Chapter 982: Unplanned War
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
"What is going on?"
In the central tent, the atmosphere in the air was rather heavy. The commander-in-chief Iron Axe was staring at the map on the long table, frowning. "There is neither a red mist supply line nor a warning sign. It is as if all these demons appeared out of thin air!"
They raised the alarm as quickly as possible and the platoons of the First Army were already in position but still, there was a feeling of confusion and insecurity within everyone's mind.
And this happened during Sylvie's surveillance. How would they fight this war without the witches? If the enemy was capable of suddenly appearing eight kilometers away then what would happen if they suddenly appeared in their camp next time?
If this question was not answered, nobody would be able to calm down.
Outside the tent, the Longsong Cannon started firing again after going quiet for half of the night. Additionally, the rate of firing was increased to maximum—it was no longer necessary to save shells since the most important thing now was to reduce the enemy's strength as soon as possible.
"It's impossible that they appeared out of nowhere," Agatha said firmly. "The Red Mist is essential for the survival of the demons, this hasn't changed. If that wasn't the case, they would have already taken over the world. The enemy's number is now close to ten thousand and without the red mist supply line, just by running towards here would result in their death, let alone fighting.
"According to previous intelligence, the outpost here can sustain at most few thousand demons," Iron Axe said after a while. "So what you are saying is that there is another supply line near us which was not discovered by the Eye of Magic?"
"This is the only possible answer—"
"No, there is one more possibility," Edith interrupted. "Since we are able to make the supply line disappear from the surface, the demons may have also been able to think of that."
"Digging an underground tunnel from Taquila to here?" Agatha shook her head. "Without taking into consideration whether or not they have acquired a worm carrier, the construction of a tunnel that would enable the demons to move around is no small task and it conflicts with the time of their first appearance at Taquila. Furthermore, such a huge activity should have been spotted by Sylvie."
"I am not saying that they started from your hometown," Edith stretched and pointed on an x mark on the map. "What if they only started from the outpost?"
"What do you mean," Iron Axe asked with a deep voice.
"Don't you think that the location of the demons' appearance is a bit awkward? She pulled up her dangling hair and continued, "Think about it, if we were a traditional army—without regard to if we were human nobles or union witches, what would be the situation?"
Following the question of the Pearl of the Northern Region, everyone turned their eyes on the map.
From those who could enter the central big tent, some were members of the Adviser Department, some were commanders of the army and some were representatives of the allied forces but none of them showed slow reactions—soon, everyone thought of a possibility.
In an instant, there was a sound of astonishment in the big tent.
The sound of their sighs was soon covered by the cannon firing outside of the tent—but under the shaking of the ground, everyone could see the surprise in each other's eyes.
Only when the firing stopped, Morning Light finally broke the silence and said, "Are you saying... that the outpost is a trap set by the demons?"
If they were a traditional army, they would have to start a siege in order to destroy the outpost and that would mean exposing their back to the demons. So, if the demons appeared at that time, they would form a natural surrounding with the ruins of Taquila. So, under the attack from both sides, the first army's fate would be easy to imagine.
The two opposite sides would just manage to fit in the two-kilometer battlefield and looking at the map, it looked exactly like a huge pocket.
"So they were certain that we would come?" Iron Axe asked.
Edith did not answer but looked at the ancient witches' representative—Zooey.
Compared to the most of them, Zooey's expression did not really change and her face was emotionless as always. "If it was the Union then we would definitely come. Letting the demons build an outpost would result in an expansion of the red line which is suicide—the destruction of a city would always begin from the inability to stop the enemy's expansion." She paused and then said, "But they have never done this before."
"Well. the times have changed," the Pearl of the Northern Region waved her hands. "If that's the case, this explains a lot. The demons don't think that humans can pose a threat to a Devilbeast team and Neverwinter is a witch city essentially, so they set up this trap. If they were lucky, they would manage to defeat all the combat witches at once. So, to make us come, not only did they not attack us en route but also decreased their surveillance area on purpose, all of it leading up to this moment now—what do you all think of this assumption?"
"Even if this is true, how were the demons able to hide from Miss Sylvie's observation?" Sir Eltek asked confused.
"You may not know this but her ability is not omniscient," Edith replied. "If I remember correctly, there is a considerable gap between her observation distance and her perspective distance. Hense, taking into consideration the Devilbeast, she is usually only able to observe at a limited distance—under these circumstances, the Eye of Magic has probably omitted a large area."
Hearing this, everyone could already guess the answer.
"Of course, I'm not blaming Miss Sylvie," Edith sighed, "it's just that we relied too much on her."
Magic power, it was a problem that could not be neglected by the witches. In order to observe what the enemies were doing, Sylvie had to stay alert all the time and carefully plan the usage of her magic power. But the observation of the deep layers of the ground required a huge amount of magic power, just like a bird watching from the sky far above. That is why it was impossible to check every place on the Fertile Plains in detail.
Assuming the demons can only hide near the Red Mist area, she must have checked only the area near the outpost—and limited by the observation distance, the depth of observation would not have been too deep either.
Agatha frowned. "We can verify this point right now." She then activated the Sigil of Listening, "Sylvie, can you check what's happening underneath the Army of Demons?"
"Underground?" Sylvie, who was guiding the cannons at that time, was a little startled, "I can try but my magic power..."
"Got it." The voice on the other side of the Sigil stopped for a moment and then everyone heard her surprised voice, "This is strange... the Magic Eye's line of sight has been blocked, I can't see anything. There is only darkness underground!"
Everyone remained silent. This result had indirectly proved Edith's assumption.
Being tricked by the enemy was definitely not a good feeling.
For a moment, the only sound in the tent was the firing of the cannons.
"Pow, pow, pow."
At this time, Iron Axe suddenly clapped his hands.
"Lord?" Morning Light asked.
"If this is the case, then I can rest assured." He said slowly. "In the end, the following tough battle will decide who the prey is."
"You are right, lord commander-in-chief," Edith smiled. "Though they did not guess their opponent correctly, the result is still the same. Both sides can be considered lucky. Or maybe, we are luckier—to confront the enemy head to head in a carefully planned battlefield is exactly what we want, isn't it? They didn't have a chance to react to the bombing last night and now not only have they lost their bait but also have to face our fully prepared soldiers. No matter how you look at it, the situation isn't too bad."
The Pearl of the Northern Region paused for a moment, "Actually, just like what I said at the beginning, we don't need to concern ourselves with the intentions of our enemy. No matter what they want to do, we just need to kill off anyone who dares to come in front of us—that's exactly what the First Army is good at, isn't it?"
At this time, the alarm sounded once again in the camp in a much more urgent manner.
Everyone understood—they were here.
The Devilbeast, being the front line platoon, had already entered the shooting range of the First Army.
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