Wizard! Chapter 401
One advantage William had was communication. He was able to contact everyone he needed to instantly, instead of waiting weeks for a messenger to travel. Even messenger birds would take a few days, and they could be intercepted.
William considered that the old lords might have a faster communication method, but if so they didn’t give anything like that to Lord Heinrich. That meant there would likely be days to weeks before they expected to hear anything.
While that hadn’t been enough time to do everything he might want, it had been just enough to take over Lord Heinrich’s territory. While it could be argued that he barely controlled it, since he only controlled Lord Heinrich’s manor… and his other manors. There was one fort of note that he had not yet taken, but he would accomplish that soon enough.
William inspected the fort carefully. It wasn’t taking up a mountain pass or anything, but it was on top of the largest hill nearby. That gave it a good range of vision, and it was also placed strategically enough that troops could be sent to any part of the territory in a short time.
Neutralizing the fort would be easier than taking it over. If William just wanted to be rid of it, he could just cause the ground beneath it to crumble and slide. Even if it had magical defenses that extended into the ground, WIlliam would just have to dig a bit deeper. He was capable of magic on a large enough scale that he could do it in a few days or less… but he wanted the fort.
The problem was the fort was actually worthwhile. It had solid walls, and a good compliment of defenders. He could starve them out, of course, but he didn’t want to spend months doing so. With a gross of defenders in the keep, he could easily lose several times that many in a frontal assault. That is, if the troops qualities were similar. He was confident his soldiers were better, but that just made their loss more impactful.
William wanted to ask Jordan for tactical advice, but she was helping secure other parts of the territory. William reminded himself that Jordan hadn’t chosen to reveal herself yet, so thinking of her as Commander Jordan was probably more appropriate. He didn’t want to slip up… some people might not care, but others would. William thought that it would be interesting to reveal after Jordan had trounced some of the old lords or their commanders on the battlefield. They were the type who definitely thought women were inferior. It might even be true in their territories, but only because they took efforts to keep it that way. He could imagine that they would be exceptionally embarrassed to lose to a woman. On the other hand the lords would also be dead if he got the chance, so it would mostly be a moot point.
William focused his vision on mana. He could naturally see it as a gevai, but now he was filtering out other things. This didn’t mean he could see mana through solid objects or anything, just that there were less distractions. The fort had magical defenses- that was what kept him from just climbing to the top of the front gate, taking out the guards, and opening the door.
The important thing is he couldn’t be sure if there was more to them. The magical formations were inside the fort so he couldn’t tell if there were things that weren’t active. As it was, he could tell the walls and gate were reinforced with magic, and they would launch attacks on anything touching them.
Destroying the gate would be a good step forward. However, he didn’t have any siege weaponry. He could build some, but it would take time. He would prefer a faster solution. Could he just throw magic at the gate? That was possible, but if he wanted to be able to damage it through the magical defenses he would likely have to be close enough for archers to shoot at him. That wouldn’t be a complete disaster, but he relegated it to backup plan.
He’s already tried asking for their surrender. Unfortunately, he hadn’t thought to bring Lord Heinrich’s head with him. Rather, he had no interest in carrying around a head to begin with. He’d buried the body… just not in a fancy grave. The commander of the fort didn’t believe he had killed Lord Heinrich, and he couldn’t blame him. He should have brought Lord Heinrich’s armor with him, but it was sitting in the armory back in his manor. That would take too long to retrieve.
“Any good ideas, Chris?”
Chris rarely had good ideas, but that didn’t mean he never did. Chris mostly went along with the flow, and didn’t usually initiative communication. This time, however, he wrote a response, “I do have a good idea. You want to open the gate?”
“I can do it!”
William stroked his chin as he considered that idea. William had no doubt that he could break the gate open while wielding Chris, but he wasn’t sure if he could defend himself at the same time. However, that wasn’t what Chris had said. Chris said he could do it. “What do you mean?”
“Simple. I go up to the gate. I hit the gate until it breaks. It doesn’t even have to open far. Then I can go inside and break the mechanisms, then push it open.”
“That’s… not going to be as easy as you say it. All the attacks they’ll throw at you… will do nothing. That’s fine, but what if they just come out to grab you?”
Human had a lot of trouble wrestling Chris into physical control. Gevai would be able to, though. Perhaps Chris would still kill several of them, or a dozen, but eventually he would run out of ki and be left with just his standard operating strength. Chris had a simple solution for that, though. “If they come out to grab me, the gate’s open.”
“Yeah, that’s true. They would have to turn off defenses to move through there, if they even have any defenses on the open air. What if… they just let you hit the gate? It has defensive enchantments.”
“Everything will run out of energy eventually. I don’t get tired though- I regain my normal uses of energy as fast as I expend it.”
“That doesn’t mean you can overcome their restoration rate. Though they probably have a finite power source.”
“If it doesn’t work, we just try something else.”
William nodded. It wasn’t like the plan was without risk, but it was good. He could imagine several things going wrong. Chris could still get captured somehow, but they wouldn’t be able to actually hurt him. Unless they had similar power to the Demon King’s soul explosion. William doubted that was the case. Since they couldn’t really hurt him, capturing Chris would actually make things harder for them. It would also mean that William was somewhat hampered in using large magic to attack them, but it would probably be offset. As for the other possible problems… well, he would deal with them as they came.