Lord Moonbear was about forty years of age. The bristle-bearded was tall and bulky, covered from head to toe in silver heavy armour and with a two-handed axe by his side. Most of his troops were covered in chainmail, giving them a balance between mobility and defence. This elite army was definitely quite powerful.
However, Richard could only sigh at the sight of the Moonbear Lord’s reinforcements. If not for his own army being present last night, Twilight Castle would have been massacred by Sinclair. These reinforcements didn’t have a single mage amongst their number, only two shamans. If they had to fight Sinclair outside Twilight Castle, even escaping required Lord Moonbear to assess the situation clearly at the start and begin the retreat immediately. However, that instant retreat would only be able to save their strongest and fastest men.
Lord Moonbear and the Duke’s messenger met with Richard at the camp, verifying the results of the last night’s battle. The traces of the battlefield and piles of corpses caused the arrogant lord to show a dignified expression. He didn’t avoid the filth and stench of the corpses, personally looking over the wounds on the corpses. His expression only grew more serious afterwards, any contempt and doubt fading from his gaze.
Richard had kept a few of the bearguard knights and mounts around, the intention being to shock and awe. Even though none of the bodies were intact, one could still see the strength they had when they were alive.
The messenger from the Duke was an old titled knight. He was immaculately dressed, not a speck of dust anywhere on his person, and displayed great etiquette and style in conversation; one could only call him impeccable. He accompanied Richard on a walk through the barracks, looking through the entire place. The man was extremely talkative, informing Richard of the history and customs of Duke Bevry’s lands as they walked, but not once mentioning anything about Richard’s origins. He only vaguely spoke about the matter with the rune as well, asking that Richard finish handling the aftermath as soon as possible so he could meet the Duke immediately.
In a single day, the attitude of the Fontaine Family had changed greatly. Intentionally or otherwise, they kept hurrying Richard to leave the lands as soon as possible. This was a sign that a power struggle was beginning; Baron Fontaine had died too young, and his successor was still a youth. His personal guard was almost completely wiped out during the battle, so the eldest son didn’t have military power at hand. Although there were many witnesses to Baron Fontaine’s last will, the decision to let Caesar follow Richard in serving a god made the entire will objectionable.
Richard had read a lot about these kinds of struggles in his books. Any family with over a century’s history had a myriad of complicated internal struggles. Although it was an undisputed fact that the title and castle belonged to the eldest son, there were a lot of benefits to be had elsewhere in the family lands. Added up, these benefits were worth no less than Twilight Castle itself.
Richard couldn’t stand the disputes in the Fontaine Family, wanting to intervene, but Flowsand had stopped him. This was not the time to interfere; he needed to wait until the meeting with the Duke to take note of the situation.
The envoy stayed for another day before urging Richard to make a move. Lord Moonbear, on the other hand, stayed behind to assist the Fontaines who were currently drained.
Lord Moonbear had asked to see Richard’s “giant creature” sometime during his stay. Richard knew that the lord was talking about the broodmother, but he definitely wouldn’t show her to him. He thus evaded the issue by claiming it was a magic summon that required a large price and took a long time. Moonbear was skeptical, but he didn’t probe too much.
Two days later, Richard finally arrived at Deepcliff City. This was the largest city in the Direwolf Duke’s lands, built on a hillside with his own majestic castle halfway up. The castle was enormous, larger even than the Archerons’ ancestral Blackrose Castle.
Deepcliff City was extremely busy, the architecture rough but orderly. It seemed like the place had been planned properly when it was built, many of the taller buildings built with large stones.
The city had a population of over 100,000, with a permanent garrison of around 3,000 knights with thousands more stationed in the surroundings. Counting the other armies spread throughout his lands as well as the soldiers he could conscript from his vassals, Bevry could gather a large army of 30,000 if needed. This already approached the scale of the royal army.
The city walls were over thirty metres tall, making them seem greatly majestic from the distance. Richard stopped at the gate to look up, only finding them even more stunning up close. It took him a few minutes to snap out of it, only following the messenger in after a few minutes. The knight didn’t urge him on this time; the man was proud of his city’s majesty.
Of course, Richard was looking at it from the perspective of a commander, analysing everything he could see. A 10,000 strong army could hold this city against even five times their number for a considerable time.
Once they entered, Richard noticed the portcullises at the start and end of the entrance were made out of steel arms that were as thick as an arm. The gate was mounted on a track, driven up and down by a capstan. No ordinary siege weapons could break this gate apart; one could only send powerful soldiers up the walls and have them open up the gate for the rest of the army.
However, the vanguard of any attacking army would undoubtedly be heading to their deaths. Even a powerful saint couldn’t guarantee their lives in front of these powerful defences. Without any assistance, they would be attacked from all sides once they scaled the walls. On top of the squeezy battlements, no matter how strong one was they could still suffer a disastrous defeat. That was evident even from Sinclair’s fight atop Twilight Castle, and Deepcliff City would only be worse. As one of the three dukes of the Sequoia Kingdom, the Direwolf Duke didn’t lack strong subordinates. Moreover, his belligerent nature only ensured that those under him were stronger than the rest.
Most of Richard’s army remained in the barracks outside the city; he only brought along a dozen or so bodyguards as he entered the castle.
The hustle and bustle of Deepcliff City attracted Richard’s attention. There was a wide road from the gate to the southern plaza, enough for three chariots to pass through side by side. As his own group advanced, the hurried clops of horses rang out coming towards them. Dozens of cavalrymen sprinted towards the city gate, shouting loudly along the way to clear the streets of pedestrians and other vehicles. They were all covered in dark grey armour, with the crest of a direwolf on their chests.
Hearing the shouts from the distance, the Duke’s messenger had the team move to the side of the road. Dozens of horsemen swept past them towards the city gate, gone like the wind in but a few moments. Not all the pedestrians and carriages along the way had cleared the path— the road at the city’s entrance was very crowded and with people of different speeds— but none of these riders had trampled over any of the slow ones. It was a fine display of ability.
Richard looked over at the leaving troop from atop his horse, his eyes narrowing undetectably. Every one of these riders was level 8 at minimum; their control over their horses was one thing, but each one emitted a cold, murderous aura. These weren’t rookies without experience.
He opened the window of a carriage wide to give Flowsand a look, and the two exchanged a silent glance. There were no words or movements before he closed the window once more.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: XE
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA