Chapter 144: Leonor’s scheme
Positioning is the most important when determining which side has superiority in ranged battle.
In particular, height overturns the differences in training, equipment, number, and divine protection.
Arrows shot by amateur militia from the top of a castle wall can easily kill elite bowmen.
“It’s impossible! Retreat retreat!”
Leonor’s mercenaries on the small boats collectively retreated as Ririnrara’s ships rained arrows onto the sea.
Surveying the situation, the mercenary leader with greying hair led his own squad to bypass the area.
“It’s like a fortress, it won’t be profitable fighting against something like that. Let’s leave that to the others.”
The other mercenary that has the same thoughts followed one after the other and 10 small boats took large detours to aim for Zoltan from the riverbank.
But Hero Lit with her two shotels was waiting for them.
The dark shadow glided and leaped into the air, landing on the mercenary ships with an impact.
“Wha-what!? A girl!!”
Even while surprised, the mercenaries didn’t hesitate to thrust their handy swords at her.
They were indeed a different breed compared to Zoltan’s adventurers.
They were elite troops capable of fighting reflexively even during confusion due to training and experience.
Lit rampaged like a storm with shotels in both her hands with heightened spirits.
The mercenaries’ swords only met with air while the large curved blades of the shotels wrapped around the shields that protected their bodies.
Their attacks couldn’t land and they couldn’t defend either.
The mercenaries were slain in a matter of seconds.
Only the grey-haired mercenary captain made accurate judgment.
The man threw the sword in his hand at Lit and made use of the momentary gap to leap into the sea without hesitation.
The man who has lived his life on the battlefield jumped into the sea and discarded the chainmail he wore before desperately swimming away to escape. His intuition taught him that he could never beat Lit.
And his intuition was correct.
After taking control of the boat, Lit jumped without taking a break.
By the time three vessels were destroyed, the mercenaries fought to jump into the sea and fled.
“I guess that’s all mercenaries, who gather for the gold, amount to.”
Mercenaries fight to maintain credibility but they will not have the loyalty to continue fighting when they sense death.
And it was even more prominent here, as these were not mercenaries hired through a continuing contract, but mercenaries gathered just for the expedition.
“The running drake knights are successfully disrupting the troops trying to land from the seaside. As long as they don’t get the chance to gather, it would be possible to defend even with Zoltan’s low walls. Mercenaries would also rather not commit to a troublesome landing battle combined with a siege battle and directly attempt to break through the river and land inside the city walls. Most of our fighting strength is concentrated here.”
Lit muttered to confirm the situation.
“The movements of Leonor’s mercenaries are getting dull. They wanted an exciting battle but they misjudged and lost their lives instead.”
“In this case, one more push then.”
The masked Sarius instructed his subordinates to advance.
The caravel that sailed out from Ririnrara’s shadow was manned by sailors who have crossed countless seas.
Thanks to the tailwind generated by Lit, it charged toward the side of a galleon ship while riding on the flow of the river.
The galleon fired sparse arrows at the approaching mid-sized ship.
They had continued to offload small boats and soldiers, judging that the opponent was not significant.
Sarius laughed and signaled his subordinates.
Sarius and his men jumped onto the small boats connected to the back of the ship and immediately cut the rope.
They quickly rowed away from the caravel that was charging straight for a collision course aided by the tailwind.
It was too late when the opponent noticed that the ship was in a collision course.
In addition, perhaps due to the lack of experience in naval battles, the mercenaries on the ship did not panic at the sight of smoke rising from within the caravel.
They probably thought that the ship was only going to collide.
The timing was perfect.
Immediately before the collision, the caravel exploded with a roar.
The mercenaries on the deck of the galleon were blown away.
With a hole opened in its hull, the ship tilted and started sinking, accompanied by the sounds of creaking and groaning wood.
The panicking mercenaries didn’t even try to fix the ship to prevent it from sinking and they abandoned ship without hesitation.
“Th-the ships are loaded with explosives! Raise the sails! Evasive maneuvers!”
“Stop offloading the soldiers to the boats! We need soldiers to defend the ship!”
The remaining seven galleons rushed to raise their sails.
However, faced with the wind, the large galleons started moving apart.
“Oi! We’ll collide if you come this way!”
“You move aside! We can’t steer yet!”
“What!? We have no control yet …!”
Two of the galleons collided.
The ships rocked and some soldiers fell off the deck.
The other ships were also having trouble utilizing their sails and were all out of control.
Ririnrara laughed while watching the scene.
“Why do you think I left my state-of-the-art galleons in Veronia knowing full well that you would steal them? They are certainly Avalon Continent’s greatest new models. But in order to control them perfectly, any half-baked training won’t do. Loading them with some mercenaries will end up like this.”
Without reinforcements that were supposed to come from the galleons, the mercenaries at sea were getting increasingly demoralized.
The people of the trivial small country of Zoltan was much more formidable than they thought.
Hero Lit was a given but Zoltan soldiers were fighting bravely as well.
The mercenaries understood that they would suffer immense casualties if they continued attacking like that.
They gradually refrained from approaching and some started pretending to fight by firing arrows from distances where they would not reach.
As it reached this stage, the mercenaries began fleeing one after another and the frontline was about to break.
Before that happens, it would be a good idea to issue a retreat order and gather the mercenaries once more.
Lit was convinced that the first clash was their victory.
(I wonder if Leonor has a slightly mortified look on her face now.)
Lit looked at the Demon Lord ship that stood motionless in the middle of the fleet.
It seemed that Leonor was saying something to the two princes on the deck.
” … She’s laughing.”
Leonor’s tiny face was smiling with joy.
Lit had a bad premonition and prepared herself to react to anything that was about to happen.
But what happened then stunned Hero Lit as she stood there with her mouth hanging open.
“I can’t believe it …!”
Lit involuntarily shouted.
On the deck, the two princes made seals while five other Veronia wizards sat around them in concentration.
Even a person with no knowledge of magic could tell what the seven of them were doing.
“The Demon Lord ship … is floating!?”
That said, it was not as though the ship had left the surface of the water.
But the steel ship Wendy Dart was starting to enter the river that it should not be capable of.
The princes were lifting the ship up with magic. The enormous ship was advancing up the river even though it should normally run aground.
Wendy Dart was a steel ship over 100 meters in length.
Even with seven people, lifting that with magic was beyond common sense. Even the 『Sage』 Ares who possess the strongest magic in humanity would not be capable of that feat.
“Asura Demon magic.”
Lit said as she readied her shotels.
That was a power that transcended human knowledge.
All the humans, elves, Leonor’s mercenaries in the battlefield stopped battle as they looked dumbfounded at the Demon Lord ship.
“This is bad!”
Lit was the first to snap out of it.
She quickly returned to her own caravel ship and shouted.
“Ser William! We will charge into that ship! It will be bad if that reaches Zoltan!”
The sail on Lit’s ship fluttered as it advanced.
However, before they could close the distance, the large ballista on the deck of the Demon Lord ship fired spear-sized steel bolts at Lit’s ship.
Those were ballista for sieges, meant to even penetrate castle gates. It had more than enough strength to drive a hole into a 20-men caravel if it lands a direct hit.
In addition, the mercenaries on the deck were firing a storm of arrows.
“Those guys are formidable!”
While they were not at Lit’s level, those mercenaries were heroes of hundreds of battles which Leonor relied upon to defend that ship.
They were probably all capable men with divine protection levels close to 30, comparable to B-rank adventurers.
The standard for B-rank adventurer party was to be able to resolve threats that can endanger a town. In other words, they were adventurers capable of resolving an issue that can’t be solved even if a couple of hundred soldiers from the town were thrown at it.
Each of them was a strong soldier capable of defeating many foes and Hero Lit would face difficulty breaking through that situation on her own.
“Wh-what do we do, Lit-dono! We can’t get close at all!!”
Ser William screamed.
” … Red.”
Lit smiled as she muttered that word.
Don’t worry, we have Red, Ruti, and Tise.
The heroes there were no match for the world’s greatest heroes who were spending a slow life in Zoltan.
That was why Lit didn’t despair.
Leonor looked down on the rabble on the sea with satisfaction.
It felt good watching those people drunk on courage and dreaming of winning impossible battles despair when shown reality.
That cheeky High-Elf Ririnrara was desperately shouting to fight back with a fierce expression but even with a splendid expression, there was still a noticeable shadow which showed that she understood their defeat.
“You made a mistake in judgment.”
Leonor whispered in a sweet voice.
With Zoltan on their side, Ririnrara thought that they had the advantage of the land.
But with the mouth of the river sealed, Ririnrara’s ship on the river had nowhere to go.
Ririnrara and Sarius could no longer be saved.
They have fallen into Leonor’s arms. All that was left was to squeeze with her finger and it would be done.
“But I won’t kill you yet so don’t worry … I will kill you in front of Onee-sama. After countless days of torture. After Onee-sama cries for forgiveness and pleads to kill her instead, I will stomp on that and kill the two of you. You still have a long life ahead.”
Leonor’s eyes were dark and clouded.
The only emotions left of the queen, whose life was about to end, was madness and hatred.
Confident in fulfilling her final ambition, Leonor finally laughed loudly.
“That is the reason for your defeat, Leonor.”
Leonor looked back.
It was a voice she didn’t expect to hear.
However, the distorted ties between sisters might have caused her to hear voices that she wouldn’t normally hear.
The next instant, Wendy Dart’s deck leaned heavily to one side.
Leonor fell awkwardly and rolled on the deck.
“Wh, wha-what is going on!?”
As Leonor shouted, she saw a ship appear along with a column of water.
That ancient ship had all its mast torn off and many of its doors were missing but it was a ship that Leonor recognized.
“That is Onee-sama’s Regulus!? That’s impossible! It can’t be!”
There were figures standing on the deck of the ship that appeared from the sea.
Lit smiled after she saw that figure and shouted.
“Sorry I’m late!!”
On the deck stood Red, Ruti, Tise, Garadin, and.
“Did I not tell you how I stole that ship from the Demon Lord with Geyserik? Leonor!”
Mistome looked down at Leonor.
“Don’t look down at me!!”
“Mother! Please hold onto us, the ships will collide.”
“Silence! Do something about that!!”
“What an unreasonable mother!”
Prince Uzuku grabbed Leonor’s hand.
At the same time, the ship Red and the others rode on, which appeared behind Wendy Dart, crashed into its stern with such momentum that it looked as though it would bend over from the force.
Faced with the immense force of the collision, the elite mercenaries had to try their best to hold onto the rails of the ship so that they do not fall off the deck.
And the magicians concentrating to hold the Demon Lord ship up could not put up any resistance.
By the time they realized, they had been thrown into the air and fell into the sea, leaving only Leonor and the two princes.
The spell collapsed and Wendy Dart became stranded on the riverbed crushed by Red and the other’s ship.
The fearsome Demon Lord ship no longer had any means to move forward or backward.
Red and the others leaped onto the Demon Lord ship.
Looking at Leonor’s flustered expression, Red muttered with amazement.
“Well … the reason why you lost is that an amateur politician who is not even a soldier took command.”
Leonor wanted to break the morale of the opponent by utilizing her clever scheme.
Red thought that it was distinctive of Leonor who won the court through conspiracies.
However, the easiest approach to winning a battle is through ordinary means. The side with superior battle strength shouldn’t be utilizing high-risk clever schemes.
The overwhelming force that Leonor gathered was lost before her own eyes.