Chapter 156: Eighteenth Episode: Chapter 2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Upper Bellogan and Lower Bellogan were the most beautiful pair of sister villages in the valley area of Cotswald. Both the villages were separated due to the disparity in the height of the terrain. The vast land, concealed by trees and fertile farmlands between the two villages, were the common border of Westria Province and Bordier Province.

Strolling into the village was like walking into one of Titan's gardens. Although the southern mountain region has already entered winter, the pine trees in the village were still green. During year 791, or one could say many years ago, a castle defended Upper Bellogan, but now only a few shattered bricks and broken walls remained. At that time, rebels with a powerful army passed through here. They conveniently burned down this tiny army fortress and hung all the soldiers of a company of the Guards.

The place where the soldiers sacrificed themselves was the little church that has a long history. The little church was situated at the entrance of the Lower Bellogan Village. From afar, one could already see its elegant, dainty steeple. The locals were all rich peasant households. They have lived carefree lives in this beautiful, serene village for many years. So when the insurgents called out to the villagers, most of them only watched on with indifference.

When the insurgents left, the local villagers built a cemetery for those innocent soldiers because by how the villagers viewed it, the soldiers were adorable and not as repulsive as what those people said. Those soldiers have never robbed the wine cellars in the village, never stole poultry from the village and never deceived the girls of the village into entering the forest. They only repaired the water tankers, painted the church and even lent their warhorses to the village as cattle used for plowing.

On one of the arched courtyard doorway of the cemetery, one of the knights inscribed, "Who is able to assert that a wave can represent the ocean? Those who sleep here were destroyed by a wave, but we hold fast to the belief now and forever, that the great surge of the ocean signifies a segment of a beautiful future."

"What does it mean?" Marshal O'Neil couldn't make sense of it.

Brigadier General Luke Citel snorted coldly, "It means that they sympathize with the fate of the soldiers and also understand the rage of those bandits."

"Is it?" the Marshal was still a little dubious.

Blasky slunk forwards and sized up the mournful tombstone. "I only know that these soldiers were lucky; at least there were people who built them a cemetery. But as for 8431? We've lost a lot of men in the mountains. Their bones are scattered all over that unknown valley. I fear even the gods won't accept them."

Oscar gave a slight nod, "Blasky, not this time. I will build a gigantic memorial for the soldiers who have sacrificed themselves."

Brigadier General Luke Citel forced a smile, "Sir, the war hasn't even started and here you are saying that. Isn't it just jinxing it?"

"Hehe!" Oscar chuckled. He offered a few ivies for the soldiers lying in eternal rest in the cemetery and then departed from the alluring village with his huge army.

Upper Bellogan was an extremely well-known grape wine manor, Juanc. Here was the birthplace of the Bellogan Family. In the middle of the sixth century, the Count Bellogan of that time left his motherland and went to Faran to operate a booming grape wine business. Up until this current generation, the Bellogan Family became a franchise that was highly trusted by the Faran King with the main role of importing high-quality grape wine from the Titan Empire.

Juanc manor was world-renowned, stemming from its enormous underground structure. The Bellogan Family used a type of bright yellow stone material produced locally to build the main house and the huge villa and in the solid clay layer, dug out a wine cellar that covered an area larger than the building on the ground.

The Bellogan House's wine cellars were cut out one after another. Venturing into the underground was like entering a huge labyrinth with smaller ones in it, and the elders of the manor were required to lead the way for the guests. It was also like that for O'Neil Andrew Morisette when he visited the manor. Since the old count of the Bellogan Family was leading the way, after roaming in the underground for two hours only did he return to the current world where the sun shone brightly.

"Ola! Ten thousand barrels of various wines; this is a tremendous wealth!"

Old Count Bellogan nodded with pride.

Then, the prince of the Empire grasped the old count's hand and said, "Thank you for all that your family has done for the Empire!"

The old count again nodded, still not uttering a word.

And so, the International Department of the Forty-Ninth Secret Operation Branch under Titan's Imperial Military Intelligence Bureau, that is, Juanc Manor, sent off their supreme commander uneventfully. The Bellogan Family that fought bravely for the Imperial Secret Service Department for a century still held their silence. However, occasionally this silence would be vented out through certain channels, transforming into earth-shaking fury.

Ten thousand barrels of various wines was indeed a valuable wealth. The cellar of Juanc Manor would sort out these resources that brought wealth. According to the prearranged sequence and the clearly marked codes, the Bellogans would hide all sorts of commands into the wine barrels. The trademark that represented the Bellogan Family would be stuck onto wine barrels and then transported to the Faran Kingdom.

Once the Military Intelligence Sub-bureau of the Faran Kingdom received the exchange of information, they would then once again hide the local information into the wine barrels and transport them back to Juanc. The hand over was sorted out by the interpreters and after categorizing them, they would be handed over to the southern sub-bureau's Intelligence Resource Statistics Subdivision. Lastly, it would be presented to the First Analysis Division of the Dulin's Military Intelligence General Headquarters.

Perhaps this would be an exceedingly complex process because it had to be in secret and highly efficient. However, as a soldier of Titan, particularly secret soldiers who were battling at all times, the Bellogans and all the Military Intelligence agents in this respect were vigilant, nimble and their operation force and efficacy astounding.

On the third day after His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette left the manor, the latest intelligence sent by the Faran Kingdom finally arrived in the vast underground space. Considering the importance of the task of retrieving the intelligence, old Count Bellogan personally inspected the batch of wine barrels that were collected back.

The Count skillfully pried opened the base of a huge wine barrel. The layer between the wooden boards was still dry. The classified intelligence was stuck onto the wall of the middle layer. The elderly man slowly peeled off the tiny kraft paper with great effort.

After being treated by the developing chemical and after more than half an hour of drying, the coded message on the kraft paper finally appeared.

The wine taster of Bellogan House was the interpreting officer of the Forty-Ninth Secret Operation Branch. He merely used a minute to write out the precise content of the intelligence report.

The jumbled characters on the kraft paper represented a time, a location and the name of a person. All of these foretold that during this time, at that location and on the person, something terrible was about to unfold.

***************

Church's year 798, the 29th day of the 12th month, the eve of the Holy day of God in Berchtesgaden, Sir Widelsbach fixed up a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast in accordance to the convention of the Augustine Church. This knight invited a lot of guests and the feast carried on from evening all the way to midnight.

In Berchtesgaden, there wasn't a soul who wasn't aware of the great name of Sir Widelsbach. This knight was a wood merchant, the owner of the largest guild of the wood industry in Bordier Province.

Berchtesgaden was one of the most well-known sceneries of the mountain area of The Alps. The people mostly visited it to admire the mountain view and the remaining ancient fortification of Mythical Age. Just like many of the towns in the mountain area, Berchtesgaden was attached to the body of the mountain. The brick houses of the freedmen were on the mountainside while the mountain ridges that extended towards the horizon were occupied by groups of the nobles and merchants' villas.

There was a stone road on the mountain ridge that traversed the entire noble city district. There was a small public square at the end of the road. The heart of the square was a sculpture fountain of elegant design. In the direction of the square facing the sun stood a massive Croth style building. This was the famous Berchtesgaden Hotel. Opposite the hotel was a chapel of the Augustine Church. Within the chapel, ancient torture instrument that earned a name throughout the entire human world were displayed. According to the pronunciation of the Deiss language, the people referred to it as "Faschiz".

However, as of now, the city residents of Berchtesgaden have long since forgotten how to use this torture instrument. The people only remembered the ancient sentence called "Faschiz".

It was late in the night and the desk clock indicated a quarter to two. The doorbell of Sir Widelsbach's official residence sounded. The knight personally answered the door. His still appeared very young, save for the golden beard he kept that was typical of the people of the mountains.

"I truly thank the Rielese for the craft of clock-making!" the guest waved the pocket watch in his hand at the knight. The shiny little gold object naturally intrigued Widelsbach. At the end of the seventh century in Westland, such an object was priceless.

"Indeed, you're very on time!" the knight embraced his friend who had come from afar.

The guest pulled out of the embrace. He finally arrived in his haven safely. He has experienced the Widelsbach Family's generosity and extravagance. May he also be able to reside here comfortably for a period of time.

"So how was it? Was the journey smooth?" the knight helped the guest remove the thick furs and handed the snowy white silver fox fur to his household manager who was waiting respectfully to one side.

"Seriously, forget it! Everywhere inside and outside the border are checkpoints of the Guards. I've forgotten how many inspections I've passed through along the way!" The guest was suddenly taken aback. He noticed that the attendants in the entrance hall were all unfamiliar faces. "What's up? You've changed household managers?"

"Gah... don't bring it up!" the knight sighed. "The previous household manager came down with the flu and even passed it onto the kitchen help. I had no choice but to dismiss all the attendants in the official residence."

"Ohh... what a group of pitiful people!" The guest shrugged and didn't mention anything further.

The official residence of Sir Widelsbach was majestic. The wood merchant used gold paint to coat the roof and pigskin as wallpaper. The exquisite household utensils and all sorts of lights that emitted the brilliance of precious stones bathed the entire space in a glorious splendor. The built-in cupboards and wine cabinets were stacked up with the excellent wine and crystals, decorative gold and silver wine sets that glittered. Aside from these, there were also exquisite little articles, gilded little picture frames, silver-plated handrails and doorposts in the model of a golden lion. Although Widelsbach was merely a knight, he could totally use this imperial household totem as decoration because he was an honored noble personally conferred by His Majesty Alfa III. Using the golden lion as his doorposts could reflect his identity and status and also display his loyalty towards the Empire's Imperial Household.

However... who knew just what this knight has actually accomplished?

The guest laid down his cutleries took a sip of Berchtesgaden's white wine and lastly took a napkin and wiped the corners of his mouth.

"The negotiations fell through!"

"What?" Widelsbach was caught off guard.

"The negotiations with Prince O'Neil have fallen through!" the guest lifted his wine glass sullenly, but gradually replaced it again. "Everything is different now! Completely different! We've struggled persistently for seven years, but since the Military Intelligence Bureau intervened comprehensively in the five southern provinces, the situation has since started to go downhill. Do you still not know? Teresa has gone missing!"

"Teresa's missing?" the wood merchant's eyes widened. "How can this be?"

The guest lifted his wine glass in dismay and this time he simply drained it in one gulp. "Teresa went to attend the meeting with the prince, but no one has seen her then after. Her followers, her carriage, and even her secret bodyguards; all have disappeared without a single trace!"

"Gaaah..." Widelsbach gave a long sigh. "The Military Intelligence Bureau aren't easy to deal with! They aren't like the rogue Secret Service Department who are reeled in by money. They are soldiers, professional operating slaughter machines. They..."

"That's enough!" the guest suddenly threw the glass aside. "I didn't come here to listen to your ranting!"

The knight held his tongue, causing the guest to feel a little embarrassed.

"Bach, I apologize! I shouldn't treat a friend this way. You know... the matter is getting more challenging to carry out!"

Widelsbach shook his head, "It's alright. We stand on the side of truth, freedom, and equality! I will always hold fast to this creed!"

"I'm glad you can say that!" the guest clapped his old friend on the shoulder, then took up his dinner knife and the next moment, had cut open the hem of his shirt.

"This letter is of vital importance!" the guest handed over a wooden tube as tiny as the little finger. "The old man wants to change strategies. The disappearance of Teresa signifies that we have already stepped into O'Neil Andrew Morisette's trap. This bastard totally doesn't intend to..."

"You shouldn't address my master that way!" a melodious voice suddenly rang out in the dining hall.

Countess Aeolia strolled slowly into view. Despite the smile playing on her lips, the Lady was enraged. It was her first time hearing someone describing her master with such a filthy word.

The guest was stunned for a mere second. His actions were exceedingly swift and before the alarmed Widelsbach could react, he snatched back the tiny wooden tube. However, the household manager of the knight was even more agile and his karate chop broke the man's arm before that.

The guest was a tough guy. He didn't even let out a cry; rather, his other hand groped under his shirt. However, another attendant rushed forwards and used a knife to sever the tendons of that arm. The mini hand cannon, which had just been cocked, immediately fell to the ground.

All the doors of the dining hall burst wide open. The special soldiers streamed in and they bound the guest who was destined for an unfortunate fate on the chair.

"Is your name... Polco Boustead?" Aeolia took the tiny wooden tube from her opponent's hand that has lost all strength.

Polco Boustead didn't reply but scowled at the wretched traitor.

Sir Widelsbach kept evading the other's eyes. He appeared to still want to clarify, "We've all been exposed! Continuing to go against the Empire will only be the end of us!"

"Traitor! Bastard! My brothers won't let you get away with it!" Polco finally cursed loudly.

Aeolia gazed absent-mindedly at her hand. A little saliva has landed on her hand. The countess motioned to Lieutenant Colonel Mike, the reincarnated household manager, and Mike instantly delivered a heavy blow. The heavy blow struck Polco Boustead's ribs and the people in the dining hall heard a crisp crack of bones breaking. The second son of the Boustead Family finally let out an anguished bellow and then fell silent.

"You may go down," Aeolia turned her attention towards the petrified Sir Widelsbach, "Just like we promised, your wife and children are very safe. You may go look for them."

The knight withdrew from the dining wall, trembling in fear. He looked as if he wouldn't ever have any dealings with these Military Intelligence special agents.

"Okay!" Aya shook the wooden tube. "This is that letter?"

Polco violently spat a mouthful of blood and Aya ducked away with a cry of alarm. Gay Mike's eyes immediately turned dangerous. His blows fell repeatedly onto the other's weak points.

"Enough, enough!" Aeolia hurriedly shouted for him to stop and shot a glare at the Guerilla Commander.

Mike retreated to the side and the countess again strode over to stand before Polco.

Aeolia stroked the necklace on her, seemingly trying to attract the attention of the convict. "Do you still remember this necklace? It's the birthday present you gave your wife!"

"What... what did you guys do to her?" Polco finally panicked.

"What do you think?" Aeolia gave a slight smile, "The Lady of Hagrid Family really treasured this necklace. She always wore the necklace. As for you, you shouldn't have abandoned your wife alone in Kundera."

Polco sneered, "Eva is the daughter of General Vangol. If you all dare so much as touch a hair on her head, then go ahead and try! The Hercules of the southern border will ground you into minced meat!"

Aya nodded, "You're right! We've placed Eva under our protection. She's the daughter of the southern border's Hercules. We won't harm her even with a thousand or even ten thousand reasons. However, it's different for her father!"

Polco's eyes widened with vigilance. "Don't waste your time on me; I won't cooperate with you all!"

Aeolia waved the letter in her hand, "We only need this letter and your corpse. So... no one cares about your attitude."

Polco appeared to want to say something more, but an ice-cold point of a blade was already pressed up against his throat.

"Wait! Wait! What about my sister? What about my sister? Let me see her!"

"Hehe!" Aeolia broke into laughter. "Is she not expendable? Or perhaps... someone sent out to test the waters? Haven't you and your family already determined her fate? But don't worry, I intend to send you to meet her. Close your eyes!"

The enraged Polco could only curse from his throat because his windpipe had been severed together with his vocal chords.

"The Boustead Family's Holy Day of God is destined to be miserable!" the countess exclaimed softly.

"Isn't that so!" Colonel Mike examined the corpse, then called the special soldiers under him and left the dining hall. His demeanor was like a wordless specter.

***************

The Holy Day of God of year 798 arrived under the secretive, bleak atmosphere. The Marshal of the Guards, His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette's Special Combat Brigade arrived in the outer perimeter of Alden Mountain early in the morning. They were already within a stone's throw away from the deep forest that the bandits seized with their army.

The Southern Army Group of the guards have completely sealed off this vast mountain area and no one thought that they were just doing it for fun. After four years of besiegement and interception, the southern army has already limited the bandit's army to a few extremely strategic areas. The Guards have already chopped down a vast expanse of woodland in the deep mountains and opened up war routes that were able to supply cavalry and resources. Depending on the body of the mountain and precipice, the military engineers and laborers even built countless sentry posts and small-sized pillboxes to station troops. These pillboxes were equipped with fire beacon platforms and would notify all parties if a war situation broke out.

"Nineteen divisions are scattered within the mountains!" Colonel Payne Lubelly from the Southern Army Group's Military Command Center said.

Oh dear! Nineteen divisions! That was a military force of close to sixty thousand men. These sixty thousand soldiers of the Guards spread out over Alden's valley area like the surface of a fan.

Logically speaking... using a military force of sixty thousand men to surround and kill a bandit army of not more than a thousand people should e a piece of cake. However, the truth was the Guards could only build fortifications blockades on the outer zone of the mountain area's level land. Furthermore, these tasks were frequently destroyed by the bandit army with the name of "Mountain Lions".

"How can this be?" Oscar scratched his head, unable to turn his mind around the facts.

Colonel Payne Lubelly was in a dilemma as to whether he should criticize his colleague and in the end could only respond with "The army group has eliminated a few commoner generals who were good at war. The defending unit stationed here are all run by the aristocrat officers."

"What about the commoner generals?"

Colonel Payne forced a smile, "Sir, don't you know that the Southern Region has never reported to the Imperial Army? A few of the commoner officers who took pity on the bandits are indeed providing intelligence to the people in the mountains. The internal army has already executed quite a few."

"Are there any results?"

Payne shook his head and pointed to the surrounding huge mountains, "You've seen that going to war in this place is an arduous and unrewarding task. The aristocrat officers can't endure such suffering. They only wish for peace and surrounding the bandits here is enough for them. On the contrary, the commoner officers are eager to leave this place, otherwise, they would suffer from the suspicions and jealousy of their aristocrat colleagues before the war has even started."

"Hehe! So it's like this!" Oscar suddenly saw the light. "Is it because... the entire Southern Army Group was too passive in handling this whole matter? Because... after all, the soldiers of the Guards fighting here are all the children of the south and the bandits fighting against them are probably... their neighbors or even brothers."

Colonel Payne again denied it. "This we can't say for sure. Who's to know? It's already been seven years and the soldiers are weary!"

"Then let us end all this!" Oscar patted the stallion's forehead, brimming with confidence. Little Oslu immediately sprinted forwards and the knights behind the Marshal also moved into action. The mighty cavalry rank stirred up clouds of smoke and dust in the mountains. The powerful current made up of armors continuously approached the pitch-black mountain ridge.

Thank the God of Light! It was the deep into the night and the soldiers of the Guards rang the copper bell of the Holy Day of God. They had lit a bonfire in the campgrounds and were conversing loudly in their native tongue. They even skewered an entire wild boar on a spear and rolled it over the flame. Soon a tantalizing aroma wafted out. "And that's another year of the Holy Day of God!" all the soldiers would say. They thanked the God of Light that he didn't send menacing arrows their way. However, speaking of the few large-scale ambushes by the bandits, the soldiers again fell silent. Who knew what the coming year might bring? They have already turned zombie-like over here.

Such a scene greeted Oscar. The winter clothes of the soldiers were extremely ragged. Despite the smiles on their faces, their expressions were mostly vacant. They weren't sick of the war but the difficult environment and relentless war have worn out their determination and destroyed their nerves.

It was so cold in the mountains, the Marshal thought. It was said that even the entire tree barks would freeze here. As the sea level was too high, a few sentry posts and forts absolutely couldn't receive supplies when the heavy snow sealed off the mountain. It was reported that some troops were all sacrificed at a few forts.

However, the even more outrageous matter was yet to come. The Marshal got to know about it during the banquet organized by the local commander. That was year 796. Under a bizarre coincidence, an infantry commander mobilized the entire military strength for an ambush deep in the mountains. As a result, they encountered a cold current and the air temperature during the night plummeted to a degree where even the birds were unable to spread out their wings. The soldiers of the Guards could only put on their steel armors, wield their weapons in hand, and lie in wait in the snow grounds due to the command.

"At last?"

The commander of the battlefield in the Alden mountain area, Lieutenant General Fischer, shook his head in exasperation.

"Sir, the entire group of mountain warriors was only left with two hundred over men when they emerged from the mountains! They wept throughout the way back! They are the most elite soldiers, but their former comrades didn't sacrifice themselves for the country. Rather, they died silently due to the cold current! You didn't see the soldiers who were frozen to death in the snow grounds, all packed together. However, they were setting up an ambush and no one could leave their post, no one could jump up and scream that it was cold and more so, not one of them sought for their commander... Forget it! Let us not bring up that idiot!"

Oscar grasped the hilt of his Marshal sword, "Who was their commander?"

Lieutenant General Fischer scoffed coldly, "A young master, also a marquis, who thought highly of himself. His soldiers were frozen to death in the freezing snow grounds while he warmed himself by a fire in an excavated military fortification!"

"Is this guy still alive?" Oscar actually asked.

"He has long since descended into hell!" Fischer spat softly. "I let all the surviving soldiers take away a piece of his flesh!"

"Ola!" Oscar exclaimed. "What a great idea!"

The battlefield commander gave the officers who were present a once over, "You all shouldn't take this as a joke as well! If anyone does an act of folly, I will deal with them in the same way!"

The officers hurriedly hung their heads and adopted a manner as if the dinner plate was very fascinating.

Oscar gasped softly. He could tell that General Fischer was a good soldier who was a man of his word. However, the subordinates under him were full of a group of younger generation nobles who were yes-men and who also tried to act smart. Not many of these young officers who still looked so green were of war material. Their purpose of coming to the battlefield was merely to advance their military rank and to gather experience. To lead a group or a division, they didn't need to put all their efforts but only had to stay in the pillbox and then slip away when it was time. In the Military Ranking Department, they only had to hand over the credit register of having participated in the so and so military campaign and having wiped out a so and so number of bandits. Later, they will wait for their promotion and transfer to the military command center or to a certain metropolis where the population there had women, salons, balls, and grease.

"Could it be that... there isn't a single one of them who can fight a good war?" Oscar inquired softly.

It instantly dawned on Lieutenant General Fischer that the Marshal has guessed this reality. The middle-aged general who appeared ordinary indicated an officer with the lowest rank seated at the end of the rectangular table.

"Sandinand, a young master of the Wollums Family. When the Great Revolt in year 791 just started, his whole family was murdered and he later joined the Guards. He's my leader of the commandos, the most ruthless fighter among my subordinates."

Oscar made a mental note of the expressionless colonel ranked leader who was busy stuffing himself.

"It seems like... he's here for revenge?"

"That's right!" Lieutenant General Fischer looked at Colonel Sandinand that was of small built and nodded. "Despite this little rascal only joining the military not more than 3 years, his methods are brilliant beyond measure! He's an expert in war and even the bandits in the mountains fear him!"

Oscar patted the Lieutenant General's shoulder, "I want this man!"

General Fischer actually poured a full cup of brandy for the Prince delightedly. "Then I thank you! I have long since intended to invite little sandy, this god of plague, out of the mountains. Do you know why the bandits in the mountains are so brave and fierce in battle?"

Oscar shook his head.

The commander of the battlefield gave a few fold laughs, "Because they say that even if they fought to their deaths, they will not fall into Sandy's hands."

"What did Sandy do?" Oscar was a little amazed.

It was evident that General Fischer was a little hesitant and in the end, he only waved his hand. "Forget about it, this is the banquet of the Holy Day of God, speaking of it would be blasphemous to the gods and all the more kill one's appetite! However, not long into the future, you will find out. Sandy will definitely open your eyes."

Oscar was slightly looking forward to it. He once again sized up the future head of security of the Andrew Dynasty. Despite as of now little Sandy's head was still that of a Colonel of the Guards, full of perverted thoughts, but his atrocious methods already possess all the qualities of an executioner to slaughter people.

The Marshal's party only ended the banquet of the Holy Day of God during nightfall. The officer of the Southern Corps drank too much wine. If it were normal days, General Fischer prohibited any alcohol from being brought into the defending area of the mountain. These young nobles have almost forgotten the taste of alcohol; His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette and the Holy Day of God really came at just the right time.

That night, Oscar couldn't fall asleep no matter what. He kept pacing inside the large pillbox of the Military Command Center, occasionally chatting up a few of the guards.

The Marshal could empathize with the hardship of the soldiers in the mountains. This piece of land has no produce, only ice, snow and ferocious beasts. Apart from those, the soldiers have to endure the whipping from the noble officers and the bandits who appeared and disappeared unpredictably. It seemed that they have had enough from all those, but they still guarded their posts while grumbling.

Oscar met a veteran who has nineteen years of military service in the castle. The veteran took the cigar that the Marshal handed over to him timidly. He sniffed it attentively and then placed it in his arms, cherishing it exceptionally.

"Everything good at home?"

The veteran chuckled, "All good! All good!"

"Good in what way?" Oscar also laughed.

"After the revolt, the tax collector hasn't been by the land. The former lord with the title of Baron has also been driven away. So... it's pretty good back home!"

Oscar dropped his smile and the veteran was also like an ice sculpture standing there.

"That's good... that's good!" Oscar still spoke, but without knowing what he himself was saying. This was actually the first time that he was this close to a serving soldier of such low status.

"Sir!" The Veteran started and hesitated, but in the end, he still mustered up his courage, "Those in the mountain are all pitiful, just like us soldiers. So when our brothers fight them they won't aim to kill."

Oscar has a clear grasp of it. This was almost as he guessed, "So... you all just surround them and waste away together with them?"

The veteran shook his head, "They can't be surrounded as they are bound to find a small crack."

Oscar didn't say any more. He bid the veteran farewell and went to the top floor of the fort. He dragged down Messier and Janin Sherman who stayed next door to him from the bed.

Paul yawned at the Black Devil, "I told you that the unlucky ones will always be us four."

However, soon there were newcomers who joined them. Brigade Commander Luke Citel also crawled up from his bed, having been awoken by his army orderly.

Oscar invited the few of his subordinates to his room. He even had First Lieutenant Kirk bring some leftovers of the banquet of the Holy Day of God from the castle's kitchen. The Black Devil was in charge of warming wine and Paul was responsible to refill the food. Not long after that, they gathered together to eat.

"All in all it's a war zone and the supplies are difficult to attain!" Messier took a bite of bread and emitted a chewing sound that sounded as if he were crushing ice.

Oscar nodded. He has a piece of not so appetizing marinated beef in his mouth. "Do you see? The people here don't really treat us very graciously!"

Luke Citel nodded, "It has always been like that. The southern soldiers feel that the bandits can never be wiped out. They are used to the surrounding the bandits like now and occasionally engaging in war since there isn't much loss and too big a risk."

Oscar was a little impatient, "ever considered a negotiation? I thought the southern soldiers have deep-seated hatred towards the bandits, but from what I see now, it seems that even the lower class soldiers are taking pity on them."

The Division Head of the Military Intelligence swallowed the bread with difficulty. "This can't be helped! Haven't you said so yourself during the day? There may well be the neighbors or even brothers of the soldiers among the bandits. They are all born destitute."

Janin Sherman joined in but he talked about another matter.

"Countess Aeolia's message should have already been sent out. The few related special agent groups of the southern sub-bureau are speeding up the arrangements."

Oscar shot a glance at the head of the sub-bureau, "Why did you suddenly bring this up?"

Janin wrinkled his brows, "I'm a little worried! It's difficult to deal with Hercules Hagrid! Should we make the plans..."

Oscar gave a wave of his hand, "Vangol can't escape! The Hagrids must be rooted out! Having this powerful warlord family controlling Vielonna, we don't have to ever think about making any progress."

"But what do you intend to do?" Janin Sherman finally voiced his thoughts. He knew that His Highness has not taken him as his trusted aide because he was completely clueless about the things that Messier knew.

"You wish to know?" Oscar gave a slight smile, "Moreover... you won't regret after you do know it?"

Janin Sherman nodded, "Your Highness, I'm a soldier. Soldiers only know to obey commands, so I actually shouldn't question you further about this matter, but... I hope that you can understand my feelings."

"Okay Janin, I understand your feelings." Oscar placed his hand on the sub-bureau leader's shoulder. "Actually you should have been able to guess. As long as anything happens to General Vangol, the Hagrid Family would fall into chaos at least as long as they can't find a suitable successor."

"After this, a breach that is trending towards collapse will appear in the Southern Empire's most solid local forces. What we want to do is to pour water into this breach and then destroy the entire dam. After that..."

"Build another new one!" Janin Sherman completely comprehended it.

"Just like this!" Oscar took a sip of brandy that was rippling with flame. "Eliminating Vangol is just a start, we must direct this raging inferno towards the merchants. Religious leaders such as the Boustead Family shouldn't exist in the world. On the outside, they advertise freedom, equality, whereas, in reality, they are fighting for the political position for those as well off as them. Those poor people in the mountains are merely the gaming chips in their hands. As long as we get rid of the banker who operates the board, then these gaming chips will naturally lose their worth!"

"But... are we to let these gaming chips just scatter onto the table?" Brigadier General Luke Citel was uneasy. "We should still gather up the gaming chips."

Oscar gave a helpless laugh, "I know, I know. Your Special Combat Brigade will get to go into battle! What did we come here for? Isn't it for the purpose of gathering up those gaming chips?"

The Commander of the Special Combat Brigade grinned awkwardly, embarrassed to say anything more.

Messier finally voiced out, his expression taking on his signature grim look.

"My Lord, there's a matter that must be addressed thoroughly! We have already ventured deep into the battlefield. Isn't that... that Faran Princess a bit of an extra?"

"Yes, yes!" Paul suddenly started shouting. "The Faran Princess and Monia are both crazy. The marksman even taught a lady who is advanced in her pregnancy how to fire a mini hand cannon! She has a manner of wanting to fight to the death with the unexpected guest from Dulin."

Oscar was slightly troubled. Ashfin Kristen was entrusted to him by His Majesty III and he remembered him saying that this daughter-in-law was one of the two most important women in his life! Which also meant that Ashfin and the child she bears couldn't have anything happen to them at all! If there really were any mishaps, then Oscar was in deep water. His Majesty III probably wouldn't allow him back in Dulin.

But... what should be done now? This was the military restricted area of the Guards; a man's turf! Having a pregnant woman and a lunatic who would even fire at a rabbit she saw wasn't something to rejoice about.

"I... can't think of any good plans! Who has ideas?"

The men looked at each other. Should they cast aside this pregnant woman? All of them didn't have any good ideas.

"Won't it do to just hide her away?" little Kirk suddenly interjected.

Oscar thumped the military orderly on the head. "As if we haven't thought about hiding her? But the main point is where should we hide her? I can't think of any safe place."

Janin Sherman seemed to say quite confidently, "Hasn't the secret report to His Majesty III already been sent out? I believe that His Majesty will personally make arrangement for this matter. After all... he may well have gotten himself another son, we can't say for sure!"

Oscar threw away his dinner plate violently. "Janin, remember! This is my last warning to you! The child that Her elder Highness Ashfin bear is His Majesty III's grandson or granddaughter, so never make the mistake again!"

The head of the southern sub-bureau hurriedly nodded, aware that he was a little frivolous towards this matter. There was historical material to refer to for the means in which the Imperial Household handled scandals. He felt lingering fear just thinking about it.

Oscar scratched his head irritably. "Really, everything is going wrong! These days I don't even know what I'm doing!"

"You're too tired and also too dependent on alcohol and tobacco," Messier said while snatching away the wine glass in His Highness Prince's hand. "But returning to our topic, didn't we carry it out beautifully in Vielonna? Moreover, the situation at Countess Aeolia's side is also extremely..."

"It isn't over. Don't make conclusions at this juncture!" Oscar cut the Baron off impatiently. He's unsure just what was up with himself. It seemed as if a voice was reminding him that he should do something, but he completely couldn't get a grasp of it.

"Then let it be like this..." the Commander of the Special Combat Brigade suddenly said, "Tomorrow Marshal, let it be tomorrow! Let us also not make any mobilization before the war or battlefield situation analysis and all that! The soldiers can't wait any longer! Let us enter the mountain and find a few bandits to sharpen our blades!"

A long period elapsed and O'Neil Andrew Morisette finally found that his worries have dissipated. Since he truly became a Marshal, he has stood at the highest peak of power, causing him to drift further and further away from the blood-soaked battlefield.

Young Oscar's eyes bulged like an aggressive bull.

"Yes, let us sharpen our swords!"<script>chaptererror();</script>

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