Part 50: A New War
And we're back!
Chapter 48 - A New War
"General Kiba... I have a great favor to ask of you."
". . . . . . . . . . . . . I'm listening."
"The next battle will most likely determine the outcome of the war. If we hope to win, we're going to have to take a gamble."
"It will be a hard battle..."
"Highland and the Unicorn Army continue to glare at each other across the divide of the great lake. And although the Matlida Knightdom has surrendered, the area is still unstable and the Highland Army can't pull their forces away."
"You're saying that even if we take the gamble, we can't defeat Matlida...? So then, what do you..."
Victor, again. Jesus Christ...
"...divide their army to defend the Highland Kingdom from you. They'll probably call upon Leon Silverburg to do it."
". . . . . . . . . . . . Lord Shu, since my defeat, I feel I've lost my place in the world. But when I see Lord Riou... See him charm these people and transcend this war... It may be inappropriate for a general, but it makes me believe in miracles. Lord Shu, I don't need your men. The soldiers who have followed me from Highland will be enough. "
"Thank you... General Kiba."
"Lord Shu, it is not like you to bow to the likes of me. Please take care of my son. Under your tutelage, he will become a brilliant strategist."
"The forces behind this war are about to reach their limit. The winners will win everything, the losers will lose everything. Both the State and Highland will be betting their existence on this battle. You have two choices. One is to stay the course. This is the easy road, but it is the path to defeat. The other is to fight for victory for all. This is a thorny path, but it is the path of Kings. I await your decision, Lord Riou."
"I understand. Assemble everyone in the meeting room."
"If we meet them head on, we will likely be crushed."
"So we have split our army. General Kiba's troops will head east of Muse, outside of the Highland Kingdom. Highland will split their army to keep him from getting too close. That is when the rest of our army will attack Matlida."
"Then it will be closer to 30,000 versus 20,000..."
"This is a gamble. And since we are risking everything, it's a big gamble. But if we don't risk our lives, we can't win this war. This will be the fiercest battle yet, and anyone unwilling to die should leave now. You will not be pursued. No one will blame you."
"We're all ready to die if need be."
"We can't give up now! We'll all be laughed at!"
"Any craftsman would be ashamed to begin a job and not finish it!"
"Then let's go!! We will show them the might of the Kobolds!"
"We didn't come this far to not see things through to the end!"
"You always say things like that..."
"We will fight! For everyone! For ourselves!"
"I, uh.... umm...."
"What are you saying? We've come too far to run away! Isn't that right, Riou?"
"That's right! We've known Riou for a long time. We must lend him our strength now!"
"There's no way Wingers are gonna lose to humans, Riou!"
"Lord Riou, we will protect you with the pride of the Kobolds and the pride of the people of Two River City!"
"It is a soldier's duty to follow orders."
"Lord Riou, I have already given my life to you. You may use it as you please! Hahahahahahahahahaha!"
"Let's do it, Riou! It'll be okay. I promise. We'll win. I know it."
"The Bright Shield on your right hand and the Black Sword Jowy holds are the two aspects of the 'Rune of Beginning.' Power to decide this war. Cold, uncompromising power. The 108 Stars of Destiny and the bearer of the Bright Shield Rune have now been assembled. This is proof of his right. The Bright Shield Rune's seal may now be broken. Riou... your right hand. May the thoughts of the 108 Stars be as one and grant Riou new power."
"Now you can use the full power of the Rune. Ruou, may you always stride with honor upon the path you tread."
"It's time to get ready. Everything is riding on this battle, so leave nothing to regret!!!"
"Well, we must depart, my lord. Good fortune to you."
"Good fortune to you too... Father..."
"Klaus, serve Lord Riou with honor."
"I've always been proud of you, my son."
"No, Father... It's I who am proud to have you as my father."
"There they go... We can win... I know it..."
"Yes... We can win this battle... We must win this battle... Well, Shu should be waiting. Let's go to the meeting room."
"You're working us too hard, Shu! To make us come all this way..."
"I apologize. But you did perform admirably. Your task is done, so please return to the castle."
"I was a little scared, but it was fun, too."
"Pah! There's nothing to be scared of with my around!"
"Lord Riou, we should also return to Greenhill to rest up for the next round."
"I will now explain our strategy for taking Rockaxe Castle. Lords Ridley, Hauser, and Teresa will assemble their armies and deploy immediately. When the enemy appears, I want you to do your best to lure them away from Rockaxe Castle."
"When the enemy takes the bair, Lord Riou will covertly lead a small army into Rockaxe Castle."
"What do you mean, 'covertly'?"
"During the last battle, some of the former Matilda Knights entered the catle posing as Gorudo's men. On our signal, they will open the gates to let you in."
"And then? And then?"
"Lord Riou will enter the castle, ascend to the top floor, and burn down the enemy flag and replace it with one of ours."
"What's the point of burning down one flag?"
"The Highland Army has over-extended themselves. They have taken the Knightdom of force, but their control over them is weak. They'll think the castle has fallen, and the knights will give up. The tide of the battle will then turn in our direction."
"If we fail..."
"Then Ridley, Hauser and Teresa will have nowhere to run, and their armies will be slaughtered. The rest of the Unicorn Army will fall shortly thereafter. Lord Riou, everything is riding on you. Please select the members that will accompany you to Rockaxe Castle."
"Of course you'll take me, right?"
"There's no way I'm letting you go alone! I'll follow no matter what, 'cause I have to protect you, Riou."
Next Time: Chapter 49 - Rockaxe Castle
Choose 4 fighters! Please try and limit it to three S-rank fighters. Monsters take up two party slots.