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Volume 3: Chapter 211 – Living Off of Ingenuity(2/4)
Although the mana guards that the battle princess herself raised and inspired and the arch knights, a cavalry unit of archers, that were under the king’s direct command were not thrown into the fray, one of the standard armies of the Holy Shushunu kingdom, the Lance Knights, were mobilized. Word of their movements has already been reported by Shunrai to Brandika.
“Oh? So, they’re coming, are they?”
When Brandika heard the report, he smiled ferociously atop his throne and called for the old enchanter, Grave, to bring 6,000 troops to the east. By sending the leaders directly under the Red King, Attibel was able to show its intent. Because the two forces were meeting each other in each country’s border, both countries became very nervous. On top of that, something happened that made the situation even worse for Brandika.
The maze city of Tortoki was rebelling.
The rebellion began from a quarrel within the maze, from the very subordinates of the Red King, who took over a portion of the maze and started seizing the prey of other clans. Presently, the ratio of clans in Tortoki that have yielded to the Red King to those that the Red King didn’t even look at was 3 to 7.
The quarrel quickly spun out of control and ended up into a collision between the Pro-Red-King Faction and the Anti-Red-King Faction. Another reason why a rebellion broke out was because the clan leader of the Red King, Brandika, was not present within the city because of the coronation.
Without anyone present to control the situation, the fire of rebellion spread throughout the dry land.
The various clans that the Red King didn’t even look at have already been humiliated by them previously, but behind the scenes, a young girl appeared and persuaded the clans that they could win. That young girl went by the name of Sophia and distributed a vast amount of wealth to the clans. The way she was able to bring the various clans together and raise up a force to contest the Red King was truly nothing short of magnificent. It was enough to be called a work of art.
Seeing that, Brandika decided to send the clans that attended his coronation back home, while assigning Saldin as the leader of the force that would suppress the uprising.
“They dare to work together? Is this the work of Shushunu’s old hag of an impaler?”
Brandika clicked his tongue as he thought of a way to calm the rebellion in Tortoki that was probably spurred on by the Holy Shushunu Kingdom’s movements. The activity of their intelligence department was thin in the Holy Shushunu Kingdom due to reports of the War Princess, Claudia, being on the verge of resignation due to her age.
Hence, presently, Brandika actually had no idea who instigated this predicament he was currently facing. It could be the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, the elders’ council, the Elks Clan, or it could also be nothing more than a coincidence. Brandika considered every possibility as he thought of a way to deal with the situation.
But while he was thinking up a solution, another report was brought before him.
“The remnants of the elders?”
People calling themselves the remnants of Pena’s elders have taken over a town.
After Brandika dismissed the bureaucrat that came to inform him, an amazing smile appeared on his face.
“For all of these things to happen at the same time… Someone must be pulling the strings from behind.”
The reports were coming too quickly. If one rebellion had simply sparked another, then it should have taken more time. After all, it takes time for word to travel and another faction to think of rebelling.
The current situation wasn’t like that, It was as if someone had intentionally planned for all these fires of rebellion to be lit at the same time.
It was simply too convenient a situation for those against the Red King.
But then… who? Who pulled the strings and lit a flame in three different places?
Brandika had many enemies.
It could be one of those he’d crushed in the past. It could be a new enemy. But there were too many either way for him to count them even with both hands.
But since Brandika was already certain that someone had planned for this, he decided to turn his mind toward a certain truth. The flag of the Elks Clan that ever struggled against him continues to flutter in the north yet.
“…Elks… The ghost of Touri Nokia, huh?”
Brandika may have gained the territory of a large country, but he had yet to solidify his foundations. Being able to take advantage of this weakness wasn’t something that some rubbish clan could pull off. Not even the elders could, in fact.
The war princess of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom could, but she shouldn’t have had enough time to influence the elders.
At that, Brandika’s animal-like instincts went into work, and he immediately decided that this must be the work of the Elks Clan, who has been fighting with them from the start at the east.
“Are you provoking me?”
When he realized that the enemy was intentionally provoking him, Brandika felt something welling up from within. A feeling like when a powerful foe stands in one’s way. A feeling like when one is fighting an enemy like the Iron-Armed Knight. A feeling that has become all the more stronger now that he was the master of such a large nation. It gnawed at his heart like a disease that couldn’t be cured. It was the burning sensation one felt when one happened onto a powerful foe.
Someone skilled enough to turn the southern lands into the main stage was calling for him. Surely that person knew of the might of the Red King since the Elks Clan has already fought with them once.
And yet that person continued to wave the banner of Elks in the north, as if saying that they could win.
Brandika thought so too. Which is why he decided to lead the cavalry himself.
“I’ll wring you dry, ghost of Touri Nokia.”
Perhaps, the reason Brandika chose to throw himself into such a fierce fight was because his dearest friend, Carlion, was dying. Like a man trying to pull the wool over his own heart, Brandika departed for Pena.
His soldiers numbered 20,000.
Although Brandika had to send soldiers to various places and leave some behind to defend, the difference between his forces and the goblins’ was still 4 times. It could be said that this difference in strength was no other than the very gap between their nations’ might.
Like that Brandika’s army left Attibel and departed for the north.