Jackson, the commander of the Ranger Unit, remembered the day he spoke with Edwin Hector one year ago.
“Jackson, the Hector Kingdom no longer has the strength to withstand the current circumstances. If the crops don’t grow much this year, the treasury will run out because of the interest of the Golden Bank and the pressure they keep putting on us. So, I would like to suggest one thing. How about we take over the Southern Front of the Cairo Kingdom?”
It sounded like a stupid proposal considering it was given by the Star of Hector. Although he knew that Edwin was an unusual person from the rumors, he didn’t think he would speak of an attack on the Cairo Kingdom like it was nothing.
Nevertheless, his words and actions felt like as soon as he nodded his head, the Cairo Kingdom would fall. Still, he refused it back then. Even though Cairo was a weak nation, just like Hector, it was still impossible for them to defeat that nation without any sacrifices. Nevertheless, 2 hours—In just 2 hours, Edwin made Jackson accept his proposal. When he heard of the plan made by Edwin, he realized that he wasn’t just speaking thoughts as they came to his mind. He wasn’t sure if it would work, but he wanted to support Edwin.
It was rumored that the Hector Kingdom was cursed by the Gods, and that was why crops weren’t growing properly in Hector. And that was why they needed to take extreme measures to turn over the situation.
And in such times, Edwin Hector’s existence was considered to be a rain in a drought. He, who was called the greatest genius of all time, was a hero born in turbulent times.
Thus, the plan was carried out diligently throughout one year. A spy was planted on Cairo’s Southern Front, and a tunnel was dug that would lead Jackson and his troops to the rear of the Southern Front. That was also how they had succeeded in infiltrating in just a few hours.
Edwin Hector said, “We have no choice but to win this war. We scouted the Southern Front 48 times in one year, yet the Cairo Kingdom never once noticed that. Their actions show their carelessness. I don’t think they will be able to break through our plan and protect the Warp Gate, but we still need to be vigilant and continue things as planned. If we cut off the comms at the Southern Training Center, and enter through the rear tunnel as we planned, the Warp Gate will fall into our hands.”
And as planned, Jackson saw the Warp Gate in front of him.
The soldiers who were guarding it were killed instantly. As the men started to die, screams could be heard everywhere, but Jackson rushed straight for the Warp Gate without even caring to hide the bodies.
It was time to fight with their full strengths from now on. If they got discovered by the enemy before they managed to connect the Warp Gate, they would all be killed here, but if they managed to succeed, they would be able to win the war.
The technician quickly began to work on the Warp Gate. This was a mouth-watering time for them. If the Cairo Kingdon had a good system on the border, then their plan would have already been discovered by now, but they were currently distracted with the attacks on the Defense Lines.
The Warp Gate shone, and as the bright light dimmed down, Edwin Hector came into their vision.
With a single step, Edwin Hector was now on Cairo’s land.
And seeing Edwin Hector’s flaming red hair flutter in the wind, all the Rangers knelt down.
“We greet Prince Edwin Hector.”
Their voices were brimming with passion.
According to the plan, the troops in the Ranger Unit had gone out with a single thought that they would buy time for the Hector Kingdom to survive. They had prepared to even be worked to their bones, and finally, they had managed to bring the best result they could hope for.
It seemed like the war had already been won. Some of the soldiers even had tears in their eyes.
Nevertheless, Edwin Hector didn’t smile. He only walked toward Jackson.
“What is the situation?”
“Most of the troops on the rear of the Southern Front have been dispatched to the front lines to focus on their defense. And, as expected, because of the complex system of Cairo, their reinforcements haven’t even arrived yet. If you give the order, we will occupy the rear of the Southern Front entirely.”
The Cairo Kingdom’s complex power system had created problems even in a situation of emergency. The Southern Front hadn’t received reinforcements even though it had been more than 2 hours since the first attack, and thanks to that, the Hector Kingdom was able to capture the Warp Gate easily.
Now, it was time for Hector to move forward. There was no way Cairo could send people in, so Hector decided to move on with his plan.
A knight stepped forward.
“I will entrust the First Battalion to you. Take care of those in the rear fortress and prepare a formidable defense, in case they succeed in sending troops through land. We can never anticipate how desperate they will get. This war might even drag on for a week, a month, or an entire year. Therefore, be absolutely prepared for the worst-case scenario.”
Kellan stepped back.
Some of the soldiers who appeared one after another through the Warp Gate followed Kellan and moved.
“We lost contact with Baron McCleary, who was on the Fifth Defense Line. Do you have any news about that?”
“I haven’t exactly figured it out myself, but I don’t think we can afford to contact him as he might be in the middle of a battle. You don’t have to worry too much, Prince. It is the Fifth Defense Line, and the commander there is famous for being rotten and cowardly, so he might have decided to spare strength and use a few troops to break through.”
Edwin Hector’s expression changed as soon as he heard that.
“Did I not command him to not do anything other than what we had planned?”
“…You did, Prince.”
“As soon as the plan succeeds, I will punish the Baron, regardless of his performance. Do you agree?”N♡vεlB¡n: Unleashing Imagination, One Read at a Time.
Edwin Hector hated things going against his plans. Still, he had not even imagined that the Baron would have fallen. It was natural. The Fifth Defense Line was the weakest of all the Defense Lines on the Southern Front, and through many calculations, he concluded that there were no variables there.
Edwin Hector ordered, “With the exception of the 1st Battalion, everyone will now deal with the Cairo remnants in here. The war isn’t over yet. Until our flag is planted here, we need to stay alert.”
Even back then, the Hector Kingdom wasn’t aware of the existence of the single—No, of the two variables that had appeared on the Southern Front.
Fortunately, the crisis of the First Defense Line being captured was avoided. The enemies stepped back when Cairo’s soldiers countered them, and thanks to that, they could finally breathe some fresh air.
“Repair the walls before the enemies attack again! Our lives are at stake here! Hurry!” Count Donald roared as he looked around.
The walls had to be covered up soon. Some of the walls even looked like they would collapse at any given moment, and the gate had almost been opened. It was fortunate that the Hector Kingdom wasn’t pushing in anymore. If they had decided to push in while ignoring sacrifices, the gate would have surely fallen down and the First Defense Line would have been at the risk of annihilation. Nevertheless, they managed to sort it out.
Count Donald sighed. Just then, a soldier came to him.
“Commander, we have received a call from the Southern Training Center.”
He moved toward the Command Room. And when he finally arrived,
[Count Donald. I am Roman Dmitry, a member of the Reserve Unit of the Fifth Defense Line.]
He saw Roman on the screen. As he knew about Roman, Count Donald asked, “Why is the Youngest Ranker contacting us?”
[I will get straight to the point. The Hector Kingdom seems to have taken over the Warp Gate in the rear of the Southern Front by using their forces on the Defense Lines as a smoke screen. We are isolated now. Before Hector takes advantage of the current situation, we must abandon the forts and take refuge in the mountains.]
Count Donald jumped up from his seat. He had barely blocked the attack on the First Defense Line, but Hector had already taken over the Warp Gate? He couldn’t believe it. As that was a reality he didn’t want to accept, Count Donald denied the truth.
“There is no way the rear could have been captured already. And, if what you say is true, is it the right decision to abandon our positions? There is no way we will be able to survive the attacks of Hector while staying in a forest. Rather, the main focus should be strengthening our defense.”
[I do admit that, but the Southern Front cannot handle any direct confrontations against Hector any longer. The Hector Kingdom didn’t come to capture the Defense Lines intentionally. They didn’t even use their full power and distracted us by attacking the Defense Lines mildly while focusing on capturing the Warp Gate. Count Donald. Think rationally. Do you seriously think they were fighting while giving their all on the Defense Lines?]
Count Donald went speechless once he heard those words. Actually, he had also felt a lot of strange things happen. Although the Hector Kingdom was in a clearly advantageous situation, they had suddenly decided to withdraw. He only got to know now that it was because they had been focused on capturing the rear first.
[Escaping to the mountains doesn’t mean we are running away. If you stay in the fort, you will be isolated from the other forces and will be defeated by the enemy forces that will attack from both sides. We need to launch a guerrilla operation in the mountains. Even if we have to be mere thorns in their way, we need to make sure the enemy cannot capture the entire Southern Front.]
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Roman’s persuasion was meaningless as Count Donald had already concluded his thoughts and made a decision. He couldn’t believe the rear had already been taken over, and he thought the fortress was safer, and that Roman may have been a spy of Hector.
“We will decide for ourselves. Please don’t contact us again.”
And he cut the call.
The commanders of the other Defense Lines weren’t much different. Their reactions were almost the same. Some didn’t accept that the rear position could be captured, and the others said they wouldn’t leave their positions. They could only think the forts were safer because of their common sense. They concluded the best option was to stay behind the defense of the walls.
Nevertheless, there was one—Steven, who was now the commander of the Fifth Defense Line, who obeyed Roman’s orders.
[I will join you right away.]
It was an absurd situation.
In a situation where they didn’t even know if Roman was telling them the truth, he had expected such reactions from the commanders.
‘Well, if they were people who actually knew how wars worked, they wouldn’t even have been in such a situation. The front lines were an entire mess, and the advantage we could have because of the rear was captured as well. Staying here anymore is but an act of suicide.’
Roman had realized one thing with his experience from many wars—What is scarier than a powerful enemy is a powerful yet ignorant ally.
It was obvious why he had contacted them despite expecting such reactions. It was because they belonged to Cairo, and so did he. Thus, he thought that if they somehow listened to him, he could use them strategically. Nevertheless, he had now done the bare minimum. Roman didn’t force them to follow him, but he had given them a choice and told them the best strategy that could be used.
Soon, Roman called for his soldiers.
“Take your luggage. We will now move to the mountains.”
The soldiers began to move along with him. From now on, it was going to be a difficult battle. Nevertheless, he wasn’t scared. In his previous life, even though he had been in even worse situations than this, he was able to reach the top of the Demonic Sect.
And an hour after Roman had left for the mountains,
A group of troops appeared. They were the soldiers of Hector and were waving their flag proudly.
They all stepped forward, trampling the corpses on the ground.
And the direction they were heading showed that Hector’s next objective was the First Defense Line.
Editor’s Thoughts: The rear has been taken over by Hector! Roman is headed to the mountains! And it seems the Defense Lines are done for as well. It will be breathtaking to see the guerilla operation by Roman, his soldiers, and the other soldiers of Cairo.