Chapter 65 is here! First chapter of volume 3! And that’s when we realize that this used to be a web-novel, so the way the volumes are separated makes no sense. But hey, who am I to judge?
For the Patrons, chapter 66, Chapter 67, chapter 68 (Easy mode) and chapter 69 (normal mode) are all available on the Patreon page.
Anyway, here’s chapter 65, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Somewhere between the edge of the territory of Asgard and the monsters’ territory, a hundred cavalrymen were moving forward.
【”We should be able to see the border soon.”】
Frigga turned around with a cheerful expression as she spoke to Kurats, who was smiling wryly while taking on the full blow of her piercing gaze.
Armed with a letter from king Siegfried as well as the news that Lapland had triumphed over Asgard’s army, Kurats had decided to return home. When she heard this, Frigga had offered to accompany him like it was the most natural thing in the world.
【”Our spies have reported seeing signs that Asgard is going to invade Jormungand. If that’s true, then it’s only natural for our kingdom to offer them some help.”】
【”But our military need you, your highness, what will we do if you leave the country for too long….”】
【”We can manage by ourselves here. This is an important political move that will make Jormungand’s public opinion lean towards our kingdom. We can’t miss this chance.”】
This was what king Siegfried had said before pushing his sister outside the castle.
He knew that Jormungand’s public opinion was torn as to how to interact with Asgard.
However, if the two major powers decided not to face each other in battle, there was no telling whether the Northern alliance would be able to gain victory a second time.
Besides, as an older brother, it was only natural for Siegfried to support his boyish younger sister now that she had finally found love.
【”―― If so, then I’ll impose on your kindness.”】
Kurats was not against getting some help from Frigga, either.
When reporting the victory of Lapland, the credibility and importance of Kurats’ words were going to depend on Frigga’s presence as a witness. Having Frigga by his side would certainly not hurt when dealing with the tense atmosphere of Jormungand’s royal court.
And so, on the day of his departure, Kurats ended up being accompanied by Frigga, who did nothing to hide her joy, as well as a hundred elite knights on horseback.
【”But this place is unexpectedly peaceful considering how close we are to the monster territory. I thought they would be eager to attack humans like us.”】
Frigga’s casually said words had Kurats secretly sweating from his back.
He recalled the mass-killing he committed when he got carried away on his way to Lapland.
After that so-called monster aristocrat was defeated, the monsters in the area had probably scattered away.
【”W-well, it’s good that nothing happened…”】
【”I guess so… Why are you suddenly in a hurry?”】
【”I’m not in a hurry!”】
They kept jesting and joking for a while, until they finally reached the end of the fortress. From there, beyond the hills, they could see a fort.
This was the mercury fort. It was located at the border between Asgard and Jormungand.
Once they went through the fort, it would take them around half a day to reach Jormungand.
They also had the option of going further into the monster territory to make it past the fort without having to fight, however….
【”We came all the way here…”】
【”We might as well have some fun while we’re at it!”】
However, the two battle maniacs had no reason to pick such a passive method.
◆ ◆ ◆
As he gazed upon the quiet, never-changing countryside scenery around the Mercury fort, Callisto let out big yawn.
He was the head of the garrison that was stationed here.
But since it was unthinkable for there to be any invaders from the Jormungand kingdom given the current strength of the empire, there was nothing to do in this fort other than killing the few monsters that lost their way once in a while.
As a member of the Asgard empire’s army, Callisto had been trained as a soldier to an extent, but when peace stayed for too long, even trained soldiers would start slacking off. That was true for any army in any country.
【”I wonder if we’ll be called back to the capital soon… You can’t keep a man in his prime like me in a lost ditch with no women. They’re suffocating me.”】
【”Are you gonna start complaining again, captain? You always do this.”】
【”Shut the hell up! Don’t act like you’re not thinking the same!”】
【”Unlike you, captain, I’m still young. It would be hard for me to find another way to make money that doesn’t involve risking my life.”】
【”Bah, rubbish! So what if you’re young? I’ll have you know that when I was young, I–!”】
At that moment, something unusual happened.
【”Captain, several cavalrymen are coming from the back of the fort! There about a hundred of them!”】
【”Cavalrymen? Why would they come here? We’re in the middle of nowhere…”】
【”Captain, what should we do?”】
【”For now, stay alert. They might be from an enemy country.”】
Despite his words, Callisto thought that this was probably a surprise inspection.
When soldiers stayed too far away from the battlefield, they tended to lose all their sense of tension and fighting spirit.
To deal with this issue, the empire’s military inspectors regularly went to check on the guards that were stationed in remote regions. Callisto had been told about this before.
【”That’s… L, Lapland’s crest? What are they doing here?!”】
【”You said Lapland!”】
All Callisto knew about recent events was that the empire’s fourth squadron was currently invading Lapland.
Seeing the forces of the enemy here could only mean one thing.
【”Ready your crossbows! Wake up the ones taking a nap! If anyone wastes any time, I’ll throw him above the ramparts!”】
【”All forces prepare for battle! Hurry up!”】
The Mercury fort, with its sturdy, stone ramparts, was far from lacking in defense.
It was designed to be used as a frontline base in the unlikely case of a close confrontation against Jormungand, and it could accommodate up to 3000 soldiers.
However, the forces currently present in the fort were only one tenth of that number.
【”Do they think they can bring down a fort with barely a hundred cavalrymen?”】
By their very nature as a mobile force, Cavalrymen were not suited for siege battles. Moreover, the fort had an overwhelming advantage in numbers.
Once they realized that, the hundreds of guards inside the fort slowly regained their composure.
【”Alright, today, I’m gonna work on clearing all your frustration.”】
『R-really?! You’re not lying, are you? If you tell me you’re lying, I think I am actually going to cry.』
【”Sorry, man. I didn’t know it was that bad.”】
When he saw how worked up Bernst was getting, Kurats realized how much stress his meathead lifestyle had been putting on him.
He had pushed the strongest of mages to his limits.
『Will it matter if that fort disappears? 』
【”I don’t think it will matter, but we can’t just leave a bottomless hole there.”】
『I see. Then you can go ahead and crush it.』
【”―― To the four great elements dwelling within this earth, heed the call of Kurats Hans Almadianos.”】
Since the enemy had no mages and no warriors of Brigitte’s level, Kurats could start chanting at ease.
【” I command thee, lend me your power. May my enemies make one with the soil. May it become their eternal prison. Endless Cave.”】
【”These guys are cavalrymen, why would they come to a full stop.”】
【”They don’t seem to be waiting for reinforcements… Maybe they have mages?”】
Callisto’s guess was correct.
However, his expectations were very far from the true scale of what was actually coming.
He was expecting at most a few lightning attacks and fireballs to be fired at him.
When Callisto heard what sounded like cracks forming in the walls, an invisible power suddenly pressed down on him and everyone else in the garrison, forcing them to crawl to the ground.
He had no idea what was happening.
It felt like the ground switched places with the sky and came crashing down.
In his panic, Callisto hurriedly tried to stand up, but he couldn’t move a finger.
However, he knew his comrades were suffocating from the pressure. He could hear their groans all around him.
【”What? What’s going on?”】
Callisto had never heard of such a spell.
As long as he was willing to make a few sacrifices, there were multiple ways for him to deal with regular magic attacks.
However, the power pressing down on the fort seemed to be coming from a large-scale anti-military spell, the likes of which could only be summoned by a whole company of mages using their full power.
He tried to check how many mages the enemy had, but neither he, nor anyone around him, could stand up at the moment.
【”C-captain. Can we escape?”】
【”Sorry. I’d love to but…”】
The pressure became greater and greater.
It reached a point where Callisto and his men could not open even open their mouths anymore.
The cabins inside the fort crumbled down and were soon followed by the fort’s pillars, which fell down with a thunderous sound.
In the past few years, the fort’s southern wall had been starting to lose balance from the passing of time. That was probably why, when a single, isolated part of it collapsed, it created a chain reaction that destroyed the rest of the wall in one setting.
(..Damn it! As if being relegated to this godforsaken backwater wasn’t enough, now you’re telling me I have to die here? When the hell do I get a break?)
This was the last thought of the captain of the garrison, Callisto.
With sounds of bursting watermelons, the many guards of fort Mercury turned into mere bumps in the ground under the massive gravitational force pressing on them.
The cavalrymen could not look away from the frightening scene that was happening before them.
From their perspective, it looked like a black hole had opened up at the center of the fort and was swallowing it up together with everything inside it.
The only solace the cavalrymen found was that they were not able to hear the Asgardian soldiers’ screams. They had probably already died a while ago.
The effect of the spell only lasted ten minutes.
By the time it was done, the fort had completely disappeared, from its ramparts to its foundations. It was as if it had never been there in the first place.
Naturally, there was not a single trace of the garrison remaining, either.
If someone who had never been here passed by the area, they would believe, without a doubt, that this had always been an open field.
『So? How was that!』
Bernst was about to proudly congratulate himself on a job well done, but Kurats heartlessly ruined the moment for him.
【”It was more… simple than I expected.”】
『This spell is at the very peak of targeted destruction magic. It can obliterate anything you want while dealing no unnecessary damage to the surroundings… and you say it’s ‘simple’?!』
(Will this meathead ever understand the delicate and artistic side of magic? Why can’t he see it?)
It had been a long time since Bernst had last enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing his magic in action, yet he was punched right in the face by this reality that he could not comprehend.
At that moment, Frigga, who had heard Kurats say the word “simple” to himself, unknowingly interjected with the conversation.
【”No, I think the spell was terrific, in a way. So terrific, in fact, that I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of magic you used.”】
『Oh! See that?! The princess understands my magic better than you!』
【”Don’t praise it too much. He’ll get carried away.”】
Frigga tilted her head to the side, confused by Kurats’ words.