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Chapter 153

Turning back the time ten days. Office of the Rector of Jan’s University, Krasilov, Frechenkaya.

– Tap.
– Tap.
– Tap.
– Silence.

The gold fountain pen nib crumbled, and ink spilled all over the desk. The maid standing by her side trembled at the sight but did not dare move.

Even if she were to be punished for lese-majesty, she could not appear before her monarch now.

A terrible murderous aura filled the room. Even the magical lamps that lit the royal study were dimmed by it.

After a suffocating silence, Elizaveta rolled her dry eyes and turned her gaze.

Toward the man kneeling before her with bowed head.

“Is it true?”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

Pavel’s voice was solemn. Devoid of his usual jesting tone, it resonated with the gravity of that time long gone.

In this moment, he appeared not as the man who would toss around frivolous jokes about promotion and ambition, but as the solemn commander of the Royal Guard, stationed in the Royal Palace.

Hence, Elizaveta’s fingertips trembled even more.

Disaster in the Bernini Mountains, disappearance of Ivan Petrovich Yermov.

Suspected terrorism targeting Jill Ber, enemy forces confirmed to be over forty dragons alone, with ground troops unaccounted for.

Simultaneously, the Count of Tylesses plots rebellion. Suspected mastermind behind the terrorism. Estimated enemy troops minimum twenty thousand, maximum nearing one hundred thousand, considering Tylesses’s mobilization capabilities.

The maximum force Tylesses can muster in Saint Mathilde is seven thousand troops. Depending on the timing of the battle, about half of them could realistically engage in combat.

“Tylesses has fallen.”

Upon reading the report, Elizaveta’s pragmatic mind quickly concluded. Assuming the fall as a fact, it was time to calculate the gains.

It would be folly to pretend indifference unless those who would hold the next regime would wage war. Krasilov is on the brink of winter.

Surviving in Krasilov during winter without trade is impossible. Even more so after the war with the demons. The nation’s stability is now in jeopardy.

Due to Krasilov’s geographical features, all trade must pass through land routes. And the largest trade railway in the alliance begins in Tylesses.

If Tylesses cannot be conquered, the next Tylesses regime must not be antagonized. At least until the end of winter.

“Vanka… has fallen.”

However.

All the unfeeling parts of Elizaveta, all the parts not ruled by reason, were deeply contemplating this fact.

Only that.

“Pavel.”

The ruler’s judgment must serve only the nation’s security. That was common sense. She had lived by it, and thus, she had spilled countless hot blood on her hands.

But.

At this moment, all the unfeeling parts of Elizaveta were sobbing in the thick darkness. The doctrine of rulership is nothing but words. But human emotions do not end with words.

“Yes, Your Highness.”

The former commander of the Royal Guard, answered in a low voice.

The will of the war god was one and the same.

“Mourn at a more suitable moment. Rise.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

On Pavel’s lips, as he raised his head and stood up from his seat, there were traces of blood. Marks of bitten lips, torn apart. Elizaveta stared at those traces for a moment before lifting her head.

Even a brief moment of silence seemed too precious. As she lowered her head again, the corners of her eyes were quickly drying up.

Mourning can wait. It was more important.

“Before Vanka’s body cools, offer their blood to himself for sustenance. Vanka’s spirit must be appeased with their blood. This winter will be harsh.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“After that, you will conclude the postponed mourning. Will you join me?”

“I gladly will, Your Majesty.”

“Go. Instruct Count Valika to begin preparations immediately. I will give you a day to prepare for deployment. Finish the mobilization within two days, cross the border within five, and within ten days, I must personally take their heads.”

With each sentence, the ruler’s wrath echoed through the study. The cold teacups rattled softly. As her anger fluctuated, so did the magic, causing her hair to lightly sway.

Pavel, having received the orders, bowed deeply and withdrew.

Alone, Elizaveta finally looked at the report filled with icy sentences. Ink spread and stained the paper, transparent liquid dripped here and there.

“Hic….hic….”

The chamberlain and the guards quickly turned to face the wall. The monarch of Krasilov only sheds tears in front of her subjects.

“Ah, ah… Vanka, Vanka….”

God.

Is this not too much?

Is there anything left for you to take from me?

“Definitely, definitely… I’ll definitely….”

Avenge you.

In the dimly lit study, within the darkness, the eyes of Krasilov shone alone.

Ten days later, she finally arrived in Saint Mathilde.

Chapter 153. At the End of the Rebellion.

– Kaaah!!
– Aaaaah!!

The military camp shook. With each artillery barrage, soldiers scattered in disarray.

Tylesses is known as the country of knights. This is not just a simple metaphor. It goes beyond descriptions of their politics and governance.

Tylesses’s most powerful force is its cavalry. Even in wars against demon armies, Tylesses’s cavalry has charged fearlessly onto the battlefield, proving their prowess.

However, as is typical in feudal systems, most of Tylesses’s infantry consists of conscripts. Even the most zealously trained reserve army is not particularly remarkable.

Tylesses’s battles revolve around maneuvering, meaning cavalry has dominated the battlefield. The outcome of battles was often determined by the cavalry’s actions.

But Krasilov is different.

– Haaaa!!

Krasilov sees its soldiers as expendable. This was a sentiment similar to Tylesses. However, in addition, Krasilov determined the outcome of battles not by the victories of a special few but by the sheer number of deaths.

Survival of a few elites was not important. They established a combat doctrine focused on how many enemy infantry they could kill.

Therefore, in Krasilov, artillery is the god of the battlefield.

“Reaper Corps. 2 divisions. Has Count Valika has chosen side?”

Ivan muttered as he watched the bombardment pouring down from beyond the hill. He briefly saluted his lord, who looked down at the camp from the hilltop, then braced himself on his weak legs.

His surroundings were already in chaos. The command structure collapsed, and soldiers screamed and scattered.

We must send the cavalry. We must retreat. We must stand our ground. We must resist and return to Saint Mathilde. Countless arguments were exchanged in the command center.

But it was too late. Unlike knights with perimeter detection, artillery to infantry was like a punishment from the sky. There was no way to evade it, and the moment it was detected, one died, and the process of dying was so terrible that it was visible to the naked eye of comrades.

It was a death of a conspicuous nature. Similar to cavalry charges. Warriors dying from artillery fire were concentrated only among the infantry, so the morale of the infantry was literally shattered.

“Will the walls withstand their cannons? Utter foolishness!”

“But we can minimize casualties!”

“You imbeciles! If we’re attacked from behind while Jean Beltoir cuts off our supplies, we’ll be utterly isolated! We must retreat!”

“My Lord! Morale in the rear has crumbled! Weapons are dropping to the ground. If we retreat now, we’ll never be able to face that villainess!”

“I’m aware! Hence, we must retreat!”

Before him stood Saint Mathilde. Before him lay the throne and the genesis of a great dynasty.

But why, of all times, was Krasilov stirring up trouble now? Their forces should all be occupied on the northern front.

With a sigh, Étienne turned his horse.

“Gather the troops as much as possible. Winter is upon us! If we continue the attack, we’ll starve throughout the winter!”

“Yes, Your Majesty!”

Étienne and his command staff rode off.

No, they tried to.

That was until a shaft of an arrow flew and struck precisely one noble of the command staff. The noble, with a dagger plunged into his chest, fell with a thud.

“What…?”

Étienne suddenly stopped in his tracks. A chilling presence gripped his heart. Stiffening, Étienne turned his gaze.

There, death was staggering to its feet.

“How…? How can you move…?”

“You should’ve killed me better.”

Bleeding, with several arrows and spears embedded in his body, bleeding to the point where not even the minimal blood needed to sustain life remained.

Yet, he rose, aiming at the man targeting him with one arm raised. Étienne involuntarily stepped back.

– Move again, and you die.

Ivan ignored Kim Sunwoo’s words. He was someone who became talkative once hope was within reach. However, Ivan was a rational person, so he did not heed the whispering of trauma.

– I must live. I shouldn’t risk my life. If I’m prepared to die, at least it should be for our fight. Not for someone else’s or another country’s.

Did demons classify humans by nationality?

– What?

Or did heroes save humans by nationality?

– You mean we could be heroes?

Not we, I. Because I promised. To Jill Ber, that bastard.

“Kill him. Kill the traitor!! Right now!!”

A familiar command.

Ivan raised his sword, holding it straight before him.

“And yet, here I am alive.”

From one side of his face, obscured by the sword, Kim Sunwoo murmured, blood staining the clean side of the blade.

– That wasn’t your story.

Enrique said so. I had to tell my own story before I could return home.

– That story…

I always did it. Not you, but me. From the moment you no longer wanted to turn the pages, I touched blood with my own hands, touched corpses, killed people, cut down demons, killed gods.

And if I had realized it at this moment.

– The prologue…

It ended thirty years ago. More than half of my pages have already been turned, and my story has unfolded anew.

The story of the hero party wasn’t just my long prologue, it was all the stories we shared together.

Kim Sunwoo fell silent. As always, neither affirming nor denying.

Ivan, being a rational person, didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment in winning an argument with himself.

He simply raised his sword.

He cut down the approaching knights. It was something he could do even with the little magic left. Fortunately, he hadn’t died yet.

“Don’t run away, Étienne de Granmarteau.”

“You can’t leave this place alive!!”

Étienne spurred his horse. Ivan’s legs weren’t suitable for running now. He wouldn’t be able to catch up with the galloping horse. He said, holding his sword:

“At least your son faced death with dignity.”

“…What?”

Étienne, who had been riding, stopped in his tracks. He stared blankly at Ivan.

– Kwaahh!!

The artillery struck nearby, exploding and illuminating the area in red.

“Did you not hear about your son’s death?”

“That brat is now in Krasilov…at the Saint Jan’s University.”

“Oh right, did I introduce myself yet?”

Ivan took aim with his sword, bowing slightly. It was a perfect etiquette that would befit a Tylesse knight. Laden with mockery.

“Ivan Petrovich Yermov, Colonel of the Krasilov Counterintelligence Command. Responsible for internal intelligence and directly supervised the detection of spies at the Saint Jan’s University. As for your son, he is still at the university.”

He’s dead though, so he couldn’t return home.

At Ivan’s words, Étienne clenched the sword in his trembling hand. Shock, disbelief, anger, sadness. Countless emotions scattered across his face like ripples.

“Kill me.”

The emotion that remained at the end was not that of a retreating rebel leader. Only the image of a father who had lost his son remained, growling with the sword in hand.

Ivan nodded his head and raised his sword to meet him.

“This time, I must do it right.”

-Kwaahh!!

Another artillery strike fell beside them.

Taking it as a signal, Étienne and Ivan ran towards each other.


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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