Chapter 116: Siegfried’s Intervention (1)

If his subordinates’ role was to shoot arrows at the targets like pouring rain, then Trike’s role was to silence the targets struggling in that rain of arrows. Notching an arrow on the massive longbow, Trike muttered in a low voice. 

“Bye bye.”

At the same time, an arrow flew out in a straight line. Trike’s arrow was faster and stronger than the Kobrook Republic’s crossbow. The arrow flew straight through the castle wall’s gaps and struck the commander’s neck.

“Counterattack… gah!”

“Officer Prezi!”

“The Officer was struck by an arrow. Quickly, evacu… guh…”

“Sergeant Dolache! Damn it, what is…ugh… guhhh…”

The officers who had been commanding the battlefield from the castle walls were all killed by arrows to their necks. Although there were Experts amongst them, the arrows came too quickly and precisely that they weren’t able to notice them on time. When their commanders died, the soldiers were all flustered.

“The… the enemies are approaching, sir!”

“There aren’t enough arrows, sir! And the enemies are approaching from this side as well…guh!”

If the commander were to die when there weren’t a lot of soldiers to begin with, then that was the same thing as having lost control of the military.

The Allied Force soldiers climbed the wall using grappling hooks. 

“Secure a foothold on the wall!”

“There’s not a lot of them! Get rid of them!”

The soldiers who climbed up the walls got rid of their enemies and soon got down to the other side and opened the castle gates. The moment the castle gates opened…

“Charge!”

“Wahhhh!!”

With Jerome at the front, the Knights all rushed into the castle. 

First, get over the castle walls, then open the castle gates and bring in the cavalry. It was a classic siege warfare.

Even if there weren’t a lot of enemy troops, to capture a castle as large as Bells Castle in one day was truly a remarkable military accomplishment. 

“Surrender! If you surrender, your life will be spared!”

In the front, Jerome loudly urged them to surrender and the Republican soldiers, who had been fighting in a hopeless battle from the start, no longer had the strength to resist and threw down the weapons in their hands. 

***

“How amazing. I can’t believe that big castle was captured in a day, no, in half a day.”

Princess Violet, who had been waiting in the rear, admired the Lester Kingdom flags that were hanging from the captured castle’s walls. Her knight, Carl Thomas, spoke from next to her. 

“It seems as though the Lester Kingdom’s army is stronger than what we have heard, Your Highness.”

“Who knew they’d be this strong…”

Princess Violet’s face was full of worry. Although they weren’t hostile with each other, Florence Principality was a neighboring country bordering the Lester Kingdom. 

It was inevitably worrisome when a neighboring country had a strong military. If the neighboring country’s military was overwhelmingly strong, then there were only two options. Either raise their own military’s strength until it was at a level where it was impossible that the other country would recklessly attack them. Or, create diplomatic alliances and strong friendships. Taking into consideration the nation’s power, there was a limit to how strong Florence Principality’s military would become. 

“We need to improve the relationship between the Lester Kingdom and Florence Principality.”

“In what ways, Your Highness?”

“At the very least, we can’t continue to be in a lower position as we are now. Currently we are like a chicken to their cow. We need to either promote military alliance or increase our economic trade. We must become something that the other needs.”

At her logical words, Carl Thomas looked at her with amazement

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Ah… it’s nothing, Your Highness.”

‘Is she really our princess?’

It was surprising that Princess Violet, who was usually terrible at thinking politically, had been able to think like this.

“But would it be possible, Your Highness? I’m sorry to say this, but what you say wouldn’t hold much influence within the Principality. Even if you stress the importance of an alliance…”

It would most likely be difficult for the country to agree to it. No, not even agree to it. Most likely, her opponents would fiercely oppose it.

“I also know that. But, we still have to. Imagine if we fought against that army on the battlefield. Wouldn’t that be terrible?”

Having said that, Princess Violet murmured to herself.

“Should I just… no, it’s still too early.”

Because she spoke so softly, no one around her heard what she said. 

***

News spread that Milton captured Bells Castle in one day and that three days later, Marquis Bologna captured Hornie Castle. 

“Tsk, that old man’s so slow.”

Milton complained a bit, but the truth was, it wasn’t that Marquis Bologna was slow, but that Milton was fast. 

“Now that we’ve captured two strongholds, if we capture Litinque Castle, then the Kobrook Republic would lose their entire defense on the Eastern Front, right?”

Viscount Sabian answered his question. 

“Yes, My Lord. As long as we can get past their defense, we can cause as much trouble within the Kobrook Republic. “

“Great. In that case, let’s get moving. Contact Marquis Bologna and try to match the timing. “

It was time to attack the remaining Litinque Castle. Although it had taken a bit of time, it was still pretty quick. 

‘Siegfried. No matter how much of a genius he is in war, if all his defenses are captured, then there’s nothing he can do.’

As long as Milton could do this, victory in this war was guaranteed. Milton was certain of this. 

***

Litinque Castle, the last stronghold in the Kobrook Republic’s defense. 

In the castle’s highest tower, one man was on his knees bowing his head. Usually, this tower was meant to contain criminals. However, the man kneeling and apologizing was Lieutenant General Bison, the commander of this castle. He had confined himself in the tower’s solitary cell.

With cold eyes, Siegfried stood in front of Lieutenant General Bison. 

“Why didn’t you tell me this sooner?”

“I have nothing to say. Just kill me.”

Lieutenant General Bison couldn’t resent this death. After all, he knew that he had lost his rationality in a fit of petty jealousy and had caused great damage to the country. 

“Nothing would change if I killed you.”

At Siegfried’s cold words, Lieutenant General Bison bit his lips. 

“It is law that a defeated general holds himself responsible through death.”

Seeing him so ready to die, Siegfried laughed at him.

“How ridiculous.”

“……”

“Winning or losing the war is merely the result. If we held people responsible for that result, then 90 percent of the Republican officers would have to die.”

“……”

“Defeated general? You can’t even call yourself a defeated general. You went against the military orders that came down from the Capital and recklessly did whatever you wanted. As a result, you caused a great deal of damage to the entire war. And now, you try to pretty it up by lying and saying you fought hard but was defeated? Don’t lie to yourself.”

Lieutenant General Bison trembled in humiliation and in shame.

Siegfried continued to speak down to him. 

“You’re not a defeated general. You’re just a piece of trash.”

“Guh…”

Lieutenant General Bison bit his lips till he tasted blood. The worst part of all this was that everything Siegfried said was undeniably the truth. He had been a part of the military and defended his country for decades. All the pride and honors he had accumulated throughout his lifetime was now thrown away because of a single mistake. Could anything be more miserable than this? Could anything be more irritating than this? If he could turn back time, he would even sell his soul to the devil. 

As though he knew Lieutenant General Bison’s despair, Siegfried spoke. 

“If…”

Lieutenant General Bison raised his head.

“If you don’t want to die as a piece of trash, I’ll give you one more chance.”

“A chance?”

“That’s right. Do you want it?”

“I want it. Whatever it is, I’ll do it as long as I can get back my honor.”

The corners of Siegfried’s mouth quirked up. 

“Good. In that case…”

Siegfried explained a plan to Lieutenant General Bison and the role he would have in that plan.

“… you, are you insane?”

Lieutenant General Bison had said he would do anything. That hadn’t been a lie. But even so, Lieutenant General Bison was hesitant after listening to everything Siegfried had to say. 

“What’s wrong? Didn’t you say you’d do whatever it took?”

“I know. I’m willing to give up my life for it. But… but this…”

Siegfried spoke when he saw Lieutenant General Bison hesitating.

“The choice is yours. Will you die as a piece of trash or will you defend your country and die as a Republican hero?”

In Lieutenant General Bison’s eyes, Siegfried looked like the devil.

A devil who offered a sweet prize in return for his soul. 

The more desperate humans are, the easier it is to be shaken by the devil’s temptations. 

“…I’ll do it.”

“A smart decision.”

Having coaxed Lieutenant General Bison, Siegfried descended the tower as he muttered to himself.

“Milton Forrest. He’s more troublesome than I thought.”

He hadn’t thought Milton Forrest would destroy the infamous defense line of the Kobrook Republic in such a short time. It occurred to him that he should have killed Milton Forrest when he had the chance back then. His next thought was that it wasn’t too late to do so.

“I’ll dig you your grave on this land.”

Siegfried’s blade was aimed at Milton. 

***

“Welcome, Marquis Forrest.”

“I’m glad you look well, Marquis Bologna.”

Milton and Marquis Bologna met in the middle to attack Litinque Castle together. Each of them led 30,000 troops for a total of 60,000 troops. Except for the five stabilized fortresses in the rear and the troops stationed at Bells Castle and Hornie Castle, Milton and Marquis Bologna had brought all the available soldiers with them. 

“Truthfully, I think it’s possible to attack Litinque Castle with just 40,000 troops.”

Marquis Bologna spoke to Milton as they rode side by side at the front of the army.

‘You took three days to capture Hornie Castle…’

Milton grumbled in his head, but responded politely to him.

“It’s said that you should have as many soldiers as possible in order to lessen the damage to the army.”

“That’s right. But wouldn’t it be great if we used 40,000 troops to besiege the castle and have the remaining 20,000 attack the Kobrook Republic’s mainland?”

‘Was that your purpose?’

With those words, Milton was able to understand Marquis Bologna’s true intentions. Right now, Marquis Bologna wanted to leave Milton in charge of the siege while he would go and attack the mainland of Kobrook Republic. By doing so, Milton would do all the hard work while Marquis Bologna would easily achieve something great. Milton smiled at Marquis Bologna.

“That’s not a bad idea.”

“Ohh. In that case…”

“If Marquis Bologna will take charge of the siege, I will go and dismantle the Kobrook Republic from the inside and make it impossible for them to recover.”

Marquis Bologna’s face contorted as if he had eaten something nasty. He quickly fixed his expression before speaking calmly. 

“Hm… no, I think it’s better to focus on the siege first. As it’s the last bastion on the border, the enemy will also be desperately fighting back.”

“If that’s what Marquis Bologna thinks, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Milton smiled as he thought to himself. 

‘How dare you treat me like a circus bear.’

After fighting in the Western Front under the Strabus Kingdom, Milton knew how much the military men of the Strabus Kingdom hungered for accomplishments. At that time, Milton had a great accomplishment, but had it stolen from right under his nose by the people above him. But now, Milton had the position and authority. Unlike the past, he didn’t have to give up his achievements. 

Now that Milton had nipped Marquis Bologna’s scheming in the bud, it was time to focus on the siege. 

“Since we didn’t fight against a lot of people at Bells Castle and Hornie Castle, then the remaining troops must be concentrated at Litinque Castle.”

Marquis Bologna nodded in agreement at Milton’s words.

“I assume so.”

Less than 5,000 troops had been stationed at Bells Castle and Hornie Castle. 

No matter how poorly things were going for the Kobrook Republic, that was still too little. 

“Sabian.”

“Did you call for me, My Lord?”

Milton called Viscount Sabian from the back.

“How many troops do you expect to be stationed at Litinque Castle?”

Viscount Sabian quickly went through the numbers in his head, then…

“I think there’ll be about 20,000 to 30,000 troops, My Lord.”

“From 20,000 to 30,000? There’s still that many left?”

“Yes, My Lord. The reason Bells and Hornie Castle were so easily captured was because the Republic had basically abandoned the two castles. It’s most likely that all the remaining troops are concentrated in Litinque Castle.”

“Even still, isn’t that still too much? By my calculations, the enemy should only have about 10,000 troops remaining, right?”

“It’s possible that when the castle in front of them was captured, they absorbed the soldiers who fled. And they also probably conscripted civilians since defending a castle is something even civilians can do.”

“That’s true.”

Milton remembered the battle at Haengju Fortress from his previous life. 

According to the records, the fortress was defended when the people, under the command of Kwon Yul, all united and fought the enemy. 

That meant, even civilians could not be ignored when defending a castle. 

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