Snippet of our Discord discussion on chapter 13:
Chapter 13 – Unwanted Trouble (1)
“So, those are Japan’s warships… they almost look like castles.” Sword King Shihan uttered to himself, unintentionally voicing his inner thoughts. “How ludicrous, even considering the information we received before from Gahara, for a metal ship this big to float…”
Knight-Captain Magreb agreed, “I’ve been to the Papaldia Empire numerous times, and I’ve never seen any ships as large as these ones.”
Floating before them were the eight ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s escort flotilla.
“My king, Japan’s ships should begin attacking our decommissioned ships any minute now.”
At the Sword King’s personal request, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had begged, “We want to show our strength to them.” This was the JSDF’s answer. In addition to the escort flotilla, Fenn’s four decommissioned ships were also there, set adrift to be targets. They were about 2 km away from the escort flotilla. Sword King Shihan was watching the exercise through a telescope. The attack would be executed by a kind of boat called a “guided missile destroyer,” it seemed.
He saw smoke rise from the Japanese ship, then he heard the booms a moment later. BOOM… BOOM… BOOM… BOOM… Four shots. Immediately afterwards, the target ships were rocked by fierce explosions, and spray and debris shot up into the air. All four targets had been blown up and sunk.
“…… This… I’m speechless… How puissant…”
The Sword King’s staff who formed the backbone of the Kingdom of Fenn could only stare in amazement at the power that completely upended their previously-held concepts of war. One ship easily sank four other ships. Furthermore, it fired that many shots in a row, with no lag. Even in the superpower Papaldia, it was likely that no one could determine how this was possible.
“As soon as possible, resume negotiations regarding diplomatic relations with Japan. A non-aggression treaty goes without saying, but, if possible, a security treaty as well,” declared the Sword King, smiling.
The guided missile destroyer Myoukou noticed something on its radar: numerous flying objects coming from the west. Their speed was about 350 km/h, and there were twenty of them in close formation. They informed command.
“There’s a country west of here, right? The Papaldia Empire?”
“Were they invited to Fenn’s Military Festival?”
“I think they were, but… let me check, just in case.”
The flying objects arrived in the air above the Kingdom of Fenn, but the Myoukou had still not received a reply.
The twenty wyvern lords belonging to the Papaldia Empire’s imperial oversight army had come to Amanoki, the capital city of the Kingdom of Fenn, to conduct a punitive strike. There were military officers from many different countries outside the civilized area at the Military Festival. In order to demonstrate what happens to a country that dares to defy the empire, they purposely chose to attack during the festival in front of all these officers. This would engrave the power of the empire in the minds of all those countries. It would also serve as an example of the damage that could result from provoking the empire, or even just associating with a country that had done so.
There were also three of Gahara’s wind dragons flying over the capital. When the wind dragons looked over, the wyvern lords, like mild-mannered teenagers being glared at by gangsters, meekly looked away.
“Ignore Gahara’s people. Fenn’s palace and, let’s see… that white ship down there, attack those targets!”
The wyvern lords scattered.
?! A squadron of dragons called wyverns flew in from the west. They split into two groups, and one dived sharply towards Fenn’s palace.
“Is this some kind of demonstration?!”
While everyone was wondering what was happening, the diving dragons opened their mouths and began forming fireballs.
Moments later, the ten wyverns shot their fireballs at the top floor, lighting the wooden palace on fire.
“!!!!!! The other ten wyverns are diving at patrol ship Inasa!!!” someone screamed on the bridge of the Myoukou.
The ten wyvern lords from Papaldia’s oversight army, heading straight for the motionless Japan Coast Guard patrol ship Inasa 500 meters below them, spit out ten more fire blasts.
Patrol Ship Inasa
The patrol ship Inasa turned on its engines and watched the skies. The SDF had notified them of multiple incoming bogeys, but they were given no other information.
“The bogeys have fired on us!”
“Engines full speed ahead, evasive maneuvers!!!”
With its engines roaring, the Inasa quickly accelerated. It avoided the shower of fire blasts one after another. In its wake, the fire blasts hit the ocean.
“Tch! We’ve been hit! Fire astern!!! Put out that fire, engines stay at full speed! Keep watch on the skies!”
“What?! They were able to dodge almost all the fire blasts?!”
The ten wyvern lords had pulled up from their dive and were flying horizontally now. Even though they were so close their attacks should have been unavoidable, the riders were all stunned that only one had hit.
“Gahh… It won’t go out…”
The fire caused by the fire blast appeared to be extremely difficult to put out.
“Prepare for counterattack!”
The Inasa’s 20mm machine gun aimed up at the sky. It wasn’t meant for anti-aircraft use, and they were well aware of that. However, in order to protect the lives of the crew, they simply used whatever was at their disposal.
“This is legitimate self-defense! Fire at will!”
Using the image on the screen, they aimed at the flying wyverns in the sky, then fired. There was tracer ammunition mixed in with regular bullets. After firing a barrage, the electronics would beep to indicate that the barrel needed to cool down for a short period of time. In the end, the Inasa only hit one of the ten wyvern lords; the injured wyvern lord writhed in pain as blood sprayed from its wounds. Its rider was shaken off and fell into the sea.
While the Inasa was being attacked, the escort ships had also identified the wyvern lords as enemies and were deciding how to counterattack. A few of the Myoukou’s main guns aimed up into the open sky and each turned to point at a different wyvern lord. The other escort ships’ main guns did so as well; they had split up their targets to avoid overlapping fire. The FCS calculated the relative speed of the target, automatically moving the gun barrel to aim at the target’s future position.
In succession, each ship’s main guns fired, and all the wyvern lords in the sky were eliminated.
Sword King Shihan and his aides’ mouths all hung open. There was no mistake—the wyvern lords were sent by Papaldia. For Fenn, driving off wyvern lords was an extremely difficult task. A entire squad of warriors wouldn’t be enough, and their scales were too tough for arrows to pierce. They would have to hit them by surprise with ballistae, or use something like the legendary longbow Berserk Arrow. However, the Berserk Arrow required too much strength, there were probably only three people in the entire kingdom who could draw it.
It was practically impossible to shoot down a battle-ready wyvern lord. If any country outside the civilized area could defeat even one wyvern lord, they could be proud of their place in the world. It was unclear if Fenn was powerful enough to do so…
And now, there were these Japanese, who crushed a superpower’s squadron of twenty elite wyvern lords as easily as stepping on an injured fly that couldn’t even move, and they barely took any damage themselves. Not only that, but Japan’s white ship wasn’t even part of the army, it was a law enforcement ship that was only meant for “suppressing hostiles,” not defeating enemies or going on the attack.
At the Military Festival, all the visiting officers from other countries saw with their own eyes the might of Japan and how they defeated the fearsome Papaldia Empire’s elite wyvern lords like twisting a child’s arm. They felt the sensation of history moving, of the world changing.
In all likelihood, those wyvern lords were sent to the Kingdom of Fenn on a punitive strike. Japan getting pulled into the conflict must have been the will of Heaven… Sword King Shihan laughed aloud as he watched his palace burn.
“What amazing things… those boats…” the wind dragon admired. “The boat showered its invisible lights on the lizards then turned its guns based on the reflection of the lights. It then attacked the lizards’ future places. That boat is a treasure of technology.”
“Is… is that what happened? They did something that amazing?!”
“It resembles the air defense magical boat in the tradition of the ancient sorcerous empire.”
“Ugh… It really was that amazing… When I get back, I’m going to have one hell of a report…”
In the skies above, Captain Susanoo of the Gahara wind dragon riders and his dragon partner had this discussion.
Papaldia Empire, imperial oversight army eastern fleet, dragon rider Reckmeyer
‘Launch a punitive strike on the Kingdom of Fenn.’ He thought it was a simple order. Against a primitive country like Fenn, even if a bunch of them banded together, the wyvern lord squadron from the exalted superpower, the Papaldia Empire, would still have leeway to take on additional challengers. Attacking them during the Military Festival would also serve to remind all the other barbarians of Papaldia’s might. They wanted to terrorize everyone who dared to participate in a festival hosted by a country that slighted Papaldia, so they aimed for that striking white ship.
However, from a range where their fire blasts should have been 100% accurate, the ship moved at an astonishing speed to dodge those blasts then returned fire with a wave of bullets of light. Those bullets tore through the wyvern lords’ scales, which were hard enough to stymie arrows, and heavily injured his partner. He lost his grip and fell into the ocean, then he had to watch from there as his comrades were slaughtered. The other giant ships fired their cannons and blew them apart.
Watching cannons actually hit objects flying in the air was surreal; he questioned whether he was even sane. He thought Papaldia’s only possible enemies in the entire world were the other superpowers, but they had just been smashed to pieces by an opponent Papaldia didn’t even consider worth their time. He was at his wits’ end.
While floating in the ocean, the very same white ship he had just attacked came and threw him a life buoy.
“Communications with the dragon rider squadron have ended.”
The fleet was stunned.
“What the hell happened there…?”
Admiral Poquetoire felt miserable. He was sure that something bad was happening… but he had direct orders from Kyeos, the head of the 3rd foreign affairs department. This was the life he had chosen, protecting the dignity of the state. He couldn’t disobey orders.
The 22 ships in the imperial oversight army’s eastern fleet would punish Fenn and annihilate the rebels who dared to take up arms against the empire’s wyvern lords, all in plain view of those other barbarian countries. Using Tears of the Wind God, the fleet filled their sails with wind and headed to the Kingdom of Fenn.