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Volume 3: Chapter 258 – Supreme Army (1/3)
That information came from one of the trading houses under Alrodena Kingdom when the goblin army had secured their borders with the surrounding countries and was about to head north.
In the third year of the king’s calendar, first summer, the adventurers attempting to rescue Reshia had set up camps in the outskirts of Orphen while the climate was still cold. They walked through the northern main road and procured food from the merchants that passed them by before making camp for the night.
The peddlers of the Hama Company expanded from the south to the north, expanding their information network to the small villages.
As the Hama Company grew rapidly, they also greatly increased the number of peddlers they had and secured the surrounding villages in the north. As the company grew bigger, the number of peddlers that didn’t know about their objective to gather information also increased.
When these merchants found out that the Hama Company wanted rumors surrounding the north and any information relating to the increase in price of goods, they came to Hama’s trading house, bringing whatever information they could no matter how small to try and convert it into money.
Of course, it was also because the Hama Company was paying an appropriate amount that they gathered.
The feudal lord of the northern autonomous city, Lili Aureya, a famed half-human-half-elf adventurer that was once a member of the Swallow Clan, Mill Dora, a veteran among adventurers, Fick the Hawk-Eye, and the clan leader of the Proud Clan (Leon Heart Clan), Leonis Verdio.
The one who sent these four to save Reshia Fel Zeal was the Governor-General of the Western Capital, Yoshu Familgam. Ever since the demihumans started escorting him, people have started to refer to Yoshu with the name
He was a bit confused at first, but it made things easier for him when dealing with the demihumans, so he just let it be. The four people expected to be the central figures of Alrodena’s political affairs gathered information as they made their way up the northern main road.
When the twin sister moons, Ervi and Navi, were illuminating the hour of the Night God, Ya Jansu, these four gathered around a bonfire and spoke about their plans.
“According to the merchants, Orphen is jammed pack with soldiers from all over the world right now.”
Hawk-Eyed Fick said as he threw a branch to the bonfire.
“Maybe we can sneak in by pretending to be adventurers looking for some merc work.”
Lili the wielder of Vashinant turned to Leonis, who has already started to doze off, while listening to Fick.
“Won’t it be difficult? The minor nations are using their standing army.”
Armies cost money. It’s normal for major powers with plenty of money to have their standing army, but they can also hire powerful warriors that could match a thousand warriors on their own. After all, such warriors could very well decide the battle in a battle among minor nations. That was even truer for countries who’ve been at war with each other for a long time.
As a result, the minor nations have no choice but to gather skilled soldiers and rely on their loyalty. The countries that fail to do so are snuffed out.
The disorderly state of the minor nations here that has been continuing for the past 100 years might be partly the Holy Shushunu Kingdom’s fault, but in the end, they’re just one element that contributed to it, and the biggest elements were none other than the ambitious rulers, the skilled government officials, and the tenacious generals. After the collapse of the late great power, Ranserg, in its conflict with the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, the minor nations have been in a state of unrest like countless sparkling stars after the clouds have cleared.
They calmed their people, revitalized their industries, and armed their soldiers.
Instead of praying for the birth of a fierce warrior that could match a thousand warriors on his own, the minor nations took a more realistic approach and slowly built up their armies. At first, it was just a few brilliant monarchs who took on such a policy, but then the rest of the minor nations followed suit, and now the minor nations all had a lot of soldiers under them.
After a hundred years of continued conflict, the various organizations under these nations have grown rigid and the well of people have gone dry. Because of that the minor nations didn’t trust mercenaries.
Greater powers would try to hire mercenaries and adventurers to bolster their military, and even the second generation of the War Princess made full use of the adventurers in her battles, but the minor nations were different.
That’s why Fick said that it would be difficult. Mill didn’t work around these parts, so she didn’t know that, but she just nodded and didn’t offer any rebuttals. After all, as far as she was concerned, the only thing that mattered was how to save Reshia.
As for the plan on how to approach her, that should be left to smart people like Fick and Lili.
“Approaching the saint will be the last thing on our minds if we’re discovered.”
“If we can’t sneak in, are we going to fight?”
Lili said while gazing into the flames, but that offhand remark of hers scared Fick out of his wits.
“You’ve got to be kidding. There’s no way we can take on all of that on our own.”
Fick paled and turned to Mill in search of an ally, but Mill just started thinking.
“The Goblin King is probably going to be attacking Orphen soon.”
“…You mean to say we might be able to take advantage of the chaos and jump in between the two armies? If the Governor-General of the Western Capital hasn’t informed the goblins about us, we might just get killed by them.”
Fick broke a branch and threw it into the flames.
“And you know, those guys from the minor nations aren’t going to just obediently hand over the saint to us if we ask them nicely either. If we go about this poorly, we might end up flanked from both sides. With enemies everywhere, the only fate waiting for us is death.”
As the group went quiet, the sleepy Leonis looked at them oddly.
“Can’t we just have the merchants take us along?”
The three adults that have already presumed Reshia’s rescue to be a violent matter suddenly exchanged gazes when the boy suggested to rely on a merchant.
It’s true that they didn’t have to sneak in just to enter Orphen. Relying on a merchant to get to the Ivory Tower was another option.
“…But are there any merchants who’d cooperate with us?”
Fick remained dubious, but Leonis confidently replied.
“It’ll be fine! That merchant from before said he knew Uncle Yoshu, after all!”
When the name of the governor-general was dropped, the three adults exchanged glances once again.
“…Well, it’s just right for us to use what we can.”
Fick said, and the other two adults nodded. Meanwhile, Leonis was all smiles. He was truly enjoying being an adventurer from the bottom of his heart.