Chapter 99 – Facing them Alone (3)
Martin Breggas was struck by the betrayal of the Order of the Iron Blood Knights the hardest .
‘Sungtek Jo, did you finally go mad?’
Strategies that had been planned out with his heart and soul collapsed in a single moment . Putting aside Parlim’s glorious debut, he couldn’t even guarantee the victory . Martin trembled as he watched the tide of battle .
The Mobile Fortresses that the Order of the Iron Blood Knights boasted of were busily circling their eight massive legs toward his direction . The cannons that were densely packed onto the front face of the fortress were now facing his way .
Dozens of cannons fired explosive shots at the same time toward the center unit when the officers shouted out the command . All that remained after the chaotic bombardment were countless corpses and the moaning of the injured .
The Devil Army joined forces with the Order at this time and broke through the right flank to head toward the side face of the center unit at a rapid pace . There was a face that Martin recognized well at the head of the charge .
“Martin Breggas! You fucking mutt! This will be your grave today!”
Knight-Captain of the Order of the Iron Blood Knights, Sungtek Jo . He stood at the head and was charging in this direction with the knights and devils . Martin’s thoughts momentarily went blank as he witnessed this scene . His thought process only managed to resume at the urgent cry of his advisor’s voice .
“Lord Marquis! A command! Give us a command!”
Martin kept the embarrassment of his momentary lapse in thought to himself before giving out a short command .
“We face them . Give the command to the Civil Militia of Trowyn . Tell them to punish those fucking traitors appropriately . ”
Civil Militia of Trowyn lead by Farlim Dargot began to move . Their imposing armor and blade shone in the light as they marched toward the traitors . Sungtek noticed this was livid .
“Good! It’s the unit lead by that son of a bitch’s child!”
The spirit of the Order of the Iron Blood Knights burned as if on fire . Sungtek swung his blade as he rode on his large black steed . One young militia member raised his sword confidently to meet Sungtek’s blow . The victor was quickly decided after they crossed swords a few times .
The young militiaman bled out as he fell . Sungtek snagged the fallen militia’s body with a single arm, quickly slit his throat, and raised his body into the air .
“This will be the future of you bastards!”
Sungtek held the head that was dripping with blood in the air while the winged devils behind him flew past . They were the Barloqs wielding a flaming whip and sword . The morale of the civil militia plummeted when the very symbol of the demon army’s might, the high rank devils, appeared . Their formation broke as they began to scatter .
“Everyone . Everyone calm yourselves! Please put your faith in me and follow me into battle!”
Parlim calmly tried to reassure his men, but they were a fresh unit without military tradition or history . It could have been different if the battle was in their favor, but their limitations were fully revealed as their current circumstances quickly grew dire . The civil militia ran away as the Barloqs approached with the Order of the Iron Blood Knights . Martin who saw this spectacle began to rack his brains with his mouth clenched shut .
‘I-I think there might be a way to turn this around… but the civil militia that I raised with such painstaking effort might suffer grave losses, and Parlim might not even be able to ascend the ranks . That’s not profitable . In any case, this loss wasn’t even due to my mistake . ’
Martin took in the sight of Suntek letting out a bellow in the distant battlefield with his faded blue eyes . He clenched his hand into a fist .
‘It can’t be helped . ’
Martin looked around his surroundings and spoke with a pained voice .
“We give up Harupaya Ridge . ”
It was a response that the commanders could not believe . The entirety of the Order of the Iron Blood Knights might have betrayed them, and the civil militia might have fallen, but for the man that held the duty of protecting the Demon Realm Battlefront to renounce that duty once it became disadvantageous . It was a despicable conduct that couldn’t be believed even as they witnessed it .
A few commanders who had a stronger sense of duty spoke their honest opinions .
“If you back from here now, even the Lord Marquis’ territory will be devastated . ”
“If we turn away here, the northern territories will fall to the hands of the devils . ”
“We still hold the advantage on the left flank . There is still an opportunity to turn the tides . ”
However, Martin wasn’t listening . He had no desire to .
“If you people want to defend this place so badly, you all are welcome to do so . ”
He tossed aside the baton prepared by the joint effort of rulers of several nations without a second thought and left the military tent . He shouted toward the advisers following behind him .
“Send word to Parlim Dargott . Keep the unit intact and immediately leave this place!”
He no longer paid any attention to how he looked toward the others, but he must have known how disgraceful his act was . He quietly called over his trusted adviser and secretly whispered into his ear .
“Immediately head to my residence in Trowyn and grab everything that holds value before escaping South . There will be an airship at the Sky Pier under the name Sophia Breggas, use that for the escape . ”
Martin’s actions were ruthless . He abandoned his duties under the eyes of countless soldiers and commanders and fled south after deserting his own corp . There was no way that the battle would be able to continue after the head commander had acted in this manner .
The central unit that possessed the most powerful military might of the entire allied forces quickly fell . Several commanders that chose to remain behind attempted to consolidate their own forces to stand against the devils and the Order of the Iron Blood Knights, but it was a meaningless resistance .
The Devil Army quickly overtook central headquarters and tried to take hold of the entire Harupaya Ridge .
Sungchul watched the tide of battle turn increasingly bleak without a word . However, he was not the only one watching silently . The dwarves and elves who were in high spirits from their victory at the beginning of the battle were also watching the situation in silence .
Any chance of overturning the battle had disappeared when Martin fled . The right flank had betrayed them, and the main forces had fallen . All that remained was the left flank, but they were also fated to be overwhelmed by their enemy .
The commander of the allied forces of the Storm Battlefront that was left in charge of the left flank, Armuk Bakr, sounded the retreat, but no one moved from their posts . They stood resolutely as trees and boulders formed through the ages .
“If we die, we die here . ”
“Humans may have a place to fall back to, but we have nowhere else to go . ”
The battle had turned bleak, but it could not break the spirits of the dwarves and elves . They let out a roar as they tempered their fighting spirits and poured out fierce opposition against the devils . The surviving human forces of the central unit soon joined the left wing, but the tipped scale of battle could not be overturned .
The Devils leisurely surrounded the allied Dwarven-Elven forces who were entrenched within the tall mountains and began preparation for a final assault . It was at this moment when a monstrous roar rang out from the skies . The people turned to where the sound came from and began to point and shout toward the sky .
“A dragon appeared!”
A massive dragon covered in black scales appeared within the ranks of the Devil Army . The identity of the black dragon was the half-dragon, Kha’nes . The most powerful hermit within the Tower of Recluse .
‘Now that I was getting ready to do some work, the Demon Realm Battlefront is falling apart . What’s up with that?’
Kha’nes who had been dispatched to find the cause of the altered Calamity had been procrastinating by exploring popular eateries and arrived late to the Demon Realm Battlefront only to discover that it was crawling with devils . She was attempting to move to someplace without devils and found herself involved in the battle at Harupaya Ridge .
“Where did all those fucking humans go?! Huh?”
Kha’nes shouted with a thunderous voice as she struck out with her tail and claw to ruthlessly slice apart the devils who were an inferior existence to her .
“How is it fair that I have to step in because they couldn’t even stop a few garbage demons?” bellowed the dragon .
The battle potential of dragons, the most powerful race, was indeed fearsome . Even Balroqs that were terrifying existence to humans were turned to ash once met with her breath . How would the lesser devils below them fare?
After Kha’nes ripped enough devils apart, she rose back up into the sky to launch another breath attack . Massive demon beasts and Hell Siege Engines melted under the flames . The Devils tried to retaliate with their crossbows and catapults, but they could not penetrate through Kha’nes’ scales . She was unmatched .
However, even Kha’nes was not invincible .
‘Oh, my . I’m starting to feel a bit peckish . ’
As a half-dragon, she could turn into a dragon at any time, but there was a time limit . She felt her reserved strength hitting its limits and retreated from the battlefield .
“Smell you later, devils!”
Kha’nes began to swiftly fly south after having her fill of rampage, leaving behind mountains of devil and war machine remains . Unfortunately, she only managed to cut down a portion of their forces . This was nothing more than a small incident that delayed their assault in their eyes .
After Kha’nes left, the devils consolidated their forces once again and began their advance to wipe out the remnants of the allied forces . The Mobile Fortress that was the dependable bastion of the humans stood at the front of the charge .
It was a literal castle with eight legs attached to it made possible through magical engineering . This free-moving mobile fortress was the greatest asset of the Order of the Iron Blood Knights displaying oppressive defensive and offensive might .
The mobile fortress absorbed the dwarven artillery fire with its body and moved all the way up to the foot of the mountain before open firing toward the dwarves . Dozens of cannons opened fire onto the dwarven encampment and landed a strong blow against them . The dwarves tried their best to retaliate, but they were vastly outnumbered . Combined with the Hell Siege Engines from the other fronts, the siege units that the dwarves were so proud of were being demolished one by one . Sungchul tried his best by destroying a few of the Hell Siege Engines with his Meteor, but it was impossible to turn the battle with his efforts alone .
When the dwarven artillery was neutralized, the devils began to attack from the skies . The winged devils began their assault en masse but the Elven archers dropped them from the skies . But because their attention was focused above, the Devil Army on the ground was no longer impeded in their march toward the mountain .
Dwarves could only helplessly watch as the dark tide of devils that had filled the horizon began to climb toward them as to swallow them whole .
“Looks like this is it . ”
Several gryphons tore through the devils to escape into the skies . Several commanders and VIPs that had to survive were being evacuated . Kaal Bomba readily handed his own gryphon to Sungchul .
“Ride this and escape human mage . ”
“Why would you do this for me?”
When Sungchul asked out of surprise, Kaal raised his axe mightily and laughed with a smirk .
“I feel as though you will be a greater help to future battles than I . I have never seen a mage destroy Hell Siege Engines that well!”
He did not look back toward Sungchul before running toward the frontlines . He joined the bloody battle with a roar .
Sungchul gave a bow toward the dwarf’s direction to show his gratitude before hopping onto the gryphon . It gave a sharp cry before it began to flap its massive wings and flew toward the sky . Winged devils attempted to overtake the gryphon, but it easily clawed and pecked its way to the blue sky .
Sungchul could see the battlefield much more easily from up above . The mountain range in which the allied force of dwarves and elves remained was completely surrounded, and the final bastion of the Demon Battlefront that was Harupaya Ridge had been taken . It now looked like nothing could stop the invasion of the Devils .
The gryphon that carried Sungchul landed by a lake not far from the battlefield . The commanders and VIPs that had escaped the battlefield were already resting by this lake .
“Damned… That damned…”
Armuk Bakr that had been in charge of the left flank was among them . The man who had managed to earn the trust of the dwarves despite being a human and had climbed to the position of one of the commanding generals of the allied forces was furious as he watched his comrades currently being slaughtered on the mountain range with eyes filled with sorrow .
“I’ll kill him . Martin Breggas . I vow to AT LEAST kill that bastard . ”
The Omens of Calamity were flapping their massive wings as they leisurely glided above the battlefield . They were a rare sight to see this far back from the front lines . It meant that the Calamity had drawn that much closer to this land .
Sungchul turned to look toward the road . There was an endless procession of refugees on the road stretching south . One of the Omen of Calamity discovered this mass of refugees and descended upon them with its talon flared claws . The helpless refugees were nothing but fodder for the beast of the Demon Realm .
The Omen of Calamity pinned a refugee with its massive claw and tore off the waist of another with its beak in order to swallow him whole .
The refugees hollered and fled, but there was nothing more they could do . The guards tried to fend off the Omen of Calamity, but it only made a few gestures with its wing as to show its annoyance before escaping into the sky .
The sound of a horn flute could be heard from the distant mountain range .
Sungchul who had been sitting powerless on the rock like the other stragglers suddenly rose from his seat . Armuk who had been cursing Martin Breggas looked over at him .
‘Huh, that guy is?’
He had definitely seen that face before . He dug through his memory to the festival in Golden City that was held to welcome the Summoned in order to recall a man with a similar face and attire .
“You . I remember . You were one of the Summoned in Golden City, weren’t you?”
He acted as though he was familiar with Sungchul as he approached . However, an elegant hammer with a long handle appeared in Sungchul’s hands in the next moment . Armuk’s jaw dropped the moment he saw the hammer . It was Fal Garaz . The hammer forged from a fragment of the sky; a divine artifact of the dwarves .
Armuk who had been approaching him amicably fell back in shock .
Sungchul’s indifferent gaze turned in his direction . Armuk felt enough pressure to cause his heart to explode .
Sungchul walked forward with Fal Garaz in hand toward the direction of the horn flute . Divine strength gathered in his legs . His slow moving feet suddenly couldn’t be seen as he headed toward the battlefield at an unbelievable speed .
Sungchul’s godlike figure appeared at the crossroad of Harupaya Ridge; evoking a cloud of dust in his wake .
The Devils over the ridge were already alarmed at his arrival, but they couldn’t react to the hammer flying towards them in time .
One man stepped over two bloodied corpses as he revealed himself to the devils . The devils didn’t quite recognize the man’s face that held the hammer, but they recognized the hammer and what the man holding this hammer represented .
That cry instantly spread among the devils . Unprecedented terror filled the eyes of a hundred thousand devils . Sungchul stood alone in the front as he looked down upon them .
The man called the Demolisher, the Enemy of the World, engaged the hundred thousand devils on the hill . There was only one man standing in their way, but none of the devils dared to meet his challenge so foolishly .
There were a few that were watching this scene from a distance . Each of the gathered that saw the face of the man reflected onto the scrying orb reacted to his presence in their own way . One of them, in particular, was quite shocked .
‘What in the world… it can’t be!”
Sujin looked with astonishment at the man in the scrying orb with both her hands covering her mouth .
‘You are the Enemy of the World?!’