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Chapter 149

8 days, 19 hours, and 23 minutes— that’s the duration it took to fend off one of the Count’s armies, engaging in repeated skirmishes to minimize casualties on both sides.

It was a grueling task, marked by significant injuries. The knights’ assault resembled relentless artillery, leaving little time for response.

“I can hardly believe we’re of the same species.”

Ivan was half asleep, driving his horse ahead. Muscles all over his body screamed in pain as they ruptured and healed, and the strained tendons swelled up red until they were on the verge of tearing.

Uncertain of how long he could remain conscious, he fought the urge to succumb to sleep. Now wasn’t the time for rest.

“Is he still alive?”

“Hush, let him rest.”

How did he fight? He quickly cut down the cavalry commander with the initial assault. He struck the confused command post and immediately turned the reins, fleeing with the knights.

As pursuers closed in, they scattered into the forest, ambushing and eliminating their foes one by one. In that critical moment, half of the enemy knights met their demise.

The opposing soldiers— they endured even more. Now armed, they were soldiers by definition, but weren’t they the same ones who toiled as peasants with hoes and trowels?

This is the problem of civil war. The decrease in military strength leads directly to a decrease in industrial manpower.

The situation where both sides are annihilated amicably can be interpreted as an extreme decrease in the ability to support the population. Even if they are enemies, ordinary soldiers should be returned to their hometowns alive as much as possible.

If there is a tiny hope for Tylesse, that’s it.

The rebel rabble had to be cut out accurately, meticulously, like the delicate craftsmanship of a craftsman.

“Even if they say they will arrive at Saint Mathilde, only about 60 or so cavalry will lead. Considering the dropouts, it will be fewer than that.”

“I know.”

“Is there any chance of winning? Didn’t the Granmarteau Count’s army exceed thirty thousand?”

“Didn’t that man say? If you want to give up, put down your weapons and live as a farmer.”

Ivan felt a strange paradox. To save as many people as possible, to save this country. He was leading soldiers into death with such hollow words.

How absurd it is to sacrifice someone else’s life to save someone. But even in those days, it was commonplace.

Too many righteous people were dying. War always took the lives of the righteous first.

He, too, was one who walked towards death at the behest of others. He mostly did so.

He ran towards the Seven Dragon Stronghold at the king’s command. In that battle, both the king and the senior knights died.

When a Hero willed it, he cleared the way, at the cost of many lives among the cleanup unit’s agents.

When the princess wept and pleaded, he set forth towards the palace of Seven Dragons. From that day on, no cleanup units remained.

So many times he had heard the words commanding to sacrifice his life for justice. But he never thought he would say such words himself. It was ridiculous. He didn’t have the right to do so.

Inciting someone and sending them to their death is the duty of a hero.

“Yeah, okay. Let’s do it.”

“What now? You’re joking. Please, do it properly. If you survive until the end, what’s next? The Baronetcy? You’ll be hailed as a national hero!”

“Hahaha, my son will ascend to an earldom!”

Only heroes can handle such duties. They can willingly treat others’ lives as expendable for justice and endure it. Only those who believe in their own justice, and even in despair, continue to move forward.

But Ivan could never do that. He never had the qualification or the ability. He was the kind of agent who could tolerate cowardice for petty gain. He was a selfish man.

– And we are foreigners.

Ivan nodded at Kim Sun-woo’s words. That was the biggest problem.

Foreigners from a distant land.

Unqualified to ask the residents of this world to risk their lives.

– Let’s go back now. Let’s live quietly in Krasilov. Let’s live reasonably until the heroes of the time grow up. Ivan. We don’t need to risk our lives.

He nodded again at this remark. No need for that, he thought.

His goal was always the same. To return home. To leave this damn pre-modern world behind, and return to a safe world where laws and social systems protect each individual.

He no longer wanted to give his heart to this world. Everyone he poured his heart into died before his eyes.

So, he agreed with the words “no more.” But.

But.

It was Ivan who instead took up the sword at the words “no more.” It was Ivan who understood, endured, and yet stood up against all of Kim Sun-woo’s wounds and scars.

Kim Sun-woo had lost all will to live anymore.

Ivan agreed with Kim Sun-woo’s words. He was himself, after all, and all his thoughts ultimately aligned with his own.

But Ivan did not agree. To live, to survive, to move forward. That was ultimately Ivan himself, who had to give his all every moment for that.

“It’s noisy.”

He couldn’t live like the countless and great heroes he had faced.

But anyway, once he saw it. If he just imitated to some extent. He thought.

By repeating the attempts, the imitation he finally built up, perhaps it could reach the original someday. He thought.

Even if it was just the footsteps of the heroes he admired back then.

“It’s raining!”

“Oh, blast it. Shields! Fetch the shields!”

“I’ll take the reins. By God, you fight like a demon, but you’re still human. You don’t even flinch when I grab the reins.”

“Just take a bit more rest. I might not be able to shield you from arrows, but I can shield you from the rain.”

“Haha, it’s not often even royalty receive such courtesy from a nobleman. Consider yourself honored.”

He’s attentive.

Ivan replied absentmindedly and closed his eyes again. It was hard to tell whether he answered or if it was just a fantasy.

Amidst the burning nerves, he no longer heard Kim Sun-woo’s voice.

*

– Hoooong!!

“It’s impressive.”

At dawn, the sound of horns echoed. The soldiers gripping their spears on the gallery had spent the whole night awake, evident from the bags under their eyes.

The view from the high walls of the fortress was dreadful. Far away, one could see the advancing forces filling the plains of Saint Mathilde.

When the combat strength exceeds 30,000, it means it’s okay to estimate three times that when including supply support personnel. From a simple calculation, it means the total hostile forces on this plain are just under a hundred thousand.

A thousand people standing is called a crowd. It meant filling a square and still having space left. If there were ten thousand, it would fill a circular stadium. If there were a hundred thousand, it would darken the plains.

“Shall we revise the plan? How should we carry out the assassination, there?”

“There’s no other way.”

Oscar sighed deeply, clutching his sword tightly. Tension, pressure, burden, and survival instincts rang alarm bells. They had to eliminate one Count somewhere in between.

Failure would mean the end for Tylesse.
Even if successful, there were too few ways to return alive.

The soldiers were terrified. Even the elite city defense forces among Tylesse’ regular troops felt the same.

– Hooong!!

The curtain of benevolence, the barrier of the military, is approaching.

“Come in. Come in….”

Eugene murmured, gripping the sword tightly. They had left one gate open along the invaders’ path. All the other gates were firmly shut.

They would naturally start their invasion from that direction. There was no reason to weaken the soldiers by erecting siege towers.

“Please come in.”

The Granmarteau Count is the epitome of an arrogant and self-indulgent tyrant. He’s the one who has razed and plundered every domain that opposed his will.

Would that guy, in the decisive battlefield of usurpation, really linger in the rear under overwhelming odds of more than ten times?

The odds are fifty-fifty, but Eugene secretly hoped not.

“They’re in— they’re here!!”

Beside him, Elpheira, who had been using the magic of scrolls, screamed.

Alright.

Eugene pressed down the visor of his helmet and quickly spoke.

“Lady Elpheira. Blessing.”

As Elpheira touched the scroll, purple magic intertwined around her fingers. The magic then struck Eugene’s head like lightning.

Overwhelming courage surged within his chest.

Alright.

Eugene nodded and drew his sword.

“Since the Lord has strengthened me, I shall fear no evil.”

“This is just a courage-bestowing spell…”

“Kill the blasphemers.”

Reciting scripture, Eugene descended the gallery. His companions followed him. As long as they were within detection range, Eugene could be called the best scout.

“Oscar, don’t you need to say something bold as a patriot?”

“We’re done talking.”

“What…?”

“As long as you come back alive, my friend.”

Oscar smiled and donned his helmet. Isabelle and Ecdysis burst into laughter and drew their weapons together.

“Lower the drawbridge!!”

“Yes…? Yes?”

The sentries looked puzzled at Oscar’s shout. It was the moment when tens of thousands of troops were approaching. Did the commander just order to open the gates?

“Hold out for half a day! From now on, I’m going to assassinate the Granmarteau Count!”

“That’s suicide!!”

“Holding out here isn’t much different! I’m ordering the nobles to stand here and commit suicide!”

The soldiers’ faces stiffened at Oscar’s words. Oscar raised his sword and shouted.

“So at least, as the one who told the nobles to die, I’m saying I’ll go forward and fight! Lower the drawbridge! Hold out for half a day, and if we don’t come back, surrender!”

“…Open the gates!”

“Open the gates!!”

The gate opens. It’s the heart of the great knights who never collapsed on their own during past wars.

Passing through the gates of Royal Palace, Oscar forcefully thumped his heart, pounding with tension.

Now is not the time to be afraid. He wasn’t dead yet.

Recalling what Ivan taught him, if you finely tune your magic, you can even control your heartbeat.

– Boooooom!!

The sound of horns echoed. Oscar clenched the reins tightly, biting into them.

Then, with a bang! His pauldron suddenly jolted. Staggering from the impact, he looked to the side to see Isabelle smiling.

“Stand up tall and proud!”

“Yes…?”

“It’s the first battle the hero party is going on together! Don’t shrink like that! If you’re going to be like that, then stay behind!”

“Yes!”

Dawn illuminates Saint Mathilde. Bathed in the rising sunlight, Isabelle raised her sword high and smiled.

Yes, a knight. A knight party.

Just like my father, so am I.

“Isn’t it my role to hold the shield? Stay quietly behind.”

“Your expression finally loosened up. Let’s go. Hurry back and release the horses.”

The group ran towards the sun.


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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