Chapter 38 is out! Was going to post this yesterday but I switched hosts etc… so I figured it was better to just post today. Please do tell me if the website feels slow or anything like that. There might be a few issues here and there.
For the Patrons, Chapter 40, Chapter 41 and Chapter 42 are all available on the Patreon page.
Anyway, here’s the chapter, hope you’ll enjoy it!
Crowdagen, the impregnable fortress.
This title long could be traced back through the history of Lapland, and with good reason, since it was the last line of defense protecting the royal capital.
It was located at a strategic position for transport, within two mountain ranges that stretched over 3000 meters on its left and right. Moreover, it was protected by high ramparts and high-grade magic defenses, making it indeed worthy of being called a fortress.
However, at the moment, there was a surprisingly small number of troops stationed there.
Lapland was a small country, but if they mobilized all their forces, they could assemble more than 20.000 soldiers.
If they were to face an army that big, even the forces of large country like Asgard would be put in a tough enough spot to give time for the surrounding countries to send reinforcements.
However, in their last battle against the empire, Lapland had lost more than 10.000 men. While the country was reorganizing itself, they could only send around a thousand soldiers to Crowdagen.
【”Say what you will, but this is quite a spectacular scene, isn’t it?”】
Looking at Asgard’s large army as it advanced towards Crowdagen’s ramparts, Frigga smiled wryly. It looked as if the mountain itself was moving.
【”Only you would be able to smile at such a sight, your highness.”】
The man who replied to the princess was Marcus, an adjutant whose face had turned somewhat pale.
He was in the middle of his thirties and had no lack of experience in combat, but his stomach was aching from anxiety. This was his first time seeing an army of 40.000 soldiers.
To make matters worse, his allies numbered in the hundreds, and they were not expecting any reinforcements whatsoever.
【”The numbers don’t matter, there isn’t enough space here for them to deploy their big army. So there is no need for us to be afraid, is there?”】
The greatest treasure of Lapland, the Snow White Valkyrie, was smiling fearlessly.
The troops had been intimidated by the enemy’s numbers, but Frigga’s courage, with the backing of her past achievements, was enough to bring back their morale.
As long as they followed this goddess of the battlefield, they would not lose.
Even if the fortunes of war were to go against them, leading to their defeat, they believed their deaths would absolutely not be in vain.
Frigga had such charisma as a commander that they felt like they would have no regrets in life if they died by her side.
【”No matter how many of Asgard’s barbarians come to us, we will not let a single one reach the royal capital. As long as I’m here, we can turn the tables on them any number of times!”】
Humans are creatures of emotion.
Sometimes, a single word from someone could turn people who were shivering in terror into warriors who did not fear death. However, among tens of thousands of people, only one person, one hero, could achieve this kind of effect.
The morale of Crowdagen’s defense troops soared up with the power to pierce the heavens above.
◆ ◆ ◆
The roars of Crowdagen’s forces reached all the way to the troops of the Asgard empire’s fourth squadron, which was led by count Cabernard.
【” ‘No cowardly soldiers under a great general.’ Is that how the saying goes?”】
That did not apply to militiamen who were recruited during the farmers’ off-season, but it rang very true in regards to trained career soldiers.
Their training was instilled to the core of their bodies. They’d never retreat so long as their commander was still bravely standing on the front line.
(―― Interesting. I didn’t expect any less from the snow white valkyrie.)
Cabernard bared his canines into a smile.
Lately, he had been disappointed that there weren’t any opponents worth fighting, so this turn of event was not exactly bad from his perspective.
【”―― Facing a heroine ready to sacrifice herself should be good.”】
It had been twenty years since he had succeeded the rank of count from his father, and now, he had an established reputation as a veteran general of the Asgard empire’s forces.
The few wrinkles on the corners of his eyes gave away the fact that he was in his forties, but his firmly built, perfectly fit body looked so youthful that he could pass off as someone in his twenties.
His sharp amber eyes, his slightly reddish, light brown hair, and his stern yet charming face made him popular not only among the military, but even within the imperial court.
And yet, the gaze that mighty man was currently directing towards Crowdagen’s short-numbers troops was an earnest one.
At the start of this war, before the crushing victory of the empire, Cabernard had made all of the kingdom dance to his tune by simply sending rumors towards one of the highest authorities of Lapland, the duke of Varandi, claiming that “Some of the Nedras kingdom’s troops that were previously assimilated by Asgard’s fourth squadron are planning to change sides”.
Because of that information, despite already being at a numerical disadvantage in the first place, the Lapland kingdom allowed itself to pointlessly take more and more losses while waiting for the troops of the Nedras kingdom to join their side.
Of course, the empire’s fourth squadron did not actually have troops of the Nedras kingdom or anything of the sort. All they had were a few officers who had betrayed the Nedras kingdom in order to join the empire.
This one plan had been enough to fool all of Lapland’s commanders, but the biggest victims were the soldiers, who ended up being scattered all over the place and unable to receive any commands of withdrawal.
By now, the kingdom had no way to overturn the Asgard empire’s absolute superiority.
There was also no way the countries who had friendly ties with Lapland would interfere.
After all, Lapland would already be down before any reinforcements could arrive, making any intervention pointless.
All that was left to do for Asgard at this point was to patiently wait for Lapland to take its last breath.
Even so, Cabernard was a military man to the core, and he hoped he’d be able to face at least one worthy enemy.
【”Sir Cabernard, your excellency, please remember that his majesty ordered you to capture princess Frigga.”】
Seeing the fighting spirit in Cabernard’s eyes, the divisional commander, Navarre, reminded him of the emperor’s orders.
Heimdall was a capable and impartial emperor, but that did not mean he was easy to serve.
Incurring his displeasure would undoubtedly be a bad idea.
【”I know. But his majesty also knows that winning the battle takes precedence over that.”】
if that wasn’t he case, then that ridiculously handsome, sly racoon of a prime minister would never let it go.
【”Personally, I believe we should be as faithful as possible to the king’s commands.”】
The divisional commander’s role was to prevent the general from being reckless, in other words, Navarre’s duty was to keep Cabernard in check, but it was certainly true that winning the battle was more important than capturing Frigga.
As Navarre scratched his head, seemingly troubled as to what he was supposed to do, Cabernard roared with laughter.
【Look, after all this time, we’ve finally gotten ourselves a great opponent. Surely, the first thing we ought to do in these circumstance is to fulfill our duty as military men, don’t you think?”】
◆ ◆ ◆
Donned with their red robes, the Asgard empire’s mages started their advance.
Compared to other countries, the number of mages that the empire possessed was overwhelmingly higher, because they put all their efforts into nurturing them.
For long in the history of the continent’s many nations, the status of nobles and mages had been privileged classes, which could only be attained by merchants with a level of affluence similar to that of nobles.
Of course, the Jormungand kingdom was no exception.
Heimdall, on the other hand, had thrown the empire’s national funds into nurturing mages on a large scale, regardless of their social position.
At first, this policy seemed strange in the eyes of some conservative countries.
Nurturing mages was very expensive, and they did not believe that the final result would be worth the cost.
However, once the empire built its mage army corps and set out to invade other countries, they showed that they were no easy foes to face.
It was a that point that other nations realized that, from the very beginning, the empire’s goal in training mages was mainly to attack foreign nations.
Having enjoyed a peaceful age of more than a hundred years, even the nations of the ‘five big powers’ were clearly left behind by them.
Under the silent watch of those powerful nations, the empire’s forces destroyed three small countries, increasing their power even further.
At this point, there was no one who could deny that Asgard had the greatest military of the whole continent.
And right now, the mage troops that represented that empire’s power were all simultaneously chanting an incantation.
【”―― ‘Fire breath’ .“】
Fire breath was a spell that could destroy an object with a targeted fire blast and high heat. It was one of the ‘Major’ magic spells.
It was an anti-personnel type of spell, but when it was cast by over a thousand people, even soldiers protected by ramparts would not be safe.
At the very least, those soldiers would not be able to raise their heads while the spells were being fired, and the ramparts could even heat up so much that hiding behind them would become impossible.
On the other hand, if the soldiers were to leave their positions to take cover elsewhere, then the troops of the enemy would be able to besiege the ramparts and destroy them.
This was the Asgard empire’s strategy. It made the best use of both their firepower and their field forces.
With their old-fashioned ways, most countries of the continent would not be able to cope with such a tactic, even if they were led by a commander who was as flexible of a strategist as Cabernard.
―― However, there was also no denying the general rule that, in war, it is always easier to defend than to attack.
As the flash of the fire breath spells turned into an explosion on the ramparts, Asgard’s forces could already envision Crowdagen’s end.
But when the fire and smoke cleared up, they found that the rampart had not taken any damage.
【”An anti-magic emblem?!”】
What Cabernard was speaking of was a type of magic formation that made use of a crest, which could display a power proportional to the magic power applied to it.
The formation was specialized in the cancellation of spells, and it covered all of the principal parts of the ramparts.
This tactic was only useful thanks to the narrowness of the battlefront offered by Crowdagen’s geographical position.
【”This is inconsequential! Keep firing! Don’t let them raise their heads!”】
Even so, Cabernard calmly ordered the troops to proceed.
(That’s what I’m talking about, that’s how a battle should be. If everything went just as planned, how could I call it a battle!)
Even though the mage troops couldn’t damage the walls, their spells were still effective enough.
What had to be decided now was how to make use of them.
After coming to a decision, Cabernard ordered one of his knight captains to attack the gates from both flanks.
The mages and the crossbow units of Lapland’s army could not attack at the moment, so Cabernard wanted to use this opportunity to break through the front gate with his field forces.
He believed that this could very well work since the subordinate he had sent out had plenty of experience in combat.
【”We knew they’d come from the very start. How could we not be prepared to retaliate?”】
Looking down at the empire’s knight troops as they rushed forward with loud battle-cries, Frigga licked her red and glossy lips.
【”Well, if I had the same numbers and firepower, I guess even I would use the same type of strategy. But using that against me? Not such a good idea.”】
Frigga spoke quietly and with great self-confidence.
【”Open the gates! I’m going out!”】
The fortress walls were still under a torrent of magic spells.
By now, far from just being unable to raise their heads, the Lapland forces should have already fled and scattered.
Oak, the knight captain of the regiment at the frontline, was not making light of Lapland’s army by any means, but it was clear that he was feeling somewhat more relaxed.
Since his troops had a cart that had been remodeled into a battering ram, all that was left for him to do was to break through Crowdagen’s entry gates.
Translator’s note: Chapter 39 is out too if you didn’t see it.