Chapter 36 – The War of Arcadia (I)
The Longinus Continent, which had enjoyed several years of peace, suddenly became lively with war during the period of time when Ye Yin Zhu’s group left Konya City for Sacred Heart City. This was actually not because of the Mjolnir beastmen’s surprise attack on the Milan Empire. After all, this was a routine border war and was unlikely to have any effect on the interior regions of the continent.
This sudden war that emerged, however, affected the entire continent. It was a war between two countries, and these two countries even belonged to the same faction.
In the northern regions of the Longinus Continent, the heart of the region had always been the Milan Empire with their allied countries being Ascoli, Florence, and Palermo. In the southern regions, the Blue Dias Empire ruled. Similar to the Milan Empire, the Blue Dias Empire also had three allied countries: the Stormli Kingdom, the Wavast Kingdom, and the Arcadia Kingdom. These two power blocks were separated by Falan, located between the two sides. It was precisely because of Falan’s oppressive influence that the two sides were constrained from entering into a tremendously large clash.
From an overall strength perspective, Milan was the most powerful of the four northern countries, so it was the dominant power there. At the same time, however, there was the enormous threat of the Northern Wasteland. Even if the Milan Empire considered invading the south, they couldn’t send too many troops to do so, as some needed to be diverted to guard against the Northern Wasteland. Along with this, in the past, no country dared to offend Falan, so for a century, peace reigned on the Longinus Continent.
As the Milan Empire began to deal with the Northern Wasteland’s autumnal plundering, disharmony began to emerge within the southern regions of the continent. Within the Blue Dias Empire’s subsidiary kingdoms, war was unexpectedly brewing between the Kingdoms of Wavast and Arcadia.
The instigator of this matter just so happened to be Ye Yin Zhu.
When Ye Yin Zhu left Desolate Jade Sea back then, he had passed through Arcadia’s capital, Luna City, and came across several provocative Wavast mages. The outside world had been strange to him, and when he was confronted with an opponent in such a high pressure situation, he used a surprise sound blade attack. He had killed the mages of Wavast Kingdom, and amongst those casualties was an Indigo Rank mage. In hindsight, he could’ve avoided the problem by walking away from it, but he did not. This brought the Kingdom of Arcadia no small amount of trouble.
As one of the most powerful country on the continent, even the Milan Empire treated mages as treasures, not to mention a second-rate kingdom like Wavast. When they suddenly obtained news of the mages’ disappearances, their first reaction was to pressure the Kingdom of Arcadia. The Kingdom of Arcadia naturally hadn’t admit to anything. Or possibly speaking, the Arcadian royal family also had no idea where those Wavast mages had disappeared to.
Both parties entered a momentary deadlock afterward. The Wavast Kingdom relied on the fact that their strength far surpassed Arcadia and forcefully demanded compensation from the kingdom. It could be assumed that they had exploited this opportunity to squeeze as much profit as possible from the Kingdom of Arcadia. If it were not for the Blue Dias Empire and Falan, then with Wavast glaring at Arcadia like a tiger watching his prey, perhaps Arcadia would have long been forced to become a part of Wavast.
Against the expectations of the Wavast Kingdom, however, the Kingdom of Arcadia’s royal family’s manner was absolutely unyielding this time, in spite of everything. They fundamentally didn’t acknowledge the Wavast mages’ disappearances in Luna City. Both sides immediately entered a stalemate.
The Wavast Kingdom naturally wouldn’t let something like this pass. The Blue Dias Empire declared their neutrality in this situation, so Wavast sent a hundred thousand armed forces, using this army to pressure the Arcadian border.
Feir City, a strategic city on the border of the Kingdom of Arcadia.
With Arcadia’s power, even if the entire country was flipped over, barely eighty thousand troops could be mustered. As for the quality of the troops, well—since the people of Arcadia had always been lazy in nature, the troops of Arcadia were naturally unable to compare with the Wavast Kingdom. From these eighty thousand troops, not even a Dragon Cavalry Legion could be formed. Their opponent, however, consisted of the elite of the Wavast Kingdom.
Wavast’s show of strength was comprised of two Dragon Cavalry Legions and a twenty-thousand-strong Heavy Cavalry Legion. Within the Wavast Kingdom’s army, there were even a hundred mages of every discipline, the vast majority being Fire mages.
Atop the walls of Feir City, all of the high-ranking military officers of Arcadia had grave expressions as they stared at the huge thirty or so Wavast garrisons stationed outside. Their hearts were heavy. They clearly understood that since the Wavast had dispatched their troops already, it was no longer a simple matter of demanding compensation. If their army was to be defeated, then the aftermath was too horrible to contemplate.
These Arcadian generals hadn’t wielded a weapon for several years. Most of them were puzzled as to why the Arcadian royal family was so unyielding at this time. This was a war that was absolutely impossible to win!
Yesterday, the Wavast army had already arrived outside of Feir City and spent a day consolidating their forces. Today, they could clearly see from atop the city walls that a large fraction of those military forces had begun to mobilize. It appeared that they were planning to launch an all-out attack upon Feir City.
“Great Master Qin Shang, what should we do now?” The Kingdom of Arcadia’s Marshal, Solskjaer, was somewhat panicked as he questioned the older mage beside him.
Qin Shang calmly smiled and said, “Do not worry and just look down. Marshal Solskjaer, please order all of the cavalry under your control to prepare to attack at any moment. Since his Majesty the King appointed me as the highest ranking military commander for this war, I absolutely cannot disappoint him.”
“Affirmative. I will obey your directives. But, Great Master Qin Shang, I believe it is better if we continue to hold fast. The opposing side has too many Heavy Cavalrymen. As soon as we commence war on the battlefield, I’m afraid our soldiers will be unable to resist!”
Glancing at Solskjaer’s alarmed vissage and rotund belly, Qin Shang’s gaze displayed a trace of disdain. He faintly said, “Marshal Solskjaer, you should understand that first of all, as a soldier, you must face the enemy with courage and gaze into death with equanimity. As the commander of the entire army, if you fear battle, then how can this war be won? At the moment, I ask the Marshal to execute my orders and immediately prepare the arrangements.”
Even if Solskjaer had always been arrogant in the past, he didn’t dare to have even the slightest amount of disrespect for this old mage before him at this moment, especially when he saw the magic emblem upon the other’s chest. He suddenly realized that the old man before his eyes could truly be counted on and hurriedly agreed, descending the city walls.
Qin Shang sighed lightly. “If we are to depend on these generals of Arcadia, then this war won’t even need to break out.”
“Fortunately, we’re not depending on them, no?” At Qin Shang’s side, with aged facial features, was a man with long, ash-grey hair draped over his shoulders. The old man brimmed with the aura of the blue sea that then turned into mulberry fields, an air of unyielding arrogance within him as he coldly spoke.
Qin Shang smiled slightly and said, “Old friend, I understand that you look down on these types of soldiers. Alas, we are currently given no leeway. If it were possible, I believe that you would have definitely been the best marshal.”
Ye Li glanced at Qin Shang. With a low voice, he said, “I hope the war this time will be the prelude to the rise of our Eight Eastern Dragon Sects.”
A bright radiance flashed through Qin Shang’s eyes. “Definitely. What we should do is pave the road for the youth. I believe that Yin Zhu’s generation will perhaps become the core strength of the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects. Our dreams can finally be realized.”
Ye Li turned to look at the city below. “They have come. You should go prepare. I will take my leave now.” As his voice faded, his body disappeared from sight like a faint violet phantom. Watching the gradually approaching army of the Wavast Kingdom, a tinge of violet light brimming with murderous intent flitted across Qin Shang’s eyes.
The one in charge of the Wavast Kingdom’s army this time was the Kingdom Marshal Eastliré. The Wavast Kingdom and Milan Empire were similar in one aspect, which was that they had two marshals. One was stationed on the border between Wavast Kingdom and Florence Kingdom. When all was said and done, these two kingdoms belonged to different fractions, so small conflicts were unavoidable. In addition, Eastliré currently had command of a hundred thousand troops.
Although it had been peaceful throughout the continent for several years, a person who hadn’t yet experienced war only had a very small chance of becoming marshal. At present, this Marshal Eastliré was such a unique individual that filled this criteria. Since graduating from Wavast Military College, he hadn’t participated in any wars, but he was a marshal at the age of 45 for one reason. His younger sister was currently the queen of the Wavast Kingdom.
When rumors of going to war against Arcadia emerged, the court councilor denounced Eastliré for immediately seizing the opportunity to wage war. Eastliré also knew that his ability was insufficient, but he was confronting Arcadia this time, the weakest and smallest country. Even without a commander, the war could be completely won. So long as he could grab this opportunity to kill Arcadian troops, who would continue to say that he was a skirt waistband marshal?1
“Let my army pressure them. I want to battle with this Feir City and the Arcadian swine for victory.” Eastliré raised his Arming sword aloft, the blade glimmering with golden light. Even though this guy had little skill, his appearance was, admittedly, very handsome. He didn’t appear to be as old as a middle-aged man in his forties. Coupled with his golden helmet and gold-plated crimson battle armor, he also, to a point, possessed the awe-inspiring manner of a marshal.
An adviser beside Eastliré said, “Esteemed Marshal, we have already scouted the surroundings, and there are no signs of ambush. This time, however, Arcadia dared to provoke our Wavast Kingdom, so they must have something to back up their bold stance. Should we stop the hasty advance of the army and orchestrate a feint to first test the strength of the opposition?”
Eastliré disdainfully glanced at the war adviser beside him. “If you don’t understand, then don’t speak rubbish in front of me. The Art of War has a saying, ‘A good general scouts first before going to battle.’ In this war, even if the enemies are weak, my reconnaissance is perfect.
“According to our intelligence reports, the enemies only assembled eighty thousand troops. The fighting capabilities of Arcadia’s soldiers has always been widely known to be poor, so don’t even bother mentioning how they’d fare against our hundred thousand troops. Even if we only had ten thousand Heavy Cavalry, I am sure we will be able to seize them and tear them to pieces.
“This time, I want to use an irresistible, powerful force to destroy all of Arcadia’s defenses, forcing them to acknowledge that they had offended our Wavast Kingdom in the end. Have the army forge onward. The Heavy Cavalry will flank the Dragon Cavalry, and the Dragon Cavalry will be responsible for defending the mages. At the same time, the Light Cavalry will be arranged into two wing formations while the infantry brings up the rear.”
- Skirt waistband/waistband of a skirt = related to the wife or another female family member; essentially saying that he only got the position because of a female relative ↩