"What's the situation?" Warlord spoke, sending a private message to Jeffery.
"We're heading further East. Skelly has already taken down the third city in the East, however, the losses on our sides were massive. He was not prepared for a flanking attack from the Qin Soldiers. Many of his Undead in the rearguard died due to the surprise attack and now we are continuing with less than half of his initial forces. That's still a huge number, though," Jeffery replied through voice chat, away from the eyes of Dave's party.
"Good. Keep me updated, and report immediately once Skelly reaches the capital. As soon as that happens I'll need you to do something for me. Now listen up closely, this is REALLY important."
Warlord gave Jeffery his set of orders, making the Hunter frown.
"Skelly won't like that," Jeffery couldn't help but resist meekly.
"I don't care what he likes or doesn't. There is money on the line, more than you can imagine. Demetri has invested a shit ton of money to buy the Conquest Right and finance the raids. All our benefits are tied to him actually succeeding. If Skelly obtains the East, we'll simply be fucked."
"Alright man, I just really don't want to have a beef with Skelly."
"... there is no other way. Just do what I told you. Once I'm there, I'll become the King of the East and might sell the throne back to Demetri. It's all up to you. The better you do, the bigger the cut you'll receive."
"Roger that," Jeffery replied after a groan.
"You've been awfully quiet, did something happen?"
When the Hunter realized that Dave suddenly addressed him, he jerked back. "My bad, I was talking to someone. My buddy's are jealous that I get to be on an adventure with the legendary Mr. Skelly and are pestering me to at least get your autograph for them."
"I should have the time after we're done. Speaking of time, how much longer until your Mecha Skill will be off cooldown?" Dave asked.
"26 hours in-game left" Jeffery answered.
Dave checked the time and said, "Guys, I think it's time we log out, let's take the rest of the day off, get some sleep and we'll come back soon for the finish."
"Alright brosky, I'll need to grab a bite soon," Ralph replied.
Soon all the party was offline, leaving Dave's undead army stationed within a nearby opening surrounded by a large forest.
Dave was back to his room, he thought about the assault that happened this morning, his army's power was reduced to half, and he would have an extremely difficult time to conquer the East.
Dagla had already warned him that his way of doing things was not going to bring him the desired outcome, but still, he had left Dave to his own devices. Who was he to question the advice of the Arch-Lich, who must have had hundreds of years of experience in that regard?
So while they had been marching Dave hadn't spent his time doing nothing, instead, most of it has been dedicated to try and come up with another course of action he could take. Instead of continuing on his raid and breaking through every other city, Dave had eventually come to a decision that might either win him this war or end in total catastrophe.
He grabbed a bite, took a shower and ended the day by sleeping on his bed. He needed to be fresh and ready for the morning.
Dave's sleep was rudely interrupted by his alarm. The comfort of his bed and pillow were beckoning him to stay, yet his duty required him to leave the bed. Today was going to be an important day
Once Dave was online, he contacted the rest of the party to enact the finalised version of the plan he had thought up.
"Are you serious?" Lone questioned, "We can't do that! You said it yourself the capital is heavily fortified. What about the other cities?"
"We can't waste any more time nor men capturing the rest of the cities. The Qin Army is gathering their forces, and they are folding back too fast for us to cause any lasting harm this way. We need to take down their capital right now. Once that is done, we can still worry about taking care of the cities." Dave reasoned.
"But if we go straight for the capital, we'll be surrounded by enemies. The other cities could easily send forces and we'll be stuck between the hammer and the anvil," Perfect Shot argued.
"I don't know man," Jeffery also didn't seem too keen about this change of plan. "I can shoot for hours if you need me to, but once my Mecha is swarmed, I'm dead meat. So are you 100% sure you want to go straight for the capital?"
"Definitely. Yesterday's surprise attack woke me up to reality. We can't win unless we do something crazy and unexpected. And so long as the Qin Army is still occupied with clearing up the monster hordes, this is our best shot at conquering the capital right now."
"Bro, you know me. I'm in no matter what's the situation!" Ralph stated proudly.
Dave turned to the rest of the party, they all had an agreeing expression on their faces.
"Alright then, let's make a run for it. We'll have to take a long detour and through the forest to avoid the nearest city, then it'll be a straight march toward the capital. We'll arrive in half a day. Our raid should start by nightfall." Dave commanded.
He pressed his palm on the ground, creating black sigils that summoned Grumpy the Onyx Alpha basilisk out of the smoke.
"Legionnaires, follow me!" Dave called and began leading his army through the rough terrain of the Qin Kingdom.
And as Dave predicted, the march took them half a day, through the rough area. The monsters avoided the Undead Legion like the plague.
The creatures in the Eastern Region were more powerful than their counterparts from the other Kingdoms of Conquest. But due to the massive monster outbreak, the monsters avoided any undead creatures, unless a prey proved itself easy.
However, the Undead Legion was powerful and moved as a whole. If any monster was dumb or slow enough to stand in the Legion's way, only its remains would stand testament to its idiocy.
Dave's Undead Army marched unperturbed until they arrived at the high walls of the capital.
Dave had expected some resistance and hardship in his attempt to conquer the capital, but the sight in front of him made his expectations shatter. The high walls of the city were packed tight with Qin Soldiers, and at the front of the gate was an army that matched Dave's own in numbers, and had several thousand Elite Soldiers all over the place, stationed in lines at the front of the army.
Wyvern Riders flew low above the city walls and ballistae were locked and loaded with arrows ready to rain death from above upon Dave's army.
"We could have used your Dragon's Breath attack, right about now," Ralph mentioned half-jokingly.
"Yeah, I didn't expect it would be this bad… Where the hell did they keep all these numbers?!" Dave groaned.
"So, what do we do? Fall back?" Jeffery asked nervously.
"Huh, it really shows that you haven't partied long enough with us," Flanker shook his head, "You should know, that guy is a bit crazy in the head. The worse the situation and the higher the risk the more he is willing to take it."
"So you guys all are fine going against?" Jeffery still had trouble believing it. It was hard to tell the exact number but with the enemy seemingly having as many Elites as they had regular troops this should be a foregone conclusion. "This is suicide!"
"Nah, this is our way bro. Welcome to the suicide squad… otherwise known as Skelly's party," Fortress laughed.
"Everyone, let's get ready. Don't hold anything back. I'm gonna call the big boyz to play," Dave told me, with a signature smile on his face.
"Alright then, Jeffery back up," Perfect Shot advised.
"Why? What's gonna happen?" Jeffery asked as he moved away from Dave.
"You're about to see something which might blow your mind."
All too familiar with Dave's behavior Perfect Shot expected what the Draugr was about to do.
"Tiny, get the Manticores out, we'll need them."
The small slime shuddered, then began transforming into its humanoid shape. It grew massively in size, horns emerging out of a stag skull above its head, and its body ripped and cracked as bones and flesh made its torso bit by bit.
Tiny's size grew to dwarf all of Dave's Undead and then, it opened both its arms wide, summoning golden sarcophagi into the air. The sarcophagi opened up, letting out dark abysmal smoke pour out from within them, as hands, limbs, and creatures began pouring out.
The manticores, much larger than Tiny himself, managed to squeeze out from the coffins then grow to their original size in moments.
Dave had captured nine of them and had kept them hidden as a trump card. And he was unsure if he would ever find a situation better suited for their debut than now.
Jeffery, having never seen such creatures before gasped his estimation of Kis'Shtiengbrah's strength needed to be reconsidered. If he could summon such creatures to battle for him, he was enough to cause a real headache for any of the super guilds.
"Legionnaires! Line up!" Dave yelled.
His Undead stood in long organized single files. The Death Knights stood at the front, seated atop their Dunlords. Their Captains behind them, and the rest of Dave's Undead at the end.
Dave rode on Grumpy's back, he switched his sword to General Ouki's Glaive and called out loud, "LEGIONNAIRES! RAISE YOUR WEAPONS!"
Dave's shout boomed through the Legion's ranks. And to his order, they all raised their weapons.
Dave nudged Grumpy to a trot along the first line, his glaive clanging against the raised weapons of the legionnaires.
"SOLDIERS, AHEAD OF US STAND THE HIGH WALLS OF THE QIN KINGDOM!"
"WE ARE OUTNUMBERED!"
"WE ARE OUTMATCHED!"
"WE ARE SURROUNDED IN ENEMY TERRITORY!"
"BUT DO WE FALL BACK? DO WE FEAR AND SURRENDER?"
The entire army roared out simultaneously as if they were one entity.
"FOR WE ARE THE UNDEAD LEGION!" Dave roared and pointed ahead toward the gate,
"LET THIS BE THE HOUR WHEN WE DRAW SWORDS TOGETHER. FELL DEEDS AWAKE. NOW FOR WRATH, NOW FOR RUIN AND THE RED DAWN. FORTH LEGIONNAIRES!"
The Undead Army heeded Dave's command, the Manticores leading the charge, while the rest of Dave's forces used the massive sized creatures as shields to avoid the massive arrows.
The Elite Qin Soldiers at the front were readying up for the incoming Manticores. The creatures sure were big, but against the highly skilled Elite Soldiers, they would be killed sooner or later. Dave knew this, and therefore he decided to tip the balance in his favor.
A bright blue light shone upon the Qin Army. Its source was a jewel in Dave's hand.
"Drahma! I choose you!" Dave shouted and almost immediately, the world shuddered as space itself tore, welcoming the massive juggernaut of the Undead Legion, Drahma The Unfettered.
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