“They’re here, General!”
“Yes! The fugitives who killed Rezado-sama are taking refuge in that fort!”
Approximately 90 minutes after Karito had entered the fort, the Alwina Kingdom’s troops had received notifications from the Sky Cavalry, and arrived at the fort in front of the forest.
Numbering more than one battalion (approximately 600 people), around 750 soldiers from various branches of division alighted from horses, supply troops, and carriages. All of them were preparing for the battle.
“The targets are human man and a girl. In addition, there is also a beastwoman, totaling to 3 people. We tried to catch them, but we suffered a counter attack from the man and lost a griffon rider and dragon rider.”
“How could we have lost the dragon too!? Was that man also a magician?”
It’s very difficult to shoot down a sky cavalryman who’s flying in the sky with bows and arrows or throwing stones, unless a barrage of attacks was released.
Thus, the pursuing commander asked through the process of elimination, but his subordinate who reported the matter shook his head.
“It is unknown. We’ve never seen that kind of attack before. The man was pointing an iron stick-like thing that was either a cane or a magic item, and before we realised it, our subordinates who were trying to attack were killed after the sound of exploding gunpowder. I sent for my subordinates to collect the bodies of those who were killed after the fugitives escaped to the fort, and after an inspection, they have the same wound as Rezado-sama who was killed in the demi-human village.”
“...As expected, it seems like we have gotten the right guy who killed Rezado-sama.” The commander frowned.
“I also agree with that. Since those people have taken refuge within the fortress, our soldiers are now taking turns watching them from a high altitude as a precaution for a similar attack.” The commanding officer reported.
“Tell your units to not start attacking before I give my permission. If the fort collapses from the attack of the Sky Cavalry, we will need to dig out their corpses.”
The main attack of Sky Cavalry was a magic attack by the lead magician. In addition to the airstrike, bombs, molotov cocktails, as well as the dragon breath were commonly used.
All of them execute high destructive power to be proud of, but at times, it has to be taken into serious consideration as it also leads to bombing of the wrong targets and increasing their own damage, particularly in this case where they had to arrest the criminals and offer their bodies to the King to explain the state of affairs at the very least. Therefore, the order to attack from the sky isn’t something that could be done easily.
Still, by watching from the sky so that they would not secretly escape while relying on their large war force to charge in... With this amount of people, they could crush and arrest them by sheer force like usual.
Using the Sky Cavalry to blast open the front gates and the walls surrounding the fort using magic, bombs, and dragon breath, thus opening a path inside as the ground soldiers arrive. This was the basic tactic to attack a fortress in this world.
“Each unit, form a formation and prepare to charge! Even though there are only a few enemies don’t lower your guard!”
The red grid marks displayed on the screen… From the large numbers of them, Karito can’t help but heave an amazed sigh while smiling in distress.
When a person faces extraordinary fear and despair, they become creatures that would laugh before showing their negative feelings.
“With this number, they’re already on the level of completely crushing us...”
What the PDA screen projected was a real time picture of the forest and the wasteland taken from the sky.
Karito had fired a shot to intimidate the Sky Cavalry circling around above the fort. He then sped away to distance himself from the enemies before sending out a reconnaissance plane.
It was a fine product called <SwitchBlade> that carried a cylindrical container similar to an anti-tank missile launcher. As it launches, the wings will extend out and ascend. After reaching a fixed altitude, the mechanism was made to move in circular motion automatically.
You can control it through the PDA, and the information it obtains will be displayed in the terminal. Because it was equipped with explosives, it is possible to do a kamikaze attack as well. Right now, Karito was flying the machine at a higher altitude than the Sky Cavalry to prevent them from detecting it.
Underneath the body of the aircraft was a camera that can capture any moving body above the ground and mark it with a red sign . From the direction of the forest that Karito had just gone through, it was already packed with deep red marks.
Are the pursuers of the Alwina Kingdom’s forces all here? Do they really need to send all these men just to catch 3 people? He can’t help but want to cry.
(...Is that white-robed magician a big shot in the army?)
Considering if that was the truth, I could understand why they had desperately mobilized a large army. In fact, it is happening now.
“What the hell should I do now..?” He sighed.
Karito, who had been controlling the reconnaissance plane from the staircase of the dance floor that connects to the rooftop, was already reeling in exhaustion from the difference in war power.
When he finally couldn’t endure the loneliness anymore, Karito had ran away from the mountain hut, walking on and on, continuously without end. And when he thought he had at last arrived at a human settlement, it was a slaughter fest. Experiencing his first time killing, and when he finally had a warm time with the only surviving beastmen sisters, they were chased around and forced into this development now...
His shoulders drooped from the mental and physical exhaustion. It can’t be helped when looking at this reality. It was necessary for him to work out a countermeasure immediately.
Once his thoughts were refreshed, it became easy afterward on how he should act. Since he was given the experience to choose the right choice in a limited time in , he had already tempered his metal power so that he would not panic even under a disadvantageous condition. Or it might also be the influence of him experiencing becoming a killer for the first time.
Deciding the goal, choosing the way to do it... Karito made a decision.
“Alright.” He said to himself determinedly.
After finishing his meditation, Karito went back to the first floor. The figure of Reona hugging the frightened Rina was lit by the lamp light.
“Onee-chan, what will happen to us..?” The young girl asked nervously.
“It will be alright. Don’t worry, because this time, I will protect Rina...” The beastwoman attempted to comfort her sister.
Reona looked up, and upon noticing Karito coming down, she had a relieved expression. She had remained calm in front of her little sister, but looking at the situation where the army of pursuers were waiting outside to kill them, she felt quite tired.
After patting her little sister’s head, she plodded towards Karito to hear his story as her ears and tail swung about restlessly.
“How is the situation outside? Is the Sky Cavalry still hanging around?” She asked worriedly.
“It’s becoming worse. The main force of the pursuers have already gathered inside the forest, and there are at least several hundreds of them.” Karito stated bluntly.
“...It… ...Isn’t a joke right..?” Reona asked weakly.
Karito held out the PDA silently. Let alone knowing how to use the PDA, Reona who had never seen any electronic devices before was looking between Karito’s face and the PDA in wonder .
Looking at the number of luminous dots shown in the sky and the symbol of the coat of arms displayed on the flags hoisted by the soldiers, she was roughly able to understand the function of this PDA in this situation. In other words, this thing that looked like a hand mirror was a magic item that allowed you to look at the situation outside with a bird’s eye view, and the shining red marks represented for the enemy.
“Ha-Hahaha...” Dry laughter escaped her lips.
Just like Karito, she never expected for the Alwina Kingdom to mobilize such a large force to pursue them. She could only laugh in resignation.
After laughing for a while, her mouth was tugged wryly as she looked at Karito’s face.
“From... From now on, what should we do!?” Reona despaired.
“The only way out of this fort is through the front gates. If we go out from there, the cavalry in the sky will surely notice, so no matter how fast our legs are, there will be no way for us to outrun the waves of horses and dragons...” Karito explained.
“If there were only horses, we could scatter them when we are inside of the forest, but there is no way we can shake off the griffons and dragons, even for me. They would definitely overtake us.” She frowned.
“Then, instead of running away, it would be much better to hide somewhere. But, we would be found immediately if they decided to use the infiltration tactic to investigate, even in the woods at night, and if we were to shut ourselves in here, the danger will be too big.” He sighed. “If the 3 of... No, if it was only me and Reona, no matter how advantageous the protection we have, there is no way we can win with this much difference in fighting power. If we were to be attacked from both the sky and the ground at the same time, we would be easily defeated. Even if we prepared a trap beforehand, they could simply blow up the fort with magic.”
Weapons with trap systems… They were mainly sentry guns or land mines, and the number of installations were restricted. However, it would be destroyed immediately if it receives a magic bombardment from the Sky Cavalry. Karito knew that because similar approaches have already been done in the game before.
...Actually, the opponent had already banned bombardments or bombings with magic, but, there was no way Karito could know that.
“Let’s say that even if we manage to repel the soldiers, there is a possibility that their reinforcements will rush out towards us again. Since the reinforcements wouldn’t have come to us, I think it is much better to arrange an escape plan rather than shut ourselves in here.” Karito suggested.
This isn’t a game. There is also no clear guideline to set a strategy.
Even if he knew that their deaths were the conditions for defeat, as long as the conditions for victory remain uncertain, the need to lock themselves in the fort and fight against Alwina’s army was also ambiguous.
...No, rather, he should be thinking about it this way. If it is to avoid the defeat conditions, there was no need for Reona and Rina to fight several hundreds of armed forces.
“Therefore I thought about something.” Karito stated.
“Do you have some plans!?” Reona asked agitatedly.
“...This plan isn’t on the level of a strategy.” He smiled with self-derision. “...I will become the decoy and charge straight towards those guys. In that time, Reona should take Rina and escape.”
“...Ha?” The beastwoman blanked out.
After freezing for a good 10 seconds, Reona’s blank mind rebooted, and she grabbed Karito. With both hands, she grabbed and pulled on the collars of the young man with the black hair as she scowled at him while gnashing her teeth.
“What are you talking about?! Things like voluntarily running into your own death... I will never allow it!” She yelled.
“I can’t help it. After all, there is no other plan that I can think of. If we left it as it is, the three of us will die. It would be much better for someone to attract the company outside while the others escaped from here.” He reasoned calmly. “Also, I am suited to become a decoy.”
“Even if you say so, there is no way for me to accept that plan so readily! ‘I am suitable’? What do you mean by suitable! Why must it be you?!” She shouted, furious.
“...Because Reona and Rina are family.” He stated.
“..!” Reona startled at that.
The two of them spontaneously looked towards Rina whose eyes wavered in anxiety, as she looked at her elder sister grab onto their savior and quarrel.
Karito turned his eyes toward Reona again, and he began to remove the hands that were clenched in his collar quietly. The hands that were holding onto Karito’s collar hardened and trembled a little bit.
“I don’t have any acquaintances, let alone family in this world. But, Reona still has your important younger sister. Isn’t your father still alive? Do you still want to fight and die like this? What do you think this is for?” Karito asked.
“B-But.” Her hands trembled harder.
“I don’t have anyone. But, Reona still has your family... …That’s why, it’s okay...” He smiled at her.
“...You... Karito, why do you need to go to this extent?” She demanded.
“Why, huh?” He mumbled.
Reona lost all the strength in her arms. Feeling the warmth from both of the arms of Reona that seeped to his palms through his gloves, Karito felt his mouth loosen unconsciously.
It is this very warmth that he can call a reason.
“If this is in a movie, this will be a more embarrassing scene where I declare my decision, but...” He trailed off.
“What... What is it?” Reona asked softly.
“First of all, I don’t want Reona and Rina to die. With that reason alone, I think it is enough for me to fight.” Karito smiled once more.
After his parents died, he quit high school, shut himself from the world, and lived like a zombie. By the time he noticed it, he had already been sent to this world. Far from getting to know anyone, without knowing that no one would come, Karito had waited for the visitor that would never come and shut himself in his own small world, living in isolation. He was almost crushed by the loneliness.
To run away from the loneliness, he started to roam around to look for humans. Anyone would be fine as long as he could meet a person, and as a result, he experienced killing someone for the first time.
Then, he came across Rina and Reona.
The distance they had fled, tasting a slightly noisy meal around an open air fire, that little bit of contact with the sisters...
That alone was enough. The Karito now can risk his life for the trivial memories that Reona and Rina had given him.
...He never expected that he would someday do something like this, things that would only happen in movies and dramas where you risked your life fighting for someone that you’ve met for less than a day. .
If such a heroic role is needed, then he would do it with all he could, he swore.
Since it was a role that any man would surely have dreamed about once in their life, it should be allowed for him to look good and show off at such a time.
[TL: trying to be a prince riding a white horse to save the damsel in distress… yup]
“Anyway, I will attract their attention as much as possible. In that time, you need to escape towards the opposite side of the forest. I will scatter some smokescreen so it should be enough to deceive those monitoring from the sky too.” Karito elaborated more on his strategy before separating from Reona and passing by Rina to move towards the stairs.
At that moment, Rina’s small hands caught the hem of his clothes, and he stopped immediately.
“Ple-Please don’t go. I don’t want you to die...” She pleaded as her eyes blurred with tears of fear and panic.
Her innocence was clear to him. Being engulfed by a pleasant feeling, Karito stroked her head gently.
Rina’s golden hair was so smooth that it made him wonder what kind of shampoo she used. In the first place, he didn’t even know whether shampoo existed in this world.
Relaxing from the surprise of the feeling of a hand resting on top of her head, she tried to shake it off gently with her small hand.
I looked at the reconnaissance display from the <SwitchBlade> once again. I found out that the Alwina Kingdom’s troops had began to break into formations inside the forest. The other side seemed to be moving for an all out attack as well.
Operating the PDA, I changed my overall equipment from inside item box. The important points of this strategy were the smokescreens, bluffs, and something flashy.
“Let’s be as flashy as much as possible..!” He declared to himself.
First, he climbed up the stairs to the roof. Using the goggles, he switched it to night vision mode which amplifies the intensity of light that one can see in the dark, and peeked towards the sky from the shadows of the exit door. As expected there were dragons, griffons and other creatures that he couldn’t identify flying around the sky. With this, the strategy to snipe them from high grounds was made null.
He replaced his accessory equipment with a smoke screen grenade. It was a steel can the size of a 500 ml PET bottle, with its main body painted white. After removing the safety pin, he threw the grenade towards the roof and repeated this action a few more times. In no time, not only the roof, but the whole upper part of the fortress was covered by a large quantity of smoke coming out from the cans. As the upper part of the fortress was wrapped by smoke, from afar it must have looked like a giant torch or an active volcano.
Immediately, he ran down the stairs to the first floor, and threw smoke grenades outside through the doorway. Karito threw more smoke grenades into the back yard from the back door, and in less than a minute, the fort was immediately covered in white smoke.
According to the specifications of the game, the smoke emitted from the smoke screen grenade was harmless. Even if you breathed in some, it will only result in a light coughing fit, so it should be alright for Reona and Rina too. However, gases or black smoke from fire hand grenades or tear-gas bomb were toxic, so you will need to wear a gasmask.
“*Cough* W-What is this smoke?!” Reona coughed.
“With this, they wouldn’t be able to know our circumstances for the a while. Before the smoke disappears, I want the two of you to escape from this fort while I go rampant. If you move alongside the wall, you will be able to reach the back of the fort immediately.” Karito instructed.
“But, I can’t just leave Karito behind and escape!” The beastwoman protested.
Karito went out of the building where the thick smoke drifted, ignoring Reona’s pleas of bitterness and disagreement.
Of course, even Karito felt fear. Even if he wanted to pose as a hero and confront several thousands of soldiers to show off in front of a beautiful woman, scary things were still scary.
However, it was already too late because he already said and decided on it. He had to put it into action. Karito had chosen the road of death, a road of suffering. Since he had chosen the path of war, he will see to it until the end.
It was no longer possible to run away anymore, and he didn’t want to run because the girls who he decided to keep alive were staring at his back.
“You are really a fool, a big fool...” Reona stated softly.
“...Even I think so too.” Karito muttered as he advanced towards the front gate.
He changed his goggles to infrared night vision mode to see through the smokescreen. Due to its function of visualising the heat of objects, Karito was able to ignore the wall of smoke and grasp the movements in the surrounding area.
He removed the bolt and opened the gate. The white smoke screen that had accumulated inside the courtyard started to flow outside towards the wasteland as soon as the gate was opened.
While being bathed by the stream of smoke, he replaced his weapon to a MGL140. It was a grenade launcher that can fire 6 times in rapid succession. It was loaded with smoking flares too. He fired in sequence, scattering them in all directions. The newly fired white smoke surrounded the wasteland too.
He confirmed the reconnaissance display of the enemy forces once again. Restless movements could be observed as a result of his doing. The distance from the fort to the forest where the troops took up position was around 500 meters, and the distance was gradually shrinking.
“First, I need to give them a greeting.” He mumbled.
He changed the from reconnaissance mode to attack mode. The image of the wasteland from the drone’s point of view was reflected on the PDA screen. He directly changed the system from automatic mode to manual mode from the PDA, and the image shown changed immediately. All the movement controls of the drone had been transferred into Karito’s hands which trembled from unease.
He slid his fingers onto the touch screen and swooped over from to the red marks that represented the locations of more than a few hundreds of enemy soldiers filling the wasteland, its size steadily increasing. He gave slight revisions to the flight course of the drone that was equipped with explosives in it, moving it slightly to the rear. His aim was their headquarters where a large number of commanding officers gathered.
After discovering his target, he made some final orbital adjustments and accelerated the speed of the , plunging it into the group in a single breath. The shape of the headquarters expanded on the center of the screen quickly.
The last thing he received from the PDA was an image of a soldier noticing the kamikaze attack, or rather, it was the frightened face of a man.
An explosion could be heard from a distance. The picture from the drone was cut off at the same time. It was the proof that the drone kamikaze has finished its last duty.
The screen immediately changed into the accessory and equipped armor selection. The new accessories and armors had already been selected. All he needed to do was to press the icon button.
There was no hesitation.
“Let the show of a lifetime begin!” He declared half-crazed as he pressed the icon button.
Bulletproof performance class IV : Nullifies damage from handgun bullets and any other bullets smaller than a 7.62mm bullet. Furthermore, reduces shot damages, adjacent attack and shock damages from the bullet of any caliber up to 50%, excluding a headshot.
The goggles and reinforced helmet : Infrared night vision feature, optical night vision feature, built-in stun grenade nullification feature. Nullifies any damage from a headshot with any handgun utilising a 7.62 mm bullet or lower.
Anti-blast protection level III : Decreases 75% of explosion damage.
Fireproof protection measures : Fire damage nullified.
Internal ventilation : All damage from gases nullified.
Physical strength support : Possible to move heavy loads (However it can’t exceed the upper limits of the equipment.)
Heavy armament: 50% decrease in speed.
Weapon : M134 Minigun
Caliber: 7.62 mm x 51
Number of bullet can be loaded: 4000 rounds
Rate of fire: 4000 per minutes.
Heavy Armament : Dash disabled.
[TL: I didn’t know how the hell this can be called minigun.... I am not a gun expert. But there will be a lot of butt being busted this night from this boy.]
“Wha… What on earth happened there?!” One of the officers yelled.
There is no sign or omen at all.
The moment orders to attack were given to the 100 soldiers, it was withdrawn as white smoke immediately concealed the abandoned fort. Suddenly, an explosion struck the headquarters.
In spite of the injured personnel, what the Alwinan forces were more concerned about was the occurrence of an accident from the rear, causing the unrest of the soldiers in the frontlines. Because of the damage to the headquarters which commanded all the military units, the order to halt the soldiers wasn’t given, and the Alwinan forces gathered in the wasteland were overrun by confusion now.
“Some... Someone, hurry up and bring the healers!” Someone shouted urgently.
“I.... ...I can’t hear anything...” A soldier muttered blankly.
“My… My leg... Ahhhh!” Another cried out in despair.
The headquarters which was the explosion point devolved into pandemonium.
All that remained were those with slight injuries, screaming as they scattered, those who bled from both ears, aimlessly loitering, and those near the explosion point who lost their four limbs. Amongst them were several people lying silently on the ground. Even with just a glance, you could see that they suffered fatal injuries.
As for the highest ranked officer in this pursuit unit, or in this case, the commander-in-chief was fortunately able to escape from this trouble unhurt. The moment the explosion happened, his aides and the bodyguards surrounded him like a wall so the damage didn’t extend to him.
“What... What on earth happened?! Someone give me a report!” He demanded loudly.
“We don’t know anything either! No magic attack was launched from the fort at all!” One of the soldiers reported.
The total length of the was around 60cm. It was a size that even the Sky Cavalry, in caution, would easily miss in this dark sky. The main cause was also due to its flying sound hidden by the noise of the mass of soldiers moving to attack, and they had only realized it when the bomb impacted.
“Tch! Such an impudent..!” The commander snarled, gnashing his teeth.
The commander judged that the attack came from the guy they were chasing. There was no other reason.
Their headquarters had been attacked directly, and the fort they should be invading was wrapped in a mysterious white smoke. All other details remained unclear. It would be foolish to order the soldiers to charge in when their chain of command was in chaos, and their vision robbed.
Perhaps that smoke was created by the opponent’s magician(?). It could be some sort of poison gas barrier or something like that. How should they fight against an opponent that used methods they have never seen before ? The commander hesitated in his decision-making.
Several seconds later, he made his decision. He decided to send for the magic corps since he can’t afford to bombard the fort at this time.
“Send my order! Magic corps move forward! Blow off the smoke by bombarding it with fire balls!” He shouted.
Upon the his order, a heavily armed knight wrapped in thick armor and large shields stepped forward to protect the magic corps.
All the members wore a robe with the Alwina Kingdom’s crest sewn onto their backs like the typical magician in fantasy tales. They grasped wooden canes with precious stones embedded in them. The canes in this world mainly acted as a booster to amplify the spirit magic of the magicians.
“Prepare! Start the chanting!”
As they were ordered, dozens of magicians started to prepare their chants at once
It was at that time that a shadow began to sway within the white smoke. While all the soldiers’ attention were focused onto the figure, their movements came to a stop, and little by little, the shadow inside the smoke started to become clearer. The silhouette inside the white smoke was the figure of person, but it was short and stout. It looked like a knight who was wearing a full plate armor, but something seemed different.
Footsteps were approaching them.
The sound was like the metal clashing against each other. It swaggered around like a man-eating bear’s heavy footsteps.
The real nature of the mysterious shadow was revealed in front of several hundred soldiers.
As most of them has expected, the shadow was short and stout, which was because it was wrapped in a protective full body armor. But, the design of the was one unrecognizable by all the Alwinan forces.
The black suit was equipped with shellproof plates and a tactical vest. A protector was added on the shoulders, forearms and knees, but the defence was raised to the level where it would not harm minimum mobility. The tactical vest was loaded with quantities of ammunition and hand grenades.
The next thing that caught their attention was the presence of the items carried by the armoured figure. The ammunition belt was extended from the large bag to the electric gatling gun with 6 gun barrels .
Of course, for the Alwinan soldiers, they couldn’t have known the dangers of the person they were facing now.
[TL: I feel like how it was done in the fight between the American-Westerner Vs the Indian.]
While coiled by wisps of white smoke, deep crimson eyes sparkled from within.