51 Explosive Fire
<Don't drag me into your quarrels. Or else you will feel my wrath.>
Great Swordmeister Sian von Roman during dinner time
Krashana was talking with General Grandal.
"Are we left with no other choice?"
"Yes… Sir Kalagul is a foreign Grand Bander. He will not fight for us until the end. He has already declared that he and <Dragona> are retreating per the King's order. They are going back by using the Ra-Shar-Roa nearby."
Krashana's face dimmed. If they did not have Kalagul, they had no chance at winning this war. Krashana also saw the number of Kel-Rufens on the plains. She wanted to find the man who helped Rian, but that seemed unlikely and there was no guarantee that he would help them either.
If they abandoned this place, there was no other place to block Usharan's advances. Next was the capital. Con-Tian had to be their last stand.
"Understood. I will make preparations… though I never thought we would need to use it."
"Thank you for everything."
"Thank you. If this is our fate… then so be it."
Krashana sighed and walked out quickly. There was no time to waste.
"We have confirmed the reporting of <Dragona> leaving the battlefield."
"Was Kalagul there?"
"Yes, he was the leader of the group."
"So it was as the Prince predicted."
Nazgal smiled as he spoke. The Kel-Rufens were sent as reinforcements, but he didn't send them straight into the battlefield. A Kel-Rufen was not a replenishable war resource. It had to be used carefully and it was better to not use it at all. There was no need to waste Kel-Rufens by fighting against a Grand Bander. That was why he used them to drive out the foreign Grand Bander, and as the Prince predicted, Tian's Grand Bander left the sinking ship.
"Anything else to report?"
"It might be weird, but they were escorting all the civilians out from the castle."
"Really? Are they all running away? Including the soldiers?"
If they were running away, they needed to be tracked down. The <Black Star> was a nuisance that needed to be taken care of. It was best to kill them on the battlefield.
"No, Commander. Only civilians. All the soldiers are still at the castle."
"Heh… so the Krashana girl is willing to make a last stand. She's got some guts."
<Black Star> and the other soldiers knew they couldn't run. If they did, they would be chased down.
"I will respect their decision. Let's not waste more time. Attack when the preparations are done. We will dine at Con-Tian today."
"Yes, Commander! I will send the message to General Cordan right now."
Kalagul, along with all the civilians of Con-Tian, moved to Crutoon City where the Ra-Shar-Roa was located. Most of the civilians had already fled the Con-Tian Region, but there were still a lot who stayed behind. General Grandal asked Kalagul to take those civilians with him and Kalagul agreed.
Rian kept glancing back at the castle as they walked away from it. They were acting under the King's orders, but Rian felt uncomfortable about abandoning their allies and leaving them to die.
Usharan started attacking Con-Tian not a day after they left the castle. The sound of Kularen cannons came from far away, but it would not last long. Even at this moment, the Kel-Rufens and Kanuans were fiercely attacking the inner castle.
"Yes, Sir Kalagul."
"You should let it go. It is fortunate that we were allowed to leave."
"We will all die if we fight against such an army. Think about our people and all the civilians here."
Rian could not answer. Krashana had one request. It was to help safely move the civilians to where the Ra-Shar-Roa was located. She knew they could not do it as they would be tracked down. Rian could not forget her face when she made the depressing request. If Sian put up a fight, it would've solved everything, but he couldn't ask Sian to do such a thing. Sian did not want to kill people. Even in the war, he only destroyed the machines. He also hated taking sides. Knowing all this, Rian couldn't ask Sian to side with Con Kingdom.
After organizing his thoughts and making up his mind, Rian turned to the castle one last time.
The ground was shaking. The castle was trembling violently from within. They were miles away, but they still felt the quake. Then a terrifying energy began radiating from within the castle.
Con-Tian had been a strategic location from the beginning of the Seven Kingdoms. If Con-Tian was breached, there was no way to defend the capital. That was why it worked as the last defensive point to protect the capital of Con Kingdom, Corindel.
About a hundred years ago, Great Magic Priest Arantina, the President of Con's Royal Magic Council, asked one question while talking with the Great General Muraka.
<What should we do if a powerful army tears through Con-Tian and advances toward Corindel?>
What if they had no army to defend against such a powerful army? Do we need to lose? General Muraka began to ponder on the question with Arantina and gave an answer.
<If it is an army that we cannot fight back against and it will endanger our country, we give it everything we have and aim for their bones.>
Arantina began preparing, and after a year, they were able to create something that wielded a powerful magic rune for top-grade magic. It contained destructive power and was called <Explosive Fire>.
This was kept top secret among the region's general and a few of the top-ranking generals. It was the ultimate weapon that needed to be kept a secret. It was then stored under the Con-Tian Castle for a hundred years.
"I never imagined to use this in my generation. Haha…"
Grandal spoke as he heard the explosives and screams coming from outside. The preparation was finished. There were no civilians left within the castle and all the generals including Krashana from the <Black Star> agreed to the plan. They were now drawing their enemy further into the castle so they wouldn't run away.
Young soldiers were sent along with the civilians, disguised as protecting civilians so that they would not die.
'This… this is what must be done.'
Their armies could barely fight against ten Kel-Rufens. They were not just seventy Master warriors. These machines became stronger as their numbers grew. Even now, the Kel-Rufens were creating formations and killing Con-Tian warriors. They were not to be sent to the capital. They needed to be stopped. If Usharan lost the Kel-Rufens, they would not be able to advance any further and it would buy some time to allow Con Kingdom to recover.
The Kel-Rufens and enemy generals were now deep inside the castle. They would not be able to run away from this point. Even if they wanted to, Krashana would slow them down.
'Lady Krashana, we will meet in the afterlife.'
He then moved into the inner office where a small magic rune, connected to the <Explosive Fire>, was located and transferred Bander into it, proving that he was the Commander of the Con-Tian region. At once, along with the huge tremor, the <Explosive Fire>'s magic rune was initiated.
This top-grade magic had two cons and one pro.
First, its Exar flow was too wild and abrupt. Everyone, including the enemy, would know the moment it was activated.
Second, it took a long time for the actual magic to happen after its activation. It took one minute and required three minutes if a Magic Priest was absent, or if the rune was activated only by a Talic Stone.
These two problems allowed enemies to run out of its range, which would render it useless.
Great Magic Priest Arantina knew it had these problems. Yet she still installed it at Con-Tian because of the one pro it had.
When activated, and provided that the enemy was drawn deep within so they didn't have time to run away, it would wreak havoc.
That destruction, a hundred years after Arantina's plan, was now unleashed.