Chapter 1. Unprecedented Crisis

2030 A.D.

The great continent of Pangaea was never peaceful because of “Ragnarok”, the war for supremacy over the continent.

The war that started three years after the “Great Summoning” didn’t slow even after seven years. Rather, it intensified as time passed. This was because of the balance of power structure in the continent.  

Ragnarok had resulted in the creation of three large powers.

The first was the Ishtar Army, centered around the strong military might of their three Overlord leaders, one of whom was Kang Chul-In.

The second was the Gulveig Union, which was based on its foundation in strong economic power and ability to mass-produce.

And finally, there was the Baldur Alliance, which was evaluated to be the weakest of the three alliances, albeit the fact that the Alliance had five Overlords.

These three power groups, depending on the situation, allied or battled with one another as if they were in China’s Warring States period.  

“Sigh… If things go on like this, it will never end,” mumbled a man, sitting on a throne carved from the skull of a golden dragon as he looked down at the current state of Ragnarok and the Chinese chess board with marked borders.

This man was the “Lord Hunter” Kang Chul-In. He was said to possess the strongest military might of the Ten Overlords and also the vast and great territory of Valhalla.

“I want to crush them all at once… but we are disadvantaged in a war of attrition. How I wish we could just destroy all of them…”

Kang Chul-In’s gaze lingered on the Gulveig Union that was marked with a white cross on the board.

That’s right.

In Kang Chul-In’s quest to take over the entire Pangaea continent, the Gulveig union was the largest obstacle.

The Gulveig Union compensated for its weaker military force with its great economic power and production abilities, which placed it in a favorable position in Ragnarok. At this rate, there was a high possibility that as Ragnarok progressed, the Gulveig Union would manage to take overall control. In order to tip the balance in the power struggle among the three Powers, it was important to disrupt Gulveig’s economic power.

But if Ishtar participated in a war of attrition against the Gulveig Union, the one to lose would definitely be them.

“I would have set Gulveig to flames if not for these cockroaches!” exclaimed Kang Chul-In, looking at the area marked as the Baldur Alliance.

The Baldur Alliance was weak and was something he could destroy at any time if he truly wished to.

Gulveig could also destroy the Baldur Alliance at any time.

The only reason the Baldur Alliance was able to survive this long was that they maintained a neutral stance between the two great powers and took whatever benefits they could while watching them fight. They were a detestable bunch of people.

In the eyes of Kang Chul-In, the behavior of the Baldur Alliance that meticulously stood between the two Great Powers and took benefits without any contributions or losses was truly shameful. However, he couldn’t just rebuff the Baldur Alliance out of anger.

If Kang Chul-In was to hit the Baldurs, those detestable people would just side with the Gulveig Union and wage a war of two against one.

Of course, these conditions were not problematic for Kang Chul-In alone.

Both the Gulveig and Baldur camps had the same problems.

In these sorts of wars, the outcome would be the same. The only difference being which power made the first move. Whichever choice and move was made, the one who moved first would be at a disadvantage.

“Urg! If only I had brought Lee Gong-Myung under me, no, even killed him, things would not have been this problematic,” growled Kang Chul-In, sitting imposingly on his throne.

Lee Gong-Myung.

A Chinese immigrant from Busan, he was neither a Lord nor an Overlord, but rather just an insignificant dimension traveler.

But his role in the Ragnarok created the current three-way battle. Lee Gong-Myung was an excellent strategist who served faithfully under Alex Rothschild, leader of the Baldur Alliance. Lee Gong-Myung was so intelligent that travelers of the Eastern part of Eurasia called him the rebirth of Zhuge Liang, a Chinese strategist well-known for his achievements and success in battle strategy, and praised him greatly.

“I should have killed him or had him serve under me then.”

Kang Chul-In, who regretted very little in his life, truly regretted losing Lee Gong-Myung.

If only he could go back in time, if he had been wiser then, he could have recruited Lee Gong-Myung and unified Pangaea, possibly becoming the Greatest of the Great Powers and becoming the Emperor of Pangaea.

No, not possibly. More like very likely.

Kang Chul-In, who was skilled in martial arts and was a great leader, would have been able to defeat the Gulveig and the Baldur easily with the help of Lee Gong-Myung’s strategies.

“If even at least Kwak-Jung had been working under me, the situation would have been very different. What a pity. You died of illness because you served under such an incompetent leader.”

Kwak Jung served under a different Overlord but died of lung cancer during the early years of the war in 2024. He had died early at 38 years of age. If Kwak Jung had been Kang Chul-In’s subordinate, he would have cured the former’s lung cancer, no matter what stage, and worked Kwak Jung until he died from overwork… But there was no use of regretting something that had already happened.

“Everything has already passed… What useless regrets I have.” Kang Chul-In shook his head, swallowing his bitterness.

There was no point in wanting what he could not have.

Of the two strategists that he desired, one belonged to and served faithfully under his rival, Alex Rothschild, and the other had died before he could even attempt to recruit him.

Regretting now would not change anything.

It was at that moment.

As he was wallowing his regrets bitterly, Alfred, the NPC vampire butler under Kang Chul-In burst into the room and bowed down before him.

“Master!”

“What is it, Alfred?” Kang Chul-In asked with a slight scowl.

Alfred, who had always maintained a serious and calm disposition typical of vampires, had suddenly burst into the room and stumbled before him.

“Something big has happened!”

“Something big?”

“T-this is information from the scout who just returned to report!”

“Speak calmly. I will not be surprised.”

“T-the thing is…”

Alfred, as if he was afraid of the words that were about to be said, took a large breath in and put a hand on his chest. As if that was not enough, he clenched his two fists, closed his eyes softly, and opened his mouth.

What is with him today?

Kang Chul-In, seeing Alfred in such a state, was puzzled, wondering what could fluster him so. Had the sky fallen?

Or was there an impending danger in the great land of Valhalla?

“C-currently… around 50 km from the southwest… the allied troops of the Gulveig and Baldur are coming.”

Kang Chul-In had said he wouldn’t be surprised, but the report that Alfred brought was surprising indeed.

The fact that Gulveig and Baldur had joined hands was something that he wouldn’t have even dreamt of.

Is that… even possible? Our Valhalla is in the innermost region of the Ishtar Army. Is it possible that… BETRAYAL? Who?

Kang Chul-In, instead of being surprised, remained cool-headed and worked to find the solution to the situation. In Ishtar, there were no outstanding strategists, and he, Kang Chul-In, was the smartest of them all.

Since the event had already occurred, it wouldn’t be very hard to find out the source and reason for it.

Southwest… If they are approaching from the Southwest… Aleister! It’s that damned necromancer bastard!

Aleister’s territory was located exactly southwest of Valhalla. The only possibilities were that he had either opened up his territory or joined them entirely.

“Alfred.” After thinking it through, Kang Chul called his butler.

“Yes, master.”

“Their numbers?”

“Well… They have an entire territory moving along with them, and the number of their soldiers isn’t small either. .”

“Territory? It’s that despicable Rothschild’s ‘Cyamodus’, yes?”

“Yes, master. It’s the flying fortress, Cyamodus.”

“They got us.”

Cyamodus, the territory of Alex Rothschild, was a mobile fortress built on the back of a giant monster that resembled a tortoise. This meant that his rival’s entire headquarters had come right to Valhalla.

Mobile fortresses… how annoying. Ideal for running away like a rat as well.

Valhalla, the home of Kang Chul-In, was a little peculiar due to its location underground, but it was not as unique as the mobile fortress of Alex Rothschild. It was a question of the ability to move headquarters. By nature, the mobile fortress would have more varied and more numerous options in strategy compared to a stationary base.

“What about Hecate? Connect me to her.”

Hecate was an Overlord skilled in magic and part of the Ishtar Army. For Kang Chul-In, who had numerous enemies, she was the only Overlord he could trust.

“T-the thing is…”

“Unable to communicate?”

“Yes, master. In my humble opinion, they should have been attacked first.”

“Stop. There is no need to hear any more.”

Kang Chul-In stopped Alfred mid-sentence.

And in his head, the scattered pieces of the puzzle fit together to explain this sudden catastrophe.

The Gulveig Union and Baldur Alliance. They joined hands first. They turned Aleister against us and will use divide and conquer against Hecate and I. This would have been highly disadvantageous to the Baldur… Is this strategy created by Lee Gong-Myung too? As expected. What a damned smartass.

The betrayal of our forces… Unable to communicate with Hecate… The alliance of the enemies. It’s our loss. A defeat.

Kang Chul-In bit his lower lip and accepted this dark and hopeless situation.

No, he had to.

Even with his strength and even with the military capabilities of Valhalla, there was no way out of this current situation. He did not want to accept it, but the Overlord Kang Chul-In and the territory of Valhalla as of today looked as if it would be erased from Ragnarok.

However, Kang Chul-In did not despair.

Instead of raging and cowering, he took his time to instead think about what caused his defeat.

Even while things around him turned into absolute chaos.

Why? Because he still had a trump card remaining.

A final trump card…

 

 

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