I am the Monarch – Chapter 322: The Great Warring Period (3)
Long tables were placed adjacent to the walls. Sitting in front of those tables were dozens of men in red uniform diligently writing.
Piles of organised documents were being stacked in real-time. It appeared normal at a glance but if one was to focus even a little, they would tell that it was extremely abnormal and strange.
The men moving their pens each held a crystal ball. To those crystal objects that glistened nonstop, the men either pointed their ears or placed their lips right next to it and murmured in a soft voice endlessly.
“Let me double-check the data. Last night in the northern area of the Oheil village in Rentria District, the Northern Army’s Apple Troop under Traim Regiment collided with the Byron Kingdom’s Refen Troop under Deflin Regiment. The Apple Troop annihilated the Refen Troop with 347 enemy soldiers captured. From the Apple Troop’s side, 139 have been lost in battle, 399 soldiers injured and 17 missing…”
“Luke Troop fell back from the battlefront and retreated to the south…”
“Frontal assault is not allowed. I repeat, a frontal assault is not allowed. For now, focus on a defensive battle…”
“A message regarding the 2nd Western Army’s reconstruction has departed. Please confirm that the Grand Strategist’s seal is there before…”
They all seemed busy and it was then.
One of the men heaved out a deep sigh and let go of the pen that had been moving busily. The man who had the name ‘Harley’ written on the left chest side of the red uniform carefully placed the crystal ball in his hand onto the table.
The crystal ball shone for a bit before returning to its normal appearance. Only after confirming that did Harley leave the seat while carrying the stack of documents filled with words. The destination his feet led him to was the large table located in the middle. On that table which had a lot more documents than other tables, a youth sat there while going over each document with fast-moving hands.
Towards that youth, Harley handed the new pile of documents.
“Sir Grand Strategist, Ian Phillips. These are the reports we got from the southern front.”
The youth scanning over the documents was Ian Phillips, the Grand Strategist of the Amaranth Kingdom. Placing the document in his hand down, he formed a bright smile.
“Thanks for the hard work.”
“No, it’s nothing. It’s our job but…”
Harley glanced at the surroundings and slurred the end of his words. Seeing that, Ian gave a nod with an expression saying that it was okay.
“Please, don’t hold back.”
Hearing that gentle voice, Harley seemed to have gotten his courage as he continued in a soft, secretive tone.
“Ever since a few days ago, there is this thing that worries me.”
Ian gave a slight frown while concentrating on Harley’s story. Harley quickly gave a nod.
“Compare to before, there are a lot more people committing suicide.”
Ian tilted his head with a slight surprise. Since the entire kingdom was entering a war, it was something even he hadn’t known about. Besides, it was a sad thing but suicide in times like this was not that rare either.
‘But if it’s to the level that the Head Official of the Intelligence Department felt off, there is definitely something happening.’
Ian collected his breath.
“Did you discover any strange trend?”
Harley slowly nodded in response.
“Although I’m not sure if it’s a trend at this point, most of the ones committing suicide are the immigrants that recently moved into the kingdom.”
Letting out a low mutter, Ian made a frown. Right now, it was a period with endless war and strife, so much so that it could even be called a great warring period. It was possible that certain portions of the general population found it hard to survive through these horrendous, chaotic times and took their own lives.
However, if that happened to a specific group of people or at a specific location, it definitely required a careful investigation. Staring directly at Harley, Ian gave a new command in a low voice.
“Officer Harley. Investigate everything about the number, residence, age, gender and everything else related to that of the immigrants that committed suicide and create a report on it. I will personally read over it.”
With a tense expression and voice, Harley responded before quickly returning to his seat as his hand grabbed the crystal ball again. After staring at that for a while, Ian entered deep contemplation on the unexpected report.
‘Suicides of the immigrants…’
It felt rather ominous but he wasn’t uneasy or restless. He believed in his people. Every head official of the Intelligence department were those nominated and taught personally by himself. They boasted of outstanding abilities without fail and more than anything,
‘We have His Majesty.’
There was Roan Lancephil, who was sturdier and trustworthy than anyone else in the world. With a smile, Ian pulled a document from the stack. His shoulders widened, chin was raised and his heart palpitated rapidly.
He was full of confidence, all thanks to Roan.
The busiest and the most dangerous of the provincial armies was the Western Army. Being next to the Grain Mountain Range, they had to fight numerous battles against the savage monsters even in times outside of war.
Due to that, it was also a very important strategic location. If the Western Army collapsed, the aftereffects may even reach the central area of the kingdom in one sweep.
This most important Western Army was assigned to his close, close subordinate, Harrison Inpec. Harrison who was considered the greatest archer of the continent let alone the kingdom perfectly completed the monster subjugations and defended the area as the Commander of the Western Army.
However, when the holy letter fell on the entire continent and a full-scale invasion began with the Byron Kingdom in the lead, the Western Army was restructured to two armies as they each supported the Northern and the Southern armies.
Although there was no helping it, the Western area of the Amaranth Kingdom, due to that, had ended up with no-one guarding it. After Roan and Ian shared a debate, they decided to let one of the Special Corps, Grain Regiment take control over the empty area.
A portion of the nobles were in doubt whether one Special Corps would be enough but as time passed, they discovered that it was a needless worry. The Leader of the Grain Regiment, Viscount Andre Mold perfectly subjugated the monsters like before and defended the borders without issue.
However, that did not mean that they were having an easy time with room to spare. The Western Area of the Amaranth Kingdom always had a never-ending, fierce battle.
“Damn! These damn orcs! Where the hell are they pouring out from?”
Boden, the captain of the Boden Troop under the Grain Regiment let out profanities.
‘These days, the monsters are more energetic than ever.’
Plus, their actions were a lot different compared to the past. Usually, they marched out from the depths of the Grain Mountain Range to the outer regions of the grasslands to plunder the villages and castles. But now, they moved in the middle region of the mountain range and scavenged the forests and caves.
Boden clenched his teeth.
‘They’re looking for something.’
Of course, that was just his personal assumption.
Striking hard at an orc, he quickly glanced across the battlefield. Despite being inside the forest, the battlefield was wider and flatter than he thought and if not for the old, tall trees, it would not even have appeared like a forest.
‘Damn, if not for the altar searches, we wouldn’t have entered the middle of the mountains…’
In the past, the monsters poured out onto the lands humans lived but now, the humans were attacking the location monsters were guarding.
“Do not fall back! Fight! Kill!”
Placing himself at the lead, Boden encouraged the soldiers. Seeing that, the Taemusas and deputy officers powerfully shouted.
Their deafening roars shook the battlefield.
Soon after that were the bellows of the soldiers. With their eyes wide open, they charged into the monsters as they knew that if these monsters survived and escaped, the innocent citizens would be sacrificed and lose their lives.
‘My child was taken by these guys as well!’
‘These filthy evil creatures!’
‘The sworn enemy of my family!’
Clenching their teeth, the soldiers gripped hard onto their weapons.
Chang! Chachang! Chang!
Sparks flew along with the sound of clashing steel.
Gruesome noises left as limbs flew and heads fell. The battle was a tight struggle. Although the monsters had overwhelming numbers in comparison, the soldiers of the Boden Troop did not falter or run.
‘We will kill these bastards and save the Middle World!’
‘I will protect this world!’
‘For our family!’
‘For my beloved wife and daughter!’
‘Son! Your father will never run!’
The soldiers had a burning passion of duty. The desires of the ones who had things to protect were fiercer and hotter than any flames.
“Chieeeek! Stupid humans!”
Grain Orcs who were at least twice larger than normal orcs swung their clubs the size of an arm and laughed. They were stronger than normal soldiers with their numbers also overwhelming the Boden Troop.
“Kekeke! Stupid humans! Crawling into the forests with their own feet?”
“They want to die probably, kekekeke.”
With their sharp canine teeth flashing, the orcs swung their clubs without rest.
Whenever a club was swung, either a head of a soldier would be crushed or their armours would be dented.
“Damn! There’s really no end to it!”
Unable to hold himself back, Boden let out profanities. After that, he raised his sword high up once again and shouted.
“Attack! Hold a little longer! Our reinforcements will arrive soon!”
Hearing that, several orcs broke into rounds of strange laughter.
“You’re not the only ones with reinforcements.”
Confidence oozed out from their voice and expression.
‘These bastards. Do they have hidden forces or something?’
Hearing their words, Boden had a chill running down his spine but consciously he collected his breath and surfaced a nonchalant expression. He was a captain, a commander. Hundreds of soldiers were still believing in him, fighting ferociously.
“Do not lose strength!”
Boden’s voice resonated across the forest.
The soldiers once again fought back with vigour as the battle gradually became more intense. However,
“Krrk. D, damn…”
As time passed, the Boden Troop began losing their tempo as their ranks began to fall. They were powerless before the overwhelming difference in both individual strength and number.
“Kuhehehe! Die! Die!”
With their morale raised high, the Grain Orcs floundered in madness. While slashing away one orc that ran around crazily, Boden clenched his teeth.
‘Are the reinforcements not here yet?!’
His eyebrows twitched.
He could hear the cries of his soldiers from the surroundings. Quickly glancing across the state the battlefield was in, Boden clenched his hands into fists.
“Damn! There’s no way around it at this point…”
Right when he was about to give the order to retreat,
Sounds of warhorns resonated as the bushes and shrubs in the north rustled.
At the same time, dozens and hundreds of arrows pierced through the bushes. A sharp noise followed behind as they mercilessly stabbed into the monsters.
Grain orcs as well as other monsters that were forcing the Boden Troop back became echidnas from the sudden downpour of arrows and fell.
Boden let out a gentle sigh as his legs trembled. Finally, the long-awaited reinforcements had arrived.
“Save the Boden Troop!”
“Massacre the monsters!”
Soon, the shrubs were divided into two as a group with a flag appeared from within.
It was the Sumptor Troop that investigated more towards the north compared to the Boden Troop.
“Uhahaha! Boden! Don’t tell me you pissed yourself?”
From beneath the flag appeared a middle-aged man with a large build. He was the captain of the Sumptor Troop, Sumptor who was good friends with Boden.
“Damn! Sumptor! How long has it been since I sent the reinforcement request?”
While throwing complaints, Boden placed his arms on his knees to support himself up as he repostured himself. The trembling legs were filled with strength already.
Sumptor returned a grin and took out a small crystal ball from his waist. It was the same coloured crystal that the Amaranth Intelligence team was using but the size was a lot smaller. Besides, the one in his hands had a slight crack.
“Sorry. There was a crack on the Communication Crystal so I couldn’t get the signal properly.”
Wearing an amiable smile, he scratched his nose. Seeing that, Boden made a deep frown but waved his sword.
“First, let’s get rid of those disgusting monsters. We can have a chat later.”
Sumptor trembled his body with a humourous expression before soon nodding his head.
“I will follow the words of our dear Captain Boden.”
Then, he swung his greatsword as he led the troops from the front.
“Waahh! Follow the Captain’s lead!”
“Kill the monsters!”
The soldiers of the Sumptor Troop kicked off the ground with shouts and marked the start of a fierce retaliation. Collecting his breath, Boden glanced across the battlefield. The Boden Troop’s soldiers that were falling without being able to retaliate due to the broken ranks barely regained their composure thanks to the timely arrival of the reinforcements.
With a deep breath out, Boden smacked his armour with his blade.
Kang! Kang! Kang!
The sound of clashing steel echoed clearly as the soldiers collecting their breath all turned towards Boden. Returning a smile, Boden pointed at the Sumptor Troop fighting against the monsters with his chin.
“Are you planning on letting them have all the fun?”
Hearing that, the soldiers made faint smiles and each held up their weapons again.
“We can’t let that happen.”
“Maybe any other troop could but we cannot let ourselves fall short of the Sumptor Troop.”
“Since we had some time to collect our breaths, it is time to fight again!”
Energetic words left here and there. Wearing a smile of satisfaction, Boden gave a nod.
“Good. Then before the Sumptor guys can defeat them all, we should attac…”
Before he could finish his words,
A sudden outbreak of a deafening sound shook the earth as a pillar of dirt soared into the skies.
Both the humans and orcs let out cries.
“Kuk! W, what?”
Patting away all the dirt that fell onto his head, Boden made a frown. Likewise, his soldiers that were attempting to leave for a good retaliation had to stop due to the downpour of dirt and rock.
It was then,
Something heavy hit Boden’s helmet with a thud.
“Kuk, is it a rock?”
Boden stared at the circular object that fell on the ground after striking his helmet.
When he did,
His eyes widened. With his knees touching the ground, Boden reached out with trembling hands and picked up the circular object dropped before him.
Surprisingly, and rather gruesomely, the object that struck Boden’s helmet before falling on the ground was Sumptor’s head. The neck part seemed to have been torn apart and the back of the head was half empty.
“Sumptor. W, why are you…”
Boden couldn’t find any words to continue the sentence and was clueless as to what even happened.
“Come to your senses!”
From a distance, he could hear his deputy officers shouting.
Carrying Sumptor’s head with his two hands, Boden glanced up at the area where the pillar of dirt had soared out from. However, due to the overwhelming cloud of dust, he couldn’t even observe what was happening.
What he could tell however was that…
‘It wasn’t just the Sumptor Troop. The monsters were also subject to it.’
He could see the bodies of orcs and monsters scattered about. Boden immediately gestured a simple order with his hands.
‘Wait and see!’
The soldiers that were wondering about, with nervous expressions reorganised their ranks and lowered their bodies. They prepared themselves against the worst-case scenario.
Suddenly, a tempest stormed across the battlefield. It wasn’t a normal wind – they could feel the dust of dirt clouding over the battlefield being absorbed into the spot where the pillar of dirt had appeared at.
Clenching his teeth, Boden stared at the spot where all the dirt was being absorbed into. Due to the fierce gust, his eyes threatened to close but he held back with clenched teeth. Fortunately, the wind gradually died down and soon,
Boden had no choice but to let out a small mutter. At the place where the dust ended up in, surprisingly there was…
‘T, the dirt… all that dirt was absorbed into that youth’s mouth.’
Boden widened his two eyes in disbelief. Standing at the vortex of the storm was a lone youth. The youth with white skin and smooth skin resembling a woman, threw his arms wide open with his mouth opened wide.
All the dust… and even the small bits of stones in the surroundings were all absorbed into his mouth.
With a satisfied expression, the youth closed his mouth. Anyone could tell that he seemed very happy but,
“Mhmm? What? There are still ones left over.”
The youth soon formed a frown. On his beautiful face, there surfaced a cold light.
“Bugs can never be killed at once… so annoying, tch.”
Clicking his tongue, he reached out with his right hand. The long, slender fingers waved gently following a pattern.
“Then, goodbye everyone.”
He bid a one-sided farewell. Then, he lightly clicked his fingers in a very playful manner, but the result it brought up was by no means playful.
Beneath the youth’s feet, the ground roared up like the ocean waves.
Seeing the immense amount of dirt blocking even the skies, Boden and the soldiers lost their will to resist and the thought that they could run away or fight back did not even occur to them. Soon, the large amount of dirt that blocked the skies couldn’t withstand its own immense weight as it fell towards Boden and his soldiers at once.
Boden let out a low whisper unconsciously as he predicted his own death instinctively. However, it was then.
A white pillar of light soared up in front of him and soon.
Reddish-black flames emerged into the skies.
The flames danced like waves as it pushed the dust to the sides.
The large amount of dirt pushed to the sides fell to the forests and trees nearby. After pushing the dirt over to the sides, the reddish-black flames disappeared without leaving any signs behind. At the same time, the pillar of white light vanished like an illusion.
That all happened in the blink of an eye.
Boden and his soldiers could only blink with widened eyes due to the consecutive happenings of baffling events. With their bodies stiffened like statues, they moved their eyes left and right busily.
Someone let out a mutter.
The murmurs spread like a bushfire and their eyes that wondered like those of lost children soon stopped at one spot. After their murmurs were drops of tears. Letting out hot drops of tears, Boden and his soldiers kneeled on one knee and rested their trembling hands on their breastplate.
“Y, Your Majesty.”
Tears were mixed into their salutation.
“We greet Your Majesty. Kuhuk.”
Voices filled with sorrow resonated across. Boden and the soldiers bowed their heads to the place where the pillar of light had soared out from. Standing there was a youth carrying a black spear, with his reddish-black hair fluttering in the wind. He was the monarch of Boden and the soldiers, the strongest man of the continent, Roan Lancephil.
Heaving out a short sigh, Roan stared at the beautiful young man standing before him. He could tell immediately what the youth was.
Roan’s eyes flickered in red light.
“A Dark General?”
A casual question left his mouth.
Roan thought that youth was one of the Dark Generals made by the Mad Dragon Lunark. Although the appearance, aura and atmosphere around him was different compared to the Dark Generals until now, the disgusting vicious aura at the basis was very similar.
The beautiful young man frowned and made an extremely dissatisfied expression. Then, he reached out with his right hand towards Roan.
“I’m not a mere general…”
His beautiful voice was carried by the wind into the battlefield.
“But a Grand General.”
He sounded so natural that it wasn’t possible to go over with a laugh. With deeply sunk eyes, Roan stared at the eyes of youth.
‘Grand General huh…’
Although Roan knew that he would be different from normal Dark Generals, he hadn’t even thought that there would be a rank called ‘grand general’ standing above the generals.
‘Don’t tell me there’s going to be Commanders and Grand Commanders after that… right?’
As a stray thought suddenly flashed up in his brain, Roan shook his head with a smile. Right now, he wasn’t relaxed enough to have other thoughts or contemplations filling his brain. Staring straight at the beautiful youth, Roan shook his head yet again.
“Whether a Grand General or a General…”
Power surged out from his voice.
“They’re likewise both dark.”
Overwhelming mana boiled up from within his body.
Soaring up alongside the Travias Spear, the reddish-black flames reached forward. Seeing that, the beautiful young man gave a cold smile.
“You dare pick a fight against me, Tellus? A stupid bug.”
The youth, Tellus squinted his eyes and formed a fist with the hand reaching forward. In that instant, his fingers and the entirety of his palm flashed in a brown light.
Tellus’ low voice fell.
The moment it did, the ground trembled and roared. Without hesitation, Roan kicked off the ground and threw his body towards Tellus. Soaring up the Travias Spear, flames dissected the area and danced.
“The one dying…”
Roan’s voice was carried by the flames as it dug into the ears.
<The Great Warring Period (3)> End.