Naofumi pulls a motivational speech out of nowhere. Even he agrees it is BS. On a side note, I seem to be getting stuck with the political chapters.
Chapter 119: Strategic Countermeasures
“As expected, this is quite tough.”
I have returned to base, and am resting with the rest of my party. I head to the Strategy Meeting taking place between the leaders of multiple countries.
“Ah, The Hero of the Shield.” (Someone)
“Please, save the world.” (Someone else)
“I beg you, because of that, our country is…” (Someone else entirely)
The faces of the country leaders are quite pale.
The situation is quite grim. There will be no hope if I run here.
But… The difference in their treatment of me now is annoying.
Well, these people are from different countries. They may not know about my false crimes.
“We were watching from the back line. For it to have regeneration power to that extent…” (Queen)
The Queen speaks up with a worried face.
Trash… Doesn’t seem to be present.
But I think he would be a nuisance if he was here, anyways.
“I thought we had a chance of victory… but I guess we will have to defeat it in accordance with the legend.” (Naofumi)
“Yes… But the problem seems to be how to get you onto that giant.” (Queen)
“Now that you mention it, I have been seeing dragons flying around for a while.” (Naofumi)
On the way here, I saw many soldiers preparing and riding on dragons.
I guess they were making preparations to infiltrate the turtle’s insides.
“Will it be possible?” (Naofumi)
“The problem is the monsters that accompany the beast. It will be nearly impossible to break through a swarm of monsters that dense, and make it to the Turtle’s back.” (Queen)
An impenetrable defense…
If it is just my party, we might be able to break through. But we have no idea how to seal the heart.
“Just to make sure, but you do have personnel capable of putting a seal on the heart?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, we have investigated the matter and have found a method we are certain will work.” (Queen)
“Is it something that my party will be able to perform?” (Naofumi)
“That is…” (Queen)
The Queen stays silent.
It seems we will not be able to do it alone.
It’s not that convenient, I guess.
“I see…” (Naofumi)
“It’s something we’ll need an entire platoon of magicians to perform.” (Queen)
“So we will need to infiltrate the Turtle with an entire army, and somehow reach the heart with minimal casualties?” (Naofumi)
If only the spell was long range, our lives would be so much easier.
So we need to buy enough time for an entire platoon to enter the body.
I look at the map on the table. It shows the location of the Turtle and near-by cities.
It’s getting very close, If we don’t hurry, more cities will be destroyed.
“Have you completed the evacuation procedures?” (Naofumi)
“That has been… Difficult.” (Queen)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
Just by getting close, this monster causes large-scale earthquakes. The fissures themselves can collapse buildings and block off escape routes. This is very bad.
And this monster is proceeding with clear purpose and direction.
Now that I think about it, it hasn’t shot out that powerful attack yet.
“What was that large scale attack that thing released on my party?” (Naofumi)
“We are currently investigating it. It has not released one since.” (Queen)
It seems that it will take time before he can use such a large-scale attack again.
Or that it has yet to find another opponent worthy of firing it at.
Regardless, I will have to buy time for the Magician army to infiltrate the body.
And I need to help evacuate the populace…
“How far have evacuations progressed?” (Naofumi)
“It doesn’t seem we will make it before the Turtle arrives.” (Queen)
So this event will result in a really large amount of deaths.
What should I do.
I could try attacking it head on, while trying to destroy the heart, but there is a possibility that the result will be the same as when we destroyed the head.
It might be impossible to kill this monster.
“Why is it attacking densely populated areas, anyways?” (Naofumi)
“This is just from our investigations, but it doesn’t seem to be searching for food or resources.” (Queen)
So it isn’t trying to sustain itself.
So it is attacking of its own will.
I can’t think of a reason.
“Moreover, we have observed that it is not heading for the areas with the highest human populations.” (Queen)
“What do you mean?” (Naofumi)
“It also seems to be heading towards area with the highest monster populations.” (Queen)
So is it like an animal that enjoys going after ants’ nests, and that wants to make sure that no bugs build homes on its territory?
It’s not only attacking humans.
A monster like this…
I direct my gaze to Firo, who is resting outside.
This Filo Rial Queen may be able to attack it head-on and win.
Though I don’t know exactly how strong either of them are.
But I guess I shouldn’t try to test that.
“Will the ground troops be able to somehow board the Spirit Turtle’s back?” (Naofumi)
“It’s taking all of their manpower just to hold back the subordinate monsters. The flying unit may stand a chance, but breaking through the wall of monsters will be difficult.” (Queen)
The plan isn’t perfect, but there’s no choice.
“If I stall the Lesser Monsters and the Spirit Turtle, will the Army be able to get on its back?” (Naofumi)
If I can take on its strongest attack, then stalling might not be impossible.
When it was fighting my party and me, I was able to draw its attention, and its advanced slowed.
Worse comes to worst, I can just stall it until evacuation measures are complete.
Though I don’t know if I can stand that attack consecutively.
“Well, I’ll need a bit of back-line support.” (Naofumi)
“… Please wait for a second.” (Queen)
The Queen and the leaders from the other countries begin to discuss the plan.
“How is it? Taking an all or nothing chance?” (Someone)
“We’re acting too fast! If we are to go with that plan, it is better to wait for the 7 Star Heroes’ Arrival” (Leader Person)
“But at this rate, several cities and castles will become sacrifices before they arrive.” (Person)
“You’re only saying that because your country has yet to face any casualties! This monster needs to be defeated as soon as possible.” (Another Person)
This is getting quite heated.
Right now, the integrity of the four summoned heroes is in question, so I can’t really say anything.
Or course there are objections, and the counterarguments are understandable. Such is politics.
“That’s right, if we let that man defeat it, we can reduce the casualties to an absolute minimum.” (Someone)
“But he is the cause of this tragedy is he not?! One of the four heroes!” (Person I do not like)
“Let me ask you, what is a hero?” (Naofumi)
It does not seem I can remain silent for much longer.
I am supposed to be the Shield Hero, the one who will save the world.
Even if I don’t want to.
“T-that is…” (Person I do not like)
In response to my question, some people begin stammering out answers.
“A hero is a strong person who uses his power for just cause. It is someone with courage” (Queen)
The Queen presents this answer.
Good, if this person understands, then we may be able to proceed as planned.
“Heroes are all about Heart. No matter how hopeless the situation, they can never give up. Heroes must possess a will to protect the people!” (Naofumi)
What the hell am I trying to say.
Even though I’m the one who said it, I feel disgusted.
And anyways, I’m not that good of a person to begin with.
But don’t these things appeal to everyone?
Things like Courage, Justice, Will and Heart?
“If the people stationed here do not have enough power, then I will become their shield and protect them”. (Naofumi)
“Hero of the Shield…” (Person)
It seems I have left an impression on these people.
I spoke quite loudly. I bet my voice reached quite a few people outside as well…
“Hero of the Shield. Please forgive our previous words of cowardice.” (Person I didn’t like)
“Don’t mind it. I am used to being hated by the people. Let me take on the hate the people have for the four heroes.” (Naofumi)
I hold out my hand to the person who looks like a Shogun from another country.
“So for now, I want all of you to lend me your power. Let’s work together and defeat this monster.” (Naofumi)
The Shogun-like person firmly grasps my hand and exclaims loudly.
How simple. (TL: Just as Keikaku)
And so the plan to defeat the Spirit Turtle was finalized.
And it seems I raised the morale of the leaders.
We’ll work together to defeat the monster, and I will fight as a hero of justice.
“Now to return to topic, let us find a way to reduce the amount of casualties.” (Queen)
…The Queen is staring at me with a complicated expression.
Well, she knows that I’m not this sort of person.
The Queen restarts the meeting.
“Even though the Seven Heroes have yet to arrive, do we have enough soldiers capable of using the sealing spell?” (Queen)
“That is.. As long as they learn it by the time we are ready…” (Someone)
“Then do you think they will be able to proceed without issue? The army will be advancing regardless of whether they learn it or not.” (Queen)
“But to safely reach the heart, we need to…” (Someone)
“But that will only result in more damage. The best course of action is to seal the beast as fast as possible. Do you think the Hero of the Shield can hold out until the Seven Heroes get here?” (Queen)
…The leaders exchange some more words.
That’s right. The 3 heroes that caused all of this are currently missing. Even if we amass the seven heroes, it is not certain that we will attain victory.
As the shield, I am probably the only one capable of restraining the Spirit Turtle.
“Iwatani, please protect the Magical Platoon as they proceed towards the heart.” (Queen)
“I had that intention from the beginning. But once the platoon has infiltrated the turtle, I’ll only hold them back. My job is to decrease casualties. I’ll definitely buy those people enough time to complete their mission.” (Naofumi)
“Understood. Does anyone have any objections?” (Queen)
No one spoke up. There was no way that they could.
There is a strong feeling of unity present in the room.
All that’s left is to snatch victory.
“Well then, the mission will commence after all the preparations have been carried out.” (Queen)
The meeting is adjourned, and I leave the tent. I take a deep sigh, and Rafatalia calls out to me.
“Naofumi-sama, did you do something again?” (Rafatalia)
I had purposely raised my voice so people outside could hear.
But by her reaction, it does not seem that she was listening.
“Yep, it was the same as what happened back at Cal Mira.” (Naofumi)
“*Sigh*… I don’t understand what you are saying, but I guess that’s alright.” (Rafatalia)
“Oneechan, Master said that he would protect-” (Firo)
“Silence Bird.” (Naofumi)
If Rafatalia did not hear, then it’s fine as it is.
Truthfully, she will probably just sigh and look at me strange
Rishia is staring at me with admiration.
Why are her eyes sparkling like that?
“I’m inspired! It’s scary, but I’ll do my best!” (Rishia)
So both Firo and Rishia heard my speech.
Why is Rafatalia the only one left out?
I later found out that she had gone out to fetch water.
Replenishing the water supply is also important.
By the time she had returned, the camp was already astir with the trouble I had caused.
Most of the things I have caused so far have been no good, so there’s no helping it if she thinks I did something wrong.
“Now then, I’ll tell you the decision reached by the meeting.” (Naofumi)
“It’s been decided that I will stall the Spirit Turtle to give the army an opportunity to infiltrate it. Rafatalia and Rishia will be helping out that squadron. Firo, help me fight on the outside.” (Naofumi)
“I understand, but will Naofumi-sama be alright fighting that beast without us?” (Rafatalia)
“I can’t even feel the attacks of the lesser monsters, and after the army has succeeded in its infiltration, I will follow on Firo.” (Naofumi)
If all else fails, I can use the Shield of Wrath to hold off the Monster.
I haven’t tried to use it yet as I was testing my Soul Eater Shield. The Wrath Shield will probably be able to take the Spirit Turtle’s attacks.
But I’m not sure if I can control my feelings.
Last time, Firo helped me get through it. I guess I’ll have to count on her again.
“Rishia, don’t be afraid. There is a possibility you might find Itsuki inside of the Turtle.” (Naofumi)
“Yes! I’ll try my hardest!” (Rishia)
This girl is more energetic than usual.
“And fix that talking habit of yours.” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, that. Every time you feel uncertain,you let out that sound. Listening to it is annoying.” (Naofumi)
“Hey, are you picking a fight or something?” (Naofumi)
“I-I’ll work on it…” (Rishia)
If she gets over it, she will mature mentally.
The first thing she must change is her own heart.
Rafatalia was like this at the beginning as well. It’s fine if she just progresses slowly.