116th chapter “Capital” (part two)
With spectacular terrain and an all-encompassing river running next to the city, the imperial capital was teeming with energy from the streams of merchants making their way through the city. In addition, with hundreds of years of expansion and reparation, the roads leading out of the capital has gained a famed saying known as “All roads lead to the capital”.
Such a phrase is not blown out of proportion.
After many generations of heavy financial investment, the capital has become the epicenter of a huge traffic network covering the entire continent. As long as one stays on the main road, they can reach all of the following locations: the provinces leading out to sea in the east, the great swamp in the south, the frozen forest in the north, and lastly is the great fortress city in the northwest. Just like a plant, the capital has all of its root (roads) tapped into practically every nook and cranny of the continent, gaining itself the title of being the number one city on the Roland continent!
And because of its convenient channels, all of those elite regiments guarding the border can easily rush back to the capital at the fastest amount of time if unrest or rebellion ever occurs!
As the number one city on the continent, it is surrounded by four fortress city nearby in the: east, south, west, and north. But since the empire have been at peace for hundreds of years, the military use for these fortress city gradually faded away with time.
Currently, the king’s guard responsible for protecting the capital is the smallest in terms of numbers among the top five regiments in the empire. For example: the northern storm regiment numbers around 200,000 soldiers, while the king’s guard only has around 100,000 people. Yet, this regiment is widely recognized as the most elite and glorious fighting force within the empire.
This is because the king’s guard was previously known as the “Thorn flower regiment”. In the unification war, the regiment managed to achieve countless exploits while being directly led by his majesty Aragon. It wasn’t until a few hundred years ago when the Augustine dynasty began that the name was changed to the “King’s guard”. No matter what, the reigning emperor at the time isn’t actually from Aragon’s bloodline. In order to hide this shameful truth, the name of the “Thorn flower regiment” was changed to the “King’s Guard”.
Nowadays, the military force of the King’s guard is stationed into five different locations. In the surrounding fortress cities, each are equipped with 10,000 soldiers. As for the remaining 60,000 soldier, they are responsible for the city defense in the capital. Also, there are specially selected elites among the army responsible for guarding the palace.
In addition to the King’s guard of 100,000 soldiers, there are also the 10,000 police force responsible for the cities law and order. And let’s forget the small naval fleet parked in the capital’s port.
After hundreds of years of peace, even the surrounding fortress cities around the capital have expanded to the scale of a large metropolis city. Other than housing the garrison soldiers, the number of residents that have taken up residence exceeded 100,000.
All in all, the total population of the capital and the four fortress city is already more than 2 million people. This is not even including the influx of merchants that travels through the capital on a daily basis!
The day before, Du Wei and his convoy have reached the Southeastern fortress city in charge of that area. Due to imperial decree, any armed forces are forbidden to go any further than this place. As such, the role of guarding Du Wei was passed onto the king’s guard stationed in the city.
After resting the night in the city, Du Wei have finally arrived at the capital’s southeastern wall.
Under the rays of the morning sun, the majestic walls of the capital were revealed to everyone’s eyes. With a height of a fully grown adult, each of the boulders used to construct the city defense wall was not only sturdy, it is intimidating.
And aligned along the city defense wall are guard towers that are nearly twice the height of the wall itself. With a 200 meter interval in between each of them, they could easily be converted into a battle station for long range weapons such as: ballista’s, catapults, and magic propelled cannons.
Although the blueprints of terrible weapons like the magic cannon has long been lost, these surviving relics from the past can still unleash devastating powers.
At the same time, the capital is the only magical city on the continent.
The tallest building in the capital is in fact a hundred meter high tower located inside the palace’s inner sanctum!
Fully white from top to bottom, the tower is constructed out of the finest white jade on the continent. And after centuries of fortification spells imprinted onto the structure itself, the tower has become nearly impenetrable!
At the very top of the tower is an earth based magic crystal nearly the size of three meters and weighing nearly a ton! Known as the biggest crystal on the continent, it is shelved safely on top of a horseshoe shaped bend that is made out of a mysterious black stone and infused with large quantities of mithril to increase its magic power!
Using this tower as the heart and center, a giant magic circle is ingrained underneath the palace itself. In its earliest state, it was still very rudimentary when Aragon first led a group of the continents strongest mage to conceive the idea. It was only after many generations of improvement by countless mages that the magic circle manages to achieve such force.
If the era of war ever befalls the empire, it is said that the palace still has a team of powerful magicians not controlled by the magic union. This special team of mages was first created in the era of Aragon and has been passed down through each generation by blood. Though their numbers are lacking, but their allegiances are only to the royal court magician platoon. By having this platoon activate the magic circle and activating the crystal inside the white tower, it would cause a chain effect around the crystals embedded inside every guard tower surrounding the capital. Once that happens, it would form a nearly indestructible barrier around the city defense wall! In the past when Aragon was still alive, it is said that he boasted that even the continent’s strongest race dragons, would not be able to break through this magic array!
And with the activation of the magic circle, those magic cannons stationed inside the main guard towers would have sufficient energy to fire!
As a precaution, only the most elite of the elites would be stationed to guard the white tower. Other than the emperor himself, none is permitted to even come close to the towers proximity inside the palace. So no need to even mention going up to the tower to have look!
With such an elite army force to guard the magic array left behind by Aragon, the capital has long been considered an impregnable city!
But in truth, future generations have long since considered such an effort by Aragon to be wasteful and foolish because at the time, the continent was already unified. There was no threat or opponent left to oppose him, but Aragon persistently insisted the construction of such a thing. None at the time really knew the reason why.
For thousands of years, many historians couldn’t understand why historical documents never explained the reason why. The only information recorded was always about how powerful the magic array was.
But the most mysterious thing was that no matter how many years have passed since Aragon’s death. Generations of emperors that followed suit would always expend costly efforts to maintain and enhance the magic array he left behind.
If the saying goes that Aragon was brain damaged by investing so much resource and money into constructing the magic array, then does that mean all of the emperors in the entire history of the empire is brain damaged too?
Of course not!
According to legend, the founding emperor left behind a dying note when he passed away indicating that every emperor that follows afterwards must expend every effort to maintain this magic array!
No matter what dynasty it was and how things changed over the centuries, the note left behind by Aragon practically became an iron clad law that every reigning emperor would follow.
What exactly is the reason? No one knows. The truth lies in the preserved note locked inside the palace and could even be considered a big secret handed down through the royal family!
Nowadays, these anecdotes have mostly been lost to the public. If Du Wei didn’t spend so much time reading those ancient textbooks as a child inside his room, these secrets would never have been known to him.
However, ironically, this famous founding emperor is not without faults. Historically, the so called impregnable city by Aragon was nearly felled twice.
And in those two times, the magic array wasn’t even activated yet before the enemy reached their doorstep!
The first time was when the last direct bloodline of Aragon passed away and the royal family competed for the throne. In that event, the capital changed hands multiple times when some powerful nobles led their forces against each other.
The second time was when the Augustine dynasty rose to power several hundreds of years ago. At the time, the northwestern tribes rebelled. Then some powerful nobles in the northwest called for a separatist movement and raised a rebellion against the capital. (It was mentioned the Rowling household first rose to power during this rebellion.) In that unrest, the empire nearly collapsed with all hopes lost. It was to the point that nobody wanted to even sit on the throne. Everyone at the time feared they would become the emperor of a fallen state. In the end, it was Duke Augustine that stepped forward.
At the time, the outer walls were already breached before the magic array could even be activated. With the rebels inside the capital, they could directly attack the city. Under such urgency, Duke Augustine hurriedly ascended the throne and led his forces against the rebel coalition. With a much small fighting force, he managed to turn the tide after a fierce and bloody battle in the capital. With the rebels pushed back and the arrival of reinforcement from the south, Augustine was able to retake the capital. Then with the support of the Rowling Household, he was soon able to reunite the entire continent.
Facing the Sun, Du Wei stood outside the capital from afar looking at the white tower in the center of the palace. Glistening off the sun’s ray, the crystal on the top the tower vaguely revealed a divine and majesty air around it……
Du Wei sighed, recalling all those allusions and historical anecdotes he knew about the capital. Then he raised his head to look at those mightily equipped soldiers on top of the city wall. Pausing for a moment, he then looked at the thorn flower flag flying high above the wall…….
“A very good magic city.” Du Wei said this with a smile: “But Aragon never would have thought that such a city would be breached! No matter how powerful the magic may be, it is useless….. More often than not, the most solid of fortresses are usually breached from within. This is such a simple logic…. Sigh….”
Because of Gandalf’s death, Du Wei didn’t bear much good feelings toward this Aragon. As such, his words held nothing back. But he still kept it to a mutter because he dare not let others hear him.
With that said, Du Wei smiled. Then with one glance at the side of the carriage to look at his servant Marde: “well then, what time is it now? Is the gates open yet? Can we go into town now?”
Before Marde could answer, one of the king’s guards responsible for protecting Du Wei had already rode up to him and answered: “Sir, the gates have already opened. I have sent some people to race ahead to clear the road for us. Around this time, pedestrians waiting at the entrance to enter the city are too high. Wait till my people return from clearing the road, then we can lead you into the city.”
Du Wei is the young master of the Rowling household and the eldest son of the military’s second in command. So of course this officer would be extremely polite to him.
Du Wei smiled at him and nodded, then took a look at Marde: “Did anyone from the Earl come pick us up?”
Just last night when they spent the night at the fortress city, some of the Rowling personal guards raced ahead to inform the Earl of the news.
Marde’s face slightly changed as he tried to whisper: “Master…… Likely, no.”
Du Wei smiled a bit and laughed at himself: “This dad of mine, so heartless.”
With that, he waved a hand: “Don’t wait, directly head into the city.” With that, he returned to the carriage and shut the windows.
Capital, no matter if you’re a dragon or an evil den, in short, little Lord is back!!
Regardless of whoever wants me, I want him dead first!
Du Wei sat inside the carriage with an icy cold smile on his face.
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