~ Chapter 65: War Meeting (Part 4) ~
Indeed, it was a sound strategy. By destroying or crippling the enemy's economy, one were to expect that they wouldn't be able to supply their troops that easily. An army without any supplies constantly being brought in would sooner or later starve or fall in an attrition battle. The same problem was given to us right now. With our economy having come to a halt because of the bandits, we couldn't gather our troops and provide them with supplies. Worse of all, if the humans attacked us, then the matter was going to end up in a similar matter on the Western Front-line as well.
“Then I believe it is safe to conclude that we should prepare for a defensive war. Sir Draejan still holds the benefit of the doubt. The blood running through his veins reserves him this right, but if we are to see him on the enemy's side, then he is to be considered an enemy.” the Prime Minister said, reminding us once again of that scaled bastard.
“Ah! That reminds me, that dude who could teleport, erm... I forgot his name, but he was a human like me. So, if that guy offers his powers to the enemy's side would it be possible for them to move their troops as they pleased throughout the country?” Alkelios asked as he struck his palm with the bottom of his fist.
I for one was surprised by his words. It never crossed my mind to add that fellow as a possible pawn in all of this. Certainly, with a teleporting ability then all of these strange movements of the bandits and assassins made sense, but... there was one thing that had to be made sure of.
“Are you certain his power can move around so many troops?” his Majesty asked.
“Maybe, I don't know. Last I saw of him, he could freely teleport himself around. If he could teleport others or not, I have no idea.” Alkelios replied honestly.
“I understand, but even if he wasn't used as a means to transport supplies and troops, there was still the chance of him acting as a messenger.” I said.
“True, this can't be disconsidered, but even without his help, we cannot forget that's it's not at all impossible for everything to have been organized in one big strategy. All they had to do was to give their troops the time, the place, and the how to attack. Then all they would have to do was reach their destination, wait for the appointed time and strike.” his Majesty pointed out.
“Neither option can be disconsidered, but what has become clear of this discussion is that we have an enemy and a possible battlefield, which is outside of Pustia Town.” I pointed out.
“All that's left is for his Majesty to give the order.” said Kataryna calmly.
Up until now the three dragonesses have been silent and watched the map while listening to us. Although I had no expectation of either Seryanna or Kleo to join in on this conversation, I knew that witnessing first hand how it was done would offer them a bit of insight and experience on these matters. After all, declaring war wasn't such a simple matter. When a nation did it, they had to be 100% of who their enemy and who their allies were. Making this clear beforehand with the help of treaties and hidden pacts was common sense.
In our case, we had confirmation that Embryger wasn't the enemy, just a faction of it. As such, declaring war against the entire Empire would have been utterly foolish. The best move for now was to declare a Defensive War against an Unknown Enemy Force. This way, Albeyater made it clear that it wasn't pointing at any of its neighbors for now, but at the same time, it wouldn't have any problems not doing so.
“Politically speaking, if this war is won by us, then the neighboring nations may try to send supplies in order to gain favors from us as well as strengthen their bonds with our country. If we lose this war, then they might declare war and try to seize Albeyater's lands for their own before the invading enemy claims the country.” said the Prime Minister.
“In other words, this could lead to either possible alliances in the future or the complete annihilation of our Kingdom.” said his Majesty.
“I honestly wish we won't lose this war. More so, I wish Albeyater Kingdom won't gain any new enemies as a result of this faction's stupid movement.” Alkelios said with a sigh.
When we heard him, we looked at him surprised and then all of us burst into a loud laughter.
“Huh? What? What?” the boy acted surprised.
He probably said those words without even realizing it, but somehow, I regained both the courage and the hope I need in order to believe that victory was on our side. After all, he was the dragon with 100 Luck and a Breakthrough-er above all. With him on our side, this war was our guaranteed victory.
“Such a good wish! I like it!” his Majesty laughed.
“Then, your Majesty?” the Prime Minister asked.
This prince was the only one who didn't laughed. Event that icy Kataryna tossed a giggle.
“I declare a Defensive War against an Unknown Enemy Force! I want all the reserve and active troops from within the Kingdom to be gathered at Pustia Town! Meanwhile, I want Alkelios Yatagai, Seryanna Draketerus, and Kataryna Greorg to go to all the besieged settlements and remove the bandits! If none surrenders you are free to kill them all! General Brekkar Draketerus will lead the army, and I will call to battle all the available Breakthrough-ers scattered throughout the Kingdom!” he declared in a powerful tone of voice.
“Yes, your Majesty!” we all called out from the bottom of our hearts.
It was an order to march to battle.
It was a declaration of war!
It made my old blood boil again with the desire to head off to the battlefield and unleash my wrath upon the enemy forces. I was getting a bit tired of beating up Iolaus too, and this would prove to be a grand training scene for him! I couldn't wait to see how much he had progressed in the past several months when compared to other Paladins.
[Feryumstark's point of view]
With the declaration of war, everyone obeyed and headed out. I stayed behind in the War Room together with Kleo and the Prime Minister.
“Why was I told to stay?” she asked innocently.
“Fufufu! Starting tomorrow, I'm going to start training you until your body breaks!” I laughed.
“Ew... Your Majesty, I have a fiance, you know?” she said as she pulled back from me.
“Huh?” I blinked and looked at her confused.
“Ahem. Not that kind of training, Kleo. His Majesty is talking about combat training, but the way he put it could have someone with your lewd mind think of other inappropriate things.” said Elovius while looking away.
“What are you two talking about?” I knitted my brow.
I had a feeling they were making fun of me.
“I wonder... ehehe.” Kleo looked away.
“Huh? What in the blazes?!” I was starting to get angry and glared at Elovius.
“Just... let it go.” he said.
“Let WHAT go?!” I glared at him.
“Well, I think the Queen's calling me... I'm going to be off... See ya!” Kleo slipped away without explaining herself.
“Ahem! Your Majesty, let us proceed with the official documents. Salaries must be decided upon, letters must be written, and a lot of procedures must be done before we assemble our forces. Hopefully, faster than the enemy does.” he said and then let out a sigh as he avoided my question again.
Glaring at him, I decided to let it go and treat the matter as some youngling nonsense.
Then... not even a week after our meeting in the War Room, news from the Western Front-line arrived. It was a report written by my son, Charmeill.
“The Human Allied Forces are attacking... This means we can't pull troops back from that front...” I said in a worried tone of voice as I was reading it again.
So far, no Breakthrough-er answered my call to arms either.
At the very least, Alkelios' group managed to quickly and safely dispatch all the bandit forces across the map. The lad's speed was outrageous and with each victory, he was proving himself to be a power to be reckoned with. On the other hand, dragons from all across the Kingdom were starting to call him the Black and White Knight, while his wife, Seryanna, was recognized as the Flame Knight. Kataryna apparently froze anyone who dared call her the Ice Princess or Ice Queen.
When I heard of these ridiculous names, I could feel the embarrassment they were going through. As for me, I was once called the Golden Disaster. Contrary to me, Elliessara was the Snow White Angel.
These were troublesome nicknames, but as stories of one's deeds and might spread across the Kingdom, the commoners and nobles alike would pick a silly way to call us by. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn't, and in the case of the long lived there was the chance that it would change depending on their achievements. This was the unofficial title the young dragons and dragonesses could identify us by. Going against this flow was in the end... troublesome.
Although, in Kataryna's case, it was understandable because with a nickname like Ice Princess or Ice Queen, she could easily be accused of lese-majesty. Or in other words, treason against the crown. Although what idiot would accuse the terrifying Kataryna Greorg of such a thing? I pitied the fool.
Still, seeing the situation of our current affairs, thanks to them, the armies were starting to move and gather, but this report from my son made it clear that I had to fight on two fronts. It was a terrible situation, one which pointed more and more towards the possibility of us losing. Actually, even with Alkelios' luck I was doubting our chances of success. After all, he wished for us to win the war, but at what cost would it come? And how many battles would we lose before we would win the war? Such thoughts plagued my mind from time to time.
Putting down the report, I let out a sigh and leaned back on my throne.
The humans are attacking, an unknown army is gathering, a lot of the important nobles of my kingdom are dead, the Breakthrough-ers didn't reply to my summon... and bandits besieging the settlements... What a complicated and troublesome situation. I thought as I looked up at the ceiling.
A few minutes later, I got up from my throne. With the report in my hand, I went up and visited my wife. She was the only one who could sort out this mess right now. Or rather, who could clear up misunderstandings and possible information manipulations.
I knocked on the door and then entered the room.
“Are you awake, my dear?” I asked.
“Yes.” she replied with a charming smile while lowering the book.
“Here.” I said and then handed her the report.
When she laid her eyes on the piece of paper, her gaze turned from one filled with love to an icy glare of a Queen who ruled over the entire Kingdom.
“The Breakthrough-ers didn't send a reply message. Not even Charmeill or Natalia replied to my letters.” I told her.
“I see.” she spoke in a cold tone of voice.
“Someone is aiming for these letters, or to be more specific the outgoing ones. They are trying to make sure we can't get in contact with our Breakthrough-ers while at the same time being aware of the situation on the front. By the looks of it, I would say they are trying to deceive us in thinking that our Breakthrough-ers are willingly ignoring my Call to Arms. Actually, I'm certain that if I didn't send Alkelios' group to handle the besieged settlements, the armies there wouldn't have received the Call to Arms order either.” I said.
“I see.” she showed me an icy smile which sent a shiver down my spine all the way to the tip of my tail.
“Can you use...” I gulped “That?” I asked.
“Hm?” she tilted her head to the left while keeping that ice-cold smile of hers “So you are implying that a dead rodent not even worth being squashed by the boot of a commoner dared to betray us?” she asked.
I gulped. My wife, although as lovely as she was charming and kind had a bit of a dark secret. She was a dragoness who absolutely hated betrayals and showed no mercy towards them. All the nobles who acted against me or her, including the one who poisoned her, were now nothing more than bony remains scattered in a field somewhere even I didn't know about. As for the assassins, they were still alive, but she never aimed her anger at them. An assassin, she understood. A mercenary, she understood. But a traitor who willing tried to foolishly go against her was a dragon who could only count the seconds until his decided moment of death.
There were a type of traitors she did pardon though, those were the misguided fools tricked by the real traitors. They still had a chance to survive when facing her IF they acted wisely.
“I'll make the call.” Elliessara said with a nod. “Although, I really wish to find the one who kept trying to destroy my Kingdom. Huhuhu!” she showed me a smile that sent a shiver down my spine.
“Please, my dear.” I nodded.
One could say that it was also because I feared this side of hers that I didn't want to find a concubine. I would rather try to have as many children as I could with Elliessara than see her plotting against the second wife. May the gods have mercy on me and keep me away from such a horrible future. Then again, I never could find a woman to love just as much or more than Elliessara, and I never bothered to either way.
Getting out of bed, I gazed at the curves of her slim body as they were given shape by the thin nightdress sticking to her.
“Breakthrough-ers of Albeyater, listen to my call!” she said as she began to focus her magic within a spell that sent out her voice towards those who had pledged their loyalty to us. No one else could hear it. “Our Kingdom is in danger. Your Queen is in danger. I give order to the Breakthrough-ers who lay in wait or who are traveling the lands to come to my side and lend me their strength in this battle! All but those who see the flames of the Western Battlefield march towards Drakaria at once! This is the order of your Queen! This is my Summon!”
With her final words imbued with Magic Energy, she cast the spell and sent it across the nation. In a matter of moments, all those whom she deemed worthy of receiving her call would hear this message. Then all that was left to do was to wait for them to arrive.
This spell wasn't something our enemies could block or easily detect and decipher. Because it took mere moments to reach its destination and wasn't categorized as an attack spell by the magic armors or defensive equipment one may wear, there were no means of either blocking or repelling it. However, it couldn't be used in war against the enemies. It was limited to how many it could be sent to and also how much it could be said through it.
Unlike my letters, which could have been intercepted along the way, this [All-Call] spell could reach our Breakthrough-ers without a problem. The fact that my wife, the Queen of Albeyater, made the call also showed the urgency behind it. This wasn't a simple tea party call. It was a call to war.
“You should take a rest now, my dear.” I told Elliessara as I went over and pulled her in my arms.
“Hm, maybe a bit later, right now...” she gazed at the door then back at me “Tell the guards not to disturb us... I wish to be embraced by you.” she then kissed me gently on the lips.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
Seeing how things have been a bit hard for me lately, I will try and focus around posting only at the end of the week, during a Friday or Saturday(ish). I'm going to try the weekly chapter dump version of the schedule to see if this fits me better.
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