Volume 4 Chapter 160: Infiltrating the Fallen Capital of the Grande Duchy

Sarnia Duchy’s “Fake Capital” Sarni City’s moat, Sarnia Duchy’s 60,000 strong defense force, had repelled the Beastmen’s attacking army of 250,000 with the use of firearms and the advantageous terrain provided by the city walls.

After losing thousands of large bodies, the Wolfmen decided to retreat temporarily. Afterward, 250,000 Beastmen soldiers surrounded Sarni City to siege the city. Their leader, Commander Harrington, had dispatched a force of 30,000 troops to go around Sarni City and invade deeper into the territory of Sarnia Duchy to collapse the agricultural backbone of the city.

After the troop had barely passed Sarni City, they had disappeared into the misty cemetery behind the city. They had been massacred by the 300,000 zombies that had surrounded them in the graveyard; there wasn’t a single survivor.

Over 200,000 Beastmen troops were left, they had launched several surprise attacks against Sarni City over the next three days, but they all failed. Wolfmen corpses were piled high around the city’s moat. Even after losing over 10,000 troops, the Beastmen army had been unable to take even half a step onto the city walls.

In Duchess Bellina’s manor, Bella was currently discussing strategy with her roommates. The continuous sound of cannon fire roaring from the walls had already become a steady backdrop to their activities. Ivy and Ignaz were also present. Due to their lack of military knowledge, besides Pamela, the other three girls decided to serve as quiet listeners.

“It’s already been three days, yet those Beastmen still haven’t calmed down! Why hasn’t my royal father sent reinforcements?”

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“Kriss, your old man would be more than happy if all us duchies were to fall! That way, he can politely reclaim the land that he has given out.”

Not only Kriss but also Princess Pamela found it very strange that her royal father hadn’t sent reinforcements to the Gabriel Empire. The Manasvir Empire should have had plenty of troops to spare!

As for Sarnia Duchy’s stalwart defense of the southern border, the Gabriel Empire had been the first to know about the situation. After a round of rough calculation, the Emperor had personally promised Bella that as long as she could hold out, then he would give her an even greater title.

This declaration had already been delivered to Bella’s own hands by a Lion Eagle Knight. After glancing at it, she had thrown it straight into the trash. This old scoundrel had even tried to get her to send Princesses Pamela, Kriss, and Lisha to the backlines. Bella had immediately expelled the knight after reading it.

What nonsense was “It’s safer in the backlines; if Princess Pamela were to suffer an accident, then it would be hard to explain to the Manasvir Empire?”

It was complete nonsense. Bella was confident that nowhere was safer than to be with her. This old scoundrel, his imperial mandate was written full of flowery prose that spanned several large pages, yet there wasn’t a single word about plans of reinforcements or a counterattack. Did he think that Bella was a child that he could fool at will?

Bella had thrown out this mandate because she was waiting for the Gabriel Empire to quote an even greater reward. Sarni City was located at the perfect location, blocking access to the most optimal path for the Beastmen armies to invade the Gabriel Empire. There was no way the Beastmen could go around the city and leave a hostile force of 60,000 soldiers at their backs.

To Bella’s understanding, Pamela and Kriss wouldn’t be able to refute such a request with ease. Their family’s royal father’s disposition, they knew better than even Bella. Presently, Sarnia’s defense army’s morale was soaring. With the aid of their new firearms, these people, who had initially been refugees escaping from the invading Beastmen, had transformed into a proud militia.

“Bella, those new firearms, can they…”

“No! Princess Pamela, this technology is not for sale. Also, you have a somewhat idealistic view of these firearms.”

Bella rejected Pamela’s request. Arquebuses and copper guns were not modern firearm technology. Manually reloading firearms was an extremely time-consuming process. The fact that they were able to have such an impressive showing here in Sarni City was because many Death Ghosts were aiding in the reloading process. The gunmen would be able to fire as if they had “unlimited” ammunition due to the Death Ghosts reloading for them.

According to aerial scouting reports from the demons, the Beastmen Race’s other three armies were converging on Sarni City. There would be almost 1 million enemy Beastmen surrounding Sarni City soon.

Sarni City’s gunpowder and ammunition production continued every day; there was almost currently enough for over two months of continuous use. Bella had no fear of the Beastmen. Let alone one million, even if the entire Beastmen Race came out, she had the confidence of lasting until the end.

However, only defending was not an option. Bella suspected that the Beastmen and the Dark Humans had more cards up their sleeves. Under Bella’s orders, tens of millions of demons were gathering in the Darkness Sacred Region. The counterattack against the Beastmen and the Dark Humans would happen soon.

“Bella, is there anything I can do to help! These past couple of days, I’ve been rather useless; I feel awkward…”

After the meeting concluded, Bella had just arrived at the Lord’s Mansion’s observation deck and was about to enjoy the night scenery. Suddenly, Noreya had appeared and begged to help. Bella, seeing Noreya holding onto her hand like a little girl, almost smirked. However, she managed to keep it in due to her fear of being “backstabbed.”

“What are you laughing at… Bella, it’s your fault anyway, not letting me move out.”

Perhaps it was due to realizing that her current actions were a bit too sweet and loving as if she were acting like a little girl holding her lover’s hand, Noreya withdrew her small hand and glared at Bella. She had initially wanted to sneak out and assassinate the enemy army’s commander, but Bella stopped her.

In these types of large scale defense battles, assassins were waterboys. Besides assassinating the high-ranking officers of the enemy camp, there wasn’t much else for them to do. These couple of days, Noreya had only been able to sit atop the inner walls and try out her firearm abilities with an arquebus; she didn’t have much fun.

“Baby, that’s because I cherish you! Noreya, I know that you are powerful, but I have my plans for assassination. Will you listen to me?

“Who… Who’s your baby… Fine, I understand. If you have an assassination mission, you better tell me first! Compared to President Ivy and Lola, my capabilities are much higher.”

Words covered with honey have always been effective against girls, and even the cold and proud Noreya was unable to withstand Bella’s coaxing words. Noreya disappeared with a bright red face; she must have entered the assassin’s stealth state.

There were Dark Human mages in the Beastmen army, and they might have had anti-assassin measures in place. If Noreya were to be captured or killed, then Bella would be regretful. Instead, she thought of a new strategy to attack the Beastmen.

“Lady Bella, Lady Dolores has already finished adjusting the big guy. She’s just waiting for you to point out the target.”

“Excellent. Return and tell her that we will test it tonight. Also, tell someone to drive the device over here. I’ll be performing secret maneuvers tonight.”

Not long after Noreya disappeared, several demon guards descended from the sky in front of Bella, reporting their latest findings. These past couple of days, the Beastmen had been attacking the city nonstop, causing Bella not even to have time to do anything to her sisters. She felt slightly resentful of the Beastmen due to this, and if she couldn’t wreak some havoc in the Beastmen camp, then she would feel stifled.

On the southern border of the Gabriel Empire, what was formerly the capital of Norlander Duchy, Nolan City, had been captured and occupied by the Beastmen army.

Duke Brandon had escaped with a small number of close subordinates toward the Gabriel Empire’s borders and had hidden away. It wasn’t just Duke Brandon either. All of the nobility that successfully escaped had decided to stay underground for the time being. They didn’t return to the Gabriel Empire because they would be arrested as traitors by the Emperor, even if they were Dukes.

At that time, they would be thrown directly into prison and would not have any wiggle room left, especially since there were plenty of people eyeing up their positions. Now, looking at the current state of Sarnia Duchy, it appeared as if it would be able to hold out to the end. At the time, the Dukes in hiding would be able to come back and reclaim their land. After all, the Beastmen had never shown any inclination to occupy their conquered territories in the past permanently.

The Beastmen were a nomadic race; they didn’t do farming, nor did they have much use for the human’s conquered territories. After they had stolen enough grains and treasures, they would naturally return home.

As long as there were still duchies around, the Gabriel Empire’s ancient snake of an Emperor would never send reinforcements. The imperial army was the tool he used to rule the Empire; wasting it on helping the duchies was not worthwhile.

Although Brandon and the other male Dukes looked down on Bella for her gender, the female Duchess had already become their only hope for redemption. They had already written a joint letter to Bella, inviting her to become the leader of the Gabriel Empire’s Southern Border Duchies Alliance. After the Beastmen retreat, Duke Brandon would immediately send news back to the Empire.

Presently, Duke Brandon could only pray in his heart that Duchess Bellina, that wild girl, wouldn’t fall. After the battle, the southern border region of the Gabriel Empire would experience a political reshuffling of power.

Nolan City was the second-largest city in the southern border region after Sarni City. It was originally the largest city in the southern border region. However, this famous city was now riddled with thousands of holes. The six-meter high city wall was covered with battle scars from the Beastmen army’s trebuchets.

The bloody scent permeating the air had been present for a very long time. The Beastmen didn’t bury the dead, though they would reclaim their own fallen soldiers, the human corpses lay piled up against the city wall, their bodies stripped of valuables and left to rot.

Outside the city, in a certain forest, several lion eagles slowly descended. These pure black creatures were of the fallen variety and were the special mounts of the demon army. Three silent shadows flitted down from their respective mounts. Within the forests, a multitude of insubstantial ghosts welcomed the newcomers.

“Sir Demon Lord, we died such a cruel death… Please get vengeance for us…”

These ghostly blue departed spirits belonged to the victims of the Beastmen army. Due to the partial collapse of the cycle of reincarnation, they were trapped on this Earth. They could only ask the Demon Lord to resolve their grudge. It was due to sensing these spirits’ vengeful aura that Bella had come.

“Can’t you guys get revenge yourselves! Your corpses haven’t been burned…”

“Sir Demon Lord, the Beastmen army has several dark-robed people mixed in. They have used magic to seal away our corpses; we have no choice but to…”

“So it was like this! This lord has heard your desires, leave me for now.”

Bella watched the ghosts slowly fade away for the time being. She felt rather complicated; if she resolved their grudge, then they would fully become demonic ghosts, never to revert to their former selves. Noreya and Elaine had come with Bella; one was an assassin, and the other one was a puppet master, one of the critical professions in an assassination group.

A black colored array had already covered Nolan City’s surrounding region. Underneath the array, eternal darkness covered the sky. With their pitiful intelligence, the Beastmen definitely could not have produced such a difficult array; it must have been the work of the Dark Humans.

Near Nolan City, Bella and her companions found the corpse treatment area. Bodies were piled as high as a mountain; they were all humans killed by the Beastmen army. The stench emitted by such a large pile of rotting corpses was not something an ordinary person could endure.

Noreya and Elaine, due to their professions’ requirements, were used to death and looked on with calm expressions. After all, one was a “corpse producer” assassin, and the other was a “corpse consumer” puppet master.

In the middle of the pile of corpses, there were several tens of black-robed figures laying down a magical array. Their black robes practically covered their entire body, Bella couldn’t even discern their gender. Either way, they were terrible people, thought Bella.

The evil magic array on the ground was one that could be used to refine corpses into more powerful zombie soldiers. Elaine was able to identify this at a glance from afar, and due to the distance, the black-robed people hadn’t yet noticed the foreign infiltrators.

“Bella, they don’t have a heartbeat! They’re all walking corpses!”

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“Never mind that, Elaine, take care of them first.”

Near the evil magic array, several black-robed wizards were busy working. Right as they were preparing for the final step, Elaine’s puppet silk immobilized them. In a flash, Noreya struck. The heads of all the black-robed wizards fell to the ground.

Noreya had judged that heart strikes would not hinder these black-robed figures and decided to straightforwardly behead them instead, rendering them forever unable to recite evil incantations. Bella walked over, wielding a World Destructor’s Evil Slaying Greatsword. As if she were splitting melons by the sea in summer, she cut every single head in half.

After destroying their heads, the struggling bodies finally stilled. Dark Humans were a pain to deal with. Only weapons like the World Destructor’s Evil Slaying Sword, which were specially made to slay evil, could kill them.

“Elaine, can you use this magic array?”

“Of course. With this many corpses, it will be an easy task. Let me show you my true ability.”

An evil smile flashed across Elaine’s face. Puppet silk danced across her fingers before she thrust them into the ground and began rewriting the array. The originally dark purple array looked as if it had become infected, gradually turning into an orange color.

Even being some distance away, Bella could feel a fearsome amount of evil energy roiling off of Elaine. The female warriors of today were all eviler than the demon king. At that instant, Bella felt a strange sensation that Elaine next to her was an even more powerful demon king than she was.

Not long after, that mountain of corpses began showing signs of loosening. Many of the dead were waking up. Bella could sense that the ghosts that had entreated them earlier were streaming past her, and wildly squeezed back into their original bodies before getting ready to take their vengeance on the Beastmen.

“Cough cough, Elaine, did you directly control those spirits as puppets?”

“Bella, stop giving me that weird look. I’m merely a simple explorer!”

Probably due to sensing the happenings in the corpse treatment area, another group of black-robed wizards hurried over. There were several dozens of them, and before they arrived, Noreya had already sensed them. Noreya hid into the shadows, preparing her ambush. As they arrived, they discovered an empty and altered array; the bodies of their companions had disappeared.

“What’s going on! This magic array… Hurry up and stop it. This silk is…”

“Hurry! It’s a trap…”

The black-robed wizards discovered that the magic array had been tampered with. They didn’t even have time to investigate the disappearance of their fellows and hurried to stabilize the magic array. Bella, Noreya, and Elaine had already changed into the robes of the dead wizards, and under the cover of darkness, headed toward Nolan City.

The altered magic array was Elaine’s work. As soon as the black-robed wizards stepped inside, the trap activated. They were entangled by the puppet silk and mangled to death within the array.

Elaine’s curse sealed the Dark Humans’ resurrection ability. Without their ability to resurrect, they were the same as normal humans. Not long after, the corpse treatment is returned to its former silence. There was only a faint whisper of sound left.

- my thoughts:
Will be posting everyday until the end of the month!
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