Departure to the Front-lines
Ten carriages for ten people, gleaming white and silver.
About fifty horses.
This was the maximum number of armored wagons and horses that could be prepared.
To be honest, the number was small, but it still looked like a splendid order of knights.
“It will take two weeks to reach our destination.
We’ve prepared food, spare weapons and shields, and our secret weapon is ready… Okay, let’s get going.”
Dee shouts from her horse as she finishes her confirmation.
“Let’s go! All but the fifth squad, get in position! Fifth team, get ready for ballista in the wagons!”
Everyone moves quickly in response to Dee’s instructions, and in no time at all, the march is underway.
Van is satisfied.
“Oh, um, is it okay if I ride in the carriage too…?”
Till murmurs anxiously in the sixth carriage in the line, the most luxuriously furnished.
You’re my caretaker.
It’s hard to walk outside.”
When I replied, Till laughed as if troubled.
Everyone else takes turns resting in the carriage, but I have the privilege of staying in the carriage all the time.
In addition, Camsin and Till, who are lightly armed and ready to put on their armor at any time, are riding next to me, as is Arte, who is not so strong.
The rest of the super-strong mechanical archery team took their turn to ride in the carriage.
“For now, I think we’ll proceed at a leisurely pace and do some scouting near Scudetto.
I would appreciate it if the enemy had retreated, but we are probably still in the middle of a battle.”
In this world, it seems that sieges usually take a long time, despite the existence of magic and such.
After all, there are few magicians who can easily break through castle walls, so common-sense dictates that the only way to do so is to gradually destroy the walls and gates using siege weapons.
Of course, if there were ten or twenty first-rate four-element magicians, that would be a different story, but it is difficult.
In any case, competent magicians are needed to protect the country, and the other side must have magicians deployed for defense.
“Scudetto, which is the key to national defense, also has sorcerers deployed there, right?”
“Of course! And that place is the Marquis of Fertio! Your father will be leading the knights to the rescue soon!”
I nodded in agreement with Dee’s words, which I had heard before our departure.
What the heck, Father is actually good.
I understood that very well.
He is too meritocratic and crazy, but he is definitely capable.
Moreover, the knighthood that his father had rebuilt from the ground up was also extraordinary.
He gathers talented people and trains them like idiots.
I watched while Dee trained them, and the content of the training and the knights who easily followed it were crazy.
By the way, I didn’t participate in that hellish training because I was in the same training as the boy soldiers.
“Well, as long as there’s no difference in the number of people, I guess I’m safe, right?”
I thought so and enjoyed the carriage ride in a carefree manner.
However, when I arrived at the site, I found that the situation was unexpected.
The battle was over.
A large plume of black smoke was rising from the sky, and the collapsed walls and buildings were in a painful state.
Soldiers, probably from the Border Knights or the Marquise’s Knights, scattered and left the fortress city without any formation.
The moment of the fall of the fortress city of Scudetto.
One part of the walls had been destroyed, and a large group of knights in black armor were nearby.
“…I never thought Scudetto would be captured in a month or two…”
Dee’s subordinate, soldier chief Arv, is astonished and mutters.
To this line, Dee replied with a deep crease between his eyebrows.
“The cause is probably that thing.”
He pointed to a wyvern resting its wings on a scaffold on a section of the castle wall.
And not just one or two.
More than 20 wyverns filled a corner with the wall.
It was an extraordinary sight.
Normally, the town would be judged to have been destroyed by magical beasts.
And inside the city walls, flames and winds are still raging, and angry shouts are still echoing.
“It looks like they’re still fighting.”
I mouth this, and Dee nods, biting her teeth.
Perhaps the Border Knights are acting as a lord and the Marquise Knights are leading the evacuation.”
“That place is both a fortress and a city.
There will be many civilians…”
“The Marquis Knights have deployed around the citadel and are returning fire.
They are not being pursued properly, but they have completely missed the time to retreat.”
I folded my arms and groaned as the three of them gave me a serious battle report.
We were so distracted by the loss of the citadel and the pursuit of the enemy in front of us that the enemy had yet to notice us.
I didn’t want to overreach, but this would give us some cover.
Thinking this, I looked up.
“…It’s early, but I’ll get out my secret weapon.
Be ready to run away at any time, but be prepared.”
I gave the order, and Dee and the others responded and began to move.
I look back at Arte as I watch Dee and the others quickly get ready.
“The secret weapon, are you okay?”
I ask, and Arte nods, intertwining the fingers of her hands in front of her chest.
“…I’ll leave it to you.”
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
I respond with a laugh to Arte, who shakes his shoulders and speaks of his determination.
“Till and Camsin, protect Arte since she might be unprotected.”
Till and Camsin nodded with their huge shields at the ready and got into position.
Only about five minutes.
The armored carriages were placed side by side on either side, the roofs rising to face the commander’s seat.
The chariot was made mainly of light and strong wood blocks, so it could be easily moved by a few strong men.
In no time at all, the carriage transformed into a huge wall.
A sliding window in the middle was opened, through which the tip of the ballista protruded, and the preparations were complete.
Behind the giant wall made of ten armored carriages and ballistas, the ballista operator and his assistants are standing.
Further back were the continuous-firing mechanical bow troops and the large shield troops protecting them.
It was an iron-clad formation.
Then, let’s start the attack! It would help the citizens to escape if we were flashy, so let’s take the plunge! Then, as per the plan, Arte first.”
As he announced this, Arte nodded and looked at the smoking citadel through a gap in the wall.
“Launching, automaton, Uno!”
The moment Arte shouted, the wood block dolls on each carriage raised their upper bodies.
It was Arte’s own personal puppets, completed after half a day of repeated adjustments.
Each doll wears slightly different clothes, but they all look like they were wearing a dress with armor attached.
They are three meters tall and slender.
Their weapons are a large sword over two meters long and a large shield.
The body and weapons are made of wood blocks as much as possible, so there is little burden on Arte to move them.
After standing up on the carriage, automaton leaps lightly and floats up in the air.
The Seat Knights, who were watching, were amazed at his natural movement and physical ability.
The automaton landed on the other side of the wall and, just as Arte had imagined, began running toward the fortress city at wind-like speed.
Some of the enemies noticed the automaton, but it was too late.
The automaton leapt up using the enemy carriage as a springboard, and cut off the wyvern’s head without resistance, as if cutting through the air.
“Okay! Now! Shoot as many wyverns as you can while they’re confused!”
At the moment he shouted, ballista, who had been aiming at him before, released a flurry of arrows.
“Wyverns controlled by puppet magic make slow initial movements! Slowly! Aim surely!”
Dee’s yell was answered by the soldiers’ shouts.
Now, let the war begin.
It’s so like me to start my first war with a big surprise attack.
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