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Volume 4: Chapter 276 – The Last Nation to Fight (3/3)
The hero looked up at the great ship and smiled. It was the kind of innocent smile that a child would have when proud of his toy.
“Hero, you’ve come, I see.”
When they saw him, an old man in a white gown and a petite girl welcomed him with open arms.
“Excellent work, Professor,” the hero said.
“This is all thanks to your efforts, Hero. All I’ve done was merely to guide everything to completion.”
The old man beamed with a smile that covered his whole face, and the hero too smiled. As for the petite girl, when she realized that the hero was looking at her, she only blushed and looked down.
“Right. Professor, have you thought of a name for this ship?”
“A name? Hmm… Do you have any ideas, Hero?”
The hero nodded, and as he looked up at the ship, he uttered a name.
“Ark Noah… Noah, huh.”
As the old man muttered that name, a smile that covered his whole face appeared on him again.
“Very well. It is a good name. Right, Marya?”
The girl blushed an even deeper shade of red as she nodded.
“I-It’s a wonderful name. Really,” she said.
“Thank you,” the hero said.
As the hero turned back to the professor, he casually made another proposal.
“We need to mass produce this ship. The Demon King is just that strong.”
“But the materials…”
The old man rubbed his face as he made a bitter expression, but the hero nodded.
“It’ll be fine. I’ve hunted some dragons, so there should be enough to go around.”
The old man’s eyes opened wide at that, but the hero just laughed as though what he did wasn’t anything praiseworthy.
“…If it’s you, Hero, it must be true.”
“Yes, please be at ease, and just leave everything to me. I’ll make sure that everything goes well.”
As the hero calmly smiled, he headed to his room in the royal palace. He was the leading figure behind the founding of Altigand, so he was receiving treatment befitting that of a quasi-royal member soon to be engaged to the royal princess.
He was also allowed to have his own army.
His army would of course include the Wyvern Knights, but also, the navy, and the volunteer soldiers. The Wyvern Knights have further increased their numbers while the enemies were focused on Elfa. Now, they numbered 800 men strong. As for the navy, not only have they swallowed the shipbuilding technology of the Oceanic Kingdom Yarma and have 400 warships, they will also have merchant ships, bringing the total number of their ships to exceed 1,000.
The hero has also succeeded in recruiting and organizing a volunteer army from the refugees that fled to Altigand. The actual work was taken care of by a female military officer enamored with him, but the right to lead the volunteer soldiers and send them to battle was given to the hero.
The volunteers numbered 3,000 men strong, yet while that might not be enough to reach the numbers of soldiers directly under the king, most of the soldiers of the imperial army were employed from the refugees due to Altigand’s new policy as an empire.
With that, there was no doubting how much influence the hero had on the military. In fact, he was already the leading person in that regard. Nowadays, it is the hero that the generals of the land and the seas consult before devising a plan.
And even the business deals of the country across the sea are being handled by a large company that heavily supports the hero. The talented girls of the merchant families even gifted him various things and offered him their strength to build a better relationship with him and try to win his heart.
“The imperial capital, the various branches of Altigand, and even the king himself now trust us fully.”
The female officer with jade green hair, Charlotte, has been acknowledged for organizing the volunteer soldiers and has settled in a position akin to the hero’s secretary. Her role was to gather the information that the hero wanted.
As the hero sat on a giant chair much like a throne, the hero listened to her report.
“The daughters of the Cheval Company and the Michele Company seek an audience with you. They wish to consult you regarding the business negotiations in the island nations.”
When the brilliant military officer said that, the hero smiled and nodded.
Soldiers, politicians, merchant… Support from all sorts of people were gathering around the hero, and now, he possessed enough power to rival even the great people that founded the nation.
The core of the mixed army, Gi Zu Ruo and Gi Jii Yubu, reported to the Goblin King that the minor nations have been defeated. When the Goblin King heard that, he nodded with satisfaction, then looked around him at the generals under his command.
He has ordered for the trees of the forest to be cut to make siege weapons with, and for an elven platoon to be formed to deal with the wyverns.
With Elfa’s southern supply lines destroyed by the mixed army, no more supplies would be coming in to Elfa from the south.
No matter how strong a soldier may be, there would be no fight to give without food. As the Goblin King ordered the mixed army to move north, he ordered the same for Felduk and Zeilduk, which were both now under his direct command.
From Elfa’s perspective, the north and the east has been blocked by Aransain, while the south has been locked down by the Goblin King. As for the west, that was hostile territory.
With their supplies cut off, the only chance for survival now was to break through either the northern or southern or eastern side and have Altigand resume sending them supplies. But the eastern side was a mountainous region, making it well suited for guerrilla tactics, and a poor choice to field a large army.
They have also been hostile with Altigand for the longest time, so there were no proper trade routes between them.
As such, that left only the north or the south.
The Goblin King had informed Aransain in advance not to engage even if Elfa’s army were to move north. This was Shumea’s advice. Aransain would likely win if a battle between them broke out, but at the same time, it would diminish Felduk’s achievement of bathing Elfa’s territories in blood. Shumea had actually given it that much consideration. The king couldn’t help but nod with a wry smile.
“Apparently, in Shumea’s eyes, the four proud generals of my army are no different from children.”
Even the Goblin King himself wished to fight now that an opportunity was before him. Pale and the others would disapprove, but the Goblin King truly wished to swing his sword in the front lines.
On his shoulders would weigh equally the lives reaped through his orders and the lives reaped with his own hands. But how could he serve as king if he were not at least that determined?
Hence, the Goblin King preferred the front lines.
When Alrodena’s main force finally marched past the forest region, one-hundred wyvern knights could be seen from the distance.
In the early spring of the fifth year of the King’s Calendar, Alrodena’s forces exchanged hostilities with an army directly under Altigand for the first time.