Chapter 9: What Lies Ahead

It's been three days since the final assault from Imperial soldiers toward the new world beyond the gate in Saderans camp. But contrary to what happened beyond the gate, in this world the situation is dire.

"Hurry up! Finish the ditch that surrounding the encampment! Don't you dare to take a break before it's finished!"

A purple colored short hair women bark the order. She wore the standard knight armor with flower decoration on it, making her stand out between the others.

"Hoy! Don't slack off! I'll cut your head off if you just sit around! Get back to work!"

She gripped her sword tightly, pointing at anywhere she shouted. Her skin is getting sweaty from unending heat of the sun.

People, a man and woman, had been doing a hard labour to strengthen their fortification on Alnus Hill since the day of the final assault. They brought more wood planks, digging a ditches, laying caltrops, breaking stones, and basically they strengthen their position for the upcoming attack.

The female knight is riding a horse, and she never stand on one place for long. She always move around, overseeing the work. She had lost count on how long she's been out here since the first day. She doesn't even remember when the last time she have a meal.

All of this was done, to prepare for any uncertainty that would come from the gate.

"Beefeater, go get some rest. I'll replace you for a while."

A red haired female knight had come to her, then asked her to have a break. But the response is not what she expected.

"Princess Pina! What are you doing here?! The sun is right above us! Please stay out of this and rest in your tent. Let me handle this part for you."

But Pina shake her head, vigorously.

"No, I don't want to just stay and do nothing. I'm good as new. You've been overseeing the fortification process for 3 days straight! I need you to be in a good shape when who-knows-what from beyond the gate would come here. So, go. Have a break, and for goodness sake, go get some sleep, Beefeater!"

Pina's sudden outburst surely made whatever reason to reject her plea has vanished. She bowed her head then said, "By your will, Your Highness." Then she rode away toward the camp.

Seeing Beefeater had rode herself to the camp, Pina rode herself to overseeing the soldiers. But unlike Beefeater who gave a stern and fierce tone to forced people doing their work, Pina voluntarily joined them to inspire many more soldiers to do their best.

Pina had dismounted from her horse and then joined the soldiers who's digging the ditch. With a bright white armor and flower decorative, Pina successfully dirtied her pretty armor. But that was none of her problem for now.

Because the only thing in her mind, is to defend the Alnus Hill from whatever managed to defeat the more than 100.000 Imperial soldiers in mere hours.

Seeing the princess herself had join them to do the dirty work, many of other soldiers felt embarassed yet admire on how determined she is. The sight had made a huge impact and successfully drive these remaining soldiers to build a strong defensive position.

The work is still going until the sun has setting down, and darkness had wrapped the sky. There is no moon and stars, only dark cloud and strong wind followed with a heavy rain.

The storm had halted the process of fortification, but for soldiers and engineer among them, it's finally a time to take a break. Although the break time is filled with terror by strong wind and loud thunder across the sky.

However, their tents is sturdy enough to withstand the storm. The only problem for now is there no fire to warm themselves and to make some hot meals. But those problem could be ignored for today, as their bodies has reached their limit and collapsed on their mattress.

In the commanding tent however, the higher ups couldn't take a rest as their leader, Princess Pina Co Lada, had again summoned them.

But none of them whine about it, especially after seeing how tattered and dirty her armor and skins are. For many of her knights, the sight is very concerning since it shows how restless their princess is.

Sitting on simple chair, everyone sat and looking towards Pina. Pina herself is currently in silence as she being treated for her bruises on her hands by her servants.

Her knights and other higher ups patiently waiting for their leader to finish her treatment.

Pina finally finished after her servant had bandaging her hands which not only bruised, but injured and bleeding because of several accidents. After moving her fingers for a while, she reposition her seat and immediately taking control of the whole room.

"I'm sorry to make you wait everyone. Because of it, I don't want to waste anymore time. Please report any progress, starting from you, Bozes."

"Yes, Your Highness Pina!"

Then, standing from her seat, a long blonde haired female knight started to explain her reports to Pina.

"I haven't received any reply from the capital about our demand to sent the reinforcement. However, I have sent several of my underlings to recruit additional hands from nearby villages. We have gathered around 200 capable men and women who can wield weapons. I expect tomorrow there will be more would come."

Bozes Co Palesti, Pina's second-in-command, has been tasked to inform the capital and the senate along with the Emperor about the recent situation around the gate. The purpose is to get the reinforcement as much as they can. For that purpose, Bozes has sent multiple messenger to make sure the message is received by the Emperor by any means.

Traveling from Alnus Hill to Sadera could take days or even a week by foot. And with horses, the fastest time it could take was 2 days. So it's understandable if they haven't got any reply from the capital. In meantime, Bozes had an idea to recruit local villager nearby as additional force.

"Only 200? No, I'm sorry. That's already quite impressive. Good work Bozes. Thank you."

"Many thanks for your praise, Your Highness. I promised I would bring out more people to serve you."

Pina only nodded, then Bozes take the moment to get back on her seat.

"Grey, how about you?"

"Yes, Your Highness."

A brown skinned old man stand up from his seat, then immediately speak.

"I have manage to reorganized the surviving troops and taking control over them. The cavalries unit is ready to deployed anytime and the wyvern riders unit are under Sir Norma's command. The problem is the mercenaries whom hired by patricians and senators. They refused to joined us, and instead they have flee from our camp. I tried to capture them, but I didn't make it. My apologies, Your Highness."

Grey Co Aldo, a veteran knight whom also Pina's instructor and advisor, had been tasked to reorganized the surviving armies from expeditionary force. Ever since the imperial armies had been defeated by whoever or whatever lies beyond the gate, several survivor and soldiers who didn't managed to cross the gate become leaderless and clueless about what they should do next. Pina had ordered Grey to take care of it.

"It's okay, Grey. We can worry about it later. We have to focus on what we can do right here, right now. Thank you for your hard work, Grey."

"Thank you, Your Highness."

Grey had take a seat back, and Pina gave him a nod then continued to her aide.

"Hamilton, your turn. How about your task to ask help from sorcerers in Rondell?"

"Yes, Your Highness."

A petite female knight had stand up from her seat, then continued her report.

"I have sent a formal letter to Rondell about our intention. I asked them to sent the Expert mage class to help us closed the gate. I have received their reply. But it seems the Expert has been out of Rondel for a while, so even with our royal decree, Rondel couldn't fulfill our request. However, they have informed me there's a Master class mage living in Coda village nearby with his apprentice. I have sent someone to pick them up. I expected they would arrive tomorrow."

Hamilton Uno Ror, she served as Pina's aide and closest into the terms of secretary for Pina. She was tasked to request an assistance to Rondel about the gate. Pina wanted to seal it, but if things has gone too far, she hoped the gate could be closed permanently. It is very unlikely to happen, but she wanted to know how far she can control the gate right now. That's why, she need an opinion from a sorcerers.

"Very well, Hamilton. But who is it? The master class mage who live in Coda village?" Pina asked.

"It's Master Cato El Altestan, Your Highness. He live nearby the village with his apprentice. And the apprentice name is Lelei La Lelena. From what I received today, Lelei seems to be a quite genius and promising mage. I have a high hope for both of them, Your Highness."

"Understood. If you said so, my friend, then I also put up a high hope for them. Please treat them well when they arrived."

"By your will, Your Highness."

Hamilton had sat down back to her chair.

Next, Pina called out to Beefeater. But this time, Pina didn't asked Beefeater to stand up. Instead, she made a report about Beefeater's task progress by herself.

"Beefeater, I already saw your progress. Very splendid if I have to say. But you have overworked yourself too much. I order you to have a rest for two days. I'll take over the task while you rest. But, if you have something else on your mind about your task, please tell me."

Beefeater remain sitting on her chair, had leaned forward and immediately respond.

"Your Highness, I don't need such long rest. I can do my job all the da-"

"No! I will not permit it! Look at yourself. Covered with bruises and injuries. How can I rely on you when the situation is getting more dangerous? I reject your plea to get back on your job immediately. Heal yourself, and recover your stamina. We don't know what are we going to face. I don't even know what would happen tomorrow. I cannot rely on you further if you stay like that."

Beefeater leaned back on her seat, she turn her head down and immediately apologize. "Forgive me, Your Highness. I will do as you say."

"Good. Please understand that I need you in your best condition. I didn't do this just to spoil you. I did this to make you more useful later on."

"I understand. I'm sorry, Your Highness. I just can't accept the idea of making you doing the labor."

"It's my choice, Beefeater. Don't worry. I also keeping myself from overly exhausted. Now, I asked you once again, is there anything related to your job that I should know?"

"Yes, Your Highness. In truth, I have some idea as well. I already tried to implement it, but I'm not sure it's already being executed or not."

"Hm, please explain it."

"Yes. I have found several engineers among our troops. All of them are capable of building a defensive weapons such as onager, ballistae, and trebuchet. I had already order them to make it as best as they could. But I didn't supervised it so I don't know their progress. My apologize, Your Highness."

"Very well, I'll check on them by myself tomorrow." Pina paused a moment because a sudden sting of pain she felt on her hand, but she brushed it off and continue, "That also reminded me, our position were close to Italica. Beefeater, send some of your subordinates to Italica and make them hand over some of their defensive weapons such such as oil or tar to us. Also, if we want to made some defensive engine, we need a load amount of supplies. Ask the Formal family to hand us over their defensive engine ammunition upon my name."

"By your will, Your Highness!"

"Thank you. Anyone else have something to say?"

The room had gone silent. Everyone is looking at each other, having no idea of what to say. It's mostly because they don't know what they would faced except the fact the other side of the gate were filled with powerful monsters.

Noticing the silence, Pina continued "If none of you have anything to say, I conclude this is the end of our meeting tonight. Thank you for your work, please keep it up."

"'Yes, Your Highness!'"

Pina walk her way out of the tent immediately. She walk toward her own tent. She felt an immense feeling of exhaustion.

Upon arriving on her own tent, her servants immediately rushed to her side and taking off her armor. Some are bringing water to be used for washing Pina's skin, some bringing her a food, and some bringing her a spare clothes.

The tent is not that luxury, but Pina have her own bed so she could sleep comfortably.

After having a short dinner, she walked herself to her bed and collapsed on it immediately.

The exhaustion had made her eyes very heavy and urging her to get some sleep. But, inside her mind, she's in utter chaos.

Fear, pressure, hopeless, had all happened in one moment.

If the monsters beyond the gate attacked now, it would be hopeless, she thought to herself.

The fortification on her encampment is already amazing given the time is very tight. But she knew, if what she's going to face is an enemy who could wiped out 100.000 of Imperial soldiers in short time, she wouldn't even stand a chance.

Her own Rose Order of Knight only have 3000 soldiers. Assimilating her own Order with the surviving Imperial soldiers already done by Grey, but she wasn't sure if that's enough.

The remaining survivor from expeditionary force are barely in 20.000.

How can she defend herself against an enemy who could defeat 100.000 Imperial troops?

I hope father could send me reinforcement immediately.

No matter how chaos her mind is, the exhaustion had finally come over the top of herself and successfully made Pina sleep. Albeit, it's not a sound one.

On the same night, somewhere around the capital Sadera, one little girl had been standing on her knees. She wears a black dress with red frills, black stockings and long black boots, and huge black and red ribbon on her head.

She put both of her hand together, closing her eyes, solemnly quiet as she focused on something that a mortal human would never be able to do.

She was indeed, praying.

It's her way to communicate with God.

No one notice her as she praying somewhere outside the city outskirt, quite far away from the hectic life inside the capital. The night darkness had successfully hide her from anything.

The scenery is very quiet, yet for her, the sound inside her head doesn't really quiet at all.

"… So Hardy-sama had screwed up the gate summoning?"

"It appears so. She didn't say anything to us. But I knew she has lost control over her own gate."

"What do you mean by that, Emroy-sama?"

"It means as it is. Hardy had lost her control over the gate. Some unknown power had taken over the gate, and the gate cannot be retracted to where it's placed before."

"Is that mean Hardy-sama had connecting the gate to a world where there's a power which could forcefully taking control of the gate?"

"It appears so. This is already alarming. You should help Princess Pina in Alnus Hill."

"What can I do for her?"

"Anything she asked you for. I'm sure she's desperate right now."

"Why? Something happen to the Empire about the gate?"

"Yes. The Empire had sent an expeditionary force consisted with 160.000 troops. Yet, it seems there's only 20.000 left right now."

"What?! But I don't feel any of their souls flowing to me!"

"There's many reason why it could happened. Either I cannot reach their world, or the deities in that world had taken over their souls, or perhaps… these soldiers is still alive somehow."

"The latter is the most less possible. But to think you would consider their souls had been taken over by other world's deities is… perplexing, Emroy-sama."

"I cannot cast out any possible answer, no matter how low they are. Go now, Rory. Protect our world from whatever malicious intent that could bring the destruction upon our garden."

"By your will, Emroy-sama."

The connection had been cut. The girl had opened her eyes slowly, still thinking whatever she had received before.

She stand up on her feet, picking up her halberd and hold it with her right arm.

She hummed, "Even without Emroy-sama's order, I would pay a visit to the Princess."

And her journey began on that night, toward Alnus Hill.

In Tempest, it's been 2 weeks since the triumph over the Saderans. And a week ago, Tempest had formally forged an alliance with newly established faction to the Saderans, the Prince Diabo's faction.

As promises, Rimuru had updated the situation to the World Council via embassy. The news had explode like a wildfire across the world ever since, yet with various kind of twist. But overall, the news had been accepted rather well and no one tried to disturb it.

After all, Rimuru had promised to them when the situation is already stable, the World Council could start their own agenda towards Falmart. All they need to do is patiently wait for further news from Rimuru.

The Octagram had also been informed about the matter, yet they all simply went along as Rimuru's wishes since it doesn't bother them anything. After all, they basically have proxy in World Council such as Luminous who have Louis and Hinata whom an active representative in World Council. Guy Crimson could send Rain or Misery along with their descendant who choose to blend in with human society. So they were well informed about any current situation. Some Demon Lord such as Milim and Ramiris had make a fuss to join for fun, but Rimuru simply asking them to wait since this has to be taken care carefully.

After all, Rimuru had better knowledge about Falmart after having a talk with Prince Diabo in a "Elf Shop" which reserved to only for special figures and members. Although technically Prince Diabo and his allies are still prisoners, the executives had give them some special treatment in order to make the plan smoother. With his new database about Falmart, he deduces that his nation is far stronger than any existed nation in Falmart. However, there are several creatures that need to be taken with caution.

And today, Rimuru visited Saare's office in his corps's base. Rimuru came alone as he only came for visit and just wanted to use his rare freetime to hang around. Usually, Rimuru would use this time to have a snack made by Shuna or Gobuichi, or relaxing in onsen while enjoying any girl's presence there. But something made him wanted to come here and knowing the progress by himself rather than just from reports.

"So basically, monsters do exist but they have no intelligent at all?" Rimuru asked.

"Yes, they do have much better physique than us humans but they are just a dum-I mean, they have no sense for tactic and strategy. They just simply rely on brute force or numbers. They live only to satiate their hunger and lust." Diabo's answered.

Saare, Saika, Glenda, and Veryard also present in the office while Grigori and the trio Phos, Nemu, and Stella are doing a training.

"Hmm… It feels disturbing for me for being born as a monsters myself. So there's also such monsters like Orcs, Goblins, and Ogres?"

"Yes it does. They actually do have intelligent to some extent, but not as far as humans. These 3 creatures are the Empire's favorite meatshield. They are difficult to control for a complex tactic, but they are perfect to take a brunt of enemy's attack. We only use them when we really needed."

"I see. Well, if they attacking you, I want you prioritise your own safety. But if possible, I want to study them. Saare, do you think you could capture some of them and bring them here?"

Saare nodded and smiled, "Yes, it shall be done, Rimuru-sama."

"Thank you, Saare. Is there anything worth to mention about strong creatures, Your Highness?"

Diabo pondered a moment, listing every creatures he know who lives in Falmart that could be harmfull. From the most docile to the most wild.

"I think for Saare-dono's army, all of creatures in Falmart would be easy to be defeated. There are more humanoids such as Medusae, Volraden, Draconian, Centaurs, Leonoids, and many more. But they are intelligent creatures so we can have a better talk with them. However, there is some creatures and figures that needs to be taken seriously."

All of the people in the room had look at Prince Diabo with such amount of focus, listening to any words he would say.

"First, I have to warn you about Ancient Fire Dragon. There's only one for now as far as I knew. But rumors have said that she have 2 eggs in her nest near the Schwartz forest. The fire dragon are natural disaster for us. Nobody can harm her. No matter how hard humans had tried to subjugate the dragon, we never succeed. Even our strongest sorcerer couldn't lay any damage to her according to our fairytale."

"Hmm… how much you know about this dragon?" Rimuru asked.

"I can't tell you how accurate it is since I never saw one. But according to stories and documents in Rondel, the fire dragon have a very thick scale, could flew very fast and diving with terrifying speed, intelligent that rivaling human, she have a powerful claw, and she could breath fire effortlessly. And I have to say it again, their scales are very thick. Even our strongest magic couldn't even harm her."

"I understand. Saare, for precaussion, have a training with Euros. I think she could have give you a better understanding on how to fight against dragon."

"I will, Rimuru-sama. I also would take my troops to train with Euros-san."

"Good, is there any other figure we need to be aware of?"

Diabo was curious about who is Euros, but he decided to postponed it so he answered Rimuru's question.

"I think this is the last one. In Falmart, we have people called Apostles. These Apostles are not a fully human, they are higher than human. They are in fact, a demi-god. They would stay as demi-god for 1000 years before ascending into a godhood. And of course, it means they are very strong. Only a fellow apostles who could stop them. We, a mortals wouldn't be able to lay a finger on them."

Rimuru and the rest were frowned upon hearing this. A demi-god? Is that literal demi-god? Or just a title such as Demon Lord in Octagram?

If it's a true demi-god, then that means they would face someone as strong as Leon Cromwell.

Even Saare wouldn't stand a chance against it.

"I'm sorry, but how strong are they actually?" the one who asked wasn't Rimuru or Saare, but it was Saika.

"They are a literal immortal. No matter how much injury you could land on them, they would immediately regenerate. They have unnatural prowess that could rival ancient dragon. Their weapons are imbued with holy power and it makes them able to withstand any magic and natural force. They are not someone we should mess with."

"I see… What are these apostles do actually? Wouldn't they going to hostile against us?" Saare asked.

Diabo nodded, understanding how worried he is. "Now here is something unique about it. Apostles are not bound by anything except their own will and their God's will. Each God have one apostles. Which mean, they don't affiliate with anyone else except their God. I'm pretty sure none of the apostles would disturb our plan to take over the Empire. However, if you want to engage with our deities, you're definitely going to face them."

"Now that's something we should wary of. Saare, what do you think?" Rimuru asked.

"It certainly made me more cautios. However, our term about demi-god could be different than them. It will be a hard battle if I have to face someone as strong Leon-sama. But the most important is to learn about them first. I honestly doubt the apostle would be as strong as Leon-sama."

"Don't underestimated them, Saare-kun. We never know what would happen. I'll discuss it more with Benimaru and Souei. And I suggest you to postponed our intention to seek about God and Goddess in Falmart. Let's focus on Prince Diabo's ascencion to the throne while gather more information about apostles. But for precaussion, I think you should train more to face someone who's on par with Leon."

"Understood, Rimuru-sama. I will find a way somehow."

"Remember, I won't leave you alone in there. I would also make some plan about it."

"Thank you very much, Rimuru-sama."

"Excuse me," Diabo interrupt, "May I ask something?"

Rimuru raised his eyebrow, "Yes, Your Highness?"

"I'm sorry but I'm curious, but who is Leon?"

"Ahhh" Rimuru smiled, then continue "He's my fellow Demon Lord in Octagram. And as you know, we're not necessarily a demon although our title is Demon Lord. And Leon is in particular, a demi-god."

Diabo nodded, these kind of things had become a normal for the past 2 weeks since he's studying about the Cardinal World. Things such as angels, demons, spirits, dragons, and others are seems to be a normal living being in this world.

"I'm not sure as well if our terms about demi-god are the same or not, but I do think they are not someone to be messed with, Your Majesty Rimuru."

Rimuru nodded, "Yes, thank you for the insight Your Highness."

*tick tick tick

Suddenly, a strange noise coming from Rimuru's wrist. It appears there's a some kind of device there that made the sound.

"Ah it seems my break time is over. I should go back to Governement Hall. Sorry for the sudden visit, Saare-kun, Your Highness, and everyone."

"It's my pleasure to have you here, Rimuru-sama."

"No problem at all, Your Majesty."

"Please don't be reserved around us, Rimuru-sama."

Rimuru smiled then stand up from the sofa, "Thank you, everyone. Saare-kun, I promised I would do something about this dragon and apostles. Just do what you can for now. I'll be back with more plan later."

"Yes, Rimuru-sama. My deepest gratitude for your help."

Rimuru only nodded then he vanished into a thin air after a sudden magic circle appeared under him.

"So, apostle aside, is there something else that we should wary to? I'm not just talking about dangerous creatures, but some prominent figures around Saderan Empire."

The one who asked was Veryard, one of additional member in Enlightment Task Force who excelled in politics.

Hearing the question, Prince Diabo nodded.

"My father would surely become our threat. But he's not the only one. We basically would stand against every aristocrat in Saderan Empire. Some of them could lend their ears, but most of them won't."

"Interesting, who do you think we can have a peaceful talk with?"

"It's hard to say, but there is one sensible senator named Marquis Casel. He's loyal to our Empire with his own way. He would always look at our weakness and pointing it out whenever we face a conflict. My father likes him and he basically have more voice in senate than average senator. If I have to give one name that could possibly become our ally, he's the one."

"I see. So he's good at judging situation?"

"Yes, and he have a close ties with Tyueri Family, a fellow patrician class but not a senator."

"I've been meaning to ask you this, but how is the political system in the Empire?"

Diabo leaned back to the sofa, then sipping a warm tea from a cup on table. He wondered on how to explain those system that has been done by the Empire.

Finally, after several seconds pondering, he replied, "It can be pretty complicated, but I'll give you the simplified version. The highest authority in our Empire lies to the Emperor. However, with enough support, an Emperor could be dethroned from it's seat by Senate. A Senate is consisted by senators. And a senators could be from anyone, as long as he is an Empire citizen and have enough influence to be chosen by other senators. Mostly, senators are coming from Patrician class, or noblemen if you put this world perspective. Patrician class is a decendant from our forefathers who said to be the one who created the Empire. People who born in Patrician class already have an influence even if they're not a senators. However, a senators are chosen not only from Patrician class, but also from Plebeian class. That is, if they have enough influence as well."

Veryard and the others were pondering this new information. They have much question, but not too sure where they should start. But overall, they understand the main line.

However, Veryard wanted to know more.

"I see. But it seems between the Patrician class, there's also a difference of title as well. Could you please explain it to me?"

"Why sure, of course. This is intriguing for me as well since I also learned we shared a same title between Patrician class and Noble class. We ranked it from Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, Baron, then lastly a Knight. But unlike this world, these title didn't hold a different rank. They are equals. But they could also owned a land or territories that could be passed down to their decendant. And unlike this world which you could gain it for several condition, we basically born with it and no one can enter Patrician class no matter how much you have done. According to our history, the Empire is built by a strong tribe named Romani. They conquered many land with a few warriors and become feared by existing kingdom at the time."

"It is said that they don't usually stay in the conquered land, and just ravage it or plunder it. With the accumulated wealth, they built a place which is now known as Sadera, the capital of our Empire. As the Empire grew bigger, the Romani tribe formed a system where everyone could voice out their opinion to honor a fellow warriors. At first it goes pretty well, but after time goes by and the territory is getting bigger and bigger, they realised they need a firm leader and not a group of warriors who stand on equal footing."

"And so, they choose a single leader whom now referred as Emperor. But the council of warriors is still kept in existing to make sure the Emperor would do his job right. Now the history foretells that at that time, there are 100 tribe members who's being respected and being seen as wise enough to act as a member of the council. These 100 members are the forefathers of Patrician class. And the title are based on these 100 members profession."

"The title can be explained like this:

The Duke title is said to be the descendant of the elders of the tribe. Some records said there are only 3 elders of the tribe who act as the member of the council.

The Marquis title is referred to the member who exceed in military strategy and the capable leader of warriors.

The Count title referred to the members who exceed on knowledge such as farming specialist, master blacksmiths, doctors, and sorcerers.

The Viscount title is referred to the decendant of the member who exceed on understanding law and order, which contributed a lot on creating rules that were still exist until today.

The Baron title is referred to a members who have a vast knowledge about theology and a devout followers to our deities. They mostly became our spiritual leaders.

The Knight title is referred to the fellow soldiers who's deemed as a fierce warriors on battlefield.

These title are taken by inheritage. However, only one of the descendant which could bear the title. Let's say you're born with a Marquis title, then in the future you have three child. You can only pass your title to one of them. However, the rest of your child still considered as Patrician class for one generation. That means, the titleless child's descendant wouldn't live as Patrician class. As for the condition to whom you should pass the title, there is no written rule about it which mean you can pass it by on a whim. However, there's an unwritten rule that most patrician followed on how they choose the descendant to bear the title. And that is to choose based on their personality which alligned with the origin of the title. However, this rule is rather difficult to applied into the Duke and Knight title. That's why the bearer of these 2 title just used their conscience on choosing whom between their child that would inherit the title, and hoping it wouldn't bring a shame on it."

This long explanation had made the people in the office flabbergasted on how complex the political system in the Empire. Yet they are amazed on how they have rule even about the difference between Patrician class.

However, it leaves more question on Veryard's mind. As he wanted to understand more of it to help his role in this task force.

"Then, Your Highness, what is the benefit of inheriting those title? I presume being a senator is more influential than just being a patrician?"

Diabo nodded firmly, then replied "I have to say you're right, Veryard-dono. However, being a Patrician is already a prestige itself. You'll be respected more than just a plebian. People would acknowledge you more for being born as Patrician than a normal Plebeian. Well, sometimes there's a dispute between Patrician class and Plebeian class. But it all resolved rather easily."

"I see, I understand. And you said the senators are mostly from Patrician class, so that means there are some patrician who didn't become a senator?"

"Yes, for example is Tyueri family. If my memories serve me right, the head of the household of Tyueri have a title of a Baron. They only have one child named Sherry, so I guess she would be the sole inheritor of the title. But nobody knows whether she would become a senator or not."

"And to become a senator, you have to be elected by other senators, correct?"

"Correct. The elected senator should serve to the senate for 4 years, and we elected a new senators every 2 years."

"I don't understand, how is that possible?"

"This is the circumstance, Veryard-dono. I already said in the past we have 100 members of the council who act as advisor and have a power to dethroned an Emperor. But now, we have 200 members and we change the name of council into senate. There's also a history about it."

"After a decade running the system, some members of the council proposed to limit their time of servitude since the ordinary citizen has multiply a lot after conquering many more lands. Many prominent people wanted to join the council. The pressure is very high, and it makes the Emperor have to came down and settle this together with other council. And long story short, it's agreed to hold an election to choose another senators and limiting the time for servitude of the already exist senator."

"The time that was agreed of servitude for every senators are 4 years. This act is to ease up the regeneration of the council members. And to expand the numbers, they agreed on making an election in their second year to choose another 100 members of the council. People could apply to become a senator, but it's up to the 100 existing senators to determine whether they were elected or not."

"Then, the cycle continues. The newly selected 100 members would elect another new 100 members in 2 years ahead to replace the previous 100 members who selecting them. That is how we choose and dismissing the senators."

"So that's how it is… Your Highness, I presume every senator who came from plebian class are working as wealthy merchants?"

"Partly, yes. Some were a military generals. In military we didn't discriminate anyone to raise their rank, however it sure will help if you came from patrician class."

"Understood. I must say, it really easy to did some corruption, isn't Your Highness?"

Diabo frowned, it must be felt like an insult, but he knew it was the truth. So he have no other choice than admit it.

"Yes, it's already a public secret that to be elected or re-elected, some people bribe the selecting senators to win their favour. I might need to change that and implement a strict rule."

"No matter how strict the rule, people will always find the loophole, Your Highness." Someone commented, and it's not Veryard.

It's Saare.

Diabo somehow manage to grin, because he also knew the meaning of those remarks. "I understand what you meant, Saare-dono. It depends on the people itself. However, I believe sometimes to create a habit, it need to be forced. It might sounds like a submission by force, but it will be different if we were genuine on wanting them to be better and not just for our benefit. Like a parent who beat their child because the kid had done something terrible."

Like my father did, Diabo thought while smirk.

He didn't hate the Emperor, his own father. Rather, he respect him. His father is a brilliant man, albeit not a best father, but he's a man he could took example for. Reminiscing about it, make him shudder a bit because he's about to overthrow him.

Diabo almost trail off wildly into his own mind, but luckily Saare continued to respond.

"I guess you have a point, Your Highness. How about your siblings? I heard you have a brother and sister, would they pose a threat?"

Hearing those questions, Diabo got himself together again.

"Hmm… They might be. I have older brother named Zorzal, he's the crown prince. And I have little sister named Pina. They would surely oppose us, but depend on the situation, I can't determine which one would be more dangerous to face."

"What do you mean by that, Your Highness?"

"Zorzal is a perfect image of what you can imagine as warrior. He's muscular, fearless, fierce, and imposing. He always pursue a power. You will find him as formidable enemy in battlefield. However, he's not a very honored warrior."

"May I guess?" Saika interject suddenly.

"Sure."

"He's delusional about his power and think he can do whatever he want with his authority. And that includes, some lavish lifestyle?"

Diabo smirked, then nodded "You hit the mark, Saika-san. You'll find him as annoying person to be dealt with. He got some braincell about politics, and he can come up with some unexpected move. But overall, he's just a brute man who loves what's in between woman's thigh."

The last statement had made the other frowned, but this is not the first time they heard it. Veryard had been thinking some way to use this trait, but the implementation would need an approval from Saare.

"I understand the gist of it, Your Highness. How about Her Highness Pina?" Saare asked.

"Pina is kind of unique. She have prideful side, but she have a great charisma and wouldn't bother to stoop herself low for her goal. She's quite flexible person, but she's firm with her goal. She's ambitious but somehow her ambition is rather… unique. For example, she built a knight school not to raise her army then used it to threat the Empire, but to be acknowledged as a respected knight. She would treat her people well, but she would say some terrible words about it. However, she's surely dangerous in that trait. She can lead a negotiation without you noticing it, she can trick you without you realizing it, she can be ruthless and sacrifice anything if she's bold enough with her decision. But most of all, she have a bunch of loyal friends and partners on her side."

"She's surely more dangerous than His Highness Zorzal, in my opinion." Saare made a first comment.

"Indeed, being a ruthless is one thing, but having those traits yet still having a loyal subordinate is something we cannot defeat by force alone." Veryard followed suit.

"But she have some weakness, right?" Saika asked.

Hearing the question, Diabo didn't sure on how to answer it. But he tried his best to gave a reply.

"I'm not too sure about it. I'm not particularly close with her. She have a lot of talent and good traits, and I don't see any drawbacks from her. Probably, the only thing lacking from her is experience. But somehow, I don't really think she would pose a threat to us unlike Zorzal."

This statement made the three raised an eyebrow, confused.

"What do you mean by that, Your Highness?" Saare asked.

"Unlike Zorzal, Pina have a better heart. Zorzal were blinded by pride and lust. However Pina is still capable to learn. I'm sure if we have a good reason and could do a better talking, she could pull herself out from this conflict or in better scenario, allied herself with us. She's still young anyway, it's not too late to learn something new in her age."

Veryard smiled, "Understood. If there's a chance to do a peaceful talk with her, would you take it?"

"Of course I will." Diabo answered without hesitation.

The other three looked at each other, trading a meaningful nod.

"Then, I wish we could settle the rest as peaceful as your sister." Saare made a statement with a hopeful smile.

Everyone followed along and show a hopeful smile as well. It might be a civil war, but it doesn't mean they wanted to kill people.

And so, the talks continue between them for the next couple hours.

Somewhere else at the same time, Hakurou had come to the training ground to overseeing the training of the newly Prince Diabo's army.

After many years he become the national instructor, Hakurou had plenty of apprentice who could come close to him in terms of swordmanship and aura manipulation. Albeit, very few who could come on the same level as him or rarely, above him.

However, to train the newly army for prince Diabo, someone as great as Hakurou would be too much. Yet, he didn't want to miss the scene.

Since a week ago, as part of the agreement, Diabo could recruit the Imperial soldiers who's been detained by Tempest in 70th floor of Dungeon. However, thanks to Adalman and Albert preaching, many of them politely refused to join Diabo and wanted to stay in Tempest as immigrant.

Diabo were confused on how to deal with this, and he was surprised on how devout they have become toward Rimuru.

Seeing the trouble, Adalman step down and said, "You have been enlightened about the greatness of Rimuru-sama. Now you know the right and wrong. Go forth, my fellow servants. Enlight your kin, and freed them from their sins. Show them the right path, and guide them to the eternal happiness. This honor had come for you to take, my fellow servants."

Upon hearing those words, Diabo felt a bit shiver in his spine. For some reason, he knew Rimuru wouldn't like it, but he can't do anything about it. However, those words bring an effect of unimaginable magnitude.

"Yes! You're right, Adalman-sama! I have been greedy for thinking only about my own self."

"Indeed! We have to bring salvation to the innocent Falmart people!"

"Let's release the shackle of our fake deities on Falmart!"

" 'Wohhh!' "

"For Rimuru-sama!"

" 'For Rimuru-sama!' "

Diabo couldn't refute that, but he grateful because of it, all of the prisoners had vigorously beg to join him.

And since that week, the 108.000 former Imperial soldiers had diligently trained themselves the new ability to master a battlewill.

For the former legionnaires, they have a better knack on learning these new style of fighting. The rigorous training from Tempest had made them struggle, but not as much as former levvies.

Hakurou could see some of them had a natural talent on mastering an Aura, and they could become a fearful enemies even with this world standard.

However, the time wouldn't give them such luxury to make them much stronger. Several talented people have manage to reach a C+ rank, while the rest were in D rank. It was such a feat even in Hakurou's eyes, to reach such rank in 1 week.

"Hohoho, I guess these people really are powerful." He murmured.

*clang

*bugh

A sound of someone fallen to the groun caught Hakurou's attention. He looked at where the sound came from. There, he saw an old man in his fifties had lying on the ground, having a bruised everywhere.

"I guess this is too much for you, Marquis Kallios. You have to realized you already past your prime." The trainer commented while walking towards him. Then the trainer kneeled and pouring a full potion to his injuries. And no surprise, the injuries immediately healed.

The one who named Marquis Kallios immediately sit up, "Thanks, this magical potion is really magnificent. I can have several more rounds with this."

The trainer sigh, he's a fellow human from Grey Numbers Corps under Saare.

"I think it's enough for today. Forgive my rudeness, but I think you're gonna be needed more behind a desk with Prince Diabo." The trainer said, while showing a concerned expression on his face.

However, Marquis Kallios shake his head lightly, "I know, but I don't want to be rusty. I have to lead by example, didn't I?" he smirked, followed with him standing up from his position.

The trainer could only shake his head a little, before Marquis Kallios suddenly attacking him with a newly learned [Flash Step].

However, that move is still too weak for the trainer as he block is only with one hand. But the spar is kept continue, despite the overwhelming gap of ability.

Hakurou put a smile on his lips after seeing the scene.

"Break time!"

Someone announce that it's time to have a break. And all of the soldiers drop their weapons, and some were even dropping their bodies to the ground out of exhaustion.

Marquis Kallios had dragged himself to the nearby trees and sit under it to cover himself from sunlight. In seconds, several people seems to spread across the training ground giving the resting soldiers a water and a portion of meal. Marquis Kallios also received it, as he immediately drink the water.

"Never too old to join the battlefield, are we?"

Suddenly, a hoarse voice came from his right side. He looked to the right in instant, then he saw an old looking man wearing a white attire.

He doesn't feel any malicious intent from him. Instead it feels like a greeting from a friend. But his figure really ringing a bell inside his mind. He's sure ever saw him somewhere. But he doesn't have much time to remember who's in front of him right now. So, the best course is to respond to his greeting with respect.

"Not really, I'm already a rusty sword. I just thought a rusty sword is better than nothing."

"Hmm." The old man then avert his eyes into the other soldiers who's eating their meals for now. They had vigorously train themselves, and this is the only time they could release their exhaustion.

However, the old man is smiling.

"They are young. They should feel grateful for having you in here." He suddenly spoke again.

"I hope that's the case. I have failed them before."

"Perhaps, but that's not certain."

"What makes you think that way?"

"Because they were young. A young man always have a chance to learn more than old people like us. Someday, they would understand that this is only a part of their life."

Marquis Kallios smiled, "I guess you're right. This is a part of my life too. I should be grateful as well."

The old man look at him in the eyes. In all his life, Marquis Kallios learned many things from anything. He have met many kind of people. He have met a cowards, opportunists, dumb, clevers, sly-fox, warriors, and many more.

In this old man, he saw none other than "old warrior".

He have withdraw himself from battlefield, yet he never lost his ability.

"My name is Kallios, Marquis Kallios."

"Hakurou."

"I see… You're the Sword Savant."

"Hoho, you've learned so much about this world."

"I am. It's a great honor to meet you, Hakurou-sama."

"Just Hakurou is fine, Marquis Kallios. I see you as fellow warrior."

"It's such an honor. However, I thought recently I was straying from that path."

"Everyone made a mistake in their lifes. The most important is we manage to found the right path once again."

"Indeed it was. It all thanks to His Majesty Rimuru and His Highness Diabo."

Hakurou only nodded with a smile. On the outside he appear to be calm and kind, but on the inside he's happy for the praise toward Rimuru. Of course, it is as expected from his master after all. But knowing that even someone from other world would praise him in short time, it bring joy to him.

Hakurou didn't want to end the conversation right away, so he say "I see you have fought a lot of war."

"I am, but it all different than this world."

"The basic are the same. Once, we too are living with a circumstance of the strong trample against the weak."

"Before His Majesty Rimuru appeared and change that whole."

"Correct."

"His Highness Diabo wanted to do the same."

Hakurou didn't reply, but he still listening while looking somewhere far away. Marquis Kallios himself only looking somewhere in front of him, not pointing at anywhere. They both didn't need to look at each other, they already in the same page.

"I will support him with whatever I have, even though I didn't fully agree with his plan." He continued.

Hakurou nodded with little humming, then replied "Sometimes we just need to believe what other people suggest."

"I understand, it just feel strange for me."

"I didn't say that you can't disagree with your superior. In fact, it's a good sign."

Marquis Kallios raised his eyebrow, "How?"

"Because that means you're accompanying him. If you just a yes man, that means you're a slave and not a companion. What a true leader need is companion and not a slave."

"… I understand."

"That being said, if he still believe in his own choice, that means he see something that you didn't. And it's your task to find it, and support it."

"Not everything could be supported, right?"

Hakurou chuckled, "If you trust him, you don't even need to ask that question."

Marquis Kallios fell silent. He's pondering about the words being spoken by Hakurou. Of course he put his trust to Prince Diabo, but what's the correlation between trust and support?

Noticing the confusion, Hakurou continued, "Trust is the most important part of allegiance. Before you decide to put your allegiance, you have to know if he could be trusted or not. And if you decide to trust him, that means you know he's someone worthy for your loyalty. If you already decide that much, you don't even need to questioning his morals and ideals."

"But you said disagreeing if a good sign?"

"Indeed I am, but what is the purpose of those disagreement? To make him fail, or to make him better?"

"To… I see, so that's the point, right?"

"Indeed it was."

Both of them now smiled in unison.

However, not long after, someone shouted "Break is over!"

Other soldiers had already back on their feet, while Marquis Kallios hasn't even eat the ration.

The trainer for Marquis Kallios had approached him and saw Hakurou. He immediately bowed his head then greet the Sword Savant.

"It's an honor to meet you, Hakurou-sama"

"Good to see you well, young warrior." Hakurou replied.

"Pardon me, but Marquis Kallios, it's time to continue the training. However you can stop right now if you wish." Said the trainer.

"Hmm, I will continue. However, give me a moment. I haven't eat my portion yet."

The trainer frowned a little. For him, a discipline is a must. But he cannot force it to a man who already in his 50's and not even efficient for a combat.

"Young man, I'll be his partner. You don't have to worry, so you can join the other from now."

All of sudden, Hakurou made such statement. The young men surely surprised, but he didn't even think to refute it.

"Yes, if you say so, Hakurou-sama. Then, I'll take my leave." He bowed again then leave to somewhere else.

Marquis Kallios were also surprised hearing that Hakurou would be his training partner. He looked at Hakurou with confused expression.

Noticing the gaze, Hakurou simply replied, "I've teach many young'uns for a long time. I haven't got any experience on teaching an old warrior."

Marquis Kallios was somehow chuckled, "If you insist, Hakurou, then I'm grateful for the opportunity."

Hakurou smiled a little, before changing his whole vibes into a serious one. Even though he hasn't performed any aura, Marquis Kallios felt a great pressure coming from Hakurou.

"Hurry up finished your meal. Let me see what you've got."

Marquis Kallios gulped after hearing the sentence, but he obediently followed the instruction anyway. On that day, Kallios would experiencing an honorable, yet also a terrible moment for being teached by the Sword Savant.

Prince Diabo almost have no free time ever since the alliance between him and Tempest had been made official. He's no longer prisoners, he's already become one of the executive and key figure of the mission.

He arrange many things as appointing people for vital role, planning strategies, procuring supplies, and many more. He also took some training on training ground, and test it out to the Dungeon.

Diabo didn't have a good talent in combat, and because of it he only able to reach the 6th floor of the Dungeon if he's alone. However, if he trains more of his technique and physical body, he could reach the 10th floor someday. But time is not giving him such luxury.

Diabo also accompanied by Count Formal to procure the supplies from Tempest. Rimuru had promised to aid him a provisional aid for 3 months, but Diabo still need to overseer and selecting what are the goods they need.

Armory had already been arranged by Tempest. The Empire signature of the red tunic and steel plate that cover only the torso and waist, had been copied with a better material. The tunic itself are made from Hellmoth Silk and the plate are made with mixed alloy of silver and D rank monsters parts. The helmet also made from a same material, except for the crest on top of the helmet, they basically use whatever fur from low rank monster and paint it red. It creates an armor and protection with a same level as Special-Grade.

Their swords, spears, and shields were also made from various C rank magic beasts parts from the Dungeon. Making it bordering the Rare-Grade weapons.

In total, with Tempest backing, Diabo would receive more less of 200.000 armor and weapons to use as main weapons and spare. Tempest would also gave some raw material for building a siege engines if they need to.

Diabo himself got a special set of armors made from Knight Spider body parts, which resulting a Unique-Grade armor. His gladius was made from Mithril, along with his shield.

However, Tempest couldn't provide a large sum of horses since the military never use a horse because the existence of Tempest Star Wolf who deemed to be more efficient. Horses are only used for small trade and tourism, and these horses are definitely not suitable to become a cavalry unit.

To solve it, Mjormile come to help. With a thorough discussion with Mjormiles, Diabo made himself a deal to bought some war horses from neighbouring nations such as Farmenas and Eastern Empire. The total they could bought was 10.000 horses along with their additional equipment such as saddle, shoes, and fodder. After all, Tempest had managed to capture the whole cavalry unit from Saderans who got ambushed by Gobta. Some horses got injured, but eventually managed to be healed with high-potion.

In total, Diabo have 30.000 war horse ready to use.

Another things except horses are the wyverns. Tempest had managed to captured 100 wyverns from the first assault led by general Agnius along with their riders. However, under Benimaru's influence, these wyverns along with their riders are kept in hold in Tempest for further study since Gabiru wanted to have his own Wyvern Riders ever before the war with the Eastern Empire broke out.

Diabo agreed the for the decision because of several reasons, but the main reason was Tempest already gave them more than enough support so it would be shameful to bargain for more. Besides, those wyvern riders didn't have any desire to rejoin the Empire.

Some basic rations also being prepared. With the estimation of each soldiers would need at least 1.8kg per day, Tempest would provide a total of 20 tons of food for one months. Tempest would continue delivering 20 tons of foods supply for the next 2 months, and for further months would be discussed. Of course, 60 tons for 3 months is more than enough, and the Tempest executives are doing it intentionally to raise morale.

Additional ration such as luxurious beverages and fine quality ingredients are also added on the list. These food supply was mostly taken from Tempest supply reserve and some surplus of the recent harvest. But Tempest also import several tons of grain and meat from Farmenas kingdom.

Diabo and his companions are beyond grateful for what they have received.

Tempest also helping them on fulfilling another logistical needs such as carts, horse for transportation, tents, cooking wares, etc.

As to how these supplies would be brought during the campaign, it would need a collaboration with Saare.

While Prince Diabo busy himself to procure supplies and armories, Saare also have his hand full with a task to procure the weapons.

The Grey Numbers Corps might be the weakest in terms of raw power in Tempest military units since humans are pretty much inferiors compared to other Majins and monsters, but the Grey Numbers Corps have one traits that no other corps unit have.

Versatility.

Awaken a skill for a human are pretty difficult, unlike for monsters and majins. Their magicul capacity are below than any other races. The best thing a human can do to face against those disadvantages are to train their aura.

However, there's another thing that a human could do better than other races.

Developing technology.

The best example is Eastern Empire. As a nation, they possess second the most powerful military power after Tempest. Although their elite unit are Enlightened humans such as Bonnie, Jiwu, Calgurio, Minits, and many more, their regular soldiers are using their latest technology advancement to enhance their capability.

The war between Eastern Empire and Tempest had become a witness on how the Eastern Empire had developing their army with technology, and they clad with pride upon sending the Armored Corps, their symbol of technological advantage.

Tempest had learned the way the Eastern Empire utilize the technology for their human soldiers, and no doubt that Tempest was impressed on how much potential behind it.

Augmented soldiers, Mecha Knights, Magic Tanks, Firearms, Airplanes, and Armored Vehicles are the few example of their might, and surely gave Tempest some sweat even though they finally manage to win the whole war.

And Grey Numbers Corps are Tempest version of the Eastern Empire Armored Corps.

But unlike Armored Corps from Eastern Empire who rely solely on their technology, the Grey Numbers are not that reliant on technological advancement. They still learned the way to use Aura, pushing their magicules capacity to the limit, train their physical body to be naturally stronger, and excelled in CQC with various type of melee weapons.

However, the soldiers in Grey Numbers Corps were already being augmented with some modification such as genetical improvements, enhance their metabolism with special serum, and trained to used various war machines and weapons.

The Grey Numbers Corps could use the spear and swords as their main weapon, but they could also use a modern firearms as good as modern soldiers. They were equipped with a handgun for every mission and allowed to carry them even when they are off duty.

The Grey Numbers Corps were also trained to operate war machines such as Magic Tanks, Aeroplanes, Airships, warships, and other armored vehicles.

Although Tempest didn't have as much as Eastern Empire in terms of quantity of armored arsenals, the quality and the balance between modern technology and efficient use of law of magic, spirit engineering, and maximum potentials of exotic materials had made them more stronger than the Eastern Empire.

As the result, the Grey Numbers Corps are the one who have the most "war toys" than other Corps. This is also making them as the most flexible and versatile unit under Jura Tempest Federation. They might be didn't excelled in one specific role unlike the others, but the Grey Numbers Corps could do a same task as other Corps.

They can defend and attack, they can move on land, sea, and air, they can do frontal assault or stealth assault, and many more.

All because of the maximum use of technologies, magics, spirits, and Aura.

And to maintain those capabilities, Saare had intended to open the "pandora box". Which is actually not a literal box, but a highly secured place somewhere in Tempest.

This place is not a building. This is another space on another dimension, created by Rimuru to store the important and high valuable things in Tempest.

The space is so large. It can store an infinite amount of objects.

To ease up the use of this space, Rimuru has made a lot of seperated rooms which could be used to store up many things seperately.

To access this space, you'll need a special device which function is to open a door to the this space. Many of Rimuru subordinates have access to this space, but only a few who have access to every room in that space. Saare was included.

Saare didn't have a right to access several other rooms, but he have his own rooms where he have full authority on how to manage it. Well, it basically not his private room, but a special room for his Corps armory.

Saare named it as simple as warehouse, but what stored inside it was his Corps's "toys".

Saare have two intention to visit this warehouse today.

One, he intended to instal a gateway from the living world dimension to this warehouse. He already have a permission to use the device called "Dimension Gateway" from Benimaru to bring out the war machine he stored inside his warehouse so he can bring out his war machines for the campaign.

Two, he intended to make his troops re-training themselves to operates these war machines in case they would need it in Falmart. That's why he wanted to bring out these "toys" to the living worlds dimension.

"Damn, I should have know you have these kinds of weapons." Glenda commented. She accompanying Saare and some of his troops to installing the Dimension Gateway.

"I guess you're familiar with these war machines from your former world?" Saare snickered.

"Most of it, yes. It makes my handgun looks ancient."

"Well good news for you, you can use whatever you want here."

"Really? That's sounds like Christmas for me."

"Christmas?"

"Nevermind."

Saare wanted to pursue further, but Glenda didn't give off any intention to talk it further. On the other hand, Glenda seems gleefully looking around the warehouse.

"Hey, how much toys you have here exactly?"

"We have 450 Magic Tanks, 200 Airships, and 1000 ships with various size. We also have this thing called 'artilery' with various kinds of type. But most of them aren't self-propelled so we have to drag these guys up. We have around 500 of these guys. But my favorite is this," he walked to a something that shaped humanoid but made from metals and colossal in it's size, "this is our War Golem. We called it Siege Walkers. It made from Orihalcum and powered by combined magic stones from A rank monsters and medium spirits. We have 25 of these, and possibly more in the future."

"That's…"

Glenda saw how magnificent the Golem is. It stand up 15 meters high. The body is painted with dark blue and grey. It has two arm and two leg, however there's a minigun under the arm, with another 2 more big cannon on it's back, pointed to the front. On it's head, there's a place for the pilot which protected by a thick looking glass.

"Amazing right? Those miniguns have unlimited ammunition since it's basically a magic gun with enhanced fire rate. It can fire many types of attributes, depending on what we need at the moment. It powered by surrounding magicules and that's the reason why it has unlimited ammunition. The cannon on it's back is basically powered by fire spirit, it could fire a powerful blast as equal as [Flame Inferno]. However, these war golems are pretty slow compared to other war machine we have. But the power is absolute. It has two layer barrier as it's defense, and if the barrier was somehow broken, the Orihalcum could withstand extreme temperature, immune to the elemental attack to some degree, and literally unhinged with physical attack." Saare was smiled happily as he explaining his favorite war machine.

"This is gonna be an overkill to be used against Saderans, you know?" Glenda could only uttering those question upon hearing the explanation.

Saare unexpectedly nodded, "I know. But remember we would face not only the Saderans, but any other creatures that exist in Falmart. We would even faced a dragons and wyverns. Ah, and don't forget we would possibly fought their deities. Besides," Saare's faces turned to be hopeful, "I hope we could use this just for show. If they saw what these war machines could do, Prince Diabo's enemies would choose to surrender."

"That's too hopeful. We don't know how they perceive what they saw. Besides, if that's your goal, showing them your own corps in battlefield would make them shudder in fear. At least, that's my expectation."

"I hope so, Glenda. I hope we don't have to spill a lot of blood in the upcoming campaign."

Glenda snickered, while moving toward the firearms storage, "Unlike you, I still think spilling a blood is not a bad thing. But for Rimuru-sama, I would do whatever he wishes." She then pick up a long rifle with a scope on it. She tweaked some part of it, checking the rifle in single glance, readied the magazine, then continue, "However, it doesn't mean I stop liking to fire these things."

Saare could only shake his head lightly, then sighing before saying "Just don't get overboard, okay?"

Glenda gleefully smiled, "Of course. My priority is Rimuru-sama wishes after all."

"That would help a lot."

The tow of them look at each other without uttering a single word. None of them have any idea to be spoken next.

But thankfully, one of Saare's subordinate came reporting.

"Saare-sama, the Dimensional Gateway is ready."

Saare looked at his men for a moment, then said, "Good job! Now, let's bring these toys out!"

The campaign to Falmart is still being prepared, but Rimuru is getting less involved as the moment progress. Rimuru gave a lot of freedom to Saare and Diabo to get everything they need and ordered his executives to aid them as much as possible. Rimuru is still busy on overseeing the progress on revitalized the Heaven Star Palace along with controlling the stray Insectars and Cryptids.

Rimuru intended to devolved the Phantom race into the original Angels without reducing their strength, including the Fallen Angel one. Rimuru and Ciel had spend a lot of time on formulating a way to rejuvenate these Angels from their negative evolution.

Because of it, the matter about Falmart had little attention from him.

However, the executives have taken over Rimuru's role on this campaign. The most prominent on representating Rimuru is Diablo.

Having an experience on running a plan to instigate a civil war in Falmuth had become a major reason why Rimuru trusted Diablo to represent him in every moment of preparation to Falmart. Shion as the first secretary is more like a bodyguard as she followed Rimuru to every space he need to.

As of today, Diablo had just finished explaining about the special space created by Rimuru to store up important things of this nation. He explained to prince Diabo and his companions that their supplies would be stored inside this space and have a different room for each of the type of supplies.

The "key" to enter the space had been given to prince Diabo, along with the key to open the Dimensional Gateway. It is up to prince Diabo who would be trusted to hold this key.

With this system, there would be no need of long and complex supply route. They basically only need to have this key and they could access their supplies.

And so, prince Diabo entrusted the key to Count Formal, who he choose to be in charge of supplies.

Prince Diabo also appoint Marquis Kallios as the one in charge of the overall command of the army.

Meanwhile, Prince Diabo also choose some other senator and patrician as his advisor and liaison for a negotiation and communication against another party in Falmart.

Diablo has come to them when they are having a meeting on making plans about their strategy in Falmart. And of course, Saare and his companions had also come.

"We have 3 months worth of supplies, but we cannot finished this mission in that time. We have to find a way to sustain ourselves." Prince Diabo let out the first topic.

"I have some plans, may I explain it?" Count Formal asked to prince Diabo.

"Sure."

"All right. I have an idea which probably could solve two problems at once. First we need to find a way to sustain ourself after 3 months, and second we need a stronghold for our campaign. And for this, I proposed to use my city, Italica, as our center of command. If everything is still fine, I believe Italica could fulfill at least 50% of our needs during the campaign, and I pretty confidence our walls was enough to protect ourselves from any enemies."

"50%? That's pretty impressive but it doesn't fully fulfilled our need."

"I understand. But we also have funds, right? We can bought our supplies to other territory or even our vassals for a while. We have a lot of village around the area and we can bought their crops. And that is for the short-term. While for the long-term, I can grow more crops and wheat in several weeks and build more farm in the city outskirts."

"That sounds too good to be true. What about the drawbacks?"

"Yes, but that could be done if everything is dealt perfectly. However, you're right Your Highness. It does have some drawbacks. First, I will need more additional manpower to increased our harvest quantity. I will also need more manpower to create more farms and run it. And I don't have any better idea than taking from our troops to fill those need of manpower."

"Hmm, so we will need to divide our focus on creating stability of our army and taking territories at the same time."

"I suggest we focus more on creating a proper stronghold first before we continue our campaign, Your Highness."

"I have to disagree with that, Count Formal." Marquis Kallios rebut.

"May I ask the reason, my lord?"

"The more time we spent without spreading our territories, the more time we give for the Empire to rebuild their strength. We may hold out in our stronghold, but I'm sure it would be costly for us, and for you too Count Formal since the battlefield would be in Italica. I suggest we also should move our army to spread our territories, Your Highness."

"But we can influence other territories or even other nation with negotiation. We can send a letter to explain about our intention and our prowess to persuade them. We can postponed our move with military until we're fully ready to wage a civil war."

"Count Formal, I agree we need a stronghold and a command center. But spending time to only reinforce Italica is not the wisest choice."

Then he marked several location, pointing them to Prince Diabo and Count Formal. "This is Inilar, Herlona, Polisera, Korian, Terranen, Ijnalum, Rondrian, Quintinia, and Fortis. These are the territories who also belong to our fellow patrician who pick a side with His Highness. Once we came to Falmart and declared our intention to oppose The Empire, these territories including mine would be seized by force by Emperor Molt. We cannot abandon these territories. We have to spread out and reinforce it."

Hearing that statement, Count Formal started to realize many disagreement between his fellow patricians who actually owned those mentioned territories. He have no choice than admit that Marquis Kallios is right.

"You're right, my apologies my lord. I think I'm too hasty on making plans."

"Don't worry. Your idea is actually a good one. However we cannot implement it at this circumstance."

"Then, what should we do?" Both of Count Formal and Marquis Kallios looked at prince Diabo.

Diabo is kept quiet for a moment after hearing those trade of argument. He's calculating the upside and downside of every choice.

Both have a good point, but it's difficult to choose between them.

But then, he remembered he have Saare's cooperation.

"Saare-dono, may I ask your help in this matter?"

"What can I help, Your Highness?" Saare responded.

"If I may, could you go to Italica and reinforce it while the rest of my army would reinforce other fellow patricians's territory?"

"Hmm… I don't mind but is that mean you're going to divide your army to reinforce other territory?"

"I cannot leave my allies, so yes I would divide my army to reinforce these 9 territories."

"All of them?"

"All of them."

"And you would stay in Italica, Your Highness?"

"Yes."

"That means you'll have no army to command in Italica, Your Highness."

"Saare-dono is right, Your Highness. At least you need several thousand troops at your disposal in Italica, Your Highness." Marquis Kallios butted in.

"I see. But how many exactly we need to reinforce these 9 territories?" Prince Diabo asked.

"It could be vary. We have to discuss it too with Count Heinel, Baron Loria, Baroness Ashtea, Count Tonimus, Knight Willanus, Dame Vani, Countess Filmeria, and Marquis Relianus as the lord of these territories. As for my territory, Fortis, I'm confident with 5000 troops I could defend my land for months."

"All right, let's say we send 10.000 troops to each of these territories including you, I still have 18.000 troops in my disposal. How is that sound?"

"10.000 troops for each territories… I see, I think it's plausible Your Highness."

"Except for your territory, the other seems to be not pretty big. With additional troops we have, what do you think Count Formal? Is 18.000 troops would be enough as additional manpower in Italica?"

"I think it can, but it will take longer time." Answered Count Formal.

"All right, we will find a way somehow for the matter. But I think this is the best option we have."

"Your Highness, I wouldn't mind to lend my men for Count Formal's plan." Saare suddenly spoke.

"Are sure, Saare-dono?"

"Yes I am. We're here to help you, right?"

Prince Diabo smiled, "Yes, thank you Saare-dono."

In simple manner, the discussion is ready to move on to the next topic. However, not long after,

"Gentlemen, I think I have something urgent to announce before we moved on." Diablo suddenly spoke after keeping his silent for the entire discussion.

"What's the matter, Diablo-dono?"

"Wait a moment, someone would come here any seconds now."

Prince Diabo and others were wondering what was that mean, but in just 2 second later, there's a knock on the door.

"Come in." answered Prince Diabo.

Then the door opened, followed by someone immediately entered the room.

"My my, how rare of you to come here by yourself, Souei-dono." Diablo greeted him, but Souei is just straight to the business.

"It's important, Diablo. And Your Highness, it seems you need to prepare more than what you have right now."

Prince Diabo look at him, confused. "What do you mean, Souei-dono?"

Souei didn't say anything, but he suddenly closed his eyes. Prince Diabo and and his fellow Saderans were confused on what's going on, especially after seeing Diablo and other Tempest representative had done the same as Souei. All except Saare.

"It's [Thought Communication], Your Highness. Souei-sama is communicating with us directly into our minds. Just close your eyes and you will be able to understand." Then, Saare also closed his eyes.

Hearing the explanation, Prince Diabo and his companion followed soon. And, after closing his eyes, Prince Diabo immediately hear Souei's voice along with a sight in somewhere else.

"This is what happen on the other side of the Gate." Souei spoke.

The sight is coming from several meters above with nobody noticed. From it, Prince Diabo could saw dozen of thousands troops patrolling around the Gate. In several hundred meters, he saw a reinforced encampment, much like a small and simple fort made of wood. But on several parts, there's many workers are trying to replace it with stones.

As much as he wanted to ask how Souei could get this images, Prince Diabo knew he should focus more on what are this images has shown.

He saw these soldiers are Imperial troops, but their numbers are somehow pretty lot. The sacred land of Alnus Hill had turned into a bustling area with soldiers. And that's not all. He saw a lot of contingent of monsters.

Armored monsters such as Orcs wearing chainmails, Goblins wearing leather armor, and giant Ogre with gigantic rectangle shield on both of his hands.

There's also several demi-human such as Volraden, Draconians, and Centaurs wearing a fine armor and wield a good weapons. These are probably a mercenaries hired by the Empire.

They all have bussying themselves with various activity. Some were patrolling, some were trained themselves, some were sharpening their weapons, and some were just having a chats.

"This is yesterday." Souei suddenly spoke, then continued "This is what happened today".

The images change into a large amount of soldiers are gathering in one spot. They look like cheering on something as they seem shouting words such as:

Kill him!

Butcher him!

Cut his head!

Prince Diabo looked at the crowds more intently. As he stare at it, he saw there's a fight has been going on.

However, the fight seems to be one-sided.

"I have to praise you for being able to survive this far. However, you're still no match for me"

He heard a voice of a girl. Much like a child's voice. Soon, he saw a huge black halberd raised to the air, along with a smiley face on the wielder.

Prince Diabo immediately knew who that was. Rory Mercury.

Then the halberd smashed to the ground with lot of force as the ground shaking. The ground is cracking, but nobody is there, except for the little girl who wield that black halberd.

"That's very dangerous"

Near the impacted ground, there's someone standing on his knees. He hold his left arm, whole his right hand is still holding a huge dagger. Prince Diabo could see that his left arm were injured badly.

But that's not what makes him stand out. Although it look much like a normal human. He have a short horn on his head, and two pair of featherless wing on his back.

Diabo knew immediately that it was a Dragonewt, but how can that Dragonewt was there in Falmart?

However, before he could ask that question, the sight in front of him is more important to watch for now.

"Huh?You're able to dodge that?"

"Barely."

"Still, you're strong and clever. I shall dance with you more."

The Dragonewt winced, but before he could say anything, Rory had swing her halberd horizontally. The Dragonewt jumped to avoid the impact, but the trajectory had made some powerful wind and he was blown from his landing destination.

He didn't land perfectly, and Rory utilize the moment as she charge at him to delivered another slammed of her halberd to the ground. The Dragonewt desperately block the halberd with his dagger, and surprisingly it did manage to hold it back. Rory was surprised upon seeing her halberd being blocked, but she immediately made another move.

She lift her halberd and in split second she kick the dragonewt with her left foot. The Dragonewt couldn't defend himself from that kick and was blown away several meters to the crowd.

The crowds surely holding themselves back to butcher the Dragonewt by themselves. Because they knew it would be a disaster to stole another person't prey, especially an apostle.

Rory walked menacingly toward the incapacitated Dragonewt while the crowds are dispersing to clear her way.

However, just as several feet from the Dragonewt, Rory slowed her pace. She readied her halberd, then stopped.

"Stop hiding yourself!. I don't like an ambush on a duel." She said.

For several moment, everything goes silent. Everyone is looking at each other, looking for anyone suspicious. But seconds later, something came out from the Dragonewt's shadow.

At first, one silhouette jumped out from the shadow. But soon, another 4 came out in the same way.

Then it became apparent that there's another 5 Dragonewt had come to aid the incapacitated one.

The crowds were appaled by the sudden appearance, especially on how they entered the scene.

"Tch, at least you're being honorable for showing yourself. Now I got another 5 to deal with."

The 5 Dragonewt however, didn't raised their weapons. They firmly look at Rory, while 2 of them had poured a potion to the incapacitated fellow. Then, one of them spoke.

"I think this is enough for now. We'll withdraw ourselves."

"Huh?" Rory were seems to annoyed.

"We'll excuse ourselves for now. We shall meet again somedays."

Then, a magic circle appeared underneath the 6 of them. Before anyone could say anything, the 6 dragonewts had dissapeared out of nowhere.

Rory seems to felt very annoyed by the sight, and it seems she won't do anything.

But out of anyone expectation, Rory suddenly jumped towards anything that provide these images, then said "That means the show is over as well. I don't like being spyed, pervert." then the images turned black.

The [Thought Communication] was ended bruptly after that, and everyone opened their eyes in mixed feelings.

For several seconds, the room once again filled with silence. But Souei finally breaking the ice.

"You know who is this little girl, Your Highness?"

"Yes." Diabo nodded.

"Who is she?"

"She's Rory Mercury. An Apostle of Emroy."

"Emroy, the God of War?"

"Yes, Souei-dono."

Then, Souei avert his gaze to Saare.

"According to our analysis, this Rory Mercury is at least having 886.768 Existence Point. Almost a Million-class like you, Saare. And that is not included her combat proficiency. Those dragonewts spies are A-rank, and Souka have trained them personally. Yet these guys almost have no chance against her. In that fight, she clearly holding back."

Saare nodded, "Understood, Souei-san. If she come to us, I'm probably the only one who could stand against her."

"Kufufufu, don't get carried away, Saare-kun. We didn't have a lot of information about her. We don't know what other trick she have up her sleeve, or her weakness. In my optimism, I think Glenda and Grigori could defeat her if they use a proper way." Diablo interjects out of nowhere.

"Weakness huh…" Saare murmured, then ponder for a while before finally speak again, "You right Diablo-sama, from the footage alone we haven't see the full ability from her. If we found some flaw from her, I'm not the only one who could face her."

"That's the spirit. However, Souei-dono, I'm afraid you can't send another eyes there, yes?"

Souei shake his head, "Not quite. If one of the Kurayami members or myself as the one who go there, I believe we can have eyes on them. She have a very sharp senses, until a simple concealment art is having no effect to hide from her. But a seasoned spy like Souka and her direct subordinates could have a chance to hide from her."

"Then, I will send Saika to watch over them." Saare suggested.

Souei nodded, "Fine by me. I shall ask Moss-san to help as well. How about you, Your Highness?"

"I leave all that to you. However, I'm more concerned about the large numbers of troops on Alnus Hill."

"Yes, we didn't predict this large number of troops stationed in Alnus Hill after we went to this world." Marquis Kallios added.

Prince Diabo's advisor were also looking at Souei, expecting some answer. The question on how Tempest could monitor the other side of the gate has been set aside.

Hearing those statements, Souei didn't waste any time to respond.

"After your defeat on the land near Ameld River, several of your troops manage to survive. Mostly because they didn't even manage to cross the gate. The survived troops was taken care by your sister, Princess Pina Co Lada. She took control of the situation and set up a defensive measure around the gate. She managed to build a simple fortress and gathering reinforcements."

"Pina…" Prince Diabo muttered.

Saare sighing a little, he knew Princess Pina would be a troublesome opponent in terms of strategic battle.

"How many troops under Princess Pina now?" asked Marquis Kallios.

"From the intel we have retrieved, the number of troops are 40.000 troops and expecting some more would come. We have traced that Princess Pina had delivered a lot of request for reinforcement across the Empire, including hiring some mercenaries. The Empire hasn't send their reinforcement, but they have covered Princess Pina's expenses on supplies and paying the mercenaries. She also taking the supplies from the city of Italica and receiving a dozens of Mage from Rondell."

Prince Diabo frowned upon hearing the answer. He still have a vast of numerical advantage, but quality wise, he know her sister have an advantage as the defender side. He predict he would win if he choose to attack them now, but it would still pretty costly.

If his troops were reduced more than he could afford, he wouldn't be able to reinforce his allies territory.

However, once again he forgot that he's not alone in this mission.

"My troops could handle them, Your Highness."

Without any slight of hesitation, Saare indicating Grey Numbers Corps could handle it.

Prince Diabo and his companion immediately looking at him, with a hopeful look.

"Are you sure, Saare-dono? You only have 25.000 troops and they have larger numbers with strategic position." Prince Diabo asked the question not for belittle Saare, but to convince his own self that Saare really could pull it off.

Saare smiled, then nodded before saying "Of course, I will show you what we're capable of. However, I wouldn't attack them until I get the full report of the situation. In that regard, I hope you didn't rush the assault, Your Highness."

"Not at all. I don't mind to wait for some more time. How about you, Marquis Kallios?"

"I actually wanted to propose to attack them now before they could fortify their position any further. But if Saare-dono was deemed to being able to breakthrough Princess Pina's defenses, I have no reasons to refuse."

Prince Diabo nodded, then avert his gaze again to Saare, "You have our approval, Saare-dono. You may take the initiative."

Saare smiled happily, "Thank you, Your Highness. I shall prepare it at once."

Prince Diabo also smiled, but now his gaze were directed to his companions.

"Now, let's finish our own preparation. We cannot let Saare-dono marched on his own, didn't we?"

Not many things happen in Falmart for the next 3 weeks. In fact, this is almost a month since the last assault towards the other side of the Gate.

Although the news of the 160.000 troops under Saderan Empire has been defeated, the Imperial Government still manage to hold the public order and maintain security with it's neighbouring nations.

As long as whoever on the other side of the gate didn't set their foot on their land, everything should be fine. But for precaussion, the Empire had put a lot of faith on Princess Pina who's in guard of the Gate on Alnus Hill.

In the newly built fortress on Alnus Hill, Princess Pina is sat alone on her own place. Although unintentional, there's a room built near the top of the fort and Pina took a liking in it. And since, it's her private room during this whole time.

She didn't being accompanied by servants. She ordered her servants to help the troops instead. Such as cooking, laundry, entertain, and if they would, they can also help the troops to fill their sexual need.

However, it doesn't mean Pina is being alone. She always have a company, whether she wanted it or not. But she cannot refuse the guest for many reasons.

"Hey, is there any hard liquor left?" she asked.

"I'm sorry, Your Holliness. But I cannot spend our liquor supply just for yourself in this situation. I promise you can ask me for more when we have settle this situation." Pina answered.

"Geez, you need to relax a bit, Princess. Being riggid wouldn't help you solve the situation."

Pina raised her eyebrow, "I don't understand. I'm being on guard, not meant to being riggid."

"You're too cautious. But I commend your determintation, Princess."

"I'm very grateful for the compliment, Your Holliness. But it doesn't help to improve the situation right now."

Hearing the respond, she chuckled "I promise I would help you. Didn't I already say that since I came here? Is that not enough to calm you a bit?"

Pina tried to smile politely, she didn't want her action to be perceived as ungrateful. But she cannot shake off her uneasiness even though she got help from the Apostle of Emroy, Rory Mercury.

"I didn't mean to be ungrateful, Your Holliness. I just felt… Uneasy."

Rory let out a small sigh, "I understand, Princess. I really do. In whole my life, this is the first time I faced such a crisis. But," she walked infront of Pina, and hold both her hand "Princess, this is exactly why we have to calm. What you did right now only mentally exhausting you. If you're exhausted mentally, you wouldn't be able to do your part efficiently."

Rory let off Pina's hand, but she still stand on the place she was. Pina's eyes were looking at Rory with a message, as if she said "I'm really tired.". Her lips were trembling a bit, as if she hold it as much as she could.

Rory understood why she behave this way.

Flashback

Around 2 weeks ago, or probably less than that, Rory arrived in Alnus Hill. There's a huge commotion upon her appearance, but most of them have been hopeful for her to help them here.

Rory immediately meet with Pina, and happily announce that she would be here to help them up.

The whole encampment were suddenly cheering upon hearing the news. If Rory Mercury was here to help them, then the God didn't abandon them. As if the God had promised a victory for them.

However, the cheers only lasted for a short moment.

Rory suddenly dissappear, followed with a sound of a ground being slammed.

Everyone instantly look at the direction where the sound came from, and then found Rory had slammed someone to the ground and hold him up from his neck.

"Who are you?" She asked with a calm, but menacing tone.

Everyone were confused as to why the apostle is attacking someone from their own side. Especially, someone who wear an Imperial armor. What is going on, actually?

The man who's been choked by Rory didn't say anything. And eerily enough, he didn't struggle to breath. He tried his best to get out from Rory's grip, but he seems too calm while doing it. This is also made Rory confused. No other mortal could survive that choke, not to mention he's being slammed to the ground with such power.

"I said, who are you? Are you deaf?" Rory's tightening her grip, expecting the man would struggling more.

But out of her expectation, the man had mysteriously absorbed by his own shadow.

"H-Huh?" Rory felt her hand being dragged to the shadow as the man had simply being taken to somewhere around the shadow. She immediately released her hand, but it doesn't mean she let the man go.

She immediately stab the remaining shadow by her halberd before the shadow had totally vanished, and the halberd was surprisingly able to hack the man and drag him out from the shadow.

The man was shocked, but he didn't waste his time to let his surprised dictate his move.

He immediately unsheathed his large dagger, then surprisingly attacked first.

He's bleeding because earlier, the halberd has hacked his stomach and drag him out from the shadow realm. But he cannot drink the full-potion yet because Rory is in giving him a non-stop gaze. Whatever he do, she would stop it.

That's why he choose the unexpected move. Attack.

He dashed toward Rory with inhuman speed. Everyone could see there's something different from him. It's as if something had covered him, coated his whole body with an invisible fluid.

However, Rory is faster.

Fortunately, the man seems already expecting this as he kept continue barraging her with slash from every angle. This move had made Rory occupied, but he knew it wouldn't be long. He need to hit something from her to make her flinch and gave him a time to heal his wound by drinking the full potion.

However, Rory's guts is something very frightening. She instinctively sense that the man is planning to stop her for a moment and did something that could reduce her advantage. So she started to change the pace as she start to perform attacking moves and countering his strikes.

Rory realized she also have a bigger strength, and she tried to utilize that by making a big and powerful move.

Although it's big, it's still too fast for a normal human to perceive.

The man might be able to see it, but to withstand it was another thing.

And so, the man didn't even have a chance to attack anymore. He's now simply could only defend himself by deflecting and evade the attack from Rory.

As time goes by, his injuries had become more and more painful. He tried to reduce the risk of being hurt by releasing his intrinsic skill, [Dragon Body].

The decision to use [Dragon Body] skill had changed his appearance into a fully covered dark green scaled body. On his back, a pair of featherless wing had grow. And on it's forehead, there's a newly two horns emerged.

He is no more looking like a human. He looks more like a wyvern, or dragon. Only, it pose like a human.

The Intrinsic Skill of [Dragon Body] had made him more powerful and gain a regenerative ability. Because of this, the injury in his stomach had been healed by itself and he can move more faster and deliver a more powerful strike.

Rory seeing this with rather displeasure.

"So you're not even a human. May I ask what are you?"

The man replied with an icy tone, "Dragonewt."

Rory's eyes widened, "Dragonewt? A dragon descendant who became a half-human?"

"Not a human. I'm born as Lizardmen, but I evolve into a Dragonewt."

Rory became confused, as their weapons had locked each other, she asked another question, "Evolve? Is that normal?"

"No" the man said while breaking the lock and sent another slash from his dagger, only to be evaded by Rory.

"I got a lot of question, but I think it can be hold."

The man didn't reply anything, as they continued to trade blows.

For a moment, it seems the two of them is in equal footing. But as the time goes by, it became apparent who's holding the upper hand.

Rory's attack become more fierce and fast, while the man had became more slower and sloppy. As if he's exhausted already.

He cannot perform another powerful move, and instead had spent his remaining energy to defend himself. His hard scale on his body had start to falling apart as it being hitted many times by Rory's halberd.

In the end, there's no scales anymore that could protect himself anymore. He's now back into a human looking appeareance, except for his horn and wings.

Rory perceive this sight as a sign of him being weakened.

Rory had to admit, this is one of the toughest fight she ever encountered, but it's not the hardest since she didn't even need to spend all her energy to fight this man.

And so, she kept her pace, wearing down her opponent.

At one moment, Rory decided to make a huge slam using her halberd vertically. She slightly hesitated since to build the momentum, she need to raise both of her hand and exposed her torso to the man. But she decided she would do it anyway, since her body would regenerate immediately if she receive any injury.

And to her pleasure, the man didn't utilize the opening she gave and she could successfully perform her move.

She hit the ground with such strength, creating a loud sound because of it. It also create a little crater, and dust had flown to the air.

But to her dismay, it didn't resulted as she wanted.

The dragonewt is still alive, by evading her strike. To add her annoyence, he just standing nead the impacted area. Which mean, he only made a minimal move to evade the strike.

"Huh? You're able to dodge that?"

"Barely" he replied dryly.

"Still, you're strong and clever. I shall dance with you more."

Rory could see the dragonewt is winced, but she ignored it as she continue to striker him down.

Eventually, because the Intrinsic Skill [Dragon Body] has a limitation of time usage, the dragonewt got incapacitated by her kick.

The Dragonewt was thrown to the crowds of spectator. She calmly walked towards the Dragonewt, wanting to finish this off. But her sense suddenly screaming of danger. She slowed down her walk, and increased her guard than before.

She didn't have any idea what would happen, but she knew something is going to be wrong if she kept her walk toward the dragonewt.

She felt something is watching her, but she doesn't know where it came from. But whatever or from wherever it is, she dislike it a lot.

She didn't like a surprised attack one bit. It's such unhonorable thing to do as a warrior.

"Stop hiding yourself! I don't like an ambush on a duel."

Soon after, another 5 dragonewt came out from the incapacitated dragonewt. It's very unpleasant. She have to fight this much against one Dragonewt, she didn't knew how much effort to take down 5 at once.

But welp, it doesn't mean she can't handle it anyway.

"Tch, at least you're being honorable for showing yourself. Now I got another 5 to deal with."

She prepared herself for a much more difficult battle. It may seems troublesome, but deep inside her heart, she felt excited.

It's been so long I'm in a fight where I have to use my real strength, she thought.

However, out of her expectation, "I think this is enough for now. We'll withdraw ourselves."

"Huh?" Rory were annoyed. But the 5 Dragonewts didn't budge.

"We'll excuse ourselves for now. We shall meet again somedays."

Rory wanted to dash forward before they could escape somehow. But to her dismay, she noticed there's some kind of magic rune under the feet of these 6 dragonewts.

As soon as the magic rune had appeared, in instant these 6 dragonewt also dissapeared. Leaving no trace to wherever they fleeing. The magic rune were also gone at the same moment.

She never faced anything like it before. She have a lot of experience on facing against a sorcered, but nobody is able to perform what just happened in front of her.

Rory kept standing still, stunned by the sight.

The crowds were also fell into a silent. Many of them didn't even knew what just happen. All they knew was Rory having a fight with some kind of monster.

Only Rory who knows why she suddenly in a fight.

She had sensed something different in the campsite. Something out of this world, yet she didn't know how to explain it. She doesn't even clearly knew what that was.

She only knew it can be hostile. She feel it. It was gazing at her not because of admiration or hope, it was a gaze upon seeing a threat.

As she feel it more and more, she realised that this particular man is having a strong aura. Something that's not a normal human could possess.

Without any warning and second thought, she dashed and attacked the person who she deemed as abnormal.

And the rest are the fight.

However, that fight had turned out to be the only first step of the further chaos.

Many people witnessing the fight between Rory and the Dragonewt, and that's included Princess Pina.

It doesn't need much information to conclude that the earlier Dragonewt was a spy.

The truth had made Princess Pina almost fell in paranoia since she didn't even considering about her army being compromised by the enemy beyond the gate. The fact that those creatures could transform themselves to be looked like a human had made her terrified if people around her were also enemy spies.

Pina almost ordered a massive background check, but Rory had calmed her down by saying she would know which one is a human in disguise and which one is not. And Rory had assured them that nothing is watching them for now, since she also had destroyed something that belonged to the enemy beyond the gate to monitor her fight with the Dragonewts.

Rory didn't say a single thing about the strange device she found floating above the encampment because she feared it only made Pina fell into another paranoia.

Ever since that day, Pina is still being restless. The moment she realize how resourceful the enemy was, she always try to wracked her brain to counter it. She have called every sorcerers available to create a barrier around the fort and camp, and she also continued to discuss about the possibility to sealed the gate.

However, none of it have a fruitfull result.

The sorcerers are pretty much could make some simple barrier around the fort and army camp, but to seal the gate is out of their reach. Even the Expert class mage didn't have any solution regarding the gate since it belong to Goddess Hardy. A mere mortal like them, no matter how good they are, would never reach a knowledge possessed by deities.

The fact that those dragonewts could flee using some kind of teleportation were also an alarming.

For the past decades, many researcher in Rondel tried to figure out the definition of space and time. The concept of teleportation is already exist, but the theory and procedure to implement it was far from exist.

So after seeing the fight between Apostle Rory Mercury against unknown Dragonewt had not also revealed how strong the enemy was, but the superior in terms of knowledge they have are far advanced from theirs.

The concept of the Dragonewt itself is already a danger on it's own. Only a few researchers who interested in faunas who ever heard the terms of Dragonewts.

The dragonewts is almost a myth that came down from a past thousand years ago. The dragonewt are to be said a decendant of dragon who have a human body but possessing a dragon's power. Unlike Draconians people who only inherited several traits from a dragon, dragonewts could freely use all dragon's power while maintaining a human physiology.

Even for Rory Mercury herself hadn't even see one, but she knew pretty well about the myth since she was born almost a milennia ago.

All of this fact had made Princess Pina shuddered and could never rest easy. She become sensitive and constantly on guard.

She's physically fine, but mentally, her state are pretty alarming. If she happen to getting another shocking truth, it's possible that her sanity would crumble.

But she never back down from her goal. She kept staying here, trying her best to fulfill her words to her father that he would defend the place whatever happen.

Because of this, Rory was willing to aid Pina since she saw how noble her soul was. Perhaps, with her help, Pina would back on her feet again and become a much better person.

It's past midnight, many of the troops had sleep inside their tents in the newly built fort.

The fort is made in haste, but it's pretty solid for defense. It has more than 6 watchtower, the woods has been reinforced with magic, and although it's barely, it can hosted more than 30.000 people.

It's basically an army camp but with more of defenses setup.

In that night, Rory didn't take a sleep. She's helping the soldiers who's on patrol to guard the place. They never came close to the gate, at least at night, fearing an enemy ambush.

So they only patrolling the area around the fort.

However, at that night, someone is also have trouble of sleep.

"Little girl, why are you here?" Rory noticed a short haired girl is walking on the upper floor of the fort.

"Your Holliness, my apologies. Did I bother you?" she asked while apologizing.

"Not really. But it's not time for someone like you to stay awake. Why are you here anyway?"

"I just felt uneasy tonight. I've been trying to figure out the magic rune that being used by those dragonewts before."

"That's already 2 weeks ago. You wouldn't find anything unless they showed up again."

"I knew that, but I wanted to try."

Rory stepping closer, patting her shoulders "You can try it tomorrow. For tonight, it's time to sleep. Come on, I'll escort you to your place."

The little girl nodded, "Thank you. And I guess you right. I need to cool my head more."

"Exactly. What's your name, little sorcerer?"

"Lelei La Lelena. I'm not a sorcerer yet, I'm still an apprentice under Master Cato."

"Humm, I see. You seem to be very smart. It seems like you would become a full fledged sorcerer in no time."

Lelei smiled a little, "Thank you, Your Holliness."

They both walked down to the ground. The encampment for sorcerer is a bit different and placed in the second most safest place after the higher ups of the Rose Order of Knights.

Rory is leading the way toward the place where the sorcerers stayed. But in all of sudden, Rory stopped her step.

Lelei also stopped. She saw something is not right from Rory, but she didn't know what it is.

But soon, Rory turn her body back while grabbing Lelei's hand. Then, she shouted,

"ENEMY ATTACK! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! ENEMY IS ATTA-"

*BOOM!

A sudden explosion errupted in the front gate of the fort.

Rory jumped toward Lelei, covering her with her own body. And not even a second later,

*BOOM!

Another explosion errupted somewhere closer around them as fround splashed around them. Lelei is still in a state of confusion, but the barrage of explosion kept on continue.

*BOOM!

*BOOM!

*BOOM!

The night suddenly become bright. It's not even 5 seconds, and now Lelei can see a fire surrounding her.

What is happe-, as she start to asking to herself, Rory had pulled her back to her feet.

Rory look at her with a very serious face, then she said in a loud tone "Listen! Get out from here and find somewhere safe! Use your flying ability or else! Just get out of here! Hurry!"

Then Rory ran and jumping around towards Pina's room. Lelei is still stupefied by the situation.

The patrolling soldiers had run aimlessly around the fort, while the recently woken up troops were immediately grabbing their weapons but didn't know what to do.

Lelei tried to get a hold of herself as he started to running forward, trying to save herself from a burning area.

She hold her magic staff and tried to create a water to extinguishes the fire nearby.

At first, it all came down perfectly even though the situation is very hectic as even the troops doesn't even knew what to do. But soon, went worse.

Lelei tried to cast another spell to create a water. But in the middle of process, the spell suddenly break apart.

At first, Lelei thought it was her incantation was wrong due to her panic state. But after trying for another 3 times, she realized it was not her fault that the spell didn't work.

As she look around, she noticed something.

The mana around her has simply vanished.

Rory had run with everything she could toward Pina's room. Along the way, she have met several other knights who rushed toward Pina.

She have met with Hamilton and Bozes, although both of them didn't even wear the armor. They simply still wearing the linen gown, which was used as sleeping gown.

"Your Holliness!"

"No time to talk! Go to Pina's room and get somewhere safe! Bozes, I need you to take command of the army right now!"

"Y-Yes! Please save Her Highness!"

Rory was about to back on the run, but suddenly a red haired woman came rushing toward them.

"No need! Your Holliness, tell me where's the enemy!" Pina had come with minimal armor and only wield a single sword on her right hand.

Rory felt a slight of relief upon seeing Pina was safe, but the question that being asked by her was something she can't even answered.

"I don't know. They somehow blew the gate and the surrounding. We need to hurry evacuate."

"Evacuate?! To where?!"

Rory wanted to answered, but interrupted immediately by a random soldier who kneeled in front of her and Pina.

"Report! The front gate and the whole 6 watchtower had been destroyed. Right now the enemy could enter at anytime through the front gate."

Pina was taken aback by the report. She realized that it's not a sporadic attack. No. It was a coordinated attack.

"Send every available defender at the broken gate! Hold off any attempt to break into our fort!"

"Yes, Your Highness!" the soldier immediately back on his feet and running towards the front gate.

"Then, I'll help at the front gate. Princess, hurry up and rallied every surviving warriors. Take control of the situation. I'm counting on you." Rory readied her halberd then without even saying goodbye, she left Pina with her other escorts.

Rory jumped around and running towards the devastated front gate, and found several hundred defenders are putting up a shield wall. More and more soldiers had come and joined to make the shield wall, but Rory's attention is caught up to something that emerging from the Gate.

She jumped forward, taking the very first row at the front.

In the midst of darkness, she saw the Gate was illuminated by a mixed white and yellow light.

And something had come from the Gate.

She was speechless upon what she saw.

"What in a name of heaven that Titan is?" she murmured.

To Be Continued


Hello everyone! Good day!
Finally, after some time I could update once again. I hope you guys are waiting for the update.

So this chapter is somewhat made me feel uneasy since I honestly didn't really enjoy writing this part. I felt like I'm rushing too fast, but at the same time I felt like I should speed up my pacing since it's one of my biggest enemy when doing a writing. I tried my best to balance it, but somehow I felt like this is still not enough. So please, let me know what you think about the pacing of this chapter.

Oh and don't hesitate as well to write any complain or whatever you think about this chapter or the story as a whole. I promise I would read it wholeheartedly.


Answer to your reviews.

Panu Sitti: Heya! Nice to see you still reviewing my story, dude! Thank you. Yeah, I'm sorry if you expecting much of fight from this story, and I actually wanted it too but my whole idea of the story didn't really gave much of room for that part. However, I tried to figure out a way to solve it. I was inspired by an fanfic author named TheShortGrenadier and his story titled "Terror Belli, Decus Pacis". And that story made me realized that I could twist a lot of plot and show my disagreement with the original plot line by making my own. That's why I changed the whole plot from the original Gate, and replaced it with a new plot that I deemed more interesting to write. Also, please don't be reserved on how much you wanted to comment. I really don't mind with long comment. I promise, I will read it. And hey, I've sent you a PM so please if you have time, please check it.

Eddie199: You curious? hahaha me too! I've been wracking my brain on how to write it down and show it more than just a surprising news for the Empire. But well, before we get into that, let's see the upcoming plot between Diabo and Pina. I hope you enjoy it.

ThisDangOriginalDude : Thank you so much for your praise! World-Building is something I always felt fascinated to, and I think Tensura is one of the best series with a world-building genre. That's why I love it so much. I hope you enjoy this new chapter.


Author's Yapping.

All right in this opportunity, I want to say that I was originally intended to write some bonus information about the information of our protagonist such as Saare, Grigori, Glenda, Diabo, Marquis Kallios, etc. But when I tried to write it down, I felt an immense of sleepy so I forgot most of it and decided I should make it for the another time. I hope you're okay with this.

Also, I hope you guys didn't think lightly of Emroy's doing in this chapter. In earlier chapter, he said it was forbidden for a God and Goddess to directly interfere with the mortal world, but on this chapter he's sending Rory to aid Pina against Jura Tempest Federation. It will be some huge twist in the story. Hahaha.

Consider it as easter egg. lol.

Anyways, that's it for now. See you again in the next chapter!