Chapter 162 - Chapter 31: Overwhelming #3
The news that Actius had been routed didn’t make its way to many of the fortresses and bases near the central fortress. This was because Actius prioritized fleeing to a safe area, rather than spreading what happened. The barbarians, who occupied each fortress and base, weren’t informed by Actius but by the forces which scattered in every direction.
It had already been a day since the battle of the central fortress. The Paran clan chief, Berkintox, arrived at the ninth stronghold, the largest warehouse in eastern Curtis, before hearing the news about Actius.
At first, he didn’t believe it. No, it was unbelievable. It was an impossible situation. The troops had been overwhelming. Moreover, thanks to the energy of war, the nightmares’ specialty of mental magic could be ignored. It was simply impossible for the barbarians to be defeated, although the battle might take longer than expected.
‘How on earth?’
Actius was clearly a coward who only thought of his own safety. However, he wasn’t stupid. Rather, he was cunning and clever. He would fight to win and needed to be strong to had become the barbarian king. Yet he had been defeated in a single day? It had been a siege and yet he had been routed? What the hell had happened?
That wasn’t the only thing he couldn’t understand. There were some unbelievable stories mixed in.
In the midst of a siege, a white light had appeared and massacred the wyverns in an instant. A white shield and black shield defeated the monsters attacking the gates. A man in a dark blue cloth fell across the large army and killed a horn drake with one punch. They didn’t know what happened, but a rain of fire had poured down from the sky.
The first story was somewhat understandable, but the next two weren’t. The monsters brought by the western barbarians were gigantic monsters. One of those monsters had been taken down with one blow? Additionally, the one who had done it was a normal species and not a giant?
Berkintox instantly thought of the five captains of the Demon King’s Palace. He had only encountered Gallehed, the leader of the suras, but that was enough. It was possible for a captain of the Demon KIng’s Palace. In that case, all the stories spreading around wouldn’t be a problem. No, he would be able to believe them even more.
Berkintox shook his head. A captain couldn’t appear at the central fortress. They were somewhere else, not at Curtis. It was clear the stories were exaggerated as it was very common for those defeated to inflate the enemy’s power and rationalize their defeat.
‘Yes, it’s common.’
However, it wasn’t just a rationalization. On a battlefield, there were many factors which could cause the soldiers to reject the situation, such as: an uneasy psychology state; the shock of being defeated; the fear of death; and so on.
‘But even so...’
Berkintox didn’t jump to any conclusions. Even if the process was exaggerated, it was clear Actius had lost. There might be a mixture of intermediate level generals at the enemy base with a combination powerful enough to to match a senior general.
It was an unexpected variable. Did Anastasia have a strong succubus as a supporter?
Berkintox laughed suddenly.
As expected from Anastasia… she had hidden a trump card.
Berkintox looked down at the large map the Paran clan used. He was currently in the ninth orc stronghold, so he wanted to review the current situation.
Actius had retreated to the north. Victor was headed southwest to contact the lizardmen, and Berkintox was currently in the east. 6th Princess Felicia Doomblade and 9th Prince Shutra Ignus were at the southernmost tip of Curtis. Perhaps their goal was to join the lizardmen in the south-west.
'And there is Anastasia.’
Berkintox made a decision. The original plan had been to leave the task of defeating Victor to Actius, while Berkintox would head south to isolate Victor by defeating the Gullams. However, he now had to do something else.
Berkintox would head west personally. After defeating Anastasia, he would lead the barbarians and seize all of Curtis. There was no reason to delay the decision. Berkintox stood up instantly.
Felicia looked toward the northwest. It was the direction In-gong had headed in.
She had been marching for two days with the Gullam hunters, including Galang. Their destination was the 12th base which In-gong had designated as the meeting point. There was no way she could hear news from the north. Therefore, Felicia looked at the north with uneasy eyes several times while using recovery magic on the Gullams.
'He is okay.’
Felicia touched her forehead slowly. She was able to know this because she was a member of the King’s Knights. In-gong was currently safe. This also meant that the central fortress was still standing.
‘It is really ridiculous.’
He had gone alone to save Anastasia unni and the central fortress. It was even more absurd that Felicia believed In-gong could do it.
'He just needs to get there in time. Then he will do it. This time as well, Shutra will show a wonderful appearance.’
Felicia took deep breaths as she calmed herself, but she couldn’t help laughing.
‘It isn’t the same without Shutra.’
Felicia’s main task was to use recovery magic whenever the soldiers were exhausted, in order to maintain their marching during the day and night. However, it was much better than when they had been in Evian. She didn’t have to worry about being exhausted due to overusing her magic.
“Shutra is really too much.”
It was really exciting every time. Felicia muttered with a smile as she looked toward the north. As she recalled something, a different worry formed in her mind.
Anastasia and Shutra, the heads of two factions...
'Are they still doing well?’
Felicia felt an ominous foreboding.
“Faster than the wind!”
As they became accustomed to the slogan, the central fortress defenders shouted it repeatedly as they ran frantically.
It had been a day since the battle. As soon as the wounded soldiers were recovered, In-gong and Anastasia left the central fortress while leading 3,000 defenders.
Due to the vast majority being infantry, the march was forced to slow down. However, In-gong didn’t tolerate it. Green Wind’s Protection of the Wind lightened the legs of the central fortress defenders. In-gong’s flag of light enhanced their physical abilities as well.
After the first preparations, In-gong ordered the central fortress defenders to follow him.
Then In-gong continued. He ran forward, but it wasn’t a frenzied rush. Regardless of the magic and periodic rests, there was a limitation to their physical strength. However, In-gong didn’t allow the defenders of the central fortress to collapse.
Anastasia was located in the middle of the pack and used recovery magic periodically. Thanks to that, the central fortress’ defense troops didn’t collapse from exhaustion, but she was mentally exhausted as she ran.
The nightmares used a magic spell which paralyzed the reasoning of the central fortress defenders. Of course, the nightmares had to run endlessly as well. The effect of the nightmares’ magic was effective.
The fortresses and bases had received the news about the rout late and were unable respond to the sudden movements of the central fortress defenders. They only blocked the road after the situation was already over, but it wasn't their fault. The central fortress defenders just had an abnormally fast speed. Thus, the central fortress defenders were able to pass through the fortresses without experiencing any battles.
"Take a short break.”
Once In-gong stopped in place, the nearby soldiers shouted and spread the command. The 3,000 soldiers sat down without hesitation.
In-gong looked at the mini-map. They had almost left the north-west area of Curtis. There was now only a little bit left. Of course, it was hard to feel at ease as it was obvious the enemies would plan something after adapting to the unusual speed of the central fortress defenders.
In-gong looked at the mini-map continuously as he moved from the front of the procession to the middle with Carack. It was to see Anastasia.
'Surely, she hasn’t fainted.’
In-gong remembered Felicia’s and Daphne’s stats and hurried. Then he involuntarily let out a cry of admiration,
Unlike his expectations, Anastasia had a fairly straight posture. She was sweating, but she wasn’t lying on the floor like Felicia or Daphne had done.
“Are you okay?”
Anastasia blinked at In-gong after hearing his words. Her expression was somewhat weaker than usual.
“You—do you normally make Felicia do this?”
Her voice was relatively restrained, but it was mixed with resentment, irritation and nausea. Instead of answering, In-gong just laughed. It was at that moment that In-gong heard Green Wind’s voice in his ears.
‘Master, there are enemies.’
The voice came from White Eagle which was floating in the sky. In-gong hurriedly shared his gaze with Green Wind while opening the mini-map. Like Green Wind said, a group of people were running this way.
There was approximately 500 of them. It wasn’t a large number, but the problem was that they were armed cavalry, and they were designed to grab the ankles of the infantry troops.
If they delayed too long here, they might be surrounded by enemies on all sides. After confirming the movement path of the cavalry, In-gong closed the mini-map and shifted his gaze. It seemed like there was a dusty place in the distance.
"There is a pursuit.”
After hearing In-gong’s words, Anastasia hurriedly turned in the direction he was looking at, and her eyes shone white as she used magic.
"They are cavalry. There are approximately five or six hundred of them?”
Anastasia frowned as she finished talking. After seeing the type and number of enemies, she thought the same thing as In-gong. Despite their physical strength having been maintained by magic, the central fortress defenders were mentally exhausted. They had no problem running forward, but fighting was difficult.
"I’ll stay here and buy some time. Noona should lead the troops forward.”
Anastasia’s eyes widened at In-gong’s words. In-gong shrugged and continued speaking,
"It is impossible to defeat them, but I can buy some time. I will fight in moderation and join you guys later.”
He had White Eagle and Black Eagle to protect him. If he mixed and matched techniques properly, he would be able to prevent any troops from passing by In-gong.
'Wah, I have truly grown.’
He was thinking about stopping 500 cavalry alone. Although the scale was smaller than yesterday’s, they might rush toward the 3,000 troops, so he couldn’t choose the option of flying over the enemy heads like he had done yesterday. It was dangerous and hard work.
After In-gong’s words, Anastasia thought for a moment before making a determined expression. Then she replied in a quiet voice,
"No, I'll stop them with you. I am the one responsible for the forces of the central fortress. It is unreasonable to make Shutra do this.”
It was a problem associated with her sense of honour and responsibility. The nightmares beside Anastasia gazed at her with an admiring expression. but In-gong was different.
“Well, yes. Then I’ll leave it to Noona. Let’s go, Carack.”
In-gong said lightly before turning around. Anastasia became confused. She didn’t think that In-gong would agree like this.
It was unreasonable for Anastasia alone to block 500 cavalry. She would be able to use various mental magic to get rid of them, but she was exhausted right now. Moreover, it was highly likely that mental spells wouldn’t work if they were surrounded with the red energy of war like the barbarians.
While Anastasia was panicking, Carack stared at In-gong and said in a loud voice,
In-gong turned around at the call. He shrugged and handed the flag of light to Carack.
"Carack, please guide the defenders.
Carack grinned as he raised the flag of light. Due to the effects of the king’s flag, the defenders of the central fortress started to stand up.
In-gong looked at Anastasia and said,
"Did you think I was really going to leave it to Noona?”
Anastasia pouted at the playful question. Her expression was restrained, but he could feel the emotions behind it.
‘Looking at this, Anastasia is also cute.’
In Knight Saga, he had just thought of her as a bad girl.
‘Zephyr and Richard ruined her.’
In-gong moved to the rear of the procession with Anastasia. Anastasia looked down at In-gong from her unicorn and asked bluntly,
"Let me ask again, is it normally like this with Felicia and Caitlin?”
"Um, a little more severe?”
The two people had to experience this repeatedly.
Anastasia’s eyes widened at In-gong’s answer. She looked cute, but now wasn’t the time to flirt. In-gong equipped Earth Quaker on his right arm, and his gaze sharpened.
Under Carack’s guidance, the central fortress defenders started to spring again. Their speed seemed slow enough for the cavalry to catch up with them. Anastasia drank a potion while staring at the cavalry. Anastasia’s nightmares, who followed her, were ready to fight.
"Shutra, let’s talk later.”
Anastasia said, and In-gong nodded. They charged toward the cavalry.
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