Chapter 129: Bane of the Northern Front (4)

“Is that idiot finally gone?” Duke O’Brian asked as he left the barracks. 

“Yes, Sir.”

“Then we should get started too. I assume everything is ready?”

“Of course, Sir. Oh! But before that, may I meet with Miss Claudia?”

“Claudia? Why?”

“Yes, Sir. It’s nothing important, but My Lord asked me to deliver a gift to her.”

“She’s inside the barracks. Make sure to notify her before entering.”

“Of course, Sir.”

David entered the barracks while smiling. 

“It’s been a while, Chief of Staff David. What brings you here?”

“Hahaha… it’s nothing important, Miss Claudia. I just came because My Lord asked me to deliver something to you.”

David took out a small box from his breast pocket and gave it to her.

“This is a gift from My Lord. I’m certainly envious of the relationship you have with your brother, Miss Claudia.”

“Thank you.”

David had presented to her a small jewelry box. When she opened it, there was a small ruby necklace inside. Claudia carefully took it out of the box with trembling hands; it was as if she had received something very precious to her. Once David had given her the box, he grasped her hand. He glanced around before using his fingers to write on her palm.

  • The plan. The next step.

Claudia nodded her understanding at the two short sentences. Once she did, David smiled brightly once again.

“Then, I’ll come again next time with another gift from My Lord.”

“Thank you. Please tell my brother I said hello.”

“Of course, Miss Claudia.”

As David left the barracks, he saw Duke O’Brian waiting for him outside the door.

‘As expected. He was eavesdropping right outside.’

David put on a surprised expression as he spoke to him.

“Oh dear, you were here the whole time? I thought you would be busy now, Duke.”

“What did you talk about with her?”

“It was nothing, Sir. I just delivered a gift from My Lord.”

“You deliver gifts quite often. Your Lord is that generous?”

“I’m not sure what you mean… But it seems like he wants to get to know his younger sister better.”

“……”

“Do you have anything else, Sir?”

“No, that’s it. Just make sure everything goes to plan.”

“Yes, of course. But Sir, I assume you understand that your part is more important than mine?”

“Of course I do.”

“Are you sure, Sir? After all, you’re not a Duke anymore…”

“I don’t need anything else. I just need her.”

“Hm… passionate love. Then, I’ll just have to believe in you.”

With that, David left to continue with his own work.

Duke O’Brian thought to himself as he watched him leave.

‘I couldn’t find anything suspicious about his behavior so far. There’s been nothing, but why do I hate him so much like this?’

There wasn't any evidence, but Duke O’Brian couldn’t help but be suspicious of David. At that moment, a slender hand wrapped around Duke O’Brian’s arm.

“Is something wrong, Mac?”

“No, nothing’s wrong. More importantly, you received a gift?”

“Yes, I got a necklace. Does it suit me?”

Claudia smiled as she showed off the ruby necklace around her delicate neck. With that one smile, all of Duke O’Brian’s doubts disappeared and he gazed at the woman in front of him with an adoring gaze. 

“I’ll give you a necklace with a gem ten times bigger than that next time.”

“Oh my…”

All of this happened just one day before the line of defense on the Northern Front collapsed. 

***

Marquis Johannes took the set route and soon reached the Republican Army’s battle formation. 

“Now that we’re here, I’m feeling a bit nervous now.”

When Count Dios said that from next to him, Marquis Johannes replied calmly.

“Don’t worry, it’ll all turn out okay.”

“I guess it will.”

“Make sure the soldiers are prepared.”

Once Marquis Johannes’ army arrived in front of the Republic’s battle formation, a guard called out to them.

“Who are you? Tell me the password.”

“I’m Colonel Smith and we’re a reconnaissance unit that’s just returning.”

“Tell me the password.”

‘Damn, the Republicans are inflexible.’

Marquis Johannes inwardly complained while telling him the password he had heard.

“The red spider has nine legs. You happy now?”

The guard replied as soon as Marquis Johannes spoke the password.

“Good. It’s been confirmed.”

“Then…”

Buemmmm!!

At that moment, even before Marquis Johannes finished speaking, a horn sounded and soldiers who had been hiding appeared from all directions.

“Huh?!”

“What’s going…”

A man who appeared to be the commander of the Republican Army appeared in front of the startled Marquis Johannes. 

“So you’ve come to die, Allied Forces of the Kingdoms.”

‘No way… this can’t be happening. How did this…’

Marquis Johannes finally realized this was a trap.

“Attack! Don’t leave a single one of them alive!”

“Wahhh!!”

He realized that he had come to die. Arrows shot at them from above while soldiers came rushing at them from all directions. The careless Marquis Johannes and everyone under his command were slaughtered before they had the chance to fight back.

***

While the four-country Allied Forces were dying under Marquis Johannes’ command, a supply train arrived at the Central Headquarters of the Strabus Kingdom’s Northern Front. 

“We’re the supply unit, please open the gate.”

“Why did you take longer than expected?”

“Thieves attacked us on the way and the line was disrupted. It took some time to reorganize.”

“Thieves? Where’s Marquis Johannes, isn’t he the person-in-charge?”

“Marquis Johannes and several others were injured in the fight. I’m David Faker, currently in charge of the supply line.”

“How ridiculous. There’s so many people and yet the commander was injured by thieves…”

The commander receiving the supplies thought it was the stupidest thing he had heard, but on the other hand, he also thought that was possible with those idiots. 

“Are the supplies alright?”

“I tried to keep them as safe as possible, but there’s some damage. Please come and check for yourself.”

“Damn, those Allied Forces can’t do anything right.”

The commander muttered to himself as he opened the gates and went outside.

“Let’s see what got dam… guh!”

The commander was stabbed with the cold steel of a dagger. The one who stabbed him was a Knight who had identified himself as David Faker. Shortly after, David shouted.

“Now’s the chance to enter!”

“Wahhh!!”

“Long live the Republic!”

“Kill all the dogs of the Kingdom!”

The elite soldiers of the Republic had been disguised as part of the supply train and at David’s command, they all rushed forward. A massive number of 10,000 elite soldiers attacked the completely defenseless Central Headquarters.  

“What… what’s going on?”

“What the hell’s happening?!”

Neither the officers nor the commanders on the site were able to respond to this unexpected situation. That was only natural. After all, this was completely out of the blue. How could the enemy suddenly appear at the Central Headquarters? Their question was never answered as they all died at the hands of the Republican soldiers. Because of this, the command structure at the Northern Front was paralyzed and with this opportunity, the Republican Army launched a full-scale attack. 

***

The Strabus Kingdom’s Northern Front was completely obliterated. 

They couldn’t stop it. The sudden attack had taken place at the Central Headquarters. The Strabus Kingdom had lost their head first. With that advantage, the Republican Army went on the offensive. However, the Strabus Kingdom’s military was the best amongst the best. Even in the absence of a Central Headquarter, the other commanders tried their hardest to fight back. 

However, the betrayal of Duke McCarthy O’Brian was the final blow. He had suddenly switched over to the Republic and began to attack the Strabus Kingdom’s Army. The Northern Front had been hopeful and persistently fighting, but that was the straw that broke their back. 

This was something that none of them had imagined. But when you think about it, it was something that they should have been wary about. Within Strabus Kingdom, Duke O’Brian was the only one with his own army consisting of commoners and fallen nobles. His army that excluded all the influential peoples stuck out like a sore thumb. With him distancing himself from the aristocrats, the possibility of the Republic winning over was quite high. However, they had never thought that Duke O’Brian, a Duke of the country, would betray them. During the previous Republican invasion, Duke O’Brian had stayed loyal and did his best to fight and defeat the Republic. But that same person had now betrayed them.

The destruction of the Central Headquarters.

The betrayal of Duke O’Brian, the country’s main strength.

And the Republic’s full-scale attack.

It was impossible to stop all this. 

The last person to remain struggling on the collapsing Northern Front was the last Master of Strabus Kingdom, Duke Ryan Catel. He led his personal Knights to confront the traitor, Duke O’Brian, but it was impossible for him to last long in a situation that was against him from the start.

“Duke Catel, you must escape.”

“What do you mean escape? How can I!!”

“Duke Catel!!”

“You bastard, O’Brian!!”

Full of hatred, Duke Catel shouted the traitor’s name, but he couldn’t change the situation. Duke Catel managed to escape under the protection of his subordinates, but suffered considerable injuries. Strabus Kingdom had thought this was a war they could easily win, but with the collapse of the Northern Front, the tide of war changed significantly.

***

Milton’s expression hardened as he received a brief report of the situation on the Northern Front. 

“What a formidable guy.”

An ambush on the Headquarters. 

Duke O’Brian’s betrayal.

Those two things were the key to the collapse of the Northern Front. Milton was certain these two things were the strategy of one person.

“My Lord, do you believe Siegfried is responsible for it?”

Milton calmly responded to Viscount Sabian’s question. 

“He had most likely set things in motion before coming to the Eastern Front.”

“I see, then it’s not a bad idea for us to just leave the occupied territory alone.”

Viscount Sabian believed that things could become advantageous for them if they dragged things out.

“Now that the Northern Front has collapsed, what do you think the Republic will do next?”

Viscount Sabian responded carefully to Milton’s question. 

“While Siegfried has disabled us, the Republican Army will most likely attack Strabus Kingdom. The kingdom most likely won’t be able to block the attack.”

“Is that what you think will happen? Even when Strabus Kingdom fought them off last time the Republicans broke through the Northern Front?”

“The current situation is very different from then, My Lord.”

Viscount Sabian shook his head as he continued to talk.

“At that time, there were two reasons Strabus Kingdom was able to survive. One is the militia arising out of the people’s patriotism. The second was that there were three Masters who were the self-proclaimed guardians of Strabus Kingdom.” 

Milton nodded his understanding.

“You’re right, it’s most definitely not the same situation as then.”

Of the three Masters in Strabus Kingdom, Duke Brans had died when he had gone to Lester Kingdom as part of the reinforcement troops. Duke O’Brian had betrayed the country and joined the Republic and Duke Catel, the only one still alive, had suffered serious injuries. In fact, there were no Masters who could protect Strabus Kingdom now. In a situation like this, even if the people were to patriotically create a militia like last time, it was debatable whether it would have the same explosive strength as before. 

“What will happen to Strabus Kingdom?”

Viscount Sabian answered Milton’s question without hesitation.

“It will fall.”

“……”

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