Chapter 159 - Chapter 30: Exacerbation #2
Curtis had a fairly large number of troops from the Demon King’s Palace stationed there.
Compared to other areas, Curtis had too much rain, so the ground didn’t dry out. In contrast to Evian, which was a wasteland, Curtis was a blessed land.
In the western part which had direct contact with the Western Limit Line, the Paran clan was the main axis of the army. The number of clan members reached 1,000, and almost all of them were part of the demon king’s army. They were giants, so each one could exert the strength of hundreds of soldiers.
To the south of the Western Limit Line, the lizardmen resided in a huge swamp area which bordered the large forest. Unlike the lizardmen who lived near the Jishuka Mountains, these ones had been loyal to the Demon King’s Palace for a significant number of years. The superiority of the Paran clan was great, so the lizardmen were relatively undervalued. However, they possessed excellent courage and outstanding combat skills.
In the eastern part of Curtis, the army consisted mainly of orcs. The orcs occupied a considerable proportion of almost all of Curtis’ area, not just the east but the west and south as well. If the Paran clan and lizardmen were important organs, the orcs were the blood which made them function properly.
The forest, where the Gullam hunters were stationed, was the most distant area from the west and east of Curtis, and only a small number of soldiers were placed there. Since it was the rear with a low chance of facing the enemy, only a small unit was needed to patrol and maintain the security.
As the western part of Curtis landed in the hands of the western barbarians, 3rd Prince Victor and Paran chief Berkintox headed south and east, respectively.
Victor’s goal was to secure the lizardmen. In a situation where the Paran tribe’s betrayal was evident, he placed more hope in the south, than the east. It was likely the lizardmen, who were usually on bad terms with the Paran clan, wouldn’t agree to a rebellion.
As Victor expected, Berkintox hadn’t allied with the lizardmen. Thus, Berkintox headed east instead of south. He would use the orcs, who had revolted in the west, to absorb the orcs of the east and turn them into allies. Simultaneously, they would intercept the connection between the Demon King’s Palace and Curtis.
It was an urgent night. All of Curtis was rattled by the destruction of the transportation formations.
Berkintox sat on the back of a mighty monster and stared toward the east. The monster resembled a horse but had six legs, and it grew beyond the Western Limit Line. It was a special gift the barbarians had prepared for Berkintox.
Berkintox’s life was marked by fighting with the barbarians. He had lived a lifetime as a faithful warrior of the Demon King’s Palace.
So, it was no wonder that Anastasia had never imagined the Paran clan’s betrayal. In the hundreds of years since the Demon King’s Palace had been established, the Paran clan had always been loyal. Many years had passed with no deception.
Moreover, there was no motive for the Paran clan to betray the Demon King’s Palace. The western part of Curtis belonged to the Paran clan originally. They had lived on the land and fought the barbarians beyond the limit line before the Demon King’s Palace had even been established. They hadn’t been forced to join the demon king’s army.
The people of the Paran clan weren’t as foolish as the various species found throughout the Demon World—Berkintox and his ancestors didn’t forget one fact.
The Paran clan was strong, but the Demon King’s Palace was stronger. Even if the Paran clan revolted and took Curtis, it would only last for a short time. The Paran clan wouldn’t be able to hold on once the Demon King’s Palace moved to take Curtis back. It was a fact they felt more strongly due to belonging to the army.
Once again, there was no reason for betrayal as the consequences of the betrayal would be terrible. Why would they incite a rebellion despite knowing this? Anyone who doubted the Paran tribe would have been insane. That’s why Anastasia hadn’t felt any doubt, and neither could Victor imagine the betrayal of the Paran clan.
Berkintox made calculations in his head. He figured out the time it would take for the Demon King’s Palace to figure out that the transportation formations had been destroyed and the time it would take to dispatch the army.
Then Berkintox concluded that it was enough. He could fight against the Demon King’s Palace and win.
It was impossible with just the Paran clan. This was a goal which couldn’t be accomplished even if they joined hands with the barbarians. Even if all of the powers in Curtis were gathered, it would just be a dream.
However, Berkintox dreamt of the impossible. He truly thought it was possible.
It was due to the person he’d met. It was thanks to him that Berkintox and the western barbarians could join forces.
His plan, his goal...
The collapse of the Demon King’s Palace. It was inevitable that a new order would dominate the Demon World.
Berkintox produced the red energy of War. As an apostle of war, he spread the fires of war.
The night deepened.
The barbarians surrounding the central fortress didn’t attack instantly. They just shrieked in an eerie manner all night.
It was a clever act.
There was an order to the barbarians’ movements, who seemed disorderly at first sight. They moved in shifts. There was a group which howled to scare the central fortress and a group which rested. The barbarians’ behaviour was to hide several things.
First, it was to buy enough time to gather more barbarians. Barbarians were still coming from beyond the Western Limit Line. The barbarians, who had helped Paran tribe take over the other fortresses, were moving to the central fortress.
The second was to harass the central fortress. The barbarians knew there would be no fighting during the night. It was also virtually impossible for the troops stationed at the central fortress to start the battle first.
However, the central fortress didn’t know these facts which meant they couldn’t rest easily for one moment during the night. Furthermore, staying up all night would cause tension and fatigue which would weaken the army.
Thirdly, night was the time of the nightmares. The barbarians weren’t nocturnal. It was daytime, not night, which was familiar to them.
Night was the time of the nightmares. Anastasia and her nightmare troops could exert more power during the night than the day. So, from the barbarians’ point of view, it was natural to avoid a night battle. Fighting the enemy at that time, when they were stronger, would be a foolish act which not even a monster would make.
Anastasia discovered all of this, but even if she told them there would be no fighting tonight, the soldiers of the central fortress wouldn’t be able to rest. In the end, it was just a guess. Moreover, if soldiers weren’t seen on the walls, the barbarians would strike. The barbarians held the initiative in this fight.
Anastasia thought positively. Buying more time wasn’t only useful for the barbarians. Although Victor had abandoned Anastasia, she hadn’t given up. She would hold on. If she survived for a while, there was still hope.
Anastasia ordered the nightmares to rest and also had the soldiers on the walls sleep in shifts. The nightmares used a sleeping magic, unique to them, for the soldiers who couldn’t sleep due to tension and fear.
After climbing up to the top of the walls, Anastasia looked down at the barbarians. According to her estimates, their number exceeded 20,000.
How long could she hold on?
Anastasia didn’t calculate it. In the few hours left before the battle started, she prepared as many magic spells as possible.
Then at dawn, the sun rose to signal morning.
The barbarians started to move.
The roar of a monster announced the start of the battle. It was followed by the sound of horns which shook the entire central fortress.
The barbarians were faithful to the basics. There were 20,000~30,000 warriors, so they chose the most effective means of attack when surrounding a fortress. They rushed from every side of the central fortress with shouts which seemed to tear the sky apart.
The walls of the central fortress were thick and high. Even though the Paran clan had an average height of 10 meters, the high walls were at least 30 meters in height. On top of that, soldiers from the demon king’s army were present. Although they were lacking, in comparison to the 30,000 enemies, they didn’t lose their nerves as they fought bravely.
The soldiers fired arrows from the fortress. The barbarians raised their shields above their heads and ran through the heavy rain of arrows. The number of arrows was less than the number of barbarians which were coming from four directions.
The barbarians stuck to the walls. Some were carrying hooks and look ladders recovered from the fortresses near the limit line.
The demon king’s troops poured boiling oil and stones down the walls. It was already a situation where they couldn’t shoot arrows as the barbarians were climbing up the walls.
There was a roar and the walls shook significantly. It was the sound of a monster, whose body was around 20 meters long, banging against the walls. The monster’s head was very big and hard.
The soldiers were confused at the existence of such a monster. They couldn’t imagine how to deal with it. Originally, the Paran clan would be the ones to deal with such monsters. So, it was doubtful the attacks from common monsters would work.
However, it wasn’t just the monsters striking the walls which made things difficult. Barbarians riding on the backs of wyverns covered the sky. Some fired energy shots toward the walls, while others descended and picked up soldiers.
In this terrible situation, the only thing they could believe in was magic. The 200 nightmares dispatched to Curtis, along with Anastasia, poured out magic toward the barbarians.
However, it wasn’t efficient. The mental magic, which was the best specialty of the nightmares, was being blocked. The red aura around the barbarians meant they didn’t fall to the lure of the nightmares. The nightmares had no choice but to respond with attack spells.
Anastasia stood on the western wall, which was receiving the heaviest attacks. She wore armour and searched the ground and sky with cold eyes.
She was one of the three children closest to becoming the demon king, and the position of demon king wasn’t something she could get just on the strength of her forces.
Anastasia sprinkled lightning into the sky, and there was a loud sound like a thunderstorm. White lightning flashed, and a huge lightning bolt struck a wyvern. The wyvern crashed to the ground without screaming, and the lightning continued. It bounced and hit another wyvern.
Anastasia didn’t watch the chain of deaths. As lightning struck, huge flames emerged from her hands. The barrier of fire swept from the ground to the top of the wall, burning the barbarians hanging on the wall mercilessly.
There were cheers of joy from the soldiers of the demon king. Instead of cheering, Anastasia caught her breath. She created a new lightning chain after the last chain broke off at the fifth wyvern.
As expected from the demon king’s child. She was a ray of hope to the soldiers. Actius, the king of the western barbarians who was watching the sight from afar, smiled happily.
Powerful magic was required to knock down a wyvern with one block. How many times could she use that magic? Although she was a child of the demon king, she was only a woman in her early 20s. Even if her magical accomplishments were excellent, she clearly had limits.
Actius gave a command.
He didn’t care about the number of sacrifices as long as he could take care of the demon king’s beautiful daughter.
It wasn’t that the barbarians had no fear of death. It was common for them to hesitate if they were going to be killed by a terrible magic spell. Anastasia knew this fact, which was why she was using some extreme magic despite it being unreasonable.
Yet something unimaginable was taking place. Upon the order, the barbarians rushed forward without any fear. They offered their lives generously. It was due to the red aura of war. Unlike those who were paralyzed by reason, they absorbed the madness of war and didn’t fear death.
The attacks were repeated, and numerous barbarians were killed by the brilliant magic. However, the wave of barbarians never stopped.
As they continued to rush forward, the magic of the nightmares became weaker. The unreasonable magic use ate at the spirit of some of the nightmares. Additionally, using such strong magic in succession drained their magic power.
Anastasia still looked strong, but it was only a matter of time. The interval at which she used magic became slightly longer, and the number of soldiers who turned to wielding a sword, instead of magic, at the barbarians gradually increased.
Actius smiled leisurely at the sight as he watched Anastasia eagerly.
Some time passed by.
The soldiers on the walls were exhausted. One minute felt like a long time, and the endless waves of barbarians exhausted the spirit of the demon king’s army.
Sweat was flowing down Anastasia’s body. She had killed over 20 wyverns, but there were still more in the sky. Five barbarians riding wyverns sneered at Anastasia.
Hooks were caught on the walls. The barbarians wrapped in red energy were climbing the walls quickly. Ironically, the western wall, which contained Anastasia and the strongest defense, would be the first to fall.
Anastasia gritted her teeth. Even if her mental magic didn’t work, she couldn’t let it end this way. She couldn’t tolerate the fact that she couldn’t even last a day.
She squeezed out her magic power. Ignoring the mental fatigue, Anastasia drank potions to restore her magic power. Finally, she aimed Fire Arrow at the head of a barbarian which had reached the top of the wall.
Once again, her magic didn’t betray her. The Fire Arrow didn’t stop at piercing the barbarian’s head and burnt it as well. The barbarian screamed and fell from the wall.
At that moment, Anastasia’s vision turned red. It was a temporary disability caused by excessive magic power usage.
She would recover in a few seconds at most, but that time was fatal on a battlefield. As Anastasia’s eyes and ears were covered for a few seconds, many things happened. A few barbarians climbed over the wall and wielded their weapons at the weary soldiers.
Then a monster struck the wall. The earth shook, and the wyverns screamed in the sky. Anastasia staggered. Once she regained her sight, she raised her head. At that moment, she barely managed to repress a knee-jerk scream.
A wyvern was right in front of her. The sharp claws were heading toward her like a hawk grabbing prey. She had to use magic. At the very least, she should move her body and avoid it. Anastasia moved desperately, letting out random bursts of magic power while rolling across the ground.
The wyvern flew and avoided the explosion of magic power. Anastasia rolled across the ground and got up hurriedly. Then a barbarian approached and swung a club at Anastasia’s head. Anastasia’s aide, Chandra, screamed, and Anastasia twisted her body. After avoiding the club, Anastasia grabbed the back of the barbarian and released magic power, taking him down.
Anastasia panted heavily before straightening her posture. Chandra sighed with relief, but at that moment, the previous wyvern discovered Anastasia again and flew forward with a wide open mouth.
It was an energy shot. Anastasia had a gut feeling she wouldn’t be able to avoid it this time. Despair and fear were seen in her eyes for the first time.
She had to move—move and avoid this attack somehow!
There was a loud boom. Anastasia flinched, but then she saw it.
A huge pillar of light was sweeping across the wyvern. The pillar of light shone an intense green. It couldn’t be compared to the energy shot from the wyvern.
Anastasia staggered, then suddenly, there was a strong arm wrapped around her waist. A dark blue fog had spread around her. Shortly after this happened, Anastasia realized she was in someone’s arms.
Anastasia, who thought of Baikal for a moment, blinked, staring dumbly at the figure before her. She was so surprised that it took a moment to recall his name.
Instead of answering, his sharp eyes stared at the battlefield. Anastasia was once again confused. Over the past few months, Shutra had gained some brilliant achievements. At the court gatherings, he had shown an appearance different from his old self. However, she couldn’t help feeling surprised.
Did he look like this? No, was this truly Shutra?
He was tall, his arms were firm, and aura and magic power were overflowing from him.
Anastasia recovered herself. As she stayed in Shutra’s arms, she restored her reasoning as much as possible.
Shutra was here. Had the reinforcements arrived? Did Felicia lead the Gullam here?
Joy soared inside her, but at the same time, she was confused.
It was impossible—the distance was too far. It was simply impossible for Felicia and reinforcements to reach here.
Anastasia looked at the sky. It was still full of barbarians riding on wyverns. At that moment, Anastasia understood.
Shutra was alone. Shutra was the only one who had reached the central fortress.
In-gong released Anastasia from his arms. As her legs sagged, Anastasia stared at In-gong blankly. She couldn’t understand it.
‘Why has Shutra come to this place?
‘What can he do alone?’
In-gong looked at Anastasia. It seemed like she had unintentionally voiced that last thought.
In-gong smiled instead of answering. He activated Dragon Blood and his quad-core at the same time.
Earth Quaker gave an angry roar, and a tremendous power rose from In-gong’s body. It was a power which seemed like it could overwhelm the surroundings just by standing there. It was like an answer to her question of what he could do alone.
Anastasia opened her mouth unconsciously. Then In-gong turned around. He watched the energy of war which covered the entire barbarian camp and triggered the power of Conquest.
“Below the King’s Flag.”
In-gong grabbed the white flag.
The power of Conquest spread with every step In-gong took.
The fight of the Conquest Knight had begun.
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