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Volume 3: Chapter 191 – Blue Knights (3/4)
As Gi Zu left to recover his wounds, Gi Ba came to take his place. When the Goblin King heard that the Kushain Believers were en route to attack them, he decided to dispatch his army.
“It’s still better than isolating ourselves like this.”
The goblins mobilized their entire forces toward Shirak Territory, but their wounds from the battle against the Order of the Blue Knights was yet to heal. Many of their soldiers were wounded still.
“If Elrain Kingdom attacks us from the south, we will be forced to retreat,” the Goblin King said.
When the people gathered at the war council heard that, they were shocked.
After all, they had yet to lose a single battle, and yet here was the king saying that they would have to abandon their territory.
Unfortunately, the concept of winning a battle yet losing the war was still too difficult for them to understand, but here in the south, merely winning a fight was meaningless if they could not suppress the enemy city.
For the goblins who did not understand even the concept of war prisoners, the workings of politics was yet too high a hurdle for them to overcome. To make things worse, even the Goblin King himself wasn’t particularly learned in the art of politics.
“But…” Gi Za wanted to say something, but in the end, he could not help but keep mum.
After all, he did not have any tricks up his sleeves that would allow them to overcome an army over ten times their size. At the very least, he did not have one that did not come with grave losses.
“Of course, I don’t intend to lose.”
The crestfallen goblins raised their head at the king’s words.
“We haven’t lost just yet. We may be at a disadvantage, but I’m not about to just give up.”
Then as if to brush away the depressing mood, the Goblin King declared that they would be building an encampment.
The goblins looked at each other in confusion.
The king spoke. “These lands are flat, so there’s nothing obstructing our enemies’ movement. That being the case, we’re going to change the land ourselves.”
“Your Highness means to make a fortress?”
The Goblin King raised his brows for a moment, but in the next moment, he nodded and began to explain. Because of the lack of mages, the goblins would have to do most of the construction.
“It’s a battle against time!”
As the king declared that with resolve, the goblins kept their morale and they began constructing what could be essentially said their first defensive structure.
The members of the Red King had already predicted that the Kushain Believers would attack the goblins, but opinions on whether to attack or not were divided.
Saldin and the generals from the frontline were adamant about joining the fray. One reason was because they won the last battle without really doing anything, so dispatching the army wouldn’t take much preparation. Another reason was because getting rid of one force would make it more advantageous to them.
Either reason was sound; however, the civil officials did not agree.
They believed that since they’d won easily in the last battle, they should then focus their attention on conquering Pena. The goblins were not a priority. Moreover, the army of the Kushain Believers was massive, and its movements were not clear. None of the reasons they gave were convincing, but there was some logic behind them nonetheless.
That being said, there was another battle going on, a war only the intellects among them could see. For hidden behind the two options was actually a struggle for supremacy.
The clan leader, Brandika, felt like wincing as he watched that battle unfold. They had to send Carlion as a messenger to Germion Kingdom, so all the political work he normally took care of fell upon Brandika’s shoulders.
As Brandika yawned, the meeting continued, but there was no end in sight.
“Hey, Saldin,” Brandika said.
“Yes!” Saldin replied with glee, thinking that Brandika would choose his side.
“How many soldiers would you need to win?”
The meeting grew noisy, and the civil officials cried out.
But Brandika silenced the clamor with but a wave of his hand. Everyone in the meeting room knew full well just who Brandika was. As for those who didn’t, they probably thought he was the king himself.
“Just 10,000 soldiers! And I will surely bring back victory!”
Could they really win against both the Kushain Believers and the goblins with just that? Brandika asked himself.
Even if Saldin were to take most of the command, other commanders would still have to work under him to organize the army. Unfortunately, difficulties in management came with the territory of expanding an organization, and the Red King was no exception.
If he were to lead an army himself, he would need 5,000 elites and 10,000 peasants to win.
“You have a plan, I take it?”
“But, of course! I’m going to attack them while they’re attacking each other!” Saldin confidently declared, knocking his hands together as he laughed, but that confidence only lasted until he saw Brandika looking up at the ceiling, who was wondering to himself if he was the stupid one for asking.
As Brandika thought to himself, he remembered that Saldin was the super hands-on sort, and he wryly smiled. Cell had to leave with Carlion to serve as his escort, so he had no one else he could use but Saldin.
Speaking of which, Carlion did tell him that it was also important to help his commanders gain experience, so in the end, Brandika decided to agree.
“I got it. I’ll give you 10,000 soldiers.”
“Alright! I knew you’d come around!”
Brandika silenced the civil officials with a stare, then he continued.
“But I’ll be heading to Pena. Saldin, you better not lose. Understand?”
In response to Brandika’s ferocious smile, Saldin puffed out his chest and replied affirmatively, then he asked to be dismissed to prepare his army sooner.
“…What a pain. When Carlion’s not around, everything gets annoying. Hurry up and come back already.”
After the meeting ended, Brandika grumbled to himself as he scratched his red hair that was just like a lion’s mane.