The Torlot fortress was located in the middle of San river.
The San river, which originated from the Volga republic, flowed into the Baroque Empire and the Torlot fortress was situated on a hill overlooking the river’s meanders in a ‘U’ shape.
The parade ground in the center of the stone fortress was insignificant.
Soldiers and knights had to be fully trained. The normal white dust had to rise.
However, only a dozen people were in the parade ground—those were the knights.
And there were a few who were resting in the shade of the tree.
The dress of the knights wasn’t in place.
Their breastplates couldn’t be seen, and the buttons of their uniforms were open, revealing the hair on their chest.
“Seniors! Won’t you train?!”
A slim girl with a knight’s armor asked the ones taking a rest.
The senior knights rolled over the floor and said,
“Anna, do it.”
“I already did this morning,” spoke the knights.
At their response, the girl knight, Anna, frowned.
“Ugh, the new commander will come today! What would he say after seeing the seniors act like this?”
She wanted to give the new commander a good first impression.
However, it looked like the seniors hadn’t thought about that.
“He would probably swear.”
“I heard it is going to be a kid in a blue uniform. What solid information do we have?”
“Right. What good can practicing do, right?”
“Anna, you go and practice. If the new commander knows, he will make us suffer,” said the senior knights.
The knights of the Torlot Fortress were mostly sons of nobles, who had been enlisted for two years.
Most of them were second-class nobles or lower class nobles. However, because of the lack of any historical background of their families or their family’s support, they were placed at the forefront of the poorly conditioned war.
In fact, they were no different from being abandoned. They had nothing to be motivated about.
And as a result, most of them wanted to avoid crossing swords with the enemy and just wanted to be discharged after their time.
‘Kew! I don’t know much either.’
Shaking her head, Anna picked up her sword and began to practice.
Being a girl from the Baron family, she had been always told that she was talented in fencing.
With support from her parents, she was able to attend the military academy. She graduated earlier this year and was deployed to Torlot fortress.
However, the atmosphere in there wasn’t what she had heard.
The soldiers were rough and had poor skills.
Most of them had come in after being changed from their original troops, moved out of jail or for misdemeanors, and most of them came in because of debt.
So their discipline was a mess.
However, the actions of the knights and officers, who had to correct them, weren’t on point either.
Like the knights who just spoke earlier, they were taking naps or playing cards or just plainly having fun laughing.
They would say that they were going to patrol, but they were going to go fishing instead or would pick a fight with other people.
The former fortress commander was always stuck in his office room and couldn’t see any of it. The moment he was informed that a new commander was going to join them, he left that very morning.
He left without even waiting for the new commander to take his job.
‘Haa, won’t the Volga try to take down the fortress if things go on like this?’ Thought Anna.
Anna was scared.
She became a knight. She was a talented swordsman. However, she didn’t want to die and leave her family.
And to do that, she had to change the attitude of the senior knights, but it wasn’t a task that a young woman could do.
Anna was in concern over this and that.
Kun! Kung! Kung!
A trailer full of luggage and a Gigant came across the parade ground through the fortress gate.
Three people got off the trailer and the Gigant stopped in front of the fortress office.
‘That might be the new commander,’ thought Anna.
It was very likely.
With her eyes shining, she rushed over to the office.
“It is completely open.”
Those were the first words that Luke uttered after seeing the Torlot fortress.
The walls of the fortress seemed to have been neglected for a long time and looked like they would crumble quickly, and there were no soldiers patrolling around.
The knights began to appear in the parade ground at last.
There weren’t that many people who gathered to train, and it was just before the end of the day so not many soldiers were there.
“It was much worse than the information I got from the guild.”
Philip’s face became distorted,
“Let’s go inside first,” said Luke.
Luke sighed and they stepped into the building.
At the same time, the envoy, which ran from the barracks, came. He stood in front of Luke and his party and gave her salute.
“Salute! Anna de Noah from the 7th knight of the Northern army. Are you the new commander, sir?”
“Yes. This is Luke de Rakan who has been appointed as the new commander here.”
Anna was flustered, and her face became red.
Just a moment ago she had saluted to Philip. It was because of his appearance and age. He looked like the new commander.
However, Philip had stated that the new commander was the one next to him.
As she looked at him, it was a young man wearing the badge of rank on his shoulder which symbolized that he was the commander.
“It, it was a huge mistake on my part, my apologies sir!”
“Okay. But are you the only one?”
As Anna was flustered, several soldiers ran from the inside of the headquarters.
They were the ones in charge of the administration of the fortress. The ones who were playing cards and chess jumped out of their seats to see their new commander.
Unlike the knights wandering in the shade, they were dressed quite properly.
“Salute! Congratulations on your appointment!”
Once again, Philip silently pointed his hands over to Luke, saying the new commander was beside him.
Just like Anna, their complexion turned red at their late realization.
“So, sorry, Sir. Since you are so young…”
“Leave that, I want to unload my luggage first. Please guide me to my office.”
One of the officers spoke with a hesitant look.
Realizing that something was off, Luke turned over and asked Anna,
“Sir Anna, be my guide.”
Luke followed Anna to the office.
He climbed up the staircase and went straight to the hallway on the right and reached the room which said ‘Commander’s Room’.
Not caring if the other soldiers were restless, Luke opened the door.
As if two snakes were mating, a pair of man and woman were tangled up naked on the couch. It seemed like they were in the most heated moment.
Anna’s face turned red, and Erwin had her usual cold face.
It was a very ridiculous situation, Luke just laughed.
“F*ck! Didn’t I say to not come in when I am doing my thing?!”
The man, who was on top of the woman, looked back while talking, but he couldn’t help but feel nervous when he saw Luke.
“Sir Darren. He is the new commander,” said the soldier who followed them
The man, who looked at Luke after hearing those words, got up and put his pants on.
He marched toward Luke.
“This is Darren de Juke, fortress infantry commander.”
‘Juke? Where did I hear that name before?’ Thought Luke.
While Luke was feeling a little bit suspicious, Philip told him,
“The Count of Juke, a great conglomerate family. In the Empire, they have a grand alliance with the nobles who fit in the five fingers.”
Luke nodded to himself.
The Jukes had a company that was established 500 years ago.
There was no noble family in the Nemesis who wasn’t bribed by the nobles of Juke.
They weren’t nobles at that time, but the family had spent enough money on the imperial and the senior nobles of the nation.
‘This is the guy responsible for this fortress to be like this.’
Luke understood the whole situation at once.
No matter how troublesome it was to gather the troops, if the military was such a mess, then there had to be a strong reason behind it.
However, a senior officer, who was supposed to take the lead for thousands of troops, was malevolently behaving like that. There was no way such an atmosphere could be changed.
“Sir Philip, do you have any punishment that comes to mind?” Asked Luke.
At the sudden question from Luke, Philip wasn’t able to answer immediately. Luke decided to ask the question clearly this time.
“What is the military punishment for not enduring and performing such an act in the camp?”
“Ah, such an act within the army camp is 50 whips.”
“Then get the punishment ready.”
At the order from Luke, Darren’s eyes went wide and asked with an arrogant smile,
“Huh? I am being punished for having some bitch in an empty room?”
“Culprit shut your mouth,” said Luke.
“You can’t do that to me? I will let my father know… Kuk!”
As Darren wasn’t going to back down, Luke punched Darren’s abdomen.
Darren, who was hit by the sudden punch, lost his consciousness after letting out a scream.
“Take him out,” said Luke.
Luke simply overpowered Darren and ordered him to be taken out, and the officer who came later dragged Darren out.
Seeing that sight unfold, Anna couldn’t help but look at Luke with a lot of hope.
‘Wah, that was amazing! How can someone the same age as me do such an outstanding thing?’ Anna thought to herself.
Darren was infamous in the fortress.
With the support of his family’s connections, he used to run around wildly. The former commander and the commander before him gave in to his family’s power, and the recent one too had done the same.
The fencing skills of Darren’s weren’t that bad; such a person couldn’t be taken down with just one punch. However, it was possible because of the punishment sentence.
‘I need to tell this news to my seniors!’ Anna thought.
Running to the parade ground with a happy and cheerful expression, she went and told what she had witnessed to the senior knights, adding exaggerated details to her story.