Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 300

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Chapter 300

–Third Person POV–

In Battle . Imperial Fleet – Flags.h.i.+p Leviathan .

As cannonfire was exchanged between enemy and ally, Sekrit’s takes command with her violet eyes wide open .

On the deck of the Leviathan, in the command post protected on all sides by iron plates, voices shouting reports overlap each other .

「One enemy s.h.i.+p sunk! Two s.h.i.+ps on fire!」

「Enemy mid-sized s.h.i.+p approaching on starboard side―― firing Neptune cannons…… direct hit! Enemy s.h.i.+p completely destroyed!!」

「Receiving fire on broadside! Damage is minor!」

The overwhelming firepower of the Leviathan sends many s.h.i.+ps to the bottom of the river .

The hull of the large s.h.i.+p is over 100 m long and heavily packed with 150 cannons in total .

In particular, the size of the five Neptune cannons on each broadside are larger than the rest .

The s.h.i.+p was able to continue advancing after incapacitating two Federation s.h.i.+ps which tried to pincer from both sides .

It was almost like the s.h.i.+p was enforcing itself as the sole ruler of the water .

「Looks like the battle is decided . As I expected, Her Excellency Sekrit and this s.h.i.+p are both invincible . 」

The adjutant smiles at Sekrit .

「No need for pointless chatter . If the enemy does not want to be annihilated, they will run soon . Get ready to pursue . 」

The woman remains straight-faced as usual and answers in a harsh tone .

Sensing in her voice that she wasn’t displeased, the command post let out a collective sigh of relief .

「Federation s.h.i.+ps are changing course, they are turning upstream and retreating . 」

「Give chase . Get on their a.s.s and shoot them full of holes!!」

A small cheer leaked out at the sight of victory .

However the next report would spoil the little bit of peace in the room .

「A new enemy upstream…… it’s a large s.h.i.+p!」

Sekrit’s eyebrows twitch in discontent as she directs her gaze upstream .

「……looking at it again, it’s a transport vessel . It must be carrying a majority of the landing army . Send a few s.h.i.+ps out and sink it . 」

Everyone glares at the lookout as if to say “don’t scare me’, making the lookout curl up and get smaller .

But the situation did not end there .

「Battles.h.i.+p Hanuras heavily damaged!?」

「Battles.h.i.+p Okinus is on fire! Continuation not possible!」

Two s.h.i.+ps that went ahead in pursuit of merit burst into flames and start to drift unsteadily .

「What?」

Sekrit let out a rare expression of shock .

「From mere transport vessels―― what is that?」

When she saw that black s.h.i.+p crawl out slowly from behind the transport s.h.i.+ps, she couldn’t identify what the s.h.i.+p was despite having seen plenty of s.h.i.+ps and having experience watching s.h.i.+ps being constructed .

「I- I have no clue . It isn’t that big……」

The subordinates also narrow their eyes and tilt their heads .

The black s.h.i.+p is slightly smaller than the large combat vessels and not as big as a battles.h.i.+p .

What was strange about it was the shape which only roughly resembles a s.h.i.+p, and also the fact it had no mast for the crow’s nest .

Moreover the smooth hull is completely black .

「The enemy s.h.i.+p……? It looks like they’re undoing ropes . Were the transport vessels pulling it?」

There were ten transport vessels and the same amount of those strange s.h.i.+ps .

The black s.h.i.+ps fell behind the transport vessels after being cut loose .

They were moving at a crawling speed, almost like they were standing still, except they were actually slightly cutting through the water upon closer inspection .

「So slow . They’re just riding on the river’s current . I guess that’s to be expected without any sails or oars . 」

「They’re coming straight at us though . In any case, let’s sink them . 」

With the transport vessels already out of the way, the large Empire army attacks the black s.h.i.+ps .

The battle was one-sided .

The single horizontal line of evenly-s.p.a.ced ten black s.h.i.+ps were surrounded on all sides by the s.h.i.+ps of the Imperial fleet and each of them, after turning to the side, fired their broadside cannons .

The line of s.h.i.+ps could not do anything against the tremendous amount of concentrated cannonfire of so many s.h.i.+ps…… that should have been the case .

「The enemy s.h.i.+ps―――― have not been destroyed! They are unscathed, no damage was done!」

The staff officers exclaimed “impossible” and “there’s no way” .

Sekrit’s eyes also widen in surprise before strongly gritting her teeth .

The bombardment continues .

Over thirty Imperial s.h.i.+ps have completely surrounded the ten Federation s.h.i.+ps and are having a field day firing their cannons .

「Are they……deflecting everything?」

The noise could be heard from the Leviathan as well .

It was certainly different from the typical sound of hulls breaking . It sounded like the cannonb.a.l.l.s were bouncing off a sheet of metal .

A black s.h.i.+p finally counterattacked after taking the countless projectiles head-on .

Numerous cannon barrels appeared on the s.h.i.+p’s broadside .

「Battiles.h.i.+p Inuris is being shot at! Fire has broken out――!」

An Empire s.h.i.+p is abruptly bombed and it retreats in a hurry while on fire .

Using that attack as a trigger, the other nine s.h.i.+ps also launch their volleys, the sounds of destruction echoing throughout the river .

The 30 vs 10 quickly became 20 vs 10, then 15 vs 10 .

「The high-speed combat s.h.i.+ps don’t stand a chance!」

「The cannonb.a.l.l.s aren’t working! They’re being crushed one-sidedly!」

「Have the battles.h.i.+ps come this way . 」

Sekrit’s orders were relayed immediately using smoke signals and flags .

The fleet of battles.h.i.+ps rushes over, easily catching up to the slow black s.h.i.+ps .

「Battles.h.i.+ps begin firing . 」

A bombardment of a greater magnitude than before is directed at the ten Federation s.h.i.+ps .

The staff officers and adjutants smile thinking that this would be enough, only to stiffen their faces again not long later .

「The enemy’s armor has been damaged . ……That’s all . 」

The lookout sounds forlorn as if he is witnessing an illusion .

The enemy fleet was dented in a few places after the attack .

Besides the appearance worsening, no significant damage seemed to be dealt, and the s.h.i.+ps cruise along like nothing happened .

The Imperial battles.h.i.+ps were greeted with a bombardment in kind .

「W-what is that s.h.i.+p!? Battles.h.i.+p cannons don’t work on it!」

「Is it some sort of sorcery!? Is there a magician on the Leviathan? If so, bring him here!」

The staff officers start to panic .

It was something which probably happened on all the other s.h.i.+ps too . With the fleet in disarray, the s.h.i.+p line began to s.h.i.+ft apart .

The word ‘defeat’ is finally creeping into the minds of all the crew members, including even Sekrit .

(No, I can’t lose . Think . There’s no way the Federation would use something so uncertain as sorcery . )

Sekrit shakes her head to clear any weak thoughts before shouting .

「Quiet down!」

Her voice resounded distinctly through the sound of booming cannons and stop the shaken individuals from speaking .

「It’s not sorcery . Open your eyes and look carefully . 」

Sekrit pulls out her sword and points the tip at the enemy s.h.i.+ps approaching slowly but surely .

「That is the color of steel . The enemy s.h.i.+p has nothing more than steel armor . 」

「R-right . 」

「But……」

The staff officers are not convinced .

The important parts of the Leviathan are also covered in a layer of steel .

It was still unthinkable for steel to survive such a barrage without a scratch .

「Idiots, take a look at the draft . 」

The waterline is extremely deep for all ten s.h.i.+ps .

Seeing that, a few staff officers let out quiet comments .

「That sluggish speed, the thick draft, the incredible defensive strength, they’re just a large ma.s.s of steel . The hull structure itself is made of steel . 」

「That’s not possible!」

「A ma.s.s of metal won’t float in the water!」

Sekrit doesn’t understand how an object made entirely of metal could float on the water either .

However she knew the Federation’s technology is above that of the Empire’s and the fact is it’s being shown right in front of her .

Arguing is meaningless .

「Shut up . That phenomenon is happening right before us . It’s not black magic or an illusion . Our enemy is a lump of metal . 」

Before they knew it, all the Federation s.h.i.+ps have changed course and are heading towards them again .

With the black s.h.i.+ps…… the steel s.h.i.+ps in front, the Federation intends to challenge them to a decisive battle again .

「Close the distance . Blast them with the cannons at close range . Climb on board if you see the chance . They’re nothing more than a ma.s.s of metal . We’ll definitely wreck them . 」

The staff officers look at each other, nod, then let out an enthused shout .

Their enemy might be powerful, but there is no reason to be excessively scared after understanding what they’re up against .

They are also veteran soldiers .

「The first fleet will engage the enemy fleet . 」

「The third fleet will devote everything to shoot the enemy and attract their attention . 」

It was the start of the second act .

The endless chorus of booming of cannons created by the Imperial fleet’s even more terrifying bombardment and the Federation fleet’s own roaring cannons was loud enough to make it feel as if the end of the world was coming .

The countless cannonb.a.l.l.s dropping into the river made it seem like the water was boiling .

The Imperial battles.h.i.+ps close the distance as much as possible according to Sekrit’s instructions .

Naturally the steel s.h.i.+ps counterattack with a bombardment of their own, but the s.h.i.+p’s own weight is too heavy for many cannons to be installed, so the firepower of the s.h.i.+ps is not as outstanding as their defense . There was no way all the battles.h.i.+ps would be slaughtered at once .

The battles.h.i.+ps launch a volley at the steel s.h.i.+ps at a range close enough for the s.h.i.+ps to collide with each other, hitting the steel hull hard .

The armor was ruthlessly dented in all places and a part of the superstructure breaks off into the water .

Excitement rises amongst the Empire crew members after dealing the first signs of damage…… then a flower of blood blooms on the deck after suffering a counterattack .

The steel s.h.i.+ps get damaged one by one, but the state of battle still tilts in favor of the Federation .

Damage was dealt . However it was exceedingly inadequate to stop the steel s.h.i.+ps .

No matter how much the armor is dented or how much the superstructure breaks off, the s.h.i.+p itself doesn’t sink and neither does it stop firing its cannons .

Meanwhile the Empire suffers heavy casualties from running so close to the enemy s.h.i.+ps to fire, many s.h.i.+ps burning up, filling up with water, and then sinking .

「Your Excellency Sekrit, we have dealt a blow to the enemy . But at this rate……」

Because the Empire’s attention was focused on the steel s.h.i.+ps, the Federation’s other battles.h.i.+ps are starting to apply pressure as well .

If they aren’t cleaned up quickly, the Empire will surely suffer defeat .

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「……even a close range bombardment from the battles.h.i.+ps is not enough? d.a.m.n Federation, how annoying . 」

The Leviathan moves like a hungry monster chasing after its next prey .

Bathing enemies crowding around with cannonfire, the s.h.i.+p charges at another steel s.h.i.+p .

「Charge with the naval ram, don’t hit it perpendicular…… port now!」

The Leviathan approaches the steel s.h.i.+p like it will charge with a naval ram, then changes direction right before the collision .

No cannons were fired this time, it was a charge sc.r.a.ping the stern .

There was a dull sound and multiple soldiers fall to the deck, Sekrit herself also tumbled out of the command post .

「Naval ram damaged! Bow cannons lost! The enemy s.h.i.+p is……tipping over!」

(A head-on collision would sink us too . Their draft is thick and there is no distance between them and the water . If you run into their bow or stern and throw them off balance, this is what will happen . It’s only possible with the Leviathan’s weight though . )

Sekrit stands up, brushes the dust off her clothes and returns to the destroyed command post .

「Next . 」

Both enemy and ally alike are astonished at the Leviathan’s crazed fighting .

The Imperial fleet gives chase to protect their flag s.h.i.+p while the Federation fleet gives chase to prevent their trump card steel s.h.i.+ps from being destroyed any further . The fight is only getting more chaotic .

「Hmph, looks like they didn’t see what we did the first time . 」

A battles.h.i.+p shoves itself in the path of the Leviathan which is sailing towards another steel s.h.i.+p .

Sure, the opponent is different but the situation is the same .

The Leviathan exchanges shots with and instantly pulverizes the Federation battles.h.i.+p .

Continuing forward into the ruins of the battles.h.i.+p, the Leviathan pushes the sc.r.a.pped vessel into the steel s.h.i.+p trying to get away .

「You’re so slow that you can’t run away even if you know what’s coming . 」

The Leviathan tears itself away from the three-s.h.i.+p dumpling and fires the giant broadside cannons at the battles.h.i.+p, sinking the steel s.h.i.+p together with the battles.h.i.+p accompanied by fire and explosions .

「Kukuku…… hahahahaha!!」

A large number of cannonb.a.l.l.s crash into the deck from somewhere, causing corpses of soldiers and splashes of blood to scatter everywhere .

The laugh of a woman cuts through that h.e.l.lish scene .

「F-fourth s.h.i.+p annihilated……」

The lookout sounded stiff when he gave the report .

As cannonb.a.l.l.s fly through the air, he could not help but think Sekrit is insane when she laughs while taking down enemies .

「What about the other s.h.i.+ps?」

Sekrit stops laughing and only moves her eyes to look at her subordinate .

Not liking how her subordinate didn’t reply immediately, she let out an angry yell next .

「Tras.h.!.+ Have the other s.h.i.+ps destroyed the steel s.h.i.+ps!?」

「Ma’am! One has been rendered powerless by concentrated cannonfire, two have been boarded by the soldiers who are engaging in close combat . 」

「So there are three left . 」

The battle is tilting in favor of the Empire again .

Having the reliable steel s.h.i.+ps sink one after the other apparently had huge effects on the enemy morale .

「Damage status on the s.h.i.+p?」

「There is moderate flooding in the bow and starboard, the fires have been extinguished, two sub-masts and the armor on the portside have been lost . 」

「Naval ram and 12 bow cannons lost, 8 cannons on starboard lost, 4 cannons on port lost, 3 Neptune cannons lost, 24 on-deck cannons lost . 」

(So we lost only one third of our strength . I can still do this . )

Sekrit lifts her head up, and was about to give the order to head to the next steel s.h.i.+p .

「An enemy is coming, a single unit from the starboard side!」

「A single s.h.i.+p? A battles.h.i.+p or steel s.h.i.+p?」

The lookout hesitates briefly to build up his determination before closing his eyes and shouting .

「I-it’s a single cavalry! An enemy is coming at us riding a horse on the water!」

Sekrit grabs the lookout coldly, throws him to the ground and pulls out her sword .

「Stop with the ridiculous――」

「It’s true! Confirm with your own eyes!」

Sekrit, while still holding onto the man’s collar, glances at the water .

After rubbing her eyes once in disbelief, her clenched teeth loosens and her jaw drops .

She certainly saw a single cavalry running on water .

Federation VS . Empire – Comparison of Military Forces (Current + Losses = Max Mobilization . In the case where numbers don’t match, it means there are spare forces . )

Olga Federation 「Zabrela Naval Battle off the Coast」

Military Strength – Current: 1 090 000, Max Mobilization: 2 550 000, Losses: 1 460 000, Civilian Victims: 980 000

Garland Empire

Military Strength – Current: 1 390 000 (460 000 of which are military slaves), Max Mobilization: 3 100 000, Losses: 2 170 000 (Military slaves not included)

Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett . 24 years old . Early Spring .

Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave . Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area . Mountain Legend . Friend of the Dwarves . Friend of the King of Aless . Dragon Slayer Hero .

Elf Mediator .

Army under command: 105th Division Provisional Army: 5000 men

Accompanying: Celia (charge), Natia (charge), Leah (top), Marta (bottom)

Brynhildr (in poor physical health), Pipi (charge), Sofia (big-breasted)

Messerschmitt (worthless dog), Schwartz (horse), Mirumi (gathered), Yakov ( )

a.s.sets: 13,000 gold

s.e.xual Partners: 450, children who have been born: 55 + 555 fish

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