Chapter 2022 A Place Called Home (Part 2)
Is discipline really lacking so much these days Lith furrowed his brows in disbelief.
No, but ever since we have started losing the war, people have a low tolerance for beasts and there are already a few here. The general shook his head.
The soldiers are wound up like a drum and the arrival of a beast who is also a wanted criminal might be the last straw.
I\'m not a criminal anymore.
The Crown pardoned me. Lith replied with a shrug.
A piece of paper can\'t erase the memory of what the people of the entire Kingdom saw you do while fighting Meln in Lutia. Berion sighed.
Now enough with the pleasantries and let\'s get down to business.
A snap of his fingers conjured a holographic 3-D map of Belius\' surroundings above a nearby table.
The Kingdom\'s forces were shown in the form of blue dots while Thrud\'s were red.
Much to Lith\'s surprise, the plan for the incoming battle required most of the troops to be outside the city walls and to fight in the plains right in front of the city.
\'It actually makes sense.\' Solus pondered.
\'If this was a regular battle against fake mages, we would have employed siege tactics as you expected.
The city arrays would block flight and dimensional magic while the city walls would provide us with cover.
\'Against an Awakened army, however, such tactics are useless due to Spirit Magic.
If we let them get close, the Divine Beasts will simply Blink through the city until they reach the Warp Gate.
\'Once they arrive there, their overwhelming power and mass will allow them to hold back the Kingdom\'s army long enough to seize the Gate.
At that point, Belius would fall.
\'The limited space inside the city makes quality much more important than quantity since the human mages can\'t swarm the Divine Beasts, losing their only advantage.
\'Our only hope is to stop Thrud\'s army from getting close to the city walls.
If that fails, all human mages can do is delay the inevitable.\'
\'Great thinking.\' Lith nodded.
He and Solus had used a similar strategy in the past, but they always played the invader role and acted alone.
This time, they would play on defense and Thrud would send more than one Divine Beast.
What do you think Berion asked.
Lith repeated to him Solus\' words, finding only one weak point in the General\'s strategy.
Why are you covering only the front side of the city What if Thrud\'s army splits its forces and executes a two-pronged attack from the back as well
Do you see those towers Berion pointed at the buildings lined along the mountain range that acted as a natural border between the Kingdom and the Empire.
Lith remembered well their effect.
The towers worked as both amplifiers and relay points of the city arrays, allowing them to cover a wide area all around Belius.
He had seen more than one mage trying to cross the borders by flight just to get chased and shot down by a mana storm.
Yes. He nodded for Berion to continue.
We left them unguarded on purpose.
If Thrud tries to come at us from the back, she\'ll discover that the towers can focus the power of the arrays with surgical precision.
We have already run several tests, even a Divine Beast will get killed in an instant if caught by surprise. The General said.
Since when are the magical formations of Belius this powerful Lith asked in surprise.
As far as he remembered, the arrays served solely the purpose to neutralize the magic of their target and keep them prisoner.
It was up to the mages stationed in the towers to deal the finishing blow.
Since never. Berion said with a smirk on his face.
We didn\'t have the time to upgrade such a huge magical field in the little time we had at our disposal.
Even if we did, Thrud\'s spies would have noticed and ruined our trap.
What we could do, instead, was to reach a truce with the Empire.
The moment someone comes close to the towers, the arrays will lock them in place as per usual.
The difference will be that both our artillery and that of the Empire will combine their firepower to shoot our enemies down.
That\'s brilliant! Lith said.
You have stationed only a few soldiers there to lull the Mad Queen into a false sense of security.
Exactly. The General nodded.
Diplomacy can do a lot of damage if done in secret.
The Empire prefers to deal with us than with Thrud and doesn\'t want Belius to fall into her hands.
One more thing. Lith said.
Why are most of the troops assembled into a strategical formation while the vanguard units are so distanced between them
Because those aren\'t our troops, but the Emperor and Divine Beasts that have joined our ranks. Berion replied.
Creatures as tall and big as you possess the same destructive power of a battalion and once they engage the enemy, there\'s not much we can do.
If we get too close, we\'ll just get in the way of our allies and risk getting stomped.
The best we can do is provide them with healing and barrier arrays.
Any offensive spell big enough to hurt one of Thrud\'s generals would hurt them as well.
Which one of these blue dots am I Lith pointed at the valley in front of the city, where most of the troops were arranged a few hundred of meters from the walls.
Near enough to be within range of cover fire and far away enough to make Blink useless at the same time.
This one. Berion threw Lith an awkward look as he tapped on the map with his finger, making a new blue dot appear in an isolated position over one kilometer away from Belius.
What does that mean
Since you are going to risk your life for us, I\'m not going to mince words.
You alone are going to be our vanguard.
The Kingdom has no idea of how many Demons you can conjure or how powerful they are.
With this battle, we want to evaluate the prowess of your personal army so that we can use it to its fullest while planning our future strategies that will involve your presence.
More like you are putting me against a wall so that I\'m forced to go all-out without holding back anything that I might later use against you. Lith said with a scoff.
So much for not mincing words.
Major, even if we were friends and we are not, my duty to the Kingdom comes first.
I\'ve been tasked with assessing the threat level you pose and how valuable you are as an asset and that\'s what I\'m going to do. Berion replied.
What if I can\'t stop their advance and get swarmed
I\'m not ordering you to hold your ground there and die.
You are free to retreat or call for reinforcements.
All I\'m asking you to do is to slow their advance and give us the time to gauge their strength.
The more of their offensive strategies they are forced to reveal against you, the better we can adjust our defenses.
According to our intel, Belius is going to be attacked first so everything we learn can be used to protect Vesta and Prode as well. The General said.
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