VOLUME 3: CHAPTER 186 – BATTLE OF CULTIDIAN (1/2)
Cultidian, headquarters of the Kushain believers and hometown to the late patriarch, Benem Nemush, was currently in a state of unprecedented chaos .
Their defeat at Kruzel, dubbed the Nightmare of Kruzel, and the fall of Fatina has led them to lose many of their prominent generals and martial artists, not to mention the loss of their beloved patriarch himself . They even lost a city . It was a nightmare, indeed .
After being driven into a corner, Elrain Kingdom went and declared war, and a letter demanding their surrender came from the commander of the Imperial Guards, Goudal Gaschall, bringing the already chaotic state of Cultidian to another peak .
“We should accept their demands and surrender! We can’t win like this!” Said a cardinal .
“Don’t be stupid! Are you telling us to hand over victory to them!?” Said another .
Even the cardinals themselves weren’t unified .
The death of Patriarch Benem Nemush was simply too effective a weapon against the inner workings of the Kushain believers .
But in the midst of what seemed to be a bleak situation, a ray of hope appeared .
A messenger from Burnen Kingdom had come,
Cultidian had become a city-state just a year ago due to Patriarch Benem Nemush’s holy war .
Which is why this messenger was essentially from their former lord .
“Hear, hear, I bring the words of the Priestess Princess!”
The Kushain believers was a faction that worshiped a saint called Kushain . As the legend goes, Saint Kushain once defeated a dragon in Burnen Kingdom and brought peace to the lands .
Though only a subsidiary line, Kushain’s blood was inherited, and as the Kushain believers grew in fervor, that fervor reached even the Burnen Royal Family .
A person who has inherited the blood of Kushain was currently among them, and Patriarch Benem Nemush skillfully made use of that to take the seat of patriarch while forming a friendly relationship with Burnen Kingdom .
Patriarch Benem Nemush wasn’t merely a fanatic, he was also a calm man with an observant eye .
Honor to the blood! Patriarch Benem told his adherents when he came to power .
But though the lineage of Kushain was respected, the believers were kept within the hands of the church, and because he did not think it would be good for them to be caught up in the war, Patriarch Benem Nemush did not hand the authority over to Burnen Kingdom .
It was curious whether he truly did not wish for Kushain’s blood to get caught up in the war or if he simply wished to keep the power to himself, but regardless, his actions led to the preservation of Kushain’s blood, or more precisely, the only daughter of Burnen Kingdom, Mira Vi Burnen, who was currently about to visit .
She was a young girl of only 16, but she understood both her beauty and the importance of her blood .
With a noble blood and a beautiful appearance, it was only natural that most of the people would kneel before her .
And she knew that full well for she was both a woman who understood her worth and a woman willing to make use of it .
For example, before coming here, she had enticed her father to send a messenger to Cultidian to announce her visit .
By doing so, the people of Cultidian had already bowed their heads before she had even arrived .
If even the panicking cardinals would act so meek before her, it was only a given that the people would as well .
She appeared at the conclave meant to elect a new patriarch, and she spoke words that brought much joy to the pious believers .
She told them that the blood of Kushain was with the people .
That declaration was no different from saying that she herself would be standing in the frontlines . Of course, she would be doing so under the supervision of her father .
But the people and the cardinals didn’t know that, and their fervor grew even fiercer .
In the end, it was decided that she would take the position of cardinal and an army of about 30,000 was created from the people .
The whole event was like a beautiful play, and when the curtains were drawn, Saint Mira retired to her assigned room .
Away from prying eyes, in the comfort of her own room, she looked at the young boy, who was acting as her chaperone, with a mischievous smile like that of a cat’s .
“Everything seems to be going well . Now, all that’s left is the war, right?” She said .
“Princess, forgive me, but I do not have such abilities…” The boy pleaded .
Mira pinched his cheeks as she smiled a predatory smile at the boy .
“You’re not allowed to say you can’t . Otherwise, those hateful men from Elrain Kingdom are going to make this body their toy . Or could it be that’s what you want to happen?”
“O-Of course not, but…”
The saint released the boy’s cheeks and lifted up her lascivious skirt .
The polished skin of a young girl, the porcelain legs of a maiden… The arousing sight of such marvelous works dyed the boy’s cheeks in red and caused a scream to rise .
But the princess ignored him and smiled .
“Vil… Vilan Do Zul!”
His name called, he stood straight up as if a rod of iron had been impaled into his back .
“Tee hee, if you want me, then destroy all my enemies . This body shall be given to the victor . ”
The boy did not miss the slight quiver in his young lord’s fingers before kneeling .
“On my honor!”
After that Elrain Kingdom suffered a great loss outside Cultidian, and the Kushain believers, who were now supported by Saint Mira’s popularity and Vilan Do Zul’s ingenuity, made an explosive comeback . It was almost as if their previous two defeats did not happen as they tore through the 20,000 soldiers of Elrain Kingdom’s military camp .
Against all odds and the predictions of the onlookers, the Kushain believers managed to turn things around .
The victory of the Kushain Believers caused the chaos in the southern region to worsen .
Even the goblins found the situation difficult . Not only were their borders connected to the Ashunasan Alliance and the Kushain believers, they also had borders connected to the Germion Kingdom .
The Red King Clan’s quiet efforts against the Elrain Kingdom cost them some influence toward the east, but at least, they were able to crush the opposing faction within Elrain Kingdom at the south .
Around them were the Kushain believers, the Ashunasan Alliance, and Germion Kingdom . Either one had the potential to be an enemy, but for now, Ashunasan Alliance was an ally .
From the perspective of the Kushain believers, the sleeping Germion Kingdom to the distant north was clearly an enemy, the monsters to the west were, well… monsters, and the east and the immediate north belonged to the Ashunasan Alliance . Not a single one was an option for an alliance since not even one was trustworthy
With the current situation like that, the Goblin King couldn’t help but groan loudly as he looked at the map .
Every force belonged to a powerful country and there was even an alliance .
If he returned to the west now, it was likely that the feudal lords he’d just acquired would leave .
He had put a lot of effort to get these humans . Their loss would be a great hindrance to his future plans; hence, he has no choice but to remain here and fight through this crisis with them .
They may have lost the initiative, but that was only the initiative . For now, they would have to gather information and try to stabilize the west as soon as possible .
His mind made up, the Goblin King called for Gi Za .
“Gi Za, can you return to the west in my place?” The Goblin King asked .
“Hmm… I don’t mind, but will you be fine?” Gi Za asked .
“Felbi will just have to work your lot,” the Goblin King wryly smiled .
“I see,” Gi Za said as he – in a rare moment – pitied the elven commander .
Anyhow, since the king could still joke, the situation probably wasn’t that bad, so he accepted the king’s orders .
“Bring your soldiers with you . The sooner you stabilize the west, the better it will be for me,” the Goblin King said .
“I’ll bring the young ones of the Forest of Darkness when I come back . We should at least be able to spare that much,” Gi Za said .
“I’m counting on you . ”
“I will meet your expectations, Your Highness!”
Like that Gi Za took his druid platoon and headed west .
“This isn’t going to be easy,” the Goblin King muttered to himself .
Although Zaurosh was gathering information from the south, the Goblin King needed to increase their influence as soon as possible . At the very least, he needed to increase their influence enough to prevent the small feudal lords from thinking of leaving .
The question was how . How could the Goblin King achieve that?
The Goblin King spread the map once more as he wondered who to pick a fight with .
His discussions with the small feudal lords has given him a rough idea of the scope of the villages .
He knew it was because of the pressure from the other territories that the feudal lords were expanding their own territories .
If he wanted to protect them, he could make a buffer zone outside their territories .
To that end, he would have to show off his power to keep the enemy at bay . Doing so would not only keep the enemy away but also prevent the feudal lords from leaving . Two birds with one stone, so to speak .
But there was also a downside to it .
Namely, the area to cover . The more area there was to cover, the more forces he would have to spare .
With Gi Za’s druids gone, all he had left was an army of roughly 2,200 .
Creating a defensive perimeter with just that was simply too difficult . He couldn’t keep everyone in one place – that was simply absurd – but having the soldiers patrol a huge area was simply too taxing .
“Enough! I can’t just sit here and defend!”
The Goblin King strongly shook his head as he was forced to a decision .
The odds weren’t high, but with the current chaos, if he could simply show everyone that it wasn’t profitable to go after his little corner, he should be able to prevent the other forces from going after it .
Besides, what was really scary was the possibility of losing his authority in the midst of all this chaos .
“Attack! We’re attacking!” The Goblin King finally said .
The current situation could not be allowed to continue, so the Goblin King divided his army of 2,200 into 2 groups, each with 1,100 soldiers, and he gave one to Ra Gilmi Fishiga to lead deep into the east .
He sent Gi Gi Orudo and his monster army, Gi Jii Yubu the Battle Demon, and Chief Hal with his Paradua to accompany Gilmi . He chose these people because they were relatively easy to lead .
The purpose of their expedition was to show off their might to the villages of the Kushain Believers .
Of course, they needed a trick to inflate their paltry numbers, so they would be driving away the monsters to make the enemy assume that there are more of them than there actually are . And when the enemy sends out a force in panicked hurry to repel the monsters, they will take them by surprise .
The Hero of Ganra, Gilmi Fishiga, who has just been made responsible for over a thousand soldiers, was currently pressed with a difficult problem, a problem so difficult he thought it absurd .
If such a thing were possible, then wouldn’t wars be without hardship? He wondered .
But worry as he might, there was no point in keeping things to himself when he could ask someone else . That’s an important lesson he learned from the previous battle .
So he gathered the goblin commanders and held a meeting, a little expectant that someone like Bui might be able to give direction .
“Put simply, we just need to get out of this unscathed?” Gi Gi asked to confirm .
When Gilmi nodded, he continued . “Then how about we send the monsters ahead and shoot arrows from the back? When the enemy comes, we’ll just run . ”
“But you can’t call that a good battle . The spears of Paradua will dull if we fought such a shameful battle,” Hal complained .
The valiant spears of Paradua would never accept such a thing as a battle .
“Won’t the monster population decrease? Even monsters aren’t infinite, you know?” Gi Jii pointed out .
“Eh, I’m sure it’ll work out somehow . We’ll just get more from the area,” Gi Gi said irresponsibly .
Gi Jii sighed . “We can’t rely on just replenishing our numbers . It goes against his highness’ intentions . ”
Unexpectedly, the goblins were actually actively discussing . Gilmi couldn’t help but look oddly at the goblins from the Gi Village at that .
All he’d wanted was for just one person to give a good idea, and yet here he was with an entire group of goblins actively discussing .
Gilmi didn’t know this, but this was actually the result of the king’s order to the advanced force, which was for the goblin commanders to discuss among themselves at least once a day .
Regardless, after seeing such a thing unfold before his very eyes, his worries gradually left him .
It was still faint, but it was around this time that the goblins finally started to learn the art of war .
A very basic but important concept: minimum casualties maximum victory .
Until now they were content just fighting as the king commanded, but as the scope of their activities grew, so did they .
“A straight-up fight goes against the king’s intentions . ”
That was the one thing they could agree on, so they had to make their decision based on it .
“But we have to put ourselves in danger to defeat the enemy . ”
The very order itself was a paradox . What to do?
The goblins felt like their brains were being wrung out .
“Then how about we beat the enemy one at a time?”
In summary, the Paradua Goblins will divert the enemy’s attention, and then they will wipe them out after surrounding them . It sounds easy in writing, but it’s actually a tall order in practice .
As for why that’s because battles rarely go according to plan . It was simply too easy for unexpected things to occur .
To make things worse, they only had 10 days to get results .
Their plan settled, they put it into action .
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and they were met with failure .
The monsters they’d driven away refused to approach the villages because of archers, and the enemy did not fall for their attempted diversion . There were many reasons, but regardless, they’d failed .
That failure served as a learning experience for the goblins, however, and they went back to the drawing board and thought up another plan .
By the time 10 days had passed, the goblins were finally able to defeat the defending forces of the Kushain Villages .
When the Goblin King heard of their success, he was overjoyed . The goblins were able to lead an army all on their own!
This was a different joy from ruling over the goblins . This was a pure and genuine joy from seeing the goblins grow and defeat the enemy on their own .
Because of that the Goblin King personally commended Gilmi, Gi Gi, Gi Jii, and Hal, then he ordered a feast be held to celebrate their victory .
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