Release that Witch Chapter 500
Roland stood on the balcony on top of the command room of his boat and felt his heart stir with pride as he watched his fleet of boats lined up behind him.
Besides the flagship, the Roland, all the other boats were slow and clumsy concrete boats. However, with more than ten of them in a fleet, they still looked magnificent. The massive fleet puffed long trails of white smoke out of their chimneys and parted the river as they crashed through the waves, and they seemed to be completely unstoppable.
The gunboat was apparently the fleet's main attraction—its towering bridge and sleek appearance separated it from ordinary sailing ships and concrete boats. It dominated the inland rivers with its weapons, including a 152mm main cannon and two Mark I machine guns, custom-made high-pressure steam engine, and a propeller driving system that enabled it to reach a speed of 12 kilometers per hour.
"You seemed to be in a good mood." Nightingale observed as she tidied her windswept hair. "Is it because you'll be returning home soon?"
"You mean, the palace? No way, I'm never going back there," he said, shaking his head. "The Western Region is my real home. I'm happy because this conflict will be over soon."
"Hm... half of that is a lie."
Roland remembered with a shock that she could tell when people were lying. "Ahem, alright, I'm actually proud of myself for managing to produce many boats during the Months of Demons."
"You're telling the truth this time." Nightingale blinked. "But you sound a little full of yourself."
"That's why I lied."
"That's understandable." She chuckled and walked over to Roland. "I don't blame you. I wouldn't mind if you told a little lie, as long as it has nothing to do with me."
"... If you don't mind, then don't point out my lies," thought Roland querulously.
"By the way, I never thanked you," whispered Nightingale as she gazed into the distance.
"Thank me for what?"
"For ending the conflict and bringing peace to the Kingdom of Graycastle. Both commoners and witches will live happily under your rule," she said slowly. "I always knew that you'd achieve this, but I didn't think it'd happen so soon."
"It's not that fast. Even after I dethrone Timothy, the noble will resist with all their might. Uniting the entire Graycastle may take another few years." Roland sighed. "Progress is never easy, so we still have a long way to go in achieving our goal."
"Come on, don't say like that?" Roland glared at her. "Do you think I'll put you in danger?"
"It's expected for a combat witch like me to always be in battle, and breaking convention takes sacrifice." Nightingale turned her head. "I had prepared for this the moment I swore my loyalty to you."
"I'm sorry I let you down," Roland said with a shrug. "There will definitely be sacrifices, but our enemies will be making them. Anyway, I should thank you."
"Why?" Nightingale asked in surprise.
"Because if I never met a witch, I wouldn't have the confidence to do what I'm doing now."
If not for Anna, he would not have decided to save these witches, and if there was not magic power in this world, he would still be cautiously living his primitive life in a run-down Border Town.
"You're... telling the truth." Nightingale looked up at him.
"Of course I am," said Roland with a smile.
Suddenly, a golden figure descended from the sky and landed next to them. "Your Highness, four sloops with paddles on both sides are approaching us from 20 kilometers away, and they look like the hawk-headed ships described in the report." said Lightning, "but I didn't see any hawk statues on the ships."
"The hawk head probably refers to the embolon under water." Roland patted her head. "Good job, keep up the good work."
"So... can I do less practice questions as punishment?" The little girl stared at the prince with begging eyes.
He could not help but laugh. "Alright. If you promise to keep still in the future, you only have to do one set of questions."
"Yes, Sir!" Lightning's eyes lit up, and she immediately leapt up and flew towards the East in a flash.
"You shouldn't have let her off so easy." Nightingale complained.
"She'll learn her lesson if she's rewarded." Roland dismissed her criticism with a wave and turned to walk towards the stairs. "Let's go back to the command room. We have work to do."
The small, square command room contained nothing but a wooden table and four benches. The commander of the First Army Iron Axe, the leader of the Gun Battalion Brian, the leader of the Artillery Battalion Van'er, and the captain of the Victory Cacusim stood by the table to draft the battle plan for their first battle in the river.
"Your Highness, it'll be hard to hit a moving target with a moving cannon, so I suggest we fire when we're closer to their ships," suggested Van'er. "As long as we're about 50 meters away, I promise every cannonball will sink an enemy ship!"
"But I hear that firing shells not only wastes a lot of gunpowder, but also requires Miss Anna to make the shells," said Brian, shaking his head. "I think it's better to wait for the enemy to board our ships and then riddle them with the bullets from our heavy machine guns."
Roland turned to Cacusim and said, "What do you think?" He summoned this old man into the command room because he was the only person in the City of Neverwinter who had fought on boats before. According to him, he ran into pirates many times when he was a merchant, and even being plundered still counted as a kind of experience.
"Um, Your Highness..." Cacusim hesitated for a while. "In my opinion, we should just charge towards them."
"What?" the other two men all asked, staring in shock.
"Your ship is large, fast, and made of steel, so their wooden ships will probably collapse upon contact. Even if you don't destroy them, any leaks will prevent them from moving further." He glanced at everyone. "Of course, this, this is just my personal opinion."
This tactic reminded Roland of a poem that said, "With the sun shining and waves high, a D flag hangs from the mast."
"Alright, let's follow this plan." He finally decided. "Even though we don't have a D flag, a flag with a tower and four stars will have the same effect." "I order the Roland to raise the flag of City of Neverwinter, sound its horn, and proceed at full speed ahead!"