“Since that’s the case, could all of you please sign this report of battle merits? Don’t forget to stamp it with your seal!” Leylin produced a document and waved it around, laughing sinisterly like a big bad wolf.
‘We’re already at this stage. Who would dare go against him?’ Baron Andrew laughed wryly inside and signed it.
“Good!” After all the barons and officers present signed their names, Leylin was all smiles as he kept the document, changing his attitude entirely, “As the subordinate of officer Cassley, I do feel regretful and sad about what happened. Divide his team amongst yourselves as you see fit!”
After hearing this news, everyone’s eyes brightened. The army that Cassley had brought with him was composed of a few nobles’ personal troops along with those of Silverymoon. Just the regular soldiers, horses and rations were enough for them to go green with envy.
‘After getting us to surrender, he’s having us divide the ill-gotten gains amongst ourselves? How evil…’ Baron Andrew sighed inside, but did not have the guts to voice his objection.
In reality, they were now prisoners of the sort. Leylin’s personal troops had completely defeated their allies this afternoon. After all, his underlings were battle-forged high-grade Professionals. It would’ve been strange if they had’t won.
Leylin didn’t force them too much at that time, instead ‘inviting’ them to talk peace.
‘After returning to the northern lands, we still will have to see how he decides to proceed…’ Andrew tried to console himself.
“Have you finally gotten what you wanted?” Rafiniya glanced at Leylin, her gaze icy.
“You’re talking about this?” Leylin lifted the joint declaration of the nobles and waved the document around, “No, this is just all in name. Essentially, with the chaos of war and there being even a question of whether the Silverymoon Alliance will still exist, who would care about the death of a wizard?”
Leylin wanted this in writing because it was better than nothing. Its presence would make a huge difference in any cases.
“Silverymoon Alliance not existing? Are you that pessimistic?” Rafiniya was rather astonished by Leylin’s conclusion.
“That’s how it is…” Leylin sighed, “The might of the Silverymoon Alliance already threatened the status of the human countries in the south. Mystra is facing all the orc gods practically alone.
Rafiniya paled at his simple analysis. There had been many who realised this in the past, but none had the courage to reveal it so clearly. Leylin was now breaking all pretense, revealing the naked truth to Rafiniya.
“You saw it in Silverymoon, didn’t you? The queen only has control over the land of Silverymoon. The Silverymoon Alliance states might support her when things are going well, but now…” Rafiniya’s heart dropped at Leylin’s words. She’d long since known that this was how nobles acted.
“Since things have gotten this bad, let’s go back to uphold the justice and peace I desire!” Rafiniya took a deep breath, eyes showing her emotional state.
“You… you’ll help me, won’t you?” The female knight had already guessed at the outcome, but still watched Leylin full of anticipation, hoping for a miracle.
“I’m sorry…” This girl was practically shining, the true model of a hero. It was a pity that Leylin would never do anything like seeking his own death.
“Silverymoon has now been surrounded by the orc armies, and they even have several high-ranked Legends in charge. This level of strength…” Leylin presented his reasoning point by point, causing the light in rafiniya’s eyes to dim. The Leylin in her memories and how he was right now were two completely different people.
“But… You are the hero of Silverymoon. At this point…” Rafiniya gave it one last try.
“Oh! Please don’t call me that, ‘Knight of Light’!” Leylin’s obvious rejection caused Rafiniya to finally give up.
“Even knowing that this will take my life, I will not give up on my sense of justice. This is my path as a knight!” Rafiniya’s voice resounded in the tent.
Watching her back as she left, Leylin stroked his chin and muttered to himself. “What conviction she has. It’ll be difficult to make her fall…”
She planned on using her strength alone to turn the tide of the losing battle, to become a shining hero! When he was young before, in his previous life, Leylin had read many novels of that type. He’d thought them to be chock full of emotion and hot blood, but in the end only bitterly smiled at it.
Reality and imagination were two completely different things. Turning the tables under such terrible circumstances was something only possible in stories, and it was just an author trying to please the readers. In reality, such a thing had less than a hundred millionth of a chance of happening.
Such shining heroes who were full of fiery passion were indeed worthy of respect, but Leylin would never join their ranks!
“Besides… such an impulsive person like Rafiniya will probably die halfway to her goal. In the end, will her achievements allow her to be reputed as a hero?”
The next day, Leylin received word that Rafiniya’s departed without informing him. Using her own charm, she had even persuaded some people and taken about twenty with her.
Leylin merely rolled his shoulders back in answer, “Since they’re fools, let them go!”
After gathering Andrew and other nobles, Leylin discussed their next move.
“Silverymoon is now under siege. As part of the Silverymoon Alliance, I grieve and lament the situation. I’ve already dispatched my knights to bring people to provide support. If there’s anyone here who wants to go, please announce yourselves!” Leylin exclaimed with a smile.
What came next was a difficult silence. The nobles who were seated all knew that the orcs were extremely determined. Their elite army of a hundred thousand had surrounded Silverymoon thoroughly, and going forth with the small numbers of people and horses they had was just suicide.
On top of that, Leylin’s army had low morale, and it had recently dropped even further. Hence, all these nobles wanted to do was bury their heads in their chests like ostriches.
‘The personal troops of the nobles will only be able to do as they please in their own territories…’ Leylin shook his head at this and then clapped, “Good. Next, let’s discuss the direction of my army…”
The nobles looked at each other when Leylin acted like the master here, but nobody dared oppose it. The term ‘my army’ obviously included them as well. Officially, Silverymoon had pulled back all of their forces. Leylin’s army basically had the highest power.
Alustriel had personally invested him with the title of a Baron whose power extended over generations. He was a noble who had been granted territory near the Moonwood. Who else had more power than him?
Most importantly, when it came to strength, Leylin alone would be able to eliminate the rest! The reason he had gathered them was only to nominally receive their agreement, and the nobles had all sensibly chosen to consent to this silently.
This was what Leylin had prepared. The moment any of the nobles dared go against him, he’d just slaughter them. In the turmoil of war, what would the deaths of a few people amount to?
A large military map was hung up on the wall. At the center of it was the wizards’ city, Silverymoon. The jewel of the north already had multiple red arrows around it, showing how it was surrounded.
The map also showed the surrounding terrain. Most of the lands in the north had fallen to enemy hands, coloured black. In the west were the Moonwood and Nether Mountains. As the orcs had expended most of their strength in surrounding Silverymoon, or perhaps because of the werecreatures’ Blackblood tribe, the humans were still somewhat in charge there. However, the terrifying werecreatures were already a huge threat, and these nobles were fleeing with all their might.
There were now three routes for Leylin and the rest. One was to provide support to Silverymoon selflessly, clashing head on with the orc army. The second was to stay here and pray that Silverymoon could hold on. After the war had ended, they could then settle their accounts. The last was to move to the south and abandon the territory and people here.
Leylin was more inclined towards the third. “Silverymoon is the wizards’ city after all. The queen is a Chosen, and even if the orcs can breach Silverymoon, they would have to pay a huge price, and that would make it difficult for them to go south…”
Such an explicit declaration put the nobles on the spot.
“Lord Leylin, SIlverymoon won’t be able to hang on with its strength…” While many of the nobles were greedy, despicable and shameless, there were also many who were clear-headed and unwilling to part with their territories.
This was the only source of their power! In order to protect their interests, nobles could even make a deal with the orcs or devils, and disregard the threat to their lives.
“It’s best to let the orcs and Silverymoon harm each other. This way, nobody would be able to bother with us.” There were also many who thought the same.
Leylin made a quick scan of the surroundings and understood their thoughts.
‘How childish… Do they think they’re out of the woods if they bury their head in the sand?’ Leylin snickered inside, though he knew that getting the nobles to abandon everything was not reasonable.
Thankfully, with the report just before and the joint declaration as well as the document, there was no change in whether they stayed or left. Besides, the negative effects of bringing these people along far outweighed the benefits.
“Alright! All of you can leave alone if you wish to. Any who are willing to head south with me can stay here…”
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