I managed to fix the player, but I don't know how long this solution will last. I apologize for all the inconvenience caused by the change in rules on the audio file server side over which I had no control.
This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
“Th-Thank goodness! Now that our ally is here-“
“It is too early for celebrations,” Kuahel interjected, coldly cutting her off.
Maxi’s face fell as her relief dissipated like smoke. She turned to the Temple Knight.
“We must bring the holy relic here while the army is fighting the dullahans,” he said with measured calm.
The mysterious monster’s eerie prophecy echoed in her mind. Kuahel was right; they had to repair the barrier with all haste to prevent the dragon’s awakening.
Maxi assessed her dwindling mana. There was far too little remaining to cast a levitation spell. Yet, given their dire circumstances, should she not brave the risk of mana depletion to ensure their escape?
Her eyes darted around and settled on a makeshift structure to the right of the shrine. Carefully walking to the roof’s edge, she suggested, “C-Could we descend this way?”
Kuahel gauged the distance before nimbly jumping off. He then reached up, offering his hands to assist her. Once Maxi’s feet landed on the precariously-built scaffold, she grasped the ladder propped against the wall. Though it looked far from sturdy, they had no other option. She began her cautious descent.
To her relief, no monsters discovered them on their way down. Once they reached the ground, Maxi tried to steady her wobbly legs. She scanned the empty courtyard, dilapidated storehouse, and the wall beyond. Though she could vaguely infer that this was the church’s rear, she still had no idea of their exact location.
“W-Where should we go now?”
Kuahel surveyed their surroundings before striding toward the arched exit at the opposite end of the garden. As Maxi hurried to catch up, a thunderous noise echoed from a distance. She looked up in time to see massive boulders hurtling toward the city.
The coalition army had begun launching its siege weapons at the ramparts.
Kuahel’s pace quickened, urging her to move faster. “You must stay close to me at all costs.”
Maxi nodded, her face turning grim.
The deafening clamor of war shook the air. The towering stallion seemed as if it had galloped out of the depths of hell. Steaming breath billowed from its mouth like a volcano, and its powerful legs pounded the earth as it launched into the air. The mounted warrior on its back swung a six-kevette sword, cleaving through five foot soldiers with lethal precision.
Richard Breston felt the heat radiating from their blood and entrails. In the frenzy of battle, the cavalry showed no scruples as they trampled over their own fallen comrades to charge the enemy. To Breston, the chaos was endlessly entertaining.
Adrenaline coursed through him as his white claymore sliced the air. The Breston family heirloom, said to be forged from the Black Dragon’s bones, cut effortlessly through an armored horse and its undead rider as if they were scraps of paper.
However, instead of splattering the ground in chunks, the dullahan’s corpse melted away like black sand. Breston clicked his tongue as he gazed down at the black stain on the dirt.
What a disappointing kill.
To add to his annoyance, the black pool began to bubble, regaining its headless form. It was a thoroughly deflating situation. Resting his sword on his shoulder, Breston scanned the chaotic battlefield.
While the number of dullahans had not dwindled, the coalition’s forces were noticeably diminished. The snow beneath was stained with the blood of countless fallen soldiers. Remnants of destroyed siege weapons and baggage wagons lay strewn over the hill, a testament to the havoc wreaked by the wyverns. The central unit remained intact, but the flanks had been decimated. It was evident that they had severely underestimated the monster forces.
How troublesome, Breston thought with a scowl.
While a defeat for the coalition would weaken the Reformed faction and their new pope, it would also derail Heimdall’s ambition to abolish the armistice. Nobles from the east and south would likely rally to uphold it in order to prevent the dragon’s revival, boosting public sentiment of the armistice. Anyone trying to sow discord now would be branded an enemy.
Still…can the church lead the Council having lost the people’s trust?
Casting his gaze behind, Breston noted the rear unit stationed roughly a thradion away. Even with the mages shielding them, the archery and siege units had not been spared from the wyverns’ onslaught. But if the army withdrew now, it would require a fortune to regroup. Would the nobles continue to obey the council and provide the coalition with more men and supplies?
A smile curled Breston’s lips. The church had already displayed its incompetence to the world. He was certain that the nobles would stop honoring the Council’s decision. Regardless of how this campaign ended, this ludicrous farce of a peace agreement would end.
Breston turned his gaze back to the battlefront. Dristan’s cavalry and the Remdragon Knights were pushing back the dullahan army. No matter how skillfully Riftan Calypse commanded his troops, he would still go down in history as a failure.
Breston turned his horse around with a satisfied look. He was signaling to the Baltonian soldiers to retreat when someone abruptly blocked his path.“What do you think you’re doing?”
Breston eyed the lithe knight atop his gray stallion. It was the young noble of the Remdragon Knights.
Ursuline Ricaydo, was it?
The fair-haired knight glared at Breston with his deep blue eyes as he deftly blocked the northerner’s retreat.
“It is an act of treason to abandon your post without the supreme commander’s permission.”
“If you wish to be slaughtered like dogs, that is your choice,” Breston sneered as he eyed the knights standing in his way.
Quite a large number of Wedonian knights were positioned behind Balto’s encampment as if they had been anticipating Balto’s dissertation. Placing his hand on his sword, Breston gave Ursuline a threatening smile.
“But we would like to be spared from such a fate. Only fools would risk their lives to fight a battle they cannot win.”
“If the left flank abandons its position, the central unit will be completely surrounded,” Ursuline snarled with a menacing expression that seemed out of place on his comely face.
“Are you trying to betray your allies to save your necks?”
Breston howled with laughter as if the other knight had said something hilarious. “You can’t be serious. If you truly considered us your ally, you wouldn’t have watched us like hawks.”
“I will say it again: no one is allowed to abandon their post without the supreme commander’s permission,” the knight hissed through clenched teeth. “Turn your steed around at once.”
The smile fell from Breston’s face. He was speechless. How had he ended up in a situation where he had to take orders from a feeble prude from the south. Perhaps he had been too tolerant.
He rode up to Ursuline and said in a dangerous tone, “I detest taking orders. So much so that even my own father has given up trying. So who are you to-“
Breston abruptly stopped as the blast of a kopel reached them from afar. He swiveled his head to glance at the chaotic frontline before looking past the horizon. Red banners billowed in the wind as a mounted army closed in around the city.
Is it Sejuleu Aren?
Breston clenched his jaw. It would be unwise to pull back now. He glared at the top of the hill but eventually signaled to the Knights of Phil Aaron to hold their positions. Just then, he spotted the familiar banner fluttering behind the Livadonian Army as they marched down the hill. It took a moment to place the coat of arms - that of Balto’s Southern Confederacy.
Breston turned to Ursuline, dazed as if he had just been struck in the head. “What the hell did you do?”
“I’m afraid I do not understand,” Ursuline replied stonily. “Is there something wrong with reinforcements arriving on time?”
After giving the lithe knight a murderous glare, Breston spurred his horse to the frontlines. Roughly two thradions ahead, the Wedonian spearmen were forming a shield wall. Leaping over them, Breston raced to the center of the fighting. He galloped past hundreds of soldiers before he spotted Riftan Calypse taking on eight dullahans by himself in the vanguard.
Breston cut down the dullahan in his path with a single blow and brought his horse next to Calyspe. He saw the mongrel’s eyes flicker to him behind his visor.
“You are supposed to be leading the left flanks.”
“You seemed to have accomplished something rather interesting and I found it impossible to contain my curiosity,” Breston sneered
He drove his sword into one of hellish war horses charging at him like a water buffalo. Its rider tumbled into the mud. Pulling on his reins, Breston maneuvered his stallion to trample the fallen dullahan under its hooves.
He redirected his attention to Riftan Calypse with a furious glare. “How did you manage to get Balto’s Southern Confederacy to send reinforcements?”
“Did you think you were the only one capable of machinations?” Calypse replied indifferently as he brought his halberd down.
Because the monsters refused to come near them from apparent fear, the two were able to converse without being interrupted.
“The church wasn’t twiddling its thumbs while Heimdall VI was gathering opposition to the armistice. You sorely underestimated the new pope.”
“You’re telling me it was the pope who persuaded the Southern Confederacy?”
When Calypse offered no response, Breston stepped in front of him, effectively blocking his path.
“You must think me a fooL. The church couldn’t have made a move without us knowing about it.”
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