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Volume 4: Chapter 273 – The Iron-Country of Elfa (2/3)
Claiming themselves to be descendants of the great country of Ranserg, the iron country of Elfa was the nation with the greatest presence among the minor nations. They also possessed the biggest mining area in the Ranserg Region, enabling them to generate so much money they could enrich the treasury of any minor nation. It was this great wealth that allowed all the kings of Elfa to adopt policies that favored the military.
There were two kinds of iron produced from the high-quality ores of Elfa. Water Iron and Rock Iron.
The former was extremely light without sacrificing strength, while the latter possessed magic-repelling properties without sacrificing weight. Naturally, the Iron Country of Elfa used these two metals to forge equipments for their heavy knights.
There were four orders of heavy knights and four orders of squires subservient to them.
No other nation within Ranserg Region had a standing army as big as Elfa’s, as the region was crowded with minor nations. The only nations that could resist Ranserg’s massive army were the major nations. With their military strength bolstered to such a degree, it only made sense to swallow up the neighboring countries and become a hegemony just like the former great power that was Ranserg, but unfortunately, the conditions of their location did not permit that.
To the east was the Holy Kingdom of Alsas.
Though it had long declined, they remained ever vigilant for any opportunity to lay claim to Elfa’s resources. Along with that, Elfa also had hostile minor nations to the north and the south, who would cooperate with Alsas from time to time to attack Elfa. That’s why they didn’t have any strength to spare to suppress the region.
But the Iron Country of Elfa did not give up on restoring the old great power that was Ranserg. The people of Elfa were stubborn and brave.
‘One day, for sure──.’
As though that were the slogan of all of Elfa, they improved the lands that were not blessed agriculturally, and the country and the people unified to strengthen their military. But that was nothing more than a nuisance to the nations around them.
The stronger their army became, the warier the neighboring nations grew, and the closer the neighboring nations drew to the major power that was Alsas.
But then a ripple surged on the unchanging situation, a ripple that came through Alrodena’s invasion that started with the War of the Saints. It was such a huge event that the feud between the humans was forgotten for a moment, and Elfa started swallowing the nations around it at an astonishing rate.
The Iron Country of Elfa and the nations around it saw the Saint of the
The people were burdened with heavy taxes, the king had to eat frugally, the army had to scrimp and save, and the miners had to work without sleep.
Eventually, they managed to rebuild that order of heavy knights, but then the Holy Kingdom achieved the impossible and was reborn as the Sacred Kingdom. While the three-nation alliance were busy fighting off the goblins, a messenger from the Sacred Kingdom of Altigand – the nation where a hero was said to have descended – arrived at the Iron Country to form an alliance.
The young female messenger’s offer for an offensive and defensive alliance was met with mixed opinions.
Of those supporting the alliance’s immediate establishment was Rasdir, son of the late Rasmoa. This large, muscular man that would not disgrace his late father – who was also known as the Iron Bull General – strongly advocated for the alliance with Altigand.
“We have no choice but to form an alliance anyway, so let’s just hurry up and get it over with.”
He was a large man that approached nearly 2 meters (6.6ft) tall. In these days where the average height was at most a meter and a half (4.9ft), he might as well have been a giant. That giant stature of his was supported by a thick neck, from which extended four powerful limbs. Just one glance at him was enough to overwhelm a person.
“So you say, but we can’t trust that country!”
Elfa’s council consisted of eight people, the six highest-ranking knight commanders of the army, the king, and the prime minister, who was in charge of the politics. Rasdir, the leader of the newly established order of heavy knights, glanced sharply at them as he spoke.
“In that case, are we going to be allying ourselves with the goblins?”
Upon seeing the leader of the opposition to the Altigand alliance, Rasdir sighed.
“I don’t want to say this in front of so many respected seniors, but we need to let go of our old grudge.” Rasdir said as he scratched his shortly cut hair.
“…With us being right in the middle of the prospering west and east, it is doubtful that we will be able to keep our independence.”
The words of the prime minister turned the 6 knight-commanders to the king.
The knight commanders could only grind their teeth.
But of course, Rasdir wasn’t wrong. Forming an alliance with the goblins was impossible, so they could only ally themselves with Altigand.
But they have been enemies with the east since the days of their ancestors, making an alliance with them difficult to swallow on an emotional level. They hated allying with them so much that the fiercer ones among the knights actually said that they were better off allying themselves with the goblins.
The Iron Country of Elfa hated the east that much.
In the end, the council could not arrive to a conclusion and they retired for the day without achieving anything.
The knight commander of the newly established order cooped himself up inside his room and racked his head wondering how he could persuade the opposition
It was then that the voice of a young woman called out, rousing Rasdir from his sea of thoughts.
“Who is it?”
When the door opened, the person that entered was a messenger from Altigand. She was a platoon commander of the Wyvern Knights, but that was a low-ranking position as far as Rasdir was concerned.
“…What business would a messenger have with me this late into the night?”
“You seemed troubled, Rasdir-sama, so I was hoping I could be of help.”
The messenger said with a self-triumphant look, and for a moment, Rasdir felt the urge to smack her, but he managed to stop himself just in time.
“…It would be best if you retired to your room quickly.”
Rasdir was also a citizen of Elfa and was not fond of Altigand on an emotional level either. If the situation permitted it, he would even rush to the east and attack this very instant.
Unfortunately, he could not permit himself to kneel to the goblins of the west as a human being.
He believed that the independence of his motherland must be protected even if it meant putting aside a grudge of over a hundred years to form an alliance with a detested adversary.