Chapter 51: Flames of War Rage Everywhere Around Steinbeck Fief (Part 1)

Over one hundred years ago when the former Suzerain Duke Andrew had degenerated, many cities and towns that had originally belonged to Steinbeck Fief had become independent, and their city lords had declared themselves kings. Adrian Empire had considered the cost of sending armed forces to suppress them too great, and the sacrifice found to be too profitless; thus, they never dispatched troops. They simply unilaterally declared the rebels Barbarian Races and didn’t recognize the legitimacy of their regimes.

The city lords, however, completely ignored Adrian Empire. They had remained independent for over a hundred years now and never once encountered an army that challenged them. They truly believed that it would continue like this perpetually. Until today. Unfortunately, it was not Adrian Empire’s army that had come to suppress them but rather a large army of undead.

“My God, those are undead! Quick, close the city gate!”

Upon seeing the undead legion approaching, the soldiers defending the city were alarmed and quickly pulled up the city gate’s drawbridge, attempting to impede the progress of undead. At the same time as the city gate closed, the soldiers manning the walls used bows and arrows to shoot, planning to stop the undead offensive. In Human Race, Mages were a rare profession and few in number. These independent cities didn’t have any magicians; moreover, the price of hiring a mage was colossal; therefore, among the defenders, the majority were warriors or archers, with one or two assassins mixed in.

However, those arrows could not pierce through the undeads’ armors, they only left behind thin white scratches. The Corpse Generals withstood the hail of arrows while charging the city gate. After they neared the city wall, the Corpse Generals leaped over ten meters, directly crossing the city wall and landing inside the city. The Corpse Generals’ jumping power was astonishing. The over ten-meter tall city wall was nothing before their wrath.

“These undead are strange. Quickly evacuate!”

“Retreat towards the inner city! We can’t guard this place.”

The defending soldiers’ frontline fell into chaos. The Corpse Generals brandished their claws to strike and kill. Armor was useless. After the humans were killed, they directly fell to the ground where their corpses rigidly lay for a while. After a bit, they turned into footman undead and followed the Corpse Generals to pursue and attack their once-allied soldiers.

The independent city quickly turned into a purgatory in the human world. Seas of flames spread everywhere, and dark smoke billowed all around. No one knew whether the commanding officer of the other side had a pit in his brain, but he actually thought of igniting the buildings inside the city to use a sea of flames to obstruct the undead army’s advance. But, this move was useless because it could only deal with low-level undead. With Corpse Generals, these kinds of existences that had cultivated for over a hundred years, this move was useless. No matter how high the firewall rose, the Corpse Generals could easily surmount them.

“Lord Clyde, everything is going according to your plans. Don’t worry.”

“En, if this goes well, then there shouldn’t be any problems.”

As the manipulator behind the scenes, Clyde stood on a distant hill with Andrisno, quietly watching the independent city. Beside them, a dozen or so Corpse Kings and that Corpse Emperor awaited orders. In the current battle, the Corpse Generals alone were enough to defeat the opposite side. These higher-level existences didn’t need to make a move; therefore, they just stood there, waiting for Clyde’s next command.

Surprisingly, Clyde didn’t speed up this process by sending these fellows in since he didn’t like to reveal the cards in his hand. In addition, he intentionally chose a comparatively hidden location with Andrisno to observe while making Corpse Emperor and the Corpse Kings stand at an obvious position. Such an arrangement was made to confuse the opponent. If there were a third force observing from the dark, there was a high probability that they would regard the Corpse Emperor as this undead legion’s supreme commander. It was very difficult to notice Clyde and Andrisno hiding in the dark.

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Facing the deliberate and strategic undead, other than the soldiers dying in battle, the residents of the independent city and many others where Clyde had dispatched troops were forced to flee in the direction of Steinbeck Fief. The Corpse Generals of this undead legion only chased after those who fled in other directions, so the refugees were forced to retreat to Steinbeck Fief.

Under the frenzied offense of the undead legion, many independent cities fell, and their residents were forced to flee towards Steinbeck Fief. In less than a day, the issue of independent border cities that had troubled Andrew Empire for over a century was completely resolved in the most oversimplified and crude way using an undead army. Through direct violence, they were banished and could only run towards Steinbeck Fief.

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These independent cities had had it easy for over a hundred years; thus, the current city lords weren’t as tough or vigilant as the first generation. Everyone felt terrified, and upon seeing the undead armies attacking their cities, they were so scared that they lost all color. Moreover, they were not in the proper mental states to command the defending troops. Most of the leaders fled faster than even the commoners. By facing such simple opponents, Corpse Generals effortlessly attacked and occupied over a dozen independent cities, completely ending these independent regimes.

The residents of many independent cities wandered destitutely about Steinbeck Fief. Forced to immigrate and seek shelter in the direction of Steinbeck Fief, tens of thousands of refugees waited at Lawrence River’s bank within a few days to apply for asylum. On both ends of a completely new stone bridge were checkpoints. Wearing silver armor, Princess Natalie with her blood-red hair was stationed here with the soldiers of the guard’s regiment.

The soldiers of the guard’s regiment wore plate armor that completely covered their entire bodies. No one could discern their true identities. In fact, these soldiers weren’t of Human Race. At present, there were still no men in Steinbeck Fief. The soldiers of this guards regiment were all disguised Bloodkin familiars summoned by Lucifer. However, their outer statures truly resembled Human Race.

“Isn’t this a slave contract? This is against the rules of Victor Alliance!”

“This is an employment contract. When you all became independent over a hundred years ago, you had all already betrayed Victor Alliance. Do you still want power? If you feel this is unsuitable, then you can go to the nations of Clark Alliance next door. It just happens to be slave selling season.”

Outside the checkpoint, the city lords of those independent cities negotiated with Princess Natalie, attempting to retain their power even after seeking refuge, but Princess Natalie didn’t buy it. She just sat in her chair and pressured them through her calmness. She used to the princess of a nation belonging to Clark Alliance, so she didn’t oppose to slavery. These city lords were out of luck. If they had met Princess Saras, she might have, out of sympathy, conceded to some of these city lords’ demands.

According to the contract, after these wanderers entered Steinbeck Fief, they would automatically become residents of Steinbeck Fief, and the original city lords would no longer retain their powers. This was the root cause of the violent reaction of these city lords.

“Leave. If you don’t want to accept our offer, this is not your territory. You all are just losers here, nothing more. If you won’t accept this, then get out of the way. If that undead army nears, I will just destroy the bridge to protect the fief. At that time, I will see if you can still be greedy.”

 


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