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The land of the Yelmor Empire was actually divided into four regions. There was the western region, which was ruled by the emperor, the northern region, which was ruled by the Cardian duchy, the southern region, which was ruled by three dukes, and the eastern region, which was ruled by two dukes.
The city corresponding to the capital of each region was located close to the centre.
That’s why it only took three or four days to go from Asylus, the Cardian Duchy’s capital, to Lagan, the Yelmor Empire’s capital.
The teleportation magic circle could cut the time in half or a day, but the magic circle was not suitable for moving a large number of people.
This was because any magic circle could only transfer less than 100 people per day. It took a month to install a new magic circle, so it was all that was used when urgently dispatching knights.
The majority of the northern areas were covered in mountain ranges and forests. There was a huge mountain range that separated the west and the north, but a road was cut through it so that convenient trade could take place.
Michael’s army also used this route to cross the Duchy of Cardian’s borders. The Duke of Cardian asked them to let them in as they were, so they opened the gate and left the wall empty.
They quickly took over the walls, but they didn’t steal anything from them. All the army and supplies had already been evacuated.
After passing through the walls, the path leading down to the plains below was long and winding. They did not find out the reason why Cardian’s knights had gone through the gate until after they had entered it.
It was winter, and the tall trees that lined either side of the road were shedding their leaves. Rough and rocky mountains spread out on both sides of the road, stretching out like a valley.
There were two more roads into the Duchy of Cardian, but the main return to the west had to go over another mountain, while the return to the east took too long.
So they inevitably had to choose this route.
As the army began to spread out and the front line moved closer to the plain’s entrance, they came under fire from arrows that were being fired from above. Certainly, the trees on both sides of the road caught fire.
Archers belonging to the Cardian, who were dispersed across the rocky, steep mountain, were the ones to shoot it. Although there were no trees on that side of the forest, it was certain that some of the surrounding vegetation would catch fire. Some trees were usually cut in advance to secure a safe zone.
Soldiers, knights, and everyone else ran to the flatland on fire. There were mixed (human and monster) knights and soldiers resurrected, but they were useless against the flames.
The forces of Cardian were waiting for the retreating soldiers, with a big shield in front of them.
While they were hesitating, another red flame poured over their heads. The troops of the wizard made a surprise attack from the back of the battlefield.
Michael’s army began to attack with monsters from the repeated attacks, and the shield unit that was blocking it reached its limit.
After the line collapsed, the knights started to move into position.
They bolstered the morale of the soldiers by severing the enemy’s head and reorganising the weakening line of defense. Later, soldiers lifted their shields in place of the weary knights. In the meantime, the spearmen emerged and engaged the adversary in combat.
They could see the soldiers on horseback outlasting the soldiers who were on fire and shouting. Without any hesitance, Leonis took a step forward and severed the knight’s head.
‘Did he not come out?’
According to the information gathered, Michael said that he would cut off the head of a traitor and then immediately engage in combat. It is said that he commanded the army and even led a procession down the most important road in the capital city.
However, Michael could not be spotted anywhere among the soldiers who were fighting with pitchforks. Even after he had severed the heads of several generals, he didn’t come up.
To be honest, it was unsettling. Obviously, this battle was a major victory for the Duke of Cardian, there were simply too many points on the table for anyone to take.
Even more surprising was the fact that Michael, who often projects an air of sophistication, fell for this trick so easily. It was a strategy that a general from another country might have noticed since he was a member of the same empire.
As soon as the battle was over, Leonis thought he should start searching for Michael’s body.
✦ ✦ ✦
“It is said to be a great victory!”
Everyone in the Duke’s family was happy to hear the news, which was excitedly conveyed by the servant. The duke’s carriage arrived here late yesterday evening, and the unpacking of the duke’s belongings was set to take place first thing this morning.
Everyone must have been exhausted, so Celia had instructed them to rest.
The ladies-in-waiting were relieved when they found out that they would not be required to unpack any of their belongings. The mansion that was located here was adequate, but it could not compare to the setting of the Duke of Cardian’s mansion that was located in Asylus.
In addition, the families, lovers, relatives, and friends of the soldiers and knights who were engaged in the war would also be in the field of combat alongside them.
If they win, most of them will most likely be alive. They would have liked to return to Asylus as soon as possible in order to verify the information.
Celia was also happy, but she wasn’t sure.
She knows that this world exists, but because it is a world she is familiar with from reading about it in books, she believes that there is more to it than just this.
Neither the plot of an actual story nor the plot of a fictional story can be easily solved.
Besides, isn’t this the actual reality?
She didn’t think that Michael would lose so easily. Although he was put in danger in many ways, it seems like he would find a way to fight back regardless.
Me being kidnapped or Leonis being murdered? Similar to how Emperor Hermos, who ruled two generations before, caught a divine beast and swallowed its heart…
Her mind was racing with thoughts, but she couldn’t help but wonder how Michael could possibly pull it off.
Leonis was a difficult opponent. The divine beast was likewise sent down by the God of the Heavens.
Celia was the only one who was at peace.
Celia, however, was at the back, and she was in a position that made it impossible for Michael to get close to her.
‘What are you planning to do to me? Actually, the main character is Leon. It’s not that……’
Perhaps he was trying to hold Leonis hostage, yet his very existence did not seem to matter. After Leonis ascended to the throne, there may be aristocrats who wish to bring down Celia in order to have another person as a wife for Leonis.
Only the deaths of the princes and princesses were revealed, but Emperor Orkhan’s whereabouts were not yet clearly revealed. If the emperor had been found alive in the imperial palace in the city’s capital, the situation could have become more complicated.
Because of Michael’s personality, he couldn’t be left behind, so he must have disguised himself as a knight and killed him, but again, she didn’t know.
✦ ✦ ✦
The battle was over before dawn. It was a flawless victory, precisely as Celia reported it to Miol, the city from which they had been evacuated.
They annihilated all those in Michael’s army who were mixed with monsters, and most of the survivors lost the will to fight and surrendered.
There were forty people injured in Cardian’s army, but none were killed in the battle. There were three or four people who had suffered life-threatening injuries, but there were so few that the priest could see them immediately.
“Your Excellency, I have found it!”
Leonis turned his head to the call of a certain knight. In a corner of the battlefield, where the bodies were piled up.
He recognised the pendant hanging on the charred, unidentifiable corpse.
“This armour was a gift from the emperor to Michael many years ago.”
“Your Excellency, I beseech you to please accept my congratulations!”
The mere discovery of Michael’s body caused the knights to shake with fear and make them want to kneel next to Leonis. Leonis cast a disapproving glance at the dead body and frowned at it.
‘Does this look like Michael?’
At least once, he knew he would hear a voice on the battlefield. Michael’s swordsmanship skills were poor, so even if he didn’t directly step forward, he only knew how to talk.
However, it was Michael who died while wandering around in the rear.
Remembering how he attacked him at the banquet in the imperial palace, Leonis looked at Michael’s corpse suspiciously.
Leonis was also familiar with the armour.
It was a shining coat of armour that had the imperial crest etched on the front of the suit. Because taking up a position in the vanguard while wearing this armour and being exposed to concentrated fire is nearly guaranteed to be fatal, he will move to the rear of the formation.
“To commit treason while wearing this armour. How shameless!”
Spit. spitted one of the knights. He couldn’t spit on a dead, even if he was a traitor.
“I’m going to get the body, and then I’m going to return.”
There were many people who had been killed, but the body of a traitor, particularly one who had been responsible for the deaths of three members of the imperial family, carried a different weight than the others. Leonis glanced around, a grimace appearing on his face.
✦ ✦ ✦
The word quickly spread across the empire that the army of the Cardian family had triumphed over the army of the traitor Michael, winning a major victory. The dukes of each region, who were predicting the Cardian family’s victory, wanted to help by sending their own soldiers quickly.
They want to make it look as if they participated in the battle and killed the traitor together.
It was an action taken under the judgement that the Cardian family, who needed their support to become emperor, would not refuse it.
“When you enter the capital and enter the imperial palace, I must go in with you!”
Leonis remained silent at the appearance of the Duke of Balthazar, who boldly came to Asylus and delivered this message.
The Duke of Balthazar was the maternal grandfather of Phil. He was the one who ensured that not only the emperor but also the other two southern dukes made his daughters as his mistresses.
He was a great southern aristocrat who in some ways, was comparable to the Duke of Cardian. But he was different in that his sons-in-law did not necessarily follow him.
“Then I think the duke has prepared something.”
The vassals seemed to be greatly shocked by Leonis’ different appearance, who knew how to throw them away with a terrifying rage as usual. They thought it was an honour to walk with the duke through the main city.
The Duke of Balthazar rubbed his chin as he thought about Leonis’s cold attitude.
If he had more daughters, he would have sent them to the Duke of Cardian and told him to make them empresses, but he only had a little granddaughter. It wasn’t reasonable for her to force his 13-year-old niece to be his concubine.
“I will take your support for granted… … What do you want?”
Leonis began to lay out his demands one by one, as the Duke of Balthazar’s luck ran out. It was practically right for him to become emperor, but he took some of his honour and gained practicality.