The soldier clenched onto the handle of his spear with a heavy heart as he stepped onto the stairs.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
He had stepped on top of these sturdy stone stairs for many years. However, the expression on his face as he stepped up these stairs looked as if he had eaten some disgusting food.
He could see the outside behind the shoulders of the soldier in front of him.
He then made his way out of the exit.
A cool breeze brushed by his cheeks.
He could see an open area in front of him as well.
There were also three towers surrounding this large castle. The soldier who was stationed on the castle wall by the southern tower curled up.
‘Just why did I have to end up on the Roan Kingdom's side instead of the Empire or the central area?!’
He was one of the few soldiers stationed at the southern tower. The Roan Kingdom had said that they had enough, however, they were told that a few soldiers were still needed in order to relay commands from the central forces.
The soldier’s tasks were mainly delivering messages and doing other miscellaneous tasks. Of course, a spear was in his hand just in case it was needed.
The soldier started to frown even more after hearing the other soldier’s comment.
It really was empty.
The Roan Kingdom had less than 100 soldiers.
It was nowhere near enough to fill the southern castle wall and the tower that was the size of a small castle. The soldier looked around before sighing.
“The Empire’s side is amazing.”
The northern tower. The Empire’s soldiers, knights, and mages filled the entirety of the northern castle wall. They could also see the sword master, Duke Huten, who was leading them.
They could also see numerous Caro Kingdom soldiers in the central tower that was slightly behind the other two towers in a triangular formation.
However, there was a bigger issue at hand.
“…Why are there so many?”
He could see the central shores underneath the southern tower.
There were many large ships docked at the shores.
The Indomitable Alliance and the Caro Kingdom's alliance had been at a standstill ever since early this morning. The soldier could feel his hands and feet shaking as he was preparing for his first ever war.
Even if he couldn’t be at the central tower with the rest of the Caro Kingdom's forces, being with the Empire might have raised his chances of survival.
No, even if he had to fight, he wanted to fight somewhere that looked properly prepared!
The soldier’s expression was a mess.
The enemy fleet was filling up the entire shore, to the point that you could not even see the water.
The entire area would be swarmed by the enemy if the soldiers and knights inside of the ships charged toward them. Just thinking about that large number of enemies charging toward this castle made the soldier get the chills.
Of courses, there were catapults and wooden pillars installed in order to fight against the enemies. However, that was at the central and northern towers.
That was not the case in this empty southern tower.
‘…Even if a bunch of strong people came over.’
The story of the Roan Kingdom's victory was already widespread.
People had been talking about this unbelievable victory quite a bit.
Honestly speaking, the soldier had personally volunteered to come to the Roan Kingdom's side. That was because the story of their victory was heating him up.
‘I want to fight in such a battle and win against strong opponents! I want to be victorious!’
That was the reason he had requested to be with the Roan Kingdom's forces, however, the reality of the situation was making him afraid.
“Why do you look so scared?”
The soldier lifted his head up. His senior soldier was speaking. This person had been a soldier for about 10 years longer than he had, and they had become close enough that he was like an uncle to him. He hesitated for a moment before responding back.
“I just…I just wonder if I'll manage to survive.”
Spirit and survival were completely different issues.
“You can’t think so negatively already.”
“…But it is the truth.”
The soldier’s gaze went toward the other towers before returning to his own. He then lowered his head.
“I know the people from the Roan Kingdom are strong, however, will they have time to protect us while they fight? There will be a lot of gaps here due to the low number of people, making it much more likely that we will get hurt.”
The strong people from the Roan Kingdom may survive. They may even be victorious.
No, the Caro Kingdom alliance was expecting to either end up in a draw or a win against the Indomitable Alliance based on their current forces. The Empire had brought over a significant number of reinforcements, and the side defending a castle always held the advantage.
However, he had no way of knowing whether he would be able to see that victory.
That was what was making him afraid.
“Even yesterday, the other towers were busy with things but our side just had the knights and mages all digging. We don't even know why we are digging.”
The Roan Kingdom’s forces had spent all day yesterday digging through the ground.
He had wondered if they were digging traps, however, that did not seem to be it.
They just answered back that they were digging when he asked, making him even more frustrated.
“They won't even include us! We’re all on the same side!”
He was casually speaking to his uncle-like senior just like he usually did. It was at that moment.
“Hmm, Commander-nim. That seems to be the thought on their minds. I don’t think that is good for morale.”
The soldier flinched. His senior stepped forward in order to block him. The young soldier slowly turned around.
A group of people were climbing up the stone stairs behind him.
They were the main characters of the overwhelming victory in the Roan Kingdom.
The young soldier could see the stoic expression on the red-haired Commander Cale Henituse’s face. He didn’t look scary, but he looked extremely difficult to approach.
Behind him was Choi Han, the youngest sword master, the necromancer Mary, as well as the knights and mages.
It was the entire group from the Roan Kingdom.
The soldier could not close his mouth and did not know what to do.
‘Did he hear me?’
The soldier could see someone smiling at him. He knew this person.
He had introduced himself in front of the southern tower’s soldiers yesterday.
Vice Captain Hilsman from the Roan Kingdom's Henituse territory.
Hilsman was the one who had just spoken.
‘What do I do?’
The soldier’s pupils started to shake. It was at that moment. The young soldier made eye contact with Cale.
“Do not worry.”
The young soldier asked back in confusion.
He could see the commander walk past him to the top of the tower. The commander started to speak to the few soldiers assigned to the southern tower.
“I already consider you as being on our side.”
Although Cale spoke with no emotions, the words echoed in the soldier’s mind.
“Let’s all survive together and go for drinks afterward.”
The soldier watched Cale's back as he headed to the top of the tower. He could see the sword master and necromancer following behind him.
Furthermore, he could see people starting to line up along the southern castle wall.
They were the mages of the Mage Brigade and the knights from the Roan Kingdom. They walked past the soldiers and stood as close to the ledge as possible.
Someone approached the young soldier who was watching with a blank expression.
“Ahem, let me say something since it would be bad if the morale goes down.”
It was Vice Captain Hilsman.
He puffed up his chest as he started to speak.
“There is a famous saying in our Henituse territory. No, it is actually starting to become famous throughout the entire Roan Kingdom. Thinking about this phrase will make you not be scared.”
‘What is he saying?’
The soldier could not understand Vice Captain Hilsman clearly because the commander’s words were still ringing in his mind. However, the soldier could not help but look at Hilsman after hearing what he had to say next.
Hilsman felt the gazes of the few soldiers falling on him as he started to speak.
“The shield will not break. Ah.”
Hilsman let out an, ‘ah,’ as if he had taken a drink.
However, the soldiers could not hide their confusion. Cale's shield was known to be strong, however, this phrase had not spread to the other kingdoms yet.
Vice Captain Hilsman smiled at the confused soldiers before he added on.
“Just remember it. Everyone on our side holds this phrase in our heart.”
Those words made the soldier look in front of him. He could see the mages and the knights. Hilsman's voice echoed around his ear.
“You will naturally come to think of this when we are fighting together. So, let’s give it our best.”
Hilsman left the group with that as he quickly followed behind Cale, who had disappeared up into the tower.
The shield will not break.
The soldier repeated that sentence in his mind. He heard his senior soldier, the man who was like his uncle and had taught him spear arts since he was young, make a comment at that moment.
“Looks like we don't need to worry.”
His worries had disappeared.
“We just need to do our part properly.”
The soldiers checked for their horn trumpets, spears, and alarms after hearing the most senior soldier speak. Their jobs were to report the status of the battle.
Commander Cale may have a video communication device, however, these soldiers were like the capillaries in your body that were required for blood to flow throughout the body.
Their mindsets changed just a bit.
Cale, who did not know this, looked toward Hilsman who was slowly catching up and had a bitter expression.
“What’s with your face?”
Hilsman laughed out loud while Cale just let it go. He didn't know what Hilsman had said to the soldiers, however, the way he was smiling made him feel iffy. However, Cale did not have any time to pay attention to that.
“Sir, you were here!”
One of the Caro Kingdom's knights came up to the top of the tower behind Hilsman. It was the knight who was assigned to help Cale out.
He was also someone who was from a family of healers.
Crown prince Valentino had apologized to Cale numerous times even though he was of a higher status. The apology was genuine.
He also said that he was not comfortable sending Cale into battle without healers, even though Cale said his group would be fine, and thus dispatched this knight, as well as a mage who could do simple healing, to their tower.
Just two people. Although they were only two people, Cale could feel that Valentino had really tried his best. He had said that he would send some more soldiers as well.
Of course, Cale had said that they were not needed.
He had a ton of money and potions. Cale was someone who walked around with highest-grade potions in a spatial dimension. He was capable of taking care of his people.
“The wind is quite rough today.”
Cale nodded his head.
His gaze was focused on the sights in front of him.
He could see the shores along with the rough winds.
He could see the large ships as well.
There was also the large mountain to the left of the southern tower.
Cale started to speak.
“I can see the Land of Death as well.”
It was far to the south. The Land of Death was located between the mountain and the shores. This desert made up the majority of the southern region of the Caro Kingdom.
Since the sun was about to set, the desert’s sands were still as red as blood.
The Caro Kingdom's knight quickly started to speak.
“The Land of Death may be visible, but there is no need to worry as it will not harm us. There is no reason for the enemy to escape in that direction either.”
The knight could see the commander start to smile.
“Yes. They cannot escape.”
The knight felt an unknown sense of chill from Cale's low voice, however, he quickly returned to his senses and explained his reason for coming.
“It looks like we will maintain this standstill and the battle will start tomorrow morning.”
“This is a region where it is difficult to use guerrilla tactics at night, and it is not easy for two large armies to fight at night either.”
The knight looked toward the shore with a slightly relaxed expression.
“Furthermore, the enemy has not revealed themselves from their ships yet.”
That was indeed the case.
Although they saw some people walking on top of the enemy ships, they had not seen anybody else. It meant that they were all within their ships.
“They will need to either walk or use something like horses in order to move forward, but the fact that they are still within the ships makes us believe that they will not attack today. They need to prepare before they can attack as well.”
That was one of the reasons the Caro Kingdom was so confident.
A battle on the ground required both sides to reveal their cards.
That was why the fact that they had not shown themselves even as the sun was going down made the chief believe that the battle would start tomorrow.
Cale did not say anything as he nodded his head.
The knight bowed his head.
“Then I will head back to prepare.”
The knight looked at Cale, who did not give any other orders, with an odd gaze before heading down the stairs.
‘He is taciturn.’
The story about how Cale had cussed out the bishop had made its way around. Maybe that was why, but the knight looked at the commander with amazement after seeing this taciturn side and hearing about the Cale’s other rough side.
“I just need to wait at the castle wall since I made my report-”
He could not finish his sentence.
A sharp noise reached the knight’s ears.
He blocked his ears with his hands after hearing the noise, however, he had to quickly remove his hands from his ears.
The ground started to shake.
He urgently grabbed onto the wall.
Numerous noises could be heard.
‘What is going on?’
The knight used the wall for support as he urgently rushed down the stairs. He could see the messenger soldier at the bottom.
The spear in the young soldier's hand fell to the ground.
His face was full of fear.
The knight turned his head. At the same time, a loud noise started to fill Castle Leona.
It was the alarm signaling the start of the battle.
The knight's eyes opened wide.
It was the sound of wheels.
However, it soon stopped making noise, as if it had gotten used to rolling.
The ground continued to shake.
No, the shore was shaking.
“What the hell……!”
The knight could not close his mouth.
The ships were rushing toward them.
The large ships moved out of the water and were coming toward the castle.
There were wheels underneath the ships.
Those wheels were working hard in order to move the ship across the land.
Although the large ships were not moving, the enemy’s small and mid-sized ships were driving through the ground.
That was the thought on the knight’s mind, but whether it was possible was not the problem right now. He was seeing it with his own eyes.
A thought crossed his mind at that moment.
‘The northern shores are all sand dunes……!’
The Caro Kingdom’s northern shores were famous for their sand dunes.
However, the central shores were the only shores in the entire Caro Kingdom that did not have that much sand.
‘… So the reason they picked the central shores was not because it was close to the capital!’
The knight could not say anything.
Small and mid-sized ships that should be sailing across the ocean were rushing toward them like large carriages.
Their speed was amazing.
The hundreds of ships rushing toward them as the sun went down brought out a significant amount of pressure.
They then noticed people appearing on top of the ships.
He couldn’t help but groan.
The Bears were on top of the ships that were rumbling the ground. Their large shadows started to appear one by one on top of the ships.
“…The Bear tribe.”
The Bears were in their berserk state.
The Bears on top of the ships were the Brown Bears and Polar Bears which were known as being the strongest of the Bears. They had expected the Bear tribe, however, there was still a significant number of them.
The knight’s pupils started to shake after seeing the mid-sized ship at the front of the fleet.
There was someone laughing in his berserk state on top of the ship.
It was a Bear that was close to 3 meters in size.
The berserk Polar Bear was rushing toward the castle with red eyes.
The other Bears started to laugh as well, as if they were responding to his laughter. This scene made the soldiers and knights who had never experienced war before start to become afraid.
The doors on the large ships opened.
Soldiers appeared like ants from them.
The endless descent of the enemy soldiers made the knight gulp.
The Polar Bear's shout echoed throughout the shores.
The ships split into three groups at that moment.
The alarm was still going off in Castle Leona.
However, the knight could not hear the alarm anymore. He could only see the Bears, ships, and the enemy soldiers with the enemy knights behind them.
The enemy had the momentum.
The knight could feel it. The level of pressure was different.
It was at that moment.
The knight jerked in shock as he turned around. He could see the person who had placed his hand on his shoulder.
He could see Commander Cale.
He moved his hand away from the knight’s shoulder before bending over to pick up the spear.
“Take good care of it.”
He then handed it over to the young soldier who had dropped it.
The soldier received the spear with shaking hands. Cale patted the soldier's shoulders before walking past him.
“You can't lose your weapon when the enemies are in front of you.”
His confident voice was also calm.
The commander walked past the soldiers and stood close to the ledge.
In some respects, this was the most dangerous spot.
However, the soldier could see the commander smile with a relaxed expression. His shaking hands finally stopped shaking.
He heard the commander’s voice at that moment.
The soldier could see the sword master who only seemed about a year or two older than him standing next to Cale.
Choi Han was waiting for Cale to speak.
Cale looked down at the castle wall.
He remembered a part of what Guardian Knight Clopeh had told him.
The Bear tribe is most likely leading the fleet headed to the Caro Kingdom. They wish for land.’
‘They are probably hiding a secret weapon as well. The Bear tribe and the Flame Dwarf tribe are sly and have a lot of secrets.’
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“That was it.”
These ships were the secret weapon.
Although they could not make magic devices, the Flame Dwarf tribe was talented in making mechanical devices.
- Human, I can feel the power of magic stones coming from the ships.
‘The Flame Dwarf tribe is the most shady and smart.’
Raon's voice and Clopeh's information mixed in Cale's mind.
‘They can’t make magic devices?
Isn’t that ship being moved by mana?’
Cale started to smile.
“Kahahaha! Come at me!”
Cale could hear the voice of the berserk Brown Bears that were heading for the southern tower. The large Polar Bear from earlier had gone toward the central tower.
Since they were sly, those loud shouts and laughter were all probably just an act.
“Excuse me, commander-nim. We are getting a call from the central tower.”
The mage who was assigned to the tower cautiously offered the video communication device to Cale. However, she could see Cale starting to speak without looking at her.
“We can’t lose a battle of momentum.”
It was the moment she asked in shock.
Cale pointed to the bottom of the castle wall. He could see the Brown Bears on top of the ship in the front of the group headed for the southern tower. Cale pointed to the ship.
It was the moment he said that.
A quiet stepping noise could be heard.
The young soldier could not help but gasp.
Choi Han was flying.
The black-haired swordsman was flying as he kicked off the castle wall.
His sword was covered by a black aura that was shooting up into the sky.