Weekly chapters (2/2)
The continuation from the war on previous chapter~
Enjoy and stay safe~
Chapter 160 – Tranberg’s Steel Battalion part 2
Tranberg, a small country sandwiched between many great powers. Surrounded by mountains, it had a basin-like terrain.
Even so, despite being small, it’s also a country rich in resources.
The specialty product of this country was『gold』. Yes, the mountains surrounding this country were full of gold veins.
In addition to that, the basin-like land proved to be a fertile ground, so farming and agriculture were flourishing.
Naturally, both Arcadia and Thrace had attempted to take over such a rich land. However, the terrain made it hard to be attacked, which was why the country prevailed despite facing much larger invaders.
Tranberg entered a remarkable prosperity during the last 10 years. Fully taking the advantage of their gold mines, the country adopted various cultures from the four great powers, gradually growing into a formidable strength that the powers themselves couldn’t ignore.
And the person behind that major development, was the current king of Tranberg himself.
He’s already in his forties now. Pretty much in the peak of his life.
A sharp pair of eyes like those of the bird of prey. Long black hair tied at the back. Neat, well kept beard and moustache. At first glance, anyone would see him as an intelligent type of person. Especially due to the neatness of his appearance. However, hidden inside his lean and tall body was an indomitable spirit that could make most seasoned warriors prostrate before him… For those who could feel it, it’ll be obvious to them just what kind of person Alvarez is.
Alvarez was indeed the son of the previous Tranberg king. But he had a unique history of leaving the country when he was young, travelling around the continent as both an adventurer and mercenary. As an adventurer, he was an S rank whose legend was fairly famous among the younger adventurers nowadays. As a mercenary, he managed to put together a large amount of mercenaries into a singular group. Due to his achievement and credibility during his time as mercenary, he was lauded by others as the『Mercenary King』.
And finally, he returned back to his family.
At that time, Tranberg was embroiled in internal strife due to the succession war. The princes formed their own factions, each one dogged in their pursuit for the throne. Taking advantage of this, the Great Powers took this chance to intervene, seeking to control the bountiful land of Tranberg. The fate of Tranberg was like a leaf in the middle of a storm.
Retainers loyal to the country were disgusted by this conflict. They were worried about the future of the country, so they took a decision. It was to renew the Royal Clan.
They sought out Alvarez, who was still a mercenary back then.
Tranberg was geographically surrounded on all sides by Great Powers. So what they needed the most from their leader was『ability』.
Alvarez who had already made a name for himself as both adventurer and mercenary simply fit the bill.
The loyal retainers secretly worked together under the nose of the feuding princes, then launched an uprising all at once. The coup was a success.
And with that, they welcomed Alvarez as their new king.
Alvarez was in the same mind with these loyal retainers. He took the post of the king, even if he never really wanted it.
And thus began the reign of King Alvarez.
The first thing he did as the king was to address his retainers.
Particularly those who were the masterminds behind the coup.
Even if it’s for the sake of the country, rebelling against your master cannot be justified. They willingly offered themselves to be executed, but Alvarez had something else in mind.
[People like all of you are those suitable to run this country.]
Later on, these people became the brain behind Alvarez’ rule. Becoming his right hands.
Alvarez then embarked on a reform with the aid of these retainers.
It only took three years since he took the throne. Tranberg saw an astounding growth.
Encouraging new gold mines to be dug, absorbing the beneficial cultures of the Great Powers, developing the cities, fostering new local specialties… one’s fingers won’t be enough to count it all.
All that was achieved through Alvarez working together with his retainers.
Seeing Tranberg grew on such a large scale certainly didn’t sit well with the Great Powers.
Led by Arcadia, many other countries had sent their forces to take over the bountiful land.
Arcadia empire brought forth 300.000 men into this battle. The Great Powers… Arcadia, Wolfgard, and Thrace actually allied themselves together for this invasion.
On the other hand, Alvarez was prepared for this. He rallied his army to repel the invaders.
Yes, the people all over the continent were aware of this battle. It was…..
Tranberg Principality’s show of power.
One most unusual thing about Alvarez’ rise as a King was that; the reorganization of the army.
His prior achievement as the『Mercenary King』attracted many strong figures into his leadership.
Alvarez efficiently reorganized his predecessor’s army and the mercenaries who admired his virtue, thoroughly trained them to his tactics.
And thus, the undefeated army of Tranberg was born.
Along with it, the one unit that embodied Tranberg’s superiority,
Their members consisted of only chosen warriors, and they rode only the toughest horses available, as both the riders and the mounts wore special iron armor. This turns them into an army that fears no sword or spear, and capable of running through the battlefield systematically and endlessly.
The『Steel Battalion』soon became known as Tranberg’s symbol of power, and Alvarez became known as as the『Steel Prince』.
And then… As he racked up victories after victory, people started to call him the『Battle God』instead.
[Reporting!! Arcadia forces continue to retreat! One army stayed as a rearguard!]
Hearing the messenger, the generals of Tranberg army stood up and raised their voice.
[Arcadia is actually running away scared!!]
[So much for being the best military force in the continent!]
Many of the generals laughed after hearing that report.
[Your Excellency!! It’s time for us to pursue. Show those Arcadians our might!!]
The generals then turned toward their master. The king of Tranberg Alvarez turned his keen eyes to the map, then asked the messenger.
[What kind of crest is on the rearguard’s flag?]
[Yessir!! It was a dragon and a sword coat of arms]
Hearing that, Tranberg generals once again fell into chaos once again.
[An Arcadia aristocrat, bearing the dragon and sword coat of arms…?]
[That… could it be?]
Alvarez was the one to answer that question to settle down the fuss.
[The dragon as coat of arms means that it’s a clan related to the imperial clan. And the sword means it belongs to… 『Archduke Schwarzer』]
Everybody certainly took note of the last part of what Alvarez said.
[What!? That Archduke Schwarzer!?]
[This is an opportunity! Archduke Schwarzer is one of Arcadian prestigious military clans!]
[Your Excellency!! If we defeat them now, our mettle will…]
Wallace Landberg, one of Alvarez’ long time retainers shouted at the noisy generals. The military council quickly regained their calm as if they’d been doused by cold water.
With his generals calmed down, Alvarez spoke up once more.
[Since the Arcadia forces chose to retreat, there is no need to pursue them. Engage only the enemy who actively comes for us so that we can pull them in. Everyone, return to battle stations.]
For these generals, every word coming out from the『Battle God』Alvarez’ mouth was absolute.
As soon after they replied, everyone returned to their post uniformly.
Other than Alvarez himself, only two other generals remained on the tent.
One was Wallace Randberg who raised his voice earlier. The other one was Ward Dexter, a well known warlord in Tranberg.
Wallace was a veteran general who had served Tranberg for a fairly long time. Over 60 years old already, he supports Alvarez as an elder. Reputed as a wise man, it’s a well known fact that he was one of the retainers who supported Alvarez’ ascend as the new king.
Ward on the other hand was a former mercenary. He was about the same age as Alvarez. He’s the most well known general of Tranberg principality, reputed to have both wisdom and valor.
Once only the three were left, Ward opened the conversation.
[Your Excellency, I understand how our general must’ve felt. Our morale is soaring high at the moment. If we defeat Archduke Schwarzer’s forces now and hit Arcadia from the back, we will certainly earn a major victory.]
But Alvarez calmly responded to Ward.
[We would’ve done that if the rearguard is not the Schwarzers…. However, if it’s them alone, then it’s alright to leave them be.]
[…..why should Your Excellency be wary of this『Archduke Schwarzer』?]
Wallace was the one to answer this time.
[In Arcadia, the Schwarzers in the north and the Lombardia in the south must not be trifled with. According to intels, these two trained their soldiers independently. Moreover, the Archduke’s army this time is led by his two great generals, Rouen and Alberto. Even if we can defeat them, the price will be steep. It’s not worth it.]
Ward was dumbstruck by Wallace’s explanation.
There was a silence that lingered for a while. Alvarez was the one who broke it.
[I am indebted to a certain Schwarzer.]
[Wha? Your Excellency…?]
Ward let out a surprise voice. It was also the first for Wallace to hear this.
[This is the first for me either… what of it?]
[It was from 10 years ago… quite nostalgic to recall it now.]
Alvarez’ eyes peered into the distant memories. Wallace looked at his master, then realized something.
There was a paper, a letter, in his master’s hand.
Alvarez soon changed the topic, ignoring the two’s curiosity.
[Well, perhaps in the future… In any case, it will be good to have a light skirmish with them before retreating back. Ward… can I trust you with this?]
[Yes!! Leave it to me.]
[No need to take it so seriously out there….yes… just challenge them to a one on one duel once, then pull back… that way we can end the war without inflicting damage to each other.]
[Understood… but Your Excellency said something weird there. It’s fine if I just challenge them to a duel once and retreat… But will the other side do the same?]
[They will, trust me. Alright then… go prepare so we can be done with this war already.]
That said, Alvarez stood up and left the tent. Once he was alone, he muttered.
[Did you orchestrate this situation, Ares? Very well, I’ll play along this time.]