Chapter 98: Proposal (1)

At first, the horse ran slowly, then gradually increased his speed. As the pace gradually increased, Milton realized that the horse he was riding on was going at the same speed as a normal horse’s sprinting. But the black horse wasn’t even out of breath as if the current speed was nothing.

‘Then shall we try galloping at full speed?’

Milton tightly grasped the reins and tensed his lower body.

“Hya!”

At his command, the black horse lengthened his stride and ran faster. 

“Wo… wo… Woah!”

For a second, Milton was startled. The speed had suddenly doubled and was comparable to him driving on a freeway in his previous life. Milton knew that a horse’s top speed was about 40 to 50 km/h. But this was definitely over 80. No, maybe closer to 100.

Milton smiled every time the horse’s hoofs landed on the ground and the dirt was propelled up as if it was a landmine exploding. 

“Oh… hahaha… this is unbelievable. Keep running!”

At Milton’s command, the black horse scuffed the earth and ran at full speed. 

Neeeigh!!”

***

Feeling satisfied, Milton fed the black horse sugar cubes after the run while stroking the horse’s mane. He affectionately patted the horse as if he was handling a cherished treasure. 

“I expect great things from you, Leonard.”

“Ya named him Leonard?”

“Yes, since I tamed him with sugar, I named him Leonard.”

“There’s a connection between sugar and Leonard?”

“Yea, there’s…”

There was no way to explain that he had taken the name from his favorite legendary boxer, Sugar Ray Leonard, from his previous life. 

‘Well, no one else needs to know.’

What mattered wasn’t the name; the achievement was the important thing. 

“You’ve truly worked hard. I’m excited just thinking about these guys taking part in the battle. How many did you say there were?”

“There are about 300 horses right now.”

“That’s enough then. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough people to ride them.”

For Milton, the only downside with these horses was that they were too impressive. Too fast and too strong. There weren’t going to be many people who would be able to fight while riding them. It was highly likely that even if Milton gave them to the cavalry, ordinary horsemen wouldn’t be able to ride them.

“I think it’ll be best to assign them to the Knights for now. With their strength, I think they’ll be able to cope very well with the heavy barding.”

Even though the heavy cavalry was made up of Experts and had great destructive power, their only disadvantage was that they were slow. But with these horses, they could have both the destructive power of the heavy cavalry and the speed of light cavalry. They would be monstrous. 

***

Milton decided the new horses developed by Bianca were a new breed and named their variety as a Destroyer. He named them that because he had been impressed by how they destroyed the ground when they ran at full force. 

Even though the horses had been distributed to the knights based on their horse riding skills, the knights who had been assigned a Destroyer were deeply moved. After riding the horses once, they had realized that the new horses’ performance was completely different from the existing horses. 

“This… this… How am I supposed to ride other horses in the future?”

“I thought the horse I used to ride was pretty great, but that horse feels like a pony compared to this one.”

For knights, after their swords and armor, horses were the most crucial part of their equipment that they needed to pay attention to. For such knights, the breed Destroyer was like a new world. 

Excluding the 100 horses for breeding purposes, 200 were temporarily assigned to knights, but because the horses were so amazing, the knight who hadn’t been given one looked on with envy. This also encouraged an odd sense of competition. Since the Destroyers had been assigned based on skill, the Knights who hadn’t received one all thought they could someday get one if their abilities were acceptable and so they all trained even harder. There were rumors that the assigned Destroyer might be taken back if there was a Knight who was better, and so, even the Knights who had been assigned a Destroyer continued to train harder and didn’t relax. The Lester Kingdom’s knights were suddenly overcome by a training frenzy.

And Milton quietly boosted up those Knights’ morale and energized them. 

In the two years of the truce, there was a remarkable amount of revitalization, but Milton was never able to completely relax. 

He had a feeling that war wasn’t far off.

***

Someone had once said that mankind’s history is the history of war. Everyone says they hate war, but war eventually breaks out. Just like right now.

The Republics had once again unified; it was the formation of the 2nd Allied Forces of the Republic. Hildes Republic, Hannover Republic, and Kobrook Republic. 

The Allied Forces of the Republic, which had once invaded Strabus Kingdom’s territory, was formed once again. No, it was worse than before. The last time the Allied Forces had formed, their roles had been divided. Hildes Republic’s role was to be both the defense and the bait and draw Strabus Kingdom’s expeditionary forces as much as possible into their country. The other two Republics formed a coalition and broke through the Northern front of the Strabus Kingdom. The 1st Allied Forces had divided into 1:2, one country would defend and two would attack.

But this time, things were different. The three Republican countries had united their elite troops. Just this alone would have been terrible, but there was even more terrible news. The position of commander in the Allied Forces would be shared by all the Fuhrers of the three Republics. 

Fuhrer Bahasten of Hildes Republic.

Fuhrer Painheim of Hannover Republic.

Fuhrer Schheimer of Kobrook Republic.

In order to spread Great Republicanism to the world etc., the three of them had decided to directly step in. However, it was the operational advisor, not the commanders, who had caught the people’s attention. At the very top of the list of talented people gathered by the three countries was Siegfried’s name.

The Strabus Kingdom became very wary and alert. 

Siegfried wasn’t the same nameless strategist from before. He was a renowned general with a solid track record from the past war and one of his biggest achievements included Duke Derek Brans, one of Strabus Kingdom’s three masters. The three Fuhrers being the commander at the same time was just their symbolic participation in the war. This was appealing to the Republics’ commitment to the war. In other words, it was actually the advisors who would create strategies for the Allied Forces and carry them out in the war. Siegfried was at the top of the advisors. 

The Strabus Kingdom responded with caution. The kingdom immediately sent troops to reinforce the western, northern and eastern fronts, and entrusted 50,000 troops to each Master, Duke Ryan Catel and Duke McCarthy O’Brien, and had them on standby on the front lines. The Strabus Kingdom, a military powerhouse, prepared for war with the mindset of ‘come if you dare.’

The Allied Forces of the Republics launched an attack against the Strabus Kingdom. 

The war started at the Northern Front, a front that had been breached once before.

***

“Stop them!”

“Republican bastards! How dare you come here!”

“Kill them all!”

In the last war, the Northern Front of Strabus Kingdom had been invaded. Because of that, the country had fallen into crisis, and the commanders in charge of the Northern Front defense were severely disciplined.

As though they refused to repeat the failure, the commander of the northern front encouraged the soldiers and put in all their efforts to fight. The Northern Front strongholds fought against the Republicans with all their might and seemed to be succeeding in blocking them. 

But then…

***

“Waaaa!!”

 “The gate is broken!”

“All of you, charge!”

Just ten days. 

The unwavering Northern Front began to waver. As soon as Siegfried took lead and began to use his tactics, the stable strongholds of the Northern Front began to collapse one by one. 

Duke Ryan Catel and Duke McCarthy O’Brien quickly led their troops and joined, but the situation did not improve. 

Siegfried led his army and one by one occupied the Northern strongholds; he was laying down stepping stones for the Republic to conquer the Strabus Kingdom. 

Feeling a sense of crisis, the king of Strabus Kingdom hastily appealed to the other countries. 

[The sharp blade of the evil Republic is threatening the continent]

[Because of this unprecedented disaster, our continent is in danger.]

There were a lot of flowery language, but what he was saying was simple:

The Republic is stronger than we thought. It’s difficult for just the Strabus Kingdom to block them, so we ask for reinforcement from the international community. If we cannot block them, then the entire continent is in danger. 

This request for reinforcement was sent to most countries on the continent, and many of them agreed. It was the Strabus Kingdom that prevented the Republicans from coming down further south from the North. It was common sense that gums would ache without any teeth, and each country prepared reinforcements. This was the same for Milton’s country, Lester Kingdom

***

“I will personally lead the reinforcements myself, Your Majesty.”

Milton informed Queen Leila in a private conversation. 

“Do you really have to? I agree with sending reinforcements, but rather than sending our main force, why don’t we send just enough to show that we’ve sent reinforcements?”

Milton shook his head at her. 

“If the Strabus Kingdom was to fall, we’d be in great danger, Your Majesty.”

“So you think the Strabus Kingdom might fall, Marquis?”

Queen Leila seemed to believe in the strength of the military powerhouse, Strabus Kingdom. Of course, Milton was very well aware of Strabus Kingdom’s military strength. 

But more than that…

“Siegfried is a very dangerous human being. If he really wanted to and gave it his all, I think he has a high possibility of winning, Your Majesty.”

Rather than Strabus Kingdom’s strength, the potential Siegfried had to be dangerous was greater. Milton believed that if they were going to send reinforcements, it was better to do it properly and stop the Strabus Kingdom from collapsing. 

“If that’s what you think, then I should respect your opinion.”

Queen Leila tried to accept Milton’s opinion but she was still hesitant to send him abroad. 

“But must you go?”

“I'll feel better about it, Your Majesty.”

Milton sighed as he continued to speak.

“If I don’t go and we just send a lot of troops and they die… we can’t afford that kind of damage, Your Majesty.”

His words made sense. The 100,000 Central Army troops that Milton had were all carefully trained by him with great care. Milton was personally attached to them, but more than that, if these troops were destroyed, then the damage to the Lester Kingdom would be unspeakable. That’s why Milton had decided to personally go with the soldiers. 

‘If I were to rank it, winning the war would be Third Place, Siegfried’s head would be Second Place, and First Place would be my guys coming out of this as safely as possible.’

Milton had already decided that he had no choice but to go to war himself. 

However, Queen Leila didn’t want to send him. 

“If the Marquis isn’t in the country, the citizens will worry.”

“The citizens, Your Majesty?”

“You don’t know? Your popularity amongst the people increased when this war broke out.”

“Your Majesty?”

This was something Milton hadn’t known. 

‘What? What’s the connection between this war and my popularity?’

Queen Leila laughed at Milton, who didn’t understand. 

“Seigfried invaded the Strabus Kingdom, and not our country, because he’s afraid of Milton Forrest who lives in our country. Rumors like these are spreading amongst the citizens.”

“Ha…”

‘What? What is this MAX level national pride?’

Milton could only laugh. This was only because, officially, Milton was the only person who had won against Siegfried. Rumors had spread amongst the people who didn’t know the details. Those rumors were fleshed out until it became Milton unilaterally defeating Siegfried of the Republic with overwhelming resourcefulness and force. But to think there were rumors like this.

“The expectations are too heavy; it’s becoming burdensome.”

“It just means that the people have that much confidence in you, Marquis. Do you remember the central street that’s being reconstructed in the Capital? The place where the Ceremony of Triumphant Return was held?”

“Yes, is something wrong with the street, Your Majesty?”

“It’s said that the people are calling that street Forrest Boulevard. They’ve attached your name to it.”

“That’s…”

‘Am I X Ji Sung?[1] 


1. This is referring to soccer player Park Ji Sung who had a road named after him (동탄지성로) to honor his contribution to the South Korean national team in the 2002 World Cup when he scored the decisive goal against Portugal. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_ji-sung_Road https://ji-sungpark.com/jisungroad.html 

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