Chapter 141: Hero Lit’s great battle
“This may not be a fight to protect Zoltan. As such, we will not blame you if you flee. But, this is a fight to defend the hero who protected Zoltan.”
Ser William held a fist up and made his speech.
In front of Ser William were Zoltan running drake knights dressed in light armor for cavalry armed with slightly curved sabers, guards in chainmail armed with halberds and crossbows, noblemen with slender swords decorating their waists, adventurers with no uniform equipments, thieves with sharp swords peeking from inside their black coats, and militia soldiers made of Zoltan citizens supplied with spears and shields.
“Mistome-shi immigrated to Zoltan 45 years ago. She appeared along with a shining sailing ship to aid Zoltan during its crisis from the remnants of the Goblin King. At that time, I was still a child with no ability to understand what was going on around me but I remembered the cheers of the people saved by Mistome-shi.”
Among the people gathered, those who were of the age to know what happened at that time gasped.
He was talking about Mistome-san’s past that was kept secret. And it was the leader of Zoltan’s military that broke that unspoken rule.
The people of Zoltan understood that the attack from the Kingdom of Veronia was due to Zoltan’s hero, Mistome-san’s past.
Tise and I looked at the people’s reaction from a corner.
“Ku, oooo!! I can finally pay Mistome-sama back for saving us at that time!”
A middle-aged adventurer shouted.
“I am finally able to thank her!”
“An enemy of Mistome-sama is an enemy of mine! Let them have it!”
The Zoltan citizens, especially those who were old enough to be aware at that time, shouted bravely and smiled happily.
In order to repay their benefactor, there was a tacit understanding to not leave any accurate records such that Veronia would not be aware.
Of course, they did not know that Mistome-san’s true identity was Princess Misufia but they understood that Mistome-san was escaping from her past.
And now, a Veronia warship has finally come and they no longer have to conceal Mistome-san’s achievements.
The admiration they held within for 45 years caused them to be filled with smiles even though they were now on the brink of war.
“This is a good town after all.”
Tise and I nodded at each other.
A shadow ran toward us.
“Ou, Tifa-dono and Red-kun, you guys are here.”
In the end, Mayor Tonedo decided to take off the armor he was not accustomed to and wore a chain shirt that was easier to move in and a tabard embroidered with the Republic of Zoltan’s national emblem.
I guess the full plate was too heavy.
“As expected of Hero Lit, we will surely win with that strategy.”
Mayor Tonedo said triumphantly.
Lit’s proposed strategy was a water battle.
However, we would be ambushing them without leaving the river.
Naturally, the small Zoltan ships can’t attack the Veronia warships head-on.
However, the state-of-the-art galleon fleet and Demon King ship can’t enter the shallow river.
Even Zoltan’s ship can have the advantage if the opponents are small boats used for landing.
The problem is what if they succeed in landing on the coast.
“It’s really bold to use the main fighting force, the caravel ship, as a fire ship.”
The heart of Lit’s strategy was to load the caravel ship with alchemical oil and firewood and to use it as a fire ship, to cause the opponent to be wary. With the loading capacity of the caravel, it should hold enough destructive power to sink a galleon … of course, that is assuming it is a direct hit.
That tactic termed as fire ship and setting ablaze was not rare so the Veronia army should be familiar with the tactic to avoid it but they need plenty of manpower to do so.
If they move to land on the coast and attack Zoltan, she would take the chance to send a ship and destroy theirs. The Veronia army can’t afford to unload soldiers as long as there is the threat of a fire ship.
Compared to the Kingdom of Veronia, the Republic of Zoltan was an incomparable small nation.
This was a sure-win war that Veronia has no chance of losing.
As such, rather than think of whether we can win against Veronia, we had to think of what kind of method has the best chance of winning. As Leonor can’t use the navy led by Ririnrara’s son, she probably gathered mercenaries.
Mercenaries are known to hold their own life dear for winning battles.
In short, Veronia must win a complete victory without losing a single warship.
If the victory conditions are the same, it is a battle with no chance of winning but if it is different, there is a chance.
“It is a stunning strategy against the opponent’s psychology. Sigh, it’s a waste that Hero Lit became apothecary’s wife … oops, that was rude of me.”
Tonedo hurriedly retracted his words after I glared at him.
“But Mayor. I was certain that you disliked Mistome-san.”
Tonedo’s way of doing things as a mayor contradicted everything that Mistome-san did.
Mistome-san would resolve everything through gathering all information and having tenacious dialogue whereas Tonedo emphasized on the discretion of the people on the spot. If that could not solve the problem, he would then activate his authority and forcibly solve it.
Mayor Tonedo changed everything without leaving a trace of the system made by Mistome-san.
“I don’t blame you for thinking that way. I honestly do not praise Mistome-shi’s way as a politician.”
Mayor Tonedo honestly admitted it.
“A country governed by the power of a single hero is fragile. That can’t be called a country built on its own power. It is my philosophy that it is not a few powerful people who protect the country but all the citizens.”
“Because divine blessings have inequalities, it is natural that the superior minority would dominate. That is an unusual way of thinking.”
“Even the hero has the right to enjoy normal happiness, don’t you agree? Well …”
Mayor Tonedo interjected.
“You two seem tight-lipped so I can tell you.”
“Is there something?”
“It’s nothing serious. Well, it is a serious matter to me but well, I might die in this battle. If I leave a single shameful matter behind, I will become a laughing stock.”
“You’re beating around the bush.”
“Ahaha, Red-san, I thought of it once more after I saw Hero Lit and you.”
“Lit and I?”
“If I had gotten rid of the burden on Mistome-shi’s shoulders earlier … I might have proposed to her.”
“Eh, you propose to Mistome-san?”
“This is a long time ago when I was young. At that time Mistome-shi was already over my age but she was a charming woman. Even now she is still charming. Well, a mere accountant at the Merchant’s Guild would not have matched a hero.”
Mayor Tonedo laughed with embarrassment.
Frontier Zoltan on the eastern outskirts of the Avalon Continent.
Anything that happens in this small country would never appear in a history book.
Even so, there are people who live there along with the tales of many lives.
As such, it is no wonder that we chose to fight like this.
“There are catapults at the back of the warehouse! Those from 45 years ago!”
“Can they still work?”
Zoltan was making preparations.
The Harbor District and the city walls were lined with soldiers and militias with bows and javelins.
Javelins were the most common weapon used by the militia of the Avalon Continent.
The Throwing skill was a common skill and even owners of non-combat specialized divine protections usually have allocated skills points to it in order to raise their divine protection levels.
It was a bad match to fight against the regular army composed of combat-oriented divine protections but unlike bows or crossbows that occupy both hands, they can fight while holding a shield so they can play an active role in ranged battle to some degree.
This time, since there was a castle wall, albeit an unreliable wall that can be quickly scaled over, it should prove troublesome for the Veronia army.
On the river, apart from the two caravel ships of the Zoltan army, there were other commercial small boats carrying soldiers.
Most surprisingly, even Rarael’s galley entered the river as well.
Even with a shallow draft, the galley was a huge ship.
There was always a danger of getting stuck but Ririnrara maneuvered the ship herself.
“I have already checked the river. I can do it if I put my mind to it.”
She said so she seemed to be quite confident.
That was probably Ririnrara’s and crew’s ability from experience which goes beyond what their skills from their divine blessings can provide.
With that, our superiority will probably not be shaken for the battle on the river.
“Maybe we might be able to chase the Veronia army with this?”
Tise, with Ugeuge-san, said as she looked at the Zoltan people doing their preparations.
The situation certainly didn’t seem that bad but …
“I still feel uneasy about something. I know there is a difference in strength but I believe this can be said to be a good situation.”
Tise cocked her head when she saw my long face.
No, well, it’s just as Tise said.
“Well, although Lit’s strategy is perfect, there are always many places for it to go wrong.”
It doesn’t mean Lit’s strategy was bad, just that there were many accidents that nobody could predict.
Even during the battle in Logavia, whenever she claims with a smug look『I have a good idea!』 and strategizes, many times we had to follow up …
“That is not Lit-san’s fault. I don’t believe it would happen this time as well.”
“I guess so. Maybe I am overthinking it.”
I looked at Tise and smiled.
That’s right, such things shouldn’t happen this time.
Even if it shouldn’t happen, I should still plan a workaround. Yup.
“Should we go check on how Ruti is doing on her side?”
“Yup, let’s do that.”
Tise and I decided to go check on Ruti’s situation in the forest where Mistome-san’s subordinates lived.