So is that it? In a world where magic becomes the ultimate entity — an extra hand or tool that influences all sorts of lives, it doesn’t have a single place in any logistical operation?
For the logistics to be merely classified as a simple way of distributing food, material, and resources among the army. Quite strange indeed. But it is reluctantly understandable.
Unlike tanks or other heavy weaponry in the previous modern world that need fuel, ammunition, and countless spare parts, not even including trained technicians both to operate and repair, magicians simply need decent food and several potions to operate.
And in a world where a single magic expert can annihilate a one hundred soldier army, the complex challenges of utilizing weaponry and army units become naught but a flickering afterthought. Something that simply happens. Not connected to warfighting capability.
I guess it is to no surprise that the logistical doctrine became such a simplified concept. Not the interconnected system over hundreds of varieties of other systems with intellectual and technological breadth, depth, and complexity that I am familiar with.
With that in mind, It is to no surprise that very few take the [Military Logistics] and the one who chose to do so, most likely only do so for the military graduation credits.
I’m disappointed with this class honestly. I expect rigorous systems and calculation but found case studies behind the scenes of wars, mostly about the logistical or political side of war. The professor also mentions that the [Military Logistics] class only has a brief history, unlike other military classes, merely two years.
The current logistical doctrine that should’ve fit according to this world’s unique situation and circumstances is still full of errors.
Cradsten war, Concordis great war, and many more; all have the same theme in terms of how they handle logistics; with the same common problem – mismanagement.
The de-facto ways of procuring food and supplies are always left to the soldiers in the field. Scavenging their way as they move forward, living off the land.
Although it does make sense, setting aside morals, I can’t help but feel there’s definitely can be something done to improve the current doctrine. With intricate calculations, experiments, and of course data, you can come up with ways to predict at which stage an army unit needs what supplies and could also be incorporated into army placement and transportation.
As most of the time, an army could’ve won if only they have more mana potions with them. While as on the other side of the battlefield a certain army who didn’t get much action finds out they have too many mana potions laying around to the point it halts their movement speed.
But still… How come what seems to be an obvious problem is not addressed? Is it something to do with the lack of political will? Or the problem is not too much of a big of a deal?
Or maybe it’s just an oversight on my part, as I don’t really have much practical knowledge or field information in this regard. And to get them…. I need to participate in perhaps the royal military or even warfare….
『 You Seem To Be Deep In Thought Human, Learning This Arcane ‘Logistics’. Is This Some Sort Of A New Way Of Magic That You Humans Developed? 』
For once, I thought it would be a quiet night in the sky-palace’s library. Accompanied with only a peaceful fireplace and surrounded in the comforting towering old wooden bookshelves. But here, a bored dragon unintentionally makes its way to my supposed private moment. The first time might I add.
I’ve been trying my hardest in ignoring the dragon, but how could I when its humongous serpentine-like body coils around on equally massive bookcases… I’m honestly surprised the dragon never got entangled with its own body.
「 Logistics is not magic. 」I say, disputing the dragon,「 It is a discipline in managing resources to help human armies fight to their fullest. 」
『 Hoooo… I See… Another Human Concept. But Why Bother Learning This Torturous Concept When You Can Simply Decimate Your Foes With Grand Magic Spells? 』
「 Because humans are born with various constraints. 」I lecture, 「 constraints that might be unthinkable or nonexistent for non-humans. To blow up a small mountain, a dragon can simply cast an explosive spell, for humans, however, it would require a lot of planning on the amount of mana needed due to our small mana capacity, and also where to strike the spell since our spells pale in power compared to the dragons. It is due to these constraints that we must be creative with our ways, one of them being this logistics concept. 」
『 Then Why Bother, When You Can Use This Great One’s Might And Power? 』
Another unnecessary offer, and most importantly a reluctant one.
I have to admit, there is the temptation in using the dragon’s power. But I never want to conquer the world, there’s a lot of responsibilities that lie hidden within it.
Let’s say I conquered the Veinard kingdom alone, what then? The power balance will be ruined, the citizens will question whether the new ruler brings good or not. Chaos will surge everywhere.
「 Are you even willing for me to use your powers? Can you even accept your fate that you were summoned by a human?! 」
『 What This Great One Thinks Does Not Matter. 』
Does not matter? How come it doesn’t matter?
So the dragon can just easily accept its fate?
「 And why does it not matter? 」 I desperately ask the dragon’s unfathomable thought.
『 That’s Just The Way It Is. None Of My Thoughts Have Always Mattered. That’s Why Go Ahead And Use This Great One’s Potential To The Fullest. 』
「 Then I simply won’t use your aid. I don’t even have any use for it. 」
Somehow, I can feel the tension in the air, a deep gruntle, a look of chagrin comes from the dragon.
『 I AM NAGA. 』
The dragon let loose a deafening roar, threatening to burst my eardrums. So much for a normal quiet moment in the library.
『 I AM THE VERY DEFINITION OF SUPREME AND MIGHT AMONGST DRAGONS. 』
With its enormous body, it hovers and flies around in the above space, thanks to the library or sky palace towering ceiling — demonstrating it’s swift flight. Untraceable to the eye.
The once still air becomes violent winds as numerous chandeliers shake vigorously, alarming to fall.
『 Many Have Fought For My Supreme Position And Many More Yearns To Utilize My Power For Their Own Personal Schemes. 』
The dragon stops its face directly in front of me, shooting me a hostile look. Its sharp dragonic crimson eyes narrow, threatening to kill.
『 The Tian, Raiyuu, Chaun, And Many More. All Are Jealous Of The Power That This Great One Possess. They Begrudgingly Revers To Me As The Supreme One As I Am The Wild Card That No Clans Can Hold Upon. 』
A contemptuous growl rumbles from the dragon’s throat. Its head rises up, just on the level below the library’s ceiling.
『 Many Would Gladly Destroy The World To Be In Your Place, My Creator. 』
Those last words were hissed out, making me instinctively knock me back. But still seating in the chair.
『 It Would Be Foolish To Not Use Me As An Aid. Or Even As A Mere Tool. 』
The dragon lets out a chuckle as she looks down at me. Deep in its eyes, a dark and blank hole.
…I’ve always wondered about this dragon.
Might. Power. Supremacy. Those three words are always what the dragon mentions on and on and on… And it keeps saying them as if there’s nothing else the dragon can think of or say…
「 Why are you so obsessed with your powers and supremacy? 」
『 Because That Is Solely My Identity. Nothing More — Nothing Less. 』
The sounds of the crisp crackling of the fireplace are what’s left in this room, focusing me to ponder and make sense of what the dragon is trying to say.
Then, a realization hit me.
The dragon is naught but an empty husk that can only project power…
As power solely defines the dragon.
…Should I pity the dragon? No, the dragon won’t like it.
I wanted to keep our relationship cold and proper but it might be best to at least warm it a bit. To lessen the dragon’s worry. From Naga’s explanation, she might’ve thought of me as one of those cold-hearted beings that will take advantage of anything.
「 Haaahhh… What do I do with you… Come here. 」I wave my hand, signaling the dragon to move close to me.
The dragon willingly comes close to me, although with a confused look. Its enormous head that is equal to that of my upper body is only a few inches away in front of my face.
I honestly don’t know what to do with this dragon, as its appearance and presence is only due to an accident.
But somehow it reminds me of what I usually do to Hyledd…
I reach out to the dragon, on top of its head is the gleaming golden crown, but it doesn’t deter me from stroking the dragon scales on top of its head that is not covered by the crown; giving it head-pats.
「 I appreciate your sentiment, but you do not need to force yourself. 」
Its dragonic eyes gaze to space, seemingly deep in thought. Its tense scales are now relaxed, making me enjoy the smooth surface even more as I continue head-patting Naga.
With the dragon finally remaining silent, I continue reading the book as I write down notes.
A basic magician squadron composed of six assault magicians, three aegis magicians, and one support magician, is estimated to require three to five mana potions — the standard military-grade, for medium intensity skirmish combat. So if there’s an average of a single combat every day, not considering casualties, the squadron would need to be resupplied twenty-one to thirty-five mana potions, which is around thirty percent of a standard wagon capacity…
If that’s the case the-
『 Human. 』
「 What is it? 」
Is this dragon lonely or bored or what?
『 I’ve Known Your Name. Even So, I Want To Know Your Name Directly From You. 』
Well, that’s weird…
「 My name’s Renald. Renald Alderhide. 」
『 …Reynard? 』
「 No. It’s Renald. 」
『 R-ronald…? 』
Isn’t that what I thought of my name when I first come to this world?
I place my hand on the forehead and look down to the desk as I’m sure I’m smiling stupidly right now…
How can this dragon think of my name as Ronald too…
This is ridiculously hilarious….
That’s right. I have no use of my past name. I should move on.
「 Like I said. It’s Renald. 」
『 Renald. 』
「 There you go. 」I say, ignoring the dragon’s expression,「 you got it right this time. 」
『 Hmph, Strange… Anyway, Decent Name… Thank You… 』
Its dragonic lips noticeably curl upwards slightly, expressing a rather content look…
A lot of weird things have happened to the dragon. But I honestly prefer this many times more compared to its usual state of always bothering me about all-might and usurpation.
「 I’m not sure where your gratitude is coming from, but you’re welcome I guess… 」
Noticing that the dragon remained silent, I took the opportunity to continue what I was studying.
If a squadron is expected to face a medium intensity skirmish two times per week then it will require one wagon full of supplies per month. So if that’s the case the-
『 Be That As It May. 』
…I shouldn’t have allowed Naga to come here.
『 I Cannot Fathom That You Do Not Have Something That You Desire With How Hard You Work. 』
I pause for a moment and deeply think. What I desire huh…
Now my desire is to make my mother proud. Mother doesn’t say what she wants explicitly, other than for me deserving a better chance or to be successful in life. So in a way she doesn’t tell me in detail what she thought of as success in life.
But there’s definitely something more than what my mother wants, or making my mother proud… My unfulfilled yet foolish wish.
「 I want… as weird as it may sound… I want love… 」, I say, talking to myself as much to the dragon,「 but that’s a foolish wish, for such a delusional abstract concept does not exist. 」I quickly dismay the thought.
『 Hoooo… I See… 』
The dragon surprisingly replies quite quickly. I’m not sure the dragon does so out of boredom or out of deep thinking… as a rather sense of being in a state of contemplation comes from it.
「 Well… How about you then? 」I quickly ask, trying to divert the conversation topic,「 you might be one of my summonses but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to fulfill any request, within my abilities of course. 」
『 Ah. Now You Mention It. When Will You Learn Of The Wondrous Tales Of My Supremacy? This Great One Can’t Wait To Hear What The Dragonkin Thinks Of The Supreme Naga. 』
「 Ahhh… That’s right. Don’t worry, it will be quite soon. Tomorrow most likely. 」
After the [Military Logistics] exams, the whole academia will enter a relaxed period. And shortly afterward graduation will come. My time in the academy is over, along with the Alderhide family…
I would need to visit Professor Meyer immediately after the exam then, before his time is filled with grading the student exams. With his expertise once and for all, we will get the concrete answer to whether the legendary tales of Naga are actually written in the history book or not.
Even then, I’ve already prepared for the worst, that Naga is truly forgotten, never mentioned at all in any history book. Because if so, then I would totally know of its name before.
The question then is, what would Naga think?