The seven-day-long march went better than expected.
Because sturdy work horses had been prepared, the transportation of goods had gone well. Even the monsters that appeared on the way had been of a level that could be easily disposed of by the soldiers; there had been no need for Riley and his party to step up. The monsters would then provide fresh, undried meat to garnish the meals of that day.
The hours of daylight were short as they were surrounded by mountains that towered into the sky, but there was no shortage of people who could use illuminating magic, and though they were expensive, there were some with Magic Items that acted as lanterns.
The fact that they had reached a place where Talosheim was visible in exactly seven days was because their march had gone so well.
However, things started going wrong the moment their march was complete.
“It seems that the scouting teams were not hallucinating,” said General Mauvid. He had set up a temporary camp in the plains near Talosheim. The only obstacle on this flat terrain was the waist-high grass; they had a good unobstructed view. This wasn’t the kind of place a stronghold would be built in a real war.
Mauvid had gathered the leaders of the expedition here and was looking at the strange sight of Talosheim.
What he saw was a thirty-meter-high fortress wall. Other than the imperial capital or fortresses in important locations, such a tall wall was rare for humans. But the larger Titans had been twice the height of a human, and since the areas surrounding the city were mostly Devil’s Nests, such a sturdy wall were likely necessary for them.
According to the records from two hundred years ago, the wall had indeed been quite tall, but the army had simply determined its height with eye measurements in the past, so it would not be unusual if there were any measurement errors.
The strange thing was that although the wall looked like a single strike from a battering ram would knock it down, the two large holes that the hero Mikhail created two hundred years ago were nowhere to be seen.
“What could this mean? Were the records from two hundred years ago incorrect…?” suggested Chezare Legston, the second-in-command in this expedition. Military records were inaccurate from time to time. Sometimes, exaggerations were made to spread the news of the achievements made by the heroes and generals of the past.
However, High Priest Bormack Gordan spoke up in response to Chezare. “It is likely the doing of that… Vandalieu, the Dhampir who led hundreds of Ghouls to escape from Viscount Balchesse.”
“The one you are always mentioning, High Priest?”
“Yes. It is likely that the Dhampir instructed his subordinates, the Ghouls, to repair the fortress wall.”
Though Gordan was full of confidence as he spoke, Chezare seemed doubtful. Not a single member of the expedition army had so much as seen a Ghoul yet. Considering that, Chezare thought Gordan’s opinion was quite questionable.
“But would he do such a thing?” he asked, expressing his doubts. “I have heard of cases where monsters settle down in ruins, but I have never heard of monsters repairing the ruins they are inhabiting. Ghouls are a more intelligent type of monster and apparently many are capable of building their own small homes, but a fortress wall would be…”
Gordan snorted. “Chezare-dono, that is a way of thinking that is held back by the rules of common sense. The Ghouls are being led by a Dhampir, a monster that is as intelligent as a human. And look carefully at that fortress wall. If they were left in that state two hundred years ago, they would have long since collapsed by now.”
As Gordan pointed out, with closer examination, it was obvious that the wall was crudely-structured in certain parts, and it was clearly poor craftsmanship. It would likely not even last a decade, let alone two hundred years.
It was difficult to believe that this had been the sturdy wall of the fortress that had repelled the Mirg shield-nation’s army of ten thousand, including the hero Mikhail.
“With this, we can assume that Vandalieu is leading a highly-organized pack of Ghouls and barricading himself inside Talosheim,” Gordan concluded.
“I see. Your hypothesis is reasonable, High Priest-dono,” said Mauvid, giving a solemn nod. But in his mind, he thought that Gordan’s sharpness was troublesome.
Why was this senile old man able to guess the truth despite not being in contact with the Vampires? Mauvid gave a glance towards Isla, who was present in disguise as the leader of a mercenary band, but judging from the lack of reaction from her, it didn’t seem that there were secret deals going on that he was unaware of.
Mauvid and Isla had intended to never tell anyone outside of their groups about Vandalieu and Eleanora, right up until the very end.
They would keep the army uninformed as it marched to Talosheim and then see how Vandalieu, the Ghouls he led and the Vampire traitors would move.
The Magic Item had made it clear that Eleanora was still in Talosheim, and no Subordinate Vampires or Ghouls had scouted the army’s movements near the tunnel or the Devil’s Nests they had passed through
That was why Mauvid and Isla knew that Vandalieu and his subordinates hadn’t noticed the expedition army’s presence.
That was why they would send in the expedition army’s soldiers and knights charging in first, and then if Vandalieu and the Vampire traitors ran, Riley and Isla would give chase and finish them. They would never lose track of Eleanora as long as they had their Magic Item, and Isla had confirmed that Eleanora was not aware of the existence of this Magic Item.
And so Vandalieu was likely to try and escape together with her rather than use her as a sacrificial pawn, as she was certainly his greatest source of fighting strength.
Even if he separated himself from Eleanora and took some Ghouls with him instead, chasing him down wouldn’t be difficult.
Though this were unlikely, if he were to put up a do-or-die resistance, Riley and the others would simply slay him.
During the confusion, they would also dispose of the problematic High Priest Gordan.
With that, all of the objectives of Mauvid and his conspirators would be achieved. It wouldn’t matter no matter how many of the Mirg shield-nation’s elite soldiers were lost in the process. Mauvid would occupy the remains of Talosheim, pick a suitable moment to return to the Empire in order to report their success, fabricate a health issue and then retire. If Riley was still alive, he could be brought back as well.
Isla was a mercenary, so she could simply say that her contract had expired, separate herself from the expedition army and vanish.
After that, the Vampires would collapse the tunnel, leaving the pitiful Chezare and the other soldiers trapped in Talosheim. General Mauvid would become a Vampire and gain eternal life, while Riley and the new earl of the Mauvid family would gain the glory of this world.
That was the plan, so the soldiers learning of Vandalieu and his subordinates before marching forward and becoming hesitant would cause problems.
The targets hadn’t noticed the expedition army and were likely in a panic right now, so Mauvid didn’t want to give them time to regain their composure.
“So, what are we going to do?” asked Riley. “Even if it is in pieces, a wall is a wall. Scouting inside is going to be hard, you know?”
Despite what Riley said, Isla and the other Noble-born Vampires could fly, so peeking inside the city wouldn’t be difficult no matter how high the wall was.
Even if archers were stationed on the wall, they would be bows and arrows handmade by monsters. As they would not be high-quality weapons, the arrows wouldn’t reach if they flew high enough.
However, the fact that she and her followers were Vampires was a secret to all but Riley and Mauvid, so suggesting such a plan would be impossible. Naturally, Isla remained silent.
“Of course, we will take the fight in numbers and close in on them, just as we would do in a normal war,” said Gordan. “First, we will use heavy infantry to solidify our outer defense and have archers and mages at the ready, and then use battering rams to break down that city gate. After that, we will have to see how the Ghouls act. They would normally charge at us, but under the leadership of that Dhampir, they are cunning. They might outwit us, split up into smaller groups, hide in the ruins and engage us in urban warfare.”
Gordan was a man known by the Title of “Vampire Hunter”; what came out of his mouth were not words of hesitation but a proactive, offensive plan.
“Should we not surround the city first?” Chezare suggested.
“If we surround a city of that size, our troops will be spread thin,” Gordan replied. “And though this may look like a plains, it is a fearsome Devil’s Nest. If monsters attacked us while we were spread out, we would suffer great casualties. Is this fine with you?”
“… What will we do, General?” asked Chezare.
“Hmm, let us make use of the High Priest-dono’s advice,” said Mauvid, coming to a decision. “Prepare the battering rams and organize the attack forces!”
The soldiers began moving in a hurry. They had never planned to engage in a siege, but battering rams had been brought along just in case they were needed to conquer Talosheim. The battering rams were brought out and the heavy infantry declared themselves as the spearhead of the army.
Gordan was not watching them, instead taking notice of the sun. The day was already darkening.
“We did not make it in time.”
It was still early in the evening, but the Boundary Mountain Range was blocking out the sunlight. Most Dhampirs were not weak to the sun, but his subordinates, the Ghouls, would be able to see in the dark.
On the other hand, the expedition army was mostly made of humans. Gordan had wanted victory to be secured before darkness fell, but it seemed that things would not go so well. A wrinkle appeared between his brows as he frowned.
Not that things would go well with the top members of the expedition having connections with Vampires.
Vandalieu was hiding right above the gate of the third wall, having confirmed the expedition army’s presence through the eyes of his Golems. He watched the heavy infantry approaching as they protected the battering rams and looked for his timing.
It seemed that his enemies knew nothing. Ever since the expedition army emerged from the tunnel, Vandalieu had been wary about enemies scouting him out, especially the familiars released by the Vampires, but perhaps the monsters of the Devil’s Nests had disposed of them. Vandalieu’s secret remained safe.
“Rock Wall! Rock Form!”
The heavy infantry raised their shields and activated their Shield Technique and Armor Technique martial skills, enhancing their defensive abilities. Their defense was on another level compared to the typical soldier equipped with a spear, a shield and leather armor. They were troops protecting themselves with tower shields and wielding axes and maces.
Their skills were likely at least level 3… No, as they were apparently elite troops, around level 4. Vandalieu had heard from Eleanora that normal soldiers had level 2 skills and would be evaluated as E-class individuals if they applied at an Adventurers’ Guild, but each of these elite soldiers were capable of bringing down a Rank 3 monster on their own. Several of them might even be able to take on a Rank 4 monster.
This army would be quite the powerful enemy if the other soldiers had similar skills. If this were a video game on Earth, the player would have to have a high level just to avoid being overwhelmed.
Vandalieu was satisfied with the enemy’s moderate strength. With these, he could make plenty of use of them later.
And then he climbed on top of the fortress wall. He exposed himself not only to the charging troops, but to the entire enemy army, including those at their stronghold.
“That’s… could it be, the Dhampir?!” As Chezare looked at the magnified image produced by a light-attribute mage, his eyes widened.
“H-he’s really here… What a surprise.” Mauvid’s face and voice were trembling.
Neither of them had expected Vandalieu to show himself in such a bold manner, though the two of them were agitated for different reasons.
“OH! This is the guidance of my lord Alda! Everyone, follow my lead!” shouted Gordan.
“P-please wait, High Priest!” said a young priest-warrior. “He is on top of the fortress wall!”
“That’s right, hang on a second! He’s my prey!” Riley added, stopping Gordan for an entirely different reason.
On the other hand, Isla, who remained silent among the agitated leaders of the expedition, felt suspicious about Vandalieu’s actions.
Why has he shown himself on his own? Has he fallen to despair after seeing this army? Is he planning to use himself as bait to allow the Ghouls and Eleanora to escape?
Isla thought about how she couldn’t allow too many Ghouls to escape as Ternecia had ordered her to bring back some Ghoul skins, but the Vandalieu in the image showed no signs of movement.
Vandalieu held up a single spear.
“That’s… Ice Age! It’s Ice Age!”
“The Dhampir has acquired the national treasure of our country?!”
That spear resembled Ice Age, the national treasure of the Mirg shield-nation.
“That, that’s mine!” shouted Riley. “Damn it, don’t touch it with your filthy hands!”
“Oi, hurry up and use Appraisal! Is that the real Ice Age?! If it’s real, it should be made of Orichalcum!”
“That is impossible at this distance!”
Vandalieu, who was watching the expedition army’s stronghold through his Undead insects, experienced a pleasant feeling as he saw that they were as disturbed as he had expected them to be. It was worth the effort he had made to have Datara create a fake Ice Age of iron.
And then Vandalieu broke the fake Ice Age with his bare hands… or at least, used Golem Transformation to make it look like he did, and throw it to the ground.
At that moment, the entire stronghold fell silent for a moment before exploding with outrage.
“Damn you! How dare you do such a thing to our country’s national treasure!”
“There is a limit to the insult we can endure! I swear on my honor as a knight that I will slay you!”
“You piece of shit! That Ice Age was supposed to become mine! You… You… I’ll slaughter you!” Riley swore.
Indeed, the majority of the expedition army had not come to dispose of Vandalieu and the traitor Eleanora. They had come to wipe their nation’s bitter memories of two hundred years ago from the past.
They had come to occupy Talosheim, recover the lost national treasure and bring glory to their nation. That was all they had been told, so this was the natural reaction from them.
There was no way they would not feel their blood boiling upon seeing that national treasure, the magic spear, broken and discarded.
“Wait!” Chezare shouted. “It is impossible for him to break a magic spear made of Orichalcum! This is a bluff to make us lose our composure!”
“Th-that’s right! Calm down, stay composed, don’t break your ranks!” Mauvid ordered.
The two of them, who remained calm, attempted to suppress the outrage of them rest of the expedition’s leaders, but the expedition army’s internal state was shakier than Vandalieu had expected.
First, for most of the knights and soldiers that made up the expedition army, the supreme commander Langil Mauvid was not a commander worthy of respect, but a nobleman of the Empire that ruled over them, a commander that they did not want.
However, the second-in-command Chezare Legston was the second son of the current marshal, and the knights respected him.
“Shut up!” Riley roared. “Don’t get in my way! Are you telling me to stay quiet after being made fools of like this?! I’m going out! If you’re scared of a Dhampir and a few hundred Ghouls, you can stay sitting here!”
He was enraged beyond what Vandalieu had been aiming for, and as he tried to step out to take his slaves onto the frontlines, all of the noblemen and knights that were supposed to stop him stood up in their seats instead.
“It is as Riley-dono says!”
“Our nation’s pride is on the line! My apologies, but I cannot obey even your commands in this case, Supreme Commander!”
For them, Riley was the hero that their nation had made a show of. Not everyone believed exactly what had been said about him, but at the same time, it wasn’t as if Riley held no appeal at all.
In fact, he was currently vain and craved the limelight, but he had a caring personality at his core. He had shared the meat of the monsters he had hunted with the knights and soldiers, protected the fort at the tunnel the expedition army had passed through from Dragons on multiple occasions, and distributed even their meat among all of the soldiers.
This had caused Riley to gain a surprising amount of popularity among the knights and soldiers.
Gordan made a disgruntled noise. “As I thought, the Divine Message was speaking of that Dhampir, Vandalieu! Devout followers of Alda, ready yourselves! A crusade is at hand!”
Even the renowned Vampire hunter Bormack Gordan had stood up and declared that this was a crusade.
Though there were individual differences in their devotion, everyone in the tent was a believer in Alda, the god of their national religion. With this situation that was straight out of a traditional song where heroes and clergymen stood their ground against evil, their fiery anger grew even brighter.
The enraged knights and noblemen followed his example without thinking.
“You bastards! Your orders, obey your orders! This is a violation of military procedure!” Mauvid bellowed.
“Damn it…! The Black Bull Knights’ Order will follow the lead of the breaching unit! Archers, provide backup! Have the light cavalrymen unit act as messengers!” Chezare barked orders to the army.
“Chezare?! What are you saying?!” Mauvid demanded.
“General, it is already impossible to calm the soldiers! We have no choice but to at least maintain the coordination of each unit –”
“Silence! You are exceeding your authority!”
With this, the poor relationship between the supreme commander and the second-in-command was exposed. Chezare had given up on supporting Mauvid, and in his discomposure, Mauvid had chosen to hurl abuse at him rather than calm the soldiers down.
They’re already half-disordered… To think that a human army would be this fragile. Zakkart apparently once spoke of using the power of the people to help each other, but…
Isla, who was officially nothing more than a captain of a mercenary band, let out a deep sigh behind her helmet. This was the state of things after the breaking of a single spear. She began to wonder whether there had been any point in enduring the feelings of constraint in order to sneak into the expedition army and regretted doing so.
“Isla-sama, should we make our moves on our own?” her aide asked quietly.
Isla reconsidered her previous thoughts. “No, we will proceed like this,” she replied. “It is not as if there has been any harm to the humans’ greatest strength, their numbers. This is not a problem.”
The reason Isla gave this answer, and the reason the expedition’s leaders were so thoughtlessly outraged, was one and the same.
They wouldn’t lose. Victory was still assured.
They were all still aware of this.
Each of the soldiers in the expedition army was an elite soldier capable of slaying a Rank 3 monster on their own. There were six thousand such soldiers. There was even an A-class adventurer and a Vampire-hunting specialist on top of that.
The enemy also had Eleanora, a Noble-born Vampire among the enemy, but only a tiny portion of the expedition army was aware of that.
And as for the number of enemies under the Dhampir’s command, all of the leaders in the stronghold had heard numerous times from Gordan that the Ghouls were unmistakably inhabiting Talosheim.
A Spiritualist Dhampir and his subordinate Ghouls that would number five hundred at most. Even if he had gathered some more subordinates, there was no way that their numbers would exceed this expedition army. Some of the Undead Titans that had spawned in Talosheim might be among them, but they would simply charge in, incapable of any organized movements.
That was why that at this point in time, not a single member of the expedition army felt any sense of danger.
“I feel like this was more effective than I’d expected… I had lots of other plans in case this didn’t work, but whatever,” Vandalieu said to himself.
The expedition army advanced while maintaining their formation, and the breaching unit had reached the wall and fighting their battle against their persistent enemy, the city gate.
“Now then, third wall… commence attack,” Vandalieu whispered, now that plenty of enemies had been drawn in. And then he used Flight to move back to the second wall.
“That brat, he’s runni– what the hell?!”
As Riley and the rest of the army advanced, the wall began collapsing. It had indeed been worn out, but they hadn’t expected it to collapse all at once. They stopped unconsciously in surprise.
“It was a trap!” Gordan shouted. “But he was too hasty; it seems that he was planning to trap us under the collapsed wall, but we are still too far away!”
The breaching unit had taken some damage, but their martial skills had already been active. Though some bones might be broken, they would not die.
Now all that was left to do was to climb over the remains of the wall to proceed… or so they thought, but the eyes of every single member of the expedition army widened.
They could now see that on the other side of the collapsed wall, there was another, white wall, slightly shorter in height but sturdy-looking.
“Wha–?! There was nothing in the military records about there being two walls!” shouted Chezare.
“Damn it! That’s why I’m telling you to pull the troops back!” Mauvid said, urging him to give the command.
“Indeed… Archers, back up the breaching unit as they retreat! Each unit should temporarily – huh?” In the middle of giving orders, Chezare makes a foolish sound of confusion.
The wall they had thought to be collapsed had stood up.
Letting out resentful groans, Stone Golems and Rock Golems that had been part of the wall stood up. There were easily more than a thousand of them.
The stone men ran towards each unit of the expedition army with much more agility than their appearance suggested they could move with, and aiming to strike the soldiers down.
“UOOOH! Raise your shields! Show them your front, not your back!”
“Maintain your formations, where’s the pride of the heavy infantry!”
There was some distance between the Stone Golems and the expedition army’s units that had been advancing on the wall. The most pitiful were the heavy infantrymen of the breaching unit.
They had managed to avoid being crushed to death under the wall that had suddenly collapsed, only to be surrounded by stone giants. They would certainly be beaten to a pulp.
And the iron city gate they had been trying to break down had transformed into a Rank 6 Iron Golem.
It seemed that the breaching unit had preserved its morale and wasn’t planning to give up until the very end, but its fate was in a precarious state.
“Rescue the breaching unit!”
“Black Bull Knights’ Order, advance! Do not slow down! There is nothing to fear from these lifeless Golems!”
The expedition army that was shouting heroically was made of the Mirg shield-nation’s prided elite. Naturally, they had experienced the battlefield many times. That was why each of them, from the knights to the soldiers, possessed strong bonds as comrades.
And for them, a thousand Golems were not lethal enemies.
Even with Chezare and General Mauvid frozen in surprise in the stronghold, each of the expedition army’s members were making their own decisions all over the battlefield. The same applied for those led by Riley and Gordan.
They came into contact with the Golems, and using their individual strength and coordinated abilities, they struck down the stone giants that were groaning and swinging their fists.
At this rate, they would be able to defeat all of the Golems and regain their formation.
At that moment, Vandalieu gave the order to the Cursed Weapons, the crossbows in the second wall and the trebuchets installed on the rooves of Talosheim’s buildings.
“Hyih! Boulders are flying… gyih!”
Some of the crossbow bolts pierced the Rock Golems, but as the Rock Golem numbers had been reduced, around two thirds of them found their targets in the expedition army.
And no matter how elite the Shield-bearers and heavy infantrymen were, they could not avoid being rendered unable to fight by the trebuchet boulders falling from overhead.
Even as they saw the boulders’ trajectory and tried to run, the remaining Rock Golems would stop them from doing so and as the word “heavy” in “heavy infantryman” would suggest, they were incapable of fast movements.
“No way! Large numbers of archers and trebuchets?! W-what are we fighting against?! General, what does this mean?! What is the Empire hiding from us?!” Chezare demanded.
“I-I don’t know! I don’t know anything, either!” Mauvid shouted.
“You intend to keep your mouth shut at a time like this?!”
It wasn’t unusual for demi-humanoid monsters to use bows and arrows, but Chezare didn’t know anything about them being capable of using trebuchets. Trebuchets were not easy to construct in the first place. In the Amid Empire, Mirg shield-nation and even the Orbaume Kingdom, the technicians capable of building them were forced to join Guilds and monitored constantly so that they would not build them without approval.
But trebuchets existed in Talosheim and were raining boulders on the expedition army.
Despite there being no records of the Titans having the technology to use trebuchets.
Could it be that the Dhampir built these trebuchets? That’s impossible! Chezare thought.
However, the reality before his eyes was that boulders were being thrown at the soldiers one after another, crushing them as they tried to flee.
“Damn it, retr–”
At that moment, the captain of the mercenary band… Isla, interrupted. “With all due respect, I believe this is where the entire army should press on.”
“You bastard, a mere mercenary shouldn’t interrupt!”
“That’s right, you’re just a coward who is still staying in the stronghold! Are you trying to force more losses upon this army?!”
Chezare’s aides reprimanded this insolent mercenary, but of course, Isla took no notice of them.
“From what I can see, the soldiers on the battlefield are in chaos,” she said. “We cannot expect a smooth retreat in this situation. And the heavy infantrymen are good targets. Once the soldiers close in on the deeper wall, the trebuchets will no longer be a threat. The enemy is currently only a thousand stone men with deceptive appearances that look stronger than they are. Once we overcome them, we will certainly be able to regain our formations.”
There was some truth to Isla’s words. She did indeed possess the cold-heartedness to ignore the loss of soldiers, but it wasn’t uncommon on the battlefield for ten sacrificed lives to save a thousand.
And if the heavy infantrymen held their formation with their superior defensive abilities and high Vitality, being hit by some ordinary arrows wouldn’t be a problem.
“A-alright! All forces, advance!” Mauvid ordered.
Chezare turned to him in surprise. “General?!”
The truth in Isla’s words would only apply if the enemy was out of trump cards.
If the second fortress wall turned into Golems as well, the trebuchet fire would never cease. And not a single Ghoul had been seen yet.
It was possible that they were busy operating the trebuchets, but Chezare had a bad feeling about this.
“Silence! This is my order as the supreme commander!” Mauvid had the same bad feeling as Chezare. He had been shouting for the army to retreat all this time, but he had done a 180-degree turn on his stance.
He had done so based on Isla’s proposal.
His tone remained civil, but his irritation kept showing itself here and there. If he were to disobey, it was possible that the Vampires would deem him as unsuitable for continuing their deal and erase him.
“I-I am going to make use of you lot as well!” Mauvid shouted.
“Of course, General,” Isla said calmly. “We must earn our pay, after all.”
This exchange between them was equivalent to Mauvid looking to Isla for help and saying that he would abandon her if she wasn’t useful.
But in reality, there was no mistake that he was obeying Isla’s command.
“Ngh! Mountain Breaker!” High Priest Gordan’s war club smashed through a boulder.
“Great Whirlwind Thrust!” Riley’s spear pierced through another.
Flark silently sent more boulders flying with his shield.
“Great Healing! Here, stop looking so exhausted and keep fighting!” Messara shouted, healing the wounded soldiers on the frontlines.
“That’s right, get a hold of yourselves, masters!” said Gennie, providing backup with his continuous movements.
Most of the Golems were defeated and even the attacks of the trebuchets were being dealt with, so the expedition army began to recover. With the shields of the heavy infantrymen raised and formations held, the crossbow bolts were nothing to fear.
As the boulders broken by Gordan and Riley had been the ‘Golem projectiles’ that would transform into Golems after landing, they had successfully managed to back up the expedition army’s stronghold and make Vandalieu click his tongue in frustration… though Gordan and Riley wouldn’t have noticed and simply wondered why they had gained experience from breaking boulders.
But because they had begun to break the boulders mid-air, the rest of the expedition army were late to notice the barrels that were splitting mid-air by themselves.
“Hmm, it seems that even the human army can come in useful,” one of the Vampires commented.
“If they weren’t, Ternecia-sama would have made all this effort for nothing,” said Isla. “Let’s go, just don’t be conspicuous before they break the fortress wall.”
But obeying the order of, “don’t be conspicuous,” would become difficult by the time Isla and the Vampires reached the battlefield.
The status of the average elite soldier of the Mirg shield-nation: