Red Moon

by

someone

Chapter 14 - Attack on Nark

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It was the darkest and the brightest moment in human history at the same time. The demon army led by the demon king himself was just defeated but many humans died, nobles and peasants alike, and many cities and villages were wiped out. Scouts, examining annihilated villages and towns, found mountains of gnawed off bones but they also found living civilians herded together like cattle. The losing demon army tried to kill them all in the last moment but the human resistance movement led by the emerging human hero Luna Rubra freed many of them. Humanity finally understood that coexistence with the demon race even on separate continents was impossible. They had ignored the reports about demon kind viewing humanity as nothing more than cattle and have paid the price for it. By now everybody knew the story of Luna Rubra, a human fleeing from the human livestock farms on the demon continent just to save humanity from the demon army. They sang songs about her duel with the demon king in front of the human capital, Namar. The human capital had the same name as the continent and the royal family since it was the first known human settlement ever to exist. The city was usually just called 'capital' or 'Namar city'. And in the ruins of this said place a party was held to celebrate the victory and the new hero.

Admiral Drogo was just a fleet captain two years ago. His fleet was patrolling the Caro Islands at the time searching for pirates that attacked merchant ships a few months ago when reports came in about a demon invasion. He decided to confiscate all useful ships and forcefully recruit sailors and soldiers to form a temporary fleet to destroy the demon fleet anchoring in the Bay of Nam. The Caro Islands were situated south of the human continent and the Bay of Nam was the closest point of Namar to the demon continent. Drogo at that moment had the highest military position in the margravate of the Caro Islands so he used his authority to concentrate troops. The margrave understanding the threat level helped him so he managed to arrive at the anchoring demon fleet just two weeks after the initial reports. By a fluke this was also the time when Luna's troops were chasing the remains of the demon army back to the Bay of Nam. Drogo's fleet set the demon fleet on fire and the encircled demon army was annihilated. And so it happened that Drogo was also hailed as one of the brave commanders that saved humanity together with the hero and he was invited to the royal palace in the capital to celebrate the victory.

Was it because he was drunk or because he was happy about his promotion to the rank of an admiral or was it because he forgot that the cute white haired girl was in reality a monster? He didn't know why but at said party he decided to make meat palatable to Luna. What a stupid and dangerous idea. After all wasn't it ridiculous to compare eating humans to eating animals? In reality he didn't really care what someone else eats but he thought that it would be a funny conversation topic. While luckily - or unluckily - sitting next to Luna at the banquet table Drogo initiated a conversation with her.

"It's a pleasure to meet the human hero Luna Rubra. I've heard so many stories about your accomplishments."
"The pleasure is all mine. You are the captain that destroyed the demon fleet, weren't you? Thanks to you non of those monsters escaped."

Luna smiled in a non-committal way while they made some further small talk.

"I've heard about your past on the demon continent. Is it true that you don't eat meat because of your childhood memories?" he asked while looking at Luna's dish plating only vegetables.
"Yes, I simply can't stand the smell and sight of meat. Eating meat is nothing more than munching cadavers for me and it's smell is nothing more than burned cadaveric odour. I don't force my view on others but I really hate meat."
"This is because humans are held as cattle on the demon continent, isn't it? But how can you compare animals with humans? Animals have no self-awareness after all."
"The humans on the demon continent aren't conscious too because of the magical collars they wear, but it's not a matter of consciousness for me. I simply hate the idea of eating a deceased body."

Luna's facial expression was strained because she didn't like this conversation topic but Drogo didn't realize this. Instead he did the most suicidal action possible. He took some of the meat from his plate and put it on Luna's plate while saying

"That's not good. A growing girl needs to eat meat. It's not healthy to just eat ..."

At first Luna looked disgusted at the meat on her plate but her disgust soon turned into burning anger. The shivering Luna slowly turned her head to Drogo and smiled ferociously at him. The next thing he saw was a fist coated in mana and then darkness swallowed him.

He woke up two weeks later in a hospital. They told him Luna seriously tried to kill him and that it required several guards and even the king himself to calm Luna down and save Drogo's life. Drogo's body that flew away due to the force of Luna's blow injured several other guests and even destroyed the wall behind him. The medical magicians told him it was a wonder he survived that hit. Fortunately, the king convinced Luna to not deliver a finishing blow to the unconscious Drogo.

At that time Drogo learned one of the most important lessons of his life. Never anger Luna Rubra! It should be self-evident to not anger someone who can kill the demon king, but Drogo learned this lesson the hard way.

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Admiral Drogo was now holding a terrifying letter in his hands.


[Hi Drogo,

Please protect Carla for me for a while. I will kill you if anything happens to her.

Luna]

'... I will kill you ...'

Drogo looked at Carla, at the letter and again at Carla while breaking out in a sweat.

'Dangerous. I won't survive an angry Luna! I want to put Luna's friend on a ship and sent her back to Namar just to be save. I guess if I order her to stay next to me on the commando ship nothing will happen.'

Thousand visions how Carla could hurt herself played in his mind. One time she slipped on the wet planks, fell into the sea and was eaten by a shark. Were there sharks in this ocean? One time she was eating a meal and because of a jolt of the ship she impaled herself with a knife. One time she was hit by lightning. This images became more and more absurd.

'This is ridiculous. Nothing will happen. Nothing will happen. Nothing will happen. Nothing will happen....'

"Is something wrong admiral?"
"Eh? Oh no, sorry. You will stay here with me and help me with paperwork."
"Please let me fight admiral. I'm very strong and I want to help."
"No!! ... I mean ... you are needed here. You are the official assistant of general Rubra after all. This is an order, understood!?"
"Yes. Please pardon my words."
"No problem. My secretary will show you your cabin. Rest for now, I will call you later."
"Yes sir."

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"Land Ahoy!"

The next day land was in sight and at the horizon two big demon cities could be seen. Smoke was rising from several defence towers of Nark while Ark seemed unaffected. This was part of the human plan. They would concentrate their bombardment on Nark while Luna's troops would lie in ambush between Nark and Ark in case they sent reinforcements from the southern city Ark to the northern one, Nark. The fleet was now splitting up in a bigger part sailing in the direction of Nark and a smaller fleet in the direction of Ark. What couldn't be seen from the outside was that more troops were stationed below deck of the fleet going south. At the same time the catapults were readied. They were special magical enhanced tools but what was really outstanding were the projectiles. Many mages had pumped mana in them to ensure that they would explode on impact. It was a new magical technology developed by general Luna herself. They were filled with chemical explosive materials that would explode if they catch fire. The airtight shell with the magical circuits would inflame on impact resulting in an explosion of the interior while the magical circles would simultaneously enhance the power of the explosion.

The city walls of Nark were in effective fire distance several hours later while the southern fleet stayed farther away from the coast. Admiral Drogo ordered to launch a signal fire to command the attack.

Dozens of projectiles were launched at the walls and exploded on impact causing the walls to crumble. The demons in Nark couldn't fire back with their catapults since the towers with the catapults were destroyed the night before by a single female human warrior. They could only fire arrows since arch demons couldn't fire magic over such a long distance. But arrows had almost no effect on ships, even if they were ignited. The bombardment of Nark continued for several hours before the demon generals in Ark decided to send help to the northern city since the walls of Nark seemed almost ready to be stormed. The second part of the human strategy would begin now.

Luna and thousand elite soldier lay in ambush waiting for the demon troops, in the woods near the road from Ark to Nark. Every soldier of Luna's troop had carried a magical tool similar to the projectiles of the navy with him. The only difference was that they could be ignited through mana waves similar to a radio remote control. During the night they had buried them under and near the demon road creating the first minefield in this world. Earth magic was really useful for such operations. Every soldier in Luna's unit could use at least a little bit of magic and several of them specialized in earth magic.
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