Brought to you by The Patrons
Chapter 127 – Fort Troia
[I’ll stay here for a while to build ourselves a proper unit of Aryans.]
Darius told Ares. It was the day after the Aryans were successfully suppressed.
[Seeing Milord’s White Legion, I feel the urge to create a unit with similarly strong soldiers.]
The Aryans were certainly strong by nature. However, they’re very lacking in terms of military specifications.
But… what if they were taught proper tactics? What if their immense individual power was consolidated into a united group?
Therefore, Darius said that he would do just that.
He’s certainly qualified for the task. His wife is the chief’s sister and he has the overwhelming valor needed to make the Aryans obey him.
In any case, the Aryans didn’t really know what they’re signing for. Thus Ares needed someone to guide them… at least until he can do so himself.
Darius was certainly qualified. But there was one problem.
His power is needed elsewhere. They still have to deal with the Northern Barbarians after all.
[Well, I’ll rejoin with Milord back after the matter with the northern barbarians had been resolved. There are already Sigurd and Shion, surely they can still make do even without me?]
[…..you’re being too carefree of a person there…]
Ares sighed. If Darius already made up his mind, then there is probably nothing Ares can do to change it.
In the end, Ares allowed Darius to stay for at most a year’s time.
After parting with Darius and dispersing the White Legion, Ares rode alone to the north. Toward Fort Troia to be exact.
After Ares decided that the place would be a key point in dealing with the northern barbarians a year ago, a fort was hastily built there.
The fort would not only serve as a defensive line against the barbarians, but also as a deterrent for the northern invaders.
But since then, there was barely any major battle occuring. The fort… had apparently become a small town, thanks to the travelling merchants interacting with the soldiers that were stationed there.
[Alright then… with Sigurd and Shion, I doubt that it’s going to be that hard… and what do we have here?]
Along the way, Ares saw traces of battle. Not only that, many of the northern villages had been burnt down. But strangely there was no sign of looting or strewn corpses around. Then, what’s the point in burning down the village?
[Shion wouldn’t do something like this, would he…? I’ll just have to ask him what is this all about…]
While Ares muttered to himself, his beloved horse also chimed in.
〈You know, I could also use some rest…〉
[What are you talking about? A Kirin of all horses shouldn’t say something like that. Come on now, it’s just a little bit more until the fort. Just one last push…]
〈…..My master really is a slavedriver…ah, never mind. Here I go.〉
Ares arrived at Fort Troia before sundown. He checked the fort’s condition, and was thoroughly surprised.
[Isn’t this fort… a little too big?]
It was only a year since Ares declared this place as the key point and dispatched the troops here. Each corps would send their members to guard the fort in a shift. Everytime the guard changes, the fort would either be repaired, renovated, and sometimes he heard that they also gradually enlarged it…
[Shion… you’ve really done it this time. This is now a bonafide fortress.]
And another surprising part, there was a town surrounding the fort. Suffice to say that Heinz was ready for anything… but nobody will say it’s easy. Still, the small town was there, complete with houses and shops.
Why did a lot of people gather here? Of course because there are a lot of soldiers standing guard in the fort. People can trade with these soldiers after all. That’s why many merchants, street vendors and even prostitutes flocked to this place.
Moreover, it’s pretty much the safest place in the entire north at the moment with the fort protecting it. Therefore many villagers from surrounding villages also migrated to this place, in the end forming a large town.
While looking at such a scene around him, Ares entered the fort.
Once the news of Ares’ arrival spread, a military council was held immediately.
The first to welcome Ares was Shion.
[Yeah, you too. And thank you for the hard work, everyone.]
Starting with Roland on the left, all military officers serving to guard the area were here.
Then a bit at the back… Ares noticed one of his long time confidants, who responded to his gaze with a nod.
[And Sigurd too.]
[I’ve been waiting for Ares-sama to arrive here everyday.]
Sigurd replied with a refreshing smile.
[Everyone, please have a seat.]
Once Ares sat down, the others also followed suit.
[Well then, can you please tell us the current situation? And also about those burned villages?]
Shion stood back up to those words, unfurling a map of the northern area.
[There have been two skirmishes so far.]
Shion reported as he pointed his war fan to the grassland north of Troia Fort on the map.
[The enemy was 20,000 strong cavalry. We fielded an equal amount from the second corps, led by Sigurd. As for what happened, I’ll let Sigurd himself explain.]
Shion paused there, giving Sigurd a chance to speak.
[It’s like they are gauging us. They only clashed with us for a while, retreating before things got too bloody.]
Shion then took over from there, pointing his fan to the northeast.
[The second skirmish happened here, northeast of Fort Troia. This time the attacker had more numbers than before at 30,000 strong.]
Then the war fan moved to the location where the burned villages were.
[The difficult part in fighting them off is to predict their movement. We managed to evacuate the villagers in advance, thankfully… but the barbarians still burned down the villages. What Milord saw was the ruins of those villages.]
[Ah… that’s why… there was no sign of looting and killing.]
[It’s a diversion… I should say that in advance. And to prevent them from looting the people.]
Shion then moved his fan to Troia.
[And so, they tried to storm Fort Troia.]
[!? They suddenly raided this place?]
[Yes. It’s pretty much their biggest target. Not only does this place serve as our base of operations, but they could also loot the town that surrounds this fort.]
Then Shion grinned.
[But this time, not only were they up against the second corps, but there were also the third corps… and the dragon rider knights.]
[So you made use of the dragon knights in this clash… how’s the result?]
[Although they were caught off guard by the aerial attack, they were also quick to regroup their scattered troops and counter-attacked.]
Ares was surprised upon hearing Shion’s report. He thought that the barbarian would be defeated due to the confusion.
[Their greater number was probably meant to exchange one of their soldiers for one of ours. In the end we’ll end up losing… But probably sensing something amiss, they immediately left like the wind after a short clash… truly a good move they had there.]
Shion praised someone, which is unusual. Sigurd then made a follow up.
[The barbarians were doing good… no, rather, it’s their leader who was good… even I can say so as well.]
[Hee. Is there really someone among the barbarians who deserved to be praised by Shion and Sigurd like this?]
[There are. Two of them in fact.]
Sigurd continued on.
[One of them is the chief of one of the northern barbarian tribes. His fearlessness and outstanding leadership could possibly bring the many tribes together. I have a feeling that he is the commander of these invading forces.]
After a short pause, Sigurd continued almost excitedly.
[But… even better than him was the foreigner who accompanied him.]
[Yes. I believe Ares-sama has told me about them before… that man dressed like a warrior from the far east.]
Ares was intrigued by Sigurd’s story. So he asked the latter for more details.
[I underestimated them, thinking that the battle would end quicker if I took their general’s head… so I aimed at the barbarian chief’s head, but the foreigner was able to prevent me from doing so.]
Sigurd’s eyes stared to the distance as he recalled the skirmish.
[I knew from a single glance that this foreigner is a warrior. It was quite obvious from the number of spears he brought. This foreigner… if I have to make an estimation, he’s probably on par with me or Darius.]
Everyone in the room turned silent. Each of them recognized the valor of both Sigurd and Darius. That’s why it was quite shocking to hear Sigurd’s estimation.
Shion was the one to break the silence.
[His commanding ability is also good. Probably as good as the tribe chief… or maybe better.]
Ares pondered for a while after hearing the report, then called out a name.
[Yes, Milord. I’m here.]
A shadow rose from beside Ares, gradually revealing the form of a man. But no one was surprised at the scene. Everyone simply watched silently.
[I want you to thoroughly investigate the identity of these two people who led the attack to Troia Fort.]
[As you wish.]
Zekka then disappeared back into the shadow just like how he appeared.
[So… a barbarian tribe chief and a foreigner. I’m actually glad that there is someone like this tribe chief among the barbarians]
After murmuring the last part to himself, Ares continued on.
[What worries me is actually this foreign warrior that Sigurd spoke about. Just what kind of man…]
Ares unconsciously grinned when he said that. Seeing this, both Sigurd and Shion sighed, well aware of what’s going on when their lord had that kind of smile.
Yes, it has begun, once again.
[I want… I want to recruit that foreigner. But first I have to understand just what kind of man he is…]
Ares chuckled as muttered to himself.