LTBE - Chapter 451.2: Veteran Sis-con (2)
In the jungle outside of the battlefield, a silver-haired girl stood beneath the moonlight as her mana silently blazed. Her eyes glimmered ever so slightly as she gazed upon the battlefield through the cold moonlight that scattered over the plains. She was a little surprised that things weren’t going as smoothly as she had expected.
The Sezes’ base camp was being encircled, and the attacks of the aerial demonic beasts were hard to guard against. The soldiers were getting overwhelmed to the extent that they could only stand their ground and were barely holding back the demonic beasts.
Yet, none of the soldiers were panicking.
In fact, even Duke Brookley had swiftly regained his composure after his initial astonishment.
Had the soldiers here been those of any regular army, they would have descended into anarchy under the terrifying gaze of the Emperor of Calamity, but the troops dispatched by the Seze Dukedom were in no way ordinary. To become the elites of a renowned military house was no easy feat; they were the ones who had stood out amongst their peers and proven themselves worthy through numerous trials.
They were all true warriors.
Alicia’s ability had indeed come as a shock, but there was never a lack of surprises on the Sia Continent. Danger was always lurking even if not in immediate sight, so much so that everyone was always struggling to survive. Every fiefdom with a long history had its own glorious stories.
It was the same for the Sezes.
Over the years, the Sezes’ elite troops had inculcated a sense of pride that disallowed them to be easily intimidated by others. If anything, their fighting will would be stronger than ever in times of adversity.
“You have just recovered from your injuries, but it looks like your help will be required here,” said Alicia.
The Emperor of Calamity answered with a ferocious roar. It began marching forth, trampling over the towering trees with its colossal body. The demonic beasts halted their attacks, as if having sensed something, and hurriedly scattered to the side, opening up a clear path to the Sezes’ base camp.
Similarly, from the Sezes’ base camp, a man slowly stood forth.
Duke Brookley stared straight at the terrifying red eyes of the colossal beast as glowing blue fluid spheres began forming around him. He knew that ordinary soldiers wouldn’t stand a chance against this legendary monster, so he had to step forward to confront it.
The crystallization of human wisdom from thousands of years of fighting taught them that a high-level transcendent was required to take down another high-level transcendent. That was why high-level transcendents usually took on strategic roles and were only mobilized in the most crucial of situations.
Under the night sky, a ferocious colossal beast began clashing with a human surrounded by glowing blue spheres. At the same time, in the depths of the jungle, the Ascart soldiers began to gather and quietly wait for the arrival of dawn.
Nightfall was when demonic beasts were able to rampage to their hearts’ liking.
The cover of the night greatly reduced the accuracy of ranged weapons and spells, thus greatly diminishing the prowess of human armies. The only reliable way to take down hordes of demonic beasts under such a situation was to rely on large-scale offensive spells, which was why Alicia had chosen to launch the attack at night.
Conversely, the arrival of dawn was time for the humans to shine. The Ascart soldiers would join the battlefield and further drive fear into the hearts of the Sezes’ elites.
After a night of waiting, the Ascart soldiers were feeling more eager than ever to join the battlefield. They had already accustomed themselves to the stench of blood on the battlefield, and they clanged their weapons to boost their morale.
At Alicia’s command, they began charging toward the Sezes’ base camp.
The battle between the Emperor of Calamity and Duke Brookley lasted till twilight.
The Eight-legged Colossal Deer was stronger than ever with its injuries treated. Its massive physique and immense mana granted it the power to flatten anything before it.
However, Duke Brookley was also as powerful as the legends put him out to be.
The Theocracy had gathered comprehensive intelligence on Duke Brookley, though it honestly didn’t take much effort at all since most soldiers were familiar with the Sezes’ unique traits.
The Sezes had been known for their lineage of highly aggressive generals, which was likely to be a result of their Berserk Origin Attribute. As the name suggested, the Berserk Origin Attribute was incredibly hard to control and very susceptible to emotional changes. However, if it was utilized well, its prowess on the battlefield was top-notch.
Unlike the nobles from Knight Kingdom Pendor, who had inherited the bloodlines of other races and gained their abilities as a result, the Sezes were high nobles from the human supremacist Austine Empire, so it was utterly unthinkable for them to be wedded with those from foreign races. Thus, like most humans of the Sia Continent, they didn’t possess any special bloodlines.
However, there were occasionally those who were favored by Sia and bestowed with unique bloodlines without any rhyme or reason.
The current patriarch of the Seze House, Brookley Seze, was one of them. His bloodline ability to control fluids made for a terrifying combination with the Berserk Origin Attribute. It granted him the power to draw out a person’s blood from their wounds, making him a grim reaper on the battlefield. It was inevitable that most enemies would feel unnerved in his presence.
Of the Theocracy’s landed nobles, the only one who could stop Duke Brookley was Carter Ascart, but the latter couldn’t possibly join the fight against the Sezes as the highest commander of the allied army. For that reason, Alicia was forced to mobilize the Emperor of Calamity, and that had proven to be a wise decision.
The Emperor of Calamity was able to gain a slight upper hand in the battle last night, but it wasn’t able to widen its advantage as Duke Brookley utilized his ability of fluid manipulation to create bogs that severely limited its movements.
Conversely, Duke Brookley wasn’t able to inflict significant damage on the Emperor of Calamity. The sharp water blades he hurled were capable of slicing an armored cavalryman cleanly into two, but it barely nicked the Eight-legged Colossal Deer’s fur. Instead, he faced great pressure from the storm summoned by the colossal deer’s branching deer horns.
As the battle between Duke Brookley and the Emperor of Calamity intensified, the weather was thrown into disarray as furious squalls were combined with pelting rain, creating pits of varying sizes all over the battlefield.
Neither side was able to do much about the other, so the fight ended up stalling till twilight without any clear winner. In the end, the demonic beasts retreated under Alicia’s order.
The hours of barely fending off a legendary monster had left Duke Brookley utterly exhausted. Out of worry that the Emperor of Calamity might appear the following night, he couldn’t participate in the battle as actively as he wished to lest he deplete his strength.
That was what Alicia was going for as well.
Her plan was to harass the Sezes with demonic beasts at night and have the Ascart soldiers attack them in the day. Through relentless aggression, she would be able to seize the initiative and stall the advancement of the Sezes to the greatest degree.
In accordance with the plan, the Ascart soldiers charged out of the jungle at dawn, taking over for the demonic beasts.
What Alicia didn’t know was that, contrary to her expectations, Duke Brookley was not planning to rest up despite having returned to the Sezes’ base camp. There was a sharp glint in his eyes as he stared intently at a single name listed in the intelligence report he had in his hand—Alicia Ascart.
Duke Brookley thought as he stared at the same intelligence report he had made light of a day ago.
He had no concrete evidence to prove that Alicia Ascart was the culprit who mobilized the Emperor of Calamity, but the very fact that an underaged girl was allowed to step onto the battlefield was illogical in the first place. The only reason one could justify such a mobilization was that the girl played an irreplaceable role in the Ascarts’ strategy.
Duke Brookley was willing to bet his many years of experience on the battlefield that the sudden participation of the demonic beasts on the battlefield had something to do with Alicia Ascart, and he was willing to take a hefty risk to bet on that.
His battle with the Emperor of Calamity had led him to a definite conclusion—it was impossible for them to defeat that colossal beast.
Given that monster’s humongous physique and oozing life force, it would likely take an expedition of several months to take it down, but at the rate things were going the Sezes’ elite troops wouldn’t even last a single week under the Ascarts’ relentless aggression.
The enemy was clearly resorting to attrition warfare.
If things continued at the current pace, by the second ambush of the demonic beasts at nightfall they would have practically already lost the war.
I can’t let the Ascarts have their way. The only way out of this quandary is to kill the beast tamer.
“I know that you’re all exhausted after having gone through a night of fighting; it’s the same for me too. However, judging from the enemy’s strategy, this will likely be the best condition we’ll be in for as long as this battle continues.
“The enemy won’t stop chipping away at us, so the only way out of this is to defeat them while we’re still in a good condition,” Duke Brookley said as he gazed at the Ascarts’ cavalrymen charging toward the Sezes’ base camp.
None of the soldiers voiced any objections to his call. Similar to how they were willing to entrust their backs to their comrades, they were willing to entrust their life in the judgment of the experienced Duke Brookley.
The knights wiped off the bloodstains from their armor whereas the magicians grabbed their staffs once more. As exhausted as they were, their morale remained high. At the forefront of the army, Duke Brookley eyed the silver-haired girl surrounded by many soldiers in the distance and let out a sigh.
“A soldier has to act against their will during times of war,” he murmured.
Duke Brookley levitated a glowing blue fluid sphere into the sky and morphed it into the shape of a miniature spear. He directed it toward the silver-haired girl standing in the distance before unleashing the immense mana harnessed within it all at once.
A loud explosion and a cloud of dust ensued. Blood splattered all over the ground.