Chapter 329 Clarion
After coming to an agreement, Roland cleared his throat and continued in a serious tone, “Next there is some news regarding the Devils and the ruins.”
He informed Tilly about Border Town’s recent discoveries within the Concealing Forest and behind the snow-capped mountain, “I’d intended to send witches and soldiers of the First Army to bring the trapped person back to Border Town, but the heavy snow arriving more than a month ahead of time has messed up my plan.”
“That the Devil’s legendary army was in such close proximity, and that there are still some people left within the ruins from more than four hundred years ago…” Tilly became dumbstruck in amazement, “I’m slowly starting to believe what you’ve told me…”
Anna looked at Roland and he coughed twice, “According to the scene we observed and the reaction shown, it seems that the Devils must have been behind the snow-capped mountain for many years already. I suspect that they are limited to the area covered by the red fog, and thus unable to continue their expansion toward the Four Kingdoms. So, for now I don’t think that they will be a threat to Border Town. Within the next two years, I will set up a coastal warning point to monitor their movements.” He paused, “As for the woman sealed in the remains of the tower, she might know the truth behind the Holy City Taqila and the utter defeat of the Church.”
“I have the same thoughts,” Tilly closed her eyes and pondered about it, “Is there any way to avoid taking a land route, could we perhaps reach it directly from the air? Ashes told me that you have a tool that can be driven by hot air.”
“You want to bring her out of ruins now, in the middle of the Months of Demons?” Roland asked, full of disbelief, “The number of people which can board the hot air balloon is ten, or if we exchange it for a bigger one, we could perhaps expand the number of people to fifteen. However, no matter how many we are, if we encounter the Devils we are likely to suffer casualties. Furthermore, there is also the risk which comes from encountering roaming demonic beasts… it’s too dangerous.
“If you only depend on the Witch Alliance, it will indeed be very dangerous,” Tilly agreed, “But Shavi and Ashes are here now. With them the degree of danger will be reduced by a lot. According to your previous statement, the Devil’s current attack patterns is throwing spears from a far off distance and using the same amount of strength as an extraordinary. If it is like this, then Shavi’s invisible barrier can block several spears, while Ashes could suppress the enemy during close combat. Right now the Months of Demons is still in its early stages, so the power of the demonic beasts is still not that strong, if you want to go to the ruins, now would be the best opportunity.”
Roland felt a little hesitant, the last fight with the Devils was also an air battle which had been to their disadvantage so if he wanted to fly over there he felt quite unstable within his heart. But the words Tilly had said also made sense. Sylvie’s magic eye could ensure that they would discover the enemy first. Furthermore, as long as they maintained an altitude of 10 to 15 meters, flying only a bit above the tree-top, he had confidence that they could reach the ground before the enemy spotted them. Then with Nightingale’s and Ashes’ powerful offensive abilities, defeating a group of around ten Devils would easily be accomplished. Even if there were some who managed to slip through the net, the double protection of from Shavi’s and Anna’s shields should be able to assure the team’s safety.
After irresolutely muttering to himself for a short period he asked, “Are you really sure you want to go?”
“I feel that this might be an opportunity to unravel the mystery,” Tilly said frankly, “This year’s advanced start for the Months of Demons and the Sea Ghost emerging from the Southern Sea Vortex is always giving me a bad feeling.”
Roland’s heart skipped a beat, this feeling he also knew quite well. The early start of the Months of Demons was unlikely to be abnormal phenomena caused by climate change, he faintly felt that it had something to do with the Devils and the Church.
“In that case, who will fill the ranks?”
“I do not know which witches Border Town will send, but I will be going,” Tilly declared without hesitation.
As far as the eye could see snowflakes were dancing in the air under the gray sky, after repelling the last attack Mayne and Tayfun unhurriedly boarded Hermes’ city wall.
Some of the snowflakes landed in the black and warm blood river flowing at the foot of the wall, diluting the thick blood as it melted. Fortunately, all this blood belonged to the enemy, while hundreds of soldiers from the God’s Punishment Army stood straight along the wall and were waiting for the launch of the next wave of demonic beasts.
“Your Excellencies, Sir!” the shoulders of the Army of Judges who assisted the God’s Punishment Army shouted while placing their fists on their chest. Most of their faces appeared to be somewhat young and tender, but their eyes also held two distinct emotions, fear and excitement.
“It seems that some of them are still children,” Tayfun commented after reaching an open space and overlooking the wilderness, then he sighed and continued, “When I was their age, I was still milling flour for some nobles.”
“The priority of the God’s Punishment Army is to protect the New Holy City while parts of the Army of Judges that are more experienced are still caught up in Wolfsheart City cleaning up the last remaining evil elements. Those people are only recently promoted believers, they have never been on a real battlefield before,” Mayne explained, “The snow has come too early.”
Tayfun hesitated before he asked, “There isn’t such a situation mentioned within the Holy Book?”
“The Holy Book is also only written by the Pope, so it’s unavoidable that there would be some parts that are overlooked that will appear,” the bishop said as he leaned against the ice-cold wall while overlooking the pile of corpses at the foot of the steep cliff. Ordinary demonic beasts would never be able to climb up such a steep wall, the only ones that could threaten the Holy City were the mixed species, “It’s fine as long as it can point out the general direction we need to follow. From the demonic beasts which have appeared, it can be inferred that there are still approximately ten years remaining.”
“Using two years to unify the Four Kingdoms and spending the remaining eight years to build up the God’s Punishment Army, by then the Church should have a large contingent of more than ten thousand people.” After stopping for a moment he went on to say, “Using the firm walls and Hermes’ terrain, we will stick to this plateau until the enemy’s strength reverses.”
“I’m old, I’m afraid I won’t be able to see that day come.”
“It’s unrelated to age, Your Excellency Tayfun,” Mayne said in a comforting tone, “There are many people who are unable to see that moment, like Allan, Stone, Liji…”
“And Heather,” Tayfun added.
“Yes, and Heather.” He nodded, “but in any case, there will always be people who will carry on our mission and continue to move forward.”
“Do not say such discouraging words,” the old man shook his head, but then smiled as he asked, “Wait, was Zero able to get a hold on the fierce snow powder formula? Did the Pivotal Secret Area already start their test?”
“Mortal’s toys aren’t of any help to the Church,” Mayne said full of disdain, “It may be possible to use snow powder to clean up a group of demonic beasts, but our real enemies are the Devils from hell. Used in an open area it lethality will be greatly reduced, if you want to create a force strong enough to break the Devil’s heavy armor, you are going to need a very large amount of it. In addition, besides the soldiers from the God’s Punishment Army there is no one who could go out and throw half a body-sized bag of snow powder over a great distance.
“It’s like that? What a pity.”
“If you want to beat the Devils, there is no time to play tricks,” Mayne said stressing each word, “Only by confronting them head-on will we be able to survive.”
At this moment, from the watchtower to the side of them came the sound of a long horn blow.
One long horn blow stood for an invading wave of demonic beasts.
“Let’s go back to the cathedral since there is going to be another fight soon.”
“Okay,” Tayfun nodded and turned around to go as the horn sounded again.
Two long sounds meant that the wave of demonic beasts contained a lot of mixed species. Hearing this Mayne’s heart quickened, it was undoubted that the God’s Punishment Army would have to face a fierce battle.
But… why is it so fast? This is only the first month of the Months of Demons, ah.
However, just as the horn sound ended the third one already rang up. An oppressive and unbroken sound like the sudden clap of thunder, rolling over Hermes for a long time without subsiding.
Woowoo – woo –
Mayne almost couldn’t believe his ear, looking at Tayfun, he saw that the other’s face looked as shocked as he felt himself. Three horn blows stood for a very urgent situation, a situation at which Hermes’ survival stood at stake! Even last time, when the demonic beasts were able to reach the outskirts of the cathedral, it wasn’t a situation where the blows have reached that number.
What did the watchman see?
It wasn’t long until Mayne got his answer.
Within the black tide of demonic beasts were two strangely formed enormous beasts. They possessed four thick fangs, four feet, and two hands. Their bodies were covered in pitch-black fur and one foot alone already possessed the size of a mixed wolf species. From afar, those two beasts looked like moving fortresses. With every step they took they left a deep mark in permafrost covered plains. If those demonic beasts which surrounded them were not avoided on time they would be smashed into the ground by their feet and turned into a pool of flesh and blood.
There were several records of them within the Holy Book, The Death’s Herald, the Hell’s Nightmare, the Devil’s fangs… But what Mayne feared the most wasn’t their terrible appearance, but what they represented.
Why? His mind was completely occupied by horror. Why are those terror striking monsters, which according to the Holy Book should only appear five years before the disaster already appearing at Hermes right now?
For more mixing magic with reality, check out Sundering Nature.
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