Chapter 501 Aurie“s Three Rules, The Marsh Trembles!
Aurie carefully inspected the insignia Izroth presented. The War Rank Insignias were created by a select group of mages with special imprinting magic and contained over one hundred layers of unique magic sequences. In addition, there was a randomized magic code embedded into every War Rank Insignia that changed every hour. In short, it was virtually impossible for anyone to produce a counterfeit, and even if they did create a perfect copy, without being in-synch with the randomized magic code, it would be rendered useless.
"It's a GSU Captain's Insignia, alright," Aurie said as she completed her examination.
She then continued, "As the Commander of this sector, Captain Izroth, Lieutenant Maeva of the General Support Unit—I welcome you. With your assistance, our work here will go a lot smoother. When will the rest of your division be reporting in?"
"You are currently looking at my entire division, Commander," Izroth replied nonchalantly.
Aurie frowned and stated, "I do not sense anyone else lurking nearby." She was confident in her detection abilities. A division usually consisted of 150 members, and Aurie found it implausible that such a large number of individuals could hide right before her eyes.
"You are mistaken. As of right now, the 9th division comprises of myself and Lieutenant Maeva—that is all." Izroth said unhurriedly.
"...Just the two of you? A division?" Aurie uttered. At first, she was shocked. However, the shock quickly morphed into confusion before ultimately ending in anger.
"That useless woman...! How can she be so irresponsible...?!" Aurie spoke under her breath in a calm yet cold tone. A two-person division—just two people! Even a 5-man Squad Leader had more than twice as many members as this so-called division! Aurie was suppressing her anger to not cause a scene on the battlefield.
Maeva grew somewhat anxious as she witnessed Aurie's actions. Were they going to be turned away before having the chance to prove themselves?
Aurie inhaled deeply before exhaling and bringing her rage under control. There was nothing she could do to fix the issue since the GSU acted separately from the War Brigade. Right now, Izroth and Maeva only held the name of their war ranks without the actual power behind it.
However, regardless of her personal feelings for Seraphina and the way she handled things, Aurie decided to give Izroth and Maeva a chance instead of immediately turning them away. Besides, even though Aurie hated to admit it, that woman may be lazy, thoughtless, and wild—but she was no fool.
Aurie sighed and said, "I do not blame the two of you for that woman's recklessness. Nevertheless, since you have been given the rank, I expect you to live up to it. You should understand that my unit has no need for those who do not pull their own weight!"
She then continued, "Captain Izroth! Lieutenant Maeva! Your role will be to clean up the stray mobs that are lingering throughout the marsh! The GSU may be independent, but as long as you are on my battlefield, I ask that you abide by my three rules!"
"Rule one, you will not take any action that may endanger the lives of your fellow troops! Rule two, when you are on the battlefield, do not lose focus of your primary objective! Rule three—and this is the most important rule, so listen carefully!" Aurie stated in a severe tone as she turned and began to walk towards one of the War Brigade squads.
"You are not allowed to die. Otherwise, I will drag you back from the Netherworld and kill you myself!" Those were Aurie's last words to Izroth and Maeva as she moved a distance away.
Even though Aurie's tone was sharp and stern, just by their brief exchange, Izroth realized that she was someone who would be the first to volunteer to be on the frontlines.
In this war, players did not have an infinite number of respawns to participate; therefore, they could not afford to be as rash as usual.
By talking to Maeva on their way to Xanaharpe, Izroth found that the number of lives a player possessed directly correlated to their war rank.
For example, as a Captain, Izroth had two lives at his disposal. If he died twice during this war, he would no longer be eligible for future participation and could not interfere with the following events that occurred.
On the other hand, as a Lieutenant, Maeva had three lives to spare. However, she stated that before Izroth promoted her from Soldier 10th Class to Lieutenant, the number of lives displayed was five.
Using those facts as the foundation, Izroth concluded that Soldiers who were at and between the 2nd Class and 10th Class possessed five lives. As for the Soldier 1st Class, who made up the 5-Man and 10-Man Squad Leaders, they were likely at four or also at five lives. Lieutenants had three lives, Captains had two lives, and it was extremely probable that any rank higher than Captain maintained one life.
'The higher one goes, the greater the risk becomes. However, great risks are often accompanied by great rewards.'
"Well, you heard the Commander. Shall we go clean up a bit, Lieutenant?" Izroth said with a carefree smile.
Izroth's Sword of the Storm cut cleanly through the body of a marsh creature.
The creature screeched. Its body was covered in dark green plants that resembled seaweed. It had beady pitch-black eyes with an awkward physical shape. It did not have any arms, and on its back was a tail that could split into three parts with tiny poisonous spikes— this was its primary mode of attack. It also periodically released a toxic gas from what appeared to be its mouth.
Name: Toxic Marshpit(Normal)
HP: 0/61,939 (0%)
〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have defeated Toxic Marshpit!〉
〈System Alert: You have been rewarded 150 EXP!〉
〈System Alert: Your Contribution Points has increased by 0.01! [Total: 3.82]〉
'This rate is really too slow.'
These little creatures were only normal monsters, and their overall strength was not that great, but they were numerous. As for the poison, Izroth was not concerned since he was unaffected thanks to the Poison Resistance II passive granted by his Heavenly Golden Body.
The amount of experience points that could be gained were negligible, given that Izroth had already reached level 50. Therefore, anything below level 50 outside of a boss monster, dungeon, or raid would give him close to no experience.
Izroth also received a mere 0.01 Contribution Points whenever he eliminated a Toxic Marshpit. This meant that in order to get one full contribution point, he would have to kill 100 Toxic Marshpits!
'How long has it been since I have done this type of grunt work?'
Izroth gazed at the setting sun and was reminded of his time in the Seven Realms when he first joined a military unit. Those simple times were when he lacked real strength and were some of the toughest moments of his life. However, they were also some of his fondest memories.
"Étendre." Maeva's voice sounded as she fought against a Toxic Marshpit.
'There are some minor flaws in her movements, but her foundations are not bad. With a few corrections, it may be possible to elevate her skill to the next level. Her combat power is high for someone who has a profession as a talisman maker.'
Izroth had been observing Maeva's fighting style this whole time to get a better understanding of her skillset. Her class was called Blade Dancer—an upgrade of the warrior class concentrating on swiftness and precision. In the same way that Elemental Mages used different elements, Blade Dancers had diverse styles. The name of Maeva's was the Elegant Ten Connections.
In terms of ability, using Blue Oasis and Sleeping Gardenia as his point of reference, Izroth placed Maeva on par with the core members of those guilds. However, she fell short of someone like Vanaheim or Mariposa, who were true powerhouses of the top guilds. Overall, Izroth concluded that there was room left for improvement.
When Maeva called out Étendre, the blade in her hand extended at incredible speeds and pierced through the body of the Toxic Marshpit.
As Maeva's blade traveled a few meters through the monster, she uttered a second command, "Plié."
The blade that penetrated through the Toxic Marshpit suddenly bent and curved backward into a U shape and stabbed through the monster once again. The monster quivered and shrieked before falling motionless as it turned into a stream of particles.
The thin blade retracted and returned to its original form. Its appearance closely mirrored that of a rapier, but there were some subtle differences. For one, the blade itself was much thinner than the typical rapier and slightly shorter in length.
Maeva sheathed her blade before she issued a light sigh. That was the 50th monster she had eliminated; however, she was not happy in the slightest.
Just as Izroth had been observing her, Maeva had been watching him. In the time it took her to defeat fifty monsters, Izroth had already eliminated over eighty! To make matters worse, she felt that he was not trying his best yet still had somehow widened the monster elimination gap between them effortlessly.
If Izroth's original party were present, they would shake their head helplessly as they had all personally experienced what Maeva was going through. However, how could Maeva know that comparing herself to Izroth was simply asking to be disappointed?
Out of nowhere, a massive explosion occurred in the area between the Malentansium and Rosentarus border that caused the whole marsh to tremble violently! But, it did not stop there.
Not even half a breath later, multiple explosions of a similar magnitude went off as if it were part of a series of chain reactions. This time, however, the eruptions originated from the Amaharpe and Malentansium border! Almost instantly after the blasts, a resounding voice could be heard throughout the entire battlefield. The person behind it was using a communication talisman to transmit their voice.
"This is War Brigade 2nd Unit Commander of the 1st Legion, Aurie! Our borders and that of our allies are under attack! 2nd Unit Captains one through seven—organize your troops, and follow border defense protocols! Captain Yan of the 8th division, your group is tasked with checking on the state of our allies! Remember my rules, everyone! None of you are to allowed to die, or I'll kill you myself!" Aurie announced before she terminated the communication. Simultaneously, the War Brigade members did not hesitate to carry out her orders as the troops could be seen safely disengaging from their battle with the monsters and moving about the battlefield.
As the earth continued to shake, the sun had set entirely, and the night had begun. However, this night was unusual. A bizarre mist of darkness gradually engulfed every corner of the marsh as it became challenging to see more than a few meters ahead.
Meanwhile, Izroth received a new set of alerts from the system.
〈System Alert: Your War Objectives have been updated!〉
〈System Alert: Warning! An Emergency War Objective is now available!〉