Chapter 251: Chapter 250: Section 79 Part I
Skyla was frozen in her seat like a statue for a few hours now. She just couldn’t believe it. Every single of the one thousand leeches she had stuck to her soldiers were all dead. That included Rocky, her right hand man, and four other subordinate deities. If her direct subordinates and a thousand of her strongest soldiers were dead, that meant the forty-nine thousand soldiers were dead as well!
“Ha…” Skyla finally managed to breathe out a sigh of disbelief. After the first leech had died, it took four hours for the remaining 999 to follow suit. That meant that her entire army was killed in a little more than four hours. “And the enemy’s army was only twenty-five thousand strong…” Skyla was notified by Rocky via Comm Link that he had encountered the enemy. The enemy’s army only had twenty-five thousand soldiers, so Skyla just said to quickly kill them and report back when it was over. Skyla then hung up and happily waited for the EXP to start rolling in, but that was the last she had heard from Rocky.
Skyla finally rose from her seat. She could not let this go so easily. She has just lost fifty thousand of her most elite soldiers in a matter of hours. Keeping this to herself would be a mistake that could decide the fate of her world. She decided that she had to notify the other deities as soon as possible, before stopping dead in her tracks.
“It doesn’t matter that I went against what we had decided that day.” It didn’t matter to Skyla if she would get singled out by the other deities and be condemned for her selfish actions. “I don’t care if they disgrace me. The foolish decision here would be to keep this from the others, as that would mean the end of Croot.”
Skyla was suddenly at a crossroads. She obviously had to do whatever she could to ensure Croot’s victory, but even though she had lost a good chunk of her men, Croot still had more than 700 million more people and had other power deities, like Claudia. Croot could still win, and if that was the case, Skyla had to think about the future.
She decided what she had to do. She had to make sure Claudia was not to leave the Judge’s Continent alive, or at least with her army intact.
“Hah…” Skyla scoffed a bitter laugh at how low she was stooping. Instead of trying to get to the same level as Claudia, she was going to drag her down to her level. But Skyla believed that this was her best decision for the near future.
“They were close to Section 79, weren’t they?” Section 79 was the closest to where the battle had taken place, and that was also Claudia’s district. Skyla finally broke out into a smile. “I’ll be content if they at least leave a hole in Claudia’s defenses. Actually, I bet World 1455 could really end up hurting Claudia.”
Claudia and her people were no doubt the strongest organization of Croot, but if twenty-five thousand soldiers were strong enough to wipe out fifty thousand of her most elite soldiers, who knew what they could do to Claudia. It’d be even better for Skyla if they just killed each other off right now.
Four days later…
We had just finished sending off our fallen comrades and now, no one had any more tears to shed. Four days were enough to steel our hearts, and many of us had come prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.
I walked out to stand in front of the newly reinforced army of one hundred thousand soldiers. 3,500 of them were Warp Mages to run the Teleporter Zone we had just established, along with 7,000 guards. I had, at first, asked for twenty-eight thousand reinforcements to increase our numbers to fifty thousand, but apparently, the Continent was too cunning.
The monsters in dungeons here yielded too few EXP and golden rings. The dungeons were as strong as high-grade dungeons, but only yielded about a fifth of the EXP and golden rings than the ones on Earth. Items barely dropped as well. Those that wanted to hunt monsters instead quickly realized that they had to kill the enemy if they wanted to become stronger. The Judge wanted to watch us kill each other, not monsters.
News of the first battle had also spread like wildfire. Each soldier had gained an average of 20+ levels, and obtained more than 20,000,000 golden rings each. Even though the people were told that we had lost more than three thousand soldiers that day, many more had volunteered to join us.
That number quickly rose to four hundred thousand.
As a result, seventy-eight thousand were chosen to join us, bringing our numbers to one hundred thousand. This assault force had initially set out to test the enemy but now, it had turned into a complete invasion force.
I turned to face my soldiers. “We lost three thousand of our comrades during the first battle and we will lose more and more. I can promise you all this, however! Those of you that manage to survive; I swear I will turn you all into champions! You will all become heroes of Earth!”
“Lee Jiwon! Lee Jiwon!”
The soldiers roared so loud that the ground actually trembled.
“Let’s move out!”
And so, we marched out for Section 79, with me in the lead and the Warp Mages and their guards at the rear. We had met the enemy earlier than expected that day, so I had ten teams of three hundred scouts do recon in rotation through the surrounding area.
It initially seemed that the Croot inhabitants had properly set themselves up on their side of the Continent. But after about five days of marching, we didn’t see a single trace of anyone anywhere.
“Hmm…they obviously aren’t weak or inexperienced…”
“Truth be told, it was only because of you that we were able to defeat the enemy so quickly. If you weren’t there, we could have incurred heavy losses or…” Taniya trailed off.
I and the other officers knew what she was trying to say. The enemy soldiers that day were all veterans and high-leveled. They were also led by five deities, in all. That was a lot of valuable personnel for the enemy to lose. They should have learned by now that those soldiers were dead, but it was just too quiet.
“Are the rear guards stationing a hundred soldiers every fifty kilometers?”
“Yes sir. We have all angles of approach covered and each station is still available in Comms,” We had eyes all around us, but there was not a single trace of the enemy anywhere. I was beginning to think it would be best to retreat now. If it was this quiet, there was a chance we were walking into a trap. But I and many of our soldiers had gained too much from the first battle to let it all go to waste. Besides, this army was too big to suddenly change direction and retreat. We were too deep behind enemy lines. I and my officers had also made the decision to at least get as close to Section 79 as possible and see what we were to expect before retreating.
And so, we continued to march forward, each soldier on high alert and their heads on swivels.
Eight days later, we received a report from one of our scout teams that they had encountered giant ramparts labeled Section 79.
I stopped the army some distance away from Section 79 and took a few of my officers to get a closer look.
“Those walls are huge.”
“Indeed they are.” The walls surrounding each Section were massive, but these walls in particular were much bigger. They looked almost immune to siege.
“What did the scouts say?”
“That all is quiet.”
“Hmm…so it seems.” It didn’t look like the people inside Section 79 were mobilizing for war or anything. In fact, I could see people and parties going in and out of the gate hunting. I did have our scouts use Sparrow and Fly Summons to get a bird’s eye view over the walls to see if they were doing anything secretly, but there was nothing special to report.
By now, it was obvious that the enemy commander, ‘Skyla’, had kept the first battle a secret.
“Do you think it’s because she doesn’t want to be only victim or something?”
“I can’t say for sure, but it could be possible that this Skyla person and whoever is in charge of Section 79 are in a bit of a competition or rivalry.”
“Countless guilds and organizations existed on Earth. We set up alliances and rivalries, all for the sake of personal gain. This world has almost twice our population. I would bet that their rivalry is fiercer than ours.”
“It’d be nice if that’s the case here.”
“What will you have us do?” Song Haechang asked.
“Considering our current situation… we might as well invade them, shouldn’t we?” The scouts had reported that there were a lot more people than we had soldiers, but that was better for us. They were just going to become a bigger foothold for us.
“I’m all for it.”
“Same here. We’ve come all this way; it’s too late to back down now.”
And so, we decided we were going to invade Section 79 that night. We had 110,000 soldiers; it would be impossible to keep them hidden for very long. It’d also be rude to waste the element of surprise Skyla had so graciously given us.
I faced my soldiers once more and addressed them. “Tonight, we all become merciless executioners. If there’s anyone here who isn’t ready to become one, now’s the time to back out.”
“…” No answer.
“Good. Just remember this. We will win this war, and we will survive. Let’s move out.”
And so, I carefully led my soldiers down to Section 79’s southern gate. There were still a few around the gate, going in and out for night hunting it didn’t matter. The Empire’s guilds had many specialists in assassination. They weren’t necessarily trained to do it; it was more like they enjoyed the hunt. The ten teams of fifty assassins made quick and quiet work of the enemy at the gate, leaving the entrance to Section 79 wide open.