The extra Is too Strong – Chapter 103

The Extra is too strong

Chapter 103: The Gatekeeper Forces

The troops of the Gatekeeper Forces replenished their ranks through three methods: by cultivating from the trainee system operated in Antak Fortress, by being dispatched from the duchy, or by receiving volunteers wishing to enlist. It was not uncommon for volunteers to seek enlistment in the Gatekeeper Forces. In principle, those who enlisted in this manner began as trainee soldiers. Regardless of their capabilities as warriors, there was basic knowledge they needed to acquire to work as part of the unit. This was a natural requirement. However, exceptions existed everywhere.

On that day, the recruitment center deemed one visitor an exception.

“Eriu, we’ve been waiting for you.”

Wrapped in a thick fur coat and carrying a giant mace on his back, longer than his own height, the visitor approached.

“Mr. Eriu, from today onwards, you are affiliated with the Gatekeeper Forces as a regular warrior. Please change into this uniform.”

“What about my clothes? Can’t I wear them?”

“It’s fine to wear them over the outside.”

Eriu nodded and changed into the military uniform provided to him. As he changed, a soldier briefed him on what he needed to know.

“From now on, you shall be addressed as Sir Eriu. Sir Eriu, as of today, you will be assigned to the independent operative unit, the Mordt Forces.”

The soldier explained what the independent operative unit was, and who the intermediate warrior leading it, Mordt, was. He detailed each point carefully, as per instructions from the higher-ups to assume Eriu knew nothing of the Gatekeeper Forces.

‘Who knows what he’s been through, but if the higher-ups have emphasized this much, he must be someone significant.’ Generally, the privileged treatment was for those with either a strong background or great skill. To the observing soldier, given that it didn’t seem to be a case of a prestigious background, it likely pertained to his abilities.

Having changed, Eriu, holding his personal clothes, asked.

“Guide me to the Mordt Forces.”

“Please wait a moment.”

“Why is that?”

“The Mordt Forces are currently out on a mission and are expected to return in a few days.”

“Didn’t you say you were short on men?”

Eriu looked puzzled; he had just heard that the Mordt Forces, lacking enough members, could not carry out official operations. Then why had they gone on a mission?

“There are exceptions. One is urgent support calls, and the other is joint operations with other units.”

“I see. Where is the operation area? Guide me.”

“Pardon?”

“You said I’ve been assigned to the Mordt Forces from today, right? Then as a member, there should be no issue with participating in their operations.”

“Uhh, please wait a moment; I’ll contact the higher-ups.”

The soldier scurried off.

* * *

Independent operative units are meant to consist of those who can perform interception missions alone when demonization reaches the second stage. A key requirement is to contain Bernas’ lineage, precisely, the divine blood. While typically someone from Bernas’ lineage would lead the unit, this was not always the case.

The Herto Forces were an independent operative unit led by Herto, a bastard of the Bernas family. This ten-member unit only included one divine blood apart from Herto, and except for Herto, all were intermediate and regular warriors, which didn’t make it a particularly strong unit.

“It’s been a while since we’ve brought a mage inside.”

Herto, a man in his early thirties with long blond hair tied tightly back and a long-grown beard that made him look older, stood similar in stature and build to Mordt, befitting Bernas’ lineage at almost two meters tall.

“Don’t be nervous. The scale isn’t enough to summon a noble-rank demon.”

Before entering the distorted swirl, which was about 150 meters in diameter, indicated the presence of intermediate demons, and uncertain higher demons until a closer look was taken.

“You can handle half-opening the divine blood, right?”

“Absolutely.”

Mordt and Leon joined Herto in entering the half-opened state of their divine blood. Their irises turned silvery gray, and the silver light they emitted formed a thirty-meter dome-shaped barrier.

“Without using much power, we manage this? Having multiple divine bloods certainly makes it easier. If only our unit had one more aside from me…”

Herto mumbled discontentedly. Indeed, divine bloods were a valuable human resource, often limited to one per independent operative unit.

‘I guess the units I experienced were high-level.’ The Kesner Forces and the ones led by the legitimate lineage, Erna and Vayden, were of a caliber incomparable to the Herto Forces. ‘But, of course, there were exceptions like Paion among Bernas’ divine bloods.’ Mordt realized most of the Bernas lineage he had encountered was of high caliber, but his sample was biased towards high levels.

To compare it to soccer, it was like only having seen firsthand players who were regulars in the top European leagues. Considering the mayhem Paion wreaked in the trainee senior division against Mordt, such cases existed, right? Despite that, Paion, a fifteen-year-old awakening to divine blood and surviving, obviously had potential.

However, Mordt had been exposed to extremely high-level individuals up to then. To him, Paion was simply average.

‘So this is what a small-scale demonized dungeon feels like.’ This place resembled a vast underground cave that twisted and turned for about ten meters. Mordt had never visited an ambiguous-sized demonized dungeon before. He had only gone into very small ones without demons or very large ones with noble-class demons emerging. If one considered less than ten total visits to demonized dungeons, his experiences were quite extreme.

Woof! Woof! Woof!

Soon enough, hellhounds, larger than bulls, began pouring in, about twenty in number. By Mordt’s standard, not a particularly large group.

“Here they come. Get ready! The vanguard should rotate swiftly! Mordt Forces, provide rear support!” Mordt nodded in agreement, stepping back to observe the Herto Forces engage in combat.

“Charge!” At the front, Herto stepped forward to face the hellhounds.

Wham! As an upper-rank warrior with abundant real combat experience and part of the Bernas lineage, Herto dispatched a hellhound with a single blow to its head.

‘He’s being quite careful.’ To Mordt, Herto alone seemed capable of easily dispatching the twenty hellhounds. Yet, he deliberately regulated his strength, allowing the other warriors to engage as well. What looked to Mordt inefficient and time-consuming was intentional.

‘It can’t just be about preserving his own strength, could it…?’

Mordt wondered why Herto chose that particular tactic.

“Sir Farwell! I need support!” Herto called out, to which Keal added in a hushed tone.

“Don’t expend too much strength, just enough to provide fire support.”

“Understood.”

Farwell threw a puzzled glance but didn’t question it, casting only first and second-circle spells to aid the Herto Forces. Even that was enough for them to comfortably eradicate the pack of hellhounds.

“Naturally, having a mage is quite convenient. Your support was just right.”

Herto patted Farwell on the shoulder and proceeded onward, leading to several more battles. Only common monsters, not demons, came at them in groups. Each time, Herto adopted the same approach, personally leading but nonchalantly engaging to ensure that all his warriors could fight.

“Why that way?” Mordt kept a puzzled expression, prompting Keal to casually inquire. After sharing his doubts, Keal looked at him in disbelief.

“Really?”

“That’s why I’m asking. Is it actually just to conserve his strength for an unforeseen situation?”

“No, it’s obviously to accumulate combat experience for his soldiers. It’s luck they can even face such a fitting opportunity. They couldn’t fight like this in a serious situation.”

“…”

“Remember that three of those soldiers are quite green… But thinking about it, Mordt, you’re new to this process too, aren’t you?”

Keal suddenly realized something. Objectively speaking, Mordt was a fifteen-year-old greenhorn, right? Without a doubt, he had accumulated an impressive amount of combat experience in less than a year, both in frequency and substance.

However, much of that did not include experiences as a soldier. After some thought, Mordt’s missions as a Bernas warrior were quite limited, standing at about four in total: Twice under Kesner, once with Erna’s unit, and once joining the Gatekeeper Forces.

In essence, this was his first typical operation experience.

‘Although strictly speaking, it’s hardly typical since independent operative units are special.’ Keal sighed.

‘I guess I have to play the role of a good deputy for a while now.’ He alone had rich military life experience. Although Leon had some experience, it predominantly came from activities with a legitimate lineage, making it a particular case with tasks handled by assistants assigned by the family.

Seeing Keal, Mordt felt a fresh sense of realization.

‘So, a commander should be responsible for those things.’ He understood why Keal hinted to Farwell when Herto initially asked for magical support. It was a matter of course, but no one had taught Mordt such basics. Without formal training for commanders, it’s not surprising if such things didn’t cross his mind.

‘Merely being powerful doesn’t necessarily make you fit for command – that’s how such issues can arise.’ There were good reasons for the current military structure, Mordt reflected on this evident fact.

‘I should observe and learn.’ When unaware, learning would suffice. Fortunately, he had someone willing to impart the necessary knowledge. With a grin, Mordt began to attentively watch Herto’s actions, asking Keal to learn as they went.

* * *

The expedition to conquer the demonized dungeon went smoothly. The Mordt Forces almost had no role other than Farwell providing light magical support and the other three guarding the rear. Mordt didn’t express any displeasure. The enemy was too weak for their involvement, and the Herto Forces managed the combat steadily. The Mordt Forces simply had to fulfill their support role.

Soon, they arrived at the dungeon’s innermost depths. A spacious chamber lit by reddish lighting greeted them, and there stood an orc, but not just any ordinary one. It was one of the more powerful demons from the demon world, a Black Orc, which was much more robust than the average orc. Standing over two meters and fifty centimeters tall with eyes glimmering with a fiery red glow.

“A monster that has strengthened and transformed into a demon. It’s fairly common among low and intermediate demons.”

Herto explained this for the benefit of his men. Demons were divided between those originating from monsters and pure demons. Despite being of the demon world, monsters sometimes transformed into demons through certain conditions and processes.

“That’s right. With three divine Bernas bloods here! It’s like I’ll be stuffed to death before we can eat, eh?” The confident orc chuckled at its joke, but Herto’s response was derisive.

“What nonsense. Just another creature that will die without a fight.”

As Herto was about to confidently approach, an earth-shaking sound vibrated throughout the chamber, and the air grew dense.



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