The Book Eating Magician - Chapter 204
Chapter 271 – Karul Plains (2)
“Then please follow me.”
Theodore left the barrack and started to cross the military camp under Earl Carter’s guidance.
Indeed, the scale was so large that Theodore would get lost without a guide.
Barracks were stationed on all sides and filled with Meltor’s troops. There were more than 100,000 troops, a number which couldn’t emerge unless they mobilized more than 80% of the standing army in the border army. In fact, there were troops who hadn’t joined yet, so the total number was probably closer to 150,000.
‘This will be a complete war.’
In the meantime, Meltor and Andras had been bitterly antagonistic to each other, so this war was fate. They had gathered all the troops, except for those needed to protect the capital and the kingdom.
Maybe both powers had guessed it already.
In order to win and destroy the enemy in front of them, more strength and sacrifices were needed.
Theodore’s expression grew heavier at the thought. In some ways, this war had been sparked by Theodore Miller. Elvenheim, and the three swords whom he had killed…
With the addition of this strength which tipped the scales of power, Andras realized that they needed to strike. If they delayed the fight any longer, they were going to lose. If it wasn’t now, they wouldn’t be able to win.
‘This is a chance to break the horrible long history of war in the north, but I feel a little bit of responsibility.’
However, that didn’t mean he felt guilty. Regardless of Theodore’s presence, the two powers would’ve fought again. There was no guarantee that the blood shed at that time would be less than the present.
In the end, the flow of this era was just magnified by him. Rather, Meltor should rejoice since it was more advantageous to them. Put in another light, it meant that Andras was in a position where they had no choice other than to go to war.
Theodore clenched both fists tightly and prepared himself.
“Yes, did something happen?” He turned to answer Earl Carter’s call, who pointed to the barrack opposite them.
“Almost there. Beyond that hill, the magicians who will give you support are waiting.”
“Oh, are you going back?”
“Yes. I was badly rejected, so I have to go back and drown my sorrow,” Earl Carter said jokingly before leaving Theodore. However, his walk wasn’t light, so it seemed like he did regret being rejected.
Unfortunately, Theodore couldn’t accept his recommendation.
He understood Earl Carter’s abilities after Soldun, but the one he appointed as deputy was much more excellent. No, he could be called incomparable. This was the secret card that Theodore prepared before coming to Karul Plains.
“…Later, I will go see him.”
Anyway, his thoughts were up to here. People were waiting for him beyond that hill, so he couldn’t delay his pace any longer. Of course, Theodore didn’t expect much. This position might seem plausible, but in reality, it was just a perfect place to die. Theodore was a master and captain of the unit, but his subordinates would be the ones thrown to death.
‘First, Sylvia, William, and Para will follow me, but… will there even be 10 people for this insane unit?’
He might not even fill up 10 people, let alone 50 people. Theodore crossed the hill while anticipating pessimistic numbers. Then at that moment…
“All members! Rise!” The loud voice of the man was familiar.
“…William?” Theodore’s blue eyes widened as William, standing on the stage, looked up at him and raised a hand to his left chest. It was a natural salute without any flaws.
“Our hero! Salute to Captain Theodore Miller!”
After that, a heavy sound rang out.
It was the sound of over a hundred people stamping their feet and hitting their chest with their hands.
What about their blazing eyes?
A look like that of beasts of prey was flowing from their eyes. Their neat uniforms and controlled magic power gave off a feeling of elegance while proving their individual skills simultaneously.
‘The people here… They are all applying to my unit?’
He counted at least 100 people with just his eyes.
“It has been a long time, Captain.”
“Why do you look so surprised? Is it because there are more people than you think?”
Theodore tried to answer with honorifics, but then changed his tone and said, “That’s right.”
“It is your fame. As long as they can fight with the ‘hero’, they are willing to die. 120 people volunteered.”
“120 people… I have to screen them.”
“Well, it is a good thing. A chance to pick the best talents, any leader would want this.”
This was also true. Theodore coughed and climbed onto the podium next to William. Then he looked at the 240 people staring at him and greeted, “It is nice to meet you. As you know, I am Theodore Miller.”
Some people laughed at the self-introduction, but it only lasted a short while.
Who needed introduction to the person called Theodore Miller?
He was the man who had defeated three of the empire’s Seven Swords before he was even 30 years old, as well as the main cause of the alliance with Elvenheim. Even the spies hiding in Meltor remembered his achievements.
After feeling that the rigid mood loosened a little bit, Theodore raised a hand and drew the attention of the people.
“First of all, I would like to thank you for volunteering to be a part of my unit. I can only pick 50 people. I hope you understand that I have to send back the rest.”
Theodore came down from the podium after saying those words.
“The screening method is simple. Show me your skills.”
Theodore looked down at the magicians and used a spell in an empty space.
Walls made of steel soared from the ground at ultra high speed. It was at an astonishing speed and perfection, even for magicians belonging to the magic towers. The magicians’ eyes widened as they saw the iron wall which had risen up so quickly. It was thick and contained a weight which could be seen, even if it wasn’t touched. This was a barrier which wouldn’t be scratched by mere attack magic.
While everyone was staring at the wall, Theodore spoke, “Your destructive power will be based on the complete destruction of this iron wall.”
Simultaneously, Theodore cast an attack spell—Flare Burst. It was a 5th circle fire-based magic, a favorite attack spell used by war mages. However, Theodore’s Flare Burst was different.
Ku kwa kwa kwang!
Flamers poured out of thin air and crashed into the iron wall, melting it away. It was unmistakably 5th circle magic, yet it contained the destructive power of 6th circle magic! The magicians freaked out as they looked at the wreckage, while Theodore restored the wall like it was nothing. It looked like it hadn’t been broken at all.
“The next is mobility. Yes, this will be fine.”
One step. When Theodore moved, only 10 people were able to grasp his movements. It was an acceleration made by strengthening and lightening his body. Experienced veterans like Vince or Earl Carter could use it as casually as Theodore. However, the confident volunteers stiffened.
Destructive power, mobility, defense, stealth, flight, magic circles…
After a few demonstrations, those who were full of admiration started to feel shocked.
“Hah. He is obviously a genius, but this is more than that.”
“Is Prime Theodore’s Sorcery an all-rounder?”
“Nonsense… It is too great to dismiss it as just that. I will toss that opinion.”
Finally, after demonstrating some exploration magic, Theodore looked at the volunteers with a tired expression. “I will accept people who meet the standards in three or more fields. I’d like to do more in-depth testing, but we don’t have time. I am going to complete the formation today and then start training tomorrow. Now, Quattro members.”
Three people moved at Theodore’s call.
“I will give the three of you the job of screening them. Don’t look at convenience. Pick them based on my demonstrations. Yes, you don’t have to worry about picking 50 people. Just pick those who meet my criteria.”
“I will follow your words!”
“Let’s start immediately.”
The three members of Quattro were set up as teaching assistants. Then Theodore went up to the stage and shouted to the volunteers, “All members! Gather in three columns!”
This was the moment when Theodore’s test, later known as the Wailing Wall, would become notorious.
* * *
“…So, there are only 30 people left?” Benedict made a dumbfounded expression.
“Yes, there are 31 people including Captain Theodore.”
“There is a vacancy of 20 people. Is he recklessly believing in his own power?”
“I don’t think so.” Earl Carter put down his report and emphatically shook his head at the anxious old man’s words.
Theodore had selected 30 people, with three being from Quattro, and started drastic training from the next day.
“It is an unthinkable scene considering it is his first command.”
No one, let alone Earl Carter, knew that… Theodore Miller might be in his 20s, but he had the war hero called Alfred Bellontes inside him. Despite his identity as a prince, Alfred had been at the forefront of the battlefield, spending more than a decade on it. As such, it was natural for people to underestimate Theodore.
However, Earl Carter soon gave an answer, “Rather than moderately strong people, an elite force is needed in the field. If they’re not strong enough, it would be much more efficient to walk around alone.”
Benedict responded positively, “That’s right. He didn’t go to military school, but he understands his role. This is the principle of finding a suitable path.”
“I think so as well.”
It was as he said. Theodore’s firepower was three or four times an average master. If he was to do guerrilla attacks, he wouldn’t need a unit. However, his role was to be a leader and command the unit.
If so, he needed to judge and move according to his unit.
‘I will let him move freely.’
It was perfect logic. However, it was just a bluff if it wasn’t used properly. Benedict instructed for Theodore and his followers to remain autonomous for the moment, and then proceeded to the next agenda. Then the atmosphere in the barrack became tense as he read the next report.
The contents stated that a large number of imperial troops were gathering on Karul Plains. The information department estimated that there were at least 150,000 troops. In addition to the current 100,000 troops on the defense line, Andras was trying to overwhelm them with 250,000 troops.
However, Benedict and the other staff members just scoffed.
“Wanting to overwhelm us with numbers? The prince is in command this time? He might have sword skills, but I don’t know if he has any ability as a commander.”
“It is as you say.”
“I will teach that infant what war is.”
So far, Meltor had never had more troops than Andras. It was natural. Judging by the population and size of the land, Meltor was half the scale of Andras. Nevertheless, the two powers had remained antagonistic to this day.
Having only 100,000 troops, it was a disadvantage which had occurred more than 20 times in this long war.
“But we don’t need to deal with the angry boar head on. First, I will break the horns and teeth, and then lay a trap at its feet.”
A magician’s firepower wasn’t infinite. If they reduced the empire’s troops before entering the full-scale battle, the battlefield would become better. If so, there should be an initial exploration.
Knights were faster at a short range, while magicians were three or four times faster at long range because they had flying and acceleration magic. If they broke off the supply line of the empire and blocked the path of the reinforcements… The imperial army would find out how obnoxious they could be.
“Hrmm, let’s try it.”
It was also a chance to check their power.
“Earl Carter, please bring Captain Theodore here.”
“You will use his unit?”
“It is good as a precursor.”
The leaders might consider it as nothing, but the soldiers would be troubled by an extra 100,000 enemies. What if Theodore’s status performance became widely known? It would be enough to make up for the reduced morale.
“This greeting will take the imperial army down a notch.”
The hero of Meltor—the name of Theodore—would become a nightmare to Andras. The more he acted, the higher Meltor’s morale would rise and Andras’ would fall. The other leaders at the meeting nodded.
Thus, Theodore’s first mission was decided.
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