Inside a certain chamber inside the Izuna Royal Palace, Anais was facing a man bound to a chair who was groaning in pain.
“Were you lusting after me? Did you want to tear apart my clothes and whip me every night like you did to the maids in your mansion?”
The man was Count Ethan's son Turner.
After the rebellion in the Rhine Kingdom was suppressed, he had been kidnapped by the Golden Rose Society and brought to this location.
“It’s, it’s a misunderstanding, Anais. I just...”
“Melphis told me everything about your perverted fetishes and hobbies.”
Turner could be called a psychopath. He did not sympathize with the feelings of others. Rather, he enjoyed abusing them. Anais had heard rumors and knew of this fact for a long time.
“You are special to me, so I won't treat you carelessly... .”
“I guess you still haven't gotten rid of your delusions. You’re just a slave to sex...”
Anais’ wrath against Turner was justified. Due to her father Count Ludwig, she was about to be wed to this man.
So, one of the reasons Anais offered her chastity to Melphis was to gain protection against Turner.
Of course, the current situation was the opposite of what it was in the past.
“Don't do this, Anais. We have to work together to regain our fathers' lands.”
"I don’t know… I don’t think you’ll be very helpful.”
It was all thanks to the Golden Rose Society that she was able to come this far.
They wanted to take control of the Rhine kingdom behind the scenes and needed Turner and Anais to carry out the plan.
Still, the reason Turner was trapped was because he could potentially harm Anais.
“Let me sign a contract with the demons. Then I will definitely be useful to you.”
"No. Then it will get harder to control you.”
Since he was a psychopath, Turner lacked self-control.
Currently, Anais was the only one to have signed a contract with Priscilla, as he could create trouble and disrupt their plans.
As Anais looked down upon Turner, a young man's voice resounded behind her.
“You two still have a bad relationship.”
Anais's gaze immediately turned towards Aleister. He was the head of the Golden Rose Society and the Witch Cult.
He embodied fear itself.
“Now, how about reconciling with each other? You will have to travel together soon enough.”
“Is the Rhine King already at Marquis Nelson’s territory?”
“Since the armed provocations of the Dane Kingdom’s army got more frequent, it seems like he came out for an inspection. Because of that, he seems to have noticed our plans to some extent.
Aleister knew about everything happening on the Eeth continent as if he were simply looking down at his palm.
His information network was greatly organized and maintained with strict security.
Anais also knew of this fact, and nodded at his words.
“I believe that I must go to Erutonia with the Witch Cult, correct? We will take over the lands while the Rhine King is occupied in the Nelson march.”
“Yes, the plan will go ahead as scheduled, no matter what the enemy does.”
Aleister was on his way back from the meeting with King Philip II, the ruler of the Izuna Kingdom.
He was Joanna's father, the regent who was governing Blackburn on behalf of Woohyuk during his absence.
Therefore, if he sent a message to threaten her, Joanna would have no other choice but to accept Aleister's demands.
Their plan was flawless and they would easily obtain Blackburn, the impregnable fortress.
Once the Rhine Kingdom were to fall into great chaos, they would also take over other key cities and locations in turn, using methods similar to the one described earlier.
“I want to see the RHine King fall. If possible, I want to see his demise in person.”
“I will at least tell you the entire story after it happens.”
Aleister looked at her with a meaningful smile.
It would prove to be difficult to kill Woohyuk, the one who had defeated the Witch of Envy and thwarted many of his past schemes.
Regardless of the means, Aleister was willing to brutalize and slaughter all those he cherished.
'This is all in Lady Lilith's name!'
Salvation could only be achieved through destruction.
Asura was an heretical existence that interfered with this grand mission.
In truth, Lilith had never said this, but according to the Gospel it was the case.
“We shouldn’t be wasting time like this. Get ready to depart.”
Aleister gathered his hands and began his prayer to convey his appreciation.
Eventually, the sound of ropes being cut echoed and Turner was released from his restraints.
“Oh, you need to do a few things before leaving.”
Aleister approached the rebellious Turner and pressed his index finger on the psychopath’s forehead.
Soon enough, Turner's eyes were dyed with mad blood.
[Hong Yuri, report the situation in the Lydia kingdom.]
[The movement of the Witch Cult is suspicious. I think they’re plotting something.]
[Be careful not to arouse suspicion yourself as much as possible. The Golden Rose Society may be lurking somewhere.]
[Yes, don't worry. I'm very good at acting.]
Hong Yuri was active in the Lydia Kingdom and was constantly monitoring the behavior of Woohyuk’s enemies.
However, on the surface level, she had absolutely no connection with Woohyuk, so nobody had noticed her activities.
While Woo-hyuk was having a conversation with her, Leifina ran to him and reported.
“My Lord, all the feudal rulers who were convocated have arrived.”
"Understood. Let's go now.”
Their current location is Sirien, the northern province of the Nelson march.
Woohyuk left the Northeast Guard Camp for a while and was scanning his surroundings.
“But why did you summon a man named Sieg instead of Countess Tinia? He is just an assistant of the lord.”
“Sieg is also one of my vassals.”
To protect Tinia and Silvia, Sieg had signed a contract with Woohyuk.
Therefore, Woohyuk couldn’t mobilize the sisters in such a dangerous battle.
Moreover, someone had to remain within the Ethan county, so he didn’t think of their absence as a pity.
Once he returned to the northeastern guard camp, the army of the lords were camped and were waiting for him.
“Hihi~ Your Majesty! I'm here!”
Aris, who was riding on a white horse, swung her red hair back and joyously greeted Woohyuk.
She happily handed the position of the Ethan county’s feudal lord over to Tinia and joined Woohyuk for his adventures.
Governing some lands in the lord’s estate, sitting silently on a chair didn’t fit with her personality.
“How is Choi Kayoon doing?”
“Not too bad. She still detests men as much as before.”
Choi Kayoon was given the title of baroness and left for her estate in the Floren region.
Woohyuk bursted out in laughter when he heard that she kept tearing up all the letters from the nobles who were proposing to her.
“I’m worried that she’ll only raise female monsters.”
“Fortunately enough, she isn’t doing that. Last time I saw her, she was already taming a male orc, though she was using quite the ruthless method...”
The image of Choi Kayoon wielding a whip while swearing at orcs drew in Woohyuk’s mind.
He stroked Aris' hair and headed towards Sieg.
“I didn't know we would be reunited this quickly, My Lord.”
“Is Tinia still angry against me?”
“I worry that she will live her entire life and die as a virgin… My Lord, since the topic has come up, I would be so grateful if you could share the bed with her for at least a single night...'
“I’ll act as if I didn't hear that.”
He was a lot more obsessed about this subject than Woohyuk had expected.
Leaving Sieg behind, who couldn’t hide his disappointment, Woohyuk greeted the other lords one after another.
There were a total of three of them.
Including Aris and Sieg, he had summoned 5 lords.
“I have called you here because the Rhine Kingdom is currently in great danger.”
After roughly identifying the number of people in the camp, Woohyuk stepped forward and explained the purpose of his summoning.
“The demons, who have returned after a long time, are plotting a conspiracy. They have taken control of the Corcas Mountains. If we show them the slightest opening, even for an instant, they will come down and slaughter the people of the kingdom.”
“Um, Your Majesty, if that is the case, shouldn’t we order the other lords to gather as well?”
Count Collins of the Ashton region asked with caution. The two lords next to him nodded in agreement.
“The demons are a cunning race. I'll try to create confusion amongst them as much as possible by disturbing their front and rear at the same time.”
“Do you intend to use the kingdom’s army as your main force?”
“Commander Maximus of the 3rd Corps is already with us.”
The 5th Corps’ Commander Gaius had remained within Blackburn.
The newly inaugurated Commander Russell of the 1st Corps, along with the Eastern Guard Camp, were to defend Trevis, the central region of the Nelson march.
The other two were stationed in Arpen and Erutonia respectively, to monitor and protect the cities in case a group of assailants of impure intentions were to attack them.
Looking at the deployment of troops alone, the center of gravity and importance was greater in the rear regions.
However, since Aris and Sieg and other talented vassals were with Woohyuk on the frontlines, the power in the front was more than sufficient.
‘Once we join up with the Spiritual Society, we can begin the subjugation of the Corcas Mountains.’
If Aris were to face the 72nd-rank Demon King Dantalion and the Spiritual Society were to hold back the Witch of Sloth Priscilla, Woo-hyuk would only have to deal with the 58th-rank Demon King Amii.
Seig and Leifina could take care of all small mobs.
After raising the morale of the soldiers with an encouraging speech, Woohyuk used the Messenger's Wings to observe Gwak Seyoung’s vision.
‘He entered the secret passage, just as I expected.’
There were many hidden caves in the Corcas Mountains, perfect locations for Priscilla to hide.
If he could confirm her whereabouts, a more specific and accurate operation could be carried out.
While Woo-hyuk was pulling out a map of Sirien, The 3rd Corps’ Commander Maximus and Northeastern Guard’ Commander Aiden ran to him on horseback.
“Your Majesty, we have received a report that an army of monsters are descending the Corcas Mountains.”
“According to the direction of their movement, they must be planning to attack and loot civilian houses in the area.”
While they were facing him directly, the two couldn't recognize Woohyuk at all. Back when he had met them, Woohyuk was wearing the Jester’s Mask to hide his true appearance.
“It's quite far away. I will take the cavalry with me.”
Woohyuk spoke as he pulled his reins once Maximus' detailed report was over.
Immediately, Leifina, who was next to him, tilted her head.
“Wouldn’t it be too dangerous? You may get attacked instead if you take such a little number of soldiers with you...”
“If they do so, I will welcome them with open arms.”
Other than the soldiers he would take with him, Woohyuk also had an army of undeads hidden within his shadows.
'At the very least, we won’t be overwhelmingly inferior in terms of numbers.'
And even if they performed a general offensive in the current camp, Woohyuk had the confidence that they would hold on until he returned to help.
Sieg alone could face over 10,000 troops. Aris could face three times that number, based on the abilities she had managed to regain until today.
In addition, the leadership of other elite undeads and the size of their army was equal to the total size of the Rhine Kingdom’s army.
Therefore, if they attacked confidently based on the numbers alone, they would be on the disadvantage since more undeads could be summoned on the battlefield with the countless littered corpses.
‘We might be pushed back a little on flatlands, but it will be worthwhile.'
Unlike the Corcas Mountains where the slopes were steep, battles on the plains had no particular advantage or disadvantage to either teams.
Therefore, if they could fully utilize their powers, Sieg and Leifina would be more than enough to keep Priscilla in check.
While there were obviously some risks, it was well worth the try.
Woohyuk gleamed as his horse galloped, leading the temporarily reorganized cavalry.Previous Chapter Next Chapter