Sorry for the long absence! I've been a little busy with life, so I had to step back a bit. I apologize for the lack of communication. That said, here is a chapter for all of you to make up for both Christmas and Thanksgiving!
For those of you asking for a map, this is the new imgur link for the Y6+D260 Map:
i. imgur com /037SjVx .png.
Just get rid of the spaces and add a period before the "com." Once Y7+D350 passes, a new map will be posted on imgur, and I will put the link on that chapter.
And speaking of new and new, I am thinking about crossposting the entire Re:Gamer to Spacebattles. Opinions?
Happy New Years!
Year 7 + Day 325 (continued):
We watched from afar - some two kilometers away - as the coalition continued to fight the good fight against the Galburians. Unfortunately, I knew better than to think that they were doing well. Average professional soldiers were below LvL 100, and most armies used non-professional soldiers in the form of levies, or people drawn from every walk of life when the feudal lord called them to war; they had very little weapon, tactical, and physical training geared towards military life.
So it was no fucking surprise for me when the coalition armies that had rushed in there without a clear leadership or even someone capable of fighting the demons I'd killed en masse began to flee as the monsters within the walls began to slaughter the ever loving shit out of them.
How did I know this?
"Aahhh…!" I watched as a single human soldier screamed in the distance as he was flung high into the air and dropped back down to the earth outside of the breached walls. All of us - my people, that was - watched as the human soldier dropped down onto other human soldiers waiting to get through the walls, crushing more than one person from his fall.
And he wasn't the only one being flung around like ragdolls.
"Out of the way!" someone shouted at the head of a much more impressive looking task force. Armored and armed with shining plate armor and chainmail as well as sharp and possibly enchanted swords, the closest things to knights I've seen since arriving at this battlefield pushed their way to the forefront. Some three dozen of them forced the peasant levies to stand aside.
'Observe,' I intoned, looking directly at one of the knights who seemed like he was the average of the lot.
Race: Iop'Arge Human
Class: Knight, Fighter
END: 230 (-10 Scarred)
Strong, Zealous, Knight, Blessed One, Lustful, Diligent, Ambitious]
I blinked in surprise. 'Those are stats are almost on par with Lux, and Lux is a S-ranker. And he's a dual-class on top of that,' I thought in surprise. The dual-class alone made him a rarity in the world that considered such class occupation rare. I [Observe]d other knights and let out a sigh of relief. The rest of them were whole twenty to thirty levels behind with the closest to Knight Gakin being a LvL 75, who was Gakin's own younger brother if the three year age difference was any indication.
So what I was seeing was the Iop'Arge Kingdom's equivalent to special forces, because it was a known fact that it was rare for kingdoms to have a lot of S-rankers.
… That said this Gakin guy was still weaker than Lux overall. He may have more HP, Strength, and Endurance, but what did that do for him when Lux could just snipe his ass?
I knew that this was unlikely to be their best. After all, there were three dozen of them - thirty-seven to be exact. This force had to be Iop'Arge's A-rank special forces, something which was far more flexible than one or two S-rankers with only three or four specialties between them.
Garen looked annoyed, though.
"What is it?" I asked him without taking my eyes off of the knights, who had finally made it through the breach in the wall.
Garen didn't speak for a while. "They are not leaders."
"I'm surprised you got that right." After all, a leader would do one of two things in this kind of situation: lead from the back or from the front. For these knights in their squeaky shining armor to show up now rather than at the beginning of the charge through the breach with dirty and bloodied armor spoke a lot.
"They are glory hounds," Garen growled.
I hummed. Glory hounds were people I came across a lot; the Ironwood Kingdom alone employed more than a few of them in the military and new bureaucratic institutions.
"Have something against them?"
"... They didn't join the fight with their brothers. They watched them die by the hundreds and then thousands against the demons," Garen spat out. "They held themselves back and did nothing until the wall was breached and their soldiers started to die. They enter now to steal the kill and the glory from the common soldiers."
This was, of course, something that wouldn't fly in my kingdom, but my kingdom's foundation was also different from that of the other kingdoms. Even my ally, the Carpathians, had their foundation from a lord-to-lord land centric system, which was called a "feudal system" according to Senna and Shirou.
I didn't care much about names so much as what I needed to do with the system.
Or, specifically in this case, what I felt and should do about such system if someone tried to establish it within my kingdom. The thing about feudal system as Senna taught me was the focus of lands and/or titles exchanged for service. This allowed the rich and the nobles to build a power base built around those exchanged services.
Which meant that once I go back to Ironwood City, I would have to ensure that a centralized government was put in place to prevent the rise of feudalism within my kingdom.
Complicated and not what I wanted to think about in the middle of the battlefield.
"I will ensure that such hereditary glory hounds aren't a thing in my kingdom, Garen. I can promise you that."
"... Thank you."
Feudalism's inherent flaw was nepotism and corruption. To the citizens, a feudal lord was closer to them than the king, and that meant that power was focused on minority of people, not the majority.
I, as a king, had to keep an eye out to prevent the rise of corruption through such systems. If I let it be, then there would be problems down the line.
… Gah, think about it later.
I blinked and focused on the breach. One of the knights flew away, having been thrown from what looked like a … red tentacle.
I blinked as seven tentacles rose up into the air above the walls before slamming back down to the ground, blurring in their speed. With a mighty thoom, the ground shook all the way to where I was standing with Garen, Candy, and Lux.
I wasn't the damage dealer or the receiver, so I couldn't see how much damage was being done… but on a purely physical scale, it had to have crushed anyone that wasn't A-rank and above.
The screams of the dying and the horrified Iop'Arge levies attested to that. Soon, the soldiers were shouting and falling back.
A group of lords - if the shiny armors said anything - approached from my left. I didn't give them my attention, keeping my eyes focused on the slaughter happening in the city.
Oh, that's a knight getting thrown. He landed on his back and … he's dead.
I glanced towards the group who had approached me. Of the four I saw, only one stood respectfully distant from me while the other three waited further back. I glanced up at the flag carried by one of the group, a herald, and noted golden lion atop vertically green and white halved background.
"I am Vicarius B'kotilius, a commander of the Coalition Army and a duke."
Then the noble looked to the breached wall.
"It is a mess in there, is it not, your highness?" he asked.
I didn't respond for a moment and I also didn't comment on how easy it seemed for him to talk to me when other commanders who I'd "met" from the Galburian region - which included Iop'Arge - were hostile towards me. "You lot sent unprepared men forward."
"It was Sir Gjimunii's idea. As the commander of the King's Third Army, he ordered a charge into the breach against the order of Supreme Commander Anhalt."
The knight with the highest lvl was a commander? With that abysmal INT?
I scoffed. "What made your king give him, of all people, command? His intelligence seemed … low."
He grimaced. "He was chosen for his ability to hold the center with his presence and strength. We didn't think he'd do this."
"Stupidity knows no bounds, commander," I replied easily.
It's what Shirou always said about me from leading to gold farming. Especially the gold farming.
Then I saw it.
Or rather him.
Sir Gjimunii flew up into the sky, held the precipice of his flying arch for a second, before he descended.
To my surprise, the man went down swinging his greatsword at a tentacle reaching for him and disappeared back down beyond the city wall.
"What is the rest of your army doing?" I asked.
""Sir Gjimunii's call to assault the city was answered by too many, and considering that it is still noon and Gjimunii seems to be holding…"
"You're going to charge, aren't you." It was not a question.
"I'm afraid so. We defeated their defenders too fast, and your overwhelming power - with two humans on top of that - spurred them on. If we were to fall back now, then we would lose morale."
"But if you assault it now, then you would lose your people instead," I replied. "People who are your farmers, guards, craftsmen, merchants, and more?"
He looked indifferent to the idea.
I hummed. "I don't see other S-rankers joining the breach," I replied, looking for just that. Anhalt, despite being a S-ranker, couldn't march into the fight; he was the strategist, the general, and the leader of the Coalition.
"... I have no S-ranker underneath my command, but I know that there are many commanders are intentionally holding their rankers back on the notion that there may be more that the Galburians may throw at them."
I looked at him incredulously. "We saw them sacrifice their own people. Does that look like theirs more for them to throw at us?" I asked with a hint of annoyance.
"I only say what they say, your highness. I have already sent my own retinue of five A-rankers to assist the attack upon the breach," he replied placatingly.
"And why are you here, then?"
"I was hoping that you would be amendable to an alliance once this war is over. My duchy, after all, is not too far from the Monmouth Dukedom."
I quirked an eyebrow. "What does the Monmouth have to do with you?"
"Oh, nothing much. My rocky and hilly duchy is right next to the Monmouth… and I heard what you did to its duke. The dukedom is yours, isn't it?"
"I wish to offer my duchy and myself as a buffer state to your west. My hills and mountains will dissuade raiders from the Galburian petty kingdoms-"
"Petty kingdoms?" I asked.
"The Coalition royals and leaders do not want to keep the Galburians around. This is as much an extermination of Galburian power in the region as it is a campaign to remove its satanical religion. A religion that hurt far more of its people, past and present, than they have ever hurt foreigners. Besides, if I serve as a buffer "
I remembered that Iop'Arge used to be part of the greater Galburian Kingdom.
"I see," I said. It would be beneficial for the both of us. I don't have to worry about the west border, and B'kotilius gets a patron much stronger than him and whatever meager alliance he might get from future Galburian "petty kings."
It was a funny title.
"Very well. Come find me after the battle is over. We will talk more then."
"Of course, your highness," he said before bowing. "I hope to see you soon."
He left, and I looked back to the city, grimacing as more knights were thrown out and the soldiers were eventually pushed out. From within the city, a mass of tentacles on four limbs walked out, flailing its red body around to whip and kill more of the Coalition Army.
It looked disgusting, and my party agreed with me.
"Time to end it, then?" I asked.
"Can we please? I don't want to see that thing moving," Lux grumbled. "Why did we have to stand here for like an hour again?"
The giant creature was the only moving thing.
Was it the last enemy?
I smirked. "To take in the scene. See the sights. Let the others take the casualties. Now we know what we face."
Candy giggled next to Lux.
Garen hefted his greatsword.
I cracked my knuckles.
It started with a step.
And then we were on a full run towards the monstrosity.
It was time to end this bloody war!