The sound of neighing horses could be heard from a distance and the sound of people screaming and whipping the horse fills the forest.
Behind them is the infantry moving with discipline. The ground trembles as footsteps fills the forest pathway leading to the Fort.
The soldiers look determined and their disposition was grim. They know not all of them will return home to their family tomorrow.
For the players however while they do not mind dying they at least need to get some benefit for it to be worth it.
After marching out from Fort Vars, Aero and his army started riding with oil baggage to the Erdanis forest.
Because he didn't bring many comrades with him, his mobility and speed increased. He rides his horse leading his squad in silent.
Some of the player soldiers whispers in silence looking at Aero. Aero look more like a scholar than a general.
But none of them would try to belittle him. After all they all witness how bloody he could be in the heat of battle.
In the night raid, Aero prove himself to be someone very decisive and not afraid to dirty his hand.
Beneath that scholar exterior lies a sheathed sword ready to kill. Those who dare to underestimate Aero because of his appearance would surely taste bitter defeat
In the forest other than the sound of the horse neighing and the trembling earth because of the march, no other sound could be heard.
They all know what the operation is all about and they must not be spotted. Or to be more accurate their true intention must not be discovered.
Aero is riding his horse leisurely look at the forest in front of him as he takes a break for a moment.
His face and expression and his entire demeanor was calm which in turn instill trust in his leadership.
Drinking from his leather flask, he then resumes his riding with his squad following closely behind.
Aero is thinking again as he is on top of the horse.
He is planning to do a guerrilla attack on Vetten camp after the scouts has found intelligence about the current camping position for the Vetten army.
This is the most effective strategy in whittling large force of enemy soldiers. It also helps in lowering the enemy morale.
Not to mention they are in enemy territory in a foreign land.
They need more time to gain more information about the terrain but Aero already had the information on his hand.
He knows the location of hills, of secluded places where trials begins and ends, he knows the locations of caves and hidden locations.
In the Art of War it is said that one must identify the terrain so one would be prepared for any eventualities.
His eyes shine with a gleam of excitement
After about one day of riding his squad has finally detected the Vetten army from a distance.
They all gulped when they saw the army. It was a sea of people. A sea of people from Vetten that will do their best to kill them.
It is a massive army, of iron men and iron horse. Vetten might lack gold mines but they did not lack iron mines.
One of the soldiers come beside Aero and asks
'Sir Aero, what should we do now? When will the operation be commenced?'
Aero did not answer immediately. He ponders the question, his eyes look at the enemy soldiers in the distance,
Aero rub his chin as he looks at the massive army in front of him that cover this portion of the forest.
To rush in like this will of course be like throwing an egg into a rock.
Aero could hear their marching steps from such a long distance; he could see the smoke rising up from their camps and could feel the bloodlust and ambition.
The moment Aero saw their tents he is greeted by a quest update.
KINGDOM QUEST (UPDATE)
THE INVASION OF ORCS
THE WAR ON TWO SIDES
King George has asked you to lead the armies to defeat the Orcs army that is marching to Vanheim. But because of your acuity and wisdom you have discovered that it is Vetten Kingdom that is behind these attacks to weaken Vanheim. Your objective has changed. Repel the invasion on two sides.
Reward: Fame increase
: Reputation increase
: Contribution points
: Honor points
: Will be granted the opportunity to be a part of the nobility
: Gold 90000
: Will be granted the permission to see The Secret Archive (You see this message because of your unique class)
: Friendship with the King increase.
: Intellect Increased By 15 Point (15 INT)
: Wisdom Increased By 15 Point (15 WIS)
: Leadership Increased By 50 Point (50 LEA)
'Hmm. I expected this quest might pop up. It is hard being right. My conjecture was right and I don't like it one bit'
By now there is no doubt in Aero heart about how this invasion is about to take place.
'Vetten was the one that is persuading Gruk to attack Vanheim borders. While the Orc terrorize the North, Vetten will march to the Capital and conquered Vanheim. In a way it is ingenious' Aero admired.
A good enemy is always worth celebrating. After all any good story had their villains. Aero is not interested in becoming a hero but every story needs its villain.
While he is not about to paint himself as a hero, he had no qualms of painting others to become the villain.
Aero studied the Art of War. It is usually used in business nowadays but people sometime forget that in the ages past it is used to wage war.
Of course, it is not the only book Aero reads. He reads about Napoleon tactics, Alexander brilliant tactics in his Conquest and many more.
But in the Art of War Sun Tzu said war is a matter of vital importance to the State. It is matter of life and death which is why its study could never be neglected.
The Art of War then is governed by five factors, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
The Moral Law, Heaven, Earth, Commander and Method and Discipline.
It appears from what follows that Sun Tzu means by "Moral Law" is a principle of harmony. But it could also be understood as morale
Morale is one of the important factors in leading an army.
"Without constant practice, the officers will be nervous and undecided when mustering for battle; without constant practice, the general will be wavering and irresolute when the crisis is at hand."
That is what Aero read and he also agree with it.
Morale causes the people to be in complete accord with their general so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger
And following a righteous ruler how could one morale not soar.
It is always less burdening on one mind when you are standing on the right side. Which is why propaganda is very important even until today. In a war, the government, the rulers, need to convince their people that they are on the right side.
A war might be fought over benefits but it must not be presented in such way to the public.
Because the one that is going to die is not the politician that lives high in their tall towers and high walls but the young people who are stupid enough to fall for the propaganda.
In democracy it is propaganda, in a dictatorship it is the bludgeon
Then what is Heaven? It could be understood as the condition of the world. It signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
For example don't attack in winter. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.
No one wanted to follow a person bereft of such virtues.
And those who follows such a person would one day be defeated by another force and easily infiltrated for an army who only prioritize self-interest could easily crumble internally.
Method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.
Understand and master them, a general will always be victories and will not fail. Which is why Aero made these calculations a long time ago.
In his deliberations when seeking to determine the military condition he made a basis of comparison.
Out of Vetten King and Vanheim King which one is imbued with Moral law. Out of those two which is in harmony with his subject?
The subject is the noble.
And the people.
The answer is of course King George. After all right now while he did not gain the nobles allegiance, they are powerless.
And the people?
They are being invaded of course the people would heed any order of the King.
Then one must consider which of the leading general of the two kingdoms have more ability?
Aero did not like to toot his horns but he think he would fare better than Kyle. It is not arrogance. It is confidence borne out of preparations and detailed planning.
With whom lies the advantage of heaven and Earth of predicting the weather and the terrain?
On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? Aero made sure the military law is upheld and anyone knows this.
He might look like a scholar but he will not hesitate to chop of head whether it be players or NPCs soldiers who dares to break the military law.
Of course there is other consideration he made but the only reason Aero decided to accept the quest is because he is confident he can win it.
In just a moment, his thought has flown so high and far from this battlefield and he could already almost see the complete picture.
All warfare is based on deception he muttered under his breath and he smiles.
Then looking at the Captain rank soldier Aero said with that smile on his face
'We will follow their movement and hide ourselves. I want all information about them by sunset. Separate our group into nine squads.' Aero then explained about how to separate the squads.
Every section will be entrusted to ten players. When Aero was choosing players to come with him, he only chose people that he knew is capable.
There is this one archer that can shoot one hundred arrows in one shot. But the mana consumption of this skill is very high.
And this archer also have weak defense.
So Aero put a bunch of warriors as his bodyguard.
Then after that Aero will follow their movements stealthily and hide the soldiers amongst the natural hiding spots in the forest when the Vetten Army took a rest.
At the same time Aero used the reports from his scouts and from the intel he got in the Capital he managed to mapped vital points in the area.
The plan is moving smoothly.
Aero is planning a fire attack.
When the Vetten Army stop and pitch their tent, it was a signal for their operation to begin.
And once again he will make use of Druids nature manipulation and order them to silently spread oil in trails through the camp by using their magic.
Lighting up the camp by magicians fireballs will be as easy as waving their sleeve at that point.
But it is also important to separate the soldiers in the chaos that will surely follow to maximize the damage.
Aero will use Druids ability to create Earth Walls when we attack them. This will trap the enemies.
The magicians, he tasked them to bring more chaos by hurling fireballs and Rock bullets.
Magicians and Druids have high mana as their initial stats. They were gifted a high mana stats from the beginning of their registration.
Even though HP and mana can only rise through level up or by wearing magical item there are certain classes that are given high base stats for mana and health.
Those who have high stat in strength are usually Orcs and warrior type class. But Aero class level up like usual.
When he changed his class the only base stat that got higher than usual was his intellect and wisdom.
Even though he didn't have high mana pool, his regeneration of mana is very fast thanks to his wisdom stat.
In a way he might not have high mana, but he could fire more in the same amount of time that magician could have.
But unfortunately he didn't have magician magic but many of his skills are already powerful.
Most of his skills involves swordsmanship but also uses mana which makes him like a fusion of a magic swordsman.
Going back to the task at hand, since this is the forest, the fire will undoubtedly take a lot of their troop's life when utilizing the terrain advantage that is the forest
He will use this opportunity to spread chaos and kill as many NPCs as he can. Considering his strength and being aided with his trusted sword Aero knows he got this
That night after making sure that most of Vetten soldiers have gone to sleep, he began his plan.
At first they moves stealthily as the archers stealthily aim at the patrols while magicians immobilize the other patrols.
And then Aero brought Hell to them as chaos reigned and flames devour the camps and the soldiers like a world devouring wolf.
It was a great success.
Many died because of the fire and the chaos the soldiers created. During that chaos Aero took that opportunity to disguise himself as the cook.
This is also one of his plans
When he found the cook, he killed him and burned his face beyond recognition before throwing the cook body down a canyon.
Using disguise skill Aero have also successfully smuggled his troops to blend in with the Vetten troops in the wake of their tragedy for the second part of the plan.
After Vetten Army have finished burying their comrades, Aero was tasked to make food as they have to continue to march to the Fort.
Aero was smiling all the time he was cooking
Using this chance, he used the gigantic snake venom and their galls he painstakingly gathered to poison the Vetten troops.
Aero originally intended to smear it to his sword and give it the imbued effect of poisoning.
But thinking about his current situation this task takes precedence and this will kill a lot of people more than if he uses it to kill with his sword.
The venom he put in their water supply, in their reserve water and the well they dug.
The gall he crushed and sprinkled it on their foods supplies as it assimilate itself making them undetectable to the naked eyes.
After that he distributed the food.
The Vetten troops nightmare is just beginning.
'HAHAHAHA' he was laughing in his head.
There is also some benefits in poisoning people. His skill Poison concoction rises to level 6 Beginner after concocting so many poisons to give to the Vetten troops.
Poison Concoction  Beginner
Enables concocting poison from venomous substance. When your proficiency increases you can concoct poison from other stuff.
Using this skill, Aero concoct the poison from the snake venom that he collected like a mad alchemist, concocting when he had spare time.
Like he expected, the next morning, many members of Vetten army died because of poisoning.
His level rose like mad. Considering he is not the only cook in the army the other cooks were investigated by the Investigative Bureau of Vetten Army.
On the other hand Aero had already disguised himself as another person that he killed last night.
Aero hid that soldier's body somewhere in the forest.
Now seeing the anguished face of their General, Kyle is so amusing.
In the times he was there, Aero also noted the important players and NPcs, and analyze their behavior and tendencies.
Know you enemy and you will win every battle.
Next plan was already underway as days after days morale is plummeting in the Vetten camp.
Aero troops were already perfectly positioned for the last attack before Aero and his band of small army returned back to Vars.
Aero soldiers numbered around eighty men which is enough for another raid.
Unfortunately fire is a double edged weapon and twenty of Aero comrades died during the fire.
But it is a necessary sacrifice. To win without dying in a war is not easy.
That night Kyle tightened the security. They even sent scouts to scour the forest for Aero and his companions.
Unfortunately by that time Aero was already in the camp, to the dismay of Vetten forces who still didn't know what will happen to them
After making sure everyone was asleep that night, Aero and his eight men began their slaughter.
They killed them silently and swiftly. And easily
Aero and his men crept to their beddings and slit their throats like killing an unconscious unarmed men.
It is not honorable. But this is war. It is not Aero is killing innocent people.
When people signed up to become soldiers and participate in war they should know that death is always a possibility.
As long as Aero kills enemy soldiers he will not feel what he did is unhonorable. But killing civilians, unless it is to achieve some objectives will be the last measure.
He and his men targeted magicians, druids, merchants that were helping supplying the Vetten troops, healers and Blacksmiths.
It is the high value targets. After all magicians could deal AOE attack
By the time they realized they were being slaughtered, Aero and his men have already killed so many of them.
After their presence was detected they quickly retreated and rode as fast as they can to Fort Vars, laughing and enjoying themselves at a job well done.
At least he and his men have slowed the Vetten march and weakened a bit of their military power.
But seeing for himself that massive army, in all probability, Fort Vars will fall. That conclusion was what Aero had predicted and is also what probably will happen.
But for some reason, he was not worried.
It is a small victory but nonetheless is it not the end yet. The war is still ongoing…and in war nothing is constant as war itself is the representation of chaos.
Players that followed Aero could only see grim expressions from him. Secretly in their hearts, they were all thinking the same thing...that they will lose.
God help us all.
Sorry guys a little late. tonight I will try to edit two chapter a bit faster. For now, hope you enjoy this one
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