Chapter 143: Greatest battle in Zoltan’s history
The Kingdom of Veronia’s state-of-the-art galleons slowly approached Zoltan which was ready for war.
Large warships that lined up in a row near the mouth of the river.
Countless sails lined their three masts which make them able to perform complex maneuvers against the wind.
Over 100 armed mercenaries lined the deck, with six large ballista and a large trebuchet behind the deck … probably a device to toss burning pots to set ships and towns on fire … but there was only one such device.
And shadowing the majesty of the state-of-the-art sailing ships of the Avalon Continent, an excessively large steel ship was positioned in the middle of the galleon fleet.
“A-are we fighting such a ship?”
Ser William muttered with a tremble.
It wasn’t a surprise.
He didn’t flee when facing the Demon Lord’s ship because Lit was there but looking up at such an enormous ship stirs an instinctual fear.
The basics of sea battle was the height of the ship.
By having the high ground, it would be advantageous for ranged battles and when boarding opponent ships.
They would’t stand a chance against it if they fought it head-on.
“It’s strange after all.”
Amidst that, Lit held a different emotion.
“It certainly is a fleet that can destroy a country but it is overkill for attacking Zoltan. Just how much expenses would be needed to move that many ships and personnel.”
While it is important to aim for certain victory in battles, it was also important to win while incurring the least cost. As the princess of a military nation, Lit was well aware of that fact.
A battle where a lion uses its entire strength to hunt a rabbit was incorrect. The best course of action would be to match the opponent and aim for certain victory while minimizing damages and costs.
In that respect, Leonor’s fleet was an excessive overkill.
Even looting all assets in Zoltan would not cover the expenses for this expedition.
The large fleet in front of Lit’s eyes seemed more as though a royalty waving their fist hysterically without reason, rather than the action of royalty with an overwhelming position.
At that moment, there was movement on the deck of the steel ship Wendy Dart.
“That is Queen Leonor. As well as Prince Uzuku and Prince Silberio.”
Three shadows stood on the deck.
Leonor had the shadow of a thin and frail girl. On both sides were two beautiful men sculptured like statues of mythical heroes.
Lit and the others were still a fair distance away from Leonor’s fleet but Lit’s enhanced vision from her divine protection clearly showed the three figures.
The two princes made hand seals.
Lit stabbed her left sword on the deck and got ready to counter with magic at any moment.
The spell of the princes activated and a giant virtual image of Leonor was projected in the sky.
“Beloved citizens of the Republic of Zoltan.”
Her voice was beautiful like a rolling bell but it also sounded unnatural, as though it was artificially made somewhere.
“I am Leonor‧of‧Veronia. The Kingdom of Veronia’s second queen. I am here today under the name of the great King of Veronia, Geyserik.”
(It has a wide range but the effect is the same as Message Blast and Image Projection. Perhaps it is a spell by the Asura Demons?)
Lit calmly analyzed the spell and determined that it was harmless.
It was probably used in place of having to send an actual negotiator for negotiations.
By using this method, she could reach everyone on the battlefield and would leave a strong impact.
“It was not our intention to alarm your modest country with our vessels.”
Leonor’s projection said innocently … and smiled as she blurred out her evil intent.
“We came to save you. I have come to understand that Sarius’s soldiers attacked your modest country without the king’s permission. We come to subdue the idiotic prince and the outlaws who tarnish the Kingdom of Veronia’s name. Please rest easy.”
Leonor’s projection which floated in the sky looked at Ririnrara’s ship.
It was nothing but a projection of Leonor.
Naturally, she would not be able to see what her projection was looking at.
However, the image of her projection looking squarely at Ririnrara’s ship made her projection seem like a real image.
“She’s very experienced in this.”
The real Leonor on the deck was looking at nothing at all.
She seemed to have trained to move her projection.
“Putting that aside, how did she know that Prince Sarius attacked Zoltan?”
“She probably has spies.”
Ser William responded immediately to Lit’s comment without much thought.
Lit was not convinced.
(It has been less than a week since Prince Sarius’ attack. That time frame is too short even for a good spy. Was it another spell by the Asura Demon?)
Asura Demons are the only exception in this world who does not possess divine protections and fight with their own strength.
There are many mysteries revolving what kind of power they are capable of using and it is difficult to predict their strength.
Leonor continued to speak while Lit maintained her vigilance.
“We are here to save Zoltan. We are your dear friends. There is nothing to fear and no blood will be shed. We wish to cooperate with you.”
The enormous Leonor calmly looked in the direction of the voice.
“Yes, it is simple. Zoltan only has to show me the location of the extremely harmful entity. That is all. Please offer Sarius, Ririnrara, and the deceitful woman who named herself Mistome, first queen Misufia, my sister, who has involved Zoltan in Veronia’s issue of succession.”
Leonor’s projection said as she looked down on Zoltan’s army.
There seemed to be no room for negotiations and as Lit was about to move, Ser William stopped her.
The middle-aged General stepped forward and glared at Leonor’s projection as he gave his answer.
A single word. Carried by a powerful voice that resonated on the battlefield.
Like Lit’s speech, that word had the power of a hero.
“There is no room for negotiation. Your attempt to make us betray the trust she has in us and cause despair to Princess Misufia, whom we call Mistome-shi, shows how hideous your soul is beyond any measure. We may be a small country but we will not betray a friend to suck up to an enemy. Draw that sword on your waist Veronia Queen … come at us, we will be your opponent.”
The facial expression of Leonor, magnified as a projection, showed an instantaneous but noticeable expression of fear.
The remote border middle-aged General, although only possessing a little spirit, won against the queen of a large nation.
“There is no need. For the crime of insulting the great Kingdom of Veronia, the crime of showing arrogance to ask me to draw my sword despite being a small country, and the crime of being important to my stupid sister. Fufufu, perhaps I shall burn this country and line the ashes with your heads to give my sister despair.”
Leonor had an unsightly smile. She no longer hid the burning hatred in her heart.
“Draw my sword? There is no need for the likes of you. I only need to say a single command. With just one command, you will all die meaningless deaths. That is all it takes.”
For the first time, Leonor’s projection looked forward, staring into the distance where there was nothing.
Because the real Leonor standing on the ship was looking at Zoltan.
Small boats unloaded one after another from the ship.
Tanned soldiers could be seen on the boats.
The tough, tanned mercenaries rowd their boats toward Zoltan.
“Wha-what should we do, Lit-dono. I couldn’t stop myself from cutting in and it turned out this way.”
Now Ser William was afraid and trembling.
He had a miserable appearance but …
“What do you think?”
Lit asked the surrounding knights.
The knights answered with grins.
“General! Please do not worry, we have not been prouder than today as knights of Zoltan.”
“We feel uneasy without our running drake companions and on ships we are not accustomed to but General’s words expelled our doubts.”
“Even without the usual armor with emblems that we don, we are General William’s prided knights. The honor to fight with General in this large stage would make my uncle who died last year envious.”
The knights raised their swords to Ser William.
Ser William showed emotions in his eyes as he cleared his throat and gave his orders.
“Ah, Lit-dono has the command, not me.”
His voice trailed off.
The knights smiled.
Lit felt that it was a good situation.
“Ser William, may I borrow your sword for a short moment?”
“Eh, sure, I don’t mind.”
Lit took Ser William’s sword and raised it high in the air.
“As representative who carries General William’s sword, General of Zoltan’s soldiers, Apothecary Lit orders Zoltan’s heroes!”
Lit thrust the sword out and pointed it at Leonor’s fleet.
“As planned, deploy the defensive line in line with Ririnrara’s ships. Prevent the enemy fleet from approaching. Understood? Good … Zoltan all troops, advance!!”
With the Demon Lord’s ship at the rear, small landing boats traveled upstream from the mouth of the river.
In the history of the Avalon Continent, this was not a big clash as those battles between countless large fleets.
The large ships only stood back with their sails folded without taking any evasive maneuvers. Only the small boats were fighting.
But this was the largest sea battle that Zoltan has seen since its establishment.
On the galley, Ririnrara sighed as she watched Zoltan’s forces.
“Sheesh, even though this is a fruitless war for Zoltan, to bet their lives to lend a hand … you lots! Don’t allow any harm to come to the Zoltan people! We already have treasures we can’t hope to repay on the ships! If we borrow any more, we won’t be able to repay even if we rake up all the treasures in the world!”
“Aye aye maam!!”
The arrows fired from Ririnrara’s fleet rained down upon the Leonor’s landing unit.
Soldiers screamed and thrashed about as they were pierced by arrows. The small boats capsized and the soldiers rushed to cling to the overturned ships.
They started with superiority.
The war begins.