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The Duke’s Eldest Son Escaped to the Military (190)

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Translator: ChubbyCheeks

60 The Growing Field Army (3)

 

The monsters and humans united at the unexpected appearance and surprise attack of the giant worm corps. 

Thousands among them had already evolved into giant worms. The strange and weird appearance of each and every single creature in the giant worm corps had proven that they had evolved repeatedly over the course of their silence. Some of them had developed wings while others could excrete poison all throughout their bodies. 

“It definitely got smarter.” 

Iron sighed to himself as he looked at the now smarter imoogi. 

It already learnt how to use its head when it was just a giant armored worm but now it had learnt how to use tactics. If they left it unattended in the future, it would be able to grow smart enough to the point that it could pose a far greater danger than what they could handle. 

In addition, the force hiding in its body had also grown stronger than before. Back when it was still a giant armored worm, Iron could confidently say that it could block the giant worms together with it. But now, the imoogi had grown to the point that Iron found it a bit too much to deal with alone.

“Do it properly!”

― Do you think you’re the only one who can move properly?!

Iron and the manticore had spent a lot of their force and stamina during their fierce battle earlier. Because of this, they had no choice but to join forces and fight against the imoogi together. However, awkwardness was still bound to arise between them. After all, they had been forced to unite after still being in the middle of a fight earlier. Perhaps that was the reason why Iron and the manticore were still wary of each other whenever they moved to attack the imoogi. 

The imoogi’s shrewdness was now only second to the manticore and it was posing to be a big problem for them. It had now become quick-witted. It’s eyes were always wandering around looking behind Iron, trying to find gaps between the two of them.

Iron felt what the imoogi wanted to do so he deliberately held back. Because of this, he missed the opportunity to deal a fatal blow to the imoogi. He knew full well that they still wouldn’t be enough even after joining forces. After all, they wouldn’t be able to work properly together since they were wary of each other. All they could do was attack and watch their backs in case one of them messed around.

And the same was true with the army. Since their highest commanding officer was wary, the other units of the army would be no different. 

“Are these bastards trying to hit us in the back?” 

“Hey! We’ll definitely beat you to a pulp the moment we see a gap!” 

“Look at them deliberately doing that.” 

The humans had quick wits, they immediately noticed that the shrewd monsters were trying to aim for the back of their heads. So, instead of actively participating in battle they chose their survival. Because of that, the situation of the battle turned strange.

The giant worm corps was strong. That was why they were forced to unite. However, the moment damage started to get inflicted on them, they immediately stepped back. While the humans and monsters were busy trying to preserve their own forces and not accumulate any damage from each other, the giant worms increased their strength and rushed in. When that happened, both the humans and the monsters flocked to them.

In the end, the monsters were forced to completely abandon the thought of hitting the backs of the heads of the humans. They could see that they were already nearing their limits and more giant worms flocking to them would mean that they would really be over. 

Seeing this, the humans also began to help the monsters as they diligently and sincerely attacked the giant worms. When the giant ants pulled the worms’ attention, the knights would rush in and attack their weaknesses. When the trolls used their sorcery, the wizards would finish off the attack with their overwhelming firepower. With the humans and monsters fighting together in earnest, the giant worms were forced to slow down their attacks. 

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It seemed like the imoogi never wanted for something like this to happen so it revealed it’s full strength. 

“How much did you pig out for you to get that big?” 

Iron sighed when it saw the imoogi pull its entire body out of the ground. 

The imoogi was immensely huge and its body was covered with thick and sturdy outer shells that could not be scratched by most attacks. Iron could also see that the void energy that it used to launch its outer shells was now present in the air. The air became wind that created a tornado that sucked in all of the void energy in the area.

“It seems like you’ve grown a lot from the last time we saw each other.” 

While Iron was clicking his tongue at the sight, the manticore was already up in the sky opening its mouth widely and spreading it’s purple energy in the air. However, the imoogi just compressed the void energy around its body and shot it towards the sky as if to prove that it would not lose.

A flash of black and purple collided in the air. 

The imoogi had now grown to the point that it could not be considered as an armored worm anymore. And this imoogi was glaring at Iron viciously. The corners of its mouth were slightly raised as if it was grinning at him. 

“Ha… You’re smiling?” 

It was now standing upright as if it had the upper hand.

Iron called for his divine beasts to destroy that smug look on its face. It seemed like the divine beasts were able to read through Iron’s wrath so they immediately showed off their full strength. 

The imoogi immediately rushed towards Iron as it boosted its strength. 

The clash between Iron and the imoogi caused a powerful shock wave that scattered in all directions. 

‘It really has grown.’ 

It cut off his aura blade with its tough and sharp tail, countered Two Moons’ attack with a black flash of light, used a whirlwind made out of void energy to clash against Thunderbird’s tornado and overlapped its thick shells to endure Phoenix’s flames. 

Iron could see that it endured well despite him using his full force. The only thing that was left was his own innate ability and his holy power. Most of the holy power that Iron could use was being channeled by Baepsae but that did not mean that he could not afford to use any more. 

Then, he immediately used both his innate ability, lightning, and his holy power. A white lightning began to appear and surround his aura blade. 

Crackle!

― Krrrrrrrrrrrr!

The imoogi’s body shook as if it was shocked by electricity with every slash of Iron’s aura blade. 

Unlike Thunderbird’s lightning, his innate ability lightning was intertwined with his holy power so it was able to penetrate through the imoogi’s thick skin and purify the void energy along the way. In other words, this power was the extreme opposite of void energy and it was wreaking havoc in the imoogi’s body. And since it was completely wrapped around the aura blade, any wound that he inflicted would not recover that easily. On top of that, there was also the frost that covered his blade. Although it was weak it could still freeze the wounds and slow down the recovery more.

― Krrrrk!

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However, no matter how strong the attacks were, it only left scratches on the imoogi’s body. 

Although his powers made it much more difficult to recover, it would not mean much unless the wound was a fatal injury. Iron knew this fact well so he did not go all out. After all, he still needed to prepare for another all-out war. 

Iron and the imoogi clashed once again. The two of them had been fighting fiercely and were trying to look for a gap but they both sensed something before looking in the same direction. Then, they immediately stepped back away from each other. 

“So damn crafty…”

― Krrrrrr…

While fighting against each other, Iron and the imoogi turned towards the manticore and showed hostility and killing intent. It seemed like the manticore tried to dig into their gaps while they were busy fighting. 

How should we punish a cowardly and sneaky bastard?

The imoogi and Iron attacked the manticore at the same time. 

In terms of pure force, the manticore was far behind Iron and the imoogi. That was the reason why it was badly pushed back by the two’s joint attack. The manticore knew that it would not be able to endure the attack from the two of them even if it utilized all of its guards. 

― Th… the imoogi. Let’s deal with the imoogi first. I promise that I will not look for and dig into your gaps until we deal with the bastard. 

“Stop speaking bullshit and just drop dead.”

Iron’s response to the manticore, who was urgently trying to negotiate with him, was a blunt disregard and a swing of his aura blade. The imoogi also flew behind the manticore to prevent it from running away. Perhaps it was because they fought terribly for months that Iron and the imoogi were able to work seamlessly in this joint attack against the manticore. 

Seeing that it was being blocked both in the sky and its rear, the manticore urgently spoke.

― Yo… You’ll be the one in trouble!

The monsters all bursted out and separated from the humans, ending their truce and collaboration, as they went back to their hostile position after seeing the manticore being cornered. 

But Iron just laughed at it. 

“Alliance is not something that one can form with monsters.”

As soon as Iron spoke, the giant worms stepped away from the human’s camp and turned towards the monsters. The quick-witted officers immediately understood the situation as they turned the tips of their spears towards the monsters. 

The manticore and the monster corps were now all over the place after being surrounded by enemies on all sides. Each and every single one of them were busy escaping death from the joint attack by the humans and the giant worms.

Even the manticore was doing the same. With the manticore at its limits, it gave its all to escaping despite the huge risk of incurring fatal injuries. With no other choice, it used its final killing move, the purple lightning. 

While Iron and the imoogi were deflecting the lightning bolts that were flying towards them, the manticore disappeared in a flash and widened the distance between them. It used its killing move to live. Thanks to that, the monsters were able to successfully retreat despite suffering enormous damages. 

Now, the only ones left were the giant worm corps and the Mobile Field Army. 

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Baaaaaaang!

“Knew it.” 

The moment the imoogi saw the manticore running away, it immediately swung its tail towards Iron. But Iron just lightly hit it with his aura blade as if he knew that this would happen. The same was true for the Mobile Field Army. 

Iron smiled in satisfaction when he saw his men grasping the situation quickly and fighting well despite the continuous turns of the situation in the battlefield as well as the repeated betrayals. This made him realize that he did not need to spoon-feed his subordinates with orders since they were able to respond immediately after gathering long combat experience in the field. 

So, he placed his entire focus on the imoogi, trusting that his subordinates would be able to do well on their own. 

― Krrrrr!

“You still think you’re greater than me?” 

With Iron focusing his entire power on the imoogi, the result of the battle was revealed not long after.

The imoogi was pushed back bit by bit. It could not withstand the divine beasts’ fusion skills and Iron’s white lightning wrapped around his aura blade. As the battle dragged longer, the glaring difference between them began to show. In the end, the aura blade was able to smash the imoogi and beat it to a pulp. Of course, the bastard’s body was tenacious so even if Iron was able to slam his aura blade into him there were no fatal injuries in its body. 

However, no matter how tenacious its body was, the only result that they would have was the imoogi losing. Seeing this, the great worms, who were putting pressure on Command, rushed towards Iron. 

“Hey! You’re calling your subordinates? This is a one on one! You rascal!” 

Iron grumbled as he glared at the sneaky and cheap imoogi who called for its subordinates. But despite his grumbling, he was ecstatic deep inside. 

Because a number of the great worms, who were pressuring Command, had flocked to him, the Command could now breathe more easily.

The damage that they would incur would inevitably increase if they continued to fight after they had  exhausted most of their supplies from the battle against the monsters. And with the great worms flocking to him in that situation to save the imoogi, the battle was virtually over. 

― Krrrrr…

It seemed like the imoogi realized that it would still be hard to deal with Iron alone, so it prepared to retreat. 

Iron did not chase them even after he saw the imoogi’s intentions. He also had a hard time. Besides, all of his men were in a chaotic state after experiencing a series of battles in a single night. Unless they were confident to deal with the giant worm corps alone, it was alright for them to end it right here. 

The battle ended with an implicit agreement between the two parties. 

The Mobile Field Army Command immediately began to do restoration work. 

Thankfully, their casualties and damage were not significant despite the fierce battle, all thanks to Baepsae and Iron’s holy power. However, an enormous amount of their supplies had been consumed and their Command was destroyed here and there. 

“What a mess.” 

Iron looked at Command bitterly. 

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In the end, they were able to endure the most dangerous situation that they had experienced so far.

Since they were able to survive this battle, the Mobile Field Army had no other choice but to develop and grow a step further. 

As if to prove this fact, the giant worm corps invaded again not long after their battle.

Compared to before, the soldiers were far more relaxed in battle. And with the soldiers and officers relaxed, Iron was also relaxed. He could now leisurely put pressure on the imoogi.

Seeing their leader getting pushed back, the great worms flocked like ghosts to help. But this time, instead of being helpless, the Mobile Field Army pushed forward. Of course, this was only possible because Iron had an advantage over the imoogi. 

The imoogi57665 was growing at an extremely rapid pace so Iron had no choice but to feel anxious wondering if it would be able to catch up to him someday soon. But this worry disappeared not long after. The anxiousness was now replaced with pride after seeing the skills and power of his Mobile Field Army had risen dramatically after fighting battles every day. 

And with the acquisition of huge amounts of corpses from the monsters and the evolved great worms, the laboratories and research institutes in Command have also begun to show useful research results. Among these research results, the most useful one was the fact that the gigantic mana stone inside the bodies of the giant worms could be used and be a semi-permanent source of power. 

With Iron’s holy power constantly emitting and purifying the void energy inside the mana stone, the resulting repulsion and resistance would be able to attract and amplify the surrounding mana. This allowed the Mobile Field Army to secure a semi-permanent source of power.

In addition, the mana stone itself would take on and produce holy power after receiving full purification. With this, they would be able to mass produce weapons imbued with holy power. They would also be able to upgrade their fortress cannons as well as their airships and other weapons.

Naturally, the quality and power of the soldiers would follow and increase with the upgrades in their equipment and weapons. 

Then, good news came in once again. 

“Is it finally starting?” 

Following Ariel crossing over to the 6th Stage, Cardro and Saeriden also crossed the walls of the 6th Stage. Even the rest of the division leaders under Command’s direct control were already fast approaching the walls of the 6th Stage. 

Although their skills were improving from the constant life-threatening battles, the limitations set on their bodies and skills were something that was incomparable to monsters. But it was also the very same monsters who pushed them beyond these limits. 

After experiencing battles every day, they were unknowingly being eroded by the void energy. But this contaminated energy was constantly healed and purified by the holy power and Baepsae’s power. The continuous erosion and purification resulted in awakening another force in their bodies.

Some of the monsters, who had been contaminated by the void, had absorbed the remnants of the ancient gods which allowed them to gain new strength and awaken new powers just like the other-worlders. The corpses that they left behind seemed to be one of the causes of awakening. 

Some of the humans were able to awaken just by cutting through the monsters’ bodies, some while moving mana stones and some by barely overcoming their death crisis. The soldiers and officers awakened from a variety of reasons and phenomena that it was difficult to specify the cause. But no matter the cause, one thing was for certain, the higher the number of awakened people, the higher the level of the Mobile Field Army. 

Perhaps that was also the reason why the giant worm corps’ attacks lessened in recent days. 

No matter how fierce they fought, they would still need to have time to catch their breaths. After all, fighting for a long period of time would exhaust both of their forces and supplies. The fatigue and exhaustion was one, but even the manticore’s monster corps would add into the mix as they tried to attack the gaps between them.

This place had now become a battlefield where three forces bit on gaps and attacked each other.

And the victory in this battlefield, which seemed like it would continue endlessly, began to tilt solidly on the side of the weakest force, the humans.

***

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