Carriages lay in the air pulled by flying beasts.
Below them was Gattiste outermost gate being besieged by thousands of beasts.
It was a sight both terrifying and awe-inspiring
'It's already begun' thought Ezra.
Compared to the apocalypse though, it was nothing.
"Seems we're right on time" he hollered. His voice booming enough for all the students to hear.
The students, obviously shaking, stuttered. "Y-You mean we're not retreating?!"
Ezra tilted his head giving a weird look. "Of course not,"
The students looked at one another, their eyes mirroring the same thoughts.
But before anyone could speak, Ezra said, "Well, I'll be making a big entrance. See you all down"
The top brass had an inkling on what he was about to do, but he'd already done it before their minds could process a response.
Ezra jumped out of the carriage!
The students gasped in both fear and amazement as they watched him descend.
No, this wasn't something Ezra usually did in his past life, but he thought he'd try it since he'd seen someone do it.
The feeling of plunging down so fast was both thrilling and terrifying, it took less than twenty seconds for him to touchdown.
Sure enough, he landed with a bang, the stone beneath his feet had formed a web of cracks.
The palisade quivered and the soldiers atop were shaken as well.
Ezra stood, dusted his clothes and walked like nothing happened, ignoring the obvious gazes until…
A soldier stopped him. "Please provide a name"
"Provide yours first" Ezra replied.
"Sir Allen, fourteenth adjutant of Emery troops"
"Sir Allen, I'm Ezra Miller, prince of the Empire. Can you lead me to your commander?"
Allen froze for a bit, sizing up Ezra before pointing to the approaching carriages. "And them?"
"There with me" Ezra answered. "We've been sent as reinforcement" he looked at the soldiers scrambling to push off the beasts. "And it seems it was needed"
Allen coughed. "Follow me"
He would have asked that Ezra prove his identity, but he recognized carriages because of the insignia they carried.
Walking behind Allen, Ezra got an overall view of the situation at hand.
You had catapults lined up to throw stones on fire, archer towers to provide cover for archers as they shoot down the beasts.
For one the soldiers were vastly outnumbered, they seemed to still be energetic, but they would grow exhausted sooner or later and with most of them being intermediate rank, it would probably be sooner
The war machines they had on hand were too small a number to do real damage.
They reached the far end of the palisade, where they found a tent of shoddy yellow fabric built against the wall.
At the entrance were two soldiers, but with Allen by his side there were no problems.
They entered to see a man not older than thirty two sitting at a round table filled with scrolls and an artifact akin to a locket, the size of a palm.
The man seemed overwhelmed, locked in his thoughts until Allen coughed.
"Oh yes" the man shot to attention. Though still drowsy. "Allen what is the matter?"
"This man" he says, moving to the side to reveal a figure. "Is Ezra Miller. A Nitonian prince"
His drowsiness cleared up. "Oh, your highness" and he bowed.
Ezra waved his hands, "Such formality is unneeded, please have your sit, commanding such a large force as I can see that you're tired"
The commander smiled awkwardly as Ezra took a seat.
"By the way, I haven't heard you name"
"Sir Benjamin, First adjutant and commander of the Emery squad"
'I thought so'
Ezra was baffled when he first came in, because when he gauged Benjamin, he found him to be of Expert rank. Early expert rank, which shouldn't be no matter how lax security was.
Moreover, excluding the ones he marked as adventurers, the number of troops was too small.
It was simply impossible that the entire number of knights protecting a city was only that much.
"I was wondering why there were so few soldiers. Mind telling me?"
Benjamin sighed. "We were caught unprepared. The attack started only three hours ago, because of that we were isolated from other troops, so I took control of the troops to repel the beasts, but since then, no one has come to help. The Empire promised to send a few master ranks, but even that is taking to long"
Benjamin stared Ezra in the eye, "You must have seen it, but the only reason we're still able to hold on is because the beasts are limited and their strength is sparse, for now at least. By the way, how many are the reinforcements?"
"Roughly four thousand" Ezra was deeply thinking.
"As for the commander, he was killed in the initial charge along with the few on the ground when it happened"
"I see" Ezra nodded, looking remorseful, while inwardly, 'This is better than I thought' he was delighted.
In the first place, Ezra was ready to cause as much trouble to instate himself as the commander, because he wasn't sure the Emperor would allow it.
Now though, things were even better.
He sighed. Looking straight into Benjamin's eye. "It is quite unfortunate that you had to bear this burden till now. Well then, it's good that I'm here"
Allen and Benjamin shared glances depicting 'What is he talking about?'
Ezra hit the nail on the head. "I'll be taking charge from this moment on"
"Your highness" Benjamin pronounced, trying to remain calm. "I didn't quite get that"
"I'm instating myself as commander"
"You cannot do that!" Benjamin flew into panic.
Ezra stared, before radiating killing intent that had both men freeze. "I'd watch that tone. Else your tongue might just fly off"
They swallowed hard.
Ezra withdrew his killing intent. "I've reinstated myself as commander from this moment" he looked at both of them. "Any objections?"
They had a thousand and one objections but they dared not speak, but they didn't consent to it either.
Ezra knew their worries, so he spoke. "You need not worry. If I end up failing, I swear on my honour that I will take full responsibility for it"
Only then did the face of both men brighten.
"Are we clear?"
While reluctant, the two nodded.
"Good, you will announce it after this battle" he says. "Also, you'll be my assistant from now on. Briefing me on-
Benjamin cut him off. "I'm afraid I can't-
On cue, he found a cold blade by his neck.
"You were saying?"
Benjamin was wide eyed. 'I couldn't even discern his movement'
He gulped, promptly shutting up.
Ezra swung the sword about, "The next time you interrupt me or try anything funny…" he let him feel the sword's cold edge. "…I think you've understood, yes?"
The man nodded in haste.
Ezra propped to his feet. "Let's take a look at my troops"
He hadn't thought the war would start so early, so since it did, Ezra was going to capitalize on it.
There was no better place to rack up a reputation than a warzone.
He knew places that were said to have faced the greatest tides, but he chose here for a single reason.
'That sly bastard should be here'
One of the targets of his revenge was here, and best of all, this was one of the best times to kill him.
After all, who'd care about one measly warrior in such massive wars.
The palisade was built in square, the part he stood on was directly under the gate.
So, if the beast breached the walls, the citizens would be massacred.
'Wait' Ezra halted. 'This situation doesn't make any sense'
He turned to Benjamin. "What about the nobles and their knights?"
"From the last report, they vacated the city the moment the beast tide began" he spoke in disdain.
"Okay" Ezra didn't blink, he'd seen too much of such things in his past life to be surprised.
One thing was perplexing though, "Don't they have estates here?"
"Yes, they do" he nodded. "But as I heard, the head travelled, leaving his eldest son in charge"
"And the son took to his feet not bothering about his father's property"
Ezra gave a wry smile. "What about the commoners?"
He pointed to those fighting. "Most of them are already here. And I believe the old would only burden the rest" 𝑖𝓷n𝘳ℯ𝐚𝐝. 𝒄om
"Why so small?" Ezra wondered.
"It's because of the last war, too many people died, now we're at a shortage"
"Ah" Ezra remembered. "Mercenaries?"
"We requested for some, but most had gone to other places with higher commissions, only the few nearby choose to come here"
Ezra 'hmm'ed, the situation was than he thought.
"So…we shouldn't hope for any reinforcements"
Benjamin nodded. "I was surprised that you came"
"Are those the reinforcements?" asked Benjamin, pointing at the congregation of people standing to one side.
"Yes, they are" Ezra nodded, "We'll have to make do with them"
With a gesture, all four thousand students approached him.
Ezra was deep in thought and did not notice them.
'It's changed again'
While he was prepared for this situation, he'd hoped it didn't happen.
But it did, his fears were confirmed.
The future was deviating from the one he knew.
This beast tide for example, it happened in his past life, but the details, time of happening, and many other things were different.
He'd heard about the experience of this beast tide from the one he now came to kill, and it was vastly different.
In his past life, Gattiste mustered enough force to prevent the beast tide from breaking through.
As he thought about it, he realized 'This a cause of my doing'
The mana stones he stole and the war he engineered into being were the prime catalysts of this situation.
Only, at the time, he hadn't thought this far.
In any case, he'd dropped himself right in the middle of a disadvantageous position for the sake of revenge and now he had to deal with it.
Ezra smirked, it would be a bit difficult, but not impossible.
That he knew he was the prime manufacturer of the situation didn't mean he regretted his actions.
If he went back in time once more, he'd do the same thing, because Orion always punished the weak.
Imagine he was still in advanced rank, how would he hope to catch up to Triton?
'Now, how do I go about this?'
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