Chapter 202: A Trick (2)

“What’s the damage?”

Milton immediately summoned his officers to check on the damage of his army.

“There are 1,500 casualties and 2,000 injuries, sir. Of those injured, there are about 500 that are severely injured.”

‘The total damage is 2,000?’

Milton frowned at the unexpectedly high damage.

“There’s more damage than yesterday.”

“It can’t be helped, sir. The battle itself was harder than yesterday because the enemies were sticking close to each other.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, sir. They fought so desperately that even five Southern Knights died.”

“The knights? Regular soldiers killed them?”

“Yes, sir. From what I heard, dozens of soldiers grabbed onto a knight and dragged him down with them as they fell off the wall.”

“Crazy bastards…”

Milton bit his lower lip. 

As a Master, no matter how stubbornly soldiers attacked him, Milton just had to cut them down to stop them. However, the Southern Knights who had commanded and fought with the Lester Kingdom’s soldiers on the wall clearly experienced the evil depths of the Republican soldiers. Seeing the Republican soldiers disregarding their lives and bodily throwing themselves into the jaws of death was enough to be disgusting. 

Seeing Milton’s expression getting worse, one of his officers spoke up.

“But sir, the Republicans also suffered. The battle was the same as yesterday, their damages must have increased as well, sir.”

“That’s right, sir. If the war continues like this, we’ll definitely win.”

Milton nodded at his officers’ words.

“I think so too.”

It was cruel, but war was a game of numbers. Which side had more deaths? That was what determined who won or lost. Even if a lot of their own men had died, as long as more enemies were killed, they would be successful. A situation in which a strategy led to their own troops hardly dying and only the enemy being destroyed was rare and it was debatable whether it would even happen once out of a hundred times. Usually, a war involved many casualties on both sides.

In that sense, the Lester Kingdom was clearly winning the war right now. They were winning, but…

‘There’s no way it would continue like this. Siegfried will definitely play a trick.’

The reason Milton wasn’t looking too happy was because of his opponent. If Milton considered Siegfried in terms of military geniuses on Earth, then Siegfried was comparable to Napoleon or Hannibal. Would someone like that really use up his troops so carelessly and meaninglessly? Milton didn’t think so.

‘What the hell are you doing, Siegfried?’

***

Siegfried summoned Eliza to his barracks and barred everyone else from entering. A Commander-in-Chief calling over a beautiful woman to his barracks to be alone with her, it was the perfect situation to be misunderstood. But, since the Ghosts were closely guarding the surrounding area, Siegfried avoided being misunderstood.

He got directly to the point

“How is it going?”

“Not bad. I think it’ll be alright to increase the ratio a bit more.”

“It can’t be too obvious.”

“A slight bit of change can’t be helped. And…”

Eliza paused for a bit before continuing.

“If we completely destroyed all the enemies we’re dealing with, then we won’t have to worry about rumors, would we?”

Eliza’s words were a bit drastic, but she wasn’t wrong.

“Fine. I’ll leave that part to you. If you can show me definite results, I’ll increase my support even more.”

Eliza gave him a bright smile.

“I’ll do my best.”

As soon as she left, Siegfried summoned Jake.

“Jake, I’ll explain tomorrow’s operation to you.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Tomorrow, you and the rest of the Ghosts will…”

Siegfried explained the complicated plan to Jake. It hadn’t been empty words when he told his officers that they would capture Meichi Castle within three days.

‘Tomorrow, Meichi Castle will fall. And I will definitely get Milton Forrest’s head.’

Siegfried decided to finish it tomorrow.

***

The third day.

Depending on the battle, a siege could, and was expected to, last several months. So for a siege to last three days wasn’t long at all. But oddly enough, the soldiers were extremely exhausted.

“Damn. Are they starting again?”

“Unpleasant little f*ckers…”

“Did they come back to life because they couldn’t fight in a war in their last life? Damn Republican dogs.”

Even though they were winning, the Lester Kingdom’s soldiers were beginning to become hostile to the idea of fighting. That’s how exhausted they were.

The Lester Kingdom soldiers were the ones being besieged, not the ones attacking, and yet, for them to be this tired showed exactly how intense the siege was. It was only the third day, but it seemed as if they had been fighting with all their strength for several months. If the ones being besieged were this tired, then the ones attacked had to be much more tired. That would be normal. But…

Waaaaahh!!”

“Charge! Charge!”

“Brothers! Let us meet in paradise!”

The Republican soldiers charged forwards as if they didn’t know what exhaustion was.

“Those crazy…”

The Southern Knights sighed as they looked at the Republican soldiers.

In the past, a Strabus Kingdom’s nobleman had said something while he fought against the Republicans: [The Republic’s greatest weapon is the people’s blind faith in their ideology.]

When the Republic had been founded, the leaders had thoroughly instilled Republicanism into all the people. As a result, when on the battlefield, every single Republican soldier often fought desperately without fearing death. They believed that regardless of the outcome of the battle, as long as they killed one more enemy, then even if they themselves died, it would still lead to paradise in the future. It was to the point that it wasn’t just an ideology of a country, but became blind faith that reached the level of a religion.

From the standpoint of the Republican’s opponents, it was a real headache.

‘Guess it can’t be helped, they’ve always been like that. There’s nothing else to do but to respond to them carefully and calmly.’

The Lester Kingdom’s knights encouraged the soldiers and steadfastly lead them to fight against the Republican’s siege.

“Fire!”

When the enemies entered their range, the composite bow archers began to attack.

 Even as they rushed forward fearlessly, the Republican soldiers continued to maintain their closely interlocked shields. Shielded from the downpour of arrows, the Republican soldiers managed to reach the foot of the castle walls and leaned the siege ladder against the walls. 

Bang!

“Charge!”

Waaaaaahh!!”

“Long live the Republic!”

The Southern Knights gritted their teeth as they watched the Republican soldiers fiercely rushing in and climbing the ladders. 

“It’s starting again.”

“Archers, retreat to the back. Spearmen, keep the enemies coming up in check… huh?”

The knight, who had been steadily giving out orders, was shocked. The siege ladders had just been placed against the walls, but the Republicans had already climbed up onto the walls.

“F*ck!”

He gritted his teeth and ran towards the walls, cutting down the Republican soldiers in his path.

Slash!

With a single strike, the Republican’s chest was sliced.

The knight shouted out loud, “Spearmen, quickly! Don’t let the enemy come up… huh?”

He could no longer speak. The Republican soldier that he had previously cut down with his sword was running towards him covered in blood.

‘What the…’

Startled, the knight took a step back. At that moment, the enemy soldier roared and continued to run towards him.

“Guuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

It was a noise closer to the cry of a beast rather than a human. When such a person rushed towards him, the knight kicked him.

Smack!

Kicked in the chest, the soldier staggered back and the knight immediately swung his sword.

“Go die!”

His sword cleanly cut through the soldier, but…

G… Guuuuuuu…”

Even with his intestines pouring out of his body, the soldier continued trying to attack the knight. The Republican soldier didn’t look normal. His eyes were out of focus and he continued to make strange noises. No. Forget discussing abnormalities, he didn’t even seem like a human.

“A… Ahhhhhhh!”

In the end, the knight couldn’t overcome his horror at this strange sight and could only swing his sword screaming. How could he not be scared? The enemy was running crazily towards him with his chest cut open and his intestines dragging behind him. This wasn’t something that was possible.

“Die! Die! Go die, you freak!”

The knight swung his sword, again and again, to brutally hack at his enemy. It wasn’t the neat swordsmanship of a carefully trained knight, it was more like the swordsmanship of a terrified man. In the end, his wild attacks stopped the enemy.

“Huff… huff… huff…”

It wasn’t that his stamina was lacking, but the knight had been crushed by fear. But there was something he didn’t know.

“Guuuuuuuuuu!!”

“Kyaaaaaaaah!!”

The horror had just begun.

***

“What the hell is this?!”

Milton bellowed as he blew the Republican soldiers away.

CLANG!

“Kaaaaaa…”

“Guuuu…”

Dozens of soldiers were blown away by the Aura Blade, but only the few whose heads were smashed were silenced. Those who had been blown away staggered back up and attacked Milton again. Their limbs were blown off and they had injuries all over their bodies, but they didn’t care. Seeing that, even Milton was horror-stricken.

“F*ck… Isn’t this a zombie?”

Milton clenched his jaw. 

Since yesterday, he had been hearing reports that the Republican soldiers had been acting oddly. Despite having suffered a lot of damage on the first day, they had charged forward even more viciously than before, leading to a lot of damage to his own troops. At that time, Milton had just thought that the Republicans’ morale was high. But now that he was here, he realized that things had been getting strange since then.

“Siegfried, you motherf*cker! What’d you do to your men?!”

Milton shouted in anger as he cut down the Republican soldiers. If he, as a Master, didn’t move quickly, then this situation would be impossible to reverse.

***

“How is it? Is this a satisfactory result?”

Eliza gave Siegfried a bewitching smile.

Siegfried spoke as he saw her seemingly being extremely proud of her achievements.

“It’s certainly effective.”

“Hooo… Of course. Whose work do you think it is?”

“But it’s too obvious. It’ll be difficult to use this trick multiple times.”

“Tsk. That’s a pity.”

Eliza let out a deep sigh as if she thought it was really regretful.

“But think about it carefully. Wouldn’t it be a pity if you didn’t use something this effective?”

“......”

Siegfried didn’t respond. But seeing how he usually spoke his thoughts, the fact that he stayed silent was an affirmation of sorts.

‘It definitely is amazing. I didn’t think it’d be like this.’

At Siegfried’s order, Eliza had done something to the Republican soldiers. She had fed them a potion similar to the elixir used by the Ghosts to strengthen themselves.

The principle behind the potion was the same. It had been developed by Eliza to consume huge amounts of energy in order to exert much greater power than normal. But, this potion was more dangerous.

For the Ghost Force, they had taken a diluted form of the elixir for a long time and had gone through adaptation training first. Usually, about two or three out of ten would either die or be eliminated. Even after finishing the adaptation training, there would be three or four who died because they couldn’t handle the non-diluted form of the elixir. In the end, only three to five out of ten would survive the training to become a member of the Ghost Force.

That’s how dangerous the elixir was. Even amongst the Ghost members, there were often cases where they would die after taking the elixir.

After a lot of improvements, the elixir was a lot more stable and safer, but even still, one out of thirty people would die from its side effects. And now, the current potion taken by the soldiers was something much more dangerous than the elixir used by the Ghosts.

It was a failed potion made in the process of developing the elixir. 

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