Volume 3: Chapter 197 – A Dangerous Alliance (2/2)
While the king was away, the western region was left in the hands of the knight class goblin, Gi Ga Rax. It was to this goblin, whom the king deeply trusted, that an urgent report was brought.
Germion Kingdom has made its move!
After secretly forming an alliance with the Red King, Germion King was finally able to kick its lazy butt into gear and mobilize its troops for the western region. Already, nearly 2,000 soldiers have gathered at the eight fortresses at the border.
The gravity of the information that the assassin unit Gi Ji Arsil left was so great that Gi Ga immediately made the decision to take all of his forces to deal with the problem.
“Send a messenger to the king! Send messengers to the elves and the descendants of the crystals as well!”
Gi Ga had heard what was to be done should a crisis approach them when the king was absent. When he remembered that, he sent a messenger not just for the goblins but for the elves and the demihumans as well.
When Gi Ga spoke of the issue to the civil official representative, Fei, he immediately announced it to the entire western region. His work was so smooth that the goblins could not understand it.
They called for reinforcements to gather at the western capital. Those reinforcements numbered 3,000 men strong.
The influential tribes of the demihumans, such as the fang tribes led by the tyrant, Mido, made haste for the western capital. In 5 days, all reinforcements had gathered at the western capital. Gi Ga immediately set out with the army to go east.
Their objective is to suppress the human army gathered at their fortresses and buy some time until the king returns.
Gi Ga’s army bellowed out howls as they neared the fortress, but the soldiers of Germion Kingdom weren’t about to lose, and they too cried out in response.
The people responsible for the human vanguard were none other than the ones Gowen Ranid tasked with the evacuation of the western region.
These people burned with zeal as they thought of reclaiming their hometown. They cried out loudly in response to the howls of the goblins. Morale was high.
Yuan, who led the people of the western region, stood at a tower of the 8 fortresses, looking down at the 3,000 soldiers of the goblin army.
“…There’s surprisingly a lot of races other than goblins.”
Just a cursory glance showed that there were a good number of demihumans, orcs… etc. mixed in.
“I didn’t think they would actually be able to expand south while protecting their turf.”
Yuan, who had to protect the eight fortress while Gulland was away, thought bitterly of himself after receiving the order to defend, but he no longer had any flights of fancy of fighting the goblins on the plains and surviving safely.
After all the battles he fought with the goblins under Gowen’s command, Yuan finally understood how dangerous the goblins were. Their resilience was terrifying. Not to mention, every time they fought, their army seemed to grow bigger and bigger. That struck fear into the heart of Yuan.
“I’m counting on you, Gulland,” Yuan said as he wished Gulland the best, for the latter had received a special mission from the king.
The army from Fatina was easily able to surround Cultidian. It was almost as if they had been waiting for the Kushain believers to tighten their guard. But just as one would expect from Carlion, despite how easily they surrounded them, there wasn’t a single opening in their encirclement.
Elrain Kingdom knew that the Kushain believers had no reinforcements, so they prioritized the encirclement. They also prepared the siege weapons, but they didn’t seem to have any intentions of using them.
Meanwhile, Saint Mira was standing at the high walls of Cultidian to lift the morale of her soldiers. She knit her brows as she saw how Elrain Kingdom behaved, but very soon she remembered her role, and she smiled once more as she called out to her soldiers. It was a small thing, but these small things piled up, and she knew that they would be able to lift the morale of her soldiers.
She was the last bastion of hope to the Kushain believers, the last thread of hope in hell, or an existence like that of a living god. Because of that the people prayed to her with respect greater than what they gave to the late Benem Nemush.
It was just one word, but with it came a great weight that she had to carry, so she did her best to act the part by smiling gently at the people. After all, she was their hope.
The saint, who hid ambition and poison within her heart, could see the expanding enemy army from the bottom of her eyes.
She’d already guessed that Elrain Kingdom would surround them, so there was nothing to be surprised about. The problem was that their encirclement was too tight.
Currently, Cultidian had about 150,000 people. If she felt like it, she could muster that entire 150,000 and use them as soldiers, but when the Kushain believers did that back during the holy war, it put a heavy burden on them. Which is why only about 20,000 could currently be counted as soldiers.
The enemy numbered 15,000.
That was probably why they were using a firm formation to contain them.
Surrounding the walls was no easy task. For at one point, over 300,000 people lived behind these walls. If one were to try surround such long walls, they would naturally end up being spread thin. So, in order to compensate for that, the army of Elrain Kingdom had to make use of a fortified military formation.
It was so fortified that it actually became hard to tell which one was defending. That was the sort of defensive line the army of Elrain Kingdom were quietly constructing. There was an eeriness in the way they quietly built their formation.
The southwestern wall to the southern wall was especially thick, while the northern part was thin.
“It couldn’t be…”
After soothing the people, as Mira watched the enemy army build their formation, she muttered to herself.
—Could Elrain Kingdom be waiting for the goblins?
That was the conclusion Mira arrived at.
Although she thought she’d killed all of Elrain Kingdom’s spies in Cultidian already, there were still some left. And they continued to feed information to Elrain Kingdom —No, to the Red King’s tactician, Carlion.
As she thought that, everything finally started to make sense.
Because that formation was clearly not mean for fighting the Kushain believers.
It was basically a defensive formation. But what were they defending themselves from? Perhaps, it’s because they expect the goblins to come, so they intend to meet them and focus on them. As proof, the part of their formation that ran from the southwestern wall to the south was also thick.
“But in that case…”
It was crucial to know just how much the Red King knew.
Do they know that the Kushain believers have allied themselves with the goblins? Or are they just hoping to turn the tables against the goblins, who they think are trying to profit while others fight?
The messenger she sent came back just a few days ago. He came back looking like he’d just come back after fighting for his life. According to that messenger, the goblins ‘accepted’ their offer for an alliance.
The goblins said they would come after 10 days. If they were to launch an attack with them, they could sandwich the forces of the Red King.
The memory of her last defeat when she was seen through lingered yet. That memory shackled her.
Even though this conclusion was as clear as day, she still couldn’t help but hesitate. That showed just how humiliated she was by her last defeat.
Without being able to gather her thoughts, she sighed.
She figured they should consider the worst case scenario.
“Calm down, Mira Vi Burnen. You are the saint. The saint that will lead the people.”
Mira whispered to herself as she looked ahead, where clouds of dust rose up as many goods were brought to the army. They were probably food.
The moment she thought that, it was as if electricity had jolted her mind.
As long as humans live, they need food. That’s a given. But even if that’s the case, the amount of food the enemy was carrying was too much.
When Mira thought of how much food would be needed to feed 15,00 soldiers, she… stopped. There was someone more suited for calculating this sort of stuff.
As Mira desperately stilled her impatience, she returned to her room and summoned Vilan.
“Vil! How much food would you need to feed 15,000 soldiers?”
Seeing Vilan confused upon being asked like that, Mira explained to him that the enemy army was carrying more food than necessary.
“Are they thinking of a long battle?”
“Right… I think they might be planning on waiting for us to starve after wiping out the goblins who are coming from the south.”
As Vilan became thoughtful, Mira asked him what he thought.
It was probably best to assume that their alliance with the goblins have been found out. They probably intend to use that to lure the goblins and wipe them out with the same strategy they intended, as the goblins will probably be the ones sandwiched instead between an army from Fatina and the Elrain Kingdom’s army.
No matter how monstrous the goblins’ strength may be, taken from both sides like that, only death would await them.
“I did think they were using an odd defensive formation.”
The food gathered at the southern part of their formation was probably meant for the reinforcements that will come later.
The defensive formation of theirs that could survive a pincer attack from the goblins and the Kushain believers is already half complete.
“So long as they’re able to defend against us, they can win. If they can wipe out the goblins, then with the army of Elrain Kingdom, they’ll be able to take the borderlands, and even subjugating the weakened Pena will be easy.”
But the tighter the defense, the harder it will be for them to move.
“Then in that case…” Vilan said.
“We’ll work with the goblins and attack them. There’s nothing else to it.”
As Mira considered using her last trump card, the ‘holy war’, she ordered Vilan, “This time, we shall be the victors!”
After Vilan nodded, Mira ordered him to get ready to sortie.