Supreme Magus - Chapter 1004
Chapter 1004: 1004
Chapter 1004 Clever Plans Part 2
Kortus Dast was a mage in his mid-thirties about 1 . 73 meters (5’8″) tall, with short black hair and ice-blue eyes . He found it hard to accept that such a young woman was taller than him and held his same rank, yet he managed to keep the edge off his voice .
“Negative, Sir . Aside from setting the perimeter, there isn’t much to do . ” Phloria actually had an eerie feeling in her gut, but preferred to keep it to herself .
‘If I tell them and I’m wrong, I’ll be blamed for wasting everyone’s time while if I’m right, I’ll be blamed for not being able to prevent whatever will happen . I already learned the rules of this game during the past year .
‘To undermine my success, they’ll make so that no matter the choice I make, it will be considered wrong in hindsight . I’ll share my impressions only with Friya, so that if the worst happens and we save the day thanks to her guildmates, at least her career will flourish . ‘ She thought .
Phloria was tired of playing nice and let others ride her achievements to further their career while she was stuck as a Captain . The moment Kortus dismissed the meeting, she joined her sisters for dinner, uncaring for all the disdainful looks the soldiers threw at her .
“Can you feel it, too?” Quylla asked . Even though she sat in front of the big campfire, she couldn’t stop shivering .
“Yes . ” Phloria said while rubbing her arms to get rid of the chill running through her body .
“Feel what?” Friya felt left out, so she Hushed their surroundings even though it was considered a rude gesture .
“After spending a long time in Kulah, both Quylla and I became sensitive to huge mana fields . ” Phloria said .
“It couldn’t be stronger than that of the academy . ” Friya raised an eyebrow in disbelief . “I’m not saying that I don’t believe you, just that it doesn’t make much sense . Everyone here is a veteran of several battlefields yet you’re the only ones affected . What makes Kulah so special?”
“It’s not a matter of how strong the field is, but how hostile it is . ” Quylla explained . “The Mana Reactor, the Golems, and even the gates, everything was designed to keep people out . We didn’t notice it at first, but after a while, you feel like there’s a blade constantly pocking at your throat . “
“The good news is that whatever it is, the source of the mana field has nothing of the pure hatred and suffering that permeated Kulah . The bad news is that these kinds of things are never natural . ” Phloria said .
After killing her first human at barely fifteen during an academy’s exam, surviving Balkor, Nalear, and the Forbidden Magic ritual in Zantia, Friya had learned that, for a mage, optimism was the quickest way to the grave .
She doubled the guard around the camp and had her guildmates keep everything they might need at hand in the case the enemy trapped them inside a dimensional sealing array .
The army soldiers sneered at the excessive safety precautions the Crystal Shield took, considering them a bunch of paranoid rookies . The mercenaries, instead, considered the soldiers a bunch of morons .
Not only had their guild master yet to fail them, but she had also negotiated for that mission a payment equal to what the soldiers would earn in a month .
The night passed with no incidents, just as Phloria expected .
“Trained opponents act completely differently from regular bandits, sis . ” She said to Friya during their guard shift . The three of them had decided to not get separated from each other, no matter what, so they did everything together .
“Even if someone was expecting our arrival, they will not leave obvious traps to not reveal their presence until they are ready to strike . Usually, the first day is all about scouting the number of enemies, their tactics, and their defenses .
“There’s a lot that you can discover about a group just by looking at how they set up their camp . A smart soldier will not employ cookie-cut strategies, but adapt those they are more skilled with to the situation at hand .
“Have your guildmates scout more than guard, so that the enemy can’t observe us freely, and rather than setting up complex arrays, focus on simple but annoying formations, like barriers .
“This way, during the first attack, the strong energy field will be hard to take down and screw the enemy’s tempo, giving you the time to devise a proper counter .
“The greatest flaw of being a bodyguard is that you always play on defense, reacting rather than striking first . ” Phloria drew a sketch of their surroundings, marking the points where she would put scouts if she was in charge of attacking the caravan .
“Thanks, sis . Did you learn this stuff at the boot camp or at the officer training course?” Friya was mostly self-taught about strategy, and even though escort missions were the most common, they were also those she hated the most .
Crushing the enemy meant nothing if the client died or the goods were stolen in the chaos of the battle . Her favorite assignments were clearing dungeons and capturing criminals, preferably the dead or alive kind, because they allowed her to go all-out .
“No, I learned from experience . The boot camp is all about teamwork and basic strategies, whereas the officer course is focused on war tactics . The problem with standard strategies is that not only any cultured enemy knows them as well, but also no battle plan survives the encounter with the enemy .
“There are too many things that can go wrong . One person makes a mistake and the entire formation crumbles . ” Phloria and Friya sighed while thinking about the teammates they had lost over time due to bad luck, carelessness, or incompetence .
“You know, I can’t help but think back when we were at the academy, following Lith and his paranoid multi-layered plans . ” Friya said . “Even when one of them failed, there was always a contingency plan, and in the end, we all came out alive, no matter the danger . “
“That’s because Lith is so strong that even when we were taken by surprise, he’d buy us enough time to regroup and strategize . On top of that, we were no pushover either and were capable of executing his plans down to a t . ” Phloria said .
“Gods, I miss those days so badly . ” Friya updated her men according to Phloria’s suggestion and restored the Hush zone around them . “Back then, grades were my greatest daily worry, I had no responsibility, and the future was something to look forward to rather than be afraid of . I can’t believe I was in such a rush to grow up . “
“That makes the two of us . ” Phloria sighed .
“Make it three . ” Quylla said, finally brave enough to join the conversation .
“It lives!” Her sisters said in unison and ruffled Quylla’s hair, making her swear as a truck driver while she tried to make them stop treating her like a kid .
The moment didn’t last long, but it took the chill off their hearts .
The camp awoke before sunrise and had breakfast while it was still dark to not waste a single second of precious sunlight . The members of the expedition were split into teams, each one comprised of miners, Royal Prospectors, and bodyguards .
Royal Prospectors were not just Crystalsmiths, but also skilled Wardens and structural engineers .
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