Chapter 524: Vanden's Taunt 1
Three days after Sherwood's fall, the king of Symphonia, Luke had visited it for congratulating the men.
Luke summoned the chief commander of the expedition army, the lieutenant, and provided them with merits, and looked into the surrender of Count Darland.
"Thank you for choosing such a difficult decision."
"No. thank you very much for treating a defeated commander and persuading them like this."
Darland's expression, while answering to Luke was dark.
And it wasn't because of the shame for holding out a white flag of defeat.
Luke, knew why Darland was feeling uncomfortable. It was because he had heard from Count Ferrero personally before meeting Luke.
"Family of your household will be saved from their places. Our intelligence agents will take care of them."
At those words of Luke, Darland couldn't hide his excitement.
"Of course we will. We have faster hands and wider feet than Emperor Rudolf."
It wasn't an easy matter to bring in the family of Count Darland, who were in the Baroque Empire and constantly under the radar of Intelligence agents.
And they could be caught even on their way from the capital.
"Please don't worry about anything and focus on the meeting with the prisoners. I don't know how the Baroque Empire deals with such situations, but I don't plan to act hostile or subdue others."
"Understood, Your majesty. I will do my very best."
By the time he spoke with Darland, the headquarters was noisy.
When he saw messengers coming and going, knights being scattered into positions, Luke called for Belik.
"Arch Duke, what is going on?"
"It is the Baroque Empire. The reinforcements from Nemesis have arrived across the north of the river."
Just as he said, the Baroque reinforcements appeared to the north of the city.
As the troops stepped down the hilly region, they seemed rather cautious without attacking.
Upon the report of the enemy troops' arrival, Luke led Belik and other commanders to the watchtower.
Luke, using the Hawk-eye magic, and the other commanders looked at the telephotos they received.
After a thorough look, they opened their mouths with confusion.
"Those men, I can't even understand what their thoughts are pushing till here."
"I feel the same, Your Majesty. We surely have the power, and we are at a geographic advantage."
The number of Symphonia troops in Sherwood were huge.
In addition to the number, they had already captured the Sherwood city, so they could rely on using the river to their advantage.
"Maybe they are placing their trust in the SS knights? Or maybe Rudolf decided to send additional troops in time?"
At Luke's mumble, Belik shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, whatever the circumstances, this is good for us. If we can defeat those Baroque troops, they won't be able to act on the South for a while."
"That is true."
Luke and other chief officers of Symphonia were more devoted than taking over the Sherwood city for the war, it was to cut off the enemy's ability to initiate a war in the future.
And that would ensure reports saying that the newly formed Southern estates were stable under the other hands, and the Libiya Kingdom along with other nations would start entering the Baroque.
"Well, let's wipe out those men."
Unlike the south of Sherwood, the bridge on the north was fine.
That was why the Gigants and troops of the Symphonia were able to move without crossing the ship.
Belik asked at Luke's words.
"Do you mean right away?"
"Why, is there any reason for us to wait? If those men decide to attack at…"
It was when Belik was trying to reason.
All of a sudden, a single Gigant came out of the enemy troops and approached the river.
"What is going on?"
"Well. I don't think that he is a messenger since he doesn't have a white flag lifted…"
Luke and Belik were thinking what it was and was looking at the situation to unfold, when the Gigant at the riverside screamed.
"Listen well you rebels! How can you point your sword at the Empire and your Master even after knowing the royal virtues you need to uphold? I know that the demons of the Devildom have risen up, and you men…"
No one knew who the riders of the Gigant was, however, the man just began to blame and abuse Symphonia's command.
The voice was so thick that it creeped out the Symphonia commanders on the wall.
"Huh?! that sounds like a bastard's voice."
"Your Majesty, please give me orders. I'll blow out that bastard with a single canon right away."
"Leave it. A scared dog is the one which always barks."
Luke held back his men who were too enraged to hit the man.
Thanks to that, the rider of the Baroque Empire was able to speak till the end.
"I, Kurian, a high ranking knight of the Baroque Imperial Knights, requests a Gigant Duel!"
The entire speech resulted in a Gigant Duel request.
‘I thought they were out here to perform something great…'
Luke held a calm expression for a while, the soldiers and knights on the city walls screamed at the rider.
"Get lost, you idiot!"
"If you want to play Gigantic Duels, get your ass to the Holy Empire!"
"Scared, are you? Now that you are here, you are scared to have a real fight, right? Right?"
At the wild screaming from the Symphonia kingdom, Kurian too felt absurd.
Honestly, he too felt that a Gigantic duel at such a point was ridiculous.
The Gigantic Duel, which would give out the victory and defeat due to a one on one duel between the two riders, with a strong skill set, was a classic battle method found in the Holy Arthenia Empire.
What was more, when it was established that forces were alike, there was no reason for the Symphonia Kingdom to accept them.
But the Baroque's side had somehow asked the enemy to accept a Gigantic duel.
‘Are there any other rear gates for them to enter Sherwood, or is he trying to cut the advanced riders of the enemy? He seems to be doing his best to avoid the wrath of His Majesty.'
Vanden's obvious trick was easily understood by Kurian.
On the other hand, they wanted the enemy to accept the Gigantic Duel.
Due to the nature of the Emperor's special guards, it was rare for them to participate in the battle.
As a Sword Master and with the pride of a knight, his whole body was overflowing with content, however, he was asked to support the reinforcements along with other knights.
Even if they were going to retreat, he wanted to compete with the enemy, at least once.
‘When I went for the crowning of Luke last time, I got a good look at how strong the guy was, but, how many strong men does he have?'
With that thought in mind, Kurian raised his sword even more than before to provoke the Symphonia Kingdom.
"Would you not accept the Gigantic Duel? I thought that I would be honored by the warrior's lineage, but I guess you are just plain traitors! Cowardly and undisciplined!"
Knights and soldiers who prided themselves for serving the descendants of the warrior were furious at Kurian's words.
Some of them were angry enough to point their Gigant swords in his directions, and those on the canons were ready to shoot him down.
Belik and the other men looked over at Luke.
They too knew that there was no need for a Gigantic Duel, but Kurian's words were too rude to ignore.
Which was why they wanted Luke to accept his request.
Whether he read the challenger's eyes, Luke gathered mana and replied back to the enemy.
"Listen to me the men of Mad Emperor! You are the descendant of the traitor who stole nations, and you honor the man who assassinated his own father! I'll teach you what real honor and knighthood is, so raise your throat and wait for me!"
"Kuakk, what is he saying?"
"Ho-How dare he…!"
At the words of Luke, it wasn't just Kurian, but also the other SS knights, who drew their swords.
However, they didn't rush over to the gates.
The Gigantic Duel was accepted. And things could be settled at that moment.