Romelia Senki Volume 1 Chapter 4 part 1

Chapter 4 ~Building a Harbor to Increase War Power~

The Kilie Ravine was filled with echoes of croaking cries like ugly birdsong over the ashen rocks.

A dragon with massive claws leapt onto the rocks and opened its mouth to let out a menacing roar.

Among dragons, the Saurian dragons were of medium size.

Their forelimbs were small, and all of their weight was carried by their massive hind legs, as their name suggested.

The hind legs had sharply curved claws that allowed for agile and fierce movement. They could easily scale steep cliffs and leap nearly twice their height. Among the demons of the Axis Continent, they were a powerful species. Even trained soldiers were in danger when fighting them one-on-one.

More than ten Saurian dragons were scattered across the rocks, roaring down at us.

“Move carefully. Don’t break ranks over there, or they can charge through any gaps.”

I raised my voice and scolded the soldiers. At my command, fifty troops formed spear ranks.

In front of the orderly spear front, the Saurian dragons did not charge. They crouched on the rocks, roared menacingly, but refused to come down.

Dragons were cunning. Their intellect was not as dull as their appearance suggested. Their wisdom was even greater than that of other demons. Though they were extremely violent, they had enough intellect to control their aggression and sometimes even deceive humans.

The dragons that inhabited this land all recognized us as dangerous enemies and no longer approached the bridgehead. Aware of the range of spears and arrows, they hid on safe heights, threatening but not descending.

This complicated subjugation, but I directed it calmly.

Suddenly I felt a gaze. Looking up, a Saurian dragon watched me from above with vertical pupils.

The scale color of the Saurian dragons matched their skin tone and differed from individual to individual. The dragon that was watching me had red glowing scales. It was probably the leader of this group. It stared at me without moving its eyes.

It seemed to recognize me as the leader. And the weakest among them.

“All troops, fall back slowly.”

At my command, the spear-wielding troops retreated steadily. With two massive rocks behind us, there was a crack between them that looked like a path. I slowly backed into the path.

Seeing the soldiers retreating as if they were fleeing, the dragon pack reacted by leaning forward slightly.

Gradually drawing the dragons in, I reached the front of the path and turned abruptly to walk down it.

“Retreat all troops!”

Hearing my command, the soldiers raised their spears and fled with their backs to me.

Completely defenseless, we fled. Watching from the top of the rocks, the Saurian dragons leapt down and followed us.

We fled down the rocky path, the dragons in pursuit. But at the end of the path, spearheads rose to greet them.

I had arranged for ambushers to lurk at the exit.

The dragons were speared by the hidden troops, shrieking like birds.

“Stop moving, regroup.”

Emerging from the rocky path, I paused at a distance and gathered the fleeing soldiers to regroup.

“About face, charge, encircle!”

I ordered. The soldiers about-faced, linking up with the ambushers. The formation continued to tighten.

Realizing our ambush, the Saurian dragons tried to retreat. But several arrows hit on their spinning bodies.

Ambushers with bows had also positioned themselves on the large rocks. Raining down arrows from above, the dragons couldn’t even flee.

When I saw the screaming dragons, I breathed a sigh of relief that everything had gone smoothly.

A mock retreat and ambush. They had taken the bait for sure.

Even though they were dragons, they were still beasts. While they were rationally wary of enemies, their animal instincts always overcame them before fleeing enemies, unable to resist the pursuit.

The skill of this tactic had also improved with repeated use. Although I didn’t expect such ease against the Demon Army, I hoped to try it in real combat some day.

“Lady Romelia, are you alright?”

Ray came running over from commanding the ambushers. But a glance showed that I was unharmed.

“Yes, completely unharmed.”

I also took care of my own safety. Keeping a sufficient distance and protected by soldiers, my defenses were impregnable.

But Ray still seemed worried and kept telling me to move back.

“No, dragons are not to be underestimated. Please stay further away.”

“It’s okay. And there are things you can only comprehend on the front lines.”

Even though we had done demon subjugation several times now, it was still a valuable experience for me. Even against demons, there were subtleties on the battlefield – changes in the terrain, the tension of the soldiers, where the enemy’s attention was focused. Many things were only visible to the vanguard. Since I had no fighting skills, all I had was my wits. So I had to experience the battlefield atmosphere firsthand, even at some risk.

I lifted my eyes to the archers positioned on the rocks. Al was commanding the unit from the rock, spear in hand. Things seemed to be going well up there as well.

Thirty days had passed since the formal beginning of the subjugation of Kilie Gulch.

Recently, not only the Romelia unit, but also the soldiers of Karulus Fortress had gradually gained experience and become stronger.

Thanks to them, we had hunted down almost half of the demons that inhabited this land. I could see the end.

Looking ahead, the lured dragons seemed to have been destroyed as their screams no longer echoed. Their bodies were piled in the path.

“Go finish them off. Be careful, some may be playing dead.”

I instructed them to carefully finish off the downed dragons.

Just as the soldiers obeyed and readied their spears, the pile of corpses scattered and a Saurian dragon suddenly took flight.

Hiding among the bodies of his kin!

Amidst the screams of the soldiers, the dragon leapt with astonishing speed, bouncing off the cliff and sailing over the heads of the ranked spearmen. The soldiers hurried to raise their spears, but the Saurian dragon’s leap cleared even the spearheads and landed outside the encirclement, where the red dragon charged at me.

The coloring was familiar. The Patriarch. Its eyes were filled with resentment at the slaughter of its kin as it lunged at me.

The massive hind leg stretched toward me, its curved claws closing in on my face.

Its speed exceeded my ability to react. I couldn’t move, only watch the claw’s approach.

Just before the claw touched me, a red line flashed on the outstretched dragon limb. The dinosaur dragon’s leg broke in two and flew through the air. Then there was a scream from the side and a spear came rushing over and pierced the dragon’s body.

With its leg severed and its torso pierced by the ramlike spear, the dinosaur dragon was instantly down.

“Are you all right, Lady Romelia?”

Ray checked on me. Ray’s right hand held a blood-stained sword that I hadn’t noticed him draw. It was Ray who had slashed at the impending dragon’s claw. I shifted my gaze from Ray to Al on the rocks. Al’s right arm was stretched out. The spear he was holding was gone. Looking at the spear sticking out of the saurian dragon, it was Al’s, thrown from there.

The spinning, severed dragon limb splattered blood as it fell, some of it staining my face.

Death had passed my eyes, but the threat was gone in an instant. All that touched me was a speck of dragon blood.

“See, it’s dangerous, isn’t it? You should stay back more.”

Ray insisted that it was dangerous.

“No, I felt completely safe.”

I replied as I wiped the blood from my face.

Al had thrown the spear from far away with the force of a catapult shot. Although Ray was right in front of me, I hadn’t even seen him draw his blade.

After the battle in Kilie Gulch, the two of them had slain several more dragons, repeatedly resurrecting and strengthening them. If it were now, they could probably match the Demon Army platoon leader they once fought.

The other soldiers had also honed their skills by fighting formidable enemies. But these two were different.

And even after growing so much, neither of them had reached their limit. Their magic was still immature, they still had plenty of room to grow. Their growth would be the key to their future.

“I can’t fall behind you two. Go on, I want to hunt ten more.”

As I pondered their burgeoning power, I steeled my resolve that I too must grow. I had traveled with the prince for three years and was still training. Yet I hadn’t improved in combat. It seemed that I had no talent for it.

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