12-3. Journey to the Royal Capital (3)
Satou's here. I like the blooming field of milkvetch flower that happens before the rice-planting. My countryside grows green soybeans instead of milkvetch flowers though, so I've only ever seen such elegant scenery from the window of a train.
"Haa, this is amazing."
"Lots, lots of little blue flowers nanodesu!"
I've brought everyone to the observatory dome since I've been told that the scenery is amazing after the airship has passed the rough spot.
Sure enough, it was crowded, but our youth troupe slipped through the gaps between people and arrived before the window.
"Heya, Sir Pendragon. You can change with us since we've enjoyed it already."
"Do show it to the girls too. It's quite a rare spectacle y'know."
The male explorers whom I helped with the dancing practice yesterday open a spot for us.
I thank them and take Lulu and the others to the front.
"It's really beautiful. I wonder if that's a prairie?"
"It's probably a cultivated land, so I conjecture. The blue color on the surface are blue milkvetch flowers, so I report."
Liza and Nana are calm, but the other members admire the scenery once they see it. Crow is rarely acting like their age.
All of the vast area that can be seen from the airship is covered in blue flowers.
There are some woods and hamlets here and there too of course, however they look like nothing but art objects that decorate the deep blue carpet.
This scene continues on until we reach the Royal Capital. I knew that this was the largest grain-producing area in the kingdom, but I wasn't even sure they would raise flowers and never thought that it would be this different than what I had expected.
This area was of the tawny color of the fallow when I passed through here with Flash Drive, so I had arbitrarily thought so.
Some band has started playing solemn music on the stage near the wall in the observatory dome, it seems they're doing a performance.
I yield my ears to the tune and enjoy the scene that can only be seen now.
Before I knew it, Lulu who's mesmerized has entrusted herself to my arm.
The two maids of Lady Karina are currently having a hard fight in order to dress Lady Karina up, so the three of them are not here.
This scenery will continue for a while, so they probably won't miss and regret it.
Tama said so when we were quenching our throat on the drinking corner of the observatory dome.
"It's 『Sparkling』 over there~"
I look at where Tama is pointing, but only the equilibrium wing and the large magic engine that extend from the hull are over there.
It might be just a reflection of something, but since the one who said it was Tama, I'm bothered.
I operate the map to check the place that Tama's pointed.
There are several magicians and engineers near the large magic engine, but that's as usual.
The one that's not usual is on the narrow interconnection of the equilibrium wing.
--For some reason, there's a retainer of Duke Bishtal over there.
"This time, it's sparkling over there nodesu!"
"Master, I saw it too. I feel some kind of agitating presence although it might be a coincidence."
This time it's not only Tama, Pochi and Liza seems to have seen it too.
The direction is completely different though.
The two are looking at the direction the airship is heading.
I operate the map and check on the place the beastkin girls indicate.
The beastkin girls don't seem able to see it, so I put my hand like a visor and look at the scenery outside the window.
The windows of this airship are transparent, but they were made with mysterious conductive material from monster, so even I don't know the composition myself.
Although it's not usable for armor, it's unexpectedly sturdy, and it doesn't become sharp pieces when broken, so I've made use of them during the airship construction.
There's a structure that looks like a combination of a French castle and a fort at the place the beastkin girls have pointed.
When I checked the detail, it was said to be the hunting mansion of Marquis Lloyd. I remember about the tempura we ate together in the Duchy Capital when I see his name.
Whoops, rather than that, there's something strange.
A hunting mansion right in the middle of cultivated land is already quite strange, but the people inside the mansion are even stranger.
The low ranked servants like the maids and manservants are under Marquis Lloyd, but for some reaosn, there are also several retainers of Duke Bishtal.
There are even monsters in the mansion's basement.
Their title is [Tamed] so they're probably minions of the Tamer people nearby, but the line-up is strange, there are upper level 20s Lance Beetles, lower level 20s Canon Toads and Rocket Trees.
It's as if they've been prepared for anti-aircraft battles.
Moreover there are nearly 30 of them, they're probably able to besiege a small country that only has one city. It's not enough to cause coup d'etat in Shiga Kingdom, but it should be able to shoot down a mere airship.
However, there's something even more dangerous in another layer underground--
"Satou, Raka found some suspicious light desuwa."
『Umu, I hope it's just an unfounded fear, but the light reflection looks like it's used as signals.』
Lady Karina and Raka who are exposed to wind on the deck brought such information to me.
I already know it, but there's no need to point that out.
"I saw it too y'see. Lord Duke is riding this airship after all, something's stink of burn."
<TLN: He said 'Kinakusai'>
A Mithril explorer that's appeared from behind Lady Karina--a middle-aged man called Marmot the scout or something, says so.
I feel weird hearing the word, [Kinakusai] in a world that's abandoned gunpowder.
"Arisa, take everyone along to put on the equipment."
In order to prepare for the worst case scenario, I order everyone to put on their public equipment.
"Okkey. The B-type one is fine right?"
"Yeah, you can put on either the usual or the lovely one whichever you want."
"Aye aye sir. Let's go everyone!"
The B-type thing that Arisa's talked about is the finest one among the public equipment. Since this isn't the time to use the A-type equipment that were used during the fight with the floor master and the unused hidden equipment, I've given them permission to use the next best one.
By the way, the [Lovely] one is the showy equipment for the parade. Its performance is no different from the usual B-type equipment.
Marmot-shi ran to the bridge with his friends.
Liza and I didn't go back to change our clothes.
If the mastermind behind the tamed monsters earlier aims to shoot down this airship, we're going to enter the firing range of the tamed monsters soon.
The Rocket Trees seem to be monsters that look like an anti-aircraft monster, so we can't be careless.
Although it's strange for the retainers of Duke Bishtal to shoot down the airship that the Duke himself is riding, there's a possibility that we've been rolled up in a family feud.
In that case, though it's not like I don't understand the reason why Marquis Lloyd who is his political opponent participates in the attack, that carefree person doesn't seem to be someone who will partake in an assassination.
Well, I better postpone thinking about this for later.
Right now I have to prioritize the way to cope with the crisis that might be drawing near. It'd end as a funny story if it was just an unfounded fear, but let's continue the preparation for now.
I start the [Signal] magic while sitting on the seat.
The luminous dots on the top of the Hunting Mansion I've locked one have started moving.
Looks like they're guilty as charged.
--Sending compact code.
This is an airship that I've made myself.
I have insurances in case of emergency.
--I secure the superlative right to operate the airship via the backdoor.
I wanted to end this without using it if possible, but it doesn't seem to be so.
I send information about the tamed monsters from my map to the Airship searching crystal. The radar of this ship shouldn't have found them yet.
Slightly later, the siren of the observatory dome begins resounding.
Our girls enter the room while being surprised with the loud sound of the siren.
My crisis perception reacts lightly right at that time.
On the ground, five luminous red dots have begun to move.
Judging from the speed, it's probably the Rocket Trees.
The airship seems to be turning in an effort to evade the monsters, but there's a high possibility that it can't.
Urgent broadcasts are coming from the speaking tube.
『Relaying to all members, please carry out the emergency maneuver--』
『--grab the nearest handrail if you don't want to die!』
The angry voice of a man who seems to be the captain buried the trembling voice of a woman.
The airship's hull has begun to skid at the same time as that angry voice.
With [Magic Hands], I support every powerless member starting from Arisa.
"It's critically dangerous nodesu!"
"Close your mouth. You'll bite your tongue."
Starting from Arisa, everyone unanimously started to make noise, but Liza quickly reined them.
Lulu and Mia have clung to my arms without letting any voice out. On our side, there's Nana who looks so happy hugging Shiro and Crow.
At first, people in the observatory dome could bear the skidding, but then several people have been separated from the handrail after a sudden acceleration accompanied with boom sound.
They probably have used the acceleration tube that I've prepared for making sudden evasion.
I select the commoners who seem likely to get injured if they hit the wall among the people who are flying like they are in zero gravity in the observatory room, and use [Magic Hand] close to the wall to kill their momentum.
The Mithril explorers would only feel some pain from this much, so I left them alone.
Five Rocket Trees are flying away outside the window.
Looks like the airship has successfully evaded, but the enemies' jet propulsion should only last for 30 seconds. The enemies will probably change their course and come attacking again.
I wish the gun turrets on both side of the warship do their roles, but it seems the starboard gunman has fainted from the sudden maneuver just now. He's probably hit his head somewhere.
The port gunman is still well, but he shouldn't be able to hit the Rocket Trees considering the location, the hull is obstructing them.
I use the superlative right that I've secured and rotate the starboard gun turret.
I'd like to attack them by linking the gun turrets with the map like with Aegis, but unfortunately I haven't constructed such system yet.
I calculate the trajectory using the map and the cannon's angle and begin the remote bombardment.
The magic-powered artillery that can fire three shots every second chases after the five Rocket Trees, painting the sky red.
I was able to shoot down all five monsters before the gun barrel got burnt out.
I make the port gun turret to open fire toward the Rocket Trees that hadn't takeoff and the Lance Beetles.
It seems the distance is too far, they're all near-hit shots.
The birdkins who have taken off from the lower rank join together into a rank to intercept the enemies. They're all only upper level 10s people equipped with fire wands, so I'm unsure they can intercept the Lance Beetles.
The slanting airship has corrected its position, so I release Lulu and the others who were hugging me.
The voice of the man from before flowed out of the speaking tube.
『This is the Captain's speaking. I request the cooperation of magicians in this airship. Please intercept the monsters approaching this airship.』
Now then, looks like it's time for our turn.