Book 3 Chapter 63 - Prelude to War (2)

Game of Divine Thrones

“Please reconsider, Commander Maximus.”

“I can’t go against the King’s orders, Count Huntington. Even if there is indeed a rebellion as you say.”

“What if it isn’t the King’s direct orders that you are receiving, but instead those that have been tampered with by the rebels? Could you go against them then?”

“I have sent a messenger to the King, perhaps it will arrive before the rebels take up arms.”

Commander Maximus wouldn’t listen to reason. The Count could only sigh helplessly, as he watched him lead his entire army back to the East Guard Camp.

“That’s quite unfortunate, we really needed Maximus in order to fight off the rebel army.”

“There’s nothing to worry about, we have the nobles from Arpen and Ashton that have already pledged themselves to our cause.

It was a war where both sides had a similar sized army. The only problem would be the decline in morale upon learning of King John’s death by poisoning which was what occurred back then.

They would have to prepare for this moment in advance, so that they don’t collapse once the figurehead of the loyalist faction is gone.

“At least he wasn’t sent too far away. The Eastern Guard camp is the closest of Marquis Nelson’s bases to here in Hayswick.”

Currently, there was no other place to ask for reinforcements other than the kingdom’s army.

Marquis Nelson’s stance was that he stayed out of politics, only focusing on defending the border. Even if he were to learn of the latest ongoing rebellion, he would not carelessly mobilize his troops.

The Ionia province can be defended, so what are your next plans?”

“I’ll leave the minimum amount of troops behind, and head to the Aden river, in central Cerendia.”

The loyalist Nobles would then lead their own forces to meet up in the middle of the Aden river. The location was just to the right of the capital city of Heidelberg.

Considering that the rebel army would most likely have the same agenda, it was quite likely that the battle would take place on the plains just south of Heidelberg.

“Who will you leave behind in charge of Hayswick?”

“There is no one I trust enough other than my son. Gilbert will have to join us as the vanguard.”

Viscount Aljass, Woohyuk had met him a few times. A young man who was the Count’s spitting image, and had a very prudent approach to everything.

He wasn’t as imposing as his father, but at least he wasn’t likely to carelessly open the gates to an enemy.

‘He should be able to hold for at least three months.’

As it housed the largest granary in all of the Rhine kingdom, there was more than enough food stockpiled within the city.

At worst Maximus should be able to come to their aid with his legion before their food stores run low.

After discussing their next steps, Woohyuk headed to the city’s dungeons. He wanted to have a nice chat with Han Jangmi before the upcoming battle.

She would play a key role in the war.

“Are you insane?”


Han Jangmi stared at Woohyuk with a blank look.

She was tied to a torture chair, and her body was covered in wounds.

Although the Hwarang clan had decided to cooperate with them, he still held her as a hostage. It was imperative to keep a tight grip on the clan’s leader so that the rest of their members fell in line.


“Your clan will help fight against the rebels, and if we win, you can also get your own share of rewards in the form of military merit.”

“Just kill me already! I don’t want to go on like this anymore! Convince the other clan members yourself!”

Han Jangmi who had just regained consciousness shouted back. 

As she struggled to accept her fate, her dispirited face could be glimpsed past her ruffled hair.

“You have to stay alive until this war is over with. If after that you truly wish to die, I can always return and do it myself.”

Woohyuk had no love for the Hwarang clan.

Although they can say that they were just trying to survive, it was hard to justify their acts of burning villages and killing innocent civilians.

Had it not been for the ongoing war, he would have killed them all except Han Jangmi who was their most valuable member.

“Are you trying to take control of the Rhine Kingdom? Too bad it won’t work! They have prepared for any eventuality!”

Even if their plan had to be scrapped, the momentum they had built couldn’t be overcome. At least that is what Han Jangmi thought, she didn’t worry about spilling the beans since she expected to be executed in the near future. 

Her lack of faith in the loyalist faction’s strength, was due to the fact that she had lost consciousness upon being captured as a hostage, and hadn’t had the opportunity to witness Woohyuk’s strength.

‘She seems to have misunderstood the situation.’

The Hwarang clan had all voluntarily surrendered upon seeing him raise the dead. They quickly realized that Woohyuk was extremely strong.

Of course having a superior Demon like Loengreen on his side had helped as well, also the fact that their plan had been discovered played a large role in their decision.

It is common sense to want to be on the winning side of a war. Because of this, other clan members actually wanted Han Jangmi dead or at least for her to abdicate her position as clan leader.

Basically, Woohyuk would always protect her from being killed.

“Do you know how a queen bee dies?”


If the queen bee can’t lay any more eggs or becomes sick, the worker bees raise a new one, and then proceed to kill the old queen.”

Power was but a momentary illusion.

Pursuing it was like walking on a tightrope filled with danger. Any little mistake and it would result in your death.

“I’ll be killed by my own clan members?”

“They are preparing sneakily, maybe it’s even that guy who was your second in command.”

“...Gwak Seyoung?”

Han Jangmi had an awkward expression. Gwak Seyoung had had a crush on her ever since their university days.

After being summoned to this world, they had always worked together as he assumed the position of vice-leader in the clan.

“There are many others as well. For them, you’re nothing but a burden.”


“Not to worry however, If you just do as I tell you to, you can maintain your position as the clan leader.”

“Will I continue to be a puppet leader like this? Like a slave?”

“Your conditions will improve to the point that you won’t have any complaints, that at least I can assure.”

Being able to control a Clan leader with a 10th tier Gold Crown held many advantages. That was because there were many things one could gain through the clan system.

After listening Woohyuk’s proposal, her expression changed slightly.

She felt that his olive branch was hard to refuse considering her situation.  

“...Are you confident in winning the war? You should be aware by now what is really going on.”

Although she had yelled at him to end her life, the truth was that she wanted to live. There was also the desire to take her revenge on those that had betrayed her.

“Of course, he who will sit on the throne has already been determined.”

By going all out, he would have no difficulty seizing control of such a small kingdom. The reason he had been keeping a low profile was that he wanted to eliminate all the traitors in one big swoop.

Seeing Woohyuk’s relaxed posture, she finally nodded.

“Okay, then I’ll stick with you.”

“Good choice.”

As the negotiations had been successful, Woohyuk took out his Vampiric dagger and cut the ropes that bound her.

“Have you clan members gather in front of Hayswick’s gate.”

A great war was coming, one that was on a different level compared to the Canyon battle.

Woohyuk put back his Jester’s Mask, as he led Han Jangmi to better accommodations.

* * *

As soon as the preparations for their departure were settled, Woohyuk and Count Huntington moved out towards the Aden river, leading an army of 35,000.

It wasn’t yet an impressive number, since it only represented the nobles’ forces from the Ionian region.

‘Once they are all together, the coalition’s army should be about 100,000 strong.’

As he rode upon his white horse, Woohyuk’s mind was analyzing the current situation.

His ultimate goal was to quash the rebellion and seize Heidelberg, the Rhine kingdom’s capital. The rebel army he could slaughter at any point, but Blackburn would be a problem.

The main castle in which the Devos royal family lived, built upon a high cliff. If the gates were shut and they had troops to man the walls, they could hold the castle indefinitely so long as they had enough supplies.

It was one of the reasons that the rebels had first wanted to occupy the Ionian Plains.

‘They must have already infiltrated the army stationed inside the castle.’

Their plan would most likely be to take advantage of the chaos brought on by the news of King John’s poisoning, to open the gates from the inside.

Perhaps it even involved the 1st legion as well as some large sized clans. 

As Woohyuk was deep in thought, Count Huntington, who rode beside him, spoke up.

“Blackburn is like an impregnable castle. Have you heard the story behind it?”

“I vaguely know of it.”

A long time ago, this land had been known as the Ionel kingdom instead. The Devos family ruled in Cerendia, which was filled with forests and valleys.

Back then the capital was in Evaron, where today’s Hayswick now stood and Dragons occupied the mountain ranges surrounding the kingdom. This was before the start of the Great God and Demon war. 

Clavis, the royal family at the time, had signed a peace agreement with them, which had held since the kingdom’s founding. For generations they had been kept safe from any foreign invaders.

Perhaps it was this supernatural protection which led the Clavis royals to feel invincible and become cruel tyrants, which led the nobles to rebell. The Devos family, like many other nobles, advanced on the Ionian Plains. 

After a long drawn out war that lasted an entire year, the capital city of Evaron was finally captured. However, the Black Dragon Drakia chose to intervene.

He had loved the kingdom’s ancestor, Queen Ionia. It was because of this that he had stayed in the Corcas mountains and pledged to protect her descendants.

With Drakia’s help, the Clavis family was able to escape from Hayswick and recover their strength. The palace they chose as their new base was Blackburn.

An impregnable castle which has once been built by Drakia, who was concerned for Queen Ionia’s safety.

the castle’s black stone walls had inscriptions carved into them using the Dragon’s magical language, making the walls impervious to fire and repelling any low level Demons.They could also be self-sufficient so long as the population was kept low. 

The rebels were like dogs staring up at a chicken that had flown up on the roof.

One day, when Drakia had to leave to attend a Dragon’s meeting, there was an incident in which someone had opened Blackburn’s gate from the inside.

This led to a massacre in which all of Ionia’s family line was murdered. Upon returning, Drakia was furious and polymorphed into a human form to engage in a massacre of his own.

Although he took his revenge and killed all the rebels that had been involved in the attack, he still blamed himself for failing to keep his promise to Ionia, and never returned to Blackburn.

They never heard from him again, and after the God and Demon war, he followed the rest of his Dragon kin to another dimension. 

That was the story which had been made public, but only the Devos family was aware of the tomb hidden beneath the castle.

‘Did he just say the Clavis royal tomb?’

During their long period of being holed up in Blackburn Castle, Drakia created an underground dungeon, placing the bodies of the members of the royal family there to rest, as well as ordering some monsters to stand guard over their treasures.

When the Devos family later discovered this, they secretly tried to study how to successfully enter and exit the dungeon, but suffered repeated failures.

It was said that the underground dungeon had been forgotten for quite some time, only to be opened by Count Ludwig.

‘The only reward I know about is the key to Medusa’s Temple.’

He absolutely had to find out what else that place held. If it was an artifact from before the God and Demon war, it would surely be impressive.

As Woohyuk’s eyes shone with greed, the Count continued.

“Isn’t it funny? The Devos family which was one of the main actors in taking down the Glavis royal family, is now suffering the same fate.”

Back then, the Devos family hadn’t participated in the Blackburn massacre, so they had enough power to rally the other nobles to their side and establish the Rhine kingdom.

However unlike the Clavis dynasty, they didn’t enjoy the protection of the Dragons. It would be all over for them as soon as those castle gates were opened.

“History is destined to repeat itself.”

“Although I fight for King John, I sometimes wonder if this is just fate.”

Count Huntington’s allegiance to the loyalist faction didn’t only stem from his wife who was from the Devos family. There was simply no chance in convincing him to rebel since he was a believer in the Holy Church.

However his religious zeal outweighed his loyalty to his liege, and as such would view everything through a religious lens.

“If the world acts according to fate, the people won’t suffer.”

“God’s will can’t be understood by a mortal’s wisdom. We can only attempt to guess by observing how it is expressed.”

Suddenly a lecture on theology had begun, causing him to become bored enough to fall asleep.

As Woohyuk was busy absorbing the Count’s words in one ear and out the other, the scouts that had been sent out returned with frightened expressions.

“Urgent news!”

“What is it?”

“The rebels are heading towards up!”

Their travel route had been leaked.

Count Huntington drew his longsword as he put on a resolute expression.

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