~ Chapter 67: The sound of the horn (Part 2) ~
“If this dragon has such a terrifying power, then why don't we just toss a weaker version of that attack on them as a warning? It would lower their morale and boost our forces'.” a dragon with dark-brown scales and a full-plate Dregaryum armor suggested.
This dragon with a fierce gaze and a two-handed sword sheathed on his back went by the name of Reyades Undrakan. He, just like all the other six here, was one of the many Breakthrough-ers under the King and Queen's command.
“Because this area is part of the kingdom's granary. If we win this war, the crops will reemerge in one year or two and the losses would be recovered, but if I use this attack, then the respective area will have no chance of recovering for decades to come.” I replied, showing my desire not to use the [Itsy Bitsy BOOM!].
No matter how good a nuke would be to win an easy war, if I had no means of taking care of the fallout it would be the same as poisoning my own land. Besides, there were innocent in these areas and maybe not all soldiers in that ridiculous army came to this battlefield by will. I could imagine Draejan conscripting the local able dragons into his forces while taking the weapons and armors from the dragoness fighters.
“I don't see the problem? Can't we just not plant there?” Reyades asked scratching the back of his head.
“If we can't find a way to win without relying on Alkelios' powerful spell and harming our own lands, then it would be best not to claim we are proud dragon warriors who uphold to honor and justice!” Feryumstark declared.
“Sigh, his Majesty has always been someone who would prefer not to employ underhanded means unless absolutely necessary.”
The one who spoke was Leone Sylvara, a dragon of the wind element with light-green scales, a beautiful long silver hair tied into a bum at the back, and who wore long blue robe. He was this kingdom's communication specialist.
Underhanded means? Well... you could say that it is indeed a cowardly way to attack... Although when in war, does one really need to care so much about the means used to end it? Wouldn't even the slaughter of thousands of innocents be then justified as an unfortunate casualty by the victor? I mean, I did use it on that insect army and didn't really feel any guilt about it, but that was an army in the middle of a wasteland... I thought as I tried to find inside of me a reason to use it.
In the end, this wasn't a wasteland with an alien-looking army in the middle of it... There cities and towns nearby, villages with innocent dragons living there, hoping and praying to the gods for this war to not take away their loved ones. Killing them in cold blood or destroying their means of survival by irradiating these plains wasn't something I could do...
“I do agree with this decision. In a matter of strategic war, it is indeed wise to poison the enemy's supply of food and water, but in this case, they are invading on our lands. Poisoning our own supplies would be the same as granting them a temporary win.” said the dragoness standing on the left side of the Queen.
She had long silky black hair that went down all the way to her waist and contrasted her pure-white scales. As a dragoness of the light element, she was well renown healer, or at least so she claimed.
Ah yes, this land doesn't belong to Embryger. Those settlements are part of Albeyater in the end. I thought as I let out a sigh of relief in my mind.
I was happy I had found another reason not to use my skill.
“I would prefer to win this war through steel and blood, not some spell that seems to do more harm than good.” scoffed Moros Onias.
This dragon had gray scales and was a double elemental: Ice and Earth. He was the type to let his swords do the talking, that was why when he first met me, he immediately requested a duel with me. I respectfully declined. Fighting against an allied Breakthrough-er right before a war started wasn't what one would call smart.
“I too agree with Onias here, no matter how much my words surprise me.” Berros Mandrakea let out a sigh and then squinted his eyes at the dragon in question.
This guy was a vanguard all in all. His big build, tough armor, large shield, and spear as a weapon made him to be one who was most suited at taking the brunt force of an attack. He was a dragon with brown scales, which pointed out the fact that he was of the Earth element.
“I don't really care as long as I get to chop off some heads and let my summons go wild! Hihi!” said Mendeles Unvar.
This dragon was of the Water element, and his blue scales were shiny and well maintained. Mendeles was as he said, a dragon who specialized in summoning magic, which he reinforced with long range spells. What had me worried about him was his rather childish personality. Despite being a rather old Breakthrough-er, he behaved more or less like a 12 years old, however, Feryumstark assured me that when it came to battle, he was quite the sneaky dangerous little devil. He was not a dragon who should be underestimated because of this.
“As for me, I'm more curious about what this strong dragon can do in bed.” said Novias Oshika with a soft purr in the tone of her voice.
Her armor left little to the imagination. Her green scales and voluptuous body could bring out any man's inner desire, but this was exactly her purpose. Oshika was a seductress of the Wind element, who used the sweet caress of wind to entice dragons and dragonesses alike in order to make mistakes during their battle and leave an opening through which she could land a fatal strike. I was also told that she was also quite good with range attacks and binding spells. She could bring to a halt thousands of dragons if she wanted to and then strike them mercilessly with her ranged magic.
“Watch it!” Seryanna glared at the dragoness as she placed her hand on the hilt of her sword.
“Oh my, the wifey is scary! But...” Oshika winked at her “I don't mind a threesome with you.” she purred.
“You should stop it unless you want to find out how it's like to be both frozen and cooked alive.” Kataryna glared at Oshika.
“Everyone, please calm down.” Feryumstark said and the two dragoness turned their backs at each other with a loud 'hmph!'. Seryanna chose to ignore her as well. “Good, now Brekkar, what is your point of view in all of this?” he asked.
“I do believe, your Majesty, that the rest of us are going to follow Alkelios' judgment on this one. He knows his skill better than anyone and if he firmly claims that it would do more bad than good to us, then I oppose the use of it.” the red-scaled dragon said with a nod of his head.
“I see... In that case, the vote has been given. Alkelios, you are to use this skill of yours only and only if it is our last resort. I don't want to destroy and poison my lands to such a degree either. It would have been something else if we were talking about the enemy's territory.” Feryumstark said and then let out a sigh.
“Speaking of which, what happened to the human invasion?” asked Sylvara.
“Yeah, I heard about it too. The only reason me, Leone, and Malavan returned from our quest to find a cure for the Queen was because of the [All-Call]” he said.
I see, so there was a group that was sent to find a cure after all. I did think of it as a bit strange that there was no one looking for it, but didn't they get the memo that a cure had been found? I thought and then I asked “How did that go?”
“Lots of dead ends, unfortunately.” he said shaking his head.
“I have the recipe if you want it.” I shrugged.
“What?” the man looked at me with big eyes.
“We are going off-track here. Speak of my cure later, now let us focus on this battle. Also, I did send several letters to you three, but thanks to some spies, they never reached you it seems.” Elliessara said as she unfolded the fan she held in her hand and looked at Leone Sylvara.
“I have heard of this as well... But nonetheless, it is most fortunate that someone found a cure, but in regard to the human invasion, I am wondering whether or not it was a distraction to keep our forces separated?” Sylvara asked in a calm tone of voice, but his tail was wagging like that of a happy dog.
“That is exactly what happened.” said Feryumstark.
“With the sudden mobilization of our army on two separate fronts, I had to write a lot of letters and gather a lot of proof to be sent to the neighboring countries. The last thing we would want would be to end up attacked by them as well because they believed we had started an invasion campaign.” Elliessara explained.
“Your Majesty, but how can you be sure those letters will reach the destination?” Verona asked.
“As a matter of fact, they already reached their destination. I had made use of Kataryna's flight speed for this.” she replied in a calm tone of voice.
“You sure made me fly a lot...” the silver-scaled dragoness let out a sigh.
“Once I found out that my letters never reached their target, I had to change my strategy. For this, as I said before, and I will reinforce this statement once again in front of everyone here, Kataryna Greorg, I am indebted to you.” said Elliessara as she gave her a nod.
“Sigh, don't bother.” Kataryna shruggged.
“Your Majesties, what is the plan of attack?” Brekkar asked, making sure the conversation wasn't side-tracked again.
If this was a meeting between regular dragons, this meeting would have reached the main point long ago, and their Majesties would have done all the talking so far, however, everyone here was a Breakthrough-er or not far from it. Our general state of mind and the way we saw things was rather leaned back.
“Let us do a small recap of our enemy's forces. They have six confirmed Breakthrough-er. One of them is a mercenary from Ozur; two were sent by the faction in Embryger; one is from the vassal state Novarak; one is a wandering mercenary without a home country; and the last one is from Olvia. However, these are only the known and confirmed Breakthrough-ers reported by our spies. I have reasons to presume that Draejan and his men may have brought others or he himself is now a Breakthrough-er.” the King explained as he placed a wooden carving in the form of a dragon soldier on the map.
“I heard we were up against 364000 dragons. How do you wish for us to fight against them with our 26000?” asked Brekkar.
“Attacking head-on would be a mistake. They can overwhelm us with sheer numbers, and this was probably what they were aiming for from the beginning.” Feryumstark replied.
“I wonder if my history will repeat itself?” Kataryna wondered with a smile on her lips.
“It is possible, but I want you and Alkelios to take care of the Breakthrough-ers. You two will form a Breakthrough-er Hunting Team. The Draketerus sisters together with Brekkar's apprentice will aim for the dragon Commanders of the enemy's army. As for me and Brekkar, we will form a group and act as the Generals of this army as well as Commander and Breakthrough-er Hunters.” he explained.
“What about the rest of us?” Undrakan asked.
“Reyades Undrakan, Leone Sylvaran, and Malavan Verona will act as the guards for the Queen of Albeyater Kingdom. They are to defend her with their lives and if things turn to worse, you are to retreat with her to Drakaria and enforce a defensive strategy.” Feryumstark ordered in a firm tone of voice.
“As you wish, your Majesty!” all three of them replied at the same time and saluted.
Why do I feel like my group is receiving a different treatment when compared to these other Breakthrough-ers? Or maybe we aren't that used to orders or the standard procedure? It could be this as well... I thought.
“Berros Mandrakea, Mendeles Unvar, Novias Oshika, and Moros Oniar, you four are to advance and support our army of 26000 which will be separated in four different groups. Do not engage in battles with Breakthrough-ers unless absolutely necessary. The Hunters will try to take them out before they become a problem for you. In this battle, we hold a disadvantage in soldier numbers, but we hold and advantage in Breakthrough-er numbers.” said Feryumstark as he looked at all of them.
“As you wish, your Majesty!” all four of them replied at the same time and saluted, just like the previous three.
“Erm, if you wish, your Majesty, I could offer my mass-produced armors and weapons to our army's commanders and more important officers?” I offered raising a hand up.
“That would be helpful. You have already proven yourself to be an excellent blacksmith and enchanter!” Feryumstark praised me and nodded.
“Indeed, them dragonesses do have some fine weapons and armors. Yours too is quite the impressive beauty!” Unvar pointed out and then let out a sigh.
“They are my best work so far.” I replied.
“But is it wise to do a change of gear so late? Will they be able to use it to its maximum potential?” wonderd Sylvara.
“They will have to, although, true, it would have been better if you did this earlier.” said Brekkar.
“Sorry, it just occurred to me.” I replied as I scratch the back of my head.
Dragon claws made very very good back scratchers.
“It is better if they have a sturdy sword in battle even if they aren't fully used to it yet than to have it break after the first strike.” pointed out Unvar with a nod of his head.
“Then I see no problem with having our Commanders and Captains change their gear. As such, I call this meeting adjourned! May the gods watch over us and guide us on the path to victory!” declared Feryumstark in firm tone of voice.
“May victory be with the Albeyater Kingdom!” we all replied in a loud tone of voice and saluting the King and Queen.
After I left the tent, I visited every commander and captain in our army and gave them each an armor set and a weapon made by me. They were far superior to what they had until now and was supposed to keep them safe against most attacks around levels 500-700. I doubted they would be able to face off against a Breakthrough-er though. There was little to no chance of that happening.
Regarding the armor and weapon, I did tell every dragon and dragoness I gave it to that it was a loan from the Albeyater Kingdom and not to think of it as a present or gift. When this war was over, if his Majesty judged that it was alright for them to have it, then I didn't mind if they gave me the materials for it as payment. Of course, I wasn't worried that they might not accept this offer. Once they saw my loaned items in battle, they were certain to place orders even for more! Turning this into a nice profit and then getting myself a big pile o' gold to sleep on didn't sound that bad. Well, I just hoped no annoying little dwarfs would drop by to steal my treasure.
And then, not long after I equipped the last commander, I heard the sound of the horn which announced the incoming attack of the enemy.
“So it has begun...” I said as I flew over to where my friends were.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
Seeing how things have been a bit hard for me lately, I will try and focus around posting only at the end of the week, during a Friday or Saturday(ish). I'm going to try the weekly chapter dump version of the schedule to see if this fits me better.
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