|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 2179 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1034 words
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad
As the entire troops moved into the woods and prepared to encamp— Weinsel spoke up.
「Those who possess Artifacts, leave the setting-up to others and gather where I am! We are going to work out a plan to deal with the magic stone beasts!」
That being said, the outline of the plan was already obvious! Dispatching soldiers who weren’t armed with Artifacts would be meaningless as they couldn’t attack the magic stone beasts. If so, a small group of elite members, then.
And then, an hour passed…
「—Now, you guys, I order you to reconnoiter the power of the magic stone beasts. Approach and probe them out, and if they make a move and attack, strike back. However, don’t go in too deep. If you see that you’re no match for them, retreat. Remember, avoiding casualty, whether big or small, is your top priority.」
The selected Knights responded to Weinsel’s command.
「Then go! Bring me good news!」
The Knights’ flygears took off. While Weinsel’s troops only had a handful of flygears, they shined the most in maneuvers consisting of a small unit.
But… as he watched the flygears fly away, Weinsel let out a sigh in secret.
It would’ve been much better if he could do the reconnaissance himself… But, someone would always oppose it if the supreme general wanted to rush headlong well into the enemy line.
To avoid any such opposition, Weinsel had to show that he was willing to delegate his subordinates to the task at least once. And when it was proved to be too difficult for them, then he would have a chance to take matters into his own hands.
He fully expected himself to move, thus he made sure that his men prioritized their safety first.
His men had yet to fully trust that Weinsel would be able to stand his ground well if he were out on the front lines. And Weinsel wouldn’t deny that Alucardia was too peaceful a country that he didn’t have much opportunity to prove it, however… He was sure his soldiers would soon trust him more as he trained himself further in the future, but now he wondered if he would lose the opportunity to stand on the front lines altogether by the time he became king.
「…It doesn’t fit me, but if that is what the country needs, then I’ll see myself committing to my duty! That is how I can repay the favor, after all.」
Weinsel mumbled to himself.
As the Knights on the flygears approached the magic stone beasts on the other side of the bridge, the roars of the magic stone beasts suddenly grew more vicious. The movements of their giant tails grew much more obvious.
「D-, did they notice us?!」
For a moment, the flygears stopped. While the roars were intense, none of the magic stone beasts seemed to rise from their snow blanket or launch an attack at them for that matter.
「—Maybe they have, but they sure don’t attack…」
「Let’s get a little bit closer…!」
「But be careful! Remember Prince Weinsel’s order!」
「Okay, let’s do this!」
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They got even closer… Carefully, little by little, bit by bit…
「The closer we get, the more I can see how big they are…」
「Yeah, they’re freaking massive…!」
「Imagine them waking up and attacking us…」
The distance was then further reduced.
「Hey, aren’t we close enough to use a projective Artifact…?!」
「All right, let’s shoot our bullets and see what happens—!」
「Got it, get ready!」
The Knights then launched attacks by emitting flaming bullets and wind blades from their Artifacts. The two projectiles aimed straight towards the huge tails— and vanished with a pop. Forget wounding it, their attacks didn’t even seem effective at all.
「…it doesn’t work?!」
「You think we have to get closer and strike them directly?」
「But, look— they don’t even flinch even after we attack them… it shouldn’t be a problem getting a bit closer, right?」
「He’s got a point. It could be that they’re stuck in the snow and can’t move—」
「Ha ha ha, good one—」
「But, we still need to see if they notice us at all. If by any chance, they don’t attack when we’re approaching, then we can walk past them without bothering to fight them.」
The other Knights agreed with that opinion.
「Again, he’s got a point.」
「All right, getting closer we go—」
「Be real careful tho…!」
And so, the flygears descended very close to the giant tails, and then— Suddenly, the knights were trapped in pitch blackness.
No longer was the white snowscape and the billowing wind, as the landscape all around them was pitch black. They knew they were in the air because they were on flygears, but with how black everything was, they couldn’t even tell where the ground was!
After activating her Gift, Leone immediately called out to Liselotte. This black subspace was the power of Leone’s black greatsword Artifact. It created a subspace and isolated or evacuated the people within its range.
Special Envoy Theodore originally prepared it to help defeat the magic stone beasts Ripple kept summoning, but here it showed its worth once again.
This was the crux of the operation Inglis left them with.
Seeing that the advancing troops had no choice but to go through this particular terrain, they would set up the husks of Vufailbane’s tail and puppeteer them. Since dragons were not a common sight, those who see them would first assume that they were magic stone beasts.
And since the troops thought they would be facing magic stone beasts, they know foot soldiers couldn’t possibly hope to match. If so, they would try to face it with Knights who possessed Artifacts.
Now, the number of Artifacts the Alucard’s military had was by no means large. Therefore, those who would approach the puppet tails would be a select handful of strong Knights.
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And by then, Leone could simply use the Gift of her own Artifact and drag them onto a subspace, effectively neutralizing them.