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Volume 4: Chapter 282 – Bandigam in Flames (1/3)
The winds blew from the cold north, but even they weakened as they approached the center of the continent. The Sacred Empire of Altigand had already sent their main force, the army under the direct control of the king, from the imperial capital to head for Bandigam.
But it wasn’t until two days later that the information was brought to Pale Symphoria, the Prime Minister of
“So the time has come at long last.”
The Goblin King nodded, and Pale presented more information.
“Yes. Altigand’s forces are roughly 10,000 men strong. They have already departed from the imperial capital.”
Their forces were mostly made of footmen, taking up 6,000 of that 10,000, while the cavalry numbered 2,500, and the mages numbered 1,000. The wyvern knights numbered 500. It was a magnificent army.
“They need to match the pace of the footmen, so it’ll take them about a month to get here.”
“Can’t they come by ship?”
“For now, there’s no information suggesting that.”
After the forces garrisoned at Fort Bandigam were defeated by the
Already, the Holy Knights and the fortress garrison could only advance their forces up to a distance that they could easily run back into the fortress. Meanwhile, Alrodena was repeatedly conquering and scouting the surrounding villages.
Since the Bandigam Fortress still had reinforcements from the Wyvern Knights, the task was left exclusively to
At the same time, siege weapons were being built one after another by Gi Gu Verbena’s battle slaves.
The siege weapons were built in parts to be assembled right in front of the fortress when needed. Siege towers, battering rams, catapults, and other things that were too conspicuous around the fortress in the mountains had been stored in parts at the Goblin King’s behest.
“How far have the tunnels progressed?”
“It appears that they have already reached the basement of the fortress, but they are unable to make much progress because of the noise.”
“I see, it might be a good idea to use them in conjunction with the siege weapons.”
“A wise decision, Your Majesty.”
The Goblin King and Alrodena were steadily preparing for their invasion. In fact, Pale was already contemplating the invasions succeeding Bandigam, which would involve Berkel, the best city at the borders, and Yerkshire.
“Your Majesty, when Bandigam falls please allow everyone inside the castle to flee.”
“Will they be a hindrance otherwise?”
“Yes. The Altigand are a proud people. It is unlikely for them to ever kneel to us.”
The Goblin King pondered Pale’s words for a while but eventually nodded.
“Very well. If they are not willing to come under my rule, then a fitting end shall be given to them.”
“Yes. They will need a good spanking. It wouldn’t be too late to pin them down after their pride shatters.”
Meanwhile, inside Fort Bandigam, discord between the holy knights have begun to surface, especially between the first and second companies as they openly blamed each other, giving rise to a disquieting atmosphere within the fortress.
“…Are you telling me I’m in the wrong? For taking the rear and mobilizing?”
“No. If you, the commander, believe that to have been the right move, then those that have died will be able to rest in peace.”
Eleanor, who had been present at Gerald and Judith’s argument earlier, consulted Yuan as soon as she returned to the barracks.
“I see. Sorry.”
“No, I said too much. Please forgive me.”
In Bandigam, the 3rd Company was being treated as heroes for saving the army along with the Wyvern Knights. Neither Gerald nor Judith had any problem with that. Gerald wanted to hide their defeat, and Judith knew that if Eleanor, who had fought alongside them was hero, then they were, of course, also heroes.
The problem then was who was to take responsibility for their defeat.
“My plan was infallible. And yet we lost, so that can only mean that every one of us lacked strength.”
“Infallible? You abandoned your comrades so you could run on your own, and that’s your excuse!?”
Gerald knew that his claims were difficult to swallow, but he had skillfully gotten the main faction of Bandigam to side with him. In the first place, the two companies were neither above nor below each other when it came to the chain of command, and Gerald was only advising. That’s why it would be difficult to push the responsibility of their defeat onto him, or at least that’s how he argued it.
“We started this battle together, so it wouldn’t do for you to push all of the blame onto me.”
Gerald’s argument might seem sound, but from Judith’s point of view, it was the second and third companies that were in the front lines. It was outrageous how after doing nothing but cast magic from the back, he wasn’t even willing to take responsibility for their defeat.
People were always like this – only able to see the truth most convenient for them.
This was the chronic illness of those who have fought only within their country for the longest time. The chain of command was a mess and the responsibilities of the people involved were unclear. And when they lost, the first question they would ask was who to blame for their defeat.
The internal conflict among the leaders of the Holy Knights, who were supposed to be their reinforcements, were naturally heard by the Iron Bull Knights, the Margrave’s army, and the Volunteer Soldiers outside.
Rasdir just quietly watched.
“Hmph, what a joke.”
As soon as Gulland said that, he gave the Margrave’s army leave to rest.
“Don’t just do whatever you want.”
“Since when did I become your subordinate and you my boss? What’s the difference between this and what you’re doing?”
One of the holy knights criticized Gulland, and Gulland responded harshly.
“You people are a bit lacking up here, so let me give it to you straight – at this rate, it won’t be long before the goblins overrun this country. And every woman, child, and elder is going to be in a world of pain.”
“On what basis!”
Gulland laughed madly, and overwhelmed by that, the holy knight could turn his back and head for the brothels.