Chapter 246: Battle preparation
Four days quickly passed since we returned from the labyrinth and tomorrow morning would be when we storm the Empire so we conducted the final strategy meeting within the Flying Ship.
Incidentally, these past four days, in order to strengthen Lionel’s anti-personnel combat, we repeated countless one-versus-many mock battles in the underground training ground built by Dolan.
Despite my declaration of participating just to heal them, I was still dragged into it.
Nevertheless, I didn’t only spend my time on mock battles, I also utilized my time effectively by researching magic together with Estia and Lydia.
I was looking forward a little to the Darkness Spirit exchanging with Estia but it didn’t happen.
Even so, I felt that the time spent was beneficial in many ways as there was a good balance between working my body in the mock battles and using my brain in magic research.
Well, apart from Paula, Rician, and Ryina’s experiment going berserk and almost killing everyone, everything else really went smoothly.
After everyone was seated in the canteen, I started the strategy meeting.
“Firstly, with our current bearings, we will enter the Imperial Capital tomorrow before sunrise. And once we have descended from the Flying Ship, promptly evacuate the Flying Ship towards Ebiza. The person responsible for that will be Dolan.”
“I originally wanted to fight but there’s no helping it. However, I will not return to Ebiza but continue flying within the Imperial Capital’s airspace.”
“Do you plan to fight the Winged Dragons?”
“If you guys fail and there isn’t a place to evacuate then how would I be able to rescue you all.”
” … All right. But, make sure to not endanger yourself.”
“Yeah. Leave it to me.”
A claim from Dolan that it would be fine wasn’t really convincing but I didn’t have anyone else to entrust the task to except Dolan so I had to believe in him.
“After we finish descending into the Imperial Capital, we will first let Lionel give his speech where we land in the middle of the Imperial Capital before heading for the castle. No issues with this plan right?”
I addressed everyone as I remembered the image of Lionel lowering his head to me this morning.
Originally the plan was to make a flashy descent with the Flying Ship by fighting the Winged Dragons.
However, in the event that we shoot down the Winged Dragons, there was the fear that they would destroy buildings or crush the citizens so, in order to prevent involving the citizens as much as possible, we decided to refrain from making a flashy entrance.
Nevertheless, during the speech, there was a possibility that the demons would attack us within the Imperial Capital so we would still be exposing the citizens to danger.
However, Lionel denied it and said that it was needed to let the citizens know the truth of the current Empire.
“It will be a considerable burden on Luciel-sama but I wish that nobody will be killed even if the demonized people appear.”
It was way too unreasonable. But I could tell that Lionel didn’t say that lightly.
“You are aware of how unreasonable that is right? Do you have a reason?”
“Yes. I believe that Luciel-sama can accomplish it.”
“That’s not a proper answer and you make it sound too easy.”
But Lionel didn’t avert his eyes and they told me that he really believed that I could do it.
“It is so that Luciel-sama can win the trust of the citizens in the Imperial Capital. Please help me.”
It was strange how I felt like lowering my head too when Lionel lowered his head to me.
He probably judged that I could achieve it even while knowing that I have my limits no matter how much I try my best.
“Ha~ normally I would definitely not do it. However, since the leader of my followers Lionel is relying on me, I will do my best to make sure nobody dies.”
“Thank you very much, Luciel-sama.”
“In exchange, I will handle all the citizen’s healing and weaken the demonized individuals. I will entrust all the command to Lionel. I’ll also leave my support to you.”
As expected, it would be impossible for me to take command of everyone and it would be difficult for me if there wasn’t anybody to support me by preventing enemies from approaching me.
“Yes! I will bet my life to make sure it is done.”
Thus, I had decided to entrust the commanding authority to Lionel once we enter the Empire since he suggested the change in strategy.
“As it would increase the danger everyone face, I thank you all for approving it.”
Lionel bowed for the umpteenth time.
Feeling a little awkward with Lionel’s polite bearing, I changed the topic.
“Leaving that aside, was Lionel’s equipment always this grim?”
“Nya. Lionel-sama gallops through the battlefield adorned in red and black armor. The Imperial citizens will know that Lionel-sama is the real deal when he gives off the same feeling of overwhelming pressure like in the past nya.”
Cathy vouched for Lionel’s equipment and Dolan faithfully reproduced his equipment from his Imperial General era.
He nodded happily after finding that there was totally no sense of discomfort while wearing it, just like during his General Sen’Oni era.
Certainly, with that grim armor on and if he ran around the battlefield with the expression he had when he killed the Imperial Special Forces, I am convinced that General Sen’Oni would strike fear in his enemies.
Of course, that wasn’t all. We would also be using the beard he causally grew this two weeks effectively to cope with his younger looks.
“You would have to show your face by taking off your helmet and I can imagine our human opponents might attack with bow and arrows but will it be fine? And will the people really recognize Lionel with this?”
“For some reason, Lionel-sama will not be hit by arrows nya. Also, with his beard, Lionel-sama is a spitting image of Lionel-sama in the past nya. The Imperial citizens will likely respond to Lionel-sama’s voice nya.”
I would like to have it if there was a skill that makes arrows miss a person but he probably made his opponents miss him by applying pressure on them.
Nevertheless, I was surprised when Cathy emphasized that the stubble would be an important factor in the success of this strategy.
Well, in the end, we all believed her but I was still worried when I think back on it.
“And it will work once we let Lionel address the citizens in the Imperial Capital by using a magic tool that amplifies his voice?”
It was Ryina who invented the loudspeaker magic tool.
“It will be usable soon after you expend magical power. I’ve completed the tests and I will pray for everyone’s success.”
“I’m thankful but if you really hate it that much then are you sure you want to come along?”
“Yes. I was afraid at the start but I want to see the Tenperun I created blow away the Winged Dragons.”
The main cannon was definitely built by Dolan so the ones called Tenperun were probably the magic cannons attached on the left and right side of the Flying Ship.
But I had said countless times that we don’t plan to fight …
I no longer had anything to say to that girl giving off a refreshing laugh with heavy shadows underneath her eyes.
However, there was also Nanya standing at a corner with tears in her eyes looking at Ryina so I called out to her.
” … Nanya-san, would you like to remain here?”
“No, I am afraid I won’t be able to stay in a place alone without anyone I know so please let me come along.”
” … All right.”
Nanya-san said while looking like she was about to cry so I didn’t ask any further as I somewhat felt a growing sense of guilt.
“Just to have a final confirmation, the people entering will be me, Lionel, Cathy, Kefin and Estia, only five of us. The Flying Ship is crucial for our movements from now on so I would like everyone including Nadia and Lydia to protect it. All right?”
“”””Yes!”””” “””””Okay””””” “Yup” “Yeah―”
Laughing bitterly at Paula’s monotonous reply, I ended the strategy meeting.
We would be having our dinner after that and swearing to myself that it would not be our last supper, I gathered my spirit for our departure to the Empire the next day.
Thank you for reading.