He was like a bird.
And this bird was aiming to catch a prey.
Choi Han’s body shot down toward the ground.
“I finally get to see you, you bastard!”
The Brown Bear in the vanguard ship did not flinch after seeing Choi Han. In fact, he shouted as if he had been waiting for Choi Han.
“You think that you can destroy this ship with that puny aura of yours?!”
There was a reason the Brown Bear was confident.
The fake Dragon Slayer Syrem had been the only one to return from the Henituse territory. Based on the message he had sent prior to the naval battle with the Roan Kingdom, Choi Han’s aura could not extend past 2 meters.
That was why there was no way that he could cut through this ship that was multiple times the maximum size of his aura.
The ship would not stop as long as the wheels on both sides continued to roll.
“I will definitely kill the Henituse bastards that killed my close friends!”
Only Brown Bears were on the ships heading toward the Roan Kingdom’s side. They were from the same tribe as the Bears that had attacked the Henituse territory.
The veins on the arms of the berserk Brown Bear started to become visible on their arms.
One person was on the ground while the other was falling to the ground.
The Brown Bear made eye contact with Choi Han. He could see that Choi Han was quietly muttering something.
The Brown Bear subconsciously tried to read Choi Han’s lips.
The Brown Bear jumped up from the deck after suddenly feeling chills run down his back.
Choi Han slashed his sword horizontally at that moment.
His sword was moving slowly, albeit with a significant amount of strength. The sword headed down to the ground.
“T, This! Dodge it!”
The Brown Bear subconsciously shouted.
The black aura should not be able to go beyond two meters.
However, the aura had turned into a spear the moment Choi Han struck down.
It was a spear that seemed to never end.
The black aura coming out of Choi Han’s fingertip was extremely long, as if it was laughing at the comment about being 2 meters long. It then pierced through the ship.
The first explosion of the battle went off.
The Brown Bear landed on the ground and looked behind him with a shocked expression.
The sword had pierced the ship.
The ship was accurately pierced in the middle into two halves. The Flame Dwarf tribe had designed this ship to be capable of withstanding most average levels of magic.
But such a ship was split into two.
But that was not it.
It had also destroyed two more ships in the process.
“…What the hell.”
Silence filled the battleground for a moment.
The Brown Bear slowly turned back around.
“It’s been a while.”
He could see the black-haired sword master.
“It’s been a while since I shot my power out like this all at once.”
His gaze was focused on the Brown Bear.
The Brown Bear subconsciously flinched.
“I, I heard that your aura was unable to get longer than 2 meters-!”
The Dragon Slayer had not lied.
However, there were different ways of being one meter long.
There are things that were just one meter long, and then there were things that are normally ten meters long, but were compressed into one meter. These two ways of being one meter long were very different.
The Indomitable Alliance had received false information because the Dragon Slayer was more focused on healing himself than reporting on the situation. The Dragon Slayer was then captured by Cale, making the Indomitable Alliance unable to get the correct information.
Choi Han’s words echoed in the back of the Brown Bear’s mind once again.
Choi Han had truly found the Brown Bear’s actions to be funny.
Why was the side that had chosen to attack their corner territory seeking revenge?
The majority of the Brown Bears were killed by the Dragon Slayer exploding the wyverns anyway.
Why were the attackers blaming the defenders?
Were they just supposed to die like the enemy wanted them to do?
War was an extremely dirty mud field where some die and some survive. Choi Han did not want to show any pity or sympathy on such a battlefield.
Protecting my people and my family.
Choi Han wanted to do that, even if it meant that he himself would get dirty in the process.
The black aura shot out of his sword again as if it was responding to his thoughts. His aura was one step away from reaching perfect darkness. The tip of that aura sword headed toward the enemy.
Choi Han pushed off the ground and shot forward.
Cale’s order had not been completed yet.
There were still many things left to destroy.
* * *
The people on top of the castle wall could not say anything as they watched Choi Han move.
The Caro Kingdom’s mage who was on top of the southern tower was at a loss for words after seeing Choi Han in action.
‘Is a sword master really that strong of an existence?’
His overwhelming strength made the mage’s hands start to shake. Her gaze headed toward the central tower and the northern tower. However, she focused mainly on the northern tower where Duke Huten, the Empire’s sword master, was located.
They were too far away from the northern tower, so she could not see him clearly. However, she could feel it.
They were shocked as well.
It was at that moment.
“Please connect the call.”
She heard the commander’s voice. She finally came back to her senses and looked down at the video communication device in her hand.
An urgent call was coming from crown prince Valentino. She quickly connected the call and looked toward the Roan Kingdom’s people.
They seemed used to this scene.
This made her feel chills from head to toe.
She recalled the story about how the Roan Kingdom had achieved their overwhelming victory.
‘That story was true.
Then we can also-!’
Her hand started to shake for a different reason this time. At that moment, a small screen appeared on top of the video communication device.
– …Commander Cale.
It was crown prince Valentino. His confused expression that seemed to not know what to say appeared on the screen.
“Did you see it, your highness?”
He had seen it.
He had seen it quite clearly.
Valentino barely managed to open his mouth in order to respond.
– …Even Duke Huten said that it would be difficult for him to pierce through like that. He said that most sword masters have a maximum aura length of around 3 meters.
“He is not a typical sword master.”
Valentino could feel the weight of the war after looking at Cale.
“He is a hero.”
His voice was full of confidence.
“Your highness, there is no need to worry.”
Valentino scoffed at himself for becoming shocked after initially calling the southern tower in concern and responded back.
– …Commander Cale, I leave it to you.
He could finally see that Cale Henituse was looking at him.
“I will not let you down.”
Valentino laughed before hanging up. The mage holding the video communication device put it away before looking back at Cale.
The commander started to speak toward everyone at the southern tower.
“We will survive as long as possible until everyone gets here.”
The mage seemed confused, however, Cale did not give her any time to think about it.
“The knights will protect the mages from any potential attacks. As for the Mage Brigade…”
Cale raised his hand.
The mage curled up in shock from the sudden flow of mana. It was extremely shocking.
Flap, flap. The robes of all mages in the Mage Brigade were fluttering wildly. The necklaces on their necks that had been hidden underneath their robes started to shine.
“…Highest-grade magic stones!”
Highest-grade magic stones.
Their necklaces each had two of these magic jewels that were full of mana.
The sudden movement of a large quantity of mana created vibrations in the air. The Caro Kingdom’s mage had never felt this much mana before.
Cale handed something to her at that moment.
“This is for you.”
A necklace was placed around her neck.
Her necklace responded to the vibration of mana around her.
A necklace with a highest-grade magic stone.
The Caro Kingdom’s mage looked toward the Roan Kingdom’s northeast region commander. He started to speak to all of the mages, including her.
Cale’s hand was lowered.
It was pointing toward the enemy.
A noise that was similar to the cry of a large wild animal started to ring from the southern tower.
The Vice Captain of the Mage Brigade shouted out loud.
Magic could be seen forming around all of the mages’ hands. The Caro Kingdom’s mage was shocked even more at how the mages were combining their powers.
‘How long did they practice for?’
It was not easy gathering together multiple people’s mana. It would only be possible if the group had worked together day in and day out for at least one year.
‘…There was a reason that they are so strong.’
The Caro Kingdom’s mage clenched the magic stone around her neck.
The Roan Kingdom had been secretly building their strength without anyone noticing. They had been preparing for a war that they had expected to happen in the future.
The strength of the mages and the number of highest-grade magic stones were proof of that.
The five mana orbs that had gathered together shot forward with the Vice Captain’s command.
They heard another explosion.
While the rest of the allies were thrilled, Cale was thinking internally.
‘They’re showing why they are so expensive.’
Cale had sold a portion of the highest-grade magic stones in his possession to the crown prince. Those magic stones then went to the Mage Brigade.
‘I feel a bit better.’
The stress from the war was slightly relieved by the money he received.
However, Cale remained emotionless without a single smile.
‘This is weird.’
Cale recalled what the Guardian Knight Clopeh had said.
‘Cale-nim, the Indomitable Alliance will definitely do something since our side has won two battles already. Only the final battle remains if they lose this battle.’
The final battle. That was referring to the battle at the Gorge of Death.
That was why Cale felt something was off.
– Human. These guys aren’t that strong! The Bear tribe is strong, but they’ll fly away if I flap my wings!
The enemy was surprisingly weak as Raon had said.
Cale turned his head.
The northern tower. The Empire that was fighting diligently.
They had a formation set up in order to defend while Duke Huten shot his aura toward the Bears every so often. The Empire was showing a lot of effort.
“…They are working hard?”
Something definitely was off. He knew that they must have done something.
Cale then looked toward the central tower.
“Kahahaha! Let’s destroy the castle wall! Use the destroyed ships to climb up!”
Three mid-sized ships had crashed into the central tower. He could see the central tower’s walls starting to shake. The three-meter-tall Polar Bear was blocking the arrows and magic with his body as he ordered the other Bears.
The Caro Kingdom’s side was having a difficult time.
It was only natural.
The Indomitable Alliance was strong. It definitely was not weak.
‘But they are still weak?’
How strong had they been when they had come to the Henituse Castle?
There had been wyverns, a sword master, and even one of Arm’s red stars. But then why are only the Bears here now?
“Something is weird.”
The knight next to him looked toward Cale. However, Cale was thoroughly looking through the battlefield.
The soldiers who had gotten off the ships were preparing to advance with the knights.
There were still many small and mid-sized ships at the shore.
He thought that those ships must have wheels as well. They also had berserk Bears shouting on top of them.
Only about 100 ships had charged toward the castle.
Cale looked at the ships in the front that had either crashed into the walls or stopped in order to prepare to attack, as well as at the small ships that were still heading toward them from the back.
Those small ships were heading toward them at extremely fast speeds.
Another ship by the southern tower was destroyed.
Cale turned his head. All of the Brown Bears were rushing toward Choi Han. The mages managed to destroy a ship with a mana orb at that time.
The sky was currently red from the sunset.
He could see the broken pieces of the ship shining underneath.
Cale then realized it.
“…There’s nothing on the ships!”
The knight asked back, but Cale’s expression stiffened up without a response.
There was nothing on the ships other than the Bears.
It made no sense.
Why were the ships so empty?
Cale could see the small ships coming toward them at that moment.
He realized something else at this point.
These ships that were gaining speed did not have any Bears on them.
There were only soldiers on these ships.
It was the moment Cale’s gaze landed on those soldiers. Raon’s voice echoed in his head.
– Weak human, those soldiers are shaking. They are crying!
Cale looked at the enemy soldiers on the small ships. Each ship had less than five soldiers on it, however, they were all crying.
He got the answer he was looking for.
There was something on those ships.
It was, at the very least, a bomb.
“Video communication device!”
Cale urgently gave an order to the Caro Kingdom’s mage.
“Immediately connect me to his highness!”
The small ships were not very far.
The mage urgently started to connect the call.
It was at that moment.
Someone started to scream.
It was the Polar Bear. He shouted with urgency.
“Attack! Destroy the castle wall before the sun sets completely!”
The small ships started to rush toward them at an even faster speed.
At the same time, the Bears in front started to shout in order to raise the morale. They then all started to charge toward the towers.
“Die! This is revenge for our fellow tribe members!”
Choi Han fixed his grip on his sword after seeing the Bears that had originally just tried to block his way starting to charge toward him.
He was planning to get rid of them at once before the sun set.
Choi Han’s expression became even colder.
It was at that moment.
Choi Han was baffled.
They were running away.
The Bears that looked like they were going to charge at him were running away as quickly as possible.
At that moment, a voice that was amplified with magic could be heard throughout the entirety of Castle Leona.
It was a familiar voice.
It was Cale.
– Everybody dodge! They are magic bombs!
Choi Han looked toward the small ships that were madly charging toward them, unlike the Bears that were running away.
Choi Han felt his body starting to float up.
– Choi Han, the human is worried about you. That is why I am rescuing you.
Raon’s voice echoed in Choi Han’s mind. Choi Han could see the small ships moving underneath his feet.
The enemy soldiers on board were shaking in fear as these ships continued to charge toward the castle walls.
Cale started to speak.
The mages immediately started to activate shields.
The call was connected at that moment.
– Commander! What do you mean by a magic bomb?! Are you saying those small ships are all magic bombs?
Crown prince Valentino’s urgent voice could be heard.
Who would believe that someone would put magic bombs on ships with their own soldiers?
“We do not have much time.”
– …I understand.
The call was disconnected. Shields started to appear on the central and northern towers as well.
However, Cale’s expression did not look good.
It was not enough.
The shields were not enough to defend against the tens of ships that were filled with bombs.
Amplification magic was used at the central tower.
– Destroy those ships before they reach the castle walls!
Magic shot out from the central tower and attacked the ships at that moment. Of course, the Caro Kingdom’s mages were not enough to block all of the ships.
However, they were able to destroy some of them.
The enemy soldiers started to scream as their ships started to explode.
Cale watched this happen as he quickly gave an order.
“Although we cannot block all of the enemy ships, fortify our shields and stop them before they reach the castle wa-”
However, he suddenly stopped.
Raon’s voice could be heard in Cale’s mind.
– … Human, I smell magic bombs and that other smell.
Another small ship was destroyed by the Caro Kingdom’s magic. However, the ships behind them ignored this as they continued to charge forward.
However, the Caro Kingdom’s magic had stopped.
Raon continued to speak.
– It is that smell. It is the smell of dead mana.
Black fluids started to shoot up into the air along with the magic bombs.
Dead mana started to seep into the ground where the bombs had exploded.
Cale turned his head.
The northern tower.
He could see an extremely sturdy shield surrounding the Empire’s tower.
‘Those damn Empire bastards!’
Dead mana bombs.
That was created by the Empire’s Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
Those bombs were being used by the Indomitable Alliance.
Cale recalled Clopeh’s voice once again.
‘The Indomitable Alliance will definitely do something.’
Was that, ‘something,’ Clopeh was talking about these dead mana bombs?
Was the Indomitable Alliance so desperate for victory that they were willing to use this weapon that would make the world point fingers at them?
He could see the enemy soldiers dying from being poisoned by dead mana.
Cale started to frown.
Even if they managed to destroy Castle Leona with dead mana bombs, the enemy would not be able to pass through the resulting dead mana zone either. So, what were they planning?
It was at that moment.
There were trumpet sounds coming from the shores.
The enemy soldiers got back onto the ships.
Two of the enemy ships were heading back to sea.
Cale started to chuckle.
The enemy ships were heading back into the sea.
Cale immediately understood what was going on.
‘They’re heading for the northern shores.’
He finally figured out what the Indomitable Alliance was planning.
The core of the Caro Kingdom’s forces was gathered at Castle Leona.
What would happen if they spread dead mana here and then ran away?
Castle Leona would become useless.
The shores would be covered by dead mana such that they would not be able to chase after the Bears that were running away.
They would no longer be able to fight here.
Even if those hundreds of enemy ships left, the Caro Kingdom’s side would not be able to do anything as they tried to deal with the dead mana bombs here.
The Indomitable Alliance would head for the northern shores during that time.
It was a simple question as to whether the ships would be faster. There was no way the Caro Kingdom’s side that had to deal with the dead mana bombs and then make sure that the dead mana did not spread would be able to move as fast as the Indomitable Alliance’s ships.
There were some troops at the northern shores as well, however, it was a small number. Furthermore, there were citizens of the Caro Kingdom as well as plentiful resources for businesses by the northern shores.
“C, commander-nim, it is dead mana! I’m sure of it!”
He could hear the urgent voice of the Caro Kingdom’s knight. The Caro Kingdom’s knight felt despair as he watched the small ships approach them.
He then looked toward the shield.
The southern tower’s shield was sturdy.
It did not seem as if the dead mana would make it through.
The northern tower’s shield seemed sturdy as well.
‘But what about our kingdom?’
The central tower’s shield was weak.
The Caro Kingdom’s mages were not as strong as the Roan Kingdom or the Mogoru Empire’s mages.
‘What do we do?’
The knight heard something unexpected at that moment.
“You sly bastards.”
It was Commander Cale’s voice.
Cale’s voice reached the ears of the few shocked southern tower’s soldiers.
“Do not worry.”
The soldiers looked toward the commander. The small ships were still heading toward them.
However, they could not focus on the small ships at this moment.
A silver light.
They all saw the silver light.
A silver light started to appear in front of them.
– Weak human. Do not worry! I can also create a silver shield! We can protect everyone!
The silver light enveloped the southern tower, and then the central tower and the northern tower as well. Finally, it opened up its silver wings as a large shield appeared.
A silver light was surrounding the shield. It was the silver shield that they had heard about.
The southern tower’s soldiers recalled what Vice Captain Hilsman had said before the battle.
‘The shield will not break.’
At that moment, numerous loud explosions filled Castle Leona’s vicinity.
Baaang, baaaang, baaang!
The small ships exploded and the black liquid, the dead mana, started to fly toward the silver shield as if it was hail.