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Chapter 146

While dozing by the campfire, Ivan quickly infused his entire body with mana. Fatigue was fundamentally a matter of nerves, and techniques to forcibly awaken the nerves quickly helped to forget the fatigue. Of course, it wasn’t a fundamental solution. Naturally, the body couldn’t fully recover with just mana. Proper rest and calorie intake were essential. But not now. Now was not the time to rest yet.

“Are you… alright?”

“Not yet.”

Serte, trembling with fear, managed to release his hand from the hilt and asked. Ivan nodded faintly in the blurred vision.

It’s been three days.

The battle with the Taurs vanguard had lasted for three days. To slaughter thousands of Taurs within three days, they had to kill one every four minutes. And that was while facing the charge of thousands alone.

Whenever he suffered even a slight injury, his combat endurance plummeted. With no way to rest, he could only grit his teeth and fight.

Ivan struggled to hide his trembling hand as he opened the lid of the healing potion. Once again, the potion poured over various long gashes and wounds.

Flesh swelled over the wounds like roughly stitched bandages. It was no different from cauterizing the wounds to stop bleeding, given the scarcity of calories needed for wound healing.

But this pain helped overcome fatigue. He was still okay. His arms and legs could still move.

He turned his gaze with his emaciated face. A familiar knight was visible. He was the knight who handed him the sword a few days ago.

“I can’t return the sword. It broke.”

“How many did you cut with it?”

“At least fifty.”

“A legend will be left behind. It’s an honor.”

The knight nodded towards Ivan and then gestured to call a squire. A knight retrieved a sheath from the squire’s baggage and approached Ivan.

“Since I can’t kneel to anyone except my lord and country, please forgive my rudeness.”

“Rudeness?”

“Your dedication may not outweigh my honor, sir.”

The knight presented the longsword with utmost courtesy. It was a cavalry sword, simple in decoration but excellently crafted from quality steel and well maintained.

As Ivan accepted the sword, the nobles approached.

“We will return to the estate. Will you join us? We need to hold a festival and pamper the enlightened ones.”

“No, that would be difficult.”

“Still busy? Well, the decree from Duke Etarique must have been more than this.”

“That’s true, but you all also still have no time to rest yet.”

Ivan glanced at the nobles once and spoke.

“Do you remember what I said before? Your lives must be spent in more valuable places.”

“Yes, but if it’s a more valuable place…?”

“You must rescue your lord. The battlefield worthy of risking lives cannot be just some mere demon.”

Organizing the army in the name of Duke Etarique and saving Saint Mathilde is essential. It is necessary to put all the chaos that will occur after the civil war under the name of Jill Ber, even if it is necessary.

As a foreigner, he cannot simply calm the complex political situation of this country. It was something that was barely achieved even in Krasilov, under the absolute support of the princess and the desperate efforts of the entire intelligence headquarters.

The administrative vacuum and resulting chaos that will occur afterwards are issues that foreigners cannot even touch. It was because it could be seen as interference in internal affairs.

Therefore, the name of Jill Ber is needed. He needs to become a hero. Even more so in the future.

‘He should directly involve himself in the succession to the throne so firmly that no one can oppose.’

Etarique will save this country. This is not just for the foreigner Ivan, but solely for the name of Jill Ber.

“…Rescue the lord? What are you talking about?”

“The capital Saint Mathilde is under attack. Shouldn’t you take up the sword as a military deity?”

“But didn’t the Duke Etarique hold off the demons?”

“What do you think was the reason the demons dared to cross the eastern front in this situation?”

Ivan mounted his horse upon hearing the messenger’s words and adjusted his posture. Holding the sword, he glanced once at the nobles looking at him.

“The nobles of this country have allied with the demons and raised an army. Now that Duke Etarique has left the capital, where do you think they’ll turn their heads if they march?”

“Is that true…? But how dare…? If they’ve joined hands with the demons, who on earth allowed such treason against the royal authority? Would all the knights of this country, let alone the alliance, condone this?”

“Well, we’ll have to see if there are further plans…?”

If they seized power by allying with the demons, would the alliance really condone it? Obviously not. This is an intolerable betrayal.

Certainly, there must be countermeasures. We may or may not know what plans they have after the rebellion succeeds, both now and perhaps in the future.

Their rebellion must end in failure.

At that moment, a cavalryman rushed from the rear with a bewildered expression. He immediately approached the nobles and bowed his head.

“Troops are approaching from the rear!!”

“What? Where? Hasn’t the troop mobilization already finished? I thought it would take a few more days?”

“No! No, your grace! They’re not friendly forces…”

Nobles can’t be trusted. Ivan chuckled softly, waiting for the cavalryman’s words.

“It’s Count Guillaume’s private soldiers…! It is the family flag of the Autreange!”

“How many? How many troops did they bring?”

“I’m not sure, but there are about four thousand infantry… I couldn’t count the cavalry!”

“They wouldn’t come with good intentions.”

Even if they were aware of the infiltration of the demon vanguard beforehand, such a large military force is clearly excessive.

Assuming about four thousand infantry and if the cavalry were distributed according to Tylesse’ standard doctrine, that’s at least 400 cavalry or more. Considering the cost of mobilizing such forces, it’s even more suspicious.

Even if they were mobilized to support the eastern front rather than being Taurs, it would be even more dubious. Then there would be no reason to turn military forces in this direction.

The fact that they marched towards the Vertmon domain meant that the enemy was already aware of the existence of the demon army and had other intentions.

“Does the military alliance with the demons refer to Count Autreange?”

“All three Counts, including him.”

“Even Jean Beltoir and Granmarteau?”

“Yes.”

Baron Serte sighed as he wiped his dry face. Considering the mobilization capability of the three major noble houses, this was like hitting a rock with an eggshell.

“There are only five barons gathered here at the moment. Even considering the rural estates, the maximum force, which includes all the tenant farmers, is still insufficient compared to the army of Count Autreange that has just appeared.”

That’s the position of a grand count. Moreover, their forces would likely consist of professional militia rather than tenant farmers.

Even with all their strength, it’s difficult to confront Count Autreange alone right in front of us.

“Do you happen to know if Duke Etarique has any other strategies prepared? Perhaps there are more reinforcements…”

“No, not that I know of.”

“In that case, it seems this country is truly finished. Even during the war, we were resilient, but to fall so miserably now.”

“It’s too early to give up.”

Ivan approached the nobles, a heavy sense of despair weighing down between them.

Strategy is meaningless against a certain disparity in forces. Against superior quality and composition of forces, overwhelming logistical capabilities, and sheer size, even more so.

That’s the problem with civil war.

But even so, it’s too early to give up. As long as we’re alive, we mustn’t stop fighting. Trained agents only halt operations in the face of death.

In any situation where one can fight, the word “impossible” is never a reason to abandon the mission.

So, Ivan drew his pistol instead. Holding the sword he received earlier, he addressed the nobles.

“Until the forces on the eastern front hold out, until Duke Etarique returns, if Saint Mathilde can hold out, it’s not yet a defeat.”

No. We don’t know if Jill Ber can come back to life, and the eastern front won’t hold out, and the capital defense forces have already been swallowed up by the dragons.

But truth isn’t important. Only hope is needed.

“If we fight, most of us will surely die. If we charge forward now with swords drawn, most of you won’t survive.”

Ivan’s rhetoric wasn’t particularly persuasive. He knew that himself.

But he had great mentors. Senwang was a master of oration. As someone who had always followed him closely, Ivan could at least vaguely emulate him.

Therefore, Ivan scanned the despairing nobles and knights as he spoke.

“But if we give up, there’s no chance for your country to survive.”

“Even if we fight, is there really a chance for that?”

“At least not none.”

“Even if it ends in futile resistance?”

“Then you will perish along with your country.”

The nobles’ expressions were growing sterner. But Ivan continued to speak calmly.

“But if we succeed, no matter how slim the chance may be. If we succeed, your country will remember your sacrifice. Just as it has endured for a thousand years, it will endure for another thousand to come.”

“…”

“Will you raise your sword for a war you’re sure to die in? Or will you leave it behind and live as a tenant farmer? Spending the rest of your life commemorating the day you died for a doomed country?”

“It’ll be a tough fight for you too.”

“Wasn’t it here?”

Ivan gestured to the corpses of Taurs scattered everywhere. The nobles fell silent and bowed their heads at his words.

If facing thousands of Taurs alone, surely one would have expected death. But why did this foreigner dedicate himself so much for Tylesse?

And when such a foreigner still holds up the banner of struggle, can those who hold the sword as devotees of this country put down their swords?

The knights looked at Ivan, lips pressed together. The sun began to set, painting the horizon red as it hung at the edge of the sky.

Drawing his sword, Ivan turned to the knights and asked,

“Which one of us can live forever? But all who wield the sword must make a choice. Regardless of whose hand brings death, that death must be decided under your own determination. If you have no intention of fighting with your own arms, then leave. But if not…”

He turned towards the sunset, facing the vast battlefield leading to the Eastern Front, and in the direction of the western end, where Saint Mathilde would be.

“Let’s go, knights of Tylesse. Let’s either die with our country or die for our country.”

The sunset was burning red behind Ivan. The sunset is the most solemn light at the end of the day.

Eventually, night would come. Deep, dark, and cold night. But doesn’t every night imply the dawn of the next day?

– Clang!
– Swish…
– Crash!

As Ivan finished speaking, the knights drew their swords simultaneously. They adjusted their helmet visors, took deep breaths, or kissed the hilts of their swords while shouting battle cries.

Silently waiting, Baron Noar rode forward and addressed Ivan.

“Lead the way. We’ll follow.”

Tylesse belonged to the knights. It was a nation that revered not individual bravery, but virtue and duty as knights.

Paradoxically, heroes emerged from Tylesse. Through individual bravery, yet simultaneously proving themselves through virtue and duty.

The knights silently saluted, facing the sunset. Towards the distant Saint Mathilde. Also towards Ivan’s back as he walked ahead.

A hero doesn’t signify the strongest individual.

They call the bravest ones heroes. Those who never stop, no matter the moment or duty.

Symbols of hope.

They set off. Initially at a walk, slowly. Gradually transitioning to a trot, then a canter, gaining speed.

Soon, galloping. Giving it their all.

Towards their capital. Towards Saint Mathilde. So that their hope standing before them can reach that place.

During the war, it was known that Tylesse knights’ cavalry wouldn’t stop as long as their riders remained alive. It wouldn’t be any different now.

Only death could halt their charge.

*

And finally, at that moment, Isabelle’s group arrived at Saint Mathilde.

It had been five days since they departed from the Bernini Mountains, and Autreange de Grandmartel’s rebel forces were only about three days away from reaching the outskirts of the capital.

The combined forces of Autreange, totaling about twenty thousand troops, had already subjugated all territories along the route to the capital during their advance.

Now, the approaching force numbered a total of thirty-seven thousand and had surpassed the maximum capacity of the Eastern Legion as they marched forward.

At this point, it was the largest single legion owned by Tylesse.

In contrast, the garrison forces of Saint Mathilde consisted of two thousand five hundred reserve troops and two thousand remaining troops from the capital defense forces.

Ep 22. The Rebellion of the Three Counts.

Author’s Note (Author’s Review) The combat situation across Tylesse:

(1) Eastern Front Defense Forces: In friction with the marauder forces at the border, with only about a week left until the maximum survivable period due to disrupted rear supply lines.
(2) Sir Jill Ber’s Eastern Knights: Engaged in combat with dragons in the Bernini Mountains.
(3) Ivan and the Military Forces near Bernini: Engaged in conflict with Count Autreange’s rebels.
(4) Capital Defense Forces of Saint Mathilde: Preparing for conflict with Count Granmarteau’s rebels.


30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?

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