Book 5 Chapter 21.7 - Brilliance
During these past few days, the Holy Crusaders’ great knights were all a bit anxious and frightened, as if something major was about to happen, yet they didn’t know where exactly the uneasiness originated from. Normally, the great knights inside of their territory were still comparatively fine, while those at those places defending the borders couldn’t help but be overly suspicious about everything. Currently, the Holy Crusaders’ region of control was extremely peaceful, battles of any type rarely happening, the situation with the southern Blood Parliament also at a temporary peaceful stage due to their inner conflict. Great Knight Tairon who was in charge of the south’s battle situation had previously tried to launch an assault, but was beaten until he was dejected and depressed, thus never daring to act recklessly again.
The Black Dragonriders defending the north still maintained a neutral stance, not participating in the internal struggle, their strength practically unharmed. Even though their high-end combat strength was lacking, unable to press forward, their defensive force was enough to spare. Moreover, Persephone’s rampage had pushed the Holy Crusaders back close to a hundred kilometers, seizing many important strategic strongholds, greatly improving the northern front’s defensive situation. At the same time, three of the four great knights who were defending the southern front fell under her hands, the Holy Crusaders’ strength thus suffering great damage. Tairon was originally a great knight who defended the rear, but was now transferred here due to the emergency shortage.
Unlike the Black Dragonriders’ independent growth, the Holy Crusaders’ great knights all experienced an ‘enlightenment’ method to become great knights. All great knights who obtained ‘enlightenment’ possessed some type of danger anticipation ability. That was why even though in terms of abilities, the great knights’ strength varied, not being much stronger than the dragonriders’ high level officers, they still rarely fell in battle. The death of three great knights under Persephone’s hands was something that had never happened before after the war that founded the Holy Crusaders. In front of Persephone, the great knights’ most reliable sense of danger completely lost their effects. As for the reason as to what caused this, the Holy Crusaders were still in investigation, not having reached a verdict even now.
Only after finding out that Persephone already went missing did Tairon dare launch an assault on the Black Dragonriders. However, the seasoned General Kaplan didn’t give him any opportunity to take advantage of.
Right when the great knights were feeling anxious and frightened, general headquarters suddenly gave the order to raise the alert level to the highest total war state!
Tairon who was in charge of the south was convinced easier, but Stala, the highest commander in charge of the defending the west couldn’t really understand this order. To the Holy Crusaders’ west was a sparsely populated vast mountain range, primitive forest, and lonely snowy plains. It was bitterly cold all year round, the environment extremely nasty. The bitter cold and lack of food turned the millions of square kilometers of vast snowy plains into an uninhabited zone. The Holy Crusaders only established permanent residential areas in this region for these areas’ mineral and pre-battle resources, but due to the tremendous costs of maintaining them, there would be a large amount of disputes each year over whether or not they were worth preserving.
Who would bother attacking these parts? Forget about the fact that there weren’t many people on this side, even if there was some large-scale organization that wanted to launch an unexpected attack here, there was no way their supplies would keep up.
Only a small troop of select ability users had a chance of making it through the snowy plains. However, how many dared to challenge the Holy Crusaders with their five hundred thousand population and several thousand membered army? That really was seeking death. Due to the western defensive line’s practical needs, apart from combat abilities, his other area of specialty was perception, and his danger perception was stronger than that of ordinary great knights. He didn’t believe that anyone would stir up trouble before his eyes.
When night descended once again, Stala read through the best chapters of an olden era fiction by the fireplace just like normal. After finishing a glass of red wine, he then deeply immersed himself in a land of dreams. This night was extremely peaceful, snow silently fluttering about outside the window. His intuition towards danger didn’t display any abnormalities, allowing him to sleep peacefully until daybreak.
However, Stala didn’t know that three people were crossing the snow in this direction, passing by the sides of the stronghold he defended, disappearing into the Land of Rest’s direction.
After the alert level was increased, the Holy Crusaders did manage to catch a few individuals who were trying to stir up restlessness inside, but they were all a few small thieves and criminals, not any valuable foreign intruders. However, the alert level wasn’t lowered, and since the order came from general headquarters’ highest organization, the Sacred Hall, none of the various great knights that guarded the various territories dared doubt this order. They could only proceed based on regulations, raising the number of alert and patrolling personnel to five times the norm.
Thirty kilometers from the Land of Rest was a serene and peaceful little village. Roughly a hundred households were scattered throughout this place, many of them the nearby Beta-3 Alert Fortress soldiers’ families, the other inhabitants also making a living off of providing the Alert Fortress with services. Beta-3 Alert Fortress had close to a hundred soldiers, the stronghold having two long-range mini cannons, four anti-aircraft defense missile launching devices, as well as an advanced radar early warning system; it was packed with firepower. There was a total of four identical Alert Fortresses surrounding the Land of Rest. With such strict defense, even if there were more than ten nuclear missiles attacking simultaneously, they would still be shot down during their flight.
The little village was extremely peaceful under the great snowfall. The villagers were scattered rather far apart, over half of the residents living in their own farms, the distance between each residence several hundred meters to even a kilometer. Only the faint smoke rising from every household displayed a feeling of warmth and comfort. At this time, everyone wanted to stay with their families, drink a cup of tea by the fireplace, or read a few books.
The Holy Crusaders’ citizens’ lifestyles were already not much different from the olden era, the words happy and blessed completely allowed to describe their lifestyles. It was to the extent where many residents of Dragon City didn’t even have such good living conditions.
After observing an ordinary villager residence from both inside and out, Su came to this type of conclusion.
This was a three story house with five bedrooms and as many as seven rooms for other purposes. The living room’s arrangement was warm and cozy. The house’s owner, an old man, lived here with his wife and four children, making a living from farming. Inside the first floor storeroom was enough food to last an entire winter, and there was also a set amount of reserve fuel for the three large-scale agricultural machinery. Moreover, there was quite a bit of dry firewood, enough to fulfill all warming needs. There were enough forests in this region, with no lack of firewood. If this family’s lifestyle was placed in the Blood Parliament, it would definitely exceed ninety percent of ordinary people. This wasn’t to say that the Blood Parliament’s wealth accumulation was inferior to the Holy Crusaders’, in fact, from what Su saw along the way, the Blood Parliament’s level of technology might have already surpassed the Holy Crusaders’ by an entire age, and the tremendous amount of wealth was even more so not something the Holy Crusaders could compare to. However, the Blood Parliament’s technology, resources, and wealth, over 90% of it was concentrated in the hands of the giants, aristocrats, and families’ hands, the ordinary people that made up the majority having less than 10% to divide among themselves. Meanwhile, in this 10%, a large half of it was owned by Black Dragonrider subordinates and ability users under the various powers. Meanwhile, in the Holy Crusaders, the distribution of wealth was much more even, only the great knights’ treatment notably different. The wealth difference between ability users and ordinary people wasn’t all that great. This was a place with faith, so under the support of their beliefs, ability users and ordinary people were equal in many aspects. However, in the Blood Parliament, if things were divided up based on how the ability users’ wished, then these ability users who made up less than 10% of the population would occupy more than 95% of wealth and resources. As for the remaining 5%, it would only be used to maintain the lowest level of consumption for the remaining population’s survival.
Only now did Su more or less understand why the old man from back then told him only the Holy Crusaders had the answer he sought.
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