16-27. Garleon Union (3)
Satou here. Speaking of aquarium, you may believe that dolphins are the star of the show, but I don't think you could dismiss the seals that can move in high speeds underwater contrary to their looks, and the cute penguins and their behavior.
That reminds me, I think my childhood friend who went with me said that they wanted to eat fried prawns when they saw spiny lobsters inside the water tank.
"『Command an army, and demonstrate your power』, is it--"
On our way back from Garleon Temple, I told what the trial was about to Mia, Lady Karina and princess Sistina who came with me.
"This looks to be my turn."
Princess Sistina's glasses sparkled for an instant there.
Come to think of it, feels like it's been a while since I saw her wearing glasses.
Mia pointed out that fact to princess Sistina while pointing her finger at the sea.
"Oh right... My golems can't float on water, can they."
"But they can help defending the coasts. I can also prepare wooden golems for you if we're going to let them on board a ship."
Wooden golem is generally not suited for combat-use, but since its fighting prowess far surpasses your average soldier, it should work fine against pirates.
"I also want to take part in it desuwa!"
Mia nodded to reply Lady Karina.
Unlike princess Sistina, Lady Karina who specializes in close-quarter combat and Mia who controls individually high-powered artificial spirits aren't the type that can lead an army by themselves.
"Then, I'll be asking Karina-sama to cut through the front lines as a vanguard unit."
"Yes, bring it on desuwa!"
Soldiers' morale should go up with her looks.
"Can I ask Mia to command water spirits and bring advantages in naval battles?"
"Nn, will work hard."
I pat Mia who puffs out her chest while snorting, and we go to board the airship.
First of all, let's get a grasp of the situation.
"Satou-sama, no ships or people found in the airspace and sea surface around us."
I jump out of the airship who has risen to high altitude.
"I'm going out for a bit. Stay in the air for a while."
After telling that to the saluting brownie, I'm headed outside the Map using Flash Drive.
I went around Garleon Union's countries and the surrounding ones one by one and used [All Map Exploration] magic to collect information.
"There's a lot more pirates than I thought..."
There are more than 100 ships of various sizes, and each has 10 to 100 pirates on board.
I guess a group of a several thousands pirates is enough to fight a country.
However, many of the pirate ships are acting alone, only a few of them act in a group of three or more.
Their levels are split in two groups, 15-30 and 3-7, the former is 30% and the latter is 70%.
The strongest looking pirate is level 43, even Lady Karina can win if they act alone.
The pirates mostly consist of humans and beastkins.
The sea beastkins are mostly of gillmen, and not a lot of mermaids.
Most of the pirates are either sailing around the oceans in a fleet of ships, or staying at independent towns and settlements located in groups of islands or areas of oceans with lots of reefs to make shaking off pursuers easier.
"And the Skeleton Archduke is--there it is."
The one who has that title is a ship captain of the flagship of a fleet of small warships, his level is surprisingly low at 24.
He's probably the type that commands people well, his individual strength itself is low.
I mean, even the ships he's commanding look more like an armed force of a country than that of pirates.
Though considering his skills; Deception, Negotiation, Persuasion, Threat, Coercion et all, he doesn't seem like an able commander....
"Fumu, am I just imagining things?"
About 30% of the pirate ships are heading toward the port where the Skeleton Archduke's ship is anchored.
Have they really joined forces, and do they really intend to attack Garleon Union?
"As for Garleon Union military forces--"
They have a lot of merchant ships, but not a whole lot of pure battle ships.
After leaving out the small ships used for protecting the coasts and discovering smuggling activities, there's only around 60 medium and large ships equipped with mana furnaces and mana cannons. Garleok City itself only has nine of those.
There are some excellent soldiers and commanders whose levels exceed 30, but they're few and far between, most of the fighting personnels are weak soldiers with single digit level.
As for mercenaries hired with money to guard merchant ships, more than half of them are criminals and former pirates who are shouldering offense, and there are even ships with active pirates working part-time as mercenaries.
These guard ships are mostly galley boats and galley ships, only a few are equipped with mana furnace.
There are around 90 of these guard ships in total in the Garleon Union.
The mercenary guards' levels are higher than the pirate's on average, but even the best one is only level 31, so you can say that their individual strength is lower.
If they bring the whole army together, they should be able to easily win against the pirates.
As long as they don't split with mercenaries or there is no city or country that secedes from the union, they should be able to win unless their commander is extremely incompetent.
Well, bringing the entire army together is the difficult part though.
I went out to the open sea and checked out the depth dwelling monsters while I was at it.
The dangerous looking ones are only level 50-70 large monsters called [Those that Lurk in the Abyss], the other monsters aren't much different from any other oceans.
The Sea Orcs I saw at Garleok City port were also there, but it was just a swarm of barely 100 orcs, no real need to subjugate them.
"Next, the hometown of the mermaid we saved back at the port--found it."
The Map north of the Garleok City are dotted with mermaid villages, and one of them appears to be the mermaid little girl's home.
After gathering all the info I need, I return to the airship's deck with Unit Arrangement.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"I'm back, Mia."
Mia who immediately found me, trotted and jumped to hug me.
She's rubbing her forehead on my chest.
"Don't tell me, you're done with the investigation already?"
"Yes, I haven't analyzed it yet, but I'm done with the information gathering."
I gave an affirmation to princess Sistina who said that half-jokingly.
"Y-you really were?"
"As expected of my... desuwa!"
"Nn, good boy."
Surprised princess Sistina, Lady Karina who's boasting like she did it herself, and Mia who's standing on her tiptoes trying to pat me.
Got three different kind of reactions.
In addition, my Attentive Ears skill picked up the ... part Lady Karina was hiding, which was [Satou].
"Feels like we can conquer the world with Satou here."
"I'm not going to do that."
I negated Princess Sistina's joke with a smile.
Just conquering the world doesn't sound like a hard work, but I want absolutely nothing to do with the masochist game waiting at the end of the line, called reign.
"Next, are you going to check the rumors we heard at the port?"
"Yes, that's right."
Next, I need to investigate if there is a discord within the union and whether that Skeleton Archduke guy is really rallying pirates.
I caught a sight of a brownie in maid uniform coming into the room right when I was about to say that.
"Satou-sama, the mermaid girl has come to~"
Looks like I've got to postpone the investigation for now.
>[Finfolk Language] Skill Acquired.
"Calm down, it's all right."
The brownie in maid uniform is soothing the panicking mermaid little girl.
『You're safe here, calm yourself, okay.』
I talk to the mermaid little girl while using [Translate] magic.
I thought of allocating skill points like I did at Sania Kingdom back then, but since it didn't seem to be related to the trial this time, I used force magic [Translate] instead.
『...Language of Nifu. Spoken by human? Where is this?』
The translation being rough at first seems to be a quirk of this magic.
『This place is near the port where you got washed ashore.』
『Are you familiar with Garleon Union and Garleok City?』
The mermaid little girl shook her head to reply my question.
『I don't mind sending you back to your hometown if you're lost, how about it?』
『Nyua is not lost!』
The mermaid little girl got mad when I said that.
Nyua seems to be her name.
『Then, what did you come here for?』
『...Nyua is looking for hero.』
After hesitating a bit, the mermaid little girl spoke.
『Hero? You mean Saga Empire's hero?』
『There are many kinds?』
I apologize to the little girl who's tilting her head in confusion and continue on.
『And what will you do after finding a hero?』
『Nyua will ask them to beat the ice devil.』
According to the mermaid little girl, the ice devil--apparently a derogatory term for demon--brought an island of ice in the middle of the night, freezing the sea where her hometown was located.
Fearing the ice devil, apparently the mermaids were forced to move their homes to the sea near Garleon Union.
--Maybe demons are acting behind the scene here?
I tried checking the mermaid hometown on the map, but even though I found a huge iceberg, I didn't see a demon.
『Got it. I know a hero that can help you, I'll ask him to do something about it okay.』
I exchanged promised with the mermaid little girl while also teaching her how to make a promise by linking little fingers.
"Turn the airship to the northwest. I'll forward the map to the steering monitor."
I left the cabin and told the brownie in flight uniform and the girls that I was going to send the mermaid little girl back to her home.
"I'll be going to clean up the iceberg for a bit."
"--Wait a moment!"
Princess Sistina stopped me who had transformed into Hero Nanashi.
"What's the matter?"
"I want to see the iceberg!"
"I'd like to see it to desuwa!"
I thought it was surprising of them at first, but when I think about it, an iceberg is something that can only be seen in a book in a world without television like this.
That said, I never saw one when I was on earth myself though.
"Well then, let's go see the iceberg once we send that girl back."
Tama, you mixed up 'spectacle' and the finishing move of the alien from the Land of Light.
"Seeing it with your own eyes feel amazing indeed."
"You only see it on news about global warming or special programs after all."
Arisa and Hikaru who have memories about Japan seem to have a similar impression with me.
"Nn, grand view."
"Indeed, Mia-sama. This spectacle is quite mystical."
Mia and princess Sistina were fascinated.
"Ah! Over there! The ice peeled off and fell to the sea!"
"Calm down, Lulu."
"I see strange creatures on top of the ice over there, so I report. Suggesting to capture it--"
Lulu and Nana are being noisy.
Even Liza looks high spirited even though she rebuked Lulu.
On the other hand, Pochi and Lady Karina are flabbergasted with their mouths open as they stare at the iceberg.
I thought they were being quiet, apparently they're captivated by the spectacle.
"...What, a, huge, ice, desuwane."
Let's not fuss over their disconnected speech.
We came here to tour the iceberg after sending the mermaid little girl to the temporary mermaid settlement.
Just as you could have guessed from the girls' reaction, I'm really pleased with the spectacle that was beyond all expectations.
"--Did you have your fun, everyone?"
Even though I feel a bit reluctant, leaving it alone would make the sea temperature around here drop, so I should get rid of it quick.
I extend the force magic [Magic Hand] toward the iceberg and store it into my Storage.
I collect the falling penguins and seals and send them into the sub-dimension, I plan to deliver them back to their original habitat later.
I've heard that seals are tasty, might be a good idea to cook some of them.
Nana and Liza point at the place where the iceberg was.
"Crystal of ice?"
"What is that I wonder?"
A gray magic circle appeared on the ice crystal-like thing, and something came out of it.
It has a glittering ice body, leaving a mystical impression to it.
"Looks to be a mid one."
Just as the girls perceived, the thing that came out of the ice magic circle is a level 47 mid demon.
I thought the iceberg was drifting from some far away land, but apparently a demon was really behind it just like the mermaid little girl said.
『HYOOOOOOO, my magical island of ice has disappeared hyou.』
That ending word ruins its mystical looks.
I nod to Liza who asked me.
Liza points her spear toward the demon, and quietly shoots out a highly compressed magic edge cannon.
Liza's magic edge cannon pierced through the mid demon's chest in an instant, and then the magic edge cannons unleashed by Tama and Pochi right after finished it.
"Doesn't seem like I need this."
Lulu put back the acceleration cannon she took out of her space warehouse.
Mia who needs time for her chant and Lady Karina who doesn't have a mean for long-range attacks look disappointed.
The mid demon disappeared into black mist before our eyes.
In the end, we didn't find out the reason that demon brought the iceberg here, but it's all good since it resulted in destroying one of the demon's scheme.
Right now, my top priority is the trials rather than exterminating demons.
Just in case, I use fire and space magic to restore the seawater temperature back to its former state.
『--You killed the demon, and got rid of the iceberg?』
『Un, that's right.』
I visited the mermaid little girl's settlemenet as Hero Nanashi after getting rid of the iceberg and the demon.
『And I've warmed up the sea temp too, you can go back to your hometown soon~』
Maybe because it's been awhile since I turned into Hero Nanashi, I talked in Nanashi cheerful version and ended up keeping the tone up.
Once the elder told the news to the entire villagers, they happily jumped about over the sea surface.
After enjoying the villagers' dance who somehow look similar to dolphins', I'll be participating in the party the elder sponsored.
The dishes served in the party can't be said to be luxurious by any standard, however, it's undoubtedly a feast for the mermaids who have been living in distress, so I'm grateful to it.
『Hero-sama, how about some sea grape sake.』
『You're so strong, hero-sama.』
--I'm not complaining with the skinship these glamorous mermaids are giving.
『Hero-sama, please take this--』
I received a tamatebako-like present when I was about to leave. <TLN: from Urashima Tarou legend.>
Of course, there's no smoke that makes you grow old inside, it's a [Mermaid Drop] that enables you to breathe underwater.
I can easily do that already using water magic, but since it looks like it'll be useful for the trial this time, I gratefully accept it.
Now then, I've got to check if there is any discord within the union and whether that Skeleton Archduke dude is really trying to rally pirates together.
I should also procure war forces I could command in the meantime, maybe?
※Next update is planned for 2017/12/24
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