Three days after the New Year’s Military Parade, Luke summoned the military officers.
About 20 people were gathered in the throne room, from Marquis Rogers, the chief commander of the Royal army to Arch Duke Belik and numerous other commanders.
Everyone had bright expressions on their faces as if they were expecting something.
“Everyone had to go through tough times because of the New Year’s Military Parade.”
When Luke spoke and looked around at the men, Belik responded in a sarcastic manner.
“I don’t understand why such military training is given only to do such things. If you would have given me enough funds I would have made the soldiers much more efficient.”
Was it because he was hurt for not being called to the Military Parade? Or maybe he really thought of it to be a waste of money.
But it was clear that Arch Duke Belik’s heart was upset with something.
“Arch Duke, you are being too much!”
At the words of Marquis Rogers who tried to stop him, Belik looked at him and clicked his tongue.
“Tch, once you became the chief commander of the entire army your eyes seem to turn in other directions. Has it been long since you had a duel?”
“It isn’t something I can’t do. Once everything here is done, let’s move to the field.”
Rogers shot back with no intention to lose.
Belik’s words towards Luke were uncalled for, which was why Rogers felt the need to stand up.
Even though publicly he was the King’s father, Belik was under Luke.
At the times he went out of line, they had been patient, but this wasn’t a private meeting, and Belik was talking back to the King who had called in all the commanders of the army, Rogers’ patience reached its limit.
‘I don’t get it, what does that old man think…?’
‘He is being too reckless!’
Each of the military commanders, including Philip, were all watching the situation unfold.
Excluding Luke, Belik was the best swordsman in the room.
Moreover, he was a natural fighter with the title of Gigant Master.
But Rogers too had something specific to him.
The Gold Sword which he received from Luke recently and he moved from Intermediate to Advanced Sword Master.
With the two being in play, he wouldn’t fall behind in skills.
“Look here, Marquis Rogers. If you don’t feel like dying, be nice to me. Don’t keep involving in others’ matters.”
“If you want to let loose your mouth like that, then go back to being a mercenary. It is unfair for someone you like you to be called as Arch Duke and Fire Storm.”
“This man, I am going to show you, kid!”
Prime Minister Hans raised his voice at the two men acting like kids not showing any signs of backing up.
“What are you two doing here?! Have you forgotten who is present in the room?”
At the words of Hans, both Arch Duke Belik and Marquis Rogers had to back down.
Hans, who managed to stop the bickering, turned to Luke and spoke.
“Your Majesty, you can continue to speak.”
“Thank you, Prime Minister. The both of you will stay back after the meeting. You seem too energetic and unable to control it, I’ll deal with you two directly.”
At Luke’s words, both Belik’s and Rogers’ faces went stiff. It was because they knew what exactly he meant.
After the fight with Hiros, Luke often called for the Commander of each army squad or visited them himself and fought.
It was to increase their skill as Sword Master, but also to understand the usage of the latter half of the Gold Sword.
However, the training battles weren’t acknowledged.
They all were made to fall down until their mana and aura were exhausted, or beaten to the point where their entire body was sore.
Count Ferrero, who always wanted to cross sword with Luke enthusiastically, was in his room after being robbed for his fighting spirit in the battle.
And in the case of Shirley, once she realized that she wasn’t skillful enough to battle, she began to head to the mountains to practice and build-up her skills.
Belik and Rogers too had suffered in the hands of Luke.
Especially, Belik who was using his flagship Gigant was almost pushed by Luke.
‘Tch, that Rogers guy made me look like the bad one again.’
‘Kuek, this all because of you! When His Majesty was rejected, I should have sided with him!’
Once the two men sat down feeling anger towards the other, Luke opened his mouth.
“I called you today because the time has finally come to fulfill our wish, the Baroque Imperial family.”
Admiration burst from the commanders’ mouth.
Luke had already mentioned it a few days back that they would invade the Baroque Empire after the Military parade.
However, everyone seemed surprised at the fact that they would be invading so soon.
“Your Majesty, are we finally going to use our swords?”
“Yes. The expeditionary will be based and organized around the 3rd squad. Each army squad will have to recruit and support the Knights and Gigants.”
At Luke’s words, both Philip and Kaper raised questions.
“Was the size of the expeditionary forces decided?”
“Your Majesty, who will be the commander?”
“Leave it to me! I will stand as the vanguard!”
The greatest honor for a soldier was to establish merit on the battlefield.
There were numerous young and competent commanders in the Military of Symphonia Kingdom.
Accordingly, Luke mobilized around 40,000 troops and appointed Arch Duke Belik as the Commander and Philip as the vice.
In addition, the Gigant unit was centered on the Rakan Knights, and that unit was entrusted to Kaper.
“But Your Majesty, how far are the objectives for this expedition?”
Rogers asked the question on behalf of the military.
It was natural to punish the Baroque Imperial in the operation named ‘Attack on North’.
However, depending on how far they would have to move to achieve their goal, the plan of operation would have to be formed.
According to Rogers, it would be difficult to advance to Nemesis with 40,000 troops.
The Gigant troops had great power, but they would require a huge amount of supplies and would have to manage the estates captured.
If one assumed the Baroque Empire to be on the same level as the Milton Kingdom, then it was a grave mistake.
Though Libiya and Symphonia Kingdom were declared independent, the extent of the Baroque Empire was still twice more than the two Kingdoms and had twice the population too.
It would be impossible to attack without building some strong power.
“I know that we can’t take down the Baroque Empire with our current force. But I plan to strike a critical blow for our future.”
Luke, who said that, got up from his seat and pointed to the map which was stuck to the wall.
“Our goal is this place right here. By attacking that place, we will set the foundation for the full-fledged operation of Attack of North.”
The commanders knew the place where Luke pointed and nodded.
It was the center of the Southern Baroque.
Located on a traffic hub, it was a city where the headquarters of the Imperial Southern Army and military supplies were stocked.
If they managed to target it, the Baroque Empire was sure to suffer a fatal blow.
And it was evident that the Northern part of Variand mountains too would weaken.
“Since you all understand, start to prepare for it. In any unlikely event that this entered the enemy eyes, disguise it as a large training.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
The commanders of the Military immediately withdrew from the room and began to organize the expeditionary force.
Forming an expeditionary force wasn’t so difficult as the core units of each army squad were all in Brandon city for participating in the Military Parade.