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692 War Against Fate I

 Boom!

Rhode pushed the doors to the meeting hall open and gazed at everyone who had gathered around the round hall. Not only were his subordinates present, but even the representatives of the Church, Elves, and Merchants were also here. Everyone gazed worriedly at the young overlord because they didn't know why he had gathered everyone in the middle of the night. Canary, Mini Bubble Gum, Gillian, and Orchid Heart looked on with calm expressions. As Rhode's summoning spirits and subordinates, they had already received this news from him earlier on.

Rhode sensed the doubt and curiosity in everyone. He walked to the center in large strides and looked at everyone sternly.

"I know everyone must be feeling strange as to why I've gathered you here. Time is pressing. I will cut the nonsense and get straight to the point."

Rhode paused and gave them some time to mentally prepare themselves.

"I've received news that the Undead Army has crossed the border and is heading toward our Fortress under the Dark Dragon's protection. There are about 50,000 of them in total."

"---!"

Everyone was rooted in their place. They gazed at one another blankly as they were confused and disoriented by this overwhelming news. After a few moments, they broke out into panic discussions and even Lize and Marlene were pale in complexion. The two young ladies had discussed with Rhode regarding the chances of the Country of Darkness dispatching their army. But back then, they believed that the Country of Darkness wouldn't take actions so quickly. And now, the truth had given them a tight slap and left them speechless.

"Quiet. I hope everyone can keep quiet."

Rhode's voice pierced through the clamors in the hall. At the same time, an invisible, ice-cold chilliness enveloped the hall, which shut their mouths instantly. They turned to Rhode altogether and felt a firm sense of security from his expressionless face. In the past, they had always inwardly cursed him for being unsociable and often putting up a long face. But now, everyone felt so much more at ease. Even though they didn't know what this young overlord had in mind, it seemed that he did have some tricks up his sleeves.

"You guys should know what this means. The Undead Army is only 30 minutes away from us and we have to get everything ready by then."

Rhode turned around and roll called one by one.

"Senior Heart, get all the soldiers ready for Category A battle. Also, set up defenses, seal off the entrance doors, and pull up the drawbridge. Lapis, you're in charge of preparing all the alchemical armor and weapons. I want everyone equipped in the shortest time possible."

"Yes, Sir."

Lapis stood upright and responded with a trembling voice. On the other hand, Orchid Heart pondered in silence and nodded slightly before letting out a yawn. It seemed that she really hadn't woken up yet. Rhode turned to the others upon hearing their affirmations.

"Joey, from now onward, the Fortress will be sealed off entirely. Anyone is prohibited from heading out unless granted permission. I want you to lead your men to patrol the area. John, I request that you gather your Cavalrymen to maintain order within the city in the quickest time possible and ensure that there is no chaos among the people. I will get Agatha and her Ocean Elves to assist you on that. If anyone creates trouble or wreaks havoc, kill them without hesitation! Also, dispatch a squad out of the Fortress to gather the villagers and prepare them for evacuation."

"Yes, Sir Overlord!"

"Got it, Boss."

John replied urgently and even Joey, who usually put on a cheeky smile put up a stern expression. Time was of essence now and Rhode wasn't in the mood to care about such details. He even felt that giving commands were a waste of time. If only he could use his cursor and click on everything that he had to do, just like in the game...

"Anne, stay in the Fortress and protect Christie and the rest. I will assign a team to assist you too. Mr. Walker, I want you to head to the Golden City and Deep Stone City and issue an emergency notice. You have to inform them of our situation immediately."

"No problem, Kid."

"Leave it to Anne! Leader! Anne will protect everyone well!"

Old Walker drank a gulp of alcohol and nodded with might. Anne jumped up energetically and brandished the shield in her hand, which scared the others into cowering. They were afraid that their heads would be crushed to death even before the battle started.

"Marfa and Sol. Both of you are still directly under my command. Same goes for Lize and Marlene. Gather the men immediately and wait for me on the city walls after the preparations. Listen to all my commands. Don't act without permission. I will let you know what to do."

After ordering all his subordinates in the quickest possible speed, he turned to another group at the corner. Those weren't his subordinates, but the representatives of various forces within his Fortress. But now, they were all companions on the same boat.

"I guess you're aware of the situation now. 50,000 Undead Creatures are coming, but they aren't heading here for teatime. You should also know how far away our Land of Atonement is from other areas. In this Fortress, I'm confident in protecting your safety. But I can't guarantee your safety if you leave the Fortress. You can only depend on yourselves."

Rhode puckered his brows slightly. Then, he turned to the Moon Elf young lady.

"Miss Corina, I hope to receive the Church's and your support. The Undead Army has crossed the border and we don't have sufficient manpower now. I hope to receive any assistance that you can provide. Even though it isn't my intention to implicate your kingdom, this is all that I can do for now."

"..."

Corina didn't respond immediately. She represented the Country of Law and the Church, and she wasn't a citizen of the Munn Kingdom. If she retaliated against the Undead Army and was found out, it might implicate the Country of Law. Therefore, it wasn't easy for Corina to come up with an answer. She might even need to discuss further with the Country of Law before she could make a decision. But Rhode quickly turned around before receiving her reply as time was pressing and he couldn't wait. Anyway, Corina was in his territory now and he had a lot of ways to make her join this battle 'willingly'.

Rhode ordered with a solemn expression.

"Let's move out."

The pitch-black curtain drew in and shrouded everything.

Rhode stood on the tall city wall and gazed into the distance. Even though everything had been covered in darkness and snowstorm, it wasn't what it seemed to be in his eyes. In fact, the reason why he received news of the Country of Darkness' invasion was credited to the system. As soon as the Country of Darkness' army stepped into his territory, he instantly received a system prompt, which gave him time to respond.

The Fortress was as though a sleeping giant that had awakened and flew into operation. As Rhode had trained the soldiers specially for such events, they didn't appear to be flustered at all. They had gotten ready in an orderly fashion and stood on the city wall, gazing sternly into the distance. The archers on the towers were also ready with their bow and arrows, aiming at the dark border.

"Hu... Ha... Hu..."

Standing at the peak of the city wall, Rhode breathed deeply. He felt his body trembling subconsciously, where even his right hand was trembling. That was a mix of nervousness, thrill, excitement, and fear, like snow water flowing in his body. He had prepared a long time for this moment. Now that the Undead Army was approaching, could he change the fate he wished to?

This was just the beginning.

Swish... Swish... Swish...

This faint sound echoed in the whizzing snowstorm.

It sounded like waves splashing on the shore.

Rhode lifted his head and gazed into the distance. He wasn't able to see through the darkness, but he knew what was behind it.

Thousands of skeletons swarmed forward uniformly like computerized robots. They were fearless as they silently harvested every life in their path with the Death Knights, Vampires, and Necromancers following closely behind.

Lightning raid.

Rhode perked up the corners of his mouth and revealed a smile. Raid was to catch an enemy off guard with a surprise attack, which was similar to Rhode's 'backstabbing' tactic. So, would he allow himself to be ambushed by others?

Now's the chance.

He narrowed his eyes. Shortly after, a dazzling golden radiance emerged before him and a line of system prompt appeared before his eyes.

[Activated Holy Maiden Statue]

Silver-whitish, holy radiance blasted abruptly into the sky.

The crystal Holy Maiden Statue erected in the middle of the plaza blasted a beam of radiance that was as dazzling as the sun. It rushed into the sky and ripped through the clouds. As soon as it reached the highest point, it expanded in all directions to form a divine barrier that shrouded the entire Fortress. Then, the whizzing snowstorm gradually weakened, dark clouds faded, and shadows enveloping the land retreated like the tide which revealed everything that was hidden beneath.

The Undead Army camouflaged in the darkness was instantly exposed by the divine brilliance. Everyone clearly witnessed the burning spiritual flames in their eyes and blades shimmering in ice-cold radiance. The Undead Army slowed down to the abrupt environmental changes and it was apparent that they didn't expect to be discovered.

Good.

Rhode looked down at the Undead Army with an ice-cold expression. The Undead Army was so close to launching their ambush, but now, the situation had been reversed. Since they had barged into Rhode's turf, they could forget about turning back now.

Rhode raised his right arm and swung forward with all his might.

"Attack!"