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Volume 4: Chapter 279 – Encounter (2/5)
The Bandigam Fortress was located at the border of the now ruined Iron Country, Elfa, and the Sacred Empire of Altigand.
Even after the hero’s reform of the military, the position of this fortress, that blocked one of the main routes to Altigand’s neighbor, Elfa, did not waver. The importance of this area was sure to increase now that
And given that the largest religious organization of the east, the Church, have also sent their holy knights, there was no mistaking the importance of the fortress. The Church, whose previous highest archbishop had gone missing in the War of the Saint, had identified Arlodena as an enemy of the Church, and issued a proclamation declaring the hero to be the savior that would save the human world from the invasion of the monsters.
As part of their cooperation, they would be supporting the hero militarily.
To that end, they sent the holy knights, and it was also to that end that Eleanor’s third unit was with Altigand.
The Church taught that Ativ, The Ancestor God Who Birthed Nations, was the greatest of the gods, and that the human race have received the favor of the gods and were the most favored race. Though there was a difference in the teachings of the main branch and the subbranches, the strong-willed and the powerful among the human supremacists were nonetheless permitted to enter the Order of the Holy Knights.
“The Demon King’s Army has attacked?”
Inside an inn, Rasdir asked that question while facing Eleanor, after which he turned his gaze away from her to look at the young man standing quietly behind her.
“A report made through a beacon informs us that one of their armies have encroached into the mountainous region.”
Those problematic words were spoken by Eleanor, a girl still too young to be called a woman. Rasdir’s brows furrowed.
“So what do you want us to do?”
“We, the third unit of the Order of the Holy Knights, have received the order to subjugate the monster army. I want your support.”
Before this girl that didn’t consider the possibility of being rejected, Rasdir glanced at Yuan. When he saw him nod, Rasdil decided to accept the job.
“…Very well. This is a good opportunity for us, the Iron Bull Knights, to clear our name.”
“Thank you very much.”
After parting with Eleanor, who nodded in satisfaction, Yuan and Rasdil moved on to talk business.
“So, how many soldiers do we have?”
“Some of the volunteer soldiers have joined us, so with our third unit, that’s about 1,000 soldiers.”
“With our forces added, that makes roughly 3,000.”
As for the equipment, they were, of course, mostly footmen. The mountainous areas did not provide enough land to deploy cavalry. Commanders and messengers might still make use mounts, but it did not make sense to organize a cavalry.
Rations, weapons, armor, compensation for injuries, rewards… etc.
To maintain the organization that was the military, all of that needed be taken into consideration. If there was a country behind said organization, a logistics department could be established, and all matters regarding such variety could be entrusted to it.
Even in Arlodena, the logistics of the Eastern Expeditionary Force was being managed by an astute bureaucrat known as
“Will the wyvern knights be participating too?”
If they could get a bird’s eye view of the battlefield, the amount of information they would be able to procure would rise by a whole level. Rasdil was expectant, but unfortunately, Yuan shook his head.
“Unfortunately, their chain of command is different. Besides, the wyverns aren’t good with such tall mountains.”
“If I may be blunt, there’s no guarantee that we would be able to win against the demon king’s army even if we were fully prepared.”
“I agree. I’ll mention it to the upper brass from my side too.”
After confirming Yuan’s deep nod, Rasdil took another step.
“…Alright, but more importantly, what kind of compensation can we expect? I am sorry to have to mention it, but my position demands that I know. Please understand.”
“Yes, it’ll be difficult for me to say that the compensation will be satisfactory, but I’ll do my best. Of course, the people of the late Elfa will be considered as well.”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
Rasdil had no choice but to request for better conditions for the late Elfa’s refugees.
Those with a vocation were still fine. But some of the refugees fled with nothing but the clothes on them. It was true that the refugees wouldn’t starve to death with the bread provided, but that really was just the bare sustenance needed to keep on living. An unstable life like that would gradually eat away at whatever sanity they had left. Since taking on this responsibility of representing his country, for the first time, Rasdir regretted their last battle.
–Pride can’t fill one’s stomach.
He wasn’t sure exactly when it was, but he still remembers when the clan Leander of the Red King, Saldin, laughed sarcastically.
His people had to be fed.
That was a responsibility far too heavy for a mere knight commander such as himself.
Regardless, the fate of the people of the ruined Iron Country now rested on his shoulders. And he was not selfish enough to abandon them. Unfortunately, the only way he knew to support them was to become a mercenary.