Chapter 372: Searching for Reinforcements
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
On the tower balcony
The core members of the alliance were already here. They looked through the legendary yellow enchantment, observing the demons surrounding the fortress. Their faces were all pale.
Link pointed at one figure and said, "Look, see that black haired girl? She's the daughter of Lord Nozama. Don't be tricked by her petite looks, she's just a hair away from reaching the Legendary realm. If we were out there, give her enough time, and she would be able to easily kill everyone here."
Saroviny was an Assassin, at the same time, she knew some very useful high-level spells. Link suspected that she was had the same gifts of foresight as Celine. Engaging in guerilla battles with these types of enemies was the worst possible nightmare.
Everyone's faces were pale.
Among them, the strongest was Link, at mid-Level-8, followed by Kanorse and Nana who had also reached Level-8. They were already strong beyond compare in Duke Abel's opinion, but they still could not compare to the demon army whose commanders were a step away from the Legendary realm.
Just the thought of it made one tremble in fear. Who would dare confront these people?
"That's not all," Link continued. He pointed at the demons surrounding Saroviny. "This, this, and this guy, they all have Level-8 strength. I believe that out of the 230 high-level demons, thirty percent of them are over Level-8. That's about 70 demons. Besides that, they have 60,000 low-level demons! It's quite impossible to fight!"
Although a Level-8 demon was not able to obliterate an entire army like Link had done, against the human armies, they definitely would not face any obstructions. If they weren't locked down in fights but free to roam the battlefield, they could easily kill thousands of people.
Demons like that, they had over 70!
Just these 70 were enough to obliterate all the soldiers in the fortress. There was no need to talk about the 160 Level-7 demons and the 60,000 demons who were all around Level-5.
It was only in the late phase of the game that players were able to deal with such a force of demons. Only when the true Light Army alliance was formed with the Legendary experts from the various races did they have a chance to fight back against these demons. Everyone's faces were white as a sheet.
Kanorse said, "They're trying to siege us!"
"Evidently," High Elf Princess Milda sighed. She had long since woken up but had only gotten an hour of rest. Her spirits were far from recovered, and she looked fatigued.
Duke Abel was similarly forlorn. He didn't bother looking at the demons outside the fort but reported some figures, "Within our fortress, there are 12,900 people. We have 50 tons of stockpiled rations. If we want to maintain our current fighting strength against the demons, we will consume one ton of food every day. At most, we will last two months."
Princess Milda offered, "I have some seedlings... Forget it. It's not going to work. The fortress enchantment has prevented any form of energy from entering. There wouldn't be enough sunlight and water."
Dwarf King Riel stroked his beard in habit. "In other words, we're still going to die. Either we die starving, or we die in battle."
Link glanced outside the enchantment. Saroviny could feel his gaze and turned to stare back at his direction. She smirked and waved her fist at him. It was extremely adorable, but it made one's heart clench while looking at it.
With no mood to continue looking at the enemy, everyone turned back to return inside the tower. They had no mood to even discuss a strategy.
Link was in the best condition among them. He focused his mind and went to one of the great halls.
Although the fortress was said to be able to accommodate over 10,000 people, it was still rather crowded. The great hall was filled with people, especially injured soldiers who were lying down in the corner. The air was thick with the scent of blood, urine, and sweat, and it was extremely pungent.
As he walked in, Link saw a small figure in the corner. Her face was covered in wounds, and her hair clumped together with dried blood. She was leaning against a wall and clutched in her hand was a musket covered in blood and dir. Her head rested on a gunny sack filled with some items, and she was obviously fatigued.
It was the Yabba woman, Melinda. Initially, when the attack on Orida Fortress first began, she was grouped with the Yabba people and Link couldn't find her. He was pleasantly surprised to find her still alive.
There were many cuts on her little face. Because there were few priests, and most were busy tending to soldiers with heavier wounds, she had not been able to receive any treatment.
Link's feelings were complicated as he looked at her. She fidgeted, changing her resting position. As she moved her body, her eyes were shut tightly. A tear dripped down her face. This tear dropped instantly moved Link's soul, causing him to shudder involuntarily.
This was just an ordinary Yabba young woman. Her country was invaded, her parents killed, and after arriving at Orida fortress, her clansmen were essentially all killed. At the moment, there were only about ten other Yabba people resting beside her.
After pausing for a while, Link softly said to a soldier beside him, "Help me fetch some blankets and lay them on the floor in my room. Let these Yabba people rest in my room."
"Yes, sir," the soldier obeyed.
Link turned to look at the human soldiers around. Essentially, all of them were injured. Some were lying on beds, their eyes blank. Some were softly crying or calling out. The priests were running around tending to injuries, and although they had completely used up all their divine power, it was evidently still not enough.
Link also saw Annie. She was injured but still in good shape, able to run about to help with work.
When the soldiers saw him arrive, they looked at him with hope. There was one soldier who was still very young. The signs of youth still marked his face. He was probably only 18 years old. His injuries were very severe, and he was on the brink of death. Trembling, he stretched out his hand, struggling as he said, "Sir, help me... save me!"
Link was helpless. His Dragon Power could assist people in recovery, but it could not bring the dead back to life. It also could not cure fatal injuries.
Link walked over and knelt on the ground. He grasped the soldier's hand and said comfortingly, "Don't be afraid. You will enter the kingdom of heaven. There, there will be no pain or darkness, no fighting..."
Halfway through his words, Link felt the hand he was holding lose all energy. The soldier had passed on. Even then, his eyes were wide open, hoping to be saved, hoping to live on.
Link solemnly closed the soldier's eyes, and wordlessly stood up.
No! We cannot simply wait to die! Link knew he had to do something.
These soldiers had gone through a baptism of fire and blood. Given enough time, they would be able to grow into powerful Warriors of humanity. As long as they had enough time!
He needed to go and get reinforcements.
Link turned and went up to the hall on the second level. He was going to see Duke Abel.
"I heard that there is a secret passage under the fortress?" Link asked.
The duke responded blankly, "You mean to have us retreat through the passage? I don't think that's possible. Ten thousand people will create too much noise and will immediately be discovered. On the plains..."
"No, I plan to go out alone and bring a few experts with me. Kanorse has to stay, but King Riel, Princess Milda, as well as Nana can accompany me. The four of us will go out to search for reinforcements."
Kanorse would have been a great help, but his importance to the army was too great. If he left, Duke Abel, being the only Level- 5 himself, would not be able to defend the fortress on his own.
It seemed to him that looking for reinforcements elsewhere was the only way. Duke Abel pondered for a while. Then, he turned to face the bookshelf. "The secret passages under the fortress are very complicated, like a maze. I have no idea where the magic door truly is. Hold on, let me look through the maps."
He went to the bookshelves and flipped around. Finally, he pulled out an ancient scroll. "Got it!"
He opened the scroll on the table and pointed at the passage. "Originally, the passage was not complicated. However, since ancient times, this fortress has been renovated over ten times, and each time, there were some projects that were never finished, making the place very complicated. Let me see... let me see..."
Ten minutes later, the duke slapped his head and handed the scroll to Link. "It's very messy, here, take a look."
Link took a look at the scroll. Immediately, he frowned. This wasn't even a map. It was just scribbles and scrawls on the parchment. Some places were faded, and other portions of the map had holes bitten out of it by worms.
After looking at it for half a day, Link roughly understood the structure. "According to the map, Orida Fortress was originally a dwarven mountain fortress. Later on, they abandoned this fortress, and it was taken over by humans. On top of the original structure, they built Orida Fortress. Later on, additions were added until we have today's final fortress. There is a magic door in there in the basement level five, and it should not be hard to locate. It's not actually hard to find, but the problem lies in after finding it. This magic door leads into the dwarven tunnels that crisscross and go everywhere. My God... I can't even see that part clearly."
The duke's heart rate increased. "So, how is it? Is there a way out?"
Their entire fate now rested on whether Link could find a way out and bring back reinforcements. If he couldn't, then they were finished. Eventually, the fortress would run out of supplies, and that would surely result in a miserable and chaotic end!
Link replied with a firmness that could cut through iron. "I will definitely find a way out. Even if I can't, I'll just blast my way out."
After that, Link went to find High Elf Princess Milda and Dwarf King Riel. After explaining his plan, they agreed. This was their only way now.
"Okay, time is precious. Let us go now. We'll leave secretly, Duke, while I'm not around, say I am researching a new powerful spell."
"I understand," Duke Abel nodded.
Link released a Traceless Spell, and the four of them vanished from sight. They followed the stairway done into the underground, walking for over ten minutes through numerous intersecting passageways. Finally, they found where the magic door was located.
It was a simple spell formation made of a single rune. Link understood how to use it in one glance. "Stand on it, please," he instructed everyone.
The three others stood on the rune stone, and Link got on as well. After locating the activation rune, Link channeled his Dragon Power into the stone. A few seconds later, the four of them felt the world spinning, a feeling which lasted for five seconds. Then, the feeling vanished, and they were back on solid ground.
Thump. Dwarf King Riel sat heavily on his bottom. He cursed continuously as he got up. "Damn magic door, it nearly destroyed this old ass of mine."
Nana landed stably, while Link and Princess Milda cast a levitation spell on themselves to land lightly.
Dwarf King Riel felt that it was really unfair. He rubbed his buttocks as he complained.
"I hate magic," he grumbled.
Link started to look around the surroundings. He found that he was in a large underground passage surrounded by stone walls. On the stone walls were embedded crystals. Drip. Drip. Water dripped from the ceiling. Wuuuuuu. The wind howled as it blew through the cavern.
Dwarf King Riel looked around as well. Then, he patted his chest and said, "These passageways are built in the style of my race. We are probably in the heart of the mountain. Without a map, outsiders will very likely lose their way, but for me, it's no problem. Follow my lead."
Naturally, the dwarf would be most familiar with the dwarven passages. Link and Princess Milda exchanged a glance and followed closely behind King Riel.
They walked for over half an hour. Half an hour later, the group of them were still circling around the passages.
"King Riel, why are we still stuck in here?" Princess Milda could not help but ask suspiciously.
Dwarf King Riel's reply was full of pride. "Don't you worry, there's no hurry. My people's tunnels are very complicated. I'll need to walk through a few more tunnels to familiarize myself first."
Link did not say a thing, but he had a feeling that this dwarf was not very reliable.
After another half an hour had passed, Riel stopped in front of a stone wall. He pulled his beard roughly, grunting and sighing, "Why is it like this? This is wrong! This was definitely the way out. What's going on?"
Princess Milda immediately frowned. "You're lost?"
"Lost? Nonsense! How could I be lost in my own home? I'm just a bit confused, but I'm sure I will find the way out!"
Princess Milda shrugged helplessly.
Link couldn't say anything either. He had to protect King Riel's face. He said, "How about this, let us select a tunnel that looks to be going upwards and follow along that path. What do you think, King Riel?"
Dwarf King Riel's face was downcast as he said, "Hmmm, these passages are too old, and the style has changed a lot. Sir Link, let's do as you suggest."
In the demon camp
Not half an hour after Link left, Saroviny suddenly stood up with a start. She said to the demon beside her, "Hey, I feel that something is not right. Do you think Link would have gone out to look for reinforcements?"
The demons looked at their princess blankly. Reinforcements? That would still require them to sneak out of the fortress and the demon barricade. Considering that they've guarded it so tightly that not even a drop of water could leak through, how could the other party get out?
"Hey you dumbasses, you're useless! The fortress is sure to have some underground passage. All of you go out, search and check if any rats are sneaking out from around here."
Saroviny's orders were very clear. The demons nodded at once, replying, "Yes, Your Highness."
As the demons dispersed, Saroviny sat down and rubbed her chin. Her two black eyes stared at the distant tower, unblinking. "Hey little rat, oh little rat, where will you crawl out from?"
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