Chapter 224: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 3-2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Within seconds, a bright white light flashed across the eyes! The wagon that had stopped in front of the restaurant's window suddenly turned into a ball of raging fire! There was the roar of explosion, the churn of airwaves, and the vibration of shock wave. Although those present could not fully feel the explosion in this specific order, the building fragments and dead bodies were blown up high in the sky reminded people to pay attention to this visual impact that was close to a tornado.

The earth-shattering explosion happened in only an instant. In the twinkling of an eye, excluding the dust and dirt that filled the sky and the flame that appeared indistinctly, the whole capital of Faran Kingdom went completely silent.

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

Silence! Complete total silence! Only the desk clock was making dull, metallic noises. However, Viscount Lukas Diyabaker liked to be in silence. He enjoyed staying in a quiet room, and he could stay within the four walls for up to three or five days consecutively. Like this, he had time to focus on his thinking regarding issues such as how could a beautiful young lady who blushed each time she speaks be the person in charge of Andrew Military Secret Investigation Bureau?

Countess Aeolia Siva Wimmester visited the young university graduate by His Highness the Prince's order. Lukas appeared slightly reserved and awkward in front of her. In the presence of the legendary Chief Investigation Officer from Andrew House, he knocked over a bottle of ink and kicked at the table leg while leaving his seat. In the end, he kissed the back of Aya's hand nervously but forgot to let go of the countess' hand.

Aeolia examined the young man in amusement, "Is it me that made you nervous? Or are you actually not as smart as His Highness Prince O'Neil described?"

Lukas' face reddened in embarrassment. He almost "threw" away the countess' hand.

Aya did not seem to care and began inspecting the university graduate's small study which was full of documents and various papers. It looked as if there was no place for her to sit.

Lukas discovered immediately that his study, which was also his bedroom, was in an outrageous mess. He began to tidy up while murmured softly, "You should inform me in advance! His Highness the Prince might even order Paul to beat me up if he knows that I have been impolite to his guest."

Aya sat down in a high-backed chair that he had just cleaned up, only then did she saw the young man's face clearly. Perhaps, he could even be considered a handsome young man. The countess liked the other person's eyes and eyebrows.

"You might have already guessed, I've encountered some troubles hence I'm here to seek help!"

Viscount Diyabaker quickly waved his hand, "No! No! You don't have to be so polite, we are family!" After these words left his mouth he immediately waved his hands again to clear up the ambiguity.

"Your Excellency Countess, I mean to say that Andrew Military Investigation Bureau and the Imperial Military Intelligence Bureau is a family!"

Aeolia could not help but grinned as the university graduate wiped off the perspiration on his forehead clumsily. Seconds later when the smile disappeared, the countess' face turned as cold as a glacial lake.

"I heard that the Military Intelligence Bureau collaborated with Fur Seal and Etha to establish a blacklist. How is your progress over here? Didn't His Highness the Prince leave this matter completely in your hands?"

Lukas nodded as he retrieved the required list and another stack of thick documents from the drawer of the desk.

"Background data, action plans, and secret missions of the agents' are all in here! What would you want to know?"

Aya shrugged, "It's your job to take care of the process. Since His Highness the Prince gave you this death list, then what I care about is only the result."

Viscount Diyabaker flipped the page over, and a bright red "X" was crossed over the name of the guy on top of the list.

Aya narrowed her eyes, "Karlchette Nierer! Karlchette Nierer of Saint Hailey?"

"That's the little bastard!" the university graduate cursed with disgust, but immediately found himself behaved inappropriately in the presence of an honorable lady. "Oh my God, I deeply apologize. I didn't mean it!"

Aya smiled and shook her head, "Why apologize for speaking the truth? Karlchette Nierer is a bastard! He was born one! There must have been a devil next to his mother when he was being delivered. Otherwise, if I knew that my son would turn out like this, I would have strangled him to death the moment he was born!"

"Wow..." the young man was taken aback by the crude remarks that came out from the Chief Investigation Officer of Andrew House. A distinguished lady like her should not have slandered another person's female relatives, but Viscount Diyabaker was not bothered. He had realized he adored this lady the moment Countess Aeolia walked through the door.

"Shall we return to your troubles?"

Aya revealed a stack of maps from within her arms. To be exact, the papers could be assembled into a floor plan after it was spread out. "Cape Cada, located on the geographical dividing line between the Eichin Sea and the Black Sea. Situated less than two kilometers from the shoreline in the northeast of the cape is Cape Cada Fortress."

"Slovenian water dungeon?" Diyabaker looked at the little corner on the map with some skepticism.

"There it is!" Aya nodded at the red circle marked on the area near Cape Cada. "The topography near the fortress is extremely complex and the underwater conditions are not any good. We can't count on the Engelish and West Percians because they will definitely demand interests. I think that we could only capture this fortress by stratagem and not by storm."

"You have not told me what is in there."

Aya's eyes flashed with excitement. The enormous wealth was too tempting!

"Gold! The gold reserve of the Kingdom of Slovenia is hidden in Cape Capa Fortress!"

"How do you know about this?"

"You really can't stop asking questions, can you?" Aya turned to face the university graduate, and she took out another file. "The King of Slovenia revealed this to me personally! This is his confession. He entrusted his sister and several loyal followers to secretly transfer the gold, and--"

"And then what?"

Aya frowned, "Some of the gold has already flowed abroad through a channel that we have yet to control. That stupid pig Tirana XI only knows to save himself some money for the coffin, but he has no idea about what kind of disaster would happen if such a large amount of gold flows into the international market. If that happens, financiers and speculators all over the world will focus their attention on Slovenia."

"That means we have to act quickly!"

Aya nodded, "Not only must we be quick, but also achieve the goal without letting anyone know."

Viscount Lukas Diyabaker suddenly looked at the slender Chief of Investigation Bureau of Andrew House with curious eyes, "Your Excellency, can you tell me how you made that donkey compromise?"

"Tirana XI...donkey?" Aya chuckled, "I just invited the donkey's wife and children for a reunion dinner in the place where the King was being kept."

"Just that simple?" Lukas seemed rather surprised.

Aya did not answer because the complicated process taken could not be summed up in just one sentence. Tirana XI had been a rascal for all his life, but at the same time, he was also a king. The dignity of His Majesty the King was inviolable. Although the King of Slovenia was fatuous and incompetent, nonetheless, he had once ruled a country. No one dared to coerce him because of this.

"Now that things have finally been solved, we already know where the gold is located but what we lack is some capable personnel. We cannot deploy the Red Tigers who do not know how to swim to engage in a naval warfare."

"You mean...we need to use a small commando team to infiltrate that fortress and control the situation?"

Aya nodded in agreement, but Lukas, on the other hand, was not as confident. He studied carefully at the floor plan of the fortress. He was not sure how they could enter the fortress successfully if there was no gunboat for storming.

The countess stood up from her seat, "Join us! We are going to be the robbers for once!"

Viscount Diyarbaker forced out a smile. He thought that they need to discuss this matter with the Head of Southern Sub-bureau of Military Intelligence. Janin Sherman made his fame and fortune by robbing the vault, hence he would be the perfect candidate to regard this matter.

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

By the middle of the 6th month, the vast regions of the southern part of Westland gradually entered the rainy season. The condition of Slovenia at this time was as gloomy as the dark clouds that hovered over its land. Its former neighbors suddenly broke into their own courtyard, and nearly squandered away all their resources. Naturally, the neighbors did not want this sort of thing to keep happening. Just as the kingdom was almost fallen into a total desperation, some patriots and enlightened nobles rushed to defend the flag of their homeland. They engaged themselves in battles with the well-armed regular troops of the invaders in somewhere between the hilly area of Balgan Penisula.

Therefore, the Titans were unable to take the entire territory of Slovenia under control. Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette obtained only several large and medium-sized cities as well as other strategic communication centers. However, it seemed like Prince O'Neil was not planning to conquer this country completely. Apart from the necessary precautions measurements and advancement, the Imperial Guards and Narcissus Knights turned a blind eye to rest of the local resistance.

The coordinates as planned in Lighthouse Strategy had been achieved, hence the rest of the task was just to allocate the benefits of this territorial land. Tribiani House and Marquis Raleigh Thomas who had assisted in capturing the King of Slovenia and annihilated a majority of Kingdom Guards were the primary contributors in this success. They would create a puppet government for the Titans. Although the government was not yet established, the Secretary of State who returned hastily from Titan to the capital had already assumed a position as if he was the leader of the people. He publicly defended the "visit" of the Narcissus Knights and brought forward measures like genocide and killings of religious enemies from the initial schedule.

No matter how great the courage and determination of the Slovenian nationals were in resisting against aggression, the interest group of aggressors and people who depended on aggressors was undoubtedly much stronger than the people thought. Those rebellious forces of all kinds could only operate in the mountains and forests. Once exposed under the sun, the rogue mercenaries who had been established by Titan Military Intelligence agents and Raleigh Thomas would pick trouble at these patriots.

The horrifying rainy season swept across Slovenia. Soon enough, the storms left this ancient and peaceful country in ruins. The dead bodies of pagans who died on crosses spread across the cities and villages. Various speculators and the evil took advantage of the opportunity to be the hatchet men of the invaders. They murdered people for their properties, acting more than the greedy bishops from the Roman Holy See. As most historians had commented, the Narcissus Knights and Titan Southern Army Group had created a starting point for Andrew's grandest occasion of the century, while Slovenian socio-economic and political system had retreated six hundred years back.

"Can you believe it? That you can loot someone as your slave in Slovenia?" the tall Mendez Blane yelled aloud as soon as he entered the headquarters.

Lieutenant General Gondol Abassia, the commander of the Titan Imperial Fifth Region, looked up from the tactical map. He finally had the opportunity to take a short break from his work.

"What's wrong? Are you still worried about not being able to participate in the Lighthouse Strategy?"

Mendez smiled at the commander, "Not really, but it's just so convenient for the young bunnies from the Eighth and the Ninth Region! I heard that each of them can claim two slaves, even more for the officers! At the time of returning with triumph, these guys will all be young millionaires!"

"It's not that convenient..." Abassia stretched tiredly, "Like Silvio, his Second Region was most favored before the war! But the result? Was it any good? His entire infantry army of more than thousand people was beaten down to only two assault teams. He and his bunnies will return from Slovenia soon, you can ask him about it then, and take a look at what kind of slaves he had claimed."

"Hey! Have you actually become a blind bear?"

Mendez stared for a moment at the old general who had just spoken and slapped himself on the forehead after a long while. "Big Brother George! My God! Were you blown into Vielonna by the storms from days before?"

The commander of the Southern Group Army cavalry, Captain George Romiero, embraced his old classmate who was big like a giant bear. They filled in each other about what happened in their past few years and both felt like they were dreaming. Shortly after graduating from the thirty-ninth class of theory of war history, Mendez Blane was only a young officer who had none to his name, while George Romiero was an old soldier who could not be promoted after ten years of contribution, but now…

As soon as the City of Vielonna had started its defense system, General Gondol Abassia broke rules to promote Mendez as the commander of Vielonna garrison defense, whereas General George Romiero finally left the position as cavalry commander to serve as commander of the fully integrated Southern Army Group Cavalry.

"Did you know why General Romiero came to Vielonna?" the commander of the Fifth Region looked stone-faced as he stared at Mendez Blane. Perhaps in the eyes of many, this hefty man was promoted three times because of his close relationship with His Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, but this was not the case. If Mendez Blane was only a simple rough man with a simple mind, perhaps General Gondol Abassia would not give him a second glance.

Mendez Blane lost his thought as he studied the tactical map on the table and soon realized the position of Farans on the tactical map was no longer the same as yesterday.

"My dear God of Light! Are those fifty-five divisions? They have already entered the border zone. Are we really going to war?" the sturdy giant bear was shocked at the news, but his eyes were radiating excitement.

The commander of the Fifth Region and the commander of Southern Army Group nodded simultaneously. Gondol Abassia tapped on another location on the map, "The war will surely erupt, but not today nor tomorrow! The Farans are waiting. They are waiting for the alliance forces to enter the attack position from the other two directions, but they will not wait for His Highness Prince O'Neil to deploy the massive troops in Lighthouse Strategy back to Vielonna."

"When will it be then?" asked the commander of Vielonna garrison, who was rubbing his palms together impatiently.

"First, tell us about the progress of your defense work," Gondol smiled as he examined the brave fighter.

Mendez Blane who had poured in a lot of time and effort in his own job put on a stern expression before reporting. The commander of the Vielonna garrison spread out the city's defense map in front of the two commanders. It was obvious that this map that looked like some unearthed ancient relic had been discovered by Mendez numerous times.

"The forts on both sides of Don River have been installed, what left is only to reinforce and camouflage. The old city walls of the southern bank are still being repaired. The project deadline is estimated to be on the 19th of the following month, but if I tighten my whip a little bit more...maybe we can finish by the 9th."

"I have deployed two of the most elite defensive brigades on the north shore. The first defense zone begins from Serevan Palace to the Eighteenth Bridges, and the second defense zone starts from region command headquarters to south bank of Don River. In addition, Hagrid First Heavy Infantry Corps under military command is gathered near Austella at standby. Hagrid Second Infantry Army Second Corps is still in motion, but I will leave them on the old wall on the west side of the city."

"The three fortresses in the outer suburbs? Are you going to give up on them?" Gondol was surprised and bewildered.

Mendez Blane's chubby face was lit up with a sly grin, "I gave up two of them and concentrated the defensive strength at one of the fortresses. Can you guess which one?"

"Sassiro Fortress!" Abassia pointed to the fortress closest to the wall on the south bank of Vielonna, "It forms a corner with the fort on the south city. The western people will be in deep trouble in the vast land that stretches up to two kilometers between the fortress and the city wall."

The commander of the garrison force scratched his head embarrassingly as he did not expect his superior to guess wrongly.

"I mean to say that I deploy all the defensive divisions in three fortresses into Tiromo."

"Tiromo? The one in the east side?" the commander of the Fifth Region was really surprised.

Mendez Blane nodded in affirmation, "That's right! The fortress in the eastern suburbs of the city. I think Tiromo is much stronger than the other two older fortresses, and it's close to Don River. Firstly, it can prevent the enemy to launch a surprise attack from the east side of the city and secondly, it can cover...cover us for..."

"For retreat?" Abassia grinned from ear to ear. He knew that he was absolutely right about this big guy. Looking at Mendez Blane would remind anyone that the rhinoceros was good at attacking. However, ironically, the commander of the Fifth Region thought that rhinos were the most defensive animal.

"Yes, commander! It's a backup plan for a retreat!" Mendez Blane's sight landed on the part of the city he had sworn to protect. "The war is coming! We haven't had enough defensive forces, reserve soldiers, artilleries, or even reinforcements. I believe the battle of Vielonna would be a wretched sight!"

The air became still as the soldiers indulged in their own imaginations. Perhaps they were not aware of their roles in history, but they were soldiers, and soldiers must find their true meaning in life on the battlefield. Since the battle of Vielonna would be a wretched sight, then they should not try to stop the storm, but embrace it with all their might.

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