Richard counterattacking was the most important aspect of their plan. They had hidden five hundred knights all around the territory to defend from his attack, planning to use it as an excuse to attack him in the future. After all, they were not the Highland Unicorn. Publicly invading another noble’s land would cause great troubles at court. It would be even worse if Richard did not use the law to sue them; that would give him the right to legally attack their territories.
The caravan that set off from Richard’s territory only had fifty guards. Although desert warriors were brave and powerful, they were nothing much in front of the Golden Eagles who were the elites of the Sequoia Kingdom. The desert people were mere slaves, and when it came to battle might the level 5 warriors could not match up to the level 7-8 members of the cavalry. Their equipment was inferior to the knights, and on top of all that the desert people were a scattered group of tribes with no organisation nor military discipline. A team of elite knights could take on three times their number if such warriors were their enemy, driving them away with their tails between their legs.
Right before the Golden Eagles had engaged, everyone with real power gathered at Fontaine’s lands. Earl Layton was at the lead, with Sir Booker who was the leader of the Golden Eagles, great mage Senth, a level 10 cleric of Cerces, as well as Fontaine’s uncle alongside him. They felt that it was a given that the 200 Golden Eagles would win over the desert warriors. It would be considered a minor accomplishment if not one was allowed to escape.
This was why the sight of all the knights hanging on wooden stakes left everyone completely shocked. However, Richard had not let any of the knights escape; none of these bigshots had any idea of what had happened in the battle.
They found the battlefield, but all of it had intentionally been destroyed. This terrifying aftermath could not come from what they knew of Richard’s power. Outside of shock, the only thing they felt was doubt.
Once he was done venting, Earl Layton turned extremely grim. He had originally expected Richard to fight back, yes, but he had never expected it to hurt so much.
Zim’s defeat and this ferocious reply spoke volumes of Richard’s abilities. The mage definitely could not be treated like a mere titled knight.
Frontier knight… Layton pondered over this term that had nearly lost all of its original meaning.
Richard was also a frontier knight. He had no illustrated title, no base, no supplies, or even a huge, shocking army. However, this frontier knight had completely annihilated Viscount Zim’s army. And somehow, two entire squadrons of Golden Eagles had fallen at his hand.
This heavy news caused Layton to think back to history, a few thousand years ago when humans were starting to expand. The human kingdoms at that time had less than a fifth of the land they did today. They conferred titles on a large number of frontier knights, and every one held their battle flags high as they sent their mediocre armies into the vast, boundless dark world.
That was a generation where heroes came in droves. The frontier knights defeated strong enemies from time to time, seizing fertile land from the other races. Their achievements were unthinkable, beyond common sense. The lands and heads of their enemies were the greatest show of strength; countless unknown frontier knights distinguished themselves in battle one after the other. Not all of them became generational commanders, but many shot out like comets that could intimidate any enemy.
Stories of men advancing to the legendary realm were not uncommon during those years, and so many saints were popping up that not everyone even qualified to leave their names in the history books.
Some legendary humans fell in tough battles, but even more rose to take their place. Some established the foundations of various kingdoms, while others went all out to become demigods. Some even ignited their godfires, flying into the deep blue skies to join the pantheon of the gods. The Goddess of Fire, Selia, was one of the most resplendent names of that era.
And now, thousands of years later, humans were the leaders of the plane. The dark world occupied less than a fifth of the continent. When later generations thought back to the time of expansion, they began to refer to those centuries as the Era of Glory.
In the Era of Glory, frontier knights were the most famous of nobles. When one lead dozens of warriors in wretched equipment on their first steps into the war, it could have been the first step in the appearance of a legendary being in a few decades.
Layton saw a shadow of such glory in Richard. The title of frontier knight had long been worn down by the ebb and flow of time, to the point that most had forgotten its former glory and brilliance. The ghosts of the past seemed to be shining through this young great mage.
However, the Earl was well-versed in history and politics. This light would need a great deal of blood and destruction to fuel its glow.
‘We need to put our full power into dealing with him!’ Layton came to a conclusion even he himself was unwilling to believe. However, far too many miracles had come from Richard’s hands. Looking at it on paper, Zim’s army could wipe Richard out several times over and still not be destroyed.
It was now obvious that a few groups of elite knights or swordsmen would not be enough to get rid of him. A proper army had to be built up, with an experienced commander at the lead. It needed a decent mix of types, and powerful warriors, mages, and clerics. Perhaps a saint? Layton’s mind whirled as he began to think up a plan.
Although the appearance of a saint meant things couldn’t be kept under wraps anymore, he felt a strong sense of danger. This was the scent of an enemy whose terror he did not want to admit; one that he wanted to crush before it grew to surpass him.
Indeed, enemy. Richard’s importance had grown in the Earl’s mind, turning from cannon fodder that was just a distraction to someone on his official list of enemies to destroy.
Richard had no idea of Layton’s thoughts. Although the clash with the Viscount had been a part of his plans, the appearance of the Golden Eagles was far too quick and powerful a reaction for his liking. However, this would not affect his strategy. He did not care for the complications in the kingdom; in the near future, his status as a noble would be cemented. His eyes were on the masterless, vast Bloodstained Lands, a chaotic place with ample resources.
He knew any reaction to the 200 knights on stakes would be a large army that would be challenging to handle. The army would have a considerable number of mages and clerics, and could even have saints.
However, this was his goal. An Earl would have to do everything in his power to gather such an army. It was obvious that this was no simple matter, and needed prudent consideration.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA