C4 – The Greatest War Trophy (Part 1)
Naga, Harrigan, and Vita held a great number of tactical meetings during their preparatory work.
Vita would frequently visit the fort of Harrigan & Co. while giving instructions to her daughters. However, since she was always being carried through Elysione’s positioned mantle, Vita’s migration from one place to another wasn’t a big hassle. It didn’t seem to require either too much time or effort.
Harrigan assigned a single room in the residential building for Vita and Elysione’s personal use. Therefore, both the witches could use it as they wished.
“I’ll kill you if you dare to peek inside the room, got it?”
Naga received such a threat from Vita.
“Like I would?!”
Naga retorted as he didn’t plan to do so from the beginning.
For instance, knowing that the room would shine with a light every time Vita and Elysione arrived, wouldn’t he wonder whether or not their arrival was successful?
A single room assigned by Harrigan.
It was just about the time when Elysione materialized herself from a mantle spread on the wooden floored room.
The mantle began to coil around Elysione as she was putting out her hands from the seams of it.
Elysione’s body that stuck out from the gaps was naked. Or at least, it looked like her bottom had no clothes on.
Then, beneath her feet, the similarly nude Vita was crawling out. Unlike Elysione, she was, without doubt, completely naked. No matter how one judged it, Vita looked like a barely 10 years old, flat-chested girl from head to toe. After being told she was much older than Harrigan, one could only be filled with awe.
“Elysio, you rascal. Your magic is convenient, but at the same time, it’s not. That’s because I’ve got to get naked every time we teleport using that mantle.”
While expressing her complaint, the totally naked Vita moved her upper body in every direction, trying to recover its lost sensation.
“Please don’t complain, Mother. Since I was able to reduce the excess of inconvenience so as to make up for it, shouldn’t it be fine? To begin with, there’s no magic that’s invincible or almighty in this world, right?”
“Hmm, that’s something I know even without you telling me, you rascal.”
Walking on the wooden floor while pressing her feet repeatedly against it, the completely nude Vita opened the lid of a chest placed in one corner of the room and took out prearranged clothes from inside.
Holding a set of them, she pushed them out to Elysione.
“Hey, put them on me.”
“Yes, right away.”
As soon as Elysione drew near, she helped Vita dress.
The prearranged pair of clothes were identical to those she normally wore. They covered little skin and had small notches that created a fluttering pattern. However, Vita’s headgear, which she had put on last, was a bit different from her usual one.
“No matter how powerful our magic is, it’s neither invincible nor almighty. That’s the main reason why we, the witches, have a hard time during battles.”
“That’s true. Once the humans charge at us with their wave tactics, it’s next to impossible for us to win against their armies.”
“Still, if we can capitalize on each individual’s magic and put them together, there’s a winning chance for us even against large human forces. I’ve always thought that way, and surprisingly, my belief was proven during the previous battle at the Schweiz River. That’s why I took an interest in the Dragon King. It may be possible that that man’s presence will bring together the long since scattered witches.”
Elysione, who finished changing Vita’s clothes, looked up at her mother.
“Is that…. so?”
“It can’t be said for certain, but it’s definitely hard for the witches to stand at the summit as they are, and even more for a human. However, he is neither a witch nor a human. He’s the rumored Dragon King who fell from another world. If that’s true, perhaps those highly proud witches would also acknowledge him as someone who stands above them? Actually, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Harrigan & the rest are already under that guy’s command.”
“Indeed, it seems to be so. That being the case, could it be that Mother feels inclined to fight alongside the Dragon King as the supreme commander against the humans?”
Saying that, Elysione began to move her hands again.
“It may be that I’m also curious about fighting humans, but the fact that that guy’s presence could muster the famous witch clans is what really caught my interest. Provided the witches band together and work as one, taking on an army of 1000 or 2000 people will become easy enough. Even so, that alone is one of the biggest hurdles.”
“Exactly. It’s said it has already been more than several hundred years since the country of the witches collapsed. Throughout that time, nobody has managed to reunite the witches, right?”
“Perhaps, that Dragon King will become the key to our breakthrough. What’s more—”
While getting dressed, Vita smiled with satisfaction.
“Right now, he’s acting together with Harrigan’s clan, but it should be fine even if we strip them of the Dragon King and tempt him to join us. Assuming that happens, wouldn’t it be possible for him to become our King at the time the new world is established?”
“Wow, Mother, those are indeed words worthy of a scoundrel, aren’t they?”
Vita threw a glance at Elysione.
“Ah, no, whether Mother becomes a scoundrel or a cowardly person, we are prepared to follow you til the end, so you don’t have to worry.”
“Being followed til the end by a simpleton like you is what I’m most anxious about, you see.”,
Elysione warped her face tremendously.
“Well then, this much should do.”
Still – Vita, who finished changing her clothes, said so while looking frequently at her daughter.
“That man, what is the Dragon King going to say once he finds out we are naked under your mantle?”
“Eh? Ah, I, I wonder about that. Perhaps, he will insist that we show him the inside of the mantle.”
“Moreover, he might insist on teleporting with us upon learning about us becoming naked.”
“Aghh, it would be a disgusting offer, wouldn’t it? Still, it looks to be something that man is be capable of, I guess.”
*Fu* – Vita slightly laughed
“When that happens, teleport together with the Dragon King and show him the might of your power.”
Elysione warped her face and recoiled in aversion.
“Eeeeeeh? Things like taking along a naked man, I won’t agree to that. Wouldn’t I show him my naked body before even being able to show him my magic?”
“You too will be able to see him naked, so there should be mutual gains for both sides. No, since the two of you will cuddle to each other when teleporting, rather than just seeing each other, you will also be able to feel each other’s skin. Aren’t you glad?”
“Not at all!”
“Kukuu. Well, I was just kidding, you see. Then, shall we go? The Dragon King-dono is probably waiting for us.”
“What’s the matter, Naga? Did you catch a cold?”
“No… can you really say it’s due to chills? Somehow, I’ve got an incredibly bad feeling about something, but….”
Naga looked around the room, but nevertheless, there was nothing particularly distinctive.
Because a meeting regarding the assessment of their forces was about to begin, almost everyone involved had gathered.
“Vita and Elysione are still absent, right?”
As soon as Naga muttered, Harrigan responded.
“It appears they have just recently arrived here, so they should probably show up soon.”
Following her words, Vita and Elysione appeared shortly thereafter inside the room where everyone had gathered.
Naga was a bit worried about other witches directing their rude gazes at the two of them, but it wasn’t the right time for prying into that matter.
Once Naga waited for Vita and Elysione to reach their seats, he began the meeting.
“Excellent. Since everyone has gathered, let’s start the assessment.”
“Well then, I think we are finally close to deciding on everyone’s deployments today.”
Saying so, Naga looked around to the faces of all present witches.
The ones who were present on Harrigan’s side were Harrigan herself, Ais, Lela, Kay, Nonoel, and Yuuki.
Whereas Vita’s side included herself, Elysione, and three witches named Lilly, Dora, and Samplotte. However, unlike the first two, the other three had run through the forest instead of moving through the mantle.
The witch whose name was Samplotte didn’t reach Elysione’s height, but she was also tall and strongly built.
On the other hand, the one called Lilly had a physique no different from a child, and her face also left an impression of her being innocent.
One more person, named Dora, had womanly features appearing throughout her large body, which gave her a bewitching aura.
Combining all of them, the 10 witches, together with Naga, sat on folding chairs while forming a circle.
Naga pushed out a map lying on the floor in front of everyone. It was a map of the Schweiz River area that had become the battlefield during their last battle.
“A single troop from Kasandora Kingdom’s army has been assigned to watch over the place near the crossing of the river. According to Raibach, they are a company under his direction that consists of 100 soldiers. There doesn’t seem to be any major change among them since their captain was kidnapped by the witches, I guess. Perhaps, their vice-captain picked up the leadership of the company. Even though their captain is missing, there’s no sign of them receiving reinforcements.”
As he said so, Naga put a wry smile on his face.
“It looks like Kasandora Kingdom doesn’t care about its captain’s fate, and continues to maintain its status quo…… right? After all, this troop is just disposable. Despite that, it will be troublesome to have them stationed at the riverbank.”
Using his index finger, Naga specified a point on the map.
First, we should consider what to do with this troop, but…”
“Since there’s only a hundred of them, how about we take a detour?”
“True. It should be fine for us to cross even without having to face them directly.”
Saying that, Samplotte expressed her opinion.
“I too think so, but Naga, isn’t it just you who see them as a problem?”
Once Harrigan stated her consent, Naga nodded in agreement.
“If possible, I’d like to have this troop escape.”
“I see, I see. So Dragon King wants to make sure that this troop doesn’t flank us when we are in the middle of capturing Fort Ein, right?”
“That’s what I mean. I don’t want to kill them due to my fundamental policy, so it should do as long as we cripple them as a troop by making them run away. Even if some of them were to return, they wouldn’t dare to threaten our back upon seeing the witches capturing the fort.”
“I see. That’s indeed a kind of story one would imagine seeing. Still, aren’t you pretty used to wars?”
Indeed, it may appear so – Naga nodded in agreement as soon as Vita asked him with a face filled with admiration.
“That’s because my thoughts will naturally gush out whenever it comes to things like this. However, since I’ve no memories, I can’t tell exactly what kind of experience I had back then, you see.”
“Shouldn’t it be more reasonable for you not to know how to fight? Just how deeply is your world stained with war?”
Vita’s expression turned into an astonished one.
“Well, I wonder about that.”
As if mocking himself, Naga wore a smile that gave a somewhat gruesome impression.
“Certainly, it feels like the world where I used to live had endless wars, but…. well, isn’t that fine? More importantly, let’s focus on our talk.”
“That’s right. We don’t have much spare time, so we better sort things out and start making the necessary preparations. Otherwise, it won’t do, you see.”
“Then, in order to scatter the troop that guards the river here, I’d like us to form a group for long-range attacking; still….”
Naga, who pointed once more on the map, lifted up his head and looked at Ais.
“Since this will become essential for us when capturing the fort, let me ask you something, Ais. How far can you throw using cobbles?”
“Were they called cobbles, or maybe, pebbles? I mean those hand-sized stones.”
Ais showed an attitude of pondering for a short while.
“Right. I think it would be around 11-13.5 meters under normal circumstances, and around 270 meters with my strengthened body, but…”
Naga measured the distance with his own senses.
“…..Wha, 270 meters?! You are able to throw them that far?!”
270 meters is certainly a long distance.
“Yes, if it’s a hand-sized stone, then most likely.”
(Even if they’re just stones, it does indeed require a terrific strength to be able to throw them such a distance. I should expect no less from a human battering ram, or perhaps, a human cannon…..hm? Cannon….Gun…..)
“Is there something you want to say, Naga-san?”
Raising up his head, Naga’s sight met Ais, who looked at him with a smiling face. Despite that, her eyes didn’t smile at all, which was frightening.
Naga hurriedly waved with his hands in front him.
“No. No no, there’s nothing.”
“Is that so? I guess that’s fine, but…”
“If you are able to throw that far, can I have you become the core of the long-range assault against the troop guarding on the other side of the river?”
Paying attention so as not to meet with her eyes, Naga pointed at the river on the map.
Lela, who held a brush, wrote in Ais’ name near the river.
“And then…. Lela.”
Lifting up her face, Lela directed her sight at him.
“How far can you launch those fireballs using your magic?”
“As one would expect, it will be hard for me to deal with that distan-ce. Nevertheless, Provided Yuuki carries my charms, it should be possible for them to be dropped onto the enemy’s hea-ds.”
Lela, who replied like that, shifted her gaze at Yuuki.
“I’m fine with that, but, if that happens, wouldn’t Lela’s charms burn down the enemy, were they to touch them?”
(No, you’d most likely be content with that.)
Naga wanted to retort that way, however, he refrained from doing so as it would worsen the situation.
“I’d appreciate it if you could do your best so as not to let the charms come into contact with them.”
Is where Naga stopped his comment at.
On the other hand, Yuuki puffed her cheeks in displeasure.
“Because they will be dropped from above, such a detailed stunt is next to impossible, right?”
“Since the charms are just supposed to fall and burn, it will take a while for them to descend complete-ly. The enemy soldiers should be able to avoid them in ti-me.”
Lela gave him a hand as a last resort.
“Is that so? Indeed, if that’s the case, there’s no need for us to worry much about that matter.”
Nodding down at once, Naga turned around to Yuuki and lightly bowed down at her.
“Anyway, I’m relying on you, Yuuki.”
“Uh….Geez, I got it. I’ll do it properly.”
“With that, Lela and Yuuki will participate as a single gro-up.”
Lela, who casted down her eyes, added her own and Yuuki’s name on the map.
“Is, there anyone else here who can carry a long-range attack?”
As he questioned Harrigan, she crossed her arms while slightly grumbling.
“Umu. As expected, it’s indeed difficult when it comes to an attack that covers a range of as much as 270 meters.”
Following that, she looked in Vita’s direction.
“How about your side?”
“I guess you’re right. A long-range attack like that is quite a tough task, but, with Elysione here, stabbing an enemy’s back would be simple, wouldn’t it?”
Naga moved his eyes toward Elysione.
She was dressed in her mantle even when sitting on a folding stool. Naga became curious about what kind of attire she was wearing under that mantle of hers.
(To begin with, since the witches from Sraymeyer are supposed to wear thin clothes with lots of exposure, just like Harrigan and the rest, perhaps Elysione has such garments as well.)
Elysione, who was unaware of Naga’s thoughts, nodded with a serious face.
“So long as I can place my mantle in advance, it’s perfectly fine. Assuming we lay a mantle on the other side of the river under cover of night and choose the right time to fly at our own discretion, it will look as though we are suddenly ambushing the enemy.”
“Despite saying so, you can only carry one person with you each time, right?”
“True. What’s more, there’s also the problem of appearance when transporting a person, but if that part is arranged beforehand as well, it should probably be fine.” (?)
“What’s…..the meaning of that?”
Is it okay for me to explain? – Elysione looked at Vita as if asking for her permission.
“It can’t be helped.”
Once she heard Vita’s reply, Elysione made a mild cough.
“In other words, you see, I can only fly through the mantle with my body. That’s to say, I can’t fly through it if I’m wearing clothes.”
Naga run his eyes over Elysione’s whole body.
“Then does it mean, you’re, not wearing anything under your mantle?”
“Yes, when it’s not winter, I’m basically nude”
“Oi oi, why didn’t you tell me such an important thing sooner?”
Naga smacked his lips slightly and repeatedly.
“Had you told me about it sooner, I would’ve come and worshipped you every time you arrived….. No, rather than that, won’t you fly into my arm…..”
Such sounds bursted forth as Naga’s head was hit from behind by Harrigan’s solid hair and chopped on his forehead by Ais’ karate chop at the same time.
Holding the back of his head with his right hand and his forehead with his left hand, Naga tumbled on top of the floor.
Haa – Lela exhaled a sigh.
Aren’t you an idiot? – Yuuki threw out such words.
Whereas, Kay cackled with her raised up voice.
Vita’s side watched Naga with dumbfounded faces. Naturally, only Vita herself and Elysione nodded in agreement with a face indicating this was a natural course of action.
“I was just joking. Don’t hit me like that while taking my jokes seriously, geez.”
Naga, who had teary eyes, said so while objecting to Harrigan and Ais.
“It didn’t look like your expression was telling us so?”
“On the contrary, it was incredibly serious?”
“You girls are….”
*snap* – While stroking the back of his head using his right hand, Naga pointed at them with his left hand’s index finger.
“Saying such an irresponsible thing, what will you do if a rumor spreads out inside Vita’s clan?!”
“Because it’s more truth than rumor, it can’t be helped?”
“Indeed, it can’t be helped.”
“Good grief. Those girls are seriously…”
Naga grabbed his head.
“Dragon King. We understand very well you’re a genuine pervert. More importantly, shouldn’t we continue this urgent strategy meeting?”
*snap* – Naga immediately snapped once more time and pointed at Vita.
“Don’t understand! And by the way, it’s a misunderstanding!”
“You mean it? If it’s a misunderstanding, then good. Leaving that aside, aren’t we going to finish this talk quickly? After all, we didn’t come here to fool around.”
“Ah, sorry that.”
Naga, who regained his composure, pressed his hand against the map and resumed their previous talk.
“Ummm, in addition to Ais who’s the part of the long-range assault group, Lela and Yuuki will join up. Other than that, we are going to capitalize on Elysione’s ability of instant travel, send in someone to the other side of the river, and have that person take the enemy from behind. Whom should we appoint for that task….?”
Nonoel lifted up her hand with restraint.
“If we assault the enemy from behind, won’t they get the wrong idea of being surrounded by their enemy, thus resorting to desperate actions?”
That’s right – Naga once again casted down his eyes on the map while slightly groaning.
“Certainly, I can’t rule out that possibility. If by any chance a part of the enemy tries to break through in that state, they might happen to rush toward Elysione and the rest.”
As Naga was pondering, Vita intercepted.
“If it’s Elysione, she can take on 10, 20 people with no bigger problem. However, were that to happen, it would result in a battle no matter what, and eventually lead to casualties among the enemy soldiers.”
“I guess you’re right. Then, is it a bad idea to attack the enemy from behind?”
“Naga-san, how about me hiding inside the river water like previously?”
Naga looked at Nonoel with a surprised expression.
“Ah? Ahh, is that so?”
“I’ll enter the river from upstream, swim down it to the actual place, and wait on standby. Once Ais and the rest start their assault, I’ll threaten the enemy with my water magic. Firing some water spears should be enough to drive them away, I think, but…”
“I see. Using that method, even those trying to hold their ground will be scared off. That’s a good guarantee.”
Rather than just having his subordinates follow his orders, Naga appreciated those who could think and devise a plan on their own. That’s why, he greatly welcomed such a proposition.
Naga faced Nonoel and gave her the thumbs up.
“You came up with a great idea, Nonoel.”
Nonoel scratched her head while making an embarrassed grin.
“I, It isn’t a big deal, still….it’s somewhat of a deal.”
“She’s casually boasting of herself?!”
Both Kay and Yuuki bent a little backwards.
On the other hand, Naga’s expression turned a bit serious, as if being concerned by something.
“Surely, it’s a great idea, but Nonoel, aren’t you afraid of being spotted? If you were to be discovered, they would most likely attack you.”
“As long as I’m under the river, I can make myself hardly noticeable to the outside thanks to my magic. And once Ais and the rest commence their attacks, I don’t think the enemy will even consider watching over the river.”
“So you’re going to be all right? Then, let it be.”
Naga pointed at a single point of the Schweiz River on the map.
“I guess, Nonoel will station here.”
Lela wrote in Nonoel’s name on the map.
“In case the enemy doesn’t escape, it should be totally fine to pull a trick by showing them how numerous we are, but…”
Saying that, Naga turned his eyes in Harrigan and Vita’s direction.
“That much should probably do.”
“Umu, I see no problem.”
“If they do, we will just stick to our plan. What’s left to do are small and detailed matters, such as the deployment of the witches and things that we need to prepare.”
Like that, Naga and the witches concluded the preparatory meeting and tied up the last details of their strategy for capturing Ein fort.
The next day, both the Heindler and Sraymeyer clans advanced with their preparations.
And then, 10 days later.
The day for capturing the fort had finally arrived.
Ais, Kay, Naga, and Raibach approached near the right riverbank.
Even though the chance for the enemy to launch their arrows was slim, Kay, who took charge of protecting the others, was prepared for that instance.
Since Raibach wore a mantle and covered his face with a cloth, the enemy soldiers would perhaps not recognize him.
The reason why Raibach went to the frontline was due to him wanting to make sure of his troop.
“Going to the frontline carries a risk, you know.”
Naga stopped at this single warning, but nevertheless, Raibach doggedly opposed.
“No, you are going there as well, aren’t you? If so, it shouldn’t be that dangerous.”
“That’s because there are witches who will protect me. Still, in your case, they might not have enough hands, you see.”
“Well, when that comes, I’ll somehow manage it by myself.”
“If you’re fine with that, then I shall bring you with me. I do understand your feeling of wanting to see your subordinates safe.”
Like that, Naga brought Raibach with him after exchanging such a conversation.
Raibach’s sense of responsibility strengthened Naga’s belief about him being able to place his trust in Raibach.
A little distance behind Naga and Ais, there were Lela, Harrigan, and Vita waiting.
Just now, Yuuki who received Lela’s charms soared into the sky on her board.
Noticing a witch drawing near, the enemy troop that was guarding on the other side of the river started to make an uproar.
Naga, Ais, Kay, and Raibach, who were carrying baskets on their back put them down on the ground.
The inside of the baskets were overflowing with cobble.
A part of the troop, which noticed the quickest, climbed up the embankment and began shooting arrows. Nonetheless, due to a great distance separating both sides, the arrows would eventually land quite far in front of Naga and the rest.
Naga, who deemed they couldn’t be threatened by the enemy’s arrows, ordered his side to attack.
“Excellent, do it, Ais!”
Holding a cobble in her right hand, Ais raised her left leg overhead and bent her right arm.
Adding to her raised left leg, Ais’ right arm swung sharply forward together with her body.
Gohyuuu. – The cobble continued to fly with a sound tearing through the air.
Leaving a small gap, the cobble splashed on the surface near the opposite shore.
Ais, who finished the throw, regained her posture and measured the landing distance.
“Hm, I think just a little more.”
Muttering that, she grabbed another cobble
Again, the sound of tearing the air reverberated.
This time, a single cloud of dust appeared on the slope of the embankment.
“Ohhhh, Ais, that was a splendid throw.”
Soon after Naga raised an astonished voice, Kay clapped her hands.
“The enemy, they look surprised, surprised!”
“Ais, continue your throws just like that. If possible, aim for spots which are less crowded by soldiers.”
“Yes, I got that, but, it’s not achievable for me to aim without hitting any soldier, you know?”
“It can’t be helped, right? Raibach too, would probably not wish for that to happen.”
Ais took a short glimpse at Raibach’s direction.
“It should be enough as long you’re considerate.”
Hearing his reply, Ais felt relieved and picked up another cobble.
“Then, I shall continue.”
The cobbles continued to cut through the air with no intervals.
Paa, Paa, Paa – clouds of dust rose up here and there.
Even from this great distance, one could understand that the soldiers began to panic.
Since the cobble flew and sunk with a terrific power into the slope’s surface, it was guaranteed that the soldiers would consider them a life-threatening danger, were they to hit.
Should they fight back? Perhaps, with their arrows not reaching their target, it should better for them to escape? The soldiers loitered around, being unable to reach a conclusion. At that time, Yuuki, who took a detour, drew near with her hoverboard above their heads.
Noticing her charms being scattered by Yuuki, Lela began to cast a chant.
Following that, the charms began to flare up at once in the air.
Yuuki left the scene at full speed.
Looking up at a bunch of flames floating down from the air, the soldiers began to scream loudly.
Meanwhile, clouds of dust continued to appear on the slope’s surface.
Just when the enemy soldiers broke up in confusion, a large wave built up on the surface of the river.
Its height exceeded more than 3 meters. Despite its size being unusual, what was strange about the wave was that it elevated on the spot, instead of battering the shore. The large wave looked as though it was the neck of a water dragon that emerged from the water. As the neck started to move left and right in a manner if searching for its prey, the enemy soldiers were no longer able to endure. They threw away their bows and dodged each other while aiming for the opposite side of the embankment.
Immediately after that, the top of the embankment became clear of any soldier.
“Ais, just to make sure, I’d like you to make the cobble reach a bit further, near the other side of the embankment.”
Naga, Ais, Kay, and Raibach who were carrying the baskets on their backs covered a distance of more than 54 meters, after which they put down their baskets again.
Once more, Ais began to throw with the cobble.
No clouds of dust could be seen as the bank intercepted their view, however, it was certain, the cobble reached beyond the bank. Provided there were still some soldiers left, they would probably not wish to stay there any longer.
As the four of them continued to progress, the group that waited behind them moved too.
With his doubt of any possible arrow attack being cleared away, Naga summoned Selena and made her check the other side of the shore using her magic- Heaven’s Eye(?).
“It’s safe. At least, there’s no sign of enemy soldiers near the left bank.”
Excellent! – Naga clapped his hands after hearing her response.
“It’s just how I imagined. With this, a part of the guarding troop will run back to Ein Fort and inform their comrades about an attack coming from the witches. Ais, you can stop throwing cobble now.”
Being called out by Naga, Ais released the cobble in her hand and took a deep breath.
“As one would expect, even throwing constantly with all of your strength will make you a bit exhausted, won’t it?”
(Firing cobble in rapid succession at more than 270 meters, you call that a bit?)
“Is something wrong?”
“No, I just wanted to say ‘good work’.”
“I’m glad I was able to fulfill my duty.”
Ais made a pleasant smile.
Just then, Yuuki returned on her hoverboard.
“We’re going to cross the river. We can confirm the situation using Selena’s Heaven’s Eye, but just to be on the safe side, can you go ahead and check the opposite bank for us?”
“Well, if I’m told to do something, then I’ll do it.”
Once she stated so while hovering a little over a meter above the ground, Naga suddenly bowed down.
“I beg you, please do it.”
Yuuki, who bent backwards, nearly fell off from her board.
“You’re gross, so stop it! Speaking of which, don’t surprise people like that! What will you do if someone falls off because of that?!”
“No, no matter how you look at it, I can’t think of anyone dying from that height. To begin with, I only lowered my back and made a kind request. To think you would be startled by something like this, just what’s wrong?”
“I’m saying that such an attitude, doesn’t suit you.”
Saying that over her shoulder, Yuuki rose up and left on her board.
Naga, who smiled wryly, called out to Ais, Kay, and Selena.
“Let’s move to the other side.”
Naga & Co. progressed to the right bank while paying attention to their surroundings.
Immediately after, Harrigan and the others followed.
A group consisting of Naga and more than 10 witches linked up with Nonoel, who was waiting inside the river, and quickly proceeded to the left bank on the other side.
Nobody from the witches had received a single scratch, and no fallen soldiers were found.
One could say that Naga’s plan of capturing the fort without yielding any casualty was going smoothly.
The capture of Ein Fort was within hailing distance.
During that time, the soldiers who escaped back to the fort relayed the information about their patrol troop being scattered by the witches and about the enemy’s probable attempt of crossing over the river. Upon learning about that, the guards of Ein Fort partially fell into panic, however, not even Naga could have foreseen that far. Despite saying so, Selena was able to confirm some of the guards located at a watchtower becoming restless.
(Looks like we won’t have to seize all the enemy soldiers. Even apprehending half of them should probably be enough to make the rest run away on their own.)
Is what Naga thought.
Just as he predicted, they managed to clear out the north side of the fort.
So as to inform other companions about this part being clear, as well as to show off to their enemy, Naga and the rest hoisted a blatant flag that was prepared beforehand.
The flag had a pattern drawn on it that was once used for the united kingdom of the witches.
With the flag depicting the forces of the witches being supposedly visible, there’s no doubt about their enemy considering that as a deployment of the witches.
(The strategy this time is especially difficult, isn’t it? Still, the wind is already blowing in our favor. I see no other option than to attack the fort and take it down just as we planned. Yet if a problem arises, will we be able to seize the fort without producing any sacrifice? I guess this is what worries me the most.)
Naga and the rest of the witches took their posts and waited for the right chance.
Ais launched her attack of cobble throwing, whereas Yuuki carried Lela’s charms on her hoverboard atop Ein fort.
As they were attracting the guards’ attention, Kay, who used that momentum to solidify her body, run up to the fort’s walls while wearing a mantle and holding a shield for protecting against arrows.
The reason why Kay held the shield even though she could reach the place without getting harmed was so as to keep the arrows away from Elysione, who would be defenseless while she was coming out of the mantle. Nevertheless, it was a needless worry as the enemy soldiers came off the fort’s watchtower without trying to shoot down the running Kay, and escaped inside. There was also a chance that most of those soldiers left the fort behind.
“That’s, a big letdown, isn’t it?”
Muttering those words, Kay put down the shield and spread out the mantle she was entrusted with by Elysione on the ground.
The location of that was right at the bottom middle of the wall near the east side of the fort.
Kay, who stood up, raised her shield overhead just to ensure there was no attack coming.
Following that, the top of Elysione’s head, which stuck out from a hole, began to rise gradually.
“Yuck! It really looks like as though you’re welling up. Indeed, an obscene magic.”
Because Elysione, whose face was half submerged, gazed at Kay with a glaring look, the latter averted her eyes hurriedly.
Taking the opportunity of that, Kay looked around.
As one would expect, there was not a single sign of the enemy in the surroundings.
(Should you say it’s a letdown or no response coming from the enemy? Well, still, they were done in by us previously, so perhaps, this is just bound to happen. I see, this is what Naga-san meant by saying ‘The wind is already blowing in our favor. Capturing the fort might turn out unexpectedly quick’. At first, I was only half-convinced about that, but, seeing how smoothly this plan is going, it appears that person was right.)
Kay had been taught that the result of a battle didn’t just amount to the battlefield. Depending on the winning side and losing side, further battles would be affected as well.
At the time Kay was looking aside, Elysione continued to rise up little by little from the inside of her mantle.
Finally, once the top of her head reached higher than Kay’s, she stopped ascending. In other words, Elysione’s body fully appeared from the inside of the mantle. That being said, Vita’s appearance also emerged from the inside.
*thud* – While Kay was putting herself on guard, a shock ran through her body.
“…! So heavyy.”
Kay, who threw away her shield tried to keep the balance of her several times heavier body by putting more strength into her feet. however, being unable to stand firmly, she kneeled down on one knee.
What came next were voices of screaming and anger heard from the guards, from the fort’s interior. Nevertheless, they quickly turned into sounds of groaning.
“Even though we made thorough preparations, it’s still messy like this? Still, there’s no doubt… about the soldiers inside being….. unable to move.”
In fact, it happened just like that.
As soon as Yuuki watched from the above of the fort, she noticed every single soldier lying on the ground. Some of them were crawling, others – lying on their belly, and yet, other ones – lying face up.
One could see them struggling while trying to move their bodies, but nonetheless, far from being able to stand up, the soldiers had a hard time even crawling.
Yuuki clapped her hands and laughed without realizing it.
“Somehow, it looks like birds being trapped in birdlime.”
As far as she could see from above, there were no soldiers standing and moving.
“Well then, eat this!”
Rapidly descending down on her board, Yuuki tossed something above the heads of the soldiers who were lying in a crowd.
The thing she had released spread out in the air and continued to fall on top of the soldiers.
“Uwaa, what’s this?!”
“A, a net?”
What spread out greatly from overhead was a solidly knitted net.
Crawling on all fours while desperately fighting against their weight, the soldiers could neither ward off or pass through the net. Even if they tried to crawl out from under it, the net would just wind together.
Yuuki moved to the next spot and released another net in the same manner
With the number of enemy entwined in nets increasing, the open space in the fort’s interior became buried with soldiers that were unable to move. the situation looked as though miserable fishes were caught in a big haul and pulled up on land.
Yuuki flew out of the fort and returned back to others, who were waiting upon outside the range of Vita’s magic. There, she picked up Nonoel and hovered again.
“Two people riding is surely quite the load. It makes my control of wind more complicated, and thus, harder to launch the hoverboard.”
As she complained while desperately trying to operate the hoverboard, Nonoel, who was holding onto Yuuki’s waist, apologized.
“No, it’s not that bad since you’re quite light. Were it to be Ais, it would be much more troublesome. I would probably be unable to hov…..”
The board swayed from a shock caused by something passing next to them with a frightening power.
Yuuki, who somehow managed to keep the balance of the board, raised up her eyes and looked around, after which, she noticed Ais’ appearance entering her view. Ais, who had just finished her throw, regained her posture.
“Wait, Ais, what are you doing?! If I get hit with a cobble, won’t my hoverboard turn into dust and splinters?!”
Yuuki let her voice as if objecting.
“Yuuki, Nonoel, do your best, okay?!”
With a smile on her face, she waved her left hand. However, Nonoel couldn’t overlook another cobble in Ais’ right hand.
Nonoel who broke into a cold sweat tapped Yuuki’s back.
“Y, Yuuki, escape fas….no, let’s fly over the, fort and finish our task.”
Yuuki controlled the unsteady board and moved back above the fort.
Nonoel, who looked down at the scene below, raised her voice in admiration.
“Uwaa, Vita-san’s magic is, amazing, isn’t it?”
The top of the ground was full of soldiers putting up a resistance and struggling in vain, trying to move themselves hopelessly, despite being entwined in nets.
“Don’t just admire, quickly do what you’re supposed to! I have a hard time controlling this board with the two of us!”
“Ah, understood. I’ll do it right away.”
As Nonoel was forming an incantation, moisture started to gather in the air.
And a rain fell constantly without having to wait long.
Once the sky was filled with enough rain to soak the ground, Yuuki returned with her board and put Nonoel down. After that, she gave a ride to one of the witches from Sraymeyer’s clan, named Lilly, hovered back to her previous spot.
Yuuki felt a bit anxious as she had no experience in transporting other witches. However, because Lilly had a small physique, steering the board wasn’t as difficult as what she had initially thought.
The moment they both reached their destination, Lilly began to chant her incantation while clapping her hands numerous of times.
“The hand whose god’s words echoes, the radiance born from the god. Prostrate, prostrate. Shine, become angry, run down. Oh furious God of thunder, pass down your judgement on this hill, pass it down on this hill. Come, come, come.”
A small flash of lightning ran down from the sky into the ground.
Screams and shouts coming from electrocuted soldiers echoed here and there.
the flash of lighting kept running down numerous times.
And each time, a scream would be raised.
In addition to every soldier wearing metal armor and being soaked with rain created by Nonoel, not a single one of them could avoid getting electrocuted.
After the very last flash, not a single soldier seemed to be moving.
Yuuki waved with her hand so as to give a signal to others.
Kay, who saw that while stretching out her neck, shouted.
“Vita-san, it seems to be over!”
Shortly thereafter, Kay could suddenly sense her body becoming light again. Despite that, she had the feeling her body lost half of its weight.
“Uwaa, my body feels lighttt.”
Feeling that she was able jump over the wall, Kay leaped with all her might. Unfortunately, her body didn’t reach even 1.35 meters.
“As expected, my body returned back to its original weight, eh?”
Once she muttered so, Kay approached Elysione and brought a mantle, the hem of which she coiled into a roll.
What Kay held out toward her was a small sized, makeshift mantle for Vita who stayed inside Elysione’s mantle to bear with for the time being.(?)
“I appreciate your efforts.”
Vita, who reached out her hands and received the mantle, creeped inside of it.
At that time, Elysione stood around with a stern expression, making it seem weird to Kay.
Finally, as Vita finished putting it on her, she crawled out from Elysione’s mantle.
The little witch adjusted her breathing and turned around to Elysione.
“Well then, you can go now, Elysione.”
Elysione placed her foot on Vita’s held out palms and made a big leap.
It looked like the petite Vita wouldn’t be able to throw her largely built daughter into the air; nevertheless, Elysione gently whirled up into the sky as though she had feathers and jumped over the wall.
“Do you want to leap as well?”
“Is that okay with you? Aren’t you tired?”
“My power won’t be exhausted by this much.”
“Is that so? In other words, is it fine for me to harden my body just like this?”
“I don’t mind. Jump on my palms.”
“Well then, I’m going”
Kay, who was about to leap with all her might touched Vita’s palms with the back of her heels.
Soon after that, she could truly feel her body rapidly losing its weight. No, rather than ‘rapidly losing’, it felt more like it had no weight at all.
Moving her palms casually, Vita released Kay into the air.
And her body floated high into the air.
Soaring high in the air like this, Kay wondered whether or not she was dreaming. Obviously, shortly after she passed over the wall, Kay’s body returned to its original weight just like an illusion.
Vita’s magic can reduce one’s body weight, however, as soon the effect runs out, the weight will return to its previous state.
Kay adjusted her posture in a hurry and prepared for the landing.
Since she could feel her weight returning back gradually, rather than spontaneously, there didn’t…. seem to be any worry about Kay crashing headfirst against the ground.
Holding the ground firmly with the back of her heels, Kay absorbed the impact from the landing by folding her knees.
By the time she extended her legs, her body weight had returned back completely.
“Hmm, this is….. a somewhat enjoyable magic indeed.”
Kay, who thought about that optimistically looked around her surroundings.
There were soldiers lying everywhere in lumps. Several, or perhaps, a dozen of them, were trapped inside nets while being unconscious.
“It’s most likely due to them being hit by thunderbolts.”
Kay approached one of the soldiers and peeked inside his eyes. Without having to check, it was clear both his armor and clothes were wet.
“I guess it’s because of them getting soak that the thunderbolts were so effective. It doesn’t look like they’re going to wake up anytime soon. Despite that, it will be trouble if they wake up by any chance, so, shouldn’t I quickly make sure they don’t?”
Kay took stakes attached to a net in her hand and knocked them into the ground using her hardened fist.
Once she plugged them deeply into the ground on all 4 sides of the net, Kay stood up and checked its firmness by pulling.
“Hm, I think it’s okay. Even if some of these soldiers wake up and struggle, they shouldn’t be able to come out.”
Moving from net to net, she continued to fix them with stakes.
While she was doing so, the other witches also crossed over the fort’s walls one after another and began to go around its interior in small groups.