While the Natra army was steadily preparing for defense, the Marden side was also moving toward the mine.
“How many soldiers are ready?”
It was the Minister, Hornie who takes charge of the preparation at the court.
“Around 20,000 men.”
“Isn’t that less than planned? What’s going on?”
“About that, Monas family from the Mardian faction still reluctant to dispatch their troops…”
“To be that unsightly in this kind of time… Tell them if they didn’t dispatch, the King would behead them!”
After he sends the instruction to his men, he was heading to the hall where the King waiting.
King Fushtar then addressed Horonie without even hide his irritation.
“Horonie, are we not yet destroyed those Natra insects?”
“My King, please be patient. I will definitely dedicate the victory to you…”
“That is natural! Listen, those insects had refused our proposal to settle it through negotiation, for them to paint my face with mud twice, do you think that is forgiven?!”
King Fushtar was not willing to settle the war via diplomatic solution in the first place, but he didn’t think that he would be turned down. For a King who thinks Natra as nothing more than an inferior country, if he proposed something, he thought the Natra side would accept them in tears.
As for Horonie, he could not stop but laugh. Because of that incident, his political opponent, Midan, who suggested a diplomatic solution was removed from the court. Also, the operation to recapture the mine was left to Stella people, and there was no one objecting it anymore.
If they succeed in recapturing the gold mine, their position in the royal palace would be rock solid. They would be able to drive out the naive Mardia faction, and they would be able to control the nation on behalf of the King who didn’t know much.
(But still, I’m not satisfied with just this small country… I want something larger…)
Horonie rejoiced at the fact that his ambition and path was finally clear from an obstacle.
At that time, a voice from someone important reached horonie.
“My King, are you here?”
The one who appeared was a handsome young man.
He was the young man who becomes a General by using Stella faction full backup, his name was Drawood.
“I’m very sorry for my late arrival. Drawood has come by your call, your majesty.”
“Fumu, finally, huh…”
Seeing how Drawood speaks to him full of respect, Fushtar snorted his nose while looking proud. It was a well-known fact among his vassals that King Fushtar hates Drawood, that was because Drawood had a neat and handsome appearance. But at this kind of time, no matter how much Fushtar hates that appearance, he could not keep him away anymore…
However, it was also not a coincidence that Drawood face was good. Since it would be easier to gain popularity with good appearance, he also easier to control due to his lack of experience. Drawood got his current status not because of his abilities but due to Stella faction political agenda.
“Finally, you’ve come, General Drawood. It must’ve been hard to defend the west border…”
“Not really, it was a rather calm place without many collisions…”
That would be the truth. The west border of Marden was relatively stable, and he was assigned there only just for the looks since he was a General. Even with a little bit incompetence, he won’t fail there…
“In fact, the one who is in trouble the most are the soldiers that right now defending against Natra, no?”
Naturally, Drawood, who was connected to Stella faction, was aware of the war with Natra that took place on the east side.
“I want you to take command and recapture our territory from Natra. Do you understand?”
Drawood showed a strong smile.
“Speaking of Natra, they were a group of barbarians who don’t understand the teaching of Levetia. When I heard that these people had torn my beloved country apart, I was in a state of despair. That was why, in the name of God and my King, I ill teach them some lesson personally.”
Thus, Marden prepared for the recapture of the gold mine.
The number of soldiers they had managed to collect was 30,000 men. And the commanding officer of that force was Drawood, a symbol of Stella faction.
By the time the continental season had reached summer, both Natra and Marden force would collide once again.
The Girat gold mine was characterized with the arch-shaped ridge leading to the main mining spot. From the sky, it would look like the tail of a beast.
The slope was relatively gentle near the top of the mine. However, only rocks and sand were there, and the mining was performed right in the middle of the mountain. Rarely people step on the top of the mountain. —Of course, that was up until now…
Right now, at the top of the gold mine mountain, the Natra Kingdom main force set up their defense.
“As expected, how spectacular…”
Looking down at the foot of the mountain from the edge of the headquarter up in the mountain
In front, his sight was Marden’s army surrounding the gold mine. Their number was around thirty thousand men.
“Five thousand against thirty thousand. It is hopeless if one think about it normally…”
Ninim standing next to him exhaled a heavy breath. Five thousand men were the total of Natra’s force that was stationed to defend the gold mine.
Of course, they had prepared as much as they could, such as storing supplies inside the mine, but looking at the situation, one could think they only made a desperate attempt.
Though that being said, Wayne and Ninim didn’t look disturbed by the situation at all…
“Twenty thousand on the front of the gold mine, and five thousand on the back…”
“It is harder to climb the mine from the back. Having said that, I saw their formation on the back quite sloppy…”
“Well, that’s obvious…”
Wayne said that as if he had seen through everything…
“It is not the purpose of the enemy to massacre all of us. In fact, I’d preferred for us to run away and escape via the back route…”
And that was precisely where Wayne understood the enemy’s overwhelming force firmly.
“Ninim, how’s everyone?”
“Alright then, shall we have a final meeting before the war start?”
Having said that, Wayne and Ninim heading for one of the tents that had been installed as headquarter.
“General Drawood, all the preparation have finished…”
“Good, thank you for your hard work.”
While Wayne and the Natra’s force looking down from the mountain, the Marden’s army was looking up at the mine.
The number of soldiers the Marden had managed to gather was around thirty thousand men. It was the first time Marden had to draw that much soldiers at once, it was the strongest army in their history, though it was the first time for Drawood to lead that many people, one could not see any tension on his handsome face.
Instead, the emotion he had right now was close to pity…
“In front of this big of an enemy and without a way for them to run away, how pitiful…”
“I guess we should praise their courage?”
Drawood shakes his head while his adjutant responded with ridicule…
“Rather than courage, this is more like a recklessness. No ruler wants to admit difference in strength. But honestly, if you want to be completely ignorant and embarrassed yourself like an animal, you should at least know how to die like an animal. If they did that, at least the blood will be reduced…”
“As expected of the General, you’re very kind for sympathizing the enemy…”
“This is no battle between men, it was more like a force of 30,000 men hunted down wild beasts….”
Drawood once again glanced at the top of the gold mine.
“Let us kill them quickly as to not make them suffer… At least I’m willing to show them that much mercy…”
When Wayne was sitting at the seat of the war council, that was his first words.
Inside the tent were Natra Kingdom commanders. Naturally, one could see Raklum and Hagar figure there.
None of the people inside the tent show an agitated behavior. Because everyone knew that Wayne’s words were not just some bravado.
“With how we instigate thing on the enemy’s royal palace. The enemy is definitely aiming for a short-time battle…”
“For them in front of their great force, it would be great if the enemy would run away. If the enemy didn’t run, at least they think they could end the battle as soon as possible…”
“I agree. If it is like this, we have more chance than expected…”
The worst thing that could happen for Wayne and Natra’s army was that they would have to endure a battle of attrition.
Which mean instead of rushing for a quick battle, they would surround the gold mine with their army and blocked Natra troops to get any supplies.
Currently, the Marden army was not yet gain full control over the surrounding, which makes the gold mine only semi-isolated. It was not easy to maintain a force to protect the gold mine. If they perform an attrition battle, highly possible that Natra would be the first who would raise a white flag.
But Marden unable to did that. The fear that the enemy had held their country’s lifeline had caused them to not take that option.
“There’s no doubt that those 30,000 men were forced to gather. The funds to maintain such army was obviously massive, and also lowered their border defense. Which make it obvious that they won’t be able to hold that 30,000 men for long. I believe— One month is their limit.”
Such a conclusion was being made out of the information they had gathered from the spy and other sources. The accuracy was pretty high.
And if they managed to defend against Marden for a month, and let Marden army to withdraw, the Natra army would be satisfied, and their morale would rise by having their opponent withdraw. On the other hand, it would be harder for Marden to recover their force.
(This is my second chance to have a peace proposed!)
This time he determined to not miss it.
With that determination in his heart, Wayne said…
“Then, let us go. — This is the beginning of a month full of a quagmire.”