Chapter 122 – Chapter 21: Barbarians
General Vandal’s main force had been defeated.
General Vandal had come out to intercept the army of the barbarian king, but his purpose had been to stop the army and buy time. Over the last few days, his movements had been consistent with mild conflicts, rather than direct battles.
However, there was news that he had been defeated. This meant that a full-scale war had taken place, and General Vandal’s army had been seriously damaged while he escaped.
In-gong was reminded of the battle against the Red Lightning tribe. They had gone out to attack the enemy base, only to retreat after suffering great damage due to the emergence of the swamp mammoths.
Contrary to popular belief, mass casualties didn’t occur so easily in a complete war. The massacre occurred mainly when an army was defeated and tried to escape. It was because they were easy opponents while running away. In the battle where the swamp mammoths had appeared, the army had acted pretty well. So, they hadn’t lost many troops while escaping.
If Vandal was defeated, it was important to know how he had been defeated. There were still many chances if the power of his army had been maintained. Additionally, General Vandal was also unharmed.
However, it wasn’t just that. There was a chance that large fatalities could occur, such as when the barbarians had been crushed by In-gong’s troops.
It was late at night, but it wasn’t midnight yet, and In-gong’s party and the key personnel were gathered together in a warehouse.
Carack laid out a large map on the table, and everyone’s gazes focused on the map. Carack moved a pen hurriedly.
“This is the pattern that General Vandal seems to have taken.”
Evian’s seven bases could be divided into three major areas. Bases five, six and seven were in the north while bases one, two and three were in the south, and the fourth base was between the third and fifth bases.
The area Carack drew an X on wasn’t far from the third base.
“The news that General Vandal was defeated was conveyed from the third base. The barbarians hadn’t just defeated Vandal but also pushed toward the third base. Currently, the third base has fallen to the barbarians.”
An additional X was drawn on the third base. Many of those looking at the map made pained faces. The fact that the barbarians had reached that far meant it was really bad.
“Is there no contact from General Vandal?”
Carack frowned at Felicia’s question.
“No, not yet. But considering the last contact and the situation with the third base, it is likely that his situation isn’t very good.”
Carack drew a line from the third base to the second base. The distance between the two bases was so far that it was likely he was wandering somewhere in between.
“The last report from the third base was quite confusing. It seems like the situation is a mess.”
Carack put up the short piece of paper sent through the communicator next to the map.
“General Vandal’s main force was defeated. We are unable to measure the scale of the damage. The third base will be taken soon. Many deaths have occurred. The barbarian king… north?”
Seira frowned while reading aloud the short sentences on the piece of paper precisely. The sentences were beyond common sense.
“Was General Vandal’s army crushed to such an extent that it isn’t worth pursuing? T-this is General Vandal we’re talking about!”
Felicia cried out in an aghast tone. Caitlin also looked at the map with a worried face. Kaparang shook his head.
“This can’t be. It seems like some experts have split off to trace Vandal, while the rest have turned toward the north.”
There was value in tracking him, but it was up to there. It seemed like more than half of General Vandal’s army had been defeated.
In the somber atmosphere, Caitlin opened her mouth,
“Kaparang, what is the reason why the barbarian king didn’t strike at base one or two?”
“Perhaps he is aiming for Takar.”
Kaparang nodded at the question. He pointed to the area around Evian on the map.
“Beyond the boundary, it is a barren land that can’t even compare to Evian. For the barbarians, even Evian is a good place to live. Even so, it is unreasonable to just take this place and live in it. If the barbarians occupy Evian, the Demon King’s Palace will move in earnest.”
Kaparang took a deep breath, then he smiled.
“Your Highnesses, didn’t you participate in the fight against the Red Lightning Tribe?”
Caitlin nodded at the question. It had only been a few months ago. So, In-gong remembered it well since it was his first battlefield.
Kaparang continued to explain,
“The same thing happened on the boundary, but the severity is different. Compared to the Red Lightning tribe, the barbarians are much greater in number and more dangerous. If the barbarians wanted to conquer Evian, the Demon King’s Palace would send the captains to stop them.”
The Demon World was wide, and the power of the palace was scattered all over.
The captains were the power of the Demon King’s Palace.
Moving them had a very heavy meaning. The army captains had the power to shake the heavens and earth and led tens of thousands of troops. There was no species in the Demon World that wouldn’t be afraid of them.
“In other words, the barbarians are focusing on destruction and looting, rather than a proper occupation. They can’t live on this land. So, they are aiming to break and obtain as much as possible.”
Felicia added a supplementary explanation. Then Kaparang spoke again,
“Of course, the barbarian king has shown a power that’s incomparable to what he had before. Maybe the barbarians have a different idea this time. But if they choose to go north, then it’s likely they are after Takar. It is the best place to eat near Evian.”
Caitlin was able to accept it since she had visited Takar directly. Takar had an enormous amount of wealth concentrated in it. They would be able to get more from Takar than from the whole of Evian.
“Is it due to General Vandal that they didn’t go to Takar from the beginning?”
Kaparang nodded at Caitlin’s question.
“Perhaps that isn’t all of it. Maybe they wanted to take control of the bases in order to hit Takar directly, instead of isolating Vandal.”
However, that plan had been cancelled due to In-gong. Even his allies had been surprised by the blitz attacks that allowed them to defeat the barbarians and defend three bases. It had probably been a huge surprise for the barbarians.
Alita spoke after a long sigh,
“In the end, there are two main points. Vandal’s shattered army is in the west, while the barbarian king is in the north.”
Alita placed three models on the map. One was General Vandal’s army, another was the barbarian troops pursuing Vandal, and the last one was the barbarian king in the north.
“We need to consider this. Their speed will be slow since they have a large army, but… they are moving within Evian. They will reach here in three days or so.”
It was highly likely that the barbarian king would go to the fifth base after passing through the fourth. After reviewing the barbarian king’s anticipated route, Felicia looked at In-gong.
“Shutra, what do you think?”
Every eye focused on In-gong after the question.
Three children of the demon king were gathered together, but it was clear who the leader of the army was.
Felicia and Caitlin assisted In-gong, but they didn’t come forward. Kaparang and Alita also respected In-gong, so they didn’t protest, let alone the leaders of the three bases who In-gong had saved.
In-gong gazed at the map and exhaled. He spoke in a determined voice,
“Abandon the fifth base and head south to save General Vandal.”
Diotima, the leader of the fifth base, was confused. It was unimaginable for her to abandon the base in the current situation. However, Caligula of the seventh base and Rothov of the sixth base were somewhat convinced as In-gong had already abandoned two bases.
In-gong explained to everyone,
“It is unreasonable to block the barbarian army at the fifth base with our current troops. It is a situation where we don’t know when the reinforcements from the Demon King’s Palace may come.”
The walls of the fifth base were better than the walls of the sixth base, but they were still low. It was difficult to view it as a proper fortress. In this place, it was unreasonable to oppose the main army led by the barbarian king with only 2,000 troops.
Felicia nodded with a serious expression.
“If we take away all the supplies of the fifth base like we’ve done so far… Well, the strong point of the fifth, sixth and seventh bases was their role as supply points. A base without supplies would just be called a shell.”
Diotima was surprised when she heard that all the supplies would be taken, but she was the only one.
In-gong had already taken the supplies of the sixth and seventh bases. Apart from Felicia and Caitlin, no one knew what method had been used, but they weren’t surprised as it had already been repeated three times, starting from Takar.
Of course, even if all the materials were collected, the supply lines would still be cut off if all three bases were occupied.
However, before In-gong’s supplies would run out, the situation would change due to the Demon King’s Palace. Thus, there was no need to consider the long term situation.
“B-but if Your Highness throws away the fifth base, Takar will be in danger.”
Diotima stuttered, and In-gong shook his head.
“There is a lot of distance between Takar and the bases. By the time the barbarian king’s army reaches Takar, we can already save General Vandal and head back. Then we will have enough power to face the barbarian king.”
He didn’t think that General Vandal’s troops would have been slaughtered. It was likely that more troops had escaped.
‘Assemble the remnants of the defeated army. Then create a main force once again.’
“I know that the plan will take a lot of work. But… for me, the soldiers of the Demon King’s Palace are more important than Takar.”
It was a remark that might cause backlash, but all the people here were soldiers of the Demon King’s Palace. So, the leaders of the three bases were deeply impressed by In-gong who prioritized the lives of the soldiers.
Diotima said in a voice mixed with admiration. In-gong smiled back at her. Then Kaparang asked with a serious expression,
“Your Highness, the exact position and situation of General Vandal are unknown. Do you have any plans for this?”
How would he find General Vandal’s troops?
In-gong nodded, and Green Wind appeared. Thanks to her recovered strength, she had the same sacred and mysterious atmosphere like when he first met her at Enger Plains.
However, Green Wind was still Green Wind. She smiled brightly to In-gong as always, and he patted her head.
At the same time, each army was moving in different places.
Paratus escaped from Takar and collected the remnants of the barbarians who had been defeated by In-gong.
The barbarian king had already occupied the fourth base.
Paratus raided the seventh base with a strong army, but he was left with a blank expression when all he discovered was an empty base with no supplies left. He headed toward the sixth base, but the result was the same. Additionally, although Paratus didn’t know it yet, their hunger would continue at the fifth base.
While Paratus was going hungry, the barbarian king was preparing to leave the fourth base. His main destination was the fifth base.
It had been approximately a day and a half since In-gong received news of Vandal’s defeat.
Vandal was ready for the last fight of his life.