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386 Unexpected Surprise

 Dave led his army plus more than eighty thousand of Delvina's own troops through the lands of the Qin Kingdom. He had already obtained a detailed map of the Qin territory from Nora's Library. So, his map showed all the locations of the major cities and towns across the entirety of the land.

The Qin kingdom had ten major cities all over it, it wasn't much compared to the rest of the kingdoms of Conquest. However, Dave knew that the military forces these ten cities represented could easily topple over any kingdom of Conquest with complete ease.

Not only did they have wyverns that they could ride and take up to the skies, but the cities were also huge and had enormous manpower. The army that the Qin kingdom could gather could easily reach a million. Compared to Dave's mere hundred and eighty thousand, it was nothing short of suicide to face those numbers and hope to survive.

However, Dave wasn't planning on fighting a million soldiers. His plan was to strike at the cities most vulnerable. By bringing down their forces and removing intelligence from reaching the capital. He could deal a heavy blow to the Qin kingdom for assaulting his city.

Dave wasn't planning on conquering Qin. Nor was he foolish enough to think he could pull it off.

Dave had reached the second city before it was dawn. The assault was even easier, this time with Dagla already waiting at the other side of the teleportation gate, the capture of the second city happened in less than half an hour.

Dave took most of the soldiers back to the undead frontier for Delvina to take care of. The rest were all killed in action.

Dave had once again rounded up all the civilians, burnt down their food supplies and left enough man force to keep the civilians from doing anything stupid.

Dave had to stop the raid once it was morning, he could be spotted from miles away with an army that large marching through the Qin territory. He spread scouts around the army to warn them from any incoming force as he kept all his troops hidden within a large forest.

Dave had to wait for the night to begin another assault. However, he still ordered a few regiments to spread from his location and raid the dungeons that spread through the Qin kingdom.

The rest of Dave's party joined the regiments to grind EXP in the dungeons. Except for Lone Arrow, she remained with Dave and a small retinue of undead surrounding them and keeping a watch for any wandering NPC or soldier.

"What now Davey, what are you planning?" Lone asked.

"I can't beat them Lone," Dave said.

"I know that, for now, but you've been doing pretty well. Still, I don't know what you're trying to do."

Dave slumped to the ground, resting his back on the shade of a large tree.

Lone came and sat right next to him. It was a weird sight, seeing an elf setting her head on the torso of an undead. From far away one would only think she was resting her head on a corpse, only if they came closer they would see the blue eyes of a 'living' undead glinting from under the helmet's visors.

"It's simple, yet complicated at the same time. Do you remember when I told flanker about the Trojan Horse strategy?" Dave asked.

"Yeah, I still don't see how are you doing that, I mean we weren't raiding overtly but that was not like any Trojan Horse tactic I've seen."

"Yeah, because we aren't the enemy hiding in the Trojan Horse," Dave said in a smile.

Lone didn't understand quite yet, then she thought upon Dave's actions on the last day.

He raided the cities, captured the civilians and sent the soldiers to be converted to 'Undeathood.' But what hinged upon her mind the most was why did Dave decide to starve the people. It sounded cruel to see the young children without food for days, but Dave wasn't a cruel person. He had reasons to do so, and that was enough for her to think hard upon.

Suddenly, as if a lightbulb lit up above Lone's head, as understanding came down upon her, she looked at Dave and said.

"You're crazy!"

Dave grinned and said, "You figured it out, I suppose."

"Yeah, but, I'm not sure it would work, I mean to get the most out of your plan, you need more people more civilians. How are you going to do that without risking fighting more powerful and better-guarded cities?" Lone said.

"I won't need to, that's why I asked Singund to raid the dungeons," Dave said.

"I think I'm still missing something," Lone said.

"In time, you'll see," Dave said and wrapped his hand around Lone, hugging her tightly.

The moment of peace didn't last long, an undead came rushing toward Dave and gave a hasty salute then spoke, "We spotted a caravan headed here, it has an armed escort."

"Going here? They must be trying to reach the city we just captured. Did they spot you?" Dave asked.

"Not to my knowledge, what are your orders, sir?" The undead spoke.

"Surround them, break them and bring me the persons in the carriage." Dave gave the orders and the undead scurried away to rally them.

"This is strange," Lone said squinting her brows together.

"Why do you say so?" Dave asked mildly.

"Why would they use carriages? I mean if they wanted to travel wouldn't they use the Teleporta-" then Lone's words were cut abruptly when she understood.

"They know something is wrong with the gate, so they came to fix it."

"Yes, this was bound to happen. If they couldn't use it from the other side, they would need to go and check up on it. Thankfully the Elite Warrior that Dagla caught didn't inform them of the threat so these people are coming in, unknowing what is happening in the already fallen cities. However, I didn't think they'd move this fast. We need to hurry in capturing the last city." Dave said.

Dave stood up and took Lone with him toward a commotion that just started nearby. It was the troops leading the carriage fighting a desperate battle against hordes of undead.

No one had prepared them for what is to come, so they were defeated in a matter of moments.

A scholar of a person walked out of the carriage, he wore white robes and had a book that he clasped tightly against his chest. The scholar was a young man, he looked terrified as he gazed upon the undead surrounding him, but he didn't have the courage to voice out his fear. He knew that if the undead wanted him dead, he could do nothing to change his fate.

Dave calmly walked between the rows of undead and the kneeling, surrendered soldiers.

When he stood in front of the scholar, the latter shook in his place and spoke, "S-sir, do you know of speech?"

"Yeah, I can speak, say what are you doing here?" Dave asked.

"Are you here to invade us?" the Scholar asked.

His question was met with a deep frown from Dave, the Scholar, couldn't see Dave frowning through his full armor but the squinting of the glowing blue eyes behind Dave's vizors was enough indication to the scholar that he was not the one to ask questions here. He only needed to answer them.

"I-I came to repair the Gate, there seems to be a misfunction..." then like the earlier reaction of Lone Arrow, the Scholar understood that the presence of undead this far deep in their territory was the only explanation to why the Gate failed to function.

"D-did you kill them?!" the scholar asked.

"Take him away," Dave waved his hand and turned to his undead.

"Boyz, we've been compromised, give orders for Singund to come back, head to the next city, full force!" Dave shouted.

"Dave! That's not smart," Lone said. "It's still early morning, they'll see us miles away!" she added as she walked alongside Dave.

"I know, but think about it, if the gate isn't repaired in time, I doubt they'll think it's a coincidence. I'm now sure that they're oddly suspicious of our actions. Not only one gate but now they know that two are down, and if none of them are fixed as soon as possible they will send more force. We need to move the plan ahead." Dave said.

"How so? I mean if they send in their troops, it will take them at least a day to get here from the closest city." Lone said.

"Not necessarily, remember, these guys have flying wyverns, if they spot us. It's game over."

"Lord!" Singund's voice sounded right next to him."

"Yes Singund, what's going on?" Dave asked.

"I found something interesting, you should come and see!" Singund said.

Dave frowned; he didn't have time to go wandering in the Qin kingdom while they are becoming suspicious of many things happening in their lands.

But Dave had a hunch that whatever it was that Singund had discovered, it wasn't simple.

"Lead the way," Dave said and hurried after Singund.

After a mile's run, Singund stopped right next to an enormous fissure going through a mountain.

"A dungeon?" Dave asked.

"No, we thought it was a dungeon too, but it's more than that," Singund said and walked through the fissure.

Dave and Lone went after him. The inside of the fissure was a long tunnel that had a luminescent mold growing on its ceiling. It dimly lit the way, though Dave hardly needed the light, it was less unpleasant for the elf accompanying him to be able to see where she walked.

After a few turns and going even deeper into the fissure, Singund stopped and spoke in a hearty voice, "Look sir!" he said pointing his head forward.

At the end of the tunnel was a basin-like structure. Water had gathered around it creating a small puddle of clear water that dripped from an open ceiling.

Light was coming from the top and was illuminating the small pool and a rock structure at the center.

It was a circular structure, one that Dave was much too familiar with. A none-functional teleportation Gate.

"Oh, this changes things, this changes things greatly," Dave said his voice quivering with excitement.