Chapter 213 - Upcoming Battle (4)
Meltor was a kingdom which was always prepared for war, so the gathering of their troops was 10 times faster and more secretive than that of other countries.
There was also a major difference between the regular army and magicians. Meltor utilized the dimensional pockets, so they didn't require a separate supply unit. Additionally, the magicians themselves were the source of their combat power, so they weren't burdened with equipment. This was why they could show a mobility which went beyond common sense.
Exactly three days after the meeting...
All the troops were gathered at Port Ribenda, an eastern coastal city in the Meltor Kingdom.
On a night when civilian access to the coast was controlled, the expedition unit which totaled nearly 1,000 people were waiting for their commander. Among them, the unit which contained the most people was the Magic Corps.
"The kingdom's 1st Magic Corps' 800 people! Commander is Viscount Carter!" Blundell's loud voice cried out as 800 soldiers saluted. It was a perfect example of military discipline.
Meltor's Magic Corps...
They weren't magicians but magic soldiers. They achieved up to the 3rd Circle using magic reagents and learned a few attack magic spells and secondary magic. They were nothing compared to one aura user, but six or seven of them could defeat one aura user. The magic soldiers had haste magic and the firepower of Fireball, which was comparable to the firepower of archers. 800 magic soldiers were equal to 5,000 regular soldiers.
"I, Bors Carter, will honor the name of my family and the royal family." The commander was also excellent. As a veteran of the last war and someone who was still active as a 6th Circle magician, Carter had been appointed as the commander of the Magic Corps. Carter guarded the monster area in the West Forest, so his commanding abilities were well-proven.
Blundell's voice called out for the next unit, "36-man White Tower Mobile Unit! Commander is White Tower Master Orta!"
Orta was standing before 36 white-robed magicians with his usual mask.
Perhaps it was because they were both tower masters, but Orta politely bowed and returned to his original position. Thanks to Theodore, they didn't need to travel in the balloons. However, the magic support of the white tower could shorten the schedule.
They were a unit which focused on mobility rather than combat power. It would be good if even one of them had the power of the White Tower Master. However, Meltor's true combat troops were somewhere else.
"63 war mages of the Red Tower! The commander will also be White Tower Master Orta! The deputy is Red Tower Prime, Vince Haidel!"
This was a formidable mass of power. There were fluctuations from the 64 war mages as they responded to the call. If they worked together, they could defeat a master. Just a simple fire from them could burn down a whole castle.
"I, Prime Vince Haidel, will do my best as a member of the red tower to support the White Tower Master."
Vince had the influence of the ancient language magic system, so the vibrations of magic power coming from his body were intense compared to those of the others. Additionally, the fact that he was appointed as the deputy not long after becoming a Prime was proof of his competency.
Up to this point, there were 800 magic soldiers, 100 senior magicians, and a group of four people, including Theodore.
"Finally, the four members of Quattro! Their commander is Theodore Miller! In accordance with His Majesty's edict, Theodore Miller is given the right to act alone!"
Individual combat rights... Even though Theodore had the right to lead 10,000 men, it was different when he was a master magician. He was literally a one-man army. So, in order to exert his full force, it was necessary for him to move separately.
Theodore knew this meaning and bowed respectfully. "I, Prime Theodore Miller, will do my job as captain of Quattro."
Blundell looked dissatisfied when he saw Sylvia near Theodore, but then he faced the soldiers who were lined up. They were truly the elites of Meltor. His voice was like a light in the darkness as he ordered them to depart, "All troops! Board the ships in accordance with the specified units!"
The first one to move was the commander of the Magic Corps, Bors Carter.
"We will move! Observe carefully and board the assigned ships by platoon!"
"1st Platoon, follow my flag!"
"2nd Platoon! Move behind the 1st Platoon!"
The sight of 800 soldiers moving in an organized manner was spectacular. The soldiers who had gathered on the white sand disappeared into the ships without any problems. It was like a group of people suddenly disappearing into the night.
Theodore watched the scene before looking back at his teammates. There were understandable nerves present on the faces of two people, while the remaining person...
"Huh?" As she responded to his call with a cranky expression, there was something suspicious about the look on Paragranum's face.
"Did something good happen? Why are you so happy?"
"Oh, you can tell?"
"Yes. What is it?"
"Umm... I'll tell you later."
Para meant when they were alone, which led Sylvia to stare at her from behind Theodore. However, grimoires didn't have a lot of interest in human relationships, so Paragranum hummed while ignoring Sylvia. Theodore looked between the two of them with a bitter smile and figured out the reason behind Para's look.
'It seems like her research has gone well.'
That was the only reason why Paragranum would express such emotions. Lloyd Pollan had been used as an experimental material, so he might not even be 'human' anymore.
Theodore cleared his head and looked at the person approaching him. It was the beauty with blue hair, Aquilo the sea dragon. The dragon had come to the port out of boredom. She naturally slipped her arm around Theodore's and whispered into his ear, "Boy, do you remember what I taught you?
"Of course. I can't forget it."
He had accepted her blood, but Theodore had the senses of a human and didn't instinctively know how to use the dragon's power.
Therefore, he had learned the trick from Aquilo on the way from Mana-vil to Ribenda. There was a limit to the involuntary manifestation of power. He needed to consciously manipulate the power in order to counter the currents against the fleet.
Fortunately, Theodore was successful in his efforts. His widespread dominance over the sea had reached a level where he could somehow control the flow of the currents. The fact that he was keeping the moisture around his body at a pleasant state was proof of this.
"Well, this is just the basics. There should be no problems if you don't encounter a typhoon."
"Is that so?"
Aquilo nodded before saying goodbye in a low voice, "Then Boy, have a good trip. We will meet again, so you better not die in a place that I can't see."
"...What a bloody goodbye."
"It is an ordinary saying for dragons."
He really had no idea if it was a joke or not as Aquilo left without a backward glance. How many people had a dragon said goodbye to after living for thousands of years? Perhaps this coldness was the result of that.
Theodore watched her leave for a while before acting.
He used Levitation. It was a basic magic which allowed him to float in the air, but when combined with directional wind magic, it became possible to fly at low speeds. His red robe flapped as he rose from the sand toward Quattro's ship.
Theodore's ship was at the head of the fleet. It was a position for a major figure in the fleet, but the situation was different this time.
This was a sea where the south wind blew extensively. If Theodore didn't open up the sea before him, this fleet might be pushed back to the sand instead of moving forward. As the wind blew with enough force to break the sails, the people's gazes naturally focused on Theodore.
'Hoo... Let's try it like I practiced.'
If he failed here, the disruption would be huge. It would take a week to change the route of entry from Port Ribenda to land. Then the Soldun Kingdom would fall into the hands of Lairon and Andras.
Theodore was carrying a heavy responsibility. His eyes flashed as he gazed at the horizon. The color of the horizon was similar to Aquilo's fluorescent color. As he faced the flow of water, Theodore dared to use the dragon language which wasn't originally allowed for humans.
「море, Откройте путь (Sea, open the way)!」
He could only use Dragon Words three times a day, but there was no better way to add power. Theodore's voice wasn't loud, but his words pierced through the wild winds. Dragon Words, a language which dominated nature, transcended the laws of physics.
Then it happened after that. Suddenly, the wind blowing from the south to the north subsided and started to move in the opposite direction. The rough sea currents calmed down, and the waves moved toward the south.
The soldiers knew magic, and they couldn't help letting out exclamations of surprise.
"T-This...? Is that Theodore's magic?"
"No, this is ridiculous... Even weather magic can't change the sea...!"
"T-The sea! The sea is reversing!"
It was just like the soldier shouted. The sea was reversing. The south wind changed into the north wind, and the waves were moving in the opposite direction.
The winds inflated the sails of the fleet with a force so strong it seemed like the anchors would be pulled out of the seabed. It was a miracle where the enemy became a friend, and the adverse conditions were reversed.
When they realized the opportunity, the commanders raised their voices.
"Depart! Raise the anchors!"
"Helmsman! Don't miss this no matter what!"
The voices of White Tower Master Orta and Viscount Carter entered Theodore's ears. Despite the feeling of defeating the impossible, he couldn't help feeling anxious about the future. The cumulonimbus thunderstorm on the distant horizon seemed to add to this anxiety.
His senses had become much sharper after Mitra's flowering, so they didn't let relax his guard.
'Maybe this trip won't go smoothly.'
The Lairon Kingdom and the Andras Empire, both were enemies of Meltor. If they prepared for war after the truce, the damage wouldn't be small. It was obvious that their power would be aimed at Meltor. This civil war was a fight to see who could gain a better advantage in preparation for that war.
Theodore looked ahead and saw the future. The horizon before him was shrouded in dark clouds and lightning.