The War of the Chosen was a relatively simple competition. A number of armies were created at the start with 1,728 soldiers, 12 commanders, and 1 general. Then every three months, i.e. 4 times a year, two or occasionally more armies would compete against each other and only one army would move on. This then continued for 12 years until a champion army was crowned after winning 48 battles.
If there were survivors on the losing side and dead among the winners, the winning army could absorb any of the remaining loser soldiers, commanders, or even the general into their own ranks so long as they didn’t go over the number of combatants they had when the war started.
That was pretty much it.
There were also army points based on individual contribution, with half of every soldier’s army points going to their commander and half of every commander’s army points going to the general. But that was only important for after a combatant died or the army won the entire war.
Three months before the start of the war proper, each army would be brought into their own projected space for three days, where those not previously acquainted could get to know each other and the army could start preparing the tools of war. And it was in this place where challenges could be issued to commanders by any soldier and to the general by any commander, with the higher ranked cultivator losing their position if they lost.
Challenges weren’t that common, as generally one force in the real world was a lot stronger than the subordinate forces it brought in to help fill out its ranks, but there were certain types of armies where it was common.
The Bronze Legion, however, wasn’t one of those, so Brom decided to first make a short speech so morale wouldn’t be lowered when his men inevitably lost.
“Everyone,” he spoke out, using his qi to make his voice spread across the camp. “It seems we are quite lucky. I intended to gain a scout and advisor when I sent out one of our commander tokens to the individual who eliminated me in the Trial Tower, but we instead got a powerhouse.
“I just had a quick spar with Summoner here and I didn’t stand a chance. By the terms of my agreement with her, this means her four subordinates can challenge for commander positions as well and, if some of them are as powerful as I believe, we will likely have some shuffling of roles.
“In this case, however, the command structure will still stay the same. We are effectively just granting a boon to an external power and by all signs the Bronze Legion and its subordinate forces will benefit as we should be able to last quite a bit longer in this war.
“Warrin, Mandar, Livan, and Oro please step up and accept the challenges.”
These four were the weakest of his commanders and hadn’t been expecting to keep their positions for more than a few battles at most, but they were angered to be challenged.
After the strongest of the four, Oro, started to battle with who Brom suspected was the weakest of Summoner’s subordinates, however, the woman known as Wind, their anger quickly faded.
It wasn’t rare for E ranks to be able to fly, but it wasn’t exactly common either, especially among the Bronze Legion, where most were warriors and their main class paths started to allow for flight at D rank.
Wind, however, was obviously a wind mage, and one with seemingly Legendary grade skills, likely meaning her class was Legendary grade as well. Even with such a class, she likely wouldn’t be able to beat Brom, as her two wind Law Larvae seemed to only be at middle grade, but she was probably on par with his strongest three commanders. And, against the commander she was fighting against, she could attack from the sky at will while Oro couldn’t do a thing to her, the young woman easily dodging the blades of qi he sent her way.
The fight was over in about 30 seconds and Brom was pretty sure Wind held back a bit to make sure not to accidentally eliminate Oro altogether.
When the fight was done, their tokens were swapped, and then Summoner summoned that horned mammalian life spirit and had it heal all of Oro’s wounds, the process taking less time than the actual fight.
“Thank you.” Oro was an honorable warrior, so he bowed to Summoner. And then he bowed slightly lower, as custom indicated, to Wind. “I look forward to fighting with you both.”
The challenge between Livan and Fist then started and the fight was a little bit closer. Fist, while it was quickly obvious her movement skill could allow her to fly, was a close combatant, so she stayed on the ground for most of the fight. Instead, she just continued to punch, kick, and elbow Livan in close quarters, each of her movements infused with a high grade Law Larva of one of the four elements of fire, water, wind, or earth.
Her class seemed to only be Epic in grade, and her stats were lower than Brom’s, so Brom was pretty sure he’d be able to beat her one on one, but she was still slightly more powerful than Wind.
Livan, like most of the Bronze Legion, specialized in the use of heavy swords, and his stats were weaker when he wasn’t holding a weapon, but he probably would have lost even if he’d had a blade, given he didn’t manage to land even a single punch and was knocked unconscious in under 10 seconds of quick close-combat fighting.
Summoner’s life spirit then healed him as well and he quickly bowed to both her and his opponent just like Oro.
When Knight stepped forward, however, there was an obvious difference between him and the previous two female servants. While his stats lowered slightly when he tossed his spear to Summoner, he allowed his opponent, Mandar, who had about the same strength as Livan, to attack him for a full minute while he just stood there. And Mandar wasn’t even able to damage him through his defensive Law Larva.
Sure, Mandar didn’t have a weapon, but Knight appeared to be a warrior. He almost certainly had a defensive skill, and he hadn’t had to use it.
Knight then moved quickly, again only using a Law and no skill, and hit Mandar once in the chest with the power of a third Law that seemed based on pure destruction.
Mandar suddenly had a hole in his chest, but, while the wound was terrible, Knight almost instantly stabilized it with a healing Law of some kind. Then Summoner’s life spirit quickly helped Mandar heal the wound in under a minute.
“And he’s their third strongest?” Brom’s assistant Darra asked from his side.
Brom chuckled slightly. “They’re also all only level 37.”
Darra turned to stare at him but Brom’s focus was all on the man called Crafter, who still felt more like a G rank than an E rank powerhouse. From the artifacts the five were all wearing, as well as the spear Knight had taken back from Summoner, the man had to be a skilled craftsman, likely with a crafting class, yet he was last of those undergoing the challenge, indicating he was likely stronger than Knight.
Warrin, the last and weakest of the Bronze Legion’s four commanders, stepped forward, looking confident. But, when the fight started, Crafter didn’t use a skill nor any Law as he ran toward Warrin, grabbed one of Warrin’s legs, and then threw Warrin many, many kilometers away, all without Warrin being able to do a thing.
There was little skill involved, and seemingly very little thought. Crafter’s stats were just far, far beyond anyone else in the entire space, so he could do what he liked.
“Crafter,” Summoner asked as her servant turned to look at her, “could you bring him back so he could transfer his token to you?”
Crafter turned back to where Warrin had flown and held out his right hand. Then, to the shock of everyone not from Summoner’s group, powerful psyforce spread out from the man and headed all the way to where Warrin had landed. Then Warrin came flying back, returning to hover upside down in front of Crafter in less time than it had taken him to fly away.
Warrin quickly surrendered, their tokens swapping, and then Crafter walked away out into the forest, completely ignoring everyone staring at him.
“Well, that was bound to happen sometime.” Summoner walked up to Brom and Darra. “Before you ask, yes, his stats are ridiculously high. That’s what happens when you artificially raise someone’s Laws and fill their bodies with natural treasures. He will probably never advance to C rank, but at E and D rank he will be an absolute powerhouse.
“Personally, I think it is a bit cruel, as the boy is an absolute genius, but I don’t get a say as he’s my masters’ experiment.”
She clapped her hands together, shocking Brom out of the daze he’d just entered. “That being said, Crafter and Knight did find several ore deposits when they were searching around the forest earlier, so it would probably be good to get everyone not necessary for other tasks mining as fast as we can so we can get everything possible from this space.”
“Right.” There was time for aimlessly trying to figure out the force behind these people later. For now, it was best for him to just focus on the War of the Chosen.
Brom quickly started to give orders, shocking his soldiers out of dazes of their own, and they truly got to work.
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