Chapter 0231 1 vs 7000
Wingston, the largest city in the eastern part of the Kingdom.
On the plains to the west of the city, close to the Second Highway, the armies faced off.
On the Kingdom side, there were 500 Wingston garrisons, 1,000 troops stationed in the eastern part of the Kingdom, and 5,500 other conscripts…for a total of 7,000 men.
The Imperial Army, on the other hand, consisted of 90 members of the Emperor’s Magic Division…only.
“The day before yesterday, Stonelake surrendered without resistance…but I guess it won’t be that easy with the largest city in the east.”
The second-in-command, Jurgen, said to the personage at his side.
“I guess so. Since Wingston is more or less the capital of the Shrewsbury Dukedom. As the most prestigious of the noble families in the royal lineage, it will not easily fall into the hands of the Empire.”
“But speaking of the Duke of Shrewsbury, I heard that the succeeding dukes died one after another during this eastern upheaval…”
Jurgen, the adjutant, looked up for a bit and asked, recalling something.
“Yeah. Currently, it seems that the heir is a child who is not even ten years old…. I guess the guardian is the one making all the decisions. It must be hard being a duke.”
Oscar, the deputy chief, said with an aura that doesn’t give the impression that he felt any sympathy in the least.
“Your Excellency, are we really fighting it out?”
The one who asked this question was Nalizon, commander of the eastern garrison. And the person to whom he asked this question was….
“Are you still saying that nonsense even after it’s come to this! Wake up already, Nalizon!”
The man who shouted at him was Gaspar Hayes, Count of Adfa.
He is the grandfather and guardian of the present Duke of Shrewsbury.
The continuing upheaval had left much of the East in turmoil.
The Duke of Shrewsbury, one of the great nobles of the East and a member of the royal family.
He was one of the five most powerful nobles in the Kingdom, but he was caught up in the upheaval in the East, and the heirs to the dukedom died one after the other.
Irwin, who succeeded to the dukedom at the age of nine, was the last person left in the direct line.
There’s no one left, both the men or women.
If he were to fall into the hands of the Empire and his life taken, the Duke of Shrewsbury’s family would be cut off.
Of course, there are collateral descendants.
However, no noble family will support the Duke house should someone of a collateral lineage be installed as the Duke of Shrewsbury.
The aristocratic world is not so forgiving.
“For Irwin’s sake, we cannot back down!”
Gasper’s expression was filled with bitterness.
Even Gaspar knew who he was dealing with.
He also knew that Stonelake had surrendered without a fight the day before yesterday.
He doesn’t blame Stonelake for their decision…but even Gasper would have surrendered without a fight if Irwin’s life was not on the line and the Dukes of Shrewsbury were not in danger of being cut off.
The Explosive Blaze Magician.
The name carried that much weight.
Thirty minutes after the two armies faced each other, a ‘voice’ came from the imperial army, the Emperor’s Magic Division.
“Surrender now. Surrender, and I guarantee the life of the Duke of Shrewsbury and his subjects.”
“L-Like hell we can! No one will support a duke who surrenders without a fight.”
Gaspar blurted out, gnashing his teeth.
Commander Nalizon could understand Gasper’s anguish.
Although he gets it…
(Still, to order an assault against an opponent we can’t hope to defeat is nothing but…)
Nevertheless, deep down in his heart, he would also like to see how the rumored Emperor’s Magic Division and the Explosive Blaze Magician fights.
However, he would have loved to watch as a spectator and was not at all willing to risk his life and his men to see it.
While Nalizon was thinking about this, a part of his army started raising a clamor.
“What is it?”
Nalizon asked, not directing the question to anyone in particular.
“Commander, the enemy is on the move!”
Nalizon looked toward the direction of the Imperial army and saw only one man walking towards them.
He reached the midway point between the two armies, but did not stop and continued to approach.
“If you walk any closer, we will attack!”
A soldier from the Wingston garrison shouted loudly. But the man did not stop.
At this point, the man had walked close enough to be recognizable.
He has short white hair and brown skin, with his cloak fluttering about as he walks, probably a commander.
Nalizon had heard the rumors as well.
Including the most distinctive part of his appearance…
“The white-haired commander of the Emperor’s Magic Division…”
While Nalizon was still taken aback, Gasper’s voice rang out.
With that command, dozens upon dozens of arrows flew toward the lone man.
All of them bounced off a transparent wall in front of the man.
Whoever said that was anybody’s guess….
“A-Attack with magic.”
In response to that order, numerous magic attacks flew toward the man.
Again, they were all repelled by the transparent wall in front of the man.
“Physical and magic barriers…”
The chief of the Eastern Garrison’s magic unit muttered.
“How can there be such a sturdy barrier…”
The deputy chief of the magic unit muttered.
Finally, the man came within sight of the Kingdom Army.
No one could move when he got there…actually, none except one.
Gaspar Hayes, Count of Adfa.
With a spirited effort, he thrusts out the spear he held in his hand.
The spear-wielder, once said to be the best in the East, thrust it so brilliantly that only a few could catch its glimpse.
It still bounced off the invisible barrier.
“What in the world is that…?”
Despair washed over Gasper’s face.
Literally, all attacks were useless.
Arrows, magic, and even melee attacks….
How were they supposed to defeat such an opponent.
“That crest, I presume, you are the Count of Adfa, the Duke of Shrewsbury’s guardian.”
The white-haired man said, clasping his hands to his chest and bowing lightly as he introduced himself.
“I am Baron Oskar Ruska, the Deputy Chief of the Emperor Magic Division appointed directly by His Majesty, the Emperor. I have come to humbly ask for your surrender.”
That day, without a single casualty on either side, the largest city in the East, Wingston, fell to the Imperial Army.
News of the fall of Wingston reached the Rune Lord’s mansion, which became noisier than ever.
It is not well known to the general public that there is a development workshop on its grounds, which boasts a vast area of land.
There is also an alchemy workshop in Rune city, but it has remained closed for several years.
The reason for this is that all the people who worked in the alchemy workshop are now rather immersed in the development workshop of the lord’s mansion….
There was a robed, magician-looking man sneaking around the building.
The man was peeking through windows, trying to open doors, and acting all suspicious.
No one could fault Radden from the royal alchemy workshop, who had fled the royal capital a few days earlier and was finally getting used to the place, for challenging such a suspicious fellow.
“You there! What are you doing?”
The accosted fellow was startled and quietly turned to Radden.
It was the water-attribute magician who had been caught in the act and was trying to figure out how to cover it up.
“What are you doing, Ryo?”
“I was just curious about what you guys were making in there…”
Ryo decided to answer honestly. He wasn’t any good at whitewashing anyway.
“Oh right…Ryo, you don’t have an access permit, do you? I am afraid even you can’t get access to this one. This isn’t like back in the royal capital.”
On the orders of the Crown Prince, the Royal Alchemy Workshop team led by Baron Kenneth Hayward, who had escaped before the fall of the royal capital, had headed south and arrived at Rune city.
Originally, Kenneth was from Rune city, but there was another reason.
That reason has to do with the strict access regulations and a certain ‘alchemy tool’ that has been developed in this development workshop for decades.
The combination of that ‘tool’ and Kenneth’s ‘Vaedra’….
That was Kenneth’s train of thought when he chose Rune city as his refuge instead of Acre, the largest city in the south.
Needless to say, Ryo didn’t know anything about it, and even Radden did not fully understand.
“What are you guys doing?”
Ryo was shaking with grief when a short figure approaching from the distance called out to them.
From his short stature and low voice, he was clearly a dwarf.
“Oh, Master Dolan, it has been a while.”
Ryo greeted the familiar dwarf.
Master Dolan is a blacksmith who has a shop in the city.
He remembered that Sera had taken him there before.
“Hm? Ryo, right? You were together with Miss Sera.”
Master Dolan also remembered Ryo.
“I remember you had a knife with you…”
Master Dolan’s words were so soft that they were apparently inaudible to the grief-stricken Ryo.
He looked at Ryo’s belt, but the robe covered Ryo completely, so he couldn’t see past it.
“Come to think of it, I heard from Sera. That you’re a member of the development workshop and a pretty skilled blacksmith.”
When Ryo said so, Master Dolan’s face turned bright red and blushed.
“Ryo and…you are, the alchemist from the baron’s place. What, you two know each other or something?”
Master Dolan looked at Radden and commented.
“Yes. Ryo helped me quite a lot back in the royal capital.”
“So what are you two doing here?”
“Nothing much, I was just wondering what exactly they were making inside…”
Ryo answered honestly Master Dolan’s question.
Master Dolan had an indescribable expression on his face.
“Actually I wouldn’t mind showing you, but this one is way out of my hands…”
Master Dolan and Radden refused with apologetic expressions on their faces.
“How do I get access inside?
He asked, thinking it wouldn’t hurt.
“Well…I guess you’d have to get permission…and since it’s a project under the jurisdiction of the lord, you’ll have to get permission directly from him. But that would be a bit difficult…”
Master Dolan said.
Even for those who work in the lord’s mansion, it is not easy to meet with the lord, the frontier Count, to begin with.
Because, the frontier Count is a busy man.
Adding to ask for permission to access the building to boot….
“I understand. I will go see the frontier count now!”
Once it became clear what he needed to do, all that was left was to get on with it.
Ryo put aside his somber expression and raised his head, looked at the two of them, and said so.
Then he took off and headed toward the remote area where the frontier count was.
“And there he goes…”
Both Radden and the Master Dolan muttered, staring blankly.
Later, while they were still standing there talking as they were, Ryo came back.
He then held out a piece of paper in front of them.
“I’ve been granted permission to enter!”
The piece of paper that Ryo held out reads.
‘Permission for Ryo to enter the development workshop’.
And at the end, a signature.
But while Radden felt bad and sorry for him, he thought it must be a forgery.
He had heard that it was not that easy to meet the frontier Count, and besides, looking at the access permit….
“Ryo, this is what an access permit looks like.”
Radden showed him his little card-sized access permit.
It had his name and some kind of alchemically stamped seal on it so that it cannot be forged.
“I-I was told it would take a while to issue it, so I had him write it on a piece of paper!”
Ryo said turning down a corner of his mouth and showing the handwritten access permit ‘form’ again.
Radden and the Master Dolan took it and looked at it carefully.
After looking at it for a while, he groaned.
Radden called out to the master.
“Sure enough, this is the lord’s handwriting.”
Master Dolan muttered, and hearing that, Radden let out a surprised sound.
And Ryo puffed out his chest and was like “Ahem”.
While the three of them were doing this, a man came walking toward them from the lord’s mansion.
“Ryo? And isn’t that Master Dolan and Radden? What are you guys doing hanging around the entrance?”
It was the next king, or rather, King Abel, who had just ascended to the throne.
First, Radden rushed to his knees.
“Oh, King Abel!”
Master Dolan was not as flustered as Radden because he had known the adventurer for a long time, but he still got down on one knee for the man who had just become king.
“What are you doing here, Abel?”
Ryo, on the other hand, didn’t observe any such courtesy whatsoever.
“The thing they’re making here will contribute to the development of the Kingdom, not only in this battle, but in the years to come. I care about it too. That’s why I come to see it from time to time…”
“Why waste time on something like that instead of doing your job properly.”
“I don’t need to hear that from you of all people!”
Abel gave his reason, Ryo nitpicked at him, and Abel angrily retorted.
“You are supposed to be my bodyguard, and yet you’re always dawdling up and about…”
“It’s exactly because I’m your bodyguard that I need to know every corner of the lord’s mansion!”
“Yeah right, you’re obviously just trying to satisfy your curiosity…”
Ryo choked on words at Abel’s precise point.
“A-Anyway…oh right, Abel, take a look at this.”
Ryo said and he showed Abel the access permit.
“Hm? A document written by the frontier Count? Okay, what about it?”
“With this, I can get access to this building, right?”
“Sure, why not? The frontier Count took the trouble to write it down for you, didn’t he? I’m sure you must have pestered him to no end…”
“Th-that’s beside the point. The point is, with this I can go in.”
Abel hit the nail right on the head, and Ryo glossed it over, albeit sloppily.
At any rate, he got permission to enter the building!
“Well, if that access permit is genuine, then there should be no problem.”
Both Master Dolan and Radden nodded their heads.
Thus, Ryo was allowed to enter the development workshop.
Inside the building with the large emblem of the ‘doe’ representing the Rune Frontier Count at the entrance, there was a vast space.
He was surprised when he visited the Library in the South of Rune for the first time before, but this was even more spacious….
In other words, the space was larger than any dome stadium on Earth.
He had the feeling from the time he was sneaking around outside that it was quite spacious, but going in, his impression was even more than he had imagined….
“Wide, isn’t it? Get this, there’s a space of this size underground, too.”
Ryo was unable to continue speaking as Abel explained.
Creating a vast space without pillars is quite difficult in architecture.
Then again, it wouldn’t be so difficult if there weren’t any risk factors such as earthquakes and such, but perhaps that is not the case here.
Every conceivable risk would have been taken into account….
In the center of such a vast space, a huge object was sitting.
Two figures could be seen working on the object, attached to it.
One could be recognized, even from a distance, as Baron Kenneth Hayward.
The other, even from a distance, could be seen to be quite beautiful.
“Oh, the beautiful woman is the daughter of the Grand Master. She fled the royal capital and arrived here.”
“Uh…Mr. Hugh’s, ex-fiancee…?”
A brilliant young woman who, while a member of the Court Magician Order, was also a member of Magic University because of her excellence.
She was forced to flee when the royal capital fell by using the influence of her father, Grand Master Finlay Forsythe, and came to Rune city, relying on Hugh.
After thinking about all of this, Ryo’s gaze finally fell on the entire giant object they were attached to.
“A ship? No, no way…a plane…”
Ryo involuntarily muttered.
The shape resembled a ship floating in the water…and looked like a rather long and narrow trimaran…but upon closer inspection, not quite.
There are many ships in the world that one could truly describe as ‘looks like it could fly in the air’… even in this ‘Phi’, the trimaran that he once saw in Whitnash was a thing of beauty…what the hell? That was a trimaran too?
An elegant trimaran that captivate people’s hearts.
“That one…flies in the sky, doesn’t it?”
Ryo uttered this with a certain conviction.
Master Dolan and Radden were surprised to hear those words.
Abel was not surprised at all.
Somehow, he had thought that Ryo would understand it the moment he saw it.
“I see. It would be ideal to load ‘Vaedra’ on it. Vaedra doesn’t generate a recoil…and if there is no recoil, controlling the attitude in the air is a piece of cake.”
These words surprised Master Dolan and Radden even more.
This time, even Abel was surprised at this.
“To even deduct loading that thing with Vaedra…gotta give it to you, Ryo.”
Abel praised him honestly.
“Flying with wind magic stone and operating the Vaedra with wind magic stone…they seem compatible.”
Ryo crossed his arms and nodded repeatedly as he said this.
Then he continued.
“By all means, I want it when the war is over…”
“Nope, you can’t.”
“Why not? With the mentality of ‘I know I can’t have it until we win’, and I’m stylishly saying that I’ll wait until then, can’t you tell…?”
Abel flatly refused, and Ryo was trying to explain the logic with a look of despair on his face.
“I don’t care about any logic or mentality, but to start with, that ship belongs to the Rune Frontier Count. Sure, Vaedra is the property of the Kingdom, so it belongs to the Kingdom…as for that ship, it’s merely a form of loan by the Kingdom from the Rune Frontier Count in this war.”
“Ugh…the evils of bureaucratic sectionalism…”
Ryo muttered to himself and feeling frustrated.
On that note, Master Dolan and Radden, who were watching the situation unfold, had blank expressions on their faces, like they didn’t want to be involved.
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Thanks for the chapter!
A ship for a guaranteed ryo’s help in war is a balance exchange. Especially once that ship is mass produced (or atleast easily produced, coz the magic stone might be a bit problem). We’re talking at least blaze level of power if not more.
If you told Ryo that he can’t have a ship because there is a shortage of wind stones, but he can have one if the supply of stones improves… There will be a royal hunt where Able get dragged to the southern border by his bodyguard and suddenly a new supply of wyvern stones gets handed to the Count.
I do believe the shop’s construction costs of the Whitnash ship were still like 10x Ryo’s total wealth even after all the wyvern stones were sold, though. I’d expect the cost of the flying ship to be around that same level or even higher.
Damn, how I wish the WN also included illustrations from time to time…
Thanks for the chapter.
I am suddenly floored that I seem to have caught up on story pages…