Chapter 503 The Pressured Baron, Malentansium“s Scheme!
If a Baron like Norehca was having a hard time standing on his own two feet, it was easy to imagine how the lower-level enemy troops, or "hunters" as they were called, were couping with Izroth's Soul Pressure.
〈Battle Alert: Baron Norehca has been «Weakened» by Player Izroth's Soul Pressure.〉
〈Battle Alert: Malentansium Hunter has entered a «Frenzied» state due to Player Izroth's «Soul Pressure».〉
〈Battle Alert: Malentansium Hunter has triggered «Instant Death» of Player Izroth's «Soul Pressure».〉
〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have defeated a Malentansium Hunter!〉
〈System Alert: You have been rewarded 275 EXP!〉
〈System Alert: Your Contribution Points has increased by 0.50! [Total: 4.32]〉
〈Battle Alert: Baron Olen has been «Weakened» by Player Izroth's Soul Pressure.〉
〈Battle Alert: Malentansium Hunter has triggered «Instant Death» of Player Izroth's «Soul Pressure».〉
〈System Alert: Congratulations...
A stream of alerts flooded Izroth's interface. However, they were immediately silenced by the system due to too many alerts going off simultaneously. But, the information could still be viewed as long as one opened their system interface.
"Haaaa!" Norehca roared as he forcibly stood to his feet and managed to break free of Izroth's Soul Pressure and its mental influence. But, his breathing had become heavy and unstable. Even though he broke free of the Soul Pressure, he remained weakened.
There was a hint of fear present in Norehca's eyes. He was led to this location by a strange trail of light. When he arrived, Norehca found that it was coming from this human before him. That human did not seem like anyone important, but it looked as though he was unaffected by the darkness like the others.
It was at that moment Norehca decided to take the initiative to strike. While they may not be too relevant, Norehca speculated that, at the very least, that human was stronger than the average Amaharpe soldier. The more heads he claimed, the greater his rewards would be. Why would he pass up such an easy opportunity?
However, Norehca did not foresee that the person he attacked was not someone he could afford to face head-on. As a Skounae, his overall strength was increased by 30% when it was night time.
It wasn't much compared to the boost received by those with a more noble bloodline, but it should have been enough to overpower a human who was the same rank as him. Even facing someone a rank above him was possible in the night time—especially with the element of surprise on his side!
"You—are you a Commander hiding among your troops?! How-" Before Norehca could finish his words, a blade swept from his lower torso up to his neck as a bolt of lightning crashed down at his location. This flash of lightning pierced through the darkness and caused the surroundings to light up for a brief moment, revealing the sight of numerous Skounae kneeled over on the ground and others attacking their allies in a crazed state.
〈Battle Alert: Baron Norehca has been «Paralyzed» by Player Izroth for 2 seconds.〉
Izroth had no intention of holding a conversation with Norehca as there was nothing for him to gain. Information? Would anything of significant importance be entrusted to a mere Baron? But, just as Izroth was about to carry out his next wave of attacks, a particular thought entered his mind.
'Attacking both borders simultaneously—this attack was definitely one that was planned ahead of time. If Rosentarus has a force similar to Amaharpe, it's likely there is a Commander on their side who wields strength equal to Aurie. However, to attack two separate allied forces with an equal force would be a foolish move... Perhaps this Baron can be of some use, after all.'
Izroth turned his gaze to Norehca, who had been paralyzed by the side effect of his Third Sword Form: Collapsing Thunder. Under normal circumstances, it would be impossible for players to speak to a hostile enemy NPC. However, Norehca was weakened by Izroth's Soul Pressure, and even though he broke free of its mental influences, that was only because Izroth wanted to conserve some Essence.
Izroth had just stopped funneling Essence into his Soul Pressure not too long ago. Now, he unleashed it a second time! Of course, the members of the War Brigade did not let this chance slip by. While they did not know what was causing the Skounae to rampage and fall over to their deaths, they would not waste this opportunity. Without mercy, they launched a counter-attack on the Skounae within their sights! In the blink of an eye, the tables had turned. Even those Barons who were quickly picking off the weaker Amaharpe troops fell before the blades of the War Brigade.
"It is not impossible to let you live, Baron. I am sure you noticed it earlier when you targeted me—that this darkness has no effect on me. I only have one question for you. If you answer it, I will allow you to walk away from this place alive." Izroth stated in a carefree manner.
He then continued, "Of course, you are welcome to run away. However, I should warn you. I do not make the same offers twice to my enemies."
Norehca shivered as he wanted to back away. But, he felt that if he moved even a single step from where he stood, his head would fly off from his body! How could a human generate this kind of pressure? For an instant, he saw the silhouette of the Night King himself lingering behind that human—this almost frightened Norehca out of his mind!
"Human, you swear to let me go if I answer your question..?" Norehca asked as he swallowed his pride. This human was too dangerous! He had to escape from this place alive and warn the higher-ups—there was another powerful human on the battlefield that could interfere with their plans. No matter what, he had to be eliminated! If this meant he had to suffer a temporary humiliation, then so be it! Besides, all he had to do was answer one question. This human really was too stupid to dare let his enemies walk away with their life!
"I am a man of my word, Baron. So long as you answer my question honestly, I guarantee that I will personally not harm so much as a single hair on your body." Izroth replied as he lifted his Soul Pressure.
Norehca felt as if a huge burden had been hoisted off his shoulders when Izroth canceled his Soul Pressure. At first, there was a look of hesitation on his face; however, he had already made his choice.
"...What do you want to know, human? Just so you know, even if I die, I will never betray my kingdom..!" Norehca said as he grit his teeth to hold back his anger.
"There is no need to put on such a noble display. My question is quite simple. How many Earls and Marquis have come to this battlefield?" Izroth questioned.
"?!" Norehca could not hide his surprise when he listened to Izroth's inquiry. But, he quickly hid his expression. Unknown to him, that split second was all Izroth needed to know that something was off.
Just as Norehca opened his mouth to respond, Izroth pointed the Sword of The Storm towards him as the tip of its blade rested on Norehca's forehead.
"Careful, Baron. For a lie will be your final words." Izroth's gaze turned cold.
"... ve... Five...! There are five Earls on our side! Three are waiting to ambush your Commander at the border, and the other two are taking care of the one from Rosentarus! There are no Marquis! How could a mere Unsanctioned Zone be enough to attract the attention of a venerable Marquis?! I swear on the name of the Night King, this is the absolute truth!" Norehca quickly spewed his words, afraid that this human would lose his patience and throw caution to the wind. Besides, what good would this information do for him? Even if he knew, it was already too late to call for reinforcements!
'Five? A bit excessive. If Aurie is facing three Skounae Earls at night by herself, I'm afraid that even she won't be able to hold out forever. How troublesome.'
In the Immortal Umbra Horde, an Earl was equal in strength to an Amaharpe Commander, and a Marquis was comparable to a General. But, even with the lack of a Marquis, the situation was still unfavorable.
To make matters worse, it was night time, so the power increase the Earls received was not something that could be ignored. Instead of fighting the equivalent of three Commanders, if one included the power boost of the Skounae, it may very well feel like fighting four or even five Commanders!
If the War Brigade loss their only Commander, the already chaotic setting would deteriorate even further.
"I answered your question, human! Am I free to go? You're not going to go back on your word now, are you?!" Norehca started to get nervous when he noticed Izroth's silence as he was secretly looking for a way to escape.
"As I said, I am a man of my word, Baron. You are free to leave." Izroth said as he removed his sword from Norehca's forehead.
Norehca inwardly grinned as he left without hesitation at full speed!
"That human will regret letting me go...! Once I warn the venerable Earls, he's as good as d-"
Swooosh! Bang! Crrrrrrrack! BOOOOOM!
Out of nowhere, a streak of silver light fell out of the sky and landed directly at Norehca's location as a gust of intense wind formed around the impact area! At that moment, if one looked at the sky, they would see a straight line that was clear of any mist and an opening at the top of the dome.
An immense wave of mana washed over the entire marsh as a massive gust of wind appeared at its center. Then, in less than a breath of time, the mist that had covered the whole marsh converged to a single point—as if it were being sucked in and trapped by a gigantic invisible cylinder.
The mist was devoured and then spat far away into the sky, where it was thoroughly dispersed.
The members of Amaharpe, as well as those on Malentansium's side, were shocked when the mist unexpectedly cleared up—but for two different reasons.
"I can see and hear again! The mist is clear! Squad two regroup!"
"Squad six regroup on me! If you're wounded, prepare to fall back for medical treatment! Those who can still fight will remain here!"
"Everyone, form a defensive parameter around..."
The War Brigade swiftly began to restore order and structure to their ranks as the squad leaders organized those under them.
Meanwhile, the Skounae from Malentansium were dumbfounded. What was that monstrous wave of mana just now? Had a powerful ally of Amaharpe or Rosentarus descended upon on the battlefield?