Looking down from the fortress, the sea level was pitch-black, and gigantic waves churned up and down. As the waves rolled, they crashed against the shore base, sending up a spray. It was like smashed olives, spraying its juice onto the high walls of the fortress. A little glimmer appeared among the undulating tides, intermittently visible at the very end of the sea level. The light caught the attention of the fortress guards and they promptly informed the duty personnel. The senior officer then set up the telescope in the watchtower, but the night was dense, and the images were indistinct.
After a few minutes, a clear silhouette of a vessel finally appeared on the ocean surface of the cape. It was not merely a single vessel. Instead, it stretched over a great area into which the commando unit had arranged themselves. The duty personnel sounded the alarm, and the entire fortress immediately bustled with activity. A large number of soldiers rushed out of the bedroom. All the combat positions had figures flitting around.
The signaler in the watchtower shone a signal light upon the unknown warship that had intruded the Slovenian territorial waters, warning the other party that they were trespassing illegally. However, not only did the other party not respond, it also raised all the sails and approached the fortress at high speed.
"They come with malicious intent! Prepare to fight!" The fortress commander issued orders decisively. The guards immediately sprang into action and carried out huge crossbow machines and cannons forged from pig iron. The arrows returned to the unnamed archers were smeared with kerosene. The fortress commander inspected the wind speed and direction and watched the movement of the enemies at sea.
"It is the formation of the Engelish..." The experienced and knowledgeable commander of the fortress quickly recognized the enemy's identity. "But, then again…"
An observer suddenly flung the telescope aside and shouted to the commander, "The Fierce Tiger Flag of Narcissus! The Fierce Tiger Flag of Narcissus! It is Andrew's Navy… it's Andrew's fleet…"
In the fortress, chaotic noises could be heard. In contrast, the camp of the invaders was absolutely still. Three main gunboats and nine four-mast clippers quickly circled pass the sea of rocks and the group of submerged reefs at the eastern side of the fortress. They arranged into a line on the sea surface four hundred meters away from the southern wall of the fortress.
Having seen this kind of arrangement, the Commander of Cape Cada Fortress could not help but curse secretly. He must have encountered a naval battle expert, "Prepare to hide! Prepare to hide!" Only the ending of the commanding officer's shouts remained. Countless flames lit up over the pitch-black ocean surface. The bellow of the cannons rang out one after another, accompanied by a bright group of light. Six-pound cannons and eight-pound cannons sounded in unison. Church's year 801, 2nd day of the 7th month, the military campaign of Cape Cada had begun!
Admiral Tasendorf Andrew Sevis' flagship had an enormous Fierce Tiger Flag of Narcissus and the Military Intelligence Special Combat Brigade's Silver Pegasus Flag hanging on it. Apart from this, an odd flag was hanging down from the bow strip… One of the huge cannons' barrel was stuffed with Narcissus, and a fierce tiger with red patches was lying over the body of the cannon, glaring forward. As it turned out, the Narcissus fleet was still unable to equip themselves with sufficient artillery. The Red Tiger Front's artillerymen unit boarded and joined the task force at another dock away from the Cape.
However... Red Tiger's bombardments did not yield any results. The outer wall of Cape Cada Fortress, after several hundreds of years of being washed by the winds and snow... Not only did it not become unstable, instead, it became as firm and solid as a rock. The might of the artillery shell merely dislodged some rubble and destroyed a few arrow slits. There was not even a single casualty among the Slovenian soldiers in the five-minute artillery attack.
The banker from Faran rushed hastily up the city wall that had a hail of bullets ricocheting off it. He cried and shouted that he wanted to leave the fortress and return to his huge ship. Considering that among his entourage, there was a respected Faran Royal Household commissioner, the commander of the fortress felt that there was no reason to reject the Faran people's request. After all, this war had nothing to do with the Farans. Moreover, he did not want the huge ship that transported gold for his motherland to suffer any damages.
Just at that moment, a soldier came in to report. The sailors who helped the Farans repair the big ship had completed their task and were requesting to enter the fortress. The commander nodded. He ordered his men to open the portcullis at the northern side of the fortress, which had not encountered enemies, to release the people of Faran and then bring in their own people.
The soldiers were busy. The Commander of Cape Cada did not even have enough time to bid his Faran friends goodbye. However, seeing Russel Finn's dazed, craven, ugly appearance, thinking about the goodbye was enough.
The walls on the southern side of the fortress, cannons fired ceaselessly. Andrew's Navy never came close, and they just repeatedly bombarded away, seeming as if they did not have the slightest intent of capturing the city. The fortress commander had no alternative but to mobilize sufficient defensive force. Once the south wall gave way, he and his soldiers had to use their own flesh to crush the desire of the invaders.
So... Aeolia did not intend to storm the fortress from the southern side. According to the combat plan of the Fishing Season operation, the task force's sudden attack with firepower was only to draw away the attention of the fortress defenders. The real offensive would be launched by the Military Intelligence First Special Combat Brigade at the northern side of the fortress.
The Commando Group of the Special Combat Brigade circumnavigated the cape of the isolated island. They silently sneaked onto the rocky beach at the northern side of the fortress after the fleet began the bombardment. Cape Cada, which was in a hubbub, was just above them. As soon as the soldiers went ashore, they abandoned the boats and quickly approached the portcullis. Once they had joined with the captain in a full Slovenian Royal army getup, who was hidden away in a secret hiding place, the commandos lurked below the walls on either side of the fortress' portcullis…
Soon, a clamor of voices sounded from atop the walls. The portcullis gradually opened. The captain dressed in the Kingdom of Slovenia's military uniform signaled his team members with his eyes, and they quickly rushed into the fortress. Thereafter, they controlled the watchtower on the northern wall and destroyed the mechanism inside that controlled the portcullis.
As soon as the special soldiers saw the city gates wide open, they rushed forth. They arranged themselves into a charging formation at the open space beneath the watchtower. The fascinating thing was that, up until that moment, the Slovenian defenders, whose attentions were drawn in by the cannon war at the southern side of the fortress, did not even realize that the enemy was already just a stone's throw away. They only saw soldiers dressed in their kingdom's military uniforms busying themselves with some odd things.
The special soldiers arranged themselves into a formation and raised their bows and arrows as though no one else was present. They faced the backs of the enemies and shot out a round of arrows. Tragic screams and startled cries immediately sounded. The Slovenian soldiers turned around in terror and saw the enemies which stretched out seemingly infinitely! The enemies had on sinister expressions. Wielding all sorts of weapons in their hands, they charged towards them.
The desperate hand-to-hand combat started. It was not anything fancy and there were no explanations whatsoever. The Slovenians, with the ocean behind them, were caught up in a fight to the death. They fought for the ownership of each room and even held onto the enemy as their entire body rolled down into the raging waves below the cliff.
"Everything is freaking messed up!" Countess Aeolia's silhouette finally appeared before the soldiers. The soldiers were all taken aback by the woman's obscene language. However, her appearance seemed to have instead wound up the men who were fighting with all they had. More and more special soldiers assembled before the Head of the Military Investigation Bureau. They followed this lady dressed in formal court attire to clean up every strategic major intersection and occupy advantageous sites one after another.
The destruction of the fortress defenders would always go through a process, from the initial desperate resistance to the panicked fleeing that came after. From the running away in all directions to finally surrendering. Aside from a few strongholds in the inner fort that were easy to defend but difficult to attack, the Military Intelligence Special Combat Commando Group controlled Cape Cada at around two in the morning.
When the murderous yelling had died down, Andrew's task force brought in the two gunships. The Red Tiger artillery soldiers immediately started unloading the cannons onto the platform of the dock. The cannons were transported into the fortress by horses and mules, and soon they were dragged onto the stretch that was easy to defend but difficult to attack.
Following the sound of gunfire and the waves of smoke, the resistance finally crumbled. When the special soldiers and the head of the Military Investigation Bureau arrived at the underground treasury, the soldiers, who had followed Countess Aeolia to enter the fortress in advance, had already dealt with the guards here. However, just talking about it would indeed leave one with some lingering fears. The garrison officer of Cape Cada Fortress had buried a huge amount of gunpowder in the underground treasury. If it were not for this commander having died in the first round of arrows, the special combat soldiers who visited it would have been blown up together with the gold, one could not say for sure!
Aeolia put herself at risk. She organized artillery soldiers who were familiar with gunpowder to dismantle the explosives before ordering them to open the underground treasury.
"Wow!" the Titans who entered the underground treasury would exclaim. The thing that appeared before their eyes was a cave sparkling with golden light. It appeared to be a golden glint before their eyes. With every step the soldiers took, gold bricks, which were scattered all over the place, would jab at their feet.
The wealth accumulated by the Slovenian Royal Family for many generations seemed to be all here. The golden bricks were piled up from the ground, forming a golden mountain reaching four to five meters in height. Within the underground treasury, there were also a few locked small rooms.
The soldiers, whose eyes were dazed by the gold, smashed open the huge doors to each of the small rooms without waiting for orders. After a burst of ear-piercing cheers, the soldiers who had broken into the small rooms scuttled out of the tiny rooms carrying a large amount of gold, silver and precious stones. They tossed the precious stone jewelry into the air, causing the fired up robbers to shriek like a bunch of prostitutes.
Yes, the once valiant warriors had become robbers at this moment. They did not even dare lay a hand on the gold bricks that His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette had set his eyes on and merely frantically plundered those precious jewels that were twinkling with red and green rays of light!
Aeolia was a woman before others. Next came the Andrew's Head of the Military Investigation Bureau. At that moment, she was placed among a group of madmen who were used to slaughtering and mesmerized by treasure. She had her arms and legs, but she dared not stop those men with sinister faces who were fully armed and had hands stained with blood. Who knew what these men would do next?
The Commando Commander of the Special Combat Brigade, "Big Worm" Blasky finally made it to the scene. He had a smile on his face as if he was indifferent to everything taking place before his eyes. Aoelia could only discuss with him. The countess was shrewd. She told Big Worm that if Prince O'Neil were at the scene, he would not lose his temper on the blood-soaked warriors that had fought bravely over some precious stones. However, all these riches already belonged to the Empire and the Andrews… there was also a limit to looting.
Blasky took the hint. He spent a great deal of effort gathering up the chaotic troops. The leader of the Commandos said to the soldiers, "The benevolent and great O'Neil Andrew Morisette expresses his gratitude to the soldiers for everything they have done! He has left a small room for the heroic warriors…"
"But just this one! Don't touch anything else!" the Leader of the Commandos warned his soldiers grimly. "However… for the previous ones, let them be!"
The soldiers who did not make a move previously whined secretly, while the soldiers who had already ended up with extreme wealth cheered loudly.
Big Worm set the rank and sequence in distributing the loot, only then would the Special Combat Commando Group have long-lasting discipline. With the leader and each head of the battalion taking the lead, the officers chose those largest, the most dazzling precious stones from the little treasury piled up with it and left for them. Next were the personnel with merits, the backbones of the battle… Finally, even the wounded also received some jewelry.
The Red Tiger artillery soldiers who heard the news also rushed there. Just when they were about to get into a dispute with the commando group, Big Worm Blasky pointed towards the small treasury room. As it turned out, he had already left a share for the artillery brothers who participated in the battle!
The Commander of the task force, Tasendorf Andrew Sevis, had also climbed ashore at this time. Blasky then came to bring up about sharing the treasure with the Navy Admiral who had put in lots of effort. However, Tasendorf actually sternly refused. He said that his naval soldiers were not pirates. Moreover, he did not come ashore to divide up the Slovenian's wealth with the Special Combat Brigade, but to inspect the outcome of the battle. His cannons were not closely packed enough, the firepower was not substantial, the precision did not meet up to standards…
Blasky naturally felt very uninterested after listening to these words. After he catered to the Navy Major General out of politeness, he bolted.
At least before the war, Aya seemed to have forgotten one thing. She had never brought up that Slovenian Princess to the Special Combat Soldiers of the Military Intelligence First Brigade because this princess was the Andrew's Military Investigation Bureau's spoils of war. So… when she once again saw the princess, the sight before her naturally startled her.
The Titan soldiers opened up a way in front of the princess' bedroom. Although Aeolia could sense that something was not really right, she still went into a terrible fit of rage. Her Royal Highness the Princess of the Slovenian Royal Household was resting her head in a pool of blood. There was a long gash torn into her neck, and blood was spurting out, filled her towering chest. Her skirts were wide open, exposing a pair of white thighs and shot underwear stained with filth…
"It... it was her who ran her own neck into that sword…" A man with the rank of company officer on his shoulder started hesitantly.
Aya shot her eyes at him. Her gaze left the saber that had fallen to the ground. Then she started to search the room. Soon, a vulgar-appearing man who kept trying to evade eye contact with the countess. In the room, only this man's scabbard was empty.
"You, come here..." Aya said while picking up the long sword from the ground.
The guy who had done something wrong was a little hesitant, but his teammates were all retreating to the back. Thus, he became very conspicuous.
Aeolia took a few steps and chuckled with contempt. Just when the soldier thought that things could still take a turn for the better, the countess suddenly put her hands behind her back and brandished the saber. The point of the sword brought up a spray of blood. The soldier clutched at his throat, coughing up blood violently. Then with a thump, he collapsed onto the ground. After twitching for a moment, calmness was restored.
The countess swept her gaze over the Titan soldiers on the scene. She initially wanted to put to death everyone on the scene. However, did not want to offend the Military Intelligence system over a poor princess.
"Button up your trousers! Hopefully, your leader does not find out about what happened here!"
The men then tidied up in a panic. Some buttoned up their trousers, others straightened their military attire. They quickly fled the scene, leaving the poor princess and the scapegoat whose throat had been similarly sliced through.
Aya closed the eyes of Her Highness the Princess who she had only met once. Being similarly a woman, she could read the humiliation and unwillingness in the other's eyes. The Head of the Military Investigation Bureau suddenly felt exhausted beyond words! She did not quite understand what she was doing. What was the meaning of all this? When her hands were covered all over with blood and filth, she started to doubt the rationality of the entire matter.
"Congratulations to you!" the voice of Big Worm Blasky moved over. "You have completed a vital mission for Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette! If it weren't for you actually being here, the people will think that this is a miracle!"
Aya nodded. Now she only wanted to leave this pool of filthy blood.
"By the way... What happened here?" Blasky eyed the female corpse on the bed and the soldier on the ground, a little astonished.
Aka shrugged. "Haven't you already seen it?"
No matter how stupid Blasky was, he could also roughly guess it. He kicked unhappily the soldier's corpse. "How humiliating! I will even send such a man to the Monument of Unsung Heroes!"
Aka's eyes widened and she spread her hands at the corpse of the Slovenian Princess. Why don't you ask what the lady thinks?
"It's not necessary!" Big Worm averted his head.
Aya took a few hurried steps forwards, unwilling to listen to excuses and came face to face with the Special Combat officer. "She will curse you in the deepest depths of hell. Curse everything that you all have done until you meet the same end!"
"Ohh..." Blasky nodded indifferently. He used a pair of mocking eyes to size up the leader of the Andrew Family's secret war. "Countess Aeolia, I must remind you that if you really think that things will be as you said, then I would suggest to His Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette to re-examine your work. You seem to no longer be suitable for…"
"Whether or not I'm suited for this job is none of your concern!" Aya burst out of the room in a rage. She could not stay a moment more in this place.
"My Lady… My Lady!" The shouting behind Aeolia, who was somewhat distracted, caused her to turn her head around after a while.
The commander of the special task force caught up with her. He faced the important family minister and saluted. His solemn, serious face made the countess feel a little embarrassed.
"Is there a problem?"
Admiral Tasendorf Andrew Sevis lowered his arm. He was not as excited as the officer of the Special Combat Brigade.
"I've completed my duty and am waiting for your instructions!"
Aya straightened out her thoughts. She was in an extreme state of confusion as she watched the corpses being transported by the Special Combat team members. Before the night arrived, the people here had welcomed her just as they treated friends, but she had instead brought to them humiliation and carnage. This made Aya feel extremely confused. When she was working out the combat deployments, she did not think of the method of dealing with such a situation. Duties were merely duties! However, now it seemed that… duties should not be as simple as the duties alone.
"Stop the ship and be on standby…" the countess groaned without energy. "The Red Tigers took over the fortress early in the morning. When the time comes, your fleet will be responsible for transporting those gold."
Tasendorf responded loudly, but he could already tell that the Head of the Military Investigation Bureau was a little strange. "Forgive me for stepping out of line, did… something happened to you?"
Aya's eyes fell onto the other's military uniform. On it was the totem of the Narcissus people's' beliefs and the military merit medal that symbolized bravery.
"As a soldier, when the family orders you to go into battle, have you ever considered that… war… war will change everything? Just like the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, just like the concept of good and evil of our belief."
Tasendorf shook his head. "I believe in the God of Light and also all the great elders. Since my Commander tells me that this is right, then he must be right! As a soldier, as long as there is a moral standard deep in our hearts, then it is enough! However, war is another matter. In the face of war, the concept of right and wrong is total nonsense, and the moral standards vary from person to person. You don't have to blame yourself over the war. We can't prevent wars from happening, so we will have to put in efforts to win the war! Otherwise… the loser will forever be the wrong side. Only the winner can right the wrong and standardize moral standards afterward. "
Aeolia smiled reluctantly; she should put a full stop to her melancholy after this military campaign. The Navy Admiral was right! War had nothing to do with morality and right and wrong. The strong will always have a say in the things of the world.
"If you want to do it, go for the winner!" Aya finally cast aside the miserable female corpse in her mind.
"Yes! If you go for it, be a powerful navy!"
Tasendorf returned the salute of the other. Although at best, his fleet had only launched a round of false attacks in the Cape Cada military campaign, he had the confidence that - that in the not-so-distant future, a strong navy, one so strong it would not lose to any maritime trump cards and elite squads, would definitely emerge on the ocean. The outstanding military glory of the God-chosen warriors would expand to every part of the world through this navy.