Around the time the Holy Empire was under the torture of the zombie disease.
The atmosphere in the Baroque Empire took a turn for the worst.
The intelligence chief, Count McMillan, spoke his final words to his family and went to the throne room.
It was because the news he had to deliver to the Emperor was truly horrible.
“Majesty. It was said that our reinforcements scattered because of loss, Marquis Vanden was captured and taken in as their prisoner after the Gigantic Duel.”
Emperor Rudolf, who was discussing about the relocation of troops with Voltas, jumped up at the report given by McMillan.
“WHAT? They couldn’t even stand for one day?”
“Th-that… it seemed like they didn’t do something to reverse the situation.”
“That stupid man!”
Seeing the wrath of the Emperor, McMillan bowed his head and trembled like a sapling.
It seemed like the Emperor’s sword would come at him, but fortunately, the Emperor never touched it.
‘I was anxious since yesterday as I couldn’t reach the SS knights with magic communication!’
And he was concerned that Vanden might have been in thoughts about surrendering to the enemies to the South.
But to collapse in just a day!
‘He must be a stupid person! If I knew this was going to happen, I would have sent some other commander…’
However, it was too late to regret it.
Rudolf who looked down talked to McMillan, who was still trembling.
“Let go of Vanden, what about the SS knights? Did Kurian contact me?”
“T-the, the SS knights are directly under Your Majesty, why would I be aware of them?”
Rudolf was angry, yet he didn’t scream. Count McMillan wasn’t wrong.
The SS knights always directly reported to the Emperor.
Of course, there would be reports which would pass through the military or the intelligence, but that would be done with prior orders. And during their current mission, such orders weren’t given.
‘By the time I wanted to contact, I couldn’t even get through them, something must have happened.’
When Rudolf was in thoughts, Count Voltas asked.
“Your Majesty, the situation in the South, we lost our hand in it, what about the troops deployed from the west? Should we move them?”
Originally, Rudolf was planning to assign the rebellion of the Symphonia Kingdom over to Vanden.
However, as the Sherwood city fell too quickly, the plans were changed.
In order to handle the situation, they decided to deploy 60,000 troops and 400 Gigants from the west to secretly move to the south and regain the lost land.
Vanden, who led the reinforcement forces, was supposed to attack the enemy by moving through the bypass route and attack Sherwood till the other troops arrived, however, Vanden collapsed too quickly.
The plan had to be executed correctly.
“For now, we move. The troops are gone, but, just as planned in the beginning, they go to the south and sweep those rebels of the south.”
“You don’t plan on driving them away by sweeping them off?”
“Yes. There will be no one we won’t kill. Not just the Variand mountain, but we will be taking the Southern sea too!”
Rudolf was planning to restore the real land, and punish the rebels who claimed to be from the Symphonia Kingdom.
It was because he saw Luke de Rakan’s moves to be a lot more drastic and dangerous than Reichard, who was an eye-catcher.
‘Since Sherwood has fallen, the central part of the Empire is in danger. If I don’t smash that man, he will end up coming for my neck…!’
If he couldn’t punish men like that, no nobles under Rudolf would trust and follow him.
At least establishing the authority as an Emperor, it was necessary for Rudolf to touch the Symphonia Kingdom and Luke.
“Understood. I’ll order the western army to move right away.”
“Good, keep the minimum defense in the west. We need to proceed in secret so that those rebels don’t notice.”
And so, it was decided to take over Symphonia.
Yet, the situation didn’t go as Rudolf intended.
The current western army included the elite troops from all the western estates, it was three times the actual number of the Western Army.
With such a large group of people, no matter how secretly they moved, they would be found out.
About two days before the main group of the Western Army left the western border, information entered the ears of Shaikan.
“Majesty, the western border troops are withdrawing from the border.”
“Huh, the Symphonia men must have hit very hard on Rudolf’s back.”
Shaikan had a very bright smile.
Libiya kingdom troops crossed the border the next day.
With Gigant troops, cavalry, and fast-paced monsters, they attacked the rear of the western army which was moving south.
Western forces, who never imagined that the enemy outside the border would enter and hit them from behind were in shock.
Dozens of knights and soldiers were killed, and violent blows were given to take down the force.
And twice were the number of wounded soldiers and unrepairable Gigants.
Eventually, the Western army ceased to move and informed Emperor Rudolf about the attack of the Libiya Kingdom on them.
“What the hell?! Those men from Libiya sent out troops to follow the Western Army?”
“Yes, Your Majesty! And it was said that the damage of the allies wasn’t small.”
When Rudolf was screaming, another messenger entered around to give him another report.
“Your Majesty! The Volga Republic is attacking the forts on the Northern border!”
“There are riots breaking out in eastern and central parts of the Empire as people refuse to pay taxes and accept the military draft. If we don’t hurry up…”
At the words which came in, Rudolf was first blank-faced and then burst into laughter.
“Huhhu! Now, even those who are like rats are coming at me? I never thought that such a day would ever come. HaHaha!”
Looking at the unusual response of their Emperor, McMillan, and Voltas were flustered and scared.
Rudolf, who kept on laughing for a while, pulled the sword from his waist and pierced into the marble floor.
Just some days back, the marble had been replaced, yet once again it was shattered and the pieces flew everywhere.
Without blinking, Rudolf gave orders.
“Convene the troops as they are! I will use my own hands and kill all those rats who are coming for me!”
With anger, the Emperor issued for the mobilization of troops all throughout the Empire.
Till then, he tried to clean up the enemies with the Central troops alone, but he realized that there was a limit for it.
The entire Baroque Empire began to sway.
In addition to the estates, noble soldiers and knights flocked to the capital, and young men between the age of 18 to 30 were conscripted and sent to the army.
In every workshop, blacksmith and warehouses, instead of farm equipment or daily necessities, weapons such as swords and spears were being intensively produced.
The Baroque Empire, which was in the greatest turmoil since its founding, was facing invasion from south, west, and north.
What remained was to see if Emperor Rudolf would be able to overcome the crisis wisely.