「Bwrwrwr…… Muu, bwrbwr.」
Celia shakes her head, flinging the water droplets trickling down her bangs away.
However, the endlessly falling raindrops quickly soak the cute Celia from head to toe.
A downpour started immediately after the cannon battle the other day, equally drenching the enemy and ally alike.
It wasn’t heavy enough to be considered a storm. And it didn’t seem like it would continue forever.
Still, the intermittent wet weather that already lasted for three days thoroughly showered the bodies of every soldier and left puddles on the ground.
「Why don’t you put on your hood?」
I suggest to Celia.
「I can’t worsen my field of view in front of the enemy. It would be bad if we got ambushed!」
Celia retorts as she shakes her head again.
「How cute, but if you catch a cold, your tumtum won’t be feeling so good.」
「Wah, don’t say something so weird!」
I shift my attention from Celia, who turns her back to me with a soft ‘hmp’, to Myla.
Myla hastily removes the hood she was wearing. Why? Having it on is a smart thing to do.
Myla wipes the raindrops running along her face with her left hand.
That gesture coupled with her wet hair made her look extra gorgeous, contrasting the cute Celia, although I don’t favor one over the other.
Somehow, my sexual cravings are being stirred.
I shift my gaze again, this time to Pipi.
「This rain, I’m sick of it.」
Pipi is sitting beside Pochi, rubbing a brush against its scales dully.
Pochi growls in content and spreads its wings to shield Pipi from getting wet.
Such a touching scene disperses the rising lust within me.
「Pochi stinks more from the rain. ……ah, there’s mold on its scales.」
Pochi whines sadly.
「In any case, you can’t avoid getting wet. Just hold your positions――」
I say as I shift my gaze to Tristan.
「I agree with that notion.」
Tristan isn’t wearing a hood. No, he doesn’t need to.
He’s sitting on a wooden bench with an opened cloth umbrella positioned over his head and squeezed under his armpit, all while drinking tea and reading a book.
「If enough guards have been stationed, the others can rest in a better environ―― ow! Why am I being kicked!?」
I switch over to Leopolt when I see Celia punish Tristan.
I happen to catch a glimpse of a ball of muscles bathing in the rain naked, but it’s probably my imagination.
That guy is also staring straight ahead without a hood on.
He isn’t shaking like Celia and he isn’t wiping his face like Myla either.
The way he looks with the rain dripping along his short hair and down his face like he doesn’t care is――――
「More than cold-hearted, it’s creepy……almost to the point of being idiotic.」
When Leopolt heard me speak, only his eyeballs rolled in my direction.
His gaze was not directed at Trisnia, where the enemy was, or our allies being hit by the rain.
It was directed at an open spot in the air…… I assume it’s because he was gauging the severity of the rain.
「It’s still going.」
「Since the rain started, it has stopped five times in the span of ten hours and has continued for a total of 60 hours.」
I don’t know that much detail.
「For this season…… isn’t it rare?」
「Yes. The river coast region, including Trisnia, gets a certain amount of precipitation during the summer season. Depending on the year, there might be enough to cause a natural disaster such as a flood, however……」
「It doesn’t look like this is too much rain.」
The current rainfall is not exactly a torrential downpour.
With that said, it must be raining harder near the water source around the mountain range, as the level of water in the river is gradually increasing……
「What hurts is that we can’t use cannons.」
The one area we have the enemy crushed in is the firepower of our cannons.
The gunpowder required to fire those cannons has become moist from the rain and water entering the barrels of the cannons makes it extremely dangerous for us to use.
If we have to fight with ballistae, catapults and close combat, we’ll inevitably be at a disadvantage.
「There’s also the problem of the walls. It’s the reason for such a heated debate in the war council.」
Erich’s staff officers pulled out a map of the city and are still arguing over what to do.
I can’t blame them for getting flustered, since the supposedly weak Trisnia walls repelled a battering ram.
Considering the six month period the city was occupied, it’s unthinkable for the entire wall to be rebuilt.
The shape is exactly the same, so it must be impossible.
「Did they use magic?」
I don’t know any powerful magic that could be so convenient.
The walls are sturdy and the harbor is sealed tightly.
Currently, our only way through is the dwarven cannon, and even that is rendered unavailable due to the rain.
「We have no other option except to revise our plan under the assumption that the walls are fortified.」
I can’t help smiling after the very typical Leopolt answer.
It doesn’t matter if the enemy rapidly renovated their walls or whether they fortified the walls with an unknown magic or whether some kind of hidden power was unleashed. If the premise changes, then we’ll just have to amend the condition and rethink our strategy. We can mull over the “why” and “how” after the fact.
「We have a plan?」
Leopolt nods slightly.
Then he points to our bored ally fleet, going back and forth.
「The water in the river is rising. Let us draw in our fleet to a safe stream.」
His suggestion was simply an evacuation plan for our fleet, unrelated to any kind of bold measure.
A Few Hours Later.
「Put your back into it――!」
「Do it perpendicular to the current! How can you expect to pull it when it’s diagonal!?」
Ship after ship gets dragged from the large North Teries river to a smaller, nameless river.
It’s difficult for a combat vessel to enter a small stream on its own, so soldiers tug on ropes hanging from the deck to transport the ships from one coast to another at a turtle’s pace.
「Keep your oars shallow but quick. If you thrust it all the way to the bottom, they’ll break!」
「Drop off any food or water. If the ship’s too heavy, the bilge will scrape against the ground!」
While the river’s size is small, it is at the terminating point of the North Teries and it has extra water from the rain, so the width is at least several meters.
To begin with, this wouldn’t work if not for the increased water level.
「Hey…… why go through all this trouble? Wouldn’t it better to let them wait in some cove for the water to rise? The enemy shouldn’t have a capable fleet anymore.」
「How would I know? I’m only doing it because I was told.」
「Eeeh…… well, are the ships going to be completely on standby until the rain stops? Is the rain that bad? I mean, the capital gets this kind of drizzle here and there.」
「Besides, it’s normal to get more rain next to a river. Even a river as small as this one has a levee. I don’t think we need to be afraid of a light shower.」
Soldiers carry out their orders without an ounce of satisfaction towards the reasoning behind them.
Moreover, the enemy yells provocatively at us.
「Heey! Do Goldonian sailors take breaks when it’s raining?」
「So we can still play in the water a little longer?」
Although our soldiers ignore the scornful remarks and continue their work, it doesn’t help their morale.
By the way, Ivanna, the fleet commander, locked herself in the commander’s quarters after protesting fiercely and hasn’t shown her face since.
Sekrit similarly complained and let out a “hmm” before also locking herself in a room.
I feel like the reason she hasn’t shown herself is not anger.
「Is the demon Hardlett afraid of the water!? Makes sense, since he doesn’t look like he can swim, hahahahaha!」
「……hey, is there any meaning to this evacuation?」
I’m not asking because of their jeers, I’m actually curious about this move.
I’m definitely not getting affected by the enemy’s taunts.
「Coward, only your appearance is imposing, huh? When the demon gets wet, his crotch shrivels up?」
I reflexively pick up a rock at my foot and throw it into the city.
The rock arcs into the gray sky and disappears……
The head of one enemy soldier who poked his head above the wall to shout at us splits apart and falls down.
At the same time, the enemy and our allies start sporadically exchanging a few volleys of arrows.
「I could care less about the enemy’s abuse. More importantly, why are we evacuating?」
I bypass the silently staring Myla and question Leopolt.
He replies plainly with eyes I’m not sure are open or closed.
「There’s no meaning to it. I don’t think the North Teries is in any danger of overflowing from this extent of rain. On the contrary, the risk is higher in a smaller and narrower river. It’s an improbable choice especially when the enemy doesn’t have any ships to threaten us with.」
「Waah! I-it’s all messed up!」
Out of frustration, I grabbed Celia and ruffled her hair.
Because her hair was wet, it became more of a mess than usual.
「If we withdraw the fleet, the enemy will surely believe it’s safe to call the army from the recently reinforced west coast. It will be difficult for transport vessels to cross an overflowing river, however, having tens of thousands of elite troops in Trisnia will make it extremely difficult to conquer.」
「Aaaah…… it’s not going back to normal.」
I set Celia aside after her hair resembles some mythical monster and pressure Leopolt.
「So our actions are for the preservation of the fleet, an absolutely stupid plan.」
Now, what should I do?
First and foremost, I’ll steal away that girl named Nina.
Just then, a report came from an ally monitoring the river.
「Enemy transport sighted on the west coast! They appear to be forcefully heading for Trisnia!」
Saved in the nick of time.
「One ship capsized…… one ship gave up and turned downstream……three ships entered the Trisnia port! Another five ships are following――!」
Ally soldiers by the shore already attempt firing cannons, but the shots don’t reach.
In the meantime, the gunpowder gets wet and a strange sound comes from the cannon before releasing fine dust and becoming inoperable.
Our fleet was being pulled into the small river with ropes, so we naturally couldn’t pursue the enemy.
「The enemy has the upper hand in everything.」
Leopolt nods and drops his gaze from the enemies and allies to some old-looking documents.
「What’s the meaning of this!?」
The unsatisfied Myla and exploding Celia pounces toward Leopolt for answers one second later.
I hold back the two girls and mess up Myla’s hair while I’m at it, then sit beside Leopolt.
「So, when will we have the advantage?」
Fumu, that’s surprisingly close.
「What do we need?」
「The enemy’s contempt and a little bit of luck.」
Then I won’t do anything unnecessary.
「If all goes well, can we settle it tomorrow?」
Leopolt doesn’t say anything.
「Fine, I’ll leave the rest to you. I’m going to spend time with a woman.」
After saying that, I stand up.
As I walk past Celia, who is desperately trying to fix her hair, and Myla, I see Leopolt’s stack of papers on his desk.
“Old Map of Trisnia and its Surrounding Region”, “〇〇-year Heavy Flood”, “Trisnia Kingdom’s River Network”, “How to Manipulate Idiot Lords”
I chuckle to myself.
「Heh…… looks like you have the general idea figured out. But this is going to end up ruining the city…… well, I guess it’s better than everything being engulfed by a sea of flames.」
Tristan sighs after flipping quickly through one of the resource materials.
「Ahn? How am I supposed to know what Leopolt wants to do?」
Tristan’s eyes widen and he grumbles.
「……then why did you leave it to him? If you don’t know his true intent, then isn’t what Leopolt-san doing basically betrayal?」
I guess you――
「I know that we’re going to fight it out tomorrow at noon. Besides that, I don’t really need to understand every single process.」
I would only get upset if that sour face explained each and every detail to me.
I want to sleep with a woman already, so I’m leaving.
「……what an interesting relationship.」
I brush off Tristan’s fascinated comment and get into a “special” wagon in the Transportation Corps――also known as the prostitute wagon.
「Alright, next―― if you have a distributed ticket, you get one shot, if you’re paying out of your own pocket, consecutive rounds is OK―― wait, Hardlett-sama!?」
「I’m shocked…… this is a place for soldiers to relieve themselves, hold on…… I mean, I’ll gladly…… eh, you’re giving me that much!?」
「If you give me this much, then I’ll entertain any fetish…… wooah! It’s huge! You’re kidding me!!」
「I’m definitely going to break and not be able to continue doing business…… y-you’re going to make me your mistress…… r-really? You’ll also shoulder all of my debt……? And you’ll look after the child……?」
「……go ahead then. Do it in one thrust―― higyuuuh!!」
I look forward to what Leopolt will show me tomorrow while swinging my hips and gently stroking the head of the unconscious woman.