I Become a Rogue Lord in a World Where Only I Level Up C80: The Road to King (20)
“Yes. Where are Count Voltaire and Count Elheat?”
There are different ranks among counts. As of now, there was no doubt that Elheat was more advanced in Lunan’s rank than I was. As I still need Lunan’s name, I can’t go against that rank now. Count Voltaire, on the other hand, is of a lower rank than me.
“Lord Elheat is recuperating and Lord Voltaire will be arriving shortly!”
“I see. Well, there’s one thing that’s bothering me. How did you recognize me?”
“It was a man who claimed to be an Aintorian vassal who was with us…….”
Before Voltaire’s retainer could finish answering, I knew. Zint’s been waiting for me from the castle gate.
At the same time, the earth-shaking sound of horses’ hooves began to echo in Voltaire Castle. What appeared before me was the Iron Cavalry. About ten thousand iron cavalrymen came running towards me.
As they came running towards me, they formed an orderly line in front of me, dismounted from their horses, and knelt before me.
“My lord, I see you!”
They are my soldiers. It’s only natural for my soldiers to greet me, but the sight of 10,000 iron cavalrymen moving in an orderly fashion made Voltaire’s vassals look even more nervous and their posture even more strained.
It was Zint who came running to me, leading the iron cavalry, he dismounted from his horse and shouted at me as he ran.
Suddenly saying that, he’s a cute guy.
“That’s good work. First, bring back the Iron Cavalry. Why did you bring them all here? They need to rest.”
I said this as I patted Zint on the back and looked at Voltaire’s vassal.
“Can you escort me to Lord Elheat?”
He’s the first person I need to see.
He replied loudly and led me to him. As soon as I started to move after him, Count Voltaire came hurrying towards me. He was a little chubby and looked like he was having a hard time running. The fact that he had not yet run away and stayed behind is commendable…….but his ability values were not brilliant at all.
“Hahaha, is that Your Excellency the famous Count Aintorian?”
Voltaire asked breathlessly. I’m sure he’s not just being so modest because of my high rank. Most of the troops in his territory are my soldiers, so I can’t blame him.
“Yes. Let’s see His Excellency Elheat for now.”
Elheat was lying in bed. He was quite injured from the battle at the barrier.
Even with that wounded body, I had no doubt that he would come this far. A man who would even risk his life to hand over all my soldiers back to me if I entrusted them to him.
It was because of this that I respected him, and desperately wanted to appoint him. He has a real warlord spirit that I don’t have.
Of course, I had no intention of trying to recruit him right now. Haste makes waste. To acquire such a great warlord, I need to be cautious. In any case, our goal of fighting against Narja would be the same, so I should slowly get to know him.
“Sir, are you all right?”
Elheat jumped up and down with excitement like a child. If such a thing were to open a wound, it would be a major loss of strength.
“You’re finally here! I’ve been waiting for you!”
“I returned from Roserun as quickly as I could, but the capital was already……”
“What happened to His Majesty?”
“He died while trying to escape.”
I shook my head and Elheat clenched his fists with a somber look on his face.
“He ran off without even trying to protect the capital, and he was the first one to be killed……What happened to His Highness Ronen?”
“I don’t know, either.”
“Sir, he has abandoned us!”
When Ronen’s name was mentioned, a vassal of Elheat who seemed to have retreated with him from the barrier said with a face full of exasperation.
The vassals were probably very unhappy that Elheat had been sent to the border and given the cold shoulder. They probably didn’t know about the feud between Ronen and Elheat that was hiding behind it. Because of Elheat’s personality, there was no way he would have explained the behind-the-scenes events involving the slavers.
“That’s enough about that.”
“Enough about that.”
Elheat shook his head at his vassals, and then he looked at me.
“What are you going to do now?”
He asked me a question with his straight eyes. There was only one answer, of course.
“I’ll fight Narja.”
I answered immediately and Elheat started laughing out loud.
“……hahahahaha! They’ve got……150,000 troops. How are you going to deal with……that many troops? I think you might be able to do it.”
Elheat got up from the bed with his bandaged body and walked outside.
“Use this body as you see fit in that war. I will follow your strategy without question!”
Of course I wanted to. This was not a separate appointment, but in any case, helping in the war against Narja meant that our goals were precisely aligned.
“We must first appease the unsettled citizens. We will use the castle as a base and try to hold out for a while, so that the people of Lunan can evacuate to the southwest, away from the battlefield.”
My true intention was to lead the people of Lunan to the southwest and later make them my people. Then, when the king and Ronen had fled, there was a rumor that I was the one who had served as a shield for the people and bought them time.
My activities here are extremely important to make the people’s hearts turn to me. Frankly speaking, it was also a kind of show.
“What do you mean by that? It’s impossible to endure here. The territory’s troop strength is 3,000, and the cavalry is not the kind of troops suitable for defensive battles!”
Voltaire, who had been listening in silence, intervened with an ashen face.
“Why don’t we retreat to Aintorian and call it a day? I’ll lead the soldiers and I’ll go with you!”
In other words, he wanted to escape.
“That can wait. What’s important now is to regain the hearts and minds of the people who are ready to turn their backs on Lunan. By doing so, we will be able to gain their cooperation in drafting troops for the reconstruction. There’s a stark difference between forcing a draft and supporting one ahead of time.”
“If you’re that scared, you can leave here. No one is going to stop you.”
Voltaire quickly tucked his tail when I answered immediately because I didn’t need him anyway.
No! It is safest for me to stay with you, sir! But why on earth would……! Could it be that Narja’s people have started to move south instead of coming here?”
Fran is definitely not the kind of person who would leave me alone and head south. I’m sure he’ll come this way.
It can’t be!”
Voltaire made a crying face at my reply. Do you want to run away like this? You seem to be worrying about that. You can think about it as much as you want. As long as you don’t get in my way, I don’t care what you do.
A lot of things are about to start, detailed intelligence on Narja from the Doro Trading Company, power from Berta Leman. And it’s time to get the most out of the Aintorian troops I’ve raised.
After a bloodless entry into Lunan Castle, Fran welcomed Istin in front of the throne. The throne belonged to the king and Fran wrinkled his brow under it.
“Are you saying the Iron Cavalry broke in?”
“He took Elheat, the so-called God of War of Lunan, with him. That was a nasty move.”
“I’m sorry, General!”
Lucana bowed his head several times next to Istin.
“Kediman’s dead. They really are tricky. And the Iron Cavalry…….When in the world did he raise such an army?”
Lunan is not a country where iron can be obtained. It wasn’t even listed in the intelligence reports, so even Aintorian must have raised troops in secret. How could they secretly raise iron cavalry in a country where there was no iron? It was so unexpected.
“I’m sorry. It was a……blunder. I’m sorry. General!”
“Oh, well. I’ll leave Kediman’s Third Army to Lamp. We are lucky that there is no serious damage to our troops. Think about getting credit and atone for your sins.”
However, he was still frustrated. He definitely did not want to lose. In the end, he got Lunan Castle, but he couldn’t help but feel defeated somehow. Fran immediately slammed his head against the pillar. With a thud, Fran’s forehead dented red.
“I won’t let you get away with it this time. We can’t let our guard down this time. The entire army will be assembled in front of Lunan Castle. We’re going to Voltaire Castle where the Iron Cavalry has retreated!”
“Please let me go! I say. General.”
Lucana told him about Istin’s intentions, but Fran shook his head.
“I’m not going to give him any room to maneuver. The entire army must march on Voltaire Castle!”
This is not an opponent he can defeat by scattering his troops. He didn’t want to take the worst possible chance of being destroyed individually. Determined to win, Fran gave orders to the generals.
We’re going to fight Fran’s main army in this lowly castle? That was insane. It was a path of self-destruction that could not even be called a strategy.
With 150,000 troops surrounding the castle, there would be little chance of gaining an advantage in a defensive battle. Even though it was low and easy to climb, the elite iron cavalry that I had raised would be surrounded without being able to play an active role, perfect for starving to death after being attacked.
It’s the perfect way to get the opposite of what I used in Bridget. And in the unprepared castle of Voltaire? That’s not going to happen.
“Sir. His Excellency, Erhin. Sir!”
As I was conceptualizing another way to torment Narja, Voltaire’s vassal came running in.
“What is it?”
“Narja’s army seems to be closing in! There’s dust in the distance!”
He was completely frightened and shouted with a breathless face. How can you fight properly in such a state?
“A large army of Narja? Let’s go see.”
I replied calmly.
It would have been impossible for the 150.000 men Narja’s army to arrive so quickly. The speed of 10,000 and 150,000 troops is very different.
I don’t care if Fran has dispersed the troops. It would have been nice if he had done that, but there was no way Fran would have done it. Fran was a strategist of a different caliber than the Bridget army. In any case, I followed Voltaire’s vassal up to the castle gate to check it out with my own eyes.
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