Litna told Katherine there was another team out in the city ruins, so they waited for the team to return before continuing their conversation. Once everyone was assembled, Katherine discussed the details of what she was planning. She held back on a few specifics, but she told them enough to watch the entire room brighten with hope.
Not everyone grew emotional, Zelnaq remained stoic in the face of the news. Litna also had a mild response, clearly deep in thought. They were trying to figure out the best plan of attack to accomplish Katherine's goals. After all, eliminating the remaining Great Demon and regaining control of the facility was a tall order.
"The Miniature Obelisks of Suppression and the energy weapons... What's their energy source? What do we need to do to get them working?" Litna asked.
Katherine froze, not knowing the answer to the question. She had never considered an energy source... for energy weapons.
[They absorb energy from the world. Unless damaged, they work indefinitely, and they can simply be set up and used immediately.]
Lotus answered the question, and Katherine mimicked the answer to Litna. After, she watched the wheels turn as Litna fell back into thought, moving to the side and pulling out a massive map of the main facility.
The map was detailed, and it was updated with the current state of the base, including the general strength of the demons and their locations within and around the base.
"Most of the entrances, hidden or otherwise, were either destroyed or discovered. That being said, there are a few ways in that should allow us to move in without being detected. We can send a team in here."
Litna pointed at a certain point on the map, a long tunnel that led to the center of the base. Katherine noticed it came out right in the middle of two areas with heavy demon presence. Her brows furrowed.
"What about the demon presence?" Katherine asked, pointing to the two well-guarded areas before pointing to another location further off. It didn't lead as deep into the facility, but it would be a safer option.
"If the team goes in here, will the chances not be higher? It will provide a decent chance at escaping if they are discovered as well." Katherine lacked any arrogance, she knew very little about battle and tactics, and she didn't mind admitting it.
"If we were only sending a team in, that location would certainly be a better bet, but sending a team in is only a single part of the plan."
Litna pointed to a spot outside of the base on the map, tapping it with their finger.
"We will have another group here, luring them out. The goal, the Great Demon. You said that the only way to ensure this plan is a success is to eliminate the Great Demon, which means we need to do that for any of the rest of this to matter.
"Not only will drawing out the Great Demon and the demonic forces give us that opportunity, but it will also provide an opening for the team sneaking inside.
"When the demons rush out, we will engage them in with the goal of dragging out the fight. Meanwhile, after the Great Demon reveals itself, the other team will enter the base and kill whatever demons remain as they make their way towards the control room. Once there, they can activate the remaining defenses and remove the demons' path of retreat."
Litna continued to go over the plan, delving into more detail. Katherine, realizing that there was nothing for her to disagree with, just listened. She couldn't help but admit that it was a good plan.
Once the path of retreat was sealed, the forces on the surface would stop dragging out the fight and go on a full offensive. They would return to the main entrance of the base and quickly install the turrets, allowing them to crush the demon forces. As for the Great Demon, if an opportunity hadn't presented itself by that time, Katherine would make her move, and Litna and Zelnaq would act as her support.
"The most important part of this plan is not making any hasty moves. We hold the advantage in a long fight, and as long as the obelisks aren't damaged, once the Great Demon is defeated, we will be able to take control of the Hallowrealm with ease."
Litna was confident for two reasons. One was Katherine and the celestial weapons, and the other was what lay beneath the base. Their people, while not being powerful, were brilliant. While they couldn't stand against the invasion or a Great Demon—assuming the demons could no longer receive reinforcements—they could slowly regain control of their realm.
"What are we waiting for then?" One of the soldiers asked with a grin on their face, only to receive a glare from Litna.
"Don't mistake a high chance of success for true easiness. If you are careless, we may all die. This is a good plan, but a single mistake makes it a death trap. All of you need to be serious because this is the most important fight we've ever been a part of. However, if we succeed, it may be the most serious one we will ever have to be a part of. This could all come to an end."
Katherine suddenly recalled something, and her mind exploded. How long had the people in front of her been fighting? They were one of the earlier realms to be invaded. Adding up everything she had heard, these people had been around from the start.
She couldn't imagine fighting for that long, but it explained why people like Yole, Litna, and Zelnaq seemed so accustomed to it.
"The only thing left is timing." After everything else was said and done, Litna looked towards Zelnaq. While Litna oversaw almost everything, they still defaulted to Zelnaq on occasion. The marksman knew more about the situation on the ground than any of them.
"They will be most vulnerable when the next batch of Sworn arrive." Zelnaq didn't need to think for more than a second, having been considering the when the entire time they were talking. As much as she wanted to go in immediately and spill some demon blood, she knew it was smarter to wait.
"Sworn?" Katherine asked.
"It's the general term with gave to the races that joined the demons willingly. Many of the races that serve under them do so due to compulsion or slavery, but some gave up and chose to serve the demons. There are even a few cases of demons arriving to a realm of demon worshippers, though I'm not sure if that's true."
Katherine shook her head upon hearing Litna's answer. She had a feeling it would be something like that, but it was still unpleasant to hear. Especially the thought of entire races being used as little more than slaves. What would happen to them once their plan was enacted?
'I can only protect those close to me.' Katherine knew that was the truth, that worrying about others was a luxury she couldn't currently afford. Even her thoughts of protecting the Hallatians and helping the Hallowrealm was taxing and difficult. She couldn't worry about everyone.
"Katherine." Litna had said he voice a few times, but only after the third time did it reach her and bring her back to the conversation.
"Apologies, what was it?" Katherine asked as the lost look that had appeared in her eyes disappeared.
"Are you okay with this plan?" Litna asked, smiling slightly.
Katherine nodded. "I'll be ready."
"Good. In that case, everyone should start getting ready. Since this is the last hurrah, I'll prepare a few extra goodies. Team one should go out and do some recon." She said a few words and gave a few orders, sending one team out to keep an eye on the base. They were the same team that would be infiltrating the base when everything began.
As for the others, they would remain at the base to prepare. Litna went to prepare whatever "goodies" they had in mind, while most of the others went to rest. As for Zelnaq, she went to clean her weapons, unable to simply take it easy.
'How long did they say?' Katherine asked internally, embarrassed to admit that she hadn't heard how long it would be until the next bath of Sworn appeared.
[A few hours to a day... It's not a very reliable estimate.]
Katherine chuckled to herself, suddenly reminded of Earth before the invasion; all day time quotes were the norm. Just like then, all she could do was wait.
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