Chapter 285 - 150. Train like it's the Real Deal -3 (Part One)

Translated by A Passing Wanderer

Edited by RED

**

Three weeks ago, inside the Imperial Palace’s library…

Just like always, Alice was in the library, studying magic.

In the mornings, she’d focus on training her physical body, while during lunch time she’d research magic. In the afternoons, she would do image training, while her evenings were taken up with close-quarter combat drills. Another round of studying magic followed, which lasted well until the wee hours before she went to bed.

She didn’t forget to squeeze in her prayer sessions and learning more about the duties of a lady-in-waiting during her busy schedule, either. This whole process was how her daily life usually went.

To her, this was a normal and peaceful daily pattern. Unfortunately, someone was disturbing this comfortable daily routine of hers lately.

“Eh-whew… Lady Alice. Lady Alice?”

The sigh was so drawn out and heavy that it might cave in the earth below. It proved to be hard for her to ignore.

Alice was unable to let it go unanswered, so she put down the book she was reading and shifted her gaze to her side. “What’s the matter, Lord Hans?”

When she gently spoke, Hans planted his forehead on the desk and answered, “He told me to come up with a new weapon, ma’am. A new weapon type! How does that even make sense?! Seriously now, you can only overwork someone to a degree, you know? How am I supposed to know what a cannon is, anyway? Sure, there’s some kind of an ancient record of someone inventing it in the distant past, but it supposedly possesses dozens, nay, a hundred times the firepower of a musket! How does that make any sense?!”

Alice could only smile awkwardly at that. It felt like she heard the exact same complaint coming from him dozens of times a day for a while now.

“He said I’d get a fat bonus if I succeed in this task, but eh-whew! If he was talking about piles of cash, I’m already sitting on them after joining the Imperial Family’s ranks. I’m no longer as obsessed about making money as before, you know!” Hans continued to grumble and express his discontent.

“Oh, you wanna be unemployed, then?”

Hans flinched at the sudden voice.

Allen opened the library’s door and stepped inside, prompting Hans to fake chuckle to hide his awkwardness. “Of course not, sir! I was merely joking there, Your Highness. No, wait a minute. It’s now Your Majesty, isn’t it, sir? In any case, you know I was simply jo…”

Before Hans could finish, Allen ground his fist against the top of the Alchemist’s head, hard.

Alice watched the duo and inwardly sighed in relief. Now that Allen was here, surely Hans would leave the library. Meaning she should be able to focus on her studies now.

“Hey, Alice?” Alice looked up at Allen when he called out her name. There was a somewhat mischievous grin on his face. “I need your assistance.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I was preparing for a simple simulated reality training, but it got a bit difficult, you see.”

“…?”

“Train like it’s the real deal. And treat the real thing like the real deal, know what I mean?” Allen grinned brightly at her. “Please help.”

“…”

“Oh, and as a bonus…” Allen lightly shook around a gourd-shaped bottle in front of Alice’s eyes. “Drink this, too.”

**

Alice recalled the events from three weeks ago and shook her head slowly. The contents of that bottle were ridiculously disgusting to experience, so much so that she had to wonder if Allen had reverted back to his old mangnani ways and decided to play a nasty prank on her.

However…

‘It’s not difficult at all.’

She didn’t feel any fatigue while performing the divinity resonance. This was the effect of the elixir she had drunk three weeks ago.

She had drunk it and immediately entered divinity control mode to offer a prayer. Her divinity reserve was amplified, and its effectiveness had improved by a great margin.

She had been feeling frustrated lately, after sensing her own growth stagnating, but just a single elixir managed to completely and utterly reinvigorate her to an absurd degree.

A regular Priest would be crying out in elation, proclaiming that this was a god’s miracle. They might remember this incredible debt for the rest of their lives, but Allen seemed to be rather indifferent about it.

‘Honestly, I can’t tell what’s really in his mind.’

Alice looked up at the man wearing the bird-beak mask up on the border wall and grinned softly. Although her ears were catching the screams of some other people, she believed that he did this for the sake of everyone here.

‘Everyone, do your best!’

For Alice, offering her prayer was the sole method of cheering she could provide to these new recruits.

“Uwaaaahk?!”

Adolf stared at his severed hand flying away. Blood sprayed out from the wound.

However, that lasted only for a few seconds; bones suddenly sprouted out from the severed stump of his arm. Blood vessels and muscle fibres then wrapped around his new bones like some kind of wiggling feelers, before new skin covered them all.

“W-what the hell?! What’s going on here?!”

This bizarre phenomenon only made Adolf even more terrified. His destroyed arm suddenly grew back; he had only heard about something like this in some far-fetched rumours. This would be his first time experiencing it for real.

He even had to wonder whether or not this was an illusion caused by him falling into a panicked state.

“It, it’s coming-!” one of the recruits cried out loudly.

A huge boulder was flying in towards the border wall. It was a projectile fired by a catapult.

“Ah…!”

Some hapless recruits were struck by that boulder. Their bodies were ripped apart and they tumbled down below the wall.

Death. Getting hit by something like that would obviously mean instant death!

“Don’t you worry now. You won’t die.”

Adolf hurriedly turned his head.

Extra had put his mask back on and began backing away even further. Why did it feel like he was smirking under the mask, though?

“When you’re in this sanctuary, you can’t die even if you want to. Well, as long as your entire head doesn’t get smashed to smithereens, that is.”

“…”

He said that they couldn’t be killed. He said that the great divine power would restore life itself, which seemed rather contradictory.

“Be a good soldier and defend your positions. Risk your lives and protect this wall. That is your duty this time.” When Extra said that, Adolf, Gril and Yuria all looked below the border wall.

Skeletons wielding muskets were pulling the triggers again. Projectiles flew up before descending like shooting stars, turning the recruits into figurative beehives full of holes.

It was a truly horrifying sight.

This couldn’t be ‘training’ at all. No, it was a one-sided massacre!

“All of you, get into defensive lines!” Harman roared out at them.

Gril, who had enjoyed some friendly repertoire with the Paladin, worked up his courage and asked Harman. “H-hold on, sir Paladin! Nobody told us that we’d be going through training like this before!”

“Gril, go and defend your original position. We must not lose this defensive battle, no matter what!”

“What do you mean, we mustn’t lose?! Just who are we even fighting against, anyway?!”

“It’s Marquise Charlotte.”

“Eh?” Gril and his puzzled face began scanning the ground below the border wall once more. Only then did he finally notice a Paladin in white armour leading the equally-white undead army.

Charlotte was waving her sword around, commanding the undead behind her.

“What is she doing down there?!” Gril dazedly muttered out.

“Uncle, now isn’t the time to say something weird! We gotta run!” Yuria shouted at him and yanked at Gril’s clothes.

He stumbled and plopped on his butt, only to witness a huge boulder narrowly brush past his head.

His jaw fell down to the floor. “…This isn’t the life of a Paladin I dreamed about, you know?”

“Even if you don’t fight back, our opponents are ready and willing to fight us.” Harman spoke up, glaring at Charlotte. “If you don’t resist, then only pain and misery awaits!”

His words caused the complexions of all the nearby recruits to pale instantly.

**

Charlotte was also lacking in combat experience; in this case, what she lacked was the ability to command an army.

{Come and occupy the border wall. That’s your job this time.}

Allen had said that while ordering the holy undead to follow her commands. They really acted and moved according to her orders.

“Use the siege weapons to attack the top of the border wall! The rest, advance!”

The undead heeded her command and ran forward. They then summoned ladders made out of bones to climb up on the wall.

“Do not allow them to reach the top!” Harman’s roar resounded out.

The recruits, despite still being stuck in a state of panic and confusion, began displaying hints of reacting to his commands.

“Fire the arrows!”

The recruits gripped their bows tightly and peeked over the edge of the border wall. Charlotte discovered them and issued another order. “Commence firing!”

About fifty or so members of the musket regiment on standby simultaneously pulled their triggers.

A loud cacophony of gunshots rocked the air and whitish smoke spread out everywhere. At the same time, the bodies of the recruits up on the wall were ruthlessly pierced through.

“This is too easy,” Charlotte muttered to herself.

Even though the recruits were currently being commanded by Harman, who had plenty of combat experience, they were still a disorganised mess. There was simply no way they could defend against Allen’s army.

‘However, today should prove to be a good experience for them in the end.’

Allen had previously said that he didn’t need some soldiers who’d get killed off too easily. No, what he was looking for were powerful clerics who swore to protect their mother nation and their loved ones.

He was planning to filter out all those candidates filled with useless ambitions of their future and desire to move up in the world, before they had a chance to bloom.

The holy undead were deliberately avoiding attacking the vital parts of the recruits. This was a part of Allen’s orders, but despite that, Charlotte was still thinking of doing things realistically.

“Mace regiment, go and take over the border wall!”

The skeletons wielding maces heeded her command and climbed up to the top of the border wall. They swung their maces around to force back the recruits.

“Shield soldiers, defend the ladders!”

Skeletons carrying shields created sturdy walls by stacking themselves together, and defended the ladders.

“Spears soldiers, form a pike wall!”

The pike wall of sharp spears jutted out and completely forced back the ranks of the recruits.

They flinched nastily in shock, while Harman was facepalming himself. “Dammit, it’s too late.”

The shields created impregnable walls while the lengthy spears threatened their human opponents.

“Forward-!”

The skeletons began stepping forward one step at a time when Charlotte issued her next command.

The recruits, not knowing what they were supposed to do here, started backing away, and the distance to the cliff-like edge of the border wall gradually narrowed.

The faces of Gril, Adolf, and Yuria all paled greatly.

Just as the tips of the spears reached their faces and they took one last step back, their feet dangled in the empty air.

The recruits all began falling from the top of the border wall. They crash landed on the hard, unforgiving ground below.

Thud-!

They all experienced horrifying pain, but none of them died. Instead, their broken and shattered bones recovered rapidly.

Their gazes, dazed and blurry from the impact to their heads, were directed at the top of the border wall. The holy undead began vanishing from this world, scattering away into motes of radiant light.

Harman massaged his temples while looking at the eight hundred or so recruits laying on their backs on the ground below. He shouted at them loudly, “…Today’s training will conclude here!”

Adolf, Gril, and Yuria waited for Harman’s next instruction with trembling eyes.

“However, we shall fight another defensive battle tomorrow!”

This… this was an endless loop of Hell!

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