Wizard! Chapter 554
Uzoma didn’t bother taking over any cities on the way to the capital… or rather, there was no point. They would merely expose their existence, and though they were a solidly sized army New Eclea still had many troops scattered about the land. Besides, extra fighting would only directly oppose what they wanted… which was a smooth, mostly violence-free transition. Mostly violence-free because no revolution was completely violence free… and their strange benefactor was dead set on some particular individuals ending up… well, dead. Or maybe more than dead. Uzoma was a bit fuzzy on how much worse having one’s soul destroyed was than being dead, but it certainly elicited a strong reaction from the Dem- from the Eternal King of Cruonia.
Of course, taking the word of an enemy wasn’t a good battle strategy, and they certainly had been enemies. If the Eternal King wasn’t truthful in his intentions, then they probably still were enemies. However, Uzoma hadn’t seen anything to indicate that… and he’d seen evidence of the truth of New Eclea being involved in soul destruction related magic. The picture of the magic circle was one thing, but they had stopped at a magical research facility. Only Uzoma and the Eternal King had entered the facility. Uzoma tried not to think about how easily those they encountered fell unconscious- even around corners. Then they’d found some incriminating papers tucked away. Apparently the Eternal King knew about them from ‘interrogating an archmage’. While Uzoma would have tried to avoid keeping papers that connected him to such a negative project… it wasn’t possible to actually do research without papers. Wizards needed detailed notes, and they couldn’t just throw them away afterwards if the subject was actually complicated… and dealing with something so ephemeral as souls was.
Their intrusion would be seen as suspicious, but hopefully wouldn’t indicate an army marching toward the capital. So far, there were no signs of alarm. Uzoma made stops in several cities along the way, both to check on how things were going and to help set up other plans. While taking over the capital and declaring a new government might work… it would probably fall apart if they didn’t have support throughout the country. What Uzoma did was look for people who seemed like him- disillusioned with the country. It might seem hard to recognize, but he was good at it. Just a bit of talking and he could get introduced to even more like-minded individuals. While they might not openly support a revolution for fear of the consequences… they would likely be willing to hop on board one that appeared successful.
Uzoma also found a few people to distribute some of the papers to. That was courtesy of Admiral Mavuto and the Eternal King himself- through contacts in ‘old’ Eclea. These people were reporters. While they couldn’t openly publish such damning evidence- a country willing to do that wouldn’t mind offing a few reporters- they still had ways to spread the word. No news spread faster than unpleasant news that nobody wanted to be heard. There were already the rumors of soul destruction at higher levels, but now the common man on the street knew there was something like that endorsed by the council and archmages. At first they tried to ignore the rumors, but then they publicly denied it. That, of course, just made people believe it more. Even if they had been telling the truth, it wouldn’t have mattered much.
Moving an army was tough. There were supplies to worry about, they needed places to stay and in this particular case, they needed to not be seen. Admiral Mavuto helped immensely with that as well. Supplies for a company here or there, and a night spent in the bunks of an army base for the same number of men helped immensely. They cycled out which company got to stay in real accomodations instead of just tents. Slowly they added more vehicles to their convoy as well. Given a month or two, all of the little bits and pieces of what Admiral Mavuto had done would come to light… but by then it would already be too late.
It would be nice if they could just march and drive along the roads, but that just wasn’t possible. Too many people to see them, and the roads weren’t made for marching. Even with the Eternal King concealing their movements, they would have to avoid vehicle traffic in both directions. Thus, the found themselves more often than not moving along whatever the best paths they could find beside the roads, but as they picked up more vehicles a bit at a time, their speed increased.
They now found themselves merely a day away from the capital. Their plan- insane though it seemed- was just to march up to the council chambers when they were in session, and take it over. It was insane, but it was also not. They had an army, and while the council chambers had magical defenses, they weren’t enough to stop an army. They had never been attacked, nor did they expect an attack. The few dozen guards they had wouldn’t be able to do much, either. It would also help that they shouldn’t be seen until they had actually arrived.
Uzoma kept being astounded at the Eternal King’s powers. Concealing an army with magic was one thing- doing it in a way that only those looking very carefully could even see that magic was happening was something else. On the other hand, besides the great power to draw in mana from far around, the technique was the most important part. The Eternal King seemed to take only a small amount of mana from any area, and then used only what was necessary to keep the army concealed. They weren’t actually invisible at any point, only difficult to make out. In a way, that was better- because people just didn’t bother looking. On the rare occasions anyone actually stopped to try to get a good look towards them, they could become actually invisible. How the Eternal King could even tell they were looking at such a distance was another thing entirely. Uzoma was glad they were on the same side. He hoped they really were, as well. If they weren’t… well, at least he would probably die quickly.