Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 225: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 4-1
Chapter 225: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 4-1
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Cape Cada Fortress was close to being cut off from the world. It was located on an isolated island at the center of Cape Cada, and it was once the most terrifying prison where the prisoners given the death sentence were imprisoned by the king of Slovenia. Around the sixth century, the prison was almost abandoned. The Royal Family of Slovenia converted the fortress into a true military facility, mainly for the defense against pirates and the invasion by the Great King of Arabah.
The wall foundation of the fortress was built on the cliff of an isolated island and the drop between the watchtower and the city wall to sea level was close to 30 meters. In this terrible place which was hellish, throughout the years it was only visited by gales and gigantic waves, hordes of seabirds and hateful hermit crabs. The fortress was connected to the seacoast through a hidden waterway. Every month, the Slovenian Navy would send a small fleet to provide supplies for Cape Cada Fortress. However… this kingdom was about to face a disaster it had not encountered in a long time. The last supply was already a month ago.
So far, there was no news at all from the communications official of Cape Fortress who was sent to land. The supplies seemed to be taking an indefinite amount of time, but the stored fresh water and food had already been exhausted. It was also useless for the commander of the fortress execute deserters by hanging.
By the end of the 6th month, the garrison group of the fortress had already plunged into despair. They had indeed been cut off from the world.
No reinforcements, no support, no instructions from their superiors, no royal inquiries. The military could only guard the infinite gold and a princess suffering from typhoid fever. They lived frugally and were told that in a few days, the fortress would be cut off of fresh water supply.
On the 2nd day of the 7th month, Cape Cada Fortress, abandoned by the people, finally welcomed the only thing worth looking forward to. A sailboat with a Faran Navy Flag hanging from it finally entered the center dock of the isolated island. The warm-hearted Faran merchants sent long-lost grape wine and black bread to their isolated, helpless Slovenian friends. Of course, the fortress garrison officers must pay the same amount of gold for the supplies they received.
Even so, the fortress commander expressed his utmost gratitude to the Farans for being timely. His soldiers were suffering from the torture of hunger and thirst. If it were not for the timely arrival of food and drink from the boat, even if he himself did not surrender to the Titans, his soldiers would find a way to facilitate this matter.
There was also a noble madam and a banker among the entourage on the Faran military navy vessel that arrived at the Cape Fortress. Speaking of this madam… she seemed as if she had a powerful backing! It was said that she did not have a definite class in the Faran Court, but represented a department of authority directly serving the Faran King. However, no one on the boat knew specifically what she was doing.
As for the banker... the Royal Family of Slovenia had found the right man! Russell Finn was a typical pessimistic finance expert. He gave guarantees for all black market transactions in the world, strived for a secure storage channel that was legitimate and reasonable for all the world's property that cannot see the light of day.
Just how much property does the Slovenia Royal Family have? It was believed that Russell Finn would not tell anyone so easily. To be in this field, one would have to have prestige and brains, and they must abide by the promises and rules as though they are treating the dogma of the gods. All financiers would tell you that there are only two rules to this profession, one was to do business only with people who are trustworthy; second, do not be foolish and cause trouble.
However... if businesses were on such a level as Russell Finn's, one would probably not encounter any trouble. At sea, a military navy vessel that belonged to the Faran Navy escorted him. There was a special registration department at the port to cover his illegal business. In the seven major bank groups. Internationally, Russell owned shares among four of them. Absolutely no one cared about how much fluid funds there were in the multiple accounts under Mr. Finn's name.
The agency relationship between the financier and the Slovenian Royal Family was finalized in the 3rd month of this year. For every kilogram of gold that Russell Finn processed, he could receive a deduction of 4.9% from it. Regardless of how rich the King of Slovenia was, Russell carefully calculated that his final income would be sufficient to buy any of the seven major bank groups. Even if he had to risk his life to come and go between the Eichin Sea and the Aldrid Sea where pirates moved about rampant, why not? After completing this business, he would be able to enter a new class. For example… purchase a noble title and sponsor a Royal Family's palace… when that moment came…
Russell put away the smile he could not hold back on his pockmarked face and turned towards the fortress' underground treasury behind him.
"Hurry up, please! Time waits for no one!"
Time waits for no one! The arrival of the rainy season caused the surge of a two-meter high wave and a strong southeastern wind in the southeastern territorial waters of Slovenia. The so-called southeastern wind indicated that the God of Light above the territorial waters was extraordinary. He would let the powerful wind move toward the north a moment, then to the south and before moving toward the east and north together. The sea would become a messy pot of boiled algae soup. If it were viewed from the sky above, it should be quite a spectacular sight, but those born of the sea would not think so – the winds would drive the variable tides, and the variable tides would drive the undercurrents and the undercurrents would drive the seagoing ship to wander away from the waterway... then congratulations! You are closer to the heavens and the hell!
The fortress was overcast with dark clouds and raging winds. The people in the fortress had smiles on their faces and were so enthusiastic that they were about to soar up into the sky. The warriors that were guarding the wealth of the king were busy in the underground treasury. They placed the gold bricks with the Slovenian Royal Family's totem on them into wooden crates covered with hay. After nailing the wooden box, it was ironed with lacquer, and the merchants on the military naval vessel stamped the emblems saying 'Royal Family imported product' one by one.
Looking at the Faran noblewoman who had a pair sharp eyes despite appearing as if she had nothing to do, the garrison officer of the fortress could not help but ask, "What is that pretty woman doing? Will there be any danger?"
Russell Finn put down the account book in his hand. He followed the sound and looked over. "I didn't even sleep with her; how would I know what she's doing? But..."
The financier groaned. He moved closer to the Fortress garrison officer's ear, "On the way, the female noble has been secretly recording the Engelish and West Percian's fleet number and the position of the coastal base! So, I have reason to suspect that she is a spy sent by my king!"
"A woman?" The commander of the fortress did not really believe it.
Russell Finn shrugged, "She is a woman, so she can come and go as she pleases from the receptions and wine parties that the Engels Navy and the West Percy Navy organized! These men can't even compare!"
"May your kingdom do something practical for the injustice that Slovenia has experienced."
The financier patted the commander of the fortress on the shoulder, "We will! We indeed will! The kingdom is planning, and the Titans will not get their way..."
Before he could finish, the countess, who had caught the last part of it immediately, shot them a glare. Russell Finn immediately shut up, with an expression like that of a horse when it saw the whole ground covered in grass.
So far, the commander of Cape Cada Fortress was absolutely certain about the countess' identity. It was difficult to come across young beautiful women on the deserted, isolated island. The garrison commander did not lack the warmth and forthright attitudes of the Slovenian aborigines. He led the countess for a tour of the entire fortress, save for a few sensitive areas. However, to Countess Aeolia Siva Wimmester, who had been strictly trained in espionage, understanding those 'sensitive' matters would not be something difficult. For instance… the firing range of the ground-based cannons in the fortress, the position of the princess' bedroom, the change in shift of the sentries, the number of soldiers, the emergency measures, etc...
In the evening, sudden news came from the Faran's military navy vessels. The gale had damaged the mainmast. There was absolutely no way to go out to sea this evening, and the ship did not have sufficient sailors… Russell Finn and the countess looked for the fortress garrison officer and requested him to send more men to be involved in the rush for repairs.
The fortress commander was wondering why Russell, the miser, would keep half of the supplies that were on board; presumably, it was for this reason. He readily agreed to the request to increase the manpower and transferred a whole team of sailors, who were familiar with the operation of the ship, to the dock to be assigned for the Faran naval captain.
When the sun was swallowed up by the sea level, the clamor in Cape Cada Fortress that had been bustling with activities the whole day had finally come to a halt. The isolated island was cloaked in an absolute silence, only the high-spirited working chants of the sailors traveled out from the dock below the cliff.
The Slovenian soldiers involved in the maintenance work traveled to and fro the island throughout the year. They were more than familiar with the veterans' manner of doing things. The Faran navy soldiers on board appeared like an elite squad with their every move. Most of the time, these soldiers did not speak much, except when the captain shouted orders; they would answer with "Yes!" This made the Slovenians feel a little strange, as these people were extremely lousy in their Faran.
A small tea reception was held in the fortress. Although it was a reception, the number of things that the commander of the fortress was able to offer up were indeed too little. However, the Princess of the Royal Family was more generous. She contributed her imported tea leaves she had kept for a long time for the reception. They were different from the fermented black tea of the westerners; these were genuine tealeaves! These might really be heaps in the east, but in the west, even Countess Aeolia, who was familiar with the market, would gasp in surprise at it.
Of course, Countess Aeolia was under an alias. If her family name were to be announced, probably there was not a soul in the world who did not know that the famous Military Investigation Bureau of the Andrews had a female head. It seemed that…
The Princess of Slovenia called her Countess "Evoren" and so, for the time being, this name was kept. That evening, Countess Evoren from the Faran court and the foreign princess were engaged in congenial conversations. However, the princess seemed to be trying to curry a favor with her, either intentionally or unintentionally.
One would know the reason by giving it some thought. The sailors were not used to bringing women on board as they think it as not auspicious. However, Countess Evoren actually managed to travel on the boat from afar. Mr. Russell Finn, who had never cared about people, treated her with the utmost respect. It was evident just how huge the countess' influence was in the Faran court. If the Princess of Slovenia could win over the other's favorable impression and sympathy…
What are we talking about these? Aeolia did not come to express sympathy and reveal her good impression of the only fugitive in the Slovenian Royal Family. The wind had started blowing! The matter of the main mast would have to be delayed until the next morning. The Commander of the fortress did not doubt it and after simply giving a response to it, he dropped the subject.
Aeolia and her entourage were anxiously waiting in a small bedroom. She had formulated the plan, arranged the manpower, agreed on the code name and predicted the tide and direction of the wind. However, when she really placed herself in this fortress that was perched high atop a cliff, she could not help but worry…
What was the price of having indefinite wind and tide in this first challenge? What kinds of situations would the Andrew Navy, which first participated in a real combat, encounter? Would the Military Intelligence Special Combat Brigade, which crossed the sea for the first time and went ashore for land combat, be swollen up by the undercurrent? Would she inadvertently commit an unforgivable mistake in her first-planned dual combination combat on water and land? There were too many 'first times' for Aeolia that she completely lost the calmness she had when dealing with the enemies. Her drifting eyes had never left the little window in the bedroom. Outside the window was a dark universe with great waves rolling over the ocean surface. The sound of enormous waves crashing against the reef was enough to rip apart the will of a person.
The ocean constantly changed its postures with the tides and currents. The undulating waves made the silhouettes of the ships in them bob about. The specially dispatched fleet on the Slovenian side of Andrew's navy set sailed and traveled into the distance under the thick, dark night. The small fleet, formed by three five-mast sailboats and nine four-mast sailboats, had already been hiding in the nearby territorial waters for half a month. Their main job was to detect the tidal and ocean currents. As for tonight, it was time for them to reap the fruits of their past hard labor.
The commander of the task force was an admiral. Even the Head of the Family, O'Neil Andrew Morisette, would not remember the young man called Tasendorf Andrew Sevis among the relatives of his huge family pedigree. However, it was believed that before long, the whole world would know the moves of this young man who dared to break new ground and blaze a trail in the Cape Cada (the last stop of the Lighthouse Strategy) Military Campaign. This is the starting point for the Andrew Navy in catching up with the conventional maritime power. It was also the war that pushed Tasendorf Andrew Sevis into being the top-ranked navy commander in the world.
Tasendorf stood at the side of the ship toward the left-wing on the flagship. Behind him were a group of naval officers of Andrew who were just as young as him. The spirited young people were eager to get into action. They pointed towards the ocean with its raging waves that surged up into the sky. Their commanders had not spoken at all but merely eyed his fleet.
The task force of Admiral Tasendorf lined up on the surface of the inky-black sea. Each of the three five-mast sailboats had two four-mast clippers guarding it in front and from behind. From the looks of it, it appeared as though the cruiser formation that the Engels usually used. This fleet was too small! This was more or less Tasendorf's only idea of it. According to his assumptions, if the Andrews really raised their sails, they could probably cover an area of the ocean surface.
A staff officer immediately answered the commander of the fleet loudly, "a quarter past ten in the evening."
The staff officer gazed around, "Ten kilometers east on the ocean surface of the strategic coordinates!"
Admiral Tasendorf then only withdrew his gaze. He brushed his military uniform that was made wet by the splashing waves and then turned towards a Military Intelligence officer who was wearing a black military uniform.
"Sir, it's your turn!"
The Military Intelligence Officer quickly took out a piece of document and through the lights from the bridge; he read aloud, "Imperial Marshal, Head of Andrew, Your Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette! Operation codename… Fishing Season!"
"The navy of the Narcissus Knights, Commander of the Slovenian area's Task Force, Admiral Tasendorf Andrew Sevis affirms that all affiliated war units with the operation codenamed 'Fishing Season' has already entered the combat waters. May the battlefield director grant approval," The person saluted. "On behalf of His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, command your unit to immediately launch the operation… codenamed Fishing Season!"
He once again gazed at the generals of the navy all around him. Tasendorf waved his hands at the main observation tower on the main mast, "Stop the ship… let down the nets! The Fishing Season is here!"
Under the cover of the dark night, above the surface of the ocean, the Andrew's Navy gathered the sails. There was a hubbub on the platform of the deck and inside each of the hatches. Countless shadows were flitting to and fro.
The officers and soldiers of the Commando Group of the First Special Combat Brigade directly under the Titan Empire's Military Intelligence Bureau took along weapons and equipment. They boarded the boats on either side of the ship. Following the majestic working chants of the sailors, every ship placed the boats that were intended to transport the Special Combat soldiers onto the sea surface.
The dark winds over the surface of the sea howled. The Special Combat soldiers with their dark expressions did not utter a single word.
They were silently counting the signals in their hearts. Their solid arms continued to press the paddles. The boats sped ahead, advancing through the magnificently, undulating sea.
The docks of the isolated island were still lit by lights. The sailors and the Slovenian soldiers doing maintenance on the sailboat had already taken a break. The warm Faran Captain took out a fine wine that had been kept well, and large strips of sausages to serve the foreign sailors in the navy that had provided assistance to them. However, good things do not last forever. Just past eleven o'clock, the Faran captain's expression suddenly changed. A moment ago he was toasting with the other party with a smile on his face. The next moment, his face went cold and he smashed the glass
Bloody red wine spilled helplessly onto the cabin floor. Dim lights reflected the silhouette of the murderer, knives, daggers, and swords. The sudden flash of the weapon was accompanied by the glaring light of blood, and the tragic howl was followed by savage shouts. Finally, the scene calmed down and the murderers brightened the lights. The lights shone upon the corpses of the wretched creatures. Their eyes were wide, staring. Before they died, they stared with eyes of disbelief at everything that unfolded before them.
The Faran sailors carefully examined the deceased again, and they added a few additional stabs onto the man who was still moaning. The captain was a little impatient and shot a look at the cabin door. The trained special soldiers immediately left the scene and they returned to their respective ships. They changed into the Kingdom of Slovenia's army uniforms and then assembled on the dock.
The small dock of the isolated island could only accommodate two large ships. Usually, there were not many guards, the same could be said for today. When the nearby guards saw a group of unfamiliar faces wearing Kingdom's army uniforms, they were naturally skeptical. However, the sly invaders did not provide them with the opportunity to question them. With the captain who had changed uniforms in the lead, Titan's Special Soldiers saw to these guards silently.
"What time is it now?" Countess Aeolia, who was standing erect by the window, suddenly whipped around. The fierce sea breeze lifted her golden hair, obscuring her face.
A military officer of the entourage took out a pocket watch produced by Riel, "A quarter past eleven!"
Aya nodded, "You all know what to do, right?"
The soldiers on the scene looked at each other, and then they left the small bedroom without a word.
The person in charge of the Andrew's Military Investigation Bureau once again turned around. Her figure shivered slightly in the dense night between the window panes. However, her eyes revealed staunch determination.