Chapter 403: Split of the Imperial 1
"What? The neutrals declared a nation?"
Count Ferrero, who was defending the Gorn Fort, faced unexpected news and was dumbfounded.
‘How the hell did that happen?'
The neutral nobles he knew weren't favoring the Emperor nor the noblemen but were united under a single force.
All they had to do was stay neutral and chatter without getting the attention of both predominant sides.
And he understood their function very well since Count Ferrero was in a neutral group in the past.
Now he was beside Emperor Rudolf since the Emperor himself asked for him.
"Tell me everything that happened in detail!"
At the cold question from him, the lieutenant responded, "A report came in from a messenger a while back which showed that the western army remnants and the neutral nobles joined hands with Orc Hero Shaikan who declared himself as the King."
"Orc Hero Shaikan?"
Ferrero had heard the name before.
A few years back, there was a monster legion that caused destruction into the Navarre Duchy.
And he did get the news that after entering the Baroque Empire it was struggling.
‘But, why did the neutral ones choose a monster as a King?'
The lieutenant, who saw the doubt on Ferrero's face, explained quickly, "Well, it was said that Shaikan isn't a monster but a human. In addition, the neutral nobles claim that he was the long-time missing Reichard de Baroque…"
This was the second time that Count Ferrero was shocked.
When he was still young, he had escorted the young Prince Reichard briefly.
So, when Prince Reichard went missing along with the queen, he felt sorry.
But that same kid was still alive and not dead!
"Is that true?"
"It hasn't been confirmed yet, but there are rumors that Shaikan has awakened the God Dragon's blood."
"Uhu, the God Dragon's power?"
There was a rumor that was handed down to the Baroque family.
He who awakens the power of the God Dragon would make the continent of Rhodesia kneel.
If that was true, then Shaikan was mostly likely Prince Reichard.
No, that was certain.
"And His Majesty?"
"He is advancing to their place, the root of rebellion. However, with the troops being distributed because of the western territories' occupation and the strong monsters, their advances are breaking down and the Gigants are getting damaged in the process."
"Hm, this civil war will not be easy to end."
Count Ferrero realized that Emperor Rudolf's plan had been distorted by the sudden appearance of the 3rd crown prince, Reichard.
And if such things happened, then their operation in the fort had to change.
"Put in the reserve forces to counter-attack right…"
When Count Ferrero was about to give out orders...
A huge explosion rang, distorting the gates.
"Now is the time to move slowly."
Scarlet and her men had disguised themselves as mercenaries a few days back and infiltrated the Gorn Fort.
The Gorn Fort was being supplied with materials and troops once every three days from a nearby province, and they infiltrated the supply unit.
Her mission was to make the civil war a disaster for both sides instead of it being tilted to one side.
It was the order of Marquis Luke who had suddenly gone to the Southern Continent.
According to the chief commander of the army, Rogers, the selected knights of the estates who could infiltrate and operate and were dispatched into the front lines of Southern forces and the Central Army.
At first, the Southern Army was fiercely attacking the forts with a strong momentum. However, as Count Ferrero responded calmly, their attempts failed.
"We need to do this ourselves. If left unchanged, the Southern Army will face a counter-attack and not be able to pass the Variand Mountains."
At Scarlet's words, a knight who had followed her since her departure from Albertville Estate nodded and replied, "Well, these people are nobles by mouth and cheap in actions."
Marquis Mayers was a typical political noble unlike Duke Butler.
Good at tactics, gathering forces making propaganda, but was very far when it came to implementing.
So, even after dispatching several troops under him to attack the Gorn Fort, they were still unable to occupy any forts in the Variand Mountains.
"Even I think they are too pathetic. If he didn't have the abilities, he should have at least operated and asked the nobles under him to take his role in the war…"
"Unlike our Lord, he seems to be a doubtful and greedy noble."
For a while, Scarlet and the knight chewed up Marquis Mayers and then decided to move after gathering enough information.
Their plan was simple.
They decided to make the situation that the Southern Army wanted.
Scarlet's party, which strayed from the assigned location, came to a place that wasn't that far from the fort's gate and hid.
Scarlet pulled on her bow, aiming at the forehead of the soldiers who were guarding the gates.
The string, which seemed to have been made of Ergen Alloy, got pulled and bent. A brilliant light gathered between the bow and the arrow.
The identity of the light was Aether.
After coming under the wing of Luke, she learned how to use Aether and continued to train afterward even though Luke didn't supervise her anymore.
And the outcome was what was happening.
As the Aether arrow began to take a clear shape, mana and other energies around her began to get sucked at the fingertips of Scarlet.
"W-what is happening?"
"M-mana is shaking!"
The knights and the war mages near the gate were surprised at the lack of mana and looked around.
However, they were already too late.
Scarlet had an evil smile on her and let go of the string.
As if a dragon roared, the Aether arrow flew through the air and hit the gate.
The fort's gate, which was lined with several layers of steel to be protected from force and magic, exploded when the strong power of Aether hit it. All the protection magic on the fort got destroyed at once.
Debris scattered all around, and the guards of the fort that were inside the gate got struck by lightning.
"W-what is this?!"
The knights and infantry that were hit by the fragments and debris screamed, and the nearby Gigants that were covered in dust were unable to move.
As a result, the vicinity of the castle gate was separated in half.
"Now is the time. Secure the gates!"
Knights and soldiers of Marquis Rakan, disguised as Scarlet's mercenaries, ran toward the gate upon hearing the orders.
They randomly cut into the fort and seized the gates.
"It is the enemy! Hurry up and stop them!"
The chaos overlapped, and the guards of the fort, who were trapped for a while, finally got back their senses and tried to stop the party of Scarlet.
The Gigants attacked as well.
However, Scarlet kept releasing the arrows of Aether toward them.
It was less powerful than the one that smashed the gate, but it was still enough to wipe out dozens of soldiers and knights or to kill the riders of the Gigants by aiming at the Gigants' breastplate.
When the infantry and the Gigants were blocked, the fort's defense forces began to be terrified.
"What are you doing?! If the gate falls into the hands of the enemy, it will turn into a loss for us! Stop them right away!"
At the scream of the commander, the soldiers began to flock to the gate.
However, they were already too late.
The Gigant troops and the cavalry soldiers of the Southern Army, who understood the situation, began to pour in through the blasted gate.