After the War Chapter 14
"I know you told me it was a battle station but don't you think it's too much?" Buku remarked when looking up at about a three hundred meters long metallic construction that resembled an aircraft carrier in a vague sense.
The ship was made out of gray metal and sported at least twenty artillery cannons visible on her side alone.
"Not at all, Grand Marshal." Pandora saluted, observing Buku's confused expression. "This ship should be a perfect representation of Nazarick's military might. If anything, I would like to make a more impressive version in the future." 'I got all the permissions. Surely Lady Buku wouldn't think this is a waste.'
"Not that it isn't impressive to build a flying ship of that size, but isn't this an easy target?" Buku asked. Pandora's enthusiasm was infectious, but the practicalities of such a thing could not be ignored.
"Currently, the ship's shield battery is charged to withstand a six-megaton blast at least once, with a maximum capacity to withstand about ten megatons. Additionally, it can be continuously powered by either Supreme Beings or floor guardians on board." Pandora explained.
"I see. In that case, it should be fine. Excellent job." Buku gave him a nod of approval.
Her adopted daughter, Zesshi, was looking at the thing with awe. To even imagine this massive thing lifting off the ground was an impossible task. As the Apostle of War, she had received the honor of accompanying her mother to the first field test of the new weapons.
The rest of Buku's current retinue consisted of Cocytus, Punitto Moe, Demiurge, and General Macmillan. Aura and Mare were busy helping Blue Planet with the southern desert restoration project, and thus were not attending.
They were not the only ones attending the ship launching ceremony. A crew of two thousand strong were standing at attention on both sides of the long red carpet, leading to the ship's main entrance.
About one-third of the crew was the humans from Earth with the rest consisting mostly of low-tier undead. The only exceptions were the officers of various monster species.
"Pandora, can you give us more details?" Punitto asked.
"Sicut Deus imperat. Besides the already mentioned shield battery, there are four additional batteries; teleport, flight, invisibility, and ammunition. As I was using my own magic to power it for the test, most are filled to about seventy percent capacity. It took about a week to fill them to such a level, hence a safe assumption that a single God can fully fuel the ship for permanent use." Pandora explained in an enthusiastic voice.
"The ship is armed with forty-four artillery cannons and seven missile silos. Additionally, the ship has the capacity to carry twenty six fighter planes and two thousand bombs. As an extra bonus, it has a special room for either a nuclear warhead or an arcane warhead." Pandora waved the group to follow and walked towards the ship at a brisk pace.
"Its interior is made in a modern gothic style to give the Supreme Being at the helm of it a pleasant environment. I plan to install a gate as well, but until Lord Tabula has done tests on a moving gate, this option is sadly unavailable."
"The bridge is equipped with seventy remote viewing screens and a mass message system." Pandora continued to explain as they reached their destination.
In the middle of the bridge stood five chairs resembling small thrones with remote-viewing screens floating in front of them.
"Grand Marshal." He waved at the central chair.
Buku sat down with Punitto taking the seat to her left and Zesshi on the one to her right. Cocytus and Demiurge sat down on the two remaining chairs while Pandora remained standing.
"I think we can start the test flight. Are our armies in position?"
"FIELD COMMANDERS REPORT THAT THEY ARE FULLY PREPARED FOR ADVANCEMENT INTO THE ENEMY TERRITORY." Cocytus said.
"Excellent. Punitto, do we have a response from the Minotaur Nation?" Buku turned to her second in command. She had left the dealings with the Minotaur nation to the Death Vine and had not asked any details before as she was putting all her effort into making preparations for the takeover of Earth.
"Our envoy was attacked the moment the offer was delivered. They have gathered their main force at our eastern border to enter the Baharuth province."
For the sake of fairness, minotaurs were given one chance to surrender but it was obvious that the bovine species would not accept it, giving perfect targets for the biggest weapons test in Nazarick's history.
"Pandora." Buku nodded at him.
Pandora's Actor took the control panel and opened the navigation interface, and after putting in coordinates, activated the teleportation. The ship instantly moved from the ground to a floating position about a half kilometer above Nazarick's forces.
Unlike any previous military operation carried out, there were only fifteen thousand foot soldiers in the location, with about four hundred transportation vehicles with mounted machine guns behind their lines.
There were also fifty mechanized artillery cannons, seventy light tanks, and fourteen heavy tanks. Additionally, there were seven bomber planes deployed in the area.
Similar-sized forces were deployed at seven other points near the Minotaur Nation borders. Punitto, together with Macmillan, had devised optimal routes to capture most of the enemy cities in one swell swoop with occupation forces prepared to teleport into held strategic areas.
Since minotaurs rejected the offer to surrender, they would be given a second chance only when it would be made clear for them that is either surrender or annihilation.
Minotaurs forces meanwhile had about eighty thousand strong with three dozen trebuchets behind the archer lines.
Buku glanced over a few screens and then said. "Begin. Do not let them escape."
Less than five minutes later, the bombers flew over the slowly moving army that was not expecting such a devastating attack. As the bombs started to explode, killing hundreds at the time, the formations broke.
Even the mightiest warrior would falter at the sight of their comrades just exploding into bloody pieces but not all died instantly with the battlefield now littered with heavily wounded bovines missing limbs and crying in pain.
As the shocked minotaurs looked up to see what was attacking them, the next round of the assault came. Jumping on the fast-moving transportation trucks, Nazarick's forces moved to surround them while the artillery rained arcane rounds on the disorganized masses.
Within minutes, the minotaurs were in full retreat. Unfortunately for them, the trucks with machine guns could move faster than a running minotaur and they gunned them down like herd animals.
In less than half an hour, the entire enemy army was reduced to piles of bodies without any involvement from Nazarick's more powerful members.
The rapidly moving armies reached the nearest cities in less than two hours. Destroying the massive stone walls was a complete child's play for the artillery.
Buku and other military leaders casually observed the massacre from the ship floating above.
"Pandora. Move us to their capital. Let's put this ship to the test."
The greater doppelganger once again activated teleportation. Fully charged, the ship could perform fourteen teleportation maneuvers, so there was no reason to be overly conservative.
"GRAND MARSHAL, FIELD OFFICERS REPORT THAT MINOTAUR FORCES ARE HIDING BEHIND HUMAN SHIELDS."
"Use extreme brutality against those who use living shields. Maim and cripple them. Make their cries fill the air."
"Grand Marshal, such actions on Earth would be considered a war crime." Macmillan cautiously remarked.
"So is hiding behind living shields. Actions of a coward deserve appropriate punishment." Buku responded. "General, any sort of mercy only makes these animals bolder."
With no one else voicing any protest, she resumed observing the practically unimpeded conquest. Seeing the unrelenting brutality exercised against their peers, the minotaurs quickly dropped such a strategy and tried to flee the cities.
Once the command ship was over the capital city, Buku gave a command to start the bombardment. The unprotected city below could offer no resistance.
"This ship is truly impressive. Few more of such ships and we do not even need to show our might on the battlefield directly." Buku remarked.
"Thank you, Lady Buku. With your permission, I will plan the construction of additional vessels." Pandora said. 'Keep calm. Lady Buku doesn't like theatrics. If I anger her, my funds could be cut drastically.' He did his best to speak in a normal voice.
"You have my blessing. But run your plans by Ainz and Tabula just in case."
As they resumed watching the carnage, Demiurge spoke up. "A suggestion, if I may?"
"Go on." Buku nodded.
"A few tactical strikes on the city gates would prevent most from fleeing if we either want to capture or execute the strugglers."
"Do it. But I think we have sent a clear enough message. Send another envoy and tell their king that he can either surrender or watch his kind be exterminated.
Minotaur King Chikao glared at the undead figure that dared to walk into his throne room. The envoy from the neighboring Empire of Nazarick stopped in the middle of the room and unscrolled a scroll.
He cleared his throat and started to read in a raspy voice. "Grand Marshal Bukuma Ooal Gown, on behalf of the Empire of Nazarick, declares that the lands and people of the Great Minotaur Nation belong to the Empire of Nazarick. To avoid bloodshed, surrender unconditionally."
'So, the monsters that came from the same place as my grandfather think they can just push us around.' As the grandson of the Great Minotaur Sage and one of those who had the honor to be named by his grandfather, was not about to lay down without a fight and neither were his people.
"Kill him." The King said in an authoritative tone and leaned back on the throne. The royal guard moved in to execute his order, but before they could reach the undead, he just disappeared.
The King snarled but managed to resume a neutral expression immediately. He turned to the massive bull standing to his right, dressed in a golden robe. "Start preparations for the war. Gather my armies in the planes bordering Baharuth."
"As you command, your majesty." The bull bowed and walked out of the throne room. A much thinner minotaur dressed only in pants and with glowing runes under his fur stepped forward and spoke up. "Your majesty, I would like to observe the battle and intervene if they prove to be too powerful."
"You may go, but I want you to report what they are sending against us. The enemy is not just weak humans." The King said to his cousin and court magician, Dai.
"As you command, your majesty." Dai bowed and teleported away.
The next few days were filled with anxiety. As mighty as his kind was, the king's immediate family was above even champions born of regular minotaurs. In groups of five to eight, his siblings and cousins could fully stand up to the impressive might of his grandfather.
If it came to the worst and players arrived to fight personally, the royal family would kill players in carefully organized strikes.
The Minotaur Sage had a strange way to measure strength and had admitted that his level was seventy-four and his children and grandchildren ranged from level forty to level fifty-nine.
The sudden appearance of the court wizard covered in blood and clutching the stub of his right arm put everyone in the throne room in shock. "Metal beasts of end days!" he shouted before collapsing.
"Healers!" The king let out a yell and jumped to his feet.
"Cousin Dai! Do not die on me! What happened?" He ran up to the court wizard and pressed his cloak against the stub to slow down the bleeding.
Healers ran into the throne room a few seconds later, and without any formalities started to cast healing spells on the unconscious minotaur.
Dai opened his eyes and grabbed the King by the shoulder. "Beasts of the end times. All our men got killed! All of them died. Grandfather's warning was true!"
"What! Are you sure?"
"I saw it with my own eyes! They are coming. They are coming for us all." Dai shouted.
The king pushed him off and turned to the healers. "Get him to the sanctuary and let him rest." he then turned to the prime minister. "Fortify the city and gather all my family, We will make our stand."
What came next was worse than he could possibly imagine; an immense metal beast appeared above the capital, spewing fireballs, and rapidly turning the city into rubble.
The reports came in about the cities being razed and the enemy showing more brutality than the bloodthirsty beastmen ever did.
The king slumped down on the throne and stared at the door. 'This is how it ends. I defied the will of players and now they have unleashed metal beasts upon us. Grandfather's crazy prophecy of the end times was true.'
"Your majesty, what should we do?" The prime minister asked.
"We have no means to defeat that beast and we can't surrender either. Make your last moments count." The king responded with a voice of complete defeat.
He resumed staring at the door. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, and even if there was, he, as the king, was not about to flee as a coward.
Death was coming, and he would wait for it in his seat of power.
Yet it seemed that fate was not done with him yet as the envoy of Nazarick appeared once again.
"Came to kill me, monster?" The king asked as he stood up and grabbed his great axe.
"Lady Bukuma is giving you a simple choice; surrender or watch your kind be exterminated." The undead ignored the taunt.
"We surrender! You may take me as your prisoner, but spare my people." The king said, tossing his axe aside.
The explosions he was hearing stopped. For now, they would surrender. He likely would be killed but at least part of his kind survived to rise up again in the future.
The undead put him in bounds and used some sort of transportation magic as he arrived in a luxurious room and was brought before five figures.
The central figure, an elven woman in plate armor, spoke. "I must thank you for giving me the opportunity to test Nazarick's weapons. I knew I could count on the foolish pride of the minotaur."
Chikao bit his tongue to not retort and remained silent as the woman, who he assumed was the Grand Marshal, continued to speak. "But since you realized your mistake and decided to surrender, some of your kind will be permitted to live. You will return home and wait for Nazarick's administration to arrive and take over. You will immediately release all slaves and treat them the same as your kind. Do you understand?"
"Yes. I will carry out all demands." he said as he lowered his head.
"Good. Take him back." The woman said. The undead dragged him back through the gate and dropped him in the throne room before once again disappearing.
What the future would bring was impossible to say but for now, he had orders to carry out and to not draw the wrath of his new masters, which would likely fall upon the heads of his people.
Proofreading by Sad_Smiles, RottenPizza, and Visur Nyxan.
AN: Thank you for reading the story, and if you have caught up to the latest chapter, you can check out my other work or join my discord server (Link is in my profile) where additional chapters are available.