Chapter 142: Hero’s second name
The next day.
When the morning sun left the horizon.
The people of Zoltan invited the morning while taking turns to naps.
“Ser Willam, what’s the matter?”
“Adventurer Ruru, Tifa, Mistome-shi, Adventurer Guild Executive Garadin, and Apothecary Red don’t seem to be around.”
“Red and the other will probably be acting as a separate unit.”
“Separate unit? The fishermen from the nearby fishing villages have gathered but are they gathering soldiers from the other villages?”
“I didn’t ask in detail but they will join up when the battle begins.”
“I see. I’m not sure but I guess it’s okay if the general commander knows.”
General Ser William, the top brass of Zoltan’s army, would take total command of the battle.
But in actual fact, Hero Lit would command the entire army while Ser William would only command the running drake cavalry which is under his direct banner. In other words, the top brass of Zoltan’s army would fall under Lit’s command as well.
Not only was Ser William a general with no actual combat experience, but he also has almost never conducted any naval battle exercises so he would not even know the way to fight a battle on ships that his prided cavalry are not used to.
The nobles apart from Ser William have a small number of private soldiers under their employment but their expected enemies are only goblins and monsters so they have never used any tactics other than ‘Fight’ or ‘Retreat’.
Although Lit has experienced battles with the Demon Lord Army, as a princess from an inland nation, she had no experience in naval battles either but nevertheless, she was still an excellent commander compared to anyone else present.
That said, normally the issue with pride, reputation, and post-war rewards would make commanders such as Ser William refrain from handing their responsibilities to adventurers but Lit was surprised by how surprisingly well he conceded.
She felt that it was very courageous, as Lit was reluctant to give the command of the army to the heroes in the Kingdom of Logavia.
Together with Ser William, Lit got on the caravel ship loaded with explosives made using alchemy.
Lit and the running drake cavalry’s role was to protect this ship.
The ship would easily explode if enemies board the ship and set fire to it.
The caravel that would normally house 20 people could only house 8 now due to the large number of alchemical explosives.
Compared to the enemy small landing boats, this ship was taller and had the advantage in battle but they didn’t have enough manpower.
“The Hero Lit and Zoltan’s strongest running drake cavalry. The remaining two ships had Adventurer Guild Leader Harold and the elite C-rank adventurers as well as Prince Sarius and his sailors. To add to their defense was the large warship commanded by Ririnrara. This is reassuring.”
The remaining 10 small commercial sailing ships were loaded with soldiers prepared to meet Leonor’s Veronia Army in battle.
It was an unbelievably large army for Zoltan. Ser William felt uplifted, seeing himself as a knight facing the Demon Lord Army in battle.
“Ser William. How will we expect to succeed if the commander forgets reality.”
“The enemy is many times stronger. Just a few days ago Zoltan was controlled by fear by just one of Ririnrara’s warship. The ships we face this time are 8 state-of-the-art warships and Kingdom of Veronia’s trump card, the Demon Lord vessel.”
“Th-that is correct.”
Ser William was embarrassed after cold water was poured over his enthusiasm.
Lit was just inspiring the soldiers that the army would definitely win with their current morale.
“Just like how I conveyed to the commanders, I will inspire them, you guys will suppress it. Otherwise … the soldiers will waver once they see the reality and the difference in strength.”
Ser William swallowed nervously.
Lit pointed at the sea.
A large shadow could be seen on the sea a long distance away.
Due to the distance, the soldiers can’t tell the actual size.
But they will probably know soon enough.
Only 1 person, Lit was astonished by its imposing appearance.
She knew the size of the Demon Lord ship Wendy Dart from Mistome’s memories.
But seeing it in real life with her own eyes carried a different pressure.
Its total length was close to 120 meters.
The accompanying 40-meter long galleon fleet seemed to only be small ships.
Wendy Dart expelled black smoke from its chimney as it approached Zoltan, churning huge ripples on the sea surface.
“He-hey, what’s with that ship? It’s spitting out smoke.”
“Is that really a ship? It’s bigger than the mansions of nobles.”
“The central region has such ships?”
The Zoltan soldiers became more uneasy as Wendy Dart approached.
Ser William looked at Lit while trembling.
Wendy Dart and the galleon fleet would reach the mouth of the river soon.
“Ser William, the soldiers are watching. The people standing above have to stick their chest out even during hopeless situations.”
“I-I know it’s unbecoming. But the trembling won’t stop.”
Ser William slapped his own thigh as tears threatened to flow down his cheeks.
Even so, the trembling in his feet wouldn’t stop.
Lit smiled lightly at Ser William.
“Nevertheless, I don’t think of you as a coward. You entrusted me with the responsibility. Compared to holding on to that right until the very last minute and lose, there is braveness in entrusting what you can’t do yourself to others.”
Lit raised her right hand.
“Which is why we must overturn this situation.”
Lit’s consciousness turned toward the surrounding wind.
“O Wind Spirits, guide us to victory. Control Wind!”
The wind that was slowly blowing upriver stopped.
“Now, those on the ships, hold on tight to the ropes!”
Lit cried out.
The next instant, strong tailwinds slammed into the Zoltan ships.
“It’s the wind!!”
The sailors hurried to adjust the sails.
Lit raised her voice after seeing that the people on all the ships had settled down.
“On sea skirmishes, those with the wind behind them have the advantage! Zoltan’s wind is Zoltan’s ally!”
Lit’s loud voice resonated well.
But that loud voice was not jarring to the ear, it brings with it a strange sense of inspiration when heard.
“Afraid of large ships? Do you fear a great fleet that you have never seen before? It is true that you do not stand a chance against it if you meet it out in the open sea. But this is Zoltan. There is no harbor that gigantic ship can enter, you all should know better than anyone else. None of those ships can reach Zoltan. The ships we fight will only be those small landing ships that descend from those ships. The wind, the river, Zoltan we live in stands to obstruct our opponents, they are our allies!”
“Can we … win?”
It was a tiny voice, but it didn’t escape Lit’s ears.
“Can we win?”
Lit repeated the words and slowly looked over the soldiers whose attention was on her.
With that gesture, at that instant, the people couldn’t pull their eyes away from Lit.
They held on to expectation for the next words.
In the Kingdom of Logavia, she was urged to become the next queen in place of the crown prince who was supposed to be king, not only because she was strong.
“Of course! I stake it on my name as Hero Lit! This will not be a fight used as an excuse for dying while protecting Mistome-shi. This will be a battle sung by others where Zoltan protected Mistome-shi and drove away the large Kingdom of Veronia!”
Amidst the silence, somebody shouted.
As if in response to that cry, Lit caused a strong wind to blow.
The wind carried Lit’s voice and all the soldiers heard her voice clearly.
“To our victory!!”
Lit’s words struck the hearts of the soldiers.
“Victory! Victory! Victory!”
They shouted together, inspired each other and the morale rose without limit.
That was something beyond what a Divine Protection gave her, it was the charisma she was born with as a princess.
The people felt a sense of security, that things will go well as long as they follow Hero Lit’s back.
Lit smiled wryly when she saw Ser William shouting along with the soldiers behind her.
There will probably an increase in people asking her to continue as an adventurer again for some time.
(I only want to and am content with spending time quietly with Red.)
But because of this charisma, Lit could fight side-by-side as an equal to Red in Logavia, leave her hometown and reunite with her beloved Red.
So Lit would not deny her own ability.
Lit laughed to herself that life is a strange thing.
“Let’s get this over and done with so that I can return to Red and my home.”
Lit said as she held her beloved shotels in both her hands as she glared at the Veronia fleet.