Gashe and the rest of the defense team, who had been keeping an eye on the movements of the Na’Hatome through the hole in the wall, called out to Elmerl and the rest who were protecting the gate.
“Something is advancing again!”
“That’s the Mechanized Tank of the Na’Hatome army. Apparently, it’s power core is made with golem technology.”
“Are they trying to break down the gate with that?”
The box-type Mechanized Tank with an attached battering ram. It was covered in shields and thick armor, and looking like a dangerous carriage, it was also equipped with multiple mechanized bows.
Currently, both the members of the Adventurer’s Guild and the town guards had joined up and were engaged in holding back the enemy, but if the gate was destroyed, the fighting would spread all over the town and they would become severely underhanded. If the main army of the enemy decided to take over at that time, they would stand no chance in defending against them.
The catapult behind the tank continued to launch flame barrels, and they couldn’t have anyone defend the gate directly because of the risk of getting them caught in the explosion and rain of fire. They tried to attack the tank with large stones and arrows from on top of the wall, but they had no effect.
“It’s not even wavering.”
“If only we had a huge weapon of some sorts…”
“Wishing for things that are not even there won’t get you far. For now, it seems that that tank cannot cross large holes or steps due to it’s structure.”
Opening up a huge hole in front of the gate would be too difficult, but on Richello’s suggestion that they drop a huge piece of wood in front of the gate to delay the battering ram, Gashe gathered his men. But a shouting voice called out to Gashe and stopped them.
“Oi! Where’s the leader of the defense team! Don’t tell me he ran away!”
“Yes yes, I’m right here, commander.”
“Why are you over there! Don’t leave your position without permission!”
An old man wearing an old Grandahl Army uniform was currently in charge of the town guard of Barasse, and was going around barking orders to everybody while waving around a stick.
He was former soldier, and had been made the commander of the defense forces of the town by the ruler since he used to be a commander of a platoon back in the day.
However, although he seemed used to ordering people around, Elmerl had doubts about his ability as a commander. Elmerl called out to him as he was lecturing Gashe who had come down from the on top of the wall about how a leader should act.
“Commander, the enemy is approaching with a tank equipped with a battering ram. We want to delay it by putting a huge piece of wood in its path; will you move the soldiers?”
“You idiot! Who would waste wood that we can use for repairs! You’re just an Adventurer, don’t go around giving suggestions to the army!”
“Then how do you think we should stop it?”
“Fumu. We don’t need to slow it down or anything. A handful of soldiers is all we need to turn that toy threat upside down.”
To the commander who was boldly planning to mount a counterattack, Elmerl explained the the problems about the situation at the gate.
First, the catapult was continuously firing flame barrels, and the effect of the explosions and the fire rain was reaching all the way to the gate, so it would be quite dangerous to put soldiers outside the gate. The tank was also equipped with multiple mechanized bows, so approaching it would be difficult.
Also, it seemed like the tank had quite a bit of weight, so even if they managed to approach it, they would have trouble lifting it much less turning it over, and the enemy force could attack them in that time.
“We won’t know those things until we try it! No, we have to do it!”
“Old man, if you’re planning to exhaust your soldiers without thinking, how about you step down from the position of commander this instant?”
“H-how disrespectful!” As the commander yelled, a huge bang echoed from the direction gate as if to drown his voice out, and a dent appeared in the gate. The gate had taken a hit from the battering ram of the tank. The tank began to reverse to build momentum for another hit. As if to reinforce the damage from the original hit, a flame barrel exploded against the gate.
“This is not the time to be fighting among ourselves, Gashe! I’m leaving the preparation and hoisting of any wood we can use it slow down up to you.”
“Stop giving unnecessary instructions! Deploy the Combat Engineers unit. Time the opening of the gate with the next attack, and turn that heap of junk on its side to use as a barricade.”
“Are you insane! If we open up the gate, that tank will be all over us!”
“That’s why I said we will turn it on its side to use as barricade!”
There was much conflict between the commander of the army and the representative of the Adventurers Guild. Outside the gate, the volley of the flame barrels stopped as the tank got ready for a second attack. Gashe would have preferred to carry out Elmerl’s safe plan, but since he was under the command of the army, he couldn’t disobey his orders.
“Hired help has it hard, don’t they~”
They decided on a middle ground, and decided to use the wood they were going to use to slow down the tank, and use it to turn it over instead.
“Can you do it?”
“We’ll try our best. As soon as the tank crashes into the gate, open it up. I’ll be counting on you help from above.”
A few soldiers from the city guard teamed up with Gashe’s defense team, and holding planks of wood, hid behind the gate. They were waiting for the next hit from the battering ram of the mechanized tank. To support the defense team from above, the bowmen team got into position on the wall, keeping themselves low.
“Here it comes!”
The tank struck with a huge crash, and the massive gate creaked. A large amount of dust mixed with splinters of the wood blew in from the gap in the middle of the gate and from underneath it. A few iron latches that reinforced the surface of the door flew off.
The tank, which had begun backing up to strike once more, suddenly stopped as the gate started opening. The operator of the tank thought that there had been a time-lag between the strike and the gate latch breaking, so he immediately put the tank into “advance” to get through into the city, and only then noticed the soldiers like men rushing towards the tank.
“Enemy soldiers approaching!”
“What about interception from the mechanized bows?”
“They are too close!”
“Contact with enemy soldiers!”
There was noise of something being slid under the body of the tank, and then they heard the enemy soldiers shouting as one as the tank rocked a little. The tank commander understood what they were trying to do and laughed.
“Hahahaha! These guys are trying to turn this thing over.”
“This is an Anti-Settlement weapon that doesn’t exist in Grandahl. We can’t blame them for being desperate.”
“Let's go ahead and scatter them.”
The mechanized tank made using golem technology for self-propelled movement was a five-seater vehicle that was based on a military, armored horse-drawn carriage reinforced with iron armor. As such, it was too heavy to be drawn with horses.
In both the front and back of the tank were huge wheels installed diagonally with the part contacting the ground having ridges like a gear reinforced with iron, and by turning the wheels on both sides in the opposite direction, the tank was able to do a sudden turn, sending the Barasse guards flying.
Gashe and his defense team were also hit by the arm of the battering ram and the armor from the side, and were sent flying. Elmerl, who had been keeping the enemy forces away from their own using a large launcher instructed the bowmen unit to shooting and calmed some of them down, and then asked the commander to send help to the soldiers outside and a diversion for the tank.
“Commander, please order their rescue!”
“Why won’t they move according to plan...Why can’t they move according to my orders…!”
“He’s no good anymore, Elmerl. We will create a diversion; I will leave the rescue of Gashe and his team to you.”
Richello took some of the Adventurers and made to get behind the tank. “That’s supposed to be my job.” Elmerl muttered under her breath as she readjusted her squad to rescue Gashe’s team, and wait for the perfect time to jump out.
Sensing the new unit approaching it, the tank turned towards them as if to give chase. However, instead of chasing Richello and the rest, the tank headed towards the city gate, which had been left open. Ignoring the fallen unit and the bowmen unit that had rushed out to rescue them on both sides of the gate, the tank started to invade into the city.
“No! It’s going to get into the city! Someone, stall that tank!”
Of course, there was a danger of important facilities in the city getting damaged, but in this situation, if the tank got past the gate, there was a greater danger of the catapult resuming function and launching flame barrels on the rescue squad. Although the bowmen unit were continuously firing to keep the enemy forces from mounting a sudden attack, they couldn’t do anything to stop the catapult.
“Y-You damned Na’Hatome barbarians!”
“C-Commander! Stop, it’s dangerous!”
Standing in front of the tank that was trying to get clear of the gate, sword in hand, was the man who had been a part of the knight’s unit of the regular army of Grandahl, the old commander. Shaking off his subordinate who was trying to hold him back, he took on the old-fashioned “Assault stance” and tried to strike the tank with his sword head on.
“That idiot…Richello! I’ll leave Gashe and the rest to you!”
Entrusting the rescue to the diversion team, Elmerl rushed after the tank.
“Commander, stand down! Don’t be unreasonable!”
“I’ll deliver the hammer of justice on the barbarians that would seek to pollute my great homeland Grandahl with the sword of my vow!”
The commander attacked while shouting the attack vow that was custom that long since been thrown away. To crush such and old man, the mechanized tank sped up. Elmerl and the rest could already see it– Either he would be impaled by the battering ram, or he would be sent flying by the body of the tank. He won’t make it… Just as everybody had resigned themselves to the fact–
The cry of bird echoed from somewhere.
A terrible roar followed. Splinter of wood danced in the air, and the shockwave from the caved in ground spread in all directions in the form of strong wind, blowing dust everywhere. They spotted the mechanized tank for moment through the smoke and the dust; it’s rear end raised high in the sky as it bounced backward. All movements ceased as the onlookers wondered what had happened in that one moment.
As the commander, who had fallen on his back due to huge shockwave looked up, he saw the back of huge suit of amour like thing, standing on top of the crushed battering ram in a daunting pose.
“Vuaoooo~” I made it.
Inside the tank, which had been shook up severely when the battering ram that had been attached to the body had been hit, the operators who had bumped their heads hurried to make sense of the situation. Since the coupling was broken, they detached the whole mechanism, and making sure that there was no problem with the power, began to back up while confirming the situation.
“What happened? Was it an enemy launching device or something?”
“Negative, look at that…It seems we received an attack from that golem…”
“…I’ve never seen that type of golem. Was it a high-level magician or what?”
Confirming the appearance of the suit of armor like golem through a small window, the tank commander ascertained that a there must have been a magician nearby who had summoned it, and ordered the tank crew to switch from charge mode to anti-personnel mode, and to continue towards the city while avoiding the golem.
That humanoid type golem could not hope to keep up with the speed of a vehicle type golem that was tis tank. Although it had destroyed that battering ram and few other equipment with a sudden blow, the main body of the tank was unharmed, and the main purpose of this tank, to suppresses settlements, could still be served by going around the city and taking down the enemy forces.
It would be hard to destroy buildings, and the ones protecting the city would come at it in droves, but they were no threat to the tank. The tank armor also boasted huge defensive capabilities against offensive magic. A sharp blade and a rotating saw came out from a gap between its armor, and the tank targeted a city guard nearby.
It was a mechanism to dismember humans. Letting out the decidedly unpleasant sound of metal on metal, the tank rushed towards the group of soldiers gathering around the commander, brandishing the blade and the saw. However, the golem quickly moved in front of it, and receiving the brunt of the attack by its body, it broke the blade.
“What are you doing! I told you to avoid the golem!”
“I’m-I’m sure I did…the golem moved too quickly– Uwaah!”
The received a heavy attack, and the whole body of the tank shook. After that, sounds of consecutive hits on the tank body resounded, and the crew member in charge of the equipment of the tank gave out the warning that the anti-personnel equipment had been destroyed.
“Front and side saw blades, completely destroyed! The spikes are also being folded one after the other…Ahh! Upper mechanical bow also destroyed!”
“Kuh! What an agile golem…Retreat! At this rate, all of our equipment will be destroyed!”
The gear shaped wheels of the tank spun and the tank started going backwards. However, the golem grabbed hold of one of the mechanical bows installed on top of the tank and climbed on top of it, continuing to attack the tank all the time. He pulled out all of the extra bows, and started hitting the ceiling of the tank.
The tank was retreating right before Elmerl’s eyes. The tank, which was being repeatedly hit by the golem on top of it headed towards the gate. After confirming the safety of the commander, she ran to the gate, and shouted at the soldiers that were still recuing the fallen soldiers to retreat inside the city walls.
“Hurry up! Once the tank retreats completely, the flame barrels will start raining down again!”
The tank, which had gotten outside the gate, was turning sharply trying to shake off the golem, but the golem grabbed on to the peeling armor of the tank and wouldn’t let go. And then, with a forceful blow from its right fist, it punctured the ceiling of the tank. The tank ground to a complete halt.
It seemed like it had dealt a decisive blow to the power core. The back of the stopped tank opened and the tank crew began to run away.
“Ohhhh. That golem, it completely destroyed the tank!”
Someone shouted upon seeing the golem as it kept pounding the tank and the tank crew as they ran away. Cheers rose from the rescue squad and the city guards and Adventurers they were helping to get inside the city walls.
“Movement in the catapult spotted! Hurry up and withdraw!”
One of members of the bowmen were squad who were aiming for the escaping tank crew from the top off the walls noticed movement in the catapult and shouted a warning. The barrel that was launched from the huge catapult set up on the side of the road on level ground exploded near the tank. The wreckage of the tank and the golem were enveloped in flames.
Ototo~ It’s burning It’s burning!
After transferring various things like the armor plates covering the tank, the rations that were inside the luggage compartment of the tank, and the golem catalyst ore that formed the basis of the powering mechanism of tank into his dimensional storage, Kou also put his composite body in there because his surroundings were now aflame.
The one I caught a glimpse of earlier…that was Elmerl-san, wasn’t it?
Kou decided that he would go back into the town in his boy form after the fire died down, and floating in the flames and the smoke in his spirit form, he began sorting the things that he had retrieved from the tank. They could probably use the armor plates in some way. The rations consisted of stick of dried meat and fried fruits. The catalyst ore was just a normal cheap ore filled with magic.
The rations are more simple than the Grandahl army ones. There doesn’t seem to be any special seal on the containers, so the food itself has to be long lasting or it would go spoilt.
Incidentally, the Grandahl army rations were put in containers that were produced magically, and had functions to keep the food warm, cool, or moisturized. The seals were also vastly superior, so you could put fresh food in them.
As he looked over, he saw the Na’Hatome soldiers gathering around the large catapult and beginning construction of an encampment in the evening light.