Chapter 89: The Key’s Holder
A peevish voice echoed in a room of the royal palace. This voice had no color such as frustration and anger, but it was a rather lean voice where emotion itself had disappeared.
「Eldith. I’ll make sure to end her life on this battlefield. I repeat, I’ll make sure it will happen. I won’t surrender nor will I acknowledge a deal.」
A messenger saluted upon hearing Lagias’ words, and left the room immediately. Lagias’ thin and long finger, which resembled a tree branch, stroked the beard growing on his chin.
Eldith, the Elf Princess, and the beloved child of the nature spirits.
“What a troublesome and annoying creature”. Lagias narrowed his eyes and the wrinkles hardened on his face.
Was elf tradition customary and mandatory? The principle was clear. Nobody was allowed to execute beloved children with the great protection of the spirits. If someone killed a beloved child, the wind of disaster would blow, and the rainwater would be poisoned and pour down.
“What a silly tradition”, Lagias thought. Of course, that tradition applied to the Fins of Ghazalia as well. It was an overwhelming and powerful custom of the elves.
Even so, Lagias didn’t want this absurd belief to be a hindrance to his schemes.
His eyes stared at his own hands, which had many layers and wrinkles. On one side, this was the proof of old age. On the other side, this meant death. Yes, death could be waiting for Lagias in the horizon, even though the elf race was known for their longevity. At best, his life would only last for a few more decades. That was his limit.
Therefore, this was the moment to change. At first, it seemed impossible to reverse the emotions of the people in order to transform Ghazalia completely. These emotions caused a festering and decay on this nation due to a continuous stagnation. That’s why Lagias had been waiting for an opportunity to start a small change that could modify it all. In other words, the task of altering that tradition.
The old elf Lagias understood very well that it was important to balance emotions with politics. On one hand, alter the tradition, and on other hand, show them respect. By doing so, the seeds of change could be finally embedded in the people.
“Ah, indeed. That’s why my beloved niece’s breath much be extinguished on this battlefield.”
Death during battle could be labeled as a tragedy. All Lagias had to do was act as a respectable and compassionate Fin that became heartbroken for the death of his niece. A sad façade to receive pity from the people for not protecting his niece. The people would accept that it wasn’t his fault. He could say that he never regarded her as an enemy. On which he couldn’t change her fate, so it couldn’t be helped though. All he had to do for this scheme to be successful was, inevitably, an emotional fakeness in order to win the people’s hearts.
「Fin. There is a strong momentum of the attackers on the side roads, and there is a risk of them breaking through our unit if this keeps up.」
An officer walked into the room without knocking. Lagias had no problems with this rashly behavior.
「Don’t worry. Let’s just push it for as long as possible. Don’t loosen the assault strategy in front of the main gate. You must crush the enemy’s army without any looseness. If we manage to pull this off, the fight will be over and we will win.」
Lagias strengthened his strategy when the enemy’s army was split into two groups. Lagias decided to abandon the defensive force on the side roads, and attack the enemy with most of his forces at the main gate. He thought that this approach was the most reliable and the least troublesome.
It was a race against time, but also the repetition with the same ideas and strategies. Yes, this was not the first time that Lagias was involved in a civil war. He knew that it was necessary to cut down the enemy’s neck to determine the outcome. This task had to be done quickly. He had no time nor did he want to follow a foolish route such as a castle siege.
「We must decide the outcome before the soldiers of the human land arrive here. I mustn’t let them interrupt us on this ongoing affair.」
Now, the system of Ghazalia was about to be entirely changed. The process of officially establishing diplomatic relations with the human nation was finally underway. In meantime, Ghazalia got engulfed in a confused and extreme civil war. In addition to this, it seemed that the rebels played a fundamental part in this rebellion. How could Lagias show this side of his nation to the humans? There’s no way that he could show them this situation. Civil war meant that the internal affairs of a country wavered and weakened. History dictated that such weak counties couldn’t establish equal diplomatic relations. Therefore, Lagias had to finish this war quickly and put out an end at the rebels, so that he could show the humans that he had a powerful nation.
Summing up, showing the humans that he governed Ghazalia powerfully. The Fin was said to be a powerful ruler for the inside and outside affairs when it came to governing Ghazalia. This was a trial for Lagias. He couldn’t allow himself to make a single mistake.
Therefore, there was no room for looseness from his hands. All he had to do was, grab the enemy’s soul and destroy it without any hesitation.
「What’s happening to the units gathered in front of the main gate? Did you issue a command for them to attack the enemy from behind?」
A member of the small staff uttered those words.
「The messenger is already there. But, there’s no response or movement. There may be some obstacles or maybe the enemy moved in a way I couldn’t foresee.」
Lagias put his hand on his chin.
The soldiers concentrated in front of the main gate from the palace walls were supposed to be used as a decisive hit in this war. They were a pivotal force in this battlefield, and their crucial role meant either victory or defeat. If they lost, the palace would’ve been invaded already. So, they did not lose. However, news of their performance didn’t reach the palace. Therefore, it was hard to think of a simple accident or obstacle.
“I see. Apparently, the enemy did not just repeat the assault, but also has some people who are good at strategy as well”.
「Not good, huh. We won’t save time if they break our forces at the main gate. This is really not good for us.」
The number of soldiers was overwhelmingly dominant on Lagias’ side. However, in a narrowly road, anything could happen. Despite having the largest army, the so-called narrowly passageway limited the number of soldiers from both sides. That meant that the force of this competition became balanced, which was not good for Lagias. This problem opened a window for the enemy to win.
This got out of hand. It got too overwhelming. Lagias knew that he had to get rid of the enemy quickly. The longer it took, the more likely it was for the enemy to regroup the soldiers from the side roads. A double-edged sword was not something that one could keep swinging at forever.
An extra force was needed. A force with the momentum to destroy the enemy’s power and swallow its allies.
Lagias finally opened his mouth after he stroke his bread for a moment.
「Hmm. Call her…Call Valianne.」
A purple light flashed through at the passageway in front of the royal palace’s walls, which had turned into a massive battlefield.
Spears swung downwards towards my body, but I made my blade crawl to their neck by sticking out my arm with a fierce momentum. Blood splattered around, and it covered my vision for a moment. All I could see was a world dyed with fresh blood. Apparently, the elves were no different from humans since they had the same red entrails.
My breath was disturbed and my shoulders shook consecutively. I noticed traces of deep lacerations, scratches, and bruises, which were created by swinging both arms repeatedly and everywhere.
“Bad, extremely bad. This isn’t looking favorable for me”. I understood it well in my head. While separating the enemy’s neck from its torso, I tried to judge the situation with a calm mind from the corner of my head.
A cold-hearted feeling crawled through my spine. I felt that defeat was gradually approaching my back. My feet were freezing cold. A large feeling of despair prevailed from the extremity of my limbs to my brain.
I noticed the terrible situation that unfolded on the narrowly passageway. The battle kept going on regardless of pain and death. However, for not much longer. Ultimately, the soldiers from the enemy side were overwhelmingly superior. If we got swallowed by the enemy’s momentum, then it would mean our end.
It seemed to me that the soldiers from my side lacked energy to push back the enemy’s momentum. If I had hope, I would just stay away from here and stick with the group of soldiers on the side roads.
Besides, there was one more thing that played to my disadvantage. In other words, the limits of my physical strength.
I saw an elf with a round shield on the right side of the frontlines. This elf spotted me and tried to make a surprise attack. But, I jumped at him with my quick leg movement. However, the shield of the elf deflected the attack of my sword. So, I had to make a better move. I jumped again but towards the soaring sky, and I smashed the elf’s skulls from above with my sword handle.
Suddenly, I realized that I had been defeating threats that were coming my way.
I also noticed that our assault made great damage despite the enemy outnumbering us. The enemy’s soldiers reorganized upon realizing this. I felt like I was breathing normally after a long time.
Immediately, my knees began to quiver as if I were having convulsions, and my shoulders moved up and down greatly. I felt so thirsty as well. That was strange. I was eager to “grab” some air and water, and suddenly, yes, I opened my mouth unconsciously.
This was it. The limit of my physical strength. Was it because I made big foolish moves? Or was my energy lacking? At this point, I had already exhausted much of my physical strength. I couldn’t keep going on anymore. Whether or not the sides of this war kept attacking each other. I couldn’t keep the momentum I had before.
Those who lost their momentum on the battlefield were only given two options. The humiliation of defeat, or the arrival of the grim reaper.
Momentum. I wanted momentum. Fortunately, we hadn’t been hit by a catastrophic event yet. All I wanted was the right momentum to open up the enemy’s strategy here. If we could find a “hole” in their war plan, the situation would change completely.
“…How far would Valianne’s soldiers go?”
It was an unbelievable story, but Valianne’s presence, who was the Lagias’ army commander but in fact his real enemy, was great.
All she had to do was betray the enemy in a relevant way in order for them to break their momentum and power. If this happened, it would be highly possible for victory to fall into our hands. That’s why she played a very important role in this civil war. She was the key to our triumph. My thirsty lips were distorted, and my throat quivered as if it were taunting me.
Suddenly, I saw many shadows that appeared at the front row. We didn’t completely defeat the remaining soldiers, which we fought moments ago. Rather than reorganizing the troops, they put out a new force at the front.
I closed my eyelids and squeezed them. Unexpectedly, my eyelids blinked and quivered.
What I saw out there was a group of special soldiers wearing silver armor. A huge threat appeared on the battlefield. I felt tremendous hostility and savagery from the ferocious soldiers who took steps forward towards us. Their murderous aura was definitely noticeable.
I was exposed to this type hostility once. I’ve already seen this murderous aura before.
Yes, I’ve seen it when I first arrived at this land, Ghazalia.
That meant that the commander of this special unit remained unchanged. An elf with strong eyesight and self-confidence. Valianne had arrived.
All according to plan? What is going on here…Lugis, what are you going to do? And Valianne, which side does she belong to?
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