Translated by Tianic
Note 1: Camp is an Asmodian Allied empire on the continent. A full list of characters and glossary is provided. Please click on the character name for their illustrations, if any.
Note 2: An editable text of this chapter is provided in case of eye cancer.
Note 3: Comments and likes are appreciated.
I sent the soldiers away with neither impassioned vows, nor priest’s blessings, nor a farewell dinner.
After Wilder had left with 10, 000 troopers, I hurried to arrange the second batch of soldiers to depart. Due to the five days limit for the fleet to tour a round trip as well as the limited supply Wilder carried with him, I had to hump my brain to calculate every piece of detail.
I had my battle plan report written for the military headquarters and sent one of my lieutenants to deliver. He was informed to make sure the report was on Prince Carl Ulysses’ desk only after an all-out war started.
During the day, I showed myself on the city streets every now and then, acting as casual as I can.
Only during the nights did my troops and I sneak into the fields and gather onto the coastal beach to wait for the ships until finally I led the third batch of the troops out of Gallia City and advanced with caution.
I made this defensive move in case of the PUF bureaucrats instead of the Asmodian United Forces. If the friendly army found out Legion No. 9 was not in its base city, that would mean big trouble. I cannot guarantee everything to go as planned.
Now, I was killing my time by staring at the running surfs. I hoped the dark would fall sooner.
Where I was standing was the edge of the continent adjoining the Protoss/Asmodian Line. It was an extremely desolated area where residents were scarce. But I wouldn’t want to risk my chance. Thus the four regiments that came with me remained concealed quietly in a nearby forest. No one dared to talk.
My soldiers and I had done countless outlaw businesses. They have benefited from these operations and had the experiences unlike any other each time. The soldiers did surprisingly found that many things could be done so differently and how interesting to be on jobs with me. I knew that they had gone used and addicted to me.
This was exactly what I was trying to achieve.
Af long as I was there with them, if given orders, they’d even go into a close fight with the Asmodians without the least hesitation, let alone merely hiding in the forest.
Was this the so-called charm of a commander? I laughed at myself.
The sun set gradually. It was almost the agreed time; thus I strode to the beach and waited.
I felt extra cozy by stepping on the sands and let the ocean breeze to worm into my helmet.
As I addicted myself to the surfs rushing in and out, came a light, unusual sound of water. I looked over and found a head surfaced from the water.
It was a man from the Aqua Clan. I guessed he had been here for a while. He only surfaced until he could be sure of my identity.
I lifted my face armor.
After seeing my black eyes and a lock of black hair that escaped from the helmet, the aqua’s eyes lightened. He emerged and swam toward me. How rapidly he traveled in the water.
“My Lord!” He resurfaced and walked on the beach, “I’m the vanguard.”
“Is my fleet here?” I gazed at him, “Where’s your clothes?”
“Sir, the fleet is waiting in the outer sea area. I already had a man to bring the fleet here. He should be here at any time” He smiled in embarrassment, “Clothes will hinder my movement in the water.”
I made a gesture to call my orderly.
“Call back the rangers and deploy wingman scouts.” I told him, “All regiments, prepare to board. Give me one regiment per ship.”
Then I told the aqua vanguard, “Did you put sentinels in the water?”
“Yes, My Lord!” He replied, “Nobody could get near us without being found in the ocean! We’ve drawn a very solid tipping point.”
The leading five transport ships approached.
I could vouch that no one had seen such ships on this continent. They appeared to be short in height at a first look and seemed to be cumbersome, but if one observed closely on the head or the poop deck, he would find the secret to such a design.
They were called catamarans which looked as if two ships were connected. The space above the water was spacious to load a large number of people and goods; however, the ship body below the water had a very narrow area to allow drag force to take effect. Such ships were able to travel rapidly and remain stable as well.
The Aqua Clan had all of its craftsmen devoted into the shipbuilding project, they were only able to build twenty ships within six months, that was how complicated the production procedures were.
An aqua leaped onto the shore and ran to me before the landing board was placed. He wore a Dark City style high-collar uniform with flashy silver stars on his shoulders. It was Sander.
“Devil!” Sander shook my hands wildly, “This is our fleet, are you proud of us?”
“Proud my ass! Who let you send Forenar here?” I said, “How’re the other projects doing?”
“Aren’t you pleased? I thought you like Forenar?” Sander blanked, “The plans are proceeding as designed.”
Since I did not intend to discuss private matters with him here, I said, “Let’s talk more on board.”
My troops all boarded the ships in units of battalions. A short while later, five transport ships have been fully loaded and went offshore. The rest of the ships did the same. It took only half an hour for all of the remaining troops to board.
As all were on board, the ships immediately sailed for the outer sea to meet the convoys.
“Devil,” Sander and I went on the observation deck. He poured a cup of wine for me, “what are you searching for?”
I took over the glass and answered, “I’m not searching, I’m watching our naval force.”
“It’s too dark to see clearly.” Sander laughed, “You’ll watch them tomorrow for as long as you want!”
“Right, Sander,” I sipped the wine, “the fleet can’t just carry and drop us there. You have to be prepared to aid us at any moments. Is our fleet capable of doing so?”
“Rest assured. There’s no problem for us in the water.” Sander said, “There are a few islands located in the outer ocean. Severe conditions as they are in, they should be more than enough to serve as temporary bases.”
“Have you ran into any trouble?” I asked, “Have you encountered hostile ships?”
“Nope, we’ve been operating with caution. We’ve cleared the perimeter within fifty miles in range.” Sander said, “Those dingeys that the AUF call battleships, they never risk to leave as far as two hundred miles offshore.”
“Hehhe, that’s for sure.” I chuckled, “Ships from either AUF or PUF mean trouble. You’re smart enough to know what to do if they find us.”
“You’re truly a devil.” Sander nodded, “I know.”
I was not very pleased to see his reaction, “What? Do you consider me cruel?”
“Not exactly. I understand it’s a must to do so in order to keep secrets.” Sander said carefully, “But it just doesn’t feel right, you know, whatever comes out of your mouth will sound wicked for no reason.”
“Dumb!” I glared him, “You must want your ass smacked!”
“I dare you. Don’t think you can act recklessly because you’re a nobility!” Sander placed his cup, “I’m not afraid of… Ahhhhh!”
I danced back to my cabinet humming light songs, leaving a much-bruised Sander groaning behind.
The fleet traveled fast. Two days later, we’ve already arrived at the Asmodian Alliance and landed at the designated spot in Camp Empire.
Camp was an Asmodian empire with a vast territory. Its situation was very close to that of Swabia in both climate and race. This was why I chose this place as my primary battle ground.
The other main reason lied in the fact that there was a mountain system extending hundreds of miles near the coast line. My troops can quickly take advantage of it as a hiding superiority.
Wilder was the first to arrive here and encamped not far from my landing spot. Thus I rendezvoused with him by the moonlight.
The so-called camp was nothing more than an area of guarded uplands. We did not even put up a tent in case of potential enemies.
We stayed in the current mountain for the time being. A large number of investigation corps were dispatched to search for new ideal camping locations elsewhere; in the meantime, we waited for Marfa’s agents to deliver more detailed information.
Ten more days have passed, and we had two more shipments of troops arrived. Thus my army of 50, 000 were all present.
The information collecting job was finished the same day. We were well informed of the AUF’s troop distribution and supply routes within Camp empire.
I assumed that I should be getting mobilized during the recent days or I cannot achieve the primary objective given by the HQ: containing the face enemies.
Today, I summoned all battalion leaders and above to assign their operation targets.
“We’re here in the Asmodian Alliance. I won’t mention how dangerous it is.” I watched the group of officers in front of me, “There is no way you’ll end up well if you get caught. So better work fast on your missions.”
The officers all made intentionally pressed laughter.
“Good, looks like you are not afraid of death. Let me show you,” I had my deputy to unscroll a giant map, “the Asmodian Alliance layout!”
“This is where we’re currently located, Camp empire.” I pointed on the map with a piece of wood, “There are two red lines here. They’re the AUF’s major supply routes in this country. Large red spots on the lines are local garrison troops.”
The officers watched the two thick red line on the map confusedly as they were unaware of why I started with the enemy supply system.
“Chief of Staff!” I passed the wood to Carlos, “You take over!”
“Sir!” Carlos stood up.
“We’re ordered by the military headquarters to contain the face enemy. However, the information given failed to provide us with a proper strategy to demolish them in a face-to-face battle. Plus, the Asmodian troops can be quickly mobilized on the Line. All added together, us containing them is merely empty words. But the HQ will be able to have us glitched if we don’t operate according to the order.
Carlos continued, “Only by attacking their supplies, which will make them out of food and goods, could we finish the assignments.”
“Commander Cohen will lead ten regiments to attack the outer supply route here.” Carlos said with the wood pointed on the map, “Commander Wilder of the second division will have ten regiments ready to attack the inner route. Commander Moya of the third division will fortify our bases and lend their aids if needed.”
The officers received their assignments without blinking an eye.
“All regiments must act quickly! You must break down the two routes in the shortest time. There are not many garrison troops on our selected marching line. Get them in one take!” I added, “It’s not an easy job for the AUF to figure out we’re behind this. Even if they made the right call, calling in extra troops to counter us will need time. Camp is a vast empire. Hiding is easier than fighting.”
“Sir, we’re very familiar with how to hide.” An officer said, “Do we need to mask over our identities?”
“You will need, definitely. The logistics will give every soldier a piece of black cloth. Cover their slave marks on their faces! Communicate with ‘wah-wah’ sound only, no other sounds are allowed!” I said, “Now, my liaison officer.”
“Attention, all, what I’m about to say shall not get out of this tent. It concerns the lives of many.” Marfa put away his usual smile face, “The total enemy number in Camp empire is 270, 000. Among which, there are 90, 000 local garrison troops in four legions that stationed mostly near the capital. Most of the rest 180, 000 enemies are in the form of three legions mustering in the frontline. Thus we are faced with fewer enemies than anticipated. I have allocated each battalion with a deputy liaison officer. Ask them any questions you encounter, they’ll have every information you need.”
Then Marfa offered detailed descriptions of each enemy troops.
The logistics director also explained his supply plan.
“Are you clear on your missions?” I stood up and asked.
“Sir, yes, sir!”
“Good, now join your units.” I said, “We’re moving out tonight!”