Chapter 638: The Battle of Song 2
Luke was currently preparing for the ambush in the massive Red Pine Forest in the west, led by only his Symphonia Empire.
It was because when they almost reached the capital, Daeryang, they received a call from the spy of the Zegal Family, who had infiltrated the capital, saying Jo Won-gyun might abandon the palace and escape.
As a result, Luke let the rebels and the Yemaek to move for the capital to conquer and lead his own men to the forest to capture Jo Won-gyun and his men.
“Your Majesty, will they really come this way?
Count Reynard asked with worry.
The highlight of the war was supposed to be the fall of the Song Empire’s capital.
It was because if the enemy’s capital got captured, half the war would be over.
However, while they were so close to being the greatest contributors, they were asked to move to such a remote place.
“I know they will come.”
However, Luke was certain.
It was because if they were trying to protect the capital, Jo Won-gyun would have been seen once or twice to divert the people and gain time.
However, there was no such news from Daeryang.
“Huh, I do hope that is true.”
Reynard, who saw Luke’s confrontation with Red Dragon King Lee Yong-mu a few days ago, was all ready for battle.
It was a wonderful confrontation of people with their life on the line, something he wanted to see.
Hearing from Hwang Bo-sung, he knew that in the Song Empire, there were many people in the Eorim troops and the Central Army, who had great skills.
Among them, there were those who reached the Absolute powerholder level and could be close to Lee Yong-mu’s level.
‘Please, I want to fight just one man like that!’
It was when Reynard was praying for a dignified battle…
Du Du Du Du!
The ground was vibrating with dust raising from a faraway direction.
Reynard immediately pulled out the Hawk-Eye, which was enchanted with magic, and looked at the place.
‘They are here!’
His face brightened up.
Currently, the Symphonia Army was ready for their ambush. They were on a road leading to Luoyang, the place where the Hwang Bo clan was located.
Although he wasn’t certain, Luke predicted the road would be the shortest route to Luoyang and that the men of Jo Won-gyun would want to hurry.
However, his prediction seemed to be on the spot.
‘His Majesty’s words were right.’
At that time, while he was having an expression of deep admiration, Luke had relayed a message to every commander.
-Make sure to lure them and attack them. In accordance with the operation mentioned before, the enemy shouldn’t be killed but captured, understood?
‘Yes, Your Majesty!’
The Symphonia Kingdom’s knights, who were hiding on the left and right side of the Red Pine forest, responded by tapping their chest at once.
The moment Luke cast magic, the presence of the troops, who were ready to ambush, had disappeared like a ghost.
Du Du Du Du Du Du!
There was a large magnificent wagon that was running under the escorts of the Eorim troops, who were wearing colorful armor.
The symbol of the Imperial Family was stuck on the roof of the wagon, and Hwang Bo-kwang along with Jo Won-gyun were inside it.
However, Jo Won-gyun had a pout on his lips as if he didn’t like something.
“Damn it. I didn’t know that this would happen. I, the son of the emperor, burning down the palace and running away like a worm”
‘It’s because of those people behind the scenes…’
Hwang Bo-kwang was sure that there would have been people that agitated the general public.
‘I knew that people, who were suspicious of us, were active in the capital… I underestimated them.’
Hwang Bo-kwang had received a report from his subordinate that there were spies in Daeryang, who were secretly carrying out their own searches.
However, during that time, he was too busy with the Yemaek conquest and overlooked it.
Honestly, he was a little overconfident, thinking that the spies could do nothing as he managed to take control of the Imperial Family and the Moorim clans.
However, he didn’t assume that they would kill all the assassins of Salmek and spread the news about the poisoning of the wells.
Perhaps, they were of the same group of men that saved the Emperor or maybe an allied group. They must have been related to Lee Yong-mu.
Somehow, things went wrong because those rats and Jo Won-rak’s allied forces were advancing faster than expected, so Hwang Bo-kwang had no choice but to escape from the capital.
Because of that, the Imperial Palace, the treasures it held, and the brainwashed servants, all had to be left behind.
“For now, I’ll think of leaving them behind as they are a burden, but I will go and get them back.”
Hwang Bo-kwang had the confidence that he would recover all that was lost.
Although things were twisted around, he thought that with help from Arsene, the situation could be reversed.
The reason why he didn’t ask Arsene for help was because he knew that every help from Arsene would require Hwang Bo-kwang to pay a huge price.
In addition, after taking control of the palace and exiling Jo Won-rak, he didn’t even feel the need for Arsene.
‘If things have come to this point, he will mock me and demand a huge price… But I can’t help it. The priority is to turn over the empire again.’
Right when Hwang Bo-kang was grinding his teeth, Jo Won-gyun asked with irritation clearly registered in his voice.
“By the way, uncle, how are we going to get ready to make Luoyang the capital?”
Luoyang was the capital of the Qin nation, a dynasty before the Song Empire.
As such, the population was large, the infrastructure too was well equipped to serve as the second capital, and the walls of the Qin Palace were strong. Also, the place had various offices for governing purposes.
The reason why they were heading to Luoyang wasn’t just because it was the hometown of the Hwang Bo clan.
“We have already contacted the family and everything has been prepared in advance. As soon as we arrive Luoyang, I will arrange a ceremony for Your majesty.”
As long as the title of the emperor and the capital were snatched, the tide could always be reversed.
Accordingly, Hwang Bo-kwang planned and mobilized the forces, who followed them to be present at the Jo Won-gyun ceremony.
The soldiers conscripted from the other provinces and the masters of the Moorim, who have been forced out of their own clans, were brought over to Luoyang.
Once the forces and the troops came, they would once again move to recapture the lost capital.
“We are also planning to borrow the troops from Kalmyk, which is on the western plateau. Kalmyk is a barbarian tribe but has good military power, similar to Kitai.”
“Well, just hurry. I want to pay back the disgrace I faced from those men as much as possible.”
“Understood, Your Majesty.”
While the two were having such a long conversation, the carriage suddenly stopped.
“What is it?”
When asked by Hwang Bo-kwang who looked out of the window, General Wang-cheong of the Eorim approached and said to him.
He was the second strongest person in the military after Lee Yong-mu.
“There is a thick Red Pine Forest ahead. What are we going to do?”
Hwang Bo-kwang nodded at his words and looked ahead.
“Take a careful look ahead.”
No matter how fast they had to move, they couldn’t neglect their surroundings.
In particular, the Red Pine Forest was a wide area, and several pine trees there were tens of meters in height and were densely growing, making it perfect for an ambush.
Although the soldiers of the Eorim troops were the best of the best in the Song Empire, they would still take a lot of damage if an ambush was prepared for them.
When Hwang Bo-kwang’s words fell, Wang-cheong gave out the orders. Then, about 10 horses ran ahead toward the Red Pine Forest.
The cavalry, who had been trained that way, paid attention and scoured through the forest.
Returning back after another 30 minutes or so, they reported that the forest was safe.
At Hwang Bo-kwang’s question, an officer from Eorim, who went out, answered, “It was said that the Zen users of the Imperial Palace detected something, but there were no traces of practice in close areas.”
It was a way to make sure that no soldiers or rebels were hiding in close range.
The Imperial zen users were the best in the Song Empire. Even though they were less proficient than Earner, they were still skilled.
“Tch, we don’t have any time, let’s go…”
From the back, the voice of Jo Won-gyun, who was unable to bear his frustration and rage, could be heard.
Although it was annoying, Hwang Bo-kwang, who heard it, ordered for the escorts to start to move.
A procession of 30,000 soldiers and 2,000 cavalry and hundreds of wagons began to enter the Red Pine Forest.