|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
Fort Andaris was the last line of defense that the King had in his arsenal. The general in charge was General Cleoz, one of the more famous generals in the kingdom, and a star amongst the commoners.
Being born of common stock himself, his rise to power could be said to be a miracle in itself.
LIke one of those main characters in a light novel, Cleoz was a genius at a tender age. Coupled with an equally prodigious series of encounters, his rise could only be described as meteoric. Without even turning forty, he ascended to become an overlord, receiving the prestigious title of “The Guardian of Andassis” – the very definition of a winner in life!
When he was but a teenager, he was scouted by a professor in the Royal Andassean Academy to enroll in the academy. That professor later became the headmaster of the academy itself. While studying there, he even had the fortune of meeting the current king’s younger sister… Irrelevant details to his strength, but definitely proof of how lucky the man was!
Right this very instant, this superstar of a general was in his meeting room, dressed in an ornately golden breastplate, matched with an exquisite cape that hugged his muscular frame. Looking like a thirty year old, he was the very definition of a handsome military soldier, coupled with a short and neat hairstyle to match. This was the undefeatable Guardian of Andassis. And that man was currently preoccupied with his own thoughts, brows furrowed so deeply they almost looked like muscles themselves. As he tapped on his table impatiently, the anxious voices of his adjutants rang out in the background like an annoying buzz.
The enemy assault had continued for over twenty fours straight; they seemed dead set on conquering this fortress, known as the “Impregnable Wall of Andassis”, in one fell swoop.
Countless boulders of fire, launched by even larger trebuchets, rained down on the beleaguered fortress. Like meteors from the heavens, they blasted a massive chunk out every section of wall they hit. The soldiers dared not stick their heads for fear of their withering assault. Even without that rain of death, the enemy below often launched a barrage of flame arrows towards them. While not as imposing as the boulders, they were harder to guard against.
By now, there wasn’t a section of the wall that was spared. Yet the soldiers’ morale held on. The war had only started, and the brunt of the enemy forces hadn’t struck yet, thus there was still hope for a counterattack.
Till now, the war had mostly been carried out through non-magical means, like trebuchets or arrows. Their continuous peppering of the fort had tired out the defenders greatly, aided significantly by the tremendous forces they had brought to bear today.
Yet the question remained: where were the experts? Was there some grand conspiracy playing out in the background?
Undefeated though he might have been, the General was starting to feel like cornered prey. That was how strange the enemies’ actions had been.
He wanted to send out his own experts to investigate, but there was a nagging voice in his head that told him that would be the equivalent of throwing his men into the meat grinder. His foes could very well be banking on this tactic of psychological attrition. For the time being, he was in the dark, and they were the ones in complete control.
How he craved information right now… even a scrap would do…
In the midst of his ruminations, a white-robed mage suddenly interrupted his thoughts. This was the mage in charge of communications for the fort.
“General, sir, we have breaking news!”
“His Majesty has sent word at last?” The General’s tired but steady voice cut through the din of his officers like a hot knife; being on the frontlines, his stress was no less than the King. In fact, he hadn’t slept a decent wink since the battle started.
There were three overlords known to be leading the enemy army. They hadn’t acted yet because they did not wish to corner Cleoz to the extent that he would willingly drag them down with him at the cost of his own life.
Overlords treasured their own lives like that.
Under such grueling circumstances, was it a surprise that he was so worn out?
“Yes, sir. His Majesty has good tidings.”
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The General’s eyebrows twitched in surprise, but his face remained passive for the most part. “Those two bastards actually agreed to help?”
“The news isn’t about the Sword Saint or the Hierophant…” The white-robed messenger mage paused with a start. He sneaked a glance at the General, and upon seeing that he was still as passive as before, continued, “The reinforcements are from a newly established knight order…”
“… That’s all…”
Cleoz fell silent upon hearing his subordinate’s response, though he was probably lamenting the lack of support from his dear royal brother-in-law. Who would even send a newly established knight order in such a situation, were they just here to sightsee?
To begin with, how many knights could a newly established unit possibly have when recruitment was already so strained by the war? A thousand? Ten thousand? Definitely not a hundred thousand -that’s just an army. While it took a skilled soldier to be a knight -a minimum of two-stars -the question of how many knights still remained.
Five thousand, at most. That was General Cleoz’s most optimistic estimate.
However, his long-service allowed him to suppress the dissatisfaction in his heart. “Tell me more about this knight order.”
The white-robed messenger mage began reading out the message, but the moment he got to the first word, he was stunned.
Finally, the messenger continued with much trepidation, “The new knight order is called the Magitek Knight Corp. Five hundred members, of which a hundred are combatants and the rest are logistics support…”
“How many did you say were combatants?”
“The rest are non-combatants?”
“Four hundred of them…”
“…” The silence was deafening in the room. The next time the General spoke, his voice was shaking from his barely contained rage. “What kind of knight order requires four hundred non-combatants as support?”
The General hadn’t said anything else, but everyone present knew he was already cursing to himself. Somewhere along the lines of, “What the heck is that King even doing? Just because we are brother-in-laws doesn’t mean I won’t betray him if he pulls a ridiculous stunt like this!”
Naturally, the General wasn’t going to turncoat. He would rather die standing than live with that dishonor. But even he wasn’t pleased with the news he just received. It wasn’t like a mere five hundred would make a difference in a war in the hundreds of thousands. Not unless they were all six-stars. And especially not when only a hundred of them could fight. In fact, the sheer number of support staff was strange. This was a functioning fort, meaning they had enough medical staff and logistics staff to begin with.
“General sir, the Magitek Knight Corp will arrive soon via the teleportation circle, they require your approval.”
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“Approved.” The man coldly replied, though his eyes were burning at this point.
Let’s see what this knight order can even do with a mere five hundred, he thought to himself.
However, the General barely had time to digest this piece of news before his messenger mage received another shocking piece of news.
“General sir! The western wall has been breached…”
“The western wall has been breached. They are now marching through the breach. The soldiers can’t hold out much longer…”
“…” Once more, the General was overcome with the urge to yell, but he held fast. “That teleportation circle was near the western wall, wasn’t it? Have those newcomers hold the line!”
“… But General sir… they are His Majesty’s…”
“Tell. Them. Hold the line. I will be there soon.” The General shot up from his chair, glaring at the messenger mage.
The defenses of Fort of Andaria had undergone reinforcement on every level, meaning even the foundations underneath the walls were magically reinforced. Normally, even Earth magicks couldn’t breach it. However, there was news that Ertalon had recently hired a nine-star elemental hierophant. One that was proficient in Earth magicks, and had even recently learnt the forbidden spell known as “Earthshatter”.
Basically, it was just a massive earthquake. A forbidden spell version of it that naturally carried huge risks of magical feedback; but that mage probably received compensation to make up for that. After all, once this fort fell, Ertalon would have basically won the war.
Before this war even started, Ertalon even made secret arrangements with the overlords in Andassis. That was why the King had so much difficulty getting them to act. The aforementioned Sword Saint and Hierophant were included in this list. Technically, those two only promised to remain neutral, but remaining neutral in a war was basically treason.