The patriarch, Benem Nemush, was murdered in cold blood!
Word of the patriarch’s death spread even faster through the various countries than Gowen Ranid’s.
When the Genius Adviser of the Clan Coalition of the Red King received that news, he immediately advised his clan leader, Brandika.
“The Kushain believers should quickly fall apart after this. I suggest we go ahead and take Fatina now.” [Carlion]
Like a beast sensing its next prey, Brandika fiercely smiled.
“Alright, let’s do this, you bastards!” [Brandika]
Slapping his knees and standing up, the rest of the adventurers under his direct control that were drinking in the tent stood up as well. Cell the Sword Dancer, Grave the Enchanter, Saldin the Commander. Every one of them was a brave and capable member of the Red King.
Because of the report that the patriarch mobilized his army of 10,000 to the west, they were currently headed north. There were also clan leaders from other clans accompanying them out of admiration of Brandika.
Adventurers weren’t exactly soldiers, but they weren’t far from it either; hence, it didn’t take them long to adapt to the battlefield, and by the time they had occupied a village from the Kushain believers, they could already be counted as a force of the Red King.
“Still, who would’ve thought the goblins would be able to crush the fanatics. That was unexpected… They might turn out to be an unexpected adversary.”
“I don’t really think so, but… The details of the battle should arrive soon. We can scrutinize it closely then.”
Brandika and Carlion chatted as they headed to the head of the army.
They had set up an intelligence network of their own, so they actually knew of the movements of the
Kushain believers even before Elrain Kingdom asked for their help.
They had originally set off to restrain the enemy, but from the looks of things, this might actually turn into a real siege. Brandika happily laughed at that.
“A siege will take time… It would be best if we could conclude things quickly,” Carlion said.
“Ho, does our genius adviser have any plans?” Grave the Enchanter asked.
Carlion smiled. “It’s not complicated enough to be called a plan, if anything, you could call it a prank.”
“That’s even better! Good, let’s go with that!” Brandika said.
Carlion nodded. “Mr. Saldin, please advance the army in a flashy manner. We’ll announce that Elrain Kingdom has come and that we’ll be sourcing our food locally. Meanwhile, Ms. Cell will be leading some stealth specialists to infiltrate the enemy. After that when Elrain Kingdom comes, we’ll announce that everyone will be killed.”
“Ha ha ha, as usual, you say some really dark stuff without missing a beat.”
Saldin the commander of the front lines rode with his horse and ordered the army to advance faster. He gathered the vulgar adventurers and had them put on the equipment of the Elrain Kingdom soldiers. They would be needing it once they start attacking the villages.
“…If I have to,” The gnome warrior, Cell, said
“Please don’t misunderstand, this order didn’t come from the clan leader but me,” Carlion explained.
“Hmph, I know. I just have to do that, right?”
“Please choose the time wisely and spread some rumors that the feudal lord intends to hand over the people to the enemies.”
“I’m hating this more and more, but alright.”
“As for you, old teacher. I’ll need you to make the Red King more famous.”
The old teacher cheerfully smiled in return.
The Red King separated its forces
forces into two groups. Saldin led the advance guard, while Brandika led the main force.
The main force slowed down their pace and saved the villages laid to waste by the advance force.
Saldin’s forces were thorough. They took the food and burned every building down. When every building was gone, they would move on to the next village.
“Pigs should cry and beg!”
Saldin himself was originally a fiendish bandit. It was Brandika who picked him up and raised the adventurers in the advanced force. If not for Brandika, Saldin would probably be renowned today as an infamous but great bandit leader.
They spat mud at Elrain Kingdom’s reputation, spreading words of their treachery, while they extolled the Red King, and spoke admiringly of their magnanimity.
“We are the army of Count Sapnir from the Elrain Kingdom!”
At the old enchanter’s words, the villagers who had their food taken cried out. Their food had already been taken, and they had none left to give. They were at the end of their wits, such that they considered bracing themselves for a fight or simply run.
“I pass on to you the words of my master, Brandika. We of Count Sapnir’s Army may be from Elrain Kingdom as well, but we are deeply saddened by what the Elrain Army has done; therefore, we shall bestow upon you pity and share with you enough food until Fatina. Whether you join the fray there or die here is your discretion. Do as you please.”
To cling onto the last thread of hope after being pushed to the brink of death is true for both man and nation. Like this the people who had everything taken from them, started to flow into Fatina as refugees.
But regardless of how the city-state
the city-state of Fatina shared borders with Germion Kingdom, it did not have an unlimited supply with which to support people.
Elrain Kingdom’s army steadily approached them.
News of the patriarch, Benem Nemush’s, death finally reached Fatina. Moreover, the higher ranked of the army did not return from the last battle, causing the feudal lord to answer for them.
The feudal lord of Fatina was a bishop who was deeply loyal to Benem Nemush. It was only thanks to his predecessor being removed and Benem Nemush’s backing that he was able to secure his position. But because of that Benem Nemush’s death greatly weakened his position.
Carlion had predicted this far when he came up with his scheme.
“The feudal lord will want to stabilize everything, but all the refugees coming in will only cause the public order to worsen.”
Carlion explained his scheming to Brandika as he rode alongside him.
“In such times, people always turn their sight outside. But that is a double-edged blade.”
“So you’re saying they’ll eventually have to fight us.”
“Yes, that’s right. We’re relying a little too much on luck here, but I’d say we have about a 70% chance of success.”
“That’s more than enough.”
After the forces of the Red King left the woods, the walls of Fatina could finally be seen. It was the second city-state of the Kushain believers, one situated in a grain-producing territory in the south.
“By the way, what are we going to do if this fails?”
“We’ll take the long way. We’ll surround them and wait for them to run out of food. Fatina’s feudal lord is a deeply loyal man, so I doubt he’d have much food in reserve. Odds are he would much rather bet everything on an all-out battle than wait for his 200,000 for his 200,000 people to starve.”
That double-layered strategy put a smile on Brandika’s lips as he looked up at the walls of Fatina.
“You went out of your way to prepare this stage, so we’ll have to make the most of it and show the world the might of the Red King!”
Wielding his long double-edged battle axe (Valdis) on his shoulder, he rendezvoused with Saldin and took position outside the walls of Fatina.
“We’ve successfully spread the rumors,” Cell emotionlessly said.
Carlion happily nodded.
It was then that Fatina’s gates opened and an army moved out. They numbered roughly 12,000.
Because of the weapons on the walls of Fatina, it was extremely difficult to attack them while they were preparing.
But Brandika wasn’t one to attack while the enemy was preparing, anyway.
“We’ll crush them magnificently. Otherwise, it won’t be any fun.”
Brandika only held his long axe as he watched the enemy feudal lord encourage his soldiers while seating atop his three-eyed horse (hipparion).
“Hear me! Believe me! The Red King shall reward the devoted! I am the man who shall be king!”
Cries erupted from the Red King’s army. Like a rampaging flame, those emotions swirled into fanaticism and pushed on the back of the Red King, Brandika.
“Take on a three serpent formation! The clan leader, Brandika, shall take the center. Saldin to the right flank and Cell to the left!” Carlion the Genius Adviser said, and the army of the Red King immediately followed.
“Bring victory to our clan leader!”
Though he looked weak as he drew that blade, the soldiers still cried out in response to Carlion’s words.
“Go! Take their heads and hang it by the gates!”
At the behest of the clan leader, Brandika, the Red King’s entire army charged into Fatina’s army of 12,000.