Book 2, Chapter 113

Escorted Into Battle

War and plunder was a perpetual cycle between the myriad planes.

Norland wasn’t the only primary plane, with many known planes that were no inferior to it like hell, the abyss, the celestial plane, and the astral plane. Some secondary planes possessed unusual single powers that made them no inferior to primary planes, like the elemental and shadow planes. The relationship of all these planes with Norland was complicated; they weren’t so distant that they existed only in legend and folklore like normal men thought, but they weren’t friendly like some theologians claimed. The only constant was conflict and war.

Just as Norland’s nobility was intent on expanding their influence outward, many other planes wished to conquer them. Every now and then, some powerful beings would construct a portal that connected to Norland, leading troops out in an attempt to conquer this beautiful and fertile plane.

Given the power system and sheer area of the plane, it was impossible to conquer Norland with power alone. After all, the number of troops one could transfer through any passage between planes was rather limited. However, with enough numbers came a swathe of fools. There were always some hot-headed powerhouses from another plane attempting to launch attacks on Norland, although they couldn’t even conquer an earl’s lands with the meagre armies they managed to send.

Such invasions took place practically on a daily basis. Norland’s gods didn’t issue oracles for this at all, or any other form of warning either. After all, the number of invasions was just too large. Even if they weren’t fed up with it, they had limited followers and resources.

As for the invaders, their fate was very simple. Since Norland itself was constantly embroiled in war, it made no difference whether the opponent was an enemy from this plane or from another. Invaders were actually far easier to deal with; issues of politics, power balance, and family feuds were of no concern.

With the Eternal Dragon holding a firm position, Norland’s pantheon did not reign supreme like those on lesser planes did. Numerous legendary beings were always plotting to build up their own power, advancing to become demigods after which they would transcend. Who would want to worship these deities that weren’t too far beyond them?

As a general rule, the more powerful a plane the lesser the status of the gods presiding over it. Those who transcended everything had no need for faith, like the Eternal Dragon or the rumoured Overgod.

No matter what, the powerhouses of any primary plane had an extremely good understanding of the frequent visits from the abyss and hell. The founding emperor of the Sacred Alliance had even organised a military expedition so large it was unprecedented in history. The two planes themselves had launched countless attacks on Norland in the past, so Norland’s understanding of them was quite thorough.

Needless to say, all of these invasions had met a bitter end. Only formidable powers like greater devils and lesser demon lords managed to escape to their homes, with none of the average soldiers surviving the battle. However, these invasions didn’t mean the rulers of hell and the abyss were foolish. They simply used these invasions to cut down the number of their lowest classes, at the same time drilling their troops. Only those who could survive the harsh environment of a planar war were valuable, qualified to join the endless war in the depths of the abyss and hell as the two planes vied for greater power.

The Schumpeters had considerable reputation on Norland, at least in the human empires. Being one of the fourteen families of Faust wasn’t just a symbol, it actually held great advantages. The family got the chance to enter the Church of the Eternal Dragon much more often, the blessings they received exceeding expectations. A powerhouse having their life extended, coordinates of a new plane, formidable divine tools… these were all important to the ascent of a family.

The Schumpeters had possessed high status for a long time, allowing them to accumulate an abundance of wealth and knowledge. Not only did they know how to breed the bearguard knights and their magical mounts, they also had a profound understanding of demons and devils. This extended beyond just their power system, including relevant information on more than a hundred lords. They knew of the endless war, and the brutal relationship between the demons and devils. To them, this was all common knowledge.

Marquess Riain, the highest authority of the Fjord of Longing, was naturally someone equipped with that common knowledge.

Riain had become a saint thirty years ago. Although his individual ability was beginning to decline, his experience would not fade with age. If anyone wished to belittle this towering old man for his greying hair, they would surely pay a heavy price.

At that moment, Riain was dressed in a magnificent suit of silver armour, exquisitely designed with a faint glimmer of magic radiating from it. Clearly, it wasn’t just some flashy equipment without any substance. The marquess also had an equally exquisite longsword in hand; it was magical equipment as well. Behind him were ten rune knights and thirty of the bearguard. With Sinclair having taken away half of the bearguard knights, the fact that such a powerful force had been assembled this quickly showed how important the fjord was to the Schumpeters.

Behind this troop were about two hundred heavily armed knights, as well as ten mages and thousands of elite infantry. Riain was well aware that the power of this army wasn’t enough to wipe out the incoming devils, but he was still confident of withstanding their attack and turning it into a battle of attrition. He would make use of the extensive lands and complex terrain in the territory, fighting for time. As long as he held them off for a day, the powerhouses of the family would be able to rush over. These powerhouses were an army’s soul.

The marquess’ confidence came from the more than twenty clerics amongst his troops. Not only could they sustain the rune knights and bearguard knights on a large scale, but they could also inflict serious harm on the devils that came from hell.

Another part of his confidence came from the existence of the Archerons nearby. Marquess Gaton’s territory was adjacent to the fjord, and intel said the marquess himself and half of his knights were currently in the territory. That force alone would be able to defeat the invading troops. Even if the devils were led by lesser lords, they could only exhibit less than legendary power in Norland. In the same vein, humans would lose some of their strength if they battled in hell.

Although the relationship between the two families was strained, there would be no difference in the attack of the foreign invaders. They wouldn’t bother to differentiate between the Schumpeters’ rivers and the Archeron jungles.

The Schumpeter troops were arranged in orderly formation, with Riain standing alone at the head. He squinted his eyes, already noticing the spacetime warping in the region. He knew that the passage from hell would open up soon, involuntarily tightening the grip around his sword as he felt like he could smell the rancid odour of the devils.

Across the vast field, the Archeron troops could be seen entering the battlefield from kilometres away as they gradually spread out. There weren’t many of them, less than 500 in total, but Riain could feel several extraordinary auras amongst their ranks. The towering figure atop a tall, black warhorse in particular heightened his nervousness and worry even further.

Gaton was here in person!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA