Book 6 Chapter 606

Heavens to the Left, Warriors to the Right

It was a quiet night as usual. When dawn came the next day, Leguna and the rest packed up and began their move.

As he walked, Leguna asked Leybecca, "So… You mean to say Nidhogg is within the forest inside Stokian Magic Academy? He stayed there even after he triggered the formation?"

"Yes. That's where he has operated for a long time. If he leaves, he wouldn't be able to sustain the constant punishment of the planar laws," she said, intentionally raising her voice so everyone could hear and proving she really did want to help Leguna kill Nidhogg.

However, she added something with a whisper, "You should know what I mean. Now, he's practically confined inside the academy. There are other chances for you to kill him in the future. If you go to the academy now, you'll be walking right into his trap. So, I'm begging you, don't go, please?"

"Leybecca…"

"Yes?"

"I'm thankful for all your help and concern, but this is a matter I won't budge on. I don't mind being frank with you about how I also feel that Nidhogg wants me to meet him. I have no idea about what he plans to do either. However, even if this is Nidhogg's plan, I have to go along with it. It's the only way for Annie to be spared from all this mess. I won't change my mind about that. I hope you understand."

"I knew it long ago," she said, twirling her black hair as she sighed. "But aren't we all the same? We know some things will never change, yet we always pointlessly try."

"Our efforts aren't meaningless," he reminded.

You'll understand how naive it was to even consider assassination when you finally meet Nidhogg. Even in his weakened state, he has far more power than he needs to absolutely crush you, she thought without telling him and the rest, since it would serve no purpose but to bring their spirits down.

As they continued their way to the millennium capital, the final battle on which the fates of the continent hung on had begun. With Alissanda leading them, the humans formed a large defence line in the eastern part of the continent to stop the spread of the Tide of Death. That was the last-ditch effort to resist the humans put up. If they failed, Chino would be reduced to a land of nothing but death.

Compared to the army in the east, the troops defending the west were far too thin. Apart from the most elite unit, Goldeagle, the rest of the troops in Fort Kesta were total rookies. Some of them were Hockian prisoners given an imprint to serve, and others were militias formed from southern refugees. Others were old farmers the empire recruited out of desperation. They hadn't gone through any training regime nor any experience on the battlefield, but they understood that they could not lose the fort no matter what.

They weren't forced to defend Fort Kesta. Rather, they all volunteered to serve. Alissanda issued a call to arms in all corners of the empire and he admitted in the call that the mission to defend the fort was a difficult and deadly one. He even brought up how their casualties would include most of those who joined up according to his battle simulations.

Even so quite a number of warriors came to enlist. Some of them came in swathes to beg to be allowed to join the prince.

In the end, he picked out around 15 thousand people to defend the fort with Goldeagle. And now, they were about to face with the endless sea of corpses.

Alissanda stood on the walls in silence. As a high-order warrior, his hearing was far sharper than the average person. He had begun to hear the sound of dragging feet. Looking up, he could see the vanguard of the undead swarm. Even though they made their way to the valley, they would be unable to reach Fort Kesta easily as he had stationed quite a number of troops on both sides of the valley. They would wipe them out there and there.

Though, that was only the appetizer. The true battle would be fought at the bottom of the valley.

Shuffle… shuffle…

The sound of the corpses' footsteps got louder and louder. The soldiers in the fort gripped their weapons tightly and nervously. Even though they had made mental preparations to sacrifice themselves, even Alissanda wouldn't be able to remain completely calm when standing at death's door, to say nothing more of the rest.

The corpses were now in full vision. They silently moved on and there was no sound in the valley apart from their footsteps.

The truly terrifying part was how unfeeling the corpses were. They fought in complete silence. There was no cry of pain or fear. Even a veteran warrior would feel despair from the completely cold reaction the enemies they fought gave out.

Alissanda took a deep breath. Even after fighting the undead numerous times, he would always feel his scalp numb from the silent slaughter. Being the field marshal, there was no doubt that he understood what kind of state of mind his men were in too.

"Warriors defending Fort Kesta!" He broadcast his voice with his impetus. "I am Alissanda."

"Your Highness!" Some warriors unconquered by fear called out in response.

"Yes, you have been calling me Your Highness the whole time," he continued, "But now, I hope to stand with you as a fellow warrior of the empire instead of an imperial prince.

"I feel that being able to stand with you here is something I can be proud of. Do you think this is weird?"

The fort was silent.

"But I don't! Think about it! Who were the ones who fought bravely in the south? What about those who bravely faced the northern barbarian threat? Or those who formed the strongest wall to hold back the Tide of Death? It's warriors! Each and every warrior of the empire!

"That's why I respect all of you brave fellows here deeply. That's why I am proud to be a warrior of the empire. Because all of you… Are damn good fellas!

"Now, the empire is facing a disaster of unprecedented proportions. Countless brave warriors have lost their lives. However, those of us that are still alive still have to stand here and face the disaster head on. Why? Because we're warriors! And a warrior's duty is to protect our homes! When our homes come under threat, we must offer ourselves to our sacred duty! As long as we still breathe, our homes shall never come to harm! That's the reason we exist!"

The corpses inched closer and closer. Some were in the firing range of the archers. However, not a single warrior moved without Alissanda's orders.

"I don't want to lie. I'm sure many of you are aware that our chances for victory are slim. Most of us might even perish. But such is our duty and our destiny. Such is our pride and glory! We shan't retreat! Beyond us are that which we hold most precious, our homes! Our wives, children, parents! Brothers! Do you remember General Manhattan's famous words?"

After a pause, he roared, "Heavens to the left!"

"Warriors to the right!"

"Heavens to the left!"

"Warriors to the right!"

"Heavens to the left!"

"Warriors to the right!"

"For the empire!"

"For the empire!"

"For our homes!"

"For our homes!"

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