A while later, two knights in the Imperial army uniform had approached the barracks of the commander.
Under the watchful escort of the republic knights, it was Luke and his closest ally and friend Philip.
Philip had been nervous ever since entering the Republic’s camp. He grunted at Luke who was much relaxed and was smiling.
“No matter how much I try to reason with myself, this is crazy.”
Philip was told of the plan in advance, which was why he thought that it was dangerous.
“Erwin too has said the same,” responded Luke.
“Of course she would, it is common sense. Is there really any need to come all this way?”
While Philip was grunting, a War Mage walked out of the barracks.
Luke glanced at him for just a second and realized.
‘This friend here is learning dark magic too.’
As far as possible the mage was trying to hide the dark magic which was being used in the war, but there was no way that they could fool Luke who had the ability to detect the spirit of a 9 circle warlock.
The War Mage, who was dispatched from the Dark Moon, bluntly spoke to Luke, who kept looking at him.
“Our commander is waiting. Please enter.”
Luke stepped into the barracks.
The commander barracks was large and ornate, almost like a castle itself. The commander was with his staff.
In addition, armed knights and War Mages were everywhere.
Among them were the Expert-level talented knights. The wizards were all more than 5 circle wizards, and the atmosphere inside the barracks was heavy.
‘Oh my, this is no joke,’ thought Philip.
Maybe that was how one would feel if they entered the dragon’s lair?
Unlike Philip, who was drenched in sweat, Luke was still cool and composed.
Luke looked at the man sitting on the other side of a long table.
Unexpectedly, he was wearing the robes of a wizard rather than military uniforms. However, the look in his eyes said that he was very capable.
‘At least a 7 circle,’ thought Luke.
What Luke knew was that there were many 7 circle wizards in the Volga Republic.
And only one of the 7 circle wizard was talented enough to lead an army.
‘It is Marquis Tyron, the Meister of Republican Magic Tower.’
Luke politely greeted him and looked at all the ones in the barracks.
“Luke de Rakan, the commander of the Fortress.”
“Please sit down.”
Luke sat down facing Tyron.
Then, a young apprentice wizard, who seemed to be the servants of Marquis Tayron, placed a steaming cup of tea in front of Luke.
‘Hu! Lord!’ Thought Luke.
Philip was surprised to see Luke drink the tea without any hesitation. It would be a big problem if the tea had been poisoned.
At the very same time, Tyron, who was holding his cup of tea, took a sip and asked,
“Didn’t it occur to you that it could have been poisoned?”
“If I had that in mind, wouldn’t my neck be slashed already the moment I entered the camp. And does a commander of such a large army resort on such a petty trick to take me down?” Said Luke
Tyron put down his cup and smiled.
“My staff did ask me to kill you,” Tyron said.
“My subordinates too have told me to cut the neck of the commander.”
At the words of Luke, the knights of the Republic drew their swords right away.
However, their actions were stopped by Tyron’s hand.
Marquis Tyron looked at Luke once again and asked,
“So what’s your reason for coming here?”
“I want you to stop the attack,” answered Luke.
Tyron was deeply impressed with the confidence in Luke’s words.
“That isn’t possible. I was ordered by my President to occupy the Torlot Fortress,” responded Tyron.
“Then, pretend like you’re attacking,” told Luke
“Pretend like attacking? Look here, young man. The war cost of our Republic army comes from the blood of the people. You expect me to just throw the blood and sweat of the people in vain?”
“Wouldn’t that be better than letting the blood of the soldiers flow like a river? I will surrender anyway,” said Luke.
Tyron was so shocked that he almost spilled his tea.
Not only was he surprised. But all the staff and knights around him were surprised.
“Are you trying to make fun of me?” Asked Tyron.
“No, I would never do that. If you know the history of our family, you would be aware that I have no reason to be loyal to my Empire.”
‘Hmm, that is true,’ thought Tyron.
The forerunner of the Baroque Empire was the Libiya Kingdom.
When the ancestor of the Empire, the Karno de Baroque, revolted, Rakan had fought against them and lost, which led to the fall of their noble status.
‘If he didn’t make a name for himself on the continent by defeating the Devil King Saymon, Rakan would have surely been executed,’ thought Tyron.
However, it had been over 500 years since that had happened.
The Imperial family didn’t care for the renowned warriors, and the Rakan family didn’t show any sincere loyalty to the Imperial family. They only fulfilled the responsibilities that they had to perform for the Empire.
“A while ago, during the battle of the territory, I caught the Count, the royal collateral. The Emperor was confused and angry, which was why he appointed me as the commander of such a dangerous Fortress,” said Luke.
“You mean your words?” Asked Tyron.
“Yes, in the meantime, my ancestors have done their duty silently because of their land and the powerless people they had to look after. However, I think differently from my ancestors.”
“So, you will surrender?” Told Tyron.
Feeling a little convinced, Tyron nodded.
At that time, one of the staff intervened in their conversation.
“Then, if you want to surrender right now, why are you doing it at this time?”
At that question, Luke thought for a while.
“You hope that we will leave you right away without harming the people. Do you know how the empire treats the nobles who have surrendered to the enemy?” Asked another staff.
The Baroque Empire would wipe out the existence of the nobles who surrendered. They would take away their land, execute all of their relatives, and erase all of their records from history.
In addition, their retainers would be enslaved, and their people would be charged with heavy taxes. The traitors would be torn apart limb from limb.
“However, there are times when the punishment is light. The case when overwhelming armies like yours would try to take on one land,” said Luke.
As the nobles of the Empire, there were duties that the nobles had to perform. They were active servants of the empire.
When it came to fighting against a large army, even without any support troops to help them out, there was no way that they would be treated as servants.
It was a breach of the contract which talks about war, and the reason for surrender would be valid.
“Since I am the only one, I have no blood relatives who would be punished. And if the situation of us being isolated gets known, no retainers or people would be punished. It is a waste of time and land, but I think that it is something that I need to do to start anew.”
“So, you don’t want us to attack for a few days but pretend to do so?” Asked Tyron
“Yes, Give me one week, no just five more days.”
At the words of Luke, Tyron and his staff looked troubled.
Honestly, the pretend war was better than seeing the blood of soldiers flow. It was better to continue the war after a few days.
The question was how reliable could their enemy be.
‘The commander has come in and suggested surrender. It can be reliable. However…’
There was one thing that was troubling Tyron.
“You know of the significance and the need, but there is no guarantee that everyone under you would surrender, right?” Asked Tyron.
“Everyone is facing a hard time. The knights and the soldiers in the fortress are all left behind nobles or displaced nobles. Some of them have to fight till the end in the Fortress, but they won’t go against the flow,” assured Luke.
“Is that so? But, what if…”
Tyron’s words faltered a little, and he looked at Luke before asking his question.
“What if we don’t accept your request?”
Philip, who had been quiet till then, looked over at Luke with nervousness. If the opponent refused their proposal, then blood would flow in the barracks.
Luke, however, didn’t panic and responded,
“Then we will fight till the end. I will gather all the gunpowder and the magic stones our side has and blow up the Fortress.”
At the radical answer from Luke, which was very different from what he was talking about, Marquis Tyron and his staff went stiff.
Although the Torlot Fortress was just a ‘bridge’ for the Republic to reach the Baroque Empire, they needed to keep the Fortress as intact as possible.
Thinking, Tyron had come to a decision.
“Okay, we will accept your offer.”
Tyron spoke coldly to Luke, who bowed his head.
“If you break your promise, everything that happens after that is all on you. Your life is at stake, and the glory of your dead ancestors will be defiled.”
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
Luke smiled widely.
His life was always at stake, and Luke never honored his dead ancestors.
His only concern was whether the other person would be keeping their promise or not.
Luckily for Luke, the old wizard who was seated in front of him wasn’t a sneaky person, which meant that he could rest.