Upon hearing the voice that granted the permission, the door was slightly pushed opened leaving a small gap. Then, the door creaked and opened.
Standing right behind the door was Ying in a long black gown. The young female servant was walking towards Joshua with light steps while holding a tea tray. She lifted her head and looked across the center of the conference room. Then she respectfully said, "Master."
"Ah. You've come at the right time."
Standing up in front of the conference table, Joshua was not feeling thirsty while he was having his thoughts. However, when he saw the cup that was filled with steamy hot red tea, he only realized that he had not drunk a drop of water the entire morning. He could suddenly feel his throat scorching dry.
"You did great." Upon taking the teacup over, he took a sip of it. The warmth of the tea went straight through his body down to his belly. The warrior did not get stingy in praising her. He also noticed the girl's new outfit. So he conveniently praised her, "Your new outfit looks stunningly beautiful. What made you change it?"
"I-is that so?"
Joshua did not notice Ying's face though. She was blushing unnaturally. His eyes were fixed on what was behind the door. "Gentlemen, don't just stand out there. I'm telling you to come in all together. Why are you standing outside the room?"
Upon hearing Joshua's words, Zorgen led the two of them into the conference room.
"My liege." The two warriors bowed at Joshua with the gesture of a knight. Meanwhile, the white-haired mage only bowed slightly.
Zorgen who just started to recover from his heavy injuries was walking in the front. His face looked a little pale. However, it seemed that this knight had recovered enough to move around normally. Well, when they were about to leave Zorgen's house, Zorgen was still limping when walking. And now, he had recovered enough to walk up and down across the stairs. The recovery rate of a Silver-tier warrior was really impressive. It had exceeded far beyond the category of a normal person.
As the captain of the defensive force of the entire fortress, the position of this golden-haired knight was half a level higher than the position of Chiri and Feng. Whenever they wanted to report something important to the liege, he would be the one person chosen to do it.
"What's so important that the three of you must come together?"
Taking another sip of his tea, Joshua was a little puzzled with their intention.
Now that the fortress was still under reconstruction rebuilding up the collapsed walls, other than the heavily wounded Zorgen, Chiri and Feng should be commanding the operations in the scene. So why would they drop their responsibilities to come all the way here to see him? Could it be something very urgent and important then?
"My liege, the communication circle has received a few urgent messages. We believe that you should know about them immediately. So we have brought them all along. However, because we did not look at the content of the messages. So we do not know how important those are."
"Let me have a look first."
Zorgen walked up to Joshua, took out some letters and passed them over to Joshua. Meanwhile, the warrior did not hesitate at all. The moment he received the letters into his hands, he picked one of them and took the letter out of its envelope.
"Enchanted paper… This is an urgent message!"
Upon touching the paper, Joshua immediately knew. It was indeed a very urgent and important message.
After all, a message duplication was actually a skill that works like a fax machine. The process would completely duplicate the messages onto an empty enchanted paper through the resonance between the magic of the communication circle. Although the theory was not complicated by the sound of it, the process would exhaust a large amount of magic power because of the distance factor. The cost of doing so was also very high. If it was not necessary, no one would use this skill.
Sensing the other letters, Joshua was surprised to find that the other three letters were also made of enchanted paper.
"Three urgent messages arrived at the same time. So what the hell is going on?"
Speaking in a very surprised matter, the warrior understood why the three of them came together. However, it was not the time to think about that. So he looked at the content of the messages seriously without saying a word.
The conference room was silent all of a sudden. The liege with black hair and red eyes frowned. He was looking at the letters in his hand while the silver hair servant just stood beside him. She lowered her head and stayed silent. Meanwhile, the officers of the fortress were had grim looks on their faces. They seemed as if they were thinking about something very important.
After a while, Joshua felt relieved and let out a breath. He smiled and put the first letter aside. Then he shook his head, "The first letter bears good news."
"What good news did it bring, my liege?" This time, it was Chiri who asked. Because of the thick helmet he was wearing, his voice sounded very low and dull. "If it is a good news, wouldn't there be no reason for them to pass the message through such an urgent means?"
Well, that should be considered as an old habit of the half-elf warrior. He did not purposely question anything. It was merely because he wanted to point out the oddity.
"This is a letter from the dwarves."
Joshua respected this half-elf warrior who taught him the art of battle while he was still young. He was very well aware the half-elf's speaking style. So he answered seriously, "The rune dwarves of the Volcanic Lake found out about the Dark Tide. They decided to aid us with their best foundry after seeing the friendship they had with us. They decided to support us with resources and arrows and weapons without asking for anything in return."
"Initially, they intended to send the letter with a party to pass us the great news. However, because they noticed that it would be too late when the message arrived. So they decided to use the message duplication function of the communication circle to send us the message. Don't forget. They have as much magic power as they need in Volcanic Lake."
Saying that, he picked up the letter again and glanced through the content of the letter once. "It seems that they initially intended to send a party over to aid us in building our new walls. However, because the cold weather here is not suitable for the dwarves to carry out any activities, they had to abandon that idea. That's why they decided to send a batch of special building resources over to us.
"Well, what a shame."
Listening to Joshua, Feng could not help but mutter, "The dwarves have superior capabilities to forge and to build. If we can get their support in building the new walls, our new walls can definitely be much stronger than before. At least they won't collapse after being rammed by the giant beasts for a few rounds."
"That's not just resistance you know. The initial walls also had the elves' root blessing. Normal turrets would not even destroy the surfaces of the walls. However, the Berserk Daemons that are Gold tier are extremely powerful monsters that can't be judged based on normal logic… Anyway, it's still good to have a batch of resources by the end of it."
Joshua did not continue to dwell on the topic. He picked up the second letter and tore the envelope apart swiftly.
"A letter from Alphonso?"
His eyes glanced through the letter and saw the name on the letter. The warrior froze for a brief moment. He had never thought that the merchant Alphonso would send him a message so soon. After that, he quickly looked at the content of the letter with a mountain of interest.
The message seemed very simple.
Several days ago, that merchant received Joshua's recommendation letter. Then he immediately departed for the dwarves' settlement area. Joshua had no idea what mean did he used, the merchant had succeeded in obtaining the right to use the dwarves' tunnel.
Now, Alphonso and his other merchants went through the tunnel. They had gone around locked regions and the berserk beasts in the Dark Forest. They proceeded to get to a large city in the center of the Empire. Alphonso had begun searching for the few special items that Joshua told him to find.
"He has found the magic book that I mentioned before. However, the book is currently in the possession of a noble. So at the moment, he cannot purchase the book. He'll need to wait for the spring auction this year to see if that owner would release the book for sale."
Talking softly to himself, Joshua gave some thought to it. Then he nodded in satisfaction. "No matter the outcome, he's progressing quite efficiently. I first thought we can only try our best to obtain it. From the looks of it now, I might be able to change the fate of Fort Ares."
There was one letter remaining.
Joshua lifted his head and looked at the three men. He could feel that the final letter would be the most important of all three letters.
Picking up the violet envelope, Joshua noticed that there was a seal of a red crescent stamped on the wax. The name was 'Vale Dani Scarlet'.
"Scarlet of Moldova?"
Of course the warrior would know one of the four noble families of the borderlands in the north. That was the Scarlet family, represented by the seal of the Red Crescent.
Truth to be told, among the four influential families, the Radcliffe family had enemies like the Wilson family that tried so hard to destroy the Radcliffe family. However, there were also acquaintances or even friends that had been keeping in touch with the Radcliffe family through letters for hundreds of years.
Although there was no way to tell if they actually had good or bad intentions towards the Radcliffe family, there were also others that appeared as friends on the surface since the beginning. For instance, the Countess of the Scarlet family was a friend of Joshua's.
[To the Count of Moldovia, the successor to the Radcliffe family, Joshua van Radcliffe who holds the Cold Steel Sword]
Upon reading the entire passage, the letter could be summarized in a few sentences.
Following the cold winds and frosty weather coming from the northern sea, the tide of daemons that were concealed within the snowstorm came in much more ferocious than anyone could have anticipated. Under the continuous impact from the insane attack of the beasts, the Countess of the Scarlet family, a Lower Gold-tier mage was no longer able to fend off the beasts. Under a very dangerous circumstance, she had no choice but to seek any help she could.
After seeing the contents of the letter, Joshua could not help but frown intensely.
Although the tone of the letter did not contain any desperation of requests for help, anyone would still be able to see the urgency just by reading the letter. The content of the letter had shown Joshua that the person who wrote the letter did not write like a member of the prideful Scarlet family he once knew. Could it really be that the waves of beasts had become so dreadful that a powerful Gold-tier mage could not fend them off?
Indeed, there was that possibility there. Joshua began recalling the recent strange happenings that occurred throughout the Dark Forest.
Theoretically speaking, even if the beasts were dispersed, it would not be possible that there was not even a sign of one beast around. For the past few days, the warrior had not even seen one single beast in the forest when he was out patrolling around the forest. There were only snowflakes falling upon the Dark Forest. The entire place was so quiet as if the place was dead.
The daemons were not dead. They must have been to someplace else. They were not in Moldavia and there was no Dark Tide in other places. Furthermore, Joshua had predicted the route that the Chaotic Gore Magala would take by looking at the magic map. It would be possible if all of the daemons across the Dark Forest had gathered at Moldova… if that was really the case, it would be a bad luck that no one could have anticipated.
Now, if that was really the case, it would not only be a bad luck, it could be described as an unfortunate event.
The letter had a second page.
[If it's just a normal beast horde, we can still fend them off. However, there have been sightings of new and strange daemons from the depths of the Dark Forest. They do not fear magic nor Combat Aura. Only pure physical attacks can crush them into bits.
These monsters will turn into black dust dispersing into the air upon their death as if their bodies are not made of flesh and blood. Meanwhile, these strange types of daemons are too powerful for us to comprehend. That is the main reason why we cannot hold on much longer.
Although there are always power struggles and conspiracies among the four territories in the North, it is not the time to talk about that. My dear friend, if Moldova is breached, the horde of beasts will not stop even after they feast on my flesh and bones. Their hunger will spread. Hence, please lend me a hand. It will also be for your own good. On the honor of the 'Fate of the Red Crescent', the Scarlet family will not mistreat any of our friends.
— Yours sincerely, Vale Dani Scarlet]
After reading the direct words and description, the shadow of a monster slowly emerged in Joshua's mind.
Until the end of it, he saw that there was a shape of a monster drawn with black ink by the lower corner of the envelope.
The drawn monster seemed totally different from the normal daemons he had seen before. It looked like a ferocious monster that came entirely from another world.
Joshua's pupils contracted a little, looking bewildered.