Chapter 0216 Outbreak of war
It finally started.
When Ryo and Abel returned to the City of Rune and reported to Hugh McGrath about the Wyvern subjugation, the report came in.
The door was opened without knocking, and Nina, the receptionist, came in and reported.
“Excuse me for interrupting you. Master, the Imperial Army has crossed the border.”
Hugh must have expected that.
He only nodded once and muttered.
But Ryo was not.
That was the first time he experienced his country being invaded.
He was panicking.
“If we lose, I will become a citizen of the Debuhi Empire… a Debuhian… a Debuhi people … Debuhi Magician … Magician of Debuhi… mediocre fatty Ryo…”
“Ryo, calm down.”
Abel, who was sitting next to him, placed his hand on Ryo’s shoulder and spoke slowly and powerfully.
Just one word.
But that one word calmed him down.
Ultimately, the effect of words depends on who says them, not the content.
“Thank you, Abel.”
At this time, Ryo thanked Abel from the bottom of his heart.
“The size of the Imperial army that has invaded is about 8,000 strong. An invasion of this scale occurs many times in five years.”
“Is that so? Ah, then you’re used to dealing with it, good then.”
Hugh said after receiving and reading the report. Hearing this, Ryo calmed down even more.
“Even if we lose, a single loss won’t turn you into a citizen of the Debuhi Empire.”
Abel said with a wry smile.
However, the moment he said that, Abel collapsed and held his chest.
Ryo cried out.
Abel stretched his right hand toward Ryo, as if to say that it was okay, just wait.
He closed his eyes and took several deep breaths.
After about a minute or so, Abel finally lifted his face.
Abel announced to the room.
Then, after glancing at Hugh, he took a glimpse at Nina, who was still standing by the door.
Hugh sensed his intention.
“Nina, thank you for the report.”
“Ah, yes. Excuse me.”
Saying that, Nina left the room.
Something happened to Abel that he couldn’t talk about in front of Nina.
After taking a deep breath, Abel slowly opened his mouth.
“Just now, my brother, His Highness Crown Prince Caindish has passed away.”
That sentence caused Hugh McGrath to turn speechless.
Ryo, too, was at a loss for words.
Although he could understand that Abel probably knew that he had passed away due to some sort of magical connection.
Abel’s older brother, Crown Prince Caindish…
Of course, he, the crown prince of this country, literally a man of nobility, was a total stranger to Ryo.
He didn’t know him at all, but even so, he saw the questions the crown prince drew up.
The questions Abel was desperately trying to solve.
A ‘question’ tests the examinee and also evaluates them.
However, it also reveals the ‘quality’ of the creator of the question …
If they make a stupid question, they would be scorned in the hearts of all the examinees, saying, “What the hell is with this creator, are you stupid?”
If they make a question that doesn’t make sense, all the examinees would be abusing them in their minds, saying, “Does this guy even speak Japanese well?”
However, if you create an amazing question, that question will remain across the ages.
The famous university entrance exam questions from decades ago are still talked about many times, aren’t they?
Alternatively, some questions withstand history, such as the Seven Great Challenges of Mathematics.
So by looking at the question, you can imagine the creator’s thoughts, tastes, intellectual level, and so on.
Many of the questions that Abel was desperately trying to solve questioned the very nature of the country.
“What is the country for?”
“What must a king do? And what should he not do?’
“What should be the relationship between the people, the country, and the king?”
Ryo felt that the questions were there to confront Abel with an issue.
There was probably no definitive answer to each question.
The author of the questions wouldn’t be able to say the answer was ‘wrong’ unless it’s a really weird answer.
Rather than seeking an answer, the questions were there to have him experience the problem and think about the solution even before he actually witnesses the situation.
Just that alone made Ryo think that the crown prince was extremely clever, and at the same time, he was really considerate of Abel, and also of the people and the country.
(Such a person would have become a famous ruler.)
Ryo, who belonged to the history department at university, had that thought.
Desborough Plains of the Northern region of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom army and the Imperial army faced each other once more in a place where they had fought many times in the past.
Several skirmishes have already taken place but they haven’t reached full-fledged battle yet.
8,000-strong Imperial army against the 20,000-strong Kingdom army.
Typically, to oppose the elite Imperial army, the Kingdom army sends 50% more soldiers, but this time they were able to gather more than double the strength.
That was entirely due to the nobles of the Northern region of the Kingdom who felt a sense of danger and dispatched their territorial army.
The Kingdom Knight’s Order, the Court Magician Order, the Kingdom’s first army, the conscripted militia, and the northern garrison, totaling 4,000. That was the main force of the Kingdom army.
Another 16,000 came from the armies of the northern lords.
The commander of the Kingdom army was Elliott Austin, Marquis of Wiston, Minister of War.
He was over 60 years old but was a man who had confronted the Imperial army many times.
But this time, things were different.
“Mr. Verasis, don’t you feel that they are unusually dispirited?”
Military Minister Elliott referred to the Imperial army that was confronting them.
In the first place, their march after crossing the border was extremely slow compared to usual.
Furthermore, even after setting up their battle formation on the Desborough Plains, they did not move at all.
“Even though they are enemies, I have always been amazed by the Imperial army’s swift and resolute marching speed… but this time the Imperial army movements are too slow…”
“Yeah. Something… is extremely strange. I’m sure they’re waiting for something… but what the hell are they waiting for…”
The answer came from Arthur Verasis, the adviser to the Court Magician Order.
A magician who had made a name for himself as an adventurer since he was young, and even now, at the age of 70, he still puts effort into training younger generations.
Regardless of whether you are an adventurer or a soldier in the Kingdom, everybody respects Arthur Verasis.
Even Elliott, who is the highest-ranking Minister of War and in charge of all the military affairs of the Kingdom, is no exception.
In fact, when the Court Magician Order was confirmed and Arthur would participate as the advisor to take part in the campaign, he treated Arthur as an important consultant.
“Well, our army is far from perfect … so the ideal is for the Imperial army to leave without causing any major damage.”
Advisor Arthur didn’t believe it himself even though he said it, but he really wanted it to be.
“That’s right… At the time of the ‘Great War’, the Kingdom Knight’s Order, which had 2,000 knights, was the main force of our Kingdom army, but now there are only 200 of them… That was just ten years ago, it really makes me feel as though I belong to a different age.”
Military Minister Elliot said with a sour expression while stroking his beard.
“It’s all because of that Baccara…”
He muttered softly but the words barely reached the ears of Advisor Arthur.
The feud between Military Minister Elliot and the former Knight-Commander Baccara was well-known and even Arthur, who is ignorant of royal palace politics, knew about it.
Of course, the Kingdom Knight’s Order fell apart because they were killed in the royal capital turmoil, but even before that, they were already crumbling…
“However, it is my role as Minister of War to manage all military affairs……as such, I am responsible for this decline…”
“Well, there’s no point in arguing about it here. We all know that after Marquis Heinlein resigned as Knight-Commander, his successor passing away the day before appointment, and the position going to Baccara was the beginning of our misfortune.”
Advisor Arthur felt it would be a problem if the commander-in-chief was depressed before the full-scale battle, so he said that … but his reaction went in a different direction.
“That’s right. Heinlein… it’s all Alexis’ fault!”
“Ah… you went that route.”
Arthur Verasis smiled bitterly.
Former Knight-Commander Alexis Heinlein, also known as ‘Demon’.
Military Minister Elliott held a very high opinion of Alexis Heinlein and liked him.
“It all started when Alexis left the post of Knight-Commander and returned to his territory! Of course, I understand that his predecessor passed away suddenly but … with his ability, he could easily manage both his territory and the Knight-Commander position … No, not only that, if he had taken over my position as Minister of War, I wouldn’t have had to go through such a hard time…”
He was just complaining.
Compared to Alexis Heinlein, it would have been unavoidable for Baccara to look lacking.
Advisor Arthur smiled wryly in his heart.
“Hey Scotty, aren’t we overworked?”
“Yeah, I think so too. I came back from Land and now it’s this.”
Knight Zack Cooler asked, and Knight Scotty Cobook agreed.
Actually, they were able to take a long vacation after returning from Land … but having been sent to the battlefield in less than half a year, they were tempted to complain.
“Well, they say that knights fight for nobles and beautiful ladies. It can’t be helped.”
It was quite cool when Scotty, who has a well-groomed face, said it.
“Beautiful lady… that’s right, I will fight to protect Sera’s country!”
Scotty was only stating in general, but Zach seemed to have made a strange connection.
Of course, there was nothing wrong with what he was saying, but…
“Mel, why aren’t they making their move!?”
In the Imperial army’s command tent, Chief Adjutant Linus Warner, Viscount of Kruger, asked with a bitter expression.
Linus’ escort captain, Mel, thought for a few moments before slowly answering.
“I guess they’re checking things out.”
“Checking things out?”
“Yes. If it really worth changing sides.”
The moment Captain Mel said that, Linus’ face flashed with anger for a moment. But it was really a moment.
It was just a moment that even someone like Mel thought it was a mistake.
“I see. Sure. Let’s show them the benefit in doing so.”
“Oscar Ruska, I have come upon your request.”
Oscar Ruska, Deputy Commander of the Imperial Emperor’s Magic Division, nicknamed Explosive Blaze Magician, came to the central tent where the command headquarters was located.
In front of him sat the commander-in-chief of the expedition, Marquis Musel, and by his side stands his son, said to be in charge of the operations of this expedition, and Chief Adjutant Viscount of Kruger, Linus Warner.
“Baron Oscar Ruska, thank you for coming. Actually, I have a favor to ask of you.”
After Marquis Musel said so, he nodded to Linus by his side.
Receiving that nod, Linus began to explain.
“As you know, Deputy Commander, we have prepared a ‘strategy’ against the enemy forces. It is a strategy that His Majesty the Emperor and the Imperial Intelligence Department spent several years preparing, but… unfortunately, it has not yet been put into action. We would like you to ‘wake them’ with your magic, Deputy Commander.”
Linus explained with a thin smile.
To put it bluntly, Oscar dislikes Linus, but that didn’t mean he showed it on his face.
Moreover, his words and actions did not reveal anything.
“Sure. What should I do specifically?”
“It’s easy. It seems that the ‘strategies’ are taking a wait-and-see approach, so please throw in flashy magic that will wake them up.”
Oscar received a direct explanation from the Emperor about the ‘strategy’ prepared before he joined the campaign.
And for other matters as well…
Even considering those advance information, he could understand that those who were taking the wait-and-see approach would be prompted to action if he showed his ability.
Oscar also understood that he was called to this army for such flashy displays.
Both armies took up positions on the Desborough Plains, and after several skirmishes, both armies returned their probing forces to their positions.
Then, only one man from the Imperial Army stepped out.
The Kingdom army also saw that and some people wondered what was going on, but the majority showed no interest.
The Imperial Army, on the other hand, was completely silent.
Not one of the 8,000 Imperial soldiers uttered a word, not a single throat was cleared…a complete silence that was almost unheard of on the battlefield.
That was because everyone in the Imperial Army knew who the person who stepped out was.
‘Explosive Blaze Magician’
A living legend.
A reaper of the living.
And… the strongest and supreme magician.
The Explosive Blaze Wizard chanted something quietly.
At that moment, the sky cracked and countless rocks covered in flames fell and struck the ground.
Flames surged out from the ground where the rocks fell, tossing vegetation and scattering earth.
Indeed, hell was born on earth.
Magic is such a dreadful thing and magicians are to be feared.
The soldiers of both armies who saw it were reminded of that even if they didn’t want to.
Countless flaming rocks were generated from the <True · Earth and Sky Sunder> but the impact points were perfectly calculated.
Neither the Imperial army nor the Kingdom army had a single casualty.
However, it was with a clear intention that he dropped them in places where the nobles’ army, which was placed on both wings of the Kingdom army, could see it well.
The message, ‘Hurry up and switch sides’.
Those who led the noble armies trembled.
Some nobles led their armies and joined the battlefield, while others, like the Duke of Flitwick’s army, were led by the Duke’s subordinates.
Either way, at this moment they had no choice and no time to waver.
They had no option but to order it.
“All forces advance. The target is the main forces of the Kingdom.”
The main forces of the Kingdom army were attacked from the left and right by the northern noble armies.