Chapter 30 - Chapter 4: Awakening #5
Kill, die, break.
There were screams and shouts as both armies engaged with each other and magic power poured out.
Swords moved blindly all over the place. A spear entered the back of an orc warrior and killed the enemy in front of him, while the spear owner was being trampled by a swamp mammoth.
It was difficult to breathe. It was much harder to think rationally.
In-gong clenched his teeth and focused. He only listened to Carack’s voice and raised his aura like flames.
He had to survive. In order to do that, he had to mobilize everything he had.
In-gong activated the mini-map as his fist slammed into the orc in front of him. The flow of the fight was obvious.
In-gong guided Carack along the flow while Carack protected In-gong. In this dizzying battlefield, he’d grabbed the best position.
His fists were bruised and bloody while his ears pricked at every loud noise. In-gong cast a recovery spell on Carack and restored his breathing.
The battlefield was changing as the Red Lightning tribe started to push and the expedition withdrew.
On the battlefield, where swords wete swinging blindly, there was no way for everyone to survive. In-gong moved with the flow once again. Finally, he saw Carack’s legs stop moving.
Once he stopped, it meant the battle was over.
The expeditionary army had been completely defeated.
The Red Lightning tribe didn’t pursue the expedition. Due to the nature of the swamp mammoth, they had strong attack power but a limited range of movement per day.
The damage to the expedition forces was enormous. As a result of a single day of battle, approximately one third of the troops were killed or injured and unable to fight.
In fact, it was a miracle that the damage wasn’t larger. Without Vandal and Chris, as well as Felicia’s magic support, the troops would literally have been wiped out.
"We were complacent.”
Chris said to the small gathering of key personnel.
They had laughed at the Red Lightning orcs.
They never imagined that swamp monsters would have joined them. They didn’t even think that they would have the magic and ability to hide the huge swamp mammoths.
They had been too drunk on their victory.
"Well, it is lucky that none of us were seriously injured or killed.”
Felicia shrugged and replied. Due to her desire to lighten the mood, she kept her voice upbeat.
At Felicia’s words, Chris bit his lip and couldn’t say anything. It was because he was reminded of his words when arguing about rescuing Felicia.
Chris was clearly stumped by Felicia. He never thought he would be made to feel like this.
Caitlin, who had always wanted to be close to Felicia, gazed at her with a touched expression in her eyes. Meanwhile, Felicia turned her gaze away like she wanted to avoid the pure light from Caitlin. In-gong was able to smile at the sight of both of them.
However, that didn’t change the fact that they had been defeated. Both the lycanthropes and dark elves had suffered great damage.
"We can’t win in this state.”
Vandal said. His voice wasn’t filled with hopelessness or defeat. It was just a cold evaluation.
"We must either physically test our troops or ask for reinforcements from the Demon King’s Palace.”
It was a default declaration of defeat.
The expedition force had been defeated. This meant that all the merits of the Demon King’s children would be buried. Rather, they were likely to be blamed for the defeat.
Achievements were important for the children of the Demon King, due to the fact that they were assessed on all activities and their treatment varied according to the outcome. If this expedition ended in defeat, the children of the Demon King, including Chris, would be hit with a considerable political blow.
“It can’t be helped. I can’t kill my subordinates just because of my irrational ambition.”
Chris said with a bitter sigh. Right now, there was no way to overturn the situation without receiving bigger losses.
“I’m sorry, Shutra.”
In-gong was the one with the most merits on this expedition. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that his treatment in the palace would have changed drastically due to this battle.
In-gong shook his head at Chris’ words.
“No, it is okay.”
It would just return In-gong to his starting point. Moreover, he had built an alliance with Chris and Caitlin and learnt many things through this expedition. The fact that he couldn’t use the library in the Demon King’s Palace for a while was painful, but it was unavoidable.
"I understand. Then I will dispatch some troops and get the opinion of the Demon King’s Palace.”
Vandal declared and Chris and Caitlin nodded toward him with gloomy expressions.
It was at that moment…
“Excuse me, I have an idea...”
Felicia raised her small hand. She sounded a little unsure.
"Speak up, 6th Princess. Tell me directly.”
At Vandal’s request, Felicia coughed lightly. Everyone, especially Chris, was looking at her.
"The reason I came here in the first place was to explore some ruins.”
Chris asked immediately. Felicia removed the models on the battlefield map and pointed to the edge of the Jishuka Mountains.
“Originally, my destination was here at the edge of the Jishuka Mountains. I was doing research on the lair of the wyrm Enkidu that was here 1,500 years ago.”
In the first place, Felicia’s achievements had not been based on combat. Her specialties were in non-combat areas such as research and exploration.
"Enkidu used many methods to protect his treasures. The theory that the swamp mammoth is a combat chimera made by Enkidu is widespread in the academic world. It is the reason why the swamp mammoths only exist in this area, when there are many swamps in the Demon World.”
Felicia’s slender fingers moved gently over the map of the entire Jishuka Mountains.
“The dwarves who lived in the Jishuka Mountains are also among Enkidu’s treasure keepers. Enkidu made weapons for the dwarves to protect his treasures.”
After speaking, Felicia pulled out a piece of parchment from a small bag.
"Thunder Light Anvil.”
The yellow parchment depicted an octagonal altar surrounded by eight dwarf stone statues with large bases.
“Not only can it be used to control the chimera, is is also a weapon capable of destruction. I came here to look for it.”
There was nothing more to explain. Vandal asked.
"There is a weapon like that around here?”
“According to my research, yes. And I am almost certain of it. I joined the expedition in the middle because the Red Lightning tribe was interfering.”
Felicia looked at Chris who seemed to be thinking.
Worrying about it, Chris shook his head.
"It is too much. We can’t hang the fate of everyone on a sudden treasure hunt.”
He wasn’t ignoring Felicia. Chris just needed a little more incentive.
“There is the Thunder Light Anvil.”
In-gong was convinced. In the past, he had encountered the Thunder Light Anvil before.
When he played Locke as the main character in Knight Saga, his goal had been to defeat the Demon King and regain peace.
Due to this, there was an event where they had to travel through the Jishuka Mountains and the swamp area to enter the Demon World.
'It was horrible.’
The combination of the swamp mammoths and Thunder Light Anvil was vicious. As the passage was narrow, there was no way to avoid an enormous amount of damage when passing through.
‘I thought it was a weapon mobilized by a magician, but it was actually built around an ancient ruin.’
If so, they had to use it. Like Felicia said, if they obtained the Thunder Light Anvil, they would be able to overturn the situation.
'But I can’t say that I saw it in a game.’
He had to convince them in some other way.
In-gong swallowed his saliva and opened his mouth.
"When I was studying dwarf characters, I came across this story. A similar story was told among the gandharva. Moreover, I don’t think Felicia noona would do a fake study.”
The words poured out. If he had told this story the first time they met, he would have been seen as crazy. However, it was different now.
In-gong had proven it by reading the dwarf characters and through his own performance. The bit about the gandharva, that nobody could confirm, was a convincing argument.
After In-gong’s words, Felicia pointed to an area on the map and said,
"The entrance to the ruins is likely to be in this vicinity. If we get our hands on the weapons, we can shatter the swamp mammoth.”
Felicia finished talking and laughed at In-gong. In-gong laughed along with her.
Vandal frowned at the map before turning towards Felicia.
"6th Princess, I can’t give you much time. At most, the limit is a day or two.”
Chris was amazed. Vandal declared without any hesitation,
"I will try the path of the 6th Princess and 9th Prince. Even if there is no way, I don’t want to run away like this.”
Despite there being four Demon King’s children here, Vandal was the one in charge.
“Felicia noonim, how many troops are required?”
"I don’t need a lot because we are exploring ruins. Rather, a minor group of 10 or less will be better.”
Felicia replied quickly. Chris had no choice but to look at In-gong beside Felicia.
"Shutra, find the ruins with Felicia noonim.”
Chris believed that In-gong was his man as In-gong had demonstrated that he would be a big help through his performance in the dwarf cave.
“I understand. Can Caitlin noona come along?”
It wasn’t because he wanted her to go with them or because she was strong. It was because Caitlin’s power was necessary to find the Thunder Light Anvil.
"I will go with you.”
Caitlin answered instantly. There was a strong will in both of her eyes.
Chris had no choice but to allow it.
"Okay, I will hold on as long as possible with Vandal. They won’t be able to commit the swamp mammoths to every battle.”
The weakness of the swamp mammoths was revealed in today’s battle. The distance they could travel was limited, so there were many difficulties in using them for aggressive raids.
Vandal asked Felicia,
"There isn’t a lot of time. Can you start right now?”
"But do you want to go?
Felicia shrugged and turned towards In-gong, who responded.
“I have to go.”
Everyone’s gaze moved to a point on the map.
TL Note: Just a small edit to the last chapter. 'Dozens' of monsters appeared rather than thousands.