Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Editing work for Vol. 1 is completed.
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Not long after, Marshal Valerian’s voice came through the door, “Major Swiss Hepburn, come in!”
“Yes, sir!” Swiss pushed the door open and stepped in.
“Bring Viscount Guildford to get his stuff. Now he is the chief in command of the 5th war zone. His rank is Lieutenant General.”
Marshal Valerian held Viscount Guildford’s hands and said, “Guildford, my old friend, I’m counting on you.”
“Leave it to me, my friend!” Guildford hugged the Marshal tightly, “But don’t you forget, you owe me a box of fine wine.”
“Hehhe, you old potato,” Marshal Valerian tapped Guildford’s face, “It’s all on you!”
Swiss has never seen Marshal Valerian be so intimate with anyone.
Thus Swiss Hepburn took Guildford to the supply department to get his gear. As he handed the Lieutenant General’s uniform from the silver platter onto the hands of Guildford, he surprisingly discovered Guildford’s eyes were glistening with tears.
“Viscount,” Swiss asked with a quiet voice, “is everything ok?”
“Nothing, some bygones just came up.” Viscount Guildford shook his head then got changed in the open air. Oddly enough, Swiss found that Guildford was very fluent in changing the uniform.
The whole set of general’s uniform was very complicated to put on. It had dozens of buttons and if one was not careful, the belt and ribbons will meddle. Usually, it will take two to put on the whole set. Even with help, a regular person could not catch up with Guildford’s speed.
As Viscount Guildford fastened his belt and mounted the rapier, he was already a standard general’s look in Swiss’ eyes.
“Clap”, Swiss made a solemn military salute to Guildford.
“Congratulations, Your Excellency!” Swiss said from his heart, “You’re now the supreme commander of the 5th war zone!”
“I should be going now.” Guildford also saluted, “Thank you for your work.”
“I’ll see you off,” Swiss said sincerely. He seldom did such a thing. It meant that he has already acknowledged the old and honest Viscount Guildford.
“Lieutenant General, I’m curious,” As they walked in the headquarters’ lengthy corridor, Swiss asked, “You said you were unranked, but how could you be so familiar with military affairs?”
“I thought you’d ask.” General Guildford said, “When I was young, I once served in the same army with Valerian.”
“I see.” Swiss nodded. No wonder Marshal wanted him to command the 5th war zone. He must know very well about General Guildford.
“We fought together, we rose up in rank together. We were good brothers. Then finally, we became colonel together and we were recommended to the Dark Temp for advanced education.” General Guildford said, “But due to personal reasons, I failed three trials. So I ended up going home.”
“And why was that?”
“The examiner priest said I was not aggressive, and the past marshals and generals were all forward-looking.” General Guildford made a bitter smile and said, “So the priest’s remark brought me home. I retired. It’s such a disappointment that I had practiced hundreds of times putting on and off the general’s uniform.”
Swiss recalled his educational experience in the Dark Temple, he knew that it was most probably that General Guildford did not know how the world worked. Because in the Dark Temple, such a thing as failing an officer during the trials was rare, if he was willing to fawn the priests.
“When Valerian found me, I knew he was in trouble. How could I do nothing to a friend in trouble?” General Guildford said, “He must have displeased many priests to make me a general.”
Swiss thought bitterly, “Marshal Valerian’s prestige is so great that he’s able to see the Dark Lord if he wants to. How could entrusting a personnel offend the priests? He must have forgotten you already.”
“Let’s stop here, Duke.” Guildford turned to Swiss Hepburn, “You have your duties, farewell.”
“Goodbye, General Guildford!” Swiss unprecedentedly shook someone’s hand since he became an adult, “I’m glad to make friend with you!”
General Guild smiled and went off the lenghty stair. At the end of the stairs, a team of guards with the 5th war zone banners was already waiting for him.
Swiss just stood on the stair and watched General Guildford to mount his horse and disappeared in his view.
“Sir,” A man reported loudly out of the tent, “Chief Liaison is back!”
“Bring him in.” I dropped the map and rubbed my congested eyes.
As a man lifted the curtain of the tent, the fatigue-looking Marfa entered.
“Have a seat.” I hinted an empty seat, “Any news?”
“En…” Marfa first picked a cup and filled in a big swallow of water, “Our enemy’s new commander might be in position by now…”
“He is?” I frowned, “Do we have his identity?”
“We don’t!” Marfa placed the cup, “But the enemy troops are mobilizing.”
I unscrolled a map of Camp.
“Remember that they’ve summoned all of their soldiers days ago? They were moved out of this war zone.” Marfa hinted the map, “The new troops have arrived, their number multiplied. The precise number of enemies is under investigation. As far as I know, they not only brought mighty infantries but also a considerable amount of slave soldiers! Besides, the borders are sealed now, we cannot receive any more information from other empires now.
“Good God,” I was astonished, “what are they preparing to do?”
“The enemy’s banners are the same, the 5th war zone’s. They have established a few solid camps.” Marfa said, “But to my surprise, the camp sites are not close to the transit lines, instead, they built them to make a straight line.”
“Means they’re not in a hurry to push in?”
“Positive, the campsites are not far from each other.” Marfa said, “It means if we attack any one of them, we will be surrounded by their reinforcements in no time.”
“To which direction are they pushing forward?”
“We can’t tell.” Marfa shook his head, “Nevertheless, once they arrived at a city, they will restore the defense and leave behind station troops. They even mobilized common people to be part of the defense affair. Looks like they will be residing in those places for a while.”
“We’re in trouble.” I nodded and said, “Are you agents able to find out who is their new commander? Even a few pieces of information will do.”
“It might be hard, you know, boss, my men can’t even get close.” Marfa said, “Though I could always try.”
“Make it happen.” I said, “Let me see.”
What did the enemies want to do? They made such a scene like they wanted to play for safety. Could it be that they were not in a hurry to eliminate me, or they were not going to restore the transit lines or did the AUF already abandon these two lines? It was unlikely. If they abandoned the supply lines, how could the soldiers in the 5th war zone be fed? I doubted that the AUF was so cruel that they’ll abandon the entire 5th war zone!
I wandered in my camp for the whole afternoon without coming up with an idea.
Due to the limited information, during the operation meeting that came later that day, there were people saying to attack as well as to retreat, nevertheless, no critical feedbacks rose.
“Where should we retreat to?” I asked an officer who suggested a retreat, “The orders from the headquarters have clearly declared our mission. We’re to retain our enemies! In other words, we have to stay here until the war is over!”
“If we retreat, they will sue us as deserters. Sure, nothing will happen to me, but you’ll all be dead!” I looked at the officers, “On the contrary if we’re the last to leave the battlefield, no matter we have successfully retained the enemies or not, no one will say a word against us.”
“But if we’re to attack, there will be losses.” I eyed around those officers who suggested to attack, “But we have so little intelligence, how are we going to fight? Our soldiers put their lives on our hands, can we just throw them out like trash?”
“So, what should we do?” Carlos asked.
“We wait!” I said, “Wait for more information. Once the information is ready, we can attack their weak points like the last times! The War might be over by then!”
“What if we don’t receive enough intelligence?” Another officer asked.
“Then we hide!” I said, “Camp is a big country to easily hide 60, 000. Once we see a chance, we’ll fight for it, or hide if we encounter danger. Remember, no face confrontation with the enemies!”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
After the meeting, I sent an urgent order to Wilder telling him to withdraw his troops and send out more scouts to watch over for the enemy’s movements. In the meantime, I asked Moya to get ready to support us.
As for my enemy, they were still building their camps casually, not showing any tendency to search and attack.
Undoubtedly, they knew our existence, but they didn’t know where we were. I, on the other hand, knew their precise location, but my troops were not enough to take them!
Why now, it was simple.
I have personally investigated their camps. They have built them sturdily, their soldiers were like they came out of bricklayers. They will build the perimeter with trunks then replace the wood with rocks. Thus the solid camps were not something to be taken over within half a day.
And their troops’ excellent supply and rigid discipline made night surprise attacks a big no-no.
Every 100 miles away from one of the enemy’s camps located a few other campsites. Their main battleground’s camp distribution was even close. Countless riders patrolled in between days and nights. Once a campsite was under attack, troops from other camps will swarm this place in very short time.
They had exactly 10, 000 soldiers in each camp. Such an enemy number will take my army exactly a day to break in. And by the time I took over the place, I will be encircled by countless enemy reinforcement arrived just in time.
Suppressed by such a pressure, I had to order retreats from time to time. As we went back in fifty miles gaps, their campsites were fastly built to occupy the places I emptied. Your mother, did the AUF have too much money to spend? They’d even build camps in the wild!
Once their camps were set up, the enemy will send out teams into the peripheral villages. Unlike before, they brought food and goods to pacify the people. Since the people had food, they will not run away from home. I can no longer see any scattered refugees on this land. It was impressive because a large portion of Marfa’s agents dressed up as refugees to transport their intelligence. Now, no matter who, anyone who wanted to leave 3 miles away from his residence, he had to carry an AUF travel permit!
As the intelligence agents operation area became smaller, they had to reclaim other routes to transport valuable information. The latest news from other Asmodian empires, surprisingly, went to me by ship!
I was holding a piece of paper that just arrived. There were water as well as blood stains on it. The marked date was a month ago. I could tell how hard it was to pass just a piece of paper!
Marfa stood aside and deciphered the code.
Summit to Boss and Big Boss:
Yesterday, the AUF’s new commander of the 5th war zone has left Foxburg. Hump No. 57 confirmed the commander’s basic information: Lieutenant General, human, age 50 -ish. Hump No. 24 brought over the station orderly then confirmed more detailed information: The man is named Guildford, he was a eupatrid and a Viscount. (Hump No. 24 collapsed after 2 days.) Hump No. 19 confirmed that he came from Sunset Plateau of the Asmodian allied empire Uruke. He doesn’t have government posts. He has his own land. (Hump No. 19 collapsed after 1 day.) Hump No. 11 confirmed that this man was frugal and without much words. He was honest and different from average Asmodian generals…
Marfa’s agents, forty -ish of them, who have been concealing in the Asmodian allied empire Brookes, were under the code name ‘Hump’, Summit was their head. They were all excellent officers. They addressed Marfa ‘Boss’, and me ‘Big Boss.”
For such little information, several agents sacrificed their lives.
“Send my order,” I said, “Summit now enter hibernation. Before any new orders arrive, they shall only present local sights and don’t force melt any more snows.”
“Yes, sir!” Marfa looked at me, “But…”
“It’s ok. By the time we finish this battle, the war might be over.” I said, “I only have so many of you, you people are more precious than anything.”
“It’s my fault. I didn’t train them well.” Marfa blamed himself, “It’s my fault for not bringing useful information.”
“How could it be worthless!” I said, “He has no government posts, but came out to be a supreme commander and a lieutenant general. He is an honest man… aren’t those enough?”
“We come across a rock, a rock-solid stone!” I gazed at the distance and said slowly, “I’m sure that either someone in the PUF leaked the information or there is an exceptionally cunning senior officer in AUF. If it were the latter case, we will be in huge trouble!”
At this time, Carlos came.
“Sir,” He said, “we have a man from Gallia. He brought orders from the headquarters and His Royal Highness’ personal letters for you.”
Then he handed over a few documents.
I opened the wax on Fischer’s letters and started reading.
The so-called personal letters were mostly Fischer’s war reports, which were far more truthful than the reports that came from other channels.
“… mid-August, what you did was reported to the headquarters. The knowers were strictly limited to senior officers from the royal family clique. All but none were astonished at what you did. I heard even Prince Carl Ulysses lifted his eyes and sighed about you. Your luck bastard…”
“… the end of August, the AUF swooped at us. Our united forces were well-prepared. The two fought a fierce battle. Their offensive mildly declined…”
“… the beginning of September, PUF struck back. We predicted our victory based on 17 legions totaled 500, 000 as the main attack, 6 legions totaled 150, 000 as deception, 300, 000 soldiers in the middle, leading both ways targeting the Asmodian allied empire Tefarra. The AUF lost their first battle, however, they soon assembled 600, 000 -ish troops and picked up where they lost. At the beginning of the war, the PUF army advanced very successfully. At one point, the deceptive legions (two Symbian beast knight cavalries) charged into Empire Tefarra…
“… mid-September, the AUF reinforcements have arrived. Their Raging Fire Legion fought several fierce battles. Although the Symbian beast knight cavalries outnumbered our enemies, only half of the 80, 000 beast riders were able to withdraw…”
“…late September, the PUF main force encountered the AUF elite forces. The leading Tansian legion led by Prince LeToux inflict a heavy loss on the AUF troops. With only one legion of 80, 000, they’ve successfully vanquished the enemy’s 3 legions totaled 160, 000. Later, because they lingered, they were encircled by AUF forces and successfully broke through…”
“… inspired by your strategy, AUF sent several elite light riders, cooperated with griffins and bloodseekers, they assaulted the PUF supply routes behind the battle front. Countless foodstuff and army gears were sabotaged. In the meantime, due to the temple-assigned personnels back-passing responsibilities that caused the PUF unsupplied for nearly 10 days. The PUF troops had to alter their strategy and defend…
“… October, the AUF troops were resupplied and initiated their fightback from four directions. All were led by the AUF special forces. Our PUF soldiers suffered such a great loss that they had to concentrate at a single location. Up until now, the PUF’s assaulting operation has failed. Both parties started assembling in the middle of the Line and fight legion again legion. The fight lasted for days and nights. Blood became rivers…”
“…P. S. after the enemy assaulted our rear supply lines, Prince Carl Ulysses, as well as the military headquarters, have brought a group of temple personnel to justice. Although their act had restored the supply lines, temples from other empire reacted intensely. Thus they submitted written complaint documents to the Heaven Island. Intervenened by the three Cardinals, Prince Carl Ulysses is no long the Supreme Commander of the Protoss United Forces. He was already on his way back to his home country. The failed battle later on with the AUF forces were directly related to the Prince’s absence. The PUF headquarters is under the temple’s control now. Since Prince Ulysses has retired, your whereabouts is compromised! I heard the temple will have more actions recently. They are aiming to weaken us royal family cliques. You must act cautiously on the enemy’s land. You don’t need to make any more ocntribution, but please make no mistakes. As long as you come back safely, your Royal Prince will take care of you and your troops…”
At this point, I can’t help but chuckle. Although I was not so miserable that I needed to run back with my tail, such a caring friendship warmed my heart. I was a human being who needed such sensation.
“Bring my regiment leaders.” I told Carlos and continued reading.
“… Dark City and Darkmoon are fine. All parents are healthy. The three she-tigers of yours are eagerly sitting at home and waiting for you. Another she-mobster had several letters written for you. Due to the unusual situation, I took the discretion and read them on your behave. Aside from her sentimental love, she reminded that the due date of your promised one year is approaching. If Mr. Claude doesn’t show up, the she-mobster will abandon all her business and come to search for you in Dark City. I could tell the mobster without sweet love is almost done waiting, so I had to write a letter on your behave for to ease her. Since your writting was extra difficult to mimic and the love words were just torturing to write, I’m here to charge you 100 punches fee. (I punch you, not you punch me.) Paper and other fees are not included…”
At this point, I paused for a moment, “The little bastard Fischer, how dare you to extort me! I’ll smack your ass!”
The rest were orders from the military headquarters and a letter from Fischer with detailed information about the AUF special forces.
“Sir,” Carlos was back, he said, “the officers are here.”
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