Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
A Battle in the Dead of Night
『Why is the army moving? This should be a job for the firefighting team!』
『Mom, it’s noisy outside.』
Residents of Dream Maker had noticed the situation, but none of them went out on the streets. The lone city had strict guidelines in place that had to be followed in times of emergencies.
A monster attack?
Or something else?
Over ten bell towers were located all over the city, the king’s residence included. There were two kinds, and how they were rang depended on what the emergency was.
In case of a fire, the high-pitched bell was rung in short intervals. In case of a monster attack, a low-pitched bell would be rung once after the high-pitched one. In case of a completely helpless situation where the citizens needed to be evacuated, a low-pitched ringing would be sounded continuously. People were strongly encouraged to stay indoors until these bells rang to prevent chaos.
『Guh… attacking this bell tower… is a crime…』an officer said, bleeding heavily.
The rebel army had gained control of the bell tower located in the middle of the city, the one that relayed information to the other towers.
『You were a loyal man, but if the bell is rung, the city would fall into chaos. We don’t want that. We want to shed as little blood as possible. Your death will be mourned.』
『Have you gone mad—』
One swing from a sword and the officer breathed his last.
The chief of the Environmental Sanitation department gazed at his blood-soaked blade. It was remarkably quiet.
The rebels had to move quick or else the bell would be rung, so they launched a surprise attack and killed the men instantly.
The tip of his sword was shaking from the shock of killing a man. He had killed countless monsters before, but this was the first time he’d swung his blade at a human being.
Dream Maker’s army was formed to fight monsters to begin with. Only criminals had experience killing people. His military experience and constant training had made him a skilled swordsman. He was surprised at the shock he felt from killing a fellow human.
『Sir, there don’t seem to be any survivors. Sir?』a soldier asked, puzzled.
『As planned, take control of the bell towers.』The fifty-year old chief issued instructions to the soldier, one who changed sides and joined the rebel army.『If soldiers whose affiliation can’t be confirmed arrive, neutralize them, no questions asked. I will join the main troops.』
『Understood! Take care, Sir.』
Take care, huh? We’re the ones launching an attack, he thought. The chief nodded as he sheathed his sword, then stepped outside.
Only the light of the moon illuminated the city. Flames rose in the distance, but otherwise it was a quiet night. As the chief hurried along, it felt like he was dreaming.
The Environmental Sanitation Department Chief had the least power among the nine clans. Ludend, chief of the Sorcery Department, had the most power, and he was leading the revolt. So even if he voted against the uprising, it would still happen. As a result of his disagreement, he would definitely be snubbed later on during the reconstruction. And yet, he still voted against it.
Is this really the right answer? Overthrow the king? No, there’s no point in mincing words. We’re going to kill the king. Do we really have to do this in order to get power?
The Finance Department, holding almost the same power as the Sorcery Department, was managed by Duinkler. While the military chief, Grucel, didn’t have any political power, he had the armed might.
Ludend despised Duinkler, who always put the king above anything else. He wanted to eliminate any influence Duinkler had after things died down. It almost felt like he was obsessed.
What if I was chief of the Sorcery Department? Would I have been satisfied in the benefits? Or would I have caused a rebellion, craving for more? The Sorcery Department chief is respected even among the nine clans. He had an effect and impact on a lot of people. The fact that many soldiers joined us in this uprising is proof of that.
About three hundred soldiers and thirty engineers joined them on their endeavor. With Grucel out of the city, bringing two hundred elite soldiers with him, the rebels could kill the king in one night, and while the soldiers and citizens were confused, the establishment of a new administration would be announced.
『The die has been cast. It’s too late to be thinking about these things.』
He could see the palace where the king lived ahead of him. Ludend’s troops should have secured all the side gates. Perhaps they had already stormed the palace.
Then he heard a loud bang that seemed to reverberate to his very core.
『They’re using blast cannons?!』
By using both gunpowder and sorcery, blast cannons had much more power than regular artillery. These weapons were added to their arsenal, but he thought they would barely use it.
The place with the strongest resistance should be the palace. But destroying it would cause unrest among the citizens, and later affect the government. It was the whole rebel army’s will to end this as quietly as possible.
『So they’re forced to a position to use blast cannons.』
The chief dashed at almost full speed. As he made it to the street that led to the palace, an unexpected scene greeted him.
The rebel army gathered in front of the palace was in disarray. They were on the offensive, when a few people knocked them aside from behind and entered the palace.
『Your Majesty! Are you all right?!』
『Duinkler. I’m glad you came.』
『Your Majesty! I’m so glad you’re fine…』
Duinkler, surrounded by Paula’s bodyguards, managed to break through enemy lines and enter the palace. He found Doriachi equipped with both weapon and armor.
『Thank you, Duinkler. You knew this would happen, so you hid your men nearby.』
『I am humbled by your words, Your Majesty.』
Duinkler barely had any guards to help him when his house was attacked that he had to be rescued by Paula’s bodyguards. As to why, he ordered his private forces—hired by him personally as he wasn’t allowed to employ military personnel—to be on standby in a house near the palace. He ordered them to go to the palace immediately should anything unusual occurred.
『Unfortunately, Your Majesty, I only have thirty men. How many troops are there in the palace?』
『Grucel too saw this coming and left them behind. If we shut ourselves inside, we should last a few days with a hundred men.』
『He thought that far ahead, huh…』
『You two might not share the same ideals, but he’s still a brilliant clan leader. Of course, I’m still grateful for the men you sent.』
『Thank you, Your Majesty.』
The troops, Duinkler’s men included, were positioned on all the side entrances and by walls that could be climbed over.
『Your Majesty! Please head inside!』A soldier burst in, his face pale.
『What’s the matter?』
『A blast canno—』
Before he could finish his words, a blast echoed, accompanied by screams. Doriachi and Duinkler instinctively covered their heads and got down. Dust fell from the ceiling as the shockwave shook the building.
『Ludend… Have you lost your mind?!』Duinkler cried, his face a deep red.
—Many injured. We can’t hold the front lines!
Soldiers voices were drifting from outside.
『He’s serious as well. He has to be if he wants to change this nation. I am prepared, Duinkler. Death might come for—』
『No, Your Majesty. That will not happen.』
『Why not?』Doriachi looked confused. Duinkler sounded too confident.
『The front lines will hold. I assure you. As long as they don’t die an instant death, they will not stop fighting.』