Editor: Frozen Ink
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 38: The Sage Wonders about the Imperial City’s Weapons
An artillery shell with an engraved spell?
I stared at the object flying toward me in a bid to identify it.
Designs had been made to stabilize its trajectory while accelerating the projectile in many places.
In addition, it is imbued with a powerful holy attribute.
It is quite the sophisticated weapon.
It seems that the empire is still in a state to be able to install several of these things.
There was no information about this from the spies.
It seems that the existence of these weapons was kept secret after all.
For my subordinates to not know of this, they must have been quite scrupulous in managing their information.
I observed the approaching shells and uncovered their compositional method.
Within a moment, I had a rough idea of its effect and destructive power.
Since I had been good at this since before I became an undead, it was possible to do this just by the time it took to hit me.
As a result, it turned out that it can easily bypass weak defensive magic.
In addition, its speed made it difficult to avoid.
Its goal was to force itself through the opponent’s defences and run through them.
It was quite a vicious method, but the design concept makes sense.
An ordinary sorcerer would be killed instantly by the shell before he could even react.
The fact that the surrounding area was so desolate despite that was no doubt proof of Grom’s efforts.
In my case, I can dodge it by teleporting.
I could defend against it if I increased my output of magical power, but there was no need to go that far.
It was the perfect time to test the ability of that cannon.
The fact that the other side was hiding a secret weapon was an unshakeable fact.
There was still a possibility that they were hiding something else.
Knowing the characteristics and vulnerabilities of the cannons now might be useful in other situations.
For now, let’s do something about it.
The shells were closing in on us.
It would smash through my body in the blink of an eye.
I spread my magic power in front of me and gathered it into several hundred thousand threads.
As I did, I made sure to make them elastic.
I wove the bundle of threads into a mesh and moved them in a position to block the approaching shells.
Immediately afterwards, the shells all flew into the magic net.
The net, which had been fixed in position, stretched due to the vigorous impact of the shells.
The shells spun at high speed, scattering sparks.
Although it creaked violently, the magic net was not damaged.
When the net reached its limit of tension, the shells bounced back.
The multiple shells that were spinning along their length flew backwards towards the imperial capital.
The scattered shells exploded on the outer wall, and part of the outer wall collapsed with an explosion.
The cannons that were unfortunate enough to be hit directly by the shells burst into flames.
I could see the soldiers, turned into a ball of flames rolling out from inside.
It seemed that the cannons had an operator inside.
“As expected of the Demon Lord! That was a wonderful counterattack!”
Grom peeked his face through the trench in the ground and praised me.
He can’t change his expression because he was nothing but bones, but I could tell that he respected me greatly.
While feeling indescribably uncomfortable at his humble appearance, I checked the results of my counterattack.
The cannons that had finished firing were red hot and emitted white smoke.
The formula was not functioning, and the filled magic power was in disarray.
Looking at the condition of the cannons, it seemed that they couldn’t fire continuously.
That’s probably why there were such a great number of cannons.
What they lacked in single-shot capability, they made up for in the numbers.
The cannons that were not fired in the first round remained silent, undriven.
The spell was operating normally, so it should have been able to fire shells at any time.
The reason why they did not do so was probably because they were afraid of a similar counter attack.
By now, they were probably panicking over the damage they sustained.
The magic net used for the counterattack had also been damaged.
It was torn in places and the spell was not stable.
If I tried to use it to defend against another round of the same bombardment, it would definitely break, unable to withstand it.
It has considerable power. I have to admit that.
I didn’t expect the Empire to have such a weapon.
The high speed firing with the shells wrapped with holy attribute was clearly intended to kill me.
As a result, although I defended against it, its precision was high.
It had only been a few months since I had taken the reins as the Demon Lord, but I found it hard to believe that they had developed it in such a short period of time.
For that reason, I feel uncomfortable with its high performance.
If you ignore its inability to fire continuously, those cannons were functioning well enough as a weapon.
If the Demon Lord’s army were to confront it in the absence of the top brass, they would have been forced to suffer a great deal of damage before they could reach the outer wall.
It was a weapon that was that powerful with no equal.
I don’t think it would have been easy to manufacture something like that.
Perhaps, they did a few tweaks to a magic spell cannon that they had already been developing from before to use it against the Demon Lord?
Taking into account all the information I had, I could safely assume that this was the case.
If you look back in history, this was a country that had risen through wars of aggression.
If you take into account the fact that they also invaded the Forest of Yggdrasil, it goes without saying that they are still eager to fight.
It was no surprise that they had been developing new weapons for several years.
As for the actual details, I intend to uncover it as I search the Imperial City.
I’m sure that if I search through the major institutions, I’ll be able to find some related materials.
I’m sure I’ll also be able to find out their connections with other countries among others.
…It might be dangerous to send the Demon Lord’s army to the Imperial Capital like this.
I thought while observing the cannon.
It’s also possible that the Empire possesses other unknown weapons.
If I went in on the basis of our string of victories, there would be a lot of damage.
On the other hand, it would be out of the question for me to wipe out the Imperial City with large-scale magic.
The damage to the human side would be too great, and on top of it, nothing would be left behind.
Although I could make the threat of the Demon Lord known, it would be a bad move in the long run.
The empire must not be destroyed.
This invasion this time must only moderately reduce their power and encourage them to cooperate with other countries.
What I intend is not the destruction of the world.
For the above reasons, I will carry out the invasion of the Imperial Capital by myself for the time being.
The Demon Lord’s army will wait in the already occupied cities, and after that, I’ll have them establish a new border.
That’s how we’ll collect the new territory.
They will lose a strategically and economically important zone, which will allow the empire to decline moderately.
In addition, I’ll let them take the cannons on the outer wall.
It was an interesting weapon.
I would love to loot it by all means and study it in the capital.
It would be useful to us as well.
After gathering my thoughts, I sent instructions to Grom.
“I will attack the Imperial City alone. You go protect the royal capital.”
“Yes! Understood! What should we do about the Demon Lord’s army in the rear?”
“Tell them to stand by. They should be careful and not loosen their guard.”
Grom crept out of the trench in a lively manner.
He spewed flames from his soles and flew away at breakneck speed.
I saw him off and looked in the direction of the Imperial City.
It was still quiet and there was no movement.
No troops were in sight, no shells were being fired.
It was eerily calm.
I wondered if they were waiting to see what would happen.
Since the artillery barrage was ineffective, they might be planning to hold a siege.
Sure enough, a number of defensive spells began to be set up around the outer walls.
The imperial capital was getting ready to take a rock-solid stance.
If you’re planning to stay in, I’ll go in without hesitation.
I let the miasma and magical energy circulate throughout my body.
Originally, I wanted to invade with the organization of the Demon Lord’s Army, but circumstances have changed a bit.
Solving everything right here and prioritizing the lives of my subordinates was the best course.
Although it would require a little more work, it would be a small price to pay if it would ensure the safety of my army.
It was definitely not because my men are weak.
It was my fault for not being able to accurately grasp the battle situation and give orders.
Therefore, I will make up for it here.
While paying attention to the movement of the cannons, I headed for the imperial capital using transfer magic.