Chapter 228 – Start of the War
“My King, the Darklings have crossed over the border and are on their way to Selior city. Our scouts report an estimated 700,000 troops or even over a million.”
A middle-aged man in heavy armor stated casually while ripping off a chunk of meat from the table.
Within a sizeable jovial hall, numerous armored men were laughing, drinking ale and making a ruckus. It seemed that they were celebrating a particularly important occasion. All the men had pieces of fur from various beasts covering over their armor, a stark contrast to the armor made in Selior city. The north was much colder and had harsher winters than down south, so the warriors had to adapt.
“It doesn’t concern us. The Darklings will never be able to infiltrate our land through the natural mountain barrier, and if they do come through the valley, we can easily crush them. Their General is smart and will not risk it when Selior city is right in front of him. Forget about this nonsense, Bijorn, and make a toast about my new-born son!”
The King chuckled heartily, waving his mug of ale in the air. Unlike a conventional ruler, King Yohan sat on the same table with his men and treated them as his close friends. Even his subjects did not put airs in front of him, as they knew their King disliked the pompous customs of their noble neighbors.
“Don’t you think we should help them, my Lord? We might have our differences, but they’re still our human brothers and sisters. We need to stand united against the Darklings.”
An old man sitting next to King Yohan intervened, stroking his bushy grey beard.
“Gah! Why are you nagging me like a bunch of chickens? What has that selfish and arrogant blonde King done for us? He sits on his throne all day, ignores the well-being of his poor citizens and kisses up to his fellow nobles just so that he can keep his power. Ah, what did he call them? The Tower Lords! And you want me to risk the lives of my men and soldiers for this sack of shit?”
Yohan slammed his mug down and yelled at the men on his table. With a dark-brown hair and beard, the northern King was dressed in simple warrior garbs and blackish medium armor. The party continued on the other tables as the King’s voice was drowned amongst the excessive noise inside the hall.
King Yohan was a what they called a Warrior-King, a person who became King not because of his blood or heritage, but his overwhelming strength. The northern kingdom of Jaheal did not have a royal family or court. Each generation of Kings were selected in a tournament where warriors fought against each other to determine the strongest warrior.
As such, the people respected and followed Yohan not due to his status, but his strength.
“Our warriors are not afraid of death!”
A younger man on the table stood up and pounded his chest with his fist in a show of pride.
“Shut up and sit down, Melror.”
The man next to the youngster elbowed the lad in the stomach and forced him down to the chair.
“Ughh, I’m not wearing any armor, Cali…”
The young man groaned, doubling over the chair.
“I know, that’s why I hit you there.”
Cali laughed while patting the lad on the back and swigging down a mouthful of ale.
“We’re not doing this for Selior city, my King. We’re doing it to protect our land from the invaders. We all know the Immortal monster that stands behind the Darkling army, what if he sets his eyes on us after conquering the rest of the cities in this area? Who will be left to send us aid?”
The old man said in a calm and collected manner. He knew Yohan had a short temper, but he wasn’t an evil man. He cared for his people dutifully, and it was one of the reasons why all the men in the hall and his soldiers would gladly out down their lives for him.
“I thought bastards like him couldn’t cause trouble in the mortal realm?”
Yohan raised his eyebrow, his body tense at the mention of the Immortal being. Everyone in Jaheal knew who the master of the Darklings was, and the rumors floating around him.
“Our Ancestors sent us a message that the conflict in the Divine Realm is getting worse and worse. The other Immortals are busy, and that gives the Darklings’ Master free reign in the Mortal Realm.”
“How many men are willing to fight?”
Yohan frowned at the news and pushed aside his mug.
“We have 200,000 men ready to march at a moment’s notice. The others are guarding our northern border at sea.”
The old man replied, a twinkle in his eye. The rest of the men on the table smirked, knowing what was about to happen.
“Let’s give these greenhorns a target to wet their blades.”
King Yohan stood up and raised his mug before chugging all of it down.
The men raised their mugs in cheers and chugged it down.
“You know when he said ‘greenhorn’, he meant you, right?”
Cali grinned, nudging the lad next to him.
“You’re a dick, Cali.”
The young man mumbled, but a slight trace of a smile lingered on the lad’s face. His crimson hair fell over his eyes, hiding the expression within his eyes.
The young man’s name was Anor, the inheritor of the Divine Element of Fire.
“Where exactly was the place that Tanny told us?”
Felice turned to Fiona and questioned. They were currently inside their carriage and were preparing to leave Selior city to go to meet Roran and Calron. After talking to Tanny, the girls found out that Roran had left the city with Calron with thousands of slaves to build their own city.
Felice was still in shock after hearing that. Calron was the descendant of a powerful clan? From the way Tanny talked about the Raizel clan, it was clear to see that even the city couldn’t stop them if they tried. And now, Roran was with them.
“She didn’t know the exact location, but she said that they went west towards the beast city. We’ll just have to search for them near that area. It shouldn’t be too hard to locate hundreds of thousands of people.”
Fiona giggled, her mood brightening after finding out that Roran was still alive and not imprisoned as the young lady had initially thought.
The carriage began moving while the Axier guards on their horses escorted them.
“We’ll find them.”
Felice smiled, her heart finally at ease.
However, in the next moment, the carriage came to an abrupt stop.
“Huh? Why did we stop?”
Felice scowled and poked her head out.
“Open the gates!”
One of the Axier guards shouted, bringing his horse to the front.
“I apologize for the inconvenience, brother. However, we have strict orders to close down the gates and bar them, preventing any entry or exit from the city.”
The Selior city guardsman replied politely, seeing the lavish carriage and knowing he was in the presence of nobility.
“What is this nonsense? Why is the King stopping us from leaving!?”
Felice shouted in a cold tone.
The guardsmen around the gate bowed, and one of them stepped in front to address Felice.
“The King has no choice, my Lady, the Darkling army is already here and the first battle will start soon. It’s best you leave to your quarters as the Royal soldiers and the warriors from the Tower clans will be arriving here shortly.”
“What did he say?”
Fiona wanted to poke her head outside as well but didn’t want to interrupt Felice.
Pulling her head back in, Felice answered with a stunned expression.
“This city is about going to be besieged by the Darkling army.”
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