The enemy machiini was approaching. In his machiini [Detonator], John Moudias was fighting back while shrinking in fear.
The machiini [Detonator] was one that was at the period of maturity for knight group use. It was a machiini of high performance that had the gimmick weapon chainsaw equipped. However, because the pilot was inexperienced and couldn´t display the performance of the machiini, it seemed he would end up falling behind the mercenary machiini that was only experienced to some extent.
Having the chainsaw deflected, the opponent struck his buckler at [Detonator], quickly making it fall on its back.
John received an impact that made it feel as if he was seeing stars. The next thing John saw through the crystal eyes of his machiini was the action of the enemy being about to swing its sword. The life of John Moudias was already hanging by only a thread.
“”Why… has it become like this?””
The place he was at was the Dorowa plains, at the headquarters of the front line of the Ruuin kingdom. Although there were only simple tents at the place, the safety of the location should have been definite.
However, John was attacked. The reason for that was the surprise attack of the kingdom of Paroma. It seems that they had made a huge detour through the Dorowa plains and pretended themselves to be reinforcements coming from Morson, launching a fierce assault.
It happened when they were witnessing the amassing of troops at the foot of the mountain range of Diliard. His troops started to take formation at the front while John retreated to the rear at a safe place. But it was that place where it was attacked. All his subordinates were killed.
Moreover, it seemed the soldiers that were being gathered at the front of the fort were also advancing to the front lines. If the two armies were to come together, they would be receiving a pincer attack.
However, with no signs of the chaos settling down at the base, the situation was falling in disorder. If this was to continue, John would have received a hard blow, and even if it was to go well, it might still become a situation their only conclusion would be complete defeat.
But more importantly, it would be John Moudias´ fate to lose his life without even being able to watch the fall of the army come true. When it was about to happen…
[I don´t want that!]
John shouted. He was about fifteen years old. He was born as the eldest son of the Moudias family. Hence, his participation in this battle was for the so called dignity. It should have been that he would only wait back at the rear without even going to the front lines. However, currently, he had a blade pointed to him and was about to have his life ended.
The enemy mercenary machiini shouted. The sword was about to pierce through John´s machiini. But then…
But the pike of the war hammer hit the mercenary machiini at its chest by a red machiini that suddenly appeared.
John looked at the red machiini in surprise.
After its abrupt appearance, the red machiini forced the machiini it had thrust at the chest part down to the ground with all its force. With that same strength used, it removed the pike of the war hammer from the chest. A red liquid was dripping from its tip.
[Did he die…?]
It was death in one blow. It seemed that the machiini pilot trying to kill John ended being the one killed instead. As the other machiinis at the surroundings were being cautious of the red machiini that had suddenly appeared, a voice resounded.
[Maia, I will leave it to you to protect that knight model there. Bal, you can run wild as much as you want. We are at the encampment of the knights. All the shabby machiinis are enemies. Destroy them to their last pieces.]
A voice that was just like the one of a child came from the red machiini. And then, a response from a black knight model machiini and a light green mercenary machiini that came after the red machiini resounded.
[Are you alright, noble-sama?]
[Ah, yes. Who would you be?]
Being talked to by the light green machiini, John responded.
[We are the Beladonna mercenary group. We have come to this war on Deidon-sama´s orders. Presently, we are engaging on this battle.]
With the appropriately polite language, Maia told John. In response, John weakly said “I-is that so? You´ve been of a lot of help”. Seeing that, Maia gave [Detonator] a look of pity without saying anything.
“”Ah-ah. That´s really the young master. Seeing how he is at the rear, he is probably being taken as a dead weight.””
Maia concluded. It seemed all his escorts had died. It was to the point it was strange how John was able to remain alive. On the other hand, the battle was back and forth at the other places. However, it was clear that it would immediately become dangerous once the combat force coming from the fort merged with the enemy forces present.
“”Now, whether that was a really good or bad timing…. Well, I guess we got here in time to get our turn.””
While thinking of that, Maia brought John´s [Detonator] up on its feet and started dragging him to the rear with her personal machiini [Rozen].
The remaining forces of the Beladonna mercenary group should be coming from the back. If Maia can regroup with them, it will be possible to guarantee the safety of the noble she was protecting.
“”That´s really no joke. Her ability.””
Although they were her allies, Maia started shivering after remembering the battle between Bela and Bal. The machiini battles Maia knew of was cutting each other and shaving each other off with skill in a one-on-one battle, somehow trying to seize the victory.
Machiini battles wasn´t supposed to be destruction on attacks passing by each other as if putting a string through the needle. Those that were capable of doing that kind of thing would only be the monsters that survived the era of the great war. Thinking back about yesterday´s mock battle, Maia trembled in fear.
“”If that was a battle that you could kill, that little girl would have been able to wipe out us and the Jakan group by herself. Ah, scary, scary.””
Knowing her own limits, she didn´t oppose. Having been living as a mercenary, once again her intuition labelled Bela as someone she mustn´t oppose. While being cautious of her surroundings, Maia retreated.
[Why in the world did it have to turn out like this…]
And then, Maia heard that voice from the machiini she was holding. Hearing those words, Maia muttered “Good grief…” in a low voice.
It had been nearly ten minutes before they were going through that.
The number of combatants that were part of the Beladonna mercenary group were the four of the Beladonna group, fifty one from the hired Rozen mercenary group, and thirty one from the Jakan mercenary group, making it in total close to a hundred combatants. Besides that, they had five machiinis and four elements in their possession.
If terms of scale, being followed by the Don mercenary group, the Beladonna group would be the seventh biggest mercenary group in the battlefield of the Dorowa plains.
Looking at it in the general perspective, they would be somewhat about a mercenary group of medium scale.
Though there weren´t any of those in this field, there also existed major mercenary groups that went up to the scale of a thousand members. There were many cases they would receive territory and gain nobility status once they reached this height.
In regards of that, now that the mercenary groups were continuously getting bigger ever since the end of the great war, the knight groups and the nobility had to confront the problem of whether they should win over the mercenaries or suppress them.
In either case, although the current position of the Beladonna mercenary group wasn´t to the point that the kingdom would try winning over them, they also weren´t a fighting force that could be ignored.
The Beladonna mercenary group was advancing through the Dorowa plains. Bela and the others were heading to the headquarters at the frontlines as a supplementary fighting force participating on the capture of the fort at the foot of the Deliard mountain range that was scheduled for three days later.
[Come on, move your ass, Borudo.]
[Damn it, the whiplashes from yesterday are still ringing in my ears here.]
[Hihi, you reap what you sow.]
[We were about to get caught into that too after all. It isn´t only master the ones angry at you.]
Hearing the words of his two fellow slaves, Borudo sweared in response from the bottom of his heart. Ever since Borudo started living as a slave, he had constantly been dealing with unreasonable things.
Borudo didn´t have the soft mind to break down just because of the whiplashes from yesterday. It was because he was able to live through that and still be there that he wasn´t disheartened like he was before.
[So, we should be about to be able to spot the encampment of the Ruuin kingdom now, right, Maia?]
Although there were some small hills around, from what was in the map, now should have been about the time they would be able to spot the headquarters at the front lines.
[Yeah, that would be the case.]
Next to the carriage Bela was on were Maia´s and Gauro´s machiinis. Hearing the voice coming from the sound amplification device, Bela started thinking while “Hmm”ing.(TL note:Dunno how to put this in a better way T.T)
[What´s with that reaction?]
Seeing Bela´s weird reaction, Maia asked while tilting her head to the side. But then, without answering her, Bela stood up and raised her right arm, giving out a command.
[Alright. All troops stop.]
Hearing those words, Maia and Golias gave the same orders to their own subordinates, thus making everyone stop their march. Of course, Maia once again turned her head to Bela after everyone had stopped. Although Bela gave the command, she didn´t explain the reason for it.
[So, what is it?]
“Be quiet Maia.”
The one to interrupt Maia´s question wasn´t Bela, but Golias, who was behind her on the carriage carrying his machiini.
“I see. Well, you can´t hear it well if there is the sound of the carriages and machiinis moving.”
As he was frowning his eyebrows, Golias was looking at what was at the other side of the hill ahead. It seemed there was some smoke rising up from there.
[That is the sound of battle, right?]
From the sound amplifier device of the machiini next to Maia, Gauro´s voice resounded. After that having been said, Maia was also able to notice the sounds. Being carried by the wind, it was possible to hear the sounds of metal hitting each other and voices, albeit faint. Indeed, just like Golias said, those were sounds faint to the point it wouldn´t be possible to hear if their troops were still moving.
[By seeing from where it is coming from, could it be the front is being attacked?]
There was nobody that answered Maia. At that point in time, it was already impossible to come up with any assumptions other than that. Despite that, Bela immediately went inside her machiini. And then, she gave Bal and Jadan her command.
[Alright. Bal, take your machiini. Jadan too. Breaktime is over. Bring out your Salamas.]
While hearing their responses, Bela was activating her machiini. While checking the meter of mana circulation rate, she fastened her belt, grasped the control stick and stepped on the foot pedal for the left feet, making her machiini stand up on the carriage. And then, silvery smoke surged from the pipe coming from the back of the machiini.
“”Hmm. I guess the mana is more or less. Well, it´s the battlefield after all, and it is also right under the mana river.””
Bela gave out orders to the people around while checking the condition of her own machiini.
[Alright, now then, Bal and Maia, follow me. The rest carry on marching while keeping the formation. I will leave the command to Golias.]
[Tch, so you won´t bring me along?]
Seeing the unsatisfied Golias, Bela smiled.
[After all, this is the chance to eat to the heart´s content. I want to prioritize the speed, and there is also the possibility there will be enemies running this way. Don´t get careless.]
Seeing Golias sulky reaction, Bela gave her usual “Hyahya” laugh.
Bela dashed out, and Bal and Maia followed after her. In terms of movement speed, Maia´s machiini [Rozen] was one step ahead. Considering their own speed, choosing [Rozen] was the correct decision.
[So master. What will we be doing?]
[That´s right. Maia, you should have fought in the front lines before, right?]
In a distance within the range of a battlefield, the voice amplifier had the usability of connecting the voices between allies and machiinis that had been given permission to join in the line. Bal asked Bela by making use of that. And then, after thinking about it for some time, Bela spoke to Maia.
[That´s right. What is it about that?]
[Do you know where the encampment of the nobles is?]
[Yeah. So, what will you do after I tell you that?]
[If we are lucky, we can get their favor. Well, if we are raising war achievements, we should be close to people that can evaluate us after all.]
Maia nodded at those words. With her taking the lead, they were heading to the headquarters at the front lines.
At that place, John Moudias witnessed Bela´s.
And then, feeling the impression of fear given off by the warring red machiini, by that red devil, the first campaign of the young teen became engraved in his memory.