When Luke was on the verge of getting to Arsene, the flames of the war hadn’t subsided in the Baroque Empire.
The Gorn Fort was one of the places where the flames were constantly blowing.
Gorn Fort was the largest defense base in the Variand Mountains, which divided the central and the southern part of the Empire, it had steep mountains on either side that made sure that there was only one front and rear to attack.
At the center of the fort was the Central Army that was being led by Count Ferrero and the Southern Army led by Marquis Mayers. Both parties were confronting each other.
On that specific day, Marquis Mayers had launched a full-on attack after the rainy season had ended.
Information was relayed to both that the army of Duke Butler was smashed by the army of Emperor Rudolf.
As a result, Marquis Mayers was forced to make a decision knowing that the Emperor, who attacked the west, would be coming for him.
“That Butler is as stupid as one could get!”
Mayers couldn’t stand the outcome.
Mayers did know that even if Butler didn’t win the fight against the Emperor and his precious Knights of Guards, there would still be some time for Mayers to get some relief.
But for that Butler to collapse in just one battle?!
The betrayal of Marquis Vanden, the closest man to Butler, was said to have been the decisive element for his loss, but that unfavorable battle led the Southern Army of Mayers into trouble.
Originally, it was planned to pull the Central Army deep into the southern territory and disperse their powers and defeat each incoming troops. They thought that it was the best plan after considering the weather and the geography of the land.
But the situations turned, and they were forced to go for an offensive stance.
‘Because the fight in the west is settled, the army of Rudolf will soon get here. And considering that it will happen, I need to preoccupy a strong base to defend myself, such as the fort.’
The ultimate goal of Mayers was to revive the Duchy of Milton.
Reviving the region of his ancestors which had perished… Well, it was his dream to make a great Empire, an Empire that couldn’t be compared to Baroque or Holy Arthenia.
And in order to fulfill that dream, suffering loss in the southern estates would only cause more trouble.
That was why it got turned into a full-scale offense.
The problem was that the situation was at a disadvantage to Mayers.
After hearing about the defeat of the Western Army, Count Ferrero had no intention of coming out of Gorn Fort, and the Southern Army had to siege and fight in the rain.
“We must not take too much time! The fort needs to be captured!”
“What are the artillery units doing?! You need to support the Gigant units!”
The commanders screamed and yelled at all the sides of Mayers’s marching units.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
The Gigants, who were selected for assault, had already arrived at the chosen side of the fort.
However, the artillery units, which had to support the Gigants, were quiet.
No matter how heavy the rain was, the artillery wasn’t that useless, but the silence from the units made Myers look for the messenger.
After a while, the messenger got back with news.
“T-trouble, Your Majesty!”
“What is it?”
From the messenger’s expression, Mayers understood that something unexpected had happened.
However, what the messenger said was far beyond what Marquis Mayers had expected.
“It is said that the gunpowder for the artillery is completely wet and can’t be used at all!”
Hearing the messenger’s words, Marquis Mayers jumped up.
The gunpowder was usually stored in a double layer, oil-free cotton cloth placed in a wooden box with a waterproof coating, so getting it wet shouldn’t have been an excuse.
“It was said that the officer who was in charge of managing the gunpowder for the artillery was an agent of the Emperor. Last night, he was said to have left his role and deserted the gunpowder.”
“If such a thing has happened, I should have been the first to be reported!”
At the yelling of Marquis Mayers, the messenger replied with a low voice.
“I-it was said that the commander of the artillery unit, Viscount Serin has asked for it to be kept a secret…”
The man was probably afraid of being reprimanded, but it was an act where one was aware and two were kept in the dark.
Secrets never stayed hidden for too long, and if such mistakes got revealed at critical times, like what just happened, the punishment would just be much greater.
And not surprisingly, Marquis Mayers ordered the replacement of the artillery commander after striking the head of Viscount Serin right away.
“Dammit! To siege without an artillery…”
Even if the war was lead with Gigants, it was still difficult to wage a siege without the support cannons.
The unscheduled siege was in trouble from the very beginning.
“Dammit, it can’t be done. Enter the Iron Fist Knights!”
With the words of Marquis Mayers, Iron Fist Knights with the crest of Mayers’s estate entered.
Like the knights who received the crest of the Milton Duchy, the Iron Fist Knights were all elite knights made of above expert level.
The Gigants they operated were all Knight class, they weren’t anything less than the personal guards of Marquis Mayers.
And to introduce such strong knights right from the beginning of the war made people question the Marquis.
“Majesty, do you plan to use the Iron Fist Knights already?”
Marquis shook his head at the simple question of Baron Bazzo.
“In order to survive, no matter what happens, we need to get a handful of forts before the Emperor retreats. Or… we will perish.”
The original plan was to attract the Central Army and defeat them and then advance to the north and occupy the capital, Nemesis.
However, as the Western Army collapsed without creating much trouble for the Emperor, the strategy had to be revised, and Marquis Mayers decided to take over the Gorn Fort of Variand Mountains; that was their best option.
It was just a fort, but that was all they needed when it came to coping with the huge army of the Emperor.
“But I am worried that the damage will only increase if we rush into using our elite.”
Marquis Mayers planned to defeat the Central Army and then recapitulate the forts of the Variand Mountains.
He was already prepared to give the nobles enormous wealth, interest, and beauty as long as they helped him.
As long as the Emperor had already sneaked into one of the forts, Mayers still had the chance to reciprocate the situation to his advantage.
But with the Western Army being defeated without a fight, the war was already unfavorable, and their plan to use the other forts couldn’t be implemented.
“Some damage is inevitable. The only way out is speed. Now!”
Marquis Mayers, who was stubborn on his decision, dispatched the messenger and ordered the other troops to come ahead to attack the fort.
The southern troops in black were knocking on the falls of the Gorn Fort.
The soldiers tried to use the cannons. The Gigants attacked, and they were ready to create momentum that would scare their enemy.
As a result, anxiety and nervousness began to sit on the faces of the commanders of the Central Army.
“The enemy seems to be using all their troops without leaving any reserve troops.”
Count Ferrero, who was watching the battlefield from an overlooking watchtower, nodded at the words of his lieutenant.
“Huhuhu. Perhaps, their minds are burning by now.”
The reason why the Southern Army decided to act like that was because of the news that the Western Army had collapsed.
In fact, the news had gone to the Central Army first.
And Count Ferrero had deliberately used his men to spread the news into the Southern Army with his spies.
It was his intention to fight with the advantage.
“They will somehow try to take over the defensive terrain before His Majesty comes from the west. I would have done that too.”
“Well, shouldn’t we take the reserve and fight back?”
Count Ferrero had sent troops over to the Emperor’s nobles nearby in addition to the fort guards and the Central Army.
The lieutenant asked if they had to break the reserve and put them into the line of attack.
However, Count Ferrero just shook his head.
“No, we don’t have to strike back. Time is on our side, so we only need to spend time here.”
Count Ferrero was a battle maniac whose body was constantly in preparation to fight, especially when the opponent was strong, but he could never get himself to fight an unworthy opponent.
In addition, he had come up with a good strategy to fulfill the commander’s position.
“However, it is the same as a victory if we can endure until the Emperor reaches here.”
The lieutenant nodded at the words of Count Ferrero then Ferrero asked, “What about the situation of the other forts?”
“According to the magic communication we just got, they are being attacked all at once. But no fort is in any danger.”
At the words of the lieutenant, Count Ferrero nodded his head, feeling satisfied.
“Kukk, that is good. Tell them all to pay as much attention as they can only on their defense.”
Count Ferrero was about to take some time to rest, but he never imagined what kind of a variable would occur from the Western Region.