“T-this can’t be!”
When the retreat had been blocked, the Western Army got isolated in the canyon, which was turning into a mess.
And it wasn’t so different for the chief commander Duke Butler.
The unexpected blow from Rudolf had caused fatal damage to the Gigant. However, he was still determined to not stand back.
After retreating from the canyon, he had planned to cut off the Emperor’s troops with the gunpowder that was placed at the entrance and then rearrange for the battle line-up.
And that time would be enough to repair Rigel.
However, when the unexpected news broke out, he was feeling completely lost.
“Sire, the Emperor is approaching us. What should we do?”
Butler, who had been troubled for a while, came back to his senses when Marquis Vanden questioned him.
“Reorganize the line. I will end Rudolf right here!”
“This fight is nothing different from our defeat, but if we lose just like this, I can never bear to see the face of that ignorant crazy emperor!”
The explosives were blocking the retreat, and most of the troops were defeated with the chaos brought in by the Emperor.
Even so, most of their troops might run away or back out, and moving together would get troublesome for the troops.
Riders, who were flustered by the decision of the Duke, tried to calm themselves.
Dying on the battlefield was an honor that every knight hoped for.
“Marquis Vanden, uh, Axel. Lend me your Gigant, Rigel can’t fight properly.”
“The road is blocked, but I will make a path out for bodies. You need to get out of here and take care of my family and the knights and the commanders. This is a request, not an order.”
At Butler’s words, Vanden spoke nothing for a moment.
Everyone in there understood his feelings.
For Vanden, Butler wasn’t just any chief commander but a teacher and in-law.
Could he really leave him there?
And as everyone knew, Marquis Vanden spoke out about his refusal, “Sire, I can’t do that.”
“You don’t have to die in here…”
It was when Duke Butler was trying to persuade Marquis Vanden…
When a sudden Impact Aura sword from Marquis Vanden pierced through Rigel’s breastplate.
Everyone was shocked with what they had just witnessed.
They all thought that Marquis Vanden would fight alongside the Duke.
But to stab Duke Butler…!
“Kuak! W-what are you doing?!”
Duke Butler, who was cut in the abdomen because of the sudden attack, coughed and asked with a mix of shock and confusion.
And unlike in the past, Vanden replied in a cold and mocking manner.
“What am I doing? I am trying to hit the neck of the rebel squad to reach ahead.”
“Y-you can’t be…!”
Butler was shocked.
Vanden, who was just about to fight with the Emperor’s Gigant for him, suddenly turned into a traitor!
“Should I let you in on one more thing? It wasn’t a soldiers mistake, the blowing up of the gunpowder and blocking the path out, but the work done by the lords who stayed behind. Ah, this was a well-thought plan by His Majesty and Count Voltas.”
“What is your reason for t-this? The reason why you had to betray me!”
Butler screamed on top of his lungs.
Vanden’s reply was rather sarcastic, “Reason you ask? I can’t always live 2nd in line when it comes to your family and home. Even though our family had gone through all the troubles, your family took the achievements and glory. I decided the moment when my father died on the battlefield for you. I am going to end this godforsaken composition.”
Vanden made up his mind 10 years ago when his father had passed away and 2 years before he became the student under Butler.
He had never told anyone of his will or plan. It was when he had been granted an audience by the Emperor that he revealed his plans.
While Rudolf was very welcoming, he asked Vanden to refrain from acting shy and nervous.
He advised Vanden to get Butler’s favor and turn into a trusted ally.
“So, I trained to live under you and married your tomboy daughter who no one even looked at.”
“Kuak! You ungrateful child!”
“Hahh! Yeah, I guess I am that, and I longed to see you cry like this!”
Butler wanted to split the heart of Vanden.
However, his Gigant was hurt. He couldn’t move it properly, and he was fatally wounded, moving itself was bothersome, fighting was impossible.
“You disgusting traitor!”
“You who didn’t even know how to act!”
Duke Butler’s men, who recovered from the shock, tried to attack Vanden.
However, none of the riders were skilled enough to fight against Vanden on a one-on-one battle since he was an Intermediate Sword Master.
In addition, the riders of Vanden blocked their approach.
“Save the Marquis!”
“Cut down all the enemies!”
As long as their lord’s sword was against the Duke, they had to wield their swords against the Duke’s men without hesitation.
“Kuek! Come, Sire!”
“Do not let the enemy run away!”
The voices of the knights on both sides rang fiercely in the canyon—the cries of betrayal and retribution.
When the fights broke out inside their own Western Army, the army was destroyed to the point where recovering from it turned out to be impossible.
The Emperor’s troops that slowly approached them took the final blow at the Western Army and the battle ended.
The Western noblemen collapsed in an instant due to the collapse of the Western Army.
Although there were a few troops left behind in the manors, it was like playing with eggs to stop the boulders.
All that remained was Rudolf’s troops to enter each of the western estates and perform a complete take over of the region.
However, Rudolf’s expectations of taking over the Western region didn’t come true.
It was because a so-called ‘Third power’ had entered when the Western noblemen disappeared.