, and then fly the harpy bomb squad from the defensive facility and bomb those hiding, they will probably rush into the defensive facility, letting their numbers carry the day.
“We can manage that.”
Yes, if we can draw them into our camp, we can manage anything. We can cook up any ambush troops whose whereabouts are known.