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Chapter 278 – Revenge (2)

    Chapter 278 - Revenge (2)

    The meeting on the reorganization of the army took a lot of time. In addition to the newly joined Orta, there were the elf reinforcements and the two master level guardians. Not only that, but most of the elf warriors were from different fields, ranging from reconnaissance to fighting. Therefore, they had to come up with a plan of how to move them.

    The meeting was held until the sun was in the middle of the sky. As a result, Theodore was placed in a vacant lot with his assigned personnel.

    He looked around at those who had joined him and said, "First, Quattro and the detached group will move directly under me like before. The performance that you showed on Karul Plains was excellent. Please show the same thing in the future."

    Yes! The 30 magicians saluted. The groups under Sylvia, William, and Para didn't have any casualties. They might have been lucky, or it might have been due to good commands. Theodore didn't think this optimistic outcome would continue, but he hoped it would drag out as long as possible. He didn't want his heart to be bothered by the loss of familiar faces.

    Looking around at his subordinates, Theodore's gaze stopped on a person for a moment-a blonde girl.

    'Paragranum.'

    She was the Yellow Tower Master who had founded the cornerstones that were the magic towers.

    Theodore used to think that Paragranum had simply picked Meltor as a good place to study magic, but not anymore. If there was someone who guided the northern war for centuries as Gluttony presumed, then the grimoire hiding behind a shell was also a winner.

    There was a chance that the recipe to make titanium had been handed over by Paragranum.

    "...Next."

    However, it was still too early to question Paragranum. Theodore tore his eyes away from the grimoire in the guise of a young girl.

    Anyway, her body was just a terminal, and there would be no big outcome if Theodore killed her. Additionally, there was a need to find the grimoire's main body in order to threaten it with Gluttony.

    'It is obviously hidden somewhere in Mana-vil.' Theodore thought of a few suspicious places as he looked at the waiting elf.

    The elf had blond hair that was close to silver, and he looked like a sculpture. He was Edwin, the guardian of Elvenheim who was placed under Theodore's command, along with 50 elf warriors.

    "I am happy to be with you again. Third branch of Elvenheim, Sir Edwin."

    "I am also thankful for your guidance, Benefactor."

    This time, they shook hands instead of using a military ceremony. Edwin was Theodore's subordinate, but he was also a guardian with the highest reputation in Elvenheim. As an elf with the power of senior elementals, Edwin didn't bow to anyone except for the high elves.

    He wasn't someone to speak informally with.

    'I didn't ask, but things turned out well.'

    Theodore was relieved as he spoke to Edwin, who followed him like a mild puppy.

    The bow master of Andras, who had aimed for him last time on the Karul Plains...

    Apart from Theodore who had foresight with his super sensitivity, the best person to match the bow master was Edwin. Ellaim wasn't weak, but right now, the unit needed a master specialized in ranged combat rather than close combat.

    It would strengthen the strongest part of the unit, rather than the weakest part.

    In the first place, war mages acted on the principle that they would defeat the opponent before they got close. Close combat was a last resort. A magician who allowed a knight to get close was already halfway defeated.

    Furthermore, Theodore hadn't seen it yet, but the Gladio that Paragranum had repaired was sleeping in his inventory. Even so, there was a chance that the bow master might strike when Theodore's feet were tied up by another one of the empire's Seven Swords.

    The presence of the enemy bow master, who could shoot arrows over a few kilometers, was a nightmare.

    'In the worst case scenario, the 1st and 2nd Swords  will have recovered rapidly and then strike at me, but... it is meaningless to worry too much about it.'

    The probability of that was close to zero. Theodore might be a hero, but on the surface, he was just a 7th Circle magician. He wasn't an opponent that two of the strongest swordsmen in Andras would team up against to assassinate.

    Meltor had the combination of Veronica and Blundell, so it would strategically be very stupid.

    Putting the powerhouses in one unit might allow a terrible power to be exerted at one point. However, if they didn't act according to schedule, this could become a huge hole. For instance, if Theodore didn't move at all, how long would the 1st and 2nd Swords wait in their locations?

    Meanwhile, Meltor would be able to trample on the empire. Blundell and Veronica would cut at that gap.

    Additionally, that could also be applied to Theodore's force.

    "Dame Rebecca, sister of Sir Randolph."

    "Yes, My Liege."

    In response to the call, Rebecca moved forward and knelt on one knee like a knight. Her left hand was on her waist, while her right hand was on her heart. It was the greeting of a person who would devote both her sword and her life to him.

    '...Indeed, she has a genius talent like Randolph.' Theodore reflexively read and admired her skills.

    Rebecca's performance had probably advanced by two stages since they said goodbye four months ago in the Soldun Kingdom. She was probably around Randolph's level when he had been at the duel trial?

    Rebecca was at the last wall before becoming a sword master, realizing her Aura Ability. It was the turning point where crossing the wall depended on a person's capabilities. Despite his admiration, Theodore spoke in a cold voice, "Is this enough to keep what you have promised me?"

    He was asking if she could survive on the battlefield where even the life of a sword master wasn't guaranteed.

    "I'm sorry. But Brother said that in order to move onto the next stage, action, not practice, is needed."

    "That's right. He also crossed this wall because of real action."

    It had been a stormy night when he had been on the side of the infamous sea dragon, fighting against a grimoire from the Age of Mythology. The experience of that day surpassed the decades of experience that Randolph had built up.

    After that, Randolph found his Aura Ability and his overall skills soared. It couldn't be compared to that night, but this war might be enough to awaken Rebecca's ability. However, that wasn't the answer that Theodore wanted.

    "Do you intend to use this war as your springboard? If you have such a thought then leave right now."

    "My Liege, please allow me to speak."

    "I give permission."

    After receiving Theodore's permission, Rebecca looked up at him with her green eyes. "My Liege, I swore to be your sword."

    "So?"

    "Swing me freely. My blade will bathe in the enemy's blood, and I will cut more sharply than before."

    "I am a magician. You might not get the role you desire."

    "If I'm interfering, then leave me. I will return to my sheathe at your waist."

    Rebecca abandoned her pride as a knight and only followed him. Yet as the beautiful knight spoke in a dignified manner, it was clear that some of her pride still remained. It was enough to make the people gathered here feel overwhelmed.

    Sylvia looked serious, but Theodore couldn't read her mind and just accepted Rebecca's request.

    "Okay. Make sure that you thoroughly move according to my instructions."

    "I will keep that in mind, My Liege!"

    As Rebecca stepped back, Theodore realized that all the personnel had been sorted out. It was a group of fewer than 100 elites. Although it might be difficult to attack Rutben, it was a unit capable of destroying a decent fortress in half a day.

    "Apart from the leaders, I will see the rest of you here tomorrow morning. Dismissed!"

    The work he had to do wasn't over yet. As all the members of the unit returned to their quarters, Theodore moved to the barrack with his executives. As mentioned earlier, he had to be careful not to waste this power.

    He had to do something that wouldn't become a negative. Theodore looked through the maps and used Alfred's memories to determine the place to attack.

    "Rutben is too crowded. It is a little further, but how about Elverin?"

    "The distance is too great. It will take time for troops to arrive to occupy the area, and there aren't any great benefits to occupying it."

    "Moselle Castle looks okay."

    "Umm... The terrain is vague. We don't have to rush into things. In the East, it is called 'something that one hesitates to give up even though it is of little interest'?"

    "Then Moselle is put on hold. What is next?"

    Someone asked, "What about Dofrun Castle?"

    'Dofrun Castle' was a unique name, so the people in the barrack looked at the location on the map.

    Then they sighed.

    "It is too much. The empire's rangers are guarding that mountain. The whole area is completely covered with defensive lines. The enemy reinforcements will arrive in half the time."

    "Even if we can fly over the defensive lines, Dofrun Castle itself is quite a strong fortress. If we are surrounded while exhausted, our odds won't be good. Moreover, the senior officials of Lairon are staying there, so their power would be increased."

    "It seems impossible for anyone to move stealthily toward Dofrun... It is a fortress that needs to be captured from the front, similar to Rutben."

    Dofrun Castle itself was manageable. The walls weren't thick, and the elite troops, including the knights, were of an ordinary level. Theodore and his unit could easily destroy the fortress. The problem was the harshness of the path leading to Dofrun.

    'Ranges cover the mountain area over tens of kilometers.... It is impossible to pass through without being detected by a defensive line. Dofrun Castle should be excluded from the list of targets.'

    Theodore grunted as he looked at the map and realized that the words of the other people weren't wrong. Even Alfred, who was called a genius at tactics, couldn't find an answer to this obstacle.

    Wouldn't it be better to get a small profit, rather than aim for something big and get into trouble? Theodore was leaning toward Moselle Castle that was mentioned earlier.

    "Ah."

    Then an old memory popped into his mind.

    'Yes, if it is that...'

    Theodore looked at Edwin's face. He remembered what he had experienced when he first stepped into Elvenheim. His mind shone as he thought of a similar method.

    "...Shall we try it once?"

    The next day, Theodore and his subordinates disappeared from Meltor's military camp.

    *     *     *

    Berbatov Mountains-it was one of the largest mountain ranges in the empire, with peaks which reached an altitude of 6,000 meters.

    The spectacular terrain of the mountains and its geographical proximity to the border meant it had the nickname of 'Imperial Wall.' The rangers who defended the Berbatov Mountains were always proud of this fact, not tolerating even a single bird flying above their heads.

    Today, some unlucky birds died from arrows.

    "Ohh, that was pretty good practice. Did you shoot two at the same time?"

    "There is a saying about two for one. So, I decided to try it once."

    "Very interesting. Should I also try it once?"

    Hitting two birds with one arrow... The imperial archers were certainly remarkable, but the Berbatov rangers were the only ones who could show this type of archery-shooting flying birds with arrows.

    All of the rangers were good enough to distinguish faces on the horizon, and they could even see the leaves rustling a distance away. They were the reason why Meltor didn't target these mountains. The entire mountain range could be burned down, but they didn't use this method because there were no benefits.

    The knights were filled with pride, and eventually, one of them shot down three birds with one arrow.

    "Today the mountain is peaceful. Won't we die of boredom?"

    "I agree. I wish an intruder passed by."

    "Eh, just one person? There should be 100 people."

    "Hahahaha! Is that so? Indeed, I should be able to shoot 100 people!"

    This remark might seem arrogant, but it was the truth. The rangers of the Berbatov Mountains could shoot hundreds of people alone.

    They were garbage if they missed one shot in 10. If they missed one in 100, they were a fool. Then if they missed one in 1,000 shots, they would avoid going out, stating it was an unlucky day.

    So, the Berbatov rangers couldn't have imagined that as the two knights in the watchtower were chatting, there really were almost 100 invaders passing under their feet.

    'Fools, shoot me if you can.' Theodore laughed as he walked through a tunnel 800 meters under the Berbatov rangers.

    It wasn't easy for a sword master to detect something 800 meters below ground. This was impossible to detect with just a bow and good eyesight even if the elementals weren't being used. Theodore borrowed Mitra's vision to watch the rangers above ground, enjoying this bold infiltration.

    "Hah, I never thought it would be reproduced this way..." Edwin murmured as he walked near Theodore.

    This method was familiar to Edwin.

    It was the way of the forest. Previously, Ellenoa had shown this power to Theodore when he arrived in Elvenheim. The tree branches, roots, and bushes had moved to create a road that hadn't been there previously.

    However, Theodore applied it under the ground, not to the forest, making a tunnel which went for several tens of kilometers.

    "It is only possible with your help, Sir Edwin."

    It would be noticed if they used magic, even at this depth. So, Theodore made this tunnel purely by borrowing Mitra's power. But the amount of power consumed exceeded what Mitra was capable of. Theodore would only be able to make a tunnel that was two or three kilometers at most by himself.

    Fortunately, a few days ago, he had been given 50 elementalists who would support Mitra's power.

    "I can't refuse the Dancer's partner..."

    "An auspicious day..."

    Theodore ignored the burdensome rumors behind him and kept on walking. His super sensitivity whispered that it would be a disaster if he asked what they meant. Theodore turned his thoughts to a different direction.

    'We will get there by evening. It should be fine to rest a little bit and start in the middle of the night.'

    Dofrun Castle itself wasn't far. It just seemed far away due to all the defensive lines in the mountains. If they moved in a straight line, they could reach there within a day.

    According to secret agents of the white tower, it was the place where high ranking officials of Lairon were staying. Theodore's eyebrows twitched as he remembered the ugliness he had seen from those in Lairon. They were the ones who were trying to spread the flames of war in the name of their god for the purpose of gaining benefits from it.

    'The cardinal and crusaders. No, the priests are enough.'

    They were a big variable that could treat people on the battlefield, so he needed to kill the ones in Dofrun. If they prepared their chants, the knights of Andras were almost immortal.

    'They always like pushing others from behind.'

    That was why they had participated in the Soldun civil war and were participating in this war. They didn't take action personally. Instead, they killed their enemies by using other people. Could this indirect killing be called murder?

    The people of Lairon were the type of people who looked down on others while keeping their own hands clean.

    "...This time, I will stick their faces in the mud."

    Theodore would use this opportunity to teach them that they couldn't stay concealed forever.
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