Dragon’s Bloodline — Chapter 70

The Fortress


“A… hole?”
“Yeah. More accurately, a trench.”
The Mardass Fortress capture route would start with simple work.
For this fortress that existed on high ground, they would approach while digging a trench in a zigzagging pattern.
In this world thus far, that strategy did not exist.
This Mardass Fortress capturing battle would leave its mark on history.
And so, it began with simple work.

“Now that we’re actually trying it, it certainly does seem like a good idea. How did her majesty come up with this?”
Although Reyas spoke his admiration, she couldn’t exactly respond saying that it was cheat knowledge from her previous life. She simply met glances with Serge and laughed.
Nevertheless, it was weird that even though using dugouts was already thought of, why hadn’t this been developed? She wanted to demand the Japanese reincarnators to reflect their actions.
“It’s not simple digging, it’s best to dig in diagonal directions. That way, even the enemy’s magic attacks would have their power decreased.”
That was the reason, just digging normal trenches wouldn’t be able to protect against things like fire and wind magic.
Therefore, the concept of digging diagonal trenches was never thought of.
With the usual earth magic, it would be easy enough to make walls. But walls of that level wouldn’t be able to defend against catapults.

Now then, Cordova’s strategy was refined.
However, although it was refined, it was not innovative.
Even if they were familiar with the uses of weapons, they felt somewhat lacking in the improvement of their weapons. Technology was the only weak point in Cordova’s military force.
Even though there was a huge difference between their numbers, due to the difference in the performance of their weapons, their losses were about equal.
And now that their losses were equal, how many they could recover became important.
There was Carla for that.
Though she was a wielder of tremendous healing magic, Ria adjusted how much magical power Carla could use so that she would always have more than half remaining.
Even in the case where someone was dying right in front of them.
Even if right then she would be able to bring them back from death’s icy grip.
She was limited in how much magical power she could use in a single day.
“Viscount-sama died in battle!
“Carla! Use your revival magic!”
Because of things like this.

The loss of a senior commander, depending on the circumstances, could be more of a wound to their forces than even the loss of a thousand soldiers.
Much more so with the person who had died just then, he was a renowned old and grizzled general.
Carla’s magical power was reserved for times like this.
While drinking magical power restorative medicines, Carla revived the viscount.
Death was gifted evenly on this battlefield. However, life was not.
Little by little, day by day, the fortress’ defensive strength was whittled away.



“Should we use it?”
Ria spoke. A week had passed since the battle with the fort began.
What did she speak of? It was something that had been prepared before the siege battle, a weapon that hadn’t been used in the in the end.
As she had developed it herself, she knew that it would prove considerably effective once used.
What was the weapon? Black powder.

Because this world developed through magic, the progress of its science went slowly. Even fundamental studies like mathematics were irregular.
Ria was capable of producing the materials needed for black powder through her magic as it wasn’t a magical material.
Making black powder, adding a fuse, and including scraps of iron to improve its lethality, she’d completed an imposing kind of bomb.
By using their catapults, it could be thrown directly into the middle of the enemy’s lines.

Be it fire magic or wind magic, by countering the magical power itself, the effect could be eliminated.
However, there was no magical power in a black powder explosion.
Even with magic that prevents all physical effects, as the magical defense is meant to diffuse magical power, it couldn’t block a detonation’s ballistic shock.
It would take a little time before the enemy mages noticed that fact.
And that little amount of time was more valuable than anything else on a battlefield.

Ria hesitated only for a short while.
Taking advantage of the enemy’s confusion, they could attack all at once. By their original plan, they had planned on whittling away their enemy’s morale and forces for a little longer, but right now might be the perfect chance.
“After launching another volley of intense catapult and magical attacks on the enemy, put everything we have into charge.”
Ria’s command spread through the entire army.
As the ones that would be the spearhead, the ogre soldiers were pumped up.
Bellowing with their battle cries, they rushed out from the trenches.

The enemy’s archers pierced the soldiers.
However, they leapt over their allies and grappled onto the rampart.
Large ladders were placed onto the rampart. Soldiers that attempted to climb up them were doused with burning oil.
The losses sustained were greater than Ria had thought.
Even so, she reaffirmed her decision, and seeing the chance to win, there was no possible way she would raise the signal to withdraw.

“Nee-chan, should I at least destroy the gate?”
The castle gate was made of steel, strong enough such that even powerful magic likely wouldn’t penetrate it. If they could break it, soldiers could quickly dash inside.
However, the problem was that that sort of magic would attract attention.
“It can’t go down as your achievement. It’d be bad if people realized it was you.”
“I get it. That’s all then?”
“… Please. Irina, protect him too.”
Even with the possibility of there being a danger that might befall Serge in the future, there were military results to be had right now.
Thinking about it logically, it was important to think about his safety first and foremost.
Even so, Ria desired Serge’s attack.
And so, Serge and Irina rushed out of the trench.

He looked at the fortress’ almighty gate. It had magical defenses, strong ones. Even if ten ordinary mages gathered to try, it wouldn’t be damaged.
However, Serge had space-time magic. As well as the new skill bestowed to him by Valis.
[Chant Annulment]
Chant annulment and chant abbreviation, for mages, were the strongest ammunition.
Amplification. Acceleration. Acceleration. Acceleration.
Serge’s magic was amplified, using acceleration after acceleration.
And then, Explosion Teleportation.
The current Serge was able to invoke magic with time to spare.

That imposing gate warped together with an explosive roar, opening.
As the gate had opened and bent, it wasn’t able to be shut again.
Through that space, the daredevil soldiers rushed in.
The battle’s outcome had been decided.
Units could not come together to form a formation inside the fortress, so individual fighting strength meant everything.
For that, the ogres held a monopoly.
With their sharpened weapons, blunt weapons, or even their fists.
They cut, beat, and crushed their enemies.
Severed limbs flew through the air, teeth scattered about, and faces were bashed in.
The streaming blood formed a river, there were even soldiers that lost their footing and fell in it.
Revved up ogres didn’t discriminate between friend or foe. Everyone fled from them in a panic.

The enemy’s commander was a rational man.
Because he was rational, he wasn’t unreasonable. Reaching these circumstances, he fled from the fortress with his officers.
“The enemy’s head ran away!”
“The enemy commander escaped!”
Such voices came from the beastkin reconnaissance unit.
That it was a fact, the remaining soldiers in the fortress were deprived of their will to fight.
Even the forces that had still continued to bravely fight threw down their arms in hearing that.
“I surrender, I surrender!”
“I surrender, don’t kill me!”
“Please, I surrender!”



And as such, the Mardass Fortress capture had concluded.
Looking at the result by itself, it was a landslide victory for the attackers.
Of course, dealing with the postwar processing was a serious matter. Starting with the damaged gate, there were many facilities that had become unusable.
They would need to be mended, as well as them needing to prepare for the enemy counterattacks that would very definitely be arriving soon.
Using the siege weapons as defensive weapons as is, their problem was what to do with the corpses.
As the ogres were a bit too tenacious this time, there were a staggering amount of victims.
Since Carla had also used a lot of her magical power, as expected she didn’t have the luxury of reviving the enemy’s casualties.
“If I had to say something, I guess it’d be that it’s unfortunate we didn’t get the enemy’s leadership.”
She knew that she shouldn’t hope for perfection from war, but she still felt that.
For instance, eight ogre soldiers were lost this time.
Or perhaps they should be called eight people?
Ria preferred it that way.

Several days were spent surveying the situation for repairing the fortress.
The recapture army never came.
“The provinces in this area were just recently annexed, so they might be having trouble gathering soldiers.”
One of the staff officers gave that sort of explanation. Indeed, even Cordova, a country that boasted of its iron rule, after being defeated repeatedly, would likely lose some of the iron grip that restricted its people.
“Call on the beastkin, we’ll increase our scouting. If they find beastkin settlements, see if they could negotiate and see if they want to join us.”
At present, Cordova’s army comprised of only humans. It was a lucky thing.
If there were something like a great meow meow march of cat beastkin carrying spears, even Ria didn’t think she could be cold-hearted enough to give cruel orders against them.
So that they wouldn’t also start applying that sort of mental attack, she needed to liberate the beastkin as soon as possible.

Beastkin ran to the villages, with their forces dispatched close to the human villages as well. Ria, who had given them orders, decided to return to Manesh temporarily.
Reyas was established as the commander of the fortress, with the staff officers as well. The only people following Ria would be her bodyguards and secretary.
Although there would be more tales regarding her once again if assassins arrived, they reached Manesh with no problems in particular.
Ria had business with Guinevere.
It was Carla.

In the battle this time, Carla used her magical power practically to the limit, to the point that the magic restoration medicines she took continuously lost their effect.
Restoring her magical power to that extent, to say nothing of allies, she even healed injured enemies.
Of course, even Ria didn’t have any objections towards healing enemy captives after the battle.
However, the enemy force’s injuries this time had been too large, so her devoted treatment could be seen as a kind of self-sacrifice.

Thinking about it, Ria didn’t know much about the person named Carla.
A dragonslayer. A wife. A holy woman that didn’t put faith in gods.
Although her features could be described using words, she didn’t feel that could show Carla’s true nature.

Carla was a person who didn’t show her true self to others.
If she showed anything, it was a gentleness of being concerned over people. Even that wasn’t for appearances alone.
And she was strong.
Strength of mind. She was unwavering. Accepting of everything. Even of the things concerning Ria.
Ria felt that she was a strange human.

She needed to know more about Carla.
Asking the person in question definitely wouldn’t yield answers. Or rather, even if she answered, it wouldn’t be an answer that Ria hoped for.
Therefore, Ria needed to speak with Guinevere. That queen could be called Carla’s best friend.
Facing a discussion that would surely be tougher than a battle, Ria casually smiled.



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