Wizard! Chapter 541
William’s experience on the submarine was about what he expected, once he knew that there actually were submarines. Not that he had been on a submarine on Earth, but he’d seen enough to know the basics. Mostly, they went underwater. That was the very basics of their function, but not as easy as it sounded. Beyond that… they had a form of radar for navigation. Cruonia also had some- the ship detection system was a very primitive version of that, but local versions were more effective.
The Allied Subterranean Territories had a better version… and more useful in some ways than real radar. It actually created a three dimensional map of the locations of monsters and objects, though they were still basically single points of light. Their intensity somewhat reflected their size, or other relevant features from the detector such as mana they carried with them. Of course, none of the versions were real radar… they didn’t use radio waves after all, but mana. However, what something was called wasn’t as important as whether or not it worked.
William stroked his chin. “I wonder if we can steal this technology.”
“Umm…” the captain of the submarine blinked, “It is possible the technology would be available for purchase…”
“Don’t worry, I would never physically steal it… but I can certainly gain inspiration from it. Three dimensional representation shouldn’t be that much harder…”
The trip was rather short, since it was just meant to demonstrate the capabilities of the submarine and not actually perform any sort of mission. William was glad to have them as an option, but was disappointed because he would probably need to take all the help he could get if the recent reports about New Eclea were accurate.
Jordan was glad to hear about the existence of submarines, and formulated a number of strategies based on how many they might have access to. William could tell Jordan was happy to have another type of piece to strategize with.
“My king…” Jordan turned more serious after a moment of enthusiasm at new options, “New Eclean ships have been spotted in a number of locations. It is likely that they have established a number of new sea routes. They won’t be as safe as their seaway, but require us to defend a broader area. Some of our outposts have fallen under their attacks. Even if they held, at some point they will succeed at bringing more fleets to our shores.”
William nodded, “We can’t just sit and wait. The short term boost to our economy isn’t worthwhile if we stagnate our growth… and that’s not counting the lives lost. It looks like we’ll have to deal with them on their own land. It’s more difficult, but better for Cruonia in the long run.” William scratched his chin, “The biggest question is how much I should be personally involved.”
“Your presence would be a significant boost to morale, and your presence in a strike force would certainly be beneficial. Of course… that would come with some risk to yourself.” Jordan pondered for a few moments, “We are likely capable of operating without you, if it came to that, but Cruonia would be less stable until your return, and nothing is guaranteed. The queen would also be decidedly unhappy if you were to perish.”
“I know all of that…” William frowned, “But even if all goes well I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. People are starting to forget the terror of demon lords. Tiburcio is different- he’s a solid soldier, but he’s unlikely to make anyone afraid of the gevai if they weren’t already. When he goes into battle, people either want him on their side or at least to not be on the side of his enemies. He has the sort of strength people can respect.”
“I respect your strength, my king.”
“Sure, but you aren’t people as whole. Besides, I don’t think I want people to respect me for being able to destroy a soul, or lay flat a company of troops without them even being able to react.”
Jordan blinked, “I may have made some mistakes in my calculations.”
“You weren’t exaggerating, right?”
William shook his head, “Not at all.”
Jordan nodded, “I forgot to factor in an increase in your personal strength.”
William shrugged, “What’s a company here or there anyway? Their first attack was a dozen battalions, what could I have done against that?” There were a few moments of silence. “What? You look like you’re waiting for something.”
“I was hoping you could tell me the effect you could have on a dozen battalions.”
“Not much. It would take me all day to wipe them out, even if they just stood there and let me. Realistically a single battalion without magical defenses would be the limit before I rolled over and died.”
“That is… a battalion of… humans?”
“Of course. Do you really think I could take on a battalion of gevai? That would be ridiculous.”
“Right. Are you taking guns into account?”
“Of course. Otherwise it’s just a very long series of dozen-on-one fights with some arrows thrown in.” William tilted his head, “Unless they have better guns than we think. Or adamantine bullets.”
“… Do you think they could have many of those?”
“They only need to hit with a few. Or one, if they’re lucky. But that’s not really the point here… I’m not sure if I should participate at all.”
“I think… it would be good to show yourself on the battlefield, one last time. I can’t guarantee this will be the last war and afterwards will be an eternal era of peace… but people are going to think about this one, and remember it. This will be the first large war where everyone can be updated with news the same day… or next day at the latest.” Jordan shrugged, “And from a practical standpoint, you should be able to carve a pretty safe path through island outposts. Once we reach New Eclea’s shores, letting them know that their leaders are cowards who send them to fight and die without doing so themselves might help as well. Though the exact state of things there will probably be different than expected.”
William nodded, “Fine. I’ll discuss it with Lorelei before I decide.” William sighed, “Wouldn’t it be nice though? If this was the last war? Too bad the only way to end war is to not have people… and that’s not a better solution.”