A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 175

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 175. Celebrity (4)



Just a day ago, the war seemed to be practically over.




After losing their main forces, the Outsiders were forced back to Jormungand Citadel. They could only hole up and attempt to prolong the inevitable. The Allied Forces had it surrounded.




As the Outsiders lost their supply routes, they grew more and more  desperate.  The  Allied  Forces  had  victory  in  their  grasp, just by continuing the siege.




As if that wasn’t enough, the Allied Forces were superior in both  numbers  and  quality  of  troops.  The  Outsiders  had  no chance of winning in a direct conflict either.




However, the situation had changed dramatically.




A  white  light  flashed  from  Jormungand  Citadel.   It  swept through everything in its path.




Its  effective  range  and  power  was  immense.   The  biggest


problem, however, was that it was impossible to predict where it would shoot next.




Twelve  hours.   That  was  the  apparent  cooldown  between shots.  The Allied Forces suffered immense damage every half day.




In   an   unexpected   situation,   the   Allied   Forces   held   an emergency meeting.




“This is the third time already.”




The commanders of the Imperial Army gathered at the hastily prepared conference hall.




In front of them was a communication station with symbols representing the five nations of the Western Kingdom Union.




[-This bombardment severely damaged the armies of Arunbeth and Lemton]




Its first attack was aimed at the barbarians.





Their troops, having won back to back victories while pushing deep into enemy territory on the northern battle line, suffered an instantaneous defeat due to that white flash.




Since  then,  the  beam  of  white  light  had  been  aimed  at  the Western Kingdom Union.




Twice. Just two attacks had wreaked significant and devastating damage to the Western Kingdom Union.




The  Allied  Forces  had  no  counter-measures  and  had  to  just endure  these  unprecedented  attacks,  fearing  that  their  next moment  may  be  their  last.  They  had  no  way  of  determining where and when it would attack next.




Even if they could manage to predict these things, in the face of  such  overwhelming  power,  they  would  still  be  helpless  in front of it.




Typically, the power of a spell fell off sharply as the distance it travelled increased. This was common sense; spells traded their destructive power in exchange for additional  range.  However,


the  concentrated  beam  of  light  from  Jormungand  did  not appear  to  diminish  at  all,  despite  originating  from  such  an immense range.




“The white beam looks to be of at least the Seventh-Circle or higher.”




A sorrowful atmosphere filled the conference hall.




Seventh-Circle magic.




The only one known to be capable of performing such spells was Zod Exarion.




[-There is only one Seventh-Circle wizard on the continent.]




[-He’s in the hospital in the Adeina Kingdom now.]




[-Then we can only try and figure out what that white beam is.]


“A homunculus.”




The  Outsiders’  strongest  weapon  and  the  only  weapon  that had managed to threaten the status quo of battle.




[-To sum up, Jormungand Citadel fires a Seventh-Circle spell. And  it  is  impossible  to  respond  to  it.  The  preparation  time required  to  format  magic  with  such  power  is  about  twelve hours.]




The King of Adeina, who had suffered immensely due to the white beam, spoke with a trembling voice.




[-I  insist  on  preemptive  strikes  rather  than  maintaining  a siege and attempting to pressure the Outsiders.]




“Launching  an  all-out  assault  risks  our  advantage.  Are  you suggesting we give that up and take on additional risk?”




[-It is dangerous to stall for time now. No matter the cost, it’s much more realistic to engage in a decisive battle than continue taking massive casualties every twelve hours.]



[-I agree. We can’t let them continue to blast us forever.]




[-Then we have reached a conclusion.]




At  some  point,  the  King  of  Divide  had  begun  to  lead  the meeting.




[-Before the enemy’s attacks slaughter all of the soldiers of our Allied  Forces,  let’s  attack  the  enemy  first  and  defeat  their homunculus.]




Many  participants  agreed  with  King  Divide’s  opinion,  and before too long, they reached a consensus.




They decided to launch a preemptive strike.




“The remaining time until the next beam attack is ten hours.”




[-The  goal  is  to  defeat  the  homunculus  located  somewhere within the Jormungand Citadel before that time limit runs out.]


Once the goal had been set, the discussion moved on to how it could be achieved.




Fortunately,  the  Allied  Forces  had  already  surrounded  the Outsiders from all  sides.  It was possible for them to send elite guerrilla units from any side.




However, it wasn’t that simple in practice.  Any guerilla unit attempting to break through the southern front would need to make their way past the elite forces of the Outsiders. These elite soldiers had retreated to this position after being pushed back from the central battle line.




On  the  other  hand,  the  barbarians  still   remained  on  the northern battle line.




Donape Aslan, who had lost a large portion of his men to the first  strike,  was  entirely  consumed  by  rage.  He  had  thrown himself into non-stop battle ever since. This ruled the northern battle line out too, since he was beyond allied control now.




As  a  result,  the  growing  consensus  was  to  just  leave  the northern battle line to Donape and maintain the status quo at the  southern  battle  line.   This  would  leave  the  eastern  and


western flanks open for hit-and-run tactics.




“So the problem is who we will dispatch?”




All   that  remained  was  deciding  who  would  make  up  the guerilla units.




The discussion continued for a long time before King Divide opened his mouth.




[-On our side, some of us are of the opinion that we should use the Starling Party of the Hebrion Empire.]




[-The   Starling   Party   has   already   proved   their   ability   by performing excellently on several occasions. They are a student party with knighthood qualification, but their skills can be said to be beyond that.]




The   officers   of   the   Imperial   Army   felt   the   conversation becoming increasingly inconvenient. They had lost the initiative,   and   desperately   looked   for   a   way   to   steer   the conversation   to   safety.   They   didn’t   want   to   consign   such precious talent to almost certain death.





[-Definitely,  Desir  of  the  Starling  Party  has  enough  skill  to take on this mission.]




[-There are few people who can produce more firepower than the Starling Party.]




However, the opinions of the Western Kingdom Union were sufficiently overwhelming.




There  was  no  choice  but  to  accept  this  proposal  unless  the officers of the Imperial Army could quickly figure out something with a better chance of success.




“… … Okay. I will inform them of this mission.”




* * *




“What do you think?”




They were in Colonel Yuta’s office.




Desir looked at the picture held out in front of him. It was a picture of a terrible scene of destruction. The aftermath of the white beam.




In the place where the light swept through, there were marks left behind as if a huge claw had gouged out the ground.




Desir studied the photo carefully.




“It’s the work of a homunculus.”




An  immediate  conclusion.  It  was  the  only  being  that  could cause misery beyond all common sense.




“You’re right.  The attack is fired every twelve hours, so we guess they need some time to recover power.  The strength of the attack is exactly as depicted here.”




Yuta tapped the picture.  His light tap seemed to be infused with a variety of unpleasant emotions.


“The Allied Forces are in a hurry to launch a full-scale war before any further damage is incurred.  While the main forces are pushing up the battle line quickly, they plan to also form guerrilla units to infiltrate the Jormungand Citadel.”




It was quite a wise judgment.  As it turned out, there was no better  way  to  end  this  fast.  It  was  better  to  make  a  quick offensive.




“The guerrilla troops will be divided into two groups, one will infiltrate from the east flank, and the other via the west flank. And we would like the Starling Party to join the guerrillas that will infiltrate from the east.”




“You hold us in high regard.”




“Because  no  other  unit  has  achieved  as  good  of  results  as yours. Above all, I don’t think there is a more suitable group of candidates  for  guerrilla  units.  We  need  to  move  with  as  few people as possible, and they must be the cream of the crop.”




Desir nodded. He also felt there was no one else as capable as they were, when working as a small group of elites.


“We  have  decided  to  leave  the  command  of  the  eastern guerrilla  units  to  you.  We  evaluated  your  ability  to  lead  and issue commands in prior situations, and decided such..”




Up   until now,   Desir   was   constrained   by   the   chain   of command. Whenever he required the cooperation of anyone in the  military,  he  had  to  ask  the  right  people  who  would  then escalate the issue up the hierarchy of seniority.




This  became  a  critical  weakness  in  urgent  situations.  The attack on Mahayu Harbor was a key example; they could have instantaneously lost the war as a result of wasted time..




However, this kind of problem was solved by joining the chain of command directly at a senior level.




Yuta turned his full attention on Desir.




“Defeat the homunculus and end this war.”




* * *


“Nice  to  meet  you.  I’m  Desir  Arman,  leader  of  the  Starling Party. I will be leading this eastern unit.”




The east unit had forty people in total, including the Starling Party members.




The average power level of its participants was very high. The swordsmen were at least at the Rook Class and the magicians were all at least at the Fourth-Circle.




“Our  mission  is  to  defeat  the  homunculus  hiding  in  the Jormungand Citadel. I will  divide this group into four units to increase the efficiency of this mission.”




The power of the east guerrilla unit was high enough that it wouldn’t  be  a  mistake  to  refer  to  them  as  the  core  of  the Imperial Army deployed on the eastern battle line.




These people were all  hand-picked for this specific mission. Combined,  they  offered  the  ideal  composition  to  get  the  job done.




The other unique aspect of this detachment was that quite a


few of the members were from the Hebrion Academy.




It seemed like central  command had kept Desir in mind, and tried to give him a unit that would ideally already know him.




‘Argeria is also here.’




Argeria G Rogran Nimbias.




Amongst his cohort, he was the top single ranker in his third-year class, and was also known as the strongest swordsman of the  academy.  To  top  it  all  off,  he  was  the  leader  of  the  Blue Moon Party.




Argeria   had   attempted   to   slow   down   Desir   in   the   Party Competition, but when things went awry, he was also the first person  amongst  the  arrogant  nobles  to  acknowledge  Desir’s capability and put their lives in his hands.




‘I guess we will  fight together again, as soldier and student this time.’


Argeria  had  joined  the  military  and  was  currently  a  cadet candidate. After judging his ability, he seemed to have attracted quite a bit of attention as a hopeful prospect.




When  his  eyes  met  with  Desir’s,  he  nodded.  This  gesture indicated that he acknowledged Desir as the commander, and didn’t feel the need to express it openly.




After  a  short  briefing,  the  squad  members  scattered.  There seemed to be no complaints amongst them even though Desir, who was younger than them, had assumed control.




“This battle should be rather easy, for a change.”




Romantica  expressed  her  opinion  in  a  casual  manner,  as  if announcing a foregone conclusion.




“If  it  all   goes  to  plan,  it  may  be  possible  to  defeat  the homunculus without any problem.”




Desir could only respond wryly to Romantica setting such a death flag. Deep down though, he expected that this mission to eliminate the homunculus had a high chance of success, since


the  force  at  his  disposal  was  incredibly  high-spec  for  such  a mission.




As the two exchanged such frivolities, someone else interjected.




“Desir Arman. The great hero of the Empire.”




Desir looked in the direction of the voice. A young man with slicked-back hair approached.




“I am very pleased to be able to join such a magician as you in battle.   It’s  especially  awesome  since  we  are  both  from  the Hebrion   Academy.   There   are   very   few   people   that   have achieved anything near what you have, especially while in their junior years at the academy.”




Sardek Genoisa.




He  was  a  Fifth-Circle  magician  in  his  mid-thirties,  and  an alumnus of the Hebrion Academy.


He drew close to Desir with a friendly smile plastered onto his face.






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