A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 248

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 248. Reunion (5)



The inside of the citadel was chaotic. This was no surprise though, since so many people were packed into one place.




Desir stopped for a moment, taking in the sight of this hive of activity. The first thing that came to his mind was the bitter-sweetness of once again being surrounded by the colleagues he had spent so long with in the Shadow Labyrinth in his previous life.




The Great Sage, Zod Exarion.




The Saint of Artemis, Priscilla Haicilkite




The Lord of the North, Donape Aslan




The Sword Grand Master, Raphaello Cheriger.




And Adjest Kingscrown.


These five in particular held a special place in his heart. Some emotion he had not experienced, even in his previous life, began to stir. These were the five people who he joined forces with to slay Bhromier Napolitan, the Dragon of Destruction, the five people who he had aided in battle time and again, and the five people who he nearly cleared the Shadow Labyrinth with.




They weren’t the only people present though.




Desir had kept note of the truly elite amongst the groups he had assisted over the past half a year. He even gathered students from the Hebrion Academy that had both potential and the willpower to undergo his notorious training regime.




‘This is the strongest union of mankind.’




According to the original timeline, it was only towards the end of the Shadow Labyrinth that they achieved this kind of union of power. Mankind was unable to join forces despite facing the worst disaster in the world. The Hebrion Empire and the Western Kingdom Union continued to antagonize each other to the bitter end, and the barbarians of the north were unwilling to interact with other countries. It was a union of necessity that formed only after realizing just how much they all stood to lose. Ultimately though, this action was pointless;


they had gathered far too late.




But now, the situation was different.




The day they united and gathered wasn’t too late. They still had enough time to thwart the plan of Skull Mask.




Desir started talking while feeling something growing in his mind.




“It is not an exaggeration to say that the thousands of years of human history is synonymous with blood and war.”




The conversation in the room slowly faded, and it was soon silent enough that a pin drop could be heard.




“The nationalities of the people here vary greatly. Not long ago, your country may have been at war with the country of the person you are sitting next to.”




It was silent enough that the people gathered could hear each other breathing.





“But at this moment in history, we have gathered here leaving behind our hatred, even if only for a moment.”




Desir looked around, making sure to match the eyes of each and every person.




“It is my honor to be in this position. I’ll start the final briefing.”




Desir brought out a wand from his dimensional pocket and tapped it on the table. At that moment, a small wave flowed from the tip of the stick, and a three dimensional map of the continent appeared, affording everyone seated at the large round table the ability to view it.




Blue dots were marked across the map. These were the battle lines adjacent to the Kingdom of Divide.




“Our current standing in the war with Divide is far from favorable. Divide’s forces, thanks to their use of chimera and homunculi, are extremely powerful. We’re barely holding as it is.”




This situation was not a shock to anyone gathered. This was something they were all too aware of.




“The reason for this, as everyone knows, is because of Divide’s weaponization of Shadow Worlds. Before they launched their invasion, the Kingdom of Divide used unknown technology to summon a plethora of high-tier Shadow Worlds throughout the continent, forcing every nation to split their army between clearing them and battling their invasion. Each and every time we enter battle, our armies are forced into unfavorable situations and we sustain enormous losses as a result.”




The map flickered, switching from a continental level to a focused map of the Kingdom of Divide. Of note, there were forty-seven towers marked across the territory.




“In order to break this cycle, we must prevent Divide from creating any more Shadow Worlds. To do so, we need to capture these towers constructed within Divide, which are the cause of these Shadow Worlds.”




Subsequently, red dots on the map began to flash everywhere. These were the locations of the Shadow Worlds that Skull Mask would create within a couple of days.





“But our technology has advanced. We can predict the occurrence of Divide’s artificial Shadow Worlds, which means that we can now respond to the Shadow Worlds with optimal distribution of forces. Something we could not do previously.”




Unlike the Shadow Worlds created naturally, the artificial Shadow Worlds created by the Skull Mask would appear at unpredictable locations and at unpredictable times. Because of this, each country was forced to hold back a sizable portion of their fighting force in case a difficult Shadow World appeared. As a result, the Allied Forces were in a situation where a substantial portion of their entire army was tied up in vain. However, this situation had been solved by a product Zod had developed.




“A minimum of 150,000 soldiers will be freed by this to join the front lines. With these reinforcements, we’ll be able to launch counter-attacks, rather than sit and wait for Divide to whittle us down.”




“The 150,000 troops are certainly not negligible. But… ”




A very thick and dignified voice rang out. A burly man, clad in


thick armor with fur shoulder pads, voiced his thoughts, his gaze glued to the map before him.




“But the difference in power between Divide and our forces is massive. I don’t think that we can overturn the situation with just those reinforcements. In the end, what we need to do is take out those towers, but we still won’t have enough power to push that far into Divide. Every nation would need to drain their Shadow World forces to the minimum just for us to stand a chance, and what good would that do if their country is lost anyway?”




Donape’s point was enough to win the agreement of many. Desir nodded. It was a reasonable point after all.




“That’s right. Even if 150,000 soldiers are mobilized, their power is a little bit inferior to Divide’s. As long as the reserves exist to clear the Shadow Worlds, we can certainly squeeze out a bit more fighting force. However, if we want to push through, then our Allied Forces will need to… ”




Desir smiled and bounced his finger. The chess pieces on the table, meant to symbolize the current position of their armies, began to move. Silence overtook the meeting room as everyone focused on their movement. Everyone understood what Desir


had in mind.




“… give up our encirclement.”




The Allied Forces were currently encircling Divide.




An encirclement at this size involves surrounding your opponent and forcing them to engage you on multiple fronts at once. It was an effective way to contain an enemy, forcing them to spread their power over a wider area. If any one area was too weak, they would instantly be pincered and collapse. In this scenario, it also had the additional benefit of ensuring the Allied Forces would be able to maintain communication over the wide area. So long as the encirclement was never broken, their communication technology would be safe, protected behind their defensive line.




This was the most reasonable strategy for the Allied Forces, given that the entire continent was having to defend itself against a single kingdom.




To give up on this strategy meant one thing:


Rather than attempt to slow Divide on all other battlefields, they would pour their entire force into one final confrontation. The map flickered back to a view of the full battlefield.




“By maintaining the northern and southern fronts with minimal troops, we can focus all of our strength on the eastern battle line. Between the troops we move from there and the 150,000 reinforcements, we should be able to break through the eastern battle line.”




Desir had placed all of the chess pieces, regardless of their class and size, in one place: a key strategic point, a narrow pass that sat on the border point between Divide, Hebrion, and Lemton.




Donape spoke up, his voice clearly betraying how nervous he was.




“This is a big gamble. It isn’t a good idea to gamble when you are in a poor situation.”




“You are definitely right, Donape. We have our backs pushed against the wall. But-”


Desir spoke confidently, staring straight into his eyes.




“Because we are being pushed, this is the only way we have a chance of winning. Despite having a poor advantage, if we ever had one at all, we divided our forces and pressured Divide equally from all sides. That was all we did. At the start of the war, with the information we had, it was a smart move. However, it quickly became apparent that none of our battle lines are able to match Divide’s power, not with their chimeras and homunculi. We divided our troops, and we haven’t gotten a single victory since. This strategy never stood a chance against superior forces.”




This was a make or break situation.




If they succeeded in breaking through the battle line like this, they could likely take down a tower or two. Just tearing down a single tower would give the Allied Forces some much needed breathing room; slowing or preventing the creation of Shadow Worlds would free up more reserve forces, which would in turn help them push and take out more towers.




“Skull Mask is smart. He’ll realize this is our plan.”


This was the turning point.




Desir looked down at the map.




He looked like an angler staring at the surface of the water with a fishing rod.




“Skull Mask will look east. He’ll realize our target, and stop us by using whatever means he can mobilize. It’ll break out into total war. The King of Divide will lead all the troops in his country and head to the east battle line to counter.”




Desir’s eyes turned to the Saint.




Priscilla Haicilkite.




She possessed an ability, Miracle of God, which would allow her to quickly heal any wounds. It had proven critical in the Shadow Labyrinth, and would do so again here.




“The east battle line where the main forces of Divide will be deployed. So instead, from here… ”





Desir Arman pointed his wand at the map once again, moving it to the lower left of the map.




West of Divide.




The map was painted blue.




The sea.




“We counterattack. All of you gathered here will attack the unprepared west of Divide and destroy all of the towers.”




This was Desir’s ultimate plan.




“This plan allows us to have the maximum effect with the least number of troops. You all will form the very core of this plan. You are the greatest mankind has to offer. That makes you the greatest spearhead for this mission.”




Desir spoke in a firm and confident tone.




“The key to this operation is swiftness and stealth. The Master of the Magic Tower and I have prepared a great deal for this. We’ve constructed a modernized airship, built specifically for this operation, to allow us to stealthily infiltrate Divide.”




On the hologram, the shape of a huge flying ship appeared. Quite a few people in the room let out gasps of amazement, one or two even clapped.




Zod Exarion lightly shrugged his shoulders as if it were nothing. It was easy to forget, he wasn’t just the best practitioner of magic, he was also the best inventor too. There was a reason why he earned the position of Master of the Magic Tower.




“The Paladins of Artemis and the Saint herself will assist during our operations. Her healing powers will ensure our survival.”




Desir Arman’s eyes turned to the Saint. The Saint smiled as her eyes met his.


“At the same time, the great warriors of the north will take the lead. These great hunters of the north will slay the game known as Divide.”




Desir’s eyes turned to the big guy in the room. He was the king of the great hunters of the north, the Lord of the North. Donape nodded, after listening to Desir’s plan.




“The shield of the Empire will protect all of you. No attack will harm you.”




The man with a nice blonde head of hair laughed bashfully. He was of course, Raphaello Cheriger, the captain of the Royal Guard as well as the one who had earned the title of Sword Grand Master. There was no stronger swordsman on this continent.




“We’ve assembled many talented people here, from across the entire continent. I know you’ll all fight bravely.”




Adjest Kingscrown.




The greatest magical swordsman across the entirety of


mankind. A woman who would one day reach the pinnacle of swordcraft and magic.




“And I will do my best to support you.”




And finally, Desir Arman, the preeminent anti-magician of mankind.




“We must attack the towers scattered all over the place in the shortest window possible. Therefore, we should mobilize as follows. First… … ”




Desir couldn’t help getting wrapped up in his own thoughts, as he dished out order after order.




‘In front of a common enemy, humanity has united more firmly than ever before.’




There were no divided nations, just one army.




‘Our technology has advanced to where it needs to be, and we have a complete strategy.’





Desir bowed his head.




‘Well, we can’t afford to let our guard down yet.’






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