As King Leozeos declared a state of emergency, the Capital Tortoluse shifted to a wartime regime, and throughout the city, at various important locations, floating encampments using magic warship technology were raised up into the sky, and an aerial corridor connecting them all was constructed using small magic boats.
A place for dragons to land and take off was also constructed in the capitals airspace, so efficiency went up a lot. From here, scouting teams could take off in all directions.
The central headquarters of the Adventurer’s Guild sent out information about that start of the war to all the branches of the guild using communication equipment, and requested them to share all info and to gather more.
Among the people of the capital, the elderly ones were mostly calm as they looked upon the construction of the floating encampments, saying things like “It’s been awhile since we saw this”, while the young people were divided into those that were scared and those that were excited.
“The Na’Hatome Empire, while making a show of gathering their forces at the fort on the border, snuck around Grandahl from the sea and landed on the port city Lapa of Eptita.”
“It seems they’re planning to occupy Pulse and invade into Barasse, and from there,attack Curacall, the city that is called the Granary of Grandahl.”
As Adventurers and mercenaries alike sat in the tavern shoulder-to-shoulder discussing the information they had gotten from the Adventurer’s Guild, a neat and trim boy who looked to be about 12 years of age pushed open the heavy wooden door with the whole of his body and entered, walking carefully between the tables.
Unlike the usual lively yet peaceful tavern, today the tavern was very rough and filled with violent-looking mercenaries that had gathered from all over the place to take part in the war, and the boy looked really out of place. There was certain charm in his well-defined and innocent looking features, and he caught the gaze of the gentlemen with that kind of inclinations.
The young boy walking through the group of such beasts headed towards the party that was most unapproachable among all the groups at the tavern, and was suddenly hugged by a glamourous woman that was a member of that party.
Gasps of “He got caught by the woman!” could be heard from among the outsider groups, but the regulars at the tavern who knew about the situation just looked on with envious eyes and drank their liquor.
“We thought we didn’t see you, but you had gone along to the throne room?”
“Kou-chan, didn’t you get scolded?”
“They weren’t really angry, you know?”
Although the city of Barasse normally had a lot of Adventurers, as it had a training school and dungeon, and also army veterans with many years of expertise, most of the proper army was formed by inexperienced amateurs or retired soldiers, and soldiers that could be used immediately in battle were few.
“I’m pretty sure Gashe from the defense team and Elmerl and the rest will also be fighting.”
“Ah, that female swordswoman from that time.” Gawiik suddenly remembered that she had an aura similar to the vice-captain of the Varrow Party.
It was a perfect chance for them to go to Barasse and wipe their bad reputation from that one time ages ago, but the Gawiik party had been requested by Grandahl army through the Adventurer’s Guild to go help defend the city near the fortress, Ariatorune. Looking at Kou who was worried about Elmerl and the rest in Barasse, Gawiik thought a bit and then voiced an alternative.
“We’ll have Kou go to the city of Barasse as Gawiik party’s representative.”
Per Captain Gawiik’s proposal, Kou was going to be heading to the city of Barasse to join the defense as a representative of the Gawiik party. As such, he was going around saying his farewells to the people that had taken care of him in the Capital. The members of the Gawiik party had already boarded the magic ship headed to Ariatorune, as they were leaving for the defense line early in the morning. As they were parting, Karen offered a prayer that they would have safe travels and meet again. As she gave Kou a kiss on the cheek as a blessing, Lef also gave him a blessing on the other cheek.
“Kou-chan, lets definitely meet up and travel together again!”
“…There’s a lot of things that I haven’t taught you yet.”
“Un. Good luck to you guys as well. Let’s have another adventure again sometime!”
At Professor Andagi’s laboratory, Sarta hugged Kou, and putting her forehead against his said: “Take care of yourself.” Sayaka also hugged him, and shyly putting her cheek against his said: “Be careful.” The Professor also made to hug him, but for some reason, tea came flying out of the saucepan and stained his lab coat, and he hastily got up to change his clothes.
“Farewells like these have to be beautiful, you know?”
Sayaka ignored Sarta’s whisper, who had “accidently” spilled some tea, and laughed wryly.
“But…Isn’t that town you’re going to quite far, Kou-kun? Won’t it take you a lot of time to reach there?”
“Yes, but right now, we’re in a state of emergency, so the army will cooperate.”
“Normally, it would take around 10 days to arrive, but if you fly there, you can reach it in just 1 or 2 days.”
“Kou-kun, you’ll be fighting the enemy army, won’t you…?”
Sayaka had seen Kou fighting in both the tournament and the underground ruins, but she was still worried about him taking part in something as big as a “war”. “I’ve something to give you, so hold on.” On that note, the Professor who had left to change clothes came back, pushing a big cart loaded with something.
“What, you don’t have to worry. With this, which has all the labor of my research, and Kou, those Na’Hatome bastards will be sent flying! Kuwakakaka!”
The Professor gave him a “Magic Hammer” as a parting gift, that was tailored for use by the composite body. Apparently, it had a self-repair function built-in, a huge hammer that as usual seemed to have evolved into a strange thing, with sharp pointy bits on one side of the head, and apparently the whole thing was infused with composite cells.
On the other side of the head, a propulsion device utilizing the internal combustion engine was attached, and it was activated by a switch located on the handle. When activated, it made the head of the hammer accelerate with an explosive force, and it wasn’t something anyone could just pick up and use.
“Since I want a detailed report on it’s performance, make sure to come back, okay?”
“Yes~ Thank you.”
Even at times like these, Prince Rozeth was relaxing in his secret place in the garden of the Royal Palace. After hearing that Kou was leaving for Barasse, he lead him to Princess Elrose. She was enjoying tea on the wide terrace on the top floor of the Royal Palace, and invited him to the table without getting angry at the sudden interruption.
“I see, so you’re also going to fight.” Her expression clouding a bit, Elrose reached forward and parted Kou’s bangs. “May the blessing of the God of War be with you.” Saying that small prayer, she kissed his forehead. The maids and servants standing nearby all silently made excited expressions, but she purposely ignored them.
“Aren’t you the popular one.”
Kou came back to the garden with Prince Rozeth, and headed towards the section where the military facilities were housed while confirming the details of his journey to Barasse. On the way, Rozeth also told him all the info and the rumors about Barasse and its dungeon.
“By the way, I heard from Brother Layos before that the dungeon of Barasse has a treasure named ‘Gate of Life’ in its deepest parts.”
It seemed Layos had been planning to go have a look with his own party one day.
“Tell your friends I said hi. Let’s meet again.”
“Un, thanks for seeing me off.”
Having taken a magic boat from the military facilities to the floating encampment where they had set up a landing pad for the dragons, Kou waved Rozeth goodbye.
Almost immediately, the messenger bird flew into view, and flapping its wings, landed on a handrail nearby. Kou released his boy-type summoned body and possessed the bird.
He was going to ride the unmanned scouting dragon, which was trained for high speed and long distances flight, and in one go reach the city of Curacall, from there he was going to travel to Barasse using the messenger bird. Kou touched the dragon with his spirit body, and said “I’m counting on you” to which it replied “Leave it to me.”
Among the various scouting teams flying in Tortoluse’s airspace, some of them returning from all over Grandahl, and some of them taking off for their next mission, the dragon carrying the messenger bird took off and headed towards the city of Curacall.
The scouting dragon reached the city of Curacall late in the afternoon. As it flew in circles over the city, the messenger bird took off from its back.
“Pyuriii~” Thanks a lot!
Exchanging a few words with the dragon as it descended towards the city of Curacall, the messenger bird turned east and flew off in the direction of Barasse.
“Is something wrong, my lady?”
“There is dragon out there.”
While patting the head of the lively dog Fausta, the daughter of the Diretoss family Alice looked up at the dragon that was circling the skies while descending slowly. The gardener Halbad acknowledged the presence of the dragon and guessed that it would be involve in the war against Na’Hatome.
“That’s a scouting dragon, it probably flew here from the capital.”
Halbad narrowed his eyes, saying that it might have come to observe the stationed troops that were having trouble getting reinforcements to Barasse.
“The capital…Kou is in the capital, isn’t he?”
A mysterious existence that had officially registered as a Golem Adventurer a while ago. Worrying about him because she had heard that he had grouped up with a famous party of Adventurers, Alice was thinking about her friend who she thought was far away in the capital.
At her feet, Fausta, who had been frolicking around up till now, suddenly sat down, and looking to the eastern sky, wagged his tail.
At the same time, the one who had become part of the Gawiik party had been flying over mountains for a while. Among the mountains, he saw a glimpse of the town through the haze. The city of Barasse was being lit up by the evening sun from the west, and a part of its defensive walls had broken, and smoke was rising from one corner of the city.
Please hurry, messenger bird!
The Na’Hatome forces had landed on the port city Lapa of Eptita, and had moved on to the border city of Pulse. Now, they were moving their resources from Lapa to their base in Pulse, while the scouting team launched a preemptive attack on Barasse. They were trying to gauge their fighting power and reactions.
“As we thought, they are very vulnerable. Captain, if they are this weak, couldn’t we invade with the forces we have right now?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Vice-Captain. Even if it’s a remote region, it is still a part of Grandahl. It won’t go down so easily like Pulse.”
Knowing that the Vice-Captain already knew all this, the Captain leading the scouting team went along with the Vice-Captains nonsense. He felt that if that had just a little bit more offensive power, they could forcibly go in and capture the city.
“Well, let’s make it so that we can rest easy later. Deploy the tank.”
“Understood. Tank Corps! Forward!”
On the Vice-Captain’s orders, the Anti-Settlement Suppression-Weapon “Mechanized Tank” operated by the Mechanized Unit of the Na’Hatome army revealed itself.