Border of Valois Kingdom and Luxum Empire
Luxum Empire's Western Imperial Army Command
General Saxon POV
I have been looking at the battlefield through the eyes of a magus designated to act as my eyes in the battlefield. He uses bird-like familiars to scout the areas of battle and relays intructions from me to the field commanders. He then shows it via four projections in the room. Astral Projection is a magic that few have and only those attuned to time and space magic could use it. And the magus with me can only use this once every 15 minutes. Right now, I am viewing the battlefield along with my subordinates.
"The eastern and western front of the Kingdom is now on their last leg! A few more attacks and they would crumble!" Said a lieutenant while looking at the projections.
"Yes, they are losing their ground. We can device a plan that could shatter their final attempts to regroup and reform. We can now crush them with a decisive blow." said a pompadour commander.
"I say we let the forward command launch an all-out assault to that Valoisian rabble. With a million strong coming in waves, I don't think they are going to last long." a young commander added.
Everyone in the rrom was nodding their heads and showed approval to the unexperienced noble commander. With the old and experienced commanders being in the frontlines, what is left is me and a bunch of amateurs who doesn't know how to wage wars. These fools don't really know how to think! The Agmanacian Black Army didn't move against us yet and you plan on having an all out attack?! We haven't even received anything from the capital, not even a letter. Judging from the distance, it is hard. I better hold this place on my own. I then looked at the young noble commander and spoke.
"Commander Jessep, don't make such rash decisions and think carefully on what you should do in this situation."
Irritated, he asked me in a sarcastic. "And how would the great General Saxon plan to deal with the Valoisian Army?"
"Careful, tyke. You may be a commander but I am the commanding general of the Western Imperial Army courtesy of the Emperor." I said in a threatening manner.
Everyone in the room gulped from my words and you could see that Jessep is now seething his teeth. I then continued to talk.
"We have been fighting for 2 days already. We are vastly superior in numbers and equipment. Yet why are these Valoisians still on their feet, manning their fronts? It's because of two reasons. One is that they have the upper edge on defense. They may not be able to attack us but due to the strategical positions they occupied, we are hard-pressed in making them surrender. But the main reason on why they are still not giving up while under the heavy attacks of an army a lot more greater than them? Can anyone of you guess it?" I asked while I survey the room.
Everybody went silent and began thinking or so I think. Some began to mumble and some grouped themselves to discuss it. Is everyone here really stupid? It was then that Jessep spoke.
"That is easy, General. It's because of their ego." He said it with a smile which was well-received by my subordinates.
These people are all stupid. "No, it is not."
"Then it is their pride!" He answered again.
"That's not it either."
"The promise of reward?!" Jessep began to get irritated.
"It's not that."
Then what is it?!" He yelled as he slammed the table.
I sighed when I saw that and said. "It's fear, Commander Jessep."
Confused, he said. "Then why aren't they running away if they are scared of us? You are being round-about general and it doesn't make any sense."
"It is because we gave them a different kind of fear that exceeds their fear towards death."
"There are kinds of fear? You're starting to get ridiculous general." He said with a smirk.
"Do you have a family, Jessep?"
Confused, he said. "I am engaged to be married to my fiancee once this war is over."
"Then let me ask you. If you were to be held with a knife in your throat and the same goes to you fiancee and you were asked. 'Should I let you or her live?' What will you choose?" I asked him calmly.
He stiffened and said. "I disarm the one who held a knife at me and-"
"Then let me rearrange and rephrase that question. You were bound and gagged when someone held a knife at you and someone held another knife on your fiancee's neck. You are ten five meters away from each other so you could see each other's faces. Now, I will ask you again, Commander. Who will you pick? Your life? Or hers?"
Jessep shook and began to tremble. Then he stared at me with maddened eyes and said. "Are you threatening me or damning me, General?! Huh?! If you dare touch a hair on Melissa, I'll-"
"Then can you tell me the fear you felt when I told you that scenario?" I asked him solemnly.
Shocked by my question, he began to ease up and started to think on what I asked him about. "I think I know now, General."
"Good. Now you know. So tell me. What kind of fear are those Valoisian soldiers feeling right now?"
"The fear of losing the ones they love." he said with a downcast face.
"Correct. Their fear for their own lives have been covered with their fear of what will happen to their families should they fall in the battlefield. They are thinking what will happen if the empire succeeds in defeating them. They are thinking what will happen to their wives and lovers if the imperial soldiers get their hand on them now that they, the soldiers, are dead. They are thinking what will happen to their sons and daughters should the empire win this battle. And that fear is what pushes them to stand their grounds."
A noble commander stood up and said. "We are not barbarians! We will no do such atrocities to our fellow human!"
"You should hear yourself." I said to him. "Aren't we fighting and killing humans right now? Isn't this barbaric?"
"But it was Valois who attacked us first!"
"No, commander. It was Agmanac who attacked us first. Valois never supplied anything nor did they give any consent to the Hydra Prince's doing. Not that they could be exempted to any liabilities as the Hydra Prince is a member of the Valoisian Royal Family. But... Let me ask you people. Who was it that really started the war between our two countries?"
They are all shocked by my question but Jessep immediately answered. "It was of course Agmanac, General. Do you not know this?"
I smiled and said. "Do you know how many skirmishes happened to the Agmanacian border over the past months?"
"No. I don't believe I do, General." Jessep said.
"More than 20 times, commander... More than 20 times and yet the Prince only repelled them. All of them. The Prince already have a sizeable army at that time, as the last reports of our spies have informed us before they were all killed by the Prince's forces. And yet, he did nothing. Bidding his time? Not likely. The Prince was contented in ruling his own territory and enriching it. Agmanac prospered while the other human countries including Agmanac's parent nation, the Kingdom of Valois, are suffering from a deep recession. And let me ask you, who has the largest population in the world?"
"I-it is us, General." Jessep replied.
"Yes, it is indeed. Knowing that, the emperor sent envoys to the Hydra Prince to seek peace and asked for a treaty of non-aggression. Then he asked if he could trade with Agmanac while he promised never to attack it. He even promised the Princess Gabrielle would be married off to the Hydra Prince should the latter agree to his terms. Then something happened to the meeting that made the Prince mad. He even imprisoned the most beautiful woman in the continent and didn't care about her anymore as he decided to attack us. The rest is what you know happened. Ceawin, Marcia, Algair and Gale Island all fell to the Prince's hands. So, tell me. Why do you think the Prince went mad after his meeting with the envoy?"
"You are not saying-"
"Yes. Something offended the Prince that resulted to our current predicament. And I know it is because of the emperor."
Swords were then unsheated including that of Commander Jessep. He then spoke. "What you did is an act of treason! We could kill you for such an act!"
"Kill me? Sure. Kill me. But I will tell you people. Never underestimate the Hydra Prince. He is smart and cunning unlike the emperor. We are all doomed to fail this mission the emperor asked us to do." I said with a tired smile.
Jessep raised his sword over head and spoke. "Any last words, General?"
"The Main army of 6 million had been decimated by the Prince who had more than 8 million troops waiting for them. Before the main army even clashed with the Prince's army, they were already reduced to half due to the devastating power of their spells and the deadly precision of their artillery and archers. When they arrived at the Wall, what awaited them are 8 million black armored soldiers waiting for them at the foot of the Wall. They were slaughtered like pigs and with just a few hours, the army was destroyed and stragglers are being hunted down. The eastern army had also fallen due to the sheer power of the ships that docked on Marcia and Algair. And with the help of the archers, artillery and magi along with the black army posted there, only a third of the army remained. They are now retreating back to the east to regroup and reorganize. The rear army are now retreating back to the capital now that the supply group has been raided by the Prince's forces."
I took out my pouch and took something inside. I opened my hands and showed them 2 marble orbs. "This are message orbs. They contain the last thing the one holding the pair of this marbles said. Kind of like a last will. When the pairs of these two orbs were destroyed, those reports I told you was the thing that it contained. The ones who had the other pairs of these orbs are General Byron of the Main Army and General Teynham of the Western Army." I sadly looked at the orbs and put them on the table. I then looked back to Jessep and said. "With only us and the central army left, how can we defend the empire? The Hydra Prince defeated two war fronts with more than 8 million soldiers. How many of us remained? Less than 7 million. With the reserve army of 5 million that are NOT in the capital, how can we defend the Hydra Prince's army?" I asked them.
All of them paled when they heard what I said. They couldn't refute. I had the message orbs which gives the last glimpse of the person who sent the message and you will see it as if the person who sent the message is in front of you. With such an evidence in front of them, they began totremble at the thought of losing this war. I then spoke again.
"We may be winning our battle here but we are already losing the war. I am returning to my family back in the west. They will need me now more than-"
BOOM! And explosion suddenly interrupted my words. I was shocked at such an event. Enemy attack?! But we are almost 50 kilometers away from the battlefield! Nothing could... Oh no! I then shouted at the dazed soldiers in front of me.
"ENEMY ATTACK! THE HYDRA PRINCE IS HERE!"
As I finished shouting, multiple large explosions blasted the area we are in. I looked outside and saw the devastation of the attack. We are currently occupying a city and all one million soldiers are currently staying here as it is a big city. All civilians have been evacuated a month before our occupation so nothing is left here except empty houses and broken stuff. And right now, the city that is supposed to be housing us is under attack.
"FIND OUT WHERE THIS ATTACKS ARE COMING FROM!"
"""""YES, GENERAL!!!""""" Everyone in the room left after my command.
Constant blast of explosions erupt every few minutes and in just 20 minutes, almost a third of the city and a quarter of my soldiers are dead. Where are they firing?! How... How could they attack us?! In what way?! I shouted again to the soldiers who are now scrambling back and forth outside the room.
"WHO THE FUCK CAN TELL ME WHERE THIS ATTACKS ARE COMING FROM!"
A soldier went inside and saluted. "General, there are no signs of any enemy within 10 kilometers! We already extented the range of any possible siege engine but there is nothing!"
"THEN WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS?! DIVINE PUNISHMENT?! FIND WHERE THE FUCK THIS IS COMING FROM!"
"YES, GENERAL!" The soldier then left in a hurry.
I immediately went out and went to the tallest tower in the castle we are currently using, to try looking on where the attacks are coming from. But no matter what direction I look at, there is nothing. Another batch of explosions erupted and I believe thousands died due to that. I then made my decision and shouted with all I had.
"ABANDON THE CITY! WE WILL ALL DIE IF WE STAY HERE! RUN TO THE NEAREST EXIT AND RUN AWAY! AWAY FROM THE CITY! ABANDON THE CITY!"
My men began to run towards the city exits while I looked at the evacuation. Every 2 minutes, dozens of explosions rain down on us and the army. Such devastation... This is what the emperor angered? Bodies, blood and gore littered the streets and buildings while huge craters dotted the city. The castle I am currently on have suffered 10 attacks already. Every 2 minutes, there are at least 20 attacks that would destroy everything the explosion engulfs. Those lucky to get away from the explosion still gets hurt due to the aftershock as they are thrown off their feet when they are hit with an aftershock. What weapons are this?! The empire... The empire is doomed to lose.
Before I could even finish my sentence, I was hit by an explosion and was thrown off the tower I was standing on. It was then that I felt that time slowed down. Ahh... I'm going to die today... I took out a memory orb and held it in front of me.
"Isabel... My lovely Isabel... Stay strong, my love. I... can no longer... go home to you and our son. Stay safe and if possible... get away from the empire... I love you..."
102 kilometers away from the Western Imperial Army's Rear Division stronghold
Looking through my "Eyes of Providence", I surveyed the the town we just bombarded. Looking at the city, I saw how the people inside are now rushing out. I also saw the city turned to rubble due to the force of impact. It levelled most of the cityscape and everything, including the castle, have almost turned to just piles of rocks. I turned around and looked at the weapons I designed and help invented. This was a weapon used in one of my past life. A weapon of pure mass destruction. It's supposed to be a railway gun but I modified it into something more powerful. These behemoths are made of purely made of steel riddled with runes to keep it in prestine conditions. It's a very big piece of machinery that could only be manned by at least 3 thousand soldiers. It has a weight of more than 1.8 tonnes and had a length of about 80 meters. The barrel is 120 meters in length that carries 1m tier 3 explosion rune-embued shells that detonates upon impact that creates 20 meter wide craters every explosion. I had them secretly made by Zagan, Bathin and Gaap 3 months ago with the use of the ore mined by the battlemaidens of Gremory and the war engineers of Zagan while Bathin and his magi transported the ores to the island Gaap discovered.
I gave Zagan and Gaap my blueprints and they started building it even before the invasion of the empire as a precaution and to strike fear when needed. My predictions were spot on and after 3 months, the empire really tried to undermine me and luckily, 20 of this monster cannons are created. It can be said that with just this number, I could completely decimate any city without using even a single soldier. I can make this things shoot even 100-250 kilometers away depending on the angle so I can position these things to places almost unaccessable to soldiers then wreck havoc to cities, fortresses, bastides and such from a safe disance.This will only work on lower beings though. This will not be enough to hurt those of the middle and higher echelon of Heaven's court. Due to their sheer devasting power and capability for mass destruction, I named them Interitio.
As I am watching the cannons fire, Kapharel neared me and spoke.
"Sire, it would seem that the remaining imperial soldiers have decided to abandon the city and have deserted."
"So it would seem. Let them be. At least I have destroyed their morale. Besides..." I looked at Kapharel with a vicious smile. "Hunting a moving target is better than a still one."
Kapharel smiled and said. "Indeed, sire."
"Have 200 thousand pursue the deserting soldiers. Let no one escape. We can't have them reporting what we did to them. I want to keep this as a secret for a while. They are also allowed to use summons and familiars to increase their efficiency. You will lead them, Kapharel. Don't fail me."
"I won't, sire."
"Good. Now, go."
She then bowed and left. After a few discussions, 200 thousand soldiers went with her and with the help of 200 space magi from Bathin's troops, they are moving more quickly. I made the remaining 300 thousand follow me south to meet the main body of the Western Imperial Army.
"Now, time to give Valois a pleasant surprise. Let us move the Interitios near the western battlefield. Time to slaughter the empire's proud army. We will leave none alive!"
General's Tent, Forward Command, Western Battlefront
General Burgh POV
*SLAM. I slammed by palm to the table and looked at my subordinates gathered in my tent. We are currently waiting for the instructions that are always given to us by the army general who is located in the rear army on a fortified city some 40 kilometers away. But right now, it's been more than 12 minutes after the supposed information should be received and yet the instructions are so late, the field commanders can only halt any advance and could only hold their grounds.
"IS THERE NO INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE HIGHER COMMAND YET?!"
A lieutenant then replied. "There are none, sir!"
"HOW THE FUCK ARE WE GOING TO MOVE THEN WITHOUT THEIR ORDERS! THEIR FUCKING COMMANDS?!"
"I'm afraid I don't know, sir!" The lieutenant replied.
"FUCK! THEIR ONLY JOB IS TO GIVE INSTRUCTIONS! THEY ARE ALREADY AT THE SAFEST PART OF THE ARMY AND YET THEY CAN'T EVEN DO THE ONE REMAINING FUCKING JOB THEY SHOULD DO?! FUCK!" I yeleld at my subordinates and slammed the table again. After a while, something dawned to me. "Wait... Send a rider. Check on them... I have a bad feeling about this."
My adjutant, Commander Wharton then spoke. "What is it General?"
"This is just too weird. I'm guessing that there are only 2 reasons why the rear command is not responding. Either they already deserted the battlefield or..."
"Or what, sir?"
"Or... they've been attacked at the rear."
"That's impossible. We are in imperial soil? Why would our fellow Imperials-"
"Who is it that we are fighting here?"
"The Valoisian Kingdom."
"No. It's the Hydra Prince. We are a diversion to see if the Prince will rescue the Kingdom should we attack it."
"Then you are not telling me-"
"Yes. There is a possibility that the Hydra Prince is making a move. And it is a move that we never anticipated."
"But the rear command has a million soldiers and they are within the fortified walls of a fortress city."
"The prince annihilated 2 million soldiers of the Southern Imperial Army with less than half the soldiers that army had. That would be easy for him."
"That can't be."
"Let's wait for the scout to return."
2 hours later
"Sir! A rider have returned!" A soldier announced.
"Good! Send him in."
Immediately, a ragged rider immediately kneeled in front of me, not of reverence but of fatigue. "I... bring you news, general..."
"Speak. What is it?"
"The rear army has been... annihilated."
"I saw... the ruined fortess city they were residing. Everything there... was turned to rubble. Blood, guts and bones are everywhere. I saw no one alive so after a quick search, I immediately returned... Sir, may I request permission to say my thoughts?" asked the scout.
"Sir, that city... was riddled with impact craters... It was like they were hit by meteors. It was as if God rained meteors on them. What was surprising is that... only the city had those craters... The surrounding areas don't have them. Sir, did we perhaps... anger God?"
"I am not God to answer your question, rider. But I know it wasn't God who did that. It was the Devil."
"Yes. And I am afraid we're on his list of targets." *BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM "And it looks like I was right again. The Devil has arrived." *BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOOOM! " And he came prepared. TO ARMS! FIND THE HYDRA PRINCE!"
Valoisian side, Northern Border Army
Count Cologne POV
"Sir... The fronts are falling... The soldiers can no longer hold out much longer... Sir... forgive me for this but... We have lost..." My young adjutant said.
"Keep your wits together, lad. We can get thorugh this. Help is on the way." I said, trying to calm down the shaken man.
"Help General? Who will help us? Who will aid us? No one! The nobles all blockaded themselves in their territories! The high nobles are all in the capital, debating on what to do while we are dying here! NO ONE WILL COME, GENERAL! NO ONE!" He shouted at my face while clenching his fist, tears running from his eyes. "My wife... she's going to give birth anytime soon... If I am gone... who will look after my family, general? She is an orphan... My parents are both dead... She... She'll be left all alone if I die here... General, what must I do? Please... Tell me, what should I do?" He then fell on his knees while sobbing.
I am watching a man who is braver than most men I knew, crumble under pressure and anxiety because of the threat of the empire. But it isn't death itself that is scaring the poor soul, it is the fear of what would happen to his family. I, too, have a family back home. I am a titled noble with the rank of count and my fief is near here. I, too, am scared of what will happen should I fall here. With all the generals from the upper nobility abandoning their posts, only I remained here. Even I am anxious of what will happen. I walked over my kneeling adjutant and placed my hand on his shoulder.
"Don't loose faith, lad. Hope will come. You are forgetting something. The Hydra Prince might give us some assistance. He is currently occupied with the imperial army in front of his territory but he is still Valoisian. He might help us, even if it is only a whim of his." I said with a wry smile.
"Wasn't he the one who started this mess to begin with?" My adjutant said while still looking down.
"It was the empire's fault, not the Prince. We better hope that he would grant us some assistance against the empire's assault."
"He already had to deal with the empire trying to invade his fief. How could he-"
"GENERAL! NEWS FROM THE FRONT!" he was interrupted by a panting yet energetic messenger.
I stood up straight and spoke to the messenger. "Report."
"Imperial soldiers from all fronts have began retreating. Some are only holding their ground but most could be seen running away from the battlefield. They seem to be running towards where their forward command is located. With the fronts stretching to about 400 kilometers, multiple sitings have been noted by the forward commanders and thus was reported here in the central command. Captured retreating soldiers were interrogated and we confirmed that the enemy's forward command is under siege by something they do not know. It is also rumoured that the rear body of this army have been totally obliterated. We cannot confirm it but judging from the reactions of the captured soldiers indicate that they have no real reason to lie. They are told to retreat back and reinforce the ranks of their forward army."
I gulped when I heard the report of the messenger. "Any other thing you wish to report?"
"Sightings of an army bearing a a red-bordered black flag with a golden hydra at the middle has been spotted near the eastern front of the battlefield. They are only observing the battlefield though. They are estimated to be around 200 thousand and are currently holding their position near the Agmanacian Wall. 20 strange contraptions are spotted behind them that produces flashes and loud booms every once in a while and it is unknown what they are really doing. It is speculated that they are firing something somewhere but we dont know what they are exactly or if the speculation is true, where they are firing."
I was woken up from my stupor after hearing something like that. Empire's soldiers retreating. Western Imperial Army's rear command rumoured to be destroyed. Unknown contraptions seemingly firing at something. All of this means one thing... The Hydra Prince is now here. I looked at my still-kneeling adjutant and then the messenger.
"Prepare my horse. Tell 20 knights to ready themselves. We will meet the Hydra Prince. Also, send other messengers to all forward commanders that they should hold their line for as long as they could for I will try to convince the Prince to help us. The Hydra Prince is here."
"Yes, General." The messenger bowed and left.
I looked at my adjutant who is now looking up. "Come. We have to meet the Prince."
"Will he help us?"
"Let's just hope he will."
3 hours later, Somewhere near the Agmanician Wall overlooking the Western Battlefront
"How's the situation?" I asked the artillery commander.
"Sire, the Interitios are still in prestine condition. As for our targets, it could be said that almost 700 thousand have fell due to the constant bombardment of this cannons. The Black Hand also reported that the forward command is no in disarray and are currently unable to reform their ranks but it seems that they have spotted our position and 600 thousand soldiers pulled out from the assaulting troops to meet up with us."
"Only that? They sure are underestimating me."
"I think they don't know that you are here, sire."
"Is that so? Just continue firing. I would love to see how they scramble like ants on an enemy they cannot see."
Before I could resume looking at the battlefield below, a messenger came and reported to me.
"Sire, a group of 22 men are closing into our location. They are all bearing the white flag of truce and the Royal Flag of Valois. What are your orders, your Highness?"
"Let them approach. I will meet them. Let's see what this rabble wants, though I know what they are after."
A few minutes later, I saw the group approach the main body of my army. When they saw me, an elderly man and a young soldier immediately climbed down from their horses and walked towards me. They are at a considerable distance from me so I decided to walk towards them as well. Moments later, when there were only 10 paces between us, the elderly man kneeled in front of me who was then followed by the young soldier that was with him. I approached them and spoke.
"Why are you kneeling?"
"I, Count Cologne, kneels to Prince Beale Maxime Thierry de Agmanac de Valois who is the ruler of Agmanac and the heir to the throne of Valois." He said seriously with his head bowed down.
"It seems you are gravely mistaken, count. I am no prince of Valois."
Bewildered, he looked up and asked. "Are you not Prince Beale of Valois?"
"No, I am Prince Beale of Agmanac. I no longer have any connection to Valois in any way."
"I can deduce why you are here but for the sake of formality, I will ask. Why are you here?"
The count thought for a while and said. "I am here to ask for help."
"Then I'm afraid I cannot help you. I am not from Valois and helping you, who is in the losing side, would be seen as me cooperating with you." I said dismissively.
Before the general could speak, his escort stood up and yelled. "People are dying out there! Thousands! All because of your doing! If you hadn't invaded the empire, none of this should have happened! If you hadn't offended the empire, this-"
"If I didn't attack the empire and instead submit to it, with what I am capable of, what would happen to Valois? I am richer, more powerful and more technologically advanced than the empire and the kingdom. That made me the target of not just the empire but the kingdom as well. I am a royal prince and heir to the throne of Valois, but what did you nobles do? You wanted to have the things I acquired to satisfy your greed and lust for power while you didn't even give a strand of effort to acquire it. But enough of this history talk. I've already sent a declaration to Marseilles. Agmanac is now an independent principality from the kingdom. So, basically, you are kneeling to a foreign prince and asking him of something unreasonable."
Both the count and his escort widened their eyes when they heard my words. The count then hurriedly spoke. "But, Prince Beale. The soldiers of the kingdom are suffering and dying even at this very moment. At least... At least give us a helping hand."
"I'm afraid I cannot do that. I am a monarch of my country and I see no benefits for me and my men to join on your war. That is between you and the empire. I have no involvement on the wars you have with the empire."
"Haaa... I guess we are really doomed to die today." the count wryly smiled while muttering.
"Are there any other things you want to tell me? If not then leave. I am already lenient to not attack you for entering my territory."
"I will just ask, Prince. Is it you that caused the empire to pull out their troops from the frontlines?"
"Indeed, it is. They are currently heading here with 600 thousand. Why?"
Looking behind me, he said. "Is it because of those things at your back, Your Highness?"
Smart huh? "Indeed it is. They are called Interitio."
"And what do they do?" He asked curiously.
"Why should I tell you?"
"Forgive me, Your Highness." He bowed when he said that.
"Hmmm... This will be a battlefield soon, count. Better return to your own troops."
"Yes, Your Highness." The count sadly bowed and turned around.
"Do you have a family, count?"
The count suddenly stopped moving and hurriedly looked at me. "I do, Your Highness."
"Do you love them?"
"More than my life, Your Highness." He then clenched a fist and placed it in his chest.
"Then rejoice. You might yet see them again."
"Huh?" He had a bewildered face when he asked.
It was then that a person landed in front of me and kneeled. "Your Highness, my task has been done and we have hurried to return to your side."
In front of me is Kapharel whom I ask to finish off the fleeing soldiers from the rear body of the western imperial army.
"Good work. Command the men. We will begin our assault. Have the additional men arrived?"
"500 thousand came under Lord Murmur's command."
"Excellent. We will annihilate their detached group first then destroy their army entirely."
"Yes, Your Highness."
She then left to take a mount. I then returned my attention to the count who have been struck dumb with what he experienced. I mounted my nightmare and spoke.
"This is my undertaking to take everything from the empire. I will kill the emperor and make the emtire empire mine. Should the kingdom decide to interfere, I will do to you what I did to the empire." Not waiting for his reply, I strode forward and yelled. "THE ENEMIES ARE AT OUR DOOR! CHARGE!"
My voice, enhanced by magicka, reverberated loudly; enough for everyone to hear. It was then that 400 thousand cavalry soldiers began to charge forward with the remaining new arrivals of 500 thousand marched slowly forward. I left 100 thousand to guard the Interitios. I then yelled again.
"ANNIHILATE THEM! LEAVE NONE ALIVE!"
7 hours later
Luxum Empire's Western Imperial Army General's tent
General Burgh POV
"WHAT THE FUCK?! WHAT DID YOU FUCKING SAY?!"
"Sir! The entire frontline have been obliterated sir!" The messenger in front of me repeated the damn report as I told him.
"HOW?! WHO IS IT?! HOW COULD 600 THOUSAND JUST A FEW HOURS?!"
"It was observed sir that the troops who attacked had a red-bordered black flag that carried a golden Hydra as a sigil."
"THE BLACK ARMY?! I THOUGHT THEY WERE BEHIND US?! AND HOW COULD THEY FIND THE TIME TO SEND TROOPS HERE?! AREN'T THEY FIGHTING THE MAIN ARMY?!"
"I don't know sir!"
"FUCK! ALL OF YOU, RETREAT! WE MUST MOVE TO A MORE FORTIFIED PLACE! WE ARE SITTING DUCKS HERE!"
"I'm afraid you cannot do that, sir." The messenger in front of me said.
"AND WHY CAN'T I?!"
"Because you will die today, sir."
When he finished saying that, black tendrils skewered everyone in the room except me. In a matter of seconds, everyone died from this "messenger" in front of me. I was trembling after witnessing such decisive killing. I steeled myself and asked.
"Who... Just who are you?"
Removing his facial coverings and his helmet, he revealed a very youthful face. White hair, red eyes? Don't tell me...
"Exactly. I'm Prince Beale Maxime Thierry de Agmanac de Valois, ruler of Agmanac. Pleased to meet you." he then gracefully bowed at me.
"Does this mean-"
"I have already killed most of your troops and my soldiers are now doing the cleanup."
I shivered at the words he just said. "Then... Did you defeat the main army?"
He then sat on the chair near him and spoke. "That I did. You didn't know?"
What kind of monster is he and his troops?! Are they invincible?! "I didn't..."
"Is that so? Then to pass time, I will tell you. Your main army have been totally destroyed along with the eastern army. The only remaining functional armies the empire had is yours and the central army. Now that I have destroyed the western army, all that is left is the central one that protects the capital and the territory around it. But... How could an army of 3 million at most defend against 18 million of mine? Hmmm..."
"18 MILLION?! AND THE TWO ARMIES DESTROYED?!" I couldn't help but exclaim.
"Yeah. 18 million and counting. Plus with the western, eastern and northern parts of the empire being attacked by your angry neighbors, how could the empire hold out with just 3 million? Really difficult to fathom."
"The... the empire is... under siege? On all sides?" I can't help but helplessly ask.
"Yeah. And with me in the south, you are now under attack on all directions. I am preparing to march to the capital after I finish organizing my troops." He said with an amused expression. "I wonder what moves Celtrieze will do to protect herself from the enemies that are coming to her. Tell me, general. What will the capital do?"
"I... Are you... going to sack the capital?"
"Probably. If I cannot find the emperor and his family. Being isolated in all directions might not be enough to keep him so I might sack Celtrieze until I find them."
My family! My wife... My daughter... I kneeled down to the Hydra Prince and said "Prince, I surrender and offer to you everything I have, even my soul but please... don't kill my family..."
"How would I even distinguish one person to another? Are you mental?" He said to me in a mocking tone.
"Her name is-"
"Stop. You're really stupid, aren't you? Even if I do, what will I do? Deciminate to my troops to be on the lookout of a woman with these characteristics and stuff like that? Besides, what can you offer? You ain't smart. You ain't a good commander. You ain't a strong fighter. Nothing. If I may say, you are just a typical grunt. Plain and pathetic." He said as he dismissed me like a bug.
"Then at least, I could KILL YOU!"
I lunged at him with my claymore but before my sword reached him, the blade of my weapon was cut in half. Without even having the time to be shocked, I was stabbed in almost all parts of the body I could move. Arms, legs, wrists, foot, shoulder, waist, body and neck. I looked and saw that it was the black tendrils that extended from the shadows. So that's where they come from. Trully monstrous. The empire really kicked a steel wall this time.
"At least you are not a coward." The prince in front of me said seriously.
"Can... *cough At... least... Please... hear *cough a... dying... man's... request..."
"Really surprising. I stabbed you in the neck and yet you can still talk. Such determination."
"My... wife... Sarah... had *cough golden... blonde... hair... My... *cough daughter... Lorraine... had... the... same... hair.... her... *cough mother... had... she's... 6... winters... old..."
"For your family huh? Why should I care?"
"I'm... appealing... to... your... humanity..."
"Funny though, I'm not human." Wings sprouted behind him. Six black wings.
"Ah... no... wonder... the... empire... is... done... for... angering... an... angel... "
"That's right. You're all idiots to acquire my ire."
"But... Please... save... my-"
"I'm here to extract vengeance, not to play charity. I care not of your requests, be it dying or not. I'm here to lay destruction to the country who thought they could control and undermine me."
"You're... a... demon..."
"I am more than that. I'm a Demon King." And he left me as he stepped out of the tent.
Sarah... Lorraine... Forgive me... Forgive papa... I couldn't protect you... Please... Forgive me... My eyesight began to darken and soon, I lost consciousness and now consumed by a chilling darkness, forever.
"Good work, milord." Kapharel said while handing me my effects.
"Is the cleanup finished?"
"It is, milord."
I then contacted the person who could increase my army. [Murmur...]
[How many necromancers do you have available?]
[20 thousand, milord.]
[Send them all here. You have more than 4 million to 'turn' here.]
[I will personnaly see to it, milord]
I returned my attention to Kapharel and said. "Have the men ready. We will join the main army that Paimon commands. We will march to the capital when the preparations are complete."
1 month later
Celtrieze, capital of Luxum Empire
Emperor Luxum POV
"How could this happen to us? How did this happen?! CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!"
My court magus, Archmagus Bjorn spoke. "The messenger that came to us who delivered the news have traces that he was already dead before he arrived to us."
"WHAT?! THEN HOW WAS HE ABLE TO-"
"A necromancer, Your Majesty. And a powerful one at that. All I can say is that the necromancer affixed a soul to that man for the purpose of delivering the report. I am guessing that they want to inform us that..."
"That whatever we throw at them, they will still win. Maybe it is just my thinking but that is how it is."
"ANYONE! DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY REPORT ABOUT THE ARMIES WE SENT AGAINST THE PRINCE?!"
Suddenly, the door to the audience chamber opened. And with it, came three persons who had dishiveled armors and black bags under their eyes. They all kneeled in front of the throne and one by one, spoke.
"General Latifor from the Main Imperial Army salutes His Majesty."
"General Sturton from the Eastern Imperial Army salutes His Majesty."
"Commander Dacre from the Western Imperial Army salutes His Majesty."
All of them bowed after kneeling. I was about to talk when Archmagus Bjorn spoke.
"I'll check if they are releasing undead aura."
"Please do, Archmagus." I said.
The Magus walked towards the three and said. "Remove your weapons. All of it."
The three immediately removed their weapons while still kneeling. After that, they removed their armors and let the Archmagus assess them After a few minutes, Bjorn said.
"They are clear."
Knowing that, I spoke. "Gentlemen, why are you here personally? Where are your army's messengers?"
"We came to report to you something, Your Majesty."
"What is it? What is so important that officers from the armies had to come themselves to deliver?"
"The main forward army and western army are all destroyed. Only a handful of soldiers remained. Around 10 thousand. And we are those that were purposely made to escape to inform you of the empire's impending doom. The eastern armyhave at least a million left but they all dispersed and return to their families, thus disbanding the army. We came to deliver you this information."
I fell out my throne when I heard it. More than 13 million, dead. What sorcery did the Prince use to decimate my armies?! That is 13 million soldiers! Not 13 thousand or 130 thousand or 1.3 million but 13 million! How... How could he do such devastation?! He is just a kid from the boonies!
"HOW DID THE PRINCE DO IT?!"
"His armies, Your Majesty, cannot be killed by spells, blades, blunt weapons, piercing weapons or projectile. I personally saw soldiers from the Black Army literally standing up and fight after getting hit by a boulder thrown by a catapult. Not only that. The armor of that soldier didn't receive a single dent. It was like we were fighting an immortal army."
The eastern general added. "Our soldiers in the east were obliterated by spells that not even the grand magus can create. They fired spells that was so strong, each spell produced 100 meter burnt craters. And they fired their spells on top of the Wall. Before we could even get near the wall, they have reduced our forces by a third. Those who survived the spell barrage fell to the traps that were laid on the battlefield. We had to go through a spell barrage and a trap-infested field just to reach the foot of the Wall but voila, the Wall can't be burnt, damaged or even chip. It's as if you are hitting an adamantium wall. In the end, only a million was left of our troops."
The western commander spoke. "Ours were kinda different. We were attacking the Northern Valoisian Army and have been battling for a day. But at the second day, we were surprised to receive a barrage of unknown attacks from who knows where. They caught us unaware and shocked. We could make a plan for counter-attacking since we don't even know where the attack is coming from. After losing contact to the rear command, we didn't have a choice but to attack the Agmanacian Soldiers who showed up near the borders of Ceawin. That detached team of 500 thousand was easily defeated by the attacking soldiers of the Black Army. They then proceeded to kill their way to the frontlines, killing everyone in their path. We couldn't do anything since those unknown barrage is attacking any attempt of regrouping and reorganizing. In a short span of 7 hours, all 1.5 million soldiers were destroyed. The others who deserted were hunted down like prey."
Hearing their reports, I cannot even speak anymore. But it's not like I can't talk, it's more like I have no words to say. I am angry yet scared and teriified yet also sad and anxious. I cannot even explain what I am feeling. What more of speaking. It was then that a familiar voice rang out from the noble's seats.
"Cowards! You all abandoned your posts and now dared to return here after running away from the battlefield! You sould all be hanged!" General Bristol exclaimed.
Before I could even speak, General Latifor of the Main Forward Army spoke. "I don't want to hear that from the Imperial Grand General who took a million soldiers, along with 500 thousand of the support troops, with him as his bodyguard and deserted the battlefield as soon as he heard that the frontline troops are being slaughtered. You turned tail and ran back here, in the safety of the capital's walls while the soldiers are fighting a bitter fight against the Hydra Prince's Black Army. We were pegged their while you eat steak, drink wine and fuck women while telling His Majesty thaat everything is alright. Well, it's not alright! You know why?! Because-"
He was interrupted with a shout from the announcer. "Messengers from the eastern border, western border and the northern reach came to deliver important news.
I shouted at the announcer. "THEN LET THEM IN! FUCKING LET THEM IN!"
Soon, three messengers kneeled in front of me. Before they could even speak, I spoke first. "HURRY UP AND GIVE ME YOUR REPORTS! YOU START, EASTERN MESSENGER!"
"Your Majesty... The eastern front has been... overrun..."
"Yes, Your Majesty. Dwarves came out from their mountains, armed to the teeth, as they laid siege on the border. They continued thier assault until they reached their former lands before the empire occupied them. They brought war machines with them and heavy weapons. They have already capitulated almost all of the east. They seem to be planning to march here in the capital with an estimated number of 1 million, Your Majesty."
As if deranged, I spoke in an absent manner. "And the west?"
"The west, Your Majesty, is now under elven control. An army of elves suddenly came out of their forest countries and captured the western garrisons. They then moved towards their former lands and after that, they moved again to annihilate any human they found. They have the west under their influence now. They are also gathering up and seem to be planning on marching here as they are gathering supplies for a long army journey." Said the western messenger.
Feeling as if my head is breaking, I looked at the northern messenger and said. "Don't tell me it's the same in the north..."
"Yes, Your Majesty. The snow wyverns, yetis, ice trolls, and ice wraiths have destroyed our northern garrisons. They don't seem to be planning in marching to the capital but they have taken control of the north." said the northern messenger.
I am being besieged in all sides. Dwarves to the east, elves in the west, northern monsters in the north and the Hydra Prince in the south. How could we even move or defend. Only the north is not planning to attack the capital but with the army we have, it won't be enough to capitulate the north. I looked at the now panicking nobles and the faces of that is full of fear and anxiety. I then spoke to General Latifor who is still kneeling.
"General Latifor, is there any chance we could ask for maybe an armistice? Or maybe a peace agreement of indefinite non-agression?"
"I'm afraid the Hydra Prince will not hear that. Not after the first failed attempt and us initiating the attack."
"Why not? Why are you certain?"
"Because the Hydra Prince have finished his preparations. He and his immortal Black Army of 5 million are now marching towards the capital, right at this very moment. The Hydra Prince have-" He said seriously.
General Bristol then laughed and said. "Only 5 million?! We can gather at least 6 million here in the capital if we wanted to use forced conscription. And with the supplies of the capital, we can survive for a year! That's-"
"I'm not finished, deserter. The 5 million is what the Prince is using to attack this place. However, his main army of at least 18-20 million have now began to conquer all of the lands they pass though. That main army would be able to conquer all of the south and the outer reaches of the capital within one to two months tops. With that many soldiers, I doubt that even with our past army size, we won't win against the Hydra Prince. This is the person we have angered to the point that he would annihilate us allwithout any mercy."
Trying to regain myself, I spoke. "How long before he arrives?"
"How long? No, Your Majesty."
*BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
"He's already here."
Bio: Just an ordinary guy with a voracious appetite for novels. I may not be an index for novels but I have read a lot since it is one of my most defining trait: reading. Do give me some pokes if new novels are published or give me any recommendations you have. I will gratefully accept them all!