Why not go ad free? Go Premium now.
Announcements
A- A A+

LTBE - Chapter 445.1: Blessing of the Military God (1)

Saint Mesit Theocracy, Holy Capital Loren.

Roel Ascart was on horseback, heading toward the city gates under the accompaniment of the heretic army and the inquisitors. It was the exact same army who had induced a riot when they entered the city with Nora, but here they were, wearing cloaks and departing without fanfare.

Passers-by eyed them curiously, but no one knew who they were and where they were heading.

That was simply the way of life for true warriors. They were often concealed in the shadows, quietly shedding blood to guard the peace and prosperity enjoyed by the people.

Some might think that peace was a natural occurrence, but that was a naive mindset held by those who had a limited understanding of politics and war. Peace had never been free, and someone had to pay the price for it.

It was fortunate that there was little attention on the heretic army, and the inquisitors were used to maintaining a low profile. In addition, the entire army gave off a lighthearted atmosphere that made it hard for one to imagine that they were marching off to the battlefield.

This was the difference in experience.

The Unyielding Sect used to be mercenaries whereas the Strength Sect had survived the encirclement of evil cultists for many years. Both of them were accustomed to danger as the tough environment they lived in had built up their mental fortitude.

As for the inquisitors, they were the most devout believers of Goddess Sia. They had all willingly chosen the occupation with the highest rate of casualty in the Genesis Goddess Church as a testament to their faith.

Sheltered young nobles might see the battlefield as hell on earth, but to these people, it was their everyday life.

On top of that, while most people feared death, they sought to die in the most meaningful manner. The heretics desired recognition and glory whereas the inquisitors wanted to rid the world of evil and eventually return to Sia’s embrace.

Any army with conviction like theirs would make for a terrifying force, regardless of their actual prowess. Experience and technique could be honed over time, but tenacity was hard to learn. That was why berserkers made terrifying opponents on the battlefield.

The army quietly left through the city gates under the gazes of the passers-by. Mischievous children thought that they were a merchant convoy and offered some auspicious words, hoping to receive some copper coins.

They couldn’t have imagined that the tall woman who tossed them a small pouch was a powerful transcendent qualified to become a general in any country, or that the old man who smiled at them was a powerful warrior blessed by the gods.

Only the more keen-eyed ones who noticed the shuddering soldiers on the city walls were able to guess that something was different about this army.

This was an army filled with transcendents of Origin Level 5 and above. It might not appear as much to normal civilians, but this was unfathomable in the eyes of the soldiers. Even the highest knight order of the Theocracy would only be of such standard.

It was for this reason that Roel wanted to keep a low profile. He didn’t want his movements to catch too many eyes.

Mobilization of troops was important intelligence. Most spies would likely deem Roel’s thousand man army to be inconsequential to the internal war, such that it might not be worth them risking their lives to deliver this piece of information, but it was still better to be safe than sorry, especially since Roel’s reputation was very different from before.

Not to mention, he was likely one of the priority targets on the Elrics’ hit list.

Some generals might take pride in the attention the enemy was showering them with, but Roel would rather not receive such glory. As powerful and determined as his army was, it was not infallible. For one, they might lack experience when it came to large-scale battles.

“Rodney, what’s the maximum number of people you’ve commanded in battle?” asked Roel.

“I was the leader of a 300-men strong expedition team during my time as an adventurer,” replied Rodney.

Roel posed the same question to Wood, and the old village chief replied two hundred.

From this, it could be seen that the experience they had was mostly limited to smaller battles. This was not to make light of the battles they had been through. One of them used to explore ancient remnants whereas the other had to deal with the evil cultists in the Land of Chaos. Even veteran generals might not have undergone as much danger as they did.

However, there was a significant difference between smaller battles and all-out wars.

It was fortunate that the ex-leader of a mercenary band, Cynthia, had once led a group of five hundred against a den of bandits that numbered over two thousand, which could be considered comparable to a small-scale war between two border nobles.

The inquisitors, on the other hand, had very little experience with group battles of any sort. It was rare for evil cultists to huddle together; Bryan Elric and the Connoisseur Guild’s operation at Tark Prairie was a rare exception. Ultimately, scums couldn’t trust fellow scums. Most evil cultists operated alone, so inquisitors specialized in 1-on-1 combat.

This didn’t necessarily mean that inquisitors were inept at group battles. They simply needed a good leader to coordinate them.

After taking a look around, Roel eventually realized that he was the only one who had some grasp of military warfare. He might not have undergone a formal military education, but one shouldn’t forget that the Ascarts were a military household.

It was not without reason that the Ascart House had been able to survive over the past millennium despite knowing next to nothing about proper governance. Every member of the Ascart House was properly educated on warfare theories from a young age.

Heck, I remember taking military-related classes before even coming into contact with transcendent ability classes.

One of the first things that members of the Ascart House came into contact with from a young age was military chess. There were many versions of it with varying levels of difficulty, all created with the intent to train the child’s cognitive skills. The most basic level was similar to international chess whereas the most advanced level was no different from theoretical warfare on a military map.

This was the kind of toy that children of the Ascart House were exposed to from a young age, so it was almost impossible for them not to be interested in military affairs upon adulthood. Entertainment avenues were severely lacking in this medieval world, after all.

This form of education appeared to be effective, considering how the Ascart House had produced many generations of famous generals, dominating the top seats in the military even in generations without any awakeners.

The version of chess that Roel and Alicia used to play before going to bed was the simplified version. Carter would also challenge them whenever he returned home, which felt somewhat like a test to check their progress. Roel would lose each time around, but he did learn a great deal from his failures.

Similar to the ancestors of the Ascart House, Roel became tempted to try his hand in real warfare after growing accustomed to theoretical warfare in the form of chess. In the second year after he took over as fief lord, he commanded three thousand soldiers in a battle to eradicate wolf packs in the southern forest of the Ascart Fiefdom.

Back then, he hadn’t been contracted with Peytra, and Grandar gulped down mana like there was no tomorrow. It was a bona fide commanding battle where he had no cheats to fall back on. Fortunately, the results were decent.

However, Roel hadn’t found another opportunity to hone his military commanding skills since, and the reason behind that was simple—the Ascart Fiefdom was simply too safe!

Even the most notorious of bandits viewed the Ascart Fiefdom as a no-go zone.

While most landed nobles abhorred bandits with a passion, the Ascarts would get particularly excited whenever they spotted a group of bandits. They would dispatch soldiers in the middle of the night even if the bandits were merely passing by the area, chasing them relentlessly until each and every one of them was captured.

Outsiders interpreted this as the Ascarts having a strong passion for justice, but Roel, as an insider, knew that his ancestors simply saw it as real-life Counter-Strike. After many generations of such occurrences, the bandits learned their lesson and decided to stay away from this bunch of lunatics.

StarveCleric's Notes:

Do check out the translated manhua at ZeroScans!
---
Wiki Project || Reddit || Discord || Twitter
Please do not leave any spoilers in the comment section!
---
ℭ𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰:
100,000/Hour Professional Stand-in
Library of Heaven's Path
Martial God Asura from Chapter 4320
Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar, Lemonan.