"...A blitzkrieg is the key to this war." Theodore understood Seimei's intentions in a matter of seconds.
It was expected that the army would be split into two. The onmyōjis of Japan wouldn't be able to fight alongside the youkais. Furthermore, the violence and strength of the thousand-year-old monsters, who were stronger than the top-rated creatures, wouldn't be able to be controlled by an army. As such, the formation of two separate units of humans and youkai was natural.
"Correct. And as you know, transcendents are too powerful to move in one unit. It is inefficient in situations where we need to move quickly."
"So, it is a blitzkrieg? Then the burden on my shoulders will be heavy."
"Kik, don't exaggerate. Your abilities have been boosted to their prime after possessing my three artifacts. No enemy outside of Geongun Castle can threaten you," Seimei said while smiling lightly and poking Theodore in the chest. Then he took a few steps back and continued speaking, "Then shall I summarize the points we must penetrate?"
The most important thing with a blitzkrieg was to break down the sustainability of the war by rapidly breaking the enemy with mobility and speed. Even a big building or a big country would collapse when the pillars crumbled. Like an arrow shot in the dark, they had to penetrate the enemy's backbone.
"Now, everybody pay attention!" Seimei clapped a few times to get everyone's attention before raising his hand in empty space.
Then a translucent map appeared in the space, showing the borders and boundaries of each territory. It was like a map of the East Continent had been drawn from the sky and then copied and pasted in front of them. Theodore thought he might learn something about the magic when Seimei snapped his fingers.
"What is it, Fox? Are you going to act like you are surprised?"
The people present reacted differently. There was someone who understood the meaning of the change and was surprised, someone else who didn't understand the meaning, and another person who picked a fight just because it was Seimei. Red and blue dots filled the map.
Seimei looked at the crowd and asked, "Theodore, you know what these points and colors mean?"
Theodore nodded with a long sigh. He knew it with one glance and became aware of the seriousness of the situation. There were countless red dots, while less than 30% of them were blue. Once they were placed over the territories, anyone could understand.
"The red dots are the mutants while the blue dots are the survivors. A dark color indicates the strength of the object or a large number of people in a small area."
"That is correct. Then can you see the goals of our army?"
"Apart from the capital of Geongun Castle, there are eight castles."
Nobutsuna and Toman agreed when they heard the answer. However, the youkai didn't know the situation and could only listen with puzzled expressions. There were 256 castles at key points in the central empire. Each castle had a lord they needed to pass before reaching the empire. The lords who ruled 32 provinces each were said to be the core power of the empire.
"That's right. Only the royal family, apart from the heir, is eligible for the title. The goal of this blitzkrieg is to defeat their armies as soon as possible."
"Seimei, I want to ask one thing."
"Hmm?" Seimei looked back at Theodore's question.
"At present, the empire isn't a proper kingdom but a den of monsters. What is the point of subduing the strongholds? It won't change the situation unless we defeat the main culprit of the disturbance."
"You are half right, half wrong," Seimei said, shaking his head. Then he added, "As you said, the empire has lost most of its functions as a kingdom. Their fingers won't stop even if their shoulders are cut. However, there is meaning in disconnecting the shoulder and fingers. If we do this, won't it be possible to hit the arm with the shortest distance?"
"Are the eight feudal princes that dangerous?"
"I think so," Seimei stated. Narrowing his eyes, he then explained the threat of the eight feudal princes, "They are the same as those with a slim chance of becoming an upper species. They are creatures created by the generations of breeding between the royal family and Lust. There is a higher possibility of them become upper creatures, as well as obtaining variant powers."
"...Can the creatures form armies and use military strategy?"
"If that happens, it is all over." Despite his mischievous tone, Seimei's eyes were heavy.
They were outnumbered, and there were strong individuals that were hard to win against. Instinct told them to run away. Humanity's only hope of winning was breaking through the creatures, but there would be no breakthrough if the creatures could be controlled like an army.
The humans could only fight to the death.
"Sigh, we can only try."
The core of this blitzkrieg was entrusted to Theodore, who was faster than anyone else as he was a magician who transcended space and could become lightning. Beyond the limits of a mortal, he was a lightning bolt that would pierce the hearts of the eight feudal princes.
"Please specify a goal."
Coincidentally, once Theodore woke up his fighting spirit, dark clouds on the horizon let out thunder.
The sound of thunder resembled that of war drums.
* * *
Kwarurung! There was a loud sound as a single lightning bolt cut apart the clouds. The lightning bolt moved horizontally across the blue sky. The identity of the lightning was Theodore. He kept moving without looking at the torn wind and landscape below.
-It might be a blitzkrieg, but you don't have to do it all. Two masters will be in charge of two places, and the big armies will be in charge of two places. The two princes in the west are too far away… You only need to take care of the two eastern regions.
Theodore thought back at Seimei's words and muttered the names of the two eastern castles. The names of the princes' castles were similar in that they started with Cheon (Heaven).
'Cheonkang Castle and Cheonju Castle. I am close to Cheonju Castle. At my pace, I will arrive there in 10 minutes.'
It was an hour after the meeting in Japan ended. Even if there was a mole present, the speed of the raid was so fast that informing the middle empire was useless. Theodore moved a dozen times faster than the speed of speed and passed several territories in one blink of the eyes.
The blitzkrieg was a lightning fast attack. However, the strategist who invented the concept wouldn't have known that an attacker could turn into real lightning.
-Don't spare your strength. The enemy's armies will have Lust's eyes present. The longer you fight, the more your information will be exposed. Defeat the targets as quickly as possible.
'I know that much.'
Who would mention the importance of information to a magician? Theodore smiled as he flew over a few rivers and four mountain peaks before starting to slow down. Lightning was a favorite technique of his because of its tremendous speed, but the shock wave caused by the discharge phenomena was too loud. Theodore stopped 10 kilometers away in order to avoid the attention of the enemy.
Theodore halted only after his speed became safe. His eyes could already see Cheonju Castle.
A large crow, three or four times larger than its original size, emerged in the empty space. It was the remaining pet of the summoning master, Satomer.
"I'm going to borrow your eyes."
Kyaack-! Hugin cried out in agreement, and Theodore's vision was further expanded. Crows like Hugin and Muninn were a species that served the gods in the Age of Mythology. Of course, Odin was equivalent to the king of two species. However, after Hugin signed a contract with Theodore, he wasn't lacking any power.
"...Umm, it is a pretty solid castle." Theodore was briefly impressed by the defenses of Cheonju Castle.
'It is several times stronger than Tae Rang's ward, and there are no gaps. It would be much faster to break through than to try and manipulate it. If the other castle is like this, it might take more time than I think...'
There were two ways of passing through a ward—either trick the ward or destroy it. However, these choices were only possible for Theodore. It was almost impossible for others. Although it was possible for youkai like Shuten-doji or a Nobutsunlevel swordsman to break through, it was difficult to concentrate on only the ward during a siege.
'A ward based on the feng shui method and a castle swarming with variants... The risk level is equivalent to grade 1.'
Theodore's lips curved as he declared, "So what?"
Wanting to discuss a fortress in front of a great magician?
Four types of magic spells were activated—fire, water, wind, and earth.
All four elemental magic were mobilized for only one thing—Abraxas.
The force that had destroyed Theodore's mortal wall and placed him in the domain of an immortal—it was powerful magic made for going beyond his limits, but it was also possible to exert more destructive power than imagined by colliding strong magic with each other.
The space screamed from the enormous force gathering together. As four beads became one, the dimensional shaking shook the surroundings. If Theodore gathered a bit more strength, the dimensional wall would tear, and an empty space would open its mouth.
A bead made of pale light...
A force that could blow away a mountain was leashed on his palm.
However, Theodore moved the power in a strange way.
"Your turn, Heavenly Sword."
He pulled up the power of the new sword in his body through his right arm. A strand of light stretched out faintly, and the wind passing over him was cut. This was the power of the sword itself, despite it not doing anything. Couldn't it show enough power to cut the world to pieces?
"Beyond the clouds in the sky, cut through the world!"
The power of the great magic, Abraxas, permeated it. The fearsome output out a burden on the god-sword, and it felt like the bones in his right arm were being crushed. However, Theodore didn't give up.
The first attempt at the fusion of the great magic and god sword had succeeded!
Fusion Complete: Unprecedented God Sword.
As the whole world seemed frozen, Theodore didn't miss the gaze coming from the distant castle. The eyes of the monster were filled with malice, bloodlust, and astonishment. This monster was one of the eight feudal princes of the empire.
The god-sword struck down vertically from the sky. It broke the clouds, split apart the ground where the castle was located, and broke the ward in a line. This was a blow that surpassed even Seimei in the past!
The destruction of Cheonju Castle started with this absurd surprise attack.