Emperor of Steel

Chapter 423 - The Burning Sea 2

The next morning.

The Grenada fleet flipped over.

“What did you say? The Rakan estate built a coastal fort on Touled land to attack?”

“Y-yes, Sire.”

At the words of his lieutenant, Duke Nathan thumped the desk with a clenched fist.

“What the heck were you all doing? What the hell were you up to when the enemy was building their own coastal fort!”

“Well… it was informed that it was made over night.”

“What nonsense! Do I look like some fool! How does one build a fort over night!”

Even if Nathan wasn’t used to land combat, he was still a man with common sense.

He knew that it would take at least a few days to build even a wooden fort.

“Ah, shouldn’t there be any countermeasures? The navy and army would be isolated.”

When asked by the lieutenant, Duke Nathan thought for a moment.

The problematic Touled peninsula was in the east of the Lamer city and had a crescent moon shaped land. It was also surrounded with fishing villages on all sides which were taken down.

Nathan’s fleet regularly supplied materials to the army corps and carried their wounded soldiers back and forth.

Therefore, if a port got built on Touled land with artillery, it would be difficult for the supply of troops.

‘If we bypass the land to supply ships to another coast? No, it would waste time. And if there are enemies, who were hiding, in that bay too, we would suffer great loss…’

The most vulnerable point of a ship was when they are docked.

And if attacked, even the most powerful battleships would be helpless.

Even then, he couldn’t move away from their current location.

If he moved away from Lamer city, it would be difficult for the Navy to siege.

As far as they go, the more time it took to attack and waste time as the enemy would have time to recover from damages.

‘Those Lamer men, they played a strong move, but I can’t let them go.’

Nathan, who took the decision, discussed the countermeasures with Fernando over magical communication.

“All of this happened because of our men’s mistake. How is this? Will this be possible?”

At the question of Nathan, Fernando replied with a frowning expression.

-Well, it seems to be very difficult. It is because there is only one way to attack by land, and there are too many obstacles, so securing the Gigants and moving them will be impossible while trying to avoid the shellings.

Mobilizing the troops wasn’t an impossible task.

However, the enemy fort shouldn’t know about it, or they would face a huge loss of lives.

And the attacks of Lamer would currently go into water.

-However, if you can provide artillery support from the sea, we will be able to capture the fort without causing much damage to the fort.

At Fernando’s request, Nathan frowned.

It was because he believed that the mistake of the army was pushed over as the duty of the navy.

However, he couldn’t pretend or be biased. If the army got isolated, then attacking Lamer city would be difficult.

In addition, if Fernando was a prominent successor to the throne and he died in this battle, Nathan would be reprimanded by the King.

“Ah, fine. We will support you, so make sure to capture that fort!”

“Thank you, Admiral.”

After the end of the magic communication with Fernando, Nathan ordered his fleet.

“Move! Our goal is the Touled peninsula. Attack the enemy fort located there!”

At the command of Duke Nathan, large sailboats and paddleboats, excluding the transport ships, began to sail east in unison.

As the fleet began to move, the lieutenant spoke to the Duke, “Admiral, do we need to send all our battleships to capture one fort? I think sending a part of them would be enough.”

“What nonsense. That fort is in a position where it blocks out contact with our men. If you can’t get your mind together, you’ll only cause more trouble.”

Duke Nathan was the kind of man who thought that a thorn had to be plucked out before crushing it.

That was why he was trying to eliminate the power of the fort with the fleet’s power.

“The enemy might have prepared the fort as a trump card. We can never be sure as to what they will be up to if we take our sweet time.”

“Understood.”

At the words of Duke Nathan, the lieutenant nodded as he understood.

The fleet was near to the Touled fort.

Although it was possible to reach the fort in less than an hour, Duke Nathan looked at the fort, waiting for the army to arrive rather than attacking it.

“Damn it, they are taking longer than I thought.”

The fort was located on a towering rock edge and was surrounded by a bay of fishing villages.

While the fort was mounted in the gap between the rocks, the surroundings were reinforced with stones and wooden fences.

‘How did they even make it over night? It surely would have taken time to move those rocks and materials through such lands.’

The jagged rocks made it difficult for even Gigants to enter.

Even then, doing it through a boat couldn’t be considered either.

There were no ships that came carrying materials for Lamer, and anchoring such ships to a reef was difficult for anyone.

‘Anyway, we brought in the fleet. I need to focus on firing and blowing it up.’

“Admiral! We have been contacted by the army just now! They have arrived and are prepared for battle!”

At the report of the lieutenant, Duke Nathan nodded his head and gave orders.

“The whole fleet will attack! Open fire!”

At the command, the high decks of Hyredin opened with large caliber cannons and guns.

All of the weapons started to attack at once.

Shoot! Pung!

Kwang!

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Hundreds of shells were being fired toward the fort from dozens of cannons.

Sparks shone and grey smoke rose.

However, the damage to the fort was nowhere to be seen. Only rocks and a few stones around it collapsed.

There was very little damage to the fort itself.

“Admiral, I think we need to get closer, so we could inflict more damage.”

“For us to do that… The army needs to get ready to siege.”

The Grenada fleet continued to fire on the fort.

The cannons were easy, and the men on the boat were seasoned ones. The accuracy was also high.

However, even as they attacked the fort, the men in the fort didn’t seem to fight back.

Suspicion kept crawling into Duke Nathan’s body, who thought that the fort’s men would become scared after seeing the power of the fleet.

“Lieutenant, don’t you think something is weird?”

“What do you mean? Is it about the enemy not fighting back?”

“Yeah, they should at least retaliate, right…?”

At the words of Nathan, the lieutenant thought for a moment and responded, “Are they waiting for our fleet to get a little closer to their range?”

“Hmm, that could be… But isn’t the fort too quiet?”

If so, many shells were going to come their way. Also, the fort should be overwhelmed with screams by now.

Even if they weren’t planning on counterattacking, the soldiers at least had to run around to move to a safe place, but none were seen.

It wasn’t just that. The shelling fell, and the guards were still keeping their position.

‘Are they?’

After trying to understand the ominous feelings, Duke Nathan brought the telescope to his eyes and looked at the fort.

As he moved to a closer distance, the image of the fort turned clearer than before.

Even though one side of the fort got blown away, the guard was still standing there without losing any blood.

And the fired shells burned the dry wood.

“Oh, damn it! We have been deceived!”

The fort was a fake one that was made to look plausible enough.

The border soldiers were just models made out of paper and wood to look real enough.

“The fort is a fake one?”

“We fell into the trap they sold!” Yelled Nathan.

“But how will the Rakan estates with few battleships attack us?”

They might have asked for help from another nation, but then, the Grenada navy must have found the ships closing in.

And if the ally ships did come, they should have attacked the Grenada navy already.

“Anyway, we need to hurry…”

Kwaang!

The moment Nathan gave out orders, the ship shook with a heavy sound.

The sailors on the deck wobbled, and Duke Nathan along with his lieutenant was plummeting into a water column.

“What is this? Where did the attack come from?”

“Admiral! Over there!”

Nathan, who was standing on the wobbling ship, looked at the waters where his lieutenant was pointing at.

A few large wooden boxes were tied over the edge of the boats and rocks in water. However, it had a lid and a thin rope outside of it.

‘I-is that a torpedo?’

While Nathan was trying to figure it out, the soldier pulled the rope that was attached to the lid.

As he pulled on the rope, the lid opened. The cannon went through the water and caused another explosion.

“Kwak!”

“W-what is this?!”

The explosion caused a large hole to the side of the battleship.

As the water began to flow into the hole, the ship, which had lost its balance, began to tilt, and sailors on the deck began to fall down.

“Ahh! Help me!”

“Save us! Please, help us…!”

The damage happened in an instant.

Duke Nathan who saw that was shocked.

“Get the rear line to move and save our crew! And hurry out of this place!”

Nathan was turning pale, but he kept ordering his men.

The waters began to show the upcoming attacks with heavy sounds. One after another, the torpedoes were fired.

The ships of Grenada sank into the sea, staggering. The flames created by the torpedoes were taking down a wave of ships.

“T-this has to be a nightmare…!”

In an instant, Duke Nathan witnessed half of his fleet sank, and some were caught in flames.

Seeing that disaster, he sat down with a pale expression.

Unfortunately for him and his fleet, it was just the beginning of their nightmare.