Brandika’s coronation was held at the capital of Pena .
Elrain Kingdom, the merchant country of Pena, Tortoki, and Fatina . Brandika acquired all of the representative cities of the south and the borders leading to the vast Germion Kingdom to the north and the Holy Shushunu Kingdom to the east to create a giant country in the great desert of Ashunasan (God of the Desert) .
Brandika’s coronation was basically his engagement to Queen Raksha . The elder council that were against him were silenced with force, and Queen Raksha was made to carry on the coronation with quivering hands . From this moment on, he would rule over the nation as her husband .
Saldin, Grave, and Cell were also present in the ceremony to serve as representatives of his clan . The various clan leaders of the clans under the Red King were also gathered in the capital . They all gave their blessings . They already considered Brandika’s success as a good thing for themselves .
Brandika accepted the throne amidst applauses, but the figure of his friend, who should have been the happiest right now was nowhere to be seen . Carlion’s illness has gotten worse, causing him to miss the ceremony . Just a little, Brandika cast down his eyes .
After the formal ceremony was a casual party . The nobles and the bureaucrats frowned, but Brandika had no intentions of changing the way he did things . Liquor was distributed to the attendees of the ceremony, and just like when they were just adventurers, they started to drink and make merry .
To the people who’ve braved the battlefield and overcame countless battles with Brandika, this was undoubtedly the best moment of their lives . Brandika even poured the drinks despite having become king himself . As a result, the attending influential people became panicked, but in the end, the ceremony and the party ended in success .
They named their country Attibel, meaning the first kingdom .
When Germion Kingdom and the Holy Shushunu Kingdom got word of their declaration, they were shocked .
Especially, the Holy Shushunu Kingdom . In just one year, the Red King had managed to create a giant country in the south . Moreover, a spy had been sent previously under the pretense of a messenger .
The report of that spy stated that King Brandika was a powerful warrior who could match a thousand soldiers, and was himself a frank man easy to approach . Rather than a king, he was more like a clan leader . He was courageous and as a king was strong enough to challenge for the 1st or 2nd place in the contingent .
The upper brass of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom was shocked when they received the report .
A valiant king, who was a former adventurer, had suddenly appeared in the south, possessing great military prowess . The fact that they came to know of his exploits despite being in the Holy Shushunu Kingdom meant that they now had to make a decision even as they continued to gather information .
The most fearful thing was the unknown .
Should they attack or should they run? The Holy Shushunu Kingdom chose the former .
Part of the reason was because of the intensification of the war between the Red King, the Red Moon, and the other clans .
While Brandika and the rest of the upper brass of the Red King were working in the south, Shunrai the Great Scimitar User washed blood for blood against Vine the Mad Blade . Be it in the town or the dungeons or within a country, they would try to kill each other as soon as they crossed paths . Even the guild were troubled by their behavior, so it should come as no surprise that the Holy Shushunu Kingdom learned about their activities when they were gathering information .
No . That’s not quite right . Actually, someone had intentionally made it so that they would learn of the news .
The guild is under the protection of the country . Perhaps the details of that standpoint need assessing, but there are times when the guild recommends brilliant people to the kingdom, and there are also times when they accept a job from the kingdom to search a dungeon or subjugate a harmful beast .
In other words, it’s a give and take relationship . So the details of the past aside, right now, the Holy Shushunu Kingdom shares its lot with the guild . Hence, as the guardian of the guild, the Holy Shushunu Kingdom couldn’t just sit back and ignore the flow of money from the guild .
—While someone was raising havoc in another man’s garden, a country with a powerful army was born .
That was how the Holy Shushunu Kingdom saw the birth of the Red King’s Attibel .
It also so happened that it was in the same period that Claudia Cardina, also known as ‘Lady Impaler’ or ‘Battle Princess’, would be choosing her successor . As such, the people yearning to be her successor proactively gave their opinion on the matter . Many of these people were aristocrats, at the same time soldiers, who hoped to increase their power by succeeding her and gaining the influence that her position entailed .
The King of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, Milvaro Manyu, could only shake his head as he swept by the opinion of those around him .
“Their goal is obvious! They’re going to build up their strength, and then they’ll attack our kingdom!”
As a king, it was difficult to ignore the great majority of the candidates, as doing so would earn him the displeasure of the people .
—Fight power with power!
That was the common thinking at the time . The demands of a weak country were meaningless before a powerful country . And the Holy Shushunu Kingdom was undoubtedly a giant country . As a country that reins supreme at the center of the continent, there have been many instances when it has interfered with the group of small countries to the east . Hence, it could be said that their decision was made in haste . The Holy Shushunu Kingdom decided to put the pressure on Attibel .
Although the mana guards that the battle princess herself raised and inspired and the arch knights, a cavalry unit of archers, that were under the king’s direct command were not thrown into the fray, one of the standard armies of the Holy Shushunu kingdom, the Lance Knights, were mobilized . Word of their movements has already been reported by Shunrai to Brandika .
“Oh? So, they’re coming, are they?”
When Brandika heard the report, he smiled ferociously atop his throne and called for the old enchanter, Grave, to bring 6,000 troops to the east . By sending the leaders directly under the Red King, Attibel was able to show its intent . Because the two forces were meeting each other in each country’s border, both countries became very nervous . On top of that, something happened that made the situation even worse for Brandika .
The maze city of Tortoki was rebelling .
The rebellion began from a quarrel within the maze, from the very subordinates of the Red King, who took over a portion of the maze and started seizing the prey of other clans . Presently, the ratio of clans in Tortoki that have yielded to the Red King to those that the Red King didn’t even look at was 3 to 7 .
The quarrel quickly spun out of control and ended up into a collision between the Pro-Red-King Faction and the Anti-Red-King Faction . Another reason why a rebellion broke out was because the clan leader of the Red King, Brandika, was not present within the city because of the coronation .
Without anyone present to control the situation, the fire of rebellion spread throughout the dry land .
The various clans that the Red King didn’t even look at have already been humiliated by them previously, but behind the scenes, a young girl appeared and persuaded the clans that they could win . That young girl went by the name of Sophia and distributed a vast amount of wealth to the clans . The way she was able to bring the various clans together and raise up a force to contest the Red King was truly nothing short of magnificent . It was enough to be called a work of art .
Seeing that, Brandika decided to send the clans that attended his coronation back home, while assigning Saldin as the leader of the force that would suppress the uprising .
“They dare to work together? Is this the work of Shushunu’s old hag of an impaler?”
Brandika clicked his tongue as he thought of a way to calm the rebellion in Tortoki that was probably spurred on by the Holy Shushunu Kingdom’s movements . The activity of their intelligence department was thin in the Holy Shushunu Kingdom due to reports of the War Princess, Claudia, being on the verge of resignation due to her age .
Hence, presently, Brandika actually had no idea who instigated this predicament he was currently facing . It could be the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, the elders’ council, the Elks Clan, or it could also be nothing more than a coincidence . Brandika considered every possibility as he thought of a way to deal with the situation .
But while he was thinking up a solution, another report was brought before him .
“The remnants of the elders?”
People calling themselves the remnants of Pena’s elders have taken over a town .
After Brandika dismissed the bureaucrat that came to inform him, an amazing smile appeared on his face .
“For all of these things to happen at the same time… Someone must be pulling the strings from behind . ”
The reports were coming too quickly . If one rebellion had simply sparked another, then it should have taken more time . After all, it takes time for word to travel and another faction to think of rebelling .
The current situation wasn’t like that, It was as if someone had intentionally planned for all these fires of rebellion to be lit at the same time .
It was simply too convenient a situation for those against the Red King .
But then… who? Who pulled the strings and lit a flame in three different places?
Brandika had many enemies .
It could be one of those he’d crushed in the past . It could be a new enemy . But there were too many either way for him to count them even with both hands .
But since Brandika was already certain that someone had planned for this, he decided to turn his mind toward a certain truth . The flag of the Elks Clan that ever struggled against him continues to flutter in the north yet .
“…Elks… The ghost of Touri Nokia, huh?”
Brandika may have gained the territory of a large country, but he had yet to solidify his foundations . Being able to take advantage of this weakness wasn’t something that some rubbish clan could pull off . Not even the elders could, in fact .
The war princess of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom could, but she shouldn’t have had enough time to influence the elders .
At that, Brandika’s animal-like instincts went into work, and he immediately decided that this must be the work of the Elks Clan, who has been fighting with them from the start at the east .
“Are you provoking me?”
When he realized that the enemy was intentionally provoking him, Brandika felt something welling up from within . A feeling like when a powerful foe stands in one’s way . A feeling like when one is fighting an enemy like the Iron-Armed Knight . A feeling that has become all the more stronger now that he was the master of such a large nation . It gnawed at his heart like a disease that couldn’t be cured . It was the burning sensation one felt when one happened onto a powerful foe .
Someone skilled enough to turn the southern lands into the main stage was calling for him . Surely that person knew of the might of the Red King since the Elks Clan has already fought with them once .
And yet that person continued to wave the banner of Elks in the north, as if saying that they could win .
Brandika thought so too . Which is why he decided to lead the cavalry himself .
“I’ll wring you dry, ghost of Touri Nokia . ”
Perhaps, the reason Brandika chose to throw himself into such a fierce fight was because his dearest friend, Carlion, was dying . Like a man trying to pull the wool over his own heart, Brandika departed for Pena .
His soldiers numbered 20,000 .
Although Brandika had to send soldiers to various places and leave some behind to defend, the difference between his forces and the goblins’ was still 4 times . It could be said that this difference in strength was no other than the very gap between their nations’ might .
Like that Brandika’s army left Attibel and departed for the north .
“No, my liege, you mustn’t…” Carlion muttered when he was informed of Brandika’s departure .
His already slender body was now nothing more than bones and skin . And his skin was so white it was basically transparent .
Despite that Cell still gathered the information he asked for, and when Carlion heard of Brandika’s departure and the rebellions, he closed his eyes .
As the person who knew Brandika the most, Carlion could tell what sort of mindset Brandika had when he left .
It was probably too difficult for him to bear the burning emotions just sitting atop his bloodstained throne .
In the first place, Brandika wasn’t a schemer . He was a man who valued bravery and preferred to face the world with his own strength . He probably couldn’t bear the weight of the throne unless he fought a powerful foe . And odds were that he wasn’t even aware of that .
“Did I change him?” 
Genius Tactician? What a joke . Carlion smiled in self-derision .
To present one’s liege the greatest throne .
It sounded nice in theory, but the truth was that Carlion actually wasn’t sure if that was really what Brandika wanted . But then again it might be nothing more than Carlion’s self-conceit that has made him suspect that Brandika might have actually been satisfied as a mere clan leader .
“Are you going?” Cell, who was tending to Carlion, cast her eyes down .
“Yes . Partly for the sake of my master, and… Partly because if I’m going to die, I’d like to die in the battlefield . I suppose you could say that it’s my real motive . ”
“You… No . It’s fine . ”
Carlion wryly smiled and gave her the order to go east .
“Please inform Grave-san to prioritize time . Tell him to try and make peace . As for Saldin, it’s okay to abandon the likes of Tortoki, so tell him to rendezvous with the king as fast as he can . ”
As Cell nodded, Carlion smiled .
“The enemy seems dead set on the king, so it’s probably a survivor of the Elks clan . But odds are that the reason Elks Clan is picking a fight now is because they think they can kill the king . Send a messenger to Germion Kingdom…”
Carlion’s hands shook like a withered tree as he got out of bebd and changed his cslothes .
“Ha ha ha… Riding a horse with this body might prove difficult .
Carlion tottered and was even about to fall, but Cell supported him with her shoulder .
“Is that your last order?” Cell asked .
“Take care of yourself…” Carlion replied .
“…You’re the worst . ”
“I know . ”
After finally being able to leave his bed, Carlion looked up at the sky . Its beautiful azure hue covered the expanse above as dazzlingly as ever .
Pale Symphoria used the darkness of the night and the morning fog to toy around with the 6,000 soldiers of the mixed army . She only had 500 demihumans under her, since the other human forces were busy completing the construction of the fortress of the foggy plains, Melgion . But the movements of the mixed army were being leaked to her thanks to a spy she managed to sneak into the mixed army .
Which is why even though the enemy forces numbered tens of times more than her own, she was able to somehow put up a fight . But no matter what, dealing with so many with so few meant that they couldn’t engage directly, and that greatly burdened Pale . One wrong move and the fog between her and the enemy would disappear .
With Shirak as their base, Pale and the centaurs of Tianos scouted the enemy repeatedly . They would come out in the night, coat the area under their eyes with a special medicine, and depart with an eminence of centaurs that could see in the night .
The mixed army slept in the various towns of the borderlands, but only Shirak Town had walls . Originally, the mixed army would’ve liked to position themselves behind its walls, but Pale’s incessant interferences forced them to give up that position .
“The town is within sight,” Tianos said .
“Any shadows near the watch fires?” Pale asked .
“Please wait,” Tianos said with a kneel, then the scouts came back and reported with great detail .
The late Daizos, their old chief, was excessively loyal to the elves; hence, the centaurs themselves were meek when it came to an order from the elves .
After receiving the information of the scout, Pale immediately gave an order .
“Three volleys in succession . Shoot the watch fires . Wait for my arrow . Afterwards, we will retreat while shooting down the enemies as they come . ”
“Understood . ”
Although Pale spoke casually, Tianos naturally bowed his head when he replied .
The sound of bowstrings being drawn to the limits resounded faintly within the dark of the night . The bow Pale is using is a favorite of hers from the time when she was an adventurer . She nocked an arrow on that bow and aimed at the distant camp of the enemy .
After a moment of silence came an air-tearing arrow that shot through the night sky, behind which followed countless arrows . One moment passed, then Pale heard the sound of screams and angry yells coming from the enemy camp .
After a moment, Pale shot more arrows toward the night sky, landing themselves into the soldiers that were just about to leave their tents, causing the screams to become louder .
“Let us retreat . ”
Tianos believed they could do even more damage if they were to just keep shooting at the humans, but he did as Pale commanded and retreated .
Perhaps they might have indeed dealt more damage to the humans, but being able to deal damage didn’t mean also being able to escape . Centaurs shined the brightest when they were able to attack while moving . Hence, harassing the enemy was the most that they could do .
By the time the mixed army had readied their forces and were about to strike back, Pale and her centaurs were long gone and a rain of arrows once again descending from the darkness .
Being attacked one-sidedly not only struck fear into the hearts of the mixed army’s soldiers, but it also did a great deal of damage mentally . And after repeating this several times, Pale had managed to corner the mixed army mentally .
When Melgion fortress was almost complete and Pale was beginning to repair Shirak Town, word of Attibel’s King, Brandika, arriving at the battlefield reached her .
 – Could be ‘it’ too . Could be referring to the plans instead of Brandika since he mocks himself for his ‘genius tactician’ title .
“This time even Pale might be at a disadvantage,” Falun said .
Within the depths of the Forest of Darkness, where the elves lived, were Shure and Old Falun . The former ruled the elves, while the latter gathered and analyzed information on the current situation .
“…The enemy king moves well,” Falun continued .
The two elves conversed each other while playing a game of chess . From an outsider’s perspective, it might seem like the two were merely playing, but in truth, they were exchanging information and discussing the future .
“Shure, as great chief of the elves, as the one who holds the future of the elves upon his back, you must eventually make a decision,” Falun urged .
Falun’s pawn moved to defend the king .
“…Are you telling me to turn traitor? We have yet to lose . ” Shure asked .
Shure sent his queen to the front lines to try and change the tides of battles .
“It’s too late once you’ve lost . It is imperative that you take measures so you don’t lose . ”
The pawns surrounded the queen and refused to move even a step away from Shure’s camp .
“And it was in that way that we have lived many months and years . ”
As Falun sighed, a deep crevice formed between his brows . It was deep, as if all of the troubles he felt had piled up and left a mark . Survival was their greatest problem . Having long life meant that they had more opportunities to watch other races rise and fall .
“Loyalty is the path we should take,” Shure said
“What use is loyalty if we are dead?” Falun questioned .
Shure’s pawns advanced to save his queen .
“…Anger dulls your judgement . Still too green, Shure . ”
In a flash, Old Falun’s knight cut down Shure’s pawns, the queen’s head within its reach .
“Pale is a brilliant child . She will not fall so easily . ”
But Shure’s queen slipped through a gap made by the knight and extended her sword toward the enemy king’s neck .
“Yes . She won’t fall easily . And that is why we will be able to negotiate . ”
Falun’s king fled from Shure’s queen, and at the same time, encroached into Shure’s camp . ”
If the war lasted for a long time and the elves conserved their forces, their value would rise .
Or did Shure wish for a position greater than the Great Chief of the elves? Falun seemed to ask .
“Hmm… A king against a king, huh . You’ve outwitted me . ”
Seeing Shure move his pieces silently, Old Falun wryly smiled .
“War is different from chess . The world won’t just move according to our predictions,” Shure said .
“You’ve grown . One day you will surely become a man who can become king,” Falun’s wrinkled face twisted faintly as he laughed .
“You praise me too much, teacher,” Shure said .
“The Holy Shushunu Kingdom is connected to the Elves’ – or rather, to be more specific- Gastair’s forest . It is a bond formed by my younger brother . Their intel says that our water and fire brethren have begun to move . ” Seeing Shure nod, Falun continued . “Lady Claudia is moving . Though aged, it seems that tomboyish personality of hers is incurable as ever . Her strategies are a thing to behold . Like a chain of traps . Once caught up in it, there’s no escaping . ”
Falun narrowed his eyes as he watched Shure lovingly caress his queen .
“I see . I’d like to have a match with her once . ” Shure nodded .
When he glanced outside the window, small birds could be seen chirping under the warm rays of the sun .
Word of the battle princess of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, Claudia the Lady Impaler’s, movement was brought to Pale . It was right at the moment when her own plans had succeeded too . Pale believed that with her joining the fray, the Red King’s entire army wouldn’t be able to go after the goblins .
Claudia the Battle Princess was too big a name to leave alone . She was the sort of enemy that even if one fought ready to lose his arm, victory remained uncertain . The small countries adjacent to the Holy Shushunu Kingdom feared her like a witch or a fierce god .
After dragging the mixed army into the forest and repelling them, Pale ordered the army to go to Shirak . It was morning, and the veil of the fog covered the surrounding area . It was the perfect time for hiding .
Zaurosh led his human platoons to repair the walls of Shirak Town . They also brought in materials to construct siege weapons and dig out moats around the castle walls . Simple traps like pitfalls could also be seen around the perimeter .
The storage rooms were filled to the brim with quivers of arrows, oil, dried wood, food, and water . The Leon Heart Clan worked day and night to prepare everything that might be needed in a siege .
Pale allowed the centaurs to rest, but she didn’t allow herself the same comfort, as she went to check on Zaurosh’s progress and give them new orders . Afterwards, she analyzed the new information acquired and received the scouts’ reports in order decide what to do the following day .
Despite the two of them working together, the amount work being pushed onto Pale was still too much .
“Brandika is going to appear . ”
After receiving the scouts’ report in the dead of the night, within a feudal lord’s residence, Pale looked down at the map .
Though the sleepless nights have left dark circles under her eyes, Pale was smiling . But because her face was so perfectly balanced, the resulting expression drew a terrifying image . Fortunately, no one was around to witness it .
The map was filled with details, and according to those details, Pale and her men have already figured out the location where Brandika’s advance party arrived .
The battlefield was still within her hands .
The way things were going, Pale even started to think that it might be possible to kill Brandika without having to wait for the Goblin King . But those heated thought of hers quickly cooled down as reason whispered to her that such a thing was impossible .
Pale closed her eyes to get whatever sleep she could, the raging battlefield appearing behind her eyelids .
Pale only rested for a little, as they would be attacking once again in the dead of the night .
Brandika must surely know that they have been attacking them every night, so naturally, he must’ve thought of some sort of plan .
Brandika was a brave human king, but it was precisely because of that bravery of his that he would surely appear in the battlefield to settle the problem .
Thus, Pale decided to take the centaurs and a portion of the Leon Heart cavalry to battle .
Led by she who sought vengeance, an army of 700 soldiers, made up of demihumans and humans, rode onwards .
When the watch fires of Razuel were within sight, Pale ordered the army to halt .
So silent was the black of the night that the chief of the centaurs, Tianos, could hear nothing more than the singing of insects and the howling of the monster beasts . Dubious as he was, for Pale had ordered them to stop further from the enemy than usual, he kept as silent as he could as he watched his surroundings .
“When we are near Razuel, at my signal, shoot once, and then turn around . We will exterminate the enemy in the left woods, and then return,” Pale said .
Try as Tianos might to strain his ears or eyes, unfortunately, he could not see nor hear nor sense any enemies hiding within the forest .
“Understood,” Tianos nodded .
But Pale was an elven tactician, so it’s more than possible that she might have her own methods .
After Tianos nodded, he made sure that all of his soldiers understood that . From there, they advanced 500 steps, and then Pale gave the order to turn back .
As soon as the entire army turned around, Tianos finally noticed the presence of humans near them .
“I can’t believe it . They really were here . ”
Though shocked, the army couldn’t possibly slow down . Tianos stood at the head of the army and encouraged his men as they faced the enemy .
The centaur warriors followed after Tianos and his bows .
The centaurs specialized in attacking the enemy while moving . Tianos ran as he drew his bow . When he had shot twice, he was finally able to see the enemy within the forest .
Tianos shot another arrow, then he changed his weapon to a spear .
The centaurs jumped over the thickets and swung their spears against them . Without even checking whether they’d killed their foes or not, the centaurs ran . They buried the enemies before them while ignoring the cries of the figures they were fighting . It wasn’t until after they’d passed the forest and took a detour to the right that they finally checked how many they’d lost themselves .
“We’ll continue our retreat like this . ”
Tianos nodded and they all went back to Shirak .
Brandika clicked his tongue and confirmed the situation of the north during the war council . Shirak was a good position to move westward from . After Shirak they could go to the western territories or even Cultidian .
As such, Brandika had no choice but to destroy them .
“Well, when you think about it… It really was just a bad opponent for an unorganized mob . ”
The mixed army was completely defeated before the relentless attacks every night . So great was the fear of the mixed army for Pale and her men after being toyed around by them that they started calling them ghosts .
Brandika had intended to purge their fear with the trap he laid out last night, but alas, the enemy went above them . The enemy’s instinct that allowed them to see through their cover in the forest was not ordinary .
The enemy corpses were that of humans and demihumans .
They were definitely not ghosts . It was just that the enemy commander was terrifyingly sharp .
“The enemy commander is pretty good . ”
It was as if he was fighting with Carlion himself . When Brandika thought of that, for a moment he hesitated and the thought of trying to pull the enemy commander to his side flashed through his mind .
“There’s no need for us to play their game!”
One of Brandika’s subordinate clan leaders woke him up from his thoughts .
That clan leader suggested that they use their numerical advantage and attack . The many clan leaders present in the war council agreed .
Brandika yearned for more talents to support his growing nation .
The clan leaders under him knew that too, which is why they believed that they too would be able to find glory should they succeed in bringing merit . As such, they were very willing to participate in this expedition .
They also had a lot of soldiers to spare . So Brandika thought that it might be a good idea to leave things to his subordinate clan leaders, let them them measure the enemy’s strength, and give them an opportunity to gain merit .
When Brandika did just that, the clan leaders organized an advanced army . Of the 25,000 soldiers that Brandika had under him, he sent 3,000 ahead .
However, unlike the subordinate clan leaders, who were in high spirits, the morale of the mixed army was at an all time low, and it was continuously getting even lower .
Brandika positioned them in the back and began posturing to preserve the border region .
But then two days later, a messenger came, bringing word of the advance army’s defeat, causing Brandika to go wide-eyed . Moreover, one of the towns of the former Pena has broken off from them .
Like this the weakened flank of a newly born country was struck .
“First-class pain in the ass, I’ll give you that,” Brandika muttered to himself .
After that Brandika received the defeated army, punished the person who suggested the plan, then he sent the Knight Commander of the Blue Knights, Allen, with 2,000 soldiers to maintain order in the territory of the old Pena .
“Do I just endure this? They’re really getting the best of me . ”
There is a thing called ‘momentum’ or ‘flow’ in battle . From things that one can sense to things that one cannot sense, there are all sorts of reasons why the momentum ends up leaning toward one side during battle, but regardless, the moment one has lost this momentum, no matter what one does, it will always have a bad result .
“The flow is against us,” the guest general, Wyatt, spoke out Brandika’s thoughts .
“Let’s proceed with caution from here on . ”
With that Brandika and his men slowly advanced for Shirak . They split their forces and lit up fires everywhere be it day or night to ensure that they wouldn’t be taken by surprise . The days passed, and slowly but surely, the over 20,000 soldiers of Brandika neared Shirak .
It should be mentioned that their camp was also flawless in its defense, having moats, fences, and even the nearby undergrowth pulled out .
Brandika’s army of over 20,000 was like a predator slowly moving in for its prey .
Naturally, the pressure Pale and her subordinates felt was equally grave .
But the days kept on passing, and Pale could not attack the enemy carelessly . The morale of the mixed army gradually recovered, and eventually, Shirak City was within sight .
But when Wyatt saw Shirak, he couldn’t help but groan .
Not much time had passed and yet Shirak was barely recognizable . Castle walls stood up high, and atop them were piles of logs and ballistae . Moreover, several layers of fences surrounded the town, preventing anyone from advancing as a unified army .
It was as if the enemy’s extraordinary general was saying, “Come if you dare!”
“Brute force would be ill-advised,” Wyatt said .
Brandika made a difficult face .
They had been so careful in traveling here that they ended up using more time than expected . Now, even the food supply to feed over 20,000 soldiers was starting to grow sparse .
“Your majesty,” a messenger happily appeared before the confused Brandika . “Lord Carlion is coming! And he has brought reinforcements!”
All the people present immediately became elated at the news . Brandika himself was expressionless just moments ago, but as soon as he heard the news, shock filled him .
Carlion was no longer in the state to be moving . One side effect of the pain relieving medicine he was taking was loss of mobility .
“Carlion is coming?”
“I’m meeting him . Get me my horse!”
Brandika hastily left, taking only a few soldiers with him as he went to meet Carlion .
“Carlion!” Brandika called out .
Carlion couldn’t even ride a horse anymore, so he was riding a carriage . Beside him was, Cell, who was keeping pace with his carriage . When she noticed Brandika, she ordered for the army to stop .
Carlion borrowed Cell’s hand to get off the carriage with much difficulty, then he knelt before Brandika and greeted him .
“My, king… I have come to serve you one last time . ”
As Brandika said that, he swallowed his words and grit his molars so hard it was as if he was trying to crush them . He couldn’t help but swallow after seeing the firm resolve reflected in Carlion’s eyes .
Why did you come? What about your body? Don’t push yourself… Don’t die…
When Brandika realized this was his friend’s last wish, everything he wanted to say vanished, and instead, he told him what he wanted to hear .
“I permit it . Take my entire army and crush the enemy!”
“Gladly . No enemy can stand before my schemes . Nor is there such thing as an infallible castle . ”
Brandika braced himself for the worst . Carlion was going to die .
And it would be his fault .
To compensate him, he would have to create a kingdom that would last a thousand years…
…No matter who stood in his way .
With the supremacy of the south at stake, the curtains on the last battle of those who lived on ingenuity were drawn .
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