Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 33: Calling the Troops, Summoning the Generals
The Anarchic Lands. The Radiant Church’s territory. On a public road, an endless army procession was moving forwards, with military officers riding on magical beasts or powerful stallions barking at the soldiers in that massive, endless line.
“Move faster!” Brandishing their whips in the air, the military officers had very strict expressions on their faces.
A forced march!
They remembered the order they had been given. They had to hurry towards the prefectural city of Sherry as quickly as possible. Outside the boundaries of the prefectural city of Sherry was the location where the Baruch Kingdom and the Radiant Church were going to do battle. This was also the place closest to the magicite mines that the Radiant Church had access to.
The mobilization of this grand army couldn’t be hidden from the Baruch Kingdom. Naturally, they had to move quickly.
Right now, at the boundaries of Sherry, twenty thousand soldiers had already assembled. These hastily assembled soldiers were permitted a day or two of rest after hurrying over here, and then they would be also be sent to do battle.
“We’re going to fight a full on war against the Baruch Kingdom.”
Within a quiet, secluded manor, Cardinal Guillermo was staring at the northern skies. The person responsible for this battle wasn’t Arfan. It was Guillermo. After all, in terms of influence amongst the masses, Cardinal Guillermo had more.
Saints were not permitted to get involved in this battle. Arfan would be useless, but Guillermo, as an Arch Magus of the ninth rank, would be able to make a major impact.
“What a true pity. The young man who could’ve become of great use to the Radiant Church has become our greatest foe.” Guillermo sighed in his heart. He had personally watched Linley grow up, and grow from being a genius magus of the seventh rank to an expert who could kill Clayde, a warrior of the ninth rank.
After being dormant for many years?
He killed six Angels of the ninth rank, and then became an earth-shaking figure in the O’Brien Empire. And then…he founded the Baruch Kingdom in the Anarchic Lands.
“Twenty years have passed. This Linley is now so powerful that even the Praetor and the others are remaining in hiding in the Sacred Isle, afraid to come out.” Guillermo mused to himself.
“Milord?” A knight saluted him respectfully, calling out his name in a reminding manner.
Guillermo awoke from his musings. Glancing at the knight, he said, “Let’s go. Come with me to the border with the prefectural city of Sherry. Let’s go see the Dark Cardinal of the Cult of Shadows, and see if Dark Cardinal Weiss Porter [Wei’si Bo’te] has improved over the past few decades.”
The royal capital, Baruch City. The royal palace.
Wharton, Linley, Barker and the others were standing in a line in the main hall. There was a giant army map in the middle of the hall, and a middle-aged man was currently aiming a pointer on top of it. “Milords, the magicite mine is here. If it is just the Radiant Church that attacks us…the place we should choose to fight at is the prefectural city of Sherry.”
Linley and the others all nodded.
“However…” The middle-aged man shook his head. “Unless the Radiant Church’s commander has gone stupid, they won’t choose to attack here.”
“Oh?” Barker raised an eyebrow.
The middle-aged man continued, “The magicite mine is over three hundred kilometers away from the capital, while the prefectural city of Sherry is four or five hundred kilometers away from the capital. This is a straight line! If they had to fight their way from the prefectural city of Sherry to the magicite mine, they would have to travel nearly a thousand kilometers if they followed the road. On the road to the mines, there are over ten cities, large and small. The Radiant Church would battle us for a thousand kilometers, deep within our territory? Nearly half their forces have to remain in their garrisons with their borders with the O’Brien Empire and the Rohault Empire. Only half are available to attack us.”
“Therefore, our military strength is roughly on par.”
The middle-aged man pointed at Sherry. “At the same level of power, if we are to guard inside our city walls while they attack…and they are forced to fight through our territory for thousand kilometers…they would be asking for death.”
“Therefore, if the Radiant Church wishes to attack us, they only have one option. Join forces with the Cult of Shadows. They have no other options!” The middle-aged man took a deep breath, the pointer in his hands slashing to the side. “The Cult of Shadows shares a border of over a thousand kilometers with us. The closest place to our magicite mine, without question, is right here!”
“The prefectural city of Cod [Ke’de]!” The middle-aged man pointed at a spot.
“The magicite mine is outside the small city of Nifeng. Nifeng City is one of the small cities under the control of the prefectural city of Cod. From Cod to the mines is a distance of only a hundred kilometers.” The middle-aged man had a serious look on his face. “If they break through our defenses here, it would be smooth sailing for them to charge to the magicite mines!”
Linley nodded slightly.
This general explained things very clearly.
“Watts [Wa’ci].” Wharton suddenly said. “If I were to give you full authority to direct the battle as you please, would you be confident in your ability to win?”
Barker also said, “In addition, I can also provide you with over thirty magicite cannons. I’ll be responsible for handling the problem of bringing you the necessary magicite gems.” Barker had a very high status in the Baruch Kingdom. He was the one and only Grand Marshal of the Kingdom, and his personal power was also quite terrifying.
Soon after Linley had reached the Saint-level in his human form, Barker had as well. Once he transformed…he was a peak Undying Warrior Saint. Barker, who already had mastered the ‘impose’ level, wasn’t any bit weaker than Osenno.
Hearing that they had over thirty magicite cannons, Watts’ eyes lit up.
Watts jutted his chest out and said firmly, “Your Highness, as long as you give me the authority to command our five hundred thousand soldiers, I have full confidence in my ability to hold our ground at the prefectural city of Cod and repulse the enemies.”
“Very good.” Wharton revealed a hint of a smile on his face.
The Baruch Kingdom actually had over a million warriors, not even counting the ordinary city guards.
“Your Highness.” Watts said solemnly. “I’m worried…that the enemy will come with a force more terrifying and more powerful than we expected. If something like this happens and an irresistible force comes, standing our ground would be dangerous.”
“A terrifying force?” Wharton was puzzled.
“Right. For example, if a Saint was to appear, or if one of the legendary, powerful magus corps of the Radiant Church was to be sent here, we would be in great danger.” Watts said solemnly.
Both the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows had spent tremendous time and effort in cultivating their magus corps. These two sides all had powerful magus corps, and the weakest member of these corps was of the seventh ranks, while the highest were Arch Magi of the ninth rank.
A corps of over a thousand powerful magi, with several Arch Magi of the ninth rank commanding them, could cast terrifyingly powerful magic spells.
The power of such a corps wasn’t one whit inferior to a ‘forbidden-level’ spell of a Grand Magus Saint.
This was also why, with the Empires normally not permitting Saints to get involved in battles, magus corps had become a terrifyingly powerful force.
“The enemy Saints will not appear.”
Linley spoke out.
Watts immediately looked at Linley. Seeing that it was Linley who had spoken, he immediately became very respectful. Linley laughed calmly. “Don’t worry. Neither the Radiant Church nor the Cult of Shadows will send Saints out, at least. Also…as for those terrifying magus corps you spoke of…”
“If they want to produce forbidden-level magic attacks…don’t worry, they won’t be able to.” Linley said calmly.
Although they had previously agreed that Saints were not to be permitted to get involved in battle, Linley knew exactly how powerful forbidden spells were. A single spell could perhaps destroy the entire prefectural city of Cod, and a terrifyingly high number of people would die. Linley wouldn’t be so obstinate and stubborn as to allow an entire city’s worth of people, over a million lives, to die because of an agreement.
Were the lives of a million people of less value than an agreement?
These so-called agreements between countries were only binding and effective when nations were on equal levels of strength. If one side was overwhelming powerful, even if they ripped the agreement to shreds and immediately attacked, so what? This was something that was quite commonly seen in the Yulan continent.
But of course, Linley would only do such a thing if the enemy magus corps jointly cast spells to create an effect on par with a forbidden spell.
As the commanding general, information constantly flowed to Watts, and he issued one order after another to his subordinates.
The news that the Radiant Church’s forces had arrived outside the prefectural city of Sherry quickly spread to him.
Could it be…that the Radiant Church really was going to attack the prefectural city of Sherry?
“The prefectural city of Sherry already had an army there. Send another army over. The two legions will have a total of two hundred thousand soldiers…stand your ground inside the city, and destroy the trees around the prefectural city of Sherry. Don’t give the enemy a place to hide and launch ambushes against us.”
“The prefectural city of Sherry definitely isn’t the place where the enemy will launch their real attack. They are just trying to tie down our forces. All we need to do is stand our ground.”
The Cult of Shadows acted exactly as Watts had predicted. Indeed…they soon joined the fray.
“The bridge ahead of the prefectural city of Cod must be destroyed. Also, the roads around the prefectural city of Cod must also be destroyed. Don’t give any avenue for the enemy forces to easily travel towards us. Force them to attack Cod directly.” This order did indeed cause quite a bit of frustration to the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows.
“Within the city of Cod itself, all the civilians must be relocated. The prefectural city of Cod must become a military fort and must be internally reconfigured for war.”
One order after another came from the military headquarters, and they were carefully carried out by each of the supervisors in each location. An order came to the magicite mines as well. “Increase the level of production. Mine at the maximum possible speed. No need to continue to try and disguise your activities.”
In the prior twelve years, the three powers in the Anarchic Lands had only engaged in small-scale battles. They had never engaged in something like today’s struggle. Even before the battle started, the mobilized forces had already reached a terrifyingly high number. Clearly…
This battle was not for training purposes. It was the real deal.
In the endless skies, a blue-robed Linley could be seen flying through the air at high speed in the direction of the Cult of Shadows. Linley knew where O’Casey lived; the headquarters of the Cult of Shadows in the Anarchic Lands, a seemingly ordinary Shadow Temple.
Linley’s gaze was cold.
“O’Casey actually agreed to the Radiant Church’s offer. Hrmph!”
Linley didn’t understand this, but the Cult of Shadows actually had no choice either. If they helped Linley, then the Radiant Church’s power would essentially be destroyed here in the Anarchic Lands. They feared that at that time, Linley would suddenly turn on them.
It must be understood…
Linley’s side now consisted of Linley, Bebe, the Barker brothers, and Barker who had reached the Saint-level in his human form. This Saint team was simply too powerful. The Cult of Shadows wouldn’t be able to outfight them.
If Linley really did turn on them and ignored their earlier agreement, what would the Cult of Shadows be able to do?
They knew that Desri was actually biased towards Linley.
Linley’s Saints were simply too powerful. Only if both the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows were present would Linley be cautious. Once one of the two sides were destroyed, then most likely both would be finished.
“Saint-level experts cannot participate in battles or kill ordinary people, but I can still kill Saints myself.” Linley stared at the distant Shadow Temple. “I’ll use death to threaten O’Casey. Perhaps that’ll help him to wake up.”
Linley used his spiritual energy to scan the entire Shadow Temple.
“Hrm, no one there?”
Linley frowned. The energy around his body began to roil about, and like a flash of lightning, Linley caused the window to shatter soundlessly to dust which then drifted downwards. Linley entered the room.
“Where’s O’Casey?” Linley looked calmly at the golden-haired old man in front of him.
The golden-haired old man was one of the most powerful members of the Shadow Temple; a Saint. But he was only an mid-stage Saint, far weaker than O’Casey.
“Linley?” The old man smiled. “Lord O’Casey ordered me to wait for you here, Lord Linley. Let me introduce myself. I am a Four-Winged Fallen Angel of the Cult of Shadows.”
Linley looked calmly at the old man.
The old man’s attitude was very humble. “Lord O’Casey ordered me to inform you that this battle is unavoidable. As for Lord O’Casey himself, he has already returned to the headquarters of the Cult of Shadows. I am the only Saint remaining here belonging to the Cult of Shadows.”
O’Casey actually fled back home.
“You aren’t afraid that I’ll kill you?” Linley stared at the old man. A Four-Winged Fallen Angel.