Chapter 156. A Turtle Carrying a Mountain (7)

After jumping down the wall, Bloody immediately imbued mana into his sword and launched sword aura into the surroundings. The energy slaughtered dozens of demons, clearing a safe spot to land.

As Bloody landed lightly, Mac and Lancelot cut down the crowds in front of the city gate and prevented them from approaching.

"I’m preparing one big shot!" Mac yelled as he nocked a mithril arrow onto his bow and drew the string. Bloody and Lancelot cut down the demons, protecting Mac long enough for him to imbue mana into the arrow. As Mac’s mana accumulated, the arrowhead was filled with blade aura.

"Now!" Mac cried, and Bloody and Lancelot quickly moved out of the way. When Mac released the string, the mithril arrow containing vast amounts of mana created a deafening boom and devoured more than a hundred demons.

Then, Warrant’s gate opened and the Black Water Buffalo Knights rushed out on horseback. Bloody had asked for only those who were confident in their own survival to come out. In response, all the Black Water Buffalo Knights who had come to Warrant as the vanguard charged out of the gate.

Bloody smiled as if he’d expected this and mounted his horse, which had been brought by the captain of the Black Water Buffalo Knights. Mac and Lancelot also mounted horses brought by the Black Water Buffalo Knights.

"Amazing! Are they from the Crow tribe?" A knight riding next to Mac said, impressed.

Mac replied with his unique smile, "Uah, as I thought, I don't have enough mana to do it alone. Do you have any MP potions?"

"MP potions?"

"Ah, I mean the mana recovery agent. The youngest master always calls it an MP potion, so I got into the habit too.”

As Bloody led the charge, he overheard Mac exaggerating. He threw Mac a bottle of mana recovery agent from his space-expansion bag and said, "It was made by William, so you don't have to worry about anything going wrong."

Mac looked up toward Bloody and replied, "I’ll drink it gratefully!” He gulped down the mana recovery agent without hesitation.

Mac was surprised by the speed of the mana recovery, which was on a different level from when he’d been in his hometown of Olympus Forest. He nocked his bow again from atop the galloping horse and exclaimed, "At this rate, I think I can shoot hundreds of arrows like the one before!”

At Mac's amazement, Bloody shouted, "Don't overdo it! If you keep taking these, it'll put a strain on your body!"

"Aigoo, then I'll have to save my body!" Mac giggled.

The Black Water Buffalo Knights around Mac laughed loudly and cut down the surrounding demons. "Come on! Let's have some fun!"

"Waaaa!" Bloody yelled. The Black Water Buffalo Knights roared and cut through the horde of demons.

* * *

As soon as lunch was over, Demuir and I headed to the Asterium adventurer’s guild branch. There were daily meetings in the branch’s conference room.

"Senior, according to the documents, there are far more supplies than troops in Asterium right now. Is it okay to not move the supplies to Warrant?” I asked as I checked the documents. It seemed to me that it would be more efficient to move them to Warrant and shorten the supply time than to keep them in reserve for the troops in Asterium.

Demuir also took a look at the documents and replied, "Ah, you didn't hear the explanation because you just arrived yesterday. These aren’t for Warrant; these are supplies that will be released to the main forces of the imperial army when they come to Asterium. The current situation in the demon territory is that General Bloody is blocking the demons with the vanguard forces and the troops that were already present."

Hmm, a vanguard led by my uncle, you say? If by chance I end up going to Warrant, I should make myself scarce.

"The main unit is a large-scale force composed of the 21st, 23rd, 2nd, and 13th Corps led by General Orphina. Since they need more time to travel here, the supplies arrived here first."

A total of four corps? No wonder there were so many supplies. The more supplies there were, the more work I had to do.

"But if it's the 2nd Corps… That should be the Capital Defense Corps. Is it okay to move that kind of unit?” I asked.

The 2nd Corps was famous for its gathering of elite soldiers, even in the imperial army. There were many excellent officers in it, as they needed to protect the capital.

Demuir shrugged at my question, saying he didn't know either. "Well, the 1st Corps led by the Imperial Guard Division directly under the imperial family is still there, so it shouldn’t matter, right?”

If the 2nd Corps had promising elites, it could be said that the 1st Corps was headed by leaders from various key positions of the imperial army.

"Is that so?"

"For the 2nd Corps, don’t you think they’re just running over here because it's one of the few opportunities for them to obtain results?”

"That's true, too.”

The capital was the safest place in the empire, so what opportunities could they have to build up any kind of records? Just based on their results, a guard division in a tranquil province somewhere would have more.

"Loyalty!" A guard in front of the Asterium adventurer's guild branch came out and saluted Demuir.

Demuir passed by with a nod, saying, "Work hard."

"Yes!" the guard replied loudly.

"You must be a new adventurer," Demuir remarked.

On the adventurer's identification plaque on the guard’s neck, rather than displaying military rank, it had an iron plate so shiny it wouldn’t show a single trace of age. [1]

"Uh, my rank is that of a junior..."

In the imperial army, soldiers were classified as new recruits, junior soldiers, senior soldiers, and sergeants, which was equivalent to the progression from private to sergeant in my previous life. 

Seeing the guard freeze after recognizing the first lieutenant's badge on Demuir's shoulder, it seems it hadn’t been long since he’d gotten his iron plate.

We entered the guild branch and went straight into the conference room. There were some civil servants that I didn’t know already gathered inside, but it seemed they were from the northern part of the country.

In the conference room, Organ, Flam, and Fiona were the only people from headquarters. Demuir and I went over to where they were seated and sat down with them.

"Where are Mr. Roseland and Dano?" I asked.

Fiona answered, "Both of them will be here in a little while. Mr. Roseland will be in charge of this meeting, and Dano will be the scribe.” Then, she took a small case for meeting materials out of her pocket and handed it to me.

"What is this?"

"Open it up."

I opened the case as Fiona told me to. "This is..."

Inside the case, there was a second lieutenant-rank badge, and service ribbons that could be worn on the shoulder.

Flam, who had come to the conference room before me, also had a rank badge and service ribbons on his uniform.

"Originally, we were supposed to have a simple conferment ceremony back at headquarters. But, Flam and Den, you two came straight from your business trip, right? Yesterday, the people at the headquarters considered gathering everyone to have the ceremony, but we thought everyone would need rest more than that."

That was definitely true. I’d been sore and tired from dealing with the stone statues.

I thanked Fiona for her consideration and took the badge and ribbons from the case.

"Oh, I'll put it on you." Fiona took the badge and ribbons from me and pinned them to my uniform.

"Thank you."

"No, it’s nothing."

As soon as Fiona put the rank badge on me, the front door of the conference room opened, and Roseland and Dano came in. At the same time, a bald, muscular man in a white priest’s habit followed behind them.

Standing in front of the conference room, the bald man greeted us with his hands clasped together as if in prayer. "Nice to meet you, brothers and sisters. Some of you know me and some of you don't. So to introduce myself, I am Ruin, who considers himself to be a humble servant of the great God."

Everyone in the conference room applauded at Ruin's introduction. He was a famous priest, and a platinum plate adventurer with the nickname of Pagan Priest.

Most high-ranking adventurers selected a city to settle down in as a base. On the other hand, Ruin, the Pagan Priest, was famous for wandering throughout the empire.

Rumor had it that he was traveling on a monastic pilgrimage; but he would suddenly appear in the east, and suddenly appear in the west, such that the adventurer’s guild often struggled to figure out his location.

After the greeting, Ruin sat next to Dano, the scribe. Roseland stood in front of the conference room and began the meeting.

"This meeting will focus on the plans established yesterday by the Guild Director and the executive management. For those who have questions, we will have a Q&A session after the explanation. First, please look at page three of the meeting material."

The civil servants flipped through the documents in unison.

"Before I begin by explaining these plans, I'd like to explain the current state of the war."

On page three of the conference documents, there was a diagram of observed demon movements in the demon territory.

I was reading the document along with Roseland's explanation, but the situation seemed unusual. Units made up of hundreds of demons at minimum, and as many as 10,000 demons at maximum, were hurriedly moving south.

Most of our troops in the demon territory had already retreated to Warrant.

Some troops stationed in bases deeper in the area hadn’t even been able to properly retrieve their supplies and had to abandon them.

Although it wasn’t to the point of hopelessness, it was a very troublesome situation. However, the troops were defending the front lines well and systematically. Based on the situation, the biggest battlefield would be Warrant. Indeed, Warrant wasn’t called the Last Bastion for nothing.

Even as Roseland finished explaining the situation, the conference room was silent.

Although Asterium was classified as a frontline area, it was a relatively safe supply base. No one here had felt the gravity of the situation until they heard the details just now. Suddenly, the meeting room was filled with tension due to the newfound sense of crisis.

Amid the tension, Roseland continued to flip through the meeting materials and calmly talked about the plans. “These are our plans for the future. When the main unit led by General Orphina arrives at Asterium, we will join the main unit and go to Warrant."

The conference room, which had been dead silent, erupted with noise at Roseland's declaration.

All the people here were basically noncombatants. Although they received simple military training periodically, they weren’t soldiers. They were confused upon hearing they were supposed to head to the biggest battlefield.

Only those from the headquarters and the Warrant branch understood the situation.

Roseland spoke calmly, overpowering the noisy conference room with a cold look. "This is a command from our superiors. Does anyone have any questions?"

The civil servants were silent, as his gaze implied questions wouldn’t be permitted.

Sitting next to Dano, Ruin applauded as a heavy silence weighed down the meeting room. The sound of clapping rang out like thunder and drew attention to him.

"This is great! Brothers and sisters!" Ruin got up and shouted with open arms. "Having the courage to risk your lives defending the country! This priest is deeply moved!"

No, I figured this reaction was from helplessness, because it was a command.

For a moment, I thought it was an act to suppress dissatisfaction, but Ruin had tears around his eyes as if he truly felt moved. That pure expression definitely came from deep inside his heart.

Everyone looked at Ruin with flustered expressions, but he put his hands together as if in prayer. "I have decided to offer my life to protect all of you, who are full of righteousness! Ohhh, my God!"

When the platinum plate adventurer said he would protect the civil servants, the rigid atmosphere began to loosen up.

Ruin then began to elicit responses from the frozen civil servants, as if he were a religious officer for new recruits, like those from my previous life. His divine power spread in all directions, heightening the mood and creating colorful lights with divine magic.

The tension began to lift little by little thanks to Ruin's inspiring gesture, which was like the second coming of Buddha Night. [2]

Standing in front of the conference room, which had half turned into a festival, Roseland smiled at the relaxed atmosphere and said, "It'll be two days before the main unit arrives. Everyone, please do your best in your positions until then."

Anyway, every platinum plate adventurer seemed to be some kind of eccentric.

1. As a reminder, the ranks for adventurers are displayed through wood, iron, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plates in ascending order of rank.

2. Buddha Night was apparently a trendy religious event back in 2008-2009.

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