Kuu and I hid amongst the trees a distance away from the Fire Fox Village.
The Village was in a tragic state.
You couldn’t see a single building left standing. They had all been burnt to ash and crushed to pieces.
Far from that you could see that stones and sand had melted on the ground still giving off light.
In this ruined village you could see Imperial tents set up here and there with soldiers coming and going.
Even with my great eyesight as an elf we were far enough that I couldn’t see clearly. However, once I used the binoculars I had made as Kuiro I was able to see the situation.
At this distance they wouldn’t spot us.
I wanted to mass-produce these binoculars but the glass lenses required extremely precise manufacturing processes. The craftsmanship and arrangement of the lenses would require too high of a level to produce.
「Kuu….is this place really the Fire Fox Village?」
I checked with Kuu just to be sure. There was always the chance this wasn’t the exact location of the village. I didn’t want to believe that this was the right place.
I hoped that this was simply an Imperial camp.
「…….there’s no mistake. This is the Fire Fox Village. This is the village where I lived with everyone for all 14 years of my life.」
Kuu whispered with a ghastly pale face.
I’d known the truth deep in my heart…but I felt like a leaden weight dropped in my stomach.
If it was like this for me…it must’ve been a nightmare for Kuu.
「I see…would you like to hear how it became like this? I can give some conjecture based on what I see.」
「Even I don’t know…but you can figure it out Cyril?」
「Well…I’m used to things like this.」
I had plenty of memories of battlefields from my previous lives.
Amongst them there were memories of losses and wars of annihilation.
「Could you tell me?」
Kuu asked with gritted teeth, white face, and trembling fists.
To lessen the blow I made sure to tell her my conjecture simply without any unnecessary embellishment.
「The Fire Fox men left behind must not have been able to win in a head on battle.」
They would have been shot full of arrows from a distance and had their flames blown away by wind magic when they approached too close.
They wouldn’t have been able to win no matter how they struggled.
That being said if they fought in the forest they would surely cause a huge forest fire.
「That’s why they decided to fight within the village. If it was there they would have plenty of cover. The arrows couldn’t hit them and they could attack the mages before they had a chance to summon wind.」
Normally the enemy invading your village would count as a loss.
However, they did it so they could retaliate.
The soldiers were aiming for the Fire Foxes’ magic stones, so even if they knew they’d be sneak attacked they had to enter the village.
「At first they would surely use buildings and objects to hide and conduct guerrilla warfare. Sometimes they burned houses that would cause damage to their enemies. However, there was a limit. The difference in numbers was too great. As long as another soldier came up behind them while they were burning the others it would be the end for them.」
It was true that there was plenty of obstacles in the village, but in another sense it made it easier for them to get attacked from multiple directions. They hid inside easily burned buildings so there was also a chance of the flames cornering them.
They may have been able to resist flames, but they couldn’t resist the smoke and lack of oxygen.
「In this kind of trapped area the Imperial soldiers continued to invade and the situation continued to worsen….but that was the aim of the Fire Foxes.」
As the Fire Foxes lost their abilities to resist, the imperials would let down their guards and most of them would enter the village.
They would fill the village with soldiers not knowing this was a trap laid out by the Fire Foxes.
「As soon as the village was filled to bursting with soldiers they initiated their final plan. They gathered their dead allies’ magic stones, used their own magic stones within their chests, caused the magic to go wild, and created an explosive conflagration of flames. A gigantic explosive flame caused by dozens of Fire foxes using their magic stones. It annihilated the village and all of the soldiers within it.」
Elves and Fire Foxes have over 90 affinity with their respective elements. If you take out their hearts while they’re alive it will change into a magic stone.
Magic stones have two uses. They can be used as a catalyst to increase elemental affinity, or it can be destroyed making magic run wild unleashing untold magic power.
If we were inclined to do so we could remove our own hearts while we lived and use our own magic stones.
We races with strong magical powers have equally strong life force. Even with our hearts removed we can live for a few seconds. Within those few seconds we can force magical power into our magic crystals to make them go wild.
Doing such a thing required incredible resolve. In a normal state it’s nigh unthinkable.
It was unbelievable, but these dozens of Fire Foxes did so.
If not then it would be almost impossible for them to reduce all the buildings to ash and the ground to glass.
I had to show my respect for their resolve. Even if their reason told them it was the right decision…they must have been scared. They must have wanted to escape. But they squeezed out the last of their courage and did it for the sake of their friends and family who they had sent away. I couldn’t help being moved by their strength of will.
Thanks to that the Empire had only a few dozen troops left alive. Their faces were unhappy and their bodies slow even though they had supposedly overcome the Fire Foxes.