Marden was a Kingdom located west of the Kingdom of Natra.
Despite being a neighboring nation, the exchange between the two countries had remained only at an individual level. Although the Natra Kingdom was located somewhat in the middle of the continent, it had eastward politics and ideology, making the country not that close with the states situated on the west of the continent.
Marden size was the same as Natra, which could be categorized as a small country. Naturally, their national power was the same. That was until a while ago…
The thing that tip the balance of power between the two was the Gold mine found in Marden. As a result of that, in recent years, Marden national power had been greatly improved.
Moreover, they felt anxious that the Gold mine was located near the border with the Kingdom of Natra. Many times Wayne had been shouting inside his heart, “DAMN IT!”. He had seriously considered that they might come and invade, and now it finally happens.
Marden was going to invade Natra.
The last time Natra fought a war was decades ago. Their military personnel was only had experience in training and not the real battle. Contrary to Wayne initial thought, instead of escaping, inside the war council, the military commanders of Natra didn’t even show disturbance.
“Exactly as his highness expected huh?”
“I cannot help but admire your Highness insight…”
The reason why all of them were calm was simple. It was because Wayne had predicted that Marden would invade Natra soon, and the military commanders had worked countermeasures since then…
“That is not something difficult to do…”
Wayne response was a fact and not a simple modesty.
The reputation of King Marden was not good. The story of his rough reign had also reached Natra, their neighboring country, He was someone who averted his eyes from political blunder such as making disloyal retainers serve him while alienating loyal retainers. It caused a vicious circle of domestic devastation.
It was the Gold mine which they found after great pains that compensate the lost. However, because of the previous King was wise, the citizen felt deeply disappointed with the current King.
Thus for such Marden, the current situation in Natra was a perfect opportunity. Natra national power was obviously below them, and the Empire army who had recently stayed had blindly returned home. It was an ideal opportunity for the current King of Marden to gain achievements and redeem his mistakes.
Of course, that only happens if they win, and Natra didn’t plan to let that happen.
“How is our border guard?”
“Sir. We’re trying to avoid engagement as instructed, and concentrating on investigating the enemy movements!”
“Good, how much is Marden’s strength?”
“Report says around 7,000 men.”
One of the commanders answered.
“Under 10,000 men huh? It is fewer than I had expected…”
“They must be wary of Cabarine. After all, that one is a bloodthirsty country.”
Marden neighbor was not only Natra, and Carbine was one of them. In other words, Natra was not the only one that feels envious toward Marden’s gold mine.
When invading an enemy country, how much troops should be sent and how much soldiers should be left to defend the home country. Such a dilemma was always present no matter what era it was.
“Our Military strength is 6,000 men. Surprisingly not that much big of a gap…”
“That much is enough… How is the equipment? Everything is under the excellent condition I believe?”
“Yes, sir. The Empire’s weaponry was indeed a high-quality one. ‘With the current equipment, we should not be inferior against Marden.”
The military council was only doing checking the detailed work, after all, they had predicted the invasion ahead of time.
While listening to his retainers reports, Wayne was thinking about something…
(Our preparation is already sufficient. I guess it was fortunate that the Empire already leave before more turmoil happened…)
Due to the Empire’s army returned home early, Natra had enough time to eradicate their sense of dependency toward the Empire. In addition, there was some news concerning the Empire’s court, they said that the Empire’s court was split into three factions and caused civil unrest.
However, Wayne still thought that the Empire would continue as a great power. Their foundation won’t break easily, they should be able to overcome their national crisis and continue to become a great power of the east.
And with that, the opportunity of selling his country would come again. For that reason, what he needed to do was to increase Natra’s national strength. After all, the Higher the country’s value, the higher the price of selling it. It can be said that it was related to his retirement happiness.
(Natra soldiers were trained using the Empire’s know-how. To prove our strength and value, the war with Marden is an excellent opportunity. If we win, it can also be used as restraint to the other countries. The question is, whether we can win or not—…)
He had trained his soldiers, investigate the geography, and work out some strategies. He also collected information about Marden’s army. With all of that being done, he was sure there was no chance of him losing. Or at least, he should be able to repel Marden back.
When that happens, swift peace will come. The reason why Marden invaded now was that they underestimate Natra, they thought it would be an easy win for them. After all, there would be no use for them to take an unproductive land if just by pocking the bushes a snake comes out.
(This is indeed a perfect scenario…!)
During previous dealings with the Empire, an unfortunate incident happens causing his plan to break down, but in the end, all of that was an accident. This time he thought everything would go the way he wanted it to be, and inside his mind, Wayne danced in joy.
However, if Ninim were there, she would suggest Wayne look around for a bit more. Then Wayne should’ve noticed. There were different tension within the commanders who also looked calm.
In the first place, before Wayne become the regent of Natra Kingdom, the army was in disorder.
The King himself didn’t mistreat the military. However, in Natra, because they rarely went to war, the military had few opportunities to prove themselves. As a result, the royal court deteriorated, and the country also ended up having other country’s army inside their territory. It was understandable if they had grudge inside their heart.
But, Wayne comes and changed them.
In their eyes, he managed to negotiate with the Empire to teach them their military knowledge. Furthermore, he chased the Empire’s army out of their country and bought his army new weapons. Of course, the military also aware that Wayne policy might contain his intention to win the army’s goodwill in times when the internal administration was unstable like this.
Despite realizing that, the Army was thankful toward Wayne. Much more than he had initially expected. In fact, it was too much.
“Now, it is our time to become the sword and shield of Natra Kingdom!”
“As his retainers, we will meet with his highness expectation!”
The commanders’ spirits were at their highest.
Of course, in front of Wayne who looked calm despite it was his first campaign, they tried their best not to show a poor attitude. As a result, the military commanders suppressed their excitement and remained calm.
(We will present his highness with a complete victory!)
(We will hit them once and obtain peace!)
Thus, Wayne and the commanders didn’t notice that each of them had a different aim in this war. And in fact, their will were against each other.