Chapter 296

Three days ago.

“Are you done with your preparations?”

“Hmm.”

Isla nodded and stood up at Teyo’s words.

Squeak.

Teyo opened the tightly closed doors, and at the same time, about a dozen men outside the door turned their heads.

Count Herreran, Samora Ades, Martin Claudio…

They bowed their heads. As the heads of each clan and rising cavaliers, all of them could be considered a giant of Valvas.

“There you are.”

Count Herreran held out an object. It was a long, azure spear – Thorca, the symbol of Mara Valencia.

Jing!

After waiting for a hundred years, Thorca gave a low hum after reuniting with its true master.

“This way…”

Count Herreran observed the sight with various emotions in his eyes, then spoke politely. Isla equipped Thorca on his back before following behind Count Herreran. Then, everyone else naturally joined the procession.

Isla and the numerous cavaliers silently walked through the sunlight-filled hallway.

“Oohh…”

Suddenly, a faint sound could be heard. It was similar to a tremor in the air.

“Ooohhh…!”

The sound steadily grew louder as the group approached the exit. Two soldiers were guarding the exit, and red drapes was covering the hole. As Isla crossed the hallway and finally neared the drapes, the soldiers pulled apart the covering with rather excited expressions.

Fwoosh!

Isla frowned slightly as the wind and sunlight suddenly filled the hallway.

Then.

“Uwaaaahhhh!!”

A huge roar caused the very air to tremble, and Isla squinted as he looked down from the balcony. He could see clouds, or rather, a sea made of people. Under the bright sun, thousands of people were gathered and staring at one place. They not only completely filled the Herreran Manor, but also the boulevard beyond the wall. At Isla’s appearance, the humongous crowd began to chant at the same time.

“Knight! King! Knight! King! Knight! King!”

Boom! Boom! Boom!

As the numerous people cried out while stomping their feet, even heaven and earth seemed to tremble.

“…..”

It was a rather frenzied, almost maniacal situation, but Isla’s eyes were as calm as a tranquil lake.

Tap. Tap.

He slowly walked forward, then silently observed the crowd. The shouts died down in an instant like magic.

Shuaaaa…

It was already quite hot with the spring sun of Valvas, and a stream of wind weaved through the newly crowned king and his countless admirers. A Knight King had been born after a hundred years. People stared at Isla while pondering what he was going to say, and Isla opened his tightly sealed lips.

“Today, we are setting an expedition for the honor and loyalty of Valvas Cavaliers.”

Everyone was able to hear him even though he had not shouted.

“Uwaaaaahhh!!”

Another storm of shouts burst out. Regardless of whether they were cavaliers or ordinary citizens, everyone shouted for their king, who once again united the land of Valvas.

Kieeeck!

The crowd’s excitement reached its peak when dozens of griffons arrived from behind the manor and landed on the roof and the walls. Like those standing behind the Knight King, the griffons also belonged to different clans. Such a gathering represented the conclusion of the long-running turmoil in Valvas.

It was a grand ending, and it had been achieved by a single man – the new Knight King, Cavalier Elkin Medien Valencia Isla. Count Herreran could not suppress his boiling passion. He forgot his age and shouted loudly.

“Bravo Valvas! Andare Valvas!”

Following his lead, the heads of each clan began to echo his words. Then, the rest of the massive crowd joined in.

“Bravo Valvas!! Andare Valvas!!”

This was the land of knights, the great Valvas. The cavaliers took their first step to take part in the battle that would determine the fate of the South.

***

A day ago.

“According to our intelligence, the size of the Berna rebel army is over 10,000.”

Teyo reported to Isla. They had set off from Valvas leading an army of elites. Their troops consisted of fifty griffons, more than two hundred war horses, and a thousand of the finest cavaliers. Isla, who was riding a blue griffon at the forefront of the troops, maintained his silence.

The clan heads were positioned next to him. After sharing a meaningful gaze with each other, one of the clan heads spoke up.

“As you already know, we have walked independent paths until now. As such, we have different tactics and formations. Wouldn’t you say that it would be ideal to create a unified tactic and deal with the Berna rebels accordingly?”

“I agree as well. We will be able to support Duke Pendragon and the United Southern Troops in Slain Castle more efficiently if we are to use a united method.”

“In addition, when we are truly united as one, everyone, not only the United Southern Army, will come to know that Valvas has finally greeted her true king after a hundred years.”

“…..”

Despite the series of advice, Isla continued his silence.

“My king…”

Feeling a little frustrated, Samora Ades, the head of the Ades Clan, attempted to speak up. At that moment, Isla opened his mouth as well.

“When does a cavalier fight best?”

“What? Well…”

The clan heads shared a gaze with slightly perplexed looks on their faces at the sudden question. After a moment of thought, Martin Claudio stepped up.

“It is when each clan fights with their own formations and tactics. That is why the cavaliers are hired one clan at a time when we are being hired as mercenaries.”

“Then we already have our answer.”

“…..!”

The clan heads became surprised at his answer.

After Isla was established as the new Knight King, the various forces in Valvas had contributed cavaliers to the expedition. The Seven Clans sent as many as hundreds, and the smaller forces sent a few cavaliers.

As such, there was some internal conflict.

As the strongest and largest powers of Valvas, it was only natural for the cavaliers of the Seven Clans to take command of each unit, and members of the minor clans were forced as regular troops, regardless of their skills. Such a set-up caused small and large complaints.

“It doesn’t matter how many there are. Everyone will be moving according to their clans.”

But their king and commander settled things with a few simple words.

***

“I see Slain Castle about two miles away.”

A cavalier reported after returning from a reconnaissance mission. A glimmer appeared in Isla’s eyes for a short moment before disappearing.

“All forces, divide into units.”

“All forces! Divide into units!”

Teyo amplified Isla’s command. The cavalry and infantry began to spread out like waves. More than a thousand troops stood divided on the wide plain.

The winding formation was similar to a giant, messy snake. In the sky, griffons were gathered in groups ranging from two or three to dozens.

“This is a little…”

Martin  Claudio smiled bitterly. He was the head of the Claudio Clan and a griffon rider, and their clan had contributed the greatest number of griffons – 12.

Only the cavalry shuffled into a proper formation that was shaped like a bow. Looking down from the sky, he could not regard the rest of the troops as an army. Nevertheless, he dared not voice his concern to the king, who was riding on the top of a blue griffon in front of him.

Just as the king said yesterday, it was impossible to make a proper army out of numerous, independent clans in one day. All of them had maintained their unique styles for over a hundred years.

“Besides…”

Martin Claudio’s gaze turned to Slain Castle. Black smoke was rising from several places, and an enormous number of troops were gathered around the castle like a flock of ants.

The Berna army was composed of mostly foot troops, and they weren’t gathered into a proper formation. Rather, they appeared to be an improvised force, charging recklessly with trust in their numbers.

“Perhaps this is the right decision…”

A glow lingered in Martin Claudio’s eyes before disappearing.

Valvas Cavaliers were excellent fighters. Every single cavalier had the ability to defeat four or five enemies, even if they were well-trained, elite soldiers.

Moreover, Valvas Cavaliers were the strongest when…

“When we mix in with the enemy and dance with our swords.”

Martin Claudio spoke softly while staring at Isla’s back.

Rumble!

“All units! Forward!”

Isla cried out with a vigorous swing of Thorca.

Boom!

With the drums signalling the advance, horses, griffons, and soldiers began to slowly advance. As they approached the hill, the Valvas army began to pick up pace, and when they finally climbed over the hill, Isla shouted like thunder.

“Carika Valvas!”

“Carika!”

Along with a deafening roar, the Valvas Cavaliers split the winds as they followed behind their king in his glorious charge.

***

“Huh?”

Alberto Berna’s eyes grew wide as if he had been struck in the back of the head with a hammer. He was certain that the newly arrived army belonged to Valvas. The troops were charging towards them like an angry wave, following behind a blue griffon flying at low altitudes. They were Cavaliers of the Valvas Clans.

“H, how could this be!? How could the Valvas Cavaliers come all at once!?”

“Uaaah!”

Alberto Berna and the other nobles and landlords could not come to their senses. All of them were from the South. They were well aware of the circumstances of the Valvas Cavaliers and the clans.

Valvas Cavaliers were strong – so strong that not even the Arangis Duchy could easily make advances into Valvas. However, the cavaliers had been at odds with each other for more than a hundred years, so they had not been concerned when the cavaliers declared their support for the Pendragon Duchy and the United Southern Army.

At most, a couple of clans would participate and send around a hundred cavaliers. They could not spare any more troops, not with the other clans looking for any opportunities to strike. Moreover, it was impossible for a hundred years of dispute to disappear in just a few months’ time. They could not possibly unite and set off from Valvas.

But now, the impossible had become a reality.

“P, pull back! Pull back the troops!”

Alberto Berna screamed frantically with bloodshot eyes.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The masters hurriedly beat the drums.

However, the sound could not be heard by the troops. They were already standing in the middle of a battlefield surrounding the castle, immersed in the deafening sounds of war.

“Uaaaah!”

Alberto Berna became terrified as the troops from Valvas drew closer. Even though their number was small, each one of the Valvas Clans had spread its names throughout the entirety of the South.

Valvas Cavaliers – sometimes they were allies, and other times they were enemies. The cavaliers he had seen in territorial disputes were demon incarnates. He could not forget the sight of a dozen cavaliers jumping into hundreds of enemies on horseback, wielding their spears and swords.

“F, forward! Forward!”

Alberto Berna pushed forward with his horse like a madman.

“Huh?”

When their commander-in-chief charged forward while disregarding his surroundings, the others were thrown into mass confusion. But the nobles and landlords quickly mounted their horses and followed behind him.

“Uaaahhhh!”

As their lords and superiors fled in an unseemly manner, the knights and the soldiers had no choice but to follow. The hundreds of guards had been staying on top of the safe hill, but they ran toward the castle like sheep being chased by wolves.

Behind them, the King of Valvas gave chase on his blue griffon, along with the riders of the Claudio Clan.

Whoosh Rumble!

The wings of the blue griffon and Thorca swept the rear of the escaping soldierㄴ.

Pupupuput!

Dozens of soldiers were thrown into the air while screaming. It was as if a sea of men had been parted with a swing of the legendary spear.

Then, the ensuing griffons of the Claudio Clan crushed the dissipated soldiers.

“Huaahh! Huaahhhh…!”

Kiyaaahk!

The soldiers threw themselves to the ground with fear, and the griffons passed over their heads while letting out a shrieking cry.

“W, we have to…”

The soldiers attempted to stand up immediately to escape, the thought of survival dominating their minds. But as soon as they stood up, they became frozen stiff.

Tututututu!

Hundreds of cavalry had already caught up to them, divided into a random, disorganized mess of a formation.

“Ha!”

The men released their hands from the reins and equipped themselves with a pike from the saddle.

“Uaah!”

The Berna soldiers took on expressions of despair at the sight. They were born and raised in the South, so they were familiar with at least one or two flags of the dozens mounted on the horses. As allies or enemies, they had fought together in the past. All of them had penetrating gazes. They were the Valvas Cavaliers, the demons of the battlefield.

They had arrived to deliver fear.

“Carika! Carika Valvas!”

“Uwaaahh!”

As one united Valvas, the cavaliers had entered the Great War of Slain, which would be recorded as a major piece of history in the South.

“…..!”

A glint appeared in the eyes of the leading King. The Knight King’s mouth became agape, and he shouted loudly when he saw someone fighting fiercely on the gate.

“My lord!”

“…..!”

In a battlefield filled with blood and death, the two men met each other’s gaze in a miraculous moment. Though some may have considered it a short period of time, the separation had been much too long for the two warriors. The knight reunited with his monarch after becoming a king.

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