“That! Was that your doing?!”
“Of course! You can summon monsters! Ahaha! That’s it! We can disrupt the Expeditionary Forces if you summon these monsters in the middle of their camp!”
Noxvil approached Isaac armed with a bloody sword and a murderous glare. But the menacing expression on Noxvil’s face changed immediately after hearing Mazelan’s revelation, and Noxvil nodded with a much softer expression.
“Of course. We can put up a good fight if we can reinforce our numbers with monsters instead.”
Isaac scratched his head, listening to the two jump to conclusions. This was just a test to see if his theory was correct. Although the idea of summoning monsters to fight the Expeditionary Forces seemed plausible at first glance, Isaac wasn’t confident that these monsters could withstand the firepower of the Expeditionary Forces.
Even now, the startled agents’ gunfire pierced through the wyvern’s scaly skin with ease. An ordinary soldier’s strikes would have bounced off these wyverns’ thick scales.
What would happen if Isaac threw a bunch of them in the middle of the Expeditionary Forces? They would be surprised at first. But they were an army, and armies were trained to respond quickly in the face of unexpected events.
These monsters would quickly turn into swiss cheese under the concentrated fire, and their dead bodies would only be valuable research material.
Isaac remained silent. He didn’t want to sour the mood by correcting them; if he did, they were most definitely going to pester him with questions.
The gusting winds quickly turned into a tornado, and even the weighty Humvees began rocking back and forth. When the tornado suddenly disappeared, Mazelan shouted.
With a jarring ambient noise, a translucent blue ball of plasma appeared with a spark. Sparks of electricity scattered from the ball of plasma at first, but the discharge began to focus towards Isaac’s hiding spot. The discharge focused into a laser, and the tip of the laser slowly expanded.
EDN: Here’s a visualization drawn by Moyo.
“… Looks fitting, although it’s different from what I’d imagined.”
The gate looked like a large cone laid onto the ground. Mazelan, who was in the car next to Isaac’s, shouted.
“Their reconnaissance will come out soon!”
“Get in position, quickly!”
Although they knew where the Gate was opening, there was no way to predict which direction the Gate was going to open. So the moment the Gate opened, all of the cars immediately raced toward the entrance of the Gate.
“All cars are to watch their distance! Stay a little further back!”
The humvees lined up facing the gate, and the agents poured out of the humvees.
Isaac ordered as he got out of the passenger’s seat. Rivelia nodded and signalled the agents.
“Here it comes!”
Even before Noxvil finished shouting, the blue ball of plasma oscillated, and a single aircraft emerged. It faltered for a moment, then attempted to rise to the skies. But it was met with a rain of fireballs and shards of ice.
The UAV shattered to pieces in an explosion, and the agents let out a triumphant roar. Isaac looked at the debris falling to the ground apathetically when Rivelia reported.
“We can only use ranged magic attacks two more times now.”
Sadly, the magic of this world only traveled in a straight line or a parabola. It could not follow its enemy once launched. Such guileless attacks, befitting their guileless casters. And since they needed to recharge their mana with mana crystals, it heavily strained their stamina, limiting their use. Then again, this was probably the reason they had no choice but to charge head on with their swords.
“That’s enough. Start. Tell them to throw everything.”
“You got a problem?”
“… No sir.”
Rivelia hesitated at Isaac’s order for a moment, but she then nodded and ordered the agents.
“All agents, throw all the mana crystals you have!”
With the order from Rivelia given, the agents shuffled to grab the mana crystals distributed to them in advance. They looked at the crystals with eyes of pity at first, then shut their eyes as they threw the crystals toward the Gate.
“What! What are we supposed to do if you throw it already?!”
“This is too early! At this rate, we are just throwing away the mana crystals!”
Both Mazelan and Noxvil rushed over to Isaac in a panic when the agents threw the mana crystals. These two joyfully thought of a plan beforehand when they learned about Isaac’s secret weapon. It was a plan to delay the enemy from start to finish. First, they would shoot down the UAV to cut off their intel source and then skirmish with the advance party as they retreated.
As they retreated, they would throw mana crystals on the way and summon monsters. They predicted this would buy enough time until reinforcement arrived.
So they distributed the mana crystals to the agents and repeatedly briefed the plan to the agents’ . But one word from Isaac and they just threw the mana crystals away. Every single one of them.
“You! What are you plotting!”
Noxvil glared at Isaac, ready to cut him down at a moment’s notice. Rivelia stepped in between them cautiously, partially blocking Noxvil’s path.
Noxvil’s brows squirmed, dissatisfied by Rivelia’s actions. Just as his blood-red eyes shifted from Isaac to Rivelia, Isaac lit a cigarette and spoke.
“Hey, old man. It just came to my mind, but what the Expeditionary Forces wants are these mana crystals right? Won’t they go back satisfied if we shower the ground with them like this?”
Noxvil was dumbfounded at Isaac’s ludicrous explanation at first, but he quickly shouted back in anger.
“Are you seriously…”
“You’re right. There’s no way they’d be happy with only that amount of mana crystals.”
“No, that’s not what I was…”
“As they say, there is no end to human greed.”
“… You bastard!”
Noxvil’s face turned bright red, assuming that he had been ridiculed. But before he could let out his anger, Isaac crawled onto the humvee’s roof.
“And it’d also be a problem if they were satisfied and just withdrew. It always pisses you off when you see someone else make a fortune.”
Isaac drew out the pen from his right index finger, and his left eye glowed, drawing the magic circle Isaac wanted.
‘Deeper, wider, longer.’
Crack! Crack! Crack!
The magic circuit activated immediately at the location determined by the pen, and the mana crystals that had been expended turned to grey and cracked.
Rivelia, Noxvil, Mazelan and all the other agents could only watch, dumbfounded by the inexplicable event that took place.
It was as if a giant was digging a pit around the Gate. The ground sunk deeper and deeper.
“Was summoning monsters just one of the functions of the Queen’s Artifact?”
It was an entry-level magic, mastered by everyone in the school of magic when they first entered. It was so simple that everyone could use it; the magic circuit for it was practically obsolete. But when that simple magic circuit was recast tens of thousands of times, a deep, wide crater formed with the gate floating in the centre.
“Shit! My head. This is pretty hard.”
Isaac frowned in response to his headache but smiled, satisfied, when he looked at his handiwork.
“… What is this?”
Noxvil asked with a distant look on his face, and Isaac replied with a shrug.
“What else? We are just making a fool of the Expeditionary Forces.”
They would plummet to the ground the moment they stepped out of the Gate. Just by looking, the height of the fall would critically wound a person, and if they were inside a vehicle, they’d be squashed under the vehicle’s weight.
“… It’s a new strategy, but one we can’t use ever again.”
Rivelia was surprised at first but returned to her emotionless expression as she muttered. Everyone else nodded in agreement.
Creating a crater so deep in an instant was impossible without the Queen’s Artifact. Since it was a simple magic to cast, it may have been possible to achieve if they deployed every wizard and magic knight at their disposal. But that would have been a huge waste of manpower. The worst part was its cost efficiency.
“But this was still too early! It’s no guarantee that the ground troops will advance immediately just because their aircraft was shot down! It would all be for naught if they send another aircraft through the gate!”
Noxvil argued, and Isaac smirked.
“Does it matter if they know? It’s not like they can escape falling from their deaths.”
It was true. The people of this world always fought in the same routine, and the same applied to the Expeditionary Forces. They were bound to be surprised when there was a sudden change. What would happen if they found out that there is no way for them to cross after the Gate is open? They could only shuffle their feet in panic, unable to profit from this engagement.
‘… A perfect victory? Has there ever been a case like this?’
Goosebumps rose on Noxvil’s skin when his thoughts reached that conclusion. They completely shut down the Expeditionary Force’s entryway. Without sacrificing anything. This was an unprecedented achievement in the history of Central.
“I cannot accept this! What would you have done if the Gate sunk with the ground itself!”
Noxvil’s shout was akin to a scream at this point, and Isaac looked at Noxvil with contempt.
“Old man, you shouldn’t only swing your sword around just because you’re a swordmaster. Read up on military strategies and tactics. This was a plan concocted by a low-ranking officer in my world, and you call yourself the commander when you can’t solve that problem yourself?”
Noxvil’s body shivered with rage in the face of Isaac’s jabs, and Rivelia, who pondered for a moment, answered.
“If the Gate did sink along with the ground, were you only just going to dig at the Gate’s foundations, entombing it underground?”
Isaac nodded proudly listening to Rivelia.
“As expected of a hero. Great job.”
It was rare to see Isaac ever compliment someone sincerely. But even this did not faze Rivelia, and she calmly asked Isaac.
“I am awaiting your next order.”
Isaac looked at Rivelia with keen interest. The sudden change in Isaac’s attitude was somewhat scary.
“We can’t let our guests leave empty-handed like this. We should give them a present. Isn’t that right?”
Isaac grinned widely, but everyone flinched at the bloodthirsty undertones. Isaac took out a new cigarette and got off the Humvee, looking at the weapon that was attached to it.
The M134. It was colloquially known as the minigun and was the weapon used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator like a badass to fill everything with lead.
“Why don’t we get started first, since it’s about time they send out a new UAV.”
Isaac signalled by tapping the body of the Humvee, and the agent that was manning the gun nodded to Isaac. He aimed the gun to the Gate and pulled the trigger.
In an instance, the Gate was showered with thousands of rounds like an unrelenting winter hail. This signalled the other humvees to fire the minigun at the Gate too.
Even the agents that were holding rifles in hand fired along at the Gate, emptying multiple clips in a frenzy.
The scene was akin to a lake in heavy rain as the blue surface of the Gate rippled with each and every bullet.
Isaac backed off to move away from the loud gunfire and the smoke of gunpowder. Rivelia, who followed with Isaac, asked.
“I have a question.”
“Is there any meaning in this attack?”
The fact that the Expeditionary Forces were stopped was unquestionable. They would have no way to enter this world so long as they couldn’t find a way to overcome that giant crater. Attacking the Gate seemed meaningless in this situation.
“There are two reasons.”
“… I would like your guidance.”
Rivelia asked politely, and Isaac chuckled. Yes, that was exactly it. Learn well.
TLN: Shout out to HungryRice for providing me with the raws. Thanks again!