Ahab, Salem, and Fierce Flame were watching the distant army who had reduced in number again. The orcs had pulled a portion of their force several days ago. Now, even more troops were leaving. At this rate, the ones who remained won't be a threat even if they vacated this fort. The fort's original soldiers were enough to keep the enemy from occupying this fort.

"The mythical-grade war chief is still there," Fierce Flame informed after using her eagle eye.

"It seems the remaining enemies over there are simply to keep me occupied," Duchess Isabelle said.

"Still, what are they up to? Where do they send those forces they pull back?" Captain Salem asked.

"Probably going after that shock army that is blocking their supply line," Ahab said. "The news from the dragon and phoenix army indicates that the battle is going in their favor now. If General Storm Wind can keep holding their supplies, those orcs will have no choice but to retreat."

"If all those soldiers who were pulled back going after the shock army, they will have very little chance in holding their position," Isabelle said.

"Damn it! If only we can give aid," Salem lamented.

They were silent. They had basically been idle here. The enemies didn't give them any meaningful fight. They had been itching to do something.

"Prepare the troops," Ahab said.

"Hm? Are we heading out?" Salem asked.

"If they left Thesewal to go after the shock army, we will use this chance to take it back. Even if they get their supply line back, they will lose one of their footholds in this kingdom," Ahab said. "Duchess, you stay here and keep an eye on that war chief. Give him trouble if he tries to leave. I will leave a legion here to support you in case you need to head out."

"All right," Duchess Isabelle said.


In Thesewal, the army that was pulled back gathered outside the fortress town. Abdu was inspecting the gathered soldiers.

"Lord Chief, are we truly abandoning this border town?" Sogora, the rare elite mage who had fought Nilrem in Slaughterer Plains, asked.

"We have no choice. At this moment, the key to our victory lies on the first or second army," Abdu replied. "If they lose, we will be sitting duck when Themisphere's two armies came and surround us. We have to help one of them defeat the enemy."

"So, are we going to where the first army is?" Sogora asked. The second army was too far away.

"Yes. Once we work together with the first army and defeat the enemy. We will go and aid the second army. With no large army to stop us, we will rush deeper into the enemy's territory, spread out into several corps, and raze Themisphere's cities for supplies. It won't be pretty. We will have many casualties. But by spreading our numbers, the supplies needed for each corps will be lesser. We will gather supplies from plunder until we have enough to regroup before mounting an assault on Thereath, this kingdom's capital."

Sogora pondered about Abdu's proposal. The lord chief was right. It had been five days since Abasi left to reclaim the supply route. No news yet since then. They didn't know if he had succeeded or not. The first and second armies couldn't wait forever. Their condition without supplies was getting worse with each passing day. They couldn't afford to keep on waiting.

"Let's march then, we should be able to arrive at where the first army was in three days if we leave the siege weapons and march at full speed," Sogora said.

"Four days," Abdu corrected. "We won't be taking the direct route."

Sogora looked at the lord chief with a questioning expression.

"If we head there normally, we will come upon by the first army's side," Abdu explained. "That won't give the first army much advantage. It will just increase the number of soldiers. We need an advantage that gives a decisive win."

"How are we going to achieve that?"

"By striking the enemy's rear," Abdu said and unfurled a map of the region. "If we go around this mountain range, we can come up upon the enemy's rear. We can then coordinate with the first army to strike the enemy from two fronts. That will be how we score our decisive win."

"But we have to go through the Slaughterer Plains to circle the mountain range."

"We will pass through, not go through. There are plenty of spaces on both sides of the fortress. They will throw ranged attacks at us, but if we move fast, there won't be many casualties."

Sogora looked at the map again. The plan was sound, but he had a slightly uneasy feeling about it. He couldn't explain it though, so he just agreed to it. Not that it mattered if he disagreed, the lord chief had the final say in the movement of the army.

Abdu gave another look to the army before him. Everyone was ready. Abdu gave his command, "FORWARD…!!"

The 500,000 troops which comprised 400,000 natives and 100,000 players started to move towards the Slaughterer Plains.


Commander Armstrong looked at the mass that had appeared at the mouth of the pass. From the look of it, it was no longer a staring contest now. They wouldn't have mobilized so many troops if so.

Jeanny also watched the Verremor army from the northern hill.

"It seems they are serious about attacking this time," Selena said. Wicked Witches had joined the war but since they didn't have guild headquarters in this country, John placed them to accompany Jeanny. It was the same case as Saint Edge.

"I hope they do. It is a waste of time if there is no fight, we can't get the war contribution points," William of Wellington from Saint Edge said.

"Okay, everyone, get ready!" Jeanny gave her command. "You two, stay!"

Everyone went away to arrange their units except for the two Jeanny had called, Manager Steelhand and Regim. They were the representatives of Corporate United and Jackal Crews, Death Associates' allies during the civil war.

"I guess you should have heard about Death Associates?" Jeanny asked.

The two nodded.

"Are either of you going to pull the same stunt?" Jeanny asked again.

The two looked at one another. Manager Steelhand then said, "Of course not. We are not traitors."

"I am not aware that Death Associates is doing what they did," Regim replied. "No one gives us any assignment to sabotage this war."

"Even if someone did, we won't! What good will that do us? We will lose the chance to get contribution points and become the enemy of this country," Manager Steelhand said with a laugh. "You can trust us. We haven't spoken with White Death since the civil war ended."

Jeanny looked at the two, trying to decide if they were telling the truth.

Regim stayed silent, while Steelhand spoke again, "There is truly no need to worry about us, sister Jeanny. We are here to get war contribution points. We will do our best!"

"In that case, you won't mind me putting your guilds as the tip of the spear, will you? As a show of conviction," Jeanny said.

"That's…," Steelhand was hesitant.

"All right," Regim replied.

"O… Okay," Steelhand said. Since his seemingly only ally had agreed, it would look bad if he didn't.

"Good," Jeanny said. Before she dismissed them, she asked, "Regim, isn't your leader here as well?"

"Yes, Captain Mils is here," Regim replied.

"Why are you here instead of him?"

"He dislikes authority. He said if you need him to fight somewhere, just tell him where."

Jeanny nodded. "Is he a good fighter?"

Regim was quiet for a while before answering, "There was one time when he was given an assignment with his squad to infiltrate a rebel force and take out the leader. It turned out to be a trap. All his squad members were killed, leaving only him surrounded by thirty rebel soldiers equipped with machine guns. What he has on him at the time were only a pistol and a knife. All of the rebel soldiers were killed. He then proceeded alone and completed the assignment. The surviving rebel soldiers called what happened then, a genocide."

"That's a little hard to believe…," Jeanny said. This might be doable in this game world, but in their past real world? A bit too far-fetched.

"Believe what you will," Regim said. "Still, to us soldiers, that was not his most impressive achievement."

"What was, then?" Jeanny asked.

"He was the only person to have ever been stalked by the battlefield legend, Serpent Boss, and in direct combat with the mysterious phantom gunslinger of the battlefield, and survived both incidents."

Jeanny knew about both. He had only heard about Serpent Boss' prowess but he had seen Ronald's, the phantom gunslinger, abilities first-hand during the world tournament. If this Mils person was at the same level as them, he would be a great asset in the coming battle.

She dismissed the two and asked them to prepare. She looked again at the mass of enemy troops that were preparing in the distance. The enemy's numbers appeared to be one and a half theirs, but the problem lay more in the fact that most of the enemy's army was comprised of natives compared to them which almost two-quarters were players.

However, this was perfectly fine as long as they played defense. If the enemy instead was trying to charge through. Well, they would be in for a surprise.