Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 125

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All Force Mage, Episode 125

Jinhong Plains.

This locale is to the south of South Mountain, the vast plains that lie contiguous with the southernmost part of the ocean in Ardel. However, contrary to its name, the area is closer to a ‘canyon’ rather than an actual plain. Originally known as Ardel Valley, the place is naturally fortified, encircled on three sides by high cliffs, with only the southern pathway leading to the sea, making it an ideal defensive position.

Once, this land was a part of Ardel’s dominion. But long ago, the Mudmen took control, and ever since then, they have been the true masters of this land, not humans. The origin of the name Jinhong Plains stems from these very Mudmen.

“Grrrr…”

Mudmen.

A type of clay-colored monster. They often emerge at beaches where the earth meets the sea, humanoid monsters with limbs akin to a person’s. While not individually formidable in combat, their most terrifying feature is their fearsome ‘reproductive power’.

Their number, swelling in the blink of an eye, became too vast to count. Now I realize why this place, which isn’t even truly a plain, is called Jinhong Plains – from afar, it could look like a field of red swaying in the wind.

Thus came the name Jinhong Plains.

Strang and I had left the village fence behind and after a two-hour sprint, we arrived at Jinhong Plains ahead of the substantial troop movement. We were here for ‘reconnaissance’.

“There’s a tremendous amount of them. By my count, tens of thousands, at least?”

“Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

The overwhelming sight that unfolded before us rendered our scouting mission almost meaningless.

“How are we planning to attack?”

“Mm… “

I scratched my chin, deep in thought, responding to Strang’s question. Encircled by high cliffs on three sides, the only pathway where over three thousand soldiers could advance en masse was via the sea. But without even a decent boat, let alone proper docks, a sea landing would be improbable for Ardel.

I identified an ancient pathway on the minimap that might be of use. However, the issue lay with the narrowness of the path.

“Should we try a frontal assault through there?”

“No, absolutely not.”

The moment two people attempt to cross the tight canyon and are discovered, the Mudmen attacking from the cliffs above would be close to a hellish ordeal. The trapped forces could not retreat and would be decimated piecemeal.

“What if Sir Bolvar Fenton took the lead? He could advance while slaying them all.”

“That won’t work either. The numbers are too great.”

Even if the accomplished Sir Bolvar Fenton is strong, he cannot possibly eliminate an almost infinite onslaught of Mudmen.

“Mudmen don’t die easily from regular attacks. You must precisely destroy the core in their heads – and this is no easy task.”

“I see.”

I then understood why all previous attempts to subdue the Mudmen had failed. The lack of a route for mass troop movement demanded great sacrifice. Their weak combat power backed by tenacious vitality and reproductive rate had caused Ardel to quake in fear for decades. They were indeed a formidable foe.

“So, there’s no way?”

I looked up. The cliffs surrounding the canyon were towering, insurmountable rocky walls.

If only we could scale those cliffs.

“There might be a way…”

Perhaps, there was a solution after all.

A week had passed since the troops arrived in Ardel. In the meantime, about 200 mercenaries hired from Monzo convened, and training the fight-capable domain residents further contributed roughly 100 soldiers to our ranks. Including the 3,200-strong capital army, this brought us a total of about 3,500 soldiers.

The Golden Knights also joined in large numbers, and with this, it was indeed a sizable army.

Even as the extermination preparations moved smoothly, the ‘deployment’ awaited by all had yet to commence, all due to one particular issue – the tactical plan of ‘how to completely eliminate the Mudmen?’. Consequently, the fireplace of the makeshift ‘temporary operations center’ at camp had not extinguished all night.

Two sharp disagreements were prevalent.

“There’s only one way. Direct assault. If we hesitate to fight, how can we hope to win?” proposed Sir Mellow, commander of the Golden Knight and the total commanding officer of the capital army.

On the other hand, “While I do not dispute the commander’s words, the expected casualties are too high,” argued my father, Lord Delrin, and also the father of Ardel, who believed a more cautious strategy was essential.

For days these two had failed to reach a conclusive decision.

“It’s a circle going round and round. Isn’t there a better plan?” spoke the exasperated commander Mellow.

“No, we must lure them out of the canyon, not enter it ourselves,” my father insisted.

“How?”

“We’re working on a plan. Please, wait just a little longer.”

“Lord. We don’t have the luxury of time. We can’t afford to loiter in Ardel for months on end. We’re nearly out of provisions,” commander Mellow complained, suggesting he feared the passive approach.

“You must not dread the shedding of blood to acquire victory. Sacrifice is an inevitable part of war. I shall command the battle. If you lack a good plan, we will proceed as I see fit,” commander Mellow declared, ready to conclude the conference, but at that moment, the observing Sir Bolvar sharply intervened.

“Commander. I don’t believe a frontal assault is a wise plan either.”

At this, even Sir Bolvar Fenton, the utmost topic among all knights, respected as the kingdom’s sole knight recorded in the royal annals, a legendary knight hailed as the supreme lancer of the continent – his living presence itself was a glory.

Even commander Mellow, with his strong admiration for Sir Bolvar, could not differ.

“Do you have a better idea then, Sir Bolvar Fenton?”

Mellow looked at Sir Bolvar with eyes brimming with expectation. Yet, Sir Bolvar dismissed the hope:

“Regrettably, I do not. However, one thing I can say for certain.”

“What would that be? Please, share your thoughts.”

“A head-on assault would lead to the loss of all our forces.”

Frustrated that even his idol Sir Bolvar insisted on caution, commander Mellow scratched his head in irritation.

“Aargh! If not this, then what? What am I to do?!”

Selecting the easiest path, a frontal assault, was a sure path to defeat. But without a clear strategy.

This stalemate in strategic planning dragged on, and I, observing silently a step behind, had no certain solutions in such a critical predicament where thousands of lives were at stake.

Ordinarily, I would leave such issues to the experienced adults.

But…

But then again…

“…Maybe there is a good idea?”

Just then, something flashed across my mind, compelling my intervention in the conversation.

“Do you really have a good suggestion?” commander Mellow inquired, noticing.

The solution was already in my father’s words. “It’s not about us going in, but drawing them out.”

“We are all aware of that strategy, but the crux is how do we coerce them from the canyon?” Mellow responded, searching for clarity.

“We attack from the cliffs.”

At that, commander Mellow narrowed his eyes in skepticism.

“The cliffs? You’re talking about the ones that encompass the canyon?”

“That’s correct.”

“But that’s an impossible climb, isn’t it?”

South Mountain and Jinhong Plains are separated by enormous, unyielding cliffs rejecting human traversal, offering no crevice or hold for ascent.

“We don’t need many to climb. Just one or two mages will do. They can beckon them from above with magic.”

“Oh-ho! It sounds promising, but how to climb is the issue. Can the mage use Fly magic?”

“No.”

“Then it’s the same problem! Frustrating. The conversation is going around in circles.”

None held the capability for Fly magic, a mark of high-level mages, to scale that cliff.

But there was a way.

I pointed to Jason, who sat quietly plucking at corn, and said, “This friend can climb up.”

“Eh? What? Me?”

Jason spat out the corn he was chewing in shock.

“How can I climb a cliff you can’t manage?”

“No, you can climb it.”

“Me?”

“Yes.”

Yes.

Climb.

Jason, busy every day cleaning the streets, basking in the adoration of the townsfolk, relishing humble joys like apple pies and corn, this suggestion must seem like a bolt from the blue.

But…

“You underestimate your own talents too much, Jason.”

“What? I have a talent that even I’m unaware of?”

“I know it. You’re braver than anyone.”

“…That’s true but…”

“Don’t worry. You can climb.”

I gave Jason a reassuring smile.

“Because I’m going to throw you up there.”

Yes.

I’ll throw.

If I toss Jason upwards, he’ll safely land atop the cliff.

“You’re going to kill me?”

Jason’s face scrunched up like crumpled paper, and I shrugged and smiled.

“You can do it.”

Although, we’ll need a little preparation.

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